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I went six for twelve last week in the Breeders Crown and because only the chalk came in I actually lost $0.70 cents (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at  -$23.40 going into this weekend and we will bring that number down some more. We have stakes races around the country. The richest are at Vernon Downs Friday night with their Kindergarten Stakes final then off to Hoosier Park Saturday and Yonkers Raceway with their Messenger Stakes and Lady Maud Stakes eliminations. $206,000  Kindergarten 2YO Filly Trot Final 8th race FRIDAY, Vernon Downs – Could be a two-horse race here between Jimmy Takter’s Yoga who is coming off a 1:55.2 score last week in her elimination division and has won five of her seven starts this year. But I am going with Cee Bee Yes who is part of a three horse entry. She is the class of the field with $173,000 in earnings this year and has been facing much tougher competition this season and holder her own. She also won her elim last week in 1:55.   $217,000 Kindergarten 2YO Colt Trot Final 9th race FRIDAY, Vernon Downs  – Very competitive field with the two early favorites drawing inside posts. Jimmy Takter’s Trixton was last year’s top yearling sale at $360,000 and is just showing signs of starting to earn some of that back. Took his lifetime mark last week in his elim with 1:54.4 score. Outburst is the highest money earner at $135,000 and has five wins in his nine starts for trainer Noel Daley. Outburst may have been second to Trixton last week but I see him rebounding and turning the tables in the rich final. $83,6000 Madison County 2YO Filly Pace 2nd race SATURDAY, Hoosier Park  – You can make a case for most of the youngster in this field but I am going with Sweetnsinful. She is the class with $175,000 in earnings, all in the NYSS and I think she will be able to cut loose on Hoosier’s big oval as she did three starts back at Vernon when she took her mark of 1:52.2. $31,100 The Circle City 3YO Colt Trot 7th race SATURDAY, Hoosier Park – King Mufasa has had an awesome season in the mid west having won 13 of 14 starts and $209,000 this year and is on a nine-race winning streak. Faces a good test in here against a field of horses he has never competed against before but I don’t think that should bother him. He shows he can win both on and off the pace. $20,000 Lady Maud Stakes 3YO Filly Pace Elim 4th race SATURDAY, Yonkers Raceway  – It’s Grand Circuit time and Somwherovrarainbow was the 2012 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year and has done well this season. Was parked for her life last week in the Breeders Crown but I see her rebounding against this group for what could be an easy win. $20,000 Lady Maud Stakes 3YO Filly Pace Elim 5th race SATURDAY, Yonkers Raceway – After taking some much needed time off I see Scandalous Hanover as the horse to beat in here. She has won 10 of 21 starts this year and other than finishing second last time out in a world record 1:47 mile she had won seven straight races. She has the ability to either wire the field or come from behind. $40,000 Messenger Stakes 3YO Pace Elim 6th race SATURDAY, Yonkers Raceway – Don’t let this short field fool you. Lonewolf Currier, Dedi’s Dragon and Sunfire Blue Chip are all top colts looking for a big payday next week. Sunfire Blue Chip when not facing Captaintreacherous, should be able to get the lead in here and not look back or enjoy a pocket seat to the winner’s circle. He is the class of the field with $578,000 in earnings this season. $40,000 Messenger Stakes 3YO Pace Elim 6th race SATURDAY, Yonkers Raceway –Very competitive field here despite only five horses in the race. Lucan Hanover hails from the red hot Casie Coleman Stable and had won a heat of the Little Brown Jug so you know he can handle a half mile track. With the rail and being very sharp off his third place finish in the $500,000 Breeders Crown last week, he should be the standout in this field.

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 25, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all with proper credentials--were won by a wiring Rock N Load (Dan Dube, $10) and newly-minted millionaire Likeabatoutahell (George Brennan, $13.40). Rock N Load, involved at the start from post position No. 3, made the lead around Classy Lane Rose (Jason Bartlett) after a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Dawn's Legacy (Jordan Stratton) was third, with 11-10 choice, last week's winner Rock N Soul (Brennan), away fourth. That one, caught wide early, was on the move again at the :56.1 intermission, while Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears) was second-over. Rock N Load was maintaining her lead in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, up a length tuning for home. Royal Cee Cee N launched her wide bid, buy could not reached, missing by a half-length in 1:53.4. Third went to Classy Lane Rose, with Dawn's Legacy and Campanile rounding out the payees. Rock N Soul tired to last among the octet. For third choice Rock N Load, a 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover trained by Danny Gill for co-owners Edward Hall and James Hall Jr., it was her seventh win in 34 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $64.50, with the triple returning $440.50. The weekly trotting feature saw "Likeabat"--doing his bidding from post No. 6--worked out a second-over trip. He watched early as a threesome--Somebody AS (Mark MacDonald), 3-2 favorite Zooming (Bartlett) and Brando's Muscle Man (Eric Goodell)--had designs on leaving. Soon after a double-parked "Brando" made the lead (:27.2 quarter), Somebody AS broke. That one caught back to race first-over, with Likeabatoutahell slipping out from sixth. It was Brando's Muscle Man finding a 57-second half and 1:26.1 three-quarters, but he was about done in and out of the final turn. Likeabatoutahell was widest and fastest in 1:56. Melady's Monet (Stratton) was a cone-skimming second--beaten a length-and-quarter--with Zooming, Watkins (Sears) and a recovering Somebody AS settling for the remainder. "Brando" tired to eight and last. For fourth choice Likeabatoutahell, a 10-year-old S J's Caviar gelding trained by Trond Smedshammer for owner-breeder Michael Andrew, he's now 6-for-29 this season (40-for-165 lifetime with earnings of $1,005,393) The exacta paid $123, the triple returned $363 and the superfecta paid $2,183.50. Saturday features eliminations for both the Messenger Stakes and Lady Maud, premier events for 3-year-old pacers. The former, final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, has a pair of five-horse, $40,000 elims. The latter offers a pair of seven-horse, $20,000 elims. Finals, worth $450,000 (Messenger) and $176,684 (Maud), are both scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2. Also note that since no one took down Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's rendition (50-cent base wager, races 5 through 9) offers a $10,000 guaranteed pool. 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. by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 22, 2013--A total of 10 3-year-olds--eight colts and two geldings--were entered for Yonkers Raceway's Messenger Stakes, final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. The 58th Messenger offers a total purse of $530,000. The number means the event--final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown--necessitated eliminations for the first time since 2007. A pair of $40,000 elims (races 6 and 7 on the 13-race card) go this Saturday, with the first four finishers in each returning for the Saturday, Nov. 2, final, worth its guaranteed $450,000 purse. First elim (with declared drivers)...1-Lonewolf Currier (Brian Sears), 2-Dedi's Dragon (George Brennan), 3-Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras), 4-Ronny Bugatti (Brennan also listed), 5-Good Day Mate (Sears also listed) Second elim (with declared drivers) ...1-Lucan Hanover (Dave Miller), 2-Bet the Moon (Brennan), 3-Twilight Bonfire (Ron Pierce), 4-Odds On Equuleus (Sears), 5-Word Power (Brennan also listed) Lucan Hanover and Ronny Bugatti are the geldings. The companion event, the $218,684 Lady Maud Pace, attracted 14 3-year-old fillies. It, too, requires eliminations--two, $20,000 races (Nos. 4 and 5) this Saturday--with the first four in each returning for the $178,684 final, also Saturday, Nov. 2. First elim (with declared drivers)...1-Somwherovrarainbow (Sears), 2-Social Scene (Brennan), 3-Charisma Hanover (Gingras) 4-Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube), 5-Parlee Beach (Brennan also listed), 6-Zinderella (Jordan Stratton) and 7-Certified Ideal (Jim Pantaleano). Note that Social Scene and Parlee Beach shall race as a Casie Coleman-trained (part-owner of Social Scene) entry. Second elim (with declared drivers)...1-Live Entertainment (Pierce), 2-Scandalous Hanover (Dave Miller), 3-Aunt Caroline (Scott Zeron), 4-Jerseylicious (Corey Callahan), 5-Antigua Hanover (Jason Bartlett), 6-Summertime Lea (Brennan) and 7-Bettor Think Twice (Tim Tetrick). Scandalous Hanover was a $15,000 supplemental entrant. Note that program changes for Saturday's card are to made Wednesday morning. 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. by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway  

The final drivers have been announced for the 68th Little Brown Jug. In the second elimination David Miller has selected Lucan Hanover (post #4). Beach Memories (post #5) will have the services of Yannick Gingras. Urbanite Hanover (post #7) will be driven by Ron Pierce. In the final $58,939 elimination, Andy Miller will stay with Johny Rock (post #4) allowing Corey Callahan to pick up the drive with Resistance Futile (post #2). Jug Undercard Filled with Millionares Six millionares are scheduled to compete in the LBJ undercard on Thursday, September 19. A Rocknroll Dance with career earnings of $2.411,629 is the richest of the millionares. He will take on Pet Rock ($1,632, 397) in the $51,250 Winbak Farm Pace. Pet Rock established a new world record of 1:47 2/5 in his last start in the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs. The win snaped A Rocknroll Dance's three race win streak, all in 1:47 4/5 or better. The $125,000 Ms. Versitility Trot Final will be a showdown between Maven ($1,148,219), Cedar Dove ($1,101,080) and Beatgoeson Hanover ($1,123,580). Fred And Ginger is the lone millionare in the $10,000 Won The West Open pace. A Look Back 50 years at Overtrick, winner of the 1963 LBJ In 1963, Overtrick won the Little Brown Jug against arch rivals Meadow Skipper and Country Don setting seven World Records. Now, 50 years later, Overtrick was enshrined as an Immortal in Harness Racing’s Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY. The bay son of Solicator was bred and owned by Helen R. and Leonard J. Buck of Far Hills, NJ. Foaled in 1960, he was trained and driven by John Patterson, Sr. Overtrick raced from 1962 through 1964 and had a lifetime record of 50-34-10-0 including 15 two-minute miles and career earnings of $407,483. He was also voted "Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year" in 1962 and "Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year" in 1963. In 1962, no two-year-old Standardbred had a faster race time on a mile track than Overtrick’s 1:59.4 (tied with Meadow Skipper) and he was sole owner of the fastest two-year-old mile on a half-mile track (2:01.3). Winning efforts that year included the Little Pat Stake, McMahon Memorial and Ohio Standardbred Futurity at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. He finished his freshman season with a 16-10-3-0 record and $40,129 in earnings. In 1963, Overtrick became the fastest Standardbred to ever race on a half-mile track. His 1:57.1 mark in the first heat of the Little Brown Jug would help set seven World Records including the combined two-heat World Record of 3:54.4h. Other wins during his sophomore season included the Liberty Bell, Battle of Saratoga, Hanover-Hempt, Geers and Messenger Stakes. Overtrick finished his sophomore campaign with a 23-16-4-0 record and earnings of $208,833, the most ever for a 3-year-old pacer in a single season. Overtrick finished second to trotting triple crown winner, Speedy Scot in the voting for "Horse of The Year" in 1963. In 1964, Overtrick garnered season’s records for four-year-old horse on both a mile track (1:57.2) and half-mile track (1:59.1). Victories that year included the Realization Pace, International Pace (defeating the Immortal Cardigan Bay at 1 ½ miles) and the 1 ¼ mile Empire Pace. Despite being plagued by various injuries, he finished the season with an 11-8-3-0 record and $158,521 in the bank. Overtrick retired from the track as the ninth-leading money-winning Standardbred of all time. With each season, Overtrick’s winning and in-the-money percentages increased. As a two-year-old his winning percentage was 63 per cent and was in-the-money 81 per cent. As a three-year-old, 70 per cent and 87 per cent, and as a four-year-old, in spite of injuries which led to his premature retirement, his winning percentage was 73 per cent and was first or second in all 11 starts. Overtrick’s lifetime winning percentage of 68 percent compares topped several of his Immortal contemporaries, such as Meadow Skipper (44 per cent), Cardigan Bay (54 per cent in U.S.), and Bye Bye Byrd (52 per cent). Overtrick retired to stud at Lana Lobell Farm in Pennsylvania. He sired winners of over $22 million with one in 1:55—Shadydale Trixie, p,6, 1:54.3 $255,223—and 81 in 2:00. But his legacy was through his daughters. He was a top broodmare sire with over 600 two-minute credits. His daughters have produced winners of over $68 million, including Falcon Seelster p,3,1:51h ($1,121,045) and trotter Sandy Bowl 4,T1:54.1 ($1,299,199). Overtrick is the sire of Gidget Lobell, dam of No Nukes p,3,T1:52.1. In 1975, Overtrick was exported to Australia where he died in 1982 at the age of 22. Tom White, Publicity Director Emeritus

Yonkers Racetrack management has increased the appeal of its most important harness racing stakes beginning in 2013 by guaranteeing final purses in the open divisions, slashing entrance fees for colt and filly races by more than half, and reducing the sustaining payments by 50% to these events.

Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald) prevailed from the pocket Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $415,820 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

All Star Racing's Bolt The Duer ($6.00) and harness racing driver Mark MacDonald came off the cover of Pet Rock (George Brennan) and through the passing lane to post a one-length victory in the $415,820 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday evening.

A harness racing report on the second major Standardbred yearling sale of the year and a look back on the effects of Hurricane Sandy on farms and training centers in New Jersey are the top items on this week's edition of "Eye on Harness Racing," the U.S. Trotting Association's weekly video news magazine.

Prior to the draw for Saturday's (November 9) $415,820 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers at Yonkers Raceway, trainer Ron Burke said he would "love our chances" if his horse Hillbilly Hanover drew an inside post. After getting post No. 1, Burke will get to see if Hillbilly Hanover can take advantage and get his first victory of the harness racing season.

Pet Rock, already with a Yonkers Raceway stakes-record performance on his harness racing resume, was made the early favorite for his return to Westchester for Saturday night's (November 10) $415,820 Messenger Stakes. The final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown goes as the eighth race on the 13-race wagering card (first post 7:10 PM, approximate stakes post time 9:35 PM).

Hillbilly Hanover, who hasn't won a race all season, won the draw for Saturday night's (November 10) 57th edition of Yonkers Raceway's Messenger Stakes for harness racing's 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Eight harness racing 3-year-olds--seven colts and a gelding---have been entered for Yonkers Raceway's Messenger Stakes, final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown.

Cal Expo is sad to report the passing of Lloyd Arnold on Sunday. He was 82. In addition to being a prominent harness racing owner, Mr. Arnold operated the former Golden Bear Raceway in Sacramento and also bought Los Alamitos in the late 1980s, eventually selling the track to his partner Edward Allred.

Roll With Joe, the New Jersey Standardbred Horse of the Year for 2011, is a 21st century harness racing champion with his own website and Facebook page.

Roll With Joe (Ron Pierce) surprised no-one Saturday night (November 12) , winning Yonkers Raceway's $401,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-olds. In his harness racing retirement soiree, "Joe" rolled, romping in the 56th edition of the final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown by eight widening lengths in 1:52.4.

Roll With Joe, the richest harness racing horse in North America this season. was made the 3-5 morning-line favorite from post position No. 3 for Yonkers Raceway's Messenger Stakes.

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