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Yannick Gingras knows a lot of eyes will be on Foiled Again as he attempts to win Saturday's $567,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship at Yonkers Raceway, but the driver is unfazed by any additional pressure that might bring. "It's fun," Gingras said. "He's become one of the fans' favorites and a lot of people are watching him. People appreciate him more now. Every race, he breaks his own record by adding to his earnings and hopefully he can keep doing it and make it a record that will be very hard to break. We just want him to keep adding (wins) to his resume. "As a driver, this is the kind of horse you want to drive. There's no pressure. I'm excited to race him." The 10-year-old Foiled Again is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, with $6.13 million in career earnings. He has been named the Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer each of the last three years, equaling Rambling Willie's record for the most honors in the division. In 2011, he was Pacer of the Year. Foiled Again, who has won 80 of 203 lifetime races, captured the Levy Series in 2009 and 2010. He was second by a neck to Razzle Dazzle last year and second by a head to stablemate Atochia in 2012. He finished third in 2011, beaten by a half-length. This year, Foiled Again competed in all five of the Levy's preliminary rounds, winning the first four times and finishing sixth from post seven last week. The setback ended a six-race win streak dating to last season, which was part of a span of 13 starts in which he posted 10 victories and three second-place finishes. "Last week it just didn't work out," Gingras said. "Everyone left inside of me and then (Special Forces) pulled first up and didn't go anywhere. (But) Foiled is fine and ready to go." Foiled Again, owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables, will start the final from post No. 3 as part of an entry with Bettor's Edge for trainer Ron Burke. Foiled Again drew post seven for the 2013 Levy final, post eight in 2012 and post six in 2011. "Finally after a few years he drew good," Gingras said. "And he didn't draw inside of post three this whole series, and was outside (of post five) three times. He was due for a good draw. "I'm really happy with him. He's in great form." In his fourth-round win on April 12, Foiled Again paced 1:51, which equaled his best mile ever at Yonkers. Foiled Again, who has won 30 of 44 lifetime starts at The Hilltop, also won in 1:51 during the preliminary round of the 2012 Levy. The Levy stakes record is 1:50.4, set by Silver Almahurst in 1993. The track record is 1:50.2, shared by Sapphire City, who also is a Levy finalist, and Fat Man's Alley. "I definitely like my spot," Gingras said. "(Foiled Again) just has that refuse-to-lose mentality right now." The field in post position order for the Levy final with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sapphire City, Eric Carlson, Paul Blumenfeld; 2. P H Supercam, Jason Bartlett, P.J. Fraley; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Texican N, Brian Sears, Peter Tritton; 5. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace; 6. Bettor's Edge, George Brennan, Ron Burke; 7. Dancin Yankee, Ron Pierce, Josh Green; 8. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley. * P H Supercam and Mach It So will race as an entry (head numbers 1 and 1A, respectively). Foiled Again and Bettor's Edge will race as an entry (head numbers 2 and 2A, respectively). Finalists by wins in divisions of the series: Foiled Again (4), Mach It So (3), Bettor's Edge (3), Dancin Yankee (1), P H Supercam (1), Apprentice Hanover (1). Saturday's card at Yonkers also features the $371,400 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship for older female pacers, where Yagonnakissmeornot will try to cap a strong performance in the event. Yagonnakissmeornot finished the preliminary rounds with three consecutive wins and had four victories overall. She will start from post No. 2 for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Rene Allard. "She's been doing everything right," Dube said. "With an inside post, it should be good. But she can race anyway you want; she doesn't need a trip. She can do it the hard way." Last week, Yagonnakissmeornot started from post seven, used a first-over move at the halfway point and wore down leader Scandalous Hanover by the final turn en route to a one-length victory in 1:53.2. "I had to ask her a little on the backside, but at the wire she could have still done another lap," Dube said. "She can make the other (horses) tired. She can grind and keep going. She can kind of be on the lazy side, but if you ask for a little more, she gives you more." The Matchmaker field also includes defending series champ Feeling You and 2012 winner Rocklamation. Somwherovrarainbow, who was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer in 2012, starts from the rail. Rocklamation, who drew post three for the final, finished second by a head to Feeling You in her most recent start on April 11. "She's been really good," driver Yannick Gingras said about Rocklamation. "She can't do the dirty work, so post three should be a good spot. We've got the two best horses inside of us and we can see who is going to cut the mile and maybe get a good trip. She had a week off and she's usually very good when she's fresh." The field in post position order for the Matchmaker final with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Somwherovrarainbow, Brian Sears, Joe Holloway; 2. Yagonnakissmeornot, Daniel Dube, Rene Allard; 3. Rocklamation, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 5. Krispy Apple, Jason Bartlett, P.J. Fraley; 6. Feeling You, Tyler Buter, Amber Buter; 7. Angels Delight, George Brennan, Ross Croghan; 8. Summertime Lea, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke. * Rocklamation and Summertime Lea will race as an entry (head numbers 1 and 1A, respectively). Anndrovette and Krispy Apple will race as an entry (head numbers 2 and 2A, respectively). Finalists by wins in divisions of the series: Yagonnakissmeornot (4), Somwherovrarainbow (2), Summertime Lea (2), Angels Delight (2), Anndrovette (1), Rocklamation (1), Feeling You (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 11, 2014--Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Mare pacers. Three $40,000 divisions went postward and the favorite failed to win any of the divisions. The first event saw Breeders Crown champ Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick, $7.20) get off the series schneid a handy, down-the-road effort (:27.3, :57, 1:24, 1:52). Winning the draw, she played "Catch Me If You Can," and they could not. Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) was unable to sustain a first-up bid, while Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) could match strides from the pocket. "Monkey" did get second--beaten three-quarters of a length--with Ramalama third. Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) and Bettor B Lucky (George Brennan), as the 13-10 favored entry, finished fourth and sixth (last), respectively. For third choice Shelliscape, a 5-year-old daughter of Artiscape owned by Bamond Racing and trained by PJ Fraley, it was her first win in four seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $28, with no triple wagering (five betting interests) "She had no luck with the draw the last two weeks, but she's a mare with class," Tetrick said. "It was no fluke she won the (Breeders) Crown. Tonight, I was able to rate a cheap half, then she was strong down the back...27 (second) third quarter and 28 (second) home." As was the case with Shelliscape, defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You was flying under the radar until this evening. Leaving from post No. 4 with Tyler Buter doing the honors, Feeling You operated from second-over. That didn't seem so opportunistic when pole-sitting Rocklamation (Gingras)--50 percent of the just-over-even-money favored entry--rated a cheapy half (:28, :57.3). Also not helping the cause for Feeling You was Anndrovette (Tetrick), who was first-up and into a vacant pocket when Angel's Delight (Brennan) gapped it badly. Rocklamation maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a half-length lead into the lane. Feeling You, left to fend for herself, continued her assault on the leader. She outgamed Rocklamation by a head in 1:53.1, with Anndrovette third, beaten a half-length. For fourth choice Feeling You, an Alan Kirschenbaum-bred 7-year-old daughter of Cambest co-owned by driver, Stephen Oldford & Oldford Farms and trained by Amber Buter, she returned $32.60 for her first board finish in five '13 tries. The exacta paid $65. "She just felt good," Buter said of harness racing's newest millionairess ($1,014,148). "When Tim (Tetrick, with Anndrovette) dropped into the pocket, I had thought about getting in behind him, but my mare just acted like she wanted to keep going, so I stayed outside. "We took our time getting ready her ready this season. A year ago, we brought her back early for a series at the Meadowlands that wound up being cancelled. I just hope she can be this good the next couple of weeks." The third and final Matchmaker melange of the evening had Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $6) throw down the gauntlet with the fastest mile of the series to date. Leaving from post No. 5, "Yagonna" made the first lead before yielding to a fumbly-early 4-5 favorite in Somwherovrarainbow (Sears). After a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :55.4 intermission, it was Krispy Apple (Tetrick) trying her luck first-up. That one couldn't sniff the leader before a 1:23.4, three-quarters, with "Somwher" owning a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, she was powerless to deny Yagonnakissmeornot, who edged from the pocket and rolled away. That final margin for the second choice was 2½ widening lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4,  third went to Royal Cee Cee N (Ron Pierce). For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 6-for-10 this season (3-for-4 in Matchmaker). The exacta paid $14.60, with the triple returning $74.50. Friday's $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by favored D W's NY Yank (Brennan, $4) in 1:54.3...fastest local mile of the season. The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with three, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5 and 11 on the 12-race card) in that fourth division. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Stitch In Time (Keystone Nordic) continued his winning ways on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The four-year-old trotter came to town from the Midwest as a winning machine, prevailing in 10 of his 16 lifetime starts heading into this year. Stitch In Time has teamed up with driver Billy Dobson and together they have gone three-for-three following a wire-to-wire Sunday score. The victory in 1:59.4 over the "off" track on Sunday served as a lifetime mark for the Amber Buter trained trotter. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Feeling You will try to become the first repeat winner in the brief history of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway, but it won't be easy. The six-week series for pacing mares, which dates back to 2009, begins with four first-round divisions Friday night at the Hilltop. Defending champion Feeling You competes in the third division and 2012 champ Rocklamation races in the first. Anndrovette, the three-time defending Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer, is in the second division. Former Dan Patch Award winners Economy Terror, who was named best 2-year-old filly pacer in 2011, and Somwherovrarainbow, who earned the same honor in 2012, also are racing in the first round. Million-dollar-earners Camille, Handsoffmycookie, Krispy Apple, and Royal Cee Cee N add depth in the field of 29 Matchmaker hopefuls entered Friday. "This is one of the toughest Matchmakers that I can remember," said Amber Buter, who trains Feeling You. "There are plenty of outstanding mares, and the newer mares like Charisma Hanover and Somwherovrarainbow can't be ignored either. "It's going to come down to how we draw. Hopefully we can draw well and get enough points to reach the final." Feeling You, who is now 7, won 12 of 26 starts last year and earned $407,463 for owners Stephen Oldford, Oldford Farms and driver Tyler Buter. She has won 36 of 100 career races and needs $13,054 to become a millionaire. "We were hoping she could reach that last year, but it's something to look forward to," Amber Buter said. "I'm not one that likes to expect more, so if she could do just as well as last year, or a little bit better, I'll be happy. She feels good and is healthy, so hopefully we can keep it going." Feeling You will race a similar schedule to last season, with a few more stakes events - such as the Roses Are Red and Milton in Canada - sprinkled in. "We're not looking to be world travelers, but she's staked to a few more things," Buter said. Feeling You, who had issues with tying up last season that contributed to several of her poorer showings, spent the offseason in North Carolina and freshened up for this year with a 1:57.1 qualifier win on March 7 at Yonkers. She made her seasonal debut last week, finishing sixth from post seven in the open handicap for fillies and mares, but gained four lengths in the stretch with a :26.4 final quarter-mile. Royal Cee Cee N won the race in 1:53.4, with Cocoa Beach in second and Fashion Mystery third. All of the horses in that race are entered in Friday's Matchmaker divisions. "She raced really well," Buter said about Feeling You. "Unfortunately, she drew outside but it was a good start for her. I'm looking forward to a good Matchmaker Series, hopefully." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 17, 2014--Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $33,000 Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and Trot who all RSVP'd in time--were won by odds-on favorite Economy Terror (Mark MacDonald, $3.80) and second-up Zooming (Tyler Buter, $14.60). As the 9-10 favorite, Economy Terror--from post position No. 7--was the line leaver. She easily worked around pole-sitting palm Patrol (Larry Stalbaum) before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. From there, it was a cheap (:57.1) half before Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) moved from sixth. That one provided just mild prompting in and out of a 1:25.3 three-quarters, with Economy Terror widening to 2¼ lengths turning for home. The final margin was a length in 1:54. Ramalama fought the good fight and was the best of the rest, with Palm Patrol, last week's winner, Ideal in Vegas (Brian Sears) and Rockaround Sue (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the payees. For millionairess Economy Terror, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Terror co-owned by Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor & Edwin Gold and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $9.10, with the triple returning $55.50. The week's marquee trot had some early happenstance, as Super Manning (Kakaley), then slight 2-1 favorite Likeabatoutahell (Sears) both did the dance of the doomed. Lorenzo Dream (Eric Goodell) had made the lead, with early intervals of :27.4 and 57.4. Son of Nordic (George Brennan) was pocketed, while Bob N Tony (MacDonald) was away third. War Cry Hall (Jason Bartlett) offered a stern challenge uncovered from fourth, with Zooming--from post No. 7--behind that one. Lorenzo Dream maintained and short advantage in and out of a 1:26.4 three-quarters, but his longshot intruder would not go away. War Cry Hall would win the battle against the leader early in the lane, but Zooming was going by. He whipped his tow going away, the final margin a length-and-half in 1:55.4 Melady's Monet (Dan Dube) closed to grab the bottom of the ticket, with Bob N Tony and a tiring "Lorenzo" settling for the remainder. For fifth choice Zooming, a 6-year-old Classic Photo gelding co-owned his driver, Stephen Oldford and Oldford Farms and trained by Amber Buter, it was his first win in a pair of '14 tries. The exacta paid $132.50, the triple returned $640 and the superfecta paid $7,703. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

Leading driver Billy Dobson had his biggest night of the year on Wednesday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. About to wrap up his fourth consecutive driving title at the track, Dobson piled up six wins on the card contested over a sloppy track. The 29 year old reinsman has been a winning machine since coming to the Spa a few years back and enjoyed a monster night on the Thanksgiving Eve program. Keystone Real Deal led the charge of winners for Dobson as the pacer won for the second time in his last three tries in the $5,885 conditional-claimer that served as the evening's feature. For the three year old Keystone Real Deal (Badlands Hanover), it was win number twelve on the season. The Amber Buter trainee stopped the timer in 1:56.3 in Wednesday's victory. Among his six scores on the night, Dobson piloted a pair of winners for trainer Deedra Johnson. Live racing resumes on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella Saratoga Raceway  

As we have now reached the month of November, it’s time to start looking back on the season that was. While we still have some racing left to go, we would be remiss if out time ran out and we didn’t honor some of the best performers who have graced the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs stage in 2013. This week I’m proud to announce our 2013 Horses of the Year. Although I had a little bit of input, most of the work in terms of tracking the best performances and making the selections was done by our Racing Marketing Manager Jennifer Starr and Clerk of Course Terri Phalen. It’s a difficult job, because of the sheer amount of great horses we have seen at the Pocono oval this season. These are fine choices though, a quartet of horses who are representative of the exemplary racing product that MSP had to offer in 2013. The envelopes, please. PACER OF THE YEAR: DYNAMIC YOUTH This 4-year-old gelding from the Aaron Lambert barn has been a standout at Pocono for a while now, but his 2013 season was one to remember. He made just six starts at MSPD this season, all against top-flight competition, and won four of them. All four of his victories, with his regular Pocono driver Andrew McCarthy aboard, came in times of less than 1:50. Dynamic Youth delivered some especially eye-opening wins this year. In June, he won elimination for the Ben Franklin pace in a field that included superstar pacers Betterthancheddar, Clear Vision, and Golden Receiver. On October 5, his second of back-to-back wins in the Preferred pacing class came in a scorching time of 1:48:1, which matched a world record for 4-year-old geldings on the pace. No other horse had such consistent success at the top levels at Pocono than this one, which is why Dynamic Youth is deserving of this outstanding honor. TROTTER OF THE YEAR: BEATGOESON HANOVER A 5-year-old mare trained by Nifty Norman, Beatgoeson Hanover served notice that she would special at Pocono this season with her very first start of the meet, a condition win back in April 27 that came in 1:52:1, matching a track record for aged trotting mares. She followed that up with a Preferred win the next week. When she returned to the Preferred trotting class at Pocono in August, she outdid herself with a winning mile of 1:51:4 with Tyler Buter in the bike, which broke not just her own track record but a world record for her age group on a 5/8-mile oval. Add in a respectable 5th place performance in the Breeders Crown finals and another easy Preferred win on October 26 and you can see why this mare gets the nod in this very competitive category. MARE OF THE YEAR: FEELING YOU The pride of the Amber Buter barn is without a doubt this gutty 6-year-old mare. Pocono has been just one of her stops this season and she has made the rounds to just about all of the best East Coast tracks. But it was her performance against the best distaff pacers at MSPD that earned her this award. In five starts in the Preferred Mares pacing class, which is the top of the heap for distaffers at Pocono, Feeling You, with Tyler Buter in the bike, won three times and finished a close second in the other two. Last Friday night may have been her signature victory. Following a disappointing 7th-place finish in the Breeders Crown, she won a Preferred Handicap over a field that included Rocklamation, who finished 2nd in the Breeders Crown, and Drop The Ball, the world record holder in the age group. That victory shows that Feeling You was as good as any pacing mare this season. CLAIMER OF THE YEAR: ST. PETE STAR This was probably the toughest category to choose, because there were many claimers who had dominant stretches in their respective divisions. St Pete Star gets the nod for the fact that he put together an impressive record and did so when he was either near or at the very top of the claiming ladder. Although he tailed off at the end of the season, St Pete Star, a 9-year-old stallion, had an awesome stretch from late April to the middle of August where he won eight of thirteen races and raised his claiming price from $15,000 to $25,000 in the process. He won for five different trainers in that span because he was a popular claiming commodity. At one point he won four in a row and six of seven, with a career-best victory of 1:49:2 in that span. All of those statistics tell you what anybody who saw St Pete Star at the peak of his powers this year would know: That he was the best of the best of the claimers at Pocono in 2013. Next week we’ll wrap up the season with our final article of the year. Until then, we’ll see at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 1, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all duly authorized--were won by a pointed-to-the-passing lane Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears, $2.60) a two-move Zooming (Jason Bartlett, $7.20). Late to the dance in her last two starts, Royal Cee Cee N was in this game at the outset. Making the first lead from post position No. 5, the 3-10 choice gave it up to last week's winner, Rock N Load (Dan Dube) right at the :27.1 opening quarter-mile. After a cheap, 29-second next interval (:56.1 half), Marty Party (Jason Bartlett) moved from fourth, with Ginger and Fred (George Brennan) in behind. It was Rock N Load leading in the out of the 1:24.3, up a length entering the lane. The people's choice was all dressed up in her after-Halloween best, waiting for her close-up. She ducked inside, went past the lead and getting the best of a wide Ginger and Fred by a head 1:53.2. Third went to Rock N Load, with Mary Party and Dawn's Legacy (Jordan Stratton) grabbing the minor moolah. For Royal Cee Cee N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her eighth win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.60, with the triple returning $56.50, The weekly trotting feature saw Zooming, from post No. 4 (in one notch after an inside defection), made a second move to work around Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland). Zooming made the lead before a :27.3 opening two furlongs, then rated a comfy :57.4 half. It was 3-2 choice DW's NY Yank (Brennan), who had left into a three-hole,. moving again. Meanwhile, Zooming maintained the lead through the 1:26 three-quarters, widening to 2 1/2 lengths turning for home. He prevailed by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Lorenzo held second with a flattening "DW," with Whata Winner (Steve Smith) and Super Manning (Dube) earning the small change. Returning millionaire Little Brown Fox (Sears) broke early as the second choice. For third choice Zooming, a 5 year-old Classic Photo gelding trained by Amber Buter for co-owners Stephen Oldford, Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter, he's now 10-for-32 this season. The exacta paid $59, the triple returned $281 and the superfecta paid $1,227. Saturday night features finals for both the 58th Messenger Stakes ($450,000) and Lady Maud ($176,684), premier events for 3-year-old pacers. The former, third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, goes as the eight race...1- Odds On Equuleus (Corey Callahan, 8-1), 2- Ronny Bugatti (Jason Bartlett, 6-1), 3-Word Power (Brennan, 6-1), 4-Good Day Mate (Eric Goodell, 10-1), 5-Twilight Bonfire (Tim Tetrick, 8-1), 6-Lonewolf Currier (Sears, 5-1), 7-Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras, 3-1), 8-Lucan Hanover (Dave Miller, 4-1). The Lady Maud, carded as the sixth race...1-Certified Ideal (Jim Pantaleano, 12-1),2-Handsoffmycupcake (Dube, 8-1), 3-Antigua Hanover (Bartlett, 10-1), 4-Charisma Hanover (Gingras, 7-5), 5-Scandalous Hanover (e) (Miller 3-1, 6-Live Entertainment (Sears, 12-), 7-Parlee Beach (e) (Tetrick, 3-1), 8-Jerseylicious (Callahan, 10-1). Note that Scandalous Hanover and Parlee Beach raced as a coupled entry. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

Feeling You outpaced Androvette in a showdown between two of racing's best aged pacing mares, winning Friday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the process. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #5 in a field of seven as the 4-5 favorite, Feeling You (Cambest-Ripreza Hanover), a 6-year-old mare who is the pride of the Amber Buter barn, grabbed the lead early for driver Tyler Buter. From the half-mile on she was challenged first-over by top division rival Anndrovette. The two mares staged a mini-preview of the Breeders Crown action coming up at Pocono in the coming weeks, dueling in the stretch with Feeling You prevailing by a head in 1:50. Fashion Mystery finished further back in 3rd. Feeling You, owned by Stephen Oldford, Oldford Farms LLC, and Tyler Buter, won for the 10th time in 22 races this year. The victory was the 34th of her career and pushed her lifetime earnings to $954,096. by Jim Beviglia for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs  

Zooming recorded his second win in the last three Opens on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the speedy trotter lasted on the lead. The five-year-old Amber Buter trainee got parked out early but cleared the front past an opening quarter in 28.2. Zooming (Classic Photo) had no difficulty putting his rivals away in the stretch and drew away late before stopping the timer in 1:56. Billy Dobson sat behind Zooming as he recorded his eighth victory of the season. Justgottogetthere (Mark Beckwith) finished second while Victory Tax (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot in the $18,000 trotting feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a first post of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella for Saratoga Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 13, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the lasses and a non-discriminatory Trot for either/or--were won by Blue Chip Matchmaker victress Feeling You (Tyler Buter, $8.60) and an in-form Can I Say (Buter again, $18.20). Locally-debuting Fashion Mystery (Brent Holland) seat everyone early from the pole, finding a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. She was not in a giving mood when Sir Jillian's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) moved from fourth. Those two prompters put up a :54.4 intermission, salivating the mouths of the closers. It was a second-up, 9-5 favorite Ramalama (George Brennan) who took her shot at the lead toward the 1:23.1 three-quarters. However, she couldn't go by as Fashion Mystery held a stubborn--but short--lead into the lane. The fresh threat was a third-over Feeling You. Starting from post position No. 6, she launched her wide bid through the lane, powering past from fifth. Feeling You widened to win by 3½ lengths in 1:52.2. Second went to 49-1 rank outsider Rock N Load (Jason Bartlett), with a from-last Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears), Ramalama and Fashion Mystery coming away with the remainder. For second choice Feeling You, a 6-year-old daughter of Cambest co-owned by her driver, Stephen Oldford and Oldford Farms and trained by Amber Buter, it was her ninth win in 20 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $201, with the triple returning $520. The featured trot saw Prayer Session (Bartlett) take his shot from the pole, leading a quartet of early leavers through early intervals of :26.4 and :56.3. He'sgotlegs (Mark MacDonald) was pocketed and, after a break by Somebody AS (Dan Dube), Brando's Muscle Man (Brennan) settled third. Lone lady Can I Say-from post No. 4--then moved out of fourth, gaining on the leader in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters. Meanwhile, this particular Prayer Session was about done turning for home, as Can I Say sustained her bid. She whipped a passing-lane He'sgotlegs by a neck in 1:55.4. Super Manning (Sears), trailing from his ordered eight-hole, closed for third as the slight 2-1 choice, with Lorenzo Dream (Eric Goodell) and "Brando" rounding out the payees. For sixth choice Can I Say, a 4-year-old daughter of Fourth and One co-owned by Terry & Clarence Devos and James Whelan and trained by Scott Osterhout (turned 29 Friday), she's now 5-for-17 this season. Can I Say is 4-for-4 since arriving from Mohawk, moving up the class ladder each time. The exacta paid $89.50, the triple returned $1,176 and the superfecta paid $4,202. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

VERNON, NY—The favorite Maud Blue Chip continued her winning ways with a career-best 1:58 performance in a division of Thursday night’s $109,124 New York Sires Stakes feature for 2-year-old filly trotters at Vernon Downs. Competing against eight eager rivals over a rain-affected good track in Thursday’s ninth race, Maud Blue Chip rallied from fourth at the half to become a challenging second entering the final quarter. With Tyler Buter doing the teaming for trainer Chuck Sylvester, the steady-striding brown filly turned on the speed in the stretch and defeated Market Rally by 1-3/4 lengths. It was the Third Straight NYSS score, and the fourth win (coupled with a pair of third-place finishes) in six starts for the quick-footed daughter of Credit Winner-Queen of the Moor, who increased her winnings to $126,639 for owners Melvin Hartman, David H. Mc Duffee and Jeff Gural’s Little E LLC stable. Thursday’s other NYSS winner was Exotic Form, a representative of the Dan Dailey Stable entry, who also closed late to post a 1:58.2 lifetime-fastest tally in the sixth session. Claude Huckabone, III was at the controls for Daley as the opportunistic bay filly overtook the favorite, Gammy’s Girl, in the final furlong and secured a three-quarter length score, her second NYSS win in succession and third (coupled with a second-place finish and a third) in seven official outings. The fast and fit daughter of Malabar Man-Form Fitting increased her earnings to $103,045 for the Winbak Farm. Thursday’s 12-race program also included three divisions of a $38,200 Excelsior Series contest for state-bred frosh-filly high-steppers. The winners were Ski To The Max (Conway Hall-Enjoy The Sun) in 1:59.3 for driver and trainer Gates Brunet and the Theodore Gewertz, Y. Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet ownership contingent; Emiliana (Cash Hall-Monalisa Can) in 1:59.3 with Chris Long teaming for trainer Jim Graham and owner Lisa Wyatt, and Holly’s Lightning (Conway Hall-Indigo Sakra) in 2:00.2 for driver/trainer Sam Schillaci and owner Greg Martin. The crowd’s choice Billmar Scooter, making just her second local appearance, delivered a 1:51.2 triumph in Thursday’s $10,000 second race, the week’s Open distaff pace. The hard-hitting 8-year-old mare rallied from fourth in the final quarter to defeat Love You Bye, last week’s victor in this class, by two lengths. It was the fifth current victory and 38th all-time for the bay daughter of Keystone Raider-Its Scooter Time, who is owned by driver Tyler Buter, trained by Amber Buter and owned by the Oldford Farms. In addition to Tyler Buter’s driving double, reinsman Chris Lems collected his meet-leading 19th two-win credit during the track’s 63rd program of 2013. DOWNS DOINGS The Peter Carney-conditioned trotter Rattle On (2:02.1) and Holly’s Lightning (2:00.2) each earned their first pari-mutuel victories during Thursday’s card… The Downs will present a 10-race program starting at 6:45 on Friday night… A revised 2013 racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran  

WILKES-BARRE PA –The record book again figured to take a pounding when the Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championships for three-year-olds were featured at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday night – and it most certainly did. The pacing gelding Shock It To ‘Em became the fastest-ever Stallion Championship winner when he beat world champion Ultimate Beachboy to the wire by a half-length in 1:50.1. The triumphant son of Western Terror made his main rival work hard for the lead, then sat the pocket, leaving him perfectly-positioned to mount a victorious stretch charge that enabled him to also become only the second Stallion Series performer to sweep all four preliminaries and the Championship (2TC Smoother Ride achieved the feat last year). Ron Pierce reclaimed the lead in the Stallion drivers all-time win column with his fifth victory in the competition; Chris Oakes (who also conditioned the 3-4 finishers in the race) trains “The Shocker” for Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC, Chuck Pompey, Susan Oakes, and Timothy Cable. Two races earlier, Rossini claimed the title as fastest trotting Stallion Series champion with an open-length victory in a new personal best of 1:53. The Classic Photo gelding, undefeated in three Stallion prelims while skipping the other to try the Goodtimes Final, worked to the lead past the quarter and was not seriously challenged thereafter. Rossini gave the team of driver Howard Parker, trainer Jim Raymer, and owner Harbor Racing Stable LLC (from the noted harness racing state of Texas) their second horse in as many nights who had parlayed #1 prelim status to the Stallion Championship (2TF Nitro Nittany did it Friday; Shock It To ‘Em, as mentioned above, was the other of the weekend’s three 2013 Stallion final winners in this category). For 72 minutes, the Somebeachsomewhere pacing filly Antigua Hanover had the title as Fastest Stallion Series Champion (she raced before Shock It To ‘Em) after pocketrocketing to a new stakes and personal mark of 1:50.4. Tyler Buter, who like Howard Parker had never won a Stallion Championship before this weekend and who like Howard Parker (see above) won one both nights, handled sulky duties for trainer Amber Buter, and he co-owns the promising sophomore with Oldfield Farms LLC The first to get to Stallion Championship Victory Lane on the card was the Donato Hanover trotting miss Choose Happy, who also rung up a stakes and personal best with her 1:54.2 triumph. In deep stretch you knew that “driver Miller” was going to win the contest, but the photo finish camera showed a head decision for the grinding “Happy” and Brett Miller over the Pocono Piker Gliding To Glory and Andy Miller, with Brett now equal with yet another Miller, David, in Stallion Series Championshps with three, behind Pierce’s five and Dave Palone’s four. Trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. wisely altered course with this filly in the middle of her PA stakes campaign, abandoning the Sire Stakes (4-8) for the Stallion Series (1-1-Ch1), to the delight of owners Up Front Racing LLC, DM Stables LLC, and Miller’s Stable Inc (yes, more Millers, Robert and Barbara). FINISHING LINES – Final Stallion Series Championships speed count: fastest pace and trot ever; seven of eight divisional Championship records either rewritten or tied; and six of eight individual marks broken or equaled (the other two took their marks in Stallion prelims!) … Six of the weekend’s eight winners were also “PA-sired and –bred,” meaning that (figured at 2012 rates) their breeders earned $5600 paydays from their newly-crowned Stallion Series champions.   Gerry Connors  

Zooming, with Billy Dobson in the bike, captured Friday’s featured Open Trot with a purse of $18,000. Owned by Stephen Oldford, Oldford Farms, LLC. &Tyler Buter and trained by Amber Buter, the 5 year old Classic Photo gelding went to the gate as the even money favorite and posted a winning time of 1:55.4. by Dave Oxford for Saratoga Raceway

VERNON, NY—The 2-year-old filly pacers Spreester (American Ideal) and Barefoot Beauty (Art Major) each delivered career-best 1:54.3 clockings in Friday night’s $76,100 New York State Fair competition at Vernon Downs, while in a non-Excelsior series event, the 2-year-old colt pacer Jet Airway (Jereme’s Jet) became the fastest freshman performer of the 53-program meeting with a 1:53.1 performance in race seven. The victories by Spreester and Barefoot Beauty came in divisions of Friday’s $37,900 Excelsior series for NY-breds, and tied another frosh filly high-stepper, Misty Major, for fastest mile honors by a representative of their age, sex and gait through Aug. 23. Spreester’s score, her fifth in seven career outings, came in Friday’s fourth event with Frank Coppola, Jr. doing the driving for trainer Paul Zabielski and owner Kimberley Zabielski, while Barefoot Beauty’s second season’s triumph came two races later, with Ron Waples doing the steering for trainer Gregg McNair and owner James Avritt, Sr. Friday’s other 2-year-old filly pacing winner was Sweet Brown (Bettor’s Delight), who earned a 1:55.1 “maiden” victory with Jim Morrill, Jr. doing the teaming for trainer Amber Buter and owner Tyler L. Buter in race five. Jet Air Way produced his second win in five starts with Charlie Norris at the controls for trainer Erv Miller, the Ervin Miller Stable, Tangle Massey, Paul Sunderhaus and Larry Agle. The swiftest first-place finisher in Friday’s $38,200 Excelsior series action for 2-year-old trotting fillies was Thoughtfilly (Conway Hall), with Morrill, Jr. driving in the first race. It was the second score in five starts for quick-stepping bay, who is trained by Brandon Simpson and owned by the Mystical Marker Farms, Peggy Hood, Dirk Simpson Stable and the Simpson Racing Stable. Friday’s other trotting division winners were Absinthe (Crazed) in 1:59.4 in race nine, and Lindy’s Crazy Dolly (Crazed) in 2:00 in event 10, each a first-time starter trained by Frank Antonacci for the Lindy Farms of CT and the Lindy Racing Stable, respectively. Chris Lems, who teamed both Absinthe and Lindy’s Crazy Dolly, earned his 15th driving double of the Vernon campaign, while Antonacci earned a pair of conditioning credits, and Morrill, Jr. two driving wins. DOWNS DOINGS In addition to Sweet Brown, Absinthe and Lindy’s Crazy Dolly, other equine athletes earning their initial pari-mutuel victories during Friday’s 12-race program were the freshman trotter Justin On Broadway (Broadway Hall) in 1:59.4, and the 3-year-old pacer Battle Gun (Dragon Again) in 1:55.1… The Downs will continue with State Fair racing for New York-bred freshmen tomorrow (Aug. 24), with male trotters and pacers displaying their talents in seven Excelsior series divisions during a 13-race program, that will begin at 6:45 p.m… A special program on Sunday, Aug. 25 will feature the first round of this season’s 7th-Annual All-Star Drivers’ Championship, as well as the $700,000 (est.) Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotters. There will also be a Corey Callahan bobblehead doll giveaway, free drivers’ championship T-shirts (both items dispensed while supplies last), as well as an iPad and Laptop computer giveaway… A revised 2013 racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran

The New York State Fair races make their annual appearance at Vernon Downs this weekend with the freshman fillies racing on Friday evening. Three divisions each of trotters and pacers will go postward for the Excelsior series purses of $12,000 plus the entry fees for each. Race one is led by a pair of Conway Hall fillies, Thoughtfully from Brandon Simpson’s barn and Trish from the Ed Lohmeyer stable. Trish has a pair of Excelsior wins to her credit and starts from the outside post seven for owner Patty Hogan and driver Roman Lopez. Thoughtfilly broke her maiden for Jimmy Morrill at Batavia last week and he’s back aboard on Friday for owners Mystical Marker Farms, Hood, and the Simpsons.   The second trot division is race nine where Pazza is the favorite from post eight for trainer/driver Gates Brunet. The Crazed filly has flashed speed despite some inconsistencies in her brief career thus far for her owners Joe Spadaro and the voice of NYRA, Tom Durkin.   Turn to race ten for the last of the trotting fillies and you’ll find a competitive group of seven. Slice Slice Baby is a modest choice in her very first start for trainer Erv Miller. This Conway Hall lass has but a pair of qualifiers to show but starts from the rail for Charlie Norris. Paymaq Racing and Harvey Eisman own her.   The pacing fillies are three short fields in races four, five and six. Spreester is 9/5 on the morning line based on her penchant for winning. The American Ideal filly has won four of six and over $25,000 this year for owner Kimberly Zabielski and trainer Paul Zabielski. Frank Coppola, Jr is in for the drive.   Next up, Sweet Brown looks like the one to beat off her speedy past performance. She’s a Bettor’s Delight owned and trained by the team of Tyler and Amber Buter with Morrill scheduled to drive.   Barefoot Beauty is the choice in race six. She’s an Art Major who has paced in the 1:54 range her last couple and comes into this race after facing Grand Circuit fillies in the Eternal Camnation last week. Ron Waples is listed for trainer Gregg McNair and owner Jim Avritt.   Post time for Friday is 6:45pm as Vernon kicks off State Fair week. Visit the Vernon website for information on the planned activities. by Nick Salvi  

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