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The Thursday night $8,000 featured pace at Vernon Downs had a tough field of five that was led by morning-line favorite Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore), but when all was said and done, the winner was Asset Management (Western Hanover-Serious Comfort) in a time of 1:53.   Love You Bye had set the early pace through a quarter of 27.2 and a half of 56.1 before Ugly Betty (John Macdonald) grabbed the lead on the backstretch and led past three-quarters in 1:23.1. Ugly Betty actually led into the stretch before the closers came calling.   Asset Management (Fern Paquet Jr.) had to go four-wide when the field hit the top of the stretch, but had momentum built up as the field reached deep stretch. She surged past longshot Ubettorbeturlife (Chris Lems), who had taken the lead shortly before the wire, and was up in the nick of time for a win. Love You Bye had actually been relegated to last before re-rallying up the inside to get third.   The complete order of finish was: Asset Management, Ubettorbeturlife, Love You Bye, Ugly Betty, and Seascape Hanover.   Asset Management is owned by J&M Racing of Finksburg, Maryland. The trainer is Alexandra Berube.   Asset Management was just one of three winners for driver Fern Paquet Jr. on the Thursday night program. He also won the seventh race with Fresh Squeezed (American Ideal-Squeeze Me) and the tenth race with Grand Majorette (Art Major-Grandiose Gal).   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs with a 12-race program. The seventh race is the $10,000 feature, an Open I Trot. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Evil Urges with Jimmy Whittemore slated to drive. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Baby Boy Grin (Grinfromeartoear-Orillia Babe) held off the challengers in the $10,000 Open I Trot feature at Vernon Downs on Friday night. Driver Stephane Bouchard made an aggressive move as the field left the first turn and moved to the backstretch with Baby Boy Grin, taking a lead he would never relinquish.   That isn't to say it was a walk in the park for Baby Boy Grin. Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) had been racing in mid-pack during the early stages of the race and came charging after the leader in the stretch, just missing by a neck. Pollux Blue Chip (Claude Huckabone III) had been caught four-wide coming off the final turn, but still rallied well enough to finish third.   Baby Boy Grin was able to hold off all the closers in a finish that resembled a cavalry charge and prevail in a final time of 1:53.2. He is owned by Geoffrey and Mary Howles of Saratoga Springs, New York. Geoffrey Howles doubles as the trainer.   The complete order of finish was: Baby Boy Grin, Evil Urges, Pollux Blue Chip, A Penny Earned, War Hero, Lucid Thoughts, Cash Poor, and MC Tiny's Hope.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 13-race program. The feature event is a $10,000 Open I Pace, carded as the eighth race. The 2-1 morning-line favorite is JK Panache, whose last victory came the last time he raced at Vernon Downs on August 2nd. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs 

Not even an hour after Sassa Hanover ($2.30) equaled JK Molly's 1:52.2 track record for two-year-old pacing fillies at Tioga Downs in her $53,500 New York Sire Stakes event, Mosquito Blue Chip ($6.10) set the record anew in her 1:52.1 Sire Stakes triumph, finding room up the inside off a pocket trip to just prevail on the all-stakes Thursday (September 4) evening card.   The daughter of Bettor's Delight and Sandfly Hanover held pocket position behind a speedy Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore) through a solid yet well-rated :56.4 half mile, tracking intently as favorite Bettor N Better (Matt Kakaley) charged first-over at Devil Child to force a :27 third quarter. Blocked in upper stretch,   Jim Morrill, Jr. wedged through at the pegs with Mosquito Blue Chip in the final 70 yards to take the lead from Devil Child, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.1. Bettor N Better flattened late, still holding third.   Trainer Paul Jessop co-owns Mosquito Blue Chip with the Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio.   Earlier in the evening, Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover) gave Morrill his first Sire Stakes driving win on the evening, brushing to the fore with a circuit to go before turning aside a challenge from My Little Delight (Mark MacDonald) and subsequently kicking clear to a 2-1/4 length 1:52.2 win. Ron Burke trains Sassa Hanover for the Burke Racing Stable, the Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and Larry Karr.   In addition to New York Sire Stakes action for two-year-old pacing fillies, freshman trotters contested five W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stake divisions. Colts SS Poseidon (Marcus Miller, 1:57.1) and Sixteen Encores (Matt Kakaley, 1:57.2) proved victorious in their divisions, while Gold Cora (Mike Simons, 1:56.3), Allerage Star (Corey Callahan, 1:56.1), and Big Barb (Mike Simons, 1:57.2) scored wins in the three filly divisions.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 5), with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Drivers Truman Gale and Jimmy Whittemore each scored three victories on the Labor Day matinee program at Vernon Downs.   Gale picked up victories in the first race with Mass Appeal (Muscle Mass-Pana Colada), the seventh race with Psyched (Conway Hall-Psychotherapist), and the tenth and final race with Funny Photo (Classic Photo-American Jean). Funny Photo was sent off as the even-money favorite and certainly trotted that way, winning by a comfortable margin of five lengths in a final time of 1:57.   Whittemore won the third race with the betting favorite, How Bout Cash (Cash Hall-Hot Chili Girl), the sixth race with Ehi Guaglione (Camotion-Her Eyes Only), and the eighth race with Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail).   The drive with Jokerman might have been the most impressive of the day for Whittemore. The horse was sent off at 26-1 and sat last in the field of seven through the three-quarter mark before weaving through traffic in the stretch to strike the front before the wire and win, returning $54 for those who backed him.   The $3,500 feature race on the Monday program was the ninth race, which was a work of art by the winner Daley Lovin (Conway Hall-Dreamsrmadeofthis).   Trainer-driver Dan Daley sent Daley Lovin immediately to the lead and was never threatened after that. The colt built up an eight-length lead through three-quarters and continued to pull away through the stretch, eventually building a winning margin of sixteen lengths. The fractions were 27.2 for the quarter, 56.3 for the half, 1:24.3 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:53.4.   The complete order of finish for the ninth race was: Daley Lovin, Sonnewald, Im-A-Gangster, Paradise Paintball, Tellmehowyoulikeit, Lucy, and Dewlalula.   Daley Lovin is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Jirl LLC of Yonkers, New York.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 

Batavia, NY---It was bombs-away at Batavia Downs Sunday (Aug. 31) when the heavily favored Major Dancer came up just short at the wire as 40-1 Ken Doll J pulled the surprise in a $39,900 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Off the gate Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) took an uncontested lead around the turn and up the backside before the 1-2 Major Dancer (Jonathan Drury) rushed and took over the top as they hit the quarter in :27.1. After a pedestrian second split of :30.1, Table Talk (Jim Morrill Jr.) started the outer flow and Ken Doll J (Aaron Byron) followed in swift fashion. Feeling the heat, Drury stepped on the gas and tried to pull away to the three-quarters with a :28 flat third panel. But the strategy was ineffective as the chasing pair continued to make up ground through the turn and into the stretch. From that point on it was a real horse race with a tiring Major Dancer coming back to Table Talk, who was outside of her and Ken Doll J, who was three-wide. When they hit the wire, Ken Doll J just got up in the final stride to win in 1:54 and light up the board. The winner paid $83.00. Table Talk was second and Major Dancer hung on to be third. This was the second win of the year for Ken Doll J (Bettor's Delight-Normajeankillean) and also a seasonal mark. The victory brought her earnings up to $74,882 for owner Ken Jacobs. Ken Doll J is trained by Linda Toscano. After the race, Byron said "Everything just worked out. I got a great trip and I didn't really have to do much to half. The filly was real good down the lane." In the first $39,900 division, Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the beneficiary of a patient steer and came away with a three-quarter length victory as a result. Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald) flew off the wings and led the field through a quick and gapped :27 quarter in post-position order. The story remained the same to the half in :56.3 when Carlota Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) pulled and tried to apply some heat. She was only able to get up to third on the outside before stalling with two other horses behind her at the three-quarters in 1:25. When the outer flow faded around the last turn it allowed the rail-riding Barefoot Beauty (Jimmy Whittemore) to come off the pylons and that in turn left a spot for Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) to shoot up inside. At the head of the stretch, the bearing-out Up Front Elizabeth was in the middle with Barefoot Beauty to her right and Just Add Vodka to her left. The three battled to the wire with Just Add Vodka getting the advantage at the end to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. Barefoot Beauty was second and Up Front Elizabeth was third. It was the third win of the year for the Julie Miller trained filly that also happened to be a new lifetime mark. The victory boosted the seasonal earnings of Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) to $94,233 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Steven Demeter, Herbert Burns III and Nahuel Agosti. Morrill praised both the horse and trainer saying "I can't believe how much better she was today. Julie did a great job getting her ready." In the second $39,200 split, Spreester (Jason Bartlett) made quick work of a short field and two breaking horses to register a five-length romp in the fastest of the three divisions. As the field went into the first turn, Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) made an uncharacteristic break and watched as the rest of the field pulled away. Sky Artist (Kevin Cummings) was on the point but Medusa (Aaron Byron) was pushing the issue outside at the quarter in :26.4. But Medusa appeared to get foul-gaited and Byron took her back to the wood fourth. Then Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from second to challenge but also made a break before the half in :56.1. So with two of the three favorite guilty of miscues, Spreester, who had been sitting second through it all, pulled past the five-eighths, circled and cleared the leader before they hit the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. When she got back to the pylons, Bartlett popped the plugs and became a passenger as Spreester shifted gears and simply paced away from everybody. She hit the wire a five-length wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3. The winner paid $5.60 to her supporters. Delightful Dragon recovered from the early break to be second and Sky Artist hung on for third. This was the sixth win in 14 starts for Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) and the Paul Zabielski trained filly topped off her bank at $134,680. Spreester is owned by Kimberly Zabielski. Bartlett commented "I really didn't want to sit in the two-hole but they kept blowing up around me. She just exploded down the lane." The results of today's NYSS contests were important in the point's standings leading into the Night of Champions finals. Spreester took over the top spot, Just Add Vodka moved from fifth to third and Ken Doll J vaulted herself from twelfth to seventh. There was also an Excelsior leg contested and was won by Expose who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:56.3. The winner paid $6.80. Expose is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Linwood Higgins, Stake Your Claim Stable, Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered a four-win afternoon and Mark MacDonald scored a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 1) with a special Labor Day matinee card slated to start at 1:15. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It took an exciting stretch drive for Love You Bye (McArdle-Cam's Genious) to pick up her third win in the last four starts at Vernon Downs in the $10,000 harness racing feature on Thursday night.   Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) sat in mid-pack through the early stages of the race, as Seascape Hanover (Fern Paquet Jr.) set the early pace of 26.1 for the quarter and 54.4 for the half. It was at the half-mile mark that Ugly Betty (John Macdonald) rallied up on the outside to take the lead, which she held through the three-quarter mark in 1:22.3.   Ugly Betty was in front into mid-stretch, at which point Seascape Hanover came back up the inside and Love You Bye commenced to close down the outside. Love You Bye managed to beat Seascape Hanover home to win in 1:52.1.   The complete order of finish was: Love You Bye, Seascape Hanover, Ugly Betty, Park N Orchard, Table Games, Elleofnxample, Artic Byrd, and R U Ideal. Let's Go Higher had been a Judge's scratch. Love You Bye is owned by D. Jimmy Whittemore of Norway, Maine and trained by Dennis Whittemore.   Live racing resumes on Friday night with an exciting 10-race program featuring $340,000 Zweig Memorial with Hambletonian runner-up Nuncio and betting favorite Father Patrick making up a very strong entry for trainer Jimmy Takter.   Sebastian K will also be racing at Vernon on Friday night in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot and he will be facing 2013 Horse Of The Year, Bee A Magician, who takes on the boys. Post time for racing on Friday night at Vernon Downs in 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs     

Batavia, NY---There was a lot of harness racing action on Wednesday night (Aug. 27) at Batavia Downs and as the New York Sire Stakes headlined the racing, both man and beast were in top form. The Ron Burke trained Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover) re-wrote the record books when she toured the facility in a blistering 1:54.2, erasing the old mark of 1:54.4 for a 2-year-old pacing filly set by Barefoot Beauty just last year. This was the fourth track record set at Batavia Downs in 2014. Jim Morrill Jr. left the gate with Sassa Hanover from post five in the $35,867 division and dropped in third behind the early leader Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore) and the pocket sitting Yes You Can (Mike Whelan). But when they headed up the backside for the first time, Morrill quickly came out and overtook the leader by the quarter in :28.1 and at that point, the race was over. Sassa Hanover got to the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and from there her only adversary was the clock. Morrill popped the plugs past the last station and the slick-gaited filly paced her hips off down the lane in a :28 flat last quarter and the record breaking final time of 1:54.2. Sassa Hanover paid $2.10 for the win. Devil Child (American Ideal-Kattimon) was second and Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) was third. This was the fifth win in six starts for Sassa Hanover and it boosted her bank account to $125,992 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, The Panhellenic Stable Corp, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Lawrence Karr. In the first $35,167 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) made it two in a row for trainer Paul Jessop and driver Jim Morrill Jr. but not without a tenuous ending. My Little Delight (Mark MacDonald) left swiftly in the four horse field and spearheaded fractions of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:28.4. But the action picked up at the three-quarters when Pop The Tags (Brent Holland) came with a rush to challenge the front running filly around the turn and down the stretch. However when the rail opened up as the group straightened out, Mosquito Blue Chip buzzed through the gap and nipped the leader at the wire by a half-length in 1:56.3. The heavy 2-5 favorite returned $2.80 for the win. My Little Delight (Bettor's Delight-My Little Dragon) was second and Pop The Tags (Bettor's Delight-Breathe) was third. It was the second win in seven starts for Mosquito Blue Chip, pushing her annual income to $101,302 for owners Our Three Sons Stable LLC, Donato Falchicchio and Paul Jessop. The final $35,867 division was as good as it could be for Bettor N Better (Bettor's Delight-Vanite Semalu) as she won easily in her preferred front-running style. This was the second NYSS win on the night for trainer Ron Burke and the third for driver Jim Morrill Jr. Off the wings, One Hot Majorette (Mike Saftic) flew right to the front from post six and crossed over by the eighth pole. Jim Morrill Jr. played give-and-go with Bettor N Better off the rail and retook the front as soon as they straightened out up the backside. But Heavenly Bride (Mark MacDonald) was immediately at her again and established the third lead change as they passed the quarter in :29. Morrill, not content to sit in second, once again pulled Bettor N Better at the top of the stretch and retook the lead once more before they hit the half in :58. From there the race was Bettor N Better's to be won. She took the group to the three-quarters in 1:27.4 before On Hot Majorette came back for one more challenge. That was quickly rebuffed and Bettor N Better paced away down the stretch to a length and a half victory in 1:56. The winner returned $2.10. Heavenly Bride (Rock N Roll Heaven-Native Bride) was second and Heavens Legacy (Rock N Roll Heaven-Unique Legacy) was third. That was the fourth win in six starts for Bettor N Better and pushed her earnings to $117,125 for owners Our Horse Sense Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. Jim Morrill Jr. put on a driving clinic, scoring five wins and three seconds on the night. He was employing incremental positioning in many races where he made several moves within the mile to improve his horse's location during the race and the strategy was paying off. Morrill is the leading NYSS driver this year and has been annually for some time. In 2014, horses he drove have won 41 NYSS races and earned in excess of $1.6 million in those contests. After the races, Morrill spoke glowingly of all his charges. "Sassa Hanover is a very, very nice filly. She didn't really get over the track that well tonight but we got the job done anyway. She will definitely be one to beat in the final at Yonkers. Mosquito Blue Chip drew well and then had the race set up perfect for her. When the rail opened up, she sprinted to wire and got across. And Bettor N Better is just a sweet heart, but she is very professional too. We were on cruise control the entire mile." There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card that offered a total of $36,000 in purses. The first $12,600 division was won by Moremercy Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mercy Mercy Mercy) who is trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Chris Lems. The winner paid $4.70. Moremercy Blue Chip is owned by the Andy Miller Stable and the Pinske Stable. The second $12,600 leg was won by Rock My world (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love The Game) who is trained by Ed Hart and was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. She returned $4.20 for the win. Rock My world is owned by Jeffrey Snyder. The third $12,700 split went to Hey Kobe (Bettor's Delight-American West) who is trained by Jean Drolet and was driven by John Plutino. The victor returned $8.10. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider, William Siegel and Marthe Drolet. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 29) with post time set at 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---In the sixth of eight New York Sire Stakes visits for 2014, three divisions of first-year female pacers go postward on Wednesday night (Aug. 25) in pursuit of $106,901 in purses. Races one, four and eight will feature the best distaff side-wheelers bred in the state. The track record of 1:54.4 set by Barefoot Beauty in 2013 definitely has a target on it as many of the entrants are more than capable of a similar mile and will be taking a big shot. In the first race, Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) is coming off three sharp efforts, and most recently got her first lifetime win in 1:55 at Yonkers last week. She hasn't missed a purse check all year and that has made her the top money winner in the race with $83,718. The Paul Jessop trained filly will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. The royally-bred My Little Delight (Bettor's Delight-My Little Dragon) scored a lifetime mark at Vernon Downs two starts back in 1:52.3 and came up just a head short to Mosquito Blue Chip last week. Mark MacDonald gets the nod from trainer Noel Daley for the Third Straight week and MacDonald has been on fire in each of his Batavia visits this year. The outside post in the short field should have no effect on this talented 2-year-old. Pop The Tags (Bettor's Delight-Breathe) steps back up to NYSS action after winning three in a row in Excelsior action. She has one start in the top series this year but with disappointing results. But Pop The Tags is in a good spot here to utilize her front running speed for driver Brent Holland who was at the lines in her last three efforts for trainer Erv Miller. The fourth race features the 2-5 heavy favorite Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mango Hanover) from the powerful Ron Burke Stable. After reeling off four consecutive wire to wire NYSS wins that includes her lifetime mark of 1:52.2 at Vernon, Sassa Hanover, who is currently second in the point's standings, came up just a nose short to Mosquito Blue Chip in her last start at Yonkers. Her $108,085 in earnings and four victories for the year surpasses her competitor's combined totals for each category and she looks to add to those numbers tonight. Jim Morrill Jr., who last sat behind her in a 1:56.3 win at Monticello Raceway on July 4, takes the lines from Yannick Gingras this week. Devil Child (American Ideal-Kattimon) has yet to win a NYSS race but missed doing so twice this year by a combined total of only one and three-quarters lengths. After scoring an easy win at Vernon in an overnight last week, she may just be brave enough now to track Sassa Hanover from the rail and have the best shot of challenging her in the lane. Jimmy Whittemore is up for trainer Homer Hochstetler. The third division in the eighth race has another Ron Burke pupil pegged as the 4-5 morning line choice. Bettor N Better (Bettor's Delight-Vanite Semalu) has three wins and two seconds in five lifetime starts, all of which were NYSS events. Her lifetime mark is a 1:55 effort at Saratoga but she just got beat at Vernon in a 1:52.3 clocking over the big track. She seems to thrive on the front end and tonight from the rail with Jim Morrill Jr. aboard, she seems to be set up for success. Our Hot Majorette (Art Major-She's So Hot) raced off a two-week layoff last week at Yonkers and managed to show well. But to see what this filly is really capable of you must look at her effort on July 22, also at Yonkers. She followed the top New York 2-year-old filly Band Of Angels, and just missed winning. She finished second, beaten only half a length in 1:54.4, last quarter in :26.4. If she is able to regain that form in here, the favorite could be beaten. Mike Saftic makes a very rare Batavia Downs appearance on the call from trainer Eric Adams. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card going for a total of $38,000. They are programmed as races seven, nine and ten. Post time for Batavia Downs Wednesday night races is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Driver Chris Lems, who will be representing Vernon Downs in the Drivers' Championship Race For The Cup on Friday, August 29 at Vernon, was the driving star of the Saturday night program with four victories.   Lems' first two winners were favorites in the wagering, Tarport Andy in the opener and King Of Kings in the third. He then scored back-to-back winners later in the evening with a front-running score from Credit To Elgin in the ninth and a strong closing drive in the tenth with High Mileage.   The $6,500 feature race on Saturday night was won by Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion), who has now won two of the last three starts at Vernon Downs.   Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) sat toward the tail end of the field through the first quarter of a mile before making a strong first-over move to the front. From there, he led the rest of the way, building up a four-length lead as the horses made the top of the stretch. Western Tsunami (Roman Lopez) closed strongly in the stretch to get second and Market Force (Jimmy Whittemore) also finished well to end up third.   You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) had gone off-stride at the start and still managed to finish fourth. A Fool For Mark crossed the finish line fifth, but was disqualified for interference with multiple horses at the three-quarter mile mark and placed last. The fractions were 26.4 for the quarter, 55.4 for the half, 1:22.4 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:51.   The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Western Tsunami, Market Force, You Bet Your Glass, Fearless Chip, Martial Bliss, and A Fool For Mark.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 10-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 18, 2014 -- Statebred sophomore fillies took another turn downstate Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $219,700 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace. The harness racing event annually honors the memory of the former Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, whose contributions to the success of the Empire program cannot be measured. Many of Bruce's family and friends were on hand, enjoying the evening and making winner's circle presentation. Three divisions -- at $72,800, $72,800 and $74,100 -- comprised the coterie. Odds-on Major Dancer (George Brennan, $3.50) just lasted in the opening event, holding off a cone-skimming It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) by a "shrunken head" in 1:53.2. Away alertly from post position No. 2, Major Dancer-who looks anything but a professional racehorse warming up-threw down intervals of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.1. Longshot Ken Doll J (Jimmy Whittemore) tried it first-up from sixth, but could not close. Major Dancer opened 2½ lengths in and out of the final turn, but needed some urging to close the sale. Southwind Illusions (Eric Carlson) was a best-of-the-rest third. For Major Dancer, a daughter of Art Major trained by Casie Coleman for Ontario tri-owners West Wins Stable, Mac Nichol and Adriano Sorella, it was her seventh win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10,40, with the triple returning $65.50. "Casie (Coleman) said she's gonna hop and skip warming up," Brennan said of Major Dancer. "She said I had to get her attention, so I scored her down hard, but even that didn't seem to work. "But has the talent and that was enough tonight." (Major Dancer was a late lame scratch from her last scheduled NYSS start here. She worked out the next day to become eligible for the Empire Breeders, where she won her elim and was second in the final). Driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke won the other two Hamilton groupings, both from the pole. Jaded Dream ($5.10) blew past a non-resistant Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald), then held off Supplemental Income (Jason Bartlett) by a nose in 1:54.4. Sweetnsinful (Whittemore) was a rallying third, while even-money fave Medusa (Tim Tim Tetrick) was shuffled out from the pocket when the leader caved. For second choice Jaded Dream, a daughter of If I Can Dream co-owned (as Burke Racing) by her trainer, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable, she's now 3-for-13 this season. The exacta paid $22.40, with the triple returning $129.50. A La Notte Hanover ($12) reinforced the "short distance between two points" theory in the final sire stakes sojourn, taking it to the house (:29.1, :58.1, 1:26.4, 1:55). Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.), as the 4-5 choice, tried the winner from the inside but missed a head. Spreester (Dan Dube) was third, with Delightful Dragon (Dave Miller) fourth. The first four finishers were separated by a neck at the wire. For fourth choice "A La Notte," an Art Major miss co-owned (as Burke Racing) by here trainer, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Larry Karr, it was her second win in 13 '14 tries. The exacta paid $22, with the triple returning $62.50. "The first filly (Jaded Dream) went by so easily," Gingras said. "I felt Jason (Bartlett's) horse (Supplemental Income) right on my back, but mine du in. The other filly (A La Notte Hanover), I would have been content sitting second, but no one really left against her and she was able to get some cheap fractions." New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, with the $202,599 Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old fillies. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

On what turned into a rainy, sloppy night at Vernon Downs, Royalist was a front-running winner in Leg 2 of the Racing Under Saddle Series. Royalist (RC Royalty-Chocolatto Chip) was sent right to the front from the outside post by Michelle Crawford and the colt never looked back.   He led through fractions of 29.1 for the quarter, 1:02 for the half, and 1:33.1 for three-quarters. A challenge did materialize from Blue Boy Yankee (Kristina Smith), who pestered the leader throughout the final quarter mile, but could never quite get by. The final time for the mile was 2:04.3.   The complete order of finish was: Royalist, Blue Boy Yankee, John-Michael, Vassar Hall, My Irish Molly, and Kash Now. Royalist is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme.   The top point getters from the first two legs of the Racing Under Saddle Series at Vernon Downs will return for the $5,000 Final on August 29.   The featured pari-mutuel race of the Saturday evening at Vernon Downs was the $6,500 seventh race. The winner was Moonlight Ransom (Artiscape-Windsun Caprice), driven by John Macdonald. This was the second win in a week for Moonlight Ransom. In similar fashion to the win on August 9, Moonlight Ransom was a gate-to-wire winner. He led through snappy fractions over a sloppy track of 26.2 for the quarter, 56 seconds for the half, and 1:25.1 for three-quarters.   The final time was 1:53. Market Force (Jimmy Whittemore) was forced four-wide at the top of the stretch and still managed to charge through the lane and win a close photo for second place. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Moonlight Ransom, Market Force, Oh My Joepa, Whitemountainpower, You Bet Your Glass, A Fool For Mark, Axiom Hanover, and Dutch Richman.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with an 11-race program on Thursday night. Post time will be 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

War Hero (Ken Warkentin-Miss Gibbons) emerged victorious from a three-horse stretch battle to score a harness racing victory in the feature $9,000 Open I trot on Friday night at Vernon Downs.   The complexion of the race changed immediately as A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) broke stride as the gate opened. He ended up trailing throughout. Surface Tension (Dan Daley) inherited the early lead and was quite tenacious in front, turning away an early challenge from Pop I (John Macdonald) and then holding Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) at bay until the field made the stretch.   War Hero (Frank Davis) followed the useful cover from Evil Urges and moved up while trotting three-wide in the lane, passing Evil Urges in deep stretch to get up and win in 1:54.2.   It was a minor upset as War Hero went off at 5-1 in the field of six, paying $12 to win. The fractions were 28 seconds for the quarter, 57.1 for the half, and 1:25.4 for three-quarters. The complete order of finish was: War Hero, Evil Urges, Surface Tension, Pop I, My Revenuer, and A Penny Earned.   War Hero is owned by Howard Gill of Pine Bush, New York and trained by Jessica Okusko.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 9-race program.   The Racing Under Saddle series will also continue on Saturday, as six horses will go to the gate in the second leg. The featured pari-mutuel race will be the seventh race with a purse of $6,500. The morning line choice is Axiom Hanover, who will be driven by Chris Lems.   Post time on Saturday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

Love You Bye (McArdle-Cam's Genious) made it four wins in the last five starts at Vernon Downs in the $10,000 feature pace Thursday night.   Ugly Betty (John Macdonald) led the way through an opening quarter of 27.3 after taking over early on. Upfront Secret (Chris Lems) was moved aggressively to the outside and surged to the front once the field moved past the half in 56.1.   Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) made the next attack as the field was on the far turn and rolled up alongside Upfront Secret to take the lead as field approached the top of the stretch. From there, she withstood strong challenges from Ugly Betty, who re-rallied up the inside, and Asset Management (Fern Paquet Jr.), who had charged up from the back of the pack, to win by nearly two lengths in the final time of 1:53.1.   The complete order of finish was: Love You Bye, Ugly Betty, Asset Management, Artic Byrd, Upfront Secret, and My Drag Queen. Love You Bye is owned by D. Jimmy Whittemore of Norway, Maine and trained by Dennis Whittemore.   The win by Love You Bye was just part of a nice three-win night for driver Jimmy Whittemore. He went gate-to-wire in the fourth race with Bugsy Malone (Cambest-Town Of Malone), pulled off an 8-1 upset with a come-from-behind score from Frosty Delight (Bettor's Delight-Frosty Valentine) in the sixth race, and then came through with Love You Bye in the featured eighth race.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs with a 9-race program on Friday night. The feature race on Friday night is the sixth race, a $9,000 Open I Trot, with a field of six. The 9-5 morning line favorite is A Penny Earned, who is trying extend his winning streak to three in this spot. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion) made a move on the far turn of the $6,500 feature at Vernon Downs on Saturday night and rode that move all the way to the harness racing winner's Circle.   A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham) took the lead at the outset and carried the field through the first quarter in 26.2 seconds and the half in 54.4. After setting a fast pace, A Fool For Mark was passed by You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis), who took control once the field was past the half-mile and led to the three-quarter mark in 1:23. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) made the aggressive first-over move to challenge the leader on the far turn, taking over once the field made the turn for home. Cabbie's Delight (Jimmy Whittemore) followed the live cover from the eventual winner, but could never get past Oh My Joepa, who posted a time of 1:51.1 for the mile. Cabbie's Delight had to settle for second and A Fool For Mark came on once again to get up for third.   The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Cabbie's Delight, A Fool For Mark, You Bet Your Glass, Redneck Outlaw, Dutch Richman, and Firethorn. Oh My Joepa is owned and trained by Michael Deters of Coconut Creek, Florida.   The driving star of the night at Vernon Downs was Jimmy Whittemore, who posted a natural hat trick of winners in the middle of the 11-race program. Whittemore went gate-to-wire in the fourth race with favored Moonlight Ransom (Artiscape-Windsun Caprice). He then followed with an excellent drive to bring Team Edward (Bettor's Delight-Tarport Julie) up the inside in the stretch to win the fifth race. Whittemore wrapped up the threesome with a win in the sixth race driving Market Force (Rocknroll Hanover-Endless Dreams).   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 9-race program. Post time will be 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

Classic winners He's Watching and JK Endofanera gave a thrilling battle through a :54.3 last half-mile in their $12,500 Empire Breeders Classic elimination on Sunday (August 3) afternoon at Tioga Downs, and while He's Watching eked out a half-length win, the rivalry will continue in next week's $255,525 final. With a mid-card rain squall downgrading the track to sloppy, He's Watching ($2.90) made a first-over push against pacesetting JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) after a :56.3 half mile. The two champions were locked in battle for the final three-eighths of the mile, tracked intently by Capital Account (Yannick Gingras) through three-quarters in 1:24.0. In the final hundred yards, He's Watching pushed his head just past, prevailing in 1:51.1 in rein to Tim Tetrick. JK Endofanera proved valiant in defeat, while Capital Account kept pace well enough to hold third. Western Conquest (Marcus Miller) stayed on for fourth from a midpack stalking trip, guaranteeing a berth in the final. He's Watching, trained by David Menary for Menary Racing, Inc., Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero, and the Muscara Racing Trust, will start from post 3 in next week's final, as selected by his connections. Earlier on the card, Tetrick took the other Empire Breeders Classic elimination for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, sustaining a first-over bid with Winds of Change ($18.00) en route to a three-quarter length win over a late-charging Neat (Marcus Miller) in 1:50.2. Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) and Forty Five Red (Yannick Gingras) completed the first four finishers of the earlier elimination. Linda Toscano trainee Winds of Change will start from post 1 in the final for owners Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. Of the fifth-place colts and geldings, Ideal Magic was drawn by lot into the final, while Archetto Hanover will be the also-eligible. While "The Intimidator" swept the colt eliminations, the two eliminations for three-year-old pacing fillies both went to Brian Sears. Sears's first-over drive aboard Precocious Beauty ($5.40) was enough to wear down pacesetter It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) and subsequently stave off a stalking charge from Delightful Dragon (David Miller) in the 1:51.4 second elimination, while It Was Fascination and the ground-saving Just Fine (Jimmy Whittemore) rounded out the top four. Precocious Beauty, trained by Gregg McNair for owner James Avritt, Sr., will start from post 3 in next week's $244,875 distaff final. Sears teamed up with Major Dancer ($4.40) to win the earlier elimination for fillies, sweeping to the fore in the final yards for a 1:51.4 victory, chased home by Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.). Pacesetting longshot Medusa (Tim Tetrick) held third after being gathered in, while A La Notte Hanover (David Miller) mounted a late rally to round out the top four. The Casie Coleman-trained Major Dancer will start from post 2 in next week's final for Coleman's West Wins Stable, Mac Nichol, and Adriano Sorella. Of the fifth-place fillies, Suplemental Income was drawn by lot into the final, while Table Talk will be the also-eligible. Both Empire Breeders Classic finals will be contested next Sunday afternoon, August 10. In addition to the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, a pair of Geers Stake events were held for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies, respectively. Cashaway ($4.60, Tim Tetrick) held sway in 1:53.1 in her $31,607 division, narrowly holding off a late charge from Crescent City (Mark MacDonald), who was blocked from the pocket until all but the final 40 yards. JK She'salady (Yannick Gingras) triumphed in the earlier division, making a bold first-over move to beat Single Me (Tim Tetrick) in 1:54.0. In a $39,182 division for colts and geldings, Dealt a Winner ($2.50, Brian Sears) pushed clear late off a first-over trip, edging clear from Western Pioneer (David Miller) and keeping a chasing My Hero Ron (Marcus Miller) at bay for a 1:54.2 win, while Rock n' Roll World (David Miller) pounced from the pocket to beat Sonofa Sizzle (Dan Daley) 1:54.2 in a $38,682 split raced as an early non-wagering event. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 9) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Evil Urges (Cash Hall-Siren Hall) rode an aggressive move on the far turn to victory in the $10,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Friday night.   The gelding, driven by Jimmy Whittemore, was first-over moving past the half-mile mark and moved alongside the leader, My Revenuer (John Macdonald), on the turn. Evil Urges assumed the lead at the top of the stretch and was able to withstand the charge of Jaipur (Fern Paquet Jr.), who had followed the live cover provided by the winner in the mid-section of the race. Pollux Blue Chip (Claude Huckabone III) split horses aggressively in the stretch to get up for third. My Revenuer faded out to last after setting the pace for the majority of the race. The fractional times were 27.4 for the quarter, 57.3 for the half, 1:26.1 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:54.2   The complete order of finish was: Evil Urges, Jaipur, Pollux Blue Chip, Mr. Web Page, Lucid Thoughts, and My Revenuer. Ilovemymommy was a scratch (sick). Evil Urges is owned Homer Hochstetler of Crete, Illinois and Robert Buddig of Hinsdale, Illinois. Hochstetler doubles as the trainer.   The sixth race of the evening also featured an interesting development concerning the claim of Oaklea Tyson (Angus Hall-Bronx Bombshell). There were nineteen different claims put in on the gelding at the claiming price of $4,500. The winning claim was made by owner Tony Lioto of Syracuse, New York and trainer Barry Dodge. In addition to the nineteen claims on Oaklea Tyson, Majestic Lad (Majestic Victory-Bolero Crystal) was claimed out of the sixth race by owner-trainer Mary Beth Fisher of Vernon, New York.   Live racing will resume on Saturday night with a 13-race program that features three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts. All of the Sire Stakes races will be covered in the 50-cent minimum Pick Four on Races 6-9. There are also interesting connections on an entrant in the fifth race on the Saturday night program, part of the New York Excelsior "A" Series. Elettrizzante is co-owned by Tom Durkin, longtime voice of the New York Racing Association, and Joseph Spadaro of Saratoga Springs, New York. Post time on Saturday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity    

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