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WILKES-BARRE  PA - Though there were only five starters in the $11,200 claiming handicap distaff harness racing pacing feature on Monday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, there was plenty of speed and contentiousness before the Jereme's Jet mare Rose Run Toni claimed victory late in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Driver Marcus Miller pointed Rose Run Toni frontward at the start, but was forced to accept the early pocket as Dancing Lisa put her in behind before a :26.2 opener. Favored Ambro Courage N was on the move as the field went by the stands, getting the lead and passing the half in a quick :54.2 before Rose Run Toni mounted a second move down the backstretch, going head-to-head with the pacesetter to a 1:23 three-quarters.   These two continued their battle through the stretch, with Dancing Lisa joining them from the inside. Despite the rough journey Rose Run Toni was able to keep going strongly for a 1½ length victory over Ambro Courage N, who photoed out Dancing Lisa for second. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trains the 31% career winner (29 for 90) for owner/son Gilbert Garcia-Owen. The Napolitano brothers, Anthony and George Jr., accounted for half of Monday's fourteen races, with Anthony in front four times and George in three. George and Anthony are 1-2 in the current drivers dashwinning standings at The Downs. Racing at Pocono resumes Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., with a $213,734.08 carryover for the Rainbow Pick 5 bet (have a unique ticket with the winners of the last five races). From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA – Juxta Cowgirl shot up the famed Pocono Pike and won a blanket finish in 1:51.2 to take the $14,000 feature for distaff pacers during the Sunday twilight harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The $334,648-winning daughter of Relentless Yankee, handled by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Mike Watson and Glasser Racing LLC, surrendered the lead to Eclipse Me N and sat perfectly-placed as that one and favored Its Mesmerise N dueled from late backstretch into the lane. The mare then dipped inside and made a strong move late to win by a length over Vorst, who was further inside the Pike. The entire field of six was separated by only 2¼ lengths at the finish (and the last-placed finisher, Rock Star Melinda, had absolutely no room in the stretch, or the total grouping may have been even tighter). Most impressive in the three $12,000 co-featured events Sunday was the Rock N Roll Heaven sophomore colt Rock Me Hard, whose final time of 1:52 was just a tick off his lifetime best. 22-year-old provisional driver Barton Dalious drove his charge with confidence, making two moves with him to secure the lead nearing the :54.4 half, and then still having enough to keep Trevor One at bay by a half length for trainer/father W. Bart Dalious and the Whiz Kids Stable LLC. A very small group of drivers won a very large percentage of the Sunday races at Pocono: Kevin Wallis and Tyler Buter both won three times (Buter for the second straight night), while Matt Kakaley, Marcus Miller, and Anthony Napolitano all doubled. Racing resumes at Pocono tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., with a Rainbow Pick 5 carryover of $209,471.72 (have a unique winning ticket containing the winners of the last five races).   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Bell I No had won five straight races in the $16,000 top claiming handicap pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, all with George Napolitano Jr. driving (all after being claimed out of the previous race), but on Saturday the track's leading harness racing driver selected off the streaking pacer in favor of Daamericansky, with whom he had won in 1:50.2 at Philly last time out and who was sent off as favorite. For 5200+ feet of this week's featured claimer, it looked like GNap and the crowd had made a winning selection as Daamericansky led from the go, but suddenly the Bettor's Delight gelding Lachie Maguire N and driver Jim Marohn Jr. came flying late and caught the chalk in the last step in 1:51. Bell I No, who had to go first-over, settled for third here, and he will again be changing barns for the $30,000 claiming price. Lachie Maguire N, a ten-year-old who took his mark of 1:50.2 here earlier this year, now has a lifetime bankroll of $462,357. Justin Sodano trains the consistent veteran for owner Anthony Ventriglio. A foursome of $11,200 conditioned features, two on the trot and two on the pace, served as co-featured events; drivers Tyler Buter and Jordan Stratton both captured one of each. One of the trots went to the 2019 Pocono Trotter of the Year, the Explosive Matter gelding Rich And Miserable, who was an easy winner in 1:53.2 for Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and the partnership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. In the other trotting section, the Great Success gelding Need Luck N came uncovered from sixth, going his own last half in :56.4, to win in a lifetime best 1:55 for Stratton, trainer Jason Johnson, and owner David Neilson (who, interestingly, was the owner claiming Bell I No today). In the first of the two co-headline paces, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Kerford Road A took full advantage of the rail, not letting anyone go, including early-moving favorite Dealt A Winner. And after all that, he still had enough to withstand closing Peace Out Posse while recording a lifetime best of 1:50.1 for Tyler Buter, trainer Rob Harmon, and the ownership of Harmon Racing Stable LLC, Winners Circle Racing LLC, and John Campagnuolo. Jordan Stratton repeated his uncovered tactics in the co-featured trot to secure the victory in the other top pace, just rallying the A Rocknroll Dance gelding Itsrocknroll A past stubborn pacesetter Lying In Cash in a 1:51.4 lifetime mile best for trainer Dylan Davis, the latter co-owner with Michael Casalino Jr. Buter, Stratton, and Anthony Napolitano each guided three horses back past the winners circle on the Saturday afternoon program. Racing resumes at Pocono tomorrow at 5 p.m., with a $204,904.38 carryover in the Rainbow Pick 5 pool (have a unique ticket with winners of the last five races). From the PHHA / The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Cash Hall sophomore gelding Coventry Hall looks like he is finally growing into his pedigree, recording his second harness racing win in his last three starts with an effortless 1:54.4 triumph in a $10,400 trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon. Coventry Hall is out of the mare Canland Hall, which makes him a three-quarter brother to Hall of Famer Cantab Hall and a full brother to the half-million dollar winner Chin Chin Hall. The $210,000 yearling raced in stakes exclusively in his first ten starts at two and three, with a second in a Tompkins Stake and thirds in Reynolds, Currier & Ives, and Geers competition. Away from stakes company on August 14, Coventry Hall broke his maiden in 1:53.3 at Harrah's Philly, then followed that race up with a fourth in the Zweig, with only the likes of Ready For Moni, Back Of The Neck, and stablemate King Alphonso ahead of him. At Pocono on Tuesday he went right to the lead and never looked back, 3½ lengths ahead of his nearest competition at the wire for trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt and Enghavegaard Aalborg APS, and with that pedigree perhaps now he has enough confidence to be a factor in the late-season classics.   The track's winningest driver, George Napolitano Jr., and Marcus Miller each had three victories during the card - including one each in the same race: the camera could not separate Broadway Promise (Miller) and Striking Encore (Napolitano) at the end of an $8800 claiming trot that went in 1:55.3. There will be a carryover of $200,733.90 in the Rainbow Pick 5 (have a unique ticket with the winners of the last five races) when racing resumes on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. From the PHHA / The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Break The Bank K gelding Magic Vacation, who had not gotten home first since July 2018 before winning a week ago, posted a repeat victory in taking the $12,800 claiming trot feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon. Anthony Napolitano (an 11-time winner during this week's four cards here) again sent Magic Vacation frontward early despite a jump in class, and the pair were parked well past a :27.1 opener getting by favored Crossfit to the lead. The half-mile pole was reached in :55.4, and the pacesetter got no respite as Pilgrims Tide came up uncovered going to the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Crossfit swung wide out of the pocket to loom boldly as these three, the only real contenders, turned for home. Crossfit disappointed his backers by going offstride in early stretch and Pilgrims Tide actually gained a short advantage, but Magic Vacation dug in and defeated his rival by the smallest possible margin in 1:54. Especially for a horse who went 778 days between visits to the winners circle before last week, Magic Vacation looks to be in prime form now for trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover.   A couple of winners in the "nw 2 races" trotting class earn a note. Gotta Believe, a freshman daughter of Donato Hanover out of Mets Life (a half-sister to $1.3M-winning Met's Hall), showed only a 2:04 time in a qualifier before making her debut here, but she came from last in the 8-horse field to break her maiden in 1:57.1 and pay $80.40. Andy Miller drove the undefeated filly for Andy Miller Stable Inc., Thomson Sisters Racing Stable, and Let It Ride Stables Inc.; for trainer Julie Miller, this second $50+ winner at the meet tied her on top of the Pocono standings in that category. The Yankee Glide sophomore gelding Zapaca improved his lifetime record to 5-for-6 - all without leaving the "nw2" category! - with a 1:55.1 win for driver Tyler Buter (who had five victories Tuesday), trainer Dale Gilmour, and UptownpetsCom Stable Inc. The last four wins have come at Pocono, which also has a "nw $20,000 lifetime" section in its eligibility for this level, and now Zapaca, having exceeded that total, will be facing tougher opposition, which he may well be able to handle. FINISHING LINES - Pocono will now be dark this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; the next card of racing at the mountain oval will be Tuesday, September 15, with a Rainbow Pick 5 carryover of $195,039. That card will be drawn for on Wednesday, September 9. From the PHHA/The Downs

This week's edition of the Week in Review focuses on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships which took place at Pocono Downs this past Saturday. Four championship races for two-year-olds were held, each carrying a purse of $253,000. Let's take a look at all the actiom. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS Captain Corey, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, came into the race as the one everybody had to beat. He had won the first three races of his career, all in Sire Stakes action in convincing fashion. The colt was part of an entry (along with Fly Light) that went off as the 1-9 favorite in the race. In previous races, Captain Corey had controlled the action on the front end. But in this one, he was forced to grind first-over as his stablemate Johan Palema set the pace. But Svanstedt was able to coax Captain Corey past in the stretch, as the colt came home a length-and-a-half in front in a career-best 1:53:4, which was also a Pennsylvania Championships record for the group. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS In a group that seemed a bit wide-open coming into the final, Southwind Gendry was bet down to a 4-5 favorite as he left from the #2 post. Trained by Ron Burke and driven by David Miller, the colt came into the race with wins in three of five starts. He stayed back early as Always A Miki set the pace. Miller found cover for Southwind Gendry on the back stretch behind the first-over move of Chase H Hanover. In the stretch, the favorite was able to move to the outside of that over and power past Chase H Hanover for the victory. The winning time for Southwind Gendry was 1:51:3. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Ake Svanstedt was at it again with this group, sending out the 9-5 favorite Flawless Country from post position #4 in a field of nine. This filly followed up seconds in his first two career races with three consecutive victories. In the championship, she settled third in early, with Svanstedt patiently waiting as he watched the outer flow materialize. Luckily, the outer flow started to drop back. When the pocket horse moved to the outside, Flawless Country had the room that she needed. Full of trot, she zipped past the tiring leaders and held off fellow closer You Ato Dream to get the victory by a head in 1:54:3. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES After three straight favorites had won the first three championships, Grace Hill looked to make it four-for-four in this race after wins in three of four starts. She went off at 6-5. Meanwhile, Blue Diamond Eyes, again courtesy of David Miller in the bike and Ron Burke as trainer, was let go as the 4-1 third choce. Returning to Pennsylvania after a solid stint in Kentucky at the Red Mile, Blue Diamond Eyes settled quietly in the third-in spot. Grace Hill was able to briefly take the lead with her first-over jaunt, but Miller found room deep at the pylons in the stretch for his filly to close. Blue Diamond Eyes rallied for the tight victory as the favorite, getting it done in a career-best 1:51, which matched the Championship record for that grouping. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs          

HARRISBURG, PA -- Harrah's Philadelphia and The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the two eastern Pennsylvania harness racing tracks whose backstretches are represented by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, both presented live cards on Labor Day Monday afternoon At Philly, the winner of the first race, the Real Desire gelding Quick Fun N, set the tone for the day in a $12,000 claiming handicap pace, as he let neither being the longest shot on the board nor being last at the half deter him from a big rally that put him home first in 1:53.3 while paying $28.60. Corey Callahan drove the winner of $202,161 to victory in only his second start of 2020 for owner/trainer Pete Vumbaca.   At midcard there were more horses greater than 8-1 visiting Victory Lane than horses less than 8-1, headed by Pepper Guy, who shot the far inside to win while paying $51.80 for driver Victor Kirby. The prices stabilized a bit in the second half of the day, but the card's average winner still totaled out to $18.37. Leading drivers at Philly for the day were three-time winners Simon Allard, George Brennan, and Daniel Dube. At Pocono the chalk was a much more visible presence, with eight of the card's fourteen races won by the favorites. The major exception to the rule was Show Me The Magic, who has now won three of his last seven starts for trainer Jim Ray, while paying $52.40, $159.00, and here $24.00, with Kevin Wallis guiding him home in his last two victories. Anthony Napolitano drove four winners at Pocono for the second straight card; Tyler Buter also checked home first four times on Monday. Perhaps the most impressive winner on the Pocono card was the Muscle Massive sophomore gelding Focus Pocus, who trotted his own third quarter in :27.3 to get to the lead, then held off a late bid by Celebrity Rolex by 1¼ lengths while breaking his maiden in 1:55.2. Focus Pocus, who had been getting some good checks against quality horses at the "A" level of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, is co-owned by driver Tony and trainer/wife Linda Schadel.   Pocono will be back in action Tuesday afternoon, with a $188,882.98 carryover for its Rainbow Pick 5 - have a unique ticket with five winners and you take the big prize. Harrah's Philadelphia resumes its normal schedule on Wednesday afternoon From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association

WILKES-BARRE PA – The American Ideal mare Its Mesmerise N has really taken to harness racing in the U.S. in her short stay here – she ran her American record to 7-4-3-0-$32,900 and took a new mark of 1:50.2 in the $14,000 distaff pacing feature during the twilight Sunday card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Queen Of The Pride left fastest of all from the outside post in the field of six, with Topville Angelina going up to challenge the pacesetter after the :26.2 quarter to reach the lead at the 3/8, hitting the half in :55. Annie Hill launched a big attack on the pacesetter down the backstretch, with Its Mesmerise N right on her back through the 1:22.2 three-quarters. The winner tipped wide at headstretch, went up to Annie Hill, who had taken the lead, went by her, then held off a charging Attention Hanover by three-quarters of a length, with Queen Of The Hill coming up the rail to photo Annie Hill for third. The winner now has lifetime earnings of $83,686, and more seems likely to come in her present form for trainer Darran Cassar and Windemere Stable LLC. Anthony Napolitano had four wins on the card to lead the Sunday drivers colony; he is currently second to brother George in the seasonal Pocono standings. FINISHING LINES – Between the two-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships here on Saturday and the contests for three-year-olds Sunday, only three drivers were victorious – Dexter Dunn and David Miller each guided three winners, and Åke Svanstedt had two. Svanstedt tasted PaSS championship victory for the first time; Dunn had posted a win last year; and Miller now is third in the alltime standings with 17 wins, one behind Yannick Gingras, with Dave Palone a speck off in the distance with his 39 Pennsylvania crowns. … None of the eight divisional preliminary pointleaders was able to win their Championship.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The best of the Pennsylvania-sired babies came in for their closeup on Saturday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in four $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships, with a $50,000 consolation event also for the two-year-olds in each harness racing division of sex and gait. And after studying the sterling forms of the entrants, it turned out that all you needed to know about the Championships was this: bet Ãke Svanstedt in the trots, and bet the team of driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke in the paces. Here is a summary of how all of the action went: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS Svanstedt pupils were 1-2-3 early in this Championship, with Johan Palema (driver Dexter Dunn; not coupled with the other two because Ãke owns no part of him) on the lead, Fly Light (Andy Miller) second, and Captain Corey third under Svanstedt's control. They sat that way through fractions of :27.1 and :57, then Svanstedt pulled Captain Corey (a Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All colt) out raw at the 5/8 to challenge, with second choice (and leading prelim pointwinner) In Range advancing to second-over. Past the 1:25 three-quarters Fly Light made a break in the two-hole, bothering several other horses; by this time Captain Corey had moved to within a head of his frontstepping stablemate, with In Range right behind. Through the stretch Captain Corey maintained his long and powerful strides, reaching the wire two lengths ahead of In Range in 1:53.3, with Johan Palema another length back in third. An inquiry was posted to look into the incident on the far turn, but Captain Corey was not affected.   The time eclipsed by a fifth of a second the record set by Real Cool Sam last year, and lowered his own season's record. Captain Corey is now undefeated in four lifetime starts, three PaSS elims and this Championship, and he boosted his earnings to $264,563. Svanstedt (as Ãke Svanstedt Inc.) co-owns the winner with S R F Stable, Knutsson Trotting Inc., and Midnight Sun Partners Inc. It would be surprising if more is not heard from this colt. Consolation: The Cantab Hall - Jolie De Vie gelding Jack Fire had bad luck in the first half, three-wide much of the first quarter, then going first-over, but then he had good luck when he was trying to clear favored pacesetter Bacardi and that one broke, letting him go to an easy lead and winning in a lifetime best 1:56.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Nifty Norman, and the ownership of Pinske Stables and Curly Tall Curly Small. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Like her stablemate Captain Corey, the Southwind Frank - Aleah Hanover filly Flawless Country found herself third early in the backstretch - but she took a very different route home, though producing the same result. Flawless Country actually had the lead at the ¼ in :27.3, but the second quarter saw first Gimme Shelter and then Anoka Hanover make their way to the top, the latter in front at the :56.1 half. Svanstedt kept Flawless Country inside as You Ato Dream, the leading prelim pointwinner with four PaSS seconds, attacked towards the 1:25.1 three-quarters, with pocketsitter Gimme Shelter following the first-over outside as she gained a small advantage nearing headstretch. This move gave Svanstedt room to maneuver Flawless Country to the Pocono Pike, and the baby filly responded to the challenge like a seasoned pro, quickly kicking in gear to beat out the unfortunate You Ato Dream (if a maiden with earnings of $157,556 can be considered "unfortunate") by a neck, with Anoka Hanover another 2½ lengths back in third.   Flawless Country started her career finishing second in photo decisions, and since has won four in a row, swelling her earnings to $263,496 for Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc., Wolfgang A Table inc., and Borje Nasstrom. Consolation: The Cantab Hall - Evermore filly May Karp was moved to the lead in front of the stands by driver Dexter Dunn and left her field far in arrears while taking a new mark of 1:55.4. Third in her only Sire Stakes start and coming off two Stallion Series victories, May Karp is at the peak form of her young career for trainer Lucas Wallin and Shermay Stables. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS Both of the Svanstedt winners were crowd favorites, as was the colt winner in the Miller/Burke sweep, the Always B Miki - Gambler's Passion gelding Southwind Gendry, who won in off-the-pace fashion in 1:51.3. Bayfield Beach led the field to the quarter in a sharp :26, with Always A Miki, the top pointwinner and second betting choice, going to the lead in front of the stands and slowing the half to :55.3. Chase H Hanover, who tucked fourth early from the outside post nine, came up to pressure the leader, passing the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and carrying the fight around the turn - until Always A Miki made a break nearing headstretch, briefly bothering Bayfield Beach. Chase H Hanover continued on after his rival's misfortune, but Southwind Gendry, who had been on his back most of the way, went wide and was the fresh horse late. Chase H Hanover was 1½ lengths behind the winner and a length ahead of a recovering Bayfield Beach.   So far Southwind Gendry's scorecard shows four wins, two breaks, and $217,144 in earnings for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Knox Services Inc., and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, with a lot of the stakes trail still to go. Consolation: Favored Whichwaytothebeach, setting the pace, looked like he might be under siege by a sweeping Sweet Angel Boy at headstretch, but that one ran in in early stretch and lost momentum straightening away, leaving the Somebeachsomewhere - Swinging Beauty colt able to retain his lead to the wire, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Marcus Miller drove the winner for trainer Roland Mallar and owners Alan Johnston and John Craig. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES The Captaintreacherous - Aria Hanover filly Blue Diamond Eyes was the only non-favorite to win a two-year-old Championship, but at 4-1 she was hardly overlooked, and she opened some eyes with a victory in 1:51, equaling the stakes record of Pure Country and also the national season's record. As was the case in the other filly Championship, there was plenty of early activity, with Blue Diamond Eyes on top at the :27.3 quarter, but then having pointleader Marsala Hanover and then favored Grace Hill go by her before a :55.1 half. Continualou, one of four Burke entrants in the race went first-over and was within a length of the leader at the 1:23.1 three-quarters; after she backed off, Marsala Hanover moved outside, giving the room for Blue Diamond Eyes to go to the Pocono Pike. Blue Diamond Eyes took full advantage of the inner route, going past Grace Hill by ¾ of a length, with Thebeachiscalling gaining inside the winner in the Pike to take third ahead of Marsala Hanover.   Blue Diamond Eyes now has three wins and a second in six starts, a new record, and earnings of $191,542 for Thomas and Scott Dillon. Consolation: Trainer Nifty Norman, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Pinske Stables collected a second consolation victory when the Somebeachsomewhere - Fit To Frame filly Fire Start Hanover forced favorite Mackie Hanover to work hard to clear for the lead at the half, then came back in the lane to pass that rival and win while taking a new speed badge of 1:52.3. The Pinske Stables' partners in this filly are David Hoese and Lawrence Means. The three-year-old Pennsylvania-sired stars will be at Harrah's Philadelphia Sunday afternoon for their Championships and consolations. On Monday The Meadows will host the Stallion Series Championships, as Labor Day Monday afternoon will find no fewer than four Pennsylvania tracks in operation during the afternoon: pari-mutuel tracks Pocono, Philly, and The Meadows, and also the Bloomsburg Fair. From the PHHA/The Downs  

As trainer Marcus Melander prepared In Range for his rookie season, he was uncertain what he had in the 2-year-old trotter. The colt was a good-looking $185,000 yearling buy from a successful harness racing family but did not stand out among Melander's other horses. But when it came time to race, In Range went from indifferent to inspired. He has four wins and a second in five starts as he heads to Saturday's (Sept. 5) $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In Range and driver Tim Tetrick are 3-1 on the morning line, the second choice behind the Ake Svanstedt-trained entry of Captain Corey and Fly Light at 2-1. Captain Corey, undefeated in three races this season, and In Range will be meeting for the first time. "It's not going to be easy to beat Captain Corey, but I don't feel defeated before the race," Melander said. "I'm very confident in my horse and hope he can step up a little more. But it's a good field, it's not just Captain Corey in there. Captain Corey is going to be the favorite but they're 2-year-olds, you never know. It will be an interesting race." Pocono hosts the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships and consolations for 2-year-olds, with a first-race post time of 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Harrah's Philadelphia hosts the finals and consolations for 3-year-olds on Sunday, with first post at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). In Range is a son of Bar Hopping out of Ilia. He was purchased at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes Grand Circuit stakes winner Long Tom, who was trained by Melander, and state-bred stakes winner Tight Lines. "It's a good family and he's a good-looking horse," said Melander, who trains In Range for owners AMG Stable Inc., Kenneth Kjellgren, Tomas Hans Asell, and Rick Wahlstedt. "We really liked him." In Range started his career with a win in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars before back-to-back scores in preliminary legs of the sire stakes. He finished second to Fly Light in a sire stakes division at The Meadows, where he was third in a 1:00.1 half and unable to overtake the winner despite a :27.1 final quarter, but bounced back to defeat Fly Light in a sire stakes split at Pocono. "Honestly, he didn't feel like a horse that would win four out of five," Melander said. "He never had a bad training day, he did exactly what he was supposed to do, but he's a really laidback and lazy horse. I didn't really know what to expect. He never did anything wrong at home, there were just a couple other ones that shined more than he did. "He didn't really step up until we brought him to The Meadowlands to qualify. Since then, he's been completely different on the racetrack. He's still lazy at home but on the racetrack he's all business." In Range, whose laidback demeanor is the only trait he shares with three-quarter brother Long Tom, won his most recent outing in gate-to-wire fashion after racing from primarily off the pace in his earlier starts. All four of his victories have come by a minimum of one length. "He's so handy," Melander said. "He doesn't waste energy on other stuff. He knows what he's doing and he's perfect in hand for Tim. He's very easy to work with and be around. "Tim has been doing a good job with him, letting him come from off the pace and teaching him. The last time, it was time for him to try to leave, and he was really good out there. He's definitely been learning. Tim has been prepping him good. "He's a really nice horse. I can't say one bad thing about him." The favorites in the remaining Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 2-year-olds are male pacer Southwind Gendry, female trotter Flawless Country, and female pacer Grace Hill. For Saturday's complete Pocono entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The best of the Keystone State-sired two-year-olds, beginning to establish themselves as among the North American leaders in their crops of 2020, will at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday afternoon to contest their respective $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships and $50,000 consolation races, divided by sex and gait. The fields of nine horses earned their way into their races by accumulating points in four preliminary rounds of the Sire Stakes at the state's three ovals - Pocono, Harrah's Philadelphia, and The Meadows. Here's a summary of the major contenders in each division: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (race nine; consolation race three) A coupled entry co-owned by trainer Ãke Svanstedt, Captain Corey and Fly Light, have been made the early favorite. (Svanstedt has no ownership in a third of his trainees in the race, Johan Palema, so that horse is not part of the coupled entry). Captain Corey, a Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All colt, appears to be the stronger half of this duo, as he is undefeated in three lifetime starts, and the youngster has impressed many with his powerful yet effortless way of racing. He'll start from post three. His main rival appears to be In Range, the leading pointwinner, who won three Sire Stakes preliminaries and was second, beaten only a length by Fly Light, in the other (interestingly, no Sire Stakes horse, two or three, was able to post a win in all four prelims). Trainer Marcus Melander, whose stable has been so dominant over the last couple of years, has asked Tim Tetrick to drive the Bar Hopping - Ilia colt, who will begin just outside of Captain Corey Saturday. Those two were the only three-time Sire Stakes prelims winners in this section; indeed, no one else in this division took more than one. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (race ten; consolation race eight) In a very competitive division, the top winners in the prelims took two events, and they are the morning line favorites. Southwind Gentry (an Always B Miki - Gambler's Passion gelding) is the early choice for trainer Ron Burke, with David Miller driving the freshman from post two. Southwind Gentry won his two preliminaries at The Meadows, but in his only other Sires start, at Pocono, he made a break in stride, and will be looking to atone for that miscue. Second choice, quite possibly because of the difficult post eight, is the Always B Miki - Beach Gal colt Always A Miki, trained by Nancy Takter and to be driven by Dexter Dunn. Always A Miki was the leading pointearner in the SS prelims with two wins, a second, and a third, and he has won over the Pocono oval in both the Sire Stakes and in an All-Stars division. Another Ron Burke trainee, the Sweet Lou - Lucy's Pearl colt Lou's Pearlman, was tabbed as a close third choice, based on his two Sires winners and also victories in the All-Stars and in an Arden Downs division. Matt Kakaley is slated to guide Lou's Pearlman as they start from post four. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (race eleven; consolation race six) Ãke Svanstedt may be looking for a sweep of the baby trotting Championships when the trainer-driver sends out the Southwind Frank - Aleah Hanover miss Flawless Country from post four. Flawless Country started her career with a pair of seconds in photo decisions, then has won her last three, including a Sire Stake prelim here at Pocono in her last start. Insta Glam (Father Patrick - Hollywood Hill) is the second choice on the morning line from post six, sporting two PaSS wins and the hot team of trainer Nancy Takter and driver Tim Tetrick. Interestingly, the #1 pointearner in this division, the Donato Hanover - Dream Child filly You Ato Dream, earned that distinction without a prelim win, but after four seconds in the four preliminaries she may pick a propitious time to break her maiden as she starts from post two for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (race twelve; consolation race five) Grace Hill, a daughter of Always B Miki - Western Silk, was ranked as the early favorite in this event off the strength of winning all three of the PA Sire Stakes events she contested, including a start at Pocono. One liability may be the fact that the Pocono race, on August 10, was the filly's last start, but trainer Nifty Norman will work hard to have the filly in Championship form as she starts from post four for driver Dexter Dunn. Divisional pointleader Marsala Hanover won at Pocono and also was victorious in the last PaSS prelim at The Meadows, giving her a consistent 4-2-1-1 record against this group, and has won her last three races overall. The daughter of Captaintreacherous - Marinade Hanover will begin from post two for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron. Post time for the Saturday Pocono card is set for 12:30 p.m. The Pennsylvania Championship weekend continues the next afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia with the four finales for Sire Stakes three-year-olds, and concludes on Monday afternoon at The Meadows, with eight Stallion Series Championships. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Donato Hanover gelding Crossfit made it two straight and four of his last seven when he won the $12,800 harness racing trotting feature Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono while equaling his mark of 1:54.2. Andy Miller sent the favored winner first-over and had a battle-royal with pacesetting Striking Encore from the backstretch onward, with Crossfit finally separating himself from his hard-trying rival by 3½ lengths at the finish. Trainer Susan Marshall co-owns the winner of $129,160 with John Marshall.   The Sweet Lou sophomore gelding Tito Rocks won a "nw2" pace in a clocking faster than usual for the class - 1:50, by far a lifetime best, and a good tightening mile that he'll need on Sunday, when he has post five at Philly in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for his division. Here George Napolitano Jr. put the talented three-year-old on the lead and let him ramble in :26.4, :55.1, and 1:22.1 in the big victory for trainer Robert Cleary and Royal Wire Products Inc. Also impressive was the Muscle Hill - Possessed By Lindy freshman trotting colt Lindysmusclemania, who ran his lifetime tab to 2-for-2 despite the outside post eight and covering the mile in 1:55, a personal best. The strong colt, trained and driven by Ã…ke Svanstedt for Stall Droad AB, may be one to keep an eye on for further development. The ream of the Pennsylvania-sired two-year-olds will be on full display at The Downs this Saturday afternoon for their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Card. Among the Championships, the consolations, and the overnight races, $1,286,000 in total purses will be offered at Pocono Saturday. A more detailed preview of the Championship card is upcoming.  From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

PACER OF THE WEEK: TELL THEM LOU Moving up from overnight to stakes competition can be a bridge too far for a lot of horses. Tell Them Lou, a three-year-old gelding trained by Jim Campbell, was doing just that on Sunday night when he faced the Pennsylvania All-Stars for a purse of $35,000. Even though he had won his previous race, a non-winners of four, at Pocono in 1:51:1, bettors didn't give him much of a chance on Sunday, letting him go at 21-1. Driver Scott Zeron found Tell Them Lou a spot on the inside early, refusing to get caught up in the outer flow and taking his chances that things would open up late. They did just that, and the gelding seized his opportunity, powering past heavily-favored Cattlewash to spring the upset. Tell Them Lou paced the mile in a career-best 1:50:2. Honorable Mention Anne Bonney N (Scott Zeron, Paul Fusco), a mare who picked up her second consecutive condition win on Sunday night, doing so in a career-best 1:51. Razor's Edge (John Kakaley, Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who followed up a condition win in his last start at Pocono with a $25,000 claiming victory on Saturday in 1:52:2. Freedom Warrior (Joe Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno), a three-year-old gelding who defeated a condition group on Saturday and did so in a career-best 1:49:3, which was also the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SCIROCCO ROB There is always a worry when a horse goes a career-best effort in one start that it will have a hard time following up that performance in the next. Scirocco Rob was brilliant in his victory at Pocono on August 22, winning in 1:51:3, not only a career mark but also our fastest trotting time of the season at Pocono. The five-year-old gelding trained by Mark Silva was back at it on Saturday afternoon, moving up in class to boot to face a $14,000 condition group. Leaving from an inside post in a field of nine as a 1-5 favorite, Scirocco Rob found the pocket early behind pacesetter Max. Driver George Napolitano Jr. decided he wanted to control matters and moved the favorite to the lead on the front stretch. Scirocco Rob was rock-solid from there, fighting off Max in the stretch by a length-and-a-half for his second straight victory and posting a time of 1:52:3 in the process. Honorable Mention Consus Victory (Corey Callahan, Randy Bendis), who moved up in class on Sunday night and won his second straight condition race with a time of 1:55:3. Valley Of Sin (Tyler Buter, Jill Roland), who followed up a win at Harrah's with a condition win at Pocono on Monday, despite a #9 post, in 1:55:4. Nice Stuff (Simon Allard, Laura Angle), a mare who was able to move up in class and rally for her second straight condition win on Tuesday, this one in 1:55.4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHOW ME THE MAGIC This pacer driven by Kevin Wallis came from way back on the final turn to spring the upset in a claimer on Monday at 75-1, paying off $159 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ZERON Zeron was feeling it on Sunday night, as his four-win evening included three in a row on the program at one point and then was capped off with a Pennsylvania All-Stars victory aboard Tell Them Lou. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: TEE WINE The entire Wine training family have been ripping off wins with regularity of late at Pocono, with Tee taking center stage on Saturday with a pair of victories. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for Mohegan Sun        

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Show Me The Magic blew up the tote board - again - at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday afternoon, coming from the back of the harness racing field to sweep by everybody late and return $159.00 for a $2 win ticket. As often happens in this type of situation, a hot early pace was involved, with a host of horses being involved in a :26.4 opening quarter - in a race for $12,500 claiming trotters. Show Me The Magic and driver Kevin Wallis advanced up the inside down the backstretch, then slipped out on the final turn as horses involved earlier began to gap and fall back. Kinetic King, out every call and the stretch leader, held well, but Show Me The Magic went right on by late to win by 1¼ lengths in 1:57.1.   This is the second time that Show Me The Magic has paid $50+ at the meet - ironically, he went wire-to-wire when tallying for the meet's leading $50+ driver, Anthony Napolitano, on July 20, when he paid $52.40. The free-legged pacer Bay Meadows has also lit up the board twice here in 2020, returning $51.40 on July 4 and $62.80 on July 25. Bay Meadows' trainer Tom Wine II and Show Me The Magic's conditioner Jim Ray join Steven Brabrook as the three trainers who have sent out two bombers during the 2020 Pocono meet. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA – Upsets were the rule (until the last few races) during a Sunday harness racing twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the trend featuring in two $35,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest for three-year-old pacing colts, taken by Enough Sun ($29.00) and Tell Them Lou ($45.20). Both winners found success in sitting third-inside for most of the mile. The Somebeachsomewhere colt Enough Sun was content to stay behind favored Manticore and Tru Lou most of the way, then backed out late turn to swing wide and passed four horses in the lane to be along by a half length over Manticore in a lifetime best 1:50. David Miller drove the winner, unraced at two and now winner of half his eight starts, for trainer Brian Brown and owner Alan Keith. Driver Scott Zeron won three races earlier on the card as pacesetter, pocketsitter, and first-over, and then he added a third-in / Pocono Pike victory to his resume with the Sweet Lou gelding Tell Them Lou, a 1:50.2 winner. Favored Cattlewash got to the half in :56 and looked like he could be tough to overhaul, but Zeron and Tell Them Lou got clearance along the inside and overpowered the chalk, coming their own last half in :54 for a one length victory. Jim Campbell trains the winner for Fashion Farms LLC and Judith Peres. In the $14,000 conditioned distaff pacing feature, the veteran Lispatty sat behind favored Alexa’s Power most of the mile, then overpowered the pacesetter by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2. Marcus Miller drove the McArdle mare, who has now won $959,799 and 37 races, for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner/son Gilbert Garcia-Owen.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA - JK First Lady defeated Rocknificent in a much-anticipated showdown between the two in one of two $35,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars harness racing event for three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Rocknificent had the post advantage, starting from the rail vs. "JK"'s post six, but with no one else going out particularly hard to challenge the pole horse, Andrew McCarthy behind JK First Lady sent his filly frontward, making the lead just past the :27 quarter, then getting moderate (for this caliber) middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2. The race came down to a sprint in the last eighth, with JK First Lady generating a :27 last quarter and a final eighth probably not much over :13 in holding safe the inside-charging Rocknificent (who came to this race off three straight photo victories) by a neck. Despite JK First Lady's setting a 1:49.2 divisional track record at Philly in her last start, she was allowed to go off at 7-5 vs. Rocknificent's 2-5 (she won in 1:50.2 -- :53.2 - 26.1). But being able to dictate the tempo helped bring the Western Ideal - JK She'salady filly to her seventh career victory and earnings of $477,506. The pair are likely to meet next Sunday in their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship at Philly, where they are likely to be joined by Party Girl Hill and Lyons Sentinel - a spectacular matchup. The second $35,000 All-Stars section had fillies who among them had won ten PA Stallion Series events - and a driver who both was eligible for "nw2 in North America" and who had a brother who had won an All-Stars cut earlier. Todd McCarthy, 26 and one of Australia's top drivers, duplicated brother Andrew's feat by guiding the Captaintreacherous filly Marloe Hanover to a front-end 1:51.1 All-Stars triumph. McCarthy and Marloe Hanover seized the lead from Dance Club in a :27.2 quarter, went on to the half in :55.1, then made the field strain to keep up with a :26.4 third quarter to be at the three-quarters in 1:22. Favored Going Gone Hanover (and Andrew) challenged on the outside on the far turn and into the stretch, and Dance Club loomed in the Pocono Pike, but Marloe Hanover held together to defeat her inside rival by a neck, with her outside rival another length back. Marloe Hanover now has earnings of $363,759 for trainer Nifty Norman and the partnership of Pinske Stables, David Hoese, and Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. The Sunday twilight card will close out Pennsylvania All-Stars action for the year at The Downs with two $35,000 divisions of three-year-old pacing colts. The attention will then turn to next Saturday afternoon's card, which will bring together the cream of the Pennsylvania-sired two-year-olds for their $1.2M+ Championship card. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

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