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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tioga Downs Readies for 2017 Meet


Tioga Downs will commence their 12th harness racing season on Saturday, May 6th at 5pm in front of thousands of fans combining opening day with the Kentucky Derby.  Opening day will feature giveaways, a $1,000 Derby Dream bet, Derby hat contest, Fireworks and much more. Tioga will race 59 days throughout the summer mixing in exciting overnight action with Grand Circuit stakes.

2016 top trainer Mike Deters and driving champion Scott Coulter return to defend their titles. Deters’s title was his 3rd Tioga Downs training title, including 2 of the last 3 years.  His 34 wins beat out Tony Dinges by just 3 wins. Coulter, who won the driving title in his first full season at Tioga, will once again tangle with 2015’s top pilot Mike Simons who was just 5 wins short of Coulter’s 68 wins last season. 

The track from Nichols, NY will once again be home for some of the sports top stakes races.  On Sunday, June 11th a leg of the Graduate series returns as 4yo pacers and trotters will compete for a purse of $75,000e. Sunday, July 2nd features the $125,000e Tompkins-Geers 3yo Pace.  In August, things really heat up with stake-laden Sunday’s. Beginning on August 13th, NY’s finest 3yo pacers do battle in the $50,000e Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations. The following week on the 20th, the $500,000e Finals are held alongside the popular $175,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace, the $40,000e Miss Versatility featuring Open mare trotters and the $200,000e Tompkins-Geers 2yo’s. Finally the last Sunday of the month brings two new events to Tioga, formally held at Vernon Downs, the $175,000e Crawford Farms Open Trot and the $175,000e Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot. Paired with the new Tioga events, the $175,000e Artiscape Open Mare Pace and the $200,000e Reynolds 2yo’s make for an exciting last day of Grand Circuit racing at Tioga. 

The 12th season at Tioga Downs will also feature new post times.  Friday and Saturday nights will begin at 6:50pm while Sundays and holidays will begin at 1:00pm with the exception of Sunday May 28th which will start at 6:50pm.

For more information, please visit our website at www.tiogadowns.com.



Alan Horowitz passes at age 73

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Alan Horowitz, a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen’s Association Hall of Fame, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday at age 73.

Mr. Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd.

Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA.

In 1994, Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager.

Alan was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much.

Mr. Horowitz is survived by his son Michael; his daughter Jessica Rhoades; and two grandchildren, Emerson and Campbell Rhoades. A memorial race and special ceremony will take when harness racing returns here to Cal Expo in the fall.
"It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California,” said David Neumeister. “Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. 

“Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city.

“Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today. In addition, as my wife said the other night when she heard of his passing, ‘Alan Horowitz was probably the nicest man I have ever known’."


MEADOWLANDS TO RENAME US PACING CHAMPIONSHIP IN HONOR OF SAM MCKEE

Track broadcast center also to bear name of late Hall of Fame announcer

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 25, 2017) – The US Pacing Championship, long one of the signature events on Hambletonian Day, will be renamed The Sam McKee Memorial beginning this August in honor of the track’s Hall of Fame announcer and broadcaster who passed away March 8 at the age of 54.

The Meadowlands will also attach McKee’s name to its broadcast center that McKee designed when the new grandstand opened in 2013. It will now be called The Sam McKee SNY Broadcast Center. The official dedication is scheduled for August 4, the night before the Hambletonian.

“Sam was a true professional at his job as evidenced by his Hall of Fame status, but his larger than life smile, and gracious attitude is what made him stand tall among his peers,” said Jason Settlemoir, Meadowlands GM/COO. “Honoring Sam’s legacy with one of our major races only seems fitting and honoring him with the dedication of the SNY Broadcast Center that he worked very hard to put together in the new building only seems fitting as well.”

“Sam would never believed himself to be worthy of this, but we know that he would be honored,” said Sam’s wife, Chris McKee. “Hambletonian Day was always so important to him. It’s always a special day and he worked tirelessly along with the rest of the staff to prepare for it and make sure things went smoothly.  We’re so proud of Sam and all of his accomplishments and are once again humbled by this memorial race. We’re grateful to have been at the Meadowlands for last year’s Hambo where we got to see Sam interview one of his favorite NASCAR drivers. While it will never be the same, we look forward to being there on Hambo Day to support the sport that he loved so dearly and to keep his memory alive.”

This year’s $225,000 Sam McKee Memorial is August 5 as part of the super stakes Hambletonian Day program. The US Pacing Championship was first held in 1982 and has been won by such legends as Cam Fella, Matt’s Scooter, and Artsplace and in more recent years, Won The West, Sweet Lou, and last year in an upset by Shamballa over Horses of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki.

For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.


YONKERS OFFERS MAY/JUNE SCHEDULE REMINDER

BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
                                                                                                        
YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 24, 2017—Yonkers Raceway gently reminds one and all of some changes to the upcoming live racing schedule.

May’s schedule is essentially business as usual, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, through May 27th (Art Rooney and Lismore Paces).

There’s a also a Sunday matinee set for May 28th (first post TBA), after which the Raceway goes on hiatus until Friday night (June 16th).

Then, the remainder of is June is Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday (all @ 7:10 PM) and Sunday, June 18th (post time TBA).


Updates, including those Sunday matinee post times, shall be sent when available.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BOB KRIVELIN WINS BILLINGS TROT AT FREEHOLD RACEWAY

    By john manzi for the Billings Series

Harness racing’s greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon (April 22) where a seven-horse field went to post and when the judges hung the official sign Bobby “Rapid Rail” Krivelin emerged victorious with his own Permanent Joy in a 2:01:1 clocking.


In a race marred by breaking horses on the first turn “Hurricane Hannah” Miller cleared the confusion with Winwood Scout from the seven- hole but had to sizzle to a :28.4 first quarter which arguably  took its toll later in the race. She did get her trotter a breather but “Buffalo Bob” Davis kept the pressure on with Mr. Butterworth.

However, the eventual winner, Permanent Joy wasn’t quite as lucky in clearing the breaking horses .

“Permanent Joy is handy little horse so I was able to avoid the confusion On the first turn but by then I was 10 lengths back of two leaders,” Krivelin related via email.

As the field headed up the backside the final time around Winwood Scout was joined by Permanent Joy and from there a battle ensued.  

 “Once I caught the field I felt I had a shot (to win). Coming around the final turn I thought I would go right by Hannah (with Winwood Scout) but she did a great job keeping her horse alive and we battled till the (finish) line. Fortunately I came out on top.”

The margin of victory had to be determined by the photo-finish camera and when the judges developed the print Permanent Joy won by a head.
Third place went to Windsong Illusion driven by “Slate Hill Allen” Sisco.

The crowd sent the winner off at odds of over 7-1 and Permanent Joy returned $16.80 to those who backed him.

Krivelin owns and trains the veteran 9-year-old Permanent Vocation gelding who years ago was the State of   Maine’s  3 year old trotting champion. For Permanent Joy it was the trotter’s second seasonal victory and for Krivelin, a three-time National Amateur Driving Champion, it was his fifth win in just nine seasonal starts.




MACKENZIE A WINS 310G FINAL OF BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER

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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017—When the 92-year-old boss flies in from San Diego, you don’t want to disappoint him.

Good thing Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton, $12.80) held up her end of the bargain Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $310,600 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker.

Sitting chilly from post position No. 4, Mackenzie A watched as Lispatty (Brian Sears) leave hard from the pylons, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) second and 9-10 choice Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) third…all three away in post position order.

Meanwhile, Regil Elektra (Yannick Gingras) and Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) tried to leave, only to get parked for their troubles (the latter badly compromised by the former).

It was Lispatty leading at the :26.4 opening quarter-mile before Mach it a Par move to take the baton approaching the :55.1 intermission. Down the backside, Shesjustadelight N took out of third, with Mackenzie A third and Medusa (Matt Kakaley) staying in.

Mach it a Par was seemingly in control in and out of a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with the uncovered rival pacing in place, forcing Mackenzie A wide.

It was Mach it a Par owning a length-and-half lead into the lane, but company was coming. Mackenzie A blew on by, widening to win the ninth Matchmaker by 2¾ lengths in in life-best 1:53.1. Medusa, who had left the cones, failed to match strides with the winner but was a rallying second, with 81-1 rank outsider Diva’s Image (Joe Bongiorno) a closing third.

That one found her way into the final after original eight-holer Empress Deo came up ill. Mach it a Par faded to fourth, with Shesjustadelight N fifth and Lispatty, Regil Elektra and Bedroomconfessions bringing up the rear.

For co-second choice Mackenzie A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by the nonagenarian Harry von Knoblauch (a fine TV interview) and his daughter, Ellen Kinser and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her second win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $167, the triple returned $6,251 the superfecta paid $19,960 (base $2 payout).

"I thought I have to race her from off the pace,” Stratton said. "The trip worked out perfect for us. I knew there were horses behind and I wanted to move." Stratton won the inaugural edition of the race in 2009 with Pancleefandarpels.

A $75,000 series consolation was won by Hidden Land (Bartlett, $9.50) in 1:54.1.

Saturday night’s $55,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $4.70) in 1:56.4.

-30-


KEYSTONE VELOCITY WINS 529G FINAL OF LEVY PACING SERIES

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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017—Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $24.80) was hard-used early and hard-headed late Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

The sport’s richest race of the season to date again honored the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway.

At the outset of the 30th Levy, pole-sitting McWicked (Matt Kakaley) was—not surprisingly—put into play. He was joined by Keystone Velocity, who from post position No. 4, forged to the lead just after a spiffy :26.1, opening quarter-mile.

Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), leaving right outside of Keystone Velocity, was caught three-wide and forced to wrangle back to fourth.

McWicked, who had retaken the lead in the second turn, found a :54.4 intermission before longshot Blood Brother (Brian Sears) moved from third. He uncoupled stablemate Somewhere in L A latched from second-over, with even-money choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and last season’s champion, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), at the back of that train.

McWicked maintained his advantage through a 1:22.3 intermission three-quarters (:27.4 third station), taking a tenuous lead into the lane.

However, his night was about to come to a unsatisfying conclusion. McWicked was done early off final turn,  but nor before taking Keystone Velocity to the promised land of the passing lane. It was Keystone Velocity fighting off the race’s other tough mile, beating Somewhere in L A by a head in 1:51.2.

Missile J settled for third, beaten a length, with a very-wide Bit of a Legend N fourth and 107-1 proposition  Soto (Brett Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. .

Blood Brother, Pcovocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked completed the order.

For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his third win (as the fifth choice) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135.50, the triple returned $593 and the superfecta paid $2,406.

"Rene (Allard) and I talked before the race and we decided we had to leave the gate,” Dube said. “I was just hoping Matt (Kakaley, with McWicked) could get me to the lane. My horse felt very strong, but I did see the other one (Somewhere in L A) coming.”


The driver/trainer combination was this race two seasons ago with Domethatagain, also with a two-hole trip. 


A $100,000 series consolation was won by Clear Vision (Miller, $8.40) in 1:51.3.  

ANDY MILLER SWEEPS FEATURES DURING FOUR-WIN NIGHT

Pat Lachance authors 111-1 upset with Semalu Express

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 22, 2017) – The Meadowlands winner’s circle was painted orange on Saturday night as Andy Miller swept the co-featured upper level paces en route to a four-win night during the 11-race program.

Miller scored in the $18,000 conditioned pace with the red-hot Special T Rocks by a head in 1:50.4 over the narrow 2-1 favorite Alberto Contador. That came two races after Miller prevailed in a three-way finish with Artful Way, who shipped down from Saratoga for the victory in the co-featured $18,000 event.

In between those races, Iwillmakeyousaywow lived up to his name by surviving brutal fractions of :26.4, :53.4, and 1:21.4 to win the $17,500 Dash For The G-Notes Final from post 10.

The biggest fireworks of the night came in Race 10 when Pat Lachance steered 13-year-old Semalu Express to a last-to-first win at 111-1 odds. He was followed by fellow 13-year-old Stormin Rustler, who was 95-1.

The lucky $2 exacta returned $5,231.60 while the $2 trifecta with 6-5 favorite Camturo Beach came back $25,279.20.

Corey Callahan and Jim Marohn, Jr. each had two driving wins while Eric Foster and Joe Hundertpfund, Jr. each had two training wins.

Total handle was $2,326,485 for the 11-race card.

Racing resumes next Friday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.


###

Hot Deuce Goes Lifetime Best In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Just imagine if Hot Deuce would have seen a pylon.

Being parked the entire mile in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open pace on Saturday night (April 22), Hot Deuce still incredibly managed to post a lifetime best 1:53.0 over the fast track in nipping the front stepping Shady City by a head. 

Shadowing Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) on the outside, Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) eventually managed to wear down the stubborn pace-setter in deep stretch to pull off the $21.80 upset victory. Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III), last week's Open winner, took the show spot.

Owned by Mike McAllister and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, the 5-year-old gelded Hot Deuce (Armbro Deuce-Hot Dam Here I Am) has now won four times in 10 races. He has earned $18,196 in 2017 and $54,056 lifetime.

Monti, Stalbaum and Jim Morrill Jr. all doubled in the sulky while Bo Sowers trained two winners.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. 

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


Rose on Top Heading into By-week of Hambletonian GC Handicapping Contest

(April 23, 2017) –   With the Matchmaker and Levy Series in the books, the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge heads into the first by-week with Matt Rose maintaining a slight lead over Rusty Nash with a score of 251.63 vs. 246.00.  Both handicappers have three leg victories each, accounting for six of the twelve legs contested thus far. While Rose leads in total points, Nash reverses the standings with regards to net profit, $51.40 vs. $32.40. 

For this past week, a quadruple dead-heat for the Friday (4/21) leg occurred as Russ Adams, Steve Horoky, Megan Maccario, and Dennis O’Hara each successfully picked Da Magician ($4.50) as the winner of Fraser Down’s Kenny Linton Memorial, a bonus race on the calendar.  On Saturday (4/22), Michael Carter was the sole leg winner as he tabbed three of the five winners on the contest card; Hidden Land ($9.50) in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Consolation; Clear Vision ($8.40) in the George Morton Levy Memorial Consolation; Yoga Pants ($2.30) in the Penny Bath Memorial (from Fraser Downs, another bonus race).   



Standings as of Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Leg #12
Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Overall Net Profit
1st
Matt Rose
251.63
3
32.40
2nd
Rusty Nash
246.00
3
51.40
3rd
Russ Adams
231.89
2
(8.20)
4th
Gordon Waterstone
163.13
1
(52.30)
5th
Ray Garnett
149.27
1
0.60
6th
Megan Maccario
148.89
1
(49.80)
7th
Steve Horoky
146.38
1
(37.30)
8th
Michael Carter
143.27
1
(54.20)
9th
Bryan Owen
143.14
1
(37.70)
10th
Dennis O’Hara
122.89
1
(56.80)
11th
Jay Hochstetler
106.13
0
(34.70)
12th
Adam Friedland
88.77
0
(25.60)
13th
Ray Cotolo
82.00
0
(0.50)
14th
Sally Hinckley
80.50
0
(85.60)
15th
Anne Stepien
80.00
0
(83.30)
16th
Terry Wilson
65.13
0
(96.20)




Next Up:  Six straight weeks of racing at Yonkers Raceway earns the handicappers a well-deserved week off before the Grand Circuit becomes the traveling road show it has always been known for.  The contest resumes with a three-day stand (May 6-8) with Saturday action from Freehold Raceway with the kick-off of the Road to the Hambletonian as the finals of the Lady Suffolk (3yo filly trot) and Dexter Cup (3yo open trot) are contested.  Contest action continues in the evening at the Meadowlands with the AJ Cutler Memorial (Open trot) and the first leg of the Graduate series (4yo open pace) on the docket.  Sunday and Monday has the Miami Valley Distaffs scheduled with Sunday featuring 4yo and older mare trotters; Monday the 4yo and older mare pacers.  Following these races, there will be a final by-week after which there is contest action every week until the contest’s conclusion.


The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meadowlands Qualifiers


East Rutherford, NJ – The big guns are beginning to show up at The Meadowlands for qualifiers and there were more than a few Grand Circuit stars of last year sprinkled throughout Saturday morning’s card. Under overcast skies at 54f with a slight headwind facing them in the stretch, things got underway right on time at 10 a.m.



Hambletonian winter book favorite Walner got things off to a grand beginning by looking good in a training mile around 2:00 before the races with his driver Tim Tetrick in the bike. He certainly is an imposing presence.



Last year’s top pacing colt Huntsville (Tetrick) made his return to racing and was a workman like 1:53.2/26.3 winner from just off the pace in race ten. Tetrick held him in third through comfortable fractions, followed up when Brett Miller moved The Wall from the pocket to engage, then put away the leader and required minimal encouragement to edge by that willing rival late. Ray Schnittker trains Huntsville and owns the colt in partnership with Gewertz, Iannozzo and Arnold.



Hannelore Hanover (Gingras)  looked as good as a horse can look for the second time this spring, trotting away from JL Cruze and Broadway Donna in a 27.1 final stanza on the end of a 1:54 flat mile in race six for older trotters. As fantastic as her 2016 season was, Hannelore may be even better this year.

She was also Ron Burke’s fifth consecutive winner of the morning.



Sophomore trotting fillies opened the day with Myammie Drama (Tim Tetrick/Ron Burke) holding Princess Aurora (Yannick Gingras) at bay through a 27.4 end to a mile in 1:58.2 in the second race.



Several GC winners met in the third and Sianna Hanover (Gingras) was an easy front end winner for Ron Burke’s barn in 1:55.2/28-, her second impressive effort of the spring. Amber Ella (John Campbell) another nice looking Chapter Seven from Linda Toscano’s barn was a comfortable second and Goldsmith Maid winner Magic Presto (Brian Sears) was a closing third after being reserved toward the rear for much of the race in her first appearance of the season.



Trotting colts came around in the fourth and last year’s NJSS champ What The Hill (David Miller) scored a closing win in 1:55.3/28.3 in his second solid showing of the young season. Explosive Ridge (Marcus Johansson) went well, cutting the mile before giving way to the winner just near the wire.



Both Sianna Hanover and What The Hill are owned by Burke Racing with partners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva. Deo Volente joins the group on What The Hill.



After a training break, three-year-old filly pacers came on to the track and last year’s Breeders Crown and Kindergarten final winner Someomensomewhere made her first appearance for new connections. Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Farms and Bob Boni have possession and placed her in Jimmy Takter’s barn. On this day Someomensomewhere followed another Takter trainee, Somesleazetoplease (Brett Miller) around the racetrack to be second with something in reserve for Tim Tetrick in 1:54.4/27.1.



Last year’s Dan Patch division winner Idyllic Beach (Gingras) and her Three Diamonds conqueror That’s The Ticket (D. Miller) met in the eighth race. Both were reserved off the early pace and finished strong into a 27.4 final quarter with That’s The Ticket getting a bit of a jump on her chief rival and prevailing in 1:54.4. Chris Ryder trains the winner.



Boogie Shuffle (Scott Zeron) was not a marquee name among pacing colts last season, but he was second in Downbytheseaside’s world record equaling 1:49 at The Red Mile and was stakes placed on several other occasions. He has returned well for trainer Mark Harder, cutting the 1:51.4/26.4 mile this morning while drawing away from some pretty good colts.



Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) was a winner for the Takter stable closing stoutly into a 26.4 end to a 1:53.1mile to nip Western Joe (Gingras) and Summer Side (Schnittker).



The day’s fastest mile came when a really good bunch of four-year-old pacing horses gathered for race eleven. Lyon’s Snyder flashed his customary aggressive style and speed dragging Dave Miller to the front and setting lively fractions while being tracked by the undefeated scourge of the Maine state-bred program Seely Man (Brett Miller) and major stakes winner Western Fame (MacDonald). As they straightened up for home off the 1:22.2 three quarters, Boston Red Rocks (Tetrick) joined the fray from mid-pack and was charging the widest as Western Fame moved inside Lyons Snyder and that pair hit the wire together.



The four-year-old mares were the last to go with last season’s bitter rivals Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach picking up just where they left off, right next to each other in posts five and six. On this occasion however, it was Blue Moon Stride, emerging form the considerable shadow of the aforementioned mares to cut the mile and hold that pair off in 1:51.4/26.4 for driver Andy McCarthy and trainer Mark Harder. Pure Country, Darlinonthebeach and Rock Me Baby followed her in.


 With major Grand Circuit stakes such as the Cutler Memorial FFA trot and Graduate four-year-old pace now on the horizon the fun is just getting started.

TUONOBLU REX IS KING OF THE MEADOWLANDS IN AMERICAN DEBUT

European import lives up to hype with 1:52.1 win

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 21, 2017) – Tuonoblu Rex, the American-sired, Italian-bred, and Dutch-trained son of Cantab Hall, entered Friday's $20,000 Preferred Trot at the Meadowlands with a healthy amount of hype following an eye-catching qualifying win in his first appearance on Big M soil two weeks ago.

After grinding past millionaire Crazy Wow with a :27 second final quarter to win in 1:52.1 in his North American parimutuel debut, the bandwagon might need some more seats.

"T-Rex" sat third as Crazy Wow showed the field through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.4 for three-quarters while Opulent Yankee chased from the pocket. Around the final turn, Andy Miller launched the 5-year-old, who earned nearly $200,000 during his 14-race European career, first-over after the 3-5 favorite Crazy Wow.

The two trotters battled down the stretch, but "T-Rex" had enough late to win as the 2-1 second choice.

"We were very pleased with him," said trainer Julie Miller. "He definitely met our expectations tonight. Andy said he was perfect to drive. He has trained down great since arriving in the U.S."

Tuonoblu Rex is owned by Cees J. Faber's Stable Why Not. He is eligible to the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands on May 6 as well as the Cashman Memorial and TVG Free For All Series.

In the $18,000 pacing mare feature, Breeders Crown champion Call Me Queen Be settled for second in her 4-year-old debut behind the sharp Inittowinafortune. The 3-5 favorite Penpal disappointed with a late-closing, but non-threatening third place finish.

Hall of Famer John Campbell won three races for the second straight Friday night. Corey Callahan also won three.

Total handle was $2,502,644 for the 11-race card.


Racing resumes Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.