Day At The Track
Search Results
33 to 48 of 71

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 31, 2018-Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4.10) is just better than these right now. She proved it again Friday night (Aug. 31st), handily winning Yonkers Raceway's last-of-the-month $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. She now is less than $15,000 from becoming a millionairess.  Remanded outside her six rivals, Newborn Sassy was caught wide early, eventually settling in fourth. While this was transpiring, Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) worked around Frost Damage Blues (Brian Sears) before a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.1 intermission, 'Sassy" was moving again, engaging Lispatty in and out of a 1:24.1 three-quarters. She finished off that foe early in the lane, then widened. Frost Damage Blues did slip out behind the eventual winner, with she and a bottled-up-till-late Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) cosmetically closing the margin. Newborn Sass defeated Frost Damage Blues by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:53.1, with Mach it a Par, Lispatty and Angel's Pride (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her eighth win in 26 seasonal starts (fourth in last six tries, career earnings over $985,000). The exacta paid $18.40, the triple returned $69.50 and the superfecta paid $175. Saturday night (Sept. 1st) is Triple Crown Night, with the Raceway offering the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and $500,000 Messenger Stakes, along with companion events, the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot & $112,904 Lady Maud Pace. There's a gimmick Trot/Messenger Double (races 6 and 7) as well. First post the dozen-race card is the usual evening 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 17, 2018-Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $14.60) rolled over favored Tequila Monday (Eric Goodell) late Friday night (Aug. 17th), winning Yonkers Raceway's moist $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Neither lass was visible to the naked eye early as Caviart Cherie (Mark MacDonald) led through a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Magic Forces (George Brennan), perturbed in the pocket, took over before a :55.1 intermission. Vorst (Brent Holland) slipped out from third, but she wasn't the problem as Magic Forces maintained her lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters. Wide came 6-5 choice Tequila Monday and even wider-from post position No. 7-was Newborn Sassy. Tequila Monday quickly opened a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but her rival was in hot pursuit. Newborn Sassy collared the people's preference in the final yards, edging away by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.3...a tick off her season's-best effort. It was about seventh lengths back to Magic Forces in third, with Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) and Vorst rounding out the payees. For third choice Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her seventh win in 24 seasonal starts (third in last four tries). The exacta paid $49.40, the triple returned $148.50 and the superfecta paid $1,187. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway 

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 3, 2018-Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4) rated her rivals into submission Friday night (Aug. 3rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away alertly from assigned post position No. 5, Newborn Sassy worked around Caviart Cherie, making the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. She then pilfered a :29.2 second quarter (:57.1 intermission), effectively ending the melodrama. Agent Q (birthday boy [45] Eric Goodell) tried it first-up third from third, speeding up the sojourn but never getting close in and out of a 1:24.3 three-quarters. With that foe dispensed, Newborn Sassy opened a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. She then beat the other ladies up, widening to 3¾ lengths at the 1:52.3 wire. Second went to Caviart Cherie, with a third-over Magic Forces (George Brennan) third. Bronze Over N (Dan Dube) and Made of Jewel AS (Joe Bongiorno) settled for the minors. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her sixth win in in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, the triple returned $122.50 and the superfecta paid $657. Note the Raceway shall open earlier (11:30 AM) for Saturday (Aug. 4th) simulcasting in advance of early post times from the Meadowlands (Hambletonian), the Meadows and Gulfstream. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

LAZARUS VS BIT OF A LEGEND

Christen Me N, Nike Franco N, Kept Under Wraps A, Anythingforlove A, Sky Major N, Lazarus N, among many other champions who raced in Australia and or New Zealand before making their way to North America. Aside from their gifts of gait speed and racing racing ability they also brought with them an incredible power,  they united two harness racing industries in two hemispheres. I am have been fortunate to see some of these now North American harness racing champions and sit along the rail to watch them race. I am always captivated by their racing ability. I have even had the chance to meet a few of them up and I am always a little star-struck when I do. I find it inspiring how people have been brought together because of these horses. I wonder if in adjusting to a new climate, new people and new routines if these champions realize how they have positively impacted the global harness racing industry? Personally, I have made new friends and made existing friendships stronger because of these champions. Here are my stories on some of the former  “Down Under” champions, racing in North America and the amazing friendships I made because of them. He was known as the “the Prince” when he faced Terror To Love, at tracks across his native New Zealand. Chances are you do not who I am talking about, unless you are involved in New Zealand racing or are like me and follow it. But, in the barn and with those that knew him best, he was “CC”. When the news broke that Christen Me N would be coming to race in the United States, I have to admit I was both thrilled and disappointed.  I have a soft spot for Christen Me N because he was the first New Zealand bred horse I took an interest in after I met his former driver Dexter Dunn in Ireland in 2016. I was thrilled because this meant I would have the opportunity to watch him race, but I also knew that he would be greatly missed by many in New Zealand. Then, I remembered that him coming to the North America meant friendships would be created and that was a good thing. He would be showcasing the very best of New Zealand racing talent, in the place some argue is the pinnacle of harness racing- the United States of America. Upon arrival in the United States, Christen Me N was placed in the care of Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney -King. I looked forward to the day that I would get to meet the famous “C.C”. One day in early summer of 2017, I got my opportunity because he was entered to race at what was at that time Mohawk Racetrack .That afternoon, I stopped by the farm where the King’s were stabling to see him in addition to some other horses they had racing in Ontario. As I arrived, Christen Me N was coming in from the paddock. He was so regal, standing there in the warmth of the sunshine while I admired him. I was at a loss for words and he looked like he knew what I was feeling. I got a little closer and he bowed his head, allowing me to stroke his face, and give him a kiss. Meeting him is an experience I will remember and cherish. That night he raced at what is now Woodbine- Mohawk Park, and of course I cheered. However, I was cheering him on for his fans in the southern hemisphere too. He unfortunately did not win that night, but just to be able watch him race live was a thrill for me.  When I posted the pictures from our visit and of him racing the following day; my social media buzzed. I received comments about how he was doing and how his race went and a few friend requests from people in New Zealand. The photos were also shared by people in New Zealand. Knowing that the small gesture of posting a few pictures meant a great deal to so many people warmed my heart. Next is my story of the horse who inspired this story- Nike Franco N. Nike Franco N is also is the care of Joann and Jim King Jr. I first met her on that same visit that I met ¨C.C” and she also raced on that same night. When she began racing in North America, a person by the name of Amanda Grieve was always tagged in many posts on Twitter (tweets) about Nike Franco N. So, after I met Nike Franco and posted the pictures of us, I decided to send her a message and find out she loved this mare. It turned that when Nike Franco N raced in Australia, Amanda was the caretaker for top mare and trained her for a period of time too.  Now Amanda and I talk every couple of weeks.Our friendship is all thanks to Nike Franco N. If it was not Nike Franco N being sold to American interests there is a very good chance that Amanda and I never would have met.  Earlier this season, when Nike Franco N raced in Canada in the Roses Are Red elimination and final, I video chatted with Amanda from the rail at Woodbine- Mohawk Park and I turned the camera so she could see the race, even though she lives on the other side of the world we were both cheering on Nike Franco N who she affectionately calls “Darling”.  It was truly a special opportunity for me and one I will cherish forever. In a recent conversation with Amanda,  she said something that tugged at my heartstrings and I felt was fitting for the sentiment of this very story. She said, “You get very attached to them. Especially working with them every day. And travelling with them too. Yes, I do miss her. But, I am still watching her race now.”  I can sympathize with how she feels, I would feel the same it was a horse I cared about. But, that is the great thing about social media. Nike Franco N may be across the Pacific [ocean], but the two of them are still connected through people in North America. Amanda is able to stay updated on Nike Franco N’s racing career and receive pictures is because of the friendships that Nike Franco N racing in North America has prompted. The horses that have crossed the Equator that I have also made friendships that I had before their move much stronger. Sired by Bettors Delight and foaled in 2011, Kept Under Wraps A was voted the two-year-old of the year for the state of Victoria. My friend Marcus Kirkwood owned a part of him, before Kept Under Wraps A was sold to North American interests.  I became friends with Marcus through Twitter, and when I went to Australia in February of 2017, we met in person. So, now that Kept Under Wraps A in racing in the United States, I periodically check the entries and results pages on the United States Trotting Association website to see how he is doing and then I send Marcus a message with an update. Anythingforlove A (spelled Anything For Love when racing in Australia) was bred by my friend Paul Humphreys. We became friends through social media and I also met him when I went to Australia in 2017.  When the horse had his first couple of starts in the United States, Paul and I messaged back and forth. I remember watching the race on my laptop. It was neat to be able to say “I know who bred that horse”. Anythingforlove gave us one more thing to talk about.  The story of how I got to meet Sky Major N is unique. My dad was talking with the trainer of Sky Major N, Duane Marfisi, and he it came up in conversation where he happened to be stabled, turns out we were at the same training center. When my dad told me I was elated. My filly, a future champion, was stabled steps away from a former New Zealand champion. Trevor Casey owns Sky Major N. I talk with his partner Kate Marriott often. I truly consider her a friend. During my visits with Sky Major N I gave him treats and kisses and my mom would take pictures. When I returned home I always sent Kate the pictures as soon as I could and told all about our visit.  Similarly, Trevor Casey also owned a share of the world-renowned champion, Lazarus N. Now that Lazarus N is in the United States being trained by Jimmy Takter, I send Kate all of the news and pictures I see of Lazarus. It always makes my day to send her updates of both of these champions. Every time the name of an overseas champion is printed in a North American [racing] program or their name graces a headline an “N” or an “A” is placed after their name to symbolize to everyone reading the program or the article they mentions them,  this horse is from Australia or New Zealand. I think of it as a symbol of pride.That extra letter also symbolizes the countless hours of care, hard work and dedication that the team of people looked after them in Australia or New Zealand put in that made them into the champion that now races in North America. I will forever be grateful for the friendships I have gained because of these horses. They have added so much joy to my life. I also look forward to creating many more friendships through these horses in the future. To everyone who has ever loved, taken care of, trained, owned or driven one of these now North American champions, thank you. Thank you for making these champions who they are. Without you they would not have broken the records they did, had the jaw-dropping victories they did. In addition, thank you for sharing your your champions with us here in North America. You will always be a part of who they are, no matter where in the world they race. To everyone in North America who has a horse who previously raced in Australia and New Zealand, know that these horses are extra special. I encourage you to find out who the connections were when the horse raced in Australia and or New Zealand and connect with them, if you have not already. I hope through these dual hemisphere champions you will make friendships like I have. These champions that have etched their names into greatness in both hemispheres make the big world seem a little smaller by bringing people together who are passionate about the same sport, but are oceans apart that is the power of these dual hemisphere champions. Sydney Weaver is 18 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, groom's horses, jogs them on the track, owns both a Standardbred and a Thoroughbred racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals. She will be attending Carleton University this fall in their Communications and Media Studies Honors Program. Footnote: Since I began writing this piece, Christen Me N, “C.C.” is no longer in the care of the Jim King Jr. and Joann Looney-King, he is now with other caring connections.

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 13, 2018-Odds-on Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3.80) was rebuffed early and rallied late Friday night (July 13th), winning Yonkers Raceway's non-superstitious $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Alertly away from post position No. 4, Newborn Sassy sat an early pocket behind Medusa (Dan Dube). The fave tried to move past, but Medusa wasn't up for such largesse. That one laid down the legwork (:26.4, :56) before Magic Forces (George Brennan) made her second move. The rock-solid lass, who made a three-hole from her assigned eight-hole, did not offer her usual oomph and soon backed away. Medusa maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:23.3 three-quarters, owning a length-and-a-half lead in the lane. Newborn Sassy, though, never out of reach, edged out and edged by. She whipped a second-over Tequila Monday (Eric Goodell) by a diminishing head in 1:51.3. Medusa did hold third, with Freakonomics (Mark MacDonald) and Lispatty (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. Magic Forces wound up last among the octet. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by Jo Ann Looney-King & CC Racing and trained by Jim King Jr, it was her fifth win in in 21 seasonal start (career earnings now over $917,000). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $10, the triple returned $36.80 and the superfecta paid $212. Saturday night's (July 14th) feature is the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, the Raceway's premier 'open' event for 2-year-old colts and geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

East Rutherford, NJ --- Donttellmeagain is known as a little horse among his connections but he came up big to win Saturday's $250,000 Graduate Series championship for harness racing 4-year-old pacers by a neck over Miso Fast in a career-best 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Western Joe finished third. Donttellmeagain, sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10, saw Western Joe lead the way to an opening quarter in :26.2 before moving from fourth to the front on the backstretch. Donttellmeagain held the lead only briefly as Miso Fast brushed to the top prior to reaching the half in :53.2. Miso Fast continued to lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:20.2, but was unable to hold off Donttellmeagain in the stretch. It was the 15th career victory in 26 races for Donttellmeagain, who has finished worse than third only twice. "I had to make a decision," winning driver Tim Tetrick said. "I knew (Miso Fast) was going to get an easy lead and if I gave him four or five lengths I wasn't going to be able to beat him. I made a quick decision and got up there quick and got to follow the horse I had to beat, I thought." Donttellmeagain won for the first time since capturing his seasonal debut in a preliminary round of the Graduate at 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands on May 5. He held his own, though, against older horses in the Ben Franklin Pace, finishing second in his elimination and fourth in the final. "He's chased at them and given them a run," Tetrick said. "They knew that he was in the race every time. The little guy is the little engine that could and it fits him pretty good." Added Jo Ann Looney-King, the wife of winning trainer Jim King Jr., "He's just a wonderful little horse. He's the smallest horse in the race, but he's got a lot of grit. It's great." Donttellmeagain, a gelded son of Dragon Again out of Donttellmewhattodo, is owned by Paton Racing Stables. He has won two of six starts this season and pushed his lifetime earnings to $426,460. Donttellmeagain paid $6.20 to win. Ken Weingartner

HARRINGTON, Del. - CC Racing and Jo Ann Looney-King's Newborn Sassy ($3, Tim Tetrick) was a decisive 1:51.2 winner and became the fastest harness racing pacing mare in Harrington Raceway history Tuesday in the $15,000 Mares Open. Newborn Sassy, trained by Jim King Jr., broke the old track record held by Embassy Seelster (1:51.3). Tetrick promptly placed his charge on the front from post five where she led the field of five comfortably in fractions of 27.4, 55.2 and 1:24. Nerida Franco pulled the pocket on the final turn but "Sassy" opened up on the field and kicked home impressively to the wire. Nerida Franco held second narrowly over Fashion Showdown. It was the 25th career win for Newborn Sassy, who has banked more than $814,000 in her career. Art Stafford Jr., Mike Cole and Corey Callahan each had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino

Hightstown, NJ --- He’s known around the barn as E.T., but Evolution Tour is not from outer space --- even if harness racing trainer Jim King Jr. says with a laugh the gelding is “an alien.” This E.T. is quite at home in Delaware, where this week the 3-year-old pacer will try to capture his first DSBF championship after two narrow misses last season. Dover Downs hosts four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for 3-year-old pacers and trotters as part of Thursday’s 14-race card. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m., with the DSBF championship for female trotters kicking off the action. The remaining finals are races two (male trotters), six (female pacers) and eight (male pacers). Evolution Tour is unbeaten this year in two races, both preliminary rounds of the DSBF, and is the 3-1 third choice on the morning line behind last season’s two-time DSBF champion Slick Tony (2-1) and Transitioning Joy (5-2). Slick Tony, who beat Evolution Tour by a nose in both of last year’s state-bred finals, starts from post No. 1 while Transitioning Joy leaves from post No. 2 and Evolution Tour from post No. 3. Slick Tony, a son of stallion No Spin Zone, is owned and trained by George Leager, who also bred the colt, and will be driven by Russell Foster. He has won 10 of 13 career races and never finished worse than second, earning $166,797 in purses. Transitioning Joy, a son of Barber Pole, is trained by Clyde Francis for owners George Teague Jr. Inc. and Joy Teague. The homebred colt, who has won four of 12 lifetime starts and earned $71,600, will be driven by Montrell Teague. Tim Tetrick will drive Evolution Tour, a son of Roddy’s Bags Again owned by King’s wife Jo Ann. “My job is pretty much done,” King said about the final. “I’m going to leave the rest in the hands of the master. How it’s going to play out, you figure that Slick Tony’s not going to settle for anything less than second and Joy is not going to want to sit third. So chances are I’m going to be third and first over. But Timmy will get it figured out. I think my horse is good enough and I know my driver is.” Evolution Tour, purchased for $15,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale, has won six of 10 career races and never finished worse than second on his way to $111,550 in purses. He defeated Slick Tony and Transitioning Joy in a first-round division of this year’s DSBF series and heads to the final off a 4-1/2 length win over G W T last week. In last year’s championships, Evolution Tour came from off the pace from post No. 8 at Harrington Raceway to miss by a nose in the first final and then got nipped by a nose at Dover Downs after leading from the start from post No. 1 in the second final. “The first time was just a lack of experience,” King said. “He had the ability to go by, he just didn’t. Some horses are more racy than others. That wasn’t on the top of his list. He didn’t put forth his best effort there. But Slick Tony is a really nice horse. The second time, Slick Tony just out-footed him. Timmy elected to cut it and he just got caught. “But they were both good paychecks.” King thinks Evolution Tour better understands the game this year. “That’s the biggest thing right now,” King said. “He’s come into himself and he’s a lot more willing than he was before. He was a bit of a slow learner. He didn’t know he was supposed to excel at times. Now he’s kind of picked that up. Timmy has put him on the front end and he’s stepped off. Timmy’s come first over and he had every reason not to go forward when they turned for home, but he did. “He’s just improved and is getting to be more of a racehorse all the time.” King expects “E.T.” to remain close to home for the rest of the campaign. “He’s going to be really good for the Delaware stakes,” King said. “As far as him being a top contender someplace else, I’m not seeing it. I just think he’s going to be really nice for around here.” In Thursday’s remaining DSBF finals, Deja Vu Blue is the 2-1 morning-line favorite among female trotters, Super Fly is the 3-1 pick among male trotters, and Go Sandy Go is the 5-2 choice among female pacers. For Thursday’s complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

YONKERS, N.Y. – New Zealand-bred mare Shartin will take her first shot against harness racing stakes competition since arriving in the barn of Jim King, Jr. last fall in the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway Friday night (March 16). Winner of the Group 2 Queensland Oaks at Albion Park last July, the daughter of Tintin In American out of the Live Or Die mare Bagdarin came to the U.S. after Rick Poillucci, who owns Shartin in partnership with Jo Ann King, scouted the mare from the same connections he purchased Nike Franco from in 2016. Although Nike Franco is a multiple Grand Circuit stakes-winning mare and earner of $740,660, Australian trainer Dean Braun made a bold comparison about the two. “When we got her, the guy that trained her over there, he also trained Nike Franco and he said he felt this mare was every bit as good that she was if not more,” King recalled. “I said, ‘that’s a pretty tall order, but we’ll see about that.’ ” Although Shartin arrived in the U.S. at the end of October unraced since winning an overnight at Tabcorp Park Melton August 18, King didn’t have to start fresh with her training. Braun had already begun bringing Shartin back before she shipped across the Pacific. However, because training styles are so different in Australia, King was unsure how far along Shartin would be when she arrived. “When I got her, I couldn’t interpret what he was telling me he’d done with her. I asked him, ‘if you still had her, when would she be ready to qualify?’ He gave me a time that he thought she should be ready to qualify,” King explained. “It’s a little different when he’s telling me she’s been so far in 5 minutes, so far in 4 minutes. That doesn’t compute with me. It’s all different.” King was impressed by how well Shartin handled her transcontinental journey when she arrived at his stable in Delaware. She was in perfect health and showed no signs of stress or excessive fatigue from the trip. “She arrived very healthy, I would say she was more healthy than any other horse I’ve gotten from there,” he said. “Some horses it takes a big toll on, but some horses act like they just came from next door. For her, she took the trip really well.” Once he began working with her, King quickly realized Shartin wasn’t to be toyed with. Although she has a pleasant demeanor in the barn, she becomes pugnacious on the racetrack. Braun even warned King Shartin was “a bit bossy.” “She’s pretty aggressive, she’s pretty eager,” King said. “There’s nothing mean about her, she’s really nice to care for and she tries to do what you ask her to do, but on the track, she gets in a bit of a hurry.” Shartin’s first stateside qualifier came at Dover Downs January 10. She won by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:55.1 before posting three straight sub-1:53 victories at Dover, which culminated in a 1:52.3 score in the Filly and Mare Open Handicap February 7. Shartin tasted her first defeat when finishing second to Monica Gallagher in the Meadowlands’ first race February 17, a card that was cut short due to a blizzard. “At this time, there’s really been no end to her,” King said. “The only time she hasn’t won so far was at the Meadowlands on the snow night when they had to cancel there and at Yonkers. She didn’t know if she won or not, it was snowing so hard she couldn’t see. As far as she knew, she did win. We’re pretty pleased with the return we’ve gotten so far.” Shartin rebounded from her narrow loss to earn a half-length victory in the distaff feature at Dover in her most recent outing February 28. Shartin raced first-over in that start, grinding within 3 lengths of pace-setter Nerida Franco. However, Shartin struggled to advance as the leader posted a :27.1 third quarter and looked to kick away on the final turn. Shartin used a :27.3 final panel to wear down Nerida Franco and post a lifetime best 1:50.2 victory. The win boosted her record to 11-for-18 record with $122,492 earned. “She was out a long way. She came first-over and really looked like at best she was going to be second, but she just kept coming and coming,” King said. “She knows where the wire is and how to get there. She’s pretty tough, she can go a long ways.” Shartin will start from post one in the first division of the Blue Chip Matchmaker first leg Friday night. She is the 7-5 morning line choice with Tim Tetrick in the sulky after her major competition, Mach It A Par and Gina Grace, drew posts seven and eight, respectively. King will leave the decision making to Tetrick, but is bullish about Shartin’s chances in the series. “She’s not one that he needs to baby or trip out, I don’t think,” King said. “I feel pretty good about it. I hate to say I’m confident, but I feel pretty good about it. She’s done everything we’ve asked.” Friday night’s card at Yonkers features four divisions of the Matchmaker Series, spanning races seven through ten. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to Friday’s races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

DOVER, Del--- Tim Tetrick recorded his 9,998th career victory guiding Christen Me N to a 1:51 triumph in a $30,000 Preferred pace to cap an outstanding Thursday harness racing program at Dover Downs on Nov. 2. Poisonous scored the fastest win taking the $25,000 Open in 1:50.3 while Bettor Memories notched a 1:51.4 victory in the $21,000 3 & 4-Year-Old Open pace. Jim King trains Christen Me N for Richard Pollucci who purchased the nine-year-old altered son of Christian Cullen-Splendid Dreams early this year after banking $2-million racing Down Under. Sunfire Blue Chip and Corey Callahan cut out most of the mile before Christen Me N following cover moved three-wide on the final turn and rolled home followed by Sweet Rock with Vic Kirby finishing second. Soto came on third for Art Stafford Jr. Tetrick enjoyed a similar come-from-behind trip steering Poisonous to a 1:50.3 performance in the $25,000 Open pace for owner-trainer Josh Green. The win was the sixth of the season for the Art Major-She's Poison horse who now has won $113,628 this year. Sicili (Montrell Teague) was runner-up. Kid PK (Tony Morgan) was the show horse. An inside post was all that Gus Dovi's Bettor Memories needed as Andrew McCarthy fashioned a 1:51.4 conquest in the $21,000 3&4-Year-Old Open. Nifty Norman conditions the 4-Year-Old Bettor's Delight-Allamerican Memoir gelding to his seventh win off the campaign raising his seasonal earnings to $125,110. Delaware champion Bag To Riches (Tetrick) was a strong second with JJ Flynn (Ross Wolfenden) third. Robert Ginsburg's Sawbuck Hanover won the $35,000 Claiming pace with meet defending driver champion Corey Callahan in the bike winning the $22,000 purse event. Play The Field (McCarthy) and Reggiano (Morgan) were second and third respectively. On the undercard, Tetrick annexed a 1:52.3 victory with Baileys Rock N, the second win of the night for owner Rich Pollucci and trainer Jim King. The New Zealand-bred gelding is a four-year old Bettor's Delight-Baileys Pearl, now two-for-two in the USA. Howard Taylor's bred and owned Mentira, trained by Curtis Daniels and piloted by Ross Wolfenden were winners in $18,000 paces. As the horses lined up for the first race, Makenzie MC went down tossing driver Roger Plante to the ground and dragged him a short distance. The hurting driver was tended-to by the track medical crew and Plante was taken by ambulance to Kent General Hospital in Dover. He sustained cuts, scrapes and bruises and a hair line fracture. Tim Tetrick had a diving triple, Jim King won two training races. Enjoy live racing and good food at the Dover Downs Winners Circle Restaurant Buffet, each race day. General parking and admission is free. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Marv Bachrad  

ANDERSON, Ind. - Nike Franco N cruised to victory in the second $25,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown Mares Pace Friday night at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick guided the 2-5 harness racing favorite to a 1:51.2 score. Call Me Queen Be took the lead early but Nike Franco N was able to regain command past the :26.2 opening quarter and then set even fractions of :55.3 and 1:24 with Medusa offering token pressure. In the stretch, Nike Franco N cruised to a handy victory with her :27.2 final quarter putting her 2¼ lengths ahead of runner up Bedroomconfessions at the wire. Owned by Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Massachusetts, the 7-year-old by McArdle mare was a winner for the 29th time in her 52-race career. Jim King Jr. trains Nike Franco N. "She's just a sweetheart," said Tetrick. "She's just as good on or off the pace. When they let her go 1:24 to the three quarters, she likes that, too." Nike Franco N returned $2.80 to win. Joining the top pair in the October 27 Breeders Crown finale will be L A Delight, Seventimesavirgin and Sassa Hanover. Post positions for the final: 1. L A Delight 2. Pure Country 3. Nike Franco N* 4. Darlinonthebeach* 5. Windsun Glory 6. Bedroomconfessions 7. Sassa Hanover 8. Lady Shadow 9. Seventimesavirgin 10. Blue Moon Stride AE1. Medusa AE2. Wrangler Magic   *Elimination winners draw from posts one through five. Nike Franco N By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown    

YONKERS, N.Y. - Christen Me, the multiple grouped harness racing stakes winner and earner of more than $2 million, will make his first start at Yonkers Raceway in Saturday night’s Open Handicap Pace. The veteran New Zealand-bred was assigned the coveted inside post position in the field that includes The Real One, who seeks his third straight Open victory from post eight, millionaire Sunfire Blue Chip, and YS Lotus, who seeks his fifth straight win. After amassing 10 Group 1 victories in Australia and New Zealand, including the Miracle Mile and Victoria Cup, and earning $1.9 million for trainer Cran Dalgety, United States-based owners Rich and Donna Poillucci bought 9-year-old Christen Me earlier this year. The purchase came to the surprise of trainer Jim King, Jr. “He just called one day and said, ‘how about this horse?’ He said, ‘well, I bought him.’ They pick out their own and basically, they just send them.” Although King didn’t know much about Christen Me when he arrived, he soon learned from his fellow trainers and the public that he was involved with something special. “Whenever anything is done, social media, they just respond to him like crazy. He was pretty famous down there,” King said. “I have a lot of friends and associates that are from down there that are here now. They all said, ‘you’re getting who? What?’ ” Christen Me finished fourth in the Group 3 The Founders 1700 Pace in his final New Zealand start March 3. Christen Me recorded his first victory since May 2016 in his debut for King in an overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia May 14. Christen Me then finished third in a preferred at The Meadowlands May 21, pacing a final quarter of : 25.2. “We were quite impressed with him,” King said. “He’s still got the talent, that’s for sure, even though he’s got a little age. He’s still got the talent and the desire.” Christen Me continued to race well, finishing third in the $150,000 Stafford Invitational at Harrah’s. He paced 1:48.2 with a :25.3 final quarter in a preferred at the same venue next out before finishing eighth in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup June 17. After that race, King felt Christen Me wasn’t healthy and gave the gelding a break. “Instead of going excessive with antibiotics and stuff, we give him time,” he explained. “That seems to be what he’s had a lot of during his life because he came here 9 years old with 68 lifetime starts. That’s not many for a horse of that age. I think they had some issues down there with him. He wouldn’t stay healthy because he would bleed and they don’t have the use of lasix down there. That helped make the decision to bring him here.” Although he wasn’t racing, Christen Me didn’t spend much time away from the track. King, who trains with wife Joann, kept Christen Me in light training throughout the summer. That’s the way the “old pro” likes it, said King, who added that Christen Me is good-headed and nice to work around for caretaker Kate Moore. “It’s not like he’s just out in the field and stays there. He’s not that comfortable out by himself for one thing, but we turn horses out real early in the morning before the sun comes up,” he said. “He always stays busy. Even his down time, he’s still in training. We tow him some. Put the lead shank on him and when you’re jogging another one, take him with you. When we back off on him, that’s all we do is back off, we don’t stop.” Christen Me resurfaced in a qualifier at Harrah’s August 1. He won in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:54.0 and returned the following week to win another trial the same way in 1:52.4. King qualified Christen Me a final time at Harrah’s September 12. With Tim Tetrick in the bike, Christen Me won in 1:53.4 with a :26.3 final quarter. “We were just trying to get him back ready. When he goes, of course he’s got to go with the best and a horse like him, you can’t really race into shape. There’s a lot that’s expected of him. First start out of the box, they’re expected to be ready to go,” King said. “We were satisfied with his first qualifier, but his second qualifier was just much, much better. Tim got off and said, ‘this horse needs to go somewhere. He wants to race.’ His determination is just crazy good.” King chose the Open Handicap at Harrington Raceway September 18 for Christen Me’s return. With Tim Tetrick unavailable, King turned to Jordan Stratton, who was in town for the Quillen Memorial. “I texted (Jordan) and told him to give me a call when he had a chance. No quicker than I pushed the button did he answer me back,” King said. “I said, ‘would you mind driving that horse for me?’ ‘For sure,’ he said, ‘I’d love to go with that horse.’ ” After rating in fifth early, Stratton guided Christen Me first-over past the half. Christen Me advanced willingly from 6 1/4 lengths out of it around the third turn, but when Stratton gave a few whip taps approaching the three-quarters, Christen Me accelerated like a wound-up toy car released from a child’s hands. He made short work of a 2 1/2-length deficit and struck the lead on the far turn. Under a hand drive, Christen Me maintained a 1 1/2-length advantage in the stretch to win in 1:53.0. “He raced him very good, like he should,” King said. “He let him slide away a little bit, settled in, set up first-over and when he gave him his cue, he just started marching. He was really, really impressive.” Although Christen Me raced from off the pace in each of his six North American starts to date, King expects the son of Christian Cullen to show speed in Saturday’s Open. Stratton will drive again. “I don’t think he’ll have any problem showing speed. He’ll get started on his way and he does have a start under him. I don’t feel that’s an issue,” King said. “He’ll definitely sit close, I’m sure of it. Jordan has raced him once now and it doesn’t take a guy like Jordan long to get their own opinion of a horse like that and the horse will be ready to go when he gets there, if I’ve done my job, and I think I have. Those guys that race there, they always have respect for good horses that race from the rail. They know they’re going to really get tortured if they overdo it, so I look for him to get away in a good spot.” In addition to the Open Handicap Pace, Saturday’s card also features a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot and a $30,000 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 7:10 p.m. For entries for Saturday’s races, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 29, 2017 - Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4.30) stalked, then starred, from second-over Friday night (Sept. 29th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried early form post position No. 6 (in one notch after a defection), Newborn Sassy saw Betabcool N (Eric Goodell) through down a reasonable early gauntlet (:27.2, :56.2). Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) then moved from fourth going toward a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Betbacool N had a length-and-a-half to play with in and out of the final turn, but playtime was about to end. Newborn Sassy launched around her stagnant tow, then mowed down the leader. The margin was three-quarters of a length in a flat 1:53. Betabcool N held second over a pocketed Dewar N Soda (Eric Abbatiello), with Lispatty (George Brennan) and a returning Diva's Image (Pat Lachance) rounding out the payees. For 'Sassy,' a 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Jim King Jr and CC Racing, it was her seventh win in a dozen seasonal starts (career earnings in excess of $700,000). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $12.60, with the triple returning $98 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday September 8, 2017- Odds-on Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3.70) overcame seven harness racing rivals and a scattering Friday night (Sept. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 5, 'Sassy' watched as Jag Out (George Brennan) leave around Lovineveryminute (Brent Holland), paying a :26.4, first-quarter privilege for the lead. In the second turn, the latter was attempting to leapfrog past the former when the pair locked wheels. That unscheduled bit of loveliness caused all the ladies in behind to alter their routes, with any number either breaking and/or going wide and 59-1 longshot trailer Betabcool N (Greg Merton) leaving the course. After the discourse, Newborn Sassy-one of the those breakers-righted the ship and moved to the lead, with Betabcool N taking the very abbreviated way back to the oval and into the pocket. The half was a an incident-slowed :58.1, after which 'Sassy' finished it off (1:26.1, 1:54.3). The margin was a length-and-a-half into the lane and a length-and-three-quarters at the wire. Betabcool N was second, with Princess Fabulosa (Eric Goodell), HP Sissy (Brian Sears) and Acefourtyfour Alex (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the remainder. After a lengthy inquiry, the judges made no placements, deeming Betabcool N should not be penalized for shortening her trip to avoid the impediments in front of her. For Newborn Sassy, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Jim King Jr. CC Racing LLC, it was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts (career 4-for-5 here, including last season's Lady Maud). The exacta paid $199, the triple returned $807 and the superfecta paid $17,433 (base $2 payout). Frank Drucker

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harness racing owner Jo Ann Looney-King, trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Victor Kirby swept all three $20,000 divisions of the second leg of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) stakes Tuesday at Harrington Raceway. King's Lillisbagsrpacked ($3, Victor Kirby) prevailed in the first split in 1:55.1 over Giga Spin and A Lady Sizzling. Trained by Jim King Jr., the daughter of Roddy's Bags Again notched her third career win. The same connections prevailed in the second division with Logan's Girl ($2.40, Kirby) who was a 1:55 winner over Lunar Phase and Diva Demands. The Roddy's Bags Again filly completed a sweep of her elimination divisions, as she did at Dover Downs before finishing second in the $100,000 final on April 11. The King connection struck again in the final division with a 1:55.1 win with Spanish Dream ($11.40), who narrowly defeated Free Flight Fran, who had won five straight, and Westwind Roddylee. The $100,000 DSBF finals will be contested on July 27 during the Delaware State Fair. Allan Davis and Tony Morgan joined Kirby with a driving triple. Roberts had a double. One of the races not won by King, Kirby, Morgan or Davis was the overnight feature, in which Mike Hall's St Kitts ($38, Jon Roberts) won the $16,000 Mares Open in 1:53.1 for trainer Doug Lewis. Four divisions of DSBF 3-year-old trotters will headline the Wednesday program. Matthew Sparacino

33 to 48 of 71