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Stay Hungry has now won two of the three jewels of harness racing’s Triple Crown for pacers and Six Pack won the Triple Crown jewel, the Yonkers Trot, to headline an actioned packed card at Yonkers Raceway. In the seventh race $500,000 Messenger Stakes for three-year-old pacers it was Babes Dig Me and driver George Brennan getting the early lead, but driver Doug McNair had Stay Hungry on the move and they took command by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Coming around the second turn, driver Louis Philippe Roy came first-over from fourth place with Jimmy Freight and took off after Stay Hungry and that became a dogfight going to the half mile in :55.3 as McNair would not let Roy get by him. Those two continued their battle down the backstretch to the three-quarters in 1:23 and in the stretch Jimmy Freight tried but could not catch Stay Hungry who went on to win by a neck over Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian (Jim Morrill, Jr.) was third. It was the fourth win in ten starts for Stay Hungry, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, trained by Tony Alagna and owned by Bradly Grant of Milton, ON and the Estate of Irwin Samelman of Las Vegas, NV. He paid $7.80 to win. “The front end is usually not his forte,” Doug McNair said of Stay Hungry. “But he did it tonight. He’s very relaxed, you can drive him with two fingers. Tony (Alagna) does such a great job training him. “The last 16th we were both tired,” McNair said. “We had gone head and head for a half mile or so and in that last 16th my horse was lucky to hold on.” “It may not be his forte to go on the front end,” Alagna said. “But I knew he (Stay Hungry) could handle a half mile.  After he won the Cane Pace it was a no-brainer that we were going after the Triple Crown, that’s why we brought him here tonight. “Cat Manzi, who works for me,” Alagna explained,” brought him here a week before the eliminations and trained him so we had his gear set to go. He did a great job helping me get him ready.” Alagna said they would discuss whether to take Stay Hungry up north to Toronto for the Simcoe Stake next week or just give him a rest before going for the final jewel of the pacing triple crown, the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio on Thursday, September 20. Stay Hungry Stay Hungry Interview Six Pack easy winner in $500,000 Yonkers Trot Six Pack and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt were able to score a seven and three-quarters length romp in capturing the 64th edition of the Yonkers Trot, the second leg of harness racing’s Trotting Triple Crown, Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The purse was $500,000. It was Lindsey’s Pride and driver Marcus Miller who shot out to the early lead and parked out Six Pack and Svanstedt to the opening quarter mile in :28.4. Once on the lead, Six Pack was on cruise control for Svanstedt, holding the field at bay past the half mile in :58.1. Heading to the backstretch, Helpisontheway (Jim Morrill, Jr.) came first-over with Maxus (Mark MacDonald) second over. In the backstretch, Svanstedt opened up on the field with Six Pack at the three-quarters in 1:26.3 and they went on to win with ease in 1:54. Helpisontheway was second with Lindsey’s Pride third. The time of the race was the fastest Yonkers Trot ever at the track. It was the sixth win in nine starts this year for Six Pack, who paid just $2.50 to win. The son of Muscle Mass is co-owned by Ake Svanstedt with Little E LLC of NY, Stall Kalmar of Sweden and Lars Berg of DE. “The good horses (Six Pack) are good at age 2 and get better at age 3.” Svanstedt said. “The horse to beat was #1 (Helpisontheway). I was not worried about the horse in front of me early. “Now we (Six Pack) have two New York Sire Stakes to race in to make the final,” Svanstedt said. “Then we will supplement to the Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile.” Six Pack World Record tied in $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot   The fourth race Hudson Filly Trot Final for three-year-old’s saw Plunge Blue Chip, the 1/5 betting favorite and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt barely hold off Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) by a long nose in 1:53.1. The clocking was not only the all age track record at Yonkers, but it also tied the world record set in 2013 by Frau Blucher. The previous all age track record at Yonkers was set by Quick Deal at 1:53.2 in 2013. Svanstedt left quickly from post one with Plunge Blue Chip and held the field at bay through quarters of :27.3; :55.3 and 1:23.2 before Miller was able to catch up with Supergirl Riley in the two-hole. Supergirl Riley made it a horse race down the stretch but Plunge Blue Chip had just enough left to win it at the wire. Lucky Ave (Daniel Dube) was third. It was the fourth win in nine starts this year for Plunge Blue Chip, a daughter of Muscle Mass. She is co-owned by Svanstedt of Wrightowns, NJ, Blue Chip Bloodstock, NY, Tomas Anderson, Sweden and Rick Zeron of ON. She paid $2.50 to win. “She had been pulling too much the first half,” Svanstedt said. “So, we made some changes. She is very well gaited so that is why she does so well on smaller tracks. She is very good now.” Favorite wins $112,904 Lady Maud Pace The fifth race Lady Maud Final for three-year-old pacing fillies started out with Better Than Happy and driver Joe Bongiorno taking the early lead from the rail with 1/5 favorite Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill, Jr,) sitting right on their backs to the opening quarter mile in :27.4. They raced Indian-style to the half mile in :57.1 when Jewels Forreal and driver George Brennan started up first-over with Majorette Angie (Brian Sears) following second-over. Once in the backstretch, Morrill pulled from the pocket and barely got out in front of Jewels Forreal and Alexis Faith cleared to the lead past the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Opening up two lengths on the field, Alexis Faith and Morrill cruised to the wire, holding off a late charge by Solitary (Jim Marohn, Jr.) to win by a half length in 1:53.4. Jewels Forreal was third. Sired by American Ideal, Alexis Faith is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by the West Wins Stable and Jim Fielding of ON, J Robert Darrow of OH and Kevin McKinlay of ON. She paid $2.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, N.Y. – Rene Allard admits Springsteen can be a complicated horse to deal with and the challenge is reflected in the colt’s results. His sophomore season has been a mix of impressive miles and dull efforts. He won the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial and two divisions of New York Sire Stakes, but came up flat in the Carl Milstein, Adios, and Art Rooney Pace.  Allard looks to make amends for the Rooney loss when he sends Springsteen out in the $500,000 Messenger Stakes Saturday night (Sept. 1), slated as race seven on a stakes-laden card. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven drew the inside while rival Jimmy Freight landed post eight. “We’re happy with the season. Obviously, he threw a couple clinkers, there’s a couple races I wish he would have shown up better,” Allard said. “The final of the Art Rooney, he tied up that start and then the start at Northfield. Other than that, he’s a nice horse, he’s got high speed. We’re happy with him.” Springsteen suffers from tying up when he trains too hard and deals with trying conditions, like long trips to the races and drastic changes in the weather. He can also be a difficult horse to drive. All these factors converged two starts back in the Milstein. After shipping all the way to Ohio, Springsteen choked in the race when Lather Up broke to his outside on the second turn. “He had some tying up issues and he choked. (Lather Up) made a break and he shut his air off. He’s a real tricky horse,” Allard said. “When he sees the gate, he gets a little grabby and sometimes he shuts his air off. When he shuts his air off, that’s it, the race is over. That’s why the drivers have to be a little careful with him.  “If he doesn’t tie up and doesn’t shut his air off, he’s probably as good as any 3-year-old colt out there,” Allard continued. “So, we just kind of keep our fingers crossed that everything goes good and have the equipment on him to control him and so far, 90 percent of the time it’s been working out.” Everything worked out in the Hempt Final at Pocono Downs June 30. Springsteen followed the cover of Hitman Hill and Lather Up as Dorsoduro Hanover paced through a :53.1 opening half-mile. Simon Allard tugged on the right line before the three-quarters and Springsteen charged three-wide. He circled Lather Up past a 1:20.2 panel, the 1-9 favorite off his North America Cup and Hempt elimination wins offering no resistance.  Allard drove Springsteen confidently into the stretch, the colt drifting wide and the driver still holding the whip over his shoulder as he leaned flat in the bike. Allard finally went to the whip in the final sixteen as Nutcracker Sweet shot through up the passing lane and put a head in front. Allard sat up in the bike and gave Springsteen a pair of right-handers and the colt extended, edging his nose in front just as the glow of the finish line lights appeared. He registered a head win in 1:48.3. “He’s definitely got high speed and he’s a nice horse and it’s been a very fun ride, for sure,” Allard said. Allard bought Springsteen with Bruce Soulsby midway through his 2-year-old season. After watching Springsteen use a :26.1 final quarter to finish second in a Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk last September for Chris Ryder, Allard and Soulsby finally came to an agreement to purchase the horse during the Grand Circuit meet at the Red Mile, adding partners Alan Weisenberg and Kapildeo Singh.  Springsteen finished seventh in the International Stallion Stakes in Lexington Oct. 7, but the June 2 foal kept on improving. He registered his first win in a $12,000 maiden at Pocono Oct. 22 and won the Matron at Dover in his next start. Springsteen capped his freshman year with a win in the Governor’s Cup elimination and a seventh in the final after being parked the mile. “We watched him finish second in the Metro Pace elimination and he came a huge last quarter. That’s when he caught my eye and I was talking to Bruce Soulsby about it and we ended up making a deal in Lexington. Chris Ryder did a tremendous job training him down and getting him ready,” Allard said. “I don’t see why he wouldn’t keep on going and keep on improving. Last year, toward the end of the year he just kept getting better and better.” Springsteen finished a distant second to Jimmy Freight in his Messenger elimination last week, pacing a 1:51.2 mile and finishing 3 ¾ lengths behind the latter’s track-record effort. Off a 14-day break since his Milstein effort, Allard was happy with the trial. “He was first-over to a horse that was just unbelievable. That was a huge mile, off 14 days and we don’t do a lot with him between races,” Allard said. “He’s one of those that you can’t train real hard between races, so I expect him to be a little better this week. I think he should be tighter. We just kind of keep him on his routine, light work every day. We don’t work him real hard, just kind of steady all week. No hard, fast miles, a lot of slow miles.” Springsteen already won the Messenger post position draw. Although Springsteen typically doesn’t show early speed, Allard loves the prospect of starting along the pylons while Jimmy Freight will start from the far outside. Last week’s other elimination winner, Babes Dig Me, drew post five while the other runner-up, JK Wildfire, drew post four. Stay Hungry will try to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive from post six. Winston, Topville Olympian, and Nutcracker Sweet complete the lineup. “Everything kind of has to go his way, but he has high speed and I think he’s in a good spot there. He’s got the rail, the best horse has the eight hole. I think the draw could not work any better,” Allard said. “Brian (Sears) is going to have to work his magic. Of all the drivers at Yonkers, Brian is one of if not the best ones and I have a lot of confidence in him, so I’m going to let him do his thing.” Saturday’s card also features the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-olds in race six where Six Pack is favored over Helpisontheway. Lindsey`s Pride, Lindy`s Big Bang, Maxus, Mississippi Storm, Tito, and The Veteran will try to upend the favorites. The filly companions to the Messenger and Yonkers Trot, the $129,014 Hudson Trot and $122,904 Lady Maud Pace go as races four and five, respectively. The night’s $44,000 Open Handicap Pace goes to post in race eight and features Bit Of A Legend and Evenin Of Pleasure. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

After a track-record performance in his Messenger Stakes elimination last week, Jimmy Freight will need to overcome the most unfavorable harness racing starting position at Yonkers Raceway -- post No. 8 -- in Saturday's $500,000 final. While that presents a degree of uncertainty regarding the colt's prospects in the race, owner Adriano Sorella is hopeful his horse possesses the skills to get the job done. Jimmy Freight, who won his Messenger elimination in 1:50.3 to become the fastest 3-year-old pacing colt in the track's history, will have regular driver Louis-Philippe Roy in the sulky for trainer Andrew Harris and is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Horses win from post eight at Yonkers at a rate of 4.1 percent. Posts one-through-five at the half-mile oval produce winners at a minimum 15.4-percent clip. "What are you going to do? You draw the eight-hole, you draw the eight-hole," Sorella said. "I'm not thrilled about it, but Louis knows what he's doing and the horse has been super, super sharp. He's a great half-mile horse and we know he can come from off the pace. We'll see how it plays out this weekend." Sorella, who paid $30,000 to supplement Jimmy Freight to the Messenger, would like to see the open draw for eliminations winners eliminated in the future. A number of stakes finals already permit the connections of elim winners to pick post positions for the final or allow elim winners to draw for inside positions prior to the open draw for the remainder of the field. "I knew going into (the Messenger) that it was an open draw, so it's not like it was a big shock to me," Sorella said. "I don't think you should be able to pick your post, but I think elimination winners should draw one-through-five, or something along those lines. If you want competitive eliminations, the elimination winners should get compensated in some way. "I know people will say it's only because we drew the eight-hole, but we've had this conversation all year when we've talked about these half-mile tracks." The Messenger is one of four stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday at Yonkers. The card also includes the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, which is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, as well as the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot and $112,904 Lady Maud. Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT) with the stakes events going in succession -- Hudson, Lady Maud, Yonkers Trot, Messenger -- as races four through seven. Stay Hungry, who won the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown, the Cane Pace, will start the Messenger from post six. The final jewel in the Crown, the Little Brown Jug, is Sept. 20 at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio. Springsteen, who drew post one, is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, followed by Stay Hungry at 4-1. Babes Dig Me, who won the other Messenger elimination in 1:52.2, is 8-1 from post five. Jimmy Freight, a son of Sportswriter out of Allamerican Summer who was born in Iowa and raced the early part of his career in the Hawkeye State, has won 15 of 25 career races and hit the board a total of 24 times. He has earned $519,274, with all but $6,120 coming since Sorella bought the colt in July 2017. Jimmy Freight won twice in Ontario last year and finished second in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship. He was lightly staked to races at the beginning of this season, leaving Sorella to supplement if he wanted to see Jimmy Freight compete in some of the sport's big events. Sorella paid $61,690 to get Jimmy Freight into the Meadowlands Pace and the horse finished in a dead-heat third in his elimination and fourth in the final. If Jimmy Freight wins the Messenger, he would be eligible to supplement to the Little Brown Jug in September. "We knew he would be good, we just didn't know how good he would be," Sorella said. "Training back, he was in Anthony Beaton's barn. I asked him what he thought when it came time for staking. I watched him train down and he looked good to me. I think we were a little more concerned about the horses coming back that were so strong at (age) 2 that we kind of left him out of a little bit and staked him more toward the end of the year. That kind of bit me. "It's been a fun ride, but it could have been a lot cheaper, that's for sure. But at the end of the day the horse deserves to be in those races and he's showed us that he's one of the top 3-year-olds. This is why you buy horses and you race them, to try to get a good one like this. When you have one, you don't want to think twice about some of the stuff you want to do with them. You want to go to those races so you're not kicking yourself afterwards for not trying." Jimmy Freight's wins this year include four divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes and a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. He finished third to older rivals Sintra and McWicked in the Gold Cup, where he rallied from eighth place with a :26.3 final quarter-mile. "Maybe he shouldn't have been in there, but we put him in there anyway to give him a race," Sorella said. "He was trying the whole way and closing hard. I like the fact that he's got gate speed or can come from behind. We've seen him on the lead, but some of his better races have come from off the pace. "This horse has got a big heart and nothing really fazes him. He went a big mile the other night. We knew it was coming because he likes the half and he's a pretty handy horse. I don't know if we've seen the bottom to him yet, but I don't think we have." Following is the field for the Messenger in post-position order. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Springsteen-Brian Sears-Rene Allard-3/1 2-Winston-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-20/1 3-Topville Olympian-Jim Morrill Jr.-Chris Oakes-7/1 4-JK Wildfire-Jason Bartlett-Brett Pelling-7/1 5-Babes Dig Me-George Brennan-Tony Alagna-8/1 6-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-4/1 7-Nutcracker Sweet-Jordan Stratton-Jimmy Takter-20/1 8-Jimmy Freight-Louis Roy-Andrew Harris-5/2  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 29, 2018-With Yonkers Raceway's featured half-million-dollar stakes races contested consecutively this Saturday night (Sept. 1st), handicappers having to chance to combine the pair. Yonkers is offering a special 'Triple Crown Daily Double,' comprised of Yonkers Trot No. 64 (6th race) and the 63rd Messenger Stakes (7th race). The final program pages for all four Saturday stakes (adding Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot) accompanies this release. First post for the dozen-race card is the evening norm of 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 29, 2018--In conjunction with the finals of the two Triple Crown race, the Yonkers Trot and the Messenger Stakes on Saturday and the Yonkers Raceway's inaugural French-American Trotting Club Series, the Empire Terrace shall be open on Saturday night and will offer a brunch buffet this Sunday (Sept. 2nd). The Terrace opens at 11:30 AM Sunday in advance of that afternoon's first post of 12:15 PM. The Raceway's French guests, as well as horsemen, owners and fans, can watch the races while enjoying 'themed' delicacies including French toast, Coq au Vin, Ratatouille, Enchaud Perigourdin pork loins, pasta with lobster meat in a cream sauce, an omelette station and other selections. The cost for the buffet is $24.95 per person (plus tax and gratuities), though there is no charge for participants in the French-American Trotting Club, courtesy of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. For reservations, please call (914) 457-2457. Please note that Trotting Club members are also requested to use the number to make their reservations. As a reminder, the Terrace is also open Saturday night (Sept. 1st) for the Raceway's pair of half-million-dollar Triple Crown events, the 64th Yonkers Trot and 63rd Messenger Stakes. Use the above number for reservations. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

This Week: Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby, Simcoe Stakes, and Champlain Stakes, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: A busy holiday weekend of Grand Circuit action is led by a pair of Triple Crown events at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 1). The Hilltop oval will host the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters and the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers. These races will be the second legs in the Triple Crown for their respective gaits. Also on the Saturday program will be the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-olds and the $112,904 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk commences on Thursday (Aug. 30) with three divisions in the C$202,476 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 31) program is highlighted by three divisions in the C$209,321 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and a single $153,996 division in the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (Sept. 1) program features the C$651,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters and the C$600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on the program will be a single division in the C$169,183 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Complete entries for the races at Yonkers are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Hambletonian Oaks champion Manchego delivered a stunning 1:51.4 stakes record performance to defeat Hambletonian champion Atlanta in Friday's (Aug. 24) $103,360 Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The superstar fillies were squaring off for the first time in 2018 and went off as co-favorites at odds of 4-5 in a field of 10. Manchego delivered a stunning 1:51.4 stakes record performance to defeat Atlanta in the Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras left strong from post eight, while Atlanta and driver Scott Zeron showed their usual early speed from post three. Driver Trevor Henry decided to mix things up by firing longshot Smoke And Mirrors towards the lead and kept Manchego out going around the first turn, as Zeron took back to settle third. The Jimmy Takter trained Manchego cleared to the top just strides after leading by three-quarters of a length at the opening quarter in :27.3. The Hambletonian Oaks champion continued to trot strong for the next eighth of a mile before Gingras tapped the breaks to grab a comfortable :28.4 second quarter. Atlanta was angled from the three-hole heading into the far turn, while Gingras and Manchego began to ramp up the tempo. Smoke And Mirrors gapped in the two-hole, which allowed Zeron to drop in with Atlanta and power up for the stretch battle. Manchego reached three-quarters in 1:24.1 with a 1-1/2 length lead on Atlanta. In the stretch, Manchego continued her powerful ways and didn't allow Atlanta to get any closer than her wheel. The Takter trainee trotted a :27.3 final quarter to defeat Atlanta by 1-3/4 lengths in a Canadian record equaling 1:51.4. Sorceress Seelster, who sat fourth most of the mile, finished 11 lengths back in third, while Blonde Magic was 12 lengths behind the winner in fourth. Friday's matchup between Manchego and Atlanta was months in the making. Manchego entered the season as the top filly after an undefeated rookie campaign. Atlanta made an immediate impact to start her sophomore season and eventually successfully took on the boys in the Hambletonian, while Manchego beat the fillies in the Oaks. "Everybody was talking about Atlanta and rightfully so, she's a great filly too, but I never lost confidence in mine and all along I thought I had the best filly," said Gingras following the victory. "It's just one matchup; they'll meet up again many times, but my filly was super strong tonight." A daughter of Muscle Hill, Manchego improved to 18 wins and nearly $1.4 million earned in 21 career starts for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. She has now won six of nine this season and remains undefeated in three starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Rick Zeron trainee Atlanta suffered just her second loss in eight starts this season. The Chapter Seven filly's only prior defeat was a second in the first heat of the Hambletonian, which she followed up with an impressive victory in the final. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 748.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 730.5; 3. David Miller - 429.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 315; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 672.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 554; 3. Tony Alagna - 358; 4. Jim Campbell - 226; 5. Erv Miller - 220. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 148; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 143; 3. Fashion Farms - 139; 4. Brittany Farms - 122.4; 5. Robert Key - 120. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Scioto Downs, and Tioga Downs. Woodbine Mohawk will feature eliminations of the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old pacers and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old pacers; Scioto will host the Jim Ewart Memorial for older pacers and the Jug Preview for 3-year-old pacers; and Tioga Downs will feature a leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 27, 2018-Post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway's two, half-million-dollar Triple Crown events, Saturday night's (Sept. 1st) 64th Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes No. 63. The Trot, which required no elimination races, goes as the sixth of a dozen races (first post 6:50 PM). The draw yielded a nearly-complete alphabetical order...1-Helpisontheway (s, Jim Morrill Jr.), 2-Lindsey's Pride (g, Marcus Miller), 3-Lindy's Big Bang (g, Dexter Dunn), 4- Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt), 5-Maxus (Mark MacDonald), 6-Mississippi Storm (g, Jason Bartlett), 7- Tito (Bartlett also listed), 8-The Veteran (Jordan Stratton). [g- gelding. s-$30,000 supplemental entrant] The Messenger saw an original list of 11 entrants whittled down to the finale octet. The open draw turned Jimmy Freight (Louis-Philippe Roy)-he of the scorched-earth 1:50.3 romp in the second of last Saturday night (Aug. 25th) two $40,000 eliminations-into Jimmy (Fr)eight-hole, starting outside his seven rivals. Owner Adriano Sorella's $30,000 supplemental entrant (the only buy-in this season) set a track record for his age group and went faster than any final of this race held here. The other elim winner, Babe Dig Me (George Brennan), did so in a life-hest 1:52.2. He drew post No. 5 for the final (7th race), which autodrew as such... 1-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 2-Winston (g, Corey Callahan), 3-Topville Olympian (g, Sears also listed), 4-JK Wildfire (g, Jason Bartlett), 5-Babes Dig Me (George Brennan), 6-Stay Hungry (Doug McNair), 7-Nutcracker Sweet (Jordan Stratton), 8-Jimmy Freight (s, Louis-Philippe Roy). [g- gelding. s-$30,000 supplemental entrant] Saturday night's card also includes the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot (4th race) & $112,904 Lady Maud Pace (5th race) , both for 3-year-old ladies. (this story shall be updated) by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 25, 2018- Owner Adriano Sorella paid $30,000 for the privilege of Jimmy Freight entering the 63rd Messenger Stakes. We're surmising the other connections would be glad pay at least twice that much the privilege of Jimmy Freight exiting the 63rd Messenger Stakes. That's because Jimmy Freight (Louis-Phillipe Roy, $3.30) made Yonkers Raceway his very own veranda Saturday night (Aug. 25th), rolling in an elimination race while setting a track record in the process. The second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown began with a pair of $40,000 elims, five- and six-horse fields to determine the eight finalists for next Saturday night's (Sept. 1st) half-million-dollar finale. 'Jimmy,' making his-and his driver's-local debut, made short work of the second soiree. From post position No. 4, he waltzed around Westchester (:27.4, :56.2, 1:23.4, 1:50.3) with the greatest of ease. That :26.4 kicker gave Jimmy Freight the track record for 3-year-old colts, a tick faster than Source of Pride (2013). Pole-sitting Springsteen (Brian Sears) was out from third down the backside, moved to within a length-and-three-quarters in the final turn before being rebuffed. Jimmy Freight widened to 3¾ lengths and a place in the annals. Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) tried his luck from off-the-pace, rallying for third without ever threatening. A loosely-pocketed Winston (Corey Callahan) wound up fourth, with Decoy (Mark MacDonald) and Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton) both outrun. For Jimmy Freight, a son of Sportswriter trained stateside by Andrew Harris, it was his eighth win in 13 seasonal starts (career earnings now over $519,000). The exacta paid $10, the triple returned $17.80 and the superfecta paid $50.50. "He's just perfectly suited for the half-mile track," Roy said. "I never had to pull the plugs. When we were in the third turn, he wanted to go even more." The opening elim for the Messenger saw polester Babes Dig Me (George Brennan, $6.30) retake from Topville Olympian (Sears), then hold both that one and a first-up JK Wildfire (Jason Bartlett) at bay (:26.3, 56.1, 1:24.3, life-best 1:52.2). Babes Dig Me defeated JK Wildfire by a hard-fought head, with Topville Olympian beaten a neck. The battle for fourth was equally interesting, as 7-10 favorite Nutcracker Sweet (Stratton) was poor but had just enough to photo longshot Wild Bill (Ray Schnittker). For second choice Babes Dig Me, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by Brad Grant, Joe Sbrocco, Robert Leblanc & In the Gym Partners and trained by Tony Alagna, he's now 2-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $58.50, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offer due to the abbreviated assemblage. "Cat Manzi, who works for Tony (Alagna) said I'd like him and he was right," Brennan said. "I learned he's handy and he can fight one off." The open draw is Monday afternoon (Aug. 27th) for the Sept. 1st card, featuring the Messenger, $500,000 Yonkers Trot No. 64 (second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown), the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot & $112,904 Lady Maud Pace. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by favored Scott Rocks (Eric Goodell, $6.40) in 1:52.1. As for Sears, he won twice Saturday night, bringing the milestone-in-waiting career count to 9,998. Sunday afternoon's (Aug. 26th), latest "French' foray offers a first post of 12:45 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – Driver Louis-Philippe Roy’s ride with Jimmy Freight to date has already been a fulfilling one. One of the first major stakes horses the Quebec native has traveled with, Jimmy Freight has taken the 28-year-old reinsman to the Meadowlands Pace and the Carl Milstein Memorial. The next step in the pacer’s journey, the $580,000 Messenger Stakes, brings Roy to Yonkers Raceway for the first time. “It’s nice to be racing on those tracks I used to watch on TV, and especially competing against those elite drivers,” Roy said. “Just meeting them was a big thing for me a few years ago, now racing against them is even bigger.” Roy became Jimmy Freight’s regular driver this spring when the colt entered Richard Moreau’s barn. The pair have registered seven wins together, including a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes at Mohawk and four splits of Ontario Sire Stakes. Jimmy Freight is 14-for-24 lifetime with $499,274 earned. “Jimmy is the easiest horse to drive, he can do whatever you want,” Roy said. “In front, off the pace, he doesn’t care, it’s the race that dictates the kind of trip will be the best for him, so that gives me more options and make my job easier.” Although versatile, most of Jimmy Freight’s success has come on the front end. He’s led gate-to-wire in four of his wins this season, including a 1:48.3 lifetime best at Mohawk August 4. The blazing mile came as no surprise to his driver. “He went a lot of fast miles against the OSS colts without needing any urging before, so I figured he could go that kind of speed if asked,” he said. Jimmy Freight wasn’t eligible to the North America Cup, but faced older pacers on the Cup undercard in the $100,000 Gold Cup. He came from 14 ¼ lengths out of it to finish third to Sintra and McWicked in 1:49 with a :26.3 final panel.  The Sportswriter son finished in a dead heat for third in his Meadowlands Pace Elimination July 7 and fourth in the final a week later, individually timed in 1:47.3. After two scores in Ontario Sire Stakes, including his 1:48.3 mile, Jimmy Freight went to Northfield Park for the Milstein. He set the pace there, but was caught in the final sixteenth by pocket-sitting Thinkbig Dreambig.  Roy is confident Jimmy Freight will register a Grand Circuit victory and thinks the Messenger is a prime opportunity to make the score. “I think he’s knocking at the door, I hope it’s going be his day soon,” Roy said. The Messenger drew 11 entrants, necessitating two $40,000 eliminations Saturday (August 25). The top four finishers in each elimination will advance to the final September 1. The rich Triple Crown card will also feature the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and the Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud Pace, each with an estimated $115,000 purse.  Jimmy Freight drew post four in the second Messenger elimination Saturday night. The 9-5 morning line favorite will meet Springsteen, a 5-2 shot from the inside post. The Rene Allard trained Rock N Roll Heaven colt finished seventh in the Milstein last out and won the Max Hempt at Pocono Downs in June. Stay Hungry won the Cane Pace on Hambletonian Day and looks to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive. He is 2-1 from post five with Doug McNair driving for Tony Alagna. Winston, Decoy, and Kwik Talkin complete the field. The first elimination features JK Wildfire, a 5-time winner this year who tries open stakes company for the first time this season. Jason Bartlett will drive for Brett Pelling. Babes Dig Me finished third in the Cane Pace and drew the rail for George Brennan and Alagna. Nutcracker Sweet was second in the Hempt and finished sixth in both the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace. Jordan Stratton will drive the Takter-trained Bettor’s Delight son from post five. Wild Bill and Topville Olympian complete the lineup. First post time Saturday is 6:50 p.m. The 12-race card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. For entries to the races, click here.  by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 22, 2018—We took a poll and decided there’s only one horse out there with a shot to win the Pacing Triple Crown. Take a bow, Stay Hungry. Having closed the sale in the $281,000 Cane Pace (life-best 1:47.3) during Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, Stay Hungry stays the course, invading Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Aug. 25th) for eliminations of the 63rd Messenger Stakes. Stay Hungry, a son of 2008 Messenger winner Somebeachsomewhere, drew penultimate post position No. 5 in the second, $40,000 elimination. The first four finishers in both elims (races 5 and 6) return for the $500,000 final Saturday night, Sept. 1st.  (Author’s aside…since there were only eight entrants for Yonkers Trot No. 64, no eliminations were necessary. That half-million-dollar final also goes Sept. 1st) With eight of the 11 participants coming back, the odds are in Stay Hungry’s favor. That said, he landed in by far the tougher division, opposing—among others—pole-sitting Springsteen and $30,000 buy-in Jimmy Freight, who starts directly inside of him. Stay Hungry has danced every dance this season, finishing fourth in the $760.000 final of the North America Cup (Woodbine Mohawk), fourth in the half-million-dollar finale of the Hempt Memorial (Pocono) and third in the $701,830 final of the Meadowlands Pace. Then came the Cane, where he watched wicked numbers in front of him before rallying from ninth at the three-quarters with a personal :25.4 last stanza. For the season, Stay Hungry has three wins and three thirds in eight starts ($363,530). Tony Alagna trains for co-owners Brad Grant and Irwin Samelman Estate. “High speed and easy on himself,” driver Doug McNair said. “Start him up and shut him down and he doesn’t fight with you.” McNair, who has driven Stay Hungry in all but one of his 17 career purse starts, knew right away his escort had the goods. “From the start, he beat a lot of the best horses.” Stay Hungry’s frosh season (9 starts, 6 wins, 1 seconds) was highlighted by a win the $600,000 final of the Breeders Crown at Hoosier (1:50.4). He ended 2017 with a nose defeat in the $411,700 Governor’s Cup (Meadowlands). As for the Westchester and half-mile-track debut of Stay Hungry, McNair has no concerns. “(Trainer) Tony (Alagna) sent him over last week with Cat Manzi to work him out, and Tony has always had him tight.” Stay Hungry is three weeks between starts for Saturday’s race, the same interval—as McNair noted—between the Meadowlands Pace and the Cane.   “I just want to see him pace hard through the wire,” McNair said. “Obviously, I think he has a good shot to win no matter how we race him, but just pace hard through the wire.” by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

After seeing Wild Bill suffer an injury at age 2 and from bleeding issues this year at 3, trainer Ray Schnittker hopes his colt is ready to turn the corner beginning in Saturday's eliminations for the Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway. Wild Bill, a full brother to Dan Patch Award-winner Huntsville, adds Lasix for his upcoming race following off-the-board finishes in his past two starts. For his career, he has won three of eight races and earned $58,391 for Schnittker, who bred Wild Bill with the late Charlie Iannazzo and remains the owner of the colt. "He hadn't been racing that well," Schnittker said. "We scoped him and he was bleeding pretty badly so we put him on Lasix. I think it's going to make a big difference. He trained very well on it and I think it'll be a factor. It seems like it really made a difference, but we're going to find out quickly on Saturday." The Messenger Stakes is the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. Stay Hungry won the first jewel, the Cane Pace, on Aug. 4 at The Meadowlands. The final jewel, the Little Brown Jug, is Sept. 20. Stay Hungry and Wild Bill were among 11 horses entered in the Messenger. The top-four finishers from each of Saturday's two $40,000 eliminations advance to the $500,000 final on Sept. 1 at Yonkers. Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT), with the Messenger eliminations as races five and six. Wild Bill won the first two races of his career -- including a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division that included future open-stakes-winners Nutcracker Sweet, Hayden Hanover, and Dorsoduro Hanover -- before consecutive fifth-place finishes that proved to be his final starts of the season. "He got a leg injury so we had to quit with him," Schnittker said. "He came back a hundred percent on that." Wild Bill is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Schnittker's mare Wild West Show, who has produced stakes-winners Stevensville, Cowboy Terrier, Beachesofcheyenne, and Huntsville. In 2016, Huntsville paced a world-record-equaling 1:49 mile and was named best 2-year-old male pacer. In 2017, he won the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace before retiring in October because of injury. His best win time of the season, 1:47.4, led all 3-year-old pacers. "He's definitely not Huntsville, but he's a pretty nice colt," Schnittker said about Wild Bill. "He's a lot smaller horse, but he's the same type of horse -- he wants to go. He's just nice to drive, two fingers and does everything right. He's a little smarter horse probably than Huntsville. I don't know if he's as fast. I think I'd rather have fast than smart." Wild Bill has a full stakes schedule ahead of him and Schnittker hopes the issues that have hampered the colt are things of the past. "If he can put it together here a little bit, I'd be tickled to death if he could hit the board in the final, we'll see what happens," said Schnittker, who will drive Wild Bill on Saturday. "I'd be surprised if he's not kind of right there. I'm looking for a strong second half of the year." Following are the fields for the eliminations of the Messenger. Jimmy Freight was supplemented for $30,000. First elimination: 1. Babes Dig Me, George Brennan, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 2. Wild Bill, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker, 12-1; 3. JK Wildfire, Jason Bartlett, Brett Pelling, 7-2; 4. Topville Olympian, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes, 3-1; 5. Nutcracker Sweet, Jordan Stratton, Jimmy Takter, 3-2. Second elimination: 1. Springsteen, Brian Sears, Rene Allard, 5-2; 2. Winston, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 8-1; 3. Decoy, Mark MacDonald, Jimmy Takter, 9-1; 4. Jimmy Freight, Louis Roy, Andrew Harris, 9-5; 5. Stay Hungry, Doug McNair, Tony Alagna, 2-1; 6. Kwik Talkin, Jordan Stratton, Rob Harmon, 20-1. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

This Week: Messenger eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation, Casual Breeze and Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and W.N. Reynolds Memorial divisions, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 25), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of the sport's pacing Triple Crown. The top four horses in each elimination will return for the $500,000 final on Sept. 1. Also on Saturday, Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature three divisions in the C$276,381 Nassagaweya for 2-year-old pacing colts, three divisions in the C$251,347 Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacing fillies and a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. On Friday (Aug. 24) Woodbine Mohawk will host a single C$136,000 division in the Casual Breeze for 3-year-old filly trotters. On Sunday (Aug. 26), Tioga Downs will card four sets of W.N. Reynolds Memorial events for freshman pacers and trotters of both sexes. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Met's Hall (Andy Miller) won an exciting $350,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-olds at Vernon Downs on Friday (Aug. 17). Met's Hall won by a nose in a personal best time of 1:52. Met's Hall ($27.60) went straight to the lead from the eight hole. He took the first quarter in :26.4. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) followed in the pocket with Manchego (Yannick Gingras) following along in third. Andy Miller slowed the second quarter to a crawl of :30.1 as Met's Hall hit the half in :57. Six Pack would pull the pocket just before the half. The two would then battle nose to nose and wheel to wheel all around the final turn. Neither horse would give an inch as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.2. Manchego, who was the only filly in the race, sat in third watching the other two battle it out around the turn. She then went three-wide at the top of the stretch. In an amazing stretch drive, Met's Hall would dig in and get ready for the late charge from Manchego. In the end Met's Hall would win by a nose in a personal best time of 1:52. Magnificent as she was, Manchego had to settle for second best. The gutsy Six Pack would finish third. Met's Hall is a 3-year-old colt by Cantab Hall. Trained by Julie Miller for owners Stroy Inc. and Andy Miller Stable Inc., it was his second win in six starts this season. He now owns seven career victories. Super Girl Riley (Marcus Miller) shocked the field in the $180,000 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The big favorite Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) carved out all the early fractions (:28, :57.2, 1:26.3). Basquiat (Yannick Gingras) followed in the pocket before going on a break at the three-quarter pole. Perfect Summer K (David Miller) would then inherit second. Super Girl Riley ($17.20) came first-over from third in the stretch. She ran down Plunge Blue Chip to win in a career best of 1:54.3. Plunge Blue Chip had to settle for second money. Perfect Summer K finished third. Owned by Paymaq Racing, George Golemes, and Harvey Eisman and trained by Erv Miller, the 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass won for the second time in 2018. It was her sixth career victory. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 703.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 693.5; 3. David Miller - 374.5; 4. Jordan Stratton - 288; 5. Corey Callahan - 273.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 660.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 504; 3. Tony Alagna - 271; 4. Erv Miller - 220; 5. Jim Campbell - 216. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 144.9; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 139.9; 3. Fashion Farms - 129; 4. Vonknoblauch Stable - 117; 5. Robert Key - 115. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway and Woodbine Mohawk Park. Yonkers will feature the Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud. Woodbine Mohawk will offer the Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 20, 2018-Yonkers Raceway's entry box Monday afternoon (Aug. 20th) offered up 3-year-olds-four colts and four geldings-for the 64th Yonkers Trot. The entry box also found 11 3-year-olds-eight colts and three-geldings-for Messenger Stakes No. 63. Thus, the second jewels of their respective Triple Crown find the Trot as a 'one-dash-for-the-cash' event, while the Messenger has a pair of $40,000 eliminations races this Saturday night (Aug. 25th). Alphabetically, here are the entrants for Yonkers Trot No. 64... Helpisontheway (s) Lindsey's Pride (g) Lindy's Big Bang (g) Maxus Mississippi Storm (g) Six Pack The Veteran Tito The Messenger's elims go as the fifth and sixth races Saturday night, having drawn as such... First elim-1-Babes Dig Me (Jordan Stratton), 2-Wild Bill (Ray Schnittker), 3-JK Wildfire (g, Stratton also listed), 4-Topville Olympian (g, Brian Sears), 5-Nutcracker Sweet (Stratton also listed). Second elim-1-Springsteen (Dave Miller), 2- Winston (g, Corey Callahan), 3-Decoy (Mark MacDonald), 4-Jimmy Freight (s, Louis-Philippe Roy), 5-Stay Hungry (Doug McNair), 6-Kwik Talkin' (Stratton). Note 'g' signifies gelding, while 's' is a $30,000 supplemental entrant. Both finals--$500,000 each-are scheduled for a week from Saturday night, Sept. 1st. They are accompanied by the companion events, the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot (six entrants) and the $112,904 Lady Maud Pace (eight entrants). By Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY --- World champion Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) withstood a late charge from two rivals to win the $540,000 Messenger Stake final for harness racing 3-year-old colt pacers in 1:52.1 on Saturday night (Sept. 2) at Yonkers Raceway by a nose. Sears completed the Messenger/Yonkers Trot double when he steered Top Flight Angel to victory by the very same margin in the aforementioned contest later on a card that also included the Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud Pace. Downbytheseaside and Sears got away from the gate to make the lead just past the :27.1 first quarter, with Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) tucked in behind. Those two led the field to the half in :56 and to the three-quarters in 1:24.1. They were still on top at the head of the stretch but a charge was developing from horses on both sides. Art Scene (Jordan Stratton) came charging on the inside late and was second and Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) was third on his outside. Downbyheseaside held them off to win by a nose. Downbytheseaside is owned by Country Club Acres, Sbrocco, Lombardo and Diamond Creek Farm; he’s trained by Brian Brown. “It’s a little different trip tonight,” said Sears. “He had the seven hole tonight so he had to do some decent work early. It’s a battle every week and there was a lot of speed in the race.” The win price was $2.10 on the 1-9 shot, there was no place or show wagering.  The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover improved his 2017 record to 12-8-1-2 and became the sport's latest millionaire with the victory. Downbytheseaside Yonkers Trot Top Flight Angel (Brian Sears) was a nose the best in the $580,000 Yonkers Trot in 1:56.3 for 3-year-olds. Devious Man and Andy Miller got away with the lead off the gate to hit the quarter mile mark in :28.4 and held that lead to the :58.4 half, with Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstadt) along the rail in second racing with a new Murphy Blind on the left side and Top Flight Angel in third. Devious Man was still on the lead at the 1:27.3 three-quarters, but there was a gathering storm behind him, with both Yes Mickey along the inside and Top Flight Angel on the outside. In the end it was a win by a nose for Top Flight Angel over Yes Mickey, with Devious Man in third. The win earns Top Flight Angel an automatic invitation for the Yonkers International, to be held Oct. 14 and improved his seasonal slate to 12-3-1-3. Top Flight Angel by Archangel is owned by Legendary Standardbred Farm of New York and trained by Julie Miller. “I was hoping Brian could get out of there from the two-hole,” said Miller. “It’s a huge accomplishment, Andy [her husband] and I work very hard and I’m glad Brian got it done.” “It wasn’t the way we drew it up but we got out of there the best we could,” said Sears. “I sat as long as I could but by the three-quarter pole, I was pretty happy. The horse went a great mile tonight.” Also part of the evening's events were the Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud Pace. Top Flight Angel Hudson Filly Trot Celebrity Ruth and driver Jason Bartlett took the direct route to the winners circle to win the $119,010 Hudson Filly Trot in wire to wire fashion by a 1-3/4 lengths in 1:56.3 on Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway.  Celebrity Ruth and Bartrlett hit every fraction on top,:28.1 to the quarter, :58.2 to the half and 1:27.2 to the three-quarters. In the last turn, Sunshine Delight and driver Brian Sears were poised on the outside of the eventual winner but that one went on a break and lost all chance. Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory) was along the rail behind the leader and held that position to the wire. Mamora Bay was third.  “Any size track fits her and last week we were disappointed in her race [she was fifth by three lengths in the Zweig filly race] but come to find out after the race she tied up,” said Bartlett. “So that’s the reason why she didn’t win last week. I’ve got to thank Trond, he drives most of the horses he trains, so I have to thank him for that.”  Celebrity Ruth by Archangel is trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by White Birch Farm.  Celebrity Ruth Lady Maud Pace The $113,880 Lady Maud for 3-year-old trotting fillies was won by a nose in 1:54 by World Apart and Jason Bartlett on Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The track was rated good after a steady rain earlier in the night.  World Apart charged out of the gate to briefly get the lead before being overtaken past the :27.1 quarter mile mark by Angel’s Pride (Matt Kakaley), who held the lead through the :56.1 half and the 1:24.3 three-quarters. As the field turned to the homestretch, Bartlett had World Apart off the rail and pressuring Angel’s Pride all the way down the stretch until she finally got a nose in front for the win. Angels Pride was second and Robin J was third.  World Apart by Art Major is owned by South Mountain Stables, Bay’s Stable, Little E Stable and Radio Racing Stable. Linda Toscano is the trainer.   Ella Christina was a late judges scratch in the race. It was announced that the scratch was due to a fall on the track scoring down prior to the race.  World Apart by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

YONKERS, N.Y. - When he last raced at Yonkers, Downbytheseaside won the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace May 27. The victory was his fourth in a row after capturing the Governor’s Cup at Woodbine to end his 2-year-old season, taking his 2017 harness racing debut in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and winning the Rooney Elimination May 20. Although he won as a heavy favorite in both his starts at Yonkers, Downbytheseaside had to earn it both times. In his elimination, Downbytheseaside made an early move after starting from post nine. Driver David Miller guided Downbytheseaside to the outside and tracked Funknwaffles in the second quarter. After Funknwaffles cleared the lead before the half, Downbytheseaside drove on the front past a :55.4 half before winning by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:52.2. In the final the following week, Downbytheseaside won by 3 1/4 in 1:52. “I expected the way they usually race at Yonkers where they line up and don’t race much till the end,” trainer Brian Brown said. “The two races I was in, they raced pretty hard the whole way. There was nothing given to him. He had to really earn it both weeks. “To win a race that’s named after the founder of the track, that’s always nice,” Brown continued. “Everybody does a great job making those races special. They were special to us to just be in them let alone have a chance to win them.” Since his Rooney victory, Downbytheseaside has traded blows with Huntsville and stablemate Fear The Dragon in a host of Grand Circuit stakes. Downbytheseaside finished third in the North America Cup after setting fractions of :25.2, :52.1, and 1:19.3, was fifth in the Max Hempt Final, second in the Meadowlands Pace, and third in the Cane Pace. In all those cases, Huntsville or Fear The Dragon took top honors. Downbytheseaside finally upended his stablemate last time out in the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park August 12. In a change of tactics, Brian Sears rated Downbytheseaside in fourth early as Fear The Dragon dictated the speed. Fear The Dragon paced a quarter in :27.1 and a half in :56. As the field raced into the second lap, Sears guided Downtheseaside first-over and quickly drew within a half-length of Fear The Dragon. David Miller pulled the plugs on Fear The Dragon, who kept Downbytheseaside at bay through three-quarters in 1:22.4. Entering the final turn, Miller had the whip of Fear The Dragon’s tail while Sears edged Downbytheseaside’s nose in front under a hand-drive. In the stretch, Downbytheseaside glided away from his competition to win by a length in 1:49.3. “He was really good that day,” Brown commented. “He’s had some feet trouble and that week leading up to that race, that horse was as good as he’s been all year. Never did he get lame in his feet, but his feet are always bothering him a little. He was really good that week. I don’t know what we did to him that much different. He was on the vibrating plate maybe more. He was extra good that night.” For Brown, seeing Downbytheseaside get the upper hand meant seeing his other horse, Fear The Dragon, suffer a loss. Although he wants both horses to do well, he was happy to see Downbytheseaside’s connections, Country Club Acre, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing, get a win. “I’m glad for that horse that he finally got to win a race like that. He was getting some pretty tough trips. Post position was killing him at times,” Brown said. “It’s hard to have both of those; you don’t want either one to lose. But he was just really good that night and it was good for him, good for the owners to finally win a race without being the one making all the speed and getting passed late. It was nice for him to race from behind and be able to win a race like that.” Downbytheseaside’s Milstein victory extended the son of Somebeachsomewhere’s perfect half-mile track record to four. He won a division of the Standardbred at the Delaware County Fair in a world record 1:50 at 2 before winning the Rooney elimination and final and the Milstein. Downbytheseaside also went his first two qualifying trips at Delaware as a 2-year-old, winning both. In his career, Downbytheseaside is 14-for-23 with $1,263,322 earned. “It’s hard to explain because he’s a big, strong horse, but for some reason, he loves a half,” Brown said. “He has great speed. To be honest, he is as good on a half as he is on a big track. He’s always been good on a half.” Downbytheseaside drew post three in the nine-horse Messenger Elimination Saturday night. Brian Sears will drive again in the $40,000 prep for next week’s $500,000 jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. The last place finisher will not return for the final. Brown is confident in Downbytheseaside’s chances to return to Yonkers a winner. “He drew a good spot, he’s coming in pretty good. He should be in pretty good shape come Saturday. I think we’re ok,” Brown said. “I think everything will be good.” The Saturday night card at Yonkers also features two eliminations of the Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters in races 6 and 7 and a $50,000 Open Handicap Pace in race 8. First post time is 7:10 p.m. To view entries for Saturday’s card, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 21, 2017 - Twelve harness racing 3-year-old gentlemen have been entered for Yonkers Trot No. 63, second Jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. A pair of $40,000 eliminations are set for this Saturday night (Aug. 26th), with the first four in each returning for the half-million-dollar final. First elim (6th race) 1 - Enterprise by Chapter Seven - (Tim Tetrick), 2 - Another Chapter by Chapter Seven - (Scott Zeron), 3 - Southwind Cobra by Muscle Hill - (Matt Kakaley), 4 - Yes Mickey by Muscle Hill - (Ake Svanstedt, lone gelding, lone $30,000 supplemental entrant), 5 - Devious Man by Credit Winner - (Andy Miller), 6 - Andy M by Andover Hall - (Dave Miller).   Second elim (7th race) 1 - Money Macintosh by Credit Winner -  (Andy Miller), 2 - Di Oggi by Crazed - (Montrell Teague), 3 - New Jersey Viking by Muscle Hill - (Svanstedt), 4 - Guardian Angel AS by Archangel - (Jason Bartlett), 5 - Southwind Hydro by Muscle Hill - (Marcus Johansson), 6 - Top Flight Angel by Archangel (Andy Miller also listed). (Note Money Macintosh and Top Flight Angel are coupled)   Nine soph lads were entered for the 62nd Messenger Stakes, second Jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. This presents another edition of musical chairs, with all going in a $40,000 elimination (9th race) to get the octet for the $500,000 final. 1 - Art Scene (Zeron), 2 - Mac's Jackpot (g) by Somebeachsomewhere - (Bartlett), 3 - Downbytheseaside by Somebeachsomewhere - (Brian Sears), 4 - Summer Side by Well Said - (Ray Schnittker), 5 - Blood Line by Somebeachsomewhere - (Brett Miller), 6 - Henry the Dragon by Dragon Again - (Teague), 7 - Miso Fast by Roll With Joe - (Kakaley), 8 - Funknwaffles (g) by American Ideal - (Corey Callahan), 9 - Beyond Delight (g) by Bettor's Delight - (Dan Dube). (Note Mac's Jackpot/Beyond Delight are coupled, as are Downbytheseaside/Blood Line)   The ladies' companion events are the one-dash-for-the-cash $119,010 Hudson Filly Trot and $113,880 Lady Maud Pace. The Hudson, for 3-year-old fillies, attracted eight...(alphabetically) Celebrity Ruth by Archangel Chapter Too by Chapter Seven Dangle Then Deke by Cantab Hall Evelyn by Muscle Hill Ice Attraction by Muscle Hill Lexie Marie ?? Mamora Bay by Chapter Seven Sunshine Delight by Credit Winner   The Lady Maud, also for 3-year-old young ladies, have seven in-to-go...(alphabetically) Angel's Pride by Roll With Joe Awash by Somebeachsomewhere Ella Christina by Western Ideal Gurl Band K by Rock N Roll Heaven Robin J by Roll With Joe Tori Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere World Apart by Art Major The finals for all four Yonkers Raceway stakes are scheduled for Saturday night, Sept. 2nd . Frank Drucker

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