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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 22, 2014--Mach's Beach Boy (Pat Lachance, $5.30) held off a two-pronged challenge Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $26,000 winners-over pace. Inheriting the pole after an inside scratch, Mach's Beach Boy saw Orillia Joe (Jordan Stratton) make the first lead. Mach's Beach Boy then moved--apparently, just in time--in front of Rockstar Temper (Dan Dube). It was Mach's Beach Boy putting up intervals of :27.4 and 57-seconds flat as BJ's Guy (Brent Holland) took out of fifth. Mach's Beach Boy maintained the advantage in and out of the 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a length lead into the lane. He then kept both Orillia Joe and BJ's Guy a bay, whipping the former by a neck in 1:53. Rockstar Temper and Stolen Car (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees. Ronny Bugatti (Mark MacDonald, three wins for second consecutive night) was a jammed-in sixth as the 6-5 favorite. For second choice Mach's Beach Boy, a 5-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by his driver for Ontario co-owners Dan Mogridge and Jeff Oborne, it was his ninth win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $68.50, with the triple returning $297.50. With seven double-figure win payoffs included in the 12-race card, the Pick 5 was--shockingly--not hit. Thus, the Sunday matinee gimmick begins with a double carryover of $7,091.34 (50-cent base wager on races 5 through 9). The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the third of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 21, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by a cone-skimming Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $15.40). Unhurried early from post position No. 6, he watched as slight 2-1 favorite Coffee Addict (Dan Dube) step around Jonsie Jones (Greg Merton). After early intervals of 27-seconds and :56.3, Let's Go Higher (Eric Carlson) moved from third. That one harassed the leader in and out of the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Coffee Addict dealt with that interloper, taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. However, she was about to give it up, leading to a blanket finish. Robin Cruiser, fourth along the cones, dove deep inside and prevailed, whipping UF Dragon's Rocket (Mark MacDonald, three winners Friday) by a three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. Last week's victress, Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett), closed from last to grab third, with Coffee Addict and Jonsie Jones settling for the minor awards. The five cashers were separated by a length-and-a-half at the wire. It was a change of tact for "Robin," who was snapped on the money in her last two starts at odds of 3-1 and 3-5. For fifth choice Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Julie Miller, was her eighth win in 29 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $125.50, the triple returned $510 and the superfecta paid $2,243. Note that since no one hit Friday's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,093.98 (50-cent base wager, races 5 through 9). The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the third of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Ducker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, November 20, 2014--The third of Yonkers Raceway's six Sunday harness racing matinees goes this weekend, with another card that overstuffed for overseas. Post time for the dozen-race dossier is a bit after 11 AM. Once again, the Sunday's card is front-loaded with trotters, with the French-based audience wagering on the first five races. Those events are all added-distance (1¼ miles) with higher purses and overflow fields (12, 12, 10, 10 and 10 horses, respectively). Included is the weekly trotting feature, a $46,000 Open Handicap (3rd race) where all 10 starters had their starting venues mandated. Yonkers has seen very strong export numbers during the first two matinees, with the folks in France (as well as Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta) wagering more than 2.8 million Euros (or more than $3.5 million US dollars) on the 10 races. The half-dozen Sundays, running through Dec. 14th inclusive, replace five Tuesday nights (through Dec. 9th). As has been the was the case from the beginning, Yonkers is enticing both its evening regulars and the Sunday early risers with any number of freebies, including... ...a free Sunday live program with the purchase of a Saturday live program (advance wagering for YR's Sunday races is available all day Saturday) ...free Sunday breakfast (egg sandwich and coffee) trackside between 10 AM-12 Noon (mutuel windows open on the track apron at 10 AM, and beginning at 10:30 AM at other areas of the track). ...free Sunday bets--a $2 daily double (races 1 & 2) and $1 exacta box (races 2, 3, 4 & 5)--to the first 200 existing (or newly-enrolled) Empire Club members between 10 AM-11 AM (all tickets are "quick picks"). Also, there's a free promotional gift (while supplies last) and a chance to win dinner for two at any of restaurants on premises. All Empire City Bets members receive a free, dollar-box triple wager (not a "quick pick") for Sunday's third race, while selected ECB members are eligible for a $10 bet/get for wagers made on the first five "French" races. In addition to Empire City Bets, several other ADW's are continuing to offer special incentives for those wagering on these Sunday matinees. Thursday, November 20, 2014—Just a friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Thursday night’s Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $3,704.27. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager offered on races 5 through 9 nightly. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Monday), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway    

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 16, 2014-Round 2 of Yonkers Raceway's "Hooves Across the Atlantic" went postward Sunday. The 12-race card again began with five French-centric, overstuffed, mile-and-a-quarter trotting fields. A dozen were behind the gate for the opener (post time 11:17 AM), with favored Fort Valley AS (Jason Bartlett, $5) winning that event in 2:27.4 for the added distance. "Everyone seems to be getting used to it (added distance)," Bartlett said. "There's more early movement in races, and I think we have learned how to drive for it. " Even the horses seemed to have read the memo. The five races featured 54 horses and just one breaker. For the second matinee program, Yonkers brought out the big guns, as Hall of Famer Mike Lachance was on hand to lend his expertise to those folks wagering in France (as well as Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta). Once again, the overseas numbers were strong, with approximately $1.45 million Euros (approx. $1.81 million US dollars) wagered on the on the five "French races." (first Sunday was $1.4 million Euros or approximately $1.75 million US dollars). The week's marquee trot, a $44,000 Open Handicap, was "regular" in both starters (eight) and distance (one mile). Eight-hole assignee Rossini (Bartlett, $32), last at the three-quarters and seventh turning for home, rolled over his rivals late, winning in 1:56.1 for a second consecutive victory. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 15, 2014- Mickey Hanover (Dan Dube, $7.70) continued his roll Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $26,000 winner-over pace. Trying to leave from post position No. 4, "Mickey" was forced to take back as Rockstar Temper (catch-driver Greg Merton) stuffed slight 2-1 choice Doctor Butch (Jordan Stratton) in behind. After a snappy :26.3 opening quarter-mile and softer (:29.1) next sub-section (:55.4 half), Mickey Hanover moved from fourth...and did so with purpose. He went up and over a tiring Rockstar Temper just before a 1:23.4 three-quarters, busting it open to four lengths entering the lane. The final margin was 4¾ lengths in 1:52. Mr. Hasani N (Eric Carlson), who lost his tow from the handy winner, did hold second, with Santanna One (Jason Bartlett), Doctor Burch and Ronny Bugatti (Mark MacDonald) rounding out the payees. Rockstar Temper tired to last (seventh), his first loss in five tries since the barn change. For second choice Mickey Hanover, a 6-year-old son of The Panderosa co-owned by his driver, his trainer (Rene Allard) and Yves Sarazin, it was his eighth win 18 seasonal starts (4-for-5 since returning to town). The exacta paid $49.20, with the triple returning $384. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the second of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 14, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett, $9.50). At the outset, it was 3-5 choice Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton) taking a very brief three-hole. She quickly took over just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile, then found a 57-second intermission. Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett), meanwhile, landed fourth from post position No. 7. After halftime, she was making second move, advancing toward "Robin" down the backside. The people's preference initially repelled that challenge in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, taking a tenuous lead into the lane. Try as she might, "Robin" could not subdue "Sue," with latter edging by late. The final margin was a neck in 1:53.4. Set Me Up (Pat Lachance), UF Dragon's Queen (Mark MacDonald) and Carolsideal (Jeff Dauplaise) completed the cashers. For second choice Rockaround Sue, a 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover co-owned by Bamond Racing & Silva Stables and trained by PJ Fraley, it was her fifth win in 33 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $20.60, with the triple returning $189. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the second of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Earlier this week the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) and Tim Rooney made a check presentation to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation of greater New York. The amateur drivers organization raised $7500 from their spring and fall trotting series and that amount was matched by Yonkers Raceway president Tim Rooney, and a total $15,000 was donated to that organization that is determined to find a cure for breast cancer. "The North American Amateur Drivers Association was proud to donate to this cause and the impetus for which came from our female amateur driver extraordinaire Monica Banca. And it was extremely gracious of Tim Rooney to match our funds which drove the contribution up to $15,000," said NAADA president Joe Faraldo. The NAADA revenues were mainly comprised of the amateur driver's nominating, starting and entry fees, along with additional funds from the organization's treasury. "And of course we'd be remiss not to thank the amateur drivers who not only participated in those races but were good enough to donate their percentages for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Foundation," Faraldo added. The oversize check presentation was made in the Yonkers Raceway winners circle on Tuesday (Nov. 12) by John Manzi, for NAASA

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, November 13, 2014-If you answered, "3,000 pounds of elbow macaroni," you can continue reading this missive. That's because the ton-and-a-half of pasta was the exact amount-give or take a two-pound bag-volunteers from Empire City, Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York assembled for distribution during their annual visit to the Food Bank for Westchester. It was ECYR's third annual visit to the Food Bank, which is located in Elmsford, about 20 minutes north of Yonkers. The gung-ho gang of about 25, including drivers Jason Bartlett and Jordan Stratton, did all of the compulsories. We're talking double-bagging, scooping, weighing (again, two-pound bags) and packing the macaroni, which shall be part of thousands of holiday meals countywide. The newbies among the group were also given a tour of the Food Bank's giant warehouse. "We often speak of people right in your own backyard who are in need," volunteer services manager Nancy Lyons said. "Well, there are 54 organizations we distribute to and partner with that are located right there in Yonkers." "It was just a couple of hours out of my day, but I could see how much it means," Bartlett-part of the scooping section--said. "I've been here each time, and if they ask again, I would be happy to return." As for Stratton, who multi-tasked between scooping and sealing, "I enjoyed it. (Jason and I) were able to work with some 'non-racing' people from other Empire City areas. Besides helping out a good cause, maybe we can turn some into racing fans." (About the Food Bank for Westchester...Incorporated in 1988, the Food Bank for Westchester is one of eight regional food banks in New York State. It acquires, warehouses and distributes more than 7.2 million pounds of food annually to 265 frontline hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs serving the estimated 200,000 Westchester residents who are hungry or at risk of being hungry. In 2013, the Food Bank served 6,204,101 meals to Westchester County residents. Based in Elmsford, NY, the Food Bank is located in a 37,000 square foot warehouse and is home to Westchester's largest refrigerator and freezer. To learn more, or to donate to the Food Bank's Turkey Drive, please visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org, or text FB4W to 88500. Located at 200 Clearbrook Road, they can be reached at (914) 923-1100) by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, November 13, 2014-It's "Matinee Sunday, the Sequel" with Yonkers Raceway set for another late-morning excursion across the Atlantic. After a very successful opener, the second of the Raceway's six Sunday matinee racing programs-post time 11 AM-goes this weekend, offering the same freebies and a return to "wagering normal." Once again, this Sunday's card is front-loaded with trotters, with the French-based audience wagering on the first five races. Those events are all added-distance (1¼ miles) with higher purses and oversized fields (12, 12, 10, 10 and 10 horses, respectively). The half-dozen Sundays, running through Dec. 14th inclusive, replace five Tuesday nights (through Dec. 9th). With the first Sunday having proven popular, Yonkers, which had limited some of the exotic wagering options on the early races, is reinstating them this time around (triples in every race, a Pick 3 beginning in the 2nd and 4th races, a third-race superfecta and a Pick 4 beginning in the 3rd race). "Despite some first-week glitches, we were very happy with the results," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. (note North American handle for the 12-race card was just under a half-million dollars-with that reduced exotics menu early-while the French-based European number [which also includes Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta] was about 1.4 million Euros, or about $1.75 million U-S dollars). "The response was better than we expected, and our fans, both on- and off-track, wanted us to return to the wagering menu they are familiar with. "I want to again express my appreciation to all involved," Galterio said. "None of this works without the help of any number of groups, including our staff and horsemen, the News York State Gaming Commission, the French PMU and simulcast partners who have accommodated our schedule change." As was the case in Week One, Yonkers is enticing both its evening regulars and the Sunday early risers with any number of freebies, including... ...a free Sunday live program with the purchase of a Saturday live program (advance wagering for YR's Sunday races is available all day Saturday) ...free Sunday breakfast (egg sandwich and coffee) trackside between 10 AM-12 Noon (mutuel windows open on the track apron at 10 AM, and beginning at 10:30 AM at other areas of the track). ...free Sunday bets--a $2 daily double (races 1 & 2) and $1 exacta box (races 2, 3, 4 & 5)--to the first 200 existing (or newly-enrolled) Empire Club members between 10 AM-11 AM (all tickets are "quick picks"). Also, there's a free promotional gift (while supplies last) and a chance to win dinner for two at any of restaurants on premises. All Empire City Bets members receive a free, dollar-box triple wager (not a "quick pick") for Sunday's third race, while selected ECB members are eligible for a $10 bet/get for wagers made on the first five "French" races. In addition to Empire City Bets, several other ADW's are continuing to offer special incentives for those wagering on these Sunday matinees. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Eight drivers with the most points in the preliminary legs of the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s fall trotting series lined up behind the mobile starting gate at Yonkers Raceway last week on November  6 and they competed for the $14,000 purse that was offered in the series finale.  Although there was plenty of action in the early going Bob Krivelin, and his trotter Current Crisis, followed cover after the half and then swung three- deep on the final turn and cruised onto an easy six-length triumph in a time of 2:00.1. When the gate sprung Bob Hechkoff gunned Get Packin to the lead  and they played hardball with Paul Minore who was up behind  Wygant Prince. After a :28.2 first stanza both trotters raced head-to-head by the half in :58.3 and at that point trailing horses moved to the second tier and Get Packin continued to led as Wygant Prince began to fade  and Wygant Prince’s tiring  forced the second tier trailers to got three wide. That group was led by Hannah  Miller and Rev It Now followed by Current Crisis and Jimmer, with Bob Davis at the lines. When the outer flow came off the final turn Current Crisis began to open up an insurmountable lead which the 8-year old Currant Cast gelding held until the photo finish camera snapped. Second under the wire was Rev It Now and Jimmer took home the show dough. The race was a non-wagering affair and presented prior to the first race on the betting card Krivelin, one of the top amateur drivers in the country, has twice represented the United States in the World Cup of Amateur Racing. His win at Yonkers was his 14th this season and 166th of his amateur driving career. Each year via their trotting series NAADA president, Joe Faraldo makes sure that money is raised for a worthy charity. This season an amount of $7500 was raised and it was matched by Tim Rooney which made a total of $15,000 for the Susan G Komen Race For The Cure of Breast Cancer.  by John Manzi, for NAADA

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 9, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's first of six Sunday matinees debuted with an enthusiastic-and curious-crowd, terrific weather and "beaucoup de chevaux" (French for 'many horses'...author cheated and looked). The half-dozen, late-morning starts (first post here was 11:19 AM ET) began with five trotting events, each one oversized (11, 12, 10, 10 and 10 horses, respectively) , "over-distanced" (1¼ miles) and exported to France. There are the usual dozen races on the card. Included in that opening quintet was the weekly trotting feature, with a vitamin-enriched dowry of $46,000 (all 12 of the Sunday races featured increased purses). Odds-on DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $3), starting from post position No. 3, held off a pocket-sitting, 62-1 NF Happenstance (Jeff Gregory) by a length in 2:25.4 for the mile-and-one-quarter. The first oversized field trot-pared down to 11 after a defection due to sickness-was won by Rossini (Dan Dube, $6). From post position No. 10 in the second tier, Rossini, as the second choice, defeated 3-2 favorite Theraputic (Brennan) by a head in 2:28 for the added distance. "It's new for all of us, horses and drivers," Brennan said after the second race.. "It's an experiment, and hopefully it catches on. We have to try something different, and I have no problem with it. Of course, I had a win and a second in the first two races, so I'm not complaining." (note Brennan finished with two wins and a trio of seconds, while Dube won thrice.) As far as wagering went, the North American numbers were $492,926 for the dozen races, and that was with a limited exotics menu for the early races. The French figures (again, first five races only) were just under $1.4 million Euros (1 Euro is a bit less than 1.25 U.S. dollars, so approximately $1.75 million). The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule now offers first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (first post 7:10 PM), and Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) beginning at 11 AM, give or take a few minutes. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 8, 2014-Aslan (George Brennan) went from first-up to first home Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 2, Aslan was away third as 7-5 choice Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) found front, seemed comfy through intervals of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.2. However, Aslan moved out and did so in a hurry. Lucan Hanover owned a length lead into the lane, but was unable to stall his rival. Aslan rolled right on by, widening to a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.3. Lucan Hanover saved second over a closing P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett), with Mach's Beach Boy (Pat Lachance) and Stolen Car (Eric Carlson) settling for the remainder. For second choice Aslan, a 5-year-old Mach Three gelding owned (as O'Sullivan Racing) by trainer Tony O'Sullivan, it was his sixth win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $19.60, with the triple returning $43.60. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the first of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) beginning this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 7, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by odds-on favorite Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett, $3.70). Assigned outside her six foes, Venus Delight, a stone closer who had run out of racetrack in her last couple, showed some rare early foot. She left into a four-hole as Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton) worked around Scandalous Hanover (Brian Sears). Cheapy early fractions (:28, :58.2) did not figure to help "Venus," as she began her second move with Campanile (Tyler Buter) second-up. Robin Cruiser maintained her lead in and out of the 1:26.3 three-quarters, up a half-length turning for home. In what turned out to a match race through the lane, Venus Delight stuck her tongue out on the money, whipping "Robin" by a nose in 1:54.4. Campanile, Scandalous Hanover and Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn Jr.) completed the cashers. For Venus Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Bamond Racing and trained by PJ Fraley, it was her seventh win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.60, with the triple returning $30.60. The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the first of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) beginning this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 8, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's harness drivers are big winners off the track, too. This Thursday (Nov. 13), nine of Yonkers' leading drivers-with more than 44,000 career victories and $535 million in career purses between them-are going to be among a contingent of Empire City/Yonkers Raceway employees and Standardbred Owners Association of New York horsemen to assist the hungry, volunteering at the Food Bank for Westchester. "Down to drive" are (alphabetically) Jason Bartlett, Eric Carlson, Dan Dube, Brent Holland, Pat Lachance Mark MacDonald, Brian Sears, Larry Stalbaum and Jordan Stratton. The eager beavers are scheduled to be at the Food Bank's operation in Elmsford, about 20 minutes north of Yonkers, from 1-3 PM. It's the third consecutive season ECYR has helped out in this worthy cause. The Food Bank's staff first hosts a tour of the giant warehouse, before putting their visitors to work packaging food to be distributed countywide throughout Westchester. "Helping such a worthwhile cause at the Food Bank has now become an annual tradition," Empire City Vice President and COO Bob Galterio said. "When our employees and horsemen volunteer their time, it makes it very special." "We're again delighted to be able to help the Food Bank for Westchester," SOA of New York president Joe Faraldo said, "We appreciate the assistance of our horsemen, the SOA staff and Yonkers Raceway management and employees. These efforts address the most basic of human needs, to be free of hunger." (About the Food Bank for Westchester...Incorporated in 1988, the Food Bank for Westchester is one of eight regional food banks in New York State. It acquires, warehouses and distributes more than 7.2 million pounds of food annually to 265 frontline hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs serving the estimated 200,000 Westchester residents who are hungry or at risk of being hungry. In 2013 the Food Bank served 6,204,101 meals to Westchester County residents. Based in Elmsford, NY, the Food Bank is located in a 37,000 square foot warehouse and is home to Westchester's largest refrigerator and freezer. To learn more, or to donate to the Food Bank's Turkey Drive, please visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org, or text FB4W to 88500. Located at 200 Clearbrook Road, they can be reached at (914) 923-1100) by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway 

With any bet there is risk and Yonkers Raceway is willing to take a gamble on a six-week experiment that could pay off handsomely down the road.   Beginning Nov. 9 and running through Dec. 14, Yonkers Raceway will conduct a live-card of racing starting at 11 a.m. every Sunday, which will now be simulcast throughout Europe.   "It's time to test the waters with this international relationship with France," said Bob Galterio, the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Yonkers.   The races will be simulcast by PMU, the French Horse Racing Association created company that is the second-largest wagering network in the work behind only Japan. The races will be available on television in Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estoria, Malta and parts of Spain.   "People in Europe are no different from people in United States," Galterio said. "They are just looking to wager on competitive races over there."   While Thoroughbred racing is more popular than Standardbred racing in many jurisdictions, Yonkers has been focusing on targeting the large global markets where standardbred racing is popular, such as Australia and New Zealand, where their signal is offered.   There is a huge market in France, where Standardbreds are just as popular as Thoroughbreds and there is no American football to compete against.   Most Sundays, most racetracks in North America have a tough time competing against the National Football League in the fall and the winter, but it works perfectly in Paris, as there is only one racetrack running on Sunday's where the action would start at 5 p.m.   "It's hard to say now but maybe we can handle $1 million Euro for the five races we will take action on," said Benoit Fabrega the director of LeTrot, which deals with France's international racing affairs.   A website has been created by the Standardbred Owners Association of New York that features statistics of drivers and trainers to help the Europeans wager on the races and it will be promoted during the simulcasts to help try and generate revenue. You can view it at www.yonkers-france.com.   "This exposure for the Yonkers racing product will produce more revenue to Yonkers and its horsemen and eventually open up a global market for American racing," said Joe Faraldo, the President of the SOA of New York. "If the overall handle is $125,000 Euros per race at a current exchange rate of $1.30 per US dollar that could very well open up this market substantially."   Currently, $1 million Euros is equivalent to around $1.33 million US dollars.   Yonkers will move their premier Friday night Trot to the Sunday card and will card races from a mile up to a mile-and-a-quarter, hoping to attract field sizes of 10 to 12 horses, while the average field size in a trotting race in Paris is around 14 horses.   "We are starting to forge an international relationship and everything seems to be moving in a more international direction," Galtiero said.   It's one of the reasons why Yonkers is bringing back the International Trot in 2015. On Oct. 25, Yonkers will offer the International Trot Preview, pitting some of the best trotters in America and Sweden before going full swing next year, trying to attract trotters from all over the world including France.   Yonkers is the first to admit that their on-track handle and attendance will suffer on those Sundays, but will try to entice fans to come to the track with free breakfast and by showing the NFL games throughout the facility. For bettors that don't make it out to the track, the races will be shown live on TVG starting at 11am ET.   "Honestly, this will be a learning process for us from the first Sunday to the last Sunday," Galtiero said. "We're going to look to see where we are at the end of the experiment versus the beginning of the experiment. It's not a money-making experiment. It's an experiment to see what's available in the future. Hopefully it works out and we can expand later on it."   To help promote the Sunday races at Yonkers, officials from the Westchester track asked and received permission from the New York State Gaming Commission to allow advance wagering on the races starting Saturday night.   "It's great that everyone's getting on board," Galtiero said. "The trainers, drivers and the Gaming Commission. Let's try things to see what sticks because we aren't going too far too fast now. Supporting the industry is better for everybody." And it's a bet Fabrega believes will be a winner, "People will discover the racing on Sunday. That's a bet we're going to make."   By Jerry Bossert, for the SOA/NY  

Yonkers Raceway is readying for the international intrigue that comes with the debut of Sunday simulcasting to France.   The first of the Raceway’s six Sunday matinee racing programs—post time 11 AM—goes this weekend, offering any number of handicapping variables.   The Sunday cards are going to be front-loaded with trotters, with the overseas audience wagering on the first five races. Those events are all added-distance (1¼ miles) with higher purses and oversized fields (12, 12, 10, 10 and 10 horses, respectively).   Included in that quintet is a dozen-horse Open, which goes as the second race during the 12-race dossier.      The half-dozen Sundays, running through Dec. 14th, inclusive, replace five Tuesday nights (Nov. 11th through Dec. 9th).   The overseas pool cannot be comingled, so the French betting won’t be included here. Toward that end, Yonkers is altering (at least for the first Sunday) the wagering format for some of the early Sunday races.   Race 1 – no triple Race 2 – no triple, no Pick 3 Race 3 – no superfecta, no Pick 4 Race 4 – no Pick 3.    “We’re optimistic our Sundays are going to prove popular,” Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. “None of this works without the help of any number of groups, including our horsemen, the New York State Gaming Commission,the French PMU and simulcast partners who have accommodated our schedule change.”   As mentioned earlier, Yonkers is enticing both its evening regulars and the Sunday early risers with any number of freebies, including…   A free Sunday live program with the purchase of a Saturday live program, advance wagering for YR’s Sunday races is available all day Saturday) Free Sunday breakfast (egg sandwich and coffee) trackside between 10 AM-12 Noon (mutuel windows open at 10:30 AM) Free Sunday bets--a $2 daily double (races 1 & 2) and $1 exacta box (races 2, 3, 4 & 5)--to the first 200 existing (or newly-enrolled) Empire Club members between 10 AM-11 AM (all tickets are “quick picks”) Also, there’s a free promotional gift (while supplies last) and a chance to win dinner for two at any of restaurants on premises.   All Empire City members receive a free, dollar-box triple wager (not a “quick pick”) for Sunday’s third race, while selected ECB members are eligible for a $10 bet/get for wagers made on the first five “French” races.   In addition to Empire City Bets, there are several other ADW’s which are offering special incentives for those wagering on these Sunday matinees. Frank Drucker      

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