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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was quite an adventurous mile for Under Paid but after recovering from a wild but brief break, an inquiry and what turned out to be a win photo, he found himself in the harness racing winner's circle in Buffalo Raceway's $8,000 Class A-AA Handicapped Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 13)   Allstar Energy (Ron Beback Jr.) was the winner of the feature but was disqualified and placed seventh after interfering with Under Paid ($3.90) coming off the opening turn. Driver Ray Fisher Jr. was able to collect Under Paid after the gallop to stay in the race. They were able to edge out Dojea Solo (David McNeight III) by a neck for the eventual victory while Ohio Prince (Drew Monti) was placed third.   Ohio Prince was able to set the splits of :28.2, :58.0 and 1:28.0 while Allstar Energy tracked along in second. Turning for home, Ohio Prince got leg weary as the charge was coming from all angles. Allstar Energy hit the line first but the win was denied and Under Paid was moved up to victory lane with a 1:58.0 clocking over the good track.   Trained by Ryan Swift, Under Paid (Rocknroll Dance-Upfront Cruzin) is a 5-year-old horse owned by Jennifer Rogowski. It was the seasonal debut for Under Paid, a lifetime winner of $111,532.   Kevin Cummings, Kyle Cummings, Monti and Shawn McDonough all doubled on the night while Tammy Cummings and McDonough each had two training wins.   Racing will resume on Wednesday with a 10-race program scheduled with the new post time of 6 p.m. There will be a guaranteed pool of $4,000 in the Pick 5 starting in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com or follow along on Twitter or Facebook.       by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Monticello, NY – Due to heavy snowfall and the aftermath of winter Storm Orlena, Monticello Raceway has canceled live racing for Wednesday February 3.   Shawn Wiles Director of Racing & Facilities Monticello Raceway

Favorites were foiled in each leg of Wednesday night's (January 27) Pick 6 at Yonkers Raceway, leading to no one being able to go six-for-six in the sequence. As a result, there will be a carryover of $4,213.36 and a guaranteed pool of $7,500 in Thursday night's harness racing Pick 6. The guarantee is being offered as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Free past performances for the Pick 6, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available here. Yonkers Raceway's Pick 6 has a takeout rate of 20 percent, as do the track's nightly Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Thursday night's 10-race program at Yonkers begins at 7:15 P.M., with the Pick 6 kicking off in the third race.   Yonkers Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Blue Bell Bonnie ($3.90) was seeing 'red' in the stretch and rallied to register the harness racing victory in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace on Wednesday night (January 27).   Driven by Jim Morrill Jr., Blue Bell Bonnie took the lead at the top of the lane and never looked back in beating Yankee Secret (David McNeight III) by a non-threatening half length in 2:00.0 over the good track. Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) took the show position.   The win helped kick off a tremendous opening night for Morrill Jr., owner Mike Torcello and trainer Gerry Sarama as the threesome combined on five victories. Morrill Jr. finished the evening with six trips to the winner's circle.   Blue Bell Bonnie went on a three-race tour to Yonkers and Northfield Park during the hiatus between the Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway meets and she was ready to go.   Sitting fourth behind the pace setting HP Sissy, who set fractions of :29.3, 1:00.0 and 1:29.0, Blue Bell Bonnie was first over down the backstretch the final time. The two on even terms with a quarter mile left but hitting the top of the stretch, Blue Bell Bonnie slowly but surely crept away from the field. notching the convincing victory.   Blue Bell Bonnie (Mr. Big-The Girl Can Bet) collected her first win in three tries on the 2021 campaign. The victory upped the 9-year-old mare's seasonal earnings to $6,140 and $215,864 lifetime.   Defending Buffalo Raceway driver Billy Davis Jr. started the season out with two wins along with Kevin Cummings. Maria Rice, who took the 2020 training crown, posted two victories.   Racing will resume on Saturday with an 8-race program set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com or follow along at Facebook or Twitter.     by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Monticello, NY – On Wednesday afternoon January 27, Greg Merton led all drivers with 4 wins and his older brother Mike enjoyed a double on the harness racing card. Merton won with Proudamerican 2:01.3 -$5.10, Cee Pee Panic 1:58 - $6.80, OK Icon 1:59.2 - $10.80. In the $6,100 Open Trot, Cinnamon Stick held of Exarch and Sweet Royalty in 1:59.4 to give Greg the Grand Slam. Cinnamon Stick is trained by Greg Decker for owner Michael Mulligan of Liberty, NY, the son of Jailhouse Jesse notched his first seasonal win. Also on the card Mike Merton won 2 and Trainer Candace Brandstatter won a pair.   By: Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY - Greg Merton earned his 5,000 harness racing win on Monday January 25 at Monticello Raceway. The career milestone came aboard Reflexionofroyalty (PP1) in race 4 who went wire to wire to score in 1:58.2 over a fast closing LK's Nancy Lee. It was the first win of the young season for Reflexionofroyalty who is owned and trained by Jose Godinez of Bullville, NY. In his career, Greg's mounts have earned over $24,375,000, the 47-year-old local reinsman grew up in the back stretch of Monticello Raceway with his brother Michael and Thomas and a sister Veronica, all of them still competing at the Mighty M. Greg Merton celebrating win 5000                --Geri Schwarz photo Merton wasted no time in pursuit of his next milestone of 9,000, as he won 3 races on the afternoon, also on the card James Devaux won 3 races, who is atop of the leader board with 29 wins, followed by Michael Merton with 19 who had a driving double.   Shawn Wiles Director of Racing & Facilities Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY -   On Monday January 25, Monticello Raceway’s Simulcasting signal will be broadcasted in High Definition (HD).  Monticello Raceway’s Director of Pari Mutuals and Simulcasting, Maureen Flynn said “We are very happy to bring HD to our fans and hope that this will add enjoyment to the many loyal fans that follow and wager on us, Monticello Raceway joins an elite group of only 5 harness racing tracks that transmit their signal in HD” Monticello Raceway’s simulcasting afternoon signal has been a mainstay in the industry and simulcasting parlors for decades, it’s signal is sent to over 500 sites with many International sites as well, such as, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, South America and South Africa. Monticello Raceway is racing 5 days this week, Monday –  Friday with a   12:25 Post Time.   By Shawn Wiles  

Yonkers, NY—The Billings is back. After being sidelined all last year because of the Corona virus the granddaddy of all amateur harness racing series made its seasonal debut at Yonkers Raceway tonight (Jan. 21) with two $6000 non-wagering divisions that were contested prior to the betting card getting underway with familiar names and newcomers participating. The first division was won by newcomer “Steady Jake” Stillwell with Dark Pool in a 2:01.3 clocking while the second split saw veteran amateur reinsman Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff guide Pound Sterling to an easy victory in a 1:59.4 clocking. In his division Stillwell got away in third position and then moved to the front before the half mile timer tripped 1:01.3. Once in command Stillwell played catch me if you can and not surprisingly no one could as Dark Pool rambled on to an oh-so-easy four-length triumph in a time of 2:01.3.. Noble Warrawee and Mike Polansky chased the winner home for second money while “Yankee Joe “Lee garnered the show dough with Can Do. It must have been a thrill for Stillwell since this was his first lifetime driving victory. The winning horse was the 8-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall who is owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Paul Fusco. In the other split Hechkoff' sent Pound Sterling to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and the veteran 8-year old Muscle Hill gelding put it on cruise control and made every pole a winning one en route to a 2-length victory in a time of 1:59.4. If I Must, driven by "Coach Paul” Minore, started in second place early but couldn't make up any ground and finished second. Third place went to Chas Hanover who was driven “Mighty Marianna” Monaco. With the season just getting started and lots of room to add events the next Billings trot will once again be at Yonkers Raceway on February 4. Anyone interested in joining the Billings Series can do so by contacting the series president Tony “the Capo” Verruso by calling 917-697-8985.   John Manzi

On any given day the driver's colony at Monticello Raceway has the depth, talent and ability for a handful of harness racing drivers to win a multitude of races in one day, on Monday January 18, it was Bruce Aldrich's turn as he drove 4 winners on the card. Bruce is now just 6 wins away from a career milestone of 8,000 wins. The banner day started with a dead heat in race 2 aboard Demand An Answer (PP2), who tripped the teletimer with Swancredit (Cory Stratton) next up was Lacarmeliliana 2:00 - $2.50, Spilling The Beans 1:58.4 - $4.00 earned his second consecutive win of the year. Aldrich rounded out the afternoon with After The Lovin 1:59.2-$3.10. Also on the card James Devaux and Cory Stratton each drove home 2 winners, P driver James Scarpias won with Brendas Got It, trainer Chris Petrelli had 2 winners from his stable.   Shawn Wiles Director of Racing & Facilities Monticello Raceway

Alexa Skye came to Yonkers Raceway with four straight harness racing victories and left having made it five in-a-row, taking Thursday night's featured $30,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace in impressive fashion. The 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere stopped the teletimer in 1:52 flat.   Driven by Todd McCarthy, Alexa Skye left quickly from post three and cleared Feelin Red Hot (George Brennan) for the lead prior to the 27 4/5 opening quarter. Alexa Skye, who was the 8-5 second choice, was well-rated to the half, posting that fraction in 56 3/5, and then picked up the tempo to 1:24 2/5 at three-quarters as New Zealand imports Seaswift Joy (Andrew McCarthy) and Bettors Heart (Jason Bartlett) began to advance first-up and second-over, respectively.   On the far turn Seaswift Joy was able to drop into the pocket as Feelin Red Hot retreated, leaving Bettors Heart to try and close in two-wide through the stretch drive. Alexa Skye would have none of that, though, as she finished strongly through the lane, widening late to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths. Bettors Heart, who was the 3-2 choice, was the runner-up, and Seaswift Joy held third over a rallying Siesta Beach (Scott Zeron).   Brett Pelling trains Alexa Skye for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and John Lengacher. Prior to tonight, Alexa Skye won two overnight races at the Meadowlands in December, then slid over to Freehold Raceway where she went from last at the half to first at the wire in two editions of their Fillies and Mares Preferred Handicap on December 26 and January 1. Alexa Skye, who returned $5.50 to win, now has a record of 11-4-1 from 31 career tries, and she has earned $131,140. The Alexa Skye-Bettors Heart exacta paid $12.40 and the 3-5-4 trifecta kicked back $21.20.   In other wagering developments during the card, the $1 Pick 6 paid $1,572.20 for the combination of 8/2/3/5/3/3 and the 50-cent Pick 5 of 3/5/3/3/3 returned $324.25. Those two wagers, along with the Pick 4, feature a reduced takeout rate of 20 percent for 2021.   Live racing at Yonkers Raceway resumes Friday night at 7:15, and the schedule continues on a Monday-Friday basis throughout the year.   Yonkers Raceway

Monticello, NY – On Wednesday afternoon January 13, former 3 time Monticello Raceway Leading dash winning harness racing driver James Devaux scored a Grand Slam on the 10 race card.  Devaux scored in the first race with Six Bax (1:59.2 - $5.70) the son of Kadabra has now won 2 in a row.  Luigi Bizacko (1:59.4 - $7.40) earned a new lifetime mark in the effort for trainer Joe Skowyra for Devaux’s second win.  In the $8,900 Open Trot, James scored with Sweet Royalty (2:01 - $11.80) Sweet Royalty is trained and owned by Steven Ray of New Berlin, NY.  The final win of the afternoon was aboard Elite Five (PP8) 1:59.4 - $5.00, the 4-year-old mare by Always a Virgin is trained by Chris McCracken. Also on the card, Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Mike Merton each drove home 2 winners and trainer Robert Lounsbury had 2 winners hail from his stable.   By: Shawn Wiles

New Zealand harness racing import Let It Ride improved his record since coming to the United States to six-for-six with a 1:52.1 victory from post position eight in the $30,000 Open Handicap Pace on Monday night at Yonkers Raceway as the 2021 meet kicked off.   Let It Ride had regular pilot Dexter Dunn at the controls, and Dunn floated away from the outside draw, landing a seat in sixth in the first turn. Meanwhile, Bettor Memories (George Brennan) shot out to the lead from the pole position and cut the opening quarter in 27 seconds. Bettor Memories would continue to show the way to the 56.3 half-mile marker, but Hesa Kingslayer (Jim Marohn Jr.), another New Zealand-bred, went first-over from fifth just prior to that marker, giving Let It Ride cover to track.   Bettor Memories remained in the lead at the 1:24.3 three-quarters and was able to keep Hesa Kingslayer at bay around the far turn as well, but Dunn turned Let It Ride loose three-wide before they entered the stretch, and he would out-finish his competition while not asked by Dunn, winning by a comfortable length. Speed Man, a Kiwi transplant driven by Scott Zeron, slid out off the cones to follow Let It Ride after three-quarters and wound up closing for second at 99-1, while Hesa Kingslayer came in third, giving the race an all-New Zealand trifecta.     An 8-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven and out of the Bettor's Delight mare Love A Gamble, Let It Ride is trained by Nifty Norman for owner Enzed Racing Stable Inc. Let It Ride, who was a two-time Group 1 race winner in Australia in 2018, has a record of 24-6-8 from 60 career starts and has now earned $375,959. He paid $2.20 to win as the 1-9 favorite. The exacta with Speed Man kicked back $61.50, and the trifecta of 8-3-5 was worth $129.50.   On the wagering front, the first edition of the new $1 Pick 6 at Yonkers had a pool of $2,839, and the sequence of 1/1/2/1,2/8/5 returned $355.50. The 50-cent Pick 5 handled $13,964, and the winning combination of 2/1,2/8/5/1 paid $122.00. As a reminder, the takeout on the Pick 4’s, Pick 5’s, and Pick 6’s at Yonkers is now 20 percent.   Racing at Yonkers will resume on Tuesday night with first post at 7:15, and the track will continue on a Monday-Friday schedule throughout 2021.     Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. – Australian import Let It Ride will make his Yonkers Raceway debut in the featured $30,000 open handicap pace on Opening Night (Jan. 11). The move to the Hilltop comes after the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding took a Meadowlands preferred/open handicap in such style as to garner praise like, “he really amazed me,” from harness racing trainer Nifty Norman. In that start Jan. 2, driver Dexter Dunn slotted Let It Ride into seventh after starting from post nine as Harambe Deo ripped an opening quarter in :26.1. Let It Ride followed the second-over cover of Rock Diamonds and drew within 4 lengths of the lead as Harambe Deo blitzed a :53.2 half-mile. Dunn tipped Let It Ride three-deep at the midway point of the final turn and the pacer rocketed into contention.  Under a tight hold, Let It Ride angled into the stretch on even-terms with Harambe Deo. Dunn took a glimpse over his right shoulder and saw rival Hesa Kingslayer, who followed Let It Ride third-over, still 2 lengths behind and under urging. Dunn gave a few whip taps and pulled the plugs at the furlong marker. Let It Ride didn’t let up, extending through the finish line to cap the mile with a :26.1 final quarter and stopping the clock in 1:48.1, just one-fifth of a second of Golden Receiver’s record January mile at the Meadowlands in 2012. “You just don’t see an 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven come from Down Under and do this sort of thing,” Norman said. “I was hoping he was a winners over type of horse. He’d been a classy old horse, but he hadn’t been very good for a couple years. He trained down good, he qualified good, every start has been good. But his last race was unbelievable. He just seems like he’s getting better all the time, too.” Bred in New Zealand, Let It Ride won his first four starts at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club for trainer Tim Butt with Dunn in the sulky from Feb. 10, 2017 to March 31, 2017. Over the next year, Let It Ride went unplaced in four Group 1 races in his home country, but found better luck in Australia.  Let It Ride won six straight races at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Albion Park between May 26, 2018 and July 21, 2018, including a pair of Group 1 stakes in the AU$100,000 New South Wales Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires and Geldings Final, in which he paced the mile in 1:49.4, and the AU$200,540 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship over 2,680 meters with Dunn driving.  After that Blacks A Fake win, which saw Let It Ride explode out of the pocket to win by 5 lengths, the brilliance seemed to fade. Let It Ride won just three of his next 27 starts through Sept. 26, 2020. Tim and Anthony Butt, longtime friends of Norman, thought the horse would benefit from Lasix and a deal was made to export the horse to the U.S. “Basically, I think putting him on Lasix turned him around,” Norman said. “We didn’t do a lot with him. His feet were a little sore, we changed his shoeing, put him on Lasix, and that was that. He’s such a good-winded horse. He must have a big set of lungs because he never seems to get tired. Nothing bothers him.” Let It Ride was cleared to the U.S. Oct. 5, 2020 and made an impression as soon as he arrived in Norman’s stable. Norman says Let It Ride is easy to be around, is a simple horse to train, and describes him as a gentleman. “He’s a grand looking horse. He’s a big, strong fellow. He’s got a great, big hind end on him and he’s in great shape,” Norman said. “He looks after himself really well. He’s got a good coat and always carries lots of weight. He’s a good-looking horse and good-natured, good to be around. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s a real nice horse.” Let It Ride was ready to qualify in short order and did so at Harrah’s Philadelphia Nov. 11, 2020 with assistant trainer Scott Petherick in the bike. Off a pocket trip, Let It Ride came home in :27.2 to post a 2-length win in 1:55.1. From there, Let It Ride ran up a five-race win streak culminating with that “amazing” Meadowlands win Jan. 2. Dunn drove in each pari-mutuel start. “Scotty qualified him and he said, ‘jeeze, this is the real deal. He’s strong as hell.’ Once we raced him a couple times – and we just raced him off the pace to see how he would be – Dexter came back and said, ‘this thing is a bull,’ ” Norman recalled. “I said, ‘it would be great if I could get him back to where he used to be.’ He said, ‘I think he’s there already. He feels better than he ever did when I drove him.’ I felt pretty good after he said that.” Let It Ride will start from an assigned post eight in his first start at Yonkers, which will also be his first race on a half-mile, or 800-meter, track. Let It Ride spent most of his time in Australia on the 1,400-meter oval at Tabcorp Park Menangle and got several starts over various tracks measuring approximately 1,000 meters.  Let It Ride got one start each over the 946-meter track at Cranbourne and the 931-meter track at Newcastle, which approximate the U.S. half-mile oval. In addition, Norman trains Let It Ride on the half. Norman opted to come to Yonkers before nominating Let It Ride to the Borgata Pacing Series, which closes Feb. 16, 2021. “We’ll see how he handles a half-mile track. I don’t think that will be a big challenge; I think he’ll get around it fine. We’ll just have to see how it goes,” Norman said. “I really wasn’t worried about what he drew, I just wanted to see how he’ll get around Yonkers. I don’t think he’ll be as well-suited to it, I think he’ll be better-suited to the big track, but I just wanted to see how he got around it before I pay him into the stakes races. “He’s a big horse, big hopple,” Norman continued. “He drives pretty good, but some horses just can’t find their speed on a half-mile track. But he seems to pace the turns really good wherever he goes. I don’t think he’ll have an issue.” With Dunn set to drive again, Let It Ride is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The competition includes Hesa Kingslayer, the Mike Deters trainee who finished second in this open handicap Dec. 12, 2020 and won a preferred handicap from post eight at Freehold Dec. 26, 2020 before finishing second to Let It Ride last out. Hesa Kingslayer and Jim Marohn, Jr. will start from post five and are 3-1 on the morning line. Ron Burke will send out Bettor Memories, who will start from the inside after scoring a 1:50.4 pocket-riding victory in the Meadows $16,200 open handicap Dec. 29, 2020. George Brennan will drive the 3-1 shot.  San Domino overcame post seven to score a 1:52.3, 4 1/2-length victory in this open handicap for trainer Deborah Daguet in his last start Dec. 12, 2020. He will start from post seven again tonight with Jason Bartlett set to drive.  Western Fame won two in a row in the local conditions in late November before getting parked the mile as the 7-5 favorite in his open debut for Shane Tritton. Jordan Stratton will look for a cleaner trip with the 8-year-old tonight. Tookadiveoffdipper and Raukapuka Ruler, third and fourth, respectively, in the invitational pace for Borgata Series eligibles Nov. 28, and Speed Man, 35-1 winner of this open Nov. 21, complete the lineup. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.   By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Akron, NY --- As the 2020 Batavia Downs meet draws to a close on Saturday (Dec. 12), the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced the top human and equine performers for this past harness racing season. These awards would normally be presented in the winner’s circle on the final night of racing during the annual UNY-USHWA Night of Distinction. However due to state restrictions with regard to the ongoing global pandemic, that will not be the case this year. The award winners will be given gift certificates in the paddock in lieu of the usual trackside ceremony because no one is allowed on the apron. This will be the first time the Night of Distinction has not been held since its inception in 2008. The following were the best on the track from the 2020 Batavia Downs season.   Driver of the Meet-Jim Morrill Jr. A two-time dash title winner at Batavia Downs already, Jim Morrill Jr. notched his third after winning 101 races, finishing 11 wins ahead of the second place Billy Davis Jr. who won this award last year. In 401 starts at Batavia Morrill also had 70 seconds and 51 thirds for a .391 UDR and winnings of $500,000 for the meet. Morrill, who scored his 7,500th career victory at the Downs this past November, currently sits 13th in North America for UDR among all drivers with 500 or more starts and his overall mark of .383 for the year is the highest he’s had since the 2016 season. Jim Morrill Jr                                --Paul White photo For all of 2020 Morrill has 742 starts, 180 wins, 133 seconds and 92 thirds and $1,267,773 in earnings.     Trainer of the Meet-Gerry Sarama Not only did Gerry Sarama register career training win 1,000 at Batavia this year, he also won 62 races, finishing 31 ahead of his nearest competitor to claim his first training title at the Downs. Sarama also had 34 seconds and 26 thirds during the meet with total earnings of $275,112. Gerry Sarama                       --Paul White photo Sarama has had one of his best overall years training in 2020 with 87 wins, 60 seconds and 55 thirds out of 426 starts while posting a UTR of .326 and earnings of $475,635. That UTR is the highest Sarama has had in 22 years as a conditioner. Sarama also trained two of the meet’s three equine award winners.   Pacer of the Meet-Black Is Back (Western Terror-Magic Moments) 1:52.1, $288,875 Black Is Back made 16 starts at the Downs and won six Open I Handicap paces while finishing second and third twice each, banking purses of $33,645 in the process. He registered his season’s best time on August 29 when he toured the facility at Batavia in a sharp 1:53.4.   This is the second consecutive year Black Is Back has been named Horse of the Meet at Batavia Downs. Black Is Back is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. and is trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.   Trotter of the Meet-Il Mago (Kadabra-Northern Style) 1:52.3, $899,763 Il Mago came to western New York through a private purchase back in July and won his first two races upon arrival. Since the Batavia meet began, he has been in the Open I Handicap trot every week and has dominated that class all meet. In 14 starts Il Mago has won seven, was second twice and third once more and earned $35,390 during that time. His best win time at the Downs was 1:56.4, a mark he hit twice during the meet. The classy 11-year-old has 55 lifetime wins and is currently just $237 short of $900,000 lifetime and has a legitimate chance to cross the $1 million dollar threshold before he retires. Il Mago is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.   Claimer of the Meet-Sir Richie N Sir Richie N started the year racing at the Meadowlands and found his way to western New York through a private sale in January. Although he had moderate success earlier in the year, it was nothing like he would see when he got to Batavia. Sir Richie N raced in claimers ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 during his 18 starts and he won 10 of those along with three seconds. His fastest win came on October 3 when he paced the Genesee County oval in 1:55. His efforts earned him $30,630 in purses and a very strong following at the windows. Sir Richie N is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama. Also, Batavia Downs has announced that the track will offer a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 wager on Saturday (Dec. 12) with a mandatory payout as this is the final card of the meet. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the Batavia Downs and USTA websites or by clicking here.  The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, the closest combination(s) will be paid out on Saturday. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY-USHWA

Monticello, NY- She was the only woman in the race but that was of no concern to Marianna Monaco because she had no trouble defeating her seven male harness racing rivals in the $5000 NAADA Trot at Monticello Raceway on the cold and dreary afternoon of Thursday, December 10. . In an unusual beginning the front-end speed-ball Ladys Big Stormont came up empty and was third at the quarter in "29.1 as Tony Verruso gunned Exarch to the lead with Someway Same Hall and Tony Ciuffetelli following closely. Verruso kept the pedal to the metal and Exarch led by the half in 1:00 flat. Bob Davis was the first to move with Lucky June Bug and Monaco let him pass on the outside and then moved Stealing out to follow, second over. "I think that was the winning move for me by allowing Bob (Davis) to move first and then following him,'Monaco said. "And his horse (Lucky June Bug) was strong to the final turn." With Exarch still cutting the fractions he had command as the field headed for home. "I thought I was gonna be the winner but Marianna had her trotter in high gear on the far outside and he overtook us in the deep stretch," Verruso said. At the wire Stealing was a solid length winner over Exarch who was a nose better than Someday Some Hall in the 2:01.1 clocked mile. For Monaco it was her seventh winner this season Stealing is owned and trained by Darren Rybka, Jr Sent off at odds of over12-1 her charge, Stealing, paid $24.40; $14.00 and $5.00 across the board.   John Manzi

Batavia, NY --- Despite wintry conditions and a sloppy track, driver Ray Fisher Jr. was on top of his game and delivered five horses to the harness racing winner's circle at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 9) including three straight winners in races two through four for the natural hat trick. Fisher's top score was in the $10,200 Open I Handicap trot with CR Blazin Beauty, who bolted right to the front and called all the shots. With the two post time favorites making breaks before the quarter, CR Blazin Beauty went unchallenged through fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:27.4 and then turned for home with a four-length lead. From there she trotted to the wire under wraps to win in 1:59.1. The victory pushed CR Blazin Beauty ($8.70) to $41,275 in earnings for the year for owner Marissa Russo. David Russo trains. Fisher also won with Lady Justice (2:02.4, $19.20) and Mr. Quaker (2:01.2, $6.90), both of whom are trained by his wife Ryan Swift, and Wonderful World (1:58.2, $5.00) and Awake My Soul (2:00.1, $2.50) who were both trained by Sabrina Shaw. Fisher wasn't the only hot driver on the cold night as Jim Morrill Jr. also had a grand slam on Wednesday. Morrill took the co-featured $10,200 Open I Handicap pace for fillies and mares with Blue Bell Bonnie who also went coast to coast. Blue Bell Bonnie tucked third off the gate but Morrill made an early power play pulling past the eighth to take the lead from Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the quarter. Once there, the pair led to the half in :58.1 and three-quarters in 1:27.1. Coming off the last turn Lady London pulled to take a shot at the leader but Blue Bell Bonnie would have none of that. She switched gears and paced away to an easy length win in 1:57.3. Blue Bell Bonnie It was the sixth win of the year for Blue Bell Bonnie ($4.30) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. Morrill filled out his card winning with Le Millienaire (2:02.3, $5.40), Southern Palms (2:00.3, $4.10) and Simonthediamond (2:03.2, $5.40). Live racing at Batavia Downs will resume one more time in 2020 as the meet comes to a close on Saturday (Dec. 9) and the Downs has announced there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 wager that night. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on the Batavia Downs and USTA websites on Thursday (Dec. 10). Post time for the first race Saturday is 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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