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YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 25, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $197,500 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Four divisions comprised the event. Division leader Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $3.10) did nothing to diminish her standing, winning the $49,150 third division in 1:58.4...by far the night's fastest. Racing second-up from post position No. 4, she went up and over a last-turn bolting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald), beating that one by three-quarters of a length. Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a best-of-the-rest third. The effort was just two ticks off the track record (Some Girls, 2010) for this division. "She's just a professional and she enjoys what she does," Gregory said. "Mark's filly looked like she wanted to go home early, but nothing seems to bother (Barn Doll). For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her sixth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.30, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $12.20. Driver George Brennan doubled his pleasure in the first two ($49,150 each) sire stakes events, with odds-on Pig Hunt ($2.50) in 2:01, and second choice Counsellor AS ($5.80) in 2:00.3 The former, a Conway Hall miss, controlled from the pole, defeated pocket-sitting Zanna Blue (Gates Brunet) by three-quarters of a length. Summer Scent (Dan Daley) was third. For Pig Hunt, co-owned by (trainer) Jennifer and Janice Connor, she's now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta (two wagering faves in order) paid $8.20, with the triple returning $28.40. "The best thing about her? She trots," Brennan said. "I was able to back it down enough (1:31.3 three-quarters) to make sure she had something late." Both Barn Doll and Pig Hunt are 2-for-2 locally in NYSS competition. Counsellor AS, second-up from post No. 4, went right by even-money Miss B'ville J (Morrill Jr.), drawing out to win by a couple of lengths. Make it Blue Chip (Ray Schnittker) was third. For "Counsellor," a Conway Hall homebred miss owned Acl Stuteri Ab and trained by Annette Lorentzon, it was her third win in eight '14 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with the triple returning $30.40. "She's learning," Brennan said. "I think she'd have won the last time, but I drove her off her feet." The evening's final ($50,050) sire stakes event went to down-the-road favorite Concentration (Sears, $4.30)-from post No. 4--in 1:59.3. The margin was a length-and-three-quarters over, Duolectra (Brennan), who skimmed to cones to grab second at 28-1. Shaqline (Jimmy Takter) was third. For Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, she's 3-for-7 in her first season. The exacta paid $88.50, with the triple returning $332.50. A special Monday shoutout to the veteran Wholly Louy, whose win in the $21,000, 10th-race pace made him harness racing's newest millionaire (66-for-220, $1,000,063). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

The intermittent rain showers on Thursday afternoon, August 21 didn't deter Market Rally and Avalicious from their main objectives as each won their respective $60,200 divisions of 3-year-old trotting fillies in New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway. Both fillies, from the powerful Ron Burke stable, were driven to victory by Jimmy Morrill, Jr.. The two trotting events were the last of the NYSS preliminary legs prior to the top point earners in the summer-long series convening at Yonkers Raceway on September 13 to compete in their $225,000 Division Final. With her victory in a time of 1:57.3 Market Rally finished with 325 points which will undoubtedly make her the favorite in her rich NYSS finale. Avalicious, on the other hand, was victorious in 1:57.4 and finished with 175 points as second best. There's no argument that Market Rally has been the best NYSS sophomore trotting filly this year and her 9-length victory over Gammy's Girl (Mark MacDonald) and Cutup Hanover (Jeff Gregory) only emphasized it. With her triumph on Thursday the daughter of Cash Hall-Supreme Dish has run her seasonal bankroll to over $262,000 on the strength of six wins and one second in nine starts. Sent off the1-9 favorite from the pole position Morrill hustled Market Rally to the lead as Gates Brunet and Driving Miss Crazy left strong from the six hole. The two fillies were wide open on the first turn but unfortunately for Driving Miss Crazy's connections she went off-stride and Market Rally was alone on the front-end when she tripped the first quarter timer in :28.2 Two lengths in front as she passed the half in :57 Morrill was looking to give his filly a breather. When she passed the third stanza in 1:27 Market Rally had a five length lead which she opened to nine at the wire. "We were getting out of there pretty quickly and I got my filly wound up, and because of that we got to the half faster than I wanted to, "Morrill related. But from there she was on cruise-control the rest of the way." Owned by the Burke Stable, Weaver-Buscemi, Our Cents Stable and the Panhellenic Stable, Market rally paid $2.30 for win. In the other NYSS split Morrill eased Avalicious away from the gate slowly and at the first quarter they were in sixth position, some nine lengths off the leader. Morrill bided his time in the early going and at the half he moved the filly out behind cover and it up the backside and into the final turn before he gave Avalicious her head. And when he did the daughter of RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers rallied to a three length victory, her fifth of the year. Asked why Avalious was four, or so, lengths off the gate at the start of the race Morrill explained; "I wanted to ease her away so she'd stay trotting. She gets a little anxious behind the gate but once she gets away (on the trot) she's usually steady the rest of the mile." Avalicious, owned by M.C. Crawford, A.C. Crawford and P.D. Crawford, was sent off as the 3-10 betting favorite and returned a $2.60 win mutuel. Three Excelsior Series trots bolstered the undercard with the locally owned Dreamsteeler the most impressive. (Local) owner Andy Herzog was on hand to watch his Cash Hall-Dream Street filly maul her competition with Jimmy Morrill, Jr. at the lines. It was Dreamsteeler's seventh win in eight seasonal starts after going 10 for 10 last year. Sent off five cents on a dollar, Dreamsteeler was victorious in a time of 2:01 and paid $2.10 for win. After the photo was taken in the winners circle Herzog was asked why Dreamsteeler doesn't race in the sire stakes. "I bought her in mid-June and she wasn't eligible to them (the NYSS), only to the Excelsior Series. But she's already won my money back and I got a pretty nice filly trotter to boot." Other Excelsior winners were Ski To The Max (Gates Brunet) in 2:02.1 and Slice Slice Baby (Charlei Norris) in 2:00.2. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

As the New York Sire Stakes draw closer to the eight $225,000 finales, presented on September 13 at Yonkers Raceway, the fields in each preliminary division leading to those rich finals understandably get smaller as only the most competitive move on. However as the fields get smaller the purses in the supporting divisions get larger. On Thursday afternoon (August 21) two $60,200 divisions of NYSS sophomore filly trots attracted only 14 entrants which leads one to believe that most are, in fact, this year's cream of the crop while those who aren't among them are looking to join their ranks. Or maybe their connections believe they have a good chance to get a huge part of the substantial purse. Still, as the two seven-horse fields race for the respectable purses offered, final results of these two trots could change the points- earned landscape especially since the stop at the Mighty M on Thursday will be the final preliminary leg before their $225,000 finale. The top eight trotters who will have earned the most points in the NYSS preliminary legs will get an opportunity to vastly increase their seasonal bankrolls in the rich finale. However, should any of the top eight fail to enter, the door will be open for those next in line in point totals. Joining the two NYSS trots will be three Excelsior Series trotting events also for 3 year old fillies arguably of lesser caliber than their NYSS cohorts. Each of the two Excelsior "A" Series trots will race for purses of $12,600 while eight others will go for a $6,800 purse in the Excelsior Series "B" event. The first $60,200 NYSS trot will go as race six on the 12-race card. That event features the top four in points. They are (with points and drivers), Market Rally (275-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.), Glowngold (130-Chris Lems), Driving Miss Crazy (130-Gates Brunet); and Beauty of Gray (125-Jim Meittinis). All almost assuredly will eligible to the Final. Others in that seven horse field (with points and drivers) include Annies List (117-Tyler Buter), Cutup Hanover (75-Jeff Gregory) and Gammy's Girl (26-Mark MacDonald). If total points determine the abilities of the entrants then the second $60,200 division arguably contains a softer field, although Avalicious (125-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) is tied for fourth in total points. She'll be joined by L Dees Scripture (111-Chris Lems),Maud Blue Chip(61-Tyler Buter), Lindys Crazy Dolly (25-Larry Stalbaum), Crediama (21-Jeff Greory), Flyhawk Falina (17-Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) and Do You Believe (8-Mark MacDonald). However, It should be noted that many of the fillies with lesser point totals isn't a decree of their abilities, it's just that they only started a few times in the NYSS this year. The Sire Stakes trots will be presented as races six and eight on the 12-race card on Thursday. They'll be joined by three quality sophomore filly trotting races in the Excelsior Series which will bolster the undercard. They will go as races one, two and five. Post time for the afternoon card is slated for 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Barn Doll got off to a slow start but she finished first and fastest of four divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday (Aug. 17) at Batavia Downs. After getting away a gapped fourth, Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and driver Jeff Gregory watched as Jim Morrill Jr.'s Pig Hunt cut out speedy fractions of :29 and :59.3, while pulling just before that second station. After starting the outer flow, Barn Doll slowly advance towards the leader as they hit the three-quarters in 1:30 flat. Once being eased around the last turn, Gregory got the filly in gear and she simply out-motored the rest to win in an impressive 1:59.4. Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) who followed Pig Hunt the whole race was second and My Lucky Word (Mark MacDonald) closed outside to be third. The winner paid $4.70. This was the fifth win in seven starts for the Steve Pratt trained Barn Doll who has now earned $70,712 on the year for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. She is the current point's leader in the NYSS standings for her gait and sex. Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Laverne Lavec) won the second fastest division, going wire-to-wire in 2:01. After leaving hard to grab the lead, Mark MacDonald then grabbed leather to perfectly rate the game trotter through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 before flying home in a brisk :29.1 to register the win. Betcha (Dan Daley) was second and Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) was third. Nunkeri paid $3.50. Nunkeri is owned by Millstream Inc. and the Nunkeri Stable and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. This was her second win in five starts in 2014 and brings her bank up to $49,825. Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) also won her division in 2:01 but had to do it amidst an overabundance of road trouble. At the start of the race, Duolectra (Mark MacDonald) made a break which allowed Kaliska to inherit a quick lead. That lead was subsequently challenged by Summer Scent (Dan Daley) to the quarter in :30.2. Once she cleared, Kaliska and Ray Schnittker followed close behind while watching Concentration (Chris Lems), Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Spell That (Sam Schillaci) make breaks at various points of the mile. Once pulled, Kaliska out-dueled Summer Scent to the wire to win by almost two lengths. Kaliska returned $15.00 to win. The victory was the second of the year for Kaliska and pushed her earnings to $44,957 for owners Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable, Farm Alber Horse Racing LLC and Ray Schnittker, who is also her trainer. In the fourth split, Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) proved dominant in what became a very short field very fast. With an early scratch and Miss B'ville J (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Hot Start (Mark MacDonald) making breaks before the eighth pole, Zanna Blu found herself with a commanding lead and only three contenders behind her. Driver Gates Brunet took her through fractions of :30.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 with a five-length lead, before shutting her down with a line-drive to a length and three-quarter win in 2:01.1. She returned $6.90 to her backers. This was the third win in six starts for Zanna Blu and her owners Albert Crawford, Michelle Crawford and James Crawford. The winners share pushed the Gates Brunet trained filly's cash total to $47,176 for 2014. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior series on the card. Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Darling Marissa) who was driven by Mark MacDonald won the first $12,600 division in 2:00.4 for owner/trainer Janice Conner. Long Summer (Prayer I Am-Summer Ran) driven by Jeff Gregory won the second $12,700 split in 2:04.2 for owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Andrew Byler. And Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) was driven by Mark MacDonald and won the last $12,700 session in 2:02.4 for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt. Barn Girl is trained by Howard Okusko. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered his 6,000 career driving victory in a non-betting Excelsior B race with Ron's Coren in 2:04.1. Along with the wins, Morrill has pocketed purses totaling $87,659,175 during his career and annually remains one of the highest UDR reinsmen in the sport. Drivers Jeff Gregory and Mark MacDonald both scored driving triples on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 20) with post time at 6:35. The card features two divisions of the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

The weather was far from perfect for the Batavia Downs leg of the New York Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday (Aug. 13) as premature autumnal conditions presented cold temperatures, rain and a track rated as "good". But the tough got going and in one race, a major upset was the result. In the first $59,100 NYSS division, Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) was sent off as the even-money favorite and proved her backers correct as she made a big move at the half and cruised home victorious. Off the gate, L Dees Scripture (Chris Lems) left for the lead and quickly faced a strong challenge from Oh Sweet Penelope (Dan Daley) up the backside. But just before the quarter that challenger made a break so Lems then guided L Dees Scripture unabated to the half in 1:01. At that point Avalicious was out and rolling from fourth with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines to push the issue before swooping by the leader to take command at the three-quarters in 1:30.3. Once they cleared, Morrill gave the filly her head and she trotted away in easy fashion to win in 2:00.4. Beauty Of Gray (Jim Meittinis) shook loose for second and Lindys Crazy Dolly (Jeff Gregory) who was aired out hung on for third. Avalicious paid $4.30 to win for owners Michelle Crawford, Albert Crawford and Patricia Crawford. This was her fourth win in 11 starts this year and it pushed her earnings to $148,640 for trainer Ron Burke. The second $59,100 split saw a major upset occur when 1-9 favorite Market Rally made a break attempting to take an early lead. When the car pulled away to start the race, Driving Miss Crazy (Gates Brunet) and Gammy's Girl (Jim Meittinis) both left and got away 1-2 as they straightened out up the backstretch. Market Rally (Jim Morrill Jr.) had tucked fourth off the wings to let the field settle, but then was pulled and started rolling past the eighth pole. As they passed the quarter in :30 flat, Market Rally got ahead of the front runner to take the lead. But just as soon as she crossed over she made a break and ended up last, spotting the new leader about 10 lengths. That leader (Driving Miss Crazy) tended to her task, carrying the field to the half in 1:01.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.4. After a dull outer-flow offered no challenge through the middle fractions, Annie's List (Tyler Buter) managed to overtake second and a still last Market Rally then tipped three-high around fading horses to start making up ground. As they straightened out for the stretch drive, Brunet was working Driving Miss Crazy to stay alert on the lead, Buter was urging Annie's List to catch her and Morrill was working Market Rally to make up lost ground. After a good stretch drive, the trio hit the wire a length apart from each other with Driving Miss Crazy victorious in 2:00.4. In a tight photo for place, Market Rally did in fact rally for second and Annie's List was third. In the shadow of the overwhelming favorite, Driving Miss Crazy was let go at 10-1 and paid $22.60 to those who supported her. This was the sixth win in 13 starts for Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) who has now earned $124,017 in 2014 for trainer Gates Brunet and owners Theodore Gewertz, Y Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card and chalk bettors were in heaven as favorites dominated both races. Right after the $12,600 first division started, Little Baby Peanut (Jeff Gregory) and Twist Of Faith (Tyler Buter) both made breaks as the group motored into the first turn. That left Classic Belisima (Gates Brunet) on a loose lead with Do You Believe (Jim Morrill Jr.) getting the trip as the group went single-file to the quarter in :30.4 and the half in 1:02.2. Past the five-eighths Morrill pulled the pocket sitter and drew even with Classic Belisima and the two went stride for stride around the entire last turn. When they straightened out, Do You Believe proved to be the better horse as she pulled away to a two-length victory in 2:01.4. Classic Belisima hung on for second and Ginny And Tonic (Ray Fisher Jr.) got up for third. Do You Believe paid $2.30 as the heavy favorite for owners Brian Doolittle and Leigh Raymer, who also trains the filly. In the second $12,700 division, Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) turned in the fastest time of any of the stake races during the night, be they NYSS or Excelsior, in a dominating performance for trainer Tracy Brainard. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. eased Dreamsteeler out of the gate and took his time getting to the front. But once they got there the filly was brave and Morrill had his hands full rating the mile. However he did a perfect job as they scooted through even fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:30. Down the lane, Morrill sat chilly as Dreamsteeler just jogged home in 1.59.4. How Bout Cash (Chris Lems) and Slice Slice Baby (Tyler Buter) completed the top three finishers in that order. Dreamsteeler went off 1-9 and paid $2.20 to win. It was her sixth win in seven starts and brought the 2014 Excelsior points leading filly's coffers up to $34,950. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. brought home four winners on the night and Gates Brunet and Tyler Buter both piloted doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 15) with a 6:35 pm post. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The $118,200 New York Sire Stake for 3-year-old trotting fillies invades Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 13) and features the top series performer of the year so far for her sex and gait. Market Rally (Cash Hall-Supreme Dish) enters the night riding a five race winning streak, all in NYSS competition. Her dominance of this group is reflected in the combined 21 length total margin of victory over the course of those races. To date, Market Rally is currently the top point-getter in her division of the NYSS, doubling her nearest competitor. She has won purses amounting to $218,025 and has taken a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs for trainer Ron Burke. That $218,025 purse total ranks her fourth in North America for purses won by 3-year-old trotting fillies and eighth for earnings by 3-year-old trotters of either sex. In her last two starts at Yonkers and Saratoga Raceway, Market Rally's win times were 1:56.4 and 1:55.4 respectively. The Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies is 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 and then equalled by Bouncing Bax in 2013. So the track record has a very good chance of being reset on Wednesday night. Market Rally will be driven by leading NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. and has been installed as the track handicapper's prohibitive morning-line favorite at 1-5. Annies List (Conway Hall-Lasting Forever) is the second highest money-earner in this race ($126,273) but has a penchant for finishing second (6 out of 9 starts). She likes to race from off the pace and has solid final quarter speed. Starting in this short field and having Market Rally to give her live cover in an outer flow, Annies List is a definite threat for trainer Amber Buter and driver Tyler Buter. Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) has been racing sharp of late for trainer-driver Gates Brunet. She won at Saratoga in 1:57.2 two starts back and tried to out-foot Market Rally last week as she cut the mile at Yonkers. A similar pattern looks to be taking shape here and her success seems dependenton how fast the fractions go. The first $59,100 division is a wide open affair that has 8-5 Avalicious co-favored with 9-5 Beauty Of Gray. Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) won an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic and finished second in the $217,725 final at Vernon Downs in June. Since that start the filly has encountered some breaking issues in two of her last five starts. Road trouble in her last two further cost her success. Beauty Of Gray (Conway Hall-Armbro Sparkle) has raced well but has not been able to get across first at all in 2014. She has four seconds on her card in her last five outings and has earned just under $100,000 for the year. Jim Meittinis has driven Beauty Of Gray in every start this year and will try to garner her first win of the season for trainer Tommy Anderson. Trainer Julie Miller has a stable entry in the race and that two-for-one offering has been made a 2-1 morning selection. L Dees Scripture (Credit Winner-Graceful Way) and Maud Blue Chip (Credit Winner-Queen Of The Moor) will start from posts one and five respectively and have some of the faster race times on their card in recent outings. L Dees Scripture has only one win this year and that was over a sloppy track at Yonkers on July 14. She has faced Market Rally in four of her last five starts and is getting some definite post relief this week as well and that may be all she needs to score win number two. Maud Blue Chip made her first start for the Miller Stable just three starts ago and has finished third on all three occasions. However she was raced timed faster in each start and should be in a decent stalking position at the end of the mile. There are also two divisions of the Excelsior A Series on the card going for a total of $25,300. In the first division Leigh Raymer's Do You Believe (Crazed-Believe Hanover) has been made the 8-5 morning line choice and in the second split, 8-5 early favorite Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) brings her three race winning streak to town for trainer Tracy Brainard. Both horses will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Racing fans unable to attend the races Wednesday night can watch the entire NYSS filled program on Time Warner Cable channel 98, in Rochester and the surrounding counties. Post time for the 12 race card is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 4, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $221,000 New York Sire Stakes Joe Goldstein Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. A pair of divisions-worth $109,500 and $111,500, respectively-attracted a baker's dozen worth of participants (actually, a regular dozen after a second-event scratch). The opening statebred six-pack proved a very good time for Cutup Hanover (Jeff Gregory, $25.80) to break her maiden."Break" had been the operative word for "Cutup," who has now alternated flat miles and misbehaves over her last seven tries. Here, from post position No. 2, she was alone through intervals of :29.3, :59.3, 1:28.2 and 1:57.1. Second-beaten four lengths-was a loosely-pocketed Beauty of Gray (Jim Meittinis), who held off 6-5 favorite Avalicious (Jim Morrill Jr.). For fifth choice Cutup Hanover, an unraced-at-2 daughter of Crazed trained by Chris Ryder for owner Golden Gate Stable, it took 10 seasonal/career starts to get her picture taken. The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple returning $312. "We've had a lot of issues with her, just tinkering with some things," Ryder said. "I changed some of her equipment and shoeing-mainly shoeing-and we're finally seeing some results." Monday night's second NYSS event was, as advertised, a handy win by division-dominating Markey Rally (Morrill Jr., $2.10). Away third from post No. 4, last season's champion watched Driving Miss Crazy (Gates Brunet) and Flyhawk Falina (George Brennan) had their moments in the sun (though it was nighttime) after fractions of :28.3 and :57.4. It was go time soon after for Market Rally, who went up and over "Miss Crazy" well before a 1:27.2 three-quarters. From there, she opened 2¾ lengths into the lane before winning by a wrapped-up 2¼ lengths in 1:56.4. Annie's List (Tyler Buter) was second, with Maud Blue Chip (Brian Sears) third. For Market Rally, a daughter of Cash Hall, she's 5-for-9 this season (5-for-5 since adding Lasix) for co-owners (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable. The exacta paid $5.60, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $12.60. "I shut her down once I made the lead," was Morrill's succinct version of another succinct victory. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, July 29, 2014-New York Sire Stakes continued downstate Tuesday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $201,600 Mike Cohen Trot for 2-year-old fillies. The quintet of races honored the memory of the former Yonkers and NBC Sports publicity director, with his family and friends making winner's circle presentations. The opening ($39,900) event saw a down-the-road Pig Hunt (George Brennan, $9.80), from post position No. 5, break the tape in a spiffy 1:59.4 (:30.2, 1:01.2 and 1:30.1). The effort matched her previous season's-best. Frou Frou (Brett Miller), as the 7-10 favorite, lost her tow when Icy Sprite (Jason Bartlett) broke, then could not get near the winner. The final margin was a length, with Praying Gear (Jeff Gregory) third. For third choice Pig Hunt, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Janice and Jennifer Connor, it was her second win in four first-season starts. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $53.50. "She shows trotting every start, so I wasn't worried about her," Brennan said. "I was able to back down the half and control the race." Tuesday night's second ($40,900) sire stakes event was a successful debut for Shaqline (Jimmy Takter, $6.20). In play early from post No. 2, she found a :30.1 opening quarter-mil. Then, Concentration (Chris Lems) grabbed the baton (1:01.2, 1:30.2), 17-10 choice Barn Girl (Gregory) trotting in place first-up. Concentration owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Shaqline took to the passing lane like a veteran. She ducked in and went by, the final margin a length-and-a-quarter in 2:00.1. Cherry Crown Jewel (Dan Daley) was third, with Barn Girl winding up fourth. For second choice Shaqline, a Credit Winner trained by Takter for Brixton Medical Ab, her sire stakes debut came after just one baby race. The exacta paid $39, the triple returned $104 and the superfecta paid $439. "She's bred to be very good," Takter said of the full-sister to $400,000-plus winner Shaq is Back. "She had breathing issues and three surgeries. Fortunately, she had some good doctors." The third ($39,900) Cohen division saw Summer Scent (Daley, $17.40)-from post No. 4--sit behind 2-1 choice Kaliska (Ray Schnittker) through fractions of :28.3, :59 and 1:29.2. Summer Scent then made her way past, winning by a half-length in a maiden-breaking 2:00.3. Third went to Duolectra (Corey Callahan). For fourth choice Summer Scent, a Malabar Man miss trained by Daley for co-owners Ann-Mari Daley and Jlrl LLC, it was that first win in five '14 tries,. The exacta paid $16.20, with the triple returning $556. "She keeps at it," Dan Daley said. "She doesn't always want to pass another horse, but she drew better tonight and that helped." The fourth ($40,600) sire stakes event was won by an in-form, 9-10 fave Barn Doll (Gregory, $3.80). Unhurried from post No. 2, she watched as Summers Windsong (Schnittker) and Nunkeri (Callahan) took turns through fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:30.1. Barn Doll methodically made her move, first-up from fourth before collaring the leader early in the lane. She then edged away to beat Nunkeri by a length-and-a-half in 1:59.1...night's fastest and matching her previous life-best. Summers Windsong was third. For Barn Doll, a Conway Hall lass co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her fourth (consecutive) win in five seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $14, with the triple returning $47.80. "She's a smart filly," Gregory said. "She's able to relax and that's going to help her as she moves along. Tonight, when we moved, there was no one in front of her, but can just as easily chase another." The evening's statebred schedule ended in the fifth ($40,600) grouping, where slight choice Stirling Debutant (Ron Pierce, $6.80) showed good speed on both ends of a first-win 2:01.2 effort. Leaving from post No. 5, "Debutant" wound up sitting behind Northern Obsession (Schnittker) and that one's weight stations of :30, 1:01.3 and 1:31.2. When Zanna Blu (Gates Brunet) attacked the leader with a bold second move, Stirling Debutant extricated herself from the cones and angled out. She then whipped a stubborn Zanna Blu by three-quarters of length. Third went to Meshugana Miss (Jordan Stratton), with Stories to Tell (Lems) fifth-placed-fourth. For Stirling Debutant, a daughter of Credit Winner co-owner by (trainer) Rick Zeron, Cool Cat Racing and James Walker, she's now 1-for-4 this season. The exacta paid $51.50, the triple returned $529 and the superfecta paid $9,871. "I spoke to Rick (Zeron) a couple of days ago, and he said if I just gave her a chance, she'd be alright," Pierce said. "I made the (final turn) decision to take her outside, because with some of these 2-year-olds get a bit skittish when you duck them inside. " New York Sire Stakes continue Thursday night, with $200,900 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 25, 2014- Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the $197,500 Milt Taylor Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings, drawn and quartered. Odds-on Gabe the Bear Dean (Jordan Stratton, $2.90), leaving from post position No. 4, sat the loosest of pockets in the first ($49,150) division. He then held off Insomniac (Jason Bartlett) by a length in a snappy 1:58.3. They were both watching Commentary (Jim Meittinis) lead through fractions of :29, :58.1 and 1:28.4 before being tackled passing the three-quarters. The leader did easily hold third, as the other three entrants broke. For "Gabe," a son of Lucky Chucky co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker and Minix Stable, it was his third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $9.80, with the triple returning $71.50. "It's the first time I've driven him, but I've driven enough trotters for Ray (Schnittker) that I know always has them rigged correctly," Stratton said. "That was a very solid mile (previous life-best was a sloppy 2:03)." The second ($49,150) had another odds-on number, Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory, $3.50) do his work from first-up. Unhurried from post No. 2, he moved past a soon-to-break Azucar (Gates Brunet) after that one's early fractions of :30.4 and 1:01.2. "Mambo" hit three quarters in 1:31, before finishing his evening in a flat two minutes. He defeated Pier Ho Exotic (John Cummings Jr.) by a half-length, with Titanium (Bartlett) third. For Mambo Blue Chip, a Lucky Chucky colt trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Mal and Janet Burroughs, it was his second win in three '14 tries. The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $58.50. "He's reminds me a of tint Budweiser Clydesdale," Gregory said. "He's big and strong. Once we were able to get around the first turn, that was my biggest concern. I figured we'd be alright after that." The evening's third ($49,150) statebred sojourn took on a different look when 1-5 fave Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) jumped it off in the first turn. That left 49-1 Tango Pirate (Truman Gale) giving the longshot legion fan club a shout-out through weight stations of :30.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30. However, Andy Ray (Brent Holland)-pocketed from post No. 5--closed ranks, then went by early in the lane. He held sway, beating Elusive Action (Bartlett) by a length-and-a-half in a maiden-breaking 2:00.2. Wings of Royalty recovered from his misdeed to finish third, beaten nearly eight lengths. For "Andy," a Crazed gelding trained by Erv Miller for co-owners Paymaq Racing, Ronald Michelon and Harvey Eisman, he returned $28.80 (fourth choice) for that first win in a couple of starts (first in NYSS competition). The exacta paid $198.50, with the triple returning $547. "I baby-raced him (Pocono) and he was alright," Holland said. "He's a solid-footed horse and he raced well tonight. I wasn't worried him getting over the track at all." The final ($50,050) sire stakes grouping saw pole-sitting 3-10 choice Royal Deceptor (Mickey McGivern) seemingly with his rivals under control (:29.4, 1:00.2, 1:29.3). He owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then came down with a case of the staggers. He was passed late by both Credit Creation (Bartlett) and Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer), with the latter on the outside getting the nod by a neck in 1:59.1. Royal Deceptor settled for third, beaten a length. For third choice Buen Camino, a Cash Hall gelding trained by his driver for Purple Haze Stables, he returned $16.40 for a successful parimutuel debut. The exacta paid $149, with the triple returning $360. "I was able to get away third (from post No. 4), and he was very comfortable," Smedshammer said. "The colt on the lead (Royal Deceptor) has been racing well, but turning for home, I thought we had a shot. I was all the way on the outside, and I really wasn't sure I beat Jason (Barlett, with Credit Creation) until I heard the starter say my number. "He was supposed to race last week (Tioga), but there was a race office error and we didn't get in. Since he's a Cash Hall, we gelded him right away. I'm happy with the way he's come along." Friday night's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps-for distaff pacers and all-permitted trotters-were won by Robin Cruiser (Stratton, $5.20) in 1:52.3, and all-age track record holder Quick Deal (George Brennan, $4) in 1:54...fastest local trot mile of the season. New York Sire Stakes continue Monday night, with the $226,200 Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Market Rally broke the track record for three year old trotting fillies on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Having emerged as the top sophomore trotter amongst NY fillies in the past month, Market Rally (Cash Hall) came into Wednesday's $91,500 Sire Stake on a three race win streak since the addition of lasix. The Ron Burke-trained filly made an early move to the lead for driver Jim Morrill Jr and the race's 1-9 betting favorite would never look back. Market Rally drew away from her competition to win in 1:55.4 over a track labeled 'good'. The win time set a new track record for three year old fillies breaking the mark set by Munis Blue Chip (Ray Schnittker) in August of 2012. The other $91,550 Sire Stakes on the card was won by Driving Miss Crazy and trainer-driver Gates Brunet. Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed) went wire-to-wire, hanging on to prevail in 1:57.2 at odds of 9-2. New York Sire Stakes action will return to Saratoga next Wednesday night when two year old filly pacers square off at the Spa. Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was closing day at Buffalo Raceway Sunday afternoon (July 20) and the 2-year-old filly trotters in the New York Sire Stakes tried but couldn't beat their divisional track record of 2:00.2 held by Munis Blue Chip from 2009.   So while the standard still stands tall, there were some good efforts with the fastest times of the four $27,251 divisions going to Betcha and Barn Doll who covered the mile over the fast track in 2:01.2. The other winners were Cherry Crown Jewel (2:02.2) and Miss B'Ville J (2:02.0).   In the opening division, Cherry Crown Jewel inherited the lead after Counselor AS (Jeff Gregory) broke stride around the second turn and was never threatened the rest of the way.   "I really didn't want Jeff's horse (Counselor AS) to get the lead but when they broke, we got back on top and it was nice and easy then," winning driver/trainer Dan Daley said. "She's a nice filly and could do well in the Sire Stakes."   Cherry Crown Jewel ($11.40) was easily able to hold off the mild rally mounted by second place finisher Dancewithme Chuck (Charlie Norris), who finished 1-1/2 lengths back, while Stories To Tell (Chris Lems) trotted into third.   The winning time was 2:02.2 and it was the first win in three starts for Cherry Crown Jewel (RC Royalty-Nowerland Kristen).   Daley made it two straight in the Sire Stakes when he guided Betcha ($4.40) to an convincing 3/4 length triumph over Stirling Debutant (Rick Zeron) in 2:01.2 in the second leg. It was the second straight Sire Stakes win for Betcha.   It was a perfectly rated journey for Betcha (Cash Hall-Sienna) as she followed the live cover of Stirling Debutant and exploded three-wide through the stretch to score the victory by 3/4 expanding lengths in 2:01.2.   Daley said of Betcha, "We didn't think she'd be anything special but she keeps chugging along and wants to be a race horse."   Barn Doll (Gregory) was much the best in the third division as smartly trotted past Kaliska (Ray Schnittker) under little urging and posted the two length decision in 2:01.2. Zanna Blu (Gates Brunet) rolled into the show position.   "She's a very well-mannered filly," Gregory said of Barn Doll. "She's done everything they've asked of her. They (owners Purple Haze Stables and Steven and Nancy Pratt) are going to make a lot of money with her."   It was the third victory in four career starts for Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and increased her seasonal earnings to $36,357.   The final division saw Miss B'Ville J (Jim Morrill Jr.) use the 'lightning lane' and beat the front-stepping Northern Obession (Schnittker) by a neck in 2:02.   Northern Obession set the tempo with times of 30.3, 1:01.4 and 1:32.2 but had Miss B'Ville J ($4.70) breathing down her neck the entire mile. In the lane, Morrill Jr. dropped Miss B'Ville inside and she responded to post the neck victory.   Owned by KJ Stables and trained by Tracy Brainard, it was the first trip to the winner's circle in three tries for Miss B'Ville J (RC Royalty-South Jersey Angel).   In the $12,600 Excelsior Class A races, Define Royalty (Chris Lems) took the first division in 2:04 and returned $4.20. Barn Girl (Greogry) won the second leg in 2:02.1 and paid $4.60 while in the last leg, The Cuse pulled the surprise ($13.20) as John Stark Jr. sent the winner wire-to-wire in 2:03.2.   The $6,700 Excelsior B series race was won by Untangled Cash (Gregory) and took the victory in 2:05.1 and paid $4.10.   The live racing schedule is now completed for the 2014 season. Simulcasting will continue throughout the remainder of the year at Buffalo Raceway with live racing expected resume in January of 2015.   For simulcast schedule, race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2014 Buffalo Raceway live racing season comes to an end on Sunday afternoon but the track will close with a bang as the New York State Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies highlight the final card of the year.   There will be four $27,251 divisions of the Sire Stakes along a trio of $12,600 Excelsior A Series races and a $6,700 Excelsior B race in the 11-race program that is set for 1:05 p.m.   And while there be some talented filly trotters taking to the track, it's like a 'who's who' that will be driving them. Former Western New York regulars Jeff Gregory, Ray Schnittker, Jim Morrill Jr., John Stark Jr., Phil Fluet, Sam Schillaci and John Cummings Jr. all will be returning to Western New York for day. They'll be joined by others including Dan Daley, Chuck Connors Jr., Charlie Norris, Chris Lems, Gates Brunet, Jim Meittinis, Rick Zeron, Robert Shepherd, Jim Marohn Jr. and Tyler Raymer.   The Sire Stakes will be contested in the first, third, sixth and seventh races.   The first leg features Counsellor AS (Gregory) who has a 1-1/2 length win in the Excelsior A Series at Vernon Downs on June 26 in 2:00.1. Counsellor As (Conway Hall-Cordele AS) broke stride in her last appearance at Tioga Downs on July 11. She'll look to rebound starting from the three post as the 3-1 morning line choice.   Her main threat should come from 4-1 second choice Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Daring Marisa) who start from the four post. She has a pair of second place finishes in both of her pari-mutuel starts and will be handled by Connor Jr.   The second division has Betcha (Betcha-Ruccoucou) as the 3-1 choice with Daley in the bike. Betcha cruised to an easy two length decision in the $27,250 Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs in 1:59.4 on July 11. She may play 'catch-me-if-you can' from the four spot.   The toughest leg could be the third which will go as the sixth race. It finds My Twisted Sister (Lucky Chucky-Pretzel Hanover) and Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) ready to battle it out.   My Twisted Sister (Morrill Jr.) showed plenty of heart in posting a neck victory in the $27,750 Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs in 2:00 on July 11. She'll get the inside post and should get a perfect trip.   Barn Doll drew a tough post, the seventh spot, but can overcome it after posting a pair of big victories of more than three lengths in her last two starts, including 1:59.1 decision at Tioga on July 11 in the Sire Stakes. Barn Doll gets Jeff Gregory as her pilot.   The final division has Spell That (Conway Hall-Mouche Hanover) the 3-1 early choice with Sam Schillaci in the sulky. She was last seen on June 26 at Vernon Downs where she suffered a narrow neck defeat in the Sire Stakes. She'll start out of the six post.   The main threat could come from Northern Obsession (Conway Hall-Northernpossession). This 2-year-old has a pair of competitive third place finishes in two Sire Stakes starts and gets trainer-driver Ray Schnittker on the reins. They'll score from the three post.   For more information including simulcast schedule, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway      

YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 14, 2014-Driver Jim Morrill Jr., Scotchgarded colors and all, won both halves of Yonkers Raceway's $225,000 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot Monday night. Morrill won the first ($111,500) very wet event for 3-year-old fillies with defending statebred champ Market Rally ($2.20). The odds-on favorite had to work first-up to dispose of pace-setting Lady with Credit (Trond Smedshammer) before opening up down the backside. Market Rally opened five lengths into the lane before whipping Glowngold (Brian Sears) by 2½ lengths in 1:59.4. Third went to 59-1 outsider Cutup Hanover (Jeff Gregory). Market Rally, a daughter of Cash Hall, is 3-for-5 this season (3-for-3 since adding Lasix) for co-owners (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $6, with the triple returning $84. Morrill and 17-1 L Dee's Scripture ($37.20) avoided all the happenstance in the equally-moist second ($113,500) event. The pair sat pocketed to Driving Miss Crazy (Gates Brunet) in what turned out to be a two-speed, outside-post number. L Dee's Scripture eased past "Miss Crazy," winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.1. Maud Blue Chip (Sears) was third, back another two lengths. Four of the five remaining lasses-including 9-10 fave Avalicious (Yannick Gingras)-either broke or caused a rival to do the same. Fifth choice L Dee's Scripture, a Credit Winner lass co-owned by Lawrence Dumain & Carlo Lattinelli and trained by Julie Miller, is off the '14 schneid (1-for-5). The exacta paid $845, with the triple returning $3,885. New York Sire Stakes continue Thursday night, with the $221,000 NYSS Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A trio of groupings-purses of $72,800, $74,100 and $74,100-go as races 1,4 and 9. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's another bull's eye on a Buffalo Raceway track record on Wednesday night when the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters take dead aim at the 2:01.2 mark set by Timothy Patrick (2012) and The Lindy Treaty (2013).   With this classification's time either broke or tied the past two seasons, a new mark could easily be established. There's been a total of five standards either tied or broken at Buffalo Raceway this season. There's total of 30 talented freshmen trotters that are entered in the the four $27,250 division, all ready to take their best shot. For most, this will be their first 'real' start.   Lucky Chucky has sired eight of the entrants while Conway Hall is next with seven, RC Royalty six, Crazed five, Credit Winner three and Cash Hall one.   The first division will go off as the second race with Royal Conway (RC Royalty-Miss Conway) scoring from the two post as the 5-2 favorite with Gates Brunet in the sulky. Royal Conway registered a 1:58.2 qualifier at Vernon Downs on June 27.   The main threat could come from Lucky Ten K (Lucky Chucky-Promising Deal) who gets the services of Chris Lems out of the six spot. Lucky Ten K has a 2:00 and a 2:00.3 qualifier under his belt at Vernon and is the 3-1 second choice.   In the second division, set as the third race, Azucar (Crazed-Lindy Loves Candy) has a pari-mutual win already after scoring a two-length victory at Vernon Downs in 1:58.1. He'll start from the six post for Brunet and open at 3-1 odds.   The morning line favorite, however, is Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) at 5-2. He gets the seven post for Lems. Wings Of Royalty opened with a 2:02.2 qualifier then sprung a 1:59.1 time over the Vernon Downs surface.   It could be a battle from the inside posts in the third leg, scheduled as the fifth race. Drinksforthehouse (Conway Hall-Pacific Photo) gets the garden spot and Lems. He enters as the 5-2 morning line choice thanks to a 1:58.4 qualifier at Vernon Downs.   He'll be challenged from the inside by Four Buck Chuck (Lucky Chucky-Bama Hall) who has Doug McNair in the bike. Four Buck Chuck has a 2:03.4 clocking in a qualifier over the 7/8-mile Mohawk Raceway Track. He's listed at 3-1.   Habitat (Conway Hall-Habit's Best) has been sensational over the Gaitway Farm's mile track, producing times of 1:58.1 and 1:59.4, winning his two qualifiers by a combined 33 lengths. He'll have Jim Morrill Jr. at the controls and is the 5-2 morning line selection.   Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) arrives from the Meadowlands with miles of 2:01 and 2:03. He'll begin out of the four post at 3-1 for Jeff Gregory.   While Morrill Jr. is listed on just one favorite in the four Sires Stakes races, be very aware of him. He's been in 40 races thus far in the Sire Stakes with 15 victories. He's been in the money another 14 times and has earned $463,493, far and away the best among all drivers.   Looking at his Excelsior Series statistics, Morrill Jr. has been in 64 races and has won 18 of them and has been in the money 27 other times.   His seasonal totals at Buffalo Raceway are astounding as well with 66 starts, 25 victories and has been in the money 71 percent of the time with $257,463 in winnings.   There will be a non-betting $6,300 Excelsior Series B races at 4:40 p.m. while a pair of $12,500 Excelsior Series A races will be sprinkled in the regular 12-race card that gets underway at 5 p.m.   For more information, including upcoming promotions, news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

The New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies highlighted a 13-race program on Thursday night at Vernon Downs with four separate divisions being the focus of the night.   The $27,750 first division (Race 5) went to Frou Frou (Conway Hall-Nowerland Hana) in 1:58.1. Frou Frou (Brett Miller) followed live cover from Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) and just blasted on by in the stretch to win going away. Northern Obsession ended up third after getting passed by My Lucky Word (Corey Callahan), who enjoyed the third-over trip, and ended up wearing down her rival for the second spot. Frou Frou is owned by Leigh Raymer of Magnolia, Delaware, James A. Crawford IV of Manilus, New York, and Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, New York. Leigh Raymer is also the trainer of Frou Frou.   The $27,750 second division (Race 7) was a gate-to-wire victory for Concentration (Conway Hall-Super Starlet). Concentration (Chris Lems) took control as soon as the gate opened and never looked back, staying in front all the way to win in 1:58.2. Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) had the first-over trip up the backstretch and ended up finishing second, with Lock Down Lindy (Scott Zeron) finishing third. Concentration is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme. She had won two 2-year-old qualifiers at Vernon Downs earlier in June before this first pari-mutuel score.   The $27,750 third division (Race 9) was won by Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) after she set the early pace of 29.1 for the quarter and 1:00.3 for the half. Zanna Blu (Gates Brunet) was then passed on the backstretch after a strong charge from Spell That (John Stark Jr.), who led into the stretch. Zanna Blu re-rallied to pass Spell That for the victory in the late stages of the race in 1:59.1. Up Chuckie (Rick Zeron) finished third. Zanna Blu is owned by Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, New York and James A. Crawford of Manilus, New York. Driver Gates Brunet doubles as the trainer.   The $27,250 fourth division (Race 11) might have provided the most exciting finish of the night with Hot Start (Lucky Chucky-Mallelujah) getting the win in 1:59.1. Hot Start (Corey Callahan) appeared hopelessly bottled up at the pylons in the stretch, but managed to work free in the last eighth of a mile and get up in time for the victory over Photo Message (Robert Shepherd) and the longtime leader, Cherry Crown Jewel (Dan Daley). Photo Message, in fact, also got past Cherry Crown Jewel in the shadow of the wire after being parked outside at the top of the stretch. Hot Start is owned by Green Acquisition Corporation of Canfield, Ohio and trained by Jonas Czernyson.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a 10-race program. The 6th race is the featured event of the evening with a purse of $8,000. It is an Open II Trot for Fillies and Mares. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Long Island Tea, who has won two of her last three starts. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 

Harrisburg, PA --- Monarch Blue Chip (hip #1003) topped Thursday’s edition of the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg, selling for $90,000 to trainer Sam Schillaci for owner Ken Bencic. The colt, a son of Crazed out of the Revenue S mare Reven Crown, bears a bold white blaze. “He is a well-made colt, the three-quarter brother (Rolls Blue Chip) who we raced against this year and he was a good horse,” said Bencic. “Credit Winners cost too much money, although I have two down in Kentucky. We train outside Cleveland at Sahbra Farms, so he’s headed there.” Schillaci says this colt has been in his sights all along. “We targeted him from the beginning,” said Schillaci. “We were hoping he didn’t sell that high. He was right about to the limit of where we were going to go. We’re very pleased to have him and we hope he turns out to be the horse we think he is. Nowadays, people are paying a few extra dollars for a horse that just looks the part and he definitely looks the part.” Ed Lohmeyer and his wife, equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan, bred one of the higher priced horses on Thursday, hip #921, the RC Royalty colt Lunch With Jack. He sold for $55,000 to New York-based trainer Gates Brunet. “I’m looking for New York breds and I’m looking for trotters and I’m very short on trotters,” said Brunet.  “I’m focused on trotting colts and he’s a very nice looking individual and I like the fact that there’s a very recent update on the horse. The brother, Crosbys Clam Bake, just won the Grassroots Final in 1:53 in Toronto. “The RC Royaltys, they do good, but there weren’t that many selling that I could see. There weren’t any in Lexington; there were a few at Morrisville. One of his horses won the Hambo (Royalty For Life) and he throws nice looking individuals. In New York, Credit Winners, I can’t touch them. But for that kind of money, $50,000, you get a nice looking individual. I love Conway Halls, but they’re hard to touch, too. “I’d like to win the Hambo, but I buy horses bred for the sire stakes. I bought this one for Ted Gewertz and Clare Chappell; there may be other partners coming in. The colt’s name comes from Dr. Hogan’s family. “Jack is Patty’s father’s nickname; he came over every Wednesday and had lunch with Patty,” said co-breeder Lohmeyer “He passed away about two months ago. John J. Hogan and they called him Jack.  “Per Henriksen raced a half-brother to him for me in Canada this year, Crosbys Clam Bake, named after the first Pebble Beach (golf tournament). He raced real well. He made $90,000 and I sold him for $125,000.” Paul Kelley signed for hip #988, a $60,000 pacing filly by Art Major, named Mowet Blue Chip out of the Matt’s Scooter mare Armbro Savannah. “I saw him at the farm, but if you turn the clock back about 15 years, I actually had her mother, Armbro Savannah,” said Kelley. “I bought her as a yearling and I really liked her a lot. I ultimately ended up selling her to Perretti Farms as a broodmare. She went on to produce what she did (six stakes-winners; five $100,000 winners including millionaire Georgia Pacific) and she’s been a good producing dam. This particular filly I thought was one of her better looking foals. She stood very correct, a lot of the prior foals were a little bit toed-in and they were still able to overcome that kind of conformation fault and be good horses. “This is the first one I’ve had out of the mare. She’s a little but older now, but she (the yearling) is very correct, so I’m happy with her. There will be partners on her, New York people, players to be named later. There are some people very interested in getting in on her, so it shouldn’t be hard to split her up.” Through the first four days of the sale, 1,047 horses sold for a total of $35.9 million and an average of $34,345 against 2012 figures of 1,162 horses sold at an average of $28,889.  This is an improvement of 13.7% over 2012.  “It’s the same trend that’s been going on all week,” said Dr. Paul Spears, president of the Standardbred Sales Company.  “Unofficial numbers show that we’re just short of $36 million gross, 1,047 horses sold for $39,950,500 with average prices $34,345.  We’re up considerably over last year.  New York had the highest average of $39,667 and New Jersey actually did quite well at $38,830.  Pennsylvania is at $35,200 and Ontario’s at $23,354.  “So overall, quite good and I don’t think there were any big surprises, to me.  A few of the highest priced horses today were placed there on purpose by their consignors.  Sometimes being a big fish in a little pond is a good thing.  I thought it was very solid all the way through and again, we have to remember, there are there are more than 500 fewer commercial yearlings being sold in the Mid-Atlantic area at public sales over the last couple years.  When supply goes down that far, the demand is there and so the prices have to go up.”    1,162 horses sold at an average of $28,889. by Ellen Harvey for HRC

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