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YONKERS, NY, Sunday, October 20, 2019--It wasn't harness racing parimutuel, but rather political bragging rights that were up for grabs Saturday night (Oct. 19th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the Legislators' Challenge. The 'Challenge' was comprised of four before-the-card races, featuring 17 New York State elected officials competing in double-seated jog carts...with sporadic assistance from the Raceway's leading drivers. The opening division saw Bronx Democrat State Senator Jamaal Bailey carry both Pembroke Joey and Jim Marohn Jr. across the line. From post position No. 2, the trio went the distance in 2:11.1. Assembly Member Andy Raia (R-Suffolk) was second, with Assembly Member Steve Stern (D-Suffolk) third and Assembly Member Stacy Pheffer-Amato (D-Queens) fourth. "This was wonderful, a great opportunity to see what the harness drivers really do, and how important their job is," State Senator Bailey said. "Jim (Marohn Jr.) was excellent, a great steward, and I helped him out a little bit as well. It worked out pretty well. "These are real athletes and it's a real skill set. You can't just wake up, roll out of bed, and think you're going to hop in a harness and do it, right? We have to respect these athletes and what they do. I have a greater appreciation today than I did yesterday, and even before that when I did the training. Phenomenal day." Bronx Democrats found themselves at it again in the second Challenge event as Assembly Member Marcos Crespo--from post No. 3 with Shaun Vallee and Galactic Galleon N--edged past State Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester) late to win in 2:10.1. The lone five-participant field was completed by Assembly Member Andrew Garbarino (R-Suffolk), Assembly Member Michael DenDekker (D-Queens) and Assembly Member Taylor Darling (D-Nassau). "I've missed some of the previous events due to scheduling conflicts, but that won't happen again," Assembly Member Crespo said. "I'm grateful to Yonkers and MGM for this opportunity, and really, a great experience to see the joy and the respect that people have for these racehorses and just the entire function of these races. It's a great experience. "I think the plans (for MGM here) are exciting, and certainly the Bronx is one of the great beneficiaries. So many people call this place home, and this is their workplace. This is how they provide for their families, and also Bronxities who love to come here and enjoy their time. It's a great opportunity, and hopefully we'll see how things play out." A Bronx Democrat hat trick was finalized in the third event as Grand Master and pole-sitting Assembly Member Michael Benedetto (with Jordan Stratton) led from start to finish in 2:10.2. It was a match race to the wire, as multiple-season Challenge champion, Assembly Member Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) took his shot from the pocket but missed. The quartet was completed by Assembly Member Anthony Palumbo (R-Suffolk) and Assembly Member Michaelle Solanges (D-Nassau). "It was exhilarating," Assembly Member Benedetto said, joking that "I was able to break the Pretlow Curse. "We're looking forward to working with MGM in its effort to do more at Empire City Casino." The fourth and final Legislators' Challenge event gave the Democrats a clean sweep as Queens made the tally sheet. State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr., with Vallee and Vanquished N, circled their rivals from last to win in a night's-fastest 2:09.1. From post No. 3, the trio defeated Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Assembly Member Joe DeStefano (R-Suffolk) and Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez (D-Bronx). "It's about time Queens came in first in something," State Senator Addabbo said. "We had a good strategy and I had a great time." All four winners have committed to defending their titles at the next Legislators' Challenge. The event was a joint effort of the Raceway, its race office and horsemen along with the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. Upon conclusion, many of the participants and their guests stayed to enjoy the evening's 'other' races. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 18, 2019--Harness racing favorite--and lone leaver--Tequila Monday (Eric Goodell, $3.90) finished it off Friday night (Oct. 18th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. From post position No. 6, Tequila Monday worked around pole-sitting Robyn Camden (Jim Marohn Jr.) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. From there, the Raceway's fastest-ever femme (a 1:50 flat effort in late June) was sufficiently swift through intervals of :56.1, 1:24.3 and 1:52.2. Tequila Monday held off a second-over I'mprincessgemma A (Joe Bongiorno) by a half-length, with Robyn Camden third. The small envelopes went to a first-up Write Me a Song (George Brennan) and Glenferrie Blade A (Jordan Stratton). For Tequila Monday, a 5-year-old statebred daughter of American Ideal co-owned by Northfork Racing & Chuck Pompey and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her 10th win in 13 seasonal starts (career 27-for-57). The exacta paid $12.60, the triple returned $29.20 and the superfecta paid $74.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 5, 2019-San Domino A (Jason Bartlett, $17.40) escaped unscathed Saturday night (Oct. 5th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Pace. It was a strangely-contested contest, with 3-5 choice Mac's Jackpot (Brent Holland)-from post position No. 2-in no hurry early. He was set to get away fourth until one leaver, Benhope Rulz N (Shaun Valle) broke, wiping out another leaver, I'marocnrollegend N (George Brennan). Mac's Jackpot then defaulted into a pocket behind pole longshot Highland Tartan (Dan Dube) before a :26.1 opening quarter mile. Continuingly content to sit, Mac's Jackpot saw Highland Tartan find a :55.1 intermission. San Domino A, away third from post No. 3, then moved to engage Highland Tartan. As the former was overhauling the latter before a 1:22.4 three-quarters, Mac's Jackpot seemed to want to extricate himself from the cones. With The Real One (Pat Lachance) to his outside, Mac's Jackpot couldn't go anywhere, eventually dropping back noticeably. Meanwhile, San Domino A opened to two lengths off the final turn, disposing of The Real One by a length in 1:50.4. Highland Tartan held third, with Theartofconfusion A (Austin Siegelman) and Havefaithinme N (Eric Goodell) settling for the minors. Four fourth choice San Domino A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Andrew Harris for co-owners Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing, it was his fifth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $110, the triple paid $447 and the superfecta paid $1,625.   by Frank Drucker Publicity Director

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 5, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's instant guarantee for its Saturday night (Oct. 5th) Pick 5 made someone instantly happy. A single, solitary ticket with the magic sequence--3/6/3/6/7--took down the entire pool, good for $23,905.75 for that base 50-cent wager. With nearly $5,300 unclaimed from Friday night's (Oct. 4th) Pick 5 wager, the Raceway's $15,000 guarantee was easily vaulted over with $24,808 of new investors. The winning quintet of... 3-Betting Exchange ($34) 6-Military Master A ($10) 3-Don Domingo N ($3.90) 6-Prairie Panther ($7.80) 7-Mach it So ($39.80) led to the single-ticket windfall. Yonkers' Pick 5 begins with either the sixth or seventh race during every program, offering a $10,000 guaranteed pool each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. However, larger 'instant guarantees' have happened quite frequently, as evidenced by Saturday evening. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 4, 2019-Please forgive the late notice, however Yonkers Raceway has scrapped its scheduled live harness racing program for a week from tonight, Friday, Oct. 11th. The cancellation allows the Raceway to use the paddock for detention ahead of Saturday afternoon's (Oct. 12th) $1 million International Trot and pair of $250,000 Invitationals. The program shall be made up at a date TBA. The schedule change has been approved by the New York State Gaming Commission. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 4, 2019- An uncovered Lady Dela Renta A (Jim Marohn Jr., $9.60) picked off Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan) at the wire Friday night (Oct. 4th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away third from post position No. 2, Lady Dela Renta A watched as 9-10 fave Feelin' Red Hot pocketed Alexa's Power (Dan Dube) through early intervals of :27.4 and :56.3. Lady Dela Renta A then moved, engaging the leader past a 1:24 three-quarters. Feelin' Red Hot owned a three-quarter-length in and out of the final turn, but the pursuer was relentless. Lady Dela Renta A stuck her tongue out late, prevailing by a neck in 1:52.1. Alexa's Power tired in the pocket but held third, with Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) and Lispatty (Austin Siegelman) settled for the minors. It was Liberty Rose N (Eric Goodell) at the back of the half-dozen. For third choice Lady Dela Renta A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Well Said co-owned by Dolne Farm Services & Blindswitch Racing and trained by Jose Godinez, it was her eighth win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $33.80, the triple returned $96 and the superfecta paid $200. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening's (Oct. 5th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $5,299.21 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 case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. For full results and entries click here. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 4, 2019- Half of the field for the $1 million International Trot found its way to Westchester Friday afternoon (Oct. 4th), Just before 1 PM, Yonkers Raceway welcomed Bahia Quesnot (France), Lionel (Norway), Norton Commander (Germany), Uza Josellyn (Switzerland) and Zacon Gio (Italy). The fivesome arrived at JFK Airport earlier this week and went through their required quarantine period without incident before the hour or so trip to their 'new home'. Denmark's Slide So Easy has been stateside for a while. The above half-dozen join Atlanta (U-S), defending champion Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden), Guardian Angel AS (U-S) and Marion Marauder (Canada) in the 41st International, set for a week from Saturday (Oct. 12th). Note the special matinee first post of 1 PM. The race shall be drawn at a Raceway luncheon Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 8th). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 3, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's harness racing secretary Bob Miecuna has finalized the eight-horse field for the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace. The octet, part of the undercard for Saturday afternoon's (Oct. 12th) International Trot card, is (alphabetically)... American History (age 4) --fresh off matching Yonkers' all-age track record (1:49.3) this past Saturday night (Sept. 28th) after winning Harrington' Quillen Memorial in identical time in previous start. Courtly Choice (4) - wins in the Canadian Pacing Derby (Mohawk) and Commodore Barry Invitational (Harrah's Philly). At 3, won the Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug (Delaware, OH) and Empire Breeders' Classic (Tioga). Jimmy Freight (4) -- won last week's Dayton Pacing Derby as well as Mohawk's Gold Cup. At 3, won the final of Ontario Sire Stakes Gold (Mohawk) and elim of Yonkers' Messenger Stakes before second in final. McWicked (8) - Really? $4.6 million in career earnings doesn't need much in the way of introduction, about 2018's Harness Horse of the Year after wins in TVG (Meadowlands), Breeders Crown (Pocono), Dan Rooney (here), Allerage (Red Mile), Canadian Pacing Derby (Mohawk), Haughton Memorial (Meadowlands) and Ben Franklin (Pocono)? This season's wins include the Ewart Memorial (Scioto), Gerrity Memorial (Saratoga) and Roll With Joe (Tioga). None Bettor A (6) - his first North American season includes win in the Battle of Lake Erie and final of Great Northeast (Pocono), plus pair of Open Handicaps here. Theartofconfusion A (9) - set the local all-age track record (1:49.3) while working his way up through the conditioned ranks. Has raced exclusively here since August of 2017. This is the Plan (4) - wins in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Prix D'Ete (Hippodrome Three Rivers), Ben Franklin (Pocono) Well-traveled number is making Yonkers his 16th career venue. Western Fame (6) - early-season standout here, winning four legs and final of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Post time for the International Trot matinee card is 1 PM. Post positions for the Rooney shall be drawn Monday afternoon (Oct. 7th). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 1, 2019--"She passed." That was driver Yannick Gingras' post mortem after the harness racing trotting mare Atlanta worked out over Yonkers Raceway for the first time. The world champion 4-year-old trotter went through her paces prior to Tuesday night's (Oct. 1st) regularly-scheduled program, doing so in preparation for $1 million Yonkers International Trot here a week from Saturday (Oct. 12th). "I was very happy with her," Gingras said, adding Atlanta's negotiated her mile-and-a-quarter International Trot distance "in 2:26 or so". "She did everything I wanted, especially around the turns. I made sure to buzz her around the turns." The statebred daughter of Chapter Seven, who has never raced over a half-mile oval, has seven wins and three seconds in 11 seasonal starts ($658,400). Her last purse try was a win in the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto (1:51.4) about four weeks ago. Gingras and trainer Ron Burke took Atlanta to Westchester in part having learned from not-too-ancient history. "We didn't bring Hannelore Hanover here before the (2016) International, and that was a mistake," Gingras said of the fast miss who broke in the turns. "I know (the International) is going to be tough, but (Atlanta) has held her own against some very good older horses. "At the end of the day, there aren't many million-dollar races in the sport," Gingras said. "I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want to win it." Here is the video of her work out. Post time for the International Trot matinee card is 1 PM. Post positions for 10-horse, nine-nation field shall be drawn Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 8th. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 28, 2019--American History (Joe Bongiorno, $2.30) matched Yonkers Raceway's all-age track record Saturday night (Sept. 28th), dusting an age-restricted harness racing handicap field in 1:49.3. Assigned outside his five rivals in the $35,000, fifth-race pace, American History floated into a four-hole as Turbo Hill (Eric Goodell) laid down a flat 27-second opening quarter mile and :55.1 intermission. American History then went after the leader, the tandem throwing it down in a :26.4 third quarter (1:22). He then put away Turbo Hill shortly thereafter, taking a length lead into the lane. After some driver encouragement, American History widened, whipping 36-1 outsider Ideal Flip (Brent Holland) by three lengths. Turbo Hill and Tiger Baron (George Brennan) rounded out the gimmick finishers. Fresh off his win in Harrington's Quillen Memorial--in an identical 1:49.3--American History won his fourth race in 15 seasonal starts. The 4-year-old son of American Ideal is co-owned by (breeder) Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz & American History Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. "He's scary fast," Bongiorno said. "He probably went a :26.1 third quarter and I never had to pull the plugs. There's no telling just how much he can go in his next start at Lexington." The exacta paid $41, the triple returned $249 and the superfecta paid $523. Saturday's effort equaled Theartofconfusion A's (Austin Siegelman) track record from four weeks ago. It also set a new record for American History's weight class, displacing himself (1:50) from five weeks ago. Saturday night's pair of $42,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Pace, None Bettor A (Jason Bartlett, $3) in 1:50.4, --Trot, Rich and Miserable (Tyler Buter, $7.30) in 1:53.4. Rich and Miserable set a track record for 4-year-old geldings, eclipsing Lord Cromwell (1:54.1), taken last October. FRANK DRUCKER Publicity Director

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 27, 2019- Odds-on harness racing favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $3.20) could not have gone any slower in the early going Friday night (Sept. 27th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The lone leaver from post position No. 5, Betterb Chevron N slogged through early intervals of :28 and :57, with those nice round numbers giving her way too much of an advantage. It was Liberty Rose N (Eric Goodell) trying it first-up from fourth as Betterb Chevron N maintaining her lead in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters. Betterb Chevron N owned a three-quarter length lead off the final turn, then held pocket-sitting Lispatty (Austin Siegelman) at bay by that same margin in 1:53.2. Third went to Liberty Rose N, with Quite a Sight (Brent Holland) and Alexa's Power (Jim Marohn Jr.) rounding out the remainder. 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 eighth win in 24 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13, the triple returned $108.50 and the superfecta paid $297. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 26, 2019-- After losing his first nine races to start the harness racing season, Brookie's Prince N (Jason Bartlett, $3.30) has flipped the script 180 degrees. It was an 11th consecutive win Thursday night (Sept. 26th) as Brookie's Prince N lasted on the lead during Yonkers Raceway's $13,500 pacing opener. In for the higher number in a $12,5000/$15,000 claiming handicap, Brookie's Prince N wired the field (;27.3, 57.4, 1:26.1, 1:55.3) from outside post position No. 7. The 6-year-old Real Desire Down Under gelding, owned by Jessica Anderson and trained by Rich Banca, was summarily reclaimed by owner-trainer Brittany Robertson. The rent-a-horse Brookie's Prince N has now been taken out of his last five starts. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 24, 2019- By way of introduction, here are your 10 harness racing entrants for Yonkers Raceway's $1 million International Trot, set for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12th. Alphabetically (country of representation)... Atlanta (U-S) Bahia Quesnot (France) Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden) Guardian Angel AS (U-S) Lionel (Norway) Marion Marauder (Canada) Norton Commander (Germany) Slide So Easy (Denmark) Uza Josellyn (Switzerland) Zacon Gio (Italy). From Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 21, 2019- Favored Darling Mearas S (Ake Svanstedt, $4.60) threw down the gauntlet Saturday night (Sept. 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Handicap Trot. Despite no previous small-track experience and having to requalify after two Tioga breaks, Darling Mearas S beat the boys and made them cry. Offering high speed from post position No. 4, Darling Mearas S was gingerly-handled early after making the lead. She was apparently emboldened soon thereafter, stuffing Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett) in behind. A :27.1 opening quarter-mile gave way to a rated :57.4 intermission, and the lass was gone. She widened passing a 1:26.4 three-quarters, taking 2½ lengths into the lane. The margin was 4¼ lengths by the time she hit the wire in 1:54.4. There'sademonimme (George Brennan) lasted for second after trying it first-up, with Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton) third. Eye ofa Tiger AS and a returning Melady's Monet (Eric Goodell) rounded out the payees. For Darling Mearas S, a 6-year-old Swedish homebred daughter of Cantab Hall trained by her driver for owner Snogarps Gard, it was her second win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $493. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 20, 2019-- Sometimes, there's an unexpected daily double, as in a harness racing track record that went unoticed and glorious photographic evidence to accentuate it. Thursday night (Sept. 19th), the 3-year-old trotting gelding Sheena's Boy (George Brennan, $2.50) trotted away in 1:54.4, setting a Yonkers Raceway track standard for the weight class. The five-length romp in the $16,000, fourth race so inspired 'Sheena' that the hairs on the back of his neck stood up, as the Mike Lizzi photo attests. Sheena's Boy, a gelded son of Trixton, is trained by Ake Svanstedt for co-owners S R F Stable and Knuttson Trotting. The win was his fourth in a dozen seasonal starts. In his previous start, Sheena's Boy was sitting a loose Yonkers Trot pocket to runaway Gimpanzee before breaking, crossing the line fourth but placed sixth while race-timed in 1:54.4. The previous local standard for 3-year-old trotting geldings was 1:55, set by Crazy About Pat (Eric Goodell) in September of 2013. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 20, 2019- Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan, $7.80) held off Alexa's Power (Jason Bartlett) in a two-speed number Friday night (Sept. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The assigned eight-hole was again not an impost for Feelin' Red Hot, who made the lead well before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. She rated a :56.2 intermission before Lispatty (Austin Siegelman) tried it first-up from fourth. It was a weak bid, doing no favors for 7-5 favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) in behind. Of course, a :27.2 third quarter (1:23.4) made it more difficult. Feelin' Red Hot owned a length-and-a-half into the lane before whipping Alexa's Power by a neck in 1:52.1. A ground-saving Angel's Pride (Joe Bongiorno) was a non-threatening third, with Betterb Chevron N and Lady Dela Renta A (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the small change. For second choice Feelin' Red Hot, a 6-year-old daughter of Feelin' Friskie co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her 13th win in 29 seasonal starts (28-for-58 over past two seasons). The exacta paid $30.80, the triple returned $176.50 and the superfecta paid $879. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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