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Sudden Change N (Jim Taggart Jr.) takes the Tioga Downs Fillies and Mares Open 2 ($9,000), on Saturday (May 19). Harness racing driver John Cummings Jr visits the winner's circle five times. In the feature, K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) charged out to the lead and controlled all the early fractions (:27.1, :56.2, 1:23.4). Sudden Change N ($9.70), who is owned by trainer Jody Riedel and Super Mile LLC., went first-over from last just before the three-quarter mark. K J's Caroline looked like she was a winner in the stretch but Sudden Change N made one more run at her to nip her at the wire in 1:52.2. K J's Caroline held for second with Kardashian (John Cummings Jr.) finishing third. Sudden Change N is a 7-year-old mare by Changeover. She won for the fourth time this season and secured her 20th lifetime victory. John Cummings Jr. and trainer Jenny Melander combine for three wins on the night. Cummings Jr. and Melander got wins with My Cherrie Pie ($3.00), Away My Baby ($3.60), and American Assassin ($5.50). Cummings Jr., also secured victories with Explosive Jet ($31.00), and Gold Star Aurora ($5.60) Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (May 20) with a post time of 1:00 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - Harness racing qualifiers were at 5:00 this evening on a soggy, foggy evening that was cool but windless.   Jimmy Takter sent out a few of his returning star sophomores and they performed beautifully.   You Know You Do went his second prep for Yannick Gingras, stalked the leader through slow fractions then swept past with a 27.1 end to a mile in 1:55.3 to win by more than six lengths. The filly Dab Hanover was second in her seasonal debut with trainer Takter at the lines. Taylor, Hatfield, Katz, Libfeld and Order By Stable own the winner.   Takter and Gingras combined to win with 3-year-old colt Wolfgang who led all the way to win in 1:54 / 27.2. He's a big strapping colt who made over $300,000 last season for Brixton Medical, Falk, Hatfield and breeder Fair Island Farm. Filly Phaetosive (Jim Marohn, Jr) was great closing strong up the inside in 27 flat to be second.2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman (Josert Fonesca) was third in his first go.   On the pacing side, Youaremycandygirl (Gingras) won in her third attempt, cutting the mile in 1:52.1 / 27 and winning by ten. Ron Burke trains her for Bill Donovan.   Gingras was looking for the sweep with everyone's favorite war horse Foiled Again, but alas he followed the good sophomore colt Karpathian Kid around the track to be second, beaten three lengths in 1:52.   Results are on the web.  

MONTICELLO,NY - After a CKG Billings Series Midwest regional trot at Scioto Downs last night (May 18) the longest running amateur driving series moved on to Freehold NJ for a contest over the famed harness racing double-oval at Freehold Raceway and when the results were finalized, "Tough Tony" Ciuffettelli scored an impressive victory with Better To Be Lucky in a time of 2:00.4 over a soggy racetrack. Last October Ciuffetelli purchased Better Be Lucky and since then the 6-year-old Lucky Chucky gelding has proven to be a valuable commodity after the trotter notched his fourth seasonal triumph. "I bought him as a back-up Billings horse," Ciuffetelli explained. "He's a nice horse but he occasionally gets temperamental." After leaving softly from the two-hole Ciuffetelli headed for the pylons and watched the speed duel ensue between Annie "Get Your Gun" Stoebe, with betting favorite Uriel, and "Yankee Joe" Lee's, Great Emancipator, who was on the limb fighting for command. "I was feeling good watching Anne and Joe go at it. They were going pretty swift over the muddy racetrack and I was hoping that they'd get tired ... and that's just what happened," Ciuffetteli said. With snappy early fractions of :28.2 and :58 Ciuffetteli just bided his time. He was second at the third stanza in 1:29.2 and when Better To Be Lucky cleared on the final turn he had command. "I felt pretty confident as he headed for the wire since the two favorites battled it out early, "Tough Tony" added. "I saw Tyler (Miller) coming at us but he went off-stride before the finish." "Young Tyler" Miller finished second with Masster Blue while Anne Stoebe took home the show dough with Uriel. It seems that Bettor To Be Lucky lived up to his name as he crossed the finish line 1-1/2 lengths in front of Miller's, Masster Blue. Ciuffetelli, a former corrections officer, also owns and trains the winner who returned $20.20; $7,00 and $3.60. For "Tough Tony" it marked his 54th career driving victory. by John Manzi, for the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series    

WASHINGTON, PA, May 19, 2018 -- Moosonee moved three wide into the final turn and roared through the lane to capture the fastest division in Saturday's $174,888 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The event, known as the Super Bowl, was contested over four divisions, with Captain Morgan, Whats The Word and Donatover also taking splits. None of the winners was the betting favorite, suggesting that this division will be wide open throughout the PASS season. Moosonee might more appropriately have been called "Monsoonee" for the Super Bowl after a brief, monsoon-like storm rendered the track sloppy. That didn't deter the Explosive Matter-Lady Andover gelding, who angled off the cones for Aaron Merriman and zipped home in a career-best 1:54 in his sophomore debut. Defending PA champ Fashionwoodchopper was trapped in but was able to shoot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with early leader Gemologist third. "I broke his maiden with him last year, and he showed some potential," Merriman said. "As you can see, he grew up a lot. The way he qualified at Northfield, I was very confident today. He won absolutely in hand." Chris Beaver trains Moosonee for Winterbeary Farm. Captain Morgan won a single race at 2, but he came back more powerful and determined, scoring handily on the front end for Christian Lind, trainer Staffan Lind and owners Lind Racing Stable, Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth and Kemppisuojalampistable. Evaluate was second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths, while Im Your Captain completed the ticket. "He was kind of immature last year; he made some stupid breaks," Staffan Lind said of the son of Cantab Hall-Muchness. "This year, he's a completely different horse. We even took off the hopples." Added Christian Lind: "He's always good on the front. As soon as he feels the presence of another horse, he just picks up speed and grabs the bit." Trainer Janice Connor removed the hopples from Whats The Word before his last race; the improvement showed, as he moved confidently first over for Corey Callahan and wore down Hill Street, downing him by 2 lengths in 1:54.1, a life mark. Dawson Springs earned show. "He raced with hopples last year but trained down really well without them this year," said Connor, who owns the son of Donato Hanover-Your Word Is Good with Arden Homestead Stable. "He blew up two starts ago, so we put the hopples back. We also went back to a hood with no earplugs." $80,000 PA Stallion Series Stake -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters The stallion series event, the co-feature on Saturday's Preakness Day card, might have seemed an unlikely spot for Lindy's Big Bang following his May 5 victory in the $133,800 Dexter Cup, but he overcame a tough trip to win. Also collecting victories were I Know My Rights, Joey and Rich And Miserable. Tyler Buter and his father, trainer Todd Buter, enjoyed a stake double with I Know My Rights and Rich And Miserable. Stuck with post 8, Lindy's Big Bang raced outside before getting the lead near the three-eighths. He held off the rallying Meadowbranch Ricky by a length in 1:55.4, with early leader Bautista third. "It was kind of a group decision (to race him in the stallion series)," said winning driver David Miller, who owns the Explosive Matter-Lindy Of My Dreams gelding with Melvin Hartman and David McDuffee. "I don't know if he can trot in 1:53, and the sires stakes are subject to going that fast. We'll keep him brave. Hopefully, he can keep winning. When they get to winning, sometimes it helps their attitude." Nifty Norman conditions Lindy's Big Bang, who lifted his career bankroll to $127,233. Looped from the gate, I Know My Rights powered to the point and was much the best, prevailing by 2-3/4 lengths over Konnichiwa in a career-best 1:56, with Whoucalncrazy third. Tyler Buter, Lynette Buter and Gene Oldford Farms campaign I Know My Rights, who now has banked $140,505. "He definitely wintered well," Tyler Buter said. "He was full of himself. He can be a handful sometimes, but on the track he's a gentleman. Our plan is just to take care of him, and if Dad wants to try him against the tougher ones, then we will." Joey entered the race off two straight impressive wins in overnights, but could he handle stakes company? Trainer Leslie Zendt was confident he could. "He's always shown that he's had a lot of talent," she said of the son of Yankee Glide-Jodi's Jayme she owns with Bill Zendt. "We've had a little trouble with him getting around the turns here. We always thought he'd be better on a bigger track, but you have to start somewhere." Joey moved first up for Dave Palone and triumphed in 1:55.2, 1/2 length ahead of Unforgetable, while Mississippi Storm earned show. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The Miss Versatility series for harness racing older mare trotters begins on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park as the eighth race. The first leg drew a field of nine racing for a purse of $50,000 (CAD).   Making her seasonal debut is Emoticon Hanover, who had a remarkable season in 2017 while winning the Miss Versatility final, the Breeders Crown and the Joie De Vie in world record time of 1:50.2 for owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable and trainer Luc Blais. She's had three conditioning qualifiers, the most recent a 1:56.1 win over the Campbellville oval. James MacDonald will drive the career winner of over $1.25 million from post position #7 on Monday.   The main rival in Monday's race is a familiar one in the venerable Caprice Hill (PP#2 Doug McNair). The two mares battled on several occasions last year, in fact Caprice was at the flank of Emoticon while beaten less than a length in the Breeders Crown. She's earned nearly $1.5 million in her career for owner Tom Hill while residing in the Tony Alagna barn.   Here's the field and a program is available on the web.   8 -- Trot, purse $50,000 MISS VERSATILITY - 1ST LEG - FILLIES & MARES. Post time: 09:50 P.M. 1 Highland Top Hill by Muscle Hill 2 Caprice Hill by Kadabra 3 Dream Together by Muscle Hill 4 Pink Pistol by Cantab Hall 5 Its Hallright by Cantab Hall 6 P L Jill by Kadabra 7 Emoticon Hanover by Kadabra 8 Southwind Tesla by Chapter Seven 9 The Erm by Cantab Hall   Nick Salvi

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - David Miller had the hot hand Friday night at the Meadowlands, winning three times on the 10-race harness racing card. The Hall of Famer scored in the first race - a New Jersey Sire Stakes event for 3-year-old pacing fillies - with 3-5 public choice Hypnotic Tale (Hypnotic Blue Chip-Born Storyteller) in 1:53.1, which lowered her previous lifetime best by two-and-two-fifth seconds. Miller's second score came with the Domenico Cecere-trained Hat Trick Habit, who prevailed in a lifetime-best 1:54 as the 9-5 public choice in the fourth race conditioned trot before he completed his three-bagger with Super S Yzerman in the ninth race "Dash for the G Notes" pace in 1:53 as the 3-1 second choice. In the process, Super S Yzerman lowered his previous lifetime best by four-and-one-fifth seconds. CHURN, BABY, CHURN: Chalk players had a nice night, as the first five races were taken by the post-time choice and a total of six favorites scored on the program. Two other races were taken by the second choice. A LITTLE MORE: The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five was hit. The lucky player holding the combination of 7-8-5-1-9 in the eighth race cashed in for $10,522. ... All-source wagering was down 18 percent over the corresponding card from last year. The primary culprits being one five-horse field and another that was scratched down to four. The total wagered was $2,030,038. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 saw one simulcast player at Pompano Park the only bettor to survive nine legs. The payoff was $17,070. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $226,062. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m., with the first race at Pimlico slated for 10:30 p.m. and the Preakness scheduled to go at 6:48 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 18, 2018 - Always A Prince made his seventh consecutive trip to the harness racing winner's circle at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 18 as he completed the Hal Dale Series sweep, winning the $18,000 final of the late closing event open to Indiana sired colts and geldings that are non-winners of $25,000 lifetime. Driven by Peter Wrenn, Always A Prince used his customary front-running tactics to score in 1:51.3 by three-lengths over a track rated sloppy to remain undefeated this season. Leaving from post three, Always A Prince left the gate alertly but so did a host of others. One Cool Cat and Todd Warren protected their rail position and were the first to get as the wings of the gate folded. Always A Prince was pointed to the front and grabbed the top spot just before the first quarter in :28. One Cool Cat benefitted from a pocket trip while Charlie Conrad had Skyway Quinton following along intently in third. Always Prince clicked off fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.2 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Ricky Macomber Jr. had Rockinbeach applying pressure to the outside as the field rounded the final turn. Tom's Arockin and Sam Widger were set to strike from second over but Always A Prince was strong on the front. Utilizing a :26.1 final panel, Always A Prince began to distance himself from the rest of the field and finished under a hand drive, three lengths in front of Tom's A Rockin. Skyway Quinton rallied well to round out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Always A Prince returned $2.40 to his backers at the betting windows. "He's just getting better every start," Wrenn noted after the victory. "He seems to be getting more professional and you can do anything you want with him. It will be interesting when he has to work out a trip, he's had everything his way so far, but I really think he's the real deal." With the win, Always A Prince recorded his seventh seasonal victory and remains undefeated this season. Unraced as a two-year-old, the gelded son of Always A Virgin-Glorious Princess is trained by Jim Dailey. Owned by Kimberly Dailey and Carl & Melanie Atley, Always A Prince has now amassed $36,000 in lifetime purse earnings. Just a few races later, Jet Airway continued a winning streak of his own, taking the $21,000 Invitational Pace to score his ninth consecutive victory and third consecutive at Hoosier Park. Driven by LeWayne Miller, Jet Airway finished five lengths in front of his next closest competitor to stop the timer in 1:49.4. Trained by Dylan Davis, the seven-year-old son of Jereme's Jet-Aromatic has now won 11 of 17 seasonal outings. Owned in partnership by Michael Casalino Jr,, and Dylan Davis, Jet Airway has won 31 of 87 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $627,340. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, May 19 with a 12-race card starting at an adjusted post time of 7:10 p.m. Saturday's card will feature a $21,000 Invitational Trot and a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares. Also featured on Saturday, Hoosier Park will host a Psychic Fair Fundraiser to benefit the Animal Protection League (APL) of Anderson, Ind. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the lower level grandstands at Hoosier Park. Guests who donate $10 to APL during the event will receive a free psychic reading. All proceeds will go to the Animal Protection League. Emily Gaskin

Vernon Downs ran eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for sophomore trotters on Friday night (May 18). Three divisions for harness racing 3-year-old fillies and two divisions for 3-year-old colts. The top three fillies in each elimination and the top four colts (and one fifth place finisher) will compete in the EBC Finals on Memorial day (May 28). Each class will race for an estimated $250,000 purse. All elimination races were for a purse of $12,500. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) won the first division for sophomore trotting colts. Ronnie Goldstein (Kim Crawford) took the lead into the first quarter (:26.1). Six Pack ($3.00) took over right after the quarter. However Helpisontheway (Tim Tetrick) brushed on by to take the half in :56.2 and led to the three-quarter mark in 1:26.1. Six Pack, by Muscle Mass, who is owned by Little E LLC., Stall Kalmar, Lars Berg, and trainer Svanstedt, sat patiently in the pocket then wore down Helpisontheway to tie the track record for 3-year-old trotting colts in 1:52.1. He tied the mark first set by Market Share in 2012. Helpisontheway held on for second. Classichap (Trond Smedshammer) finished third with Southwind Chrome (Scott Zeron) getting fourth place. All four qualified for the EBC Finals on Memorial Day. Seven Iron (Tim Tetrick) uses one last lunge to win the second division for 3-year-old trotting colts. Tito (Andrew McCarthy) took the early lead, hitting the first quarter in 27.2. Voss Volo (Corey Callahan) then took over and led to the half in :56.3. On The Ropes (Ake Svanstedt) then made his bid and had a slight lead after hitting three-quarters in 1:26.0. Seven Iron ($6.40), who is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, found himself fifth after three-quarters. Tetrick would send him three-wide in deep stretch just getting by to win in a lifetime best mark of 1:54.2. On The Ropes narrowly took the runner-up spot. Voss Volo managed to finish third with Clive Bigsby (Scott Zeron) getting the fourth position. All four would qualify for the EBC Final. They will be joined by fifth place finisher Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley) to round out the nine qualifiers. Seven Iron is a 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. It was his first win of 2018 and his third career victory. Atlanta (Scott Zeron) coasts to easy win in the the EBC first division for 3-year-old fillies. White Cheetah (Marcus Miller) led the group to the first quarter mark in 27.0. The lead was short lived as Atlanta ($2.20), who is owned by Howard Taylor, Bradley Grant and trainer Rick Zeron, blew right by and never looked back. She would control all the rest of the fractions (:56.2, 1:26.1, 1:53.1). Golden Muscle (Drew Monti) charged late to finish in second with Tribute To Seven (Tim Tetrick) getting the third spot. All three fillies qualified for the EBC Final. Atlanta is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She is two for two in her sophomore season. She would nail down her sixth career victory. Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) goes gate-to-wire to capture the second division for sophomore fillies. Plunge Blue Chip ($3.00), who is owned by trainer, Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock inc., and Tomas Anderson, charged out for the lead and controlled all the fractions (:27.4, :57.2, 1:26.0, 1:54.0). Her stablemate Ciao Dolce (Andy Miller) followed the whole way to finish second. Repentance (Tim Tetrick) finished third. All three will be in the EBC Final. Plunge Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass. It was her second win of the season and she now has won 11 of her 12 career starts. The third division for 3-year-old fillies went to Natalie Hanover (Ake Svanstedt). Seven Karats (Tim Tetrick) took the lead and put up all the early fractions (:27.1, :57.1, 1:26.2). Natalie Hanover ($9.30), who is owned by Van Camp Trotting Corporation, Anders Olsson, and Borje Nasstrom while trained by Svanstedt, followed in the pocket all the way to thr three-quarter mark. The two fillies would battle all the way down the stretch. Natalie Hanover was just too strong and got the victory. Seven Karats held for second. Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) came up late to finish third. All three qualified to complete the field of nine for the EBC Final.   Natalie Hanover is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She picked up her first win of the season and her third career victory with a lifetime best time of 1:54.1.   A big day for Ake Svanstedt with three wins and one second in the elimination races. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday night (May 19) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Vernon Downs      

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 18, 2018 - Stop us if you've read this one before... Odds-on Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $2.60) did not play fair Friday night (May 18th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace in obnoxiously facile fashion. This field, reduced to a half-dozen after a mid-pack defection (ill), found Newborn Sassy and Call Me Queen Be (Eric Goodell) hooking up early. The former, from what became outside post position No. 6, stepped around the latter well before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile, then waltzed through a :56.4 intermission. Between the half and the (1:24.4) three-quarters, Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) tried it first-up from fourth. However, the leader's 57-second middle portion figured to make everyone else's life difficult. Newborn Sassy owned a length lead into the lane, then widened to 2¾ lengths at the 1:52.3 finish. Mach it a Par fought the good fight to wind up second, with Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) third. Tequila Monday (Brian Sears) and Call Me Queen Be rounded out the payees, while Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) settled for some lovely parting gifts. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by CC Racing & Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her fourth (consecutive) win in 15 seasonal starts after starting'18 0-for-11. The exacta paid $9.40, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $29.80. Yonkers' Saturday (May 19th) program offers eliminations (two) for the Art Rooney Pace and (one) the Lismore. The finalists go at it next Saturday (May 26th) for $300,000 (Rooney) and $111,444 (Lismore). Saturday's 143rd Preakness Stakes shall be prominently simulcast throughout the Raceway. Mutuel windows open at 10 AM, in advance of Pimlico's first post at 10:30 AM. Pimlico offers 14 races (final post 7:35 PM), with the Preakness going as the 12th race (post time 6:48 PM). Frank Drucker

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, was on the move again on Friday, May 18 with a trot in the series mid-west region at Scioto Downs and when it was completed Ned "the Insurance Man" Hodkinson emerged victorious with his old warhorse, Mutinyonthebounty after they turned back seven others in the 2:00.1 trotted mile. Hodkinson, a longtime member of the Billings Series notched his 60th driving victory. Up behind his 9-year-old Mutineer gelding Hodkinson made the trotter's seasonal debut a winning one. After starting from the two-hole as the race's betting favorite, Hodkinson sent his charge to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and took command before the first stanza, which was clocked in 29 seconds. From there it was catch me if you can as Hodkinson kept the pedal to the metal as they showed the way past the half in 1:00.3. And when they went by the third quarter in 1:30 Mutinyonthebounty was still safely in command. As the field headed for home Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford came charging from the middle of the pack with Smoother Ride and as the two trotters approached the finish line they were heads apart. But Mutinyonthebounty was up for the challenge and staved off his competitor for a neck victory. Big Bro finished third for "Tiny Tim" Miller. "He was real sharp in his seasonal debut," Hodkingson said of Mutinyonthebounty who came into this race off a 1:58 qualifier. "We gained command rather easily and were coasting along on the lead until Michelle (Ruvolo, with Upfront Chip Daddy) challenged us up the backstretch. After we put her away my horse had a three length lead and in mid-stretch, without any horses around, he got lazy but still he had enough in the tank to hold off Steve's horse and get the win." Hodkinson also trains Mutinyonthebounty who paid $3.40 for win. Next up in the Billings Series is a trot in the eastern region at Freehold Raceway tomorrow (May 19). The next Midwest region action is slated for May 26 at Hoosier Park. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Tempus Seelster (Big Jim) did what only one mare had been able to do in the last two months at Saratoga Casino Hotel when on Friday night the five year old harness racing distaffer beat Spreester in the local Fillies and Mares Open. Spreester had won five of her six starts in the regular Friday feature before being assigned post seven in Friday's $14,500 installment. The Jim Nickerson-trained Tempus Seelster had been a beaten favorite in three of Spreester's Open wins and was the public's 8-5 second choice in the wagering on Friday as she was again tasked with defeating the track's top pacing mare. Tempus Seelster grabbed an easy lead and coasted through a comfortable first half in 57.3 before any of her rivals made a significant move towards her. By the time her opponents were in gear, Tempus Seelster was poised to pace a 27.3 third quarter and a final half 55.3 en route to victory in 1:53.1 on a beautiful spring night in Saratoga Springs, NY. Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) was still last heading towards three quarters and though she unleashed a surge in the final eighth of a mile, came up third best. Longshot Squeeze This (Brett Crawford) finished second in the feature and returned a hefty $92.50 to place. Tempus Seelster is now a three-time winner of the Open this season and to go with four second-place finishes in the Friday feature in 2018. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

CHESTER PA - 2017 Jugette winner Caviart Ally, despite being first-over and then facing a flying Princess Fabulosa late, nonetheless dug in to record a neck victory over her late-charging rival in the $18,000 distaff harness racing featured pace at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday afternoon. The daughter of Bettor's Delight, trained by Noel Daley for the Caviart Farms, was sent uncovered near the half by Andrew McCarthy, grinded up to take over command late on the turn, and then withstood the bold late move from third-over Princess Fabulosa, stopping the timer in 1:52 on a rain-dulled track. The winner of $828,510 may be ready to take on tougher competition after remaining undefeated in two seasonal outings. Josert Fonseca, whose competitive sulky career began by handling Hambletonian winner Pinkman in a qualifying victory last year, also won with his first pari-mutuel drive here Friday, guiding Brothers N Arms, a full brother to Father Patrick and Pastor Stephen, to a 1:57 victory. The 29-year-old Fonseca, a native of Costa Rica who came to the U.S. when he was eight, showed the patience of a veteran as he sat in the two-hole behind Keystone Sergeant, then went inside at headstretch and gained into the 28.4 last quarter for the easy triumph. It was also the maiden victory for Brothers N Arms, who is trained by Jimmy Takter for Owners, SRF Stable, Courant Inc., and Christina Takter. Here's a look at the Harrah's Race Office (484 490 2222) and what its activities are next week: DAY OF DRAW DRAWING FOR ADDITIONAL NOTES Monday 5-21 Friday 5-25 6:30 post time Fri nite 5-25 Tuesday 5-22 SUNDAY 5-27 SUPER SUNDAY AT HARRAH'S PHILLY--12:40 $150,000 Maxie Lee Trot (open) $150,000 Betsy Ross Pace (fillies and mares) $150,000 Commodore Barry Pace (open) Great Northeast Open races for these classes Pennsylvania Sire Stake - 3YO pacing fillies 5/8 mile dash for "nw10000L5" pacers Wednesday 5-23 Monday 5-28 SPECIAL MEMORIAL DAY LIVE CARD - 12:40 Pennsylvania Stallion Series - 3YO pacing fillies 1¼ mile race for "nw4000L5" trotters Thursday 5-24 Wednesday 5-30 NOTE: Make changes 3:30-5:00 Fri the 25th Friday 5-25 Thursday 5-31 PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

The harness racing champion driver of Running Aces will be back for his 10th season, starting Saturday.  Some 40 years ago, Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen took a job at a gas station. It was the first time the Albert Lea native pursued work that didn't involve horses, and it would be the last. "I was 19 years old, and I was there for six weeks," Svendsen said. "I really never wanted to do anything but race." After more than 3,400 career victories as a driver, that fervor hasn't faded. Svendsen, 59, is back in the bike for his 10th season at Running Aces Harness Park, which begins a 52-day meet Saturday. Though he has wintered in California for the past 18 years, the Columbus track has become his summer home, allowing him to spend time with family and reconnect with his racing roots. When he was still in diapers, Svendsen began going to the races with his father, Lorenz, who trained some of the fastest horses on the county-fair circuits in Minnesota and Iowa. Mooney began driving his dad's horses as a teen, and both Svendsens built careers that landed them in the Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Horses and family have always been inseparable in Svendsen's mind, leaving him "crazy excited" when Running Aces opened in 2008. He has raced all over the country, but he's happiest at the home-state track where his siblings, cousins, nephews and nieces can join him in the winner's circle. "As soon as I heard they were getting a track in Minnesota, I couldn't wait to get there," said Svendsen, who has 3,421 victories and $11.38 million in career purse earnings as a driver. "My whole life, I knew what I wanted to do. But when I was young, I had to leave (Minnesota), because there was no racing. "I was so glad to get to come back home and race. Horses have kept my family so tight over the years, and they still do." Svendsen has been driving harness horses since he was 16, not counting the three races he sneaked into a year earlier while posing as his older brother. He spends six months a year at Cal Expo in Sacramento, where he won 61 races and $213,447 in purses this year before returning to Running Aces. His career has taken Svendsen all along the East Coast, West Coast and Canada, but none of those places are as dear to him as the tracks of his native state. He learned horsemanship from his father at little race meets in places such as Cannon Falls and What Cheer, Iowa. Even now, Svendsen gets teary-eyed when recalling those days alongside his dad, caring for the family's horses at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. Lorenz Svendsen raced for 32 years and trained multiple champions in Minnesota and Iowa. Mooney has trained on and off for 30 years, but he found his true calling as a driver. His first victory came when he was 16, with a horse named Miss Lasko; 39 years later, in 2014, he drove Meritage Hanover to his 3,000th win at Running Aces. "I've been lucky to have good horses and good people to work with," Svendsen said. "And I've been lucky to stay healthy. But when I hit the 3,400 (victory) mark five or six weeks ago, I couldn't hardly believe it. I never dreamed I'd get to a number like that." Svendsen's plan is to keep charging toward 3,500 victories, a milestone he could reach next year. He expects to stay in the sulky another five years or so, then open a small training stable or work with another trainer. This summer, he will keep his hand in that part of the business, training two pacers at Running Aces. He's known since that short, long-ago stint at the gas station that he would never leave the racetrack again, a feeling that has only grown stronger over time. "I'll never quit," Svendsen said. "If I didn't have a horse around me, I'd go crazy.'' By Rachel Blount   Reprinted with permission of The Star Tribune

Hightstown, NJ --- Two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Marion Marauder will open his 5-year-old season Sunday (May 20) by traveling to a harness racing track he’s never visited previously, even if it is still in North America rather than Scandinavia. Marion Marauder will head to Harrah’s Philadelphia, where he meets six rivals in the Great Northeast Open Series for older trotters. There was hope during the winter that Marion Marauder would get the opportunity to head overseas for May races in Europe, including the famed Elitlopp at Sweden’s Solvalla Raceway. The past two years, a direct flight was offered from New York to Sweden in the hopes of attracting North American horses, but the flight was discontinued this year. “We didn’t have him a hundred percent ready, so it probably wouldn’t have worked fitness-wise for him,” said Mike Keeling, who trains Marion Marauder with his wife, Paula Wellwood. “But the real problem was logistics; without a direct flight it turns into a bit of a milk run. Early in the season, you can’t do that. You’re jeopardizing far too much. “Maybe we can make it work someday. We’d really like to participate in it, and be competitive in it. I think everybody would like that opportunity once.” Marion Marauder, who was the 2016 Trotter of the Year, won three of 10 races last year and earned $769,182 on his way to receiving the Dan Patch Award for the sport’s best older male trotter. His victories included the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship and he was second in the Yonkers International Trot. In 2016, Marion Marauder won 10 of 15 starts and became the ninth Trotting Triple Crown winner -- and first since 2006 -- by sweeping the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity. For his career, the stallion has won 14 of 38 races, hit the board a total of 30 times, and earned $2.53 million. He is owned by Devin Keeling and Marion Jean Wellwood. Marion Marauder heads to Philly off two wins in qualifiers. He will start Sunday from post seven with regular driver Scott Zeron and is 10-1 on the morning line. Crazy Wow, who in his most recent start on May 5 was third in the Cutler Memorial, is the 5-2 favorite. The remainder of the field is Lagerfeld, Melady’s Monet, Fearless Man, Opulent Yankee, and Crazshana. “He qualified great and he’s coming into the season nice and sound,” Keeling said about Marion Marauder. “We kind of got handicapped for the first start, but it will be a good test for him and that is what matters most, that he gets stretched out. If he gets himself in position he’ll be accountable. Our first start or two we’ve just got to see what Scott plans for him and go from there. “We enjoy it (racing Marion Marauder). We know that he’s always going to give us a great effort, that’s what matters. If he shows up, he’s going to win his share.” Harrah’s Philadelphia also hosts two divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for older female pacers on Sunday. Blue Moon Stride is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first division and three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pure Country is the 5-2 choice in the second division. Racing begins at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ --- It is not uncommon to see a female trotter receive a Dan Patch Award at both ages 2 and 3. What is uncommon is to see one of those harness racing ladies win another award at age 4. Since the first Dan Patch Award for 2-year-old filly trotters was handed out in 1978, only Peace Corps and CR Kay Suzie have accomplished the feat. When Ariana G launches her 2018 campaign in Saturday’s first round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters, she will be the fourth female trotter in as many years to attempt to join that select group. Ariana G, one of two mares to enter the Graduate Series opener, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first of two $50,000 divisions. A total of 13 filly trotters have won Dan Patch Awards at both ages 2 and 3, including Broadway Donna, Mission Brief, and Shake It Cerry in the three years prior to Ariana G. Ariana G won 12 of 15 races last year and earned $1.12 million for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who also bred the horse. Trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, her victories included the Hambletonian Oaks, Breeders Crown, and Elegantimage Stakes. For her career, Ariana G has won 21 of 26 races and earned $1.86 million. Katz told Hoof Beats magazine the decision to bring Ariana G back rather than to start her on a broodmare career was based on conversations with Takter. Those talks began during the middle of last year’s racing season. “We have the greatest of respect for Jimmy Takter’s opinion,” Katz said. “He felt she deserved the right to come back and that she was certainly capable of coming back and racing with any and all, and could develop into a great aged mare as well.” Added Gingras, “There’s only so many horses like her. She’s very special and you hate to see a horse like her go to the breeding shed too early. There’s no doubt every time I stepped on the racetrack with her, I knew I had the best horse in the race. Maybe it didn’t work out the way we wanted every time, but she’s very special and she gives 100 percent each time.” Ariana G faced male rivals on three occasions last year. She won an elimination of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial and finished third in the final. She also finished second in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial. Her foes Saturday are New Jersey Viking, Bill’s Man, Lindy The Great, Yes Mickey, Fraser Ridge, Dunbar Hall, and Sortie. In the second division of the Graduate, Achille Duharas is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The remainder of the field is Moonshiner Hanover, Lord Cromwell, Swell Chap, International Moni, Don Dream, and the mare Barn Bella. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT). The Meadowlands card also includes second-round action in three other series -- the Rainbow Blue, Escort, and Hot Lead. For those arriving at the track early, harness racing’s all-time richest horse, 14-year-old pacer Foiled Again, will be in a qualifier at approximately 5:15 p.m. as he gets ready to resume his season before retiring at the end of the year. For Saturday’s complete Meadowlands entries, click here. For track announcer Ken Warkentin’s analysis, click here. Editor's Note: To read a feature story on Ariana G from the March 2018 edition of Hoof Beatsmagazine, click here. To subscribe to Hoof Beats, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Running Aces Casino and Racetrack is set to kick off its 11th season of live Harness Racing this weekend, with opening night on Saturday with a 6:00 pm first post, and live music after the races. The 2018 season will follow our traditional 3 night schedule of Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday evenings with the Tuesday Dollar Night programs getting underway at 7pm and the weekend cards will start at 6pm.  Running Aces offers fun for the whole family, with Trout pond fishing, Family nights, live music, great food and beverage options and plenty of promotions and giveaways. The full schedule of events is available on the Running Aces website ( The 2018 racing season will be highlighted by the $50,000 Dan Patch Free-For-All Pace on July 22, and the $360,000 (est.) Night of Champions on September 15. Other notable races will include the $15,000 Finnegan's Feature Trot and $15,000 Finnegan's Feature Pace both held on Father's Day weekend. July 15 will offer the $15,000 Dan Patch Preview Pace.  New for 2018 at Running Aces is a state-of-the-art infield video board, which will enhance the fan experience and provide easier viewing of the racing action, replays, prices and will-pay information.  Also new for 2018 RA introduces the 50 cent late Daily Double on the last 2 races of the night. All of the very popular multi-race pools are back as well, featuring the 20 cent JACKPOT Pick-5, plus multiple pick-3 wagers each night, and early and late 50 cent Pick-4 wagering.  The 50 cent late Pick-4 wager on Sunday and Tuesday will feature a $5,000 Guaranteed Pool which is sponsored by RA, the USTA's Strategic Wagering program, and MHRI.  The very popular 50 cent Hi-5 wager is back as well, and will be offered on each of the last two races every night.  Also new for 2018, each week Running Aces will offer Free Tuesday past-performance Race Pages available for download from the website, and will also make a download link available on Facebook.  By Darin Gagne' for Running Aces   

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