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Harness racing two year old trotting colts and geldings were featured on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the New York Sire Stakes were in town. There were four divisions of the $36,000+ per division stakes for freshman trotters and there were some impressive performances. George Ducharme's Reve Royale (RC Royalty) was the fastest among stakes winners on the card drawing off late to win in a strong 1:59.4. Chris Lems piloted the two year old trotter to back to back commanding victories in qualifiers at Vernon Downs before guiding him to victory in his lifetime debut on Thursday. Dayson (Conway Hall) was another convincing winner in his $37,556 division of the NYSS as driver Jimmy Whittemore moved the Howard Okusko trainee to the early lead and they never looked back. Highlighted by a final half in 58 seconds flat, Dayson scored in 2:00.1 as the race's 8-5 favorite. John Campbell was in town and went two-for-two piloting the Anette Lorentzon-trained freshman Master Class (Credit Winner) to an upset win at odds of 35-1 and Chuck Sylvester's Dog Gone Lucky (Lucky Chucky) to victory as his race's even money favorite. The Hall of Famer Campbell is now three-for-three this season driving at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella      

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's a lot of hope and promise on Wednesday night (July 1) at Buffalo Raceway as many of the 2-year-old filly pacers kick off their careers in three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes worth $36,566 each.   Of the 21 filly pacers entered, only four have had a pari-mutuel start. The remaining 17 have had a couple of 'baby' races or qualifiers but that's it. With the hours of preparation in getting them to the races now completed, it's time for the ladies to strut their stuff. And for those who are successful, they will find a large paycheck awaiting them at the finish line along with some happy owners, trainers and drivers.   The Sire Stakes will go off as the second, third and fifth races on the solid 12-race program that is scheduled for 5 p.m.   With nine records either broken or tied at Buffalo Raceway this season, the freshmen fillies will be taking dead aim on 1:56.3 standard set in 2011 by Silk Purse and tied in 2012 by Summertime Lea.   The sire Roll With Joe has nine off-spring entered in the stakes event while Art Major follows with five, Rock N Roll Heaven four and American Ideal three.   The first event features a field of six who not have a pari-mutuel start between them. Gotmyredressontnit gets the early nod at 5-2 after putting in a 1:55.3 time in a baby race at Pocono Downs over a sloppy track on June 19. Jason Bartlett gets the call aboard the Janice Connor-trained Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) and will start from the six post.   Rockin Date, a $47,000 purchase from the Lexington Sales last year, is the second choice at 3-1 with Sire Stakes leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike. Starting from the five hole, Rockin Date (Art Major-Rockin Beauty) is trained by Ron Burke and finished in fourth place behind Gotmyredressontnit in her last prep. Morrill Jr. has 13 victories this season on the Sire Stakes circuit and nearly $450,000 in purse earnings.   The second leg is a wide open affair with a field of seven heading to the post. Angels Rockn Pink is 3-1 morning line choice with John MacDonald to be in the sulky. Arriving from Vernon Downs for trainer Homer Hostetler, Angels Rockn Pink was impressive in winning her two qualifiers at Vernon. She last won by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4 back on June 19.   Soft Idea, a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales, draws the six post for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron. Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) went 1:58.4 in her last tuneup, winning by 2-1/2 lengths.   Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings gets the call on Vino And Formaggio off the rail. Sitting at 4-1 on the line, Vino And Formaggio (Art Major-Pasta LaVista) has gone wire-to-wire in her two qualifying victories at the Meadows.   The final division features Encore Deo, a $100,000 buy at Lexington. The Burke-trained Encore Deo, coupled with Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance), starts from the five post and gets the services of Cummings. Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Docdor Cameo) hopes to start earning her keep begin what could be an solid career.   The main danger to the Burke entry could be Ghost Runner (Art Major-Spirit Of The West). She gets the pylons for trainer/driver Tom Jackson and is the 5-1 second pick. She finished sixth at Pocono Downs in 1:55.1 in her last appearance.   The card also will feature a pair of Excelsior 'A' Series races and a race in the Excelsior 'B' Series.   Also on tap on the stellar card includes the $10,500 Open Trot, the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, and the $8,500 Fillies and Mares Open II Pace.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

It should come as no surprise that Jim Morrill Jr. continues to dominate the NYSS, much like Wally Hennessy and Jeff Gregory have done on the past. This afternoon at Monticello Raceway, Jim Morrill Jr won 5 of the 8 New York Sire Stakes Races. Blue Chip Farms Stallion, Roll With Joe had 4 sons enter the winners circle for the afternoon. In the first race, local favorite KJ Erich was well in hand for driver Jim Taggart Jr. as he won by 6 lengths in 1:59:1 for co-owner and trainer Gary Messenger. In the 2nd Division of the Excelsior's A's, is was the grey son of Roll With Joe, White Rolls scoring a wire to wire victory for Tracy Brainard, giving Morrill his first win of the afternoon Race 4 was the 1st division of Sire Stakes and this race had 3 lead changes before the half mile mark.  Roll With Fred had the lead going to the ¼ pole before the antsy Fine Diamond made his move to take the lead, Jim Morrill Jr was wrangling with Carlos Danger trying to keep him in the hole. Roll with Fred came right back to retake the lead and folllowing with live cover was Carlos Danger. Carlos Danger cleared and stayed there the rest of the way, taking them past the ¾ in 1:29:0. Fine Diamond made a weak attempt to challenge the leaders but his challenge stalled in the paddock turn. It appeared that Morrill was home free, but Brett Miller had Roll With Fred in high gear in deep stretch, to nip Carlos Danger by a head in 1:58:3 Tim Lanpher's One Summer Chance was the winner of race 5 Excelsior B in 2:01:3. In the other Excelsior B action in the 8th race. Zac and Forth broke his maiden in impressive fashion for trainer Thomas Merton and owner Gary Haas, winning in 1:59:4. The 2nd division of the NYSS, saw the heavy favorite Autotune Hanover work hard for the lead, only to go off stride coming out of the 1st turn. Skip Jive was in the 2 hole when the favorite broke and inherited the lead. He stayed there and won by 3 in 1:57:1 for trainer Paul Kelly and driver Mark McDonald. The most impressive individual performance of the day came in Race 13, last heat of the NYSS. Joe Larry N Curly shot out of the gate and carried the field thru fractions of 28:, 59:0 & 1:28:3. In the paddock turn HudsonandBernard made his move but was quickly dispatched as Morrill let his mount out a notch and quickly dispatched his competition. Joe Larry N Curly was too smart and went on to win to win by 3 lengths in 1:56:3, the fastest race of the day, last ¼ in 28.0. Joe Larry N Curly, a colt by Roll With Joe is trained by Mark Harder. In the winner's circle Jim Morrill Jnr, a man of few words, said "He is the real deal" This win gave Jim Morrill Jnr his 5th win on the afternoon. Total handle for the 13 race card was $602,921. Monticello Raceway is racing Mon - Fri this week, with a special Fireworks night card on Friday July 3, featuring more Sire Stake action when 2 Year Old Trotting Colts come to town. Shawn Wiles    

Nichols, N.Y. -- While a power outage forced the abandonment of the last eight races on Sunday (June 28) afternoon's 12-race harness racing program at Tioga Downs, the Purple Haze Stables, LLC's Buen Camino ($3.60, part of entry) was able to capture his $61,300 New York Sire Stakes event in advance of the mid-afternoon electrical issues.   The 3-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall and Baby Bella had no trouble clearing the front, passing Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) and Credit Creation (David Miller) to achieve the lead through a :27 initial quarter. After driver Jim Morrill, Jr. rated a :30.1 second quarter with the Trond Smedshammer trainee, Buen Camino responded to mild first-over pressure from Credit Creation, edging clear off the far turn and drawing off for a 2-1/2 length win over Wings of Royalty. The Physician (Daniel Dube) swung three-wide off stalling cover at the top of the stretch, rallying to take third.   Morrill won the previous race as well, taking a $12,000 Open Pace with Believe This Bob ($6.00) in 1:51.3.   Earlier in the card, War Hero ($12.80) sustained a middle move, holding off a late charge from Oh No Three O to take the $20,000 Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot. Chris Lems settled the 7-year-old Ken Warkentin just off the pacesetters before brushing to the fore with just under a circuit to go, working clear of Spice It Up Lindy through a :57.3 first half. On the backstretch, War Hero braced for a first-over challenge from Oh No Three O, accelerating to three-quarters in 1:26.1 and ultimately holding sway by a length for a 1:56.1 triumph. Oh No Three O narrowly held second over Spice It Up Lindy, who was hard pressed for racing room through the final three-eighths of the mile.   Jessica Okusko trains War Hero for owner/breeder Howard Gill.   With respect to the abandoned races (5 through 12), all New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series events will result in an equal split of purse money and standings points among all entrants in each race. The Nichols True Value pacing series final (race 7) will carry over as already drawn to next Sunday (July 5) afternoon's card, but trainers are advised to contact the racing office with respect to driver nominations.   For punters who were live in the early pick three (ending in race 5), the 2-1-all combination (Believe This Bob in race 3, Buen Camino in race 4, and "all" in the canceled fifth race) returns $3.60 on the 50¢ base wager.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 3) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

On Monday June 29, Monticello Raceways 13 race harness racing card features 8 New York Sire Stake events, the breakdown being 3 NYSS ($35,866)- 3 Division A Excelsior's ($15,000) & 2 Division B Excelsior's ($6,500) for total purses in excess of $165,000. The average number of starts per juvenile is 3, there is a lot of white paper on the programs. For the vast majority of these Sire Stake colts, 13 of the 20 starters, this will be their first lifetime start on a half mile oval. Race 1 & 2 are Excelsior A events, in race 1, local favorite KJ Erich, trained by Gary Messenger will start from post 3, for driver Jim Taggart Jr. The Roll With Joe colt has 2 impressive brides maid starts thus far under his belt in his young career. Race 2 also showcases another Roll With Joe/Gary Messenger combination, Cool Breeze De Vie, sports back to back wins at Monticello, his last start a winning effort in 2:01, and he will start from post 7. The first NYSS event is race 4, Ron Burke stable sends Fine Diamond, the Rock N Roll Heaven youngster will start from post 3, he has 2 Meadowlands Q's under his belt, finishing 3rd in each contest, last start shows a snappy 27:3 last quarter. The other contender figure to be Uncle Hal (PP5) Scott Zeron for trainer Joann Perry, buy virtue has his 2 race win streak at Tioga Downs. Race 6, 2nd division of NYSS , Canadian based, Endeavor comes to town with 2 consecutive Q's win, by a combined 42¼ lengths, he will face tough competition from Autotune Hanover (PP4) and Jeff Gregory's fast Art Major colt, Fast N Victorious (PP1). The last heat of day and of the Sire Stakes is race 13, by far the toughest race on paper, Roll With Joe is well represented here, with 2 nice colts, Joe Larry N Curly (PP4), trained by Mark Harder and driven by Jim Morrill Jr. will start from the 4 hole, he won his last start, a 2YO qualifier, in 1:55:2, LQ 28:2. Joe Holloway brings Hudsonandbernard (PP5) to the $36,556 dash, he too winning sports an identical time of 1:55:3. Brigadoon (PP2) a natural on the half miles ovals, has he has 3 wins in a row at Saratoga. The American ideal colt is trained by Cheryl McGivern, and will be driven by Saratoga regular Billy Dobson. Trainers should take note that the date for the first NYSS/Excelsior 2-Year-Old Filly Trot at Monticello has been changed, The date will be July 3, 2015, box closes Tuesday at 9:00 am. Post time will be 5:30pm. On that evening Monticello Raceway will have its decades famous fireworks after the last race. By Shawn Wiles

There were three divisions of the $56,125 New York Sire Stakes for harness racing three year old pacing fillies on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Defending champion Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight) has picked up right where she left off as a three year old in 2015 and showed what she's capable of on Thursday. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted the sophomore filly to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:53.3 for trainer Paul Jessop in the afternoon's first Sire Stake race. A winner in four of nine starts last year including one on the Night of Champions, Mosquito Blue Chip is defending her stakes crown very well to this point. Thursday was her second victory in six starts as she pulled off a mild upset as the race's 3-1 third choice. The fastest filly among stakes winners on Thursday was Moremercy Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven) who also went the distance on the front end before stopping the timer in 1:53.1. Andy Miller piloted the filly for trainer Julie Miller as the sophomore recorded the biggest win of her young career. The other $56,125 division of the NYSS was won by Bettor N Better (Bettor's Delight) was outpaced her rivals home to prevail in 1:53.3. Matt Kakaley piloted the Ron Burke trainee to her first victory of the season after being one of the top freshman fillies in '14. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a pick five carryover of more than $2,100. First post time is set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Louisville, KY --- There certainly are not many horses that break a track record in their very first pari-mutuel engagement, but that’s exactly what the trotting colt Royal Deceptor did. That situation, however, is not the only reason he is the best horse Chip Foster has ever owned during his three decades of involvement in the harness racing industry. “This horse has been an absolute thrill for me and my partners Mike Sentiwany and Mike James,” he said. “I’ve bred and bought horses to race for 30 years. We never had one good enough to even start in a New York Sire Stake race, let alone break a track record. I told everyone after he did that it would not matter to me what he did the rest of the year, but he went out and earned more than $70,000 as a 2-year-old. “Now we have the opportunity to compete in the Empire Breeders Classic which has a $250,000 purse. I’m tickled just to be there as this horse only (sold for) $11,000 as a yearling and he will be racing against horses like Crazy Wow and Habitat. He is very special to us in many, many ways.” Foster is referencing the next engagement for the son of RC Royalty and the Malabar Man mare Art Of Deception, which is on Sunday (June 21) at Vernon Downs. Carded as the ninth race, the Empire Breeders Classic sports a purse of $255,325 and has an 11-horse field. Royal Deceptor, who is driven by Mike McGivern and conditioned by his wife, Cheryl, will commence his mile journey from the third post position and will seek to collect his fifth win from seven starts on the season. He possesses a resume of 14-6-2-2 for his career, has earned $113,350 and owns a lifetime mark of 1:58h. “He is very spoiled,” Cheryl McGivern said. “We fell in love with him the day we brought him home and fully expected he would go for a much higher price. He has quite the personality and loves to talk. He really enjoys his turnout time each day in the paddock. We bring him to the track only to race him and then take him right back home. We are just so very pleased to have him.” Royal Deceptor was purchased by his connections at the 2013 Morrisville Sale and has performed only on the New York circuit. His dam was unraced and her first three foals earned just over $60,000 between them. Art Of Deception, however, is a daughter of Keystone Delicious, who herself is a daughter of American Winner with Speedy Crown as her broodmare sire. Keystone Delicious also did not make it to the races, but she produced Marian’s Man (Malabar Man, 4,1:56.3s, $468,060) and Mr Tasty (Malabar Man, 4,1:53.2s, $462,209). “We can’t afford to buy $100,000 yearlings and definitely had a budget going into the sale,” Foster said. “We thought Royal Deceptor would go for more money, as Royalty For Life won the Hambletonian and RC Royalty did not breed many mares. We were prepared to go to $20,000 for him and Mike (McGivern) thought he was the best horse in the sale. Fortunately, he came into the ring right after the sales topper, which I really liked, but he went for $59,000. “The bidding opened on this horse at $10,000 and then we bid $11,000. We sat there waiting for another bid, but there was silence and then he was ours. We were in shock we got him for that price and we were very lucky. We realized his dam hadn’t foaled anything really at that point, but we felt that she would and he had the potential to be a very nice horse.” The McGiverns, who have also been in the business for about 30 years, operate a small stable in Gansevoort, N.Y., and always had faith in Royal Deceptor’s ability. In fact, they talked him up considerably to Foster and his partners. That faith was rewarded when the world witnessed Royal Deceptor’s debut at Buffalo Raceway on July 9, 2014. That was when the colt captured a $27,750 New York Sire Stake contest in a new track standard of 1:59.3 with a last quarter in :28.4. The previous record was 2:01.2, which was established in 2012 and tied in 2013. “Mike James and I drove to Buffalo to watch him, unfortunately my other partner had to care for his ill wife and could not attend,” Foster said. “Mike and Cheryl kept telling us how good this horse was, but having been in the business for awhile I had a wait and see approach. My jaw was on the ground that he broke two minutes for the mile, let alone set a new track record. That’s when I told everyone he didn’t have to win another race all year, because that was enough for me.” But Royal Deceptor did visit the winner’s circle again in his next start and subsequently picked up checks in his next five races before finishing sixth in the $225,000 New York Sire stakes final. This year, the colt won his first three starts, which were all in overnights at Saratoga, prior to a fourth place effort in a NYSS race at Monticello Raceway. He posted another triumph in a NYSS contest at Yonkers Raceway and was fifth placed eighth for breaking at Vernon Downs in his last start, also in NYSS competition. “Mike had to take him up a little bit in that race and he took a step, but he got right back on stride,” Foster said. “I’m very happy with the third post for this upcoming race and I know we have to have the perfect trip. Habitat and Crazy Wow are great horses, but anything can happen in horse racing. We are very fortunate just to be racing for that kind of money and to have a nice chance. “All the credit has to go to Mike and Cheryl. They are very patient and are excellent with trotters. I’m also happy for them they have a horse like this. They have a very small barn and had a horse named Cash Me Out (Cash Hall, 3,1:56.4h) that won more than $350,000 on the New York circuit over the last couple years. To have another horse do the same thing on a relatively small investment is truly an accomplishment for them and they really deserve it.” For the time being, Royal Deceptor will continue to compete in the Empire State and although he is not eligible for the Hambletonian, he is staked to the Yonkers Trot. “We don’t usually stake our horses,” Foster said. “Even with this horse as he only was $11,000, but he deserves the chance to see what he can do against the top horses. I really can’t explain what a thrill it is either to have a horse to enter in a classic race like that. Actually, this race on Sunday is the highest purse we all, including Mike and Cheryl, have ever raced for.” Cheryl also cannot say enough good things about Royal Deceptor. “Our job is simply to keep him happy,” she said. “It is an absolute pleasure to be associated with him and words cannot express how much gratitude we have to just be around him.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent   

YONKERS, NY, Monday, June 15, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway hosted the ladies Monday night, specifically the $166,375 New York Sire Stakes Art Watson Pace for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. Three divisions, at $55,125, $56,125 and $55,125, comprised the event. Band of Angels (Yannick Gingras, $2.80) won both the draw and the endorsement of the electorate, holding sway (:28.3, :57.3, 1:25.4, 1:54.3) in the opening event. She defeated pocket-sitting Bettorhaveanother (Jim Morrill Jr.) by a half-length, with Divine Caroline (Dave Miller) third. For Band of Angels, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven owned by W J Donovan and trained by Ron Burke, it was her second (NYSS) win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.90, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $15.40. The seven-horse field nearly finished in odds-ascending order, had 27-1 My Little Delight (sixth) been able to get past 37-1 Bosser's Joy for fifth. It was essentially the same MO in the second division, as pole-sitting, odds-on fave Not Before Eight (Scott Zeron, $3.50) was a handy victress. Away third early, she worked around last season's frosh champ, Mosquito Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.), after a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. She then led the lasses for the remainder (:57.2, 1:27, 1:55.1), swatting "Mosquito" by a length-and-a-half. First leader Luck Be a Lindy (Mark MacDonald) was third. For Not Before Eight, a Bettor's Delight miss (unraced at 2) trained by Steve Elliott for owner Ernest Hartman, she's 6-for-9 this season and a perfect 6-for-6 here (first five wins in overnight). The exacta (two choices in order) paid $5.90, with the triple returning $17.40. Zeron and Elliott doubled their sire stakes pleasure in the final NYSS event when Rock Me Gently ($35.20)-from post position No. 6-rallied from third over. They did so after a front-end battle between 7-10 fave Bettor N Better (Gingras), She's Heavenly (George Brennan) and a first-up Hipnumberone (Greg Merton). Those three prompted the pace (:27.1, :55.4, 1:24.4), setting it up for someone to pick 'em off. It was Rock Me Gently and 46-1 rank outsider Nippy W Hanover (John Campbell) closing from the back in a pedestrian (:30.1) final quarter, with the former whipping the latter by a length. Third went to Heavenly Bride (Brian Sears). For sixth choice Rock Me Gently, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by Old Block Stables, Fra Stable and Kenneth Klein, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $786, with the triple returning $2,551. The Raceway's five-program-per-week schedule is now back in vogue, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, with Tuesday matinees at 1 (a "French-centric" Tuesday this week). Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Not a stranger to multiple wins on a harness racing card Jimmy Morrill Jr. owned the afternoon at Monticello Raceway after posting 4 wins on the card, 3 of which were New York Sire Stakes events. In the first Sire Stakes division of the day, Race 1, worth $29,850, last year's Night of Champions 2 Year Old Colt Pace winner Cartoon Daddy left strong for the lead, he relinquished the front past the ¼ in 28:3 to A Bettor Hat, who took them past the half in 57:2. The eventual winner was sitting 3rd, at the 5/8 marker Jason Bartlett Jr. and Americanprimetime were on the move and charging, a spirited stretch drive ensued as Americanprimetime edged A Bettor Hat in 1:54.2 by a scant neck. The son of American Ideal is trained by Rick Dane Jr. for owners Rock & Roll Stables. 2nd Division (Race 5) J Eagle Feather scored a wire to win over the pocket sitting SOTO, giving Morrill his second win of the young afternoon in 1:54:3. The son of Bettor's Delight is trained by Linda Toscano. His win was his 2nd consecutive win in Sire Stake Company. Finishing 3rd was Lone Survivor. Race 8 was the 3rd division, K Ryan Bluechip started from the rail, after an impressive win last week at Pocono Downs in 1:50:3, Kid Rock and National Seelster blasted off the gate, National Seelster wrestled control at the ¼ mile and led the rest of the way, King of Delight driven by Scot Zeron mounted a threat in the paddock turn. K-Rock sat in the Garden spot the entire mile, in perfect striking distance heading in the stretch he dived into the passing lane, but to no avail as he was unable to catch National Seelster who won by a neck in 1:54:4. The son of Bettor's Delight was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Chris Ryder. Race 13, the seven horse field raced in post-position order until just past the half when the outer tier started to unfold, Scott Zeron pulled Artistic Major first over and was at the back of My Spirit Soars (Bettor's Delight) but was never able to make up any ground as Jimmy Morrill Jr. won his 4th race of the afternoon in 1:54:1. After the race in the winner's circle when congratulated on his fourth win of the afternoon, Jimmy said "I should have won the other Sire Stakes event also, I just got beat!"; The most impressive race of the day came in the last race, an Excelsior A division. John Butenschoen's son of Art Major, Gold Coast Muscle went down the road, he put the sleeper move on the field with a pair of middle quarters of 28.0, he took them past the ¾ in 1:24:1 to win easy in the days fastest mile 1:53 by open lengths. Longtime NY owner and patron of the sport Ken Jacobs, has 2 winners on the day. In other action, Division A winners were Major Camby - James Marohn Jr. - 1:56:1, 1:56, American Cross Road - Matt Kakaley - 1:56:1 by 8 lengths, , Nobettorplacetobe John Cummings Jr. 1:54:4. The Excelsior B series winners were Simon Said - Jim Morrill Jr. - Tarport Andy - Jim Devaux - 1:57:2. Monticello Raceway continues to have strong support from the betting public as $761,000 was wagered on the card for a $53,357 average per race. By Shawn F. Wiles

Three year old trotting fillies were featured on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the season's first installment of the harness racing New York Sire Stakes took place at the Spa. The defending stakes champion Barn Doll (Conway Hall) was the start of the show as the trotting star set a track record on Thursday. The Steven Pratt-trained filly made a power move late in the mile and scored a 1:55.3 victory in her division of the $54,125 Sire Stake. A winner of seven of nine races as a freshman in '14, Barn Doll is now two for three in 2015 after her record setting performance. Jeff Gregory piloted the afternoon's fastest trotting filly to her stakes score. Barn Doll, who moved her career earnings to over the quarter million dollar mark in just twelve lifetime starts, is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC. The sophomore standout bested the previous mark for three year old trotting fillies set by Market Rally last year. Other winners of the $54,125 stakes races on the card were Katniss (Credit Winner) for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt and Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner) with Hall of Famer John Campbell in sulky for conditioner Linda Toscano. Live racing continues on Friday at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

On Monday June 8, the harness racing glamour division of the New York Sire Stakes, 3 Year Old Pacing Colts will be at Monticello Raceway. A total of 10 New York Sire Stake events are on tap for the days 14 race card, 4 divisions of Sire Stakes, 4 divisions of the Excelsior A, and 2 dashes of the Excelsior A series. The Sires Stakes events race for a purse of $30,450 per race, the Excelsior A's purses are $15,000 and the B division purse is $6,000. In the first race, also the 1st division NYSS, showcases Cartoon Daddy, the son of Art Major, who has already won this year in 1:51:4 in a NYSS event at Tioga Downs for trainer Ron Burke. He has 3 pari mutual starts under his belt thus far into the year, he comes back after an impressive 2 year old season, where he earned $282,523, and taking a mark of 1:50:1 at the Red Mile. Matt Kakaley will handle the driving chores for trainer Ron Burke. Bet You will start from PP 6 for trainer Jimmy Takter, the son of Bettors Delight, is out of the great mare Armbro Amoretto. Race 5, 2nd division of NYSS, highlights Lone Survivor and J Eagle Feature. Both were victorious last week at Buffalo in their respective divisions. In the 3rd division, K Ryan Bluechip (PP1) and K-Rock (PP2) are pitted against each other. K Rock easily won his last NYSS race at Buffalo in 1:54, K Ryan Bluechip took his lifetime mark last start in 1:50:3 for trainer driver Joe Pavia Jr. Final NYSS race is carded as race 13, My Spirit Soars, on paper he seems to be much the best, starting from the rail for trainer Tom Fanning, the son of Bettor Delight has been in the money in all 7 starts this year. He comes into the race fresh off a 1:50:4 win at Pocono Downs and a second place finish in Sire Stakes action at Tioga Downs. In the 10 race, the Excelsior A series highlights the much heralded White Bliss, a celebrity from birth, due to him being a rare equine Albino. The son of Art Major was a $240,000 yearling. He is trained and driven by Swedish trotting specialist Ake Svanstedt. The Excelsior A divisions are in races 3, 7, 10, & 14, each race is worth $15,000, The B divisions are in race 2 & 12, for a purse of $6,000. Monticello Raceway continues its Monday - Friday schedule with a 12:50 Post. By Shawn Wiles

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "She's back!" Those were the first two words out of the mouth of a relieved harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. after he drove Mosquito Blue Chip ($3.70) to an impressive 1-1/2 victory over She's Heavenly in a track record time of 1:53.3 in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 3). The time broke the old standard of 1:54.1 established in 2014 by Sweetnsinful.   Band Of Angels and Bettorhaveanother also scored victories in their respective $39,900 divisions, but neither could top the performance turned in by Mosquito Blue Chip.   The 2014 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old filly pacing champion, Mosquito Blue Chip started the season with three rather mundane tries, finishing no better than fourth. But Morrill Jr. knew her fortunes were ready to change.   "I thought she was a little better last week but didn't give her the best trip. But I knew she was coming around," Morrill Jr. said.   Mosquito Blue Chip was sent right to the lead from the five post and set reasonable fractions of 28.2, 57.2 and 1:26.1. But it was all over from there as Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Vanite Semalu) cruised to a 27.2 to final panel to keep any threats from developing.   "She needed no urging," Morrill Jr. said of the last quarter mile.   She's Heavenly (Kevin Cummings) took the place position while Bettor N Better (Matt Kakaley) finished in third.   With her first victory in four starts this year, the Paul Jessop-trained filly by Bettor's Delight now has earned $23,938 in 2015 and $264,501 lifetime.   Morrill Jr. got his second Sire Stakes win of the evening aboard Bettorhaveanother. A gutsy move by Morrill Jr. early in the race set up Bettorhaveanother for the victory.   Watching a battle for the lead in the early going, Morrill Jr. found a tiny hole to drop Bettorhaveanother in the fifth position. That maneuver proved to be a good one as the tandem was able to pull out, pass traffic, and move into the pocket behind the pace-setting My Little Delight.   In the stretch, Bettorhaveanother used the 'lightning lane' and collared My Little Delight (Cummings) by a neck in 1:55.4 while Heaven On Earth (John MacDonald) took third.   "She took a couple of bad steps in the beginning so I wanted to drop her in to relax her. They were going kind of slow so I had to pull her out," Morrill Jr. said of the second move. He added about the stretch drive, "I had to steady her a bit but she was good."   Trained by Jackie Rousse and co-owned by Janie Martin and Kellogg Racing Stable, Bettorhaveanother (Bettor's Delight-Katie My Girl) has now won four straight, earning $59,440 in five seasonal starts. She has now bankrolled $69,517 lifetime.   Band Of Angels had the easiest time of all three divisions as she romped to a 4-3/4 win over Hipnumberone in 1:54.2. Gweneeee J (John Cummings Jr.) took the show spot.   Winning driver Matt Kakaley said of Band Of Angels, "She was very good. I really wasn't worried about anyone."   Taking the lead just past the opening marker, Band Of Angels ($5.10) went 58.0 to the half and never looked back thanks to a 27.2 last stanza.   Trained by Ron Burke and owned by W.J. Donovan, it was the first victory in three appearances this season for Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Hanover-Time N Again). It pushed her career earnings to $126,351.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Hot Lemonade ($9.40) took the first division in 1:55.4 while Jag Out ($5.30) captured the second leg in 1:56.0.   In the non-betting $6,400 Excelsior 'B' Series event, Kaitlyn Akeeper jogged to a 2:02.2 victory with Morrill Jr. in the sulky.   It was also a record-tying night in the 12th race as Skyway Tia (Cummings) tied the track record for 4-year-old filly/mare pacers with a 1:55 clocking. It tied the mark set in 2009 by Bet The Ranch.   Racing returns on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, results and race replays, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2014 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing filly champion Mosquito Blue Chip headlines the three divisions of the harness racing traveling series that arrives at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 3) starting at 5 p.m.   There will be three divisions of the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old distaff pacers that will split the $105,000 pot.   With the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval lightning fast, the proof being three new marks set last Saturday night including Fireyourguns posting an all-time mark of 1:52.0, the ladies will be shooting at the record for their division of 1:54.1 established by Sweetnsinful in 2014.   The opening race on the 13-race program is loaded and will feature Mosquito Blue Chip along with top rivals, Bossers Joy, Bettor N Better and Not Before Eight. The seven entrants in the field have combined to win over $800,000 in their careers thus far.   After winning the 2-year-old crown on September 13 at Yonkers by a nose over Bossers Joy in 1:56.0, Mosquito Blue Chip hasn't quite found her footing yet as a 3-year-old.   With two starts in New York Sire Stakes competition at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs along with a start in The Simpson at the Meadowlands, Mosquito Blue Chip has finished no better than fourth in those races.   Jim Morrill Jr. will get the nod aboard Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) who starts from the five post as the 7-2 second choice in the morning line.   Not Before Eight (Bettor's Delight-Skinny Dip) didn't race as a 2-year-old but the Steve Elliott-trained filly has been lights out in her seven appearances in 2015. She has five victories in those starts and has finished a game second and third in her only two tries in Sire Stakes races. Not Before Eight is the morning line 5-2 choice with Rick Zeron scheduled to drive.   Bettor N Bettor put over $225,000 in the bank in 2014 thanks to strong showings in the 2-year-old Matron at Dover Downs and being involved in the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. She has yet to hit the board in three starts this year and will get the services of Matt Kakaley. They drew the four post and are tagged at 5-1.   The deep field also includes Bossers Joy (Art Major-Esther's Joy) who finished a tough-luck second to Mosquito Blue Chip in last year's Sire Stakes final at Yonkers. She's been in two Sire Stakes this year with a second place finish at Vernon and was battled tested in the Reynolds Stakes at the Meadowlands. Bossers Joy, with earnings of over $133,000, will have Greg Merton in the bike as the pair score from the three post at 9-2.   In the second Sire Stakes race, scheduled as the back half of the early daily double, Beyonces Rockn arrives fresh off a second place finish at Tioga, finishing two lengths in back of Bettor Be Steppin. The Rock N Roll Heaven-Im Betting On You filly has been in the money in all nine appearances this year with $41,314 earned. Morill Jr. will guide her as the 3-1 morning line choice from the five post.   The main threat should come the Ron Burke-trained Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) won over $187,000 last year and looks to just be rounding into shape. She finished third in her most recent start at Tioga Downs, finishing 2-1/2 behind Bettor Be Steppin. Kakaley is slated to drive the 7-2 proposition out of the three spot.   The field of seven in the $39,900 second division has combined earnings over $440,000.   The final $39,900 race on the Sire Stakes menu will have the red-hot Bettorhaveanother as the one to catch. Tied for points lead with Bettor Be Steppin (100 apiece) after two rounds of races, Bettorhaveanother is riding a two-race win streak including back-to-back 1:51 victories in the Sire Stakes at Tioga and Vernon Downs. She'll start from the six hole for Morrill Jr. as the morning line choice at 2-1.   Heaven On Earth (Rock N Roll Hanover-Mango Hanover) arrives for her first start in the Sire Stakes this year. She's coming off two victories in her most three recent tries at Yonkers. James MacDonald will score Heaven On Earth from the five post as the second pick on the morning line at 3-1.   There will also be a pair of $15,000 races in the Excelsior 'A' Series and a $6,800 non-betting race in the Excelsior 'B' Series that has a 4:30 p.m. post.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, upcoming promotions and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Goshen Historic Track, where it all started and where it still is today, is gearing up for it 178th season of exciting harness racing and 2015 will mark the 105th year of Grand Circuit Racing at “the Cradle of the Trotter”. This year will also be the 54th consecutive season of matinee racing over the famed double oval at Historic Track. Matinee racing commences Sunday, June 7th with the first of three matinee programs and matinee racing will continue on the consecutive Sundays of June 14 and June 21.. Post times for all three matinee race cards will be at 1p.m.. Grand Circuit Racing begins on Thursday, July 2nd and will feature New York Sire Stakes County Fair Races followed on Friday, July 3rd with the New York State Excelsior Series for pacers.  Then on Saturday, July 4th the Landmark Stakes for 2 and 3 year olds along with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Trots and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Paces will be presented. Featured  Sunday, July 5th are sophomore trotters in the New York State Excelsior Series along with a race under saddle for horses and riders that have qualified during any one of the three June matinee programs. Also slated on the card that afternoon is the annual Hall Of Fame Trot with various members of Harness Racing’s Hall of Fame at the controls which has always been a fan favorite.  And after the race the Hall of Famer's will be available for photos and autographs.  Post times for Grand Circuit action will also be at 1pm. Then that evening the annual Hall of Fame Banquet will again be held under the tent on the lawn of the Harness Racing Museum. Once again, Historic Track will sponsor a golf outing, this year on Monday, June 29, at the Golf Club at Mansion Ridge on 1292 Orange Turnpike in nearby Monroe, NY. For further information on the golf outing or to sign-up please call the Historic Track office at 845-294-5333. John Manzi

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer. Another sure sign of summer is the arrival of the harness racing New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.   Wednesday night, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade Buffalo Raceway to begin the first of eight different divisions of the New York Sire Stakes that will visit the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds now through the close of the meet on Sunday, July 26.   There are three divisions of the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Wednesday that will be worth $105,000 total. The three legs has attracted big-name drivers along with some top horses which are eligible for North America Cup and/or Meadowlands Pace.   They'll be gunning for the track records as well as a nice payday. The 3-year-old gelding pace record is 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014 while the 3-year-old colt mark is 1:52.3 established by Steelhead Hanover in 2012. That clocking is also the all-aged pacing track standard.   The opening race on the 13-card will be the first Sire Stakes test and will feature Ultimate G, a third place finisher at Tioga Downs in his last attempt. In the money in all four starts this season, Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Ultimate G as the 2-1 choice, the only entrant in the field of seven with a victory in 2015.   Americanprimetime is Meadowlands Pace eligible and will score from the five post for driver Rick Dane Jr. Americanprime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) broke stride in his last outing in the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and lost any chance.   The back half of the early daily double will also feature the boys. K-Rock is the early choice at 8-5 with Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive. K-Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A) has a win and two second place finishes in his three appearances thus far this season. On May 17 in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga, K-Rock scorched a 1:23 time to the three-quarter marker but stalled out and finished in second just a half-length behind National Seelster.   Berkley is the top threat in the race for driver Mark MacDonald. A winner of $118,470 last season, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) has been saddled with bad posts in his last two starts but should be a factor after drawing better this time. He'll start out of the four spot.   The last Sire Stakes contest, set as the fourth race, will feature Sicily (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who won the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on May17 in 1:51.1. Sicily, the 8-5 morning line favorite, will be driven by Matt Kakaley. A winner of over $114,000 in his young career, the Ron Burke trained Sicily could be using this race as a tune up for the prestigious North America Cup starting at June 13 at Mohawk Raceway along with the Meadowlands Pace.   The main challenger in the mile race could come from If You Want Fire who is also eligible for the Meadowlands Pace. With over $77,000 in the bank thus far in his lifetime, If You Want Fire (Bettor's Delight-Dream Of Treasure), will start from the six post for Brett Miller, who will be in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.   There will also be two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior 'A' Series for the 3-year-old colt and geldings and a $6,800 'B' Series race.   There are 13 races on tap with post time set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Vernon, N.Y. -- Sent off the prohibitive 2-5 favorite, Barn Doll ($2.90) sustained a push to the fore on the far turn, drawing clear for a 1:54 triumph in her $40,600 New York Sire Stakes event for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (May 23) evening at Vernon Downs.   The daughter of Conway Hall and Headintheclouds settled in midpack early on, as Magic City (Jeff Gregory) cleared the lead through a :28 initial quarter. On the backstretch, Jimmy Whittemore angled Barn Doll second-over behind the cover of Frou Frou (Jim Morrill, Jr.), but was ultimately left uncovered after a :57.2 half mile as Frou Frou cleared. Despite no longer having the aid of cover, Barn Doll continued progressing, pushing clear on the far turn and drawing clear of Frou Frou by 3-1/2 lengths in the end. Stirling Debutant (Rick Zeron) sustained a move on the far turn to take third, just missing Frou Frou in a late battle for second.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables.   Lock Down Lindy ($3.80, Rick Zeron, 1:54.3) and Concentration ($10.00, Chris Lems, 1:56.3) also proved victorious in their Sire Stakes divisions.   Vernon Downs is dark for racing on Sunday, but hosts a 13-race program on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). Post time is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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