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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 28, 2019--American History (Joe Bongiorno, $2.30) matched Yonkers Raceway's all-age track record Saturday night (Sept. 28th), dusting an age-restricted harness racing handicap field in 1:49.3. Assigned outside his five rivals in the $35,000, fifth-race pace, American History floated into a four-hole as Turbo Hill (Eric Goodell) laid down a flat 27-second opening quarter mile and :55.1 intermission. American History then went after the leader, the tandem throwing it down in a :26.4 third quarter (1:22). He then put away Turbo Hill shortly thereafter, taking a length lead into the lane. After some driver encouragement, American History widened, whipping 36-1 outsider Ideal Flip (Brent Holland) by three lengths. Turbo Hill and Tiger Baron (George Brennan) rounded out the gimmick finishers. Fresh off his win in Harrington's Quillen Memorial--in an identical 1:49.3--American History won his fourth race in 15 seasonal starts. The 4-year-old son of American Ideal is co-owned by (breeder) Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz & American History Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. "He's scary fast," Bongiorno said. "He probably went a :26.1 third quarter and I never had to pull the plugs. There's no telling just how much he can go in his next start at Lexington." The exacta paid $41, the triple returned $249 and the superfecta paid $523. Saturday's effort equaled Theartofconfusion A's (Austin Siegelman) track record from four weeks ago. It also set a new record for American History's weight class, displacing himself (1:50) from five weeks ago. Saturday night's pair of $42,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Pace, None Bettor A (Jason Bartlett, $3) in 1:50.4, --Trot, Rich and Miserable (Tyler Buter, $7.30) in 1:53.4. Rich and Miserable set a track record for 4-year-old geldings, eclipsing Lord Cromwell (1:54.1), taken last October. FRANK DRUCKER Publicity Director

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 27, 2019- Odds-on harness racing favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $3.20) could not have gone any slower in the early going Friday night (Sept. 27th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The lone leaver from post position No. 5, Betterb Chevron N slogged through early intervals of :28 and :57, with those nice round numbers giving her way too much of an advantage. It was Liberty Rose N (Eric Goodell) trying it first-up from fourth as Betterb Chevron N maintaining her lead in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters. Betterb Chevron N owned a three-quarter length lead off the final turn, then held pocket-sitting Lispatty (Austin Siegelman) at bay by that same margin in 1:53.2. Third went to Liberty Rose N, with Quite a Sight (Brent Holland) and Alexa's Power (Jim Marohn Jr.) rounding out the remainder. For Betterb Chevron N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was her eighth win in 24 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13, the triple returned $108.50 and the superfecta paid $297. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 26, 2019-- After losing his first nine races to start the harness racing season, Brookie's Prince N (Jason Bartlett, $3.30) has flipped the script 180 degrees. It was an 11th consecutive win Thursday night (Sept. 26th) as Brookie's Prince N lasted on the lead during Yonkers Raceway's $13,500 pacing opener. In for the higher number in a $12,5000/$15,000 claiming handicap, Brookie's Prince N wired the field (;27.3, 57.4, 1:26.1, 1:55.3) from outside post position No. 7. The 6-year-old Real Desire Down Under gelding, owned by Jessica Anderson and trained by Rich Banca, was summarily reclaimed by owner-trainer Brittany Robertson. The rent-a-horse Brookie's Prince N has now been taken out of his last five starts. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 24, 2019- By way of introduction, here are your 10 harness racing entrants for Yonkers Raceway's $1 million International Trot, set for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12th. Alphabetically (country of representation)... Atlanta (U-S) Bahia Quesnot (France) Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden) Guardian Angel AS (U-S) Lionel (Norway) Marion Marauder (Canada) Norton Commander (Germany) Slide So Easy (Denmark) Uza Josellyn (Switzerland) Zacon Gio (Italy). From Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 21, 2019- Favored Darling Mearas S (Ake Svanstedt, $4.60) threw down the gauntlet Saturday night (Sept. 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Handicap Trot. Despite no previous small-track experience and having to requalify after two Tioga breaks, Darling Mearas S beat the boys and made them cry. Offering high speed from post position No. 4, Darling Mearas S was gingerly-handled early after making the lead. She was apparently emboldened soon thereafter, stuffing Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett) in behind. A :27.1 opening quarter-mile gave way to a rated :57.4 intermission, and the lass was gone. She widened passing a 1:26.4 three-quarters, taking 2½ lengths into the lane. The margin was 4¼ lengths by the time she hit the wire in 1:54.4. There'sademonimme (George Brennan) lasted for second after trying it first-up, with Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton) third. Eye ofa Tiger AS and a returning Melady's Monet (Eric Goodell) rounded out the payees. For Darling Mearas S, a 6-year-old Swedish homebred daughter of Cantab Hall trained by her driver for owner Snogarps Gard, it was her second win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $493. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 20, 2019-- Sometimes, there's an unexpected daily double, as in a harness racing track record that went unoticed and glorious photographic evidence to accentuate it. Thursday night (Sept. 19th), the 3-year-old trotting gelding Sheena's Boy (George Brennan, $2.50) trotted away in 1:54.4, setting a Yonkers Raceway track standard for the weight class. The five-length romp in the $16,000, fourth race so inspired 'Sheena' that the hairs on the back of his neck stood up, as the Mike Lizzi photo attests. Sheena's Boy, a gelded son of Trixton, is trained by Ake Svanstedt for co-owners S R F Stable and Knuttson Trotting. The win was his fourth in a dozen seasonal starts. In his previous start, Sheena's Boy was sitting a loose Yonkers Trot pocket to runaway Gimpanzee before breaking, crossing the line fourth but placed sixth while race-timed in 1:54.4. The previous local standard for 3-year-old trotting geldings was 1:55, set by Crazy About Pat (Eric Goodell) in September of 2013. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 20, 2019- Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan, $7.80) held off Alexa's Power (Jason Bartlett) in a two-speed number Friday night (Sept. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The assigned eight-hole was again not an impost for Feelin' Red Hot, who made the lead well before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. She rated a :56.2 intermission before Lispatty (Austin Siegelman) tried it first-up from fourth. It was a weak bid, doing no favors for 7-5 favorite Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) in behind. Of course, a :27.2 third quarter (1:23.4) made it more difficult. Feelin' Red Hot owned a length-and-a-half into the lane before whipping Alexa's Power by a neck in 1:52.1. A ground-saving Angel's Pride (Joe Bongiorno) was a non-threatening third, with Betterb Chevron N and Lady Dela Renta A (Jim Marohn Jr.) settling for the small change. For second choice Feelin' Red Hot, a 6-year-old daughter of Feelin' Friskie co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her 13th win in 29 seasonal starts (28-for-58 over past two seasons). The exacta paid $30.80, the triple returned $176.50 and the superfecta paid $879. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 20, 2019- Yonkers Raceway has announced its field of 10 world-class harness racing entrants for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot, set for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12th. The 'as of now' list, alphabetically and with country of representation... Atlanta (USA) Bahia Quesnot (France) Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden) Guardian Angel AS (USA) Lionel (Norway) Marion Marauder (Canada) Norton Commander (Germany) Slide So Easy (Denmark) Uza Josellyn (Switzerland) Zacon Gio (Italy). A year ago, it was 30-1 shot Cruzado Dela Noche who snapped Lionel at the wire in the mile-and-a-quarter event, prevailing in 2:24.3. Marion Marauder finished fifth, with Slide So Easy eighth. This is the 41st International Trot and fifth since it returned after a two-decade hiatus. The special matinee program-first post 1 PM-also features a pair of $250,000 Invitationals, the Harry Harvey Trot (also at 1¼ miles) and Dan Rooney Pace. As in the past, International Trot Day features giveaways, themed food and drink specials, music and more. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 14, 2019- Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing, $17.20) and Benhope Rulz N (Shaun Vallee) were a two-speed dance number Saturday night (Sept. 14th), the former winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Handicap Pace. Rock Diamonds N, the Master of the Maritimes by virtue of his win in last month's Gold Cup & Saucer, had no issues in his first appearance since early summer. From post position No. 5, he cleared his four inside foes well before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. It was a rated :56.4 intermission, with Benhope Rulz N pocketed and San Domino A (catch-driver Dan Dube) offered a weak, first-up bid from third. Rock Diamonds N threw down a 27-second third quarter (1:23.4) to keep the wolves at bay, taking a length-and-quarter lead into the lane. He then held his pocket pursuer by that same margin in 1:51.3, with The Real One (Pat Lachance), 19-10 fave Micky Gee N (Jordan Stratton) and San Domino A settling for the minors. For fifth choice Rock Diamonds N, a 6-year-old Down Under Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned by his escort, Kevin Sywyk and Frank Ranaldi & trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was his eighth win in 18 seasonal starts The exacta paid $90, the triple returned $337.50 and the superfecta paid $1,237. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Harness Racing - It was a grinding Lispatty (Austin Siegelman, $33.80) who prevailed Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away an early fourth from post position No. 2, Lispatty improved one place when the 4-5 pole-sitting fave Kaitlyn N (Jason Bartlett) jumped it off. Alexa's Power (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Dibaba N (Eric Goodell) fronted the fray early, with the former leading through subsections of a 27-second flat opening quarter-mile and a :55.4 intermission. Lispatty was out and moving toward a 1:23.4 three-quarters, hooking Alexa's Power in and out of the final turn before putting that one away. Lispatty then held off the lass she towed into it, Angel's Pride (George Brennan), by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.3. Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton), Dibaba N and 'Alexa' settled for the small change. For sixth choice Lispatty, a 6-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Gilberto Garcia-Owen and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her eighth win in 27 seasonal starts The exacta paid $156, the triple returned $1,125 and the superfecta paid $3,174. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 7, 2019- Favorites Eye ofa Tiger AS (Jason Bartlett, $3.90) and Theartofconfusion A (Austin Siegelman, $4.60) both prevailed Saturday night (Sept. 7th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 co-featured harness racing Open Handicaps. Eye ofa Tiger AS, assigned outside his seven rivals in the week's marquee trot, made the first lead. He then played leapfrog with Dayson (George Brennan) by a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. Eye ofa Tiger AS found a comfy :57.3 intermission and was moving toward a 1:26.1 three-quarters when Dayson jumped it off in the pocket, leaving the course. Eye ofa Tiger AS owned a length lead into the lane before holding off a ground-saving There'sademoninme (Eric Goodell) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. New Heaven (Jim Marohn Jr.), Barry Black (Troy Beyer) and Fashion Creditor (Siegelman) settled for the minors. For Eye ofa Tiger AS, a 5-year-old statebred Chapter Seven gelding co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was ninth win in 24 seasonal starts The exacta paid $17.40, the triple returned $57 and the superfecta paid $347.50. The weekly adult pace saw Theartofconfusion A, just removed from his all-age track record, dispose of five foes. From post position No. 4, he led through intervals of :28.2, :56.4, 1:23.4 and 1:51. Pole-assigned Benhope Rulz N (Shaun Vallee) completed a two-speed number at 47-1, with The Real One (Pat Lachance), San Domino A (Bartlett) and I'm Some Graduate (Brennan) picking off the remainder. Micky Gee N (Stratton) did not fire. For Theartofconfusion A, a 9-year-old Down Under Riverboat King gelding co-owned by (trainer) Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and Barbara & Donald Arnstine, it was his seventh win in 25 '19 tries. The exacta paid $61, the triple returned $165 and the superfecta paid $554. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 6, 2019 - A from-last, favored Betterb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton, $4.80) prevailed in the late going Friday night (Sept, 6th), winning Yonkers Raceway's soggy harness racing $46,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away last-from post position No. 5-among the half-dozen (reduced after a defection), Betterb Chevron N saw Wisdom Tree (Jason Bartlett) and Reclamation alternate up front, the latter grabbing the lead before a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. It was a :55.3 intermission before D G's Elsa (Joe Bongiorno) make a weak bid from fourth. That forced Betterb Chevron N wide early before a 1:23.4 three-quarters. Reclamation owned a length lead in and out of the final turn. Wisdom Tree edged off the cones, about to win the battle but lose the war. Wisdom Tree picked off Reclamation, but could not stall the people's preference. Betterb Chevron N prevailed by a length in 1:53.2. Wisdom Tree did snatch second, with Reclamation, Lispatty (Austin Siegelman) and Angel's Pride (Brian Sears) settling the remainder. For Betterb Chevron N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was her eighth win in 21 seasonal starts The exacta paid $47, the triple returned $121 and the superfecta paid $347.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 5, 2019 - It was the Sweet 16th and final downstate Empire visit of the season Thursday night (Sept. 5th), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $161,500 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. All of 10 lasses entered, so a pair of $80,750 quintets comprised the event. The opener immediately had a different look when 1-10 favorite Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) jumped it off. That left pole-sitting Sensibility (Scott Zeron, $11.60) to her own devices, and she finished what she started (:28.4, :58.2, 1:27.2, 1:56.2). Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett) chased around the oval, missing a neck, with Pilgrim's Lass (Jim Marohn Jr.) third. For Sensibility, a daughter of Muscle Mass co-owned by (trainer) George Ducharme, W J Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Jim Winske, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $54.50, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered to the abbreviated number of starters. The second sire stakes event saw Winndevie (Bartlett, $2.30) get stung early by Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) before making the lead and drawing out. From post position No. 5, she had no issues (:28.1, :58, 1:26.2, 1:55), the final margin 4½ length. Sweet Chapter finished more than seven lengths ahead of Gobi Princess (Jordan Stratton). For Winndevie, a Credit Winner miss owned by Purple Haze Stables and trained by Trond Smedshammer, it was her fourth win in 10 '19 tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.40, again with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered due to insufficient participants. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 3, 2019-Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (Sept. 3rd) offered the $150,400 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for harness racing 2-year-old colts and geldings. Tuesday'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. There were two divisions, including one off the card. Berkery J (Dave Miller), from the outside post position No. 5, sat pocketed to Barn Holden (Andy Miller) in the $74,500 non-bettor. Barn Holden led through intervals of :29, :59.2 and 1:28.3, taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. He couldn't stall his stalker, as Berkery J went right by, widening to a length-and-a-half in a life-best 1:57.3. Sky Castles (Charlie Norris) was a best-of-the-rest third, beating a pair of breakers. For Berkery J, a son of Chapter Seven owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, it was his third win in eight seasonal starts. "He was a lot of fun," Dave Miller said. "He did it on his own." The $75,900 wagering division wound up quite formful as odds-on Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer, $3.20) made the pole work for him (:29.2, :59.4, 1:29.1, 1:57). Bourbon Express (Jason Bartlett) chased the winner around the oval, beaten a length-and-a-quarter. Hobbs (Greg Merton) and Altus Hanover (Mike Simons) rounded out the gimmick finishers. For Chaptiama, a homebred Chapter Seven gelding trained by his driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, it was his second (consecutive) win in seven '19 tries. The exacta paid $6, the triple (three wagering favorites in order) paid $11 and the superfecta paid $49. "We train him with shoes, then take them of when he races, except for Monticello," Smedshammer said. "He's the shoeless wonder." New York Sire Stakes wrap for the downstate season Thursday night (Sept. 5th), with the $161,500 Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, September 1, 2019--Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night (Aug. 31st) four-stakes program, which offered nearly $1.25 million in stakes purses alone, was well-received at the windows...real or electronic. The dozen-race Yonkers Trot/Messenger Stakes/Hudson Filly Trot/Lady Maud card had a total handle of $1,037,833. Note once again the Raceway is dark for the live racing Labor Day (Monday, Sept., 2nd), returning Tuesday night (Sept. 3rd) with the $150,400 New York Sire Stakes Lew Barasch Trot for the 2-year-old colts and geldings (one division off the card, one included in wagering card). Tuesday's program also includes a $10,000 guaranteed pool Pick 5 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Program pages accompany this release. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 31, 2019-It there was a better harness racing advertisement for New York-breds than the one Yonkers Raceway displayed Saturday night (Aug. 31st), one would be hard-pressed to find it. Odds-on favorite Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, $2.60) gave nothing else a chance in the 65th Yonkers Trot, dusting his seven foes in a track-record performance. From post position No. 4 in the $500,000 foray, Gimpanzee took the lead from 127-1 number Sheena's Boy before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. The early portion of the race included a pair of jumpers in Osterc (George Brennan) and Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller). While those two miscreants were leaving the course, Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) was easing into a four-hole. That four-hole became a three-hole after Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) broke. Meanwhile, Gimpanzee was all by his lonesome at the :56.4 half. Then, for good measure, he threw down a :56.4 back half, the result a 1:53.3, 4¼-length win in the second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. The mile was a track record for 3-year-old cots and the fastest Trot held here (Windsong's Legacy won the 2004 edition at Hawthorne in a stakes-record 1:53.1). Forbidden Trade, though no threat to the winner, was a credible, two-move second (in horse's and driver's first local appearance). A recovering Soul Strong was third, with 199-1 rank outsider No Drama Please (Jason Bartlett) and HL Revadon (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved up to fourth and fifth, respectively, after Sheena's Boy broke in a tiring pocket, disqualified from fourth to sixth. Osterc and Livinonthedash rounded out the order. For newly-minted millionaire Gimpanzee, a statebred son of Chapter Seven co-owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, it was his fifth win in seven seasonal starts (career 14-for-26, $1,145,996) The exacta paid $8.50, the triple returned $18 and the superfecta paid $269. Gimpanzee has won all five of his Westchester starts, while Sears won his fourth Yonkers Trot. "All the credit to Marcus (Melander) and his outfit," Sears said. "He's been a total pro from the first time I sat behind him, just so mature and he was ready tonight. It's just a pleasure to be a part of it." "When the draw came out, I knew it was his race to lose," Melander said of the defending statebred and overall divisional champion. He's been great on a half (-mile track). "He lays down in the turns over like a motorcycle. "This is an amazing race to win and I don't think there is a better 3-year-old on a half-mile track and I think he showed it tonight." A race later, the half-million-dollar 64th Messenger Stakes found American Mercury (Tyler Buter, $16.20) finding room inside and picking off 1-20 favorite Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) in 1:51.3. Pole-sitting Bettor's Wish, as expected, left the gate, while American Mercury-from post No. 3-stepped around Branquinho (Ray Schnittker) and into an early pocket. They weren't going that much (:27., :55.3), not even when U S Captain (Bartlett) moved from fourth. That one did draw alongside Bettor's Wish, however, in a modest 28-second (1:23.3) third quarter. That left Buter with a decision...swing off the cones or hope to find room inside. Bettor's Wish-the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into the race-owned a length lead into the lane, gradually disposing of U S Captain. A patient American Mercury was loaded, though, needing a path to ply his craft. He was obliged when Bettor's Wish bore out and the pursuer took down the prohibitive fave, winning the second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown by a head. U S Captain was third, with Branquinho and Escapetothebeach (Corey Callahan) grabbing the minors. Waterway (Joe Bongiorno), Aflame Hanover (Sears) and Reigning Deo (George Brennan) brought up the rear. American Mercury (No.3) picking off 1-20 favorite Bettor’s Wish (Dexter Dunn)   --Mike Lizzi photo It was the first Triple Crown win of Buter's career. For second choice American Mercury, a soph Empire-bred American Ideal gelding co-owned by Crawford Racing, Northfork Racing, Chuck Pompey & Scott Bice and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his seventh win in 10 '19 tries. The exacta paid $22, the triple returned $57.50 and the superfecta paid $308.50. "He was super-sharp coming into the race," Buter said. "First and foremost, I owe [trainer] Chris [Oakes] a big thank you for giving me a shot on this horse. It's been a fun ride all summer, driving him and traveling New York. He definitely came through tonight and showed everybody what he can do. "I came off Dexter (Dunn)'s helmet there and he kicked on the gas. I think that might have been the winning move, because if I stayed there, Dexter was probably going to back into me as much as he could. So then, as soon as I was off his helmet, Dexter stepped on the gas, and I was able to get back down the inside and find a little room late, and it worked out" Asked when the 'switch went on' for American Mercury, Oakes offered, "When I gelded him. He was kind of a big, growthy 2-year-old. He had a lot of ability; we loved him training down, and quite honestly wasn't quite as good as I thought he would be at 2, even though he raced some pretty good miles. Bringing him back at three, he was training good, but I just thought he'd probably be more focused, mentally, for racing, as a gelding. We made that decision and I honestly believe it helped him a lot. "He means business now."   by Frank Drucker for Yonkers Raceway

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