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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 23, 2018-Marion Marauder (Jordan Stratton, $3.40) returned to Westchester Saturday night (June 23rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot. The 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner, in his first local visit since finishing second in last fall's million-dollar Yonkers International Trot, was unsurprisingly better than his seven inside foes. Marion Marauder just sat out there, moving from seventh to fifth at the half (:27, :57). He advanced down the backside the second time, making up ground even though they weren't going that much up front. Marion Marauder went three-wide around Madhatter Bluechip (Joe Bongiorno), setting his sights on leading Bluebird Jesse (Brent Holland) passing a 1:25.3 three-quarters. The odds-on choice took over soon after, opening a length-and-a-half into the lane. He then held off Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Dube) by a half-length in 1:55.1. It was the 2016 Yonkers Trot all over again, except Stratton (six winners during Saturday's dozen-race card) was cast in the role of Scott Zeron and Dube subbing for Dan Daley behind the runnerup. Daley had Smalltownthrowdown at 2 and 3. Third went to DW's NY Yank (George Brennan), with Bluebird Jesse and Madhatter Bluechip rounding out the payees. For Marion Marauder, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Hill co-owned by Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling & trained by the tandem of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling (Ms. Wellwood is listed stateside), it was his second win in four seasonal starts (career earnings up over $2.6 million). The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $169 and the superfecta paid $371.50. Saturday night's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by Always at May Place (Brennan, $12) in 1:51.1, a 40th career victory by far a season's-best effort. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 8, 2018-Yonkers Raceway returned from hiatus Friday night (June 8th), with Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $10.60) winning the featured $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fifth from post position No. 6, Mach it a Par watched as Meadows returnee Medusa (Brian Sears) led the early floor show through intervals of :27 and :56.1. Freakonomics (Eric Goodell) took out of fourth, though not advancing all that much in and out of a 1:24 three-quarters. Mach it a Par then set sail around that one, getting first 'run' on her rear-end rivals. Meanwhile, Medusa owned a length-and-a-half lead off the final turn before the interlopers arrived. Mach it a Par swallowed up the pace-setter, drawing out to win by a length-and-a-half in a season's-best 1:52.3. A from-last Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton) grabbed second as the 6-5 fave, with 33-1 Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) also offering late foot for the bottom of the ticket. A tiring Medusa and Baryna A (Joe Bongiorno) settled for the minors. For third choice Mach it a Par, an 8-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her fifth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32.60, the triple returned $367.50 and the superfecta paid $2,686. A reminder that the Raceway is the official 'non-Belmont Park Belmont Stakes' place to watch the festivities, with windows opening Saturday (June 9th) in advance of Belmont's 11:35 AM opener. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

LONDON...May 22 - When the field of eight line up for the inaugural Camluck Classic this Saturday, May 26 at The Raceway, trainer Peter Tritton is hoping a new tradition kicks off right where it ended. His star studded pacer Bit Of A Legend captured the final edition of the Molson Pace last season before the signature event being renamed the Camluck Classic. Tritton, who resides in Pine Bush NY, will once again make the trip north of the border with the classy nine-year-old. "He's coming into the race really well. We'll keep the same routine as we did last year, because it worked out so well. Canada has been good to use and we're happy to return. The plan is to stay for the week then head to Northfield for the Battle Of Lake Erie." The son of Bettors Delight is no stranger to half-mile track racing. In fact, from 65 starts on North American soil, the nine-year-old has raced six times outside a half-mile oval. The winner of over $2.1 million has been a regular fixture at Yonkers Raceway over the past few seasons. Last year alone, Bit Of A Legend captured signature half-mile track events such as the Molson Pace, Gerrity and Bobby Quillen with $547,070 in seasonal earnings. "I would say pound-for-pound he's the best half-mile track horse in North America. I think we have the best horse in the race and Jordan (Stratton) thinks he's better right now than last year, which is quite amazing, really." Tritton admits post position plays a major role in the outcome of the race on the half and is satisfied with beginning from the trailing tier. "I'm happy with the draw. Obviously you don't want the outside on a half and I'm content starting from the second tier. I could be an interesting start into the first turn with a lot of speed so I'm happy to be inside. "He's a special horse, that's for sure," Tritton continued. "He paces the turns so well and doesn't lose any ground. Jordan (Stratton) has done a great job looking after him and we've been rewarded." Driver Jordan Stratton will once again make the trip to Canada. The young reinsman has driven the superstar pacer in all but one pari-mutual start on North American soil. "Jordan is his regular pilot and drives all of my horses," Tritton said. "We have a great relationship and he looks after my horses very well. You have to pick your spots at the top level especially at Yonkers and he's done a great job of doing that. We're very fortunate." Below is the complete field in post position order: 1 Sunfire Blue Chip - Trevor Henry 2 Isitfridayyet - Alfie Carroll 3 Killer Martini - Scott Coulter 4 Rockin Ron - Louis Roy 5 Easy Lover Hanover - Doug McNair 6 Evenin Of Pleasure - Joe Bongiorno 7 Dr J Hanover - James MacDonald 8 Bit Of A Legend - Jordan Stratton More than $500,000 in purses will be offered up on the 12-race program which will get underway at 6:55 p.m. A powerful undercard which includes a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies along with a quartet of City of London Series finals will also be contested that night. For more information visit CamluckClassic.com by Greg Gangle, for Western Fair  

Jordan Stratton is no stranger to success in the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial pacing series at Yonkers Raceway and the 30-year-old harness racing driver will have two past champions among his hopefuls when those events get underway this week at Yonkers Raceway. First up is the Matchmaker, which begins Friday (March 16). Stratton's drives in the series for older female pacers will include Australian-bred defending champion Mackenzie. On Saturday (March 17) in the Levy, for older male pacers, Stratton's drives include New Zealand-bred 2016 winner Bit Of A Legend. The Matchmaker and Levy both feature five preliminary rounds followed by added-money finals April 21. A horse receives 25 points each time he or she races in the preliminary rounds. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth. "I love the series," said Stratton, who also won the Matchmaker in 2009 with Pancleefandarpels. "You have to race every week almost because of the 25 points, and they're good horses, so it's a hard series. At the same time, you want to have something left for the final, too. "It's tough, but at the end of it you get to see who the iron horse is." The opening round of the Matchmaker features four $40,000 divisions. Stratton will drive New Zealand-bred Elliesjet in the first division, New Zealand-bred Sell A Bit in the second, and Mackenzie in the fourth. Mackenzie and Sell A Bit are trained by Peter Tritton, who also conditions Bit Of A Legend on the Levy side. Sell A Bit was the runner-up in the 2016 Matchmaker championship, but failed to advance to last year's final. Sell A Bit heads to this season's event with three wins in her past four starts, all in the open handicap for fillies and mares. Mackenzie, who won four of her last five races of 2017, is making her seasonal debut. The Matchmaker fields also include multiple-award-winners L A Delight and Lady Shadow, 2017 championship runner-up Medusa, millionaires Call Me Queen Be and Regil Elektra, and near-millionaire Safe From Terror, whose brother Foiled Again won two Levy titles. Saturday's Levy action will be spread over five $50,000 divisions. Bit Of A Legend, who is making his seasonal debut in the fifth division, made history by going unbeaten in the 2016 Levy. He finished fourth in last year's championship, but counted the Molson, Gerrity, and Quillen among his victories. "The run Bit Of A Legend went on (in 2016) was unbelievable," Stratton said. "I don't know whatever stars aligned, but it seemed like he never got used and he was always pacing forward at the wire. Hopefully he can do it again. He qualified last week and he seems to be really good. I was a hundred percent happy with him." There is no shortage of big names or familiar faces in the Levy, with defending champion and Dan Patch Award-winner Keystone Velocity leading the group. Others ready for the opening round include stakes-winners such as All Bets Off, Dr J Hanover, Evenin Of Pleasure, Great Vintage, Mach It So, Missile J, Rockin Ron, Somewhere In L A (a half-brother to L A Delight), and Western Fame. Stratton is the leading driver at Yonkers this year and tops North America with $1.36 million in purses. He finished second to Jason Bartlett in last year's Yonkers standings. "I think toward the end of last year I was doing really well," said Stratton, who has won 3,505 races in his career. "Now the numbers kind of reflect it a little more. I'm getting excited (for stakes season). Mackenzie is staked and I'll go on the road with her. Hopefully she stays healthy and has some luck on the bigger tracks and that will launch me to the next step." Ken Weingartner  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 24, 2017—Favored Thisjetsabookin’ (Jordan Stratton, $5.30) just lasted on the lead Saturday night (Feb. 24th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,000 Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 5 in the gang of a half-dozen, Thisjetsabookin’ was stung by pole-assigned Quick asa Trick N (Dan Dube). The people’s preference paid a :26.3 privilege to make the lead before rating a :56.2 intermission. Gokudo Hanover (Matt Kakaley) started the outer assemblage, moving from fourth toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters. Don’tcallmefrancis (Greg Merton) chased that one,   Thisjetsabookin’ owned a length-and-three-quarter lead entering the lane, but his pursuers remained stubborn. 1:53.1. Gokudo Hanover was resurgent, trying the leader one more time. Thisjetsabookin’ found the wet wire when he need it, a short nose to the good in a season’s-best 1:53.1. Don’tcallmefrancis was third, beaten a head, with Quick asa Trick N and Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett) settling for the minors. Orillia Joe (Brent Holland) brought up the rear.     Thisjetsabookin’ (Jordan Stratton,#5) just lasted on the inside    - Photo Chris Brokate For Thisjetsabookin’, 6-year-old Jereme’s Jet gelding owned by William Emmons and trained by William Adamczyk, it was his second win in five seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $18.40, with the triple returning $83.50. Sunday matinees resume tomorrow (Feb. 25rd), with first post of 12:15 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although harness racing driver Jordan Stratton had a career-best season in 2017, pulling in just over $9 million in purses, making 394 trips to the winner’s circle, and finishing second in the Yonkers driver’s standings for the first time in his career, you probably didn’t read about it in the headlines. The 30-year-old reinsman prefers it that way. He’d rather see the recognition go to the equine athletes who do the hard work. “Drivers get too much credit as it is,” he said. Although Stratton quickly points out his luck could change tomorrow or that he could make a mistake in his very next drive that will leave bettors cursing his name, for now, he remains the one to beat. He’s sat behind 32 winners in his first 125 drives of the 2018 racing season at Yonkers, putting him atop the driver’s standings. His quick start to the year comes amidst the removal of the passing lane at Yonkers and double-digit handle increases. Stratton took the time to discuss driving with the new track configuration, his personal milestones, and his goals for the future. BV: The 2017 racing season closed with the passing lane in mid-December. This year, you opened without the passing lane. Were you expecting this to happen so quickly? JS: It’s been thrown around a lot for about six or seven months. It’s been in the back of their minds that if racing didn’t improve or if handle didn’t improve, then that was the go-to move that they always threatened and that coincided with the time Cammie came along. I’ll be the first to admit, I was always against it. From day one, I was against it. I was completely wrong. I really like it now, I think it’s really improved the product. BV: Why were you against it initially? JS: I just thought it would be stale racing, it would be all front-end. Just what I think in my mind of the old days: somebody makes the front and they go really, really slow and the horse first-over comes and they go really, really slow and they lag around the racetrack and the horse on the front and the horse first-over finish one-two. It was just boring racing. It seems like now, guys are being ultra-aggressive. I pulled the two-hole the last week-and-a-half more than I have in the last five years. It’s definitely improved. BV: You even pulled the pocket at the half last week. JS: Yeah, a few nights ago, I pulled in front of the grandstand. I ended up winning the race, but before, you would have never even thought about that. You would have just sat in the two-hole. The horse on the front, I could see he was kind of pulling up and not wanting to go on the front, but with the passing lane, I probably would have just rode it out and probably would have gotten beat, I don’t know if that horse would have gotten me to the front. But with no passing lane, it wasn’t an option to just sit in there. BV: Had you spent much time on tracks without passing lanes before this? JS: No. I’ve driven at Tioga, which doesn’t have a passing lane, but other than that, no. BV: What was the learning curve like for you? It seems like you adjusted to it very quickly. JS: It really didn’t take much because I seem to be first-over a lot more often than not and it works out great for me being first-over because the horses two and three back on the fence don’t have that passing lane where before, if I beat the horse on the lead, I’d get beat by the horse in the passing lane and finish second or third. I like being first-over now, I can kind of control things. BV: It sounds like the new track configuration is giving a better, or at least a fairer chance, to drivers who are being more aggressive with their horses. JS: Definitely. That guy sitting third on the fence who thinks he has a shot, he better be pulling or else he’ll be in no man’s land being third or fourth on the fence turning for home. BV: How do you see this playing out as the year goes on? JS: We’ve only seen one weekend of the better horses and even some of the better horses are still turned out. The really good Saturday night horses, you can use them two or three times in a mile. I think the no passing lane is great with the cheaper horses because if they get stung to the quarter pole, they’re cooked and that allows horses to come from behind. I’m kind of nervous to see what it does to the better horses who you can string out to a quarter in 27 seconds and they can still sprint home. BV: The drivers and trainers racing at Yonkers have dealt with a lot of changes over the past few years. French racing, the new finish line, removal of the passing lane. Why do the horsemen here embrace these big changes so willingly? JS: I think we have some of the best drivers in the country, the best horses in the country, the best purses in the country, and yet, every year we see the handle dwindle and dwindle. You have to just try whatever you’ve got to try. We have a great product and it should be something that the gamblers want to gamble on, but something wasn’t right, something needed to change. BV: Is the handle something you pay close attention to? JS: It wasn’t like every night I was checking the handle, but the first thing you would hear from people, the first thing people talked about is how we were giving out all this purse money with no handle. But at the same time, there was no one steering the ship. It was just here’s post time, there’s the product, nobody pulls, nobody wants to change anything, and harness racing is dead, look at the handle, this is the way it is. It was all negative, negative, negative. Not that Cammie was the save all, but luckily, someone is now in that position to steer the ship and make sure we’re not going head to head with other tracks and try to better the product for the gamblers, and I think that’s what we need. I think making sure we’re not going head to head with other tracks. That’s huge. It’s common sense almost that guys aren’t going to bet on two different tracks going at the same time. I wish in a utopian world, all tracks would work together and go at different times so gamblers would always have a product to bet on and not overflood the market, but that’s easier said than done. BV: Is there anything else you’d like to see at Yonkers in the future to continue to improve the racing? JS: I think in the future, a slanted gate might really just be the cherry on top. But right now, I think it’s just a leaps and bounds better product than last year. I think maybe with a slanted gate where you can give the seven and eight the option to leave out of there, that might solve our problem. BV: The 2017 season was a career year for you in terms of purses. Reflect on that and talk about what last year was like for you. JS: Pete Tritton, I really have to give a lot of thanks to his whole barn and Bit Of A Legend and all the good horses he put me on. The confidence you get sitting behind those horses, I mean, the rest of the horses are easy. The other trainers and owners see me winning those big races. It’s all perception I think with drivers. If you’re on a bunch of favorites and you’re winning three, four, five a night, all the sudden you’re a good driver. It’s all perception. BV: Last year we talked early in the season and you said you’d set a goal for yourself to be in the top three in the driver’s standings at Yonkers. You accomplished that. Have you set another goal for yourself this year? JS: I think it’s kind of the same goal. Ideally, it would be number one, but you’ve got to be happy with progress and not always beating yourself up over a bad night. But I think top three would be an attainable goal and obviously shoot for being number one and be happy with whatever comes. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 15, 2017— Nothing, not even an outside assignment can stay Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton, $10) from the swift completion of her harness racing appointed rounds. She did it again Friday night (Dec. 15th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. With the seven lasses all moving inside one notch after a pole-sitter defection, Mackenzie A floated away from the gate, nestled fifth from her mandated impost. She watched as 3-10 fave Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) went over Lovineveryminute (Dan Dube) before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. It was a 57-second intermission before the Matchmaker conquering heroine did her usual first-up routine.   Mackenzie A hooked Lady Shadow in and out of the 1:25.1 three-quarters, poking her schnoz in front entering the lane. She drew out by a couple of lengths in a cold and snowy 1:54 (full disclosure that the snow had stopped a few races earlier). Lady Shadow did save second, failing at odds-on in both starts since her local return. Pretty Image (Matt Kakaley), Annabeth (Greg Merton) & Truth and Liberty (Eric Goodell) settled for the remainder.    For second choice Mackenzie A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by Ellen Kinser & Harry von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her sixth win in 15 seasonal starts (third consecutive, fourth in last five tries). The exacta paid $24.60, with the triple returning $110.50. As part of Yonkers Raceway’s season-ending program Sunday afternoon (Dec. 17th), the Pick 5 has a mandatory payout. The 50-cent base wager gimmick (races 7 through 11) normally requires all five winners to get paid, with no consolation. However, since state law prohibits pools from being carried over into a new year, Sunday’s Pick 5 becomes a ‘must pay’ proposition. First post Sunday is 11:30 AM, with the Pick 5 wager set to begin at 2 PM. Yonkers’ 2018 live season is scheduled to get underway with a matinee Sunday, Jan. 7th (post time TBA), pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.   YONKERS WRAPS 2017 SEASON WITH ‘FRENCH’ SUNDAY, ‘NEW YORK, NEW YORK DOUBLE’     Yonkers Raceway wraps its 2017 live season this Sunday (Dec. 17th), with an 11-race matinee and a first post of 11:30 AM. Races 5 (post time 1 PM) through 11 (post time 4 PM) go as overflow-field, added-distance ‘French’ trots. Note that Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ features Aqueduct’s third race (post time 1:18 PM) and Yonkers’ sixth race (post time 1:30 PM), with program pages accompanying this release.   Yonkers’ 2018 live season is scheduled to begin with a matinee Sunday, Jan. 7th (post time TBA), pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 3, 2017 - A sluggish-early Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton $5.70) was in hand late Friday night (Nov. 3rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $50,000 filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Away slowly from post position No. 4, the Matchmaker champ saw Call Me Queen Be (Mark MacDonald) make the lead around Betabcool N (Eric Goodell) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. The latter then took over from the former, getting a :56.4 intermission and 1:25.3 three-quarters as She'sjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) tried it first-up from fifth. That move gave 'Mackenzie' a tow, though she was gapping it for much of the backside. Betabcool N maintained a short lead into the lane, but she was about done. Mackenzie A finally received the memo, edging past to win in 1:54.3. Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) raced behind the eventual winner from third-up, chasing her home to miss by three-quarters of a length. She'sjustadelight N, Call Me Queen Be and Lispatty (George Brennan) settled for the remainder, For Mackenzie A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by Harry Von Knoblauch Stables & Ellen Kinser and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her third win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $55. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 6, 2017-- Hugh Hefner N has found a second life after his namesake's first death. The four-legged version was at it again Friday night (Oct. 6th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $20,000 pacing opener in a down-the-road harness racing effort. Eight nights ago, and one night after the human Hefner's passing, the equine counterpart provided a morbid hunch play...which paid off to the tune of $4.60 as the wagering favorite. Moving up the claiming ladder (from $20,000 to $25,000) Friday night, he prevailed from the inside post position. 'Hef' won by a head in 1:53.1, his fourth victory in 21 seasonal starts. This time, he returned $10.60 as the third choice. The 9-year-old Down Under Falcon Seelster gelding (we're not going there again) was driven this time by Jordan Stratton for owner Keith Motusesky and trainer Doug Dilloian Jr. Hugh Hefner N went over the $200,000 North American career earnings plateau with the win. Friday night's $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap saw Call Me Queen Be (Jim Marohn Jr., $7.60) placed first after original 'winner' Scandalicious (Greg Merton) was set down to third for going inside a pylon off the final turn. The mile went in 1:52. Frank Drucker

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

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harry Von Knoblauch Stable's Bit Of A Legend N and harness racing driver Jordan Stratton won the 11th Annual Bobby Quillen Memorial in 1:52.1 Monday at Harrington Raceway. Trained by Peter Tritton, the 8-year-old Bettor's Delight stallion never had an anxious moment in his wire-to-wire win over pocket-sitting Mach It So and All Bets Off, who rallied well for third. It was his seventh win of the year and 40th of his career. It was a bit of a homecoming for Tritton, who was stabled at Harrington Raceway for nearly a decade before moving to the New York circuit in 2015. The annual event celebrated the memory of former long time Delaware legislator Bobby Quillen, who was a regular at the racetrack and was a member of the Board of Directors at Harrington Raceway and the Delaware State Fair. Quillen passed away 13 years ago to the day of this year's event. Knoblauch, passed away earlier this summer and was a long time supporter of harness racing. Two $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund events for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings were contested in their first leg of stakes action. Heavily favored Transitioning Joy ($2.40, Montrell Teague), a Barber Pole colt, did not disappoint his backers in the first division. Owned by Joy and George Teague Jr., "Joy" set all the fractions in his 1:54.3 narrow win for trainer Clyde Francis over Slick Tony, who was a game second, and Friendsrforever. A photograph was needed to separate the top two. Transitioning Joy is a son of Barber Pole. Jim King Jr.'s Evolution Tour ($3.80, Victor Kirby) won the second division in 1:55.3 over America First and Fulla Nitro. The Roddy's Bags Again gelding set all the fractions in his decisive win for his owner/trainer. Richard Pollucci's Christen Me ($6, Jordan Stratton) won the overnight feature, a $17,500 Open event for trainer King Jr. in 1:53. Matthew Sparacino      

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 9, 2017 - Odds-on Bit of a Legend N with harness racing driver Jordan Stratton in the bike was more than good enough Saturday night (Sept. 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play early from assigned post position No. 6, Bit of Legend N stuffed Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) behind him, making the lead before a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. He then engaged in out-and-out equine theft, 'stealing' a 30-second next substation (:56.4 half),. That made the job of ever every non-Kiwi in the race much tougher. Bit of Legend N finished his work night (1:25.1, 1:52.3), whipping Cooperstown (Greg Merton) by a unpressured length. Somewhere in L A, The Real One (Pat Lachance) and Mach it So (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees. For Bit of a Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his sixth win in 20 '17 tries. The exacta paid $25.20, with the triple returning $153.50. 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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 19, 2017 - Odds-on Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $3.30) paid a price for the lead, then made his harness racing opponents pay the price for giving it to him Saturday night (Aug. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Open Handicap Pace. In the hunt early from assigned post position No. 6, the 2016 George Levy Series winner took over from 21-1 shot Caviart Luca (George Brennan) just after a zippy :26.3 opening quarter-mile. A rated, :29.1 next substation (:55.4 half) was going to make the people's preference tough to catch. Melmerby Beach (Greg Merton) and Mach it So (Brent Holland) tried it from first- and second-over, respectively, as Bit of a Legend N found a 1:24.2 three-quarters. He widened to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn, then held Caviart Luca at bay. The margin was measured three-quarters of a length in 1:51.3. Bakersfield (Mark MacDonald) and Melmerby Beach hit the line together for third, with Mach it So settling for the final pay envelope. For Bit of a Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his fifth win in 17 '17 tries. The exacta paid $33.50, with the triple returning $89.50 (Bakersfield third) and $92 (Melmerby Beach third). Prior to the race, Tritton spoke of von Knoblauch, who passed away early this month at age 90. "Harry was a gentleman who enjoyed racing and not afraid to spend money to get good horses. His daughters want to keep the stable going, and I'm fortunate to train for them." Bit Of A Legend's official lifetime record is as follows; Down Under - 63 starts for 20 wins, 15 seconds and 4 thirds for $810,101 North America - 45 starts for 17 wins 10 seconds and 4 thirds for $1,101,920 Total - 108 starts for 37 wins, 25 seconds and 8 thirds for $1,939,521 Bit Of A Legend Yonkers offers up the sixth of eight consecutive Sunday matinees (Aug. 13th), with a first post of 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 18, 2017 - harness racing favored Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $4.40) proved the fastest femme Friday night (Aug. 18th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away alertly from assigned post position No. 5, Sell a Bit N worked around second choice Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. The track, which had taken on water earlier in the card, wound up yielding equal halves (:57, 1:25.3, 1:54). That was swift enough for the eventual victress, who held off a stubborn, two-move try by Regil Elektra to win by a neck. Delightful Dragon was a pocket third, with Sail to the Beach (Dan Dube) and Lispatty (George Brennan) rounding out the payees...the quintet separated by just two lengths at the wire. For Sell a Bit N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her second win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $36.80, with the triple returning $75.50. Sell a Bit N Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 6, 2017 - Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton, $23.40) did his damage from second-over Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6th), winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. Floating out of the gate from post position No. 6, Taco Tuesday found a home fifth while 19-10 choice Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) walked to the lead. Overcoming his assigned eight-hole, 'Hemi' was issue-free through pokey early fractions of :29.1 and :59 and 1:28.4. Down the backside the final time, Buen Camino (Scott Zeron) took out of fourth, confronting Hemi Seelster as the pace of this trot picked up. After a 1:57.1 mile post, Hemi Seelster owned a shortening lead into the lane As Buen Camino was about to win the battle...but lose the war. Taco Tuesday, towed into it by Buen Camino, appreciated the gesture so much, he rolled right over him. Taco Tuesday won by a length, the mile-and-a-quarter going in 2:26.3. Hemi Seelster faded to third, with Sumatra (Eric Goodell) sand Georgie's Pockets (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. For eighth choice (in the field of nine) Taco Tuesday, a 4-year-old Cantab Hall gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Rob Harmon, it was his sixth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $107, the triple returned $489.50 and the superfecta paid $8,476. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 6-Rally Cry (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 4-Tarot (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $11.80 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $7,977. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Aug. 13th) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

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