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CHESTER, PA - The Explosive Matter sophomore gelding Chiplosive, returning to the form that helped him capture a Pennsylvania All-Stars and a PA Stallion Series division in recent outings, brushed to the lead at the half and wasn't challenged from there in the $16,000 harness racing trotting feature in 1:55.4 at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday afternoon. After a :27.3 first quarter, driver George Napolitano Jr. put the Trond Smedshammer trainee into motion, securing the lead at just about the :56.3 midpoint. None of his opposition had enough rally in the second half, with Chiplosive reaching the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and then coasting home 2¼ lengths ahead of the closing Amador to post his fifth seasonal victory for Purple Haze Stable LLC. In a $14,500 pace for high-level females, the Western Paradise mare Lovineveryminute found room on the final turn, swung wide, and got to the front late in posting a $59.20 upset in 1:51.2. Tony Morgan, second in North American lifetime driving wins with 16,000+ to his credit, got Lovineveryminute to be most photogenic in a finish where five horses were separated by a length, boosting her earnings to $515,316. Carmine Fusco trains the winner for Brian and Ira Wallach Racing. Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the day; Dexter Dunn and George Napolitano Jr. had three victories each. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Winndevie captures the $118,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 8). She was driven by Jason Bartlett. Sensibility (Tyler Buter) led to the first quarter in :26.2. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second best but went on a break right near the first quarter mark. Woodside Charm (Verlin Yoder), who was the 2018 2-year-old trotter of the year, took over the lead heading for the back stretch. She hit the half in :56.1 and was first to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Winndevie ($15.40), who is owned by the Purple Haze Stables and trained by Trond Smedshammer, was fourth at the halfway mark. She then went first-over heading around the last turn. She then joined Woodside Charm as they hit three-quarters. When they reached the stretch it was all Winndevie as she powered home to win in a lifetime best of 1:54.0. Sensibility finished second with Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) getting third money. Quincy Blue Chip recovered from her early break and finished fourth. Woodside Charm, who was seven for seven as a freshman, is winless in her two starts as a sophomore. Winndevie is a 3-year-old filly by Credit Winner. It was her third win this season and her ninth career victory. George Ducharme trained three winners on the evening. He got his wins with The Fixer ($2.30), Hannah Dreamgirl ($11.20), and Crysalline ($4.20). There is no live racing at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 9) due to the Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle concert. Live racing returns on Saturday (August 10) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

On Monday afternoon June 3, the entire 9 race card was dominated by Sire Stakes for 3 Year Old Trotting Colts, 3 heats of Sire Stakes, 3 Excelsior A and 3 Excelsior B contest's The first harness racing heat of Sire Stakes action came in race 1, the 5 - horse field raced for a purse of $37,500. There were 3 different leaders on the front end until the field hit the ¼ marker, with Livingonthedash the first one there in 29.2, Horns for Three got the lead at the half in 59.4, down the backside Winnerup who was fifth and last was the first to move. At the ¾ move Winnerup was sitting on the outside of Horns For Three until the duo came out of the turn and then it was all Winnerup from there as he scored in 1:57.4. It was the third win of the season for the son of Credit Winner who is owned by Purple Haze Stable, he also picked up his second Sire Stake win of the young year. In the winner's circle after the race trainer Trainer Trond Smedshammer exclaimed "He was well in hand today, I never even pulled the ear plugs today " Mr. Victor's (Tyler Buter) race was the most impressive performance of the afternoon, the recently sold son of RC Royalty easily dispatched a field of 6 as he scored in a wire to wire win in 1:57.1, for the fastest mile of the day. Mr. Victor                                        --Geri Schwarz photo Mr. Victor notched his second Sire Stake win of the season and picked up his fourth win of the season. A large contingent of well-wishers converged on the winner's circle following the race, among them owners R. Santagata and Joe Lee. In the final heat Lights Come On cut the mile every step of the way (29.0, 59.4, 129.0) pocket sitter Travel Winner (Tyler Buter) out finished to pace setter to score in 1:58.2. Travel Winner is by Credit Winner and trained by Nifty Norman for owner James W. Fleming of Bayfiled, ON, CA, Travel Winner                             --Geri Schwarz photo The winners in the Excelsior A contests were, Kolin 2:01.2 - Phil Fluet, Jason's Camden 1:59.4 - Jim Morrill Jr. And Another Newyorker 2:01. Jason Barlett. Tyler Buter and Jason Bartlett each scored a driving double for the afternoon.   By: Shawn Wiles

Vernon, NY - The Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for 3-year-old New York sired trotters at Vernon Downs was drawn today.   There were but nine colts declared and they will go directly to the $215,200 championship on Monday, May 27 as part of the matinee Memorial Day holiday harness racing card. No elimination necessary.   Last season's unbeaten freshman Gimpanzee is the headliner in the colt division. He won the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) final and Breeders Crown final during his Dan Patch Award winning season for owner Courant, Inc. and trainer Marcus Melander.   They are in post position order: Horse Driver 1- Getting Serious - R. Lopez 2- Star Struck Hanover - TBA 3- Skyway Kon Man - T. Smedshammer 4- Whimzical Chapter - D. Daley 5- Gimpanzee - B. Sears 6- Mr Vicktor - T. Buter 7- Travel Winner - T. Buter 8- Cavill Hanover - J. Morrill Jr 9- Big Money Honey - T. Buter   Twelve fillies were declared and they will race in a pair of six filly eliminations on Friday night with the top nine (first four and one fifth drawn by lot) and the two winners will draw for posts 1-6 for the $209,500 championship on the same afternoon.   Last season's NYSS Final winner Winndevie will compete in the second division for Purple Haze Stable and trainer -driver Trond Smedshammer.   They are: Race 4 Purse $12,500 1. Pilgrims Lass M. Simons 2. Conway Kellyanna C. Norris 3. Amal Hall J. Morrill, Jr 4. Sensibility S. Zeron 5. Amanda Blue Chip TBA 6. Gobi Princess J. Morrill, Jr   Race 7 Purse $12,500 1. Quincy Blue Chip J. Morrill, Jr 2. Winndevie T. Smedshammer 3. Sweet Chapter J. Morrill, Jr 4. Hanna Dreamgirl TBA 5. With Out A Doubt T. Buter 6. Stella Jane J. Bartlett

Vernon Downs played host to two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings on Friday (May 10). Both divisions raced for a purse of $58,700. Winnerup (Trond Smedshammer) charged late to win the first division. Star Track Hanover (Jimmy Whittemore) led the group to a first quarter in :27.0. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) took over around the clubhouse turn and hit the half in :55.0 and three-quarters in 1:23.3. Winnerup ($18.40) found himself fourth at the three-quarter marker. Owned by the Purple Haze Stables and trained by Smedshammer, he hit the stretch like he had a rocket strapped to his back. He flew by to win by 10 lengths in a lifetime best of 1:53.1. Big Money (Tyler Buter) came up late to finish second. Chip Chip Conway held on for third. Winnerup is a 3-year-old colt by Credit winner. It was his second win this season. He now has three career victories. Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter) holds on to win the second division. Skyway Kon Man (Trond Smedshammer) took the lead and hit the first quarter in :29.1. Mr Vicktor ($5.80) , who is trained by G Buzzy Sholty for owners Joseph Lee, Diamond Pride LLC, and Sholty Racing LLC, grabbed the lead just before hitting the half in :58.2. He would be the first to three-quarters with a time of 1:26.2. Skyway Kon Man charged late but had to settle for second as Mr Viktor dug down deep and held on for the win in a career best of 1:55.1. Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) was third. Mr Viktor                                        --Fotowon photo Mr Vicktor is a 3-year-old colt by RC Royalty. He is a perfect three for three in 2019. He now has four career victories. Tyler Buter won four races on the night. His other wins came with Financial Impact ($33.80), RX For Success ($3.60), and Travel Winner ($3.80). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 11) with a nine race card starting at 6:10 p.m. There will be a special 11 race Mother's day card on Sunday (May 12). Sunday post time is 1:05 p.m. www.vernondowns.com   John Horne  for Vernon Downs

If not for the whirlwind known as Woodside Charm and a world-record-shattering mile, filly trotter Winndevie could have completed her 2-year-old season with an undefeated record. But there was no shame in finishing with a 6-for-7 slate, capped by a victory in the New York Sire Stakes championship. On Tuesday (May 7), the harness racing filly returns to the site of last year's final triumph - Yonkers Raceway - to begin her defense of the title as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the third of three NYSS divisions for 3-year-old female trotters. The race, with a purse of $54,833, will be Winndevie's seasonal debut for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer and owner Purple Haze Stables. "She's been good all winter; I've been happy with her," Smedshammer said about Winndevie, a daughter of Credit Winner out of Vida De Vie. "She's more mature, looks good. She's good and healthy. She only has one qualifier in her, so she's not super ready, but we'll see. "She was great (last year); you can't knock that. It was as good as it could have been. She's a nice filly. I like her speed and her stamina. She's pretty good on a (half-mile track), maybe not better than some, but like most of the Credit Winners is good gaited. If she stays healthy, she should be good in New York this year too." Winndevie spent 2018 exclusively in New York Sire Stakes competition. She won her first five races of the season before finishing second to eventual Dan Patch Award-winner Woodside Charm at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Woodside Charm trotted the mile in 1:53.4, history's fastest mile by a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile track, bettering the previous record of 1:55.2 for a 2-year-old filly, not to mention Don Dream's 1:55 mark for a male. Winndevie was timed in 1:54.1. Nine days later, Winndevie captured the New York Sire Stakes championship with a sustained first-over grind over the race's last five-eighths of a mile. Smedshammer decided to end the filly's season there rather than go on to compete in the Breeders Crown. "If she was really good in the final, I was going to put her in the Breeders Crown, but I thought she bounced a little bit off that big mile at Saratoga," Smedshammer said. "I thought that big mile at Saratoga would have improved her, getting stretched out like that, but she took a step backwards. She won, but she wasn't at her best. She was bumpy on the turns, so I put her away. Hopefully it will pay off this year." Winndevie is eligible to this year's Breeders Crown as well as the Hambletonian Oaks, so she could have opportunities to see the Grand Circuit in 2019. "We'll see if she's going to go into anything other than New York later on," Smedshammer said. "Our primary goal is New York, to try to win as much as we can there." The 6-5 morning-line favorite in the first NYSS division, with a purse of $53,833, is Stella Jane, the 2018 Kindergarten Classic winner. She will have Jason Bartlett in the sulky for trainer John Butenschoen. With Out A Doubt, a winner on the NYSS circuit last season, is the 5-2 choice in the second division, with a purse of $54,833, for driver Andy Miller and trainer Erv Miller. Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday at Yonkers. For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although harness racing driver / trainer Trond Smedshammer has always felt trotter Perlcuky possessed talent, the Lucky Chucky son developed a knack for making mistakes at unfortunate times. He jumped offstride in his career debut as a 2-year-old and after earning a spot in the New York Sire Stakes Final, made a break in the $225,000 championship. Perlucky also galloped in the Dexter Cup Final and the NYSS Final again as a 3-year-old.  “There are easier horses to drive,” said Smedshammer, who’s been in the bike for 28 of Perlucky’s 34 races and qualifiers. “He can get a little aggressive at times and can get a little bumpy on the turns. He usually doesn’t make a mistake, but he’s not the easiest one to drive. Right now, we seem to have him rigged and set up in a way that is a little bit better, but at times, he can be tough to sit in a hole with and follow horses. That’s why I’ve driven him myself most of the time.” Despite his mistakes, the $15,000 Harrisburg buy still earned $178,519 at 2 and 3 and now at 4, has started to put all it all together. Perlucky began his 2019 campaign with five wins in his first eight starts as he climbed the class ladder at Yonkers, winning out of the non-winners of 4, 6, and 8 conditions.  Perlucky’s biggest win this year came against older horses at the non-winners of $30,000 last five level April 13. Smedshammer gave up the lines in favor of George Brennan in that start, and Brennan sent the gelding straight to the top. Perlucky opened a 4-length advantage past the three-quarters and maintained his lead in the stretch to win in a career-best 1:54.4. “That’s the first time he’s really been let go,” Smedshammer said. “In the beginning, he had a few miles on the front end. Most of the times after that, I’ve been sitting back and racing the last half. He’s pretty strong, he can carry his speed a long way, so I wasn’t surprised. He won in 56-and-one as a 3-year-old and now this year, he’s a better horse. He can definitely go better now under the right circumstances. “He showed talent both as a 2- and 3-year-old, but he wasn’t as fast as he is now” Smedshammer continued. “Another year, he’s just more mature. Mostly physically. He got bigger and stronger.” Although Brennan’s aggressive tactics paid off, Smedshammer cautioned that it’s all or nothing when sending Perlucky off the gate.   “If you fire him up leaving, you have to be prepared to go to the front,” he explained. “If you fire him up leaving, you’re not going to be able to sit in a hole with him, you’re not going to be able to let someone retake. That’s not his style. He’s not going to like that. Either you take him off the gate, or if you leave hard, you have to be prepared to go to the front.” Off an impressive runner-up finish to Melady’s Monet in the same class last out April 20, Perlucky boosted his career tally to $272,349 and earned a spot in the $44,000 Open Handicap Trot Saturday, May 4. Paired with Brennan again, the duo will start from post four.  The field includes Smalltownthrowdown, who will start from post five and looks to improve off a sixth-place finish last out when handicapped by post eight, and Eye Ofa Tiger As, who won last week’s trotting feature. New Heaven, a winner of two Open Handicaps in March and the third-place finisher last week, drew post six while SOA Bonus Trotting Series runner-up Swansea drew post eight. Lord Cromwell, Fearless Man, and Mostinterestingman complete the lineup. “It’s a decent spot. It’s not the toughest Open. A lot of times, the non-winners of $30,000 is tough. His last start, he faced one of the best Open horses there all winter, Melady’s Monet. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s not a huge difference between those classes,” Smedshammer opined. “I think he’s in a decent spot. He’s been training good this week. I think George is going to have a good run with him. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but he’s going to show a good race.” Saturday night’s card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 7:15 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

LEXINGTON, KY -- Off a fourth-place disqualification in the Little Brown Jug as he attempted to claim the Pacing Triple Crown, millionaire Stay Hungry came back and battled widest of all in a four-horse stretch-bound sprint, getting a neck in front on the wire to take the first division of two divisions of the $183,000 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, sponsored by the Somebeachsomewhere Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms, at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 30. Driver Doug McNair positioned Stay Hungry fifth, in behind stablemate American History, as Ideal Feeling paced on the lead to the quarter. Grand Teton soon vacated the rail from third and brushed for the lead following a :27.3 opening quarter. Stay Hungry flushed American History for cover as Grand Teton continued a quick clip to the half in :54.1. American History progressed wide of horses and dragged Stay Hungry to within two lengths of the lead nearing the top of the stretch. Following three-quarters in 1:21.2, American History took a short lead before Grand Teton reclaimed command to his inside. Stay Hungry, off cover, rallied through the center of the track as Grand Teton fought for the lead to the inside but could not outkick the winner to the line and settled for second in the 1:48.2 mile. Bounding Dragon snuck through a seam to the pylons for third and American History faded to fourth. Winning his sixth race from 13 starts this season and his 12th from 22 overall, Stay Hungry, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere, has compiled $1,239,459 in earnings for owners Brad Grant and the Irwin Samelman Estate. Tony Alagna trains the $3.60 winner. Thinkbig Dreambig brushed to the front after the quarter and led the rest of the way in progress to a 1:48.2 lifetime-best victory in the second Bluegrass division. I'm A Big Deal took the lead early as Nutcracker Sweet rushed from post nine for the top heading to the quarter. Nutcracker Sweet swooped to command past the :27.2 opening quarter as his stablemate Thinkbig Dreambig gradually advanced towards the lead. Passing the half in :54.2, Thinkbig Dreambig maintained his speed while under first-over pursuit from Hayden Hanover, closing from fifth around the final turn. Hayden Hanover drew to within two lengths of the lead by three-quarters in 1:21.4 but continued to chase the son of Bettor's Delight in the stretch before settling for second. Rush To Judgement, tracking from second over, closed for third with Nutcracker Sweet holding fourth. Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Brixton Medical Inc., John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk, Thinkbig Dreambig, driven by Yannick Gingras, won his sixth race from 15 starts, earning $450,537. He paid $3.20 to win. The Trond Smedshammer-trained Explosive Matter filly Phaetosive won her fourth-consecutive race and her seventh from nine starts this season when she cruised to a 1:51.3 victory in the third of three divisions of the $206,000 Cantab Hall Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Trot, sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms and Brittany Farms, on Sunday, Sept. 30 at The Red Mile. What A Knockout led early as Lily Stride, from post one, inherited the pocket and Phaetosive floated into third. Past the first quarter in :28.4, What A Knockout trotted unchallenged to a :56.1 half while Seviyorum, racing second to last, tipped off the rail and began an uncovered bid. Smedshammer flushed first over with Phaetosive heading into the final turn and swiftly overtook What A Knockout past three-quarters in 1:24.1. Phaetosive kept to task through the stretch as Lily Stride finagled out of the pocket to snag second from Seviyorum in third. Piranha Fury, off a rail trip, closed for fourth. Surpassing $800,000 in career earnings, Phaetosive, competing for the Purple Haze Stables LLC, collected her 11th victory in her 16th start career. Sent the 1-9 favorite, she paid $2.10 to win.   Odds-on favorite Supergirl Riley circled to the top past the half and kicked to a three-and-three-quarter length victory in the first split of the Bluegrass filly trot, winning in 1:52.2. The Erv Miller-trained daughter of Muscle Mass pushed for the lead early before yielding to Urban Legend toward the center of the track. By the first quarter in :28, Marcus Miller pulled Supergirl Riley from the pocket to cleared control before a :56 half. Live Laugh Love, positioned fifth, tipped first over and rushed towards the pacesetter around the final turn. Supergirl Riley maintained a half-length lead past three-quarters in 1:24.3 and sped into the stretch, expanding her margin to two-and-a-half lengths with Live Laugh Love chasing in second. Fury Road, who edged off the rail and into the second-over spot around the final turn, trotted another two-lengths back in third with Passionate Miss closing from the back for fourth. Owned by Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman, Supergirl Riley won her fifth race in 14 starts this season and her ninth from 23 overall, collecting $375,763 in earnings. She returned $3.80 to win. Andrew McCarthy launched Chuck Sylvester-trainee Hey Blondie from off cover to take the second Bluegrass split in 1:51.1. S M S Princess cleared control from post seven with Top Expectations, from post one, sitting the pocket. Hey Blondie sat fifth past the quarter in :28 and stayed in position as S M S Princess quickened to the half in :55.2. Nixie Volo, from third, angled first over rounding the final turn with Bella Glos second over and Hey Blondie in behind. S M S Princess held onto a half-length lead by three-quarters in 1:23.4 and braced for the backfield blitz into the stretch. Bella Glos fanned off cover and surged to the front under pursuit of Hey Blondie and Pat Matters kicking wide from fourth over. Hey Blondie overpowered Bella Glos late in the stretch and surged to a three-quarter length victory with Pat Matters finishing two-lengths behind in third and Top Expectations holding fourth. Winning her third race from 11 starts this season and her eighth from 24 overall, Hey Blondie, by Cantab Hall, has accrued $473,935 in earnings for owners Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Borgogna and David Mc Duffee. She paid $8.20 to win. Trainer Jimmy Takter swept the top three spots when he piloted Tactical Landing to a 1:51.1 lifetime best ahead of harness racing stablemates Zephyr Kronos and Wolfgang in the second of two divisions of the $242,000 Explosive Matter Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, sponsored by the Explosive Matter Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms, at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 30. Zephyr Kronos swept to the front ahead of Wolfgang, another stablemate, in the pocket. Jimmy Takter placed Tactical Landing wide in fourth through the first quarter in :28.4 before gradually advancing towards the lead. Following a :56.2 half, Tactical Landing gained separation. Tactical Landing held a two-and-a-half length lead while Muscle M Up attempted to gain position first over. By three-quarters in 1:24.2, Tactical Landing spun into the stretch while Zephyr Kronos cut his deficit from second well ahead of Wolfgang battling for third. Patent Leather, from last, rallied through the center of the track to take fourth. An $800,000 yearling purchase at the 2016 Lexington Select Sale, Tactical Landing, a colt by Muscle Hill out of the Varenne mare Southwind Serena, won his fifth race from nine starts this season and of 11 overall, earning $313,600 for The Tactical Landing Stable. He paid $3.60 to win. Sent the 1-2 favorite, Met's Hall delivered a wire-to-wire 1:51.2 performance in the first division of the Bluegrass colt trot. Andy Miller put the Julie Miller-trained Cantab Hall colt on the point as Evaluate secured the pocket from post one. Met's Hall trotted to the quarter in :28.2 and faced no pressure to the half, timed in :56.1. Maxus, positioned fourth, moved first over heading into the final turn tracked by Shoshie Deo second over. Met's Hall maintained a length lead past thre-quarter in 1:25.1 and initiated a sprint into the stretch. Maxus lost stride, leaving Evaluate to chase from the pocket two lengths away at the wire along with Fashionwoodchopper in third. Shoshie Deo took fourth. Earning $964,754, Met's Hall won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his ninth from 20 overall. The $3.00 winner races for Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable Inc. Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile on Thursday, Oct. 4 with divisions of the $350,000 est. International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First-race post Thursday will be at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - Phaetosive and trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer went from blocked at the rail to reaching up just in time on the outside in a wild $340,000 Elegantimage Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Although it was a field of seven three-year-old trotting fillies competing, the Elegantimage Stakes was essentially a three-horse race with superstars Atlanta, Manchego and Phaetosive clashing for the first-time this season. Hambletonian champion Atlanta was blasted to the lead by driver Scott Zeron, posting a :27.1 opener. Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras got away right behind Atlanta, while Phaetosive and Smedshammer left from the rail in third. Zeron used his position on the lead to grab a soft second-quarter of :29.2. The tempo ramped up on the final-turn, as Blonde Magic and driver Jody Jamieson started pushing up on the outside from fifth. The outside mover gave Gingras his cue to pop the two-hole nearing three-quarters, while Smedshammer stayed in with Phaetosive. Atlanta reached three-quarters in 1:24.4 and led the fillies into the lane with Manchego at her wheel. The Hambletonian Day heroes engaged in battle with Manchego overtaking the lead in the final-eighth. As the lead pair battled, Phaetosive attempted to come up the inside, but no lane was available and Smedshammer went inside one pylon while taking back. Despite losing momentum, Phaetosive came across to the far outside and unleashed a furious late push to nail Manchego at the line for a 1:52.2 victory. The margin of victory was a neck. Atlanta finished third, beat 2½ lengths. The AGCO Judges reviewed Smedshammer's stretch drive and determined there was no violation committed. "Up until the three-quarter pole everything went like I planned," said Smedshammer following the victory. "When Yannick (Gingras) pulled in front of me, I thought it was going to be easier to go inside, I really thought they were going to sprint home a little bit more. "The rail didn't open up," continued Smedshammer. "I tried inside Scotty (Zeron), but he wasn't going to open up anything and I actually skimmed a pylon there, but I want back outside. She had every opportunity to get beat tonight." A daughter of Explosive Matter, Phaetosive picked up her sixth win of the season Saturday and 10th win in 15 career starts. The Smedshammer trainee has only two losses this season with the first being against colts in her season debut and most recent being a second-place finish to Manchego in the Hambletonian Oaks on August 4. "She's been great her whole life and Manchego's been getting the best of her in every start before, but today was our turn," said Smedshammer, who has managed his star filly carefully. "She is fresh. She had a couple of incidents after the Oaks that set her back a little bit. She shipped up here yesterday and I knew today she was very calm and very good in the paddock. Everything was her way tonight." Phaetosive, who entered the Elegantimage off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, has now earned $567,864 this season and $845,604 in her career for owner Purple Haze Stables LLC of Fairport, New York. A $2 win ticket on Phaetosive returned $11.30. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Wanda Polisseni does not know what will happen in Saturday's C$340,000 Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park, where her Purple Haze Stables' Phaetosive meets harness racing's top-ranked horses, No. 1 Atlanta and No. 2 Manchego. But she already knows how she will feel about her filly at the end of the day. "It's a tough race, but she will do the best she can," Polisseni said. "And whatever she does, I'm all for it and I will be very appreciative. My horses never have to win for me to be happy. I love them and I want them to be healthy and have a good race and do the best they can. "Those other two fillies are absolutely terrific," she added. "There are a lot of people that want to see them, myself included." Hambletonian champion Atlanta and Hambletonian Oaks winner Manchego will be meeting for the second time this year. Manchego, the 2017 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, won the first encounter by 1-3/4 lengths in the Casual Breeze Stakes on Aug. 24 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Phaetosive, who finished second to Manchego in the Hambletonian Oaks, will join them for the first time this season. The trio met once last year, in the Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park. Manchego won, capping a perfect 12-for-12 campaign, while Phaetosive finished third and Atlanta fourth. In the Elegantimage, Manchego is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the seven-horse field, followed by Atlanta at 7-5 and Phaetosive at 8-5. "It's a hell of a race," said Trond Smedshammer, who trains and drives Phaetosive. "I'm sure (Atlanta) is going to be looking for a rebound. They're going to be racing, that's for sure. Hopefully I can sit close enough to be a part of it." Saturday's Woodbine Mohawk card also includes the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters, C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters, C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old female trotters, two eliminations for the Metro Pace for 2-year-old pacers, and two eliminations for the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old female pacers. Phaetosive, a daughter of Explosive Matter out of Phaeton, has won five of seven races this year and heads to the Elegantimage off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 2. For her career, the filly has won nine of 14 races and never finished worse than third. She has earned $657,717. "I love her; she's terrific," Polisseni said. "She is gutsy. I can't describe it, but she is gutsy. I love her form and I love to watch her race." Phaetosive had breathing problems earlier this season, but the issue was corrected with a minor procedure rather than surgery, which would have prevented her from racing in the Hambletonian Oaks. She also tied up the day prior to her first race following the Oaks, Aug. 21, but recovered and won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. "It's something you've got to watch with her," Smedshammer said about the tying up. "She's done it before. She hasn't done it since, but we've been obviously very careful watching her schedule. It's not a big problem, but it's something you've got to watch." Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables ranks sixth among all owners in purses this season, with trotters Perlucky and Classichap joining Phaetosive as six-figure earners. Polisseni's past stars included millionaire Dejarmbro and Blacktuxwhitesocks, who were both New York Sire Stakes champions. Blacktuxwhitesocks also won once in Norway. "I love all my horses, each of them for a different reason or something special," Polisseni said. She added, "Every horse in every race deserves to get a cheer at the end of the race." Racing at Woodbine Mohawk begins at 7:25 p.m. (EDT) with the Metro eliminations. The Peaceful Way follows as race three, the Wellwood race five, Canadian Trotting Classic race seven, and Elegantimage race 10. The She's A Great Lady elims are races six and eight. Complete entries can be found here. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans will receive a special commemorative postcard featuring Hambletonian champion Atlanta. Mohawk Park will also be serving a special drink named "The Atlanta" in its various dining locations and $1 from each drink sold will be donated to the Milton District Hospital Foundation. The second annual New Owners Seminar will be taking place prior to Saturday's card. The seminar is open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership is invited. The seminar will start at 6 p.m. in the North America Cup room. Following is the field in post-position order for the Elegantimage Stakes. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Phaetosive-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-8/5 2-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-6/5 3-Alloveragain-Randy Waples-John Bax-30/1 4-Blonde Magic-Jody Jamieson-Tom Durand-20/1 5-Jordan Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-Mike Keeling-20/1 6-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-7/5 7-Sneeker Hanover-Paul MacDonell-Duane Marfisi-30/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 11, 2018-Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack returned to the scene of his handiwork Tuesday night (Sept. 11th), dominating a division of Yonkers Raceway's $172,000 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt, $2.10) found himself parimutuelly partnered with Trot runner-up Helpisontheway (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the second ($86,750) statebred soiree. The pole-sitting latter stung Six Pack-from post position No 3-through a 27.1 opening quarter-mile. Six pack then rated a 30-second next subsection (:57.1 half), before finishing it off (1:25.4, 1:54.3). The widening margin, four lengths in and out of the final turn, cosmetically closed to a length-and-a-half at the tape. Helpisontheway barely held second, with I'm the Muscle (Jason Bartlett) third. The Veteran (Jordan Stratton) and Winning Shadow (Mike Simons) came away with the remainder. For Six Pack, a Muscle Mass colt co-owned by his trainer/driver, Little E LLC, Stall Kaimer and Lars Berg, it was his seventh win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid an even-money $7.50 and the triple returned $17. Superfecta wagering was not offered. Tuesday night's opening ($85,250) sire stakes event saw Perlucky (Trond Smedshammer, $32.20) roll pace-setting Clive Bigsby (Bartlett) from second-over. Away a bit tardy from post position No. 2, Perlucky watched as pole-sitting 'Clive' seated Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley) and Lindsey's Pride (Brent Holland) jumped it off. After early intervals of :28.1 and :58.1, Perlucky hitched a ride behind Don (Stratton) going toward a 1:26.4 three-quarters. Clive Bigsby owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Perlucky was poised. With minimal urging, he went by, winning by a length in a life-best 1:56.1. Clive Bigsby saved second over a needing-room Purpose Blue Chip, with 13-10 choice Cruising in Style (Morrill Jr.) a belated fourth. For sixth choice Perlucky, a son of Lucky Chucky trained by his driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, it was his second win in 10 '18 tries. The exacta paid $99, the triple returned $348 and the superfecta paid $1,209. Ironically, both of Perlucky's wins have come at odds of 15-1. New York Sire Stakes downstate prelims conclude-the 16th of 16 legs-with Friday night's (Sept. 14th) $156,200 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts/geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Lexington, KY - The postponed third and last $30,000 leg of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for 3-year-olds was raced on Monday at The Red Mile on a cool, overcast evening with the track rated "Good". There was no wagering on the races due to the postponement. American History went another big mile tonight, going under the wire in hand to Yannick Gingras with the greatest of ease in 1:49. The pair settled in fifth early as first Decoy (M. Johansson) then Thinkbig Dreambig (Jimmy Takter) ripped off fast fractions, then came uncovered and went right by the leader just off the last turn and opened up a long lead while restrained. Grand Teton (Andy McCarthy) went another big trip here to be second and Rush To Judgement (Matt Kruger) was third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a son of American Ideal, for owners Brittany Farms (also the breeder) Marvin Katz and American History Racing. He went through the ring at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) for $150,000. The colt trot was won by Classichap in 1:53.2, driven tonight by Corey Callahan for trainer Trond Smedshammer. Callahan left for position and was rewarded with an up close view of the speed duel that developed just in front as Eurobond (Domenico Cecere) and Wolfgang traded blows through the 1:23.4 three quarters. From there it was easy with an opening at the rail providing a clear path to victory. EL Platinum (M. Johansson) rallied up for the place and Wolfgang won the showdown for third. Classichap is owned by the Purple Haze Stable who bought him from breeder Hayley Moore at the Lexington sale for $95,000. He went over $100,000 in career earnings with tonight's win. The first of two pacing filly divisions got things underway and Cuts Like A Knife (Marcus Miller) was the winner for local connections, trainer Kevin Thomas and owners Cotton, Francine and Julie Nash. Marcus took the uncovered route with the filly rolling up on Hurikane Express (Corey Callahan) around the second turn and wearing that one down late for the win. Cabowabocuttie (Pete Wrenn) was third. Diamond Creek Farm bred the winner, a $55,000 (LSYS) purchase. Lindy Farms continued their strong roll in the KYSS program winning with yet another homebred, this one the Somebeachsomewhere filly Belle in a career best equaling 1:53.2. Marcus Miller picked up the drive with the defection of Dave Miller after last night's cancellation and gave Belle a perfect steer, landing the pocket behind eventual second place finisher Neverforgetwhour (Elliott Deaton) and getting out just when she needed to for a half-length success. Fine Art (Callahan) was third. Belle is trained by Domenico Cecere. Gingras also drove Ciao Dolce to a win in the first filly trotting race for trainer Bob Stewart in 1:55. Yannick sat in third as Lily Stride (M. Miller) cut the fractions, found a seam in the stretch then wore that rival down in the drive. Bandol Rose (Chuck Norris) was third. Kjell Andersen owns the winner, a $300,000 LSYS graduate bred by Steve Stewart, D. Robinson and Black Creek Farm. Pat Matters, catch driven by Jimmy Takter for trainer Paul Kelley, took the second filly trot split in a new record for her of 1:54.2. Takter sat chilly as first Nixie Volo (Callahan) then Live Laugh Love (Wrenn) took turns on the lead through moderate fractions then split rivals late with good trot to get up. Nixie Volo held second and Supergirl Riley (M. Miller) closed to be third. The Patricia Stable bred and owns the winner, an Explosive Matter filly. The $2 million finals of the KYSS are a part of the 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. Montgomery is slated to perform on the outdoor stage from 4-6 p.m. The racing program will kick 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

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

Southwind Chrome is still finding his way as a harness racing horse, but trainer Paula Wellwood likes the direction he is heading. Unraced at age 2 because of an injury, Wellwood has tried to expose the colt to a variety of racing styles in preparation for Saturday's appearance in the 93rd Hambletonian at The Meadowlands Racetrack. Southwind Chrome has won once in seven races and finished second on four occasions. One of his runner-up efforts came in the final of the Empire Breeders Classic, which was won by Six Pack by a half-length. Six Pack is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second of Saturday's two $100,000 Hambletonian eliminations. Southwind Chrome is in the same division and is 5-1. The top-five finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the $1 million final. Coverage of the Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters will air live from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on CBS Sports Network. First-race post time for Saturday's stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands is noon. "We're maybe not as seasoned as the other horses," said Wellwood, who won the 2016 Hambletonian with Marion Marauder. "It's only his eighth lifetime start. But what he did in the Empire Breeders (final) in his third start was unbelievable. He's a pretty quick study, but he is still a little green and trying to figure out his style of racing. We've tried to expose him to all different styles, so we'll see how that goes. "That's up to the driver." That would be Scott Zeron, who will drive Southwind Chrome in his elimination. Zeron, who won for Wellwood with Marion Marauder on their way to the Trotting Triple Crown, may not be available for the final as he also will be driving filly Atlanta in the first elimination. Atlanta, the lone filly in the race and 3-1 second choice in her heat, is trained and co-owned by Zeron's dad Rick. "If we get lucky enough to make the final I know we'll be looking for a driver, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Wellwood said. "(Zeron) likes Chrome, too. He commented that he's got two nice horses. He's not underestimating him." Southwind Chrome is owned by Dreamville Stable, which is Wellwood, her husband Mike Keeling, son Devin Keeling, and mom Jean Wellwood. Devin and Jean are the owners of Marion Marauder. Southwind Chrome, a son of Chapter Seven out of Counter Pointe, was purchased for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. "We had some of the family and always liked the mare," Wellwood said. "We looked at (Southwind Chrome) and really liked him. He was our first Chapter Seven that we bought, and the fact he was a Chapter Seven was an added bonus." Southwind Chrome was lightly staked, but it was not because of a lack of talent. "We gave him a lot of time and brought him back and he struggled a little bit," Wellwood said. "That's why he's not heavily staked. He had a couple of struggles in the winter training down with his gait, but once he got to qualifying, he just changed. He started to excel. "We wanted to make sure the Hambletonian was on his card because he always showed a lot of ability. We started him out and he exceeded our expectations, he's never let us down." He also never gets down. "He's a very honest, happy horse," Wellwood said. "He's just a very pleasant horse. He's not a big horse but he's a very strong horse. He doesn't seem to get tired. That's one of his keys. He's just done everything right, so we thought we would take a chance. He's raced very well. We felt he deserved a shot." And hope he finds his winning style. * * * * * * Another horse that is still learning is Classichap, from the stable of 2004 Hambletonian winner Trond Smedshammer. Classichap, a half-brother to 2012 Hambletonian champ and two-time Dan Patch Award honoree Market Share, was winless in four races in 2017, but finished second to Fourth Dimension in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga. Three of Classichap's starts were on the New York circuit. "I knew he had a lot of talent," said trainer Smedshammer, who also drives Classichap for owner Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. "He wasn't staked too much; I wasn't planning on racing him on the Grand Circuit. I raced him a few times in New York and he showed me enough to back off and give him some time to mature." Classichap is 6-1 in the second Hambletonian elimination. His most recent three races were at the Meadowlands in preparation for the event. He was third-placed-second in a conditioned race and then posted his first win with a gate-to-wire 1:51.1 triumph by a head over Tactical Landing in a conditioned race on July 6. His final start prior to the Hambletonian was a second-place finish to Wolfgang in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 14. "He was good the start before the Dancer and he was pretty good in the Dancer," Smedshammer said. "I didn't think he was as good in that race, but he's getting some experience. I think the big track suits him better, the Meadowlands-style racing, than up in New York in his previous starts earlier in the year. "He's still green and learning, but he's got a big engine. If he gets the right trip and things work out, he's shown he can cut a mile in (1):51 on his own. Not every horse can do that. We'll see where he fits in with those top horses." In addition to Classichap, Smedshammer trains Hambletonian Oaks contender Phaetosive. The filly won her Oaks elimination and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind Manchego. Smedshammer trained 2008 Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi. * * * * * * Hat Trick Habit has raced four times for new connections, with mixed results. But trainer Scott DiDomenico is hoping the trotter has got it figured out after a second-place finish behind Crystal Fashion in his final Hambletonian prep, the Reynolds Memorial. The horse went off stride in his two prior races. "We're going to give it a shot," DiDomenico said. "I think he is on the way up again. We've been having trouble with his feet, they've been aggravating him some, and I think that's been part of the reason he's been jumping. That's been one of my biggest concerns and I think we've sort of got it under control. I hope it works out OK." Hat Trick Habit debuted for new owners John McGill and Brian Carsey with a career-best 1:52.3 win at the Meadowlands on July 7. He was acquired by McGill and Carsey at the end of June. The horse was owned previously by Fred Monteleone, who passed away in October. For his career, Hat Trick Habit has won six of 17 races and earned $205,054. The colt is 12-1 in the first Hambletonian elimination, starting from post eight with three-time Hambletonian-winning driver Brian Sears. "All things considered, it's probably a little bit of a shot, but how many times are you going to have a shot to race a horse of this caliber in this kind of race," DiDomenico said about racing in the Hambletonian. "We're excited about it and getting the shot to make some money in there. That's a pretty neat feeling. It's cool. I've never been there before, never had a horse that I even considered putting in that race. Now that I do, it's special." * * * * * * Met's Hall, who is 10-1 in the first Hambletonian elimination, was slow to return to the races for his 3-year-old season, not making his debut until July 14. He qualified three times prior to that race, twice in June and once in July. "It's been challenging," trainer Julie Miller said. "He had a lot of health issues starting out the year that made my job difficult. But hopefully it's coming together at the right time. I'm very fortunate that (owner) Natalia Stroy has been patient with me and the horse. "We'll just point him toward next week and hope all our efforts pay off. We're going to need a lot of luck, too. Met's Hall was a stakes-winner in 2017, with his victories including a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile, where he trotted a career-best 1:52.4. He followed that win with a second-place finish behind Fourth Dimension in a track-record 1:54 mile in their Breeders Crown elimination at Hoosier Park and a week later was second to Fiftydallarbill in the $600,000 final. He made his 2018 debut in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands, where he finished fourth with regular driver Andy Miller, Julie's husband. His next start resulted in a third-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers at the Big M before notching his first win of the year in a division of last weekend's Reynolds Memorial. He won in 1:53 with a :26.4 final quarter and :55.2 back half after a :57.3 first half. "Off that slow half, I thought it was a good back half," Miller said. "When Andy had to kind of check him in the lane he was real handy there. "Every time Andy gets off the bike, after each qualifier, after each race, he says I'm getting there. Now if I can just shed three seconds in the next week," she added with a laugh. Met's Hall has won six of 14 career races and $311,908. The Millers have had consecutive top-three finishes in the Hambletonian, with Devious Man third-placed-second in 2017 and Sutton third, beaten only a neck, in 2016. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Brian Sears-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1  

East Rutherford, NJ --- Manchego and Phaetosive each won their respective eliminations Saturday (July 28) for the Hambletonian Oaks, with Manchego capturing her division by 3-3/4 lengths over Lily Stride in 1:51.1 and Phaetosive victorious in her division by 4-1/4 lengths over Live Laugh Love in 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The top-five finishers from each $50,000 elimination advanced to next week's $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks final for 3-year-old female trotters at the Big M. Hey Blondie, What A Knockout and Seviyorum advanced from the elim won by Manchego while Plunge Blue Chip, Blonde Magic and Nixie Volo advanced from the elimination won by Phaetosive. Phaetosive and driver Trond Smedshammer were in fourth place at the half-mile point of their elimination, with Plunge Blue Chip - who on July 14 trotted a world-record 1:49.4 mile at the Meadowlands - leading the field to that point in :56.1. Plunge Blue Chip, who started from post eight in the eight-horse field and was three-wide around the first turn before getting the lead, remained on top heading into the final turn, but Phaetosive was on the move and threatening. She took the lead at the top of the stretch and came home in :26.3 to win for the third time in four races this year. Her time of 1:51 was a career best. Phaetosive, a daughter of Explosive Matter out of Phaeton who is owned by Purple Haze Stables and trained by Smedshammer, has won seven of 11 lifetime starts and earned $377,358. She has never finished worse than third. "She was good," said Smedshammer, who trained 2008 Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi. "She's been good her whole life. She just keeps impressing me." Phaetosive finished second to Manchego in last year's Jim Doherty Memorial and Peaceful Way Stakes and was third behind Manchego in the Breeders Crown. The Hambletonian Oaks final will be their first encounter this season. "We haven't met up yet this year, so we will see next week," Smedshammer said. "She got the best of me last year every time they hooked up, but I think it's a little closer this year." When asked how Phaetosive compared to other great filly trotters Smedshammer trained during his career, the trainer responded, "It's tough to compare from different eras, but she is extremely talented." Phaetosive, the 4-5 favorite in her Oaks elimination, paid $3.60 to win. Manchego, who in her previous start finished second by a nose to Plunge Blue Chip in her world-record 1:49.4 mile, was guided to the lead in her Oaks elimination by driver Yannick Gingras on the backstretch and was unthreatened the rest of the way. Her time of 1:51.1 was a career best as she won for the fourth time in six races this year. The filly has won 15 of 17 career races and earned $986,170. "I don't think (she's ever been better)," winning trainer Jimmy Takter said. "It was a little upsetting to lose the last start and get such a nice record, but she did the dirty work. She went :54.3 (to the half) with a :27.1 second quarter and that kind of hurt her a little bit in the stretch, and maybe Yannick underestimated (Plunge Blue Chip) a little bit too. But I'm happy where we are right now." Takter and Gingras have teamed to win the past four editions of the Hambletonian Oaks. Takter holds the record for most training wins in the race with seven. The trainer said he did not consider bypassing the Oaks to try Manchego against the boys in the $1 million Hambletonian next week. The connections of filly Atlanta, who is undefeated in five races this year, took that route. "I don't blame them for taking a shot, but I've tried that and it's hard to do," said Takter, who raced filly Pampered Princess in the 2007 Hambletonian won by Donato Hanover. "Fillies go two heats and it's a little bit too tough, especially for Manchego because she is not a very big filly. Going two heats would be risking the future of her racing career." Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was the 2017 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter. She is owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Sent off as the 1-9 favorite, Manchego paid $2.20 to win. Post positions for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks final will be drawn and morning lines assigned on Tuesday (July 31) at 2 p.m. (EST) and shown on live on the Meadowlands Facebook page and Meadowlands YouTube channel. The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $1 million Hambletonian will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 4. Hambletonian Day is closing day at the Meadowlands, with a post time of 12 noon. Fans can follow Hambletonian Day news at www.Hambletonian.com, www.meadowlandsracetrack.com and on Twitter at #Hambo18. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2018 -- At 2, Donatover was so fractious that he managed only three races and a modest $2,400 bankroll. This year, the young trotter has hit the board in all five starts with a pair of victories, including a convincing win in his PA Sires Stakes opener. Donatover's newfound mannerliness will be tested in Wednesday's $110,260 Currier & Ives open division at The Meadows, where he's been installed as the morning line 7-2 second pick. The Currier & Ives goes as races 1 and 3, with Donatover leaving from the rail with Dave Palone in race 1. First post is 1:05 PM. Trainer Trond Smedshammer purchased the son of Donato Hanover-Anonyme Hanover as a yearling for $30,000 for Purple Haze Stables. A student of pedigree, Smedshammer liked what he saw in the youngster's lineage. "He wasn't an exceptionally good-looking horse, but there was something about his breeding that I liked," Smedshammer says. "If you look carefully at it, you'll see his pedigree doubles up on Amour Angus (dam of the ultra-successful Garland Hall full brothers Andover Hall, Angus Hall and Conway Hall). Sometimes if you do that, you can get something special." He looked anything but special as a freshman, breaking stride in two of his three outings and exhibiting a headstrong approach to his schooling. "He showed some speed, but he was erratic and hot at times," Smedshammer says. "He's definitely stating to mature a little bit mentally, but even this year, he was good one race, and I couldn't hold him back the next. I've had to change bits on him. Right now, it seems we have him halfway figured out. We'll see how long it lasts before he outsmarts us again." Smedshammer knows that the rail can be a tricky starting spot for a green, willful trotter. "I'm hoping that Dave can come first over with him rather than move to the front early," he says. "With aggressive horses, it's better to keep them in a hole as long as you can and make one big, long move with them." Even if his antics are behind him, Donatover has cost himself a shot at most of the richest events for 3-year-olds. "He'll race in Pennsylvania," Smedshammer indicates. "He didn't show me enough last year or this winter to stake him to Grand Circuit races. The way I look at it, I'd rather have a good horse that's under-staked than a bad horse that's over-staked. I can't stand wasting money on stake payments -- even if it's not my money. "A good horse will always make money, even if it's as an aged horse. I'm a realist, not an optimist." by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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