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2017 RACE DATES

MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
January 26 - March 11, 2017
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September 8 - September 16, 2017
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December 7 - December 30, 2017
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FREEHOLD - Post Time 12:30pm
January 5 - March 25, 2017
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Special Race Day Monday February 20, 2017

March 31 - May 6, 2017
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Special Race Day Monday September 4, 2017

December 28 - December 30, 2017
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QUEEN ELSA BREAKS THE ICE WITH QUALIFIER VICTORY; BURKE WINS 8

--Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ -- June 21, 2016 --Driver Daniel Dube liked his homebred 2-year-old female pacer Queen Elsa when he arrived at Monday’s qualifiers at Gaitway Farm. Afterward, he really liked her.

Queen Elsa made her first visit to the races a winning one, sitting a pocket trip behind Sweet Rockin Gia before passing her rival in the stretch and drawing off for a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:57.1. Queen Elsa is a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, who Dube helped guide to Horse of the Year honors in 2010, and Dube’s mare Ladies Life.

“It was her first time with a lot of horses; she always trains by herself or with one other one,” Dube said. “She did it easy today. I didn’t know how she would do against other horses, but it was good. Now I know she is all right. The way she went today, I really like her.”

Queen Elsa’s potential schedule includes the New York Sire Stakes and Matron. Her family includes Nova Award-winner Sportsmaster, although Dube didn’t delve deeply into family ties when he decided to breed Ladies Life, who had her career cut short by injury, with Rock N Roll Heaven.

“She was big and he was small,” Dube said, laughing. “I just took a chance. I don’t look at the pedigree.”

Gaitway hosted its third and final Monday of qualifiers, with 14 races dedicated to 2-year-olds. Trainer Ron Burke won eight of the events, with his colt Miso Fast posting the fastest time for pacers (1:55) and filly Sianna Hanover notching the quickest clocking for trotters (1:56.2).

Yannick Gingras drove all eight Burke winners.

Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) was purchased for $125,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. He is a half-brother to stakes-winners Thirty Two Red and Forty Five Red and his family also includes O'Brien Award winner Glowing Report. Miso Fast won by 7-1/2 lengths over stablemate Rock It Scott (Roll With Joe-Vanite Semalu).

Sianna Hanover (Donato Hanover-Simplicity) won by 3-1/4 lengths over Julie Miller-trained Wide Load (Cantab Hall-Hips Don’t Lie). Sianna Hanover was purchased for $115,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is also owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. Her family includes Dan Patch Award winner Winky’s Goal and stakes-winner Southwind Wasabi.

“We’ll see as they progress, but she seems pretty special,” Burke said. “Anything you ask her to do, she just does it. We’re excited. I told Yannick that maybe we better start mapping out a schedule and not just play it as we go with her. It looks like she’s more than just average.

“And to do it today wrapped up too. Yannick never spoke to her, so that was impressive.”

Burke’s other winners were:

Filly pacer Gypsy Rose (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover), who won by 4-1/2 lengths over Joe Holloway-trained Rockinsangria (Rock N Roll Heaven-Song In A Major) in 1:56.2.

Gypsy Rose was purchased for $30,000 at the Goshen Yearling Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. She is a full sister to world champion Dime A Dance and her family also includes world champion Holborn Hanover and millionaire Hyperion Hanover.

Make Mine Mocha (Bettor’s Delight-Allamerican Mocha), a filly pacer who won by one length over stablemate Dancing In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Dashboard Dancer) in 1:57.3. Make Mine Mocha was purchased for $37,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing, Phil Collura, Michelle Yanek, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi.

Colt pacer Filibuster Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Fashion Ecstasy), who won by five lengths over Miller’s Dances Cruiser in 1:55.3. Filibuster Hanover was purchased for $90,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, JT 45, Joseph DiScala Jr., and Weaver-Bruscemi. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner Fernando Hanover and his family also includes world champion Gallie Bythe Beach and stakes-winner Western Gallie.

Bill Donovan’s Normandy Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Symphony In Motion) won by 2-1/2 lengths over Tom Fanning-trained Timcat Hanover (Art Major-Taxi Hanover) in 1:56.1. Normandy Beach was purchased for $90,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. His dam won $1.06 million in her career.

Filly trotter Waffle Cone (Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) won by a half-length over Miller’s Overdraft Volo (Yankee Glide-Bank Of Newport) in 1:58. Waffle Cone was purchased for $50,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, Earl Smith, and Collura. Her family includes Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce.

And filly trotter Senia Hanover (Crazed-Slow Dance Hanover), who won by a half-length over Trond Smedshammer’s Lexi Marie (Lucky Chucky-Sari Maki Hanover) in 1:58.3. Senia Hanover was purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Kemppi Stables Oy Inc. and Suojalampi Stable.

Trainer Tony Alagna had two winners, with filly pacer Preakness and colt trotter Kai Hanover.

Preakness (Somebeachsomewhere-Sombodythatiustono) won by three-quarters of a length over Ross Croghan-trained Kiss Kiss (American Ideal-Btwnyurheartnmine) in 1:57.2 with Andy McCarthy in the sulky. Preakness was purchased for $35,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Alagna Racing and Crawford Partners.

Kai Hanover (Cantab Hall-Kimberidge Hanover), driven by Scott Zeron, won by a half-length over Smedshammer’s Dejarover (Dejarmbro-Whisk Hanover) in 2:00.3. Kai Hanover was purchased for $42,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Alagna and Massey Stable, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Adriano Sorella.

Holloway-trained Thefoolalwaysrocks (Always A Virgin-This Fool Rocks) won by 1-3/4 lengths over Robbie Siegelman-trained Gimme Some Lovin’ (Bettor’s Delight-Torrid Affair) in 1:56.4 with Tim Tetrick driving. Thefoolalwaysrocks is a homebred filly pacer owned by Roll The Dice Stable.

Miller’s colt trotter Southwind Cruze (Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe) won by 4-1/4 lengths over Burke’s Southwind Cobra (Muscle Hill-Caerphilly) in 1:58 with Andy Miller in the bike. Southwind Cruze was purchased for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Vincent Laurenzo, and Robert Laurenzo.

Fanning had a winner with colt pacer Photobombr Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Pilgrims Witchie), who won by 4-1/4 lengths over Larry Remmen-trained Cash Your Dreams (Always A Virgin-Chotat Milk) in 1:58.3 with Matt Kakaley at the lines. Photobombr Hanover was purchased for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz.

“I was standing in front of my barn, which is around the eighth pole, when (Kakaley) pulled him and he was on top in three or four strides; so he’s OK,” Fanning said. “The last six or seven weeks he’s trained more like a horse, which is nice. He was a little tough to break and handle, but he’s getting it now.

“He looks the part too. If you watch him go he’s pretty impressive. He’s staked, but we’ll see how he does. One step at a time.”

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