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Vernon Downs played host to three harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Friday (August 30). Hidden Cove (Marcus Miller) wins the $34,866 first division of the NYSS. Cash Roll (Jim Morrill Jr.) went to the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.2. Hidden Cove ($9.20) took over the lead as they went around the first turn. She led to the half in :57.3. As they headed for the final turn JK Finendandy came first-over and battled Hidden Cove all around the turn. Hidden Cove led to three-quarters in 1:25.4. Hidden Cove, who is owned by trainer Erv Miller, George Golemes, D R Van Witzenburg, and Louis WIllinger, led as they made the turn for home. Second place finisher JK Finendandy gave one last run at Hidden Cove but Hidden Cove dug in and won in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Fashion Hill (Tyler Buter) came charging late to finish third. Hidden cove is a 2-year-old filly by American Ideal-Sun N Sand. It was her second win in eight career starts. Coconut Beach (Markus Miller) is upset winner in the $34,866 second division. Hen Party (Matt Kakaley) went striaght to the lead hitting the first quarter in :27.1. She hit the half first in :56.4. Tipperary Hill (John MacDonald) pressured her around the last turn. Hen Party still led to three-quarters in 1:25.4. Coconut Beach ($45.80), who is owned by Happy Hour Racing and trained by Erv Miller, sat patiently in the pocket. She pulled out of the pocket in mid-stretch and blew right by to win her first career race in 1:54.0. Roll With Angel (Scott Zeron) came up to finish second. Han Party held on to finish third. Coconut Beach is a 2-year-old filly by Art Major-Gold Beach. Trainer Erv Miller and driver Marcus Miller combined to win two of the three division of the NYSS. Merga Hanover (Matt Kakaley) captures the $35,566 third division. The Fun Marshall (Scott Zeron) took them to a first quarter of :27.1. Merga Hanover ($2.90) used a brush to go from fourth to first. She led to the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.3. Merga Hanover, who is trianed by Ron Burke for owners Joe Sbrocco, W J Donovan, Thomas and Scott Dillon, led as they made the turn for home. The Fun Marshall went all out in the stretch but Merga Hanover was too strong as she won in a career best of 1:53.1. The Fun Marshall had to settle for second money with Bolt Of Beauty (Marcus Milller) finishing third. Merga Hanover is a 2-year-old filly by American Ideal-Magic Starlight. It was her sixth win in seven career starts. Matt Kakaley drove four winners on the night. His other wins came with Cloud Nine Fashion ($3.20), Lookatmyart ($3.80), and Dee Dee Kay ($4.10). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 31) 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  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 29, 2019--Yonkers Raceway Thursday night (Aug. 29th) hosted the $161,500 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The event once again honored the memory one of the state's true get-it-done gentlemen, the long-time Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York whose contributions to the industry were way too numerous to mention here. Although only of the $80,750 divisions was bettable, both winners were quite logical. The pre-card quintet was led by Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley), disposing of his four inside rivals in 1:52.4. Taking over from Major Blake (Jason Bartlett), Hickfromfrenchlick threw down intervals of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before the final maker. He defeated a misbehaved-early Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) by a half-length, with Major Blake third. Respect Our Flag (Joe Bongiorno) and Bicorne Hanover (George Brennan) were the stragglers. For Hickfromfrenchlick, a son of So Surreal co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatarico, it was his seventh wins (with two seconds and a third) in 10 seasonal starts ($275,886). Last season's Sheppard winner here is now 11-for-17 lifetime, "Use whatever word you want about him," Kakaley said. "Fast, gusty, handy." Pole-sitting Rollwithpapajoe (Bongiorno, $5.80) finished what he started (:28., :57.4, 1:25.1, 1:53) a few races later. Covered Bridge (Brian Sears) chased from the pocket, missing a length-and-three-quarters, while 13-10 fave Major March (Bartlett) was a two-move third. Dealer's Table (Jordan Stratton) and Melodie's Major (Tyler Buter) brought up the rear. For 'Papajoe,' a Roll With Joe gelding co-owned by Barbara Bongiorno Stable, Bill Lambos & Dionisios Liberatos and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was his fifth win in 15 ' 19 starts. The exacta paid $13, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. "He has such quick speed that he can put himself in good spots," driver Bonorno said. If the sire stakes results were quite predictable, they weren't nearly the 'free space' of It's Rigged (Buter). That one had things--and the oval --all to himself, walking over a bottom-level statebred Excelsior event in 1:56.4. Thursday night's Pick 5 wager, which began with a $8,292.11 carryover and $20,000 guaranteed pool, found $32,054 of new cash. The winning combination of 6/1/3/1/5 paid $72.50 for each correct half-dollar ticket. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Batavia, NY --- Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) and So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl), who are the top two 3-year-old pacing fillies in the Empire State, came to compete in the $111,900 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 28) and both added harness racing wins to their resumes. Zero Tolerance (David Miller) got away third while Hurrikane Norakane (Carl Garofalo) shot to the front and eased the group to a mild :58.1 half. The pace picked up from there as they motored by the five-eighths pole when Sulky Queen (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled with Zero Tolerance on her back. Morrill got Sulky Queen to the front by the three-quarters while Zero Tolerance remained on the outside in second around the last turn. Heading into the stretch Sulky Queen had a one-length lead but with the whip over his shoulder and the lines firmly in hand, Miller sat chilly while Zero Tolerance blew by to take the lead and win easily in 1:54.2. "She was comfortable going to the half and when Jimmy (Morrill) came out, she was ready to roll," said Miller. "She finished strong down the lane; she was real good tonight," It was the fifth NYSS win of the year and sixth win overall for the heavily favored Zero Tolerance ($2.10) who now has $382,423 in earnings this year for owners Val D' Or Farms and Ted Gewertz and Hall of Fame trainer Joe Holloway. In the first division, So Awesome (Tyler Buter) was a gate to wire winner and put in an impressive mile in the process. Buter guided So Awesome through early quarters of :28.1 and :58 with the field in single file behind her. As they approached the three-quarters Matt Kakaley pulled Fool Me Again from third and made an aggressive brush towards the front. In the last turn the fillies were pacing wither to wither until the top of the lane where So Awesome got a slight advantage. But Fool Me Again was not done and charged back in deep stretch under heavy urging from Kakaley. However So Awesome simply refused to lose and hung on by a neck in 1:55..1. "We were lucky we won the draw in that race because Matt's horse was strong and coming down the lane we were right together," said Buter. "She raced real well and finished strong." It was the third win in the last four starts for So Awesome ($3.10) who is owned by William Hartt and trained by Scott Di Domenico. Both fillies will be back at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) for the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions. There was one division of the $15,000 Excel "A" series contested on Wednesday that produced the following results. Topville Angelina (American Ideal-A Fiesty Affair) Driver - David Miller Owner - Erv Miller Stable, Michael Anderson and George Golemes Trainer - Erv Miller  Breeder - Robert Hamather Time - 1:54  Mutuel - $2.40 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 30) with post time for the first race at 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Vernon Downs welcomes three harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Friday (August 30).Total purses are just over $103,000. In the $34,866 first division, the 9-5 morning line favorite is JK Finendandy (Matt Kakaley). The 2-year-old by American Ideal-JK Fine Art is still searching for her first career victory. Owned by 3 Brothers Stables and trained by Nancy Johanson, she was second in the $64,900 Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs in her last start. The second morning line choice at 2-1 is Ladyboss (John MacDonald). The filly by American Ideal-Shes A Pansation is owned by M&L Of Delaware LLC. and trained by Jessica Okusko. She has won four times in her six career starts. Galleria Gal (Tyler Buter) is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $34,866 second division. John Berger trains the filly by Art Major-Just A Glimpse for ownners Theresa Donnelly and Fernando Amesti Jr. She is two for seven in her career by winning NYSS races at Yonkers and Saratoga. The second choice at 2-1 is the Ron Burke trained Hen Party (Matt Kakaley). The filly by Roll With Joe-My Lady Day is owned by W J Donovan. She has a win, a second, and four third place finishes in her seven career starts. The top morning choice in the $35,566 third division is Merga Hanover (Matt Kakaley) at 2-1. The filly by American Ideal-Magic Starlight is trained by Ron Burke for owners Joe Sbrocco, W J Donovan, Scott and Thomas Dillon. She has won four NYSS legs as part of her five career victories in six starts. Merga Honover has captured NYSS wins at Batavia, Saratoga, and twice at Yonkers. Her toughest rival is So Rude (Jim Morrill Jr.) at 3-1. The filly by So Surreal-I Am A Snob is trained by Scott DiDomenico for owners Geoffrey Lyons, Glen Goller, and Abraham Basen. She has won two legs of the NYSS in six career starts. So Rude clained her victories at Monticello and Tioga Downs. The 11 race card starts at 6:10. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Two year old colt and gelding trotters were featured at Saratoga Casino Hotel as part of the New York Sire Stakes on Tuesday night. The track record for freshman geldings fell when the longshot in a four-horse race lit up the board in historic fashion. Trainer Jim Campbell brought driver Greg Merton to town to pilot Hobbs (Credit Winner-Cruella De Ville-Yankee Glide) who had finished second or third four times in his seven career tries. Hobbs was winless coming into the evening and though he squared off against just three rivals, his opponents each came in with strong resumes. After an early break by the race's favorite in the $75,350 division for freshman high-steppers, Hobbs wound up in the pocket spot behind Barn Holden (Andy Miller) who had won three of his six starts in NYSS competition in 2019. Hobbs popped the pocket around the final turn and won the battle in the stretch, stopping the timer in 1:57.3. The win time serves as a new track record for a two year old gelding trotter at Saratoga, a mark previously held by Clive Bigsby (Jim Morrill Jr) who scored in 1:58 in a Sire Stakes race in the '17 campaign. Though Hobbs broke the record for two year old gelding trotters on Tuesday, the fastest freshman of the night was Trond Smedshammer's Chaptiama (Chapter Seven-Crediama-Credit Winner) who cruised through a dazzling wire-to-wire effort in 1:56 to record the first win of his young career. After settling for second-best three times in his first five lifetime starts, Chaptiama wasn't going to take no for an answer and wound up a decisive winner at odds of 2-1 for Smedshammer. Beerthirty K (Mike Simons) was the runner-up in the $76,750 division of NYSS while the favored Berkery J (Jason Bartlett) had to settle for third. While his 1:56 was much faster than Hobbs' winning time, Chaptiama's clocking didn't serve as a track record as the fastest two year old colt in Spa history is Gimpanzee who set a mark of 1:55.4 as a freshman trotting colt last season. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Batavia, NY --- Zero Tolerance is the second richest sophomore filly in all of North America this year and she will be competing in the final division of the $111,900 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 28). Plus her regular reinsman, Hall of Fame driver David Miller, will also be on hand for a rare western New York appearance. Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) has been perfect in NYSS action this year and comes into Wednesday's race off a victory in the $232,700 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs where she paced a lifetime best 1:50.2 mile. Prior to that back in June, she finished second in the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono where she just got beat less than a length and paced in 1:49.4. She is currently the top filly in points (200) and earnings ($149,250) in her NYSS bracket and is also the second richest distaff pacer and sixth richest overall among all 3-year-old pacers in North America with $354,173 on her card this year. Zero Tolerance drew post four in the five-horse field that will go for $56,500 and has been made the prohibitive morning line favorite at 2-5. Her all Hall of Fame connections of trainer Joe Holloway and driver Dave Miller will be on hand in full support. In the other $55,400 split, the number two gal in the state is nearly as favored going in to that event as well. So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) sits directly behind Zero Tolerance in NYSS action in points (199) and earnings ($143,499) and like the leader, will be making a return trip to Batavia Downs for the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions finals in just over two weeks on Saturday (Sept. 14). After reeling off two straight wins prior to her last start, So Awesome got parked out and interfered with in that subsequent overnight outing at Pocono forcing her to finish off the board. However road trouble shouldn't be an issue in this four-horse field and as a result, she has been made 4-5 by the track handicapper in there. Trainer Scott Di Domenico has leading NYSS driver Tyler Buter in the bike once again for this outing. Despite the short morning line, this is a tough field. Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe-Fool That I Am) just finished second to Zero Tolerance in the Empire Breeders Classic and Carbon Capture (Art Major-Jated Love) who changed barns on a claim three starts ago has since won two consecutive races at Scioto Downs, taking two consecutive lifetime marks. Trainer Blake Macintosh has Matt Kakaley up on Fool Me Again from post three and and trainer Logan Powell has assigned Jim Morrill Jr. to steer Carbon Capture from post one. Due to the short fields, there will be no place or show wagering in either NYSS race. There is also one Excelsior "A" event on the card that goes as race one. Post time for that race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) today posted final points totals for the 2019 County Fair Racing Series, which held its final leg of the harness racing season earlier this week in Tompkins County. The County Fair Finals will be hosted at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 5. Post time is 12:50 p.m. The NYSS has also posted Finals declaration and eligibility reminders for horsemen. Please take careful note of all information included here. Declarations close at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3. 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. There will be no declaration fee for the Finals. 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. A special non-wagering Racing Under Saddle (RUS) championship is also scheduled for race day featuring the top point-getters of 2019. Horsemen competing in the County Fair Finals on Sept. 5 will be treated to a barbeque in the paddock sponsored by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association and Monticello Raceway. From the New York Sire Stakes

Batavia, NY --- Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) was everything the large live crowd that gathered on the Batavia Downs harness racing apron came out to see as he cruised to an easy win in his division of the $118,500 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 24). Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) got away third initially while Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) hustled to the front. But just past the eighth pole Sears pulled him and rushed to the front to claim the lead by the quarter in a pedestrian :29.2. Now firmly in control, the 1-9 shot led six 99-1 shots to the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:27.1. Gimpanzee seemed to switch gears on his own heading into the final turn as Sears sat still as a statue. Motoring around that bend he extended his lead with every lengthening stride and by the time he entered the stretch, he was gone. Chimpanzee opened up five and was in full flight down the lane and hit the wire all alone in 1:55.1.   "He is so easy to drive, from day one. Marcus (Melander) has done such a great job with him," said Sears. "The horse has got a lot of talent and he makes my job easy because he knows what we're trying to accomplish out there and he doesn't fight me. He is just a total professional in every way."   It was the 13th lifetime win in only 15 lifetime starts for Chimpanzee ($2.10) who moves closer to the million dollar mark, now with earnings of $895,996 on his card. The Dan Patch Award winning trotter is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Marcus Melander is the trainer. In the other $59,800 NYSS split, Livinonthedash (Muscle Mass-Sunshine Glide) won handily after rationing out the speed in the middle panels. Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller) out-muscled Winnerup (Brian Sears) for the lead at the quarter in :28 and then led the group for the remainder of the race. Miller quickly put the breaks on from there and went the next two quarters in :30.3 and :30.2, getting to the three-quarters in 1:29. There, Lucky Weekend (Jim Morrill Jr.) had caught the leader and was trotting alongside around the final turn. But that would be as close as he would get as Miller gave Livinonthedash his head and he trotted away without urging to win by 1-¼ lengths in 1:58. "I haven't had him on the front end in quite a while and when I got him there we were able to go a nice slow middle half so it worked out well," said Miller. It was the third win in a row, fifth out of his last six and ninth of the year for Livinonthedash ($2.60) who has now amassed $201,272 for his owners the Ervin Miller Stable, David Prushnok and Tangle Massey. Erv Miller is the trainer. Both Gimpanzee and Livinonthedash will compete in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot next Saturday (Aug. 31) and then will return to Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) for the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions. Two divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Saturday, producing the following results. Lights Come On (Chapter Seven-Starlit Eyes) Driver - Billy Davis Jr.  Owner - Acl Stuteri Ab, Ted Gewertz and Anette Lorentzen Trainer - Anette Lorentzen  Breeder - Winbak Farm Time - 1:57.1  Mutuel - $3.10 JNR Express (Conway Hall-Yankee T L C) Driver - Brian Sears  Owner - James De Armond and Russell Young Trainer - Jessica Okusko  Breeder - Donald La Page Time - 1:57.4  Mutuel - $7.60 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 25) and features Family Fun Day and the very popular Weiner dog races. Post time for the first horse race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It's not too often Batavia Downs gets to host a Hambletonian finalist and Dan Patch Award winner all in the same night, but Saturday (Aug. 24) will be one such occasion as Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) will be in town to compete in the $118,500 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colt and gelding harness racing trotters. After going a perfect nine for nine, sweeping all the NYSS legs and final and closing out the year with a win in the $600,000 Breeders Crown, Gimpanzee was named the Dan Patch 2-year-old colt trotter of 2018. He picked up at three right where he left off when he won his first start in the $215,200 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs and then two consecutive NYSS events. He also took a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4 at Tioga Downs and ran his lifetime unbeaten streak to 12. His next start was the Hambletonian elimination where he was parked the whole mile from post seven and finished fourth, only a length behind Green Manalishi in a time of 1:50.3. He advanced to the final and experienced almost the exact same trip; left from post seven, was parked the whole mile and finished a strong closing third, beaten only a length behind the winner Forbidden Trade in 1:51. Gimpanzee's first start in the three weeks since will be in the $58,700 division of the NYSS and for obvious reasons, he is heavily respected as the 1-5 morning line choice. Trainer Marcus Melander has his regular driver Hall of Famer Brian Sears in the bike and they drew post one in this seven-horse race. There will only be win betting offered on the race. The Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old trotting colts is 1:54.3 set by Archangel in 2012 and later tied by his son Top Flight Angel in 2017. Given Gimpanzee's 1:55, 7-1/2 length romp over the half at Yonkers back in June, this record could be in serious jeopardy. In the second $59,800 split of the evening, Livinonthedash (Muscle Mass-Sunshine Glide) has been made the 2-1 morning choice and certainly looks the part. Livinonthedash comes in with four wins (all on half-mile tracks) out of his last five starts, the only loss in that stretch being to Gimpanzee. Unraced at two, he made his first state stake start in the Excel A series where he made a break and was placed sixth. From there his fortunes turned around. After two overnight starts at Harrah's Philadelphia, Livinonthedash has since been a formidable contender in the NYSS and has the highest money earned ($129,622) and is the third highest point-getter (179) in his bracket. The father and son team of trainer Erv Miller and driver Marcus Miller will start from post four. Winnerup (Credit Winner-Up Front Hotsey) looks to make his presence known despite having drawn post eight as he is the highest money winner ($126,945) and has the second most points (200). Winnerup also likes a half-mile track having won easily at Monticello and Yonkers and just getting beat at Saratoga last week by Livinonthedash. Trainer Trond Smedshammer who usually drives Winnerup has put Brian Sears in the seat for this race and that is the first time anyone other than Smedshammer has sat behind this horse since April. Lucky Weekend (Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation) has only missed the board once in his last six starts and that was due to a break while out of contention. He comes into this race off a win at Yonkers as well and that was gate to wire from post eight. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for trainer Chris Lakata in here. There are also two $15,000 Excel A races on the card. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. Wiener Dogs races on Sunday The “Dog Days of Summer” at Batavia Downs doesn’t only refer to the weather. It also means it's time for the annual Genesee Feeds Wiener Dog races. This popular event is happening once again on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 25) with post time for the first Dachshund dash scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. after the completion of the live harness racing card.  There will be 10 heats contested with each heat winner scoring a $25 Free Play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The heat winners will then return for a championship race where the winning owner will receive $100 in free play, second place finisher $75 in Free Play and third place $50 in Free Play. The owners of the top three finishers will also get two complimentary buffets in the Batavia Downs clubhouse. All entrants will receive doggy bags for their athletes from the official sponsor of the Wiener Dog races, Genesee Feeds of Batavia. The doggy dashes draw one of the biggest crowds of the season to Batavia Downs and is the main event of “Family Fun Day” at the races.  "Family Fun Day is one of my favorite live racing days of the meet” said Director/General Manager of Live Racing, Todd Haight. “The kids always have a great time. You can bring the whole family out because there is something for everyone and you can eat, drink and enjoy everything going on the entire afternoon and it costs next to nothing.” Treat the kids to a fun, affordable day out with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs and soda. Then enjoy free pony rides from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. provided courtesy of Castilone Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep of Batavia. There will also be special guest appearances by Pringles The Clown, Mr. Scribbles, Jason the Juggler, Johnathan the Magician and other fun activities like face painting and sand art for kids of all ages. And everything is presented in a clean, safe environment where kids can just enjoy themselves. Admission and parking are free and live harness racing action begins at 1:15 p.m.  For more information including news, promotions, race replays and the upcoming live racing schedule including the New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions go to www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 22, 2019--Yonkers Raceway Thursday evening (Aug. 22nd) hosted the $154,600 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old harness racing ttrotting fillies. A pair $77,300 beneath-the-raindrops races comprised the event, which resulted in a perfect pair of winners Love a Good Story (Andy Miller, $2.40) went the distance (:29.2, :58.3, 1:28, 1:57.2) in a gapped-out opening division, her sixth win in as many seasonal/sire stakes starts and matching her previous local effort. From post position No. 3, the final margin was 3¼ lengths. Without a Warning (Jason Bartlett) was the bridesmaid at every section, with Miss Jubilation (Ake Svanstedt), Flotus (John Stark Jr.) and C Me Hyde (Phil Fluet) completing the order after a pair of defections. Love a Good Story is a daughter of Chapter Seven co-owned by Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable & Daniel Plouffe and trained by Julie Miller. The exacta paid $7, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered. "It was just business as usual," driver Miller said. There was a lengthy weather (heavy rain/lightning) delay prior to the second group, which only forestalled the obvious. The precipitation just about stopped as track record-holder Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears, $2.40) started Away third from post No. 2, the lass took over from Really Blue Chip (George Brennan) right by the :28.4 opening quarter-mile before taking off...period. She widened by the :58.2 intermission, then finished off the foray (1:27.4, 1:56.3) by 3½ lengths. Seventimesalady (Svanstedt) was second, with No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) and I'lldoitmyself (Bartlett) rounding out the gimmick finishers. For Hypnotic AM, a homebred Chapter Seven ma'am trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc., she's now 5-for-5 (three NYSS, elim and final of Jim Doherty Memorial) to begin her career, never once going off at odds higher than 1-2. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $3.80, the triple returned $50 and the superfecta paid $157.50. "She feels as good as she looks," Sears said. New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Thursday night (Aug. 29th), with the Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old colts/geldings (purse TBA). Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com. PICK-5 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Friday evening’s (Aug. 23rd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $8,812.56 and a $20,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 Friday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Thursday night after a final-race-sequence 42-1 bomber), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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    

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