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Racing Roundup: Royaltyhasarrived goes wide to win Meadows feature
Saturday, September 15, 2018 - by harness racing publicists across North America

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The Saturday (Sept. 15) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from The Meadows, Batavia Downs, Tioga Downs, Hollywood Gaming Raceway, Tioga Downs, Saratoga Casino Hotel and Vernon Downs.

Royaltyhasarrived goes wide to win Meadows feature

Washington, PA --- Forced three-wide prematurely when his cover stopped, Royaltyhasarrived roared wide through the lane to capture Saturday’s (Sept. 15) co-feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 conditioned pace.

Chris Gooden photo
Royaltyhasarrived won by a neck in 1:51.3 on Saturday afternoon at The Meadows.

Royaltyhasarrived was following the first-over cover of Modern Reflection in pursuit of The Dark Shadow, who was enjoying an easy lead. When Modern Reflection stalled, Brady Brown was forced to swing Royaltyhasarrived further out.

The 6-year-old Western Terror-Her Mattjesty gelding needed most of the stretch, but he nailed The Dark Shadow by a neck in 1:51.3. Atta Boy Dan, frustrated in his quest for $700,000 in career earnings, raced well for third.

Steve Schoeffel trains Royaltyhasarrived, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $249,581, for Virginia Schoeffel and Kathy Schoeffel.

In Saturday’s co-feature, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot, Bella’s Punkett, aided by the early break of 1-2 favorite EZ Passer, rolled to a front-end score in 1:55.1 for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Howard Taylor. The 6-year-old daughter of Super Punk-Nubella extended her career earnings to $122,154.

Jim Pantaleano, Burke and Palone each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a pair of rich total-pool guarantees — $25,000 for the Pick-5, $7,500 for the Pick-4 — as well as $2,072.40 jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 p.m.

--- by Evan Pattak

Batavia Downs

For the second time in three weeks, Validus Deo laid claim to being the best pacer in western New York after winning the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 15). The starter released the field and they all hit the pylons in draw order going into the first turn. Halfway up the backside, Bugatti (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled to advance but Valudis Deo (Kevin Cummings) swooped three-deep around him and took the lead by the quarter in a tepid :28 and at that point, the race was won. Validus Deo motored down to the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24 flat as Whosurpapa (Billy Davis Jr.) tried to challenge first-over but didn’t have any answers once out there. Rounding the last turn Cummings got more aggressive with his drive, knowing the pocket-sitting Barry Hanover (Shawn McDonough) was ready to pounce. As that situation unfolded, Validus Deo was up to the challenge and maintained his lead to the wire in 1:52.2, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Validus Deo ($5.70) registered his ninth win of the year and 35th of his career for trainer/driver Kevin Cummings who co-owns the winner with Matthew Rosiek and Robert Johnson. The $9,000 Open II was won by Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) who got away last before sliding up to fourth along the pylons past the half and shaking loose three-deep at the top of the stretch to pull away and win by a length in 1:52.4. It was the 11th win of the year for Upfront Countryboy ($17.40) who is owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr. The fastest mile of the night was orchestrated by Lucan Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) who went wire to wire in 1:52 in an upper level condition race. The very classy $1.1 million earner Lucan Hanover ($5.10) took up residency at Batavia Downs in early August after a private purchase by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing. Maria Rice trains the winner. Drew Monti led all drivers on Saturday with three wins followed by John Cummings Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. who both had two. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Saturday, meaning there is a carryover pool of $620 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 19) at 5 p.m. Director/General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight has also announced that the early Pick-5 pool will be guaranteed at $1,500 on Wednesday.

Hollywood Dayton Raceway

All eyes were on heavily-favored Nuclear Dragon when a scratch-shortened field of six went postward in Hollywood Dayton’s $17,500 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night. But the 1-9 favorite disappointed his multitude of backers after appearing headstrong and unruly scoring down minutes before being called to the post. Instead it was Bettor Spirits N (Jason Brewer) who looked like the prohibitive favorite, rather than the 12-1 odds at which he was dispatched. Brewer sent the winner right down the pike, posting interval times of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:23.3 before sprinting home in a final clocking of 1:51. Nvestment Bluechip (Jeremy Smith), who raced first-over much of the way, held gamely for second while Fools Desire (Kayne Kauffman) garnered the show dough. Nuclear Dragon could do no better than fourth. Bettor Spirit N paid a handsome $26.60 to win and the exacta returned $103.40. The New Zealand bred 7-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight now has 18 career wins and eclipsed the $200,000 lifetime earnings plateau with his most recent success. He is owned by the partnership of Chris Choros, Eleven Star Stable, Jason Brewer and P. J. Dillon. Racing resumes Friday night (Sept. 21) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.

Stars Align A was able to steal off to a big lead by going in :26.4 down the backstretch in the $21,500 pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then held together to fend off the late-charging Music Is Art to win by three-quarters of a length in a personal best 1:50.4 The victorious son of Art Major took advantage of post two in the field of seven and went to the front, where he was joined by his fellow 8-5 shot Bettor’s Edge nearing the :26.3 quarter. Bettor’s Edge went on to work up to command in front of the stands, but he took the second turn badly and slowed drastically, forcing the entire field around him just past the :55.4 half. Driver Simon Allard got Stars Align A in high gear quickly past the trouble and to the lead, then tried to put as much distance as possible between his horse and the field, and had an advantage of four lengths at the 1:22.3 three-quarters.That lead shrunk on the far turn and through the stretch, with Music Is Art leading the charge, but Stars Align A had enough left to raise his U.S. win percentage to 50 percent after a pair of starts after going 15-for-29 before his recent importation. Simon’s brother Rene conditions the winner of $152,313 for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, Bruce Soulsby, and Alan Weisenberg. Rene Allard is Pocono’s leading trainer; his driving counterpart, George Napolitano Jr., continued his incredible form on Saturday nights with six victories on the card, including one with the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss in 1:50 to take the $20,000 claiming handicap pace co-feature. Napolitano pointed Ideal Kiss towards the top, as he has in all of his four starts for trainer Hunter Oakes and the Northfork Racing Stable, and the pacer again showed “1”s all the way across his charted line, winning by 2-3/4 lengths. Since being claimed by Oakes/Northfolk on Aug. 11, Ideal Kiss has earned $40,000 by winning the high-level Pocono claim four starts in a row. He now has overall yearly earnings of $90,930, garnered mostly in his nine seasonal victories, and a $175,630 career bankroll.

Tioga Downs

Americanprimtime (Mike Merton) captured the Open Pace ($13,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (Sept. 15).  Americanprimetime ($3.00) went straight to the front covering the first quarter in :26.3 with Dull Roar  (Jim Meittinis) following in second. Owned by the Rock&Roll Stable Inc. and trained by Rick Dane, Americanprimetime led to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. He found another gear in the stretch to win in 1:50.3. Gillys Boy (Mike Simons) came up to get second. Dull Roar held for third. Americanprimetime is a 6-year-old horse by American Ideal. It was his sixth win this season and career victory number 27. BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) cruised to an Open Trot ($13,000) win. BJ Lorado ($19.00) charged out of the gate and went straight to the front. After hitting the first quarter in :27.1, he used a second quarter of :29.2 to hit the half in :56.3. He got some pressure from Buff (Corey Braden) as he hit three-quarters in 1:24.3. Trained by Marc Major for owners Michael and Diane Norcross, BJ Lorado was too strong in the stretch as he won easily in 1:55.1. Buff settled for second with Fox Valley Iliad (Larry Stalbaum) getting third money. BJ Lorado is a 4-year-old gelding by Bo W. It was his eighth win this season and his 12th trip to the winner's circle in his career. Leading driver Mike Merton won five on the night giving him 70 for the year. His other four wins came with Mikado Blue Chip ($15.80), R M Blackhawk ($6.20), Jacksrluckytoo ($5.10), and Onhishonor Hanover ($13.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (Sept. 21). Closing night for 2018 is on Saturday night (Sept. 22) with a special start time of 5:30 p.m. Fireworks follow live racing. For more information go to

Saratoga Casino Hotel

A veteran presence prevailed in the Saratoga Casino Hotel Open Pace on Saturday night. The back-to-back defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa Artful Way (Artistic Fella) came into Saturday’s tilt as a five-time Open Pace winner this season but has hit a little cold streak of late, by his standards. Despite the fact that the Jackie Greene trainee hadn’t won a local Open since the first weekend of June, the classy veteran was still the public’s betting favorite in the feature. Frank Coppola Jr. blasted Artful Way out early and after clearing the lead, gave way to last week’s Open winner Carolina Beach (Wally Hennessey). Riding that one’s coattails throughout, Artful Way surged up in the inside to score in the $14,500 feature, recording the win in 1:52.1. While the favorite prevailed, the race’s longshot was the runner-up as All Artist (Billy Dobson) tipped off cover and ended up second-best in his debut in the local feature while dismissed at odds of 28-1. The winningest horse in the local Open Pace this year, Carolina Beach had to settle for third this week. Artful Way was the 6-5 favorite and led an exacta and triple that paid $61.50 and $375, respectively. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15 p.m.   

Vernon Downs

I Am Golden (Ronald Harp) took the featured pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Saturday (Sept. 15). Card Knock Life (Truman Gale) went to the front and covered all the early fractions (:26.4, :55.4, 1:24.2). Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) followed in second. He took over at the top of the stretch and looked like he was poised to win. I Am Golden($16.20), who is owned by Paula Sarcone and trained by Harp, squeezed in between Card Knock Life and Golden Gun to win in 1:52.0. Golden Gun held on to finish second best. Serious Major (Jimmy Whittemore) moved up to get third place. I Am Golden is a 4-year-old gelding by Allthatgltrsisgold. It was his eighth win in 2018. He now has 13 career wins. Truman Gale trained and drove three winners on Saturday night. He got his wins with Painite ($4.30), Roaddog Jess James ($2.50), and Tundra ($3.10). Jimmy Whittemore added three driving wins on the night. His wins came with Secret Love ($2.30), My Delight ($2.10), and Jake G's Champion ($3.90). He leads all drivers with 90 wins on the season. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (Sept. 21) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to

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