This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features two $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 18) in the fifth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 19) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fifth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: As has been the case throughout the 2014 edition of the George Morton Levy series, Foiled Again was once again at the top of the headlines this past weekend at Yonkers. The 10-year-old sauntered around the half-mile oval in 1:51 this past Saturday night. "That's what he's supposed to do," said driver Yannick Gingras after the gelding's fourth win in as many Levy series/season starts. Foiled Again was a narrow winner in his Levy division on April 12. Leaving from post position No. 3 as the stronger half of a 1-20 entry, Foiled Again had to work to get around P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett). He did so before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and found a :56.3 intermission with Bettor's Edge (George Brennan) away third and A J Corbelli (Tim Tetrick) fourth. It was Dancin Yankee (Ron Pierce) then moving from fifth, engaging Foiled Again toward a 1:24 three-quarters. Soon after, Bettor's Edge -- who, as with Foiled Again, was three-for-three in this series entering the evening -- slipped out to race second-over. However, Bettor's Edge became very rough very quickly, soon jumping it off. Foiled Again owned a half-length lead entering the lane. His pesky rival wouldn't go away, but wouldn't go by, either. Foiled Again won by a head in 1:51, the fastest local mile of the season. Third went to P H Supercam, beaten a half-length. Mach It So (1:52.1) and Clear Vision (1:52.1) won the other two Levy divisions. Last Friday night's fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open mare pacers saw three $40,000 divisions go postward. The first event saw Breeders Crown champ Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick, $7.20) get her first series win with a handy, down-the-road effort (:27.3, :57, 1:24, 1:52). Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) was unable to sustain a first-up bid, while Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) could only match strides from the pocket. Monkey On My Wheel did get second, beaten three-quarters of a length, with Ramalama third. Defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You was also flying under the radar until Friday evening. Leaving from post four with Tyler Buter doing the honors, Feeling You operated from second-over. That didn't seem so opportunistic when pole-sitting Rocklamation (Gingras) rated a cheap half (:28, :57.3). Rocklamation maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a half-length lead into the lane. Feeling You, left to fend for herself, continued her assault on the leader. She outgamed Rocklamation by a head in 1:53.1. The third and final Matchmaker had Yagonnakissmeornot (Daniel Dube) throw down the gauntlet with the fastest mile of the series to date. Leaving from post five, Yagonnakissmeornot made the first lead before yielding to the 4-5 favorite in Somwherovrarainbow (Sears). After a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :55.4 intermission, it was Krispy Apple (Tetrick) trying her luck first-up. That one couldn't sniff the leader before a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with Somwherovrarainbow owning a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. However, she was powerless to deny Yagonnakissmeornot, who edged from the pocket and rolled away. That final margin for the second choice was 2-1/2 widening lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 116; 2. George Brennan - 104.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 80; 4. Brian Sears- 41; 5. Daniel Dube - 40. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 210.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 93; 3. Rene Allard - 40; 4. Joe Holloway - 25; 5. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 78.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 53.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 53.8; 4. Brad Grant - 20.5; 5. Joe Pennacchio - 20. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Northfield Park, Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack and Yonkers Raceway. Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers on Friday (April 25); Freehold has eliminations scheduled for the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old colt trotters on Saturday (April 26); also that day the Meadowlands will feature the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers; and action at Yonkers will continue that Saturday with the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy finals and consolations. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 15, 2014--Here's an update regarding driver Andy Miller, who was injured in a Yonkers Raceway accident Tuesday night. According to Miller's wife, Julie, as well as trainer Scott DiDomenico, Andy Miller broke a pair of lumbar vertebrae in his back. As of this writing, he is awaiting transfer from Lawrence Hospital (Bronxville, NY) to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in northern Manhattan for further evaluation and treatment. Andy Miller has feeling in all his extremities, and is obviously in a lot of pain. Driving Marmara Denizi--a 3-year-old gelding co-owned and trained by his brother, Erv--Miller was in the back of the field and unseated during the $10,000, first race pace. Also unseated was George Brennan, who was driving 13-10 favorite In the Clear. In The Clear was a tight-pocket second down the backside the second time when he looked to slip out and appeared to step on the wheel of a first-up Fiftyshadesofhay (Dan Dube). In the Clear went down, as did Brennan, who did get up and resume his assignments for the evening. Miller did not lose consciousness, and none of the horses appeared to be injured. The race was won by Keystone Dalton (Jason Bartlett, $9.30) in a maiden-breaking 1:59. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 15, 2014-Yonkers Raceway has announced the purses for both of its ongoing series, the George Morton Levy Memorial and Blue Chip Matchmaker. The finales, set for Saturday night, Apr. 26, offer antes of $567,000 (Levy) and $371,400 (Matchmaker). The enhanced purses include all starting fees--$1,000 per start in the Levy and $800 for each work night in the Matchmaker. These are the two richest races to date this season in North America, and are accompanied Apr. 26 by their respective consolations (Levy--$100,000, Matchmaker--$75,000). In another development, 58 2-year-old colts/geldings have been nominated for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, Yonkers' premier event for frosh pacers (elims Sat., July, 12 and final Sat., July 19) The 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
David Glasser and Paul Minore were each victorious in the respective divisions of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) Trotting Series at Freehold Raceway on Friday (Apri11).Glasser won with his own Grecale AS in a time of 2:00 and returned a whopping $41.60 win payoff, while Minore scored with his Wygant Prince in 1:58.1. Glasser's trotter went a solid mile after being first-up at the half and then rallying to the lead as the field passed the three quarters. Once on top Grecale AS coasted home an easy two length winner over favored Northmedo Wine Guy and Tony Verruso, giving Glasser his second victory in the series. His 28 points in the series is currently second best behind Bobby Krivelin's 35 but with only one leg remaining at Yonkers on April 17 Glasser is assured eligibility in the $14,000 series finale which will also to be raced at Yonkers Raceway, but on April 24. In his division Minore's Wygant Prince went an eye-opening trip and won in 1:58.1 after a two-hole journey behind Bob Hechkoff with Get Packin. That mile caused a little stir among some of the professionals drivers who were watching that amateur race and one was overheard saying with amazement after the 1:58.1 mile, "that's race horse time!". Minore has driven in only two series legs and with just 16 points he'll need a good showing on Thursday to move up and earn a spot in the series finale. Those drivers with the most points in the six-leg trotting will earn a berth in the $14,000 Final, that is, if they all enter. The current leaderboard is as follows: Bobby Krivelin (35), David Glasser (28), Dave Yarock (24), Bob Hechkoff(24) Bob Davis (21), Joe Faraldo (21) Tony Verruso (18), Monica Banca (17) Paul Minore (16) and Dave Offenberg (11). "I'd like to make it clear that the drivers who are among the top eight in points doesn't assure them a spot in the final unless they enter. So it's a good idea if someone is ninth or tenth in points they still should enter for the final race just in case someone in the top ten (in points) doesn't. And should that happen, the next highest in points gets first call," explained NAAADA president Joe Faraldo. by John Manzi, for NAADA
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 12, 2014--Foiled Again won his 80th career race Saturday night. That's just wrong. Foiled Again, as in 10-year-old Foiled Again, sauntered around Yonkers Raceway in 1:51 Saturday night. That, too, is just wrong. Maybe, but try convincing him, or his date, of that. "That's what he's supposed to do," driver Yannick Gingras after "Foiled's" fourth win in as many George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series/season starts. Leaving from post position No. 3 as the stronger half of a 1-20 entry, Foiled Again had to work to get around P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett). He did so before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and found a :56.3 intermission Bettor's Edge (George Brennan), certified barn buddy of Foiled Again, was away third and A J Corbelli (Tim Tetrick) fourth. It was Dancin' Yankee (Ron Pierce) then moving from fifth, engaging Foiled Again toward a 1:24 three-quarters. Soon after, Bettor's Edge--who, as with Foiled Again, was 3-for-3 in this series entering the evening--slipped out to race second-over. However, Bettor's Edge became very rough very quickly, soon jumping it off. Foiled Again owned a half-length lead entering the lane. His pesky rival wouldn't go away, but wouldn't go by, either. Foiled Again, with his escort offering only occasional reminders, won by a head in 1:51....fastest local mile of the season. Third went to P H Supercam, beaten a half-length. For Foiled Again, a Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,130,968 (80-for-202). Ron Burke trains and co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Foiled Again once again returned the legal-minimum $2.10, The exacta paid $5.90, with the triple returning $10.60. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras said. "Give the other horses credit, but they're gonna have to do better to beat Foiled Again. "I know he's now guaranteed a place in the (Apr. 26) final (prelim leader with 300 points), so he could get next week off. It's up to Ronnie (Burke). If he's here, then I'm here." Saturday night's other Levy winners were... --Mach it So,,g,4 (by Mach Three); owner Bamond Racing/trainer PJ Fraley/driver Tetrick; 1:52.1/$4; --Clear Vision,g,9 (by Western Hanover); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,Panhellenic Stb,James Koran/driver Brennan; 1:52.1/$2.10 (POE). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
I realize that many believe ten-year-old Foiled Again is hands down the greatest harness racing greybeard pacer ever, but that simply isn’t true. Yes, Foiled Again has won more money than any Standardbred ever in North America, but another aging gelding, one who used to hold that title, was better—Cardigan Bay. Stanley Dancer leased him from Down Under for $100,000 in the winter of 1964, when he was eight. The horse had come close to being destroyed two years earlier when he sustained a serious hip injury. The Hal Tryax gelding had won more than thirty stakes races in his home country, often handicapped as much as 132 yards at the start. His earnings stood at $156,000. He made his first start at Yonkers Raceway in May of that year. It was a winning effort and the following week he faced the great Overtrick in the mile and a half International Pace, losing a neck. Two weeks later he was the 1/2 favorite in the mile and a quarter Good Time Pace and had no trouble beating the likes of Meadow Skipper, Henry T Adios, Rusty Range, Adora’s Dream, Irvin Paul and Country Don. There aren’t any fields of FFA pacers like that today. He then beat the same bunch in the two mile National Championship. Cardigan Bay and Overtrick then traded narrow wins in a pair of match races. In 1965, as a nine-year-old, Cardigan Bay popped splints in his front legs and had surgery on one of those legs. When he got back in early June he crushed a FFA field which included Fly Fly Byrd and Bengazi Hanover, from the outside post. He then won the $50,000 Dan Patch Pace at a mile and a half over Oreti, Cold Front and Fly Fly Byrd. In September he won the $50,000 Bye Bye Byrd at a mile and a half, paying 2.80. Cardigan Bay won three more at Yonkers before going to California where he beat giant slayer Adios Vic in three of four races, after which he returned to New York and won the NPD and the Nassau. Foiled Again has won an impressive 39% of his lifetime starts. Cardigan Bay won 52% of his in North America and Down Under. Each of them are credited with 20 stakes wins in North America, and Foiled Again is still racing. Again, Cardigan Bay also won more than thirty stakes before he was imported. At age ten Cardy started the season with a win at Liberty Bell, and then moved on to Yonkers where he won seven stakes races, including the $100,000 mile and a half International Pace, where he created the largest minus pool ever--$33,000. $143,435 of the $151,750 bet to show was on him. They then barred him from betting in the mile and a quarter Good Time, which he also won over Adora’s Dream and Orbiter N. Adios Vic was then favored in the $50,000 National Pace, only because there was no betting on Cardy. He made three moves and pulled away from Vic in the last quarter. Bret Hanover had never been beaten on a half when Cardy did it in the Pace of the Century at Yonkers. Bret returned the favor a week later at Roosevelt. Cardy capped that season with a win in the $50,000 Nassau Pace at a mile and a half . He paid $3.60. In 1967, when Cardigan Bay was eleven, he started the season by equaling the track record at Windsor in the Provincial Cup—this is in March. Fearing minus pools tracks refused to give him a race. Finally Roosevelt relented and the grizzled gelding crushed Orbiter and Tactile, paying 2.40. He’d been handicapped with the outside post, but the track insisted that from that point on he would also be handicapped by yardage, something that was unheard of in North America. Dancer balked and sat the next one out. Every year there was a new wave of stars graduating to the FFA ranks: Romeo Hanover, True Duane, Bret Hanover and Romulus Hanover. Cardy was showing his age, but was still a formidable opponent, with early season wins in the Valley Forge, provincial Cup and Clark. In May, when he beat True Duane in the Adios Butler at Roosevelt, he paid $10.60, which was the highest payoff on Cardigan Bay to that point in North America. Dancer’s goal was that he become the first ever million dollar winning Standardbred, which he did by winning a $15,000 Pace at Freehold in the fall over little Robin Dundee and Jerry Gauman. This put him in the company of the eight thoroughbreds who had become millionaires. He was retired at Yonkers Raceway on October 12. Cardigan Bay certainly gets extra points for dominating at all distances, from a mile to two-miles. On the other hand, Foiled Again doesn’t have that opportunity so you can’t hold that against him. Cardy was more of a consistent big time player than Foiled Again has been; yes, those were significant triumphs in the TVG and BC last year, but there are too many wins in the Quillen, Molson, IPD, Battle of Lake Erie and Levy, and not enough of the top tier FFA stakes. Cardy won the Good Time twice, the National Championship twice, the Nassau twice, the Provincial Cup twice, the International, the Pace of the Century, the Clark, Dan Patch ….And the fact that he had never paid off at higher than 4/1 during his first four years racing in North America is noteworthy. Foiled has gone off at double digits many times. Cardy was a preeminent force at ten and eleven. We’ll see if Foiled Again also rules in his old age. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 11, 2014--Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Mare pacers. Three $40,000 divisions went postward and the favorite failed to win any of the divisions. The first event saw Breeders Crown champ Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick, $7.20) get off the series schneid a handy, down-the-road effort (:27.3, :57, 1:24, 1:52). Winning the draw, she played "Catch Me If You Can," and they could not. Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) was unable to sustain a first-up bid, while Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) could match strides from the pocket. "Monkey" did get second--beaten three-quarters of a length--with Ramalama third. Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) and Bettor B Lucky (George Brennan), as the 13-10 favored entry, finished fourth and sixth (last), respectively. For third choice Shelliscape, a 5-year-old daughter of Artiscape owned by Bamond Racing and trained by PJ Fraley, it was her first win in four seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $28, with no triple wagering (five betting interests) "She had no luck with the draw the last two weeks, but she's a mare with class," Tetrick said. "It was no fluke she won the (Breeders) Crown. Tonight, I was able to rate a cheap half, then she was strong down the back...27 (second) third quarter and 28 (second) home." As was the case with Shelliscape, defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You was flying under the radar until this evening. Leaving from post No. 4 with Tyler Buter doing the honors, Feeling You operated from second-over. That didn't seem so opportunistic when pole-sitting Rocklamation (Gingras)--50 percent of the just-over-even-money favored entry--rated a cheapy half (:28, :57.3). Also not helping the cause for Feeling You was Anndrovette (Tetrick), who was first-up and into a vacant pocket when Angel's Delight (Brennan) gapped it badly. Rocklamation maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a half-length lead into the lane. Feeling You, left to fend for herself, continued her assault on the leader. She outgamed Rocklamation by a head in 1:53.1, with Anndrovette third, beaten a half-length. For fourth choice Feeling You, an Alan Kirschenbaum-bred 7-year-old daughter of Cambest co-owned by driver, Stephen Oldford & Oldford Farms and trained by Amber Buter, she returned $32.60 for her first board finish in five '13 tries. The exacta paid $65. "She just felt good," Buter said of harness racing's newest millionairess ($1,014,148). "When Tim (Tetrick, with Anndrovette) dropped into the pocket, I had thought about getting in behind him, but my mare just acted like she wanted to keep going, so I stayed outside. "We took our time getting ready her ready this season. A year ago, we brought her back early for a series at the Meadowlands that wound up being cancelled. I just hope she can be this good the next couple of weeks." The third and final Matchmaker melange of the evening had Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $6) throw down the gauntlet with the fastest mile of the series to date. Leaving from post No. 5, "Yagonna" made the first lead before yielding to a fumbly-early 4-5 favorite in Somwherovrarainbow (Sears). After a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :55.4 intermission, it was Krispy Apple (Tetrick) trying her luck first-up. That one couldn't sniff the leader before a 1:23.4, three-quarters, with "Somwher" owning a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, she was powerless to deny Yagonnakissmeornot, who edged from the pocket and rolled away. That final margin for the second choice was 2Â½ widening lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4, third went to Royal Cee Cee N (Ron Pierce). For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 6-for-10 this season (3-for-4 in Matchmaker). The exacta paid $14.60, with the triple returning $74.50. Friday's $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by favored D W's NY Yank (Brennan, $4) in 1:54.3...fastest local mile of the season. The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with three, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5 and 11 on the 12-race card) in that fourth division. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Just when you figure there is nothing new that Foiled Again can accomplish, he accomplishes something new. Foiled Again is 3-for-3 this year as he gets ready for Saturday's fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The 10-year-old pacer, who has won 79 of 201 career races, had never before started a season with three consecutive wins. So when trainer Ron Burke said in early March that Foiled Again "started this year better than he's ever come back," he wasn't kidding. The ageless wonder is the richest horse in North American harness racing history, now with $6.10 million, the oldest horse ever to win a Breeders Crown, the oldest horse ever to have a million-dollar campaign, and one of only two horses to claim three consecutive Dan Patch Awards for best older male pacer. Rambling Willie is the other. Foiled Again's three wins in the Levy put him tied with stablemate Bettor's Edge atop the series standings. Rounding out the top 10 are Mach It So, Easy Again, Itrustyou, Apprentice Hanover, Clear Vision, P H Supercam, Dancin Yankee, and Hillbilly Hanover. The six-week series concludes April 26. * * * Speaking of multiple Dan Patch Award winning pacers, Anndrovette picked up her first win of the year last week in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Anndrovette has received the Dan Patch Award for best older female pacer each of the last three years, equaling the record shared by Eternal Camnation and Shady Daisy. With $2.61 million in career purses, Anndrovette ranks No. 6 on the all-time list for pacing mares, and she is closing in on No. 5 Loyal Opposition, who retired with $2.64 million. Eternal Camnation is the only pacing mare to exceed $3 million, finishing her career with $3.74 million. Anndrovette is tied with Rocklamation for fourth place in the Matchmaker series standings, behind Angels Delight, Yagonnakissmeornot, and Summertime Lea. Spots six through 10 are held by Ideal In Vegas, Somwherovrarainbow, Krispy Apple, Ramalama, and Fashion Mystery. The six-week series concludes April 26. * * * Somwherovrarainbow, who was the sport's 2-year-old pacing filly champion in 2012, has started this year with three consecutive wins for trainer Joe Holloway, and the second half of Holloway's dynamic duo is ready to return to action Friday at the Meadowlands. World champion Shebestingin is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the fillies and mares B-1/A-2 handicap at the Big M. Holloway said earlier this year that he planned to start Shebestingin in several overnight races before going to the $50,000 Miami Valley Distaff on May 4 at Ohio's new Miami Valley Raceway. Shebestingin paced the fastest mile ever by a female pacer when she won in 1:47 at Lexington's Red Mile last year. She prepped for her first start this season by winning two qualifiers, the first in 1:52.2 and the second in 1:54.3 into a stiff homestretch wind. * * * Also on Friday at the Meadowlands is the second leg of the Artistic Vision Series for pacing fillies and mares. Ron Burke's American In Paris, a perfect 5-for-5 this year, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the 12-horse field. Road Bet, who joined American In Paris in winning a first-round division last week, is 7-2 from the second tier. JK Letitgo, who was second to American In Paris for her first loss in eight starts this season, is 2-1. On Saturday night, the Big M hosts the second round of the Whata Baron Series. Wake Up Peter, who won his first-round division, leads the first of two second-leg splits. Captive Audience, who also won last week, headlines the second. * * * The Meadowlands has released the first edition of "The Road to the Meadowlands Pace," with undefeated Dan Patch Award winner He's Watching in the No. 1 spot. He's Watching dominated the New York Sire Stakes circuit and finished the year 8-for-8 with multiple track records and one world record. "We're pretty excited," trainer Dave Menary told Woodbine Media's Greg Gangle earlier this year. "He's the kind of horse that makes you want to get up in the morning. "We want to dance in all the big dances and hopefully he's up to it," he added. "There's a difference between saying it and doing it, but I think his speed is unquestionable." To see the entire "Road to the Meadowlands Pace" list, with comments from Darin Zoccali, click here. To see Gangle's interview with Menary, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 11) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 12) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The Ron Burke Stable continued to dominate Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series this past Saturday night (April 5). Burke trained the winners in all but one of the evening's four $50,000 divisions. Leading the Burke brigade once again was Foiled Again, who remained unbeaten in three series starts. He and driver Yannick Gingras went the distance, though not without having to work for it. Drawing outside his six rivals, Foiled Again went around pole-sitting P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) before a :27 opening quarter-mile. From there, the match race was on. After a :55.4 half, these two separated themselves from the overmatched quintet. Foiled Again found three-quarters in 1:24, taking a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. Then, P H Supercam took his shot. He dove inside and closed ground, but could not reach. Foiled Again prevailed by a head in 1:52. Rock On Moe (Eric Carlson) was a best-of-the-rest third as the 66-1 rank outsider. For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,105,968 (79-for-201). Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Burke's other Levy winners were Easy Again in 1:53.1 and Bettor's Edge in 1:52.2. Like Foiled Again, Bettor's Edge is also a perfect three-for-three in the series and they share the points lead in the Levy with 225 each. Easy Again has a pair of series scores and is in fourth place with 187 points. Summertime Lea and Yagonnakissmeornot won their respective divisions this past Friday night (April 4) in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for mares, the second score for each in the series. Yagonnakissmeornot moved into a first place tie in the standings with Angel's Delight, each with 200 points. Summertime Lea is third at 187 points. Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, is now five-for-nine this season with career earnings just under $400,000. For Summertime Lea, a 4-year-old daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith, it was her second win in three seasonal/series starts. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 96; 2. George Brennan - 94.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 58; 4. Daniel Dube - 30; 5. Brian Sears - 29. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 180.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 69; 3. Rene Allard - 30; 4t. Joe Holloway - 20; 4t. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 55.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 46.3; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 46.3; 4. Brad Grant - 20.5; 5. Joe Pennacchio - 20. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final preliminary leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy next weekend. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 5, 2014-The Ron Burke Stable ATM, officially named Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, continued with Round 3 Saturday night. Burke trained the winners in all but one of the evening's four, $50,000 divisions. Since the last (grouping) shall be first, let us begin where we usually do, with Foiled Again. He and driver Yannick Gingras went the distance, though not without having to work for it. Drawing outside his six rivals, Foiled Again quickly negated that nuisance. He went around pole-sitting P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. From there, the match race was on. After a :55.4 half, these two separated themselves from the overmatched quintet. Foiled Again found three-quarters in 1:24, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Then, P H Supercam took his shot. He dove inside and close ground, but could not reach. Foiled Again prevailed by a head in 1:52. Rock On Moe (Eric Carlson) was a best-of-the-rest third as the 66-1 rank outsider. For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,105,968 (79-for-201). Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Foiled Again, now 3-for-3 in this series and the season, returned the legal-minimum $2.10, with the exacta (two wagering choices) paid a season-low $3.10. Triple wagering was a no-no in all divisions due to limited wagering interests. "The first two weeks, he didn't have any pressure," Gingras said. "(Tonight), I wanted to air it out a bit. "Even so, he was loafing around until he heard (P H Supercam) coming. Then, he picked it up and he dug in. There was no way the other horse was going by me." Getting in the way of a Burke blitz was Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson). After a pair of seconds (one in a dead-heat) in this series, the Ontario contingent broke through. Leaving from post No. 3 in the third division, Apprentice Hanover was away third as Itrustyou (Gingras)-part of Burke's 1-2 favored entry-set sail through intervals of :26.4 and 56.3. Apprentice Hanover then moved to the leader, who offered just passive resistance. It was Apprentice Hanover grabbing the lead before a 1:23.3 three-quarters, leaving two-leg winner Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) first-up. The lead was two lengths turning for home, and Apprentice Hanover needed all of it. Mach it So moved to him but missed a neck in 1:52.4. Third went to rallying Clear Vision (George Brennan), part of the favored twosome. For Apprentice Hanover, a 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Brad Grant and trained by Ben Wallace, he returned $7.50 (third choice) for his sixth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.40. "He was a little funny in the first turn, same as he was in the last turn in the opening round," Jamieson said. "I thought it may have cost me early position. "It's always a challenge for a 4-year-old in this series. All the credit goes to Ben (Wallace). He managed him very well (in Canada). He wasn't getting tested up there, and was racing every other week. Going into this series, I wanted to make him work harder, because I knew he'd be taking on top horses." Saturday night's other Levy winners were... --Easy Again,r,5 (by Dragon Again); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 and Panhellenic Stbs/driver Brennan; 1:53.1/$2.40 (POE). --Bettor's Edge,g,5 (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 Stb/driver Gingras; 1:52.2/$2.20 (POE). As with Foiled Again, Bettor's Edge is 3-for-3 in this series. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway Frank Drucker Director of Publicity 810 Yonkers Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704 Phone: 914 457 2432 E-mail: FDrucker@YonkersRaceway.com
April 6, 2014 - HANA Harness is pleased to announce additional sponsors (one new and one returning) to the 2014 HANA Harness Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out' Handicapping Contest presented by The Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. New as a Silver Sponsor this year is the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) which presently represents horsemen at WEG tracks. Returning for a third year of sponsorship at the Silver level is Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. As Canadian sponsors, their donations will be used to benefit Canadian Standardbred rescues. We encourage all followers of the handicapping challenge to visit our sponsors' websites by visiting the contest website and clicking on their logos. Sponsorship opportunities remain available. Tracks, horsemen associations, racing stables, and those vendors who market to the harness racing industry and/or fans are welcome to become sponsors. For additional information regarding sponsorship, click here. HANA is also pleased to announce the roster of handicappers has been finalized with the addition of Brian McEvoy. McEvoy, works for Harnesslink in various capacities. This will be his first appearance in a HANA handicapping contest and he will be playing for Horse Rescue United. The first leg of the 2014 Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out' is scheduled for April 26, 2014 when the finals of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pace and the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will be contested at Yonkers Raceway. A complete list of contest days may be found here. by Al Schott, for HANA
I keep getting snake-bit in photo finishes that go the other way. That’s life in the handicapping world so you just dig in and try again this week. We have plenty of racing action with late and early closer action at Yonkers and the Meadowlands. The Matchmaker Series Friday and Levy Series Saturday at Yonkers is overrun with Ron Burke entries and thus looking at a lot of chalk in some of the race but we will try our luck in a couple of divisions. GOOD LUCK! $22,500 Artistic Vision Series Meadowlands 2nd race FRIDAY – Two top four-year-old mares will do battle here tonight with JK Letitgo taking on American In Paris. Great matchup as both have gate speed and the ability to come from off the pace so now it seems that driving tactics will play a big key to victory. I am going with JK Letitgo as she is unbeaten in seven starts this year and after last week’s big effort I think she can handle American In Paris. Use American In Paris and Hobe Sound in exotics. $40,000 Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 5th race FRIDAY – This is the best of the Matchmaker divisions as more than half the field has a legit shot at making it to the winner’s circle. I am siding with Angels Delight who has been so sharp this season. She is on a four-race winning streak and has won her two legs of the series so far. She has been coming from off the pace but with good inside post tonight she should get great position early on to score from again. Use Yagonnakissmeornot and Krispy Apple in exotic plays. $25,000 Final Dash For The C Note Trot Meadowlands 10th race FRIDAY – Wide open affair here but I am going with the lone mare in the field. Bluebird Kidsqueen has been very sharp and shows she can beat the boys. Outside post position should not hinder her efforts as she is a super strong closer. Use Merited Victory and Tiger’s Too Good in exotic plays. $22,500 Whata Baron Pacing Series Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY – With enough time to adjust to shipping up from Florida and one start under his belt, I look for Prairie Jaguar to rebound in the series. Apparently he now has a better fitting race bike too. He came up north on nine-race win streak which was no fluke so if the “old” Prairie Jaguar shows up in here he should have no trouble winning. Use Captive Audience and Scott Rocks in exotic plays. $50,000 Levy Pacing Series Yonkers Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – I may be a sucker for punishment after last week’s loss by a head but I am going to come right back with Apprentice Hanover. He had grabbed the lead in the stretch last week and just got caught at the wire. Still think he can come back just as strong and beat his older rivals tonight. Use the entries of Itrustyou/Clear Vision and Here We Go Again/Mach It So in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 10th race SATURDAY – Competitive field here so I am going to go with last week’s winner, Cougar Hall. Jackie Mo was willing to take him first-over and grind his way to the lead and throw in a final quarter mile in :27.4 to hold on. Did this from outside post like his has tonight so no reason to not think they can do it again. Use In Commando and Machal Jordan in exotic plays. $50,000 Levy Pacing Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – Will it be a real test for world champion Foiled Again? He may have his worst post draw of the early season but this super star is just so game and apparently in such good shape he should have it somewhat easy in scoring his 79th career victory. Has crushed his opponents in his first two starts this year and is coupled with stablemate Special Forces which makes the entry even tougher. Use the entry of P H Supercam/Validus Deo and Versado in exotic plays. $30,000 Final Dash For the C Note Pace Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY - If not for last week’s impressive win from post nine I may have passed on this one start from post ten but Quik Magic was very sharp last week and despite outside post I think he can do it again. It’s a very competitive field but the past shows Quik Magic has the ability to win from outside posts. Use the entry of Verdad/The Pan Poobah and Valentino/Up Up And Out in exotic plays. Sentimental Favorite And for a sentimental pick for Friday night, go with Sydney Weaver’s Sydney Seelster in race 2 at Woodbine. Sydney is the little darling of the harness racing world and her pacer, nicknamed “Pinky”, is switching from Flamboro to Woodbine and could pay a decent price is she can handle the big track.
YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 4, 2014-Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, its premier proving ground for Open Mare pacers. Three soggy $40,000 divisions went postward. The first event saw former New York Sire Stakes standout Summertime Lea (George Brennan, $2.40, part of odds-on entry) take it the house (:29.2, :58.4, 1:26.4, 1:55.1). Leaving from post position No. 3, she went around pole-sitting Ramalama (Matt Kakaley), then was pestered a stubborn, first-up Fashion Mystery (Eric Carlson). The former held the latter at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length. Ramalama, the winner's wagering buddy Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras) and Regil Elektra (Ron Pierce) completed the cashers. For "Lea," a 4-year-old daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith, it was her second win in three seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $34.20, with the triple returning $74.20. "She obviously can leave the gate, which works to her advantage," Brennan said. "When she won (the first week), it was her first start of the season and you never know what to expect, but she has impressed me." Like Summertime Lea, Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $6) notched a second series victory. Away alertly from post No. 4, she leaped over Krispy Apple (Tim Tetrick), then laid down the law through intervals of :28.2, :58, 1:26.1 and 1:54.3. "Yagonna" widened to a pair of lengths into the lane before winning by that same margin. Angel's Delight-she also twice a winner in the Matchmaker and making a first start for new connections-rallied into second from a loose three-hole, with Krispy Apple, Charisma Hanover (Gingras) and Feeling You (Tyler Buter) coming away with the remainder. For tepid wagering favorite Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 5-for-9 this season (career earnings just under $400,000) The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $520. The third division went to a solid, two-move Anndrovette (Tetrick, $7.40). Caught wide after starting outside her seven rivals, she found a four-hole as 11-10 choice Ideal in Vegas (Jordan Stratton) won the scrum for the lead (:28, :57.4). Anndrovette caught a break down the backside when pocket-sitting longshot Cheyenne Miriam (Brennan) began to tire. That allowed the double-millionairess an impromptu rest stop by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. "Vegas" owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, but Anndrovette ducked in and went by. The margin was a half-length in 1:55.3. Royal Cee Cee N (Pierce), Bettor B Lucky (Gingras) and Cheyenne Miriam grabbed the minor moolah. "It's taken her a couple of starts to get her winning attitude back, but I never lost faith," Tetrick said. "I was able to get a breather with her, the other mare (Ideal in Vegas) tired a bit and mine is just so big and strong." For second choice Anndrovette, a 7-year-old daughter of Riverboat King trained by PJ Fraley for co-owners by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino, it was her first win in three season/series starts. The exacta paid $30.60, the triple returned $95 and the superfecta paid $520. Friday's $38,000 Open Trot was won by a cone-skimming Backstreet Hanover (Carlson, $37), who beat the boys in 1:57.2 The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with four, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5,9 and 11 on the 12-race card). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Columbus, OH --- The USTA's online entry program, which has been in the beta testing phase during the past month, is scheduled to go live on April 7. When the platform kicks off officially on Monday, nine racetracks are signed up and ready to start taking online entries. The nine tracks are Balmoral Park, Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway, Maywood Park, The Meadows, Plainridge Racecourse, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Northfield Park, and Yonkers Raceway. "We are ready to go with nine tracks and about 40 trainers that have been part of the testing period," said USTA Director of Registry and Member Services T.C. Lane. "But this is going to grow rapidly as new racetracks and trainers are being added every day." During the beta testing period that began on March 17, more than 700 horses were entered electronically by nearly 40 trainers, including Ron Burke who entered more than 130 during the trial. Of the tracks participating, Dover Downs accepted 269 online entries as of April 1. "It's going to be a big help for stakes especially," said Burke, the 2013 Trainer of the Year. "But for the everyday racehorses, it's still going to be a tremendous advantage." The USTA has produced an informative video that describes the benefits of online entries and serves as a tutorial for trainers on how to use the platform. The video can be viewed here. With the USTA's new, online entry program, harness racing becomes the first of the racing breeds in North America to have the capability to enter horses electronically. It allows trainers to enter their horses via the internet from computers or mobile devices days ahead of the current system. The online entry project was spearheaded by Lane and Sherry Antion-Mohr, USTA director of information technology. "Trainers can now map out their racing schedules at their own leisure, a week or more in advance," said Lane. "It also makes things much easier for race secretaries at the tracks." Trainers can start to enter horses electronically as soon as the condition sheet is made available from the race office, typically seven to 10 days before the races. by Dan Leary, for the USTA
The 50 cent Pick 5 at Yonkers Raceway paid a record $16,228 Tuesday night as two winning 50 cent tickets were sold. The five figure jackpot easily eclipsed previous records. The high payout this year was $9,826 on February 4. The all-time record had been $12,063 on August 24, 2013. A carryover of nearly $8,000 heading into the evening produced an additional $32,731 of new wagers. That amount was also a record for a one-day carryover, surpassing the $28,609 that was handled on August 6, 2013. The Pick 5 is a 50 cent wager that debuted at Yonkers in June 2013. It covers races five through nine every racing night and carries a $10,000 guaranteed pool on Mondays and Tuesdays.
This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 4) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 5) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the third round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: There were four repeat winners in last week's second leg of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. Bettor's Edge, Foiled Again, Itrustyou and Mach It So each made it two-for-two in the series by capturing their respective $50,000 events on the March 29 card at The Hilltop. Foiled Again and Yannick Gingras were easy winners in a time of 1:53.4. Foiled Again's 78th lifetime victory was among his simplest. Leaving from post position No. 4 in the last of the four divisions, Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras), leading a 1-20 Ron Burke-trained troika, had nothing more than a soggy stroll. After fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:53.4, Foiled Again found himself getting to the finish line 3-1/4 lengths before his competition. In this case, the closest competition was entrymate Aracache Hanover (Daniel Dube), with Texican N (Brian Sears) third. For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 purse check increased his lifetime loot to $6,080,968. Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. There were a pair of repeat winners in the March 28 second leg divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series as Angel's Delight and Somwherovrarainbow vaulted to the top of the series standings with impressive victories. For Angel's Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was her sixth win (with four seconds) in 10 seasonal starts. Somwherovrarainbow, a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Joe Holloway for co-owners Diamond Creek Racing and Ted Gewertz, is now three-for-three this season. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 74; 2. George Brennan - 67.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 41; 4. Brian Sears - 29; 5. Daniel Dube - 20. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 136.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 45; 3t. Rene Allard - 20; 3t. Joe Holloway - 20; 3t. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 37.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 33.7; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 33.7; 4. Joe Pennacchio - 20; and 5. M1 Stable - 10.85. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next two weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 26. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit