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Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness Racing Driver John Cummings, Jr. enjoyed a banner Saturday (June 11) at Tioga Downs, taking the lone $7,500 second-round Williams Auto Group late-closing preliminary race with Makers Mass ($3.70, part of entry) as part of a four-win night.   Makers Mass used a first-over blitz on approach to the far turn to wear down and sprint off from Thats a Bad Boy (Tyler Freese) at the eighth pole. The 3-year-old Muscle Mass gelding drew off by 3-1/2 lengths for a decisive 1:55.3 triumph over Thats a Bad Boy, while Golden Son (Gary Clark) stalked the winner's cover loosely en route to a third-place finish.   Megan Wilson trains Makers Mass for owner-breeder Alan Hainsworth.   Later in the evening, Cummings found a seam up the pegs on the far turn with Allen Sisco trainee Stratocaster ($8.40), sprinting through for a 1:51.1 win in the featured $9,000 Open 2 Pace over Mortal Zin (Aaron Byron) and Pierce (Nick Surick).   Cummings also teamed up with DC Flashback ($9.80, 1:56.2) and Ang's Delight ($4.00, 1:54.1) on the 13-race card.   The top trotting event of the evening, an $8,200 upper-level conditioned event, saw Prairie Fortune ($13.80) sweep clear off a far-turn duel, drawing off by 2-3/4 lengths for a 1:55.1 victory in rein to Jim Meittinis.   The 50¢ Pick 5 was hit for $288.25, nearly five times what the corresponding win parlay would yield. The sequence closed with an authoritative front-end 1:57.1 win from odds-on favorite Brandos Muscle Man and driver Monica Banca in a $6,000 C.K.G. Billings event for amateur drivers.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 12) afternoon, with a blockbuster 15-race card due to begin at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Nichols, N.Y. -- After a relaxed midpack start, Bourbon Bay ($7.70) sustained a push to the fore en route to a 1:54.2 victory in Saturday (June 13) evening's $14,000 harness racing open trot at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding was away slowly, settling into the fourth spot after Tag Up and Go (Kyle DiBenedetto) and Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) both broke stride in the early stages. After Awsome Valley (Aaron Byron) crossed and cleared from the extreme outside to establish the lead through a :28.1 first quarter, lessee-driver John Cummings, Jr. strode to the top spot with Bourbon Bay, brushing with a circuit to go before reaching race's midpoint in :57.2. Heading to the far turn, Awsome Valley edged out of the pocket to give chase, but Bourbon Bay held sway under a drive, prevailing by a length in 1:54.2. Tag Up and Go recovered from his early break, closing second-over on the backstretch and holding third.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who scored his fourth local win in as many starts on the season.   The sub-featured $10,000 Open II Trot saw Valley of Sin ($9.50) kick cover on the far turn, drawing clear of Twin B Spike Man (Aaron Byron) for a 1:54.3 triumph. Jim Meittinis drove the 5-year-old Yankee Glide entire for trainer John Butenschoen. For Valley of Sin, it was his second victory in as many starts since coming back off a 22-month layoff.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (June 14) afternoon, with a 12-race program kicking off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Despite a slower beginning than in past weeks, Bourbon Bay ($2.30) maintained his dominance in the harness racing trotting ranks at Tioga Downs, sweeping to the fore and edging clear for a 1:55 triumph in Sunday (May 31) afternoon's $14,000 Open Trot.   After failing to sustain a first-over bid against champion Father Patrick in last week's $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia, lessee-driver John Cummings, Jr. dropped the 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding to the back of the pack at race's outset, six lengths off early leader Aruba Vacation (Corey Braden) on the entry to the first turn. When Spice It Up Lindy (Tom Jackson) vacated the pocket to challenge for the lead after a :28.3 first quarter, Bourbon Bay had already commenced his charge, sweeping three-wide to clear the front with a circuit to go. After completing half the journey in :57.4, Bourbon Bay effortlessly gained ample separation from his four rivals, powering clear with three-eighths to go. Despite the best efforts of the trailing quartet, Bourbon Bay could not be caught, geared down for a six-length victory in 1:55. Spice It Up Lindy held second after facing pressure from the first-over I'm Fabulous (Jim Taggart, Jr.), while B L Class Act (Aaron Byron) took third off a mild stand-side rally.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who notched his 16th career win. It was also his third Open-level win in as many starts at Tioga this year.   Cummings led all drivers with a trio of winners on the card, also teaming up with Follow My Dreams ($5.50, 1:56.2) and Hold On Tightly ($8.20, 1:54.2).   Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (June 1) evening, with the first of 10 races due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY -- Just a week off his 1:52.1 track record outing, Bourbon Bay ($3.10) delivered yet another scintillating harness racing performance, bottoming out his six rivals with a 1:52.2 triumph in Saturday (May 9) evening's featured $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Sand Vic gelding wasted no time, establishing the early lead sharply and setting a torrid pace--one he would sustain for much of the mile. After cutting a pair of identical :27.2 quarter-miles, John Cummings, Jr. called upon Bourbon Bay to accelerate up the backstretch, opening up seven lengths on Detroit Rapper (Jim Meittinis) through three-quarter split of 1:21.3. While the :26.4 third quarter proved more taxing on his six pursuers, Bourbon Bay eventually tired in mid-stretch, trotting home in a :30.4 final quarter while still 7-3/4 lengths clear of his nearest rival. Wisenheimer (Tom Jackson) rallied wide of tiring foes in the final stages to take second, while Detroit Rapper tired to third after chasing throughout.   Bourbon Bay is under lease to his driver, while Megan Wilson handles the training duties of the 15-time winner.   Cummings scored a driving triple on the night, prevailing as well with Island Charm ($19.20, 1:59.3) and Hold On Tightly ($15.80, 1:56.4). Dan Clements recorded a hat trick as well, victorious aboard Typical Newyorker ($11.20, 1:58.4), Oho Diamond ($2.70, 1:58.1), and Write That Down ($5.80, 1:55.1).   A Penny Earned caps Lems grand slam at Vernon   Vernon, NY -- Driver Chris Lems had the hot hand at Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 9) evening, with a victory from A Penny Earned ($3.50) in the evening's $10,000 Open Trot headlining his driving grand slam.   After earning decisive open-length victories earlier in the evening with odds-on favorites High Rise ($2.40, 1:57.4), Silver Fox J ($3.80, 1:54.1), and Sweet Thing ($3.30, 1:55.3), Lems secured the pocket with A Penny Earned in the featured finale, drafting behind Lutetium (Jimmy Whittemore) through a sensibly measured pace of :27.4, :57.4, and 1:26.2. In mid-stretch, Lems vacated the pocket with A Penny Earned, pouncing in the final yards to prevail by a length in 1:54.1 over Lutetium. War Hero (Howard Okusko, Jr.) tracked the top pair throughout, staying on to hold third.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   Live racing returns to both Tioga and Vernon Downs tomorrow (Sunday, May 10), with afternoon cards at both locations. Vernon kicks off their 10-race Mother's Day program at 1:15 p.m., while the first of 12 races at Tioga is slated for a 1:30 p.m. departure.   by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs  

Nichols, NY -- Enjoying a solid form spree in early-year stakes events on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit, Bourbon Bay ($7.30) shipped south to Tioga Downs as one of six entrants in the Opening Day (May 2) harness racing feature, leaving the other five in his wake en route to a 1:52.1 score in the $14,000 Open Trot.   The four-year-old Sand Vic gelding allowed Deacons Valley to clear the front early, powering to the fore after a :27.1 first quarter and not looking back. After clearing the lead and continuing through a :55.3 half, lessee-driver John Cummings Jr. opened up on the field with Bourbon Bay, amassing a three-length lead through a :27.1 third quarter and holding that margin through the far turn. While 3-5 favorite Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons) mounted a rally off the far turn, he could only gain into second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears of Bourbon Bay's 1:52.1 track record performance. Deacons Valley faded to third after chasing from the pocket.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who cored his 14th career win in 30 starts. The 5/8-mile track, rated "fast" for the Opening Day 10-race card, was truly fast, with seven winners equaling or improving upon their lifetime marks. While Mike Simons couldn't prevail with Twin B Spike Man in the featured event, he registered five wins on the program, scoring with My Muscleman ($6.00, 1:55), Lightning Paige ($3.90, 1:54), Twain Drive ($3.50, 1:57.2), Crazy Eyes ($5.50, 1:56.2), and J R Jazz ($9.30, 1:57.1).   Panpero Firpo upsets in Vernon feature; MacDonald and Hochstetler sweep Farina splits   Vernon, NY -- After mustering just minor shares in recent tries against top Saratoga company, Panpero Firpo ($19.00) employed a change of tactics in tonight's $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs, closing the pocket behind dueling leaders before pouncing in deep stretch for a 1:51.4 score.   The five-year-old No Pan Intended entire drafted behind an extended duel between JK Panache (Chris Lems) and Talking Blues (Frank Davis), sitting just off them through the first three-quarters of the mile while boxed in by a second-over Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), last week's Open winner. At the top of the stretch, with Talking Blues beginning to fade, Brett Crawford made his move with Panpero Firpo, taking over late and holding off Damon Blue Chip for a 1:51.4 triumph. JK Panache was a worn-down third after enduring steady pressure.   Trainer Jackie Rousse owns 16-time winner Panpero Firpo in partnership with Bill Reepmeyer.   Additionally, a pair of $4,000 second-round divisions of the Anthony Farina pacing series were contested, with trainer Homer Hochstetler and driver John MacDonald teaming up on both winners. Hot Lemonade ($2.40) pushed clear and turned aside a stiff challenge from Flight Again (Truman Gale) for a 1:53.2 victory in the first division, while Speaking Out ($5.80) sustained an uncovered bid to take the second division in 1:55.1. The Anthony Farina series final is scheduled for Mother's Day (May 10) along with the Catherine Burton trotting series final.   Live racing returns at Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 3) afternoon, with a 1:30 p.m. first post, while Vernon Downs resumes racing action on Friday (May 8) evening at 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs

WILKES BARRE PA - Walk The Walk, a son of former harness racing "Horse of the Year" Muscle Hill, emerged as the only horse competing in Bobby Weiss Series action to take a second straight win in the $15,000 Tuesday preliminaries, two for trotting males and two for pacing females, at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Last week's first round trotting male winners, Walk The Walk and Two Hip Dip, were matched in one division, and Walk The Walk maintained his perfect record in the series by winning Tuesday in 1:55.2 on a cold night and a sloppy racetrack. Last week Walk The Walk was well in front when he made a break nearing the wire, so in the interim trainer Chris Ryder qualified him with trotting hopples, and this week Walk The Walk was errorless, making an early move to command and then stepping home in 57 to defeat Raise The Curtain, with Two Hip Dip, the slight second choice as last week's winners were both sent off at 11-10, third after a first-over trip.   David Miller, who drove both winners last week, stayed with Walk The Walk, and the horse repaid that confidence of Miller in tallying for the ownership of Ruder, Sidney Korn, Robert Mondillo, and Max Wernick.   Bourbon Bay, third last week in snapping a six-race win skein, bounced back to winning ways, going a tick faster than the other trotting cut in winning by open lengths. The Sand Vic gelding is trained by Megan Wilson for driver/owner John Cummings Jr.   Thebeachnextdoor put paid to the hopes of a repeat Weiss win for Life Is A Beach and Crescent City, both nose victresses last week, by taking a personal mark of 1:53.4 in one leg of the female pacing competition. Jim Morrill Jr., behind hid fourth winner of the night, guided the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, like Muscle Hill a former Horse of the Year and who was nosed out in the first round, to a wire-to-wire triumph, with last week's winners finishing 2-3 respectively. The Brewer Adams-trained mare is owned by Adams Racing LLC and Brian Clark.   Allthatjazz De Vie couldn't be a repeat winner because Tuesday's other division for females was her first start of the year, but she won her Weiss debut by personally coming home in 56.3 to win in 1:54.4 over Hollyrocker (the other distaff to be nosed in the first round). Andrew McCarthy sulkysat behind the sophomore daughter of American Ideal, now 5 for 7 lifetime, for the familiar pairing of trainer Ron Burke and the ownership combine of Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi.   PHHA / Pocono    

Batavia, NY--- $110,000 is up for grabs in two divisions of New York Sire Stake action for freshman trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs. The fourth race has seven horses going postward in the first division for $54,500 in purse money. Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) went wire to wire in his career debut at Buffalo Raceway in a sparkling time of 1:59.3, which set a new track record. That win at Buffalo makes him one of only two horses in the race to be victorious over a half-mile track. He then won at Tioga before finishing third at Yonkers. After being scratched sick on August 2, Driver Michael Mc Givern elected to race the colt from behind rather than on the point like had all year. Assuming he needed that start after his 17 day layoff, Royal Deceptor has a great chance to rebound here with his early speed from post five for trainer Cheryl Mc Givern. Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has been spectacular on bigger tracks this year for trainer George Ducharme, but has had his challenges over the half-mile ovals. In his last four starts he has set two consecutive lifetime marks at Tioga Downs (1:57.4) and Vernon Downs (1:56) but in between has made breaks off the gate at Yonkers and Monticello Raceway. Regular driver Chris Lems will try to make him behave from the rail to get his third victory of the year. Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) has had just the opposite history. He made breaks at Tioga and Vernon but has a win at Buffalo Raceway in 2:01, a second at Yonkers and a fifth at Monticello after being parked out most of the mile. Pier Ho Exotic is the other horse in the race to win over a half-mile track and John Cummings Jr. will once again be on board from post two for trainer Megan Wilson. The second $55,500 division is carded as race eight and has eight starters. It also features a battle between the top point's leaders for this sex and gait. Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) had a flawless performance last week at Monticello Raceway when he went gate to wire in 1:58.4. The four and three-quarter length victory was his fourth in six starts and boosted his earnings to $74,119 for the year. Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will have to overcome post six in the full field of eight but has the gate speed to do it. Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) has been nearly flawless for trainer Linda Toscano his last four starts, winning three and finishing second by only half a length. Those victories helped bank his $68,169 for the year and leave him tied with Gabe The Bear Dean atop the NYSS leaderboard for 2-year-old trotting colts with 183 points. Mambo Blue Chip has Jeff Gregory aboard from the rail and that puts him in the perfect spot for his stalking style. Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Z's) has a win and two seconds since coming into the Paul Kelley stable on July 19 and that includes a 1:56.4 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs. In his other two starts he was narrowly defeated by today's favorites, Gabe The Bear Dean at Yonkers in 1:58.3 and Mambo Blue Chip at Monticello in 1:59.3. Jason Bartlett who has driven Insomniac for most of the year is aboard again, looking to avenge those defeats. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card with total purses amounting to $38,000. The most closely contested of those is the tenth race where Crashana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) is coming off back-to-back three length victories and is set to go against Lucky Budd (Lucky Chucky-Britt's Spirit) who also has back-to-back victories going into tonight. Both horses scored their wins on the same nights at the same tracks, but raced in different divisions. They also both sport 1:57.3 lifetime marks at Vernon Downs. Looking to play spoiler is Titanium (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee) who dropped into Excelsior action from the NYSS last week to collar his first win of the year at Monticello in 2:01.2, the same night Crashana and Lucky Budd raced and won. Facing these two for the first time and drawing inside them, Titanium will look to become the dominant trotter in this series tonight. Post time for the first race is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Royal Deceptor set sail from the rail and kept right on going into the Buffalo Raceway record book Wednesday evening (July 9) with a stunning 1:59.3 time over the fast track to highlight the action in the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters.   The time absolutely shattered the previous mark of 2:01.2 set by Timothy Patrick in 2012 and tied by The Lindy Treaty in 2013. It was the sixth track record either broken or tied at Buffalo Raceway during the 2014 season.   Others registering wins in the $27,250 divisions of the Sire Stakes were Stoneham, Gabe The Bear Dean and Pier Ho Exotic.   But the star of night was Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception), an $11,000 purchase at the Morrisville Sale.   Winning driver Michael McGivern said of the gate-to-wire victory by Royal Deceptor ($7.10), "I was holding my breath going into that first turn because we were going so fast. After that, he really settled down and I never pulled the plugs."   Majority owner Chip Foster said, "That race was beyond our wildest dreams. I was thinking we might have a chance for a track record, maybe going 2:01 but 1:59.3. Wow. The last quarter was 28.4. I think we are going to have a target on our back now, but it's a good target to have." Mike Sentiwany Jr. and MJ James also have a share in Royal Deceptor, who set the record in his first pari-mutuel start.   Insomniac (Jason Bartlett) finished in second, 3-1/4 lengths behind while Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) took the show spot.   The first division was a survival of the fittest. Stoneham (Riina Rekila) was a beneficiary of a breaking pace-setting Eskimo Joe in the stretch and managed to score the $17.80 victory in 2:04.4.   A total of four trotters went off stride as the gate swung open, leaving Stoneham, Curly's Son and Eskimo Joe (Ray Schnittker) as the trio alive for the win. Eskimo Joe set the fractions of 31.2, 1:03 and 1:34.2 and looked home free in the stretch but jumped it off and finished in third. The unfortunate miscue allowed Stoneham (Lucky Chucky-Toss Up) to cruise on by for the victory while Curly's Son (Dan Daley) took second place.   Stoneham is owned by Overseas Farms LTD and is trained by Rekila.   The third division saw former Buffalo Raceway regular Ray Schnittker zoom wire-to-wire with Gabe The Bear Dean ($6.00).   Setting the fractions of 31.4, 1:03.1 and 1:33.4, Gabe The Bear Dean had no trouble in trotting away from the field of seven in 2:03.3, easily beating Tango Pirate (Truman Gale) by 8-3/4 lengths while Crazy Levi (Jeff Gregory) was third.   Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) is owned by Schnittker and the Minix Stables.   John Cummings Jr. also returned to Buffalo Raceway and used a first over brush with Pier Ho Exotic ($17.80) and claim the final leg in a solid 2:01.3, the second fastest time of the night in the Sire Stakes.   Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) took the lead past the three-quarter marker and cruised past a stubborn Redneck Royalty (Howard Okusko Jr.) and won by a length. Luck Of Macrea (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.   Megan Wilson trains Pier Ho Exotic for owner Cummings Jr.   In the Excelsior Class A races, both worth $12,500, Guilty Man ($11.40) took the first division in 2:03 for driver Dan Daley and Progession ($13.80) went the mile in 2:05.4 for Tyler Raymer in the second leg,   The $6,500 non-betting Excelsior B race went to Global Revolution in 2:05.1 for Daley.   The weekly $10,500 Open Pace for Fillies and Mares saw Ugly Betty (Bartlett) use a strong stretch drive and collar the front-stepping Case Solved (Jim Morrill Jr.) by a half length in 1:54.4. CS Kentucky (Kevin Cummings) finished in third.   Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, the Dennis Dylo-trained Ugly Betty has now won seven times in 21 starts in 2014 and has earned $48,423.   Racing will continue on Friday night with 13 races on tap. Post time will be 6:40 p.m.   For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may be Father's Day on Sunday afternoon (June 15) but it will be the ladies taking center stage at Buffalo Raceway as the New York State Sires Stakes comes to town with a pair of $59,100 divisions on tap for the 3-year-old trotting fillies. The day will feature the return of NYSS 2-year-old trotting champion Market Rally to Western New York along with past Buffalo Raceway regular drivers Jim Morrill Jr, and Jeff Gregory along with trainer Ray Schnittker. The 12-race card gets underway at 1:05 p.m. Market Rally returns to her home base in 2013. John Yoder and Megan Wilson co-owned Market Rally with Wilson handling the training duties and John Cummings Jr. the driving. But things are different in 2014 as the 3-year-old Cash Hall-Supreme Dish filly is now owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stakes, Weaver Buscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable and trained by Ron Burke. She was the winner of the $225,000 NYS Sires Stakes final at Yonkers by a neck over Maud Blue Chip on September 28 in 1:59.1. Later in the season, Market Rally finished third in the $500,000 Breeders' Crown race at Pocono Downs. She finished with earnings of $281,816 in 2013. She'll be scoring off the rail in Sunday's eighth race for Morrill Jr. and will be looking to regain her winning form. Market Rally, installed as the 3-1 morning line choice, has struggled in her first two appearances thus far in 2014, finishing six and seventh. In the $62,400 Sires Stakes at Vernon Downs on May 17, she set the tempo but tired badly and finished in seventh. Annies Lite seems to be the top foe for Market Rally. A winner of $147,205 lifetime, she has been in the money in all four of her starts in 2014 with a trio of second place finishes and a third. She'll start from the five post for Tyler Buter. Maud Blue Chip leads the first division, scheduled as the fourth race. As mentioned earlier, she lost by a head to Market Rally in the Sire Stakes finale. She bankrolled $232,215 last season and will start from the three post with Buter in the bike. Maud Blue Chip is at 9-2 in the morning line. Her main rival should be Avalicious (8-5 morning line) who finished in second place in the $217,725 EBC finals at Vernon Downs in her last start on June 8. Avalicious has won two of her first five starts in 2014 and had been in the money two other times, earning $70,173 on the season. She will start from the six position with Doug McNair in the sulky. With mild temperatures along with a fast half-mile racing oval expected, the track record for the 3-year-old trotting fillies of 1:59.1, set by Brandnewgirlfriend in 2009, could be in serious jeopardy. Besides the two featured Sires Stakes events, there will be also be a pair of $12,500 Excelsior Class A trotting events for the 3-year-old fillies and two $6,600 Excelsior Class B races. There will also be three CKG Billings Amateur races sprinkled in among the races. The Father's Day card will also feature free sno cones, cotton candy and pony rides. For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com By Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

BATAVIA, N. Y. --- To say it was quite a four-day run for driver John Cummings, Jr. would be an understatement. Saturday night, he won the $225,000 New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters when he guided Market Rally to a neck victory over Maud Blue Chip in 1:59.1 at Yonkers Raceway. Cummings then capped off the stretch on Tuesday night (Oct. 1) as he drove Champaignon ($5.90) to a victory in the fourth race at Batavia Downs which was the 2,000th of his career. He's also on the verge of going over $9 million in career earnings as well. Cummings, Jr. is like a fine wine...he's getting better with age. His first pari-mutuel start was back in 1980. It was his only race of the season and he finished third with the purse earnings being just $192 at the age of 18. He then had a span between 1991 and 1998 where starts were sparse and wins were hard to come by. He had a combined 308 starts in that time frame and won 36 of them. Ironically, all 36 victories came in 1997 when he had 259 mounts. It looked like 2,000 career victories, however, was going to be just a pipe dream. But how things have changed. Starting in 2000, the wins started to pile up for the 50-year-old Cummings, Jr., who has over 12,500 career drives. Since then he has gone over the 100-win plateau in 10 of the past 13 seasons. In the past three seasons alone, Cummings Jr. has scored 562 wins. This year, he's already smashed his all-time seasonal mark in earnings with nearly $1.4 million and there's about three months left on the calendar to add to that total. Cummings' best season previously was in 2012 where he scored 193 victories and earned $1,105,621. Cummings. a resident of Williamsville, N.Y., has 186 victories in 2013 and should easily go over the 200-win barrier for the first time ever. He currently ranks in the top 20 nationally in UDR with a .316. And while it was a great week, things could get even better yet. There's a possibility that Market Rally may be entered in the Breeder's Crown and competing in that event and winning it would just cap a career season for John Cummings, Jr. “It’s a big milestone for me, I want to thank all the trainers that stuck with me throughout the years,” John Cummings, Jr. said. “I also want to thank Megan (Wilson), my main trainer for the last ten years. We have been very fortunate together. It’s really a team effort.” Racing resumes at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Batavia Downs with an 11-race card slated. Once again, there will be no pari-mutuel wagering on-track as the facility prepares for the Friday opening of its new gaming floor. For more information including race results, replays, upcoming promotions and statistics, click here . by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 28, 2013-Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted the richest night of racing in the state, the 24th edition of the New York Night of Champions. The $1.8 million event offered eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. So as to offend anyone, here's the chronologically-compiled skinny... Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot- Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald, $10.60) took  the house from post position No. 4 (29.2; 1:00.2; 1:29.3; 1:58) for a fifth consecutive (NYSS) win. His dead-heat dance partner of a week ago here, Credit Fashion (Brian Sears), chased this night from the pocket, but missed a neck as the 2-5 choice. Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern) rallied from third from the eight-hole. For second choice "El Durado," a s son of Conway Hall owned by Martin Scharf and trained by Mark Ford, he is now 6-for-9 this season. The exacta paid $14.60, with the triple returning $108.50. "You never worry about him trotting out of there, and that's a big help," MacDonald said. "He felt good in the lane." Allerage Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Trot-Late-season scourge Market Rally (John Cummings Jr., $10.40), from post No. 5, did her damage from third over. She picked up division leader Maud Blue Chip (Sears) by a neck in 1:59.1. "Maud," the 7-10 favorite, went first up-and-over Flyhawk Falina (Dan Daley) before the three-quarters (:29, :59, 1:29.2), but could not stave off the winner. Exotic Form (Jason Bartlett), stuck in when he entrymate quit on the lead, rallied for third. For third choice Market Rally, a Cash Hall miss ($7,500 @ Morrisville), co-owned by (trainer) Megan Wilson and Johnny Yoder, it was her fourth win in 10 '13 tries (3-for-3 here). The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $47.40. "I just waited for the dust to settle and let her do her thing," Cummings said. "We thought she was a just a good filly from a good family," Wilson said, adding the Breeders Crown may be next on the dance card. Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace-Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) tried taking no prisoners (:27.1, 56.2, 1:26), including stuffing a fumbly-gaited Ali Blue (Jim Morrill Jr.) into a three-hole. The two-hole was locked up by Bettor Business (Dan Dube), and wound up serving her well. From post No. 2, Bettor Business ducked inside, getting to the winner and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a maiden-breaking 1:54.2. Ali Blue, as the 4-5 choice, was third. For fourth choice Bettor Business, a daughter of Bettor's Delight ($42,000 @ Harrisburg) co-owned (as Triple D Stables) by trainer Scott DiDomenico and JFE Enterprises, she returned $27.40 (partnered with Scandalicious) for that initial win in nine seasonal tries. The exacta paid $138.50, with the triple returning $124. Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot-The aptly-named--and odds-on--Bouncing Bax (Bartlett, $2.70), who began the season losing her first nine races, romped to a fifth consecutive win (:28.4, :59, 1:27.2, 1:56.2), From post No. 4, she took over from Barn Babe (Cummings Jr.), then "ran away" and hid. The margin was fourth lengths in a life-best effort. Second went to Royal Malinda (Daley), with Alphadoodle (MacDonald) third. For Bouncing Bax, a Credit Winner lass ($30,000 @ Harrisburg) trained by Jim Raymer for Harbor Racing Stable, the resume is five wins in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.40, with the triple returning $47. Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot-Crazy About Pat (Eric Goodell, $8.50) could not have asked for a better set-up. From post No. 4, he was perched In The Pocket as E L Rocket (George Brennan) dealt with a first-up, 7-5 choice Tirade Hanover (Morrill Jr.) through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.3. "Pat" edged off the cones, he edged past Tirade Hanover, winning by a half-length in 1:55, with E L Rocket third. For fourth choice Crazy About Pat, a homebred son of Crazed owned by (co-breeder) Patricia Stable and trained by Noel Daley, he's now 8-for-18 this season. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $67. "I raced him earlier in the season, and I was very fortunate to get the drive back," Goodell said. "I had the choice to go in and out, and things worked very well. He's a talented colt." Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace-What can we say about He's Watching? Try this. An eighth win as many starts, a 1:52.2 track record for his weight class--also matching a world record--after a 6¼ -length beat-down. Leaving from the pole with Morrill Jr. in tow, He's Watching worked around barn buddy Major Trick (Bartlett), then set sails through stations of :28.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 (equal halves of :56.1 for the 1-9 favorite, after some fast math). Big Boy Dreams (Sears) was a first-up second, with Major Trick third. For He's Watching ($2.20), a son of American Ideal ($3,000 @ Harrisburg) co-owned by (trainer) Dave Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerrero, he's now earned $291,722. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $6.80. "I don't where the bottom is," Morrill said. "He's a small colt, but he doesn't race like one. I was just letting him cruise." "This is the icing for him," Menary said. "He's been life-changing for me. He's probably done for the season, so while the others are down at Lexington, the Breeders Crown and the Matron, we can get a head start toward next season." Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace-Track record-holder for this division, Social Scene (Brennan, $10.20) did her damage as per usual...from off the pace. After Winbak Heavenly (Jim Marohn Jr.) and defending champ Summertime Lea (Morrill Jr.) slugged it out early (:27.1, :55.4), Social Scene--from post No. 6--went up and after the leader. She zipped by 4-5 fave "Lea"--who was bothered by a first-turn breaker--opening five lengths by the 1:23.1 three-quarters. The margin was a half-dozen at the wire in 1:53, with longshots Cheyenne Miriam (Andy Miller), Springforth (Larry Stalbaum) and Ballineen (Sears) upping the exotics. For second choice Social Scene, an American Ideal ma'am ($37,000 @ Lexington) co-owned by West Wins Stable and Steve Calhoun and trained by Casie Coleman, she's won half of her 14 '13 tries. The exacta paid $214.50, the triple returned $2,198 and the superfecta paid $76,990 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket paid $3,849.50). Summertime Lea faded to seventh. "When she's right, there's no filly that can hold her out," Brennan said. "She'd has some breathing issues, but she was sharp tonight." Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace-A third consecutive "lonely horse" to end the sires, as 3-10 choice Fool Me Once (Sears, $2.70) gave nothing else a shot. From post No. 5, it was effortless (:27.2, :56.2, 1:24.3, 1:51.3). The separation was 8½ lengths at the end, with Bettor Than You (Goodell) second at 42-1, ahead of 30-1 Framed Art (MacDonald). For Fool Me Once, a son of Art Major ($70,000 @ Harrisburg) co-owned by (trainer) Mark Austin and Daniel Smith, it was his 10th win in 14 seasonal starts (14-for-24 lifetime, earnings over $612,000). The exacta paid $42.40, with the triple returning $313.50. "He's a cut above the sire stakes horses," Sears said. "He was comfortable and I get let him go on with it." 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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 19, 2013--Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted the $235,887 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Three divisions, at $78,629 each, made up the event. Division leader Maud Blue Chip (Tyler Buter) did nothing to hurt her resume, airing at 2-5 in the first grouping. In play from post position No. 4, she never had any angst through fractions of :30.2, 1:00.4, 1:31.2 and 2:00.3. "Maud" held pocket-sitting Crediama (Trond Smedshammer) at bay by a length-and-a-half. It was another 4½ lengths back to Sky to the Max (Gates Brunet), while second- and third-choices Beauty of Gray (Jim Meittinis) and Annie's List (Jason Bartlett) both broke. For Maud Blue Chip, a daughter of Credit Winner trained by Chuck Sylvester for co-owners David McDuffee, Melvin Hartman and Little E LLC, it was her fifth win (fourth consecutive) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $7.90, with the triple returning $31.60. It was another two-speed number in the second event, with outside entities L Dee's Scripture (Bartlett) whipping 11-10 fave Exotic Form (Dan Daley) Starting outside her six rivals, L Dee's Scripture sashayed through sub-stations of :30.3, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 and 2:01.1. The margin was a length, with How Bout Cash (Dan Dube) recovering from an early misstep to snatch third--beaten 6½ lengths. For "Scripture," a Credit Winner lass trained by Julie Miller for co-owners Larry Dumain and Carlo Lattinelli, she returned $11.60 (third choice) for her third win in a half-dozen '13 tries. The exacta paid $28.40, the triple returned $151.50 and the superfecta (Low Valley Dream [Steve Smith] was fourth) paid $976. The final event saw Market Rally (John Cummings Jr.)--who won at 100-1 here last month--have a few more bettin' buddies this time around. From the pole as the 3-5 favorite, she took over from Flyhawk Falina (Daley) after a :29.4 opening quarter-mile. Market Rally then won as she pleased (:59.4, 1:29.3, 2:00). The final distance at the wire was 4¾ lengths over Share My Secret (Smedshammer), with "Falina" fading to third. For Market Rally, a Cash Hall miss co-owned by (trainer) Megan Wilson and Johnny Yoder, she returned $3.20 for her third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $40.80. New York Sire Stakes continue Friday night, with the $227,488 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts/geldings. The $1.8 million New York Night of Champions is set for Saturday, Sept. 28. 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

Batavia, NY. --- Sportsman wasn't involved in the feature race on Saturday night at Batavia Downs but the eight-year-old gelding sure did steal the show by pacing the mile in an incredible 1:51.3, the second fastest mile in Batavia Downs' 67-season history. The track record for aged pacers is 1:51.1 set in 2011 by Aracache Hanover.Racing for $7,400 in a non-winners of $5,000 in their last five starts with $20,000 claimers also eligible, Sportsman, who was in for the tag, started from the outside in the field of seven. Driver John Cummings Jr. immediately shot to the top with Sportsman ($18.20) and just scorched the field with splits of 27.2, 55.4, 1:23.2 in posting the electrifying lifetime mark of 1:51.3 over the fast track. He beat Wiser's Deluxe (Ray Fisher Jr.) by 10-3/4 lengths while Lahaye (Jim McNeight) finished third. After that performance, Sportsman probably won't see the claiming ranks for a while. When asked if Sportsman could have gone faster, Cummings Jr. said in the winner's circle, "I think if I would have been pressured." Owned and trained by Megan Wilson, Sportsman now has seven victories in 23 starts this season, earning $29,357. While Sportsman stole the show, the featured $8,500 Open Pace ended in a dead heat as Zipnthruthehall (Lee Dahn) and What The Sheik (Ray Fisher Jr.) hit the wire together in 1:54.1. Western Alumni (Jack Rice) finished third. Zipnthruthehall took the lead from the beginning and set the fractions of 27.3, 57.2 and 1:26.2. At the top of the stretch, What The Sheik was 3-3/4 lengths back but went to the passing lane was able to get on even terms with Zipnthruthehall at the finish line with a never-say-die charge. Both returned $2.40 to their backers.It was the third straight victory for Zipnthruthehall while What The Sheik has now scored wins in three of his last four starts. Cummings Jr. finished the evening's activities with four victories while Batavia Downs' leading driver Greg Merton and Ray Fisher Jr. had doubles. A special Labor Day card is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. The highlight of the 13-race card that begins are two $50,000 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. Besides attracting some up and coming freshmen trotting stars, it also brings in some top-notch drivers including Jim Morrill Jr., Cat Manzi and former Western New York regulars Jeff Gregory and John Stark Jr. There will also be four $12,600 legs of the Excelsior Series for the 2-year-old trotting colts and the weekly $8,500 Open Trot.There will also be great food specials all day long with a 'Buy 1, Get 1 Free' chicken BBQ buffet for $9.95 (with coupon) in the clubhouse from noon to 3 p.m. There will also be $1 Sahlen hot dogs, sodas and draft beer offered in the Paddock Room beginning at noon. For more information on the Labor Day activities or to view race replays, upcoming promotions or read the latest news, go to http://bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing . by Brian J. Mazurek

MARKET RALLY WINS AT 100-1 ODDS

Hour Lavec, a seven-year-old Mr Lavec gelding, won the $11,000 featured trot in 2:01, for owners Finish Line Investors, of Rochester NY, and John Paul Cummings, Jr., of Williamsville NY, here at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (April 19), over a sloppy harness racing track.

Hour Lavec, a seven-year-old Mr Lavec gelding, won the $10,000 featured trot in 2:00.2, for harness racing owners Finish Line Investors, of Rochester NY, and John Paul Cummings, Jr., of Williamsville NY, here at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (April 12), over a sloppy track.

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