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CHESTER, PA - Trainer Jim Campbell showed he has two honed Hambletonian-caliber horses for new Hall of Famer Jules Siegel and his Fashion Farms LLC in Patent Leather and Crystal Fashion, as they posted identical 1:53.3 clockings in winning divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes third preliminary leg for three-year-old colt trotters Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. And the Campbell duo defied a trend that manifested itself - Patent Leather was the second choice in his race and Crystal Fashion the favorite in his, and they were the only two of the six 1-2 choices in the three divisions who did not make a break. Crystal Fashion, unraced since winning the Beal Championship on June 30 and starting from the outside post seven, was away quickly, but backed off to a tuck fourth as Hill Street set the early pace of 28.2 and 57.4, with second choice Lindy's Big Bang in the pocket. Tim Tetrick, continuing in outstanding driving form, had his Cantab Hall gelding on the move past the half, and he had reached Hill Street before the 1:25.2 ¾ pole. It was just past that point that Lindy's Big Bang ran in the pocket, and Crystal Fashion had it fairly easy from there, going past the pacesetter at headstretch and winning by ¾ of a length over Mississippi Storm, who closed well but wasn't a gasp!-hold-your-breath threat nearing the wire. But Crystal Fashion certainly could be a threat in that big race in Jersey in 15 days time. Campbell had a good idea that Tetrick would likely stick with Crystal Fashion in future outings, so he engaged Andrew McCarthy to drive Patent Leather in his division, and the two teamed like old friends. Favored Hat Trick Habit yielded to Gemologist before the 26.4 quarter, then broke soon off the first turn to take herself out of contention. McCarthy waited in fourth with his Broadway Hall colt as Gemologist got a breather to the half in 57.1, then took up chase at the 5/8, reaching the leader by the 1:25.1 3/4s and then drawing off at will, ahead of second-place Exarch by 3 1/2 lengths on the money. The other division proved to be the fastest. The 1-2 choices, Lawmaker and Whats The Word, were both offstride before the 5/16, leaving the path clear for pacesetting Scirocco Rob to post a 1:53.1 victory, a tick short of his career best posted here last week, after commanding through fractions of 27, 55.3, and 1:24.1. Make It A Double inherited the pocket, drafted behind the leader, and made a good race of it in the stretch, but the victorious altered son of Explosive Matter, stakes-placed in several recent races, had enough to hold on by a neck for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Rich And Miserable kept himself in position for a possible sweep of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for three-year-old trotting colts on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, running his record to three-for-three in the competition with a 1:54.1 lifetime best effort. Tyler Buter kept the Todd Buter trainee in the two-hole as favored pacesetter Max's Beast and first-over New Plymouth argued through a 27.3 third quarter, then dipped to the inside for the stretch and went by under confident handling. The crowd wasn't so confident about the winner, though, as he was coming off a 26-day layoff, so the double-now-triple winner returned a generous $8.60. The Explosive Matter gelding is owned by the Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs; they are the exact same partnership who owned 2016 Stallion Series 2YO champion Two AM - who just happened to win the very next race after Rich And Miserable's victory. Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer now faces a difficult decision with his Donato Hanover gelding Donatover, who overcame a first-up journey to tally in 1:55. The sophomore, owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC, had a first and a third in the Sire Stakes, one level up, earlier in the campaign, and for the fourth leg at The Meadows Smedshammer will have to decide which level to commit to - and whether he'll have enough points to make the series' respective Championships. Im Your Captain, after a third and fifth in Sire Stakes racing, enjoyed the drop to the Stallion Series, taking a new mark of 1:54 in a wire-to-wire victory. The win by the Muscle Hill colt, owned by the Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Black Horse Racing, came in the middle of a "natural hat trick" for driver Andy Miller, and was the start of a consecutive double for trainer/wife Julie. ("Team Orange Crush" also had two seconds in the other Stallion Series legs.) The Muscle Hill gelding Spartan now has won three in a row and five of his last six after powering strongly the last 3/8 for driver Tim Tetrick to tie his personal best of 1:55.1. A Stallion Series leg winner earlier, Spartan and his victory may have cheered the day of trainer Anette Lorentzon, co-owner with Fayette AB and ACL Stuteri AB, whose family patriarch John Erik Magnusson recently passed away. Tomorrow the three-year-old trotting colts will be on display at Philly in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes - races whose impact includes both the horse who could make the Sire Stakes Championship and, more immediately, contemplation of entering The Hambletonian on August 4. Beal Championship winner Crystal Fashion is among the three fields of seven in the Friday feature. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA -- Two-year-old trotting fillies were certainly out in force on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, as the track hosted second round action in both the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (five divisions) and Pennsylvania Stallion Series (six divisions). Sonnet Grace now has three stakes wins in as many career starts, including two Sire Stakes triumphs (the only filly to accomplish that feat), after rallying in the passing lane for a 1:57.2 victory. The daughter of Muscle Massive - I Believe, sporting a granddam who is none other than precocious champion CR Kay Suzie, was content to ride in the pocket behind Magical Beliefs, then outtrotted her home in 28.4, with breeder/owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen barely having to ask his baby filly for more down the lane. In her previous start, Sonnet Grace had also shown a fine late burst to win in 1:56.2 over a sloppy Pocono course, still as fast a mile for any trotter on a 5/8-mile track. The Explosive Matter - Fast Lane K filly Rush Lane began her career with three straight seconds, including a nose loss to Sonnet Hill in that 1:56.2 mile, but she changed her luck today and got home first while equaling that 1:56.2 season's record. Rush Lane made two early rushes to the lead for driver Yannick Gingras and retained control after the second one, holding off the uncovered bid of favored Personal Paradise by one and three-quarter lengths while stepping home in 58 for trainer Richard Gillock and owner/breeder Robert Key. Corey Callahan was patient early with the Muscle Hill - UF Tady's Donato filly Scirocco Donnahill, keeping her in back of the cover of favored Fate Smiled, and when that one moved to the lead off the first bend, Callahan went up with "Donnahill," grabbed the racetrack at the 3/8, and maintained her advantage on her main rival to the wire in 1:57. The John Butenschoen trainee, second in a PA All-Stars race in her only other purse event, won by a length for Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. Antonia was away slowly, had to move uncovered from sixth at the 5/16, finally reached cover then gapped it down the backstretch and around the far turn - not very promising a scenario, huh? But the Donato Hanover - Tactical Caviar miss Antonia was tipped wide by David Miller and ate up real estate through the stretch, reaching the wire a half-length ahead of favored pacesetter Darla P while stopping the clock in 1:57, a new mark. The pupil of Nifty Norman had made a break in her only other purse start yet rallied for fourth, and today she could optimalize her talent for Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC, and the Pinske Stables. After sweeping four PA All-Stars sections for this division's pacing counterparts last night at Pocono, the Burke Brigade took a Sire Stakes prize at Philly the next afternoon, as the Donato Hanover - Susi's Image distaff Hanovers Best set all the pace for Yannick Gingras, then held off oncharging favorite Ma Was Right by the slightest of margins while stopping the timer in 1:57. The winner, who made a break in her only other purse start, showed she'll prove tough when behaving in winning for trainer Burke and owner William Fisher. In Stallion Series action, the Explosive Matter - Nan's Conway miss Navarone Hanover overcame the outside post six and a tuck-then-grind journey for Tim Tetrick, gunning down pacesetter Lindy Missunshine by ¾ of a length late while taking a mark of 1:58. The Bob Baggitt Jr.-trained filly, owned by Christine Baggitt, is now undefeated after two purse starts. The Muscle Massive - Ts Fast Forward filly Fast Reaction is now two-for-two in the Stallion Series after edging Southwind Percy by a neck in 1:58, lowering her mark. Trainer/driver Rick Beinhauer, also breeder and owner with Regina Beinhauer, used the rail to maximum advantage, putting everybody in behind his filly early, and Fast Reaction had enough energy in her late reaction to preserve the triumph. Another daughter of Muscle Massive, Wizard Hawk (out of the mare Valley Makayla), was the only filly who could stay close to the fast but bad-mannered Run Lindy Run in the early part of their cut, and after that one put up fractions of 28 and approached a 56.4 half, she made a break and went to the infield. This change in fortune left Wizard Hawk with a huge lead, which she maintained to the finish for a 1:58.4 maiden victory. Charlie Norris completed a rare "trainer/driver Trifecta" (after Rod Allen and Rick Beinhauer in race card order) with the freshman, owned by Carrie Norris, LJB Racing LLC, and Scott Mceneny. "If you can keep your head when all about you / are losing theirs ..." is the opening of the famous poem "If" by Kipling, and they were the watchwords of driver Victor Kirby and the Explosive Matter - Warrawee Lassie filly Wildfire Seelster in taking their StS cut in a maiden mark of 2:00.1. Wildfire Seelster was fourth early, then third as the leader broke at the half, then second as the pocketsitter broke into the backstretch, and Kirby steadily advanced the filly, taking the inside path home to a 3¼ length victory over Chanel De Vie. Owner/trainer Austin Brubacker's baby had not been worse than fourth in three purse starts, but she made her breakthrough today by staying calm and steady. Trainer Ron Burke also captured a Stallion Series division with the Muscle Hill - Say What filly Southwind Storm, making her two-for-two in the StS competition. Matt Kakaley and his Ron Burke-trained filly had control of the race early and were never threatened, stopping the timer in 2:00, which equaled the mark she took in her other Stallion Series win, for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Lawrence Karr, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The Possess The Will - Raising Rachel filly Fashion Rachel lost her purse debut to the first Stallion Series winner of the day, Navarone Hanover, so perhaps it was poetic justice that she won the last race of the card, a Stallion Series event, in 1:58, holding off the potential pocket rocket and favorite Explosive Mel by a length. David Miller handled the winner for trainer Jim Campbell and owner/breeder Fashion Farms LLC. To summarize: Yannick Gingras drove two Sire Stakes winners, while driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke had a victory in both classes ... All the Stallion Series winners were favorites except the last one, who paid $6.60, while the only favorite that won in the Sire Stakes was Sonnet Grace, although no winner returned higher than $7.80 ... And Sonnet Grace was the only one of the eleven winning stakes fillies not to take a new mark today. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The powerful Ron Burke stable sent out 7 of the 25 two-year-old pacing fillies contesting four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest over a "sloppy" track Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, including all four morning line favorites. And indeed the Burke Brigade, and "former member"-now-sire Sweet Lou, effected a sweep - but the last event didn't go exactly to script, as $45.80 winner Louphoria, not the 2-5 chalk Sylph Hanover, completed the four-bagger. Louphoria, out of the mare Euphoria, was first to the lead for driver Yannick Gingras, then saw Art Lecture and then Sylph Hanover make their way to the top. They sat in that order until just before the 1:25.2 ¾ call, when Louphoria came roaring out of the three-hole and had her stablemate headed on the far turn. Gingras, who handled three of the Burke winners, seemed to be measuring off the win as Louphoria tripped the timer in 1:53, a length ahead of Blue Ivy, who came between horses late to nip Sylph Hanover for second. Louphoria was third in her Sire Stakes debut, and had shown a 1:57.4 morning win at Philly in which she had come home in 55.3, but this victory showed that she belongs in the "big leagues" of the state-bred babies for the Louphoria Stable. (Who's the Louphoria Stable? No real surprises - Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, Lawrence Karr, and Diamond Creek Racing.) Most impressive of the Burke Brigade winners was the Sweet Lou - Great Memories filly Warrawee Ubeaut, who tucked third mid-first turn for driver Yannick Gingras, then brushed to the lead in front of the stands. From there the only real question was the final time, and Warrawee Ubeaut came home in 55.1 to finish out in 1:52.1, a season's record despite the off track, knocking a tick off the mark set by St Somewhere at Tioga on Sunday. An easy winner in a Sire Stakes in her purse bow with two nice Gaitway victories before that, Warrawee Ubeaut ironically only now shows a line without a sub-27 quarter in it (28.3, 57, 1:24.2, 1:52.1 here), but Burke Racing LLC, Phil Collura, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC won't mind that fact a bit. 18 minutes later it was, as the noted philosopher Lawrence Berra once observed, "déjà vu all over again" for Sweet Lou, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras, Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, 1-9 shots, and Sire Stakes winners following up with an All-Star win, as She's Allright, out of the mare Atsalrite Hanover, made the lead at the 1/8 and came home in 55.4 - 27.4 to stop the timer in 1:52.2, a personal best, while fully in control. Michelle Yanek is a partner in this impressive filly with Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and Collura. Sweet Chrome started proceedings off for the Burke barn, the Sweet Lou - Camille filly taking the lead after hard usage to the 5/16, then controlling things thereafter en route to a 1:54.4 triumph over the sloppy going. Third in a Sire Stakes event in her purse bow, Sweet Chrome matched the clocking she had achieved in a Philly a.m. baby session for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable LLC, and Jack Piatt III. So in summary, the Tuesday Pocono sweepers were sire Sweet Lou, trainer Ron Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. They may turn up on the radar again. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Future Life swept from sixth just past the ¾, steadily coming on three- and four-wide through the turn and in the stretch to catch Unbeamlieveable by a half-length while taking the $14,000 claiming handicap distaff pacing feature Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Unbeamlieveable, the 9-5 favorite and winner of four of her last five, was parked well past a hot 26.4 quarter by LK's Nancy Lee, who finally ceded the lead to the chalk, and Unbeamlieveable could get a bit of a rest to the 56.1 half. With Sew Psyched advancing first-over, and Cinder Rita and Future Life right behind her, Unbeamlieveable stepped it up to a 1:24.4 ¾. Early in the stretch it looked as if the pacesetter might've gotten away from her opposition, but Future Life continued her strong rally under Tyler Buter's guidance to take the decision in 1:53.4 while returning a $35.20 mutuel. Andrew Adamczyk trains and owns the victorious daughter of Life Sign, who certainly has been able to find the winners circle in her career - this was her 66th lifetime victory, boosting her earnings to $265.040. Tomorrow two-year-old pacing fillies get the spotlight at Pocono, with four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for this group. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday featured six $20,000 sections of the first leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for two-year-old pacing colts, and in the end two hot stallions came away with honors-even, as Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou each fathered three of the winners. Fastest of the sextet of winners was the first on the racetrack, Latissimus Hanover (dam Ladyking), who never looked back from the pole while taking a mark of 1:52.2, burning home in 55 - 27.1 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Ray Schnittker, the latter co-owner with Mary Kinsey Arnold and Hall of Fame ballot finalist Ted Gewertz. Captain Disomma (dam Ramona Disomma) went first-over and still was able to catch favored Hilarious Lou by a half-length in 1:54.1, a personal best, for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Roland Mallar, and Anatolia Farm LLC. Rounding out the Captaintreacherous sweep of the card's first three races was the longest shot on the board, 20-1 Captain Panko (dam P Note Blue Chip), who tipped wide from second-over and was along by a neck over No Pulse Richie, tallying in 1:54.3 in his purse bow for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc and William Wiswell. Corey Callahan also drove two of the Sweet Lou colts who won in Stalion Series competition, including two for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere. The second-fastest StS victory was turned in by first-time purse starter Love Me Some Lou (dam Shark Lightning), who cut the pace in front of Captain Hill, then held that one off by a neck in a 1:52.3 mile which featured back fractions of 55.2- 27.3. The "1:52.3" number was also achieved by his stablemate Sugar Factory (dam Cam Swifty) in a Meadowlands baby session; on Sunday, his first purse outing, he fronted the field from the quarter while winning safely in 1:54.4, with big back fractions of 55.4-27.3. The two winners for Team Cancelliere were the only chalk to prevail in the Stallion Series. The other victorious son of Sweet Lou was Costello (dam Laughandbehappy), who got a relatively soft half on the engine, then had enough in a 27.3 last quarter to withstand Flameproof Hanover by a length while taking a personal speed badge of 1:54.2. Matt Kakaley sulkysat for trainer Ron Burke, who knows a thing or two about Sweet Lou, and the oft-winning partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura. The sire whose offspring earned the biggest check of the night was Mr Cantab, as his double world recordholding son Homicide Hunter took a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series event in 1:52.1. The gelding moved to the lead early for driver George Napolitano Jr., got to rest to a 57.2 half, then despite being off 28 days sprinted home in 54.3 - 27.1, winning easily by 1½ lengths over Smalltownthrowdown, who caught the pocket horse Moonshiner Hanover to take second. Chris Oakes conditions the winner of $1,255,907, who raised his lifetime win percentage over 50% (34 for 67) for Crawford Farms Racing, and Homicide Hunter also took a bigger lead at the top of the Great Northeast pointstandings. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - More The Better N, having to come from eighth at the half in a third-over flow, was just along to win his U.S. debut, a $30,000 Great Northeast Series open pace, in 1:49.1 on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Corey Callahan took back with his horse at the start as early command was taken by Caviart Luca, who in turn yielded to Western Joe before the 26.1 quarter. The outer tier formed as Western Joe went to the half in 54.3, with favored Split The House, Sunfire Blue Chip, and More The Better N the first three in the two-wide flow. Split The House had moved into second and a challenging position by the ¾ in 1:21.3, with the two in behind him keeping in close attendance. Turning for home Sunfire Blue Chip fanned three-wide, and through the stretch it looked as if Split The House and "Sunfire" would be the major contestants, but Callahan had More The Better N flying four-wide inside the final 1/16, getting by Sunfire Blue Chip by a head. Split The House missed taking the big end of the purse by only a neck, and Western Joe was only ¾ of a length off while fourth in the exciting drive to the wire. More The Bettor N came from New Zealand with a 32-14-12-2 record and $430,168 in earnings, and did not take long to show he can go with a very high level of pacer on these shores. Ross Croghan is handling his conditioning for the Robert Cooper Stable LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC. The crowd's lack of familiarity with the abilities of the winner, which allowed him to be the day's big payoff at $16.60, will surely be reduced after his impressive local bow. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The final bell came just at the right moment for Tyson as he won one of two $14,500 featured trots at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, while in the other Ataboy Hanover stayed clear through the lane and won easily. Tyson was the even-money favorite in his division of the feature, and despite the difficult tuck-then-first-over journey it looked like he had thrown the knockout punch going into the far turn, clearing to the lead and opening a 3½ length lead by the stretch call. But the Donato Hanover gelding was getting weary late, and he had to dig down deep to withstand Golden Son, who had led early, was shuffled, and then had a furious late rally, by a neck in 1:53.1, a lifetime best. Tyson, now a winner of $171,345, is co-owned by trainer Ed Gannon Jr. and driver Yannick Gingras along with Frank Canzone. Many of the same components of the first division showed up in the second - a 1:53.1 new personal best, and a "tuck-then-grind" route that carried the leader to a 3 ½ length lead at headstretch. But there was nobody moving well late to threaten the winning Andover Hall gelding Ataboy Hanover, as his margin at the wire actually grew a bit, to 3¾ lengths, for driver Eric Carlson and trainer Mark Harder, the latter co-owner with Rick Phillips and Deena Rachel Frost. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - The leading pointwinners in both open divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) will be in action this Sunday in $30,000 events, with Rodeo Romeo going in the open pace at Harrah's Philadelphia in the afternoon and Homicide Hunter in the open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on their evening card. Rodeo Romeo raised his GNOS tally to 6-3-2-1, good for 362 points (the most of any horse in any of the three GNOS divisions), with a 1:49.4 triumph at Pocono last Saturday night. Eric Carlson will again be in the sulky this Sunday afternoon for trainer Chris Ryder as Rodeo Romeo starts from post two in a nine-horse field. Split The House, who set the pace at Pocono last week only to be caught by Romeo Rodeo by a head, was made the 3-1 favorite from post five, the best starting spot at Philly, for driver Brett Miller and trainer Chris Oakes. Two weeks back Split The House, the 2017 Breeders Crown winner for his division, was triumphant in the Franklin Consolation at Pocono. Homicide Hunter has two wins and a fifth in his three GNOS starts, putting him top of the pack with 180 points in a division where the top six horses are separated by only thirty points. Both of his GNOS wins have come at Pocono, and in between he tied the world record for older trotting geldings on a 5/8-mile track with a 1:50.3 triumph at Scioto. Homicide Hunter will start as the 5-2 favorite from post five (also tops statistically at Pocono) in the trotting event for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes (who thus has the chalk in both GNOS races Sunday); the one possible knock against Homicide Hunter is that he has not raced in 28 days. Second choice in the GNOS trot is a newcomer to the series, but certainly not a newcomer to top-level racing: Moonshiner Hanover, listed at 3-1 from post two for driver David Miller and Chris Beaver. Moonshiner Hanover had notched two straight triumphs before finishing second to champion mare Ariana G when she set a 1:50.2 world record at The Meadowlands last week. The Great Northeast Series continues with weekly events on the conditioned sheet until the weekend of August 25. The top pointwinners in each division (open trot, open pace, mares pace) will be eligible to declare in for $100,000 GNOS Championship races, to be conducted at 1¼ miles, on Sunday evening, September 2 at Pocono, which is also the night of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds. From the PHHA/Harrah's & Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A season's leader for two-year-old pacing colts on 5/8-mile tracks (De Los Cielos Deo) and mile tracks (No Mas Amor), both from the powerful Ron Burke stable, will start side-by-side in the fifth and final tenth race division of a first round Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for this group on Saturday evening at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. De Los Cielos Deo ("from the heavens of God") was the fastest of Pennsylvania All-Stars winners here on July 1, putting in a 27 last quarter to stop the timer in 1:53. A former's mile track season's leader by virtue of his 1:52.3 win at Gaitway (with his own last ¾ in 1:21.3!), the son of Captaintreacherous - Lisjune will be driven by the sport's all-time winningest driver, Dave Palone, making a rare Pocono appearance, with the pair starting from post four. Don't put those translation dictionaries yet - just outside De Los Cielos Deo will be his Burke barnmate, No Mas Amor, "no more love," the Sweet Lou colt's name explained by the name of his dam, No More Loving. No Mas Amor went wire-to-wire at Meadowlands in 1:52.2, last quarter 26.4, which was tied by Stag Party three days later and Captain Ahab three days after that. Trainer Burke has engaged Anthony Napolitano to sulkysit behind No Mas Amor from post five, Pocono's winningest spot. The other four PA All-Stars winners are all back at Pocono on Saturday: Lyons Johnnyjnr, who will start just outside of De Los Cielos and No Mas Amor; Blood Money (race one, post four); Lyons Night Hawk (race three, post five); and Proof (race four, post three). There is also a "double stakes winner" in this Sire Stakes collection, as Aflame Hanover (race three, post three) comes to Pocono with two PA Fair Sire Stakes wins, the latter at York this past Saturday in 1:58.3, faster than anyone has traveled on the Keystone twicearounds this season at press time. On Sunday, six divisions of this group's Stallion Series horses will contest their first preliminary leg action. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

CHESTER PA - Featured at the start of the racing week at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon were a pair of $16,000 conditioned events, one on each gait. The pacers were up first, and their race was taken by the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore colt I'm A Big Deal in 1:51.3. A Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner in 1:50.2 on May 19, I'm A Big Deal was sent right to the front by driver George Napolitano Jr. and held sway the rest of the way, with No Easy Day making it no easy day for the winner of $119,594 in the stretch, but the "Big Deal" still had enough to tally by 1¼ lengths. Chris Ryder trains the colt, and he co-owns him with Craig Henderson and Robert Mondillo. On the trotting side, Scirocco Rob, third in the recent Beal Consolation, enjoyed the downturn in opposition, posting a new mark of 1:53 for driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen. The altered son of Explosive Matter, coming first-over, was resisted the length of the 27.3 third quarter by pacesetting Im Your Captain, but through the last quarter the winner of $158,210 asserted his superiority, clear by 6½ lengths over Im Your Captain at the wire. Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. are the owners of the talented sophomore. Leading driver Tim Tetrick continued his recent hot form, bringing four horses home first in the Wednesday afternoon sunshine. From PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Two-year-old trotting fillies faced "sloppy" going at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday, racing in five $30,000 divisions of their Pennsylvania All-Stars stake. The fastest winner was the homebred Sonnet Grace for owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen, and the 1:56.2 clocking despite the off going is certainly "in the pedigree," as the Muscle Massive filly is out of I Believe, an Andover Hall mare out of C R Kay Suzie, possibly the most precocious baby trotting miss of the last 50 years. (Within seven weeks in 1994, C R Kay Suzie trotted world record miles in 1:55.1m, 1:56.1f, and 1:56.3h, records that lasted for respectively 11, 14, and just over 20 years!) Sonnet Grace, a 1:58.1 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner at The Meadows in her previous start, lowered her mark with her All-Stars win, but she had to work hard for it, showing a big acceleration in the Pocono Pike in the last 50 yards to just nose out Rush Lane, who had grinded to the lead earlier in the stretch. The 1:56.2 clocking was not only a divisional season's record for a 5/8-mile track, it also beat the colts' standard of 1:56.4 notched 24 hours ago by Prospect Hill and Fashion Possessed in their All-Stars wins. Trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras twice combined with daughters of Muscle Hill to begin paying back on hefty yearling prices. First up was The Ice Dutchess, a $320,000 purchase and a full sister to $500G winner Ice Attraction (their dam is The Ice Queen), who controlled the pace and took a half-length victory over first-over Scirocco Donnahill in 1:57.1. The Ice Dutchess had previously recorded a 1:56.4 baby qualifying win at The Meadowlands for the Coyote Wynd Farms. A bit later, the $480,000 yearling Beautiful Sin (Muscle Hill - Sina) made a beautiful debut, quarter-moving for Gingras and staying strong to the wire to win by 3¼ lengths in 1:58.1. Beautiful Sin had previously notched three straight morning wins at The Meadowlands, fastest in 1:56.2, for the SRF Stable. Matt Kakaley was able to rally Fate Smiled from the pocket to a head victory in 1:58.4, just catching pacesetting Fraulein Blucher (a Cantab Hall out of one of PA's top Sire Stakes performers ever, Frau Blucher). Fate Smiled is a Muscle Massive filly out of $500G+ winner For A Dancer who had won her previous start in a division of the same Sire Stakes event at The Meadows earlier mentioned in 1:58. Ron Burke trains her for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Michelle Yanek. Fate Smiled was a 9-5 second choice, and the first three winners listed here were their race's favorites. The upsetter in the All-Stars on Tuesday was 12-1 shot Sabrina Deo, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of the half-million dollar winner Caught My Eye, who moved out from the pocket at headstretch and caught pacesetter Fast Reaction by ¾ of a length in 1:57.3 in her purse bow. Corey Callahan was in the sulky for trainer John Butenschoen and the ownership of Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc., Rojan Stables, and Tangie Massie. The winner had been twice second in a.m. outings before this win, and she completed a "grandsire sweep" for Muscles Yankee (Muscle Hill sired three winners and Muscle Massive two). From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA -- Prospect Hill trotted the fastest mile by a two-year-old on a 5/8-mile track in 2018, 1:56.4, when he won his $30,000 division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars for colts and geldings Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono - a distinction he held by himself for 17 minutes, and then shared with Fashion Possessed after that one equaled the clocking in the very next race. The sire Muscle Hill produced five of the six winners in this All-Star event. A Muscle Hill - Louise Kemp colt who fetched $130,000 as a yearling, Prospect Hill was sent out between horses by driver Andy Miller to the lead before the 29 quarter, then rolled on in 59.2 and 1:28.4, nearing the latter station feeling pressure from first-over The Muscle Dog. But that one backed off in the middle of the far turn, and pocketsitting favorite Demon On The Hill lapsed from gait soon thereafter - however, all that may not have mattered, as Prospect Hill finished with a powerful 28 kicker to win by 9¼ lengths over The Muscle Dog. Julie Miller conditions the very promising youngster for Story Inc. Fashion Possessed was used most of a 29 quarter by driver David Miller to get by Marseille and set the pace in his division, and when favored Heavensdor Hanover misbehaved in the three-hole soon off the first turn, a virtual match race ensued, with middle splits of 59 and 1:27.4. Marseille inched up on Fashion Possessed in the lane, but he came up short by a head. A Fashion Farms LLC homebred making his purse debut after two winning baby events for trainer Jim Campbell, Fashion Possessed is a son of Possess The Will and Sweet Love who carries the names of the full brother-sister team of Emilie Cas El (the dam of Trixton), Conway Hall, Angus Hall, and Andover Hall not far back in his pedigree. For a field of six that had only four stay flat the entire 2:01.4 mile, the first division was very exciting, with six different leaders. It was the Muscle Hill - Formula Bluestone colt Expedition, who brought $230,000 as a yearling off a pedigree which had Broadway Schooner and Cooler Schooner only a couple of generations back, who proved most photogenic: he followed cover, seized a short lead after being left raw to the ¾, saw new leader Inisfallen fight back to retake the front, and then got by that one when it counted to win by a head in a 29 last quarter; favored Forecast, who brushed to the early lead, set a slow pace, then was passed nearing the ¾, came back for more in the stretch and was another ¾ of a length back in third. Brian Sears guided the winner to a victory in his first purse start for trainer Marcus Melander and the AMG Stable Inc. Sears/Melander/Muscle Hill teamed up in another division with Green Manalishi S, out of the mare Noga Morich, making his first purse start a winning one in 1:57.2 for Courant Inc. Green Manalishi S will hope to retain the racing luck he enjoyed in his initial contest: despite not the alertest of starts he still was placed third early, then moved into the pocket when pacsetter Klutzy broke soon after the 59 half. Green Manalishi stalked new leader The Rave (who had yielded to Klutzy after the 29 quarter, then after his inheriting to the lead hit the ¾ in 1:28), then went by easily in the stretch while defeating that one by 2¾ lengths, as might be expected of a horse who has stars such as Kit Lobell and Keystone Pioneer in his bloodlines. Marcus Melander picked up his third All-Stars training triumph (in four starters), and Muscle Hill his fourth siring credit, with Gerry, a $225,000 yearling out of the dam Viva Las Lindy (having Donerail in his pedigree likely boosted both his price and his potential), in 1:57.4 in his purse bow . Tim Tetrick drifted up to the lead past the 29.2 quarter with Gerry, rated midrace splits of 59.4 and 1:29.2, then powered home in 28.2 with little urging as the colt, now with "1"s at the end of all three of his lines, posted a ¾ length margin over Amico Mio Bi (who is, ironically, part-owned by Arden Homestead Stable of the --- Gerry --- family). The SRF Stable owns the equine Gerry, who overcame the outside post six here. Muscle Hill rounded out his super night with his son Don't Let'Em taking the final division easily in 1:57. Yannick Gingras, in his only drive on the card, left well and forced tucks in a 28.2 opener, then rated a 59.1 midpole clocking. The low-going trotter picked up the pace to hit the 3/4s in 1:28.1, and then despite bearing out a bit swinging out of the turn, kept to task with a 28.4 kicker, three lengths ahead of Goes Down Smooth. Out of the mare Passageway (who can trace back to Winky's Gill, Winky's Goal, and Supergill) and an $80,000 yearling, Don't Let'em is tied as the fastest freshman trotter so far, with his 1:55 mile in his debut since equaled by the colt Greenshoe and the filly Mother Bonnie (Andrew McCarthy's 2000th winner the other night). Jimmy Takter trains the good-looking trotter, now two-for-two in purse starts, for Brittany Farms LLC, Christina Takter, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Tomorrow night (Tuesday) two-year-old trotting fillies will take to the Pocono track in five divisions of All-Stars action. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Shadow Play mare Skippin By got the quintessential George Napolitano Jr. drive, and she went on to take a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 at age seven while winning the $21,500 featured mares pace Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. When "George Nap," the track's all-time leading driver, has a horse with an inside post, especially the rail, he'll hustle her away to get prime racing position; if he gets the lead around the quarter or earlier, he'll back off the second quarter; and if he backs off the second quarter, he'll sprint with his horse down the backstretch, trying to get away from the opposition. Skippin By drew the rail, was urged away from the start by Napolitano, got everybody to tuck in behind her well before the 27 quarter, went 28.2 to the half to hit the midpole in 55.2, then sent his mare on a 26.3 sprint down the back, opening some distance by the 1:22 ¾ pole. GNap and Skippin By had enough strength to hold off the first-over bid of Vorst by 1¼ lengths, with a 27.4 last quarter to get the 1:49.4 new speed badge. Nick Surick conditions the winner of $836,534 for the Cornerstone Stock Farm. The Crazed gelding Gural Hanover inched closer to the $1 million plateau in lifetime winnings with a 1:53.2 triumph in the $17,500 featured trot on Sunday. Matt Kakaley patiently made his way to the lead in a race with fractions of 27, 56.2, and 1:24.4, then had plenty left nearing the wire to stay 1¼ lengths clear of Ostrich Blue Chip. Ron Burke (who had success with a veteran twice Gural Hanover's seven-year-old age earlier today in eastern Pennsylvania) is the trainer of the winner of $979,002 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Little E LLC and the Panhellenic Stable Corporation. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs        

WILKES-BARRE, PA – On Monday, two-year-old trotting colts have a chance to shine in the stakes spotlight in their PA All-Stars event at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono; on Tuesday it is their filly counterparts’ turn to assert their abilities, going in five $30,000 divisions of All-Stars action. As is the case in the colt event, top stakes barns have multiple entries ready: four fillies will go postward from the stables of Ron Burke, John Butenschoen, and Marcus Melander, giving those three the most two-year-olds in the two events combined – Melander with eight, Burke with seven, and Butenschoen with six. Two of the fillies are already winners in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, having triumphed on July 3 at The Meadows. The first is in the first All-Stars division, race two, Sonnet Grace, who begins in the middle of a seven-horse collection for trainer-driver Rod Allen. Sonnet Grace drew away in the stretch to take the Sire Stakes contest in 1:58.1, following up on a 2:00.1 win in her debut, also at The Meadows. The other Sire Stakes winner begins from the middle of the race four seven-horse field: Fate Smiled, going for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. Fate Smiled was a 1:58 wire-to-winner in the Sires contest, stepping home in 57.4-28.4. Fate Smiled faces an opponent, Fraulein Bucher (post seven, trainer Nancy Johansson, driver Scott Zeron), whose mother, Frau Blucher, is one of only two horses to win $500,000 during her Sire Stakes campaigns at two and three (Wild Honey is the other). The filly with the fastest clocking among all the divisions, Beautiful Sin, will begin from the rail in race five for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras. She has three winning Meadowlands lines as her career product to date, dropping time each start: 1:57.2, 1:56.4, and then 1:56.2. Mention can be made of Fast Reaction, starting from post seven in an eight-horse race seven. Off a 24-day gap from the races, trainer-driver Rick Beinhauer won a Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows in 1:58.1, with her last half in 57.1. Fifteen misses already show crossing the line first in 2:00 or better among the five divisions of fillies, which will be staged as races two through five and seven. Tuesday’s Pocono racing card begins at 7 p.m. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Last Sunday The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono got to showcase the early season's precocious freshman pacing colts in Pennsylvania All-Stars action, with many impressive winners looking like stars of the near future. On Monday, the two-year-old colt trotters will have the same opportunity, going in six $30,000 divisions of their All-Stars event. Most of the top stables all have multiple candidates for stakes glory: trainer Marcus Melander has four entrants, while barns with three starters include those of Chris Beaver, Ron Burke, and Erv Miller. The two season's leaders on 5/8-mile tracks at 1:57 are in consecutive races. One is Heavensdor Hanover, who in race three will start from four for trainer Wayne Givens and driver Victor Kirby; he recorded his 1:57 in a Pocono baby event on the engine, with a 57 last half. "Hevanesdor" will find a tough opponent to his immediate left in Fashion Possessed (trainer Jim Campbell and driver David Miller), undefeated in two early races. The other 1:57f performer has the inappropriate name of Klutzy (post three, trainer Julie Miller, driver Andy Miller), who achieved his mark in a pari-mutuel contest at Philly. From the rail in this heat is Green Manalishi S (post one, trainer Marcus Melander, driver Brian Sears), who already has victories in 1:57 then 1:56.3 in Meadowlands freshman a.m. outings. The fastest two-year-old trotting colt overall is Don't Let'em, going from post three in the tenth race for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras, He posted a 1:55 clocking in his very first charted line, an M(1) baby contest, and since has come back to tally in a purse race in 1:55.1 - 27. He'll face three other opponents who already have been twice first. The six divisions, which feature eleven freshmen who already show a winning line better than 2:00, will be races one through five and race ten on the Monday card, which starts at 7 p.m. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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