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HARNESSRACING.COM reports today that World champion pacer Lather Up has been retired. Co-owner George Teague Jr. told harnessracing.com that the 4-year-old son of I’m Gorgeous is being retired as a result of an injury. Lather Up retires with 23 wins in 37 career starts, with his victories including a 1:46 effort in the $250,000 Graduate Series final in July at the Meadowlands. The time was the fastest ever by a 4-year-old pacer and equaled the all-age mark set by Always B Miki. It is also the fastest mile ever at the Meadowlands. Lather Up’s biggest victory last year at three was the $760,000 North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where he paced his seasonal best of 1:48.1. In addition to his world-record effort in the Graduate final, Lather Up’s wins this year include the $423,000 William Haughton Memorial and the $230,200 Sam McKee Memorial at the Meadowlands. He also won the $330,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in 1:47.2, which equaled the stakes and track record. Lather Up's last race was on Aug. 31 at Mohawk Park, where he finished second by just a head in 1:48.4 in the $393,750 Canadian Pacing Derby. To read the rest of the story click here.

East Rutherford, NJ -- The $230,000 Sam McKee Memorial for free-for-all pacers on Saturday (Aug. 3) at The Meadowlands was one more sizzling showcase for Lather Up as the pacer broke the 1-1/8 mile record, winning in a world record 1:59.2.   Driver Montrell Teague wasted no time getting his charge to the top to set fractions of :25.1, :53 and 1:20.2 before receiving a slight challenge from McWicked on the outside, while This Is The Plan rolled on the inside lane.   McWicked attempted to keep pace as the mile mark came up 1:46.3, but he could not stay with This Is The Plan, no less close on Lather Up. The mile marker alone tied the winning mark of Always B Miki at The Meadowlands.   Drawing off, Lather Up broke the nine-furlong win record of 2:00.3, set by Lady Shadow in 2016.   This Is The Plan finished second; McWicked took third.   Teague said, "I was just hoping to be the last one to the front and try to rate the speed as best I can. I saw McWicked come to my side and I was a little nervous, but right when he straightens up off that last turn, it's just like he's leaving out of the gate again. He's unbelievable."   Teague said he is never surprised about a race result. "Anything can happen in a race," he said. "It usually doesn't go as planned as easy as [this race] did."   He said Lather Up going as he did against older horses was "definitely making his point."   Clyde Francis trains Lather Up, whose career earnings are approaching $1.5 million, for owners Gary and Barbara Iles.   by Frank Cotolo, for the Hambletonian Society

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing's greatest day will offer some of its best wagering opportunities on Saturday (Aug. 3) when the $1 million, 94th edition of the Hambletonian for 3-year-olds on the trot serves as the marquee event on a 16-race star-studded, stakes-laden extravaganza that gets underway at a special early post time of noon. "If you are hosting the greatest program in harness racing, it has to be the greatest program for the horseplayers as well," said Meadowlands' Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "And with a plethora of low-takeout wagers along with carryovers and the biggest pools of the year, the Meadowlands has created enormous value for the horseplayer to wager on racing's greatest stars on our biggest day." There will be six wagers on the program that could bring huge payoffs that will offer a low 15 percent takeout: 20-Cent Survivor Pick-6 (Race 1) 50-Cent Pick-5 (Races 3-7) with a guaranteed pool of $50,000 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five (Race 7), which has a carryover of $7,000 and will have an estimated pool of $25,000 50-Cent Pick-4 (Races 8-11) with a guaranteed pool of $100,000 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five (Race 11), which has a carryover of $53,000 and an estimated pool of $150,000 50-Cent Pick-4 (Races 13-16) with a guaranteed pool of $50,000 The two Super High-Fives will not be offered on Friday night's program. Both will be on the menu and paid out on Hambletonian Day. "The 11th race on the card is the Hambletonian Oaks," said Settlemoir. "And that $500,000 event will offer a $53,000 carryover on the Super High-Five. We will pay out more than the amount wagered to the winners if the final pool is under $400,000 given the carryover and the takeout. From a betting standpoint, that is the greatest value wager at any racetrack on Saturday and will bring added interest from racing fans around the world to wager on the Hambletonian program." In addition to the award-winning live in-house simulcast show that the Big M will send out all day long to outlets around the country and the world, the CBS Sports Network will present a live 90-minute telecast beginning at 4 p.m. with host Gary Seibel, the Communicators Hall of Famer and track announcer at Cal-Expo, and co-host Dave Brower, the lead TV personality at the Big M and author of the handicapping book "Harnessing Winners". CBSSN will televise three live races during its broadcast: $280,000 John Cashman Memorial for free-for-all trotters (4:10 p.m. post time) $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old trotting fillies (4:40 p.m.) $1,000,000 Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters (5:14 p.m.) For those not coming out to the track, free live streaming will be available on the Meadowlands Facebook Live page. It will also be available on the Roberts Television Network (rtn.tv), which is not a free service. For those who want an expert opinion on the Friday and Saturday race cards, go to playmeadowlands.com for track oddsmaker and analyst Brower's race reviews. For free past performances of the entire Hambletonian Day card, DRF Harness is your destination. You can also access live video and money back specials if you are a DRF Bets customer. Go to promos.drf.com/meadowlands2019 for the PPs. For free program pages of the 50-Cent Pick-4 that begins with Race 8 - which will include the 11th race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five - go to ustrotting.com or playmeadowlands.com. ONE LAST REMINDER: Friday's race card gets underway at 7:15 p.m. and the Hambletonian Day program on Saturday gets started at noon. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will host the $1,200,000 Hambletonian and its $500,000 filly companion Hambletonian Oaks on the "Greatest Day In Harness Racing" Saturday, August 3 with total purses on the card of nearly $4,000,000.   Sixteen horses were entered for the Hambletonian, resulting in two divisions of the first heat with the top five finishers in the official order returning for the $1,000,000 final (post time 5:14pm) which will be featured during the live broadcast on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30pm. The entered horses appear below in alphabetical order. Cantab Fashion Dont Let'em Forbidden Trade Gerry Gimpanzee Green Manalishi S Greenshoe Marseille Mr Vicktor Osterc Pilot Discretion Reign Of Honor Soul Strong Summit In Sight Super Schissel Swandre The Giant The top Grand Circuit stakes on the undercard include; The $230,000e Sam McKee Memorial FFA Pace with a full field of twelve going the route distance of a mile and one eighth (only stake at the added distance on the day) featuring Lather Up who became the co-fastest horse in Standardbred history by virtue of his 1:46 clocking for a mile in the July 10 Graduate final. The FFA Mare Lady Liberty brings out Shartin N who has had her way with the girls all season and currently sits atop the weekly Top Ten polls among the ten distaffers entered. The $300,000e John Cashman Memorial FFA Trot fields ten top trotters with Guardian Angel AS coming in from his Spirit of Massachusetts triumph and the streaking Eurobond facing stakes caliber off his record equaling 1:50.2 last week. The $175,000 Dr. John Steele also has ten to go led by the inimitable Hannelore Hanover, at her best once again facing nine rivals.   The $300,000e Cane Pace pits NA Cup winner Captain Crunch against Bettor's Wish in their continuing rivalry among the eight entered. Its companion filly pace the $100,000e Shady Daisy has the best nine currently racing led by Stonebridge Soul.   Freshman trotting stakes the $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial for the colts and $310,700 Jim Doherty Memorial for fillies round out the Grand Circuit part of the 16 race extravaganza with post time at noon. The Hambletonian will be drawn live at 2:00pm today on The Meadowlands Facebook page. Check the complete draw later today on The Meadowlands website where you'll also find all pertinent information on the day's racing and all planned activities.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- August 4, 2018 - Western Joe angled off the pylons in the stretch and fanned four- wide around a group of horses, including even-money favorite McWicked, to win Saturday's $260,100 Sam McKee Memorial for older pacers at the Meadowlands. The time for the race, contested at 1-1/8 miles, was 2:02. McWicked, the even-money favorite, finished second and Filibuster Hanover was third. Filibuster Hanover led the field to the opening quarter in :26.1 before All Bets Off got to the front and reached the half in :54.4. Miso Fast challenged All Bets Off as they reached three-quarters in 1:21, with McWicked on the move three wide on the final turn. The field hit the mile in 1:48.2. Western Joe was second behind Filibuster Hanover around the first turn and remained inside, shuffling between fifth and sixth place, before the stretch. "I didn't know what was going to happen," winning driver Scott Zeron said. "He's the type of horse that can always leave for position and just stay in. I don't think re-moving would have been the right option. At that time, sitting third on the rail with the kind of speed we were going up the backside and around the last turn was perfect. He runs out a little bit, so when I was able to feed him racetrack to the outside, I knew he was going to get up." Western Joe, a 4-year-old stallion trained by Chris Choate, is a son of Western Ideal out of Ante Fay. He has won nine of 22 races this year and 18 of 51 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $462,655 for breeder/owner Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. Sent off at 5-2, Western Joe paid $7.60, $3.00, and $2.80. McWicked paid $2.80 and $2.60. Filibuster Hanover paid $5.40. The McKee Memorial, formerly the U.S. Pacing Championship, honors the late Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and Communicators Hall of Fame member Sam McKee, who passed away in 2017. From the Meadowlands Publicity Office      

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Meadowlands Pace Night produced the biggest single-card handle in all of harness racing in 2018. On Saturday afternoon, that number - $4,083,390 - figures to be eclipsed on a star-studded 16-race program on Hambletonian Day at the Big M. The marathon day at the races kicks off with a special noon post time for the first race and bettors can get right to it trying to make a score when a guaranteed $50,000 will be up for grabs in the 50-Cent Pick-5, which has a low take out of 15 percent. The action continues fast and furious as another $50,000 guarantee will be offered on the 50-Cent Pick-4 that kicks off with race three. After that, a 20-Cent Survivor Pick-8 (instead of the usual Pick-10) begins in race five before a $75,000 guaranteed 50-Cent Pick-4 that commences in race eight. The final four races on the card (races 13 through 16) will comprise the final 50-Cent Pick-4 of the 2017-18 Big M meeting. The 13th race is the $1 million Hambletonian Final. Hambletonian Day post times: Race 1: noon (Vincennes) Race 2: 12:20 p.m. (Shady Daisy) Race 3: 12:42 p.m. (Zanzuccki) Race 4: 1:02 p.m. (Peter Haughton Memorial) Race 5: 1:32 p.m. (Jim Doherty Memorial) Race 6: 2:02 p.m. (John Cashman Memorial) Race 7: 2:25 p.m. (Cane Pace) Race 8: 2:52 p.m. (Hambletonian Elimination 1) Race 9: 3:23 p.m. (Hambletonian Elimination 2) Race 10: 3:55 p.m. (Drazin) Race 11: 4:10 p.m. (Sam McKee Memorial) Race 12: 4:35 p.m. (Hambletonian Oaks Final) Race 13: 5:06 p.m. (Hambletonian Final) Race 14: 5:46 p.m. (Steele Memorial) Race 15: 6:08 p.m. (Lady Liberty) Race 16: 6:31 p.m. (Abercrombie) HAMBO ON CBSSN: The 93rd edition of the Hambletonian will be seen live by a national television audience as the CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) will present 90 minutes of Hambo Day coverage beginning at 4 p.m. Hall of Famer Gary Seibel will serve as host with Meadowlands TV's Dave Brower providing color commentary. Greg Blanchard will handle the interviews. From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 7, 2017 - Check Six was charging hard in the lane, propelling the harness racing four-year-old stallion to a 38-1 surprise in Saturday's $224,400 Sam McKee Memorial for older male pacers by two lengths over Mel Mara in 2:02.1 for the extended distance of 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Mach It So finished third. Mel Mara was sent to the early lead, with All Bets Off second and Rock N' Roll World third. He led the field to the opening quarter in 26.2, half in 54.1 and three-quarters in 1:21.1. Mach It So launched a first-over bid for the lead as the group hit the mile in 1:48.1, with Check Six following his cover. In the stretch, Check Six and driver Yannick Gingras fanned three-wide and powered to victory. Check Six has won two of 12 races this year and 17 of 45 in his career, with earnings of $1.38 million. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Vanna is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Bill Switala, and Jim Martin. "I thought I had a chance to get a good piece," Gingras said. "I thought this horse has a lot of bad luck. The last time he raced here he had post 11 and he never saw daylight. I was running over top of horses in the stretch. He's had a lot of troubled trips, but I thought he was sitting on a big one and he was." Check Six paid $79.00, $23.80 and $8.60. Mel Mara paid $3.20 and $2.60. Mach It So paid $3.00. The McKee Memorial, formerly the U.S. Pacing Championship, honors the late Meadowlands Racetrack announcer and Communicators Hall of Fame member Sam McKee, who passed away earlier this year. By Ken Weingartner

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