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YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 21, 2018-For years in Boston Celtic green, Larry Bird taunted, tortured and tormented New York. Saturday night (Sept. 22nd), his 'nicknamesake' tries to take it. Hickfromfrenchlick drew post position No. 6 in 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding event during Yonkers Raceway's $1.8 million New York Night of Champions. The race, sponsored by the state's Agriculture and Horse Breeding Development Fund, is the fourth of a dozen-race card and the third of eight consecutively-contested $225,000 sire stakes finales. Hickfromfrenchlick is no stranger to the spotlight, having won the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here in mid-July (1:55.4). The son of So Surreal returned to Westchester in late August, picking off divisional leader-and tonight's pole-sitter-Melodie's Major in a New York Sire Stakes event (1:53.3). It was off to Vernon Downs after that and a down-the-road, life-best 1:51.3 statebred romp. For the season, he's won four of six tries ($120,541), though he did not fire in his final NYSS try (Batavia). "Stuck behind some bad horses who had no reason to pull," Ray Schnittker said. Fortunately for Hickfromfrenchlick's co-owner/trainer and sometime chauffeur, those sort of nights have been few and far between. Schnittker drove that night (as he did at Vernon), but is AWOL (Meadows) Saturday, so he enlists Tim Tetrick this time around. "Training down, he was good, so I'm not surprised," Schnittker said of the $47,000 (Goshen, NY) lad who's also co-owned by Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. "He had a :27 and change last quarter (in a Landmark event) at Goshen, so I knew he was ready. "I trained his mother (My Girl's a Star) and she had a record of (1):52 and 2 as a 2-year-old. (Author's aside...My Girl's a Star was a solid New York Sire Stakes lass, winning 7-of-11 and more than $139,000 as a frosh [2010] despite having the misfortune of being in the same age group as one See You at Peelers). "I told Mark (MacDonald) he was going to win the Sheppard, so just don't screw it up, which he didn't." Any such guarantees for Tetrick before he and Hickfromfrenchlick Saturday night? "No one can outleave Melodie's Major if they wanted to, but I think (Hickfromfrenchlick) can get around some of the others, and if he's close, he wouldn't stun me." Regardless of Saturday's outcome, Hickfromfrenchlick is finished for the season. "He's done everything we've asked," Schnittker said. Post time for the New York Night of Champions fun and frolic is the usual 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2018-With Yonkers Raceway dark Friday night (Sept. 21st) in preparation for the New York Night of Champions, the leading overnight ladies had their weekly close-up an evening early. Hence, it was a Thursday night (Sept. 20th) $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. That was good news for Vorst (George Brennan, $27.60), who parlayed a perfect trip and a makeshift passing to win in 1:53. Getting the first lead from assigned post position No. 5, Vorst handed the baton to Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.4 intermission, even-money fave Medusa (Brian Sears), who had left for a seat fourth, was out and moving again. She hooked Mach it a Par in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, the pair pacing in tandem entering the lane. Vorst, meanwhile, closed ranks from a loose pocket and found room inside in a three-way scrum. She defeated Mach it a Par by a head and Medusa by a neck. Jewel Lehigh A (Scott Zeron) and Sell a Bit N (Austin Siegelman) rounded out the payees. For fifth choice Vorst, a 5-year-old daughter of Four Starzzz Shark owned and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her fourth win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $138.50, the triple returned $241 and the superfecta paid $1,992. Friday was quashed to allow the paddock to be used for Night of Champions detention. Saturday night's (Sept. 22nd) $1.8 million finales-eight at $225,000 each-again comprise the richest night of racing in the state. Those events go as races 2 through 9, with first post for the dozen-race card at the usual night standard of 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, September 19, 2018- Brian Sears, he of the recent 10,000 career harness racing win plateau, was the subject of Tuesday (Sept. 18th) profile by News 12 Westchester. Sports anchor/reporter Pete Ruf spent a Yonkers Raceway evening with Sears. They discussed his career (Sears', not Ruf's), starting with learning his craft from his father, Jay, through the early years in upstate New York, his countless stakes victories, Hall of Fame induction and remaining among the sport's premier drivers. The story can be viewed by clicking here. A note of appreciation to Ruf and News 12 for their continued interest in the Raceway side of Yonkers Raceway. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, September 19, 2018- Yonkers Raceway is offering these horsemen reminders... --Horses for Saturday's (Sept. 22nd) eight New York Night of Champions races are due in the paddock detention area no later than 4 PM Friday (Sept. 21st). Paddock opens at 12 Noon and the track itself shall be available, if needed. --There's a double draw Thursday (Sept. 20th) for the race cards of Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (Sept. 25th and 26th), Note the special Wednesday card replaces the program of Friday night, cancelled due to detenting. --Entry box for both days closes at 3:30 PM. For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 17, 2018-Post positions have been drawn for Saturday's (Sept. 22nd) $1.8 million New York Night of Champions, with Yonkers Raceway again hosting the 29th edition of the Empire State's richest night of harness racing. Eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals, each sponsored by a prominent breeding farm or organization, feature the best 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Here's a hot-off-the-presses thumbnail of the divisions, which go as the races 2 through 9 during the dozen-race card. First post is the usual evening standard of 6:50 PM. 2nd race (Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot) - Division points leader Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer, post 3) won her first five seasonal starts before a second-place finish at Saratoga. The daughter of Credit Winner, trained by her driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, won twice here, as did Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris, post 5). Amal Hall (Andy Miller, post 6) has three wins and four seconds in her seven tries, while Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr., post 7) has been board-certified in all seven starts (4 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third). 'Quincy' has earned $125,712, making her the richest lass among the octet. 3rd race (Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) - Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, post 5) has been more untouchable than Eliot Ness, as in 6-for-6 ($166,358) by a combined margin of 23¼ lengths. The son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Gimpanzee enters off a handy win here, as does Thunder (Jason Bartlett, post 3). The son of Conway Hall has won half of his eight seasonal efforts, with all the win in his last five tries. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr., post 8) has hit the board in seven of his nine tries this season. 4th race (Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) -Melodie's Major (Tyler Buter, post 1) has won just about everything this season (8 starts, 6 wins, 1 second, $166,433), including the draw for the statebred finale. The Art Major colt is trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf. Hickfromfrenchlick (Tim Tetrick, post 6) has the 100G final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here leading his 4-for-6 resume. Major Blake (Bartlett, post 8) has won thrice in his five tries. 5th race (Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - So Awesome (Tetrick, post 6) led the points parade, winning four races (two here) during here frosh foray ($176,190). The So Surreal miss is trained by Scott DiDomenico for owner William Hartt. St. Somewhere (George Brennan, post 2) strung together three consecutive NYSS wins in July, also with a pair here. Moneyshot Hanover (Buter, post 3) tried her luck in open company north of the border after a pair of statebred wins. 6th race (Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Trot) -All-age track-record-holder (1:53.1) Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt, post 2) has been a beast all season (10 starts, 5 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, $372,601). She did thrown down the new record in the $129,014 Hudson two starts, ago, then won a Saratoga NYSS event by seven-and-change widening lengths. One of her rare poor performances came in last season's statebred finale, however. Svanstedt trains for himself, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Little E LLC, Tomas Andersson and Rick Zeron Stables. Lucky Ava (Bartlett, post 4) did upset to became the frosh champ a season ago and has five wins among her 10-for-11 board finishes this time around. Repentance (Tetrick, post 8) has won her last three tries, a pair in NYSS and a division of the Woodbine/Mohawk Simcoe. 7th race (Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) - 'Defending' champ Alexis Dream (Morrill Jr., post 3) has not lost a step ($228,000-plus last season, $230,000-plus this season). The daughter of American Ideal is co-owned by West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding J. Robert Darrow & Kevin McKinlay and trained by Casie Coleman. The $112,904 Lady Maud here earlier this month was one of her four seasonal wins. Wisdom Tree (Tetrick, post 4), the group's point leader, has been vicious this season, as in 10 wins and a second in a baker's dozen tries ($274,851). Newsday (Jordan Stratton, post 1) owns a pair of local sire stakes wins. 8th race (Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) - With Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack AWOL, runner-up Helpisontheway (Morrill Jr., post 4) becomes one of the targets. The Chapter Seven colt, trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Camelot & Bay's Stable and Little E LLC, has six win and four seconds in his 12 '18 tries ($355,275). He had four wins in a row earlier this season. Winning Shadow (Mike Simons, post 3) has five wins this season, while The Veteran (Stratton, post 8) has six wins and over $194,000 this season despite drawing poorly more than once. 9th race (Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) - No one has exactly stepped up and grabbed the baton in the state's glamour division, Springsteen (Sears, post 1) won a draw-time 'tiebreaker' to get into this race, then won the draw. Thrice a winner in a dozen seasonal starts ($346,729), the Rock N Roll Heaven colt has been tough to figure. Rene Allard co-owns (with Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg and Kapildeo Singh) and trains. Ghost Dance (Morrill Jr., post 5) enters with consecutive statebred wins, while Rockapelo (Bartlett, post 4) has hit the board in nine of his 12 '18 efforts. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 15, 2018-Trainer Jeff Gillis made no secret about why he hijacked Will Take Charge from the stakes schedule and into Yonkers Raceway for Saturday night's (Sept. 15th) co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot. "There's no reason other than we want an invitation to the International Trot," Gills said. "He didn't race well in his last start (final of the Maple Leaf Trot) for whatever reason. We wanted to prove he belongs, and it would be an honor for me." The issue of whether or not Will Take Charge gets to represent the Great White North (either by himself or with some company) in the million-dollar, Saturday, Oct. 13th, event wasn't going to be settled this night, though the road test supplied by odds-on Will Take Charge (Mark MacDonald, $3.20) had to impress. Two-moving to the lead from post position No. 7 (everyone in a notch after a pole defection), Will Take Charge was third early behind Gruden (Brian Sears) and Fashion Creditor (Brent Holland). He then made the lead between a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :55.3 intermission. Not surprisingly, the teletimer gapped out the field as Will Take Charge and Gruden offered an unscheduled match race. After a 1:24.3 three-quarters, Will Take Charge owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Gruden was resurgent, however, taking another 'run' at the leader before missing a nose in 1:53.2. Fashion Creditor held off Lord Cromwell (Jordan Stratton) for third, with Barry Black (Austin Siegelman) getting the final pay envelope. The mile matched the local aged gelding standard set by former all-age track record-holder Quick Deal in 2013, while also equaling the second-fastest Westchester trot mile, a tick behind the 1:53.1 of filly Plunge Blue Chip two weeks ago. "Jeff told me not to lose, so I guess I'm good with orders," MacDonald said after his date hit town for the first time since late April. "There aren't too many trotters who can get down to the half that fast here and hang on, so I was impressed.." For Will Take Charge, a 5-year-old Kadabra gelding owned by Mac Nichol, it was his ninth win in 19 seasonal starts (earnings at $409,965). The exacta paid $9.40, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $23.80 and the superfecta paid $111.50. Saturday night's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by a pole-assigned, pocketed Chantepleure (Stratton, $23.20) in 1:51.3. By Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Sept. 14th) wrapped up its New York Sire Stakes legs--all 16 of 'em--with the $156,200 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old harness racing colts and geldings. Friday's event once again honored the memory of 'Tootie,' whose unmatched PR savvy in the golden age of the game helped make the nascent Roosevelt International Trot a happening. The evening's first ($77,400) grouping saw odds-on Thunder (Jason Bartlett, $3.10) do it handily in 1:58. From post position No. 2, he made the lead around Brady Bunch (Andy Miler) after an early break of Kredit Karma (Brian Sears). After that, no issues for the fave through dawdling (:29.1, 59.2, 1:29) fractions. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) tried it first-up from third, settling for second to the winner (as he did at Vernon), with the final margin three lengths. Brady Bunch and Quiksilver Bluchip (catch-driver Jordan Stratton) completed the gimmick finishers. For Thunder, a son of Conway Hall trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Crawford Racing, VIP Internet Stables and Jeremey Day, it was his fourth win in eight seasonal starts (all in last five tries). The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $17.20 and the superfecta paid $98.50. "He's handy, he gets over any size tracks and he's getting better," Bartlett said. "We're ready for next week (sire stakes finals here)." The evening's second ($78,800) statebred sojourn was a mismatch on paper and in practice for divisional leader Gimpanzee (Sears, $2.10), making it 6-for-6 ($166,358) during his froshfest. All the wins have come in New York Sire Stakes competition, the latest after weigh stations of :29, :57.4, 1:28.1 and (identical to first event) 1:58. From post No. 6, he waited his turn to get by an eventually-breaking Captain Krupnik (Dan Dube) and Chapter Fashion (Bartlett). The latter eventually did the dance of the damned coming to the half, which led to an extremely gapped-out gang. The lead was eight lengths at intermission. Our White Knight (Miller) did cut in that passing the three-quarters, but the outcome was even more death-and-taxes than death-and-taxes. Gimpanzee won by 3¾ lengths, with Out White Knight safely second over Certify (Jeff Gregory). Fourth went to Captain Krupnik, as his break wasn't as costly as the other three misbehavers...even though all four were 'distanced' in the chart. Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, has won his half-dozen starts by a combined 23¼ lengths. The exacta paid $23.20, the triple returned $222 and the superfecta paid $920. "He's done nothing wrong and tonight was the same," Sears said. The Raceway hosts the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions Saturday night, Sept. 21st, with eight, $225,000 divisional finals. Friday night's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Medusa (Sears, $6.60) in 1:52, the lady's 35th career victory in her 120th start. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 14, 2018-Yonkers Raceway is altering its September racing dates. In preparation for the Saturday, Sept. 22nd, New York Night of Champions, the Raceway shall be dark Friday night, Sept. 21st. This was necessitated by the use the paddock as a detention area for the Night of Champions participants. The make up the date, Yonkers is racing Wednesday, Sept. 26th, with a usual night post of 6:50 PM. We apologize for the late notice and appreciate everyone's cooperation. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 13, 2018--We're done. Not really. Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Sept. 14th) hosts its 16th and final leg of New York Sire Stakes competition with the $156,200 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Of course, this is the final chance to electrify the electorate before the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions here a week from Saturday (Sept. 22nd). Friday's event once again honors the memory of 'Tootie,' the sport's quintessential PR man and unsung hero behind the huge, back-in the-day success of the International Trot. The first ($77,400) grouping goes as the fifth race, with Thunder (Jason Bartlett, post 2) and Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr., post 4) again opposing one another. The pair finished 1-2 at Vernon late last month, the former's third sire stakes win in his last four starts. Thunder, a son of Conway Hall, is trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Crawford Racing, VIP Internet Stables and Jeremey Day. The frosh bankroll of $113,121 dwarfs that of his rivals, though his previously-mentioned nemesis has put away $73,119. Chip Chip Conway has a win, three seconds and a third in five (NYSS) tries adding the straps. The Conway Hall gelding is co-owned by (trainer) Gary Messenger and Kenneth Weckstein. The evening's second ($78,800) statebred sojourn sees divisional beast Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, post 6) display his perfect 5-for-5 ($126,958) record. They haven't come within sniffing range of Gimpanzee, whose 'slimmest' margin in the five wins--ail in NYSS completion--has been 2¾ lengths. He aired here from an eight-hole last month in 1:57.3 and returns off a life-best 1:54.3 number at Vernon. The son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Chapter Fashion (Bartlett, post 4) also won a statebred event here and has hit the board in all but one of his six tries. Post time for the dozen-race card is the evening standard of 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 11, 2018-Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack returned to the scene of his handiwork Tuesday night (Sept. 11th), dominating a division of Yonkers Raceway's $172,000 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt, $2.10) found himself parimutuelly partnered with Trot runner-up Helpisontheway (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the second ($86,750) statebred soiree. The pole-sitting latter stung Six Pack-from post position No 3-through a 27.1 opening quarter-mile. Six pack then rated a 30-second next subsection (:57.1 half), before finishing it off (1:25.4, 1:54.3). The widening margin, four lengths in and out of the final turn, cosmetically closed to a length-and-a-half at the tape. Helpisontheway barely held second, with I'm the Muscle (Jason Bartlett) third. The Veteran (Jordan Stratton) and Winning Shadow (Mike Simons) came away with the remainder. For Six Pack, a Muscle Mass colt co-owned by his trainer/driver, Little E LLC, Stall Kaimer and Lars Berg, it was his seventh win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid an even-money $7.50 and the triple returned $17. Superfecta wagering was not offered. Tuesday night's opening ($85,250) sire stakes event saw Perlucky (Trond Smedshammer, $32.20) roll pace-setting Clive Bigsby (Bartlett) from second-over. Away a bit tardy from post position No. 2, Perlucky watched as pole-sitting 'Clive' seated Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley) and Lindsey's Pride (Brent Holland) jumped it off. After early intervals of :28.1 and :58.1, Perlucky hitched a ride behind Don (Stratton) going toward a 1:26.4 three-quarters. Clive Bigsby owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Perlucky was poised. With minimal urging, he went by, winning by a length in a life-best 1:56.1. Clive Bigsby saved second over a needing-room Purpose Blue Chip, with 13-10 choice Cruising in Style (Morrill Jr.) a belated fourth. For sixth choice Perlucky, a son of Lucky Chucky trained by his driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, it was his second win in 10 '18 tries. The exacta paid $99, the triple returned $348 and the superfecta paid $1,209. Ironically, both of Perlucky's wins have come at odds of 15-1. New York Sire Stakes downstate prelims conclude-the 16th of 16 legs-with Friday night's (Sept. 14th) $156,200 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts/geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 8, 2018-A week after the 2018 Yonkers Trot, there was a renewal of the 2017 edition, complete with similar outcome. Top Flight Angel (Brian Sears, $17.20) two-moved from the eight-hole Saturday night (Sept. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot. He grinded his way up and over Yes Mickey (Jason Bartlett), just as he did in last season's Trot. The margin was a nose when they went for a half-million-dollars then and a length here. The mile went in 1:55 after Yes Mickey's intervals of :28.1, 57.3 and 1:25.4. Third went to a belated Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory), Charmed Life (catch-driver Mark MacDonald) and Elysium Lindy (George Brennan) settled for the minors, while slight 2-1 choice Rose Run Sydney (Jim Marohn Jr.) jumped it off early. For fourth choice Top Flight, a 4-year-old son of Archangel owned by Legendary Standardbred Farm and trained by Julie Miller, it was his fourth win in 10 seasonal starts (career earnings over $614,000). The exacta paid $80 ($79.50 in the '17 Trot), the triple returned $225 and the superfecta paid $1,413. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace saw pole-assigned Sunfire Blue Chip (MacDonald, $7.50) retake from 7-10 favorite Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno), then win comfortably in 1:51.3 (off early subsections of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23). Back for his first visit in nearly three months, Sunfire Blue Chip defeated a first-up Theartofconfusion A (Sears) by a length-and-a-quarter, with Evenin' of Pleasure, Somewhere in L A (Bartlett) and Always at My Place (Brennan) coming away with the remainder. For second choice Sunfire Blue Chip, an 8-year-old son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine, it was his sixth win in 18 '18 tries (career earnings over $1.4 million). The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $105 and the superfecta paid $632. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 7, 2018-As was written seven short nights ago, Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $6.10) is just better these right now. She proved it again Friday night (Sept. 7th), easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace while becoming the sport's newest millionairess. Not even an assigned eight-bole hindrance could deter her appointed rounds here. Strung out early by Medusa (Brian Sears). Newborn Sassy made the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a rated :29.1 next station (:56.3 intermission), 6-5 favorite Magic Forces (George Brennan) tried it first-up from fifth. However, a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.2) dismissed that one as Newborn Sassy owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. Medusa edged out, but wasn't close to reaching, the final margin a length in 1:52. Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett), Angel's Pride (Brent Holland) and Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) settled for the minors. Magic Forces retreated to seventh. For second choice Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her ninth win in 27 seasonal starts (fifth in last seven tries, career 32-for-76, earnings $1,007,445). The exacta paid $21.80, the triple returned $99 and the superfecta paid $470. "She can race either way," Stratton said. "This week, some of the better mares she's been facing weren't here, but she beat a good group and the eight-hole is never an easy job." Walkover race makes news on Yahoo.sports The story of Windsun Magnolia has apparently found its way into the nation’s consciousness…to some degree. The good folks at Yahoo sports wrote about the WCBS-TV (Ch. 2) feature (see below) regarding her Yonkers Raceway walkover/maiden-breaking win, certifiably extending her 15 minutes of fame.     Yahoo’s story can be view here… https://sports.yahoo.com/winless-racehorse-gets-first-ever-win-one-horse-race-164400666.html?hl=1&noRedirect=1 by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 6, 2018--In no particular order, the marquee performers during Yonkers Raceway's Thursday night (Sept. 6th) were... --Jordan Stratton, who won six races from his eight drives. One of wins came in a dead-heat, while two were part of the $168,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-olds fillies. Stratton won the first ($55,833) division with a pocketed Line Dancer ($12.40) in a life-best-matching 1:54.2. The daughter of Art Major, co-owned by (trainer) Ricky Bucci and Blue Meadow Farm, has won five of her 18 seasonal starts. Stratton doubled his sire stakes pleasure in the second ($55,833) Cohen event, when a first-up Newsday (S7.20) matched Line Dancer's 1:54.2 effort. The At Major miss, co-owned by (trainer) Richie Silverman, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Edward McEnery and Michael Gluckman, is 4-for-13 this season, including a pair of NYSS wins here. "It was one of those nights that everyone I drove raced well," Stratton said. --Wisdom Tree (Matt Kakaley, $2.70), who continued her statebred dominance in the night's final ($56,833) Empire grouping, a down-the-road night's-fastest 1:53.2 Her sire stakes resume reads six wins (including two here) and a second in seven tries. The daughter of Betterthancheddar, co-owned by Tom Pollack & Jeff Cullipher and trained by Ed Hart, has won 10 of her 13 '18 tries. "She's smart and she's fast and I love her," Hart said. "Every so often I'm entitled to one of these," Kakaley said. --Naughty Maravu N (Dan Dube, $96), who led a quartet of longshots (9-1, 70-1, 92-1) home in the $10,000, fifth-race pace. New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night (Sept. 11th), with Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack in the $172,000 Milt Taylor Trot (3-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 4, 2018--New York Sire Stakes return downstate Thursday night (Sept. 6th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $168,499 Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-olds fillies. The event, remembering the publicity director at the Raceway as well as NBC Sports, goes in triplicate (races 8, 9 and 10). The ($55,833) opening division is seemingly the lightest, with Line Dancer (Jordan Stratton, post 1) retuning to statebred competition after winning an local overnight two starts ago. The daughter of Art Major, co-owned by (trainer) Ricky Bucci and Blue Meadow Farm, was a sire-stakes bridesmaid at Monti last month. Beachin' N Kissin' (Jason Bartlett, post 2), Betterthangraduate (Brett Miller, post 3) and Checkered Past (Jim Morrill Jr., post 5) all have recent overnight wins. The second ($55,833) Cohen event finds Solitary (Miller, post 2) returning off a closing second in this past Saturday night's (Sept. 1st) $112,904 Lady Maud. The American Ideal miss, though just 1-for-15 this season, has paid her win against the statebreds. Newsday (Stratton, post 5) owns a local NYSS win (and another 'heater' win at Monticello), while Mink Pink (Bartlett, post 3) was the scourge of the Excelsior ranks earlier in the season. Thursday night's final ($56,833) sire stakes grouping is the marquee matchup, featuring Lady Maud winner Alexis Faith (Morrill Jr., post 4). This daughter of American Ideal won that race (1:53.4) by (barely) extricating herself from the pocket. 'Alexis,' trained by Casie Coleman for co-owners West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow and Kevin McKinlay, is 4-for-11 this season ($226,388). Alexis Faith opposes the red-hot Wisdom Tree (Matt Kakaley, post 1), whose sire stakes resume reads five wins (including one here) and a second in six tries. The daughter of Betterthancheddar, co-owned by Tom Pollack & Jeff Cullipher and trained by Ed Hart, has won nine of her dozen '18 tries overall ($246,435). She's a month out since whipping the Catskills crowd (1:52.4) and owns a 1:49.4 life-best in the $141,200 Nadia Lobell at Hoosier. There's also a coupled-entry, Ron Burke-trained two-fer in Jewels Forreal (George Brennan, post 2) and Tell Me a Joke (Miller, post 7). Post time for the dozen-race wagering card is 6:50 PM, however those early (5:30 PM) attendees can watch a good, old-fashioned walkover. Windsun Magnolia (Jim Marohn Jr.) has the oval all to herself in a $6,100 second-level Excelsior event. Can 'Magnolia,' Marohn Jr. and track announcer John Hernan handle the pressure? Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, September 2, 2018-A second-tier Bioness (Brian Sears, $33.80) made one decisive move Sunday afternoon (Sept. 2nd), winning the $120,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's French-American Trotting Club Series. The finale, wrapping a four-race series for imported French-breds, went at the mile-and-a-half and the first of the four added-distance races. Away sixth (fifth after a breaker) from post position No. 9, Bioness made the lead from 47-1 Adagio de la Tour (Jason Bartlett) between the :28.3 opening quarter-mile and the :59.1 half. He then fought off Uhlan Noir (Brent Holland), with Deo (George Brennan) wide behind that one. While this was going on, 6-5 choice favorite Versachet (Jordan Stratton) found himself going wide to nowhere, while second choice Ursis des Caillons (Joe Bongiorno) was done in by an early break. After subsequent substations of 1:28.3, 1:58 and 2:28, Bioness opened to three lengths into the lane. Though tiring, Bioness did hold sway over a handful of pursuers, winning by a length in 2:58. Adagio de la Tour (Jason Bartlett) closed from a loose pocket and wound up second, with Alpha D'Urzy (Louis-Philippe Roy) third. Ursis des Caillions did recover for fourth, with first leader Barry Black (Austin Siegelman) lasting for the last pay envelope. For fifth choice Bioness, a 7-year-old Sam Bourbon gelding owned by Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his third win in 13 seasonal starts (a second and two thirds in series prelims). The exacta paid $1,004, the triple returned $6,978 and the superfecta paid $43,653 (base $2 payout). The week's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot, at the old-fashioned flat mile, was won by down-the-road Obrigado (Mark MacDonald, $5.90) in 1:55.2 Sunday's final-for-a-while summer stock presentation of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 4-Ruler of the Nile (Saratoga's 1st race) and 6-Lord Cromwell (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $18.70 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $7,490. The next Sunday matinee is Nov. 4th (post time TBA). Note that the Raceway is dark for live racing Monday and Tuesday nights (Sept. 3rd and 4th), returning Thursday night (Sept. 6th), with the evening norm first post of 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 31, 2018-Favored Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $4.10) is just better than these right now. She proved it again Friday night (Aug. 31st), handily winning Yonkers Raceway's last-of-the-month $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. She now is less than $15,000 from becoming a millionairess.  Remanded outside her six rivals, Newborn Sassy was caught wide early, eventually settling in fourth. While this was transpiring, Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) worked around Frost Damage Blues (Brian Sears) before a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.1 intermission, 'Sassy" was moving again, engaging Lispatty in and out of a 1:24.1 three-quarters. She finished off that foe early in the lane, then widened. Frost Damage Blues did slip out behind the eventual winner, with she and a bottled-up-till-late Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) cosmetically closing the margin. Newborn Sass defeated Frost Damage Blues by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:53.1, with Mach it a Par, Lispatty and Angel's Pride (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For Newborn Sassy, a 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal owned by CC Racing & Joann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her eighth win in 26 seasonal starts (fourth in last six tries, career earnings over $985,000). The exacta paid $18.40, the triple returned $69.50 and the superfecta paid $175. Saturday night (Sept. 1st) is Triple Crown Night, with the Raceway offering the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and $500,000 Messenger Stakes, along with companion events, the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot & $112,904 Lady Maud Pace. There's a gimmick Trot/Messenger Double (races 6 and 7) as well. First post the dozen-race card is the usual evening 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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