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On Sunday, January 17, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York lauded Yonkers Raceway's top harness racing driver and trainer of 2015.   Maine native Jason Bartlett, perennially at or near the top of the Yonkers leader board, notched his fifth driving title at the Hilltop Oval. Winning at a nearly 20% clip, Bartlett finished an astounding 89 wins over his nearest competitor in the deeply talented Yonkers driving colony. The 2009 and 2013 United States representative to the World Driving Championship, Bartlett recently achieved the career 6,000 win plateau. Only in his mid-30s, Jason has achieved the status of consummate veteran horseman by regularly plying his trade at one of the sport's most competitive venues.   Though only in his late 20s, Quebec native Rene Allard has already distinguished himself as one of the country's top conditioners. Allard eked out his leading trainer title with a winning dash total just slightly above the second place finisher Ron Burke. He achieved this result by winning with roughly 26% of his starters. Recently, Allard pledged his support for his fellow Canadian horsemen in need by pledging a percentage of his national training earnings to those victimized by the Classy Lane Farm fire earlier this month.   "The renaissance of New York harness racing has served to attract some of the continent's top young talent to our Westchester Oval," said SOA of NY President Joseph Faraldo. "Both Jason and Rene are on the type of superior career paths we witnessed during the Roosevelt-Yonkers heydays. Their achievements are to be commended, and it is with great pride that we called both of them Yonkers horsemen."   Standardbred Owners Association of New York

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 15, 2015-- Jason Bartlett and Rene Allard were Westchester's big cheeses, winning Yonkers Raceway's 2015 harness racing driver and trainer titles, respectively. The 230-program season (eight postponements due to weather), which concluded this past Sunday (Dec. 13), saw Bartlett roll along to a fifth Yonkers title. The 34-year-old, originally from Augusta, ME, easily outdistanced George Brennan, 466 wins to 377. Bartlett was also the busiest of the colony, leasing with 2,405 drivers (19.4 percent winning percentage) and more than $8.8 million in purses. Brian Sears (345 wins), Dan Dube (320) and Tyler Buter (234) rounded out the top five in victories. Allard, a 28-year-old native of Quebec, won a hard-fought battle with two-time defending champ Ron Burke, taking the trainer title, 181 wins (26.2 percent winning percentage) to 173. Burke did lead in starters (815) and purses ($4.8 million), a solid $1.7 million more than Allard. Numbers three-through-five were Richard Banca (160 wins), Jeffrey Bamond Jr. (108) and Gilberto Garcia-Herrera (91). The Raceway's 2016 season (with accompanying schedule) is set to begin Thursday, Jan. 7, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 28, 2015-Odds-on favorite Ideal Cowboy (Jason Bartlett, $3.60) held off a two-pronged challenge Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Open Handicap Pace. Remanded outside his seven foes, Ideal Cowboy had a reasonably-simple path to the lead. He worked around Texican N (Eric Carlson) and Bigtown Hero (Dan Dube) just before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. From there, a somnambulant :56.2 half before the leader upped the tempo. A 1:24.1 three-quarters with Aslan (Brian Sears) taking his shot first-ever and Ideal Cowboy owning a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, with Bigtown Hero edging from the pocket and Texican N darting inside, Ideal Cowboy needed some reminders. He did get the line when in time, a 1:52.1 nose in front of Bigtown Hero and a head ahead of Texican N. Aslan and The Real One (Pat Lachance) completed the cashers. For Ideal Cowboy, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr. for co-owners Bamond Racing and J&T Silva Stables, it was his ninth win in 24 seasonal tries. The exacta paid $17.60, the triple paid $160.50 and the superfecta paid $530. Frank Drucker

On November 15th, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York honored Maine native Jason Bartlett for notching his 6,000th lifetime win on October 29 at Yonkers Raceway.   With over $70,000,00 in career purse earnings and a quartet of Hilltop Oval driving titles under his belt, the 34 year old continues to dominate the 2015 Yonkers drivers standings, winning with roughly one out of every five mounts.   The 2009 and 2013 United States representative to the World Driving Championships, Bartlett has been privileged to sit behind some of the classiest horses of the last decade, including the venerable Foiled Again, hard hitting Anndrovette and millionaire racemare Krispy Apple.   The SOA is proud that Jason calls New York home and has chosen to compete as a member of North America's deepest drivers' colony. With youth and talent on his side, there is no limit to what Jason can accomplish as his career develops.   From the SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 31, 2015 - A week ago, we wrote...George Brennan won half of Yonkers Raceway's harness racing program Saturday night, his happy half-dozen including the tandem of $40,000 Open Handicaps. Now, we write...Jason Bartlett won half of Yonkers Raceway's program Saturday night, his happy half-dozen including the tandem of $40,000 Open Handicaps. Bartlett and Ideal Cowboy ($36.20) upset in the week's featured pace (1:50.4), while Bartlett and 6-5 favorite Melady's Monet ($4.40) won the week's marquee trot (1:55.1) from an impossible locale. Ideal Cowboy, leaving from a seat from post position No. 7, went up and over Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) after that one's two-move, early intervals of :27.1 and :55.4. Ideal Cowboy moved from third, grabbing the lead at a 1:23 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Take it Back Terry (George Brennan), at just over even-money, was right behind, but couldn't match strides with the "Cowboy" as that one opened 3¼ lengths into the lane. "Terry" closed the final margin late, but missed by a half-length. Lucan Hanover, Soho Jackman A (Tyler Buter) and Big N Bad (Eric Carlson) came away with the remainder. For sixth choice Ideal Cowboy, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding co-owned by Bamond Racing and J&T Silva Stables, it was his seventh win in 21 seasonal tries. The exacta paid $66, with the triple returning $601. Now, to Melady's Monet, remanded to an eight-hole despite three weeks off. He tried to leave, but several others inside of him were reading from the same script. He was forced to go to the back of the bus as DW's NY Yank (Brennan) gave his backers some brief hope (:27.3; :56.2, 1:25.4). Crazy About Pat (Buter), sitting an antsy pocket, pulled early, with Fort Valley AS (Carlson) slipping out behind that one. As for "Melady," he was last along the cones, then slipped out to race third-over, with nothing moving forward in front of him. Last, 6¾ lengths away turning for home, he had no right winning this race...except he didn't get the memo. Melady's Monet powered by on the far outside, whipping "Fort Valley" by a neck with an individual :27.4 final quarter. Third went to "DW," with "Pat" and Can Do (Jordan Stratton) settling for the small change. For Melady's Monet, a 6-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Kevin McDermott for owner Melady Enterprises, it was his 12th win in 25 '15 tries. The exacta paid $21.20, with the triple returning $94. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 30, 2015 - Favored Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $3.40) was too good for the rest of the harness racing ladies Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Seated an early fifth from an assigned eight-hole, Krispy Apple watched as Cinamony (George Brennan) worked around Sensationalgabby A. After a :27.2 opening quarter-mile and cheapy :57.2 intermission, it was Krispy Apple moving again. She encountered no resistance in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters, taking a 2¼-length lead into the lane. Three lasses across took up the chase, but Krispy Apple finished it off. She defeated Al Raza N (Eric Carlson) by a couple of lengths in 1:53.2 Third went to Cinamony, with Jonsie Jones and Stormunn (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder. For Krispy Apple, a 7-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by Bamond Racing & Joseph Davino and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her 11th win in 24 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.60, with the triple returning $82. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 29, 2015 - Jason Bartlett used Yonkers Raceway's final Thursday harness racing card (Oct. 29) of the season as a backdrop for his latest harness racing milestone. Yonkers Raceway's leading driver reached 6,000 career wins, getting to the plateau with a down-the-road, odds-on Cndiana Jones ($3.60) in 1:55.2. Say this much for Bartlett...he needs to learn about suspense. After getting win No. 5,999 in the $10,000 pacing opener with a pocket-pulling Hustleonhome ($4.80) by 11½ lengths in 1:54.1, he was up the oval in the second race. If you were looking for some dramatic build-up, keep looking. Bartlett took control of the $10,000, third-race pace with "Cndiana" and was never threatened. She won by a length-and-a-half. Bartlett was greeted in the winner's circle by family and friends, including the missus, who looked suspiciously like Tom Brady. Mrs. Bartlett (Kristen) and Jason were joined by sons, Kobe and Karter, along with grandfather, Richard, Jimmy Nickerson and Heidi Rohr, among others. Mr. Rohr trained Cndiana Jones. "Coming from Maine and not knowing what to expect, it's sort of hard to believe," Bartlett said after getting the obligatory sign of congratulations. "I never thought I'd have the success I've had, going against Brian (Sears), George (Brennan) and all the great drivers who compete here. "I'm so happy my family was with me tonight," Bartlett said. "My grandfather has been a father to me and by far my biggest influence." The 34-year-old Bartlett, a native of Augusta, ME, has career purses in excess of $71 million. Bartlett's milestone win was his 413th local victory this season as he closes in on a fifth Westchester title. Next up on the milestone list is George Brennan, who began Thursday night with 15 wins away from 9,000. Frank Drucker

George Brennan and Jason Bartlett, who sit atop Yonkers Raceway's  harness racings driver standings, are-not coincidentally-sitting on their next respective milestones. Brennan, who was blanked in nine drives Tuesday afternoon, is 15 away from 9,000 career wins. Despite his protestations, the staunch New York Mets' fan cannot add any of their post-season victories to his personal number. Bartlett, after a two-win Tuesday (including a 27-1 [$56.50] bombardier in the finale), stands at 5,998 career victories, or two away from 6,000. Bartlett (411 wins) and Brennan (331) are 1-2 in the local standings. The two resume the quest for their next plateaus with full dance cards during Yonkers' final Thursday (Oct. 29) card of the season (first post @ 7:10 PM). As an aside, driver Scott Zeron picked up the Tuesday gauntlet with four winners (mutuels of $4.90, $4.10 [$13.60 early double], $66 and $13.60), while Mark MacDonald's consecutive winners returned $43.40 and $69.50, respectively. Fank Drucker  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 16, 2015 - Odds-on harness racing favorite Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $3.90) was able to get past a stubborn Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) late, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Remanded outside her seven rivals, Krispy Apple settled fifth as Sell a Bit N and Cinamony (George Brennan) took early turns leading the lasses. After a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and a :56.2 intermission, the fave took her shot. It was Krispy Apply engaging Sell a Bit, who had already made two moves. The latter maintained her lead in and out of the 1:24.3 three-quarters, with a length advantage into the lane. However, Krispy Apple wouldn't be dismissed, edging past her tough foe by a length in 1:52.2. Cinamony, who once again couldn't match strides in the pocket, held third, with Dune in Red (Mark MacDonald) and Carobbean Pacetry (Brent Holland) earning the lesser loot. For Krispy Apple, a 7-year-old millionaires daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her 11th win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $38.40. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 3, 2015--One horse who figured (Melady's Monet [Jason Bartlett, $5]) and on who didn't (Big N Bad [Eric Carlson, $116.50]) hogged the harness racing headlines Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 co-features. A from-last "Melady" won the Open Handicap Trot, prevailing in a three-horse photo over Zooming (Tyler Buter) and pace-setting, 13-10 favorite Luminosity (George Brennan). That one was out a long way before making the lead from Not Afraid (Dan Dube). Quick early intervals of :27.4 and :56.3 softened Luminosity up, so even a :29.1 third quarter (1:25.3) and a two-length lead into the lane weren't enough. Melady's Monet, sent outside his six rivals, closed from third-over. He picked off Zooming by a head in 1:55.3, with Luminosity fading to third, beaten a half-length. World Cup (Brent Holland) and Sevruga (Pat Lachance) were best-of-the-rest, minor moolah entities. For second choice Melady's Monet, a 6-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Kevin McDermott for owner Melady Enterprises, it was her 11th win in 23 seasonal starts (season earnings over $300,000, career in excess of $700,000). The exacta paid $43.60, with the triple returning $174. The weekly pacing feature, a blind draw this time around, did no favors for Big N Bad. No problem. Leaving hard from the eight-hole, he was forced even wide when Crombie A (Holland) pulled pocket early. Undaunted, Big N Bad found the lead and kept going (:26.4, :55.4, 1:23.4, 1:51.4) . After racing his eyeballs out a week ago only to get nailed late, Big N Bad closed the sale here, defeating a cone-skimming The Real One (Lachance) by neck. Third went to Crombie A, with Dynamic Youth (Brennan) and Sapphire City (Jordan Stratton) settling for the small change. Great Vintage (Dube), as the 6-5 favorite, couldn't get out of his own way at the outset and finished last. For seventh choice Big N Bad, a 5-year-old Badlands Hanover gelding trained by Jennifer Sabot for owner Vincent Laurenzo, it was his eighth win in 26 seasonal '15 tries. The exacta paid $1,314, with the triple returning $12,955. With a Pick 5 sequence that featured win prices of $19, $116.50 and $53, shockingly the gimmick wasn't hit. So Monday night, which already offers a $10,000 guaranteed pool, begins with a carryover of $6,537.25 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11, program pages at Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 18, 2015-Odds-on fave Krispy Apple with harness racing driver Jason Bartlett at the wheel couldn't possibly have had it any easier Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. An assigned eight-hole isn't quite as difficult when none of the other seven inside of you leave. So, the millionairess made 'em pay, making a simple lead before coming out of the first turn and strolling through subsections of :27.4, :55.4, 1:23.3 and 1:51. The margin, punctuated by a :27.2 kicker, was 3½ lengths turning for home before ballooning to five lengths at the wire. The mile set a new track record for aged mares. Sudoku (Jordan Stratton), chasing from a looser pocket, saved second, with Dune in Red (Mark MacDonald), Caribbean Rose N (Brian Sears) and Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) rounding out the payees. For Krispy Apple, a 7-year-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino and trainer by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her ninth win in 20 seasonal starts (career earnings at $1,509,576). The exacta paid $16.80, with the triple returning $153. Frank Drucker

Rules Of The Road, runner up to Wild Honey in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, faces three rivals in the $30,000 Helen Smith Trot on Friday, September 11, 2015 at the harness racing meeting at Freehold Raceway. With only four entrants, the Helen Smith for New Jersey-sired three-year-old trotting fillies, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, will be contested prior to the betting card with a post time of 12:10 p.m. Facing Rules Of The Road, driven by Jason Bartlett for trainer Janice Connor, will be Southwind Cartier [trained and driven by DR Ackerman], Blue Muse [trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt], and Riley's Dream [driven by Steve Smith for trainer Julie Miller]. Blue Muse is by Muscles Yankee and the other three are by Muscle Hill. Rules Of The Road, owned by Arden Homestead of Delhi, NY and Janice Connor of Goshen, NY, has five wins, four seconds and two thirds in 18 starts this year for earnings of $211,235 toward a career total of $244,285. Her wins this year include a division of the Tompkins Stakes at Tioga Downs on August 16 The Helen Smith stakes record of 1:56.2 is shared by Marla Bar [2002], Silver Credit [2013] and Cee Bee Yes [2014]. On the betting card, eight two-year-old trotting fillies, four by Muscles Yankee and four by Muscle Hill, are scheduled in a $7,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres. Installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the field of eight is Jazebel De Vie by Muscles Yankee. She is set to leave from post two with driver-trainer Chris Ryder. The eighth-race field, from the rail out with driver, trainer and morning line odds: Southwind Hope, Steve Smith, Julie Miller, 9-2; Jazebel De Vie, Chris Ryder, Chris Ryder, 5-2; American Spa, Jim Marshall III, Rick Gillock, 30-1; Cree, Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 3-1; Casino Cutie It, Vincent Ginsburg, Ray Schnittker, 9-2; Peg O My Heart, Christopher Freck, Christopher Freck, 30-1; Energy Bar, Eric Abbatiello, Jonas Czernyson, 4-1 and Heal The World, Marcus Johansson, Nancy Johansson, 30-1. Carol Hodes

Freehold, NJ --- Jeff Snyder knows he owns the one horse with a chance to capture this year’s Pacing Triple Crown. He also knows it’s not worth thinking about until after his horse, Dealt A Winner, competes in the second leg of the series, Saturday’s Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers at Yonkers Raceway. “If he wins Saturday, he’ll have a better shot,” Snyder said with a laugh. “Then we’ll give a lot more thought to it. It will be a lot more exciting then. “But in this business, you’ve got to go one race at a time.” Dealt A Winner won the first jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, the Cane Pace, at odds of 26-1 with a world-record performance on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Meadowlands. He will start the $500,000 Messenger Stakes from post five with Yonkers’ leading driver Jason Bartlett at the lines for trainer Mark Silva. It will be only his second career race on a half-mile track, but he won last year’s Lou Babic Pace at Freehold with Bartlett in the sulky. In addition to the Messenger Stakes, Yonkers on Saturday hosts the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, which is the second leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, will start the Yonkers Trot from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race. The Yonkers Trot is race six, at 8:50 p.m. approximately, and the Messenger is race eight, at 9:30 p.m. approximately. The most recent horse to win the Trotting Triple Crown was Glidemaster in 2006. The most recent horse to sweep the Pacing Triple Crown was No Pan Intended in 2003. The final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown is the Little Brown Jug, which will be held Sept. 24 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Dealt A Winner has won one of nine races this year after capturing five of six starts last season. He finished second to In The Arsenal in a Meadowlands Pace elimination and fourth in the final, when a :26 last quarter-mile left him a half-length from second. He has earned $363,439 during his career. Purchased for $35,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale under the name Lazzo Hanover, Dealt A Winner is a son of stallion Cam’s Card Shark -- who was the 1994 Horse of the Year and owned by Snyder -- and mare Lazan Hanover. His second dam, Lodi Hanover, is the mother of million-dollar-earner Timesareachanging, who also was sired by Cam’s Card Shark. Timesareachanging was the 2004 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male pacer and captured two jewels in the Pacing Triple Crown, the Cane Pace and Little Brown Jug. He finished second to Metropolitan in the Messenger. “I always look to find a Cam’s Card Shark (offspring) at the sale and (Dealt A Winner) was the one I picked,” Snyder said. “Timesareachanging attracted me to him.” Dealt A Winner won the Cane Pace after a duel for the lead between favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit and In The Arsenal resulted in a :52.1 opening half-mile. Dealt A Winner and driver David Miller rallied from fifth place with a three-wide move on the final turn and sprinted home in :26.3 to post a 1-1/4 length victory over Artspeak in 1:47.3. The time is the fastest ever for a 3-year-old gelding. Dude’s The Man, who won this year’s Adios and finished third in the Cane Pace, will start the Messenger from post one with George Brennan driving for trainer Jessica Okusko. In The Arsenal, who won the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers on May 30, got post No. 3 with Brian Sears in the sulky for trainer Kelvin Harrison. In The Arsenal has made five starts at Yonkers during his career, winning four. “If he can get into the race early enough, we’re looking for him to race very well,” Snyder said about Dealt A Winner. “Unfortunately, Dude’s The Man got the rail and In The Arsenal got the three hole, so hopefully he’ll get a good trip somehow. But this horse can go first over. He’s got a lot of heart, a lot of desire to win. Hopefully he’ll bring his ‘A’ game on Saturday night.” Following is the field for the Messenger Stakes with listed drivers and trainers: 1-Dude's The Man-George Brennan-Jessica Okusko  2-Revenge Shark-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna  3-In The Arsenal-Brian Sears-Kelvin Harrison  4-Roland N Rock-Daniel Dube-Rob Harmon  5-Dealt A Winner-Jason Bartlett-Mark Silva  6-Rock N' Roll World-Daniel Dube-Mark Silva  7-Rollin Ring Afire-Tim Tetrick-Charlie Norris  8-National Seelster-Eric Carlson-Chris Ryder  by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Batavia, NY---There was no doubt who the best New York bred 3-year-old colt competing at Batavia Downs was on Sunday (Aug. 30) after Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). After taking an easy lead from post one, Betting Exchange (Jason Bartlett) extended his advantage to two lengths over The Spy (John Cummings Jr.) at the quarter as post time favorite Artistic Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away poorly and was gapped a distant third. The leader was cruising along untested until Morrill rushed Artistic Major up by half-time and alongside Betting Exchange into the turn. The challenge continued up the backside and to three-quarters in 1:24 but it was there the race was decided. Bartlett gave Betting Exchange his head and he simply paced away from the field. At the wire he was 10 lengths the best in 1:51.2, pacing the back half in a dazzling :55 flat. The winning time tied the track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off in 2014 and was also just one-fifth off the all-time track record of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011. After the race, Jason Bartlett commented "He raced super. I let him roll on the turn and he opened up. He's really a nice one." It was the second win in 14 starts for Betting Exchange ($4.50) and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $318,475 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also does the training. In the first division, Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic's Beachgirl) overcame a fast battle for the lead and two subsequent challenges to hold on for an impressive victory. Off the wings, no one played nice when Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett), K-Rock (Matt Kakaley) and Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry) went three-abreast to argue for the lead. The trio motored up the backstretch and eventually seated with Rockin In Heaven taking the lead in a speedy :26.3. Positions remained unchanged to the half when Americanprimetime pulled first over from third to go after the leader. With Americanprimetime outside prompting Rockin In Heaven past three-quarters in 1:24.1, K-Rock was sitting the perfect trip behind the pair waiting for his chance. When they hit the head of the lane it was obvious Rockin In Heaven had put away Americanprimetime but then had to fight off K-Rock who made his way into the passing lane. This was accomplished with a strong finishing kick as Rockin In Heaven won in 1:53 by a half-length. "I wanted to get him out of the starting gate and to the lead. He dug in well when I called upon him" said Trevor Henry in the winner's circle. It was the eighth win in 15 starts for Rockin In Heaven ($2.60) and it boosted his earnings to $310,565 for 2015. The colt is owned by Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, Gordon McComb and Dr. Ian Moore, who also trains the horse. There were two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series "A" also on the card that went for a combined $30,000. The first event was won by the heavily favored Masterson (Bettor's Delight-Tug River Princess) in 1:54 and it was the fourth straight win for the gelding owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock. Masterson ($3.20) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Tracy Brainard. In the second split, Pop Icon (Bettor's Delight-Pop Queen) overcame a slow start and breaking horses to win in 1:56.3. It was the second Excel "A" win this year for Pop Icon ($11.80) who is owned by Ken Weckstein, Richard Rubin and Gary Messenger, who also trains the horse. Jim Morrill Jr. did the driving. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time set at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Some of the biggest names in Standardbred racing will be at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 30) for the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings division. Fourteen horses are entered to compete in two splits, each vying for $60,200 in purse money. In the first division (carded as race two), Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic's Beach Girl) is the 5-2 morning line choice and for good reason. He is coming in off a lifetime best, 1:50 flat win at Tioga Downs in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic. He is a multiple stakes winner this year, having already captured the Somebeachsomewhere and a leg of the Summertime series at Mohawk Raceway as well as the NYSS at Yonkers. And in those races has finished ahead of the likes of $400,000 Adios winner Dudes The Man and $300,000 Art Rooney Pace winner In The Arsenal. Rockin In Heaven leaves from post five and will be driven by Trevor Henry for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. His main competition appears to be American Primetime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A). Having raced the same slate of races as Rockin In Heaven over the past five starts, American Primetime has not had favorable draws. This week he starts from the rail and should be able to put forth his best effort as a result. His lifetime mark of 1:52.4 was taken over the half-mile oval at Yonkers Raceway and that bodes well for this start at Batavia. American Primetime is 3-1 morning line and will be driven by Jason Bartlett for trainer Rick Dane Jr. In the second division (carded as race four), Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) brings an impressive resume to the table and as a result is the 2-1 early choice. Most recently, Betting Exchange finished fourth in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. After drawing post seven, Yannick Gingras took the colt to the front in :26.2 before getting covered up second by Arque Hanover. They sat the two-hole trip the entire race and fell just short in the stretch once getting loose in the stretch. Betting Exchange finished fourth in 1:50, beaten only three-quarters of a length by Rockin In Heaven. His biggest effort of the year came in the $810,000 Meadowlands Pace final on June 20 where he finished third behind Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit (currently first and third in North America for 2015 earnings) in 1:48 flat. He was only beaten by three lengths and was race timed in 1:48.3 in that marquee event. Betting Exchange has drawn post one and will be driven by Jason Bartlett for trainer Tom Fanning. Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer) will be a major stumbling block for the favorite and has been listed as the 5-2 second choice. Having put together as solid a season as anyone could want, Artistic Major is 10 for 10 in the money and that money has totaled $203,351 this year. He was second in the fastest Empire Breeders Classic elimination (1:49.3) and then finished second once again in the final. All three of his wins have come in NYSS competition including his lifetime mark of 1:50.3 taken at Vernon Downs in June. NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. takes the reins behind Artistic Major and will leave from post 4 for trainer Steve Elliott. There are also two $15,000 NYSS Excelsior Series "A" races slated to go as race one and three. Post time for the matinee card is set for 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs 

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 28, 2015 - Prohibitive harness racing favorite Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $2.60) successfully completed her rounds Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $48,000 Filly and Mare Handicap Pace. Ordered outside her six foes, the millionaires worked around Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter), then controlled the coterie through fractions of :27.1, :56.1, 1:23.4, 1:51.4. The mile, a tick off her previous local season's-best, found her getting to the line a length-and-a-quarter before a cone-skimming Dune in Red (Jordan Stratton). The one photoed "Jonsie" for second, with Spreester (George Brennan) and Cocoa Beach (Eric Carlson) grabbing the smaller envelopes. For Krispy Apple, a 7-yeart-old daughter of Western Ideal co-owned by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her eighth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.60, with the triple returning $91 The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM), with the $149,249 final of the Hudson Filly Trot (3-year-old fillies), the final of the $116,430 Lady Maud (3-year-old pacing fillies) and a pair of $40,000 eliminations for the 61st Yonkers Trot. Frank Drucker

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