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YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 1, 2019 - Odds-on harness racing fave Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $2.90) methodically wore down one rival, then held off another Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 3, Betterb Chevron N saw Delishka N (Brent Holland) leapfrog around Shez Sugarsweet A (Ron Cushing), paying a :26.4 opening quarter-mile privilege for the lead. Aldine Hanover (Jason Bartlett) also left, but backed away into a three-hole. It was a rated :30.2 second substation (:57.1 half) before Betterb Chevron N began her advance. She closed in moving toward the 1:25.4 three-quarters, putting Delishka N away early in the lane. Aldine Hanover found room too late, with Betterb Chevron N lasting by a half-length in 1:54. Delishka N saved the bottom of the ticket, with Amateur Hour (George Brennan) and Shez Sugarsweet A rounding out the payees. For Betterb Chevron N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was her third win in as many seasonal/U-S starts. The exacta paid $10.20, the triple returned $27 and the superfecta paid $75. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 8, 2018-Odds-on Weona Sizzler A (Jordan Stratton, $2.90) made a successful first trip to the harness racing adult table Saturday night (Dec. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Pocketed-from post position No. 5---to Gokudo Hanover (Dan Dube) through intervals of :27.1, 56 and 1:24, Weona Sizzler A found room passing the three-quarters when a first-up Soho Lennon A (Jim Marohn Jr.) backed away. Gokudo Hanover owned a length lead into the lane, but could not stall his intruder. Weona Sizzler A rolled right by, widening to win by that length in a life-best 1:52.1. Gokudo Hanover saved second, with Christen Me N (Matt Kakaley), Voracity (Tyler Buter) and Bettor Memories (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. For Weona Sizzler A, a 5-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned (as Harmon Racing) by (trainer) Rob Harmon and Seth Rosenberg Racing, it was his eighth win in 18 seasonal starts (five wins and three seconds in eight North American tries). The exacta paid $25.40, the triple returned $131.50 and the superfecta paid $646. There is no Sunday matinee this time around, the final one wrapping the season Dec. 16th, with first post the ever-popular TBA. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 4, 2018-Yonkers Raceway's all-trot Sunday (Nov. 4th) matinee saw a second-over Lean Hanover (Jordan Stratton, $19.60) winning the featured $44,000 Open Handicap. The six-horse feature went at the flat mile, one race after the seven added-distance 'French' trots. Trying to leave from assigned post position No. 5, Lean Hanover could not match strides early before retreating into a four-hole. It was Gruden (Jason Bartlett, five winners during the 10-race card) vaulting over his quintet of inside rivals. He went past DW's NY Yank (George Brennan) and led through early intervals of :28 and :57.4. Polester Sortie (Brian Sears), as the tepid 3-2 favorite, then moved from third with Lean Hanover hitching a ride behind that one. Sortie drew even with Gruden in and out of a 1:26 three-quarters before being dismissed. Gruden owned a length lead off the final turn, but the walls were closing in. Lean Hanover rolled right by, defeating a third-over Jack Vernon (Dan Dube) by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:55.4. Gruden faded to third, with DW's NY Yank and Sortie relegated to the minor moolah. Bioness (Eric Goodell) misbehaved early and was outrun. For fourth choice Lean Hanover, a 5-year-old Donato Hanover gelding co-owned (as P C Wellwood Enterprises) by (trainer) Paula Wellwood and Karen Carroll, it was his fifth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $159, the triple returned $748 and the superfecta paid $1,433. The winner was third as an odds-on favorite in his previous try. Sunday's version of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a chalky winning combination of 1-Big Muddy (Aqueduct's 1st race) and 3-Undici (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $6.40 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $3,560. Sunday afternoon's 10-race, all-sources handle was $1,092,113. The next Sunday matinee is Nov. 18th (post time TBA). A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (Nov. 5th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $1,406.29 and a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 5 through 9 Monday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Sunday afternoon), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Monday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/mon_program.pdf. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway    

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 20, 2018-There was good form for both Military Master A and Gruden, and it continued Saturday night (Oct. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps. Military Master A (Jordan Stratton, $5.80), from post position No. 6, prevailed from third-over in the week's featured pace that cried out for a closer. Pole-assigned Chantepleure (Austin Siegelman) inexplicably stuffed 7-5 choice Dr. J Hanover (Mark MacDonald) in behind at the outset, paying a :26.2 opening quarter-mile price for the privilege. The leader rated a :29.1 next substation (:55.3 half), but that would be of small consequence when the wolves came calling. Gokudo Hanover (Jason Bartlett) moved from third, taking over past a 1:23.2 three-quarters as Chantepleure stopped and Dr. J Hanover was trapped. Gokudo Hanover owned a short lead in and out of the final turn, but he, too, was inhaled. A second-up I'm Some Graduate (George Brennan) went by, but he couldn't match strides with Military Master A. The latter, sixth entering the lane, won by a length in 1:52.1. I'm Some Graduate was second, with Theartofconfusion A (Brent Holland) third. Scott Rocks (Eric Goodell) and an exhumed-too-late Dr. J Hanover rounded out the payees. Chantepleure backpedaled to last in the seven-horse field. For second choice Military Master A, a 7-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was his seventh win (third consecutive) in 15 seasonal starts The exacta paid $30, the triple returned $283 and the superfecta paid $1,065. The week's marquee trot saw Gruden (Bartlett, $4.50) leapfrog his half-dozen inner foes and easily go the distance (:28.1, :57.4, 1:26, 1:55.3). The lead was 2½ lengths off the final turn, the exact same margin at the wire New Heaven (Brennan) slalomed the cones for second, with 9-10 favorite Lean Hanover (Stratton) a first-up third. Tober (Holland) and Kinetic King (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the minors. For second choice Gruden, a 5-year-old Muscle Yankee gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby and VIP Internet Stable, it was his fifth win in 15 '18 tries (4 wins, 2 seconds, 2 thirds in last 10 efforts). The exacta paid $25.80, the triple returned $72 and the superfecta paid $409. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 3, 2018 - On Saturday (Sept 29) Freehold Raceway held the $59,885 Renaissance final for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Nancy Johansson trainee Jk American Beauty sat in the two hole until just past the half where she brushed past the leader and never looked back to stop the clock in 1:56.1 for driver Jordan Stratton. This is the first-lifetime win for the daughter of American Ideal, and boost her earnings to $125,395 for 3 Brothers Stables. Miss Raggedy Ann finished second with Surreality coming in third. Freehold resumes live racing on Friday (Oct 5) with a post time of 12:30 pm, featuring the SBOANJ sponsored Futurity #53 for 2-year-old trotters. Then on Saturday (Oct 6), they will host the Home Grown Pace #1 for 2-year-old pacers. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ 

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 7, 2018-As was written seven short nights ago, Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $6.10) is just better these right now. She proved it again Friday night (Sept. 7th), easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace while becoming the sport's newest millionairess. Not even an assigned eight-bole hindrance could deter her appointed rounds here. Strung out early by Medusa (Brian Sears). Newborn Sassy made the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a rated :29.1 next station (:56.3 intermission), 6-5 favorite Magic Forces (George Brennan) tried it first-up from fifth. However, a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.2) dismissed that one as Newborn Sassy owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Medusa edged out, but wasn't close to reaching, the final margin a length in 1:52. Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett), Angel's Pride (Brent Holland) and Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) settled for the minors. Magic Forces retreated to seventh. For second 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 ninth win in 27 seasonal starts (fifth in last seven tries, career 32-for-76, earnings $1,007,445). The exacta paid $21.80, the triple returned $99 and the superfecta paid $470. "She can race either way," Stratton said. "This week, some of the better mares she's been facing weren't here, but she beat a good group and the eight-hole is never an easy job." Walkover race makes news on Yahoo.sports The story of Windsun Magnolia has apparently found its way into the nation’s consciousness…to some degree. The good folks at Yahoo sports wrote about the WCBS-TV (Ch. 2) feature (see below) regarding her Yonkers Raceway walkover/maiden-breaking win, certifiably extending her 15 minutes of fame.     Yahoo’s story can be view here… https://sports.yahoo.com/winless-racehorse-gets-first-ever-win-one-horse-race-164400666.html?hl=1&noRedirect=1 by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 6, 2018--In no particular order, the marquee performers during Yonkers Raceway's Thursday night (Sept. 6th) were... --Jordan Stratton, who won six races from his eight drives. One of wins came in a dead-heat, while two were part of the $168,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-olds fillies. Stratton won the first ($55,833) division with a pocketed Line Dancer ($12.40) in a life-best-matching 1:54.2. The daughter of Art Major, co-owned by (trainer) Ricky Bucci and Blue Meadow Farm, has won five of her 18 seasonal starts. Stratton doubled his sire stakes pleasure in the second ($55,833) Cohen event, when a first-up Newsday (S7.20) matched Line Dancer's 1:54.2 effort. The At Major miss, co-owned by (trainer) Richie Silverman, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Edward McEnery and Michael Gluckman, is 4-for-13 this season, including a pair of NYSS wins here. "It was one of those nights that everyone I drove raced well," Stratton said. --Wisdom Tree (Matt Kakaley, $2.70), who continued her statebred dominance in the night's final ($56,833) Empire grouping, a down-the-road night's-fastest 1:53.2 Her sire stakes resume reads six wins (including two here) and a second in seven tries. The daughter of Betterthancheddar, co-owned by Tom Pollack & Jeff Cullipher and trained by Ed Hart, has won 10 of her 13 '18 tries. "She's smart and she's fast and I love her," Hart said. "Every so often I'm entitled to one of these," Kakaley said. --Naughty Maravu N (Dan Dube, $96), who led a quartet of longshots (9-1, 70-1, 92-1) home in the $10,000, fifth-race pace. New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night (Sept. 11th), with Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack in the $172,000 Milt Taylor Trot (3-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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

The second round of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for 3-year-old harness racing pacers and trotters is set for Thursday night, Aug. 29, at The Red Mile. Six $30,000 KYSS races open up the 13-race card which kicks off at 7 p.m. (EDT). Race 1 is the lone division for male trotters and the Jimmy Takter-trained stablemates Wolfgang and Tactical Landing will start from posts 1 and 2, respectively, in the 10-horse field. Wolfgang, who won the Goodtimes final at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands, bounced back from a disappointing off-the-board finish in his Hambletonian elimination to capture the first KYSS leg in 1:53.2 for driver Jordan Stratton. Stratton is back behind the son of My MVP who is listed as the 5-2 second choice on the morning line behind Tactical Landing, who is the 8-5 favorite. Tactical Landing, with Takter in the sulky, made a break at the start of last week's KYSS heat but after falling nearly two dozen lengths behind, caught the field and closed rapidly down the stretch to finish just 4 ¼ lengths behind Wolfgang in third. The son of Muscle Hill, who was an $800,000 yearling purchase, has shown quick improvement this year, capturing his Hambletonian elimination and then finishing third in the $1 million final. The single KYSS division for male pacers is an 11-horse field (Race 6) with the Takter-trained (and driven) Grand Teton drawing the trailing 11 post. Despite overcoming the far outside post 10 in the opening round to score a 1:51 victory and moving inside on Thursday, Grand Teton, a son of A Rocknroll Dance, is listed as the 4-1 third choice. Favored at 2-1 from post 4 is KYSS newcomer American History, a four-time winner this year including a 1:47 sizzler at the Meadowlands. Trained by Tony Alagna, the son of American Ideal is coming off a second-place finish in the Empire Breeders Classic final at Tioga Downs. Andy McCarthy will drive American History, who also has a runner-up finish on his ledger in the Adios final at The Meadows. The 5-2 second choice is recent Carl Milstein Memorial (at Northfield Park) champ Thinkbig Dreambig, who will start from post 6 for trainer Takter and driver Stratton. The son of Bettor's Delight was a half-length back of Grand Teton in second in the KYSS opener as the 1-9 betting favorite. There are two KYSS divisions for filly pacers and the second split (Race 4) is stacked as the one-two finishers in each split last week have landed in this heat. Dance Blue, a most-impressive 1:50.2 winner in leg one starts from post 4 for driver McCarthy and trainer Nancy Johansson at morning-line odds of 7-5, while Pure Paradise, who scored a first-leg win in 1:55, starts from post 6 for driver David Miller and trainer Brian Brown as the 3-1 second choice. Runners-up Neverforgetwhour and Band Stand start from posts 2 and 5, with drivers Elliott Deaton and Matt Krueger, respectively. The first division (Race 2) appears wide open, with Hurrikane Empress (Peter Wrenn, post 2) and Sun Shines Bright (Stratton, post 7), who were third and fourth, respectively, last time out to Dance Blue, the program favorites. Three divisions for 3-year-old filly trotters last week have turned into a pair of 10-horse splits this time out. While first-leg winner Live Laugh Love sits this round out, Urban Legend and Top Expectations, who captured the other two splits, are out to repeat. Urban Legend, who was a 1:54.2 winner, drew post 6 in the first division (Race 3), for driver Marcus Johansson and trainer Nancy Johansson. Despite the victory, Urban Legend is the 3-1 second choice behind 2-1 favorite Pat Matters, who closed fast to finish second to Live Laugh Love in the opening round. Pat Matters will be driven by Takter for trainer Paul Kelley. Top Expectations, who was a 1:55.4 winner and is looking to defend her 2017 KYSS title, starts from post 1 in the second division (Race 5). Stratton drives the 2-1 favorite for trainer Erv Miller. The third and final KYSS prelims for 2-year-old trotters is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, with the last leg for 2-year-old pacers on Saturday, Sept. 9. Leg three for the 3-year-old divisions will be contested on Sunday, Sept. 9. The up-to-date point standings for each division can be viewed by clicking here. The top-10 point-earners in each of the eight divisions will return for the $2 million KYSS championships on Sunday, Sept. 16, with a special afternoon post time of 3 p.m. The eight $250,000 finals will be the centerpiece of the new Fayette County Fair, which will take place that day from noon to 6 p.m. The fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market. Also, several musical acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery among the performers. The racing program will be kicked off with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experience. From the Kentucky Sire Stakes       Gordon Waterstone   The Horseman And Fair World  

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, Sunday, August 5, 2018--Favored Mostinterestingman (Jordan Stratton, $4.40) was the third and last leader Sunday afternoon (Aug. 5th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $54,800 Open Handicap Trot. The weekly trotting feature went as the early-PM opener, the first of a 10-race, all-trot card. Nine of 'em were at the overflow field, mile-and-a-quarter 'French' theme. Away alertly from post position No. 6, Mostinterestingman has to wait his turn. Inside rivals Fashion Creditor (Andy Miller) left, as did lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) It was after a 28-second opening quarter-mile that Mostinterestingman made the lead from the mare. He then found a :56.2 half and 1:25.3 three-quarters with the other ma'am, longshot Weslynn Dancer (Jason Bartlett) fighting the first-over fight. The 44-1 prompter hung in there while Mostinterestinman found a 1:54.2 milepost. He owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, with NF Happenstance angling out. That one couldn't reach, as Mostinterestingman prevailed by a length-and-three-quarters, getting the added distance in 2:24.1 Fashion Creditor, who left the cones, offered a solid close to get third, with Cash Me out (Jim Maroh Jr.) and Such an Angel (Brian Sears) coming away with the minors. For Mostinterestingman, a 5-year-old Manofmanymissions co-owned by (trainer) Ricky Bucci and Richard Solano, it was his sixth win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26, the triple returned $108 and the superfecta paid $393.50. Sunday's card also featured the opening round for the French-American Trotting Club Series. A pair of $35,000 events for French-bred trotters that were purchased by 'local' interests. The first event went to a down-the-road Alpha D'Urzy (Brent Holland, $12.20) in 2:26.4, his fourth win in as many North American starts. "I did get lucky with this one," co-owner/trainer Rene Allard said. "He seemed to acclimate well, better than many of Australian and New Zealand horses that have come to me. He doesn't wear much and he gets over these tracks." The second Club event saw odds-on Ursis Des Caillons (Joe Bongiorno, $3.40) draw away from Undici (Steve Smith) in 2:26.2. "Good manners and quick-footed," Bongiorno said. "He opened up easily and I never took the ear plugs out." Sunday's latest installment of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 5-Into Mystic (Saratoga's 1st race, [winner for parimutuel purposes]) and 6-Ursis Des Caillons (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $16.20 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $4,415. The next Sunday matinee is Aug. 12th (post time TBA). 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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 28, 2018 - "Everywhere I drive people say to me, 'This is my favorite horse.' " Such was Jordan Stratton's post-race assessment after slight choice Bit of Legend N ($7) went last-to-first Saturday night (July 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,00 Open Handicap Pace. Unsurprisingly away last from his eight-hole confinement, Bit of a Legend N watched the sort of scrum he needed develop. Caviart Luca (George Brennan) made the first lead, looping Americanprimetime (Greg Merton). The latter then made the lead right at a :26.2 opening quarter-mile, then found a :55.1 intermission. Doctor Butch (Jason Bartlett) was situated third, while Barimah A (Brent Holland) moved first-up from fourth. Givenupdreaming (Eric Goodell) chased from second-over, with Robbie Burns N (Joe Bongiorno) behind that one and Bit of a Legend N working from fourth-over. The octet tightened up in and out of a 1:23.3 three-quarters, with Robbie Burns N wide and Bit of a Legend N widest. Americanprimetime owned a length lead into the lane, but company was coming. Robbie Burns N disposed of Americanprimetime, but Bit of a Legend N dispatched all of 'em. He whipped 'Robbie' by a widening length-and-a-quarter in 1:51.4. Americanprimetime held third, with a rallying Capozzo (Mark MacDonald) and Caviart Luca settling for the minors. For Bit of a Legend N, a 9-year-old double-millionaire Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his fourth win (45th career) in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $53.50, the triple returned $258.50 and the superfecta paid $2,254. Sunday afternoon's (July 29th) first post is 12:30 PM, with four 'French' trots beginning the dozen-race card. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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

YONKERS, N.Y. – Satin Dancer will be part of a racing rarity when she competes in the $44,000 Open Handicap Trot Saturday night (July 7) at Yonkers Raceway. The 4-year-old mare’s local debut will come just four days after she raced at Hoosier Park in Indiana. The unusual feat of racing at Hoosier Park and Yonkers in the same week wasn’t what her connections initially planned, according to new trainer Travis Alexander. After Satin Dancer posted two straight victories in the Open ranks at Hoosier Park in early June, trainer Byron Hooley became frustrated when the race failed to fill two weeks in a row. Needing his mare to stay on a consistent schedule and wanting to maximize her earning potential, Hooley contacted Alexander about a potential ship east and gave Alexander the go ahead to enter her at Yonkers July 7. “Byron couldn’t get her in to go. They weren’t filling the Open Trot at Hoosier Park and he didn’t really want to race her at Scioto every week against the boys. If he was going to have to race against the boys, he wanted to race for the $44,000. Let’s be honest, it’s a little bigger pot,” Alexander explained. “Byron called me and said, ‘They aren’t going with the Open Saturday (June 30). Go ahead and enter her for Yonkers and I’ll bring her out on Wednesday.’ Hoosier’s race office moved the Open to Tuesday. She was in to qualify Saturday because he was going to qualify her, tighten her up, and then ship her out. In all honesty, I didn’t think she’d get in (at Yonkers). The draw came up, and there she was with the rail. So here we are.”  Satin Dancer set the pace in the Open Trot Tuesday at Hoosier Park, cutting fractions of :27.0, :55.2, and 1:24.2. Although she came home in :28.0 and trotted 1:52.2, 11-1 longshot Cue Hall tracked her down in the stretch to post a half-length victory.  “She raced fantastic on Tuesday, she just got beat in 1:52. She’s tight,” Alexander said. “Trotters that can trot 1:52 on any size track, there’s not a lot of them.” Satin Dancer arrived at Alexander’s barn around 4 p.m. Wednesday and spent Thursday turned out. The Indiana Sire Stakes Champion and earner of $624,010 made a good first impression on her new conditioner. “She’s only been in the barn 24 hours, but she’s a pleasure and she’s all class. She’s kind of a sassy mare, but she’s earned it,” Alexander said. “With her kind of record, she’s allowed to do whatever she wants, and I think she’ll fit in nicely at Yonkers. “She handled (the trip) well. She didn’t eat the best, but at the same time, she did just race and ship 12 hours, so I just chalk it up to that,” Alexander continued. “We turned her out, the vet ran her some fluids. Right now, all systems are go. Her and the filly in the stall next to her are actually bonding already and they’re buddies. It’s kind of exciting to get a horse like her. It’s going to be interesting to see how she does.” Satin Dancer’s arrival marks another step in Alexander’s commitment to racing at Yonkers. While in years past, his horses proved better suited to racing on larger tracks, the 39-year-old trainer put a deliberate effort toward shifting his focus to Yonkers this year. Year to date, he’s already posted 12 wins in 89 local starts, better than last year’s total of 8 victories in 40 tries.  The success comes in the face of a series of challenges and setbacks earlier this year. Alexander’s horse Lawgiver Hanover suffered a fatal injury in a race at Yonkers March 13. The accident sent driver Matt Kakaley to the sidelines for two months as he recovered from a broken orbital bone and a fractured collarbone. Another of Alexander’s horses, A Sweet Ride, fractured a cannon bone in the same month. “We had a few setbacks, but it’s turning around. March wasn’t a very nice month for us. That was our horse that (Matt) went down with and the horse had to be euthanized. It’s hard. It was a rough month,” Alexander said. “It can slow you down a little bit, but things are looking good. We’ve got a few more horses to train that we really like. Things are moving forward. “Yonkers is a tough place to break into,” he continued. “The horses that we had fit Pocono and the five-eighths better than the half. We made it a conscious effort this year to race more at Yonkers. If you’re racing on the east coast, you need to race at Yonkers. The purse money is just too big to pass up. The driving colony is one of the best in the sport, if not the best. That’s why we’re doing it.” In addition to his focus on racing claimers and overnight horses at Yonkers, Satin Dancer will provide Alexander with his first chance to compete in the rich Open ranks.  “This is something the stable needed, an Open horse,” he said. “We haven’t had an Open mare or an Open pacer yet at Yonkers, so now we get to take a swing at that top-end money. It’s going to be fun.” Satin Dancer will start from an assigned post one in the Open Handicap Trot Saturday night and will have Jordan Stratton at the lines. She’ll face seven rivals, including the top four finishers from last week’s renewal, Smalltownthrowdown, NF Happenstance, DW’s NY Yank, and Weslynn Dancer. Deep Impact, Such An Angel, and Rubber Duck complete the lineup. “I’m looking forward to Saturday as much as everybody else,” Alexander said. “I have no expectations, because she just got here. I’ve had a lot of luck racing horses on short rest, but not this short and with a trip in between. That’s a large ship on a hot day. I don’t want to throw her under the gauntlet and expect a win, but if she trots like she did Tuesday night and handles the four turns and can sit close, she could get us to the winner’s circle.” Satin Dancer has only raced on a half-mile track three times before: she won a division of the Standardbred at the Delaware County Fair at 2 and at 3, finished second in an Open at the Hillard Fair and was the runner up in the Buckette at Delaware. Despite her limited racing record on the small track, Satin Dancer trained on a half on Hooley’s farm and her previous trainer is confident in her ability to handle the tight turns. “She’s a well put together mare. She’s really long. I’m going to be curious,” Alexander said. “She trains on a half, so (Byron) says it’s no problem. Delaware, Ohio isn’t really a true half-mile track. It’s a half, but it has sweeping turns that are really forgiving. I was fortunate enough to get Jordan. Nobody knows Yonkers better than Jordan Stratton, so that’s a huge key for me with her. He can help her through that first turn and give me some pointers or advice afterwards and move forward. Byron Hooley is really confident in her ability to handle the half.” First post time Saturday night at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m. The 12-race card also features a $44,000 Open Pace. To view entries for the card, click here.  by Brendon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Marion Marauder trotted home a winner in Saturday's $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic, dethroning last year's champion Crazy Wow, and continues his march through the national trotting ranks. He trotted the one mile race in 1:52.4. The 2015 trotting Triple Crown Champion, Marion Marauder entered the Classic off a 1:55.1 victory in a $44,000 Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway despite being parked the entire mile. He again had to take a considerable amount of air to grind out a first-over victory in the Classic's Grand Circuit event. The Trotting Classic was scratched down to a field of six, with #7 Homicide Hunter and #8 Will Take Charge withdrawing from the race due to illness. Marion Marauder ($2.20) was heavily favored by the betting public and started from post two. He sat third through the: 27.4 opening quarter. Driver Jordan Stratton pulled Marion Marauder first-over in the second turn and remained parked the remainder of the mile despite the leader, Crazy Wow, going off stride at the half. "I'm not sure what happened to Crazy Wow. That sure was an uncharacteristic break," said Stratton. "But it sure worked out for me." In Secret, who sat the pocket through the opening quarter battled with Marion Marauder through fractions of: 56.2 and 1:23.4 before weakening at the top of the stretch. "I was a little worried about In Secret. I have seen him race several times and know he is a tough horse," commented Stratton. "But Marion Marauder just trotted through and overcame tonight." He took the lead at the top of the stretch and bested his competition by 1 ¾ lengths. Saturday marked the second time Jordan Stratton traveled to his native state of Ohio this month. On June 2, he piloted Bit Of A Legend to victory in Northfield's $200,000 Battle Of Lake Erie. Saturday's win is Marion Marauder's third win this year and 17th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $2,705,200 for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling, and trainer Paula Wellwood. Completing the Classic field were I Know My Chip, In Secret, Dia Monde, Another Breath and Crazy Wow. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

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