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WASHINGTON, PA, June 29, 2020 -- Dancin Dragon sat comfortably in the pocket behind the dueling harness racing leaders, then blew by in the lane to capture Monday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace in a career-best clocking of 1:49.3 for the one mile race at The Meadows. While the first-over Rock Candy threw down a protracted challenge to Windsong Leo on the point, Dancin Dragon and Jim Pantaleano were saving ground in the pocket. When Rock Candy finally backed off at the top of the lane, Dancin Dragon wheeled by Windsong Leo and downed him by 3/4 lengths. Major Nemesis came from far back for show.   Randy Bendis conditions Dancin Dragon, a 5-year-old Dragon Again-McDance Desire gelding who lifted his bankroll to $271,625, and owns with Pollack Racing LLC. Dave Palone and Mike Wilder each collected three wins on the 14-race card. Tuesday's 15-race program at The Meadows features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,014.15 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3); a $2,025.10 carryover in the early Pick 5 (race 2). First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

 YONKERS, N.Y. – The rich 4-year-old Open Pace returns to the regular Saturday night harness racing lineup at Yonkers Raceway June 29 and trainer Randy Bendis has been eagerly awaiting the class’ return. Although his pupil Bettor Than Spring held his own in facing older horses in the top classes at the Meadows, Bendis thinks the weekly $37,000 features will suit the gelding perfectly. “He’s raced really well here, but we’ve really been waiting on the 4-year-old Open,” Bendis said. “We knew Yonkers generally started that up around July 1, so as soon as we saw that on the condition sheet, we were heading back to New York for the year.” Bettor Than Spring came on Bendis’ radar last December after longtime owner Lewis Hauber expressed interest in acquiring a new horse before the end of the year. Bendis came across the Bettor’s Delight son, who Scott Di Domenico had listed for sale, and soon realized the horse had a special pedigree. He soon struck a deal and purchased the horse in partnership with Hauber and Jack Piatt. “I actually trained his mother. His mother was a very good horse for me,” Bendis remembered. “I didn’t realize that at first, but then we did a little more investigating and I saw that he’s out of Spring Break, who I campaigned for probably four years at the Meadows.” Bendis campaigned Spring Break at the Meadows from 2009 to 2012. She made 85 pari-mutuel starts under Bendis’ tutelage and earned $363,256 of her $787,057 career total in his stable. With 39 wins and another 72 placings from 178 lifetime starts, Bendis admired Spring Break for her robustness, a trait he sees replicated in Bettor Than Spring. “She was an invite kind of mare. Just honest, showed up every week kind of mare,” Bendis recalled. “She didn’t win all the time, but she gave her best just about every race and had staying power. I thought if he was anything like her, we could keep him around for four or five years and have a lynchpin for the stable. “He’s really a great horse to be around, a lot like his mother,” Bendis continued. “He doesn’t really look like his mother at all; she’s kind of a plain-looking, medium-sized bay and he has a big, striking, dark brown warhorse kind of look. But he does have a lot of her attributes: the gate speed, very good gait, and consistently gives you whatever his best is.” Bendis sent Bettor Than Spring to Ed Hart for a winter campaign at Yonkers to start the year. Bettor Than Spring recovered from an early break to finish second in his debut for the stable in a $20,000 overnight January 7. He then won three straight races, the last coming against older horses for $29,000 February 9.  After breaking again in his next start, Bettor Than Spring shifted focus to the Sagamore Series, which Bendis thought would fit him like a glove. Although Bettor Than Spring scored a gate-to-wire 1:54.2 victory in leg one, he went offstride the following week. He overcame post eight in the final preliminary leg to finish third. However, Bettor Than Spring pulled up and did not finish in the $60,200 final, his last outing at Yonkers. “He got off to a real good start. He was eligible to the Sagamore and he looked to be a layover kind of horse there,” Bendis said. “He ran into some health problems there. He had atrial fibrillation; his heart went out of rhythm.” Bendis brought Bettor Than Spring home to Pennsylvania, where he took up the gelding’s training. After some time off, Bettor Than Spring resumed his work and successfully qualified at the Meadows May 2. In addition to his atrial fibrillation recovery, Bendis made minor adjustments to help address Bettor Than Spring’s breaking issues. “I changed his shoeing a little bit and I think – fingers crossed – that shouldn’t be an issue in the future. I think he’s pretty much over that,” Bendis said. Bettor Than Spring was second-placed-first in the $20,000 Open Pace at the Meadows in a lifetime best 1:51.4 in his return May 11. He then rattled off three straight runner-up finishes before placing fourth and fifth in his last two outings. Bendis feels Bettor Than Spring has matured greatly after facing more seasoned horses. “He’s been racing some really classy older horses here and it will be nice to get away from them and back to the 4-year-olds,” Bendis said. “He’s been able to put himself in good spots and been able to sit two holes behind some pretty good horses. He’s giving his best just about every time. The last eighth, these older horses can kind of scoot away. He’s learning to do that, he’s getting better at it, but it’s different racing 6-, 7-, 8-year-olds who have made a million dollars.” Bettor Than Spring shipped back to Ed Hart this Wednesday (June 26) after drawing post five for his Yonkers return. He is 9-2 on the morning line with George Brennan set to drive. Albergo Hanover, who won four straight races at the Meadowlands to start his season and enters off two off-the-board finishes, will start as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Bongiornos while Turbo Hill, who is 10-for-15 this year racing mainly at Pocono Downs, drew post seven and is 9-1. Skyway Quinton seeks three straight wins at the Hilltop and is 9-2. Mach And Cheese drew the inside in his Yonkers return and consistent check-getters Babes Dig Me and No Easy Day complete the lineup from posts two and three, respectively. “There’s some good horses in there. Yonkers is a great place to race, the money is great and if he holds up the way he seems to, he’ll make his money in there. He won’t win every week, but he’ll be a factor in there,” Bendis said.  Although several of Bettor Than Spring’s early season victories came on the front-end, Bendis thinks the gelding is more versatile now. Although he’s been leaving the gate at the Meadows, driver Mike Wilder has kept Bettor Than Spring off the lead, racing in the pocket in four of his last six starts. “He kind of gets lost on the lead. He just kind of relaxes on the lead and loses his attention a little bit. I think he’s a more seasoned horse now,” Bendis said. “I think he’d be OK if George decides to put him there, I think he’d be fine there, but 10 or 15 starts ago, he would make the lead and just wait on horses.  “He got caught one time, a horse rushed at him up the backside and got halfway by and he made a break coming out of the last turn there,” Bendis continued. “I think a lot of it was inexperience on the lead. He hasn’t been on the lead here at home at all; he’s been up close, but not on the lead. I think he’s a more versatile horse than he was back in February. He’s been racing top-class horses. “That’s the good thing about this horse, I don’t think you can put him in a bad spot. If they’re honking out of there, he can sit fifth or sixth and come with cover and be a factor,” Bendis said. “He likes a helmet more than doing the work himself, at least at this point. I’m really not concerned about the trip; I’ll leave that up to George.” Saturday night’s card also features the weekly $46,000 Open Handicap Pace and Open Handicap Trot.  First post time is 6:50 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY.

Medusa is revved up and ready to go. The harness racing 8-year-old pacing mare is set for her fourth appearance in the upcoming Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers and will look to continue her good fortune in the event, which included a second-place finish in the 2017 final. "You always wonder, especially with a mare at her age, that when you shut her down the engine might not start back up," said trainer Randy Bendis, who co-owns Medusa with Pollack Racing. "But she really came back great. She's fresh and ready to go." A total of 35 mares entered Friday's opening round of the Matchmaker and were divided into five $40,000 divisions. Medusa races in the first, which also includes millionaire Newborn Sassy. New Zealand-bred star Shartin, the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer and defending Matchmaker champion, is in the fifth division. For her career, Medusa has won 37 of 132 races and earned $881,743. She has spent much of her career competing at The Meadows and Yonkers, with nearly half of her career appearances coming at The Hilltop. Medusa has won 10 of 61 races at Yonkers, hit the board a total of 32 times, and earned a paycheck in 55. "She's got near world-class ability, especially on a half," Bendis said. "Her ability to get around four turns is what will keep her a factor this year. She is just a great half-miler. Shartin is just better than everybody, but she fits with the rest of them. On a half, a lot of it is the draw. If you get a good string drawing you can make a lot of money real quick." Pollack and Bendis, who is based in western Pennsylvania, bought Medusa at the beginning of her 5-year-old season in January 2016. Since then, she has produced three consecutive seasons with earnings between $206,444 and $246,691. "She's a warhorse now," said New York-based trainer Ed Hart, who conditions Medusa for Bendis when the mare is racing at Yonkers. "She's just a big, strong, good-looking mare. She's been doing it for many years. You can leave, you can take her off; she's just a versatile mare. You wish you had a barn full of them. Take care of her and she'll do the rest." The Matchmaker and companion George Morton Levy Memorial series, which begins Saturday for older male pacers, both feature five preliminary rounds followed by added-money finals April 20. A horse receives 25 points each time she or he races in a preliminary round. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth. Sell A Bit N, a two-time Matchmaker runner-up, also is among this year's group along with millionaire Mach It A Par. "It's a very tough series," Hart said. "She loves Yonkers, she loves the half; I think she should be fine with a little bit of luck." Following last year's Matchmaker, Medusa finished second to Shartin in the Chip Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway before focusing on the top-level overnights for fillies and mares at The Meadows and Yonkers. Bendis is looking at a similar schedule this season. "I think she can go with the better mares early," Bendis said. "I think it would be a lot to expect of her in July and August on the big tracks to go with them. If we can get the first part of the stakes season, I think that's what we can ask of her. "Ed has done a wonderful job with her. She will probably stay (at Yonkers) for as long as it works. It sure has worked recently for us there." Medusa is a daughter of Bettor's Delight out of Mythical. She was bred by White Birch Farm. There are no secrets behind her success. "She's easy on herself, a sound mare, a happy mare; that's a good combination," Bendis said. "She likes her field time. In the winter it's tough to give them quality field time, but we just try to keep her as happy as we can. We train her up a little bit, but figure out what she needs week to week. She normally responds well. "She's in great shape. She's never trained a bad trip in her life for me. She's just that kind of mare. I'll shed a real tear the day we pull the harness off her for the last time because not too many come around like her." Follow the links for early Matchmaker program pages for Friday (March 15) and early Levy program pages for March 16. Friday's program pages will be finalized today (March 12); Saturday's program pages will be finalized on Thursday (March 14). Ken Weingartner

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 11, 2018 -- Delcrest Magicstar let Expose Yourself do the heavy lifting, then blew by her in the Lightning Lane to pull off the 12-1 upset in Thursday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. A recent acquisition by Tom Pollack, Reed Broadway and Randy Bendis, who also trains, Delcrest Magicstar stretched out Expose Yourself on the "good" surface before yielding to the pocket. She poured through the Lightning Lane for Aaron Merriman to defeat Expose Yourself by 1-1/4 lengths while Glidinthruparadise also shot the Lightning Lane for show. The 4-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Star's Balance boosted her lifetime bankroll to $189,669. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, March 15, 2018 -- The Meadows-based trainer Randy Bendis dabbled in the international Standardbred market years ago but had drifted away from harness racing imports. Now, he's back. "The American dollar is very strong compared to what it was," Bendis says. "You can buy more for less overseas. "When horses make over a certain amount in New Zealand, they never can go back down in class. The connections get a little frustrated and look to sell. We've had luck there in the past, and we figured we'd take another shot." The result: Late last year, Bendis and Jack Piatt II purchased Rycroft N, who will be seeking his first U.S. win Saturday in an action-parked card flush with wagering opportunities and St. Patrick's Day activities for fans. Rycroft N goes from post 5 in race 5, an $11,500 Conditioned Pace, with Mike Wilder driving. Rycroft N, a 7-year-old gelding with $113,078 in career earnings, hit the ticket his first two starts for Bendis -- the second with the addition of Lasix -- but was perhaps strongest in his most recent outing, when he finished a rallying fourth after dropping back to last. "That definitely was his best effort," confirms Bendis, who ranks second in 2018 wins at The Meadows behind only Ron Burke. "He was six or seven high in the last turn. He'll like it when they start going more early. He likes to hunt rather than being hunted." That fifth race is the second leg of Saturday's pick 4, which offers a $15,000 total pool guarantee in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative . . . and there's much more for fans to enjoy. Mychoice members can compete in the Road to the Triple Crown Thoroughbred Handicapping Contest while all fans wearing green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day will receive a free Meadows programs and "Lucky Lenses" sunglasses. Programs and lenses will be distributed at the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) table. Harness racing bingo also is on tap. In addition, the MSOA will give away a $100 betting voucher each time a driver with colors that include green wins on the 10-race Meadows card. Drivers "wearing the green" Saturday: Wilbur O'Yoder, Tyler O'Stillings, Ray O'Paver and O'Wilder. More information on any of the scheduled activities is available at the retail counter in the track's Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 25, 2017 -- Medusa knocked a tick from her own track record for older harness racing mares when she zipped to the front for Tony Hall and blazed home in 1:49.4 in Monday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Once Medusa pocketed Sassa Hanover and secured the lead, she was racing only the clock. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical posted fractions of 26.3/54.4/1:22.1/1:49.4 en route to her 1-1/4-length victory over Sassa Hanover. Hurricane Calleigh rallied for show. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who now boasts career earnings of $612,656, and owns with Tom Pollack. Elsewhere on the card, Smart Balance provided the day's tote board fireworks when she took a Non-Winners of 1 conditioned race for trainer/driver Cory Kreiser at 177-1. Nicole Foster and Kreiser own the 3-year-old daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Ring Pop, who returned $451 for a $2 across-the-board wager. Mike Wilder piloted three winners on the 13-race program. Tuesday's card at The Meadows features a $71,700 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 20, 2017 -- After a second-quarter breather, Medusa sprinted home in 55.1 to capture her second straight victory in Monday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Medusa retook the lead past the quarter, allowing Tony Hall to give her a leisurely 29.3 second panel. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical turned on the gas from there, downing the rallying Lakeisha Hall by 3/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Spreester earned show. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $441,012, and owns with Tom Pollack. Dave Palone piloted three winners, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke, on the 13-race card.   by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows    

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 24, 2017 -- Last in the field of six at the three-quarters, Medusa unleashed a three-wide blitz that carried her to a harness racing victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Medusa was following sluggish cover when Tony Hall decided to show her racetrack. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical quickly looped the field and engaged the leader, Show Runner, defeating her by 1/2 length in 1:54.2 over a sloppy surface. Spreester shot the Lightning Lane for show. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who now boasts $416,352 in career earnings, and owns with Tom Pollack. Mike Wilder collected four wins on the 13-race card while Dave Palone and Jim Pantaleano each enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Medusa stalked Spreester from the pocket, then kicked by her in the Lightning Lane to capture Monday's $20,000 harness racing filly & mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Although Spreester held off the outside challengers, she was helpless against the attack inside from Medusa, the 8-5 favorite. The 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical scored in 1:54.1 for Tony Hall, a length better than Spreester, while Skippin By rallied from last for show. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who now boasts $385,952 in career earnings, and owns with Tom Pollack. Dave Palone and Hall each piloted four winners on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, July 18, 2016 -- Certified Ideal rallied three wide out of the final turn to pull off a 12-1 harness racing upset in Monday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Certified Ideal followed the live, first-over cover of Very Loudly before Tony Hall sent her wide through the lane. The 6-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last blazed home in 28.1 and scored in 1:51.4. Show Runner was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Spreester shot the Lightning Lane for show. Randy Bendis trains Certified Ideal, who now boasts $478,973 in career earnings, and owns with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. Dave Palone piloted five winners and Hall four on the 14-race card. Tuesday's card at The Meadows features a $140,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, June 6, 2016 -- Medusa coasted to her second straight victory Monday at The Meadows when she cut a comfortable 56.1 first half and scored in 1:50.3 in the $18,000 harness racing filly & mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace. With the field reduced to five by a scratch, Medusa and Tony Hall felt no pressure until Spreester challenged first up past the three-quarters. By then, the 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical had the mile well in hand, as she held off Set Me Up in the Lightning Lane by a length. Spreester finished third. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who vaulted over $300,000 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Tom Pollack. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, April 18, 2016 -- Wasaga Beach, who didn't win either of her preliminary divisions, moved powerfully first over and rolled to victory in Monday's $33,700 championship of the Do Me Honor Pace for 3-year-old fillies at The Meadows. Wasaga Beach entered the series as the filly to beat, having vanquished 3- and 4-year-olds in the final of the Donna Dunn Memorial Pace. But she was beaten 26-3/4 lengths in the Do Me Honor opening leg and faded to third in the second leg after cutting the fractions. Tony Hall, her driver in both series, thinks he knows why. "She got sick directly after the final of the first series," Hall said. "There wasn't time between the two series to do anything with her. We just kind of had to tough it out. So she was dull for a couple starts, but it really wasn't her fault. "I feel like I over-raced her last week. I take the blame for that. This week, we decided to race her from behind. She'd been good like that before. She seemed to be back to herself today." The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Adela Hanover showed no signs of illness when Hall sent her after the leader, Sweet You, down the backside. She gobbled up Sweet You, who broke stride in frustration, making Wasaga Beach's job easier. She scored in 1:53, knocking 1.3 seconds from her lifetime mark. Marty Party Two was second, 2-1/2 lengths back, with Hooves On First third. Hall is confident Wasaga Beach is ready for even tougher competition. "I'm sure they'll shoot for the PA Sires Stakes," he said. "I'm thinking she'll have maybe another start or two before that." Randy Bendis conditions Wasaga Beach and owns with Reed Broadway, Tom Pollack and John Campbell. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, a hard-used Medusa got up late to down Show Runner by a neck in 1:50.3 -- a career best and just a tick off the track record for older mares. Coffee Addict rallied for show. Bendis trains the 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical, who now boasts $266,867 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Pollack. Dave Palone piloted five winners on the 15-race card. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the $33,100 championship of the Classicality Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. First post is 1 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Certified Ideal quarter-poled to the lead, withstood a serious challenge from Do Me Honor and captured Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows. Let go at a healthy 6-1, Certified Ideal had little trouble reaching the front but then was confronted by the menacing uncovered bid of Do Me Honor. The 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last dug in for Tony Hall and defeated Do Me Honor by a nose in 1:52, with Macharoundtheclock third. Randy Bendis trains Certified Ideal, who now boasts $380,033 in career earnings, and owns with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. Dave Palone piloted five winners on the 14-race card while Eric Goodell and Hall each enjoyed a three-bagger. Evan Pattak    

WASHINGTON, PA, March 20, 2015 --Somewhere Fameous overwhelmed the 1-5 favorite, Fashion Rocker, with a first-over burst and went on to defeat her by 2-3/4 lengths in the Donna Dunn Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Dream Ball took the other $15,000 split in Friday's third leg of the harness racing series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. It was the second series victory each for Somewhere Fameous and Dream Ball who, along with Fashion Rocker, figure to be the favorites in the final. The championship legs of the Donna Dunn and three other current series at The Meadows are set for Friday, March 27, first post 6:55 PM. Somewhere Fameous was sitting third down the backside when Tony Hall asked her for pace. She roared through the slop and triumphed in 1:58, giving her three wins and a third in her last four outings on wet tracks. Nice Rocks rallied for show. Randy Bendis trains the 3-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Feathery Fame for Rose Love Stable. In the $24,800 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Tipitina was stellar in her first start out of the claiming ranks, as she moved uncovered to the lead and scored in 1:53.3. A trapped in Do Me Honor was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Macharoundtheclock third. Eric Goodell drove the 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Hi Ho Molly for trainer Mark Goldberg and owner Rags To Riches of PA. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 12-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 16, 2014 -- Certified Ideal outdueled Macharoundtheclock for the early lead, then held her off in the lane to capture Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. It was one of five winners on the card for driver Tony Hall. Certified Ideal withstood a strong first-over challenge from Novascotia Hanover that might have weakened her. But when Tony Hall asked her for late pace, the 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last found enough to down Macharoundtheclock by a neck in 1:54.1 over a "good" surface. Do Me Honor was third. Randy Bendis trains Certified Ideal, who has won 11 races this year and $278,467 in her career, and owns with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. Hall piloted five winners and Dave Palone three on the 15-race card. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $15,000-guaranteed total pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $4,148.67. Minimum wager for the Pick 5 (Races 11-15) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Wednesday’s program is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Batavia, NY---Betting Exchange and Berkley were on the outside looking in at the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers coming into tonight's final leg of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding division. But winning heals all and that's exactly what they both did to advance to the final next Saturday. In the first $54,500 contest, Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) scored his second win in a row to move from ninth to sixth overall in the standings and lock up a spot in the $225,000 final. Betting Exchange came off the wings for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and went right to the front to cut the mile. After briefly settling in fourth, Americanprimetime and Mark MacDonald pulled and came up to challenge the leader. That move found the colt getting parked through fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:25.2 before packing it in around the last turn. From that point on Betting Exchange ran away and hid, winning the race by three lengths in 1:55.1. The winner paid $5.70. Play The Field (Kevin Cummings) was second and K Ryan Bluechip (Joe Pavia Jr.) was third. It was the second win in five starts for Betting Exchange and boosted his earnings to $66,125 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also trains the horse. After the race Morrill said "I didn't really want to get into a speed duel but he felt real good tonight so I let him roll. After he fought off Americanprimetime he paced very strong to the wire." In the second $54,500 split, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) caught his competitors and the betting public asleep as he upset both with a strong stretch-drive victory at 17-1. The win boosted him from tenth to seventh in the standings and also qualified him for the lucrative NYSS final. Mark MacDonald sent Bet You out like a rocket and paced strongly on the lead to an uncontested :58.1 half when Southwind Masimo and Mike Lachance came first-over to challenge. That encounter was short lived when the pack straightened out up the backside and Bet You shifted gears to hold the group at bay. To this point, Joe Pavia Jr. had Berkley sitting comfortably In The Pocket behind the leader, just waiting to take his best shot at the head of the lane. Bet You opened up a two length lead coming for home but the fresh-legged Berkley rolled off the pylons and right by the leader with a furious brush to pull the upset in 1:55.3. The winner returned $36.00. Bet You hung on to be second and Southwind Masimo was third. This was the first win in nine starts this year for Berkley and raised his bank to $58,620 for owners Randy Bendis, Reed Broadway and Thomas Pollack. Berkley is trained by Ed Hart. Pavia had a glowing review saying "I was really impressed how good Ed (trainer Hart) had him tonight. He was much improved and raced super. He got a real good trip and we took advantage of it." There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card, each going for $12,600. The first division was won by Heaven Rocks (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cheerful Outlook) who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:56.1 and returned $4.70. He is owned by Paymag Racing, Greg Gillis, Mystical Marker Farms LLC and Louis Willinger and trained by Erv Miller. The second leg was won by Soto (Rock N Roll Heaven-Incredible Beauty) who was driven by Mark MacDonald in 1:55.2 to pay $4.90. He is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc. and Jim Fielding and is trained by Jimmy Takter. The final split was won by Mystical Pacer (Bettor's Delight-Take My Pulse) who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:56.4 and paid $6.10. He is owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Paymag Racing and Ron Michelon and is trained by Erv Miller. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. scored a driving grand slam while Mark MacDonald and Brent Holland both registered doubles on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Tuesday evening with a 6:35 post time. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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