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 (1Â¼ 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 www.yonkersraceway.com. 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
Baseball fans in New York are familiar with the "Le Grand Orange," the nickname of popular former Mets star Rusty Staub. Now, nearly 30 years after Staub's retirement, racing fans in New York will get their first in-person look at "Le Grand Blonde," globe-trotting trotter Commander Crowe. Commander Crowe races Saturday night in the $250,000 International Trot Preview Invitational at Yonkers Raceway. It will be Commander Crowe's first start on American soil. He has raced twice previously in North America, both in the Breeders Crown Open Trot at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, finishing third each time. An 11-year-old Swedish-born gelding, Commander Crowe has won 60 of 104 career races, earning $4.78 million. His earnings rank No. 5 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the prestigious Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. The International Trot Preview, to be contested at 1-1/4 miles with a field of eight horses, is the precursor to the return of the International Trot next year at Yonkers after a two-decade hiatus. Joining Commander Crowe in this season's event are Sebastian K, another star from Europe who this year became history's fastest trotter, and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, the lone female in the field. Also in the race are Arch Madness, a multiple-stakes-winner of $4.25 million lifetime who finished second to Commander Crowe in the 2012 Elitlopp, and 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel. Rounding out the group are Obrigado, Natural Herbie, and Not Afraid. Commander Crowe will start the International Trot Preview from post No. 1 with Orjan Kihlstrom at the lines for trainer Fabrice Souloy. He enters the race off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Gran Premio Turilli in Rome on Oct. 5. In August, he raced three heats to win the Grade 1 Aby Stora Pris in Sweden. "We hope for the best," Souloy said. "For us, in Europe we know the track, we know what to do. But in America, we don't know so much. We don't know the track, we don't know which (post) is the best; it's a little new to us. If it's a race in France or Scandinavia, I could say, yes, that's good. We'll see." Souloy expects Commander Crowe to have no trouble negotiating the turns on Yonkers' half-mile oval. "The turns are not a problem for him," Souloy said. "He will not care about it." Commander Crowe arrived in central New Jersey on Saturday, following two days in quarantine, and will remain there in preparation for November's Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. Souloy hopes the extra time will help Commander Crowe get acclimated to racing in North America. In his previous trips to the Breeders Crown, the horse arrived just prior to the event. "We were disappointed, yes and no," Souloy said about Commander Crowe's previous Breeders Crown starts. "The season was so long for him; he started to race in March and he went all the season, so many transports, and I think when he got here he was a little down. I think in 2012 if he had come in June or July, he would have been much better than that. The trip was really tough. "In 2012, he had raced 14 times. He went to Norway, he went to Denmark, he went to Sweden; he went everywhere. It was a tough season. It is so difficult to keep him on the top until November." Commander Crowe, a chestnut gelding who didn't begin racing until late in his 3-year-old season and won the first 23 starts of his career, moved to Souloy's stable in 2010. He is owned by the Snogarps Gard ownership group of Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg and Joakim Wihlborg. He is a son of Juliano Star, out of the Mack Lobell-sired mare Somack. "For me, in 2012, the horse was fantastic," Souloy said. "He won everything in Europe. In 2013, he had so many problems, (including) an infection in the leg. This year, he has been really good. It is nice to be asked to come back here again because we feel the horse has come back really good." On Saturday, Commander Crowe will renew his rivalry with Sebastian K, who followed trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt to the U.S. last winter and has won eight of 11 races and $663,853 this season. On June 28, he won in 1:49 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to become the fastest trotter in history. "I am not surprised because he was so fast in Sweden," Souloy said. "Long distance, I think he is not his best. He is a real miler, really fast. It's not the same style (of racing here). In Europe, you get many attacks and you need to be really strong. For me, it is a horse for a mile. I am not surprised by his success." Souloy, like many fans, is looking forward to Commander Crowe's starts in the States. "It's nice for the sport," he said. "It's nice to have many good horses." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
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
The following letter was sent to the membership of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York by its president, Joe Faraldo. The Standardbred Owners Association of New York and Yonkers Raceway have spent a great deal of time, effort and resources in securing new markets to simulcast races from Yonkers. It started with a relationship with Australian harness racing, which has now grown to a market that wagers more than $30 million a year on races from Yonkers. The next new market is Europe. For the last year, no kidding, we have been working on getting races from Yonkers simulcast to the PMU, the French pari-mutuel wagering association that takes bets from much of Europe. Those efforts are coming to fruition with the start of Sunday simulcasting on November 9 and continuing every Sunday through the end of the Yonkers meet December 14. It’s always challenging to enter a new market and this European market is extra special. The PMU hosts the second largest wagering pools in the world. And Yonkers will be the first track, harness or thoroughbred, which will be simulcast there from the United States on a weekly basis. Here are some of the things Yonkers & the SOA of NY have teamed together on to educate bettors overseas and to help make this venture a success: Developed web site in French www.yonkers-france to promote Yonkers and have an easy way to give out racing information to bettors overseas. Created social media pages (facebook, twitter, pinterest) in French for fans to keep up with American racing. Started and funded in cooperation with Yonkers an ad campaign in the daily French racing form, The Paris Turf, and also on the French racing television channel in an effort to insure that we properly promote Yonkers’ signal. Engaged domestic ADWs to offer promotions for members to wager on Yonkers on Sundays. Some ADWs will provide multiple reward benefits for wagering on this special Sunday card. The Yonkers signal will also be distributed to Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta The French PMU marketing branch is offering $5,000 Euros (approx. $6,500) on the first two Sundays to the French bettors that wager on Yonkers. Engaged an expert as an overseas liaison to help us make decisions and coordinate our efforts to put our best foot forward. We believe this will open the door to more of this simulcasting at more reasonable times on a different day of the week – that would be more convenient to the horsmen . Obtained permission to have advanced wagering on Sunday card from the NYS Gaming Commission. As part of this effort the International Trot will return in 2015 to Yonkers Raceway and its Preview will be raced October 25th, 2015 on a blockbuster card including the Yonkers Trot, The Messenger Stakes, the Lady Maud and the Hudson Filly Trot. The real payoff to the global expansion is commingling because it presents the opportunity for much bigger wagering pools which would be very attractive to our players currently based here in the US. Basically, we have busted our butt to for a long time and with a lot of days, weeks and months of extraordinary cooperation with Yonkers and the NYS Gaming Commission. The Commission has been encouraging us to move forward to promote our sport and has been extremely sensitive to the sacrifices and unique needs of the French initiative. There is no doubt as to its untapped potential. We realize that this initial Pilot Program will mean sacrifices for everyone and so far everyone has gone out on a limb to make this work, however but this initial sacrifice will lead to the start of a global exposure for Yonkers and our industry. It will insure to a large extent, more than anything else, a future for our game. We are excited about the Pilot Program’s potential expansion which will not be as onerous on all of our resources as this startup is. We are pleased about the participation and cooperation from the NYS Gaming Commission and Yonkers and truly believe that Tim Rooney, Sr. aptly said of these six weeks of the Program, “we have but one chance to get this right, we can’t fail”. The SOA and Yonkers will see to it that those horsemen participating in these French simulcasts will be rewarded. We know the sacrifices the SOA and Yonkers have made; the numerous meetings, the planning, the expense and we sincerely hope that all horsemen join hands in the effort to insure the vitality of our business. Programs like this are essential for our future. A future which as we have seen can be altered overnight.
YONKERS, NY, Monday, October 20, 2014-If more than $1.5 million in stakes money up for grabs Saturday night isn't enough incentive to watch and wager, Yonkers Raceway has added a bit more. There is a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool, comprised of all the featured events, as in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview, $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot. Please be advised that the order of the races is TBA as of this writing (open draw for all is Tuesday afternoon), and the Pick 5 (for this night only) may be moved from its customary slot of races 5 through 9. It does remain a 50-cent base wager with no consolation payoff. Program pages shall be available for perusal no later than Wednesday afternoon at www.yonkersraceway.com. "Saturday is going to be the best race card anywhere. We're very proud Yonkers Raceway is hosting these classic events, and we invite everyone to see these world-class pacers and trotters," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. As always, the guaranteed pool is a joint venture of the Raceway, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and the US Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. 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
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, October 19, 2014--Yonkers Raceway has announced the octet of world-class trotters for this Saturday night's (Oct. 25th) International Trot Preview. The race, at one-and-one-quarter miles for a purse of $250,000, is a precursor to next season's return--after a two-decade hiatus--of the International Trot. The eight on the gate for the Preview are (alphabetically) Archangel, Arch Madness, reigning Harness Horse of the Year Bee a Magician, Commander Crowe, Market Share, Natural Herbie, Not Afraid and Sebastian K. the world's fastest trotter. Here's a quick cheat sheet... ARCHANGEL--A 5-year-old statebred son of Credit Winner with more than $1.1 million on account, he's the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner (track-record for 3YO colts [1:54.1]). After a year in the breeding shed, he returned for new trainer Ron Burke and took a life-best 1:50 effort earlier this season. Archangel is co-owned by Legendary Standardbred Farm (Alan Hainsworth) and Clare Semer. ARCH MADNESS--The 10-year-old Balanced Image gelding is a millionaire four times over for co-owners Marc Goldberg & Willow Pond LLC and trainer Trond Smedshammer. Arch Madness served notice that he's back in business this past Friday night, with an 11-length romp in a track-record 2:00.3 for the mile-and-one-sixteenth. BEE A MAGICIAN--2013's Harness Horse of the Year on the strength of a perfect 17-for-17 season, this 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra is defending the honor of the fairer sex here. Thrice a winner (with six seconds) in a dozen starts this season, Bee A Magician's lone local appearance was an effortless track-record (4YO mares) 1:55 in Open event in late August. The lass, a career $2.5 million earner, is trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. COMMANDER CROWE--One of Europe's preeminent trotters, the 11-year-old Juliano Star gelding joins Arch Madness in the $4 million earnings club. His 60 career victories include the Elitlopp in 2012 and, more recently, Sweden's Ã…by Stora Pris invitational. This is his U.S. debut and third North American start, the first two of a pair of thirds in Breeders Crowns (2011 & '12). "Commander" is trained by Fabrice Souloy for owner Snogarps Gard AB (Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg & Joakim Wihlborg). MARKET SHARE--This 5-year-old son of Revenue S is approaching $3.5 million in lifetime loot. His resume includes wins in a pair of seven-figure events, the 2012 Hambletonian and that season's Canadian Trotting Derby. A season ago, it was the Breeders Crown. Maple Leaf Trot and TVG Free-For-All and American-National. In 2014, the Maxie Lee (Harrah's Philly) has been his biggest win to date. Market Share's lone local appearance was a third-place effort (to Archangel) in the 2012 Yonkers Trot. Linda Toscano trains for co-owners Richard Gutnick, Bill Augustine and T L P Stable. NATURAL HERBIE--A 4-year-old Here Comes Herbie gelding has gone from being the scourge of Indiana to one of North America's best trotters. A .500 hitter (11-for-22) this season and a shade better (23-for-45, $624,851) for his career, "Herbie" whipped Invitational class horses in the Vincennes (Meadowlands, life-best 1:51.4) and Noble Memorial (Scioto) for owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder. NOT AFRAID--If there's not a law that says a high-end trotting event can't be held without a representative of Jimmy Takter present, perhaps there ought to be. This 5-year-old S J's Caviar gelding is co-owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding and Goran Anderberg. He's a six-time winner each of the last two seasons with career earnings in excess of $400,000. Not Afraid defeated Arch Madness in a Pocono Preferred event earlier this month. However, this is certainly a step up the social circle from the crowd Not Afraid saw the last time he was here, going winless in five tries against overnighters in the first half of 2013. SEBASTIAN K--When your business card reads "World's Fastest Trotter," do you need any other references? The 8-year-old son of Korean, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt for owner Knutsson Trotting (Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjoberg), has taken the continent by storm in 2014. Eight wins and two seconds in 11 starts ($663,853), with his stunning 1:49 effort in a late June Pocono Invitational rewriting all the record books. A pair of stakes wins at the Meadowlands and one a Vernon are also included. His European prowess unquestioned (nearly $2.3 million in earnings), Sebastian K, as well as Commander Crowe, add to the tremendous list of overseas horses who have, ahem, "taken their talents to Westchester." This Saturday night's (Oct. 25) five stakes finals...$500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview, $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot shall be "open drawn" Tuesday afternoon. 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
YONKERS, NY, -It was "Elimination Saturday," with Yonkers Raceway hosting paring events for three harness racing stakes events. Fifteen 3-year-old colts and geldings turned into eight for Yonkers Trot No. 60, as standouts Nuncio (John Campbell, barred from wagering) and Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., $2.30, part of entry) were comfy winners in the pair of $40,000 elims. Nuncio, in play early form post position No. 5, waited his turn before finally making the lead. He parked Skates N Plates (George Brennan), then strode home by 3 Â½ lengths (:28.4, :58 1:26.4, 1:56.2). Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick), the wagering "winner ($6.20), was second, with Journey (Dan Dube) and Expressive Action (Jason Bartlett) third and fourth, respectively. The wagering exacta paid $81, with the wagering triple returning $221. For Kentucky Futurity champ Nuncio, a millionaire Andover Hall colt trained by Jimmy Takter for owner Stall Tz, it was his ninth win (third consecutive) in 14 seasonal starts. Note that he and sixth-place finisher Amped Up Hanover (Matt Kakaley) raced for purse only, as the latter, co-owned by Takter's wife, Christina, were not made a parimutuel entry. "He didn't have to show me anything," Campbell--eying a third Trot title--said of Nuncio. 'I just took my time with him getting the lead, then I let him do it all by himself." Nuncio New York Sire Stakes champion Gural Hanover, the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into this season's Trot, won the draw in the second elim. He retook from a breaking-soon-after Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald) before finishing his four turns (:28.4, 58.1; 1:27.2; 1:56.3) a length faster than Resolve (Tetrick) in 1:56.3. Third went to King City (Brennan), with Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) getting the final place at the table. For Gural Hanover, a Crazed gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E and Panhellenic Stables, he's now 10-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $7.10, with the triple returning $24.40. Gural Hanover The $40,000 musical chairs elim for the 59th Messenger--nine soph colts/geldings to end up with eight--was won by a pocket-sitting Luck Be Withyou (Tetrick, $23). From post No. 2, he whipped a cone-skimming Forty Five Red (Brennan) by a neck (:27.2; :57, 1:25 1:53) with McWicked (Dave Miller) a belated third. All Bets Off (Kakaley), the NYSS champ and strongest third of the 4-5 favored entry, tired noticeably on the lead despite cheap fractions, winding up fourth. Western Conquest (Brent Holland), Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller), National Debt (Campbell) and Stevensville (Ray Schnittker) completing the qualifying octet, while Double Your Bet (Jason Bartlett) was outrun. For fourth choice "Luck," a Western Ideal colt owned by John Craig and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his fifth win in 13 '14 tries. The exacta paid $41.40, with the triple returning $84.50. "I just wanted to be able to be in a position to chase (All Bets Off)," Tetrick said. "He obviously was no goof tonight, and we were able to take advantage." "Flat, very flat," Kakaley said. "I was cruising at the five-eighths, then in the final turn, I knew I was in trouble. "I don't know if he's sick, but he was not nearly the same horse tonight." Luck Be Withyou Saturday night's pair of $20,000 eliminations for the Lady Maud (3-year-old pacing fillies) were won by Fancy Desire (Brennan, $2.70) in 1:54, and Act Now (Brennan again, $4.90) in 1:53.1. The other lasses returning for the final are Beautiful Lady, Tyra, Do Your Job, Scandalicious, A La Notte Hanover and Anagada. Also Saturday, the Raceway honored the recently-retired Cat Manzi with a video tribute, a winner's circle presentation and a meet-and-greet autograph photo session with fans. Next Saturday's (Oct. 25) five stakes finals...$500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview, $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot (no elims-only six entered) shall be "open drawn" Tuesday afternoon. 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
YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 17, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for any trotter with letters of reference-were won by a down-the-road Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $2.90) and a storming-home Obrigado (Brian Sears, $10.80). The week's fairer-sex feature was strictly a two-speed number, with odds-on Krispy Apple leaving around Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton). The people's preference sent pokey early fractions (:28, :57.2) before Summertime Lea (George Brennan) tried her luck with a second move. "Lea" second came close in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters as Krispy Apple opened a couple of lengths entering the lane. She held sway, defeating Robin Cruiser by a length-and-a-half in 1:53.2. Coffee Addict, Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) and Campanile (Austin Siegelman) rounded out the payees. For Krispy Apple, a 6-year-old millionaress daughter of Western Ideal trained by PJ Fraley for co-owners Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino, it was her third win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $10.40, with the triple returning $70.50. The week's marquee trot saw last week's winner-and this week's eight-hole assignee-Somebody AS (Dan Dube) intent on the lead. He found it, vaulting over 8-5 choice DW's NY Yank (Brennan) right a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.4 intermission, Melady's Monet (Bartlett) moved from fourth...and move his did. "Melady" went right up and over a stopping leader, opening nighttime daylight by the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland), given a perfect tow, was losing ground, while DW's NY Yank was shuffled out. Melady's Monet, widening to two lengths off the final turn, looked home, but Obrigado never received the memo. Eighth at the half and seventh turning for home, Obrigado did something unheard of. He made up 7Â¼ lengths to snap the Melady's Money by a head in 1:55. "Lorenzo," Traverse Seelster (Tyler Buter) and "DW" came away with the minor awards. For third choice Obrigado, a 4-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, William Weaver III, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, he's now 9-for-20 this season (30-for-43 lifetime). The exacta paid $80, the triple returned $325 and the superfecta paid $2,148. Note that since no one went home with Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a $3,060.97 carryover (50-cent base wager on races 5 through 9). Saturday night features two eliminations for Yonkers Trot No. 60 and one for Messenger Stakes No. 59. Also, a tribute to recently-retired Cat Manzi, who shall make the sixth race presentation, then autograph photos for fans. 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
When Joe Faraldo, president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association, asked his members if they would be willing to race at a distance of one and quarter miles on Thursday (Oct. 16) in the NAADA Fall Trotting Series leg at Yonkers Raceway he got a positive response from everyone. "I told them that I was asked by management to race at one and one-quarter miles because with the upcoming global simulcasts to France they wanted to test the tele-timers and charted lines and the overall integrity of the tele-timer systems," Faraldo related. "And by all measures everything seemed to be spot-on." The first of the two non-wagering NAADA trots on Thursday saw Hannah Miller get a two-hole trip from the get-go with Rev It Now and then when the field turned for home, rally the veteran trotter to a two-length victory over Alaric and driver Shane Darish in a time of 2:32.4 for the 1-1/4 mile contest. Third place went to Rompaway Alvin with Dave Yarock at the controls. For the pretty 22-year old lass it was her fifth winning drive in nine seasonal starts. Rev It Now is owned by Nick Surick, Hannah Miller and the Erv Miller Stable, and trained by Nick Surick. In the second NAADA trot Kelly Walker used the same game plan as Hannah Miller when he had Rush N Supreme in the two-hole behind Tagmaster (Bob Hechkoff) until mid-stretch and then trot by the pace-setter to score a 2-1/4 length victory in a time of 2:31.4. Wygant Prince and Bob Davis also passed Tagmaster in the lane to garner second money. Hechkoff's trotter did, however, take home the show dough. Rush N Supreme, a 10 year old altered son of SJ's Caviar, trained by Bob Baggitt, Jr. is owned by his driver. "Many of the drivers told me after the race that they enjoyed racing over the longer distance," said Faraldo, who himself was a participant in the second NAADA trot.(He finished fourth with Permanent Joy) Faraldo, a lawyer by trade is also in president of the SOA of NY, and he and his organization have been working hand and hand with Tim Rooney and Yonkers management in making the Global simulcasts to France come to fruition. The global simulcasts will begin on Nov. 9 and continue Sundays through Dec. 14. However, to accommodate the anticipated European bettors, Yonkers Sunday post times will be at 11AM. by John Manzi, for the North American Amateur Drivers Association
Last week we came up short on the win bets at $-2.90 for the weekend but more than made up for it in some decent exotic scores that totaled more than $350.00. This week there are tons of racing action Friday and Saturday with the Windy City Pace Friday at Maywood Park, the Indiana Sire Stakes finals at Hoosier Park Saturday, Woodbine is back in action with the elims Friday and Saturday for the top freshman stakes, Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds & Goldsmith Maid, Yonkers has the eliminations for the Messenger Pace and Yonkers Trot and we even stop at Batavia Downs for the Robert Kane Memorial Pace. Good Luck! $25,000 Pace Three Diamonds 2yo Filly elim Woodbine 1st race FRIDAY - She is the "little darling" of harness racing. Unbeaten JK She'salady is a perfect 8 for 8 going into her elimination division. She has beaten everyone in this field already this season and continues her domination of the freshman pacing filly ranks. Use Happy Becky and Solar Sister in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Goldsmith Maid 2yo Filly elim Woodbine 3rd race FRIDAY - World record holder Mission Brief either wires the field or runs like a deer. Temperamental filly is super-fast and should be able to win in here. Use Danielle Hall and Stubborn Belle in exotic plays. $37,600 Pace Cinderella Stake 3yo Fillies Maywood Park 8th race FRIDAY - Last week this filly was gutted trying to get to the front and never making it. Lady Shadow has been great for most of the season and has the speed and ability to get the jump on the field and return to winning ways. Use Major Dancer and Kayla Grace in exotic plays. $180,000 Windy City Pace 3yo Colts Maywood Park 9th race FRIDAY - Top stakes race has drawn a very competitive field. After last week's great closing effort in American-National from post 10, I have to go with Somewhere In L A. He is never out of the money and from good inside post he is due to get some great cover to score from. Use Big Boy Dreams and Let's Drink On It in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Messenger Stake 3yo Colts elim Yonkers 2nd race SATURDAY - This is the prelude to next week's finale as only one will be eliminated from this race. I think the Ron Burke entry of All Bets Off/Forty Five Red will be very tough to beat. All Bets Off has been awesome all season with ten wins. He draws inside and is on a five-race win streak. Use McWicked and National Debt in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Valley Victory 3yo Colt elim Woodbine 3rd race SATURDAY - Having won five of his last six starts makes Habitat the big favorite in here and rightly so. Has beaten almost everyone he has faced this year on the front end and can overcome outside post to do it again. Use Whom Shall I Fear and Noble Power in exotic plays. $40,000 Yonkers Trot 3yo colt elim Yonkers Raceway 4th race SATURDAY - Being the class of the field does not hurt Nuncio's chances in here, but having only once qualified on a half mile track (won in 1:58.4) at age two makes this a tough start. Draws into easier of two divisions but questionable if can take the turns but Jimmy Takter would not have entered him if he can't handle it. Use Way Outta Here and Don Dorado in exotic plays. $40,000 Yonkers Trot 3yo colt elim Yonkers Raceway 5th race SATURDAY - The Ron Burke entry of Gural Hanover/Hillustrious looms very tough in here with their 1-2 post positions. Well matched field has to be dwindled down to just four to advance to the final so the action will be fast and furious. Use Flyhawk El Durado and Datsyuk in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot Indiana Sire Stakes 2yo Colt Final Hoosier Park 7th race SATURDAY - This race should belong to Airman Batten as he has won ten of his twelve starts this year and had beaten everyone in the field this season and has done it from on and off the pace. Use Steal N Gas and Homicide Hunter in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Robert Kane Memorial Invit Batavia Downs 7th race SATURDAY - Changed my mind a couple of times on this race which only shows how competitive the field is. I decided to go with Aracache Hanover off his two straight wins at Yonkers, wiring the field in extra distance races. Use Easy Again and Apprentice Hanover in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Governors Cup 2yo Colt elim Woodbine 8th race SATURDAY - We Will See tonight if the break by Artspeak was a fluke two weeks ago or if he is getting tired from the tough season. Outside post not much help but with a week's rest if he is fit he will work his magic, get to the front and return to winning ways. Use Dudes The Man and Pierce Hanover in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Indiana Sire Stakes Final 3yo Fillies Hoosier 11th race SATURDAY - Winner of the Jugette has not missed a beat since her impressive victories in Delaware. Color's A Virgin has won 10 of 14 starts this year and is on a four-race win streak that she should be able to add another triumph to. Use Candy's A Virgin and Always Wearable in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Indiana Sire Stakes Final 3yo Colts Hoosier 13th race SATURDAY - Having ruled in the Indiana Sire Stakes this season, Always B Miki returns for the rich final for Joe Holloway Stable. Has won five of last six starts, rested a week and should be primed to lay over this field. Use Bluehourpower and If I Lose in exotic plays.
YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 15, 2014-To successfully salute Catello Manzi's career, one would need a vast vocabulary as well as a gaggle of gold stars. Manzi and his harness racing achievements shall be recognized by Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Oct. 18), appreciated by friends, fans and competitors. Take in the Catman's career numbers for a second...more than 91,000 drives, a figure unmatched by any jockey or driver. Then, there are the 14,800 wins and $158 million in purses. Let those figures sink in. For four decades, he was among the elite drivers everywhere he hung his hat, from Monticello to Liberty Bell to Freehold to Garden State Park to the Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway. Of course, there are the highlights from a Hall of Fame career...as in a trio of Yonkers Trots, a North America Cup, a Meadowlands Pace, a William Haughton Memorial, three Hudson Filly Trots, a division of the Lady Maud and the richest Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace ever. Throw a Driver of the Year award into the mix and you see why the affable Catman found himself in some rare air. It's fair to say his harness racing resume shall never be duplicated. Manzi retired earlier this season and Saturday night, the Raceway pays tribute to an unmatched career and the gentleman behind it. Congratulations, Cat. (Note...Yonkers is 'forcing' Manzi to sing for his supper, as Cat makes the presentation for Saturday night's sixth race Open Handicap Pace, then signs autographed photos directly outside the winner's circle). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (trio of stakes eliminations) at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. By Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 14, 2014-A total of sixteen 3-year-old colts and geldings, led by Kentucky Futurity winner Nuncio, have been entered for Yonkers Raceway's Yonkers Trot, final jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. The number, which also includes New York Sire Stakes champ-and $30,000 supplemental entrant---Gural Hanover-necessitated a pair of eliminations this Saturday night. The Trot offers a total purse of $580,000, with each of this weekend's elims going for $40,000 each. The first four finishers in each qualify the final. First elim (alphabetical, not in post position order)--Datsyuk (Charlie Norris), E L Titan (Ron Pierce), Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald), Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.), Hillustrious (Dave Miller), King City (Dave Miller also listed), Muscles and Spice (Brett Miller), Resolve (Corey Callahan). Second elim (alphabetical, not in post position order)-Amped Up Hanover (Matt Kakaley), DD's Hitman (Ake Svanstedt), Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick), Expressive Action (Jason Bartlett), Journey (Dan Dube), Nuncio (John Campbell), Skates N' Plates (George Brennan), Way Outta Here (Dave Miller) Speaking of Triple Crowns, the pacing version of same wraps up with the $540,000 Messenger Stakes, which saw nine 3-year-old pacers enter. Leading the way are stakes winning All Bets Off (Art Rooney, NYSS, Millstein), Lyonssomewhere (Cane) and McWicked (Hempt, Adios, PA Sire Stakes) This Saturday night, there's a $40,000 "musical chairs" elim, with all but one horse returning for the $500,000 final. The nine, again alphabetically, are...All Bets Off (Kakaley), Double Your Bet (Kakaley also listed), Forty Five Red (Brennan), Luck Be Withyou (Tetrick), Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller), McWicked (Dave Miller), National Debt (Brett Miller also listed), Stevensville (Tetrick also listed),Western Conquest (Brent Holland). This is the 60th edition of Yonkers Raceway's premier trotting event, while it's Messenger No. 59. The distaff companion stakes to the Trot and the Messenger-the $124,590 Hudson Filly and $190,854 Lady Maud-attracted six and 11 ladies, respectively. The Hudson is a single-dash finale, while the Maud offers two $20,000 elims this Saturday to extract the eight finalists. All four stakes finals, plus the $250,000, mile-and-one-quarter International Trot Preview, are scheduled for Saturday night, Oct. 25. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 11, 2014- P H Supercam and harness racing driver Jason Bartlett,continued his form festival Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Floating out from post position No. 7, P H Supercam found a five-hole as Texican N (Eric Carlson) made the first lead. He then gave it up to extended move from 7-5 fave Bigtown Hero (Brian Sears). That one grabbed the advantage just after a :2.72 opening quarter-mile, then widened by a :55.2 intermission. P H Supercam then made his second move, going after the leader by the 1:23.4 three-quarters. In and out of the final, turn, Bigtown Hero was done. P H Supercam opened a comfy margin, then held off the late surge of Pancetta (Jordan Stratton) by a diminishing head in 1:51.4. Texican N, Dream Out Loud N (Eric Goodell) and Fameous Western (Larry Stalbaum) rounded out the payees. For second choice P H Supercam, a 7-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by PJ Fraley, it was his 10th win (third consecutive) in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $31,40, with the triple returning $146.50. 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. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 11, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted the sixth annual Fall Harvest Festival, which again spotlighted the thriving relationship between harness racing and agriculture throughout New York State. All the popular Festival sights, sounds and tastes were there, including live music, pony rides, New York State craft beers, face painting and a pumpkin patch. Also on the docket was the Legislators' Challenge, where a dozen of the state's elected officials slugged out in the sulky (or double-seated jog cart, as the case may be). The three, four-horse divisions were won by... --State Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn), driving (with some nominal assistance from Jason Bartlett) Critical Acclaim in 2:13.3; --Repeat "Challenge" Assembly Member Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport), driving (again, with Bartlett there for some reason), Sarno in 2:13.3; --State Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bayshore), driving (with Jordan Stratton as his GPS) Show Me Up in a night's-fastest 2:11.3. With all due respect to those who left with Legislators' Challenge bragging rights, the biggest winner was breast cancer awareness and research. Yonkers Raceway, in conjunction with the North America Amateur Drivers Association, donated $15,000 to the Susan G. Komen Greater NYC. "We were excited to be invited and, obviously, overjoyed with the donation," Linda Tantawi, CEO of Komen Greater NYC said. "It's so important to get tested. Seventy percent of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease." To keep with the theme of the evening, drivers carried pink whips, pink horseshoes were given away and pink blankets-sponsored by a dozen of the Raceway's leading trainers-were presented to all the winning horses (a salute to trainer Monica Banca for her role as "blanket point person"). For more information, please visit www.komennyc.org. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 10, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 harness racing co-featured Open Handicaps-one for distaff pacers and one for trotters with valid working papers--were won by a inside-routing Rockaround Sue (Jason Bartlett, $12.80) and a down-the-road favorite Somebody AS (Dan Dube, $4.10). Rockaround Sue, in no early hurry from post position No. 5, waited her turn as last week's victress, Coffee Addict (Dube), set early intervals of :27.2 and :56.4. Set Me Up (George Brennan), as the 2-1 favorite, was offering just mild, first-over grief in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters. Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton), meanwhile, going wide from second-up. Coffee Addict owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane before "Sue" closed from fifth deep in the passing lane. She picked off the leader by a head in 1:54, while Robin Cruiser, Seafood Annie (Greg Merton) and Campanile (Tyler Buter) came away with the small change. For fourth choice Rockaround Sue, a 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover trained by PJ Fraley for co-owners Bamond Racing and Silva Stables, it was her fourth win in 30 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $100, with the triple returning $408. The week's marquee trot was a three-speed number, with Fort Valley AS, New York Sire Stakes soph winner Gural Hanover (Brennan) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland) departed 1-2-3 and finished that same way. Somebody AS, from post No. 4, never had an anxious moment (:28.2, :57.4, 1:26.3, 1:54.2). Last week's runner-up whipped the statebred champ by 3¾ lengths. It was "Lorenzo," The Triple Lindy (Carlson) and Traverse Seelster (Buter) settling for the remainder. For "Somebody," a 5-year-old Striking Sahbra gelding co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, he's now 5-for-18 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $17.60, the triple returned $120 and the superfecta paid $503 Saturday night features the sixth annual Fall Harvest Festival, trackside from 4-8 PM. Also, the Legislators' Challenge-a trio of non-wagering events with New York State elected officials-beginning at 5:30 PM. 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.
This Week's Harness Racing: Historic Series, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa., and American-National finals, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Thursday (Oct. 9) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with four divisions in the $100,680 Historic – Acorn for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 10) card at Philadelphia will feature a trio of divisions in the $104,178 Historic – Debutante for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday (Oct. 12) card at Philadelphia offers three divisions in the $102,878 Historic – Goshen Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers and two splits in the $102,380 Historic – Harriman Cup for 2-year-old colt trotters. Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Oct. 11). The card will feature the $227,000 3-year-old colt pace, the $203,000 3-year-old colt trot, the $179,000 open pace, the $173,500 3-year-old filly pace, the $166,300 open trot, the $150,000 3-year-old filly trot, the $86,000 2-year-old colt pace and the $61,150 2-year-old filly pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, capped off two exciting weeks of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile. USTA/Mark Hall photo Nuncio and John Campbell captured the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. Team Takter provided Red Mile fans with a thrilling stretch duel between stablemates Nuncio and Father Patrick who slugged it out to the wire, with Nuncio emerging victorious by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.3 in the 122nd edition of the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotting colts. Hall of Famer John Campbell steered Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, to his eighth win of the season and his 13th career victory for owner Stall TZ, Inc. He now has $1,488,970 in career earnings. Nuncio had the lead from start to finish, trotting through splits of :27.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2 before Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) began to challenge him. It appeared that Father Patrick was going to trot right past Nuncio, but the latter dug in hard and held off his stablemate. Shake It Cerry put forth a dominating performance in the 49th edition of the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, stopping the timer in 1:52.2 for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Takter. The 1-5 public’s choice, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, pushed her career earnings to $1,562,205 for the Solveig’s Racing Partners. Shake It Cerry took the lead handily in rein to Pierce, trotting comfortably through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before drawing off in the stretch by 4-1/2 lengths. Vanity Matters (David Miller) made a bid first over going to the three-quarters and held on to be second, while Scream And Shout (Yannick Gingras) got up for third. Complete recaps of all the 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. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,685; 2. Tim Tetrick – 850; 3. David Miller – 780.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 565.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 501. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,735.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,367; 3. Joe Holloway – 329; 4. Erv Miller – 311.5; 5. Tony Alagna – 310. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 346.35; 3. 3 Brothers Stable – 247; 4. Robert Key – 230; 5. Brittany Farms – 223.95. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Maywood Park, Woodbine Racetrack, Vernon Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Maywood Park will feature four races led by the Windy City Pace for 3-year-olds, along with the Cinderella for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Abe Lincoln for 2-year-old colt pacers and the Galt for 3-year-old trotters; Woodbine will offer eliminations in four events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits (the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for fillies and the Governor’s Cup and Valley Victory for colts); Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Yonkers has four sets of eliminations in stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gats, led by the Messenger, the final leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown, and the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, along with the Lady Maud for pacing fillies and the Hudson Filly Trot for trotting fillies. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director