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Yonkers, NY - Yonkers Raceway hosted their first New York Sire Stakes legs of the season Thursday night as three-year-old harness racing pacing fillies were on display with three $52,000 divisions. In the first division sixth race, the 1-5 favorite So Rude was victorious by three-quarters of a length in 1:53. The daughter of So Surreal out of the Allamerican Native mare I Am A Snob paid $2.70 to win. Racine Bell was second with Galleria Gal five and a half lengths back in third. So Rude was trained by Jennifer Bongiorno and driven to victory by Joe Bongiorno for owners Geoffrey Lyons, Glenn Goller and Abe Basen.   In the second division seventh race, the 4-5 favorite Hen Party held off the pocket sitting Alleyesonme As by a half length in 1:53.3. Hen Party, a daughter of Roll With Joe was trained by Tony Alagna with Andrew McCarthy in the bike for Crawford Farms.   In the third division eighth race, Eye Popping sprung a 7-1 upset in 1:53.4. Precious Alexis was a length and a half back in second with Moaning Lisa third. A daughter of So Surreal, Eye Popping was trained by Scott Di Domenico and driven to victory by Tim Tetrick for owner William Hartt.   Also on the card was the fourth race $33,000 Open Handicap Pace where Tookadiveoffdipper with Yannick Gingras driving held off Jesse Duke N in 1:52.4. That race saw $152,012 in wagering, the highest of the year so far at Yonkers. In total, the eight race card handled just over $700,000, the highest figure since returning from a three month stoppage. Racing resumes at Yonkers next week with a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule with first post at 7:12pm. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway        

Yonkers, NY -- Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts announced the dates of several stakes races to be held at Yonkers Raceway. The previously scheduled races were interrupted earlier in the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been rescheduled for later this year. The MGM Borgata Pacing Series final will be held Saturday (Nov. 21) with an estimated purse of $400,000 and a $100,000 consolation. There will be two preliminary legs in the series on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14, each carrying a $50,000 purse with no declaration fee. The first leg of the series had been drawn for March 14 before the racetrack was closed on March 10. The Blue Chip Farms Matchmaker Series will also be held on Saturday (Nov. 21) with an estimated $200,000 final and a $75,000 consolation. There will be two preliminary legs in the series on Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, each carrying a $40,000 purse with no declaration fee. The first leg of the series had been drawn for March 13 before the temporary closure of the track. A total of 27 mares are eligible for the Blue Chip Matchmaker and 46 horses are eligible for the MGM Borgata Pacing Series. Another Yonkers Raceway series that was interrupted in March was the M life Rewards for Ladies and Gents. The M life races have been rescheduled for Monday (July 20). The M life Rewards Ladies and Gents will both have a $60,000 final and $30,000 consolation. Final standings for the series are available online at Due to travel restrictions and pandemic concerns around the world, the $1 million MGM Yonkers International Trot, originally scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 12), will not be held this year. The $250,000 trotting and pacing invitationals planned for that day are also canceled. The Sept. 12 card will still feature more than $1.8 million in purses as part of the New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions which will be comprised of eight $225,000 New York Sire Stakes finals. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – One of the biggest rivalries in harness racing resumes with another round Tuesday night (June 30) at Yonkers Raceway as Horse of the Year Shartin and reigning Breeders Crown Pacing Mare Champion Caviart Ally headline the featured $33,000 filly and mare open handicap pace. The pair of star mares were assigned the outside post positions, with Caviart Ally starting from post seven for driver Andy McCarthy and trainer Brett Pelling while Jim King Jr.’s Shartin will start from post eight with Tim Tetrick. “I actually think when you’re racing in those divisional races, when you’re in a rivalry, a rivalry is by far the greatest thing we have in the sport. It’s great,” Pelling said. “You know the other horses inside and out, the drivers get to know the horses inside and out. I think it’s cool.”  With 20 rounds between Shartin and Caviart Ally completed to date, the record stands at 15-3 Shartin with only two occasions where another horse has won when they have both been in the field. However, Caviart Ally has proven victorious in three of the last four matchups: the Filly and Mare Allerage Pace at the Red Mile Oct. 6, the Breeders Crown Open Mares Pace Oct. 26, and the TVG FFA Mares Final Nov. 23, the pair’s most recent faceoff. “Last year, it took us different attempts at different ways of trying to beat Shartin. I’m not saying we figured it out, but we got better at it,” Pelling said. “It was trial and error on Andy’s part, my part, everyone’s part. We never gave up trying to beat her. “I think one of the big things was not going full gas out of the gate. We found that (Caviart Ally) was just better to be put in position rather than trying to out-speed (Shartin) because Shartin gets off the gate extra-good and they have a lot of speed, so they take advantage of that speed. If you have three horses that are trying to race the same way, something has to give.  “A lot of times, we were drawn outside of her, so you had work that little bit harder early and you’re put in the wrong spot, sitting in the two-hole,” Pelling continued. “The two-hole is not actually a good spot to race against Shartin because she’s so quick at the top of the lane, she’d just put a length on us and we’d never really get close enough. Getting away in the three or the four spot and being able to work up close to her, that seemed to help. Sometimes the two-hole is not the best place to be; they have you stuck where they want you and horses are so good these days, they only need an eighth-of-a-mile breather and they’re tough to beat.” While Shartin is a Yonkers veteran, owning seven victories in 10 local starts, including back-to-back Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Finals in 2018 and 2019, Tuesday night will mark Caviart Ally’s first start at the Hilltop since logging a pair of third-place finishes in the Lismore Pace Eliminations and Final in May 2017 for previous trainer Noel Daley. “I had nowhere else to race, it’s as simple as that,” Pelling said of the decision to enter at Yonkers.  Caviart Ally was entered multiple times at multiple tracks since her last start June 5 at the Meadowlands, but Yonkers proved to be the only venue carding a filly and mare open. As such, Pelling was not surprised when Shartin also showed up in the entries. “They had the same issue that we had, so I kind of expected that,” he said. “I nearly raced her the week before, but I just tried to time it a little bit as well. We always planned on racing there through the winter. She was in the Matchmaker, we had her all ready for the Matchmaker, that was a real goal. The best laid plans have gone awry this year I’m afraid.” Caviart Ally Caviart Ally, a 26-time winner and earner of $1.8 million for owner Caviart Farms, qualified twice in February before winning her 2020 debut in 1:49.4 in a $30,000 filly and mare preferred at the Meadowlands March 6. She was entered in the first leg of the Matchmaker March 13, the same week racing halted at Yonkers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With no way of knowing when racing would be allowed to resume, Pelling kept Caviart Ally in training throughout the interruption.  “We never missed a day, we just kept right on going,” Pelling said. “I didn’t bike them up and go (1:) 53 or any of that stuff, I just couldn’t do that. We basically treated every day as if it was an off week and just let her cruise along, just keeping her on hold. I never buzzed her or anything. She had a good time; for a horse, it was a good time. It might have been a bit boring, but she definitely wasn’t put under any stress.” Pelling describes Caviart Ally as “a machine” and says the most difficult part of training her is managing her weight. “Every time I look at her, I think she’s carrying twins. People that see her can’t believe she’s a racehorse because she carries so much condition,” he said. “She thrives on racing because she’ll just eat anything. She’s one of the best eaters you’ve ever seen in your life,” Pelling said. “Keeping the weight off of her is always the goal, it’s really nothing else; no soundness issues, no health issues, it’s all about keeping the weight off her. She was all up and ready to go in March and she really hasn’t done a lot. You can only train them so much.” Caviart Ally qualified behind Kissin In The Sand May 30 before finishing third behind the same rival upon her return to racing in a $22,500 filly and mare preferred at the Meadowlands June 5. While Kissin In The Sand dictated the pace in that start, Caviart Ally was followed the cover of Imprincessgemma, who never got closer than 1 3/4 lengths of Kissin In The Sand. Although Caviart Ally closed with a :25.4 final quarter after kicking off the cover, she could not make up the ground. “She got away fourth, she got away in the right spot and then a horse who was (10-1) pulled in front of her and basically just got in her way,” Pelling said. “She would have been much, much better just coming first-over and I think if she had got to Kissin In The Sand’s wheel, it would have been a dogfight, but she just never got close enough.” Caviart Ally tuned up with a 1:51 qualifying win at the Meadowlands June 20 ahead of her return to Yonkers.  Like Caviart Ally, Shartin had one start in March ahead of a planned attempt at a third conquest of the Matchmaker Series. Shartin earned a neck victory in 1:50 in a $50,000 filly and mare invitational at Dover Downs March 4 before the shutdown hit. She qualified twice for her return Tuesday night, scoring a 2-length win in 1:53.3 at Magical Acres training center June 3 and another qualifying win in 1:51 at Harrah’s Philadelphia June 18. Owned by Poillucci, King, and Tetrick, Shartin is a 42-time winner and earner of $2.1 million. In addition to the two heavyweights, Tuesday night’s pacing feature also includes last week’s winner Snobbytown, who drew post three for George Brennan and Ron Burke, and last week’s runner up Imprincessgemma, who will start from post five for the Bongiornos. Machnhope scored a 1:51.4 victory in a local $20,250 overnight June 23 and will start from post four for Dexter Dunn and Noel Daley. Delishka, Sandy Win, and Anytime complete the field.  “I’d just like to stay in front of Shartin, that’s all,” Pelling said. “I’m sure that will mean moving forward. (Caviart Ally) will get around there like a hoop around a barrel. She won the Jugette, so I’m not concerned about how she gets around there or anything. She’ll be fine. She also has a long stakes season coming up, so this is another race, and it’s a race because we need to race. “It’s a good race. I’m really thankful to Yonkers for going with the filly and mare open,” Pelling continued. “No one else is. For a Tuesday night, I can guarantee you that the harness racing world will be watching Yonkers, and I think that’s a good thing. Good on them for doing that.” The amended Yonkers Raceway calendar will see live harness racing conducted Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights until July 2. Beginning the week of July 6, the schedule will add Friday nights. Saturday night racing will resume the week of July 20 as the track returns to its normal five night per week schedule through Dec. 19. First post time is 7:05 p.m. The complete revised racing calendar is available online here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

The Team Tritton harness racing juggernaut rolled into Yonkers Raceway just before midday yesterday (AEST) - and a sentimental favorite brought home the chocolates at the Aussie stable's first look at the famed New York Raceway. Shane and Lauren Tritton have now won six of their eight starts since hitting the American tracks for the first time a little over a fortnight ago. Yesterday it was a stable favorite, the consistent Yayas Hot Spot (Jeremes Jet-Star Of Heaven (In The Pocket) posting a first-up US win and taking his career victories to 27. "He went super because he was up a bit in grade. Our driver Jordan (Stratton) thought the horse was day-dreaming and could have gone a little faster," Shane said. "We were very pleased with it. He went into the race a bit fat, so hopefully there's some improvement to come with more racing," he said. Yayas Hot Spot has been a great old horse for the Trittons, winning more than $620,000 so far in his career. "He won his first 10 starts with Lauren driving in seven of them, then he's been in two Miracle Miles and won the ($100,000 G1) Newcastle Mile early last year, so he's a pretty special horse for us," Shane said. "The half mile tracks just suit him down to the ground. When we were back home, we were always wanting to send him across to see how he'd go, but it just never worked in, so it's terrific to now be over here with him ourselves." The former Sydneysiders headed off in March this year with a team of a dozen horses to try their luck in the US. And while all the preparation work had been done, the couple is no doubt pinching themselves at how well their relocation is playing out so far. Yayas Hot Spot was their sixth winner, adding his name to a list of Meadowlands successes in Gods Spirit (1.50-1); My Ruebe Star (two wins - 1.50-1 & 1.50.3); Flaming Flutter (1.49-1); and Letspendanitetogtha (1.51). They have had another two starters. Ohoka Johnny ran third in 1.49-3, while Im A Director lost any chance when checked with 800 metres to go and suffering a flat tyre. "We've had an unbelievable start but we realize that it's going to get tougher from here," Shane said. "There's a few bad barrier draws coming up in our next couple of meetings and one of our starters in Foo Fighter is nearly in the open class," he said. "But we have to just aim on being consistent. All we can do is build on what we've learnt so far, putting in the work and doing our best." Tritton said they had received some enquiries from potential owners in recent weeks. "There's been a few reaching out to us and we'll have to sit down and weigh things up at some stage but our first priority is always to our loyal owners," he said. "We arrived here with a stable of 12 and then we've picked up another six since. We've got a few staff with us now and after knowing nothing about horses, they've come a long way!" Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

YONKERS, N.Y. – The lucrative weekly features return to Yonkers Raceway June 23 as the filly and mare open headlines the Tuesday night harness racing program. Major Occasion is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $33,000 feature after drawing post four off an impressive mile last time out at the Meadowlands. Major Occasion made her first start post-coronavirus shutdown in the filly and mare preferred at the Meadowlands June 5. While Grand Circuit performer Kissin In The Sand played catch me if you can, and won, Major Occasion made it close. Major Occasion raced on the inside in fifth 5 lengths behind Kissin In The Sand throughout before closing in the stretch with a :25.3 final quarter. Kissin In The Sand had an open-length lead at the sixteenth pole, but Major Occasion lunged under Dexter Dunn urging, closing within three-quarters of a length at the finish. The effort surprised both the bettors who dismissed Major Occasion at 17-1 and trainer Nifty Norman, who thought Major Occasion would need a start having just one qualifier on May 30 since her last race March 4. “She was very good. I was pleased,” Norman said. “It was like having a win there racing against that caliber of horse and she was good and strong through the wire, too. I was really happy with the way she finished up. She’s a really nice mare. “I thought she was probably going to be a run short and she went even better than I expected,” Norman continued. “She’s been a real pleasant surprise since she came over. She’s been good every start really, so I’ve been really happy with her.” Although Major Occasion was individually clocked in a blistering 1:48 in her runner-up effort, Norman tries to avoid obsessing over the timer. “We’re seeing a lot of it now. The Meadowlands, the miles they go there are crazy. It doesn’t even pay to look at the clock anymore because it’s just crazy what they’re doing,” he said. “Now 48 is just acceptable, no one even talks about it; it’s commonplace to go 48, which is just amazing.” Major Occasion is a 6-year-old Art Major daughter out of the Fake Left mare Fake Occasion. The Australia-bred was a stakes performer before exporting to the United States last October, having won the Group 2 Sibelia Stakes at Menangle Feb. 16, 2019 before finishing second in the Group 1 Ladyship Mile a fortnight later. Major Occasion also finished second in the Group 1 Empire Vicbred 2-Year-Old Fillies Stakes at Melton in 2017. “I had some owners that wanted to buy the mare and she really wasn’t for sale,” Norman recalled. “I got talking to the owners and we just hit it off really good, ended up having several conversations with them. The trainer (Chris Frisby) and the owner (Peter Ward) are just really top guys. They decided to send her over to me and it’s working out great for me and for them.” Norman heard from many Down Under horsemen that Major Occasion was a good mare and when she arrived stateside, Norman could see why. “When she arrived, she was such a specimen,” he said. “She’s an absolutely beautiful, big, strong, good-looking thing, fantastic nature and when you sit behind her, it’s like sitting behind a bus. There’s nothing bad about her. She’s nice to look at, she’s nice to drive, she’s nice to be around. She’s just a perfect horse. “She’s a big mare, but she’s well put together,” Norman continued. “She’s got good conformation; she’s an Art Major, so Art Major’s are pretty good-looking. She carries a lot of weight, wears a big hopple, just impressive to look at.” Major Occasion made seven starts for Norman and owner Enzed Racing Stable before the shutdown, earning three wins and a lifetime mark of 1:49.4. She came within a neck of Shartin in a $50,000 filly and mare invitational at Dover Downs March 4. Major Occasion, an 18-time winner and earner of $241,105, was then entered into the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series March 13, which was indefinitely postponed as the coronavirus ceased harness racing in North America. “It was very tricky to manage. The hard part was, there were rumors that we would get going, so you’d go train your horses up a little bit thinking maybe we’re going to race in two weeks,” Norman said. “It dragged on and on. I kind of wished I had turned the horses out since owners were paying bills while nothing was happening and they had no money coming in. “It was a difficult period, but I basically backed off, didn’t do a whole lot with them, just tried to keep them fit,” Norman continued. “You could tell the horses were getting sour like us. They were ready to get back to work, too. They were sick of just training, and training, and training. It was a strange time. I don’t think anyone really knew what the right thing was to do.” Major Occasion will make her second start post-shutdown in Tuesday’s feature and regular driver Dexter Dunn will be in the sulky. With the fate of Yonkers’ winter series still uncertain and with no distaff feature carded at the Swamp since June 5, Norman chose to test Major Occasion over the smaller track at Yonkers. “I elected to go to Yonkers and find out whether she can get around there. Obviously, she’s great at the Meadowlands, but going 1:48 every week isn’t the greatest plan either,” Norman said. “I thought I would try to avoid those big miles, try her on a shorter track and see how she handles it. I trained her on a half-mile track and she got around it good. She runs in a little bit, but most horses do. I don’t have any concerns, I think she’ll be fine.” Major Occasion will face seven rivals in the Tuesday feature, including three who exit the same race: Snobbytown, Imprincessgemma, and Gold Orchid. Snobbytown finished ninth last out, but earned $150,635 last year for trainer Ron Burke and won the local distaff feature Feb. 28. She is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line and will employ the driving services of George Brennan. Imprincessgemma won the local filly and mare open handicap impressively by 2 3/4 lengths Feb. 14 and was second in the feature the following week. She is 9-2 for the Bongiornos. Gold Orchid earned $120,170 last year for Mark Harder, won the local filly and mare preferred March 6, and will make her third start of the season. She and driver Brian Sears are 6-1 on the morning line. The field also includes Diamondtoothgertie, Sandy Win, Crystal Sparkles, and Dibaba. “I think, like a lot of foreign horses, (Major Occasion) is better with a target,” Norman said. “She could come first-up or she’s got good speed on the end too, it wouldn’t matter if she came from off the pace. I’d imagine Dexter, since he’s coming over to drive her, is going to be reasonably aggressive. I’ll leave it up to him.” The amended Yonkers Raceway calendar will see live harness racing conducted Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights until July 2. Beginning the week of July 6, the schedule will add Friday nights. Saturday night racing will resume the week of July 20 as the track returns to its normal five night per week schedule through Dec. 19. First post time is 7:05 p.m. The complete revised racing calendar is available online here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY  

YONKERS, N.Y. – Live harness racing will return to Yonkers Raceway Monday, June 22 with 64 trotters and pacers set to compete on an eight-race program beginning at 7:05 p.m. Monday’s card marks the first race day at the half-mile oval since the effects of COVID-19 halted the 2020 season on March 9. Yonkers successfully conducted qualifiers last Monday (June 15) in preparation for reopening. In accordance with guidelines issued by the New York State Gaming Commission, health and safety protocols are in place for racing’s return. These include capacity limitations and distancing measures, temperature checks and health screenings, installation of no-touch fixtures and disinfectant stations, equipment usage and cleaning protocols, mandatory use of face masks, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the racing area.  Monday’s program will be the first of three this week and features the return of Hysteria, a 4-year-old Shadow Play gelding trained by Jenn Bongiorno, who brings an eight-race win streak dating to June 22, 2019 into the sixth race, a $13,500 conditioned pace. Tuesday’s card will feature the Filly and Mare Open Pace while Thursday’s program co-features the Open Pace and Open Trot, each carrying a purse of $33,000. Although the track remains closed to bettors and fans, punters can watch and wager on the action at, which offers an 8% rebate on all wagers placed on Yonkers’ races (except place and show). The betting menu has been adjusted as follows for the eight-race format: Early Pick 4 beginning in race one Pick 5 beginning in race four Late Pick 4 beginning in race five Pick 3s beginning in races two, three, and six Doubles beginning in races one and seven Superfectas offered on even-numbered races Win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta on all races Free TrackMaster platinum past performances are available for Monday’s entire card on the Yonkers Raceway website. Stakes season will resume at the Hilltop with the first leg of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies July 2. Sire Stakes will continue throughout July and August with Yonkers Raceway set to host the New York Sire Stakes Finals Sept. 12. Additional announcements regarding the stakes schedule will be made when available.  The amended Yonkers Raceway calendar will see live harness racing conducted Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights until July 2. Beginning the week of July 6, the schedule will add Friday nights. Saturday night racing will resume the week of July 20 as the track returns to its normal five night per week schedule through Dec. 19, apart from dark days Friday, Sept. 11 and Thursday, Nov. 26. First post time is 7:05 p.m. The complete revised racing calendar is available online here.  

It is estimated that after a conference call at noon today with the NYS Gaming Commission officials , reps of Yonkers MGM and the SOA of NY, a new plan of operation will be presented to the NYSGC  by Yonkers MGM  and agreed to by the SOA of NY. That new plan will omit the previous mandatory sole requirement for a positive antibody  test as a requirement to participation at Yonkers. The new plan is being submitted today to the NYS Gaming Commission. Much work on this revison has been  done by the SOA of NY and many of its directors, our legal counsel and many of our members. The SOA first VP Peter Venaglia, director Chris wittstruck, Ray Schnittker and Jordan Stratton devoted much time and attention to restoring, as close to near normalcy, our road back, in lock step with the other operating tracks. Additional recognition must be given to Mark Ford, Mark Krouse, Linda Toscano and Cory Stratton for thier aid  and willingness to lend  unselfish support to the SOA’s efforts on your behalf. Lastly the concerns of Assembly Racing Committee Chair Gray Pretlow and his Senate counterpart Joseph Addabbo, aided our efforts on behalf of all horsemen. It is deeply appreciated. Specific recognition must be given to the NYSGC for its leadership in solving this problem. The first two weeks of rcaing shall see 3 days of racing with 4 days for the next  two weeks folowed by a 5 day a week schedule from then on depending on the sustainability of the underpaid purse account. Horesemen will be required to present fever free, respond to a questionnaire re corona virus and observe social  distancing,scrutinized by the track and under increased monitoring by  the SOA of NY. Please cooperate and don’t let the progress made by all those noted above be wasted because you think the social distancing is not  important.  It must be observed so we don’t slip back into more restrictive requirements. Thank you for your patience in this struggle and please cooperate with all requirements. Joe Faraldo

The SOA of NY is working very hard to get resolved  the “positive antibody “ requirement which is not imposed on other NYS harness racing tracks. We have done much research on the CDC guidelines that state that a positive antibody test, itself of questionable validity, is not to be used to prevent a person from returning to the workplace. With the Governor’s allowance of racing to continue on June 1, NYS licensees are being denied thier right to work. We have engaged many many friends, as well as professionals, for some time to help us effectuate a sensible change like that okayed , at all other NYS tracks. Finally, I attended the qualifiers and my observation from the post draw sheets indicated that only 49 % of those intending to qualify at Yonkers were able to use the rights inherent in their licenses and qualify either because the trainers or their employees did not have the necessary positive antibodies to gain access to the paddock. This shows the devastating effect this positive antibody requirement is currently having on Yonkers’ ability to conduct racing  and that will be more and more evident as the PA. tracks open soon. Our work continues to gain concensus as soon a possible with Yonkers MGM Inc and the NYS Gaming  Commission. We will keep you posted. from Joe Faraldo, SOA President

Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts has requested and been granted approval by the New York Gaming Commission (“the Commission”) to resume live harness racing operations at Yonkers Raceway beginning Monday, June 22, 2020. Racing will begin with a three-night weekly schedule on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Post time is 7:05 pm nightly. Qualifying races will begin on June 15, 2020. Spectators will not be permitted but races will be simulcast, and available for viewing and wagering at Extensive health and safety protocols will be in place in accordance with guidelines issued by the Commission. Protocols include, but are not limited to, capacity limitations and distancing measures, temperature checks and health screenings, installation of no-touch fixtures and disinfectant stations, equipment usage and cleaning protocols, mandatory use of face masks, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the racing area.  As always, the health and safety of our customers and employees remain our top priority. For more information, please visit Taryn E. Duffy Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs (914) 457-2431 |  

We have been advised by the Director of Racing at Yonkers Raceway that each horsemen (trainers, drivers and grooms) seeking to participate in harness racing at Yonkers needs to get an antibody test. This is not something the SOA of NY agrees with in any way shape or form. The way we were told this is meant to work is that the 1st time a horsemen comes on the grounds he/she will need to show the test document result to the Race Office or to the Director of Racing. Importantly, the current version of the Gaming Commission protocols requires that the test result shows that the individual is positive for antibodies. Without a positive test, we are told you will not be able to access the grounds. Accordingly, every horsemen who wishes to race at Yonkers is encouraged to get tested in the event the current protocol stands as currently stated. The type of test required was not specified. One version is a pinprick that we understand is being done even at some pharmacies and other versions employ the drawing of blood. It is our understanding that participants at other harness tracks in the State are not being required to present such a test, and we are hopeful that we can have a constructive dialogue with the Gaming Commission to remove this one protocol, particularly given the very real concern that numerous participants -- including those who sheltered in place and engaged in social distancing and thereby avoided contracting the Covid-19 virus -- would be excluded from racing at Yonkers pursuant to their license. We are hopeful that the robust protocols being implemented at other tracks (for example, Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon) which involves, among many things, the answering of relevant health questions will be considered more appropriate and better suited to the circumstances at hand, but as of now the existing protocol as relayed to us by the Director of Racing stands. It makes no sense to us since more people do not have positive antibodies. Regardless, numerous other protocols will be implemented, including temperature checks (anyone with a temperature greater than 100.4 will not be allowed access to the paddock), the requirement of wearing masks, social distancing, sanitary procedures and the aforementioned answering of relevant health questions. Reminder: No owners or fans are permitted on site during this initial start-up period until further notice   SOA of NY

The SOA of NY has learned that Yonkers intends to hold qualifiers on Monday June 15th and Tuesday 16th with live harness racing tentatively set for the following Monday, 22nd, Tuesday 23rd and Thursday 25th as we take small steps back to normalcy. At the moment racing will be conducted 3 days per week and at reduced purses those days of the week are currently set for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.. We hope that as alternative Gaming gets back in operation asap so decisions can be made to expand race days down the road and we can gradually return to business as we once knew it. Lastly, we are endeavoring to find out how best to comply with the Gaming Commission and other state agency protocols. Joe Faraldo

Yonkers, NY — The state of New York has released guidelines for the resumption of harness racing activities. The guidelines are available by clicking on this link, then scrolling down to “Racing Activities.” For all of the latest news on the resumption of racing, visit the USTA COVID-19 Resource Center. from the SOA of NY

Seeking Field Representative who will be responsible for addressing the needs of our harness racing horsemen -- owners, trainers, drivers and caretakers -- at Yonkers Raceway during racing hours. In this position, the Field Representative needs strong communication skills in order to be a fearless representative of the horsemen. A full understanding of the harness racing industry, including knowledge of the regulations governing racing, is required. The Field Representative will be responsible for interacting regularly with the judges and the race office and, at times, the Gaming Commission. The position requires that the Field Representative communicate effectively with the SOA’s Officers and Board of Directors, with a particular need to keep the President of the SOA fully and timely informed as to all matters.    Interested and qualified parties should send their resume to the attention of Peter Venaglia, Chairman of Personnel Committee c/o SOA of NY, 733 Yonkers Ave, Suite 102, Yonkers NY, 10704 or via email at SEEKING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Seeking Executive Director who is responsible for directing and coordinating all operations of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. A full understanding of the horse racing industry, office management, contract negotiations, government relations, medical and pension plans, investments, insurances and strong communication skills are required. Interested and qualified parties should send resume to the attention of Peter Venaglia, Chairman of Personnel Committee c/o SOA of NY, 733 Yonkers Ave, Suite 102, Yonkers NY, 10704 or via email at

Columbus, OH — The U.S. Trotting Association, in conjunction with Off And Pacing, will be kicking off a harness racing series of simulated stakes races, starting on Friday (April 17) at 1 p.m. Utilizing technology created by Ryan Clements and software developer The Farm, selected stakes races that have been postponed due to COVID-19 will now be simulated and presented through Clements’ Off And Pacing platform. USTA social media coordinator and co-host of the Mike and Mike show, Michael Carter, will handicap and call the simulated races. The racing action kicks off on Friday, with horses eligible to the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series competing at a virtual Yonkers Raceway. With the extensive stakes schedule, this will allow for some of these races to play out on the racetrack. “We are very excited to partner with the USTA in bringing the Blue Chip Matchmaker to the virtual track,” said Clements. “I know all of us are missing the real thing, so we hope this will provide some entertainment in the meantime while we look forward to racing’s return. This particular field of horses and drivers should make for a great race and I’m excited to see what happens. We look forward to continuing to explore ways we can partner with the USTA to create fun and innovation.” The simulated race can be viewed via the USTA Facebook page at this link. 2020 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Simulated Race PP-Horse-Driver 1. Apple Bottom Jeans-Corey Callahan 2. Seaswift Joy N-Jim Marohn Jr. 3. Shecandance N-Scott Zeron 4. Write Me A Song-Brian Sears 5. Caviart Ally-Andrew McCarthy 6. Snobbytown-George Brennan 7. Shartin N-Tim Tetrick 8. Bettor Joy N-Dexter Dunn from the USTA Communications Department

Yonkers, NY — With the disruption in racing at Yonkers Raceway, some adjustments have been made to upcoming stakes payments and scheduling. The MGM Springfield Stakes will now have nominations and first payment fee of $250 closing on May 15. The sustaining payment will now be due June 15. The race is hoped to be contested with eliminations on July 4 and a final on July 11. Divisions of the Reynolds for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers, originally scheduled for May 2, have been canceled. The Hambletonian Society will refund all eligible horses that have made payments for the Reynolds. There were two New York Sire Stakes legs scheduled at Yonkers Raceway in May, a 3-year-old filly trot event May 5 and a 3-year-old filly pace event May 12. Information on those events will be coming directly from the New York Sire Stakes program. Decisions on placement of stakes that were disrupted in March will be made once more clarity emerges on when racing can return at Yonkers Raceway. Those disrupted stakes were the M life Rewards Series for colts and fillies, the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, the Borgata Pacing Series, and the Yonkers/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series. Yonkers Raceway

 April 10th , 2020 - The SOA of  NY completed mailing out  155 checks in the amount of $400.00 to those harness racing grooms who participated at Yonkers Raceway over an extended period of time and on a regular basis. The total cost of today’s aid for our most dedicated caretakers amounted to $62,000.00. Joe Faraldo, President of the SOA of NY, said that “these worthy individuals should be receiving their checks in a few days. We are glad to have managed the SOA’s assets in a way that affords us the opportunity to help”.    We suggest to all trainers that grooms doing a paddock make sure that they sign in and show their current groom’s license as in the future the SOA of NY will use that data for eligibility for medical and retirement benefits. Failure to accurately report that information could adversely affect a groom’s eligibility for those important benefits.  

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