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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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 11, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night (May 11th) soiree saw a pair of odds-on entities take advantage of generous getaways in the $44,000 harness racing co-features, plus a visit from the Reynolds Memorial crowd. The weekly adult-table pace had Levy Series standout Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $3.60) drill his rivals. From post position No. 3 (inside one notch after the scheduled pole-sitter came up ill), he hung Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton), then toyed with 'em (:26.4, :54.4; 1:23, life-best 1:51.1). The final margin was an unasked 4¾ lengths. Major Crocker A (Dan Dube), the new polester, just held off a stubborn Pacing Major N for second, with Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) and JJ Flynn (Austin Siegelman) closing for the minors. For Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenburg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his seventh win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.30, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $18.40 and the superfecta paid $91.50. The week's marquee trot had a methodical Will Take Charge (Siegelman, $3.10) turn in the fastest local mile (1:54) of the season. From post No. 3, he eschewed an early move to the lead, then tracked down In Secret (George Brennan) after that one's subsections of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25. Will Take Charge did just that early in the lane, drawing out to win by a couple of lengths. A loosely-covered Top Flight Angel (catch-driver Dube) did grab second, with In Secret, Swansea (Joe Bongiorno) and Sumatra (Stratton) picking off the remainder. For Will Take Charge, a 6-year-old Kadabra gelding co-owned by trainer Jeff Gillis and Mac Nichol, it was his first win in five '19 tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $10.40, the triple returned $40.60 and the superfecta paid $190. Also Saturday night, the $92,100 W.N. Reynolds Pace offered two divisions each for the 3-year-old girls and boys. A gingerly-handled Queen of the Pride (Stratton, $2.30) was advertised in her $22,050 event, winning by 4½ lengths in 1:54. The daughter of McArdle, owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, is now 4-for-5 this season. As Time Goes By (catch-driver Stratton, $13) went by tiring odds-on fave Art Lecture (Brennan) in a life-best 1:54.3, winning her $21,550 event. The Captaintreacherous miss is trained Julie Miller for co-owners Willow Oak Ranch and Andy Miller Stable. The colt and gelding groupings, each worth $24,250, were won by... --Wager on Me (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners George and Tina Dennis Racing,North State Street Stable/trainer Joe Columbo/driver Bartlett; 1:54.2/$6.90; --American Admiral (by American Ideal); co-owners William and James Fleming/trainer Andrew Harris/driver Jim Marohn Jr.; 1:54.3/$11.20. Seventy-cents-on-the-dollar faves in each colts/gelding event--World on Edge (Brennan) and Mo Mas Amor (Bartlett)--each threw in steps and were last and did not finish, respectively.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity Yonkers

Osterc will take his first steps on the Hambletonian trail Saturday (May 4) when he faces seven foes in the $118,950 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old male trotters at Freehold Raceway. Osterc, last season's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, is making his 2019 harness racing debut after sitting out last week's Dexter elimination thanks to a bye he received for being the field's top money-earner. The Dexter Cup is the traditional first stakes race on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters. Osterc is among five Hambletonian-eligible trotters in the final, along with elimination winner Whirl Winds K, Cavill Hanover, HL Revadon, and Jason's Camden. Osterc will start the Dexter Cup from post No. 6 on Freehold's half-mile oval. Yannick Gingras will drive the colt for trainer Per Engblom and breeder-owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk. Osterc qualified twice ahead of Saturday's start, winning in 1:55 on April 6 at The Meadowlands and finishing second behind pacer Albergo Hanover on April 19 at Freehold. Osterc was timed in 1:56.4. "I was very pleased with that last qualifier," Engblom said. "He was plugs in and strong in that mile. I'm hoping he can go forward from there." Osterc, a son of Cantab Hall-Oh Oh Hereshecomes, won five of seven races last year and earned $226,401. Four of his victories came in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes series, including the final. The remaining win came in a conditioned race. Engblom said he decided to accept the bye and skip the Dexter elimination in the hopes of keeping Osterc fresh through the year. He has the first leg of the sire stakes on May 11. "This is just the beginning of the season," he said. "I'm hoping he is going to have a good season; I don't want to burn him out. We're going to start out in Pennsylvania and if he's good enough he has the Grand Circuit. "I'm very happy with the way he came back. He's going to make some money this year and hopefully we can get a little bit of luck down the road too. He's coming back a little stronger than I anticipated. He doesn't have the greatest of gaits maybe, but he is very honest and gives you what he's got. His two qualifiers were very good. Let's hope that's a good sign for this week." Whirl Winds K, who won the Dexter elimination by a nose over Cavill Hanover, will start the final from post four with George Brennan in the sulky for trainer Rich Gillock. The colt is owned by breeder Bob Key. He has won four of 13 career races and earned $54,965. Two of the victories came last year when Whirl Winds K was limited to four starts. "He had a few little issues and it just took a little while to get him squared away," Gillock said. "Before you knew it, it got to be October before he was able to keep going forward. "He's a nice horse, he just has to get a little better so he can go and be competitive in the bigger races. Hopefully he will. He's got a great attitude about him, so that's a big factor." Saturday's card at Freehold also includes the $66,000 Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters. The race attracted a field of nine, including Hambletonian Oaks eligibles Rush Lane, Golden Tricks, and Presto Change O. The remainder of the group is Cardinale, Big Weezy, Magical Beliefs, Meadowbranch Vicki, Matterlei, and Atonement. Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Freehold. The Dexter Cup is race 10 and will be preceded by the Lady Suffolk. For the day's complete entries, click here. Following is the field for the $118,950 Dexter Cup. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Cotton To You-Andrew McCarthy-Lucas Wallin 2-HL Revadon-Dexter Dunn-Harry Landy 3-Jason's Camden-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 4-Whirl Winds K-George Brennan-Rich Gillock 5-Cavill Hanover-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 6-Osterc-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom 7-Big Money Honey-Joe Bongiorno-Travis Alexander 8-Skyway Kon Man-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer Hambletonian eligible: HL Revadon, Jason's Camden, Whirl Winds K, Cavill Hanover, Osterc.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 5, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker saw its fourth preliminary round conducted over Friday night's (Apr. 5th) 'sloppy' surface. Three, $40,000 groupings of Free-For-All  harness racing mares went at it, down one from a week ago. Here was the moist rundown... First division--The logical, two-speed number unfolded as such, with pole-sitting fave Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett, $3.30) retaking from second-choice Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan), then holding that one off by a neck (:28.1, :58, 1:26.3, 1:55). Twinkle (Scott Zeron) was a three-hole, best-of-the-rest third, with Obvious Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) and Write Me a Song (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the remainder. For Don't Think Twice A, a 6-year-old Down Under Armbro Operative ma'am co-owned by (trainer) Andrew Harris, Arrhythmic, Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher, it was her second win in five seasonal starts (2-for-3 in Matchmaker). The exacta paid $5.10, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $10 and the superfecta paid $41.20. Second division--After a lengthy delay for track maintenance, just-over-even-money choice Bettor Joy N (Tim Tetrick, $4.10) read the memo just in time. Third-over behind a gapper from outside post position No. 7, Bettor Joy N saw polester Ideal Lifestyle A (Brennan) battle with a two-moving Betterb Chevron N (Stratton) though intervals of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:25.2. The latter would eventually win the battle before Bettor Joy N swooped in through her lane, prevailing in 1:54.3. The final margin was a going-away length-and-a-quarter. Betterb Chevron N saved second, with Camera Lady (Matt Kakaley) closing from last to grab the bottom of the ticket. Bettor Joy N                                   -photos-Katy Gazzini Ideal Lifestyle A and Shezza GNP N (Austin Siegelman) picked off the remainder. For Bettor Joy N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by her driver, Richard Poillucci & Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her fourth win in five '19 tries (3-for-4 in Matchmaker). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $12.20, the triple returned $112.50 and the superfecta paid $274. Third division--This was the Shartin N group. Next. The defending series champ (Tetrick, $2.20) was--from post No. 4--the lone leaver, with a highly-predictable result (:28.3, :57.4, 1:26.2, 1:54.2). The margin was a length. Shartin N                                    --photos-Katy Gazzini Second went a pole-protecting Kaitlyn N (Kakaley), while Medusa (Bartlett) sat third and wound up there. Sell a Bit N (Stratton) and a first-up Freakonomics (Zeron) settled for the smallest envelopes. Second choice Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr.) could not get involved from behind the eight-ball. For Shartin N, a 6-year-old millionairess Down Under Tintin in America miss co-owned and trained by the same fine folks who bring you Bettor Joy N, it was her third win in four seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $5.40, the triple returned $11.80 and the superfecta paid $107. Updated Matchmaker standings accompany this release (all three of Friday's winners are well-positioned to take next week's final prelim off, should their connections choose to go that route. The final is set for Saturday night, Apr. 20th [purse TBA]). Saturday evening's (Apr. 6th) fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series features four, $50,000 Free-For-All divisions.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity Yonkers

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 4, 2019-We're getting down to both the nitty and the gritty. This weekend, Yonkers Raceway hosts the fourth-or penultimate-rounds of both the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Friday night (Apr. 5), the lasses go in three, $40,000 Matchmaker harness racing events, consecutively carded as races 7 through 9. The opening division cries out 'two-speed number' with pole-sitting Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett) and Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan, post 3). The former owns a Matchmaker win and pair of seconds, while the latter-just in time for the NHL playoffs-eyes a hat trick. The second event sees another three-peat wannabe in Bettor Joy N (Tim Tetrick, post 7), starting outside her foes. Ideal Lifestyle A (Brennan, post 1) has chased home Bettor Joy N the last couple of tries. The final Matchmaker grouping rolls through defending champion Shartin N (Tetrick, post 4) as the millionairess is looking for her third prelim victory. Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr., post 8), yet another series two-fer, has won four of her five local starts. Saturday evening (Apr. 6th) fourth foray of the Levy was drawn and quartered into $50,000 divisions (races 5,7,8 and 10). The first get-together asks the musical question, 'Can Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton, post 2) do it again?' Fresh off last week's 67-1 stunner-and first board finish of the season-the Major hooks other round winners in Endeavor (Bartlett, post 3) and JJ Flynn (Tetrick, post 4). Saturday's second event fins More the Better N (Scott Zeron, post 6) in search of a third series win, but stuck with a first poor draw. Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno, post 1) was an opening-round winner and figures to cut this mile. The third group is led by Lyons Steel (Stratton, post 6), who threw down the fastest mile (1:50.4) of the local season a week ago. Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, post 8) won his first two series tries, but ran out of racetrack a week ago. The Downtown Bus (Zeron, post 4) and The Wall (Bongiorno, post 5) also have preliminary wins to their credit. Saturday night's final division is led by two-round winner Western Fame (Dan Dube, post 3), who convincingly whipped Dr. J Hanover (Tetrick, post 6) on the square when they opposed one another a week ago. Standings and finalized program pages accompany this release, with first post for both cards the usual 6:50 PM. https://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/bluechipstandings.pdf https://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/levystandings.pdf   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 26, 2019-"Just the way I drew it up." Such was the tongue-in-cheek post mortem of driver George Brennan after Western Beachboy ($6.30) snapped favored Declan Seelster (Joe Bongiorno) at the wire Tuesday night (March 26th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $60,200 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The Teddy Roosevelt-approved assemblage was open to 3- and 4-year-olds gentlemen who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1st. A week after a scorched-earth, life-best (1:52), down-the-road effort, Western Beachboy won the finale from well off the pace. Away sixth from post position No. 6, Western Beachboy saw his coupled entrant, Prologue (Jim Marohn Jr.), lead through early substations of 27 seconds flat and :56.2. Prologue was noticeably off the cones by the intermission, causing 4-5 choice Declan Seelster to move wider during his hard challenge from fourth. Leader and stalker were inseparable through a :27.2 third quarter (1:23.4), with Cheese Melt (Yannick Gingras) loosely pocketed and Yeahnah (Troy Beyer) gapping from second-over. While this scenario unfolded, Western Beachboy was going three-deep down the backside, getting within shouting distance off the final turn. Soon thereafter, Declan Seelster was about to win the battle-putting away Prologue-but lose the war as Western Beachboy tagged him by a short nose in 1:53.1. Western Beachboy      - photo -Jonathan Paredes On Accident (Jordan Stratton) angled out, then back in late to grab third, with Prologue and Cheese Melt rounding out the payees. The order was completed by Yeahnah, a breaking-early Sharp Action Money (Jason Bartlett) and a never-in-it/did not finish Better than Spring (Matt Kakaley). Cheese Melt and Sharp Action Money were the other wagering entry. For second choice Western Beachboy, a 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg and Gilbert Short, it was his third win in nine seasonal starts ($61,300). The exacta paid $16.60, with the triple returning $83. Per New York State rules, superfecta wagering was not offered due to the presence of coupled entries. "He was out a long way," Brennan said. "It was a very good effort. He used to always be locked on the left line, but he's become much easier to drive." A $30,000 series consolation was won by Trump That (Gingras, $2.50) in 1:54.3.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity 810 Yonkers Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704

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