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YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway's leading harness racing driver, Jason Bartlett, opened more daylight during the Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 25) sunshine, winning seven of the dozen matinee races. Bartlett's day begin with a chalky double-nickel (5-5) daily double, with Fraternity ($3.80) and CI's Buckeye ($4.20) winning their $8,500 pace and trot in 1:55 and 1:58.2, respectively. The pair combined for a $9 double. Another fave, Flem N Em N ($4.70), barely edged longshot leader Macon Georgia A (Jordan Stratton) in the $10,500, third-race pace (1:54.2). Bartlett finished fourth in the fourth and seventh (last) in the fifth, then lasted on the lead with Fox Valley Steffan ($8.40) in the $8,500, sixth-race trot (1:59.2). His fifth win saw Bartlett team with pole-sitting Grand Master ($13.60), going the distance in the $10,500, seventh-race pace (1:53.2). After a fifth-place finish in the eighth race, win No. 6 was an un-Bartlett-esque, 21-1 Dynamic Edge ($44.40), last early, actually going away in the $20,000, ninth-race trot (1:59.3). Bartlett's seventh win came from the pocket, as Jayport All Muscle ($6.90) just snapped pace-setting Bentley Spur (Steve Smith) in the $30,000, 10th-race trot (1:57.2). "It's sort of a cliche," Bartlett said. "The horses were in good spots class-wise, and they raced well. Sometimes it works out that way, but a lot of times it doesn't. "Even Mark's (Ford's) trotter (Dynamic Edge), he told me he was racing better than his lines showed, just to watch him off the gate. He had a live (second-over) trip and raced very well." Bartlett finished third in the 11th race trot, while he and his 'date' cut the mile in the 12th race pacing finale, only to tired and finish sixth. Since no one hit Tuesday afternoon's Pick 5, Thursday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $1,420.27 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - Our long national nightmare is over...Yonkers Raceway's Sunday harness racing matinees have returned. The first of six such cards goes this postward this weekend (Oct. 30th), with first post of 12:30 PM, as races 1 through 7 (all trots) are simulcast to our French-hubbed audience. Those events again each have 10 scheduled starters at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. The weekly Open Handicap Trot, with its vitamin-enriched $56,000 purse, is the first race on the dozen-dash program. Tornado Tim, last week's first-up marquee trot winner, starts from post position No. 7 this time around, with Dan Dube retaining the assignment for co-owner/trainer Rene Allard. Dot Dot Dot Dash (Tyler Buter, post 4) and Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton, post 9) both move up off wins against softer, while Yonkers Invitational Trot participant Winds of the North (Matt Kakaley, post 8) makes his first overnight start since late August. Luminosity (George Brennan, post 3), Cash Me Out (Buter also listed, post 6) and Tober (Brent Holland, post 10) all made money in last week's featured trot. Note that Thursday live racing (evening simulcasting) is done for the season after this week (Oct. 27th) and post times for the remaining Sundays (Nov. 13th, 20th, 27th & Dec. 4th and 18th) are TBA as of this writing. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 22, 2016 -- Today's story is sponsored by the letter T. favored Take it Back Terry (George Brennan, $5.10) and Tornado Tim (Dan Dube, $21.80) won their respective Yonkers Raceway $45,000 harness racing co-features Saturday night. 'Terry,' from post position No. 3, reeled in a runaway Keystone Velocity (Jason Bartlett) at the wire in the Open Handicap Pace. The latter, leaving from outside his six rivals, rolled through intervals of :27.3, :55.4 and 1:23.1. He hit the wall late, as Take it Back Terry made up 5½ lengths entering the lane to win by a nostril in 1:52.1. The Real One (Pat Lachance) also rallied, he for third. Winds of Change (Mark MacDonald) and Melmerby Beach (Dube) settled for the minors. For Take it Back Terry, a millionaire 7-year-old Western Terror gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, it was his sixth win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $29, with the triple returning $70.50. As for Tornado Tim, he was first-up and first home in the Open Handicap Trot. Away fourth from the pole, he saw Major Athens (Eric Abbatiello) lead early (:27.2, :56.3), only to blow up down the backside. 'Tim' took over well before the 1:25.4 three-quarters, opening 2½ lengths in and out of the final turn. Melady's Monet (Bartlett), as the 13-10 choice, couldn't stay with the winner, getting to within a half-length at the wire. Luminosity (Brennan), bothered by the breaker, was third, with Cash Me Out (Tyler Buter) and Tober (Brent Holland) coming away the final pay envelopes. For Tornado Tim, a 9-year-old Revenue S gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Kapildeo Singh, he's now 5-for-26 this season. The exacta paid $99.50, with the triple returning $503. 91st win for Foiled Again Foiled Again (George Brennan, $8.80) was not be what he was, but he was more than good enough as is. Harness racing’s richest-ever performer prevailed from second-over Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway $35,000 winners-over pace. Foiled Again. from post position No. 3, held off a third-up P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:53.4. Rampage Jackson (Brent Holland) cut the mile and faded to third. It was the 91st career win in the 270th start for Foiled Again, whose retirement account now reads $7,460,758. The 12-year-old Dragon Again gelding is co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, has won five of his 24 seasonal starts, including three of his last four. Foiled Again was included in an ‘unhit’ Pick 5, which left a $2,154.60 carryover into Monday night’s card (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 21, 2016 - A from-last Mach it a Par and harness racing driver Brian Sears swept away her sorority sisters Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. It was a repeat performance for Mach it a Par, who cut the mile a week ago. Here, remanded behind the eight-ball (though in one notch after a inside defection), she saw polester Southwind Roulette (George Brennan) either seat 'em or park 'em. Hung for their troubles were Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) and Purrfect Bags (Jordan Stratton), while Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) was pocketed. After early intervals of :26.2 and :55.4, 13-10 choice Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) launched a wide bid going toward a 1:24 three-quarters. She couldn't sustain it, however, as 'Roulette' maintained a tenuous lead into the lane. Enter Mach it a Par, who was last at three-quarters and fifth in and out of the final turn. She rallied widest and fastest, going away by 2½ lengths in 1:52.3. Jungle Genie N closed inside for second, with Moma's Got a Gun (Tyler Buter), Southwind Roulette and Krispy Apple settled for the remainder. For second choice Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 11th win in 33 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $94, with the triple returning $667. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, October 16, 2016 - A November harness racing schedule reminder from Yonkers Raceway. There is a Thanksgiving weekend live racing hiatus, running through Saturday, Nov. 26th. After the matinee program of Tuesday, Nov. 22(post time 1 PM), live racing does not resume until Sunday afternoon, Nov. 27 (post time TBA). Save for that, live racing is offered every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (first post 7:10 PM) and Tuesday afternoons (first post 1 PM). As for Sundays, they return Oct. 30th (first post 12:30 PM) and continue Nov. 13th, 20th, 27th, as well as Dec. 4th and Dec. 18th (final day of season). Sunday post times for November and December are TBA as of this writing, but shall be disseminated shortly. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 15, 2016 - She classes up the joint. Champion harness racing trotting mare Bee a Magician (Brian Sears, $3.30), in her first purse try since late May here, didn't disappoint Saturday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $250,000 Invitational Trot. Away third from post position No. 2 in the mile-and-a-quarter event, Bee a Magician saw a couple of ladies, polester Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) and Allerage Star (Andy Miller), plus Homicide Hunter (Eric Goodell) all offer early foot. After a :27.4 opening quarter-mile, and with Homicide Hunter finding a seat behind her, the fave was pointed forward. Bee a Magician made the lead before a :57.4 half, with second-tier Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett) first-up from sixth. That one engaged the leader through a soft 1:28 three-quarters (mile in 1:57), with Bee a Magician owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. She held sway from there, repelling a stubborn "Melady" by three-quarters of a length in 2:25.1. Barn Doll was a pocket third, with Windofthenorth (Corey Callahan) and Lookslikeachipndale (Dan Dube) settling for the smaller envelopes. For Bee a Magician, a 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman, she's now 4-for-4 this season and 45-for-69 in her brilliant career with $4,088,395 in the bank. (real dollars) The exacta paid $26.20, with the triple returned $109.50. "To have a horse ready to go the mile-and-a-quarter against a very good field after nearly five months is a credit to Nifty (Norman) and a credit to her," Sears said. "I qualified her this past Tuesday (Meadowlands), and she was impressive. Today, she was back to her ornery self and it was good to see." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 15, 2016 - The post position gods made it difficult for harness racing star Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, $2.80). The opposition did not. Harness racing's richest horse of 2016 had it easier than expected Saturday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $250,000 Invitational Pace. Everything, save for the draw, worked out splendidly. First, there was an inside scratch, moving WIJI in one notch from behind the eight-ball. Second, in a race packed with early foot, everyone else deferred. Wiggle It Jiggleit snapped off the wings, made an immediate lead and rendered the result a given. WIJI found his way around pole-sitting Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), then negotiated his work day (:27.3, :55.4, 1:23.1, 1:50.2) with no issues whatsoever. So much for a shot at the Raceway's first ever sub-1:50 mile. It was Keystone Velocity (Brian Sears), who figured to be in the early fray, trying it first-up...from fifth. That one never mounted a challenge as Wiggle It Jiggleit took a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. The final margin over a chasing Bit of a Legend N was a length-and-three quarters, with Mel Mara (Corey Callahan)-another non-leaver-All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and Melmerby Beach (Dan Dube) settling for the minors. For WIJI, a 4-year-old Mr. Wiggles gelding trained by Clyde Francis for co-owners George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership, it was his 15th win in 23 seasonal starts ($1,624,337, career 38-for-50, over $3.8 million). The exacta paid $8.20, the triple returned $33.60 and the superfecta paid $54.50. "I was surprised as anyone to no one left out of there," Montrell Teague said. "He was on the bit and ready, so I let him go. It was a better trip than I could have ever imagined. "Someone asked me going in what my strategy was, and I said I had idea, just see how the race unfolded." It unfolded right in his lap. As far as buying into the Breeders Crown, "Dad and I have talked about it, but we're not going to tip our hand yet." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 14, 2016 - Odds-on harness racing favorite Mach it a Par (Brian Sears, $2.80) took advantage of a generous getaway locale Friday night, easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from post position No. 5 (after winning the 5-through-8 draw), she wasted no time claiming her territory. Mach it a Par worked around Regil Elektra (Joe Bongiorno), then started what became a two-speed number (:27.4, :57.2, 1:25.1, 1:52.2). The final margin was a handy length-and-a-quarter, with Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) a best-of-rest third. Al Raza N (Mark MacDonald) and Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) rounded out the payees. For Mach it a Pair, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 10th win (29th lifetime) in 32 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.90, with the triple returning $61.50. Saturday's rare day card (first post 1:10 PM) is highlighted by the million-dollar International Trot. Ten of the world's best trotters test the mile-and-a-quarter distance. U-S representatives Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) and Obrigado (MacDonald) start from post position Nos.1, 2 and 6, respectively. The International goes as race six as part of the 13-race card, which also features a pair of $250,000 Invitationals, led by Bit of a Legend N and Wiggle It Jiggleit (posts 1 and 8 in the flat-mile Pace) and Barn Doll and a returning Bee a Magician (posts 1 and 2) in the 1¼-mile Trot). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 12, 2016 -- Two breeds, two races, two tracks, two dollars, one bet. Saturday (Oct. 15th) afternoon's 'New York Double' is a cooperative effort between the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and harness racing's Yonkers Raceway. The gimmick wager has, as its first half, Belmont's $200,000 Futurity, a Grade III event (third race, post time 2:01 PM). The second half is the million-dollar Yonkers International Trot (sixth race, post time 3:20 PM). "We're excited about this wager," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. "Our Yonkers International Trot is one of the premier races in the sport, and we encourage all thoroughbred fans to watch and wager as part of the New York Double." Past performance pages for these races shall be made available in all corresponding on-track and simulcast programs. The New York Double has a 20 percent takeout rate. Again, note Yonkers' special first post of 1:10 PM. The joint NYRA/YR release ELMONT and YONKERS, N.Y. – Racing fans will have the opportunity to wager on two of the most prestigious horse races in the country on Saturday, October 15, when the New York Racing Association and Yonkers Raceway join to offer for the first time the New York Double. The Daily Double wager, hosted by Yonkers Raceway, is comprised of the $1 Million International Trot featuring the premier international Standardbred horses in the world along with the Grade 3, $200,000 Belmont Futurity for 2-year-old thoroughbreds. Post time for the International Trot, featuring 10 horses at the mile-and-a-quarter-distance, is 3:20 p.m. ET. Post time for the Belmont Futurity, the opening leg of the New York Double, is 2:01 p.m. Past performances for Yonkers International Trot shall be included in the Post Parade, while PP’s for the Futurity are to be included in Yonkers’ Saturday harness program. “The New York Double is a unique wagering opportunity that NYRA Bets customers and New York race fans have come to expect,” said NYRA Bets President Tony Allevato. “NYRA is proud to partner with Yonkers Raceway to connect these two great races, and present horseplayers across the country with a brand new wagering option between thoroughbred and harness racing.” “We’re excited about this wager,” said Yonkers Raceway COO Bob Galterio. “Our Yonkers International Trot is one of the premier races in the sport, and we encourage all thoroughbred fans to watch and wager as part of the New York Double.”    The New York Double with a $2 minimum wager will be available on-track, and to members of NYRA Bets and Empire City Bets as well as in simulcast facilities across the country.  Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - It's downright blasphemous and borderline illegal to use the terms 'Wiggle It Jiggleit' and 'undercard' in the same sentence in harness racing. However, such is life in the big city, where WIJI returns this Saturday afternoon (Oct. 15th). Harness racing's richest horse ($1,499,337) of 2016 is going to have to work to add to that number, as the post position gods banished him behind the eight-ball for Yonkers Raceway's $250,000 Invitational Pace. The quarter-million-dollar number goes as the 10th of 13 races Saturday afternoon (first post 1:10 PM), four races after Yonkers International Trot (post time 3:20 PM) and three after a $250,000 Invitational Trot. Both trotting features go at the mile-and-a-quarter distance (part of a 'French four-pack'), with all other races at the flat mile. As for Wiggle It Jiggleit, he returns to Westchester for the first time since competing in this past spring's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. He's been board-certified (14 wins, 6 seconds, 2 thirds) in all 22 seasonal starts and 48-of-49 lifetime. Montrell Teague again does the honors for trainer Clyde Francis and co-owners George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership. Levy series winner Bit of Legend N (Jordan Stratton) won the draw for the Saturday pacing invite. 1 - Bit Of A Legend 2 - Split The House 3 - Mel Mara 4 - All Bets Off 5 - Keystone Velocity 6 - Artistic Major 7 - Melmerby Beach  8 - Wiggle It Jiggleit Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - Half of the 10 harness racing drivers scheduled to compete in Saturday afternoon's million-dollar Yonkers International Trot were part of a well-attended Tuesday afternoon draw luncheon in midtown Manhattan. The back portion of that unusual daily double was a trip to the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. The accompanying photo features (l-r) Tuomas Korvenoja (Jonesy, Finland), Ake Svanstedt (Resolve, U-S), Yannick Gingras (Hannelore Hanover, U-S) and Brian Sears (Flanagan Memory, Canada). John Campbell, driving Denmark's Tano Bork, was at the draw but unable to join the others high above the city. Again, post time for the rare Saturday program is 1:10 PM, with the featured Yonkers International Trot going as the sixth race (post time 3:20 PM). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 8, 2016 -- Favorites Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4) and Luminosity (George Brennan, $4.20) were the harness racing names above the moist Saturday night marquee, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. Both did so in down-the-road fashion. Bit of a Legend N, from post position No. 6 in the weekly pacing feature, held off Mach it So (Jason Bartlett) in a two-speed number (:27.2, :56.3, 1:25, 1:52.2). The margin was a neck, with Feel the Need A (Eric Goodell) was a best-of-the-rest third. Melmerby Beach (Dan Dube) and a North American-debuting Ricimer A (Steve Smith) rounded out the payees. For Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 11th win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $11, with the triple returning $32.60. The adult-table trot saw pole-sitting Luminosity go the distance (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25.4, 1:55.1), defeating a pocketed Cash Me Out (Tyler Buter) by a head. Crazy About Pat (Stratton) was a rallying third, with Dragin' The Wagon (Eric Abbatiello) and eight-ball-assigned Allerage Star (Dube) settling for the minors. For Luminosity, a 6-year-old Cash Hall gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, he's now 6-for-25 this season. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.30, with the triple returning $51. YONKERS’ MONDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $5,000 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (Oct. 10) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover  $5,023.18. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 7, 2016 - Harness racing favored Devil Child (Eric Goodell, $6.30) was gifted an early pocket and then held off the cavalry Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from post position No. 5, she and her inside foe, Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) both had designs on the lead. The latter made it before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile as Devil Child found a wide berth in front of Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube). A cheapy :56.2 half should have played the leader, but why give away the ending here? Secret's Out N (Tyler Buter) offered just token, first-up abuse in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, with Sell a Bit N owning a length lead into the lane. However, the leading lass wasn't up to it here, tiring noticeably...but not until she carried Devil Child where she needed to go. Devil Child ducked inside and was able to get the jump on her belated foes. She whipped a flying-from-last Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.4, with Regil Elektra (Joe Bongiorno) a late-arriving third. Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) and Rock N Roll Xample rounded out the payees, the five cashers separated by just a length-and-three-quarters at the wire. For Devil Child, a 4-year-old statebred daughter of American Ideal co-owned by Susan Oakes & Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her sixth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $40.40, with the triple returning $324. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 7, 2016 - They're here. After soaking up the fun and sun of Newburgh, NY, for a couple of days, the half-dozen harness racing Europeans chosen to compete in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot found their way 'home' Friday afternoon. The (alphabetically) six Euros-BBS Sugarlight (Norway), Explosive de Vie (Sweden), Jonesy (Finland), Oasis Bi (Italy), On Track Piraten (Sweden), Tano Bork (Denmark)-made the approximately 90-minute trip from their quarantine pit stop to Westchester, getting settled inside Yonkers Raceway's Old Glory Building in preparation for the Saturday, Oct. 15th world-class event. None of the two or four-legged traveling party seemed any worse for wear in a trip that began in Liège Airport (Belgium) in a nearly-nine hour flight of just over 3,700 miles. The gang is being acclimated to their new digs, with vets and other support staff at the ready. Guests are given a two-hour, 15-minute training window each day with the racing oval all to themselves. The race, with 10 trotters and the mile-and-one-quarter distance, is to be drawn Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 11th) at a midtown press luncheon. Please note again it's a rare Saturday afternoon program, with first post at 1:10 PM and the 38th edition of the International Trot scheduled for approximately 3:20 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 5, 2016 -- Six world-class European trotters touched down Wednesday morning (Oct. 5) at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, ready to compete in Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The million-dollar event, set for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15th, features 10 invitees racing at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. First post that day is 1:10 PM, with the Trot scheduled for 3:20 PM. The arriving group represents five of the seven countries vying for the purse equaling last season's as the highest in New York harness history. Elite trotters from Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and two from Sweden were on board, joining a trio from the United States and one from Canada in the global trotting classic. The race was revived in 2015 after a 20-year hiatus by Raceway and Empire City Casino president and CEO Timothy J. Rooney. The field, alphabetically, is... BBS Sugarlight - Norway Explosive de Vie - Sweden Flanagan Memory - Canada Hannelore Hanover - USA (mare) Jonesy -- Finland Oasis Bi - Italy Obrigado - USA On Track Piraten - Sweden Resolve - USA Tano Bork - Denmark The European invaders departed from Liège Airport in eastern Belgium (close to the German city of Düsseldorf), landing approximately 7 AM after a nearly-nine hour transcontinental flight of just over 3,700 miles (5,960‎ kilometers) or 3,703.4 miles. The elite trotting sextet ‎was vanned to Stewart Airport (Newburgh, NY) airport for a two-day quarantine, departing for Yonkers Raceway sometime Friday morning (Oct. 7). Three of the entrants - BBS Sugarlight (4th), Oasis Bi (5th) and On Track Piraten (7th) - competed in th 2015 event, while the winner, Norway's Papagayo E., is injured and unable to defend his title. Italy's Ringostarr Treb had accepted an invitation to participate this year but had some blood issues and did not make the trip. The USA has a triple threat of million dollar earners. The only mare in the field, Hannelore Hanover (driver Yannick Gingras), was a $32,000 bargain purchase who has won 23 of 37 career races. Resolve (driver Ake Svanstedt, who has 14 career victories and was able to defeat Hannelore in the final of The Maple Leaf Trot last month. Obrigado (driver Mark MacDonald), a modestly-bred Maine gelding, has become, at the age of 6, one of North America's best trotters, with a series of Grand Circuit victories. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - - Harness racing millionaire Obrigado has accepted an invitation to the compete in Yonkers Raceway's $1 million Yonkers International Trot, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15th. Obrigado replaces Italy's Ringostarr Treb, who had to bow out with some blood issues and did not make the trip stateside. Obrigado, a 6-year-old Boy Band gelding, has been the best thing to come out of Maine since bottled water, sporting career earnings of $1,362,019. Co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgins SRF Stable and Stable 45, Obrigado has won six of his 14 seasonal starts ($614,320). He comes off a win in the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby this past Friday (1:53.2). Obrigado owns a 1:51.2 life-mark, taken this past August in winning the $193,000 Crawford at Vernon Downs. Mark MacDonald has the driving assignment. Earlier Wednesday, the six Europeans in the Trot field touched down at John F. Kennedy International Airport in their flight from Belgium. The six-pack included BBS Sugarlight (Norway), Explosive de Vie (Sweden), Jonesy (Finland), Oasis Bi (Italy), On Track Piraten (Sweden) and Tano Bork (Denmark). A separate story about that arrival shall be sent later today. Obrigado is the third American rep., joining Resolve and the mare Hannelore Hanover. Canada's Flanagan Memory rounds out the world-class field of 10. Frank Drucker

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