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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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 16, 2019- George Brennan was the man of the hour Saturday night (Feb. 16th), taking both halves of Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. It was a second-up-to-first-home Don Domingo N ($5.80) in the week's adult pace. From post position No. 5, he watched as just-over-even-money favorite Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) lead through cheapy subsections of :28.2, 58.3 and 1:26.3. Hitching a lift behind season-debuting Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), Don Domingo N-in the his first Open 'Cap start-did get within range. Bettor's Fire N owned a length lead into the lane, but 'Don' ran him down, in a manner of speaking He picked off the leader, winning by a neck in 1:54.2. Somewhere in L A was a credible third, with Our Zak Whitby A (Dan Dube) and a '19-starting Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder. For second choice Don Domingo N, a 7-year-old Down Under American Ideal gelding owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was his fifth win in six seasonal/U-S starts. The exacta paid $11, the triple returned $80 and the superfecta paid $240. The weekly trotting feature was not for the squeamish, reduced to a field of five after Melady's Monet came up ill and two of the starters came up breaking. What resulted was a two-speed, two-favorite, soft-fractions number and DW's NY Yank (Brennan, $4.50) beating Smalltownthrowdown (Dube) by a length-and-a-quarter (:29, :59.3. 1:27.4, 1:56.1), matching a season's-best effort. Fearless Man (Bartlett) and Lily's Swan Pond (Joe Bongiorno) flipped positions after the former was deemed to have interfered with the latter. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) brought up the quintet rear. For DW's NY Yank, a 10-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.60, with triple and superfecta wagering cancelled due to short staffing. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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

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

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

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