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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 21, 2018 - She went from dominant to doubting in just one start. It took just one more start to restore the reputation. Odds-on harness racing fave Shartin N (Tim Tetrick, $3.80) gave nothing else a chance Saturday night (Apr. 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway $373,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmakerfor Open Mares A week after a confounding, double-break performance, Shartin N-who had won her first three series preliminaries before taking the subsequent fourth round off-had something to prove. An unhurried fourth after winning the draw, Shartin N saw Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), Medusa (Yannick Gingras) and eight-holer Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan) all leave in front of her. It was Sell a Bit N leading through pokey intervals of :27.2 and :57 before Shartin N began her assault. Moving with purpose, she engaged the leader right at the half, then rolled by. A 27-second third quarter (1:24 three-quarters) gave her the lead, which she widened to 3½ lengths entering the lane. The final margin was 4½ lengths in a spiffy 1:52.2. Sell a Bit N did save second over 49-1 outsider Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland), with Dude'salady (Scott Zeron) and Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) settling for the minors. Medusa, Twinkle (Eric Goodell) and Lakeisha Hall rounded out the order. For Shartin N, a 5-year-old daughter of Tintin in America co-owned by Richard Poillucci & Jo Anne Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was his eight win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $8.70, with the All-Kiwi triple returning $87. "I wasn't racing her to win," Tetrick said. "I was racing her to make money. If she broke again, we'd get nothing, so I wanted to be careful getting out of there." "She's been fussy at times, and she was last week, but she was very good tonight," Tetrick said. "She has every attribute to be a good horse, you just have to keep her calm like she was tonight. She's learning how to be an 'American' horse, to stop and start and relax." "We did a lot of work with her, changed some things right up until the race and added a Murphy blind (right side)," King said. "I also warmed her up hard to get some of the sting out of her. I'm glad it worked out. It's a better feeling than last week, I can say that." Tetrick won his second Matchmaker, eight seasons after Ginger and Fred (2010). A pair of series consolations, worth $100,000 (Levy) and $75,000 (Matchmaker), were won by Always at My Place (Brennan, $47) in 1:53.1, and Mackenzie A (Stratton, $4.50), also in 1:53.1. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 21, 2018 - Foiled Again has company. Favored Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $7) successfully defended his harness racing title Saturday night (Apr. 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway $532,000 of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The 31st Levy, a Free-For-All event honoring the memory of the harness-racing visionary and Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, wrapped its annual six-week sojourn on a brisk, (theoretically) spring evening. At the outset, it was pole-sitting Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) seating everyone, including next-door neighbor Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller). However, Keystone Velocity wasn't happy with that arrangement. Away third from post position No, 3, he moved to the lead right at a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. He then rated a :29.3 next subsection (:56.2 half), which would serve him well. Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) was the first to move, taking out of fifth before the intermission. Mach it So (Dave Miller) and Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) found themselves second- and third-over, respectively. It was Keystone Velocity maintained the lead in and out of a 1:23.4 three-quarters, his job made easier when Western Fame backed up in the pocket and right into the lap of Dr. J Hanover. The lead was a length-and-a-quarter entering the lane, and Keystone Velocity wasn't seriously threatened. Somewhere in L A hung in there, Mach it So dove inside and Bit of a Legend N rallied late, though too late. The final margin for Keystone Velocity was a length in a season's-best 1:52. Bit of a Legend N (now a double-millionaire) did get into second, with Somewhere in L A third. Mach it So and a compromised Dr. J Hanover settled for the remainder, while Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno), Western Fame and Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras) rounded out the order. So, Keystone Velocity, the 'old man' of the octet who needed a win in last week's final preliminary leg just to make the final, joined Foiled Again (2009-10) as back-to-back Levy champions. For Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owners (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and VIP Internet Stables, it was his second win in six seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $39, the triple returned $224.50 and the superfecta paid $1,161. The $266,000 winner's share raised Keystone Velocity's career earnings to $1,644,413. "He's tough horse," Dube said. "I think he's better when he's racing from behind, but he drew well and we were able to get a breather, it was good." "He doesn't know he's 10," Allard said. "There are just so many people who work with him that deserve the credit. Me? I was more nervous last season, so I'm able to enjoy this one." After some R&R, Keystone Velocity 'is staked to pretty much everything," Allard said. Members of the Levy family, including George Morton Levy's son, Robert, and daughter, CeCe, made the winner's circle presentation. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 19, 2018 - Sometime about a decade ago, a meeting of the minds took place. The purpose of the skull session was to put an end to rampant equine gender discrimination and 'invent' a harness racing companion event for Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The Levy, honoring the memory of harness-racing visionary and Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, was and remains a staple stop for the sport's best Free-For-Allers. The event, started in 1978 (as a one-dash affair), had been resurrected in 2007 after a decade-long hiatus, and the brain trust decided there was no reason the guys should have all the fun. Accordingly, Yonkers Raceway race secretary Steve Starr reached out to the good folks at Blue Chip Farms in not-too-far-away Wallkill, NY, with the idea of putting together a 'ladies only' Levy companion event for standout pacing mares. Hence, 2009 saw the beginning of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. It was/is as long (five preliminary legs) as the Levy Series, also for serious coin ($40,000 per division, per leg) with an rich, added-money final. Then, there's the 'Matchmaker' part of the equation, a lovely carrot at the end of the stick where the first three finishers in the final get a free breeding to one of the farm's pre-selected roster of world-class stallions. The winner gets first choice, runner-up gets second choice, third gets third. With this Saturday night's (Apr. 21st) $373,000 final going as the 10th Matchmaker, what better time-with apologies to Mr. Peabody and Sherman-to make use the WABAC Machine? It was the first Saturday in May, 2009, merely hours after Mine That Bird pulled off a 50-1 stunner in the Kentucky Derby. The first Belle of the Ball turned out to be a 5-year-old daughter of Noble Ability named Pancleefandarpels. "First time I drove her came after Jason (Bartlett) picked off in an Open Handicap here," Jordan Stratton said. "She was a fairly big mare who could take air and was easy on herself." Stratton and Pancleefandarpels won consecutive local distaff derbies-the latter from an assigned eight-hole-leading into the '09 Matchmaker. Competing in the all five prelims, the duo went 1-3-1-5-1 before drawing post position No. 3 in the $229,000 final. Stratton, who hadn't turned 22 years of age, remembered that night. "There was an early breaker (2-5 favorite Chancey Lady [Cat Manzi]) and I had to go a bit wide," he said. "I was able to get in (fourth), then moved first-up. "As I said, she could take air. She put away the leader (Omen Hanover [Eric Abbatiello]) and was sharp." Pancleefandarpels defeated Double Dream N (Brent Holland) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54.4, becoming the first name in the annals. After winning his second Matchmaker last season with Mackenzie A, Stratton tries for the hat trick Saturday with Sell a Bit N from post position No. 2. Now an 'over-the-hill' 30, Stratton has fond memories of Pancleefandarpels. "It was my first big stakes win, so definitely" he said. "People sort of forget about her, but she was very talented." Pancleefandarpels, a Peter Pan Stables homebred trained by Erv Miller, raced through 2012, ending her career with 35 wins and earnings of $1,057,244. This Saturday's Matchmaker goes as the ninth of a dozen races, right before the 31st finale of the Levy, worth $532,000. First post for the $1.3 million card is the usual 6:50 PM. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 16, 2018--Yonkers Raceway's Monday evening's (April 16th) Pick 5 harness racing wager figured to get some extra ganders, and indeed it did. The gimmick, which carried over from Saturday (Apr. 14th), started with $7,066.26 of unclaimed coinage. The $20,000 guaranteed pool (in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program) was easily hurdled when $36,288 of new investments chimed in. After new-money takeout, there was a pool of $34,282.75. The single winning combination of 4/3/6/6/1 returned that season-high $34,282.75, as one ticket took down the pool. Legs 1,2 and 5 in the sequence were driven by Joe Bongiorno. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 every racing program (for cards that have at least 11 races, otherwise 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. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 16, 2018 - Post positions have been drawn for North America's two richest races of the harness racing season to date, Yonkers Raceway's $532,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and $373,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. The finales, set for Saturday night (Apr. 21st), wrap up their respective six-week sojourns and highlight a 12-race card worth just over $1.3 million. First post is the usual 6:50 PM. The events, for the sport's leading older pacers of both gender, go 'ladies first,' with the Matchmaker as the ninth race and the levy as race No. 10. The field for the 10th Matchmaker is...1-Shartin N (Tim Tetrick), 2-Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), 3-Medusa (Yannick Gingras), 4-Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett), 5-Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland), 6-Dude'salady (Scott Zeron), 7-Twinkle (Eric Goodell), 8-Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan). The 31st Levy rolled off the autodraw showroom as such...1-Western Fame (Mark MacDonald), 2-Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller), 3-Keystone Velocity (defending series champ, Dan Dube), 4-Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno), 5-Somewhere in L A (Bartlett), 6-Mach it So (Dave Miller), 7-Bit of a Legend N (2016 series champ, Stratton), 8-Rockin' Ron (Gingras). At first glance, the intriguing storyline for the Matchmaker is Shartin N. After easily winning her first three Matchmaker starts-and getting a subsequent week off-she returned as the 3-10 favorite last Friday night (Apr. 13th), unable to get out of own way, breaking right before the start and again at the half. At least the bridge jumpers stayed dry, since the Raceway eliminated show wagering. "We couldn't find anything wrong with her," trainer Jim King Jr. said this past weekend. "Regroup and try again." The final of the Levy is flush with inside speed, with the first half of the gate probably just as comfortable with someone on their backs as someone in back of them. A pair of consolations, worth $100,000 (Levy) and $75,000 (Matchmaker), are also included in the Saturday card. This story shall be updated. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 14, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 14th) concluded the harness racing preliminaries, with the fifth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series . A trio of windy, $50,000 events featured many of the best Free-For-Allers in their final shot to be social climbers. First Division - Pole-sitting Long Live Rock (Dan Dube, $16), victimized by a series of bad-fortune trip through the series, took matters into his own hooves here. He stuffed his rival in behind in post-position order, then finished his rounds (:27.3, :57.2, 1:25.3, 1:53.3). Long Live Rock, repelling an early pocket pull by Bettor Memories, owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He held off a first-up Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) by a half-length. Missile J (Tim Tetrick) rallied, losing the place photo as the 6-5 favorite. For fourth choice Long Live Rock, a 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by Rene Allard, it was his third win in a nine seasonal starts (1-for-5 in series). The exacta paid $71, with the triple returning $216.50 Second Division - Driver and trainer doubled their pleasure as Keystone Velocity (Dube, $4.50), the defending series champ, prevailed. Winning the draw, he sat pocketed to Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) and that one's handiwork of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24.2. Keystone Velocity engaged the leader early in the final turn, then went by. He defeated Christen Me N (Tetrick) by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.1, with Mach it So (Dave Miller) third. Evenin' of Pleasure faded to fourth. For Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owners (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and VIP Internet Stables, it was his first win in five seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $28.80, with the triple returning $64.50. Third Division --- A down-the-road Killer Martini (Yannick Gingras, $16.40) was quite good in getting off the series schneid. From post No. 2, he didn't give much else a shot (:27.1, 56.2, 1:24.2, season's-best 1:52.4). Opening 3½ lengths in and out of the final turn, Killer Martini defeated a from-last Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) by 3¾ lengths. Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller), as the 4-5 choice, was a conservatively-raced third. For Killer Martini, a 6-year-old Camluck gelding owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, the fourth choice is now 3-for-12 this season (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $133.50, with triple returning $271.50. Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot, where half the octet misbehaved, was won by In Secret (George Brennan, $13.40) in 1:57.4. The final Levy prelim standings accompany this release. Be advised these are not necessarily the entrants for the Saturday, Apr. 21st final (purse $532,000) and consolation ($100,000). Those participants shall be determined by the race office in accordance with the conditions of the series and in advance of Monday afternoon's (Apr. 16th) draw. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (April 16th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $7,066.26 and a $20,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11. 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. Yonkers Raceway George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series 2018           April 14, 2018                      Name 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg 25 pts/start Total    Bit Of A Legend N 50 12 25 50 25 125    287.0 Somewhere In L A 25 25 50 50 0 125    275.0 Dr J Hanover 50 50 50   12 100   262.0 Mach It So 50 12 0 50 12 125    249.0 Evenin Of Pleasure 25 50 0 25 8 125    233.0 Keystone Velocity 8 25 0 25 50 125   233.0 Western Fame 8 50 50   25 100   233.0 Rockin Ron 50 50 25 5   100    230.0 Missile J 25 12 50 0 12 125   224.0 Long Live Rock 12 0 25 8 50 125   220.0 Bettor Memories 12 25 25 12 8 125   207.0 Always At My Place 50 5 5 0 8 125   193.0 Chumlee A 25 8 8 25 0 125   191.0 Luciano N 8 25 12 0 5 125   175.0 Christen Me N 12 0 0 12 25 125   174.0 Killer Martini 0   12 12 50 100   174.0 Mister Daytona N 25 0 8 0 0 125   158.0 Caviart Luca 5 5 12 0 5 125   152.0 Another Daily Copy 0 12 12 0 0 125   149.0 Simply Susational N 0 0 5 5 5 125   140.0 Change Stride N 8 0 5 5   100   118.0 Bungalow Bill N 5 5 0 0   100   110.0 Franco Rayner N 8 8 0     75   91.0 All Bets Off 12 0 0     75   87.0 Theartofconfusion A 0 8 0     75   83.0 Thisjetsabookin 0 5 0     75   80.0 Waikiki Beach A 0 0 0     75   75.0 Rodeo Rock     8 8   50   66.0 Great Vintage 5   8     50   63.0 Orillia Joe   8 5     50   63.0 Western Dynasty 12 0       50   62.0 Bakersfield 5 0       50   55.0 Artmagic 0 0       50   50.0 Blood Brother 0   0     50   50.0 Mac's Jackpot       8   25   33.0 Awesomeness 5         25   30.0 Hug The Wind N 0         25   25.0 Sports Column     0     25   25.0 Gokudo Hanover           0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0                 ADDED MONEY 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg Nom. Fees Total      $34,000 $30,000 $32,000 $22,000 $19,000 $195,000    $332,000                $200,000             Total $532,000 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 13, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway paid homage to Friday the (April) 13th, wrapping the preliminaries with the fifth round of the harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker. Three, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares in the last chance to impress the electorate. First Division - A first-up toughie, but Dude'salady (Tim Tetrick, $27.80) prevailed in a blanket finish. Early leader Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan) gave it up to Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett), with the latter setting early intervals of :27.3 and :56.4. From post position No. 2, Dude'salady took out of fourth, with 11-10 favorite Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) towed from second-over. Dude'slady found her best stride after a 1:24 three-quarters, though Lady Shadow owned a length-and-a-quarter lead in the lane. The pursuer surged late, whipping the pace-setter by a neck in a life-best 1:52.4. Lakeisha Hall found inside room but was photoed for second. Call Me Queen Be closed well for fourth, while Mackenzie A wound up a flat fifth, the quintet of payees separated by just a half-length. "I thought she was good last week (third), so I wasn't surprised she dug in," Tetrick said. For fifth choice Dude'salady, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by First Staters M&L of Delaware & Victoria Dickinson and trained by Bruce Saunders, it was her fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts (1-for-5 in series). The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple returning $629. Second Division - Pole-sitting Sell a Bit N (Stratton, $8.50) went the distance (:27.1, :56.3, 1:25.1, season's-best 1:53.1). She stuffed Medusa 19-10 fave (Yannick Gingras) in behind, then dealt with a first-up Twinkle (Eric Goodell). The latter could have been a tad better 'front ma'am' for Newborn Sassy, who herself was gapping a bit. Newborn Sassy rallied wide and did get into second. Sell a Bit N owned a three-quarter length lead in and out of the final turn, maintaining that margin to the wire. Medusa was third, with Twinkle fourth. For third choice Sell a Bit N, an 8-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her fifth win in 10 '18 tries (2-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $42.40, with the triple returning $155.50. Third Division --- Well, this was a surprise. Series domimnatrix Shartin N (Tetrick), who had won all three of her Matchmaker starts before getting a week off, couldn't get out of her own way. The 3-10 choice broke right at the start, caught the field, then jumped it off again at the half. While this hard-to-believe was happening, pole-sitting L A Delight (Gingras) retook from Clear Idea (Mark Mark MacDonald), then held the other three in-range lasses at bay (:28.2, :57.4, 1:25.1, season's best-matching 1:53.2). Clear Idea was second, beaten a length-and-a-half, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) third. Shartin N wound up last among the octet. "Just wasn't her night," Tetrick said. "There have been times when she's been fussy with her mouth, and I don't know if that's what happened. She jogged back to the paddock and seemed sound, so we have to see. " For second choice L A Delght, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Nancy Johansson, she's now 2-for-4 this season (2-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $59.50, with triple returning $298. The final standings accompany this release. Be advised these are not necessarily the entrants for the Saturday, Apr. 21st final (purse $373,000) and consolation ($75,000). Those participants shall be determined by the race office in accordance with the conditions of the series and in advance of Monday afternoon's (Apr. 16th) draw. Saturday night (Apr.14th) offers a trio of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the fifth (final) round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 10, 2018 -- Sandwiched in between this past Saturday night's (Apr. 7th) fourth round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series was the harness racing weekly Open Handicap Trot. That Melady's Monet won the race wasn't exactly a man-bites-dog occurrence. He paid $3. That it was Melady's Monet's 50th career win made it newsworthy. Hence, the saga. "I've probably put in more time with him than with any horse I've ever trained," Kevin McDermott said, adding, "He's been as rewarding as any just about any horse I've been around." Melady's Monet, a 9-year-old homebred Revenue S gelding, first met McDermott when the former was a 5-year-old, in September of 2014. "Taylor Gower was his first trainer, and he did a very good job," McDermott said. "(Melady's Monet) was racing in high-end overnight races before he came to me. All I knew about him was that he had four legs, a head and a tail. "I was recommended to the owners (Melady Enterprises' Ester and Luca Balenzano), and they give me the horse's history. He was a project at first, but the ability finally showed up, and Taylor deserves much of the credit for that. What I learned right away was he (Melady's Monet, not Taylor Gower) is the family pet, so they never overrace him." Melady's Monet has made 161 career starts, including 29 starts as a 4-year-old in 2013, a single-season high. He had a by-design 17 starts in 2017. "Here's the thing about him," McDermott said. "He ties up more, and worse, than any horse I've ever had. In fact, he tied up so bad in the days before last Saturday's race, I wasn't sure we'd go. "There's not really a cure. We just try to keep him on the right program. He's out in the field a couple of hours each day, then we train him by lead-shanking him next to another horse in a jog cart. "(Caretaker) Nelson (Munoz) has been terrific," McDermott said. "He's been with him since Melady's Monet has been with me." While McDermott offered that "no driver has said a bad word about Melady's Monet," the trainer did have a good word about one Jason Bartlett. "He gets a lot of the credit," McDermott said. "He communicates with me, and with the horse." "He's just a pleasure to drive," Bartlett said of Melady's Monet. "I actually think he's better chasing other horses, but if you can get him to the lead without too much cost, that's not bad, either. "As far as any tricks, he seems to want the bit the whole time and he hates the whip. I've learned than even when you and he think he's done, he's not done." 'Melady,' McDermott and Bartlett combined to win the 2016 Vincennes Invitational Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, a life-best 1:51.4 in a $1.286,158 career. "That was obviously one of the highlights with him," McDermott said. "Some disappointments, too. We had an Elitlopp invitation, I think it was 2016, but the owners turned it down. We were also hoping for an invite to the International Trot, too." Suffice it to say, for standout trotter Melady's Monet, the resume 'outpaces' the regrets. (Author's aside...Melady's Monet is back at it Saturday night [Apr. 14th], remanded behind the eight-ball in this week's adult-table trot.) Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Apr. 7th) hosted a formful fourth of five harness racing preliminary rounds in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A trio $50,000 events comprised the Free-for-All foray, which was guaranteed a different look as series (3-for-3 leader) Dr. J Hanover 'stole' a week off. First Division - It was nary more than a qualifier for money for people's puny parimutuel preference Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.30). From post position No. 2, he worked around pole-sitting Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum), then waltzed though a flat, 28-second opening quarter-mile and :57.2 intermission. Long Live Rock (Dan Dube) tried it first-up from third, but even that didn't sufficiently up the tempo (1:25.3 three-quarters). Bit of a Legend N opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:53.2. Chumlee A saved second, with Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett) third. For 2016 series champ 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 second win in four seasonal / series starts (career earnings more than $1.97 million). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.10, with the triple returning $18.60. Second Division - Pole-sitting favorite Somewhere in L A (Bartlett, $4.40) retook from 96-1 rank outsider Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) right at a :26.4 opening quarter-mile, then held that one at bay (:56.3, 1:25, 1:53). Christen Me N (Stratton) was a ground-saving third. Second- and third-choices Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras) and Missile J (Tim Tetrick) were non-factors from first- and second-over, respectively. For Somewhere in L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone and T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his fourth win in six seasonal starts (2-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $216, the triple returned $2,105 and the superfecta (Rodeo Rock [Eric Goodell]) paid $4,585. Third Division - Odds-on Mach it So (Dave Miller, $3.80) rebounded from a failed retake a week ago. From the pole, he played early leapfrog with defending Levy champ Keystone Velocity (Dube) before finishing his appointed rounds (:56.4, 1:24.3, season's-best 1:53.1). Mach it So held off the pocket pursuer by a length, with Bettor Memories (Tetrick) third. For Mach it So, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., he's 2-for-4 this season/series. The exacta paid $13.60, with the triple returning $35. Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a down-the-road fave Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $3) in 1:55.3 for a 50th career victory. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 6, 2018 -- With series starlets Shartin N, Twinkle and defending harness racing champ Mackenzie A getting the week off, Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Apr. 6th) presented the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Three, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares, all of whom were thrilled the three queens abdicated this time around. Thus, some previous understudies stepped to the fore. First Division--A compact quintet (after a defection) saw a last-to-first late lunge by Scandalicious (Tim Tetrick, $16.80) in 1:53.4. From post position No. 4 (in one notch), Scandalicious was content to watch Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) throw it down (:26.4, :56). Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) left into the pocket, while 9-10 favorite Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) was away fourth. That one was out toward the 1:24.3 three-quarters, needing some first-up reminders. Eclipse Me N maintained a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but her rivals were about to conduct an intervention. Scandalicious, who didn't leave the cones until past the three-quarters, paced over her four foes, snapping Miss Irish Rose A by a nose. Lady Shadow, though never a threat to win, did continue to grab third, beaten a length-and-a-quarter. Eclipse Me N faded to fourth. For third choice Scandalicious, a 7-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned by JFE Enterprises and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was her first win in 11 seasonal starts (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $87.50, with triple wagering cancelled due to the short field. Second Division--Medusa (Yannick Gingras, $12.40) was hard-used to make the lead, then just lasted (:27, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:54) over a surging Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald). From post No. 5, Medusa found herself shut out of an early seat by polester Dewar N Soda (Tetrick). She then drove past 11-10 fave Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron), stealing a self-serving soft second quarter. Call Me Queen Be pulled pocket before the three-quarters, but was repelled. Medusa had a length-and-a-half advantage in and out of the final turn, and she'd need it. Clear Idea closed quickly from second-over, missing a head. Call Me Queen Be did save the bottom of the ticket. For third choice Medusa, a 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by Keystoners Randy Bendis & Tom Pollack and trained by Ed Hart, it was her first win in six '18 tries (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $53, with the triple returning $132.50. Third Division---Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan, $5.60) doubled her series pleasure, going the distance (:27.2, :57, 1:25.3, 1:54.1). From post No. 2, Lakeisha Hall went up and over pole-sitting Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland). Safe from Terror (Jordan Stratton), as the 8-5 choice, tried to leave, but was forced to slip in fourth. Safe from Terror moved again down the backside, only pacing in place before tiring. Meanwhile, Lakeisha Hall opened to a length-and-a-half entering the lane. Motu Moonbeam N edged from the pocket, from never came close to reaching. The margin was a length in a tick faster than the winner's effort a week ago. with Dude'salady (Tetrick) third. For second choice Lakeisha Hall, a 5-year-old daughter of Three Straight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jack Piatt II, she's 2-for-4 this season (and series). The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $65. Saturday night (Apr.7th) offers a trio of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 2, 2018 -- Yonkers Raceway's first 'all -superfecta harness racing Monday' (Apr. 2nd) found an audience. A total, 12-race handle of $996,050 included superfecta pools that were consistently in five figures. The evening's equine star was Beyond Delight (Jim Marohn Jr., $4.30), who went first-up and over in the $22,000, 11th-race pace. The 1:51.4 mile is now the fastest local effort of 2018. The 4-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding, co-owned by Jeff & Michael Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable, has won half of his six seasonal starts. A reminder that for early handicapping, Yonkers' Monday programs are available for download here. (finalized no later than Friday afternoon). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 31, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway used the last day of March to feature the fourth round of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 events comprised the Free-for-All foray. First Division - After a pair of less-than-stellar series trips, Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $7.30) came to play. From post position No. 3, he threw down the gauntlet (:27.3, :56 1:24.1, 1:52) en route to the fastest local mile of the season. Missile J rebuffed an attempted early hostile takeover from 1-2 favorite Mach it So (Dave Miller), the defeated a good, first-up Bettor Memories (Kyle Husted) by a length. Caviart Luca was third, while Mach it So went the wrong way late, fading to sixth. For second choice Missile J, a 5-year-old American Ideal gelding co-owned by Brian Carsey & John McGill and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts (1-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $40.60, with the triple returning $123. Second Division - Odds-on from post No. 4, Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller, $3.90) did what he did in the first two legs. He made an immediate-and 'cheap'-lead, then again made his rivals pay (:28.3, :58, 1:26.0; 1:53.3). Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) fought the good fight with a two-move second, but missed a half-length. Another Daily Copy (Jason Bartlett) was a pylon pocket third. 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 third win in four seasonal starts (3-for-3 in series). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $8.30, the triple returned $29 and the superfecta (Mister Daytona N [Scott Zeron]) paid $134. Third Division --- Pole-sitting Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) snapped 4-5 fave Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras) at the (1:52.4) wire. The latter led through intervals of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25, taking a couple of lengths into the lane. However, he could not join Dr. J Hanover as a three-peater, faltering in a photo. Third went to Killer Martini (Bartlett), beaten four lengths. Meanwhile, last season's series winner, Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) did not distinguished himself this night. The second choice was away a loose third, then backpedaled first-up as a never-factoring sixth. 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 2-for-4 this season (2-for-3 in series) . The exacta paid $23.20, the triple returned $124 and the superfecta (89-1 outsider Rodeo Rock [Eric Goodell]) paid $806. Fourth Division - Somewhere in L A (Stratton, $6.30) needed two moves to prevail. Away fourth from post No. 6, he saw Franco Rayner N (Joe Bongiorno) give his backers an early (:27.3, :56.1) thrill. Somewhere in L A went past that one before the 1:23.4 three-quarters, opening 2½ lengths in in and out of the final turn. He whipped a troubled-trip Long Live Rock (Dube) by a length in 1:53, with Luciano N (Brent Holland) third. Long Live Rock's angst was caused in large part by 3-2 choice All Bets Off (Yannick Gingras). After getting away from the pole, he was in disarray second-over, forcing pursuer Long Live Rock wide very early. All Bets Off wound up seventh, beaten 10 lengths. For second choice Somewhere in L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone and T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his third win in five seasonal starts (1-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $28, with triple returning $137. Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a first-up Rubber Duck (Bongiorno, $12.40) in 1:56.1. A reminder that there is no horse race wagering permitted in New York State Easter Sunday (Apr. 1st), including the Raceway and Empire City Bets. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 30, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway deferred to the harness racing ladies for Good Friday and Passover (March 30rd), offering the non-denominational third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Four, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares. First Division - A perfectly-pocketed Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan, $14.60) measured it off against 1-4 favorite L A Delight (Yannick Gingras). The latter, away third from the pole, moved to the lead right at a 27-second opening quarter-mile. She then had a no-excuse middle half (:56.4, 1:25.4). Meanwhile, Lakeisha Hall, from post position No. 4, made a quick lead before finding her sequestered in the two-hole. L A Delight owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. However, former Kentucky Sire Stakes champ Lakeisha Hall edged out and edged past, winning by a half-length in 1:54.2. Medusa (Scott Zeron) was a best-of-the-rest, three-hole third. For second choice Lakeisha Hall, a 5-year-old daughter of Third Straight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jack Piatt II, it was her first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28.20, with the triple returning $88.50. "Once I made the lead, I wanted to make (L A Delight) work," Brennan said. "She had to go some in the first quarter, then not much, but my mare was sharp. "I was kicking myself last week. It was one of the few times I picked off Ronnie (Burke) and she was very good. She was good again." Second Division - If Tim Tetrick has asked series leader Shartin N ($2.90) at any point during the first three weeks, he did it in private, as the femme fatale made it look simple again. Chilly early from post No. 2, she watched pole-sitting Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) take over from Scandalicious (Gingras). The intervals was soft enough (:28, :57.4) when Shartin N moved from fourth. She used a :27.2 third quarter (1:25.1) to dispose of Lady Shadow, taking a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. Shartin N finished it off by a length in 1:53.3, remaining the Matchmaker's lone meticulous mare. Safe from Terror (Jordan Stratton) lost her tow when the winner cleared, but continued well to be second. Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) was third. 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 seventh win (fourth consecutive) in eight '18 tries. The exacta paid $10.60, with triple returning $47.20. "She's really versatile and learning to become an Americanized horse," Tetrick said. Apparently, she's going to turn into a 'slacker' as well, as Mrs. King indicated Shartin N is getting next week's fourth round off for good behavior. Third Division --- Second-choice Twinkle (Eric Goodell, $4.80) played leapfrog with 13-10 fave Sell a Bit N (Stratton). Good thing, too, as the latter tired and the leader held sway. Twinkle, from post No. 4, made the first lead, looping Sell a Bit N. The latter did take over before the :27.3 opening two furlongs. Twinkle left the cones to seize the initiative going into the second turn, finishing it off from there (:57.3, 1:25.2, season's-best 1:54.1). Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing), away third from the pole, came first-up and was a very good second, missing by three-quarters of length. Third went to Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum), with Sell a Bit N fading to fourth For 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 2-for-3 this season (and series) and won 13-of-15 career starts. The exacta paid $22.80, the triple returned $318.50 and the superfecta paid $1,035. Fourth Division - For a second consecutive week, defending series victress Mackenzie A (Stratton, $3.10) was an off-the-pace beast. Away sixth from post No. 6, she watched Newborn Sassy (Tetrick) leave around Call Me Queen Be (Zeron). Again, there's wasn't much early excitement (:27.4, :57.4), but no matter. Mackenzie A was moving, and she nearly had an unwanted deterrent for yet another week. This time however, All About Madi (Bartlett), slipped back in after briefly coming out from third. That left Mackenzie A to engage Newborn Sassy in and out of a 1:26 three-quarters. The leader was tough, but the challenger was tougher. Just about synchronized turning for home, Mackenzie A wore down Newborn Sassy by a half-length in 1:54.1. Call Me Queen Be wound up third. For 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 second win in three seasonal/series efforts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $13, with triple returning $65.50. “She never disappoints me because she always shows up,” Stratton said. Saturday night (March 31st) offers a quartet of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A reminder that there is no horse race wagering permitted in New York State Easter Sunday (Apr. 1st), including the Raceway and Empire City Bets. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - "He's just push-button." Such was harness racing driver George Brennan's take after odds-on favorite Sometimesawinner ($3.80) delivered the Tuesday night (March 27th) mail in Yonkers Raceway's $63,400 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The annual Teddy Roosevelt revival was the Raceway's richest race of the season to date. The series, for 3 and 4-year-old young men who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec. 1st, offered three preliminary legs leading to the final. Handy wins in his first two series starts earned Sometimeswinner last week off. He was more than ready here. Nose-to-gate from post position No. 3 with some light rain falling, Sometimesawinner easily left around pole-sitting Abbeydorney (Jason Bartlett). That one offered enough early foot to stuff a wide second choice Point Somewherelese (Jeff Gregory) into a three-hole. After early intervals of :27.2, and :56.2, Point Somewherelse had to choice but to extricate the cones. He moved toward the leader at the 1:24 three-quarters, ducking back in when Abbeydorney backed away. Mach N Cheese (Jordan Stratton) was launching a deep bid from next-to-last, as Sometimeswinner widened to 2¼ lengths entering the lane. Point Somewherelse angled out to take another shot, but the leader proved too tough. Sometimesawinner prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2. Mach N Cheese did get into third, with Zone Blitz (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Fullback (Scott Zeron) rounding out the payees. Abbeydorney, Windsun Gotham (Dan Dube) and Obscene Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) completed the order. For Sometimesawinner, a lightly-raced 3-year-old son of Well Said owned in Halifax, N.S, by David MacDonald and trained by Kevin Switzer, it was his fourth win in as many seasonal starts (seventh consecutive dating to last season). The exacta paid $13, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $46.20. A $30,000 series consolation was won by Gerard N Mo (Zeron, $7.40) in a season's-best 1:53.4. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 26, 2018 - She beat the gate, then beat her harness racing foes, both with the greatest of ease. Caviart Cherie (Jordan Stratton, $20.20) offered an eight-hole tour de force Monday night (March 26th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $62,000 final of the Petticoat Pacing Series. There wasn't much to the finale, which wrapped a four-week series for 3- and 4-year-old lasses who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1st. All finalists were 4-year-olds. Caviart Cherie, one of four ladies who had won twice in the prelims, quickly negated the ill-effects of an open-draw impost. Leaving with the speed of a runner, Caviart Cherie hurdled the field early in the first turn. While doing so, she looped 4-5 favorite Diamondtoothgertie (George Brennan), that one eventually finding a seat fourth. Caviart Cherie threw it down, as a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and :55.2 intermission. Chasing from a loose pocket was Jk Jazzitup (Mark MacDonald), with Gotthisone Hanover (Yannick Gingras) away third. Diamondtoothegertie moved from fourth, but never came within shouting distance of Caviart Cherie. After a 1:23.3 three-quarters, the lead was three lengths entering the lane. The final margin was a length-and-a-half in a season's-best 1:54. Second went to Jk Jazzitup, with Diamondtoothgertie salvaging the bottom of the ticket. Dali Delight (Dan Dube), coupled with Jk Jazzitup, and Absolutely Best (Jason Bartlett) settled for the minors. D G's Elsa (Eric Goodell), Gotthisone Hanover and Lusty Delight (Greg Merton) completed the order. For third choice Caviart Cherie, a 4-year-old daughter of Well Said owed by Joe P Racing and trained by Matias Ruiz, it was her seventh win (with three seconds) in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta $69, with the triple returning $129. "She overcame the eight-hole," was Stratton's succinct post-mortem. "A shout-out to Matt Kakaley, who drove her very well," Scott Pennacchio, son of Joe P Racing principal Joseph Pennacchio, said. "He gets a lot of the credit, and we hope he's back soon." A $30,000 series consolation was won by favored Pull the Shade (Scott Zeron, $5.70) in 1:55.3, matching her week-old, life-best effort. Tuesday night's (March 27th), it's the Raceway's annual Teddy Roosevelt testimonial, the Sagamore Hill concludes with a final worth $63,400. Frank Drucker

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

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