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Hesa Kingslayer N improved to three-for-three, Rockapelo repeated impressively, and Western Joe picked up his initial triumph in the event in Monday night's (March 29) trio of $40,000 divisions of the third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for free-for-allers at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Jim Marohn Jr. in the opening section, Hesa Kingslayer N was able to get into the pocket from post four and had a great view of a battle for the lead between Pat Stanley N (Jordan Stratton) and a parked-out None Bettor A (Todd McCarthy). Pat Stanley N gave None Bettor A the cold shoulder through fractions of 27, 56.4, and 1:25, and when None Bettor A began to back up on the final turn, that gave Marohn Jr. and Hesa Kingslayer N the escape route to the outside they needed. Once he had clear sailing, Hesa Kingslayer N pounced on Pat Stanley N, going by him in upper stretch on his way to a 2 1/4 length victory in 1:53. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) was also on the outside throughout in the second-over position and checked in as the runner-up after going three-high on the final bend, and Pat Stanley N held third. HESA KINGSLAYER N REPLAY    Trainer Mike Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelding by Christian Cullen, with partner Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N is now a 20-time winner in his career, and he has now earned $189,962. The 2-5 favorite, Hesa Kingslayer N paid $2.80 to win and led an $8.40 exacta and a $24.00 trifecta. In the next split, Rockapelo (George Brennan) motored directly to the lead from post three and fronted his rivals through opening-half stations of 27 and 55.2. Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno) watched the early proceedings from the three-hole, then came with a quick burst off the third turn that nearly put him on even-terms with Rockapelo as three-quarters went on the board in 1:23.2. Rockapelo was able to fend off Mach N Cheee's bid, though, and when Rockapelo kicked it into another gear entering the lane, Mach N Cheese couldn't match strides with the pace-setter, who went on to an impressive 2 1/4 length victory in 1:51.2. Mach N Cheese did end up second over San Domino A (Todd McCarthy). ROCKAPELO REPLAY   The victorious 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and Phil Collura. Rockapelo now has a record of 21-19-11 from 83 appearances, and he has banked$491,106. Rockapelo, the 2-1 favorite, returned $6.60 to win and was atop a $72.50 exacta and a $148.50 trifecta. Monday night's final flight saw leg one winner Lyons Steel (Austin Siegelman) charge out to early command from post two, but round two victor Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) was out and on the move from third, and Backstreet Shadow landed on the point after the quick 26.3 opening quarter. Backstreet Shadow would go on to the half in 55.3, with Ostro Hanover (Tyler Buter) coming first-up from fourth prior to that marker and Western Joe (Dexter Dunn) grabbing the cover to sit second-over. Ostro Hanover advanced on the rim into second before the 1:23.2 three-quarters, but that was as far as he could get as Backstreet Shadow rebuffed any further headway. Meanwhile, Western Joe had gapped on the third turn and into the backstretch, but after being high-lined along by Dunn, he caught back up to Ostro Hanover entering the far turn before going three-wide. Backstreet Shadow still looked good as he turned into the lane first, but Western Joe had a full head of steam on the far outside, and he powered by Backstreet Shadow on his way to a two length score in 1:51.4. Backstreet Shadow came in second, a nose better than Lyons Steel. WESTERN JOE REPLAY   Western Joe is a 7-year-old Western Ideal gelding trained by Chris Choate for co-owner/breeder Anthony Ruggeri and co-owner Richard Tosies. Western Joe picked up lifetime win 32 from 104 trips behind the gate, and he has now put away $761,858. Western Joe, sent off as the 2-1 second choice, paid $6.40 to win and keyed a $10.20 exacta and a $37.20 trifecta.   The MGM Borgata Pacing Series has two preliminary rounds remaining on Monday, April 5 and Monday, April 12. The final is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 19. Stakes action continues at Yonkers Raceway later this week. On Wednesday (March 31), there are four $20,000 divisions of the first leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series, with early season stars Some Chapter (race four, Dexter Dunn/Anette Lorentzon) and Get Legs (race seven, Andy Miller/Julie Miller) among the entrants. On Friday (April 2), two $35,000 splits of the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares will take place. Leg one winner Blue Ivy (post five, Tyler Buter/Todd Buter) heads the first section (race two), and then in the second flight (race three), Machnhope (post four, Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley), a two-time victor in the event, returns from a one-week break to battle with Snobbytown (post three, George Brennan/Ron Burke), who scored in Matchmaker action a week ago. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Alexa Skye was expected to face her toughest test of the year in the second of two $35,000 divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway. However, when two mares were scratched prior to the race, reducing the field to just five, the task was made considerably easier for driver Todd McCarthy. Nevertheless, it took two early moves for the 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to secure the front, but the rest was once again quite easy as Alexa Skye made it three straight conquests in the series, scoring by a comfortable margin in 1:53.4. My Ruebe Star N (Jordan Stratton) left alertly, as did Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter). The pair were directly inside Alexa Skye, the race favorite, and McCarthy settled in third as My Ruebe Star N seated Blue Ivy and marched towards the opening quarter. Alexa Skye moved before the quarter had been passed, secured the lead after the 27.4 quarter, and from there was in control. After a 29.4 second quarter, McCarthy and Alexa Skye had all of the rest time they needed and quickly marched off with a 28 second flat third quarter, gaining some separation from My Ruebe Star N as Buter and Blue Ivy moved to the outside to try to track down the leader. McCarthy felt the urgency of the threat that Blue Ivy, a first leg winner, posed and began to urge Alexa Skye on coming off the final turn. He kept active in the bike, and it certainly woke up the sharp mare as she sprinted off with a 28.1 kicker, keeping Blue Ivy at bay, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closing strongly late for third. ALEXA SKYE REPLAY   Trained and co-owned by Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing LLC., Alexa Skye was a winner for the sixth time in 2021 and is just $250 shy of the $100,000 mark in seasonal earnings. This was her 15th victory overall, and she now has banked $209,890 lifetime. Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, Alexa Skye returned $2.80 to win and keyed a $4.80 exacta and a $12.60 triple. In the first $35,000 division, 1-2 favorite Snobbytown took command shortly past the start and went wire-to-wire for driver George Brennan and trainer Ron Burke. It was the first win in the series for the 5-year-old mare. Snobbytown cut fractions of 27.4 and 57.1 for the opening half, and then discarded token pressure by Maczaffair N (Stratton) past the halfway mark. Snobbytown remained in control at three-quarters, which she put up in 1:25.1, and Brennan was able to keep pocket-sitter Caviart Cherie (Kakaley) locked in until the late stages to secure a safe margin while pacing a 29.1 final quarter in the 1:54.2 mile. Caviart Cherie held down the place spot, with Keep Rockin A (Tim Tetrick) making a solid advance for third. Maczaffair N faded to fourth after a long first-over grind. SNOBBYTOWN REPLAY   Snobbytown, a daughter of Nob Hill High, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and Jason Melillo. Snobbytown, who paid $3.10 for the victory as the 1-2 choice, now has a record of 20-16-6 from 49 appearances, and she has put away $376,755. The exacta came back at $12 and triple returned $44.40. Two more preliminary rounds remain in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday, April 2 and Friday, April 9. The final is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 19. The third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will be the feature on Monday night's card at Yonkers Raceway, with three $40,000 divisions on the 10-race program. Yonkers races Monday through Friday night with a first post time at 7:15 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Pettycoat Business delivered as the 1-5 harness racing favorite in the $57,800 M Life Rewards Pacing Series final for fillies and mares on Tuesday night (March 23) at Yonkers Raceway, scoring in a 1:54.1 mile. The 27-1 long shot Dragon Roll (Jason Bartlett) had a great start from post seven and led early, but driver George Brennan moved Pettycoat Business from second to first before the 27.3 opening quarter. Pettycoat Business then backed down the tempo to 56.4 at the half, giving her the tactical advantage. Turnthefrownaround (Joe Bongiorno), who had gone three-for-three in preliminary round action in the series, stepped out first-over from third after the half-mile clocking went on the board, but she was unable to advance to the 1:25 three-quarters and around the final turn, allowing Dragon Roll to slip to the outside and Paige's Girl (Scott Zeron) to come through on the pylons. Despite the well-rated tempo, it looked like Pettycoat Business might be vulnerable entering the lane as Dragon Roll loomed boldly and Paige's Girl was waiting for a possible seam on the inside. Pettycoat Business responded gamely when called on by Brennan, though, and she stayed in front to the finish line, defeating Paige's Girl by half a length. Dragon Roll wound up third, following by Ready Set Rock (Austin Siegelman) and Turnthefrownaround.   M LIFE REWARDS PACING SERIES FINAL   A 4-year-old Art Major mare, Pettycoat Business is trained by Scott Di Domenico for co-owner/breeder Michael Robinson and his ownership partners Robert Mondillo, R.B.H. Ventures Inc., and Gilbilly Stable. Pettycoat Business now has a record of 6-5-4 from 20 tries, and she has earnd $174,873. Pettycoat Business, who paid $2.40 to win, led a $6.90 exacta and a $73.00 trifecta. There was also a $25,000 M Life Rewards Pacing Series consolation on the card, and 3-5 choice P L Nelly (Dan Dube) was victorious by two lengths in a life's-best clocking of 1:56.1. She posted fractions of 28.3, 58.3, and 1:27.1 on her way to downing first-over challenger Pray The Rosary (Brent Holland) and pocket-sitter Special Achiever (Jordan Stratton). Juan Cano trains P L Nelly, a 4-year-old daughter of Big Jim, for owner Leo Marino. P L Nelly picked up her fourth win in her 29th start, and she has now banked $46,924. P L Nelly paid $3.50 to win and was atop a $14.60 exacta and a $37.20 trifecta. Stakes action continues at Yonkers tomorrow night (March 24), as the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series for colts and geldings concludes with a $58,400 final and a $25,000 consolation. Then on Friday (March 26), the pacing mares in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will be in action in two $35,000 divisions of the third leg of that event. The fields are also set for Monday's (March 29) third round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, with three $40,000 splits slated to go behind the gate in races four, five, and six. Hesa Kingslayer N, who is two-for-two in the series thus far, heads the first division, round winners Rockapelo and San Domino A will clash in the second flight, and leg one victor Lyons Steel hooks up with the likes of round two winner Backstreet Shadow in the final section. Yonkers Raceway is also pleased to announce that beginning with Monday night's card, there will be a 10 percent purse increase. Conditions sheets displaying the new purses are available on Yonkers Raceway's website. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Harness racing driver George Brennan drew a pair of aces for the pair of M Life finals scheduled on Tuesday (3/23) and Wednesday (3/24) at Yonkers Raceway. The leading driver at the track with 66 wins (through 3/21) drew post 1 in the $57,800 final for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares as well as the $58,400 companion race for similarly-aged boys. Series standout Pettycoat Business was programmed as the 8-5 morning-line choice with Brennan in the bike for Tuesday's sixth race final for the girls. The 4-year-old Art Major-sired mare comes into the race off consecutive wins in legs two and three of the series for trainer Scott DiDomenico and owners Michael Robinson, Robert Mondillo, RBH Ventures and Gilbilly Stable. A week ago, Pettycoat Business marched down the road in 1:54 1/5 to post the fastest winning mile of the series. She also owns the fastest career mark in the field by far, a 1:50 3/5 victory at The Red Mile in 2020. "I generally don't pick off a Ronnie Burke horse (Turnthefrownaround), we have been such a team for so many years, but I think she is faster than the other ones," said Brennan. "She is a little on the aggressive side, which I don't like, but she went last week in (1:)54, which I think is just faster than the rest can go. "I hope I can control it. About four starts back she had an outside post and I just looped her right to the lead. So she has that speed. With $50,000 on the line I just might have to get aggressive with her again." Pettycoat Business is not the only talented young lady in the field. Starting just to her outside in post 2 is Turnthefrownaround. The Ron Burke-trained mare is looking for the series sweep and her fifth win of 2021. Joe Bongiorno drives the 3-1 morning-line option. The other multiple-leg winner in the field is Paige's Girl. She started twice in the series and won both times for the team of driver Scott Zeron and trainer Lance Hudson. The Captaintreacherous daughter will begin from post 5 on Tuesday. Rounding out the field from the inside out are: Flirty Forty (post 3, Brent Holland), Sound Idea (post 4, Jordan Stratton), Ready Set Rock (post 6, Austin Siegelman), Dragon Roll (post 7, Jason Bartlett) and Avaya Hanover (post 8, Dan Dube). Brennan again finds himself with the pole position in Wednesday's final for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings. He'll steer Lou's Sweetrevenge as part of a 6-5 morning-line entry along with the Ron Burke-trained entrymate Rolling With Sam (post 5). Brennan drove both geldings in each of the three preliminary legs of the series and had to make a choice in the final. "I like both horses," said Brennan. "Lou's Sweetrevenge, like the mare I'm racing for Scottie DiDomenico on Tuesday, he's really lazy, but last week he came off the car from the inside really good. He got pressured and I had to go 27 (seconds). I wish I didn't get pushed that quarter because I think I could've given Diamondbeach more of a fight if I didn't have to use my horse. He's in a good spot and hopefully I can get him off on the right foot." A winner in the first leg of the M Life, Lou's Sweetrevenge was a no-match second-best behind multiple leg winner Diamondbeach last week, but that foe was unlucky at the draw and will have to overcome post 8. It was a similar fate for fellow multi-leg winners Scootnroll and Dragon Said as they drew outside posts 6 and 7, respectively. "My job is to hold the 2 off, because he has speed, too," said Brennan, referring to Cigar Smoking Tony with Jason Bartlett driving. "The 7 and 8 will both be coming at some point. Hopefully I can work out the best possible trip." Salt Life (post 3, Mark MacDonald) and Retour Au Jeu (post 4, Jordan Stratton) complete the field of eight in the race seven final. Brennan also drives the 9-5 morning-line chalk Somebeachsomefra from post 6 in Tuesday's consolation event for the ladies and the 3-1 second choice Sailboat Hanover from pylon position on Wednesday in the consolation event for the guys. Both races go for a purse of $25,000. Tuesday and Wednesday both feature 10-race cards with a starting post-time of 7:15 PM. From Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – At the start of the M Life Ladies Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway March 2, Pettycoat Business had the resume to be the series favorite on paper. Unraced at 2, the Art Major daughter emerged from a winter break following in 3-year-old season in the Brian Brown stable that included placings in a leg of the New York Sire Stakes, two legs and the final of the Kentucky Sire Stakes, the $107,320 Adio Volo at the Meadows, the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park, and a victory in an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic. Pettycoat Business also made the final of the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing fillies.  Although she earned $125,673 last year, Pettycoat Business only won three races, making her a perfect fit for the M Life Ladies Pacing Series for 3-year-old fillies and 4-year-old mares who had not won 4 pari-mutuel races or $50,000 as of December 1, 2020. The ownership group of Michael Robinson, Robert Mondillo, RBH Ventures, Inc., and Gilbilly Stable sent Pettycoat Business to Scott Di Domenico. “The ownership sent her up here with the thought of her being pretty good for this series. Fortunately, I got the call for that,” Di Domenico said. “She’s a nice mare. I got her to train just out of the winter break. We trained her back. I’ve been training horses for the majority ownership of her for a while now. They’re good to me and gave me an opportunity with her.” Pettycoat Business qualified a winner at Dover Downs Feb. 1 before making her Yonkers debut Feb. 24 in a $14,000 overnight. She was welcomed with post eight and despite the daunting position, made the lead in a :27.2 opening quarter and led the field through fractions of :56 and 1:24.1 before pacing home in :30.1 to finish second, beaten by Paige’s Girl. “She’s a big, strong mare. We qualified her down at Dover, she had a nice qualifier. Brought her up to Yonkers the first week. She had the eight hole and we had her closed off, had a blind bridle on her and she was really, really aggressive. She set some hot fractions that night just because she was pretty wild,” Di Domenico explained. “We made some equipment changes to her out of that start. Since then, she’s been pretty professional and done what George (Brennan) has asked of her.” Pettycoat Business set the pace, but finished third in the series first leg, scored an off-the-pace win in the second leg, and powered away from the field for a 4-length victory in 1:54.1 in the final preliminary leg March 16 to earn a place in the $57,800 series final Tuesday night (March 23). Pettycoat Business drew post one in the final and will have regular driver George Brennan in the sulky. The pair are 8-5 on the morning line. The reinsman had his choice of Pettycoat Business and Turnthefrownaround, a 4-year-old Roll With Joe daughter trained by Ron Burke who went a perfect 3-for-3 in the series preliminaries, all with Brennan in the sulky. Turnthefrownaround will start from post two in the final in her faceoff with Pettycoat Business and Joe Bongiorno will take over the assignment. She is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.  Paige’s Girl only started in two of the three series preliminary legs, but took both of them in gate-to-wire fashion. The Lance Hudson trainee drew post five in the final and is 5-1 on the morning line with Scott Zeron in the bike. Flirty Forty, Sound Idea, Ready Set Rock, Dragon Roll, and Avaya Hanover complete the lineup. “I like that I have the rail and I like that I have George Brennan,” Di Domenico said. “You can’t take anything away from those other mares, too. They’ve done a really good job through the first few weeks of it. It’s a horse race and anything can happen.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Yacht Seelster had never been driven by George Brennan, and a week ago, the Nik Drennan trainee displayed blazing speed before getting nipped at odds of 70-1 on the money by Colossal Stride A, yet somehow, with a new driver and a different tactic, Yacht Seelster won the Saturday night harness racing feature at The Meadowlands. "They were leaving too fast for me," said Brennan of the early stages of the $20,000 high-end conditioned pace. "I'm looking for the best trip I can get. And it looked like it was going to work out for me." Lexus Witha View A flew off the gate to grab the lead at the quarter in :27.1 as Tito Rocks sat the pocket with 9-5 second choice Ashley Locaz N on the move going after the lead. Brennan and 'Yacht' sat fifth, right in behind the 8-5 public choice Colossal Stride A, waiting for that one to make a move. "I slid in behind him," said Brennan. "I thought he was the horse to beat." Colossal Stride A had such a quick burst of speed down the backstretch that Yacht Seelster had to catch up to his cover, and when Ashley Locaz N did not relinquish the top to Colossal Stride A, Brennan was sitting pretty. In mid-stretch, after three-quarters was timed in an unspectacular 1:23.4, Brennan tipped Yacht Seelster off his cover and gunned down Colossal Stride A at the wire after Ashley Locaz N weakened in the lane. "I didn't know if I had enough to get there," said Brennan. "But [Colossal Stride A] was pretty tough, and some others were swarming in on the outside. I thought I could get up." Racing in the five-path for the final eighth, Yacht Seelster got there by a head in 1:51. Colossal Stride A was second with a fast-closing Franco Totem N gabbing the show spot. As the 5-1 fourth choice in the betting, Yacht Seelster returned $13.80 to his backers. The 6-year-old son of Shadow Play-Yankee Athena, who is owned by Donald Lindsey, Paul Kleinpaste and William Alempijevic, now has 16 wins from 87 career starts and earnings of $236,600.   A COOL DOZEN: All-source wagering totaled $3,147,829. There have been 12 Saturday night programs at The Big M this year, and all 12 have seen betting surpass the $3-million plateau. A COOL HALF-DOZEN: The 20-cent Pick-6 did not see many big prices, but those with winning tickets cashed in huge nonetheless. With a $7,384 carryover serving as the catalyst, the pool totaled $43,520 when all bets were taken. After a sequence that saw winner's odds of 3-2, 5-2, 5-1, 4-1, 9-5 and 8-5, those who hit walked away with $6,568. A LITTLE MORE: Five drivers accounted for 10 of the 13 winners on the program as Simon Allard, Yannick Gingras, Corey Callahan, Andy McCarthy and Todd McCarthy all scored twice. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands  

Freehold, NJ --- Last week, harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver George Brennan won the Preferred Handicap pace at Freehold Raceway with the favorite from the outside post. For Saturday's (March 20) edition, it was like deja vu.   While Bettor Memories prevailed last week, they teamed up this time with Yankee Roller A, who crushed the field by 1 1/4 lengths in Saturday's feature race.   Despite the outside post, Yankee Roller A went off at 3/5. As soon as the race started, Brennan sent his drive towards the lead, clearing to the front before they got to the opening quarter. Once he made the front, Brennan slowed things down. He went the opening quarter in a relatively slow 27 4/5 seconds, followed by a half-mile split in 57 1/5 seconds.   Heading past three-quarters in 1:26 1/5, Brennan began to open up a bit with Yankee Roller A. With the rest of the field stuck behind the slow early pace, he turned on the jets, opening up in the stretch and getting the last quarter in 27 2/5 seconds. No one had much hope of catching Yankee Roller A from there, and he cruised under the wire as much the best. The final time was 1:53 3/5.   YANKEE ROLLER A REPLAY       Yankee Roller A has an impressive 2021 campaign so far. Since joining the Burke Brigade at the start of the year, he's won six times from eight races, while earning $32,575. His career earnings are now almost $140,000.   Dongal Rundlscrk N, Capozzo, Best Honey Hanover, Hot Deuce, Soho Chelsea A, and Tisadream N completed the order of finish.   Live racing at Freehold resumes on Friday, March 26, starting at about 12:30 PM. There will be a double pick 5 carryover on the card, $1,940.02.   For full race results, click here.   From Freehold Raceway  

Three $15,000 divisions of the third and final preliminary round of the M Life Rewards Ladies Pacing Series for fillies and mares were the featured races on Tuesday night's (March 16) card at Yonkers Raceway. Pettycoat Business, Paige's Girl, and Turnthefrownaround were victorious, with the first two picking up their second wins in the series, and Turnthefrownaround improving to three-for-three. Pettycoat Business (George Brennan), sent off at 1-9, took over the lead going to the 28 second opening quarter in the first flight, then proceeded to cruise through a 56.4 half and a 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a four length tally in 1:54.1. Dragon Roll (Jason Bartlett) finished second from the pocket, with Flirty Forty (Matt Kakaley) third. A 4-year-old Art Major mare, Pettycoat Business is trained by Scott Di Domenico for co-owner/breeder Michael Robinson and his ownership partners Robert Mondillo, R.B.H. Ventures Inc., and Gilbilly Stable. Pettycoat Business now has a record of 5-5-4 from 19 tries, and she has earned $145,973. Pettycoat Business, who paid $2.10 to win, led a $3.20 exacta and a $5.30 trifecta.   Similar tactics worked for driver Scott Zeron with Paige's Girl in the next section, as she posted fractions of 29, 57.3, and 1:26.3 on her way to a 1 3/4 length victory in a final time of 1:55.4. P L Nelly (Daniel Dube) was second at 17-1, and Avaya Hanover (Joe Bongiorno) finished third at odds of 31-1. Lance Hudson trains Paige's Girl, a 4-year-old by Captaintreacherous, for owner William Hartt. Paige's Girl is now an eight-time winner from 19 lifetime efforts, and she has pocketed $64,441. Paige's Girl returned $6.40 to win as the 2-1 second choice and topped a $70.50 exacta and a $341.50 trifecta. Brennan also guided Turnthefrownaround to a 1:55.2 triumph in the last split. Turnthefrownaround pulled out of the pocket on the way to the 28.2 opening quarter and cleared Ready Set Rock (Austin Siegelman) past that marker to take over command. Turnthefrownaround never really had an anxious moment from there as she sailed through a 57.2 half and a 1:26.4 three-quarters before sealing the deal with a 28.3 final panel. She defeated Ready Set Rock by 2 1/4 lengths, with Break The Deal (Zeron) third. The winner is a 4-year-old daughter of Roll With Joe and is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and Phil Collura. Turnthefrownaround scored her seventh victory in her 32nd trip behind the gate, and she has now banked $144,660. Turnthefrownaround paid $2.80 to win as the 2-5 favorite and headed an exacta that paid $11.20, and a trifecta that kicked back $35.40. The M Life Rewards Ladies Pacing Series wraps up next Tuesday night (March 23) with the $57,800 final and $25,000 consolation. Series standings are available on Yonkers Raceway's website. In other news from Tuesday night's card, 14-year-old Striking Sahbra gelding Watkins won the $9,500 third race trot from post eight in 1:58.4, vaulting past the $1 million mark in lifetime earnings. Watkins is trained and owned by Michael Annunziata, and Jordan Stratton was in the bike. Stakes racing continues at Yonkers on Wednesday (March 17) with the last leg of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series for colts and geldings. Then, on Friday (March 19), pacing mares clash in three $35,000 divisions of the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Alexa Skye, Blue Ivy, and Machnhope, who were victorious in the first leg of that event, have drawn in separate races again this time. The fields for Monday's (March 22) second leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series have also been set, with 30 entrants divided into four $40,000 races. First round winners Leonidas A (post one, Austin Siegelman/Sheena McElhiney) and San Domino A (post two, Todd McCarthy/Nancy Takter) lock horns in the third split, and two of the other leg one victors, Hesa Kingslayer N (post two, Jim Marohn Jr./Michael Deters) and Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn/Richard "Nifty" Norman), head up Monday's last MGM Borgata tilt. First race post time for all of that upcoming action is 7:15 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- The outside post was no deterrent for Bettor Memories at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (March 13), as he cruised to an easy win in the Preferred Handicap pace.   Despite the outside post, Bettor Memories went off as the 3/2 favorite in his Freehold debut. Driver George Brennan sent him directly to the lead, and crossed over to the pylons without much trouble before the opening quarter. Bettor Memories got the opening quarter in a sharp 27.4, then slowed it down for a 57.1 half mile.   At the three-quarter point, Brennan began to open up his drive, and got through three-quarters in 1:25.3. No one was able to seriously challenge the leader in the stretch, and Bettor Memories cruised under the wire a length in front, stopping the clock in a sharp 1:53.3.       That's the first win of the year for Bettor Memories, and his 36th score lifetime. His earnings are now more than $727,000. He's owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and Phillip Collura, and trained by Ron Burke.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday (March 19), starting at about 12:30 PM.   For full race results, click here.   From Freehold Raceway    

Turnthefrownaround improved to two-for-two in this year's M Life Rewards Ladies Pacing Series for harness racing fillies and mares at Yonkers Raceway with a 1:56.4 victory in Tuesday night's (March 9) last of three splits. The other divisional winners were Paige's Girl and Pettycoat Business. Driven by George Brennan, Turnthefrownaround worked out a second-over trip behind Break The Deal (Scott Zeron) and was sent three-wide on the last turn. Turnthefrownaround rallied steadily after being fed the clear racetrack, and she would get up in the lane to win by half a length. 27-1 shot Avaya Hanover (Joe Bongiorno) turned a pocket trip from the outside post seven into a runner-up finish, and Pray The Rosary (Jim Marohn Jr.), who led through fractions of 27.3, 57.4, and 1:26.1, wound up third.       The winner is a 4-year-old daughter of Roll With Joe and is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and Phil Collura. Turnthefrownaround scored her sixth victory in her 31st trip behind the gate, and she has now banked $137,160. Turnthefrownaround returned $3.10 to win as the 1-2 favorite and headed an exacta that paid $108.50, and a trifecta that kicked back $302. Brennan also scored with 3-5 choice Pettycoat Business in the second flight. Positioned fourth at the 28.2 opening quarter and the 57.3 half, Brennan sent Pettycoat Business out first-over just beyond the latter marker. She hustled up quickly into second on the outside, but leader Sound Idea (Zeron) proved a stubborn foe, and Pettycoat Business and Sound Idea would duel to the 1:25.4 three-quarters, around the final turn, and into the lane. Pettycoat Business finally got the measure of Sound Idea for good through the drive, and the favorite would score by half a length in 1:54.3. Sound Idea was a game second, and Dragon Roll (Jason Bartlett) took third from the pocket.       A 4-year-old Art Major mare, Pettycoat Business is trained by Scott Di Domenico for co-owner/breeder Michael Robinson and his ownership partners Robert Mondillo, R.B.H. Ventures Inc., and Gilbilly Stable. Pettycoat Business now has a record of 4-5-4 from 18 tries, and she has earned $138,473. Pettycoat Business, who paid $3.20 to win, led a $5.60 exacta and an $8.70 trifecta. Paige's Girl (Scott Zeron), the 5-2 second choice, won Tuesday night's opening section after leading from start to finish. She darted to the point from post four, posted stations of 28.3, 57.4, and 1:25.3, and held sway in a 28.4 final kicker, prevailing by a head in 1:54.2. Rable (Jordan Stratton) rallied three-wide in the lane after sitting third and was second, and Somebeachsomefra (Brennan) checked in third after stalking the winner from the two-hole.       Lance Hudson trains Paige's Girl, a 4-year-old by Captaintreacherous, for owner William Hartt. Paige's Girl is now a seven-time winner from 18 lifetime efforts, and she has pocketed $56,941. Paige's Girl returned $7.20 to win and topped a $14.00 exacta and a $26.20 trifecta. The M Life Rewards Ladies Pacing Series has one more preliminary round next Tuesday (March 16) before the final on March 23. Stakes action continues on Wednesday night's (March 10) ten-race program at Yonkers with the second leg of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series. Three splits, carded as races three, five, and seven, will take place. First post is at 7:15 p.m. EST. From Yonkers Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing history was made at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, as Podium Girl wrapped up the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund series with a bang. She won the $56,000 final for 2-year-old pacing fillies in 1:54.3, equaling the track record.   Off an impressive win in the first leg of the series two weeks ago, she was sent off as the 1/5 favorite in the field of eight. Driver George Brennan had her in the pocket early on, off In High Cotton, but soon moved her to the front and got her to the lead at the half. She maintained a comfortable lead going by three-quarters, and pulled away in the stretch to win by 3 1/2 lengths.       Podium Girl's win marks the third time a 2-year-old filly has paced in 1:54.3 at Freehold. The mark was first set by Darlin's Delight, who won the Molly Pitcher on August 20, 2005. It was then equaled by I Kill Time, while winning the NJSS-SDF Final on September 25, 2010.   For Podium Girl, Saturday's win marks her fifth career win from eleven starts, and pushes her career earnings past the $104,000 mark. She's owned by Henderson Farms, Robert Mondillo, and Barry Spak, and trained by Chris Ryder.   Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Friday, October 30, starting at 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway hosted the $48,000 Renaissance Pace for two-year-old fillies Saturday (October 3).    Harness racing driver Daniel Dube was looking for a stakes sweep, driving Significant Other. He went out to a clear lead with his filly, and led turning for home at 36/1. However, favored Podium Girl closed strongly from the back of the pack, and got up to win by 3/4 of a length.   She paced the mile in 1:57.2, for her third win of her career. George Brennan was in the bike, for owners Henderson Farms, Robert Mondillo, and Barry Spak, and trainer Chris Ryder.       The first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers was expected to be a coronation for King James Express. Off a string of stakes wins, he was the 1/5 favorite in the field of six. However, he broke stride twice, costing him a chance at victory.   Meanwhile, second choice Captain Fancy saved ground off the leader, then got by early leader Not Today to win by 1 3/4 lengths. He avenged his defeat to King James Express in the Renaissance last week with this win. He went the mile in 1:58, for owners Vincent Ali, Alma Iafelice, and Theodore Gewertz, trainer Bill MacKenzie, and driver Dan Dube.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday, with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway      

Freehold Raceway will celebrate the harness racing luck of the Irish on Friday the 13th this year, when they play host to the annual St. Patrick's Day Pace.   The race is scheduled as the fourth on the ten-race program. As usual, the race features a lineup of all Irish drivers.   The field, from the rail out, consists of Classic River, with George Brennan, JV'z Dream, with Ron Burke, Happilyeverfaster, for Jim Whelan, Anotherprettyface, with last year's winner, Jack Killeen, Our Royal Majesty, for Jack Baggitt Jr, Nora's Tandt, with Mike Whelan, Dear Diary, with Irish Joe Hanney, and J Danae, for Anthony Haughan.   Race sponsor, Peter Grandich & Co,. will make a presentation to the winning driver after the race.   The first race on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 PM EDT.   From Freehold Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – The Standardbred Owners Association of New York will make a presentation to the 2019 leading drivers and trainer at Yonkers Raceway Monday night (March 2). Drivers Jason Bartlett and George Brennan, who dead-heated for the most wins last season with 427 each, and trainer Scott Di Domenico, who dominated the trainer’s standings with 180 victories, will each be recognized for their achievements on the racetrack The driver’s race became one of the highlights of the 2019 season at Yonkers and put an unexpected twist on the final few days of racing. After nearly 11 months of competition 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. For instance, by Dec. 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 were locked in a tight battle for the Yonkers driving title. At Dec. 1, the duo was separated by just three wins, with Brennan ahead 406 to 403. After trading blows throughout December, Bartlett brought a three-win margin into the penultimate night of competition (Dec.16) with 423 wins. It was the closest race in Bartlett’s memory. “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.” Bartlett drove four winners on the penultimate card to Brennan’s two, giving the former a 427-423 edge going into the final night of racing Dec. 17. Adding a further complication to the contest, Bartlett missed the final card due to a previously scheduled family vacation. Brennan won four of the first 10 races on the Closing Night program, tying the standings at 427 and had a chance to take sole possession in the final race with Lord Of Misrule. However, when that pacer finished fourth, the standings were final. After 2,657 races from January 7 through December 17, the contest ended in a dead heat. “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 said. “I just went about my business and that’s how it ended. It’s a lot of work, a lot of dedication, good clients. It means a lot. “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.” Bartlett and Brennan both experienced memorable wins in the final week of racing. Bartlett drove Mach It A Par to victory Friday, Dec. 13 in her final career start. The $1.1 million-earning mare aired by 4 1/2 lengths in her bow, her 82nd start and 17th win with Bartlett. Brennan scored with 11-year-old millionaire trotter DW’s NY Yank on the final night of racing in the pair’s 82nd start and 25th win together. Bartlett, 38, won his ninth Hilltop title while Brennan, 52, earned 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. “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.” “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. While Bartlett and Brennan battled to the wire for the driving title, Scott Di Domenico enjoyed an insurmountable lead in the training ranks. The 38-year-old harnessed 180 winners at Yonkers in 2019, 27 more than 2018 champion Rene Allard. It is Di Domenico’s first training title at Yonkers, a goal the he has been working toward for years. He was second in the standings last year with 160 wins and third in 2017 with 117. “It was great. To do that, it’s been something that I’ve been close to a few times over the last three or four years, but never got it solidified. To be able to get it done last year was really special,” Di Domenico said. “It was never anything that I was praying every night that I would get, but you work hard every day and you strive for goals and you strive to win races. When it all comes together like it did, it was really gratifying.” Allard topped the standings through July, but Di Domenico took over a narrow lead in August. Di Domenico extended the margin through the end of the season. However, which such a long season, the title wasn’t something Di Domenico focused on nightly. “Never gave it a lot of thought. Just tried to have our head down working hard and tried to come to work every night prepared and tried to win races,” he said. “The rest of it, it was going to work out one way or the other. I’m glad it worked out the way it did, but it was never something that you sat there every night getting your voodoo doll out and hoping the other guy didn’t win any races.” By mid-November, when he enjoyed a lead of more than 30 victories, Di Domenico could finally step back and look at the big picture. “It was looking promising, it really started to set in, in the middle of November. I was paying more attention to it than I had been at any other point in the year,” Di Domenico said. “But you still try to work hard, and you didn’t want to let up on the gas any to not be able to win. Just tried to stay on the same plan we were on the whole year and tried to keep buying horses and have fresh horses coming in and out all the time and doing the best we could.” Di Domenico averaged 60 to 70 horses in his stable throughout 2019, most of which were pointed to Yonkers, where he made 810 starts last season. Di Domenico credits owners Dana Parham and Jo Ann Fucci not only for being great clients, but also for being great for the industry. “Last year we took kind of a step up. As always, as it’s been since I’ve been out here, Yonkers was my main focus,” Di Domenico said. “All of (the owners), they’re the key to any success. If you don’t have good clientele behind you and guys that are ambitious about buying horses, ambitious about racing, then it is what it is. You’ve got to have people that are ambitious about it and want to win as much as you do.” One of the highlights to Di Domenico’s season was the development of trotter Swansea. The Swan For All gelding joined Di Domenico’s stable in late 2018 and rose through the ranks in 2019. He won three preliminary legs of the SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series last spring before finishing second in the $75,000 Final. Swansea then made the leap to the Open Handicap, winning three local trotting features before year-end. For the season, he went 14-for-29 and earned $255,815. “He was a horse that came from Indiana that nobody had any real high expectations of and to see him come here and make $250,000 and win a lot of races,” Di Domenico said. “He had a little bit of bad luck in the Trotting Series Final in the spring where the trip didn’t work for him as well as we were hoping that night. That horse, he’d have to be at the top of the list. “That series, three horses that really stood out to me now that you can look back on it, Swansea, Joey Bats, and Rich And Miserable,” Di Domenico continued. “It says a lot about that series and it shows how tough that racing can be at Yonkers.” Di Domenico also praised his team for the training title win. “It’s special, those guys work hard every day and certainly they deserve a lot of the credit,” he said. “They’re in the thick of going to the races every night, getting home late, up early, and taking great care of the horses. They certainly deserve a lot of credit for that.” Looking ahead to 2020, Di Domenico hopes for continued success and has his sights set on a repeat. “I’d like to do it again,” Di Domenico said. “It was fun and just the fact that you go to the track and most nights you feel like you’re prepared and you have as good a chance as any to win is a very good feeling. Going home after winning a race or two races is very gratifying.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The M Life Rewards Ladies Series begins Monday night, March 2 while the M Life Rewards Gents Series kicks off Tuesday, March 3. The Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will return Friday, March 13 and the Borgata Pacing Series starts Saturday, March 14. First post time is 7:05 p.m. For entries to the races, By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 28, 2020-- Prohibitive favorite Snobbytown (George Brennan, $3.20) held off Sandy Win (Austin Siegelman) through the lane Friday night (Feb. 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Snobbytown, from post position No. 2, wasted no time making the lead. The people's preference worked around polester Ba Ba Ba Banana (Matt Kakaley) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. It was after a :56.4 intermission when Sandy Win took out of fourth, with Kaitlyn N in tow. Sandy Win went back inside as Ba Ba Ba Banana hit the skids, while Kaitlyn N (Jason Bartlett)--perched outside that one--inexplicably jumped it off. As that was transpiring in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, Snobbytown owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. She then held off a stubborn 'Sandy' by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. Itty Bitty (Dan Dube), Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) and 'Banana' settled for the small change, ahead of the imploding Kaitlyn N among the half-dozen.   For Snobbytown, a 4-year-old daughter of Non Hill High co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, & Jason Melillo, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13, with the triple returning $65.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 31, 2020--Odds-on choice Snobbytown (George Brennan, $2.60) fooled no one Friday night (Jan. 31st), airing in Yonkers Raceway's $27,000, month-end pacing feature for the ladies. There wasn't much to it, as Snobbytown--from post position No. 5--left for an immediate lead. She worked around polester Wishy Washy Girl (Joe Bongiorno) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, with the rest of the ladies arranged in numerical order. From there, Snobbytown effortlessly closed the sale (:57, 1:24.3, 1:52.3), the final margin over Wishy Washy Girl a widening 4¼ lengths. Milliondollargem A (Jordan Stratton), Sandy's Beach (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Ambro Courage N (Austin Siegelman) settling for the remainder.   For Snobbytown, a 4-year-old daughter of Nob Hill High co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, and Jason Melillo, it was her first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, with the triple returning $58.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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