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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 24, 2018 -- Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (March 24th) offered the second round of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A quartet of $50,000 events again brought together many of the marquee Free-For-Allers. The result was three, down-the-road winners, including two series repeaters. The encore performers were faves Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller. $4.10) and Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras, $2.30) in the bookend divisions. Dr. J Hanover won the draw for the second consecutive start and put his rivals to sleep for the second consecutive start. A cheapy (:27.4, :57.3) half served him well after another first-leg winner, Always at My Place (George Brennan), offered a hard, first-up challenge. That one was disposed after a 27-secomd third quarter (1:24.3), while Dr. J Hanover swelled up to two lengths entering the lane. The final margin was 2½ lengths a season's-best (purse start) 1:52.4. Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) lost touch in the pocket, crossed the line second but was set down to fourth for cutting some cones. That placed Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) second and Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) third. "He surprised me," Miller said. "After that third quarter, he just opened up." For Dr. J Hanover, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, Steven Wienick & Irwin Samelman and trained by Tony Alagna, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21, with the triple returning $91.50. Rockin' Ron, from post position No. 2, wanted no part of an early pocket. He took over from pole-sitting Luciano N (Brent Holland), then--with another pedestrian early portion--held that rival at bay (:26.3, :57, 1:24.4, 1:53.2). The margin was three-quarters of a length. Mach it So (Tim Tetrick), after last week's win, turned in a solid, two-move effort for third from behind the eight-ball. For Rockin' Ron, a 6-year-old Real Desire co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC and J&T Silva Stables, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.60, with the triple returning $19.20. Saturday night's third down-the-pike series winner was another wagering choice in Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno, $3.20). From post No. 3, he took no prisoners (:26.2, :56.1, 1:24, 1:53.1). A wide-closing Bettor Memories (Kyle Husted) was second, with Another Daily Copy (Jason Bartlett) third and an out-the-mile Orillia Joe (Stratton) fourth. For Evenin' of Pleasure, a 8-year-old son of Dragon Again owned by Gestion J Y Blais and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was her first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $31.40, triple returned $173 and the superfecta paid $558. The night's only off-the-pace series winner, a second-over Western Fame (Mark MacDonald, $11), was also the only non-winning second-round favorite. From post No. 5, he parlayed a perfect tow behind Somewhere in L A (Bartlett), to whip that one by a length in 1:53.1. Missile J (Tetrick), the 9-10 choice, did not retake from polester Caviart Luca (Brennan) after that one led through intervals of :27, 57.1 and 1:24.3. For this race, the soft fractions caved, effectively burying Missile J. He did end up a non-threatening third, beaten two lengths. For third choice Western Fame, a 5-year-old homebred son of Western Ideal owned by Brittany Farms and trained by Jimmy Takter, he's now 1-for-3 this season. The exacta paid $40.20, the triple returned $85.50 and the superfecta (Franco Rayner [Bongiorno]) paid $275.50. Saturday's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Mostinterestingman (Bartlett, $6) in 1:56.2 The 12-race handle was $1,007,866, the Raceway's first 'non-French' seven-figure wagering card of the season. Monday night (March 26th) offers the $62,000 final of the Petticoat Pacing Series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 23, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (March 23rd) offered the second round of the harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker. A quintet of $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares. 'Quintet' was the watchword in the first division, with the field pared to five after a defection. Pole-sitting, series-debuting Wishy Washy Girl (Jason Bartlett, $4.80) kept pocket-sitting, even-money fave Twinkle (Eric Goodell) trapped in behind, then took it the distance (:27.1, :57.1, 1:25.3, 1:54.2, matching her previous season's win effort). The margin was a neck. Scandalicious (Tim Tetrick) moved from last down the backside, flattened but held third For Wishy Washy Girl, a 5-year-old daughter of Roll with Joe co-owned by Michael Cimiglio, Glenn Goler & Stephen Demeter by Richard Banca, it was her second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.40, with triple wagering refunded due to an insufficient number of starters. The second division was a second handy Matchmaker win for Shartin N (Tetrick, $2.30). From post No. 4, she worked around polester Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald), then had no grief whatsoever (:27.1, :57.1, 1:25.3, 1:53.2). Throwing down an early gauntlet in this series, Shartin N won by a facile length-and-three-quarters. Clear Idea saved second, with 69-1 rank outsider Vintage Babe (Brent Holland) a ground-saving third. She gained the bottom of the ticket after Au D Lox Bluegrass (Yannick Gingras) took out of third, tried to test the winner and faded to fourth. For Shartin N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Tintin in America co-owned by Richard Poillucci & Jo Anne Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her sixth win in seven '18 tries. The exacta paid $13.40, with triple returning $97. Friday evening's third series event found another series newbie, L A Delight (Gingras, $5.70), eschew an early three-hole, then hold sway (:27.3, :56.3, 1:25.1, 1:53.2). From post No. 3 after last week's scratch-sick, L A Delight took over from pole-sitting Mach it a Par (Bartlett). That one, and a first-up Wrangler Magic (Dan Dube) were quite credible, but not quite good enough. L A Delight disposed of Mach it a Par by a length-and-a-quarter, with Wrangler Magic third. For timid choice L A Delight, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Nancy Johansson, it was her first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.20, with the triple returning $93. Friday's fourth division saw logic take a holiday in the form of 36-1 bombardier Motu Moonbeam N (Holland, $74.50). From outside post No. 7, she watched from the back as 'Sissy and Sassy' show, with HP Sissy (Dube) and tepid 2-1 favorite Newborn Sassy (Tetrick) leading the ladies (:27.2, :57.1, 1:25). Jag Out (Gingras) pulled from third with a hard challenge, only to eventually break stride. However, the front end was more than vulnerable, with Motu Moonbeam closing crisply to win by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:54.3. Safe from Terror (Jordan Stratton), who misstepped in the third turn allowing the eventual winner to improve position, made up much ground to end up second. Gina Grace N (Larry Stalbaum), second-over and gapping the misbehaving Jag Out, did get third. For Motu Moonbeam N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Friendship Stables and trained by Paul Blumenfeld, she's now 3-for-10 this season. The exacta paid $459, with the triple returning $4,101. The evening's final series get-together found last season's series victress, Mackenzie A (Stratton, $16.20), make her first statement this season. Working off the pace after starting outside her six foes, Mackenzie A did have some numbers to chase as Lakeisha Hall (Gingras), Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) and 2-5 choice Lady Shadow (Bartlett) were all in play. Before the dust settled (:26.1, :55.4) and Lady Shadow had two-moved to the lead, Mackenzie A was out and moving. She was done no favors-and forced three-wide briefly-when Lispatty (Brennan) came out directly in front of her. That one threw down another roadblock, tiring by the 1:24.1 three-quarters and forcing Mackenzie A wide again. No problem, as she just rolled over a tiring Lady Shadow in the lane. Mackenzie A drew out, winning by a length-and-a-half in 1:53.1. Lakeisha Hall raced well at both ends of the mile to finish second, with Dudesalady (Holland) and Lady Shadow retreating to fourth. For third choice (barely) Mackenzie A, a 6-year-old Down Under Rock N Roll Heaven lass trained by Peter Tritton for co-owners Von Knoblauch Stables and Ellen Kinser, it was her first win in a pair of seasonal efforts. The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple worth $1,008. Saturday night (March 24th) offers a quartet of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 22, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway offers up its two richest races of the season to date next week, wrapping up the harness racing Petticoat and Sagamore Hill Pacing Series, respectively. Monday night (March 26th), with chivalry dictating the ladies go first, it's the $62,000 finale (7th race) of the Petticoat. The series, for 3- and 4-year-old lasses with limited (non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1st) limelight, has seen some standouts in the three preliminary legs. Caviart Cherie (Jordan Stratton, post 8), JK Jazzitup (Mark MacDonald, post 2), Dali Delight (Dan Dube, post 4) and Diamondtoothgertie (George Brennan, post 5) each won twice in the prelims, with JK Jazzitup and Dali Delight racing as a Gilberto Garcia-Herrera common-owner/trainer entry. Gotthisone Hanover (Yannick Gingras, post 1), Absolutely Best (Jason Battlett, post 3) D G's Elsa (Eric Goodell, post 6) and Lusty Delight (Greg Merton, post 7) round out the field for the finale. All entrants are 4-year-olds. Tuesday night (March 27th), the Raceway's annual Teddy Roosevelt testimonial, the Sagamore Hill wraps with a final worth $63,400. It's the boys' version of the Petticoat, again for 3- and 4-year-olds of restricted resumes through last Dec. 1st. Sometimesawinner (Brennan, post 3) won both of his series starts before getting last week off, while Mach N Cheese (Stratton, post 7) sandwiched a couple of wins around a second-place effort. These are the only sophomores in the finale lineup. Obscene Blue Chip (Bartlett, post 4) and Poinstomewherelse (Jeff Gregory, post 5) were also two-time prelim winners. Abbeydorney (Bartlett also listed, post 1), Zone Blitz (Jim Marohn Jr., post 2), Fullback (Driver TBA, post 6) and Windsun Gotham (Brennan also listed, post 8) complete the field (note changes for the Tuesday shall be made Friday, Marsh 23rd). "The draw for both races obviously hurts," Stratton said. "The Caviart Cherie mare is a drive I picked up after Matt (Kakaley) went down. He had won a lot (four) in a row with her. I was second last week, and was second with her the previous time I drove her (late January). "She has the talent. We have to see how the race unfolds." "I drove Mach N Cheese in his last two starts," Stratton said. "The first one, he had some trouble in the final turn. Last week, he went first-up and just drew off...very sharp." A pair of $30,000 series consolations are included in the Monday and Tuesday undercards, going as each evening's third race. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 17, 2018—Saturday night (March 17th) offered a quintet of $50,000 divisions of harness racing Free-for-Allers in the opening round of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. First Division—From post position No. 2, season-debuting Mach it So (Tim Tetrick, $4) threw down an early series gauntlet, retaking from Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) en route to a handy (:28.2, :57.3, 1:25.3, 1:53.3) win. Chumlee A chased, beaten a length-and-three-quarters, with pole-sitting Bettor Memories (Kyle Husted) a three-hole third. For Mach it So, an 8-year-old Mach Tree gelding owned by Bamond Racing trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was a 41st career victory as he nears $2.5 million in career earnings. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11, with triple returning $52.50. Second Division—It was first-up from and first home for Always at My Place (George Brennan, $12.60). From post  No. 2, he engaged last season’s series winner, Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) after that one’s intervals of :27.2; :56.4 and 1:24.3. Always at My Place forged by late, beating a pylon-skimming Mister Daytona N (Jordan Stratton) by a head in 1:54. Christen Me N (Tetrick), angling from the pocket as Keystone Velocity tired, was third, beaten a neck. As for 3-2 choice Waikiki Beach A (Scott Zeron), his local debut was dreadful. Never involved, he finished seventh (last), beaten nearly 14 lengths. For third choice Always at My Place, a 7-year-ol Always a Virgin gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, he, too, made a successful ’18 bow. The exacta paid $73.50, with the triple returning $185.50. Third Division—Polester Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller, $6.30) took one step forward and the of the field deferred. The result (:28.2, :58.1, 1:26.4, 1:55) was a nary more than a public workout. Dr. J  Hanover won by a length-and-a-quarter, with Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) a first-up second and 19-10 fave All Bets Off (catch-driver Yannick Gingras) a loose-pocket third. For second choice Dr. J Hanover, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, Steven Wienick & Irwin Samelman and trained by Tony Alagna, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $24.20, with the triple returning $50.50. Fourth Division—Odds-on Rockin’ Ron (Gingras, $2.90)—from post No. 4—rebounded from a poor effort in his final pre-series overnight event and went the distance (:27.1 :56.4, 1:24.3, 1:53). Evenin’ of Pleasure  (Joe Bongiorno) chased the winner in a good try, beaten three-quarters of a length. Western Dynasty (Bartlett) sat a three-hole and pocked off the rest. For Rockin’ Ron, a 6-year-old Real Desire co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC and J&T Silva Stables, it was his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, with the triple returning $56.50. Fifth Division—Bit of a Legend N (Stratton, $21.60) seemed to be minding his own affairs in his ’18 purse debut, when things worked out quite well for him. From post No. 3, the 2016 Levy champ worked out a second-over trip behind 1-2 fave Missile  J (Tetrick). He then rolled over his tow, winning by a neck in 1:53.3. Long Live Rock (Dube) rallied for third. Great Vintage (Gingras), after fractions of 26.3; 56.4; 1:25, led to the lane before fading to fifth. For fourth choice Bit of a Legend N, a 9-year-old Down Under son of Bettor’s Delight owned by Von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 42nd career win (earnings $1.93 million). The exacta paid $52, with the triple returning $279.50. Sunday racing is back tomorrow (March 18th), with first post at 11:45 AM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 16, 2018—Nor’easters be damned. The first sign of spring occurred Friday night (March 16th), with the beginning of Yonkers Raceway’s harness racing "Blue Chip Matchmaker Series". A consecutively-contested quartet of $40,000 events for high-end pacing mares opened the show. The first division fooled very few in the equine persona of Shartin N (Tim Tetrick, $2.50). Away fourth from the pole, she took over from Gina Grace N (Larry Stalbaum) after that eight-holer made front (:27.1, :57.3). Shartin N blew right by, opening nighttime daylight before a 1:25.3 three-quarters. The lead was three lengths off the final turn and 4¼ lengths at the wire, finding it in 1:54.2, Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) was second as the 47-1 rank outsider, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) a decent third after losing the winner’s tow. “Tim, is this one the real deal?’ “I think so,” Tetrick said. For Shartin N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Tintin in America co-owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Anne Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $39.20, with triple returning $261. The second Matchmaker grouping saw another odds-on Kiwi lass as Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $2.90) set a dawdling pace (:28.1, :58.2, 1:26.4), then held sway in 1:55.2. Pole-sitting Sell a Bit N took over from Medusa (Scott Zeron), then whip that one by a half-length. Third went to Dudesalady (Brent Holland) after trying it first-up, with Annabeth (Mark MacDonald) fourth.   For Sell a Bit N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her fourth win in seven ’18 tries. The exacta paid $6, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $15 and the superfecta paid $56.50. “(Sell a Bit N) had three weeks off, so she wasn’t 100 percent, but she refused to let anyone pass her,” Stratton said.   The short-priced procession continued in Friday evening’s third series event. Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett.  $2.90) had things her own way. From post position No. 2, she saw Call Me Queen Be (Zeron) make the first lead. Lady Shadow gained the advantage before a :27.3 opening quarter, then rated a :57.2 intermission. Safe from Terror (Yannick Gingras) found an eight-hole seat, only to take out of fourth. That turned out to be an ill-advised move, as she backpedaled toward a 1:26 three-quarters. Lady Shadow owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, before winning by a half-length in 1:54.3. Scandalicious (Tetrick) and Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) rallied for second and third, respectively. Meanwhile, Call Me Queen Be edged from the pocket, but faded to fourth. For season-debuting Lady Shadow, a 7-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by (trainer) Richard Banca, D’Elegance Stable IX and Thomas Lazzaro, her career earnings went past $1.94 million, The exacta paid $9.40, with the triple returning $82. ‘It’s the best she’s raced since she’s been in the barn,” Bartlett said. The first round’s final foray had the only non-favored winner, as pocketed third choice Twinkle (Eric Goodell, $8.10) was quite handy.   From post No. 2, Twinkle nestled in behind Lispatty (George Brennan) with substations of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.3. Pulling early, Twinkle went right by, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54.2. Dewar N Soda (Bartlett)  wound up a three-hole second, with Lispatty third and Vintage Babe (Holland) fourth.   Last season’s series champ and  this race’s 17-10 fave, Mackenzie A (Stratton), never did get involved and finishing eighth (last).   For season-debuting Twinkle, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight co-owned by Dana Parham & Let it Ride Stables and trained by Ross Croghan, she’s now won 12-of-13 career starts. The exacta paid $105, the triple returned $338.50 and the superfecta paid $1,570. “She’s an all-around nice horse,” Goodell said.   Saturday night (March 17th) offers a quintet of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 15, 2018—Here’s a further update regarding harness racing driver Matt Kakaley, who was injured in an accident during Yonkers Raceway’s 10th race Tuesday night (March 13th). The update was provided by driver Mark MacDonald at the request of Kakaley’s girlfriend, Annie Larrabee. Kakaley, driving Lawgiver Hanover, and Jim Marohn Jr., driving Big Jer, were at the rear of the field moving into the third turn of the $15,000 pacing event. Lawgiver Hanover took a bad step, went down and throwing Kakaley. Big Jer, who may have briefly gone down, unseated Marohn Jr and ran off.  Kakaley, who turns 30 this coming Monday (March 19th), was originally taken to Lawrence Hospital in nearby Bronxville, NY, then subsequently moved north to Westchester Medical Center (Valhalla, NY), where facial plastic surgery was performed.    MacDonald—who visiting Kakaley this (Thursday) afternoon—said “considering what he went through, he was in very good spirits, laughing and joking.” It was MacDonald’s understanding that Kakaley is to be discharged from Westchester Medical sooner rather than later, returning sometime next week to have more work performed on his collarbone. “I don’t know if it’s the best-case scenario, but it seems to be close,” MacDonald said. “The doctors see no reason he won’t recover and get back driving, maybe within five or six weeks.” Does Kakaley had any recollection of the accident?’ “Not much,” MacDonald said.      Lawgiver Hanover was euthanized. The 9-year-old son of Art Major had won 28-of-202 career starts with earnings of $623,179. Marohn Jr. and Big Jer both escaped injury, the former taking his final two scheduled Tuesday drives and with a full complement of Yonkers’ Thursday assignments.  Further updates shall be provided as available. Kakaley has won 4,169 races and more than $61.1 million in purse in a career that began in 2006.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 12, 2018—Yonkers Raceway’s harness racing office found itself quite popular this (Monday) afternoon, as among the usual Friday/Saturday double draw there were plenty of big girls and big boys. Friday night’s (March 16th) opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker saw four consecutively-carded (races 7 through 10) divisions, each worth $40,000. Conveniently, 32 high-end lasses were parsed into the quarter of eight-horse fields. Defending series champion Mackenzie A, who resurfaced her last Friday (March 9th) in a qualifier, makes her seasonal purse debut from post position No. 7 in the final division. Jordan Stratton again does the honors for the now-6-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven. Peter Tritton trains for Von Knoblauch Stables and Ellen Kinser. Saturday evening’s (March 17th) beginning of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series goes with five, $50,000 Free-For-All divisions (races 4 through 7 and 11). Each race was neatly filled with a seven-horse field. Last season’s series winner, Keystone Velocity, makes his ’18 debut from outside his six rivals in the second event. Dan Dube again takes a seat for co-owner/trainer Rene Allard. Now a spry 10-year-old, Keystone Velocity comes off a career-best $783,000 season in 2017.      Each series offers five preliminary legs—ladies first Fridays, guys Saturday—with both finals set for Saturday night (Apr. 21st)   Unrelated to this conversation Sunday matinees resume this weekend (March 18th), with first post at 11:45 AM. Races 5 (post time 1:30 PM) through 11 (post time 4:25 PM) go as the ‘French’  trots, with the 12th-race finale scheduled for 4:40 PM. Information about Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ shall be sent when available. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 10, 2018 — It was Double Nickel Saturday night (March 10th), with five-holers Long Live Rock (Dan Dube, $6.20) and Money Maven (Jordan Stratton, $28.20) winning Yonkers Raceway’s co-featured harness racing $40,000 Open Handicaps. Long Live Rock, from that assigned post position No. 5 in the weekly adult pace, worked out a second-over trip behind an out-the-mile Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum). Chumlee A, ordered outside his seven rivals, steadily advanced toward 9-5 choice Texas Terror N (Greg Merton) as that one led through intervals of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.1.  Texas Terror N owned a diminishing lead in and out of the final turn, with Lone Live Rock closing in. The latter did get to the former, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4, matching a season’s-best effort. A seam-slipping Soho Lennon A (Stratton) just missed second, with Chumlee A and Killer Martini (George Brennan) rounding out the payees, the entire octet separated by just 2¾ lengths at the wire.   For second choice Long Live Rock, a 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by Rene Allard, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14.60, with the triple returning $67.50. Any number of Saturday’s high-end pacing participants were prepping for the onset of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, which begins next Saturday night (March 17th). The week’s marque trot saw Money Maven, from that post No. 5, easily go up and over early leader (:28.4, :58) In Secret (Brennan). The eight-baller, as the tepid 2-1 choice, had moved to the lead around lone lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.). Back to Money Maven, who made the lead right at the 1:27 three-quarters and opened a length-and-a-quarter in the lane. He widened to three lengths at the wire in season’s-best 1:56.1. Always a Good Time (Dube) and Mostinerestingman (Stalbaum) chased home the winner, while a shuffled NF Happenstance and Zooming (Matt Kakaley) settled for the minors. In Secret faded to sixth.   For sixth choice Money Maven, a 9-year-old Revenue S gelding owned by Kapildeo Singh and trained by Julie Miller, it was second win in six ’18 tries. The exacta paid $202, with the triple returning $918. Sunday matinees resume March 18th, with first post TBA. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 9, 2018—Carobbean Pacetry (Jordan Stratton, $7.40) held off 2-1 choice Gina Grace N (Larry Stalbaum) in a two-speed number Friday night (March 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,000  harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Wide early from post position No. 5, Carobbean Pacetry worked around her rival, making the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. She then rated a :57.1 middle half (:56.1, 1:24.3), easier since the only one to move at her from a from-seventh L A Delight (Marcus Johansson). Carobbean Pacetry opened a pair of lengths off the final turn, whipping Gina Grace N by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:53.3. L A Delight was a quite credible third, with Safe from Terror (Matt Kakaley) and Itty Bitty (Jason Bartlett) settling for the minors. For second choice Carobbean Pacetry, a 7-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Meir Geller and trained by Eldo Leonelli, it was her fourth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $23.40, with triple returning $234.50. Any number of these lasses, as well as those in Friday’s subsequent $30,000 Filly and Mare Preferred PAce—won by Mach it a Par (Bartlett) in 1:54.4—are being pointed toward next Friday’s night (March16th) opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 6, 2018—A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Thursday evening’s (March 8th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $7,516.89 and a $20,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (if less than 11 races, it’s final five races during that particular card). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Tuesday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program.   FRANK DRUCKER

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 3, 2017—Gokudo Hanover (Matt Kakaley, $12.80) and In Secret (George Brennan, $11.80) were the big cheeses Saturday night (March 3rd ), winning Yonkers Raceway’s co-featured harness racing $40,000 Open Handicaps. Gokudo Hanover ‘won the bob’ in a three-horse, pacing-feature photo, prevailing from second-over. From post position No. 2, he watched early as 3-5 choice Rockin’ Ron (Brennan) vaulted over his six inside foes. Rockin’ Ron paid a price (:26.2, :55) for the privilege. Pole-sitting Don’tcallmefrancis (Greg Merton) moved from third, doing so with purpose. He went up and over a non-resistant Rockin’ Ron right at a 1:23.1 three-quarters, opening a-length-and-a-quarter lead off the final  turn. The effort was valiant, but the result…not quite. Gokudo Hanover chased Don’tcallmefrancis, while a third-up Long Live Rock chased ‘em both. It was a Kodak moment, with Gokudo Hanover prevailing by a nose in 1:53.1. Long Live Rock was second, with Don’tcallmefrancis third, beaten a head. The smaller change went to Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett) and Alotbettor N (Joe Bongiorno). Rockin’ Ron backpedaled to sixth For second choice Gokudo Hanover, 6-year-old Cam’s Card Shark gelding co-owned (as Triple D Stables) by (trainer) Scott DiDomenico, James Craparotta & Pat Berry Racing, it was his first win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $91, with the triple returning $368. In Secret couldn’t have asked for better assigned eight-hole trip. Two of his main rivals—Rubber Duck (Bongiorno) and Always a Good Time (Dube)—broke early, never factoring as In Secret nestled into a three-hole. He chased Fearless Man (Bartlett) through intervals of :28.1, :58 and 1:26.1. Fearless Man owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but In Secret left the cones, having the target in his sights. The latter prevailed by half-length in 1:56.1. Dog Gone Lucky (Jordan Stratton) did get to Fearless Man for second, with Crazy About Pat (Mark MacDonald) and Mostinterestingman (Larry Stalbaum) rounding out the payees. For fourth choice In Secret, a 6-year-old Dewycheatumnhowe gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, J&T Silva Stables, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was first win in two ’18 tries. The exacta paid $48, with the triple returning $256. Sunday matinees resume March 18th, with first post TBA. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (March 5th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,856.56 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (for 10-race cards, it’s races 6 through 10). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Monday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/mon_program.pdf. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 1, 2017—Mother Nature and Father Pat Berry made Yonkers Raceway’s Thursday night (March 1st) harness racing Pick 5 a tricky proposition. The wager, buoyed by a carryover of $6,118.60, attracted $26,458 of fresh, first-of-the-month investors. After new-money takeout, a pool of $25,962 and some change was taken down by one solitary soul with the winning combination of…             2-Aberdeen Hanover ($8.70)             5-Highvew Conall N ($11.80)             1-Torrid Bromac N ($24)             8-Blow a Cloud N ($33.60)             4-Statham N ($7.10) Berry drove the longshot third and four winners in the waterlogged sequence.   The return of $25,962.50 for that base half-a-buck wager by far a local season’s high. The Pick 5 comprises races 6 through 10 for 10-race cards such as Thursday’s, though ordinarily it’s races 7 through 11. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Tuesday night, leading to the carryover), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 23, 2018—Eight-hole remanded Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $24) justified her impost Friday night (Feb. 23rd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s moist harness racing $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Four-wide early, Sell a Bit N was denied a seat by 13-10 favorite Safe from Terror (Eric Goodell). Undaunted, she drove on, making the lead around Carobbean Pacetry (Jason Bartlett) after a 27-second opening quarter-mile. It was a 56-second intermission as Safe from Terror made her second move, first-up from third. Season-debuting Lispatty (George Brennan) worked behind that one going toward a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Sell a Bit N opened a length-and-a-half off the final turn, needing only to hold off Carobbean Pacetry. She did so by a wet nose in a season’s-best 1:54.1. All About Madi (Dan Dube) cone-skimmed for third for the second consecutive week, with Lispatty and Gina Grace N (Larry Stalbaum) settling for the remainder.   For sixth choice Sell a Bit N, an 8-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her third win in a half-dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $164.50, with triple returning $904. Hard-knocking pacing mare Regil Elektra became harness racing’s newest seven-figure performer Friday night (Feb. 23rd), with a Yonkers Raceway second-place effort. Career start No. 149 saw just-over-even-money favorite Regil Elektra (Jordan Stratton) lead early in the $25,000 finale, before yielding to eventual winner Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett). Regil Elektra did end up the bridesmaid, the $6,250 pay envelope increasing her lifetime loot to $1,001,978. The 8-year-old daughter of Mach Three, owned by Fred Monteleone Stable and trained by Keith Armer, has a record of 44 wins, 27 seconds and 15 third-place finishes. His win in the finale was one of a Bartlett quintet during the 10-race card Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, February 22, 2018—Foiled Again wound up in a Yonkers Raceway fourth-place dead-heat Thursday night (Feb. 22nd), adding few dollars to the retirement account but holding a 100th harness racing career win in abeyance. Sent off as the 13-10 favorite from post position No. 3 in the $20,000, eighth-race pace, Foiled Again (George Brennan) found the easiest of pockets behind pole-sitting Kept Under Wraps A (Jordan Stratton). The brisk evening saw early intervals of:27.1 and :56.4 before BB’s Harley (Jim Marohn Jr.)—who made no attempt to secure an early-two-hole from post No. 2—moved from third.   BB’s Harley made steady advances toward the leader in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, with Heez Orl Black N (Jason Bartlett) working from second-over.   It was Kept Under Wraps A about to wear up his welcome off the final turn while BB’s Harley ($44.20) went by and edged away, winning by a length-and-a-three-quarters in 1:54.1. As for Foiled Again, he did slip off the cones from behind a tiring leader, but needed more late punch. Heez Orl Black N chased home his tow for second, with Twin B Speedo (Brent Holland) third. Foiled Again and Theartofconfusion A (Greg Merton) divided the final two envelopes in that ‘heater’ for fourth, beaten two lengths. Foiled Again’s $1,300 payday increased the career bankroll to a sport’s-best $7,572,178. It was the 14-year-old gelding’s 308th career purse start and his fourth try at reaching the triple-figure victory milestone. Win, lose or (appropriately) draw, Foiled Again was going to be a television star. New York’s WCBS-TV (Channel 2), in the persons of sports anchor Steve Overmyer and cameraman Brad Yurcisin, chronicled his work night for a future feature. More information regarding that as it becomes available.      A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Friday evening’s (Feb. 23rd) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,677.73 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 6 through 10 (for these 10-race cards, ordinarily it’s races 7 through 11). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Thursday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, February 21, 2018—The Foiled Again saga continues Thursday night (Feb. 22nd), with the venue (Yonkers Raceway) and the quest (100 harness racing career wins) remaining the same. It’s the fourth crack at the milestone for harness racing’s richest-ever equine ($7,570,878) in his 308th career purse start. Foiled Again drew post position No. 3 in the $20,000, eighth-race pace. First post is 6:50 PM, with approximate post for the eighth at 9:30 PM George Brennan drives for co-owner (as Burke Racing) / trainer Ron Burke. The 14-year-old Dragon Again gelding won (with Brennan) his seasonal debut, moving him to the precipice of the plateau. He hit the board once (a third-place finish) in three subsequent starts.  Foiled Again has raced at the same (non-winners of $20,000 in last five starts) in every start this season. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, February 20, 2018—Yonkers Raceway‘s Sunday (Feb. 25th) harness racing matinee shall offer a first post of 12:15 PM. Races 2 (post time 12:45 PM) through 8 (post time 3:40 PM) go as overflow-field, added-distance ‘French’ trots, with post time for the 12th-race finale at 5 PM.    Note that the sequence for Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ is Aqueduct’s third race (post time 1:50 PM) and Yonkers’ fifth race (post time 2:15 PM). Program pages shall be sent when available.    After this coming weekend, Sundays are gone until March 18th (post time TBA). Frank Drucker

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