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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 24, 2015 - Harness racing driver Dan Dube, off to a solid start to the season, continue his roll Saturday night by sweeping both of Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night $35,000 co-features. In-form Not Again ($4.40) defended his marquee trot title, winning this Open Handicap event in 1:56.3. Assigned outside his six rivals, Not Again, as the second choice. was in play early. Eschewing a three-hole, he drove on, getting around Meadows invader Count Me In. That one, the 11-10 favorite, took over from lone lass Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter). Not Again threw down the gauntlet (:27.3, 57.3, 1:26.2), taking no outer-tier pressure whatsoever. Count Me In pulled pocket early, and that would cost him. Not Again wound up winning by length-and-a-quarter, with 45-1 rank outsider Sim Brown (Mark MacDonald) slipping up the cones for second. Count Me In was third, with Hoorayforvacation (Eric Carlson) and Star Photo (Eric Goodell) rounding out the payees. Backstreet Hanover jumped it off entering the final turn. For Not Afraid, a 6-year-old S J's Caviar gelding trained by Jimmy Takter for his wife, Christina, John Fielding and Goran Anderberg, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $98, with the triple returning $228. Dube won the blind-draw Open Pace was a pocket-patrolling Michael's Power ($10.40). That one, from post No. 6, left outside of Sapphire City (Carlson). He then gave it up to a quarter-move by just-over-even-money favorite Warrawee Needy (MacDonald). It was "Needy" laying down the law through intervals of :27.1, :56 and 1:23.2, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, that quick third quarter could not separate himself from the gang, and the gang swallowed him up. It was Michael's Power ducking inside, beating a closing Take it Back Terry (Brennan) by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.4 Sapphire City, Warrawee Needy and a season-debuting P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. For third choice Michael's Power, a 6-yer-old Camluck homebred gelding owned by Jeff Snyder and trained by Mark Silva, it was his second win in three '15 tries. The exacta paid $52, with the triple returning $244. Dube won four races during Saturday's dozen-race card. The Raceway's live season continues (weather permitting) Monday (7:10 PM), then Tuesday (1 PM) and Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, January 22, 2015--A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Friday night's Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $2,244.20. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager offered on races 5 through 9 nightly. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Thursday), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 17, 2015--Rank outsider Flem N Em N (Jason Bartlett, $71.50) stunned 'em from first-up Saturday night, easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Pace. Sitting early from post position No. 4, Flem N Em N saw Cam B Zipper (Brian Sears) break leaving. Sapphire City, also leaving, worked around pole-sitting BJ's Guy (Matt Kakaley) before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a seemingly-soft 57.1 intermission, Flem N Em N moved briskly from fourth. The same horse who tired noticeably in the pocket the previous week blew eight on by here, disposing of Sapphire City nearing the 1:25.2 three-quarters. The tiring leader trapped both BJ's Guy and last week's winner, Take it Back Terry (George Brennan), in behind. Flem N Em N opened four lengths into the lane before winning by 3¼ lengths in 1:52.4. "Terry" shifted out and closed for second, with McErlean (Eric Goodell), BJ's Guy and Sapphire City settling for the remainder. For Flem N Em N, a 10-year-old Down Under Courage Under Fire gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was his first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $285.50, with the triple returning $1,504. Flem N Em N now has lifetime earnings of $604,865 from 33 wins 32 seconds and 29 thirds from 181 starts. Flem N Em N Special Saturday props to Warrawee Needy (MacDonald, $5.90), whose zipped through his $21,000, 12th-race rivals in 1:51.4, fastest local mile of the season. Note that since no one took down Saturday's Pick 5, Monday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,665.18 (50-cent base wager, races 5 through 9). The Raceway's live season continues Monday (7:10 PM), then Tuesday (1 PM) and Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 16, 2015-Spirit of Desire and harness racing driver Jason Bartlett outfought Palm Patrol (Mark MacDonald) in a good, old-fashioned match race Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play early from post position No. 5, Spirit of Desire worked around Palm Patrol just at a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. After a :57.2 intermission, Momma Rock (Brian Sears) tried it first-up from fourth. However, that bid was weak at best as Spirit of Desire found a 1:25.4 three-quarters. She and her "stalker" then had the race to themselves through the lane. Palm Patrol appeared to grab a short lead, but the aptly-named Spirit of Desire stuck her tongue out on the money in 1:55. Momma Rock wound up a best-of-the-rest third, beaten more than seven lengths. Last week's victress-and this week's slight 5-2 choice-Set Me Up (George Brennan) and Cooking the Books (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees. For fourth choice Spirit of Desire, a 5-year-old daughter of Real Desire trained by Tim Lancaster for co-owners Bill Lancaster, Neal Rosenberg and Margaret Ames, it was her second win in as many seasonal starts The exacta paid $52.50, with the triple returning $272. The Raceway's live season continues night Saturday (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note the next Sunday matinee is Feb. 22. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, January 11, 2015-Yonkers Raceway's first French-exported program of the season went postward Sunday afternoon. The first seven races on the dozen-race card were oversized fields (11, 12, 10, 10, 9, 10 and 10 trotters, respectively, after scratches) at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. The seven races attracted 1.16 million Euros (approximately 1.38 million U-S dollars) to an audience which included France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta. The week's marquee trot, a $44,000 blind-draw Open, featured the standard eight starters at the standard eight furlongs. It also featured a predictable result with 2-5 fave Not Afraid (Dan Dube)-from post position No. 5--going as the distance (:28.4, :57.4, 1:26.3, 1:55.1) to win as he pleased. The final margin was five lengths over second choice Backstreet Hanover (Eric Carlson), with Take My Picture (Jason Bartlett) third and In Nomine Patri (Jim Marshall III) fourth. The gimmicks returned $5.60 (exacta), $11.80 (triple, three wagering choices in order) and $89.50 (superfecta). Not Afraid, a now-6-year-old S J's Caviar gelding trained by Jimmy Takter for his wife, Christina, John Fielding and Goran Andeberg, earned more than $154,000 a season ago. Special Sunday props to driver Brent Holland, who is taking his talents to Miami...Valley, that is. The affable Holland, an Ohio native, is relocating there and we wish him well. Holland did win Sunday's $15,500, second race with favored Bambino Hall ($4.50), trotting the added distance in 2:31.2. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (7:10 PM). After that, it's Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). The next scheduled Sunday matinee is Feb. 22. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 10, 2014- Odds-on choice Take it Back Terry (George Brennan, $3.20) skimmed for success Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried from post position No. 3, the people's preference saw 34-1 shot O'Sundland (Larry Stalbaum) beat everyone to the punch from the far outside, making the lead before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. While doing so, he looped Mickey Hanover (Dan Dube), forcing that one to prompt toward a :56.3 intermission and 1:25.2 three-quarters. All the while, Take it Back Terry was stuck in a three-hole, behind a pocketed Flem N Em N (Jason Bartlett). O'Sundland owned a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, but was about done. Swarmed from all side, it was a deep-in-the-passing lane Take it Back Terry saving the chalkies. He whipped a second-up McErlean (Eric Goodell) by a neck in 1:53.4. BJ's Guy (Matt Kakaley) was third, with Mickey Hanover--out every step--and Flem N Em N rounding out the payees. For "Terry," a now-6-year-old Western Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, it was his first win in a couple of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $23, with the triple returning $109. The Raceway's live season continues night Sunday (post time 11:55 AM), a French-centric, trot-filled card with seven oversized fields at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 9, 2015-Yonkers Raceway's 2015 season began Friday night with a $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Pace. Second-choice Set Me Up (George Brennan, $5.80), from post position No. 4, whipped her four foes, going the distance (:28.3, :58.2, 1:26.4, 1:54.4). Palm Patrol (Mark MacDonald) moved from third down the backside, closing the margin before missing a half-length. Cooking the Books (Eric Carlson), a no-factor, 7-10 fave Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton) and Grounded (Jason Bartlett) completed the cashers/finishers. Early outside assignee--and probable favorite--Voelz Hanover was scratched-ill. For season-debuting Set Me Up, a now-6-year-old daughter of Shark Gesture co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, she comes off a career-best $120,000 season in 2014. The exacta paid $41.80, with the triple cancelled due to the abbreviated number of starters. The Raceway's live season continues night Saturday (post time 7:10 PM) and Sunday (post time 11:55 AM), the latter a French-centric, trot-filled card with seven oversized fields at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, January 8, 2015--The first weekend of Yonkers Raceway's 2015 season plays no gait favorites, with 14 paces and 10 trots. Saturday night's program includes the $35,000 Open Handicap Pace (6th race), with any number of formful foes. Take it Back Terry (George Brennan, post 3) has won twice in his last four starts, Mickey Hanover (Dan Dube, post 4) thrice in his last five and Sapphire City (Eric Carlson, post 7) had won four races in a row before finishing second in his 2014 finale. Sunday's first matinee goes postward at 11:55 AM (note change from originally-listed 11:25 post time). The dozen-race card features the first seven events--two 12-horse fields and five 10-horse fields--going at the mile-and-one-quarter distance for the French-hubbed audience. The weekly marquee trot, a $44,000 blind-draw Open, is carded as the eighth race. The two lasses, Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter, post 2) and Dancehall Mistress (Dan Dube, post 7), figure to be players. This is the lone January Sunday program. Note the post times for the upcoming season... --Mondays/Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays - first post 7:10 PM --Tuesdays - first post 1 PM --this Sunday - first post 11:55 AM (next one is Feb. 22) Save for a six-card first full week, Yonkers generally offers a five-program-per-week schedule. Included in that is a proposed 31 days (174 races) simulcast to a French-based audience. A stakes schedule shall be announced shortly. The complete 2015 schedule is pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, January 5, 2015--Yonkers Raceway's 2015, 238-program live schedule begins Friday night, along with the return of evening simulcasting. Another example of good things coming to those who wait. A 12-race card has been drawn, featuring q $35,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace (6th race), where a locally-debuting millionaires--now-10-year-old Voelz Hanover (Pat Lachance)--was assigned outside her five rivals. Please note the post times for the upcoming season are as such... --Mondays/Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays - first post 7:10 PM --Tuesdays - first post 1 PM --Sundays - first post 11:25 AM (only one [11th] in January) Save for a six-card first full week, Yonkers generally offers a five-program-per-week schedule. Included in that is a proposed 31 days (174 races) simulcast to a French-hubbed audience. The "French races" begin this Sunday Sunday, Jan. 11, and end with the final (Dec. 13) program of the season. A stakes schedule shall be announced shortly. The complete 2015 schedule is pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 23, 2014-Pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission-and, to a lesser degree, Santa Claus-a 2015, 238-program live schedule has been released by Yonkers Raceway. As previously reported, the Raceway's 2015 live schedule (along with the return of evening simulcasting) is set to begin Friday, Jan. 9, again, pending approval of the NYSGC. It is generally a five-program-per-week schedule, included a proposed 31 days (174 races) simulcast to a French-hubbed audience. The "French races" begin Sunday, Jan. 11, and end with the final (Dec. 13) program of the season. Post time are as such...Sundays (11:25 AM), Tuesdays (now 1 PM), Mondays/Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays (usual 7:10 PM). A stakes schedule shall be announced shortly. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, December 18, 2014--Nomination forms are now available for Yonkers Raceway's 2015 series, plus the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. In closing date/chronological order, they are Petticoat/Sagamore Hill (Feb. 1), YR/SOA of New York Bonus Trotting Series (Feb. 15), Blue Chip Matchmaker/George Morton Levy Memorial (March 1), Sheppard Pace (April 1, sustaining payment May 1) and Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series (Apr. 15). Copies of each form accompanies this release. http://empirecitycasino.com/uploadedFiles/2015petticoat-sagamorehillnomination.pdf http://empirecitycasino.com/uploadedFiles/2015bluechipmatchmakernomination.pdf http://empirecitycasino.com/uploadedFiles/2015georgemortonlevynomination.pdf http://empirecitycasino.com/uploadedFiles/2015lawrencesheppardnomination.pdf http://empirecitycasino.com/uploadedFiles/2015%20YR-SOA%20Bonus%20Trot%20Series%20Nomination.pdf http://empirecitycasino.com/uploadedFiles/2015jackpotnextdoorseriesnomination.pdf The Raceway's 2015 live schedule (along with the return of evening simulcasting) is set to begin Friday, Jan. 9, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Afternoon simulcasting continues through Monday, then resumes Friday, Dec. 26, after the conclusion of NYRA's holiday respite. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 16, 2014--Jason Bartlett and Ron Burke have waltzed away with Yonkers Raceway's driving and training titles, respectively, for the 2014 season. The 232-program season, (shortened with five cancellations and one abbreviated program [weather]), ended this past Sunday (Dec. 14). Bartlett, 33, won his fourth Westchester driving title going away, with 485 wins from a meet-high 2,440 wins (19.9 percent). His $7,594,544 in purses also led the contingent. Brian Sears (402 wins), George Brennan (401), Eric Carlson (213) and Dan Dube (213) completed the leading five. Burke, 45, successfully defended his Yonkers title, sending out 144 winners from 704 starters (20.5 percent), more than any other local trainer. Among his record-breaking total earnings season was a local-leading $4,646,539 in purses. PJ Fraley (118 wins), Gilberto Garcia-Herrera (112), Rene Allard (111) and Tracy Brainard (106) finished off the first quintet. The Raceway's 2015 live schedule (along with the return of evening simulcasting) is set to begin Friday, Jan. 9, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Afternoon simulcasting resumes Friday, Dec. 26, after the conclusion of NYRA's holiday hiatus. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers Raceway's 2014 season concluded with its sixth Sunday matinee. After a one-week hiatus, the French theme returned, with the first five races-all trots and all exported-featuring oversized fields and the mile-and-one-quarter distance. The European handle for the quintet was just over $1.2 million, making the five-week (25-race) total approximately 6 million Euros (more than 7.5 million U.S. dollars). The featured $46,000 Open Handicap Trot saw favored DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $3.90) easily handle his rivals, overcoming an eight-hole assignment in 2:26.3. The margin was 3¾ lengths over Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), with Sevruga (Andy Miller) third. For "DW," a 5-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor, it was his 13th win in 32 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $50, with the triple returning $142. The Raceway's 2015 live schedule (along with the return of evening simulcasting) is set to begin Friday, Jan. 9, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Afternoon simulcasting continues through Monday, then resumes Friday, Dec. 26, after the conclusion of NYRA's holiday respite. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday -  Favored Beach Memories (George Brennan, $4.30) did his damage from first-up Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace. Sitting chilly early from post position No. 3, Beach Memories saw Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) make the lead (:27.1, :57.2) around BJ's Guy (Brent Holland), with early pocketeer Ronny Bugatti (Tyler Buter) shuffled to third. Beach Memories, who flashed wild speed in the slop a week ago, advanced from fifth here. He went up and over Sapphire City before the 1:24.1 three-quarters, opening 2¼ lengths in the lane. The final margin was a length-and-a-half in 1:52.1. It was Sapphire City holding second, with BJ's Guy, Ronny Bugatti and McErlean (Jordan Stratton) settling for the small change. For Beach Memories, a 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Strollin and AWS Stables, Country Club Acres and King MacNamara, it was his fourth win in 24 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $34.40, with the triple returning $149.50. The Raceway's live season concludes with Sunday's matinee (post time just after 11 AM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 12, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Pace was won by a course-shifting Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $6.20). Unhurried from post position No. 5, "Robin" watched" as Dune in Red (Austin Siegelman) stung 4-5 choice Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett) before releasing that one. It was a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and :56.2 intermission when Charisma Hanover (Dan Dube) moved from fourth. A quick :27.3 third quarter (1:24) seemingly separated the leader and the pursuer from the rest of the gang, as Robin Cruiser-racing from second-up-gapped. It was "Sue" taking a length lead into the lane, but the fast fray was taking its toll on the leading duo. They began to tire as Robin Cruiser closed ranks, ducking inside and picking off the people's choice late in a slow final quarter. The margin was three-quarters of a length in 1:53.1. Charisma Hanover was third, with Uf Dragon's Queen (Mark MacDonald) and Palm Patrol (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. Dune in Red was last among the half-dozen with Cooking the Books an early-evening scratch. For second choice Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Julie Miller, was her ninth win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16, with the triple returning $48.80 The Raceway's live season concludes with programs Saturday (post time 7:10 PM) and Sunday (post time just after 11 AM). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, December 7, 2014-The penultimate performance of Yonkers Raceway's "Matinee Mambo" went postward Sunday. As previously scheduled, this was the only one of the six day cards not simulcast overseas to a French-hubbed audience. Thus, the 12-race card went with traditional distances (mile) and starters (eight, before scratches). The featured $46,000 Open Handicap Trot turned out to be a formful, three-speed number, with favorites DW's NY Yank (Matt Kakaley, $3.90), Somebody AS (Andy Miller) and Dancehall Mistress (Brian Sears) justifying their support. It was DW's NY Yank, from post position No. 6, working around Somebody AS, then leading through intervals of :27.3, :57.4, 1:26.1 and 1:55.1. The final margin was a neck over second-choice Somebody AS, with third choice "Mistress" a best-of-the-rest third. For "DW," a 5-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor, it was his 12th win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.20, with the triple returning $37.60. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through next Sunday. Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the last of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) set for just after 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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