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YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 14, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway Thursday night (Sept. 14th) hosted the $167,500 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. A pair of equally-parses, $83,750 divisions comprised the event, named for the Raceway's longtime award-winning photographer...and two high-class lasses did not disappoint. The opening event saw Hudson Trot winner Celebrity Ruth (Jason Bartlett, $2.10) return the legal minimum to win after having the legal minimum amount of angst. From post position No. 5, she worked around Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) before leading at every weigh station (:29.2, :59, 1:26.4, 1:55.3). The margin, 2¼ lengths entering the lane, was a wrapped-up length at the wire. Mamora Bay was a never-threatened second, four lengths in front of Maewegonow (Charlie Norris). For Celebrity Ruth, a daughter of 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel owned White Birch Farm and trained by Trond Smedshammer, it was her seventh win in 13 seasonal/career tries (3-for-3 here). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid (local season-low) $3.50, with the triple returning $9.40. The second and final Cipriani division had to wait out a power issue (first-turn lights). When the wattage returned, Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory, $2.40) saved her best for last. Unhurried from post No. 4 (in one notch after a scratch), Barn Bella watched as polester Ostrich Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) led through intervals of :29, :59.1 and 1:27.2. This Ostrich was not about to put her head in the sand, opening 2½ lengths off the final turn. Meanwhile 'Bella,' the defending sire stakes champion, was out briefly before setting fourth. She then moved with purpose from the half, eventually ducking into a vacant pocket before taking her shot at the leader. Barn Bella was relentless, finally wearing down her foe by a neck in 1:56.2. Chapter Too (Brian Sears) was third, beaten 6¾ lengths. For Barn Bella, a Conway Hall miss co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her 11th win in 14 '17 tries (17-for-22 lifetime). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5.30, with the triple cancelled due to the limited number of starts (five, after that defection). Neither the unexpected delay nor the fact his date was coming in off two breaks (Batavia and Tioga) was a concern to Gregory. "She just didn't handle Batavia,:" he said. "The turns there are just too flat for her. I didn't drive her at Tioga the start before, so I can't speak to that. Tonight, she seemed very relaxed and I just wasn't going to race her off her feet early. "I knew she had enough get-up, but the other filly (Ostrich Blue Chip) made us work for it." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 11, 2017-- Plunge Blue Chip and harness racing trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, returned to town Monday night (Sept. 11th), having missed 29 days with a scratch-sick in between. She was quite healthy, which in turn made her rivals very ill. Perfect 'Plunge' expunged Barn Bella from Yonkers Raceway's track records, highlighting the $157,000 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Three divisions--at $52,000, $52,000 and $53,00, respectively--comprised the event, with the starlet also serving as the opening act. Away third from post position No. 2, Plunge Blue Chip watched as Perfect Summer K (Brian Sears) gave her backers an early (:29, :59) thrill. Moving toward the 1:28.1 three-quarters, 'Plunge' engaged the leader, who offered no resistance. Plunge Blue Chip slapped a six-pack of lengths entering the lane, gearing down to win by 9¾ lengths in that new Westchester standard of 1:56.2…a full second faster than ‘Bella’ from a season ago. A Thing Goin' On (Brett Miller) was second, with Sevenbuyeleven (Jordan Stratton) third. For Plunge Blue Chip, a Muscle Mass miss co-owned by her driver/trainer and (breeder) Blue Chip Bloodstock, she's now 5-for-5 to begin her career. The exacta paid $4.70, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $25.80. "She had a cough (reason for Monticello NYSS scratch) and the time off before this race helped her," Svanstedt said. Driver/trainer doubled-up in the second statebred soiree, but at least this was a fair fight. Lucky Ava, from post No. 5, went the distance (:30.1, 1:00.3, 1:29.4, life-best 1:59.2) She held off pocket-sitting Setntheworldonfire (Andy McCarthy) by three-quarters of a length. White Cheetah (Mark MacDonald) was a first-up third. For 'Ava,' a Lucky Chucky lass co-owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.80, with the triple returning $32 (the six starters finished in ascending wagering order). The final Quaglietta contest saw odds-on Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller, $3.90) dispose of her six inside foes in a down-the-road (:28, :58.1, 1:28.4, 1:58), win-by-2¾-lengths efforts Fury Road (McCarthy) chased the winner around the oval, with Lucky Rainbow (Brian Sears) third. For 'Riley,' a daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Erv Miller for co-owners Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and George Golemes, it was her fourth win in seven '17 tries. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $59.50. This race completed a very popular all-odds-on Pick 5, which returned a season-low $22.12 for every correct 50-cent wager. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 11, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway is altering its live harness racing schedule to accommodate New York State's pre-race protocol for both the $1 million Yonkers International Trot and the $1.8 million New York 'Day' of Champions. The afternoon card of Saturday, Oct. 14th (post time TBA) requires the paddock be used for the state-mandated, 30-hour detention. Thus, Friday the 13th has been cancelled (not the fears and phobias, just the races). The Raceway has added Thursday evening, Nov. 2nd, as a make-up program, with a usual first post of 7:10 PM. The changes to the schedule have been approved by the New York State Gaming Commission. Additional information regarding the $3.3 million Yonkers International Trot/'Day' of Champions program shall be sent when available. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 9, 2017 - Odds-on Bit of a Legend N with harness racing driver Jordan Stratton in the bike was more than good enough Saturday night (Sept. 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play early from assigned post position No. 6, Bit of Legend N stuffed Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) behind him, making the lead before a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. He then engaged in out-and-out equine theft, 'stealing' a 30-second next substation (:56.4 half),. That made the job of ever every non-Kiwi in the race much tougher. Bit of Legend N finished his work night (1:25.1, 1:52.3), whipping Cooperstown (Greg Merton) by a unpressured length. Somewhere in L A, The Real One (Pat Lachance) and Mach it So (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees. For Bit of a Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his sixth win in 20 '17 tries. The exacta paid $25.20, with the triple returning $153.50. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday September 8, 2017- Odds-on Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3.70) overcame seven harness racing rivals and a scattering Friday night (Sept. 8th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from post position No. 5, 'Sassy' watched as Jag Out (George Brennan) leave around Lovineveryminute (Brent Holland), paying a :26.4, first-quarter privilege for the lead. In the second turn, the latter was attempting to leapfrog past the former when the pair locked wheels. That unscheduled bit of loveliness caused all the ladies in behind to alter their routes, with any number either breaking and/or going wide and 59-1 longshot trailer Betabcool N (Greg Merton) leaving the course. After the discourse, Newborn Sassy-one of the those breakers-righted the ship and moved to the lead, with Betabcool N taking the very abbreviated way back to the oval and into the pocket. The half was a an incident-slowed :58.1, after which 'Sassy' finished it off (1:26.1, 1:54.3). The margin was a length-and-a-half into the lane and a length-and-three-quarters at the wire. Betabcool N was second, with Princess Fabulosa (Eric Goodell), HP Sissy (Brian Sears) and Acefourtyfour Alex (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the remainder. After a lengthy inquiry, the judges made no placements, deeming Betabcool N should not be penalized for shortening her trip to avoid the impediments in front of her. For Newborn Sassy, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Jim King Jr. CC Racing LLC, it was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts (career 4-for-5 here, including last season's Lady Maud). The exacta paid $199, the triple returned $807 and the superfecta paid $17,433 (base $2 payout). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 5, 2017 -- Yonkers Raceway's Tuesday night (Sept. 5th) harness racing program featured something rarely seen...even rarer when it happens again. Win dead-heats bookended the dozen-race card. The first race, a $6,600 New York-bred second level Excelsior pace, saw 28-1 shot Perfect Major (Marcus Miller) tag favored Project Rock (Jason Bartlett) at the wire in 1:56.1. Eleven races later, the $17,000 pacing finale had Western Rockstar A (Dan Dube) and Grand Master (Bartlett) hit the electronic line together in 1:54.2. Bartlett's pair of 'heaters' were included in his six-win night. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (Sept. 5th) hosted the $166,499 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings. Three divisions-at $55,833, $55,833 and $54,833, respectively-comprised the 'sloppy' event. Tuesday's opening group saw favored Pointomygranson (Scott Zeron, $4.70) go the distance, holding off a closing-ranks Cultural Paradise (Brian Sears) by a neck. Pole-sitting Serious Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a best-of-the-rest, three-hole third. The winner, from post position No. 4, knocked off his appointed rounds (:26.4, :56.4, 1:25.1, 1:53.1) for a second consecutive (NYSS) victory after beginning the season 0-for-10. For Pointomygranson, an American Ideal gelding owned by Gold Standard Equine and trained by Chris Ryder, it was a life-best effort. The exacta paid $10.60, with the triple returning $41.60. The second statebred soiree offered the exact same, two-speed scenario in exact same (1:53.1) time. Fave Outkast Blue Chip (Morrill Jr., $4.60), from post No. 3, went the distance, this one after subsections of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:25. The margin was a drifting couple of lengths, with America's Sleet (Jason Bartlett) third. For Outkast Blue Chip, a Roll N Roll Heaven colt owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and trained by Buzzy Sholty, it was his fourth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.40, with the triple returning $34.80. The final Palatucci contest found In a Single Bound (Billy Dobson, $2.40) maintaining his solid form. A third down-the-road wagering choice in as many divisions, In a Single Bound-from post No. 2-left around Ideal Wheel (Zeron), then completed the task at hoof (:28, :57.1, 1:25.2, 1:53.2), In a Single Bound opened a length-and-a-half into the lane, then whipped Ideal Wheel by a half-length. Music is Art (Bartlett) closed from last among the quintet to grab third. For In a Single Bound, a Roll with Joe gelding co-owned by Dennis & Simone Noud and trained by Monica Krist, he's now 10-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $5, with no triple wagering offered due to the limited starters. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, September 3, 2017- 'Dewy Defeats Seven, None Named Truman'. Pole-assigned Dewycolorintheline and harness racing driver Mark MacDonald, held sway Sunday afternoon (Sept. 3rd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. With 'only' an eight-horse field, the weekly trotting feature went at the flat mile. The field left without 7-5 favorite Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton), who broke before the start. A handful were put in play early, including P L Hercules (George Brennan), but that one danced himself into the penalty box prior the first quarter-mile. When the sorting was completed, Dewycolorintheline had taken over from Money Maven (Brent Holland) soon after a :28.4 opening two furlongs. It was a 1:00.1 intermission when 96-1 proposition Prime Power N (Steve Smith) gave his backers a thrill with a first-up effort. That one did hang around in and out of a 1:28.3 three-quarters before getting put away. Dewycolorintheline opened a length-and-a-half in the lane, then held off Money Maven late. The final margin was half-length in 1:57.2. Sumatra (Eric Goodell), Crazshana (Greg Merton) and Prime Power N rounded out the payees. For third choice Dewycolorintheline, a 7-year-old, 2013 Yonkers Trot-winning son of Deweycheatumnhowe co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker and Dewyolorintheline Stable, it was his fifth win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $121.50, with the triple returning $627. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 3-Rich Daddy (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 1-Infinisti AS (Yonkers' 4th race) returning $13.50 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,2,74. Sunday matinees, along with the 'New York, New York Double,' return Oct. 29th (post time TBA). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday September, 1, 2017 - Lispatty (George Brennan, $6.60) was first home from second-up Friday night (Sept. 1st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried early from assigned post position No. 6, Lispatty watched Freeze Out (Brian Sears) stuff slight 2-1 choice Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) in behind before a 27-secod opening quarter-mile. After a :56.4 intermission, Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) moved from fifth, towing Lispatty right behind. The ride Lispatty hitched wasn't the greatest, however, forcing her wide by the 1:25 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Freeze Out was about to wear out her welcome in and out of the final turn as Lispatty went past. She widened to defeat Sell a Bit N by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54, with 49-1 outsider Venus Delight (Joe Bongiorno) a rallying third. Sail to the Beach (Dan Dube) and Delightful Dragon rounded out the payees. For third choice Lispatty, a 4-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Gilberto Garcia-Owen and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her fourth win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $299.50 and the superfecta paid $1,629. Saturday night's (Sept. 2nd) card, worth just under $1.5 million, includes the $500,000 Yonkers Trot (5th race), $500,000 Messenger Stakes (4th race), $119,010 Hudson Filly Trot (3rd race) and $113,880 Lady Maud Pace (6th race). First post is the usual 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 31, 2017 - With the permission of the New York State Gaming Commission, advance wagering shall be offered Friday (Sept. 1st) for Yonkers Raceway's pair of Saturday night (Sept. 2nd) harness racing $500,000 Triple Crown events. The 63rd Yonkers Trot, with a nine-horse field for the first time since 2000, goes as the fifth race (approximate post time 8:47 PM), a race after the 62nd Messenger Stakes (approx.. post 8:22 PM). First post for the dozen-race card is the usual 7:10 PM. Total purses of the program are just under $1.5 million. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 30, 2017 -- For all the success harness racing driver Jason Bartlett has enjoyed since making Yonkers Raceway his office nearly a decade--and six driving titles--ago, one of the few holes in the resume is a rather chasmic one. A Yonkers Trot win. "It's the signature race and my home track and it's eluded me," Bartlett said. "It's an important race for me personally and I want to win it. "I've had three good chances to win it, but none worked out." In 2008 (when 'sure winner' Holiday Credit jumped it off with an open-length, late-stretch lead), Velocity Hall "was sitting in the two-hole (behind eventual winner Napoleon) and had plenty of trot. I was deciding whether I should get out and go wide, and he broke (going toward the three-quarters). "That hurt, because his owner, Tom Dillon, is a good friend of mine from Maine." A year later, Broadway Bistro "was very good winning his elimination (first-up), but drew the eight-hole in the final. Even then, I thought he had a chance. Unfortunately, he made a break the second time down the back." In 2013, Creampuff Macdaddy "couldn't have been any smoother in the elimination, but he hit the bike in the first turn of the final and made a break." Fast forward to this Saturday night (Sept. 2nd). Bartlett certainly figures to have a legit shot in the $500,000, 63rd edition. The open draw has him taking a seat behind Guardian Angel AS from post position No. 4. The 'Guardian' won the second of two, $40,000 elimination races a last weekend, grinding by Money Macintosh late to win by a half-length in 1:56. "I like my chances with him," Bartlett said. "I can't complain about the draw. I'm in between Devious Man (post position No. 1) and Yes Mickey (other elim winner, post No. 6)." The 3-year-old statebred son of 2012 Trot winner Archangel, trained by Anette Lorentzon for co-owners ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson, has won seven of his dozen seasonal starts ($138,093), including all four starts here. This season's Trot has a bit of a different feel, with nine in the final (first time since 2000) after last week's dead-heat for fourth (Di Oggi and Southwind Hydro) in the race won by Guardian Angel AS. "I can't speak for anyone else, but the extra horse in the field doesn't bother me," Bartlett said. "I just drive my race and go from there." The Trot goes as the fifth race (approximate post draw 8:35 PM), with each horse (and driver and early computerized line) racing independently... 1-Devious Man (Andy Miller, 5-2), 2-Di Oggi (Montrell Teague, 10-1), 3-Southwind Cobra (Matt Kakaley, 20-1), 4-Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, 7-2), 5-Southwind Hydro (Marcus Johansson, 12-1), 6-Yes Mickey (lone $30,000 supplement/lone gelding, Ake Svanstedt, 3-1), 7-Money Macintosh (Jordan Stratton, 12-1), 8-Another Chapter (Dan Dube, 20-1), 9-Top Flight Angel (Brian Sears, 9-1). Note Top Flight Angel starts from the second tier. First post for the dozen-race card is the usual 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (Aug. 29th) hosted the $160,400 New York Sire Stakes Frank Becerra Pace for harness racing 2-year-old fillies. A pair of $80,200 divisions comprised the soggy event. The opening group was another, odds-on wire job by Hurrikane Shorty (Jason Bartlett, $2.90). Just as she did when these ladies hit town a dozen nights ago, there were no issues. This time, from post position No. 3, she led through intervals of :28, :58.2, 1:27.4 and 1:57.4. Bettethangraduate (Matt Kakaley) was a good, two-move second-beaten a length-and-a-quarter-with Ubettergo Go (Mark MacDonald) rallying for third. For Hurrikane Shorty, a daughter of Art Major trained by Kevin McDermott for co-owners Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz, it was her fourth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.20, the triple returned $65 and the superfecta (Michelle's Jazz [Jordan Stratton]) paid $270.50. "We actually bought this filly off my brother (trainer John McDermott)," Kevin McDermott said. "He did turn down a better offer to sell to me, so I owe him one. She's just beautiful, no head poles, no murphy blinds and gets around Yonkers very well." Tuesday night's second sire stakes event had Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras, $4.60, part of entry) make amends for her poor performance when last seen locally. In play from post No. 6 this time around, she took it the distance (:28.3, :58.3, 1:27.2, 1:55.4). Timid 6-5 favorite Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill Jr.), 5-for-5 coming in, chased first-up from fourth. She did get into the second but could not sniff the winner as second choice 'Candygirl' widened to 3½ lengths at the wire, Azreal as it Gets (Brian Sears) was third. For Youaremycandygirl, an American Ideal miss owned by W J Donovan and trained by Ron Burke, she's now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $22.40, with the triple returning $64.50. "Last time (tiring fifth in NYSS here), she came back sick and her blood was no good," Gingras said. "I think she's going to be a serious filly." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - It would not be a harness racing Yonkers Raceway stakes program without the freebie...or freebies. Saturday night's (Sept. 2nd) dozen-race card, worth just under $1.5 million, is highlighted by a pair of half-million-dollar Triple Crown numbers, the 63rd Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes No. 62. If that's that not enough, there's the fashionable T-shirt giveaway and a free wager. The first 3,000 Empire Club members can stop by the promotions booth beginning at 4 PM to pick up their shirts (again, it's while supplies last and one per member, please). The first 500 EC members who visit the booth starting at 4 PM also receive a pre-printed, Yonkers Trot, two-horse, $2 exacta box ticket. The Messenger and Yonkers Trot go as races 4 and 5, respectively. First post is the usual 7:10 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 28, 2017 -- Faced with a scenario for which there was no rule in place, Saturday night's $500,000 final (Sept. 2nd) of Yonkers Raceway's 63rd Yonkers Trot shall go postward with a field of nine harness racing 3-year-olds. The odd circumstance came about after Di Oggi and Southwind Hydro finished in a dead-heat for fourth in the second of last weekend's two elimination races. Since the first four trotters in each earn berths into the final and Yonkers Trot conditions did not allow for 'heaters' to determine finalists, Raceway management decided to permit both horses into the race. (Author's aside...provisions for such future instances shall be addressed when the race conditions are amended to separate 'by lot' when necessary.) That said, elimination (purse $40,000 each) winners Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett) and Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstedt) drew post position Nos. 4 and 6, respectively. The Trot, second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown, goes as the fifth race (approx.. post time 8:35 PM). The draw, with each horse racing independently, is as such... 1-Devious Man (Andy Miller), 2-Di Oggi (Montrell Teague), 3-Southwind Cobra (Matt Kakaley), 4-Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett), 5-Southwind Hydro (Marcus Johansson), 6-Yes Mickey (lone gelding, Ake Svanstedt), 7-Money Macintosh (Jordan Stratton), 8-Another Chapter (Dan Dube), 9-Top Flight Angel (Brian Sears, second tier). Yes Mickey was/is the lone supplemental entrant (in this case $30,000) in any of these stakes. The 62nd Messenger (race No. 4, approx.. post 8:15 PM) had not such "sponsor's exception" issues after Art Rooney Pace winner Downbytheseaside matched the fastest local pacing mile of the season (1:51). He won last Saturday's (Aug. 26th) lone $40,000 elim by 8½ unasked lengths. He does, however, have to negotiate post No. 7 in this Saturday night's half-million-dollar second jewel of the Pacing Crown, also for 3-year-olds. That eight-on-the-gate draw played out this way... 1-Mac's Jackpot (g) (Bartlett), 2-Summer Side (Tim Tetrick), 3-Miso Fast (Kakaley), 4-Art Scene (Stratton), 5-Funknwaffles (g) (Corey Callahan), 6-Blood Line (Mark MacDonald), 7-Downbytheseaside (Sears), 8--Henry the Dragon (Teague). As with the Trot, all entrants race uncoupled. The ladies' companion events, for soph lasses, are the one-dash-for-the-cash $119,010 Hudson Filly Trot and $113,880 Lady Maud Pace The Hudson goes as the third race (approx. post 7:55 PM)... 1-Dangle Then Deke (Eric Goodell), 2-Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory), 3-Lexie Marie (George Brennan), 4-Celebrity Ruth (Bartlett), 5-Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci), 6-Sunshine Delight (Brettt Miller), 7-Evelyn (Andy Miller), 8-Ice Attraction (Svanstedt). The Maud wraps the stakes portion as the sixth race (approx.. post 8:55 PM)... 1-Angel's Pride (Kakaley), 2-Tori Hanover (MacDonald), 3-Awash (Stratton), 4-Gurl Band K (Yannick Gingras), 6- Ella Christina (Tetrick), 6-Robin J (Bartlett), 7-World Apart (Bartlett also listed). Program changes shall be made Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 29th). Post time for the dozen-race card is the usual 7:10 PM.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 27, 2017 - A harness racing three-peating In Secret (George Brennan, $4.10) gave nothing else a chance Sunday afternoon (Aug. 27th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. With a seven-horse field (after a defection), the weekly trotting feature went at the flat mile. The scratch moved the eight-hole assigned In Secret in one notch, and he was long gone (:27.4, :56.4, 1:24.4, 1:54.1). The life-best effort was also the fastest local tot mile of the season. Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton) tried to stay within sniffing distance from a loose pocket, but tired. In Secret, dismissed at 12-1 in winning a week ago, fooled very few here. He opened a trio of lengths in and out the final turn, winning by 3¼ lengths. Georgie's Pockets (Jim Marohn Jr.) extricated himself from third to chase home the runaway, with Dewycolorintheline (Jeff Gregory), Taco Tuesday and Sumatra (Eric Goodell) rounding out the payees. For In Secret, a 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, J&T Silva Stables, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his seventh win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30.40, with the triple returning $122. Sunday's installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 5-Portfolio Manager (Saratoga's 3rd race) and 2-Madman Hall (Yonkers' 5th race) returning $8 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,688. Note the Raceway's post time next Sunday (Sept. 3rd) is 12:30 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 26, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Aug. 26th) hosted a trio of harness racing $40,000 stakes eliminations, two for Yonkers Trot No. 63 and one for the 62nd Messenger Stakes. The opening elim for Yonkers Trot had a different feel before the outset when pole-sitting, third choice Enterprise (Tim Tetrick) broke behind the gate and effectively was eliminated from the elimination. That faux pas left the race as a two-choice, two-speed number, with even-money Devious Man (Andy Miller) waltzing around Westchester (:28, 59, 1:28.1). He was chased by the $30,000 buy-in, Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstedt). Devious Man, last season's New York Sire Stakes champ, had a couple of lengths in and out of the final before 'Mickey,' after leaving from post position No.4, received the memo. He dove inside, whipping Devious Man by a neck in 1:56.1. Another Chapter (Dan Dube) was a distant, three-hole third, with 49-1 outsider Southwind Cobra (Matt Kakaley) a 'distanter,' four-hole fourth. As for Enterprise, he did catch the field but could not sustain a first-up offering. For Yes Mickey, a Muscle Hill gelding trained by his driver for owner Mellby Gard Inc., it was his third win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10, with the triple returning $43.20. What's been the difference for this season's version of Yes Mickey after a one-start, $600 frosh season? "He doesn't break," Svanstedt said, succinctly. Yes Mickey The second elim for the Trot wound up with much more intrigue at the bottom than at the top, where a first-up (from post No. 4), odds-on Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, $3.10) was grinding by Money Macintosh (Miller). The margin was a half-length in 1:56.2. Money Macintosh led through intervals of :28.4, 58.1 and 1:27.1, holding second from entrymate Top flight Angel (Brian Sears) as that one rallied from last among the six-pack. Di Oggi (Montrell Teague) and Southwind Hydro (Marcus Johansson) wound up in a dead-heat for fourth, which led to an unanswered question. As of this writing (just past midnight Sunday morning), the author was unable to get a definitive answer regarding the field for next Saturday's half-million final of the second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. The top four finishers in each get invites, but how this 'heater' issue gets adjudicated is of now. Updates when available. For Guardian Angel AS, a statebred son of 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, he's now 7-for-12 this season. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.40, with no triple wagering offered to a limited number (five) of wagering interests. "I didn't care where I was going to get away (fourth), and I didn't care if I was going to be first-over," Bartlett said. "I just didn't want to tip him on his head leaving. He always gets over Yonkers very well." Guardian Angel AS The Messenger's game of 'musical chairs'--nine 3-year-old colt/gelding pacers to eliminate one--wasn't close to being a fair fight. Art Rooney Pace winner Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears, $2.10, part of entry) made the lead before the half, then rolled home by 8½ lengths in 1:51. Art Scene (Jordan Stratton) won the scrum for second, whipping the winner's entrymate Blood Line (Mark Macdonald). The latter made the lead passing a 27-second opening quarter-mile, before 'Seaside', away third from post position No. 3, found front nearing the 56-second intermission. He began losing his rivals in and out of a 1:23.3 three-quarters, taking six lengths into the lane. Mac's Jackpot (Bartlett) and first leader Summer Side (Ray Schnittker) earned the minors, while Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan), Henry the Dragon (Teague) and Miso Fast (Kakaley) also made next week's $500,000 second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown. Beyond Delight (Dan Dube) was the odd horse out. For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his seventh win in 11 seasonal starts ($706,216). The exacta paid $9.10, with the triple (Mac's Jackpot 'thir' for this wager) returning $21.20. "You never take anything for granted, especially in a nine-horse field," Sears said. "He just has a tremendous turn of speed," Sears said. "I was so glad he won at Northfield (Milstein Memorial), because he deserved it after some tough luck and tough trips." Downbytheseaside Saturday night's $50,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by a pocketed Caviart Luca (George Brennan, $17.20) in 1:52.2, a tick off his seasonal best. Frank Drucker

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