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YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 20, 2018--The public figured it out Monday night (Aug. 20th) with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $160,400 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $80,200 events led to a pair of winning favorites. The opening division saw Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, $3) mock both an eight-hole and seven outclassed foes, an as-he-pleased 4¼-length win in 1:57.3 Away fourth early, Gimpanzee went up and over early (:28.3, :59.2) leader Cavill Hanover (Dan Duve) before a 1:28.2 three-quarters. Gimpanzee opened 3½ lengths into the lane, then finished it off because the rules said he had to. Our White Knight (Scott Zeron) did get into second (for the fifth time), with Bazillionaire (Trond Smedshammer) third and Brady Bunch (Andy Miller)--who missed the memo at the outset--fourth. As for Gimpanzee, the son of Chapter Seven hasn't been tested thus far, winning his first four (NYSS) races by a combined 16½ lengths. Gimpanzee is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach, FL, co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. The exacta paid $44, the triple returned $307 and the superfecta paid $1,467 "He's just very mature," Sears--single digits away from 10,000 career wins--said. The evening's second and final grouping was won by Chapter Fashion ($5.90), who two-moved to the lead from post position No. 7, then held sway (:29.2, 59.3, 1:29, 1:58.1). Thunder (Zeron) tried it first-up, missing three-quarters of a length, with Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) third and Xcuseme (John Stark Jr.) fourth. The other half of the field, including second-choice Keystone Cash (Jimmy Takter), all misbehaved at some juncture. For Chapter Fashion, a Chapter Seven gelding owned by Fashion Farms and trained by Jim Campbell, it was his second (consecutive) win in five '18 tries. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple paid $45.20 and the superfecta paid $438. "He seemed to get around the track alright," Bartlett said. "There was some movement, but we weren't going very fast." New York Sire Stakes continue here Friday night (Aug. 24th), with the $156,000 Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts/geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 18, 2018-Tepid choice Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, $6.10) finished what he started Saturday night (Aug. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Somewhere in L A-from post position No. 5-threw down intervals of :26.2; 55.4; 1:23 and 1:51.4. He whipped a pocketed McErlean (Brent Holland) by a length, with Theartofconfusion A (Mark MacDonald), Techtor Hanover (Dan Dube) and Always at My Place (George Brennan) rounding out the payees. For Somewhere in L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his eighth win in 20 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32.20, the triple returned $102 and the superfecta paid $397. It was one of Bartlett's six wins during the dozen-race card. Sears won thrice, while New Zealand driving champion Dexter Dunn began his stateside odyssey with a pair of drives. Dunn finished third as an odds-on favorite and seventh with an outsider. Sunday's (Aug. 19th) matinee has a first post of 12:35 PM, with races 1 through 4 of 'French' theme, two at the mile-and-a-quarter and two at the mile-and-a-half distance. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's first race and Yonkers' third. Post times are 1 PM and 1:35 PM, respectively. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Sunday afternoon’s (Aug. 19th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,390.53 and a $15,000 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 (if 11 or less races, the gimmick is the last five races on the card). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Sunday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/sun_program.pdf First post Sunday is 12:35 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 12, 2018--Odds-on favorite Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, $3.60) dusted 'em from first-over Sunday afternoon (Aug. 12th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot in track record time.. The weekly harness racing trotting feature went at the flat mile, directly after the four mile-and-a-quarter 'French' races. Away fifth from post position No. 4, the people's preference watched as lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) made the first lead. He then gave way to Mosinterestingman (Jordan Stratton) at the :27:1 opening quarter-mile. The one found a :56.3 intermission as Guardian Angel AS was out and moving. He engaged the leader in earnest by the 1:25.2 three-quarters, putting him away early in the lane. Guardian Angel AS widened the margin to 2¾ lengths in 1:53.4...a track record for his weight class. It was Mosinterestingman holding second, with In Secret (George Brennan), Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears) and NF Happenstance rounding out the payees. For Guardian Angel AS, a 4-year-old son of Archangel co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was his fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $164.50. Sunday's incarnation of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 4-Take Notice (Saratoga's 1st race) and 1-Kennel Buddy (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $12.70 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $6,867. The next Sunday matinee is Aug. 19th (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 10, 2018- It was an outside post, two-speed number Friday night (Aug. 10th), with Caviart Cherie (Jason Bartlett, $8.70) winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Outleaving her six inside foes, Caviart Cherie made an easy lead, pocketing eight-holer Magic Forces (George Brennan) and setting soft early intervals of :28 of :57.3. Rockstar Angel A (Eric Goodell) tried it first-up from fourth, going nowhere fast. That took out any semblance of an outer flow, including tepid 2-1 favorite Delightfulmemphisn (Dan Dube). Meanwhile, Caviart Cherie remained the leader in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead off the final turn. She held sway, whipping an angling-out Magic Forces by a half-length in 1:53. Vorst (Brent Holland), Change the Rulz N (Mark MacDonald) and Made of Jewels AS (Joe Bongiorno)-none of whom left the cones-completed the cashers. For third choice Caviart Cherie, a 4-year-old daughter of Well Said owned by Joe P Racing and trained by William Adamczyk, it was her 11th win in in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $78.50, the triple returned $423.50 and the superfecta paid $4,304. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway      

YONKERS, NY,- Mach it Par (Jason Bartlett, $4.60) repeated-barely-Friday night (June 15th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Forwardly-placed from post position No. 5 (in one notch after a defection), Mach it a Par easily worked around Medusa (George Brennan). There were cheapy fractions (:28.4, :58.1) before Motu Moonbeam N (Mark MacDonald) tried it first-up from fourth. The one never came close in and out of a 1:25.3 three-quarters, with Mach it a Par owning a length-and-three-quarter lead off the final turn. Medusa edged out and closed resolutely, but missed a nose in 1:53.2. Dude'salady (Brent Holland), just-over-even-money fave Newborn Sassy (Dan Dube) and Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) came away with the minors. Someone, somewhere jumped over some bridge, as the show prices returned $8.30, $17.20 and $18.80, respectively. For second choice Mach it a Par, an 8-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her sixth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.60, the triple returned $100 and the superfecta paid $217. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 9, 2018-Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, $4.80) and Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory, $8.10) shared the Saturday night (June 9th) spotlight, winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicaps. Favored Somewhere in L A, remanded behind the eight-ball in week's adult pace, was parked past a :26.4 opening quarter-mile to make the lead. He did so around Always at My Place (George Brennan), with Soho Wallstreet A (Eric Goodell) away third. Somewhere in L A found a :56.1 intermission before invading Barimah A (Brent Holland) moved from fifth. The one had an eventful effort, looking around while on a line, then seemingly stalled before getting in gear again. Meanwhile, the leader remained so in and out of a 1:24 three-quarters, the advantage a length entering the lane. Always at My Place was able to extricate himself from the cones, but missed a in 'Somewhere's' season's-best 1:52. Barimah A was a good third, with Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) and Theartofconfusion A (Dan Dube) grabbing the remainder. For Somewhere in L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was his fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, the triple returned $88 and the superfecta paid $454.50. The weekly trotting feature had a different look early when 9-10 choice Seasoned Saint (Bartlett) broke before the start and wound up a 'did not finish,' appearing injured. Bluebird Jesse (Holland) made the lead (:28, :57.4), pocketing 82-1 bombardier Fearless Man (Goodell). Tight Lines, away third from post position No. 4, moved to the leader down the backside the second time. He was the new at the 1:25.3 three-quarters, widening to a length-and-three-quarters in and out of the final turn. From there, Tight Lines closed the sale, winning by 2¾ lengths in 1:54...fastest local trot mile of the season. Bluebird Jesse easily held second, with Andy Ray (Dube), Uva Hanover (Brian Sears) and DW's NY Yank (Brennan) relegated to the minors. For second choice Tight Lines, a 5-year-old Yankee Glide gelding co-owned by his trainer/driver, Jesmeral Stable and William Richardson, it was his first board finish in four '18 tries. The exacta paid $42.20, the triple returned $234.50 and the superfecta paid $2,099. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 26, 2018-The polls have closed, and it's officially Trump Nation. The colt by that very same name proved quite the best Saturday night (May 26th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The $300,000 28th Rooney saw six 3-year-old colts and two geldings start, but seven ended up chasing in vain. From post position No. 4, Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett, $6.80) was forwardly-placed, as was Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller). The latter made the first lead, before the former played leapfrog. Trump Nation seized the day (night?) just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. Trump Nation, who won the second of last week's two elimination races, then rated a 29-second next subsection (:56.3 half), which would serve him well. Along came 3-5 favorite Springsteen (Brian Sears), first-up from fifth, and the race was underway in earnest. Kwik Talkin' (George Brennan) slipped out to race second-over, but gapped badly. Meanwhile, the leader and his 'prompter' rolled through a :26.4 third quarter (1:26.2), with the people's preference packing it in readily. Trump Nation owned a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn. Babes Dig Me edged from the pocket, while Minnie Vinnie-the scourge of Iowa-had room after sitting third. However, the Trumpster was up to the challenge, defeating Minnie Vinnie by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:51.3...a life-best by a good number. Babes Dig Me was clearly third, with 124-1 rank outsider Major Authority (Mark MacDonald) and Decoy (Dave Miller) rounding out the payees. Kwik Talkin', Springsteen and Jimtastic (Eric Goodell) completed the order. Decoy, the other elim winner, had a no-chance trip after the open draw buried him behind the eight-ball. For second choice Trump Nation, a statebred son of Betterthancheddar co-owned (as of this past Monday) by Evan Katz & Crawford Racing and trained (as of this past Monday) by Chris Oakes, it was his third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $113.50, the triple returned $731 and the superfecta paid $6,643. "I couldn't have ask for the race to work out any better," Bartlett said. "I was able to back down the half and pick it up when Springsteen came at me. "I thought the two outside horses (Babes Dig Me and Decoy) had to leave, and when I saw Brett (Miller, Babes Dig Me), I let him go and retook "I have to say that (former trainer) Andrew (Harris) really did the right thing with him last season, wanting to race him from off the pace. He deserves a lot of credit." As does the chauffeur, who won his first Rooney Pace in his 11th try. "It took me long enough," Bartlett said. ALEXA'S POWER TAKES LISMORE FINAL YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 26, 2018—If there isn’t talk about changing the name the Lismore to the Tetrick, perhaps there ought to be. Driver Tim Tetrick has made the race his own personal playground, winning Yonkers Raceway’s Saturday night (May  26th) edition with the homebred Alexa’s Power ($3.70). The $111,444 companion event to the Art Rooney Pace attracted eight 3-year-old lasses after one was given lovely parting gifts in last week’s lone elimination. As for Alexa’s Power, she—from post position No. 6—was away third, behind Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett) and Believe in Me (Brian Sears). Her position was secured after Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) and elim winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) both made early breaks, the latter ending up racing inside the cones. Pass Line Bluechip found a 28-second opening quarter-mile, before Alexa’s Power moved again. It took her just about a quarter-mile to wrest the lead, eventually doing so before a :56.2 intermission. Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), as the 69-1 bombardier, went first-up from fifth, not getting close to the leader and her 1:25.2 three-quarters. Alexa’s Power held a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, then held off her two pursuers. Pass Line Bluechip took her shot from the pocket as did Believe in Me from the three-hole. The leader hung tough, however, Alexa’s Power won by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Pass Line Bluechip photoed Believe in Me for second, with a ground-saving Reign on Me (Brett Miller) and Solitary (Brent Holland) grabbing the minors. Python Blue Chip, Checker Past and Jewels Forreal rounded out the order.     For Alexa’s Power, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Jeff Snyder and trained by Jim Campbell, is was her third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.40, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $29.4 and the superfecta paid $231. Tetrick won this race for a fifth time, including Tyra’s stakes-record 1:52.1 four seasons ago.   For Alexa’s Power starting nose-to-gate was refreshing after second-tier getaways here in a division of the Reynolds Memorial and last week’s elimination race. “I thought I’d end up second-over,” Tetrick said. “I wound up getting away third, and from there, I wanted to put her on the lead. “Jordan (Stratton, last week’s driver) told me she was loaded then, so I had all the confidence in her. She dug in when she had to. “It takes a special sort of filly to win the Lismore,” he said. “You need one that can handle an audible if the plan changes.” It doesn’t hurt to have Tetrick calling the plays, either.   Saturday night’s $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by Theartofconfusion A (Miller, $40.80) and DW’s NY Yank (Brennan, $8.20), taking the pacing and trotting events in 1:51.1 and 1:54.3, respectively. The evening’s last race resulted in the fastest local mile of the season, a 1:51 beat down by odds-on Bettor Memories (Bartlett, $3.20) in the $27,500 pacing finale.     The Raceway now goes AWOL for live racing and evening simulcasting until Friday, June 8th. Afternoon simulcasting continues each day except Tuesday. by Frank Drucker, for Empire City @ Yonkers

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 24, 2018--It's not possible to measure the worth of a human being...until now. Jason Bartlett, Yonkers Raceway's perennial leading driver, has been appraised at a cool $200. Well, sort of. As part of harness racing's Trotting 4 Charity initiative, Bartlett's special set of colors--which he wore during a few racing programs--brought $200 at an auction which closed Wednesday night (May 23rd). The colors were won by Joe Betro of Delancey's Bar and Restaurant in Goshen, NY. Bartlett's charity of choice is the Eva Fini Fund. Eva is a young neighbor of the Bartletts who is courageously battling Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome, first identified by Austrian physician Dr. Andreas Rett in 1966, is, according to an informational page, "a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. It is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability." "Joe is a horse owner with Ed Hart is his trainer and we both know the Fini family very well," Bartlett said. "He's committed to the charity and I'm guessing he's going to hang the colors up in the restaurant. "I'm just happy to help out." A Yonkers' racing program 'box' which shows the colors and the fund logo accompanies this release. For more information about Rett syndrome, please visit rettsyndrome.org. To learn about Trotting 4 Charity, go to trotting4charity.com. By Frank Drucker for Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY-- Post positions have been drawn for the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace and $111,444 Lismore Pace set for Yonkers Raceway this Saturday night, May 26th.   The 28th edition of the Rooney, one of Yonkers' premier event's for the sport's glamour division, offers six 3-year-old colts and two geldings. Inaugurated 1989, the Rooney pays homage to the Hall of Fame founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers and patriarch of the Rooney Family.   Elimination winners Trump Nation with "Maine Man" Jason Bartlett in the bike drew post position four, while Decoy, Dave Miller handling the reins, is saddled with the outside eight hole.   Miller, who has won this race three times, including last season with Downbytheseaside will have his work cut out for him behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jimmy Takter trains for Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco. Decoy won his elim going away, by 8½ lengths in a 'good' 1:54.   Bartlett, the perennial leading driver at Empire City Casino's historic half mile oval, has never won the Rooney. Trump Nation took over early a week ago, making the lead from an eventual breaker and holding sway. He won by a head in 1:53.3. his fastest purse mile of the season.   The Betterthancheddar colt enters the final with new co-ownership (Evan Katz and Crawford Racing) and a new trainer in Chris Oakes.   The field, with declared drivers is as follows: 1-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick), 2-Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton listed), 3-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4-Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), 5-Jimtastic (Eric Goodell), 6-Major Authority (Yannick Gingras), 7-Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 8-Decoy (Dave Miller).   The 14th Lismore, companion event to the Rooney, was carded as the fifth race. Lone elimination winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) landed in post No. 2 among the octet of 3-year-old pacing.   The field, with declared drivers...1-Solitary (Brent Holland), 2-Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube), 3-Believe in Me (Brian Sears), 4-Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett), 5-Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) 6-Alexa's Power (Tim Tetrick), 7-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), 8-Reign on Me (Brett Miler).   First post for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM.   by John Cirillo, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 4, 2018—First, she won the open draw. Then, she closed matters early. Odds-on favorite Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $2.60) toyed with her six foes Friday night (May 4th), easily winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Away second, Mach it a Par went up and over Bettorhaveanother (Joe Bongiorno) before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. A qualifier-esque :57.4 intermission effectively ended what minimal suspense actually remained. Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) was the first to move—from seventh—and subsequently broke after Call Me Queen Be (Eric Goodell) appeared to come out underneath her. Meanwhile, Mach it a Par maintained her open lead in and out of a 1:26.1 three-quarters, widening to 3½ lengths off the final turn. She finished if off by 2½ lengths in 1:54.2. Culinary Delight (Larry Stalbaum) did get into second, with Bettorhaveanother, Call Me Queen Be and Delightful Dragon coming away with the minors.   For Mach it a Par, an 8-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D’Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her fourth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.40, with the triple returning $28.60. Derby Day fun begins early Saturday (May 5th), with mutuel windows opening at 10 AM in advance of the 144th  Kentucky Derby. First post at Churchill Downs is 10:30 AM, and Yonkers getting the spirit with the obligatory hat contests, mint juleps and an array of food and drink specials. Of course, since a wager or two is made, windows are open both inside and outside, with Derby post time set for about 6:46 PM.     Frank Drucker Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 28, 2018 -- Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett won a full one-third of Yonkers Raceway's dozen races Saturday night (Apr. 28th), including the co-featured $40,000 Open Handicap Trot with favored Fearless Man ($4.50). Forwardly-placed from assigned--and moist--post position No. 4, Fearless Man made the first lead. He then gave it up to lass Charmed Life (Dan Dube) right at a 27-second opening quarter-mile. The latter continued through subsequent of intervals of :57.3 and 1:26.3, with 32-1 Crazshana (Brent Holland) supplying some unwanted company. Charmed Life owned a length lead into the lane, but tired and bore out enough to allow Fearless Man to through the side door. That one whipped a second-up Mostinterestingman (Larry Stalbaum) by a length in 1:56.2. Charmed Life saved the bottom of the ticket, with In Secret (George Brennan) and Crazshana coming away with the minor awards. For Fearless Man, an 8-year-old Elegant Man gelding trained by Andrew Harris for co-owners Rick Zeron Stables, Murray Greenfield, Noblock and Cool Cat Racing, it was his fourth win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $63, with the triple returning $281. The evening's $40,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by wagering choice Windsong Leo (Brennan, $5.10) in a down-the-road 1:53.2. Back to Bartlett, who swept a popular $13.80 early daily double with faves P H Supercam ($4.10) in 1:53.2 and Bell I No ($4.50) in 1:53. He also bookended ended the card with Perfect Bet ($20.80) in the 12th-race finale (1:52.4). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, N.Y. – As the leading driver at Yonkers Raceway in each of the past four seasons, including last year when horses he drove earned $10.4 million, harness racing driver Jason Bartlett finds himself in an unusual position three months into the 2018 season: in second place. Although his 104 victories at the meet are 36 more than George Brennan’s 68 wins, Bartlett trails Jordan Stratton by nine wins with a quarter of the season in the books. Although he calls it a slow start by his standards, Bartlett’s competitive mindset looks forward, not back. “I had a real slow winter meet, but everything is picking up now,” Bartlett said. “My main barns weren’t racing a lot of horses. It happens, I guess. There’s some things you can’t control and that’s one of them. I guess it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” One of the main trainers Bartlett drives for, Rich Banca, went 6-for-61 in January, the stable heated up as the Matchmaker and Levy series approached, going 25 for its next 135 through March 28. Bartlett will drive in all eight of this weekend’s Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series divisions and he drives for Banca in six of them. As the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Series continues into their third legs this weekend, Bartlett continues to be impressed by the competitiveness of each series. Six different horses have won the first seven division of the Matchmaker while seven unique horses captured the first nine Levy splits. “The great thing about it this year is you have your top-level horses in there, but some of the horses who are maybe not as talented can beat the better horses because of the post positions, the bad draws, bad spots,” he explained. “I think both the Matchmaker and the Levy are great this year because right now it’s been post position draws that have won the races. It’s going to be interesting. Now more so than most years, because there’s so many different horses winning, the wins really matter. Coming down to the wire, it’s going to be very interesting.” Bartlett gave his thoughts on each horse he will drive in the series. Friday March 30, 2018: Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Third Leg Race 6 – Division One #5 Mach It A Par 7-2 (Tr. Rich Banca) A 39-time winner and earner of $783,847, Mach It A Par is a two-time finalist of the Matchmaker Series. She was unplaced in her first three starts of the year, but strung together consecutive wins in a $25,000 overnight and a $30,000 Filly and Mare Preferred entering the series. After finishing fourth from post seven in leg one, Mach It A Par finished second to L A Delight in leg two. She will get a rematch with that rival tonight. “She’s been good. All year she’s been pretty consistent. In the right spots, she’s done her job. She’s the best she’s been in a long time. I was very happy the way she finished up last week. We’re in kind of a tough spot on the outside of the gate, so if we can work out a trip with her, second- or third-over, she could be pretty good. Last week was very good seeing her like that again.” Race 7 – Division Two #1 Lady Shadow 5-2 (Tr. Rich Banca) Champion mare Lady Shadow joined the Banca ranks last fall and made her seasonal debut a winning one when she captured leg one of the Matchmaker wire-to-wire in 1:53.4. Although $1.9 million earner finished fourth as the odds-on favorite last week, Bartlett believes the trip got the better of her after he brushed her to the lead in a :55.4 half. Lady Shadow will face Shartin N this week, who is 2-for-2 in the Matchmaker. “Last week I used her a little bit too hard. We were going a pretty quick clip and then it slowed down real fast and I heard a little commotion behind me, so I had to move there or come first-over a little bit later. I decided just to move her to the front and she got a little tired there. If they would have gone a little bit faster to the half, I would have never moved her. They forced my hand. They went :26.1 and we were going really slow into the paddock turn and I didn’t want to shut her off, so I had to move her. We got the rail this week and it doesn’t look like we’re going to have to go :26.0, that’s for sure.” Race 8 – Division Three #6 Wishy Washy Girl 3-1 (Tr. Rich Banca) Five-year-old daughter of Roll With Joe returned with a lackluster sixth March 9, just a week before the series began. She skipped leg one of the series in favor of a $20,000 overnight March 16 and won by 6 ¾ lengths in 1:54.2. Last week, Bartlett drove her to a wire-to-wire score in the Matchmaker second leg, where she beat first leg winner Twinkle. “If you’re going into that series, you’re going to want to be kind of sharp. It was a step up for her anyways. For her to jump right in there not off a great race the week before, that would be asking a lot of her. We threw her in an overnight to see if she was going to be able to go with them and she proved that she could. Last week, she drew the rail and the good thing about her is she can leave the car really fast and then she’s really handy afterwards. Last week, we had the horse to beat on our back and was able to not let them out. That’s what she can do; she’s able to put better horses in bad spots because she’s so handy. Do I think I would I have been able to beat that hose if I hadn’t been in front of her? Probably not. She’s just handy on the half-mile track, she can do anything you want her to do. It looks like a tough spot this week. We have some horses inside that can leave. I’m just going to read the gate and go from there.” Race 9 – Division Four #2 All About Madi 9-2 (Tr. Brittany Robertson) Daughter of Brandon’s Cowboy was unplaced in the first two legs of the series after putting together a string of on the board finishes in open company earlier this season. Bartlett will drive her for the first time since January 19 when she faded to finish fourth as the even-money favorite in a $25,000 overnight. “I think she’s been pretty good. I haven’t driven her since the beginning of the year, went off favored, put her on the front, she was no good. That’s really not her gig, racing her on the front probably wasn’t the best idea. She’s got a good spot. I’ve seen her a couple times, she’s been coming up the rail near the wire, she’s had a lot of pace. She’s one of those horses that you need a helmet and she’ll give you a good kick home, so that’s probably what I’ll try to do is get her on the right helmet and go from there.” Saturday March 31, 2018: George Morton Levy Series Third Leg Race 7 – Division One #5 Blood Brother 6-1 (Tr. Rich Banca) The 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere is a 23-time winner, a $739,380-earner, and made the final of the series last year. Bartlett drove him to consecutive wins at the $20,000 level in the weeks leading up to the series, one in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:53.1 and one from off the pace in 1:54.2. Blood Brother finished a disappointing seventh beaten 11 lengths in the first leg of the series and skipped last week. Series standouts Mach It So and Missile J drew to his inside. “He’s just been ok this year so far. He was sick last week, so we gave him the week off. I really don’t know what to expect from him. He’s a nice little horse, he’s handy. I’ll just have to trip him out. It’s a pretty tough field of horses, it’s a pretty tough group.” Race 8 – Division Two #1 Another Daily Copy 4-1 (Tr. Rich Banca) Dismissed at odds of 25-1 last week, the 5-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere rallied up the inside to finish third to Evenin Of Pleasure by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:53.3. He draws favorably this week and Bartlett looks to get an ideal trip behind Dr J Hanover, who won the first two legs of the series after setting slow half-mile fractions of :58.1 and :57.3, respectively. “Finished really well last week. I never left the rail with him, he kind of battled on. He came up the inside and actually had a lot of pace at the wire. Looks like hopefully we’ll get a decent trip again this week and he can be right there. He’s another horse that can beat some nice horses with a decent trip. I’ll probably push the rail and try and sit behind ‘Dr J.’ Dr J Hanover is a great horse obviously, but he hasn’t had to work for anything yet. We’ll see what happens when he has to work a little bit. The horse can leave with the car, sometimes the car can’t get out of the way fast enough, so that’s part of his game, leaving fast, shutting it down, and sprinting home. Looks like a good horse to follow.” Race 10 – Division Three #5 Killer Martini 6-1 (Tr. Ricky Bucci) Teamed with Bartlett to score two upset victories in the Open Handicap Pace in February before posting a string of four straight losses, including in leg one of the series March 17. The 6-year-old son of Camluck was scratched sick in leg two. He draws outside Western Fame, a winner in the series last week, Keystone Velocity, the series’ defending champion, and Rockin Ron, who is 2-for-2 to start the series. “We got a couple good races there in the Open two weeks in a row. We got fast halves, great trips, so that was good. He’s a nice little Yonkers horse, makes a lot of money. No gate speed, so we’re just going to be dependent on how the race develops and take it from there.” Race 11 – Division Four #5 Somewhere In L A 3-1 (Tr. Rich Banca) Finished second beaten a head by Keystone Velocity in the $529,000 final of the Levy Series last year, Somewhere In L A is a $1.4 million earning son of Somebeachsomewhere. Although his form tailed off at the end of 2017, Somewhere In L A returned a wire-to-wire winner in a $20,000 overnight March 3 and posted another pace-setting win the following week in a sharp 1:52.4. He finished second to Dr J Hanover in week one of the series and second to Western Fame last week. Bartlett was happy with the former effort, but blames himself for the most recent loss. “He qualified great, he raced great. The first race with ‘Dr J,’ I just didn’t want to get into a speed duel with that horse, so I elected to come first-over. I knew it was going to be a slow half, but he still grinded out a second, which is great. Last week, I think I lost the race. I shouldn’t have raced the horse on the backside as much as I did. I felt I had him beat. I think it was my fault, but he raced really well. He is a tough horse and he just doesn’t quit. He might not be the most talented, but he has a big heart and he’s pretty versatile. He’s just a nice horse all around. I think he might have caught one of the cheaper groups this week. All Bets Off had the outside the first week and we beat him. I’m not sure, he can go both ways, but he likes to be placed forward, so we’ll see.” By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, January 21, 2018 — Harness racing favored Melady’s Monet (Jason Bartlett, $4.60) was just barely good enough Sunday morning (Jan. 21th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. The field of seven (down from nine after a couple of defections) went as the opener and the first of seven ‘French’ trots. His eight-hole now a six-hole after those scratches, Melady’s Monet made the first lead, unimpeded by a breaking Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory). ‘Melady’ found a :29.4 opening quarter-mile before briefly giving it up to Super Manning (Jordan Stratton), The fave wanted no part of the pocket, so he retook prior to the :59.1 half.  Cash Me Out (Eric Goodell) then moved from fifth, just about getting even with Melady’s Monet by the 1:30.1 three-quarters. Disposing of that rival around the 1:58.4 milepost, Melady’s Monet opened a length-and-three quarters into the lane, and needed all out it.   A ground-saving Moneycounts De Vie (Matt Kakaley) found room up the cones, surged, but the 18-1 rank outsider missed a nose. Melady’s Monet found paydirt in time, getting the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:27.4. Third went to Rock of Cashel (Brent Holland), with Dog Gone Lucky (catch-driver Dan Dube) and Cash Me Out settling for the remainder. For Melady’s Monet, a 9-year-old Revenue S gelding owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Kevin McDermott, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $43.20, with triple returning $229.50. Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ offered a winning combination of 5-Control Group (Aqueduct’s 3rd race) and 3-Royal Bachelor (Yonkers’ 5th race) paid $11.80 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,942.   Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, N.Y. – The harness racing Pick 5 at Yonkers Raceway features a $15,113.25 carryover and $40,000 guaranteed pool Friday night. The bet, which offers no consolation payout, covers races 7 through 11 and offers a 50-cent base wager. Free past performances for the card are available here. Two of the track’s leading drivers, Jason Bartlett and George Brennan, discussed their drives in the sequence and their approach to racing without a passing lane on the half-mile oval: Race 7 Bartlett - #4 American Island (5-2): Ended the 2017 season at Yonkers winning or placing in six of his last seven races. In his last three starts, the Rich Banca trainee scored a victory from post seven for a $15,000 tag and posted two seconds, each by a nose, at this level December 8 and 15. “He’s been racing good and he’s had some tough post positions. He’s drawing inside, he’s got gate speed if need be. He’s not in a bad spot.” Brennan - #3 Blade Seelster (2-1): Class dropping Robertson pupil won 11 of 35 starts and earned $183,535 last year, but faded on the lead in his last two outings to close 2017. Brennan takes the lines for the first time since October 27. “He’s ok, he’s alright. Three hole, he’s got a good spot. He’s got a good record, a lot of wins last year. They used his early speed the last two starts and it didn’t do him anything and now he’s been off for almost a month going in. Is he up to it? You don’t know. It’s difficult, it’s really hard.” Race 8 Bartlett - #2 Big City Jewel (8-5): Won six of his last seven to close his 2017 campaign and makes his 7-year-old debut at the level of the claim for Robertson. Shows success on the lead and from off the pace. “I’ve driven this horse twice, I won with him both times. He’s a really nice little horse. He’s been racing really well, draws inside, so he looks pretty good. He’s just a handy little horse. The one horse (Bettor Reason N) is probably one of the horses to beat, I would say.” Brennan - #4 Northern Virgin (12-1): Burke trainee is a consistent check-getter, but hasn’t won since November 5 while down in class at Harrah’s. “Decent spot, ok. He’s a piece-getter. I’m not really sold on him to be a top one-two in there. He’s just kind of a big horse. He’s the kind of horse I’d like to be first-over with and just grind my way into it if I could. We’ll see how that works. (With the passing lane), if you’re sitting fourth, it’s most likely you were going to be first-over. Now that guy in the three-hole, he’s got to come out. Tuesday, a guy pulled out of the two-hole at the half, a couple guys pulled the two-hole down the backside early. A lot of these guys have never driven without a passing lane. I started driving with a hub rail and no passing lane; it doesn’t really matter to me because I’ve figured it out before. It’s interesting, now, you get away fourth and there’s a good chance you’re getting a second-over trip. It’s definitely changed it up, shuffled the cards a little bit and I think for the better, for sure. “There’s definitely a lot more action. I’ve found horses are coming from behind, some of the favorites are getting beat up early and used early where they generally wouldn’t before. They’re getting pressured and there’s more of a live flow because the horses are pulling earlier and they’re trying to get there from behind. There have been quite a few longshots in the first three days.” Race 9 Bartlett - #2 War Daddy (3-1): Won out of his last condition here by a nose November 27 before finishing fifth for a $40,000 tag December 16. Five-year-old gelding by Quik Pulse Mindale drops to the $30,000 level tonight and draws inside again. “He’s racing good. Looks like I’ll be following the one (Midnight Dylan N). He’ll be up close, with no passing lane, who knows, but he figures in there. It’s hard to say right now because none of the horses have been racing consistently. Everybody’s been coming off a break, so it’s hard to say. I think everybody’s been trying to get the learning curve with it right now. You are seeing people pop the deuce a lot more. I just think it’s going to hinder the horses sitting sixth, seventh, and eighth even more. I think you really have to be sitting up close. I’ve been going with the flow; the horses haven’t been racing, so it’s hard to try different things with them. A couple times I knew I would have gone back to the rail if there was a passing lane and I stayed out. Instead of leaving to get the two-hole, now you’re taking back to be first- or second-over, but you also see horses coming first-over who aren’t making up any ground either.” Brennan - #3 Go Collect N (9-2): Ended 2017 with an upset 2-length win at the non-winners of $10,000 condition with Brennan in the sulky. Races for a tag for the first time since joining the Di Domenico ranks last fall. “He’s ok, he’s moving up a bit, but he comes from a good barn. I’ve raced him from behind before, I’ve raced him on the lead before. He can do either or and he fits in there. He’s ok.” Race 10 Bartlett - #1 SOS Justified (3-1): Finished fourth at this level from post seven to close the 2017 season. Returned Opening Day with another fourth-place effort from the six post, beaten 2 ¼ lengths. “Drawn inside and I don’t think that’s a real tough race. He looks pretty good in there. He does well when he draws inside and that’s not a real tough group I don’t think. Most of the horses in there have raced (off the break). He should be better, he should be good in that spot. Raced good last week.” Brennan - #4 Adonis Bay (10-1): After posting a dozen wins season last year, the 6-year-old gelding opened 2017 with a fifth behind SOS Justified January 7. “I raced him last week, he was a little short. Looking to be a little tighter. He’s ok. He’s a piece-getter, but he’s not bad. He did win 12 races last year, so he knows how to win.” Race 11 Bartlett - #6 Pembroke Wildcat (5-1): Won an Open in Maine and placed in two local contests at the non-winners of $10,000 level last fall. Closed 2017 with a sixth-place finish for a $30,000 tag. Makes his debut off the claim for Robertson. “Don’t know much about this horse. Hasn’t raced, but the whole field hasn’t raced, so you can’t go by that. Looks like there’s a bit of speed in there, probably have to take back and be second- or third-over and see what happens.” Brennan – N/A (No Drive) In addition to the Pick 5 carryover, Friday’s card also features a $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace in race six. First post time is 6:50 p.m. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, December 20, 2017—The B’s had it in Westchester 2017, with Jason Bartlett and Richard Banca winning Yonkers Raceway’s harness racing driver and trainer titles, respectively. The 235-program season (three postponements), which concluded this past Sunday (Dec. 17th), saw Bartlett roll along to a seventh local title. The 36-year-old Bartlett, originally from Augusta, ME, was both the winningest (542) and busiest (2,635) driver, winning at a 22.9 a percent clip. His $10.4 million in purses also led the list. Jordan Stratton ascended to second with 378 wins and $8.3 million in purses, with the top five win list completed by George Brennan (327), Brent Holland (214) and Dan Dube (182). Banca, a 42-year-old native of Paterson, NJ, sent out 187 winners, 36 more last season’s leading trainer, Rene Allard. Banca also led with 986 starters (19 percent winning percentage) and purses ($4.01 million). Scott DiDomenico (117 wins), Ron Burke (109) and Gilberto Garcia-Herrera (87) completed the first quintet among wins.   The Raceway’s 2018 season is set to begin with a Sunday (Jan. 7th) matinee (post time TBA). A complete schedule accompanies this release, with all dates pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway Publicity Director

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, November 14, 2017—For someone who’s running away with yet another local driving title, harness racing reinsman Jason Bartlett had his share of Yonkers Raceway non-believers Tuesday night (Nov. 14th). Those disciples who did keep the faith were handsomely rewarded, with Bartlett winning five of the dozen races, including some at very un-Bartlett-esque prices. It started innocently enough, with favorites Marvalous Jet ($5.10) in the $7,500 third-race pace (1:57) and American Island ($3.20) in the $11,500, fifth-race pace (1:54.3). Then, the double-digit parade took over. A pocketed I Dance U Prance ($11.40) was up at the wire in the $15,000, 10th-race pace (1:55.4). After the dancing and prancing, Day Trade Hanover ($57) prevailed from a three-hole in the $15,000, 11th-race pace (1:56), then Perfect Bet ($30) left sharply, ripping out of the pocket to win the $15,000, 12th-race pace (1:54.4). The Bartlett 7-8 late double returned a holiday-bill-paying $608. Frank Drucker

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