Day At The Track
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WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Ron Burke, building on his victory with Backstreet Shadow in the Roll With Joe Pace at Tioga in the afternoon, unleashed a trio of quality sophomore stakes fillies who were all victorious in their 2020 harness racing debuts Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Most impressive was the Muscle Hill trotting filly Sans Defaut, who lived up to her name (which translates from the French as "flawless") while taking a new mark of 1:53.2. Sans Defaut made a second move uncovered, went to the lead nearing headstretch, and finished well in hand for driver Matt Kakaley and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms Racing, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Most of the ownership of Sans Defaut also own the Father Patrick filly Crucial, who worked to the lead early, rated the half, then powered home to a 1:55.4 victory. Burke / Weaver-Bruscemi and Silva-Silva/ Purnel & Libby share ownership of the fast miss with William Donovan. The Burke Brigade also revealed its pacing potential when the Sweet Lou filly Shouldabeenatd equaled her lifetime mark of 1:52.2 in his first 2020 purse start. Shouldabeenatd flashed home in :55 while rallying out of the pocket and winning under a hold for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and the "core" Burke / Weaver-Bruscemi partnership. Another impressive sophomore returnee was the Bolt The Duer gelding Blank Stare, who moved to the lead in front of the stands then motored home in :55 - :27.1 to take a new mark of 1:51.2. John Butenschoen conditions the promising three-year-old for Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, James Crawford IV, and In Over My Head Stable. Top purse event was a $14,000 mare pace, and the veteran McArdle mare Lispatty did not let a long uncovered journey bother her, going her last half in :54.2 coverless to win in 1:52.4. Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera have been an overpowering duo as eastern Pennsylvania racing resumes as Lispatty pushed her earnings over $925,000 for owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. PHHA / Pocono

Harness racing trainer Ron Burke in a great interview over a few wines with Ryan Clements. Ron Burke has won more than 10,000 races and purses in excess of $200 million. Click here for the one and a half hour interview. For more interviews with Ryan Clements with harness racing people click on this link

Freehold Raceway will celebrate the harness racing luck of the Irish on Friday the 13th this year, when they play host to the annual St. Patrick's Day Pace.   The race is scheduled as the fourth on the ten-race program. As usual, the race features a lineup of all Irish drivers.   The field, from the rail out, consists of Classic River, with George Brennan, JV'z Dream, with Ron Burke, Happilyeverfaster, for Jim Whelan, Anotherprettyface, with last year's winner, Jack Killeen, Our Royal Majesty, for Jack Baggitt Jr, Nora's Tandt, with Mike Whelan, Dear Diary, with Irish Joe Hanney, and J Danae, for Anthony Haughan.   Race sponsor, Peter Grandich & Co,. will make a presentation to the winning driver after the race.   The first race on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EDT.   From Freehold Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Dylan The Great (Josh Sutton) equaled the harness racing track record for 4-year-old gelding trotters at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday afternoon (March 9), winning a $16,000 top condition event in 1:54.1. The mark was originally established by Another Breath in April of 2017. Sutton was content to allow Insomniac (Brady Galliers), a notoriously fast front-end specialist, to cut the early fractions of :28, :56.3 and 1:24 before reeling him in through the lane for the impressive triumph. Steel Reserve (Tyler Smith) grabbed the show dough. Dylan The Great, a son of Ohio sire Break The Bank K, banked $101,462 as a sophomore and now has one win, one second and one third in three starts to commence his 2020 campaign. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J & T Silva-Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. Racing resumes Tuesday (March 10) with a 2:05 p.m. matinee at Miami Valley. Features will be a $25,000 Open Trot, the $25,000 championship of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial Series, a mid-range $12,000 condition event raced at 1-1/4 miles, and a 5/8ths mile dash for $8000 claimers. From Miami Valley Raceway    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Covered Bridge has been so good early on in his 4-year-old harness racing campaign, he's even surprised his trainer, Ron Burke. "He has been even better than we had hoped," said Burke of the gelded son of American Ideal-Stonebridge Kisses, who was a dominant winner of the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, a $27,500 high-end conditioned pace. "We couldn't be happier with him," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "He's getting stronger every week." A scary thought for all the other 4-year-olds who will take him on this season. Covered Bridge remained unbeaten in three starts this year - all at the Meadowlands - facing his toughest test of the season. He was in against Sintra, the "Terror from Toronto" who had won all four of his starts this season facing the best on the grounds at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and the super-formful Bell I No, who had finished second or better in seven straight Big M outings. Unlike a week ago, Gingras opted to put Covered Bridge on the engine, making a second move to the top after yielding briefly to Sintra just after the quarter. Given the caliber of the combatants, the half was reached in a lazy :56.1, and when one considers that Covered Bridge had won his first two outings of 2020 in 1:48.3 and 1:49.2, it was going to take a lot to catch him. As it turned out, it could not be done. After three-quarters was clocked in 1:24, Covered Bridge had a :26.3 kicker in his tank to easily beat Sintra, who is presumably on his way to Yonkers next week for the Borgata Series, by 1½ lengths in 1:50.3. Bell I No finished third.   "Mostly 4-year-old races," said Burke when asked what the plan is for Covered Bridge. "But we will be re-evaluate soon." Is he the type of horse you'd put into the Graduate, which gets underway May 2 at the Meadowlands? "I think for sure." Covered Bridge, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Mortgage Boys Stable, returned $3.00 to his backers as the 1-2 favorite and has now won 10-of-36 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $273,837. BOMBS AWAY! Pat Berry, aka "The Blue Berry Bomber", put a big smile on his fans' faces when he guided 47-1 shot Barefoot Bluejeans to victory lane in the 12th race. The win price of $96.40 was the largest of 2020 at the Big M. Apparently unsatisfied with one huge longshot, Berry came right back in the 13th race and scored with 27-1 chance Jumping Jake, giving the 44-year-old pilot a sweep of the Late Double that paid $2,700.40. Berry scored earlier on the card with an 11-1 shot and his one Friday winner went off at 10-1. With Berry's bombs hitting their targets in the final two races, the Late Pick-4 returned $18,446.90 after driver Andy Miller and trainer Nick Surick teamed up to take legs one and two at odds of 5-1. A LITTLE MORE: Betting surpassed the $2.5-million plateau for the 12th time in the last 13 race cards, as a total of $2,845,232 was pushed through the windows on the 13 races. ... Berry, Gingras and Andy McCarthy had driving triples on the program. After scoring in both co-features Friday, McCarthy finished the weekend with five winner's circle trips. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:55 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands   

LEBANON, OH - If there's a hotter harness racing horse than Windsong Leo in North America thus far this season he would be hard to find! He captured his sixth Open Handicap Pace victory of 2020 on Saturday night (March 7) at Miami Valley Raceway, all from assigned outside post positions. His latest coup undoubtedly will move him up from his eighth place slot among the sport's richest horses in the current year. In his latest score, driver Chris Page urged the Ron Burke trainee, Windsong Leo, right past an open two hole while parked out all the way around the first turn. Once the tandem reached the first quarter beam in :27, they kept rolling through middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:22.3 before sealing the deal in 1:50. General Dolan (Brett Miller), who owns the quickest mile of the season-a 1:49.3 tally in last week's Open, shadowed the winner throughout and made it interesting in the stretch before settling for second. Ultra-consistent My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) rallied to secure the show spot. Ana Afreet N (Trace Tetrick) and Lifewithjohn (Ricky Macomber Jr.) earned the final two checks in the $24,000 affair. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura own Windsong Leo, whose lifetime earnings now stand at $663,505 with 56 wins in 122 trips to post. A trio of final preliminary legs in the George Williams Memorial Series were also contested. Winners of the final $15,000 tune ups were E Mode's Desire (Mike Peterson, 1:51.3, $18.00), Gold Digger King (Miller, 1:53.3, $3.00) and Loutenant (Shawn Barker II, 1:53, $23.40). E Mode's Desire, benefitting from an extremely quick :25.3 opening split, rallied from near the back of the pack to catch Gunrneedabgrboat A (Macomber Jr.) and Colition (John DeLong) in the closing strides. Gold Digger King just nipped Diesel Accelerator (Kyle Ater) with Motor City Man (Page) a close up third. Loutenant upset Peter Dalt (Macomber Jr.) and heavily favored Dashing To Da Wire (Miller) in the final division. Championship finalists in all nine of the "Lebanon Legends" late closers during the annual Miami Valley meet are determined by series earnings. Those who will vie for the championship in the $27,500 final, in order of earnings, are Gold Digger King, Diesel Accelerator, Loutenant, Dashing To Da Wire, E Mode's Desire, Gunrneedabgrboat A, Peter Dalt, A Stud Named Sue and Unlikeanyother. Friday Night Blues would get into the final if any of the top nine earners fail to declare. From Miami Valley Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 28, 2020-- Prohibitive favorite Snobbytown (George Brennan, $3.20) held off Sandy Win (Austin Siegelman) through the lane Friday night (Feb. 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Snobbytown, from post position No. 2, wasted no time making the lead. The people's preference worked around polester Ba Ba Ba Banana (Matt Kakaley) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. It was after a :56.4 intermission when Sandy Win took out of fourth, with Kaitlyn N in tow. Sandy Win went back inside as Ba Ba Ba Banana hit the skids, while Kaitlyn N (Jason Bartlett)--perched outside that one--inexplicably jumped it off. As that was transpiring in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, Snobbytown owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. She then held off a stubborn 'Sandy' by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. Itty Bitty (Dan Dube), Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) and 'Banana' settled for the small change, ahead of the imploding Kaitlyn N among the half-dozen.   For Snobbytown, a 4-year-old daughter of Non Hill High co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, & Jason Melillo, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13, with the triple returning $65.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Dover, DE - Backstreet Shadow scored a harness racing hat trick in winning the $32,500 Preferred Pace for the third straight time at Dover Downs on Thursday night. Key Advisor quickly left and forced San Domino A to take a seat in 2nd. Key Advisor cut fractions of 27.1 and 55.4 to the half mile. Then at the half mile marker, San Domino A,confidently pulled the pocket and cleared Key Advisor midway down the back stretch. The 1/2 race favorite, Backstreet Shadow waited patiently from his rail position in third.  As San Domino A cleared, Backstreet Shadow and driver Tim Tetrick were in full attack mode.  They surged past a well fought San Domino A in the stretch and won by one and a quarter lengths in 1:50.3.    Backstreet Shadow is trained by Ron Burke and is co-owned by Burke Racing Stables, Bruscemi, Karr, Silva-Purnel and Libby San Domino A finished a well fought 2nd for trainer Andrew Harris and driver George Napolitano Jr. Wiggle It Jiggleit raced well following a 2nd over trip behind the race winner and picked up the show spot.  Clyde Francis was the trainer and Montrell Teague was the driver. Q’s Cruise cruised to victory in the $30,000 Blue Hen Open Pace Thursday night. Q’s Cruise and Manverick left quickly and established early race position. Manverick and Corey Callahan pulled from the pocket and aggressively  chose to control the race pace. Q’s Control relented and accepted the pocket. Manverick set fractions of 27.3 and :55.2 to the half mile. Midway down the backstretch, Sicily pulled off the rail from third and bravely moved alongside Manverick. They paced to the three quarters in 1:23.2, a 28.1 quarter. At the head of the stretch, Sicily could not clear a stubborn Manverick. Blazing Bobby Sox followed the 2nd over trip and Art Stafford Jr. called upon his charge to swing three-wide into the lane.   However, newly named Hall Of Famer Tim Tetrick stayed patient on the rail with Q’s Cruise. They were able to power past the field in the deep stretch hugging the rail. Q’s Cruise won by a half length in 1:52.1 and odds of 2-1.   Q’s Cruise is owned by Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by her husband Jim King Jr. Sicily, the 8/5 race favorite, finished a game 2nd for trainer Wayne Givens. Dexter Dunn was the driver. Blazing Bobby Sox finished 3rd for driver/ trainer Art Stafford Jr. Two and a half lengths separated the entire field. Tim Tetrick picked up 6 wins on the card. Newley crowned 2019 Dan Patch, Horse Of The Year, Shartin N, will take on five other talented female pacers in the Mares Invitational Pace on Wednesday at Dover Downs.  Post Time is 4:30 pm. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs

LEBANON, OH. - Rosemary Rose (Chris Page) eeked out a narrow harness racing victory in the $25,000 Mares Open Pace at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday (Feb. 21), topping longshot Diamondtequilashot (Ricky Macomber Jr.) and favorite Checks On The Way (Trace Tetrick) in a photo finish. Colorful Sky (Sam Widger) was quickest off the starting car, but finally relinquished to Checks On The Way just past the :26.4 opening quarter mile. After a single file :29 second quarter breather, the best 'girls' in the region got serious and by the 1:24.1 third station were double tiered from front to back. Rosemary Rose was leading the charge on the outside with Diamondtequilashot in tow. When those two outer flow combatants fanned three wide at the top of the lane and fierce and exciting battle ensued all the way down the stretch. Rosemary Rose reached the wire first in 1:52.3 with the other pair lapped on and earning an identical clocking. The winner paid $7; the exacta returned a healthy $78.80; and the 500-cent trifecta was worth $252.69. The feature race triumph was one of three on the program for the Chris Page-Ron Burke driver-trainer tandem. They also scored with GD Western Joe (1:51.1, $2.60) in a $14,000 condition pace and Rockin Zoe (1:55, $11.40) in a non-winners of six races condition/claiming event. Page added a fourth tally with Sports Lightning (1:57.2, $29) in a $5000 claimer for Rob Zink Racing and Strike Point Racing LLC. Tetrick bettered Page's 'grand slam' by adding "one for the thumb." Trace's winners were Treacherous Beach (1:58, $16.20), Cantescapemydesire (1:54, $4.80), Scarlet V (1:55.2, $4.20), Tickle My Fancy (1:56, $9) and Debt Motivated (1:52.3, $4.20). With his handful of winners, Tetrick extended his meet leading total to 69 with a six win margin over current runnerup Brett Miller. Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 22) when the feature will be the $25,000 championship leg of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley at a distance of 1-1/4 miles. From Miami Valley Raceway  

When it comes to earning a paycheck, Rockin Ron has never needed to worry about the harness racing venue. The 8-year-old pacer has a history of collecting money no matter the size of the racetrack, banking $1.65 million lifetime on his travels throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Ron Burke-trained gelding makes his 2020 debut Saturday at The Meadowlands in a $30,000 preferred handicap. It will be his first start since last August, when he was given time off to recuperate from small ailments that accumulated over time. "He's coming back great," said Mark Weaver, one of the horse's owners. "Ronnie trained him about a month ago and said he's as good as he's ever been. We're hoping he'll be a top, top overnight horse for us this year." Rockin Ron has won multiple stakes on the Grand Circuit during his career, including the Confederation Cup, Prix d'Ete, and Dayton Pacing Derby, but that is not what has most impressed Weaver. "To put it bluntly, it's his ability to earn money, which I think a lot of times people underestimate," Weaver said. "Twenty years ago, you just needed the biggest, most powerful horse and raced at The Meadowlands or mile tracks because that's where the money was. "The Meadowlands is still great, but there are plenty other tracks where you have to be able to go around three or four turns and a lot of horses can't do that. We definitely factor that in when we're buying horses. When a horse can get around the smaller tracks it really increases their earning power. It really is a big thing. It's a great quality to have." Rockin Ron is the second-richest offspring of stallion Real Desire, sandwiched between two Canadian Horse of the Year Award winners, State Treasurer ($1.90 million) and Tell All ($1.50 million). He has earned a paycheck in 83 percent of his 120 starts, with purses of $594,757 on half-mile tracks, $615,005 on five-eighths-mile ovals, and $428,766 on seven-eighths or mile tracks. "He's versatile," Weaver said. "He can leave the gate or come from behind; whatever the race situation calls for, he can do it." The gelding began his career in Indiana, where he won nine of 30 races at ages 2 and 3. He was purchased by the Burke Brigade near the end of his 3-year-old season and won his first 10 starts at age 4, capped by his victory over returning Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Confederation Cup. "He's on a long list of Indiana-breds that we've bought and brought east that have done so well," said Weaver, who owns Rockin Ron with Mike Bruscemi (as Weaver Bruscemi), Burke Racing Stable, RTC Stables and J&T Silva Stables. "If you can do well in Indiana, I'll take my chances; you can usually do well anywhere." Rockin Ron was not staked in 2020, but Weaver is looking forward to watching the horse compete and, hopefully, continuing to do what he's done so well. "He's just a tough horse," he said. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

By Garrick Knight    Most in attendance at the Karaka yearling sale on Monday probably didn’t realise that American racing royalty was roaming the grounds among them. Ron Burke, who recently became the first man to train 10,000 winners in North America and is best known as the former trainer of Sweet Lou, is in New Zealand for the best part of three weeks on a working holiday. Burke was a guest of Christchurch trainer Cran Dalgety, who trains a handful of Sweet Lou progeny for Burke and the sire’s owner, Larry Karr, including handy three-year-old, Im A Gigolo. Burke went to $35,000 to secure Mitsi Gaynor, a Sweet Lou filly out of a Bettor’s Delight daughter of former Filly of the Year, Copper Beach. He’s also taking a share in Dalgety’s $80,000 colt, Casino Action, a Bettor’s Delight from the family of Christen Me out of the Woodlands Stud draft. “We got that one that my group bought and we’re going to buy in to one of Cran’s, too,” Burke told HRNZ. “We lost out on another Bettor’s Delight and I wish we’d gone to a little bit more but, whatever, it is what it is.” Burke’s operation dwarfs anything that exists down under, its sheer size and scale daunting to even think about. “We have 300 on the books and there’s probably 28 or 29 assistant trainers under me. “But I’m still in charge of everything. “Each barn has a head guy, but I know every day what every single horse is doing. “People think it’s running on auto pilot. No, not the case. “But, you’ve got to love it and I do, and my guys do as well. “Every barn has a guy that could easily do it on their own, I just thank god that they’re with me and we’re doing it together.” With an operation that size, it’s safe to say Burke doesn’t get away all that often. “It’s tough now, even being away for 19 days, which is the longest I’ve ever been away from the stable. “But it’s very nice here; a different atmosphere than the American sales. “A little bit quieter but easier to understand. I liked it. “And you don’t tire out as much as the American sales. They’re a little more high pressure and intense.” Burke will leave his yearling colt with Dalgety at West Melton. “We’re trying to support Sweet Lou here and everything, you know. “Cran we really like and are happy with how everything’s gone that way. “I’d also like to try and buy a couple of racehorses to take home. “A couple of high end horses for Yonkers, The Meadowlands, places like that. “So, hopefully we can get something done.” Buying up-and-going horses from New Zealand is not something Burke has done often. “The thing is, I really wanted to do it myself. “I’m very particular and like my kinds of horses. That’s not necessarily the best horses; they’re just the horses that fit me best.” “I’m a little bit different to everybody else but horses that suit other people don’t suit me and some horses don’t suit other people that do suit me. “I’m just lucky I get supported real well with people behind me like Larry Karr and Mark Weaver “That makes it so much easier. “It’s not hard to be a good trainer when you get a good horse.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Maybe the trip didn't go exactly as driver Yannick Gingras had hoped, but he made it work nonetheless in the Saturday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, scoring with I'm Some Graduate in a $31,250 high-end conditioned pace. The 7-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate, dismissed by the bettors at odds of 14-1, was away in good order, sitting second to the quarter behind 9-5 second choice McThriller in :27.2. Brushing to the top before the half was Eddard Hanover, pushing I'm Some Graduate back into the three-hole, and as the train developed on the rim with Stonedust providing a live tow for 8-5 favorite Americanprimetime, I'm Some Graduate was in a tough spot approaching the head of the stretch. Off the far turn, Gingras guided I'm Some Graduate into the three-path as Eddard Hanover and Stonedust weakened. Americanprimetime tipped off his cover and grabbed the lead with an eighth of a mile to go and looked like the winner, but I'm Some Graduate swung to that one's outside late and with a final burst of speed, nailed the favorite by a head in 1:50.3 on a 28-degree night with a track variant of -1. Decision Day rallied to grab third.   I'm Some Graduate returned a healthy $31.40 to his backers as the fifth choice in the seven-horse field, but clearly belonged if you take Gingras' word for it. "I believe he won the last time he raced [at the Meadowlands] at a higher class." Gingras was right, of course, as I'm Some Graduate won the Preferred for pacers in his last Big M appearance in December of 2018. "They race him at Yonkers most of the time but he loves this track," said Gingras. "He's just a nice horse." The Ron Burke trainee, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr, has now won 21-of-98 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $453,383. A LITTLE MORE: It only took two weeks to create some 20-cent Pick-6 buzz. The new wager was not hit, creating a carryover of $14,376 heading into the next race card. Those who had five out of six cashed in for $165.24. ... Driver Andy Miller had a natural hat trick, winning the sixth, seventh and eighth races. Corey Callahan also recorded three wins on the card. ... The remarkable Preppy Art won the 13th and final race of the night, giving him 10 wins in his last 15 starts after registering zero victories in his previous 59 tries. He was claimed out of the race for $10,000 by trainer Nick Surick. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,665,111, marking the sixth time in the last seven cards that wagering exceeded $2.5 million. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:55 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 31, 2020--Odds-on choice Snobbytown (George Brennan, $2.60) fooled no one Friday night (Jan. 31st), airing in Yonkers Raceway's $27,000, month-end pacing feature for the ladies. There wasn't much to it, as Snobbytown--from post position No. 5--left for an immediate lead. She worked around polester Wishy Washy Girl (Joe Bongiorno) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, with the rest of the ladies arranged in numerical order. From there, Snobbytown effortlessly closed the sale (:57, 1:24.3, 1:52.3), the final margin over Wishy Washy Girl a widening 4¼ lengths. Milliondollargem A (Jordan Stratton), Sandy's Beach (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Ambro Courage N (Austin Siegelman) settling for the remainder.   For Snobbytown, a 4-year-old daughter of Nob Hill High co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, and Jason Melillo, it was her first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, with the triple returning $58.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

LEBANON, OH. - Party At The Banks (Chris Page) and Peggy Sue (Brady Galliers), a pair of classy mares sitting at the rear of a field of the Midwest's best geldings in Tuesday's (Jan. 28) $24,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway, got serious as they approached the :56.4 halfway juncture. They swept past their male counterparts in the second half-mile and finished one-two in the feature race, clocked in 1:55.2. Page was content to ease his winning mare off the gate, landing last as the leaders tripped the initial beam in :27.1. Party At The Banks was pulled to the outside just before front stepping Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) reached the midway point in :56.4. Making steady progress during the third stanza, the 6-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K moved up to fourth in second over position at the 1:25.3 three quarters station with Peggy Sue in tow. The pair of mares still had a half dozen lengths to make up as they swung off the final turn but with the leader's strides shortening late in the mile they were able to accomplish the feat with a few steps still to go. Party At The Banks, the 2019 aged Ohio Sires Stakes champion, was making her third start of the 2020 season. Racing for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, she now sports 27 wins in 62 lifetime tries and a bankroll of $326,548. The final pair of Claim To Fame Series championships were also contested on Tuesday. Smash (John DeLong) lead Galyns Gift (Galliers) and M E Radar Girl (Miller) past the wire in 1:55.4 to be crowned queen of the $12,500 claiming mares. Owner Wilfong Racing LLC got the winner's share of the $22,500 purse. Peter Redder trains Smash, who returned $17.40 to her faithful in a mild upset. Legal Transfer (Jeremy Smith) copped the split for $8000 male claiming pacers, topping Beachboydesire (Tetrick) by a head with Colossal (Josh Sutton) just a half length back at the end of the 1:54.4 mile. Trainer Adam Short also owns the 11-year-old winner who has banked over a quarter million dollars in his career. Legal Transfer paid $5.60 to win. From Miami Valley Raceway

Grove City, Ohio - Elver Hanover, the 2019 Ohio 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year has been named the 2019 Ohio Horse of the Year by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association. Elver Hanover, the son of Yankee Cruiser - Edra Hanover by The Panderosa won all nine of his starts for trainer Ron Burke, his stable and ownership group of Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby earning $363,450. A world champion by way of winning the first division of the $324,800 Stay Hungry Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt Pace at Lexington in 1:48.3, Elver Hanover also won the Ohio Triple Crown which consists of the Ohio Sire Stakes Final, the Ohio Breeder's Championship and the Ohio State Fair Stakes. Bred at Hanover Shoe Farms, Elver Hanover's Ohio earnings ($288,600) was almost double of the next closest colt. Mickey Burke of Burke Racing Stable says the honor was well deserved "It is very rare that you see a horse go nine for nine, lead the state and set world records." "There is something special about Elver Hanover" says part-owner Jablonsky. "He's a gifted horse. He's very fast and good gaited. He really knows how to win and get the job done." Elver Hanover and his connections were honored at the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association and United States Trotting Association's District 1 Annual Awards Banquet January 18, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) is a non-profit organization serving Standardbred horse owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and fans who participate in the sport of harness racing in the Buckeye State. OHHA was founded in 1953. The mission of the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association is to preserve, protect, promote and serve the entire Standardbred industry in Ohio and beyond. by Frank Fraas, for the OHHA              

Grove City, Ohio - Ohio-bred Mission Accepted raced at 11 different tracks in two countries, winning five times on the way to being named 2019 Ohio Aged Trotter of the Year by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association. Mission Accepted, the daughter of Manofmanymissions - Witty Girl by S J's Photo won three of her five Ohio races for trainer Ron Burke, his stable and ownership group of Knox Services, David B. Wills and Weaver Bruscemi LLC earning $422,595. Mission Accepted scored his biggest win of the year in the $ 250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot at Yonkers Raceway. Mission Accepted was bred by Knox Services in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. "What a nice horse," said driver Chris Page. "I'm truly blessed to sit behind him. He does everything right." Page says it cool having an Ohio bred that can venture out on the Grand Circuit races. Mission Accepted will be honored at the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association and United States Trotting Association's District 1 Annual Awards Banquet January 18, 2020 at the University Area Marriott in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets to the banquet are $30 each and can be purchased by calling the OHHA office at 614-221-3650. Reservation forms are also available on the OHHA website at The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) is a non-profit organization serving Standardbred horse owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and fans who participate in the sport of harness racing in the Buckeye State. OHHA was founded in 1953. The mission of the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association is to preserve, protect, promote and serve the entire Standardbred industry in Ohio and beyond. by Frank Fraas, for the OHHA  

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