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Aperfectyankee's season so far has been less than flawless, but that has not dampened trainer Jim Oscarsson's opinion of his stakes-winning trotter as he heads into Saturday's $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-olds at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Colonial is part of Super Stakes Saturday at Pocono Downs, which also includes the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old pacers and the $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old filly pacers. Aperfectyankee has won three of seven races this year and earned $179,451 for Oscarsson, who also owns and drives the colt. All of his victories this season have come on the Pennsylvania circuit, with two triumphs in divisions of the sire stakes and another in a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 3 at the Meadowlands. The nine-horse Colonial field features seven horses from the Hambletonian final, including winner Royalty For Life, runner-up Smilin Eli and third-place finisher Corky. "I'm not disappointed with him, but I know he's better than he's showed," Oscarsson said about Aperfectyankee, who won last year's $387,250 Peter Haughton Memorial by a neck over Corky. "I think with better race luck he can be right there with them at the finish. "I think he's going to win some races this year. It would be nice (to win the Colonial). I think he deserves that." Aperfectyankee entered the Hambletonian off back-to-back wins and finished third in his elimination before ending up fourth in the same-day final. He started the final from post seven and was as many as 11 lengths behind leader and eventual winner Royalty For Life in the early goings. He finished 3-3/4 lengths back on a track that favored trotters on the lead; all three Hambletonian elims and the final were won in wire-to-wire fashion. "(The Colonial) is going to be tough; it's pretty much the same as the Hambletonian," Oscarsson said. "Except this time we've got a better post. I think he can go with them. It's going to be a fun race." Last year, Aperfectyankee won three of seven starts and earned $310,035. In addition to winning the Haughton, he won a division of the Tompkins-Geers and was second to 2-year-old champion Wheeling N Dealin in a division of the Champlain Stakes. He saw his season come to an end after a sixth-place finish in his elimination for the William Wellwood Memorial in September. Oscarsson decided to turn out the colt because of allergies. "When we brought him back to train during the winter he was good and he's been healthy," Oscarsson said. "He's a nice horse. He's perfect to handle, perfect to drive. You can do whatever you want with him." Following is the field for the Colonial with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Picture This, Charlie Norris, Norris (20-1); 2. Aperfectyankee, Jim Oscarsson, Oscarsson (12-1); 3. Fico, George Napolitano Jr., Staffan Lind (15-1); 4. Smilin Eli, Tim Tetrick, David Smith (3-1); 5. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester (4-1); 6. Corky, David Miller, Jimmy Takter (5-1); 7. High Bridge, Yannick Gingras, Takter (6-1); 8. Royalty For Life, Brian Sears, George Ducharme (5-2); 9. Dontyouforgetit, Takter, Takter (10-1). by Ken Weingartner  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 26, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $46,000 co-features--an Open Pace for ladies and an Open Handicap Trot for either gender--were won by Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance, $6.90) and Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett, $19.20). Sir Jillian Z Tam won the draw Monday and the race Friday. Yielding early to Billmar Scooter (Eric Goodell), "Jillian" was carried to the lane after fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25. "Billmar" gave it up early stretch, as Sir Jillian Z Tam took the inside route and widened to 2½ lengths in 1:53. Billmar Scooter held second over Four Starz Roe (Jason Bartlett), with Kamwood Laughter N (Shaun Vallee) and Campanille (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. Tepid 2-1 choice Brownsville Bomber (Dan Dube) never fired and wound up seventh. For second choice Sir Jillian Z Tam, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned (with Z Tam Stables and Ira Rosenblum) and trained by her driver, it was her third win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32.20, with the triple returning $132.50. Pole assignee Melady's Monet was sequestered in behind 1-2 fave Tall Cotton (Brennan) through intervals of :28, :58.1 and 1:27. After a prolonged battle with Little Brown Fox (Brian Sears), Tall Cotton owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, "Melady" passed in the passing lane, winning by a half-length in 1:55.1. Third went to Little Brown Fox, with Traverse Seelester (Eric Goodell) and Monsignor Flan (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For third choice Melady's Monet a 4-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Taylor Gower for owner Melady Enterprises, he's now 5-for-16 this season. The exacta paid $79, with the triple returning $189.50. Friday's card also included the finals of the "Jackpot Next Door" Claiming Series, a five-week series for $20,000 claiming pacers for both sexes. P H Supercam (Sears, $12.60) was up on the money in the $76,000 event for boys (life-best 1:52), while Denyittothend (Dube, $44) was a pocket winner (from the eight-hole) in the $59,500 girls gala (life-best 1:54). Both winners were trained Rene Allard, as well as co-owned by him and Anatolia Racing Stable. Saturday night features the 59th Yonkers Trot, first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown. The $450,000 event goes as race 7, and shook out as such...1-Fico (Brennan, 6-1), 2-Dewycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker, 3-1), 3-Celebrity Stimulus (Tom Jackson, 10-1), 4-Don'tyouforgetit (Sears, 8-5), 5-Boffin (Charlie Norris, 8-1), 6-Creampuff Macdaddy (Bartlett, 4-1), 7-Lauderdale (Holland, 8-1), 8-Cantab Abs (Trond Smedshammer, 20-1). There are seven 3-year-old colts and one (Lauderdale) gelding. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. by Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, July 23, 2013--Elimination winners Don'tyouforgetit and Creampuff Macdaddy drew post positions Nos. 4 and 6, respectively, for Yonkers Raceway's 59th Yonkers Trot. The $450,000 first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown goes as Saturday night's seventh race, with post time at approximately 9:20 PM. Eight 3-year-olds--seven colts and one gelding--earned their berths after last week's pair of eliminations. First post for the baker's dozen buffet is the usual 7:10 PM. Don'tyouforgetit, a Cantab Hall colt, held off Fico by nose (1:57.2) in the second elim. He looks to give Jimmy Takter a fourth Trot training win in the last five editions. For the season, Don'tyouforgetit has four wins, a second and pair of thirds in seven tries ($195,732) and his $533,569 career bankroll (10-for-17 lifetime) makes him by far the wealthiest of the octet. Takter, who drove the Solveig's Racing Partners homebred last week, has enlisted Brian Sears for the final. Creampuff Macdaddy made a successful out-of-Ontario debut last week, winning the first elimination in a sharp 1:56.3. The son of Ken Warkentin whipped Dewycolorintheline by a length-and-a-half. Brad Maxwell trains for co-owners Howard Taylor, Ted Gewertz, Edwin Gold and Judith Taylor. The Trot elim was his first "official" win in three seasonal starts (one north of the border disqualification is under appeal). "Creampuff," a provincial standout at 2, has baked in excess of $302,000 in his career. Jason Bartlett, as of this writing, is double-listed behind Creampuff Macdaddy and pole-sitting Fico. The draw for Yonkers Trot 59, with declared drivers (please note driver changes and morning line shall be added Wednesday) 1-Fico (Jason Bartlett) 2-Dewycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker) 3-Celebrity Stimulus (Tom Jackson) 4-Don'tyouforgetit (Brian Sears) 5-Boffin (Charlie Norris) 6-Creampuff Macdaddy (Bartlett also listed) 7-Lauderdale (George Brennan) 8-Cantab Abs (Trond Smedshammer) Lauderdale is the lone gelding, while Denver and Explosive Action are the two also-eligibles, in that order. by Frank Drucker (photos-Mike Lizzi-accompany)  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 20, 2013--Canadian import Creampuff Macdaddy (Jason Bartlett, $4.90) and favored Dontyouforgetit (Jimmy Takter, $3.60) won their respective $40,000 eliminations Saturday night for Yonkers Raceway's 59th Yonkers Trot. A total of 15 3-year-olds--11 colts and four geldings--went at it in two elims for berths in next Saturday night’s $450,000 final in the first jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. Pole-sitting "Creampuff," as the second choice, played leapfrog on the lead with 9-10 choice Dewycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker). The former released the latter after a :28.2 opening quarter-mile. then retook in Turn 2. After a :58.4 intermission, Lauderdale (Mark MacDonald) moved from fourth. Creampuff Macdaddy dismissed that one right around a 1:28 three-quarters, taking a two-length lead into the lane. "Dewy" tested the "Creampuff" from the pocket, but couldn’t get closer than a length-and-a-half in 1:56.3. Third went to Lauderdale, with Cantab Abs (Trond Smedshammer) a ground-saving fourth. That quartet earned berths in next Saturday's $450,000 final, while Denver (Jordan Stratton), Broadway Prince (Eric Goodell) and Kegler Hanover( (Marcus Johansson) left with lovely parting gifts. For Creampuff Macdaddy, a son of Ken Warkentin trained by Brad Maxwell for co-owners Howard Taylor, Ted Gewertz, Edwin Gold and Judith Taylor, it was his first win in three seasonal starts (one north of the border disqualification is under appeal). The exacta paid $7.50, with the triple returning $63. "It was his first start here, and he left the gate trotting," Bartlett said. "Once I retook, we were able to get some cheap fractions, but when I asked for speed late, he gave it to me." As for Dontyouforgetit, he showed some moxie from post position No. 6. Settling in fourth early, he watched as Detour Hanover (Dan Dube)—he of the record $825,000 yearling price tag—lead through early intervals of :28.4 and :58.4. The people’s preference then began his second move, grinding toward the leader at the 1:27.3 three-quarters. Detour Hanover remained two lengths to the good…then, he went bad, jumping it off going into the final turn. That left Dontyouforgetit with the baton, which he used to hold off a determined Fico (Bartlett) by a nose in 1:57.2. Boffin (Charlie Norris) and 75-1 rank outsider Celebrity Stimulus (Tom Jackson) were third and fourth, respectively, grabbing invites to the final. Explosive Action (MacDonald), Twisted Pretzel (Brent Holland) and Theraputic (Stratton)—who also broke—comprised the rear. "To be honest, he had some trouble with his footing. which we're going to have to take care of," Takter said. "He was moving, but he wasn't really going anywhere. "I know that Detour Hanover is a very fast horse, and even though we had to chase him. I was trying to put the squeeze on him and not to let him get too far in front. "When he broke, we sort of became the target, but this colt loves to races and always tries.” For Dontyouforgetit, a homebred Cantab Hall colt trained by Takter for Solveig's Racing Partners, it was his fourth win in seven '13 tries (10-for-17 lifetime). The exacta paid $18, with the triple returning $91. The open draw for the final takes place Tuesday night in the winner's circle, between the four and fifth races on that evening's racing program. Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, July 16, 2013--Fifteen 3-year-olds--11 horses and four geldings--were entered Tuesday for Yonkers Trot, edition 59. Yonkers Raceway's premier trotting event offers a total purse of $530,000, beginning with a pair of $40,000 eliminations this Saturday night. The first four finishers in each elim return for the $450,000 final, set for Saturday night, July 27. The eliminations go as races 4 and 6 on the 13-race card, divided as such with "early" drivers... First elim--1-Creampuff Macdaddy (Driver TBA), 2-Cantab Abs (Driver TBA), 3-Deweycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker), 4-Denver (Jeff Gregory), 5-Broadway Prince,g (Eric Goodell), 6- Lauderdale,g (Mark MacDonald), 7-Kegler Hanover (Driver TBA). Second elim--1-Twisted Pretzel,g (Driver TBA). 2-Explosive Action (Jason Bartlett), 3-Boffin (Charlie Norris), 4-Detour Hanover (Dan Dube), 5-Fico (Bartlett also listed), 6-Dontyouforgetit (Jimmy Takter), 7-Celebrity Stimulus (Tom Jackson), 8-Theraputic,g (Jeff Gregory). Driver changes and morning-line odds shall be added Wednesday. This Saturday's soiree also includes the $111,250 final of Lawrence B. Sheppard (5th race) for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule (note that Saratoga opens Friday). by Frank Drucker  

A 3-year-old colt trotter, Boffin was limited to two starts last season because of a joint infection in a knee. He won both races, though; the first in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stallion Series at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino and the second in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs.

Parked the first three-eighths, Pounce K still had enough zip to hold off his stablemate down the backside Monday and score his second straight victory in the Ken Weaver Memorial Trot at The Meadows.

Win Missy B was a straight heat winner in the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old harness racing distaff trotters on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 7) at The Red Mile.

The Sunday afternoon card at The Red Mile wraps up the Bluegrass series with the three year old colt and filly trotting stakes. Perhaps the most intriguing race of the afternoon is race 10, the only overnight on the card.

One of the most exciting harness racing phenomena to occur in the past few seasons at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has been the proliferation of superstar horses making their way through Northeastern Pennsylvania to ply their trade.

In a resume chock full of major wins and never-ending harness racing milestones, Brian Sears crossed another item off his "to-do" list Tuesday night. Sears drove his 8,000th career winner, the round number coming with Get Packin' ($3.40) in Yonkers Raceway's $14,500, 11th-race trot (1:57.2).

Win Missy B and harness racing driver Charlie Norris made their way back to the winner's circle on Sunday night at Tioga Downs in a division of the NYSS for 3-year old filly trotters. Fresh off of her second place finish to World Champion, Check Me Out, in the Zweig at Vernon Downs, Win Missy B got right back to business in the NYSS.

Crowd wagering choice Win Missy B lived up to her sterling reputation and snapped a string of three straight second-place finishes with a dominating 1:54.4 victory in the fastest of three divisions of Saturday night's $130,430 New York Sires Stakes feature for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs.

Royal Assets powered to the front and brooked no serious challengers en route to victory in a stake-record 1:57.3 in a harness racing division of Tuesday's (July 17 $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows.

Sailer Eddie sailed right to the front and cruised home to win the fastest division of Tuesday's $120,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake at The Meadows. The harness racing event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters was contested over five divisions, with Me And Cinderella, Boffin, Smoother Ride, Shockoe Hanover and Vitamin Hanover also capturing $20,000 splits.

Win Missy B made every call a winning one en route to a sound harness racing victory in the first of two $28,426 Reynolds Memorial divisions for 3-year-old filly trotters on Friday night (July 6) at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

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