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Her approval rating in New York would shame any politician, as would her margins of victory. Fortunately for the electeds, Barn Doll isn't taking them on. Unfortunately for the seven lasses she sees Saturday night, Barn Doll is taking them on. Barn Doll, her sights on another sire stakes championship, drew post position No. 5 in the Majestic View Farms International 3-Year-Old Filly Trot. The event is the first of four Yonkers Raceway finales comprising Part I of the 26th New York Night of Champions. The $225,000 finals for 3-year-old pacers and trotters go Saturday (races 5 through 8), while the equally-purses quartet of finales for 2-year-olds is set for Saturday, Sept. 26th . Each of the eight events is sponsored by a prominent New York breeding farm. As for Barn Doll, the daughter of Conway Hall has never left Empire's boundaries in her 21-race, $560,850 career. Her 17 wins (with three seconds) have included four in five Yonkers starts, highlighted last season's frosh championship. "She's just been a pro for two seasons," Jeff Gregory, Barn Doll's driver in 17 of her purse starts, said. "She always shows up. "(Trainer/co-owner) Steve (Pratt) warned me right away she was a nice horse, and she's lived up to it," Gregory said. Why? "Exceptional manners and speed," her chauffeur said. "Last season, if you saw her race, you'd never have thought she was a 2-year-old. She made one break (Saratoga) and that's because she was in heat, a fluke thing." As good as she's been on the small tracks up and down the Thruway, Gregory thinks a big track steps her up even more. "She's not the quickest out of gate, but with the big track, she can get out of there." Gregory has won 13 sire stakes finals, third all-time (behind Wally Hennessey and Jim Morrill Jr.). His dozen leg wins this season puts him second, behind runaway leader Morrill Jr. "Hopefully, we can get another one Saturday." Frank Drucker

Form pretty much ruled the Tuesday afternoon harness racing meeting, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $166,874 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. It certainly did in the second ($82,687) division, as Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $2.10) won as she pleased. Near the back off the early bus from position No. 5, she methodically moved to the lead just passing the half, then put the hammer down. The final margin was an unasked 5¼ lengths in 1:55.3. Northern Obsession (Tyler Buter) was a rallying second, with Zanna Blu (George Brennan) third. For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve Pratt & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her 10th win in a dozen seasonal starts (17-for-21 lifetime). The exacta paid $7.20, the triple returning $62 Form was also in play in the opening ($84,187) sire stakes event, as second choice Lady Winona (Miller)-from post No. 3--snapped pace-setting 6-5 choice Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr.) in an 1:55.3, two-speed number (no misprint, the winning times were identical). The margin here was three-quarters of a lengths. Frou Frou (Brennan) "won the bob" for third as the 52-1 rank outsider. For Lady Winona, a Credit Winner miss trained by Julie Miller for owner Stroy Inc. (which includes Ms. Miller), she's now 3-for-15 this season. The exacta paid $17.20, with the triple returning $459. The hard-working lass was second (ironically, beaten from the pocket) in this past Saturday night's final of the Hudson Filly Trot. Tuesday's sire stakes event honored the memory of Yonkers' longtime, award-winning track photographer, whose family-including son, Ralph-made the winner's circle presentations. Special Tuesday props to Grain of Truth (Jordan Stratton, $17.20) as the ageless (actually 14-year-old) gelding won the $19,000, fifth-race trot in 1:56.1 It was the 81st career win in 336 starts for the now-$1.5 million earner, owned by Charles Iannazzo and trained by Ray Schnittker. Frank Drucker

He's yet to taste defeat and judging from his performance on Wednesday (Aug. 5) at  the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs, it might be quite some time before that happens. Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus) simply obliterated the competition in his $55,500 leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings and set a new lifetime mark in the process. When Dante (Ake Svanstedt) shot to the front for the early lead, Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) made a break and caused momentary confusion to the horses behind him in the first turn. Dayson, who was trotting on the outside at the time, was taken three-deep around the commotion by driver Jeff Gregory and motored to the front to take command. At that point, for all intents and purposes, the race was over. Dayson was a gapped leader for the rest of the contest with Dante and Reve Royale (Chris Lems) chasing, more than following. After setting fractions of 29.2, 59.4 and 1:29.3, Gregory laid the whip on his shoulder and enjoyed the ride home as Dayson opened up four and tripped the timer in 1:59.1, which was his new personal best. "Dayson has been a pleasure to drive this year and he was very strong tonight" said Jeff Gregory after the race. Dayson is now a perfect four-for-four in 2015 with $91,556 in earnings for Howard Okusko and owners Margaret Butler and Amy Butler. The winner returned $3.40. In the second $55,500 NYSS division, Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) took advantage of post one and a perfect trip to score his second victory of the campaign. Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) flew off the wings and crossed over to the lead before the group straightened up the backside. The rest of the field fell in line in post-position order and followed the leader past the half. But even though Schnittker set tepid fractions of 30.1, 1:01.3 and 1:32.1, the race was far from over . Credevie (Trond Smedshammer) pulled from third to try and challenge the leader, leaving Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) sitting chilly in the garden spot. But at the top of the stretch, that bid failed and Chargin Cadet again looked solid. But Allerage Echo was relentless, digging all the way to the wire and eventually getting up for the win in 2:01.1, with a 28.3 final quarter. "He got a very good trip." "And even though they backed down the third quarter, I thought I could get up down the lane" said driver Chris Lems, who did just that. It was the second win in four starts for Allerage Echo who paid $10.80. The winner's share increased his earnings to $58,381 while the time was a new lifetime mark. The gelding is trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs. There were also three divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series that went for $15,000 each. The first went to Cashuz (Cash Hall-Sister Shuzy) and driver John Cummings Jr. in 2:00 flat. Cashuz ($8.20) is trained by J.D. Perrin and is owned by Tessa Roland and Lesa Peters. The second division was won by Gremlin Wilson (Sand Vic-Savannah Montana) and driver John Cummings Jr. once again in 2:03. Meghan Wilson trains Gremlin Wilson ($9.60) for Cummings Jr. who also owns the colt. The final leg saw Kaylon's Prayer (Prayer I Am-Kaylon) victorious for Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, in 2:03.4. Dennis Laterza trains Kaylon's Prayer ($8.50) for owner Roy Dobbins. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 7) with post time at 6:35 p.m. TIm Bojarski

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 11, 2013 - Hall of Fame driver Cat Manzi, who suffered a fracture pelvis in a racing accident at Freehold Raceway on September 6, 2013, is being released from Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune today and moved to an acute rehab facility in Brick, NJ. According to Ellen Manzi, Cat's wife, he suffered four fractures of his pelvis. "Three of them are on the left side; one of them involves his hip," she said. Jeff Gregory, 47, who was also in the multi-horse pileup, was released from Freehold's CentraState Medical Center on Sunday. He shattered his left elbow and underwent surgery the day of the spill. He is home in East Windsor, NJ, recuperating. Manzi, 63, is the third highest all-time winningest driver in harness racing history with 14,789 career victories. "Cat is now able to respond to phone calls and text messages, but will not have much time for visitors while he is in rehab," said Ellen Manzi. "They're going to keep him pretty busy, and that is good." by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ  

In the third race here at Buffalo Raceway (Friday, July 12), a New York Sire Stake race worth $57,443, an accident involving four horses and harness racing drivers, sent drivers Jack Flanigen, and Ray Fisher, Jr., to the hospital after a bad spill at the top of the stretch.

Freehold Raceway will host a $10,000 Driving Challenge on Saturday (Dec. 8). The eight local harness racing drivers involved are Hall of Famer Catello Manzi, Jeff Gregory, Jim Marshall III, Steve Smith, Jim Panteleano, Eric Abbatiello, Harry Landy and Joe Bongiorno.

Ma Chere Hall and Banco Solo each earned champion status as a result of their impressive harness racing victories in Friday night's (October 26) $408,500 finals of the 2012 Kindergarten Classic Series for 2-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs.

Peter Grandich, the managing member of Trinity Financial Sports & Entertainment Management Co., LLC, announced today (Monday October 22) that he will be one of four sponsors of a one-day harness driving championship at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, December 8, 2012.

Harness racing millionaire One More Laugh with Jeff Gregory in the sulky, had the last laugh in the 10th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace when they scored a thrilling nose victory over Hypnotic Blue Chip in 1:52.1, in a four-horse blanket finish, at Batavia Downs Casino on Saturday night (Oct.6).

Yonkers Raceway's usual Friday night pair of $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--for harness racing distaff pacers and any-gender-out-there trotters--were won by Rock N Soul (Jason Bartlett, $4.80) and Neighsay Hanover (Jeff Gregory, $7.80).

It's been a long road to breeding success for John O'Connor, but he seems to have found the right path with his 3-year-old trotting gelding Brookroad Knight. The son of CR Excalibur is a winner of more than a quarter-million dollars already this year and will be competing in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final on the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (Sept. 22).

The New York Sire stakes harness racing season continues on Saturday night (September 8) at Batavia Downs Casinowhen the glamour division, 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers roll into town, to compete for $129,520 to be split into two NYSS divisions.

Gaelic And Garlic equaled the Monticello Raceway track record for 3 year old trotting geldings with a 1:57.1 triumph for harness racing driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. in the first $83,922 division of the New York Sire Stakes for sophomore trotting colts and geldings on Monday afternoon, August 6th.

Acl Suteri's Mado Dream, who'd been second twice, third and then eighth in four prior New York Sire Stakes harness racing appearances, got the job done at Monticello Raceway Monday afternoon (August 6), cruising to a wire-to-wire 1:57.2 victory with Jeff Gregory in the sulky in the second $83,922 division of the NYSS Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot.

Helene Gregory rode Master Pine to victory in the harness racing under saddle trot Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack in a North American race-record 1:57.1.

In the past Monticello Raceway has had full harness racing wagering cards featuring only trotters; full cards of only pacers and a full program amateur races, but not until July 4th did the Mighty M have a complete race card featuring just 2 year-old colt and gelding pacers; and most of which were making their pari-mutuel debuts.

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