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Batavia, NY --- A short but select group of entrants will compete in one race for the winner's share of the $118,800 up for grabs when the 3-year-old trotting fillies march into Batavia Downs for their 2019 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) local appearance. Quincy Blue Chip and Winndevie have been the two best horses in the state series for the past two years and will once again line up and face off at Batavia in the fifth race with six other competitors trying to derail them both. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) is having a career year with six wins, a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 and $284,025 in earnings to date. She won the $209,500 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs in May and three NYSS events since then. She was on a two-race win streak going into her last start at Vernon Downs where she made an untimely break going to the quarter, trying to get the lead. Quincy Blue Chip currently sits in second place in points (191) and earnings ($160,715) in this series behind Winndevie, who also beat her in the NYSS 2-year-old final last year. Quincy Blue Chip will try to get the best of her competition here and draws post five and trainer Richard Banca has regular driver Jim Morrill Jr. back up for this race. She has been made the track handicapper's morning line choice at 2-1. Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie) is the top point-getter (212) and money earner ($166,385) in her class this year, that includes three wins and without missing the board in any of her NYSS events. She comes into this race off a lifetime best performance at Vernon Downs where she won in 1:54 flat and appears to be as sharp as she's been at any point in her career. Winndevie drew post eight and trainer Trond Smedshammer once again assigned Jason Bartlett to drive and that bodes well for her chances despite the post. She is listed at 7-2 morning line. This is the last leg of the NYSS 3-year-old trotting fillies and as the points go, six of the eight horses racing here Friday have already made the final. The two horses who are outside looking in are Blue Ribbon Gal (Credit Winner-Carolla) who could move into the final group of eight by merely finishing fifth and gaining a minimum of five points and Avalonia (Muscles Yankee-Ava Marion) who is already mathematically eliminated. Post time for the first race on Friday is 6 p.m. $35,000 guaranteed Pick-5 on Friday When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 23) at 6:00 p.m., the track will feature a $35,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five. It is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com/) or by clicking here for a direct download. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv0823x.pdf). The actual carry-over is $14,913 and the $35,000 guaranteed pool is the largest in the history of Batavia Downs.  And to make it even more interesting, the fifth race of the Pick-5 is a $118,800 leg of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies that has Quincy Blue Chip and Winndevie facing off against each other once again.  By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

TIOGA, N.Y. - Wins on Sunday in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga have the colt Hickfromfrenchlick and the filly Zero Tolerance riding a wave of harness racing momentum into their final New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) appearances. The 3-year-olds sit comfortably in the top tier of point earners with one leg of racing left for each before the Night of Champions at Batavia Downs. Trainer/driver/co-owner Ray Schnittker calls Hickfromfrenchlick's race on Sunday the horse's "best performance of the year." The colt pacer is more mature and a lot more sound on the track, according to Schnittker, and paced strongly through the wire in the Final in 1:48.4. Hickfromfrenchlick is a special horse for Schnittker out of the second crop of So Surreal, a horse he also campaigned. If he had to compare the two, Schnittker would say Hickfromfrenchlick is a little quicker while So Surreal may have the edge in the endurance department. Even so, he says, "both have a very high speed." Hickfromfrenchlick's next start is on Aug. 29 at Yonkers. He is staked to events at Hoosier Park later this fall and will head there following the NYSS Finals at Batavia on Sept. 14. Bred by Steve Jones, his career earnings are now $374,052 Joe Holloway, trainer of Zero Tolerance, says she has been excellent this year and showed a strong back half in the Final, finishing in 1:50.2. Her ability to adapt to any racing situation is a quality that's impressed him. "Her versatility is her biggest strength. I've had a lot of fillies and they've all had their particular quirks, but with Zero Tolerance, she's not dependent upon one racing strategy," said the newly inducted Hall of Famer. She is undefeated in New York this season with four NYSS victories to her name. Her next start will be at Batavia in the final leg of the NYSS, where she will look to hold on to her position as points leader in her division,and improve upon nearly $150,000 in earnings. Beyond the NYSS, Holloway has plans to race Zero Tolerance in Lexington and in the Breeders Crown. "If everything goes right, she'll have seven more starts this year," he said. As a 2-year-old, Zero Tolerance made a number of Grand Circuit appearances, most notably a second behind Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown Final. The daughter of Heston Blue Chip was bred by Winbak Farm and now owned by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz, she earned $485,813 on the track as a freshman and career earnings now total $839,986. From the New York Sire Stakes

MONTICELLO, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes County Fair Finals will be hosted at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 5. Post time is 12:50 p.m. Due to the Labor Day holiday, the draw for the harness racing finals will be held at Monticello on Tuesday, Sept. 3. The box closes at 9:00 a.m. Each of the eight finals carries a purse of $10,000 and the top eight point earners with at least five starts on the season qualify. Horsemen are encouraged to enter horses even if they are not in the top eight point earners as the race secretary will go down the points list until the field is full. Horses that have been racing in the fairs and hope to enter the finals are strongly encouraged to get a charted line now, instead of waiting until the final points are tallied. In addition to having at least five starts in the County Fair Series, horsemen must also possess an official satisfactory charted performance line within 45 days of declaration. A special non-wagering Racing Under Saddle (RUS) championship is also scheduled for race day featuring the top point-getters of 2019. RUS NY was formed in 2014 to increase interest in Standardbred racing and showcase the versatility of the Standardbred breed. The series received a $7,500 grant for initial purse money provided by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "The New York Sire Stakes County Fair Series continues to be a vital part of our state-bred program, providing young horses with an opportunity to race while introducing harness racing to new audiences," said M. Kelly Young, executive director of the Fund. "These finals are a showcase of the people and horses who excelled this summer on the county fair racing circuit and we congratulate all on a successful season." New York Harness Horse Breeders will be sponsoring the traditional horseman's barbeque in the paddock on the day of finals. From the New York Sire Stakes

Monticello, NY - The last leg of New York Sire Stakes will take place on Monday August 19 as 2 Year Old Trotting Colts close out the harness racing stakes season. 2 divisions of Sire Stakes ($51,000 each) are featured on the 8 race card. While this may be the last Sire Stakes of the season it may be one of the better fields, as it features former and current Batavia Downs track record holders Bourbon Express and Barn Holder. Race 1 on the card is the first heat of Sire Stakes action, Bourbon Express has been installed the 4/5 favorite. He won his recent Sire Stakes at Batavia Down and set the track record in 1:57.3, before the ink was dry Barn Holden lowered it by 2/5 of a second, he also scored in the same company in Buffalo Raceway. Bourbon Express will start from post 3 in the short field of 5 with regular driver Jason Bartlett for trainer Jessica Okusko. The son of RC Royalty - Kasha has earned over $78,000 and been on the board in every start for owners Salavtore Vulio, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko. Beerthirty K will start from the rail, the Bruce Borden trained son of Credit Winner, took his lifetime mark of 1:58 at Yonkers in a NYSS win, defeating Bourbon Express in the process. Leading point earner Barn Holden will start from post position 5 for trainer Steve "Barn" Pratt. The son of Conway Hall - Barn Babe has won 3 Sire Stakes event thus far in his freshman campaign, the wins coming at Yonkers, Vernon Down and he set the track record at Batavia Downs in his last start in an 8¾ length romp in 1:57.1. Andy Miller will drive the $45,000 Morrisville yearling for owners Steve & Nancy Pratt, Purple Haze and Out In The Country Stable, Barn Holden has earned $90,000 in 5 starts. DR Ackerman and Tompkins Stakes winner Saylor will start form outside post 6. Berkery J (PP4) won a division of Sire Stakes early in the season of Yonkers, the son of Chapter Seven is trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs $205,000 yearling purchase. The current Monticello Raceway track record is 1:58 set by former 2 YOTC of the year Fourth Dimension, if the weather man cooperates that record may be in jeopardy on Monday. The Excelsior series each has 2 divisions, the A class will be racing for purse of $15,000 per heat and the B heats will vie for $6,600 in each heat. Post time is 12:50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Batavia, NY --- $107,000 was up for grabs when the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old pacing fillies visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) and the winners of both divisions put in stellar performances. The first $53,000 split was won by Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) who took no prisoners in a gate to wire victory. Merga Hanover was floated off the gate by driver Matt Kakaley for the first eighth of a mile while the rest of the field set up, then he gunned her to the front and controlled the rest of the mile. After getting to the half in :57.2 with the trailing horses in single file, Cash Roll (Scott Zeron) pulled first up with The Fun Marshall (Billy Davis Jr.) right behind her trying to push the issue. Merga Hanover continued to set the pace to the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch with the competition unable to make up any ground. Kakaley gave his filly her head down the lane and Merga Hanover was quickly on cruise control, pacing away to a handy two-length win in 1:55. "I eased her out of the gate because I never drove her before," said Kakaley. "But I let her pace the last turn and she coasted home. It was all her." The win vaulted Merga Hanover into the NYSS points lead for her division, now with 175. It was the fourth win in only five lifetime starts for Merga Hanover ($6.90) and it pushed her earnings to $86,866 for owners Thomas Dillon, Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco and William Donovan. Ron Burke trains the winner. Merga Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm. The second division went for $54,000 and provided a sizable upset for the betting public when Movie Town (American Ideal-New Hollywood) came off the pace and lit up the board at 20-1. Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett) left and took the lead before giving it up to Major Battle (Jim Morrill Jr.) past the quarter. The race proceeded to the half without any changes when Turnthefrownaround (Matt Kakaley) and Movie Town (Tyler Buter) both rolled up in the outer flow to start chasing down the front runner. Major Battle hit the three-quarters in 1:26.4 with positions remaining the same behind him; that was until the top of the last turn when Movie Town tipped three-deep and started to make her move. Buter fed Movie Town the lines and she was fully engaged, passing the inside horses easily and stretching out to a two-length win in 1:57. Movie Town ($43.60) scored her second NYSS win of the year for owner Bay Pond Racing and trainer Jeff Stafford. Winbak Farm bred Movie Town. Three divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Wednesday with the following results. The first Excel "A" event in the third race was a dead-heat between Alleyesonme As and Sus) Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip-Twincreeks Jewel) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab Trainer - Anette Lorentzon  Breeder - Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab Time - 1:58.2  Mutuel - $2.10 Sus (Art Major-Outtathisworld) Driver - Jim Morrill Jr.  Owner - Yankeeland Partners Trainer - Brett Bittle  Breeder - White Birch Farm Time - 1:58.2  Mutuel - $8.70 Charm And Grace (American Ideal-Another Hanover) Driver - Jim Morrill Jr.  Owner - John Dwyer Trainer - John Mongeon  Breeder - Kentuckiana Farms and Marvin Katz Time - 1:57.2  Mutuel - $4.20 Hen Party (Roll With Joe-My Lady Day) Driver - Matt Kakaley  Owner - William Donovan Trainer - Ron Burke  Breeder - Frederick Hertrich III Time - 1:55.2  Mutuel - $4.30 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 16), which is the first Friday of racing this meet. Post time for the first race is 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs will host the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) return for their fifth of nine 2019 stops and the two harness racing divisions that will compete for a combined $107,000 in purses look to be very competitive races. The first leg (carded as race four) goes for $53,000 and has Cash Roll (Roll With Joe-Rockonomics) installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Cash Roll has won three of five starts this year, two of which were in NYSS action, and currently sits second in points and fourth in earnings. She took her lifetime mark of 1:56 last month at Yonkers in a gate to wire, 4-¼ length romp in the mud. She has outstanding gate speed and loves to cut the mile and after drawing post one for this race, must have her driver Scott Zeron feeling really good about their chances. Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) has a similar career path to Cash Roll. She also has three wins to her credit, two in the NYSS, is third in earnings and fourth in points and also likes to be on or near the lead. The only variant to her schedule this week is she picks up Matt Kakaley to drive and he knows the Batavia oval very well. Kakaley and Merga Hanover will leave from post six. If the front end pace between those two gets hectic, The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover) will be close to pick up the pieces. The Fun Marshall didn't get her year off to as fast a start of her opponents, but she certainly made a statement on July 11. After sitting a garden spot trip, she closed sharply down the lane to score a lifetime best victory of 1:55.4 at Yonkers over a sloppy track. The Fun Marshall starts from post two with Billy Davis Jr. in tow. In the second $54,000 division, Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty's Artist) brings a stellar resume to post and has been recognized as the favorite by the track handicapper at 5-2 as a result. Racine Bell is the top money earner among her peers and is also tied for the top in points. She has three wins in six starts, hasn't missed the board all year and comes into this race off a career best tying 1:56.1 win at Yonkers. Her regular driver Jason Bartlett will be in town to drive once again and they will start from post seven for this event. Turnthefrownaround (Roll WIth Joe-Knockout Pout) is the second choice at 3-1 but appears to be a real wild card. Although she has the fastest win time of this group this year from a 1:53.3 victory over the 5/8th's mile track at Tioga Downs, she has also made two breaks at Monticello and Yonkers which are both half-milers. She will be on a half Wednesday at Batavia and will have to mind her manners to succeed. Matt Kakaley has been assigned the drive and he start that task from post five. Major Battle (Art Major-Savhorsrideacowboy) makes her first NYSS start but recent form shows her potential. Although she has exhibited gate speed in her first lifetime start, her last start shows her strong closing ability after she got away eighth by 15-lengths at Mohawk and paced the final five-eighths of a mile parked-out and closing to finish second in 1:53.3. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the drive and the pair will start from post four. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excel "A" series on the card. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Monticello, NY  - On Monday August 12 Monticello Raceway and the New York Sire Stakes program featured 2-year-old harness racing trotting filly's. The 7 race card featured 2 divisions of Sire Stakes each racing for a purse of $51,000, 3 splits of the Excelsior A group ($15,000) and 2 Excelsior B ($6,500) The first heat of Sire Stakes was a short 5 horse field, the 1/5 betting favorite Seventimesalady, a $132,000 yearling purchase started from the outside from post 5, 2 of the starters made miscues in the middle of the first turn, after the early commotion Seventimesalady made the front and was uncontested through the mile, cutting fractions of 29.3,59.2, 1:29.2 and uncorking a last quarter of 28.4 to score an easy 5 length victory in 1:58.1. Ake Svanstedt trains,drives and co owns Seventimesalady, a daughter of Chapter Seven - Ava Marion, she picked up her 3rd consecutive NYSS win for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E, Knutsson Trotting and L. Berg. The pocket sitting Flotus finished second followed by Illdoitmyself. Race 7 for the final heat of Sire Stakes and again it was Team Svanstedt who scored with Miss Jubilation who started from Post 4 and was part of the Svanstedt entry with Destiny Blue Chip, the Chapter Seven - Seven Blue Muscles lass scored a wire to wire win in 1:58.4 over Sorprese (Dan Daley)and Destiny Blue Chip - Charlie Norris. Miss Jubilation earned her 2nd Sire Stake victory of the year for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E, Triple Play Trotters & Stolz Geiger. Excelsior A winners were C And T's Credit (Credit Winner - Love to Flaunt) who picked up her second consecutive win in this company in 2:01 for trainer John Stark. Dan Daley scored with the longest shot on the board at 25-1 with Lady Jeter (Muscles Yankee - Salt Hill Brigid) who picked up her maiden win in 2:00.3. Nasty Gal (Conway Hall - Dreama Littledream) scored in 2:00.2 for Vernon Down based horseman Gate Brunet. The combination of driver Michael Merton and trainer Dale Lawton garnered both heats of the Excelsior B with Dogs of War (Conway Hall - Extreme Balance) scored in 2:03.1 and returned $5.40, Some Crazy Fool (Crazed - Someway) won in in 2:02.2 The next leg of NY Sire Stakes is next Monday August 19 when 2 Year Old Trotting Colts come to town, post time is 12:50. By, Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 12, 2019-Yonkers Raceway has pushed up its entry box closing this Friday (Aug. 16th) to 9 AM, instead of the usual 3:30 PM. It's the box for the Thursday (Aug. 22nd) program, which includes the New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. With live racing cancelled Friday night to accommodate a Kool & the Gang concert, the race office shall have morning hours only. For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

PALMYRA, N.Y. - The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund announces that it will be sponsoring the livestreaming of harness racing at the Wayne County Fair on Monday, Aug. 12. A live preshow will begin at 11:30 a.m. First post time is scheduled for 12 p.m. Live streaming coverage can be seen via the New York Sire Stakes Facebook page, and its website at nysirestakes.com. A broadcast team will be positioned around the racetrack providing live updates, interviews and commentary that even those in attendance can watch for insider information. The on-air team will include Kelly Young, executive director of the Fund, and Mark Shero, a former Standardbred owner. "We are excited to partner with the Wayne County Fair on this exciting opportunity to reach new fans and provide live coverage to those who can't be at the races in person," said Young. "We hope the added commentary will encourage people to learn more about the Sire Stakes program and harness racing." The NYSS County Fair Finals will be hosted at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 5. Each of the eight finals carries a purse of $10,000. From the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund

Winndevie captures the $118,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 8). She was driven by Jason Bartlett. Sensibility (Tyler Buter) led to the first quarter in :26.2. Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second best but went on a break right near the first quarter mark. Woodside Charm (Verlin Yoder), who was the 2018 2-year-old trotter of the year, took over the lead heading for the back stretch. She hit the half in :56.1 and was first to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Winndevie ($15.40), who is owned by the Purple Haze Stables and trained by Trond Smedshammer, was fourth at the halfway mark. She then went first-over heading around the last turn. She then joined Woodside Charm as they hit three-quarters. When they reached the stretch it was all Winndevie as she powered home to win in a lifetime best of 1:54.0. Sensibility finished second with Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) getting third money. Quincy Blue Chip recovered from her early break and finished fourth. Woodside Charm, who was seven for seven as a freshman, is winless in her two starts as a sophomore. Winndevie is a 3-year-old filly by Credit Winner. It was her third win this season and her ninth career victory. George Ducharme trained three winners on the evening. He got his wins with The Fixer ($2.30), Hannah Dreamgirl ($11.20), and Crysalline ($4.20). There is no live racing at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 9) due to the Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle concert. Live racing returns on Saturday (August 10) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters invaded Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 7) and they did some damage to the record book by breaking the local mark for their age, gender and gait in two successive series races. In the first $52,000 division, Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) was sent down the road by driver Jason Bartlett and once gone, the pair never looked back. Operating with a gapped advantage, Bourbon Express went quarters of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.2 before rounding the last turn and heading into the stretch with a two-length lead. From there he trotted home a wrapped-up winner by four-lengths in 1:57.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for Bourbon Express and also a new Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. The former mark was 1:58.1 set by Zack's Zoomer in 2016. "This horse is very handy, he doesn't act like a 2-year-old," said Bartlett. "He's a real nice colt." It was the third win of the year for Bourbon Express ($5.90) who started 2019 as a winner in Excelsior "A" action. Now he has won two NYSS races. Those victories have earned $78,008 for his owners Salvatore Vullo, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko, who also trains the winner. Annette Roydon bred Bourbon Express. Then two races later in the second $51,000 division, Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) and driver Andy Miller seemed to be taking the record-breaking seriously as they were on a mission as soon as the gate released them. Barn Holden was on top by three at the quarter and that margin would only grow as the race progressed. After a :28.2 and :57.4 first lap, Barn Holden opened up four lengths by the three-quarters in 1:27.1 and five by the top of the lane. Miller however kept his colt to task and tapped the wheel disk twice in the straight and raised the lines mid-stretch and Barn Holden trotted away to an eight-length win in 1:57.1, eclipsing the mark set less than an hour earlier by Bourbon Bay and becoming the new Batavia standard-bearer. "I thought he was the best going in and I wanted the front," said Miller. "He trotted very handily to the wire." Barn Holden ($2.70) has now won three out of his last four races, all in NYSS action, and has an even $90,000 on the card for his efforts. Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable own the top points and money earner in his NYSS division. Steve and Nancy Pratt bred Barn Holden. Andy Miller had a big day at Batavia winning four races on the card and posting a stout .814 Universal Driver Rating (UDR) for the six races he was in. Those wins included both $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series and those horses were both trained by the other half of Team Orange Crush, Julie Miller. Book Seven (Chapter Seven - Tantalizing Donna) Driver - Andy Miller   Owner - Stroy Inc.  Trainer - Julie Miller Breeder - Winbak Farm  Time - 1:59  Mutuel - $7.00 All Profit (Credit Winner - Bambino Supreme) Driver - Andy Miller  Owner - Andy Miller Stable and Kapildeo Singh  Trainer - Julie Miller Breeder - Steve Jones  Time - 2:02  Mutuel - $10.20 Jason Bartlett, who just scored his 8,000th driving win this past June, added three more to his total after getting a hat trick on Monday. Like Miller, Bartlett's percentage for his eight drives was stellar as well, as he ended the evening with a .597 UDR. Batavia Downs perennial driving leader Kevin Cummings was involved in a spill before the start of the third race when the horse he was driving fell behind the gate. Cummings was transported to the hospital for further evaluation and no further information is available at this time. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 6, 2019- Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (Aug. 6th) hosted the $153,200 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. A $75,900 non-bettor and a wagering-carded $77,300 division comprised the event. The before-the-program bandwagon was led by American Rebel (Tyler Buter). Making the first lead from post position No. 2, American Rebel then deferred to Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley). The latter needed just about the entire :28.1 opening quarter-mile to get there. However, American Rebel was none too thrilled about the pocket, so he extricated himself right at the :57.2 intermission. American Rebel had few issues from there (1:25.4, life-best 1:54), getting minimal grief from a first-up Cigars and Port (Ray Schnittker) before widening in the lane. The final margin over Groovy Joe was two lengths, with Cigars and Port hanging around for third. For American Rebel, a son of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Rob Harmon and Robert Robinson, it was his third win in seven seasonal/career starts. "He was really great today," Buter said. "I knew if I had him in front, they wouldn't catch us." The evening's wagering sire stakes event saw a scattered gathering between those that either broke or puled up. Meanwhile, Freedom Warrior (Dan Dube, $14.40) found his way out of the maiden ranks by pacing a mile...and a few extra steps. From post No. 6, he was away fourth, ahead of some early misbehavers. He was then wide down the backside the first time around another non-conformist. Freedom Warrior and driver Dan Dube collar Splash Brother before the wire (Mike Lizzi photo) Freedom Warrior had a loose target to chase in the presence of Splash Brother (Brent Holland), with that one going right along though intervals of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:24.4. The pursuer steadily closed ranks, getting past his rival late to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. It was about a dozen lengths back a tiring 11-10 choice Save Me a Dance (Jason Bartlett), while 45-1 outsider R Maddy Blue Chip (Kakaley) was fourth For fourth choice Freedom Warrior, an American Ideal gelding owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, it was that first win in five '19/life starts. The exacta paid $55.50, the triple returned $146 and there was no superfecta wagering (coupled entry in the race). "He's a very fast horse," Dube said, adding, "You have to be careful with him." New York Sire Stakes continue downstate Thursday night (Aug. 22nd), with the Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies (purse TBA). Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Vernon Downs will host a $118,000 leg of the of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday (August 8). There is only one division racing on Thursday but the field is loaded. It features last year's 2-year-old trotting filly of the year Woodside Charm (Verlin Yoder). The Chapter Seven filly is owned and trained by Yoder and listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite She was a perfect seven for seven as a freshman including a brilliant win in the $600,000 Breeders Crown a season ago. She has only raced once as a sophomore suffering her only career loss in The $40,000 Start Destroyer Stakes at Hoosier Park on June 26th. She was second to Grand Swan (Swan For All). She looks for her first win as a 3-year-old on Thursday. Her stiffest competition looks to be the Richard Banca trained Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.). The filly by Chapter Seven has six wins as a sophomore including a victory in the $209,500 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Vernon Downs in May. Quincy Blue Chip, who is owned by Banca along with Barbara and James Boese, comes into Thursday with 10 career trips to the winner's circle. She is listed as the second choice at 7-2. Also in this strong field is last year's $225,000 2-year-old NYSS Final winner Winndevie (Jason Bartlett). Trond Smedshammer trains the filly by Credit Winner for the Purple Haze Stables. She was six for seven as a freshman with her only loss coming to Woodside Charm during a leg of the NYSS last season at Saratoga. She has two wins in her seven starts this season getting NYSS wins at Yonkers and Buffalo. She is at 8-1 on the morning line. Other top contenders in the field include the George Ducharme trained Sensibility (Tyler Buter). She is listed at 9-2. At 6-1 is Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley), who is trained by Blake Macintosh. The 11 race card will start at 6:10 p.m. There is no live racing at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 9) because of theCrystal Gayle and Lee Greenwood concert. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs                  

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be in Genesee County on Wednesday (Aug. 7) to compete for their share of the $103,000 in total purses available in two divisions to be raced at Batavia Downs. Third Shift (Chapter Seven-Overnight Command) and Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) are the top two point-getters and money earners in their age, gait and gender group and will both be on hand for this stop. The first division (carded as race five) goes for $52,000 and has Third Shift leading the way. Third Shift has two lifetime wins and both were in NYSS action. He finished second in the other start after a break that set him back at Yonkers. And he just took a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs last week in a come-from-behind performance that has him coming into this race perfectly spotted. Trainer Ake Svanstedt will drive Third Shift from post two at 5-2 morning line. His main threat in the race looks to be Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) who cut the mile and finished third behind Third Shift at Vernon last week. He drew post one and will have the chance to cut the mile again and hope to hang on this week. Bourbon Express has Jason Bartlett aboard at 2-1 for trainer Jessica Okusko. The second leg (carded as race seven) has a purse of $51,000 with Barn Holden spotted as the morning line even-money favorite. Barn Holden also has two wins this year and is also coming in off a new lifetime mark at Vernon. Barn Holden led the entire mile and trotted away down the stretch to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3. His other win this year was also on the front end and it looks like that may be the strategy here with the short five-horse field. Batavia regular Kevin Cummings drove to Vernon to steer Barn Holden last week; Wednesday trainer Steve Pratt will bring the colt to Batavia for Cummings and last week's winning combination have drawn post two for this event. Berkery J (Chapter Seven-Southwind Catlin) will look to stand in the way of another Barn Holden win and has shown he has the ability to do so. He threw a huge mile at Yonkers three starts ago, winning in 1:58.2 by over seven lengths to take his lifetime mark. That's faster than any horse in this race over a half-mile track. He has gate speed and with a trip, could be dangerous. Trainer George Ducharme has assigned Jason Bartlett to drive Berkery J once again the they will leave from post four at 2-1. There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior "A" series trots that will go in races two and four. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Hickfromfrenchlick came to play on Sunday (Aug. 4) in his $58,700 division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs and he went gate to wire in impressive fashion and equaled the track record time. Leaving from post one driver Matt Kakaley was rolling immediately with Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and had prohibitive post time favorite Shake That House (Tyler Buter) alongside, also trying to make the front. These two tangled to the quarter in :26.2 when Buter relented and ducked into the pocket heading into the second turn. With no pressure moving to the half Kakaley backed it down to :28.3, but as soon as the second circuit ensued, Shake That House pulled and came right back at the leader one more time. Hickfromfrenchlick and Shake That House squared off and were pacing in tandem from the five-eighths to the three-quarters and got there in a lightning 1:22.4. Around the final bend Hickfromfrenchlick got a 1/2 length advantage that he took into the stretch. Kakaley was throwing lines and his horse was responded with more. Hickfromfrenchlick put away Shake That House and held of a quick closing Buddy Hill (Marcus Miller) to win by a neck in 1:51.2. The winning time of 1:51.2 was a new lifetime mark for Hickfromfrenchlick and also tied the Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off back in 2014. Oddly enough Kakaley also drove All Bets Off in that record performance. "Well we had the rail and he's good on the front so that's where I wanted him, especially with no passing lane here. We controlled the pace and he responded well to the challenge," said Kakaley. "He was getting a little tired in the lane but he saw the one (Buddy Hill) coming at him and had enough left to hold him off at the wire." When told he tied the track record of All Bets Off Kakaley said "As I recall we were on the front that day too and he had quite a bit left at the wire." All Bets Off ran away with that race by eight lengths. Hickfromfrenchlick ($6.50) scored his fourth win in seven starts this year and now has $114,925 on the card in 2019. Ray Schnittker trains and co-owns Hickfromfrenchlick with Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. Steve Jones was the breeder of Hickfromfrenchlick. In the second $58,700 division American Mercury was peerless in victory after controlling all fractions from the start. Tyler Buter floated American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover) off the gate after Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) bolted to the front. He then rolled up the outside and took over the lead in a comfortable :28.1. The field stayed in single-file and American Mercury hit the half in only :57 and things were looking very much in his favor at that point. Magic Joe Lindy (Drew Monti) pulled first up at the five-eighths and advanced towards the leader. He got to within one length of American Mercury at the three-quarters and stayed there around the last turn. When they hit the stretch Buter was line driving American Mercury and he was pacing strongly all the way to the wire to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.2. It was the third straight win for American Mercury ($2.10) and sixth of the season. The gelding has now earned $211,843 this year for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice. Steve Stewart, Julie Nash and Charles Nash bred American Mercury. There were also $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series that were won by: Rickybobbyandthehaus (American Ideal-Molly Can Do It) Driver - Tyler Buter Owner - Crawford Farms, Northfork Racing Stable, Billy Timmins and Anthony Timmins Trainer - Chris Oakes   Breeder - Blue Chip Bloodstock Time - 1:53.4  Mutuel - $4.40 Chatelroll (Roll With Joe-Chatelaine) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Purple Haze Stable Trainer - George Ducharme  Breeder - Twinbrook Limited Time - 1:53.2  Mutuel - $3.00 Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Aug. 5) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- It will be a homecoming of sorts for Akron, New York native Chris Oakes when he brings two powerful members of his stable to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 4) to compete in a pair of divisions of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for purses totaling $117,400. In the first $58,700 division (carded as race one) Oakes will start Shake That House (American Ideal-Shake That Junk) as the morning line 6-5 favorite. Shake That House only has two starts in the NYSS this year and both were wins, but he has also been competing successfully on the Grand Circuit. After drawing the outside at Mohawk Park in an elimination of the North American Cup, Shake That House got parked for most of the mile and did not qualify for the final. But the resilient colt bounced right back to win his next start which was an elimination of the Max C. Hempt stake at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After taking the lead past the half, Shake That House led the rest of the mile and won in 1:49, which was a lifetime mark. The following week in the $500,000 final he left from post seven, went right to the front and won handily in 1:49.2. Then in his most recent start, Shake That House was in a NYSS event at Vernon Downs and sat third to the half before pulling to take the lead before the three-quarter pole. From there he paced away from the field in 1:47.4 which was a new lifetime mark for him and a new track record for 3-year-old pacing colts for Vernon. The time was also just 1/5th off the all-time Vernon track pacing record. For the year Shake That House has six wins in seven starts and has made $336,400 to date. Tyler Buter will be in the bike behind Shake That House on Sunday and will start from post five. Shake That House will be coupled in a stable entry with Buddy Hill (Roll With Joe-Lessofit Hanover) for betting purposes. Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) who finished second and third in that track record mile at Vernon are also in this division starting from post one with Matt Kakaley and post two with Jason Bartlett respectively. The second $58,700 split (carded as race six) finds another Oakes trainee, American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover), the prohibitive morning line choice at 4-5. American Mercury has raced exclusively in NYSS races this year and has won four of the six he entered, finishing second and third in the other two. He took a new lifetime mark at Yonkers in June winning easily in 1:50.3 over the half-mile strip and it set a track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings. The time also tied the all-age seasons mark at the Hilltop. In his next start at Vernon, American Mercury lowered his personal best again while touring the facility in 1:49.4 and winning by two lengths. American Mercury has five wins in seven starts this year and has earned $182,493 as a result. Tyler Buter gets the call on American Mercury as well and gets post two off the gate. Magic Joe Lindy (American Ideal-Lindy's Bandita) who finished third to American Mercury in that sub-1:50 mile at Vernon should be his main competitor here and starts from post five with Drew Monti up. There are also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series carded in races four and seven. Post time for the first race Sunday is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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