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With many Sire Stakes programs yet to commence and little on the Grand Circuit schedule for 3-year-old pacers during the month of May, Yonkers Raceway attracted four divisions of the Reynolds series for the age group on the pace. Carded as races four through seven on the Friday 10-race program, the Reynolds are split evenly, with two races for fillies and a pair for colts and geldings. There is no shortage of talent among the 30 entered, but the two splits for the boys came up especially deep. Perhaps at the top of the heap off 2020 performance is American Courage. The Travis Alexander trainee won seven of eight starts in his rookie year of racing and returns to the races off a strong second-place finish in a qualifier at The Downs at Pocono. He sat third in that mile, before moving into second on the final turn and sprinting home in 27 1/5. "Matt [Kakaley] just put him on Bronx Seelster's back. He had tons of horse left," said Alexander about the qualifier. A three-time winner at Yonkers last year, including the $104,250 Springfield stake, American Courage is right at home over the surface, which will serve him well from post 6 in the $23,750 seventh-race division. "I'll leave that to Matt," said Alexander about how to work out a trip from the outside post. "We are ready and looking forward to getting the year started." The inside is typically the best place to be on any half-mile track and that honor belongs to Shakespeare. The altered son of Somebeachsomewhere has done good work thus far in 2021 with a win and a second from two starts and trainer Brett Pelling felt the 3-year-old's natural speed would serve him well on the smaller track. Todd McCarthy drives Shakespeare. I'll Drink To That also brings a 2-1-1-0 current-year record to Yonkers after two solid performances at The Meadowlands. Dexter Dunn will steer from post 4 for trainer Chris Ryder, who has a horse entered in all four Reynolds divisions. "I wouldn't make the statement that he's as good as American Courage, but he's not that far away. He's certainly sounder this year," said Ryder about the 5-2 morning-line choice. "Last year we sat a two-hole behind American Courage. My horse was no good that night and we only got beat by a half-length." What About Bob (post 2, Jim Marohn, Jr) and Town Gossip (post 8, Joe Bongiorno) both enter the second division of the Reynolds off wins while King James Express (post 3, Jason Bartlett) and Bettor Of The West (post 7, Scott Zeron) make their first starts of 2021 on Friday. Carrythetorchman rounds out the field from post 5 with Marcus Miller in the bike. The $23,250 fourth race first division of the Reynolds includes a trio of horses coming into the race off wins - Crystal Beach (post 1, Miller), Whichwaytothebeach (post 3, McCarthy) and Coalition Hanover (post 5, Dunn). Coalition Hanover is the most accomplished of the group in 2021 with three wins and two seconds from six starts. The Ryder trainee's lone defeat came in the $40,000 Weiss final at Pocono when he made a break late in the mile. "We always liked him but he didn't do as much as we thought he should," said Ryder. "We trained him back free-legged and I always thought we'd put the hobbles back on when he qualified, but he was terrific without them so we qualified and raced him free-legged. I thought he was going to win the Weiss before that break, so it is a lesson learned and we put the hobbles back on. "I'm pretty sure he can get around the half and he deserves a chance to be in there," continued Ryder. Whichwaytothebeach only has one start thus far for trainer Brett Pelling this year but is highly regarded after a strong rookie campaign where he finished off the board just once in eight starts. His résumé has earned him 9-5 morning-line favorite status. Crystal Beach's win on May 1 was the first of his career. The son of Art Major was a regular on the New York circuit in 2020 and should be right at home on the half-mile Yonkers surface. He's A Snob (post 2, Mark MacDonald), third in the Weiss final recently, Mullinax (post 4, Scott Zeron), a Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion in 2020, Imaginary Line (post 6, McCarthy), second in his last two tries, and Major Makover (post 7, Bartlett), a Weiss consolation runner-up, complete the field of seven. Races five and six highlight the fillies. Heart Of Mine starts as the 9-5 program favorite with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Linda Toscano in the first $28,500 division while Podium Girl offers the same morning-line in the $29,000 second split with Dexter Dunn in the bike behind the Chris Ryder trainee. First-race post time is 7:15 PM at Yonkers on Friday and racing continues on a Monday to Friday basis weekly. From Yonkers Raceway  

Harness Racing This Week: Charlie Hill Memorial, Eldorado Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Miss Versatility Series leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit makes its first of three stops this week on Thursday (May 6) at Eldorado Scioto Downs with the $135,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Yonkers Raceway returns to the Grand Circuit calendar on Friday (May 7) with two divisions in the $57,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $47,000 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers. Then on Saturday (May 8), The Meadowlands has a pair of $30,000 first leg divisions in the Miss Versatility Series for open trotting mares. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Off an impressive win in the elimination, expectations were high for Incommunicado in Saturday's (May 1) $115,583 Dexter Cup final at Freehold Raceway. He lived up to all of them, cruising to an impressive 3-1/2 length win in 1:56.3. Incommunicado cruised to an impressive 3-1/2 length win in 1:56.3. Vicki Wright/World Wide Racing Studios. Just like he did in his elimination, Incommunicado drew post position seven in the field of eight. That did not deter the betting public, who made him the 3-5 favorite. At the start, Yannick Gingras immediately pushed the gas pedal, sending his drive up to the front. Without much trouble, Gingras got him to the lead and the inside at the opening quarter, trotting that split in :28.2. Incommunicado slowed things down in the second quarter, trotting the opening half-mile in :58.4, but soon encountered first-over pressure from Believer. Believer moved up to Incommunicado's throatlatch around the third turn, but Incommunicado held firm and would not let his rival by. Turning for home, he pulled clear and left his rivals in the dust in a final time of 1:56.3. Sunny Crockett, Fifty Ways, Ambassador Hanover, Believer, Chapolier, Credit Con, and Share The Wealth completed the order of finish. Incommunicado is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Little E, Arthur Geiger, and David Stolz, and trained by Ake Svanstedt. He made waves last year by sweeping the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park, winning the final by 17-1/4 lengths. Subsequently, he was second in the Matron at Dover Downs by a half-length. For his career, he's won six times from 12 starts, with earnings of $282,283. "I wanted to get him in the race and when (Credit Con) made a break in the first turn, it made things a little easier for me." said Gingras, who won his second straight edition of the Dexter Cup. "I knew (starting from post seven) wasn't ideal. I knew it was going to be harder than last week, there wasn't going to be a hole or something like that, but he still did it pretty easy. The horse raced good and did the job. He's a nice horse. He does everything you ask of him." 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 5-1-21): Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 90; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 79; 3. George Brennan - 69; 4. Austin Siegelman - 61; 5. Todd McCarthy - 60. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 144; 2. Todd Buter - 55; 3. Noel Daley - 47; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 45; 5t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 5t. Sheena McElhiney - 40. Owners: 1. Renee Bercury - 50; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 41.1; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 41.1; 4. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 5. Eric Prevost - 38. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Harness Racing This Week: Dexter Cup final and Lady Suffolk, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J. and Graduate Series first leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold on Saturday (May 1) features the $115,583 Dexter Cup final for 3-year-old open trotters and two $36,057 divisions in the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters. Also on Saturday, The Meadowlands has a pair of $50,000 first leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: Rather than accept a bye and guarantee himself two Dexter Cup final starters, trainer Ake Svanstedt decided to let Incommunicado compete in Saturday's (April 24) Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway. The gamble paid off, as Incommunicado cruised under the wire 2-3/4 lengths in front and established himself as one of the favorites for this week's Dexter Cup final. Incommunicado cruised under the wire 2-3/4 lengths in front. Vicki Wright photo. When the entry box closed, 10 horses were entered for the Dexter Cup. Svanstedt was offered two byes with his pair of Ambassador Hanover and Incommunicado, and while he accepted the bye with the former, he decided to race Incommunicado. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion was made the 8-5 second choice in the field of eight. The complexion of the race changed dramatically in the opening eighth, when favored Ethan T Hanover and Royson's Punch both went off stride. Ethan T Hanover was pulled up by Todd McCarthy, while Royson's Punch got back trotting. Incommunicado stayed trotting and was rated in fourth place in the early stages. Just before the half-mile, Yannick Gingras pulled Incommunicado off the pylons and moved him first over after early leader Share The Wealth. The leader put up a good fight, but Incommunicado took charge entering the stretch and drew off. He trotted the mile in 1:57, a sharp time for his first pari-mutuel race of the year. Incommunicado is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Little E, Arthur Geiger, and David Stolz. He's now won five times from 11 career starts, with earnings of $224,492. Along with his stablemate Ambassador Hanover, he gives Svanstedt a formidable pair for this week's final. 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 4-24-21): Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 70; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 69; 3. George Brennan - 64; 4. Austin Siegelman - 61; 5. Todd McCarthy - 60. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 144; 2. Todd Buter - 55; 3. Noel Daley - 47; 4t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 4t. Sheena McElhiney - 40. Owners: 1. Renee Bercury - 50; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 41.1; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 41.1; 4. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 5. Eric Prevost - 38. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Scioto Downs, Yonkers Raceway and The Meadowlands. Scioto will host the Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters; Yonkers features the Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers; and The Meadowlands will offer the first leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing This Week: Dexter Cup elimination, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold on Saturday (April 24) features a single $38,529 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old open trotters. Ten horses entered the Dexter Cup on Wednesday. Two of them, Ambassador Hanover for trainer Ake Svanstedt, and Sunny Crockett, trained by Julie Miller, accepted a bye and will advance to next week's final. As a result, the top six finishers in the elimination will move on to the final. Complete entries for the Saturday Freehold races can be found by clicking here. Last Time: This Is The Plan was able to overcome starting from the outside post eight with a blitz off the gate and then never let anybody get close to him after that in winning Monday night's (April 19) $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final at Yonkers Raceway in 1:50.4. This Is The Plan, driven by Yannick Gingras and one of three in the final sent out by trainer Ron Burke, was dispatched at odds of 11-1. This Is The Plan won Monday night's (April 19) $514,000 MGM Borgata Pacing Series final. Chris Brokate photo. This Is The Plan was able to go from six-wide early on the bend to leading over stablemate Rockapelo by the time they entered the backstretch for the first time. Everybody else then got down to the cones except for Backstreet Shadow, who was left on the outside as the first quarter rang up in :26.4. On the second turn, 6-5 favorite Western Joe, who had landed in fourth, flushed Hesa Kingslayer N out of third, and they made some progress towards This Is The Plan at the :55.1 half, but then the pace dramatically quickened past that marker as Gingras stepped on the accelerator and This Is The Plan responded by opening up a gap on the rest of the field in a third quarter that went on the board in :27. After building up that advantage on his pursuers, This Is The Plan was not about to relinquish it, as he paced home in :28.3 to seal the deal by 1-1/2 lengths over Rockapelo, who went off at 13-1. Mach N Cheese saved ground on the inside and finished third at 32-1. A 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, This Is The Plan is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. This Is The Plan is now a 16-time winner in his career and the winner's share of the purse made him harness racing's newest double millionaire, as his lifetime earnings now stand at $2,073,700. The betting was focused on two mares in Monday's $232,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, 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 pacesetter, 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, Tom Pontone, and L. A. Express Stable. Snobbytown settled for third behind Blue Ivy, with Alexa Skye holding fourth on the line. 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. 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 4-19-21): Drivers: 1. Andrew McCarthy - 69; 2. George Brennan - 64; 3t. Todd McCarthy - 60; 3t. Yannick Gingras - 60; 5. Austin Siegelman - 56. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 144; 2. Todd Buter - 50; 3. Noel Daley - 47; 4t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 4t. Sheena McElhiney - 40. Owners: 1. Renee Bercury - 50; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 41.1; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 41.1; 4. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 5. Eric Prevost - 38. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Freehold Raceway and The Meadowlands. Freehold will host the Dexter Cup final for 3-year-old open trotters and the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Meadowlands will offer the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand CIrcuit

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

Kasper Foget has enjoyed success in Europe as a harness racing trainer and driver and now the 27-year-old native of Denmark is hoping to do the same in North America. He is off to a good start. Foget is working as second trainer for Per Engblom in New Jersey and also picking up drives behind some of the stable's horses. He has driven in 31 races since making his U.S. debut in 2019, winning seven and hitting the board on nine other occasions. Last year, Foget's victories included a Grand Circuit score behind Sermon in the Circle City Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The tandem also captured the Kentucky Commonwealth Series final at Red Mile. "He's a great hand in my barn that's passionate about the business," Engblom said. "As a driver, he's patient and knows where the finish line is. He reads up well before the races and makes very few mistakes." Foget made a name for himself as a top young driver in Europe prior to arriving in the States. His family owned racehorses and as Foget got older he began driving and working in a stable as a second trainer. In 2018, Foget won the European Championship for Apprentices (under the age of 25) one year after finishing second in the competition. "That was a thrill," Foget said. "And it was in Russia, so it was a new and exciting experience." A vacation several years ago to Florida, where he spent time with trainer Paul Kelley, led to Foget beginning his new chapter at Engblom's 35-horse stable. "At first it was just seeing the United States, and seeing how people do things over here, especially with the young horses," Foget said. "When I got the opportunity to work with Per, it was a big opportunity. I had no idea I was going to drive in races. Everything just turned out really nice." Foget enjoys driving but at this point is in no rush to make it the focus of his career. "I really like driving races and if I could be a big catch driver, why not," Foget said. "But I also really like working with the horses and training them. I like to watch them develop. That's what I fell in love with. For now, that's what I'm practicing more. I think we've got some nice horses and want to do good with them. "Of course, if Per can use me (as a driver) with the right horses, maybe they need my point of view with the horse, then maybe he can use me. If anybody else asked me to drive, I'm not going to say no, but my job with Per is my first priority." Foget's top moments so far in the U.S. have come with Sermon. In addition to winning the Circle City and Kentucky Commonwealth Series final, they were third in the Pegasus and a division of the Bluegrass stakes. They also were fourth in the Carl Erskine Trot. "From only driving a couple of races to going to the (Grand Circuit) with all those good horses, that was a nice experience," Foget said. "That was exciting, for sure. When you are sitting behind amazing racehorses, I really like that. "But," he concluded, "I enjoy it all." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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  

Columbus, OH — In a little under one month, Scioto Downs will open its doors and wagering opportunities for the 2021 season. Starting on Tuesday (May 4), the season is expanded to 98 live racing dates this year with a 6:15 p.m. post time for each Tuesday-Saturday race card. The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, the first Grand Circuit event of the meet, kicks off opening week. The $125,000 open event is for 4 and up trotters and received 18 nominations. The Next Generation, first held in 2020 for 2-year-old pacers, has been expanded this year to include 2-year-old trotters. Requiring a $10,000 nomination by March 15, with the nominator not needing to declare a specific horse until the box closes for the July 2-3 events, all four events have filled, each with a $150,000 purse. Other big events include the #SendItIn Invitational on Aug. 28, older Ohio Sire Stakes on Sept. 4 and the Jim Ewart Memorial on Sept. 11. Following Scioto’s 2020 season with record handle and a new wagering menu, the Player’s Pick-5 takeout will stay at 14 percent and the Pick-6 will now have a 15 percent takeout. The Superfecta, Super High-5, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 races will all have 100 percent carryovers into the next race of that wager. Follow the new @SciotoRacing Twitter handle for information on all carryovers, as well as news and updates for horsemen and fans. When horsemen and patrons come to the track for the first time, many improvements will be noticed including: – new concrete aisleways in the ship-in barns – updated drivers’ room/lounge – renovated bathrooms on the backside – a more permanent detention area – nine bath stalls installed in the paddock – track resurfacing overseen by Dan Coon – all on-track TVs will show the signal in HD – concrete work on the apron – additional benches and picnic tables, and updated deck in the clubhouse turn – additional self-serve machines in outside patron areas Closing night this year will be Saturday (Sept. 18), the night before Jug Week kicks off. For more information about the 2021 racing season, visit the Scioto Downs website. From Eldorado Scioto Downs

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  

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  

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  

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata Pacing series opening legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. This is the opening event of the 2021 Grand Circuit harness racing season. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers features three $35,000 divisions on Friday (March 12) in the first round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Monday (March 15) card at Yonkers will see five $40,000 divisions in the opening 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. 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. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and MGM Borgata over the next four weeks. The finals for both events will be held on April 19. For more information and the complete 2021 Grand Circuit schedule, click here. by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

With stalwarts like Kissin In The Sand, Shartin N, and Caviart Ally now retired, the open pacing mares division is search of new faces at the top, and a group of 18 will look to take a step forward in Friday's first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. The first Grand Circuit harness racing event of 2021, the Blue Chip Matchmaker will start with three $35,000 splits, slated as races two, three, and five on Friday's 10-race program in Westchester. New Zealand import My Ruebe Star by Falcon Seelster (Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton) has won three editions of the local Fillies and Mares Open since coming to the United States, and she has the pole position in Friday's first flight. She will meet up with the likes of fellow Kiwi Bettors Heart by Bettors Delight (post five, Dexter Dunn/Nifty Norman), who was victorious in an the Open that took place at Yonkers on December 10 of last year, and Machnhope by Mach Three (post three, Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley), a regular at the top level at tracks across the Northeast. Machnhope prepped for the Blue Chip Matchmaker with a 1:52 win at the Meadowlands last Friday. Friday's opening group also includes Caviart Cherie by Well Said (post two, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita), who raced in the Blue Chip Matchmaker in 2019, Dbldelitebrigade N by Bettors Delight (post four, Jason Bartlett/Tom Fanning), who has picked up checks in her three starts in the Open over the last couple of months, and Alii Nui by Captaintreacherous (post six, Stratton also listed for trainer Erv Miller). Alexa Skye by Somebeachsomewhere (post four, Todd McCarthy/Jeff Cullipher), who has a record of 3-2-0 from five starts this year, tops the second section. Alexa Skye scored in the Open at Yonkers on January 14 and has been second in two subsequent tries over the half-mile oval. Seaswift Joy N by Bettors Delight won three legs and was fifth from post eight in the final in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series in 2019, and she will take another shot in the event this season, starting from post one for Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna. The Stratton/Tritton combo have another entrant in this group with Maczaffair N by Mach Three (post six), and the connections behind Shartin N - owner Rich Poillucci, trainer Jim King Jr., and driver Tim Tetrick - have a new shooter in Keep Rockin A by Rock N Roll Heaven (post three). Keep Rockin A, who will be making her U.S. debut, was Group 1 and Group 2 placed in her native country. Also competing will be Monica Gallagher by Mach Three (post two, Austin Siegelman/Chris Height), who scored in a non-winners $20,000 last five race on March 4 at Yonkers, and Parisian Blue Chip by Bettors Delight (post five, Daniel Dube), a newcomer from Canada for trainer Peter Tritton. Parisian Blue Chip raced several times in the Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2020 and took a mark of 1:50.2. A trio of mares with multiple wins in the Open level at Yonkers during their careers - Snobbytown by Nob Hill High (post two, George Brennan/Ron Burke), Siesta Beach by American Ideal (post three, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita), and Lady Dela Renta A by Well Said (post four, Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton) - meet up with a couple of sharp invaders in Soho Burning Love A by Auckland Reactor N (post one, Tim Tetrick/Jim King Jr.) and Blue Ivy by Captaintreacherous (post five, Tyler Buter/Todd Buter) in the final Matchmaker ensemble. The other mare entered in that race, Kaitlyn N by American Ideal (post six, Kakaley also listed for trainer Paul Blumenfeld), has credentials of her own, having won a round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series in 2019 before coming in sixth from first-up in the final. The Blue Chip Matchmaker Series has five preliminary rounds, occurring March 12th, 19th, and 26th, and April 2nd and 9th, and the final will take place on Monday, April 19. First post for this Friday's program at Yonkers is 7:15 p.m. From Yonkers Raceway

The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown thanks all stakeholders in harness racing for their support during a year filled with unexpected challenges and loss. The Society serviced 133 races in 2020, and thanks to the work of our partners, host tracks, owners and horsemen, only 12 races were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than $800,000 was returned to owners and nominators in staking fees within two weeks of every event cancellation. It was a process - and a year - we never want to repeat. Enclosed are links to the payment forms and updates for the 147 races currently administered by Society with payments due February 15th, 2021 (postmarked by Wednesday, February 17th), as well as the changes we have for 2021. Payment forms are always available at https://www.hambletonian.com/formsinfo or by calling our office for fax and email options. All the forms on the website are pdf fillable. Just type in the form, print as many as you need and return the form with your payments. Along with checks, ACH bill pay and wire transfers, we accept credit cards for stake payments, which are subject to a 3% service fee which will be added to the payment total. 2021 has new races on the schedule: the Phil Langley Memorial for 3YO Colt Trotters and the Thanksgiving Classic Series for all 3YOs both to be raced at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The Madison County, previously an Early Closer for 2YOs, is now a single event - a $100,000 (est.) 2YO Colt Trot on 9/24 along with many other Hoosier Park races. Also in 2021 the Hambletonian Society will service the PA-All Stars (a PA-bred Early Closer for 2 & 3YOs) and the returning Sun Stakes Early Closers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The PHHA added the Delmonica Hanover for 3YO filly trotters, along with the Earl Beal Memorial (3CT), James Lynch Memorial (3FP), and Max Hempt Memorial (3CP.) Note: The Hambletonian Society February 15th payment ad had incorrect dates of June 23rd - 25th for the Star Destroyer at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The correct date for those races is Thursday, November 18th. Please be advised of the Stallion Restriction Condition that applies to the Cane Pace/Shady Daisy, Reynolds and Tompkins-Geers races that we service at the Meadowlands and Tioga Downs. An updated list of the foals for stallions who are on that list and aren't eligible to the above mentioned races can be found on the Meadowlands website here: Stallion Restriction Condition The payment schedule and racing dates for the rest of the races we service are unchanged from 2020. Current racing conditions for the races we service can be found on our website under each specified race page. In all cases only ONE check is ever necessary for each of the four payment periods i.e. February 15, March 15, April 15 or May 15. For convenience, eligibility lists can be emailed to nominators who request them. Eligibility lists are always available on our website. For further information please, or to update your status on our mailing list, feel free to call (609) 371-2211 or email davidjanes@hambletonian.org. ** New races for 2021 Adios/Adioo Volo Arden Downs Breeders Crown Cane Pace/Shady Daisy Caesar's Trotting Classic Carl Erskine Circle City Series 3-Year-Olds Clara Barton Distaff Pace Courageous Lady Filly Pace Currier & Ives Stakes Dan Patch Open Pace Dayton Pace & Trot Derby Dayton Distaff Derby Delmonica Hanover** Dexter Cup/Lady Suffolk Earl Beal Memorial** The Elevation Fox Stakes Hambletonian/Oaks Hambletonian Maturity Hoosier Stake Horseman Stake Hoosier Park Pacing Derby James Lynch Memorial** Jenna's Beach Boy 3CP Kentuckiana Stallion Mgmt T/P Keystone Classics Landmark Early Closer Liberty Bell T/P Madison County 2CT** Matron Stakes Max Hempt Memorial** Messenger Stake/Park MGM Pace Monument Circle Pennsylvania All-Stars** Pegasus Series 3-Year-Old T/P Phil Langley Memorial 3CT** Progress Pace W.N. Reynolds Memorial E.C. John Simpson Memorial E.C. Spirit of Massachusetts Trot Thanksgiving Classic Series** The Star Destroyer Series The U.S.S. Indianapolis Mem. The Crossroads of America Tompkins-Geers Early Closer Ralph Wilfong/The Horseman Yonkers Trot/NY NY Mile From Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands invites harness racing horsepersons to view and consider the impressive slate of Grand Circuit stakes that will be conducted over the New Jersey oval for the upcoming season.   More than $20 million in stakes purses will be offered over the course of 2021 at The Meadowlands, where champions make their mark on the industry.   All pertinent info may be found on the track website.   The USTA Stakes Guide is another valuable source of information.   Questions may be directed to (607) 972-5500.   From The Meadowlands

Following a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic obliterated the stakes schedule at Yonkers Raceway, MGM Resorts has reinstated a full slate of harness racing Grand Circuit races for 2021, anchored by a pair of Triple Crown events occupying a new slot on the calendar. Held in late August/early September the last few years, the $300,000 (GTD) MGM Yonkers Trot and $300,000 (GTD) MGM Grand Messenger Pace Stakes finals for 3-year-olds shift to July 2 on the calendar in 2021. Eliminations for both Triple Crown events will be conducted on June 25, along with filly counterpart races - Park MGM Pace and New York-New York Mile - that culminate with $125,000 (Est.) finals on the first Friday in July. The change in scheduling for the Yonkers Trot and Messenger coincides with a move of major stakes for 3-year-olds at The Downs at Pocono from Fourth of July weekend to the end of August. The races are now the first legs of the Triple Crown on both gaits. "With all the setbacks and difficulty 2020 saw, we're excited to get all of these important stakes races back onto the calendar for 2021," said Alex Dadoyan, Director of Racing at Yonkers Raceway. The popular MGM Borgata and Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series are both back in their usual calendar locations for 2021, though Monday is the new Saturday at Yonkers, and the day when the best pacers on the grounds will compete. The Borgata, for older male pacers, kicks off its first of five $40,000 (GTD) legs on Monday, March 15. The Blue Chip Matchmaker also offers a handful of preliminary legs. Worth $35,000 (GTD) each, the series launches on Friday, March 12. The top eight point-earners in each series will convene on Monday, April 19 for a pair of six-figure added-money finals, with the subsequent eight earners in the series' taking part in the $75,000 (GTD - Borgata) and $60,000 (GTD - Matchmaker) consolations. Stakes season officially begins at Yonkers on Tuesday, March 2 with the M Life Ladies Pacing Series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. The male companion event starts one night later on Wednesday. Both events offer three legs with $15,000 (GTD) purses and culminate with added-money finals and guaranteed consolations on March 23 and 24, respectively. The John Brennan Trotting Series (formerly the SOA Bonus Trot), honoring the memory of the long-time Yonkers Raceway paddock representative, starts on March 31 with the first of three legs for 3-year-olds and up who are Non-winners of 6 races and/or $100,000 lifetime through February 1. An added-money final and $30,000 (GTD) consolation is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21. The Reynolds Pace for 3-year-old colts and fillies also joins the stakes calendar at Yonkers on May 7. Finally, July 9 and 16 offer eliminations and the final of the $100,000 (Est.) MGM Springfield Stakes for 2-year-olds. Nomination blanks for the Borgata, Matchmaker, M Life, Brennan and Springfield series can be found here. Information on the Yonkers Trot and Messenger can be found on the Hambletonian Society's website. Yonkers Raceway offers live racing Monday through Friday with a first-race post-time of 7:15 PM. For more information, click here. Yonkers Raceway Media    

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