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Tioga Downs welcomed two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen pacing colts & geldings on Monday (9-2-19). Both divisions raced for a purse of $52,000. Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) captures the first division. Cigars And Port (Ray Schnittker) lead to the first quarter in :26.3. He continued to control the pace as they hit the half in :55.2. Groovy Joe ($3.20) made his move first-over from third and started to close in as Cigars And Port hit three-quarters first in 1:22.4. Groovy Joe, who is owned by trainer Blake Macintosh and Hutt Racing Stable, took over as they made the turn for home. Cigars And Port fought gamely but Groovy Joe was too strong and won in a lifetime bast of 1:52.0. Cigars And Port had to settle for second money. Save Me A Dance (Scott Zeron) finished third. Groovy Joe is a 2-year-old colt by Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk. He has won seven of his nine career starts. American Rebel (Tyler Buter) is a gate-to-wire winner in the second division American Rebel ($4.80) led to the first quarter in :27.1. The betting favorite Freedom Warrior (Jim Morrill Jr.) went on a break as they went by the stands for the first time. American Rebel used a :29.3 second quarter to lead to the half in :56.4. He continued to control the pace as they hit three-quarters in 1:24.3. American Rebel, who is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Robert Robinson and The Harmon Stable, had plenty in the tank as they hit the stretch. Genius Man (Marcus Miller) made a late charge but had to settle for second as American Rebel won in a lifetime best of 1:53.2. Splash Brother (Ray Schnittker) finished in third. American Rebel is 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Restive Hanover. It was career win number five in just nine starts. Wally Hennessey and Mike Simons each drove three winners on the day. Hennessey was first with Mr Dunnigans ($4.60), Sporty Redhot ($3.90), and Ascot Encounter A ($5.30). Simons got his wins with Surreal Sergeant ($28.80), Rockintouch ($12.80), and Road Untraveled ($3.00). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 6) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com.   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Brookdale Bruiser hangs on to win the $6,000 featured harness racing pace at Vernon Downs on Monday (September 2). Brookdale Bruiser ($3.40) jumped out of the gate and hit the first quarter in :27.1. He controlled the pace to the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.0. Brookdale Bruiser, who is owned by the J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, turned for home in front. He looked like he was going to win easily as they hit mid-stretch. Jet Rock (Howard Okusko Jr.) found an opening in the stretch and came flying like a rocket. Brookdale Bruiser braced for the late charge and held on to win by a quarter-length in 1:53.0. Jet Rock had to settle for second. Tempster Hanover finished third. Brookdale Bruiser is a 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. It was his seventh win this season. He now has 15 career victories. Young rising star Dylan Huckabone-Miller won the first two races on the afternoon. The 18-year-old, who drove his first career winner a day after he graduated from high school, went from last to first with Nubble Light ($6.10) to win race one. He took Dream Of Fortune ($3.60) to the winner's circle in race two. It was his first career driving double. Both winners are trained by his father Claude Huckabone III. Joe Nassimos drove two winners on the afternoon as well. He got wins with Golden Brit ($3.90), and The Band K ($7.10). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 6) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.   John Horne

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 31, 2019-It there was a better harness racing advertisement for New York-breds than the one Yonkers Raceway displayed Saturday night (Aug. 31st), one would be hard-pressed to find it. Odds-on favorite Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, $2.60) gave nothing else a chance in the 65th Yonkers Trot, dusting his seven foes in a track-record performance. From post position No. 4 in the $500,000 foray, Gimpanzee took the lead from 127-1 number Sheena's Boy before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. The early portion of the race included a pair of jumpers in Osterc (George Brennan) and Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller). While those two miscreants were leaving the course, Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) was easing into a four-hole. That four-hole became a three-hole after Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) broke. Meanwhile, Gimpanzee was all by his lonesome at the :56.4 half. Then, for good measure, he threw down a :56.4 back half, the result a 1:53.3, 4¼-length win in the second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. The mile was a track record for 3-year-old cots and the fastest Trot held here (Windsong's Legacy won the 2004 edition at Hawthorne in a stakes-record 1:53.1). Forbidden Trade, though no threat to the winner, was a credible, two-move second (in horse's and driver's first local appearance). A recovering Soul Strong was third, with 199-1 rank outsider No Drama Please (Jason Bartlett) and HL Revadon (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved up to fourth and fifth, respectively, after Sheena's Boy broke in a tiring pocket, disqualified from fourth to sixth. Osterc and Livinonthedash rounded out the order. For newly-minted millionaire Gimpanzee, a statebred son of Chapter Seven co-owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, it was his fifth win in seven seasonal starts (career 14-for-26, $1,145,996) The exacta paid $8.50, the triple returned $18 and the superfecta paid $269. Gimpanzee has won all five of his Westchester starts, while Sears won his fourth Yonkers Trot. "All the credit to Marcus (Melander) and his outfit," Sears said. "He's been a total pro from the first time I sat behind him, just so mature and he was ready tonight. It's just a pleasure to be a part of it." "When the draw came out, I knew it was his race to lose," Melander said of the defending statebred and overall divisional champion. He's been great on a half (-mile track). "He lays down in the turns over like a motorcycle. "This is an amazing race to win and I don't think there is a better 3-year-old on a half-mile track and I think he showed it tonight." A race later, the half-million-dollar 64th Messenger Stakes found American Mercury (Tyler Buter, $16.20) finding room inside and picking off 1-20 favorite Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) in 1:51.3. Pole-sitting Bettor's Wish, as expected, left the gate, while American Mercury-from post No. 3-stepped around Branquinho (Ray Schnittker) and into an early pocket. They weren't going that much (:27., :55.3), not even when U S Captain (Bartlett) moved from fourth. That one did draw alongside Bettor's Wish, however, in a modest 28-second (1:23.3) third quarter. That left Buter with a decision...swing off the cones or hope to find room inside. Bettor's Wish-the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into the race-owned a length lead into the lane, gradually disposing of U S Captain. A patient American Mercury was loaded, though, needing a path to ply his craft. He was obliged when Bettor's Wish bore out and the pursuer took down the prohibitive fave, winning the second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown by a head. U S Captain was third, with Branquinho and Escapetothebeach (Corey Callahan) grabbing the minors. Waterway (Joe Bongiorno), Aflame Hanover (Sears) and Reigning Deo (George Brennan) brought up the rear. American Mercury (No.3) picking off 1-20 favorite Bettor’s Wish (Dexter Dunn)   --Mike Lizzi photo It was the first Triple Crown win of Buter's career. For second choice American Mercury, a soph Empire-bred American Ideal gelding co-owned by Crawford Racing, Northfork Racing, Chuck Pompey & Scott Bice and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his seventh win in 10 '19 tries. The exacta paid $22, the triple returned $57.50 and the superfecta paid $308.50. "He was super-sharp coming into the race," Buter said. "First and foremost, I owe [trainer] Chris [Oakes] a big thank you for giving me a shot on this horse. It's been a fun ride all summer, driving him and traveling New York. He definitely came through tonight and showed everybody what he can do. "I came off Dexter (Dunn)'s helmet there and he kicked on the gas. I think that might have been the winning move, because if I stayed there, Dexter was probably going to back into me as much as he could. So then, as soon as I was off his helmet, Dexter stepped on the gas, and I was able to get back down the inside and find a little room late, and it worked out" Asked when the 'switch went on' for American Mercury, Oakes offered, "When I gelded him. He was kind of a big, growthy 2-year-old. He had a lot of ability; we loved him training down, and quite honestly wasn't quite as good as I thought he would be at 2, even though he raced some pretty good miles. Bringing him back at three, he was training good, but I just thought he'd probably be more focused, mentally, for racing, as a gelding. We made that decision and I honestly believe it helped him a lot. "He means business now."   by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 31, 2019--It was an loud Saturday night (Aug. 31st) exclamation point after the stakes portion of Yonkers Raceway Triple Crown harness racing program. Theartofconfusion A (Austin Siegelman, $8.30) rewrote the local track record books to the tune of 1:49.3, Yonkers Raceway's first-ever sub-1:50 mile. From post position No. 4 in the $30,000, 11th-race pace, Theartofconfusion A ('I just let him roll,' Siegelman said) gave nothing else a shot. The confirmed off-the-pace number this night plowed through intervals of :26.2, :54.2 and 1:21.3. His lead increased from 2½ lengths at the half to five lengths at the three-quarters to six lengths in and out of the final turn. The final margin was an obscene 10 lengths, taking two-fifths of a second off the previous Westchester record held in thirds by The Real One (Pat Lachance, 2016). Tequila Monday (Matt Kakaley, this past June) and American History (Joe Bongiorno, a week ago Saturday). Mach N Cheese (Eric Goodell) was a more-than-distant second as the 4-5 favorite, while Fine Diamond (George Brennan) and Elwell (Jim Marohn Jr.) rounded out the gimmick finishers.                                                                                            --Mike Lizzi photo For second choice Theartofconfusion A, a 9-year-old Down Under Riverboat King gelding co-owned by (trainer) Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and Barbara & Donald Arnstine, it was his sixth win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.60, the triple returned $297 and the superfecta paid $1,279.   by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 31, 2019-Golden Tricks (Andy Miller, $17.20) inherited the pocket, then snapped 9-10 favorite Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the wire Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot for harness racing 3-year-olds. A race later, odds-on Trillions Hanover (George Brennan, $2.80) whipped four rivals first-up from last in the $122,224 Lady Maud for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Golden Tricks, from post position No. 3, was actually the first leader before yielding to Starita (Dexter Dunn). The latter jumped it off in the second turn after a :28.2 opening quarter-mile. While Starita was misbehaving, Quincy Blue Chip was out and moving, making the lead before a 57-second intermission. It was a seemingly-sensible 1:27.3 three-quarters after minimal grief from 70-1 Magical Beliefs (Brian Sears). Quincy Blue Chip had a comfortable length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Golden Tricks methodically wore her down. Golden Tricks stuck her tongue out of the money in 1:56. Starita was a recovering third, with Magical Beliefs hanging around for fourth. For third choice Golden Tricks, daughter of Trixton owned by Brixton Medical and trained by Ake Svanstedt, it was her fourth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $60.50, the triple returned $91 and the superfecta paid $489. "I tried to keep her quiet," Miller said after his first drive behind Golden Tricks. The lass had made a Zweig (Vernon) break in her last start. Ake (Svanstedt) said she warmed up good and she felt very good As for Trillions Hanover, who has been knocking hooves with the best in her division all season, a first career half-mile oval appearance wasn't pretty, but it was effective. From post No. 4, she was unhurried, beating no one early in the field that was reduced to a quintet. Bestseller Hanover (Jason Bartlett) made the lead and put up subsections of :27.3; :57.1; and 1:24.4. The speedy third quarter was when Trillions Hanover came to visit. The latter went by early in the lane, defeating a pocketed JK American Beauty (Jordan Stratton) by a length. Bestseller Hanover did hold off a second-over Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter) for third. For Trillions Hanover, a Somebeachsomewhere miss trained by Tom Fanning for co-owners VIP Internet Stable, Falcon Racing & Paul Lang, it was her third win in a dozen '19 tries. The exacta paid $10, with triple and superfecta wagering scrapped due to the abbreviated assemblage. Trillions Hanover                                                          --Mike Lizzi photo "She tries hard, which is something I can't always say about the fillies," Fanning said. "I was worried about the turns, but she hung in there."   by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) wins the ($7,000) featured harness racing trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 23). Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) grabbed the early lead. First Call ($5.10) took over the lead just before hitting the first quarter in 28.2. Only Passing Thru had to settle for the pocket trip and watched as First Call went to the half first in :58.2. First Call continued to lead hitting three-quarters in 1:27.1. Only Passing Thru popped out the pocket as they made the turn for home. The two trotters slugged it out all the way down the stretch. First Call, who is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Robert Buddig, Allen Schwartz, and Connie Hochstetler, dug in and would not be denied winning in 1:55.2. Only Passing Thru had to settle for second. American JJ (Michael Miller) finished third. First Call is a 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner. It was her third win this season. She now has won 13 times in her career. Jimmy Whittemore drove three winners on the night. He got his wins with Gracie G ($35.60), Bold Fresh ($9.40), and Southwind Vixen ($10.00). Gates Brunet was driver-trainer for two wins. He got his wins with Meghan C ($12.60), and Michelle Christine ($2.50). Ben McNeil drove two winners on the night. He came in first with Jersey Boy ($8.90), and Gimmesomeroom ($3.70). Vernon Downs returns to Live racing on Saturday (August 24) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs.  

Two year old harness racing pacing fillies took center stage on Wednesday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the New York Sire Stakes highlighted an action-packed fourteen race card. Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight-Real Desire) has emerged as the top freshman filly in NYSS action this summer and the Ron Burke-trained two year old drew the rail for her $53,500 try on Wednesday. Matt Kakaley sat behind Merga Hanover, who cruised to a decisive victory at odds-on and paced the mile in 1:54, the fastest time of the freshman fillies on the evening. Merga Hanover moved her record to five-for-six as she powered away from a strong group of rivals at the Spa. The trend of favorites prevailing continued in the second division of NYSS for the two year olds as John Berger's Galleria Gal (Art Major-Just A Glimpse-Jate Lobell) made good as the public's 4-5 top betting choice. Galleria Gal opened up a big lead in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:55 to register her second victory of the summer in stakes competition. Tyler Buter piloted the star freshman who now has piled up earnings of more than $82,000 in her seven lifetime tries. The final of the three stakes races on the night went to The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover-Arturo) who was one of her race's three 2-1 shots. Scott Zeron drove the freshman filly for trainer Richie Silverman. It was the second win in six tries for The Fun Marshall who came from off the pace to secure the score in the $52,500 stakes event. Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post.   Mike Sardella

On Tuesday night, Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) did what Cash Me Out does at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The veteran trotter has spent the last several years competing in the Open Trot and the eight year old added another win to his collection in Tuesday's $15,000 harness racing feature for high-steppers. Leading driver Billy Dobson picked up the catch-drive behind the Kyle Spagnola trainee and wasted no time moving the race's 4-5 favorite out to the early lead. Cash Me Out set fast fractions in the early going but after trotting the first quarter in 27.2 did back it down a bit before reaching the half in 57 seconds. Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) appeared to be the major danger and took a run at the favorite in the final quarter but the chase was futile. Cash Me Out recorded his fifth win in the local Open this season as he stopped the timer in 1:55 making a runner-up out of Wings Of Royalty who came up second-best for the second consecutive week in the Open. Silent Pine (Bruce Cooper) came on to finish third. For Cash Me Out, it was the eighth victory in 2019 and the 45th of his career en route to lifetime earnings of more than $1.07 million. The exacta was chalky in Tuesday's feature returning $7.40 while the triple paid $23.40. The victory behind Cash Me Out was one of four on the evening for Billy Dobson who continues to lengthen his monster lead in the driver standings. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a 14-race card featuring the New York Sire Stakes for two year old pacing fillies. First post time is set for 7:05pm with one non-betting race taking place before the wagering portion of the card.   Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 19, 2019-Seven 3-year-olds-four colts and three geldings-have been entered for the 65th Yonkers Trot, second jewel of the harness racing Trotting Triple Crown. The entrants are led by statebred standout Gimpanzee, whose Yonkers Raceway resume reads four (New York Sire Stakes) wins in as many career tries. The son of Chapter Seven began his career with a dozen consecutive wins before finishing fourth and third, respectively, in the elimination and final of the Hambletonian. Gimpanzee enters with earnings of $866,646, including $275,288 this season. Brian Sears is again scheduled to do the honors for co-owners Courant Inc. & S R F Stable and trainer Marcus Melander. The limited number of entrants makes this season's race a one-dash-for-the-(half-million-dollar)-cash event, set for Saturday night, Aug. 31st. The alphabetical list of Yonkers Trot entrants, with declared drivers, are... Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) HL Revadon (g) (Jim Marohn Jr.) Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller) No Drama Please (Tim Yetrick) Osterc (Dexter Dunn) Sheena's Boy (g) (Dunn also listed) Soul Strong (g) (Dunn also listed) (g) - gelding   The 64th Messenger Stakes, second jewel of the Pacing Crown, brings a dozen soph pacers to Westchester. Art Rooney Pace winner Bettor's Wish paid $30,000 for the privilege of buying in. He joins 11 rivals here Saturday night (Aug. 24th) in a pair of $40,000 eliminations, with the first four in each qualifying for the $500,000 finale Aug. 31st. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt who has hit the board in 21-of-22 career tries (12 wins, 7 seconds, 2 thirds, $1,111,600), won May's $300,000 Rooney here by six lengths in 1:51.4. He enters off a life-best 1:47.4 effort in a Kentucky Sire Stakes event at the Red Mile, a seventh win (with three seconds) in 10 '19 tries ($839,544). Bettor's Wish                                              --Mike Lizzi photo That win came five nights after 'stealing' (:57 out, :53.3 home) Northfield's $400,000 Milstein Memorial. Chris Ryder co-owns (with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm & Bettor's Wish Partners) and trains Bettor's Wish, while Dexter Dunn drives. The Messenger entrants are... Aflame Hanover (g) (Corey Callahan) Air Force Hanover (Jordan Stratton) American Mercury (g) (Tyler Buter) Bettor's Wish (Dunn) Branquinho (Buter also listed) Buddy Hill (Sears) Captain Trevor (Stratton also listed) Escape tothe Beach (g) (Callahan also listed) Lyons Johnny Jnr (Dan Dube) Reigning Deo (Stratton also listed) U S Captain (Jason Bartlett) Waterway (Joe Bongiorno) (g) - gelding   The companion events for these races-the $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot (seven entrants) and $122,224 Lady Maud Pace (six entrants)-go as single-sojourn events Aug. 31st.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers

Monticello – The New York Sire Stakes concluded it 2019 Stakes harness racing schedule for the year at Monticello Raceway as 2 year old trotting colts pulled down the curtain.  A track record was equaled and Jason Bartlett won 4 of the 8 races on the afternoon. In the first heat of Sire Stakes racing for a purse of $51,000 saw 5 trotters go to post, Bourbon Express left first from post position 3 and had 5 lengths on the field after an opening quarter of 29.2, Bartlett then applied the brakes with a second quarter of 31.2 and reached the half in 1:00.4 with Chaptiama (Smedshammer) and Sky Castle (Charlie Norris) in tow.  Bourbon Express still had 2 lengths on the pack as they passed the ¾ pole in 1:30.4, he extended the lead to 3 lengths at the top of the stretch.  Pocket sitter Chapiama unleashes a 28.4 last quester to close the gap on Bourbon Express who won by a neck in 2:00.0.  It was the 3rd Sire Stake win of the season for Bourbon Express who upped his seasonal earnings to over $103,000.  The son of RC Royalty was driven by Jason Bartlett for trainer Jessica Okusko and owners Salvatore Vulio, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko.  The win for Bartlett was to be his first of 4 on the afternoon. Bourbon Express                                        --Geri Schwarz photo In the second division worth $52,000, the 1/5 heavy betting favorite Barn Holden started from post 5 in the 6 field was content to let co favorite Berkery J cut the mile. Berkery J tripped the timers in 28.3, 59, 1:28.4 and scored a wire to wire win and equaled the track of 1:58 with a last quarter of 28.3   The well bred son of Chapter Seven – Southwind Catlin, was a $205,000 yearling purchase for owner Ken Jacobs and is trained by George Ducharme.   The win was a new lifetime mark for Berkery J who won a NYSS earlier in the year at Yonkers.  Hobbs (Greg Merton) finished 2nd followed by Barn Holden (Andy Miller) who was 3rd. 2 divisions of the Excelsior A class saw Clear Sailing (Credit Winner – Let-Er-Rumble) earn his maiden win for Dan Daley after sitting the pocket behind the favorite Book Seven, he scored in 2:00. Conquest AS (Conway Hall – Cordele AS) was not deterred by post 7, as the Anette Lorentzon pupil lead every set of the way, winning in 2:00 for his first lifetime win with Jason Barlett  the helm. In Excelsior B action, Crazy For CJ (Crazed - Godiva Linda) extended his win streak to 5 in a row for owners Chasing Dreams Stable of Victor NY, the son of Crazed is trained and driven by Claude Huckabone, he won in 2:01.3 and paid $2.90 to win.  Discus Hanover extended his win streak to 6 in a row, the son of Credit Winner – Dancing Flames has been dominant in the County Fair Circuit won his division in 2:03.1 with the Jason Bartlett in the bike   Shawn Wiles

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 17, 2019-Due to a quirk in the schedule-no racing the previous evening-Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Aug. 17th) offered three-count 'em, three--$46,000 featured harness racing events. The week's marquee trot was blindly drawn and worked to the advantage of pole-sitting, odds-on Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett, $3). Retaking from There'sademoninme (Eric Goodell) right after a :27.4 opening quarter-mile, Eye ofa Tiger AS knocked off his appointed rounds (:57, 1:24.4, life-best 1:53.4). He (Austin Siegelman), whipped his pocketed pursuer by a length, with Lord Cromwell (Austin Siegelman), In Secret (George Brennan) and Such an Angel (Jim Marohn Jr.) rounding out the payees. For Eye ofa Tiger AS, a 5-year-old statebred Chapter Seven gelding co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was his eighth win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12, the triple returned $113 and the superfecta paid $376.50. Saturday night's Open Handicap Pace and Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace were both laid out in the same way...inside number assigned, outside seven numbers drawn. Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $14) closed from last at the three-quarters and seventh off the final turn to snap 11-10 fave Miss You N (Bartlett) in the week's distaff derby. From post position No. 7, the margin was a nose in 1:52. Dibaba N (Goodell) was third, with Annabeth (Siegelman) and D G's Elsa (Joe Bongiorno) settled for the remainder. Gold Orchid N (Dan Dube) led through intervals of :27., 56 and 1:23.3 before fading to seventh.                                                                                                --- Rosie Siri photo For third choice Betterb Chevron N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was her seventh win in 19 '19 tries. The exacta paid $46.80, the triple returned $121 and the superfecta paid $785. Last, but certainly not least, was a 51st career win by favored The Real One (Pat Lachance, $4.10). The Raceway's co-track-record-holder (1:50) was not required to go that fast in the Open 'Cap Pace, but 1:52.2 was sufficiently fast to take down Shneonucrzydiamnd A (Brent Holland) by a neck. The latter led through subsections of :27.2; :56.3 and 1:24.3, with The Real One-away fourth from post No. 5-grinding by first-over. The minors went to Control Tower (Siegelman), Dr. J Hanover (Marohn Jr.) and Perfectly Close (Stratton). For The Real One, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by his chauffeur for owner Helene Filion, he's now 4-for-14 this season (career $1,160,488). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $11.80, the triple returned $63 and the superfecta paid $214. Also Saturday, a season-high, fourth-race superfecta paid $109,674 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket worth $5,483.70). The combination was 7-1-8-5, with The Lunch Pail (Holland) winning at a $79 mutuel. He was chased home by rivals at 20-1, 80-1 and 3-2, respectively.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers

Big favorites Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) and McWicked (Brian Sears) each captured stakes victories to highlight the fabulous harness racing card at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 18). In the $137,000 Artiscape open are pace, Shartin N ($2.10) went to the front just before hitting the first quarter in :25.3. She would slow the pace down using a :29.0 second quarter to hit the half in :54.3. Seaswift Joy N (Brian Sears) went first over and put on the pressure as Shartin N led to three-quarters in 1:22.0. Shartin N, who is trained by Jim King Jr. for owners Rich Poillucci, Jo-Anne Looney-King, and Tim Tetrick LLC., turned for home with a length lead. Seaswift Joy N made one late charge but Shartin N was too strong and won in 1:49.1. Seaswift Joy N had to settle for second money. Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) finished third. Shartin N is a 6-year-old mare by Tintin In America. It was her 13th win in 14 starts this season. She now has won 39 times in her career. McWicked ($2.70) came charging late to win the $170,000 Roll With Joe open male pace. Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) put up all the early fractions (:26.4, :55.2, 1:21.2). McWicked, who is owned by S S G Stables North and trained by Casie Coleman, made a move at the halfway mark. He would get to within a length of Filibuster Hanover after hitting the three-quarter mark. McWicked would eventually wear down a stubborn Filibuster Hanover to win in a seasonal best of 1:48.3. Filibuster Hanover was second best with Donttellmeagain flying late to finish third. McWicked is an 8-year-old horse by McArdle. It was win number three in 2019. He now owns 37 career wins. Zero Tolerance (David Miller) is easy winner in $232,700 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final for sophomore pacing fillies. Zero Tolerance ($2.40) took to the front before hitting the first quarter in :27.3. She easily got to the half first in :55.3. St Somewhere (Yannick Gingras) went first-over and pressured Zero Tolerance to three-quarters in 1:22.4. Zero Tolerance, who is owned by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz while trained by Joe Halloway, made the turn for home and the race was over. She went flying in the stretch and won by four and a quarter lengths to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.2. Fool Me Again (Tim Tetrick) was second best with St Somewhere hanging on for third. Zero Tolerance is a 3-year-old filly by Heston Blue Chip. It was her fifth win this season. She now has 12 career victories. Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley) captures the $238,200 EBC for 3-year-old colts & geldings. Hickfromfrenchlick ($8.10) went to the lead and led to the first quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55.0. As they made their way to three-quarters the big favorite Shake That House (Brian Sears) made his move. Hickfromfrenchlick hit the three-quarters first in 1:21.1. The two went side by side as they went around the final turn. Hickfromfrenchlick, who is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Thomas Spatorico, and Nolamaura Racing LLC., found another gear in mid-stretch and ran away to win easily in 1:48.4. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) was second. Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey) finished third. Hickfromfrenchlick is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was his sixth win in nine starts this season. He now owns 10 career victories. The last three races on the card were cancelled due to bad weather. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 23) with an 11 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Unusual Clarity (Joe Nassimos) captures the $6,000 featured fillies and mares harness racing pace on Thursday (August 15). Dangerousprecedent (John MacDonald) charge to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.1. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) happily followed in the pocket as Dangerousprecedent led to the half in :56.3. Unusual Clarity ($2.50) made his move and took over before hitting the three-quarters in 1:25.1. Unusual Clarity, who is own by Nicholas Gibides and trained by Paul Minckler, led as they made the turn for home. Love Leve Laugh went first -over in the stretch but Unusual Clarity was too strong and won in 1:52.4. Love Live Laugh held on for second with Dangerousprecedent getting third money. Unusaul Clarity is a 4-year-old mare by Betterthancheddar. It was her ninth win this season. She now has 14 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore and Jennifer Lappe each drove two winners on the night. Whittemore won with Ladyyouaregorgeous ($16.80), and Blameitonthenight ($3.30). Lappe was trainer-driver for wins with Beyonces Rockn ($11.60), and Multitaskr Hanover ($11.20). John MacDonald leads all drivers with 76 winsat Vernon Downs this season. He is only three wins from 4000. Howard Parker is second with 64 winning drives. Jimmy Whittemore is third in wins with 54. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 16) with a 12 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs

Yonkers, NY-- The granddaddy of all amateur driving organizations, the CKG Billings Series, move on to Yonkers Raceway for a pair of trots over the speedy double-oval and when the judges hung the official signs "Tough Tyler" Miller and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff each reined a winner in their respective divisions. Miller drove the Nick Surick- trained veteran Jacks To Open, to a 2-1/2 length triumph in 1:59.1 while Hechkoff scored a 1:58 victory with Five Towns, another old-timer whose trained by Kyle Spagnola. In his split Miller was content to head to the pylons from post three as "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo, up behind Tough Get Going, played hardball with Mystical Power, driven by Tony "the Capo" Verruso, and the pair zipped by the quarter in :28 and raced was a team past the half in :57.4 and they were still side by side at the three quarters in 1:28.2. When Mystical Power began to show signs of the overland trip young Miller moved Jacks To Open out to challenge and he trotted to the front before the head of the lane and coasted home an easy winner over Southwind Dorian, driven by 16-year-old Brett "the Kid" Beckwith. Faraldo garnered the show dough with Tough Get.Going. Hechkoff used the front-end route to score an easy triumph in 1:58 with the veteran Five Towns,a 10 year old Andover Hall gelding. Five Towns started from post three and once in command it was "Katey bar the door" as he trotted along with no serious challenges until "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio got Super Manning in high gear as the field neared the third stanza. But that rally was short-lived as Five Towns was up to the challenge and trotted away to an easy victory over Pennacchio's trotter. Shady McCoy finished third for Dave "the Rave" Offenberg. Both races went as non-wagering affairs before the first race on the betting card.   John Manzi for the Billings Series

Hickfromfrenchlick is scheduled to race in Indiana later this season, which is likely to attract attention there thanks to his Larry Bird-inspired name, but first the colt will try to close out a successful harness racing campaign at home on the New York circuit, beginning with Sunday's $238,200 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. The Ray Schnittker-trained Hickfromfrenchlick is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the EBC for 3-year-old male pacers and will start from post one with driver Matt Kakaley. Hickfromfrenchlick won his elimination this past Sunday by a neck over Shake That House, who is the 2-1 favorite in the final. Hickfromfrenchlick has won five of eight races this year and finished no worse than third in any start. Last year, the son of So Surreal-My Girl's A Star won four of his first five races, including the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, before finishing off the board in his final two appearances. "He got sore at the end of last year and I don't think we saw the best of him toward the end," co-owner Patrick English said. "Unlike last year, it seems like he's gotten stronger as the year has gone on, so that's been real impressive. "It's been an absolute thrill having him. He's a gamer. It's like an athlete, when they call your number you've got to be ready to go. He's able to do that." English got involved owning racehorses in 2016, when he started the Nolamaura Racing ownership group that includes his father, Kerry, among others. The English family owns a beer distributorship in Goshen, N.Y., and has long been active on the Board of Directors at Historic Track. Prior to owning horses, Patrick English was taught how to drive by Schnittker. English won a matinee race at Historic Track on Father's Day in 2012. It remains the only time he ever drove in a race. "I'm undefeated," English said, laughing. "People don't realize how much Ray does for a lot of people around here in the sport. He brought me into it and taught me everything I know. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be in the sport. I appreciate everything he does for us." Hickfromfrenchlick was bred by Steve Jones, whose farm is located near Goshen, and purchased for $47,000 at the 2017 Goshen Yearling Sale. The colt's name is based on the nickname of Indiana-born basketball legend Bird, who was known as The Hick from French Lick. A week prior to the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, Hickfromfrenchlick equaled the track record for a 3-year-old pacing colt at Batavia Downs, winning a division of the New York Sire Stakes in 1:51.2. "That was a good mile to watch, not only because he was the winner, but they were racing the whole way," Schnittker said about the race, which saw Hickfromfrenchlick rebuff multiple challenges from Shake That House and then a late charge from Buddy Hill. "They weren't giving any money away that day. "He's come back good this year. He's very versatile, a nice horse to drive. I thought he was a very good horse last year, but I didn't know how sound he would stay. Usually, whatever bites them at 2 comes back and bites them at 3. But I got lucky and he's been very sound this year." Mark MacDonald drove Hickfromfrenchlick for his first six starts this season before being sidelined because of a racing accident. English credited MacDonald with aiding the colt's development. "Matt has done a great job these last couple races, but it was really tough seeing Mark hurt and not able to be on the bike," English said. "I know he's upset about it. When he wasn't traveling he was at the barn with Ray training with Hick. He's also helped out with our two 2-year-olds, Cigars And Port and Splash Brother. He's been a great help." Following the Empire Breeders Classic, Hickfromfrenchlick will compete in the final preliminary round of the New York Sire Stakes on Aug. 29 with an eye toward the series championship on Sept. 14. He then is eligible to the Simpson Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sept. 29 and three races at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Indiana - the Pegasus, Circle City, and Monument Circle. "We're looking forward to that," English said about the horse's trip to Indiana, adding with a laugh, "I've got to think that name is going to bring some popular betting." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Tioga Downs, which hosts several stakes in addition to the EBC. For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

YONKERS, N.Y. - Horsemen are reminded that there has been a change in the Yonkers Raceway draw schedule for the next harnes racing leg of the New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series for 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly (Thursday, Aug.22). The box will close tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 15) at 9:00 a.m., instead of the usual 3:30 p.m. The Yonkers Raceway office will be closed tomorrow evening due to a concert at the facility. For more information, contact the Yonkers race office directly at 914-457-2627, or the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund at 518-388-0178 or info@nysirestakes.com.   Jason Politi

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