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YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 2, 2019 - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Aug. 2nd) hosted the $153,900 New York Sire Stakes Frank Becerra Pace for 2-year-old fillies. A trio of $51,300 races comprised the event. The first division saw Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett, $5.80), as the lone leaver make her five rivals pay (:29, :59.2, 1:28.1, career-best 1:56.1). From post position No. 5, Racine Bell opened three lengths in and out of the final turn before winning by that same margin. Rapunzel Blue Chip (George Brennan) as a loose-pocket second, with 11-10 favorite Dragon Roll (Jordan Stratton) a non-threatening, first-up third. Galleria Gal (Tyler Buter) was fourth. For second choice Racine Bell, a daughter of So Surreal co-owned by Chris & Dale Lawton and trained by Dave Dewhurst, it was her third win in six seasonal/career starts. The exacta paid $51.50, the triple returned $151.50 and the superfecta paid $378. The evening's second sire stakes rendition saw another down-the-road dominatrix in Merga Hanover (Brennan, $4.30). From post No. 3, the public choice held So Rude (Joe Bongiorno) at bay by a head after spongy intervals of :29.1, :59.1, 1:27.4 and 1:56. Movie Town (Buter) was a three-hole third, with Wannashakeyourtree (Bartlett) fourth. For Merga Hanover, an American Ideal ma'am co-owned by Thomas & Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco and W J Donovan, it was her third win in four seasonal/career tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $8.20, the triple paid $31 and the superfecta paid $82. Form didn't hold in the third and final statebred division as 1-2 choice Turnthefrownaround (Bartlett) jumped it off by the half while sitting third. Of those that remained pacing as required, a maiden-no-longer Tipperary Hill (Buter, $59) outgamed Cash Roll (Stratton) by a head in 1:56.3. The latter had taken over from first leader Chuppah On (Harry Landy), putting up subsections of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.2. Meanwhile, pole-sitting Tipperary Hill improved a position when the favorite jumped, then engaged the leader through the final turn before prevailing. Roll with Angel (Dan Dube) and Chuppah On rounded out the gimmick finishers. For sixth choice Tipperary Hill, an Art Major miss co-owned by David Smith, James De Armond, James & Daniel Giannuzzi and trained by Jessica Okusko, it was a first board finish in three '19/life starts. The exacta paid $144.50, the triple paid $584 and the superfecta paid $2,859. As an aside and according to our esteemed photographer, Daniel Giannuzzi was more than mildly enthused with Tipperary Hill's longshot win. He was hoping for the same with Sweet Chapter in Saturday's (Aug. 3rd) Hambletonian Oaks. Friday night's $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was a hat trick for Feelin' Red Hot (Brennan, $2.90). New York Sire Stakes continue downstate Tuesday night (Aug. 6th), with the $153,200 Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. 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

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Three New York-bred trotters look to solidify their names in harness racing history this weekend in the 94th Hambletonian and 49th Hambletonian Oaks. Gimpanzee, a morning-line favorite, and Mr Vicktor will meet in the first elimination heat, looking to secure their place in the $1 million final later in the card Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack. Sweet Chapter has drawn the seventh post in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks final. New York Sire Stakes champion Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) is looking to defend a perfect 12-for-12 lifetime record. His three wins so far this year include the Empire Breeders Class and two wins in the NYSS. As a freshman, Gimpanzee received the 2018 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter from the U.S. Harness Writers Association and set a Yonkers track record of 1:56.3 at the NYSS Night of Champions 1:56.3. Gimpanzee is owned by SRF Stable (Lennart Agren), which also won the Hambletonian in 2017 with Perfect Spirit and Courant Inc. He is trained by Marcus Melander and driven by Hall of Famer Brian Sears. Mr Vicktor (RC Royalty - Hawaiian Vicky) will look to get one (or two) over on Gimpanzee, who he has lost to twice this season, in the Empire Breeders Classic and in a leg of the NYSS in July. The second-place finish was Mr Vicktor's only defeat in five NYSS races this season which sees him sitting at the top of the points board with three legs to go. Mr Vicktor's owners include former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre and assistant equipment manager Joe Lee. He is trained by Jennifer Lappe and driven by Tyler Buter. Buter drove Money Shot Hanover to victory in the 2018 NYSS Final for 2YO Filly Pacers. A victory in the final for either would make them the second New York-bred in two years to capture the Hambletonian. Atlanta took the honor last year in 1:50.4, becoming the first filly since 1996 to do so. Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven-Mom's Sweetie Pie) is representing New York-breds in the Hambletonian Oaks, finishing fifth in her elimination heat to take the final qualifying spot. She took last year's NYSS Consolation Final and is currently in position to qualify for the Night of Champions. A third-place finish in the Empire Breeders Classic Final is also on her list of highlights this season. Sweet Chapter is owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh and Mortgage Boys Stable. Trainer Blake MacIntosh and driver Matt Kakaley both make their Hambletonian Oaks debuts. From the New York Sire Stakes

Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) remains unbeaten after winning the $53,000 first division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshman trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 1). Charlotte Chaplin (Howard Parker) led to a first quarter of :29.1. Love A Good Story ($5.20) took the lead at the top of the back stretch and led to the half in :59.4. Reba Blue Chip (Verlin Yoder) came flying on the outside from fifth and went along side Love A Good Story all around the final turn. Love A Good Story still led to three-quarters in 1:28.4. Love A Good Story, who is trained by Julie Miller for owners Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe, still had a slight lead at the top of the stretch. Reba Blue Chip veered out a little bit in mid-stretch but would give one large charge but fell just short as Love A Good Story hit the line first in 1:56.0. Reba Blue Chip settled for second best. Charlotte Chaplin finished third. Love A Good Story is a filly by Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin. She is now a perfect five for five in her young career. Seventimesalady (Ake Svanstedt) hangs on to win the $52,000 second division of the NYSS. Seventimesalady ($2.70) led C Me Hyde (Phil Fluet) by a nose as they hit the first quarter in :27.0. C Me Hyde took over but it was short lived as Seventimesalady re-claimed the lead and hit the half in :56.1. Munster (Kasper Foget) put on the pressure and battled Seventimesalady around the final turn. Seventimesalady led to three-quarters in 1:27.4. Seventimesalady, who his owned by trainer Svanstedt, Little E LLC., and Knutsson Trotting Inc., shook lose at the top of the stretch. She wasn't out of the woods yet as Without A Warning (Scott Zeron) came flying late but Seventimesalday held on to win by a nose in a lifetime best of 1:56.4. Without A Warning held to settle for second. Hushabye (Tyler Buter) finished third. Seventimesalady is a filly by Chapter Seven-Ava Marion. It was her second win in four career starts. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 2) with a 10 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs welcomes two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Thursday (August 1) The unbeaten Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $53,000 first division. The filly by Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin is trained by Julie Miller for owners Pinske Stables, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Daniel Plouffe. She has NYSS wins at Buffalo, Tioga Downs, Yonkers, and Batavia. That makes her a perfect four for four in her young career. The second choice at 2-1 is the Rick Zeron trained Illdoitmyself (Scott Zeron). The filly by Chapter Seven-Domello is still searching for her first win but she has three seconds in her four starts. She is owned by Rick Zeron Stables, James Walker, and Van Camp Trotting Corp. Munster (Kasper Foget) is the 9-5 morning line choice in the $52,000 second division. The filly by Chapter Seven-Richesse Oblige S is trained by Per Engblom for owners Black Horse Racing, and Wiesman Farms LLC. She has a win and two seconds in three career starts so far. Her win was a leg of the NYSS at Yonkers. Seventimesalady (Ake Svanstedt) is the second morning line choice at 2-1. The Chapter Seven-Ava Marion filly is coming off a NYSS win at Batavia. Owned by trainer Svanstedt with Little E LLC., and Knutsson Trotting Inc., she is one for three lifetime. The 11 race card starts at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Monticello, NY  - Racing for the largest single purse since 2017, Monticello Raceway had 1 division of Sire Stakes racing for a purse of $118,800 and 7 heats of Excelsior races on Monday afternoon.. Jim Morrill Jr. had just driven Market Bre to victory in the second race, then after the winner circle presentation Morrill said "I'll be back in an hour for the that Sire Stake blanket." As the starter picked up the field of 8 Sire Stakes a sudden burst of rain began, Quincy Blue Chip the 1/5 favorite, started from post position 2,  and she led from start to finish, cutting fractions of 28.4,59.0, 1:27.4 to win in 1:56.2, a 1/5 of a second off the track record, (LQ 28.3). Finishing second was the pocket sitter Sensibility, Winndevie was third. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven - Sirenuse) earned her 6th win of the season and her third Sire Stake win and has seasonal earning of $274,000 in 10 starts. She is owned by Barbara & James Boese of Milton Delaware and trainer Richard Banca of Otisville NY. During the winner circle presentation, the rain had stopped and Morrill quipped "I told you I was coming back for that Blanket!" In Excelsior Action, the winners were Hana Dreamgirl 1:59.3- Jason Bartlett / Market Bre 2:01.1 - Jim Morrill Jr. / Crystalline 1:58.2 Scott Zeron / Muscle N Beauty 2:01 - Bruce Aldrich Jr. / Summertime Fever 2:00.1 Jim Taggart Jr. and Marcella Bella 2:02.1 - Bruce Aldrich. Jim Morrill Jr. has a driving double on the card, George Ducharme had a training double. Local reinsman Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Jim Taggart Jr also each had Excelsior driving wins. Chapter Seven lead the way with 3 daughters entering the winners circle. The next stop for the Sire Stake at Monticello Raceway Is on Monday August 12, as 2 year old trotting fillies come to town. By Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Batavia, NY --- As three $34,866 divisions of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings went postward in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (July 28) with Groovy Joe putting in the fastest performance of the day allowing him to remain undefeated. Sandy's Bolt (Jim Morrill Jr.) started from post one and led the majority of the race with Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) sitting in the garden spot. Morrill set quarters of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:26.3 and took his lead into the stretch. But Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) popped the pocket and went right by Sandy's Bolt and then held off a late charging American Rebel (Tyler Buter) at the wire to win by a neck in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the fifth straight win for Groovy Joe ($3.10), all in NYSS action, and it took him to $96,795 for the year. Hutt Racing and Blake McIntosh own the colt with MacIntosh also doing the training. Winbak Farm bred Groovy Joe. The other two divisions ended up being the Ray Schnittker Show as they were both won by his trainees in career best outings. First, Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art) grabbed the lead before the half and put in a strong effort from there. After getting to three-quarters in front by 1-½, Cigars And Port turned for home and opened up even more, eventually winning by three in 1:55.3, which was a new lifetime mark. Schnittker drove Cigars And Port ($7.50) and owns in conjunction with Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewertz and Steve Arnold. Steve Jones bred the Cigars And Port. In the last division Teton Sunset (American Ideal-Gray Ghost) sat a perfect trip behind Oreo Dream Xtreme (Jason Bartlett) who cut the mile and Level Up (Jim Morrill Jr.) who pushed the pace from outside from the half before finding racing room in the stretch to pull away from both of them and win by a 3-½ length margin in 1:57.1, The time was also a new lifetime mark. Teton Sunset ($7.40) was driven by Tyler Buter for trainer/owner Schnittker and his partners David Pepin and Flintlock Farms. The ownership trio bred the winner. There were also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior "A" series on the card that were won by: Sunsetboozecruise (Roll With Joe-Rideintothesunset) Driver-Jim Morrill Jr. Owner-Matthew Dugan Trainer-Erv Miller  Breeder-Kentuckiana Farms Time-1:57.4 Mutuel-$2,10 I Rolled The Dice (Roll With Joe-Keystone Ivy) Driver-Jim Morrill Jr. Owner-Howard Taylor Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Howard Taylor Time-1:57.1 Mutuel-$8.90 Breakout Session (Heston Blue Chip-Troubled Escape) Driver-Scott Zeron Owner-Bay Pond Racing Stable Trainer-Linda Toscano Breeder-Winbak Farms Time-1:58.1 Mutuel-$14.20 Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (July 29) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 27, 2019 - Winnerup (Trond Smedshammer, $5.80) and Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller, $2.20) proved best Saturday night (July 27th), dividing Yonkers Raceway $170,500 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $85,250 races comprised the event. Winnerup, who has been his own worst enemy more than once this season, was a good boy here. From post position No. 5, he worked it out from second-over. Cavill Hanover (Dan Dube), as the 3-4 favorite, could not stand the prosperity of soft (:28.1; 57.2) fractions. He was rolled over by Lucky Weekend (George Brennan) right around the 1:26.1 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Winnerup was waiting his turn before taking over. He widened through the lane, whipping his tow by 4¼ widening lengths in 1:55.1. Horns for Three (Miller) was third at 116-1, with Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley)-trapped behind the stopping leader-and Chip Chip Conway (Jason Bartlett) picking off the minors. Cavill Hanover tired to sixth, beating a pair of breakers. For second choice Winnerup, a son of Credit Winner owned by Purple Haze Stables and trained by his driver, it was his fourth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $25.60, the triple returned $325 and the superfecta paid $2,295. The evening's second sire stakes rendition saw a determined Livinonthedash-essentially gifted a win when Winnerup jumped it off the first time this division came here-need no such largesse now. From post No. 5, he sat out there as maiden Skyway Kon Man (Smedshammer) decided to park everyone. 'Everyone' included Jason's Camden (Bartlett) and a three-deep Our White Knight (Jim Marohn Jr.) After intervals of :28.2; 56.4 and 1:26.4, the leader tired early in the lane. While this way going on, Livinonthedash went widest and closed fastest. He defeated an out-the-mile Jason's Camden by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:56.2. Refi (Jordan Stratton), Skyway Con Man and Powerscourt (Mickey McGivern) settled for the small envelopes. Livinonthedash For Livinonthedash, a Muscle Mass colt co-owned by (trainer) Erv Miller, David Prushnok and Tangie Massey, it was his seventh win in a dozen '19 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $5.70, the triple paid $60 and the superfecta paid $167.50. Saturday night's pair of $46,000 Open Handicaps were won by... -- (Trot) Eye ofa Tiger AS (Bartlett, $54) in life-best-matching 1:54.2; -- (Pace) The Real One (Pat Lachance, $8.10) in 1:51.3, a 50th career victory. New York Sire Stakes returns downstate Friday night (Aug. 2nd ), with the Frank Becerra Pace 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. Click here for full results of tonight's program Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY --- $104,598 in purses will be up for grabs at Batavia Downs on Sunday (July 29) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) rolls into town for the second of nine 2019 stops at the oldest lighted race track in America. This leg will feature the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers who will vie in three $34,866 divisions carded as race three, five and seven. In the third race the undefeated Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) puts his four-race win streak on the line against a truly loaded field. Groovy Joe had been having his way with the competition and posted a lifetime mark of 1:54.3 at Buffalo. However last week although he still won, it was in a dead heat at Saratoga with American Rebel with Freedom Warrior just a half-length behind in third. But he gets another start on a half, which he obviously handles well, and catches a short field too. Matt Kakaley is driving again for trainer Blake MacIntosh and will leave from post five at 9-5. It would seem his closest competitor will be the horse he dead-heated with last week, American Rebel (American Ideal-Restive Hanover). After winning an elimination of the L. B. Sheppard at Yonkers on July 6, American Rebel finished a close fifth in the $120,250 final and then posted a lifetime best at Saratoga of 1:55 the following week (in the dead heat with Groovy Joe). This one is certainly in top form and will look to make some noise here. American Rebel will be driven by Tyler Buter from post three for trainer Rob Harmon. The fifth race has Ray Schnittker's Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art) listed as the morning line choice at 2-1. After winning his first lifetime start in 1:56.3 in a NYSS event at Yonkers, Cigars And Port got parked half the mile the following week and finished fifth. In his last start he tripped-out behind Hurrikanekingjames but couldn't catch him in the lane. Schnittker will be in the bike this week and leaves from post five. Roll With JR (Roll With Joe-No One Is Alone) is winless in the NYSS this year but did just post a solid 1:54.3 career best effort in an overnight event at Harrah's Philadelphia in his last start. Now back in the series, he looks like he's ready to move forward. Kevin Cummings drives for trainer Jeff Cullipher and is 3-1 early line. Hurrikanekingjames (So Surreal-Luxury Goods) looked much the best going gate to wire at Saratoga in 1:55.1, beating Cigars And Port by 2-1/2 lengths. That was from post one; he drew post six here. Daniel Dube drives for trainer John Mc Dermott. The third division in race seven is a very close event. Oreo Dream Xtreme (American Ideal-Spotlight On) is the 2-1 choice and is one of only two horses in the race with a win. He got that in NYSS action at Buffalo and hasn't missed a check in the series yet. Level Up (Art Major-Apogee Hanover) got away poorly at Saratoga last week but rallied well to close sharply, just running out of stretch to finish second. He did not draw inside but it is a short field. Jason Bartlett drives Oreo Dream Xtreme from post three for trainer John Butenschoen and Jim Morrill Jr. drives Level Up for trainer Ed Hart from post five. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series that are carded as races one, six and eight. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Barn Holden (Kevin Cummings) and Third Shift (Jim Morrill Jr.) each won their harness racing division of the New York Sire Stakes for freshmen trotting colts & geldings at Vernon Downs on Thursday (July 25). Both divisions raced for a purse of $54,000. In the first division Barn Holden ($7.50) went to the front and led the group to a first quarter of :28.4. As they reached the top of the back stretch Berkery J (Jason Bartlett) went first over and got within a neck of the lead. Barn Holden held off the challenge and led to the half in :58.2 and was first to three-quarters in 1:26.3. Barn Holden, who is owned by Purple Haze Stables, Out In The Country Stable, Nancy Pratt, and trainer Steven Pratt, gave them all the slip in the stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:55.3. Hobbs (Jim Morrill Jr.) came up late to finish second. Berkery J held on to finish third. Barn Holden is a 2-year-old colt by Conway Hall-Barn Babe. It was his second win in four career starts. Third Shift ($4.50) comes flying late to win second division. Bourbon Express (Jason Bartlett) laid down all the early fractions (:27.4, :57.0, 1:26.0). Third Shift, who is owned by Melby Gard Inc. and trained by Ake Svanstedt, was fourth after three-quarters. Pocket sitter, Beerthirty K (Mike Simons) jumped out the the pocket and challenged Bourbon Express at mid-stretch. Third Shift went three wide and charged by just before hitting the mile in a lifetime best of 1:54.4. Beerthirty K had to settle for second best and Bourbon Express held on for third money. Third Shift Third Shift is a 2-year-old colt by Chapter Seven-Overnight Command. It was his second win in three career starts. Vernon Downs returns to live racing with an 11 race card on Friday (July 26). Post time is at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs.  

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs will celebrate their opening night of the 2019 live harness racing season on Wednesday (July 24) by welcoming the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) as they make their first of nine stops at the Genesee County oval this year. The initial visit will bring two divisions of 2-year-old trotting fillies along who will compete for identical $53,000 purses. The first split that's carded as race five features the undefeated Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin) who is listed as the 6-5 morning choice from post six for Team Orange Crush: Andy and Julie Miller. This filly has already taken a lifetime mark of 1:55.1 at Tioga Downs in her second career start and has won all three of all her races by open lengths. She is the top pointgetter in her bracket and has $52,600 made this year. Love A Good Story will look to add the winners share of this race to her total as well. Per Engblom's Munster (Chapter Seven-Richesse Oblige) is coming off a sparkling effort of her own at Yonkers where she went gate to wire in a career best 1:57.4. That was her first time on a half mile track and the result bodes well for her prospects at the Downs. Jordan Stratton will be at the controls from post two at 2-1. The second division in race six has a pair or performers from from the Ake Svandstedt Stable that were made morning line choice at 2-1 by the track handicapper, as a stable entry. Seventimesalady (Chapter Seven-Ava Marion) and Destiny Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Chasin Clouds Away) will leave from post one and post seven respectively. Seventimesalady is winless in two starts but not for lack of performance. She chased Love A Good Story in a fast 1:55.1 at Tioga to finish second in her first lifetime start and then got parked out for a majority of the mile from post seven at Yonkers last week before finishing third. She will be looking to get a good trip from the pylons with her trainer Svandstedt in the bike. Destiny Blue Chip is also winless in two starts but has put in two solid races trotting close to the leaders, garnering a couple of thirds for her work. Unfortunately she moves out in post from those starts but does pick up driver Jim Morrill Jr. this week who will be an asset to her as he knows the track at Batavia well. Another ready candidate is Really Blue Chip (Credit Winner-Muscles Secret) who has shown she likes a half -mile track. She sat a pocket trip behind Hypnotic AM at Yonkers last week and finished second in a 1:56.1 time, trotting her mile in 1:57.2. And she does have a win in the NYSS already this in her first lifetime start at Buffalo. She is in a perfect spot here to take that next step for trainer Scott Di Domenico. Really Blue Chip leaves from post five for driver Jordan Stratton. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series in races three, four and seven and two $6,700 Excelsior "B" series events in races eight and nine. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The 73rd season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs gets underway on Wednesday (July 24), runs through Saturday (Dec. 14) and features the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions which will be the richest card of racing ever presented in Western New York. Opening night post time is 6 p.m. During the 65-day season, live racing will take place on Wednesdays at 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m. (Sundays through August only). There will also be racing on Monday on four occasions during the meet including July 29 (5 p.m.), August 5 (5 p.m.), Labor Day Sept.2 (1:15 p.m.) and Columbus Day Oct. 14 (1:15 p.m.). And please note a special 3:15 p.m. post on Saturday (Nov.2) for Breeders Cup Day. The racing product will be as good as it gets in both stake and overnight action led by eight divisions of the NYSS that will visit the Downs on Wednesday (July 24), Sunday (July 28), Sunday (Aug. 4), Wednesday (Aug. 7), Wednesday (Aug, 14), Tuesday (Aug. 23), Wednesday (Aug. 24) and Sunday (Aug. 28). And the NYSS Night of Champions will be contested on Saturday (Sept. 14). That night will also mark the return of Batavia Downs signature stake the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Invitational pace. The overnight action is sure to draw the best horses available with the announced 10-percent purse increase across the board. With that in place the Open I events on both gaits (with a minimum of six starters) will compete for $12,500, Open II for $11,000 and Open III for $10,000. Claiming races will be positively affected as well and at all levels. For example, a $25,000 claimer will go for a $11,000 purse, a $10,000 claimer will go for $8,500 and a $4,500 claimer will go for $4,900. As a result, Batavia Downs will pay out over $8 million in purse money during the 65-day meeting. Last year's leading driver Drew Monti will be back to defend his titles against the likes of Kevin Cummings, Billy Davis Jr., Ray Fisher Jr. and Shawn McDonough. The Downs top trainer JD Perrin will also return to try and repeat against last year's leaders that include James Clouser Jr., Ryan Swift, Gerry Sarama and John Mungillo. All participating horsemen will find the track has been completely resurfaced with newly banked turns, proper stretch grading and all new surface material. This should ensure a lightning fast and safe track that and produce fast miles and strong competition. There have been some changes made to the betting menu this year with the addition of a late Pick-3 (on a minimum 10-race card) and a late Pick-4 (on a minimum nine-race card) giving fans two chances to play this popular wager each night. Also starting after Labor Day there will be a guaranteed Pick-5 pool offered on Wednesday in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program. This will include free downloadable program pages available for each of those nights. Betting minimums for each wager include $2 Win/Place/Show, $1 Daily Double and Exacta, 50-cent Trifecta, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 and 20-cent Superfectas. The Downs very popular Clubhouse group dining packages (minimum of 10 people) will return offering delicious buffet options, free programs, Free Play on the gaming floor and new this year, a free $2 bet for each attending member of a group. For availability and pricing check our website at www.bataviadownsgaming.com or call Mary Bucceri at 585.344.6144. Fans attending the track will again find a robust slate of promotions throughout the year. A total of 30 food, betting and prize promotions dot the 65-day schedule with something to interest everyone. Opening night features free programs (while supplies last) to everyone attending the track. Dollar Sundays run from July 28 to August 25 and feature hot dogs, draft beer and soda for only $1 from noon until the last race. Saturday (Aug. 10) is Batavia Downs Gaming Hotel Night where 10 one-night stays at the beautiful Hotel at the Downs will be given away to eligible Players Club members who enter the drawing. Saturday (Aug. 17) is TAG Jewelry Night and a $3,500 (retail) diamond bracelet will be given away to eligible Players Club members who enter the drawing. Saturday (Aug. 24) is Artemis Spa Night. 10 $100 spa gift certificates will be given away to eligible Players Club members who enter the drawing. Sunday (Aug. 25) is Family Fun Day and the famous Wiener Dog Races. This is always the most attended day at the track and features the 15th annual Dachshund Dash wiener dog races sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia. Ten elimination races with eight dogs in each will come down to one final to crown this year's champion. Other events that day include free pony rides, face painting, sand art, snow cones and appearances by Pringles the Clown, Jason the Juggler, Johnathan the Magician and Mr. Scribbles. Monday (Sept. 2) is the annual Labor Day Driver's Bike Race. Eight of our top drivers compete on bicycles for a quarter mile and then those bicycles are randomly given away by drawing to fans who selected the winning driver. Saturday (Sept. 14) is the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions and the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Invitational Pace. There will also be a NYSS T-shirt give-away in conjunction with the Night of Champions. Players Club members will receive a ticket redeemable for a New York Sire Stake T-shirt after the seventh race. "Although our meet is just getting underway, our staff has been working feverishly all year with an aggressive schedule of projects to ready the Downs for the biggest meet we've ever held," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Batavia Downs. "With the New York Sire Stakes selecting us to host the Night of Champions, it was our goal to have our track and facilities in the best possible shape to provide the best conditions for visiting owners, trainers, drivers, their horses and our customers all year and I think we have done just that." By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Nicholas, NY - Tioga Downs will present a Monday matinee card featuring New York's finest 2-year-old pacing fillies. The entries for the New York Sires Stakes numbered twenty necessitating three divisions, each with a purse in the $35,000 range.   The theme for the stakes is a tale of two fillies from opposite ends of the pedigree spectrum that have yet to taste defeat in their brief careers and both may continue on that course as they drew into different divisions on Monday.   Merga Hanover is an American Ideal filly bred in the purple and demanded a bid of $150,000 from the partnership of noted owners Tom & Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco and Bill Donovan. They placed her in the Ron Burke stable and she's been perfect thus far with wins in a pair of Gaitway qualifiers before a Meadowlands overnight and a NYSS win at Yonkers. She'll begin from post 3 in the seventh race on Monday with regular pilot Yannick Gingras slated to drive.   Cash Roll on the other hand hails from more humble parentage, costing her owner Louis Palumbo but $9,000 at auction and races out of the Rich Ringler barn. Not only has the Roll With Joe lass won all three of her purse starts, Cash Roll has not been headed by a rival at any call. Scott Zeron will call the shots from the sulky seat Monday, as he has in her prior state restricted wins. She'll leave from post 6 in the ninth race.   Post time for the Monday card is 1:00 pm.        

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs has announced that Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Center and the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund will be sponsoring a cocktail party to be held before the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions on Saturday (Sept. 14) at the Downs. The party is by invitation only and is for all NYSS finals participants and their guests and some VIP's and will run from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. in Grandstands Banquet Room which is located on the second floor of the building, adjacent to the hotel entrance. The party will conclude in time for everyone to make their way to the clubhouse for the first championship final of the night that will be carded as race two. Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing expressed their excitement looking forward to this very important night for all who race in New York State. "The Night of Champions is a time for the connections of all the horses who made it to the finals to look back on the year and celebrate their success. These equine athletes rose to the top of their class and thrived during a demanding season gathering points across the state from Buffalo to Yonkers, and every harness track in between," said Young. "We're so pleased to join with Wanda Polisseni and her Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Center to celebrate the best of the best at Batavia Downs. Wanda is a dedicated owner of New York-bred horses and her love of the sport makes her a great partner to honor our Night of Champions participants." "It's been many years since Batavia Downs hosted the Breeders Crown back in 1988 and we couldn't be more proud to have been selected this year to showcase the very best horses that have been bred and raced in New York State," said Haight. "Wanda is a longtime friend of Batavia Downs and our "Purple Haze" winner's circle is named after her stable. Now she is joining with us again on this great night to host the NYSS cocktail party and enjoy the best racing in the state. I can't wait for September 14!" Henry Wojtaszek is the CEO and President of Batavia Downs Gaming. His thoughts about the event go beyond its racing significance and expresses the financial impact it will have on the communities that WROTB benefits. "The Night of Champions being held at Batavia Downs is a testament to the hard work being put forth by our staff into making this one of the best racetracks in the country," said Wojtaszek. "Not only will this event attract folks from all over the state to our facility, but also to local hotels, restaurants and businesses. The economic benefit of having this marquee event right here in Genesee County will be felt by all." The $1.8 million Night of Champions races will highlight the richest card of racing ever held in western New York. Also featured on the card will be Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational pace and a slate of races featuring the best resident overnight horses on the grounds. Post time for this grand night of racing will be 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Tioga Downs features two divisions of the NYSS for harness racing sophomore trotting colts & geldings on Friday (July 19). Unbeaton Gimpanzee will be making his third start of the year. Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) is the 3-5 favorite in the $59,800 first division. The 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc, and S R F Stable. After going nine for nine as a freshman he is two for two so far this season. His picked up wins in the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final at Vernon Downs and NYSS at Yonkers. The second choice is the Jennifer Lappe trained Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter). The 3-year-old colt by RC Royalty has won six times in seven starts this season. He is owned by Lappe, Robert Santagata, Diamond Pride LLC., and Joe Lee. He has NYSS wins at Vernon Downs, Monticello, Buffalo and Yonkers this season. The colt's only blemish in 2019 was a second place finish to Gimpanzee in the EBC final In the $60,900 second division Cavill Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The 3-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass is trained Ake Svanstedt for owners Little E LLC., Borje Nasstrom, and Wolfgang A Stable Inc. He has a win, two seconds, and a third in six starts this season. The gelding has four career victories. Travel Winner (Tyler Buter) and Winnerup (Trond Smedshammer) are the chief rivals. They are both the second morning line choices at 7-2. The R. Nifty Norman trained Travel Winner is a 3-year-old colt by Credit Winner. He has four wins this season for owner James Fleming. Winnerup is trained by Smedshammer for the Purple Haze Stables. The 3-year-old colt by Credit Winner has NYSS wins at Vernon Downs and Monticello. He has a total of three wins this year and four career victories. The 13 race card starts at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway begins its final week of the 2019 campaign on Wednesday night (July 17) and the last classification of the New York Sire Stakes will highlight the 13-race harness racing program as the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters will get together for two divisions worth $51,000 each. Post time is set for 5 p.m.   Scheduled as the fifth and seventh races on the card, the Sire Stakes attracted 10 youngsters who were split into a pair of five horse fields.   There will be a local flair to the first division as Barn Holden is tabbed the 2-1 choice from the two post for driver Kevin Cummings.   Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) is co-owned by the Western New York connections of trainer Steve and Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable. Barn Holden arrives fresh off a gate-to-wire 3-1/4 length victory in NYSS competition at Yonkers. He covered the mile in 1:59.   The main threat should come from Sky Castles (Conway Hall-Sand Piper) who drew the inside with Charlie Norris in the sulky. Sky Castles already has a win in the NYSS as he rolled to a 1-1/4 length score in 1:57.4 at Tioga Downs on June 30. In his last appearance at Yonkers, he finished third behind Barn Holden.   The rest of the opening bracket includes Hobbs (Jim Morrill Jr.), Bourbon Express (Jason Bartlett) and Clear Sailing (Dan Daley).   In the second division, Berkery J looms as the one to beat as he comes off a 7-1/2-length victory in 1:58.2 in the NYSS at Yonkers on July 8. Drawing the rail for Bartlett, Berkery J (Chapter Seven-Southwind Caitlin) also has a solid second place finish at Tioga in his only other career start. He's is the even money choice on the morning line.   Saylor drew the two hole for Doug Ackerman and be the main competition to Berkery J. He set the pace in his last outing at Yonkers in NYSS competition but faded late and took second place, losing by two lengths.   Others involved in this race will include Book Seven (Andy Miller), Sing Me A Lalabye (Norris) and Redneckerthenyou (Daley).   The track record for the colt freshman trotters is 1:58.4 established in 2016 by Money MacIntosh while the gelding standard is 2:01.2 set in 2013 by The Lindy Treaty.   There are also a pair of $15,000 events in the Excelsior A Series and one $6,800 race in the Excelsior B Series on the card.   After Wednesday night, Buffalo Raceway will have just two programs left on the season, that being at 5 p.m. on Friday while Saturday, closing night, has a 6 p.m. start time.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, entries, results, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

Vernon Downs welcomes two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing sophomore pacing colts & geldings on Thursday (July 18). In the $58,700 first division the 2-1 morning line favorite is Shake That House (Brian Sears). He is trained by Chris Oakes for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Alan Johnston, and Northfork Racing Stable. The 3-year-old colt by American Ideal is coming off an impressive win at Pocono Downs in the $500,000 Max Hempt Final. He is five for six this season including a win in the Saratoga leg of the NYSS. The second choice at 3-1 is Major March (Jason Bartlett). The 3-year-old colt by Art Major is owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by new hall of fame inductee Linda Toscano. He has three wins this season including NYSS wins at Monticello and Tioga Downs. American Mercury (Tyler Buter) is the 2-1 morning line favorite at the $59,800 second division. Chris Oakes trains the 3-year-old gelding by American Ideal for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chris Pompey, and Scott Bice. His four wins this season includes NYSS wins at Saratoga, Buffalo, And Yonkers. He owns six career victories. The Jenn Bongiorno trained Respect Our Flag (Brian Sears) is the 3-1 second choice. The 3-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe is owned by the Barbara Bongiorno Stable, Bill Lambos, and Dionisios Liberatos. He has three wins so far this season and has reached the winner's circle five times in his 15 career starts. The 10 race card starts at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs.  

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