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Racing Roundup: Stride Of Pride repeats in Meadows featured pace
Saturday, June 16, 2018 - by harness racing publicists across North America

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The Saturday (June 16) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from The Meadows, Buffalo Raceway, Saratoga Casino Hotel, Vernon Downs, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Tioga Downs.

Stride Of Pride repeats in Meadows featured pace

Chris Gooden photo
Stride Of Pride collects his second straight win at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon.

Washington, PA --- Stride Of Pride busted out of jail at the top of the lane and went on to capture his second straight victory in Saturday’s (June 16) $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows.

Stride Of Pride was third into the final turn but in tight quarters along the cones. When Ronnie Wrenn Jr. angled him wide off the pylons, the 5-year-old Manhardt-Apple B gelding brushed past Reggiano, who raced well first over and downed him by a neck in 1:50.3. Rock The Nite shot the Lightning Lane for show.

Ron Burke trains Stride Of Pride, who extended his career bankroll to $146,627, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and RTC Stables.

Mike Wilder and Wrenn each collected three wins on the 13-race card.

-- by Evan Pattak

Buffalo Raceway

China Dream lulled the field to sleep with a leisurely half-mile split in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,500 Open I-II Pace on Saturday night (June 16) and when the six entrants finally awoke, things ended up being a nightmare for them. With a opening half of a mere :59 over the fast track, China Dream ($6.80) blazed the final two stanzas  in :55.1, including a last panel of :27.1, and easily rolled to a 5-1/4 length win over Classic American N in a seasonal best 1:54.1. Starting from the two post, driver Billy Davis Jr. sent China Dream right to the point, putting up soft fractions of :29.4 and :59. From there, the 7-year-old gelding went to work and bottomed out the field with a :28.1 third quarter. Enjoying a four-length advantage at the top of the stretch, China Dream stamped his ticket to the winner's circle by using a blistering :27.1 last quarter to coast to the victory. Classic American N (Ron Beback Jr.) won the battle for second place with Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) taking third. Co-owned by trainer Maria Rice and Jack Rice, it was the fourth win in 15 starts for China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art). The score upped his season earnings to $28,571 and $263,334 lifetime. Shawn Gray finished the evening with five driving victories while Davis Jr. had a triple. James Clouser Jr. had a training four-bagger with Steve Andzel and Rice getting doubles.The first matinee of the season comes up on Sunday with a 12-race program scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The 3-year-old filly trotters are in town for the New York Sire Stakes races along with Excelsior A & B series events. It's also Father's Day at the track with 'Lucky Exacta Magnets' being given away with chances to win free wagers while the kids can enjoy free sno cones and cotton candy. The track side grill will also be open during the card. For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to

Saratoga Casino Hotel

Carolina Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) won last week’s Open Pace in career best fashion at Saratoga Casino Hotel and was subsequently assigned the outside post in Saturday’s most recent installment of the $14,500 feature. On Saturday night, Wally Hennessey picked up the catch drive behind Carolina Beach whose primary game is early speed. Hennessey had thoughts of leaving but with too much speed inside of him, backed off with the 4-year-old and settled in fifth in the six-horse Open. Panocchio (Gerry Mattison) made the early lead butwas confronted almost immediately by parked out rival O’sundland (Larry Stalbaum) who finally made it to top in a sizzling half paced in :54.3. Panocchio didn’t sit for long and was quickly back out to confront the weary O’sundland who started to fade past three-quarters in 1:22.3. All the while, the race’s odds-on favorite Carolina Beach was patiently waiting to pounce. Hennessey pulled up the backstretch and Carolina Beach swooped the group before drawing away to win in 1:51.3 for his third Open Pace victory of the year and second in as many weeks. Panocchio was the runner-up on Saturday while longshot Babinga Wood (Jimmy Devaux) came on to be third. Carolina Beach, who is trained by Melissa Beckwith, paid $3.00 as the race’s big favorite and led an exacta and triple that came back $9.90 and $62, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm start to the matinee.

Vernon Downs

Foundonabeach (John MacDonald) takes the Vernon Downs Open Trot ($9,000) on Saturday night. Foundonabeach ($3.80) darted to the front and controlled all the fractions (:29.0, :58.2, 1:26.3, 1:55.1). Owned by Karma Racing Inc. and trained by MacDonald, he had to hold off a late rush by second place finisher Pier Ho Exotic (Jimmy Whittemore). Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) finished third. Foundoanabeach is a 7-year-old gelding by Equinox Bi. It was win number eight on the season and number 24 for his career. MacDonald also won on the night with Lucid Thoughts ($3.50).Claude Huckabone III and Jimmy Whittemore each had two wins on the night as well. Huckabone III reached the finish line with Winkys Gal $4.30 and Gimme the Cash ($6.10). Whittemore won with Golden Kronos ($5.80) and Bloodstockhalltab ($6.20). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a special Father's Day Matinee (June 17) featuring 10 races with a post time at 1 p.m. For more information go to

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

The 2017 Pacer of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Maxdaddy Blue Chip, visited the Downs winners circle for the first time in 2018, unleashing his patented late charge to capture the $21,500 feature on Saturday night. The 4-5 favored Sportswriter gelding was well-positioned second-over by driver Simon Allard, then started his surge three-wide midturn and carried it to the wire, which he reached three-quarters of a length ahead of Waikiki Beach A. Maxdaddy Blue Chip is trainer by Simon’s brother and the meet’s leading conditioner, Rene Allard, for Allard Racing Inc., Alycon Stable, How’s That Stables Inc., and VIP Internet Stables LLC. The track’s leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., was honored in the Pocono winners circle early in the evening for earning career driving victory 9,000 on Monday night, making him only the 21st North American member of that exclusive club. Then George Napolitano went out and showed he was in a hurry to get to 10,000, scoring eight times on the card, including in the $18,000 claiming handicap pacing feature with the red-hot Major Trick, a gelded son of Art Major who made two speed moves in searing early fractions of :26.2 and :53.4, opened a big lead to the 1:21.4 to the three-quarter pole, then stayed clear by 1-3/4 lengths to the wire in 1:50.1. The winner of $339,088, a five-time winner in his last six starts, is trained by Hunter Oakes for owner Omar Beiler. Napolitano also won the fastest mile of the night, a 1:48.4 triumph with the world champion (OPG-hmt) Scott Rocks. Finally, Walks Of Life, who was a gallant second while trying to increase his North American-leading 2018 win total to 14, will be doing something that he hasn’t done since March 24 – returning to the same barn from which he started the night- in this case that of Team Allard. The tough claimer had been taken from his 12 previous starts, but attracted no claims tonight, and thus that streak is halted one shy of what is believed to be the longest series of a horse being claimed, the 13 purchases transacted for R Gauwitz Hanover in 2015.

Tioga Downs

Icanflylikeanangel (Corey Brady) took the first of two co-featured trots ($7,900) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 16). Kahoku (John Cummings Jr.) went to the front and led to a first quarter in :28.1. Icanflylikeanangel ($4.30) took the lead as they went by the stands the first time and never looked back. Owned by Joseph Hess and trained by Benny Eggers, he went to the half in :56.4, the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and won in 1:55.3.  Kahoku was second with Commentary (Mike Merton) finished third. Icanflylikeanangel is a 4-year-old gelding by Archangel. It was win number three this season and career win number eight. In the co-featured trot, Noble Anthony (Mike Simons) came late to run down Wawaree Prefeferred (Jim Taggart Jr.). Wararee Preferred (second) controlled all the early fractions (:28.1, :56.4, 1:25.4).  Noble Anthony (Mike Simons) flew down the stretch to win in 1:56.0.  My Cherry Pie (Jim Meittinis) was third. Noble Anthony is an 8-year-old gelding by Andover Hall. Simons trains and co-owns the gelding with Albert Abdala III. It was win number five this season and career victory number 28. Driver Jim Taggart Jr. and trainer Gary Messenger teamed up for three wins on the night. The wins came with Justsingalong ($4.60), Connie Keeper ($8.00) and with 2-year-old gelding Chip Chip Conway (Conway Hall-Get Chipped), who won in his career debut. Aaron Byron won three on the night as well.  His wins came with Standing Respect ($27.80), One Hand Keg Stand ($12.40), and De Valaria ($4.80). Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 17) featuring a 13 race card plus Osritch and Camel racing.

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