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After spotting the field 16 lengths at the quarter pole, things certainly looked bleak for Dayson to keep his unbeaten streak alive. But that huge head start wasn't enough to stop the determined Dayson as he mounted an amazing comeback and somehow score a length victory in the second $52,501 division New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters at the harness racing meeting at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 22).   It was the third consecutive Sires Stakes victory for Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus) in three lifetime starts. He covered the mile in 2:02.2 over the fast track.   In the first leg, Allerage Echo found little trouble in romping to an impressive five length decision in 2:03.3.   But the story of the night was Dayson.   Driver Jeff Gregory said of the adventurous trip and giving the field an early advantage due to a break at the start. "He was a little fumbly around the turns but I knew he had the speed to get back into the race."   Gremlin Wilson (John Cummings Jr.) set the tempo with splits of 30.0, 1:02, and 1:33.0 but figured the charge from the back of the pack was developing. Chargin Cadet (Jordan Stratton) and Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) looked like the main contenders at the half. But the big-hearted Dayson regrouped and chipped away at the pack, finally getting within two lengths with a final panel to go.   Using a 28.4 final quarter mile, Dayson ($2.70) had plenty left in the tank and zoomed on by for the incredible victory over Chargin Cadet. Smalltownthrowdown took the show spot.   Co-owner Amy Butler said of Dayson's performance. "That was the first time he faced traffic at the start but I knew he had the speed to come back. I knew at the top of the stretch he was going to win." Dayson is also owned by Margaret Butler and trained by Howard Okusko.   A winner now of $64,806 in his three starts, Dayson is the Butler's first Sire Stakes horse ever. "This is just an awesome feeling," Amy Butler said in the winner's circle. "We are going to continue on with him in the Sire Stakes." Next stop is Batavia Downs on Wednesday, August 5.   Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) had no issues in going coast-to-coast in the opener, registering an easy five length victory. Crown Point (Dan Daley) placed a distant second with Rose Run Ransom (John Plutino) taking third.   "He's a nice horse," driver Chris Lems said of Allerage Echo ($5.80). "He was push button. He had a lot left at the wire and I never popped the plugs."   Allerage Echo went right to the lead and had times of 33.0, 1:03.0 and 1:34.3 in romping to the 2:03.3 final time.   Owner Ken Jacobs said of Allerage Echo, a horse he just acquired two weeks ago. "I told George (Ducharme) that he's a real good horse. He changed the rigging some and it has made a difference. George has been training him on a half-mile track and once we got around that first turn, I felt pretty good."   It was the first victory in three attempts for Allerage Echo, now a winner of $30,611 in 2015.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series races, Nono Lindy (Gregory) had the fastest time by posting a 2:03.2 time. Nono Lindy paid $4.80 for the victory.   Cashuz ($3.40) took a division with Cummings Jr. in the sulky in 2:03.4 while Do What You Dream ($3.40) went 2:04 for Lems in 2:04.0.   The $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series events went to Radical Way (Gregory) in 2:06.0 while Thanks For Playin had a $47.60 upset victory for Lems in 2:08.3.   Lems and Gregory each finished the night with a 'hat-trick'.   Ugly Betty returned to her winning ways in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open II pace by using a 1:55.1 clocking to beat Kisses N Kicks by 1-3/4 lengths. Jim Morrill Jr., who also had three wins on the night, was in the sulky with Ugly Betty ($3.60).   The final week of racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race program set for 6:35 p.m.   For more information inlcuding the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian Mazurek

Barn Doll and Jewels In Hock went about their business as expected on Sunday afternoon (July 12) in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at the harness racing meeting at Buffalo Raceway but it was High Rise who did the unexpected by setting a new track record.   While Barn Doll and Jewels In Hock figured to challenge the 1:59.0 mark set by Glowngold in 2014, it was High Rise (Chris Lems) who smashed the mark for the sophomore filly trotters with a 1:58.2 time over the fast Hamburg half-mile oval in a division of the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series.   "That was a track record?" Lems asked when he returned to the winner's circle after the victory.   When he was told it was, a big smile broke out on his face and he just shook his head in disbelief.   He then said of High Rise, "She's a nice horse and she always gives her best and she gave her best today."   High Rise ($12.80) beat Nunkeri (John Campbell) by a length while Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory) finished third.   Owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Decharme, High Rise (Conway Hall-RC Biscuit) has now won six times in eight appearances this season pushing her seasonal earnings to $28,800.   The heavily-favored Barn Doll ($2.10) took her $61,300 division of the Sire Stakes in 1:59.0 which tied the track standard before High Rise came along.   Waiting Room (Andy Miller) set the tempo with splits of 30.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2 but Barn Doll had a first over trip and eventually wore down the front-runner, pulling away by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire.   Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) took the show spot.   "She had no real problems," Jeff Gregory said of his trip with Barn Doll, now a winner of six straight races. "I kind of babied her around the turns but she was strong as usual."   Trainer and co-owner Steve Pratt said of Barn Doll, "She's gonna get a couple of weeks off now. She's been racing hard the past few weeks so she deserves a break."   Wanda Polisseni of the Purple Haze Stables LLC, who co-owns Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) along with Nancy Pratt, stated, "She needs a break. It's a long season."   Polisseni admitted she was nervous as usual about Barn Doll but felt good with Gregory in the sulky. "I always worry about my horses, all of my babies, when they race. But I love Jeff Gregory...he's my guy."   Barn Doll, now a winner of 13 of 16 lifetime starts, has pushed her seasonal earnings to $234,724 and $437,861 lifetime.   John Campbell took Jewels In Hock ($2.70) wire-to-wire in his $60,200 division of the Sire Stakes in 2:00.1.   It was Campbell's first drive at Buffalo Raceway since 1992 and the Hall Of Famer's first win here since 1990. She beat Lady Winona by two lengths while Zanna Blu (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show spot.   Campbell said of Jewels In Hock's mile tour, "She controlled the race from the inside and did it all on her own."   She posted comfortable fractions of 29.1, 1:00.3 and 1:31.3 en route to the win.   When asked about returning to Buffalo Raceway after a 23-year absence, Campbell stated, "It's nice to be back and get a win. It's been a long time. I didn't race at Saratoga since 1988 and I went back there this year."   Campbell saw Jewels In Hock's owner Ken Jacobs in the winner's circle and said with a big grin, "Hey, this is a great place to meet up."   Jacobs said afterwards of getting Campbell to Western New York to drive Jewels In Hock. "I told I'd fly him up, that he's got the rail, he won't be going against Barn Doll and the purse is over $60,000." The sales pitch worked.   Campbell has now been aboard Jewels In Hock in her past six races and has four wins, a second and third place finish.   "You put him behind a trotter, that's why he's a Hall Of Famer," Jacobs said of Campbell.   Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore) now has five victories in 11 tries this season. She is trained by Linda Toscano has put in $117,770 in the bank in 2015 and $130,700 lifetime.   In the other $15,000 Excelsior Series 'A' division, Wanna Get Lucky ($5.20) scored for Lems in 2:00.2. Lems finished the day with a triple.   There was a local flavor with the winners in the $6,600 Excelsior B Series. John Cummings Jr. returned home and took Sweet Hana T to a surprising $13.60 win while former Buffalo Raceway regular Ray Schnittker took Kaliska to a popular $3.70 decision in 2:02.2.   Schnittker said after his victory, "It's always good to come home and get a win."   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 13-race program scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes returns once again as the 2-year-old filly trotter invade along with the Excelsior A and B series.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian J Mazurek

Vernon, N.Y. -- Both brushing to the fore and opening up at will on their respective rivals, Barn Doll ($2.70) and Crazy Wow ($2.30, part of entry) proved dominant in a pair of harness racing  Empire Breeders Classic events for New York-sired 3-year-old trotters on Sunday (June 21) afternoon at Vernon Downs.   The $248,275 Classic for fillies saw Zanna Blu (Yannick Gingras) stride to the early lead past her stablemate Allerage Belle (Jim Morrill, Jr.), with Barn Doll tracking that pair comfortably through a :28 initial quarter. Moving off the clubhouse turn, Jeff Gregory brushed to the fore with the 3-year-old Conway Hall filly, clearing Zanna Blu with no trouble before controlling a :56.2 half mile. Barn Doll accelerated on the far turn through a :27.3 third sectional, leaving her eight rivals well in her wake after edging clear at head-stretch. She ultimately trounced the others, winning by 6-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Lock Down Lindy (Tim Tetrick) rallied down the center of the track to take second, while Jewels in Hock (John Cambell) kicked cover off the far turn to finish third.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC.   An overflow field of 11 3-year-old colts and geldings contested a $255,325 Classic event, with Crazy Wow overcoming a second-row start to obliterate his competition--and the previous track record for sophomore geldings. Yannick Gingras floated Crazy Wow second-over to follow entrymate Habitat (Jim Morrill, Jr.) to a :26.4 first quarter, continuing on without cover to clear the lead upon exiting the clubhouse turn. The Crazed gelding posted a :56.4 middle half and then edged clear of his entrymate in upper stretch, amassing a 6-1/2 length margin of victory in 1:51.1. Habitat held second, while Fashion Creditor (David Miller) rallied from a third-over trip to take third while well detached of the Ron Burke trainees.   The Our Horse Cents Stables, the JT 45 group, and the J&T Silva Stables, LLC own Crazy Wow, who knocked 1-2/5 seconds off Gym Tan Laundry's 1:52.3 mark for 3-year-old trotting geldings, taken in 2012.   Fireyourguns breaks his own all-age pacing record   Earlier in the 14-race program, Fireyourguns ($2.90) set blistering fractions and held sway from a late-charging JK Panache (Yannick Gingras) to take the $10,000 Open Pace in a track record 1:47.3. The 6-year-old American Ideal remains undefeated on the year in six starts, taking two-fifths of a second off his former mark with Jim Morrill, Jr. in the bike. Double millionaire Golden Receiver, reunited with 2011 World Driving Championship runner-up Corey Callahan, was all-out to chase the pacesetter, holding third. Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   NY Sire Stakes glamour boys contest four undercard events   In addition to the pair of Empire Breeders Classic events and Fireyourguns's track record mile, 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings squared off in a quartet of New York Sire Stakes events, offering a combined purse of $122,400. My Spirit Soars ($5.50, Jim Morrill, Jr., 1:49.3), National Seelster ($8.60, Andy Miller, 1:50.2), A Bettor Hat ($7.30, Morrill, 1:51.3), and Artistic Major ($8.50, Scott Zeron, 1:50.3) proved victorious in their respective races.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (June 26) evening, with post time set for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

Three-year-old trotting fillies Barn Doll ($4.30) and Katniss ($8.50) employed similar tactics toward victory in their $12,500 Empire Breeders Classic eliminations at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 14) afternoon, taking charge at the halfway stage and holding clear late in decisive fashion. In the first elimination (race 6), Jeff Gregory rated Barn Doll well off a :26.2 first quarter, moving the Conway Hall filly out from fourth on the backstretch to slipstream Jewels in Hock (John Campbell) on the backstretch before working clear after a :55.4 half. Barn Doll opened up at head-stretch, ultimately edging clear to a 2-1/2 length score in 1:52.1 over Jewels in Hock. Lock Down Lindy (Tim Tetrick) rallied off stalled cover to take third, while Allerage Belle (Andy Miller) faded to fourth.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC.   The second elimination saw Katniss secure the pocket behind Zanna Blu (Tetrick) through a :27 first quarter before Daniel Dubé brushed the Credit Winner filly to the lead en route to a :56.1 half mile.   As Zanna Blu faded off the far turn, Katniss accelerated clear, holding a two-length margin over a late-chasing Lady Winona (Andy Miller) for a 1:53 triumph. Stirling Debutant (Gregory) rallied late to be third, while Zanna Blu was a tired fourth.   Ake Svanstedt trains Katniss for owner Mario Mazza.   Of the two fifth-place finishers, Counsellor As drew into next Sunday's (June 21) $248,275 final along with the top four finishers from each elimination. The trotting fillies will share the spotlight with the 11 colts and geldings who entered and advanced automatically to their $255,325 final without requiring eliminations.   Earlier in the afternoon, JK Panache ($8.40) made all the pace in the $10,000 Open Pace, holding clear of a late rally from Hunchie (Tetrick) for a 1:49.2 win. Chris Lems drove the 6-year-old Art Major gelding for owners Philip Hale and David Dewhurst (the latter handles the training duties). Odds-on favorite Golden Receiver was left far back of the main body of the field after breaking stride at race's outset.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (June 19) evening, with first post at the Miracle Mile scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

After edging clear of her eight rivals in a :27.4 third quarter, Brixton Medical's Shaqline ($5.30) narrowly held off a valiant stand-side charge from Barn Doll to take her $41,300 New York Sire Stakes event at  the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs on Friday (May 15) evening. The fastest of twenty-seven three-year-old trotting fillies split into three divisions, Shaqline protected the early lead from a host of other leavers, including Nunkeri (Jim Meittinis), Northern Obsession (John Cummings, Jr.), and Miss B'ville J (Mike Simons). After establishing the lead through a :28 first quarter, the Credit Winner-Vivica Hall mare managed to keep the first-over Northern Obsession at bay enough to catch a :30.2 second-quarter breather before accelerating clear on the backstretch. While widening her margin to 3-1/2 lengths on the far turn, Jeff Gregory angled Barn Doll three-wide off the cover of a stalled Northern Obsession, charging after Shaqline upon cornering. Despite that late threat, Jim Morrill, Jr. was able to encourage Shaqline to hold sway, prevailing in 1:55.1 by the scantest of margins. Frou Frou (Mark MacDonald) sustained her third-over rally to narrowly take third over Northern Obsession.   Jimmy Takter trains Shaqline, whose career bankroll eclipses the $145,000 mark with her fourth career win.   In earlier New York Sire Stakes action, Magic City ($22.40) rallied from off cover to just defeat 3-5 favorite Allerage Belle in a 1:56.2 score. Co-owner and trainer Jeff Gregory handled the driving duties aboard the Conway Hall-Beach Magic filly. Lindy Land ($20.40) earned a pillar-to-post 1:56.3 victory in rein to Mark MacDonald, holding clear of a chasing Zanna Blu for the entirety of the journey. Frank Antonacci trains the daughter of Crazed-Nana's Best.   Live racing continues at Tioga Downs on Saturday evening (May 16), with post time at 6:15 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes picks up on Sunday afternoon (May 17), with three-year-old pacing colts and geldings headlining the ten-race card. Top pacer In The Arsenal, a six-time winner at two, has been installed the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's fifth race, a $31,050 Sire Stakes division. Brian Sears is slated to drive the Kelvin Harrison trainee.   The week concludes with a special Monday evening (May 18), with post time at 6:15 p.m.   James Witherite

Vernon Downs held harness racing Finals in eight divisions of the New York Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night with purses totaling $360,000.   The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings were first up and provided an 11-1 upset with Commissioner Daley (Conway Hall-Irish Washerwoman) storming through the stretch once he got into the clear and rolling right past Genius At Work late to win in a final time of 1:55.2.   Commissioner Daley is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Dan Daley is the trainer-driver.   2-year-old trotting fillies were up next and, as opposed to the first of the eight Finals, this one went according to form as 3-5 favorite Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a strong closing kick from Morcredit Bluechip to score a victory in 1:57.   Barn Girl is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, New York. The trainer is Howard Okusko and she was driven to victory by Jeff Gregory on Saturday night.   Freshman trotting colts & geldings provided the most exciting stretch drive of the night as part of a 5-1 entry, Progression (Credit Winner-Ens Curious), came through an opening on the inside left when the favored Crazshana drifted out in the lane. Progression's final time was 1:57.4.   Progression is owned by Leigh Raymer, who also trains, of Delaware, Stephen Moss of Pennsylvania, Harold and Helane Solomon of New York. Mark MacDonald was the driver on Saturday night.   The sophomore pacing filly race was won in gate-to-wire fashion by Expose (Artiscape-Good News Lady). She took the lead immediately and never was headed again as she triumphed in 1:52.4   Expose is owned by Linwood Higgins of Scarborough, Maine and Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Linda Toscano trains and Jim Morrill Jr. was the winning driver.   Archetto Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Arts Masterpiece) took the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace after rallying past the favored Murder He Wrote at the top of the stretch. He went on to win by a length in a final time of 1:51.4   Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois, Greg Gillis of Ontario, Canada, and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. The trainer is Erv Miller and the winning driver was Marcus Miller.   2-year-old pacing colts and geldings might have provided one of the more impressive wins of the night from Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer). Artistic Major (Brent Holland) made the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away to win by four lengths in a time of 1:52.4.   Artistic Major is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio and Steve Elliott of New Jersey. Steve Elliott doubles as the trainer.   Freshman pacing fillies followed that and Rock Me Gently (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cam Swifty) prevailed in what turned into a clustered finish with multiple horses ending up close together. The final time was 1:55.   Rock Me Gently is owned by Old Block Stables Inc. and Kenneth Klein of New York and The Fra Stable LLC of New Jersey. The trainer is Steve Elliott.   The final Final of the Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night was 3-year-old trotting fillies and the winner was Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) with Jim Morrill Jr. driving. She took the lead right away and cruised to an easy victory by nine lengths in a final time of 1:56.3   Dreamsteeler is owned by Andrew Herzog of Monticello, New York and Tracy Brainard is the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Post positions have been drawn for the 25th edition of the New York Night of Champions, hosted by Yonkers Raceway Saturday night. The $1.8 million event, richest night of harness racing in the state, offers eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Once again, each race is sponsored by a prominent Empire State breeding farm. Some hot-off-the-overnight-sheet tidbits from each of the races, which go as races two through nine on the 13-race card ($10,000 guaranteed pool Pick 5, 50-cent base wager races 5 through 9)... Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot (2nd race)-Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, head number 5, post 5) led the lasses with six wins in eight seasonal tries ($95,287) and 2-for-2 here, but was scratched sick from her last scheduled start. Pig Hunt (Brennan, HN 4, post 3) also won both of her local tries, while Concentration (Brian Sears, HN2, post 1) enters with three win in her last four work nights. All three lasses mentioned are daughters of Conway Hall. Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (3rd race)-Spreester (Jason Bartlett, post 1) won both the division during the summer and the draw for the final. The Kimberley Zabielski-owned homebred daughter of American Ideal does seem to enjoy her craft, as in 6-for-14 this season ($134,330) and a career 14-for-24. It Was Fascination (Brett Miller, post 2) has been open stakes-placed, while Ken Doll J (Sears, post 4) authored a 40-1 upset in her latest at Batavia. Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace (4th race)-A three-headed Ron Burke-trained monster in Band of Angels (Brennan, HN 1, post 1), Sassa Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., HN 1A, post 2) and Bettor N Better (Matt Kakaley, HN 1B, post 3) had the pills perform perfectly. They're a combined 16-for-21 this season-occupying the first three places in the standings-with earnings in excess of $330,000. "Angels" and "Sassa" are daughters of Rock N Roll Heaven, while "B n B" is a Bettor's Delight lass. Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (5th race)-Market Rally (Morrill Jr., HN 2A, post 6) was last season's statebred champ, and, after being sold to Burke and Associates, has continued her excellent form. The Cash Hall lass has run roughshod over her foes, winning six of her last seven tries...the only blemish being an early Batavia bobble. She's 5-for-5 here in her career, accounting for half of her career (10-for-21, $544,716) win resume. Morrisville College Equine Institute 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot (6th race)-Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer, post 6), a Cash Hall gelding, has rattled off three consecutive wins ($125,338). Crazy Wow (Dan Rawlings, post 1) needed a win here and some help to get the last place at the table, while Insomniac (Bartlett, post 8) also enjoyed a six-figure summer. Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace (7th race)-All Bets Off (Kakaley, HN 1A, post 6), with a pair of open-company wins (Art Rooney Pace, Milstein Memorial) on his holster, has hit the board in all 11 tries this season (8 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third, $530,425). Stay Up Late (Mark MacDonald, HN 5, post 5) has won his last couple of NYSS events, and could be best of others. Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace (8th race)-Any number of these have mastered freshman orientation, including points leader Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance, post 1)-4-for-5 thus far-Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter, post 5) and Cartoon Daddy (Kakaley, post 6), who has won thrice in four Westchester effort. Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot (9th race)-Defending champ Flyhawk El Durado (MacDonald, HN 2, post 1), who enters with six wins in 13 '14 tries ($292,711), has won his last four versus statebreds. He features wild speed to take advantage of the pylons, while the gelding Gural Hanover (Morrill Jr., HN 1, post 2) is 8-for-10 ($274,413) has strung together seven (NYSS) wins in succession entering this race. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Jeff Gregory is not ready to close the book on being a catch driver, but he is set to write a new chapter in his harness racing career. Or, maybe more exactly, rewrite a chapter.   Gregory, who has won nearly 6,700 races as a driver, plans to start training horses again. The New York native last trained regularly in the mid-1990s, prior to moving his base to New Jersey. He qualified his first horse, a 2-year-old female trotter named Miss Andover, last week at Harrah's Philadelphia. The filly is owned by Bill Weaver and was trained previously by Noel Daley.   "Noel was kind of looking to put her into a smaller stable, maybe where someone could pay attention to her every day and train her and drive her,” Gregory said. "She's maybe a little nervous filly and might do better with having one guy looking over her. So they brought her to me.   "It's nice to have a Hall of Famer (in owner Bill Weaver) give me the chance to get started again.”   Gregory, who turned 48 years old on Monday, Sept. 8, established his career high for driving wins in 2004, with 581. His career best for purses came in 2010, with $5.73 million. He is a three-time U.S. Trotting Association District 8 Driver of the Year and was the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Rising Star in 2002.   He was sidelined from September until late March because of a broken elbow, but has won 55 of 466 races this year and nearly $1 million in purses. He continues to be one of the top drivers on the New York Sires Stakes and Excelsior series circuits.   "The last couple winters have been a little slower for me catch driving, in part because I got hurt last year with my elbow,” Gregory said. "I'm getting to the point in my career where I'm leaning toward training some younger horses again, like I used to. I'm (48) and running up and down the road all the time, it's nice money, but there are a lot of young guys doing it too.   "I've got this one (filly) for Bill and I have two 2 year olds that are turned out that I'll be bringing back in around December. I've got two or three guys that want to buy yearlings, so I'm hoping to have half-a-dozen horses or so for the winter. We'll go from there. I'm not giving up driving, but I enjoy the horses and I like working with the young horses.”   Gregory has owned a handful of horses with Bill Richardson in recent years, with Linda Toscano handling the training. But Gregory often jogs and works with the horses in the morning.   "She's very excited about me doing this,” said Gregory, who won the 2011 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters with Toscano's Chapter Seven. "She's been helping me out. Whatever I need, I'm welcome to, to help get me started.”   Gregory, who followed his father, Gary, into harness racing and got his biggest win in 2005 with Jonas Czernyson-trained Jalopy in the Hambletonian Oaks, is going to be based at Showplace Farm in central New Jersey.   "I'm looking to start another chapter,” Gregory said. "I'm going to train these horses in the morning and try to stick to (driving at) Yonkers if I can. The New York Sire Stakes has been good to me. I'm hoping some of these horses of my own turn out where I can take them around and race them, hopefully reap the benefits of hard work over the winter.   "Hopefully, we'll catch a good lottery ticket at the sales. Maybe we'll get lucky. I feel I can do a good job with the horses.”   by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Monticello Raceway hosted the final leg of the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series for 2 year old filly trotters on Wednesday (Sept. 3). There were three $37,000 splits in the sire stakes and five short fields in the Excelsior Series. And despite eight of the 12 races on the card featuring the up- and -coming freshmen trotters still wagering was good. The owners of all the winners could stand tall especially Braxton Medical AB, the proprietors of Shaqline who, in only her fourth lifetime start, equaled the track record for freshmen trotting fillies when Jimmy Takter guided her to a 1:59.2 triumph in her NYSS split. Shaqline now shares top honors with Lady Riviera who also was victorious in 1:59.2 for Ronnie Pierce in 2012. Takter, driving more now and enjoying it immensely, sent the daughter of Credit Winner-Vivaca Hall to the lead from the pole position and they raced unchallenged on the front- end until the final turn. There, after shadowing Shaqline all the way from the get-go, Mark MacDonald moved Nunkeri out to contest the leader but all Takter had to do was give his filly her head and she remained in front as she trotted a final quarter in :28.4 en route to her track record equaling performance. Nunkeri was three lengths back in second place and Dancewithmechuck took home the show dough for Charlie Norris She's a real good filly," Takter told those who joined him in the winner's circle.. He was asked why this was only Shaqline's fourth career start to which he replied; "She had an entrapped epiglottis and it took three surgeries before the problem got fixed. She's breathing great now and she's going to be a real good 3 year old." Shaqline is a pretty nice 2 year old now, Jimmy, and she'll be the one to beat in her $225,000 NYSS Final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, September 13. Sent of the favorite in the betting Shaqline paid $3.80 for win. The finale will be no cake walk when Shaqline faces some of the other division winners along the way, especially Concentration and Kaliska, who each were victorious in NYSS action at the Mighty M on Wednesday. Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall-Super Starlet, had driver Chris Lems smiling in the winners circle after they scored a 2:00.1 victory over Summer Scent and driver Dan Daley. After a slow start Lems put Concentration on the pylons in third position and they were five lengths off the lead set by Daly and Summer Scent as they passed the quarter in :30. Lems followed the leader until he moved his filly out to challenge up the backside. They easily gained command and at the third stanza in 1:30 they had two on Summer Scent. From there it was catch me if you can, and no one could, as Concentration coasted home a 1-1/4-length winner in 2:00.1. Daley's filly was second and Ray Schnittker got Summers Windsong up for third place. "She's a nice filly and if we get a good (post) position in the final I think she'll be heard from,' Lems added through his smiles. Trained by George Ducharme for owner Chip Campbell, Concentration paid $5.20 for win. Schnittker also got a chance to have his picture taken after he won the final $37,000 NYSS division with Kaliska in 2:00. But he had to work hard for it. After they fell into the two-hole on the first turn behind Dan Daley and Cherry Crown Jewel that duo led the field by the quarter in a swift :28. When they passed the half in :58 Schnittker was out and going and Kaliska took command up the backside. They kept the lead until the finish and Schnittker had to steadily urge his filly but Kaliska held off a late rally on the far outside by Mark MacDonald and Duolectra to win by a neck. Favored Pig Hunt was third for George Brennan. "She's green and I had to keep after her because she tried to pull up three times in the stretch," Schnittker expounded after the mile. The Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian filly is trained by Schnittker and owned by Schnittker, Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable and Fam Alber Horse Racing LLC. She paid $10.00 for win. The undercard featured five divisions in the Excelsior Series also for freshmen trotting fillies. Winners included: I'm Very Lucky (Sam Schillaci) in 2:08.4 ; Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory) in 2:00; Morcredit Bluechip (Jeff Gregory) in 2:00.2; Teacher Pat (Chris Lems) in 2:02.3 and Waiting Room (Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) in 2:01.1. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 3, 2014 - Cee Bee Yes had an ambitious mission a month ago in the Hambletonian Oaks but now is back at Freehold, scene of her past successes, for the $40,000 Helen Smith Trot on Friday, September 5, 2014. The Helen Smith is restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old filly trotters and sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2 at the Meadowlands would have been quite a feather in the cap of the filly, a daughter of Muscles Yankee - Enbeecee. But she broke at the start and was never a factor. She won a qualifier on August 21 at Freehold in 2:00.3 in preparation for the Helen Smith, where she will leave from post three in the field of six. She has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite. "Cee Bee Yes made an unfortunate break at the start of the Oaks," trainer Julie Miller noted. "Since them, we wanted to target the Helen Smith at Freehold. She has had success at Freehold in the past. She is good and healthy, and ready to return to action." At Freehold, Cee Bee Yes won the $33,075 Lady Suffolk on May 3. At two, she was second to Chocolate Crisp in the $58,025 Marion Dancer. In New Jersey Sire Stakes action at the Meadowlands, she won the $150,000 final at two and was second in the $100,000 final for three-year-olds on May 31, 2014. A $45,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Cee Bee Yes has banked $273,182 for owners Jason and Douglas Allen of Vincentown, NJ. This year she has finished first or second in four of eight starts and has a lifetime record of six wins, five seconds and two thirds from 19 starts. With her husband, Andy, on the sidelines, recovering from a racing accident, Miller is turning the lines over to Steve Smith. "Steve drove her last year and got along real well with her," she noted. "As a trainer, I take each start race by race. As long as she is healthy, she still has stakes racing to compete in." The field for the $40,000 Helen Smith, the seventh race on September 5 [with sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds]: 1-Yoga-Muscles Yankee-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-5-2 2-Shelikescandy-Chocolatier-James Marshall IV-Dawn Anderson-12-1 3-Cee Bee Yes-Muscles Yankee-Steve Smith-Julie Miller-9-5 4-You And I-Muscles Yankee-Ed Lohmeyer-Ed Lohmeyer-7-1 5-Celebrity Fantasy-Muscles Yankee-Eric Abbatiello-Jimmy Salerno-20-1 6-Mistresswithmuscle-Muscle Hill-Jeff Gregory-George Ducharme-5-2 by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 29, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Opens--a handicap for distaff pacers and a blind draw for all trotters who passed initiation--were won by rank outsider Campanile (Eric Carlson, $58.50) and Obrigado (Brent Holland, $11). An early bystander from post position No. 4, Campanile had much to watch. Last week's victress, Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton) was in play, getting stung by pole assignee, the newly-sold Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett). No sooner did the just-above-even-money fave Robin Cruiser make the lead (:26.4 opening quarter-mile) than Monkey on My Wheel (Dan Dube) took her turn. Monkey on My Wheel found a :55.4 intermission and 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Montenegro (Greg Merton) offering a stern test first-up. Monkey on My Wheel opened to a length-and-a-quarter entering the lane, but was done soon after. Venus Delight closed deep in the passing lane, but it was Campanile-third-up--moving widest and fastest. Sixth in and out of the final turn, Campanile prevailed by a neck in 1:52.3. Robin Cruiser, Crazy on You (Holland) and Camille (George Brennan) rounded out the payees. For Campanile, a 5-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended trained by Allan Johnson for owner Michael Casalino Jr., it was her seventh win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $290.50, with the triple returning $789. The week's marquee trot saw upstate scourge Obrigado-which, as pointed out by track announcer/U-N interpreter John Hernan, translates to "thank you" in Portuguese-prevail from second-over. After Tober (Bartlett) and Lorenzo Dream (Jeff Gregory) led the way (:27.2, :57.1), Tober regained and found a 1:26.1 three-quarters. He had a 2¼-length lead turning for home, having disposed of both a stopping "Lorenzo" and an uncovered DW's NY Yank (Brennan). However, Obrigado-gradually advancing from post No. 5-snapped the leader late, winning by a neck in 1:55.3. Third went to Bingo Queen (Eric Goodell), with tepid 19-10 choice Somebody AS (Dube) and "DW" settling for the minor awards. For Obrigado, a 4-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, William Weaver III, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, he's now 7-for-16 this season (28-for-39 lifetime). The exacta paid $44.20, with the triple returning $216.50. Friday's undercard saw the 7-year-old double millionaire Wishing Stone (Brennan, $3.70) beat up his rivals, setting a set track record for aged trotting horses (1:54.2). He (nearly a year ago to the day) and Archangel shared the old standard at a tick slower. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 25, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $197,500 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Four divisions comprised the event. Division leader Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $3.10) did nothing to diminish her standing, winning the $49,150 third division in 1:58.4...by far the night's fastest. Racing second-up from post position No. 4, she went up and over a last-turn bolting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald), beating that one by three-quarters of a length. Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a best-of-the-rest third. The effort was just two ticks off the track record (Some Girls, 2010) for this division. "She's just a professional and she enjoys what she does," Gregory said. "Mark's filly looked like she wanted to go home early, but nothing seems to bother (Barn Doll). For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her sixth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.30, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $12.20. Driver George Brennan doubled his pleasure in the first two ($49,150 each) sire stakes events, with odds-on Pig Hunt ($2.50) in 2:01, and second choice Counsellor AS ($5.80) in 2:00.3 The former, a Conway Hall miss, controlled from the pole, defeated pocket-sitting Zanna Blue (Gates Brunet) by three-quarters of a length. Summer Scent (Dan Daley) was third. For Pig Hunt, co-owned by (trainer) Jennifer and Janice Connor, she's now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta (two wagering faves in order) paid $8.20, with the triple returning $28.40. "The best thing about her? She trots," Brennan said. "I was able to back it down enough (1:31.3 three-quarters) to make sure she had something late." Both Barn Doll and Pig Hunt are 2-for-2 locally in NYSS competition. Counsellor AS, second-up from post No. 4, went right by even-money Miss B'ville J (Morrill Jr.), drawing out to win by a couple of lengths. Make it Blue Chip (Ray Schnittker) was third. For "Counsellor," a Conway Hall homebred miss owned Acl Stuteri Ab and trained by Annette Lorentzon, it was her third win in eight '14 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with the triple returning $30.40. "She's learning," Brennan said. "I think she'd have won the last time, but I drove her off her feet." The evening's final ($50,050) sire stakes event went to down-the-road favorite Concentration (Sears, $4.30)-from post No. 4--in 1:59.3. The margin was a length-and-three-quarters over, Duolectra (Brennan), who skimmed to cones to grab second at 28-1. Shaqline (Jimmy Takter) was third. For Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, she's 3-for-7 in her first season. The exacta paid $88.50, with the triple returning $332.50. A special Monday shoutout to the veteran Wholly Louy, whose win in the $21,000, 10th-race pace made him harness racing's newest millionaire (66-for-220, $1,000,063). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

The intermittent rain showers on Thursday afternoon, August 21 didn't deter Market Rally and Avalicious from their main objectives as each won their respective $60,200 divisions of 3-year-old trotting fillies in New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway. Both fillies, from the powerful Ron Burke stable, were driven to victory by Jimmy Morrill, Jr.. The two trotting events were the last of the NYSS preliminary legs prior to the top point earners in the summer-long series convening at Yonkers Raceway on September 13 to compete in their $225,000 Division Final. With her victory in a time of 1:57.3 Market Rally finished with 325 points which will undoubtedly make her the favorite in her rich NYSS finale. Avalicious, on the other hand, was victorious in 1:57.4 and finished with 175 points as second best. There's no argument that Market Rally has been the best NYSS sophomore trotting filly this year and her 9-length victory over Gammy's Girl (Mark MacDonald) and Cutup Hanover (Jeff Gregory) only emphasized it. With her triumph on Thursday the daughter of Cash Hall-Supreme Dish has run her seasonal bankroll to over $262,000 on the strength of six wins and one second in nine starts. Sent off the1-9 favorite from the pole position Morrill hustled Market Rally to the lead as Gates Brunet and Driving Miss Crazy left strong from the six hole. The two fillies were wide open on the first turn but unfortunately for Driving Miss Crazy's connections she went off-stride and Market Rally was alone on the front-end when she tripped the first quarter timer in :28.2 Two lengths in front as she passed the half in :57 Morrill was looking to give his filly a breather. When she passed the third stanza in 1:27 Market Rally had a five length lead which she opened to nine at the wire. "We were getting out of there pretty quickly and I got my filly wound up, and because of that we got to the half faster than I wanted to, "Morrill related. But from there she was on cruise-control the rest of the way." Owned by the Burke Stable, Weaver-Buscemi, Our Cents Stable and the Panhellenic Stable, Market rally paid $2.30 for win. In the other NYSS split Morrill eased Avalicious away from the gate slowly and at the first quarter they were in sixth position, some nine lengths off the leader. Morrill bided his time in the early going and at the half he moved the filly out behind cover and it up the backside and into the final turn before he gave Avalicious her head. And when he did the daughter of RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers rallied to a three length victory, her fifth of the year. Asked why Avalious was four, or so, lengths off the gate at the start of the race Morrill explained; "I wanted to ease her away so she'd stay trotting. She gets a little anxious behind the gate but once she gets away (on the trot) she's usually steady the rest of the mile." Avalicious, owned by M.C. Crawford, A.C. Crawford and P.D. Crawford, was sent off as the 3-10 betting favorite and returned a $2.60 win mutuel. Three Excelsior Series trots bolstered the undercard with the locally owned Dreamsteeler the most impressive. (Local) owner Andy Herzog was on hand to watch his Cash Hall-Dream Street filly maul her competition with Jimmy Morrill, Jr. at the lines. It was Dreamsteeler's seventh win in eight seasonal starts after going 10 for 10 last year. Sent off five cents on a dollar, Dreamsteeler was victorious in a time of 2:01 and paid $2.10 for win. After the photo was taken in the winners circle Herzog was asked why Dreamsteeler doesn't race in the sire stakes. "I bought her in mid-June and she wasn't eligible to them (the NYSS), only to the Excelsior Series. But she's already won my money back and I got a pretty nice filly trotter to boot." Other Excelsior winners were Ski To The Max (Gates Brunet) in 2:02.1 and Slice Slice Baby (Charlei Norris) in 2:00.2. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Batavia, NY---Perfect weather and a lightning fast track provided record-breaking conditions for Buen Camino and trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and the pair did not disappoint. They were never headed in a $55,500 division of the New York Sire Stakes on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs and rewrote history. In an uncharacteristic move, Smedshammer sent Buen Camino out of the gate and put him right on the point; something the 2-year-old had never done before. But it wasn't done by accident; his driver had a plan. Smedshammer said after the race "It was time to put him on the front end. He was very good tonight." And perhaps very good was an understatement. After cutting fractions of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.2, Buen Camino pulled away from the pack while motoring in a :28.3 final panel to post a lifetime mark of 1:58 flat, which was also a new track record at Batavia Downs for 2-year-old trotting geldings. Post time favorite Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) got caught second over in a dull outer flow behind Andy Ray (Brent Holland) and followed that one to the top of the last turn before tipping three deep. But by that time it was too late as Buen Camino had opened up three and was cruising for the wire. Insomniac (Jason Bartlett) who skirted the pylons during the mile caught second and Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory) closed well to be third. The winner paid $22.40. This was the second win in only four lifetime starts for Buen Camino (Cash Hall-Baby Bella) and it boosted his earnings to $64,722 for owner Wanda Polisseni of the Purple Haze Stable LLC. After the race, Polisseni said "He's been a nice horse since day one but he's had some bad trips along the way. Trond really likes him and we're both very optimistic for next year." In the other $54,500 division, Tidquist (Conway Hall-Appomattox Lady) captured his first lifetime win in a convincing wire-to-wire, 1:59.4 victory for driver Mike Simons. Shooting quickly off the wings, Tidquist took a powerful four-length lead to the quarter pole where most of the field had trouble keeping up with him. After marking the first three stations in :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1, Royal Deceptor (Michael Mc Givern) who had been tracking him second, finally got close and pulled to challenge at the top of the lane. But Tidquist had another idea and turned on the speed to fly home in a sparkling :28.3 final quarter to win by a widening length and a quarter. Royal Deceptor hung on for second and Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) was third. Overlooked by the bettors, the winner paid $27.60. The win was the first in six lifetime starts for Tidquist and was responsible for the bulk of his $33,196 in earnings for owners Robert Brooks, Jana Bowen, John Buettner and Charlene Long. Tidquist is trained by Jeffrey Long. There were also three divisions of the Excelsior Series that went for a total of $38,000. Abir Hanover (Credit Winner-Are You Ready) captured the first $12,600 division in 2:01.2 for trainer Paul Kelley and driver Jason Bartlett and paid $4.60. Abir Hanover is owned by Paul Kelley, W.J. Donovan and Theodore Gewertz. Lucky Pablo (Lucky Chuck-Classical Princess) won the second $12,700 split, also in 2:01.2 for trainer/driver John Stark Jr. and paid $24.00. Lucky Pablo is owned by Edmund Smith, Crawford Farms LLC, James Giannuzzi and David Smith. And in the third session, Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the $12,700 contest in 2:00.2 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and paid $3.50. Crazshana is owned by the Purple Haze Stable LLC. The Purple Haze Stable sent out three winners on the evening and drivers Trond Smedshammer and Mark MacDonald both had driving triples. Racing resumes on Friday (Aug. 22) at Batavia Downs with a 12 race card that has a 6:35 post time.   Tim Bojarski

As the New York Sire Stakes draw closer to the eight $225,000 finales, presented on September 13 at Yonkers Raceway, the fields in each preliminary division leading to those rich finals understandably get smaller as only the most competitive move on. However as the fields get smaller the purses in the supporting divisions get larger. On Thursday afternoon (August 21) two $60,200 divisions of NYSS sophomore filly trots attracted only 14 entrants which leads one to believe that most are, in fact, this year's cream of the crop while those who aren't among them are looking to join their ranks. Or maybe their connections believe they have a good chance to get a huge part of the substantial purse. Still, as the two seven-horse fields race for the respectable purses offered, final results of these two trots could change the points- earned landscape especially since the stop at the Mighty M on Thursday will be the final preliminary leg before their $225,000 finale. The top eight trotters who will have earned the most points in the NYSS preliminary legs will get an opportunity to vastly increase their seasonal bankrolls in the rich finale. However, should any of the top eight fail to enter, the door will be open for those next in line in point totals. Joining the two NYSS trots will be three Excelsior Series trotting events also for 3 year old fillies arguably of lesser caliber than their NYSS cohorts. Each of the two Excelsior "A" Series trots will race for purses of $12,600 while eight others will go for a $6,800 purse in the Excelsior Series "B" event. The first $60,200 NYSS trot will go as race six on the 12-race card. That event features the top four in points. They are (with points and drivers), Market Rally (275-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.), Glowngold (130-Chris Lems), Driving Miss Crazy (130-Gates Brunet); and Beauty of Gray (125-Jim Meittinis). All almost assuredly will eligible to the Final. Others in that seven horse field (with points and drivers) include Annies List (117-Tyler Buter), Cutup Hanover (75-Jeff Gregory) and Gammy's Girl (26-Mark MacDonald). If total points determine the abilities of the entrants then the second $60,200 division arguably contains a softer field, although Avalicious (125-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) is tied for fourth in total points. She'll be joined by L Dees Scripture (111-Chris Lems),Maud Blue Chip(61-Tyler Buter), Lindys Crazy Dolly (25-Larry Stalbaum), Crediama (21-Jeff Greory), Flyhawk Falina (17-Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) and Do You Believe (8-Mark MacDonald). However, It should be noted that many of the fillies with lesser point totals isn't a decree of their abilities, it's just that they only started a few times in the NYSS this year. The Sire Stakes trots will be presented as races six and eight on the 12-race card on Thursday. They'll be joined by three quality sophomore filly trotting races in the Excelsior Series which will bolster the undercard. They will go as races one, two and five. Post time for the afternoon card is slated for 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Batavia, NY--- $110,000 is up for grabs in two divisions of New York Sire Stake action for freshman trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs. The fourth race has seven horses going postward in the first division for $54,500 in purse money. Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) went wire to wire in his career debut at Buffalo Raceway in a sparkling time of 1:59.3, which set a new track record. That win at Buffalo makes him one of only two horses in the race to be victorious over a half-mile track. He then won at Tioga before finishing third at Yonkers. After being scratched sick on August 2, Driver Michael Mc Givern elected to race the colt from behind rather than on the point like had all year. Assuming he needed that start after his 17 day layoff, Royal Deceptor has a great chance to rebound here with his early speed from post five for trainer Cheryl Mc Givern. Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has been spectacular on bigger tracks this year for trainer George Ducharme, but has had his challenges over the half-mile ovals. In his last four starts he has set two consecutive lifetime marks at Tioga Downs (1:57.4) and Vernon Downs (1:56) but in between has made breaks off the gate at Yonkers and Monticello Raceway. Regular driver Chris Lems will try to make him behave from the rail to get his third victory of the year. Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) has had just the opposite history. He made breaks at Tioga and Vernon but has a win at Buffalo Raceway in 2:01, a second at Yonkers and a fifth at Monticello after being parked out most of the mile. Pier Ho Exotic is the other horse in the race to win over a half-mile track and John Cummings Jr. will once again be on board from post two for trainer Megan Wilson. The second $55,500 division is carded as race eight and has eight starters. It also features a battle between the top point's leaders for this sex and gait. Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) had a flawless performance last week at Monticello Raceway when he went gate to wire in 1:58.4. The four and three-quarter length victory was his fourth in six starts and boosted his earnings to $74,119 for the year. Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will have to overcome post six in the full field of eight but has the gate speed to do it. Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) has been nearly flawless for trainer Linda Toscano his last four starts, winning three and finishing second by only half a length. Those victories helped bank his $68,169 for the year and leave him tied with Gabe The Bear Dean atop the NYSS leaderboard for 2-year-old trotting colts with 183 points. Mambo Blue Chip has Jeff Gregory aboard from the rail and that puts him in the perfect spot for his stalking style. Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Z's) has a win and two seconds since coming into the Paul Kelley stable on July 19 and that includes a 1:56.4 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs. In his other two starts he was narrowly defeated by today's favorites, Gabe The Bear Dean at Yonkers in 1:58.3 and Mambo Blue Chip at Monticello in 1:59.3. Jason Bartlett who has driven Insomniac for most of the year is aboard again, looking to avenge those defeats. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card with total purses amounting to $38,000. The most closely contested of those is the tenth race where Crashana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) is coming off back-to-back three length victories and is set to go against Lucky Budd (Lucky Chucky-Britt's Spirit) who also has back-to-back victories going into tonight. Both horses scored their wins on the same nights at the same tracks, but raced in different divisions. They also both sport 1:57.3 lifetime marks at Vernon Downs. Looking to play spoiler is Titanium (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee) who dropped into Excelsior action from the NYSS last week to collar his first win of the year at Monticello in 2:01.2, the same night Crashana and Lucky Budd raced and won. Facing these two for the first time and drawing inside them, Titanium will look to become the dominant trotter in this series tonight. Post time for the first race is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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