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Harness racing driver Mark MacDonald would pilot Atlanta to a track record for freshman trotting fillies by capturing the first division of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and getting his 6,000th career driving victory at Vernon Downs on Friday night (September 22). Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) remained undefeated winning the second division. Fury Road (Chris Lems) would lead the first division ($55,500) trotters into the first quarter in 28.3. It was short-lived when Atlanta (Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip) claimed the top spot just before the top of the back stretch. Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant while trained by Zeron, she would be joined by the first-over by Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) just before the three-quarter marker. The two fillies would then have an epic battle all the way down the stretch. Atlanta ($7.50) would dig down deep to hold off the heavy pressure from Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass - Crown Royal), to set the track record in 1:54.0, while getting her fifth career win. All this making win number 6000 even sweeter for MacDonald. MacDonald would later on add win 6001 with Padua Hanover ($3.60). Supergirl Riley had to settle for second with Perfect Summer K (jimmy Whittemore) getting third. Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) would get her sixth win in six starts taking the second division ($56,500). Big Checkmate (Donald Dupont) would grab the early lead but Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10), who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and trainer, driver Svanstedt, would take over before the first quarter and put up all the fractions :28.3, :58.0, 1:27.2, 1:55.0. The 2 year-old filly was in complete control and would get a career best time beating her top rival Lima Novelty (Jason Bartlett), who came on late to finish second three lengths back. Big Checkmate hung on for third. Chris Lems would win four on the night. He got victories with Give Angel Credit ($7.50), Sweet Thing ($2.10), Dreams Beach Boy ($3.30), and In The Clear ($5.10). Vernon Downs returns to live action on Saturday (September 23) with a 13 race card starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.    

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 22, 2017 - It's a homecoming weekend of sorts, with Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel returning Saturday night (Sept. 23rd) as the harness racing conquering hero. He does so in the first division of Yonkers Raceway's $172,000 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of groupings, at $85,250 and $86,750, respectively, go as the fourth and fifth races in an event named for the one of the Raceway's long-time popular horse owners. As if we needed the assistance, Top Flight Angel won the draw, with the Mr. (Andy Miller) driving for the Mrs. (Julie Miller). The son of 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel grabbed the half-million-dollar Trot by a moist nose in 1:56.3. He then shuffled off to Batavia, airing in a NYSS event (1:54.3). For the season, the Legacy Standardbred (Alan Hainsworth) homebred has won four of his 13 starts ($362,016). Brian Sears, Top Flight Angel's Trot date, tries to beat him this time around with Stick with Me Kid. The Dewycheatumnhowe gelding, trained by George Ducharme, is also 4-for-13 this season. He starts at the opposite end of the seven-horse gate. Seven and Seven (George Brennan, post 4) is Ontario-based trainer Tom Durand's first local visit in since October of 2013. The homebred (Mrs. Durand) son of Chapter Seven has been trying open stakes company for much of the summer, though his lone win was a Tioga sire stakes event. Saturday's second Sorentino division includes Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, post 3). The Archangel colt has won half of his 14 '17 tries ($153,143), though that may be overshadowed by breaks in the finals of both the Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot. Anette Lorenzton trains for co-owners ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. Swell Chap (Sears, post 4) has come to hand late in the summer, entering with consecutive NYSS wins (Saratoga and Batavia). The Son of Chapter Seven colt, trained by Todd Rooney, has hit the board in 11-of-13 starts this season ($157,451). Saturday is the last of 16 sire stakes local legs, after which the judges tabulate the scores to see who's good enough for the $1.8 million Oct. 14th New York 'Day' of Champions. The eight, $225,000 NYSS finals take place during Yonkers' $3.3 million International Trot matinee program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 21, 2017-- Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr., $7) and Hitman Hill (catch-driver Eric Goodell, $2.20) were the Empire's elite Thursday night (Sept. 21st), highlighting Yonkers Raceway's $157,600 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for the harness racing 2-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $78,800 divisions comprised the event. The opening group saw Paprike Blue Chip put in play from post position No. 5 (in one notch after a scratch). Grabbing the first lead, he relented to 3-10 choice Casual Cool (Jason Bartlett). The odds-on number took over just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile, then rated a 57-second intermission and 1:26 three-quarters. Silver Arrow (Mark MacDonald) was loitering first-up while Casual Cool maintained a not-so-casually contested lead into the lane. The people's choice took Paprike Blue Chip to the passing lane, and pass he did. The second choice whipped the fave by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:55, with Silver Arrow photoing American Vision (Jordan Stratton) for third. For 'Paprike,' a Roll with Joe gelding, trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Harmony Oaks & Crawford Racing and VIP Internet Stable, it was his fifth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $9.80, with the triple returning $22. "It's not hard to get along with him," Morrill Jr.--who has won three times with Paprike Blue Chip--said. "There's some class there." Thursday's second sire stakes event saw undefeated, pole-sitting Hitman Hill break in a new chauffeur after Brett Miller was unable to get here (from Delaware, OH) in time. As for Goodell's post-mortem, "He was rank and wild leaving the gate. Very talented, but he needs to control it." There were few stop signs early as My Delight (Brent Holland) made the first lead passing the :26.3 first subsection. Hitman Hill wanted no place in the pocket, making the lead and throwing it down (:55.2, 1:23.4). He owned a 'iffy' length-and-and-a-half lead into the lane, appearing there for the taking. However, in a slow (:29:3) final quarter, no one took it. Hitman Hill held off Topville Olympian (Morrill Jr.) by a head in 1:53.2, with Keystone Tenacious (Jim Marohn Jr.) third. For Hitman Hill, an American Ideal gelding co-owned by Tom Hill & North Fork Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, he's won all six of his career tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5.30, with the triple returning $26.40. Special Thursday props to Marohn Jr., whose four victories were a personal local best. No props, at least not this night, for MacDonald, who remains at 5,999 career wins after going 0-for-9. MacDonald ventures to Vernon Downs Friday night (Sept. 22nd) for statebred frosh trotting fillies. Frank Drucker

Two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for harness racing 2 year -old filly trotters take center stage at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 22). In the first division ($55,500) the morning line favorite at 2-1 is Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller). The 2 year-old by Muscle Mass - Crown Laurel, is owned by Paymaq Racing, George Golemes, and Harvey Eisman, while trained by Erv Miller. She has captured three legs of the NYSS with wins at Yonkers (7-18), Saratoga (9-2), and again at Yonkers (9-11). The top competition is the Ake Svanstedt trained entry of Fury Road (Chris Lems) and Lucky Ava (Svanstedt), who are the morning line second choice at 3-1. Fury Road (Muscle Mass - Bar Ballad) is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. She has captured three legs of the NYSS with wins at Batavia (7-26), Monticello (8-21), and Saratoga (9-2). She was second to Supergirl Riley her last time out at Yonkers. Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky - Ava Marion) is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and Van Camp Trotting Corp. The 2 year-old has four NYSS victories with wins at Buffalo (6-30), Batavia (7-26), and two victories at Yonkers (7-18 and 9-11). In the second division ($56,500), undefeated Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) is the morning line favorite at 2-1. She is part of another Svanstedt trained entry along with Natalie Hanover (Marcus Miller). Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass - Dunk The Donato) is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. She is five for five, winning all of her NYSS starts. She has wins at Buffalo (6-30), Batavia (7-26), Tioga Downs (8-13), and two at Yonkers (7-18 and 9-21). The top rival is Lima Novelty (Jason Bartlett), who is part of the Linda Toscano trained entry with Sevenbuyeleven (John MacDonald), at 3-1. Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven - No Pictures Please) is owned by Kenneth Jacobs. The freshman filly is four for four in NYSS races. She has scored victories at Buffalo (6-30), Yonkers (7-18), Monticello (8-21), and Saratoga (9-2). The only blemish on her record was during the Peaceful Way eliminations at Mohawk (9-11) when she went on a break and finished ninth. Post time for the 12 race card at Vernon Downs is 6:50. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs

On Tuesday September 19, Monticello Raceway hosted it's 8th and final leg of the 2017 New York Sire Stakes Season featuring harness racing 2 year old pacing fillies. The first Sire Stakes event of the afternoon was a six horse field that competed for a purse of $53,500. Betting favorite KJ's Bekah (Jason Bartlett) made a nasty break in the middle of the first turn and went to his knees. Jim Morrill Jr. took advantage of the miscue with the improving Wisdom Tree (PP2) and reeled off fractions of 28.2, 58.2, 1:27.4 tripping the beam in 1:55.2 to score a no nonsense win by 2 lengths, over longshot Sand Artist (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Mink Pink (Matt Kakaley). Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar - Wisdom) filly is trained by Ed Hart, and is owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher, in the process she scored her first pari mutual win and returned $6.50 to the faithful. In typical Jim Morrill Jr. fashion, he sent the 4/5 favorite Alexis Faith from the rail, down the road and played catch me if you can in the final Sire Stakes ($54,500) of the afternoon and led the field to the first stanza in a brisk 27 and continued to show the way to the half in 56.1, down the backside former regular top Monticello driver Jim Marohn Jr. had Azreal As It Gets in perfect striking position and came first over. Alexis Faith was still on top as the field sped to the ¾ in 1:25.2, at this point it looked like the track record of 1:55 was in serious jeopardy as Marohn Jr and Azreal As It Gets continued to grind down pace setter Alexis Faith who tired late in the lane to prevail in 1:55.2 by a slim margin, the win was 2/5's off the track record of 1:55 set by Planet Rock last year. Hurrikane Shorty (Jason Bartlett) redeemed herself after being off her grain in a dull performace last week, finished a game 2nd, pacesetter Alexis Faith was third. The win was Azreal As It Gets second consecutive win after her win last week at Batavia Downs for trainer Jake Huff. The So Surreal - Vanite Semalu filly is owned by Our Horse Cents Stable and Stable 45. Jim Morrill had 3 wins on the afternoon, Bruce Aldrich Jr. took both divisions of Excelsior B's, leaving him just 5 wins shy of career win 7,000. Leading Monticello Raceway driver Jim DeVaux had 1 win on the card, he needs 27 more wins to become a member of the 5,000 club. Breeding shed banter saw both Rock N Roll Heaven and Art Major each has a pair of winners. Excelsior A - $15,000 Majorette Angie - 1:57.2 - $8.60 - Jim Morrill Jr./ Checkered Past - 1:58 - $6.60 - Jim Morrill Jr. Jericho Diva - 1:57.3 - Jim DeVaux - $9.30 Excelsior B - $6,500 Heavens Diva -2:00.4 - $2.10 - Bruce Aldrich / With Wings - 1:59.1 - $3.50 - Bruce Aldrich By: Shawn Wiles

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 18, 2017 -- Yonkers Raceway Monday night (Sept. 18th) hosted the $157,600 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for harness racing 2-year-old colts and geldings. The race again honored the memory of 'Tootie,' the iconic Hall of Fame harness publicist from the sport's golden age. A pair of equally-parsed, $78,800 divisions comprised the event, which, as it turned out, was not for the squeamish. Fourth Dimension (Brian Sears), who entered the opener a perfect 4-for-4, exited have burned much money. Sent off as the 3-10 choice from post position No. 5, he was away third, only to break twice in the back half. The second- (Tito [Andy Miller]) and third-choice (My Lindy Winner [Jim Morrill Jr.]) also misbehaved, a problem not shared by Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt, $31). Going right down the road (:29, :59.4, 1:28.4, 1:57.3) from outside post No. 7, Six Pack never had any anxious moment. He opened 3½ lengths into the lane, then widened to defeat 49-1 shot Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley) by 4¾ lengths. Tito recovered to finish third, while Fourth Dimension wound up a well-beaten sixth. For fifth choice Six Pack, a Muscle Mass colt co-owned (with Stall Kallmar, Little E LCC and Lars Berg) by his trainer/driver, it was his second win six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $353.50, with the triple returning $1,705. Monday evening's second Barasch division saw Ronnie Goldstein (Kim Crawford, $24.20) prevail from the pocket. From post No. 3, he made the first lead (after another leaver broke), then gave it up to 9-10 choice (Perlucky) just past a :29.2 opening quarter-mile. After a :59.1 intermission, Perlucky engaged the second move of second choice Don (Miller), toward the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Don then jumped it off, leaving Perlucky with 2¼-length lead in and out of the final turn. He couldn't finish it off, though, as Ronnie Goldstein surged by. The margin was a neck in a life-best 1:59.1. Seven Iron (Sears) was third. For fourth choice 'Ronnie,' a homebred son of Muscle Mass trained by his driver for owner Steven Goldstein, it was his second win in eight '17 tries. The exacta paid $66, with the triple returning $297. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Tuesday evening’s (Sept. 19th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,969.45.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Monday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

Closing night for the 2017 harness racing season was highlighted by the New York Sire Stakes for sophomore pacing colts and geldings at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 16). In the first division ($61,300) Henry Hill (Marcus Miller) would rundown the favorite Outkast Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the stretch for the victory. Ideal Wheel (Jim Taggart Jr.) would charge out to the lead and bring them to a first quarter in :26.1. Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven) would then make his move taking over just before the half and control the half at :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:22.0. Henry Hill (Roll With Joe) would go first over and take over at the top of the stretch. Owned by Tom Hill and trained by Tony Alagna, the 3 year-old would battle Outkast Blue Chip (second) all the way down the stretch to win by a head in a lifetime best of 1:50.1. Outrajus Blue Chip (Jim Meittinis) would finish third. Henry Hill ($6.80), who didn't race as a 2 year-old, won for the third time in four starts. In the second division ($62,400), Cultural Paradise (Jim Morrill Jr.) would pop out of the pocket to get the victory in the stretch. Pointomygranson (Jim Marohn Jr.) laid down all the early fractions :27.1, :56.0, 1:23.1. Cultural Paradise (Americal Ideal) was content to ride in the pocket all the way to the stretch. Owned by Bradley Grant and trained by Larry Remmen, the 3 year-old surged to the front and just got by Pointomygranson (second) to win in a lifetime best of 1:51.3. Third place went to Serious Major (Jim Taggart Jr.) Cutural Paradise ($5.60), got win number six on the season and notched career victory number nine. Mike Deters was the top trainer for 2017. Mike Simons was the top driver this season. Pacer of the year was Andreios Kardia. Top trotter was Prairie Fortune. Fireworks followed the live racing. Tioga Downs wants to thank all the horsemen and fans for a great 2017 season. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne      

There were eight County Fair Harness Racing Finals as part of the New York Sire Stakes on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The two and three year old pacers and trotters who accrued the most points while traveling throughout the state in the fair circuit all summer long competed in the finals on Friday night. Red hot reinsman Jimmy Devaux stayed that way on Friday as the veteran chauffeur piloted four winners among the eight fair finals that each went for a purse of $10,000. There was one non-betting race among the eight finals and it was two year old colt pacer Buckys Brat (Quik Pulse Mindale) who prevailed to continue his amazing summer. Devaux piloted the Larry LaPage trainee to a wire-to-wire win in the non-wagering event as the freshman stopped the timer in 1:56.1 for his eleventh win in fifteen seasonal tries. A dominant force this summer in the fair circuit, Buckys Brat will likely take part in the Excelsior Final as well as the two year old has been on a tear of late in Excelsior B's as part of the NY Sire Stakes. Devaux drove the winner of the three year old filly pace as Bonita Island (Artiscape) prevailed on the engine and guided longshot Royal Bahama (RC Royalty), who overcame his outside post, to a win in the division for two year old colt and gelding trotters. Devaux's final victory on the night came with the Dave Dewhurst-trained Anja (Credit Winner) who scored in the three year old filly final to complete the grand slam for Devaux. There was a pair of upset winners in County Fair Finals as Gary Clark's Golden Attitude (Conway Hall) scored at odds of 12-1 in the three year old colt and gelding trot final while Napper Tandy (Art Major) upset at 17-1 in the three year old pace final for colts and geldings with Ben McNeil in the sulky. The other winners on Friday night were NY Spirit (Lucky Chucky) in the freshman filly trot final with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky while Casie's Believer (Betterthancheddar) scored in the freshman filly pace for Shawn Gray to wrap up the evening. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

On Tuesday September 19, Monticello Raceway will host the final leg of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies. The next stop for the upper echelon fillies will be the NYSS Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday October 14. As luck, would have it, or not, the top 4 point leaders are competing in the same heat of Sire Stakes in race 10. Ubettergo Go is the point leader by with 207 points, followed closely by Hurricane Shorty with 205, Alexis Faith with 200 & Betterthangraduate with 195. The first heat of Sire Stakes is race 8, the 6-horse field will race for $53,500, Surreal Feeling has reeled off 6 consecutive wins in the Excelsior B class, the $6,000 Goshen Yearling graduate was impressive last week at Batavia, where he made a break at the start and gathered himself to still win in 1:57.2, taking a new lifetime record in the process. The connections of Surreal Feeling have opted to jump over the Excelsior A's and tackle the elite group, she will start from post 5 for trainer Dale Lawton and will be driven by leading Monticello Raceway dash leader Jim DeVaux. KJ's Bekah (PP4) has traveled a similar path, already a 3-time winner in the Excelsior A class, the $140,000 Lexington Select yearling purchase is owned by Kenneth Jacobs. The daughter of American Ideal - Upfrontandpersonal is trained by Linda Toscano, and will be driven by Jason Bartlett. The 2nd dash for the cash ($54,500) has a trio of evenly matched freshman fillies, all with similar paths, as they have individually have won 3 Sire Stakes each, thus far this season. The top point leader of the category Ubettergo Go, drew post position 4, the daughter of Art Major- Ubetterthink is trained by Blake Macintosh, Mark MacDonald will drive. Her credentials are impressive with over $87,000 in earnings, she scored a NYSS win in her last start at Batavia Downs in 1:55.3 and sports a speed badge of 1:53 taken at Vernon Downs. Right next to her behind the starting gate is another Goshen Yearling Sale alumni Hurrikane Shorty ($8,000) from post 5, her black type includes 2 NYSS wins at Yonkers, and 1 at Saratoga. The Art Major - Speed Date offspring is owned by Little E, Jason Settlemoir & A. Geiger, she is trained by Kevin McDermott, Jason Bartlett is in the bike, she is the fastest filly of the bunch with a mark of 1:52, taken at the Meadowlands. The morning line favorite, by virtue of drawing the rail is Alexis Faith, she also has 3 win blankets in her tack trunk this year, she is 3rd in points in the division with 200. Cassie Coleman trains the American Ideal - Cannae Cammie bay filly for owners West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J Robert Darrow and Kevin McKinlay. The 2 time NYSS winner Betterthangraduate, will start from PP6 and will be driven by Matt Kakaley. Post Time is 12:50 By Shawn Wiles

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 14, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway Thursday night (Sept. 14th) hosted the $167,500 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. A pair of equally-parses, $83,750 divisions comprised the event, named for the Raceway's longtime award-winning photographer...and two high-class lasses did not disappoint. The opening event saw Hudson Trot winner Celebrity Ruth (Jason Bartlett, $2.10) return the legal minimum to win after having the legal minimum amount of angst. From post position No. 5, she worked around Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) before leading at every weigh station (:29.2, :59, 1:26.4, 1:55.3). The margin, 2¼ lengths entering the lane, was a wrapped-up length at the wire. Mamora Bay was a never-threatened second, four lengths in front of Maewegonow (Charlie Norris). For Celebrity Ruth, a daughter of 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel owned White Birch Farm and trained by Trond Smedshammer, it was her seventh win in 13 seasonal/career tries (3-for-3 here). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid (local season-low) $3.50, with the triple returning $9.40. The second and final Cipriani division had to wait out a power issue (first-turn lights). When the wattage returned, Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory, $2.40) saved her best for last. Unhurried from post No. 4 (in one notch after a scratch), Barn Bella watched as polester Ostrich Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) led through intervals of :29, :59.1 and 1:27.2. This Ostrich was not about to put her head in the sand, opening 2½ lengths off the final turn. Meanwhile 'Bella,' the defending sire stakes champion, was out briefly before setting fourth. She then moved with purpose from the half, eventually ducking into a vacant pocket before taking her shot at the leader. Barn Bella was relentless, finally wearing down her foe by a neck in 1:56.2. Chapter Too (Brian Sears) was third, beaten 6¾ lengths. For Barn Bella, a Conway Hall miss co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her 11th win in 14 '17 tries (17-for-22 lifetime). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5.30, with the triple cancelled due to the limited number of starts (five, after that defection). Neither the unexpected delay nor the fact his date was coming in off two breaks (Batavia and Tioga) was a concern to Gregory. "She just didn't handle Batavia,:" he said. "The turns there are just too flat for her. I didn't drive her at Tioga the start before, so I can't speak to that. Tonight, she seemed very relaxed and I just wasn't going to race her off her feet early. "I knew she had enough get-up, but the other filly (Ostrich Blue Chip) made us work for it." Frank Drucker

Tioga Downs will end its 2017 campaign on Saturday night (September 16) featuring two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing sophomore pacing colts and geldings . The first division ($61,300) will feature morning-line favorite, Outkast Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.), who is at 5-2. Owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and trained by G Buzzy Sholty, Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven) has won two legs of the NYSS. He first won at Buffalo and then he captured a leg his last time out at Yonkers. The second morning-line choice at 7-2 is Music Is Art (Jim Marohn Jr.). The 3 year-old colt by Art Major is owned by Peter Blood with Rick Perks and trained by Mike Deters. He has three wins in 13 starts this season. The most impressive race was his third place finish in The Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on August 20th. In the second division ($62,400), the morning-line favorite is Cultural Paradise (Jim Morrill Jr.) at 5-2. Owned by Bradley Grant and trained by Larry Remmen. Cultural Paradise (American Ideal) has hit the board in all 12 starts this season. He has finished first five times (all at Yonkers), with five seconds and two thirds. Pointomygranson (Jim Marohn Jr.) is the top rival at 3-1. The 3 year-old American Ideal gelding has won legs of the NYSS in his last two starts. Owned by Gold Standard Equine LLC and trained by Chris Ryder. he won the legs at Monticello and Yonkers. The post time for the 11 race card at Tioga Downs is 6:50. Fireworks follows the live racing. For more information please go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs

Batavia, NY---The $121,500 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters rolled into Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 13) and the track record for that age, sex and gait, which is also the all-time track trotting mark of 1:54.3 set by Archangel in 2012 was tied by his son, Top Flight Angel (Archangel-Top Photo). In the first $60,200 division, Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) left the gate, took the lead and called all the shots from there. Travelling well in hand and totally unchallenged the entire mile, Top Flight Angel set quarter fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:26.2 while opening up a five-length advantage in the process. With the fans on hand aware of the track standard, all eyes were simultaneously on the leader and the clock as Top Flight Angel cruised down the lane and won in 1:54.3, tying the mark. "He was awesome; he just breezed around there. He likes the half. It's just a matter of getting him out of the gate and keeping his attention. He's got the (NYSS) final in a couple of weeks, the Breeders Crown if he's up to it and a couple later stakes. So hopefully we'll be going to the Breeders Crown" said driver Andy Miller. It was the fourth win of the year for the Yonkers Trot champion, Top Flight Angel ($3.80) and it pushed his earnings for 2017 to $362,016 for owner Legendary Standardbred Farm. Julie Miller trains the winner. In the second $61,300 division, Swell Chap (Drew Monti) left from post six and dropped in third as Icanflylikeanangel (Mickey Mc Nichol) took the lead. The field was moving at a brisk clip (:28.1, :57.3) when Monti pulled Swell Chap and started an outer flow in front of the grandstand. Swell Chap drew alongside Icanflylikeanangel and the two matched strides up the backstretch and around the last turn when Stick With Me Kid (Chris Lems) joined the party three-deep coming into the stretch. With the three across the track, Icanflylikeanangel gained a short advantage, but Swell chap swelled-up and came back under urging to win by a length in 1:56.1. "He raced awesome. He put in a good effort at Buffalo (Raceway on July 9) but I didn't get the trip I wanted. I didn't get it tonight either but he got the job done. He's a nice horse" said driver Drew Monti. The win was the sixth of the season for Swell Chap ($11.60) whose earnings now total $157,451. Foge McKeever and Eldon Thompson own Swell Chap (Chapter Seven-Gia) who is trained by Todd Rooney. Two $15,000 Excelsior A series races were also featured on the card Wednesday. Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) won the first division wire to wire in 1:56.4 with Andy Miller aboard. Big Man Ev ($3.10) is owned by the Andy Miller Stable, the Lindy Racing Stable and Harvey Eisman and is trained by Julie Miller. Zack's Zoomer (Deweycheatumnhowe-Passageway) won the second division, cutting the mile in 1:55.2 for Jim Morrill Jr. Zack's Zoomer is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Harvey Eisman. Erv Miller does the training. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

The reigning prom Queen, Clear Idea was looking to regain her recent form, at one point this harness racing season she had reeled off seven wins in a row. In her last two starts she was not her old self and today not even the rail would help her. Planet Rock (PP3) and Jason Bartlett charged hard off the gate and showed the field thru fractions of 27.4, 57.1, at the 5/8 's pole Brett Miller and Tequila Monday (PP6) pulled from the 3 hole and was first over at the ¾ in 1:25.2. At the top of the lane is was a two horse race as Tequila Monday and Planet Rock both dug in deep, but Tequila Monday dug deeper and went on to win by a head, to score in 1:53.2 for the fastest mile of the day, pacing her last quarter in 27.4 for her 7th win of the season, upping her earning to over $270,000. The daughter of American Ideal - Margarita Monday is trained by Chris Oaks for owners Northfork Racing and Chuck Pompey, it was the first of 2 driving wins on the card for Brett Miller. In the second division of the $59,100 New York Sire Stakes, Jason Bartlett once again left the gate strong from post 6 with the betting favorite World Apart for trainer Linda Toscano, she was followed throughout the mile by Queen Josephine as the tandem lead the way through splits of 28.1, 57.3, Ann Hill who was sitting 4th until the half was in the outer flow at the 5/8 pole, at the field past the 3/4 marker in 1:26.1 she was 3rd on the outside. World Apart still had 1 length on the short field of 6 at the head of the lane, Austin Siegelman who won 5 races on one card at Monticello Raceway last week was not to be denied and rallied Ann Hill, opting to go the outside instead of the passing lane in a spirited stretch drive to score in 1:54.2, LQ 28.1 for a new lifetime mark by a scant head over World Apart, finishing 3rd was Touchamatic. The Rock N Roll Heaven - Taxi Fare Hanover lass is trained by 2nd generation Richard Silverman, the victory was the biggest win of his career for the 25-year-old Siegelman. Marcus Miller scored with Magic Forces, the sharp looking daughter of Art Major - Magic of Michelle took a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1 in the first heat of the $15,000 Excelsior A class. Trainer Jim Graham saw his filly Roll With Sparky (Brett Miller) content to sit the garden spot behind pace setter Robin J, to wrestle a win by a scant head in 1:54.0. In the last race on the afternoon, Bullvillstephanie (Roll With Joe - Bullville Ana) won for owner Crevani Farms with Mike Merton in the bike in 1:55.3 for her 4th win of the season. The local connection of Gary Messenger and Jim Taggart took the first leg of the Excelsior B class ($6,600) with Delilah De Vie in 1:57.3, the son of Art Major - Beach Girl De Vie, sat a pocket trip to overtake pacesetter Rollingndiamonds for her 2nd consecutive victory. Kristie Leigh Farms saw their home bred daughter Roll With Ann (Roll With Joe - Lisjune Ann) win in 1:57.1, for trainer by Eddie Hart. Local reinsman enjoyed a good afternoon as Jim Taggart Jr, Austin Siegelman and Michael Merton each enjoyed a visit to the winner circle. New York Sire Stake Action resumes on September 19 with 2 YOPF. Shawn Wiles

Batavia, NY---Some of the best sophomore trotting colts and geldings on the harness racing Grand Circuit will be in town on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 13) to vie for a total of $121,500 in purses offered in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs. And with only one more stop after Batavia before the finals, everyone will be jockeying for point position in a very close race. The first $60,200 division (carded as race three) features Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel and Hambletonian finalist Guardian Angel AS. Top Flight angel (Archangel-Top Photo) was having a very solid year that turned outstanding for his connections last week when he won the $500,000 Yonkers Trot. Previous to that victory he finished fourth in the Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs and had one win in a NYSS leg. He is currently seventh in points for the final and is in need of a win here to keep pace with the leaders and make the draw for the Night of Champions. With $331,916 earned and a mark of 1:55, he is as solid a choice here as you could want. Leaving from post one and listed at 7-5 morning line, Top Flight Angel will be driven by Andy Miller for trainer Julie Miller. Guardian Angel AS (Archangel-Provide AS) has seven wins this year, two of which were in the NYSS. He raced in the Hambletonian final in August and was trotting second in the stretch when he was involved in the highly contentious interference call that saw him break and finish ninth. Most recently Guardian Angel AS won his elimination of the Yonkers Trot, defeating Top Flight Angel in the process. But in the final he made a break after the start and was never in the race after that. Trainer Anette Lorentzon has regular driver Jason Bartlett up once again behind Guardian Angel AS who has drawn post four and is the early 6-5 choice. In the second $61,300 division, Lord Cromwell (Chapter Seven-Oh Oh Its Magic) come in on a two-race win streak and a freshly set 1:54.3 lifetime mark at Saratoga Raceway. He won the $143,737 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway in May and was in the Empire Breeders Classic in June where he finished a close sixth after getting parked the whole mile. He is the top money earner in this race with $169,965 and is part of a stable entry with The Last Chapter (Chapter Seven-J C Josie). Lord Cromwell will depart from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. in tow and the Ed Hart trainee is listed in the entry at 2-1. Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Chapter Seven-Cascade AS) is the top point-getter in the NYSS for this category on the strength of two wins and three seconds in the series. In his last start at Saratoga, he was parked out the better part of the mile and still hung on tough to finish second behind Lord Cromwell, who cut it. For the year overall he has five wins and has never missed the board in 10 starts and those outings have put $138,660 on his card. Like Guardian Angel AS, Eye Ofa Tiger AS is trained by Anette Lorentzon and will be driven by Jason Bartlett. He has post seven and is the early second choice at 5-2. Also on the card are two $15,000 Excel A series trots on the card that offer great betting opportunities and will be hotly contested. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 11, 2017-- Plunge Blue Chip and harness racing trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, returned to town Monday night (Sept. 11th), having missed 29 days with a scratch-sick in between. She was quite healthy, which in turn made her rivals very ill. Perfect 'Plunge' expunged Barn Bella from Yonkers Raceway's track records, highlighting the $157,000 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Three divisions--at $52,000, $52,000 and $53,00, respectively--comprised the event, with the starlet also serving as the opening act. Away third from post position No. 2, Plunge Blue Chip watched as Perfect Summer K (Brian Sears) gave her backers an early (:29, :59) thrill. Moving toward the 1:28.1 three-quarters, 'Plunge' engaged the leader, who offered no resistance. Plunge Blue Chip slapped a six-pack of lengths entering the lane, gearing down to win by 9¾ lengths in that new Westchester standard of 1:56.2…a full second faster than ‘Bella’ from a season ago. A Thing Goin' On (Brett Miller) was second, with Sevenbuyeleven (Jordan Stratton) third. For Plunge Blue Chip, a Muscle Mass miss co-owned by her driver/trainer and (breeder) Blue Chip Bloodstock, she's now 5-for-5 to begin her career. The exacta paid $4.70, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $25.80. "She had a cough (reason for Monticello NYSS scratch) and the time off before this race helped her," Svanstedt said. Driver/trainer doubled-up in the second statebred soiree, but at least this was a fair fight. Lucky Ava, from post No. 5, went the distance (:30.1, 1:00.3, 1:29.4, life-best 1:59.2) She held off pocket-sitting Setntheworldonfire (Andy McCarthy) by three-quarters of a length. White Cheetah (Mark MacDonald) was a first-up third. For 'Ava,' a Lucky Chucky lass co-owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.80, with the triple returning $32 (the six starters finished in ascending wagering order). The final Quaglietta contest saw odds-on Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller, $3.90) dispose of her six inside foes in a down-the-road (:28, :58.1, 1:28.4, 1:58), win-by-2¾-lengths efforts Fury Road (McCarthy) chased the winner around the oval, with Lucky Rainbow (Brian Sears) third. For 'Riley,' a daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Erv Miller for co-owners Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and George Golemes, it was her fourth win in seven '17 tries. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $59.50. This race completed a very popular all-odds-on Pick 5, which returned a season-low $22.12 for every correct 50-cent wager. Frank Drucker

Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr) and Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) would each get impressive New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) victories for harness racing freshman colts and gelding pacers at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 9). Paprike Blue Chip (Roll With Joe - Bliss N Vinegar) would set a track record for 2 year-old geldings in the first division of NYSS ($56,500). Rock Lights (Jim Devaux) would carve out all the early fractions :26.4, :54.4, 1:22.4. Paprike Blue Chip ($3.40) would go from fourth at three-quarters to first by two lengths at the top of the stretch. Owned by Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, and VIP Internet Racing Stable, the John Buetenshoen trained 2 year-old gelding would fly in the stretch to set the Tioga Downs track record in 1:50.0. Silver Arrow would charge up late to finish second. Keystone Tenacious (Mickey McNichol) finished third. For Paprike Blue Chip it was his fourth win in nine starts including three legs of the NYSS. Undefeated Hitman Hill (American Ideal - Fox Valley Shaker) would take the second division of the NYSS ($55,500). Casual Cool (Mike Simons) would lead them all to the first quarter in :26.2. Hitman Hill would grab the lead as the went by the stands for the first time. Jersey Jim (Jim Devaux) would challenge and go by just before hitting the half in :54.3 and would lead going to three-quarters in 1:23.1. Hitman Hill ($2.20) who is owned by Tom Hill with Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, then jumped out of the pocket and took the lead at the top of the stretch but he wasn't home free yet. Casual Cool, Topville Olympian (Jim Morrill Jr.), and My Delight (Fern Paquet Jr.) all came charging at him. Hit Man Hill dug down deep and hung on for his fifth straight including four straight legs of the NYSS. He covered the mile in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian finished second with Casual cool taking third. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 15) for their last weekend of the season. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

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