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Roundtown Rocker (Wally Hennessey) wins the $9,000 featured harness racing trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 24). BJ Loarado (Mike Merton) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.0. He continued to lead hitting the half in :56.1. Jack Rules (Andy Santeramo) started to put on the pressure as BJ Lorado hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. The two trotters went around the last turn shoulder to shoulder. Roundtown Rocker ($6.70), who is trained by Rick Dane for owners Rock&Roll Stable and Scott Dane, was locked in the box as they turned for home. He would squeeze through an opening on the inside and holdoff a late charge by second place finisher Meadowbranch Ricky (Mike Simons) to win in a seasonal best 1:54.4. Jack Rules held on for third. Roundtown Rocker is a 6-year-old gelding by Hard Rock N Roll. It was his fourth win in 2019. He now owns 35 career victories. Wally Hennessey added three more wins on the night. His other wins came with P L McCracken ($5.20), No Reason At All ($13.00), and Blueberry Heaven ($10.40). Mike Simons and Andy Santeramo each drove two winners on the night. SImons finished first with Cayenne Victory ($3.80), and Eldorado Of Gold S ($15.60). Andy Santeramo got his victories with You Said It ($3.10), and Uncle Hanover ($5.50). Tioga Downs returns to live racing with an 11 race card featuring Reynold Memorial races for freshmen trotters and pacers starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (September 9, 2017) – Americanprimetime brought the biggest bankroll and biggest credentials into Saturday night’s $15,000 pacing feature at the Meadowlands and he needed all of his class to hold on for a 1:49.4 win over eight other harness racing rivals. Trainer and driver Rick Dane Jr. put the son of American Ideal on the front end while setting honest fractions of :27, :54.2 and 1:21.4 through three quarters. The narrow 2/1 second wagering choice did not face much pressure until the field turned into the long Big M stretch. With longshots Go Big Spinder, Chevals Clivesdale and Change Stride fanned across the track in pursuit, Dane and Americanprimetime held on in a desperate photo finish to post the win. The top four finishers were separated by two noses and a neck on the wire. It is the 18th career win for the 5-year-old Americanprimetime. The Rock & Roll Stable homebred has now earned $453,419. Total handle on the 11-race program was $1,731,348. The September Meet wraps up next Friday and Saturday. Post time both nights is 7:15. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Kimberly Silpath's Four Hour Nap ($7.20) used a :57.2 middle half to her advantage in Friday (June 17) evening's $9,000 Mares Open 2 Pace at Tioga Downs, edging clear of her five harness racing rivals for a 1:52.4 triumph after controlling the terms throughout.   Mike Merton made all the pace with the 6-year-old Four Starzzz Shark mare, dueling with Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) on approach to the first turn and clearing through a :26.4 first quarter before backing the pace down. Four Hour Nap faced no real challenges en route to her 17th career win, sprinting clear at head-stretch and posting a 2-3/4 length victory over pocket rival Asset Management. Pompano invader Goldstar Rockette (Corey Braden) circled four-wide in the stretch, rallying from last to take third in her local debut.   Rick Dane, Jr. trains Four Hour Nap, who scored her second win of the meet.   Scott Coulter and Dan Clements led all drivers with two wins each on the nine-race card.   Ostriches and camels returned to Tioga Downs after a three-year hiatus, taking part in two non-wagering 100-yard sprints before a sizable on-track crowd.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 18), with the first of 10 races due off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 21, 2015--She was a late replacement, but harness racing driver  Monica Banca was more than on time when it counted. Filling in for originally-scheduled participant Robert Krivelin, Ms. Banca handily defended the honor of both country and gender, guiding Meadowview Arny ($7.40) to a decisive Tuesday afternoon win in Yonkers Raceway's French-American Friendship Competition. Leading at every pylon in the mile-and-one-quarter, $15,200 event, pole-sitting "Arny" threw down intervals of :31.2, 1:02.1, 1:33.1 and 2:03, before finishing his work day 3¼ lengths in front of 9-10 favorite Amalfi Coast (Peter Kleinhans), who closed from ninth in the 10-horse field. The mile-and-quarter went in 2:32.2. French drivers Romain Poree (Sun of a Victory), Christophe Roszak (Prince Lauxmont) and Michel Poirier (He'sgotlegs) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. France's Sophie Blanchetiere, the other woman in this competition, finished seventh with 87-1 outsider Mr. Invincible. For second choice Meadowview Arny, a 7-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding trained by Ms. Banca's partner, Rick Dane Jr., for owner Stephanie Mitchell, it was his fourth win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.80, with the triple returning $66. The competition was the last of five races during the French-centric matinee program, which again featured overflow trotting fields at the added, 1¼-mile distance. "It was my plan to try and be in front," Banca said. "He's such a big, strong horse and doesn't mind the distance races. I'm just so excited." Ms. Banca, a native of Norway, won her 10th career race as a driver. Ms. Banca, it should be noted, is one of the mover and shakers for the Raceway's initiatives in the fight again breast cancer. Last fall, she organized pink blanket sponsorships for winning horses, along with pink whips carried by drivers. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 8, 2014--Yonkers Raceway has a simple four-word, 15-letter request for everyone attending the sixth annual harness racing Fall Harvest Festival, set for this Saturday night (Oct. 11). "Have Fun. Wear Pink." All the popular Festival sights, sounds and tastes are back... ...live music, pony rides, New York State craft beers, exciting harness racing (including the Legislators' Challenge), face painting, a pumpkin patch and so much more in a fun, family atmosphere. Now, the reason for the request. Empire City, Yonkers Raceway, its horsemen and the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) have once again joined in the fight against breast cancer. A donation of $10 shall be made (with a maximum gift of $15,000) to the Susan G. Komen Greater NYC Chapter for every Fall Harvest Festival guest who wears the color du jour. In keeping with the theme, pink horseshoes shall be given away on the apron (while supplies last), all the drivers that evening are carrying pink whips and the winning horses receive pink blankets, sponsored (alphabetically) by Team Allard, Richard Banca, Amber Buter, Rick Dane Jr., Scott DiDomenico, Mark Ford, Allan Johnson, Peter Pellegrino, Jody Riedel, Brittany Robertson, Nick Surick and Anita Vallee. Representatives from the Komen organization are also going to be on hand to answer questions, provide informational materials and accept an oversized donation check in the winner's circle at 6:30 PM. Need some extra incentive to help a worthy cause? The first 1,500 Empire Club members who visit a promotions booth that day receive a free, $2 exacta box ticket on one of that evening's live races. The Fall Harvest Festival takes place trackside from 4 PM-8 PM, with the first Legislators' Challenge races set for 5:30 PM. Post time for the live racing card is the usual 7:10 PM. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Batavia, NY---The last chance to see the best bred standardbreds in the Empire State race at Batavia Downs this year occurs on Saturday night (Sept. 6) when the New York Sire Stakes makes its last stop at the Genesee County oval for 2014. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings are featured as the stars of tomorrow and will compete for $109,000 in purses. The first $54,500 NYSS division goes as the fifth race and features seven pacers going postward. Americanprimetime (American Ideal-Prime Example A) is currently ranked second in points for the Night of Champions finals for his sex and gait and boasts a 1:52.4 lifetime mark at Tioga Downs this year. This Rick Dane Jr. trained colt likes to be on the front end and will get his chance here scoring from post three. He has made two breaks in his six starts but when he is on his game he's hard to beat. Brent Holland will sit behind Americanprimetime for the first time in this race. Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) beat Americanprimetime last week at Vernon Downs en route to taking his lifetime mark of 1:51.1. He has been lightly raced due to an injury in July and has only four starts this year. But he's made the most of the opportunities he has had and appears to be improving with every start. Betting Exchange needs points to move up in the standing in order to make the final and this will be his last chance to do it. Top NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. is aboard for trainer Tom Fanning. Azorean Art (Art Major-Dancin Barefoot) is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and looks to be coming into this race sharp as a tack. Also coming off a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 at Vernon last week, Azorean Art overcame road trouble the entire race and still found a way to win. Driver Mark MacDonald drove him for the first time in that victory and is back in the sulky here. Azorean Art is currently fifth in the standings but could move up substantially with a win. The second $54,500 NYSS division goes as race nine and has the top horse in the series competing in it. Southwind Masimo (Bettor's Delight-Max's Leading Lady) is a perfect four-for-four this year and all in NYSS action. He has won both on the front and from behind, and on both small and large tracks. The Pat LaChance trained colt took his lifetime mark of 1:54 at Tioga Downs, but he actually paced faster last quarters in his two starts at Yonkers. However Southwind Masimo is coming into this race off a scratch at Vernon last week when he reported sick, so the colt has not raced in 18 days. Whether or not this will affect his performance remains to be seen, but having Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance on board will certainly help his cause. Cartoon Daddy (Art Major-Ask Alice) has four wins in seven starts this year and oddly enough, all four wins were on half-mile tracks. He has a sparkling lifetime mark of 1:53.4 at Yonkers Raceway which is considerably faster than any other horse in this race has paced over a half-mile track. He is currently third in points and could vault to number one with a victory. Cartoon Daddy hails from the powerful Ron Burke stable and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Bet You (Bettor's Delight-Armbro Amoretto) has two wins and three seconds in six starts this year and the only time he finished off the board was due to an interference break. Also a Takter trainee, Bet You has displayed racing versatility on the track and seems to be brave on the front end. His mark is 1:55.1 at Yonkers but he paced considerably faster in a just-beaten mile at Tioga Downs in 1:52.4. Bet You is right behind Cartoon Daddy in the points standing and could also take the top spot with a win. Mark MacDonald gets his second straight ride behind him in here. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series to be contested in races one, two and seven going for a total of $37,800. Post time for the first race is 6:35. One other highlight for the night is the return of popular and second leading driver Shawn McDonough who was injured in a spill at Batavia Downs during a race on Labor Day. Only three days removed from the incident, McDonough will be back in the sulky on Friday night and is slated to drive the full card on Saturday. McDonough said "I'm doing pretty good. My ankle is still sore but not too bad, and I have been taking it easy the last few days. But now I'm ready to come back." -- Tim Bojarski

Just four weeks ago Monica Banca received her harness racing provisional license and the Norwegian native has shown she has a talent in the sulky. Not only did she win the final of the Catskill Amateur Driver's Club's Pacing Series yesterday (June 26)at Monticello Raceway but in five trips to post in betting races Monica has won four times. And her last three drives here were all winning ones.

Tioga Downs held its first 'Old Style' sulky race on Friday night where the horses racing in the fourth race of the night were restricted to use older style harness racing sulkies which ended up being eight Tel-Star bikes.

Looks are deceiving. Case in point: the dead-heat harness racing victory in the 12th race yesterday (Jan.8) at Monticello Raceway.

Future Character (Shady Character) pulled off the upset in the first of two divisions of the Joe Gerrity Jr Memorial Open Pacing Series on Saturday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Future Character (Rick Dane Jr.) parlayed a first over grind into an Open pace victory on Sunday night (May 27) at Tioga Downs. Leaving from post position number four in a harness racing field of six, Future Character got away fifth and began the first over journey as the field reached the half mile in 55.3.

It was a big night for Rick Dane Jr on Saturday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the harness racing trainer-driver tallied three big wins on the pacing filled program. Dane's Future Character (Shady Character) prevailed in the Saturday open pace for the second consecutive week as the seven year old showed early speed before parlaying the pocket ride to the 1:54.4 feature win.

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