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cond round of the Alliance Claiming Series for $8,500 trotters kicked off with a 1-2 finish in the first division for trainer Patrick Shepherd and owner Carl Kuepfer.

Driven by Shepherd's brother Rob, Elmo Rockbottom swept three-wide off cover at the third quarter mark and trotted to a 2:02 victory over the 'good' track, finishing one and three-quarter lengths ahead of stablemate Peeling Out and J Harris while the popular race leader, Windsun Hugo, ended up third. The 10-year-old son of Conway Hall, who has won two of his three starts from the Shepherd stable, returned $9.90 to win.

In the second $5,400 division, the Mark Winacott-trained trotting mare Riddle Me Miss and driver Aaron Byron prevailed off a pocket trip defeating the front-striding Weskey by one length in 2:03.1 with opening leg winner Callie Magoo third. Sent postward as the 2-1 favourite, the seven-year-old daughter of Mutineer paid $6.20 to win. Riddle Me Miss was claimed during last Friday's series action for $10,625 by Jemaxpo Racing Stable LLC and again for the same price in the second round.

The $10,000 (added) final of this series will be contested next Friday, Dec. 29 at The Raceway.