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Sandra Kaufman, Chairman of the co-sponsored SOA of New York/Yonkers Raceway Scholarship Committee, has announced that Jennifer Lauer is the winner of the 2019-2020 Scholarship Award in the amount of $5,000. The second place award of $3,000 went to Dean Blumenfeld and John McDermott picked up the third place scholarship award of $2,000. Jennifer Lauer is currently enrolled at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is pursuing a veterinary degree and plans on becoming an equine veterinarian. Jennifer’s father Bruce trains a stable of horses racing in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dean Blumenfeld is currently enrolled at Arizona State University pursuing a PhD in Anthropology. Dean’s father Paul trains horses in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. John McDermott is currently enrolled at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. John’s father John McDermott races horses at Yonkers Raceway and around the East Coast. The annual SOA/Yonkers Raceway scholarships are awarded to SOA members, or members of their immediate families, or to covered individuals (backstretch personnel) or a member of their immediate families, for study beyond the high school level. The recipient is chosen on the basis of merit and financial need. The applicants were judged first by an independent third party to produce the top five candidates. Then the Committee selected the top three winners from the five finalists. Personal information from all the candidates was redacted when presented to the independent party and the Committee to assure a blind judging process. From the SOA of New York

When Bettor's Wish won May's Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway, it served as a harbinger of the colt's rise to prominence among harness racing 3-year-old pacers. On Saturday, he returns to The Hilltop for the first time since that victory, facing five rivals in the first of two eliminations of the Messenger Stakes. Bettor's Wish was not staked to the Messenger, so his connections paid $30,000 to make him eligible to the race. The colt, trained and co-owned by Chris Ryder, has won seven of 10 races this year (finishing second in his three defeats) and earned $839,544, which tops all horses in North America. He heads to his Messenger elim off victories in the Carl Milstein Memorial and a division of the Kentucky Sire Stakes. Interestingly, Bettor's Wish was not originally staked to the Art Rooney, either, but his connections paid a $6,000 supplement fee in February to make him eligible. Bettor's Wish won the $300,000 Rooney by six lengths. "He's been great," said Scott Ezzo, an Ohio resident whose wife Lisa heads Bella Racing Ltd., which is part of the horse's ownership group. "The Art Rooney was the one that set the stage. When he won that race, we said he was going to be something to enjoy. "We weren't sure (what to expect from Bettor's Wish entering this year). I talked to Chris throughout the winter and he said he was training really well. But Chris never tips his hand. So, when Chris supplemented him to the Art Rooney, that got my attention." Bettor's Wish has attracted plenty of attention in the months to follow. In addition to winning the Milstein and Rooney, the colt finished second in the Meadowlands Pace, missing by a head after being parked out the entire mile, and second in the Cane Pace, where he was defeated by a neck. He also was second in the North America Cup. Over the course of his career, Bettor's Wish has won 12 of 22 races and finished worse than second only three times, with two thirds and a fourth accounting for the remaining setbacks. "It's been tremendous; we've had a lot of fun following him," Lisa Ezzo said. "We have so many people that are following him along with us. We just love that. It's been fun for a lot of people, I think. "I think he's a little guy and people always want to root for the little guy. But he races big. He doesn't know his size." Bettor's Wish, by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, was purchased for $20,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Sale. He has earned $1.11 million so far in his career. The colt is owned by Ryder, Bella Racing, Leah Cheverie's and Art Zubrod's Fair Island Farm, and the recently created Bettors Wish Partners group of original owner Ken Solomon and newcomers Dana Parham and Eric Cherry's Let It Ride Stables. The Messenger Stakes is the second leg of the Pacing Triple Crown, following the Cane Pace (won by Captain Crunch, who did not enter the Messenger) and ahead of the Little Brown Jug. The Jug is held at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio, which happens to be the hometown of the Ezzos. Bettor's Wish is not eligible to the Jug, but a win in the Messenger final would allow his connections to supplement. Any horse not eligible to the Jug can be supplemented if it wins either the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, or Messenger. "Our backs are against the wall," Scott Ezzo said. "Hopefully we'll get in." Bettor's Wish is undefeated in three lifetime races at Yonkers, all this season, and has won six of seven career starts on half-mile tracks, such as Yonkers. His only loss on a half came by a neck in last year's Battle of Waterloo. He flashed his big-track ability in his most recent victory, stopping the clock in 1:47.4 at Red Mile, which is tied for the second-fastest mile of the season by a 3-year-old pacer. "He's proven to me to be very durable," trainer Ryder said. "Every time he races, he does something that impresses you, he does something good. It's just a good ride, we just have to keep it up. We're just taking it week by week." The Ezzos have enjoyed success with other horses, such as 2006 Breeders Crown winner Charley Barley and world-record-setter Kiss Me Onthebeach, but Bettor's Wish has been something else. "It's just been incredible," Scott Ezzo said. "We've had some good horses, but he's the best. I'm not taking anything away from the other ones, but he's like the Energizer bunny; he just keeps going, and going, and going." Joining Bettor's Wish in the first Messenger elimination, which is a non-betting race, are Captain Trevor, Escapetothebeach, American Mercury, Branquinho, and Lyons Johnnyjnr. Bettor's Wish starts from post one with regular driver Dexter Dunn. The horses in the second elimination, which is race five on the betting card, are U S Captain, Air Force Hanover, Aflame Hanover, Waterway, Buddy Hill, and Reigning Deo. Buddy Hill is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

This Week: Messenger eliminations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Nassagaweya, Eternal Camnation, and Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 24), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of the sport's pacing Triple Crown. The top four horses in each elimination will return for the $500,000 final on Aug. 31. Also on Saturday, Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature a single division in the C$228,100 Nassagaweya for 2-year-old pacing colts, two divisions in the C$224,478 Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old pacing fillies; and a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters. On Sunday (Aug. 25), Tioga Downs will card four sets of W.N. Reynolds Memorial events for freshman pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Greenshoe (Brian Sears) rebounded from his defeat in the Hambletonian to win the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday night (Aug. 17) at Vernon Downs. Greenshoe rebounded from his loss in the Hambletonian to win the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial. Fotowon photo. Marseille (Ake Svanstedt) assumed the lead heading to the first quarter in front of Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) who took up position in second, with Sears waiting patiently in third with Greenshoe ($2.30). Mareseille set a modest first quarter of :27.1 before rationing out the speed to the half in :56.3, where Greenshoe made his move first-over heading into the final turn. Turning for home Marseille had a short lead past three-quarters in 1:25.1, but he could not fend off the pressure from Greenshoe who powered past through the stretch to a convincing six length victory. Greenshoe's stablemate, Green Manalishi S (Tim Tetrick) finished second, while Marseille held on for third. Greenshoe is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., Morten Langli, Hans Backe, and Lars Granqvist. For the Father Patrick sired 3-year-old, it was his sixth win in eight starts this season. The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) scored a victory in the co-featured $135,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Starita (Dexter Dunn) jumped to the front out of the gate parking The Ice Dutchess ($5.80) to the first quarter of :27.1. After seizing the lead, The Ice Dutchess controlled the tempo to the half in :56.2. Evident Beauty (David Miller) was the first to make a move on the leader heading to the three-quarter pole (1:25.1), but that challenge was repelled by The Ice Dutchess who was two lengths in front turning for home. The Ice Dutchess faced no other challengers through the stretch and won by a decisive 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4. Evident Beauty held on for second, while Starita had to settle for third. The Ice Dutchess is owned by Coyote Wynd Farms and is trained by Nancy Johansson. The Muscle Hill sired filly now has four wins on the season and nine career victories. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 731; 2. Yannick Gingras - 566; 3. David Miller - 444; 4. Dexter Dunn - 409; 5. Brian Sears - 344. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 673; 2. Tony Alagna - 282; 3. Marcus Melander - 279; 4. Jim King Jr. - 274; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 231. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 182; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 127.1; 3. Courant Inc. - 122.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 114.6; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway and Woodbine Mohawk Park. Yonkers will feature the Yonkers Trot, Messenger Stakes, Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud. Woodbine Mohawk will offer the Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 20, 2019--Sometimes, we realize communication ain't all it's cracked up to be. That's our story and we're sticking with it. When the list of Yonkers Trot entrants was sent out Monday (Aug. 19th), it numbered seven. Well, make it eight. A bad game of telephone omitted one...a Hambletonian-winning one. Forbidden Trade was indeed put in the box Monday for the 65th Trot, and for that omission in print, it's a mea culpa. "It wasn't in our original plan, but plans change," trainer Luc Blais said. "We let him tell us what to do and he's been training so well." Forbidden Trade, a son of Kadabra, was among the list of Yonkers Trot eligibles, supplemented after his 2-year-old season. He has won six of his nine starts at 3 ($671,484), the latest an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold event at Mohawk. The colt, has who made two half-mile-track OSS starts in his career, is owned by Serge Godin's Determination and driven by Bob McClure. Even with the 'addition' of Forbidden Trade, the limited number of entrants makes this season's race a one-dash-for-the-(half-million-dollar)-cash event, set for Saturday night, Aug. 31st. The new-and-improved alphabetical list of Yonkers Trot entrants, with declared drivers, are... Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) HL Revadon (g) (Jim Marohn Jr.) Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller) No Drama Please (Tim Tetrick) Osterc (Dexter Dunn) Sheena's Boy (g) (Dunn also listed) Soul Strong (g) (Dunn also listed) by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 19, 2019-Seven 3-year-olds-four colts and three geldings-have been entered for the 65th Yonkers Trot, second jewel of the harness racing Trotting Triple Crown. The entrants are led by statebred standout Gimpanzee, whose Yonkers Raceway resume reads four (New York Sire Stakes) wins in as many career tries. The son of Chapter Seven began his career with a dozen consecutive wins before finishing fourth and third, respectively, in the elimination and final of the Hambletonian. Gimpanzee enters with earnings of $866,646, including $275,288 this season. Brian Sears is again scheduled to do the honors for co-owners Courant Inc. & S R F Stable and trainer Marcus Melander. The limited number of entrants makes this season's race a one-dash-for-the-(half-million-dollar)-cash event, set for Saturday night, Aug. 31st. The alphabetical list of Yonkers Trot entrants, with declared drivers, are... Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) HL Revadon (g) (Jim Marohn Jr.) Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller) No Drama Please (Tim Yetrick) Osterc (Dexter Dunn) Sheena's Boy (g) (Dunn also listed) Soul Strong (g) (Dunn also listed) (g) - gelding   The 64th Messenger Stakes, second jewel of the Pacing Crown, brings a dozen soph pacers to Westchester. Art Rooney Pace winner Bettor's Wish paid $30,000 for the privilege of buying in. He joins 11 rivals here Saturday night (Aug. 24th) in a pair of $40,000 eliminations, with the first four in each qualifying for the $500,000 finale Aug. 31st. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt who has hit the board in 21-of-22 career tries (12 wins, 7 seconds, 2 thirds, $1,111,600), won May's $300,000 Rooney here by six lengths in 1:51.4. He enters off a life-best 1:47.4 effort in a Kentucky Sire Stakes event at the Red Mile, a seventh win (with three seconds) in 10 '19 tries ($839,544). Bettor's Wish                                              --Mike Lizzi photo That win came five nights after 'stealing' (:57 out, :53.3 home) Northfield's $400,000 Milstein Memorial. Chris Ryder co-owns (with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm & Bettor's Wish Partners) and trains Bettor's Wish, while Dexter Dunn drives. The Messenger entrants are... Aflame Hanover (g) (Corey Callahan) Air Force Hanover (Jordan Stratton) American Mercury (g) (Tyler Buter) Bettor's Wish (Dunn) Branquinho (Buter also listed) Buddy Hill (Sears) Captain Trevor (Stratton also listed) Escape tothe Beach (g) (Callahan also listed) Lyons Johnny Jnr (Dan Dube) Reigning Deo (Stratton also listed) U S Captain (Jason Bartlett) Waterway (Joe Bongiorno) (g) - gelding   The companion events for these races-the $124,334 Hudson Filly Trot (seven entrants) and $122,224 Lady Maud Pace (six entrants)-go as single-sojourn events Aug. 31st.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 17, 2019-Due to a quirk in the schedule-no racing the previous evening-Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Aug. 17th) offered three-count 'em, three--$46,000 featured harness racing events. The week's marquee trot was blindly drawn and worked to the advantage of pole-sitting, odds-on Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett, $3). Retaking from There'sademoninme (Eric Goodell) right after a :27.4 opening quarter-mile, Eye ofa Tiger AS knocked off his appointed rounds (:57, 1:24.4, life-best 1:53.4). He (Austin Siegelman), whipped his pocketed pursuer by a length, with Lord Cromwell (Austin Siegelman), In Secret (George Brennan) and Such an Angel (Jim Marohn Jr.) rounding out the payees. For Eye ofa Tiger AS, a 5-year-old statebred Chapter Seven gelding co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was his eighth win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12, the triple returned $113 and the superfecta paid $376.50. Saturday night's Open Handicap Pace and Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace were both laid out in the same way...inside number assigned, outside seven numbers drawn. Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $14) closed from last at the three-quarters and seventh off the final turn to snap 11-10 fave Miss You N (Bartlett) in the week's distaff derby. From post position No. 7, the margin was a nose in 1:52. Dibaba N (Goodell) was third, with Annabeth (Siegelman) and D G's Elsa (Joe Bongiorno) settled for the remainder. Gold Orchid N (Dan Dube) led through intervals of :27., 56 and 1:23.3 before fading to seventh.                                                                                                --- Rosie Siri photo For third choice Betterb Chevron N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was her seventh win in 19 '19 tries. The exacta paid $46.80, the triple returned $121 and the superfecta paid $785. Last, but certainly not least, was a 51st career win by favored The Real One (Pat Lachance, $4.10). The Raceway's co-track-record-holder (1:50) was not required to go that fast in the Open 'Cap Pace, but 1:52.2 was sufficiently fast to take down Shneonucrzydiamnd A (Brent Holland) by a neck. The latter led through subsections of :27.2; :56.3 and 1:24.3, with The Real One-away fourth from post No. 5-grinding by first-over. The minors went to Control Tower (Siegelman), Dr. J Hanover (Marohn Jr.) and Perfectly Close (Stratton). For The Real One, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by his chauffeur for owner Helene Filion, he's now 4-for-14 this season (career $1,160,488). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $11.80, the triple returned $63 and the superfecta paid $214. Also Saturday, a season-high, fourth-race superfecta paid $109,674 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket worth $5,483.70). The combination was 7-1-8-5, with The Lunch Pail (Holland) winning at a $79 mutuel. He was chased home by rivals at 20-1, 80-1 and 3-2, respectively.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers

Bettor's Wish, winner of the Art Rooney at Yonkers and the Millstein Memorial at Northfield Park, will be supplemented to the Messenger Stake next Saturday at Yonkers Raceway, it was announced by Eric Cherry representing the ownership for the sensational Bettor’s Delight sophomore trained by Chris Ryder. Said Cherry "We already know how he handles Yonkers and half mile tracks in general, so we figured the Messenger is a natural for the colt who just recently won a Kentucky Sires Stake In 1:47.4 at The Red Mile." Should he win the Messenger, Bettor’s Wish would be able to supplement to the Little Brown Jug. By Bob Marks

YONKERS, N.Y. – Rodeo Rock will make his first start since June 30 when he races in the $46,000 Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers Raceway Saturday night. The 6-year-old was in the midst of his best season to date for trainer Robert Cleary before suffering from minor setbacks in the beginning of the summer. Rodeo Rock’s big 2019 season began at the end of his 2018 campaign. Although the Rock N Roll Heaven son had six wins on the season by last November, his victories had come in mid-level conditions and he didn’t make an impression with two fourth-place finishes in legs of the Levy Series last spring.  Rodeo Rock’s breakthrough came in a $29,000 overnight at Yonkers November 17. Rodeo Rock utilized a :27.2 final quarter to come from off the pace and score by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:53. Two weeks later, he returned to claim his first victory in the $44,000 Open Handicap Pace by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4. “He was super sharp,” Cleary recalled. “He won a non-winners of 30 event at Yonkers last November. Brian Sears drove him, and he was actually fifth at the top of the stretch and he won going away and Brian never touched him with the whip. You don’t normally do that in non-winners of 30 at Yonkers. In his next start, he won the Open at Yonkers. It wasn’t just the start of this year, he finished off the end of last year very sharp.” After some time off over the winter, Cleary brought Rodeo Rock back in a Meadowlands qualifier this February, which he won in 1:53.1. The gelding proved he was still sharp in winning his first pari-mutuel start of the year March 2. “He got a break at Christmas and came back and qualified late February,” Cleary said. “He was super sharp, the sharpest he’d ever been. He won his first start at the Meadowlands, took a life mark of 49-and-4, swooped the field from last to first.” Rodeo Rock then came to the Levy Series at Yonkers. He captured divisions of the first two legs of the series March 16 and 23 before finishing third and second in subsequent legs March 30 and April 13, respectively.  Rodeo Rock drew post six in the $664,000 Levy Final April 20 and despite racing seventh 10 lengths off the pace at the quarter with Andrew McCarthy in the sulky, rallied to finish second 4 3/4 lengths behind Western Fame. Rodeo Rock earned $166,000 for his runner up placing, more than the $136,350 he banked in 28 starts last year. “It was a great feeling. I thought the horse deserved to be second because I thought he was the second-best horse in the series,” Cleary said. “No doubt about it, Western Fame was the best horse in the series. I would have loved to have sat on Western Fame’s back in the final and seen if we could’ve had a shot at him from the two hole instead of sitting seventh at the half.  “My horse was racing good and he deserved to be second there,” Cleary continued. “It was very exciting. It was great to race for that kind of money and it was great to pick up a purse like we did. It’s a great series when you have a sharp horse.” Cleary has trained Rodeo Rock since 2017 when the pacer still fit the non-winners of six condition at Yonkers. He praised driver Eric Goodell for helping develop Rodeo Rock.  “I have to give a lot of credit to Eric Goodell,” Cleary said. “He drove him a lot at 4, he raced him in the 4-year-old Open at Yonkers. He did a good job with him. He raced him the way he was supposed to race him. When he was in the right spot, he got him on the front or first-up. And when he was meant to ride the fence, he rode the fence. I think he did a good job in bringing the horse along. “He was an immature big horse that had some soundness issues at 2 and 3,” Cleary continued. “When he developed into a 4-year-old, he just became a bigger, sounder, stronger horse.” After the Levy Series, Rodeo Rock went to Pennsylvania to compete in the Great Northeast Open Pacing Series. He won a leg at in a lifetime best 1:49.0 at Pocono May 18 and followed it with a second in the Commodore Barry Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia May 26. However, when Cleary shipped Rodeo Rock to Northfield Park for the Battle of Lake Erie June 8, the horse finished up the track beaten 29 lengths. “He’s actually a really calm, relaxed horse, but he just can’t handle shipping,” Cleary said. “He shipped out there, I thought he was OK. He made no noise in the trailer, drank a little bit on the way out. But when he came off the trailer out there, he was very, very uncomfortable. We did what we could to make him as comfortable as possible. The way he warmed up, I actually thought he was going to be OK, but in the stretch of the race, he didn’t want any part of it. I had a veterinarian check him out after the race and he actually had a touch of a gas colic.” Cleary gave Rodeo Rock a few weeks off to recover, but after a fifth and seventh in his next two starts at the end of June, Cleary stopped again. “He raced OK one start at Pocono after the break. I raced him once more at Chester and he was horrible. He wasn’t acting good, he wasn’t feeling good, so I sent him to the clinic,” Cleary said. “They scoped his stomach and he had ulcers. I gave him two weeks in the field and I treated him heavily for his stomach. He’s acting much better. “You just have to go back to the basics, let them be a horse, let them get back out into the field,” Cleary said. “They’ll rectify a lot of those problems themselves when they get out in the field.” Rodeo Rock returned in a qualifier over a sloppy track at Harrah’s Philadelphia August 6. He came from 8 1/2 lengths behind in fourth at the half to win by 2 1/4 in 1:55.2 with Goodell back in the bike. Despite the slow time, which Cleary attributed to the adverse conditions, the trainer was encouraged. “The biggest goal going into the qualifier was to braven him up and let him run down horses because that’s what he loves to do,” Cleary said. “It’s a little bit hard to get a reading on it because the weather was so bad. It was an absolute downpour, so I think it was hard for every horse to get around the track. Eric knows him pretty well and was happy with him. He said he was very strong, he was very pleased with him, so I’ll take his word on that.” Rodeo Rock drew post six for his return Saturday night and will be paired with Goodell again. Dr J Hanover is the 3-1 morning line favorite from post four off a nose loss on the front end in this class two weeks ago. Control Tower, who beat Dr J Hanover in that start, was sixth last week from post six, but drew post two this week and is 10-1 for Austin Siegelman and Nick Surick. Perfectly Close has been claimed three times in his last six starts and now trainer Michael Temming is bumping him up into the Open ranks. He will benefit from an assigned post one. The Real One was third in the Open last week and won it July 27; he will start from post five. Shneonucrzydiamnd, I’m Some Graduate, and Imarocnrollegend complete the lineup. “I know the horses that are in there and I want him driven the right way,” Cleary said of Rodeo Rock, who he plans to campaign at Yonkers and in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year. “We can’t overdrive him when he’s been off for two months since his last start. I’ll be more than happy to let him race like he did in the Levy Final. Let him race from off the pace and pace home hard, hopefully he’s got some pace on the end of it. “It’s not even about a check, it’s about the horse racing good and finishing up strong.” Saturday’s card also features the $46,000 Open Trot and $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.  Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Yonkers, NY-- The granddaddy of all amateur driving organizations, the CKG Billings Series, move on to Yonkers Raceway for a pair of trots over the speedy double-oval and when the judges hung the official signs "Tough Tyler" Miller and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff each reined a winner in their respective divisions. Miller drove the Nick Surick- trained veteran Jacks To Open, to a 2-1/2 length triumph in 1:59.1 while Hechkoff scored a 1:58 victory with Five Towns, another old-timer whose trained by Kyle Spagnola. In his split Miller was content to head to the pylons from post three as "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo, up behind Tough Get Going, played hardball with Mystical Power, driven by Tony "the Capo" Verruso, and the pair zipped by the quarter in :28 and raced was a team past the half in :57.4 and they were still side by side at the three quarters in 1:28.2. When Mystical Power began to show signs of the overland trip young Miller moved Jacks To Open out to challenge and he trotted to the front before the head of the lane and coasted home an easy winner over Southwind Dorian, driven by 16-year-old Brett "the Kid" Beckwith. Faraldo garnered the show dough with Tough Get.Going. Hechkoff used the front-end route to score an easy triumph in 1:58 with the veteran Five Towns,a 10 year old Andover Hall gelding. Five Towns started from post three and once in command it was "Katey bar the door" as he trotted along with no serious challenges until "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio got Super Manning in high gear as the field neared the third stanza. But that rally was short-lived as Five Towns was up to the challenge and trotted away to an easy victory over Pennacchio's trotter. Shady McCoy finished third for Dave "the Rave" Offenberg. Both races went as non-wagering affairs before the first race on the betting card.   John Manzi for the Billings Series

YONKERS, N.Y. - Horsemen are reminded that there has been a change in the Yonkers Raceway draw schedule for the next harnes racing leg of the New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series for 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly (Thursday, Aug.22). The box will close tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 15) at 9:00 a.m., instead of the usual 3:30 p.m. The Yonkers Raceway office will be closed tomorrow evening due to a concert at the facility. For more information, contact the Yonkers race office directly at 914-457-2627, or the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund at 518-388-0178 or info@nysirestakes.com.   Jason Politi

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 12, 2019-Yonkers Raceway has pushed up its entry box closing this Friday (Aug. 16th) to 9 AM, instead of the usual 3:30 PM. It's the box for the Thursday (Aug. 22nd) program, which includes the New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. With live racing cancelled Friday night to accommodate a Kool & the Gang concert, the race office shall have morning hours only. For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 10, 2019--Funny thing about Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt, $2.70). Whenever he's invaded Yonkers Raceway, the end result is not a fair fight. Such was the case again Saturday night (Aug. 10th), when Six Pack drilled seven outclassed foes in the co-featured $46,000 Open Handicap Trot. Making short work an assigned eight-hole, Six Pack left around Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett), t hen made even shorter work of the teletimer. Never threatened at any point, he widened at every (:28, 57.2, 1:25, 1:53.1) point. The result was... a-matching the all-age trot track record, set by Svanstedt’s filly Plunge Blue Chip last September, and b- 6¼-length win over Lord Cromwell (Austin Siegelman), and c-a fifth consecutive win here, and d-the fastest local trot mile of the season, and e-a new track record for his weight class. For the record, New Heaven (Jim Marohn Jr.) was third, with Eye ofa Tiger AS and Such an Angel (Eric Goodell) settling for the small change. Six Pack, a 4-year-old $1.5 million statebred son of Muscle Mass co-owned by his driver/trainer, Little E LLC, Knuttson Trotting. Stall Kalmer and Lars Berg, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts (career 17-for-30). The exacta paid $28.80, the triple returned $173 and the superfecta paid $1,122. Not lost on Svanstedt was throwing down a gauntlet in the hopes of getting an invitation to October's million-dollar International Trot. "We wanted to see him back on a short track and he handled it well," Svanstedt said. "He's not been lucky in a many of his races this season. That's the biggest difference in him as a 4-year-old. "The owners wanted to enter him (tonight). We're hoping he's asked to race in the International." The weekly $46,000 adult-table pace was won by a down-the-road Scott Rocks (Goodell, $4.80) in 1:51.3. The 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding went up and over $995,000 in career earnings after a 57th lifetime win. For his part, Goodell won four of the night's last seven races. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 9, 2019-Pocketed favorite Alexa's Power (Jason Bartlett, $4.50) gave the harness racing public what it wanted Friday night (Aug. 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The board spoke her name and Alexa's Power raced as if she knew it. Making the first lead from post position No. 4, she then deferred to raging, eight-hole-assigned Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. From there, the lass who had won her previous three tries threw down a :55.4 intermission and 1:23.1 three-quarters. However, she could not shake either Alexa's Power or Dibaba N (Eric Goodell). A bit cooler at the windows this time around, Feelin' Red Hot was a bit shorter on the track. Alexa's Power collared the leader early in the lane, going by to whip Dibaba N by three-quarters of a length in a season's-best 1:51.1. Feelin' Red Hot easily held third, with Annabeth (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Betterb Chevron N (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. For Alexa's Power, a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned by Jeff & Michael Snyder and trained by Jim Campbell, it was her third win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.80, the triple returned $202 and the superfecta paid $974. Friday night's Pick 5, who began with a $7,500 carryover and $20,000 guaranteed pool, attracted $26,812 of new coin into the gimmick. It was a 5/4/5/5/3 winning combination returning $107.62 for each correct half-a-buck wager. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 6, 2019- Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (Aug. 6th) hosted the $153,200 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. A $75,900 non-bettor and a wagering-carded $77,300 division comprised the event. The before-the-program bandwagon was led by American Rebel (Tyler Buter). Making the first lead from post position No. 2, American Rebel then deferred to Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley). The latter needed just about the entire :28.1 opening quarter-mile to get there. However, American Rebel was none too thrilled about the pocket, so he extricated himself right at the :57.2 intermission. American Rebel had few issues from there (1:25.4, life-best 1:54), getting minimal grief from a first-up Cigars and Port (Ray Schnittker) before widening in the lane. The final margin over Groovy Joe was two lengths, with Cigars and Port hanging around for third. For American Rebel, a son of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Rob Harmon and Robert Robinson, it was his third win in seven seasonal/career starts. "He was really great today," Buter said. "I knew if I had him in front, they wouldn't catch us." The evening's wagering sire stakes event saw a scattered gathering between those that either broke or puled up. Meanwhile, Freedom Warrior (Dan Dube, $14.40) found his way out of the maiden ranks by pacing a mile...and a few extra steps. From post No. 6, he was away fourth, ahead of some early misbehavers. He was then wide down the backside the first time around another non-conformist. Freedom Warrior and driver Dan Dube collar Splash Brother before the wire (Mike Lizzi photo) Freedom Warrior had a loose target to chase in the presence of Splash Brother (Brent Holland), with that one going right along though intervals of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:24.4. The pursuer steadily closed ranks, getting past his rival late to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. It was about a dozen lengths back a tiring 11-10 choice Save Me a Dance (Jason Bartlett), while 45-1 outsider R Maddy Blue Chip (Kakaley) was fourth For fourth choice Freedom Warrior, an American Ideal gelding owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, it was that first win in five '19/life starts. The exacta paid $55.50, the triple returned $146 and there was no superfecta wagering (coupled entry in the race). "He's a very fast horse," Dube said, adding, "You have to be careful with him." New York Sire Stakes continue downstate Thursday night (Aug. 22nd), with the Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies (purse TBA). Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY -- After watching the visiting Italian amateur drivers make a good showing in the Hambletonian Amateur Trots at the Meadowlands on Friday (Aug. 2), the NAADA v. Italian Amateur Friendship Competition got underway at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night (Aug. 5) with two races on the betting card. And when the judges hung the official sign after each contest was completed NAADA's John Calabrese had won both events. Calabrese scored an eye-opening 1:53.2 victory with the Erv Miller-trained Normandy Beach in the pacing contest and Calabrese came right back to score a 2:00.1 triumph in the trot behind the Bill Adamczyk pupil, Blue Swan. Both races comprised the daily double on the Yonkers Raceway betting card. In the trotting contest Calabrese started from the four-hole and coasted along the pylons in fifth position as NAADA's Tony Verruso cut swift fractions of :26.2; :56.3 and 1:25 with Our Regal Ideal N. But when the field headed for paydirt Calabrese angled to the outside and Normandy Beach zipped the lead and coasted home an easy 1-1/2 length winner over Our Regal Ideal N. Italy's Michele Bechis finished third with Hudsonandbernard. The winner, a 5-year old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere, is owned by the Rock and Roll Stable. He paid $13.00. In the trotting event Calabrese had the odds-on favorite Blue Swan from the four-hole and trailed in fourth position until he moved first-up at the half to challenge the pacesetter Muzzy's Muscles , driven by Joe Faraldo. With Muzzy 's Muscles on the inside and Blue Swan on his chin-strap on the outside the two trotters were one-two by the third stanza. Although Muzzy's Muscle got first call at the top of the lane he faded as Blue Swan trotted clear and gamely held-off Merry Hanover (Jacopo Brischetto ) and Tech Titan, with Enrico "Vino" Colombino at the controls. Blue Swan, owned by William Chin, paid $3.90 for win. NAADA has been hosting Italian amateurs from the Venice area with the final two contests tomorrow at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 3, 2019--A two-move There'sademoninme (Eric Goodell, $22.80) and a cone-skimming Control Tower (Joe Bongiorno, $60.50) muddled the mutuels Saturday night (Aug. 3rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $46,000 Open Handicaps. From post position No. 4 in the week's marquee trot, There'sademoninme left, then found himself in a three-hole behind Lord Cromwell (Jason Bartlett) and Mostinterestingman (Austin Siegelman). The former led through intervals of :27.4 and :57.2. There'sademoninme was out and moving, engaging the leader by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. He hooked Lord Cromwell in and out of the final turn, then ground that rival into submission. There'sademoninme then widened, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:55.1. I'm the Muscle (Dan Dube) arrived late, snapping Lord Cromwell for second, with 2-5 choice Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton) and Money Maven (Brent Holland) grabbing the remainder. Note that eight-holer Will Take Charge threw in steps right before the start, making his job that much more difficult. For fifth choice There'sdemoninme, an 8-year-old Kadabra gelding co-owned by Thomas Lazzaro, Michael Casalino Jr. & Howard Taylor and trained by Dylan Davis, it was his eighth win in 19 seasonal starts (and 40th career victory). The exacta paid $147, the triple returned $765 and the superfecta paid $2,468. The weekly adult-table pace saw Dr. J Hanover (Holland) roll through subsections of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:23.3. Owning a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, he just failed to close the sale. In a race where the first four finishers were separated by a neck, it was loosely-pocket, polester Control Tower finding room closest to the pylons. He picked off the Good Doctor by a nostril in 1:52. Our Max Phactor N (Bartlett) and 1-2 fave I'm Some Graduate (Brennan) completed the close quartet, with The Real One (Pat Lachance)--beaten only a half-length--settling for the smallest pay envelope For seventh choice Control Tower, an 8-year-old Panspacificflight gelding owned by Dynasty Racing and trained by Nick Surick, it was his fifth win in 24 '19 tries. The exacta paid $155, the triple returned $518 and the superfecta (the good ol' 1-2-3-4) paid $1,159. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

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