Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 632
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Yonkers, NY — Despite no concrete timetable for his — or anyone’s — return to the races, harness racing driver Jason Bartlett is well into his recuperation from COVID-19. Bartlett, a 22-year veteran of the sulky with over 8,400 driving wins to his credit, recently discussed his experience recovering from the novel coronavirus with Yonkers, N.Y., media outlet News 12 Westchester. “I was just stuffy,” Bartlett said about his bout with COVID-19. “One thing that was weird was my eyes were killing me — I couldn’t really look side to side; I could only look straight ahead.” After coming in contact with John Brennan — who passed on March 10 from complications of COVID-19 — in late February, Bartlett decided to get tested for the virus after experiencing some of the common symptoms. “I wanted to protect my family and everyone I work with,” he continued, noting concern for the horsemen he works closely with in addition to his son’s youth basketball team, which he coaches. Fortunately, Bartlett has been able to weather the storm well, indicating that he has “been pretty lucky with the whole thing,” but he is quick to show deference to trainers and caretakers, whose round-the-clock responsibilities continue — racing or no racing. “At this time, we’re all one,” Bartlett remarked. “The trainers still have to feed these horses … these horses still have to be taken care of.” The USTA Communications Department

YONKERS, NY – Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts (“Empire City”) announced today the suspension of racing operations at its harness track, Yonkers Raceway, through Wednesday, March 18th . Empire City learned on Tuesday, March 10th that an employee of the Standardbred Owners Association (“SOA”), the harness horsemen association, tested positive for COVID-19 before passing away. The individual had an office in the Yonkers Raceway paddock building located next to the racetrack and was last there on February 28, 2020. His death was announced Tuesday, March 10th by New Jersey officials, as he was a resident of that state. As a precaution, racing was canceled on March 10th and employees who had direct contact with the individual were provided with information to secure testing, self-quarantine, and advised to contact their healthcare providers if they are experiencing symptoms. Professional cleaners were engaged to deep clean and sanitize the impacted areas, including the race office and paddock. In addition to regular cleaning procedures, Empire City has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting protocols, with a specific focus on high-touch surfaces. Additional hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the casino. Empire City released the following statement: “The health and safety of our guests and employees remains our highest priority. We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and closely follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials. We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of the colleague we lost. It is a tremendous loss to the sport of racing, the SOA, and the Yonkers Raceway team. He will be missed.” Empire City Casino and its dining entities remain open with regular operating hours.  It was also reported that leading driver Jason Barlett has been quarantine as coronavirus precaution. From Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – The Standardbred Owners Association of New York will make a presentation to the 2019 leading drivers and trainer at Yonkers Raceway Monday night (March 2). Drivers Jason Bartlett and George Brennan, who dead-heated for the most wins last season with 427 each, and trainer Scott Di Domenico, who dominated the trainer’s standings with 180 victories, will each be recognized for their achievements on the racetrack The driver’s race became one of the highlights of the 2019 season at Yonkers and put an unexpected twist on the final few days of racing. After nearly 11 months of competition and over 2,000 starts by the track’s leading drivers, there is typically little left to be settled in the meet’s final weeks. For instance, by Dec. 1, 2018, Jason Bartlett had a 104-win edge on Jordan Stratton. In 2017, Bartlett came into the stretch of the meet with a 153-win margin. However, with two racing days left in the 2019 season, Jason Bartlett and George Brennan were locked in a tight battle for the Yonkers driving title. At Dec. 1, the duo was separated by just three wins, with Brennan ahead 406 to 403. After trading blows throughout December, Bartlett brought a three-win margin into the penultimate night of competition (Dec.16) with 423 wins. It was the closest race in Bartlett’s memory. “Usually by this time, everything is cut and dry of who’s going to get it and who’s not,” Bartlett said. “Between me and George, we drive hard against each other. We’ve always done that. At the end of the day, we still respect each other on and off the track. It’s a good competition, but at the end of the day, we still have a job to do and that’s to win races and get as much money as we can for the trainers.” Bartlett drove four winners on the penultimate card to Brennan’s two, giving the former a 427-423 edge going into the final night of racing Dec. 17. Adding a further complication to the contest, Bartlett missed the final card due to a previously scheduled family vacation. Brennan won four of the first 10 races on the Closing Night program, tying the standings at 427 and had a chance to take sole possession in the final race with Lord Of Misrule. However, when that pacer finished fourth, the standings were final. After 2,657 races from January 7 through December 17, the contest ended in a dead heat. “It was very exciting. I’ve been leading driver before, but this was the most exciting driving race I’ve been involved in. It was a lot of fun,” Brennan said. “I just went about my business and that’s how it ended. It’s a lot of work, a lot of dedication, good clients. It means a lot. “You can’t really think about it. You just have to go about your business and try to stay safe and win races,” Brennan said. “There was something going on with the driving title, but in a sense, it’s secondary because you still have to get the job done, you still have to get the most amount of money for your owners and trainers you’re driving for. That’s the number one priority there.” Bartlett and Brennan both experienced memorable wins in the final week of racing. Bartlett drove Mach It A Par to victory Friday, Dec. 13 in her final career start. The $1.1 million-earning mare aired by 4 1/2 lengths in her bow, her 82nd start and 17th win with Bartlett. Brennan scored with 11-year-old millionaire trotter DW’s NY Yank on the final night of racing in the pair’s 82nd start and 25th win together. Bartlett, 38, won his ninth Hilltop title while Brennan, 52, earned his third. Bartlett saw Brennan as a mentor and an inspiration growing up, making the contest even more meaningful. However, the pair can leave the competition on the track and focus on their work. “He’s a driver that I’ve looked up to my whole life,” Bartlett said. “Being in a competition against him, running for number one, is a pretty big deal for me. Growing up and knowing George and looking up to him. “For me, it means I’m doing my job. I’m there to win races and business is good. Every year, you shoot for it. You’ve got to have a little luck along the way and get some horsepower,” Bartlett said. “It’s a job that I love to do, I’m very competitive at it and it’s really nice to go to work and know every race matters. There’s no messing up. I know a lot of people are watching it.” “I just want to thank all the trainers and owners and caretakers that look after and train the horses, because I can’t do it without them. A big thank you to them,” Brennan said. While Bartlett and Brennan battled to the wire for the driving title, Scott Di Domenico enjoyed an insurmountable lead in the training ranks. The 38-year-old harnessed 180 winners at Yonkers in 2019, 27 more than 2018 champion Rene Allard. It is Di Domenico’s first training title at Yonkers, a goal the he has been working toward for years. He was second in the standings last year with 160 wins and third in 2017 with 117. “It was great. To do that, it’s been something that I’ve been close to a few times over the last three or four years, but never got it solidified. To be able to get it done last year was really special,” Di Domenico said. “It was never anything that I was praying every night that I would get, but you work hard every day and you strive for goals and you strive to win races. When it all comes together like it did, it was really gratifying.” Allard topped the standings through July, but Di Domenico took over a narrow lead in August. Di Domenico extended the margin through the end of the season. However, which such a long season, the title wasn’t something Di Domenico focused on nightly. “Never gave it a lot of thought. Just tried to have our head down working hard and tried to come to work every night prepared and tried to win races,” he said. “The rest of it, it was going to work out one way or the other. I’m glad it worked out the way it did, but it was never something that you sat there every night getting your voodoo doll out and hoping the other guy didn’t win any races.” By mid-November, when he enjoyed a lead of more than 30 victories, Di Domenico could finally step back and look at the big picture. “It was looking promising, it really started to set in, in the middle of November. I was paying more attention to it than I had been at any other point in the year,” Di Domenico said. “But you still try to work hard, and you didn’t want to let up on the gas any to not be able to win. Just tried to stay on the same plan we were on the whole year and tried to keep buying horses and have fresh horses coming in and out all the time and doing the best we could.” Di Domenico averaged 60 to 70 horses in his stable throughout 2019, most of which were pointed to Yonkers, where he made 810 starts last season. Di Domenico credits owners Dana Parham and Jo Ann Fucci not only for being great clients, but also for being great for the industry. “Last year we took kind of a step up. As always, as it’s been since I’ve been out here, Yonkers was my main focus,” Di Domenico said. “All of (the owners), they’re the key to any success. If you don’t have good clientele behind you and guys that are ambitious about buying horses, ambitious about racing, then it is what it is. You’ve got to have people that are ambitious about it and want to win as much as you do.” One of the highlights to Di Domenico’s season was the development of trotter Swansea. The Swan For All gelding joined Di Domenico’s stable in late 2018 and rose through the ranks in 2019. He won three preliminary legs of the SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series last spring before finishing second in the $75,000 Final. Swansea then made the leap to the Open Handicap, winning three local trotting features before year-end. For the season, he went 14-for-29 and earned $255,815. “He was a horse that came from Indiana that nobody had any real high expectations of and to see him come here and make $250,000 and win a lot of races,” Di Domenico said. “He had a little bit of bad luck in the Trotting Series Final in the spring where the trip didn’t work for him as well as we were hoping that night. That horse, he’d have to be at the top of the list. “That series, three horses that really stood out to me now that you can look back on it, Swansea, Joey Bats, and Rich And Miserable,” Di Domenico continued. “It says a lot about that series and it shows how tough that racing can be at Yonkers.” Di Domenico also praised his team for the training title win. “It’s special, those guys work hard every day and certainly they deserve a lot of the credit,” he said. “They’re in the thick of going to the races every night, getting home late, up early, and taking great care of the horses. They certainly deserve a lot of credit for that.” Looking ahead to 2020, Di Domenico hopes for continued success and has his sights set on a repeat. “I’d like to do it again,” Di Domenico said. “It was fun and just the fact that you go to the track and most nights you feel like you’re prepared and you have as good a chance as any to win is a very good feeling. Going home after winning a race or two races is very gratifying.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The M Life Rewards Ladies Series begins Monday night, March 2 while the M Life Rewards Gents Series kicks off Tuesday, March 3. The Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will return Friday, March 13 and the Borgata Pacing Series starts Saturday, March 14. First post time is 7:05 p.m. For entries to the races, By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Monday, February 10, 2020--The second Monday of the month (Feb. 10th) resulted in another admirable Yonkers Raceway harness racing handle. A week after the single-season high ($1,025,349) figure, a total of $982,740 was wagered. The soggy dozen-race card included wins by P L Munson (Renaldo Morales III, $6) in the $16,000, sixth-race pace (1:54.3) and Weona Sizzler A (Jason Bartlett, $3.60) in the $14,500, 10th-race pace (1:54.2). Monday night began the Raceway's $7,500 guarantee Pick 5 pools, which continue each Monday and Tuesday. A total of $11,256 was invested, returning $272.25 for every correct (2/3/3/4/5) combination. Yonkers' Pick 5 remains a 50-cent base wager (races 5 through 9). The Raceway's live schedule continues every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with first post at 7:05 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 7, 2019-- A last-to-first Kaitlyn N (Jason Bartlett, $4.90) picked off her four harness racing rivals Friday night (Feb. 7th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Watching from the outside post position in the quintet, favored Kaitlyn N was at the rear as Itty Bitty (Dan Dube) led through early intervals of :27.3 and :57.2. Pole-sitter Wishy Washy Girl (Joe Bongiorno) was pocketed and Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan) eventually moved first-up from fourth. The later engaged the leader in and out of a 1:25.3 three-quarters, with a second-over Kaitlyn N getting dragged into contention. The people's preference then moved widest and fastest through the lane, prevailing by a length-and-a-half in 1:54.4.   A reserved Sandy Win (Eric Goodell) did get into second, with Wishy Washy Girl, Itty Bitty and Feelin' Red Hot rounding out the order of finishers/payees. For Kaitlyn N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Richard Banca and James & Barbara Boese, it was a winning seasonal debut. The exacta paid $25.20, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The 2020 racing season got off to a quick start at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday morning, as the Big Jim harness racing pacing mare Jossie James A won the first qualifier of the season in 1:54 while making her U.S. debut. Yonkers driving leader Jason Bartlett sent the oft-winning mare away quickly from post seven and tucked third. They sat in that position as Lyons River Pride, first or second in his last four starts against good foes at Yonkers, set fractions of :27.3, :56.4, and 1:25.1, then moved out on the turn and overhauled the leader by a half-length for trainer Richard Banca and owner Barbara Boese. Rene Allard, Pocono's leading trainer last season, teamed with his brother Simon for two qualifying wins, with the fast but fractious trotter Magical Journey in 2:01 and the stakes colt Captain Malicious in 1:57.1 in his 2020 bow. They also had seconds with Lyons River Pride and with newcomer Y S Sunshine, a Quebec stakes winner at two and three. The track's leading driver last season, George Napolitano Jr., also posted a first, guiding Nine Ways, a 14-time winner last campaign, to a wire-to-wire win in 1:56.4, one of two on the day for trainer Antonia Storer. Driver Tyler Buter also had a pair of triumphs during the first session. Tomorrow (Tuesday) will offer another qualifying session along with the draw for this Saturday's Opening Night of the 139-card 2020 racing season. The inaugural card will feature two events in the highlight races of February's action, the Game Of Claims Series for various levels of pacers, with elimination rounds determining who will be in the contest to sit on the throne after taking the series' rich Championship races. In the month of February, Pocono will race on Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m., with Mondays being added in March and post times shifting to the standard 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Monday cards will start at 4 p.m., and they will be joined at that start time in April with Tuesday racing as Pocono expands to its full standard schedule. An introductory press briefing will take place this Thursday to preview the highlights of the 2020 racing season at the northeast Pennsylvania track. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

YONKERS, N.Y. – Entering the penultimate night of racing at Yonkers in the 2019 season, Jason Bartlett led George Brennan in the driver standings 423 to 420. The Dec. 16 program saw the drivers combine for six wins on the 11-race program and at the end of the night, Jason Bartlett extended his margin to 4, leading with 427 victories. However, Bartlett would be absent from the Closing Night program, Tues. Dec. 17 as he departed on a family vacation, never anticipating the driving title would be decided on the final night of a 2,657-race season. To that point, the two drivers had never spoken about the dash title. However, as Bartlett left the driver’s room, the pair acknowledged their rivalry for the first time. “OK, I got you by four. Win four tomorrow and we’ll just end in a tie,” Bartlett told Brennan.  “OK. Done,” Brennan responded. The tongue-in-cheek exchange proved prophetic as the Closing Night program unfolded. Brennan won four of the first 10 races, tying the standings at 427 apiece. After each victory, the Yonkers TV department displayed the standings on the track’s simulcast feed and track announcer John Hernan narrated the update for the viewers. “Yonkers had it on TV the last few nights. They were keeping count for us,” Brennan said. “It was very exciting. I’ve been leading driver before, but this was the most exciting driving race I’ve been involved in. It was a lot of fun.” Brennan drove Lord Of Misrule from post three in the 11th race, the final heat of the season. Leading trainer Scott Di Domenico sent out the 8-year-old gelding who chased only his second seasonal win in his 31st start of the year. “Bruce Saunders said to me, ‘do you like your chances in the last race,’ ” Brennan recalled. “I said, ‘well, he’s 1-for-30 for the year. That says it all right there.” Lord Of Misrule raced along in third throughout, but lost ground in the stretch and finished fourth 7 lengths behind a 1:53.4 score by Knocking Around. “(Lord Of Misrule) ended up getting a perfect trip, he sat third, I never had to pull him, but they went a really good mile in 1:53.4 and 1:53.4 kind of stretches him out in the summer anymore,” Brennan said of the $545,485-earner. “It was going to have to work out, it was going to have to line up perfectly for him. And it actually did and I didn’t have enough horsepower.” With the final race complete, Brennan had four on the card as promised and shared the driving title with Jason Bartlett. “I just went about my business and that’s how it ended,” Brennan said. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of dedication, good clients. It means a lot.” Bartlett enjoyed a lead from January through June as he focused solely on racing at the Hilltop. However, as New York Sire Stakes season ramped up through the late spring and summer, Barlett’s time was divided while Brennan stayed put at Yonkers. Bartlett and Brennan flip-flopped on the lead in July, but by September Brennan seized command with a double-digit advantage. The race narrowed again in late fall, as Brennan’s margin shrunk to eight wins by Nov. 1. By December, the drivers were in a tug of war. Brennan was sure his scheduled vacation in December would crush his chances. “He was creeping back up there pretty quickly,” Brennan said. “But then, I honestly didn’t think it was going to be close when I was taking four days off in December. I thought he would have a comfortable lead after that. I got lucky, got some good mounts, good post positions, and things worked out.” Brennan’s approach to the contest, much like his opponent’s, was to block out the race as much as possible. “You can’t really think about it. You just have to go about your business and try to stay safe and win races,” Brennan said. “There was something going on with the driving title, but in a sense, it’s secondary because you still have to get the job done, you still have to get the most amount of money for your owners and trainers you’re driving for. That’s the number one priority there.” Considering memorable horses or victories on the season, Brennan zeroed in on DW’s NY Yank. The 11-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding has earned 58 wins and $1.5 million in 200 starts. His most recent score came with Brennan in the second race Closing Night, a $17,000 overnight in which DW’s NY Yank aired by 2 easy lengths. It was the pair’s 82nd start and 25th win together. “Some horses I really enjoy driving. Some of those old horses for Burke, like DW’s NY Yank, he’s one of my favorites. I enjoy driving those older horses like that,” Brennan said. “I’ve been driving him now since he was 4 years old. He tries hard. He’s definitely not what he was anymore, but he’s just a lot of fun to drive. He’s tailor-made for a half-mile track.” Although the spotlight was on the drivers for the final few weeks of the racing season, Brennan pointed out that the drivers only comprise a small piece of the puzzle and expressed gratitude for the other hardworking individuals who hand over the lines for two minutes each week. “I just want to thank all the trainers and owners and caretakers that look after and train the horses, because I can’t do it without them. A big thank you to them,” Brennan said. To read Jason Bartlett’s account of the driver’s race, visit http://ustrottingnews.com/bartlett-to-make-case-for-yonkers-driving-title-monday/. Yonkers Raceway opens its 2020 live racing season Monday, January 6. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 7:05 p.m. For entries to the races, visit https://www.empirecitycasino.com/racing/condition-sheets-entries-results/. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 17, 2019--Yonkers Raceway concluded its 2019 calendar Tuesday night (Dec. 17th) with a season-long harness racing dead-heat. George Brennan won four of the closing-night's 11 races--all with wagering favorites--and in doing so caught the idle Jason Bartlett with 427 local wins. Historians were trying to determine if there had been a leading-driver deadlock previously, but couldn't swear either way to that oddity. As for Brennan, he won Tuesday's $17,000, second-race trot with DW's NY Yank ($2.70) in 1:58.4, Showmeyourguns ($2.90) in the $14,500, seventh-race trot (1:58.3), Jet Rock ($4.50) in the $12,500, ninth-race pace (1:55.1) and Westchester-debuting Ginger Tree Marty ($3.70) in the $15.750, 10th-race pace (1:55.2). Brennan's chance to have the big chair all to himself was thwarted when Lord of Misrule was a never-threatening fourth in the $17,000 pacing finale. Yonkers' final 2019 leaderboard story shall be sent in the coming days. The Raceway's 2020 season is scheduled to begin Monday night, Jan. 6th, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – By the time December comes around, the driving and training titles at Yonkers Raceway are usually sewn up. After nearly 11 months of racing and over 2,000 starts by the track’s leading drivers, there is typically little left to be settled in the meet’s final weeks. By December 1, 2018, Jason Bartlett had a 104-win edge on Jordan Stratton. In 2017, Bartlett came into the stretch of the meet with a 153-win margin. However, with two racing days left in the 2019 season, Jason Bartlett and George Brennan are locked in a tight battle for the Yonkers driving title. At December 1, the duo was separated by just three wins, with Brennan ahead 406 to 403. After trading blows throughout the last two weeks, Bartlett brings a three-win margin into Monday night (Dec.16) with 423 wins. It is the closest race in Bartlett’s memory. “Not since I’ve been to Yonkers, never have. Usually by this time, everything is cut and dry of who’s going to get it and who’s not,” Bartlett said. “Between me and George, we drive hard against each other. We’ve always done that. At the end of the day, we still respect each other on and off the track. It’s a good competition, but at the end of the day, we still have a job to do and that’s to win races and get as much money as we can for the trainers.” Although the race is proving a nail-biter, Bartlett had written off the title at the end of stakes season, when Brennan lead by double-digits. However, after Brennan took a week off from Dec. 7 to Dec. 14, Bartlett took a slight edge. “Obviously, in any sport, you want to be number one. At that track, that year, it shows what a good year I had and the hard work I put in,” Bartlett said. “Going through the year, it’s not something you really think about. I was chasing Sire Stakes all year. Obviously, I can’t be in both places on a given night, so you have to give up something. This year, I focused a little bit more on the Sire Stakes, which got me behind a little bit not being at Yonkers all the time. “As the stakes races got done, I was behind him and I kind of just chalked it up that I wasn’t going to catch him,” Bartlett said. “Then I got a little bit closer and he ended up going on his normal annual vacation, so I knew I would be able to close the gap a little bit then.” Bartlett, 38, is chasing his ninth Hilltop title while Brennan, 52, seeks his third. Bartlett saw Brennan as a mentor and an inspiration growing up, making the contest even more meaningful. However, the pair can leave the competition on the track and focus on their work. “He’s a driver that I’ve looked up to my whole life,” Bartlett said. “Being in a competition against him, running for number one, is a pretty big deal for me. Growing up and knowing George and looking up to him. “Between me and him, we’ve never really mentioned (the standings). I know he’s aware of it. Obviously, I’m aware of it. But we’re not driving any different against each other,” Bartlett continued. “You have enough to think about and try to put your horses in the best spot. That’s hard enough. Then you start thinking about George all the time and what I’m doing, is it going to affect George winning the race or not? You can only control what you can control. I can do my best to try to win races, I can control that. I can’t control what he’s doing and whatever else is going on. I try to control what I can and after that, it’s horse racing.” Bartlett enjoyed another season as Yonkers top money-earner, with horses he drove winning $8.3 million through Saturday (Dec. 14). With Brennan away, Bartlett won 12 races last week. He won five races Friday (Dec. 13), including Mach It A Par’s final bow. The Minister of Speed answered with three victories upon his return Saturday, including a wire-to-wire score from post eight with 18-1 upsetter Shoreview. Barlett will drive in all 11 races Monday night (Dec. 16) while Brennan has nine calls. The contest could be decided sooner than expected as Bartlett will miss Closing Night (Dec. 17) as he leaves on his family vacation. Brennan will drive in all 11 races on the Tuesday program. Regardless of the outcome, the contest is validating to Bartlett. “For me, it means I’m doing my job. I’m there to win races and business is good. Every year, you shoot for it. You’ve got to have a little luck along the way and get some horsepower,” Bartlett said. “It’s a job that I love to do, I’m very competitive at it and it’s really nice to go to work and know every race matters. There’s no messing up. I know a lot of people are watching it. The track announcer is right on top of it. It’s nice to see it’s going to come down to the wire and to put a little spin on it, I will not be there the last day, so whatever I get through Monday is it. “Whatever happens, happens. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. And if not, it was fun while we were doing it.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The 2019 season closes Tuesday, Dec. 17 and the 2020 season opener is set for Monday Jan. 6. First post time is 6:50 p.m. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 13, 2019--Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $2.80) went out a winner Friday night (Dec. 13th). The millionairess harness racing pacing mare, profiled earlier this week, handily notched career win No. 53 at her second home, Yonkers Raceway. Undeterred by pouring rain and a pared-down field of five rivals in the $22,000, second-race pace, odds-on Mach it a Par--from post position No. 2--retook early from Bellatricks (Brent Holland). She eventually widened in a 'sloppy' 1:54.1. The final margin was 4½ lengths over Annabeth (Jordan Stratton), with Bellatricks, Line Dancer (Eric Goodell) and Jewels Forreal (Matt Kakaley) rounded out the payees. For Mach it a Par, a 9-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and the Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her seventh win in 36 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.90, the triple returned $27.40 and the superfecta paid $9,150. Mach it a Par ended her career with 182 starts, 53 wins, 29 seconds and 30 thirds ($1,152,767). The plan is for the lass to be bred to a to-be-determined New York stallion, After her final race night, Mach it a Par was given an official sendoff in the paddock, surrounded by her connections and racing officials and complete with congratulatory sign. Bartlett, meanwhile, won five of the night's 11 races to grab a six-win lead (423-417) over the idle George Brennan with three programs left in the local season. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, December 11, 2019-- Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett's first words about Mach it a Par were hardly the stuff of testimonials. "She doesn't look like much, her gait isn't the smoothest, very choppy, she has to use many more steps to cover same amount of ground," her usual chauffeur said. "But"--and there's always a 'but'--"what no one could measure was her heart." Mach it a Par makes the 182nd and final start of her seven-figure career Friday night (Dec. 13th), after which she'll be honored by her home away from home, Yonkers Raceway. Entering the $22,000 second race, the 9-year-old daughter of Mach Three has made her last 87 starts in Westchester for co-owners D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and the Gandolfo Stables, "She's not supposed to do the thing she's done," trainer Richard Banca said of the 52-time winner. "She did overcome so much, all sorts of foot issues. She's just been tremendous and gets around Yonkers great. I don't know why, maybe it's her size. She took a (1:50.3) mark there (September of 2016, Brian Sears driving), which I think was a world record at the time. We've had her since early (March) 2016. I think the owners paid $60,000 for her. She was racing at Pompano. She had a lot of wins, but hadn't made much money. "We put her right in the (2016 Blue Chip) Matchmaker," Banca said. "She was probably eligible to non-winners of $10,000 (in last five starts), but we threw her in the series. She ended up winning and paying a lot ($81, George Brennan driving) and that really surprised us. There weren't that many surprises after a career-best '16 season (39 starts, 13 wins, nine seconds, eight thirds, $404,200), with Yonkers as her nearly-exclusive place to race. The past two full seasons have seen Mach it a Par pay her way, earning $200,000-plus in each. "It's not that she can't race anymore (six wins, more than $144,000 in 2019)," Banca said. "The owners just want to breed her (to as as-of-now undetermined New York stallion)," It wasn't all sunshine and Skittles on the track for Mach it a Par, however. The lass cost herself any number of winner's circle pictures and a fair amount of coin by not necessarily pacing the straight and narrow through the lane. "We never could figure out why she runs out," Banca said. "She doesn't do it every time (cue Bartlett...'She was a winner last [Friday] night [Dec. 6th], but off the last turn, she wants to go and get a hamburger in the grandstand') and we've tried some equipment changes, but then she ran in." So, there. Mach it a Par wasn't always pretty, but with more than $1.1 million on account, she was pretty good. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Thursday evening’s (Dec. 12th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,791.45 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 6 through 10 Thursday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Tuesday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Ever since coming to Freehold Raceway, Lucius Vorenus has excelled over the half-mile oval. He continued his winning ways on Friday (November 15), as he took the harness racing $50,000 final of the Standardbred Breeders' and Owner's Association of New Jersey trotting series.   Sent off as the even-money favorite, he was put right on the lead by driver Jason Bartlett. French Cafe, the clear-cut second choice, drafted in the pocket, but Lucius Vorenus was still able to set steady fractions of 28.4 for a quarter and 59.0 for a half.   Nearing three-quarters, Lucius Vorenus began to pull away, as he set the fraction in a slow 1:28.2. French Cafe had to settle for second, as Lucius Vorenus cruised under the wire in 1:56.3.   This is the third win in the last four starts for the Crawford Farms-owned gelding, who is sired by Father Patrick and trained by Nick Surick. He won the Garden State trot for colts & geldings in his Freehold debut on October 26, then added a win and a runner-up in the first two legs of the series. He's now earned $109,655 in his career; $74,375 of that total has come in his last four races.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway    

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 8, 2019--A pocketed Kaitlyn N (Jason Bartlett, $10.60) picked off Write Me a Song (George Brennan) nearing the wire Friday night (Nov. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from assigned post position No. 4, Kaitlyn N stung Write Me a Song, releasing that one before a chilly, 26-second opening quarter-mile. Odds-on pole-sitter Lady Dela Renta A (Matt Kakaley) was cutting her own mile in third. It was after a :55.1 intermission and 1:23.1 three-quarters when Kaitlyn N edged from the pocket, Lady Dela Renta A in behind. Write Me a Song had a diminishing three-quarter-length lead off the final turn, with Kaitlyn N closing. The former whipped the latter by a length in 1:53.3. Third went to Sudden Change N (Austin Siegelman), ahead of an empty, 4-5 fave Lady Dela Renta A. Robyn Camden (Jim Marohn Jr.) was fifth, while returning Wisdom Tree (Jordan Stratton) trailed. For Kaitlyn N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Richard Banca, Barbara & James Boese, it was the third choice's fifth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $57, the triple returned $383 and the superfecta paid $934. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Lucius Vorenus picked up another win at Freehold Raceway on Friday (November 8), as he took the second leg of the Standardbred Breeders' and Owners' Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) harness racing trotting series by three-quarters of a length.   The race began on an auspicious note, when three of the six horses in the field, Warrior One, Sovereign Deo, and Princess Deo, all broke stride. Lucius Vorenus avoided trouble, and rated in third off leader Alternative Fact. At the three-quarter point, driver Jason Bartlett pulled with Lucius Vorenus, and took dead aim at the leader.   Turning for home, Lucius Vorenus pulled clear of Alternative Fact, but had to deal with Dark as a Pocket, who rated in the pocket and was rallying up the inside. Lucius Vorenus held sway, crossing the wire in front in 1:58.1.   This is the second win in the last three starts for Lucius Vorenus, who won the Garden State Trot for 3-year-old colts & geldings on October 26. He's owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Nick Surick.   Lucius Vorenus is expected to appear in the $50,000 SBOANJ final of the series, scheduled for next Friday at Freehold. Both first-leg winners, Evident Beauty and No Drama Please, are also expected headliners.   Live racing continues at Freehold this Saturday, with a first race post time of 12:30 PM EST.   From Freehold Raceway  

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes and USTA District 8 are reminding interested parties to RSVP for the Annual Awards Banquet scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10 at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The evening will honor the harnes racing champion horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the NYSS, the Excelsior Series and the New York County Fair Series. Guests are asked to please RSVP to Sarah Quinn at squinn@caphill.com or 518-694-5002. The title of Leading Breeder will go to Winbak Farm for the second year in a row. Winbak Farm bred seven champion horses across the three NYSS racing tiers, led by 2-year-old trotting filly Zero Tolerance. Trond Smedshammer will be named Leading Trainer in a season that saw him earn $749,955.71 with 14 horses in the NYSS and Excelsior divisions. Jason Bartlett will be honored as Leading Driver, finishing atop the NYSS and Excelsior charts with $1,715,282.91 and 65 wins. Claude Huckabone Jr. was named both Leading Trainer and Leading Driver in the NYSS County Fair Series. Huckabone drove 2019 champion Flow With Joe and is trainer/co-owner of Roll With Mimi. This 30th edition of the NYSS Night of Champions was held at the Batavia Downs on Sept. 14. Eight champions were crowned, taking home a combined $1.8 million in purses. The 2019 champions are: Zero Tolerance, Quincy Blue Chip, The Fun Marshall, Hypnotic AM, Cigars and Port, Third Shift, Gimpanzee and Hickfromfrenchlick. The evening will honor the NYSS Excelsior Champions, who took home $55,000 each at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sept. 21. The 2019 champions are Ideal Perception, C And T's Credit, Century Ferrari, Fool Me Again, Book Seven, Certify, Alleyesonme AS, and Hanna Dreamgirl. The NYSS County Fair Champions were crowned at Monticello Raceway on Sept. 5 following two months of racing at 20 county fairs across New York State. Each final carried a purse of $10,000, collected by Notoutofthewoods, Discus Hanover, Xenia's Chip, Flow With Joe, Reckless Image, Certify, Roll With Mimi, and Jericho Willie. Awards will also be given in the RUS-NY (Racing Under Saddle) series. RUS-NY is sponsored by Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Oneida Veterinary Associates PLLC. Hillary Hartnett will receive her accolades as 2019 Rider Challenge Champion and Akhenaton will be honored as County Fair Final Champion and 2019 Top Point Earner. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., hosted by USTA District 8 racetracks. Dinner and awards will follow immediately at 7:30 p.m. A USTA District 8 meeting will precede the banquet and is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the hotel. Tickets are $35.00. Special room rates are available in which banquet guests can receive 15% off a reservation at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Click here for booking information. Payment should be made out and sent to: Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Fund c/o CHMS 230 Washington Avenue Extension, Suite 101 Albany, NY 12203 From the New York Sire Stakes

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 2, 2019--A pocketed Havefaithinme N (Jason Bartlett, $10) slipped up the inside, picking off 2-5 favorite Rodeo Rock (Eric Goodell) Saturday night (Nov. 2nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Preferred Pace. The feature, pared down to a half-dozen after a pair of defections, saw Havefaithinme N--in one notch to post position No. 3--make the first lead. He was then leapfrogged by polester Rodeo Rock. The people's preference then led through early intervals of :27.1 and a flat 56 seconds. Runrunjimmydunn N (Jordan Stratton) tried it first-up from third, prompting through a :27.3 third quarter (1:23.3). Rodeo Rock did own a length-and-a-half lead off the final turn, but drifted, leaving the back door unguarded. Havefaithinme N was more than obliging, scooting through to whip the fave by a length in 1:51.4. Third went to 'Jimmydunn,' with Western Joe (Austin Siegelman) and Turbo Hill (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the minors. Dancin' Dragon (George Brennan) received lovely parting gifts. For second choice Havefaithinme N, an 8-year-old millionaire Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned by Blindswitch and Good Friends Racing Stables, Gary Axelrod & Santo Farina and trained by Jose Godinez, it was his ninth win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, the triple returned $39.60 and the superfecta paid $150. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

1 to 16 of 632
1 2 3 4 5 Next »