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On Wednesday afternoon September 2, Monticello Raceway hosted the last leg of the New York Sire Stakes program, the NY County Fair Finals. Each of the 8 divisions raced for a purse of $10,000. Also on the card, was the RUS - New York Fair Series Championship, this was a non-wagering event that was conducted between the 6th and 7th race. It was an afternoon of double and triples, Jimmy Devaux and James Taggart Jr. each had 3 driving wins. Bruce Aldrich and Truman Gale had 2 wins a piece, and the combination of trainer David Dewhurst and owner Phillip Hale accounted for another 2 win pictures. The RUS event was one of the most competitive races of the afternoon. 5 horses went to post for the $2,500 non-wagering race. Iron Will made a break in the middle of the paddock turn before the start and was out of contention early. My Friend Charlie and rider Andrea Pratt starting from post position 3 went right to the lead and took the field past the first stanza in 31:3 and had 6 lengths on the field, the length margin remained the same at the half in 1:03:4. By this time, Iron Will who broke at the start made up about 20 length's and was ranging into contention at the ¾ pole parked first over, passing that station in 1:36:1. At the top of the stretch Iron Will did gain a slight advantage over My Friend Charlie, but the suburb recovery faltered as he made a break in the middle of the stretch. My Friend Charlie won in 2:09:2, almost rewriting the record books for the 1 mile event. When reached later, winning rider Andrea Pratt who was still riding the wave of excitement after winning her first RUS event. "The track was fast and in very good condition" remarked Pratt. "I thought it was a fairly open race and it worked out well for me as I had a good trip" said Andrea. She is also the trainer of My Friend Charlie, "He is a big strong horse' comment Andrea. During the afternoon of racing a BBQ was held adjacent to the paddock, hosted by Monticello Raceway, The Agricultural and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund and the Monticello Harness Horseman Association. County Fair Finals Recap 2 YOTF Linda's Choice, (PP 5) part of the David Dewhurst entry started the day off with a win in 2:05:3 for driver Jim Devaux, it was the first trip of the day to the winners circle for owner Phillip Hale. The daughter of Conway Hall - Howards Sister scored for her 6th seasonal win. 2 YOPF Niche Blue Chip, a daughter of Art Major - PW Spare scored a wire to wire win for driver Gregory Merton and trainer Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. Niche Blue Chip skipped away from the field to win by 5 lengths and taking a new lifetime mark of 2:00 in the process. 3 YOTF Hollywood Jess put owner Phillip Hale in the winners circle for the 2nd time this afternoon. The Conway Hall - Howards Sister lass made it look easy as she extended her lead by every step, to win by 12 in 2:00:3 for driver Truman Gale. 3 YOPF Maya Scape benefitted from the rough overland route that the heavy favorite Kruella was forced to take, was able to prevail in 1:57:3 for trainer - driver Henry Westbrook III. 3 YOPC The glamour division was just that as Adonis Bay scored an impressive win in the fastest mile of the afternoon and a new lifetime mark of 1:55:4. Trained by Harold Smith, and driven by Jim Devaux. 2 YOTC Trooper Jim, a homebred son of Conway Hall - Alpine Girl, owned by Barry, Heather & Evan White & trained by Barry White. Driver Bruce Aldrich showed the way every step of the mile to win in 2:04:2. The co-favorite returned $5.60 to his backers. 2 YOPC It was a good strategy move for Truman Gale to leave fast from the 6 hole with the 6/5 favorite Americanation, as the field was in disarray after 3 horses got tangled up in the first turn. The American Ideal - Cool World colt easily dispatched his opponents, drawing clear by 8 length at the wire in 2:00 for trainer Jeff Johnson Jr. and owner Pine Hill Stables. 3 YOTC The even money favorite JATO (PP2), was content to bid his time and sit in the pocket behind Royalty Rates until just before the ¾ pole, driver Doug Ackley tipped the son of Big Apple Deli to the outside and it was smooth sailing as he won handily by 6 lengths in 2:00:4, LQ 29:4 for owners Margaret and Amy Butler. By Shawn Wiles

Form pretty much ruled the Tuesday afternoon harness racing meeting, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $166,874 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. It certainly did in the second ($82,687) division, as Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $2.10) won as she pleased. Near the back off the early bus from position No. 5, she methodically moved to the lead just passing the half, then put the hammer down. The final margin was an unasked 5¼ lengths in 1:55.3. Northern Obsession (Tyler Buter) was a rallying second, with Zanna Blu (George Brennan) third. For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve Pratt & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her 10th win in a dozen seasonal starts (17-for-21 lifetime). The exacta paid $7.20, the triple returning $62 Form was also in play in the opening ($84,187) sire stakes event, as second choice Lady Winona (Miller)-from post No. 3--snapped pace-setting 6-5 choice Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr.) in an 1:55.3, two-speed number (no misprint, the winning times were identical). The margin here was three-quarters of a lengths. Frou Frou (Brennan) "won the bob" for third as the 52-1 rank outsider. For Lady Winona, a Credit Winner miss trained by Julie Miller for owner Stroy Inc. (which includes Ms. Miller), she's now 3-for-15 this season. The exacta paid $17.20, with the triple returning $459. The hard-working lass was second (ironically, beaten from the pocket) in this past Saturday night's final of the Hudson Filly Trot. Tuesday's sire stakes event honored the memory of Yonkers' longtime, award-winning track photographer, whose family-including son, Ralph-made the winner's circle presentations. Special Tuesday props to Grain of Truth (Jordan Stratton, $17.20) as the ageless (actually 14-year-old) gelding won the $19,000, fifth-race trot in 1:56.1 It was the 81st career win in 336 starts for the now-$1.5 million earner, owned by Charles Iannazzo and trained by Ray Schnittker. Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---There was no doubt who the best New York bred 3-year-old colt competing at Batavia Downs was on Sunday (Aug. 30) after Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). After taking an easy lead from post one, Betting Exchange (Jason Bartlett) extended his advantage to two lengths over The Spy (John Cummings Jr.) at the quarter as post time favorite Artistic Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away poorly and was gapped a distant third. The leader was cruising along untested until Morrill rushed Artistic Major up by half-time and alongside Betting Exchange into the turn. The challenge continued up the backside and to three-quarters in 1:24 but it was there the race was decided. Bartlett gave Betting Exchange his head and he simply paced away from the field. At the wire he was 10 lengths the best in 1:51.2, pacing the back half in a dazzling :55 flat. The winning time tied the track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off in 2014 and was also just one-fifth off the all-time track record of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011. After the race, Jason Bartlett commented "He raced super. I let him roll on the turn and he opened up. He's really a nice one." It was the second win in 14 starts for Betting Exchange ($4.50) and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $318,475 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also does the training. In the first division, Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic's Beachgirl) overcame a fast battle for the lead and two subsequent challenges to hold on for an impressive victory. Off the wings, no one played nice when Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett), K-Rock (Matt Kakaley) and Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry) went three-abreast to argue for the lead. The trio motored up the backstretch and eventually seated with Rockin In Heaven taking the lead in a speedy :26.3. Positions remained unchanged to the half when Americanprimetime pulled first over from third to go after the leader. With Americanprimetime outside prompting Rockin In Heaven past three-quarters in 1:24.1, K-Rock was sitting the perfect trip behind the pair waiting for his chance. When they hit the head of the lane it was obvious Rockin In Heaven had put away Americanprimetime but then had to fight off K-Rock who made his way into the passing lane. This was accomplished with a strong finishing kick as Rockin In Heaven won in 1:53 by a half-length. "I wanted to get him out of the starting gate and to the lead. He dug in well when I called upon him" said Trevor Henry in the winner's circle. It was the eighth win in 15 starts for Rockin In Heaven ($2.60) and it boosted his earnings to $310,565 for 2015. The colt is owned by Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, Gordon McComb and Dr. Ian Moore, who also trains the horse. There were two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series "A" also on the card that went for a combined $30,000. The first event was won by the heavily favored Masterson (Bettor's Delight-Tug River Princess) in 1:54 and it was the fourth straight win for the gelding owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock. Masterson ($3.20) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Tracy Brainard. In the second split, Pop Icon (Bettor's Delight-Pop Queen) overcame a slow start and breaking horses to win in 1:56.3. It was the second Excel "A" win this year for Pop Icon ($11.80) who is owned by Ken Weckstein, Richard Rubin and Gary Messenger, who also trains the horse. Jim Morrill Jr. did the driving. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time set at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Some of the biggest names in Standardbred racing will be at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 30) for the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings division. Fourteen horses are entered to compete in two splits, each vying for $60,200 in purse money. In the first division (carded as race two), Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic's Beach Girl) is the 5-2 morning line choice and for good reason. He is coming in off a lifetime best, 1:50 flat win at Tioga Downs in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic. He is a multiple stakes winner this year, having already captured the Somebeachsomewhere and a leg of the Summertime series at Mohawk Raceway as well as the NYSS at Yonkers. And in those races has finished ahead of the likes of $400,000 Adios winner Dudes The Man and $300,000 Art Rooney Pace winner In The Arsenal. Rockin In Heaven leaves from post five and will be driven by Trevor Henry for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. His main competition appears to be American Primetime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A). Having raced the same slate of races as Rockin In Heaven over the past five starts, American Primetime has not had favorable draws. This week he starts from the rail and should be able to put forth his best effort as a result. His lifetime mark of 1:52.4 was taken over the half-mile oval at Yonkers Raceway and that bodes well for this start at Batavia. American Primetime is 3-1 morning line and will be driven by Jason Bartlett for trainer Rick Dane Jr. In the second division (carded as race four), Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) brings an impressive resume to the table and as a result is the 2-1 early choice. Most recently, Betting Exchange finished fourth in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. After drawing post seven, Yannick Gingras took the colt to the front in :26.2 before getting covered up second by Arque Hanover. They sat the two-hole trip the entire race and fell just short in the stretch once getting loose in the stretch. Betting Exchange finished fourth in 1:50, beaten only three-quarters of a length by Rockin In Heaven. His biggest effort of the year came in the $810,000 Meadowlands Pace final on June 20 where he finished third behind Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit (currently first and third in North America for 2015 earnings) in 1:48 flat. He was only beaten by three lengths and was race timed in 1:48.3 in that marquee event. Betting Exchange has drawn post one and will be driven by Jason Bartlett for trainer Tom Fanning. Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer) will be a major stumbling block for the favorite and has been listed as the 5-2 second choice. Having put together as solid a season as anyone could want, Artistic Major is 10 for 10 in the money and that money has totaled $203,351 this year. He was second in the fastest Empire Breeders Classic elimination (1:49.3) and then finished second once again in the final. All three of his wins have come in NYSS competition including his lifetime mark of 1:50.3 taken at Vernon Downs in June. NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. takes the reins behind Artistic Major and will leave from post 4 for trainer Steve Elliott. There are also two $15,000 NYSS Excelsior Series "A" races slated to go as race one and three. Post time for the matinee card is set for 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs 

 The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway  on Monday night hosted the $151,624 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Four divisions, worth $37,556, $37,556, $38,256 and $38,256, comprised the event. Odds-on choice Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., $3.30)-from post position No. 4--slipped out late, went wide and won the opening grouping in 1:59.1. Credit to Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), who actually beat the winner to the outside, settled for second, a half-length behind. Royal Surprise (Dan Daley) was third. For "Goosebump," a daughter of RC Royalty co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Joe DiScala Jr., Crawford Farms and J&T Silva Stables, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21.20, with the triple returning $78. The evening's second Quaglietta event was strictly a two-lass affair, with pole-sitting Dizzy Broad (Morrill Jr., $6.90) picking off 3-5 favorite Posterity (Charlie Norris) from the pocket in a life-best/night's-fastest 1:58.1. The margin was a length-and-a-half, with Dazzling Dollars (Trond Smedshammer) a best-of-the-rest third. For Dizzy Broad, a daughter of Broad Bahn co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith Jr., she's now 3-for-5 in her first season. The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $34.80. Monday's third sire stakes event was another two-speed number, with short-price miss Non Stick (Dan Dube, $2.80) handily besting Pampered Winner (Jimmy Takter). From post No. 2, the people's preference two-moved and won by 2½ lengths in 1:59.4. Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) was a rallying third. For Non Stick, a daughter of Lucky Chucky co-owned (as Svanstedt Racing) by (trainer) Ake Svanstedt and Little E LLC, she's a perfect 4-for-4 to begin her career. The exacta paid $11, with the triple returning $23.40. The evening's final statebred division was a maiden-breaker for Franniegetyourgun (Takter, $15.60). She sat pocketed from post No. 2, then eased past Lima Playtime (Scott Zeron) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:59.2. Lucky Kristen (Brian Sears) was third. For "Frannie," a Lucky Chucky miss trained by her driver for her driver's wife, Christina, Herbert Holland, Serafino Barone and Steve Bitlisli, is was that first win in four frosh tries. The exacta paid $110.50, with the triple returning $505. The Raceway's live season continues Tuesday with a "French-centric" matinee (first post 1 PM). Frank Drucker

The final leg of the 8 New York Sire Stake divisions will make it farewell stop at Monticello Raceway Tuesday August 25, 2015. Once the entry box was opened, it was determined that there would be 2 divisions of NYSS, each split going for $53,500, the recent kingpin of the division, Dayson was not entered, which didn't the break the hearts of the connections of the 13 that entered that group. There will also be 2 - Divisions of Excelsior "A" $15,000, and 2 Divisions of Excelsior "B" series going for a purse of $6,600. Race 1, 1st leg of NYSS action highlights Allerage Echo (Conway Hall - Echonomical) The Ken Jacobs owned 2 year has a 3 race win streak in this company, Chris Lems will be in the bike for trainer George Ducharme and will start from PP 2. Ray Schnittker brings his ever improving Chargin Cadet (PP3) to the contest. He has twice been a bridesmaid to Allerage Echo, Ray co owns the son of Conway Hall with Ted Gewertz and Joe Faraldo. In the 5th race, Reve Royale, has been the model of consistency lately with a tally of 3 - 1 - 1 in 5 starts, he is the fastest and richest colt of the day, with earnings of $65,444 and a lifetime mark of 1:56:3 taken at the Meadowlands. The RC Royalty - Dream Street colt is trained by George Ducharme for owners, Campbell, Fontaine & Ross. Reve Royale will be driven by regular driver Chris Lems. Trainer George Ducharme who has enjoyed a successful Sire Stakes season at Monticello Raceway having been in the winners circle numerous times. Dan Daley brings his daily double of Crown Point (PP2) Royal Bachelor (PP6) to the fray. Daley with drive Crown Point, Jason Bartlett will steer Royal Bachelor. The Excelsior A's are carded as races 4 & 10. In the first division Uncle Dan and Gremlin Wilson has both shown that they can trot the half mile oval. Each have been previously victorious in this class. On paper Race 10, looks like a good one, with plenty of talent Races 2 & 3 are the Excelsior B series, 13 colts entered this class, racing for a purse of $6,000. Nohealthnowealth starts from the rail with Jim Marohn Jr. for trainer Rob Harmon in the 3rd race. On September 2, Monticello Raceway will be hosting the NY County Fair Finals and the final RUS (Racing Under Saddle) Series. During the card, a BBQ will be held in the paddock, hosted by Monticello Raceway, NY State Harness Breeders and the Monticello Harness Horseman Association. By Shawn F. Wiles

Batavia, NY---Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) lived up to her hype as she toyed with the field in her division of the $120,400 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 22) As Ray Schnittker flew off the gate with Waiting Room to take an early three-length lead, Jeff Gregory floated Barn Doll out before settling in fourth. As the pack entered the clubhouse turn, Gregory started his outside march with the filly and quickly found himself sitting second outside of the leader at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3. Then halfway through the final turn, strategy came into play. Schnittker popped the earplugs looking to pull away while Gregory held his filly firm, making sure she got through that turn without issue. As the pair hit the top of the stretch, Barn Doll became explosive with trot and left the rest behind like they were tied to a post. Barn Doll ($2.10) was a five-length winner in 1:57.3, which was only one-fifth second shy of the track record for this gait and sex. It was the ninth win in 11 starts for the top NYSS point-earning trotting filly and raised her 2015 earnings to $311,520. After the race, Gregory commented "She just loves to pass horses down the lane. The filly is just a pleasure drive." Barn Doll is owned by Steve and Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. Steve Pratt also trains the horse. In the other division, Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore) proved to be much the best even though she was tested early. Chris Lems put Jewels In Hock took and held the point immediately, until Nunkeri (Ray Fisher Jr.) motored up the outside to challenge and then take the lead at the quarter. But with the tepid :30 clocking, Lems pulled to retake the front and did so without issue. From there the race was pretty much over. Lems line-drove the filly to a 1:00.2 half and 1:29.4 three-quarters before letting her out a notch and trotting away from the field to win by two in 1:58.4. "She just does it so easy" Said Lems. "She trotted real strong to the wire. She will definitely be a factor in the finals in a couple of weeks." It was the eighth win in 15 starts (and five out of her last 6) for Jewels In Hock ($3.10) who saw her 2015 earnings inflate to $220,450 for Ken Jacobs' KJ Stable and trainer Linda Toscano. There were also two $15,000 NYSS Excelsior Series A races on the card Saturday. The first was won by Allerage Belle (Conway Hall-Bourbon Belle) in 2:00. The filly was driven by John Cummings Jr. for trainer Megan Wilson. Allerage Belle ($11.80) is owned by Alan Hainsworth. The second division went to High Rise (Conway Hall-RC Biscuit) in 1:58.4. Chris Lems drove High Rise ($2.60) for trainer George Ducharme and owner Ray Campbell Jr. The Downs $9,500 overnight pacing feature was won by Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) in 1:53.4 in one of the most exciting finishes this track has seen in some time. After getting away last and remaining there passed five-eighths, Caprio took full advantage of his rail ride as the field fanned four-deep at the three-quarter pole. Now only three lengths off the lead and with a wall of horses in front of him, Fireyourguns was tipped widest off all; five-deep, and he had a head of steam to back him up. At the top of the lane, Fireyourguns forced his will on the field and pulled away to a one-length victory. It was the ninth win in 13 starts this year for Fireyourguns ($18.60) who is owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terry McClory, who also trains the 6-year-old son of American Ideal. Visiting drivers Jeff Gregory and Chris Lems both scored driving doubles on the card. Racing resumes Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs with a 1:15 p.m. post time. Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Batavia, NY---Two of the five richest 3-year-old trotting fillies in North America, that also just happen to be the top point-getters and money earners in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for their sex and gait this year, will be in town on Saturday (Aug. 22) to compete for the $120,400 up for grabs at Batavia Downs. Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) currently ranks third for money earned in 2015 behind only Mission Brief (who finished second in the Hambletonian) and Wild Honey. She also ranks third for most wins by her sex and gait. Barn Doll has four wins and two seconds in the state series along with wins in both the elimination and final of the $248,275 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs in June where she trotted back to back 1:52.1 miles. Jeff Gregory, who grew up just a short drive from Batavia, comes home to steer the classy filly that will start from post five as the morning line 4-5 favorite for trainer Stave Pratt. In the other division, Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore) is fifth in North America in earnings for her sex and gait and second behind Barn Doll in the state for points and banked winnings. Jewels In Hock comes in on a roll, winning four out of her last five starts, including three NYSS events. She has a seasonal mark of 1:53.3 earlier this year at the Meadowlands and has earned $190,350 on the strength of her seven victories. Chris Lems is in the bike this week for trainer Linda Toscano and will team the filly from post two as the handicapper's choice at 7-5. The two divisions are programmed as races three and four. There are also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior series carded as race one and two. These events go for $15,000 each. Batavia Downs overnight featured Open pace has three of the top side-wheelers in Upstate New York going head to head for the $9,500 purse. JK Panache ships in from Tioga Downs where he just scored a three-length, 1:50.3 win. He has also been victorious in five of his last six outings. His seasonal and lifetime mark of 1:47.3 was taken at Vernon Downs just last month. Fireyourguns has eight wins this year at Tioga, Vernon and Buffalo, but has yet to hit the line first at Batavia. Like JK Panache, he too set a lifetime best of 1:47.3 at Vernon Downs in June and figures to be a major player in this race. Cobble Beach won this race last week in a sparkling 1:52.1 and is a winner of three out of his last four races. His gate speed gives him a definite advantage here as he is in top form right now and working on a career best year. Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Locally based trotter Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty) scored a front running victory in one of the two top flight New York Sire Stakes races on Wednesday night at the harness racing meeting at Saratoga. Mickey McGivern pilots the sophomore Cheryl McGivern trainee and moved the three year old out to the early lead in his $79,687 division of the NY Sire Stakes for colt and gelding trotters on Wednesday. The public's third choice in the wagering at odds of 5-2 in the five horse field, Royal Deceptor felt only mild pressure after setting soft fractions on the front end before kicking away from his rivals in the stretch to win by four lengths in a career best 1:57. The talented trotter earned over $70,000 in eight starts as a freshman in 2014 and moved his seasonal bankroll to over $114,000 with Wednesday's front-running romp for owners Foster, Sentiwany and James. Buen Camino (Cash Hall) was the faster of the two stakes winners on the evening as Trond Smedshammer piloted his trainee to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:56. Buen Camino recorded his third win in six starts this year and did so while holding off the late challenge of rival Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) whose previous start took place in the $1 million Hambletonian on August 8th. Buen Camino earned the winner's share of the $81,187 purse for colt and gelding trotters in the NY Sire Stakes. Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm. Melissa Simser

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway Monday night hosted the $150,224 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event, honoring the memory of "Tootie," the man who help turn Roosevelt Raceway into a household word(s) during the sport's golden age and made the International Trot a world-class happening. Whether this group of plebes eventually becomes world class is to be determined, but 1-5 favorite Dayson (Jeff Gregory, $2.40) has proven to be the leader of the gang thus far. Starting from the pole in the second of two, $75,112 divisions, the Conway Hall gelding had to work for it. He took the best shots from second-choice Reve Royale (Brian Sears), then spurted away to a 2¼-length win in a zippy, life-best 1:57.4 (author's aside...the Gregory-driven Dejarmbro owns the 2-year-old colt local record (1:57 in 2010), while the Sears-escorted Tirade Hanover has the gelding standard (1:57.3 in 2012). Dog Gone Cupid (Tyler Buter), put in play early, did get second, with Reve Royale third. For Dayson, trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret & Amy Butler, it was his fifth win in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.60, with the triple returning $60. "He was tested tonight, and he was up to it," Gregory said, referring to Reve Royale first stringing Dayson out to get the lead in turn 2, then pulling pocket early in the final turn. The opening Barasch event saw Sears and second choice Allerage Echo ($6.10)-leaving from post position No. 6--go from first lead to first home. In between, he surrendered the front to Credevie (Trond Smedshammer), before blowing by in the lane. The final margin was 2¼ lengths (same as Dayson) in a life-best 1:59.4, with Master Class (George Brennan) a first-up second and Royal Bachelor (Jason Bartlett) third. Credevie, the favorite at just over even-money, faded to fourth. For Allerage Echo, a Crazed gelded trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs, he's now 3-for-5 to begin his career after a third consecutive win The exacta paid $55, with the triple returning $221. "I bought him off his first two qualifiers," Jacobs said. "He impressed me, but I thought his gait was too high. "George (Ducharme) said he has some talent, and we're looking forward to the rest of the sire stakes season." Frank Drucker

Vernon, N.Y. -- Four New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies headlined Friday (August 14) evening's harness racing card at Vernon Downs, and Lucky Chucky filly Posterity ($7.30) proved most impressive among the quartet of winners.   In the $27,250 seventh race, trainer-driver Charlie Norris floated Posterity into midfield from her outside post, rating well off odds-on favourite Dizzy Broad (Jim Morrill, Jr.) through a :27.4 first quarter before charging to the fore amid a slackening :58.1 half mile. Upon reaching the end of the backstretch, Posterity was able to clear down to the pegs, turn aside a mild challenge from the first-over Credit To Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), and draw clear of her rivals through a dazzling :27.4 final quarter. Her 1:56 mile was the fastest of the four Sire Stakes splits, and she defeated runner-up Dizzy Broad by 3-1/2 lengths.   Carrie Norris, Janine Zito, and Buck Sprinkle share the ownership of Posterity.   Ãke Svanstedt recorded a Sire Stakes driving double, teaming up with Jimmy Takter trainee Pampered Winner ($13.00) in the $27,250 fourth race for his first of two co-featured wins. The royally-bred daughter of Credit Winner kicked clear off a first-over effort, holding off a late charge from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) in 1:56.2. Svanstedt also prevailed with his own pupil Non Stick ($6.30) in the $27,750 ninth race, kicking clear from the pocket to defeat Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3.   The greatest margin of victory went to Goosebump Hanover ($6.10), who drew off for a 4-1/4 length triumph in the $ 27,250 sixth race. After brushing to the lead on the first half of the far turn, Goosebump Hanover gradually extended her advantage over Lucky Kristen (Marcus Melander) and I Will Take Credit (Dan Daley), prevailing ultimately in 1:57.2. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the RC Royalty filly for trainer Ron Burke.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 15) evening. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night hosted the $168,374 New York Sire Stakes Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The event, honoring the memory of a legendary sports publicist, went in two, $84,187 events. The opening division was won by Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory, $5.60) in a snappy 1:56.4. Unhurried from post position No. 2, she saw pole-sitting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) contend with a second move from 9-10 choice Lady Winona (Andy Miller). Nunkeri owned a short lead into the lane, but Barn Girl-who had chased Lady Winona before falling into a vacant pocket-ducked inside and went by. She beat "Winona" by a 1¾ lengths, with Nunkeri an easily-better-than-the-rest third. "She was very good in Excelsiors (lower-level statebred races), so they wanted to try her in sire stakes," Gregory said of Barn Girl. "She's turned into one of the better one in this group." For second choice Barn Girl, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Out in the Country Stable, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with triple returning $28. Thursday night's second sire stakes event saw Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., $4.60) hold off a troubled-trip, 1-2 favorite in last season's freshman champ Barn Doll (Gregory). The final margin was a length in 1:57.3. First leader Waiting Room (Miller) held third. In play from post No. 4, Jewels in Hock retook from Waiting Room as Barn Doll, in search of a ninth consecutive victory, was caught wide early. She eventually found a five-hole before moving again first-up. For second choice "Jewels," a Credit Winner miss trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables, she's now 7-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $9.50, with the triple returning $45.20. "She's given us a lot of headaches with her equipment," Toscano said. "John (Campbell, who drove her exclusively earlier in the season) wanted her rigged one way, while Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) wanted her another way." We eventually (and lovingly, we'd guess) told Jimmy to shut up and we're leaving her the way she was with John, and it's seemed to work out." The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday (first post both nights 7:10 PM). Frank Drucker

Vernon, N.Y. -- Twenty-nine talented 2-year-old trotting fillies take to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 14) evening for a quartet of harness racing New York Sire Stakes events, with a total of $109,500 at stake.   The $27,250 sixth race features a pair of multiple winners in Lima Playtime (Mark MacDonald, post 2) and Lindylicious (Chris Lems, post 4), and both daughters of Credit Winner will square off with five other rivals. Lima Playtime, the Rick Zeron-trained 2-1 morning line favourite, drew clear to prevail in Sire Stakes preliminaries at both Yonkers and Batavia, most recently drawing clear to a 1:59.4 win at Yonkers in dominant fashion. George Ducharme trainee Lindylicious took both her career wins on the Excelsior circuit, since rising to Sire Stakes competition with a pair of runner-up efforts.   Three-time winner Posterity (Charlie Norris, post 7) headlines the $27,250 seventh race, drawing off to defeat her foes at Yonkers and Batavia much in the same manner as Lima Playtime. The daughter of Lucky Chucky is the 9-2 morning line third choice in the third division, having to contend with Ron Burke trainee Dizzy Broad (Jim Morrill, Jr., post 5). The Broad Bahn filly won her first two career races in Sire Stakes events, and she seeks to acquit herself of a late break at Yonkers last week.   In the $27,750 ninth race, the Ãke Svanstedt-trained and driven Non Stick (post 3) seeks to defend her undefeated record, earning pacesetting victories in her debut at Pocono and in a Sire Stakes race at Yonkers last week. The Lucky Chucky filly faces seven rivals, including fellow two-time winner Go Mary Go (Ray Schnittker, post 6), and 5-2 morning line favourite Dazzling Dollars (Trond Smedshammer, post 5). Dazzling Dollars, by Cash Hall, controlled the terms in her Sire Stakes event at Yonkers last week, edging clear for a 2:00.1 maiden-breaking triumph.   The 13-race Friday card begins at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time, and also marks the beginning of the annual Corntastic festivities, which continue through the weekend.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night hosted the $163,874 New York Sire Stakes Dick McGuire Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The event, honoring the memory of a popular New York Knickerbocker (and avid horseplayer), produced a pair of popular parimutuel winners, with members of the McGuire family making the presentations. The opening ($81,187) division was, in the words of driver Yannick Gingras, "a walk in the park" for Crazy Wow ($2.10). Leaving from post position No. 2, last season's statebred fresh champ stuffed second choice Apostle's Creed (Dan Dube) in behind, then waltzed through intervals of :28.3, :57.3, 1:27 and 1:56 The final margin was five lengths, with Maestro Blue Chip (Trond Smedshammer) closing for second and "Apostle" third. For Crazy Wow, a son of Crazed trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents, JT45 and J&T Silva Stables & Deo Volente Farms, it was his fourth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.20, with triple wagering cancelled due to the short (five-horse) field. Monday night's second ($82,687) event saw Smedshammer and Buen Camino ($3.20) also run away and hide. In play from post No. 6, he worked around Royal Deceptor (Mickey McGivern), with subsections of :29.1, :59, 1:28.3 and 1:56.2. This margin was four lengths, with Home'n Dry (Brian Sears) snapping Royal Deceptor for second. For Buen Camino, a Cash Hall gelding trained by his driver for owner Purple Haze Stables LLC, he's now 2-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $27.20, with the triple returning $66.50. "He's been battling sickness for a while, but as long as he can stay away from Habitat and Crazy Wow, he can go with the rest of them," Smedshammer said. Frank Drucker

A total of 52 pacing Fillies entered the box for Tuesday August 10, at Monticello Raceway for the New York Sire Stakes for harness racing  2 Year Pacing Fillies. The days card features 3 heats of Sire Stakes racing for a purse of $35,866, 3 Excelsior Division A's ($15,000) and 2 Excelsior B classes going for $6,800. The actions kicks off in Race 1, No Clouds Blue Chip (PP5) with Brian Sears aboard is looking for her 3rd consecutive win in NYSS Company, the daughter of Roll with Joe is owned by Richard and Farrell Carny and Barbara Berger and is trained by John Berger. America Ivy (PP3) has been a model of consistency with 1 win and 2 show performances in this company for her connections. The 2nd heat of Sire Stakes is in race 5, the American Ideal filly Soft Idea (PP6), trained by Linda Toscano, sports an impressive resume, in 4 starts this year, she has 3 wins and a second with earnings of $77,000 and a mark of 1:54.2. Time On My Hands, starts from the rail for driver Jim Morrill Jr, and trainer Chris Ryder. She comes into the race with a qualifier under her belt after being scratched sick. Prior to that she won at Saratoga in 1:54:2, last quarter in 28 seconds. The final heat for this class come in race 8 , Ron Burke has a 2 horse entry, Rockin Dare Matt Kakaley (PP2) and Art Critic, Bruce Aldrich Jr. (PP 5) Killing Them Softly has recently shown her prowess on a half mile oval with wins at Saratoga and Yonkers. In the Excelsior A class, are carded as race 2, 6 and 12. In race 2 Wine Snob and Rolling Going Gone are the morning line favorites. . On paper Nevada Blue Chip (PP3) with Jason Bartlett at the helm, seem like the best in race 6. The Excelsior B division go to post in races 4 & 7. Jim Morrill Jr. drives Rocknroll Shamayim in the first race of this class. The Rock N Roll Heaven lass sports a 3 race win streak for trainer Erv Miller and owners Tanah Merah Farms LLC, she will start from post position 3. Local Trainer Ed Hart brings Seafood Linda to do battle. 2 starts ago at Yonkers the daughter Rock N Roll Heaven was ultra-impressive. After making a miscue at the start, she came back, took the overland route and prevailed with a win. By Shawn Wiles

Batavia Downs hosted two divisions of the $108,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (Aug. 9) and the star of the show was Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe-Lovely Lady) with his overpowering win. With morning line co-favorite Travel Playlist scratched sick, the field was cut down to five pacers. But there was no "stoogery" in Joe Larry N Curly's performance as he was all business, pacing his fastest winning mile ever over a half-mile track. Leading NYSS driver, Jim Morrill Jr., got away third with Joe Larry N Curly as Carlos Danger (Kevin Cummings) cut the quarter in 28.4. But as soon as they passed that station, Morrill pulled the 1-9 favorite and methodically moved to the front by the head of the stretch. The field remained unchanged until Joes On A Roll (John Cummings Jr.) came first over to challenge the leader at the five-eights. But before he could mount any kind of serious threat, Morrill popped the ear-plugs and then held on tight as Joe Larry N Curly switched into overdrive and paced away from everyone. He came home in a brisk 28 flat to stop the timer in 1:56.2 and win by four lengths. After the race, a visibly pleased Jim Morrill Jr. said "I couldn't be happier with the way he raced. I pulled the plugs at the three-quarters and he took off like a rocket. I should have left them in! He won easy; he was simply awesome". It was the third win of the year for Joe Larry N Curly ($2.30) and increased his earnings to $82,794. The colt is trained by Mark Harder, who co-owns him with Joe Jannuzzelli and Dawn Colucci. In the first division, Red Roll (Roll With Joe-Red Carpet Queen) lit up the tote board after the heavily favored Autotune Hanover was unable to overcome an early miscue. Red Roll (Kevin Cummings) shot right to the lead as Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter) had trouble navigating the first turn before making a break. While Cummings piloted the leader to a pedestrian 59.3 half, Buter had settled Autotune Hanover before pulling the colt around gapped horses in an attempt to mount another attack at the front. After looking rough again in the clubhouse turn, Autotune Hanover made quick work of the back stretch and got within a length of the leader. But after tucking to the pylons behind Red Roll in 1:28.4, Cummings started rocking and knocking the leader and got away from the pack by three lengths at the head of the lane before bringing Red Roll home victorious in 1:57.2. "I drove him at Buffalo last month so I knew the horse. I took a shot, went to the front and was able to cut the mile I wanted. He was good the whole race" said Cummings in the winner's circle. Overlooked in the betting, Red Roll returned a healthy $23.00 for the win. It was the first win of the year for Red Roll and thus also his lifetime mark. Despite only one win so far, the horse has not missed a check in NYSS action all year and that has put his earnings at $59,117. Red Roll is trained by Judy Blaun for owner John Sixt. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior "A" series on the card. The first $15,000 division was won by 1-9 favorite, Craftship (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Craftship ($2.20) is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Crawford Partners, J. Fodera N M Frank Stable, Joe Sbrocco and Craig Henderson. The second $15,000 leg was won by KJ Erich (Roll With Joe-Michelle's Scooter) in 1:59.2. The colt was driven by John Cummings Jr. for trainer Gary Messenger. KJ Erich ($7.20) is owned by Scott Woogen, Brenda Messenger and Phillip Shapiro. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was as hot as the western New York weather Sunday, winning five of the 12 races on the card. He scored with the aforementioned Craftship ($2.20) and Joe Larry N Curly ($2.30) as well as Lucky Pablo ($7.40), If It rains ($2.90) and Zipnthruthehall ($2.60). Morrill is currently the third leading driver in North America for UDR with a .383. only .002 out of the second place George Napolitano Jr. He is fourteenth in North America in earnings with $3,123,201, but number one in NYSS competition with $920,602.59, more than three times more than his nearest competitor. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 12) at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

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