Coraggioso, the New York Sire Stakes trotting champion of 2012, has been retired, according to owners Tom Durkin and Joe Spadaro. "I have one true regret about Coraggioso's career...I never got to call one of his races. If I had called them I may have run out of superlatives. It would have been very difficult to come up with new words for a horse that wins 21 times!" said Durkin, who called eight Hambletonians and who retired as the New York Racing Association track announcer in 2014. Spadaro, former deputy executive director of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund, had owned and bred trotters for years until Roosevelt Raceway closed in 1988. After his retirement eight years ago, Spadaro re-entered the harness industry and partnered with Durkin purchasing the mare, Electra Hanover (Lindy Lane) in 2010 for $12,000. Included in that deal was the foal she was carrying as well as a S.J. Caviar yearling colt. The owners met with mixed results early in their venture, but found a true star in Electra Hanover's fifth foal and their first home-bred whom Durkin named "Coraggioso," the Italian word for "courageous." The colt more than lived up to his moniker. Coraggioso capped his three-year-old season, which included victories in the Historic and the Tompkins-Geers Stakes, by winning the $225,000 NYSS trotting colt championship at Yonkers Raceway. The multiple stakes winning half-mile track specialist continued his winning ways as a four and five year old winning multiple times from the assigned 8-post in Yonkers Raceway Open Trot Handicap races before being sidelined by an injury sustained in August of 2014. Coraggioso raced 50-times with an outstanding record of 21-10-6 and taking a record of 1:52.4 in his five-year old campaign. "He proved that he belongs in the breeding shed and we feel Ohio is the state that offers the most promise for his next career, said Spadaro." Final plans for Coraggioso's retirement are being finalized and will be announced soon. For further contact call: Joe Spadaro - 518 744-5144 Tom Durkin - 516 655-6525
Yonkers Raceway's Monday harness racing program played no gender favorites. Driver Jason Bartlett won seven races, while trainer Jennifer Sabot won four. The two successfully crossed paths three times, the first with odds-on choice Little Joke ($2.20), who won the $20,000, third-race pace by 8½ lengths in a maiden-breaking 1:55. Bartlett/Sabot then prevailed with American Venture ($7.20), who won the $19,000, seventh race by 10½ widening lengths (life-best 1:50.4). Then, it was Rock My World ($3.70) in the $25,000, ninth-race pace (season's-best 1:55.2). Bartlett authored his own personal Pick 5, which included favored Midnight Dylan ($4.50) in the $19,000, sixth-race pace (1:53.4, matching a season's-best), American Venture in the seventh, with Yes You Can ($8.60) in the $25,000, eighth-race pace (life-best 1:53.2), Rock My World in the ninth and Secretsoftheknight ($14) in the $22,000, 10th-race pace (season's-best 1:53). Bartlett, who had nary a race off during the dozen races, wrapped it with a first-up Villager Beat ($34.60) in the $25,000 pacing finale (season's-best 1:52.2). Ms. Sabot's other training victory was JC Kingdom ($10) in the fifth-race pace (1:53.1, a season's-best). She won with all but one of her starters Monday evening. The Monday wagering Pick 5-as opposed to the Monday Bartlett Pick 5-attracted $20,902.74 of new money with a $10,000 guaranteed poll and a carryover of just over $4,100. The winning combination of 4/1/2/5/3 returned for every correct half-a-buck wager. Frank Drucker
The year was 1959. Interest in harness racing was at its zenith and those in the forefront felt that the sport should have international flavor. Since Europe only offered races for trotters it seemed natural that the powers behind such an international event would look across the pond to find the best trotters and bring them to race against the best that the United States and Canada had to offer. Back then the logical site of what was to be called the International Trot was Roosevelt Raceway, known in those days as the "Taj Mahal" of harness racing after a sparkling new $19 million racing facility was built and completed in 1957 with its Cloud Casino dining room. The onus of promoting the race lay upon Roosevelt Raceway's publicity and public relations department which got a tremendous boost from a harness racing friendly media including the New York Times. The inaugural racing distance was set at a 1-1/2 miles and the purse of $50,000 was huge in those days. Lew "Tootie" Barasch hunted down the horses worldwide and promoted the strong field that would participate. Representing the United States was Trader Horn; Philip Frost was Canada's entrant; Norway sent Jens Protector, while Germany was represented by Ivancourt; Italy had two entrants, Tornese and Icare IV and France sent their stalwart, Jamin. There was even an entrant from New Zealand by the name of Adept. Sure just the advent of bringing trotters across the vast Atlantic and Pacific was of utmost interest to the racing public but how was the attention of the general public captured to make the event a spectacular showcase for our sport? The French entrant, Jamin, was one of Europe's top trotters and when it was discovered that upon arriving in New York his food supply of artichokes was impounded by the Department of Agriculture, the stage became set. To stave off what could have turned out to result in a national disaster a solution had to be found. If not, Jamin would starve. He would lie at death's door. So humane societies, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, storekeepers and just private citizens, responded to the news stories flashed across the country via AP and UPI, and combed the land for the lifesaving delicacy. The search scoured along the eastern seaboard without turning up one single artichoke. But, in Monterey, California, a local grower Eugene Boggiato catapulted into action enlisting the aid of the California Artichoke and Vegetable Growers Association which assembled 120 pounds of them grown in Castroville, California and shipped them quickly to Idlewild (now JFK) Airport. Waiting for the touchdown of the mercy plane with its precious cargo was a horde of newsmen and photographers, a delegation of Raceway officials and, oh yes, a helicopter to hurry the artichokes to Jamin's stall. It all worked. It was great publicity and a fitting send off for the inaugural International Trot. The horse, energized after eating the artichokes, or so it was said, went on to win the race. Jamin held on to victory in front of a crowd of 48,000 spectators, with the Italian horse Tornese in second by half a length and betting favorite Trader Horn, the American entry, in third. Jamin toured the mile-and-a-half distance in 3:08.3. The monstrous crowd witnessed Jamin and driver Jean Riaud feed artichokes to Jamin in the winner's circle after the race. And the following year, on what was built by the Roosevelt Raceway the previous season, a crowd of 58,861 fans jammed into the state of the art racing facility to witness Holland's entrant Hairos win the second International Trot. After Roosevelt closed in 1988 the race moved to Yonkers Raceway and was last contested in 1995 when Sweden's His Majesty won the International Trot besting S.J.'s Photo and Panifesto, both American trotters. The timing seems right to bring back the International Trot especially with the inroads made by Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York which has pioneered simulcasting to Europe. The upcoming $1 million purse for the International Trot is a big leap from the original purse and with or without an exceptional sidebar, this year's edition will be a welcome return of a great event at Yonkers Raceway on October 10.
YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 24, 2015 - The next time they beat Cinamony (George Brennan, $8.10) here would be the first time they beat Cinamony here. The form spree continued Friday night, as the lass won Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Assigned outside what became her six rivals (Road Bet came up ill), Cinamony had to wait her turn before making the lead. She did so around arch enemy-and 11-10 favorite--Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. It was a :55.3 intermission before Caribbean Rose N (Brian Sears) moved from fourth, not getting all that close at a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Cinamony owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane before holding Krispy Apple at bay in 1:51.3, matching her own (along with two others) track record for 4-year-old mares. The final margin was three-quarters of a length. Third went to a non-threatening Caribbean Rose N, with Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube) and Alhambra (Larry Stalbaum) completing the cashers. For third choice Cinamony, a daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts (5-for-5 since hitting town). The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $45.20. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (first post 7:10 PM), then next Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all at 7:10 PM), with a "French-centric" Tuesday matinee (first post 1 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
Paul "the Coach" Minore is hot. He now has won three of his last four starts in amateur competition with his latest victory coming in the prestigious CKG Billings East Region Mid-Season Final at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening, July 23 when he guided his own Wygant Prince to a 2:00.2 victory, a triumph made even more impressive since it came after starting from the eight-hole. It was their second consecutive triumph together after having been victorious in a time of 1:58.3 in a Billings leg at Saratoga Raceway on July 12. The $12,000 Mid-Season Final at Yonkers was for drivers who were the top point earners thus far in the year-long amateur driver's series. The contest went to post as a non-wagering affair prior to the first race on the betting card. If Minore was somewhat dejected after having drawn post position eight no one could tell when he gunned his trotter for the lead as the wings of the mobile gate folded and they showed the way by the first stanza in a swift :28.4. After a :31.1 breather Wygant Prince passed the halfway point relatively unchallenged. However, competition came as they headed up the backside but Minore and his charge continued unfazed and they passed the three quarters alone on the lead as the timer flashed 1:30.2. As Wygant Prince headed for home he had opened up another length on his competition and cruised to a two-length triumph over Gimme The Loot and driver Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin. Third place went to Pembroke Snapshot, driven by the series top point-earner, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller. It was the fourth seasonal triumph for the winner, an 8-year-old altered son of S J's Photo owned by his driver, and trained by Taylor Gower. For Minore, it marked his fifth seasonal driving victory and 84th of his amateur career. On Friday (July 24) the Mid-west Region Mid-Season Final for the top point earners in that division, will be contested over the five-eighths mile oval at The Meadows. by John Manzi for the Billings Series
Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester is a name familiar to everyone in the sport of harness racing. The 4-time Hambletonian winner excels at developing young trotters. Sylvester will once again have some of his young trotters on display at Yonkers raceway this Tuesday afternoon. The 3yo trotting colt Talbot Hercules leaves from post 4 in Race 5 and the 3yo trotting filly A List Lindy leaves from post 4 in race 10. But the lure isn't a New York Sire Stakes event; it's the increased purses that have been implemented at the hilltop oval for horses that are non-winners of two, four and six pari-mutuel races. Beginning in July, Yonkers significantly raised purses for younger horses. The new purse levels mean the nw2 class races for $20,000 each week, the nw4 for $25,000 and the nw6 for $30,000. Grand Circuit horsemen that might not routinely race at Yonkers took immediate notice of the purse increases and of those Sylvester and Frank Antonacci, Jr. picked up their first wins of the season at Yonkers during the inaugural week the increased purse levels were implemented. The recently concluded USTA summit on finding ways to increase breeding and attract new racehorse owners unanimously supported what Yonkers had already put in place: directing more purse funds to younger horses. The thought being that yearling buyers need an attractive place to race horses that don't end up being stakes winners. On the Tuesday afternoon card at Yonkers Raceway, eight of the 12 races are comprised of these newly elevated nw2, nw4 and nw6 classes. There have also been other recent changes on the Yonkers Raceway condition sheet. The Yonkers race office incorporated some recommendations from the SOA of NY membership for more high priced claiming races. With the approval of Yonkers GM Bob Galterio, the Yonkers race office carded and filled $40,000, $50,000 and $75,000 claiming races this past week, which provide a new dynamic to the weekend cards. The next major change coming to Yonkers will be the return of the finish line to its more traditional half mile location. If approval can be received from the New York Gaming Commission soon, the change could be implemented prior to the $1 million International Trot on October 10. Interest in the International Trot continues to grow, with inquiries coming in from New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Belgium and other parts of Europe. Some invitations for the International Trot should begin to be extended in the not too distant future.
Young Ladies on Parade" was the theme at the harness racing meeting on Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Clyde Hirt Pace for 2-year-old fillies. Three divisions, at $48,941 per, comprised the event. Soft Ideal (Jim Morrill Jr.) couldn't even wait for the wagering to begin, winning both the draw and the non-betting event. The daughter of American Ideal sat patiently pocketed, then ducked inside. She whipped pace-setting American Ivy (Brian Sears) by a length-and-three-quarters in a life-best 1:56.2. Dime a Dance (George Brennan) was third. For Soft Ideal, trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners The Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable (a Harvey Nagler production), Little E LLC and South Mountain Stables, it was her second (NYSS) win in three tries. The second sire stakes event saw odds-on Vino and Formaggio (Jason Bartlett) stuff Killing 'Em Softly (Brennan, $6.40) in behind early, only to watch her ease past late. The second choice, from post position No.4 after an inside scratch, whipped the favorite by a length in 1:57.3. Rockin' Date (Matt Kakaley) was third. For Killing 'Em Softly, an American Ideal miss trained by Casie Coleman for co-owners Andrew Harris and West Wins Stable, it was her second (NYSS) win in as many starts. The exacta paid $11.60, with triple wagering cancelled due a short (five-horse) field. The evening's final statebred event saw No Clouds Bluechip (Sears, $12.60) try to leave, take back, then go first-up to first home in maiden-breaking/night's-fastest 1:56. From post No. 3, she went over a tiring Wishy Washy Girl (Bartlett), then widen to win by 2¼ lengths. Mother of Art (Kakaley) was second, with Penpal (Pat Lachance) third. Wishy Washy Girl tired to fourth, while 9-10 favorite Freeze Out (Marcus Miller) was a non-factor sixth. For fourth choice "No Clouds," a daughter of Roll With Joe trained by John Berger for co-owners Barbara Berger and Richard & Farrell Carney, she's now 1-for-4 to begin her career. The exacta paid $71, with the triple returning $361. The Raceway's live season continues Tuesday afternoon (first post 1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (post time 7:10 PM) Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 18, 2015 - After a couple of starts failing to grasp the "left foot, right foot" concept, Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter, $12) picked a good night to have a good night. The $120,000 son of Art Major turned in a solid, maiden-breaking effort Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $107,500 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. It's the Raceway's premier "open" stakes event for first-season pacers. Winning the draw in the field of seven colts and a lone (Artmagic) gelding, "Autotune" stung 7-10 favorite Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker) a bit. Artmagic (Mark MacDonald), a 57-1 outsider, was also put in play early, resulting in a spiffy, 27-second opening quarter-mile. "Tailgunner," one of two elimination winners a week ago, continued through a rated, :29.4 next subsection (:56.4 half). He took the gang down the backside before Autotune Hanover made his move. It was decisive. Autotune Hanover rolled from third, getting past the non-resisting fave at the 1:26.1 three-quarters. He then opened a length-and-three-quarters turning for home, only to widen from there. His closest pursuers had interesting trips. Do Over Hanover (Jason Bartlett), also an elim winner, was done no favors from the eight-hole and was out the entire mile. Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube), jammed in be the half while a handful to handle, extricated himself and appeared to impede Gleneagles (George Brennan). Autotune Hanover's final margin was four lengths in 1:54.3, second-fastest Sheppard ever (Hail the Taxi's 1:54.1 in 2012). Rodeo Rock edged past "Do Over" for second, then survived an inquiry to stay there. War-N-Munn (Eric Goodell) and Endeavor (Pat Lachance) completed the cashers, while Artmagic, Tailgunner Hanover and Gleneagles rounded out the order. For third choice Autotune Hanover, co-owned by (trainer) Mark Harder, Peter Paul Venturini, Deena Frost and Rick Phillips, it was that first win in three career starts. The exacta paid $71, with the triple returning $387. "Mark (Harder) just told me to drive him with confidence," Buter said. "Last week (in elims), he went a bit sideways, but as soon as he hit the track tonight, he felt completely different. Mark said he changed some things up, and he was much better. "These are 2-year-olds, after all." Saturday's pair of $48,000 Open Handicaps were won by eight-holers... --(Trot), Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $5) in 1:53.3, fastest local mile of the season; --(Pace) Great Vintage (Dube, $10) in 1:51.1. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (first post at 7:10 PM), featuring the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Clyde Hirt Pace (2-year-old fillies). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 17, 2015 - It was assigned as a two-horse race, wagered as a two-horse race and contested as a two-horse race. Favored Cinamony (George Brennan $4.20) was able to the get the jump on rival Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) Friday night and that proved enough. The formful miss went the distance, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Cinamony, starting from post position No. 7 directly inside of her foe, was not about to waste that advantage. She led at every station (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25, 1:52.2), while Krispy Apple, as the second choice, tucked in fourth before making her second bid. The former whipped the latter by a length-and-a-quarter, with Alhambra (Larry Stalbaum), Caribbean Rose N (Tyler Buter) and Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube) settling for the small change. For Cinamony, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts (4-for-4 since hitting town). The exacta (those two wagering choices) paid $9.70, with the triple returning $53.50 The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (first post at 7:10 PM), featuring the $107,500 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 17, 2015-- Three days after France celebrated Bastille Day, Yonkers Raceway celebrated Bastille Night. Bastille, the trotter, wired his foes in Friday night's $25,000 second race, going the distance in 1:56.4. The Ronald Knigge 9-year-old Revenue S homebred, trained by his daughter, Ashley, and driven by Jason Bartlett, paid $6.40 as the slight wagering favorite. Bastille won his second race in 18 seasonal starts while going past $577,00 in career earnings. Frank Drucker
National Seelster (Andy Miller, $13.20) ripped out of the pocket and ripped past a prohibitive favorite Thursday night, throwing down the gauntlet with the fastest of three efforts during the harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway's $168,375 New York Sire Stakes Hugh Grant Pace night. Leaving alertly from post position No 6 in the first $56.125 event for 3-year-old pacing colts/geldings, National Seelster made the first lead. He then gave up the baton to 1-4 choice Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett) right at a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Southwind Massimo (Pat Lachance) was away third. Arque Hanover found a 56-second intermission and 1:23.4 three-quarters, with no outer pressure whatsoever. He took a length lead into the lane, but National Seelster was more than ready for his second move. He went up and over "Arque," winning by a length-and-quarter in a certifiably-snappy 1:51.1. Arque Hanover held second over Southwind Massimo. For second choice National Seelster, an (unraced at 2) son of Bettor's Delight trained by Chris Ryder for co-owners Robert Mondillo and Oompa's Farm, it was his seventh win in 13 seasonal starts (4-for-4 in NYSS competition). The exacta paid $22.60, with the triple returning $86.50. "He's just a perfect colt," Ryder said. "Does whatever you ask, gets around any surface. We may try the Adios next, depending upon how many of those 'killers' are there." Thursday's other Grant events were won by Betting Exchange (Jim Morrill Jr., $2.10) getting off the seasonal schneid in 1:53.3, and Americanprimetime (Bartlett, $19.80), holding off 59-1 Rock in Heaven (Dave Miller) in a season's-best 1:52.4. The former, Bettor's Delight colt trained by Tom Fanning for co-owners himself, Howard Taylor and Susan Kajsfasz, zipped well past $300,000 in career cash. The exacta (Penji Hanover [Mark MacDonald] second) paid $4.50 (two wagering choices, with the triple (K-Rock [Yannick Gingras] third) returning $27.80. The winning margin was two lengths. For fourth choice Americanprimetime, a son of American Ideal trained by Rick Dane Jr. for owner Rock and Roll Stable, he's now 2-for-9 this season. The exacta paid $148.50, the triple (Artistic Major [Scott Zeron] third) returned $1,548 and the superfecta (17-10 choice A Bettor Hat [Brian Sears] fourth) paid $12,135 (base $2 payout). The winning margin was a half-length. The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday (both at 7:10 PM), with Saturday night featuring the $107,500 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
Elimination winners Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker) and Do Over Hanover (Jason Bartlett) drew post position Nos. 3 and 8, respectively, for Saturday night's $107,500 final of one time honoured harness racing freshman races, the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. Yonkers' premier event for "open" 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings honors the man who made Hanover Shoe Farms North America's leading standardbred breeding operation. Fittingly, both elim winners are Hanover-breds. "Tailgunner," a $50,000 Well Said colt co-owned (with Joe Sbrocco, Frank Baldassare and Howard Taylor) by his trainer/driver, has won two of three career starts. He romped a week ago, never giving any of his rivals a shot in a 6¼-length victory. His life-best 1:56.1 effort was the exact same time as Do Over Hanover's maiden-breaking, 3¾-length win in the earlier elimination. The $25,000 Western Ideal colt is trained by Jim Campbell for co-owners Jeffrey & Michael Snyder and Robert Unice. The Sheppard, carded as the fifth of a dozen Saturday races (approximate post time 8:30 PM), drew out as such...1-Autotone Hanover (Tyler Buter), 2-War-N-Munn (Dan Dube), 3-Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker), 4-Artmagic (Mark MacDonald), 5-Rodeo Rock (Dube also listed), 6-Endeavor (Pat Lachance), 7-Gleneagles (George Brennan), 8-Do Over Hanover (Jason Bartlett). The Raceway's live season continues Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
Statebreds returned downstate on Monday night at the harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway when the track hosted the $149,524 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Four divisions comprised the event, which played out rather formfully. Odds-on number Andrew Goldstein (Kim Crawford, $3.50) did his damage in the opening ($36,856) division. Pocketed from post position No. 4, he rolled right over Gremlin Wilson (John Cummings Jr.), then widened to win by four lengths in a maiden-breaking 2:00.4. Second went to Rose Run Ransom (John Plutino), with "Gremlin" lasting for third. For Andrew Goldstein, an RC Royalty gelding trained by his driver for owner Steven Goldstein, he's now 1-for-2 to begin his career. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $14.20, with the triple returning $58. "We're just trying to uphold the Goldstein name," the chauffeur said the of connections who've enjoyed a fair amount of success with Crawford-trained and driven/Goldstein-surnamed trotters. Brian Sears doubled his fun, winning the second and third events ($37,556 each) with popular numbers Dayson ($3.10) and Reve Royale ($3.40). The former, a Conway Hall gelding, strolled from post No. 5. He whipped a steppy Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) by 2¼ lengths in 2:01 for a second consecutive NYSS/career victory. The Perfect Lindy (Mark MacDonald) was third. Dayson is trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret and Amy Butler. The exacta paid $12, with the triple returning $79. Reve Royale, a son of RC Royalty leaving from post No. 4, was patiently pocketed before getting his marching orders. He rolled home by four lengths in 2:01 for a second consecutive NYSS/career victory. Cupid (Trond Smedshammer) cut the early portion of the mile and held second, with Dante (Ake Svandstedt) third. Reve Royale is trained by George Ducharme for co-owners Paul Fontaine (in attendance), Raymond Campbell Jr. and Alfred Ross. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $140. "We think he has a lot of talent and a good turn of speed," Ducharme said. "We're just trying to teach him as we go along." The evening's final ($37,556) sire stakes division saw second choice Credevie (Smedshammer, $6), from post No. 7, leave for a seat then prevail from second-over in a night's-fastest (and maiden-breaking) 2:00.3. Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) chased the winner home, beaten three-quarters of a length in a parimutuel debut, with Chargin' Cadet (Ray Schnittker) third. Allerage Echo (Sears) was a non-threatening fourth as the 17-10 favorite. Credevie, a Credit Winner gelding trained by Smedshammer for owner Purple Haze Stables, is now 1-for-2 to begin his career. The Raceway's live season continues with a "French-centric" Tuesday matinee (post time 1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 11, 2015 - Two-year-olds were prominent Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting a pair of eliminations for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. A baker's dozen worth of plebes went it at in their $25,000 elims, with the first four finishers in each back for next Saturday's (July 18) $107,500 finale. Jason Bartlett, who won half the evening's dozen races, included wagering choice Do Over Hanover ($5) among that list. The pole-sitting, $25,000 Western Ideal colt won the evening's first elimination, defeating first-starter Gleneagles (George Brennan) by 3¾ lengths in a maiden-breaking 1:56.1. Second and third choices Autotone Hanover (Tyler Buter) and Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube) both survived breaks-and a judges' inquiry-to finish third and fourth, respectively. For Do Over Hanover, trained by Jim Campbell for co-owners Jeffrey & Michael Snyder and Robert Unice, it was that first career win in a couple of starts. The exacta paid $37.60, with the triple returning $143. The second elimination saw Joe Larry N Curly (Brennan), sent off at 1-10 odds and the reason show wagering was taken off the table, fail to get the memo. He jumped it off wildly leaving the gate, winding up distanced. That left Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker, $23.40) in a race by himself, doing his business-from post No. 6-from an open lead. He won by 6¼ lengths in an identical (and life-best) 1:56.1 Endeavor (Pat Lachance), Artmagic (Brian Sears) and War-N-Munn (Dube) also earned their way into the final. For third choice Tailgunner Hanover, a $50,000 Well Said colt co-owned (with Joe Sbrocco, Frank Baldassare and Howard Taylor) by his trainer/driver, it was his second win in three '15 tries. The exacta paid $130, with the triple returning $544. Note that since no one took down Saturday's Pick 5, Monday night's gimmick-already with a $10,000 guaranteed pool-begins with a carryover of $4,726.64 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (7:10 PM), a "French-centric" Tuesday matinee (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 10, 2015 - Favored Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $5.30) left here a beast and returned just as ornery Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The 8-5 choice, ordered outside of her seven rivals, tucked into fifth...a job made much easier since the three horses directly inside of her were all off the gate. Set Me Up (George Brennan) laid down the law early (:27.3, :56), not seeing any competition until Alhambra (Larry Stalbaum) took out of third nearing the 1:24.1 three-quarters. That allowed Krispy Apple to grab a tow. Set Me Up owned a tenuous lead into the lane, but the gate crashers were arriving. It was Krispy Apple-back in Westchester for the first time since late May-going widest and fastest. She whipped a pocket-sitting Road Bet (Dan Dube) by a length in a season's-best 1:52.1. Third went to Caribbean Rose N (Brian Sears), with Alhambra and Set Me Up also settling for the small change. For Krispy Apple, a 7-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by Joe Davino & Bamond Racing and trained by Jeff Bamond Jr., it was her fifth win (fourth consecutive here) in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.20, with the triple returning $130.50. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with a pair of $25,000 eliminations for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace (2-year-old colts and geldings). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
How many Aussie teenage girls can say that they have driven the highest ever money earner in harness racing history? Just one I'd suspect. Brittany Graham got the thrill of a lifetime when she was given the reins to jog equine superstar Foiled Again today. She took the winner of $7 million and counting out for his daily track work and couldn't believe who she was sitting behind. Graham said if you didn't know it you wouldn't think he was so special. "He might be the fastest pacer I've ever driven but he is also the slowest jogger on the track," Graham said. Last month, Ron Burke trainee Foiled Again, an 11 year-old pacer became the first three time champion of the Northfield Park (CA) Battle of Lake Eirie and took his lifetime stakes to more than $7 million. The old man of harness racing is definitely one of a kind and in recent years has rewritten US trotting history books with multiple million dollar seasons, around 60 x $100,000+ race wins and a unique ability to win on all tracks regardless of the shape or size. 19 year-old Graham and travelling mate Trent Moffat are the recipients of Queensland harness racing's Mercedes Benz Centenary Classic (Toowong) Young Achiever Award and are currently experiencing their prize of and educational trip to North America where they are being mentored by US champion expat Aussie trainer Ross Croghan. The pair have been working horses at Gateway Farms in New Jersey during their stay and are soon to hit the racetrack. Moffat will make his US driving debut tomorrow at Yonkers Paceway driving in the first race on the card against a line up of super star US drivers. David Aldred