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Americanprimtime) captured the Open Pace ($13,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 15). It was one of five winners on the night for harness racing driver Mike Merton. Americanprimetime ($3.00) went straight to the front covering the first quarter in :26.3 with Dull Roar (Jim Meittinis) following in second. Owned by the Rock&Roll Stable Inc. and trained by Rick Dane, Americanprimetime led to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. He found another gear in the stretch to win in 1:50.3. Gillys Boy (Mike Simons) came up to get second. Dull Roar held for third, Americanprimetime is a 6-year-old horse by American Ideal. It was his sixth win this season and career victory number 27. BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) cruises to Open Trot ($13,000) win. BJ Lorado ($19.00) charged out of the gate and went straight to the front. After hitting the first quarter in :27.1, he used a second quarter of :29.2 to hit the half in :56.3. He got some pressure from Buff (Corey Braden) as he hit three-quarters in 1:24.3. Trained by Marc Major for owners Michael and Diane Norcross, BJ Lorado was too strong in the stretch as he won easily in 1:55.1. Buff settled for second with Fox Valley Iliad (Larry Stalbaum) getting third money. BJ Lorado is a 4-year-old gelding by Bo W. It was his eighth win this season and his 12th trip to the winner's circle in his career. Leading driver Mike Merton won five on the night giving him 70 for the year. His other four wins came with Mikado Blue Chip ($15.80), R M Blackhawk ($6.20), Jacksrluckytoo ($5.10), and Onhishonor Hanover ($13.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 21). Closing night for 2018 is on Saturday night (September 22) with a special start time of 5:30 p.m. Fireworks follows the live racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

A veteran presence prevailed in the Saratoga Casino Hotel Open Pace on Saturday night. The back to back defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa Artful Way (Artistic Fella) came into Saturday's tilt as a five-time Open Pace winner this harness racing season but has hit a little cold streak of late, by his standards. Despite the fact that the Jackie Greene trainee hadn't won a local Open since the first weekend of June, the classy veteran was still the public's betting favorite in the feature. Frank Coppola Jr. blasted Artful Way out early and after clearing the lead, gave way to last week's Open winner Carolina Beach (Wally Hennessey). Riding that one's coattails throughout, Artful Way surged up in the inside to score in the $14,500 feature, recording the win in 1:52.1. While the favorite prevailed, the race's longshot was the runner-up as All Artist (Billy Dobson) tipped off cover and ended up second-best in his debut in the local feature while dismissed at odds of 28-1. The winningest horse in the local Open Pace this year, Carolina Beach had to settle for third this week. Artful Way was the 6-5 favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $61.50 and $375, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

I Am Golden (Ronald Harp) takes the harness racing featured pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 15). Card Knock Life (Truman Gale) went to the front and covered all the early fractions (:26.4, :55.4, 1:24.2). Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) followed in second. He took over at the top of the stretch and looked like he was poised to win. I am Golden($16.20), who is owned by Paula Sarcone and trained by Harp, squeezed in between Card Knock Life and Golden Gun to win in 1:52.0. Golden Gun held on to finish second best. Serious Major (Jimmy Whittemore) moved up to get third place. I Am Golden is a 4-year-old gelding by Allthatgltrsisgold. It was his eighth win in 2018. He now has 13 career wins. Truman Gale trained and drove three winners on Saturday night. He got his wins with Painite ($4.30), Roaddog Jess James ($2.50), and Tundra ($3.10). Jimmy Whittemore added three driving wins on the night. His wins came with Secret Love ($2.30), My Delight ($2.10), and Jake G's Champion ($3.90). He leads all drivers with 90 wins on the season. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 21) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Stars Align A was able to steal off to a big lead by going in 26.4 down the backstretch in the $21,500 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then held together to fend off the late-charging Music Is Art to win by ¾ of a length in a personal best 1:50.4 The victorious son of Art Major took advantage of post two in the field of seven and went to the front, where he was joined by his fellow 8-5 shot Bettor's Edge nearing the 26.3 quarter. Bettor's Edge went on to work up to command in front of the stands, but he took the second turn badly and slowed drastically, forcing the entire field around him just past the 55.4 half. Driver Simon Allard got Stars Align A in high gear quickly past the trouble and to the lead, then tried to put as much distance as possible between his horse and the field, and had an advantage of four lengths at the 1:22.3 3/4s. That lead shrunk on the far turn and through the stretch, with Music Is Art leading the charge, but Stars Align A had enough left to raise his U.S. win percentage to 50% after a pair of starts after going 15-for-29 (52%) before his recent importation. Simon's brother Rene conditions the winner of $152,313 for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, Bruce Soulsby, and Alan Weisenberg. Rene Allard is Pocono's leading trainer; his driving counterpart, George Napolitano Jr., continued his incredible form on Saturday nights with eight victories on the card, including one with the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss in 1:50 to take the $20,000 claiming handicap pace co-feature. "George Nap" pointed Ideal Kiss towards the top, as he has in all of his four starts for trainer Hunter Oakes and the Northfork Racing Stable, and the pacer again showed "1"s all the way across his charted line, winning by 2¾ lengths. Since being claimed by Oakes/Northfolk on August 11, Ideal Kiss has earned $40,000 by winning the high-level Pocono claim four starts in a row. He now has overall yearly earnings of $90,930, garnered mostly in his nine seasonal victories, and a $175,630 career bankroll. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

STICKNEY, IL - After an action packed harness racing Friday card that saw eight races with implications for next week's Night of Champions at Hawthorne, eight more races on Saturday were contested to help shape next week's big card. The evening began with leg four action in the Beulah Dygert Memorial trot for Illinois-bred, three-year-old fillies as a field of nine lined up to contest the action. Trotting Grace was sent away as the heavy favorite with Kyle Husted driving. Leaving for the lead was White Pants Fever as Trotting Grace tucked in just behind through the quarter in :29.2. On the backstretch, Trotting Grace took over from White Pants Fever as the Searle trained duo passed the half one-two in :59.2. On the turn, Trotting Grace remained in command, passing three quarters in 1:28.3. In the lane, White Pants Fever tired as Trotting Grace faced a fresh challenge from New Queen. On the wire, Trotting Grace held on by a half-length over New Queen. Maui Mama got up for third. The final time for the mile was 1:57.0. Trotting Grace in owned in partnership by Bill Wright, Mystical Marker Farms LLC, and trainer Steve Searle. Race three was the first of two divisions of leg four of the Plum Peachy for Illinois-bred, three-year-old filly pacers. A field of eight contested the race as Allbeastnobeauty was sent away favored. Leaving for the lead was The New Americana as Kyle Husted guided her through the opening quarter in :28.2. Chased by JB's Shooting Star, The New Americana passed the half in :57.0. Cruising along through three quarters in 1:24.3, The New Americana went unchallenged through the wire, winning in 1:52.4. JB's Shooting Star finished second while Allbeastnobeauty was third. The New Americana is owned by Dave Falzone, James Molitor and Steven Leita and trained by Harold Herrera. Race four was the first of two divisions of leg four of the Kadabra Stakes for Illinois-bred, two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The field of six saw Foxvalleysrushhour go favored with Juan Franco driving. Making the lead was Fox Valley Cruise with Kyle Husted driving as they passed the quarter in :30.0. On the backside, For Trots Sakes ranged up to challenge, through a half in :59.1. The challenge did not last for long though as Fox Valley Cruise regained the lead on the turn, covering three quarters in 1:29.4. In the stretch, Foxvalleysrushhour tipped out to challenge but the move was too late as Fox Valley Cruise held on. For Trots Sakes finished third. The final time for the mile was 1:59.4. Fox Valley Cruise is owned by Phil Langley, John Schwarz, Jr., and trainer Jim Eaton. Race five was the first of two divisions of leg four of the Incredible Finale with a field of six, led by Maximus and driver Kyle Wilfong. Getting away quickly was Cooter Luke, but Maximus moved up from the outside to challenge through the quarter in :28.4. After a half in :59.3, Maximus was pushed into the turn by Fox Valley Julius. The duo passed three quarters in 1:28.3 as Fox Valley Julius put his head in front turning into the lane. After a long stretch drive, Maximus dug in and battled back, winning over Fox Valley Julius in 1:56.0. Riley the Mooss finished third. Maximus is owned by The Panhellenic Stable Corporation and Ken Rucker and trained by Kim Roth. Race six on Saturday was the second division of the Kadabra with Louscardamon favored for driver Mike Oosting. Shortly after the start Louscardamon broke stride and dropped to the back of the pack as Trixie's Turbo inherited the lead in :30.1. On the backstretch, Trixie's Turbo cruised along as second-choice Fox Valley Picaso also broke stride. Passing the half in 1:00.3 and three quarters in 1:30.2, Trixie's Turbo led the field into the lane through the easy fractions. A clear winner at the wire, Trixie's Turbo rolled home in 1:59.3. 85-1 shot Frontier Manard got up for second while Big Garcia Vega finished third. Trixie's Turbo is owned by Charles Doehring and is trained by Jared Finn. Race eight was the second division of leg four of the Incredible Finale with seven horses led by the duo of The Bucket, with Casey Leonard driving and Meyer On Fire, driven by Mike Oosting. At the start, it was longshot Coming Up who was able to grab the lead, backing the pace down through an opening quarter in :30.3. Chased by Meyer on Fire through a slow half in 1:00.2, Coming Up maintained his advantage into the turn. After three quarters in 1:29.1, Coming Up and Ridge Warren led the field into the lane as Meyer on Fire tipped out and The Bucket began to move from the back of the back. Late in the lane Meyer on Fire took over, winning in 1:56.3. Coming Up was game, holding on for second while The Bucket finished third. Meyer on Fire is owned by Engel Stable of Illinois LLC and is trained by Erv Miller. Race nine was the second division of the Plum Peachy as the field of eight was led by favored Fox Valley Jazzy, driven by Ridge Warren. Leaving for the lead was Rollin Coal, as she passed the quarter in :28.0 and half in :58.0. Chased by Fox Valley Jazzy into the turn, Rollin Coal kept her advantage, covering three quarters in 1:26.2. Into the lane, Rollin Coal was challenged by Party Belle and Travis Seekman, while Fox Valley Jazzy altered course to the outside. At the wire, Party Belle got up in time, winning in 1:54.2. Fox Valley Jazzy finished second while Skeeter Machine was third. Party Belle is owned by Ladavie Spann, along with trainer Tyler George. Race ten was the elimination for the Tony Maurello for Illinois-bred aged filly and mare pacers. The top eight qualify for the final as Fox Valley Charm was the favorite with Mike Oosting in the bike. Getting away quickly was the favorite as she carved out the early fractions of :28.2 and :58.0 for the half. After three quarters in 1:25.4, Fox Valley Charm turned into the lane with a brief lead as a wall of challengers lined up behind her. Rallying late in the stretch to take over was Fancy Creek Jolene and Robert Smolin as she got up in the shadow of the wire for the victory. Char N Marg closed to finish second while Fox Valley Charm held on for third. The final time for the mile was 1:52.4. Fancy Creek Jolene is owned by Michael Wolf and Set The Pace Racing LLC and trained by Kim Hamilton. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 5 through December 29. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course  

Batavia, NY --- For the second time in three weeks, Validus Deo laid claim to being the best pacer in western New York after winning the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 15). The starter released the field and they all hit the pylons in draw order going into the first turn. Halfway up the backside, Bugatti (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled to advance but Valudis Deo (Kevin Cummings) swooped three-deep around him and took the lead by the quarter in a tepid :28 and at that point, the race was won. Validus Deo motored down to the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24 flat as Whosurpapa (Billy Davis Jr.) tried to challenge first-over but didn't have any answers once out there. Rounding the last turn Cummings got more aggressive with his drive, knowing the pocket-sitting Barry Hanover (Shawn McDonough) was ready to pounce. As that situation unfolded, Validus Deo was up to the challenge and maintained his lead to the wire in 1:52.2, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Validus Deo ($5.70) registered his ninth win of the year and 35th of his career for trainer/driver Kevin Cummings who co-owns the winner with Matthew Rosiek and Robert Johnson. The $9,000 Open II was won by Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) who got away last before sliding up to fourth along the pylons past the half and shaking loose three-deep at the top of the stretch to pull away and win by a length in 1:52.4. It was the 11th win of the year for Upfront Countryboy ($17.40) who is owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr. The fastest mile of the night was orchestrated by Lucan Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) who went wire to wire in 1:52 in an upper level condition race. The very classy $1.1 million earner Lucan Hanover ($5.10) took up residency at Batavia Downs in early August after a private purchase by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing. Maria Rice trains the winner. Drew Monti led all drivers on Saturday with three wins followed by John Cummings Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. who both had two. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Saturday, meaning there is a carryover pool of $620 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 19) at 5 p.m. DIrector/General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight has also announced that the early Pick-5 pool will be guaranteed at $1,500 on Wednesday. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 15, 2018 -- Forced three wide prematurely when his cover stopped, Royaltyhasarrived roared wide through the lane to capture Saturday's co-feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Pace. Royaltyhasarrived was following the first-over cover of Modern Reflection in pursuit of The Dark Shadow, who was enjoying an easy lead. When Modern Reflection stalled, Brady Brown was forced to swing Royaltyhasarrived further out. The 6-year-old Western Terror-Her Mattjesty gelding needed most of the stretch, but he nailed The Dark Shadow by a neck in 1:51.3. Atta Boy Dan, frustrated in his quest for $700,000 in career earnings, raced well for third. Steve Schoeffel trains Royaltyhasarrived, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $249,581, for Virginia Schoeffel and Kathy Schoeffel. In Saturday's co-feature, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot, Bella's Punkett, aided by the early break of 1-2 favorite EZ Passer, rolled to a front-end score in 1:55.1 for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Howard Taylor. The 6-year-old daughter of Super Punk-Nubella extended her career earnings to $122,154. Jim Pantaleano, Burke and Palone each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $25,000 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as $2,072.40 jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Freehold, NJ-- There's an old adage in harness racing that states, "when you think your horse is the best in the race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end he probably wasn't the best." Case in point; today's (Sept 15th) Billings trot at Freehold Raceway. After "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli sent Someway Same Hall to the lead from the four hole he obviously felt his trotter was the best in the field when he proceeded to park-out all comers and then roll on to an impressive 1:58.1 victory over six others. After the gate sprung both Fiji (Dave "the Rave" Offenberg) and Wygant Prince, in rein to "Coach Paul" Minore, were on the limb and Ciuffetelli seemed oblivious and left them on the outside as he hustled Someway Same Hall forward with Fiji right alongside while Wygant Prince was second over. Of course the challenges made the first fraction a swift :28.1 and at the halfway point the timer flashed :58.0. But Ciufferelli was undaunted as his steed began to pull away from the parked horses. At the three-quarters Ciuffetelli and Someway Same Hall had three lengths on the field which was opened to seven at the top of the lane. And when they headed for paydirt "Tough Tony" was looking around for company and they cruised to and easy 8-length triumph as the early challengers faded. Way Cry Hall and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff were second under the wire while Fiji held on for the show dough. The winner is owned by the Tic Racing Stable and trained by Ciuffetelli. Although "Tough Tony" felt his horse was the best the betting crowd didn't concur and sent them off at odds of over 10-1 and Someway Same Hall paid $22.10. by John Manzi, for Billings Series

FORT WASHINGTON, MD - Rosecroft kicks off its four-month fall Standardbred race meet Sunday with three Maryland Sire Stakes, a 12-race program with two Open Pace events, and the return of its Pacer of the Meet and Trotter of the Meet from the spring. First race post for the Sire Stakes is 3:30 p.m. The 12-race program begins at 4:40 p.m. Rosecroft will race each Sunday and Wednesday with first race post time at 4:40 p.m. on Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday. There will also be a special Saturday program, Nov. 3 with a 7 p.m. first race post. The third running of the $100,000 Potomac Pace will also be contested during the fall meet. "We're looking forward to a great fall meet at Rosecroft," said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. "We continue to have a great partnership with the horsemen and breeders and we're looking forward to building on the success of the Potomac Pace." Fashion Smile, named Trotter of the Meet earlier in the year, is entered in the first race Sunday. The 7-year-old will leave from the outside. Meanwhile, Capital Builder, the Pacer of the Meet, is entered in the second race, a $10,000 Open Pace. The eighth race on Sunday's program will also be an Open Pace with, among others, AL's Hammered, who has earned more than $500,000 in his career. Driver Frank Milby, the leading driver in the spring, will be back to defend his title. Milby won 56 races earlier this year at Rosecroft, 13 more than runner-up Roger Plante Jr., Arlene Cameron who the training title with 23 winners, three more than Megan Roberts. By David Joseph, for Rosecroft Raceway    

YONKERS, N.Y. – Bringing Will Take Charge to race in Saturday night’s Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers Raceway isn’t an expedient move for Jeff Gillis. He’s passing up a chance to race in the $200,000 Caesar’s Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park next week and he was certain to be assigned post eight in the weekly $44,000 trotting feature. However, Gillis made the choice to race the 5-year-old gelding at the Hilltop with good reason: the International Trot is just a month away (October 13), and Gillis is determined to represent Canada in the $1 million stakes. “That’s the whole reason for being down here. He’s eligible to a race at Hoosier next Friday that I may bypass. I’m not sure about racing him off six days with all the travel,” Gillis said. “It wasn’t a convenient time to come down from a scheduling perspective, but I really want to be in that race and I’m going to do anything I can to get him noticed.” Although Will Take Charge is in the midst of a career year, winning the Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia in May, taking the Crawford Farms Trot at Tioga in a romp in July, and finishing second in both the Cutler Memorial and Cashman to the tune of $387,965 this season, Gillis doesn’t think the son of Kadabra has made enough of an impression to earn one of the 10 invitations to Yonkers’ signature race for older trotters. “The Maxie Lee, he was spectacular that day. To that point, he’d won off of cover and he’d won on the front, but we’d never grinded out first-over. That was the hand we were dealt that day and I was really impressed with him. I would argue that’s been his best race for me,” Gillis said. “The race at Tioga, I don’t think the field was quite as deep and he was never really threatened. Two very different races.” Will Take Charge finished eighth beaten 6 ½ lengths behind likely United States representative Crazy Wow and probable Canadian representative Marion Marauder in the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk September 1. Gillis doesn’t think Will Take Charge was at his best that night and believes his trotter will deliver a standout performance worthy of garnering an invitation Saturday night. “I gave him four days off after the Maple Leaf Trot and then just jogged him up until Wednesday and trained him. He’s ready to go tomorrow,” Gillis said. “We haven’t yet received an invite and I certainly want it. I’m hoping for him to race well tomorrow and in turn receive that invite. “I feel like after the Maple Leaf Trot, I’m not sure if they’ll invite more than one Canadian horse, but I was concerned that Marion Marauder had the upper hand on us and the only thing I could do to turn the tables is bring him down here and hopefully showcase him a little bit,” Gillis said. Will Take Charge will start from post eight in Saturday’s sixth race. The 1-mile trot attracted last week’s dominant Preferred winner Gruden and July 7 Open winner Weslynn Dancer. Madhatter Bluechip, New Heaven, Barry Black, Fashion Creditor, and Lord Cromwell comprise the lineup. Despite his outside assignment, Will Take Charge is the 5-2 morning line favorite with Mark MacDonald down to drive.  “I’m going to leave it up to Mark MacDonald. I don’t want him to get away eighth. I expect him to go forward in some manner,” Gillis said. “I think it will depend on how many leavers there are inside of him. I’m confident if he has to go to the lead, he’ll be good and I’m confident that he can do it from off the pace as well.” Will Take Charge won a local $30,000 Preferred Handicap in April, racing from off the pace to score a 1:56.1 win. Gillis believes Will Take Charge excels on small tracks and relishes the tight turns of the half-mile oval. “He trots the turns as fast as any horse I’ve ever had, as fast as the straightaways really,” Gillis said. “The smaller tracks are really his bread and butter; in fact, I’ve developed the opinion that he hasn’t raced quite as well at home as he has on the road and most of his starts on the road have been on the smaller tracks. “I really think, with him trotting the turns so good and I don’t know that this horse particularly tires,” Gillis continued. “He’s been a mile-and-an-eighth a couple of times and been second beat a neck both times. I think on a half, the advantage kind of shifts to him. I’d really like the opportunity to find out for sure.” Saturday’s 12-race program co-features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace in race eight and a $35,000 4-year-old Open Handicap Pace in race nine. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY  

The entry box for the 73rd Little Brown Jug will remain open until Monday (September 17) at 10:00 AM. The condition sheet on the USTA website listed the Little Brown Jug, with the other races scheduled to be conducted on Thursday, September 20, as having a "three-day box." "We have a unique situation where our largest stakes events, the Little Brown Jug and Jugette, have a five-day-box and the remaining events with a three-day box," noted Tom Wright, Director of Racing. "We want to make 100% sure everyone had access to the same information before they entered their horse. We are sorry for the delay, but we felt this decision was in the best interest of the horsemen." The retention barn rules will not be impacted. The Jug horses will be required to be on the grounds Tuesday, September 18 by 12:00 noon. Questions and concerns should be directed to the Log Cabin by calling (740) 363-6000. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug  

Kabu (John MacDonald) captures the featured trot ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 14). Gimme The Cash (Claude Huckabone III) stormed to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :56.4, 1:25.2). Kabu ($3.10) followed in second. Owned by JP Stables and trained by MacDonald, he popped the pocket and flew down the stretch holding off the late charge of second place finisher Pier Ho Exotic (Jimmy Whittemore) in 1:54.2. Gimme The Cash held on for third. Kabu is a 7-year-old gelding by Valley Victor. He won for the ninth time this season and the 30th time in his career. Under The Bus (Truman Gale) wins featured fillies and mares pace ($6,500). Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) led to way to all the early fractions (:26.4, :56.0, 1:23.3). Under The Bus ($19.60) followed in second all the way to the stretch. Owned by Hossman LLC. and trained by Robert Gale. She wore down second place finisher Jaclyn Hanover in the long Vernon Downs stretch to pick up the victory by equaling her lifetime best of 1:51.4. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) took home third money. Under The Bus is a 4-year-old mare by Art Major. It was her fourth win in 2018. It was career victory number eight. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 15) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

ANDERSON, IN --September 14, 2018--Indiana's top three-year-old pacing colts were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as they squared off the final round of preliminary stakes action on Friday, September 14. After sitting out of the eliminations last week, divisional leader Always A Prince returned to the track in a big kind of way in an $18,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Eligible event. With regular pilot Trace Tetrick in the bike, Always A Prince powered home a winner in 1:48.3 to score his third consecutive victory and lower his own track record in the process. Always A Prince established the previous mark of 1:48.4 in Indiana Sires Stakes action earlier this season. The track record performance served as a prep race for his next start as Always A Prince is expected to be supplemented to take on Grand Circuit company in the $175,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Pace. The Jenna's Beach Boy Pace will be part of the star-studded card slated for Friday, September 21 at Hoosier Park that will also feature the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic, the $175,000 est. Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, and the $125,000 Elevation Pace. Tetrick took no chances and sent the overwhelming favorite to the front just after the first quarter in :26.1. Always A Prince strolled through fractions of :53.3 and 1:21.1 before he began to put his talent on display. With a six length lead at the top of the stretch, Always A Prince was in a race against the clock and used a:27.2 final panel to coast on to the wire under a hand drive from Tetrick. "We entered him in a race last week and it didn't fill so we missed the sires stakes eliminations," trainer Tyler George said after the victory. "The Jenna's Beach Boy fits well with his schedule and it ended up working out for us to get a race this week so we are looking at supplementing. He deserves a shot." With the victory, Always A Prince has now won 14 of 17 lifetime outings and has only finished out of the money twice in his career. Unraced as a two-year-old, the gelded son of Always A Virgin-Glorious Princess pushed his lifetime bankroll to $196,500 for owners Carl & Melanie Atley. The victory was also one of six victories on the program for Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick. Tetrick found the winner's circle just a few races later in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, behind the 8-1 upset winner, On Duty. Uninvolved in the early stages of the race, On Duty utilized a :26.4 final panel to surge past his rivals late in the lane to secure the win in a new lifetime best of 1:49. Trained by William Crone, the gelded son of Rockin Image-Lady Luck Killean recorded his second win of the season from 12 outings. With the win, On Duty pushed his lifetime purse earnings over the $100,000 mark for owner John Barnard. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 15 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

YONKERS, NY - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Sept. 14th) wrapped up its New York Sire Stakes legs--all 16 of 'em--with the $156,200 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old harness racing colts and geldings. Friday's event once again honored the memory of 'Tootie,' whose unmatched PR savvy in the golden age of the game helped make the nascent Roosevelt International Trot a happening. The evening's first ($77,400) grouping saw odds-on Thunder (Jason Bartlett, $3.10) do it handily in 1:58. From post position No. 2, he made the lead around Brady Bunch (Andy Miler) after an early break of Kredit Karma (Brian Sears). After that, no issues for the fave through dawdling (:29.1, 59.2, 1:29) fractions. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) tried it first-up from third, settling for second to the winner (as he did at Vernon), with the final margin three lengths. Brady Bunch and Quiksilver Bluchip (catch-driver Jordan Stratton) completed the gimmick finishers. For Thunder, a son of Conway Hall trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Crawford Racing, VIP Internet Stables and Jeremey Day, it was his fourth win in eight seasonal starts (all in last five tries). The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $17.20 and the superfecta paid $98.50. "He's handy, he gets over any size tracks and he's getting better," Bartlett said. "We're ready for next week (sire stakes finals here)." The evening's second ($78,800) statebred sojourn was a mismatch on paper and in practice for divisional leader Gimpanzee (Sears, $2.10), making it 6-for-6 ($166,358) during his froshfest. All the wins have come in New York Sire Stakes competition, the latest after weigh stations of :29, :57.4, 1:28.1 and (identical to first event) 1:58. From post No. 6, he waited his turn to get by an eventually-breaking Captain Krupnik (Dan Dube) and Chapter Fashion (Bartlett). The latter eventually did the dance of the damned coming to the half, which led to an extremely gapped-out gang. The lead was eight lengths at intermission. Our White Knight (Miller) did cut in that passing the three-quarters, but the outcome was even more death-and-taxes than death-and-taxes. Gimpanzee won by 3¾ lengths, with Out White Knight safely second over Certify (Jeff Gregory). Fourth went to Captain Krupnik, as his break wasn't as costly as the other three misbehavers...even though all four were 'distanced' in the chart. Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, has won his half-dozen starts by a combined 23¼ lengths. The exacta paid $23.20, the triple returned $222 and the superfecta paid $920. "He's done nothing wrong and tonight was the same," Sears said. The Raceway hosts the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions Saturday night, Sept. 21st, with eight, $225,000 divisional finals. Friday night's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Medusa (Sears, $6.60) in 1:52, the lady's 35th career victory in her 120th start. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

With no Fillies and Mares Open on the card, a $9,500 conditional event for distaffers served as the Friday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The race had the look of an Open, though, as a few of its participants were dropping out of top-flight company. Happy Heart (Woodstock) was a nominee for Filly and Mare Claiming Pacer of the Year in 2017 as one of the stars of the Melissa Beckwith stable. While her '18 campaign hasn't quite matched last year's, Happy Heart is enjoying another solid season and on Friday night driver Wally Hennessey sat behind her for the first time. Starting from post two, Happy Heart was aggressive in the early going and powered out to the lead in a sizzling 26.4 first quarter. After getting a breather in the second quarter, Happy Heart was met with the challenge of the race's odds-on favorite who made her move first over though that rival never got close to the leader. Happy Heart seemed to be tiring a bit late in the mile as longshot Pull The Shade (Frank Coppola Jr) motored up the inside in the stretch to come after her. Happy Heart hung in there and recorded her fifth victory of the season, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 to spring the mild upset at odds of 6-1. Pull The Shade was the runner-up while one of the Open droppers Rock N Roll Rosie (Jimmy Devaux) came on for third. Happy Heart paid $14.20 to win and led an exacta and triple, with the favorite out of the number, that returned $121.50 and $530, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Tioga Downs played host to a leg of the Kindergarten Classic for both 2-year-old pacers and trotters on Friday (September 14). All classes raced for a purse of $10,000. Cloud Nine Fashion remains unbeaten with Kindergarten Classic win in the second division for trotting fillies. Amanda Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) led the field to a first quarter in :28.3. Jezzys Legacy (Ray Schnittker) took her turn taking the lead with a lap to go. She led them to the half in 58.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Cloud Nine Fashion ($3.30) went first-over just before the three-quarter mark. Owned by Fashion Farms LLC. and trained by Jim Campbell, she took over in the stretched and won easily in a lifetime best of 1:56.0. Jezzys Legacy held on for second. Amanda Blue Chip was third best. Cloud Nine Fashion is a filly by Muscle Hill-I'm On Cloud Nine. She is now a perfect five for five in her career. Starita (Tim Tetrick) wins first division of the Kindergarten Classic for trotting fillies. Princess Deo (Troy Beyer) led to a first quarter of :28.2 Starita ($3.00) took over with five-eighths of a mile left. Trained by Joe Holloway for owners Val D'Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz, she controlled all the rest of the fractions (:57.4, 1:26.1 1:56.0). Second place finisher Big Weezy (David Miller) and Princess Deo (third) both came at her in the stretch but Starita was too tough. Starita is a filly by Trixton-Morningstar. She captured her third career victory in eight lifetime starts. Cub Fan (Tyler Buter) fires late to win Kindergarten Classic for pacing colts and geldings. Sweet Troy (Atlee Bender) went to the front and led to a first quarter in :28.2. Mountain High (David Miller) took control and led to a half of :58.0 and three-quarters in 1:25.4. Cub Fan ($4.40) was fourth at the top of the stretch. Owned by Michael Anderson and trained by Erv Miller, he came charging down the stretch to win in 1:54.0. Southwind Ozzi (Mike Simons) came up late to finish second. Escapetothebeach (Tim Tetrick) took third money. Cub Fan is a gelding by So Surreal-Pardon. It was his second win in five career starts. Cantab Fashion (Mike Simons) easily wins the Kindergarten Classic for trotting colts and geldings. Sheena's Boy (Ake Svanstedt) took the group to a first quarter in :28.3. Cantab Fashion ($5.80) took over and never looked back putting up all the rest of the fractions (:58.1, 1:26.0, 1:54.2). Battenberg (David Miller) finished second with entry mate Caesars Crazy (Tyler Buter) getting third. Cantab Fashion is a colt by Cantab Hall-Defiant Donato. He now has three wins in four career starts. Trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms LLC. teamed up for their second win of the night. Michelon's Filly (Marcus Miller) wins non-betting Kindergarten Classic for pacing fillies. Alkippe (Tim Tetrick) controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :56.0 1:24.2). Michelon's Filly followed in the pocket all the way until she got to the stretch. Trained by Erv Miller for owners Ronald Michelon and Michael Anderson, she flew by in late stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.0. Alkippie settled for second. Under The Hood (Tyler Buter) was third best. Michelon's Filly is a filly by Captaintreacherous-New Album. It was her third win in seven lifetime starts. Leading driver Mike Merton won four on the night to give him 65 wins on the season. He now leads by eight races with three more cards to go. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a 13 race card on Saturday (September 15) at 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

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