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Yonkers Raceway's million-dollar International Trot features contestants from six countries, one of which a lucky Empire Club member gets to visit. Here's how it works...current and newly-enrolled (as of International Trot Day, Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10th) Empire Club members shall be given a scratch-off card (one per member), revealing one of the countries (Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and United States) represented in the race. Members are then asked to deposit their cards in that country's entry box--located on the track apron--before 4 PM. After the International, a ticket is to be drawn from the first-, second- and third-place finishers, based on the official order. The card from the winning country earns a trip to that country. Should the good, ol' U-S of A win, it's a trip anywhere in this country. The card selected from the second-place finisher gets a night out in New York City, while the card selected from the third-place finisher receives a dinner for two at any ECYR restaurant, plus $250 cash. International Trot mugs are awarded to other cards selected after the top three prizes. For further information, please visit The alphabetical list of International Trot participants, with their "home" countries, are... BBS Sugarlight (Norway) Bee a Magician (Canada) Creatine (United States) Mosaique Face (Sweden) Natural Herbie (United States) Oasis Bi (Italy) On Track Piraten (Sweden) Papagayo E (Norway) Rod Stewart (Italy) Timoko (France). Several other International Trot-related promotions and giveaways shall be announced in the coming days. Again, please note the International is part of a matinee card, with first post at 2 PM and the race itself going at approximately 3:10 PM. The race is to be drawn Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 6th. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 5, 2015-The fact that 7-10 favorite Habitat (Brian Sears, $3.40, part of entry) easily won Yonkers Raceway's 61st Yonkers Trot Saturday night is the lead, but there were so many sidebars, where do we begin? Let's not gloss over the champion, however. Habitat-from post position No. 5-made short work of his seven rivals in the half-million-dollar second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. After his entrymate, Crazy Wow (George Brennan) broke early directly outside of him, Habitat worked the lead around pole-sitting Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer). Hambletonian winner Pinkman (Yannick Gingras), in play from post No. 7, found a very predictable seat in front of stablemate/entrymate French Laundry (Corey Callahan). The early fractions (:27.4, :57) played into the hooves of the leader. First to move (from fifth) was Southwind Mozart (Dan Dube), and when he did, out came French Laundry. That one was just trotting in place, dutifully waited for Pinkman to extricate himself from cones. He did, going after Habitat toward the 1:26 three-quarters. Habitat, for his part, said good-bye to everyone soon after, opening a four-length lead entering the lane. The final margin was 3½ lengths in 1:54.4...second-fastest Trot contested here (Archangel's 1:54.1 in 2012 remains the local 3-year-old trotting colt record). Pinkman crossed the line second, with Southwind Mozart third. As for Pinkman-gingerly-handled late in his elimination a week ago-he bore in during the final turn here, getting too close with Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer). That forced Billy Flynn (Jason Bartlett) off-stride and inside the cones. It took Smedshammer to lodge an objection, leading to a prolonged review. After which, Pinkman was set down from second to fifth for interference, while French Laundry (his betting buddy), who crossed the line fourth, was, by rule, placed sixth (behind the affected Billy Flynn). That moved Southwind Mozart up to second and Buen Camino up from fifth to third. Billy Flynn was placed fourth, with misbehavers Workout Wonder (Mark Macdonald) and Crazy Wow rounding out the order. For Habitat, a elimination-winning 3-year-old son of Conway Hall, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stables, it was his seventh win 14 seasonal starts ($570,434). The exacta paid $30.40, with the triple returning $74.50. "I was able to get Pinkman behind me. I knew he struggled a bit last week," Sears said. "My horse is a handy horse. I had driven four of the eight horses in the race, so I knew the competition very well, which always helps." Sears won his second Trot, but his first here (Strong Yankee, 2005 [Freehold]). After winning the Hambo catch-driving Pinkman, he has the distinction of taking the first two-thirds of the Crown with two different horses. As for the chances a completing a Sears-driven Triple Crown in the Oct. 10 Kentucky Futurity, "Nope. I plan to be here with Bee a Magician in the International Trot." Frank Drucker

Harness racing driver Trond Smedshammer and his horse Buen Camino will hope to finish Saturday's $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters the same way they start it -- No. 1. Buen Camino drew post one for the Yonkers Trot and will try to use the advantageous starting position, from which horses win at a 20.3-percent rate at Yonkers, to upset powerful entries from the stables of trainers Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke. Buen Camino, who is trained by Smedshammer, is 6-1 on the morning line. Takter's entry of French Laundry, who drew post two, and Pinkman, from post seven, is the even-money favorite in the race. Burke's entry of Yonkers Trot elimination winners Habitat, from post five, and Crazy Wow, post six, is 6-5. The Yonkers Trot is the second leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who finished second to Crazy Wow in his elimination, won the first jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. It is the first time the Hambletonian winner is competing in the Yonkers Trot since Glidemaster capped the sport's most recent Trotting Triple Crown sweep by winning the event in 2006. The final leg of this year's Trotting Triple Crown is the Kentucky Futurity, Oct. 10 at The Red Mile in Lexington. In addition to the Yonkers Trot, Yonkers on Saturday hosts the $500,000 Messenger Stakes, which is the second leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Dealt A Winner, who won the first jewel, the Cane Pace, will start the Messenger from post five with Jason Bartlett driving for trainer Mark Silva. Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race. The Yonkers Trot is race six, at 8:50 p.m. approximately, and the Messenger is race eight, at 9:30 p.m. approximately. Buen Camino finished third in his Yonkers Trot elimination, behind Crazy Wow and Pinkman. He also started from post No. 1 in the elimination. "The draw couldn't have been better," said Smedshammer, who won the Trotting Triple Crown with Windsong's Legacy in 2004. "Obviously, a couple of those horses (in the Yonkers Trot) have a little more power. He's going to have to get lucky with a trip, but he certainly can get a nice piece of it from the rail. "He'll have to be better than he was last week. I think he can be. I thought he was better in his last two starts than he was in the elimination. We'll see if we can get him on his toes a little more for the final. But it would be a little bit of a shocker if he could pull it off." Buen Camino, owned by Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables, entered his Yonkers Trot elimination off New York Sire Stakes victories at Yonkers and Saratoga. The triumphs followed a lengthy layoff because of sickness and ulcers. "It was a little bit of a rough time for him in midsummer, but he's bouncing back now," Smedshammer said. Buen Camino, a son of stallion Cash Hall out of the mare Baby Bella, has posted three wins, two second-place finishes and a third in seven races this season. His only off-the-board finish came on a big track, at Vernon, and his two runner-up efforts -- to Habitat and Workout Wonder -- were by a head and a nose, respectively. For his career, Buen Camino has won seven of 14 starts and finished among the top three a total of 12 times, earning $296,021 in the process. He was third in last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at Yonkers, behind Crazy Wow and Wings Of Royalty. He has three lifetime victories on Yonkers' half-mile oval. "I don't know if he can go with them on a big track; a small track, that's his advantage," Smedshammer said. "Anything can happen on any race on a half. At least I have a horse that's used to a half and is quick out of the gate and quick around the turns." Pinkman, who was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, heads to the Yonkers Trot with 14 career wins in 19 starts. He has earned $1.74 million lifetime, thanks in part to victories this year in the Hambletonian, Beal Memorial, and Zweig Memorial. His stablemate, French Laundry, has won 10 of 22 career races and earned $443,017. He was the 2014 Kindergarten Classic champion. Crazy Wow, who was not eligible to the Hambletonian, brings a three-race win streak to the Yonkers Trot final. His victories this year include the Colonial and Empire Breeders Classic. He has won 11 of 21 lifetime races and earned $795,465. Habitat, who won this year's Dexter Cup and last year's Wellwood Memorial and Matron Stakes, has captured 13 of 26 career starts and earned $854,841. Following is the field in post order for the Yonkers Trot with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Buen Camino, Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 6-1 2. French Laundry, Corey Callahan, Jimmy Takter, 1-1 3. Southwind Mozart, Daniel Dube, Ake Svanstedt, 10-1 4. Billy Flynn, Jason Bartlett, Staffan Lind, 20-1 5. Habitat, Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 6-5 6. Crazy Wow, George Brennan, Ron Burke, 6-5 7. Pinkman, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 1-1 8. Workout Wonder, Mark MacDonald, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA      

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - The two harness racing lads with Triple Crown aspirations - Pinkman and Dealt a Winner - are going to have to work for their respective second jewels Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting both the half-million dollar Yonkers Trot and the equally-pursed Messenger Stakes. Post time for the 13-race card is the customary 7:10 PM, with the 61st Trot going as the sixth race (approximate post 9 PM) and Messenger No. 60 as race No. 8 (approx. 9:40 PM). Hambletonian champion Pinkman drew post position No. 7, with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. Gingras is looking for his first Trot victory, while Takter, who for years couldn't win this race, now seemingly can't lose it. He trained last season's winner (Nuncio), his fourth Yonkers Trot win the past six editions. Pinkman, a 3-year-old gelding son of Explosive Matter, was second in his elimination race a week ago after getting babied around the final turn. His chief combatant, defending New York Sire Stakes champ Crazy Wow, landed right inside at post No. 6. Crazy Wow defeated Pinkman by a length a week ago in 1:55.4. George Brennan gets the finale assignment for trainer Ron Burke, whose other entrant, Habitat (Brian Sears, post 2) won last week's second elim (1:55.3) with Gingras doing the honors. The field for Yonkers Trot No. 61... 1- Buen Camino by Cash Hall - (Trond Smedshammer), 2- French Laundry by Muscles Yankee - (Sears also listed), 3- Southwind Mozart by Muscle Hill - (Ake Svanstedt), 4- Billy Flynn by Cantab Hall - (Jason Bartlett), 5- Habitat by Conway Hall - (Sears), 6- Crazy Wow by Crazed - (Brennan), 7- Pinkman by Explosive Matter - (Gingras), 8- Workout Wonder by Conway Hall - (Dube). Note French Laundry and Pinkman coupled, as are Habitat and Crazy Wow. Dealt a Winner, he of the 26-1 upset in the Cane Pace, drew post No. 5 in the Messenger Stakes. The 3-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding is trained by Mark Silva for owner Jeff Snyder. He's partnered Saturday with Rock N' Roll World (Dube, post 6). Adios winner Dude's the Man (Brennan) starts from the pylons here, with Art Rooney Pace champ In the Arsenal (Sears) landing the three-hole. The entire Messenger field is as such... 1- Dude's the Man by American Ideal - (Brennan), 2- Revenge Shark by Cam's Card Shark - (Gingras), 3- In the Arsenal by American Ideal - (Sears), 4- Roland N Rock by Rocknroll Hanover - (Dube also listed), 5- Dealt a Winner by Cam's Card Shark -  (Bartlett), 6- Rock N' Roll World by Rocknroll Hanover - (Dube), 7- Rollin' Ring Afire by Rocknroll Hanover - (Tim Tetrick), 8- National Seelster by Bettor's Delight - (Eric Carlson). Program changes are scheduled to be made Wednesday morning Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 29, 2015 - New York did itself proud Saturday night, as harness racing Empire-breds won both $40,000 eliminations for Yonkers Trot No. 61. Yonkers Raceway's premier trotting event drew 11 3-year-olds-eight colts and three geldings-for the second jewel of that gait's Triple Crown. When the stone dust settled, it was a pair of Ron Burke entities, Crazy Wow (Tim Tetrick, $5.30) and Habitat (Yannick Gingras, $6.30) who led the lads into next Saturday's (Sept. 5) half-million-dollar final. Saturday's first elim saw another statebred, Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer), win the draw and the early battle. He seated everyone, including Crazy Wow from post position No. 2 and Hambletonian champ Pinkman (Gingras) next door in post No. 3. Buen Camino led through intervals of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27.2, with 1-2 favorite Pinkman advancing from third. Pinkman then seemed to pull himself up, as Buen Camino owned a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. Crazy Wow ducked in-cutting inside at least one pylon--and went by, whipping a resurgent Pinkman by a length in 1:55.4. The winner had to survive an inquiry before the result was certified. Buen Camino held third over a closing Workout Wonder (Dan Dube)-both getting berths in the final--with Wings of Royalty (catch-driver Brian Sears) last at every stations. For second choice Crazy Wow--last season's New York Sire Stakes frosh champ--a son of Crazed co-owned by Deo Volente Farms & Our Horse Cents Stable and J&T Silva Stables, it was his sixth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.40, with triple wagering not offered to the small field. "He was very good last week (winning Pocono's Colonial) and just as good tonight," Tetrick said. "Things were a bit tight in the last turn, but he needed to trot, he did." As for Pinkman, "He did start to get away from me a bit in the last turn, and I didn't want to lose him," Gingras said. "So I had to steady him, and showed his class by trotting well in the lane." Gingras had such issues with Habitat, who, after a brief seat third from post No. 5, went the distance (:29, :58.4, 1:27.2 1:55.3) in the second elimination. The job of the second choice was made much easier when 3-5 fave Centurion ATM (Ake Svanstedt) couldn't get out of his own way behind the and again past the half. The other Svanstedt-trained (though uncoupled) number, Southwind Mozart (Dan Dube) chased from a loose pocket, beaten a couple of lengths. Billy Flynn (Jason Bartlett) and French Laundry (Sears) also earned seats at next week's table, while Massive Lightning (Tyler Buter) and a foul-gaited Centurion ATM did not. For Habitat, a son of Conway Hall, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stables, he's now 6-for-13 this season. The exacta paid $67, with the triple returning $287. "Once I saw (Centurion ATM) make a break, there was no reason not to cut the mile," Gingras said. "He was very good, no issues." Saturday night's $48,000 Open Handicaps were won by faves... --(Trot), Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $3.90) in 1:54.4; --(Pace), Dynamic Youth (George Brennan, $5.60) in 1:51. Special props to Take My Picture, the 8-year-old Classic Photo gelding whose third-place finish in the Open 'Cap Trot made him a career millionaire ($1,004,146). The open draws for both Yonkers Trot No. 61 and the $500,000 Messenger Stakes No. 60 (only eight entrants, so no elims) take place Tuesday morning. Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 26, 2015--After two decades, the return of Yonkers Raceway's International Trot is within sight, thus it makes perfect sense that the field of world-class harness racing participants is beginning to take shape. With just under seven weeks until the million-dollar event--Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10th, to be precise--the connections of Bee a Magician and Magic Tonight have offered unqualified commitments. Bee a Magician, the triple millionairess and 2013 Harness Horse of the Year, has found herself right at home in Westchester. In four Yonkers' starts, the 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra won three of 'em, setting an aged-group track record each time. "We're honored to be invited," Richard (Nifty) Norman, Bee a Magician's trainer, said. "She's proven she gets around Yonkers very well and we have no reason to think that won't continue." Magic Tonight has "2015 Elitlopp winner" stamped on his business card, so obviously, he means business. The 6-year-old son of Andover Hall has earned more than $1.3 million, taking into account his both-sides-of-the-ocean performances. Yonkers' International Trot Selection Committee (no relation to that of the NCAA) is continuing its due diligence, with further invitations/acceptances to be announced in the not-too-distant future. Again, this is a special Saturday afternoon card, with a proposed first post of 2 PM (pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission). As of this writing, the International--scheduled for 10 starters at a distance of mile-and-a-quarter--would go as the program's fourth race (approximate post time 3:25 PM). The International Trot would also be the main cog in a high-end, Pick 5 guaranteed pool (exact number TBA), while Yonkers is surrounding the event with an Oktoberfest on the track apron as well as a hat giveaway (while supplies last) and drawings for terrific prizes, including a vacation to the winning horse's home country. Purse distribution would be the same as all events (winner-50 percent, 2nd-25 percent, 3rd-12 percent, 4th-8 percent, 5th-5 percent). Non-cashing overseas entrants receive $37,500 via a purse supplement, while non-cashing North American entrants receive $10,000). "It's our pleasure to bring back the International Trot," Raceway president Timothy J. Rooney said. "It's been a signature New York race since it debuted at Roosevelt Raceway back in 1959. We took over the race after Roosevelt closed, and it was very well received. "With Yonkers now a major player in the overseas simulcast market, we feel this is the best time to showcase our track to the world by again inviting the best trotters in the world to race here. We have had tremendous cooperation from our horsemen, and all of us are looking forward to it." Frank Drucker

Centurion ATM will try to build on his best start of the season, a harness racing victory last weekend in a consolation division of the Colonial Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, when he heads to Yonkers Raceway for Saturday's eliminations for the Yonkers Trot. And it was the colt's best start in more ways than one. A notorious slow starter, Centurion ATM moved quickly from the gate in his race last weekend, charging from post nine to land in second place after the opening quarter-mile. It was only the second time in 14 lifetime races that Centurion ATM was better than third at the first call. The other time came in the colt's career debut in July 2014. Centurion ATM posted a 1:53.3 win in his Colonial consolation for his first triumph of the season. Ake Svanstedt, who trains and drives Centurion ATM, credited the early speed to a change in equipment. "We took off the blind and he is a new horse," Svanstedt said. "Before he was a slow starter, now he can leave faster. He was good." Centurion ATM was among 11 horses entered for the Yonkers Trot, which is for 3-year-old trotters and is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel -- the Hambletonian -- on Aug. 8, also was among the horses entered. It is the first time the Hambletonian winner will compete in the race since Glidemaster capped a Triple Crown sweep and Horse of the Year season by winning the Yonkers Trot in 2006. Hambletonian champ Market Share competed in the 2012 Yonkers Trot, but the race preceded the Hambletonian that year. Two $40,000 eliminations will be contested Saturday, with the top four finishers from each division advancing to the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final on Sept. 5. Centurion ATM is in the second elim, along with stablemate Southwind Mozart, Billy Flynn, Massive Lightning, Habitat, and French Laundry. Pinkman is in the opening division, with Buen Camino, Crazy Wow, Workout Wonder, and Wings Of Royalty. Centurion ATM has won four of 14 lifetime races and earned $429,742 for owners Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting. He won last year's Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes with a world-record-equaling 1:53.2 performance. Prior to winning last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Centurion ATM finished eighth in his Hambletonian elimination and failed to advance to the final. "He was good before the Hambletonian elimination, but in the elimination he was bad, just bad," Svanstedt said. "I don't know why. But now he was good again." Centurion ATM's appearance at Yonkers will mark his first time on a half-mile track, but Svanstedt is unconcerned. "He is a good trotter so he should be OK," Svanstedt said. "I hope he will get to the final, that is the important thing. He is a good horse." Svanstedt's other Yonkers Trot hopefuls are Workout Wonder and Southwind Mozart. Workout Wonder has two wins this season, both on half-mile tracks in New York Sire Stakes action, including a 1:56.3 triumph ahead of Buen Camino and Wings Of Royalty at Yonkers on May 21. Crazy Wow, who won last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at Yonkers, heads to the Yonkers Trot off a win in the Colonial Stakes main event. He is one of two Ron Burke-trained horses in the field, along with fellow multiple-stakes-winner Habitat. Buen Camino, from the stable of trainer Trond Smedshammer, enters his Yonkers Trot elim off three consecutive victories on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Smedshammer captured the 2004 Trotting Triple Crown with Windsong's Legacy. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $149,240 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers. Below are the fields for the Yonkers Trot eliminations, with listed drivers and trainers. Race 4-First Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Buen Camino-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer 2-Crazy Wow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke 3-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 4-Workout Wonder-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt 5-Wings Of Royalty-Brian Sears-George Ducharme Race 5-Second Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Southwind Mozart-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Centurion ATM-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Billy Flynn-Jason Bartlett-Staffan Lind 4-Massive Lightning-Tyler Buter-Steve Elliott 5-Habitat-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 6-French Laundry-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA    

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers Trot eliminations and Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations and Casual Breeze, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 29), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Yonkers Trot for sophomore trotters, the second leg of the sport's trotting Triple Crown. Only eight horses entered the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown, so all eight will advance to next week's final. Additionally, Yonkers will host the $149,240 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk Racetrack kicks off on Friday (Aug. 28) with two divisions in the C$183,950 Casual Breeze for 3-year-old trotting fillies. On Saturday, Mohawk will host a trio of stakes eliminations. There will be a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for open pacers, a trio of C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old colt pacers and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday (Aug. 30), Tioga Downs will host the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Each of the divisions will race for purses of $10,000. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this past Saturday night as the track hosted a busy card of 3-year-old stakes, while celebrating its 50th anniversary. Wiggle It Jiggleit won the Battle of the Brandywine in 1:48 for driver Montrell Teague. Wiggle It Jiggleit made it look easy, capturing Saturday's $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old male pacers by three lengths over Wakizashi Hanover in 1:48. Dude's The Man finished third and Artspeak was fourth. The winning time equaled Lucan Hanover's world record for a 3-year-old gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 16 of 18 races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $1.43 million. His previous stakes victories this season included the Hempt Memorial, also at Pocono, Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial. For his career, the son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover has won 17 of 19 starts. Hambletonian champion Pinkman went off stride at the start, opening the door for his eight rivals in Saturday's $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old male trotters, and Crazy Wow was the one to take advantage. Crazy Wow, who was not eligible to the Hambletonian, won the Colonial by 1-1/4 lengths over The Bank in 1:52.3. Uncle Lasse finished third and Wicker Hanover was fourth. Crazy Wow, sent off at odds of 9-1, was the third choice in the betting behind 1-5 favorite Pinkman and Uncle Lasse. Crazy Wow has won five of nine races this year and earned $542,537. For his career, the son of Crazed-No Pan No Gain has won 10 of 20 starts and banked $775,465. He is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. Bettor Be Steppin earned her second stakes win of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, capturing Saturday's $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers in a lifetime-best 1:50. Momas Got A Gun was second, beaten by three-quarters of a length, while Sassa Hanover finished third and Totally Rusty was fourth. Bettor Be Steppin, trained by Joe Holloway, has won five of 11 races this year and earned $419,150. She has won nine of 23 races lifetime for owners Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. She pushed her career earnings to $717,793. Fresh off his 1:47 win in the U.S. Pacing Championship, State Treasurer maintained his superiority in the older pacing ranks with a 1:47.2 track record triumph in the $150,000 Roll With Joe, held Sunday (Aug. 23) at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer prevailed by 3-3/4 lengths in the end, well in hand at the winning post with plenty in reserve. Clear Vision held second, while Foiled Again stayed on for third off a second-over trip. Dr. Ian Moore trains State Treasurer for owners Sally and Paul MacDonald. He has won six of his 12 season's starts, with earnings of $489,482. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 669; 2. Tim Tetrick - 485; 3. David Miller - 431.5; 4. Brian Sears - 387; 5. Corey Callahan - 327.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 857; 2. Jimmy Takter - 542; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 298; 4. Erv Miller - 212; 5. Tony Alagna - 191. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 233; 2. Burke Racing - 198.4; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 172.70; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 140; 5. Jeff Snyder - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack and Balmoral Park. Yonkers will feature the finals of the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes; Mohawk will offer the finals of the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and She's A Great Lady, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and 3-year-old filly pacers and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Balmoral has American-National races for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - Hambletonian winner Pinkman and New York Sire Stakes frosh champ Crazy Wow lead a list of 11 harness racing 3-year-olds entered for the $580,000 Yonkers Trot. The 61st edition of Yonkers Raceway premier trotting event offers a pair of $40,000 elimination races this Saturday night (Aug. 29), with the first four finishers in each returning for the half-million-dollar final Saturday night, Sept. 5. First elimination (4th race) 1-Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer), 2-Crazy Wow (Tim Tetrick), 3-Pinkman (Yannick Gingras), 4-Workout Wonder (Dan Dube), 5-Wings of Royalty (Brian Sears). Second elimination (5th race) 1-Southwind Mozart (Ake Svandstedt), 2-Centurion ATM (Svanstedt also listed), 3-Billy Flynn (Jason Bartlett), 4-Massive Lightning (Tyler Buter), 5-Habitat (Gingras), 6-French Laundry (Jimmy Takter). Note the two Svanstedt horses in this elim are uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership. Pinkman, Buen Camino and Massive Lightning are the geldings in the group. The 60th Messenger Stakes, with eight declarations, becomes a one-dash-for-the-($500,000) cash event, also set for Saturday night, Sept. 5. The entrants, alphabetically, are... Dealt a Winner, Dude's the Man, In the Arsenal, National Seelster, Revenge Shark, Rock N' Roll World, Roland N Rock Rollin' Ring Afire. Both stakes serves as the second jewel's in their respective gaits Triple Crowns. This Saturday night also includes two stakes finals for the 3-year-old ladies, the $149,240 Hudson (6th race) and $116,430 Lady Maud (7th race) for trotters and pacers, respectively. Post time for Saturday's 13-race card is the usual 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

There are some important changes in the 2015 harness racing stakes schedule, as racetracks embrace the mega program model and move away from carding isolated stakes races. Perhaps the most significant change is the return, after a one-year hiatus, of what came to be known as “Super Sunday” when it was held at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The Battle Of Brandywine, Colonial Trot, and the Valley Forge for sophomore pacing fillies, which were an essential mid-August component of the calendar, return to Pocono Downs on Saturday, August 22. Last year Northfield took advantage of the gap created by their absence by carding the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial on the same weekend. The race was a big success as All Bets Off beat Luck Be Withyou and McWicked. It will be great to have the Battle, which has been a fixture since 1960 and the Colonial, since 1968, back in play. And the Milstein will be held a week earlier than last year, on Friday, August 14. The Dan Patch, which sees a $50,000 bump to $300,000, and will be raced as an early closer, will also be raced on August 14. The Whata Baron and Artistic Vision, both for three and up pacers, will be carded at the Meadowlands on May 2, two weeks later than last year. That same day the Lady Suffolk, which has been raced on Fridays, joins the Dexter Cup on Freehold’s Saturday card. And the following day, Sunday, May 3, the Miami Valley Distaff Trot and Pace will be raced. Last year Shebestingin won the pace, named for Sam ‘Chip’ Noble, while Maven won the trot—both in track record time. The purse for each has been doubled to $100,000 this year. The first TVG pacing series leg has been dropped back a week to Saturday, May 7. Last year it was a stand-alone race, but in 2015 it will be paired with the Cutler, which serves as the first TVG trotting leg.  The Graduate series for four-year-old trotters and pacers will kick off at Tioga Downs on Memorial Day with a $50,000 leg for each gait. Subsequently four legs, carrying $75,000 and $100,000 purses, will be raced at the Meadowlands in June. Actually, even before Memorial Day, the latter group will be able to get going on May 17, when Flamboro offers the reconstituted Confederation Cup for four-year-old pacers. That one carries $200,000 in purse money. So, when you add in the $250,000 Graduate finals on July 3 and July 11, plus the $200,000 Prix d’Ete for four-year-old pacers on August 23, there will be plenty of opportunities for those crossing the bridge to the aged class. On Sunday, May 24, Harrah’s Philadelphia is offering the inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Open pace, named for Howard Taylor’s father. Harrah’s will also card the Maxie Lee and Betsy Ross that day. The SBSW and North America Cup will both be a week later in 2015. The former will offer richer splits as the purse has jumped $75,000 to $225,000. Last year David Menary had to decide whether to start He’s Watching in the SBSW or the Rooney, as they were on the same day. This year the Rooney, and companion Lismore, will be raced a week before the SBSW. Last year WEG shuffled their stakes lineup so as to add strength to Cup night; finals for the Roses Are Red, Armbro Flight and Fan Hanover were all held that day. This year the finals for those three have been moved to the following week, June 20, and the eliminations for those stakes will be relied on to make the Cup program compelling. The Mohawk Gold Cup, in which upset winner Evenin Of Pleasure paid $164.30 last year, will also be raced on June 20. The Battle Of Lake Erie has been dropped back five weeks to June 12. That’s the day before the elimination round for the NA Cup. Last year the Battle was sandwiched between the Haughton and the USPC. This year two legs of the Graduate series bookend it. The Roll With Joe has leaped ahead almost two months to Sunday August 23—the same day as the Prix d’Ete. The purse lost $25,000 during the move; the Joe now goes for $175,000. Eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby are six days later. The $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity moves ahead two weeks on the schedule in 2015. Last year it was by itself, but in 2015 it joins the Stanley Dancer, Del Miller and Miss Versatility on July 18. The Hambletonian falls one week later this year, on August 8. The Oaks, Peter Haughton, Merrie Annabelle and Cashman are back, but instead of the Ima Lula for four-year-old trotting mares, the inaugural $200,000 Fresh Yankee for three and up mares joins the ticket. Opportunities for this class are scarce, so this is a plus move on the part of the Meadowlands. The Ima Lula will be raced on the previous Saturday. And the Cane Pace, which has been raced at Tioga the last three years, will be moved back two weeks and slotted into the Hambletonian Day program. The Yonkers Trot was pushed ahead three months to October 25 last year, but in 2015 the Yonkers Trot and the Messenger head back to Saturday, September 5. The Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot will now be raced the previous week. Last year the Messenger and Yonkers Trot butted heads with the Fall Four at Woodbine; this year they take on the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro, She’s A Great Lady and Simcoe. The Maple Leaf Trot, in which Intimidate upset Sebastian K, jumps ahead almost two months to September 19, where it joins the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Wellwood and Peaceful Way. This sets up a situation where the Chip Noble Memorial Trot at Scioto Downs, the Maple Leaf, the Centaur at Hoosier Park and the Dayton Trotting Derby will be raced on successive weeks. The latter, like the Distaff stakes at Miami Valley, benefits from Ohio’s infusion of slots money; the purse has jumped $50,000 to $150.000. The Breeders Crown moves back a month to October 24 at Woodbine, with the Erskine, in which E L Titan upset Father Patrick, going six days later. The Fall Four move up a month to November 21 and 22 at the Meadowlands. The Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid will be augmented by the Tarport Hap, which has been out of the rotation since See You At Peelers won in 2011, and the Continentalvictory, a new race for three-year-old trotting fillies. The TVG finals will be raced one week earlier than last year. (Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of

The introduction of graded stakes races to harness racing is an issue that has gnawed away at owners, trainers, drivers and fans for a half-century, but we’re no closer to making it a reality today than we were back in the sixties. A survey that Tom White, one-time publicity director at The Red Mile and the Little Brown Jug, conducted on the topic more than three decades ago offers us some perspective. White concedes that his audit would not stand up to scientific scrutiny, but it certainly holds much anecdotal value. He wanted opinions on how to grade the slightly more than 2% of races that were not specifically for claimers or conditioned by earnings, age or sex. He sent a list of all unrestricted races—except by age and sex—to “40 knowledgeable harness racing representatives,” asking those folks to designate them as Grade 1, 2 or 3. He also allowed for a No Grade option. And 80% of them responded. The powers that be in Thoroughbred racing formulated a list of 330 graded stakes for 1973 and 1974; it was reduced to 276 in 1980. White used 69 races from the Standardbred calendar for his survey. Only 35 of 100 Thoroughbred tracks in North America carded graded stakes in 1981. Last year’s precept that every open stakes race—regardless of how insignificant it is—come under the Grand Circuit umbrella, works against any sort of graded stakes paradigm in harness racing. Every track and publicity director’s race in the Standardbred world is a Grade 1 as far as they’re concerned. Four races, the Hambletonian, Jug, Messenger and Wilson drew perfect Grade 1 scores. The Wilson went away after the 2012 edition; of the other three, the Hambletonian would no doubt still get a perfect score, but I’m not sure about the other two. There’s a great deal of resentment over the fact that two legs of the Pacing Triple Crown—the Jug and the Messenger—are raced over half-mile tracks. Also, the Messenger lost much of its cachet when Roosevelt closed and the race embarked on a nomadic journey that now has it rooted at Yonkers Raceway. The purse is $500,000 but many owners and trainers keep their premium stock clear of half-mile tracks; All Bets Off, Ronny Bugatti and Bolt The Duer won the last three. The Jug doesn’t engender as much enmity as the Messenger, but there are plenty of harness racing aficionados who discount it as a post position crap shoot. Races that came within one or two votes of a perfect Grade 1 score in the 1981 survey are the Meadowlands Pace, Kentucky Futurity, Cane, Yonkers Trot, Adios, Oaks and Fox Pace. Only one individual labeled the Meadowlands Pace a Grade 2 stake, and certainly it would fall solidly in the Grade 1 column today. The same goes for the Kentucky Futurity. The Cane, which was shown the door by the Rooneys after the 1997 edition, and spent 14 uneventful years at Freehold, one at Pocono and the last three at Tioga, carries a shorter purse than the Messenger, but has escaped the twice-arounds. Lyonssomewhere beat He’s Watching and JK Endofanera in 2014; Captain T beat Vegas Vacation in 2013; and Dynamic Youth beat Pet Rock and A Rocknroll Dance in 2012. Switching to the bigger track has drastically improved the talent. This year the race will move to the Meadowlands where it will enhance the Hambletonian Day program. The Cane is a solid Grade 2, which has drawn better quality fields than the Messenger of late, and is striving to regain its Grade 1 status. The Yonkers Trot would also have more of a problem drumming up Grade 1 votes in 2015. Nuncio crushed a soft field in this year’s $580,000 edition. Six, or 17%, of the Hambletonian winners have also won the Yonkers Trot in the 35 years since Tom White conducted this review. Just as the better pacers tend to avoid the Messenger, the better trotters sit out the Yonkers Trot. The Adios, which was classified as a Grade 1 by 31 of the 33 respondents, is another race that has fallen somewhat out of favor. Only 14% of the Meadowlands Pace winners in the last 35 years also won the Adios; the last to do so was Davids Pass nineteen years ago. Only 13 % of the NA Cup winners have also won the Adios since the Cup was rebranded in 1984, and again, Davids Pass was the last to do it. This year the Adios will be held on Saturday, August 1. One assumes the Hambletonian—and the Cane—will be the following Saturday. McWicked, Sunfire Blue Chip, Bolt The Duer, Alsace Hanover, Delmarvalous and Vintage Master won the last six editions of the Adios. Needless to say, reputation notwithstanding, the race wouldn’t garner all those Grade 1 votes today. Thirty-one of the 33 respondents designated the Oaks as a Grade 1, and I assume the result would be equally one-sided today. The Fox Stake, on the other hand, has done a free fall from grace. Around since 1927, it was the richest race for freshman pacing colts at one time. Adios, Good Time, Bret Hanover, Romeo Hanover, Laverne Hanover and Albatross all won the Fox. Unfortunately racing at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds isn’t what it was, and in recent years the likes of Harfo Hanover and Blooming Genius won the race. Rating it a three would be too generous. Some of the stakes which garnered two-thirds of the votes in White’s survey have been eliminated. The Colonial, Holmes, Kentucky Pacing Derby, Prix d’Ete (3YO), Sweetheart and World Trotting Derby are all gone. The venerable Dexter and Lady Suffolk, which are raced at Freehold, are now Grade 3 stakes. The Peter Haughton Memorial Pace, which was raced at Roosevelt, is no more. The Adioo Volo is now a Grade 3; the Tattersalls Pace, which is now raced in divisions with no heats, is a Grade 2. Can’t have two winners and be a one. The Peter Haughton freshman trot is still around and noteworthy. The Tarport Hap has been eliminated, along with the Niatross, and previously mentioned Wilson. Sweetheart and Holmes as Jeff Gural gradually purges the calendar of colt and filly stakes so he can concentrate on series for the four and up group. The Breeders Crown, the most important addition to the stakes landscape in the last thirty-five years, had yet to be introduced when Tom White solicited these opinions in 1981. All of them would rate a Grade 1 designation today. A race needed 22 votes for Grade 1 status to qualify under White’s system. Eighteen, or 26%, made the cut. Less than half that number would warrant a Grade 1 designation today. With so many buying strictly for sire stakes racing, it apparently doesn’t matter. by Joe FitzGerald for

Nuncio and driver John Campbell ended up being just a half-length off of sweeping the harness racing Trotting Triple Crown as Nuncio captured the third jewel, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final, at Yonkers Raceway Saturday. It seemed nearly an effortless effort for the three-year-old son of Andover Hall, who got away in second place early as Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick) shot to the early lead from post seven. Once they reached the opening quarter mile in an easy :29 second, Campbell moved Nuncio to the front and it was pretty much a cake-walk from that point on. Nuncio led the field to the half mile in a leisurely :58.4 with no one coming up to challenge. In the backstretch Journey (Daniel Dube) was able to flush Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) to come first-over as they passed the three-quarters in 1:27.3. Then on the final turn the pocket-sitting Don Dorado went off-stride and it became a two-horse race to the wire. Nuncio went wide coming down the stretch but Datsyuk was unable to gain ground as Nuncio went on to win by two and one-quarter open lengths in 1:56. Datsyuk held for second place with Resolve (David Miller) finishing third. “Father Patrick has gotten a lot of accolades,” said John Campbell, “And Trixton deservingly so too. But this horse (Nuncio) is just so consistent. I have so much admiration and think so highly of this horse because he always gives me such a big effort. Horses like him are hard to find. “Any horse at this level has to have consistency,” Campbell added, They have to have speed, they have to have heart, but his consistency over two years has just been remarkable. He has never put in a poor performance for me at all.” “It takes a pretty good horse,” Campbell said, “to have never raced on a half mile before and put in two great miles like he has is unbelievable.” It was the 60th edition of the Yonkers Trot and the third time that Campbell has won the Triple Crown jewel. Trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Stall TZ of Vero Beach, FL, it was the tenth win in 15 starts this year for Nuncio. He now sports $1,297,096 in earnings this year. Nuncio paid just $2.10 to win was the 1/9 overwhelming favorite. Nuncio Last week All Bets Off and driver Matt Kakaley barely made it to the final of the $500,000 Messenger Stakes, the third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. He tried to wire the field and ended up finishes fourth, beaten just one length. But with the first four official finishers returning for the final, All Bets Off was back in the hunt and drew post six for the final and this time Matt Kakaley made sure no one was able to catch them. Shooting to the early lead with Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller) fighting off Stevensville (Mark MacDonald) for the two-hole spot, Kakaley made the lead with All Bets Off and cut the mile to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26.3 seconds. Kakaley and All Bets Off were then able to back down the speed slightly, going to the half mile in :55.1 as McWicked and driver David Miller, the 1-2 favorite, made their move first-over from fourth place with Luck Be Withyou (Tim Tetrick) following their outside cover. All Bets Off was in full gear and took the field to the three-quarters in 1:23 and was not letting off the pace. By the top of the stretch, Kakaley and All Bets Off were up by four lengths and then breezed to the wire to win by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:51.1. Luck Be Withyou came on for second with McWicked third. “He wasn’t that good last week,” Matt Kakaley said, “He wasn’t himself. But I had all the faith in the world in Ronnie (Burke) that they would have him ready and they showed up tonight. “I was leaving tonight no matter what,” Kakaley said. “We were not doing to duck’em. He (All Bets Off) can leave so quick. I had him jammed on the car pretty good and he just sprinted right out of there. He was rolling along and had a pretty good hold on me. He was in the bits and felt pretty good and I was pretty confident. “This is huge,” Kakaley said. “This is the biggest win of my career. It’s been a great year for me. And Ronnie has been giving me great opportunities. Things have been going really well thanks to him.” The time of the race for the 50th edition of the Messenger, 1:51.1, was the fastest Messenger Stakes ever held at Yonkers. Sired by Bettor’s Delight, it was the 11th win in 15 starts this year for All Bets Off. Trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell, All Bets Off paid $11.80 to win. All Bets Off By Steve Wolf, for 

YONKERS, NY, - An important wagering/refund notice from Yonkers Raceway. Regarding the early Pick 4 wager from Saturday, Oct. 18th, Yonkers Raceway regrets any confusion caused by the late "barring" of two horses-Nuncio and Amped Up Hanover-from all wagering in the fourth race. Those horses should have been coupled as a wagering entry soon after the draw, but regrettably were not. Anyone who wagered on either of those horses in the Pick 4 was, by New York State Gaming Commission rules, given the wagering favorite as a "replacement." When Nuncio (racing for purse money only) won the race and would have gone off as the heavy favorite, customers in many instances were left with a horse they did not choose. While the rules state that a refund would also be available prior to the start of the wager (third race), we understand that this may not have been communicated to, or understood by, some guests either on track, at a simulcast location or on-line. Yonkers Raceway has decided to refund any Pick 4 wager that had either of those two horses (Nuncio or Amped Up Hanover) included in the bet....and if your wager was made at, we are going to double the refund. Please bring your ticket to the mutuel office (4th floor), or send the ticket, or a screen shot from your wagering site confirming the wager, to... From the Mutuel Department at Yonkers Raceway  

Last week we once again showed a minor loss on win bets (-$3.80) but made money with some decent exacta and tri hits. The action will be fast and furious this weekend as the Grand Circuit is in full swing around North America. We venture to Dayton Raceway Friday for their two opening season main events, the Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses and they have attracted some of the best in harness. Then Saturday its show time at Yonkers with the third jewel of the trotting Triple Crown, the Yonkers Trot, plus the Messenger Pace and the revival of the International Trot. Then over to Woodbine for the Big Four Finals, the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds. Great racing and good luck! $122,000 Pace Dayton Pacing Derby Dayton Raceway 11th race FRIDAY - After crushing much weaker opposition the last two weeks, Dancin Yankee gets back to taking on the big boys but I think he is ready for the challenge. It will be a slugfest for sure but based on his last two impressive wins I think that Dancin Yankee is up for the challenge. Use Foiled Again and Clear Vision in exotic plays. $162,000 Trot Dayton Trotting Derby Dayton Raceway 12th race FRIDAY - Racing fans at Dayton will get to see some good trottin action in here. Well matched field has some superstar performers but I think that Creatine has returned to his old self from last year as of late and will continue to dominate the older trotting ranks. His last two wins were super impressive and can take another in here. Use DW's NY Yank and Wishing Stone in exotic plays. $464,000 Trot Goldsmith Maid Final Woodbine Racecourse 3rd race SATURDAY - It's make it or break it and I mean that literally as Mission Brief has the race her own to win or lose. If she minds her manners she will take this field with trot to spare but if she jumps it off as she has in the past then the others will have a field day. I think this world champion has turned the corner on her bad manners off her past two starts and will wire the field again. Use Gatka Hanover and Jolene Jolene in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Yonkers Trot Final Yonkers Raceway 5th race SATURDAY -  Nuncio has now been barred from wagering on the race. So from a wagering perpsective, I will go to my second choice, Gural Hanover. So even if he finishes second to Nuncio, you still win. He won his elim with ease and has been super sharp all season with 10 wins. I still think Nuncio will capture the third jewel of the trotting triple crown. Nuncio has been razor sharp and with no Father Patrick or Trixton to go again I think he will wire the field for John Campbell to take two of the three jewels of the Triple Crown. Now use Datsyuk and Don Dorado in exotic plays. $521,000 Trot Valley Victory Final Woodbine Racecourse 5th race SATURDAY - No matter how hard you look at this field you just can't pick against Habitat. He has had an awesome season and is currently on a three-race winning streak for the Ron Burke Stable. His only loss in last two months was when he was not on the front end so figure that Gringras will be sending him in here. Win last week from post eight was very impressive. Use Uncle Lasse and Pinkman in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Messenger Stake Final Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY - It will be a real good race for the third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown here. I am going against the morning line and taking the entry of All Bets Off/Forty Five Red from the Ron Burke Stable. Despite outside posts they both have what it takes to win, one is all front end speed, the other great closing speed (at least last week) and combined they can win and pay a price. Use Luck Be Withyou and McWicked in exotic plays. $565,000 Pace Governor's Cup Final Woodbine Racecourse 7th race SATURDAY - Here is another situation where it is all up to the horse. If Artspeak has his head on straight and decides not to make a break and he returns to his former self he can take this field for fun. But he has not been right the last two weeks. I'm betting that he will put the past behind him and rise up in returning to his winning ways. Use Pierce Hanover and Lyons Again in exotic plays. $124,590 Trot Hudson Filly Final Yonkers Raceway 7th race SATURDAY - Disappointing short field for this Grand Circuit event and I think the Ron Burke Stable will finish one-two with their strong entry of Market Rally/Avalicious. Market Rally is the strong horse of the two and is the NYSS champion filly. Avalicious is coming off a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 at Pocono Downs. Too tough to go again. Use Highest Peak and Bambino Supreme in exotic plays. $150,854 Pace Lady Maud Final Yonkers Raceway 8th race SATURDAY - Last week in winning her elimination division for this final, Act Now showed her dominance and also that she can handle a half mile track with a very impressive 1:53.1 romp by three open lengths. All she needs to do in here is repeat that effort and she is home free. Use Fancy Desire and the entry of Beautiful Lady/A La Notte Hanover in exotic plays. $424,000 Pace Three Diamonds Final Woodbine Racecourse 9th race SATURDAY - Currently the only unbeaten star in North America, JK She'salady goes for her tenth straight win in here. She has just been perfect in every start all season long and continues to roll on by her opponents once again. Use The Show Returns and Band Of Angels in exotic plays. $250,000 Trot International Trot Preview Yonkers Raceway 9th race SATURDAY - Saving the best for last this weekend. Throw out the morning line on this race, it was done by a computer. This is real trotting action at its best. And the best in here is Sebastian K. While Commander Crowe and Arch Madness have nearly twice the lifetime earnings of Sebastian K, their best days are behind them. Sebastian K may be making his first start ever on a half mile oval but he will overcome it with little issue. The extra quarter mile in this distance race is the difference that Sebastian K will flourish on. Use Bee A Magician and Natural Herbie in exotic plays.

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 23, 2014--Yonkers Raceway's stakes-stuffed Saturday night program has all the required-by-law ingredients. There's the more than $1.5 million in purses for the five features, a $20,000 guaranteed all-stakes-race Pick 5 pool...and the obligatory free t-shirt (while supplies last). First post for the baker's-dozen buffet is 7:10 PM, and a gentleman who figures to have say in the soiree is one David Miller. The Harness Hall of Famer (Class of 2013), he of the more than 11,100 career wins and $185 million in purses, has drives in four of the five events. Toward that end, he offered some insights... Race 5 - $500,000 YONKERS TROT NO. 60 (3-year-old colts/geldings) -- Revolve (post position No. 5) --"I've never driven him before. I spoke with Timmy (Tetrick, who drove him last week but opted for Don Dorado here) a bit last week, but with (elimination winners) Gural Hanover and Nuncio drawing inside (post Nos. 1 and 2), we're going to have a few breaks." Miller goes with a third Trot victory. Race 6 - $500,000 MESSENGER STAKES NO. 59 (3-year-old colts/geldings) --McWicked (head number 5, post position 4) -- "Just a very pleasant horse to get along with. He's held his form for just about the entire year, though I thought he was a bit flat at Delaware (OH). The last couple of weeks (a "Messenger prep" and last week's nine-to-get-rid-of-one elimination), the plan was just to race him conservatively get him ready for this race. I was very happy with his race last week (closing stoutly for third in a paceless event) and I expect him to race very well (Saturday). He's coming into it in good shape." (Note that McWicked becomes a seasonal millionaire with just about any payday here, while Miller has won this race three times, but has never won it here.) Race 7 -- $150,874 HUDSON FILLY TROT (3-year-olds) -- no drive. Race 8 -- $124,590 LADY MAUD (3-year-old pacing fillies) -- Fancy Desire (head number 6, post position 5) -- "I've never driven here before, either, but I've seen enough of her in Pennsylvania. I have driven for (trainer) Kevin (Carr) quite a bit, and I know she has talent. She won the Lynch (Pocono) and beat some good fillies. I'm not surprised George (Brennan, who drove both elim winners) stayed with Act Now (HN 3, PP 2), but I think that mine has a shot." Race 9 -- $250,000 INTERNATIONAL TROT PREVIEW (1¼ miles) -- Bee a Magician (post position 2) -- "Again, she's another I've never driven before, and I was so happy to get a chance (Miller is her first driver not named Brian Sears or Rick Zeron). I love the draw, because I'm not sure how much early movement there's going to be and she should be close. Sure, the added distance is a concern with a mare going against older males, but not as much on a half as it would be on a big track for her." Please be advised that program pages for Saturday's Pick 5 (50-cent base) wager are now available for perusal at Yonkers Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

A half-length loss in the Hambletonian Stakes prevents Nuncio from a chance at history, but the 3-year-old male trotter can add to his credentials with a win in Saturday's $500,000 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway. The Yonkers Trot is the third jewel in harness racing's Trotting Triple Crown. Nuncio finished second to stablemate Trixton in the first leg, the Hambletonian, and defeated stablemate Father Patrick by 1-1/4 lengths in the second leg, the Kentucky Futurity. Nuncio, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by John Campbell, will start the eight-horse Yonkers Trot from post No. 2. The colt has won nine of 14 races this year, including his Yonkers Trot elimination last week, and earned $1.04 million for owner Stefan Melander's Stall TZ Inc. The most recent horse to win the Trotting Triple Crown was Glidemaster in 2006. The last horse to capture two jewels and finish second in the remaining leg was Mack Lobell in 1987. Takter has won the Yonkers Trot three times; Campbell has won twice. "John was very pleased with him (last week)," Takter said about Nuncio, who brings a three-race win streak to Yonkers. "He was very strong in the stretch. He's in great form. The horse is sharp." Nuncio has never finished worse than second in any of his 24 career starts, posting 14 victories while earning $1.50 million. Eight of Nuncio's 10 lifetime second-place finishes have come behind Father Patrick, who leads all harness racing horses in purses this season with $1.38 million. Takter did not enter Father Patrick in the Yonkers Trot. "That's very difficult, especially racing in all the major stakes," Takter said, referring to Nuncio finishing first or second in all his starts. "He's got a fantastic resume. He's a really hard worker. "Father Patrick, he's (Wayne) Gretzky or Michael Jordan. There's no effort. Nuncio really has to work at it to be what he is. The other one, he's just got it. But Nuncio has got a hell of an attitude; a great attitude." New York Sire Stakes champion Gural Hanover, who won the other Yonkers Trot elimination, starts from post No. 1 with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Ron Burke. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers and the $250,000 International Trot Preview Invitational, along with the $150,854 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers and $124,590 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters. The Messenger is the third leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Takter's Lyonssomewhere won the first jewel, the Cane Pace, and starts the Messenger from post No. 3. Limelight Beach, who won the second leg of the Crown, the Little Brown Jug, did not enter the Messenger. Lyonssomewhere went off stride while leading his elimination in the Little Brown Jug and failed to advance to the second heat. "He could have won the Jug if he didn't do whatever he did in the last turn," Takter said. "It was like the biggest shock of the year. If he won his elimination, he would have had a hell of a shot at it. It's the small details. You've got to click. That's why it's tough to win it." Luck Be Withyou, who won the Messenger elimination last week, starts from post five with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Chris Oakes. The field also includes multiple-stakes-winners McWicked and All Bets Off. The last horse to win the Pacing Triple Crown was No Pan Intended in 2003. Sebastian K, history's fastest trotter with a mark of 1:49, headlines the International Trot Preview, which also features European star Commander Crowe and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who is the only female trotter in the eight-horse event. Commander Crowe is making his first start in North America since the 2012 Breeders Crown. He will stay in the U.S. to compete in this year's Breeders Crown in November at the Meadowlands. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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