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YONKERS, NY, Sunday, March 3, 2019 -- Yonkers Raceway's 2019 harness racing stakes season begins Monday night (March 4th)--weather permitting--with the opening round of the Petticoat Pacing Series. The series, for three and four-year-old young ladies who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1st, offers four, $20,000, first-round events. That's the same set-up for the gentlemen's companion series, the Sagamore Hill, which gets underway Tuesday night (March 5th). Both the Petticoat and Sagamore Hill offer three prelim legs leading to $50,000-added finals March 25th (girls) and 26th (boys), respectively. Eligibles have been announced for Yonkers' premier older pacing soirees, the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial. The Matchmaker attracted 43 of the sport's preeminent mares, while the Levy numbered 55 male Free-For-Allers (see accompanying lists). Those rich events begin their respective six-week runs Friday and Saturday evenings, March 15th (Matchmaker) and 16th (Levy). For all the eligibles click on the following links; Blue Chip Matchmaker George Morton Levy Memorial Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 1, 2019 - Lispatty (Mark MacDonald, $7.10) won the three-way scrum for the early lead, then took it from there Friday night (March 1st), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. From post position No. 2, Lispatty worked around polester Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley), while Ideal Lifestyle A (George Brennan) was forced to accept a three-hole. Lispatty laid down the law through early intervals of :27.4 and a flat 57 seconds before a looking-around Ideal Lifestyle A was out and moving again. It was just a 28-second third quarter (1:25), which played to the advantage of Lispatty as she took a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Ideal Lifestyle A fought the good fight, but Lipatty held sway, the margin a neck in a season's-best 1:53.4. Third went to Kaitlyn N, with a closing Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) and Shezza GNP N (Austin Siegelman) rounding out the payees. As for 3-4 choice Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett), she wound up a wide-to-nowhere sixth. For third choice Lispatty, a 6-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Gilberto Garcia-Owen and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her second win in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $55, the triple returned $233 and the superfecta paid $936. Friday's night Pick 5 wager, which began with a carryover in excess of $5,100, easily vaulted over the $15,000 guarantee. Some $23,442 of fresh lettuce led to a an after-takeout pool of approximately pool of $22,752. Those with the winning combination of 5/2/2/4/5 received fresh lettuce worth $217.50 for each correct 50-cent wager. Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, February 28, 2019 -- The price of gold went up substantially Thursday night (Feb. 28th) when 72-1 shot Some Gold became Yonkers Raceway's highest win mutuel of the harness racing season. Driven by Matt Kakaley, Some Gold launched a prolonged, first-up bid, picking off tiring leader ER Rock My World (George Brennan) to win the $16,500, eighth-race pace by a neck in 1:55. His first board finish in five seasonal starts returned $147.50 to those few believers. Some Gold, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by Simners Racing and trained by 'Irish' Jor Hanney, led z $668 exacta, $4,732 triple (8-5 favorite Jupiter Johnny [Jason Bartlett]) and $27,290 superfecta (I Found My Beach [Troy Beyer]). The superfecta was a base $2 payout, with a 10-cent ticket worth $1,364.50.  YONKERS’ FRIDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $5,100 CARRYOVER, 15G GUARANTEE A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Friday evening’s (March 1st) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $5,170.86 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 Friday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Thursday night, with consecutive sequence-busting winners of 72-1 and 28-1), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, February 26, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's fourth race Tuesday night (Feb. 26th) was declared a 'no contest'. Right around the quarter-mile pole, trailing pacer Classiesistar N (Joe Bongiorno) took some bad steps and fell down. He landed about two or three paths out from the pylons and not far from where the starting car remains as an observer during the race. When the rest of field hit the backstretch the second time, they all had to check up to negotiate a 'skinnier' oval, going wide in between the fallen horse and the car. With the entire oval unable to be used during the race, the judges deemed the race a 'no contest'. Now the good news. Bongiorno was not hurt, while 10-year-old gelding Classiesistar N--once unhooked from the bike--immediately took a clockwise lap before escorting himself back to the paddock. The injury report apparently consisted of just some cuts to his knees and/or feet.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 23, 2019 -- Harness racing driver Jordan Stratton was seen in the presence of some pretty haughty company Saturday night (Feb. 23rd), taking both halves of Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 co-features with favored millionaire (Melady's Monet, $4.70) and favored double-millionaire (Bit of a Legend N, $3.80). The weekly marquee trot--handicapped--was not a fair fight, with Melady's Monet moving first-up early and striding out late. Away fifth from post position No. 5 (in one notch after a defection), 'Melady' was out and moving in the second turn to go after Fearless Man (Jason Bartlett). The one led through quickie early intervals of :27.1 and :56.4, but ws heading the wrong way by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. Melady's Monet took over soon thereafter, opening 2½ lengths entering the lane. He finished it off by 2¼ lengths in a season's=best 1:55.3. Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) couldn't match strides with the winner but did get into second, with Mostinterestingman (Austin Siegelman), DW's NY Yank (George Brennan) and Lily's Swan Pond (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. For Melady's Monet, a 10-year-old Revenue S gelding owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Hermann Heitmann, it was his second win (54th career) in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.40, with triple returned $115.50 and the superfecta paid $369.50. Meladys Monet in his 54th career victory There weren't many styles points for Bit of a Legend N in the week's blind-draw adult pace. From post position No. 2, he went the distance (:28, :57.2, 1:25.1; 1:53.1), holding sway over a stubborn Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley). The latter tried it first-up from third. The margin was a short head in 1:53.1. Imarocnrollegend N (George Brennan) was a pocket third, with Bettor Memories (Bartlett) and Shneonucrzydiamnd A (Jim Marohn Jr.) rounding out the payees. For Bit of a Legend N, a 10-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his first win (47th career) in a pair of '19 tries. The exacta paid $13.80, the triple returned $44.80 and the superfecta paid $182.50. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 22, 2019-Tepid choice Itty Bitty (Jim Marohn Jr., $7.10) picked off a tiring harness racing leader Friday night (Feb. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried from post position No. 3, Itty Bitty saw a wide-early Monica Gallagher (Matt Kakaley) have to work to get around Ideal Lifestyle A (a returning Mark MacDonald). 'Monica' paid a :26.4 opening-quarter-mile price for the privilege, only to have Ideal Lifestyle A pull pocket by the :55.3 intermission. That lass began to open up down the backside, widening through a 1:23.4 three-quarters and taking a 3½-length lead into the lane. However, the hooves were getting heavy and Itty Bitty-who had gone three-deep around a dullard-found herself within range. Itty Bitty rolled past Ideal Lifestyle A late, winning by a half-length in a season's-best 1:53.4. A last-at-the-outset Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) did get the bottom of the ticket, with 79-1 outsider Shezza GNP N (Austin Siegelman) and Monica Gallagher settling for the minors. For Itty Bitty, a 5-year-old daughter of Always a Virgin co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, B & I Stables and Stephen Klunowski, it was her second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $29, the triple returned $224 and the superfecta paid $4,332. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 16, 2019- George Brennan was the man of the hour Saturday night (Feb. 16th), taking both halves of Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. It was a second-up-to-first-home Don Domingo N ($5.80) in the week's adult pace. From post position No. 5, he watched as just-over-even-money favorite Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) lead through cheapy subsections of :28.2, 58.3 and 1:26.3. Hitching a lift behind season-debuting Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), Don Domingo N-in the his first Open 'Cap start-did get within range. Bettor's Fire N owned a length lead into the lane, but 'Don' ran him down, in a manner of speaking He picked off the leader, winning by a neck in 1:54.2. Somewhere in L A was a credible third, with Our Zak Whitby A (Dan Dube) and a '19-starting Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder. For second choice Don Domingo N, a 7-year-old Down Under American Ideal gelding owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was his fifth win in six seasonal/U-S starts. The exacta paid $11, the triple returned $80 and the superfecta paid $240. The weekly trotting feature was not for the squeamish, reduced to a field of five after Melady's Monet came up ill and two of the starters came up breaking. What resulted was a two-speed, two-favorite, soft-fractions number and DW's NY Yank (Brennan, $4.50) beating Smalltownthrowdown (Dube) by a length-and-a-quarter (:29, :59.3. 1:27.4, 1:56.1), matching a season's-best effort. Fearless Man (Bartlett) and Lily's Swan Pond (Joe Bongiorno) flipped positions after the former was deemed to have interfered with the latter. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) brought up the quintet rear. For DW's NY Yank, a 10-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.60, with triple and superfecta wagering cancelled due to short staffing. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 15, 2019-A first-up Delightfulmemphisn (Jason Bartlett, $17) prevailed Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post griposition No. 4, Delightfulmemphisn watched Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley) lead through early intervals of :27.3 and :56.3, Delightfulmemphisn left the cones after intermission, as first pacing in place toward a 1:24.4 three-quarters. She picked it up after that, though Kaitlyn N owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, that lass was about to wear out here welcome. Delightfulmemphisn surged by, whipping a second-over Itty Bitty (Jim Marohn Jr.) by a length in 1:53. Sally Fletcher A (Joe Bongiorno), Kaitlyn N and Empress Deo (George Brennan) settled for the lesser loot, with 1-2 favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) last among the half-dozen at every point of the mile. For fifth choice Delightfulmemphisn, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Enzed Racing Stable and trained by Nifty Norman, it was her fourth win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135, the triple returned $685 and the superfecta paid $1,983. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, February 12, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's first seasonal deadline for series nominations is right around the corner. Blue Chip Matchmaker, George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, Petticoat and Sagamore Hill Pacing Series all close this Friday (Feb. 15th). Forms are available in the nightly racing program, on-line at www.empirecitycasino.com/racing/nomination-blanks/ and through selected harness publications/websites. For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627. by Frank Drucker, for Monticello Raceway

Maureen D. Ryan, 75, wife of Yonkers Raceway's long-time track superintendent, Ed Ryan, passed away peacefully last Wednesday (Feb. 6th), surrounded by family at her daughter's home in Boca Raton, FL. Mrs. Ryan was predeceased by her parents, Daniel and Theresa (Bartletta) Carmody, and her sister, Eileen Carmody. She was born Feb. 26th, 1943, in Hoboken, NJ, where she was raised. Mrs. Ryan graduated from Sacred Heart Academy. While spending summers in Monmouth Beach with her family, she met her future husband. They were married in 1964, moving permanently to Monmouth Beach the following year. Maureen Ryan was known for her gracious spirit and beautiful heart. She had an unforgettable smile and an enthusiasm for life that touched everyone in her presence. A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, nothing was more important in her life than her family. She was one of a kind, whose light, laughter, and love continue to guide us forever. In addition to her husband of 54 years, she is survived by her children and their spouses, Erin Ryan and Nancy Segall of FL, Kelly and Felipe Benedit of Monmouth Beach, Kathrine and Philip Sciortino of Monmouth Beach, Tara and Ralph Beltran of OH and Edward and Elsa Ryan of Monmouth Beach, and all seven of her beloved grandchildren, Katelyn, Lauren, Philip, Thomas, Padraic, Isabel and Juliana. Visitation will take place Friday (Feb. 15th) from 4-8 PM at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701. A Mass of Christian burial takes place Saturday (Feb. 16th) at 10 AM at Church of the Precious Blood in Monmouth Beach, followed by interment at Mt. Olivet (Middletown, NJ). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Maureen Ryan's memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Family and friends may visit Mrs. Ryan's memorial website at www.johnedayfuneralhome.com. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, February 11, 2019-Ahead of what's predicted to be treacherous weather in the New York metropolitan area, Yonkers Raceway has cancelled its live program for Tuesday evening (Feb. 12th). It's the third cancellation of 2019. Evening simulcasting has also been cancelled, with no afternoon simulcasting scheduled. After this evening's (Monday, Feb. 11th) program-in progress as of this writing-live racing is set to resume Thursday evening (Feb. 14st), with Valentine's Night first post of 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 9, 2019 -- DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $4.60), as the harness racing wagering favorite, held off Melady's Monet (Jordan Stratton) Saturday night (Feb. 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot. Awa third from assigned post position No. 5, DW's NY Yank saw Mostinterestingman (Jason Bartlett) lead though intervals of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.3. Having taken out of third before the three-quarters, 'DW' began to close the gap. With Mostinterestingman leading by a length-and-a-quarter in and out of the final turn, DW's NY Yank did eventually collar him late in the lane. He then found the line in time, whipping a from-seventh Melady's Monet by a nose in 1:56.1. Third went to Mostinterestingman, with Lily's Swan Pond (Joe Bongiorno) and Chestnut Schofield (Dan Dube) settling for the minors. For DW's NY Yank, a 10-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.80, the triple returned $36.80 and the superfecta paid $188. The Saturday feature was one of Brennen's four wins during the dozen-race card. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 8, 2019-In a race where half the field was comprised of New Zealand-breds, Shezza GNP N (Jordan Stratton, $42.40) led a 1-2-3 Kiwi harness racing finish Friday night (Feb. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The start of the feature was delayed as pole-given Amateur Hour (George Brennan) essentially refused. The seven other lasses left without her, with a three-wide Nerida Franco N (Dan Dube) getting around 3-10 choice Delishka N (Brent Holland) just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.4 intermission and going toward a 1:26 three-quarters, it was an antsy Delishka N extricating herself from the pocket, though not without having to work for it. She took a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but company was coming. From assigned post position No. 4, Shezza GNP N, working from third-over, closed to outgame Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley) by a nose in 1:56. Delishka N tired to the bottom of the ticket, with Ella Michelle A (Joe Bongiorno) and a recovering Amateur Hour completing the cashers. For seventh choice Shezza GNP N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Art Major owned (as Tritton Inc.) and trained by Peter Tritton, it was a winning seasonal debut. The exacta paid $344, the triple returned $1,626 and the superfecta paid $4,760. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Feb. 9th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,225.93 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 Saturday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. by Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY,-  Monday, February 4, 2019--Yonkers Raceway posted its largest harness racing handle of the new season Monday night (Feb. 4th), with a total of $1,072,833 wagered during the dozen-race card. Jordan Stratton won four races, the last of which was an un-Stratton-esque 21-1, last-to-first Captain Deo ($45.20) in the $20,000, 10th-race pace. That bombardier enhanced the evening's Pick 5 wager, which returned $1,167.25 for every correct (4/3/1/7/4) half-a-buck ticket by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 2, 2019 - Rockathon (Jordan Stratton, $10.80) and Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley, $33.80) divided the distinction Saturday night (Feb. 2nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured harness racing $44,000 Open Handicaps. Pole-assigned Rockathon seated his adult-table pacing elders, including just-over-even-money favorite Air Strike (Brent Holland). After early intervals of :27.2 and :56.1, Air Strike took out of third, mildly engaging by a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Rockathon owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but a stubborn Air Strike wound not go quietly into the night. He did sustain the bid, but missed a half-length in 1:53.2. Betttor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) rolled from last to grab third, with a pocketed Our Zak Whitby A (George Brennan) and a tough-trip Christen Me N (Kakakey) settling for the remainder. For third choice Rockathon, a 4-year-old Pet Rock gelding co-owned by (trainer) Ricky Bucci and Blue Meadow Farm, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30.80, the triple returned $494 and the superfecta paid $3,065. The marquee trot saw 3-10 choice Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) get stung early by Mostinterestingman (Troy Beyer) through a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. He then rated a :29.2 next substation (:56.4 intermission), but the damage had been done. Weslynn Dancer-from assigned post position No. 4-and Melady's Monet (Stratton) began to advance from the back, getting some inroads in and out of a 1:25.3. Smalltownthrowdown took a length-and-a-quarter lead off the final turn, but was tiring. Lone lass Weslynn Dancer went by, as did 'Melady,' with the former prevailing by a short nose in the fastest local trot mile of the season. Smalltownthrowdown faded to third, with Lily's Swan Pond (Joe Bongiorno) and Mostinterestingman flipping the final two envelopes after an interference placement. For fourth choice Weslynn Dancer, a 5-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe co-owned by Barbara & James Boese and trained by Richard Banca, it was her first win in three '19 tries. The exacta paid $121.50, the triple returned $316.50 and the superfecta paid $3,133. Weslynn Dancer Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 1, 2019 - Odds-on harness racing fave Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $2.90) methodically wore down one rival, then held off another Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 3, Betterb Chevron N saw Delishka N (Brent Holland) leapfrog around Shez Sugarsweet A (Ron Cushing), paying a :26.4 opening quarter-mile privilege for the lead. Aldine Hanover (Jason Bartlett) also left, but backed away into a three-hole. It was a rated :30.2 second substation (:57.1 half) before Betterb Chevron N began her advance. She closed in moving toward the 1:25.4 three-quarters, putting Delishka N away early in the lane. Aldine Hanover found room too late, with Betterb Chevron N lasting by a half-length in 1:54. Delishka N saved the bottom of the ticket, with Amateur Hour (George Brennan) and Shez Sugarsweet A rounding out the payees. For Betterb Chevron N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was her third win in as many seasonal/U-S starts. The exacta paid $10.20, the triple returned $27 and the superfecta paid $75. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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