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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 jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs      

DAYTON, OH. - Ohio Sires Stakes championships for older horses were decided in decidedly different fashions Saturday night at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. The $50,000 trotting split was won by Final Breath in the most thrilling race to date at harness racing's newest venue. Dancin Yankee, on the other hand, enjoyed a virtual walk in the park in the $50,000 pacing division. The championship races for older state-bred horses were the first contested in many years as the VLT-infused racing renaissance in Ohio continues to gain momentum. Final Breath, Ohio's 2013 Ohio Horse of the Year, turned the tables on last week's elimination winner Count Me In by withstanding a lengthy photo finish which proved he had in fact held off his main adversary by about an inch. Driver-trainer Hugh (Sandy) Beatty made a bold second quarter brush to the front with favored Count Me In (Mike Wilder), who had set the track record of 1:55.1 last week, opting for the pocket ride. The result was a thrilling stretch duel between the two heavyweight trotters who reached the wire in tandem in 1:54.4, the new track standard. It was the 20th career win for Final Breath, sent off at odds of 5-2 as the only four-year-old in the talented field, and increased his earnings to $322,578 for owner Duane Lowe. Rompaway Beau (Tyler Buter) was best of the rest to finish third. Dancin Yankee had a much easier task as the prohibitive favorite made it look easy capturing the pacing race in 1:52.1 over the 'good' track that horsemen lauded despite the fact the Dayton area experienced prolonged showers all afternoon. Driver Tyler Buter placed the millionaire pacer on the front end throughout and drew off by over five lengths in the stretch. With the impressive win Dancin Yankee's earnings soared to $509,140 this season for owners Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo. Outdoor Fever (Kayne Kauffman) was a game second place finisher, just as he was in his elimination heat, with Grandkids Attack (Jason Brewer) getting the show dough. Hollywood Dayton Raceway will host its first-ever Grand Circuit races on Friday night, October 24 when the inaugural $150,000 (est.) Dayton Trotting Derby and $110,000 (est.) Dayton Pacing Derby are presented. Creatine, presently the hottest trotter in North America, is expected to headline the Trotting Derby; while Foiled Again, the richest harness horse of all-time, was the first to name in to the Pacing Derby. Trainers are reminded that the entry box for the gala Friday night card closes on Monday (October 20) at 2:00 p.m. The Dayton race office accepts phone entries from noon to 2:00 p.m. at 937-235-7859, or welcomes entries through the USTA's online platform From the Dayton Raceway press box

In the three nights of racing that took place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs the past week, we witnessed some outstanding performances by experienced veterans. Yet the two victories that stood out among such a distinguished crowd were scored by a pair of three-year-old fillies. We'll take a look at each of those precocious performers as well as the best of the rest in this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC CARPET This filly was unraced as a 2-year-old, which meant she started her racing career this year. She began that career on some small tracks in Canada and started to really find her stride with a romping win on the 5/8-mile oval at Rideau Carlton in August. That's when she shipped into the U.S. and joined the barn of trainer Ron Burke. She immediately paid dividends with a comfortable win at Harrah's at Philadelphia by another big margin. In her first appearance at Pocono on September 30, Classic Carpet faced off against a non-winners of four condition group and dominated as an odds-on favorite in 1:51, a new career-mark. With a three-race winning streak in tow, it was no surprise that she went off against that same condition group on Tuesday night as a 4-5 favorite despite being up against a solid field of young distaff pacers. With Matt Kakaley doing the driving, Classic Carpet once again made her move to the lead on the front stretch at about the 3/8-mile marker of the race. From that point, nobody posed even a modest threat to her dominance in the race. She coasted to the line 3 ¾ lengths in front of her closest foe in a sharp 1:51:4. She may have started a bit later than most, but this filly is making up for lost time in a big way. Other top pacers this week include: Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who powered to a condition win on Saturday night in 1:50, the fastest time of the week at MSPD; Artache Hanover (Anthony Napolitano, James Eaton), who rallied from the pocket on Saturday night for his second straight condition win, this one coming in 1:52:1; and Cameron Lucky (Jim Morrill Jr., Darren Taneyhill), a mare who picked up her second straight claiming handicap win on Wednesday night, this one in 1:52:1. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: STRUCK BY LINDY Unlike Classic Carpet, Struck By Lindy did race as a 2-year-old and she turned in a standout season, churning out four wins in just 12 starts and earning over $300,000 in purse. Her prospects for a great sophomore year seemed excellent, but even though she had several in-the-money finishes against good competition, she entered a condition trot on September 27 winless in eleven 2014 races. On that night, she followed outside cover and rallied for the victory to break the losing streak in a time of 1:54:1. Last Saturday night, the filly from the Nifty Norman barn once again tackled a tough condition group of non-winners of $14,000 in the last five starts. Struck By Lindy doesn't like to fire early, so the inside post she had might have worked against her as she was shuffled back in the pack. Driver Andrew McCarthy had no choice but to send her first-over on the back stretch to try to get the lead. Despite having to do all the work herself, the filly still glided on by the leaders. In the stretch, Struck by Lindy powered home to hold off closing Fools Revenue by 1 ½ lengths for the victory in 1:55. That makes two straight and provides further evidence that this talented trotter is regaining the form that made her such a big winner as a 2-year-old. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Black Caviar (Simon Allard, Clifton Green), a filly who rallied for her second straight condition win on Tuesday night, this one in 1:57:1; Not Afraid (Andrew McCarthy, Jimmy Takter), who scored a win in the week's featured Preferred trot on Saturday night in 1:52:3, easily the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; and Home Front (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), who followed up his maiden win last week with a condition victory on Wednesday night in 1:57:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: BLACK CAVIAR As noted in the honorable mention above, this filly's win with Simon Allard in the bike on Tuesday was her second straight, yet she still got away at 28-1 for a $58 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Andrew McCarthy McCarthy has been on quite a roll in the second half of the season at Pocono, with four wins on Saturday and three more on Tuesday exemplifying his hot streak. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Larry Remmen Remmen had just two starters in on Saturday night but he got his money's worth from them as Wake Up Peter and Word Power each scored impressive condition victories. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 3, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for trotters with valid membership cards--were won by a pocketed Coffee Addict (Dan Dube, $20.80) and a cone-skimming Obrigado (Eric Carlson, $10.40). Pole assignee Rock N Loud (Larry Stalbaum) gave her backers an early thrill, leading through a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and a :55.2 intermission. Coffee Addict (Dan Dube) was behind that one from post position No. 2, Simple Saver N (Eric Goodell), who aborted a quarter-move, tried it again, out from third toward to the leader at a 1:23.4 three-quarters. Monkey on My Wheel (Carlson), who had left into a four-hole, chased that one. Rock N Loud was about to wear out her welcome early in the lane, as the other lasses crowded around her. Set Me Up (George Brennan) set it up from third-over, but it was (Coffee) ground-saving "Addict" to get the decision in 1:53.1. The latter whipped the former by three-quarters of a length. Monkey on My Wheel flattened to third, with last week's victress, Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett) and tepid 5-2 favorite Campanile (Tyler Buter) completing the cashers. For sixth choice Coffee Addict, a 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again trained by Bruce Saunders for Pennsylvania co-owners James Clarke Sr. and Andrew Altobelli, it was her sixth win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $319, with the triple returning $2,023. The week's marquee trot Fort Valley AS (Bartlett) loop a couple into the first turn, then give it up to Home Turf (Brennan). That invader, set away as the 6-5 fave, made the lead right at a 28-second first sub-station. It was a :57.4 half before Somebody AS (Dube) was in a hurry, moving from fourth. He and Home Turf dropped the gloves in and out a 1:26 three-quarters, with Fort Valley AS backing away In The Pocket. The two leaders were in a virtual dead-heat in and out of the final turn before Obrigado-seventh early from post No. 6-made up good ground. He found his way deep in the passing saw and disposed of a stubborn Somebody AS by a half-length in 1:55. Home Turf, Bentley Karan (Goodell) and Fort Valley AS settled for the remainder. For second choice Obrigado, a 4-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, William Weaver III, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, he's now 8-for-19 this season (29-for-42 lifetime). The exacta paid $55.50, the triple returned $259 and the superfecta paid $1,029. Please note that since no one hit Friday's Pick 5 wager, Saturday's version begins with a carryover of $3,429.04 (50-cent base wager, races 5 through 9). 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

Both of our major award winners for this week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs come from the claiming ranks. In the past, claimers were often thought were often thought of as being a notch or two below their counterparts in condition races. That has changed at MSPD, where the claiming races often feature winning times comparable or even better than condition races with similar purses. The exploits of our two horses of the week will demonstrate the rise of the claimers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: MILLIONDOLLARTOUCH Up until a few weeks ago, this eight-year-gelding seemed to have just one big effort in him for the entire year. He picked up just one win in his first 22 races of the year, but it was a monster mile of 1:50:2 on July 26 that seemed to herald bigger things to come. Those bigger things didn't arrive until Milliondollartouch pounded a field of $12,500 claimers on September 17 by 7 ¾ lengths.   Puffed up by the big win, Milliondollartouch, trained by Mark Kesmodel, stepped up his asking price in a $15,000 to $20,000 claiming handicap on Saturday night. Andrew McCarthy took him to the front at about the 3/8-mile marker of the race and kept the pedal down, leading to intense fractions that seemed likely to sap the gelding's energy as the mile wore on. McCarthy must have had a pretty good inkling of how much his horse had in the tank though, because Milliondollartouch kept digging hard on the front end. Final Curtain tried to chase him down in the stretch, but the gelding held him off for a win by a half-length in 1:50:4. The fact that Milliondollartouch was able to follow up one standout performance with another suggests that the final months of his season might just be filled with consistent excellence instead of sporadic brilliance. Other top pacers this week include: Aslan (Andrew McCarthy, Tony O'Sullivan), who rolled to an easy win in the week's featured Preferred pace on Saturday night in 1:50:1; Scott Rocks (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), whose winning time of 1:49:4 in a condition pace on Saturday night was the fastest at MSPD this week; and Keystone Real Deal (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Carr), who earned his second straight claiming win on Wednesday night and did so in 1:51, matching a career-best time. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: A COOL MILLION Is it a coincidence that both of our big award winners have some variation of the word "million" in their name? Maybe, but what can be said for certain is that both of them certainly looked like they worth every bit their lucrative monikers. A Cool Million started to find her best stride once she arrived at Pocono on August 29 following a claim at Harrah's at Philadelphia for $10,000 that put her in the Gilberto Garcia-Herrera barn. The 6-year-old mare immediately paid dividends with a win in the $10,000 claimers in her first start at Pocono and then followed it up with a win in a $12,500 to $15,000 claiming handicap trot. In both of those races she set new career marks. On Tuesday night she stepped up into a $20,000 claiming group, her connections likely hoping that recent momentum would outweigh the jump in class in terms of her prospects for the race. It turns out they were right. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, A Cool Million was just too tough to catch. She spread out her lead to a no-sweat margin at the line for her third consecutive victory, and once again she did it in a career-best time, which on this night was 1:53:1. She was claimed following the race, so her new barn is going to be getting a mare at the absolute pinnacle of her powers. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: King's Cavalier (Anthony Napolitano, Joe Geiser), who moved up in class to capture his second straight condition trot on Saturday night, this one coming in a career-best time of 1:54:1; DW's NY Yank (George Napolitano Jr., Rob Burke), whose condition win on Saturday night came in 1:52:1, the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; and Wind Of The North (Simon Allard, Clifton Green), who rallied to win the $25,000 Fred Yaggi Memorial Trot on Saturday night in 1:52:2. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: CANADIAN OVERALL Even though he had raced just three days previously at Harrington, this trotter with Mike Simons in the bike stunned a condition group on Saturday night at 18-1 for a $38 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: TYLER BUTER Buter enjoyed an impressive hot streak on Saturday night, ripping off three straight wins on the ultra-competitive card when only one of those winners was favored. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JAMES EATON The Eaton barn was feeling it this past week, ripping off a pair of training wins on Saturday night and then following it up with a training triple on Tuesday. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 26, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for harness racing distaff pacers and one for trotters of any affiliation--were won by a from-last Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett, $93.50) and a stubborn Traverse Seelster (Tyler Buter, $5.20). Venus Delight, beginning outside of her foes, viewed from the rear as 3-2 choice Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton) made the lead around Scandalous Hanover (Eric Carlson). After a :27.1 opening quarter and seemingly-soft :56.3 intermission, no one moved in front of Royal Cee Cee N (George Brennan), who did so from sixth. That brought up both last week's victress, Campanile (Buter), as well as Venus Delight, while Robin Cruiser found a 1:25.2 three-quarters. "Robin" maintained a short lead into the lane, until the outer flow rolled her over. Royal Cee Cee N went by first, then Campanile, then finally Venus Delight. That one whipped Campanile by a head in 1:53.2, with Royal Cee Cee N, Scandalous Hanover and a tiring Robin Cruiser rounding out the payees. For seventh choice Venus Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight trained by PJ Fraley for owner Bamond Racing, it was her fifth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $595, with the triple returning $940. The week's marquee trot saw Traverse Seelster-one of several leavers, he from post position No. 5-settle early before stepping past pole assignee Bingo Queen (Eric Goodell). "Traverse," as the 8-5 favorite, shooed just about everyone away through sub-stations of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27. The lone "nuisance" was a first-up Obrigado (Bartlett), who chased the leader for all he was worth before missing a length in 1:55.1. Somebody AS (Dan Dube) was third, beaten 3 ½ lengths, with Rossini (Larry Stalbaum) and The Triple Lindy (Carlson) settling for the small change. For Traverse Seelster, a 6-year-old Angus Hall gelding owned by Keith Pippi and trained by Amber Buter, he's now 13-for-25 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $14.80, the triple returned $111 and the superfecta paid $632. Also Friday, Yonkers honored New York State racing inspector Matt Bibbo, who is retiring Saturday night. 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

Racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has geared down somewhat in terms of quantity, as the schedule now features three live nights per week. But the quality hasn't let down a bit, as evidenced by a Saturday night card that included no pacing miles slower than 1:50:2 and no trotting miles slower than 1:54. We even had a world-record performance, which, of course, stands out among this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIGTOWN HERO This 6-year-old gelding was struggling with the upper reaches of the pacing ranks when he was last here in June, but he's been performing well since then at other tracks, winning three of his last five races. The last four of those races came after he switched barns to be trained by Rene Allard, Pocono's leading trainer, including a come-from-behind win in an Open Handicap in his last race at Yonkers as a 7-1 shot. His confidence sufficiently boosted, he returned to Pocono to compete on Saturday night in a Preferred Handicap pace for a purse of $25,000. It was a stacked field, including star veteran Golden Receiver and Dancin Yankee, who had owned the oval at Pocono in his previous appearances in 2014. But driver Ron Pierce drove Bigtown Hero as if there were no other horses on the track, sending him to the front for a huge lead as each fraction ticked off proved more impressive than the one before. In the stretch, Bigtown Hero began to slow ever so slightly. It was a good thing the lead he built up was so substantial, because Dancin Yankee and Aslan came closing at him fast. Pierce urged him home for a half-length victory in a stunning time of 1:47:3. That broke the world record for aged gelding pacers on a 5/8-mile oval, which was set last June at Pocono by Foiled Again and then matched by Abelard Hanover. Other top pacers this week include: Ring Warrior (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), a colt who followed up four consecutive wins at Ocean Downs with a victory at Pocono in a condition pace on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54; Cherokee Hunter (Simon Allard, Rene Allard) whose condition win on Tuesday night was his second straight and came in a career-best time of 1:52:1; and Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who scorched a condition pacing group on Saturday night in 1:49:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SEVRUGA Not all slumps are created equal. To wit, consider the struggles Sevruga had been having in the summer months. Last year he earned nearly $500,000 facing the best trotters around, and the highlight of his season was a world-record performance at Pocono with a win in 1:50:3. But he had come up empty for three months straight in terms of wins heading into Saturday night's $25,000 Preferred trot. In his last three races at Pocono, all against the most rugged trotters on the grounds, Sevruga, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Kevin Carr, had hit the board every time and had lost by just a neck in the last two. On Saturday night, he enjoyed his first quality post position in more than a month and took advantage of it, breezing to the front early with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike. Things were by no means easy from that point, as Wind Of The North put up a sustained first-over challenge to the lead. But Sevruga had been rated well enough early in the race that he was able to dig deep in the final strides and win by a nose in a rapid 1:52:1. Maybe it wasn't fair to say that Sevruga was in a slump considering the quality of his competition and the multiple near-misses, but it is fair to say that his losing streak is history and a lengthy winning streak might just be in the offing. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tui (Anthony Napolitan, Don Wiest), a Pocono fan-favorite mare who scored her first win of the season on Saturday night in a tough condition group in 1:53:1; A Cool Million (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who moved up her claiming price and won her second straight race on Tuesday night, doing so in a career-best 1:54; and Fortunista (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who beat the boys in a tough condition group on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: TRANSCENDING An outside post and long odds didn't bother this veteran pacer as he came from out of the clouds late to shock a condition field on Saturday night at 49-1, paying off an even $100 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Ron Pierce Pierce had it grooving on Saturday night, winning four consecutive races on the card, all in gate-to-wire fashion, a streak that culminated with the world-record win by Bigtown Hero. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Joe Pavia Jr. Joe still does such a great job as a catch driver that his training abilities can sometimes be taken for granted, but a training double on Wednesday night put them front and center. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 19, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for trotters of any make or model--were won by Campanile (Tyler Buter, $10.40) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland, $26.80). Unhurried from post position No. 6, Campanile saw Set Me Up (George Brennan) lead the conga line through early intervals of :28.2 and :56.3. Virgin Mary (Eric Goodell) was pocketed from the pole, while slight 2-1 choice Scandalous Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was first-up from fifth. Chasing that was Campanile as Set Me Up remained an unpressured leader in and out of a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Set Me Up owned a length lead into the lane, but was about to drop anchor. Scandalous Hanover went by first, then Campanile went by last. The latter whipped the former by a length in 1:52.2. Last week's victress, Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears), rallied for third here with Crazy on You (Holland) and a tiring Set Me Up completing the cashers. For fourth choice Campanile, a 5-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended trained by Allan Johnson for owner Michael Casalino Jr., it was her eighth win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $49.40, with the triple returning $182. The week's marquee trot saw Lorenzo Dream-banished behind the eight-ball-make short work of that inconvenience. Vaulting to immediate command, he was a lonely leader through sub-stations of :28, :57.2, 1:26.3 and 1:55.3. Up four lengths turning for home, and with pocket-sitting longshot Neighsay Hanover (Jordan Stratton) and a first-up, 17-10 fave Backstreet Hanover (Bartlett) both doing nothing, "Lorenzo's" final margin was three lengths. The Triple Lindy (Eric Carlson) found room late to grab second, with Zooming (Buter), Backstreet Hanover and Rossini (Dan Dube) settling for the small change. For sixth choice Lorenzo Dream a 7-year-old Taurus Dream gelding owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Julie Miller, he's now 8-for-25 this season. The exacta paid $626, the triple returned $1,683 and the superfecta paid $15,476 (base two-dollar wager). Note that since no one hit Friday's Pick 5, Saturday night's gimmick begins with a $3,363.16 carryover. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager (races 5 through 9). Over the past number of years, employees and staff from Empire City, Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York have visited the Food Bank For Westchester in nearby Elmsford, helping out with the fine work of that organization. Friday night, the folks from Food Bank returned the favor, visiting Yonkers to enjoy dinner, a night at the races....and to receive a donation. The Raceway and the SOA made a contribution to the Food Bank, which goes toward feeding the hungry throughout the county of Westchester. "Yonkers is pleased to assist such a worthy cause," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. "So many of our employees generously donate their time every time we visit. Anything we can do to help, it's our pleasure." "We have had tremendous support from horsemen and owners throughout our organization," SOA of New York president Joe Faraldo said. "Many of Yonkers' leading drivers have been to the Food Bank to lend a hand and see what this organization does." For more information, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Post positions have been drawn for the 25th edition of the New York Night of Champions, hosted by Yonkers Raceway Saturday night. The $1.8 million event, richest night of harness racing in the state, offers eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Once again, each race is sponsored by a prominent Empire State breeding farm. Some hot-off-the-overnight-sheet tidbits from each of the races, which go as races two through nine on the 13-race card ($10,000 guaranteed pool Pick 5, 50-cent base wager races 5 through 9)... Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot (2nd race)-Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, head number 5, post 5) led the lasses with six wins in eight seasonal tries ($95,287) and 2-for-2 here, but was scratched sick from her last scheduled start. Pig Hunt (Brennan, HN 4, post 3) also won both of her local tries, while Concentration (Brian Sears, HN2, post 1) enters with three win in her last four work nights. All three lasses mentioned are daughters of Conway Hall. Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (3rd race)-Spreester (Jason Bartlett, post 1) won both the division during the summer and the draw for the final. The Kimberley Zabielski-owned homebred daughter of American Ideal does seem to enjoy her craft, as in 6-for-14 this season ($134,330) and a career 14-for-24. It Was Fascination (Brett Miller, post 2) has been open stakes-placed, while Ken Doll J (Sears, post 4) authored a 40-1 upset in her latest at Batavia. Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace (4th race)-A three-headed Ron Burke-trained monster in Band of Angels (Brennan, HN 1, post 1), Sassa Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., HN 1A, post 2) and Bettor N Better (Matt Kakaley, HN 1B, post 3) had the pills perform perfectly. They're a combined 16-for-21 this season-occupying the first three places in the standings-with earnings in excess of $330,000. "Angels" and "Sassa" are daughters of Rock N Roll Heaven, while "B n B" is a Bettor's Delight lass. Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (5th race)-Market Rally (Morrill Jr., HN 2A, post 6) was last season's statebred champ, and, after being sold to Burke and Associates, has continued her excellent form. The Cash Hall lass has run roughshod over her foes, winning six of her last seven tries...the only blemish being an early Batavia bobble. She's 5-for-5 here in her career, accounting for half of her career (10-for-21, $544,716) win resume. Morrisville College Equine Institute 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot (6th race)-Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer, post 6), a Cash Hall gelding, has rattled off three consecutive wins ($125,338). Crazy Wow (Dan Rawlings, post 1) needed a win here and some help to get the last place at the table, while Insomniac (Bartlett, post 8) also enjoyed a six-figure summer. Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace (7th race)-All Bets Off (Kakaley, HN 1A, post 6), with a pair of open-company wins (Art Rooney Pace, Milstein Memorial) on his holster, has hit the board in all 11 tries this season (8 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third, $530,425). Stay Up Late (Mark MacDonald, HN 5, post 5) has won his last couple of NYSS events, and could be best of others. Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace (8th race)-Any number of these have mastered freshman orientation, including points leader Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance, post 1)-4-for-5 thus far-Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter, post 5) and Cartoon Daddy (Kakaley, post 6), who has won thrice in four Westchester effort. Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot (9th race)-Defending champ Flyhawk El Durado (MacDonald, HN 2, post 1), who enters with six wins in 13 '14 tries ($292,711), has won his last four versus statebreds. He features wild speed to take advantage of the pylons, while the gelding Gural Hanover (Morrill Jr., HN 1, post 2) is 8-for-10 ($274,413) has strung together seven (NYSS) wins in succession entering this race. 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

Carried three-wide through the far turn, Bettorsluckystreak ($26.80) sustained his late bid en route to a 1:51.4 upset victory in Sunday (September 7) afternoon's featured pace at Tioga Downs.   The $10,000 upper-level conditioned event drew a field of eight, with newcomer Johnny Grippa (Jim Meittinis) handling the pacesetting duties throughout, establishing a solid tempo through a :55 half mile.   With Cashendash Hanover (Brandon Simpson) fading from the pocket and Hasty Western (Aaron Byron) sliding first-over with three-eighths to go, Greg Merton moved the four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight out to track cover en route to the far turn.   While Hasty Western continued two-wide despite the pocket opening up approaching the far turn, Merton moved Bettorsluckystreak three-wide past three-quarters in 1:22.4. The two sustained their rally, passing Hasty Western at the top of the stretch and pulling clear of Johnny Grippa in the final 70 yards to prevail by a length.   Prairie Jaguar, the 8-5 favorite, failed to sustain an extended uncovered bid, staying even to finish fifth.   James Clouser, Jr. trains Bettorsluckystreak for Kenneth Weckstein, Richard Rubin, and Gary Messenger.   Mike Simons and Tyler Buter led all drivers with three wins each on the 13-race card.   The 2014 live racing season concludes at Tioga Downs this upcoming weekend, with Friday (September 12) and Saturday (September 13) cards both scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

HARRINGTON, Del. - Harrington Raceway will offer a $6,000 guaranteed pick four pool on the Monday (September 6) program, which also features two Bobby Quillen Memorial eliminations, hosting some of racing's top older pacers. The Quillen eliminations are slated as races 8 and 10, while the pick four begins in race three. The guaranteed pick four is offered in conjunction with the USTA's strategic wagering program. Handicappers wanting a sneak peak at the pick four and the entire Monday program can download it for free here. A total of 11 horses entered the eighth annual Quillen this year, including last year's champion Clear Vision, and two-time previous champ Foiled Again are among a stellar group that also includes recent Joe Gerrity Memorial (Saratoga) winner, Dancin Yankee. Racing fans who witnessed the 2013 Quillen final saw arguably one of the best stretch battles of the season as stable mates Foiled Again and Clear Vision battled head and head throughout the entire final quarter mile with Clear Vision eventually edging clear of his ageless stable mate in an epic finish. The 10-year-old Foiled Again, the richest standardbred in history, is making a record sixth start in the Quillen, while Clear Vision is entering his fourth. Both horses are part of a powerful Ron Burke-trained stable. Their rivalry will have to wait at least a week to be renewed as both previous Quillen regulars drew into different splits in the eliminations. Foiled Again (8/5, Yannick Gingras), owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, drew post five in the first elimination and heads a five horse field that includes I Like Dreamin (3/1, Pat Lachance), Tarpon Hanover (9/2, Brett Miller), Easy Again (2/1, Matt Kakaley) and Doctor Butch (4/1, Tim Tetrick). Clear Vision (2/1, Miller) drew post five in the second elim, in a field with Dancin Yankee (9/2, Tyler Buter), Heston Blue Chip (9/2, Tetrick), who finished third in last year's Quillen final, Bettor's Edge (4/1, Kakaley), Aracache Hanover (5/1, Gingras), and Statesman N (6/1, Corey Callahan). The top four finishers from the two divisions will return to compete in the $220,000 Final on Monday, September 15. Post time is 5:30 p.m. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 5, 2014-Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted its final statebred division of the season, the $198,999 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. It's the last chance for these freshmen to qualify for the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions, held here next Saturday (Sept. 13). Three divisions - worth $66,733, $65,533 and $66,733, respectively -- made up the event, which honored the memory of the iconic Hall of Fame harness publicist from the sport's golden age. Many of "Tootie's" family, including his wife, Bunny, and friends were on hand for winner's circle presentations. Friday's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps, for trotters and distaff pacers, were won by Traverse Seelster (Tyler Buter, $4.90) in 1:54.1, and Venus Delight (Bartlett, $6.10) in 1:51.3. The latter matched Rocklamation's track record for a 4-year-old pacing mare. First division-Second choice Insomniac (Jason Bartlett, $7.20), from post position No. 4 and from start to finish (:30.1, 1:00.2; 1:29.3; 1:58.3). Crazshana (Trond Smedshammer) was a first-up second, beaten a couple of lengths, with Credit Creation (Mark MacDonald) third. Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory) broke In The Pocket as the 6-5 choice. For Insomniac, a Crazed gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley and William Weaver III, it was his second win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.20, with the triple returning $121.50. "I wanted him to finish better than he has, and he did that tonight," Bartlett said. Second division-Second choice Crazy Wow (Dan Rawlings, $8) gave both himself and his driver a successful local debut. From post No. 2, he led at every pylon (:30, 1:00.2, 1:30, 1:58.2). Wings of Royalty (Brian Sears) chased from a loose pocket-beaten 2½ lengths-with even-money fave Sugarmakesmecrazy (Ake Svanstedt) a non-threatening third. For Crazy Wow, a son of Crazed owned by Joseph Hess and trained by Dan O'Mara, it was his third win in six '14 tries. The exacta paid $23.80, with the triple returning $56.50. "Dan (O'Mara) said he had a good trotter and asked me drive him," Rawlings said. "He showed high speed, then broke, but he showed me enough that I told Dan 'Wherever he goes, I'm going.' "He's had some rigging issues, but Benny Eggers, who has the horse here, figured it out. He deserves a lot of the credit." Third division-Pole-sitting (and odds-on) Buen Camino (Smedshammer, $2.30) fooled very few, going the distance (:29.4; 1:00, 1:30.3; 1:59.1). Royal Lad (MacDonald) challenged in and out of the final turn before missing a length, while 111-1 shot Pier Ho Exotic (John Cunning Jr.) was a good, two-move third. For Buen Camino, a Crazed gelding trained by his driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, he's 2-for-2 here and 4-for-6 overall, having won his last three (NYSS) starts. The exacta paid $23.80, with the triple returning $230. "What's impressed me about him is his speed," Smedshammer said. "Speed wins races. Ideally, you don't want to have a young horse on the front every race, but we drew inside and figured it was the best place to be." 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    

There were two divisions of a winner's over $25,000 lifetime pace on Sunday afternoon, which was also USTA Back to the Track Day at Harrah's Philadelphia. In the first division, the wagering public put their support behind Baron Racing and Richard Lombardo's millionaire pacer Dancin Yankee, who was fresh off of a world record performance at Saratoga two weeks ago.   At the start, the favorite fired quickly off the wings, clearing the lead before the first turn. After a :26.2 opening quarter, Dancin Yankee (Tyler Buter) rated a second quarter in :29.1, before sprinting away to an easy two length victory, stopping the clock in 1:49.3.   Sparky Mark (Corey Callahan) finished second, while pocket-sitter Emeritus Maximus (Andrew McCarthy) finished third. Dancin Yankee is trained by Amber Buter, and returned $2.80 to win. In the second division, it was Judy Magie's Voice Of Truth (Montrell Teague) living up to favorite status. At the start, it was Adventure Bound (Victor Kirby) sprinting off the wings, ripping the quarter off in :26. Ron Burke trainee Clint Westwood (Yannick Gingras) who was parked the entire first quarter, took the lead approaching the half (:55).   As the field neared three-quarters, the closers took closer order as the front end started to tire. Voice Of Truth exploded off cover at the top of the stretch, and went on to win by two lengths, stopping the timer in 1:51.   A Sweet Ride (Andrew McCarthy) rallied for second, while Ohoka Texas N (Eric Carlson) finished third. Voice Of Truth paid $3.80 to win, keying a $73.40 exacta. It was also USTA Back to the Track day at Harrah's Philadelphia. Racing fans enjoyed family friendly activities including a bounce house and a balloon artist for children.   There were also food & drink specials, as well as giveaways and press box tours. After the eighth race, many of the drivers participated in a t-shirt toss, while signing autographs and taking photos with race fans. Live racing will continue at Harrah's Philadelphia on Labor Day (Monday) with a post time of 12:40 PM.   by Michael Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia  

Jimmy Takter trainee French Laundry ($2.50) proved a convincing winner in his $10,000 Kindergarten Classic preliminary at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 24) afternoon, as did other odds-on favorites Wheels Ah Smokin ($2.10) and Bee the Queen ($3.00) in their respective races.   However, freshman trotting filly Mission Brief, sent off at 1-20 after her dominant Merrie Annabelle win at the Meadowlands three weeks ago, faltered in her Kindergarten Classic event, enabling Lady Clarabella to score a 22-1 upset.   French Laundry, sent off the 1-4 favorite in the sixth race for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, wasted no time asserting himself on the lead. He forced Party on the River (Tyler Buter) into the pocket on the first turn, rated a 1:00.2 half mile, and sprinted clear upon facing late pressure from the first-over SS Poseidon (Marcus Miller). The son of Muscles Yankee kicked clear to a 2-1/2 length win in rein to Yannick Gingras, besting SS Poseidon and RG's Thunderbolt (Jim Marohn, Jr.) in 1:57.1.   The fourth race was the earlier colt division of the Kindergarten, with Chuck Sylvester trainee Wheels Ah Smokin (David Miller) repelling a late challenge from Lucky Ten K (Chris Lems), sprinting clear to a 3-1/2 length win in 1:57.3.   Fillies contested their pair of $10,000 divisions in races eight and ten, with Bee the Queen (Chris Lems) never looking back off an early brush to the fore, edging clear of Fashion Gab Alot (Scott Zeron) by 2-3/4 lengths for a 1:57.3 win in the eight race. George Ducharme trains the Donato Hanover filly.   While three of four odds-on favorites had no trouble in their respective victories, Merrie Annabelle winner Mission Brief (Yannick Gingras) was a victim of multiple breaks in the tenth race, faltering on the first turn after lagging the gate by three lengths.   Josie's Joy (Tyler Buter) assumed the early pacesetting duties, controlling a :58.2 half mile while under no pressure. While eventual winner Lady Clarabella (David Miller) commenced her first-over bid into the far turn, Mission Brief had caught the field, closing ferociously through the middle half.   Unfortunately for those backing the prohibitive favorite, the daughter of Muscle Hill broke again at the top of the stretch while the Randy Beeckman-trained Lady Clarabella pushed clear of Josie's Joy to win by 2-1/4 length in 1:57.3. Josie's Joy held second, while Cocoacabana (Jacqueline Ingrassia) stayed on for third after tracking the winner's cover.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 29) evening, with first post set for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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