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WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Ron Burke, who won three of four $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contests for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, came back to add two more when four harness racing divisions of All-Star freshman male pacers went postward Sunday. Tying for Sunday's fastest All-Star performer was the Somebeachsomewhere - Michelle's Jackpot colt Mac's Big Boy, who was the first horse to show off the gate, but tucked and fell back as far as fifth down the back, got room deep in the Pocono Pike and squeezed through under Matt Kakaley's guidance to win for the first time in a purse race in 1:53. Lyons Music, who was to the winner's right in the Pike, ducking inside the pacesetter, was outdashed by ¾ of a length to the wire, with closer Tell Them Lou another neck back in third. Mac's Big Boy, who had won a Gaitway qualifier in 1:55.3, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Wingfield Five LLC. Also recording a 1:53 victory was the Captaintreacherous - Dream Outloud colt Catch The Fire, who made two speed moves to control the pace for driver Mike Wilder, then sprinted home in 27 for a two length victory over Patriot Nation. A winner of two qualifiers and his purse debut before finishing second in a PA Sire stake in his last start, Catch The Fire posted his fastest time ever for trainer John Ackley and the CT Stables LLC. There wasn't much ability difference showing among the four All-Star winners, as the other two stepped home first in 1:53.1. The other Burke Brigade winner was Cattlewash, who sat in the pocket behind Team Best, who like the winner had had two qualifying wins and then a fast victory in his purse bows This time it was the Somebeachsomewhere - Road Bet colt Cattlewash who had the most kick late, gaining into a :27 last quarter to put away his game foe by a half length. Cattlewash, who had won the fastest Sire Stakes opener in 1:52.1 and who was the first Burke favorite in his quintet of weekend winners, is owned by W J Donovan. The other 1:53.1 winner was the Captaintreacherous - Lets Groove Tonite colt Captain Groovy, who ironically won his purse debut in a Stallion Series race with a time of 1:52, faster than any Sire stakes division. Here Captain Groovy took control of the situation early and really was not threatened in winning by two lengths over Caliber for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer Ray Schnittker, the latter co-owner with Ted Gewertz, Howard Taylor, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. The $21,500 fast-class trot saw the Credit Winner gelding Such An Angel take a new mark of 1:51.3, which also equaled the fastest local trotting effort of the year as well as the divisional season's record, posted twice by Rich And Miserable. Such An Angel didn't look back in this contest, stepping home in 27.3 to leave behind a talented field while raising his earnings to $327,568 for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Hunter Oakes, and owner Sam Caruso Jr.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Ron Burke sent out winners in three of the four $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars competition at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night. Harness racing driver Simon Allard drove two of the successful freshman fillies for Burke, including the fastest winner, Shouldabeenatd, whose 1:52.3 winning time was a North American season's record. Allard left with the Sweet Lou - Breakheart Pass filly then let Lyons Sentinel go to the top before the :27.2 quarter; that one in turn gave way to favored Firefly in front of the stands, and she went on to the half in :56, with Shouldabeenatd coming back for more first-over and battling the leader to the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Neither of the frontenders gave an inch around the turn and into the stretch, where Lyons Sentinel joined them in the Pocono Pike. Shouldabeenatd showed tenacity late in putting up a head decision over Lyons Sentinel, with Firefly fading slightly late to be another length back. The winner, who had a 1:54.1 qualifying win at The Meadowlands and was second in her purse bow, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The former season's record of 1:53.2 had been equaled by another Burke/Allard combination earlier, when the A Rocknroll Dance - Liscaramore miss Dance Club notched her first purse win after a 1:57 Gaitway offtrack qualifier. Dance Club, who had a 1:57 sloppy track win in a Gaitway qualifier, made two early moves then sat in the two-hole while All In Fun and favored Wayside dueled on the front end, then cleared in the lane and paced off to a 1 3/4 length victory over All In Fun for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and David Wills. Mike Simons was in the sulky for Burke when the Somebeachsomewhere - Palazzo Princess distaff Sailaja Deo took her All-Stars event in 1:56 in her purse debut, coming after a 1:55 qualifying win at Gaitway. Simons had Sailaja Deo in the pocket behind pacesetting favorite Silver Tail, shifted outside when first-over Blood Red got by the pacesetter late on the turn, then ducked back inside and caught Blood Red by a head for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Lawrence Karr, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. None of the Burke winners was favored by the Pocono faithful, but the fourth divisional winner, the Captaintreacherous - Cashaway filly Lyons Monatize, did reward the crowd's backing her as she won by the largest margin, 2½ lengths, in 1:55.1 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. The Gareth Dowse trainee stepped home in :27.4 with no pressure to take her initial purse start (she had won a Pocono qualifier in the same time as this victory) for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. In a $21,500 fast-class co-featured pace, Soho Wallstreet A had three wins in this class showing in his lines, yet he still got away at 5-1, then rallied from the pocket to post a 1:50.2 triumph. Pat Berry guided the Four Starzzz Shark gelding, now a winner of $331,613, for trainer Scott Di Domenico and J G Racing Stable. Morrill and Burke both recorded five victories on the night, combining with Always At My Place and Mystery Island after the All-Stars races had been completed. Burke Racing Stable LLC owns a share of all of the Burke quintet. PHHA / Pocono

WASHNGTON, PA, July 5, 2019 -- When Ron Burke, harness racing's perennial leading trainer, says he's sending his best 2-year-olds after you, watch out! Yet that's exactly how Burke regards his contingent of eight youngsters in Saturday's $183,242 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for freshman colt and gelding pacers, known as the Albatross, will be contested over three divisions -- races 7, 9 and 11. First post is 1:05 PM. Burke conditions about 80 freshmen and so has youngsters eligible in most jurisdictions. Yet he regards his Pennsylvania-bred pacers as the most promising. "The whole group is real nice," he says. "They're big, strong, don't wear boots, steer well. They'll all find their speed and be good horses. These are my best pacing colts." He's particularly high on Cattlewash, a Somebeachsomewhere colt, and the Captaintreacherous freshman The Greek Freak. First-time starters, they've both drawn into race 9, with Matt Kakaley guiding Cattlewash from post 4 and Yannick Gingras piloting The Greek Freak from post 6. Cattlewash          USTA/Ken Weingartner photo. Burke's contingent is even deeper than that. Check out the dazzling dam-side accomplishments of this duo: -- Mac's Big Boy (race 11, post 7, Kakaley), a Somebeachsomewhere colt, which makes him dangerous enough. But consider the exploits of his maternal family. His dam, Michelle's Jackpot, earned $695,439 and is a half to four performers -- Michael's Power, Michelle's Power, Michael's Marvel, Alexa's Jackpot -- who collectively banked more than $4.5 million. Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Wingfield Five campaign Mac's Big Boy. "He's been a little bit steppy here and there," Burke says, "but he learns and has speed. He'll be a good colt down the road." Mac’s Big Boy      USTA/Ken Weingartner photo --Caliber (race 11, post 6, Gingras), Diamond Creek Racing's homebred son of Sweet Lou. His dam, Allstar Rating, at 3 won in 1:49 for Gingras at The Meadows, still the track's fastest mile ever by a filly or mare. Says Burke: "He looks like a million dollars but didn't train down like a very good horse. In the first qualifier, he was way better than we thought. In the second qualifier, he was just vicious. I think the ability's there; it's just getting him to try." The Albatross kicks off Round 2 of the battle for stallion supremacy in the Keystone State among the late Somebeachsomewhere and second-crop sires Sweet Lou and Captain Treacherous. Of the 27 freshmen in the stake, only five are by stallions other than the Big 3. Saturday's card also features a pair of carryovers -- $1,793.10 in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), $853.24 in the final-race Super Hi-5. In addition, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association will offer a number of fan activities, including paddock tours, starting car rides and "Spin to Win."   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Ron Burke has enjoyed success with 2-year-old filly pacers, including the two most recent harness racing Dan Patch Award winners, Youaremycandygirl in 2017 and Warrawee Ubeaut in 2018, and on Monday (June 17) got another look at a group that will try to continue that good fortune. Burke sent out four winning 2-year-old filly pacers during Monday's qualifiers at Gaitway Farm, with Merga Hanover victorious in 1:54, Sweet Ace in 1:54.3, Wayside in 1:55.2, and Sweet Camille in 1:57. Merga Hanover and Sweet Ace, who both won qualifiers earlier this month, were the only winners timed in less than 1:55.1 over the course of the morning's 12 qualifiers for 2-year-olds. Merga Hanover, who won her first qualifier on June 3 in 1:56.4 at Gaitway, is by American Ideal out of Magic Starlight and was purchased for $150,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. She is owned by Thomas Dillon, Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco, and Bill Donovan. She was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Sweet Ace, who was a Gaitway winner in 2:03.3 on June 10, is by Sweet Lou out of One Ace Too Many. She was purchased for $20,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Larry Karr, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. She was bred by Crawford Farms. Wayside, who was making her qualifying debut, is by Somebeachsomewhere out of Al's Girl. She is a full sister to O'Brien Award winner Sandbetweenurtoes and was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. She is owned by Burke Racing, Brad Grant, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. She was bred by Steve Stewart and John Carver. Sweet Camille, who finished third in a qualifier on June 10, is by Sweet Lou out of stakes-winning millionaire Camille. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable, and Jack Piatt III. The ownership group also bred the filly. Sweet Camille                                                --Ken Weingartner photo "I thought Merga Hanover stamped herself as probably my best filly," Burke said. "Merga was great and Sweet Ace was great. But Wayside, that was her first time, and (second-place finisher) Primrose, it was her first time, so I was very happy with them. "The ones that have qualified twice unless they made mistakes, that's it for them. I'll start looking for overnights or we'll just prep them for the races off this. You see the improvement in them. We trained them in between this time, so they're going to be a little bit better. I was very happy." Burke's stable was responsible for 10 of the 12 winning 2-year-olds. Other second-time winners for Burke were pacing colts The Greek Freak and Cattlewash, both in 1:55.1, and trotting colt S Class in 1:57.1. Two horses that were second in their first qualifiers, trotting colt Cupid Hanover and pacing colt Mac's Big Boy, also earned victories Monday. The Greek Freak                                     --Ken Weingartner photo The Greek Freak, the nickname of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, is a son of Captaintreacherous out of Thirty X and was purchased for $75,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He is owned by Burke Racing, Piatt Racing, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. He was bred by Steve Jones and Mark Mullen. Cattlewash, bred and owned by Bill Donovan, is by Somebeachsomewhere-Road Bet. S Class is by Muscle Hill out of Spellbound Hanover and a full brother to 2016 Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. He was bred by Bill Mulligan and purchased privately. Cupid Hanover, who won in 1:58.3, is by Father Patrick out of Cressida Hanover and a half-brother to 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. He was purchased for $250,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by the Burke-led Elite Trotting. He was bred by Brittany Farms. Mac's Big Boy, who won in 1:55.3, is by Somebeachsomewhere out of Hall of Fame broodmare Michelle's Jackpot and is a half-brother to millionaires Michael's Power and Michelle's Power. He was purchased for $60,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi, and Wingfield Five. He was bred by Jeff Snyder. Rounding out Burke's winners was trotting colt Vinny De Vie, who stopped the timer in 1:59.4. He is by Muscle Hill out of So You De Vie. He was purchased for $70,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Elite Trotting. He was bred by Joie De Vie Farm. "Out of the colts, I was very happy with Cattlewash, The Greek Freak, Mac's Big Boy," Burke said. "I thought the one that was the biggest surprise was Caliber (who finished third in Mac's Big Boy's qualifier). He showed pace late into a big mile. He's a big, great looking colt out of Allstar Rating, who was a world-record holder. He maybe hadn't shown that until now. Maybe he's one of those horses that in a race is going to come alive. I'm excited about that. "I was very happy. I thought it was a very good day." The two winning 2-year-olds not from the Burke stable were trotting fillies Ramona Hill for trainer Tony Alagna and Love A Good Story for trainer Julie Miller. Ramona Hill                                                    --Ken Weingartner photo Ramona Hill, who won in 1:56.2 with a back half in :55, is by Muscle Hill out of Lock Down Lindy. She was purchased for $70,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc, and In The Gym Partners. She was bred by Crawford Partners. Love A Good Story, who won in 1:57.2, is by Chapter Seven out of Celebrity Lovin. She was purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. She was bred by Celebrity Farms.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

MILTON, June 7, 2019 - Records were matched and broken in Friday evening's Armbro Flight harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 16 star trotting mares clashed in a pair of $35,000 Armbro Flight eliminations with Ron Burke trainees Atlanta and Hannelore Hanover putting on a show. Superstar Atlanta delivered possibly the easiest-looking Canadian record-equaling performance in recent memory with a dazzling 1:51 victory in the first split. The clocking equaled Hannelore Hanover's record set in the 2016 Armbro Flight. Not one to share the spotlight, Hannelore Hanover went out and broke the record in the second elimination by posting a 1:50.3 mile. The clocking was not only a record for trotting mares, but also the fastest trotting mile in Canadian racing history. The previous record of 1:50.4 was set in 2012 by Mister Herbie. Yannick Gingras steered both mares to the record miles on Friday evening. "I'm going to talk to Ronnie," said Gingras when asked which mare he will select for the final. "It's going to be a team decision, I've got to talk to him and see what he thinks and go from there." In the first elimination, Atlanta circled around Dream Together entering the backstretch to grab command. The four-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven reached the half in a modest :56.4 before ramping things up for the back-half. Atlanta                                --New Image Media Appearing to never break a sweat, Atlanta trotted a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :26.4 final-quarter to win by 7 ¼ lengths in 1:51. "She was unreal tonight," said Gingras following the victory. "Last week I didn't think she was a hundred percent, but tonight she was definitely back in form. I had a lot left." Gingras felt that Atlanta could've broke the record with ease. "There is no doubt she could've gone in (1):50 really easily. I still think there is room for improvement. I wouldn't be surprised if she goes under (1):50 soon, but we will worry about that when we get there." Plunge Blue Chip finished second, while P L Jill was third. The top-five was completed by Highland Top Hill and Royal Witch. Atlanta is now undefeated in three starts this season with $117,000 earned for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. The 2018 Hambletonian champion sports impressive career numbers of 15 wins and nearly $1.3 million earned. Atlanta paid $2.20 to win. Hannelore Hanover came into the Armbro Flight elimination as the three-time defending champion. Gingras hustled Hannelore Hanover out to the top, clearing after a :27.2 opening-quarter. The seven-year-old cruised by the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover trotted home in :26.4, the same final-quarter as Atlanta, to win by 4 ¼ lengths in a historic time of 1:50.3. Top Expectations finished second, while Emoticon Hanover was third. The top-five was completed by Weslynn Dancer and The Erm. "She's back," said Gingras. "She's sound as a dollar right now. She was really sharp in the post-parade, but once she hit the last turn she was trotting real strong and felt like her old self." A winner of over $3 million, Hannelore Hanover has been dominating the aged trotting ranks for several seasons. The daughter of Swan For All came into the elimination off a seventh-place finish in her lone start this season. Her victory Friday gives her 43 for her career. A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $6.50. Sophomore trotters were also in action Friday for the eliminations of the Goodtimes. A group of 18 were split into a pair of $30,000 divisions. Forbidden Trade angled out of the two-hole late for a 1:53.1 victory in the first elimination. Driven by Bob McClure, Forbidden Trade showed early speed to grab the lead and post a :27.2 opening-quarter. Favourite Swandre The Giant moved from third to first in the second-quarter and posted middle-half fractions of :56.2 and 1:26.1. In the stretch, Swandre The Giant put away rivals pressuring on the outside and tried to sprint away. However, McClure angled Forbidden Trade out in the final-eighth and the son of Kadabra responded to clear racetrack by charging up along side and picking off Swandre The Giant to win by a neck. "I didn't have him until the wire," said McClure following the victory. "I figured if I could get to the front he would be coming, and it worked out good. "He grew up a lot, matured a lot and has always been really fast. He got a nice trip and took advantage of it." Smart As Hill, who came first-up in the third-quarter, finished third. The top-five was completed by Super Schissel and Only For Justice. Forbidden Trade was making his second start of the season Friday after finishing second in his season debut. The Blais trainee won seven of 11 starts and earned $300,436 last season to earn an O'Brien Award for owner Determination. A $2 win ticket on Forbidden Trade returned $12.80. Pilot Discretion kept his perfect record alive with a career-best 1:52 mile in the second Goodtimes split. Pilot Discretion                        --New Image Media Driven by Andrew McCarthy, Pilot Discretion was quickly moved out from fourth entering the backstretch but had to spend the next quarter on the outside before finally clearing at a sizzling half of :55.1. The Tony Alagna trained Pilot Discretion wasn't bothered and proceeded to hit three-quarters in 1:24 before trotting home in :28 to secure a 3 ½ lengths score. Southwind Avenger finished second, while Dream Nation was third. Jumpshot and Knight Angel completed the top-five. A son of Muscle Hill, Pilot Discretion is now five for five in his young career. The Alagna trainee was racing for the third time this season and has now earned $41,000 for owners Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson and John Fodera. "He's just been really good this year coming back," said Alagna. "We were so high on the colt last year, but he just wasn't ready to go. We raced him twice at Lexington for experience and had hoped to race him in the Valley Victory and he got sick on us, so we put him away for the year. "He trained back great in Florida this winter. We were high leaving Florida and hoping he would do what he's doing right now. Alagna pegged the Goodtimes as a perfect spot for Pilot Discretion's Grand Circuit debut. "David Anderson owns the colt with Robert LeBlanc and they're from Canada originally and of course in partnership with John Fodera. It's a fun group to have a horse for of this caliber and we thought it would be a great time to try the stakes trail with this horse." A $2 win ticket on Pilot Discretion returned $3.20. The post-position draws for the $256,000 Armbro Flight and $247,000 Goodtimes took place following Friday's eliminations. $256,000 Armbro Flight 1. Royal Witch 2. Weslynn Dancer 3. Hannelore Hanover 4. Atlanta 5. The Erm 6. Top Expectations 7. Highland Top Hill 8. P L Jill 9. Plunge Blue Chip 10. Emoticon Hanover AE: Dream Together   $247,000 Goodtimes 1. Only For Justice 2. Swandre The Giant 3. Pilot Discretion 4. Forbidden Trade 5. Super Schissel 6. Smart As Hill 7. Dream Nation 8. Southwind Avenger 9. Jumpshot 10. Knight Angel AE: Trix And Stone   Replays available at www.YouTube.com/WoodbineReplays (Races 3,5,6,8)   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

Ron Burke leads all trainers in starters for Saturday's (June 8) Pepsi North America Cup harness racing eliminations at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park, and although his three 3-year-old pacers are winless this season, the sport's leading conditioner is anticipating improved performances from his group. Burke, the 2018 Trainer of the Year in the U.S., sends out De Los Cielos Deo in the first of two C$50,000 eliminations and Captain Victorious and Semi Tough in the second. Nancy Johansson and Brian Brown are the only other trainers with multiple horses in the North America Cup elims, with two each. The top-five finishers from each nine-horse elimination will advance to the C$1 million final on June 15. The connections of the elimination winners will select their post positions for the final and the remaining eight horses will be put in an open draw. The draw will be Tuesday during a luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. De Los Cielos Deo won his first five races last season before finishing second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and his elimination of the Metro. He was no better than fourth in three remaining starts but was dealing with a foot issue. So far this season, the colt is winless in three races, but he heads to his North America Cup elimination off a 1:48.4 win in a qualifier last weekend at The Meadowlands. "I knew he had that in him," Burke said. "Things have just gone terrible for him the first few races. I knew he was good, so I just told (driver David Miller) to stretch him a little bit in the qualifier to make sure I'm right. I was very happy with him." Semi Tough, who was second to Stag Party in last year's Metro Pace at Mohawk, is winless in four races this year, but has hit the board three times. Captain Victorious was a three-time winner last year on the Pennsylvania circuit for trainer Julie Miller. He was purchased by the Burke-led Captain V Stable in April and finished third in his debut for his new connections but was off the board in two starts since then. "We scoped Captain Victorious and his stomach has ulcers," Burke said. "I think that's led to his last couple bad performances. I'm hoping we'll have him ready to go. Semi Tough, every start he's gotten progressively better. He's heading in the right direction. "I think we're going to be all right." Semi Tough                                             -- Ken Weingartner photo The first elimination features Dan Patch Award winner Captain Crunch, who is one of Johansson's two entrants, along with Caviart Rockland in the second elim. The second elimination also includes O'Brien Award winner Stag Party in the nine-horse field. Captain Crunch is 2-for-2 this year and is among six horses entering the first elimination off a win (not counting De Los Cielos Deo's qualifier victory). The others include Art Rooney Pace winner Bettor's Wish, New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Hurrikane Emperor, and Somebeachsomewhere Stakes division winner Century Farroh. Bettor's Wish, Hurrikane Emperor, Century Farroh, and Shake That House join Captain Crunch as the field's undefeated horses this season, a combined 15-0. The second elimination has one unbeaten horse this year, Brown's Workin Ona Mystery, who is 2-for-2. Tyga Hanover brings a three-race win streak to the elim, including a victory in a Somebeachsomewhere division. Saturday's card at Mohawk also includes two eliminations for the Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers and a prep race for the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Saturday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

WILKES-BARRE PA - Reclamation was a 1:51.2 winner in the $17,500 distaff featured pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Tuesday night, raising her harness racing scorecard to six wins in a row and 13-for-21 lifetime. The four-year-old daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, driven by Matt Kakaley (who had four successes on the card) for trainer Ron Burke, was on top at every call for the first time during her winning streak, clearing to the lead before the first quarter in :27. Once in command, Reclamation got to the half in :55.4, sped up to ward off first-over challenger Monica Gallagher to the 1:23.2 three-quarters, then in the stretch withstood the two mares directly behind her - Clear Idea gained from the pocket but missed by half a length, while third-in Sidewalk Dancer fanned wide and was ¾ of a length behind Clear Idea. This was Reclamation's third win in as many Pocono starts this year, but she'll have a new challenge in her next start for owners W J Donovan and Donal Murphy, as she has earned her way out of this classification. The Somebeachsomewhere mare Attention Hanover had to come uncovered into a :55.1 last half, but showed courage to post her first victory of the year in 1:53 in the $14,000 co-featured pace for females. Attention Hanover and driver Simon Allard got by pacesetting Intoview by three quarters of a length for trainer Steve Salerno, who also shares ownership in the mare with Dean Casaday. Two more claims on Tuesday, for a total of $39,000, ran the four-card weekly total over the half-million-dollar mark for the first time in the meet, with $544,500 paid out for sharp horses from Saturday to Tuesday, raising the meet total well over $4.1 million.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

This past week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured some of the most extensive harness racing stakes action that we've seen so far this year. On Saturday and Sunday nights, Pocono hosted Pennsylvania All-Stars, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, Stallion Series and Great Northeast Open Series races. Even though the weather didn't quite cooperate (again), the action was still scorching. Let's take a look at our top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards.   PACER OF THE WEEK: RECLAMATION What a streak this four-year-old mare from the Ron Burke barn has put together over the past few months. After finishing second in her first start of the season at the Meadowlands, she ripped off three straight wins there in various condition groups. She then arrived at Pocono and the winning continued. In featured condition paces for mares on May 21 and May 28, she captured victories with winning times of 1:50:4 and 1:50, the latter a career-best. On Tuesday night, she was at it again in the $17,500 feature. In her previous victories at Pocono, she had shown versatility, winning once on the lead and once in come-from-behind fashion. On Tuesday night while leaving from post position #3 in a field of nine as a 1-9 favorite, Reclamation was sent to the front around the first turn by driver Matt Kakaley. She set honest fractions from there, quick but not out of control, and still held the advantage at the top of the stretch. As has been the case with most of her victories during this streak, Reclamation didn't blow anybody away. Both Clear Idea and Sidewalk Dancer came at her late with closing kick. But Reclamation once again stood up to the challenge, holding off Clear Idea to win by a half-length in 1:51:2. This mare simply doesn't like to lose, as evidenced by her 13 wins in 21 career races. After her Tuesday night triumph, she is clearly at the head of the distaff class at Pocono. Other top pacers this week include: Demi Hill (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), a filly who picked up her third straight condition won at Pocono in the slop on Sunday night, matching her career-best of 1:51:3 in the process; Beach Boogie (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose career-best 1:49:2 mile in a condition victory at Pocono on Saturday night was the fastest time posted this week; and Alii Nui (Marcus Miller, Erv Miller), a three-year-old filly whose victory on Saturday night in Pennsylvania All-Stars action gave hew two straight wins at Pocono, each of which came in 1:51:3, her career mark.   TROTTER OF THE WEEK: EXPLOSIVE BREAKAWAY Sunday night's action at Pocono was highlighted by three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, with each race carrying a hefty purse of $56,868. And you could have made the argument that the showcase horse coming into the night in those races was Osterc, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion at age two and winner of stakes races in his first two starts of 2019 in impressive fashion. Explosive Breakaway has been impressive as well, just maybe not against the same caliber of competition as Osterc. The three-year-old gelding trained by Fred Grant came into Sunday night with four wins and three second-place finishes in seven career races. He also won a non-winners of five condition at Pocono in his first start of the year by seven lengths on May 21. And, in the Sire Stakes race on Sunday, he found himself nestled in the pocket behind Osterc, who was a 1-2 favorite. Osterc faced some heat on the front end from first-over Summit In Sight, but the fractions never got away from him. Still, as he rounded the final turn, he made a break of stride. That left Explosive Breakaway and Summit In Sight to battle it out from there. Driver Tom Jackson summoned more energy out of Explosive Breakaway, who trotted away from Summit In Sight to win by 2 ¾ lengths at 9-1. His winning time of 1:54:2 in the slop matched his career-best from his previous race. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Crystal Fashion (Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell), who handled the field in the Great Northeast Open series with ease on Sunday night, coasting to a comfortable win in the slop in 1:53; Marseille (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), who made his maiden win a memorable won, capturing a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race on Sunday night in 1:53:3, fastest time of the three divisions; and Frankie Mullins (Marcus Miller, Bruce Clarke), who followed up a win at Tioga with a condition victory on Tuesday afternoon at Pocono in 1:54:4, a new lifetime mark.   LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: BLUE AND BOLD This trotting gelding used the Stallion Series as the setting for his upset, winning a division on Sunday night with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike at 19-1, paying off $40.40 on a $2-win ticket.   DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MARCUS MILLER The stakes competition brought out the best in Marcus this week, as he captured an All-Stars race with Alii Nui and a Stallion Series win with Nextroundsonme at odds of 7-1 and 8-1, respectively.   TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW HARRIS Harris came up with a couple big victories on the Sunday night program, winning a Sire Stakes with White Tiger and a Stallion Series division with Blue And Bold.   That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.   Jim Beviglia

Manalapan, NJ - S Class, a full brother to 2016 Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder, and So So De Vie, from the family of the sport's all-time richest pacer Foiled Again, were among the two dozen 2-year-olds sent out by harness racing trainer Ron Burke for qualifiers Monday morning (June 3) at Gaitway Farm. Gaitway hosted the first of this month's three Monday qualifiers, which essentially was Breakfast with the Burke Brigade as all but three of the 2-year-olds in action were from the Burke barn. S Class won his qualifier by one length over Ontopofthehill in 1:59.1. S Class, by Muscle Hill out of Spellbound Hanover, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. He was purchased privately. "He was very good today," Burke said about S Class. "Ontopofthehill (a $250,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Muscle Hill-On The Bright Side) is a fast horse that's going to learn to be a very good horse. "This is a good group. All the trotters today are good horses, there's not a bad one in them. I've got a couple more, maybe two of the better ones, that aren't ready yet. But these are some of my better ones." Burke's other 2-year-old trotters Monday included filly winner Sister Sledge (1:59.2) and colt Cupid Hanover, a $250,000 Standardbred Horse Sale buy who finished second to 3-year-old Zeus PV in his qualifier. Sister Sledge, by Father Patrick-Behindclosedoors, was purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. "Sister Sledge was really good," Burke said. "I was happy with all (four of mine) in there. Cupid Hanover is good. We're just trying to teach him to be patient and sit in a hole. If we let him roll, I think he'd be better." Sister Sledge                        --Ken Weingartner photo So So De Vie, a $15,000 Standardbred Horse Sale purchase by American Ideal out of Place Your Best (a half-sister to Foiled Again) finished second in his qualifier to Cattlewash, who stopped the clock in 1:58.3. Cattlewash, bred and owned by Bill Donovan, is by Somebeachsomewhere-Road Bet. "Cattlewash has been great training down the whole time," Burke said. "So So De Vie is the best one we've had in (Foiled Again's) family since him. I'm really happy with him." Colt pacer The Greek Freak won the day's fastest race for the 2-year-olds, in 1:56.1, despite a change in conditions that saw him face a strong headwind in the stretch. The Greek Freak, the nickname of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, is a son of Captaintreacherous-Thirty X and was purchased for $75,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He is owned by Burke Racing, Piatt Racing, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. The Greek Freak                         --Ken Weingartner photo Burke-trained filly pacers Merga Hanover and Shouldabeenatd were Burke's remaining winners in the seven qualifiers for the 2-year-olds. Merga Hanover, by American Ideal-Magic Starlight, won in 1:56.4. Purchased for $150,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, she is owned by Thomas Dillon, Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco, and Donovan. Shouldabeenatd, by Sweet Lou-Breakheart Pass, won in 1:57.1 for breeder-owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. Sailaja Deo finished second in the three-filly field. Merga Hanover         --Ken Weingartner photo "Merga is out of a mare I used to train, Magic Starlight, and she's been good the whole way. She was very good today," Burke said. "Sailaja Deo is a nice filly. She had to cut it into the wind. I think she might be a little better than Shouldabeenatd, but Shouldabeenatd is a nice filly too out of a good mare. I was happy with the way she paced home. Another typical good (Sweet) Lou filly." For Monday's complete charts from qualifiers at Gaitway, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

Therl Hensley wakes up every morning expecting to discover the past three months have been a dream. But he pinches himself each day and comes to the same conclusion. "The dream," he says, "is real." Hensley is the owner of Fan Of Terror, a 7-year-old male pacer he claimed for $30,000 in mid-February that has gone on to win at the top harness racing level at Harrah's Hoosier Park, knocking off horses such as past Breeders Crown champion Beckhams Z Tam in the process. Fan Of Terror has raced 11 times for Hensley and posted five victories, three seconds, and $71,125 in purses. "It's been an unbelievable experience," said Hensley, a 61-year-old lifelong dairy farmer from Daleville, Ind., about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis. "I never thought we would own the kind of horse that would race in these kinds of races. We were looking for something to race in conditions and he's just got better and better. It's just been crazy. Every week is another thrill. "I literally found the horse I wasn't even looking for." Fan Of Terror is trained by Pete Redder, whose brother Ricky gets credit with finding the stable's new star. "He followed him all the way through the claiming ranks," Redder said. "Once we took a look at him, we all were on board. He had such a powerful move against the horses he was racing against. "I think we caught him on an upswing and he just kept getting better and better. He's getting stronger and stronger every week I train him." Fan Of Terror began this year with a four-race win streak, capped by a victory in the $32,500 Claim To Fame Series final at Miami Valley. He was claimed by Hensley and Co. in his next start. The first time the gelding raced for his new connections was nerve-wracking for Hensley. Fan Of Terror responded with a four-length win in the Open II at Miami Valley. "I was so nervous over this because I never spent this kind of money on a horse," Hensley said. "I said, literally, I'm putting my future in your hands. I about bounced off the walls when he raced. "I didn't think I could have a horse in the same race with these horses, let alone be competitive. It's been a whirlwind. It's the biggest thing I've ever been involved in." Hensley was introduced to harness racing by his wife, Sharla, whose father raced a few horses over the years. Hensley later got involved in owning horses with a friend but focused on lower-level claimers before investing in Fan Of Terror. "My wife is blown away," Hensley said. He then recounted the story about when Sharla discovered Fan Of Terror's price. "She said, how much did you spend on that horse? I said, I can't recall," Hensley said, laughing. "My wife said, I can read a program." Fan Of Terror, a son of Western Terror-Fans Bikini, has won 33 of 112 career races and earned $313,278. He makes his next start Friday (May 31) in the $20,000 Open at Hoosier Park, where he is 9-2 on the morning line. Always A Prince, the winner of 20 of 25 career starts including the May 17 Open, is the 8-5 favorite. The race also includes Beckhams Z Tam and another past Breeders Crown champ, Freaky Feet Pete. "He couldn't quite go with Always A Prince last time, but there is no shame getting beat by him," said Redder, a 42-year-old (celebrating his birthday today) who followed his father, Richard, into the sport and worked previously for trainer Ron Burke. "He's got a really good personality, really good to be around in the barn. He just has a real cocky attitude. He thinks he shouldn't lose to anyone. He goes out with all the confidence in the world every time he races." Hensley gets to spend a good deal of time with Fan Of Terror as he puts in several hours a day helping out at Redder's stable. A day that begins with him pinching himself. "We enjoyed (the sport) before this happened," Hensley said. "This is just like 10 inches of icing on the cake."   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

WILKES-BARRE PA – If you’re The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and on Saturday night you have the world’s fastest two-year-old, the filly Warrawee Ubeaut (1:48.3), among the harness racing entrants in four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars race for three-year-olds – what can you do for an encore on Sunday? Here’s the answer – you turn to the Hambletonian-class types, the three-year-old colt trotters, stage three $56,868 divisions of the second preliminary leg of their Pennsylvania Sire Stake, add five more $20,000 divisions of the group’s Stallion Series action, then also card two $30,000 races in the Great Northeast Open Series, one for mare pacers and one for trotters. That’s what you do. The three Sire Stakes races are slotted in races three, five, and eleven, each having seven entrants, and each section has a winner from the first preliminary round, held at The Meadows on May 11. In race three Ginger Tree Skyr is the PaSS winner already, having posted a 1:55 upset at 26-1. Dan Rawlings will come east to drive the Explosive Matter colt for trainer Steven Cook as they begin from post two. Also highly-regarded in this division is Gerry (post six, driver Brian Sears), who broke at The Meadows in his seasonal bow but who won in 1:54.3 last year, and Marseille (post four, driver Åke Svanstedt), a maiden but who comes in for his 2019 debut off a good second in a qualifier. Goes Down Smooth will start from post six in the fifth race for the formidable team of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras, who will be freshly-returned from the World Driving Championship in Sweden. In addition to winning in 1:54.3 in his PaSS contest at The Meadows, the Muscle Hill gelding won two starts back in the final of the Walner series at The Meadowlands, and he also shows a 1:53.4 victory at the Jersey miler. White Tiger, who won his seasonal debut at The Meadowlands in 1:54.2, could be the major danger, starting from post two for driver David Miller. In the third Sire Stakes cut, Gingras appears to have a good chance to add a second feature tally as he steers the Cantab Hall colt Osterc from post five for trainer Per Engblom. He is undefeated in two starts this year, preceding his 1:55.1 win at The Meadows with a victory in the Dexter Cup at Freehold, and he is also the defending Sire Stakes champion this division. Guaranteed (post two, driver Tim Tetrick) has a 1:53.4 victory at The Meadowlands this year and certainly could contend on his best outing. The Stallion Series events go gateward in races 1, 4, 7, 9, and 12, and they are full of young horses who are developing now – 17 horses in the five races show a win within their last two starts. All three winners in The Meadows StS races are here – Kate’s Massive (race 4), Raceace (race 7), and Lapped By Lindy (race 12); Kate’s Massive may be the most interesting in that he followed his StS win with a victory in the Currier And Ives Trot at The Meadows, and he is luring the winningest driver of all-time, Dave Palone, for an infrequent visit to Pocono. The Great Northeast Open Series has divisional leader Tequila Monday in the mare pace and Crystal Fashion, winner of the Earl Beal Final here in 2018, in that gait’s open event; these two races will be further examined in a release tomorrow, along with the GNOS open pace at Harrah’s Philly earlier on Sunday.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

Highly regarded Hambletonian hopeful Swandre The Giant begins his 3-year-old harness racing campaign Thursday (May 30) in the first round of the Indiana Sire Stakes at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The Ron Burke-trained colt is the No. 6-ranked horse in Meadowlands Racetrack announcer/analyst Ken Warkentin's second Road to the Hambletonian released Tuesday. Last year, Swandre The Giant won nine of 12 races and finished second twice while earning $255,180. The colt won his first seven starts, all in Indiana, for trainer-driver Brandon Bates before being sold to the ownership group of Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables, and Howard Taylor. He immediately tested the Grand Circuit, finishing second in his elimination of the William Wellwood Memorial at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park and going off stride a week later in the $308,000 final. He returned to Indiana, where he won twice on the sire stakes circuit before ending the season with a second-place finish behind It's A Herbie in the $220,000 ISS Super Final. Swandre The Giant, who was trained by the now-retired Jimmy Takter for the second half of 2018, prepped for his 2019 debut with two wins in qualifiers at The Meadows. He competes in the first of two ISS divisions Thursday and is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in his group, with Ricky Macomber Jr. in the sulky for trainer Burke. "We're looking forward to it," Diamond Creek Racing's Adam Bowden said. "He's come back well this year and filled out and matured. He had a few little issues last year and those all seem to be resolved. We went over him with a fine-tooth comb and everything looks good. "He's a clean-gaited horse and he's got a good cruising speed. He's the kind of horse that gives you a lot of confidence. He's not a laidback horse, he's intense, but he knows what you're trying to do with him, and I think that's important. I give Brandon a lot of credit, he brought him along slowly and was able to teach him." Swandre The Giant dominated in Indiana during his first seven starts, winning a maiden and six ISS events by a minimum of one length and an average margin of three. All seven of the races were at Hoosier Park, where his career-best time of 1:54.2 was two-fifths of a second off the track record for a 2-year-old male trotter. "He was a homebody to that point, and I think shipping around might not have been best for him," Bowden said, referring to the trip to Canada for the Wellwood. "We might have asked a little too much of him and he wasn't ready for it mentally or physically, but we wanted to see what we had. We might have been better just staying in-state for the rest of the year and letting him develop against the competition there. But hindsight is 20/20." Swandre The Giant is a son of Swan For All, who sired 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover and 2017 Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt trotting champion Fiftydallarbill. Diamond Creek was among the owners of Swan For All during his racing career and remains part of the stallion's syndicate. The colt's dam, Adagio, was a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion in 2011. In addition to the Indiana Sire Stakes and August's $1 million Hambletonian, Swandre The Giant is eligible to a number of races including the Tompkins-Geers, Canadian Trotting Classic, Breeders Crown, Carl Erskine Trot, and Matron. "We have options," Bowden said. "He can race in Indiana, or if he proves himself up to it, he can go on to the Grand Circuit. You can make a lot of money racing in Indiana, but I think the ownership group is thinking bigger. We'll see how he does Thursday and Ron can make a decision about what's next. We'll let the horse tell us what he is." Swandre The Giant is one of three Hambletonian-eligible trotters participating in Thursday's Indiana Sire Stakes races. The others are Lite Years Away (20-1 in the first division) and Sign Here N Here (12-1 in the second division). It's A Herbie, who is making his seasonal debut, is the 5-2 second choice in the second division, behind 2-1 favorite Airman Kelly. The purse for the first division, with a nine-horse field, is $48,000; for the second, with a 10-horse field, $48,500. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing's fastest two-year-old ever, the filly Warrawee Ubeaut (1:48.3 at Lexington last year) makes her second start of 2019 in one of four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old pacing fillies Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Warrawee Ubeaut, a daughter of Sweet Lou trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, was voted champion of her category last year after notching seven wins in twelve starts and earnings of $646,995, the most of any two-year-old campaigning in North America in 2018. So far Warrawee Ubeaut has only started once, winning a May 3 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes leg at Harrah's Philly in 1:51.2, so she will come into Saturday's race without a start in 29 days. Her regular pilot, Yannick Gingras, is over in Sweden competing in the World Driving Championship, so Matt Kakaley will get the driving assignment as Warrawee Ubeaut starts from the rail in the seven-horse eleventh race field. The main opponent for Warrawee Ubeaut appears to be Philly Hanover (post three, driver Dexter Dunn), who is undefeated in three 2019 starts, and won the other Sire Stakes division on May 3 in 1:51.3, only a tick behind the clocking produced by Warrawee Ubeaut that day. Abigail Dawn (post two, Dexter Dunn) is favored in the third race division, like all the other All-Star races seen-horse affairs, sporting a 4-for-5 record this year and winning in the Stallion Series at Philly in 1:51.2. Her main rival is Sylph Hanover (post five, Matt Kakaley), 2018 Sire Stakes champion and second to Philly Hanover at Philly. Treacherous Reign is the early choice in the fifth race second division, despite drawing the outside post seven. She was victorious in her only start of the year, covering a sloppy oval at Philly in 1:52.2, with a :27.1 last quarter. Dexter Dunn is scheduled to handle Treacherous Reign, and he has a third All-Stars favorite in the tenth race third division with Stonebridge Soul, who is starting from post five. Stonebridge Soul started her year with a win, then has had two seconds - one to Warrawee Ubeaut in the Sire Stakes, and then to Treacherous Reign in that one's seasonal bow at Philly.   ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

LONDON...The field for the second harness racing edition of the $157,000 Camluck has been drawn and it was Ideal Jimmy drawing the coveted rail position while Rockin Ron, winner of last year's signature race, will leave right in behind from the trailing post eight. Sintra, the lone local horse, has drawn post five for the husband-wife team of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Stephanie Jamieson. The son of Mach Three will enter the Camluck Classic with a 6-1-0 record in his last seven starts. Done Well, who captured the Confederation Cup in 1:50.2 in his last start, will be one of two starters for trainer Ron Burke. The son of Well Said has earnings approaching $600,000 and boasts a 2-1-0 record from three starts this season. He will line up from post two. Below is the complete field in post position order: 1 Ideal Jimmy 2 Done Well 3 The Wall 4 Southwind Amazon 5 Sintra 6 Rockin Speed 7 Trump Nation 8 Rockin Ron More than $400,000 in purses will be offered up on the program which will get underway at 6:55 p.m. The complete draw for Friday night's program will be held on Tuesday morning and will feature a powerful undercard which includes the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies. A quartet of City of London Series finals will also be contested that night with more than $100,000 up for grabs for three-year-old colts and fillies on both the trot and pace. For more information, visit WesternFairDistrict.com.   Greg Gangle

Homicide Hunter and harness racing driver George Napolitano Jr. will be reunited this weekend for the first time since their win in October's Breeders Crown Open Trot and the two have proved to be a dynamic duo. Napolitano has driven the trotter 11 times in his career and posted nine victories. "We get along good," said Napolitano, who will drive 7-year-old Homicide Hunter in Sunday's (May 26) $100,000 Maxie Lee Invitational for older trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He's just a good ol' horse, it's pretty simple. He's got the heart to win. He always sticks his nose out. He makes it pretty easy for a driver." Homicide Hunter, history's fastest trotter with a time of 1:48.4 set last year in the Allerage Open Trot at Lexington's Red Mile, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Maxie Lee and will start from post three. He is making his third start of the season and enters off a 1:52.4 victory in a preliminary round of the Great Northeast Open Series at Philly on May 19. Yannick Gingras, who is in Sweden for the World Driving Championship, drove Homicide Hunter in his first two starts this year for Ron Burke, who took over the training of the horse in April. The gelding was trained the previous three years by Chris Oakes. Ten of Napolitano's prior drives behind Homicide Hunter came at Napolitano's home track, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, including victories in the Great Northeast Open Series final and the Breeders Crown. It was the first Breeders Crown triumph for Napolitano, who has won more races at Pocono than any driver in history and was the North American leader in wins in 2010. "(The Breeders Crown) meant everything," said Napolitano, who has 9,633 wins in his career. "I always wanted to win that big race at my home track, and he led me to it." Homicide Hunter, owned by Crawford Farms Racing, has won 40 of 80 lifetime starts and earned $1.73 million in purses. Last year, he had nine victories in 16 races and received the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. "He's a real laid-back, simple horse," Napolitano said. "He's just a cool animal. He's a true champion. He just does his job great." Will Take Charge is the 4-1 second choice on the Maxie Lee morning line. He will start from post five with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Jeff Gillis. The 6-year-old gelding won the open handicap at Yonkers in his most recent start, May 11. Guardian Angel As and Cruzado Dela Noche are both 9-2. Guardian Angel As will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky for trainer Anette Lorentzon and starts from post two. He enters off a preliminary round Great Northeast Open Series triumph on May 12. Cruzado Dela Noche, who won the Cutler Memorial on May 4, leaves from post eight with driver Brian Sears for trainer Marcus Melander. The Maxie Lee Invitational is race 11 on Sunday's card at Harrah's Philadelphia. The track is also hosting the $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers, the $100,000 Commodore Barry Invitational for older male pacers, and three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers. Racing begins at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

WILKES-BARRE PA - The northbound lanes of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be a very busy place just before suppertime this Sunday, as horsemen competing in the big card at Philly in the afternoon will then be making their way 100 miles to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, for third preliminary round harness racing action in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series for three-year-old trotting fillies. In the fifth race first division, like the other pair worth $55,168, Sonnet Grace has been accorded early favoritism as she starts from post five for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. The Muscle Massive filly, whose granddam is the great CR Kay Suzie, was victorious in a Sire Stake in her first start of the year, then miscued in a PaSS contest at The Meadows last week. Sonnet Grace will look to bounce back Sunday, with among her opposition Hallintheclouds, who also had a first round Sire Stakes triumph. The tenth race second division will feature the second start of 2019, after a thumping 1:52 victory at The Meadowlands, of the Explosive Matter filly The Ice Dutchess, who was generally regarded as second-best filly in her class last year behind the talented Woodside Charm. A five-time winner with earnings of $424,540 last year, The Ice Dutchess will have to begin from the outside post seven for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Nancy Johansson; three horses who are already Sire Stakes winners this year - Asiago, Jazzy Fashion, and Antonia - may provide formidable opposition. The eleventh race third division features the only double Sire Stakes winner in this group to date, the Possess The Will filly Millies Possesion, who is also undefeated in three career starts for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Jim Campbell. Like The Ice Dutchess, the unbeaten miss must overcome the outermost starting slot in the seven-horse field; equine difficulty may come from Firedbylindie, a PaSS winner at The Meadows, and Beautiful Sun, a $480,000 yearling , who had three wins and two seconds at two and who makes her seasonal bow tonight. In the Stallion Series competition, the two double winners in the group so far are the morning line favorites in the first and last of four StS sections, which are each going for $20,000. Keystone Abbey will start from post six in the fourth race section for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Beaver; Spring In Paris, 6-fot-7 this year, will be in starting slot number two in the twelfth race for driver Corey Callahan and trainer Steve LeBlanc.   ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

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