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Batavia, NY --- Percy Z Tam started slow but put on a spirited late rally to capture the $8,500 Open I pacing harness racing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Aug. 8). Getting away fifth, Percy Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) watched as Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) took command and led the group to the half in :57. Thor De Vie (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled at that point and Percy Z Tam followed one back as the race moved around the clubhouse turn. From there, positions remained unchanged until halfway through the final turn when Morrill tipped Percy Z Tam three-deep into the head of the lane and started to accelerate. First he circled Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) who came off the pylons and then caught Under Paid before the wire to win by 1/2 length in 1:54.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Percy Z Tam ($8.80) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.) was hopelessly boxed in at the three-quarters yet managed to find racing room in the last turn. Fisher then went three-high turning for home and Iluvtomakemoney was able to catch Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the wire by a nose to win in 1:55.3. Iluvtomakemoney ($8.70) scored his fourth win of the year for the Tanah Merah Farms and Swift Racing Stable. Ryan Swift is the trainer. Shawn McDonough remained red hot at Batavia, winning three more races as both driver and trainer. Jim Morrill Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. also both had three driving wins Saturday while trainer Jim Clouser Jr. also had a hat trick. Trainer Gerry Sarama and Maria Rice each scored two conditioning victories as well. With two weeks of racing now in the books, Jim Morrill Jr. is the current dash driving leader with 13 wins followed by Billy Davis Jr. with 10, Dave McNeight III with seven and Shawn McDonough with six. On the training side, Gerry Sarama and Shawn McDonough are tied for the lead with seven wins apiece followed by Jim Clouser Jr. with six and Maria Rice with five. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9) with a special early post time of 1:15 p.m. It's an all New York Sire Stake card featuring 2 and 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Bred For Greatness ($6.20) was certainly 'great' once again as he notched a length harness racing victory over Lougazi in Buffalo Raceway's $13,000 Class A-Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday evening (March 11).   It was the fifth victory in six starts this year for Bred For Greatness and it was also his seasonal best with a 1:58.1 clocking.   Getting a perfect stalking trip behind the fraction-setting Cr Blazin Beauty, Bred For Greatness (Jim Morrill Jr.) tipped to the outside down the stretch and took command midway down the lane. Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) made his usual late charge but ran out of real estate and had to settle for second while Cr Blazin Beauty (Kevin Cummings).   Co-owned by trainer Mike Ohol and Steven Gross, the 6-year-old gelded Bred For Greatness (Federal Flex-Wendy Woo) now has produced $23,940 in earnings in 2020 and $116,221 in his career.   Noble Legend ($2.70) was no match in the $10,000 Class A-B Handicap Trot as the 8-year-old gelding put a 12-1/4 length pounding on the field in 1:58.3 over the fast track.   There race was never in doubt as Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.) roared right off the gate and put up splits of :31.,1, 1:00.4 and 1:29.4 in going the mile in 1:58.3. The only battle in the event was for the place position as Are You In (Cummings) finished a distant second with Barn Winner (Fisher Jr.) taking third.   Co-owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock, it was the first win in seven tries for Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It). The victory moved his seasonal earnings to $14,860 and $292,889 lifetime.   Julio's Girl (David McNeight III) produced a :57 back half and that proved to be more than enough to capture the $10,000 Class A Handicap Pace for the filly and mares.   Getting a first over trip, Julio's Girl ($7.50) collared the pace-setting The Bay Front near the three-quarter marker and strutted away to the 3-1/2 length win in a season's best of 1:56.1. The Bay Front (Morrill Jr.) held on for the place position with Little Joke (Davis Jr.) rolling into third.   Trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by William Emmons, Julio's Girl (Art Director-Prayer Answered) has now found the winner's circle four times in six tries. The 7-year-old mare now has a seasonal bankroll of $15,980 and $161,958 in her lifetime.   Davis Jr. completed the night with four driving victories while Morrill Jr. added a pair. Rice conditioned a pair winners. Racing will resume on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program slated. There will be a $955 carryover in the Pick 5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr., a three-time North American UDR champion, continued his red-hot sulky ways during the early portion of the 2020 meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, picking up five victories on the twelve-race Saturday night card. One of the wins came in the richest race of the night, a $20,000 claiming handicap pace, and the horse he guided, the Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Don, has been as hot as the driver - a winner of his last four and five of his last six after a 1:52.2 victory on a night where the mercury hovered near the freezing mark. Taken by trainer Walter Adamczyk and owner William Emmons for $34,375 out of his second straight prelim win in the Game Of Claims, the pair have won $35,000 in purse money with the horse since then, taking his $50,000 Game Of Claims Championship last week and now this event. The Shadyshark Hanover gelding Horsing Around has now won three of his last four starts after a thumping 1:51.3 engine victory in an $18,000 claiming handicap pace, motoring home in :27.4. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Ed Gannon Jr., who is also co-owner of the winner with Frank Canzone. Jim Morrill Jr. also had success in the featured conditioned event of the evening, a $17,000 trot, guiding the Jailhouse Jesse gelding Bully Boy to a lifetime best of 1:54.1 despite the chilly conditions. Trainer Jenny Melander had her new acquisition ready from the word "go," with Morrill moving with Bully Boy from fifth, five lengths off at the quarter, to the lead before the second turn, trotting his own individual second split in 27.1. He opened a big lead on favored Muscle Star, who had made two speed moves despite broken equipment, and never surrendered the advantage to the wire for owner Risto Vidgren. Morrill ended up with a 12-5-2-0 tally for the night, giving him a 24-21 win advantage over perennial Pocono driving king George Napolitano Jr., and Jim's UDR for the meet is a lofty .411. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

We have slowly worked our way into the 2020 season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing just two nights a week throughout the month of February, a much earlier start to the season than normal. But the action hit the ground running, in large part due to the Game of Claims series, a fun late closer affair making its debut at Pocono this year. Each weekend in February at Pocono, four different groups of claimers met in preliminary legs with the intent of making the high-stakes finals. They were eligible to be claimed in those preliminaries, with the claiming price rising each week to make it more expensive for owners who wanted to jump in late on a hot horse. The finals took place this past Saturday and Sunday. Let's see who came out on top. CLAIMING PRICE $15,000 to $20,000 (Final Purse $30,000) Royal Heart went off as the 9-5 betting favorite after winning his previous leg. He grabbed a pocket seat early behind second choice Horsing Around, who came in with wins in both of his previous Game of Claims races with front-end speed. But Horsing Around couldn't get away with an easy lead in the Saturday night final, as he was hounded by a first-over effort from Pop's Romeo. Even though Horsing Around fended off that effort, it left him vulnerable in the stretch drive. That's when driver Simon Allard tipped Royal Heart to the outside and he came up strong to win it by a half-length in 1:53:3 over Horsing Around. American Music finished third. Royal Heart moved to two-for-two since joining the Rene Allard barn. CLAIMING PRICE $25,000 to $30,000 (Final Purse $50,000) After winning the first two legs of the series, Trente Deo took last week off after being claimed and joining the barn of trainer William Adamczyk. He went off as the 2-1 second choice in Saturday night's final, with Polak A getting the favorite's attention at 9-5. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. had Trente Deo in motion first-over pretty early in the mile, but that proved to be the right move when he picked up cover from Classy Hill on the back stretch. When the rounded the final turn, Trente Deo shrugged off the cover and came charging up at Polak A, who was setting the pace. Trente Deo blew right past Polak A and then held off late kick from What's Goin On to finish second, with Beach Pro nabbing the show. Trente Deo won by 1 ½ lengths in 1:52:3 to finish a perfect three-for-three in the series. CLAIMING PRICE $7,500 to $11,000 (Purse: $15,000) In his back-to-back wins in preliminary legs, Always B Magic benefitted from inside post positions and pocket trips. For the final on Sunday night, he had to leave from post position #5 in a field of nine, still a good spot but a decidedly different look. Tough Mudder set the pace, while driver George Napolitano Jr. decided on a first-over path for Always B Magic, the even-money favorite, when he couldn't get the pocket. It was by no means an easy journey for Always B Magic, considering he was parked out for two of the three turns. He eventually wore down Tough Mudder, but Naked City came up strong late after the favorite provided his cover. Always B Magic managed to gut it out to win it by a nose for new trainer Susan Marshall, staying perfect in the series with a winning time of 1:55. Naked City just missed in second while Mystery Island picked up the show. CLAIMING PRICE $10,000 to $15,000 (Purse: $20,000) In the preliminary legs of this group, Charger Blue Chip was arguably the top performer, going win, show, win in the three races. Yet he found himself at 9-1 on the odds board in Sunday's final, primarily because he was saddled with the outside #9 post. Driver Jim Marohn Jr. drove him aggressively, sending him early and retaking the lead from Carmens Best on the front stretch. A lot of times a speed duel like that would leave a horse vulnerable to closers. And, indeed, Grandpa Don, the 7-5 favorite, came up with a first-over threat. But Marohn kept summoning up reserves of energy from Charger Blue Chip, leaving Grandpa Don and the rest of the field struggling in his wake. Charger Blue Chip, trained by Marc Mosher, came home a 2 ¼-length winner in 1:54:1, with Grandpa Don second and Carmens Best third. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs          

Batavia, NY --- 3-year-old Gia's Surreal had been a solid campaigner all year on the New York Sire Stake circuit, culminating that harness racing series with a second place finish in the Excelsior "A" final in September. Since that start the filly has won three straight races in overnights against aged mares and on Monday (Oct. 14) knocked off the track's top class, the $12,000 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. left fast with Gia's Surreal and led the ladies to the quarter in :27.4 and the half in :57.2. As the race proceeded onto the second circuit, Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) and Kaitlyn Rae (Mike Caprio) moved up on the rim to apply some pressure and pushed a fast :28.2 split to the three-quarters. But Gia's Surreal, who had maintained a 1-1/4 length lead the entire race, stayed stout and kept to her business which was turning back all challengers and pacing home strong to win in 1:55. Gia's Surreal ($3.10) scored her ninth win in 19 starts this year and pushed her stake-enhanced earnings to $83,869 for owners Jim Graham, Edward Peron, Lee Winters and Thomas Mariano. Jim Graham trains the filly. Gia's Surreal was one of three wins for Jim Morrill Jr. on Monday. Billy Davis Jr. also got the driving hat trick on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 18) at 6 p.m. There is no racing this Wednesday (Oct. 16) due to today's special matinee card. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- A pair of $9,000 claiming/conditioned trots topped the harness racing card at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 4) and the winner of each took a different route to victory. Call My Broker (Jim Morrill Jr.) took full advantage of his pylon post position and seated the field off the gate. Then, after cutting moderate fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:29.1, Morrill kept Call My Broker rolling down the lane and held off the pocket-sitting Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) to win by three quarters of a length in 1:58.3. Call My Broker ($3.60) scored his fourth win of the year for owner Frank Meier and trainer Angelo Nappo. Later in the other division, Alert Hanover (Shawn McDonough) started from post two and opted to stay there, taking the garden spot trip behind Golden Tate (Jim Morrill Jr.) from the start to the top of the lane where Golden Tate made a break he did not recover from. McDonough directed his horse around the off-stride trotter and cruised home on top by a length, also in 1:58.3. Winning his fourth race of the year as well, Alert Hanover ($6.80) was owned by Carl Kuepfer and trained by Patrick Shepherd until the race ended when he was claimed. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 5) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Blue Bell Bonnie has been one of the toughest harness racing mares competing at Batavia Downs this season. Coming off three wins in her last four starts and moving up in class, the mare went right to the front and never looked back in the $12,500 Open I Handicap Pace for distaff participants at the Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 11). Driver Jim Morrill Jr. sent Blue Bell Bonnie to the front and proceeded unchallenged to the half in relatively mild :57.4. With the field still in single file as they headed into the third turn, HP Sissy (John Cummings Jr.) finally pulled first-over past the five-eighths and made a bull rush towards the leader, drawing alongside her in the backstretch. The two matched strides to the three-quarters and into the final bend before Blue Bell Bonnie found a new gear and started to pull away. With a clear one-length lead, Morrill urged Blue Bell Bonnie down the lane and she responded to win by a length in 1:54 over a fast closing Little Joke (BIlly Davis Jr.). It was the eighth win of the year for Blue Bell Bonnie ($4.70) and it pushed her earnings to $52,798 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the 7-year-old daughter of Mister Big-The Girl Can Bet. In the $11,000 Open II fillies and mares pace, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) got a perfect pocket trip behind Machin Marley (Jim Morrill Jr.) before popping the deuce at the top of the stretch and wrestling away the lead at the wire to win by a head in 1:57. Now with four wins on the year and earnings of $30,756, Mean Pauline ($21.20) has already surpassed her efforts of last year for owner Harry Wortzman. Her driver Shawn McDonough also trains the winner. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. had a driving triple on the card to lead all reinsmen. When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 13) at 6:00 p.m. there will be a guaranteed carryover pool of $4,000 for the Pick-5 wager. This will be part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available for races one through five on the USTA's website. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Two top class Open races -- one on the trot and one on the pace -- were carded on Friday night (Sept. 6) at Batavia Downs and Lougazi and Miss Mary Mach provided very exciting finishes in their respective harness racing contests. It's been four weeks since Lougazi came away a winner, but that all changed Friday in the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot. CR Blazin Beauty (John Cummings Jr.) took her usual spot on the lead while Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) tucked-in sixth off the gate. After single-file following occurred for the first three-eighths, Joey Pro (Shawn McDonough) came first up from third and Lougazi was obliged to follow. Rolling up the backside, CR Blazin Beauty continued to set the tone but Joey Pro had enough. That meant Fisher tipped Lougazi three-deep and and had him in full flight around the far turn. As they came down the lane, Lougazi matched strides with CR Blazin Beauty before clearing in mid-stretch. From there Fisher fist-pumped while Lougazi crossed the wire first in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the sixth win of 2019 for Lougazi ($5.90) and it raised his earnings to $62,250 for the year for owner Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner. Then in the $12,500 Open I Handicap distaff pace, Miss Mary Mach entered the double digit win category after an exhilarating stretch drive to victory. It was the tale of two strategies. HP Sissy (John Cummings Jr.) bolted for the front while Miss Mary Mach (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away last. HP Sissy paced along easily in :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.4 with no one giving her grief. At the three-quarters, Miss Mary Mach was still last and boxed in as well, without much of a shot to get out. As the race came off the final bend the horses outside of Miss Mary Mach faded and she finally had some room to roam. However HP Sissy was still four lengths ahead with only an eighth of a mile to go. Morrill had the plugs popped and was working hard in the sulky, but Miss Mary Mach was working hard on her own as she paced up a storm in the stretch and nosed out HP Sissy under the wire in 1:54.2. It was the 10th win of the year for Miss Mary Mach ($5.00) and pushed her to $81,887 in earnings for the year. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi own the 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Mary Artman who is trained by James Clouser Jr. Several horsemen had very productive nights at Batavia on Friday. Wade Tomaszewski, Jim Morrill Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. had driving triples. On the training side, James Clouser Jr. had three from is stable visit the winner's circle while Chris Naedele and Steve Kiblin each won two. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 7) with a 6:00 p.m. post time. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts   

Batavia, NY --- Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) had a big night at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 23). She won the $118,800 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) sophomore filly trot, moved into the points and money earnings lead for her age and gender bracket and broke the standing track record for second year distaff trotters. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. left the gate easily with Quincy Blue Chip and took almost all of the :28.1 first quarter to make the front. But once they got the lead, the rest was history. With an open two-length lead, Quincy Blue Chip tripped the next two timers in :58.1 and 1:27.2, the last with With Out A Doubt (Marcus Miller) and Sensibility (Scott Zeron) directly at her flank pushing the issue. But Morrill let Quincy Blue Chip have her head and she trotted stronger as they headed into the stretch. Down the lane she was on cruise and crossed the line wrapped-up in 1:55.4. "I got her off the gate and eased her to the front. Once she got there she was very strong," said her driver Morrill. "I popped the plugs at the three-quarters and she was gone. She trotted down the stretch a thousand; as fast as any 3-year-old filly I ever sat behind." The winning time of 1:55.4 was a new track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies, breaking the old mark of 1:56.4 set by Celebrity Ruth in 2017 and tied by Seventh Heaven that same year. It was the seventh win of the year for Quincy Blue Chip ($3.10) and it pushed her 2019 earnings to $343,425. She has now surpassed the half-million dollar mark lifetime with with $525,387 in the bank. Quincy Blue Chip is owned by Barbara and James Boese and Richard Banca, who also does the training. Before starting in the $225,000 NYSS final on the Night of Champions at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14), Quincy Blue Chip will compete in the Hudson Filly Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Aug. 31). Morrill had a big night in the bike besides this win as he ended up with a hat trick on the card to lead all drivers on Friday. Two divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Friday, producing the following results. Qiss Me Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Make It Blue Chip) Driver - Billy Davis Jr. Owner - Rick Zeron Stable, James Walker, Noblock Racing Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock Trainer - Rick Zeron Breeder - Ray Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo and Blue Chip Bloodstock Time - 1:58.2 Mutuel - $9.70 Amal Hall (Credit Winner-Arabella Hall) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Andy Miller Stable and DumaineHaven Trainer - Julie Miller  Breeder - Walnut Hall Time - 1:57.3  Mutuel - $2.40 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 24). Post time for the first race is 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Trainer John Hallett left the friendly confines of Tioga Downs with Joey Pro this week in lieu of a visit to Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 11) but despite the change in venue, they came away with the same result. Joey Pro scored another win, but this time in the top-class $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at the oldest lighted harness track in North America. Joey Pro (Jim Morrill Jr.) made it quick and simple; he left, took the lead and outlasted the competition. Morrill set quarters of :29, :58.1 and 1:27 with the field pretty much single-file behind him. Going into the last turn, Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) was moving up the outside first-over, two-lengths behind the leader and he was also trotting up a storm. When the race straightened out down the lane, Wheels A Turning had drawn almost even with Joey Pro and appeared poised to motor right on by, but Joey Pro swelled up and held him off at the wire to win by a nose in 1:56.2 for his third straight victory. Well on his way to beating his career year of 2018, Joey Pro ($10.80) has now registered eight wins in 2019 and pocketed $41,780 in purses for owner ark Wamp. The $11,000 Open II Handicap trot also went to an outsider after Saratoga Raceway regular Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled past the half, took control of the race before the three-quarter pole and rebuffed a late bid by Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) to win handily by 1-¼ lengths in 1:57.4. Rose Run Speedster ($4.40) is owned by Simzer and Derue and trained by Brett Derue. Jim Morrill Jr., Shawn Gray and Billy Davis Jr. all had driving triple on the card; Davis scoring the natural hat trick in the final three races of the day. Trainers Brett Derue, JD Perrin and Steve Kiblin all had two wins apiece. Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 14) and the New York Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing fillies will be in town to compete for $107,000 in purses. Post time for the first race is 5:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Saratoga Raceway regular Hudson Phil traveled four hours west on the 90 for his first-ever harness racing start at Batavia Downs and the trip was worth his while. He won the $12,500 Open Handicap pace in gate to wire fashion at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 3). Hudson Phil (Jim Morrill Jr.) flew off the wings and took command with Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) drafting close behind. After going to the quarter in :27.2, Morrill grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to a meager :29 as the rest of the field finally caught up. As they started on the second circuit Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) pulled first up on the outside to pass the gapped Adonis Bay (John Cummings Jr.) and then dropped back into third to save ground. The race moved into the last turn and Monti pulled Upfront Countryboy out again and aggressively started driving him as they headed into the stretch. Hudson Phil was still in command but Upfront Countryboy was closing with every step. Lucan Hanover, who had been following the leader the entire mile, was now full of pace but had nowhere to go and was locked on the pylons. Hudson Phil stayed strong on the point and held off all challenges to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Hudson Phil ($2.30) has now earned $86,832 for owner Kellogg Racing Stables on the strength of his eight 2019 wins. Jackie Greene trains the 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil-Hazel. The $11,000 Open II was a very entertaining race. Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) was cruising along smartly on the lead at the half in a moderate split of :56.1, before taking the race to the head of the stretch looking like a winner. But Iammbrightside N (Dave McNeight Jr.), who had been drafting on the outside for a half-mile, pulled three-wide at the three-quarters and was under a full head of steam. Cultural Paradise and Iammbrightside N battled side by side all the way to the wire where Iammbrightside N got the advantage by a neck in 1:53.3. It was the 33rd lifetime win for Iammbrightside N ($12.20) who is owned by Mirussa Russo and trained by Dave Russo. Several horsemen had multiple winners on Saturday night. Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. all had three winners on the evening while trainer Dave Russo also sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner's circle. The New York Sire Stakes glamour division; the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings will invade Batavia Downs on Sunday when live racing resumes to vie for $117,400 in total purses. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- It was a total team effort in the top tier races at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 31) as horses trained by Jim Clouser Jr., driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi won both fillies and mares Opens in coast to coast fashion. It's been nine weeks since Miss Mary Mach cut the mile in a race, but it finally happened again and produced the same result. Miss Mary Mach beat the best mares on the grounds in the $12,500 distaff Open Handicap. Leaving from post one Miss Mary Mach seated the field and Morrill set a pace that was comfortable for his mare. They went to the quarter in :27.2 and the half in :56.3 where Heaven's Diva (Kyle Cummings) drew near the leader and made it interesting to three-quarters in 1:24.4. But shortly after that station Miss Mary Mach dug in, put away the competition around the last turn and paced away down the lane to win handily in 1:53.1. The time was a new seasonal mark and just 1/5th of a second of her lifetime mark. It was the ninth win in 25 starts this year for Miss Mary Mach ($3.60) who now has earned $65,262 in 2019. Then in the $11,000 fillies and mares Open II pace, the second half of Clouser's alliteration entry was Blue Bell Bonnie who also left from post one and dictated the pace. Morrill found himself on the point with Blue Bell Bonnie before the turn and with no one mounting a challenge to the half, the leader backed it off to a very pedestrian :59.2 first half. Finally Mach's Echo (Drew Monti) rolled up the rim and got close to the front runner at the five-eighths pole and forced a :28.2 third split. But Morrill leaned back and raised the lines a bit and the mare did the rest herself. Blue Bell Bonnie paced away with no urging down the lane to win by a length in 1:56. Blue Bell Bonnie ($3.60) scored her fourth win of the year in Wednesday's effort. Both Morrill and Clouser picked up one additional win during the card giving them each three to lead their respective categories for the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 3) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Monticello, NY  - Racing for the largest single purse since 2017, Monticello Raceway had 1 division of Sire Stakes racing for a purse of $118,800 and 7 heats of Excelsior races on Monday afternoon.. Jim Morrill Jr. had just driven Market Bre to victory in the second race, then after the winner circle presentation Morrill said "I'll be back in an hour for the that Sire Stake blanket." As the starter picked up the field of 8 Sire Stakes a sudden burst of rain began, Quincy Blue Chip the 1/5 favorite, started from post position 2,  and she led from start to finish, cutting fractions of 28.4,59.0, 1:27.4 to win in 1:56.2, a 1/5 of a second off the track record, (LQ 28.3). Finishing second was the pocket sitter Sensibility, Winndevie was third. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven - Sirenuse) earned her 6th win of the season and her third Sire Stake win and has seasonal earning of $274,000 in 10 starts. She is owned by Barbara & James Boese of Milton Delaware and trainer Richard Banca of Otisville NY. During the winner circle presentation, the rain had stopped and Morrill quipped "I told you I was coming back for that Blanket!" In Excelsior Action, the winners were Hana Dreamgirl 1:59.3- Jason Bartlett / Market Bre 2:01.1 - Jim Morrill Jr. / Crystalline 1:58.2 Scott Zeron / Muscle N Beauty 2:01 - Bruce Aldrich Jr. / Summertime Fever 2:00.1 Jim Taggart Jr. and Marcella Bella 2:02.1 - Bruce Aldrich. Jim Morrill Jr. has a driving double on the card, George Ducharme had a training double. Local reinsman Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Jim Taggart Jr also each had Excelsior driving wins. Chapter Seven lead the way with 3 daughters entering the winners circle. The next stop for the Sire Stake at Monticello Raceway Is on Monday August 12, as 2 year old trotting fillies come to town. By Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

New York Sire Stakes action took center stage on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as three year old trotting fillies were featured. There were two harness racing divisions for sophomore fillies that went for purses of $90,050 and $88,450 and driver Jim Morrill Jr. swept the co-features. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse-Cantab Hall) was fresh off a win in the Empire Breeders Classic Final contested at Vernon Downs two weeks ago and wound up as the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Sunday coming off her score in the $209,500 race. Morrill wasted little time putting the Gareth Dowse-trained filly on the front end and once they got there, they would never look back. The talented sophomore was strong throughout and stopped the timer in 1:54, a new track record for three year old trotting fillies. Winndevie (Jason Bartlett) was a worthy adversary for the new record holder but came up second best while Lifetime Credit (John Stark Jr) finished third. Quincy Blue Chip has won four of her six races in the '19 campaign and now has career earnings of over $350,000 in just fourteen lifetime starts. Morrill also sat behind former track record holder Fad Finance when she set the previous track mark of 1:54.1 in a NYSS try in August of 2016. The winner of the $90,050 division for the three year olds prevailed despite being parked every step of the mile. Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven- Mom's Sweetie Pie- Donerail) floated out early but with a host of leavers to her inside got hung out. Rival Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett) also raced the mile parked out but fought gamely every step of the way. Stella Jane struck the lead turning for home but Jim Morrill Jr. fanned Sweet Chapter off that one's cover and they powered down the center of the track to take over before stopping the timer in 1:55.4. The win time served as a new lifetime mark for the sophomore filly who is trained by Black Macintosh. Sweet Chapter won for the second time of the season in five starts and has hit the board in each of her tries in 2019. The talented filly paid $11.80 to win in Sunday's mild upset. Stella Jane was a game second while Sensibility (Marcus Miller) earned the show spot. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 Noon first post.   Mike Sardella

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The ingredients are all there for what could be one of the most anticipated harness races in recent memory at Buffalo Raceway as the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers arrive for the New York Sire Stakes on Wednesday evening (June 5).   The recipe will include the NYSS 2-year-old colt and gelding pacing champion Reigning Deo. Added to the mix will be Melodies Major, the runner up to Reigning Deo last season and also the current Buffalo Raceway track record holder for 2-year-old colt pacers with a 1:54.2 time.   And If that's not enough, there will be six other rivals ready to stir the pot as they battle for $118,800, one of the largest purses ever offered at Buffalo Raceway. It will go off as the sixth race on the 12-race program that will begin at 5 p.m.   Reigning Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Little Miss K) has been installed as the 3-to-1 morning line choice out of the six post with Jim Morrill Jr. to handle the driving duties.   It's been close but no cigar this season for Reigning Deo as the Brett Pelling trainee has three second place finishes in his three outings. There's plenty of hope though as Reigning Deo was just a neck behind Fromthestartagain last week in Sire Stakes action at Saratoga.   Reigning Deo, a winner of $271,413 in his brief career, beat Major Melodies by 1-1/2 lengths in the Night Of Champions finals last season at Yonkers Raceway. The final time was 1:54.4.   Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) is also in search of his first win of the campaign. He'll begin the action from the three post for driver Doug McNair with a 5-to-1 morning line.   Trying to cut the mile in his only two appearances in 2019, Melodies Major has finished in third and fourth at Saratoga and Yonkers respectively. He has bankrolled $222,683 lifetime.   Western New York has been great thus far for Melodies Major. Trained by Mark Ford, he scored two NYSS victories last season, each in track record times. He made his first mark at Buffalo Raceway with a 1:54.2 and then at Batavia Downs where he toured the course in 1:54.1.   The current record standards at Buffalo Raceway are 1:52.3 for the geldings set in 2012 by Steelhead Hanover while the colt mark is 1:51.4 established in 2018 by Hitman Hill.   The one to watch out for is Fromthestartagain (So Surreal-From The Start). Drew Monti will be in the sulky and will score from the four spot at 4-to-1 odds.   Not racing as a 2-year-old old, Fromthestartagain arrives on a two-race winning streak including a neck decision over Reigning Deo at Saratoga in 1:53.0 on May 26. He has seven races under his belt with three wins and two third place finishes, good for $47,000 in earnings.   American Mercury, installed at 6-to-1 from the eight post for driver Tyler Buter, had a nose win in his last try at Saratoga in NYSS competition, covering the mile in 1:52.0.   The remainder of the field includes Price Hanover (Scott Zeron), Hurrikane Kingklee (Pat Lachance), Major March (Jason Bartlett), and A Major Omen (Billy Davis Jr.).   There will be two $15,000 Excelsior Class A events and a $6,600 Excelsior Class B race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "She's really sharp right now," said harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. after he guided Majestic Kat ($2.70) to an easy two length victory over Lougazi in Buffalo Raceway's featured $13,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 31).   It was the second straight win for Majestic Kat who arrived back in Western New York after just registering a 2-1/4 length score at Flamboro Downs on May 26.   Morrill Jr. had a big night as well by capturing five of the nine events on the program.   When the starting gate swung open, B Z Glide and Kahoku took off while Majestic Kat toiled in third. But Morrill Jr. changed his mind about tucking in and raced to the lead instead, a decision that proved to be the right one.   "I was just being careful with her getting around the first turn. I didn't want her to break," Morrill Jr. said. "I knew I'd get to the lead eventually."   And once gaining the top, there was no looking back for Majestic Kat as she posted fractions of :28.4, :57.3 and 1:29.1. Enjoying a four length advantage at the top of the stretch, the remainder of the field were in surrender mode and tussled for the minor spoils with Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) picking up second place and Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) collecting third.   Owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and the Pine Hill Racing Stable, it was the seventh win in 15 attempts for the 5-year-old mare Majestic Kat (Majestic Son-Order By Matilda). She was now produced $47,367 in earnings this year and $206,958 in her career.   Maria Rice, who trains Majestic Kat, had a double on the night.   In the sub-featured $10,000 Class A-B Handicap trot, Ticket To Seattle ($5.90) found passage to the winner's circle with a non-threatened 3/4-length victory over Are You In. The final clocking was 1:58.0 over the fast track which equaled his lifetime mark set last season at Woodbine.   The favored Empire Earl N (Fisher Jr.) jumped out to the lead and put up fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and and 1:29.1. Ticket To Seattle in the meantime started her first over trip down the backstretch the final time and was nose to nose with Empire Earl N with a panel to go.   Ticket To Seattle (Morrill Jr.) then began to nudge away from the pace-setter and took the length nod over Are You In (Cummings) who finished in second. Empire Earl N held on for the show position.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the fourth win in 17 starts for the 5-year-old mare Ticket To Seattle (Majestic Son-Travelin Supergirl. The victory took her 2019 bankroll to $20,778 and $124,864 lifetime.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. when a 13-race card will be presented. There's a carryover of $2,528 in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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