It was downstate statebred rookie initiation Thursday night, with the harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway hosting the $153,024 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event, which honored the memory of the Raceway's long-time corporate controller, went in two divisions of $76,512 each. The first event saw odds-on number Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter, $2.80), fresh from his win in the final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard pace here a dozen nights ago, have no issues whatsoever. Leaving from post position No. 5, he took a brief seats before working past Fine Diamond (George Brennan) right at a :28.2 opening quarter-mile. From there, intervals of :58.2, 1:28 and 1:56.2 gave him a 2¼-length victory of that pocket-sitting foe. Beaches De Vie (Pat Lachance) rallied for third at 101-1, with Carlos Danger (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Cenovis (Scott Zeron) completing the cashers. For Autotune Hanover, an Art Major colt co-owned by (trainer) Mark Harder, Peter Paul Venturini, Deena Frost and Rick Phillips, it was his second win in four career starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $8.30, with the triple returning $203.50. "It was interesting in the first turn," Butter said. "Andy (Miller's) colt (Redneck Rally) looked awfully hot and eventually made a break, so I just took my time." "My horse seems more mature as he goes along, but he didn't have to go nearly as fast as his did (1:54.3) in his last start." Thursday night's second Meagher grouping had Travel Playlist (Miller, $14.20) have to wait his turn to get the lead, then refuse to relinquish. In play early from post No. 7, he gave Red Roll (Jason Bartlett) and 9-10 fave Joe Larry N Curly (Morrill Jr.) first cracks at glory. Travel Playlist made the lead passing the :28.4 opening quarter-mile, then rated a very soft :59.1 intermission. He then closed the sale with a 1:28.3 three-quarters and eight furlongs in 1:56.1. Joe Larry N Curly dove inside but missed a half-length, with Endeavor (Lachance), Red Roll and Roll with Fred (Brian Sears) grabbing the remainder. For third choice Travel Playlist, an Art Major colt owned by Ronald Michelin and trained by Erv Miller, he's now 2-for-2 to begin his career. The exacta paid $56, the triple returned $705 and the superfecta paid $6,168. The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday nights (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 31, 2014-New York Sire Stakes continued downstate Thursday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the month-ending $200,900 Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The quintet of races honored the memory of the Raceway' long-time corporate controller, with his family making winner's circle presentations. Here's the skinny... First ($39,900) division-Odds-on Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance, $3.80), starting from post position No. 4, rolled from second-over in 1:56.1. Oneisalonelynumber (Jim Morrill Jr.) cut the mile and beaten a length-a-quarter. Play the Field (Yannick Gingras) was third. The winner, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Lachance for co-owners Hudson Standardbred and Conrad Leber, is now 2-for-2. Exacta...$10.80, triple (three wagering faves in order) ...$40.40 "He can settle, and once he gets going, he does kick in late," Lachance said. Second ($39,900) division-Bet You (Gingras, $2.70) fooled very few from post No. 6, going the distance in 1:56.4. We Think Alike (Jordan Stratton) was a best-of-rest second, with Maurice (Lachance) third. The winner, another son of Bettor's Delight trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Joyce McClelland, broke his maiden in his third career start. Exacta...$11.20, triple $6. "(Bet You) was ready early," Gingras-who baby-raced him three times-said, "I could have tucked third, but then I'd have to come first-up, so I just drove on." Third ($40,600) division-With 1-5 support going to the previously-perfect, pole-sitting Freedomformysoul (Morrill Jr.), it was second choice Cartoon Daddy (Gingras, $13)-from post No. 4--patrolling the pocket to Rockntouch (Brett Miller). He then ripped out of same to win by a couple of lengths in a life-best/night's-fastest 1:53.4. Lone Survivor (Eric Carlson) was second, with K Ryan Bluechip (Brian Sears) third and Berkley (Scott Zeron) fourth. As for Freedomformysoul, he was rank behind the gate, broke, rushed to catch the field, raced first-up, tired and eventually left the course. Nearly $8,500 of the $9,350 in the show pool went down with him. The winner, a son of Art Major co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Joe DiScala Jr., is now 3-for-4 this season. He rebounded from an odds-on break of his own in the final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. Exacta...$157, triple...$476, superfecta...$7,614. "Tonight was the first time I've driven him, but I've raced against him and I know he has the talent," Gingras said. Fourth ($39,900) division-Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter, $4.60), 13-10 here after a 78-1 win at Monticello, made one decisive move here. From post No. 2, he brushed to the lead at the quarter, then stormed home by 2Â¾ lengths in a life-best 1:55.2. Betting Exchange (Morrill Jr.) was second, with Suchasenseofhumor (Gingras) third. The winner, a homebred son of American Ideal owned by Rock&Roll Stable and trained by Rick Dane, has won two of his three first-season starts. Exacta...$26.60, triple...$56.50. "After he made the lead, he was just looking around for a horse to race," Buter said. Fifth ($40,600) division-Prices finished first and second, with Azorean Art (Morrill Jr., $40.60), from post No. 6, prevailing from second-over in a maiden-breaking 1:57.3. Nobettorplacetobe (Aaron Byron) was a pocket second at 45-1, with K-Rock (Gingras third). Sicily (Sears) faded to fourth at just-over even money. Exacta...$797, triple...$1,838, superfecta...$35,595 (base $2 payout). The winner, an Art Major colt, is trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, Brixton Medical Ab, Hatfield Stables and Lothlorien. New York Sire Stakes continue Monday night, with $221,000 Joe Goldstein Trot (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Racway
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 22, 2013--Yonkers Raceway Thursday night played host to the statebreds, with the $289,775 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Odds-on speed freak He's Watching (Jim Morrill Jr., $2.50) watched his manners in the final ($97,725) event...and, has been the case, his rivals watched him. Unhurried and wide into the first turn from post position No. 6, the 1-4 choice was looped by Sheppard Pace winner Forty Five Red (Yannick Gingras). He's Watching then methodically marched to the lead, securing it right at the 28.3 opening quarter-mile. He found an identical :28.3 second quarter (:57.1 half), and what figured to be a match race did indeed take shape. He's Watching and Forty Five Red had the floor to themselves at the 1:25.3 three-quarters, with former taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. That would be a close as Forty Five Red would get, as He's Watching widened as he wished. The final margin was 5½ lengths in 1:54.2. Third--beaten 11 lengths--went Hardts or Bettor (George Brennan), with American plan (Jason Bartlett) and New York Bets (Tim Tetrick) grabbing the remainder. He's Watching, a world record-holding son of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Dave Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerrero, is a perfect 4-for-4 (all in NYSS) this season ($104,653 and counting for a three-grand yearling). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.10, with the triple returning $19.40. "Honestly, I couldn't have gone any slower," Morrill said. "We're going to find out more about him in the (Sept. 28 sire stakes) final." Prohibitive fave Stay Up Late (Dave Miller, $2.50)--from the pole--was a confident winner in the first ($96,025) event. Moving from third, he engaged leading Bakersfield (Gingras) going by the three-quarters, then put him away early in the lane. Stay Up Late whipped a pocket-sitting Archetto Hanover (Marcus Miller) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55. Sir Sam's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Keystone Honor (Brennan) rounded out the ticket for wagering purposes, while Bakersfield faded to last among the seven. Stay Up Late, a son of Artiscape trained by Casie Coleman for co-owners West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun, is now 2-for-4 this season. The exacta paid $13.60, the triple returned $100.50 and the superfecta paid $559. Trainer Coleman doubled her fun in the second ($96,025) division as Design Guru (Brennan, $5.60) was a handy winner. Nose on gate from post No. 3, he was untested en route to a life-best (by more than three seconds) and night's fastest 1:54.1 effort. The job of the second choice was simplified when 7-5 choice Thereisapaceforus (Gingras) broke in the first turn. That one did recover, but was never a factor. The margin was 4½ lengths, with Big Boy Dreams (Morrill Jr.) winning the scrum for second over a first-up Neat (Marcus Miller). Design Guru, an Artiscape gelding owned by Jeff Snyder, has a pair of wins in seven '13 tries. The exacta paid $66.50, with the triple returning $231. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. Frank Drucker
The New York Sire Stakes caravan returns downstate Thursday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $285,120 Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The harness racing event, honoring the memory of the Raceway's long-time corporate controller, was drawn and quartered as races 1,3,4 and 5.