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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Yannick Gingras is having a record stretch for a harness racing driver while betting continues at a torrid clip during February at the Meadowlands. After winning 13 races over the span of Feb. 1-2, Gingras followed that up with 10 more wins last weekend (Feb. 8-9) at the Big M, giving him 23 victories in 49 starts, for an incredible win percentage of 47. Not surprisingly, trainer Ron Burke conditioned many of Gingras' winners. Over the course of the four race cards, Burke had 15 victories in 24 starts (63 percent), with all of the winners being driven by Gingras. Cold weather, hot handle: Big M betting is on a roll of late. The first weekend of February saw just over $6 million in action before last week saw all-source wagering total just short of $5.7 million. The Superfecta, which offers a 10-cent minimum bet and lowest in the game 20 percent takeout, has seen an average pool of $38,236 Since switching to a Race 1 start, betting in the 50-Cent Pick-5 has been strong, as an average of $58,213 has been poured into play on the wager with the low 15 percent takeout The Pick-3 ($1 minimum, 20 percent rake) has averaged $28,382 The 50-Cent Pick-4 (15 percent takeout), the track's signature wager, continues to be a hit with bettors, as $97,538 has been the average pool size. Saturdays have been especially good, with average action of $109,680 The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 (15 percent takeout) saw its first $20,000 pool of the year last Saturday, when a total of $21,633 was wagered. One lucky bettor in Ohio walked away with more than $18,000 after being the lone holder of a ticket "surviving" eight legs THIS WEEKEND: Racing continues Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ... The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five has a carryover of $40,545 awaiting players Friday. ... Free program pages for the Big M Pick-4 are available at www.ustrotting.com and www.playmeadowlands.com. WHHC QUALIFIER: The World Harness Handicapping Championship rolls on at the Meadowlands on Saturday (Feb. 16) with two spots to the April 6 WHHC final up for grabs. It's $200 to get in ($100 entry fee/$100 bankroll). Contest check-in and headquarters are at the main entrance to the Clubhouse, across from the Players Club Desk. Walk-ups are welcome, but must arrive between 5:30 and 7 p.m. For complete information, go to http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2019_February_WHHC_qualifier.pdf BRING YOUR SWEETIE: This Friday (Feb. 15), the Big M's Pink restaurant will offer a special Valentine's Day celebration with a $44.95 buffet that includes a glass of champagne and a red rose for the ladies. In addition, every time a driver with red in his colors wins, two lucky drawing winners will receive $50 betting vouchers in "Cupid's Cashout". The entry form will be in the live program. On Saturday (Feb. 16), the $44.95 buffet will be offered once again in Pink, and this time, a Florida vacation will be up for grabs, as one drawing winner will walk away with a trip to Orlando. Once again, entry forms will be in the live program. MADNESS IS COMING: It is upon us! March 19 marks the start of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament. Come on out to the Big M and watch and wager on the games in the FanDuel Sports Book. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke and big action highlighted a huge weekend of harness racing at the Meadowlands last Friday and Saturday (Feb. 1-2). Formal records aren't available, but when it comes to what Burke and Gingras combined to do last week, they likely aren't necessary. Since the inception of the Big M racing primarily twice a week in 2013, it's hard to imagine any trainer-driver team winning 11 times (in only 13 starts) over the course of a weekend, as Burke and Gingras did a week ago, combining to win five times Friday before taking a half-dozen winner's circle trips Saturday. "Yannick thought we had won six in a night once before," said Burke, "but to go back-to-back like we did is really hard to do." Burke won't be able to equal his win output during this weekend's action at the Big M, however - he only has 10 horses entered. "The more you win with conditioned horses there's more of a chance the next losing streak is coming," said Burke, "because they are up in class after winning. I don't need to win that many in any weekend anyway, I just need to be consistent." Gingras won twice driving horses for someone other than Burke on Friday to total seven victories, one short of the single-card record shared by Brett Miller and Mike Lachance. Again, with formal records unavailable, it's not known if after winning six more on Saturday that his 13 wins (25 starts) over the weekend are a Big M best, but it's extremely likely. While Burke and Gingras were winning at a white-hot pace, betting was like a wildfire in high winds during the two 13-race programs. All-source wagering on Friday was $2,874,831, the second-highest total of 2019. The next night, play reached the magic $3 million mark for the first time this year, as $3,147,209 was pushed through the windows. "What a great weekend of racing it was," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, "and we are grateful to our fans, who supported us in a big way by betting over $6 million during the two cards." The Big M's popular 50-Cent Pick-4 wager took in a meet-high $110,700 on Saturday, and those who were sharp enough to cash a winning ticket walked away with $1,083.80. Free program pages for the upcoming Pick-4s this Friday and Saturday are available at www.ustrotting.com and www.playmeadowlands.com. The wager is offered on races eight through 11 and sports a low 15 percent takeout. STUDY YOUR FIVE COURSES: On Saturday (Feb. 9), come on out to the Big M's Pink restaurant and enjoy an incredible Italian feast. All five dinner courses will be paired with a wine that compliments each course perfectly. The cost is $70. To make reservations, call 201-460-4079. STUDY FOR THE WHHC: The World Harness Handicapping Championship rolls on at the Meadowlands on Saturday (Feb. 16) with a $200 entry fee and two spots to the April 6 WHHC Final on the line. Based on 100 entries, there will be $10,000 in prize money. For complete information, go to http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/2019_February_WHHC_qualifier.pdf. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Wagering reached the magic $3-million mark for the first time at the meeting and the team of harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras combined to win an incredible six races on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Twice during the course of the 13-race program, which saw all-source play total $3,147,209, single-race total wagering was in excess of $300,000. The Big M's signature 50-Cent Pick-4 saw its biggest pool of the year as $110,700 was pushed through the windows for the wager which spans races eight through 11. The sequence saw Burke and Gingras win twice, but when the dust cleared, no winning favorites scored leading to a payoff of $1,083.80. It was almost inconceivable that Burke and Gingras would top their five-win Friday night, but they did just that, scoring a half-dozen times on the Saturday program, good for a total of 11 victories over the course of the 26-race, two-card race week. Gingras won twice without Burke on Friday to tally a total of 13 times over the two cards. Saturday's edition of "Yannick and Ronnie's Awesome Night at the Races" started with a sweep of the Early Daily Double, as Try Try Again - making his first start for the Burke Brigade - scored from post nine in 1:55.1 in a non-winners of $5,000 trot as the 2-5 favorite. Approximately 20 minutes later, K-Lees Shakenbake won a $15,000 up to $20,000 claiming handicap pace in 1:51.3 as the 4-5 public choice, capping the $6.20 DD. Race six saw the dynamic duo win for the third time on the card with even-money choice Windsong Jack in 1:51.2 in a non-winners of $8,500 pace before the potent pair thrilled their backers with a pair of prices. Fireball took the ninth race non-winners of $8,500 pace in 1:52.2 at odds of 9-2 before 3-1 chance Ginger Tree Marty won race 10, a non-winners of $5,000 pace, in 1:52 to complete a Daily Double that returned $72.40. Larry Karr completed the sextet in race 12 as the 2-5 choice in a non-winners of four pace. The 4-year-old gelding went a tough uncovered trip to win for the fourth time in five starts. A LITTLE MORE: One simulcast player wagering into the Twin Spires hub was the only bettor to last eight legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and cashed in for $11,542.44. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - One would think after winning seven times over the course of last weekend's two harness racing cards at the Meadowlands that driver Yannick Gingras would have a tough time coming up with an encore. Think again. The 39-year-old Gingras, who led the Big M driver colony in wins during January with 15, came within one win of history Friday night at the mile oval, winning seven times on the 13-race card, falling one victory short of the Big M single-card record of eight, which is shared by Mike Lachance and Brett Miller. Gingras got some help from the sport's top trainer, Ron Burke. The potent pair were at it again Friday, teaming up to win five times on the program after winning three on both Friday and Saturday one week ago. Chief Justice gave the duo their first winner of the night in the opener, a non-winners of two trot, settling for a dead-heat with Alvisi Hanover, who hit the wire at the same time as the 4-5 favorite in 1:57.3. Misslarose took the second race co-featured non-winners of $15,000 trot in 1:54.4 as the even-money public choice, winning a second straight on the front end, before back class-master Resita powered clear in the third race non-winners of $8,500 in 1:54 as the prohibitive 1-5 choice. A week ago, several of the Burke-Gingras winners won despite being out of action for a month, but in the fifth race non-winners of $8,500 trot, they won with 4-5 favorite In Secret - who had been away for three months - in 1:53.1. But they weren't done quite yet. Burke and Gingras got their 'one for the thumb' in the eighth race non-winners of $8,500 for filly and mare pacers with Toronto shipper - and first-time Burke trainee - Bettim Jackie, who scored after making the top down the backside in 1:53.4 as the 5-2 second choice. Gingras' sixth win came in the 11th race for non-winners of $3,500 on the trot. The Mark Ford-trained Sortie Hanover hit the wire first in 1:56.3 as the 4-1 third choice before Gingras completed his seven-bagger with 2-5 chalk Bizet in the 13th race for non-winners of three in 1:56. A LITTLE MORE: A simulcast player in Las Vegas made a huge score in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10. As the only bettor to last eight legs, he or she walked away with $12,101.66. ... The Jenn Bongiorno-trained Divas Image was super in taking the co-featured non-winners of $15,000 filly and mare pace on the front end in 1:52. She paced her back half in :54.4 to hold off the pocket-sitting Ideal Lifestyle A, who was making her North American debut for trainer Tahnee Camilleri. ... Betting on the card was strong as $2,874,831 was pushed through the windows, the second-highest total in 2019. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, January 7, 2019 -- Yannick Gingras was so giddy Yonkers Raceway began its 2019 season Monday night (Jan. 7th), he popped in and reached a harness racing driving milestone. Career win No.7,000. It took until the finale and odds-on fave Prologue ($2.90) lasting on the lead to get Monsieur Gingras to the Promised Land, doing so by a diminishing nose in 1:53.2 Gingras, who began the dozen-race dossier needing three wins to reach the plateau, made short work of the $7.50 early daily double, escorting romping public choices Roll with Jeff ($4.80) in the $13,000, first-race pace (1:56.1) and ABC Muscles Boy ($2.80) in the $10,000, second-race trot (1:58). He then forced the rank and file to wait around until last call before receiving his gold star. "I'm not a numbers guys in that regard. I had no idea that the (7,000) number was upcoming until right before Christmas when someone mentioned it to me." The 39-year-old Gingras, a native of Greenfield Center, PQ, has career earnings in excess of $169 million and more big-money wins than can listed here without writing this in missive in installments. "To have it happen it here (Yonkers) where it all started for me coming down from Canada makes it special," Gingras said. Gingras counts his win with Foiled Again in the 2009 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series here as one of his personal highlights. "I don't know what else to say about him. He would get ready to begin his year in the Levy every season...just made for the half-mile (oval). "In the last few years, I've been concentrating more on the stakes races," Gingras said. "I had less drives (1,705) and had less wins (330) in 2018 than in about 15 years. This season, I'm committing to overnight racing, Yonkers Mondays and Thursdays, Meadowlands Fridays and Saturdays. "Winning never gets tiresome. As Cat Manzi said to me, 'You're only one win away from happiness.' " And the sign. Don't forget about the sign. Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - So much for drawn-out suspense. Driver Yannick Gingras is not inching but streaking his way toward the 7,000-win plateau for his career, as after scoring four times on the Friday Meadowlands card, the 39-year-old Quebec native now has 6,996 lifetime victories. Right after being named the track's Driver of the Week for winning a half-dozen times last weekend (Dec. 27-29), Gingras was off and running in the first race after a late driver change, picking up 2-1 public choice Tech Titan and scoring in 1:55 on the front end in a low-range conditioned trot. Pappy Go Go would come next in 1:52.4 in a high-class conditioned trot, although things didn't look all that good down the backside. The Andrew Harris-trainee lost ground after vacating the rail before the half in race seven and did not look like he would come close to delivering on his 6-5 promise. But Gingras knew what he had, tweeting: "He runs in pretty good, so they have him rigged for that. But once he hit the backstretch he was then pretty rough and running out. Once we hit the last turn, he straightened up and was fine." Texican gave Gingras his third of the night as the 3-5 favorite in the ninth race mid-range conditioned trot after following perfect second-over cover, just getting past a stubborn Possessed Fashion as they hit the wire in 1:54. Bizet scored for the fourth time in his last six starts in the 12th race trot for non-winners of three races as Gingras racked up win No. 4. The result was a never-in-doubt rated speed score in 1:54.3 as the 4-5 public choice. THE 'PLAINRIDGE PHENOM' DOUBLES: Mitch Cushing had quite a year in 2018, and so far in 2019, things are continuing to click for the 20-year-old driver. Cushing, who finished second in the dash-win standings and first in win percentage (among those with at least 15 victories) at Plainridge Park last year, had a big impact on the Big M Friday program, winning twice on the card, helping to key a big payout in the track's 50-Cent Pick-5 wager. Blitz Victory was the first winner of the night for Cushing in the third race low-range conditioned trot in 1:55.4, making his fans smile at odds of 12-1 after following live cover. The winning Trifecta combination of 1-9-5 - with the second- and third-place finishers each going off at odds of 50-1 - came back $17,370.80. The young pilot came back in the next race to score at 6-1 with Western Redhot in 1:54.2 in a $7,500 claiming pace. The Cushing effect on the Pick-5 was profound. The popular wager, which has been relocated to races one through five, returned $3,258.30 after $64,727 in action was taken. The other three legs of the bet were won by 'havable' horses who went off at 2-1, 6-1 and 5-2, respectively. A LITTLE MORE: There were four winning favorites on the card and Gingras drove them all. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 was its usual popular self, as a meet-high $106,836 was pushed through the windows. There were plenty who cashed in, as the winning combination of 8-6,7,8-9-9 returned $95.20 despite only one winning favorite during the sequence. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,830,776, good for second best at the meeting. The per race average of $217,752 was a meet high. ... Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little  Meadowlands Media Relations PHOTO: Pappy Go Go scores in the overnight trotting feature at the Meadowlands Friday night, one of four winners on the evening for driver Yannick Gingras. (Credit: Lisa Photo)  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- One of the most spectacular, improbable, inspirational equine careers in harness racing history ended New Year's Eve at The Meadows with the final race of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever. Although his fifth-place finish disappointed the expectant crowd, his $650 check sent his career earnings to $7,635,588, a mark that likely won't be eclipsed anytime soon. The race, the 331stfor the Dragon Again-In A Safe Place gelding, also capped a hugely successful "Farewell Tour" in which Foiled Again's owners -- Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables -- campaigned him at 18 tracks across the continent. The tour was an athletic and an artistic success; not only did Foiled Again win 11 of those races, swelling his career total to 109, but he also was the centerpiece of special events that created handle and buzz for the venues he visited. In fact, the tour did so much for the sport that the United States Harness Writers Association voted Foiled Again the winner of the 2018 Stan Bergstein/Proximity Award, one of harness racing's most prestigious and coveted accolades. Foiled again and Yannick Gingras  post parade for the last time. (Raymond Lance Photo) The chances for victory in his final race took a hit when "Foiled Again's Last Call," as the event was styled, came up so tough that his trainer, Ron Burke, called it a "mini-open." All-day rain made for a sloppy, tiring surface, while his draw, post 8, certainly didn't help. As if all that weren't enough, one of Foiled Again's rivals, Knocking Around, a tough-as-nails, off-the-pace type, was piloted by David McNeight III seeking a milestone of his own -- career victory 1,000. It was a less-than-ideal spot, but the gallant gelding gave it his all, shooting to the top for Yannick Gingras and holding it through fractions of 28.4/57.4. When McNeight challenged first up with Knocking Around, a weary Foiled Again eventually yielded, defeated 3-1/2 lengths but missing show by only 1/4 length. Foiled Again leads the field Going to the ½...(Raymond Lance Photo) The scenario set off celebrations that The Meadows winners' circle seldom has seen. First was the mob that greeted McNeight and Knocking Around, still so full of himself that he would barely settle for the picture. Then the even more boisterous greeting for Foiled Again, who was calm and gentlemanly throughout. Burke Brigade and Foiled Again heading to Winners circle  for the retirement ceremony. (Raymond Lance Photo) Among those speaking in the winners' circle: Gingras, probably Foiled Again' most frequent driver, who cited the horse's victory in the 2013 Breeders Crown as his most memorable trip aboard Foiled Again. (Matt Kakaley, who also has driven Foiled Again, didn't speak but slipped quietly into the celebration.); Burke, who conceived and led the execution of the Farewell Tour. He also cited Foiled Again's Breeders Crown win as his most memorable; Mickey Burke, patriarch of the Burke clan, who decades ago left the auto sales industry to take a fling at harness racing . . . and launched a harness racing dynasty. An emotional Burke insisted that son Ron stand beside him while he made his remarks. Sylvia Burke, partners with son Ron in Burke Racing Stable, who expressed gratitude to the horse's legion of fans; Tessie Irey, Foiled Again's caretaker at The Meadows; Mike Tanner, executive vice president of the United States Trotting Association, who presented the owners with a handsome Foiled Again collage on behalf of USTA and the Harness Racing Fan Zone. USTA Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Tanner presents Ron Burke with Foiled Again Photo Collage. (Raymond Lance Photo) His ownership group purchased Foiled Again privately midway through his 4-year-old campaign, figuring they'd acquired a nice horse who fit their program. But as he developed his potential under Ron Burke's tutelage, he dominated older-horse company and was nigh well unbeatable on smaller tracks. When he captured that 2013 Breeders Crown at age 9, he became the oldest horse ever to win a Breeders Crown event. He won the Dan Patch Award for older males three consecutive times, a feat matched only by the legendary Rambling Willie. Indeed, Foiled Again became a phenomenon unseen since Rambling Willy; his middle-aged and Golden-Years exploits inspired fans -- particularly those with a few miles under their belts. But that phase of his life ended about three hours before his mandatory retirement at the age of 15. Burke indicated he would halt the gelding's training schedule immediately rather than cut back gradually, as Foiled Again always has responded well to being turned out. Burke said he would quarter skittish horses with the old boy so he could teach his nervous buddies to relax, and that Foiled Again would be available for promotional appearances. Now, as his front shoes were pulled for the final time, he turned to face the appreciative crowd, which serenaded him with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Then Foiled Again jogged into retirement. Into immortality. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- Competitive fields and a sloppy, tiring surface set the stage for upsets in Monday's finals of six Holiday Claiming Series at The Meadows, as three of the winners scored at odds of 22-1 or longer. The six-pack of championships served collectively as the co-feature for "Foiled Again's Last Call," the final race in the spectacular career of the richest Standardbred all time. Highlights of those championships:   $28,700 Final, $20,000 Claiming Colt, Horse & Gelding Pacers Lyons King may have been the most improbable winner, as he trailed by 9 lengths at the half and appeared pinned inside. But when the Lightning Lane became available, he shot through for Yannick Gingras and scored at 28-1 in 1:54.2. Poacher N was a length back in second, with Believeinthespirit third. "I would've been fifth over if I pulled, so I thought it was better to stay inside," Gingras said. "He had a lot of pace, and we got lucky that the inside opened up." Brandon Presto trains the 4-year-old Somebeachsomwhere-Boldnbrash Hanover gelding for Spring Valley Ranch and Michelle Linnert.   $17,100 Final, $10,000 Claiming Trotters ER Kevin was a close-up second in the series' second leg but was shunned by bettors, who sent him off at 22-1. But he also used the Lightning Lane to pull off the 22-1 stunner in 1:58.3 for Dan Charlino and owner/trainer Todd Keith. Mutinyonthebounty was a head back in second while Boy Meets Girl K completed the ticket. "I thought maybe he would be a 5-1 shot," Keith said of the 6-year-old Elegant Man-Karen's Karma gelding, who lifted his career bankroll to $158,237. "Dan gave him a real good steer, and we were lucky enough to find room."   $17,700 Final, $10,000 Claiming Filly & Mare Pacers For the most part, the claimers handled the foul racing conditions well. This championship was the exception, as four of the nine horses jumped it off. The most costly break was that of Deprived, as it occurred at the three-quarters when she was on the point. That opened the door for Lady Dudette, who triumphed at 26-1 for 'Downtown' Brady Brown and trainer Mark Goldberg, who owns the 3-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Luxury Goods with Richard Gubanish and Betty Gubanish. "Even without the breaks, I think I would've beaten them in the stretch," Brown said. "The leader wasn't getting away from me, and I think I would've picked her up."   $28,000 Final, $20,000 Claiming Filly & Mare Pacers Entering the series, Ellasen had been racing primarily off the pace. After her claim by trainer Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, she changed her style. "When she made the front last week, her ears went up, and it felt like that's where she wanted to be," winning driver Dave Palone said. "I wasn't going to take any chances in the final. She was very strong through the wire." She powered off to a 1-3/4-length victory in 1:53.4, lifting her career bankroll to $155,248. The pocket-sitting My Kind Of Dance and Always A Z Tam rounded out the ticket.   $28,000 Final, $20,000 Claiming Trotters Nailed late in both preliminary legs, IC Caviar also changed his tactics, ducking before moving first over for Dan Rawlings. "He trained off a helmet this week, and he responded very well," said John Sullivan, who conditions the 7-year-old Malabar Millennium-Lady Caviar gelding for Michael Marocco. "So we thought, leaving from the rail, just try and get him out of there as best we could and hope the cards fall right." IC Caviar took to the trip and defeated Pembroke Morgan by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56.2, with Teddy Brosevelt third. IC Caviar now boasts $250,911 in career earnings.   $17,700 Final, $10,000 Claiming Colt, Horse & Gelding Pacers Stonehouse Adam was pushed four wide through the final turn but had little trouble roaring past the leaders and scoring in 1:54.2 for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Tyler George. T'S Electric was 1-1/2 lengths back in second while Fairytale Prince earned show. "This horse is older and he's really gritty," Merriman said. "He out-hearted them today. When we got next to the leader, I knew I was the winner." The 11-year-old Intrepid Seelster-Shirleys Last Pie gelding has earned $442,055 in his career.   Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino Home of Pennsylvania's largest jackpot ever paid, The Meadows is an all-inclusive entertainment destination and significant economic generator for the region. With its nearly 1,300 employees, The Meadows provides approximately $125 million in taxes annually and more than $14 million per year to the Local Share Account designated for new economic, community and industrial development projects. The Meadows features 82 table games and more than 3,100 slot machines, premier restaurants with spectacular views of the gaming floor and the racetrack, a racing grandstand with VIP suites, a simulcast area, an 11,000 square foot event center, a 7,500 square foot banquet room and an all-ages bowling center. The Meadows also offers a high limit slots area and a high limit table games room featuring exceptional service in a relaxing, upscale setting. For more information, please see: www.meadowsgaming.com.

Chester, PA -- A mere three weeks away from mandatory retirement, Foiled Again ($2.20) withstood three strong challenges en route to a gritty 1:54.2 win -- the 108th of his career -- in Sunday's (Dec. 9) $10,000 Foiled Again Farewell Tour Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia.   The richest pacer of all time and usual driver Yannick Gingras were tested from the outset by Cabbie's Delight (George Napolitano Jr.), but held their ground through a :27.4 first-quarter duel. After rating a comfortable :57 half, the 14-year-old son of Dragon Again faced first-over pressure from Machtu N (Brett Miller) up the far side of the course. Machtu N worked to within half a length of the lead past three-quarters in 1:25.4 before dismissing that challenger, only for Cabbie's Delight to re-emerge up the open stretch.   Driven out to the winning post, Foiled Again refused to lose, parrying Cabbie's Delight's inside challenge by a quarter length for his tenth seasonal score. Hypothetical (Tony Morgan) made late inroads to take third.   "There's tears every time I get to sit behind him, and it gets harder every time," said an emotional Gingras after the win over the same racetrack Foiled Again made a name for himself in 2008 with ten wins, eight of them against open competition.   "There's no doubt that he's helped me to get to where I'm at."   Trainer Ron Burke expressed similar sentiments of the veteran, whose farewell tour will wrap up on Dec. 31 at The Meadows.   It's really energized us as a barn and made us enjoy everything," Burke said about the tour before reminiscing about his star pacer's legacy.   "Probably at seven, he was better than everyone out there. All of a sudden, there wasn't anyone better, and he went for two or three years where he was the best horse in the country." In his 2011 campaign, Foiled Again won six $100,000 events en route to amassing well over $7.6 million in career earnings.   The Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables own Foiled Again, and have have campaigned him since acquiring him in July of 2008.   Live racing resumes at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Dec. 12); first post is slated for 12:25 p.m.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia

A simple act of kindness by 29-year-old Watson Harrop Jnr from Durham in The North of England has become a major hit on harness racing social media both in the UK, Ireland and is spreading across the globe.   Harrop who is strongly involved in harness racing was passing the Food Bank in his local Tesco store.   "I noticed that the food bank never seemed to have a lot in it so off I went filled a trolley and saw it as a chance to do something for those less well off than myself," Harrop said.   "I knew the generosity of those involved in harness racing so I stuck up the video on Facebook nominating others to do the same . At first I thought it might get a few responses but to be honest it has ballooned and gone world wide.   "Harness Racing may be a minority sport here in the UK but people have connections worldwide and the biggest names in the sport on both sides of the Atlantic have got involved" added Harrop.   In the UK all the "faces" in the sport have come on board from top trainer Alexis Laidler to bookmaker Barry "Pinno"Pinnington, promoter Anthony Fettah and Mr Tir Prince Eric Witherspoon. ll The project has swept across the Irish Sea with leading reinsmen John "JR" Richardson ,Simon Duggan and Noel Ryan doing the challege along with Alan Wallace of the Newtown Stud and Derek Delaney from the Oakwood Stud. Leading Irish bookmaker Dan Carlin set a trend with a video well worth a view.   Next stop was the USA and Yannick Gringras Chris Oakes and Sean Bier were quickly off the mark to help.   It is hoped that the nominations will continue up to Christmas.   It is hoped that everyone will visit #foodbanknomination or Watson Harrop Jnr pages on Facebook and do a little to help those in need at Christmas.   by TIm Kelleher

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Saturday night, the place to be for an end of the year stakes-season sendoff spectacular card of harness racing is at the showcase of the sport, the Meadowlands. Speaking of sendoffs, Big M enthusiasts will also get to say goodbye to an all-time great as Foiled Again appears on the track one last time at the mile oval before meeting and greeting his faithful fans. Horse of the Year front-runner McWicked (TVG open pace) and the still-in-the-hunt Shartin N (TVG female pace) are the marquee names in two of six stakes events on the 13-race program, which gets underway at 7:15 p.m. Defending Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover takes on Breeders Crown champion Emoticon Hanover in the TVG female trot while 3-year-olds Tactical Landing and Six Pack duke it out for divisional honors as they face off with older foes Marion Marauder and Cruzado Dela Noche in the TVG open trot. They'll also be 2-year-olds in action in the Three Diamonds for filly pacers (featuring Breeders Crown winner Warrawee Ubeaut), the Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters, the Governor's Cup for pacing colts and geldings (with BC champ Captain Crunch) and the Valley Victory for colt and gelding trotters. Harness insiders talk Foiled Again With the Meadowlands celebrating the five-year anniversary of the opening of its new grandstand, the great pacer Foiled Again, he of 106 career wins and $7.6 million in earnings, will be on the scene. Having won the much-hyped 2013 TVG open pace, he might be wondering why he isn't in Saturday night's TVG, but he will be racing on the card, leaving from post seven in the "Auld Land Syne", which is the third race on the program. After he cools down, racing fans are encouraged to come back to the Big M's 'Backyard' and meet Foiled, and to take pictures with a horse that history is sure to recognize as one of the greatest of all-time. There is also a commemorative Foiled Again poster giveaway, available at the Players Club Desk beginning at 6 p.m. The Meadowlands caught up with some harness racing experts, and this what they had to say about Foiled Again: Yannick Gingras, driver, Foiled Again: Foiled Again's and my careers took off at the same time and I can't help but think he was a huge part in taking me to the next level as a catch driver. His longevity, toughness, will to win and forgiveness of a tough trip is what made him so special. He was not the fastest horse I've ever driven but he will for sure be the toughest, gamest horse I will ever drive. The TVG meant so much that year with Captain(treacherous) being in it and all the hype around him plus Pet Rock, Sweet Lou and others. He was the old guy against a bunch of much-younger horses trying to take his spot. But in his true self, Foiled Again refused to lose and took it to all of them. (He held off Golden Receiver by a neck in 1:49.2.) His BC win that year to me is my favorite and is the perfect race to describe Foiled as he was sooooo game that night and he fought horses coming from everywhere, but the TVG is a very close second and it's a race I'll never forget (like many other of his races). I will be forever thankful for him and what he has done for my family but also to the sport in general. He was a breath of fresh air and the 'people's horse' in a sport that need many more feel-good stories like Foiled Again's. A true champion I will miss but never forget. Bob "Hollywood" Heyden, Meadowlands TV personality, handicapper and historian: I remember the 2013 TVG Pace well, the (new grandstand) had just opened. Foiled Again, whose 47 starts at the Meadowlands are the most he has at any one track, dug in as was his style, and held off a grandiose field. (Keep in mind that Sweet Lou came back in 2014 to dominate this event by a city block and then retired.) An amazingly durable horse was Foiled Again at the top level, which is unheard of. I recall this horse made $57,000 at 2 and 3 COMBINED! He had three straight $1 million seasons - when he 7, 8 and 9-years-old - and is $1,120 in front of McWicked going into this weekend as the richest 7-year-old in the history of the game as a pacer. I loved this horse, knowing how he gave his all each and every time and it didn't seem to matter where he was or who he was in with. The modern-day Rambling Willie, he ignored the calendar and has earned $7.6 million. For the last 75 months, he has been the richest pacer in harness history. The numbers could fill up a couple more pages. What a way to kick off the TVG than with Foiled Again in 2013! John Campbell, President and CEO, The Hambletonian Society: I was in the 2013 TVG (driving Modern Legend, who finished fifth), and Foiled Again was a very difficult horse to race against because he was so tough. That was a great race. There was a lot of build up with Captaintreacherous going in. It was one of many great races Foiled went. I think what's astounding is how he raced at that top level and won major free-for-all stakes for I don't know how many years. He's going to be in the conversation with almost everybody when we talk about our all-time greats because of his longevity and the level that he raced at. Moira Fanning, Director of Publicity and COO, The Hambletonian Society: To me, Foiled Again epitomizes harness racing. He wasn't a flashy 2- or 3-year-old but he kept going out on the track and grinding out wins and money. He rose to the highest echelon in racing and stayed there far longer than expected. He wouldn't stand out in a crowd and was just another bay Standardbred - until he hit the racetrack, where his workmanlike attitude meant he raced about every two weeks, year after year, and suddenly was inching past all hoses for money earned - $4 million, $5 million, $6 million - finally coming to rest at the legal age of retirement, 14, with $7.6 million banked. He was always kind of standoffish, too, didn't seek attention and didn't even like being turned out with other horses - Foiled Again is no herd animal, but he ended up being the leader of the pack. His personality seems changed a bit as well, to where he relishes the pictures, is cool with all the hoopla and puts his head down to be petted by the fans who drive from near and far to see him. Now that's a true-blue collar hero! Jeff Gural, Chairman and CEO, The Meadowlands: He was obviously a great horse and I am glad he chose this Saturday to make an appearance. He won so many races it is hard to remember any specific one! Debbie Little, harness racing writer/handicapper, New York Post: To be at the top of his game for as many years as he was, racing against the best in the business, is just extraordinary. He was great to watch when he won as the favorite but much more fun when he won as a long shot like in the 2012 Canadian Pacing Derby beating Betterthancheddar by a neck at 14-1. I remember the Niatross tour in 1996 and it was such a great thing for the fans and I think it's amazing that the connections of Foiled Again were willing to take this on. People need heroes in this sport that don't disappear after competing for just a year or two. Thank you to Foiled Again for always giving us his best and for doing it for as long as he has. He will be missed. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations    

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Muscle Diamond and Pure Country lived up to their billing as post-time favorites in taking the co-features at the Meadowlands Friday night. Driver Andy McCarthy, whose three winners on the night upped his meet-leading total to 17, guided Muscle Diamond to victory in the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters. The trip wasn't an easy one, but the Brett Bittle trainee was up for the challenge. Racing sixth past the quarter, McCarthy tipped the 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover to the outside as they began their march toward the leader, who was 2015 Hambletonian champion (and 5-2 second choice) Pinkman. Muscle Diamond chipped away at the leader's edge around the far turn and was on even terms with that foe with an eighth of a mile to go before drawing clear to a three-quarter length win in 1:52.4. Will Take Charge rallied to gun down Pinkman for the place spot. As the 3-5 public choice, Muscle Diamond returned $3.20 to his backers in winning his fourth straight. Pure Country, the winner of the 2017 TVG Mare Pace, gave notice that a repeat might be coming next week as she won the co-featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacing fillies and mares in 1:51. Monica Gallagher was second with her entry mate, Windsun Glory, third. The Jimmy Takter-trained Pure Country was put in the four hole early by driver Yannick Gingras and opted to stay there until swinging to the outside at the five-eighths. Shortly thereafter, Monica Gallagher popped out of the two hole, providing live - albeit short-lived - cover for the eventual winner. Through the stretch, Monica Gallagher was determined, but so was the even-money public choice Pure Country, who gunned down that foe nearing the wire, notching a pulse-pounding head score. Pure Country, a 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana, returned $4.20 to win. She has now won 27 of 62 lifetime starts and earned $2,418,249. A LITTLE MORE: One lucky simulcast player wagering into the Oregon hub was the only bettor to last six races - and was the lone winner - in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $12,326. ... The 50-Cent Pick-5 came back $1,174, a healthy payout when you consider the odds of the winning horses in the sequence were 2-1, 5-2, 3-1, 3-5 and 18-1. The 18-1 shot was listed at 4-1 on the morning line. ... All-source handle on the 11-race card was $1,966,181. ... Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. Horse of the Year favorite McWicked will prep for next week's TVG Open Pace by racing in the $20,000 Preferred Handicap. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The prolific pair of driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke were up to their old tricks Saturday night at the Meadowlands, combining to win four times on the 12-race program. Windsong Jack got the dynamic duo off to a good start in the second race harness racing pace, the $17,500 Dash For The "G" Notes final, as the 8-year-old gelded son of Santanna Blue Chip-Milliondollarsmile, who won his preliminary a week ago by 8¾ lengths in 1:51.1, was up for what was almost a repeat performance. The result was never in doubt as the 1-9 public choice cut out all of the fractions before hitting the wire 6½ lengths in front of Joe's Bid in a season's-best equaling 1:51.1. He paid $2.20 to win. But Gingras and Burke were just getting started. Rockn Motion, a regular earlier this season on the Kentucky Sire Stakes circuit, beat a solid field of conditioned pacers in race five. The son of Pet Rock-Graceful Motion, who was unraced at 2, was the only 3-year-old in the field, but held sway through the stretch despite getting steppy with an eighth of a mile to go to hold off even-money choice Ocean Colony by a head. As the 8-5 second choice, Rockn Motion paid $5.20 after completing the mile in 1:52.1. The Burke-Gingras pairing struck again in the seventh, scoring with another 3-year-old - Dragon Time - who was good enough to beat older foes in a high-range conditioned pace in 1:51.3. The gelded son of Bettor's Delight-Little Miss Dragon slipped out of the three hole at three-quarters before angling through the stretch with steady pace to gun down the pacesetting - and eventual third-place finisher - Geez Joe. Dragon Time hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Burkentine Hanover and paid $14.00 as the third choice in the wagering. Veteran Bettor's Edge was sent to the gate as the 3-5 choice, but after working out a perfect pocket trip came up empty at crunch time. Burke and Gingras completed their four-bagger with Magnum Mike, a 10-year-old son of Magical Mike-Dare To Dream, in the 10th race claiming handicap pace. Racing out of the Burke barn for the first time, Magnum Mike was sent to the gate as the 2-1 favorite and delivered on that promise after following perfect cover while second over. He paid $6.40 after pacing his mile in 1:52.2, a lifetime best. It 3½ lengths back to second-place finisher Glass Prince. A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy won the third race to up his meet-leading driver win total to 14. ... Kyle Husted got his first training and driving winner of the meet, steering 3-2 favorite Terror Of The Nite to victory lane in the sixth. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,077,898. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Warrawee Ubeaut and driver Yannick Gingras held off last second chargers to win the $600,000 Breeders Crown for Two-Year-Old pacing fillies on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. On the sloppy track, the leader at the first quarter was Queen of the Pride (Tony Hall) at :26.2 who was soon overtaken by St Somewhere (Matt Kakaley) and then by Warrawee Ubeaut at the :54.2 half. Gingras kept the daughter of Sweet Lou on the lead through the 1:22.4 three-quarters and was on the lead in deep stretch when she was threatened by encroaching Prescient Beauty (Doug McNair) on the inside and Zero Tolerance (David Miller) on the outside. The margin of victory was a half-length, Zero Tolerance was second and Prescient Beauty third. The winner returned $4.00, $3.00, and $2.40. Warrawee Ubeaut is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing, Phil Collura, J. and T. Silva, Purnell and Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. "Last week I drove her about as bad as a horse could be driven," said Gingras. "I told the girl who looks after her I'll get the job done this week. I was very confident. The race didn't play out the way I thought it would, but we just moved with the flow. It's unfortunate [the bad weather], but it is what it is, we're all racing in the same conditions and usually the cream rises to the top." by Ellen Harvey, for the Breeders Crown

North American drivers participating in Saturday's (Oct. 13) $1 million Yonkers International Trot face several challenges as they prepare for the event, most notably learning about their rivals -- and in some cases their own horse -- in addition to contemplating the best path to victory in a 10-horse field going 1-1/4 miles. "My deal is to know the competition the best I can and make decisions as it plays out," said Brian Sears, who is driving in the International Trot for the third time since its renewal in 2015 at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. Sears will be behind Cruzado Dela Noche, starting from post six, on Saturday. "My job is to learn some of these horses, which is what makes this race so difficult to win. You don't really know the competition as well as you'd like. As the race unfolds, you'll see things happen and you try to make decisions to put your horse in the best spot. But I think you have to be aggressive. You have to be as aggressive as you can get away with." Winners of the three most recent International Trots each accomplished the feat in different ways -- one of which no longer exists. In 2015, Norway's Papagayo E got a ground-saving trip behind leader Creatine and used the passing lane to earn the victory. The passing lane has since been eliminated at Yonkers. In 2016, U.S. representative Resolve led virtually from start to finish en route to his triumph. Last year, Italy's Twister Bi raced on the outside and methodically chased down leader Resolve before powering away to win by 5-1/2 lengths. Marion Marauder, who is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's race, finished second last year. He started from post No. 1 and got away in seventh place around the first turn. He will start again from post one on Saturday. "When I had the rail last year it was a learning experience," said Scott Zeron, who drives Marion Marauder. "I pushed him off the wings enough to get him well situated, but I had to have a lot of luck on my side as well with not being able to pull the right line and go to the outer flow. "It could end up like that again this year, but I know I have a horse that's capable of winning this race. I let him leave at his own comfort. It will be playing it by ear when I go off the wings. We'll see two steps off the gate where I'm going to get situated. Hopefully I have an opportunity to race him." Trotting races at the distance of 1-1/4 miles are nothing new at Yonkers and looking back at 37 such races on Sundays in July to September shows horses that were no worse than third at the half-mile point won nearly 84 percent of the time. Horses that led at the half won 18 times while horses that were second won seven and horses third won six. Posts one and six produced the most winners, with seven each, followed by post five with six. "It's a benefit," Zeron said about the extra experience of racing 1-1/4 miles at Yonkers. "The difference with this race compared to a regular Sunday is having 10 horses that all can win. There are no long shots. These are the best of the best." Jason Bartlett, who has won seven driving titles at Yonkers including the past four, is making his first appearance in the International Trot. He will drive France's Up And Quick, who counts the 2015 Prix d'Amerique among five career Group 1 wins in Europe. Up And Quick will start from post two. "I thought the draw was very good," Bartlett said. "It gives me options. I don't really know the horse, but I'll do a little homework on him and go from there. I've talked to Bjorn Goop who drove him three starts ago. I'll watch some replays on him. That's all I can really do. I'll get a feel for him going into the turn when I score him down and that's it. "I think the biggest part I've got to learn is a little bit about the competition, each horse in the race. It's the best trotters in the world, the best drivers; you can't really go in with a game plan. "For me, it's my first time in this race. Winning it would be very special to me being that it's my home track. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity. It's going to be an interesting race." Sears will be driving Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche for the first time. Cruzado Dela Noche raced in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes and finishing third in the Peter Haughton Memorial. In Europe, his victories include the Group 1 Copenhagen Cup. "I just hope that he's on his toes and puts up a good race," Sears said. "(To win) would be a feather in your cap. It's one of the biggest races and it's very hard to get done. To be able to accomplish that would be quite a victory, no doubt." Yannick Gingras, with Ariana G, and Tim Tetrick, with Will Take Charge, are both making their second appearances in the International Trot and enter with horses they drive regularly. It will be the first time on a half-mile track for Ariana G, a two-time Dan Patch Award-winner who is the lone mare in the race. "She's very square gaited, she's two fingers to drive, so I don't see (the half) being any problem at all," Gingras said. "I think if anything it will work in her favor. She's got it all, honestly. She's got the speed, you can stop-and-go anytime you want, and she's great gaited. I keep saying about her being great gaited, I hope I don't jinx her. "She's just so smart," he added. "Maybe that's her best attribute. I think I've got as good a shot as anybody." Racing at Yonkers begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The day also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot, featuring the fastest trotter in history, Homicide Hunter, plus the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace, featuring the continued rivalry between McWicked and New Zealand-bred Lazarus. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Jason Bartlett-Antoine Lherete-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wim Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 * Lionel and Slide So Easy start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

YONKERS, N.Y. – Training wrapped up on a hot and humid morning Sunday at the Red Mile. There were few clouds to provide cover from the beaming sunshine; the old barns and trees in the backstretch providing a reprieve from the sweltering conditions.  Jimmy Takter brought a horse in off the track and returned to his barn around 10 a.m. Relaxed a day after sending Lazarus to a second-place finish in the Allerage Farms Open Pace and the morning before starting Manchego and Tactical Landing on the Kentucky Futurity Card, Takter joined assistant Per Engblom at a table on the patio at the end of his barn facing the racetrack.  Still in his black, white, and green driving colors, Takter sat back. Legs crossed and comfortable in the shade, he pulled up a replay on his phone of Great Vintage’s second-place effort in the $44,000 Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers the night before and smiled as he watched the 10-year-old battle with Bit Of A Legend in the stretch while pacing a 1:51.1 mile. “This is one of my favorite horses,” Takter said, his eyes glued to the screen. “To do what he’s done and still be going at 10 years old is amazing.” Although Takter’s Hall of Fame resume includes four Hambletonians, six Hambletonian Oaks, 33 Breeders Crowns, an Elitlopp and a Prix d’Amérique just to name a few, Takter still has items on his bucket list as the Grand Circuit season winds down in his final year of training. Namely, he has never won the International Trot. It’s a race he’s dreamed of winning since he started his career in Sweden.  “It was a race that I saw a lot before I even came here. The French horses came over and won. This was a classic, classic race. I’m really glad they brought it back. People love it,” Takter said. “This was long before I came over here that I knew about the race and then it unfortunately disappeared for a while and wasn’t on the radar. Now of course, we just have two $1 million races in the sport, the Hambletonian and this one. “It would mean a lot. I would be really, really excited,” he continued. “This is my last year of training and to end up winning, that’s another stripe on my shoulder. It would be something.” Takter has competed in the International Trot twice before. He trained and drove Whiteland Image to a sixth-place finish in the 1995 edition, the last before the race would be revived in 2015. Takter started Creatine in the Yonkers International Trot’s reappearance; the Andover Hall stallion returned from a European campaign to represent the United States, finishing third after setting the tempo. “Long, long time ago. I don’t even remember it to be honest with you. I don’t think my horse was any good that day. They used me in the last spot, they had an opening or whatever,” Takter said of his International debut with Whiteland Image. “That was the year Melander won, His Majesty. Then I raced Creatine three years ago. He was third, so it’s time to do it now.” This year, Takter will start Ariana G in the $1 million stakes. The 4-year-old mare will represent the United States for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. One of the last of the 10 competitors to be announced, Takter accepted the invitation from Yonkers Raceway race secretary Steve Starr just after her win in the Dayton Trotting Derby September 28. “I had it in the back of my head that it would be interesting to race her there,” Takter said. “I know she’s only 4 and you never know, but she showed she could compete against the aged horses. Especially now that she won at Dayton, I feel very good about it. “I talked to Steve before Dayton and I told him, I don’t want to go unless the filly is good,” Takter continued. “He actually called and invited me for the $250,000 (Harry Harvey Invitational), and I told him I’m not going to jeopardize the Breeders Crown for that race, but I’d do it for the International Trot. I waited to see how she raced at Dayton and when she won there, then I knew.” Ariana G entered the Dayton Trotting Derby off a third in the Maple Leaf Trot September 1 and a sixth in the Preferred at Mohawk September 11. She tipped three-wide off the turn in the $150,000 stakes, grinding down Guardian Angel AS and holding off Warrawee Roo to post a 1:52.1 victory and establish a new track record. “I thought she was going to race good, but we were a little bit nervous because we had sick horses up in Canada and she hadn’t raced good the start before, so we were really a little bit worried going into it that she wouldn’t be herself,” Takter admitted. “I think she was 90 percent and I think with this start in her, I think we’re going to be good.” Ariana G’s off-the-pace win in the Dayton Trotting Classic is the 26th of her 37-race career. Victories in the Doherty Memorial, Peaceful Way, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegant Image, the Breeders Crown at 2 and 3, the Graduate Final, and Hambletonian Maturity contributed to her $2.3 million bankroll.   “She’s been a World Champion from 2 years old and she’s just been phenomenal,” Takter remarked. “Every year, she just gets a little bit more mature. Now she’s a 4-year-old, she’s starting to look more professional, but she’s been a class horse from day one.” Despite her impressive record, Ariana G has never raced on a half-mile track and has never raced further than 9 furlongs. She will have to navigate the turns of Yonkers’ half-mile oval five times in the 1 ¼-mile International Trot.  Ariana G will face nine rivals in the Yonkers International Trot: Arazi Boko (Italy), Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden), Lionel (Norway), Marion Marauder (Canada), Pastore Bob (Sweden), Ringostarr Treb (Italy), Slide So Easy (Denmark), Up And Quick (France), and Will Take Charge (Canada). She drew post four and is a 5-1 morning line with Yannick Gingras in the sulky. “She’s never raced on a half-mile, but I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. She’s pretty handy,” Takter said. “I really don’t know the European horses too much. There’s a couple of horses who can really bust out of the gate good and I don’t know if they have the stamina. I think the two horses that are big contenders are ‘Ariana’ and Marion Marauder. Whoever gets the best trip is going to be close there. “I don’t think I want to see her do the dirty work too much,” he continued. “It’s a mile-and-a-quarter. If she’s sitting fourth or fifth with decent horses in front of her, maybe working out a second-over trip the last lap, would be the dream spot.” The $1 million Yonkers International Trot is slated for Saturday, October 13 at Yonkers Raceway. The card will also feature a pair of $250,000 invitationals, the Harry Harvey Trot and Dan Rooney Pace. For more information on the event and its participants, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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