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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the leading harness racing driver at the Meadowlands, Yannick Gingras has had his share of big nights at the mile oval, and Saturday at the Big M was just another of many for the 39-year-old, who scored four times on the 13-race program, among them the featured conditioned pace. Seeing Eye Single, a 4-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again-Shabalabadingdong, overcame post 10 and lowered his previous lifetime best by one-and-one-fifth seconds after stopping the clock in 1:49.3 in the event for non-winners of $17,500 in their last five starts. Gingras had Seeing Eye Single on the go from the start, following Captain Deo (who led at the quarter in :27) before clearing the lead just after the first split. A rated second fraction of :28.2 would follow before pressure would come from Stonedust, who was inching his way closer to the leader while first-over at three-quarters. Seeing Eye Single shrugged off that challenger to get some separation at the head of the stretch before holding sway to the wire, finishing a length in front of the pocket-sitting Captain Deo. Rough Odds was third with Penzance Hanover fourth. K Ryan Bluechip, the 4-5 favorite, was in a fourth-over flow before closing well to be a non-threatening fifth. Seeing Eye Single returned $6.00 as the second choice in the wagering, and in the process upped his resume to 11 wins from 28 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $359,926 for owners Burke Racing, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi. "He was strong and won fairly easily," said Gingras of the Ron Burke trainee who sprinted his final quarter in :26. "He loves the big track." Gingras' other wins came with McRaven (first race, $8.20, 1:52.3), All It Takes (third, $6.00, 1:52) and Always A Diamond (sixth, $8.20, 1:52.1). BETTING TOPS $3 MILLION: For the seventh time in 2019, wagering at the Meadowlands exceeded $3 million, as a total of $3,046,148 was pushed through the windows. Race eight saw $341,302 in action, and the ever-popular 50-Cent Pick-4 served as the catalyst with a pool of $116,859. A LITTLE MORE: It was huge day for Austin Siegelman. Monticello Raceway's leading driver took his act on the road Saturday and piled up the victories. After winning five times during the day at Freehold, Siegelman then won three more under the lights at the Big M. ... Players who don't like chalk are loving life of late at the Meadowlands. Over the last four programs, favorites have gone nine-for-52, good (or bad, based on your preference) for a minuscule win percentage of 17. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

WILKES-BARRE PA - Last week Turbo Hill and Sports Legend faced each other in a harness racing Bobby Weiss Series preliminary in the male pacers ranks; Turbo Hill drew inside his main rival, and even though Sports Legend was favored, Turbo Hill was victorious. This past Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, one crucial factor changed at the draw - Sports Legend drew inside Turbo Hill. Though the crowd went to Turbo Hill this week, Sports Legend teamed with driver Jim Morrill Jr. to use the positional edge to the max, winning a $15,000 division of the final preliminary in a lifetime best of 1:51. Sports Legend, a four-year-old Sportswriter gelding, flew away quickly, with Turbo Hill going with him but not able to circle him. Turbo Hill chose to take his chances sitting outside the favorite, but the fractions of 26, 54.2, and 1:22.1 proved too much for the two-wide chalk, as Sports Legend paced strongly to the wire, winding up 7¼ lengths to the good over On Accident, who beat Turbo Hill home for second by 1¼ lengths. Jennifer Bongiorno saw the horse enter her barn between last year and this, and so far Sports Legend has a 6-4-2-0 record and the promise of even better ahead for owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. But lest you think that the Weiss Final will come down to the positional shake for the two-time winners in the division above, you should also consider the American Ideal colt American Admiral, who overcame the outside post seven in his Weiss cut to equal his mark of 1:52.4. George Napolitano Jr. sent him to the top in 27.3, got a big breather to the half in 58, then hit high gear and got a pair of 27.2 quarters from the three-year-old coming home, fending off pocketsitter Aflame Hanover by a half-length. Andrew Harris seems to have the sophomore in peak form now for owners William, Ian and James Fleming, as after opening his career 1-for-13 American Admiral has now won three straight, the last two in the Weiss, and he may have the speed to go with Sports Legend and Turbo Hill. (The draw for this $30,000 Weiss Championship, by the way, is Monday morning, and will be monitored in several camps.) Going into that draw, here's an unofficial compilation of the top pointwinners: 1. Sports Legend, 2., Turbo Hill, 3. American Admiral, 4. Division Bell, 5. (tie) Aflame Hanover and On Accident, 7. Dakota Ole, 8. Major Escape, and 9. R U Talkin, with Love The Action and Springbridge Proud next in line and "AEs" (and heading a $15,000 consolation should it fill). Soho Wallstreet A sat in as the favorite in the $21,500 fast-class pace, found clearance late on the far turn, and unleashed a terrific last 1/8 to win his second straight in 1:50.2. The son of Four Starzzz Shark, driven by Pat Berry for trainer Scott Di Domenico and the ownership of J G Racing Stable, had to have the sharp late burst to catch a stubborn first-over Sports Column by a half length while raising his lifetime bankroll to $292,514. Fifteen more horses changed hands via the claiming process in six tag events at The Downs on Saturday, with $243,750 spent to acquire tough stock to be competitive in the fast-paced Pocono action. The Napolitano brothers had nine winners between them on the Saturday card, with George Jr. visiting Victory Lane five times on the night, and Anthony guiding four winners. Tomorrow's Easter Sunday card at The Downs will have a special post time of 5 p.m. PHHA / Pocono  

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $30,000 20¢ Super High Five total pool guarantee to its harness racing card on Monday (April 22). Offered in race 13, the $30,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $7,202. The Super High-5 is guaranteed as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14%. Monday's post time is 6 p.m. By Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rebel Voyager has found success at Buffalo Raceway by being close to or on the lead. Things were turned upside down on Saturday night (April 20) for Rebel Voyager ($4.10) but the result ended up being the same as he posted his fourth consecutive win with a neck decision over Upfront Countryboy in the $11,500 Class AA Open pace.   After looking for an early lead attempt, Rebel Voyager (Bill Davis Jr.) had to retreat and drop back to an unusual position of sixth and last as Heaven Rocks took control to the opening marker.   With the field double decked to the three quarter pole, the feature was now wide open with everyone in contention. Rebel Voyager went widest of all sweeping off the final turn and won the charge to the wire, beating Upfront Countryboy (Shawn McDonough) by a neck while Adonis Bay (David McNeight III) took third.   "I capitalized off some early speed and a good cover trip," Davis Jr. said of the victory with Rebel Voyager. "He's a tough horse that is really firing on all cylinders right now."   Trained by Maria Rice and co-owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing LTD, it was the sixth win of the season in nine attempts for the 5-year-old gelded Rebel Voyager (Shanghai Phil-Pan Voyager). The victory jacked his 2019 earnings to $21,896 and $138,081 lifetime.   In the $11,000 Class AA Open Pace, What's Goin On (Ray Fisher Jr.) used a late rally to edge by the pace-setting China Dream by a neck in 1:55.1.   Trailing by 3-1/4 lengths with a panel to go, What's Goin On let loose with a :28.3 final split to knock down the $5.00 victory. China Dream (Davis Jr.) was a heart-breaking second while Harry Hoo N took the show position.   Co-owned by Marissa Russo and Joseph Russo. the 5-year-old gelded What's Goin On (Roll With Joe, Shipps Xclamation) has captured four wins in 12 tries in 2019. The win increased his bankroll to $28,515 and $320,672 career-wise.     Rose Run Ranger was victorious in first $10,000 Class A pace with a popular $3.80 nod in 1:55.1 while Davis Jr. guided Southwind Torque to a $7.30 win in 1:56.0 in the other bracket.   Davis Jr. finished the night with four wins in the sulky while Fisher Jr. and McDonough posted a pair of wins. Mike Ohol and Rice had two training victories.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night with a nine race card scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Harness racing driver John MacDonald made the first Saturday (April 20) of the 2019 Vernon Downs season a memorable one. MacDonald starting out by winning the first race with long shot Pearlameri ($34.40). His second win came in the Anthony Farina Pacing Series ($4000) with Gia's Surreal ($2.10). The 3-year-old filly by So Surreal won by over six lengths in 1:53.3. Finishing second was Regal Escape (Truman Gale). Joe's Life (Leon Bailey) was third Best. His last four wins came with Ponyta Boy ($9.40), KJ Erich ($4.50), Connie Keeper ($6.00), and Studio City ($6.70). Electrofire (Jennifer Lappe) charges late to capture the featured pace ($6,000). Winds Of Change (John MacDonald) put up all the early fractions (:26.0, :55.4, 1:25.2). Card Knock Life (Josh Kinney) would take the lead at the top of the stretch. Electrofire ($16.00), who is owned and trained by Lappe, found an opening on the inside and went to the lead and hang on to beat second place finisher Skip Jive (Jimmy Whittemore) in 1:53.2. Card Knock Life settled for third. Electrofire is a 12-year-old horse by Electric Stena. It was his first win of 2019. He now owns 48 career victories. Electrofire Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (April 26) with a post time of 6:10 pm. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

There’s an old saying and we all know it: “Money talks and [you know what] walks.” Many will say that it really isn’t about the money; how many times have we heard athletes say that after they sign a very lucrative contract with their new team? We know that money — if it doesn’t rule the world, it certainly drives it — matters. I give you The Meadowlands as Exhibit A. Last April, there were talks of closure, talks of ending stakes races and talks of moving The Hambletonian. We all know why. While other tracks were using casino monies to bolster purses, The Big M had no casino monies to give. They got by during the winter when nearby tracks were closed, but once March came, off went the horses to other tracks, mainly those in Pennsylvania, which offers two facilities — Pocono and Chester — that are buoyed by the casino dollars. The politicians were thinking about helping all three New Jersey racetracks — Monmouth on the thoroughbred side and Freehold and Meadowlands on the Standardbred side. For years, they hemmed and hawed, the classic political football. Former Governor Chris Christie opposed helping and legislators had to be careful too. Any time a politician talks of using taxpayer money to support private industry, it goes over like a lead balloon. Most cringe at funding public schools, let alone an industry such as horse racing. So, for much of 2017 and 2018, New Jersey horse racing stood in limbo. Both sides had valid arguments. Those that wanted the subsidies argued that horse racing is a billion-dollar business that employs thousands and seeing it end would leave many unemployed and would deprive the state of much-needed revenues. Those against it believe that it is not the state’s responsibility to prop up private industry, even though subsidizing horse racing, because it’s heavily regulated by the state, is a little different than, say, subsidizing car dealerships. Still, it’s a valid point: if an industry can’t survive on its own, then maybe it should fold. In May 2016, Phil Murphy decided that he wanted to be the next governor of the Garden State and, while campaigning, he came out as a friend of New Jersey horse racing. He visited the Meadowlands more than once and said (if elected) that should subsidy legislation ever reach his desk, he would sign it. In 2017, he was elected and he took office in 2018. As we know, nothing moves quickly in politics. So, for much of 2018, the bill to subsidize horse racing purses crawled along. Finally, in January of this year, it became law. The state would give horse racing $100 million over five years — $20 million each year. Of that, $10 million would go to Monmouth, $6 million to the Meadowlands, $1.6 million to Freehold and $2.4 million to support New Jersey breeding. It’s amazing how the money has altered people’s moods. The Meadowlands owner is Jeff Gural. While his love for harness racing cannot be questioned, he is known as a doom-and-gloomer, a glass-half-empty type guy. But things have changed. Now flushed with $6 million, Gural feels that his track can compete with Yonkers, Harrah’s and Pocono. He is armed with cash and, as mentioned, money talks. Overnight purses have been bolstered, the preferred paces and trots are now running for $30,000 (from $18,000) and, recently, the track announced a new series of four races worth a total of $700,000. The four races will be run in the spring and early summer with the finals coming in June and July. The races are as follows: The Golden Receiver Pace: Three legs, and then a final, total $165,000. The Mr. Muscleman Trot: Four legs, and then a final, $205,000. The Rainbow Blue Mare Pace: Three legs, and then a final $165,000. The Bee A Magician Mare Trot: Three legs, and then a final, $165,000. All four finals will run for an estimated $60,000, which is far from chump change on an otherwise nondescript night of racing. As for Freehold, it has upped its purses as well. The preferreds, which ran for $8,000 are now running for $12,000. Karen Fagliarone is the racing director at the nation’s oldest harness facility and has plans for the $1.6 million. “We raised purses by 50 percent for all classes,” she said, “we’re going to use the monies on overnights.” Freehold’s season is cut in two; the first part runs from Jan. 4 to May 17, with the second half picking up on Aug. 30 and running through Dec. 28. That’s 38 weeks with racing on Friday and Saturday afternoons. I asked Fagliarone if there were plans to develop a series, à la The Meadowlands and she was noncommittal. “Right now, there are no plans,” she said, “at least not through May. We may rethink that over the break and do something the latter half of the year, but right now, we are going to use the money to boost the overnight purses and reward those who race here.” While many focus on purses, there is also $2.4 million earmarked for New Jersey breeding, something that is badly needed for a state that is suffering from a horse shortage. “Everybody followed the casino monies and left New Jersey. There weren’t many stallions and mares standing in the state,” Fagliarone said. “It will take years to build up the stock in our state. This money will help, but it’s going to take time.” Freehold has been racing since 1853 and, like Monticello, runs only in the afternoon, something Fagliarone likes. “We have an advantage with daytime racing. We have lots of farms nearby and they can drive them in, race them and be home at night with their families.” The additional purse monies have allowed Fagliarone to write some different races for the pacers and trotters as well. “We are using the Trackmaster figures for some races. Right now, we have paces and trots for horses that have TMRs (Trackmaster rating) of 68 or less. Those are racing for $4,200 purses, the lowest figure we have here.” On good days, Freehold will handle over $400,000 and, while it focuses more on overnights, there are some big days on the calendar. For most, the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, but, on that day, Freehold runs its signature race, the Dexter Cup. Sanctioned by The Hambletonian Society, this is a race for 3-year old trotters and will offer a purse of at least $130,000 in 2019. In its day, it used to serve as a prep race for The Hambletonian, but, in recent years, things have changed. The accompanying Lady Suffolk is for 3-year old fillies, which last year ran for $66,000 purse. The fall schedule culminates with New Jersey Sire Stakes action, as well as some other stakes races. The full stakes schedule can be found here. What a difference a year makes. Last year, things were looking shaky for New Jersey harness racing, but things are looking up in 2019 and, hopefully, beyond. John Furgele   As a kid growing up in the Buffalo suburbs in the 1970s and 80s, the radio was one of John Furgele’s best friends. In the evenings, he used to listen to a show on WBEN radio called “Free Form Sports,” hosted by Buffalo broadcast legend Stan Barron. The show ran weeknights from 6 to 11 pm and featured every kind of sport you could imagine. One minute, Mr. Barron was interviewing a Buffalo Sabres player; the next, he was giving high school field hockey scores. But there was always one thing that caught John’s ear. During those five hours, Barron would give the results from Western New York’s two harness racing tracks — Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. This is where John learned what exactas, quinellas, trifectas and daily doubles were all about. From then on, he always paid attention to harness racing, and when Niatross (a legendary Western New York horse) hit the scene in 1979, his interest began to blossom. John believes harness racing is a sport that has the potential to grow and he will explore ways to get that done via marketing, promotion and, above all, the races themselves. When he’s not watching races, John is busy with his family and his job in sales. Like the pacers and trotters, he does a little running himself and you’ll occasionally find him “going to post” in a local 5K race. Reprinted with permission of US Racing

LEBANON, OH - The betting public got it right on Saturday night at Miami Valley as Dislocator (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), dispatched as the 3-5 harness racing favorite, captured the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired three-year-old pacing colts. Wrenn floated Dislocator from the gate, allowing stablemate High On Paydaze (Brett Miller) to trip the first timing beam in :27. Rushing to the top immediately thereafter, the winning son of Big Bad John had control at the :55.1 halfway point. Although Dislocator still had the inside advantage at the 1:23 third quarter station, Ohio Vintage (Kayne Kauffman) had ranged up on the outside and stuck a neck in front. Shortly thereafter another challenger, Seattle Hanover (Chris Page), came calling three wide off the final bend and Dashing To Da Wire (Tyler Smith) entered the championship fray. In the end, Dislocator was able to hold the others at bay for a 1:52.1 triumph. Dashing To Da Wire, Seattle Hanover and Ohio Vintage were next across the finish line to also earn automatic bids to next Saturday's $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley. Dislocator, trained by Brian Brown, earned $113,116 at age two and finished third in the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes final to stablemates High On Paydaze and Rock Candy. He is owned by Jolynn Ridder, Scott Davis, Sharon Sopronyi and the VIP Internet Stable. Dislocator A race earlier, GD Western Joe (Page) scored the nation's fastest win by a four-year-old on a five-eighths mile track thus far this year. His 1:49.3 triumph in the $24,000 Open I Pace was his first in three tries at the top level, following a pair of runnerup efforts. My Hero Ron (Dan Noble) got a garden trip behind the winner the entire way to earn the place finish, while Granite (Wrenn Jr.), assigned the outside after winning the last two Opens, was forced to do some heavy lifting to pick up the show dough. There will be no racing at Miami Valley on Easter Sunday, but the final two weeks of the 2019 meet will commence on Monday with a 2:05 p.m. matinee. Gregg Keidel

VERNON — A rainy opening night of the 66th harness racing season at Vernon Downs saw a disqualification in the featured $7,000 trot run as the fifth event on the program. Only Passing Thru and driver Jimmy Whittemore were awarded first place due to a disqualification by Taco Tuesday, driven by Leon Bailey. Track officials reported there was a big opening crowd, although the official attendance was unavailable. Opening night featured a T-shirt and magnet giveaway, and a fireworks display was scheduled at the end of the racing program. With rain falling throughout most of the night, the track was rated “good” for the first four events on the 11-race card but was changed to “sloppy” for the last seven. In the featured event, Only Passing Thru made a three-wide move to challenge Taco Tuesday for the lead, and Taco Tuesday drifted wide causing interference. Taco Tuesday crossed the finish line first but was placed second for interference, with Warawee Preferred taking third. A 5-year-old owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Marrissa Chadbourne, Only Passing Thru won for the third time in 10 starts this season, returning $3.90. He now has 14 career victories. He had a winning time of 1:56.4. Whittemore and Chadbourne combined for three wins on the night, also placing first with Blameitonthenight and Bold Fresh. Whittemore was the track’s driving co-champion in 2018 along with John MacDonald, with each collecting 115 wins. Mr Lucky Star and driver Roman Lopez rallied late to overtake favorite Barn Beast and driver Claude Huckabone Jr. to win the first division of the $4,000 Robert E. Keller Trotting Series in 1:56.1. The 4-year-old gelding is trained by Lopez for owners Joan Ellafrits and Lynn Wilson. It was his first win in two lifetime starts. Irish Kate and driver Claude Huckabone III went gate-to-wire to win the second division of the Keller Series in 2:02.2. The 4-year-old mare, owned by Donald Cosgrove and trained by Angus MacDonald, won for the first time this season and for the fifth time in her career. The Downs is back in action tonight with another 11-race card starting at 6:10. For more racing information, visit www.vernondowns.com  Reprinted with permission of The Rome Sentinel

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

YONKERS, N.Y. – Harness racing trainer Tahnee Camilleri couldn’t have been more excited to start racing Ideal Lifestyle. The Australian mare came to Camilleri’s barn off a career-best 1:50.3 victory at Menangle in September 2018 and by late fall, Camilleri had the Western Ideal mare ready to qualify at the Meadowlands. However, Ideal Lifestyle’s North American debut suffered a delay. “I had her ready to qualify at the Meadowlands roughly in October or November, but she had a bit of a mishap in the paddock when I had her in to qualify,” Camilleri said. “She kicked and got her leg caught over her hopples, so she ended up doing a little tear in her hamstring and she needed time off then.” For Camilleri, the injury proved to be a low point. After embarking on a career as a lawyer, the Australian native changed course and came to the United States to pursue her passion of harness racing. After a brief stint here in 2009, Camilleri returned last year. Her growing stable of Australian imports have posted 20 wins from 54 starts since April 2018 and Ideal Lifestyle looked to be the star of the stable. “It was really disappointing because I was quite excited to start racing her and just to have a horse of that caliber,” Camilleri said. “Her last start in Australia, she made a bunch of very good mares look ordinary, she absolutely destroyed them. I was pinching myself to be able to get my hands on a mare of that caliber and for it to all go pear-shaped her first time she set foot on a racetrack here was a little bit disappointing, but I suppose that’s racing.” A multiple Group 3-placed performer Down Under, Ideal Lifestyle came to Camilleri off an open-length victory in a 1-mile mares FFA. After leaving from the far outside post, Ideal Lifestyle set and opening fraction of :25.8 and came home with a :27.6 quarter to post her lifetime mark. When she arrived in Camilleri’s barn, her impression in the flesh was even more impressive than that on the track. “She’s built like a breeding stallion, she’s a very big Western Ideal mare, extremely highly-strung, but a lot of the good mares are,” Camilleri said. “Just looking at her, she’s a very impressive looking individual. I’ve never trained a Standardbred that big, let alone a mare. She’s quite impressive to look at. She was very hard to get out of the stall when I first got her. She’s very high-strung and you just have to train her with sheepskin gloves, I guess. She’s a little bit temperamental, but she’s entitled to be.” After her arrival, Camilleri and Ideal Lifestyle quickly got off on the wrong foot. However, over time, the daughter out of the Albert Albert mare Trebla Trebla has become easier to work with. “I got her off the truck when she had just come from quarantine and I put her in a stall. I let her rest in there for a little while, let her have something to eat and drink,” Camilleri recalled. “And then I went and hour or two later to let her out in the field and she wasn’t having it. She chased me out of the stall. That was basically my introduction to Ideal Lifestyle. It’s not very fun being chased out of a stall by a horse that size. “She’s definitely taught me a lot,” Camilleri said. “She hasn’t been an easy horse to train, but I’m now starting to reap the rewards of the patience I’ve put into her. It’s been a bit of a ride, but it’s been an exciting one, anyway.” Camilleri gave Ideal Lifestyle time to recover from her injury and by January, she was ready to qualify again. After two successful trials at the Meadowlands and a runner-up finish in 1:52.0 on debut February 1, Camilleri decided to nominate to the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series despite her concerns about the half-mile track. “I had my doubts about whether she would get around Yonkers,” the trainer said. “I paid up for the Matchmaker and just thought I would put her around Yonkers and see how she goes. She’s a very big mare, a very long mare.” Ideal Lifestyle made her Hilltop debut February 15, the evening after payments were due. She wired the field in a $29,000 overnight, scoring in 1:54 with Jordan Stratton in the sulky. Ideal Lifestyle subsequently posted two straight runner-up finishes in the $44,000 distaff feature before taking aim at the series. Ideal Lifestyle continued to surprise her trainer with a 1:52.3 victory in leg one of the series March 15. After two straight second-place finishes in weeks two and three and a fourth April 5, Ideal Lifestyle accumulated 208 points, enough for an eighth-place ranking in the standings, earning her a spot in the $402,600 Final Saturday night (April 20).  “Probably half-mile racing isn’t really her go, but it’s a testament to her ability that she qualified for the final when it’s very obvious she struggles around a half,” Camilleri said. “I’m very proud of her; she does a lot of things wrong, but she still qualified for the final and she’s a great trier, so it’s going to be fun.” Ideal Lifestyle drew post seven in the final and will be reunited with Jordan Stratton after George Brennan drove throughout the preliminary legs. Although she is a 20-1 outsider, the long odds take the pressure of Camilleri in her stakes debut. “This is my first stakes race I’ve ever been in. She’s a bit of a forgotten horse and it’s a lot less pressure on me and her and I’m going to go into (Saturday) night and just enjoy myself,” she said. “I’m still pinching myself. It’s very, very exciting and I’m very excited for the mare,” Camilleri continued. “George came off and said she was a little tired her last start. I skipped last week and freshened her up, she’s jumping out of her skin, so I’m expecting her to run a good race. I’ve got a great tactical driver on board in Jordan Stratton and I’ll just leave it up to him. Win, lose, or draw, I’m so proud she qualified for the final and I’m thankful to be there.” The field for the Matchmaker Series Final is listed below: Post Position     Horse         Sire                                Driver                 Trainer 1       Kaitlyn N                      American Ideal            Matt Kakaley        Rich Banca 2       Apple Bottom Jeans    Mr Apples                   Corey Callahan      Dylan Davis 3       Feelin Red Hot            Feelin Friskie              George Brennan    Ron Burke 4       Don’t Think Twice        Armbro Operative       Jason Bartlett        Andrew Harris 5       Bettor Joy N                 Bettors Delight            Dexter Dunn         Jim King Jr. 6       Shartin N                      Tintin In America        Tim Tetrick             Jim King Jr. 7       Ideal Lifestyle A            Western Ideal             Jordan Stratton     Tahnee Camilleri 8       Seaswift Joy N             Bettors Delight            Jim Marohn Jr.      Tony Alagna  Saturday night’s card also features the $664,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Final, the $100,000 Levy Series Consolation, the $75,000 Matchmaker Series Consolation, and a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 19, 2019 - Made of Jewels AS (Jordan Stratton, $8.20) prevailed off a live tow Friday night (Apr. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $35,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Pace. Unhurried from assigned post position No. 5, Made of Jewels AS was away sixth before hooking herself in back of the second move of Alexa's Power (Jason Bartlett). That latter, advancing from third, ground down narrow 2-1 choice Bettorhaveanother (George Brennan) early in the lane after that one led through intervals of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.1. While 'Alexa' was good, Made of Jewels AS proved better, doing so by a half-length in a season's-best 1:53.1. Third went to a tiring Bettorhaveanother, with Queen Lostris N (Mark MacDonald) and Betabcool N (Joe Bongiorno) rounding out the payees. For third choice Made of Jewels AS, a 6-year-old daughter of Panspacificflight owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was her fourth win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $34.20, the triple returned $152 and the superfecta paid $518. Saturday night's (Apr. 20th) card, with a dozen races worth $1,530,320, features the $402,060 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (9th race) and the $663,260 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (11th race). They're the two richest North American harness race of the season to date and the richest ever among the 11 Matchmakers and 32 editions of the Levy. Post time is the usual 6:50 PM. Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Considering the talent level of the field he was facing, even harness racing driver Andy Miller must have been surprised at how easily his Sutton won his second straight Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters. After all, Sutton was taking on arch-rival Trolley, the only horse to defeat him (twice) this year. In addition, there was $2.7-million lifetime earner Pinkman to contend with, as well as Dover Downs shipper All Champy, who was looking for his third straight win, not to mention Sutton's stablemate, Top Flight Angel, who was second in last year's Breeders Crown. But there was Sutton, leaving the gate alertly before yielding the top to Pinkman at the quarter, and even though the track was unforgiving to speed all night long, Miller put the 6-year-old son of Donato Hanover-I Wanted Wings right back on the point at the three-eighths. After a sleepy :29.4 second quarter, Sutton was in full control as Trolley was the first to pull off the rail - from sixth - after the half. His attempt to beat Sutton - as well as everyone else's - would prove futile. Sutton raced on a clear lead around the far turn as Trolley picked up cover from longshot Sortie, but no one ever got close. Sutton trotted his final quarter in :26.3 and hit the wire in 1:53. It was 2¼ lengths back to Pinkman. Sortie was third while Trolley finished fourth. The winner, trained by Julie Miller, paid $4.20 to win as the even-money favorite and now has 13 wins from 40 lifetime starts and earnings of $557,288 for owners Andy Miller Stable and Jason and Douglas Allen. CAP4 REACHES NEW HEIGHTS: The fifth edition of the Can-Am Pick-4, which requires a bettor to select two winners at the Meadowlands and two more at Woodbine Mohawk Park, provided the wager's biggest pool yet, as a total of $65,333 was put in play. After a sequence that saw winner's odds of even-money, 8-1, 8-5 and 2-1, the return for the bet with the 20-Cent base was $87.17. The Meadowlands' Dave Brower and Woodbine's Jason Portuondo gave out winning selections to their followers. BIG HIT IN JSH5: One lucky patron wagering on the Meadowlands' signal into the Oregon hub went home with a huge smile on his or her face Friday night. In the 13th race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five, 10-1 shot Knightofvictory held off 5-2 favorite Prince Of Minto after a stirring stretch duel and that player holding the only ticket with the winning combination of 6-8-1-10-3 cashed in for $68,059. A LITTLE MORE: Five drivers won two races on the program: Yannick Gingras, Dexter Dunn, Corey Callahan, Dave Miller and Andy Miller. ... Ron Burke had a training triple while Mark Harder scored twice. ... Tyler Buter found a late seam to win the ninth race with Parkin In Heaven, giving him 2,999 driving wins for his career. ... All-source handle totaled $2,717,504. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) was awarded first place due to a disqualification by Taco Tuesday (Leon Bailey) during the featured harness racing trot ($7,000) at Vernon Downs on opening night (4-19). It rained throughout the card but didn't dampen the spirits of the big opening day crowd. Warrawee Preferred (Jim Taggert Jr) charged to the front and put up all the opening fractions (:27.4, :59.0, 1:28.3). Taco Tuesday popped out of the pocket and took over the lead at the top of the stretch. Only Passing Thru ($3.90) made a three-wide move to challenge Taco Tuesday for the lead. Taco Tuesday drifted wide causing interference. Taco Tuesday crossed the finish line first but was placed second for interference. Warawee Preferred hung on to finish third. Only Passing Thru is a 5-year-old horse by Muscle Hill. Owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Marrissa Chadbourne, he won for the third time in 10 starts this season. He now has 14 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore and Marrisa Chadbourne combined for three winners on the night. Their other wins came with Blameitonthenight ($2.30) and Bold Fresh ($21.20). Mr Lucky Star (Roman Lopez) came flying late to overtake the big favorite Barn Beast (Claude Huckabone Jr.) to win the first division of the Robert E. Keller Trotting Series ($4,000) in 1:56.1. Mark C Adams (Truman Gale) was third best. Mr Lucky Star ($6.90) is a 4-year-old gelding by Mr Cantab. Trained by Lopez for owners Joan Ellafrits and Lynn Wilson. It was his first win in two lifetime starts. Mr Lucky Star Irish Kate (Claude Huckabone III) went gate-to-wire to win the second division Of The Robert E. Keller Trotting Series in 2:02.2. Massive Impressive (Rick Harp) made a late charge but fell short to settle for second. Little Dave (Angus MacDonald) finished third. Irish Kate ($3.60) is a 4-year-old mare by Conway Hall. Owned by Donald Cosgrove and trained by Angus MacDonald, she won for the first time this season. She now owns five career victories. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (April 20) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 pm. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Majestic Kat made it a 'purrfect' 3-for-3 at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (April 19) as she splashed and dashed her way to the harness racing victory in the $13,000 Open Trot in 1:57.4 over the sloppy track.   After making a two week visit to Flamboro Downs where she registered a win and third place, Majestic Kat returned to the Western New York circuit where she was undefeated in two starts.   Driver Billy Davis Jr. and Majestic Kat were involved in a skirmish with Wheels A Turning and Southern Palms to take command to the opening quarter pole and were successful in getting there.   "It was obvious we wanted the lead," Davis Jr. said of his early going strategy. "She (Majestic Kat) is pretty handy racing from anywhere but she does like the front end." Once hitting the home stretch in 1:28.4, Davis Jr. said, "I wasn't really worried."   Wheels A Turning (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished in second a length behind while Southern Palms (Drew Monti) took third.   Trained by Maria Rice and co-owned by Jack Rice, Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Pine Hill Racing LTD, it was the fifth win in 11 starts for Majestic Kat (Majestic Son-Order By Matilda). The 5-year-old mare has now put $35,416 in the bank this season and $197,007 in her career.   In the $10,000 Class A-B Handicap Trot, Lougazi came from nowhere and snatched a head victory over Keystone Apache in 1:59.0.   Sitting fifth and 5-1/4 lengths from the lead at the top of the stretch, Ray Fisher Jr. launched a mad charge with Lougazi in the stretch and posted the $16.40 upset win. Keystone Apache (Davis Jr.) took the tough luck second place finish with Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) taking third, just a neck behind the winner.   Owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the second consecutive triumph for Lougazi (Lou's Legacy-Winning Blade). The 5-year-old gelding has now produced $16,000 in earnings on the campaign and $120,483 lifetime.   Davis Jr. completed the card with three winners while Fisher Jr. doubled. Rice, Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer, had a pair of victories.   Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 10-race card slated. There's a $438 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

LEBANON, OH - Rylee Roo (Aaron Merriman) upset Queen Of The Pride (Tony Hall) following a stirring harness racing stretch duel in the $40,000 championship of the James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired sophomore pacing fillies at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (April 19). The daughter of Pet Rock, trained by Steve Carter, sat a cozy two-hole throughout before Merriman angled her to the outside and took a shot at the 1-5 favorite in the final eighth of the mile. Rylee Roo returned $15.80 for her 1:54.1 score over a rain-soaked sloppy racing surface. Coupled with Queen Of The Pride, the defending Ohio Sires Stakes champion, the exacta was worth $27. Queen Of The Pride, who won her elimination heat last week in a national season's best 1:51.4, cut reasonable fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:26.1 before falling prey to the howling winds and wet weather conditions at the end of a :28 flat final panel. Bad Sammie (Brett Miller) and Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) also raced creditably to finish third and fourth, respectively, and earn automatic berths to next Friday's $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley. Rylee Roo earned $74,375 as a two-year-old with two wins and two place finishes in just six starts. With the $20,000 Hackett paycheck she is currently sitting on the cusp of $100,000 in earnings. Steven Price of Sandy Springs, Georgia, owns Rylee Roo-who is a homebred result of breeding his Western Hanover mare Moonlite Delite to Pet Rock. Rylee Roo The $25,000 Mares Open Pace on the program was captured by Golden Paradise (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) in 1:53.3, besting Rosemary Rose (Chris Page) and Big Bad Jane (Dan Noble). The five-year-old daughter of Allthatgltrsisgold flashed terrific early speed to grab an easy early lead in :27, then continued at a catch-me-if-you-can pace through subsequent timing stations in :55.3 and 1:25 before coasting to the line an open lengths winner. Wrenn Jr. co-owns the winner with partners Sam Schillaci and trainer Tyler George. A $30,000 claimer through most of the current meet, Golden Paradise now sports six wins in 11 seasonal starts and $57,760 in 2019 purse earnings, all at Miami Valley. The final $40,000 Hackett Memorial final, for three-year-old Buckeye bred pacing colts, will go postward Saturday night (April 20) as the tenth race on the 14-race program. Seattle Hanover (Chris Page, 3-1) and Dislocator (Ronnie Wrenn Jr., 4-1) are the morning line favorites but a contentious race is expected as all nine finalists paced in 1:52.2 or faster in last week's eliminations. Gregg Keidel

Plainville, Ma --- After taking advantage of quick early fractions while he sat off the pace, Northern Skyway made a strong closing move to capture the $16,000 harness racing Open Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 19). Last week's feature winner Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) went right back to work and led the field to the quarter in a moderate :28.4 split. At that point Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) was looking to turn up the heat and pulled from third to go after the leader and that's when the battle ensued. Namesmuscle had no intentions of giving up the front and Nows The Moment didn't have enough trot at that point to outmuscle Namesmuscle. So the two trotted side by side heatedly to the half in :57.2 and three quarters in 1:25.1. While that melee was in progress Northern Skyway (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) who had been coasting along fourth, pulled from that spot and started tracking the leading pair from a parked third position. As that trio rounded the last turn, Nows The Moment had finally gotten the best of the fading Namesmuscle, but Northern Skyway had tipped to the middle of the track and was fully underway. Aldrich kept driving Northern Skyway down the lane and he incrementally drew alongside and then passed Nows The Moment to win by a length in 1:55.1. Northern Skyway ($3.40) who had been making hay in the top trotting conditions at the Meadows since February got his first Plainridge win of the year in his second attempt of the meet for owner William Mc Elvain Jr. and trainer Mike Hitchcock. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned trot, Mayfair Johnny B (Jay Randall) took the lead past the quarter and then never looked back; eventually trotting home in a brisk :28.4 to win by a length in 1:56. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Mayfair Johnny B ($3.40) and his owner the Kellogg Racing Stable. Jackie Greene trains the winner. The driver and trainer combination of Wally and Lisa Watson led all horsepersons competing on Friday, each scoring a double in their respective category. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 22) at 4 p.m. For more information about Massachusetts harness racing log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net or Plainridge Park at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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