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East Rutherford, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Peter Grandich and Company (PGC) is pleased to announce that it will sponsor an Irish Heritage Driver Race on Saturday, March 14, which will be hosted at the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Additionally, two PGC team members in New York Giants Super Bowl champion Jeff Feagles and former New York Jets quarterback Ray Lucas will be appearing for a meet and greet that night as well. “My wife and I have been sponsors of Irish Heritage Driver Races at Monticello and Freehold, and we are honored to now do so at the mecca of harness racing, the Meadowlands,” said Peter Grandich, Managing Member of Peter Grandich and Company. “Having two of our Irish heritage sports celebrities appearing as well will surely make it a great night.” Some of the leading contender to be in the race George Brennan, Irish Joe Hanney and Dublin's Jack Killeen.  This event marks the third by PGC at the Meadowlands Racetrack in recent months. The firm hosted a Hockey Night with Nick Fotiu, Bruce Driver and Brian Propp in November before holding a Football Night with Joe Klecko and Dan Klecko in December. “We are grateful to Peter Grandich and Company for sponsoring our 2020 Irish Heritage Driver Race,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. “We are also excited to host Super Bowl Champ Jeff Feagles and New York Jets fan favorite Ray Lucas. This event showcases how intertwined racing & sports really are!” Punter Jeff Feagles played 22 seasons in the NFL, appearing in 352 games overall. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive games played in a career and ranks third in the NFL for most games played overall. The two-time Pro Bowler spent the final seven years of his career with the New York Giants, where he was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champions who defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Feagles retired from the NFL after the 2009 season and now works as a successful real estate professional. Quarterback Ray Lucas played in the NFL from 1996 to 2002, spending time with the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. Since retiring from the NFL, the New Jersey native now works as a studio analyst on a variety of Jets shows for SNY, and he also works as a radio broadcaster for his alma mater, Rutgers University. To learn more about Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, and to view their upcoming schedule, make sure to visit their official website: PlayMeadowlands.com From Peter Grandich and Company

Freehold, NJ --- There was a big upset in Saturday's Preferred Handicap harness racing pace at Freehold Raceway, as 19/1 Polak A upset 1/5 Matticulous.   George Brennan blasted off with Matticulous, clearing him to the lead and setting up shop before the quarter. While he did get to the lead, he had to work very hard for it: the opening quarter was 27.1 seconds. Meanwhile, Vinny Ginsburg conceded the lead with Polak A and pocketed up behind the leader.   As they rounded the final turn, Polak A edged out of the pocket, and presented a serious challenge to the favored leader. Though Matticulous tried hard to hold him off, Polak had plenty of horse, and got by to win by a length. The final time for the mile was a blazing 1:52.     Polak A performed well in the amateur races over the fall at the Meadowlands, winning two of three in that class. Last out, he finished fifth after showing speed in the Preferred at Freehold. He's owned by Tony Beltrami and trained by Vinny Fusco Jr.   Benson Boys, Ozone Blue Chip, Bullet Bob, Gotta Go BB, The Onlyest One, and Clint Westwood completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST. There's a 2-day pick 5 carryover for the card, worth $2,031.83.   From Freehold Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – Entering the penultimate night of racing at Yonkers in the 2019 season, Jason Bartlett led George Brennan in the driver standings 423 to 420. The Dec. 16 program saw the drivers combine for six wins on the 11-race program and at the end of the night, Jason Bartlett extended his margin to 4, leading with 427 victories. However, Bartlett would be absent from the Closing Night program, Tues. Dec. 17 as he departed on a family vacation, never anticipating the driving title would be decided on the final night of a 2,657-race season. To that point, the two drivers had never spoken about the dash title. However, as Bartlett left the driver’s room, the pair acknowledged their rivalry for the first time. “OK, I got you by four. Win four tomorrow and we’ll just end in a tie,” Bartlett told Brennan.  “OK. Done,” Brennan responded. The tongue-in-cheek exchange proved prophetic as the Closing Night program unfolded. Brennan won four of the first 10 races, tying the standings at 427 apiece. After each victory, the Yonkers TV department displayed the standings on the track’s simulcast feed and track announcer John Hernan narrated the update for the viewers. “Yonkers had it on TV the last few nights. They were keeping count for us,” Brennan said. “It was very exciting. I’ve been leading driver before, but this was the most exciting driving race I’ve been involved in. It was a lot of fun.” Brennan drove Lord Of Misrule from post three in the 11th race, the final heat of the season. Leading trainer Scott Di Domenico sent out the 8-year-old gelding who chased only his second seasonal win in his 31st start of the year. “Bruce Saunders said to me, ‘do you like your chances in the last race,’ ” Brennan recalled. “I said, ‘well, he’s 1-for-30 for the year. That says it all right there.” Lord Of Misrule raced along in third throughout, but lost ground in the stretch and finished fourth 7 lengths behind a 1:53.4 score by Knocking Around. “(Lord Of Misrule) ended up getting a perfect trip, he sat third, I never had to pull him, but they went a really good mile in 1:53.4 and 1:53.4 kind of stretches him out in the summer anymore,” Brennan said of the $545,485-earner. “It was going to have to work out, it was going to have to line up perfectly for him. And it actually did and I didn’t have enough horsepower.” With the final race complete, Brennan had four on the card as promised and shared the driving title with Jason Bartlett. “I just went about my business and that’s how it ended,” Brennan said. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of dedication, good clients. It means a lot.” Bartlett enjoyed a lead from January through June as he focused solely on racing at the Hilltop. However, as New York Sire Stakes season ramped up through the late spring and summer, Barlett’s time was divided while Brennan stayed put at Yonkers. Bartlett and Brennan flip-flopped on the lead in July, but by September Brennan seized command with a double-digit advantage. The race narrowed again in late fall, as Brennan’s margin shrunk to eight wins by Nov. 1. By December, the drivers were in a tug of war. Brennan was sure his scheduled vacation in December would crush his chances. “He was creeping back up there pretty quickly,” Brennan said. “But then, I honestly didn’t think it was going to be close when I was taking four days off in December. I thought he would have a comfortable lead after that. I got lucky, got some good mounts, good post positions, and things worked out.” Brennan’s approach to the contest, much like his opponent’s, was to block out the race as much as possible. “You can’t really think about it. You just have to go about your business and try to stay safe and win races,” Brennan said. “There was something going on with the driving title, but in a sense, it’s secondary because you still have to get the job done, you still have to get the most amount of money for your owners and trainers you’re driving for. That’s the number one priority there.” Considering memorable horses or victories on the season, Brennan zeroed in on DW’s NY Yank. The 11-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding has earned 58 wins and $1.5 million in 200 starts. His most recent score came with Brennan in the second race Closing Night, a $17,000 overnight in which DW’s NY Yank aired by 2 easy lengths. It was the pair’s 82nd start and 25th win together. “Some horses I really enjoy driving. Some of those old horses for Burke, like DW’s NY Yank, he’s one of my favorites. I enjoy driving those older horses like that,” Brennan said. “I’ve been driving him now since he was 4 years old. He tries hard. He’s definitely not what he was anymore, but he’s just a lot of fun to drive. He’s tailor-made for a half-mile track.” Although the spotlight was on the drivers for the final few weeks of the racing season, Brennan pointed out that the drivers only comprise a small piece of the puzzle and expressed gratitude for the other hardworking individuals who hand over the lines for two minutes each week. “I just want to thank all the trainers and owners and caretakers that look after and train the horses, because I can’t do it without them. A big thank you to them,” Brennan said. To read Jason Bartlett’s account of the driver’s race, visit http://ustrottingnews.com/bartlett-to-make-case-for-yonkers-driving-title-monday/. Yonkers Raceway opens its 2020 live racing season Monday, January 6. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 7:05 p.m. For entries to the races, visit https://www.empirecitycasino.com/racing/condition-sheets-entries-results/. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 17, 2019--Yonkers Raceway concluded its 2019 calendar Tuesday night (Dec. 17th) with a season-long harness racing dead-heat. George Brennan won four of the closing-night's 11 races--all with wagering favorites--and in doing so caught the idle Jason Bartlett with 427 local wins. Historians were trying to determine if there had been a leading-driver deadlock previously, but couldn't swear either way to that oddity. As for Brennan, he won Tuesday's $17,000, second-race trot with DW's NY Yank ($2.70) in 1:58.4, Showmeyourguns ($2.90) in the $14,500, seventh-race trot (1:58.3), Jet Rock ($4.50) in the $12,500, ninth-race pace (1:55.1) and Westchester-debuting Ginger Tree Marty ($3.70) in the $15.750, 10th-race pace (1:55.2). Brennan's chance to have the big chair all to himself was thwarted when Lord of Misrule was a never-threatening fourth in the $17,000 pacing finale. Yonkers' final 2019 leaderboard story shall be sent in the coming days. The Raceway's 2020 season is scheduled to begin Monday night, Jan. 6th, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – By the time December comes around, the driving and training titles at Yonkers Raceway are usually sewn up. After nearly 11 months of racing and over 2,000 starts by the track’s leading drivers, there is typically little left to be settled in the meet’s final weeks. By December 1, 2018, Jason Bartlett had a 104-win edge on Jordan Stratton. In 2017, Bartlett came into the stretch of the meet with a 153-win margin. However, with two racing days left in the 2019 season, Jason Bartlett and George Brennan are locked in a tight battle for the Yonkers driving title. At December 1, the duo was separated by just three wins, with Brennan ahead 406 to 403. After trading blows throughout the last two weeks, Bartlett brings a three-win margin into Monday night (Dec.16) with 423 wins. It is the closest race in Bartlett’s memory. “Not since I’ve been to Yonkers, never have. Usually by this time, everything is cut and dry of who’s going to get it and who’s not,” Bartlett said. “Between me and George, we drive hard against each other. We’ve always done that. At the end of the day, we still respect each other on and off the track. It’s a good competition, but at the end of the day, we still have a job to do and that’s to win races and get as much money as we can for the trainers.” Although the race is proving a nail-biter, Bartlett had written off the title at the end of stakes season, when Brennan lead by double-digits. However, after Brennan took a week off from Dec. 7 to Dec. 14, Bartlett took a slight edge. “Obviously, in any sport, you want to be number one. At that track, that year, it shows what a good year I had and the hard work I put in,” Bartlett said. “Going through the year, it’s not something you really think about. I was chasing Sire Stakes all year. Obviously, I can’t be in both places on a given night, so you have to give up something. This year, I focused a little bit more on the Sire Stakes, which got me behind a little bit not being at Yonkers all the time. “As the stakes races got done, I was behind him and I kind of just chalked it up that I wasn’t going to catch him,” Bartlett said. “Then I got a little bit closer and he ended up going on his normal annual vacation, so I knew I would be able to close the gap a little bit then.” Bartlett, 38, is chasing his ninth Hilltop title while Brennan, 52, seeks his third. Bartlett saw Brennan as a mentor and an inspiration growing up, making the contest even more meaningful. However, the pair can leave the competition on the track and focus on their work. “He’s a driver that I’ve looked up to my whole life,” Bartlett said. “Being in a competition against him, running for number one, is a pretty big deal for me. Growing up and knowing George and looking up to him. “Between me and him, we’ve never really mentioned (the standings). I know he’s aware of it. Obviously, I’m aware of it. But we’re not driving any different against each other,” Bartlett continued. “You have enough to think about and try to put your horses in the best spot. That’s hard enough. Then you start thinking about George all the time and what I’m doing, is it going to affect George winning the race or not? You can only control what you can control. I can do my best to try to win races, I can control that. I can’t control what he’s doing and whatever else is going on. I try to control what I can and after that, it’s horse racing.” Bartlett enjoyed another season as Yonkers top money-earner, with horses he drove winning $8.3 million through Saturday (Dec. 14). With Brennan away, Bartlett won 12 races last week. He won five races Friday (Dec. 13), including Mach It A Par’s final bow. The Minister of Speed answered with three victories upon his return Saturday, including a wire-to-wire score from post eight with 18-1 upsetter Shoreview. Barlett will drive in all 11 races Monday night (Dec. 16) while Brennan has nine calls. The contest could be decided sooner than expected as Bartlett will miss Closing Night (Dec. 17) as he leaves on his family vacation. Brennan will drive in all 11 races on the Tuesday program. Regardless of the outcome, the contest is validating to Bartlett. “For me, it means I’m doing my job. I’m there to win races and business is good. Every year, you shoot for it. You’ve got to have a little luck along the way and get some horsepower,” Bartlett said. “It’s a job that I love to do, I’m very competitive at it and it’s really nice to go to work and know every race matters. There’s no messing up. I know a lot of people are watching it. The track announcer is right on top of it. It’s nice to see it’s going to come down to the wire and to put a little spin on it, I will not be there the last day, so whatever I get through Monday is it. “Whatever happens, happens. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. And if not, it was fun while we were doing it.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The 2019 season closes Tuesday, Dec. 17 and the 2020 season opener is set for Monday Jan. 6. First post time is 6:50 p.m. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 1, 2019-- A pocketed Write Me a Song (George Brennan, $6.10) picked off harness racing favored I'mprincessgemma A (Joe Bongiorno) nearing the wire Friday night (Nov. 1st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Making the first lead from post position No. 5, Write Me a Song stuffed Tequila Monday (Eric Goodell) in behind before yielding to 7-5 choice I'mprincessgemma A. All that transpired before a 27-second flat opening quarter-mile. It was a rated :56.1 intermission when Tequila Monday made her second move, advancing from third toward a 1:24.3 three-quarters. That lass stalled soon after, with I'mprincessgemma A taking a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. Write Me a Song edged by, however, the final margin three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4. 'Gemma' held second, with ground-savers Robyn Camden (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Angel's Pride (Brent Holland), along with Glenferrie Blade A (Jordan Stratton) coming away with the small change. For second choice Write Me a Song, a 4-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura, it was her ninth win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.40, the triple returned $121 and the superfecta paid $694. Note the Raceway shall open for simulcasting Saturday (Nov. 2nd) at 11:30 AM in advance of Aqueduct's first post of 12 Noon as well as Day Two of Breeders' Cup from Santa Anita (first post 1 PM ET). A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Nov. 2nd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,961.94 and a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 Saturday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- The phrase "short but select" comes to mind when talking about the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Standardbred Development Fund Final (NJSS-SDF) for 3-year-old filly harness racing trotters at Freehold Raceway on Friday.   While there's only five horses in the field, the race features a rubber match between the winners of the first two legs of the series: French Cafe and Sexy Wow.   A winner of two legs of the Kentucky Sire Stakes earlier in the year, French Cafe impressed in the first leg of the NJSS-SDF two weeks ago, defeating Sexy Wow by 1 1/4 lengths. However, Sexy Wow turned the tables in the second leg, sitting a perfect pocket trip to win by 3/4 of a length.   French Cafe will have the post position edge in the final, drawing post position two. Andy Miller will drive, while his wife, Julie, is the trainer. Sexy Wow has the outside post in the five-horse field, with George Brennan in the sulky for trainer Nick Surick.   Marveloustrix, Lady Lone Star, and Taja Mahala round out the field. They finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in the second leg last week. The final is scheduled as the third race on the card, with a scheduled post time of 1:10 PM EDT.   The first of ten races at Freehold on Friday will go postward at 12:30 PM EDT.   From the Freehold Raceway Media Department  

There were no surprises in the first legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund (NJSS-SDF) at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, as heavy harness racing favorites Prince of Tides and Ponder the Odds won their respective divisions. Coming off a big win in the Homegrown Pace, Prince of Tides was sent off as the 1/20 favorite in the first leg for 3-year-old colts & geldings. Driver George Brennan sent him aggressively from post position five. He cleared to the lead before the opening quarter, and never had an anxious moment from there. He crossed the wire three lengths in front, stopping the clock in 1:53. That was the ninth win of the year for the Ross Croghan-trained gelding, who is owned by Let it Ride Stables, Dana Parham, and Howard Taylor. He paid $2.10 to win and $2.10 to place, with no show wagering offered. Reigning Deo made a good first-over move and held on for second, while Trente Deo checked in third. Two races later, Ponder the Odds dominated the first leg for 3-year-old fillies. Off two big wins at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Yonkers Raceway, she was dismissed as the 1/10 favorite. Driver Pat Lachance sent her right to the front, and she opened up a three-length lead at the opening quarter. Longshot Fear No Evil drew close as the field turned for home, but Ponder the Odds brushed off the challenge. She cruised under the wire by 2 1/2 lengths, going the mile in 1:56.2. Ponder the Odds is trained and co-owned by Kathleen La Montagne; Donald La Montagne also owns the horse. She paid $2.20 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Surreality was second, while Stood Up finished third. Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday, October 11, with a first race post time of 12:30 PM EDT. For full results and rentries, click here. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway hosted a pair of harness racing stakes for 2-year-old pacers on Saturday (September 28). In the Renaissance Final for 2-year-old filly pacers, Lucy Lightyear was sent off as the 6/5 favorite, coming off three straight wins. However, Caviart Heather pulled off the upset, winning at 25/1. In the early stages, Joe Bongiorno and Sus kept Lucy Lightyear and Stacy Chiodo parked out through fast fractions. Lucy Lightyear managed to clear to the lead around the second turn, but had to work hard to get there. Meanwhile, Caviart Heather was well back in the early stages, and it didn't look as if she would threaten. However, George Brennan made a daring four-wide move up the backstretch the final time, and Caviart Heather zoomed by everyone and drew off to a convincing win. The final time of 1:55.4 marked a new lifetime top for the Tony Alagna-trained filly, who is owned by Caviart Farms. Earlier in the meet, she won the first two legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund for 2-year-old filly pacers, before finishing a dull fifth in the final and third in last week's elimination. She clearly regained her form here, however, as she picked up her third career win, while pushing her lifetime earnings over the $58,000 mark. Rockin Jukebox won the second stakes race of the day, the NJSS-SDF Final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. He tracked early leader and favorite Columbo most of the way, then angled out and made his move in the stretch. Despite some challenges in the stretch, he held on to win by 1 3/4 lengths at 5/2. His final time of 1:55.1 is a lifetime top. For Rockin Jukebox, it was his second career win, with his first one coming last week in the second leg of the series. He's owned and driven by Russell Foster, and is trained by Megan Foster. Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday, with a first post time of 12:30 PM EDT. The card will include a carryover on the pick five, worth $605.75. That sequence begins in race 5. For entries and race results click here.  From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

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

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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 30, 2019-- A shocking rerun, as Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan, $8.20) successfully authored another down-the-road triumph Friday night (Aug. 30th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Assigned outside her seven foes, Feelin' Red Hot pole-vaulted over all of 'em, working around 3-5 favorite Alexa's Power Jason Bartlett) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. After a :55.4 intermission, Dibaba N (Eric Goodell) tried it meekly first-up from fifth. Meanwhile, Feelin' Red Hot rolled in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters. Taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, she held off Alexa's Power, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:50.4. D G's Elsa (Joe Bongiorno) was a best-of-the-rest three-hole third, with Dibaba N and Safe from Terror (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the remainder. For second choice Feelin' Red Hot, a 6-year-old daughter of Feelin' Friskie co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her 12th win in 27 seasonal starts The exacta paid $16.40, the triple returned $71.50 and the superfecta paid $289.50. Saturday night (Aug. 31st) is one of the Raceway's marquee programs of the season, featuring the 64th Yonkers Trot and 65th Messenger Stakes, both Triple Crown events and both worth $500,000. Companion events--the Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud--each go for more than $120,000. Post time for the dozen-race card is the usual 6:50 PM, with the featured going as races 4 through 7. The Raceway opens for simulcasting Saturday at 11:30 AM in advance of Gulfstream Park's early post time of 12:15 PM. Note that Saratoga Race Course's final weekend has a first post of 12:30 PM through Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2nd). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – Trillions Hanover will have a big harness racing crowd rooting for her in Saturday night’s Lady Maud at Yonkers, and not only because she is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the $122,224 stakes. Trillions Hanover is owned by VIP Internet Stable and a number of partners who are new to the game own her through the fractional ownership group. “We’ve got several newer partners on her,” said Ed O’Connor, VIP Stable’s founder and Managing Partner. “We ended up getting several folks who are not our normal big hitters and they have been ecstatic with her. She’s been a fun horse all the way around and it’s not often you get a horse that’s first or second six-out-of-seven times as a 2-year-old, races huge as a 3-year-old, puts in a good mile just about every single time. She’s been really, really popular with our partnership group.” In addition to VIP Stable’s fractional owners, principal partners Falcon Racing and Paul Lang co-own the filly. A $20,000 yearling at the 2017 Harrisburg sale for trainer Tom Fanning, Trillions Hanover went 4-for-7 at 2, winning the $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series Final at Harrah’s Philadelphia last September. This year at 3, Trillions Hanover has competed in a host of Grand Circuit events, including the Fan Hanover, Lynch, Mistletoe Shalee, and the Shady Daisy. She’s earned $130,968. “It is the absolute best advertising we can possibly have. Seeing a fractional ownership group is involved in these big races really gives credibility to what we’re doing,” O’Connor said. “It shows that we’re able to pick out good horses and put partners in a spot where they can have a lot of fun.  “And we really appreciate when it happens with a horse we bought as a yearling. There’s been several horses who we’ve done really well with, but they’ve been high-dollar purchases, we kind of already knew they were really good,” O’Connor continued. “In situations like that, you’re kind of in a no-win situation; if you do well, you were supposed to do well, if you do bad, you look really bad. This is the opposite. Yearlings, you just never know and when they turn out to do pretty good, it’s just really exciting.” Although Trillions Hanover’s two victories this season came in overnights at the Meadowlands, the Somebeachsomewhere daughter has been competitive on the Grand Circuit. She made the Fan Hanover Final with a third in her elimination at Mohawk June 8 and finished second in the Lynch Consolation at Pocono June 29. However, her biggest performance came on the Hambletonian Day undercard. Off a lifetime best 1:50 win at the Meadowlands July 26, Trillions Hanover started as a 15-1 shot in the Shady Daisy Aug. 3. Starting from the inside, she saved ground as the pace developed and stormed home with a :25.1 final quarter to finish second by a neck to Tall Drink Hanover in a 1:48.0 mile.  “That was super. All year, we knew she was really good, still maturing, has a ton of speed, and seems to have a really good late kick,” O’Connor said. “For whatever reason, we just had never been able to get a really good trip with her. When she was coming off cover, the pace had been slow. One or two times she had been on the front, she went really fast fractions, so we never really had a shot where things were going her way until Hambletonian Day. “She was able to sit in, let a lot of the horses mix it up, up front and she came flying at the end,” O’Connor continued. “I thought she was going to get home and in that kind of time, a 48-mile is huge. Coming home in :25.1, I don’t recall having a horse that’s done that before. It was really exciting, and we were really thrilled with what she did. It’s a good testament to how good she is and how good of a job Tom Fanning has done with her so far.” Trillions Hanover comes into the Lady Maud off two defeats in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes behind star filly Warrawee Ubeaut. Although Trillions Hanover has never raced on a half-mile track, O’Connor said it wasn’t by design and thinks she will handle it well. “I think it’s a coincidence. She’s not a huge horse, so I think she’ll fit in there fine. She’s Pennsylvania sired and she raced a light season last year, so there was really no reason to head over to Yonkers and she’s actually pretty lightly raced this year,” O’Connor said. “This is our first opportunity to head over there and we’re looking at her possibly being a good horse for Yonkers if we end up keeping her next year. That’s just a good spot to make money and if she’s as good on a half-mile track as we think she’s going to be, we think that’s really going to be a good spot for her.” George Brennan will drive Trillions Hanover for the first time in the Lady Maud and the pair will start from post four. Their five rivals include JK American Beauty, who is 3-1 from post one and enters with two wins and another four placings in New York Sire Stakes company this year.  Bestseller Hanover won the Lismore Pace earlier this year for Jason Bartlett and Scott Blacker. She was ninth in the Shady Daisy and won a $17,000 overnight at Pocono last out and is 4-1 from post five. Blue Ivy will start from post two and ships in from Kentucky after off the board finishes in Sire Stakes from tough post positions. Annie Hill and Abuelita Hanover complete the lineup. “It’s kind of an unusual situation. We’ve raced her three times in Sire Stakes and we’ve gotten beat by the best 3-year-old filly in the country and then we got to a more prestigious race like the Lady Maud and we’re pretty significantly down in class,” O’Connor said. “Not that there’s any bad horses in here at all, but there’s no Warrawee Ubeaut in here.  “So, we think it’s a tough race, she’s got to race well, but she’s been racing against the very best 3-year-old fillies in the country in just about every start this year. If she can work herself out a trip, we hope we can come away with a big check at the end,” O’Connor continued. O’Connor hopes to add another Yonkers stakes victory to VIP Stable’s resume. The group co-owned two-time George Morton Levy Series winner Keystone Velocity. “We love racing at Yonkers. We probably race at Yonkers as much as any place,” O’Connor said. “That’s been one of the tracks we’ve looked at as the place we want to go, even back when they were just starting to get the slots there. It’s a prestigious track, this is a prestigious race, and we’re really excited to be in there.” Saturday night’s card also features the $500,000 Messenger Stakes Final, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, and the $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot. The $46,000 Open Handicap Pace supports the stakes-laden 12-race card. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 27, 2019--George Brennan doesn't get his mail delivered to the Westchester harness racing winner's circle. Lately, it's just seemed that way. This past Friday night (Aug. 23rd), Brennan won half of Yonkers Raceway's dozen races. That was child's play. Tuesday night (Aug. 27th), Brennan turned 6-for-12 into 7-for-11, as is one more win with one fewer race. Brennan's night's began with a chalky $6.40 early double when Wild West ($2.80) won the $13,500 pacing opener (1:54.1) and Bigboy Rosco ($4.50) won the $18,500, second-race trot (1:56.1). Win Nos. 3 and 4 were also short wagering reaches as Birch Island Betty ($3.40) took down the $18,500, fourth-race pace (1:53.2) and JK Heaven Sent ($3.90) won the $18,500, sixth-race pace (1:54). Brennan then fooled the public--twice--winning the $13,500, seventh-race pace with Reach for Infinity ($10.60) in 1:54.1 and the $24,000, eighth-race pace with Badix Hanover ($47) in 1:58.3 for the mile-and-one-sixteenth. He ended the evening ripping out of the $18,500, 11th-race pacing pocket with favored Sunken Treasure ($4.60) in 1:53.1. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 23, 2019--Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan, $5.80) successfully authored another installment of 'Catch Me If You Can' Friday night (Aug. 23rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Wasting no time from post position No. 5, Feelin' Red Hot worked around Wisdom Tree (Dexter Dunn) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. Out in :57.2 and home in :54.2 (1:24.4, 1:51.4) figured to make it difficult for the pursuers, and it did. Wisdom Tree and Alexa's Power (Jim Marohn Jr.) wound up inseparable for second, behind three-quarters of a length. A belated 6-5 favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) and Miss You N (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees, while Mach it a Par (Eric Goodell) received lovely parting gifts. For second choice Feelin' Red Hot, a 6-year-old daughter of Feelin' Friskie co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her 11th win in 26 seasonal starts (career 30-for-101, now up over a half-million dollars). The exactas paid $8.30 and $9.50, the triples returned $31.60 and $33.60 and the superfectas paid $72.50 and $68.50 (payoffs listed with Wisdom Tree second, then with Alexa's Power second). For his part, Brennan won half of the evening's dozen races. Friday night's Pick 5, which began with a $8,800-plus carryover and $20,000 guaranteed pool, attracted $33,582 of new coin into the gimmick. It was a 3/6/5/4/4 winning combination returning $206.50 for each correct half-a-buck wager. The Raceway opens for simulcasting Saturday (Aug. 24th) at 11 AM in advance of Saratoga Race Course's first post of 11:35 AM. Post time for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (11th race) is listed at 5:44 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 17, 2019--Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan, $8.30) prevailed from the pocket Friday night (May 17th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. It was a two-speed number as 7-5 choice Twinkle (Brent Holland) stuffed Feelin' Red Hot in behind before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. The leader remained so through a :56.4 intermission and 1:25 three-quarters, with token pressure from Delightfulmemphisn (Jim Marohn Jr.). The early foot--from post position No. 7--would serve the pursuer well. Twinkle owned a length-and-a-quarter lead in and out of the final turn, but Feelin' Red Hot edged out and edged by. The lass, who was quite good in the preliminary rounds of the Blue Chip Matchmaker before a poor effort in the final, prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.3. Delightfulmemphisn continued well for third, with a closing Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) and Glenferrie Blade A (Jordan Stratton) settling for the minors. For third choice Feelin' Red Hot, a 6-year-old daughter of Feelin' Friskie co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her sixth win in 15 seasonal starts (career 25-for-90). The exacta paid $23.20, the triple returned $64.50 and the superfecta paid $403. It was one of Brennan's five winners during the dozen-race program. Yonkers' mutuel windows open at 10 AM Saturday (May 18th) in advance of Pimlico's Preakness Day first post of 10:30 AM.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity

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