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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. It was also another well-received program on the wagering front, as the handle on the ten-race card checked in at $951,089. 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 half a length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Tyga Hanover (Jason Bartlett) came in third. BACKSTREET SHADOW REPLAY   A 6-year-old gelding by Shadow Play, Backstreet Shadow is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., 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 and was atop an $8.90 exacta and a $107.50 trifecta. In the second grouping Semi Tough (George Brennan) cut out panels of 27.3, 57, and 1:25.1, but Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno), who had come first-over from fourth before the half, made steady progress on the rim into second on the far turn. In the lane Mach N Cheese forged his way by Semi Tough, then held off a three-wide bid from pocket-sitter Western Fame (Dan Dube) to score by three-quarters of a length in 1:54 flat. Semi Tough held third over Mac's Jackpot (Dunn). MACH N CHEESE REPLAY   Mach N Cheese, who picked up his first triumph in the series, is trained by Edwin Quevedo for owner Save The Day Stable. A 6-year-old gelded son of Betterthancheddar, Mach N Cheese is now a 16-time winner in his career, and he has put away $283,512. Sent off at 9-2, Mach N Cheese returned $11.20 to win and keyed a $56.50 exacta and a $138.00 trifecta. Leonidas A (Austin Siegelman) left from post one and lined up the field in post position order right out of the gate in the last section, then led through an easy tempo of 28.4, 57.4, and 1:25.2. Leonidas A's two main rivals in the field, Hesa Kingslayer N (Jim Marohn Jr.) and This Is The Plan (Gingras) were in fifth and sixth, respectively, until beginning to advance first-over and second-over in the third turn. Though they made gains after pulling, Leonidas A had the jump on them and stayed in front, prevailing by a length and a quarter in 1:53.3. This Is The Plan kicked home widest in the stretch to get up for second over Hesa Kingslayer N. LEONIDAS A REPLAY   Finishing four-for-four in the preliminary rounds of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, Leonidas A is a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Sheena Mcelhiney for owner Jesmeral Stable. Leonidas A now has 29 career wins, and he has banked $311,848. He was the 3-5 favorite and paid $3.20 to win. The exacta kicked back $6.10, and the trifecta was worth $11.80. Unofficially, the eight horses that advanced to the $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final were: Leonidas A (300 points), Western Joe (283), This Is The Plan (275), Hesa Kingslayer N (262), Backstreet Shadow (250), Rockapelo (230), Mach N Cheese (220), and Lyons Steel (192). Both the MGM Borgata Pacing Series final and the $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final will take place next Monday (April 19), and the draws for those two races will occur on Tuesday afternoon (April 13). Stakes action continues this week at Yonkers Raceway on Wednesday (April 14), as three $20,000 splits of the final leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series will go behind the gate in races six, seven, and eight. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

This Is The Plan, Western Joe, and Leonidas A scored harness racing victories in the trio of $40,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series on Monday night (April 5) at Yonkers Raceway. In addition to the on-track action, betting was also brisk on Monday's 10-race card as the handle entered seven-figure territory at $1,037,217.95. After finishing second in all three of his appearances in the series coming into this leg, This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) broke through for the first time in style, taking the opening split in 1:51.1. Gingras fired This Is The Plan to the top from post four, and he would put up fractions of 27.2, 56.1, and 1:23.3 before he closed in 27.3 to win by three lengths over pocket-sitter Raukapuka Ruler N (Jordan Stratton). Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno) held third over favorite Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn). Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. This Is The Plan is now a 15-time winner in his career, and he pushed his earnings to $1,806,700. This Is The Plan, the 3-2 second choice, paid $5.00 and was atop a $51.50 exacta and a $126.50 trifecta. THIS IS THE PLAN REPLAY   In the second section, driver Todd McCarthy put the hammer down with None Bettor A and roared through stations of 26.3, 55.1, and 1:23.1. On the far turn Sheriff N (Daniel Dube) attacked the leader two-wide from the pocket, with favorite Rockapelo (George Brennan) picking up cover from third to sit second-over. Even though Sheriff N and Rockapelo had first dibs on the tiring leader, it wound up being a cavalry charge through the stretch after the hot tempo, and taking advantage was Western Joe (Dunn), who sat inside in sixth and rallied through a gap on the pylons on his way to the win by a neck in 1:52.4. Rockapelo wound up second, with Sheriff N back in third. Western Joe, a 7-year-old gelded son of Western Ideal, scored his second straight victory in the series for trainer Chris Choate, co-owner/breeder Anthony Ruggeri, and co-owner Richard Tosies. Western Joe now has a record of 33-16-11 from 105 starts, and he has banked $781,858. Western Joe, who was the second choice at odds of 5-2, returned $7.70 to win and keyed a $15.60 exacta and a $54.50 trifecta. WESTERN JOE REPLAY   Leonidas A (Austin Siegelman), returning after a one-week break, ran his MGM Borgata Pacing Series record to an unblemished three-for-three in the final flight. Leonidas A settled in third behind Ostro Hanover (Tyler Buter) and Lyons Steel (Corey Callahan) in the early going, but Siegelman had him out and on move before the 28-second opening quarter went on the board, and he would take command after that marker. Leonidas A would go on to put up a 56.4 half and a 1:24.4 three-quarters, and a 28.3 final kicker gave him the victory by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:53.2. Lyons Steel was second after a first-over try, narrowly bettering Ostro Hanover. A 6-year-old Mach Three gelding, Leonidas A is trained by Sheena Mcelhiney for owner Jesmeral Stable. Leonidas A posted his 28th career victory, and he has now put away $291,848. Leonidas A, hammered down to 1-9, paid $2.30 to win and led a $7.90 exacta and a $19.20 trifecta. LEONIDAS A REPLAY   There is one more leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series to go, and that will be held next Monday (April 12). The final will take place on Monday, April 19. Stakes action resumes at Yonkers on Wednesday night (April 7) when the track plays host to four $20,000 divisions of the second leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series. Opening round winners Guilty Desire (race five/post six, Jordan Stratton/Betty Clegg), Hunting AS (race six/post one, Todd McCarthy/Jenny Melander), Look In My Eyes (race six/post eight, Jordan Stratton/Anette Lorentzon), and Lady Jeter (race seven/post four, Scott Zeron/Ed Gannon Jr.) are all back in action. Then, on Friday (April 9), Yonkers has a couple of $35,000 splits of the final preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares. The first of those races will take place as a non-wagering contest, and the second one is race two on the pari-mutuel program. In the non-wagering tilt, Blue Ivy (post one, Tyler Buter/Todd Buter) and Machnhope (post three, Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley) will both shoot for their third win in the series, and in the other Blue Chip Matchmaker match-up, Alexa Skye (post four, Todd McCarthy/Jeff Cullipher), currently three-for-three in the event, meets up with one of last Friday's victors in Siesta Beach (post three, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita). For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Hunting AS was the only favorite to prevail as the John Brennan Trotting Series began with four $20,000 harness racing divisions on Wednesday night (March 31) at a soggy and sloppy Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Todd McCarthy, Hunting AS worked out a pocket trip behind Halo Its Me (Yannick Gingras) in the third flight and watched as that foe clicked off fractions of 30.2, 1:00.1, and 1:28.3. Halo Its Me was still in command as they turned into the stretch, but McCarthy had Hunting AS finishing well two-wide, and Hunting AS surged by the pace-setter on his way to a one and a quarter length decision in 1:57.3. Blue And Bold (Jason Bartlett) finished third after sitting on the inside in fourth. A 4-year-old gelding by Lionhunter, Jenny Melander trains Hunting AS for owners Melander Racing Inc., Clark Stables LLC., and Robert Bernaski. Hunting AS has a record of 6-11-2 from 32 starts, and he has now earned $81,956. Sent off at even-money, Hunting AS paid $4.20 to win and led an $18.40 exacta and a $112.00 trifecta. HUNTING AS REPLAY   While second-best in that split, Gingras had already collected a win in the event after he guided Lady Jeter to a 10-1 upset in the opening section. Lady Jeter went straight to the top from post five, laid down panels of 28.4, 58.2, and 1:27.4, and kicked home in 29.3 to win by a length and a quarter in 1:57.2. Impulse Buy (Bartlett) was the runner-up, followed by Windsong Pioneer (Brent Holland). Heavy favorite Some Chapter (Dexter Dunn) made a break while advancing first-over on the third turn. Lady Jeter, a 4-year-old Muscles Yankee mare, is trained by Ed Gannon Jr. for owner Zippett Racing Stable. Lady Jeter is now a seven-time winner from 37 tries, and she pushed her bankroll to $98,668. Lady Jeter returned $22.00 to win and keyed a $246.00 exacta and $556.00 trifecta. LADY JETER REPLAY   Another surprise came in the second of the four series tilts when 21-1 offering Look In My Eyes (Jordan Stratton) darted to the engine from post eight, put up stations of 29.1, 58.4, and 1:28, and couldn't be caught in a 30 second final panel, as he kept a first-over McMatters (Mark MacDonald) at bay to win by a length and a half in 1:58. Manhattanup No Ice (Bartlett) wound up third from the pocket. The second winner for sire Lionhunter, Look In My Eyes is a 4-year-old gelding bred, owned, and trained by Anette Lorentzon. Look In My Eyes picked up his seventh lifetime victory, and he has now pocketed $98,215. Look In My Eyes paid $44.20 to win and was atop a $136.00 exacta and a $786.00 trifecta. LOOK IN MY EYES REPLAY   Gingras then toppled the apple cart again in the final flight with 11-1 Guilty Desire in a 1:58.2 mile. Guilty Desire yielded to sit in the pocket behind 1-20 favorite Get Legs (Andy Miller) after the 29 second opening quarter, but Get Legs miscued on the second turn, putting Guilty Desire back in command. He didn't relinquish it again, as a 58.3 half and a 1:28.1 three-quarters was followed by a 30.1 final panel to secure the victory. He downed a closing Bazillionaire (Austin Siegelman) by half a length, with Get Legs recovering and finishing full of trot for third. Betty Clegg trains Guilty Desire, a 6-year-old gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe, for owner Nick Clegg. Guilty Desire collected his 15th career win, and he has now pocketed $109,866. Guilty Desire paid $25.60, the exacta was worth $726.00, and the trifecta kicked back $1,136.00. GUILTY DESIRE REPLAY   The John Brennan Trotting Series has two additional preliminary rounds on Wednesday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 14, and the final is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21. As a result of all the upsets on Wednesday, there will be carryovers in both the Pick 5 and Pick 6 at Yonkers on Thursday (April 1), in addition to a guaranteed pool in the Pick 5. The Pick 5 carryover is $6,863.85, which triggered a guaranteed pool of $20,000, and the Pick 6 carryover stands at $2,928.24. The guaranteed pool in the Pick 5 is being offered as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Free past performances for the Pick 5, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available here. The Pick 5 and Pick 6 both have a takeout rate of 20 percent, as do the nightly Pick 4's. Stakes action at Yonkers resumes on Friday (April 2) with two $35,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares and continues on Monday (April 5) with three $40,000 splits of the fourth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for free-for-allers. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The potent pair of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras were up to their usual tricks this weekend at The Meadowlands, as after teaming up to take the Friday night feature with April Ava they came right back to take Saturday's marquee event with Dojea Gizmo. Since debuting for the Burke barn on Nov. 13 of last year, the 4-year-old gelded son of Tellitlikeitis-Postmark has been perfect in six starts, visiting the winner's circle at Hoosier Park, Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia before his authoritative win at The Big M in a $22,500 high-end conditioned pace. "He is a really nice horse," said Gingras. "He could not have qualified any better [last week]. I was confident coming into tonight." DOJEA GIZMO REPLAY   Dojea Gizmo, who last raced on Dec. 20, was away quickly from post nine in the nine-horse field but was pushed wide into the first turn and had no spot to fall into as J M Mandamin sprinted to the lead at the quarter in :26.2. So the eventual winner had to go on with it. "It's not the way I wanted to race him in his first start of the year," said Gingras, who used a burst of speed to make the top while parked at the half in :54.4. "I wanted to get a spot mid-pack, but I didn't want to be first-up, so I moved to the front." Shortly after clearing the top, Dojea Gizmo was challenged by the first-over 8-5 favorite U S Captain, who won an easier assignment one week ago at The Big M in 1:50.2. Around the far turn, 'Gizmo' gave the chalk the cold shoulder and opened a 2¼-length edge as they straightened up before reporting home a safe neck winner in a lifetime-best 1:50.2. J M Mandamin, displaying speed at both ends of the mile, rallied well along the pylons to get second, with Yacht Seelster, who won this race a week ago, finishing third. "At the wire he was a little tired," said Gingras. "But I knew he was a winner." Dojea Gizmo paid $7.00 to win as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering. He now has 11 victories from 30 starts, good for earnings of $161,273 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. BEFORE THE BETTING CARD: In a pair of non-betting events before the start of the 13-race program, the John Balzer trained and driven Sound Idea took the $30,000 New Jersey Breeders Maturity for 4-year-old mares in a walkover (a one-horse race) in 2:05.4 while Rockin Jukebox, a Megan Foster trainee who was driven by Russell Foster, was 2¼-lengths better than his lone foe Bourbons Courage in 1:55.4 in the $30,000 NJBM for 4-year-old horses and geldings. A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy, Gingras and Tim Tetrick led the driver colony with three winners apiece while the red-hot Stacy Chiodo trained a pair to victory lane. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,928,308. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - When April Ava won a week ago at The Meadowlands against mid-range harness racing conditioned stock despite not having raced in almost seven months, it wasn't a total surprise since she had performed credibly in her last two starts against similar late last summer. But Friday night at The Big M, the Ron Burke trainee took a considerable bump up in class and won again, taking the featured $22,500 high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares in 1:52.2. "It just worked out tonight," said winning driver Yannick Gingras. "The mare responded when I called on her, so you have to give her credit for that." April Ava (post 3) blasted away from the gate, along with Marloe Hanover (post 7), Tango Dancer N (post 2), Betalady (post 6) and Wingding Hanover (post 1) in the nine-horse field. After making their way around the first turn, Marloe Hanover and driver Andy Miller settled in on the lead with April Ava opting for the pocket and Wingding Hanover the three-hole. For the second time in the last three weeks, Betalady, the 3-1 second choice, was left first-over and had to grind it out on the rim while inching closer to Marloe Hanover by the time they reached three-quarters, which was timed in an unspectacular 1:24. Then, the entire look of the race changed. Betalady went off stride, and in the process, took out the second-over Tango Dancer N, as well as the 6-5 favorite, Demeter N, who was in the flow third-up. "I was at the right place at the right time when that horse broke and scattered the field," said Gingras. Gingras and April Ava vacated the pocket as they swung into the stretch and needed every inch of the final three-sixteenths to record a nose victory over a stubborn Marloe Hanover. Wingding Hanover was third.       "I knew I had it at the wire," said Gingras. "The last 100 feet is not Marloe Hanover's strongest, but she kept on pacing. But mine was just a little bit better." As the 7-1 fourth choice in the wagering, April Ava, a 5-year-old daughter of Delmarvalous-Jenava, returned $16.20 to win. She now has 16 wins from just 47 career starts and earnings of $135,806 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. MUCH MORE THAN SO-SO: Driver Jim Foley blasted So So De Vie away from post 10 and led at every call in the $14,000 GSY Series Final on the pace for amateur drivers. On a night where whipping winds were unkind to horses on the point, the 4-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Place Your Best had little trouble going wire-to-wire in 1:55.3 for trainer Williams Hernandez. Preppy Art (John Calabrese), who was seeking his third straight victory, finished second - three-quarters-of-a-length behind the winner - as the 3-1 second choice with 3-5 favorite Sugartown (Tony Beltrami) getting the show dough.       "I thought being up closer would be the best option," said Foley. "I thought about getting away maybe fourth or fifth and making a brush down the backside, but he got up on the front really easy and all I had to do was rate him. If you can rate him good, he'll give you all he's got." As the 5-1 third choice in the betting, So So De Vie returned $13.60 to win. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick, who will be the guest Saturday night on The Big M's pre-game show segment "In the Sulky" at 5:50 p.m., drove the winners of both ends of the late daily double, joining Dexter Dunn and Gingras as pilots with two victories on the card. ... Chubby Stallworth and Stacy Chiodo both had training doubles. ... All-source handle totaled $2,637,320. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - With real-feel temperatures that got as low as 12 degrees, it was tough to stay warm at The Meadowlands Saturday night, but harness racing driver Yannick Gingras and The Big M betting faithful were unaffected by the winter chill. The 41-year-old Gingras was scalding hot at the start of the card, winning four of the first five races. While Gingras has had many four-winner nights at the mile oval it's hard to imagine he's had very many with the kind of prices his followers collected Saturday. Ollie's Ztam got Gingras' night off to a good start with a wire-to-wire win at odds of 9-1 in the opener before 8-1 chance Big City Bud came from off the pace to complete the Gingras Early Daily Double that returned $163.40. "The Green Hornet" guided Pogey Beach to a 10-hole score to complete a natural hat trick at odds of 11-1, before Gingras completed his grand slam with 5-2 Warrawee Unique, who went gate-to-wire in race five. Three of Gingras' winners hailed from the Ron Burke barn. All-source wagering continued to show huge Saturday night returns, as a total of $3,404,537 was put in play, marking the fourth consecutive Saturday in 2021 (and fifth straight dating back to 2020) where betting topped the $3.4-million mark. During all of last year, betting reached the $3-million plateau 11 times, only once during January. Warrawee Unique As usual, the two Pick-4 wagers proved popular, as a total of $182,844 was put in play on the preferred puzzles. The 20-cent Pick-6 had a carryover of just under $7,300, which led to a total pool of $36,159. The sharpies who had all half-dozen correct collected $6,365.90. ONTARIO STANDOUTS  While the COVID-19 shutdown continues at Woodbine at Mohawk Park, trainer Carmen Auciello won twice on the card with a pair of Ontario shippers. Buck Dancer, who last raced on Dec. 21 at WMP, impressed going wire-to-wire in the $15,500 featured trot for non-winners of $11,500 in their last five starts. Andy McCarthy guided the 7-2 second choice, a 5-year-old gelded son of Guccio-Shaken Not Stirred, who stopped the clock in 1:53.4. Auciello's Points North took the $22,500 pacing feature for non-winners of $15,000 in their last five outings. Mark MacDonald, who broke an oh-fer at the meeting with a driving double, guided the 6-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Northwest Hanover - who was sent to the gate as the 6-1 sixth choice - to his fourth straight score after hitting the wire in 1:51.3. The Jeff Cullipher barn is out of its early-meet slump. The Big M's second-leading barn at the Fall Meeting equaled the "Burke Brigade's" three wins on the Saturday card. A LITTLE MORE Simon Allard recorded his second consecutive driving double. ... Dexter Dunn also won twice, giving him six winners for the weekend and 21 at the current meeting, which leads all Big M drivers. ... George Napolitano Jr. also guided a pair to victory lane. ... Chalk players took it on the chin, as only three public choices emerged victorious on the card. Before both favorites took the Late Daily Double, only two chalks had won over a 21-race span. ... Free past performances for every race of every Big M card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

CHESTER PA - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras was the star of a cool and dank day at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday, piloting six winners, including a "grand slam" of a sweep of the four $11,200 feature races, two on each gait. In the first of the trots, Gingras positioned the Kadabra sophomore filly Kombucha right behind pacesetter Alyvia Deo, then moved out to challenge on the turn and got by for a length victory in 1:58.2 over the sloppy track. After several near-misses in the shadow of New York City, Kombucha found the Philly winners circle in her first start here for trainer Scott Di Domenico and the ownership of Bottom Line Racing LLC and Triple D Stables Inc. The other trot feature winner was the Cantab Hall three-year-old gelding Hall It Off, who won in this class last week and repeated here in 1:58 with an easy four length score for Gingras. Trainer Bill Mullin, also co-owner with Carver Racing LLC, may have found the key to this trotter's occasional fractiousness. After Kombucha proved a pocket rocket, Hall It Off won on the engine; Gingras' pacing headline victories also saw one win from the front and one from the two-hole. The Bettor's Delight three-year-old gelding Aces Rock was the only non-favorite in the Gingras feature quartet - he was 1.90-1 vs. Rockin Medicine's 1.80-1 - and he held off that pocketsitter by two lengths in a nice 1:53 mile under messy conditions. Trainer Trish Adams brought the winner down from The Meadowlands, and he was not caught for owners Ronald Perone, Thomas Maloney, and Donald Keyser. The two-hole rallier was the Sweet Lou gelding Lou's Sweetrevenge, who sat in the golden chair behind General Ward, then thundered off late to a 4½ length win in 1:53. Gingras piloted the Ron Burke trainee for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Lou's Sweetrevenge was the only Burke trainee to win on Friday; Gilbert Garcia-Owen harnessed a pair of winners, and reduced Burke's advantage in the trainer's win derby to 82-81. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras has won numerous Grand Circuit stakes, including 23 Breeders Crown finals, in his career. That can only be done with some great horses. Thus, it's an impressive declaration when Gingras says of Tall Dark Stranger, "He's the most complete horse I've ever driven." "For pure blazing speed, maybe I've driven horses that are a bit quicker than him; not a lot, but a bit quicker," he added. "But for a horse that can absolutely do it all, I don't really think I've driven one like that and I don't think many other people have, either." Gingras will have perhaps his final chance to drive harness racing's No. 1-ranked horse Saturday in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male pacers at Harrah's Hoosier Park. In September, Hanover Shoe Farms announced that Tall Dark Stranger will join its stallion roster for the 2021 breeding season. Tall Dark Stranger will start the Breeders Crown final from post one and is the 3-5 favorite on the morning line. A Breeders Crown winner at age 2, Tall Dark Stranger is looking to become the first male pacer to add a trophy at 3 since Artiscape in 1997-98. "I don't mind the pressure," Gingras said. "If I did, I'd be in the wrong business and maybe being a driver wouldn't be the right thing to do in my life. This week, he's the horse to beat and everybody knows that. "I think that's what makes it fun. I'd rather have the pressure of having the best horse than not having any pressure." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger is trained by Nancy Takter and has been driven by Gingras in every lifetime start but one. He enters the race with 11 wins in 12 starts and $1.19 million in earnings this year; and 19 wins and one second in 21 career starts with $1.90 million in earnings. Sired by Bettor's Delight out of Precocious Beauty, Tall Dark Stranger is the only horse to ever win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown as a 2-year-old and the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup as a 3-year-old. He was the Dan Patch 2-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year in the U.S. and earned the same honor in Canada. "He's the total package," Gingras said. "It would be hard to pick just one thing I liked. He's big, he's strong, he's fast, he's got heart. He can do it all, there's really no flaws in his armor." Those qualities were not completely apparent as a baby, but Takter and Gingras have cultivated all the potential over two years. "I really loved him from the start but to say he was the most complete horse, I'd be lying if I was saying that at the beginning," Gingras said. "I think he's developed to be that. When I baby raced him I absolutely loved him. He showed then he had tremendous speed and he had a great gait to him. "But until you really test them once or twice you don't know what the heart is. You could have an idea whether they're going to be game or not. Two-year-olds, they're a little dumb in a way. They do things sometimes that they physically can't, but their brains are not telling them not to do it. That's why you have to be careful not to ask a 2-year-old to do too much really early. "We took it easy a little bit on him in the beginning, but when it was time to put the money on the line we raced him and he showed up every single time. He's proved to be a tremendous, tremendous horse." Coming off his Dan Patch-winning year, expectations were obviously high for Tall Dark Stranger. But not so great that he couldn't go even higher. "It would be hard to say he didn't surpass expectations," Gingras said. "Of course I was super confident in the horse, I thought he could win it all and he hasn't lost a race of any major importance. Every big race Nancy put him in the box, he's won them all. It would be hard to say he could do anything more than he's done so far. Now the Breeders Crown is the last little check mark." Gingras feels the colt's breakout race was last year's Metro Pace, when he got out in front and held off a late challenge from Papi Rob Hanover. "He just exploded," Gingras said. "Up until that point we really hadn't raced him too hard. We didn't have to dig until then, and that's when I actually raced him pretty hard. That's when I knew he was better than just a very good horse, he was a great horse, and he hasn't disappointed me since." As for Tall Dark Stranger's best race, Gingras opted for the Meadowlands Pace, when the horse overcame an off day. "He wasn't maybe at his best, there were other races where he's been a little sharper than that," the driver said. "That day he really had to dig deep. Papi Rob took it to him. That day he just showed all the grit I knew he had, and he showed the world how tough of a horse he was." In fact, it is emblematic of how Tall Dark Stranger likes to race. He can get out in front or come from behind, but seems content to always make it a battle. "He likes to fight," Gingras said. "He's not a horse that's going to come home at :25 flat like some of the others. He likes to race, he likes the fractions to be fair. I don't think he's quite the sprinter that many others can be. "Other than that, this week if they mix it up fast the first three-eighths, I could definitely come first up, second over or I could be in the front, and have no worries. I'm not looking to be too far back, so he's going to be put in play one way or the other." In looking at the field, Gingras feels that Cattlewash, Warrawee Vital and Captain Barbossa are among the horses that can give Tall Dark Stranger a challenge. Cattlewash, trained by Ron Burke, won the other Breeders Crown elimination in a track-record 1:47.2 and has a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 mile to his credit. "It's definitely not a one- or two-horse race," he said. "It's a complete field of horses and it goes to show how great of a horse he is because he's beaten them every time." And he will look for one more victory to cap a memorable career. "It actually got into my head about two starts ago, once I got to Lexington. I thought, you know what, there's not much left," he said. "Realistically this weekend could be his last lifetime start. There's a chance he goes to TVG, but it's not official, it depends on how this weekend goes and how he comes out of the race. "I've enjoyed the run, but I think he would be a tremendous aged horse. He's the kind of horse that keeps getting better and tougher. If he came back at 4 and 5, I think he would dominate. Selfishly, I'd love to have him for a couple more years and I think the fans would love to have him. But I understand the breeding part of the business. I totally get it. I know the horse is worth a fortune as a sire." He has already been worth fortune in memories. Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt-and-gelding pace final. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Tall Dark Stranger-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Takter-3/5 2-Manticore-Jordan Stratton-Bruce Saunders-20/1 3-Cattlewash-David Miller-Ron Burke-5/2 4-Warrawee Vital-Tim Tetrick-Robert Fellows-6/1 5-Save Me A Dance-Andrew McCarthy-Andrew Harris-20/1 6-No Lou Zing-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-8/1 7-Captain Barbossa-Joe Bongiorno-Tony Alagna-20/1 8-Sandbetweenmytoes-Scott Zeron-Jim Campbell-30/1 9-The Greek Freak-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-30/1 10-Elver Hanover-Chris Page-Ron Burke-30/1 Elver Hanover starts from the second tier. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA    

LEXINGTON, KY-- Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras launched 7-5 favorite Peaky Sneaky from the pocket and hustled to a 1:48 victory in the second of two divisions for $225,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial--sponsored by the Sweet Lou Syndicate & Diamond Creek Farms--on Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile. Peaky Sneaky pushed for the lead but settled for the pocket as New Year strode to the top by a :27.1 first quarter. She continued on the lead unchallenged to a :54.3 and rolled unpressed into the final turn until Peaky Sneaky began to emerge from the pocket by three-quarters in 1:22.1. Within a matter of strides Peaky Sneaky surged to the front and widened her lead sprinting to the finish while Perfect Storm scooted through the inside to take second. Rocknificent rallied for third while New Year settled for fourth. Owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable, Peaky Sneaky won her fifth race from 12 starts this season and her seventh from 21 overall, earning $313,749. White Birch Farm bred the Bettor's Delight filly while Nancy Takter trains the $4.80 winner. Lyons Sentinel skirted around rough-gaited pacesetter Reflect With Me to score as the 6-5 favorite in the first division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial. Reflect With Me motored for the lead while Lyons Sentinel secured the pocket. Marloe Hanover raced third to a :28.2 opening quarter, where JK First Lady tipped first over from last. She flushed cover from Baby Your The Best moving to a :56.3 half, but Reflect With Me remained uncontested to the far turn. Nearing three-quarters Reflect With Me began to stumble in stride, quickly recorrecting but also forcing Lyons Sentinel to zip out of the pocket. JK First Lady came rolling three wide by three-quarters in 1:23.4 but Lyons Sentinel got the jump. Through the stretch the Jim King Jr. trainee held firm on the lead in progress to a 1:49.2 win with JK First Lady settling for second. Hen Party closed for third while Marloe Hanover finished fourth. Owned by Threelyonsracing, Lyons Sentinel won her second race from 11 starts this season and her 11th from 25 overall, earning $1,103,639. Tim Tetrick drove the Hanover Shoe Farms-bred Captaintreacherous filly who paid $4.40 to win. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

DAYTON, OH. - Every superlative has been uttered about Atlanta over her illustrious career, and she lived up to all of them on Saturday (Oct. 3) winning the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.   Dispatched at even money, the five-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven established a new Dayton Raceway track record of 1:51 by coming from behind for driver Yannick Gingras to wear down Manchego (Dexter Dunn) and then hold off runnerup Lindy The Great (Andy Miller) and show finisher Crystal Fashion (Jordan Stratton).   Lindy The Great left with alacrity to hit the first quarter beam in :27.3 before yielding to Manchego (Dexter Dunn) who coasted through middle fractions of :56 and 1:23.3 on the lead. Atlanta got away fourth, moved up to third on the outside at the half, second in the outer flow at the three quarters, then on even terms with Manchego around the final turn.   At the top of the lane, Manchego broke in stride, leaving little doubt about the outcome.       Ron Burke trains Atlanta for Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. She has won half of her lifetime starts (24 out of 48) and banked $2,450,203.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

Hanover, PA - It is with great excitement and pride that Hanover Shoe Farm’s announces the addition of three -year -old pacing colt phenom Tall Dark Stranger to its stallion roster for the 2021 harness racing breeding season. With a record of 1:49.1 at 2 and a current record of 1:47.1 at 3 and $1,741,645 earned thus far, Tall Dark Stranger has a remarkable slate of 16 wins and 1 second from 18 career starts.  Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin  and Lynn Katz, Caviart Farms, Marlene Taylor and Howard Taylor, trained by Nancy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, Tall Dark Stranger is the only horse in history to win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown as a two year old and return to racing as a three year old and win both the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup. Tall Dark Stranger also won the International Stallion Stakes at 2 in route to being voted 2 -Year -Old Colt Pacer of the Year in both the United States and Canada. This year at three, in addition to the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup he has also captured The Cane Pace and The Kentucky Sire Stakes Final. Tall Dark Stranger is scheduled to start next at The Red Mile and then go on to the Breeders’ Crown at Hoosier Park.  Seemingly destined for greatness from his birth, Tall Dark Stranger was a $330,000 purchase from the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale. He was considered by many to be the premier pacing colt offered at that venue that year. A stunning individual by the legendary stallion Bettors Delight ,Tall Dark Stranger hails from one of harness racing’s most prolific families. He is out of World Champion and Dan Patch and O’Brien Award Winning 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Precocious Beauty p,2,1:50.1 ($838,004), she a sister to successful pacing stallion Sportswriter and out of a sister to Swinging Beauty P,1:49.4 ($893,268) and the grandam of Downbytheseaside P,2,1:49, 3.1:48.3f ($2,179,558) whose eagerly awaited first crop of yearlings sell this fall. “Russell and I are thrilled and honored to have been given the chance to add such an illustrious pacing stallion to our roster, we believe he is the most accomplished pacer to enter the stallion ranks since Captaintreacherous. This will be the our first partnership with Crawford Farms, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor ,which is exciting ,and  the third stallion we stand that Marvin Katz  owns part of, Captiantreacherous and Bar Hopping being the two others. It is a pleasure to work with Marvin ,he has vast knowledge of the breeding business and a  terrific band of broodmares to support his stallions”,  says Hanover Executive Vice President Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky.  Trainer Nancy Takter calls Tall Dark Stranger “One of the best pacers we have seen. A champion at two and three, he’s done things that no horse has ever done. He’s a pleasure to train and knows that his job is to win”. Driver Yannick Gingras says that Tall Dark Stranger is the best pacing colt he has ever driven. “He has all the tools needed for greatness. Speed, gait, and looks but above all his desire to win races is truly unbelievable to me. He’s a champion in every sense of the word”. Tall Dark Stranger will stand in Pennsylvania His service fee and details concerning the Syndication will be forthcoming. From Hanover Shoe Farms      

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 4, 2020 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras had a perfect night in Ontario Sires Stakes action at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 4, steering the winners of all three $72,267 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Gingras kicked off his driving hat trick with Twin B Sunkissed. Starting from Post 3, Twin B Sunkissed left smartly and then yielded to Game Of Shadows heading by the :27.4 quarter. Game Of Shadows continued to lead at the :57.2 half, but was under pressure from Voelz Delight by the 1:26 three-quarters. Circling the duelling leaders at the top of the stretch, Twin B Sunkissed battled Voelz Delight down the stretch and was able to get a head in front at the 1:54.3 finish. Game Of Shadows settled for third. "She actually raced really good. I'd never sat behind her, and I was really happy," said Gingras, who was making his first appearance in the Sunshine Beach daughter's race bike. "The trip worked out obviously, but I think she performed really good. It was a good mile here tonight." Embro, ON resident Frances Dumouchel trains Twin B Sunkissed for his co-owners Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy and 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, QC. The win was the filly's first in six career starts. In her two previous Gold Series appearances the filly had finished fifth and sixth, which gives her a total of 58 points and a spot in the top 10 heading into the last Gold Series leg. The top 10 point earners at the end of the regular season will advance to the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 17. Gingras was back in the winner's circle after the second division with lightly rated City By The Bay. Also starting from Post 3, Gingras settled City By The Bay in fourth and watched fan favourite Postscript put up a :28 opening quarter. Heading for the :57.3 half, the reinsman tipped City By The Bay out behind Nightlife Seelster and tracked that filly as she challenged the pacesetter through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Coming off the final turn Gingras gave City By The Bay a clear look at the wire and the filly powered down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:56. Shiatzu Seelster and Shes A Sassy Beach finished second and third. "I raced her last week and she really didn't give me, I think, her best effort, but they changed the bridle on her and then I think maybe the smaller track probably played in her favour as well," said Gingras, who calls New Jersey home, but is currently in Ontario for six weeks of stakes action. "She had a good trip, but she really exploded home. I was really happy with how she raced tonight. Last week she didn't have that, but tonight she had a real good kick." Ashleigh Hensley trains City By The Bay for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, NY and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. The win was the Bettors Delight daughter's first after finishing fourth, second and seventh in the first three legs, giving her 85 points and a share of fourth in the standings. The final division saw Gingras partner up with Battle Of The Belles champion Scarlett Hanover and the filly once again delivered a dominant performance over the Grand River half-mile. Starting from Post 7, Scarlett Hanover had to dodge a breaking Alumni Seelster on her way to the front, but still reached the quarter in :28.2. From there it was all Scarlett Hanover as she rang up a :59 half and a 1:27.1 three-quarters before pulling away to a five length victory in 1:54.4. Fan favourite Best Head West had to settle for second and Sportsdrink completed the top three. "This one was really, really good, she won super easy. I mean she was really the one I thought that had a good chance to do some good tonight, and she showed up for sure," said Gingras. "She gets around this track so good and she won really easy." A stablemate to City By The Bay in the Ashleigh Hensley barn, Scarlett Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Frank Baldachino of Clarksburg, NJ, J And T Silva - Purnel & Libby of Delray Beach, FL and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. The Bettors Delight daughter has a flawless record of three wins in three appearances at Grand River Raceway. Her first Gold Series win boosted Scarlett Hanover into third spot in the standings with 88 points. The filly finished fourth, second and fifth in the first three legs. The two-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. Current point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON -  August 29, 2020 - Harness racing three-year-old pacer Tall Dark Stranger looked like a million dollars in taking the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Trained by Nancy Takter, Tall Dark Stranger and Yannick Gingras were content to let Tattoo Artist make his mark on the lead, as the latter powered from post seven to strike front early in the proceedings. With Bob McClure in the bike, Tattoo Artist took his nine rivals through an opening mile carved out in a snappy :25.4, with Tall Dark Stranger settling in second. Longshots Moneyman Hill, in third, and Mayhem Hanover, sitting fourth, watch the pacesetting duo set the tone early. Soon after the quarter-mile mark, Gingras, contesting his ninth Cup, powered his 3-5 favourite to the outside and to the lead, as they cut a half in :53.3. It was Tall Dark Stranger still calling the shots as the field geared up for the stretch drive. McClure pulled Tattoo Artist to the outside looking to track down the frontunner. For a brief moment, it appeared as though they were cutting into the lead of Tall Dark Stranger, but he pulled away down the lane for another impressive score. Tattoo Artist was second, while 127-1 Moneyman Hill finished third. Odds on Osiris, leaving from post 10, rallied to take fourth. There was plenty of emotion in the aftermath of the victory, including a teary-eyed Gingras, and an elated Marvin Katz, who co-owns Tall Dark Stranger with Crawford Farms Racing, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. It was the second straight Cup title for Takter, who won last year with Captain Crunch. And it was also a historic triumph. "I'm overjoyed, I really am," said Katz. "I've been doing this for a very long time and I've been fortunate to have many great horses, but I think this guy really rates up with some of the greatest horses we've ever seen. This is historic. What he's done tonight has never been done before. He won the Metro as a two-year-old, he won the Breeders Crown - he's come back to win the Meadowlands Pace and he's won the North America Cup. Somebeachsomewhere, Captaintreacherous... they couldn't do it, but he's done it." The enormity of the accomplishment wasn't lost on Takter, who wasn't able to watch the race in-person. "This is an extra-special colt in extraordinary circumstances," she told Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I'm so proud of the horse and my team." Gingras had ample praise for the competitive spirit shown by the sophomore superstar. "I rolled him to three-quarters pretty hard but he just never quits. He's just a tremendous horse - the best pacing colt I've ever driven, there's no doubt in my mind. He's just an amazing animal. I feel awesome, there's no doubt about it. This means so much. I couldn't be any happier right now." Winning trainer Tony Alagna was also represented by Captain Kirk and Captain Barbossa. All of his starters were sired by Captaintreacherous, who won the NA Cup in 2013. A son of 2001 Cup winner Bettors Delight, Tall Dark Stranger, closing in on $2 millions in earnings, is now 14 for 16 lifetime. "I think he's just stronger than they are right now, and he can get them tired just by trying to keep up with him," said Gingras. Tall Dark Stranger paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.40, combining with Tattoo Artist ($4.30, $3.50) for a $16.20 exactor. Moneyman Hill ($20.70) completed a $2 triactor worth $476.40. Odds On Osiris rounded out a $1 superfecta worth $2,596.30. Saturday evening's Pepsi North America Cup card established a new Pepsi North America Cup handle record of $5,619,402. The handle was headlined by $1.1 million in new money wagered on the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. by Chris Lomon, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON -  August 29, 2020 - An untouchable Warrawee Ubeaut flexed her harness racing muscles in an impressive $290,000 Roses Are Red score on Saturday evening at Mohawk Park. The four-year-old Sweet Lou mare rejected an opportunity to tuck in the pocket entering the first turn and drove on, hitting the quarter in :26.3. She was never headed again, as Yannick Gingras managed fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.2 before kicking away to a two-length 1:49.3 win. Trillions Hanover, who sat second most of the way, mounted a valiant late charge, but ultimately fell short. So Much More grinded out a nightmare first-over trip to take a deserving third, and Soho Burning Love A emerged from a throng of horses for fourth. To see the race replay click here. Gingras commented that his mare was on a mission. "It was more her gameplan," he said. "She was on go tonight. She was a little bit anxious in the post parade and going to the gate too, and when she was like that I wasn't going to fight with her - I let her do her thing. But once she got to the front, at least she was able to relax a little bit; she wasn't a runaway or anything like that. I got a decent middle half, and she finished it off." The millionaire Ron Burke trainee took her second victory of the season from six starts and 21st win lifetime on 36 outings; she also nears $2 million in earnings with the $145,000 payday from the contest. Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruschemi LLC own the Pennsylvania-sired mare that had previously been off to a slow beginning to 2020. Gingras applauded his charge's improvement throughout the year and expressed his belief in further improvement. "She deserves to be winning, and there's no doubt in my mind horses know when they win and when they don't," he said. "So yes, it was a little bit like that, it's a tough jump from three to four and there's some great mares this year, so it was a little tough for her at the beginning. But she's a big, strong horse, and I think until the end of the year she's gonna keep getting stronger, and next year as well." Warrawee Ubeaut was favoured for the duration of wagering and paid $5.90 to win. By Nicholas Barnsdale, for Woodbine Communications  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras came from "off the pace" to best Dexter Dunn in the hotly contested battle for top driver at the Meadowlands meeting that came down to Saturday's Hambletonian Day card. By winning three races Friday and four more Saturday, Gingras overcame Dunn's 82-79 lead in the standings entering the final weekend of racing. After Dunn won the final race of the meet - with 19-1 shot Starvin Marvin - he stood one behind Gingras, who won the title by a count of 86 to 85. Gingras and Dunn also finished 1-2 in money earnings. Ron Burke, the winner of 12 consecutive national trainer titles, topped the Big M trainer colony in wins with 50. Nancy Takter was the leading money-earning trainer. She had just over $1 million in earnings heading into Hambo Day. Leading owners at the meeting were Pollack Racing LLC and Jeffrey Cullipher. HANDLE HIGHLIGHTS: All-source North American wagering on the 16-race Hambo Day card totaled $5,730,615, by far the highest total in the industry in 2020. It marked the second time during the 41-program meeting where wagering topped the $5-million plateau. On 33 occasions, wagering went past the $2.5-million mark, while the $3-million barrier was busted 10 times. Wagering on the Hambletonian was red hot, as a total of $845,469 was pushed through the windows on the 11th race Saturday, an increase of $322,305 over last year (61 percent). Wagering totals from international outlets will not be known for several days. A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy not only won his first Hambletonian, but was the top driver on Hambo Day, winning five times. ... Tony Alagna trained three to victory lane, all were driven by McCarthy. ... Live racing at The Meadowlands resumes on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7:15 p.m., and with the exception of Christmas Day, will be conducted on the normal Friday-Saturday schedule through the end of the year. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Trainer Nancy Takter continued something of a family tradition Saturday (Aug. 8), winning the $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies with Sorella at The Meadowlands.   Takter, whose father Jimmy won a record eight editions of the Oaks, became the first female trainer to ever win the race, which began in 1971.   Sorella and driver Yannick Gingras rolled to the front in the first turn and cruised to victory by 1-3/4 lengths over Hypnotic AM in 1:51. Panem, also trained by Takter, finished third. Hypnotic AM and Panem both started from the second tier, with Hypnotic AM in post 12 and Panem in post 11.   It is the sixth time in seven years the Oaks was won by a Takter and Gingras, who extended his record for wins by a driver to six.       “It certainly doesn’t get old,” Gingras said. “With any of these big races, you win them once and you want to win them again. I think it’s a pretty good accomplishment to have six of them. Definitely I’m proud of it.”   Gingras and Sorella started from post seven and saw Whose Blues leave for the front from post six. Whose Blues settled in the top spot, but only briefly, as Gingras pushed forward to claim the lead in a :26.1 opening quarter. From there, Sorella hit the half in :54.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.3.   “I thought there were three horses in the race that really stood out and the other two had posts 11 and 12,” Gingras said. “When I left the gate, I saw they were going to get away somewhere in mid-pack. They weren’t going to get away too close, so I was taking no prisoners from there. I figured she was the one to beat at that point and took no chances.”   Said Takter, “I thought my horses both raced super. I wish Panem would have gotten up a little bit more, but they were both really good. It kind of worked out the way I expected, so that’s good when things go that way.”   She added that Sorella’s next start would most likely come in the Zweig Memorial on Aug. 21 at Vernon Downs.   Sorella, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Kadealia, has won four of five races this year and six of 14 lifetime with earnings of $503,376. She is owned by breeder Elmer Fannin, Crawford Farms Racing and Brent Fannin. Elmer Fannin named the filly after a bottle of wine.   “We’re very excited about Sorella,” said Brent Fannin, Elmer’s son. “We knew one day (Kadealia) was going to throw a good one, and we just kept being patient and bred her to one of the better sires we could. And along comes Sorella and we’re real excited. We lost her mom earlier this year, who was in foal to Father Patrick, and hopefully Sorella can carry the torch from here.”   by Ken Weingartner with Derwick Giwner

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