Day At The Track
Search Results
17 to 32 of 89

Wings Of Royalty (Mike Simons) sets track record for harness racing aged horse in 1:53.2 as Simons wins four. The 5 year-old horse by RC Royalty would be forth at the halfway point going first over. Wings of Royalty ($4.90) would swoop by pace-setter Dragin The Wagin (Aaron Byron) and have the lead before the three-quarter mark. Owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, Wings of Roylaty would win the Open 1 trot by four lengths. Finishing second was Upfront Billy (Tom Jackson) with Sweet Thing Fern Paquet Jr.) getting third. Simons also won race two with Law Of Attraction ($42.60), race four with Sarcastic Man ($5.30), and race eight with Warhorse ($3.30). Racing resumes Sunday (May 14) at Tioga Downs with a 13 race card starting at 1pm. All mothers will get a free rose while supplies last. For more information please go to our website www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Columbus, OH --- While most harness racing participants in the sport are focusing on what is transpiring in The Garden State prior to the Breeders Crown, George Ducharme and Chris Lems were hard at work in The Bay State. The fruits of their labors were rewarded, as the duo collected all four $75,000 Massachusetts Sire Stakes trotting contests on Monday (Oct. 24) at Plainridge Park. “We have had some good days before back here at home, but never a day quite like that,” Ducharme said. “With the infusion of the slots money into purses it has really helped us. The sire stakes races were only worth about half that last year. Even the overnights have gone up from $6,000 to $12,000 and it really helps out. There are a lot of people here that were just hanging on, waiting for this. Of course you will have some other people bringing horses in, but it’s good to see the people that stuck with it getting a little bit of money in their pocket.” Ducharme and Lems joined forces to meet in the winner’s circle with Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) in the 2-year-old filly trot, Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) in the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, Do What You Dream (Conway Hall-Ksenia) in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot and Royal Right (RC Royalty-Contrarian) in the 3-year-old filly trot. “A lot of my owners like to breed and race their own horses in their home state,” Ducharme said. “Our horses fit very well in these events and we always support racing here.” While the names, speed records and other stakes accomplishments may not jump off the pages of these state champions, there is one in the bunch that nearly punched Ducharme’s ticket to this weekend’s Breeders Crown events in Muscles Jared. Bred by Al Libfeld, the gelding is owned by Alfred Ross. In addition to his newly acquired crown, Muscles Jared has the distinction of coming first-over during Walner’s world record performance (1:51.3) in a $56,000 division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 6 in Lexington. Steered by John Campbell on that day, the gelding came home fifth directly behind Breeders Crown elimination victor Sortie after an adventurous trip over the Red Mile oval. “He was second in his first race down in Lexington,” Ducharme said. “And I was happy how the horse performed in that race against Walner. He was first-over and then was used about three times. We thought about taking him to the Breeders Crown, but brought him here (Plainridge) instead to give him a little bit easier race and have a good chance to win rather than hoping to finish fourth or fifth. It was easier on him, but it was not easy as Andy Miller brought one (Big Man Ev, second) and (Frank) Antonacci brought one (French Moni, fourth). “He’s done for the year now. He’s the kind of horse we think needs to be turned out to give him some time to grow into his frame. When we bring him back next year though, he will be staked to everything, because we think once he grows he will be able to keep up and compete with those horses. We’ll wait on the Breeders Crown this year and point towards next year.” Muscles Jared embarks on his vacation with $150,856 in the bank and a resume of 11-5-2-0. He was also fourth in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship behind Breeders Crown participants Giveitgasango and Moonshiner Hanover. Ducharme also holds out optimism the Massachusetts program will be on the upswing yet again in 2017. “I don’t have my finger on the pulse quite as much as I used to now that I stable most of the time in New York,” he said. “But it is my understanding the state is looking to revisit the amount of revenue Standardbred horsemen receive at the end of the year. Horsemen in Massachusetts receive nine percent, but up until this year Standardbred horsemen received 25 percent of that while Thoroughbreds received 75 percent. Suffolk closed two years ago and there has been no Thoroughbred racing, so this year their percentage was changed to 55 percent. “The state plans on reviewing how the extra money for the Standardbreds is used to improve the communities rather than seeing other people come in just for increased purses. Hopefully, they will approve more money coming to Standardbreds and our stakes will be worth even more next year.” For complete results of the Massachusetts Sires Stakes finals, click here. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Harness racing owner Al Ross acquired Tetiana three years ago with an eye toward breeding the mare to his 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. Muscles Jared has turned out to be a welcomed bonus as part of that purchase. Muscles Jared, a 2-year-old male trotter born five months after Ross bought Tetiana in foal to Muscle Massive, has won four of eight races this year and earned $103,816. All four of the gelding's victories have come since trainer George Ducharme added trotting hobbles following breaks in the horse's first two starts. On Thursday, Muscles Jared competes in the fourth of five $56,000 International Stallion Stakes divisions at Lexington's Red Mile. Muscles Jared and driver John Campbell head to the race off a second-place finish by a half-length to New Jersey Viking in a division of last week's Bluegrass Stakes. "From the time George started breaking this horse, he said we've got a real nice horse here," said Ross, who lives in South Dartmouth, Mass., and has a farm in nearby Westport. "He's been a different horse (with the trotting hobbles). He really hasn't gone a bad race since then. He's just a nice animal. "I expect big things from him next year; not that this season is over. This upcoming race will determine whether I go into the Breeders Crown. I'm pretty sure I will. He's got a lot of determination. I don't see why we wouldn't be going to the Breeders Crown because I expect him to race well again this week." Tetiana, by Kadabra, is from a family that includes O'Brien and Dan Patch award-winning Armbro Keepsake as well as Dan Patch Award winners Armbro Devona and Donerail. Ross, who bred Royalty For Life, purchased Tetiana for $8,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale after receiving input from Dean Hoffman, a former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine and harness racing historian. "He has an excellent memory for bloodlines, and with me being involved in the game for just 15 odd years, I felt I needed some expert advice in matching the stallion to mares," Ross said. "He gave me his opinion and I liked what I saw. I liked her very much and bought her. "I'm just thrilled. She also has two more foals on the ground. The first was by RC Royalty and the second by Royalty For Life. They both are outstanding looking. I got lucky. I got her very cheap and I've wound up with a pretty nice producing broodmare." Muscles Jared is named after police officer Jared White, whose wife Jackie runs the breeding operation at Ross' farm. "Jared helps at the farm too," Ross said. "He's a very muscular type and when the baby was born I said we were going to name him Muscles Jared." Among Muscles Jared's four wins are three victories in preliminary rounds of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, including a track-record triumph at Harrah's Philadelphia. Muscles Jared finished fourth, beaten two lengths, in the sire stakes championship on Sept. 11 and then received time off until the Bluegrass. Ross said the respite gave Muscles Jared an opportunity to regain some weight he lost while traveling during the hot summer months. "It did him a world of good," Ross said. "I was really happy with him last week. He got locked in a bit at the top of the stretch and didn't have a chance to get out and get in full stride. Once he did, he was picking the winner up with every stride, I thought. I think he'll be even better this week. "I really like the way that he and Campbell get along," Ross added. "From the time we put Campbell on him, it was like a well-fitting glove. They understand each other. Whenever Campbell asks him to go, he goes. He's got a real nice burst of speed when you ask him for it and he can race either way." Another horse Ross expects to see improve is Patton, whom he shares in ownership with Ducharme and Paul Fontaine. Patton has won three of nine races this year and earned $23,673. He races in the second International Stallion division, where the field includes Bluegrass winner Snowstorm Hanover. Last week, Patton (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) finished third in his Bluegrass division. "I was happier with the way Patton raced than Muscles, because we've had so many problems with Patton, whether it be post positions or having a few foot problems here and there," Ross said. "Every time George thought he had him straightened out, something else would pop up. "If he improves off that last race, he could also be very tough this week." The first International Stallion division features New Jersey Viking. Other Bluegrass winners returning this week are Long Tom (third International Stallion division), Dover Dan (fourth division), and Fly On and Shake It Off Lindy (fifth division). For Thursday's complete Red Mile card, click here. Ken Weingartner

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Allerage Echo continues his quest for another New York Sire Stakes crown at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (June 26) as he headlines the harness racing entrants in the two $61,000 (est.) divisions for the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters.   Winning the $225,000 Sire Stakes Finals for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters in gate-to-wire fashion at Yonkers back on September 26, the lightly raced Allerage Echo looks for his first victory of the 2016 campaign.   In last year's NYSS final, Allerage Echo handed the breaking Dayson his first career loss.   With just three starts in 2016, Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) has a pair of second place finishes in two of New York Sire Stake events at Vernon Downs and Tioga. In his last appearance, which came on June 12 at Pocono Downs, Allerage Echo set the tempo but stalled out late to finish seventh.   Tabbed at 7-2 in the morning line from the seven post with Chris Lems in the sulky, the George Ducharme-trained Allerage Echo has earned $261,937 in just nine career starts thanks to five victories. One of those wins last season came at Buffalo Raceway as Allerage Echo went coast-to-coast in posting a five-length victory in 2:03.3 over Crown Point in a Sire Stakes contest.   The 5-2 favorite however is Just For Today who will score from the three hole with Mark MacDonald aboard. Just For Today (Credit Winner-Brandnewgirlfriend) is fresh off a solid second place finish in the Empire Breeder's Crown at Vernon Downs on June 19, losing a 1-1/2 length decision to Dante.   Others set to go in the event, slated as the seventh race, are Drazzmatazz (Francisco Del Cid), Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.), Kapow (Kevin Cummings), Omaha Set Hut (Tyler Freese) and Do The Deal (Ake Svanstedt).   In the first leg, scheduled for the fourth race, it appears to be a wide open affair with several putting in good performances in the EBC last week at Vernon Downs.   The Royal Harry was favored off the rail in the EBC final but finished fourth. He drew the three post on Sunday and is the 2-1 choice on the morning line with Svanstedt in the bike.   Getting the 3-1 odds from the six spot is Thats A Bad Boy (Freese) who took third last week in the EBC. Thats A Bad Boy (Credit Winner-Mathers Ginger) showed some late trot and finished just 3-3/4 lengths back after trailing by nearly 10 lengths. It will be his first taste this season of Sire Stakes competition.   Sir Royson (Jim Marohn Jr.) has a pair of victories in Sire Stakes action thus far in 2016 but was a non factor last week in the EBC finale, finishing eighth by 12-3/4 lengths.   Royal Bachelor (Daley) arrives on an impressive three-race win streak but will be taking on much better and gets the seven spot.   The remainder of the field includes Crazycat (Drew Monti), The Perfect Lindy (MacDonald) and A Jersey Contract (Morrill Jr.).   With hot weather and a fast race track expected, the current track records of 1:56.4 for the colts set by Call Me Out in 2014 and 1:56.1 for the geldings established in 2014 by Gural Hanover are in jeopardy.   The 12-race card is set for 12:30 p.m. with action also slated for the Excelsior A and B divisions. There are also two races in the C.K.G Billings Amateur Driver competition.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Vernon, N.Y. -- A pocket trip off intensifying pace pressure suited A Penny Earned ($4.70) well on Saturday (June 18) night, as he struck the front late to just prevail in the harness racing featured $8,500 Miracle Mile/Open Trot at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems achieved the early lead with the 7-year-old Conway Hall gelding, but yielded the pacesetting duties to Winding Hill (Jimmy Whittemore) just after a :27.3 initial quarter. After a :57 half, A Penny Earned found himself boxed on the far turn as Walk the Floor (Angus MacDonald) pressed a :28.2 third-quarter from first-over and 5-4 favorite Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald) slid out to follow that live cover.   After cornering, Lems found a seam up the pegs with A Penny Earned, rallying into the lead with 70 yards to go, ultimately collaring Winding Hill for a 1:54.1 triumph. Lucid Thoughts chased off cover to just take third from the leveled-off Walk the Floor.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   Dan Daley and Truman Gale led all drivers with two wins each on the 11-race card.   A special Sunday (June 19) night card completes the racing week at Vernon Downs, with the Empire Breeders Classic trotting finals sharing top billing on the 10-race card. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon harness racing invader A Penny Earned ($6.80) employed a change of tactics on Friday (May 20) evening at Tioga Downs, stalking cover and lunging to the line for a 1:55.3 triumph in the featured $11,000 Open Trot.   After a slow start, Mike Simons pointed the 7-year-old Conway Hall gelding second-over on the backstretch, drafting with the live cover of Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) after Lucid Thoughts (Tom Jackson) rated a :57 initial half. The favored pacesetter accelerated en route to the far turn, reaching three-quarters completion in 1:25.3, but he would ultimately be headed off the far turn by the steadily advancing Its Payday Friday. A Penny Earned angled off cover at head-stretch, battling to a half-length win in the last yards. Its Payday Friday held second narrowly over B L Class Act (John Cummings, Jr.), who mounted a stand-side rally after being shuffled to last on the far turn.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with the partnership of Ross, Fontaine, and Oliva.   Jeffrey Long and Jim Taggart, Jr. both recorded driving doubles on the eight-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (May 21), with the first of nine races slated for a 6:30 post time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

When trotter Wings Of Royalty was preparing for this season, trainer George Ducharme thought the 4-year-old was acting better than at any time during his previous two campaigns. After watching the stallion nip multiple-award-winner Pinkman by a nose last Friday at the Meadowlands, Ducharme is starting to think it is more than just an act. Wings Of Royalty is 2-for-2 this year after his career-best 1:51.4 win last weekend at the Big M. On Saturday, he returns to action in the first round of the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. The Graduate Series, which features three preliminary rounds and a $250,000-guaranteed final, is restricted to 4-year-olds. "I was very happy with the way the horse trained back," Ducharme said. "He was out for three months (during the winter) and really physically changed. He just got bigger and stronger. "Training down, he acted a lot better than he had at any time during his 2- or 3-year-old year. I wasn't sure how much he would improve speed-wise, but after the other night I think there's still a little room. Hopefully he can improve a little more, which he will have to do to go with the company he's going to be in with." A total of 13 horses entered Saturday's Graduate opener. Wings Of Royalty and driver Corey Callahan will start from post one in the first of two $50,000 divisions. The remainder of the field is Whataworkout, Canepa Hanover, Honor And Serve, Homicide Hunter, and Crazshana. The second division features Pinkman --- a divisional Dan Patch Award winner at ages 2 and 3 --- as well as two 9-for-9 horses this season, Canadian-based Musical Rhythm and Maestro Blue Chip. The rest of the group is Crescent Fashion, Fashion Creditor, Centurion ATM, and Crazy Wow. Subsequent preliminary rounds of the Graduate Series will be held June 4 at Mohawk Racetrack and June 12 at Tioga Downs. The final is July 9 at the Meadowlands. Wings Of Royalty has won 12 of 32 career races and earned $417,645 for breeder/owner Raymond "Chip" Campbell Jr. A Massachusetts resident, Campbell also bred and owns Wings Of Royalty's sire, stakes-winner RC Royalty, and owned Wings Of Royalty's dam, Sparkling Cider, for more than a decade. RC Royalty also sired 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life, who was trained by Ducharme and co-owned by Campbell. The maternal family includes 1990 Hambletonian winner Harmonious and Wings Of Royalty's fourth dam, Egyptian Jody, also is the fourth dam of recently retired star female trotter Maven. "Sparkling Cider came from a very nice family," Campbell said. "She really elevated the group of mares that I had at the time. We take pride in (breeding horses). My wife and kids are involved and my parents also before my father passed away. So you do take great pride in being able to breed them, foal them out, raise them, and then have them go off and compete with the best." Wings Of Royalty last year won eight of 20 races and hit the board a total of 15 times. He won the Massachusetts Sire Stakes championship and, thanks to dual eligibility, finished second to Habitat in the New York Sire Stakes championship. He finished fifth in his elimination for the Hambletonian and 10th in the same-day final (won by Pinkman) after drawing post nine. He finished fourth in the Zweig Memorial. "He was a good horse last year; he just was always it seems a step behind the top ones," Ducharme said. "He really impressed me the other night, coming from off the pace and everything. I'm hoping he can hang with those horses this year. "We just paid him into the 4-year-old events, so hopefully he'll be competitive in there and we can see what the future holds after that. After the other night I'm thinking he could turn into the horse that I hoped he would. I'm looking forward to it." Campbell said the plan is to race Wings Of Royalty for at least this season and next year. "We thought we better look at it as a two-year program; 4- and 5-year-old," Campbell said. "We understand how big the step is at 4. We didn't know if he was going to be able to get up two or three more notches, which he was going to have to in order to compete with the best. "Part of our schedule was not a mile like (1:51.4) in May," he added with a laugh. "He more than fulfilled any expectations we had on that night. That mile certainly impressed us enough to give it a shot against a very nice group (this weekend). We hope the horse puts on a good performance. "This game can give you a lot of thrills. If we could ever figure out how to put it in a bottle --- yeah, there are ups and downs --- but the ups are thrills that are difficult to get anywhere else." Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes the first round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male and female pacers.  by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Wings Of Royalty received a perfect drive from Tim Tetrick and the pair spoiled the 4-year-old debut of Pinkman in the Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, a $20,000 conditioned event for trotters. The race looked like an easy one for 3-5 favorite Pinkman, the winner of last year's Kentucky Futurity, Canadian Trotting Classic and Hambletonian. But Wings Of Royalty, who finished last in last year's Hambo, scored some revenge on his high-profile foe. Pinkman worked his way to the top in :27.2, but was pressured by the first-over Bourbon Bay at the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. Pinkman finally shrugged his challenger off to lead by 2 turning for home, while Tetrick was finding open road for Wings Of Royalty, who was third at the head of the stretch. Pinkman still looked like a safe winner with a sixteenth of a mile to go, but Wings of Royalty found more in deep stretch and got up on the wire to win by a nose in a lifetime-best 1:51.4. Possessed Fashion was third. As the fourth choice in the wagering, Wings Of Royalty paid $27.40 to win for trainer George Ducharme and owner Raymond W J Campbell Jr. The 4-year-old son of RC Royalty has now won 12-of-32 lifetime outings and earned just over $417,000. STILL GROWING: The 11th race 20 cent Jackpot Super High Five carryover keeps getting bigger and bigger. After the official order of finish of 5-1-3-7-6 failed to produce a single winning ticket, the carryover for the next program stood at $217,277.84. ... Only two favorites emerged victorious on the 11-race card. ...The start of racing was delayed over an hour as inclement weather made extensive track maintenance necessary. ... The Big M is back Saturday with a live program that gets underway at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

A Penny Earned ($3.00) lived up to odds-on billing in the harness racing featured trotting event Vernon Downs on Friday (May 13) night, posting a 1:54.2 mile to claim the winner's share of a $7,500 purse.   Chris Lems sent the 7-year-old Conway Hall gelding to the front from the outset, working clear of My Lucky Word (John MacDonald) through a :27.3 first quarter mile. After rating a :29.2 breather in the second quarter and dismissing of My Lucky Word, A Penny Earned was forced to accelerate by the first-over Winding Hill (Jimmy Whittemore), who pressed to within three-quarters of a length on approach to the far turn. A Penny Earned responded immediately to the challenge, ultimately edging clear to a two-length triumph, the 28th of his career. Winding Hill sustained his pursuit in second, while My Lucky Word was nine lengths detached in third.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   John MacDonald led all drivers with three wins on the nine-race card, while Lems recorded a double.   The 50¢ Pick 5 once again went uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $1,101 to Saturday (May 14) evening's program. First post is slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Perfect weather and a lightning fast track greeted the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters to the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 4) and those participants took full advantage of the conditions to pursue their share of the $120,400 in purses available. Heavily favored Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) rewarded his backers as he turned in a very strong performance, winning his division convincingly in 1:56.3. After pole-sitter Mythology Bluechip (Mark Macdonald) made a break in the first turn, Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) took the early lead until Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) motored on by before the quarter in :28.4. The participants then remained single-file behind the leader through a :59.1 half and 1:27.4 three-quarters. At that point Schnittker pulled Gabe The Bear Dean from second and tried to mount a challenge, but the attempt was futile. Lems let Wings Of Royalty out a notch and he flew down the stretch to win easily by three lengths with a snappy :28.4 final panel. "I knew Ray (Schnittker) would let me go (to the front) and once we made it, he was on cruise control. He was very strong finishing the mile" said driver Chris Lems. It was the fourth win in 14 starts for Wings Of Royalty ($3.20) and it raised his 2015 earnings to $178,323 for owner Raymond Campbell. The colt is trained by George Ducharme. The first division was historic as it was the only time a NYSS race at Batavia Downs ended in a dead heat. The judges camera could not separate Fashion Creditor (Credit Winner-Bon Voyage) and Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art of Deception) at the wire. There was a stiff battle off the gate when Royal Lad (Aaron Byron) would not let Maestro Bluechip (Trond Smedshammer) go, who in turn parked-out Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) and the three horses went three-wide to the quarter in 28.3. As they hit the turn, they all finally seated with Royal Deceptor being the best of the bunch. At this point, Fashion Creditor (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a gapped fourth watching the proceedings. After the dust had settled, McGivern grabbed leather and grabbed it hard as he gave Royal Deceptor a serious breather with 31 and 30.3 second and third quarters. During that time, Royal Lad made a break from third and Fashion Creditor advanced to that spot, creeping closer to the leader. Then Morrill pulled at three-quarters and began to force the issue. Royal Deceptor still had a three-length lead but the advantage was clearly perilous. At the head of the stretch, Fashion Creditor was trotting his hips off down the lane, gobbling up ground with every stride while Royal Deceptor was expending every ounce of energy he had left to hang on to his lead. At the wire, both horses' best efforts gained them victory in 1:58.3. It was the third win in 13 starts for Fashion Creditor ($2.10), pushing his earnings to $106,380 for the year. The gelding is owned by Joseph Smith and trained by Tom Fanning. For Royal Deceptor, it was his seventh win in 13 starts and it increased his 2015 bank to $137,163 for owners Charles Foster, Michael Sentiwany Jr., and Michael James. The colt is trained by Cheryl McGivern. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series "A" trot that went for a combined $30,000 in purses. Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the first division in 1:59.2 for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. The gelding is owned by Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. The second split was won by Bavaro (Credit Winner-Repetitions) in 1:59 flat for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker. Schnittker shares ownership of the colt with Paul Bordogna and Jonathan Kurnit. The winner returned a handsome $46.80. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept.5) with post time set at 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

The conditions were perfect for harness racing on a beautiful summer afternoon, the temperature was 85, the infield flag limp, the track fast, all perfect conditions for a track record at Monticello Raceway. The action started right away in the first race, going for a purse of $53,500. Allerage Echo put his name in the record books by virtue of his 1:58:1 mark. It was his 4th win in a row, for the Conway Hall - Echonomical colt, who was bred by Little E LLC. The easy going son of Conway Hall upping his careers earnings to $121,000, for winning driver Chris Lems. Credevie showed the way as the gate left for Trond Smedshammer. He was followed in hot pursuit by Smalltownthrowdown, Dan Daley tucked Smalltownthrowdown into the 2 hole after briefly being parked down the backside before the ¼ marker. The 2/5 favorite Allerage Echo made his move once Daley settled in and had the lead in a blink of an eye, parked at the ¼ in 29, he then cleared and was never heeded the rest of the mile, taking the field through fractions of 59:1, 1:29:3, Credevie made a break in the paddock turn and the contest turned into a 2 horse race. Smalltownthrowdown came first over but was not able to close the gap. Allerage Echo prevailed to win in 1:58:1 by 4 lengths, for trainer George Ducharme, who has enjoyed much success at Monticello Raceway this season in NY Sire Stake events. Owner Ken Jacobs was ecstatic in the winners circle. "We purchased the colt off a qualifier at Vernon Downs and put him the George Ducharme barn and have had great success," exclaimed Ken Jacobs "He's a beast" said winning driver Chris Lems following the win the in the winners circle, with an ear to ear smile." Race 8, 2nd heat of Sire Stake action had 6 starters. Cupid, driven by Trond Smedshammer for the Purple Haze Stable, tripped the timers in 28:3, 58:3 and 1:28:4, at this point the recent new track record that was barely dry on paper was in jeopardy of being broken. At the top of the lane Cupid was getting leg weary, Dan Daley and Crown Point who had been stalking the leader the entire mile, over took Cupid in a stirring stretch drive. The son of Crazed - Tierra broke his maiden, scoring in 1:59.0, for trainer driver Dan Daley and owners Daley, Crawford and Lombardo. Cupid hung on for second and Dog Gone Lucky was 3rd for trainer Chuck Sylvester and driver John Campbell. Excelsior A - $15,000 Race 4, first division of the A's went for a purse of $15,000. Gremlin Wilson sat the garden spot the entire mile behind pace setter HZ Royalty and driver Jeff Gregory. As the pair turned for home Gremlin Wilson, was not to be denied, using the passing lane to edge HZ Royalty in 2:00:3 for winnings owner and driver John Cummings Jr. The son of Sand Vic is trained by Megan Wilson. The last heat of the A class saw Omaha Set Up (PP4), make a bold first over move at the 5/8 marker to score a measured win over Radical Way in 2:00:4 for the Gideon Stables. The Credit Winner colt is trained by Tyler Freese and driven by Corey Braden. The 1/5 favorite Sweet Royalty made a break before the ¼ and was never a factor. Excelsior B - $6,700 Reasonforpleasin scored his 2nd win in this company for former Monticello Raceway driver Jay Randall and owners Michael Polansky in 2:01:4. The Conway Hall colt now has 2 wins in the Excelsior series under his belt. In Race 3, John Campbell was aboard Dollar Billiards. He left the gate to take the lead but in the middle of the first turn his steed made a break. Ray Schnittker aboard One Chief inherited the lead. The Lucky Chucky - Chippewa Street colt extended his lead at every stanza to win by 7 lengths in 2:02:2 for owners Schnittker, Demeter and H. Burns. Shawn Wiles

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $150,224 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event, honoring the memory of "Tootie," the man who help turn Roosevelt Raceway into a household word(s) during the sport's golden age and made the International Trot a world-class happening. Whether this group of plebes eventually becomes world class is to be determined, but 1-5 favorite Dayson (Jeff Gregory, $2.40) has proven to be the leader of the gang thus far. Starting from the pole in the second of two, $75,112 divisions, the Conway Hall gelding had to work for it. He took the best shots from second-choice Reve Royale (Brian Sears), then spurted away to a 2¼-length win in a zippy, life-best 1:57.4 (author's aside...the Gregory-driven Dejarmbro owns the 2-year-old colt local record (1:57 in 2010), while the Sears-escorted Tirade Hanover has the gelding standard (1:57.3 in 2012). Dog Gone Cupid (Tyler Buter), put in play early, did get second, with Reve Royale third. For Dayson, trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret & Amy Butler, it was his fifth win in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.60, with the triple returning $60. "He was tested tonight, and he was up to it," Gregory said, referring to Reve Royale first stringing Dayson out to get the lead in turn 2, then pulling pocket early in the final turn. The opening Barasch event saw Sears and second choice Allerage Echo ($6.10)-leaving from post position No. 6--go from first lead to first home. In between, he surrendered the front to Credevie (Trond Smedshammer), before blowing by in the lane. The final margin was 2¼ lengths (same as Dayson) in a life-best 1:59.4, with Master Class (George Brennan) a first-up second and Royal Bachelor (Jason Bartlett) third. Credevie, the favorite at just over even-money, faded to fourth. For Allerage Echo, a Crazed gelded trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs, he's now 3-for-5 to begin his career after a third consecutive win The exacta paid $55, with the triple returning $221. "I bought him off his first two qualifiers," Jacobs said. "He impressed me, but I thought his gait was too high. "George (Ducharme) said he has some talent, and we're looking forward to the rest of the sire stakes season." Frank Drucker

Three-year-old trotting filly Bee the Queen ($4.10) reigned supreme at the Miracle Mile on Saturday (August 15) night, holding off a late charge from Ulster for a 1:55.1 triumph in the featured $7,000 upper-level conditioned trot at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems secured the pocket early with the daughter of Donato Hanover, yielding to Ulster (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in the early stages before brushing after a :28.1 first quarter.   Bee the Queen enjoyed a 30.1 second-quarter breather before she faced mild first-over pressure on the far turn from DC Flashback (Jimmy Whittemore).   After she was nudged along to the three-quarter point in 1:26.4, Bee the Queen shook free of her seven rivals in upper stretch--at least for a moment.   Ulster, finding room to vacate the pocket, charged late at the longtime pacesetter, as did Tioga invader Verdi (John MacDonald) from out of midfield.   Both late threats would come up short, as Bee the Queen prevailed by a head.   George Ducharme trains Bee the Queen for Alfred Ross.   Truman Gale--who earned his 500th career driving win at the Norwich, N.Y. fair on Tuesday (his tally stands at 506 presently)--notched a driving double on the evening's 11-race program, as did Frank Davis.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 16) afternoon, with first post at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Harness racing trainer George Ducharme knows that Wings Of Royalty is not the same horse as 2013 Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life. The affable conditioner nonetheless is rather pleased with the progress the son of R C Royalty has made entering the 90th edition of the Hambletonian on Saturday at the Meadowlands. “I’m very happy with the way he trained this week,” said Ducharme from his Vernon Downs base on Thursday. “I thought he raced well in the Zweig (fourth place behind Pinkman),” said Ducharme. “After the race I talked to Tim (Tetrick) and we both agreed that he needed a race over the big track to get stretched out and acclimate to the speed of the race." "He’d been racing so much over the half mile tracks.” Royalty For Life will have Brian Sears in the bike in the second of two elimination heats on Saturday afternoon. “I was very happy with the draw,” said Ducharme of post five in the nine-horse field. Wings Of Royalty, a homebred of Raymond Campbell Jr., has earned $237,599 during his career racing primarily in New York. The colt prepped for the Hambletonian with a victory at Vernon Downs last Saturday coming from off the pace in 1:54 3/5. “I think he’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Ducharme of Wings Of Royalty. “I was happy with the division he got into." I think the first division is tougher but we do have Mission Brief and she’ll be tough if she behaves.” Royalty For Life was a favorite going into the Hambletonian in 2013 and Wings Of Royalty is a decided longshot. But trainer George Ducharme wouldn’t have entered the colt had he not thought he belonged with this group. Wings Of Royalty has been quite consistent throughout his career and has the dual capacity to race near or from off the pace and still finish his miles with strength. Without question having Hambletonian experience is a major factor in getting to the race again and succeeding. Both Ducharme and Sears have been here before which in a sense takes some of the pressure off. Wings Of Royalty is as good as he’s going to be, whether that’s good enough won’t be known until sometime late on Saturday afternoon. Jay Bergman

He's yet to taste defeat and judging from his performance on Wednesday (Aug. 5) at  the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs, it might be quite some time before that happens. Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus) simply obliterated the competition in his $55,500 leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings and set a new lifetime mark in the process. When Dante (Ake Svanstedt) shot to the front for the early lead, Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) made a break and caused momentary confusion to the horses behind him in the first turn. Dayson, who was trotting on the outside at the time, was taken three-deep around the commotion by driver Jeff Gregory and motored to the front to take command. At that point, for all intents and purposes, the race was over. Dayson was a gapped leader for the rest of the contest with Dante and Reve Royale (Chris Lems) chasing, more than following. After setting fractions of 29.2, 59.4 and 1:29.3, Gregory laid the whip on his shoulder and enjoyed the ride home as Dayson opened up four and tripped the timer in 1:59.1, which was his new personal best. "Dayson has been a pleasure to drive this year and he was very strong tonight" said Jeff Gregory after the race. Dayson is now a perfect four-for-four in 2015 with $91,556 in earnings for Howard Okusko and owners Margaret Butler and Amy Butler. The winner returned $3.40. In the second $55,500 NYSS division, Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) took advantage of post one and a perfect trip to score his second victory of the campaign. Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) flew off the wings and crossed over to the lead before the group straightened up the backside. The rest of the field fell in line in post-position order and followed the leader past the half. But even though Schnittker set tepid fractions of 30.1, 1:01.3 and 1:32.1, the race was far from over . Credevie (Trond Smedshammer) pulled from third to try and challenge the leader, leaving Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) sitting chilly in the garden spot. But at the top of the stretch, that bid failed and Chargin Cadet again looked solid. But Allerage Echo was relentless, digging all the way to the wire and eventually getting up for the win in 2:01.1, with a 28.3 final quarter. "He got a very good trip." "And even though they backed down the third quarter, I thought I could get up down the lane" said driver Chris Lems, who did just that. It was the second win in four starts for Allerage Echo who paid $10.80. The winner's share increased his earnings to $58,381 while the time was a new lifetime mark. The gelding is trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs. There were also three divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series that went for $15,000 each. The first went to Cashuz (Cash Hall-Sister Shuzy) and driver John Cummings Jr. in 2:00 flat. Cashuz ($8.20) is trained by J.D. Perrin and is owned by Tessa Roland and Lesa Peters. The second division was won by Gremlin Wilson (Sand Vic-Savannah Montana) and driver John Cummings Jr. once again in 2:03. Meghan Wilson trains Gremlin Wilson ($9.60) for Cummings Jr. who also owns the colt. The final leg saw Kaylon's Prayer (Prayer I Am-Kaylon) victorious for Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, in 2:03.4. Dennis Laterza trains Kaylon's Prayer ($8.50) for owner Roy Dobbins. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 7) with post time at 6:35 p.m. TIm Bojarski

Sustaining a first-over bid through the far turn, Wings of Royalty ($2.40) wore down the pacesetting Count Speed for a 1:54.3 triumph in the $8000 Open II Trot at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 1) evening.   Count Speed (John MacDonald) crossed and cleared from the extreme outside to dictate the terms, rating a :56.4 half mile before facing the first-over Wings of Royalty on the far turn.   The two dueled through a :28.1 third quarter, continuing their battle off the corner while leaving the pocket-sitting A Lister (Fern Paquet, Jr.) five lengths in arrears.   Wings of Royalty ultimately prevailed by three-quarters of a length, wearing down Count Speed in the final yards.   Fleetwood Hall (Roman Lopez) charged off cover to take third, just missing by a length.   George Ducharme trains Wings of Royalty for owner-breeder Raymond Campbell, Jr.   Truman Gale led all drivers with four wins on the 11-race program.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 2) afternoon, with the first of 10 races scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

17 to 32 of 89