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YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 9, 2019-Pocketed favorite Alexa's Power (Jason Bartlett, $4.50) gave the harness racing public what it wanted Friday night (Aug. 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The board spoke her name and Alexa's Power raced as if she knew it. Making the first lead from post position No. 4, she then deferred to raging, eight-hole-assigned Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. From there, the lass who had won her previous three tries threw down a :55.4 intermission and 1:23.1 three-quarters. However, she could not shake either Alexa's Power or Dibaba N (Eric Goodell). A bit cooler at the windows this time around, Feelin' Red Hot was a bit shorter on the track. Alexa's Power collared the leader early in the lane, going by to whip Dibaba N by three-quarters of a length in a season's-best 1:51.1. Feelin' Red Hot easily held third, with Annabeth (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Betterb Chevron N (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. For Alexa's Power, a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by Jeff & Michael Snyder and trained by Jim Campbell, it was her third win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.80, the triple returned $202 and the superfecta paid $974. Friday night's Pick 5, who began with a $7,500 carryover and $20,000 guaranteed pool, attracted $26,812 of new coin into the gimmick. It was a 5/4/5/5/3 winning combination returning $107.62 for each correct half-a-buck wager. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Winndevie captures the $118,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 8). She was driven by Jason Bartlett. Sensibility (Tyler Buter) led to the first quarter in :26.2. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second best but went on a break right near the first quarter mark. Woodside Charm (Verlin Yoder), who was the 2018 2-year-old trotter of the year, took over the lead heading for the back stretch. She hit the half in :56.1 and was first to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Winndevie ($15.40), who is owned by the Purple Haze Stables and trained by Trond Smedshammer, was fourth at the halfway mark. She then went first-over heading around the last turn. She then joined Woodside Charm as they hit three-quarters. When they reached the stretch it was all Winndevie as she powered home to win in a lifetime best of 1:54.0. Sensibility finished second with Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) getting third money. Quincy Blue Chip recovered from her early break and finished fourth. Woodside Charm, who was seven for seven as a freshman, is winless in her two starts as a sophomore. Winndevie is a 3-year-old filly by Credit Winner. It was her third win this season and her ninth career victory. George Ducharme trained three winners on the evening. He got his wins with The Fixer ($2.30), Hannah Dreamgirl ($11.20), and Crysalline ($4.20). There is no live racing at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 9) due to the Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle concert. Live racing returns on Saturday (August 10) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Monticello, NY - The New York Sire Stakes concluded their 4th harness racing leg at Monticello Raceway on Monday July 1. Sandy's Bolt (PP6) scored a wire to wire win in his division of Sire Stakes, the son of Bolt the Duer - White Sand cut fractions of 28.1,59, 1:27.3 to score in a 6-length victory in 1:56.2 and in the process earned a new life time mark. It was the second Sire Stake win in a row for Sandy's Bolt and trainer Jose Godinez and driver Jason Bartlett, the 1/5 favorite paid a paltry $2.70-win pari mutuel. Linus was second, followed by Ideal Artillery. Starting from the rail, Always On The Hunt went down the road to lead at every stanza to score a scant nose win over Level Up in 1:56:1 - LQ 27.2 for the co fastest mile of the afternoon. Always on the Hunt and Level Up duked it out in the lane with 10 length separation on the rest of the pack, the Ray Schnittker trainee was driven to the win by Mark MacDonald earned his first career win. The son of American Ideal - Beachesofcheyenne now has $22,912 in earnings. Jason Bartlett picked up his second win of the afternoon via Save Me A Dance in the 3rd division of $26,5000 Sire Stakes. The son of Heston Blue Chip - Dance Hall Girl followed the winning formula all afternoon, and lead from start to finish a length ahead of Slash Brother in 1:56.1. Save Me A Dance also earned his first lifetime win for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. In the final dash, deviating from the norm of the day to cut the mile, Matt Kakeley was content to sit the pocket with Groovy Joe while I Rolled the Dice tripped the tele timer at every station except the finish line. Groovy Joe was the first to pull past the half to start the outer flow and tracked the pacesetter to skip away by 2 lengths to win in 1:56.4. Groovy Joe went off the heavy 3/5 favorite and paid $3.00 for the win. It was the second consecutive Sire Stake win for the son of Roll With Joe - Chotak Milk. In Excelsior A competition the winners were, Surreal Sergeant (Jim Taggart Jr.) 2:00 -$7.70, Fear The Past (Scott Zeron) 2:01.2 $3.40 and Chief Of Staff (Jordan Stratton) 2:01.1 - $31.20. The lone Excelsior B dash was won by Latin King (Tyler Buter) 1:59.1 - $9.90   By: Shawn Wiles

YONKERS, NY, Monday, June 17, 2019-Jason Bartlett, perennially Yonkers Raceway's leading harness racing driver, used his home away from home for his latest milestone. Bartlett racked up career win No. 8,000 Monday night (June 17th), easily knocking off the four victories needed to reach the plateau. He won the $15,000 pacing opener with favored Lounatic ($4.40) in a life-best 1:55, then the $18,000, third-race pace with odds-on Topville Angelina ($2.30) in 1:54.1. That matched the ma'am's life-best effort. Bartlett was making short work of the $15,000, seventh-race pace as odds-on Passa-Grille Beach ($3.30) widened to 8¾ lengths in a life-best 1:53.1. He had to wait all of two races before turning over the odometer, getting No. 8,000 in the $25,000, ninth-race pace with Charm's Lil Sis ($9.30) in another life-best effort, this one in 1:54.1. The milestone miss is a homebred 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned and Millar Farms and trained by Scott Blackler. Charm’s Lil Sis and Jason Bartlett                             --Katy Gazzini photo The same owner/driver/trainer troika combined to win last month's Lismore here with the 3-year-old pacing filly Bestseller Hanover. "It's nice to do it here (Yonkers), with my family able to join me," Bartlett said. "I want to race here as often as I can, especially Fridays and Saturdays, since the money is so good." Bartlett isn't an every-night local fixture, as he makes the rounds for New York Sire Stakes and some open-stakes engagements. "I went to Northfield a couple of Saturdays ago (for the Battle of Lake Erie)," he said. "I had the chance to drive Jimmy Freight. He's a special horse and I enjoyed it, but I prefer Yonkers as often as possible. "When I first came down here for good, I had maybe 2,000 wins, so to win as many as I have driving against the best there is, I appreciate that. The 38-year-old Bartlett, a native of Augusta, ME, is trying for a ninth local driving title. "Just thanking all the owners and trainers that have supported me and keep going." Yonkers' Monday Pick 5 wager, which began with a carryover in excess of $4,100 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool, enticed $35,108 of new coin. A combination in the gimmick of 5/3/2/6/2 returned $1,966.75 for every correct half-dollar ticket. Tuesday's (June 18th) Pick 5 offers with a $10,000 guaranteed pool (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11).   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 25, 2019-Bestseller Hanover (Jason Bartlett, $14.20) finished what she started Saturday night (May 25th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $109,234 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies. From position No. 5, she led through intervals of :28.2, :58, 1:25.3 and 1:54.4, choosing a correct evening for first seasonal victory. En route, she hooked 1-10 favorite Queen of the Pride (Jordan Stratton), before that one made a filthy break in the final turn. As Time Goes By (George Brennan) was second at 41-1, with Rockn' Philly (Tim Tetrick) third. Annie Hill (Brian Sears) and Mi Nina Bonita (Brent Holland) came away with the minors, while Privacy Hanover (Dave Miller)-uncoupled stablemate of the winner-Rock N McRoll (Dan Dube) and the dance-of-the-danmed Queen of the Pride rounded out the order. For second choice Bestseller Hanover, a $130,000 daughter of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Millar Farms and trained by Scott Blackler, it was that first win in three '19 tries. The exacta paid $198.50, the triple returned $705 and the superfecta paid $4,333. Potential bridge jumpers were spared with no show wagering. "I raced against Queen of the Pride the last two weeks and noticed Jordan (Stratton) had to hold her together to get her over the turns," Bartlett said. "That's kind of the reason I left. "I said, 'Well, if he wants to go out of there fast, we will go fast and see what happens in the first turn.' "I didn't realize she was that quick off the gate," Bartlett said. "I scored her down, spoke to her a little bit, and she was right there on her toes. If I took back, they're going to go to the half slow, we're going to be in a bad spot, so we took our shot." Bestseller Hanover was a first-up second to Queen of the Pride in their elimination race a week ago. As for Queen of the Pride, who was wide early before settling fourth, "She threw a shoe coming by the stands and started running in on the turns," Stratton said. "She wasn't getting over the track."   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity

Amal Hall (Jason Bartlett) and Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) won their Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) trotting fillies elimination races at Vernon Downs on Friday (May 17). Both races were for a purse of $12,500. In the first harness racing division Amal Hall ($4.30) went to the front and led to a first quarter of :27.2. Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris) then took over control and led to a half of :58.1 and to three-quarters in 1:27.2. Amal Hall, who is trained by Julie Miller for owners GTY Stable, Andy Miller Stable, and Dumain Heaven Farm, popped out of the pocket in the stretch and blew by to win in 1:56.4. Conway Kellyanne hung on for second. Pilgrims Lass (Mike Simons) finished third. Amal Hall is a three-year-old filly by Credit Winner. It was her first win in 2019. She now owns four career victories. In the second division, With Out A Doubt (Tyler Buter) charged out to the lead and led the way to a first quarter of :28.3. Quincy Blue Chip ($5.70), who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and trained by Gareth Dowse, took over the lead on the back stretch. She led them to the half in :58.0. As she hit the three-quarter mark in 1:26.2, she would be joined by Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer) as they made the turn for home. Quincy Blue Chip shook lose in mid-stretch and held off a late charge by second place finisher Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) to win in 1:54.3. Winndevie held on for third. Quincy Blue Chip                                   -- Fotowon photo   Quincy Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. It was her second win in 2019. She now has reached the winner's circle six times in her career. Here are the qualifiers for the EBC Final for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Memorial Day (May 27): Amal Hall, Conway Kellyanne, Pilgrims Lass, Sensibility, Quincy Blue Chip, Sweet Chapter, Winndevie, With Out A Doubt, and Gobi Princess. The alternate is Hanna Dreamgirl. The field is set for EBC final for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Post-Horse-Driver 1. Gettin Serious 2. Star Track Hanover 3. Skyway Kon Man 4. Whimzical Chapter 5. Gimpanzee 6. Mr Vicktor 7. Travel Winner 8. Cavill Hanover 9. Big Money Honey   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.   John Horne for Vernon Downs.

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 7, 2019-New York Sire Stakes season began Tuesday night (May 7th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $163,499 Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The lasses went as three harness racing divisions, two six-horse fields--purses $54,833 each-and a five-horse event at $1,000 less. The opening quintet saw Hanna Dreamgirl (Brian Sears, $13) waltz around the oval (:29.3, 1:00.1, 1:29.3, 1:59) as the only leaver. From post position No. 3, she never had any grief, disposing of first-up, 2-5 choice Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett), then hold pocket-sitting Sweet Chapter (Dave Miller) at bay. The final margin was three-quarters of a length, with Stella Jane settling for the bottom of the ticket. For third choice Hanna Dreamgirl, a daughter of Chapter Seven owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, it was her seasonal debut (2-for-15, $115,204 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $29.20, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. The first of two happy half-dozen sire stakes events was won by With Out a Doubt (Andy Miller, $10.20). Making the first lead from post No 5, she gave it up to Sensibility (Scott Zeron) That lass worked through intervals of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:27, with minimal annoyance from Thanks for Leaving (Jordan Stratton) and even less from 17-10 favorite Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris). Sensibility owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but With Out a Doubt edged by with purpose. She drew out, winning by a length-and-three-quarters in a life-best 1:56.2...by far the night's fastest effort. Sensibility was a safe second, with 'Kellyanne' and Thanks for Leaving completing the gimmicks. With Out a Doubt                  -Mike Lizzi photo For fourth choice Without a Doubt, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (breeder) Ross Bonafield, Robert McCarthy & James Moran and trained by Erv Miller, it was also her '19 purse bow (1-for-9, $51,536 as 2-year-old). The exacta paid $27, the triple returned $107 and the superfecta paid $199.50. "She's quick off the car and very handy," Andy Miller said. ...and down came the rain before the final statebred event, reclassifying the track as 'sloppy'. It was done in time defending sire stakes champion Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer, $4.60) to prevail-barley-snapping he nearly 39-1 rank outsider Pilgrim Lass (Mike Simons) by a head in 1:59.1. 'Pilgrim,' one of three that didn't jump it off early, led the remaining trio (:30.3, 1:01.1, 1:30.2). Winndevie, pocketed from post No. 5, took out early but found the leader quite stubborn. Winndevie did get past very late, with Amal Hall (Andy Miller) third. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.), the 7-10 choice, did beat the other breakers. For second choice Winndevie, a Credit Winner miss trained by her driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, she began her sophomore season after going 6-for-7 ($227,878) as a frosh. The exacta paid $102, the triple returned $286 and the superfecta paid $771. New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Tuesday night (May 14th), with the Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.   by Frank Drucker Director of Publicity 810 Yonkers Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 6, 2019-Ideal Jimmy and Western Fame have raced with distinction throughout the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Saturday night (Apr. 13th) was no exception. The tandem were advertised, each handily winning its respective Yonkers Raceway harness racing event. All told, four, $50,000 Free-For All forays were carded. Here's the electronic pen to electronic paper compendium... First division-In a race without a series round winner to date, Bettor Memories (Jason Bartlett, $13.60) rolled from second-over as 7-5 favorite I'm Some Graduate (Matt Kakaley) wilted in the lane. The pole-sitting fave took over from Dr. J Hanover (Tim Tetrick), who immediately vaulted over his six inside rivals. I'm Some Graduate led through intervals of :26.2, :56 and 1:24. Control Tower (Joe Bongiorno) offered some first-up heat, but the fractions should have worked for the leader. They didn't...he wound up last. Meanwhile, Bettor Memories-from post position on No. 4-went by, whipped a third-over, 30-1 Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:52. Dr. J Hanover was an unlucky, trapped third, with Don Domingo N (Jordan Stratton) and Control Tower settling for the remainder. For fourth choice Bettor Memories, a 6-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding owned by Gus Dovi and trained by Nifty Norman, it was his second win in eight seasonal starts (1-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $315, the triple returned $790 and the superfecta paid $29,362 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket worth $1,468.10).   Second division-Polester The Downtown Bus (Scott Zeron, $9.10), a week after being involved in an insane :53.3 half-mile, found the teletimer a bit more forgiving this time around. After yielding to Always at My Place (George Brennan), he fronted the fray (:27.4, 57.4, 1:24.3, season's-best 1:52), defeating a second-over Major Croker A (Dan Dube) by a neck. Lyons Steel (Stratton) arrived late as the 17-10 choice, with I'marocnrolllegend N (Kakaley)-uncovered into that :26.4 third quarter-and Always at My Place coming away with the minors. For The Downtown Bus, an 4-year-old Mach Three gelding co-owned by (trainer) Jeff Gillis and Ellen Ott, he's now 2-for-5 this season/series. The exacta paid $40.40, the triple returned $116 and the superfecta paid $464.   Third division- Odds-on Western Fame (Dube, $2.30)-from post No. 4-stole a cheap second subsection (:27, 56.2, 1:24, 1:51) en route to victory. He disposed of a gallant Rodeo Rock (Andy McCarthy) by a length-and-three-quarters. That one tried to leave, was forced to settle third, then fought the good, first-up fight into a :54.3 back half. More the Better N (Zeron), Pacing Major N (Stratton) and Endeavor (Bartlett) picked off the small change. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, he's now 4-for-6 this season (4-for-5 in Levy). The exacta paid $5.40, the triple (three wagering choices) returned $10 and the superfecta paid $35.40.   Fourth division-At no point in the eight furlongs did Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $5.60) look anything except the easiest of winners. From post No. 6, he aired (:27.2; 57.1; 1:25.1, season's-best 1:52) by open lengths, while under severe restraint. 'Jimmy' took down Ballerat Boomerang (Tetrick) by 3½ lengths. Rockin' Ron (Kakaley) was third after missing four weeks, with a pocket-tiring, 7-5 choice Anythingthingforlove A (Bongiorno) and Somebaddude (Brennan) also earning appearance coin. Ideal Jimmy      -Mike Lizzi photo For second choice Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old son homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenburg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his sixth win 13 '19 tries (3-for-5 in Levy). The exacta paid $22.20, the triple returned $92 and the superfecta paid $160. The Levy final series standings, as dutifully compiled by Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, accompany this release. The final is set for next Saturday night, Apr. 20th (approximate purse $630,000). Note that the leaders are not necessarily the finalists until 'finalized' by the race office after an examination of the series conditions. Open draw for both the Blue Chip Matchmaker and Levy take place Monday afternoon (Apr. 15th). Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by the lass Weslynn Dancer (Kakaley, $15.80) in a season's-best 1:54.2, also the fastest local trot mile of 2019.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 6, 2019-Fourth round, four divisions, go 'fourth'. Get the picture? Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Apr. 6th) hosted the next-to-last preliminary get-together of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 Free-For All harness racing events were carded, one fewer than a week ago. Here's the vivid re-enactment... First division-There weren't many styles point for odds-on JJ Flynn (Tim Tetrick, $3.80), but he did last (:26.4, :57, 1:24.2; 1:52.2) from post position No. 4. After looping Endeavor (Jason Bartlett) early, he held off a second-over Major Crocker A (Dan Dube) by a neck, with a first-up Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) said third. I'marocnrollegend N (Scott Zeron) and Always at My Place (George Brennan) settled for the remainder. Endeavor lost touch and finished sixth of seven. For JJ Flynn, a 6-year-old Western Ideal gelding co-owned by (trainer) Josh Green, Richard Lombardo and Charles Cochran III, it was his seventh win in 10 seasonal starts (2-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $17.60, the triple returned $54 and the superfecta paid $204.50. "I had to use (JJ Flynn) more than I wanted," Tetrick said. 'Even last week, as soon as I made the lead, they came at me, but he raced well. They went in (1):50 and change (Lyons Steel's 1:50.4), so I've been very happy with him."   Second division-A week after some noticeable traffic issues, Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing, $19.40) was left to his own devices, and promptly made 'em play. From post No. 5, he went the distance (:27.4, :57.4, 1:25.4, 1:53.2), whipping pole-sitting, 2-1 choice Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno) by a three-quarters of a length. More the Better N (Zeron) and Nocturnal Bluechip (Tetrick) came away with the minors For sixth choice Bettor's Fire N, an 11-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned by his driver, Kevin Sywyk & Frank Ranaldi and trained by Heidi Gibbs, he's now 2-for-9 this season (1-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $67.50, the triple returned $508 and the superfecta paid $4,631.   Third division-The last time there were equally-insane early substations of :26.4 here? Hard-pressed to remember one, so it was no surprise that after a :53.3 intermission, neither tepid 2-1 fave The Downtown Bus (Zeron) nor Lyons Steel (Stratton) were around to tell about it. The former, after getting trapped in the pocket a week ago, was bent on taking no prisoners this time. The speed summarily surrendered around the 1:22 three-quarters, as Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) took his turn as a short-term leader. When the stonedust settled, a from-last The Wall (Bongiorno, $31.60)-from post No. 5--snapped Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland), winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2, matching a life-best effort. Somebaddude (Brennan), Bettor Memories (Bartlett) and Mar Nien A also made appearance fees. For fifth choice The Wall, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, it was his second win in a 11 seasonal starts (2-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $146.50, the triple returned $1,977 and the superfecta paid $2,602. "I couldn't believe how fast they were going," Bongiorno said. "No way I could even keep up. The way the race developed, I thought I'd be second to Ideal Jimmy. I didn't know how he'd do after competing in non-winners of $20,000, but he's been solid the whole series."   Fourth division-Odds-on Western Fame (Dube, $2.40) restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp (;27.2, 56., 1:23.4, 1:50.4). From post No, 3, the series points leader drilled his foes by 5½ lengths, a personal '19 best and matching Lyons Steel for the fastest Westchester mile of the Levy and season. Western Fame                              -Mike Lizzi photo Gokudo Hanover (Brennan) was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock the Nite (Mark MacDonald), Somewhere in L A (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Bongiorno) earning the minor moolah. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, he's now 3-for-5 this season (2-for-4 in Levy). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5, the triple returned $45.80 and the superfecta paid $109. The series standings, as dutifully compiled by Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, accompany this release. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by an odds-on In Secret (Brennan, $3.30) in a season's-best 1:54.4, matching the fastest local trot mile of 2019.   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, Monday, March 25, 2019-Catch an Ace (Jason Bartlett, $6) rallied from third-over Monday night (March 25th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $58,000 'blanketed' final of the Petticoat Pacing Series. Though open to 3- and 4-year-old ladies (non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1st), no 'youngsters' qualified for the finale. Away fifth from post position No. 5, Catch an Ace watched as outside numbers Cabowabocuttie (Jordan Stratton) and Ghosttothepost (Yannick Gingras) both left hard. The pair looped 9-5 favorite Robyn Camden (Dexter Dunn), who was hung up three-wide early (outside the eventual winner) before settling in sixth. Cabowabocuttie seated Ghosttothepost, then led through intervals of a flat 28 seconds and :58.1. Odds on Ashley (Matt Kakaley) was the first to take the bait, moving from third. She towed Ella is Awesome (Joe Bongiorno) and Catch an Ace, while the hellish trip of Robyn Camden saw her fourth-over. Cabowabocuttie maintained her lead in and out of a 1:26.4 three-quarters, about the time Catch an Ace went three-deep around Ella is Awesome. The lead remained unchanged off the final turn, with Cabowabocuttie owning a length-and-three-quarter advantage. The lass would give way-grudgingly-in the scrum to the line. Catch an Ace picked off a stubborn Odds on Ashley by a head in 1:56 with Robyn Camden widest of all, the circuitous route ending with her finishing third, beaten just a neck. Cabowabocuttie and Ghosttothepost rounded out the payees....the first four finishers separated by that neck, while the quintet of payees were divided by a length-and-three-quarters. Ella is Awesome, Bye Hanover (George Brennan) Parkin' in Heaven (Tyler Buter) completed the order. "I thought I was in a bad spot," Bartlett said. "Fortunately, they came back to us. "I mean, she can leave, but I did not want cut the mile. She needs a helmet to chase. I figured we were going to win by a bit more, but she started running out in the lane. I was wondering what was going on, but she found the line." photo -Katy Gazzini For second choice Catch an Ace, a 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Jeffrey Williamson and trained by Andrew Harris, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts (career 14-for-26, $135,094). The exacta paid $20, the triple returned $52 and the superfecta paid $217.50. Owner and trainer combined (with driver Stratton) to sweep the 2017 Petticoat with Cousin Mary. A $30,000 series consolation was an 11¾-length route by odds-on She's Pukka N (Mark MacDonald, $2.70) in a life-best 1:54.1. Tuesday night (March 26th) offers the $60,200 tribute to Teddy Roosevelt affectionately known as the final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series.   By Frank Drucker Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – When Delightfulmemphis wheeled first-over on heavy favorite Bettor Joy in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series first leg March 15, harness racing trainer Nifty Norman didn’t have high hopes. As rain poured down and the track quickly changed from fast to sloppy, Bettor Joy brushed to the front and cruised untested through a half in :56.1. With Jason Bartlett’s whip on her tail, Delightfulmemphis worked within 1 ½ lengths passing the three-quarters, but appeared to stall around the final turn as Tim Tetrick confidently handled the leader. “I was quite happy to be second, I thought that would be just fine; come first-over and finish second, that would be great,” Norman said. “I knew that other mare was a very nice mare and I didn’t expect to beat her.” Luckily for Norman, Bartlett didn’t concede that easily. Turning for home, the track’s leading driver kicked out the plugs and went to a strong right-handed stick. Delightfulmemphis straightened out, bore down, and inched closer and closer. The mares crossed the wire together and Delightfulmemphis got her nose in front in time to win the $40,000 series split. “I thought it was fantastic. I thought turning for home, she had no shot, but she’s one of those horses who can just hang around and stay close,” Norman said. “Once she’s in the straights, she gets wound up a little bit and right at the wire, she just lunged at that other mare. Jason said on the turns, she struggles a little bit, loses a little ground, but if you can just keep within half-a-length of another horse, she tries like hell.” Despite her first-leg series win, which boosted her seasonal record to 5-for-8 with $92,250 earned, the most of any horse so far this season, the Matchmaker wasn’t Delighfulmemphis’ target all along.  Since she began her stateside career for Norman last July, the Australian Group 3 winner and Group 1 and 2 placed mare racked up wins in the conditioned ranks and Harrah’s Philadelphia and the Meadowlands. However, the Bettor’s Delight daughter was 0-for-6 at Yonkers, including two tries in the distaff open. “To be honest, I thought she was probably a big track horse,” Norman said. “I thought she was a closer and I thought you’d have to race her at the Meadowlands or Mohawk. I raced her at Yonkers a couple times and she got around it pretty good. I still don’t really think it’s her forte because she likes to get home good. She’s not a great front-runner, which was sort of against her at Yonkers; she’s a little bit lazy in front. But Jason has done a good job driving her. Because of Jason’s help, she’s worked it out and if you don’t use her too hard early, she can really come a good back three-quarters. “I didn’t think she was a Matchmaker horse, really, but she’s gotten better and better.” The turning point came February 1 when Delightfulmemphis scored her first local victory in a $29,000 overnight. The uncharacteristic front-stepping win prompted Norman to nominate her to the series, which closed February 15. Delightfulmemphis won her first local feature that evening and finished second in the Filly and Mare Open Handicap March 8. “I only sent the check in right before they were due,” Norman remembered. “She won a non-winners of $30,000 the week before and I said, ‘you know what, why not?’ You might as well be in it and she had just won, so that helped pay for the starting fee, so that’s when I decided.” Although she established herself as one to watch with her first-leg win, Delightfulmemphis will still have her work cut out for her in week two. She drew post two in the fourth and final division Friday night (March 22), which features fellow first-leg victors Shartin and Seaswift Joy, who drew posts eight and seven, respectively. Feelin Red Hot finished second to Seaswift Joy last week and drew post five while Obvious Blue Chip, compromised by post seven last out, will start along the pylons. Dudesalady, Angel’s Pride, and Sell A Bit complete the lineup.  “It’s a good race. Obviously Shartin is probably the best mare in the country, so she’s tough to beat any time. I think we’re in a good spot there with post two to not do too much work early and just hope we can get a good run at the end and pick up a good check,” Norman said. “Apart from Shartin, I think she’s probably competitive with most of the others. It’s a tough series. I’d actually like to get another top-two finish so you could maybe give her a week off somewhere along the way. Having a good draw helps, so we’ll just see how it works out.” Friday night’s card features four divisions of the Matchmaker Series Second Leg while the George Morton Levy Series goes with six splits Saturday, March 23. Monday night’s card features the $58,000 Petticoat Series Final and the $60,200 Sagamore Hill finale goes Tuesday night. Live harness racing is featured at Yonkers Raceway every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. 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, Friday, February 15, 2019-A first-up Delightfulmemphisn (Jason Bartlett, $17) prevailed Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post griposition No. 4, Delightfulmemphisn watched Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley) lead through early intervals of :27.3 and :56.3, Delightfulmemphisn left the cones after intermission, as first pacing in place toward a 1:24.4 three-quarters. She picked it up after that, though Kaitlyn N owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, that lass was about to wear out here welcome. Delightfulmemphisn surged by, whipping a second-over Itty Bitty (Jim Marohn Jr.) by a length in 1:53. Sally Fletcher A (Joe Bongiorno), Kaitlyn N and Empress Deo (George Brennan) settled for the lesser loot, with 1-2 favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) last among the half-dozen at every point of the mile. For fifth choice Delightfulmemphisn, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Enzed Racing Stable and trained by Nifty Norman, it was her fourth win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135, the triple returned $685 and the superfecta paid $1,983. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 12, 2019 - Fresh off a five-win performance the previous evening, harness racing driver Jason Bartlett's Saturday night (Jan. 12th) saw him take down both of Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $44,000 Opens. Bartlett did it with a pair of fours. Bellows Binge ($19.40)-from post position No. 4-closed from third-over in the weekly featured pace, snapping Christen Me N (Matt Kakaley) at the wire in 1:54. Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) grabbed third as the 62-1 rank outsider in a race that set up for the come-from-behind set when polester Run Oneover N (George Brennan) took no early prisoners. He stuffed 3-2 favorite Air Strike (Brent Holland) and Sicily (Jim Marohn Jr.) in behind, paying a :25.3 price for the privilege. After a :56.3 intermission, Sicily was out and moving again, engaging Run Oneover N in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters. Rune Oneover N was about to wear out his welcome early in the lane as Christen Me N moved from second-over. He made the lead late, but could not stall Bellow Binge. The latter whipped the former by a scant nose, while Aston Hill Dave (Tyler Buter) and Sicily chased home Bettor's Fire N for the minors For fifth choice Bellow's Binge, a now-5-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding owned and trained by Richard Banca, it was his first start in the Open/Open Handicap. The exacta paid $56.50, the triple returned $5,271 and the superfecta paid $14,357 (base $2 payout). Bellow's Binge outside number 4 (Chris Brokate Photo) Bartlett and pocket-sitting fave Andy Ray ($4)-from post No. 4--stalked Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) throws intervals of :27.4, 57.3 and 1:26.2, then eased past by a length in 1:55.4. Third went to closing Mostinterestingman (Troy Beyer), with Royal Bachelor (Marohn Jr.), with Thisguysonfire (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder. For Andy Ray, a now-7-year-old Crazed gelding owned by Yinson Quezada and trained by Anette Lorentzon, his career cash went up and over a half-million dollars. The exacta paid $22.60, the triple returned $73.50 and the superfecta paid $426. Andy Ray (Chris Brokate Photo) Props also to millionaires Melady's Monet and Great Vintage, the trotter and pace who put up career wins No. 53 and 48, respectively, during the Saturday card. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 11, 2019 - Favored Itty Bitty with harness racing driver Jason Bartlett in the sulky gave nothing else a shot Friday night (Jan. 11th), handily winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 3, Itty Bitty retook from Wishy Washy Girl (George Brennan) before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. Shen then opened more nighttime daylight at every subsequent interval (:58.1, 1:26.1, 1:55), as in two lengths (half), 2½ lengths (three-quarters), 4½ lengths (stretch) and 5¼ lengths (finish). Clear Idea (Matt Kakaley) was a best-of-the-rest second, with Dude'salady (Jim Marohn Jr.), Amateur Hour (Brent Holland) and Culinary Delight N (Larry Stalbaum) rounding out the payees. For Itty Bitty, a now-5-year-old daughter of Always a Virgin co-owned (as A. Harris Racing) by (trainer) Andrew Harris, J. Robert Darrow and Evan Katz, it was her first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.20, the triple returned $156.50 and the superfecta paid $582. Bartlett won half of the evening's 10 races.  YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $2,200 CARRYOVER, 10G GUARANTEE A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Jan. 12th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,257.15 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 6 through 10 Saturday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, December 20, 2018 -- To the surprise of very few, Jason Bartlett and Rene Allard were Yonkers Raceway's leading harness racing 2018 driver and trainer, respectively. The 237-program season (one postponement), which concluded this past Sunday (Dec. 16th), saw Bartlett roll along to an eighth local title. The 37-year-old Bartlett, originally from Augusta, ME, was both the winningest (485) and busiest (2,328) driver, winning at a 20.8 percent clip. His $8.8 million in purses also led the list. Jordan Stratton was again second, this time with 371 wins and $7.3 million in purses, with the top five win list completed by George Brennan (345), Jim Marohn Jr. (167) and Brent Holland (164). Allard, a 31-year-old Quebecois now operating out of Matamoras, PA, took down the Westchester prize for the second time in the last three seasons. He sent out 178 winners from 843 starters (21.1 percent winning percentage), leading in purses ($3.55 million). Scott DiDomenico (160 wins), Richard Banca (141) Ron Burke (113) and Jennifer Bongiorno (71) completed the first quintet among wins. The Raceway's 234-program, 2019 season is set to begin Monday night (Jan. 7th), with a first post of 6:50 PM, A complete schedule accompanies this release, with all dates pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Frank Drucker

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