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FREEHOLD, NJ – September 17, 2016 – It was a beautiful day for Freehold Raceways fifth annual Open Space Pace celebration.  The twelve race harness racing card featured two Lou Babic stake finals for two-year-old pacers.  The New Jersey sire If I Can Dream showcased his offspring in both finals. The two-year-old colt pacers kicked the day off in the second non-betting race off the regular scheduled card.  Everyway Out had his way again today, keeping his perfect record untainted in the $62,000 Lou Babic Final.  Tetrick sent his colt out of the gate to take the lead and hold off a late charging Deo Galileo in the stretch for the win in 1:56.3.  Trained by Dylan Davis this makes seven wins in seven starts with $154,155 lifetime earnings.  Firefox Hanover came in third. The seventh race was the Lou Babic Final for two-year-old filly pacers with a purse of $57,000.  Jeff Gregory moved his filly Designated Drinker just past the quarter and sailed home virtually unchallenged in 1:58.2.  Misqued finished second while Maiden Dream with driver Jim Marohn Jr. rounded out the trifecta to finish third.  The Chris Lems trainee Designated Drinker takes win number two on the season boosting her lifetime earnings to $78,820. Freehold will continue its New Jersey Stakes schedule on Thursday, September 22, 2016 with a 12:30 pm post time. Courtney Stafford

Vernon, N.Y. -- Harness racing favorites prevailed in all three New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 2) evening, with Barn Bella's ($3.50) 1:55.3 mile proving most impressive of any.   The daughter of Conway Hall and Bravissima sprinted clear at the outset of her $36,566 event, posting a :28.3 initial quarter before pulling back the pace and rebuffing a middle move from Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) through a :58.4 middle half. In similar fashion, Barn Bella would subsequently sprint off from an upper-stretch challenge from Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci), using a :28.1 closing sectional to put 3-1/4 lengths on runner-up Mamora Bay, while fading third-place finisher Maewegonow ultimately checked in twelve lengths in arrears. Jeff Gregory once again drove Barn Bella for trainer Steven Pratt, who shares ownership with Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables, LLC.   Flyhawk Charm ($4.60) controlled nearly all the terms in her $35,866 Sire Stakes event, which ended up a virtual match race when all of her rivals save Nightflix Hanover (Ray Schnittker) broke stride in the early stages. The daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe and Final Time set fractions of :28.1, :57.3, and 1:28.1 before she was headed by Nightflix Hanover in upper stretch. No less, despite decelerating late, Flyhawk Charm fought back and eked out a three-quarter length victory in 2:00.3. Chris Lems was aboard for co-owner/trainer Joseph Flynn and co-owner Edward Flynn.   Amber Ella ($4.10) was the other Sire Stakes winner on the evening, capturing her $36,566 division from off the pace. The daughter of Chapter Seven and Blushed latched onto the cover of Sunshine Delight (Chris Lems) through a 1:00.1 middle half, using a second-over trip before kicking to the fore in upper stretch. Amber Ella drew off by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:57.1 in rein to John Campbell as the pace collapsed. Heels On Wheels (Matt Kakaley) saved second from the pocket, while the first-over Sunshine Delight was an engulfed third. Linda Toscano trains Amber Ella for the Enviro Stables, Ltd. and Camelot Stable, Inc.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 3) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Pink Pistol rocketed through the lane to pull off a 10-1 upset in the fastest division of Saturday's $161,047 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. The event, known as the Stenographer, was contested over three divisions, with Ginny Weasley (13-1) and Spicedbourbongirl (9-1) completing the long shot parade in the PASS opener. Jeff Gregory enjoyed a stake double behind Pink Pistol and Spicedbourbongirl. Pink Pistol hadn't raced in a month, as Rob Harmon, who trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-August Revenue for Harmon Racing Stable, Knightstalker Stable and Lynne Mondrick, gave her an extended break to help cure her gaiting problems. "She needed to go home and not ship so much," Harmon said. "She has a little tying-up issue, and shipping is not her best thing. She'll stay right here in the sires stakes. She's eligible for a couple in Canada, but she has to show us that she's back to herself before we start going up there." In the Stenographer, she got away third, saved ground and brushed through the stretch to triumph in 1:55, 1-1/2 lengths better than Sunset Glider, with Candy Lane third. It was the fifth win for Pink Pistol in eight lifetime outings. Ginny Weasley never had won a stake, but Lucas Wallin nevertheless used her twice -- once for early position from post 8, once to pursue the leader second over. She avoided the breaking Moots out of the final turn and scored in 1:55.1, a career best. Miss Tezsla was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Black Broadway earned show. "She showed a lot of speed last year, and I won at the Meadowlands with her earlier this year," Wallin said. "So we told the owner to give her a little break and aim for the stake races. The trip went great today, but she won pretty easy." Ake Svanstedt trains the daughter of Andover Hall-Donepunk for Torp Trotting, Inc. Spicedbourbongirl also collected her first stake victory when she zipped past the 1-5 favorite, Womans Will, in the lane and prevailed in 1:55.4 for owner William B. Weaver III. Womans Will saved place, 1/2 length in arrears, while Kathy Parker completed the ticket. "She won pretty handy at Pocono in an overnight, so we thought we might as well give her a shot against the better girls," said Gregory, who also conditions the daughter of Cantab Hall-All In The Muscles. "It was only her second start of the year, so I didn't want to abuse her. I was hoping I could get lucky and save some ground." $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Saturday's card also featured a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly trotters -- yet another showcase for Goodtogo Hanover, who won her seventh consecutive race. Witnesstheprincess and Shelovesumore also took $20,000 splits. As Goodtogo Hanover zipped to the top from post 7, driver Brian Zendt, noticed an unusual problem. A GoPro camera attached to her sulky to capture live images had loosened and flipped. The images transmitted may have been upside down, but the daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall stayed atop her game, winning in 1:56.2 "I don't know if it (the GoPro) bothered her, but it was rubbing her," Zendt said. "She was a little extra hot today. I thought she was a little quieter last time. I didn't plan on being at the quarter in 27.2, but as you could see, I was a passenger." Keystone Taylor finished 3-1/4 lengths back in second, with Best Of Dreams third. Bill Zendt trains Goodtogo Hanover and owns with Gary Saul. Witnesstheprincess rebounded from a pair of break-marred outings to collect a front-end victory for Aaron Merriman and trainer Chris Beaver, who owns the daughter of Andover Hall-Mystical Moonlight with Synerco Ventures and Michael Robinson. Mystical Power earned place, 3-1/4 lengths back, while Glidinthruparadise finished third. "She had a couple good starts here earlier this year, but we had some issues with her shoeing and her feet," Merriman said. "She wasn't getting over the track. Chris made some adjustments and thought she would be better. She really showed it today." Shelovesumore emerged from several months of vexing medical issues to rally for a 1/2-length victory -- at 20-1 -- over Summer Moonshine in 1:57.1. Explosive High finished third. Tony Hall drove for trainer Sharon Donella, who owns the homebred daughter of War Paint-Wasador with Kathleen Quinn-Hodel. "It's been a torturous three months," Donella said. "She had some problems with her cycle. Then she got a real bad sinus infection. We finally got the hormones worked out, the sinuses cleared up, and we got us a horse." In the $22,500 Winners Over 10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Unlocked powered to a front-end victory in 1:49, fastest ever at The Meadows by an older pacer. Fred And Ginger held the previous mark of 1:49.2 Jim Pantaleano piloted the 5-year-old son of Duneside Perch-Miss Major Power, who boosted his career bankroll to $417,244, for trainer Norm Parker and owner Megan Rogers Racing Stables. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino    

Vernon, N.Y. -- Employing a first-over bid through the far turn, Barn Girl ($2.20) delivered as the prohibitive harness racing favourite in her $45,000 New York Excelsior Series final, one of four to headline Saturday (September 19) evening's program at Vernon Downs.   The 3-year-old trotting daughter of Cash Hall and Turquoise Sweetie earned her 14th career win in the first Excelsior event of the evening, angling first-over just as Miss B'ville J (Jim Morrill, Jr.) took the lead through a :57.3 half. Barn Girl progressed steadily through the far turn, making ground in the second flight through a :28.2 third quarter before collaring Miss B'ville J in deep stretch for a 1:54.2 triumph. Jeff Gregory drove Barn Girl for trainer Howard Okusko, Sr. and owners Steven Pratt, Nancy Pratt, and the Out in the Country Stable.   Andy Ray ($9.10) took top honours among 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings in their Excelsior final, placed second-over by Andy Miller behind the live cover of 4-5 faavourite Crazshana (Trond Smedshammer) before kicking cover to narrowly prevail in 1:54.1. Erv Miller trains the gelded son of Crazed and Crown N Lindy for Paymaq Racing, Ronald Michelon, and Harvey Eisman.   The 3-year-old filly pace saw Matt Kakaley slid second-over with Hey Kobe ($5.40) to track a live B Stern through a :55.2 half, only to be left uncovered on the far turn and sustain a bid to a deep-stretch lead. The daughter of Bettor's Delight and American West was able to wear down B Stern through a :27 final quarter for a 1:51.2 triumph. Jean Drolet trains Hey Kobe for Stephen Schneider and William Siegel.   In the 3-year-old pace for colts and geldings, Masterson ($3.50, part of entry) emerged late from a tracking trip, drawing clear for a 1:50 win to extend his win streak to five. Tracy Brainard trains the gelded son of Bettor's Delight and Tug River Princess for Blue Chip Bloodstock, and Jim Morrill, Jr. was aboard for the winning drive.   Morrill also captured two of the evening's four $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolations, teaming up with Fashion Creditor (3-year-old colt trot, 1:53.2) and Penji Hanover (3-year-old colt pace, 1:49.4). Also victorious were My Lucky Word (3-year-old filly trot, 1:56.2, Corey Callahan) and Luck Be a Lindy (3-year-old filly pace, 1:51, Gregory).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Wednesday (September 23) evening, with post time at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After rating a soft 1:00 middle half, Dayson ($3.10) kicked clear at will in upper stretch, keeping a career-long winning harness racing streak alive in Friday (September 18) evening's New York Sire Stakes races at Vernon Downs.   Twelve 2-year-old trotters, split into two equal divisions of six, vied for $107,000 in combined purses in the evening's co-featured events. Dayson, sent off the odds-on favourite in the second division (race 6), allowed Crown Point (Dan Daley) to vault clear in the initial furlong before making his move to the fore. Just having passed the winning post on the first occasion, Jeff Gregory floated the gelded son of Conway Hall and Nervey's Taurus clear, taking over through a :27.4 initial quarter before backing down a 1:00 middle half. Faced with a first-over challenge from Dog Gone Lucky (John Campbell) upon exiting the far turn, Dayson dug in at once, kicking clear upon cornering. While Dog Gone Lucky failed to sustain his bid, the second-over Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) gave late chase, only mustering a runner-up effort while 1-3/4 lengths in arrears of the undefeated Dayson's 1:55.2 mile.   Howard Okusko trains Dayson--now perfect through seven races--for Margaret and Amy Butler.   The earlier division saw Reve Royale ($3.50) make an early push to the lead, clearing Smalltownthrowdown (Daley) after a :28.3 initial quarter before rating a 1:00.2 middle half and subsequently holding off a stout challenge from his pocket rival for the length of the stretch to narrowly prevail in 1:57.1. Chris Lems drove the son of RC Royalty and Dream Street for trainer George Ducharme and owners Raymond Campbell, Jr., Paul Fontaine, and Alfred Ross.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 19) evening, with the first of 14 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. The program features the $45,000 finals of the New York Excelsior Series for 3-year-olds, along with the $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolations for 3-year-olds.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

When the best Empire State harness racing 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits convene at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 12) for the first edition of the 2015 Night of Champions, some of the best sophomores in North American harness racing will be competing for the $900,000 in purses. In fact, it will include four of the top 20 colt and filly pacers and four of the top 15 colt and filly trotters currently in the sport. That gaudy list is definitely led by Habitat 3, 1:53 ($1,104,841) by Conway Hall-Habit's Best, whose $570,434 in 2015 ranks him fourth in North America among trotters of all ages behind Hambletonian winner Pinkman, Open sensation JL Cruze and Hambletonian Oaks winner Wild Honey. Habitat has been made the morning line choice in the 3-year-old trotting colt and gelding division by the track handicapper and is listed at 1-1. After completing an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him earn in excess of $500,000, Habitat began this year in quick fashion by winning the $133,170 Dexter Cup at Freehold in his very first start. He then won two out of three early NYSS events before hitting the Grand Circuit. Habitat trotted his fastest mile of the year in his Hambletonian elimination heat where he finished fourth to eventual stake winner, Pinkman, in 1:51.2. Unfortunately he drew post 10 in the final and was only able to watch his stablemate, Mission Brief, finish second from nine lengths behind. But since that time, the Conway Hall colt has been red hot; stringing together three consecutive victories in what could only be described as dominating fashion. He won the $58,662 Tompkins Memorial at Tioga Downs in a lifetime best-tying time of 1:53. Then two weeks later it was wire to wire in the $40,000 Yonkers Trot elimination. And he followed that up with a three and one-half length romp in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final. The NYSS final will be the third straight start at Yonkers Raceway for Habitat, who has already shown a propensity to perform well on that surface. The sports leading trainer, Ron Burke, will send Habitat postward with the leading NYSS driver, Jim Morrill Jr. in tow for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The 3-year-old distaff trotting division features Barn Doll who has been installed as the 9-5 choice. Barn Doll 3, 1:52.1 ($560,650) by Conway Hall-Headintheclouds, seemingly does nothing but win. She is 17 out of 21 lifetime and 10 out of 12 this year. Her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 occurred two weeks in a row at Vernon Downs in June when she won the elimination and final of the $248,275 Empire Breeders Classic in identical times. Barn Doll has only been beaten twice this year, finishing second both times. And as this filly likes to come at the three-eighths, it took a :56 back half at Tioga and a :57 last-lap at Yonkers to take her down. Given the convincing manner she won her most recent two starts it would appear she comes into this race razor sharp. Steve Pratt trains Barn Doll and co-owns the filly with Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. Jeff Gregory will once again be at the lines as he has for eight of her wins this year Jewels In Hock 3, 1:53.3 ($254,496) by Credit Winner-Jewels Galore, should pose the major threat to Barn Doll in this race as she comes into the contest winning three out of her last four starts. She is eight out of 16 in the winner's circle this year and that $241,496 has accounted for the bulk of her lifetime income. The filly likes the front end and will get the opportunity to cut the race in here for driver Jim Morrill Jr. Linda Toscano trains Jewels In Hock for Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables LLC. In the 3-year-old pacing filly division, Mosquito Blue Chip is rated the 5-2 morning line choice but comes into the race as bit of an enigma. Mosquito Blue Chip 3, 1:49.3 ($477,511) by Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover, had been rolling right along; winning three out of four races including a lifetime best 1:49.3 in winning the $269,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on August 23. But the very next week after a raucous spell behind the gate, going into the first turn she made the only break of her career; and it was a bad one. So how does that affect her chances 12 days later over the same track? Aside from that line, Mosquito Blue Chip has been a model of consistency since the beginning of June. She is eight out of 12 in the money, including five wins. And she was the third leading point getter and second highest money-earner in the series for her division this year. Jim Morrill Jr. will steer Mosquito Blue Chip for trainer Paul Jessop, who co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable LLC and Donato Falcicchio. Finally, in the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings split, Betting Exchange is the prohibitive 7-5 choice coming off a very convincing outing his last start. Betting Exchange 3, 1:51.2 ($401,663) by Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover, is having an outstanding year. He finished third behind Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit (who are currently first and third in North America for 2015 earnings) in the $810,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway in 1:48 flat, beaten only three lengths. Then he finished fourth in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. Yannick Gingras took the colt to the front from post seven in 26.2 before getting a two-hole trip for the race. After shaking loose in the stretch, he finished fourth in 1:50, beaten only three lengths. Betting Exchange followed that up with a devastating nine-length victory seven days later at Batavia Downs, going the mile in 1:51.2 and just missing the all-time track record by one fifth of a second. Jason Bartlett was up for that win and returns to try and repeat the effort for trainer Tom Fanning. Betting Exchange is owned by his trainer along with Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. By Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York        

Nichols, N.Y. -- Now a six-time winner, Margaret and Amy Butler's Dayson ($2.10) drew clear at will for a 1:56 triumph in his $53,500 New York Sire Stakes event on Saturday (September 5) evening at Tioga Downs.   Jeff Gregory settled the 2-year-old gelded son of Conway Hall and Nervey's Taurus at the back of the main body of the field early on, better than just the far detached Neymar (Harry Landy), who faltered at the start. Dayson sat well off a :27.1 initial quarter before vacating the pegs at race's midpoint, working to within three lengths of 28-1 leader Credevie (Jim Marohn, Jr.) through a :57 half. On the backstretch, the Howard Okusko trainee found cover in the form of the first-over Crown Point (Dan Daley), drafting to advance easily through a 1:26.3 three-quarter split before he was left uncovered on the far turn. Just as Crown Point cleared a tiring Credevie, Dayson found another gear, sprinting off through the stretch and ultimately defeating midpack stalkers Southern Palms (Mike Simons) and Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) by 10 lengths to remain undefeated.   The other $53,500 New York Sire Stakes event on the evening's program saw Dog Gone Lucky ($9.40) recover from a mild shuffle on the backstretch, rallying off the far turn to defeat odds-on pacesetter Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.3. Jim Meittinis drove the son of Lucky Chucky and Ebbtide Hall for owners Amy Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley as well as trainer Chuck Sylvester.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (September 7) afternoon, with a $40,000 Miss Versatility preliminary event headlining the card. Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Batavia, NY---Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) lived up to her hype as she toyed with the field in her division of the $120,400 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 22) As Ray Schnittker flew off the gate with Waiting Room to take an early three-length lead, Jeff Gregory floated Barn Doll out before settling in fourth. As the pack entered the clubhouse turn, Gregory started his outside march with the filly and quickly found himself sitting second outside of the leader at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3. Then halfway through the final turn, strategy came into play. Schnittker popped the earplugs looking to pull away while Gregory held his filly firm, making sure she got through that turn without issue. As the pair hit the top of the stretch, Barn Doll became explosive with trot and left the rest behind like they were tied to a post. Barn Doll ($2.10) was a five-length winner in 1:57.3, which was only one-fifth second shy of the track record for this gait and sex. It was the ninth win in 11 starts for the top NYSS point-earning trotting filly and raised her 2015 earnings to $311,520. After the race, Gregory commented "She just loves to pass horses down the lane. The filly is just a pleasure drive." Barn Doll is owned by Steve and Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. Steve Pratt also trains the horse. In the other division, Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore) proved to be much the best even though she was tested early. Chris Lems put Jewels In Hock took and held the point immediately, until Nunkeri (Ray Fisher Jr.) motored up the outside to challenge and then take the lead at the quarter. But with the tepid :30 clocking, Lems pulled to retake the front and did so without issue. From there the race was pretty much over. Lems line-drove the filly to a 1:00.2 half and 1:29.4 three-quarters before letting her out a notch and trotting away from the field to win by two in 1:58.4. "She just does it so easy" Said Lems. "She trotted real strong to the wire. She will definitely be a factor in the finals in a couple of weeks." It was the eighth win in 15 starts (and five out of her last 6) for Jewels In Hock ($3.10) who saw her 2015 earnings inflate to $220,450 for Ken Jacobs' KJ Stable and trainer Linda Toscano. There were also two $15,000 NYSS Excelsior Series A races on the card Saturday. The first was won by Allerage Belle (Conway Hall-Bourbon Belle) in 2:00. The filly was driven by John Cummings Jr. for trainer Megan Wilson. Allerage Belle ($11.80) is owned by Alan Hainsworth. The second division went to High Rise (Conway Hall-RC Biscuit) in 1:58.4. Chris Lems drove High Rise ($2.60) for trainer George Ducharme and owner Ray Campbell Jr. The Downs $9,500 overnight pacing feature was won by Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) in 1:53.4 in one of the most exciting finishes this track has seen in some time. After getting away last and remaining there passed five-eighths, Caprio took full advantage of his rail ride as the field fanned four-deep at the three-quarter pole. Now only three lengths off the lead and with a wall of horses in front of him, Fireyourguns was tipped widest off all; five-deep, and he had a head of steam to back him up. At the top of the lane, Fireyourguns forced his will on the field and pulled away to a one-length victory. It was the ninth win in 13 starts this year for Fireyourguns ($18.60) who is owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terry McClory, who also trains the 6-year-old son of American Ideal. Visiting drivers Jeff Gregory and Chris Lems both scored driving doubles on the card. Racing resumes Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs with a 1:15 p.m. post time. Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $150,224 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event, honoring the memory of "Tootie," the man who help turn Roosevelt Raceway into a household word(s) during the sport's golden age and made the International Trot a world-class happening. Whether this group of plebes eventually becomes world class is to be determined, but 1-5 favorite Dayson (Jeff Gregory, $2.40) has proven to be the leader of the gang thus far. Starting from the pole in the second of two, $75,112 divisions, the Conway Hall gelding had to work for it. He took the best shots from second-choice Reve Royale (Brian Sears), then spurted away to a 2¼-length win in a zippy, life-best 1:57.4 (author's aside...the Gregory-driven Dejarmbro owns the 2-year-old colt local record (1:57 in 2010), while the Sears-escorted Tirade Hanover has the gelding standard (1:57.3 in 2012). Dog Gone Cupid (Tyler Buter), put in play early, did get second, with Reve Royale third. For Dayson, trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret & Amy Butler, it was his fifth win in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.60, with the triple returning $60. "He was tested tonight, and he was up to it," Gregory said, referring to Reve Royale first stringing Dayson out to get the lead in turn 2, then pulling pocket early in the final turn. The opening Barasch event saw Sears and second choice Allerage Echo ($6.10)-leaving from post position No. 6--go from first lead to first home. In between, he surrendered the front to Credevie (Trond Smedshammer), before blowing by in the lane. The final margin was 2¼ lengths (same as Dayson) in a life-best 1:59.4, with Master Class (George Brennan) a first-up second and Royal Bachelor (Jason Bartlett) third. Credevie, the favorite at just over even-money, faded to fourth. For Allerage Echo, a Crazed gelded trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs, he's now 3-for-5 to begin his career after a third consecutive win The exacta paid $55, with the triple returning $221. "I bought him off his first two qualifiers," Jacobs said. "He impressed me, but I thought his gait was too high. "George (Ducharme) said he has some talent, and we're looking forward to the rest of the sire stakes season." Frank Drucker

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night hosted the $168,374 New York Sire Stakes Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The event, honoring the memory of a legendary sports publicist, went in two, $84,187 events. The opening division was won by Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory, $5.60) in a snappy 1:56.4. Unhurried from post position No. 2, she saw pole-sitting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) contend with a second move from 9-10 choice Lady Winona (Andy Miller). Nunkeri owned a short lead into the lane, but Barn Girl-who had chased Lady Winona before falling into a vacant pocket-ducked inside and went by. She beat "Winona" by a 1¾ lengths, with Nunkeri an easily-better-than-the-rest third. "She was very good in Excelsiors (lower-level statebred races), so they wanted to try her in sire stakes," Gregory said of Barn Girl. "She's turned into one of the better one in this group." For second choice Barn Girl, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Out in the Country Stable, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with triple returning $28. Thursday night's second sire stakes event saw Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., $4.60) hold off a troubled-trip, 1-2 favorite in last season's freshman champ Barn Doll (Gregory). The final margin was a length in 1:57.3. First leader Waiting Room (Miller) held third. In play from post No. 4, Jewels in Hock retook from Waiting Room as Barn Doll, in search of a ninth consecutive victory, was caught wide early. She eventually found a five-hole before moving again first-up. For second choice "Jewels," a Credit Winner miss trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables, she's now 7-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $9.50, with the triple returning $45.20. "She's given us a lot of headaches with her equipment," Toscano said. "John (Campbell, who drove her exclusively earlier in the season) wanted her rigged one way, while Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) wanted her another way." We eventually (and lovingly, we'd guess) told Jimmy to shut up and we're leaving her the way she was with John, and it's seemed to work out." The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday (first post both nights 7:10 PM). Frank Drucker

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   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   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

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