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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 25, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway had its harness racing version of Old Home Week Saturday night... ...provided "Old Home" was Chicago. All that was missing was deep-dish pizza and Oprah. Tony Morgan-making his first Westchester appearance since September of 2012-and Brent Holland each had three wins during the dozen-race card. Morgan, he of the 15,400-plus career victories, earned a place in the local record books when pole-sitting Go Daddy Go ($13) won the $30,000 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace in a spiffy 1:50.1. The Ponder gelding, co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Bruce Soulsby, became the fourth member of the all-age-track-record club, joining Crombie A, Forty Five Red and Limelight Beach. It was also the swiftest local mile of the season. Morgan also won the co-featured $45,000 Open Pace with favored Doctor Butch ($5.30) in 1:51.2, and the $26,000, 11th race trot with a left-alone Major Athens ($4.10) in 1:53.3. That effort matched the fastest Westchester trot mile of the season with E R Ellie. Connecting the dots, "Ellie" (Larry Stalbaum, $14.40) won the co-featured $45,000 Open Handicap Trot from the pocket in 1:55. As for Holland, he upset the apple cart with American Venture ($57) in the $18,000, second-race pace (1:52), then escorted Mah Sish N ($9) in the $18,000, third-race pace. The Holland Hat Trick was completed with Moonliteonthebeach ($23.80) was a first-up winner in the $26,500 pacing finale (1:52.2). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 24, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway Friday night welcomed the Empire's glamour division in the $167,874 New York Sire Stakes Hugh Grant Pace for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $83,937 events comprised this statebred visit. The first division saw pocketed maiden-no-more Roll Away Joe (Matt Kakaley, $10.40), from post position No. 3 (in one notch after a scratch) stalk pace-setting Fine Diamond (George Brennan) through intervals of :28.2, :58 and 1:26.1. "Joe" then ducked inside, whipping Fine Diamond by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4, with Art Rooney Pace winner Missile J (Jim Morrill Jr.) a belated third as the 3-5 favorite, unable to reach from off the pace. For third choice Roll Away Joe, a Roll with Joe gelding co-owned by Steve Demeter, Thomas Lazarro and Howard Taylor and trained by Tracy Brainard, he's now 1-for-9 this season (1-for-14 career). The exacta paid $30.40, with the triple returning $72. "He was really good and the trip worked out perfectly," Kakaley said. Friday's second NYSS grouping had Brennan and pole-sitting Artmagic ($7.60) pop pocket before the half, widen the advantage down the backside and hang on for dear life. Concur (Brent Holland) made the lead before a :28.3 opening quarter-mile, then Artmagic took it away coming to the :58.2 intermission. He had a couple of lengths in and out of a 1:26.1 three-quarters and enjoyed an open lead into the lane. The hooves were getting heavy late in the game, but Artmagic found the end zone when he needed it. He held off a long-uncovered, just-over-even-money fave Craftship (Scott Zeron) by a neck 1:55.1, with Autotune Hanover (Morrill Jr.) third. The slogging final quarter tightened up the ranks, with the five cashers separated by just a length at the line and the entire octet by just 2½ lengths. For second choice Artmagic, an Art Major gelding trained by Trond Smedshammer for Purple Haze Stables, it was his first win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.20, the triple returned $53 and the superfecta (Bottom Deals [Brian Sears]) paid $682. "It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done," Brennan said. Friday's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by a from-last Mach it a Par (Zeron, $23.40) in 1:52.2 (note last week's victress and this week's eight-hole assignee Krispy Apple was scratched-lame). Frank Drucker

One of the last acts of the New York legislature before its 2016 session ended June 18 was to send a message to one of its neighbors: New York is poised to act if New Jersey moves to build casinos near the New York border. The retaliation, according to a joint resolution adopted by the Senate and Assembly, would likely include stepping up the current timetable envisioned for additional casinos in downstate New York. The resolution didn't state where precisely new casinos might go, but lawmakers have said New York City would be a prime market location to compete with casinos if they are built across the Hudson River in northern New Jersey. At issue is whether voters in New Jersey in a statewide referendum this fall agree to amend their constitution to permit two casinos to be built in the northern part of the state; Meadowlands, owned by Jeff Gural, is one of the sites being considered. Gural also owns Tioga Downs in New York's Southern Tier region and hopes to turn video gaming and harness racing facility into a full-scale, commercial casino. The resolution approved by New York lawmakers notes "the importance of protecting New York State's gaming market," as well as the revenue state government gets from casinos and racetracks, and warned "against dilution resulting from new gaming competition in neighboring states." Lawmakers have said the warning shot has a chief intended target: private financiers considering investments in potential New Jersey casinos. New York officials believe, rightly or wrongly, that investors in New Jersey might be scared off if officials on the east side of the Hudson River were to also permit casinos in such population centers as Manhattan. The theory is that New York residents, or tourists staying in Manhattan, will have no desire to travel to New Jersey if there is a casino in Manhattan or one of the other boroughs. The strategy, though, has some unanswered questions. For starters, New York in seven years can award three additional casino licenses, including in the New York City area. The long time period was built into a 2013 law that created the timetable to give four upstate casinos a chance to get off the ground and be prepared for competition. Three of the upstate casinos are now under construction, and one, near Monticello, could face serious competition if northern New Jersey casinos are open. It could face challenges if casinos were opened in New York City as well. If New York violates the terms of the 2013 law and awards three casinos license prior to the end of the seven-year period, the state would have to pay the upstate casinos $50 million each; one of the four would get slightly less. The newly adopted resolution is aimed at protecting video lottery terminal casinos that are attached to Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens and Yonkers Raceway in Westchester County, as well as the under-construction Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County in the southern Catskill Mountains. The casino at Aqueduct is run by Genting Group, which also has a major share in the Montreign project.  If New York went ahead with its casino development in New York City, that, too, could have major consequences for Aqueduct and Yonkers, which get tens of millions of dollars each year from VLTs for operating funds and purses for horsemen. That has led to speculation that New York might consider awarding full casino rights to Aqueduct and Yonkers if New Jersey expands casino gambling outside of Atlantic City. How that would work, considering the long and expensive bidding process the upstate casino licensees had to go through, is uncertain. Genting Americas, which runs the Aqueduct racetrack casino, praised New York lawmakers for the resolution aimed at New Jersey. "The Northeast casino market is a highly competitive environment which is already close to saturated,'' the company said in a statement Sunday. "It's not surprising that New York state refuses to sit idly by while New Jersey's casino referendum ... threatens thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the state's education fund—a majority of which is currently generated by Resorts World in New York City,'' the company added. "We thank lawmakers for sending a clear signal that they will stand with us and protect New York revenues and workers.'' The resolution approved by New York lawmakers notes that the new casinos upstate will generate $430 million in annual economic benefits once they open, which includes $238 million in casino tax payments to the state. "This revenue stream is vitally important to New York state's economic future," the resolution states. The non-binding resolution concludes that if New Jersey voters approve a casino expansion in November, New York lawmakers will ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo to direct the New York State Gaming Commission to perform a market study of the potential impact the New Jersey casinos may have on the state and its existing casino licensees. "If such constitutional amendment is adopted, then the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly will assess the aforementioned market study to determine what actions, including the potential for additional casino licenses, might be necessary to protect the significant contribution made by casino operations to New York state's economy," the resolution states. By Tom Precious Reprinted with permission of the Bloodhorse.com site

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, June 22, 2016 -- Yonkers Raceway's harness racing driving colony has a different look this weekend, with Messrs. Bartlett, Buter, Dube, Lachance and Stratton in Paris defending the honor of the Red, White, Blue and Westchester. Their absence offers chances for other escorts, notably in Friday night's $167,874 New York Sire Stakes Hugh Grant Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of equally-parsed $83,937 divisions go consecutively as races 7 and 8. Missile J (Jim Morrill Jr., post 6), winner of last month's $300,000 Art Rooney pace here, looms a solid choice in the first division. The American Ideal gelding, trained by Linda Toscano for co-owning stables KJ and Purple Haze, has six wins and nine board finishes in 10 seasonal starts ($227,675). Manny (Chris Lems, post 5) was getting to Missile J in their sire stakes showdown at Buffalo, missing a neck. The American Ideal colt owns a NYSS win at Monticello. Fine Diamond (George Brennan, post 1) owns a Buffalo sire stakes win. Nox Vegas Bluechip (Andrew McCarthy, post 2), Ideal Kiss (Pat Berry, post 3), Roll Away Joe (Pat Berry, post 4), Endeavor (Steve Smith, post 7) and Carlos Danger (Brian Sears, post 8) round out the opening division. Friday's second NYSS event includes pole-sitting Artmagic (Brennan), who led to the lane in the Rooney and tries for his first win of the season. Craftship (Scott Zeron, post 3) has a statebred win (Monti) and second (Buffalo) included in his recent resume,. While Autotune Hanover (Morrill Jr., post 4) rebounded from a very poor effort in the lone elim for the Rooney with a pair of sire stakes thirds. JK Heaven Sent (Eric Carlson, post 2), Concur (Brent Holland, post 5), Beaches De Vie (Smith, post 6), Bottom Deals (Sears, post 7) and Ideal Son (Vincent Ginsburg) complete the second event. Speaking of the AWOL French Connection, post positions have been drawn for Friday’s first of two races in the Parisian portion of the Drivers’ Cup. It’s the sixth race at Vincennes, contested at 2,100 meters (1 5/16 miles), with approximate post time at 10:03 PM local time (4:03 PM ET). The purse is 36,000 Euros (approx. 50,000 U-S dollars).   1 AZARO DU CAUX 2100 69 710   J.J. Bartlett d4       2 BAMBOU DE CALVI 2100 69 410   N. Ensch F4       3 BOIS LE ROI 2100 68 140   T. Buter F4       4 BETTINA D'AVRIL 2100 68 900   P. Vercruysse d4       5 BETTINA 2100 67 705   J. Stratton d4       6 ATTENTION DEVANT 2100 67 480   D. Dube d4       7 ALIBI DE FOLIE 2100 69 590   P. Levesque F4       8 AMADEO 2100 66 620 Prio. P. Lachance F4       9 BOLIDE DU GUET 2100 69 100   M. Abrivard d4       10 BE LOVE DESBOIS 2100 58 850 Prio. F. Ouvrie d4                             The competition ends with a Sunday (June 26) race, also at Vincennes. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, June 20, 2016-"Anything you can do, I can do...just as well."  Friday night, harness racing driver Jason Bartlett won six of Yonkers Raceway's 11 races, including that evening's feature with Krispy Apple. Saturday night, Mark MacDonald won six of Yonkers Raceway's 11 races, including both of that evening's co-features with Sunfire Blue Chip and Aggressive. With the six-pack gauntlet having been thrown down-twice-perhaps a third driver can join to form a "devilish" troika. For now, though, Messrs. Bartlett and MacDonald own the bragging rights. The pair entered Monday night ranked first (276 wins) and sixth (83), respectively, in local standings. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 18, 2016 - "I don't think I have anything left to say." Such was the post mortem of one harness racing driver Mark MacDonald Saturday night after winning six of Yonkers Raceway's 11 races. One night after Jason Bartlett won a happy half-dozen, MacDonald picked up that gauntlet, including taking both halves of the night's $45,000 co-features in his best-ever local work night. MacDonald chauffeured favored Sunfire Blue Chip ($5) to a down-the-road victory in the Open Handicap Pace (1:51.2). "Sunfire," from position No. 4, defeated a pocket-sitting Doctor Butch (Dan Dube) a by length, with Artistic Major (Jason Bartlett) a good, two-move third. While the pacing result was predictable, the featured trot was not so much. MacDonald and pole-assigned Aggressive ($38) edged past E R Ellie (Jordan Stratton) by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.3. Undercover Strike (Bartlett) was a steppy third, while just-over-even-money fave Luminosity (George Brennan) was a non-factor sixth. MacDonald's first win of the evening was behind a first-up Northview Punter A ($11.40) in the $18,000, second-race pace (1:52.1). He then lasted on the lead with Forty Five Red ($7) in the $22,000, fifth-race pace (1:52). After putting the two features to bed, MacDonald then swept the $591 late double with Summers Windsong ($59) in the $26,000, 10th- race trot (1:54.4), and a pocketed Sapphire City ($25.60) in the $22,000, 11th-race pace (1:52.2). Not even the MacDonald Fan Club deciphered the Saturday Pick 5, so Monday night's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,424.39 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, June 16, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway's team of five premier harness racing drivers, led by points-leader Jordan Stratton, try to say "au revoir" to their French counterparts. The group travels across the Atlantic to Hippodrome de Vincennes in Paris for the second leg of the inaugural Drivers' Cup Challenge. There's one race each next Friday (June 24) and Sunday (June 26). The first leg saw Stratton win both Yonkers' races in late March, one in a dead-heat with YR captain Jason Bartlett. The locals won the opening round, 85 points to 47. (points awarded as 17/12/9/7/6/5/4/3/2/1, with five given in the event of a scratch). In addition to Bartlett and Stratton, Tyler Buter, Dan Dube and Pat Lachance are representing Westchester against a potent French quintet of Pierre Vercruysse (captain), Matthieu Abrivard, Nicolas Ensch, Pierre Levesque and Franck Ouvrie. "I've driven at Vincennes before (in the World Driving Championship), and the track is great, "Bartlett said. "It's an honor to represent both Yonkers and the U.S." As for Stratton, he's keeping his eyes on the prize. "I have to make sure to bring a suitcase big enough to carry home the trophy," he said. Further information about the Vicennes portion of the competition shall be sent when available.  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 10, 2016--Yonkers Raceway's returns from its mid-season hiatus Monday night (June 13th), as does evening simulcasting. The five-harness racing programs per week (Mon/Thu/Fri/Sat @ 7:10, Tue @ 1 PM) schedule is back, while afternoon simulcasting continues daily. Saturday's (June 11th) 148th Belmont Stakes finds Belmont Park with an early 11:35 AM first post, meaning select mutuel windows open at 10:30 AM. As a bit of a carrot for Monday's return of live racing, there's a Pick 5 carryover of $1,207.53 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). As always, a complete schedule is available at www.empirecitycasino.com. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - A friendly reminder regarding Yonkers Raceway's mid-season harness racing intermission. The Raceway's next play date is Monday, June 13 (post time 7:10 PM). At that time, the five-program per week (Mon/Thu/Fri/Sat @ 7:10, Tue @ 1 PM) returns. Afternoon simulcasting-highlighted by the June 11th Belmont Stakes-continues to be offered during the break (save for Tue., June 7th), with evening simulcasting suspended during the hiatus. When live racing returns, it does so with a Pick 5 carryover of $1,207.53. As always, a complete schedule is available at www.empirecitycasino.com. Frank Drucker

It was as uneventful an eight-hole trip as Missile J and harness racing driver Brian Sears, (part of entry) could possibly have wished for Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. A week after winning the lone, $40,000 elim for the 26th Rooney, Missile J was blind-drawed behind the eight-ball in a field of two 3-year-old colts and six geldings. He was in play early over a track that was moisturized by a fair amount of pre-card rain. Missile J fell into an open three-hole behind pole-sitting entrymate Artmagic (George Brennan) and Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube), who left a bit wide from post position No. 2 to make sure Missile J couldn't get around him early. Artmagic had things his own way over the "good" surface, getting a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and :56.1 intermission. The leader then lost his closest pursuer, as Rodeo Rock gave up the ghost chasing a :27.2 third quarter (1:23.3). Missile J had taken out of third by then, getting into second and picking up the scent of the leader. Artmagic owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but his night was about to end. Missile J and a handful of closers rolled by, with Missile J drawing out to win by 2¼ lengths in 1:53. Second-at 37-1-went to a much-improved Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker), with Yankee Artillery (Jordan Stratton), Artmagic and Manny (Brent Holland) settling for the smaller remainder. No Shame Blue Chip (Tyler Buter), Rodeo Rock and a breaking Tap into Power (Jason Bartlett) completed the order. For Missile J, an unraced-at-2, $100,000 American Ideal gelding co-owned by Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables and trained by Linda Toscano, it was his fifth (consecutive) win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $51.50, with the triple returning $194.50. "Last week was his first (half-mile) start and he was a bit aggressive," Sears said. "Tonight, he was more relaxed and the trip, from an eight-hole, certainly worked out. I was happy with him in the elimination and happier tonight." "He just wasn't ready (last season)," Toscano said. "We had to take our time with him, and it's begun to pay off. The Rooney was always where we wanted to try him. He has (New York) sire stakes and open stakes on the schedule, and tonight was a good first step." Sears won the Rooney for a fourth time (Badlands Hanover-2008, Pet Rock-2012, In the Arsenal-2015), matching the number of one John Campbell. The race began in 1989, one year after the death of Art Rooney Sr. Frank Drucker

In late February, Kryptos (Jordan Stratton, $4.90) was in racing in 'non-winners of twos'. She obviously grew up in a hurry, the latest example coming Saturday night in winning Yonkers Raceway's $100,000 Lismore Pace for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. Sitting chilly early from post position No. 2 over a "good" oval, Kryptos watched as Soft Idea (Jason Bartlett) outleave her five inside foes, getting the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. Apple Bottom Jeans (Montrell Teague), the scourge of Delaware, yielded for the pocket, with Cut and Paste (Brian Sears) a pole-sitting third. Soft Idea found a :56.3 half and 1:25, with Kryptos out and moving from fourth, chased by slight 7-5 choice Dime a Dance (George Brennan). The leader was about to wear out his welcome in and out of the final turn, with Kryptos going by early in the lane. That one continued her move, getting the needed jump on a passing-lane-diving Apple Bottom Jeans. The former, as the second choice in the 12th Lismore, whipped the hard-charging latter by a neck in 1:53.3, with Dime a Dance third. Cut and Paste was fourth, with a tiring Soft Idea and an outrun Rock Me Baby (John Campbell) completing the six-pack. For Kryptos, an unraced-at-2, $24,000 daughter of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned (as Drennan Stable) by (trainer) Nik Drennan, it was her eighth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $20.60, with the triple returning $44.20. "It's the first time I've driven her, and Nik (Drennan) just said to give her a clean trip," Stratton said, ironically with his face covered in mud. Frank Drucker

Favored Mach it a Par (Brian Sears, $4.40) saved her best for last Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried from post position No.3, Mach it a Par watched as outside numbers Anndrovette (Jason Bartlett) and Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) lined 'em up early. The former led through early substations of :27.4 and :56.2. It was Know it All (Eric Abbatiello) moving from fourth, with the people's choice behind the one. Anndrovette continued to lead in and out of a 1:24 three-quarters, with a length-and-a-half margin entering the lane. However, she was done soon after, with Mach it a Par-fifth turning for home-going fastest when it counted. She rolled home by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:52. Second went to Tessa Seelster, who offered good pace at both ends, with a belated Al Raza N (Jordan Stratton), Lookout Stokk Zone (Tyler Buter) and Anndrovette settling for the remainder. For Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and the Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her third win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.80, with the triple returning $65. Saturday night's card finds the Raceway hosting a pair of premier stakes events for 3-year-olds in the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace (sixth race) and its companion event for the lasses, the $100,000 Lismore (fourth race). The 12-race program begins at the usual 7:10 PM . YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $3,500 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (May 28) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $3,525.24. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker

Look out boys the girls now have to be reckoned with in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. For the second time in consecutive days a gal has emerged victorious. On Wednesday night at Northfield Park, Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola scored an impressive harness racing victory and last night, May 26, at Yonkers Raceway "Hurricane Hannah" Miller won her Billings division. And in a second split where there was no female participant with a mount, "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli cruised to victory. It's no secret that the ladies are making inroads with more of gentler sex participating but especially with the emergence of Hannah Miller. Last year she won 32 races and walked away with the Dan Patch Trophy as National Amateur Driver of the Year and again this season the talented miss is picking up where she left off. Her victory last night was her 10th already this season. According to boyfriend Nick Surick, three different trainers wanted Hannah to drive their horse in the Billings at Yonkers on Thursday. So after doing some homework Hannah decided to pick Scottish Cross, a veteran trotter from the Rene Allard barn. "He's a really nice horse and he was easy to handle," Miller said of her first time behind Scottish Cross. They left hard from the two-hole and had command in a :28.2 first quarter. "Once the field settled I was looking for a breather (for my horse) and we got to the half in :59.2. From there we opened daylight on the field and we were three (lengths) in front coming off the final turn. I still had plenty of horse when we crossed the finish line." Scottish Cross traversed the mile distance in 1:59.1 and defeated Celebrity Stimulus driven by David "the Litigator" Glasser by 2-1/4 lengths. Third, some six lengths behind the winner, was Bullet Bob" Davis with Swift Blizzard. The winner is owned by Allard Racing Inc. In the second division Tony Ciuffettelli took no prisoners when he sent Star Studded Cast to the lead from the seven-hole and they were on top before the turn. They trotted by the first stanza in :28.1 and from there Ciuffetteli played catch me if you can, and nobody could, as Star Studded Cast trotted on the a five length triumph in a 1:57.3 clocking over For You Almostfree, and driver "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo. Third place went to Sam's Honeybee, driven by Billings president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. "'Star' raced big tonight," Ciuffetteli said via email after his driving victory. "My game plan was to blast off the car and find a spot but after making front so easily I decided to keep him rolling and he responded nicely. He was strong all the way to the finish." "Tough Tony" also owns and trains the winner. Both Yonkers went as non-wagering events. John Manzi

Not yet 30 years old, Quebec native Rene Allard achieved a training plateau most lifelong harness racing conditioners can only dream about. On April 14, Allard notched his 3,000th training victory with a win at Yonkers Raceway; the youngest person ever to reach that lofty peak. Rene, whose nearly $1.2 million purse earnings presently places him at the top of the list of Yonkers’ trainers in that category, was honored for his stellar accomplishment on the afternoon of May 24 by the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. The date coincided with the inaugural Yonkers’ racing card featuring commingled win and show betting pools with the wagers of punters in France. This important project, literally years in the making, was a collaborative effort by the French PMU, Yonkers Raceway management and the SOA, with regulatory permission and assistance of the New York State Gaming Commission. The endeavor is but another step taken in furtherance of the SOA’s goal to proliferate the Yonkers’ signal on a global scale. Alex Dadoyan, Executive Director

Ken Jacobs has enjoyed his share of success in harness racing, both on the national stage and at home in New York. He has campaigned horses such as Dan Patch Award winner Heston Blue Chip and stakes-winners Kenneth J, He's Gorgeous, Doctor Butch, Jewels In Hock, and Becca J, not to mention many other successful horses. He hopes he can add Missile J to the list in the future. Unraced at age 2, Missile J has won four of seven races this year and brings a four-race victory streak to Saturday's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old male pacers at Yonkers Raceway. The Linda Toscano-trained Missile J and driver Brian Sears won the single Rooney elimination last weekend at The Hilltop, but will need to fire like a rocket this weekend after drawing post No. 8 for the final. "On a half-mile track, it's very tough," Jacobs said about leaving from the outermost spot on the starting gate, which wins at a rate of 3.6 percent at Yonkers. "You need some luck. "He's a pretty fast horse and has a good attitude. He just has to stay sound. I've got the best trainer, so I'm very lucky. Very lucky. Linda and I have been together for 10 years, maybe longer, and she is very honest and loyal. I really like that. It's been a good partnership and we really enjoy each other." Missile J is a son of stallion American Ideal out of the mare Cantor's Daughter. Missile J was purchased for $100,000 under the name Newsmaker Bluechip at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. Missile J is a full brother to stakes-winner Brownsville Bomber and his family includes millionaire Cam Swifty and stakes-winner Lonesome Day. "I picked them all the same way," Jacobs said. "I have my own criteria that I go on. Once they fall into that, I look at their conformation and family. That's how I do it. If the conformation is there, that's the one I try to get. I really liked this horse. "He trained down real good last year, but he got sore so we just quit with him. He's a pretty nice horse." Jacobs owns Missile J with Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. "She said that every year I pick out winners, so could she have a piece of this one," Jacobs said, laughing. "She's such a wonderful person; she really is. She's good for the sport. She just loves the business. We're pretty good friends, so it was no problem. I'm happy Wanda is in on this horse." Missile J debuted with a ninth-place finish on Jan. 2, but since then hasn't been off the board in six races. His first win came in 1:51.1 on Feb. 20 in a conditioned race at the Meadowlands and he lowered his career mark to 1:51 with a victory at the Big M a week prior to the Rooney elimination. The triumph followed a respite of more than two months away from the races. "I gave him time off because I want him fresh for the rest of the year; we've got races all the way into November," Jacobs said. "That kind of helps him I think, giving him a little rest in between." Missile J is staked to the top races on the New York circuit and also has the Progress Pace on his schedule. "I didn't put him in the Breeders Crown or Meadowlands Pace because I wasn't sure how he was going to come back," said Jacobs, who owns a company with multiple locations in upstate New York that distributes electric motors, drives, controls, motor parts and power transmission products. "I thought he was going to be OK, but winning a couple non-winners of two (conditions) you don't know if you can go with the big guys. "He's got the Empire Breeders Classic and the New York Sire Stakes, races that I enjoy. I'm a New York kind of guy. (Driver) John Campbell calls me 'Billy Joel.' That's my nickname to him. He says I'm just a New York kind of guy. I just enjoy the racing. I have to go against the big guys; little old me, I (own) five or six horses. People think I buy 50 horses every year, but I really don't. I usually get two colts and two fillies. But I'm very passionate about it." In the Rooney final, elimination runner-up Rodeo Rock will start from post two for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Don Swick. He finished 1-3/4 lengths behind Missile J, who paced 1:53.2 for the win. Elimination third-place finisher Artmagic, owned by Purple Haze Stables and coupled with Missile J in the wagering, will start the final from post No. 1. George Brennan is listed to drive for trainer Trond Smedshammer. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $100,000 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old female pacers. For more, click here. Ken Weingartner

Odds-on favorite harness racing Fat Man's Alley (Brian Sears, $2.70, part of entry) read the memo just in time Tuesday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $70,500 final of the Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series. The series featured base $20,000 claiming males in three preliminary legs leading to this final. A gapping third early from post position No. 3, the 'Fat Man' saw Bubbie Boy (George Brennan) stroll through sedate early fractions of 28-seconds flat and :57.2. Bubbie Boy then threw down a :27.1 third quarter (1:24.1) right as Fat Man's Alley was getting his work order. The leader had a length-and-a-half advantage entering the lane, but the Fat Man Cometh. He wore down Bubbie Boy mid-stretch, eventually beating him by that length-and-a-half in 1:52.3. Innocent Victim (Dan Dube, winner's entrymate) nosed out pocket-sitting Colonial Road (Scott Zeron) for third, with Can't it Be Me (Jason Bartlett) getting the final pay envelope. For Fat Man's Alley, an 8-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Jack & Ferne Frydman, it was his sixth win in 17 seasonal starts (career earnings over $734,000). The exacta paid $7.10, with the triple returning $20. A $30,000 series consolation won by So Good I'm Bad (Eric Abbatiello, $10.40) in 1:53.2. Frank Drucker

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