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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

LEXINGTON, KY--Sent the 1-9 favorite, Nancy Johansson trainee Kissin In The Sand floated towards the front past the quarter and progressed under minimal pressure to a 1:50 score in the $126,000 American Ideal Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace, sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management, on Saturday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile. Baron Remy rushed to the lead from the center of the track with Double A Mint pushing for position towards the inside and Kissin In The Sand unhurried into third. Kissin In The Sand cleared command following a :28 opening quarter and quickened the pace as Cuts Like A Knife, parked from the start, continued first over into second and through a :55.2 half. Cuts Like A Knife faltered into the final turn, leaving a gap for Baron Remy to pull out of the pocket while also forcing second-over Dance Blue three wide. Kissin In The Sand faced no challengers past three-quarters in 1:23.2 and scooted clear into the lane under pursuit from Baron Remy, who held second from Dance Blue rallying through the center of the track. Double A Mint shot through the pylons for fourth and I'm Trigger Happy rounded out the super high five. Owned by Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables, Kissin In The Sand, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, won her ninth race in 13 starts this season and her 16th in 27 overall while surpassing $900,000 in career earnings. Scott Zeron drove the $2.20 winner. Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 29 with the first matinee card of the meeting. The program features sophomores in stakes action as the filly trotters compete in three divisions of the $206,000 Cantab Hall Bluegrass Stakes (sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms & Brittany Farms), the colt trotters in two splits of the $242,000 Explosive Matter Bluegrass Stakes (sponsored by the Explosive Matter Syndicate & Hanover Shoe Farms) and the colt pacers contest in two divisions of the $183,000 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Stakes (sponsored by the Somebeachsomewhere Syndicate & Hanover Shoe Farms). The Pick 5 had no winners on Saturday night, carrying $3,328.87 into the pool Sunday. Sunday's Pick 5, a 50-cent minimum wager covering races two through six, will have a $15,000 guarantee. First-race post Sunday is slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

ANDERSON, IN - It The sport's top harness racing trotters were showcased in the inaugural edition of the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during an action-packed 14-race card on Friday, September 21 and as expected, it was a true demonstration of sheer trotting talent. With regular pilot Scott Zeron in the bike, Trotting Triple Crown Champion Marion Marauder staged an incredible rally late in the lane and utilized the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage to get up in the final strides of the mile in 1:52.4. Handed the tough, outside post position nine, Marion Marauder was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth. Using his customary early gate speed, Sam Widger had I Know My Chip pointed to the front to grab command just before the first quarter in :26.2. Opting out of a pocket trip, Yannick Gingras pointed Hannelore Hanover to the front and she quickly grabbed the lead just before the half to dictate fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.2. Bridge To Jesse's and John DeLong were unable to find a seat along the rail and began their long first-over journey approaching the final turn. Homicide Hunter and David Miller quickly grabbed the cover and were well placed second-over while Marion Marauder followed suit and were poised to strike from third-over. Hannelore Hanover was able to put away Bridge To Jesse's and appeared to be up to the task but her biggest threats were still behind her. Homicide Hunter tipped from behind his tiring cover but it was Marion Marauder who was widest of all with a full head of steam. Utilizing a :26.2 final panel, Marion Marauder dug in gamely in the final strides to hold off a hard charging JL Cruze and Trace Tetrick. Homicide Hunter also rallied well late to round out the trifecta. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Marion Marauder returned $5.60 at the betting windows. "We never tell Scott how to drive, he knows this horse so well and always takes care of him," trainer Paula Wellwood noted in the winner's circle. "We don't worry about the trip much because he can take a lot of air; he's just a great horse." The five-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Spellbound Hanover won for the sixth time this season and for the 20th time in his career. With the win, Marion Marauder sent his lifetime purse earnings over the $3 million mark for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 23 with an 11-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

MILTON, ON - September 8, 2018 - Rookie trotters had their moment in the spotlight Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the eliminations of the William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way. Each event required two $30,000 eliminations with the top-five finishers in each split advancing to next Saturday's (September 15) rich finals. Green Manalishi S posted a personal best 1:54.4 while making his Canadian debut in the first elimination of the William Wellwood Memorial. Trained by Marcus Melander and perfectly handled by Tim Tetrick, Green Manalishi S found the point with little effort as CT Conabra went off stride into the first turn allowing the Muscle Hill colt to notch an opening quarter in :28.2. Green Manalishi S cruised through splits of :57.4 and 1:26.2 under no pressure from a chasing Hudson River who showed some energy late in the final turn, but a smooth moving Green Manalishi S easily powered away from the field with Kings County chasing in vain and the late trot of Smart As Hill providing little threat. "It looked very good. It was three weeks ago that he raced last time and he looked beautiful out there," said Melander. With three wins from five starts, the Melander charge has proven to be a successful purchase. "He was bought in Sweden as a yearling in August of last year. We shipped him over here in September or October and since we broke him, we've had him," noted Melander. With wins already in the All-Stars at Pocono Downs and the Kindergarten Classic at The Meadowlands, as well as a strong second behind Dont Letem in the Peter Haughton Memorial when hampered with an outside post, Melander was pleased to see his charge find an easier path on this night. "He was very good in the Peter Haughton. He was parked the entire mile. He has a lot of speed and a lot of stamina, so he can do whatever he wants," said Melander. "It was very good that he could be on the lead today. He had a tough trip in the Haughton." Green Manalishi S, bred by Ab Svensk Reklamfinans of Sweden, paid $3.60 to win. Union Forces wrestled the lead away from Swandre The Giant late in the lane to post a shocking 33-1 upset in the second elimination of the William Wellwood Memorial. The previously undefeated Swandre The Giant, sent to post as the prohibitive 1/5 mutuel favourite, was purchased privately and making his first start for trainer Jimmy Takter and new owners Diamond Creek Racing, J and T Silva Stables LLC and Howard Taylor. However, the Domenico Cecere conditioned Union Forces, recently third in the Champlain after a pair of easy scores to start his career south of the border, proved to be a worthy adversary for owners Lindy Farms, Robert Rudolph, David Anderson and John Fielding. A talented field of rookie trotters went topsy turvy early as Trix And Stones went offstride and Gerry followed suit into the opening turn as Scott Zeron sent Union Forces to an uncontested lead through an opening quarter in :27.4. Yannick Gingras sent Swandre The Giant to challenge the leader down the backstretch and swept to the point to mark the half in :57.3 as While Your Up, White Tiger, and Royal Rob chased from a distance. Swandre The Giant continued to lead into the final turn with While Your Up making his move allowing White Tiger to follow his cover as three-quarters ticked by in 1:27.2. A precarious lead for the heavy favourite tumbled as upset-minded Union Forces put a strangle hold on Swandre The Giant to reign victorious in 1:55.3. "To me, it's not a surprise. I know he's 33-1 but I know the horse and it's no surprise," said Cecere. "He's a classy horse. Great horse, great gait, great head and it was perfect. Perfect trip. When I saw him in the two-hole I said, 'they're going to be careful'." Cecere is cautiously optimistic after the second elimination score noting that first elim winner Green Manalishi S looked strong. "He's a great horse and was great tonight. He took off good," said Cecere of Green Manalishi S. Union Forces, bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. of New York, paid $68.90 to win. Doherty Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess got back on track with a 1:55.4 score in the first Peaceful Way elimination. The Jimmy Takter trained daughter of Muscle Hill was making her first start under the lights with trotting hopples following back-to-back breaks. Driven by Yannick Gingras, The Ice Dutchess circled from second to first heading up to the half and never looked back. She posted fractions of :58.4 and 1:27.2 before trotting home in :28.2 for the victory. "Just a matter of keeping her on stride and getting around the track and she was well-behaved tonight," said Gingras. "(Hopples) definitely make her a little safer...it's definitely a plus, but the way she was tonight she could've done it without." Evident Beauty finished second, beat a length and three-quarters, while Presto Change O was third. The top-five was completed by Angies Luckeylady and Hp Titania Runner. The Ice Dutchess improved to three for six with her elimination victory and will have an opportunity next week to make a significant add to her impressive bankroll of $204,790. Coyote Wynd Farms owns The Ice Dutchess, who was a $320,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase. She paid $3.10 to win. Father Patrick filly Sisters Promise powered to a 1:55.4 victory in the second elimination. Driven by Tim Tetrick, Sisters Promise came first-up from fourth on the far turn to battle with Susy, who posted fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.3. In the stretch, Sisters Promise muscled by Susy and trotted home in :29.1 to defeat her rival by a length and a half. Speed Titan finished third, while Tommi Canu Hearme was fourth. The final spot in next week's final was secured by Teddys Littleangel. Sisters Promise turned the tables Saturday, as she finished second to Susy in last week's Champlain Stakes. "Last week we just got away too far back," said Tetrick about the previous meeting. "We were an easy second last week and today (Susy) had to leave and remove and got a half of :57 and from there I thought I had a good shot." Trained by Linda Toscano, Sisters Promise picked up her second in four starts. She is owned by Brittany Farms and has now earned $42,216. A $2 win ticket on Sisters Promise returned $8.30. The draws for the $385,000 Peaceful Way and $400,000 Wellwood Memorial finals took place following Saturday's elimination. The $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $340,000 Elegantimage were also drawn Saturday. The fields for each final are listed below. $385,000 Peaceful Way #1 Presto Change O #2 Susy #3 The Ice Dutchess #4 Sisters Promise #5 Evident Beauty #6 Angies Luckeylady #7 Teddys Littleangel #8 Tommi Canu Hearme #9 Speed Titan #10 HP Titania Runner AE: Fraulein Blucher $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial #1 White Tiger #2 Okeanos #3 Green Manalishi S #4 Union Forces #5 Hudson River #6 Smart As Hill #7 Swandre The Giant #8 Kings County #9 Southwind Avenger #10 While Your Up AE: CT Conabra $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic #1 Missle Hill #2 Mets Hall #3 You Know You Do #4 For A Dreamer #5 Lawmaker #6 Alarm Detector #7 Run Director #8 Fiftydallarbill #9 Winning American #10 Crystal Fashion #11 Zephyr Kronos $340,000 Elegantimage #1 Phaetosive #2 Manchego #3 Alloveragain #4 Blonde Magic #5 Jordan Blue Chip #6 Atlanta #7 Sneeker Hanover From Woodbine Communications

Lexington, KY - Five divisions of the $30,000 third and last leg of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for 2-year-old trotters took place on Thursday evening at The Red Mile on a pleasant but overcast evening with the track rated good to start the card after a brief shower just before the 7:00 post time and deteriorating slightly as the evening wore on. The team from Lindy Farms led by trainer Domenico Cecere and driver Scott Zeron enjoyed another terrific night in the KYSS series with three winners and a pair of thirds in five starts on the card, all with homebreds. The Antonacci family also bred a fourth KYSS winner in Run Lindy Run under the KR Breeding stable name. Two of those wins were in filly divisions with the last stake on the day another stage for the fearless Taylor Swiftly to perform, leaving her competition wondering why she's gotta be so mean with another effortless win, her third consecutive in the KYSS series. Beginning from post 7, Taylor Swiftly was three wide through much of the 28.1 opening quarter to make the lead, relinquished it to eventual second place finisher Whispering Oaks (Yannick Gingras) until headstretch where Zeron found room to fan wide for the drive and she rolled on by for the 1:56.1 win. Nomo Volo (Kruger) closed to get third. Taylor Swiftly is from the first crop of Trixton out of the Valley Victory mare True Diva, was bred by and is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. The greatest threat to Taylor Swiftly's KYSS supremacy also resides in the Cecere barn in the improving Lindy Pearl. That filly became a double leg winner for Zeron when she shrugged off the constant hounding of a very game Strip It Down AS (Elliott Deaton) through fair fractions then trotted away impressively to a 4 1/4 length score through a 28.2 end to the 1:56 mile. Made the even money favorite off her 1:55.1 score in leg #2, Lindy Pearl has demonstrated a great fondness for the Bluegrass. Strip It Down AS, in a particularly gritty effort, held for part of a place dead-heat with Hyperbole (Yannick Gingras). The winner is by Muscle Hill from the mare Possessed By Lindy. Lindy's Crazy Hall kept the "Lindy" name in lights when he went gate to wire in 1:56.1 for Zeron in a colt division. The slight 2-1 favorite left sharply to an immediate lead, put Reign Of Honor in the pocket then rated friendly fractions, kicking home in 28.4 to hold off a serious late bids from both Shake N Bake (Deaton) and Memo (Kruger), second and third respectively by three parts of a length. Lindy's Crazy Hall is a product of more Lindy Farms homecookin', by Cantab Hall out of the mare Lindy's Gone Crazy. The first of the two colt divisions opened the card and Forecast (Corey Callahan) parlayed a lovely second over trip into a career best 1:55.3 win for trainer John Butenschoen. The favorite players fell prey to immediate disappointment when the 1-5 favorite Don't Let'em broke well before the start and was out of the race before it began. Seizing the moment was driver Matt Kruger who put longshot High Into The Sky on the lead and set hasty fractions that left him unmolested through the 56.4 half until Signore Cardin (Zeron) rolled up uncovered by the 1:27.1 third panel with Forecast drafting just off his back. High Into The Sky battled valiantly, deflecting Signore Cardin's bid but could not resist Forecast who closed into the 28.2 final quarter for his second win in the stakes series. The winner, a son of Cantab Hall from Downpour, was purchased by Butenschoen on behalf of his longtime owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick from breeder Diamond Creek Farms at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) for $70,000. Run Lindy Run, having flashed great speed but undone herself with breaks in several prior efforts, rewarded her faithful followers with a front end masterpiece at 7-1 for Corey Callahan (a stakes double for the driver) in 1:56. Trainer Ron Burke has been looking for answers with the talented Cantab Hall x Tough Girl Lindy lass and found the right one tonight as she led unchallenged all the way, holding off Asiago (Gingras) and the late trotting Mother Teresa (Zeron) for her first pari-mutuel score. Run Lindy Run was a Harrisburg bargain at $25,000 for Burke, who owns the filly alone under the Burke Racing Stable, LLC banner. KR Breeding is the breeder. The freshman KYSS pacers take to the track on Saturday night in the last of the preliminary legs for that group. Up to date point standings for the series is available on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website. The top-10 point-earners in each of the eight divisions will return for the $2 million KYSS finals on Sunday (Sept. 16), with a special afternoon post time of 3 p.m. The eight $250,000 finals will be the centerpiece of the new Fayette County Fair, which will take place that day from noon to 6 p.m. The fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market. Also, several musical acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery among the performers. The racing program will be kicked off with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experiences. by Nick Salvi, for The Red Mile

Lexington, KY - The third and final Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) preliminaries for 2-year-old trotters is set for Thursday night, Sept. 6, at The Red Mile, with the last KYSS leg for 2-year-old pacers scheduled for Saturday night, Sept. 8. Post time each night is 7 p.m. The $30,000 races give the freshmen set a final chance to earn enough points to advance to the $2 million KYSS finals program on Sunday, Sept. 16. The top 10 point earners in each division will race for a purse of $250,000 on the card that is the centerpiece of the new Fayette County Fair. Super Schissel, who swept both his preliminaries for colt trotters, will aim for a sweep when he starts from post 8 in the first of two KYSS divisions (Race 1) on Thursday night. Super Schissel is sandwiched on the starting gate between fellow prelim winners Forecast and Don't Let'em, the latter a stablemate of Super Schissel in the barn of trainer Jimmy Takter. Takter will drive Super Schissel while Yannick Gingras will be in the sulky behind Don't Let'em, who early last month captured the $422,350 Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands. On the filly trotting side, Taylor Swiftly has been nothing but trouble for her rivals as she swept her way to wins in the opening two KYSS rounds. She'll start from post 7 in the last of three divisions on Thursday night (Race 5) with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Domenico Cecere. Lindy Pearl, who was a 24-1 upset winner in round two with Zeron aboard for Cecere, will line up in post 4 in the first division (Race 2), joined by post 7 starter French Cafe, the Team Miller filly who won a round-one division. On Saturday night, Captain Trevor, who is aiming for a KYSS sweep, and Can't Beach That, will line up side by side respectively in posts 6 and 7 in the second of three pacing colt divisions (Race 3). Andy McCarthy drives the Tony Alagna-trained Captain Trevor while Peter Wrenn directs the Nifty Norman-conditioned Can't Beach That. Hurrikane Emperor, who has a first and second in the opening two KYSS rounds, starts from post 5 in the first division (Race 1) with Daniel Dube driving for trainer John McDermott Jr. Blood Money and Magic Joe Lindy, who also have a first and second in the KYSS prelims, will square off in the third division (Race 5). McCarthy drives the Takter-trained Blood Money from post 2, with Dube in the sulky behind the Cecere-trained Magic Joe Lindy from post 4. Beautyonthebeach, who is eyeing a sweep of the KYSS for filly pacers, will start from post 7 in the first of two divisions (Race 2) with McCarthy driving for trainer Gregg McNair. Round-two winner Edge Of Eternity will line up in post 4 in that split for driver Cameron McCown and trainer Brian Brown. With only a few exceptions, nearly all of the participants in the first two KYSS legs will be in action on Thursday and Saturday, but there are also a few newcomers. With 50 points rewarded for a victory, the newbies still have a chance to earn a spot in the rich finals. The up-to-date point standings for each division can be viewed by clicking here. The KYSS championship card on Sept. 16 has a first-race post time of 3 p.m. The Fayette County Fair will run from noon until 6 p.m. Admission is free and the fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market. Several music acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, Avery Crabtree and Conch Republic among the performers. The racing program will kick off with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experience. From the Kentucky Sire Stakes     Gordon Waterstone   The Horseman And Fair World  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured the fireworks a day before the Labor Day holiday, as over $1 million was up for grabs in the Championship events of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-olds. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS $252,000 for each Championships  -- 25th anniversary year of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (started in 1994) TROTTING FILLIES Phaetosive made her 1-20 backers wait until the stretch before beginning her high speed, but once in her favorite part of the track the daughter of Explosive Matter lived up to her sire's name, kicking home sharply for the decision in 1:52.3 - faster than the 1:52.4 previous PaSS final male standard of Father Patrick which would be tied earlier in the evening by Crystal Fashion (Check Me Out became the program's fastest-ever Championship trotting winner when she won in 1:51.3). Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer was content to keep his filly midpack as Live Laugh Love made the top just past the 27.1 quarter, then followed Seviyorum as that one moved uncovered just past the 56.1 half. Phaetosive stayed right behind her excellent cover to the lane, swung wide, and finished strongly to hold off a late-shaking-free Courtney Hanover by a length, with Lily Stride, who rallied up the inside in the stretch and may have had a nose in front midstretch, just photoed for the deuce. The pride of the Purple Haze Stables LLC continued adding to her impressive credentials - five wins in seven starts this year, good for $397,864, and 9-for-14 lifetime, with a total accumulation of $657,717. No doubt she'll be back up against Manchego, Atlanta, Plunge Blue Chip et al. soon. PACING FILLIES Kissin In The Sand had to take less air at Pocono than she did when she won the Lynch Championship here in June - she only got parked almost to the half here, instead of being out almost the whole mile, in making the PaSS Championship lead then keeping it to the wire to win her Sires final, equaling her Lynch clocking and her mark in 1:49.3. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere saw a great many foes leaving inside her from his PP7 starting spot, having cover past the 26.1 quarter to the 3/8 then asked to go on by driver Scott Zeron to get the lead shortly before the 54.1 half. Outside challenger Sidewalk Dancer began to melt back past the 1:21.3 quarter, and in the lane it turned out to be 31-1 shot Parisian Blue Chip, who tied for ninth in the points and got in by having slightly more SS money, then was parked to the 3/8 to gain command before yielding for the pocket, who rallied inside in the stretch, extending Kissin In The Sand, who dug down deep as usual and held on by a half-length. Kissin In The Sand is trained by Nancy Johansson for owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables, who saw their prize filly improve her statistics to 7-for-10 and $570,381 this year and 14-for-24 and $801,556 lifetime. For driver Zeron, the win gave him a PaSS championship in both the 2YO and 3YO ranks, as he TROTTING COLTS In Crystal Fashion's last seven victories, six of them have been by a length or less - and none of them was this second-over then wide grind in the Championship, catching pacesetter Whats The Word by a nose in 1:52.4. Whats The Word was sent by the top by Simon Allard and laid down fractions of 27, 56.2, and 1:24.2; Crystal Fashion was able to fashion a second-over trip for driver Tim Tetrick behind stablemate Patent Leather, but still was two lengths out near headstretch. But the gutty Cantab Hall gelding doesn't know the meaning of the phrase "end of the mile," and he gained foot-by-foot to just prove more photogenic on the money. Crystal Fashion, trained by Jim Campbell for Fashion Farms LLC has eight wins and $652,182 this year, and a lifetime bankroll of $813,474. His 1:52.4 clocking equaled Father Patrick's PaSS final standard, and he became the first pointwinner to take a 3YO Championship since 2016, and the first in the 3TC ranks since Magic Tonight in 2012. PACING COLTS The favorites went 0-4 in the two-year-old ranks of the PaSS Championship the day before at The Meadows; Dorsoduro Hanover, who won his biggest race of the year, The Adios, at The Meadows, brought the chalk to 4-4 in the Pocono PaSS 3YO Championships - but it was by the barest of margins over a strong-finishing Hayden Hanover. Hayden Hanover was the first horse to get a call in the contest, but then yielded to Done Well nearing the 26.2 quarter; Done Well in turn ceded the lead to the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Dorsoduro Hanover and driver Matt Kakaley en route to the 54.2 half. This Is The Plan, a 49-1 shot, went first-over and just wouldn't go away, not by the 1:22 and not coming through the stretch. This posed traffic problems for Hayden Hanover, stuck third on the rail, but Andy Miller did a masterful job weaving first out to get clearance then just inside Dorsoduro to lower that one's margin with every late step, coming up short by a nose. Dorsoduro Hanover ran his 2018 bankroll to $687,362 with his seventh win of the year for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and the Winfield Five LLC. Dorsoduro joined Crystal Fashion as pointleaders who won their Championship; Matt Kakaley joined Scott Zeron as winners in the PaSS finales on both Saturday and Sunday, after taking the 2PF with Sylph Hanover (also for Burke) at The Meadows. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

MILTON, ON - August 25, 2018 - Marion Marauder and Ariana G captured Saturday's star-studded Maple Leaf Trot eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A total of 16 older trotters were entered in the eliminations and split into a pair of $40,000 eight-horse fields. The top-five finishers from each elimination punched their ticket to next Saturday's $651,000 final, while eliminations winners also earned the right to select their post. Marion Marauder surpassed $3 million in career earnings with a 1:53.1 victory in the first elimination. Driven by Scott Zeron, Marion Marauder didn't get off to the greatest of starts and got away fifth in the field of six. Pinkman left from the outside to claim the lead and posted a :27.2 opening-quarter before slowing things down for a :57 opening-half. Crazy Wow came first up from fourth on the far turn, allowing Zeron to situate Marion Marauder second-over. Pinkman reached three-quarters in 1:25. In the stretch, Marion Marauder came off cover and powered by his rivals with ease to come home in :27.3 for the victory. Dancer Hall rallied from sixth with a strong final-quarter to finish second, beat just a length. The top-five finishers were rounded out by Emoticon Hanover, Pinkman and Crazy Wow. The first elimination saw a pair of scratches, leaving only one horse (I Know My Chip) to be eliminated. A five-year-old son Muscle Hill, Marion Marauder entered Saturday's contest a little less than $5,000 away from the $3 million mark. The Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood trainee is now five for eight this season and continues to add to his impressive resume. "It's uncharted territory for us. I don't know how many there is but there isn't many," said Keeling about Marion Marauder's earnings milestone. "He's just fun to race and fun to watch...you just kind of watch and go 'how does he get this done' but him and Scott just get along so well. It's been a great ride and I hope we get to keep going." Marion Marauder's victory Saturday was his 19th career score for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. He paid $3.90 to win. The second elimination saw Ariana G and driver David Miller breakthrough for a 1:52.4 score. Defending champion Hannelore Hanover did the work on the front, storming out to post opening-fractions of :27.3 and :56.2. Ariana G angled out from fifth just after the half and made the long journey first-up to get into third and three-lengths from the lead at three-quarters. Hannelore Hanover reached the third station in 1:24.2 and was ready for a stretch battle with Will Take Charge, who enjoyed a two-hole ride. However, the lead pair didn't have the trot to fight off Ariana G. The Takter trainee powered up to defeat Will Take Charge by a neck, while Hannelore Hanover finished nearly three-lengths back in third. Guardian Angel As and Warrawee Roo grabbed the final two spots in next week's final. A four-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill, Ariana G was teaming up with driver David Miller for the first time Saturday, which Miller noted was a breath of fresh air. "For sure. I've raced against her for about three or four years now and she's one tough cookie," said Miller. "I thought this was a way tougher division. I raced her to get her into the final and she surprised me. She was loaded around the last turn and finished it off against two good horses." Ariana G is four for eight this season and has earned $375,515. The World Champion increases her career numbers to 25 wins and more $2.3 million earned for owner-breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. A $2 win ticket on Ariana G returned $23.60. The draw for next week's $651,000 final took place following the elimination. 1. Crazy Wow 2. Dancer Hall 3. Marion Marauder 4. Ariana G 5. Will Take Charge 6. Warrawee Roo 7. Hannelore Hanover 8. Emoticon Hanover 9. Guardian Angel As 10. Pinkman AE: I Know My Chip by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, August 25, 2018 - Captain Crunch, Captain Ahab and Stag Party all turned in statement performances in Saturday's Nassagaweya Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 24 rookie pacing colts and geldings were entered in the Nassagaweya and split into three divisions. Captain Crunch stayed undefeated through three career starts with a prominent score in the first division of Saturday's $92,127 Nassagaweya Stakes, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms, Captain Crunch was steered aggressively to the front by Scott Zeron, overtaking the quick leaving Acton Hanover and Machdavid, to mark the opening quarter in :27.1. Captain Crunch and Acton Hanover separated themselves from the pack down the backstretch and milked the half-mile in :56 flat as Lyons Johnny Jr was sent first up to try and reel in the leaders. However, Captain Crunch was not to be tested and easily put away their bids with plenty in reserve to hold off a belated charge from Goldberg. The undefeated son of Captaintreacherous stopped the clock in 1:52 flat. The lightly-raced colt was earning his first added-money score with the Nassagaweya coup. "They chose to stay away from the Grand Circuit horses for awhile and just aim at the Metro Pace and so far, it's worked out," said Zeron. Zeron feels that Captain Crunch, a serial victor thus far, can only improve going forward. "I find with every good horse you drive, everything's effortless," said Zeron. "It's so easy for him to do and he covers the ground so well. I thought he had the potential to be this kind of calibre and hopefully he gets better." Although Captain Crunch bowled quickly to the lead off the gate, he did so well in hand for Zeron. "He's very well mannered, very good to drive and I think he can do it any way...versatile on the track. We chose to stay out of people's way and go to the front," said Zeron. The veteran driver, who recently took the Hambletonian with filly Atlanta, may have another star on his hands with the Metro Pace eliminations looming on September 15, at Mohawk Park. "Hopefully he's just at the right point to be fresh and win that," said Zeron. Captain Crunch, bred by Walnridge Farm Inc, and Sherri K. Meir of Creamridge NJ, banked $46,063 in victory. He paid $3.10 to win. Captain Ahab converted off a perfect second-over steer from Andrew McCarthy to win the $92,127 second Nassagaweya Stakes division in 1:51.4. Trained by Tony Alagna for Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Vincent Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing, Captain Ahab got away fifth and watched Maintenance Man charge out to post a :26.4 opening-quarter. Maintenance Man raced by the half in :55.4 and led into the far turn. Sporty McSportster committed first up from fourth, supplying cover for Captain Ahab and the outside pair powered up towards the leader at three-quarters in 1:24. Captain Ahab came out of the turn three-wide and immediately paced by his rivals to claim the lead and cruise home for his fifth win in five starts. Lyons Night Hawk followed the winner's path and finished a length and a quarter back in second. The Superfecta was completed by Sports Teen and Tyga Hanover. "It worked out great tonight," said McCarthy following the race. "They sped out of there and I got to race him the way I like to race him. He does love passing horses." Captain Ahab has the look of a special colt and continues to impress his trainer with each start. "The only thing we were concerned about a little bit is he's such a tall colt we wanted to make sure he had enough power," said Alagna. "It's amazing the more I do with him and the more I race him the healthier he gets. He looks great tonight." Captain Ahab was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He paid $2.10 to win. Stag Party put a beating on his rivals in the $92,127 third Nassagaweya Stakes division for driver David Miller and trainer Casie Coleman. A son of Bettors Delight, Stag Party got away fifth and allowed his rivals to shake things out before making an effortless rush to the lead. The Coleman trainee reached three-quarters in 1:24. and proceeded to draw away with ease to win by 10 lengths in 1:52.2. "Leaving the gate it looked like a couple guys going at it pretty hard, so I jumped in a hole," said Miller post-race. "I was hoping to get cover but when he was first up I went ahead and took a run for the lead and he cleared and did everything else very easy. "He's pretty handy, he's great gaited and he's got a lot of go, so good qualities." The Regulator finished second, while Odds On Boca Raton and Macs Power were third and fourth, respectively. Owned by John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable, Stag Party now has four wins in five starts with his only loss being a disqualification from first to second. Stag Party was a $125,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase. A $2 win ticket on Stag Party returned $2.60. All three Nassagaweya winners are eligible to the Champlain Stakes on September 8. Alagna fillies dominate Eternal Camnation MILTON, August 25, 2018 - Trainer Tony Alagna and his Captaintreacherous fillies led the way with two wins in Saturday's Eternal Camnation Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A total of 23 pacing fillies were split into three divisions of the Grand Circuit event. Key West, sent to post as the overwhelming 1-5 mutuel favourite, held on for a narrow score in the first $84,116 Eternal Camnation Stakes division. Trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms LLC and Brad Grant, the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Bodacious Hanover made a bold move down the back straight to take command en route to a precarious score in the first of three divisions for juvenile pacing fillies. Ideation Hanover was sent to the point by Jody Jamieson to carve out the opening quarter in :28 flat with Key West, in rein to Brett Miller, tracking her early pace. Miller made the quick move to the lead on the backstretch to mark the half-mile in :56.3, however Ideation Hanover continued to pressure the new leader. Tim Tetrick pushed Deb into motion to attack the pacesetters through the final turn, but a game and determined Key West found another gear and held off the late pace of Ideation Hanover and a rail skimming Queen Of The Pride to earn the victory in 1:52.4. Key West's backstretch swoop proved decisive, but Miller admits to regretting the bold call. "As soon as I moved her to the front, I knew I'd made a mistake. When I was moving her to the front she was wanting to pull up and a lot of two-year-olds do that," said Miller. "She definitely didn't want to be on the front tonight. She has always been better from off the pace or following a horse. It's starting to show a little more and she didn't like that on the front today. "I will say when they started getting to her," continued Miller, "she did dig right back in." Key West, who was bred by Vieux Carre Farms of Gettysburg, PA, banked $42,058 in victory. She paid $2.50 to win. Quebec Blue Chip notched her fifth career win, and fourth in succession, with a prominent effort under a heady drive by Jody Jamieson in the second $83,115 Eternal Camnation Stakes. Bestseller Hanover and Izzy Hanover were quickest off the gate in the test for juvenile pacing fillies, but Jamieson urged Quebec Blue Chip to the front to notch the opening quarter in :27. Jamieson put the field to sleep through a half in :57.1 allowing the precocious Sportswriter filly an important breather through the middle stages. Quebec Blue Chip maintained her lead through the turn as Odds On St Lucie moved first up for driver Brett Miller with Bestseller Hanover (Sylvain Filion) content to sit in the two-hole. Odds On St Lucie, the even-money favourite, ranged to the wheels of Quebec Blue Chip down the lane, but the pacesetter had plenty in reserve to repel that charge and secure the win. Prescient Beauty rallied wide down the lane to earn the show position. Quebec Blue Chip stopped the clock in 1:53.2. Jamieson credited the important Grand Circuit score to conditioner Dave Menary. "The main development for this filly all along has been Dave Menary and everything he does," said Jamieson. "He's proven year in and year out that he's an amazing developer of young talent. He picks them out, trains them down, he owns a piece of them and I'm just lucky enough to be a part of it." Owned by Menary Racing Inc, Michael A. Guerriero, Kenneth R. Ewen and Bruce H. Norris, Quebec Blue Chop arrived at the Eternal Camnation from a score in the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway. That victory, also in front-running fashion, proved a reliable blueprint for Jamieson in the Eternal Camnation. "I looked at the program and there were some lightly raced fillies in there. Obviously, the one horse (Odds On St Lucie), I wasn't sure what Brett was going to do with her and being lightly raced and first time going for big money it was going to be a race. But, I got real lucky and got to steal that second quarter. This filly, just like she did in Grand River, she did it herself," said Jamieson. Jamieson believes he may have found yet another rookie pacer with She's A Great Lady potential. "I don't know why not," said Jamieson. "She just showed a bunch of real good fillies in there how to go about winning. There's no reason why she can't be competitive in there and competitive enough to win it." Quebec Blue Chip, bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc of Wallkill, NY, banked $41,557 in victory. She paid $10.80 to win. Tall Drink Hanover performed to her 1-9 odds with a convincing score in the third division of $84,116 Eternal Camnation division. Trained by Tony Alagna and expertly piloted by Andrew McCarthy, Tall Drink Hanover made short work of her fellow rookie pacing fillies with a prominent effort. After Crisp Mane set the opening quarter in :27.4, McCarthy let Tall Drink Hanover loose and took control at the half-mile marker in :56.3. Tall Drink Hanover improved her advantage to the final turn with Crisp Mane holding second position and Kylie Seelster treading water in third. The speedy Tall Drink Hanover reached three-quarters in 1:24.4 and would not be denied as she paced through the wire in 1:52.4. Kylie Seelster arrived in time for place with Blossom Onthebeach completing the trifecta. "She was really great tonight. She's very typical of Captaintreacherous', she's push button to drive," said McCarthy. "She does everything right, gets there and relaxes. I asked her to pace a little bit at the top of the stretch and off she went. "I looked over and saw Trevor Henry (Kylie Seelster) was making up a little bit of ground and that's when I asked her to pace a little bit," continued McCarthy. "The way she responded when I did, I knew I was pretty good." Tall Drink Hanover arrived at the Eternal Camnation from a romping effort in the Whenuwishuponastar final on August 14 at Mohawk Park. She's one of several talented juvenile fillies under Alagna's tutelage including Key West who took the first division of the Eternal Camnation and Odds On St Lucie who completed the exacta in the second division, earlier on the card, that will be serious contenders in the Shes A Great Lady eliminations on September 15. "I also have a filly that won yesterday at Chester, Treacherous Reign, another Captaintreacherous filly, she'll head to the PA Sires Final and then after that come up for the Shes a Great Lady as well," said Alagna. "We have four really super nice fillies and we're excited about what 'Captain' has done so far." Alagna was pleased with the effort from Tall Drink Hanover who is improving with every start. "I liked her in Florida and she was a little bit behind the other fillies that were up here tonight. They all came from Lexington and this filly came from Harrisburg, so she had six weeks of a deficit behind them, but she's just gotten better and better," said Alagna. A daughter of Captaintreacherous, Tall Drink Hanover was a $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase and is owned by Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC. She paid $2.30 to win. All three of Saturday's winners are eligible to the Champlain Stakes on September 8. by Mark McKelvie & Keith McCalmont, for Woodbine Communications

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old trotting fillies visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 22) to compete for a combined $119,300 in purses that was distributed between two heats. Not everything went the way participating punters thought but one thing was for certain: Scott Zeron came to play. In the first $59,100 division, post time favorite Repentance (Chapter Seven-Swan Hot Mama) lived up to her billing. With Fury Road taking early control, driver Scott Zeron took Repentance to the pylons and tracked the proceedings from there until the group hit the half in :59 flat. Repentance pulled first up in front of the stands and incrementally advanced towards the leader from there, up the backside and around the last turn when she finally drew even at the head of the stretch. From there, Repentance trotted away from the pack under no urging whatsoever from Zeron to win by two lengths in 1:57.3. "I knew she could come first over so I didn't hesitate to pull where I did. She trotted handily parked and had a lot finishing. She raced well" said Zeron after the race. It was the third win of the year for Repentance ($4.10) pushing her earnings to $77,559 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. Newly elected Hall Of Fame member Linda Toscano trains the winner. The second division carried a purse of $60,200 and some of the bettors may have made as much through the windows as some of the check-getters in the race as White Cheetah (Muscle Mass-Wheely Quick) blew up the tote board at 36-1. Heavy post time favorite Lima Novelty (Scott Zeron) made a break just as the gate opened, leaving Natalie Hanover (Jim Marohn Jr.) loose on the lead and White Cheetah (Jim Morrill Jr.) tucked in second behind for the ride. Then at the eighth pole, the second betting choice Tribute To Seven (Drew Monti) who was third made a break as well, leaving Natalie Hanover and White Cheetah sitting one-two, a gapped five-lengths on the field. Nothing much changed from the quarter to the top of the stretch but then it happened quickly. Morrill pulled White Cheetah and in a couple strides she went right by Natalie Hanover ending up a one-length wrapped-up winner in 1:59.1. "When I saw the break, I went with Plan "A" all the way; I dropped in second and took my best shot. I drove her once before and knew she could trot and when I pulled her I had a lot of horse" Morrill said. White Cheetah ($74.00) got her third win of the year but it was first NYSS victory. The winner's share pushed her bankroll for 2018 to $63,165 for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, Joe Sbrocco and Stable 45. Paul Kelley conditions the winner. White Cheetah's large win mutuel prompted a $498 Exacta, $7,681 Trifecta and $12,210 Super. Scott Zeron had a huge outing at Batavia, grabbing five races on the card. Besides winning with Repentance, he also won all three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior "A" series with A Gift For You (Credit Winner-Soprano Hanover) who is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, Sevenbuyeleven (Chapter Seven-Muscleini) who is also owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano and Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) who is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme. Zeron's fifth win was in Excelsior "B" action with Good Luck Ginny (Lucky Chucky-Classical Ginny) who is owned by Phillip Hale and David Dewhurst , who also trains the winner. Good Luck Ginny finished in a dead-heat with Financial Impact (Muscle Mass-Steuben Miss) who was driven by Drew Monti for owner Marie Houghtaling and trainer Ron Houghtaling. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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