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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) today released the approved schedules for the 2021 racing season, announcing that this season's Night of Champions Finals will be hosted at Yonkers Raceway on September 10. Finals for the Excelsior Series will be held at Vernon Downs on September 11. The full 2021 NYSS and Excelsior Series schedules can be found here. "The New York Sire Stakes would like to thank the seven harness tracks in New York for working through the challenges that this year brings and helping us to produce another strong schedule for New York-bred horses," said Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund. "We are excited to see what the new race season brings as our champions return and the offspring of past champions hit the track for the first time." The New York Night of Champions purses will be $200,000 for each of the eight divisions. Purses for the Excelsior Finals have been approved at $50,000 for each divisions. All divisions feature five preliminary legs, plus an extra Excelsior leg at Goshen that carries a purse but no points for 3-year-olds. Conditions have been finalized and posted for the Excelsior Series and County Fair Series, with minimal changes from last year. You can view Excelsior Series conditions here and County Fair conditions here. Purse levels have remained the same for both series. The NYSS would like to remind horsemen that the 2021 stakes payments for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds must be made online or postmarked by Tuesday, Feb. 16, due to the President's Day holiday. To make your payment online, visit nysirestakes.com. A generic payment form can also be found here to mail a payment. If your payment is returned for any reason, please save all documentation and dated materials, including postmarks. If you have any questions, contact the New York Sire Stakes at info@nysirestakes.com or 518-388-0178. From the New York Sire Stakes  

Nichols, NY - The New York Sires Stakes Excelsior A finals were raced at Tioga Downs on Friday, September 11, each for a purse of $50,000. Uhtred won the glamor boy division in the day's fastest 1:51.1 with a gate to wire tour de force from post nine, driver Jason Bartlett's third stakes win on the day. A rallying Levine eked out second in a photo over My Pal Joe.   Unraced at two, Uhtred was making only is sixth career start and winning for the fourth time. The Art Major colt has displayed unusual talent over that short span for trainer Carmen Auciello and owners Earl Hill, Jr and Stephen Klunowski, clearly his best days are before him. Just Joshing (Marcus Miller) kicked off the stakes in the 2-year-old filly trot with an upset of heavily favored Izzy Demsky for trainer Julie Miller in 1:58.2. The Chapter Seven lass sat a pocket behind the fave then out sprinted that one through the lane to post the half-length win. Andy Miller Stable, breeder Windsong Stable and Dumain Haven Farm share ownership of the winner who took a new speed mark in the process. Dresden (Scott Zeron) avenged the loss of the favorite in the opener when the freshman Roll With Joe pacing filly took race three in a personal best of 1:54.1 over Carrington in a largely front stepping effort. Dresden is a Henderson homebred trained to now three wins in four attempts by the venerable conditioner Chris Ryder. Zeron came right back to take the baby colt trot with Linda Toscano's Royson's Punch affording that colt an ideal trip after a hard leave to the lead, releasing heavily favored Barn Hall then out-gaming that one in the shadow of the wire in 1:57. Linda trains the Chapter Seven colt and owns as Camelot Stable in partnership with R and I Farms. Mullinax (Bartlett) took the freshman colt pace as a slight favorite in a forwardly placed 1:53.2 effort. The wire arrived just in time for Mullinax as Hopnroll Heaven was gaining quickly and just missed. Mark Ford trains the winner, a son of American Ideal, for long time owner Bill Varney. "It's been a really hard year on everybody, and this is one bright spot. I certainly wish the late Ed Mullinax who the colt is named for, was here to have raced him. Ed was a great guy to do business with, but an even greater guy to hang out with. He was a good friend," was the heartfelt response of trainer Mark Ford who bred the colt along with Mr. Mullinax. "All of the money Ed made in the business he reinvested and it's a huge loss to all of us that he's gone. The owner of this colt, Mr. Varney, is another really stand-up guy." Tioga's leading driver Wally Hennessey caught the mount on C And T's Credit when trainer John Stark, Jr. sent out a powerful entry in the 3-year-old filly trot and Wally took full advantage of the opportunity. Hennessey had C And T's Credit on the lead through a comfortable 58.1 half and that was enough to seal the deal as the pair won as they pleased in 1:55.1 over Soprese who rallied late for the place. Frank Barbato and Sam Bova Racing are the proud owners of the winner, a daughter of Credit Winner. Bolt Of Beauty became Marcus Miller's second stakes winner on the day. Away from the rail post position, Marcus had the Bolt The Duer filly close up through the early stages then bum rushed Discoforadollar going into the last turn, opened up and held sway over Turnthefrownaround in 1:52.3. Erv Miller conditions the sophomore filly pacer for his own interest as Erv Miller Stable in partnership with Tanah Merah Farms and Sara Miller. Conquest AS (Bartlett) dominated the 3-year-old colt trot field gate to wire with the greatest of ease in 1:55.1. Bartlett pointed him forward from the word go and the driver's work was largely done as the Conway Hall gelding did the rest. Bronze Yankee rode the pocket to a place finish. Trainer Annette Lorentzen had her charge primed, the Lorentzen family owns and bred Conquest AS under the ACL Stuteri AB banner. Tioga Downs will close out the 2020 racing season with a 13 race card tomorrow with post time at 3:00. by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs  

NICHOLS, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Finals head to Tioga Downs this Friday, one day prior to the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Finals at Yonkers Raceway. With $400,000 in purse money up for grabs Friday, the event will kick off a weekend of season-ending competition for the top 2- and 3-year-olds bred in the state. The full list of entries can be found here. Heading into the finals, Just Joshing leads the division for 2-year-old filly trotters with two wins and two second place finishes in four starts. Dresden is the morning line favorite among 2-year-old filly pacers, also with a pair of wins through two starts. Undefeated in four starts, Barn Hall is the horse to beat in the 2-year-old colt trot. The freshman has won more than $34,000 for trainer Steven Pratt. Isaac, undefeated in three Excelsior starts, leads among 2-year-old colt pacers. C And T's Credit is looking to pull the double in the 3-year-old filly trot. She won her Final last year and may be poised to do so again as she sits atop her division. The 3-year-old trotting colt to watch is Conquest AS. He has four wins in five starts, with a second-place finish rounding out his season record. The horse is in a competitive division with trainer entries from George Ducharme and Anette Lorentzon. Bolt Of Beauty will hope to fend off challengers to the crown for 3-year-old pacing fillies in one of the most competitive divisions in this year's series. The same can be said for Levine who holds a narrow lead atop the points standings for 3-year-old pacing colts. Owners who wish to attend in-person must email brisi@tiogadowns.com to reserve space no later than Thursday (today) at 5 p.m. Post time o n Friday is 3 p.m. From the New York Sire Stakes

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes has announced changes to its schedule affecting the Excelsior Finals and the remaining NYSS two divisions scheduled to race at Monticello Raceway. The full revised schedule can be found here. The Excelsior Finals will now be held Friday, Sept. 11 at Tioga Downs, instead of Sept. 19 as previously scheduled. This is one day before the NYSS Finals at Yonkers. Protocols for the finals at Yonkers have not yet been determined and horsemen that may have horses competing on both nights should know we will take the challenges of this scheduling change into consideration. Other events included in scheduling changes: 2-Year-Old Filly Pace Monday, Aug. 24 at Monticello moved to Saratoga (same date) 3-Year-Old Colt Trot Monday, Aug. 31 at Monticello moved to Friday, Sept. 4 at Vernon Downs To receive the latest updates from The New York Sire Stakes, you are encouraged to register for the newly implemented NYSS Text Alert System, which sends updates directly to your phone. To receive updates from NYSS via text message: TEXT "NYSS" to 31996. International Numbers TEXT "NYSS INT" to (833) 498-1158. From the New York Sire Stakes

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will kick off the 2020 live harness racing season on Saturday, May 2, igniting a 58 day meet that ends with the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) Excelsior division finals on Saturday, September 19.   In between the season will be filled with stakes and promotions to enhance the Tioga live experience. Top Grand Circuit stakes for older horses are on the schedule with the Roll With Joe FFA pace and the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers set for Sunday, June 14 while the Crawford Farms and Joie De Vie for trotters and Artiscape for mare pacers come a month later along with the Empire Breeders Classic for sophomore NY breds.   The nomination forms for the above stakes are available on the Tioga website and will close on March 15.   Race Secretary Rich Mattei will accept racing applications, due by March 15, and open the stable area on April 1 in anticipation of the summer racing.   Questions should be directed to Racing Operations Manager Brett Risi at (607) 699-7688.   It is recommended that horsemen sign up for the text information service used at Tioga Downs by texting the word "MEADOWLANDS" to 84700.   From Tioga Downs

There were eight harness racing Excelsior A Finals contested on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The culmination of the summer-long Excelsior series saw eight divisions which each went for a purse of $55,000 on a beautiful late summer evening in the Spa City. Two and three year old trotters who competed starting in late spring and through the summer saw their stakes campaigns culminate on Saturday night. It was "Miller Night" at Saratoga as reinsmen Andy and Marcus Miller prevailed in three of the eight Finals. Marcus Miller piloted Century Ferrari (American Ideal) to victory in the three year old colt and gelding pace in a sizzling 1:52.4 for his father trainer Erv Miller. Century Ferrari got the jump on his race's favorite Rickybobbynthehaus (Tyler Buter) and held that one off in the stretch before securing his fourth win of the season. Marcus Miller also sat behind the Anette Lorenzon-trained Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip) in the two year old filly pace as she went coast-to-coast in 1:54.2. Andy Miller recorded a win on Saturday night as his Book Seven (Chapter Seven) went wire-to-wire in the two year old colt and gelding trot Final, stopping the timer in 1:59.4. Julie Miller trains the freshman trotter who moved his seasonal record to five for nine with the victory. Scott Zeron was the other out-of-towner to pilot a winner in a $55,000 Final as he guided the Blake Macintosh-trained Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe) to a 1:53.4 score in the three year old filly pace. Four local drivers logged victories among the eight Finals on Saturday night as well. Jimmy Devaux got the evening started for the Spa regulars by guiding Ideal Perception (American Ideal) to a front-running score in 1:54.2 in the two year old colt and gelding pace. Tony Alagna trains the freshman pacer whose victory was his third of the season. John Stark Jr. trains and drives C And T's Credit (Credit Winner) who cruised to a first-over win in the two year old filly trot, stopping the timer in 2:00 for an open-length score. Mark Beckwith and Frank Coppola Jr. each catch-drove a Finals winner on Saturday as Beckwith guided Certify (Credit Winner) to a career-best victory in 1:55, paying immediate dividends for his new connections as the three year old gelding went coast-to-coast in his first start out of the Lance Hudson stable. Coppola's win came while sitting behind George Ducharme's Hanna Dreamgirl (Chapter Seven) in the three year old filly trot. Hanna Dreamgirl sprung the biggest upset of the night, swooping the group in 1:58.3 and doing so at odds of 19-1 with Coppola at the controls. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 29, 2019--Here's one that can't lose...guaranteed or your non-wagering money cheerfully refunded. Yonkers Raceway Thursday night (Aug. 29th) hosts a good, old-fashioned walkover. The 3-year-old pacing gelding It's Rigged (punchline optional) has the honors at about 5:30 PM in a $6,100 New York Sire Stakes Excelsior 'B' event. Tyler Buter, who began the day at 3,209 career wins, is reasonably certain to get another one. It's Rigged, a homebred Riggins gelding, enters with three wins and four seconds in his nine seasonal starts ($13,100). He's owned by Last Hurrah Stable and trained by Eldo Leonelli. Ironically, it's the second consecutive season the Raceway has hosted a walkover. The 3-year-old statebred pacing filly Windsun Magnolia and Jim Marohn Jr. made it look easy last September, disposing of her no rivals in a life-best 1:58. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Batavia, NY --- Zero Tolerance is the second richest sophomore filly in all of North America this year and she will be competing in the final division of the $111,900 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 28). Plus her regular reinsman, Hall of Fame driver David Miller, will also be on hand for a rare western New York appearance. Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) has been perfect in NYSS action this year and comes into Wednesday's race off a victory in the $232,700 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs where she paced a lifetime best 1:50.2 mile. Prior to that back in June, she finished second in the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono where she just got beat less than a length and paced in 1:49.4. She is currently the top filly in points (200) and earnings ($149,250) in her NYSS bracket and is also the second richest distaff pacer and sixth richest overall among all 3-year-old pacers in North America with $354,173 on her card this year. Zero Tolerance drew post four in the five-horse field that will go for $56,500 and has been made the prohibitive morning line favorite at 2-5. Her all Hall of Fame connections of trainer Joe Holloway and driver Dave Miller will be on hand in full support. In the other $55,400 split, the number two gal in the state is nearly as favored going in to that event as well. So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) sits directly behind Zero Tolerance in NYSS action in points (199) and earnings ($143,499) and like the leader, will be making a return trip to Batavia Downs for the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions finals in just over two weeks on Saturday (Sept. 14). After reeling off two straight wins prior to her last start, So Awesome got parked out and interfered with in that subsequent overnight outing at Pocono forcing her to finish off the board. However road trouble shouldn't be an issue in this four-horse field and as a result, she has been made 4-5 by the track handicapper in there. Trainer Scott Di Domenico has leading NYSS driver Tyler Buter in the bike once again for this outing. Despite the short morning line, this is a tough field. Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe-Fool That I Am) just finished second to Zero Tolerance in the Empire Breeders Classic and Carbon Capture (Art Major-Jated Love) who changed barns on a claim three starts ago has since won two consecutive races at Scioto Downs, taking two consecutive lifetime marks. Trainer Blake Macintosh has Matt Kakaley up on Fool Me Again from post three and and trainer Logan Powell has assigned Jim Morrill Jr. to steer Carbon Capture from post one. Due to the short fields, there will be no place or show wagering in either NYSS race. There is also one Excelsior "A" event on the card that goes as race one. Post time for that race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Monticello, NY - With just seven two-year-old pacing fillies entered for the New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway Monday, they will race for the entire pot with a purse of $108,300. It will be quite a battle in the seventh race feature between Zero Tolerance (PP2) and So Awesome (PP5). Zero Tolerance, a daughter of Heston Blue Chip, is on a four-race winning streak for trainer Joe Holloway. She has won five of her six starts this year and her lone loss was by a neck. She has a record this year of 1:51.3 taken at Vernon Downs. David Miller is again in the sulky with Zero Tolerance. She is owned by Val D'Or Farms of Freehold, NJ and Ted Gewertz of NY. So Awesome will have Jim Morrill, Jr. in the bike as she has won three of her last four starts. Her loss coming at the hands of Zero Tolerance. Trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner William Hart of Carmel, Maine, So Awesome has yet to lose when racing on the lead and the So Surreal filly has a record of 1:53.3 at Saratoga Raceway. Another major contender in the race is ST Somewhere, who starts from the rail for driver Yannick Gingras. This American Ideal daughter has won three of her last five starts for trainer Ron Burke with a record of 1:52.2 at Tioga Downs. Her last two losses have come from both Zero Tolerance and So Awesome. Completing the field are Hurrikane Norakane (post three), Ladybeluckytonite (post four), Topville Angelina (post six) and Brooklyn Lilacs (post seven). There are two $15,000 Excelsior Series A divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies in the second and ninth races. Boogie Roll (post three) is the morning line favorite for driver Tyler Buter in the second race and is on a two-race winning streak for trainer Buzzy Sholty. She takes on Major Frost (post one) and Joe's Girl (post two). In the ninth race, Siesta Beach (post two) is the favorite for driver Jim Morrill, Jr. and two starts back scored a lifetime mark of 1:55.1. The daughter of American Ideal goes against Under The Hood (post one) and return winner Dorothy's Legacy (post eight). The race card also features one Excelsior Series B division in the fifth race where Justabitofcharm looms over the field. The Heston Blue Chip filly has won five of her last six starts, the fastest in 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs. She will be driven by Jason Bartlett for owner, trainer and breeder, Kelly Hastings of Columbus, NJ. First race post time Monday is 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.monticelloraceway.com. By Steve Wolf, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - The majority of the 72 2-year-old colts and geldings were on their best behavior Monday afternoon July 9 at Monticello Raceway, 4 divisions of Sire Stakes were contested, each offering a purse of $27,750. Also on tap were 4 Excelsior A's worth $15,000 per dash and 2 Heats of the Excelsior B, each worth $6,500. In the first division, Brian Sears aboard Gimpanzee took control of the fractions after taking the lead past the ¼ in 31.0 and continued to take the pack thru fraction of 1:02, 1:32.2 on his way to a 1 length victory in 2:02.4. Gimpanzee is trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc. and SRF Stable of Delray Beach. The $170,000 son of Chapter 7 notched his first lifetime win. Leap Year Lucky (Dan Daley) was second, followed by Light Come On (Scott Zeron) The second heat saw Pushthebuttonmax take the field of 8 to the ¼ in 30.2, and the half in 1:01.0, the eventually race winner Keystone Cash was the first to pull at the half first over. As the pack headed down the back side the second time, Takter aboard Keystone Cash were in control at the ¾ in 1:30 and put a quick 3 lengths on the rest of the field and held on for the win by 2 lengths in 1:59.3. The son of Chapter Seven is owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable. Race 6 was the 3rd heat of NYSS, Scott Zeron and Jake G's Champion looked to score a wire to wire win as he was the first to trip the first 2 beams in 30.2 and 1:01.4. Certify (Claude Hukabone Jr.) was the first to the ¾ in 1:32.1. Jimmy Marohn Jr. who had been wrangling with JNR Express (PP7) the entire mile, was full of trot in the paddock turn and continued his attack and overtook Certify by a slim head in 2:01.4. Getting no respect from the betting public JNR Express, returned $61.50. The son of Conway Hall is trained by Jessica Okusko. Certify held on for 2nd and the early pacesetter Jake G's Champion finished 3rd. Down the road was the rule of the day, and Ake Svanstedt did just that with his pupil Cavill Hanover, the son of Muscle Mass scored a well in hand win in 2:02.4 for owner's Little E LLC, Vanersol Inc and Wolfgang Stable. Our White Knight (Scott Zeron) was 2nd followed by Fashion For Credit from the 8 hole. In one of the afternoons more impressive races, Mr. Vicktor trotted his middle half in 58.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and won by 15 lengths in his Excelsior A race in 2:00 for trainer and part owner Buzzy Sholty. The son of RC Royalty will be looking to shed his Excelsior company and take on all comers next start for owners Joe Lee and Diamond Pride Stable. Crazy Every Time lit up the tote in his Excelsior B heat, the son of Crazed scored from the 3 hole in 2:03 and paid $88.00 for win. Other winners on the card were Speeding Moose (Dan Daley) in 2:08.1, Praying Angel (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 2:02.4, Frank Hanover (Claude Hukabone Jr.) 2:07.4, Trond Smedshammer scored with 2 Purple Haze horses Bazillionare in 2:03.1 and Charismo in 2:07.1. Next up on the Sire Stakes calendar is 3 Year Old Trotting Colts on Monday July 16. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - For the majority of 56 2-year-old trotting fillies that dropped in the box for Monday June 25 at Monticello Raceway, they will be making their first harness racing pari mutual debut, and for many, the first time on a half mile track. The entire card is comprised of Sire Stakes competition, the green group were split into 4 regular Sire Stakes - $26,750, 3 heats of the Excelsior A's - $15,000 and 2 dashes of the Excelsior B's $6,500. The opening Sire Stakes has a trio of nice fillies, starting from the rail is Hot Chapter, a bay filly by Chapter 7, in her first baby race at Gaitway Farms she was second, trotting her mile in 1:57.2, she is trained and driven by Team Miller. Just Priceless (PP2) is also looking to extend her winning streak to 3 wins for trainer Homer Hochstetler after back to back baby race wins at Vernon Downs, Charles Norris will sit behind the Muscle Yankee filly for the first time. Monticello Raceway's 2nd leading trainer, Gary Messenger will send forth Summertime Fever (PP3) for owner Scott Woogen of Mechanicsville, PA, she took a mark of 2:01.3 at Pocono Downs. Liquorstoreblues (PP4) knows her way around the half mile oval quite well, the Conway Hall filly is undefeated in her 2 starts at Saratoga Raceway, trotting home in a blistering 28.4 in her first LT start, leading Yonkers Raceway driver Jason Bartlett will be in the bike. In the second division, Sensibility (PP1) has been a 2 time Q winner at Vernon Downs, she won her last start in 2:00.1 by 6 ½ lengths, Scot Zeron will drive the Muscle Mass filly for owners W.Donavan, J. Sbrocco, J. Winske and George Ducharme. Amal Hall will look to shed her role as bridesmaid as she has finished 2nd in both of her qualifiers for trainer Andy Miller. The fleet Credit Winner- Arabella Hall lass shows trotting both of her last quarters in 28.2 and 28 in her qualifiers at Gaitway Farms. Third heat of Sire Stakes Somermusic'chapter (PP1) With Out A Doubt (PP2) and Helen Goldstein(PP4) were all winners in their last start. Exotic Diamond toured the Monticello oval last week in her qualifier where she finished 3rd for Buzzy Sholty, Scott Zeron will drive the RC Royalty offspring. EV'S Girl has been installed the 5-2 favorite in the last division, she will start from post position 4 in the 6-horse field. The Crazed - Lindys Lullaby offspring was ultra-impressive in both of her baby races, winning both in identical times of 1:58.4 for trainer Julie Miller, Andy Miller will drive. Winndevie (Credit Winner - Vida De Vie) will start from the rail for Trond Smedshammer for longtime stable patron Purple Haze Stable LLC, she showed high speed in her only baby race, trotting her last quarter in a brisk 27.4. Successful NYSS driver Jeff Gregory, brings Safe Word (PP2) Credit - Winner - Fifty Shades to the contest, she finished second to EV's Girl in her first lifetime start. Post time is 12:50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello

Vernon, N.Y. -- New York-sired 3-year-olds were in the spotlight on Saturday (September 17) evening at Vernon Downs, as a quartet of $45,000 Excelsior Series finals and a quartet of $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation events headlined the 15-race harness racing card.   Helene Filion's Endeavor ($11.60, part of entry) sprung a mild upset in the $45,000 Excelsior final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings (race 10), yielding and retaking at race's midpoint to overpower odds-on favorite Fresh Cut (Marcus Miller) before drawing clear to a 7-1/4 length over the mildly rallying Brigadoon (Matt Kakaley) and Acting Out (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in 1:49.3. John MacDonald drove the American Ideal gelding for trainer Pat Lachance. Fresh Cut faded to finish sixth following his early push forward to clear after a sizzling :25 first quarter.   In the Excelsior for trotting colts and geldings (race 9), Just For Today ($9.50) sustained steady first-over gains to wear down odds-on Credevie (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in deep stretch, posting a 1:54.2 win in rein to Matt Kakaley. Paul Kelley trains the Credit WInner colt for the Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, and the Hatfield Stables.   Wendy's Girl ($3.90) brushed from midfield on the first turn to seize command and edge clear in the straight to beat her distaff Excelsior (race 4) trotting foes by a widening four lengths, posting a 1:54.3 mile time to defeat the John Stark-trained pair of Hullaba Lulu (MacDonald) and LTs Sandie (Stark). Morrill drove Wendy's Girl, a daughter of Lucky Chucky, for trainer Tracy Brainard and owners Howard Taylor and Ed Gold   Ghost Runner ($2.90) was tops among Excelsior pacing fillies (race 8), controlling the pace and edging clear by 4-1/4 lengths to best stablemate Rolling Going Gone (Morrill) in 1:51.1. Erv Miller trains both fillies, and Marcus Miller was aboard the victorious daughter of Art Major for the partnership of Leaf, MacKenzie, Fielding, and Jackson.   In her $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation (race 5), 3-year-old trotting filly Zette Starlet ($57.00) posted a major upset via a pocket trip, collaring Sweet Ashley T in 1:54.4. Charlie Norris drove the Credit Winner filly for owner-trainer Cozette McAvoy.   Major Millie ($26.80, MacDonald) similarly upset in the 3-year-old filly pace (race 6), emerging late to best second-over Rock Me Baby by a length in 1:51.2 after clearing, yielding, and ending up shuffled into midfield through the far turn. Steve Elliott trains the Art Major filly for the S S G Stables.   Rock N Roll Heaven gelding JK Heaven Sent ($5.30, MacDonald) pounced from the pocket to take the Sire Stakes consolation for pacing colts and geldings (race 11), finding room in upper stretch and drawing clear of Nox Vegas Bluechip by three lengths in 1:50.3 for trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and owners Michi Abday and Barbara and Donald Arnstine.   In the colt-and-gelding trot consolation (race 12), Royal Bachelor ($8.60) carried a first-over move off the far turn to reel in Thats a Bad Boy by a length in 1:55.1. Trainer Dan Daley drove the RC Royalty gelding for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, IV, and Michael White.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (September 22) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Empire Breeders Classic winner Fresh Cut lends a fair bit of star power to a stakes-laden 15-race harness racing program on Saturday (September 17) evening at Vernon Downs, as he has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in his $45,000 Excelsior Series final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, carded as the night's tenth event.   Leading up to his 17-1 upset in the $240,475 Classic at Tioga on August 28, the son of American Ideal enjoyed success on the Excelsior circuit, winning four of eight such events across the Empire State this summer. He looks for a third straight win and the eleventh of his career in Saturday night's event just twelve days after a 1:51.2 victory in a $59,100 New York Sire Stakes event at the Miracle Mile, and Marcus Miller will once again handle the driving duties for the Bay Pond Racing Stable and trainer Erv Miller.   In the $45,000 Excelsior final for 3-year-old pacing fillies, carded as race eight, 12-time winner Rolling Going Gone has been installed the 5-2 early choice after eight wins and a runner-up finish in nine Excelsior events on the year. Jim Morrill, Jr. will drive the capably versatile Roll With Joe filly for owner Ross Bonafield and trainer Erv Miller. Morrill will also take the lines of the other two Excelsior morning line favorites, teaming up with Tracy Brainard trainee Wendy's Girl in the 3-year-old distaff trot (race four) and Trond Smedshammer trainee Credevie in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot (race nine).   In addition to the Excelsior Series finals, a quartet of $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation events are scheduled on the Saturday Vernon card. Post time is slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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