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WILKES-BARRE PA - Iwillmakeyousaywow parlayed a pocket trip into a new lifetime mark of 1:51 in the fastest of three $15,000 divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series for male pacers Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the distaff section, also with three cuts, Candy Corn Hanover proved most photogenic - barely -- to take her division and keep her Weiss and career records unblemished after three starts.   Last week Iwillmakeyousaywow, a first week Weiss winner, drew post eight against Midnight Lightning and saw that foe rush by late for a 1:51 decision and two straight Weiss wins. This week the Manhardt gelding Iwillmakeyousaywow, who had the 4-5* mutuel confidence of the wagerers, parlayed a draw inside of "Lightning" into a pocket trip behind that one, snapped out nearing headstretch, and gained into 55.1 - 27.2 back numbers to won by a half-length over a late-closing Maxdaddy Blue Chip, with Midnight Lightning holding for third.   Iwillmakeyousaywow, a four-year-old Todd Buter trainee, now has four wins in 2016 and 15 in a career which saw him the Michigan program's champion at two and three. Tyler Buter handled sulky duties behind the talented pacer, whom he co-owns with Gene Oldford Farms LLC, Lynette Buter, and James Marion.   The other two divisions carried the common themes of driver Scott Zeron, sire Bettor's Delight, and the winners rallying from the pocket as the second choice to take a new lifetime mark. First to fit that script was the four-year-old gelding Perfect Bet, who just caught pacesetting favored Sentencing Memo by the shortest possible margin in 1:51.2. Perfect Bet made his first Weiss start a winning one for trainer Jeffrey Smith and owner Aimee Scheid.   In the other cut, Options Are Adream entered the race perfect in eight career starts, the last two in Weiss competition, but the "Dream" was shattered early when the horse made a break before the start and was five lengths off the last horse at the word "go."   Zeron had sent the sophomore gelding Bettor Memories, a first leg Weiss winner, to the early lead, then let Options Are Adream complete a daring last-to-first second quarter move to sit the pocket behind a horse who had used a tremendous amount of energy. When tipped out of the two-hole nearing headstretch, Bettor Memories was full of pace and lowered his mark a tick to 1:51.4 for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Gus Dovi. Options Are Adream tired to fourth.   On the distaff side, Candy Corn Hanover made it 3-for-3, in both Weiss Series action and in her career, but the pocket rocket almost got defused by Southwind Tango, who set the pace and just missed beating the victorious Dragon Again filly by a nose in 1:53.4. Anthony Napolitano guided the 1-5 favorite "Candy Corn" to victory for trainer Travis Alexander and the Fiddler's Creek Stables. (For the other side of the Anthony Napolitano mutuel coin, read on.)   American Image had been third, then second in her first two Weiss starts, and carried the logical progession through to a new lifetime mark of 1:52.3 in taking her division, though not all of the bettors noticed the "logical progession" as she was dismissed at 14-1 odds. Sitting third on the rail most of the way, the Rockin Image filly got room in the famed Pocono Pike to register a neck tally for the father/son team of driver Marcus and trainer Erv Miller, and her owners: Paymaq Racing, George Golemes, Red Barn Stable, and Louis Willinger.   "Miller" and "longshot" were also the watchwords in the third female Weiss action; this time it was driver Brett Miller and 9-1 shot She Can Cruise circling from second-over to just catch pacesetting favorite Black Widow Baby in the shadow of the wire to take a maiden mark of 1:54.2. Chris Ryder conditions the Yankee Cruiser filly for owners Philip and Dana Steinberg.   In sum, the Weiss Series was quite a spectacle Sunday at Pocono - the winning margins in the six races were nose / nose / neck / 1¼ lengths / ½ length / head.   Majo Just Do It came from sixth at the stretch call in the second race this evening and just did it to the wire and the winners circle, taking a neck decision while paying the longest dividend for a $2 win bet here this year, $197.00. It's not often you get 97-1 odds on the second-leading driver at your track, but The Downs' scattered faithful received that return for backing Anthony Napolitano, second behind his brother George here and also second in wins at The Meadowlands.   Monday's action, starting at 6:30 p.m., will be highlighted by the second round preliminary of the Weiss Series for trotting males, with four $15,000 divisions set to go.   From the PHHA

Iwillmakeyousaywow lived up to his name, winning one of five $15,000 divisions of the first round of the Bobby Weiss Series for 3-4YO pacing males in 1:51.4 during the first Sunday harness racing card of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   How does a horse record his 14th career win on March 29 in a series whose entry condition is "non-winners of two pari-mutuel races life as of January 1"? You do it primarily by being a tough horse on the Michigan Fair Circuit at two and three, which Iwillmakeyousaywow was, winning his championship event both seasons without anybody cashing a winning ticket on him through his sophomore final. The son of Manhardt, now four, came east and showed a 1:54 tally at Yonkers, but Sunday he lowered his lifetime mark by over two seconds, rattling off splits of 26.1, 55, and 1:23.1 despite the temperature being one degree above freezing in winning by 8 1/2 lengths for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and owner Kelly Goodwin and Libby Myers.   Options Are Adream visited the winner's circle for the seventh time in his life after a 1:52.1 mile in another cut, but the answer to "How'd he do that given the series conditions?" is easier - he was unraced at two, but this year at three he is making up for lost time. The altered son of If I Can Dream had won six in a row at Dover, but wasn't accorded favoritism upon coming to the Downs, going off as the 2-1 second choice to 7-5 chalk Rollaroundtheworld, who had won his only previous start in 1:52.3 at The Meadowlands. Something had to give in the battle of the two undefeated horses, and Options Are Adream used a 27.1 third quarter to brush to the lead and then fend off his main foe by a half-length for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Richard Lewis, and owners David Banks and Layfield Horses LLC.   In another highly-anticipated battle, the Bettor's Delight sophomore gelding Bettor Memories, coming off a 1:52 Meadowlands win, got the early jump on recent 1:52.4 Downs winner Settlemoir after leaving from a better post, and then kept him at bay in a 56.1 back half to win by 1¾ lengths in 1:52.4. Scott Zeron sulky sat for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Gus Dovi.   The Sportswriter four-year-old gelding Maxdaddy Blue Chip won a qualifier at Philadelphia on Tuesday, and that was a winning formula to have him ready for his seasonal bow five days later, as he brushed to the lead early then held off favored Sentencing Memo in 1:52.2 for driver Brett Miller, trainer Keith Armer, and the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC.   Midnight Lightning, coming off three checkgetting efforts in the Sagamore Hills Series at Yonkers, didn't let a first-over trip bother him as he won easily in the last cut for males in 1:52.2. Matt Kakaley handled driving duties behind the four-year-old Camluck gelding for trainer Shaun Vallee, who is also co-owner with D P V Racing Stable.   There were also four $15,000 first prelim events for the female Weiss counterparts, and driver David Miller came out of the box hot, winning the first two divisions - one with 24-1 shot, and the other a 2-5 favorite.   In the first race of the night, Miller posted the big upset with Some Fancy Filly, proving the strongest in the last eighth to take a maiden mark of 1:53.2 by a half length over the favored Mystery Writer. Speaking of mysteries, how a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of a two-year-old divisional champion (Fancy Filly), trained by the only conditioner to guide a baby pacing filly to Horse of the Year honors (Nancy Johansson with JK She'salady) could pay $50, even in her sophomore seasonal bow, is puzzling, but her backers are happy with their return, and the winner's owners, Courant A B, now have a filly pacing back to her pedigree.   Miller took the next cut in a more conventional manner, sending the Bettor's Delight filly Southwind Tango to the lead in the second quarter and rolling home with the chalk from there to take a race mark of 1:54.4. Trainer Chris Ryder saw his own filly make a satisfying 2016 debut.   A first-time starter also reported home in 1:53.2 in upset fashion in another Weiss female cut, as the Dragon Again filly Candy Corn Hanover proved a sweet treat to her scattered 15-1 backers, rallying to win by a nose over favored Albany Girl for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Travis Alexander, and the Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC.   The final female cut saw favored Winners Over get sire Bettor's Delight a third siring credit in Weiss competition Sunday, being the "last horse to the top" at the 3/8 and then fending off a good challenge by Pandaman Sea in the last 1/8 to lower her speed badge to 1:53.4. Mike Simons guided the victorious filly for trainer Michael Sinclair and owner Brianne Good, and hinted she may eventually wind up in the lofty class whose name she bears.   ***   On Tuesday the female trotters will take to the track for their first Weiss Series action, while six days later their male counterparts will race their first Weiss preliminary on the track's inaugural Monday card of the season.   Pocono / PHHA

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 30, 2016 - A pocketed Somebody AS (Jordan Stratton, $13.40) and a down-the-road Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter, $5.40) earned the glory Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $32,000 Open Handicaps. The weekly featured trot saw Somebody AS from assigned post position No.3 watched invading Major Athens (George Brennan) led the way. The slight 2-1 choice threw down the anvil (:28.1, :57.2, 1:26), taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Red Hot Herbie (Brian Sears), who found an early three-hole, loomed at the leader in and out of the final turn, but flattened. Somebody AS though, was waiting for his shot. He ducked inside and bested a rallying Crazshana (Jason Bartlett) by a neck in 1:54.4, fastest local mile of the season. Red Hot Herbie settled for third, with Major Athens Zooming (Buter) completed the cashers. For third choice Somebody AS, a 7-year-old Striking Sahbra gelding trained by Anette Lorentzon for co-owners ACL Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson, it was his first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $102.50, with the triple returning $703. The week's pacing feature had 17-10 choice "Phil" leave from post No. 5, steal away with a cheap (:28.0, 57.4) half. From there, the pursuers had no shot, with a :55.4 back portion (1:25.4; 1:53.3). The final margin was a length-and-three-quarters over a good effort from Melmerby Beach (Bartlett), with Texas Terror N (Matt Kakaley), Atta Boy Dan (Brennan) and Hugh Hefner N (Stratton) settling for the remainder. For Phil Your Boots, a 6-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding trained by Andrew Harris for owner Louis Frascella, he's now 2-for-3 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $12.60, the triple returning $129.50 and the superfecta paid $949. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night, with a dozen races and a first post of 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 9, 2016 - Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter, $7.40) took it to the house Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $24,000 Preferred Handicap Pace. Sent immediately to work from post position No. 5, Phil Your Boots worked around pole-sitting Cyclone Kiwi N (Jason Bartlett) and was on his way. He then led the way (:27.2; :56.1, 1:24.3, 1:52.3), with 11-10 favorite Aslan (Brian Sears) trying it first-up from third. "Phil" owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held off Aslan by a length-and-three-quarters. Third went to Cyclone Kiwi N, with Drunken Desire A (Matt Kakaley) and Fameous Western (George Brennan) showing belated interest for the final pay envelopes. For second choice Phil Your Boots, a now-6-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding owned by Louis Frascella and trained by Andrew Harris, he won his seasonal debut. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $42.20. The Raceway's season continues with a "French-centric" Sunday afternoon (first post 12:10 PM), along with Monday (7:10 PM) and Tuesday (1 PM). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 23, 2015 - Favored Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter, $5.30) was put to work early and in hand late Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play at the outset from post position No. 5, Jonsie Jones made the first lead before yielding to Inittowinafortune (George Brennan). The one, in turn, gave way to Justhaven'tmetuyet (Jason Bartlett) right at the :27.2 opening quarter-mile,. Wanting nothing to do with a three-hole, "Jonsie" made her second advance, reclaimed the baton soon after and rating a :56.4 intermission. Envious Hanover (Brian Sears) then moved from fourth, making only minimal impact toward a 1:25.1 three-quarters. Jonsie Jones owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then whipped a closing Sell a Bit (Jordan Stratton) by a length in 1:54 Third went to Justhaven'tmetuyet, with Sensationalgabby A (Dan Dube) and rank outsider Strings (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. For Jonsie Jones, an 8-year-old daughter of Tulane co-owned by LRL Racing and trained by Amber Buter, it was her ninth win in 34 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $46.40, with the triple returning $263. YONKERS' SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $4,100 CARRYOVER YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 23, 2015--A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday night's (October 24) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $4,102.18. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker

Vernon, N.Y. -- An explosive :53.2 final half mile was more than enough for Travel Playlist ($4.40) to take top billing among 16 other 2-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings in Monday (September 7) afternoon's New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs.   Travel Playlist was unhurried early in the $55,500 first division, moving off the pegs from fifth at race's midpoint to chase Talk Show (John Campbell) after a :54.2 initial half mile.   The son of Art Major and Village Madonna steadily progressed through the far turn, taking second from a tiring Fine Diamond (Tyler Buter) through a :27.2 third quarter before subsequently mowing down Talk Show in upper stretch.   By way of a :26.4 final quarter, Travel Playlist turned in a decisive 1:49.2 victory, taking three-fifths of a second off the track record for 2-year-old pacing colts formerly held by He's Watching.   Joe Larry N Curly (Jim Morrill, Jr.) rallied late to take second, 3-1/4 lengths in arrears, while Talk Show checked in a beleaguered third.   Marcus Miller drove Travel Playlist for owner Ronald Michelon and trainer Erv Miller.   In the $56,500 second division, another son of Art Major prevailed. Autotune Hanover ($6.80) floated into midfield from a post 9 dispatch, slid second-over on the far turn to track the cover of Red Roll (John Campbell), kicking off stalled cover at head-stretch before pushing clear of a rapidly fading Skip Jive (Wally Hennessey). Autotune Hanover, by Art Major and out of Anderosa Hanover, kicked forward immediately when Tyler Buter moved him off cover, ultimately staving off the third-over Endeavor (Patrick Lachance) to win in 1:51.2.   Trainer Mark Harder co-owns Autotune Hanover with Rick Phillips, Deena Frost, and Peter Venturini.   Live racing at Vernon Downs shifts to a schedule of Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings for the remainder of September and the entirety of October. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

It was downstate statebred rookie initiation Thursday night, with the harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway hosting the $153,024 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event, which honored the memory of the Raceway's long-time corporate controller, went in two divisions of $76,512 each. The first event saw odds-on number Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter, $2.80), fresh from his win in the final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard pace here a dozen nights ago, have no issues whatsoever. Leaving from post position No. 5, he took a brief seats before working past Fine Diamond (George Brennan) right at a :28.2 opening quarter-mile. From there, intervals of :58.2, 1:28 and 1:56.2 gave him a 2¼-length victory of that pocket-sitting foe. Beaches De Vie (Pat Lachance) rallied for third at 101-1, with Carlos Danger (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Cenovis (Scott Zeron) completing the cashers. For Autotune Hanover, an Art Major colt co-owned by (trainer) Mark Harder, Peter Paul Venturini, Deena Frost and Rick Phillips, it was his second win in four career starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $8.30, with the triple returning $203.50. "It was interesting in the first turn," Butter said. "Andy (Miller's) colt (Redneck Rally) looked awfully hot and eventually made a break, so I just took my time." "My horse seems more mature as he goes along, but he didn't have to go nearly as fast as his did (1:54.3) in his last start." Thursday night's second Meagher grouping had Travel Playlist (Miller, $14.20) have to wait his turn to get the lead, then refuse to relinquish. In play early from post No. 7, he gave Red Roll (Jason Bartlett) and 9-10 fave Joe Larry N Curly (Morrill Jr.) first cracks at glory. Travel Playlist made the lead passing the :28.4 opening quarter-mile, then rated a very soft :59.1 intermission. He then closed the sale with a 1:28.3 three-quarters and eight furlongs in 1:56.1. Joe Larry N Curly dove inside but missed a half-length, with Endeavor (Lachance), Red Roll and Roll with Fred (Brian Sears) grabbing the remainder. For third choice Travel Playlist, an Art Major colt owned by Ronald Michelin and trained by Erv Miller, he's now 2-for-2 to begin his career. The exacta paid $56, the triple returned $705 and the superfecta paid $6,168. The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday nights (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 18, 2015 - After a couple of starts failing to grasp the "left foot, right foot" concept, Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter, $12) picked a good night to have a good night. The $120,000 son of Art Major turned in a solid, maiden-breaking effort Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $107,500 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. It's the Raceway's premier "open" stakes event for first-season pacers. Winning the draw in the field of seven colts and a lone (Artmagic) gelding, "Autotune" stung 7-10 favorite Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker) a bit. Artmagic (Mark MacDonald), a 57-1 outsider, was also put in play early, resulting in a spiffy, 27-second opening quarter-mile. "Tailgunner," one of two elimination winners a week ago, continued through a rated, :29.4 next subsection (:56.4 half). He took the gang down the backside before Autotune Hanover made his move. It was decisive. Autotune Hanover rolled from third, getting past the non-resisting fave at the 1:26.1 three-quarters. He then opened a length-and-three-quarters turning for home, only to widen from there. His closest pursuers had interesting trips. Do Over Hanover (Jason Bartlett), also an elim winner, was done no favors from the eight-hole and was out the entire mile. Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube), jammed in be the half while a handful to handle, extricated himself and appeared to impede Gleneagles (George Brennan). Autotune Hanover's final margin was four lengths in 1:54.3, second-fastest Sheppard ever (Hail the Taxi's 1:54.1 in 2012). Rodeo Rock edged past "Do Over" for second, then survived an inquiry to stay there. War-N-Munn (Eric Goodell) and Endeavor (Pat Lachance) completed the cashers, while Artmagic, Tailgunner Hanover and Gleneagles rounded out the order. For third choice Autotune Hanover, co-owned by (trainer) Mark Harder, Peter Paul Venturini, Deena Frost and Rick Phillips, it was that first win in three career starts. The exacta paid $71, with the triple returning $387. "Mark (Harder) just told me to drive him with confidence," Buter said. "Last week (in elims), he went a bit sideways, but as soon as he hit the track tonight, he felt completely different. Mark said he changed some things up, and he was much better. "These are 2-year-olds, after all." Saturday's pair of $48,000 Open Handicaps were won by eight-holers... --(Trot), Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $5) in 1:53.3, fastest local mile of the season; --(Pace) Great Vintage (Dube, $10) in 1:51.1. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (first post at 7:10 PM), featuring the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Clyde Hirt Pace (2-year-old fillies). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 1, 2015 - Jonsie Jones, (Tyler Buter, $5.70), the horse of a different color, finished what she started Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $42,000 harness racing Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play at the outset from post position No. 2, "Jonsie" worked around the 7-5 favorite, the pole-sitting Scootin' for Joy (Brian Sears). She then threw down the gauntlet through intervals of :28.4, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:53.3. the final margin was a diminishing neck over a cone-skimming Virgin Mary (Eric Carlson), with "Joy" third. Delightful Dragon (George Brennan) and Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) rounded out the payees. For second choice Jonsie Jones, an 8-year-old gray daughter of Tulane trained by Buter's wife, Amber, for owner Lrl Racing, it was her fifth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $33, with the triple returning $82. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), a French-centric Tuesday (1 PM, first round of the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Speaking of Mr. Buter, he and Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Hannah Davis are included in a blue-ribbon panel Saturday for Empire City's annual "Fancy Derby Hat Contest" at the track apron. The contest is to be held trackside as part of the festivities and the $1,100 in cash prizes--$750 (first), $250 (second) and $100 (third)-are awarded at 5 PM (registration from 2-4 PM). Fans are invited to stop by and take a photo with Ms. Davis, and, so as not to hurt his feelings, Mr. Buter as well. Full-card Churchill simulcasting (141st Derby Day first post is 10:30 AM) is, of course, available, with Yonkers' regular Saturday card beginning at the usual 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 30, 2015 - Here's a quickie harness racing quiz, and if you get it wrong, please don't continue reading...ever. Multiple choice - Hannah Davis or Tyler Buter - which one graced the cover of the 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and which one has won over 2,300 races and currently sits fifth in the local driver standings? While you may surmise the lovely Ms. Davis and the lovely (?) Mr. Buter have nothing in common, that would be incorrect. The lady and gentleman are helping Yonkers Raceway celebrate the 141st Kentucky Derby this Saturday (May 2nd). The two, ahem, beauties, are joining WVOX Radio personality John Marino and WAG Magazine's Georgette Gouveia as the blue-ribbon panel selecting the winner of Empire City's annual "Fancy Derby Hat Contest". The contest is to be held trackside as part of the festivities and the $1,100 in cash prizes--$750 (first), $250 (second) and $100 (third)-are awarded at 5 PM. Contestants are required to register between 2-4 PM trackside, with all qualified hat contestants receiving a $10 Free Play coupon which can be redeemed at the promotions booth. In addition, the first 700 Empire Club Members to visit the Gotham Palace promotions booth beginning at 4 PM receive a $2, two-horse exacta box for the Kentucky Derby (limit one per Empire Club member). As for the 141st Derby, Yonkers Raceway again offers complete Churchill Downs wagering, with first Churchill post both Friday and Saturday at 10:30 AM (Yonkers' mutuel windows open each day at 10 AM). The entire Saturday card can be advance wagered all day Friday. Post time for the Derby is scheduled for 6:34 PM, with Yonkers' Saturday card going at the usual 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 28, 2015--Tyler Buter, one of Yonkers Raceway's leading harness racing drivers, becomes a judge Saturday afternoon for Yonkers Raceway's "Kentucky Derby Fancy Hat Contest." Buter is to be joined in the trackside apron reviewing stand by popular WVOX-AM Radio "Good Morning Westchester" host John Marino, and Georgette Gouveia, writer and editor for The WAG Magazine. The first Saturday in May brings Yonkers Raceway's own tradition, with a grand prize of $500 in cash, along with bragging rights. Second prize $250 in cash, and third prize is $100 cash. Contestants are required to register between 2-4 PM trackside, with winners announced at 5 PM. All qualified hat contestants receive a $10 Free Play coupon which can be redeemed at the promotions booth. In addition, the first 700 Empire Club Members to visit the Gotham Palace promotions booth beginning at 4 PM receive a $2, two-horse exacta box for the Kentucky Derby (limit one per Empire Club member). As for the 141st Derby, Yonkers Raceway again offers complete Churchill Downs wagering, with first Churchill post both Friday and Saturday at 10:30 AM. The entire Saturday card can be advance wagered all day Friday. Post time for the Derby is scheduled for 6:34 PM, with Yonkers' Saturday card going at the usual 7:10 PM. John Cirillo, Cirillo World, 914-260-7436,, Taryn Duffy, Empire City Casino, 914-457-2431,, Christina Barry, Empire City Casino, 914-457-2442,

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 24, 2015-Pole-assigned Dune in Red (Tyler Buter, $16.80) held off the cavalry Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing featured $31,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace After seeing Fanticipation (Mark MacDonald) grab the first glory, Dune in Red edged from the pocket. The one made the lead just at a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :57.3 intermission. Sweetnsinful (Jason Bartlett) then moved from fourth as the 3-2 favorite, prompting the pace through a brisk :27.4 third quarter (1:25.2). Delightful Dragon (Brian Sears) tried to match strides with Sweetnsinful, but found herself gapping down the backside. It was Dune in Red widening to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn. She would need just about all that margin in a very slow (:29.2) final quarter, before lasting by a neck in 1:54.4. RD IOU and Fanticipation wound up in a dead-heat for second, with a late-arriving Delightful Dragon and Sweetninsful rounded out the payees. The first five finishers were separated by a length-and-a-quarter. For fifth choice Dune in Red, a 5-year-old daughter of Duneside Perch owned by Hero Stables and trained by Chris Marino, it was her first win four seasonal starts. The exactas paid $30.40 (with RD IOU second) and $160 (with Fanticipation second), with the triples returning $287.50 (RD IOU second) and $448 (Fancipation second). The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the sport's two richest races of the season to date-finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000)-highlighting a $1.2 million purse card. GEORGE MORTON LEVY MEM. FINAL - SAT'S 8TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/7 MACH IT SO Tim Tetrick 1A/8 P H SUPERCAM Jason Bartlett 2/1 DOMETHATAGAIN Dan Dube 3/2 LUCAN HANOVER Dave Miller 4/3 WINDSONG JACK Eric Carlson 5/4 BEACH MEMORIES Yannick Gingras 6/5 TAKE IT BACK TERRY George Brennan 7/6 POLAK A Brian Sears BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER FINAL - SAT'S 6TH RACE HN/PP HORSE DRIVER 1/1 VENUS DELIGHT Jason Bartlett 1A/7 KRISPY APPLE Tim Tetrick 2/2 YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT Brian Sears 2A/4 CAROLSIDEAL Dan Dube 3/3 FANCY DESIRE Yannick Gingras 4/5 MONKEY ON MY WHEEL Dave Miller 5/6 STRINGS Eric Carlson 6/8 CAMILLE George Brennan The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the two richest races of the season to date, finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (purse $529,000). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, $66,500 final of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Freehold, NJ --- Billmar Scooter never won a major stakes, but owner Gene Oldford would take a stable filled with horses like her. And who knows, if all goes well she might produce one of them herself. Oldford decided earlier this year that Billmar Scooter would be retired after reaching $800,000 in career earnings. On Wednesday, the 10-year-old mare surpassed that number – and did it in style – winning a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Her next assignment will be motherhood. Oldford, who shares ownership of Billmar Scooter with driver Tyler Buter, plans to breed the mare to American Ideal. “We’re really going to miss her,” Oldford said. “She’s been so good to us, but it’s probably time to breed her. We had a breeding coming to American Ideal and we thought this would be a good time to use it. I told Tyler that all we have to do now is find her replacement. She just kept plugging along every year.” Billmar Scooter, a daughter of stallion Keystone Raider out of the mare Its Scooter Time, was bred by Bill Roberts of Michigan and raced by Bill and Marie Roberts during the early part of her career. Oldford bought the horse on the recommendation of trainer Al Sisco following Bill Roberts’ death and raced the horse for more than seven years. Since 2011, Amber Buter handled the training. The horse raced at 28 tracks during her career, from the Michigan fairs to the East Coast and Canada. She enjoyed one of her best seasons in 2012, when she was named Pocono Downs’ Pacer of the Year thanks to capturing nine of 12 starts at the track. In addition to high-level wins at Pocono and Yonkers throughout her career, she won a preliminary division of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers in 2012. Lifetime, Billmar Scooter won 45 of 240 races and hit the board in 56 percent of her starts. She finished her career with $804,218 in purses, making her the richest daughter of Keystone Raider. “Her consistency was what I most admired about her,” Oldford said. “She really never got lame or sick or sore. We gave her a little time off in the wintertime, just enough to freshen her up, and she was good. “She was pretty much always in the money,” he added. “I never complained when she was second. I’ve been in the business long enough, and told people time and time again, that I’m always happy with seconds. If I could get seconds every time I’d be thrilled.” One of Billmar Scooter’s memorable second-place finishes came to Park Avenue, another daughter of Keystone Raider, in the $48,383 Michigan Pari-Mutuel Final for 4-year-old female pacers at Sports Creek Raceway in 2009. Oldford also was among the owners of Park Avenue. “What a night that was, to have them come in 1-2,” said Oldford, who is enshrined in the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association Hall of Fame. “Usually you’re just happy to get a check let alone be 1-2. “I’ve always liked Keystone Raiders. Overall they’ve been good.” Of course, while Oldford is happy with second-place finishes as a rule, he was delighted Billmar Scooter capped her career with a win. “That was perfect,” said Oldford, an 82-year-old native of Detroit who now lives in St. Clair, Michigan. “The only thing that would have made it better is if I would have been there.” Tyler Buter was thankful to have the best seat in the house for Billmar Scooter’s final victory – the driver’s seat. “It was fitting she went out in style,” Buter said. “She’s just an absolute sweetheart and she loved to race. She’s like one of those employees who would never miss a day of work. She wanted to race every day. She loved her job.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, March 8, 2015 - The clocks were moved up an hour Sunday morning, but that minor inconvenience didn't throw off harness racing driver  Tyler Buter's timing. Buter won four races during Yonkers Raceway's French-centric Sunday matinee (insert whatever version of "Buter-ful" you wish). Buter handily swept both halves of the $10 early daily double, with Art of Illusion ($3.40) in the $19,000 pacing opener (1:54) and the mare Backstreet Hanover ($7.40) in the $33,000 Preferred Trot. The lass won by eight lengths, while negotiating the mile-and-one-quarter in 2:27.1. His third victory of the day was with Tweet Me ($8.80) in the $22,000, fourth-race trot (added-distance 2:28.1) before One More Kid ($18.80) was a pocket winner in the $18,000, sixth-race trot (added-distance 2:28.1). The quartet gave Buter 35 local wins this season, good for sixth in the Westchester standings. Sunday's seven France-hubbed exported races attracted just one million Euros in wagering (just under 1.1 million US dollars). The Raceway's live season continues Monday (7:10 PM) and a "French" Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). A friendly reminder there's also live racing next Sunday, March 15 (post time 1:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (all provided Mother Nature cooperates). Frank Drucker

The first of the Dash For The "C" Notes mini-series this week at The Meadowlands got underway on Thursday night with the filly and mare pacers. It was contested in four divisions requiring a horse finish first or second to guarantee a spot in the $25,000 harness racing Final next week. The word of the night was upset. The first division saw a mild upset as SGT Molly Pitcher (9/2), who led early in the mile, yielded to pressure and re-rallied to score the win in a lifetime best 1:51.2 for driver Vincent Ginsburg. The winner was trained and owned by Robert Ginsburg Jr. Next up was another upset as Antigua Hanover overcame post 10 to score a sharp first over victory at 8-1. Forced to press the pace uncovered after leaving smartly from the outside post, Antigua Hanover just kept on coming wearing down favored Best Boss to win in 1:52.1. Antigua Hanover was driven to victory by Andy Miller for Amber Buter and owners Oldford Farms LLC and Tyler Buter. The third division was captured by 11-1 Weekend Getaway and Yannick Gingras. Entering the contest off a seven week layoff, Weekend Getaway went first over, wearing down Marty Party on the far turn and then holding that mare at bay through the stretch to win in 1:51.2, easily a lifetime mark. Weekend Getaway is trained by Phil Fluet who co-owns the mare with Keith Franklin. The final division also featured an upset winner as Deliciouslynaughty worked out a perfect second over trip to score the victory at 12-1. The race became wide open when 3/5 favorite, Bring Them Home, broke on the first turn. Deliciouslynaughty tracked cover and chased down Rhapsody Rose who did the work on the lead to score in 1:52.4 for John Campbell. The winner was trained by Mark Ford who also owns the mare. The $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 in both races went unclaimed. The fifth race carryover stands at $1,797.86 while the last race carryover has grown to $71,788.83. Post Time for the Friday program is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

Choosing the horses of the year at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs used to be a much simpler job. When the racing wasn't as competitive as it is now, there were usually only a few candidates who would rise above the rest by winning in the same classes week after week, making the choices for the top honors relativeLY easy. Not anymore. Since Pocono is a destination for the top horses and horsemen in the country, it is extremely difficult for any one horse to dominate a single division. As a result, there are dozens of horses who can make legitimate cases at different times in the year that they are the best of the best at MSPD. I had a little input into these choices, but most of the research and hard work behind these choices was done by my esteemed colleagues Terri Phalen and Jennifer Starr. It wasn't easy, but the three winners, in my opinion, are extremely deserving. So, without further ado, here is a look at the 2014 Pocono Horses of the Year. PACER OF THE YEAR: DANCIN YANKEE When this six-year-old stallion arrived at Pocono in May, he had already distinguished himself with a big winning streak at Dover and a respectable performance in the Levy series at Yonkers. Trained by Josh Green, he made his presence felt immediately at MSPD with back-to-back wins, including a dominant performance in the $50,000 Van Rose Invitational. When he returned at the end of June, he was working for the Amber Buter barn. What an auspicious Pocono debut he made for the new connections, winning a $100,000 invitational race with Tyler Buter in the bike in 1:47:2, a winning time which would have broken every record in the book if Sweet Lou hadn't won the Franklin in 1:47 that same night. Dancin Yankee followed that up with three more no-doubt wins in a row in a Preferred company. Only a monster mile by Bigtown Hero in September kept him from sheer perfection at Pocono for the year, as he finished third to finish with six wins in seven against the very best on the grounds. His success at Pocono was just one part of a brilliant season overall for Dancin Yankee, but it was good enough to capature perhaps the most glamorous year-end award. TROTTER OF THE YEAR: WIND OF THE NORTH Wind Of The North, a four-year-old gelding trained by Clifton Green, didn't waste any time at Pocono in 2014. He picked up a condition win in the season's first week on his way to wins in four of his five races of the season as he moved up the condition ladder in the spring. That was just his warm-up act, however. On June 28, with David Miller in the bike, he burned his way to a victory in 1:51, setting a new world record for his age group and gender on a 5/8-mile oval in the process. One thing that Wind Of The North had failed to accomplish in the first half of the season was a win against the Preferred trotters. That all changed when he handled that very group for a victory on September 27. His final tally: ten starts at Pocono in 2014, six wins, two seconds, and a third. Ladies and gentlemen, that's a Trotter of the Year resume for sure. CLAIMER OF THE YEAR: B J'S RAMEAU Do you want to know what was impressive about B J's Rameau's season at Pocono? Everything, that's what. The sheer numbers of it are good enough on their own to warrant Claimer of the Year consideration. In 28 races at Pocono this season, the 5-year-old gelding hit the board 17 times and won 11, including a career-best 1:49:1 mile. Then consider that all of those victories were against the top rung of the claiming ladder at Pocono. Consider that, as a hot claiming commodity, he won his 11 races for eight different trainers. And finally consider that many of those races were claiming handicaps and BJ's Rameau, because of his high sale price, was often saddled with the outside post, making his record even more impressive. We've had a lot of outstanding claimers this year, but they were all toiling in the wake of this gelding. Next week in this space we'll be wrapping up the 2014 season for good as we approach closing night on November 22. We'll be taking a look back at some of the best moments of the year and we'll also tell you who won the honors among drivers and trainers in terms of wins and percentage. It's hard to believe it's almost over, but the three horses we've spotlighted here have given us a whole lot to remember come the offseason. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs      

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