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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - During the course of the live harness racing program at the Meadowlands Friday night, the five eliminations for the $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic for both male and female 3-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs will be shown live on the Big M feed, weaved in between Meadowlands events. "Many top trotters will be racing," said Jason Settlemoir, the Big M's chief operating officer and general manager who also serves as Vernon's regional vice-president, racing and simulcast. "Including a pair of top fillies. One being Plunge Blue Chip, who went nine-for-10 last year and won the Goldsmith Maid. Another is Atlanta, who won last week at the Meadowlands, beating older males and females in 1:52." The first EBC elimination is set to be shown at 7:34 p.m., soon after the first Meadowlands race replay is concluded. Thereafter, the elims will be shown after each Meadowlands replay of races 2 through 5. The Empire Breeders Classic finals are set for Memorial Day, Monday, May 28 at Vernon Downs. Free program pages for Vernon's all-EBC Pick-4 (Races 6 through 9, guaranteed pool of $2,500) as well as the Meadowlands' Pick-4 (Races 7 through 10, guaranteed $50,000), courtesy of Track Master, are available on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. The Meadowlands' live racing programs this Friday and Saturday get underway at 7:15 p.m. SUPER CARRYOVER: arness racing's biggest pot of gold will be up for grabs in the Friday finale at the Big M, as the carryover for the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five has now grown to $221,892. ... Meadowlands chairman Jeff Gural will answer questions about the recent green light for sports betting on Friday night's "Racing from the Meadowlands" pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. PREAKNESS DAY: Come on out to the Meadowlands Saturday and see if the Bob Baffert-trained Justify can take the second jewel of Thoroughbred Racing's Triple Crown when he tries his luck at a mile and 3/16ths in the 143rd running of the Preakness at Pimlico. Gates at the Big M will open at 9:30 a.m. The first race at Pimlico is slated for 10:30 a.m. while post time for the Preakness is 6:48 p.m. Road to the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Week Three There were no changes in the top 10 on the Road to the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace from last week to this. That's certain to change this time around as all 10 horses will be in action on Saturday. Click here for the complete list. Meadowlands Media Relations    

Northfield Park is the place to be this Saturday, May 19, for the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes live from Pimlico Racecourse. Doors open early at 9:30 AM and first post at Pimlico is set for 10:30 AM. Early bird wagering on the Preakness will be available Saturday morning, accompanied by simulcasting action both day and night from over 40 tracks across the U.S., Canada and Australia. Don't miss out on reserving a private seating carrel and television for your viewing pleasure. Carrel seats are currently on sale at the grandstand center program stand. If you arrive early on Preakness Day, join us for a special morning snack of a donut and coffee. The $1.00 special begins at 9:30 AM and will be served while supplies last. Be sure to join track announcer Ayers Ratliff and Michael Carter for a FREE Pimlico handicapping seminar which begins at 11:00 AM. Visit Northeast Ohio's finest food trucks outside on the trackside apron to satisfy your hunger. The trucks 216 Bistro, Crooked Kettle Popcorn, Slyman's Food Truck and Smash Time will be on-site from 2 - 7 PM offering delicious gourmet food items while you listen to live music by The Benjaminz (3 - 5 PM) and Unknown Reason (6 - 10 PM). There is a FREE $2,000 Pimlico Handicapping Contest beginning with race four with a top prize of $1,000 cash! Northfield Park will also offer prize drawings throughout the day. Just fill out the entry blank that you receive when you enter and deposit it in the contest bin located in the center of the grandstand. Winners will be drawn randomly throughout the day. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be given away including a grand prize of $2,500 cash! All guests (18 and older) will receive a FREE Malley's Chocolate Crunch Bar beginning at 9:30 am (while supplies last)! Each bar contains a delicious Malley's Chocolate Crunch bar and a ticket redeemable for cash or match play. Every bar is a winner and prizes range from $2- 1,000. After the Preakness Party, stick around for a night of live racing with a first race post time of 6 PM while enjoying the great view and buffet from our Lady Luck's Clubhouse Restaurant. The buffet price is $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Free admission and FREE parking every day at Northfield Park. Ayers Ratliff

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- On paper in Buffalo Raceway's featured $9,500 Open II Pace for the harness racing fillies and mares on Wednesday night (May 16), it appeared that it was going to be a battle to see if anyone could knock off the front running Sgt Molly Pitcher. Hey Kobe showed she was up to the challenge.   After stalking the slightly favored Sgt Molly Pitcher for more than three quarters of a mile, the second choice in the wagering Hey Kobe (Drew Monti) used the 'lightning lane' to nudge past the pace setter by a neck in a seasonal best 1:55.2 over the fast track.   Sgt Molly Pitcher (Jim Morrill Jr.) was in charge early with fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:27.0. But turning for home it appeared the major danger to her was going to come from the first-over Rock My World (John Cummings Jr.). That threat never materialized but Hey Kobe was ready to take her turn.   Midway down the lane, Hey Kobe ($4.00) snuck up the passing lane and eventually got past Sgt Molly Pitcher just before the wire. Double Down Jo (Kevin Cummings) rallied late for third.   Owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr., it was the fourth victory in 17 attempts this season for the 6-year-old mare Hey Kobe (Bettor's Delight-American West). The victory pushed her seasonal bankroll to $26,681 and $286,730 lifetime.   The amazing Quicksilvercandy A, a 14-year mare that produced 22 wins in 47 starts last season, continued to make her final year of racing a memorable one as she notched her 11th win in just 14 tries on the campaign with a 1-1/2 length decision over Tymal Luckynpink in 1:57.1.   Owned and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, Quicksilvercandy A (Bad Bert-Forzett) has won four straight races now, putting $36,875 in the bank in 2018 and $717,103 in her career.   Ray Fisher Jr. completed the night with four victories in the bike while Kevin Cummings tripled.   Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 13-race card scheduled for a special 7 p.m. post to accommodate the running of the Preakness Stakes.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WILKES-BARRE PA - Undefeated champion filly Manchego makes her 2018 seasonal debut Monday (May 21) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in the $56,480 tenth race division of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing three-year-old trotting misses. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic bred by Brittany Farms LLC and owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, was a winner of each of her twelve trips to the starting gate as a freshman, earning $873,948 and of course taking divisional honors. She finished her first season with a decisive victory over Phaetosive, whom many considered her closest rival, in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park, and in preparing for her return she qualified in 1:53.4, turning her last quarter 27.3. Manchego will start from post three in the eight-horse field for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter as she starts what could be a recordbreaking year in any number of ways. By luck of the draw, the two fastest winners in the first Sire Stakes leg, held at The Meadows May 12, will be racing against Manchego. What A Knockout (post two, trainer Marcus Melander, driver David Miller) was victorious in 1:54.4; Live Laugh Love (trainer Nifty Norman, David Miller also listed early) went two ticks faster in keeping her 2018 record perfect after three starts, but here she must contend with drawing post eight. The $56.480 eleventh race division contains the other Meadows Sire Stakes winner, Lily Stride (1:55.3); Tim Tetrick will again be behind the filly for trainer Mark Harder after drawing post four in an eight-horse field. The $56,080 fifth race division is likely to be headed by Nixie Volo, who made two strong moves against Live Laugh Love only to come up a head short; Corey Callahan is scheduled to be driving for trainer John Butenschoen from post five in a field of seven. PHHA / Pocono

HARRINGTON, Del. - I Like My Boss ($10.20, Allan Davis) was a narrow winner in the $16,000 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:57.4. Spunky Jack assumed early control from post position four and led the field through three-quarters in 1:27.3. "Jack" began to tire in the stretch as the field closed in and Gillie The Kid and I Like My Boss charged to the wire in tandem. I Like My Boss won a narrow photo for his second win of the year for trainer and co-owner Bob Shahan. Jimmy Parsons Jr and Ashley Parsons are also partners on the 7-year-old Don Boss Vita gelding. Lucky Ten K finished third. It was the 38th career win for "Boss." Ross Wolfenden had three wins on the program. Matthew Sparacino    

CHESTER PA - Lifetime Trust, a frequent visitor to the harness racing tote board after races, today visited Victory Lane after overcoming a hard trip to win the $17,000 distaff pacing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday while taking a new mark of 1:52. Andrew McCarthy was behind the daughter of Bettor's Delight, who went forward for a second time in the second half and caught pacesetting favorite Moments Of Joy by half a length for trainer Richard Ringler and the Ringler Stable LLC. In a pair of $16,000 co-features, McCarthy took a second win with the Well Said mare Smileandsaycheese, who parlayed a perfect second-over trip to a new speed badge of 1:51.4 in the pacing event for trainer Timothy Lancaster (who also doubled), co-owner with Mark and Joy Lancaster, while the trot fell to the Explosive Matter gelding Lucky Matter, now winner of two straight after crossing the wire in 1:55.2 for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Beaver, the latter co-owner with Synerco Ventures Inc. and David Lang. The most impressive winner of the day came 8738 miles (14064 km) from his last start to make his mark, as the Live Or Die gelding Robbie Burns N moved after the quarter and came his last ¾ in 1:22.3 while stopping the timer in a blistering 1:50.1 in his North American debut. Trainer Joshua Parker and driver Art Stafford Jr. have now won five straight races between here and Harrington with New Zealand imports, and this one gave every indication there is even better to come from him for his ownership, trainer Parker, Nanticoke Racing Inc. Barry Spedden, and the Prestige Stable. The track's leading driver, Tim Tetrick, won five times today, including with the longest-priced horse of the day, That Man Of Mine ($29.40, race 1). PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Charles Cable passed away on May 15, 2018, at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, NY. Born August 29, 1941 to Philip M and Roselin Cable. They predeceased him.  Charles is survived by two sons, Tim Cable(Christy) and Tom Cable (Jody). Brothers: Philip H (Phyllis) Cable, Raymond (Patty) Cable, and. Leon Cable. Sisters: Ruth Bales and Marilyn Thomas, and granddaughter, Charlee Rae Cable. Also survived by several nieces and nephews and life partner Mary Shallenberger. Charles was a well known and respected Farrier in Goshen, NY, Florida, Ohio and Michigan. He learned his trade from his Father and in turn passed that knowledge of shoeing to his sons. A celebration of life will be held at the Goshen Historic Race Track on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 12:00 noon. Officiated By Rev. DR. Lise Worthington. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: HARNESS RACING MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME, 240 Main St. GOSHEN, NY 10924 or GOSHEN HISTORIC TRACK, 44 PARK PLACE Goshen, NY 10924 Burial will be in Effingham, IL at St. Anthony Cemetery beside his parents. Linda Myers, Goshen Historic Track 845-294-5333

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike, presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday morning (May 17) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Jason Settlemoir, COO of Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment; Darin Zocalli, from TVG; Matt Kakaley, talks his return; Janine Gesek, from Pacing for the Cure; and Rich Mattei, talks the Preakness stakes. Zocalli and Settlemoir join the program this week to discuss the recent news that sports wagering will now be allowed to happen in the state of New Jersey. The Supreme Court ruling Monday now paves the way for other states to join the movement. Mike and Mike will speak to each guest about how they feel this will affect the sport of racing. Driver Matt Kakaley was injured during an accident at Yonkers Raceway on March 13. Kakaley returns to the sulky on Saturday night at Pocono, he will join to discuss how he is feeling since the accident and what his driving plans are going forward. Gesek, from Pacing for the Cure, joins the program this week to continue highlighting awareness with Multiple Sclerosis. Gesek will be joined by Elaine Vocco and Ross Perry this week to discuss the benefits of the organization. Mattei, a regular contributor to Post Time with Mike and Mike, joins the program to talk the Preakness Stakes taking place at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. Post Time with Mike and Mike

MANALAPAN, NJ -- May 16, 2018 -- Mark Ford, President of The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that New Jersey can implement legalized sports betting:  “Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the state’s rights to permit sports betting is important to New Jersey’s harness racing industry. We thank all of those who pursued this lengthy litigation, which was designed to help the state’s horse racing and casino industries. “The Standardbred breeding and racing industry has a long and important history in New Jersey and has been a vital part of the state’s economy, maintaining farms and open spaces and providing jobs. We believe that a fair division of profits from sports betting can benefit the state and our industry, and that this new addition to the gambling menu can have a positive impact on the handle on harness races.” “We look forward to working with the state of New Jersey, legislators, and horse racing leadership, to ensure that sports betting is a plus for New Jersey’s horse racing industry.” Courtney Stafford

LATHAM, N.Y. - A seminar for new and prospective owners will be hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State and will be held at Tioga Downs in Nichols, New York. This seminar will provide valuable information for prospective or new owners and focus on all aspects of horse ownership. The seminar is scheduled for Saturday June 24th, 2018. Registration is at 9:30 and the seminar starts at 10:00 am with beverages and Danish. The seminar will include all materials, lunch, programs and live racing. The seminar will cover the rewards and risks of horse ownership, actual costs, choosing young horses or claimers and how to choose a trainer. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the Race Secretary. They will also hear from trainers and talk with successful owners. Tuition is $20 per person or $30 per couple and includes the seminar, materials, lunch, live racing, membership to HHBNYS and follow-up services. The seminar requires advance registration no later than June 20th. For more information or to register for the seminar, please call Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or e-mail info@hhbnys.com. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

East Rutherford, NJ - The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for harness racing 3-year-olds get underway on Friday, May 18 at The Meadowlands.   The once mighty program has diminished to where there are but a handful of horses to compete in each of the $15,000 sophomore divisions, necessitating that both colt races be held off the night card and raced early as non-betting events.   The same two pacing colts who competed in last year's freshman division will match up again with Melanie's Fran (Dave Miller) who swept through the series last season facing his rival Hypnotico (Austin Siegelman) at 6:00 pm. Kevin McDermott trains Melanie's Fran for the 80 Slot Right Stable.   U Need Stones (Yannick Gingras) had his way with the trotting colts as a freshman and he'll look to continue his mastery over three rivals for leading trainer Ron Burke at 6:10. "Stones" has come back strong this season with a win and a second in as many starts this year for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. Shoshie Deo is the main rival here.   The filly divisions drew five entries in each and will be raced as part of the pari-mutuel card.   Hurrikane Empress (Gingras) is the returning champ of the filly pacing division for trainer John McDermott and she'll begin her title defense in race 1. She swept the division with ease last year and has had a few starts to prepare for this battle for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing and Pegasis Investment Group.   The filly trot goes as the third race where Princess Marxxx (Gingras) is the returning final winner in what is clearly the most competitive division. She took last year's final for owner/breeder Steve Stewart and was a winner in her most recent overnight contest. Justin Lebo is the trainer.   The NJSS comes back next Friday for leg #2 with the finals set for June 1.   The big news on campus is that Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural will sit for an interview with Dave Brower on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court to permit sports betting in New Jersey. That interview will be on Racing From The Meadowlands at 6:45 pm on The Meadowlands live broadcast.   Post time is 7:15 pm.   Nick Salvi      

Dan Patch Award-winner Lost In Time makes his seasonal debut Saturday (May 19) in the third of three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and there is no shortage of familiar faces joining the colt in the field. Also making their seasonal debuts in the same race are Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry and stakes-winners Hayden Hanover, who was the fastest 2-year-old male pacer of 2017, and Nutcracker Sweet. In addition, stakes-winner Wes Delight is part of the eight-horse field. Stay Hungry, who starts from post No. 3 for driver Doug McNair and trainer Tony Alagna, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Lost In Time, who leaves from post six with Scott Zeron at the lines for Jimmy Takter, is the 3-1 second choice while Hayden Hanover is 4-1 from post one with Andy Miller driving for Julie Miller. "It's a who's who of horses; it's heavy hitters," Zeron said. "It's about as interesting as it gets. There are amazing horses in that race." Last year, Lost In Time won five of nine races including the Metro Pace, Governor's Cup, and a division of the International Stallion Stakes. He earned $608,112, which led all 2-year-old male pacers. The A Rocknroll Dance colt was trained by Jim Mulinix for most of the season before Mulinix turned the horse over to Takter for his final two races of the year. Lost In Time enters Saturday's race off two qualifiers. He finished fourth in the first, timed in 1:53.1 with a :25.4 last quarter-mile. He won the second, timed in 1:51 with a :26.3 final quarter. "Those qualifiers, to me, were exactly what I was looking for," Zeron said. "It's nice to see the way he's started this season. He's come back great. There are a lot of similarities to last year, which is what you kind of want; the same horse with a little progression. That's the way it's felt. "Mentally he's gotten a little sharper. He's always been nice to handle and he's nice on himself. It's like Jimmy has said, he's a horse that likes to win. I don't think he's flashy on a day-to-day basis, but he enjoys racing. He's easy to drive, so that makes it easy for me." Lost In Time is owned by Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables, William Rufenacht, and Scott Robinson's Team S Racing Stable. At February's Dan Patch Award banquet, Robinson's guests included professional wrestling legend Ric Flair, who was celebrating his 69th birthday. While accepting Lost In Time's Dan Patch trophy, Robinson announced he was giving Flair an ownership percentage in the horse as a birthday present. "I really hope this horse can deliver and be a real champion because (Flair) was very excited about being brought in on this horse," Zeron said. "And it's exciting to know that somebody that's lived the life he's lived is excited about a horse. It's nice for everybody connected with it." In Saturday's first Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division, Takter's Grand Teton, a half-brother to three-time Dan Patch Award-winning mare Pure Country, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Kindergarten Series champion Points North is the 3-1 second choice. The second division finds Chris Ryder's stakes-winning This Is The Plan, who is 2-for-2 this year, as the 5-2 favorite followed by Dorsoduro Hanover at 3-1. The field also includes defending Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Pedro Hanover, who is 9-2 on the morning line. "Right now, everyone talks about Stay Hungry and Lost In Time, but there are other horses out there that were good last year," Zeron said. "It's the way every year starts out, you see at the beginning who comes to play. Maybe that will stamp your mark on the year. "This Pocono race might be one that puts one ahead of the others, but in my eyes it really won't. It's just a step toward the North America Cup for me." The following Pennsylvania Sire Stakes starters Saturday are eligible to the North America Cup: Captain Deo, Closing Statement, Dorsoduro Hanover, Grand Teton, Hayden Hanover, Lost In Time, Nutcracker Sweet, Pedro Hanover, Points North, Pro Beach, Sometimesawinner, Stay Hungry, Wes Delight, and Whos Better. Saturday's card at Pocono also includes two divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for older male pacers. In the first, Rockeyed Optimist is the 5-2 morning-line favorite over 3-1 Rockin Ron. In the second, Dr J Hanover is the 5-2 choice over 3-1 Mach It So. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here. Ken Weingartner

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On Saturday May 19th, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment hosts its 3rd Annual Spring Beer Fest. Doors open for VIP at 4:30 pm with General Admission at 5:30 pm and beer is poured until 9:30pm. It is an evening of great craft beer and harness racing. The event is rain or shine, all beers will be served under large tents or covered bars and festival goers are encouraged to bring umbrellas and ponchos. Ponchos will also be available for sale during the event. Sixty-three breweries and cideries are participating including a number of local New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York craft brewers. NJ favorites 7 Mile Brewery, Flying Fish, Beach Haus, River Horse, 902 Brewing Company, Lone Eagle, Forgotten Boardwalk, Bolero Snort, Ironbound Cider and Melick's Hard Cider will be at the festival. PA favorites including Sly Fox, Victory, Neshaminy Creek, and Yards will also be onsite. Brooklyn, Defiant, Saranac, Cooperstown, Harlem Brewing, Bronx, Captain Lawrence, Southern Tier, Northway Brewing Co, and Ommegang are just a few New York based companies that will be attending. Other breweries and cideries attending the festival include: Breckenridge, Red Hook, Elysian Brewery, Golden Road, Virtue Cider, Goose Island, Devil's Backbone, Kona, 10 Barrel Brewing, Terrapin, Lord Hobo, Left Hand, Sweetwater Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, Austin East Cider, Two Roads, Epic, Cigar City, and Dogfish Head. The complete list of breweries and the full beer lineup is at posted here. Special VIP only tastings include a Blue Point cask of Mosaic IPA with cucumber, Devil's Backbone Oso Muerte, an Imperial Stout with chili peppers, Neshaminy Creek's Leon, a Russian Imperial Stout, 7 Mile's Walter White, Bolero Snort's Pina Bullada and Lone Eagle's Bourbon Barrel GOLDEN Stout. Johnny Checo from Neshaminy Creek will be the featured speaker providing festival goers the chance to learn about the brewing process and about Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company. The 3rd Annual Beer Fest will be held in the Backyard and on the East Apron rain or shine and will open to the public at 4:30 pm for VIP admission. The VIP ticket is $75 and includes an additional 1 hour of sampling, exclusive VIP Tent beer samplings, and food. General Admission begins at 5:30 pm and is available in advance for $35 or at the door for $45. Live harness racing will commence at 7:15 pm. To purchase tickets : https://meadowlandsracetrack.ticketleap.com/2018-meadowlands-racetrack-beer-festival/ Rachel Ryan

Yonkers, NY -- A pair of $40,000 eliminations for the 28th edition of the Art Rooney Pace are slated for this Saturday night, May 19th, at Yonkers Raceway sets the stage for next Saturday's (May 26th) $300,000 Rooney Final. Ten three-year-old harness racing colts and geldings will go to the post.   The Rooney pays homage to iconic Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers owner and patriarch of the Rooney family.   The Rooney elims are each a five-to-eliminate-one affair, races six and eight on the 10-race program, with the first four in each returning for next Saturday night's (May 26th) finale.   These are the six colts and four geldings entered:   Rooney 1st elimination (6th race):   1 - Jimtastic by Art Major   2 - Major Authority  by Art Major   3 - Decoy by Somebeachsomewhere   4 - Matinee Fashion by Roll With Joe   5 - Minnie Vinnie by Millionaire Cam   Rooney 2nd elimination (8th race):   1 - Trump Nation by Betterthancheddar   2 - Kwik Talkin' by Well Said   3 - Springsteen by Rock N Roll Heaven   4- Babes Dig Me by Somebeachsomewhere   5 - Handsoffmychips by Roll With Joe   (Handsoffmychips, Major Authority, Matinee Fashion and Minnie Vinnie are the geldings).   The filly companion event to the Rooney, the Lismore Pace, offers nine three-year-old young ladies. That number necessitated a larger game of 'musical chairs,' with all the fillies in one tidy $20,000 elimination. That elim is the fifth race, with the first octet going after $111,444 in the Saturday, May 26th final.   The single elim drew out as such...   1 - Python Blue Chip by Roll With Joe   2 - Krushed Apple by Western Terror   3 - Solitary by American Ideal   4 - Jewels Forreal by So Surreal   5 - Pass Line Bluechip by Bettor's Delight   6 - Believe in Me by Roll With Joe   7 - Reign on Me by Well Said   8 - Alexa's Power by Somebeachsomewhere   9 - Checkered Past by American Ideal   Note that Python Blue Chip, Jewels Forreal and Reign on Me are coupled (intersecting owner/trainer), as are Krushed Apple and Believe in Me are also partnered (common ownership).   First post Saturday is the usual 6:50 PM.   John Cirillo  

Harness Racing This Week: Graduate Series Trot first leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Art Rooney and Lismore eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action takes place this Saturday (May 19) at Meadowlands Racetrack with a pair of $50,000 divisions in the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open trotters. Also on Saturday, Yonkers Raceway will host two $40,000 eliminations in the Art Rooney for 3-year-old open pacers and a single $20,000 elimination in the Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last Time: The mercurial W.N. Reynolds Memorial found its way to Westchester Saturday night (May 12), with Yonkers Raceway hosting six divisions for 3-year-old pacers of both genders. More than $132,000 was up for grabs in three divisions each for the boys and the girls. The fastest male mile of the $23,066 per race trio was turned in by odds-on Wes Delight (Corey Callahan, $2.70). From post position four, he took over from a 90-1 bombardier and finished the first event from there (:27.3, :56.2, 1:25.1, 1:53.3). Wes Delight defeated Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett) by 2-1/2 lengths, with 129-1 proposition Yupper (Brett Miller) third. For Wes Delight, a son of Bettors Delight co-owned by trainer Mark Harder, Rick Phillips and Deena Frost, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. "A little kid could drive him," Callahan said. "He had the leader stop in front of him (in PA Sire Stakes at the Meadows), so I thought if I could make the front, I'd leave with him. "He does only what's asked of him." The other colt/gelding divisions were won by My Delight (by Betterthancheddar); owner Bay Pond Racing Stable/trainer Homer Hochstetler/driver Brent Holland; 1:55.1/$71 and Mach N Cheese (by Betterthancheddar); owner Save The Day Stable/trainer Rob Harmon/driver Jordan Stratton; 1:54.1/$7.40. Saturday night's trio of Reynolds for the ladies, worth $21,066, $21,066 and $21,566, respectively, were won by Checkered Past (by American Ideal); owner All Star Racing/trainer Peter Foley/driver Mark MacDonald; 1:54.1/$3.40; Presto Blue Chip (by American Ideal); co-owners Howard and Michael Ouriel/trainer Jeff Smith/driver Brett Miller; 1:54.2/$6.50; and Alexa's Power (by Somebeachsomewhere); owner Jeff Snyder/trainer Jim Campbell/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:54.4/$9.30. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 159; 2. Jordan Stratton - 134; 3. Yannick Gingras - 129; 4. Jason Bartlett - 94; 5. Daniel Dube - 65. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 128; 2. Peter Tritton - 102; 3. Jim King Jr. - 79; 4. Richard Banca - 75; 5. Rene Allard - 65. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 34; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 30.3; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 30.3; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Mohawk Racetrack (first leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares); The Raceway at Western Fair District (Camluck Classic for open pacers); Yonkers Raceway (Art Rooney and Lismore finals for 3-year-old pacers); and Harrah's Philadelphia (Maxie Lee Memorial for open trotters and Betsy Ross for pacing mares). Paul Ramlow

One of the many things making the harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 2018 even more exciting than usual is the brand new Great Northeast Open series. Pocono and Harrah's at Philadelphia will be hosting these races all through the spring and summer for the best aged pacers and trotters around. It will all culminate with big-money Finals held at Pocono in September, meaning that the horses will be battling in the preliminary legs not just for the excellent purses, but also for the chance to nab the really huge payday at the end. This edition of the Weekly Awards is highlighted by horses who triumphed in the series this week in thrilling fashion. PACER OF THE WEEK: AGENT Q Winning in your first start off a significant layoff is difficult against anyone, let alone a field of crackerjack distaffers. Yet that's what faced Agent Q in her 2018 debut on Sunday night in the $30,000 Open pace for mares. In addition to that, her return to racing for the first time since back-to-back stakes wins in November to end her three-year-old season would have to come from an outside post in a field of eight stars. Not an easy task, even for a mare with over $1.1 million in earnings in her first two years of racing. Driver David Miller didn't push Agent Q, who went off as the 5-2 second choice, early in the mile, preferring instead to let her sit at the back of the pack. Lady Shadow took the early lead and had to deal with Pure Country pressuring her first-over. Agent Q, making her first start in the Chris Oakes barn, saved ground until the 5/8-mile marker, when she started moving on a three-wide path behind the cover of Elliesjet N. Still, Agent Q was last at the three-quarter pole, albeit closing the margin, as Pure Country took over the lead. Once Miller guided the mare to a clear look at the leaders, there was simply no stopping her. She eclipsed the entire field until Pure Country was the last one in front of her, eventually nipping her at the line to win by a nose in 1:52.3 on the off track (good condition.) Consider her first test against aged mares passed with flying colors, especially considering everything she had to surmount to get the victory. Other top pacers this week include: Soho Wallstreet A (Marcus Miller, Ross Croghan), who followed up a win at The Meadowlands with a victory in Saturday night's featured condition pace at Pocono in 1:50.4 in the slop; Pa's Corn Squeezin (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), a mare who is now three-for-three since coming from California after a claiming handicap win on Monday night in 1:53.3; and Eclipse Me N (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), a mare who moved up in class to win her second straight, doing so in the Tuesday feature condition distaff pace in a career-best 1:50.1. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: WILL TAKE CHARGE Will Take Charge, a five-year-old gelding who did very well in the early part of the year in Canada for trainer Jeffrey Gillis, was made the 3-5 favorite on Sunday night in the $30,000 Open trot after just missing in his last start at The Meadowlands behind the great Hannelore Hanover. But then the thing that every trotter dreads befell him at the beginning of the race: He went off stride. Even though driver Tim Tetrick was able to get him back and trotting relatively quickly, Will Take Charge found himself last in an excellent field of seven. At that point, most probably wrote him off and looked to the horses at the front of the pack, as Sutton set a measured pace that looked like it would hold up when push came to shove. Will Take Charge didn't give in, however, moving third over on the back stretch and hoping for the best. As they entered the final turn, all eyes once again turned to the favorite, as Tetrick spun him off the cover and he came bounding up to threaten the leaders. In the stretch, despite the reasonable fractions that were maintained, the rest of the field appeared as if they were trotting in molasses. Will Take Charge swept right by for the win by a comfortable two lengths over Smalltownthrowdown. The winning time of 1:53:4 might seem modest, until you consider that the track was only in good condition and he had to give up that early ground because of the break. If he gets a clean trip, it will be a blast to see what Will Take Charge can really do. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Star Studded Cast (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose winning time in a claiming handicap trot on Monday of 1:54.1 was a career-best and faster than anybody at Pocono this week not named Will Take Charge; Holy Halibut (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who now has wins in two of his last three races following a claiming handicap victory on Monday night in 1:56.1; and Tyson (Jason Bartlett, Edwin Gannon Jr.), who sprung an upset in a $21,500 condition trot on Sunday night in 1:56. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SERIOUS SAVANNAH This gelding came into his condition trot on Tuesday night winless in 2018, but he wasn't anymore after rallying at 22-1 with Marcus Miller in the bike to pay $46.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: JIM MORRILL JR. Morrill's win with Indy Ingot from last to first capped off a three-win night on Sunday and also gave him 7,000 driving victories in his outstanding career in racing. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: HUNTER OAKES The young conditioner had one of his finest nights ever on Saturday night at Pocono, ripping off four wins on the program. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia

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