Day At The Track
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YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 10, 2019--Alexa's Power (Jason Bartlett, $6.10) retook from Lispatty (Mark MacDonald), then held that one off Friday night (May 10th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open harness racing Handicap Pace. Making the first lead from assigned post position No. 2, Alexa's Power gave it up to Lispatty before playing leapfrog on the lead. 'Alexa' controlled the race (:27.3, :57.1, 1:25.1, 1:53.2), taking minimal first-up pressure from Queen Josephine (Troy Beyer), while 13-10 favorite Glenferrie Blade A (Jordan Stratton) went wide to nowhere around that one. Alexa's Power owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, then outgamed Lispatty by a half-length. Twinkle (Brent Holland) offered decent foot at both ends for third, while Glenferrie Blade A and Oceania (Eric Goodell) settled for the remainder. For second choice Alexa's Power, a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by Jeff & Michael Snyder and trained by Jim Campbell, it was her first win in six seasonal starts (career earnings over $600,000). The exacta paid $51, the triple returned $172.50 and the superfecta paid $488.   Frank Drucke Yonkers Raceway Publicity Director

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although Troy Beyer grew up around Standardbreds, it was a singular moment in his adolescent years that ultimately pushed him down the path of becoming a harness racing horseman. At just 23 years old, Beyer has already worked among some great horses in the stables of Nancy Johansson and Noel Daley. The Illinois native now plies his trade in the barn of Brett Pelling with the goal of becoming a catch driver.  Beyer made his first pari-mutuel start in 2013 and spent the next three years driving in Illinois with some success. 2018 proved to be the young reinsman’s breakout year however, as he teamed up with Ricky Bucci to compete for the rich purses at Yonkers Raceway. Beyer drove 16 winners last year and another 50 in the money to purses of $305,308.  Although he is still searching for his first win in the new year, Beyer already has six top three finishes at the Hilltop and has his sights set on a big year. Beyer has first call on all of Bucci’s starters, including distaffer Made Of Jewels As and open trotter Mostinterestingman, who regularly compete in the track’s $44,000 features.  Beyer took the time to chat with the SOA of NY’s Brandon Valvo about his career so far and his aspirations in the sport. BV: How did you first get involved in harness racing? TB: My dad used to train horses several years ago; that’s how I got into it. I really didn’t get into it until I was probably around 13 or so. I really started to get into it and it just kind of took off from there. It got into my blood and ever since I’ve been right into it. I was out jogging, I just never knew what it was for when I was really young. It just wasn’t something I wanted to go do or anything. I just didn’t realize what it was for.  BV: What was the moment when it clicked that made you realize this was for you? TB: Probably when I was 13 my dad wanted me to go train one for him at the little farm we were at in Illinois and I think ever since that day, I did it once and I was hooked. It was just that easy. The horse was Casino Comp. At the time, she was just very young. I don’t even think she had raced yet. It might have even been her first time training. She turned out to be an alright condition horse at Balmoral and just raced through the conditions, basically. She was an alright horse, made a little money for us.  BV: And when did you first start driving in races? TB: At 16 I started driving qualifiers. I schooled one first for a friend of ours at Balmoral. I schooled a trotter and I just loved that. As soon as I did it, I wanted to just do it all the time. Just the adrenaline rush was awesome.   BV: You mention you’ve worked with some big stables already. Who are some of the nicer horses you’ve gotten to work with so far? TB: When I came to the east coast, I worked with Nancy Johansson. When I came in, JK She’salady was there, but it was at the end of her career. But getting to be around a horse like that, she was a cool horse to see and it was exciting to have a horse like that in the barn. I looked after a horse called Wicked Little Minx. She was a nice little mare, she made a little bit of money for Nancy. Another good little horse we had at the time was Cruzado Dela Noche, who won the International last year. Really cool little horse. Really awesome personality.  BV: Were you there at Yonkers when he won the International Trot? TB: Yes, I was. That was exciting. I’m not a gambling kind of person, but a buddy of mine that was down watching the race, I told him, ‘you know what, I bet this horse will win because he’s a cool little horse, he’s a nice horse, and I know they’ve been prepping him for this race for a long time.’ And sure enough he went out and won.  BV: It looks like this past year, you really started to ramp up the number of starts you were making. TB: Yeah it picked up really well for me, especially the last three months of the year, it picked up really strong at Yonkers. The last couple years, I’ve been working for Noel Daley and just had one or two of my own in the winter time. Noel helped me a ton. He got me a lot of drives for him and for people who saw me drive for him. He gave me a shot in stakes races, too and people saw that and they gave me a shot, too. I would go and drive one or two a week at Yonkers and really just always show up and it’s worked out well for me. A snowball effect happened where it just picked up stronger and stronger and then I picked up Ricky Bucci as a big account and there’s a couple other little guys and it’s just really worked out well. We had a lot of luck and made a lot of good money at the end of the year there. BV: How did you team up with Ricky and get first call on all his horses here at Yonkers? TB: I’m driving all of them now and that’s awesome. I drove one for him and won straight away. He gave me a shot, put me up on a few and we did really well right away and it’s just taken off from there. I listen to what he has to say about them and how he wants to race them. He gives me a lot of freedom to let me do what I want with them. It’s just worked out really well. BV: Do you tend to be on the aggressive side? Do you try to be a little more patient? What’s your style like? TB: It just really depends on the horse and it depends a lot on the draw at Yonkers. If they have the inside, I’m more inclined to be aggressive with them and if they’re mid-pack, it just depends on the horse and what class it is.  BV: Yonkers is not an easy place to break into when you consider the driving colony here. Were you surprised to get such a big account relatively quickly? TB: Honestly, yeah, I was really surprised. It was almost like night and day. Ettore (Annunziata) told him to give me a shot. He came and asked me one night and said, ‘I have a friend of mine who needs a driver, he wants to put you down on a couple.’ I thought I was going to drive maybe one or two for the guy, I didn’t even know who it was. The sheet came out and I was down on three. It was just like a light switch. From that moment, I was driving a bunch really quick after. BV: And even getting drives in the Open Handicaps. Talk a little about Made Of Jewels As and what she’s like to drive and to work with. TB: I really, really love driving that mare. She’s classy and she likes to race from off the pace, which I like to, too a lot of times in the upper conditions. They kind of beat themselves up early and then usually you can sit back and come at the end of it. They pop up and win every once in a while for good money. She’s just a lovely horse to drive, she runs in a little bit, but you just help her through the turns and wait on her and she’ll give you everything. She’ll just fly home. She can fly. You can do whatever you want with her. BV: And what about Mostinterestingman? TB: He is awesome. I really love driving that horse, too. The pair of those two horses are really nice to drive. Mostinterestingman, he’s really nice to drive. He doesn’t really get on a line or anything like that. You can do whatever you want with him. If you want to leave out of there with him, you can and he has no problem with it. If you want to duck and race him off a helmet, he does that just as good. He doesn’t get grabby in a hole or grabby up front. Just two fingers, a really good horse to drive at any time, no matter where you are. BV: You’re a young guy, just getting started. What are your goals for your career? Do you aspire to be a catch driver? A trainer? What path do you see yourself pursuing? TB: I like doing both. I like training and driving. I would like to eventually just catch drive. That’s what I really love to do. But I don’t mind training either. I really enjoy training babies down. I might keep doing that, just have a couple of my own in the winter time and just work with babies. But my main goal is catch driving for sure. That’s what I really love to do and want to do. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. Live harness racing is featured at Yonkers Raceway every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

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