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After his mare went four-for-four in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series preliminary races, owner Tom Pollack wasn't about to get too technical about Alexa Skye's chances in Monday's (April 19) $232,800 final for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. "If luck's shining on you, it is. And if it isn't, it isn't," surmised Pollack of Pollack Racing LLC, which owns the horse along with trainer Jeff Cullipher. "Just as long as you put your best foot forward, and I think she will. "Obviously, we'd love to see her finish the deal on Monday night and win this series. But we're just hoping for a good effort, that's all you can do." The 4-year-old drew post six and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line behind Blue Ivy at 2-1. Pollack admitted that things broke right for Alexa Skye in her four races in the series as she was able to take charge in the short fields. "She's made her mark right at the beginning and that kind of garnered the respect of the other ones in there," Pollack said. "We've been able to get to the lead fairly easily and kind of dictate the races. From that standpoint it's been great." In Monday's eight-horse final, Blue Ivy will start from post three. She won three times and finished second twice in the preliminary rounds. Machnhope, a two-time winner in the series, is 4-1 from post one while Siesta Beach, also a prelim winner, is 5-1 from post two. "Obviously when the money's on the line, that's why they hold the race," Pollack said. "Anything can happen. All eight horses can probably win. We're going to have to earn it, for sure." Speaking of earnings, Alexa Skye has already garnered a career-high $117,250 this year by winning seven of nine starts and finishing second by a head and a nose in the other two. She has already tied her career-best seven wins (in 17 starts) from last year and far surpassed her purse money of $63,430. The mare, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Pirouette Hanover, was bought by Pollack on Feb. 17. She had already won three of four races when the transaction was completed. Pollack was contacted by an agent he hadn't previously worked with and was immediately interested after having seen Alexa Skye at The Meadowlands last year and seeing her dominance early this season. "We want to be in the game," the western Pennsylvania native said. "We're not huge yearling players outside of Indiana, we're more into the aged racehorse game. Having a chance to get one that's eligible to all these Grand Circuit races and performing at that level, she was too good to pass up. The fact she comes from a good family and has some breeding value when she's done racing made it even easier to pull the trigger." After being off for three weeks, she finished second by a nose for her new owners before rolling through the Matchmaker prelims. Pollack estimates he and Cullipher own around 70 horses together and each one has their responsibility. "I'm the legs of finding and acquiring," he said. "That's my forte. He sticks more toward training them. But when I find horses, he's watching replays or talking to folks he knows who might have been associated with the horse. That's kind of the way our partnership works." And the duo appears to have nailed it with this latest acquisition. Pollack hoped she would be good, but is pleasantly surprised about the success so far. "Obviously, you could have never predicted we'd be racing in five- or six-horse fields in the Matchmaker (prelims) for $35,000 a week and then the $230,000 final after that. It kind of looks like I knew what I was doing in buying her, with her kind of being one of the top dogs in this series." Alexa Skye is staked to the Grand Circuit in the U.S. this year, but her connections will skip Canadian stakes due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 protocols, and also because of the length of the six-week Matchmaker. But she will be a busy mare and appears ready for the grind. Asked what he likes most about the horse, the owner noted two specifics. "Number one, the fact she is so versatile; she can win at Yonkers or the Meadowlands," Pollack said. "And number two is her toughness. She's kind of all business. She's a sweetheart to be around in the barn but once she gets on the track, she's all business. Hopefully, she's ready with her A game Monday, that's all you can ask." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Monday at Yonkers. The Matchmaker final is race seven on the card, which also includes the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for older males (race eight) as well as consolations for both series. For complete entries, click here. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is announcing that a previously unscheduled leg will be added to the Graduate Series for harness racing pacers to be raced on Saturday, May 15 in response to the cancellation of the Confederation Cup for 2021.   Horses that are fully paid up and eligible for the Graduate will be eligible to race in the added leg and it will be considered for points toward the final just as the the scheduled legs.   This added leg will make a total of four $75,000 ($50,000 div) preliminary legs for the pacers and three for the trotters heading into the $250,000e finals.   There will not be a leg added for the trotters as it would conflict with existing stakes.   "We scheduled the Graduate around the Confederation Cup to provide the 4-year-olds the best chance to race in stakes against their own age before moving into the open stakes," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "Without the Confederation Cup, which provided an elimination and final for them, there's a month between stakes. We'll add a Graduate leg same day as Cutler Memorial to give them a race and make a nice card on that night."   Graduate Series Schedule (at The Meadowlands unless otherwise indicated)   PACE: Saturday, May 1 Saturday, May 15 Saturday, June 5 (Woodbine at Mohawk) Saturday, June 26 Final on Saturday, July 10   TROT: Saturday, May 22 Saturday, June 5 (Woodbine at Mohawk) Saturday, June 26 Final on Saturday, July 10   From The Meadowlands    

Vernon Downs is set to begin their 68th year of harness racing on Saturday (April 17). Vernon Downs will feature The Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) with separate races for both 3-year-old filly trotters and 3-year-old trotting colts on Friday (June 18). Vernon Downs is also proud to once again play host to the Zweig Memorial races featuring the 3-year-old Open Trot and the 3-year-old Fillies Trot on Saturday (August 28). On Saturday (September 11) Vernon will present the New York State Excelsior Finals for 2 and 3-year-old filly and colt trotters and pacers. In 2020 Leon Bailey was the top driver. He will get to tangle with former driving champions John MacDonald and Jimmy Whittemore. These three and other great drivers should make it exciting as they all vie for the 2021 title. Kerin Warner took top trainer honors at the Miracle Mile in 2020. Former training champion Marissa Chadbourne returns along with other top contenders like Claude Huckabone III and new comer Brandi Wine. Live racing will be continuing through closing night (November 6). Post time will be 6:10 pm every night with the exception of Derby Day (May 1) which will start at 4:30 pm. The Miracle Mile will also offer four new awards for 2021. We will honor our top driver of the week with the Winning Wheels driver of the week. The best trainer of the week will also be recognized as the Black Stallion trainer of the week. We will also have an award for grooms. It is called the Bourbon Express groom of the week. We have also added a monthly award called the Golden Gro longshot of the month. This will go to the horse with the largest $2.00 payoff of the month. On opening day there will be no fans. However, starting on Friday (April 23) Vernon Downs fans will be permitted. More details next week. Post time for the 12-race card is 6:10 pm. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs 

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers on Monday (April 19) features the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers and the $232,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The card will also have the $100,000 MGM Borgata Pacing series consolation and the $60,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker consolation. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Preliminary round action in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series concluded on Monday night (April 12) at Yonkers Raceway with a trio of $40,000 divisions that were won by Backstreet Shadow, Mach N Cheese, and Leonidas A. Backstreet Shadow was able to get to the wire a half-length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Chris Brokate photo. Backstreet Shadow (Yannick Gingras) took full advantage of the pole position in the first split, going to the lead and putting up fractions of :27.3, :56.1, and 1:24.1 over a surface that was rated "good" and a second off. Western Joe (Dexter Dunn) took up the chase by going first-over out of third in the backstretch, but he couldn't make any headway on the outside, allowing Backstreet Shadow to turn into the lane with a clear advantage. Once they hit the stretch, Western Joe suddenly hit top gear and began to gain on Backstreet Shadow, but Backstreet Shadow was able to get to the wire a half-length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Tyga Hanover (Jason Bartlett) came in third. A 6-year-old gelding by Shadow Play, Backstreet Shadow is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Backstreet Shadow, who won twice in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, now has a record of 26-12-6 from 64 starts and he has earned $910,162. The 3-5 favorite, Backstreet Shadow paid $3.40 to win. Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the fifth and final preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway with an imposing 1:52.3 victory in their $35,000 division on Friday night (April 9). The fleet-footed 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere had to work just a bit to gain control at the quarter, but from that point, her four rivals chased her in vain. Alexa Skye left the gate along with Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) from the inside, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) between those two into the opening bend. Siesta Beach settled along the pylons, but McCarthy pushed Alexa Skye to the top and cleared passing a :27.4 opening fraction. Alexa Skye maintained the lead after that, setting fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.4, with Siesta Beach moving to the outside into the final turn as Monica Gallagher lost contact with the pacesetter. McCarthy let his mare do the talking, and Alexa Skye spoke volumes, cruising home effortlessly with a :27.4 kicker to win by open lengths. Siesta Beach held down the place spot, with Soho Burning Love A (Austin Siegelman) showing decent late foot for third. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the field, Alexa Skye paid $2.40 to win. Alexa Skye won all four of the Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary legs she participated in for Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher. Now a winner in seven of nine starts on the season, Alexa Skye moves into the $232,800 final on April 19 as the clear horse to beat. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 4-12-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 60; 2. Austin Siegelman - 56; 3t. Andrew McCarthy - 49; 3t. George Brennan - 49; 5. Tyler Buter - 44. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 109; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 2t. Todd Buter - 40; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 40; 5. Nicholas DeVita - 38. Owners: 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 1t. Renee Bercury - 40; 3. Eric Prevost - 38; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 31.1; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 31.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place on April 24 at Freehold Raceway with the Dexter Cup eliminations for 3-year-old open trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Harness racing driver-trainer Pat Lachance is this week's guest on the Harness Racing Alumni Show.   Pat drops by and candidly discusses his stable, while mentioning to Freddie, Trade and Bob that he has a couple of American Ideal two-year-old's that he expects to be nice racehorses. One of the youngsters he's training, Anthony Perretti and show co-host Bob Marks were the under bidders on at the sale.   His famous driver-trainer dad, Michel "Mike" Lachance, works with his son at the barn on a daily basis. Pat also shares his personal views about the future of American harness racing. It's an interesting broadcast. Listen to it on this week's Harness Racing Alumni Show.   From the Harness Racing Alumni Show      

Just two days away from making his Meadowlands debut, 20-year old driver  Luke Hanners warmed up for his first drive at the mecca of harness racing by taking four races on the Wednesday night card at Rosecroft Raceway. Hanners' Meadowlands baptism will come aboard All American N from Post 10 for trainer Williams Hernandez in Race one on Friday. Two of Hanners' wins came for trainer Brian Callahan aboard the talented young three-year old Thor And Dr Jones ($2.60) as well as veteran mare Hillbilly Jet ($8.40). Hanners won with Brian Tomlinson's Always A Blue Sky who blew up the tote board paying $63.80 and Billy Andrews' new acquisition, Just Sayin ($8.20), trained by Hanners. The features on Wednesday night were won by familiar characters, as Skyway Cobra ($6.40) won the featured $11,000 Open Trot in 1:55.1 on a track labeled sloppy. SKYWAY COBRA REPLAY   It was one of two wins for Davis Jr, both for trainer Janet Davis. Arlene Cameron owns the winner who picked up his third Open win of the meet. The other win came aboard Steven and Nicole Nason's Express Delight N. John Wagner won the $11,000 Open Mares pace with Bet You Im Rockin ($6.20) who he owns and trains and it was her fifth win at the top level and she has been in the top three in 10 of 11 2021 starts. Handicapped with post nine, Wagner sent his charge right to the top and was never headed in 1:53.1. It also gave Wagner a training double as Jared Moyer scored with Scott Woogen's K J Janna ($19.60). BET YOU IM ROCKIN REPLAY   Jonathan Roberts won the first three races on the card, and Timmy Offut won twice. For full race results, click here. by Pete Medhurst, for Rosecroft Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - While the harness racing handle throughout all of 2021 has been on the fast track at The Meadowlands, it reached warp speed again last weekend, as a total of $7 million was bet over the course of last Friday (April 9) and Saturday's (April 10) race cards, the fourth time this year betting has busted that lofty barrier. All-source wagering totaled $3,237,137 on Friday - the biggest Friday of business this year - followed by a Saturday that saw $3,782,327 of action, for a total of $7,019,464. There have been 29 programs conducted in 2021, and 20 of them have seen betting of at least $3 million. During all of 2020, the $3-million plateau was reached a total of 11 times. Whether the winners paid big or small, the betting remained prolific. On Friday, there were but two winning favorites, while the next night saw a half-dozen public choices visit the winner's circle. The Saturday night chalks did not make the average payouts of some of the more popular bets unappealing, however. The average win payout was $17.73 while the exactas averaged $114, trifectas $829 and Pick-3s $804. The biggest scores were to be made by hitting the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($7,625) and 20-cent Pick-5 ($3,083). Not surprisingly, much of the action on Saturday's card was over the top. Average play in the two 50-cent Pick-4s - the track's signature bet - was $120,192. That number in the exacta, AKA Old Reliable, was $77,340. Two wagers sporting carryovers took big play as well, as a $9,000 carryover led to a total pool of $73,124 in the 20-cent Pick-6 and a $32,000 carryover served as the catalyst for a total pool in the 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta of $116,192. "The Big M has been on a great roll in 2021," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The horseplayers have compelling races and an excellent wagering menu with huge pools to bet into. Those with the lower takeouts have been especially popular. The lower minimums and free programs have allowed more and more people to stay in the action all night long. Last weekend, The Meadowlands provided horseplayers around the world with many opportunities to make some nice scores." COUNTDOWN TO DERBY DAY: The May 1 Kentucky Derby is just over two weeks away, and the place to watch and wager on the "Run for the Roses" is The Meadowlands, which has one of the best simulcast facilities anywhere. Doors will open at 9 a.m. with the first race at Churchill Downs slated for 10:30 a.m. Post time for The Kentucky Derby is 6:57 p.m. There are many admission and dining options available at The Big M on Derby Day. For all the details, go to playmeadowlands.com. GET SOCIAL: You can always check in with the team at The Meadowlands on Twitter. For early changes, racing information and staff selections, go to @themeadowlands or #playbigm. On race nights, stay in touch with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). GET YOUR FREE PROGRAM: Need a program but don't want to spend any green? The Big M has you covered, with free programs on every race of every race card. Just go to playmeadowlands.com to get your no-cost past performances. A HALF-DOZEN CHANCES: The Big M offers players six chances every night to make a score, betting on the track's popular wagers that offer a low 15 percent takeout. They are: Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5 Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6 Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 13: 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta $100,000 GUARANTEED: Every night, The Meadowlands guarantees big green on both editions of its signature wager, as each 50-cent Pick-4 sports a guaranteed pool of $50,000. CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower's selections and commentary. Click on the "handicapping" tab and go to "race reviews". Brower's input is generally available 48 hours before every card. THE SCHEDULE: Live racing continues every Friday and Saturday with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m. Big M TV's live "Racing from The Meadowlands" pre-game show, which provides news and notes, a look at that evening's featured action and staff selections, gets underway at 5:47 p.m. THE MAD HATTER: Edison Hatter, the 21-year-old track announcer at Freehold Raceway, will be joining The Meadowlands TV team Friday night when he will be serving as analyst and handicapper on TVG for The Big M's races. On Saturday, Mike Bozich, the track announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia who did a great job on the microphone last week filling in for Warkentin at The Big M, will be downstairs on set sitting alongside Brower as the co-host for the pre-game show and between-race segments during the card. GET YOUR SPORTS ACTION: The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook, the leading facility of its kind in the entire country, offers fans a chance to bet on MLB, the NBA, NHL, professional soccer and golf and much more. Baseball bettors may want to stay with the hot Los Angeles Dodgers, who are -320 to defeat the Colorado Rockies Thursday (April 15) night. Don't want to bet a game at short odds like that? Play the Dodgers and lay 1½ runs and your odds jump to -144. Local hockey fans may want to take a shot with the New York Islanders, who are a slight +108 underdog taking on the Boston Bruins. The sportsbook is open Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m.-midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The cash counter is open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. From the Meadowlands  

MANALAPAN, NJ -- April 15, 2021 -- Yearling nominations and sustaining payments for SBOANJ sponsored stakes are due May 15, 2021. Garden State Trot #4 and Home Grown Pace #4 sustaining payments for 2YO due May 15, 2021. Garden State Trot #5 and Home Grown Pace #5 yearling nomination payments are due on May 15, 2021. Visit sboanj.com for payment forms, schedules, and a list of eligibilities. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

Harness racing betting favorites Get Legs and Timon AS won for the second straight week, and Tad Krazy Hanover pulled a 25-1 upset in the three $20,000 divisions of the third and final leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series on Wednesday night (April 14) at Yonkers Raceway. Get Legs (Andy Miller), dispatched at odds of 1-9, started from post one in the second flight, and he raced in fourth to the 28.2 opening quarter before Miller brought him to the outside late on the second turn. Get Legs moved up into second as Lady Jeter (Yannick Gingras) reached the half in 58 seconds, then took over command past that marker. Get Legs cruised over to three-quarters in 1:26.3, negotiated the final turn without incident, and kicked away in the lane to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:55.3. Lady Jeter held second over Mcmatters (Mark MacDonald), who raced in the first-over position after Get Legs hit the front. GET LEGS REPLAY   Julie Miller trains Get Legs, a 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill, for owners Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Michael Anderson. Get Legs has earned $86,010 to go with his 10-0-2 record from 12 starts, and he paid $2.10 to win, place, and show. The exacta returned $4.30 and the trifecta was worth $13.20. Timon AS (Tyler Buter) went off as the even-money choice in the third split and after leaving quickly from post three, he would be overtaken and put in the pocket by Grinder (Greg Merton) before the 29 second opening quarter. Grinder then proceeded to give a parking ticket to a two-wide Look In My Eyes (Jordan Stratton), who had fired out from post eight, through the 58.4 half and the 1:28 three-quarters. It looked like Timon AS was in big trouble at three-quarters and on to the last turn as he was stuck on the pylons and Look In My Eyes was hanging around enough to keep him pinned in. Then, Lifetime Royalty (Dan Dube) moved out three-wide from second-over, giving Timon AS even more traffic to deal with. Fortunately for Timon AS, his connections, and his backers at the windows, Grinder drifted out in the lane and couldn't keep the inside closed, giving Timon AS a seam to shoot through. Once he had the space, Timon AS had the trot to go with it, getting up to tally by half a length over Grinder in a final time of 1:57. Lifetime Royalty could only finish evenly and had to settle for third. TIMON AS REPLAY   A 5-year-old Lionhunter gelding, Timon AS is trained by Melanie Wrenn for owner Michael Guest. Timon AS picked up his 21st career victory, and he has put away $121,280. Timon AS returned $5.10 to win and was atop a $13.40 exacta and a $33.60 trifecta. Back in the opening section, 4-5 favorite Windsong Pioneer (Brent Holland) figured to be tough after he put up comfortable fractions of 28.3, 58.1, and 1:27, but driver Scott Zeron moved Tad Krazy Hanover out three-wide late on the far turn after following Kasha V (Jason Bartlett) from second-over, and Tad Krazy Hanover kicked home strongly to chase down and defeat Windsong Pioneer by a head in a 1:56 mile. P L Notsonice (Renaldo Morales III) tracked Tad Krazy Hanover's cover and finished well for third. TAD KRAZY HANOVER REPLAY   Tad Krazy Hanover, a 5-year-old Donato Hanover mare, is owned by Barbara Terranova. Tad Krazy Hanover is now an eight-time winner in her career, and she has pocketed $76,262. Tad Krazy Hanover paid $52.00 to win and keyed a $151.00 exacta and a $539.00 trifecta. The John Brennan Trotting Series will conclude next Wednesday (April 21) with a $69,000 final and a $30,000 consolation. Nobody had six-of-six in Wednesday's Pick 6 sequence at Yonkers, so when action resumes on Thursday (April 15), there will be a $2,355.38 carryover in that wager. The Pick 6 will begin in the third race.  Stakes action picks back up at Yonkers Raceway on Monday (April 19) with the $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final and the $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final. There are also consolation events for both series, with the MGM Borgata consolation carrying a purse of $100,000 and the Blue Chip Matchmaker consolation going for $60,000. For full results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The usual tactics by Wonderful World paid off once again as she went gate-to-wire in posting a 3/4 length victory over Xenia's Chip in Buffalo Raceway's featured $9,600 Filly and Mare Class A-B Optional Claiming Handicapped Pace on Wednesday night (April 14). She toured the half-mile harness racing oval in 1:56.4.   The win was bittersweet however as Wonderful World ($4.60) was claimed away from owner/trainer Sabrina Shaw by Michael Gentner for $21,000.   Using her early gate speed, Wonderful World cruised immediately to the top and registered splits of :29.0, :57.2 and 1:26.3 in her typical front-running style.   Turning for home, Wonderful World (Billy Davis Jr.) had little to worry about in crossing the wire. Xenia's Chip made a mild bid extremely late but had to settle for second place while Greenhilldebatable (Shawn McDonough) captured third.   It was the second victory in five starts this season for the 8-year-old mare Wonderful World (If I Can Dream - Smilefortheofficer). The win upped her seasonal earnings to $13,612 and $178,533 lifetime.   McDonough had a superb evening as he drove and trained three winners on the card while Davis Jr. had a trio of driving victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com.   For full race results, click here.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HARRINGTON, DE - Harness racing drivers Montrell Teague and Allan Davis each had hat tricks on the Wednesday card at Harrington Raceway. Teague won 3 of the last 4 races, including 2 with Chuck Crissman Jr.-trainees, Casimir Rumrunner ($3.60) and Workin Them Angels ($3.20). Meanwhile 2020 Harrington driving champ Allan Davis has started the meet which opened Monday in fine fashion, winning with Chest Rockwell ($6) , Downtown Show ($5.80) and Muscle Ave ($12). Howard Taylor and Mike Casalino's Jack Vernon ($2.40, Corey Callahan) prevailed in the overnight feature, a $14,800 conditioned trot in 1:56 and was one of a pair of wins for driver Callahan and trainer Dylan Davis. The same connections also won with veteran trotter Theresademoninme ($7.80), who notched his 47th career win. JACK VERNON REPLAY   Joining the owner/trainer double victory party was Paul and Lorie Davis who won with Skyway Raptor ($4.00) and Muscle Ave. Both were trained by Paul Davis. Racing resumes Monday with a 4:30 p.m. post time. For full race results, click here. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway    

CHESTER, PA – Over a Harrah’s Philadelphia harness racing oval not friendly to closing horses, the Sweet Lou sophomore colt Hellabalou made a startling 2021 debut on Wednesday, winning an $11,200 co-featured pace in 1:51.1, covering his own last half officially in :53. Hellabalou was third-over as pacesetter Step On The Gas attempted to take his third in his last four, but when driver Andrew McCarthy sent him wide early on the backstretch to circle dull cover, he responded with a sizzling :25.4 individual third quarter, kept going around the first-over to get in a challenging position on the far turn, and then paced away to a 1¾ length victory over a very good Step On The Gas. Hellabalou, who took a new mark here, showed promise early as a freshman with a win in an Arden Downs Stake on Adios Day at The Meadows, but then his fortunes went south and he was stopped with around Labor Day. Trainer Eddie Dennis was in the sulky when Hellabalou qualified in 1:54.2 – 27.2 for his qualifier, and now owner Eric Good finds himself with at least a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes prospect, if not more. HELLABALOU REPLAY   In the other co-feature for pacers, Montrell Teague sent Nextmovebestmove, an altered son of Mr Wiggles who had won the only race of his career the year before, out to the lead, then kept him going to the wire to lower his mark to 1:53.4 for trainer Clyde Francis and owners George Teague Jr. Inc. and David Collins. NEXTMOVEBESTMOVE REPLAY   If this pattern and general cast of characters seems reminiscent, that’s because the story of Nextmovebestmove parallels one of a horse named Wiggle It Jiggleit – who would win his first ten starts in his second campaign and go on to become a legend. Nextmovebestmove is now four and won his only start at three after missing all his freshman season, but if he could develop anywhere near his illustrious stablemate, … In the $11,200 feature for trotters, Ginger Tree Knox showed steady improvement throughout the last three-eighths of a mile, catching first-over Real McCoy while reducing his record to 1:56.1. Andrew McCarthy, top driver on the day with three successes, guided the Bar Hopping gelding for trainer Steve Cook and the partnership of Sam Beegle, Ginger Tree Ventures LLC, Double D Racing Stable, and Reber-Chesen Stable. “Trottin’ Thursday”’s card at Harrah’s Philly will feature fast and competitive races among the veterans of the racing wars and the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow. First post is at 12:25 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/harrahspps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

There's good news for the fans of horse racing and auto racing as New York will open the events to spectators beginning April 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said. The move will first pave the way for the meet at Belmont Racetrack to begin later this month. Upstate, this will allow racing to take place at Saratoga as well as at Watkins Glen. Spectators will be limited to 20% of capacity at the outdoor venues in line with other sporting events in New York, Cuomo said. Horse and auto racing events barred fans from attending in person last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the 11 p.m. bar and restaurant curfew will be extended to midnight starting next Monday. by Nick Reisman for the City of Albany

Credit List scored his third straight Monticello Raceway harness racing Open Trot with a dramatic late stretch surge.   Driver and trainer Justin Huckabone dropped the gelding back to fifth through a :29.1 first quarter and moved him second-over before the half in :59.1. The horse advanced on the cover of Watkins (Cory Stratton) until the latter begin to back up at three-quarters in 1:28.2.   Huckabone tipped Credit List three-wide turning for home, but they remained about six lengths back at the head of the stretch. Kabang (Michael Merton) led as they sprinted for the line, Arch Credit (Kyle Dibenedetto) ducked to the rail, and Cinnamon Stick (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) attacked from the three-path.   Credit List came home best though, turning on the jets in the final eighth to blow by them all and win by a head in 1:57.4. Cinnamon Stick got up for place, and Arch Credit held third.   CREDIT LIST REPLAY     Credit list is now 16-for-104 lifetime with just less than $155,000 earned. Jonathan Applebaum of Yorktown Heights owns the six-year-old Credit Winner gelding.   Monticello Raceway will return on Thursday, Apr. 15. Thirteen races are scheduled.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Kasper Foget has enjoyed success in Europe as a harness racing trainer and driver and now the 27-year-old native of Denmark is hoping to do the same in North America. He is off to a good start. Foget is working as second trainer for Per Engblom in New Jersey and also picking up drives behind some of the stable's horses. He has driven in 31 races since making his U.S. debut in 2019, winning seven and hitting the board on nine other occasions. Last year, Foget's victories included a Grand Circuit score behind Sermon in the Circle City Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The tandem also captured the Kentucky Commonwealth Series final at Red Mile. "He's a great hand in my barn that's passionate about the business," Engblom said. "As a driver, he's patient and knows where the finish line is. He reads up well before the races and makes very few mistakes." Foget made a name for himself as a top young driver in Europe prior to arriving in the States. His family owned racehorses and as Foget got older he began driving and working in a stable as a second trainer. In 2018, Foget won the European Championship for Apprentices (under the age of 25) one year after finishing second in the competition. "That was a thrill," Foget said. "And it was in Russia, so it was a new and exciting experience." A vacation several years ago to Florida, where he spent time with trainer Paul Kelley, led to Foget beginning his new chapter at Engblom's 35-horse stable. "At first it was just seeing the United States, and seeing how people do things over here, especially with the young horses," Foget said. "When I got the opportunity to work with Per, it was a big opportunity. I had no idea I was going to drive in races. Everything just turned out really nice." Foget enjoys driving but at this point is in no rush to make it the focus of his career. "I really like driving races and if I could be a big catch driver, why not," Foget said. "But I also really like working with the horses and training them. I like to watch them develop. That's what I fell in love with. For now, that's what I'm practicing more. I think we've got some nice horses and want to do good with them. "Of course, if Per can use me (as a driver) with the right horses, maybe they need my point of view with the horse, then maybe he can use me. If anybody else asked me to drive, I'm not going to say no, but my job with Per is my first priority." Foget's top moments so far in the U.S. have come with Sermon. In addition to winning the Circle City and Kentucky Commonwealth Series final, they were third in the Pegasus and a division of the Bluegrass stakes. They also were fourth in the Carl Erskine Trot. "From only driving a couple of races to going to the (Grand Circuit) with all those good horses, that was a nice experience," Foget said. "That was exciting, for sure. When you are sitting behind amazing racehorses, I really like that. "But," he concluded, "I enjoy it all." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Winbak Farm of Delaware is sad to announce the passing of harness racing trotter CR Commando. CR Commando passed away at the age of 25 on April 9th. He succumbed to complications from colic. “CR Commando helped make Winbak Farm of Delaware successful and he will truly be missed,” said Garrett Bell, General Manager. “He stood his last year this season and will hopefully have a few foals in 2022.” CR Commando, 2, 1:53.2z ($378,602), was a World Champion at 2. He was the USHWA Dan Patch and HTA Nova 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year.  At 2, his wins included Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division and the Breeders Crown elimination and Final. He was second in the Valley Victory Trot elimination. At 3, he won the Colonial Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic elimination. “According to the USTA, CR Commando’s World Record still stands today,” said Bell. “He set it at Colonial Downs in 1998 and since there are not any current tracks that measure greater than one mile, it might stand for an infinite amount of time.” As a sire, CR Commando was the #1 Trotting Sire for total number of Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Final Wins by offspring. As of April 12th, CR Commando offspring had won 65 DSBF Finals. “CR Commando offspring winning in Delaware was almost a sure bet,” said Bell. “I think that Winbak Farm of Delaware was very lucky to be the home for his stallion career.” CR Commando had stood at Winbak Farm of Delaware since 2001. His offspring have earned $19,299,721. CR Commando is the sire of 196 Race Winners. CR Commando is the sire of 8 who earned $300,000+ including Med Vac, 1:52.2 ($810,117), Juanita, 1:56.2f ($412,366), Special Command, 1:56.4f ($399,079), Go Sassy Go, 1:54.2f ($367,340), Powerful Committee, 1:55f ($361,729), Vrahos, 3, Q1:57 ($317,281), Twilight Mist, 1:57.4f ($308,953), and Collect The Brass, 1:56.1f ($305,340). His most recent Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Final Stakes Winners include 2x 2019 DSBF Final Winner, Disco Soliel, 1:58.3f -'20 ($268,479), 2020 DSBF Final Winner, Zulu, 2, 1:58f -'19 ($135,776) and 2020 DSBF Final Winner, Kim’s Command, 2, 2:02.4h -’20 ($74,400). As a broodmare sire, CR Commando has left an impact. Offspring from CR Commando broodmares include I Like My Boss, 1:53f ($654,816), Third Shift, 3, 1:52.4s -‘20 ($384,373), Windshield, 3, 1:56.2f ($327,200), Bluebird Rambo, 1:53.3f -’19 ($319,458),  and Go Byem, 3, 1:53 ($311,950). “CR Commando’s legacy will continue in the Winbak Farm broodmare band,” said Bell. “Winbak Farm is home to a selection of CR Commando daughters including Overnight Command, who is the dam of 2019 New York Sires Stakes Final Winner, Third Shift, 3, 1:52.4s -'20 ($384,373).” Winbak Farm of Delaware would like to thank the breeders, trainers, owners and other supporters who have helped CR Commando be a successful sire. “We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported CR Commando during his breeding career,” said Bell. “We also want to be sure to give a special thank you to the Allen Family who allowed us to purchase their World Champion so that we could stand him in Delaware.” If breeders have questions, they should call 410.885.3059 or email stallions@winbakfarm.com. The Winbak Farm stallion lineup can be found at www.winbakfarm.com.   by Elizabeth Cheesman, for Winbak Farm

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