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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Katie Said takes second straight Meadowlands feature

by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Katie Said was barely heard in the early going but spoke loud and clear through the stretch Friday night, powering past her foes for a second straight week in the $25,000 open handicap pace for fillies and mares at the Meadowlands.
The Jimmy Takter trainee was in no hurry for the first half-mile, sitting last in the field of seven off quick fractions of :26.4 and :54.2. Katie Said, the 3-2 co-favorite, was in a live third-over flow as Divine Caroline, also 3-2, had the front as three-quarters was clocked in 1:22.2.

Driver Brett Miller tipped Katie Said off cover as the field straightened up with three-sixteenths to go, and other than a little rocking in the sulky, Miller did very little as the 5-year-old daughter of Well Said exploded home in :26.4 to win by a half-length. A pair of longshots, Lovineveryminute and Empress Deo, rallied for second and third, respectively.
The winner returned $5 to her backers in taking her second victory of the year in as many starts for owners Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, NJ. The time for the mile was a lifetime-best equaling 1:49.4.

SUPER JACKPOT: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not get hit again, upping the carryover for the next program to $199,678.47.

Total wagering on the card was $2,679,045.

Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday. Post time for the first race is 7:15 p.m.

Next week, the Meadowlands will alter its schedule. The track will go dark for live racing Friday and then race Saturday (May 7) at the usual 7:15 p.m. before a special Mother’s Day program on Sunday, May 8, which has a special early post time of 12:40 p.m.


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 29, 2016—A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Apr. 30) Pick 5 wager begins with a tidy carryover of $4,999.04.

The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. 

Vernon Racing Recap - Friday, April 29, 2016

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Lucid Thoughts upsets in Open; MacDonald triples

VERNON, N.Y. -- A fast pace and a tracking trip both proved beneficial for the J P Stables' Lucid Thoughts ($20.40), as he had ample late trot to just nab defending Open winner Stirling Cadet in Friday (April 29) evening's $9,000 Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs.

Trainer-driver John MacDonald secured a close tracking trip with the 8-year-old Cash Hall gelding, yielding to Stirling Cadet (Jimmy Whittemore) and Lutetium (Truman Gale) through a sharp :26.3 initial quarter. Lucid Thoughts would end up locked in through intermediate sectionals of :56 and 1:24.1 by the first-over Pocket Trip (Fern Paquet, Jr.), but found room to shake free off the corner as the outer tier weakened. Lucid Thoughts vacated the pegs at head-stretch, working into second over the all-out Lutetium at the eighth pole and ultimately just collaring Stirling Cadet by half a length for a 1:52.4 triumph, the 28th of his career. Stirling Cadet was valiant in defeat, holding second by 3-1/2 lengths over Lutetium.

MacDonald's victory with Lucid Thoughts capped a driving hat trick, as he swept the early double with odds-on winners Elm Grove Inarush ($2.30, 1:52.3) and Have a Parodi ($2.90, 1:55.2).

In the evening's Catherine Burton late-closing series divisions, Janice Connor trainee Chukkar ($4.30) was the only repeat winner from last week. Chuck Connor, Jr. drove the 3-year-old Crazed colt to a hard-fought 1:57.4 win over Golden Son in the first division, while Walk the Floor ($3.10, Angus MacDonald, 1:57) and Thats a Bad Boy ($18.00, Tyler Freese, 1:57.2) captured the subsequent $4,000 splits.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a 13-race card on Saturday (April 30) evening. First post is slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 29, 2016—Al Raza N (Mark MacDonald, $13) roared through the lane Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

It didn’t appear to be a closer’s race after odds-on number Mosquito Blue Chip (Dan Dube) worked around Pasultimatedelite N (George Brennan) and dawdled through early intervals of 28-flat and 57-flat.

Even when longshot Know it All (Eric Abbatiello) offered a stern, backside challenge, it was only into a 28-second (1:25) three-quarters.

Despite the comfy fractions, “Mosquito” was about to be swatted. She was swallowed up from all sides early in the lane, with a third-over (from post position No. 7) Al Raza N closing fastest from sixth turning for home. She picked off Pasultimatedelite N by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2, with McCovey Cove N (Jordan Stratton), Jag Out (Steve Smith) and Know it All settling for the remainder. Mosquito Blue Chip faded to sixth.

For third choice Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by (trainer) Augie Abbatiello’s Durazzano Stable LLC, it was her fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $44.40, with the all-Kiwi triple returning $153.

Leave Your Mark Hangs On For Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Leave Your Mark made it three in a row at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (April 29), hanging on by a diminishing head over Strong Hope in the featured $9,000 trot. The winning time was 2:01.2 over the good track.

There were several win streaks on the line as Strong Hope came into the race with three straight while Leave York Mark and Red Clay each had two. While Red Clay finished fifth, Leave Your Mark and Strong Hope were determined to keep their streaks alive and battled right to the finish line.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. settled into third place with Leave Your Mark at the start but fired out and took the lead away from Lenny Mac just before the quarter pole. Putting up fractions of 31.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.4, Leave Your Mark ($6.40) knew there would be challenges coming in the stretch.

Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) was first over and was in perfect striking position in the drive to the wire. Leave Your Mark didn't give in and was strong enough to hold off the hard-charging runner up Strong Hope. Ali De Vie (Todd Cummings) finished in third.

Leave York Mark (Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza) is a 7-year-old gelding who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. It was the fourth win of the season for Leave Your Mark, now a winner of $21,514 in 2016 and $179,232 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. finished the night with three victories with Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Jim McNeight each registering doubles. Perrin and Kirk Desmond each had two training wins.

Racing will resume at 6 p.m. on Saturday night with another 11-race card set. There will be a $982 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to


By john manzi

After getting grounded in Germany because of a strike at the airport Hannah Miller, along with her boyfriend Nick Surick, found another way to get to Naples for the International Friendship Challenge which began today(Friday) at Agnano race track.

With the visiting Americans now at full strength—Hannah missed the opening ceremonies on Thursday due to the airport strike—the 10 drivers were ready to do battle in the first of the Challenge races.

Despite being on unfamiliar turf the visiting Americans made a strong showing on the first day of competition in the Friendship Challenge, especially Dein Spriggs, who won the second Challenge trot  and Hannah Miller, who had a second place finish in the first Friendship  Challenge race.

In the second event Pennacchio hustled his charge to the lead while Spriggs settled in fifth position on inside and Hannah got away stuck on the limb. Oldford’s trotter made a break early and Mitchell’s horse was never got in contention.

Spriggs sat chilly with a very live horse while pinned in as Pennacchio cut the mile. When Hannah’s trotter tired it allowed Spriggs to see daylight and he angled his horse to the outside and took the lead and then charged home an easy winner.

In the earlier race Hannah went to the lead and then let Joe Pernnacchio take command, which he did but then he allowed an Italian to cut the fractions.

When the field headed  down back side both Pennacchio and Hannah got shuffled farther back as another Italian cleared to the front. When the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt , Hannah pushed her way out and began a charge but her trotter fell just a neck short and they finished a very creditable second.. Pennacchio finished fifth, Steve Oldford was sixth and Dein Spriggs and Mike Mitchell’s horses both made breaks and they were disqualified.

The afternoon action on day- one of the Friendship Competition. was related by both Nick Surick and Steve Oldford and it was a delighted  Oldford who spoke for Team USA when he said; “Our Italian friends  are treating us to  mucho wine and fine food,” and then he added ,“Viva Italia!!”

Racing continues Saturday with one race slated for the Friendship Challenge. The Gran Premio Lotteria will be raced on Sunday and prior to that event there will be a final race in the USA vs Italy Friendship Challenge.

Cal Expo Sunday Barn Notes

Jazzmanian Devil attempts to overcome 10 post
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Jazzmanian Devil is paying the price for his recent success, as he has been assigned the No. 10 post position for Sunday night’s Open Pace.

William Condon’s 5-year-old has reached the charmed enclosure following four of his last five appearances here, with the one setback being the time he was asked to leave from this handicapped post on Aril 3.

It should be noted, however, that it wasn’t the outside slot that likely did him in that evening, but an equipment break. He has returned from that outing to rattle off a pair of impressive victories for trainer Steve Wiseman and regular driver Mooney Svendsen.

Meanwhile, Kissed The Boys is one member of the cast in Sunday’s co-featured Sire Stakes who won’t mind if the skies open up and rain comes down before this contest.

The Desomer Stables homebred has won both her starts on off tracks, including the March 13 Sire Stakes which found divisional leader My Little Susie having to settle for the exacta completion.

Kissed The Boys has had her main problems when the gate rolls, making miscues and being interfered with in two of her last three trips to the post. She made a huge brush to the lead in last week’s stakes gathering, but could not match the favorite when push came to shove in the stretch.

“Once she gets away from there, she’s pretty reliable,” Steve noted. “She has a lot of tenacity, especially on an off track.”

My Little Susie, Kissed The Boys clash

My Little Susie, who has earned five stakes trophies at the meet: and Kissed The Boys, who has one and was runner-up in the most recent big-money dance, have top billing in Sunday’s $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Cal Expo.

Ten races are on tap Sunday with first post set for 6:25 and the Sire Stakes will be the third event on the evening. This is the penultimate week of the meeting, with the curtain coming down next Sunday, May 8.

My Little Susie is a daughter of Claudius Augustus out of Sue’s Photo who campaigns for A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will once again have the services of Chip Lackey.

Overall, she has posed for pictures following nine of her 19 lifetime appearances and she established her mark of 1:57 2/5 when winning a Sire Stakes here on February 28, one of five such added-money contests she has captured at this stand.

In last week’s foray, she proved a punctual 3-5 favorite as she did the track-and-attack to perfection for Lackey, heading Kissed The Boys at midstretch and going on to a length and three-quarters decision while stopping the timer in 1:58 flat.

Kissed The Boys is also a daughter of Claudius Augustus from Charlotte’s Web who is owned and was bred by The Desomer Stables and will have Steve Desomer giving directions.

Rounding out the field are Lodi Bank Robber with Luke Plano; Sixstringsandapick, Mooney Svendsen; CW Raisinette, Steve Wiseman; and Delta Breezeoflodi, Pierre Girard. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Saturday Racing at the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ – Saturday’s twelve race card at The Meadowlands features a solid group of eight older pacers in the seventh race for a purse of $17,500.

Art History has captured the fancy of the odds-maker at 2-1 from the outside. A winner three times in ten starts this season, Art History seems to do his best racing over the mile oval. Jimmy Marohn, Jr has the driving assignment for trainer Steve Elliott and owners Ken Klein and Old Block Stables.

Mel Mara races for new connections on Saturday after private purchase by Robert Cooper and J&T Silva following a couple of impressive starts this season. Dylan Davis is the new trainer and Corey Callahan keeps the drive on the talented but delicate seven-year-old son of Lis Mara.

The Meadowlands hosts the final of the World Harness Handicapping Challenge on Saturday night. It is the largest of the harness contests and a few openings remain if you feel like taking a shot.

The Kentucky Derby is but a week away and if you’d care to watch it at the track The Meadowlands offers a number of comfortable options.

Post time is 7:15 p.m.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


From Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway Marketing Dept.

YONKERS, NY, New York, Thursday, April 28, 2016 —If you’re not going to Churchill Downs in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, Empire City Casino is the place for New Yorkers to watch the “Run for the Roses.”

Real Housewives of New York megastar Bethenny Frankel, the daughter of the late and legendary Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, will host the casino’s Kentucky Derby Viewing Party on Saturday, May 7, trackside at historic Yonkers Raceway.

A bevy of trackside activities at the casino’s historic Yonkers Raceway will be highlighted by the opportunity to meet and take a photograph in the winner’s circle with the wildly-popular Frankel from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The annual Kentucky Derby “Fancy Hat Contest,” a free two-horse exacta box on the “Run for the Roses” to the first 1,000 Empire Club members, the Cooler than Julep made with Bethenny’s Skinny Girl Sangria and Skinny Girl Vodka, live entertainment by DJ LAX, and of course the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby at 6:34 pm will turn Empire City into Churchill Downs East.

Empire City’s Kentucky Derby extravaganza is open to the public, and gets underway at 3:00 pm on the raceway apron.

Frankel is among the most popular reality television personalities in America with 1.5 million twitter followers, has hosted the talk show Bethenny, and is the best-selling author of four self-help books, chef, entrepreneur, and founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails.

Participants can register for the Fancy Hat Contest trackside from 3:00-4:30 pm, and the winner will be announced at 5:00 pm. The Grand Prize is $500 in cash; second place wins $250 cash, and third place receives $100 cash. A celebrity pick will be announced at 5:30pm and the winner receives $750 cash.

While the traditional and classic Mint Julep is on the menu, the Cooler than Julep rules at Empire City. Its ingredients include: Skinny Sangria, Skinny Vodka, Raw sugar, Lime, and Mint.

Simulcast locations include: trackside, the Winner’s Circle Bar in Empire Terrace on the 2nd Floor, the Simulcast Room on the 3rd Floor, the 4th floor Grandstand and Dan Rooney’s Sports Bar.

The first 1,000 Empire Club Members to visit the entertainment lounge beginning at 4:00 pm will receive a two-horse exacta box for the Kentucky Derby whiles supplies last.

Cal Expo Saturday Barn Notes

Wineonefordoug wins one for Doug and Rick
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

The 6-year-old pacer Winonefordoug turned in a game mile last weekend with Steve Wiseman to pick up his first snapshot of the season for Doug Flores and Rick Bertrand, with Bertrand the conditioner.

Flores and Bertrand also campaign the stakes-winning trotting mare Dougs Hobby Horse and have done very well with another trotter named Jailer, who has recorded some big miles over this layout.

“My partner Doug is from California and retired a few years ago from a hobby shop that was owned by he and his wife Lorraine,” related Bertrand. “He always enjoyed coming out to watch the races and some years ago asked if I wanted to go 50-50 on a horse.

“Now we’ve had our share, including one that we had the chance to rename Winonefordoug, and then Dougs Hobby Horse, which he bred.”

Dougs Hobby Horse is scheduled to do battle in Saturday’s second race, getting ready for next week’s Sire Stakes, while Winonefordoug turns up in the seventh race.

A reminder that there are two wagers offered here that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $25,000 on Sundays.


This is the penultimate week of harness racing at the spring meeting, with the curtain coming down next week with cards on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8.

Allmyx’sliventexas, Moonstone Beach hold spotlight

A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers have center stage Saturday at Cal Expo, with stablemates Allmyx’sliventexas and Moonstone Beach looking to continue a clean sweep of the big-money events for their respective divisions.

An 11-race program is on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:25 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the pacing colts goes as the third event on the evening, while the pacing filly stakes will be decided as a non-betting affair prior to the regular card.

Allymx’sliventexas and Moonstone Beach are both owned and were bred by Wayne and Rod Knittle with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen in his usual position in the sulky.

Allymx’sliventexas is a son of Hi Ho Silverheel’s out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun. He comes into this assignment having posed for pictures following seven of his 11 starts, including a leg of the Lonnie Beck Series and all six Sire Stake for the pacing males.

In last week’s gathering, the Knittel colorbearer was sent off as the 1-9 favorite and had little trouble making every pole a winning one, coming a :27 3/5 final quarter to seal the deal by two and three-quarter lengths.

Completing the cast are Rock Of Ages with Mark Kennedy; One More Chance, Luke Plano; Mathachusetts, to be handled by Steve Wiseman; and Midnight Adventure, James Kennedy.

Moonstone Beach is likewise putting her perfect Sire Stakes record on the line as the daughter of Crisis Situation shoots for her eighth win from nine appearances. Little Emma, who missed by a half-length to her last week; and Plain Awesome will round out the field.


 by john manzi,with help from Steve Oldford

The Italian Amateur Friendship Challenge officially kicked off with a gala dinner hosted by the mayor of Naples Italy, Luigi de Magistris on Thursday.
Pier Luigi De Angelo principle owner of Agnano race track in Naples, guided the invited American amateur drivers to this event held at the elegant Belvedere Carafa Museum in downtown Naples, Italy.   

“The people and the food are over the top and the majesty and history of this area goes back thousands of years,” team correspondent Steve Oldford said.

Festivities will continue when team America will dine with their Italian counterparts prior to the racing action which begins Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday when track hosts the world class $500,000 trot, the Grand Premio Lotteria.

“There’s no doubt that amateur racing is moving to a new level and we hope the events  here in Naples will continue to promote amateur racing at a world-wide level, “ noted team  USA  team captain Joe Pennacchio.

When the races get underway Friday at Agnano, Pennacchio and Oldford will be joined by Mike Mitchell, Dein Spriggs and Hannah Miller. The five outstanding American amateur drivers will compete against the best that the Naples area has to offer.

Two events are slated for Friday with a race on Saturday and one on Sunday, the day of the Gran Premio Lotteria where the attending crowds will be in the 

Open Mare Pacers Highlight Friday Meadowlands Card

East Rutherford, NJ – Live racing resumes on Friday at The Meadowlands with seven pacing mares featured in a $25,000 Open Handicap event, the eighth race on the program.

Last week’s winner Katie Said (post 7) and bridesmaid Divine Caroline (post 6) are back for a rematch. Both mares came from off the pace with Katie Said peeling off the cover of then sprinting by Divine Caroline in a 26.2 close to the 1:50.4 mile in her first outing of the season. Always fast but a touch erratic at times, Katie Said has matured nicely from age four to five. She races out of the Jimmy Takter barn and Brett Miller has the drive for owner Black Horse Racing on Friday.

Divine Caroline took the uncovered route in a game effort for David Miller and wore down the good Table Talk before “Katie” went by. The four-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven mare makes her third start of the season for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stable and Michael Ouriel.

Table Talk will make her third start back off the layoff and took a lot of play last week as the post time favorite. Request For Parole and Lovineveryminute return as well with Empress Deo and Inittowinafortune new shooters in the class.

In the wagering department, the last race Jackpot Super High 5 carry-over is $194,741 to start the weekend. As always, you may download free program pages for the Late Pick 4 compliments of Trackmaster.

You can enter to win a trip to the Preakness Stakes on Friday evening and the Meadowlands Summer Survival challenge is still open to entry. Saturday night is the final of the World harness Handicapping Challenge with the prize pool estimated at $50,000. It’s not too late to enter the tournament and the details are here.

We’ve got action and lots of it this weekend at The Meadowlands.

Post time is 7:15 p.m.

Cummings Not Rusty In Return To Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After being sidelined for nearly three months due to a broken arm, three-time defending Buffalo Raceway driving champion Kevin Cummings returned to the sulky on Wednesday night (April 27) and he showed absolutely no signs of rust.

Cummings scored a triple on the night and was aboard Nutmegs Yankee in the featured $9,000 pace for the mares to highlight the action.

Last seen on January 30, Cummings wasted no time in finding his way back to the winner's circle as he guided Voltina to a popular $4.40 victory in the first race. 

It was vintage Cummings in the feature event as he sent Nutmegs Yankee ($13.00) right to the lead from the seven post and they never looked back in scoring the 1-1/2 length win over Mach This Way in 1:56.1. Dontch Remember (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo, Nutmegs Yankee (Real Desire-Salty Yankee) has been victorious four times in 14 appearances this season. The 8-year-old mare has earned $20,838 in 2016 and $395,806 lifetime.

Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. each had driving doubles while Angelo Nappo trained a pair of winners.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program set.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meadowlands Pace Yearling Nominations

East Rutherford, NJ  - Yearling nominations ($50 payment) to the 2018 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace for foals of 2015 are due by May 15. With that date falling on Sunday this year postmarks by May 17 will be accepted per USTA rule 12:02. You may download the nomination form here. Please call the Racing Office at 201-842-5130 for further information.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 23, 2016—The song remains the same for Maestro Blue Chip.

Tuesday afternoon was the ninth victory in as many seasonal starts for the prohibitive ($2.50) favorite, easily winning the $73,500 final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series.

The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 through that date ineligible).

In play early from post position No. 6, “Maestro” (Tim Tetrick) had to work around first leader Summers Windsong (Jason Bartlett) before taking over. Lakota (George Brennan) was away third from the pole.  

Once pointed toward the point, there wasn’t a whole lot of suspense. Maestro Blue Chip did his thing (:28.3, :57.4, 1:27.1, 1:56), dismissing a weak, first-up challenge from Newcastle (Brett Miller). “Maestro” owned and length-and-a-three-quarter lead entering the lane, before closing the sale by a length-and-a-quarter.

He had won his three series legs by nearly 15 combined lengths.

Summers Windsong was a solid second in a very good effort, with Lakota a three-hole third. Newcastle did hold fourth, while Tuscanellie (Dan Dube) recovered from an early misbehave to grab the final pay envelope. Jackie Goldstein (Vinny Ginsberg), Stormont Park (Jordan Stratton) and breaking-early A List Lindy (Matt Kakaley) rounded out the order.   

Maestro Blue Chip is a 4-year-old son of Credit Winner owned Richard Poillucci trained by JoAnn Looney-King. The exacta paid $41.60, with the triple returning $82.

The $36,750 winner’s share upped the seasonal earnings to an even $105,000, not including the $10,000 bonus from the SOA of NY.

“He’s just so versatile,” Tetrick said. “I don’t think we know where his bottom is since he hasn’t race that much (22 career starts). He can get over any size track and I know they’re very high on him. He has some tougher stakes later in the season, so we’re going to find out.”

A $30,000 series consolation was won by a down-the-road Covert Operative (Brian Sears, $5.40) in 1:56.4.

Bufffalo Raceway To Hold Benefit Chicken BBQ

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway will be holding a Chicken BBQ on Friday, May 6 from noon until 8 p.m. in the clubhouse with all proceeds from the dinner going to the Food Bank of Western New York.

"We are pleased to work with the Food Bank of Western New York for this event," Buffalo Raceway Operations Manager Jon Cramer said. "The Food Bank has a great relationship with the people from the Erie County Fair too. The Food Bank benefits so many people in Western New York including the counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara."

The Weidner Chicken BBQ will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, coleslaw and a roll. The price is $10 per person and can be eaten in the clubhouse or taken out.

Tickets can be purchased now at Buffalo Raceway Guest Services or on the day of the event in the clubhouse. Also, everyone purchasing a dinner will receive $5 in free play at Hamburg Gaming.

There will be advanced wagering on the Kentucky Derby available during the day along with the running of the Kentucky Oaks from Churchill Downs. Buffalo Raceway will have live racing that begins at 5 p.m. The doors for simulcasting on this day will open at 10 a.m.

For more information, go to

Monday, April 25, 2016


by john manzi

Look out Italy, the Americans are coming. A contingent of American amateur drivers, that is.
Amateur racing is coming out of the shadows and now is an integral part of the harness racing scene, not only in the United States but in Europe, Australia and New Zealand too. International driving competitions among the sportsmen are growing exponentially.

 Recently the Florida Amateur Club hosted an international driving competition and as a result of those races earlier this year at Pompano Park an invitation was extended to a group of American amateurs to compete against their Italian counterparts in Naples, Italy on April 29, 30 and May 1.

“Pierre Luigi D’Angelo, the owner of Angano, the racetrack in Naples, extended the invitation during the Isle of Capri International (amateur) Championship at Pompano,” noted “Joltin’ Joe Pennacchio, who has known D’Angelo for many years and has previously driven at Angano. “He (D’Angelo) said we should get a team of five drivers to compete against our (Italian) amateurs in a Friendship Competition on the weekend of April 29, 30 and May 1. D’Angelo told me that those dates hinge around Italy’s greatest race, the $600,000 Gran Premio Lotteria, which will be contested on May 1. He promised us (the U. S. amateurs) that we will have one race on the card that day when the attending crowds will be monstrous.”

In all, the Friendship Competition will include four races with two contests on Friday, April 29 and one on Saturday, April 30.

Even with a short advance notice, Pennacchio, a longtime sportsman and avid amateur reinsman, searched for available drivers and has come up with a very respectful team. Joining “Joltin’ Joe” will be Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford, Dein “the Dream” Spriggs, Mike “the Mortgage Man” Mitchell and “Hurricane Hannah” Miller; all members of the C.K.G. Billings Series as well as members of other amateur driving clubs.

 For the record, Oldford (2013), and Ms. Miller (2015), are previous U.S. National Amateur Driver of the Year Award winners while Spriggs is a two-time recipient (2004 & 2005)
The members of the American team will wing their way to Italy early this week and prior to the competition they will be hosted and shown the wonder and the history of Naples and the surrounding area.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming Friendship Competition and a chance to enjoy greater Naples,” said Steve Oldford, who has driven winners in previous European amateur competitions. “And maybe, just maybe, we, our team, will be able to win a race or two.”

Oldford promises to relay the happenings and the daily race results during the Friendship Competition


  by john manzi for the CKG Billings Series

The first Billings Series race of the season in the Midwest region as contested over Miami Valley Raceway’s five-eighths mile oval and to no one’s surprise the 9-10 betting favorite, Heza Rube, lived up to his expectations and cruised the an easy three-length triumph  with  Bob “The Lumberman” Troyer at the controls.

When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded a speed duel ensued between Celtic Merchant (Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford and Speed Hanover (“Slick Rick” Braun) as the two trotters raced as a team to the quarter in :27.4 and they were still battling as they headed to the half. But at that point Troyer moved Heza Rube off the pylons and up behind Speed Hanover as Celtic Merchant got first call as they passed the half in :57.3.

Once the field headed up the backside Troyer moved three-deep to the lead which he got without any trouble and then played catch me if you can. And no one could as Heza Rube chugged home an easy winner in a time of 1:573 over Oldfield’s Celtic Merchant.

“I knew they were going at a good clip upfront and I figured they’d come back to me and I didn’t want to get pinned in so I moved up behind Speed Hanover as we were going to the half. And just as soon as we rounded the (clubhouse) turn I was out and going and my horse easily made the front end and we didn’t have a bit of trouble from there to the wire,” Troyer said by telephone after the race. 

 Third place went to 20-1 shot Unlimited Winner, driven by Northfield Park’s outrider Nadine “the Queen” Habke who was driving for the first time in the C.K.G Billings Amateur Series.

Heza Rube, a 6-year old altered son of Master Lavec, scored his second seasonal victory. He’s owned by Deborah Kvernmo and trained by Marty Wollem. For Troyer it was his 77th career driving victory.


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, April 24, 2016—They haven’t beaten him all season, and they’re probably gonna have to go some to do it with the money on the table.

Maestro Blue Chip, he of the 8-for-8 seasonal resume, looms a short-priced proposition Tuesday afternoon in the $73,500 final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series.

Post time for the dozen-race card is 1 PM, with the series finale going as the fifth race.

The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 through that date ineligible).

“Maestro” wears head No. 6 after drawing post position No. 5 in the finale of the four-week event, which has seen him win his three series legs by nearly 15 combined lengths…all as the odds-on choice. The 4-year-old son of Credit Winner is again driven by Tim Tetrick for owner Richard Poillucci and trainer JoAnn Looney-King.

Maestro Blue Chip enters with seasonal earnings of $68,250 and his 1:55.3 effort a week ago was the fastest mile of this series.

A List Lindy (Matt Kakaley, HN 1A, post 2), Tuscanellie (Dan Dube, HN 2, post 3) and Newcastle (Brett Miller, HN 6, post 7) each won twice in their series tries.

Lakota (George Brennan, HN 1, post 1), Jackie Goldstein (Vinny Ginsburg, HN 3, post 4), Summers Windsong  (Jason Bartlett, HN 4, post 5) and Stormont Park (Jordan Stratton, HN 7, post 8) complete the field.

A $30,000 series consolation goes as the fourth race.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 23, 2016—Always a bridesmaid, never a bride…until this time around.

Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $8.30), second-best in this race a season ago, rolled from off the pace Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $309,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for pacing mares.

Unhurried early from post position No. 4, “Yagonnakissme” watched Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) was launched from behind the eight-ball. She was met by Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), with the latter—as the slight 5-2 favorite—retaking before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile.

Sell a Bit N continued to lead at :55.3 half as Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) took out of third. That one moved toward the leader while Yagonnakissmeornot had some ground to make up from second-over to play catch-up.

A :27.4 third quarter (1:23.2) did enough to make leader and challenger a bit susceptible, though Sell a Bit N  had a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn. As that was happening, Yagonnakissmeot was getting the memo and roaring through the lane.

She picked off the pace-setter, whipping Sell a Bit N by a pair of going-away lengths in a life-best 1:51.4. Sell a Bit N held second, with a third-over Al Raza N (Dave Miller) third. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) and last season’s winner, Venus Delight (Yannick Gingras) settled for the remainder, with Krispy Apple, Lady Shadow and Mach it a Par brought up the rear.

For Yagonakissmeornot, a third choice 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing)  by (trainer) Rene Allard. Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.80, with the triple returning $143.

“I thought about leaving the gate, but when I saw the outside horse (Krispy Apple) leave hard, I decided against it,” Dube said. “She’s just a tough mare.”

            Dube also won this race in 2011 with Tomorrowpan.

“She’s a favorite around the barn, goes about her work and stays at it,” Allard said.

A $75,000 series consolation was won by Carolsideal (Dube, $4) in 1:52.1 as a stablemate to the series winner.

Rockeyed Optimist holds off Always B Miki in Big M feature

by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Rockeyed Optimist worked out an ideal close-to-the-action trip, wore down the leader in deep stretch and held on despite the explosive late charge of Always B Miki to take the $25,000 open handicap pace at the Meadowlands Saturday night. McArdles Lightning was third
Driver Tim Tetrick hustled the 5-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover into the three hole early behind McArdles Lightning and Atta Boy Dan. After an opening quarter of :27.2, Rockeyed Optimist, the 6-5 second choice, moved to the outside and began to grind away at the leader’s advantage at the half in :55.2.

By the time the stellar field reached three-quarters, Rockeyed Optimist was up to the wheel of McArdles Lightning while 4-5 favorite Always B Miki, who had raced in a fourth-over flow, was dead last in the field of seven.

Rockeyed Optimist continued to inch his way closer to the top and finally got past the pacesetter with a sixteenth of a mile to go.

Up on the far outside came the airborne Always B Miki, who won all four of his starts a year ago in sub-1:50, pacing a sensational final quarter of :25.4 only to come up half a length short to Rockeyed Optimist in what was a superb seasonal debut.

The winner returned $4.40 to his backers, scoring for the sixth time in eight starts this year and went the mile in 1:50 for trainer Steve Elliott and owners Perretti, Berkner, A&B Stable and Battaglia.

STILL CLIMBING: Those hoping to hit the big one will have their chance on the next live race card as the 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five did not get hit again, upping the carryover to $194,741.03.

Total wagering on the program was $2,589,150.

Racing resumes at the Big M Friday. Post time for the first race is 7:15 p.m.


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 23, 2016—Odds-on favorite Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.60, part of entry) was the best Free-For-Aller entering and the best exiting Saturday night, winning the $609,000 final of Yonkers  Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

The 29th Levy, again honoring the memory of the Harness Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, served as both the richest race in the history of the event and richest race of the season to date.

Bit of a Legend N, after winning all five of his series prelims (including a track-record dead-heat [with Wiggle It Jiggleit] a week ago), drew post position No. 2 in the final. He was away third early, behind pole-sitting Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) and that one’s stablemate, All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley).

All Bets Off, from post No. 5, paid a 27-second price for the first lead. Stratton, wanting no part of a three-hole, quickly moved Bit of a Legend N to the front, finding a :55.2 intermission.

“Terry” then took out of third, trying his luck down the backside the second time, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) happily accepted that one’s tow. However, Take it Back Terry never came that close to the “Legend,” who maintained an open lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters.

The advantage was a length-and-a-half entering the lane, and Bit of Legend N was about to close the sale. All Bets Off ducked in but never threatened as the people’s preference won by a length in a life-best 1:51. Hr also become the first Down Under winner of this event.

Texican N (Yannick Gingras), stable buddy of the winner, rallied quite nice for third, with P H Supercam and “Terry” earning the minor moolah. Texas Terror N (Brett Miller), Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) and Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the order.    

The final time of 1:51 also matched Maltese Artist’s (Greg Grismore) stakes record set in 2007, when the series returned after an 11-year hiatus.

For Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his eighth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.60, with no triple wagering offered to the limited number (five) of wagering interests.

For Stratton,  it was the biggest win of his career.

“He’s perfect for Yonkers, a small horse who gets around this track great.

“Anything can happen when you go for this money,” Stratton said. “I let everything settle and then went to the front. He’s been great through the series and I’m just fortunate to be able to drive him.

“He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained and Jordan’s taken good care of him,” his Aussie-born trainer said, before giving a shout out to the owner “(Harry von Knoblauch) is  90-years-old and he’s on a cruise with his daughter right now. He said, ‘I wish I could get off this boat and be there.’ I told him he’d feel a lot better when he got the check.”

What’s next?

“He gets some time off, and then, since he’s not staked to very much, we’re hoping for Invitationals at other half-miles (Western Fair, Harrington, and Northfield).

The $304,500 winner’s share upped Bit of a Legend N’s seasonal earnings to an industry-best $451,250.

A $100,000 series consolation was won by death-and-taxes Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, $2.10) in 1:51. 

JK Panache pounces in Vernon Open; Gale, MacDonald win three apiece

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

VERNON, N.Y. -- JK Panache ($9.60) took full advantage of a pocket trip on the far turn of Saturday (April 23) evening's $8,500 Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs, finding a seam up the pegs in the final eighth and kicking clear to a 1:50.4 victory in the night's featured race.

Chris Lems vaulted clear with the 7-year-old Art Major gelding at race's outset, setting demanding early splits of :26.2 and :54.2 before ceding command to 1-5 favorite Ashley's Husband (Fern Paquet, Jr.) on approach to the far turn.  As Ashley's Husband worked to stave off pressure from an uncovered Titus Seelster (Jimmy Whittemore) off the far turn, JK Panache was able to draft along behind their :27 third-quarter duel before finding a seam up the inside in mid-stretch and bursting through.  JK Panache ultimately put 3-1/2 lengths on his competition, earning his 37th career win and his fourth on the year.  Ashley's Husband held second, while Titus Seelster barely saved third from a late-rallying Ilikethemtrashy.

Trainer Dave Dewhurst shares ownership of JK Panache with Philip Hale.

In the first round of the Anthony Farina late-closing series for pacers, JDs Brent N Sheree ($2.40, Truman Gale, 1:53.3) and Galows Nightmare ($7.60, Chris Lems, 1:53) proved dominant in their respective $4,000 first-round divisions.

Truman Gale and John MacDonald each drove three winners on the 13-race card.  Of note, Gale also recorded a training hat trick and an owning double.

The evening's 50¢ Pick 5 paid $420.00, with mid-price winners All Stienam ($11.60) and I'm a Pop Star ($14.00) heading the sequence.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (April 29) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Fireyourguns Has No Issues In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fireyourguns ($2.60) had a full arsenal ready to go in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway but the 7-year-old gelding never had to re-load in cruising off to an easy 4-1/2 length victory over China Dream in a seasonal best 1:53.4 on Saturday night (April 23).

Being assigned the eight post, the only work driver Mike Caprio had to do with Fireyourguns was get to the top. Once clearing for the lead just past the opening quarter of 27.2, it was clear sailing the rest of the way home. 

Fireyourguns covered the half in 55.4 and felt no resistance on the second circuit in easily drawing away from the other seven competitors. The lone issue was for the minor spoils and that went to China Dream (Drew Monti) who grabbed second and Beach Hero (Shawn McDonough) who took third.

Co-owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe along with trainer Terence McClory, it was the second win of the season in three starts for Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover). It moved his seasonal earnings to $10,000 and $314,341 lifetime. 

Todd Cummings finished the night with three wins in the sulky while Jim McNeight, Monti and David McNeight III all doubled. Trainers Rose Russo and JD Perrin each conditioned two winners.

Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with an 11-race program set for 5 p.m. The card is expected to mark the return of three-time defending Buffalo Raceway driver's champion Kevin Cummings who was sidelined with a broken arm suffered in an off-track mishap. He is tentatively scheduled to drive in 10 races.

For more information including race replays, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to

Saturday, April 23, 2016

2016 World Harness Handicapping Championship Set for April 30

Next Saturday, April 30, 2016 the top horseplayers in North America will compete for over $50,000 
in prize money* in the 2016 World Harness Handicapping Championship, at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ. 

 The World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) is the partnership between Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment and the United States Trotting Association formed to create the industry’s ultimate tournament experience.  Standardbred Canada supports the project by facilitating the participation of Canadian racing and wagering outlets.  

The WHHC is a one-day tournament, with a welcome reception the evening prior.  Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $800.  The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, plus three designated mandatory races from Buffalo, Vernon Downs and the Meadowlands.  Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings.  Prize payouts are to the Top 10, with an estimated prize pool of $50,000 *

In addition to the Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs, Hawthorne,, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Standardbred Canada, the USTA via and Buffalo Raceway are all WHHC partners.

Walk-up registrations will be accepted for the WHHC Final until 7 pm on Saturday, April 30.   For the contest entry form and complete rules visit

*estimated final prize pool, based on 100 entries


MANALAPAN, NJ -- April 23, 2016 -- William Leo Bresnahan, 83, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., died April 17, 2016, with family by his side.

Mr. Bresnahan was born in Asbury Park, N.J., on Dec. 23, 1932 and raised in Freehold. He attended Freehold High School where he met the love of his life, Elizabeth (Betty) Hemphill.

He was the owner of Freehold Dairy Inc., World Class Transportation and was a managing partner and breeder of Fair Acres Farm.

He resided in Freehold and Manasquan before retiring to Florida.

Mr. Bresnahan's favorite pastimes were harness racing, playing tennis, coaching baseball and basketball and being on the sidelines cheering on his grandchildren at sporting events. He loved to travel and visited every state in the USA. He was a devout Catholic, member of the Knights of Columbus, president of the Isle of Tuscany in the Kings Isle Retirement Community and an officer of the Funseekers club.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; sons, William, Robert (Doreen), Brian (Lynette), Barry (Trisha), Bruce and Barney (Michelle); daughters, Barbara (Mike) Delucia, Liz (Jerry) Lubin and Brenda Oakes (partner Joe Andolpho); sister, Dorothy Petta; 22 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Hannah and William; son, Brady Paul; granddaughter, Shyanne; and sister, Audrey Fitch.

Friends and family are invited to visit on Sunday (April 24) from 4-8 p.m. at the Freeman Funeral Home, 47 East Main Street, Freehold. A memorial mass will be held at St. Rose of Lima on Monday (April 25) at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Meadowlands Q Results

races at 9:30. A light rain fell throughout with temps in the low 60’s and no wind to speak of. Track was off a second or so at the start, got a bit worse in the middle then began to dry as the rain subsided for the last four or five races.

The headliner matched a pair of million dollar winning sophomore trotters from 2015, Crazy Wow and Pinkman, with Crazy Wow getting the decision in 1:55/:28.2. Honor And Serve (now in the Ake Svanstadt barn) cut the mile and led into the stretch when Crazy Wow trotted up to his outside while Pinkman ducked to the inside as the three finished in a line across the track. Tim Tetrick drove the winner for the Ron Burke stable and owners Horse Cents, J&T Silva and Deo Volente Farms.

Sunset Glider opened the day a winner in a repeat of last week’s card. This time she took a pocket behind Silvia, overtook that one quickly at the three-quarters then won off by herself in 1:56.2/:28. Silvia was an urged second. Dave Miller drove her again for Jimmy Takter and owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

Race two contained several of last season’s top trotting fillies. Celebrity Eventsy made a good appearance in her first outing, leaving sharply from post nine to the front then yielding to Kathy Parker through middle splits then went by that rival in the stretch under no urging from John Campbell in 1:57.1/:28.3. Kathy Parker and a closing Caprice Hill hit the wire together behind the winner and Haughty was a willing fourth. The unbeaten NYSS champ Non Stick also went along nicely in this one. Staffan Lind trains the winner for Celebrity Farms.

Trond Smedshammer put the lightly races Tyson on the front early and won easily over Desert Runner in 1:57.2/:28.4. Trond trains and shares ownership with Purple Haze Stable, Anderson Farms and Marc Goldberg.

Jimmy William is the latest from the great broodmare Solveig and although he didn’t do much at two he is showing signs of talent this year. In his second appearance this season he left for position, sat third then went by willingly in 1:58.1/:29.1 for Brett Miller. Southern Cross was a well meant second and Nebraska Jack third. Solveig’s Racing Partners owns and Takter trains the winner.

PA Sires Stakes Final winner Lagerfeld won the fifth race for Takter and Yannick Gingras. He sat in as first Gleaming Memory and Hollywood Highway took turns on the lead through slow numbers then went by on his own when shown a clear lane in the stretch closing the 1:57.3 mile with a 28.3 quarter. Hollywood Highway held second and Metatron third. He’s another Takter trainee owned by Christina Takter, Jim & John Fielding and Herb Liverman.

Older trotters took the track after a break and Donotomite got up in the last step on Canepa Hanover in 1:54.4 for Smedshammer. The two took turns on the lead with Canepa Hanover taking over past the half and leading through a 27.3 third quarter then Donotomite wearing him down in the 29 flat close. The winner is a Michael Andrew homebred trained by Trond.

Pacing fillies came up in the eighth today and Cut And Paste got up from far back in 1:53.2/28.2 for Jimmy Marohn, Jr. Heels On The Beach set the early numbers then two or three waves of fillies overtook the early leaders as they neared the wire. Penpal was second and Shezarealdeal an up the inside third. Linda Toscano trains the winner and owns part as Cameo Stable with Stake Your Claim and Fred Wallace.

Pure Country was powerful this morning, drawing away from some good fillies in 1:53.1/:27 for Brett Miller. Slowly taking the lead from post seven through a 28.3 opener, Miller yielded to No Clouds Blue Chip past that station, sat for a half then tipped Pure Country passing the three quarter mark and she took off.  Yankee Moonshine and Pure Ivy followed the winner in. Diamnod Creek Farms owns the winner and she is trained in the Jimmy Takter stable.

Pretty Boy Hill prevailed after a stretch-long battle with Selvin in 1:56.1/:27.4. Tetrick drove for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill.

Older pacers wrapped the morning session and Artistic Major a winner from well back in 1:53.4/:27.3 with Brett Miller aboard for Steve Elliott.

Post time for the live card tonight is 7:15 p.m.

Bee A Magician rolls in season debut

by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Bee A Magician shook off the cobwebs after a five-month layoff and stormed home in deep stretch to gun down arch-rival Shake It Cerry in her 2016 debut as a 6-year-old to win the featured $25,000 open handicap trot at the Meadowlands.

Shake It Cerry, sent off as the 4-5 favorite, made the early lead and was permitted to cut tepid fractions of :28.1 and :57.2 as the field raced single file past the half-mile marker.

Gural Hanover vacated the three hole at the five-eighths and came after the leader as Bee A Magician got into the outer flow, gradually making up ground to get into striking position.

At the head of the stretch, after three-quarters went in 1:25.2, Gural Hanover, the 7-1 fourth choice, came alongside Shake It Cerry, who appeared vulnerable despite the easy fractions.

In midstretch, driver Brian Sears tipped Bee A Magician off cover and rolled to an easy ¾-length score in 1:52. Gural Hanover outlasted Shake It Cerry for second.

The winner returned $5.60 to win as the 9-5 second choice, winning for the 42nd time in 66 starts for trainer Richard Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffie. Look for Bee A Magician in the May 8 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Big M, along with JL Cruze, Gural Hanover and Shake It Cerry, who will also be in the Mother’s Day event, with the winner earning a berth in the May 29 Elitlopp in Sweden.

CREATINE RETIRED: It was announced Thursday that Creatine was retired due to a suspensory injury. The lifetime earner of $2.1 million will stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania.

KATIE SAID TAKES F&M OPEN: Katie Said went an ideal second-over trip and stormed home to take the $25,000 open handicap pace for fillies and mares. The Jimmy Takter trainee got a perfect steer from Brett Miller to win by 1¼-lengths over Divine Caroline. Table Talk, the even-money favorite, was third.
The winner paid $9.60 for owners Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, NJ, and went the mile in in 1:50.4.

CARRYOVER CLIMB CONTINUES: The 12th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five once again was not hit, upping the carryover to $189,475.79 for the next program.
All-source wagering on the 12-race program was $2,415,266. 

Live racing resumes at the Meadowlands on Saturday, first race post time is 7:15 p.m.