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YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 28, 2018--Yonkers Raceway Monday night (July 30th) hosts the $172,000 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old harness racing colts and geldings. Post time for the dozen-race card is 6:50 PM, with the sire stakes event going as races 7 (purse $85,250) and 8 (purse $86,750), respectively. The event again honors the memory of one of the true movers and shakers (not to mention a damn fine fellow) in the state's harness program. The opening event for the big boys offers some solid resumes, the haughtiest of which belongs to Springsteen (Dave Miller, post 2). The season has been highlighted by a win in the half-million-dollar final of Pocono's Max Hempt Memorial (life-best 1:48.3). He hits town, though, after faltering first-up in the his elim of the Adios. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven, co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg and Kapildeo Singh. has two wins in six starts ($286,500). Rootin' Tootin' (Mark MacDonald, post 6) has plied his craft versus statebreds, with sire stakes wins at Saratoga (life-best 1:52.1). The Roll with Joe colt is co-owned by (trainer) Blake MacIntosh, Stuart McIntosh, Robert MacNeil and Fred Brayford. Topville Olympian (Brian Sears, post 5) and Twin B Tuffenuff (George Brennan, post 7) have both been bridesmaids in their last two statebred sojourns. Monday night's second and final division finds the return of Art Rooney Pace winner Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett, post 2). The son of Betterthancheddar, who wired that $300,000 event in a life-best 1:51.3, comes back after sire stakes wins at Buffalo and Saratoga. For the season, he's 5-for-8 with $238,896 in the till for co-owners Evan Katz and Crawford Racing. My Delight (Brent Holland, post 5) authored a 34-1 upset in a $23,066 division of the Reynolds here in mid-May, then won (at 14-1) a sire stakes event at Vernon (life-best 1:49.4). Ostro Hanover (Miller, post 7) tries it after a 10-1 statebred win at Saratoga. Rockapelo (Sears, post 8) has hit the board in six of his eight '18 tries, including a win (life-best 1:50.2) in his $24,000 division of Tioga's Geers. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Batavia, NY---The heavily favored Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom) displayed why everyone from the track handicapper to the harness racing bettors heavily endorsed her as she dominated the field in her division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (July 25). Wisdom Tree (Kevin Cummings) left for the lead but had to work hard for it; getting to the quarter in :27 flat. But once she cleared and settled in, the filly was in total control. Cummings backed the half off considerably before speeding up the proceedings up the backstretch, although no one was close enough to challenge. By the three-quarters Wisdom Tree had opened up a three-length advantage which she held as she cruised around the far turn and down the lane to win in 1:53, which was just one-fifth off the track record. Cummings said after the race "That was pretty easy once she got to the front. I backed off the second quarter to :29.1 and it was pretty much over from there. I had to get after her in the third quarter because she was starting to go to sleep on me but around the last turn when I pulled the plugs, she responded well and was looking for horses because she was off by herself for most of the mile." It was the fourth win in her last five starts and eighth win of 2018 for Wisdom Tree ($2.70) who has now carded $215,785 for the year for owners Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher. Ed Hart trains the winner. Wisdom Tree was a $28,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select yearling sale and was bred by Winbak Farm. Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie) put in as impressive an effort in her division, but she did it from behind. Getting away sixth from post seven, Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill Jr.) watched from afar as Hurrikane Shorty (Jim Marohn Jr.) sped away with a loose lead in :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1. At that last station, Morrill was finally able to get his filly off the pylons from sixth and tipped three-deep into the last bend. She went from sixth to first during the arc of the turn and sped away to a two-length lead when they straightened out to win in 1:53.4. "She was very good tonight; she's been good pretty much right along. She threw a clunker in her last start but we came to find out she was sick. So we have her healthy again and she's back. She made a big move three-wide tonight but she did the same thing at Yonkers two starts down, coming home in :27.1. Once she gets moving she's good" said Morrill. It was the second win of the year for Alexis Faith ($6.60) but first of 2018 in the NYSS. The filly is owned by West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow and Kevin McKinlay and trained by Casie Coleman. Alexis Faith was purchased at the Lexington Select yearling sale for $55,000 and was bred by Melvin Segal. The third leg saw Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think) leave from post seven and tuck fourth at the eighth pole while Checkered Past (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Solitary (Jim Marohn Jr.) argued for the front. But halfway up the backside, her driver Mark Macdonald had her out and rolling and took the front by the quarter in :27.2. With the field in single file, Ubettergo Go slowed the pace and forced Apothic (Drew Monti) to advance an outer flow. The field hit three-quarters in two rows with Ubettergo Go still calling the shots, but Apothic looked live and Checkered Past was ready to strike having gotten the perfect pocket trip to this point. At the head of the lane, Macdonald asked Ubettergo Go and she responded by opening up a two length lead and hitting the wire in first in 1:53.4. "She went well. That was a bruising first quarter in :27.2 but she ended up pacing away anyway. She kind of stepped over a little shadow around the last turn there and it took her mind off her work for a minute, but then she just breezed her way home. She's a real nice filly" said Macdonald. Ubettergo Go ($4.40) is owned by Blake Macintosh, Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas and Ozzie Mackay and is trained by Blake Macintosh. Ubettergo Go was a $13,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase and was bred by Concord Stud and Birnam Wood Farms. There were also two $15,000 division of the Excel "A" series on the card. The first division went to KJ's Justine (American Ideal-Day Blue Chip), winning gate to wire in 1:55.4. KJ's justine ($6.10) was driven Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Ken Jacobs. The second division was won by Psychic Blue chip (Art Major-All Spirit) who also led at every station in 1:56. Psychic Blue Chip ($9.00) was driven by Ray Fisher Jr. for trainer Joseph Skowyra and owners Jeffrey Clark and Vernon Cannon.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---For the second time in as many racing days, a band of state-bred sisters will be invading Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (July 25) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old harness racing pacing fillies go postward to compete in three divisions for a total purse of $120,400. NYSS divisions go in races one, five and seven with post time for the first race at 5 p.m. Headlining the pool of 22 participants is Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom) who will be competing in the $39,900 third division. This filly is not only tearing up the NYSS this year; she is also racing large on the Grand Circuit. Besides winning three New York events so far, Wisdom Tree also won the $142,000 Nadia Lobell at Hoosier Park on July 6, setting a new lifetime mark and track record of 1:49.4 in the process. A week later she drew post 12 in the 1-1/8th mile $191,800 Mistletoe Shallee at the Meadowlands and finished a strong closing fourth behind the winner Kissin In The Sand after being parked out over half a mile in the distance race timed in 2:04.1. Wisdom Tree ranks high in stats among all 3-year-old pacing fillies in North America. For the year so far she is the third richest ($195,835), fourth fastest (1:49.4) and fifth winningest (seven) against all her rivals. In the NYSS she is the highest point-getter, has the most wins and has earned the most money. Trainer Ed Hart has called on Kevin Cummings to drive the 8-5 early favorite Wisdom Tree who will leave from post six. In the first $39,900 division Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink) started the year strong, winning back-to-back NYSS events. She then qualified for the $315,400 final of the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Raceway where fast early fractions caught up to her late and saw her finish seven lengths behind the winner. She was given a 26 day rest after that start and looked fresh finishing second by a head in 1:52.2 in a NYSS event at Vernon Downs. Now after another 11 day break, she looks like the one to beat. Trainer Blake Macintosh has Mark Macdonald in the bike behind Ubettergo Go who starts from post seven at 5-2. The main competition looks to be Solitary (American Ideal-Lonesome Day) who moves up from Excel "A" action at Vernon where she finished a strong second in 1:52.1 and Apothic (Art Major-Permafrost) who paced in 1:51.3 finishing third in a NYSS race at Vernon as well. Both mares are still looking for their first NYSS win. Solitary leaves from post one for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Nick Surick and Apothic starts next to her in post two with trainer Mark Harder calling on Drew Monti to drive. The second division goes for $40,600 and has Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie) listed as the 5-2 morning line choice. Alexis Faith has yet to win a NYSS event this year after being the 2-year-old champion in 2017, but she has finished second on two occasions. Like Ubettergo Go, Alexis Faith also raced in the Fan Hanover final and fared a bit better. After cutting three-quarters of the mile and having an open lead at the head of the stretch, Alexis Faith ended up fourth by only two lengths in 1:50.4. Arguing for the purse will be Presto Blue Chip (American Ideal-Cantor's Daughter) who just got beat at Vernon in 1:52.2 in her last start in NYSS action and Jewels Forreal (So Surreal-Dandy's Jewel) who took a lifetime mark of 1:51 at Tioga Downs in the $23,500 Geers Stake on June 29. Drew Monti drives Presto Blue Chip from post two for trainer Jeffrey Smith and Jewels Forreal has the services of Matt Kakaley from post six for trainer Ron Burke. There are also two $15,000 division of the Excel "A" series in races two and three and one $6,800 division of Excel "B" in race 11. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

ANDERSON, IN - Wisdom Tree returned to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and continued her winning ways in the featured event of the evening, the $142,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, on Friday, July 6. With Sam Widger in the bike, Wisdom Tree turned in a sharp, front-running effort to stop the timer in 1:49.4 and establish a new track record for sophomore pacing fillies in the process. The previous record of 1:50.1 was established in 2016 by Rockalina and driver Mike Peterson. Widger had the heavy 3-5 favorite firing away with the wings of the gate but Ricky Macomber Jr. and Strong Opinion were a step quicker and grabbed the early lead through the opening panel in a snappy :25.3. Wisdom Tree was second but not for long. Widger gave her the green light as the field approached the half and she quickly grabbed command before the second station in :53.3. Michael Oosting and Double A Mint were next in line third and would begin the long, first-over attack just before the three-quarters in 1:21.4. The blazing speed continued but Wisdom Tree appeared strong on the front. Double A Mint was matching strides with the leader but Wisdom Tree wasn't going down without a fight. Utilizing a :28 final panel, Wisdom Tree was able to put away Double A Mint to finish a length and a half to the good. Reign on Me and LeWayne Miller utilized a ground saving trip to rally for third place honors. Wisdom Tree returned $3.40 to her backers at the betting windows. "It was a little fast to the half," Widger noted in the winner's circle. "Looking at the program, I thought we were the best in the race and she has always been strong on the front. She's a really nice filly who knows her work. She just goes out there and does her job." Trained by Jeff Cullipher, who co-owns with Thomas Pollack, Wisdom Tree scored her third consecutive victory and seventh seasonal win from nine outings. The 1:49.4 clocking was a new lifetime best as the daughter of Betterthancheddar-Wisdom pushed her career bankroll to $241,660. Wisdom Tree will likely be pointed to the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands for her next stakes engagement. The stakes action continued a little later on in the evening with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Finals for three-year old trotting and pacing colts. Katkin American and James Yoder followed suit to deliver as the heavy betting favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Stopping the timer in 1:53, Katkin American made his game winning move down the backside to finish ten lengths in front of his next closest competitor. After a track record performance in his elimination last week, Katkin American recorded his third consecutive Hoosier Park victory for trainer Verlin Yoder and owner, breeder, Brett Boyd. Katkin American was won his last three outings by a combined 27 lengths. "We are so thankful to so many folks that helped get this horse here," Boyd said of his prodigy in the winner's circle. "It takes a lot of people to get one here and we are so thankful to everyone who helped us along the way. I trained his mother and he reminds me a lot of her. We love this colt and the Yoders have done such a great job with him." Unraced at two, the son of Guccio-Katkin has now won three of five lifetime starts. With the win, Katkin American nearly doubled his lifetime purse earnings to push his career bankroll to $62,000. On the pacing side of things, Rockinbeach and Ricky Macomber Jr. converted a pocket trip into a 1:49.4 score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Employing a :25.4 final quarter, Rockinbeach exploded to the wire to finish six lengths in front of Jeopardy and John DeLong. Trained by Jamie Macomber, Rockinbeach notched his fourth win from nine seasonal starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The homebred son of Rockin Image-Miss Sandy Beach is owned by Wilbur Eash and has now amassed $168,940 in lifetime purse earnings. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 7 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The New York Sires Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers is nearing the halfway point and Sunday afternoon (July 8) at Buffalo Raceway, precious points that are needed to reach the finals are starting to come at a premium.   A trio of races, worth approximately $39,000 each, has attracted 17 sophomores looking to solidify their spots for the finals on Saturday, September 22 at Yonkers Raceway. In the current point standings, 10 of the top 20 boys will be in action on Sunday. Along with a nice check, 50 critical points will be put into the account of the victors.   Entrants include defending 2-year-old NYSS champion Jersey Jim, 2018 Rooney Pace winner Trump Nation, current NYSS point leader My Delight and Hitman Hill, a winner of nearly $250,000 in just 13 career starts.   The first leg will feature My Delight (Betterthanchaddar-Kg Delight) who currently sits atop the points standings with 87. He hasn't missed the board in six starts this season, putting $49,599 in the bank. My Delight, who has a first, second and third place finish in NYSS competition in 2018, will begin from the four post and be driven by Scott Zeron.   The major threat could be Rootin Tootin (Roll With Joe-Wild Retreat) who currently sits in second place in the points race with 55. Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Rootin Tootin from the second hole.   Others in the field include Lisburn (John MacDonald), Twin B Tuffenuff (Brett Miller) and Handsoffmychips (Jason Bartlett).   Hitman Hill (American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker) arrives coming off a third place finish the $500,000 Hempt Finals at Pocono Downs, losing by a mere head. A participant in last year's North American Cup final at Woodbine, Hitman Hill has a lifetime best of 1:49.3 at Pocono. Brett Miller will steer him from the six post.   It's a stacked field against Hitman Hill as all his foes are in the top 20 in points including Rockapelo (Morrill Jr.), Lyons Steel (Drew Monti), Topville Olympian (James MacDonald), Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron) and Rock Lights (Bartlett).   Ghost Dance was victorious in the NYSS last season at Buffalo Raceway with a 1:57.3 decision with Mike Saftic in the sulky.   The third division, scheduled as the fifth race, has reigning champion Jersey Jim (Artiscape-Jersey Pearl) entered. It's been a rather slow beginning this season for him, earning just $13,101 in seven tries this season after putting $177,483 in the bank in 2017. Things could be looking brighter however for Jersey Jim (Ray Fisher Jr.) as he comes off an impressive 4-3/4 score in 1:52.2 at Saratoga Raceway on June 30.   The main competition should come from Trump Nation (Betterthancheddar-Late Flyin N), the winner of the $300,000 Rooney Finals at Yonkers on May 26 in 1:51.3. With a bankroll of $189,746 already in 2018, Trump Nation drew the rail with Bartlett slated to drive.   Other scheduled to compete in the final bracket include Major Authority (Morrill Jr.), Cross My Mind (Zeron), Real Surreal (MacDonald) and Love Yourself (Steven Rybka).   The track records for the 3-year-old pacing colts is 1:52.3 by Steelhead Hanover in 2012 and 1:53.1 for the geldings established in 2016 by Missile J.   Also on the program will be one $15,000 Excelsior A race and a $6,500 Excelsior B event.   Post time for the 12-race card is 12:30 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – Since making her 3-year-old debut at Hoosier Park this spring, Wisdom Tree has been nearly unstoppable. The daughter of Betterthancheddar out of the Artsplace mare Wisdom posted three straight wins in overnight competition in Indiana and at Saratoga before jumping into New York Sire Stakes. In three legs so far, she’s 2-for-3 with another runner-up finish. The only blemish on Wisdom Tree’s 2018 campaign came in her first start of the year when she made an early miscue and finished seventh. “She’s a really nice filly. She’s a doll, I love her,” trainer Ed Hart said. “I think she was a little immature last year. She made the odd mistake. You could never move her too fast, you always had to be a little careful with her. She definitely matured. She’s a sweetheart in the stall, does everything right, just a classy horse.” Jeff Cullipher co owns Wisdom Tree with Tom Pollack and prepared the filly for her 3-year-old campaign before sending her east to Hart. Over the years, the relationship between Hart, Pollack, and Cullipher has proven fruitful. “I started training horses for Tom Pollack. He was also an owner with Randy Bendis and Randy sent me horses from The Meadows when they came out East to race, especially for New York Sire Stakes,” Hart said. “And then Tom branched out to Indiana with Jeff Cullipher and they race together. They do the same thing, when they come out east, they send them to me. “They always send me good horses and they’re good people to deal with. Jeff Cullipher developed this filly and trained her down. I just manage her out here and race her. It’s really nice,” Hart continued. “Jeff has a big stable out in Indiana, he’s a good guy to work with. It really is nice, it works out real well for me.” In her first start in Sire Stakes competition this year May 27 at Saratoga, Wisdom Tree raced from off the pace as the race’s 2-5 favorite Youaremycandygirl cut blistering fractions of :26.3 and :53.3. As the leader’s strides began to shorten nearling three-quarters, Wisdom Tree mounted a first-over bid. She struck the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away with a :28.2 final quarter to beat Alexis Faith by a length in 1:52.2 at odds of 8-1. “That was a pretty wild race,” Hart said. “My filly did it right, she pulled going to the half and she was coming first-over and ground that one down. She raced tough as nails, you can’t take anything away from her.” Wisdom Tree’s victory at Saratoga showed the filly has developed a new dimension this year. In 11 starts at 2, Wisdom Tree won three races, all of which came on the front end. She frequently made breaks in stride when forced to sit in a hole. Now more mentally and physically mature, Hart thinks Wisdom Tree has outgrown her breaking issues and is much more versatile. “Last year, when she was on the lead where you could steady her and keep her on her own pace, she was really good,” Hart explained. “She was never quick to come out of the hole, you could never force her into anything. This year, you can. She can leave, she can sit, she can do it all.” Wisdom Tree proved her efforts at Saratoga were no fluke as she finished second next out, pacing a 1:50.3 mile from post eight at Tioga Downs June 3. In her most recent start, Wisdom Tree posted a 4 ¼-length victory after sitting the pocket trip at Buffalo June 13. “I know Buffalo, I’ve raced there all my life and you’ve got to be really careful up there,” Hart said. “I was happy to see her get around that track and she handled it perfectly. Kevin Cummings said she never took a bad step. And there again, she left pretty quick and sat the hole and sat there nice. That was a nice trip up there for her.” Wisdom Tree will try to score her third NYSS victory of the year Thursday night at Yonkers when she starts in the third and final division of the state bred stakes in race 11. Wisdom Tree will start from post five as the 2-1 morning line favorite and will once again face Alexis Faith, the Casie Coleman trainee who finished second in a Fan Hanover elimination at Mohawk June 9. For complete entries, click here.  “I know Casie Coleman’s horse on the outside of us is a tough horse, I know she’s raced good in Canada. At that level, they’re all good, anything can happen. Hopefully we’ll get a good trip and we’ll see what happens,” Hart said. “I think Wisdom Tree is sharp. That Buffalo trip is tough. It’s a 6-hour trip each way, it’s a 2-day thing, but I think she’s sharp. She feels good.” Hart will also start Medusa in Friday night’s featured $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. A 6-1 chance from an assigned inside post, Medusa will face the likes of Lispatty, Sell A Bit, Newborn Sassy, and Mach It A Par.  Hart broke Medusa as a yearling, but she campaigned with a host of stables including Paul Kelley, Ron Burke, and Randy Bendis before finally coming to Hart this spring for the Matchmaker Series. She was victorious in one leg and hit the board in three others to make the final, where she finished sixth. I her last start, the 7-year-old finished second beaten a nose in the Filly and Mare Open June 15. In her career, Medusa is 32-for-109 with $732,753 earned. “I had her a long time ago as a baby and she came back to me this year,” Hart said. “She raced tough in that series. Five, six weeks in a row is a tough series. Last week, she was super, but the fractions were a little slower up front, kind of played into her a little bit. That’s a really nice mare. Big, beautiful, sound mare. Pretty much tries every week and just another good horse.” First post time Thursday and Friday at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m. For Friday’s entries, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Wisdom Tree and Tell Me A Joke each have a victory this season in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers and they are the ones to beat in their respective divisions on Wednesday night (June 13) when the series arrives at Buffalo Raceway.   There will be two compact NYSS fields that will kick off the early daily double on the 10-race card. A field of four will tangle in the first leg worth $56,900 while the second division carries a purse of $58,000 for the five entrants.   In the opener, Wisdom Tree comes to town finishing first or second in five of her six starts in 2018. A winner of $53,200 already this season, Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom) drew the four post for driver Kevin Cummings and has been tabbed even money morning line choice.   Wisdom Tree, trained by Edward Hart, took the $59,100 NYSS bracket at Saratoga Raceway on May 27 by scoring a length triumph in 1:52.2. Last week at Tioga Downs, she finished a strong second in 1:50.3 despite starting from the eight post in a $40,600 division of the NYSS.   The main challenger could be Pelican Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Feathery Fame) who gets the services of Jim Morrill Jr. from the pylons. She's earned a paycheck in her last two tries in the NYSS and could be primed for a big effort.   The other two in the field include Twin B Peaches (Mark MacDonald) and the Ron Burke-trained Betterthangraduate (Matt Kakaley).   Tell Me A Joke (Art Major-Camadian) headlines the second division and has been installed as an even money morning line choice as well from the four spot on the starting grid.   Morrill Jr., who'll be on the bike again with Tell Me A Joke, guided her to a gate-to-wire victory in the NYSS on June 3 at Tioga in 1:53.2, turning back Trigger Happy by a length. A winner three times in five appearances this season, Tell Me A Joke has $40,392 in the bank this season.   Jewels Forreal, another Burke trainee, drew the three post with Kakaley in the sulky. Last time out on June 3 at Tioga Downs, Jewels Forreal (So Surreal-Dandy's Jewel) made up 10 lengths during the race and finished third just 1-1/2 lengths behind Tell Me A Joke. With a long stretch at Buffalo Raceway, Jewels Forreal could be a very formidable opponent.   The remainder of the field includes Checkered Past (MacDonald), Ms Cheesman (Scott Zeron) and Liplock (Nicholas Boyd).   The track record for the 3-year-old filly pacers is 1:53.3 set in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip. With five track standards either being tied or lowered last week at Buffalo Raceway, it's possible that the record book might have to be updated again.   For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

There were three divisions of the $59,000+ New York Sire Stakes for three year old filly pacers contested on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The award winner as the top two year old pacing filly in the country made the first start of her sophomore campaign on Sunday in a $59,100 division of the NYSS. Youaremycandygirl (American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane-Somebeachsomewhere) won all the big races she competed in in 2017 and following three qualifiers, made her seasonal debut on Sunday at Saratoga. Matt Kakaley piloted the Ron Burke trainee who wound up going off as the public's 2-5 betting favorite. Her task was a difficult one as Youaremycandygirl squared off against last year's NYSS champion Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie-Cam's Card Shark) who drew the rail for Sunday's seasonal stakes debut. Youaremycandygirl appeared poised for an historic effort when she opened up a lead of a dozen lengths in a first half in an eye-popping 53.3! After checking in at three quarters in 1:22.2, her strides were noticeably shortening and the superstar filly faded sharply around the final turn. It was the Ed Hart-trained longshot Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom-Artsplace) who charged hard in the stretch and stopped the timer in 1:52.2 for the upset victory with Bruce Aldrich Jr in the sulky. Alexis Faith, who made a brief break early in the mile, recovered to finish second. Youaremycandygirl plummeted back late and wound up finishing last in her first try of 2018. Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think-Bettor's Delight) was an ultra-impressive winner on Sunday as Mark Macdonald piloted the Blake Macintosh trainee to a wire-to-wire score in a fast 1:52.3. Fellow Canadian invader Pueblo Blue Chip (American Ideal-Casino Miss-Cam's Card Shark) scored in her $60,200 division on Sunday behind a front-running effort in 1:54.3 with Jim Morrill Jr. in the sulky. Live racing continues on Monday afternoon as a matinee card is scheduled for the Memorial Day holiday. First time is set for 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 26, 2018-The polls have closed, and it's officially Trump Nation. The colt by that very same name proved quite the best Saturday night (May 26th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The $300,000 28th Rooney saw six 3-year-old colts and two geldings start, but seven ended up chasing in vain. From post position No. 4, Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett, $6.80) was forwardly-placed, as was Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller). The latter made the first lead, before the former played leapfrog. Trump Nation seized the day (night?) just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. Trump Nation, who won the second of last week's two elimination races, then rated a 29-second next subsection (:56.3 half), which would serve him well. Along came 3-5 favorite Springsteen (Brian Sears), first-up from fifth, and the race was underway in earnest. Kwik Talkin' (George Brennan) slipped out to race second-over, but gapped badly. Meanwhile, the leader and his 'prompter' rolled through a :26.4 third quarter (1:26.2), with the people's preference packing it in readily. Trump Nation owned a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn. Babes Dig Me edged from the pocket, while Minnie Vinnie-the scourge of Iowa-had room after sitting third. However, the Trumpster was up to the challenge, defeating Minnie Vinnie by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:51.3...a life-best by a good number. Babes Dig Me was clearly third, with 124-1 rank outsider Major Authority (Mark MacDonald) and Decoy (Dave Miller) rounding out the payees. Kwik Talkin', Springsteen and Jimtastic (Eric Goodell) completed the order. Decoy, the other elim winner, had a no-chance trip after the open draw buried him behind the eight-ball. For second choice Trump Nation, a statebred son of Betterthancheddar co-owned (as of this past Monday) by Evan Katz & Crawford Racing and trained (as of this past Monday) by Chris Oakes, it was his third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $113.50, the triple returned $731 and the superfecta paid $6,643. "I couldn't have ask for the race to work out any better," Bartlett said. "I was able to back down the half and pick it up when Springsteen came at me. "I thought the two outside horses (Babes Dig Me and Decoy) had to leave, and when I saw Brett (Miller, Babes Dig Me), I let him go and retook "I have to say that (former trainer) Andrew (Harris) really did the right thing with him last season, wanting to race him from off the pace. He deserves a lot of credit." As does the chauffeur, who won his first Rooney Pace in his 11th try. "It took me long enough," Bartlett said. ALEXA'S POWER TAKES LISMORE FINAL YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 26, 2018—If there isn’t talk about changing the name the Lismore to the Tetrick, perhaps there ought to be. Driver Tim Tetrick has made the race his own personal playground, winning Yonkers Raceway’s Saturday night (May  26th) edition with the homebred Alexa’s Power ($3.70). The $111,444 companion event to the Art Rooney Pace attracted eight 3-year-old lasses after one was given lovely parting gifts in last week’s lone elimination. As for Alexa’s Power, she—from post position No. 6—was away third, behind Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett) and Believe in Me (Brian Sears). Her position was secured after Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) and elim winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) both made early breaks, the latter ending up racing inside the cones. Pass Line Bluechip found a 28-second opening quarter-mile, before Alexa’s Power moved again. It took her just about a quarter-mile to wrest the lead, eventually doing so before a :56.2 intermission. Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), as the 69-1 bombardier, went first-up from fifth, not getting close to the leader and her 1:25.2 three-quarters. Alexa’s Power held a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, then held off her two pursuers. Pass Line Bluechip took her shot from the pocket as did Believe in Me from the three-hole. The leader hung tough, however, Alexa’s Power won by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Pass Line Bluechip photoed Believe in Me for second, with a ground-saving Reign on Me (Brett Miller) and Solitary (Brent Holland) grabbing the minors. Python Blue Chip, Checker Past and Jewels Forreal rounded out the order.     For Alexa’s Power, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Jeff Snyder and trained by Jim Campbell, is was her third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.40, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $29.4 and the superfecta paid $231. Tetrick won this race for a fifth time, including Tyra’s stakes-record 1:52.1 four seasons ago.   For Alexa’s Power starting nose-to-gate was refreshing after second-tier getaways here in a division of the Reynolds Memorial and last week’s elimination race. “I thought I’d end up second-over,” Tetrick said. “I wound up getting away third, and from there, I wanted to put her on the lead. “Jordan (Stratton, last week’s driver) told me she was loaded then, so I had all the confidence in her. She dug in when she had to. “It takes a special sort of filly to win the Lismore,” he said. “You need one that can handle an audible if the plan changes.” It doesn’t hurt to have Tetrick calling the plays, either.   Saturday night’s $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by Theartofconfusion A (Miller, $40.80) and DW’s NY Yank (Brennan, $8.20), taking the pacing and trotting events in 1:51.1 and 1:54.3, respectively. The evening’s last race resulted in the fastest local mile of the season, a 1:51 beat down by odds-on Bettor Memories (Bartlett, $3.20) in the $27,500 pacing finale.     The Raceway now goes AWOL for live racing and evening simulcasting until Friday, June 8th. Afternoon simulcasting continues each day except Tuesday. by Frank Drucker, for Empire City @ Yonkers

Classy youngster Yankee Roller is primed and ready to maintain his undefeated status according to harness racing trainer Emma Stewart. Engaged in Saturday night’s South Australian Derby at Globe Derby, Yankee Roller has two obstacles to overcome. Firstly, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven is returning from a four-month break, and secondly, he has drawn the middle of the back row. Despite the awkward starting position and lack of recent racing, Stewart stated the Australian Pacing Gold purchase should have no trouble stretching his perfect record to five. “He’s a very nice type,” Stewart said. “His work has been great, and even though he hasn’t raced for a few months, he is forward enough to win. “The draw isn’t ideal, but he is certainly good enough to overcome it. “I’ve got a reasonable opinion of him and expect him to improve with racing throughout the season. “He can certainly make his way through the grades and the Derby looks like a good starting point.” Yankee Roller is one of four APG graduates in the Blue Riband, with No Alabi faring best in barrier three for Aussie Mifsud. The son of Betterthancheddar has two wins and a second from his last three starts. Local hope Culzean Castle will begin from five for local horseman Greg Norman, with Muscle Up Major to come from the outside of the front line for Rodney Petroff. APG Media

Umbeaten Australian Pacing Gold youngster Bettabrown Tiger is expected to maintain his perfect harness racing record when he heads to Hobart on Sunday night. Although the son of Betterthancheddar is first-up since last March, trainer Melissa Maine is confident Bettabrown Tiger is ready to resume with a win. Successful at his three starts as a freshman, Bettabrown Tiger has drawn to lead throughout from the pole. “He has the draw his favour and I think he can remain unbeaten this weekend,” Maine said. “His work has been great and he trialled solidly a couple of days before Christmas. “He will certainly be hard to beat.” A Melbourne APG purchase, Bettabrown Tiger has benefitted from his long spell according to Maine. In fact, the popular horsewoman has set her sights on the Tasmania Derby in April and a trip across Bass Strait. “He’s grown a lot and is feeling very strong,” Maine said. “There is no reason why he won’t improve as the season goes on. “At this stage I haven’t really planned anything with him and Sunday’s race will give us a good gauge where he is at. “If he can improve as I believe he will, I’ll set him for the Derby. “At some stage I would also like to go to Victoria to try and win his Vicbred bonus.” APG Media

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- In what looked to be a showdown between three previous winners in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly pacers, Betterthangraduate turned it into a blow out by destroying her competition in 1:57.1, the fastest of the three $36,000 (approx.) harness racing divisions at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 16).   Betterthangraduate had to battle Walk From Heaven and Twin B Peaches who each had successful debuts in Vernon Down on July 7. But only one was going to come out with bragging rights and that was Betterthangraduate (Chris Lems) who easily beat Twin B Peaches by a comfortable 3-1/2 lengths.   In the other two legs ,Ubettergo Go was sent off at 1-to-9 odds and she responded like a heavy favorite should by romping to an easy two length victory over American Myth in 1:57.2 while Another Lawsuit got a perfect trip and pounced on the opportunity late to nip the pace-setting Kim's The Best by a neck in 1:57.3.   Fresh off a 1:55 victory in the Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs, Betterthangraduate made it two straight victories with a gate-to-wire journey around the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval. With fractions of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:28.2, Bettergraduate only received a minor challenge in the last panel from Twin B Peaches (Jody Jamieson) but it wasn't nearly enough. Princess Dalia (Marcus Miller) took the show position.   Betterthangraduate (Betterthancheddar-Western Graduate) has now won twice in three career starts for trainer Ron Burke, putting $35,658 in the bank. She is co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Silva Purnel & Libby, Pete Collura and Weaver Bruscemi.   Ubettergo Go is also undefeated in her two New York Sire Stakes races. She had no issues in trouncing the field that was scratched down to five due as Classy Chris and Azreal As It Gets were excused due to illness.   With fractions of 29.8, 59.4 and 1:29.4, Ubettergo Go ($2.10) breezed to the wire while American Myth (Dan Rawlings) and Pleasant Beauty (Marcus Miller) finished in second and third respectively.   Co-owned by trainer Blake MacIntosh, Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas and Ozzie MacKay, Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think) increased her seasonal bankroll to $31,858.   Another Lawsuit (Jim Morrill Jr.) sprung a $14.00 surprise in the opening division as she made a last gasp effort from the pocket to push past the pace-setting Kim's The Best. Sand Artist (Marcus Miller) took the third place check.   Owned by Carl Stackheim and trained by Nicholas DeVita, it was the first win in two starts for Another Lawsuit (American Ideal-Court Stenographer).   In the Excelsior A Series, KJ's Bekah zoomed around the track in 1:58.2 to register the $3.00 victory for Jamieson to highlight the three $15,000 classifications. Never Walk Alone produced a huge $66.50 upset in 2:00.0 with Chris Lems in the sulky while KJ's Justine (Brett Miller) notched a popular $2.30 decision in 2:00.1.   Jericho Diva (Monti) produced the fastest time in the Excelsior B Series with a 1:58.2 time and returned $2.70 for the win. Surreal Feeling uncorked a $22.00 shocker in 2:00.2 for Marcus Miller while Pasta Blue Chip (Jamieson) took the final $6,600 bracket with a 2:00.1 trip that returned $3.50.   Jamieson finished the afternoon with three wins with Lems, Monti and Marcus Miller getting doubles. Toscano and MacIntosh had a pair of training victories.   There was a mishap during the Excelsior A Series, the fourth race on the card. Drivers Larry Stalbaum and Morrill Jr. were involved with both being taken off their remaining rides on the card. Only Stalbaum was taken to the Erie County Medical Center to be evaluated. The filly pacers Eazy Spreezy and Tell Me A Joke both appeared to be uninjured.   The final week of the 2017 season will begin on Wednesday night with 10 races scheduled. There's a $882 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

My Sweetchilliphilly produced a harness racing performance that defied belief to win the Group One $104,000 Bathurst Gold Tiara at Bathrst last night.. The daughter of Betterthancheddar not only won but she did so in Australasian record time and won by almost seven lengths. Starting from the back row, My Sweetchilliphilly worked forward to the breeze to sit outside of race favourite Lady Chatto in the first half of the race. Those two cleared out from the field coming off the back straight. However My Sweetchilliphilly simply went by Lady Chatto and cruised to 20.9 metre win, giving driver Chris Geary his maiden Group One success. The time of 1:54.7 eclipsed the previous Australasian record time of 1:55 for two year old fillies over the distance which was jointly held by Dream About Me and Jossie James. The Team Tritton trained filly is now undefeated in three starts and those three wins have come by a cumulative margin of 102.9 metres. The ease of her wins makes it scary to think about just how good she can be.  Betterthancheddar's oldest progeny anywhere in the World are two year olds in Australia and New Zealand, so to get a star such as My Sweetchilliphilly so quickly is quite special. My Sweetchilliphilly was bred by Melissa Tapp and is the eight foal out of the In The Pocket mare Tact Philly. All eight have raced with the following winners The Oyster Bar ($142,184) , Tactful Lady ($79,234), Eye Brow ($23,997) and Max Factor. ($68,520).

Harness racing debuts don't come a lot more impressive than that of My Sweetchilliphilly's today at Bathurst! The daughter of Betterthancheddar went straight to the front and never gave her rivals a chance. Running home in 57.3, she won by an incredible 59.7 metres in an electric 1:55.3! What a performance! My Sweetchilliphilly will now head towards the Group One Bathurst Gold Tiara next month. Bred in New Zealand by Melissa Tapp, My Sweetchilliphilly is the 8th foal and 4th winner out of the In The Pocket mare Tact Philly. After My Sweetchilliphilly's win, Betterthancheddar now has three individual two year old winners in Australia this season.

Winning the MIA Breeders Plate Final at Leeton with his filly Our Marscapony has been the goal from the very beginning for young Coolamon harness racing trainer Liam Armstrong. And the 22-year-old has a strong chance of fulfilling this dream as his two-year-old starts in the Group Three time-honoured classic on Sunday night. Drawn well in barrier two, Our Marscapony is one of the early fancies with TAB Fixed Odds at $7.50. “We don’t usually race two-year-olds, Dad (Garry Armstrong) has only given one horse a start at this age, but we specifically bought this filly for this race,” Armstrong said. “We actually went to the Sale in Shepparton and bid on four colts before we bought her. “She was the last horse and was passed in at the Sale in Sydney for $8,000 and we bought her for $3,500. “We’ve never had a horse in this race before or had a horse in a race as big as this before.” Our Marscapony is the first horse Armstrong has trained and has only been training the filly since his father was diagnosed with cancer three months ago. And the daughter of Betterthancheddar gave Armstrong a flying start to his training career when winning on debut at Kilmore at the beginning of this month. She then finished fifth in a heat of the Breeders Plate at Leeton on Boxing Day after being forced to race outside the leader. “Her win first up was pretty exciting and then she had a pretty hard run when they went 1:59 in her heat on Monday,” Armstrong said. “I did not do much with her after Kilmore and she needed the run on Monday but not that run . . . that was the fastest heat of the night. “She has surprised me how well she has come out of that run and she will be a lot better for it.” Victorian pacer Miss Sangrial won that heat clocking 1:59.8. Trained by Daniel Jack, the Art Major filly has drawn barrier nine on the second row for the $40,000 final and is an $8 chance to win it. The other Breeders Plate heat winner, Call Me Hector, has also drawn on the back line. And despite drawing awkwardly inside the second row in barrier seven, the colt is the $2.80 favourite. Trained by David Jack, Call Me Hector is unbeaten in his two starts to date and led throughout to take out his respective heat in a mile rate of 2:01.5. The son of Art Major won his debut at Ballarat clocking 1:57.2. The Southern Central Engineering MIA Breeders Plate is the main feature at Leeton’s TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups meeting, a race that has been held since 1955. Amanda Rando

Betterthancheddar has started his siring career in the best way possible – by siring the very first Australasian two-year-old winner of the harness racing season! Our Marscapony had impressed in her trials in New South Wales, so much so that she was sent out an odds on favourite in the two-year-old event at Kilmore last night. Beginning swiftly off the mobile arm, Our Marscapony found the front and from there she ran her rivals a merry dance. Sprinting home her final two quarters in 29.8 and 29.9, the Betterthancheddar daughter won comfortably over Jagged Shadow (Shadow Play) with an even bigger distance back to the third placegetter Imprincessgemma (Village Jolt). Bred by Alabar, Our Marscapony is the second foal of the unraced Grinfromeartoear mare Fiftycalgal. Purchased for just $3,500 by Gary Armstrong at the Shepparton Harness Racing Sale, she has proven a welcome distraction for the Armstrong family as Gary battles cancer. Betterthancheddar retired as the richest and fastest son of Bettors Delight at stud and he has wasted no time getting on the board as a sire. Rated extremely highly by leading Canadian trainer Casie Coleman, Betterthancheddar is currently serving his fourth season at stud in the Southern Hemisphere and bookings are still available. Betterthancheddar 1:48 - $1,636,086. Bay Horse foaled 2008. 15.3 Hands Betterthancheddar is not only the fastest and richest entire son of Bettor's Delight, he is also a dual World Record Holder. After missing his two-year-old season, Betterthancheddar became a superstar as a three-year-old, winning the $500,000 Breeders Crown, the $225,000 American National Stake, the $342,000 Cane Pace and the $175,000 Windy City Pace. In total as a four-year-old he had 11 starts for 9 wins and two World Records. The first of his two World Records came on a five-eighths track in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final at Pocono Downs. His leading trainer, Casie Coleman had this to say about Betterthancheddar: “I really swore this was the fastest, most talented horse I have ever had in my care.” Bettor’s Delight’s Fastest and Richest son at stud. A champion 3yo he won the Cane Pace and the Breeders Crown Final. As a 4yo, set World Record’s on both half mile and five eighths tracks and won 9 from 11 against the battle hardened warhorses in the free-for-all ranks. His dam, Lady Ashlee Ann was voted into the US Broodmare Hall of Fame in 2013.  

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