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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It's hard to imagine anyone feeling confident about Sweet Lucy Lou's chances down the backstretch in the Friday night harness racing feature at The Meadowlands, a high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares. After all, the 5-year-old by Sweet Lou-Ultimate Bet, was sent to the gate as a 17-1 outsider and was sitting 10th and last as the field went past the half-mile marker with apparently no chance. But then things picked up for her connections, not to mention her backers. Driver Todd McCarthy put Sweet Lucy Lou into a fourth-over flow, a train that was led by a resilient Betalady, who went parked the mile while in search of a third straight win at The Big M. At three-quarters - which was timed in 1:22.2 - Dover Downs shipper Going Gone Hanover was calling the shots with 5-2 favorite Wingding Hanover in the pocket and Betalady still grinding away on the rim in third. "I thought she had a shot," said winning trainer Bob Cleary of Sweet Lucy Lou. "I thought a lot of them wouldn't like the wind in their faces in the stretch." Cleary was spot on, as his prized pupil roared home after tipping off cover for the stretch drive to score by 1¼ lengths in 1:51.3 and return a handsome $36.60 to win. Golden Quest N rallied after going second-over to grab the place spot. A game Betalady hung in there for third.   "She's a big closer," said Cleary, as Sweet Lucy Lou raised her lifetime stats to 10 wins from 50 starts. "It was a big class drop for her. Last year, she was fourth in the Breeders Crown [won by Kissin In The Sand]. Hopefully, she can be a stakes filly this year. She's a big-track horse and is staked to all of the big races at The Meadowlands and Mohawk." "I looked at her lines and that cemented in my mind that she's crazy good off cover," said McCarthy. "I was hoping she'd be good enough and she was." Owned by Royal Wire Products, Sweet Lucy Lou recorded her first win since October 9 of last year and lifted her lifetime bank account to $245,602. A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras both won three races on the card, while Andy Miller, McCarthy and Mark MacDonald all won two apiece. ... Jeff Cullipher had a training double. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,706,688. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6 p.m. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands  

Sweet Heaven won the N/W $14,500L5 top condition at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Feb. 19, giving the Baillargeon barn a heavenly start to its 2021 harness racing season.   The five-year-old mare quarter-poled from the four-hole in the Friday night feature and rushed to the front. She paced the next half-mile unopposed and resisted a late challenge from Hello Love to earn a winner's circle trip.   Hello Love sprinted out to an early advantage, striking the front entering the first turn. She paced the first quarter in 29.4, and Sylvain Filion simultaneously hit the gas on Sweet Heaven, bringing her out of fourth. Filion seemed to wrestle with the Benoit Baillargeon trainee as the horse cleared to the lead at the half in 57.4.   Sweet Heaven managed a reasonable 1:26.2 third quarter before quickly dispatching first-over challenger Lyons Tilt Hanover. The leader went into a drive and repelled an attack from Hello Love, who mounted a charge in the final eighth. The latter made it to the leader's shoulder, but no further, and finished second by a neck. Rose Run Victory sat behind the top two for much of the contest and slid out late to take the third-place cheque.     Sara Baillargeon, a caretaker for her family's Baillargeon stable, was excited after the mare's win.   "Two starts into 2021 and Team B gets a win," she posted on Facebook after the race. "Heaven takes advantage of class drop, plugs in, jiggy jog."   The daughter of Sweet Lou improves to 11 for 31 lifetime and adds the winner's cut of the $22,000 purse to her previous total earnings of $113,271. She's owned by Benoit Baillargeon, Rick Heinz, and Santo and Nunzio Vena. A $2 win ticket paid $4.   This card was Woodbine Mohawk Park's second since returning from a hiatus caused by the Covid-19 lockdown in Ontario. The Campbellville, Ontario track's next race date is Feb. 20.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink  

LEBANON, OH - Loutenant (Tyler Smith) barely held off GD Western Joe (Chris Page) to continue his remarkable harness racing ascent since being claimed for $37,500 during closing week at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in late December. The 5-year-old son of Sweet Lou now sports a three race win streak at Miami Valley including a top conditioned pace, an Open II and now a $22,000 Open I. Loutenant's earnings in just the last six weeks is $33,950, quite a nice immediate return on investment.  Loutenant got a three-hold trip throughout most of the mile behind favored Voracity (Dan Noble) and Drawing Dragons (Sam Widger). After launching a first-over attack just prior to the three-quarters station, Loutenant finally wore down the two front end speedsters about 100 yards from the finish and then had to stave off the relentless late charge of GD Western Joe. The winning time of 1:50.1 represents a lifetime mark for Loutenant, who went off at odds of 9-1 and paid $20.00 to win.   Bobbie Jo Brewer trains the winner for September Six, who thought enough of Loutenant to submit the largest claim at the Dayton meet. His resume now includes 13 wins and $194,144 in purse bounty. The second leg of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley Series on Saturday (Feb. 13) at Miami Valley produced a couple of mild upsets, both engineered by driver Chris Page. With no repeat winners after the two preliminary legs-one a dash at 5/8ths of a mile and the other at the standard one mile distance-the conclusion of the series, a $25,000 championship leg at 1-1/4 miles, seems like a wide open affair. The first division was won by The First Step, who topped Crimson And Chrome (Trace Tetrick) and Goldinthebadlands (Brett Miller) in 1:51.3, returning $16.80 to his faithful. After a fourth place finish in the first leg 5/8ths mile dash, the 5-year-old son of Betterthancheddar showed his true form in the mile test, notching his 12th career victory and raising his lifetime bounty to almost $150,000. Trainer Ron Burke shipped The First Step in to Miami Valley for the Dailey Series from the east coast where he was also a winner at Yonkers and Philadelphia in recent months. Runnerup Crimson And Chrome, owned by Tim Tetrick, was also shipped west to Miami Valley and has responded with a win in the dash prior to this near miss. Goldinthebadlands raced primarily at Woodbine last season, but has also found the Dailey odd distance medley to his liking with a pair of show finishes to earn a berth in the lucrative final. Snowball's Romeo captured the second split in the identical 1:51.3 clocking, paying $17.80 to win. Coupled with his second place finish in the dash, the noted quick gate leaver topped the 18 original combatants in series earnings to gain the No. 1 seed toward the final. The resurgent 8-year-old son of McArdle, trained by Phil Belanger, has 17 wins, but just two in the last two seasons. Wild Bill, who was purchased by trainer Kris Hinchcliff and partners for the Dailey Series after a prolonged stint at Yonkers, disappointed in the dash but rebounded with a strong place finish at the traditional mile. Bold And Brassy's show finish coupled with a fourth in the initial dash was also enough to advance. Joining the top Leg 2 finishers in the $25,000 championship next week will be first leg winner Shagnwiththedragon, Shane Adams (who was scratched Saturday after a runnerup finish in Week 1) and Prince Bayard. Dave And Dennis will have the first option to move in if any of the top nine earners fail to declare. For full results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway        

Sweet Lou has made a stellar start to his harness racing stallion career down under, being crowned the leading first season sire in both New Zealand and Australia in the 2018/19 season and has continued to produced outstanding racehorses including a quinella in the first two-year-old race at Addington last week. His daughter’s Sweet On Me and Double Expresso were the two leading 2YO fillies in Australasia in his first crop produced. Top breakers and trainers have nothing but good things to say about natural gaits, attitude, temperament and willingness.  Sweet Lou presents commercial Australasian Breeders with quality bloodlines not currently available. He is a complete out-cross being by the son of Yankee Cruiser (Artiscape) out of Sweet Future (Falcon's Future) who is a USTA Hall of Fame inductee. His maternal line is one of USA's strongest with with his half brother being $2.7 million winner and World Champion Bettor Sweet (Bettor's Delight) and half sister 1.51.1 mare Sweet Paprika (Artiscape) Sweet Lou was a multiple world record holder and exceptional speed machine! In this race above Sweet Lou beat probably the richest field in history with combined earnings of $26,917,444. That is an average of $2,691,744 for each starter. This writer believes that it is possibly the richest field ever produced on the race track in one race. At New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale at Karaka on Sunday, 14th of February there are 26 yearlings by Sweet Lou and in the Breckon Farms draft there are two colts. Lot 21 Shanghai Lou Shanghai Lou is from a sister to Group 1 Queensland Seymour Nursery Stakes winner Burnaholeinmypocket. He is a bay colt bred on the identical cross of the Harness Million winner Aladdin and Harness Jewels winner Sweet On Me, being by Sweet Lou from a Bettor’s Delight mare. He’s the first foal of a sister to the Group 1 and prolific Melton winner Burnaholeinmypocket and the Melton, Menangle and USA winner Positano and a half-sister to the Melton winner Fleshing. His third dam Flash Atom won the Group 3 North Island Standardbred Breeders Stakes and was the 4YO Pacing Mare of the Year. Lot 49 Mr President Mr President is a half-brother to four sub 2:00 winners. He is a bay colt by the world champion Sweet Lou, the sire of the classic winners Aladdin, Sweeto On Me, Virgil and Double Expresso. He’s a half-brother to six winners including the Yearling Sales 2YO North Island Graduate and Sires’ Stakes 2YO heat winner Chachingchaching, the 1:53 Menangle winner Giddy Heights, the Cardigan Bay Stakes place getter Smart Fortune who won last night in Australia (now with 6 wins and 21 placings for $64,500) and to the dam of the Perth winner Head Honcho. His dam the Presidential Ball mare Affairs Of State, a Group 1 place getter is a daughter of the triple Oaks winner and 2YO and 3YO Filly of the Year Under Cover Lover. Affairs Of State is a half-sister to the Yearling Sale Series 2YO Final winner My Exotic Lover, the dam of the multiple NSW Group winner Match In Heaven, and to the dams of the outstanding WA pacer Vampiro, the winner of seven Group races, the WA Derby winner Major Trojan, the WA 4 & 5YO Championship winner The Odd Lover and Our Classical Art.   Harnesslink Media            

Stallion acceptance in a very conservative marketplace is a hard thing, it is even harder when your pedigree is a just a bit different to what harness racing breeders have come to expect, so the tale of Sweet Lou down under begins. Despite banking over USD$3.4 million and starting his career as 2yo pacer of the year and book ending his racing life as USTA horse of the year, Australasian breeders where icy cold, apart from Woodlands Stud and some hardcore breeders who knew Sweet Lou’s racetrack deeds but researched his pedigree a bit deeper than most.  So, the long road began to make a stallion book commenced on limited numbers and a variety of mares from all walks of life. A push through weanling sales and then a $100,000 yearling sale in his first crop in New Zealand plus a stunning start to his first USA crop saw Sweet Lou gain acceptance on a large scale.  Sweet Lou was the leading first season sire in Australia and New Zealand with his first crop and then suddenly there was little room on the bandwagon when Sweet Lou returned to stallion duties ‘down under’.  In the New Zealand standardbred national yearling sale to be conducted from February 13th – 17th, Sweet Lou carries into the sale over 70 lots, amongst them some stunning progeny from some elite maternal pedigrees.  In the Auckland sale his moniker is carried via 30 lots and in Christchurch via a catalogue of over 40 lots. At the recent Australian sales, Sweet Lou’s progeny have been well sought and his racetrack deeds continue to evolve, to a level where he now has a son at stud and many pedigree pundits are saying Sweet Lou, just might be the saviour of the Adios line. Lot 20 by Sweet Lou - Sea Of Gold - Bettors Delight Lot 20 by Sweet Lou - Sea Of Gold - Bettors Delight ......................................................................................... Lot 35 Sweet Lou - Walk Of Fame - Bettors Delight Lot 35 Sweet Lou - Walk Of Fame - Bettors Delight ...................................................................................... Lot 76 Sweet Lou - Dream Offer - Dream Away Lot 76 Sweet Lou - Dream Offer - Dream Away ............................................................................... Lot 113 Sweet Lou - Lady Smack - Bettors Delight Lot 113 Sweet Lou - Lady Smack - Bettors Delight Sweet Lou has paved the way down under, now for acceptance of first season sires and pedigrees that remain a bit different, you can thank those willing to take a chance and be different when the breeding industry needed it the most! Woodlands Stud wishes all vendors the best of luck in the upcoming New Zealand Standardbred yearling sales with their ‘Great White Blaze’ progeny.    Harnesslink Media

Pompano Beach, FL...February 9...Skip To My Lou, again superbly handled by 21 year-old Joe Chindano, Jr., took top honors in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open I Pace on Monday (February 8), scoring his third straight win in the top class, this time stopping the timer in 1:49. Not only was the clocking the fastest mile of the Pompano meeting thus far, it was the first sub-1:50 mile for young Chindano in his career. Skip To My Lou, the tiny five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou, scored by a length-and-a-quarter over Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) with Seeing Eye Single (David Miller) third. Kinnder Jackson finished fourth in the sextet while Lyons Night Hawk picked up the nickel. The event had, literally, more than a handful of leaders during the mile with Kinnder Jackson leaving with alacrity only to give way to Southwind Amazon, also zipping off the wings and taking the field through a sizzling opening panel of :25.4. Shortly thereafter, Lyons Night Hawk surged to the front and took the field to the half in a dazzling :53.3 with Southwind Amazon out and driving again once they entered the backstretch. On the backside, Prairie Panther, fourth through the first half mile, marched up with a third quarter :27.2 binge of his own to take charge leaving Skip To My Lou, fifth halfway through, on a first up bid of his own and moving alongside the leader past the third station in 1:21.2. These two raced as a team until mid-stretch when Skip To My Lou surged past and on to victory.   After the race, a humble Chindano explained, "Wow! That was my fastest mile I ever drove--my first sub-1:50 mile. I sure didn't expect it, that's for sure. Early on, I was just content to let the others fight it out and, when I saw the half in :53.3, I thought I had a good chance to win. I wasn't thinking about 1:50 or anything like that, I was thinking my little guy could win. This was something I'll never forget!" For Skip To My Lou, owned and trained by Chindano, Jr., the win was the fourth in five starts, sending his 2021 bankroll to $23,070 and $135,151 career-wise. As the 2 to 1 favorite, Skip To My Lou paid $6.00 to win. The companion $11,000 Open Handicap Trot went to Born To Thrive for Rick Plano in 1:53.2. The rugged eight year-old gelded son of Swan For All, also trained by Plano for John Campagnuolo and Maryann Plano, assigned the outside post in his sextet, was away last in the field before beginning to grind forward just prior to the opening quarter and kept gnawing away the rest of the way before assuming command at mid-stretch and winning holding off stablemate Sooo Handsome (Dave Ingraham) by a half-length. The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) finished third after being in the garden spot most of the mile. Classicality finished fourth while Cantab Lindy, who cut fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24, finished fifth to pick up the final award. Born To Thrive sent his 2021 scorecard to 3-0-2 in six starts, good for earnings of $19,510. Lifetime, Born To Thrive now has 42 career victories and $429,622. Off at 8 to 5, Born To Thrive paid $5.20 to win. There were also a pair of $10,000 Open II events on the Monday card with Real Peace taking the pace and In Secret reporting home a winner in the trot--both driven by David Miller, who had a grand slam on the card. Real Peace, a six year-old altered son of Real Desire, led just about every long stride of his mile and scored in 1:50.2--sealing the deal with a pair of :27.2 panels after a :55.3 half. Stone Racer (Wally Hennessey) was second followed by the pocket-sitting Solo Story (Braxton Boyd). Let's Roll, closing fastest of all--:27--finished fourth while When You Dance picked up the minor award in the septet. Trained by Devan Miller for Sylvia Burke, Real Peace earned his 23rd career win--second this semester--to send his lifetime bankroll to $237,994. He paid $4.60 as the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite. In Secret, also trained by Devan Miller for Sylvia Burke, made a sharp quarter move to the top and pulled away to a three length win in 1:53.2. The nine year-old gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe vaulted his career bankroll to $864,753 with his 42nd career success. EV's Girl (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was second with Gemologist (Andy Santeramo) third. Tech Titan and Bumblebzbuzz were next in the field of seven. In Secret, off at 1 to 2, paid $3.00 to his multitude of faithful. Miller also hit the winner's circle with the 11 year-old Feelin Lika Winner ($3.00), who scored in 1:52 for trainer Cassandra Uppal, who co-owns with Rebecca Uppal, and Unlikeanyother ($5.60), scoring handily in 1:51.3--that latter trained by Jake Huff for Carlo Angelillo, Christopher Cusimano, Jr. and Ron Cusimano. Finally, when Rockin Machine ($10.00) took the Super Hi-5 finale in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1 for trainer-driver Rick Plano and owner Maryann Plano, it proved to be the key for a single 20 cent ticket payoff of $89,424.02 covering the 6-9-2-3-1 combination. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a $20,000 guaranteed pool the track's Pick-4. Post time is set for7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...February 2, 2021...Pompano Park presented its version of the "David vs. Goliath" saga on Sunday night (February 1) with the tiniest of pacers with the lowest lifetime earnings, "slowest" lifetime mark and with the driver with the least lifetime wins conquering the best harness racing pacers on the grounds in the $11,000 Open I Pace. Skip To My Lou, the five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou standing, maybe, 14 hands high, proved he has a heart the size of any Goliath with a 1:51.2 win for 21 year-old trainer-owner-driver Joe Chindano, Jr. who, with 155 lifetime wins, was competing against four other drivers with combined wins over 37,000. Skip To My Lou not only took top honors against the likes of Prairie Panther, Seeing Eye Single, Southwind Amazon and Ideal Feeling, he did so going first up on the backside as near gale force winds were beginning to pummel the South Florida five-eighths mile oval. As the wings folded, Southwind Amazon (Tony Hall) left with his usual alacrity and took the field to the opening panel in :26.4 with Seeing Eye Single (David Miller) on the prowl and assuming command 3/8ths in and rolling over to the half in :55.2. With Skip To My Lou third at this point, Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) was on the move from fourth and forced the hand of Chindano, who tilted Skip To My Lou to thee outside to begin gnawing away first up. Turning for home, Skip To My Lou stuck his head in front and began edging away in the final stages, scoring by 1¼ lengths. Said Chindano after the race, "Yes, he's a tiny horse but he has a huge heart and powerful lungs and about as game as they come! I was looking for a two-hole trip back of Southwind Amazon but that sure didn't materialize and I had to take a chance going first up on the backside or get shuffled back to a no-win situation. So, I had confidence in 'Lou' and he sure didn't let me down!" For Skip To My Lou, it was his second win in this top company in three tries and third win of the year, sending his career bankroll to $129,651.--still the lowest in the field where the four other starters had made well over $2.2 million. Despite winning in his last start in this top class on January 18 in a lifetime best 1:50.4, Skip To My Lou was fourth choice in the betting and paid $17.20 to win. Skip To My Lou In the companion $11.000 Open Handicap Trot, Born To Thrive, handled by Rick Plano, went grinding his way to victory in 1:54.3, equalling his 2021 mark thus far in the young season. The altered son of Swan For All was last in his talented sextet early, pulled just after the opening panel and gradually gnawed his way to the lead once they straightened away for the charge home, Born To Thrive was three lengths clear of the 13 year-old warhorse Cantab Lindy (John Mac Donald) with Born To Thrive's stablemate, Sooo Handsome (Dave Ingraham) next. The Lionking AS and Gemologist picked up the last two awards while the 3 to 10 favorite, Muscles For Life, faltered after cutting panels of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.2. For Born To Thrive, trained by Plano for Maryann Plano and John Campagnuolo, it was his 41st career success, good for $424,122. As second choice in the wagering at 5 to 1, Born To Thrive paid $13.00 to win. Born To Thrive Plano also won the $10,000 trot for $20,000-$30,000 claimers with Keegan Ho as this eight year-old gelded son of Mr. Cantab capped off the Pick-5 with a stunning 1:55.1 win at odds of 20 to 1. Also trained by Plano for Maryann Plano, who co-owns with Mindy Findley Repko and Jan Repko, Keegan Ho capped a 2-6-1-2-7 combo in the 50 cent Pick-5 for a return of $2,127.95. Keegan Ho Another $10,000 event--the Open II Trot--went to the 21-1 chance Boinganator for Kevin Wallis in 1:54.4. Trained by Jim McDonald for owner-wife Dona, Boinganator, a seven year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide, led every step on the mile in scoring his initial win of 2021, returning $44.20, providing the fuel for a $1,456,46 ticket in the 20 cent Super Hi-5 finale. That jackpot has ballooned to $48,217.70 for the Tuesday program. Boinganator The final feature event on the Monday card--the $10,000 Open II Pace--went to Kinnder Jackson for Mike Simons, who was in the sulky for trainer Jake Huff and Rosie Huff, who co-owns with the Our Three Son Stable. The six year-old gelded son of Allamerican Native got picture perfect handling from Simons in the garden spot through panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.3 before using a :27.1 finale to roll by late in 1:52. As 7 to 5 second choice, Kinnder Jackson paid $4.80 to win. Kinnder Jackson Simons had a double on the card, also scoring with Classicality ($11.40) in an $8,000 conditioned trotting event. Other driving feats of note included Wally Hennessey scoring a double along with Tony Hall, making his debut in South Florida. Hall hit the winner's circle with Border Control ($5.00) and Brigadierbronski ($13.00). Finally, with Windemere Ryan ($10.40) teaming up with David Miller to reach the winner's circle in the finale of the Pick-6, that 1-2-7-5-5-1 combination returned $12,341.40. Handle for the Monday night program was a record $1,436,603, the highest in the tracks 57 year history. Racing continues on Tuesday night with $20,000 Guaranteed Pool on the Pick-4, which covers races 6 through 9. by John Berry for Pompano Park            

Harness racing trainer Nancy Takter continued her training dominance by finishing first and second with Fortify and No Lou Zing in the $325,000 Progress Pace.   Overlooked in the wagering, Tim Tetrick left and settled in fifth behind Cattlewash.   It proved to be the perfect place to be.   Tattoo Artist and Yannick Gingras stretched out No Lou Zing, parking him through a sizzling 25.2 opening quarter.   No Lou Zing finally cleared before the half in 53 seconds.   Down the backstretch Tim Tetrick was able to coerce Cattlewash off the rail and was towed into a second over journey. Cattlewash inched closer but was unable to threaten No Lou Zing. They throttled up to the three quarters in 1:20.2, pacing a 27.2 quarter. Past the three quarter point Tetrick roused Fortify three wide.   However,the race fractions were not kind to No Lou Zing, the race favorite. He weakened in the stretch. Fortify (Sweet Lou) won by a half length in 1:48.2 and went off at odds of 10-1.     Fortify is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Nancy Takter is the trainer.   No Lou Zing finished a hard fought second for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn.   Catch The Fire was third for driver Mile Wilder and trainer John Ackley.   After Tim Tetrick’s reaction was “ I liked the way he raced last week, I know I needed a trip in the final”.   “It all worked out because I was able to follow Cattlewash. However, I was disappointed he (Cattlewash) could not carry me further and I had to go three wide”.   Trainer Nancy Takter was overjoyed in the winner’s circle at finishing first and second. “He( Fortify) is a pleasure to be around and I got him this summer. The owners wanted to skip the Breeder’s Crown and I’m glad they did”. He will go back to Diamond Creek and return as a four old.”   Sunny Dee shines and wins the Fillies and Mares Open at Dover. Sunny Dee and Dexter Dunn enjoyed the perfect pocket trip as She’s Pukka N did all the heavy lifting, cutting all the race fractions as the field remained in single file throughout most of the mile. The fractions were 26.1 55.1 and 1:23.3. Dexter Dunn confidently moved Sunny Dee, the three to five wagering favorite, out of the pocket and attacked She’s Pukka N in the stretch.   Sunny Dee won by a measured neck in 1:50.1 as the three to five race favorite.  The last quarter was paced in 26.3. Sunny Dee (Sunshine Beach) is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing LLC.  Mike Hall is the trainer. She’s Pukka N. grudgingly, finished second, for driver Tony Morgan and trainer Brian Malone. Queen Of The Pride is trained by Kevin Lare for driver Pat Berry. Tim Tetrick won 5 races on the card including the $325,000 Progress Pace.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

Bob Aerenson and his father Buddy have owned racehorse for 15 years, but Bob's interest in harness racing goes back to his childhood. Before he was old enough to drive, the Wilmington, Del., resident would ride his bike to nearby Brandywine Raceway and offer to jog horses in the morning before returning later to watch the races. He also would hitch rides to area tracks with childhood friend Doug Paul and his family, whose participation in harness racing stretches more than four decades. In recent years, the Aerensons, who race under the name Rojan Stables (an acronym made up of family member's names), have been among the owners of Dan Patch Award winners Captain Crunch and Divine Caroline as well as Grand Circuit stakes winners Closing Statement, Bettor Be Steppin, and Lady Rainbow. This past Saturday, 2-year-old male pacer Always A Miki added his name to the list with a victory in the Governor's Cup. And on Wednesday, 3-year-old male pacer No Lou Zing will attempt to add a second Grand Circuit triumph to his credentials when he competes in the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs. "We've been very fortunate," Bob Aerenson said. "It's been a fun ride. My father just turned 90 and is in great health. He gets very excited about the horses. It's a great thing that we do together. Fortunately, we've had some success, and that makes it even more fun." No Lou Zing heads to the Progress Pace off a win in the event's single elimination last week. The gelding won by a half-length over favorite Cattlewash in 1:49.1, with Dexter Dunn driving for trainer Nancy Takter. On Wednesday, No Lou Zing starts from post seven and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Cattlewash, from post eight, is the 2-1 favorite. For the year, No Lou Zing has won seven of 15 races, hit the board a total of 14 times, and earned $442,308 for owners Rojan Stables, 3 Brothers Stables, and Caviart Farms. His victories include the Jenna's Beach Boy Stakes and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Matron and third in the Adios and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. His only off-the-board result was a fifth in the Breeders Crown, where he was beaten only three-quarters of a length in a six-horse blanket finish. "We had a little bit of bad luck at the Breeders Crown, but we've gone against some great horses," Aerenson said. "The fact that we're in the same conversation with some of these great horses just makes it even more exciting." No Lou Zing, by Sweet Lou out of Terroronthebeach, was winless in three starts at age 2. He went off stride in all three of those races but got off on a good foot this year with three victories and a second in his first four starts. Takter assistant Josert Fonseca drove the gelding in his first six races this season before handing the lines to Dunn. "He didn't have much of a 2-year-old season, but, obviously, Josert and Nancy are a great team because they got him figured out and he's peaking right now," Aerenson said. "Last week was very impressive." No Lou Zing ranks fifth among all 3-year-old male pacers in purses this season. "My expectations were for him to be a good sire stakes horse, not at the level he's at right now," Aerenson said. "The horse started out the year nicely, but they still were not against the top caliber. I did not expect to be where we are right now. This is very exciting. "Nancy has done a fantastic job keeping this horse in the right place." Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday at Dover Downs. The card also includes $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old male and female pacers. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A field of eight drivers will vie for the Paul MacDonald Memorial Trophy on Horse Person's Day Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash Saturday card gets underway at 12:30 P.M. featuring the MacDonald Memorial Driving Championship honouring the long time top reinsman at the capital oval. The MacDonald Driving Championship, presented by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner's Association, will see eight drivers compete in eight races on the day with the top point earner grabbing the MacDonald Memorial trophy. The event has three criteria to select the drivers with the top four reinsmen earning a spot in Marc Campbell, Gilles Barrieau, Adam Merner and Corey MacPherson. The next two drivers qualify as the top percentage pilots with over 75 starts with Steven Shepherd and David Dowling in that category. The top two drivers by average with between 30 and 75 starts also get an invite with those two being Donnie MacNeil and Dave Kelly Sr. The competition includes races 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The afternoon feature in race 11 is billed the Steven MacRae Memorial pace and carries a purse of $2,500. Revenant is the morning line choice with Merner in the driver's seat for trainer Ron Gass and owner Kyla MacDonald of Stanhope. The If I Can Dream six-year-old was third his last start at the preferred level to The Rev and will leave from post 5 on Saturday. Pillage And Burn has post 2 with Ken Murphy in the bike for trainer Trevor Hicken with a streak of eight straight top-three finishes on the line. Shadow Of A Daut has rail control for driver Campbell after circling the field in his latest. Peter MacPhee with the Post Time Picks pegs Pillage And Burn for the top spot in Saturday's feature. "Pillage And Burn has been on a huge tear the past two months and already has eight wins this season. He's also back inside for this start so don't be surprised if he's first or second again." For race programs and a score sheet for the MacDonald Memorial Driving Challenge go to and wager online at NOTE - The province of PEI announced mask wearing will be mandatory in indoor public spaces. All harness racing participants will be required to wear masks in the paddock and ship-in barns when competing at Red Shores. The Rev, Blood Money Show Down In Charlottetown CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The Rev will have a new contender for the top prize in the Sunday afternoon preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The Sunday program has 13-dashes on tap with the $2,900 preferred pace hitting the track in race 12 of the day. The Rev was a winner at the preferred level his last two starts for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owner Jeff Skinner of Hammonds Plains, N.S. The 43-time winner will leave from the outside in the field of five on Sunday as he looks to duplicate his three-length victory from last week. Blood Money ships in to Charlottetown Sunday from his new base of Saint John, N.B., and has post 2 in the top event. Dr. Mitchell Downey trains, drives and owns the winner of $430,000 who last raced in the Brian Brown barn at The Meadows in Pennsylvania. The four-year-old son of Sweet Lou made the majority of his purse money at age two in the Kentucky Sires Stakes and also won the $213,000 two-year-old pacing colt Matron Final at Dover Downs in Delaware in 2018. Screen Test landed in the two-hole from the start last week and finished in the runner-up spot. Corey MacPherson will steer the pacer again on Sunday from post 3. Soccer Hanover moves back to the preferred level with post 1 getting Marc Campbell aboard while Cowboy Logic occupies post 4 for driver Steven Shepherd. The Sunday Post Time Picks has The Rev as the top selection. "The Rev completely toyed with his rivals last time out with an incredible mile considering the track conditions. Is assigned the outside today and gets a fresh challenger from post 2 so this likely won't be as easy an undertaking." The Open Trot lines up in race 9 and Mile Hill Willie will search for redemption on Sunday for driver Kenny Arsenault, trainer and co-owner Paul Morrison and co-owner John Breau of Shediac Cape, N.B. The Atlantic Champion leaves from post 6 in Sunday's $2,450 class fresh off a third place finish where he made a break in stride halfway through the mile. Other top selections are Cheeky Little Minx (To be driven by Gilles Barrieau) and Glider Man (David Dowling). For live video and more go to and wager online at ​by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

When colt Mysweetboymax races in Thursday's $193,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male harness racing pacers at Dover Downs, he carries not only his owners' hopes for a win but their memories of a dear friend. Bred and owned by the father-and-son team of Robert Horowitz and Brandon Horowitz, Mysweetboymax is named in memory of Max Liroff, the best friend of one of Robert's other sons, Casey. Max died two years ago at the age of 25 following a battle with cancer. "He fought the battle like none other but was just dealt a terrible blow," Robert Horowitz said. "He was the sweetest, nicest kid in the world. I knew him from the day he wore diapers. He was a wonderful person. When it came time to name this horse, this was something we wanted to do." Mysweetboymax, by Sweet Lou out of Faster Faster, has won three of 10 races this season and hit the board a total of six times. In July, he finished in a dead heat for win with eventual undefeated Breeders Crown champion Perfect Sting. In his most recent starts, both at Harrah's Philadelphia, Mysweetboymax won a division of the Liberty Bell and was second in a division of the Simpson Memorial. "He was a little immature and we kind of brought him along slowly," Horowitz said. "He's been getting better every week. We felt like this would be an opportunity for him. You never know. You have to be in it to win it." Mysweetboymax will start Thursday's Matron from post six and is 12-1 on the morning line. The colt is trained by Sam DePinto. "He's very handy, he makes no mistakes, and he loves his job," Horowitz said about Mysweetboymax. "The horse just loves what he does. He shows up and tries every week. He can race any way he has to. He's a pushbutton horse to drive. He can leave, come off the pace; that kind of horse is nice as a 2-year-old. "This is a very competitive race, but we feel like he's in a good spot and will give a good account of himself. He's never disappointed." Southwind Gendry, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who is coming off a third-place finish by a head in the Breeders Crown, is the 5-2 favorite in the Matron for colt-and-gelding pacers. The field also includes Metro Pace winner Exploit and Breeders Crown finalists Bayfield Beach and Literl Lad Hanover. There also are Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters and 2-year-old female pacers and trotters. Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion Incommunicado is the 3-5 favorite in the colt-and-gelding trot, Bluegrass division winner Pub Crawl is the 5-2 choice in the filly trot, and Breeders Crown finalist Continualou is the 2-1 favorite in the filly pace. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST) Thursday at Dover Downs. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

CHESTER, PA - The John Simpson Sr. stakes for three-year-old colts, the Ayres for trotters and the Albatross for pacers, were each conducted in three $33,067 divisions on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with driver David Miller continuing his hot hand from Breeders Crown elimination weekend by piloting two of the successful pacers, while trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt accounted for a pair of the trotting winners. Miller's first winner was the only favorite among the six stakes and started a Sweet Lou gelding, as Tru Lou followed up on his recent Liberty Bell stakes success by coming home first Wednesday in 1:50.2. Tru Lou made the front past the quarter and withstood stablemate Warrawee Veloce by 1¾ lengths to take his earnings to $114,092 for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and Slaughter Racing Stable LLC.   Tito Rocks, who caught heavy favorite Patriot Nation from the pocket in their Liberty Bell action, was much closer in the tote with that one today but still the second choice. And he did repeat his Liberty Bell triumph, coming from the two-hole again and running down pacesetting Patriot Nation by a half length at the end of a 1:51.3 mile. Miller guided the winner of $128,385 for trainer Robert Cleary and Royal Wire Products Inc. The third Albatross winner was also a pocket rocket, the American Ideal colt Ideal Perception, who came out of the golden seat to get a stretch lead and then withstand gritty first-over favorite Diamond Head by a neck in 1:51.4. George Napolitano Jr. drove the Andrew Harris trainee, who now has $131,444 on his card for the S S G Stables of McWicked fame. A Svanstedt horse accounted for the fastest of the three divisions of the Ayres, as the Cash Hall gelding Coventry Hall dashed out to early command and widened his advantage throughout the last half, coming to the wire seven lengths ahead while taking a new speed badge of 1:52.4. Coventry Hall has now earned $105,055 for Enghavegaard Aalborg APS. Svanstedt also was responsible for the biggest surprise in the day's stakes, as 12-1 shot Harley K rallied up the inside to catch favored Rome Pays Off in 1:54.3. The altered son of Sebastian K S is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Little E LLC, and Kenneth Kjellgren. A pair who also did very well in the Breeders Crown elims - driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Nancy Takter - were the braintrust behind the Andover Hall gelding Paulie Walnuts, who took a long time to get to the lead but could not be dislodged thereafter while taking a new mark of 1:53.1. Howard Taylor's sophomore was on his best behavior today and got the job done to make it two wins in his last three outings. Also a part of the top-level action on this Wednesday card at Philly was a $14,400 distaff handicap pace, taken by the Betterthancheddar mare Shes Pukka N and driver Tony Morgan in 1:51.3. Shes Pukka N went away quickly, keeping Eclipse Me N outside until the quarter and forcing favored Machnhope to accept the three-hole, then sat the perfect pocket trip and rallied inside the pacesetter to catch her by a half length, with the chalk settling for third, another neck back. Shes Pukka N, a career winner of $171,241, is trained by Brian Malone for owner Peter Paul Venturini.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - A pair of Hall of Fame harness racing drivers divided up the Liberty Bell stakes series action for three-year-old males on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia - David Miller took both $31,300 sections of the pacing event, while Tim Tetrick won in both $37,300 trotting sections. Both of them raced their charges just off the pace, and both of them defeated the race favorite late. Miller started things off by guiding the Sweet Lou gelding Tru Lou to a 1:49.1 mark. The sophomore was able to race in the pocket behind pacesetting Manticore - certainly a better journey than he had having to pace his middle half in :52.3 to get the lead before tiring at Lexington in his last start. He went inside the leader in the lane, then held off the late burst of heavy favorite Allywag Hanover, coming from second-over, by a neck, with Manticore another length back in third. Ron Burke trains the winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and Slaughter Racing Stable LLC.   In the other pacing section, Miller won with another Sweet Lou gelding, Tito Rocks, who has now taken two straight after a 1:50.3 victory. Tito Rocks raced hard to get the early lead, yielded to the prohibitive chalk Patriot Nation to sit in the golden seat, then worked up the inside to pass the favorite by three-quarters of a length at the finish. Robert Cleary trains the winner, who went over $100,000 in career earnings with the victory, for Royal Wire Products Inc. On the trotting side, Tetrick's first stakes visit to Victory Lane came behind the Explosive Matter colt Overserved in a career best 1:53.1. Favored Paulie Walnuts set the pace in this race, with Town Victor angling out from the pocket for the drive and Overserved, who had tucked third, fanning out even wider. Overserved proved to have the most late, going by to win by 1¼ lengths, with Town Victor photoing Paulie Walnuts for the deuce. The winner, who won the Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championship last month, also reached six figures in his career bankroll with his success for trainer George Ducharme and the partnership of William Donovan, Stephen Michaels, Joe Sbrocco, and Jim Winske. The other section yielded a classic "pocketsitter passes pacesetter late" scenario, as Tetrick raced into the early pocket with the Andover Hall gelding Loyal Fox Hanover after the former occupant of that spot made a break, waited behind pacesetting chalk Shinkansen, then came out entering the stretch and trotted past for a three-quarter length lifetime mark of 1:54. Ron Coyne Jr. now has a stakes win with the youngster he has had for only three starts for the ownership of Vogel & Wags Nags LLC, Team Rice Racing LLC, and Adelphia Bloodstock Inc. In a $14,400 handicap pace for distaff pacers, the Mach Three mare Machnhope was assigned the outside post eight after winning easily last week, and here the outer starting berth proved no hindrance at all as the winner rolled to a new mark of 1:50. Machnhope jumped over $300,000 in lifetime earnings with the win for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Noel Daley, the latter co-owner with Deo Volente Farms LLC, Thomas Pontone, and L A Express Stable LLC. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 6, 2020 -- Pace Baby Pace won a spirited stretch-long harness racing duel with Diamondtequilashot and captured Tuesday's $17,900 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Pace Baby Pace idled outside before grabbing the point, where Dave Palone was able to give her a 30 second-quarter breather. That left the 4-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou-Breakheart Pass with plenty in the tank to down Diamondtequilashot by a head in 1:52.3. Beach Bar completed the ticket.   It was the eighth win this year for Pace Baby Pace and lifted her career earnings to $174,961 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Jim Pantaleano and Burke each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 13-race program features a $54,566.34 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Donato Hanover gelding Crossfit made it two straight and four of his last seven when he won the $12,800 harness racing trotting feature Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono while equaling his mark of 1:54.2. Andy Miller sent the favored winner first-over and had a battle-royal with pacesetting Striking Encore from the backstretch onward, with Crossfit finally separating himself from his hard-trying rival by 3½ lengths at the finish. Trainer Susan Marshall co-owns the winner of $129,160 with John Marshall.   The Sweet Lou sophomore gelding Tito Rocks won a "nw2" pace in a clocking faster than usual for the class - 1:50, by far a lifetime best, and a good tightening mile that he'll need on Sunday, when he has post five at Philly in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for his division. Here George Napolitano Jr. put the talented three-year-old on the lead and let him ramble in :26.4, :55.1, and 1:22.1 in the big victory for trainer Robert Cleary and Royal Wire Products Inc. Also impressive was the Muscle Hill - Possessed By Lindy freshman trotting colt Lindysmusclemania, who ran his lifetime tab to 2-for-2 despite the outside post eight and covering the mile in 1:55, a personal best. The strong colt, trained and driven by Ã…ke Svanstedt for Stall Droad AB, may be one to keep an eye on for further development. The ream of the Pennsylvania-sired two-year-olds will be on full display at The Downs this Saturday afternoon for their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Card. Among the Championships, the consolations, and the overnight races, $1,286,000 in total purses will be offered at Pocono Saturday. A more detailed preview of the Championship card is upcoming.  From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

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  

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