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WILKES-BARRE PA - 2018 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Captain Crunch makes his 2019 harness racing debut in the middle of three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes second preliminary for the glamour division, to be held at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night in races nine through eleven - and he couldn't have found a more challenging spot in which to open his season. Captain Crunch, a Captaintreacherous colt trained by Nancy Johansson for the 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, the Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms, won six of ten starts, including the Breeders Crown here at Pocono and the Governor's Cup, en route to divisional honors while winning the most money among baby colts, $616,113, and coming within a fifth of his division's world record by winning in 1:49.1 at Lexington. Prepping for 2019, Captain Crunch has qualifying wins in 1:50.1 and 1:51.2 (the latter on a "good +1" track). The draw was kind to Captain Crunch in one respect, as Scott Zeron will be guiding him from post three in the field of nine (all three divisions have nine starters). But the draw also gave Captain Crunch a real challenge, in that many of the section's top colts, at both two and three, will be lining up against him Sunday. One example would be Proof (post eight, trainer Brian Brown, driver David Miller), second behind Captain Crunch in last year's Breeders Crown, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, and a good second at The Meadows in the Sire Stakes' opening leg in his first start of the year; also in this cut is the horse who conquered Proof in that event in 1:50.4, Southwind Ozzi (post one, trainer Bill MacKenzie, one of four "calls" for driver Tim Tetrick). There's Lyons Night Hawk (post five, trainer Gareth Dowse, Tetrick also listed), who was just edged in 1:50.1 in a PA All-Stars event in his seasonal bow, and Prince Of Tides (post two, trainer Ross Croghan, driver Eric Carlson), 1:49.4 winner of the Wiggle It Jiggleit final at The Meadowlands. But not all of the good horses will be facing Captain Crunch. In the eleventh race third division, two Sire Stakes winners at The Meadows will attract a good deal of attention: Workin On A Mystery (post two, trainer Brian Brown, driver Tim Tetrick), who won the fastest Sires section in 1:50.1, and Love Me Some Lou, undefeated in two starts this year and a 1:50.4 Sires winner, who will have to negotiate the difficult post eight for trainer Tom Cancelliere and driver David Miller. While the ninth race first division may not have horses who have some of the paper credentials of the other two divisions, it has some nice developing horses of its own, including Major Deception (post one, trainer Tony Alagna, driver Tim Tetrick), the easiest kind of winner at Philly over sloppy going in his 2019 return; Wild Wild Western (post two, trainer Norm Parker, driver Mike Wilder), who was second to Workin On A Mystery in the fastest PaSS division at The Meadows; and 2018 PA Fairs champion Aflame Hanover (post eight, trainer Linda Schadel, driver Tony Schadel), who has shown that he can be competitive with the most select of the state's three-year-olds. There will also be four Pennsylvania Stallion Series divisions at Pocono Sunday, including first round StS winners Captain Koine, Skip To My Lou, and Under Paid, plus Captain Panko, the 2018 Stallion Series champion who will be making his 2019 debut. First post for Sunday's 14 race card is set for 7 p.m.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Pennsylvania All-Stars harness racing series began its annual run at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday night, with three $30,000 divisions of sophomore pacing males in the spotlight. The first All-Stars division was taken by the heralded and well-bred Sweet Lou colt Blood Money, but only by a nose in 1:50. It was an interesting strategic "chess match" between Scott Zeron, guiding Blood Money, and George Napolitano Jr. behind Escapetothebeach: Zeron gradually guided Blood Money to the lead past a :26.4 opener, only for Napolitano to brush in front of the stands with his first-time 2019 starter to have the lead before the :55 half. Zeron didn't want to be caught in with his 1-5 shot, so he regained command before the 1:22.3 three-quarters, only to have Escapetothebeach hang right behind him, take the Pocono Pike, and only get beaten by the slightest of margins. Brassy Hanover, ducking inside fading cover on the far turn, rallied up the far inside and missed by only ¾ of a length in third. Blood Money had won his seasonal debut at The Meadowlands in 1:50; this mile was the fastest of the year by a sophomore on a 5/8-mile track, and tied Blood Money with himself as the fastest "glamour division" colt on any size track. Nancy Johansson trains the winner of $372,244 for Diamond Creek Racing. Branquinho, winless at two but a full brother to Huntsville, looks like he may flourish in his sophomore campaign - he's now undefeated in three 2019 starts, following up on a Stallion Series win last week with an All-Stars victory in 1:50.1, his fastest ever. The Somebeachsomewhere colt bypassed an enormous hole mid-first turn and went on to the lead near the :27.2 quarter; favored Lyons Night Hawk also chose to press forward and grabbed the top halfway to the next station, which was reached in :54.4. The chalk had repelled outside competition by the 1:22.4 three-quarters; Branquinho (the 9-5 second choice) would be his major challenger in the lane, and the winner responded sharply when tipped out from the two-hole by Tyler Buter, winning by ¾ of a length for owner/trainer Ray Schnittker (note: Buter and Schnittker share brown-and-gold colors). Somebeachsomewhere picked up a second sire credit when Air Force Hanover, parked a good way for the lead and not getting a breather up front, was still able to draw clear in the lane to take a new mark of 1:50.1. Air Force Hanover and George Napolitano Jr. (who drove five horses to Victory Lane on the card) were still outside past the :26.3 quarter, then ranged up to the lead in the frontstretch towards the :55.2 midway clocking. Aflame Hanover, the 2018 PA Fair champion, forced the winner to go an all-out :26.3 third quarter to keep the lead, and after the challenger started to fade past the 1:22 three-quarters, "George Nap" kept the winner's mind to business as he posted a 2¾ length victory over fast-closing Highlandbeachlover, who was hampered by a nonflowing outer tier. Brian Brown is the conditioner of the four-time career winner for Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and W. J. Donovan. Pocono's love affair with the claiming box produced a "new track record" on Saturday, as the Mach Three seven-year-old gelding Raksmach N was claimed for $40,000, a record for the mountain oval. A winner of three straight before a very hard-fought third from the outside post eight on Saturday, he leaves owner Mark Akins with a $2400 purse check and a $5000 profit on his haltering of the horse for $35,000 last week, minus the week's training fee; the horse now goes to the Oakes barn and the Northfolk Racing Stable. In all for the night, 12 claims totaled up to $304,500, running the seasonal totals to 147 claims, with $2,642,500 changing hands. Tomorrow night marks the 2019 debut of The World's Fastest Trotter, the locally-based Homicide Hunter, in a $30,000 open trot event in the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS); Tequila Monday and Kissininthesand seem likely to renew their first-round GNOS rivalry in the $30,000 mares open pace.   ATTRIBUTION - PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 9, 2019-It was Scott Zeron Night at the Races Thursday (May 9th), as the lad won 60 percent of Yonkers Raceway's 10 harness racing events. Zeron swept the $8.40 early daily double with imported favorites Zach Maguire N ($4) in the $10,000 pacing opener (1:54.4) and Whether or Not Fi ($3.80) in the $20,000, second-race trot (life-best 1:56). The consecutive Zeron three-peat was finished when people's preference Rock Icon ($4.40) won the $10,000, third-race pace (1:54.2). His fourth winner came behind a sharp Vegas Rocks ($6.70) in the $17,500, sixth-race pace (1:52.3), while No. 5 was a just-up Don'tforgetmaster ($3.60) in the $16,000, seventh-race trot (1:58.1). Zeron's happy half-dozen concluded in the $17,500 pacing finale, with an odds-on Zoe Ellasen ($3.50) holding sway (1:53.2). Special Thursday props to the venerable veteran Great Vintage (Austin Siegelman, $4.40), who scorched the $17,500, eighth-race pace in a season's-best 1:51. The 11-year-old son of American Ideal widened to 5¾ lengths for a 49th career victory.   BY FRANK DRUCKER Publicity Director Yonkers Raceway

CHESTER PA - This Sunday promises some spectacular racing at the two tracks served by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA), with the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) staging a trio of $30,000 events, for open pacers at Harrah's Philly in the afternoon and for mare open pacers and open trotters at Mohegan Sun Pocono at night. In the open hanress racing pacing event at Philly, Rodeo Rock has been installed as a tight 7-2 favorite in a well-matched field of nine which will be the fifth race. The Robert Cleary pupil, to be driven by Andrew McCarthy, is one of only four North American horses to have earned over $200,000 already this year, the bulk of his bankroll coming when finishing second in the $664,000 Levy Final at Yonkers. Starting just to his outside will be Donttellmeagain for trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick. A state favorite since winning the PA Stallion Series Championship in 2017, Donttellmeagain holds the distinction of being the last horse to win against 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked, and he comes off a 1:49 victory at The Meadowlands. The two GNOS races at Pocono will come consecutively, in slots ten and eleven. The ladies will come first, with the 1-2 finishers from last week's first GNOS group for this group, Tequila Monday and Kissininthesand, ready to bump heads again and vie for favoritism. This will be the second start of the year for Kissininthesand (post one, trainer Nancy Johansson, driver Scott Zeron), last year's three-year-old champion, and she might be just that much better with a race under her girth. But knocking off Tequila Monday (post six, trainer Chris Oakes, driver Tyler Buter) has never been an easy task throughout that mare's career, and might be even more hard to bring off this year, as Tequila Monday has started the year with five consecutive victories, and she has shown she can win on, off, or near the pace. The World's Fastest Trotter, Homicide Hunter (1:48.4 at Lexington last year), is entered in the open trotting event, and he returns to the races both for a new stable, the Burke Brigade, and off two fine qualifying wins, the latter a photo victory over 2018 sophomore champion Six Pack. One big obstacle facing Homicide Hunter and driver Yannick Gingras will be the outside starting spot in the field of eighth, but he is still the early favorite. Guardian Angel AS (post five, trainer Anette Lorentzon, driver Tim Tetrick) won a Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono last year, and in his seasonal debut last week at The Meadowlands he came from ninth at the three-quarter call to miss less than two lengths. Pappy Go Go, who has two of the four fastest North American trotting miles of the year, a pair of 1:52 wins both here and at Philly, has the advantages of post one and Pocono's top driver George Napolitano Jr. Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, in conjunction with The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia racetracks

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 7, 2019-New York Sire Stakes season began Tuesday night (May 7th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $163,499 Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The lasses went as three harness racing divisions, two six-horse fields--purses $54,833 each-and a five-horse event at $1,000 less. The opening quintet saw Hanna Dreamgirl (Brian Sears, $13) waltz around the oval (:29.3, 1:00.1, 1:29.3, 1:59) as the only leaver. From post position No. 3, she never had any grief, disposing of first-up, 2-5 choice Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett), then hold pocket-sitting Sweet Chapter (Dave Miller) at bay. The final margin was three-quarters of a length, with Stella Jane settling for the bottom of the ticket. For third choice Hanna Dreamgirl, a daughter of Chapter Seven owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, it was her seasonal debut (2-for-15, $115,204 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $29.20, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. The first of two happy half-dozen sire stakes events was won by With Out a Doubt (Andy Miller, $10.20). Making the first lead from post No 5, she gave it up to Sensibility (Scott Zeron) That lass worked through intervals of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:27, with minimal annoyance from Thanks for Leaving (Jordan Stratton) and even less from 17-10 favorite Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris). Sensibility owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but With Out a Doubt edged by with purpose. She drew out, winning by a length-and-three-quarters in a life-best 1:56.2...by far the night's fastest effort. Sensibility was a safe second, with 'Kellyanne' and Thanks for Leaving completing the gimmicks. With Out a Doubt                  -Mike Lizzi photo For fourth choice Without a Doubt, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (breeder) Ross Bonafield, Robert McCarthy & James Moran and trained by Erv Miller, it was also her '19 purse bow (1-for-9, $51,536 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $27, the triple returned $107 and the superfecta paid $199.50. "She's quick off the car and very handy," Andy Miller said. ...and down came the rain before the final statebred event, reclassifying the track as 'sloppy'. It was done in time defending sire stakes champion Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer, $4.60) to prevail-barley-snapping he nearly 39-1 rank outsider Pilgrim Lass (Mike Simons) by a head in 1:59.1. 'Pilgrim,' one of three that didn't jump it off early, led the remaining trio (:30.3, 1:01.1, 1:30.2). Winndevie, pocketed from post No. 5, took out early but found the leader quite stubborn. Winndevie did get past very late, with Amal Hall (Andy Miller) third. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.), the 7-10 choice, did beat the other breakers. For second choice Winndevie, a Credit Winner miss trained by her driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, she began her sophomore season after going 6-for-7 ($227,878) as a frosh. The exacta paid $102, the triple returned $286 and the superfecta paid $771. New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Tuesday night (May 14th), with the Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.   by Frank Drucker Director of Publicity 810 Yonkers Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704

East Rutherford, NJ - Foul weather caused the postponement of today's Meadowlands qualifiers until 3:00 pm. By then, despite overcast skies and a slight helping breeze in the stretch, the harness racing track was fast and dry with a temperature of 64f at post time. The session quickly turned into Nancy Johansson day as she brought big power to the table and got the results she and driver Scott Zeron were hoping for from several potential stars of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Nancy unveiled the sophomore edition of her Dan Patch award and Breeders Crown winning freshman pacing sensation Captain Crunch (Zeron) and he was absolutely fabulous. Moving comfortably on the lead through a 56.1 half and 1:24.4 three quarters, "Crunch" sprinted home in a sizzling 25.2 under his own power to win by 4 or 5 lengths over Major March (Tim Tetrick) in 1:50.1 with Zeron motionless in the sulky. The Captaintreacherous colt won more than $600,000 at two for owners 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stable and Caviart Farms who plucked him from the Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) for the bargain price of $85,000. Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs are the breeders. The 2018 Doherty Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) returned to the racing wars today for Johansson and looked fantastic in her debut. Gingras sat in third with the filly as stable mate Can't Touch It (Zeron) rated even fractions while Speed Titan (Mattias Melander) ground up uncovered. As they trotted home, the rail opened and The Ice Dutchess bolted through to score an four length win moving away from her rivals unasked in a 26.1 close to the 1:54.4 mile. Speed Titan was second while Can't Touch This stayed on for third. The Muscle Hill lass was a $320,000 Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) purchase by Canyon Wind Farm from breeders Stephen Dye and David Reid. She paid for herself as a 2-year-old and appears ready to add to that booty at age three. Six Pack is back! The Dan Patch award winner and fastest 3-year-old trotter in history by virtue of his KY Futurity win was awesome in his returning qualifier for Ake Svanstedt. The pair sat a pocket to an old rival in Fashionwoodchopper (Gingras) past the 1:28.3 six panels and roared by that rival when tipped out at that station to a 1:55.2 mile easily. The Muscle Mass 4-year-old is owned by Svanstedt in partnership with Little E; LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmer and I. Berg this season. Svanstedt also won with Galixton in 1:59 for himself, Little E and Joe Sbrocco. Kissin In The Sand may have looked better this week than last, if that's even possible. Zeron sat behind the early pace of Izzy Hanover through a 56.1 half, passed that rival and the three quarters in 1:24.3 with top pacing mare Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) following up and dropping in behind as they sprinted home in 25.3 for a 1:50.1 mile. Both mare had plenty left and were well ahead of the others. Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield own the exciting Somebeachsomewhere 4-year-old returning divisional award winner and Nancy Johansson trains. Blood Money (Zeron) closed in 25.2 to run down Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) the mile in 1:52.2. Johansson trains last year's Matron Stakes winning homebred for Diamond Creek Racing. Johansson and Zeron capped their memorable afternoon with Thinkbig Dreambig zipping around the oval in 1:52.2, holding American History (McCarthy) at bay with a 26 flat final stanza while both were in hand. This imposing Bettor's Delight 4-year-old was a winner of multiple Grand Circuit stakes in 2018 including a division of the Tattersalls Pace in 1:48.2 for Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk. Sharp Action Money (Gingras) won the last of the day's races, ending a 1:52.4 mile with a 25.3 final quarter for the Burke barn. Charted results may be found on the Meadowlands website. Nick Salvi

Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) collected his 11th victory of the season on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) in the $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination at Dover Downs by besting Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) in 1:49.2. This Is The Plan (Tim Tetrick) was third. Leaving from post position five, Jimmy Freight and his pilot were content to allow Thinkbig Dreambig to establish the pace with fractions of :26.1, :54.4 and 1:22.2 while biding their time in second place. Dorsoduro Hanover, however, employed an overland journey to capture the lead in the push to the wire. After enjoying primarily a pocket trip, Zeron pushed the gas pedal to send Jimmy Freight past his rival with a :26.4 final quarter-mile to assure the win by a neck. Trained by Andrew Harris, Jimmy Freight is owned by Adriano Sorella and paid $6 to win as the public’s second selection (2-1). The final field for the $260,000 Progress Pace final on Nov. 29 is: Jimmy Freight Dorsoduro Hanover This Is The Plan Done Well Thinkbig Dreambig Shnitizledosomethin I’m A Big Deal Heavenly Sound From the USTA Media Department

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Scott Zeron drove Captain Crunch to a definitive 3-length win in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Final at The Downs at Mohegan Pocono on Oct. 27. The time for the mile on the track rated "sloppy" was 1:51.3. From the far outside, Blood Money left with Captain Crunch, followed by Captain Trevor and flushing to the outside, Proof took an early shot at challenging. The first quarter was clocked in :26.4 as Proof took the lead into the half. Proof rolled to a :55.1 half with Captain Crunch sitting in the cat-bird seat as Captain Trevor went first over, aiming at the top two inside. No Mas Amor went three-wide in an attempt to charge late. Three-quarters went in 1:23.2. With a clear path to come out of the pocket, Zeron guided Captain Crunch into the second lane and the son of Captaintreacherous--Sweet Paprika (by Artiscape) catapulted past Proof and extended his winning lead to 3 lengths in 1:51.3. Proof held on for second, Love Me Some Lou passed tired ones to catch the third spot and No Mas Amor was fourth. Nancy Johansson trains Captain Crunch for owner Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms, 3 Brothers Stables and Christine Takter. The colt was bred by Walnridge Farms and Sherri K. Meirs. The win was driver Scott Zeron's second in a Breeders Crown Final. Captain Crunch paid $11.20 to win. by Frank Cotolo, For The Breeders Crown

Plainville, MA --- The third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for first-year state-breds resumed at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 22) after a one week break and offered four divisions vying for $163,434 in total purse money. First-time series starter Taylor Swiftly and two-time series winner Simple Kaos took different paths to victory but both turned in dominating performances. $40,300 2-year-old filly trot Winner: Taylor Swiftly (Trixton-True Diva) 1:58.2 Owners: Lindy Farms of Connecticut Trainer: Dominico Cecere Breeder: Lindy Farms of Connecticut Mutuel: $2.10 Scott Zeron took Taylor Swiftly off the gate to settle in fourth and watched as Crystalline (Shawn Gray) took command by the quarter. The race progressed to the five-eighths before Ev's Girl (Steve Smith) pulled first-over and Taylor Swiftly was happy to follow with the cover. Crystalline was beginning to trot away from the field around the last turn, opening up a three-length advantage. So Zeron tipped Taylor Swiftly three-deep around Ev's Girl and really got the filly in gear. Taylor Swiftly drew alongside Crystalline at the head of the stretch and as soon as she did, Crystalline broke; leaving Taylor Swiftly to trot home alone under wraps by three-lengths in 1:58.2. It was one start and one win in the MASS for Taylor Swiftly who now joins Ev's Girl and Just Enuf Sass who each have the same win record in this division heading into the final. $40,500 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) 1:57.4 Owners: George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson Trainer: George Ducharme Breeder: Michelle Larson Mutuel: $3.00 Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) left nothing to chance as he bolted for the lead and headed his group at every station during the mile. After going :28.3, :58.1 and 1:27.2 by a gapped two-lengths on top, Simple Kaos trotted away effortlessly to a four-length victory in 1:57.4 while The Fixer (Mark Athearn) outdueled Precision (Steve Smith) for place. Simple Kaos won his three MASS legs by a combined 14-lengths and looks to become a champion next week. $42,334 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner: Victorias Maverick (Western Maverick-Perfect Launch) 1:55.3 Owners: Leighton Property and Bruce Plouffe Trainer: Valerie Grondin Breeder: Lynn-Marie Plouffe Mutuel: $3.40 It was gate to wire once again for Victorias Maverick (Heath Campbell) who got little challenge from anyone else in the race. Cutting the quarters in :27.3, :56.4 and 1:26, Victorias Maverick was on top by four heading into the lane and cruised home an easy winner in 1:55.3. Victorias Maverick won by a total of 16-lengths in his three MASS victories and should be heavily favored next week in the final. $40,300 2-year-old filly pace Winner: Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) 1:58.1 Owner: Al Ross Trainer: Jim Hardy Breeder: Al Ross Mutuel: NB Karan's Choice (Jim Hardy) sat second behind Cominrightatyou (Ron Cushing) in a two-horse breakaway through fractions of :30, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before pulling in the lane. From there it was a hard fought stretch battle between the two all the way to the wire where Karan's Choice got the advantage to win by a neck in 1:58.1. Karan's Choice will join Victoria's Maverick and Simple Kaos as undefeated MASS finalist. The MASS continues at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 23) when the 3-year-olds get together for their third and final leg. Five divisions will compete for a total of $163,000 in purse money as they all try to make the final next week. One MASS leg on Tuesday is a non-betting race and goes off at 1:45 p.m. The regular betting card has a post time of 2 p.m. with the MASS events going as race one through four. The MASS finals will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 30) at Plainridge Park with a record $800,000 in purse money to be distributed. Eight divisions will go for $100,000 each and state champions will be determined for age, sex and gait. For more information on the Massachusetts Sire Stakes, log onto www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

North American drivers participating in Saturday's (Oct. 13) $1 million Yonkers International Trot face several challenges as they prepare for the event, most notably learning about their rivals -- and in some cases their own horse -- in addition to contemplating the best path to victory in a 10-horse field going 1-1/4 miles. "My deal is to know the competition the best I can and make decisions as it plays out," said Brian Sears, who is driving in the International Trot for the third time since its renewal in 2015 at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. Sears will be behind Cruzado Dela Noche, starting from post six, on Saturday. "My job is to learn some of these horses, which is what makes this race so difficult to win. You don't really know the competition as well as you'd like. As the race unfolds, you'll see things happen and you try to make decisions to put your horse in the best spot. But I think you have to be aggressive. You have to be as aggressive as you can get away with." Winners of the three most recent International Trots each accomplished the feat in different ways -- one of which no longer exists. In 2015, Norway's Papagayo E got a ground-saving trip behind leader Creatine and used the passing lane to earn the victory. The passing lane has since been eliminated at Yonkers. In 2016, U.S. representative Resolve led virtually from start to finish en route to his triumph. Last year, Italy's Twister Bi raced on the outside and methodically chased down leader Resolve before powering away to win by 5-1/2 lengths. Marion Marauder, who is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's race, finished second last year. He started from post No. 1 and got away in seventh place around the first turn. He will start again from post one on Saturday. "When I had the rail last year it was a learning experience," said Scott Zeron, who drives Marion Marauder. "I pushed him off the wings enough to get him well situated, but I had to have a lot of luck on my side as well with not being able to pull the right line and go to the outer flow. "It could end up like that again this year, but I know I have a horse that's capable of winning this race. I let him leave at his own comfort. It will be playing it by ear when I go off the wings. We'll see two steps off the gate where I'm going to get situated. Hopefully I have an opportunity to race him." Trotting races at the distance of 1-1/4 miles are nothing new at Yonkers and looking back at 37 such races on Sundays in July to September shows horses that were no worse than third at the half-mile point won nearly 84 percent of the time. Horses that led at the half won 18 times while horses that were second won seven and horses third won six. Posts one and six produced the most winners, with seven each, followed by post five with six. "It's a benefit," Zeron said about the extra experience of racing 1-1/4 miles at Yonkers. "The difference with this race compared to a regular Sunday is having 10 horses that all can win. There are no long shots. These are the best of the best." Jason Bartlett, who has won seven driving titles at Yonkers including the past four, is making his first appearance in the International Trot. He will drive France's Up And Quick, who counts the 2015 Prix d'Amerique among five career Group 1 wins in Europe. Up And Quick will start from post two. "I thought the draw was very good," Bartlett said. "It gives me options. I don't really know the horse, but I'll do a little homework on him and go from there. I've talked to Bjorn Goop who drove him three starts ago. I'll watch some replays on him. That's all I can really do. I'll get a feel for him going into the turn when I score him down and that's it. "I think the biggest part I've got to learn is a little bit about the competition, each horse in the race. It's the best trotters in the world, the best drivers; you can't really go in with a game plan. "For me, it's my first time in this race. Winning it would be very special to me being that it's my home track. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity. It's going to be an interesting race." Sears will be driving Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche for the first time. Cruzado Dela Noche raced in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes and finishing third in the Peter Haughton Memorial. In Europe, his victories include the Group 1 Copenhagen Cup. "I just hope that he's on his toes and puts up a good race," Sears said. "(To win) would be a feather in your cap. It's one of the biggest races and it's very hard to get done. To be able to accomplish that would be quite a victory, no doubt." Yannick Gingras, with Ariana G, and Tim Tetrick, with Will Take Charge, are both making their second appearances in the International Trot and enter with horses they drive regularly. It will be the first time on a half-mile track for Ariana G, a two-time Dan Patch Award-winner who is the lone mare in the race. "She's very square gaited, she's two fingers to drive, so I don't see (the half) being any problem at all," Gingras said. "I think if anything it will work in her favor. She's got it all, honestly. She's got the speed, you can stop-and-go anytime you want, and she's great gaited. I keep saying about her being great gaited, I hope I don't jinx her. "She's just so smart," he added. "Maybe that's her best attribute. I think I've got as good a shot as anybody." Racing at Yonkers begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The day also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot, featuring the fastest trotter in history, Homicide Hunter, plus the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace, featuring the continued rivalry between McWicked and New Zealand-bred Lazarus. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Jason Bartlett-Antoine Lherete-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wim Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 * Lionel and Slide So Easy start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

CHESTER, PA - Over $190,000 in stakes purses were on the line as three-year-old fillies of both gaits each contested three division of John Simpson Sr. series stakes action on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Trotters were first to the track on the Wednesday card, and the Lucky Chucky filly Lucky Ava was first to the finish line, posting splits of 27.3, 56.4, and 1:26.2 en route to a 1¾ length wire-to-wire victory in a lifetime best of 1:55.1. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, straight off a monumental Sunday at Lexington which may be part of a Trainer of the Year title possibility, was in the sulky for Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and the Van Camp Trotting Corporation, whose trotter has now won $382,264. Driver Scott Zeron tucked the Chapter Seven filly Lima Novelty fourth early, then saw that become a 3-tuck as a rival broke, and was content to chase longshot Winbak Noelle, who set good fractions of 27.1 and 55.4. Lima Novelty moved down the backstretch, got to the lead by the 1:24.4 3/4s, then went on strongly through the stretch to have a 2½ length advantage at the end of a 1:54.1 mile. Linda Toscano trains the winner of $278,964 for owner Ken Jacobs. Zeron and Toscano came right back to take the final trot division with another daughter of Chapter Seven, Repentance, who crossed the wire 2 1/4 lengths to the good in 1:54.4. Once again first-over proved the winning route, as Hey Judy Judy, second choice to the victress, set fractions of 28.1, 57.2, and 1:26.1, but could not hold on against the winner the last 1/8 and faded. The winner, who lost a three-race win streak with an "untimely break" in her NYSS final (but what's "a timely break," anyway?), started a new winning streak while raising her bankroll to $247,327 for Diamond Creek Racing. On the sidewheeling side, Scuola Hanover looked the part of a 1-5 favorite, moving after a 26.2 opener to command, putting up middle numbers of 55.1 and 1:22.4, and then staying clear by 2¼ lengths at the end of a mile in a lifetime best of 1:50.4, which was only 3/5 of a second off Put On A Show's 2010 divisional standard for Philly. David Miller handled sulky chores behind the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, who now has a bankroll of $207,298 for trainer Andrew Stafford, co-owner with Arthur Stafford and Thomas Ireland. The American Ideal filly Solitary, right back on the track after winning at Freehold on Saturday, was out most of a 25.4 quarter for driver Brett Miller before getting the lead in her section. Aldine Hanover, who forced that rough quarter, came back to take command and went middle splits of 54.4 and 1:22.4, with Solitary waiting in the two-hole and favored E Dees Well Said swinging wide into the lane. Through the stretch the battle was inside (Solitary) and outside (E Dees Well Said), with Solitary taking a neck decision while reducing her mark to 1:51.2. The winner went 17 starts in 2018 before getting to the winners circle, but now she has won three of her last four for trainer Nick Surick and the partnership of William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic, and the J L Benson Stables Inc. while raising her bank account to $199,097. In the final pacing cut, Alexis Faith got a tick closer to the local track record than did Scuola Hanover, as she lowered her mark to 1:50.3 while looking like a 1-20 shot should. Driver David Miller, taking two of the three pacing stakes divisions on the afternoon, kept her fourth in a five-horse field until the 5/8, then charged up raw and came a 54.2 back half with the filly to be 3¼ lengths clear on the money. Speaking of money, Alexis Faith gave both her sire American Ideal and her dam Cannae Cammie a new $500,000 credit as she pushed her earnings lifetime to $502,001 for trainer Casie Coleman and the ownership quartet of West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow, and Kevin McKinlay. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

New York, NY --- Marion Marauder, who finished second in last year's $1 million Yonkers International Trot, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's (Oct. 13) 40th edition of the invitational, which will be raced at 1-1/4 miles at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. The 5-year-old stallion, representing Canada, was made the top choice after getting post No. 1 on Tuesday at the event's draw and press conference at Manhattan's 21 Club. Scott Zeron will drive Marion Marauder for trainer Paula Wellwood. Marion Marauder has won six of 10 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start. He heads to the International Trot off a win in the Caesars Trotting Classic on Sept. 21 at Hoosier Park. Other victories in 2018 include the John Cashman Memorial and Cleveland Trotting Classic. He was second in the Maple Leaf Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. "It beats the heck out of the seven or eight hole, that's for sure," said Mike Keeling, who shares the training duties on Marion Marauder with his wife, Paula Wellwood, about drawing the rail. "At least we won't be parked. "He loves three weeks between races and this works out perfectly from his last start. I think he's probably a touch better than he was for the Hoosier race. We're really pleased with him right now. As long as he's in good shape and the race sets up for him, we'll be fine. "I follow the Europeans a little bit. I know Lionel, I know Ringostarr Treb. The other horses I'm not so familiar with. We'll look at the program pages. We can only do what we can do, it's up to Scott to figure out the rest." For his career, Marion Marauder has won 20 of 48 races and earned $3.08 million for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. He was the 2016 Trotter of the Year after winning the Trotting Triple Crown and captured another Dan Patch Award in 2017 as best older male trotter. Marion Marauder has enjoyed success at Yonkers, with three wins and two seconds in five career starts. One of the victories came in the Yonkers Trot on his way to the Triple Crown. Ariana G, the U.S. representative and lone mare in the field of 10, drew post three and is 5-1 on the morning line. The International Trot has been won by a mare 11 times, most recently by Peace Corps in 1991. The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected in 2015. A Dan Patch Award divisional champion at ages 2 and 3, the 4-year-old Ariana G has won five of 11 races this year and heads to the International Trot off a win over male rivals in the Dayton Trotting Derby on Sept. 28. Other victories this season include the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship. She also won her elimination for the Maple Leaf Trot and finished third in the final. For her career, Ariana G has won 26 of 37 races and earned $2.36 million for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Yannick Gingras will drive the mare for trainer Jimmy Takter. "You have to be happy with the draw," said Gingras. "But I think most of the good horses got good spots too. It will be a tactical race, but we can't complain about where we'll start. "I think she's super sharp. She raced really good in Ohio in her last start. Jimmy skipped Lexington pointing toward this race. I think it was a smart move, no doubt. I think she's got as good a shot as anybody." Will Take Charge, a second Canadian representative as a late replacement for the Netherlands' Dreammoko, drew post seven and is 6-1. The Jeff Gillis-trained 5-year-old gelding, who will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky, has won nine of 21 races this year, including the Crawford Farms Open Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial, for owner Mac Nichol. For his career, he has won 21 of 71 starts and $848,116. Elitloppet winner Ringostarr Treb, one of two horses representing Italy, leads the international contingent. The 8-year-old stallion is trained by New England native Jerry Riordan, who conditioned last year's International Trot champion Twister Bi. Ringostarr Treb, who has won 30 of 86 career races and $1.57 million, will start from post four with driver Wilhelm "Wim" Paal and is 4-1. The stallion is owned by E.V.A.M. Racing. "I'm very happy about the post," Paal said. "It keeps me a little bit out of the traffic in the first turn. I can choose my own race. I think there are four or five horses that have a good shot in this race --- Marion Marauder, Up And Quick, Ariana G. For me, Lionel is a horse you should not underestimate because he shows his best at a mile-and-a-quarter and he is a classy horse. "I think the small track gives a big opportunity to the four (inside) horses. They are all good horses and were lucky in the draw." Up And Quick, who won the 2015 Prix d'Amerique, drew post two and is 10-1 with top Yonkers driver Jason Bartlett in the sulky for trainer Antoine Lherete. The 10-year-old stallion, representing France, has won 16 of 74 career races and $2.81 million. He is owned by Ecurie Quick Star. Lionel, representing Norway, drew post nine in the second tier and is 10-1 with owner Goran Antonsen set to drive. The 8-year-old stallion, trained by Daniel Reden, won his Elitloppet elimination and finished fifth in the final. He has won 23 of 69 races and $1.67 million. The remaining International Trot participants are Italy's Arazi Boko, Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche and Pastore Bob, and Denmark's Slide So Easy. For video of the post draw click here. Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Antoine Lherete-Jason Bartlett-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wilhelm Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

LEXINGTON, KY--After finishing second in the first heat to Plunge Blue Chip in a world-record equaling mile, Hambletonian winner Atlanta took command early and drew clear of her competition to take the $224,000 second heat of the 53rd Kentucky Filly Futurity, sponsored by the Father Patrick Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farms, in 1:51.1. Plunge Blue Chip, the Ake Svanstedt-trained Muscle Mass filly, bested Atlanta in the first heat of the Filly Futurity, sprinting to victory at the wire to equal her 1:49.4 world record. Atlanta, setting the first quarter in :28.2, yielded the lead to Manchego, leaving from post eight, and sat as she sped to the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.4. Driver Scott Zeron angled Atlanta out of the pocket into the stretch and overtook Manchego with ease but could not withstand Plunge Blue Chip's three-wide stretch bid through the wire, settling for second. Manchego, faltering in third, scratched out of the final while Piranha Fury and Top Expectations advanced. Plunge Blue Chip, a $7.40 winner, races for Ake Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Tomas Andersson and Rick Zeron Stables. She won her 16th race from 22 starts, earning $913,791. Following the second-place effort, trainer Rick Zeron decided, despite hesitation, to pull Atlanta's shoes. "Everybody I noticed today was pulling shoes and I didn't want to pull the shoes and race her two heats. So I said to Scott 'If you can get us through the first heat and get into the final I'll pull the shoes off her.' [Trainer] George Ducharme came by and gave me a perfect set of bell boots for her because we didn't have any." Scott Zeron sent the Chapter Seven filly for the lead in the final while Plunge Blue Chip tucked into the pocket ahead of Lily Stride trotting into third. By the quarter in :28.2, Atlanta faced no pressure and rated to the half in :56.1. Plunge Blue Chip continued to track from the pocket. Atlanta's lead opened rounding the final turn as Plunge Blue Chip hit a wall and faded at the pylons, forcing the backfield wide. Seviyorum, pulling first over past the half, rushed into second with about a three-length deficit past the 1:24.3 third-quarter and continued to gain ground chasing through the stretch. Atlanta remained strong on the lead and hit the wire a length in front of Seviyorum at the wire. Nixie Volo closed for third and Top Expectations took fourth. "[Pulling the shoes] worked out so well," Rick Zeron said after the race, "and when Scott called on her around the last turn, I was in the paddock. Gone." "For him, it was a big move to make," Scott Zeron said. "But he was confident talking over it with me and we put some bell boots on her--I really think that helped her just that little bit more." Winning her seventh race from 11 starts this year and her 11th from 21 overall, Atlanta surpassed $1 million in earnings for owner-trainer Rick Zeron along with partners Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. She paid $4.20 to win. The other elimination for the Filly Futurity went to Lily Stride in a 1:50.2 lifetime-best performance. Courtney Hanover cleared to the cones moving into the first turn as Supergirl Riley moved into second and Nixie Volo wide from third. Supergirl Riley edged off the rail and forced Nixie Volo three wide heading to the quarter, timed in :27.4, and snagged the pocket once Nixie Volo took the top. Lily Stride, sitting fourth, stalked the early shuffle and angled first over into a :55.3 half. Nixie Volo endured first-over pressure from Lily Stride passing three-quarters as the two trotted in tandem to the 1:23.3 station before Lily Stride powered to the lead. Pat Matters, from second over, kicked off cover and chased Lily Stride to the wire, cutting into her margin but finishing a neck away in second at the wire. Seviyorum, veering to an opening at the pylons, closed for third ahead of Nixie Volo holding off Supergirl Riley, who also scratched from the final, in a photo for fourth. Owned by Emilio & Maria Rosati and trained by Mark Harder, Lily Stride won her second race from 13 starts this season and her sixth from 26 overall, earning $445,608. Tim Tetrick drove the Muscle Hill filly and returned $7.40 to win. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile        

LEXINGTON, KY--Sent the 1-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand sat pocket to Youaremycandygirl, intent to cut the mile, and popped pocket past the pacesetter to take the second of two divisions for the $225,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial, sponsored by Diamond Creek Farms, in 1:47.4 on Saturday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Youaremycandygirl cleared the front heading into the first turn with Kissin In The Sand securing the pocket and Baron Remy floating into third. Scott Zeron pulled Kissin In The Sand off the rail past the :27.2 opening quarter in an attempt to brush to the lead but Youaremycandygirl accelerated and forced the favorite into the two hole heading to a :53.4 half. The speed continued into the final turn as Youaremycandygirl paced to three-quarters in 1:20.3. Kissin In The Sand tipped wide of the leader entering the stretch and drew alongside into the final sixteenth before edging to victory. Youaremycandygirl settled for second while Baron Remy finished third and Alexa's Power fourth. Winning her 10th race in 14 starts this season and her 17th in 28 overall, Kissin In The Sand, owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, has compiled $967,670 in earnings. The Nancy Johansson trainee paid $2.40 to win. Drafting the swift tempo-setter, Double A Mint pounced from the pocket into the stretch and charged to the wire an open-length winner in 1:47.3 to take the first split of the Glen Garnsey. The Ron Burke-trained filly by Bettor's Delight dashed to the lead heading into the first turn with Wisdom Tree rolling wide into contention. Wisdom Tree, the 1-2 favorite, cleared control prior to the :27.2 opening quarter and paced uncontested through a :54.2 half. Wisdom Tree continued to speed on the front rounding the far turn with Double A Mint tracking from the pocket and the rest of the field chasing single file in behind. Past three-quarters in 1:21.1, Gingras pulled Double A Mint off the rail, slid by Wisdom Tree entering the eighth pole and widened her lead to the line. Wisdom Tree held second from I'm Trigger Happy in third and Mcvenus fourth. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Dandy Farms, Jerry & Theresa Silva, Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi, Double A Mint won her first race in 14 starts this season and her fifth in 24 overall, earning $301,971. She paid $20.20 to win.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 4, 2018- The fact that Marion Marauder found himself invited to participate in the 40th International Trot was unrelated to any new North American harness racing trade agreement. He's just pretty good. Three million dollars takes care of a lot of tariffs on any side of the border. The million-dollar Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino goes Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13th (first post 1 PM), and you couldn't legally assemble a field of 10 world-class trotters without including Marion Marauder. "He's made that money for a reason," driver Scott Zeron said. Actually, any number of reasons. "He's always resilient, has never thrown out a bad race, does his job, can take air and knows where the finish line is." The Great White North won three of the first dozen Internationals (Tie Silk-1962, mares Armbro Flight-1966 and Fresh Yankee-1970), but it's been a long time waiting for a fourth. "I wasn't even born when those happened," the 29-year-old Zeron said (Some of us were. Just sayin'). (Author's aside...The late addition of Will Take Charge gives Canada two legitimate chances in this International) Marion Marauder, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill, is Canada-driven, Canada co-owned (Marion Wellwood & grandson Devin Keeling) and Canada co-trained (Devin's parents, Mike Keeling & Paula Wellwood, with Paula listed as stateside trainer). "I have a great rapport with Paula and Mike," Zeron said. "They're laid back and love their animals." Despite bleeding all that Canadian, Marion Marauder had not once been in the penalty box. "I've never had to use him hard, go down to the half in 54 seconds or some crazy number," Zeron "His schedule (the International is just Marion Marauder's 11th race of the season) has always been planned to give him time off between starts," Zeron said. "He purposely skipped (the) Dayton (Trotting Derby) and didn't go to Lexington because Paula and Mike were hoping Yonkers would invite him. In fact, Marion Marauder has made his $3,080,380 in only 48 career starts (20 wins, 15 seconds, 5 thirds), with six of those wins and four seconds this season ($544,680). His Westchester resume reads three wins-including the 2016 Yonkers Trot en route to the Trotting Triple Crown-and a pair of seconds in five starts. He's come away with a pay envelope in 45 of those 48 starts. Marion Marauder enters the International 22 days between races, the last a come-from-behind win in Hoosier's $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic. A year ago, Marion Marauder was runner-up in the International, some 5½ lengths behind stakes- and world-record-setting Twister Bi's 2:22.1 frolic for the mile-and-a-quarter distance. "He (Marion Marauder) was very good, but the winner was amazing," Zeron said. Last season's race did provide some teachable moments for Zeron. "I've driven a lot of the added-distance overnight races here (Yonkers), but that race was completely different," Zeron said. "In the overnights, guys want to find the pylons as quickly as possible to save ground. In the International, with the best trotters coming over, those drivers aren't looking for any shortcuts. They don't mind sitting outside. They won't leave anything to chance as far as getting locked in. "Honestly, if Marion Marauder wins (the International), it wouldn't mean as much to me personally as it would for people to say he's the best trotter in the world. Not bad for the one originally named Marion Monopoly, who sold for $37,000 at Lexington (2014) and, according to Zeron, "was so mentally not there when he started out, he'd get to the gate and try to bite the horse next to him. "Then, he figured it out. "The horse deserves all the credit," Zeron said. "Me, Mike and Paula, we're just along for the ride." by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

When 3-year-old filly harness racing pacers Kissin In The Sand, Youaremycandygirl, and Alexa's Power get together, the race has the potential to be memorable. And twice already this season, they've fulfilled that potential. The three fillies have met three times this year and finished 1-2-3 in each race. Their first encounter resulted in Kissin In The Sand's gutsy parked-out victory by a neck over Youaremycandygirl in the James M. Lynch Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The next was Kissin In The Sand's win by three lengths over Youaremycandygirl in the Mistletoe Shalee, at 1-1/8 miles, at The Meadowlands. Most recently, on the Aug. 4 Hambletonian Day card at the Big M, they finished three across the wire separated by a neck in the Shady Daisy Stakes at The Meadowlands. Youaremycandygirl won that encounter by a nose over Kissin In The Sand in a stakes- and track-record 1:48.2. Round four is Saturday at Lexington's Red Mile in the second of two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Stakes. "They're three exceptional fillies," said Jim Campbell, who trains Alexa's Power. "We're going to need our 'A' game. It's a very tough division, but at this time of the year you're going to race tough. It's just part of the game. She's an honest filly and she gives us a great effort every time we put her out there." Kissin In The Sand drew post No. 6 in the eight-horse field and is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Youaremycandygirl will start from post four and is the 2-1 second choice while Alexa's Power will start from post seven and is 3-1. "It's going to be an interesting matchup with me getting the middle of the three on the gate," said Scott Zeron, who drives Kissin In The Sand. "It's up to me because Kissin In The Sand is definitely as good as she's been all year. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up. We're in Lexington with a mile track and we're all going to get a fair shot." Kissin In The Sand leads all 3-year-old female pacers in purses with $673,620 thanks to nine wins and four second-place finishes in 13 starts. The Nancy Johansson-trained filly, owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, has won five of her past six races, including the Bluegrass Stakes last weekend at Red Mile and over older foes in the fillies-and-mares preferred Sept. 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "She's gotten better every start this year," Zeron said. "It's pretty exciting. A few of the times she's done it the hard way, too. It's not like everyone lays down for us and we go slow fractions and then take off late. Even beating the open mares was impressive. Everything is pointing toward a good weekend." Alexa's Power is the second-richest 3-year-old filly pacer this season, with $429,891. She has won nine of 16 races for owners Jeff Snyder and Michael Snyder and finished off the board only once. Since the Shady Daisy, she has won four of five starts, including the Jugette in her most recent outing Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Tim Tetrick will drive the filly Saturday, as he has for all but one of her races this season. "She came out of the Jugette really good and she acts good," Campbell said. Youaremycandygirl, the 2017 Dan Patch Award-winner for best 2-year-old female pacer, has won six of 12 races this season and earned $367,921 for owner Bill Donovan. She won five times and finished second twice during a seven-race span from mid-June to mid-August. She heads to the Garnsey after going off stride in the Jugette. "We just had a bad thing at the Jugette, but everything will be all right with her," trainer Ron Burke said. "She had a little tie-up incident, that's all it was. We knew exactly what was wrong with her. I thought I had gotten through it, but I didn't. You try to do the best you can, but sometimes it doesn't work out. "She's seems like she's gotten herself turned around now." Last year at Red Mile, Youaremycandygirl became the fastest 2-year-old filly pacer in history with a 1:50 win in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. In the first Garnsey division, New York Sire Stakes champion Wisdom Tree is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Saturday's card also includes the Allerage Farms Open Pace, which features another clash between New Zealand-bred star Lazarus, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, and McWicked (5-2) as well as Dayton Pacing Derby champ Donttellmeagain (4-1); the Allerage Farms Open Trot, with International Trot-bound Will Take Charge as the 2-1 choice; and five divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. For Saturday's complete entries at Red Mile, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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