Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 169
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

The betting was focused on two harness racing mares in Monday's $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final at Yonkers Raceway, but in the end it would be 6-1 shot Machnhope that would get the job done in game fashion, overtaking Blue Ivy near the wire to score in 1:52.2 for driver Andrew McCarthy. The action was hot and heavy at the outset as four horses left the gate, including favored Alexa Skye from post six, but the even-money choice would have to be content with a tuck in the four- hole as George Brennan, behind Snobbytown, circled Blue Ivy on the first turn and drove past Machnhope to take charge. Tyler Buter, driving 3-2 second choice Blue Ivy, may have been outsprinted early, but the two quickly seized control well before the 27.1 opening quarter. From there, Buter and Blue Ivy kept the pace somewhat lively, hitting the half in 55.3 before feeling any heat. Todd McCarthy and Alexa Skye got off the pylons at the half and quickly flushed Machnhope's cover. What looked like a perfect trip for the favorite at that juncture didn't turn out that way, though, as while Machnhope moved towards the pace-setter, Alexa Skye stalled and couldn't stay on her cover. With Blue Ivy still in control at three-quarters in 1:23.4, the second choice looked in position to win, but Machnhope, under steady urging by Andrew McCarthy, kept grinding her way towards the leader. The field got a bit crowded in deep stretch as Snobbytown searched for room but was unable to find any. Machnhope showed her tenacity near the wire, securing the victory for trainer Noel Daley, who shares ownership in the 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three with Deo Volente Farms LLC., Tom Pontone, and L A Express Stable LLC. Snobbytown settled for third behind Blue Ivy, with Alexa Skye holding fourth on the line. MACHNHOPE REPLAY   "Everything went right out there," said Daley. "She was sound, with no issues, and Andy really knows how to drive her. She just got there on her own." It was the fourth win in 11 tries this year for Machnhope and her 30th career victory. She also pushed her 2021 earnings to $184,115 and her lifetime bankroll to $521,394. Machnhope returned an even $14 to win, with the exacta returning $53.50 and the triple $223.50. Soho Burning Love A, half of the Jim King Jr.-trained entry that was sent off at odds of 1-5, was a dominant force in the $60,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker consolation, distancing herself from the field on the final turn and scoring powerfully in 1:51.4 for driver Tim Tetrick. Soho Burning Love A took control on the first turn and set a sensible early pace, hitting the quarter in 27.4 and half in 56.2, with entrymate Keep Rockin A (Andrew McCarthy) in pocket position. Tetrick allowed Soho Burning Love A to turn on the afterburners on the third turn, and the 7-year-old blew out a 27.2 third quarter, losing the majority of the field in the process. In the homestretch Soho Burning Love A sealed the win with a 28 second final quarter, as Bettors Heart N (Dexter Dunn) rallied late to be a distant second ahead of Parisian Blue Chip (Dan Dube). Owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King, Soho Burning Love A returned $2.50 as the prohibitive choice, keying a $8.90 exacta and $23.20 triple. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – It’s not every day the phone rings and the person on the other end wants to send a stakes-caliber mare to your stable. But that’s exactly what happened a few weeks before the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series first leg when Todd Buter answered Bill Bercury’s call. Then the trainer of Blue Ivy, who he was pointing to the Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway, the western Pennsylvania-based Bercury asked New York-based Buter to take the mare on the recommendation of Todd’s son, Tyler. “Mr. Bercury contacted Tyler and said he wanted him to drive Blue Ivy in the Matchmaker. He asked if Tyler had any suggestions of who he should send her to. Tyler said, ‘well, I’m sure my dad would take her,’ so he gave me a call and that’s how it ended up. He brought her out about a week before her first start.” Todd Buter didn’t know Bercury before that call and Tyler Buter hadn’t driven Blue Ivy since Bercury took over the training in Nov. 2019. However, Tyler Buter had success with the mare in the past; in nine starts together from July 2018 through Oct. 2019, Buter and Blue Ivy paired for four wins, two seconds, and a fourth in the $122,224 Lady Maud Pace at Yonkers. Bercury’s instructions were concise. “She’s easy to get along with and likes being outside as much as possible; being a mare, that’s kind of routine anyway. He left the rest up to me,” Todd Buter said. Buter found that Blue Ivy was easy to get along with, as advertised, and had no bad traits.  “When you put her on the racetrack to head to the starting gate, she’s all business,” he said. “Very easy on herself on the racetrack, very good attitude on the track, and since she’s been here, she’s had all good days.” Blue Ivy debuted for the Buters in the Matchmaker first leg March 12. After a fifth-place finish in a Meadows open handicap against males the week prior, the public dismissed her at 6-1, the second longest shot in the field of a half-dozen distaffers. Blue Ivy got away fifth as 4-5 favorite Soho Burning Love set the tempo. In the second lap, Blue Ivy grabbed the cover of Lady Dela Renta and advanced within 2 3/4-lengths of the lead passing the three-quarters.  At the midway point of the final turn, Buter – motionless in the sulky to that point – made his first move, popping the ear plugs and putting the whip on Blue Ivy’s tail before guiding her three-wide into the stretch. Buter tucked the whip in the final yards as Blue Ivy glided past Soho Burning Love to record a length win in 1:53.3. “She went some good miles before and you never know what to expect coming over to Yonkers and putting them on the half-mile track, but she adapted well and she’s been very good,” Todd Buter said. “I thought after the first week that we probably could go up against most of the ones that were in there. She did that very easily. That built our confidence up, that’s for sure.” In the Matchmaker second leg, Blue Ivy charged home with a :27.1 final quarter to finish second behind Seaswift Joy, who had set a dawdling pace. The third leg saw Alexa Skye catch a soft half of :57.3 and Blue Ivy unable to track her down in the stretch, again finishing second. Legs four and five each resulted in a win for Blue Ivy, including a 4-length, 1:53 romp April 2 and a 1 1/4-legnth, 1:52.3 effort while setting the pace April 9. In her career, Blue Ivy is 25-for-56 with $374,040 earned. “She’s won on the front, she won first-over, and she won second-over. She’s done it all ways, she doesn’t just have to go one way all the time,” Todd Buter remarked. With 325 points accumulated throughout the preliminaries, Blue Ivy leads the standings heading into the $232,800 series final Monday night (April 19). She secured a coveted inside position in the open draw in post three while Jeff Cullipher’s series favorite Alexa Skye will start from post six. The field also includes Machnhope, winner of two preliminary legs for Noel Daley and Andrew McCarthy, Nick Devita’s duo of Siesta Beach and Caviart Cherie, Monica Gallagher, Snobbytown, and My Ruebe Star.  For Todd Buter, drawing inside Alexa Skye, who won all four Matchmaker preliminary legs she entered, is already a win. The Matchmaker final will be Blue Ivy’s second crack at Alexa Skye after the pair avoided each other in all but one of the preliminary legs.  “I was glad to see that. I surely didn’t want to have the six, seven, or eight,” Buter said. “It’s probably going to depend on the trip. They’ve both shown that they’re very nice mares. We’ll just have to see how it shakes out. The ideal trip would be sitting the two-hole behind Alexa Skye, but I think there’s probably six other ones in there that would like to do the same thing. “We’ll hope she’s happy and healthy on Monday and see how it shakes out,” Buter continued. “She’s been feeling good, we didn’t change anything. It seems like she’s having a very good week leading up to it. She doesn’t take a lot of work.” Monday night’s 10-race card also features the $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series Final, the $100,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series Consolation, the $60,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Consolation, a $40,000 race for MGM Borgata Series eligibles, and a $35,000 open handicap pace. First post time is 7:15 p.m. Free past performances for the races are available here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Harness racing pacers Leonidas A and Alexa Skye finished the preliminary rounds of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series and the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway with equal four-for-four records, but for their respective finals on Monday night (April 19) both of them face outside draws, with Leonidas A starting from post seven and Alexa Skye beginning from post position six. Driver Austin Siegelman raced Leonidas A from second-over in the first leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, and that trip resulted in a victory, and then in his subsequent three starts in the event, which also saw Leonidas A emerge triumphant, Siegelman was more aggressive with his charge, planting him on the point before or just after the opening quarter. While Siegelman acknowledged that stalking horses is the 6-year-old Mach Three gelding's preferred journey, he had no issue with more aggressive handling either. "He got stuck on the front three out of four of those races. I don't think that's particularly his strong suit, but he didn't have a problem winning those races," Siegelman said. "We just kind of drew inside, and there was no reason not to put him on the front in any of those races. He was just better than those horses that he was racing against. There's no reason to take a risk and go to race him off-the-pace when he can easily just go on the front." While it might look like on the program that Leonidas A and Siegelman will be switching it back up to race off the speed in Monday's $514,000 final now that they're stuck outside on the gate, Siegelman explained that that's not necessarily going to be the case, due to the presence of known early speedster This Is The Plan to his right at post eight. "I think he's a better horse off-the-pace, but I wouldn't 100 percent say he's going to race from behind because I'm sitting eighth then, and that's not really ideal," offered Siegelman. "Even from off-the-pace, as long as he doesn't hit too many roadblocks, I think he can still be close at the wire." Racing over five weeks like horses do in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series certainly separates the true contenders from those that are a notch or two below, so everybody in the field merits respect, but Siegelman noted that he does have his eye on a few particular horses when the big purse is on the line. "There are a few horses in that race that worry me a little bit. We raced Backstreet Shadow the first leg, and he didn't really have a problem beating that horse, although he's very sharp right now," remarked Siegelman. "Obviously, This Is The Plan - he's probably the class of that field. I think Lyons Steel is a bit of a sleeper in there. He was good both starts I drove him there. He was easily good enough to win the second time I drove him. He just got unlucky and didn't get any room. Hesa Kingslayer N (post two) drew a very fortunate spot in that race. Those would be my two or three that I'm worried about in there." Siegelman and Leonidas A, who is trained by Sheena Mcelhiney for owner Jesmeral Stable, had a taste of success late last year when they teamed up to win the Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway, and while the MGM Borgata Series will be race with the biggest purse Siegelman has competed in to date, the 29-year-old driver is heading in with a positive mindset. "I'm confident going in. It is what it is, whether we race for $20,000 or $500,000. It's a horse race, and (the purse) doesn't change anything," he said. Alexa Skye, co-owned by trainer Jeff Cullipher in partnership with Pollack Racing LLC., came into the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series with high expectations, and she certainly delivered, winning her four appearances by 4 1/2, 1 1/2, 1 3/4, and 2 3/4 lengths. Todd McCarthy has driven her in all but two starts since October 16, 2020, and he said she handled the grind of the series like a pro. "She felt pretty good through all the prelims. I was really happy with her each time. I think that Jeff and the team have done a terrific job managing her through the prelims," said McCarthy. "It can be tricky when they race week-in and week-out going to the final over so many weeks close together. She had that week off there prior to the last leg, and she felt terrific the last time around, so I'm sure she'll be spot on for the final on Monday." While her performances through the series would have been impressive no matter the circumstances, it certainly catches the eye that Alexa Skye is the only 4-year-old in Monday's $232,800 championship, bucking the popular notion that aged mares have the upper hand in this event. "It was always going to be a little bit of an ask for her, but each time she's faced a challenge, she's sort of taken the step," remarked McCarthy. "Early on, even when I was driving her, I kind of didn't know where she was at, but each time she had to take a step, she took the step. She's doing what the good horses do, and I'm certainly pleased to have her in the final." Starting from post six with all the other fancied contenders starting to her inside certainly isn't the most ideal situation for Alexa Skye, but she has experience racing from outside posts at Yonkers before, so McCarthy is expecting her current sharp form to remain status quo. "Obviously any time it's half-mile racing, the closer you draw the better it is. I would have liked to have been a little closer in, but in a lot of the prelims she drew out there too," McCarthy stated. "She can leave pretty good when I ask her, and she's always been the sort of horse that likes being a part of the action and racing up on the speed. Hopefully it doesn't faze her too much, but I think she'll be okay from there." The $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final goes as race seven on the 10-race program on Monday at Yonkers Raceway, and the $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final follows it in race eight. There are also consolations for both events, with the MGM Borgata Pacing Series consolation carrying a purse of $100,000 and the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series consolation going for $60,000. Post time is at 7:15 p.m. The full fields for both finals, with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds, are listed below. $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final 1-Rockapelo (George Brennan/Ron Burke, 9-2) 2-Hesa Kingslayer N (Jim Marohn Jr./Mike Deters, 6-1) 3-Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno/Edwin Quevedo, 8-1) 4-Lyons Steel (Corey Callahan/Dennis Watson, 20-1) 5-Western Joe (Dexter Dunn/Chris Choate, 3-1) 6-Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick/Ron Burke, 4-1) 7-Leonidas A (Austin Siegelman/Sheena Mcelhiney, 6-1) 8-This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke, 5-1) $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final 1-Machnhope (Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley, 4-1) 2-Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita, 5-1) 3-Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter/Todd Buter, 2-1) 4-Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett/Chris Height, 20-1) 5-Snobbytown (George Brennan/Ron Burke, 7-1) 6-Alexa Skye (Todd McCarthy/Jeff Cullipher, 5-2) 7-Caviart Cherie (Austin Siegelman/Nick Devita, 20-1) 8-My Reube Star N (Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton, 20-1)   From Yonkers Raceway

After his mare went four-for-four in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series preliminary races, owner Tom Pollack wasn't about to get too technical about Alexa Skye's chances in Monday's (April 19) $232,800 final for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. "If luck's shining on you, it is. And if it isn't, it isn't," surmised Pollack of Pollack Racing LLC, which owns the horse along with trainer Jeff Cullipher. "Just as long as you put your best foot forward, and I think she will. "Obviously, we'd love to see her finish the deal on Monday night and win this series. But we're just hoping for a good effort, that's all you can do." The 4-year-old drew post six and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line behind Blue Ivy at 2-1. Pollack admitted that things broke right for Alexa Skye in her four races in the series as she was able to take charge in the short fields. "She's made her mark right at the beginning and that kind of garnered the respect of the other ones in there," Pollack said. "We've been able to get to the lead fairly easily and kind of dictate the races. From that standpoint it's been great." In Monday's eight-horse final, Blue Ivy will start from post three. She won three times and finished second twice in the preliminary rounds. Machnhope, a two-time winner in the series, is 4-1 from post one while Siesta Beach, also a prelim winner, is 5-1 from post two. "Obviously when the money's on the line, that's why they hold the race," Pollack said. "Anything can happen. All eight horses can probably win. We're going to have to earn it, for sure." Speaking of earnings, Alexa Skye has already garnered a career-high $117,250 this year by winning seven of nine starts and finishing second by a head and a nose in the other two. She has already tied her career-best seven wins (in 17 starts) from last year and far surpassed her purse money of $63,430. The mare, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Pirouette Hanover, was bought by Pollack on Feb. 17. She had already won three of four races when the transaction was completed. Pollack was contacted by an agent he hadn't previously worked with and was immediately interested after having seen Alexa Skye at The Meadowlands last year and seeing her dominance early this season. "We want to be in the game," the western Pennsylvania native said. "We're not huge yearling players outside of Indiana, we're more into the aged racehorse game. Having a chance to get one that's eligible to all these Grand Circuit races and performing at that level, she was too good to pass up. The fact she comes from a good family and has some breeding value when she's done racing made it even easier to pull the trigger." After being off for three weeks, she finished second by a nose for her new owners before rolling through the Matchmaker prelims. Pollack estimates he and Cullipher own around 70 horses together and each one has their responsibility. "I'm the legs of finding and acquiring," he said. "That's my forte. He sticks more toward training them. But when I find horses, he's watching replays or talking to folks he knows who might have been associated with the horse. That's kind of the way our partnership works." And the duo appears to have nailed it with this latest acquisition. Pollack hoped she would be good, but is pleasantly surprised about the success so far. "Obviously, you could have never predicted we'd be racing in five- or six-horse fields in the Matchmaker (prelims) for $35,000 a week and then the $230,000 final after that. It kind of looks like I knew what I was doing in buying her, with her kind of being one of the top dogs in this series." Alexa Skye is staked to the Grand Circuit in the U.S. this year, but her connections will skip Canadian stakes due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 protocols, and also because of the length of the six-week Matchmaker. But she will be a busy mare and appears ready for the grind. Asked what he likes most about the horse, the owner noted two specifics. "Number one, the fact she is so versatile; she can win at Yonkers or the Meadowlands," Pollack said. "And number two is her toughness. She's kind of all business. She's a sweetheart to be around in the barn but once she gets on the track, she's all business. Hopefully, she's ready with her A game Monday, that's all you can ask." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) Monday at Yonkers. The Matchmaker final is race seven on the card, which also includes the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for older males (race eight) as well as consolations for both series. For complete entries, click here. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA  

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers on Monday (April 19) features the $514,000 final of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers and the $232,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The card will also have the $100,000 MGM Borgata Pacing series consolation and the $60,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker consolation. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Preliminary round action in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series concluded on Monday night (April 12) at Yonkers Raceway with a trio of $40,000 divisions that were won by Backstreet Shadow, Mach N Cheese, and Leonidas A. Backstreet Shadow was able to get to the wire a half-length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Chris Brokate photo. Backstreet Shadow (Yannick Gingras) took full advantage of the pole position in the first split, going to the lead and putting up fractions of :27.3, :56.1, and 1:24.1 over a surface that was rated "good" and a second off. Western Joe (Dexter Dunn) took up the chase by going first-over out of third in the backstretch, but he couldn't make any headway on the outside, allowing Backstreet Shadow to turn into the lane with a clear advantage. Once they hit the stretch, Western Joe suddenly hit top gear and began to gain on Backstreet Shadow, but Backstreet Shadow was able to get to the wire a half-length to the good in a 1:52.1 mile. Tyga Hanover (Jason Bartlett) came in third. A 6-year-old gelding by Shadow Play, Backstreet Shadow is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Backstreet Shadow, who won twice in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, now has a record of 26-12-6 from 64 starts and he has earned $910,162. The 3-5 favorite, Backstreet Shadow paid $3.40 to win. Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the fifth and final preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway with an imposing 1:52.3 victory in their $35,000 division on Friday night (April 9). The fleet-footed 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere had to work just a bit to gain control at the quarter, but from that point, her four rivals chased her in vain. Alexa Skye left the gate along with Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) from the inside, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) between those two into the opening bend. Siesta Beach settled along the pylons, but McCarthy pushed Alexa Skye to the top and cleared passing a :27.4 opening fraction. Alexa Skye maintained the lead after that, setting fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.4, with Siesta Beach moving to the outside into the final turn as Monica Gallagher lost contact with the pacesetter. McCarthy let his mare do the talking, and Alexa Skye spoke volumes, cruising home effortlessly with a :27.4 kicker to win by open lengths. Siesta Beach held down the place spot, with Soho Burning Love A (Austin Siegelman) showing decent late foot for third. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the field, Alexa Skye paid $2.40 to win. Alexa Skye won all four of the Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary legs she participated in for Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher. Now a winner in seven of nine starts on the season, Alexa Skye moves into the $232,800 final on April 19 as the clear horse to beat. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 4-12-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 60; 2. Austin Siegelman - 56; 3t. Andrew McCarthy - 49; 3t. George Brennan - 49; 5. Tyler Buter - 44. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 109; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 2t. Todd Buter - 40; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 40; 5. Nicholas DeVita - 38. Owners: 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 1t. Renee Bercury - 40; 3. Eric Prevost - 38; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 31.1; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 31.1. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place on April 24 at Freehold Raceway with the Dexter Cup eliminations for 3-year-old open trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

On Tuesday afternoon (April 13), the harness racing draws were held for the $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final and $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, both of which will take place on Monday, April 19 at Yonkers Raceway. In addition to the finals, there will also be consolation races in both events. Leonidas A finished with the most points in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, but the draw for the final was not kind to him, as he will start from post seven in the eight-horse field. Austin Siegelman will be in the bike behind the Sheena Mcelhiney-trained and Jesmeral Stable-owned 6-year-old Mach Three gelding. Trainer Ron Burke has a powerful trio in the MGM Borgata final, as he will send out Rockapelo, Backstreet Shadow, and This Is The Plan. Rockapelo drew the coveted pole position for driver George Brennan, while his stablemates Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) and This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) weren't as fortunate in the draw, as Backstreet Shadow has post six and This Is The Plan the eight. Western Joe, driven by Dexter Dunn for trainer Chris Choate, and Hesa Kingslayer N, piloted by Jim Marohn Jr. for trainer Mike Deters, both scored multiple victories in the prelims, and they will start from posts five and two, respectively. Rounding out the group are Mach N Cheese (post three, Joe Bongiorno/Edwin Quevedo) and Lyons Steel (post four, Corey Callahan/Dennis Watson). Mach N Cheese secured a spot in the final by winning in the final round of the event, while Lyons Steel picked up his lone victory back in the opening leg. In the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, Alexa Skye, who went four-for-four in the preliminary rounds she entered, got post six for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer/co-owner Jeff Cullipher, and co-owner Pollack Racing LLC. Her main rival, Blue Ivy, who raced in all five legs, scoring three victories and two second-place finishes, will leave from post three for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and owner Renee Bercury. Trainer Nick Devita has a pair of finalists in the Blue Chip Matchmaker final in Siesta Beach (post two, Matt Kakaley) and Caviart Cherie (post seven, Austin Siegelman). Siesta Beach picked up one victory in the preliminaries, while Caviart Cherie checked in second three times. Ron Burke will also be represented in the Blue Chip Matchmaker final as he has Snobbytown in the race. Snobbytown, who had one win, one second, and one third-place result in four starts, will depart from post five with George Brennan at the lines. Machnhope, who will be driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Noel Daley, started the Blue Chip Matchmaker two-for-two before finishing second and third in her last two appearances. She had the best luck in the draw for the final, as she will start from post one. Completing the entrants in the Blue Chip Matchmaker final are Monica Gallagher (post four, Jason Bartlett/Chris Height) and My Ruebe Star N (post eight, Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton). Neither mare was able to get a win during the preliminary rounds, but they did score points in each leg they entered. Monday's card gets underway at 7:15 p.m., with the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final going as race seven and the MGM Borgata Pacing Series final following it in race eight. The $60,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series consolation is the fifth dash on the ten-race card, and the $100,000 MGM Borgata Series consolation comes up after that in race six. From Yonkers Raceway

Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the final of five preliminary rounds of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on Friday night with an imposing 1:52.3 victory in her $35,000 division. The fleet-footed 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere had to work just a bit to gain control at the quarter, but from that point her four rivals chased her in vain. Alexa Skye left the gate along with Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) from the inside, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) between those two into the opening bend. Siesta Beach settled along the pylons, but McCarthy pushed Alexa Skye to the top and cleared passing a 27.4 opening fraction. Alexa Skye maintained the lead after that, setting fractions of 56.3 and 1:24.4, with Siesta Beach moving to the outside into the final turn as Monica Gallagher lost contact with the pace-setter. McCarthy let his mare do the talking, and Alexa Skye spoke volumes, cruising home effortlessly with a 27.4 kicker to win by open lengths. Siesta Beach held down the place spot, with Soho Burning Love A (Austin Siegelman) showing decent late foot for third. ALEXA SKYE REPLAY   Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in the field, Alexa Skye paid $2.40 to win. Alexa Skye won all four of the Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary legs she participated in for co-owner Pollack Racing LLC. and co-owner/trainer Jeff Cullipher. The exacta returned $4.50, with the two favorites first and second, and the triple came back $11.40. Now a winner in seven of nine starts on the season, Alexa Skye moves into the $232,800 final on April 19 as the clear horse to beat.   In the night's first section, which was raced as a non-wagering event, Blue Ivy led a field of four wire-to-wire for driver Tyler Buter to score decisively in 1:52 3/5 over Caviart Cherie (Kakaley) and Machnhope, with Lady Dela Renta A (Jordan Stratton) fourth in the group. Blue Ivy had the pole position and discouraged leavers, blasting off into the opening bend and cutting a 27.1 quarter with no dispute. Buter was then kind to the 5-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous, allowing her to stroll the middle-half in just 58 seconds, reaching three-quarters in 1:25.1 as Machnope and Andrew McCarthy pulled to make a token bid. No one would get within a length of Blue Ivy, as Buter called on her, and she responded with a 27.2 final quarter, holding a clear advantage to the wire. Caviart Cherie had raced in the pocket throughout and fought hard enough for the place spot. Trained by Todd Buter and owned by Renee Bercury, Blue Ivy completed the five-leg preliminary round with an impressive scorecard that included three wins and two second-place finishes. Friday's 1:52.3 mile was her fastest of the series and her sixth win in 2021 in just 10 starts. Unofficially, the eight mares that advanced to the $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final are: Blue Ivy (325 points), Alexa Skye (300), Machnhope (237), Siesta Beach (234), Caviart Cherie (222), Snobbytown (195), Monica Gallagher (178), and My Ruebe Star N (143). The final leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will take place on Monday night (April 12) at Yonkers Raceway with three $40,000 fields set, including a final preview with Leonidas A, This Is The Plan and Hesa Kingslayer N in one division. Yonkers races Monday through Friday night with first post at 7:15 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features two $35,000 divisions on Friday (April 9) in the fifth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (April 12) card at Yonkers will see three $40,000 divisions in the fifth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: This Is The Plan, Western Joe, and Leonidas A scored victories in the trio of $40,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series on Monday night (April 5) at Yonkers Raceway. This Is The Plan broke through for the first time in style, taking the opening split in 1:51.1. Chris Brokate photo. After finishing second in all three of his appearances in the series coming into this leg, This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) broke through for the first time in style, taking the opening split in 1:51.1. Gingras fired This Is The Plan to the top from post four and he would put up fractions of :27.2, :56.1, and 1:23.3 before he closed in :27.3 to win by three lengths over pocket-sitter Raukapuka Ruler N (Jordan Stratton). Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno) held third over Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn). Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. This Is The Plan is now a 15-time winner in his career and he pushed his earnings to $1,806,700. Blue Ivy didn't get all of the respect on the toteboard, but the 5-year-old mare had her say in a powerhouse performance, capturing the first of two $35,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker divisions on Friday (April 2) at Yonkers Raceway. Sent off as the surprising 7-5 second choice, Tyler Buter put Blue Ivy into the three-hole entering the first turn as 3-5 favorite Keep Rockin A made the lead easily for Tim Tetrick and marched to the quarter in :27.4. With just five in the field, Tetrick was able to back down the pace with the Jim King Jr.-trained import. The slow half didn't shake Buter in the least as he waited until midway down the backstretch to energize Blue Ivy. It didn't take more than 50 yards for Blue Ivy to engulf and dispose of Keep Rockin A, as that mare slowed markedly into the final turn. After three-quarters in 1:25, Blue Ivy kicked home in :28 and scored by open lengths in a 1:53 mile. Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) was able to come up the pylons late to secure the place spot, with Caviart Cherie (Matt Kakaley) third in the mile. It was Blue Ivy's second win in the series, to go along with two second-place finishes, for trainer Todd Buter. Owned by Renee Bercury, Blue Ivy, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, paid $4.80 for the victory. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 4-5-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 50; 2t. Andrew McCarthy - 47; 2t. George Brennan - 47; 4. Austin Siegelman - 44; 5. Tyler Buter - 34. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 92; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 30; 2t. Mike Deters - 30; 2t. Todd Buter - 30; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 30. Owners: 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 30; 1t. Renee Bercury - 30; 3. Eric Prevost - 28; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 26.8; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 26.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue at Yonkers with the finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Blue Ivy didn't get all of the respect on the toteboard, but the 5-year-old mare had her say in a powerhouse performance, capturing the first of two $35,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker harness racing divisions on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway. Sent off as the surprising 7-5 second choice, Tyler Buter put Blue Ivy into the three-hole entering the first turn as 3-5 favorite Keep Rockin A made the lead easily for Tim Tetrick and marched to the quarter in 27.4. With just five in the field, Tetrick was able to back down the pace with the Jim King Jr.-trained import, who was in search of his first series victory. The slow half didn't shake Buter in the least as he waited to midway down the backstretch to energize Blue Ivy. It didn't take more than 50 yards for Blue Ivy to engulf and dispose of Keep Rockin A, as that mare slowed markedly into the final turn. After three-quarters in 1:25, Blue Ivy kicked home in 28 seconds flat and scored by open lengths in a 1:53 mile. Monica Gallagher (Jason Bartlett) was able to come up the pylons late to secure the place spot, with Caviart Cherie (Matt Kakaley) third in the mile. BLUE IVY REPLAY It was Blue Ivy's second win in the series, to go along with two second-place finishes, for trainer Todd Buter. Owned by Renee Bercury, Blue Ivy, a 5-year-old daughter of Captaintreacherous, paid $4.80 for the victory. The exacta with 32-1 shot Monica Gallagher in the place spot was worth $54, and the triple came in at $158.50. The upsets continued in the second Blue Chip Matchmaker division as Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) rallied from last on the final turn and rolled past the betting favorites to score her first series victory in a 1:54.3 clocking. Snobbytown and driver George Brennan out-left two others to gain control nearing the opening quarter, as Bettors Heart N and driver Dexter Dunn yielded the front. Snobbytown had the lead in 27.4, and Brennan was keen to back things down, reaching the half in 57.3 as Bettors Heart N lagged behind her in second. Dbldelitebrigade N and Todd McCarthy pulled on the third turn to challenge, towing the 1-5 favorite Machnope with her, but the cover wasn't worth much as Snobbytown marched off with a snappy 28.1 third quarter. The acceleration forced driver Andrew McCarthy to send two-leg winner Machnhope three-deep passing three-quarters to gain into contention. Siesta Beach and Kakaley used that cover through the final turn and tipped wider into the homestretch to gain a clear chance. It was a thrilling finish, with Snobbytown and Brennan working hard to maintain the lead, but powerless to stall the closers, with Siesta Beach, a 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal, doing the best work late for the win. Machnope had to settle for the place, with Snobbytown third. SIESTA BEACH REPLAY Trained by Nicholas Devita and owned by Eric Prevost, Siesta Beach returned $15 to win. The exacta with the heavy chalk paid $26.60 and the triple was an even $63. It was the third win on the season for Siesta Beach, who entered the fourth round of the series with three straight third-place finishes. Preliminary round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series concludes next Friday (April 9), with the final slated for Monday, April 19. The fourth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will be the feature on Monday (April 5) at Yonkers Raceway, with three $40,000 divisions highlighting the 10-race program. Leonides A is a heavy favorite to win his third straight leg in one of the splits.  Favorites were victorious just twice during Friday night’s (April 2) Pick 6 sequence at Yonkers Raceway, meaning there were no tickets with six out of six. As a result, there will be a carryover of $7,067.60 and a guaranteed pool of $15,000 in the wager on Monday night’s (April 5) program. The guarantee is being offered as part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. Free past performances for the Pick 6, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available here. The Pick 6 at Yonkers Raceway offers a takeout rate of 20 percent, as do the nightly Pick 4’s and Pick 5. Monday’s Pick 6 will include all three $40,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, as well as a $27,500 Preferred Pace. Post time is at 7:15 p.m., and the Pick 6 will begin in race three. For full results, click here.   From Yonkers Raceway

After watching Machnhope win her first two starts in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female harness racing pacers, trainer Noel Daley held the mare out of last week's action. As she prepares to return for Friday's fourth round, Daley is happy with the decision. Machnhope is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the second of two $35,000 divisions of the Matchmaker at Yonkers Raceway. Ten mares were entered this week, with three of the top-seven in points including unbeaten Alexa Skye sitting out. Blue Ivy, who has a win and two seconds in the series, is the 9-5 favorite in the first division. "I figured some of the good ones might take this week off, so I took last week off," Daley said. "I think it worked out as the right thing to do. We ended up with two five-horse fields and no Alexa Skye. I'm happy enough with that decision. "It doesn't work out all the time, but we can look smart occasionally," he added with a laugh. Machnhope, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three out of Hope For Life, has won three of eight races this year and hit the board on three other occasions, earning $54,765 for owners Daley, Deo Volente Farms, Tom Pontone, and L.A. Express Stable. Daley's group purchased the mare last July after she spent five months with the trainer following her arrival from Canada, where she had raced most recently for owner-trainer Gary Lance. Machnhope was an Ontario Grassroots Series champion at age 3. For her career, she has won 29 of 101 starts and $392,044. "She's a big, strong, good-looking mare," Daley said. "She can be a bit of a cantankerous old thing, but I'm real happy with her. She's done well for the guys that bought into her. They've gotten their money back, so that's good." Machnhope has raced consistently since the sport returned from last spring's COVID-19 related shutdown. She has started at least twice in every month since then and hit the board in all but four of her past 23 races. She brings a three-race win streak to Friday's Matchmaker start. "We don't do much with her during the week," Daley said. "She has a bit of a canter and seems to keep herself fresh enough. She looks great and is acting great. She's pretty much the same mare every week. She's just always there. "Everything will depend on the draw the next several weeks, but this girl has handled the racing pretty well. She should be fine for the next three weeks in a row." The six-week Blue Chip Matchmaker Series concludes April 19. Following are the top 10 mares in points through three rounds of the series. The top eight will qualify for the final. 1. Alexa Skye 225, 2. Blue Ivy 175, 3. Snobbytown 158, 4. Machnhope 150, 5. Caviart Cherie 135, 6. Seaswift Joy N 125, 7. My Ruebe Star N 113, 8. Siesta Beach 109, 9. Monica Gallagher 95, 10. Maczaffair N 93. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EDT) on Friday at Yonkers. For complete entries, click here by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features two $35,000 divisions on Friday (April 2) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (April 5) card at Yonkers will see three $40,000 divisions in the fourth round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Hesa Kingslayer N improved to three-for-three in Monday night's (March 29) third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for free-for-allers at Yonkers Raceway. Hesa Kingslayer N improved to three-for-three in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series. Chris Brokate photo. Driven by Jim Marohn Jr. in his $40,000 section, Hesa Kingslayer N was able to get into the pocket from post four and had a great view of a battle for the lead between Pat Stanley N (Jordan Stratton) and a parked-out None Bettor A (Todd McCarthy). Pat Stanley N gave None Bettor A the cold shoulder through fractions of :27, :56.4, and 1:25 and when None Bettor A began to back up on the final turn, that gave Marohn and Hesa Kingslayer N the escape route to the outside they needed. Once he had clear sailing, Hesa Kingslayer N pounced on Pat Stanley N, going by him in upper stretch on his way to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:53. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) was also on the outside throughout in the second-over position and checked in as the runner-up after going three-high on the final bend, and Pat Stanley N held third. Trainer Mike Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelding by Christian Cullen, with partner Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N is now a 20-time winner in his career and he has earned $189,962. Alexa Skye was expected to face her toughest test of the year in the second of two $35,000 divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday night (March 26) at Yonkers Raceway. However, when two mares were scratched prior to the race, reducing the field to just five, the task was made considerably easier for driver Todd McCarthy. Nevertheless, it took two early moves for the 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to secure the front, but the rest was once again quite easy as Alexa Skye made it three straight conquests in the series, scoring by a comfortable margin in 1:53.4. My Ruebe Star N (Jordan Stratton) left alertly, as did Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter). The pair were directly inside Alexa Skye, the race favorite, and McCarthy settled in third as My Ruebe Star N seated Blue Ivy and marched towards the opening quarter. Alexa Skye moved before the quarter had been passed, secured the lead after the :27.4 quarter, and from there was in control. After a :29.4 second quarter, McCarthy and Alexa Skye had all of the rest time they needed and quickly marched off with a :28 third quarter, gaining some separation from My Ruebe Star N as Buter and Blue Ivy moved to the outside to try to track down the leader. McCarthy felt the urgency of the threat that Blue Ivy, a first leg winner, posed and began to urge Alexa Skye on coming off the final turn. He kept active in the bike, and it certainly woke up the sharp mare as she sprinted off with a :28.1 kicker, keeping Blue Ivy at bay, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closing strongly late for third. Trained and co-owned by Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing, Alexa Skye was a winner for the sixth time in 2021 and is just $250 shy of the $100,000 mark in seasonal earnings. This was her 15th victory overall and she now has banked $209,890 lifetime. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-29-21): Drivers: 1. Todd McCarthy - 50; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 42; 3. George Brennan - 40; 4. Austin Siegelman - 34; 5. Tim Tetrick - 30. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 75; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 30; 2t. Mike Deters - 30; 4t. Noel Daley - 20; 4t. Todd Buter - 20; 4t. Sheena McElhiney - 20. Owners: 1t. Burke Racing Stable - 21.9; 1t. Weaver Bruscemi - 21.9; 3t. Jesmeral Stable - 20; 3t. Renee Bercury - 20; 5. Brad Grant - 15. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata next week. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Alexa Skye was expected to face her toughest test of the year in the second of two $35,000 divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway. However, when two mares were scratched prior to the race, reducing the field to just five, the task was made considerably easier for driver Todd McCarthy. Nevertheless, it took two early moves for the 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to secure the front, but the rest was once again quite easy as Alexa Skye made it three straight conquests in the series, scoring by a comfortable margin in 1:53.4. My Ruebe Star N (Jordan Stratton) left alertly, as did Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter). The pair were directly inside Alexa Skye, the race favorite, and McCarthy settled in third as My Ruebe Star N seated Blue Ivy and marched towards the opening quarter. Alexa Skye moved before the quarter had been passed, secured the lead after the 27.4 quarter, and from there was in control. After a 29.4 second quarter, McCarthy and Alexa Skye had all of the rest time they needed and quickly marched off with a 28 second flat third quarter, gaining some separation from My Ruebe Star N as Buter and Blue Ivy moved to the outside to try to track down the leader. McCarthy felt the urgency of the threat that Blue Ivy, a first leg winner, posed and began to urge Alexa Skye on coming off the final turn. He kept active in the bike, and it certainly woke up the sharp mare as she sprinted off with a 28.1 kicker, keeping Blue Ivy at bay, with Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closing strongly late for third. ALEXA SKYE REPLAY   Trained and co-owned by Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing LLC., Alexa Skye was a winner for the sixth time in 2021 and is just $250 shy of the $100,000 mark in seasonal earnings. This was her 15th victory overall, and she now has banked $209,890 lifetime. Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, Alexa Skye returned $2.80 to win and keyed a $4.80 exacta and a $12.60 triple. In the first $35,000 division, 1-2 favorite Snobbytown took command shortly past the start and went wire-to-wire for driver George Brennan and trainer Ron Burke. It was the first win in the series for the 5-year-old mare. Snobbytown cut fractions of 27.4 and 57.1 for the opening half, and then discarded token pressure by Maczaffair N (Stratton) past the halfway mark. Snobbytown remained in control at three-quarters, which she put up in 1:25.1, and Brennan was able to keep pocket-sitter Caviart Cherie (Kakaley) locked in until the late stages to secure a safe margin while pacing a 29.1 final quarter in the 1:54.2 mile. Caviart Cherie held down the place spot, with Keep Rockin A (Tim Tetrick) making a solid advance for third. Maczaffair N faded to fourth after a long first-over grind. SNOBBYTOWN REPLAY   Snobbytown, a daughter of Nob Hill High, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC., and Jason Melillo. Snobbytown, who paid $3.10 for the victory as the 1-2 choice, now has a record of 20-16-6 from 49 appearances, and she has put away $376,755. The exacta came back at $12 and triple returned $44.40. Two more preliminary rounds remain in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday, April 2 and Friday, April 9. The final is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 19. The third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will be the feature on Monday night's card at Yonkers Raceway, with three $40,000 divisions on the 10-race program. Yonkers races Monday through Friday night with a first post time at 7:15 p.m. For full race results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series third legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features two $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 26) in the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 29) card at Yonkers will see three $40,000 divisions in the third round of the MGM Borgata Pacing series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Leonidas A and Hesa Kingslayer N repeated in Monday night's (March 22) $40,000 divisions of the second leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. Leonidas A kicked into high gear, pacing a :55 back-half to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. Chris Brokate photo. Driven by Austin Siegelman, Leonidas A landed in the pocket from post one early in the third of four sections, then moved around fellow round one winner San Domino A (Todd McCarthy) for command passing the :28 opening quarter. After that, Leonidas A got away with a soft :57 half, and it was pretty much over once that happened as Leonidas A kicked into high gear, pacing a :55 back-half to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. San Domino A held second over Chief Mate (Scott Zeron), who put in a good try from first-over given the early tempo. Sheena McElhiney trains Leonidas A, a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding, for owner Jesmeral Stable. Leonidas A posted his 27th career win and he has earnings of $271,848. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) rolled to the lead in the last split and he would lead through fractions of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:24, with Hesa Kingslayer N (Jim Marohn Jr.) going first-up from third prior to three-quarters. Hesa Kingslayer N advanced into second on the final turn, then sustained his bid through the stretch, wearing down This Is The Plan on his way to the victory by a half-length in 1:51.4. Stars Align A (Todd McCarthy) was the third-place finisher after a pocket trip. Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) saw his seven-race undefeated streak in the U.S. end in this race as he couldn't get involved from post eight and had to settle for a dead-heat for sixth. Trainer Michael Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen, with Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N now has 19 career triumphs and he has put away $169,962. Having gained enormous respect from her blowout victory in the opening leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, Alexa Skye had a much easier time putting away her rivals on Friday night (March 19), capturing the first of three $35,000 divisions at Yonkers Raceway in a 1:53.4 clocking. Sent off as the prohibitive 1-10 betting favorite, Todd McCarthy wasted little time seizing command on the opening bend from an accommodating My Ruebe Star N and driver Jordan Stratton. McCarthy kept an easy clip, going to the quarter in :28.4 and reaching the half unchallenged in :58.1. From there, the field of six stayed very much in line as Alexa Skye picked up the pace on the backstretch, hitting three-quarters in 1:26 on her own power. McCarthy hardly moved a muscle edging into the homestretch and the powerful 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere finished out her mile with a :27.4 final quarter as the rest of the field battled hard for the place spot. My Ruebe Star N held her ground and won the competition for the second position, while Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closed along the pylons and finished in a dead-heat with Keep Rockin A (Tim Tetrick) for show. Alexa Skye, who picked up her 14th victory overall and has now banked $192,390, is owned in partnership by Pollack Racing and trainer Jeff Cullipher. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-22-21): Drivers: 1. Andrew McCarthy - 42; 2. Todd McCarthy - 38; 3. Austin Siegelman - 32; 4. Tim Tetrick - 23; 5. George Brennan - 20. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 45; 2t. Jeff Cullipher - 20; 2t. Noel Daley - 20; 2t. Mike Deters - 20; 2t. Sheena McElhiney - 20. Owners: 1. Jesmeral Stable - 20; 2t. Renee Bercury - 15; 2t. Brad Grant - 15; 4t. Burke Racing Stable - 12.7; 4t. Weaver Bruscemi - 12.7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next two weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Having gained enormous respect from her blowout harness racing victory in the opening leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, Alexa Skye had a much easier time putting away her rivals on Friday night (March 19), capturing the first of three $35,000 divisions at Yonkers Raceway in a 1:53.4 clocking. Sent off as the prohibitive 1-10 betting favorite, Todd McCarthy wasted little time seizing command on the opening bend from an accommodating My Ruebe Star N and driver Jordan Stratton. McCarthy kept an easy clip, going to the quarter in 28.4 and reaching the half unchallenged in 58.1. From there, the field of six stayed very much in line as Alexa Skye picked up the pace on the backstretch, hitting three quarters in 1:26 on her own power. McCarthy hardly moved a muscle edging into the homestretch, and the powerful 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere finished out her mile with a 27.4 final quarter as the rest of the field battled hard for the place spot. My Ruebe Star N held her ground and won the competition for the second position, while Siesta Beach (Matt Kakaley) closed along the pylons and finished in a dead-heat with Keep Rockin A (Tim Tetrick) for show. ALEXA SKYE REPLAY   Alexa Skye, who picked up her 14th victory overall and has now banked $192,390, is owned in partnership by Pollack Racing LLC. and trainer Jeff Cullipher. The dead heat for third crunched the payoffs a bit, with Alexa Skye returning $2.20 for win and the exacta kicking back a cool $7.20. In the triple department, the 3-1-2 combination returned $10, and the 3-1-4 was worth $6.30. Seaswift Joy N and driver Andrew McCarthy pulled the upset in the second division, using the wire-to-wire approach as an 11-1 offering. Bettors Heart N (Dexter Dunn), the even-money choice, left quickly and parked Seaswift Joy N for early command, yielding her advantage into the opening bend..After clearing, McCarthy had Seaswift Joy N in control reaching the quarter in 28.1 and slowing the half to 57.3 while the favored Bettors Heart N struggled to maintain close contact with the leader throughout. Lady Dela Renta A and Stratton were first to pull into the third turn but were unable to advance as Seaswift Joy N extended her lead through three-quarters, which went on the board in 1:26. On the final turn, McCarthy kept his mare alert, and she closed out the mile with a 27.4 quarter, easily holding the hard-charging Blue Ivy (Tyler Buter) off in a 1:53.4 mile. Blue Ivy, the 6-5 second choice, was a clear second, with Lady Dela Renta A holding third. SEASWIFT JOY N REPLAY   Owned by Bradley Grant, Seaswift Joy N, an 8-year-old Bettor's Delight mare, improved on her second-place finish in the opening leg for her third victory in 2021 for trainer Tony Alagna. Seaswift Joy N, who is now a 28-time winner and earner of $465,035 lifetime, returned $24.20 to win, with the exacta paying $86. The triple was good for $220.50. Favored Machnhope, with Andrew McCarthy, in the bike took the overland route to victory in the third Blue Chip Matchmaker division, scoring in 1:53.4, the same exact time of the first two winners. Snobbytown, second choice in the field, jetted to command at the outset for George Brennan and had control late on the opening bend. Snobbytown cruised to the quarter in 27.4 and continued to control the action after that point, hitting the halfway mark in 57.2. McCarthy took Machnhope off the pylons heading past the half, and the 2-5 public choice grinded her way up to second as Snobbytown passed three-quarters in 1:25.4. It was a match race from there, with McCarthy getting the most out of Machnhope in the stretch and taking the duel in the late stages. Snobbytown was well clear for second, with Dbldelitebrigade N (Todd McCarthy) finishing in a dead-heat for third with Caviart Cherie (Kakaley). MACHNHOPE REPLAY   Trainer Noel Daley also co-owns Machnhope, a 6-year-old by Mach Three, with Deo Volente Farms LLC., Tom Pontone, and L.A. Express Stable LLC. Machnhope scored her 29th career win and has now pocketed $392,044. She returned $2.90 to win, with the exacta worth $6.40. The triples paid $8.50 (Dbldelitebrigade N third) and $11.20 (Caviart Cherie third). Third round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will take place on Friday, March 26. On Monday (March 22), the second round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series has four $40,000 divisions, with first leg winners Leonidas A and San Domino A meeting in one split and fellow round one victors Hesa Kingslayer N and Let It Ride N meeting in another. Yonkers Raceway hosts live harness racing Monday through Friday nights, with first post at 7:15 p.m..  For full results, click here. From Yonkers Raceway  

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series second leg, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features three $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 19) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 22) card at Yonkers will see four $40,000 divisions in the second round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for open pacers. Each series offers five preliminary rounds leading to the finales, both set for Monday (April 19). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the second of three $35,000 divisions of opening round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares on Friday night (March 12) at Yonkers Raceway with a blistering 1:51.2 victory. McCarthy took the 4-5 public choice to the lead shortly after the start, putting second choice Seaswift Joy N, driven by his brother Andy, in the pocket. Alexa Skye dictated the pace, cutting the first two fractions in identical :28 quarters and keeping the abbreviated field of five at bay in the process. Alexa Skye picked up the pace noticeably past the half and smoked her third quarter in :27.2, gaining ample separation on the field before marching home impressively with a :28 final kicker. A 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa Skye won for the first time since being purchased by trainer Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing, in February. Alexa Skye picked up her 13th victory overall and has now earned $174,890. It was a chalky beginning to the 2021 MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers on Monday night (March 15) at Yonkers Raceway as favorites delivered in four of the five $40,000 divisions. Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) began the proceedings, prevailing off a second-over trip at 1-5 to run his record in the United States to seven wins from seven starts. Dunn brought Let It Ride N to the outside from fourth after the :56.4 half, and then picked up cover when This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) tipped out of the pocket beyond the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Dunn sent Let It Ride N three-wide on the far turn, and he kicked home strongly to win by a half-length in 1:52.2. This Is The Plan was the runner-up, and Rodeo Rock (Tim Tetrick) closed from sixth to third in the last quarter. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains Let It Ride N, an 8-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven, for owners William Hartt and Enzed Racing Stable. Let It Ride N has won 25 times from 61 lifetime starts and he has now pocketed $395,958. Complete recaps of all the races are available on the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, 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 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 3-15-21): Drivers: 1. Austin Siegelman - 22; 2t. Andrew McCarthy - 20; 2t. Todd McCarthy - 20; 4t. Dexter Dunn - 12; 4t. Tyler Buter -12. Trainers: 1. Nifty Norman - 17; 2. Ron Burke - 15; 3t. Todd Buter - 10; 3t. Jeff Cullipher - 10; 3t. Nancy Takter - 10. Owners: 1t. Bd Racing - 10; 1t. Renee Bercury - 10; 1t. Jesmeral Stable - 10; 4t. Enzed Racing Stable - 7; 4t. Eric Prevost - 7. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next three weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the second of three $35,000 divisions of opening round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for harness racing pacing mares on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway with a blistering 1:51.2 victory. McCarthy took the 4-5 public choice to the lead shortly after the start, putting second choice Seaswift Joy N, driven by his brother Andy, in the pocket. Alexa Skye dictated the pace, cutting the first two fractions in identical 28 second quarters and keeping the abbreviated field of five at bay in the process. Alexa Skye picked up the pace noticeably past the half and smoked her third quarter in 27.2, gaining ample separation on the field before marching home impressively with a 28 second final kicker.   A 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa Skye won for the first time since being purchased by trainer Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing LLC., in February. Alexa Skye, who picked up her 13th victory overall and has now earned $174,890, returned $3.70 to win, with the exacta with runner-up Seaswift Joy N coming back at $7.00. Monica Gallagher held on to the show spot and finished off a $19.40 trifecta. Andy McCarthy was able to post a mild upset in the first split with Machnhope, going first-over the final three eighths to collar race favorite My Ruebe Star N in the homestretch and win comfortably by 2 1/4 lengths. Jordan Stratton put the field in post position order at the outset with My Ruebe Star N and posted very modest fractions of 28.3 and 57.4 for the opening half. The pace picked up considerably when McCarthy pulled on the right line off turn three and went on the attack, coming to even terms with the favorite at the 1:25.3 three-quarters. The two continued to battle through the final turn, but Machnhope, trained by Noel Daley, surged past into the stretch and closed out her 1:53.3 victory with a 28 second final panel. Caviart Cherie squeezed out on the final turn to earn the place spot, with Bettors Heart N making a solid three-wide charge from a difficult spot to salvage the show dough.   Machnhope is owned by Deo Volente Farms LLC., Tom Pontone, L.A. Express Stable LLC., and trainer Daley. The 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three paid $4.80 to win, the exacta returned $52.00, and the trifecta kicked back $193.00. Machnhope is now a 28-time winner from an even 100 appearances, and she has pocketed $374,544. Blue Ivy and driver Tyler Buter cashed in on a second-over trip in the third flight as a 6-1 outsider in the field of six mares. Blue Ivy was away patiently in the early stages as Siesta Beach claimed control on the first turn but relinquished command to the 4-5 favorite Soho Burning Love A prior to the 28 second opening quarter. Tim Tetrick had Soho Burning Love A under good rating and waltzed to the half in 56.4 before meeting some pressure on the backstretch when Lady Dela Renta A and Stratton came calling. Tetrick and Soho Burning Love A disposed of the first-over challenger past the 1:25 three-quarters but proved powerless in the late going as Buter pulled Blue Ivy three-wide and flashed a wicked burst of speed to win going away in a 1:53.3 clocking. Soho Burning Love A held on to the place spot, with Siesta Beach following in third.   A 5-year-old by Captaintreacherous that had mastered the Northfield half-mile track this winter, Blue Ivy won for the fourth time in six starts in 2021 for owner Renee Bercury. Todd Buter trains Blue Ivy, who now has 23 career triumphs and has put away $319,790 The bettors received a healthy $15.20 on the win end, with the exacta worth $37.80 and the trifecta good for an $86.00 return. The second leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker is slated for Friday, March 19. Preliminary round action continues in the series through April 9, and the final is slated to take place on Monday, April 19. Stakes action continues on Monday night at Yonkers with five $40,000 divisions of the opening leg of the MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m. From Yonkers Raceway

1 to 16 of 169
1 2 3 4 5 Next »