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YONKERS, NY, Monday, November 24, 2018-'Twas a dark and stormy Saturday night (Nov. 25th), except for George Brennan. Brennan won five of Yonkers Raceway's dozen races, including the pair of $44,000 Open Handicap Paces. He and Always at My Place ($6.70) tracked down a clear, 7-5 favorite Bettor Memories (Jason Bartlett) late, winning the boys' featured pace in a soggy 1:53.2. The latter had taken the lead, disposing of early leader Techtor Hanover (Jordan Stratton) down the backside. However, Always at My Place, from post position No. 5, made up two lengths in the lane, the final margin a head. It was 45-1 Soho Lennon A (Tyler Buter) third, with Theartofconfusion A (Brent Holland) and Great Vintage (Jim Marohn Jr.) coming away with the remainder. For second choice Always at My Place, a 7-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, it was his ninth win in 28 seasonal starts (career 46-for-136, $1.048 million). The exacta paid $21.20, the triple returned $164 and the superfecta paid $542. The girls' marquee pace saw Brennan, Burke and a two-moving Monica Gallagher ($11.40) prevail in 1:54.3. Into a three-hole from post No. 6, 'Monica' went up and over a stopping Call Me Queen Be (Joe Bongiorno), then opened a couple of lengths in the lane. Monica Gallagher whipped 17-10 choice Lispatty (Buter) by that same margin, with Keystone Wanda (Marohn Jr.), Medusa (Holland) and Scandalicious (Stratton) settling for the minors. For fourth choice Monica Gallagher, a 4-year-old Mach Three miss co-owned by her trainer and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her ninth win in 22 '18 tries. The exacta paid $39, the triple returned $146.50 and the superfecta paid $508. Burke had three winners, though Rene Allard whipped him with four. It's a quick turnaround for the Raceway, which is back at it again Sunday (Nov. 25th) with a first post of 11:10 AM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 29, 2018 - Freehold Raceway hosted the $15,000 New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. The feature race was held before the regularly scheduled card on Saturday (Oct 27). U Need Stones won the $15,000 purse for trainer Ron Bue rke. Driver George Brennan sent the 3-year-old gelding from post position number two to the front, to lead the competition every step of the way in 2:01.1. The son of Wishing Stone captured lifetime win number eight and earnings of over $150,000 for his owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura. Samis Rolin Stone finished second. Freehold resumes live racing on Friday, November 2, 2018, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 24, 2018-About seven weeks ago, an evening or so after Brian Sears won the 10,000th race of his career, there was George Brennan, sitting next to him inside Yonkers Raceway's drivers' room. "We're the old guys in the room," Sears said. Well, 'Old Guy' Brennan joined Sears in the five-figure club, mimicking Sears and winning his 10,000th career race this past Friday night (Oct. 19th) at the pair's home away from home, Yonkers Raceway. When diminutive Down Under Our Zak Whitby A went the distance in that evening's second race, chauffeur Brennan became the 16th North American driver to reach that number. A rare race off the night before allowed the 51-year-old Brennan a chance to reflect on what was then a milestone-in-waiting. "It's a good number, nothing I was aiming for," Brennan said, "but I understand it's significant. "I don't know if my approach is any different than when I was 30 or 40. I still love what I do, show up every night, keep myself in good shape and know the horses." Of course, getting dibs for Ron Burke and Scott DiDomenico, among other leading trainers, doesn't hurt. "The horsepower is the key," Brennan said, adding, "The game has changed. Speed stays longer, the horses-pacers and trotters-have a lot more go-go. You don't always have to be forwardly-placed, but it usually doesn't hurt." If there has been one concession Brennan had made, it's to his schedule. "I'm here (Yonkers) about 98 percent of the time," he said. "There's no more traveling and getting home at three in the morning. Sometimes, I go to Freehold, the Meadowlands or Philly, but always local. "It keeps me fresh." The Brennan resume recital is too meandering for this missive-the man's no one-hit wonder--so he was asked to choose a few that stood out. In no particular order... Glidemaster (2006 Yonkers Trot) - "It was unfortunate for John (Campbell). The colt won the Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity, then John was injured and (trainer) Blair (Burgess) asked me to drive. The race was late that season (Nov. 25th), and it was a very cold night here. He won first-up in (1):55 [actually 1:55.4] to win the Triple Crown, so to be a part of that was pretty special." (author's aside...Brennan had driven Glidemaster in his previous start, finishing second in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine) Artist's View (2007 Breeders Crown 3-Year-Colt/Gelding Pace, Meadowlands) - "Without a doubt, one of my favorite races. He was out every step from the 10-hole and won (at 42-1). His trainer, Buzzy Sholty, is one of my best friends, so that was great." Holborn Hanover (2006 U-S Pacing Championship, Meadowlands) - "I put a world record [1:46.4] on him that day. Old bike, record lasted for years. Loved him." (another author's aside...Holborn Hanover's effort remains the standard for aged pacing geldings. He was five at the time) ...and then there was THAT day, Aug. 6, 2011, at the Meadowlands. In a span of 35 minutes, Brennan polished off the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks (Bold and Fresh, 1:53.1) and $1.5 million Hambletonian (Broad Bahn, 1:53) at odds of 24-1 and 6-1, respectively. "Who thinks that's going to happen?," he said. "It was a hell of a day." During the conversation, around a mundane 10-race overnight card, Brennan bemoaned one aspect of the game that he says has changed. "I miss not having the classy 10- and 11-year-olds out there competing they way they used to," he said. This night featured 'just' three 10-year-olds, although several of the races were age-restricted. It didn't take very long to connect the dots between that musing and one Foiled Again "What's he's done has been incredible," Brennan-who won thrice with him-said of the sport's richest-ever equine. "It was a honor to get to drive him." Alright, George Brennan, let's put the finishing touches on 'What 10,000 Wins Mean to Me'. "I think what I'm really proud of is that when I came down here (New York metropolitan area) for good in 1994, I didn't have 1,000 wins," Brennan said. "So, to win 9,000 or so races driving against top-notch competition, that's something to me." Brennan, a native of Monticello, NY, won his first race--behind Rob Ron Romper--at his hometown track as a high school junior back in 1982. His career purse earnings exceed $171 million, ranking seventh all-time, according to the U-S Trotting Association. Asked when he throught he 'became good,' Brennan offered that "I was going to drive horses for a living regardless, but when I had early success at Monticello (inserting credit to stepfather Joe Ricco Jr.), it helped. "I'm 51, but I'm still learning, so if younger drivers are picking things up from me, I'm picking things up from them, too." by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 19, 2018- Driver George Brennan won the 10,000th race of his harness racing career Friday night (Oct. 19th), doing so at his second home, Yonkers Raceway. Brennan, who entered the night with 9,998 wins, immediately knocked off the 'to do' list when he took down the chalky daily double in the down-the-road fashion. Top of the Mark ($6) won in the $17,000 pacing opener in 1:54.3, his second consecutive win after beginning the season 0-for-27. Our Zak Whitby A ($2.80) was a never-in-doubt, two-length winner (life-best 1:52.3) in the $23,000 second-race pace. The 4-4 Brennan-Brennan double returned $10.20. Brennan, who become the 16th North American driver to reach that five-figure number, had a rather large welcoming committee in the winner's circle, including his stepfather, Joe Ricco Jr., several drivers and racing officials. The 51-year-old Brennan, a native of Monticello, NY, took the latest milestone in stride. "It's a good number, but nothing I was aiming for, but I understand it's significant," he said. Brennan won his first race--behind Rob Ron Romper--at his hometown track as a high school junior back in 1982. His career purse earnings of approximately $171.8 million ranks seventh in the all-time list. A quarter-moving Rockstar Angel A (Eric Goodell, $8.90) held sway Friday night (Oct. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away third from assigned post position No. 2, Rockstar Angel moved past early leavers Artrageous (Mark Macdonald) and Bettorhaveanother (Mr. 10,000, George  Brennan) right before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. She then found a :56.2 intermission before 17-10 fave Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) tried it first-up from sixth. The people’s preference did advance toward a 1:25.1 three-quarters, but Rockstar Angel A owned a length lead off the final turn. The lass then found more in the lane, winning by tne same margin in 1:53.3. Artrageous knifed though late to snatch second, with Mach it a Par third. Medusa (Joe Bongiorno) and Keystone Wanda (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the minors.  For second choice Rockstar Angel A, a 6-year-old down under daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her eighth win in 24 seasonal starts  The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $83.50 and the superfecta paid $479.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

FREEHOLD, NJ -- October 8, 2018 -- Freehold Raceway hosted two divisions of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's Homegrown Pace for 2-year-olds on Saturday (Oct 6). The first division of the Homegrown Pace for 2-year-old pacing fillies was held as a non-betting race before the regularly scheduled card.   The Mark Harder trainee Surreality captured the $21,000 purse in 1:56.4. George Brennan and Surreality left from the rail position to lead the way every step of the mile. This is win number six and boosts her lifetime earnings to $83,361 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Dawn Colucci all New Jersey natives. Hurrikane Lori Ann finished second with Miss Raggedy Ann coming in third. The second division was for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers with a purse of $25,000. This division was won by odds-on favorite Hurrikane Emperor for trainer John McDermott Jr. Driver Dan Dube sent the Hurrikane Kingcole colt out of the gait to take the lead and never relinquish it stopping the clock in 1:55.1.   Hurrikane Emperor continued his winning ways for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing LLC, Pegasis Investment Group and George Viemo banking $226,900 in lifetime earnings.   Hurrikane Emperor is also a dual sires stakes winner as he won the KYSS Final and the NJSS Final earlier this year. Trente Deo was second with Cool Your Heels finishing third. Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Friday, October 12, 2018, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ  - October 5, 2018 -  Freehold Raceway hosted the SBOANJ sponsored New Jersey Futurity #53 and a leg of the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. The non-betting $22,500 New Jersey Futurity #53 for 2-year-old trotters was won by the Ron Burke trainee Cheap Tricks. Joe Bongiorno steered the trotting colt to victory in 2:04.3. This is the first-lifetime win for the son of Trixton, he has earned $42,612 for his owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Pumel &Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. No Drama Please finished second. The first leg of the NJSDF for 3-year-old filly trotters took place in the third race. The odds on favorite Chaperess nosed out the competition for trainer Trond Smedshammer. Driven by George Brennan Chaperess inching past the leader in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:59.3. The daughter of Chapter Seven earned her seventh-lifetime win and $78,898 for her owner Purple Haze Stables LLC. Diamondstone Us finished second with Michando coming in third. Freehold resumes racing Saturday, October 6, with the SBOANJ sponsored Home Grown Pace #1 for 2-year-olds, post time 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ 

FREEHOLD, NJ -  September 28, 2018 - Today Freehold Raceway hosted the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey sponsored Helen Smith Final for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies and an NJSDF Final for 2-year-olds. The $20,000 Helen Smith Final was held before the regularly scheduled racing card as a non-betting race. Samis Rolin Stone sat a pocket trip and nosed out the competition in 2:00.2 for trainer Dewayne Minor. This is lifetime win number three for the Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher. Diamondstone Us finished a close second for trainer Noel Daley. The 2-year-old trotting colt, No Drama Please was the winner of the $50,000 NJSDF Final. Leaving from post position number one, the odds-on favorite lead every call of the mile to win in 2:00.3 for trainer Julie Miller. The Trixton colt notched win number three and $71,732 in lifetime earnings for owner Stroy Inc. Gerris Trix finished second while Warrior One come in third. Freehold resumes live racing Saturday, September 29, 2018, with the featured Renaissance Final for 2-year-old fillies, post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2018-With Yonkers Raceway dark Friday night (Sept. 21st) in preparation for the New York Night of Champions, the leading overnight ladies had their weekly close-up an evening early. Hence, it was a Thursday night (Sept. 20th) $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. That was good news for Vorst (George Brennan, $27.60), who parlayed a perfect trip and a makeshift passing to win in 1:53. Getting the first lead from assigned post position No. 5, Vorst handed the baton to Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.4 intermission, even-money fave Medusa (Brian Sears), who had left for a seat fourth, was out and moving again. She hooked Mach it a Par in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, the pair pacing in tandem entering the lane. Vorst, meanwhile, closed ranks from a loose pocket and found room inside in a three-way scrum. She defeated Mach it a Par by a head and Medusa by a neck. Jewel Lehigh A (Scott Zeron) and Sell a Bit N (Austin Siegelman) rounded out the payees. For fifth choice Vorst, a 5-year-old daughter of Four Starzzz Shark owned and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her fourth win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $138.50, the triple returned $241 and the superfecta paid $1,992. Friday was quashed to allow the paddock to be used for Night of Champions detention. Saturday night's (Sept. 22nd) $1.8 million finales-eight at $225,000 each-again comprise the richest night of racing in the state. Those events go as races 2 through 9, with first post for the dozen-race card at the usual night standard of 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

CHESTER, PA - Two-year-old fillies on both gaits contested three $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series on Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the favorites winning all of the trots and none of the paces. George Brennan guided two of the trio of trotting winners. First up was the Donato Hanover- Glide About miss American Kosmos, who raised her career record to three-for-four while reducing her mark to 1:55.3. The winner, sent off the 6-5 chalk, sat far off the runaway pacesetter Scirocco Donnahill, then gradually reeled that one in for a 3¾ length tally for trainer Julie Miller and the ownership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and David Goodrow. The other two triumphant trotters proved worthy of 1-5 favoritism, including Brennan's second winner Magical Beliefs, who lowered her mark to 1:56.4. The daughter of Cantab Hall - Frisky Magic trotted past the leading Sigilwig past the half, opened a big lead, then maintained a 2½ length margin on the shuffled closer Mimi'spearloflindy, giving her four wins and four seconds in eight career starts, with earnings of $166,686 (she was second in the PA Sires final). Linda Toscano conditioned the consistent miss for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables, and R-And-I Farms LLC. First visitor to the Harrah's winners circle on Thursday was the six-time winner Sonnet Grace, whom owner/trainer/driver Rod Allen sent to the front and improved on her position from there, winning by 4½ lengths in 1:55.1, last half 57.1, for a personal best. The impeccably-bred daughter of Muscle Massive - I Believe, a granddaughter of synonymous-with-baby-trot-speed CR Kay Suzie, now has earnings totaling $125,397. Form took a holiday of the pacing side, with the biggest upset A Beach Cowgirl, whom Corey Callahan piloted to a 1:53.4 lifetime best while paying $83.20. The Somebeachsomewhere - Limestone Cowgirl miss took advantage of a pocket journey, withstanding closing Renaissance Lady K by ¾ of a length for trainer Brett Bittle, co-owner with Dan Bittle and the Charles Kellers, III and IV. Somebeachsomewhere sired a second surprise winner - a surprise to most everyone but the morning linemaker, who had tabbed Stonebridge Soul, whose dam is Rock N Soul, as the one to beat, then saw her generate a $13.40 win payoff after a two length wire-to-wire win while taking a new mark of 1:52.2. If ever an early favorite were to be overlooked, it might have been this race at this track, as Philly Hanover and Rockin Philly wound up the first two choices, but Stonebridge Soul proved the best for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Chris Ryder, and the ownership of Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. Down Under wonder Dexter Dunn, fitting very nicely in the tough local driving colony, was behind the third pacing winner, the Captaintreacherous - Musicale Hanover filly May Bride Hanover, who won in 1:53.1. Dunn let the winner roll on the engine in quick numbers, then kept her together in the lane to win by a neck over What A Fox in a finish that saw all six fillies within two lengths of each other at the wire (Trillions Hanover, the big favorite, broke early but recovered for fourth). Nifty Norman trains the winner of four-of-seven for the Pinske Stables and David Hoese. Liberty Bell series two-year-old action continues tomorrow at Philly, with the colts turning out in the same proportions as their filly counterparts, with three divisions of each gait going gateward. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Lifetime Trust worked out a perfect second-over trip for driver George Brennan, in for an afternoon's harness racing work at Harrah's Philadelphia, then tipped wide and proceeded on to an in-hand 1:53 win in the $17,000 feature for distaff pacers on Wednesday at the suburban Philadelphia oval. The winner of $168,415 was away fourth for Brennan as race favorite Reign On Me took over the lead from Big City Betty nearing the 27.4 quarter. Just before the 56.2 half, Brunhilda moved first-over from third, with the winner right on her bumper through the 1:24 3/4s and around the turn before being tipped wide by Brennan. The final margin was only a length over Big City Betty, Reign On Me, and Brunhilda, noses apart in that order at the wire, but the victory was measured from midstretch as Lifetime Trust won for trainer Richard Ringler and the Ringler Stable LLC. Thursday at Harrah's, two-year-old fillies on both gaits will contest three $30,000 divisions of the Liberty Bell stakes series. Many of the entrants are well-known to area fans, who have seen them in Sire Stakes and Stallion Series action throughout the summer, both live and via simulcast. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

FREEHOLD, N.J. — Soon to be Hall of Fame member, Foiled Again, was the star of the Open Space Pace at  Freehold Raceway on Sept. 15. The Open Space Pace is a nonprofit organization with a mission to celebrate the horse, New Jersey’s official state animal, and to promote open space in the nation’s most densely populated state. The Open Space Pace raises funds in support of non-profit organizations and the CentraState Healthcare System. The day began with a parade of horses from the Monmouth County Hall of Records to Freehold Raceway. New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer was the Grand Marshal. Dancer is the son of Harness Racing Hall of Fame member, trainer, driver, Stanley Dancer.  Foiled Again was the headliner in the first race and he did not disappoint — winning for the 103rd time in his career. It was the same place he had won his very first race, in his debut at age 2, 12 years ago. Foiled Again has now banked more than $7.59 million. Despite being parked out for the one mile race, Foiled Again and driver George Brennan won in 1:53.4. The 14-year-old gelding is on a farewell tour across North America. Standardbreds must retire from racing once they turn 15. After the race Foiled Again met with his fans and posed for photos, lots and lots of photos. There was also a petting zoo, educational exhibits, 12 more live harness races, vendor tables, food trucks and more.   Throughout the day, the Open Space Pace awarded seven one-thousand-dollar college scholarships, the winners of which were determined by random draw. Several charities were also presented with a $1,000 check. By Lillian Schupe, for Tapinto.net

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 25, 2018- Owner Adriano Sorella paid $30,000 for the privilege of Jimmy Freight entering the 63rd Messenger Stakes. We're surmising the other connections would be glad pay at least twice that much the privilege of Jimmy Freight exiting the 63rd Messenger Stakes. That's because Jimmy Freight (Louis-Phillipe Roy, $3.30) made Yonkers Raceway his very own veranda Saturday night (Aug. 25th), rolling in an elimination race while setting a track record in the process. The second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown began with a pair of $40,000 elims, five- and six-horse fields to determine the eight finalists for next Saturday night's (Sept. 1st) half-million-dollar finale. 'Jimmy,' making his-and his driver's-local debut, made short work of the second soiree. From post position No. 4, he waltzed around Westchester (:27.4, :56.2, 1:23.4, 1:50.3) with the greatest of ease. That :26.4 kicker gave Jimmy Freight the track record for 3-year-old colts, a tick faster than Source of Pride (2013). Pole-sitting Springsteen (Brian Sears) was out from third down the backside, moved to within a length-and-three-quarters in the final turn before being rebuffed. Jimmy Freight widened to 3¾ lengths and a place in the annals. Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) tried his luck from off-the-pace, rallying for third without ever threatening. A loosely-pocketed Winston (Corey Callahan) wound up fourth, with Decoy (Mark MacDonald) and Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton) both outrun. For Jimmy Freight, a son of Sportswriter trained stateside by Andrew Harris, it was his eighth win in 13 seasonal starts (career earnings now over $519,000). The exacta paid $10, the triple returned $17.80 and the superfecta paid $50.50. "He's just perfectly suited for the half-mile track," Roy said. "I never had to pull the plugs. When we were in the third turn, he wanted to go even more." The opening elim for the Messenger saw polester Babes Dig Me (George Brennan, $6.30) retake from Topville Olympian (Sears), then hold both that one and a first-up JK Wildfire (Jason Bartlett) at bay (:26.3, 56.1, 1:24.3, life-best 1:52.2). Babes Dig Me defeated JK Wildfire by a hard-fought head, with Topville Olympian beaten a neck. The battle for fourth was equally interesting, as 7-10 favorite Nutcracker Sweet (Stratton) was poor but had just enough to photo longshot Wild Bill (Ray Schnittker). For second choice Babes Dig Me, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by Brad Grant, Joe Sbrocco, Robert Leblanc & In the Gym Partners and trained by Tony Alagna, he's now 2-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $58.50, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offer due to the abbreviated assemblage. "Cat Manzi, who works for Tony (Alagna) said I'd like him and he was right," Brennan said. "I learned he's handy and he can fight one off." The open draw is Monday afternoon (Aug. 27th) for the Sept. 1st card, featuring the Messenger, $500,000 Yonkers Trot No. 64 (second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown), the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot & $112,904 Lady Maud Pace. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by favored Scott Rocks (Eric Goodell, $6.40) in 1:52.1. As for Sears, he won twice Saturday night, bringing the milestone-in-waiting career count to 9,998. Sunday afternoon's (Aug. 26th), latest "French' foray offers a first post of 12:45 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 29, 2018-Magic Forces (George Brennan, $3.80) quarter-moved to paydirt Friday night (June 29th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Odds-on from an assigned pole, Magic Forces was away third. She then zipped past Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), taking over just before a 27-secone opening quarter-mile. When Sell a Bit N backing away and only serious challenger Medusa (Brian Sears) having to work from first-over, Magic Forces had few issues finishing it off (:56, 1:23.2, 1:51...smashing the track record for her 4-year-old mare weight class). The previous number in the clubhouse (1:51.3) was shared by Rocklamation (2012), Venus Delight ('14), Cinamony ('15, twice) and Tessa Seelster ('16). Magic Forces whipped Medusa by 2¼ angst-free lengths. Bronze Over N (Brent Holland) closed for third, with Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) and Sell a Bit N settling for the minors. The win was one of a Brennan quartet during the 10-race card. For Magic Forces, an aforementioned 4-year-old lass (daughter of Art Major) owned by Frank Poerio Jr. and trained by Ron Burke, it was her fifth win in in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta (inside two assignees) paid $11, the triple returned $43 and the superfecta paid $125.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 23, 2018-Marion Marauder (Jordan Stratton, $3.40) returned to Westchester Saturday night (June 23rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot. The 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner, in his first local visit since finishing second in last fall's million-dollar Yonkers International Trot, was unsurprisingly better than his seven inside foes. Marion Marauder just sat out there, moving from seventh to fifth at the half (:27, :57). He advanced down the backside the second time, making up ground even though they weren't going that much up front. Marion Marauder went three-wide around Madhatter Bluechip (Joe Bongiorno), setting his sights on leading Bluebird Jesse (Brent Holland) passing a 1:25.3 three-quarters. The odds-on choice took over soon after, opening a length-and-a-half into the lane. He then held off Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) by a half-length in 1:55.1. It was the 2016 Yonkers Trot all over again, except Stratton (six winners during Saturday's dozen-race card) was cast in the role of Scott Zeron and Dube subbing for Dan Daley behind the runnerup. Daley had Smalltownthrowdown at 2 and 3. Third went to DW's NY Yank (George Brennan), with Bluebird Jesse and Madhatter Bluechip rounding out the payees. For Marion Marauder, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill co-owned by Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling & trained by the tandem of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling (Ms. Wellwood is listed stateside), it was his second win in four seasonal starts (career earnings up over $2.6 million). The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $169 and the superfecta paid $371.50. Saturday night's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by Always at May Place (Brennan, $12) in 1:51.1, a 40th career victory by far a season's-best effort. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 22, 2018 - It was nary more than a qualifier for money for odds-on Lispatty (George Brennan, $3.40), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The lone leaver from assigned post position No. 4, Lispatty worked around pole-sitting Medusa (Brian Sears). She then effectively ended the suspense (:28, :57.2) at the intermission. Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) tried it first-up from fifth, but a :27.1 third quarter (1:24.3) made sure the outer tier did not figure. Lispatty owned a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn, then easily held her pocketed pursuer at bay. She defeat Medusa by a length-and-a-half in 1:52. The ground-saving trio of Lovineveryminute (Mark MacDonald), Freakonomics (Eric Goodell) and Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. For Lispatty, a 5-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Gilbert Garcia-Owen and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her fifth win (third consecutive) in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.60, the triple returned $55 and the superfecta paid $267. Saturday night's (June 23rd) dozen-race program features the return of 2016's Trotting Triple Crown champ, Marion Marauder. Second in last fall's million-dollar Yonkers International Trot, Marion Marauder was banished behind the eight-ball in the $44,000, seventh-race co-featured Open Handicap Trot. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – Driver George Brennan will take the lines behind Lispatty, Always At My Place, and DW’s NY Yank in this weekend’s $44,000 features for distaff pacers, open pacers, and trotters. Brennan shared his thoughts on his horses and their chances this weekend: Friday, Race 7 - $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace Lispatty – Post 4 – 2-1  Lispatty finished third in a leg of the Matchmaker Series earlier this year before trying the competition in the Pennsylvania Open Series in May. She earned a fourth-place check in three of five starts in that series before shipping back to Yonkers June 8. Since her return to the half-mile track, Lispatty dominated competition in two straight $22,000 overnights; she won wire-to-wire by 4 ½ lengths in 1:52.0 June 8 and stopped the clock in a blistering 1:51.1 last time out June 15 in an effort that surprised even Brennan. Lispatty, a 5-year-old daughter of McCardle who’s won 20 races and $524,445, won the local distaff feature four times last year.  “She’s got a good spot, she’s got the four hole. She’s been good. I’ve driven her for a couple years now and at Yonkers, she’s never been better. She went in 1:51.1 last week and at Yonkers she’s never been better. She gets around that track really good. I mean, 1:51.1, that’s a big mile that she did last week. She’s been very good and she’s actually getting better with the warmer weather. "She wasn’t at her best in the colder weather in the Matchmaker. She’s going to fair good. She’s inside her competition, she’s got the four hole, she can leave really well and she fits real well in there. I’m not saying she’s the best in there, but she’s got a good spot.”  Saturday, Race 6 - $44,000 Open Handicap Pace Always At My Place – Post 4 – 3-1  After going 10-for-31 last year good for $188,963, Always At My Place is just 2-for-12 halfway through the 2018 season; he captured a leg of the George Morton Levy Series March 17 and upset the $100,000 Levy Consolation at odds of 22-1 April 21. Always At My Place enters this week’s pacing feature off a string of narrow defeats. He was second to Heaven Rocks in a 1:50.0 mile in the Open Series at Pocono June 3, was beaten a head by Somewhere In LA in the local Open June 9 while pacing 1:52.0 and suffered a nose defeat to Western Dynasty after setting the fractions in a $27,500 overnight last Saturday.  “His last two races at Yonkers have been the best two races he’s had at Yonkers in the past two years. He gets around the track a lot better than he used to. He’s inside and he’s got a good chance. He struggles around that track a little bit, but he has an inside advantage and he’s good, he’s a good horse. He’s a solid horse, he knows how to win a horse race. "Last week he got beat a lip on the wire in 1:51.1 and came home in :27.1. There’s not many horses that do that at Yonkers, come home in :27.1 and get beat on the wire. No horses come home at Yonkers in :27.1 with a mile in 1:51.1.” Saturday, Race 7 - $44,000 Open Handicap Trot DW’s NY Yank – Post 6 – 6-1  The 9-year-old trotter proved he’s just as good as ever when winning the local Open Handicap Trot in 1:54.3 May 26. The speedy mile saw DW’s NY Yank assigned the outside post last out June 9, which he was unable to overcome as he finished fifth beaten 7 ¾ lengths behind Tight Lines. The earner of $1.2 million seeks his 50th victory Saturday night, but will have to do so from post six. “That’s going to be a tough spot, he’s got the six hole and that’s a tough spot. There’s speed inside and it’s hard. He’s a good horse, he’s a 9-year-old. "He’s got a track record he set as a 4-year-old of 1:54.2 and then as a 9-year-old he just won in 1:54.3. He’s still just as good, but he’s got a real hard spot. On that track, I just have to pick his spots a little bit. He is such a great horse, he’s a terrific horse, one of my favorites.” First post time Friday and Saturday is 6:50 p.m. For entries to Friday’s races, click here. For entries to Saturday’s races, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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