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Batavia, NY - The first of eight visits by the lucrative New York Sire Stakes takes place Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs and for the local fans it's a chance to see some of the biggest names in harness racing. The 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be on hand and that means some very exciting action. There will be three legs of the NYSS and two of the Excelsior series and the entrants will be competing for combined purses in excess of $140,000. The first division goes for $39,200 and looks to be the main event as it is loaded with talent and speed. Perennial training leader Ron Burke will start 3-5 morning line favorite All Bets Off, who ships in with some impressive credentials. He won the $300,000 Art Rooney pace at Yonkers Raceway in May and after winning his elimination heat in 1:48.3, finished third in the $500,000 Hempt final at Pocono Downs behind McWicked last month. In that race, McWicked set a new world record for 3-year-old colts on a five-eighths mile track (1:47.3). This will be the third start in the NYSS for All Bets Off this year who won at Vernon Downs in 1:50.2 and just ten days ago finished second at Yonkers in 1:52.4 to Capital Account, who looks to be his toughest competition in today's race. He has earnings of $291,575 already this year. All Bets Off, who starts from post five and will be driven by Matt Kakaley, is part of an entry that includes stablemate Keystone Honor. Capital Account has competed in some high-profile stakes already but without positive results. He drew post eight in both the $69,000 Somebeachsomewhere and $45,500 North America Cup elimination at Mohawk and finished well beaten in both. But even though he does not sport the gaudy numbers of the morning line favorite, he certainly has beaten him. In his last start at Yonkers in NYSS action, Capital Account was pulled third over up the backside before tipping four-deep around the leader All Bets Off at the top of the stretch. He then outpaced the 1-5 favorite to the wire to win by a half-length. The 16-1 shot was overlooked last week but certainly won't be in here. Capital Account is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and will start from post three for leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr. The second $39,200 division is headed by Canadian conditioner Cassie Coleman's Twin B Tenacious. After getting 2014 off to an inauspicious start, Twin B Tenacious has now strung together four straight wins (the last a NYSS event at Yonkers) and registered a 1:50.3 lifetime mark at the Meadowlands in the process. Steve Smith, who has been at the helm for all four victories, will once again be in the bike and start from post four. Forty Five Red, who is another entry from the powerful Burke stable, comes in off two consecutive wins at Yonkers Raceway which includes his seasonal mark of 1:52.3 in his last outing. Although he hasn't missed a check all year, his most recent outings have probably been his best to date and indicate he will be a legitimate threat to the favorite. The third division is worth $38,500 and looks to be a wide-open affair. Stay Up Late has been made the morning line favorite but has yet to win in stake action at three. He has gone off the favorite in his last three starts but his sole victory this year came in an overnight event at Yonkers Raceway on July 8 in 1:53.3. He gets Jim Morrill Jr. up for the first time this year and starts from post four Neat draws the rail for trainer Erv Miller and is coming in off three very impressive starts. After just getting beat in 1:53.4 in a NYSS race at Buffalo on June 27, Neat finished second in an overnight at Pocono Downs in 1:50.1 over a sloppy track the following week. He was then back in Sire Stake action at Yonkers his last start where he got away sixth and chased a :56 flat last half parked out to finish third in 1:52.3. Neat is rated at 5-2 for driver Brent Holland. 3-1 third choice Sir Sam's Z Tam has the fastest seasonal mark and the most money earned of any other horse in this race, but also has the only NYSS victory this year. After hitting the board four consecutive times, he found himself parked out in a fast last half at Yonkers before finishing fifth. Sam's Z Tam will start from post three for trainer/driver the Pat Lachance. The undercard features two divisions of the Excelsior series and they are slated to go as race seven and ten. The first split goes for $12,600 and has two horses that have dominated the class; Cabbie's Delight and Murder He Wrote. 8-5 favorite Cabbie's Delight has not been worse than second in six Excelsior starts. In fact he is the point's leader to date in the series. He won four straight out of the gate before finishing two close seconds in his most recent starts. Trainer Sam Serianni has Jason Bartlett in the bike this week as he looks to get back in the winner's circle. 9-5 co-favorite Murder He Wrote has won his last two starts, including a NYSS event at Buffalo Raceway where he blew up the tote board at 45-1. The roan gelding drew immediate respect after that when he went off the prohibitive favorite the following week at Yonkers where he won wire to wire in 1:54.1. Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Murder He Wrote and starts from post five for conditioner Linda Toscano. The final $12,600 Excelsior contest is headlined by 2-1 choice Believeinthespirit. After having negligible success in four straight NYSS races, trainer Ed Lohmeyer reclassified his charge to the Excelsior and the change has proven fruitful. Believeinthespirit has won his last two starts in convincing fashion and looks to continue the streak from post two. 5-2 second choice Archetto Hanover is the second highest point getter in the Excelsior series behind Cabbie's Delight and has three wins and two seconds to show for his efforts. Trainer Erv Miller has Brent Holland up for this trip and will depart from post five. Post time for the first race is 1:15. For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon to www.bataviabets.com and open an account. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 17, 2014-The Empire's best 3-year-old colts and geldings-save for He's Watching-invaded Yonkers Raceway Thursday night for the $221,000 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace. The odds-on gelding Twin B Tenacious (Steve Smith, $3.90) won the first ($72,800) division from second-over. Unhurried from the pole, "Tenacious" chased Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) through intervals of :27.2, :58 and 1:25.4. "Speedo" swung wide and whipped the leader by a half-length in 1:54. Third went to Keystone Honor (Matt Kakaley). Smith is now 4-for-4 since picking up the drive behind Twin B Tenacious. "To be honest, I had the drive the first time (Meadowlands) when a lot of the guys were out of town," Smith said. "He had some chicken lines (breaks) previously, and has doesn't always relax. "I learned you have to let him settle, but when I've asked him, he's finished very well. Twin B Tenacious, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Casie Coleman for owner West Wins Stable, is 4-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $12, with the triple returning $114. The second ($74,100) statebred event was supposed to be fairly simple work night for Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off (Kakaley). However, despite a perfect tow from entrymate I'm All Heart (George Brennan), the 1-5 tandem found themselves run over. Capital Account (Yannick Gingras, $35.80), third-over from post position No. 4, snapped All Bets Off by a half-length in 1:52.4. Big Boys Dreams (Jason Bartlett) was third. Fifth choice Capital Account, a Brittany Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Jimmy Takter, is now 4-for-11 this season. The exacta paid $76, with the triple returning $336.50. "This was his best race so far," Gingras said. "Sometimes, he's been known to throw in steps, but tonight, this worked out. When I saw Matt (Kakaley) working (on All Bets Off), I knew I had him beat. "The last time he was here (NYSS last month), he was locked in. If I had come first-up, he'd have won but I had to use him leaving. It was a much better trip tonight." Thursday night's final ($74,100) sires soiree saw Forty Five Red (Brennan, $22.60)-last season's winner of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here-make the lead right at the half and hold sway. Forty Five Red, from post No. 4, took over from Sir Jake's Z Tam (Jordan Stratton) after that one's :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.3 intermission, it was a 1:24.1 three-quarters and a season's-best 1:52.3 finale, which found Forty Five Red a length better than Winds of Change (Tim Tetrick). Neat (Marcus Miller) was third, while 1-2 choice Stay Up Late (Brian Sears) was a never-in-it dead-heat for fifth. Forty Five Red, a son of If I Can Dream co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Our Horse Cents Stable, has won his last couple after beginning the season 0-for-6. The exacta paid $133, with the triple returning $379.50. "Last week (overnight here), he was all out to win and just didn't race well," Brennan said. "Tonight, I scored him down much harder he was a totally different horse...on the bit and alert." Forty Five Red's winning time Thursday was more than two seconds faster than his previous effort. After Saturday night's $125,000 final of the Sheppard Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings), New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, with the $200,200 Clyde Hirt Pace for 2-year-old fillies colts and geldings. Four, $50,050 groupings go as races 2,4,5 and 6. 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  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 13, 2014-Statebred as well are open stakes are in Yonkers Raceway's display window the week. Monday night, the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot finds a pair of rich divisions ($111,500 and $113,500, respectively) for 3-year-old fillies going as races 5 and 6. The first event sees defending NYSS champ Market Rally (Jim Morrill Jr., post 4) as a very probable short-priced number. The daughter of Cash Hall is 2-for-2 since adding Lasix, sire stakes wins at Buffalo at Vernon. The lass, purchased after her frosh season, is co-owned by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable. Glownngold (Brian Sears, post 3), unraced at 2, has hit the board in eight of her 12 tries this season. Gammy's Girl (Dave Miller, post 1) is looking to regain her six-figure form of a season ago. The second Cipriani event figures the more competitive, with last-out NYSS winner Avalicious (Yannick Gingras, post 2) and Empire Breeders Classic victress Crediama (Trond Smedshammer) among the leading lasses. Thursday night, the $221,000 NYSS Armand Palatucci Pace brings the 3-year-old colts and geldings back downstate. A trio of groupings-purses of $72,800, $74,100 and $74,100-goes as races 1,4 and 9. The second event is the one above the marquee. It offer the local return of Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, post 5), part of the a Burke co-owned/trained entry. The Bettor's Delight colt is 5-for-7 this season ($273,050). Saturday night, it's the $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Leading the octet into are this past weekend's elimination winners In the Arsenal (Eric Goodell, 1:56.2) and Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan, 1:56.1). The winners, trained by Kelvin Harrison and Burke, respectively, are joined by Byby Landon, Mystical Pacer, Rock N' Roll World, Lone Survivor, Perfect Eagle and Parklane Eagle. The open draw for the Sheppard is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. 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

Freehold, NJ --- It might run counter to trainer Ron Burke’s intuition, but less appears to be more with Sweet Lou. Burke changed Sweet Lou’s between-race routine and the 5-year-old male pacer has responded with a four-race win streak heading into Saturday’s (June 28) $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It is Sweet Lou’s longest streak since putting together six consecutive victories bridging his 2- and 3-year-old seasons. Sweet Lou was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner as harness racing’s best 2-year-old male pacer and earned more than $1 million at age 3, but endured a stretch of just four wins in 31 starts prior to his recent surge. “We’ve backed off on him and he’s become more like a Thoroughbred,” Burke said. “I can’t ask him to race four weeks in a row; I can’t ask him to train in between when he’s racing. I just give him weeks now where he basically jogs and hangs out in the field. “It kills me, because I’m thinking that he’s getting unfit. But I’ve watched him and he just blows back up and starts to look strong again. Then I’ll give him one hard fast work before he races and he seems to race great.” Saturday’s card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and the $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Sweet Lou, who won his Franklin elimination by four lengths over Bolt The Duer in 1:47.4 last weekend, drew post four in the final. Three other Burke horses -- Bettor’s Edge, Allstar Legend, and Foiled Again -- will all start inside of Sweet Lou while Domethatagain, who edged Captaintreacherous by a nose to win the other Franklin elim in 1:48, got post five. Captaintreacherous, the two-time defending Pacer of the Year, leaves from post eight. “I was very impressed with the way (Sweet Lou) raced the other day,” Burke said. “He’s come back as the horse we always thought he would be.” Sweet Lou’s win streak also coincides with Ron Pierce becoming his driver. “Pierce maybe has a different strategy of how to race him and so far it’s been good,” Burke said. “Everything right now is working good, so we’ll just keep doing it the same way until we need to make a change.” In addition to his quartet in the Franklin, Burke will send At Press Time and All Bets Off into the Hempt, Sayitall BB and Southwind Silence into the Lynch, and Amped Up Hanover into the Beal. All Bets Off, who won the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers in May, and At Press Time captured their respective Hempt eliminations. All Bets Off has won five of six starts this year; At Press Time bounced back from a third-place finish in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes with the addition of Lasix. “I knew At Press Time would be better,” Burke said. “We did some work on him in between (starts) and got him straighter and he bled very badly. It wasn’t a question of whether we should put him on Lasix, he really needed Lasix. I was happy with his performance. “(All Bets Off) is a very good horse. He’s top five; he’s as good as any horse out there, I think. He can go either way. He had to be pulled to a stop at the top of the lane (in his elim) and most of my horses if you pulled them to a stop like that they wouldn’t fire again. And he did.” The Hempt field also includes McWicked, who won the fastest elimination, in 1:48. Jimmy Takter-trained trotters Father Patrick and Nuncio headline the Beal. Both won their eliminations, with Father Patrick extending his win streak to 13 races dating back to last July. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. Nuncio was a stakes winner and four-time runner-up to Father Patrick last season. This is their first meeting as 3-year-olds. Cinamony, Fancy Desire, and Weeper all won Lynch eliminations. Cinamony and Fancy Desire were supplemented to the Lynch for $15,000. The final also includes multiple-stakes-winner Uffizi Hanover. Sebastian K, who is 3-for-3 since arriving in North America from Sweden, headlines the Sun Invitational. The race also includes Market Share, who is a two-time Dan Patch Award winner. Following are the fields in post order with listed drivers and trainers: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational – 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick,Linda Toscano; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial – 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr.; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O’Donnell; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial – 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt; 2. Allstar Partner, Tim Tetrick, John Butenschoen; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 5. At Press Time,Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace – 1. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial – 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley,Ron Burke; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr.; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, June 17, 2014--Yonkers Raceway hosts its first New York Sire Stakes event of the season Thursday night, with the $221,000 Hugh Grant Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.   Three divisions go as races 1 (purse $72,800), 4 ($74,100) and 11 ($74,100) on the 12-race program.   The opening event looks to be a two-horse affair with Western Conquest (Marcus Miller, post 1) hooking Ideal Fashion (Dave Miller, post 3). Both are sons of American Ideal, with the former twice a recent NYSS bridesmaid .   The latter makes his seasonal NYSS debut after testing the local open waters in the Art Rooney Pace (third in elim, eighth in final).   Thursday's second Grant go-round finds Jeneral Patton (Tim Tetrick, post 3), fresh off a life-best 1:49.4 sire stakes effort at Vernon. The Art Major colt, unraced at 2, is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano.   Sir Sam's Z Tam (Pat Lachance, post 1) has a Tioga NYSS win on his seasonal resume.   The evening's final statebred soiree looms quite compelling, with Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald, post 4) and El Bloombito (Tetrick, post 7) having gone good things north of here already this season. "Speedo" and El Bloombito were both winners at Tioga, with the latter subsequently winning at Vernon.   Meanwhile, Capital Account (Yannick Gingras, post 5) and Ideal Cowboy (Brian Sears, post 6) each tried their fortunes in the North America Cup, though neither qualified for the final.   The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule is back in business, 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      

Megan Rogers has good reason for exuding nervous energy, after all she’s getting married in two weeks, but the feeling of anticipation goes beyond tying the knot. Rogers, a relative newcomer to owning harness racing horses, has a chance to win two of the sport’s premier stakes – the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers and Fan Hanover for 3-year-old female pacers – on June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. First, though, are elimination races Saturday at Mohawk. Mamas Fallen Angel takes the track first in the second of two Fan Hanover divisions, with the top five advancing to the C$400,000 final one week later. Mamas Fallen Angel, with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Norm Parker, is 8-1 on the morning line. In the next race, Unlocked goes behind the gate in the first of three elims for the North America Cup. The top three finishers from each division and one fourth-place finisher chosen by lot advance to the C$1 million final. Unlocked, with Scott Zeron at the lines for trainer Erv Miller, is 10-1 on the morning line. “It’s unbelievable,” said Rogers, a Chicago resident who bought her first horse in January 2012. “It’s almost serendipitous, just being at the right place at the right time. We’re very excited.” Rogers has been interested in horses since childhood. Her friends had horses, which she got to ride, and she also worked at a summer camp mucking stalls just to be near the horses. Her fiancé, Brian Ogan, is a longtime harness racing fan and introduced Rogers to the sport. “I love it,” Rogers said. “We always wanted to own horses and it was just the right time for us. It’s kind of a joint effort. With my love of horses and his love of racing, it was kind of a no-brainer.” Mamas Fallen Angel is a half-sister to stakes-winner Odds On Equuleus. Rogers bought the daughter of Well Said-Latte Lady in an onGait.com auction last September. She had seen the filly, who was unraced at age 2, while picking up another horse from Odds On Racing a few weeks earlier. “She looked beautiful,” Rogers said. “She didn’t race at 2 because she was green, so Odds On Racing turned her out. But we knew who the brother was and she looked amazing. We thought it was a great opportunity. We made a bid for her and got her.” Mamas Fallen Angel has won four of eight races this year, all at The Meadows, and earned $60,214. She was second in a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes on May 3, finishing behind Also Encouraging and ahead of recent Lismore Pace winner Tyra. She was put on Lasix following the race and in her most recent start finished second by a nose to 4-year-old Jolt Of Passion in 1:52.3 in a conditioned race. Rogers bought Unlocked privately last June. For the year, the colt won six of 12 starts and finished second on five occasions, including in the season-ending American-National Stakes. This season, the son of Duneside Perch-Miss Major Power has a second-place finish among three starts. He is coming off a fourth-place finish from post seven in the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers on May 31. “He really hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet,” Rogers said. “We saw him race at Balmoral (Park in Chicago) and thought he was special. There was just something about him that we loved. I think he’s got a lot of potential. He’s got a lot of speed and guts; he’s a fighter. “I do get nervous, but Erv is happy with his progress. I hope he’s got a great shot. I think this is a great opportunity for him.” And a great chance for a new owner to burn off some nervous energy. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: Currier & Ives filly division, The Meadows, Washington, Pa; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Hanover Stakes (3-year-old colt and filly trot), Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Wednesday (June 4) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $93,860 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will host Grand Circuit racing on Friday (June 6) with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 7) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will offer its second Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters, while Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Saturday with the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt trotters and the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, Scioto Downs and Balmoral Park races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer (#1) gets up on the outside to narrowly defeat Apprentice Hanover (#4) and Foiled Again (#7) in the Molson Pace. In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $138,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on May 30 at the London half-mile track. Driver Chris Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again, just a half-length back in third. The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official. "I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year," noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure." Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective on May 31, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. All Bets Off was a 1:52.2 winner in the Art Rooney Pace. All Bets Off collared leader Maxi Bon early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, is now three-for-four this season with earnings of $180,250. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do. Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Maxi Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last. "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile, but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too. Every start (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on June 1, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt The Duer in the early stages, brushing to the front after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half-mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have been too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt The Duer stayed on to be third. Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 291; 2. Tim Tetrick - 255; 3. George Brennan - 164.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 143: 5. Brian Sears - 121. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 485.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 117; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller- 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 111.05; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 103.55; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 60; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Mohawk and the Meadowlands next weekend. Mohawk will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 14), while the Meadowlands will card the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old open pacers and a leg of the TVG Free For All series for open trotters on Friday (June 13). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 31, 2014-Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective Saturday night, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. In play from post position No. 4 as the 3-10 favorite, All Bets Off made the first lead in the 24th Rooney. He then handed the baton to second choice Stevensville (Tim Tetrick) right around a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. The song remained the same at the 55.1 intermission and early in the backstretch the second time. That's when Maxi Bon (Dan Dube) moved from fourth, and he was in a hurry. He disposed of a no-fight Stevensville just after a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Good thing for All Bets Off that nothing was moving behind "Maxi," as he was able to extricate himself. All Bets off collared the new leader early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa (George Brennan) by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third, with Unlocked (Brent Holland) closing from last to grab fourth. Bondi Hanover (Jason Bartlett) earned the final pay envelope, with Gold Rocks (Eric Goodell), a tiring Stevensville and Ideal Fashion (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the order. For All Bets Off, a statebred son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, he's now 3-for-4 this season (earnings of $180,250). The exacta paid $15.80, with no triple returning $44.20. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do."Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Max Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile , but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too," Kakaley said. "Every start, (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." In the $124,744 Lismore Final for three-year-old pacing fillies, Tyra showed her heels to the field for driver Tim Tetrick, grinding the lead away from Southwind Silence (George Brennan) by the three-quarters and then pulling away from the field to win by seven open lengths in 1:52.1. Southwind Silence was second with Also Encouraging (Matt Kakaley) third. It was the second win in four starts this year for Tyra. the daughter of McArdle is trained by Joann Looney-King and is owned by the CC Racing, Inc. of Mokena, ILL. She paid 43.50 to win as the betting favorite. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 30, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $38,000 Open Handicaps-for distaff pacers and any trotter with the street cred--were won by a pair of wagering favorites in millionairess Monkey on My Wheel (Brian Sears) and 2012 Yonkers Trot champ Archangel (George Brennan). Ordered outside her seven rivals, Monkey on My Wheel-as the just-above-even-money favorite-settled in third as 32-1 rank outsider Fast and Feisty (Brent Holland) and Classy Lane Rose (Eric Goodell) played leapfrog on the lead. After a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and :57.1 intermission, Monkey on My Wheel was back on the case. She took out after Classy Lane Rose in out of a 1:25 three-quarters, tackling that one through the final turn. Monkey on My Wheel finally gained the upper hoof, then held off a passing lane Fast and Feisty by a scant nose in 1:53.4. Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) was third, with Fashion Mystery (Eric Carlson) and Classy Lane Rose settling for the small change. For "Monkey," a 6-year-old homebred daughter of Mach Three owned by Mac Nichol and trained by Casie Coleman, she returned $4.10 for her fifth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $64.50, with the triple returning $281.50. The week's marquee trot was strictly a two-speed number as 11-10 choice favorite Archangel-starting from post position No. 5-work around Tober (Holland). The mare Frau Blucher (Sears) settled third in her local debut. Early intervals of :27.1 and :56 left several gaps among the rest of the gang. Archangel held sway through a 1:24.3 three-quarters, taking a couple of lengths into the lane. He held Tober at bay, winning by a length in 1:54.3...matching the fastest local trot mile of the season. Lorenzo Dream (Dan Dube) rallied well to grab third-beaten 5¼ lengths--with Awesome Valley (Carlson) and Frau Blucher rounding out the payees. For Archangel, a 5-year-old (unraced last season) statebred son of Credit Winner co-owned by Clare Semer and Legendary Standard Farm and trained by Ron Burke, he returned $4.30 for his first win in four '14 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11.60, the triple returned $133.50 and the superfecta paid $460.50. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule--along with evening simulcasting--goes on hiatus after Saturday's card, which includes the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-eyar-old colts/geldings) and $124,744 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies). Afternoon simulcasting remains available daily. Live racing/evening simulcasting returns Friday, June 13th. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Tyler Smith imagined a day when he would get the chance to be the regular driver of a Grand Circuit horse. In his mind, he thought the opportunity might come a decade from now. In reality, it is now. The 21-year-old Smith, who last season was the leading driver at Hoosier Park and became the youngest driver to reach 1,000 career wins, will be the regular driver of 3-year-old male pacer Let's Drink On It. Let's Drink On It, who finished last year by winning the American-National Stakes with Brian Sears in the sulky, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's third of three C$75,000 divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes is the final prep for the North America Cup, for which eliminations are June 7 and the C$1 million final is June 14. Smith, who drove Let's Drink On It once last year, qualified the colt twice this season and has driven the horse to two wins in two starts. Let's Drink On It is coming off a 1:49 win in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on May 17. That time is the fastest by a 3-year-old pacer so far this season. "He qualified the horse and it looked like he got along with the horse very well," trainer Joe Seekman said. "He's got confidence in the horse. There's nothing better than a driver with confidence in your horse." Smith, an Ohio native with 1,376 wins to his credit, is thrilled to have the chance to drive Let's Drink On It. Last season, Smith set career highs with 507 victories, which tied for 12th best among all drivers in North America, and $3.66 million in purses. "I thought maybe when I was 30 I'd get an opportunity like this," Smith said. "To be 21 and asked to stick with (Let's Drink On It), it's a dream come true. "I know I've got more high hopes for him than a lot of people. I know he's rated under some other horses, and he should be at this point because those horses accomplished more last year. But there's something about him that I think is special." Smith's trip to Mohawk will be his first visit to Canada. The decision to give up drives at Hoosier Park was difficult, but necessary. "The Indiana Sire Stakes (first leg finals) are the same night as the North America Cup elims and I've got horses in every division that I think could be one or two," Smith said. "But I've got to do this. This could be my ticket." Let's Drink On It won five of 12 races and $174,601 last year. A son of stallion Art Official out of the mare Letmedowneasy, the colt was purchased for $12,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. Seekman trained Art Official, who is best remembered for his upset of Somebeachsomewhere in the 2008 Meadowlands Pace. Seekman was impressed with Let's Drink On It's performance in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, but thought the colt's debut 1:50.1 win on May 10 in a conditioned race at Hoosier was even better. Let's Drink On It paced the last half-mile in :53.1 to beat 7-year-old Meirs Hanover by five lengths. "It's kind of a wide-open (3-year-old) division this year," said Seekman, who trains Let's Drink On It for wife Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vincent Boido Jr. "I don't know if he's a top one, but I think he's going to make his presence felt." Joining Let's Drink On It in the third division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes are Melmerby Beach, Jet Airway, Boomboom Ballykeel, That's My Opinion, He's Watching, Bugger Bruiser, and Surprise Hanover. He's Waching was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer after dominating the New York Sire Stakes circuit. He made his seasonal debut last weekend in the eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers, but went off stride and failed to advance to the final. "It was an unfortunate set of circumstances," co-owner/trainer Dave Menary said after the race. "There didn't appear to be any physical issues, but what happened happened. He's too good a horse, and we'll go back and see. I'm confident this is just going to be a blip on the radar." In Saturday's first division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, multiple-stakes-winner JK Endofanera brings a four-race win streak to Mohawk for trainer Ron Burke and driver Brian Sears. The colt is 2-for-2 this season, with victories in the Simpson Memorial and Historic-Pocono Cup. JK Endofanera is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the split, which also includes last season's Breeders Crown winner for 2-year-old male pacers, Luck Be Withyou. The Bill Cass-trained Luck Be Withyou is making his first start of the campaign and will have Ron Pierce at the lines. The rest of the first division field is Marco De Vie, Three Of Clubs, Play It Again Sam, Somewhere Fancy, and Falcon Justice. Joe Holloway's Always B Miki is the 5-2 favorite in the second division, which also includes Here Comes William, Somewhere In LA, McWicked, Silverhill Shadow, Roger Mach Em, Somestarsomewhere, and Capital Account. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Everything appears to be right on with All Bets Off as he heads into Saturday's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway. All Bets Off, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Matt Kakaley, won his Rooney elimination last weekend by 2-1/2 lengths over Some Playa in 1:52.3. In his eight starts since joining the Burke Stable last September, All Bets Off has won five times and finished second on three occasions. He finished last season by winning the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs, beating Stevensville by a half-length in a track-record 1:50. Stevensville also is in the Rooney, having won his elimination by 3-3/4 lengths over Gold Rocks in 1:53. All Bets Off will start the Rooney final from post four; Stevensville, with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Ray Schnittker, from post six. All Bets Off is the 7-5 morning line favorite. "He was very good," Burke said about All Bets Off's elimination win. "He's been super since we got him. We're trying to figure out how good he is and where he fits. This is a chance for us to see if he belongs in the group with the top 10 colts in the division. "But he's been pretty special since we got him." Burke owns All Bets Off with Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stable Corp. and Rosemary Shelswell. A resident of Ontario, Shelswell was part of the previous ownership group that purchased All Bets Off for $7,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. All Bets Off is a son of stallion Bettor's Delight out of the mare Armbro Penelope, who enjoyed success on the Ontario circuit in the mid-1990s. For his career, All Bets Off has won six of 15 races, finished second five times, and earned $216,917. All Bets Off is not eligible to the North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace, but has the Max C. Hempt Memorial, Messenger Pace, Progress Pace and New York Sire Stakes on his schedule. This season, he had a win and a second against older horses before his victory in his Rooney elim. "He's done everything we've asked of him," Burke said. "He's got a good spot (for the Rooney final). He can do it both ways, so he should be good there." If luck counts for anything, trainer Tony Alagna should feel good heading into the Rooney final. He saw his Bondi Hanover and Gold Rocks draw posts two and three, respectively, and then found out his Maxi Bon, who was also-eligible, got the coveted post No. 1 when Thereisapaceforus scratched. Gold Rocks and Bondi Hanover finished second and third behind Stevensville in their Rooney elim. Maxi Bon went off stride and finished fifth in his elim, which was won by All Bets Off. "Both (Gold Rocks and Bondi Hanover) raced very well," Algana said. "Gold Rocks won the Babic at Freehold last year, so we knew he was a good half-mile horse. That was only Bondi Hanover's fourth lifetime start and he raced excellent. For a maiden to go against those horses and be third, we're very happy with him. "Maxi Bon is a fast horse that had some trouble in the last turn when he was out and going. We made some adjustments and he trained well (Wednesday)." Alagna said All Bets Off and Stevensville are the horses to beat. "Other than that, I think our horses are as competitive as anyone else's," Alagna said. "Gold Rocks, the half-mile track and five-eighths are going to be his thing. He's handy and you've got to use that to your advantage. I don't think the big track picks him up nearly as much. He's Meadowlands Pace eligible just in case he rises up, but we're going to concentrate on the smaller tracks." Following is the field in post order for the Art Rooney Pace with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Maxi Bon, Daniel Dube, Tony Alagna; 2. Bondi Hanover, Jason Bartlett, Tony Alagna; 3. Gold Rocks, Eric Goodell, Tony Alagna; 4. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 5. Some Playa, George Brennan, Jennifer Sabot; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 7. Unlocked, Brent Holland, Erv Miller; 8. Ideal Fashion, Jordan Stratton, Jim Campbell. SOUTHWIND SILENCE HOPES TO MAKE NOISE IN LISMORE Ron Burke is happy with Southwind Silence as she prepares for Saturday's $124,744 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old filly pacers at Yonkers. Southwind Silence finished fourth in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in her seasonal debut at The Meadows on May 3, but bounced back last weekend to win her Lismore Pace elimination by 1-1/2 lengths over Bettor Business in 1:54. Last year, Southwind Silence won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old filly pacers and also won a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. For her career, the daughter of Well Said-Southwind Solara has won four of 15 races, hit the board 13 times, and earned $391,211 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Joseph DiScala Jr. "She was a very good filly last year," Burke said. "I wasn't completely happy with her first start this year. It was alright, but she had to come first up and that doesn't usually work at The Meadows if you can't clear. (In her elimination) she seemed more like her normal self. "She seemed to handle the track well, and at Yonkers that's a big thing." Tyra, who was third in last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, also won a Lismore elimination. She beat Rusty's Bliss by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.4 and is the 8-5 morning line choice in the final. Following is the field in post order for the Lismore Pace with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Also Encouraging, Matt Kakaley, Casie Coleman; 2. It Was Fascination, Brent Holland, Tony Alagna; 3. Bettor Business, Daniel Dube, Scott DiDomenico; 4. Tyra, Tim Tetrick, Joann Looney-King; 5. Southwind Silence, George Brennan, Ron Burke; 6. Rusty's Bliss, Jason Bartlett, Douglas Lewis; 7. Gentlemens Delight, Marcus Johansson, Nancy Johansson; 8. Palm Beach, Eric Carlson, Douglas Lewis. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontraio; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Somebeachsomewhere, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Roll With Joe, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 30) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Molson Pace for free for all pacers. In addition to the appearance of defending champion, State Treasurer, who will start from the rail, two-time winner Foiled Again drew the outside post seven in the eight-horse field and will be making his sixth appearance in London's signature race. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $124,744 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 31). Elimination winners Stevensville and All Bets Off lead the field in the Art Rooney Pace, while the Lismore is led by Southwind Silence and Tyra, who captured last weekend's pair of eliminations. Also on Saturday, Mohawk Racetrack will host a trio of C$75,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts. The Grand Circuit action concludes on Sunday (June 1) as Tioga Downs will host the $200,000 (est.) Roll With Joe for free for all pacers. Complete entries for the Yonkers and Tioga races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair and Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Maxie Lee Memorial for trotters and the Betsy Ross for Market Share won the $250,000 Maxie Lee by two lengths over Sevruga in 1:50.2. The time established the record for history's fastest on a five-eighths-mile track, which previously was 1:50.3 and shared by Sevruga and Uncle Peter. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick settled into fourth place behind Sevruga, Arch Madness, and Daylon Magician in the early part of the race. Market Share moved into second place on the backstretch before challenging Sevruga for the top spot on the final turn. Sevruga finished second followed by DW's NY Yank and Arch Maness. "Nowadays, when you win a stakes race it's either a stakes record or a world record," trainer Linda Toscano said. "The horses are faster, the equipment is better; you just have to go (speed wise) where you have to go to win. These are good horses, all of them." Market Share, a 5-year-old who won for the second time in three starts this season, is owned by Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. Gutnick, a Philadelphia native, won the 2012 Maxie Lee with Chapter Seven. Two races later on the card, Anndrovette and Tetrick won the $250,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2. Anndrovette won the $250,000 Betsy Ross for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2. Anndrovette took the lead from Monkey On My Wheel as the field headed to the halfway point and never looked back. Rocklamation made a late charge from the rear of the pack, but finished second. Jerseylicious was third, followed by Monkey On My Wheel. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Anndrovette paid $13.40 to win. Morning line favorite Shebestingin was scratched. It was Anndrovette's second win in seven starts this season and first since winning a leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on April 4. She was fourth in the Matchmaker final on April 26. Anndrovette, who captured the 2011 Betsy Ross, is owned by Bamond Racing and Joe Davino. The 7-year-old mare, a three-time Dan Patch Award winner, has won 37 of 95 career races and $2.77 million. She is trained by P.J. Fraley. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 286; 2. Tim Tetrick - 225; 3. George Brennan - 144.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 113: 5. Brian Sears - 101. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 410.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 97; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller - 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 96.85; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 94.35; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 40; 5. Brad Grant - 39.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at four different racetracks next weekend. The Meadows will host 3-year-old filly trotters with the Currier & Ives on Wednesday (June 4). Mohawk will feature three sets of eliminations for 3-year-olds, plus the Armbro Flight and Roses Are Red for older mares. The Goodtimes eliminations for colt trotters and the Armbro Flight eliminations for mare trotters will take place on Friday (June 6), while on Saturday (June 7) the track will host elims in the North America Cup (colt pacers), Fan Hanover (filly pacers) and Roses Are Red (mare pacers). Also on Saturday, Scioto Downs will host the Charlie Hill for free for all trotters and Balmoral Park will offer Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 27, 2014-Standout statebred All Bets Off drew right smack in the middle, landing post position No. 4 for Saturday night's $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace. This is the 24th edition of the Rooney. The premier event for 3-year-olds was inaugurated in 1989, a year after the passing of Art Rooney Sr. Saturday's final goes as the 11th race (approximate post of 11 PM) on a 13-race card, with first post at the usual 7:10 PM. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, he is 2-for-3 this season. With Matt Kakaley driving-as he's doing Saturday-All Bets Off comfortably won the second of last week's two $40,000 elimination races, going down the road in 1:52.3. Stevensville, himself a wire-to-wire winner (1:53) in the last weekend's other elim, landed post No. 6 for the final...he same starting venue from a week ago. Tim Tetrick again takes a seat for co-owner/trainer Ray Schnittker. After the race was drawn, Thereisapaceforus, who had drawn the pylons, was scratched. That moved Maxi Bon from the "also eligible" list into the race and inside his seven rivals. That also forced Maxi Bon and Gold Rocks, both trained by Tony Alagna to race coupled (common ownership). Alagna's third horse, Bondi Hanover, goes as a distinct wagering interest (bona fide separate ownership). The new and improved field for the final of the Rooney, with declared drivers... 1-Maxi Bon (Jason Bartlett), 2-Bondi Hanover (Bartlett also listed), 3-Gold Rocks (George Brennan), 4-All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), 5-Some Playa (Brennan also listed), 6-Stevensville (Tim Tetrick), 7-Unlocked (Brent Holland), 8-Ideal Fashion (Jordan Stratton). Maxi Bon and Gold Rocks are coupled (see above), Some Playa is a gelding, while Forty Five Red is the only also eligible. The $124,744 final of the Lismore, for 3-year-old fillies, goes as the 9th race (approximate post 10:20 PM) drew as such... 1-Also Encouraging (Kakaley), 2-It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron), 3-Bettor Business (Dan Dube), 4-Tyra (Tetrick), 5-Southwind Silence (Brennan), 6-Rusty's Bliss (Bartlett), 7-Gentlemen's Delight (Kakaley also listed), 8-Palm Beach (Kakaley also listed). Note that JK Molly and A Little Starstruk are the also eligibles. After Saturday's stakes program, live racing/evening simulcasting is on hiatus until Friday, June 13th. Yonkers offers afternoon simulcasting daily, including the June 7th Belmont Stakes (first post 11:35 AM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

May 26, 2014 – When Bob Zanakis scored a net profit of $521.60 on Saturday night’s TVG FFA Series at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, followers of the 2014 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs may have thought this weekend was going to be more of the same with the usual leaders performing the best. They would have been wrong. For on Sunday, Josi Verlingieri, who was lingering near the bottom for most of the contest thus far, made a statement of ‘Not so fast boys ’ by scoring a net profit of $1,164.50 on Sunday’s card at Harrah’s Philadelphia thanks to a $2 Superfecta Box of four horses in the Betsy Ross FFA Mares Pace which paid $1,496.40.which brought her contest-to-date net profit to $267.80, moving her from 14th to 6th place.  In a week where the cards were shuffled on the standings, Brandon Valvo returned to the top of the leader board with the second and third place handicappers being within $50 of the leader. Some of the big hits this weekend were by Sally Hinckley, $60 Show bet on Thinking Out Loud paying $120 in the TVG Series; Earl Paulson, $75 Place bet on Rocklamation in the Betsy Ross paying $240; Brandon Valvo, $250 Win on Sweet Lou in the TVG Series paying $425; Josi Verlingieri, $48 (total) in a Superfecta box tickets on the Betsy Ross paying $1,496.40; Bob Zanakis, $126 in Trifecta bets on the TVG Series race grossing $771.60. The shuffling of the standings show the contest standings as being: As of May 25, 2014 - Leg 7 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Brandon Valvo $175.00 $880.00   2nd Derick Giwner ($163.00) $842.20 $37.80 3rd Bob Zanakis $317.60 $832.75 $47.25 4th Earl Paulson $217.50 $345.00 $535.00 5th Mark McKelvie ($13.00) $310.50 $569.50 6th Josi Verlingieri $1,165.40 $267.80 $612.20 7th Brian McEvoy $30.00 $197.50 $682.50 8th Garnet Barnsdale ($500.00) ($48.00) $928.00 9th Sally Hinckley $49.50 ($91.90) $971.90 10th Gordon Waterstone ($350.00) ($320.00) $1,200.00 11th Rusty Nash ($250.00) ($645.00) $1,525.00 12th Ann Stepien ($250.20) ($876.20) $1,756.20 13th Ray Garnett ($440.00) ($1,037.20) $1,917.20 14th Ray Cotolo ($460.00) ($1,213.00) $2,093.00 15th Dennis O'Hara ($451.30) ($1,432.30) $2,312.30   This coming week, the contest stakes action picks up beginning with Friday night’s $150,000 Molson Invitational (The Raceway at Western Fair District), Saturday night’s $150,000 Somebeachwhere (Mohawk Raceway), $150,000 Lismore and $300,000 Art Rooney Pace (Yonkers Raceway), and Sunday afternoon’s $200,000 Roll With Joe (Tioga Downs). by Allan Schott, for HANA

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 23, 2014--Yonker Raceway's pair of Friday night $38,000 Open Handicaps--for distaff pacers and either-gender trotters--were won by Little Santamonica (Jason Bartlett) and Coraggioso (Brian Sears). "Santamonica," the upstate scourge making her first local try since late March, floated out from post position No. 6 (in one notch after an inside defection) before taking back. She saw the two (7-5) wagering choices in favored Summertime Lea (George Brennan) and Shelliscape (Brian Sears) in play early with intervals of :27 and :55.3. Virgin Mary (Matt Kakaley) moved from fifth, with Little Santamonica on that one's tail. However, it remainder Shelliscape's race in and out of the 1:24.3 three-quarters, taking a length lead in and out of the final turn. Summertime Lea dove inside, but she wasn't the problem. It was Little Santamonica tipping wide and going by, whipping a game Virgin Nary by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. Shelliscape faded to third, with Summertime Lea and Keystone Wanda (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees. For Little Santamonica, a 5-year-old daughter of Little Steven owned by Kelly Dawn Hope and trained by Jordan Hope, she returned $21.20 (fourth choice) for her eighth win (fifth consecutive) in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $139.50, with the triple returning $685. The week's marquee trot saw even-money favorite Coraggioso wide early from behind the eight-ball, but wrapped up late. He worked around Tober (Bartlett), then threw down the gauntlet to the tune of :28.1, :57.1, 1:26.2 and 1:55. The final margin was a drifting three-quarters of a length, but the final result was never up for debate. Tober chased and held second, with Awesome Valley (Brennan), Swishnflick (Larry Stalbaum) and Harbor Point (Eric Carlson) coming away with the remainder. For Coraggioso, a 5-year-old homebred/statebred son of Conway Hall co-owned by Tom Durkin & Joe Spadaro, and trained by Julie Miller, he returned $4 for his fifth win in 13 '14 tries (up and over $600,000 in career earnings). The exacta paid $16.60, the triple returned $86 and the superfecta paid $291. 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. Note that Saturday's card features eliminations for both the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-colts/geldings) and its companion event, the Lismore (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Trainer Joe Holloway's top two female pacers will be in action Sunday in Pennsylvania, but at different tracks. Shebestingin is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $250,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon and Somwherovrarainbow is the 5-2 choice in the $25,000 Mares Preferred at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. Holloway would have preferred to see both 4-year-old mares in the Betsy Ross, but was limited to one starter. Shebestingin and driver John Campbell will start from post eight in the eight-horse Betsy Ross field. The remainder of the field, in post order, is Drop The Ball, Rocklamation, Jerseylicious, Monkey On My Wheel, Anndrovette, JK Letitgo, and Yagonnakissmeornot. "I have the eight hole, but I don't know what would be a good post position with the way the race might unfold," Holloway said. "John will work out a trip. To me, I know she's the best in the race. As long as we get a trip we'll be fine." Shebestingin has won 17 of 25 career races and $724,102. This year, she has won twice in three starts, including a track-record 1:50.4 triumph in the Chip Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway on May 4. Last week, she finished second to Jerseylicious in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands. The winning time was 1:50.1 over a sloppy track. "She's the kind of horse that needs to train a bit more, needs to get a little tight," said Holloway, who trains Shebestingin for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, and L&L DeVisser. "She's finally getting there. She didn't race as well last week but it was teeming down rain. She is a bit of a diva, she has her quirks, and she didn't really like the heavy rain at the time. She was pacing along just fine. There was nothing really wrong." Somwherovrarainbow, who has won five of seven races this year and earned $266,750 for owners Ted Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing, will start from post seven in a seven-horse field at Pocono Downs. Tim Tetrick will drive. The remainder of the field, in post order, is American In Paris, Scandalous Hanover, Continual Velocity, Krispy Apple, Show Runner, and Feeling You. Somwherovrarainbow is coming off a win in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands on May 9. Both of Holloway's mares are scheduled to head to the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack following Sunday's action. The Roses Are Red eliminations are June 7 and the final is June 14. "I think I have two of the best fillies in the country and only one of them will get to race (in the Betsy Ross)," Holloway said. "I wanted to find a start for (Somwherovrarainbow) between now and next Friday because we can't go a month without racing before the Roses Are Red." .................................................. Two $40,000 eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old pacers are on Saturday's card at Yonkers Raceway, with Dan Patch Award-winner He's Watching leading the list of hopefuls. He's Watching, who was voted the best 2-year-old male pacer of 2013, is undefeated in eight career races. His Rooney elim, the first of the two divisions, will be his seasonal debut. He has three wins at Yonkers, including the New York Sire Stakes championship in his 2013 finale. The 3-5 favorite in his elim, He's Watching and driver Jim Morrill Jr. will start from post two. The rest of the field is Unlocked, Forty Five Red, Gold Rocks, Bondi Hanover, and Stevensville. "He's right where I want him to be," trainer Dave Menary told Yonkers' Frank Drucker earlier this week. "We're looking forward to coming back (Yonkers). He loves the track and we're anxious to have him start the season. "He's muscular, with heart and stamina. I've never seen a horse dig through the ground the way he does." Menary owns He's Watching with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. The second Rooney elimination features 4-5 favorite All Bets Off from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. The rest of the field is Ideal Fashion, Some Playa, Thereisapaceforus, and Maxi Bon. Also on Saturday's card are two $20,000 eliminations for the Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Burke's Southwind Silence is the 3-5 favorite in the first division, which also includes It Was Fascination, Bettor Business, A Little Starstruk, and Palm Beach. Casie Coleman's Also Encouraging is the 3-5 favorite in the second split, which also has Tyra, JK Molly, Gentlemens Delight, and Rusty's Bliss. The top four finishers from all the eliminations advance to their respective finals. The $300,000 Art Rooney Pace final and $124,744 Lismore Pace final are May 31. ............................................... He's Watching is the early favorite to win the Meadowlands Pace, according to Big M morning line oddsmaker Darin Zoccali, who has the colt at 3-1. Several other horses in the Top 15 also will be in action this weekend. Ron Burke-trained JK Endofanera, who is No. 2 in the Meadowlands Pace odds at 4-1, is the favorite in his division of the Historic-Pocono Cup on Saturday at Pocono Downs. His Pocono Cup division also includes John Butenschoen's Allstar Partner, who is No. 14 in the Pace ratings. Capital Account, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the favorite in the other Pocono Cup division. On Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Steve Elliott's Doo Wop Hanover, No. 15 on the Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is the favorite in his division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. Jim Campbell's Sometimes Said, who is No. 12, is the favorite in a conditioned race at the Big M. North of the border one night earlier, Carmen Auciello's Bugger Bruiser (No. 11) is the second favorite in a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold at Western Fair. Richard Moreau's Boomboom Ballykeel (No. 13) races in a Gold division earlier on the card. The Meadowlands Pace is July 12. ............................. Top Hambletonian contender Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, won his seasonal debut Wednesday night in 1:53.3 over a "good" track in a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Pocono Downs. "He had plenty of trot left," said driver Yannick Gingras, who sits behind the colt for trainer Jimmy Takter. "I knew he was ready to go and he proved me right." Several other Hambletonian hopefuls are in action this weekend. Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford, is the favorite in his division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on Friday. The colt won the New York Sire Stakes championship last season. John Grasso's Expressive Action and Dan Daley's Daley Lovin are the top picks in the other sire stakes split at Tioga. New Jersey Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotters Friday night at the Meadowlands finds Hambletonian eligibles Dave Briggs, Hillustrious, King City, Lightning Force, Martiniwithmuscle, Odds On Amethyst, Resolve, Royal Ice, Skates N Plates, Southwind Poseidon, Speak The Truth, Sumatra, and Well Built all going behind the gate. Elsewhere, Harper Blue Chip, who was second to Father Patrick in last year's Wellwood Memorial, makes his first qualifying effort for trainer Mark Steacy on Friday morning at Mohawk. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications U.S. Trotting Association

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