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YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 25, 2018- Yonkers Raceway's Sunday (Nov. 25th) matinee saw an anxiously-pocketed Andy Ray (Jason Bartlett, $7.60) winning the featured $44,000 Open Handicap. The Sunday feature went at the flat mile, one race after the seven added-distance 'French' trots. The field of seven was effectively downsized to four as three of the gang-The Last Chapter (Matt Kakaley), Crazy About Pat (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Gruden (Dan Dube)-did the dance of the damned. Meanwhile, Andy Ray-from post position No. 5-worked around 1-2 choice Lean Hanover (Jordan Stratton) for the lead before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. He then gave it up to DW's NY Yank (George Brennan), with that one finding a :57.4 intermission. However, 'Andy' was getting' itchy and gettin' out before a 1:26.3 three-quarters. Andy Ray disposed of DW's NY Yank, but Lean Hanover was poised right behind. The people's preference proved no match, though, as Andy Ray finished it off by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.3. A tiring DW's NY Yank was third, dividing the smaller envelope with a trotting-in-place Lazarus (Brent Holland) and The Last Chapter. For second choice Andy Ray, a 6-year-old Crazed gelding owned by Yinson Quezada and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was his sixth win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.40, the triple returned $58.50 and the superfecta paid $251.50. Sunday's incarnation of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 5-Tequila Sunday (Aqueduct's 1st race) and 1-Quick Summer (Yonkers' 5th race), returning $23.70 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $3,416. The next Sunday matinee is Dec. 2nd (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 16, 2018--Favored Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett, $3.70) picked up where her Aussie countrywoman left off Friday night (Nov. 16th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Two-moving--from post position No. 5--to the lead by a :27.1 opening quarter-mile, Don't Think Twice A took over from Call Me Queen Be (Joe Bongiorno). The people's preference then rated a :56.3 intermission before pole-sitting Delaware interloper Apple Bottom Jeans (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved from third. That lass offered only mild intrusion in and out of a 1:24.2 three-quarters as Don't Think Twice A widened to 2¼ lengths off the final turn. She finished it off, whipped a second-over Lispatty (Matt Kakaley) by a couple of lengths in a life-best 1:53. Call Me Queen Be, Apple Bottom Jeans and Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan) rounded out the payees. Rockstar Angel A, who had won the last four editions of this race, was sixth here from an assigned eight-hole. For Don't Think Twice A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Armbro Operative owned by (trainer) Andrew Harris and Arrhythmic LLC, it was her fifth win in 15 seasonal starts (2-for-4 stateside). The exacta paid $19.60, the triple returned $127 and superfecta paid $399. "I can't wait to drive her in the Blue Chip (Matchmaker) Series," Bartlett said, looking about four months down the road. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - He'd been away from the races for 34 days but that did not stop Thunder from lighting up his foes in the sixth and final leg of the Kindergarten Classic, a series for 2-year-olds of both sex and gait, at the Meadowlands Friday night. Thunder, a John Butenschoen-trained trotter, sat in the two-hole early before emerging from the rail with three-eighths of a mile to go. With Yonkers kingpin Jason Bartlett at the controls, the son of Conway Hall-CR Oh Suzanna made steady progress around the far turn to get within a head of leader Reign Of Honor before going on to a dominant 5-length score. Reign Of Honor was second with Memo finishing third. In lowering his previous lifetime best by one-and-one-fifth seconds, he completed the mile in 1:54.3 and returned $3.60 to his backers for owners Crawford Farms Racing, J. Day and V I P Internet Stables. A top performer throughout the year on the New York Sire Stakes circuit who finished second in his previous outing to the undefeated Gimpanzee, Thunder now has five lifetime wins in only 10 starts and has earned $213,071. TOP OF THE CLASS: Four horses won second straight Kindergarten events as they remained sharp for next week's finals. Filly trotter Global Pageant (1:56.3) scored in the opener for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron as the 4-5 favorites while filly pacer Odds On St Lucie (1:53.1) completed an all-chalk Daily Double at odds of 3-5 for the driver-trainer team of Brett Miller and Tony Alagna. The Erv Miller-trained filly pacer Michelon's Filly rolled by the field for a second straight week from sixth and last at three-quarters to score in 1:54.3 with Marcus Miller guiding the 1-2 public choice in the fourth race. Divine Spirit was the last of those to win a second consecutive series start, taking a colt and gelding trot in 1:57.4 for driver Andy McCarthy and trainer Brett Pelling. They scored as the 7-5 second choice in the eighth race. A LITTLE MORE: Alagna had three winners on the program while Brett Miller had two. ... Favorites won the first six races on the card but were shut out the rest of the way. ... One lucky player who used 17-1 chance Mayfair Johnny B on top in the 11th race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five cashed in big, walking away with $7,037.46 for holding the single winning ticket with the combination of 4-7-5-9-1. ... All-source wagering on the 11-race program was $1,384,655. ... Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 20, 2018-There was good form for both Military Master A and Gruden, and it continued Saturday night (Oct. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps. Military Master A (Jordan Stratton, $5.80), from post position No. 6, prevailed from third-over in the week's featured pace that cried out for a closer. Pole-assigned Chantepleure (Austin Siegelman) inexplicably stuffed 7-5 choice Dr. J Hanover (Mark MacDonald) in behind at the outset, paying a :26.2 opening quarter-mile price for the privilege. The leader rated a :29.1 next substation (:55.3 half), but that would be of small consequence when the wolves came calling. Gokudo Hanover (Jason Bartlett) moved from third, taking over past a 1:23.2 three-quarters as Chantepleure stopped and Dr. J Hanover was trapped. Gokudo Hanover owned a short lead in and out of the final turn, but he, too, was inhaled. A second-up I'm Some Graduate (George Brennan) went by, but he couldn't match strides with Military Master A. The latter, sixth entering the lane, won by a length in 1:52.1. I'm Some Graduate was second, with Theartofconfusion A (Brent Holland) third. Scott Rocks (Eric Goodell) and an exhumed-too-late Dr. J Hanover rounded out the payees. Chantepleure backpedaled to last in the seven-horse field. For second choice Military Master A, a 7-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was his seventh win (third consecutive) in 15 seasonal starts The exacta paid $30, the triple returned $283 and the superfecta paid $1,065. The week's marquee trot saw Gruden (Bartlett, $4.50) leapfrog his half-dozen inner foes and easily go the distance (:28.1, :57.4, 1:26, 1:55.3). The lead was 2½ lengths off the final turn, the exact same margin at the wire New Heaven (Brennan) slalomed the cones for second, with 9-10 favorite Lean Hanover (Stratton) a first-up third. Tober (Holland) and Kinetic King (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the minors. For second choice Gruden, a 5-year-old Muscle Yankee gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby and VIP Internet Stable, it was his fifth win in 15 '18 tries (4 wins, 2 seconds, 2 thirds in last 10 efforts). The exacta paid $25.80, the triple returned $72 and the superfecta paid $409. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

North American drivers participating in Saturday's (Oct. 13) $1 million Yonkers International Trot face several challenges as they prepare for the event, most notably learning about their rivals -- and in some cases their own horse -- in addition to contemplating the best path to victory in a 10-horse field going 1-1/4 miles. "My deal is to know the competition the best I can and make decisions as it plays out," said Brian Sears, who is driving in the International Trot for the third time since its renewal in 2015 at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. Sears will be behind Cruzado Dela Noche, starting from post six, on Saturday. "My job is to learn some of these horses, which is what makes this race so difficult to win. You don't really know the competition as well as you'd like. As the race unfolds, you'll see things happen and you try to make decisions to put your horse in the best spot. But I think you have to be aggressive. You have to be as aggressive as you can get away with." Winners of the three most recent International Trots each accomplished the feat in different ways -- one of which no longer exists. In 2015, Norway's Papagayo E got a ground-saving trip behind leader Creatine and used the passing lane to earn the victory. The passing lane has since been eliminated at Yonkers. In 2016, U.S. representative Resolve led virtually from start to finish en route to his triumph. Last year, Italy's Twister Bi raced on the outside and methodically chased down leader Resolve before powering away to win by 5-1/2 lengths. Marion Marauder, who is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's race, finished second last year. He started from post No. 1 and got away in seventh place around the first turn. He will start again from post one on Saturday. "When I had the rail last year it was a learning experience," said Scott Zeron, who drives Marion Marauder. "I pushed him off the wings enough to get him well situated, but I had to have a lot of luck on my side as well with not being able to pull the right line and go to the outer flow. "It could end up like that again this year, but I know I have a horse that's capable of winning this race. I let him leave at his own comfort. It will be playing it by ear when I go off the wings. We'll see two steps off the gate where I'm going to get situated. Hopefully I have an opportunity to race him." Trotting races at the distance of 1-1/4 miles are nothing new at Yonkers and looking back at 37 such races on Sundays in July to September shows horses that were no worse than third at the half-mile point won nearly 84 percent of the time. Horses that led at the half won 18 times while horses that were second won seven and horses third won six. Posts one and six produced the most winners, with seven each, followed by post five with six. "It's a benefit," Zeron said about the extra experience of racing 1-1/4 miles at Yonkers. "The difference with this race compared to a regular Sunday is having 10 horses that all can win. There are no long shots. These are the best of the best." Jason Bartlett, who has won seven driving titles at Yonkers including the past four, is making his first appearance in the International Trot. He will drive France's Up And Quick, who counts the 2015 Prix d'Amerique among five career Group 1 wins in Europe. Up And Quick will start from post two. "I thought the draw was very good," Bartlett said. "It gives me options. I don't really know the horse, but I'll do a little homework on him and go from there. I've talked to Bjorn Goop who drove him three starts ago. I'll watch some replays on him. That's all I can really do. I'll get a feel for him going into the turn when I score him down and that's it. "I think the biggest part I've got to learn is a little bit about the competition, each horse in the race. It's the best trotters in the world, the best drivers; you can't really go in with a game plan. "For me, it's my first time in this race. Winning it would be very special to me being that it's my home track. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity. It's going to be an interesting race." Sears will be driving Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche for the first time. Cruzado Dela Noche raced in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes and finishing third in the Peter Haughton Memorial. In Europe, his victories include the Group 1 Copenhagen Cup. "I just hope that he's on his toes and puts up a good race," Sears said. "(To win) would be a feather in your cap. It's one of the biggest races and it's very hard to get done. To be able to accomplish that would be quite a victory, no doubt." Yannick Gingras, with Ariana G, and Tim Tetrick, with Will Take Charge, are both making their second appearances in the International Trot and enter with horses they drive regularly. It will be the first time on a half-mile track for Ariana G, a two-time Dan Patch Award-winner who is the lone mare in the race. "She's very square gaited, she's two fingers to drive, so I don't see (the half) being any problem at all," Gingras said. "I think if anything it will work in her favor. She's got it all, honestly. She's got the speed, you can stop-and-go anytime you want, and she's great gaited. I keep saying about her being great gaited, I hope I don't jinx her. "She's just so smart," he added. "Maybe that's her best attribute. I think I've got as good a shot as anybody." Racing at Yonkers begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The day also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot, featuring the fastest trotter in history, Homicide Hunter, plus the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace, featuring the continued rivalry between McWicked and New Zealand-bred Lazarus. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Jason Bartlett-Antoine Lherete-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wim Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 * Lionel and Slide So Easy start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

New York, NY --- Marion Marauder, who finished second in last year's $1 million Yonkers International Trot, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's (Oct. 13) 40th edition of the invitational, which will be raced at 1-1/4 miles at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. The 5-year-old stallion, representing Canada, was made the top choice after getting post No. 1 on Tuesday at the event's draw and press conference at Manhattan's 21 Club. Scott Zeron will drive Marion Marauder for trainer Paula Wellwood. Marion Marauder has won six of 10 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start. He heads to the International Trot off a win in the Caesars Trotting Classic on Sept. 21 at Hoosier Park. Other victories in 2018 include the John Cashman Memorial and Cleveland Trotting Classic. He was second in the Maple Leaf Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. "It beats the heck out of the seven or eight hole, that's for sure," said Mike Keeling, who shares the training duties on Marion Marauder with his wife, Paula Wellwood, about drawing the rail. "At least we won't be parked. "He loves three weeks between races and this works out perfectly from his last start. I think he's probably a touch better than he was for the Hoosier race. We're really pleased with him right now. As long as he's in good shape and the race sets up for him, we'll be fine. "I follow the Europeans a little bit. I know Lionel, I know Ringostarr Treb. The other horses I'm not so familiar with. We'll look at the program pages. We can only do what we can do, it's up to Scott to figure out the rest." For his career, Marion Marauder has won 20 of 48 races and earned $3.08 million for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. He was the 2016 Trotter of the Year after winning the Trotting Triple Crown and captured another Dan Patch Award in 2017 as best older male trotter. Marion Marauder has enjoyed success at Yonkers, with three wins and two seconds in five career starts. One of the victories came in the Yonkers Trot on his way to the Triple Crown. Ariana G, the U.S. representative and lone mare in the field of 10, drew post three and is 5-1 on the morning line. The International Trot has been won by a mare 11 times, most recently by Peace Corps in 1991. The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected in 2015. A Dan Patch Award divisional champion at ages 2 and 3, the 4-year-old Ariana G has won five of 11 races this year and heads to the International Trot off a win over male rivals in the Dayton Trotting Derby on Sept. 28. Other victories this season include the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship. She also won her elimination for the Maple Leaf Trot and finished third in the final. For her career, Ariana G has won 26 of 37 races and earned $2.36 million for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Yannick Gingras will drive the mare for trainer Jimmy Takter. "You have to be happy with the draw," said Gingras. "But I think most of the good horses got good spots too. It will be a tactical race, but we can't complain about where we'll start. "I think she's super sharp. She raced really good in Ohio in her last start. Jimmy skipped Lexington pointing toward this race. I think it was a smart move, no doubt. I think she's got as good a shot as anybody." Will Take Charge, a second Canadian representative as a late replacement for the Netherlands' Dreammoko, drew post seven and is 6-1. The Jeff Gillis-trained 5-year-old gelding, who will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky, has won nine of 21 races this year, including the Crawford Farms Open Trot and Maxie Lee Memorial, for owner Mac Nichol. For his career, he has won 21 of 71 starts and $848,116. Elitloppet winner Ringostarr Treb, one of two horses representing Italy, leads the international contingent. The 8-year-old stallion is trained by New England native Jerry Riordan, who conditioned last year's International Trot champion Twister Bi. Ringostarr Treb, who has won 30 of 86 career races and $1.57 million, will start from post four with driver Wilhelm "Wim" Paal and is 4-1. The stallion is owned by E.V.A.M. Racing. "I'm very happy about the post," Paal said. "It keeps me a little bit out of the traffic in the first turn. I can choose my own race. I think there are four or five horses that have a good shot in this race --- Marion Marauder, Up And Quick, Ariana G. For me, Lionel is a horse you should not underestimate because he shows his best at a mile-and-a-quarter and he is a classy horse. "I think the small track gives a big opportunity to the four (inside) horses. They are all good horses and were lucky in the draw." Up And Quick, who won the 2015 Prix d'Amerique, drew post two and is 10-1 with top Yonkers driver Jason Bartlett in the sulky for trainer Antoine Lherete. The 10-year-old stallion, representing France, has won 16 of 74 career races and $2.81 million. He is owned by Ecurie Quick Star. Lionel, representing Norway, drew post nine in the second tier and is 10-1 with owner Goran Antonsen set to drive. The 8-year-old stallion, trained by Daniel Reden, won his Elitloppet elimination and finished fifth in the final. He has won 23 of 69 races and $1.67 million. The remaining International Trot participants are Italy's Arazi Boko, Sweden's Cruzado Dela Noche and Pastore Bob, and Denmark's Slide So Easy. For video of the post draw click here. Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Antoine Lherete-Jason Bartlett-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wilhelm Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 4, 2018-Yonkers Raceway's all-age track-record-holder returned to town Thursday night (Oct. 4) and promptly hit a number. The Real One (Jason Bartlett), whose life-best 1:50 back in November of 2016 remains Westchester's fastest-ever effort, finished second in Thursday's $23,000, 12th-race finale. Though faltering late in the lane as the 1-2 favorite, the runner-up finish and subsequent $5,750 pay envelope pushed his career account to $1,001,738. After 174 starts, the resume reads 45 wins, 31 seconds and 26 thirds. The 8-year-old Mach gelding is owned by Helene Filion and trained by Pat Lachance. Driver Jim Marohn Jr. won four of the evening's dozen races, including Prairie Panther ($21,80) in the last of the night. by Frank Druicker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 28, 2018-Favored Mach It A Par (Jason Bartlett, $4.10) prevailed from the pocket Friday night (Sept. 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Making the first lead from assigned post position No. 4, Mach It A Par gave it up to second choice Newborn Sassy (Eric Goodell) before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. That one rated a :29.1 second subsection (:56.3 intermission) before Magic Forces (George Brennan) made her second move, first-up from fourth. However, a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.2) disposed of that challenger, 'Sassy' taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. Mach It A Par then eased her way out and by, winning by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:53. Second went to Keystone Wanda (Jim Marohn Jr.), who closed from seventh at the three-quarters. Newborn Sassy saved the bottom of the ticket, with Terror at Night (Mark MacDonald) and Scandalicious (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For Mach It A Par, an 8-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her ninth win in 31 seasonal starts (career 46-for-139, earnings over $982,000) The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $207.50 and the superfecta paid $901. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

CHESTER, PA - Two-year-old colts were featured in over $190,000 of John Simpson Sr. stakes action at Harrah's Philadelphia, with Yonkers' leading driver, Jason Bartlett, taking a rare excursion to metro Philly and winning the first division of the colt action on both the trot and the pace. Captain Malicious dominated his division of the pacing contests, going right to the front for Bartlett and posting fractions of 27.4, 57.2, and 1:25.4 en route to a ¾ length victory over pocketsitting Meetmeatthedance in 1:53.4. A winner of his Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation event, the victorious son of Captaintreacherous - Silky is trained by Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with Dr. John Egloff, John Frisch, and Max Hempt. Speaking of leading drivers - George Napolitano Jr. tied Tim Tetrick at the top of the Philly drivers standings with his 175th win of the local season, going wire-to-wire in the second division of pacing colts with Hervey Hanover in 1:53. After early fractions of 27.2 and 56.2, the Somebeachsomewhere - Here Music Rocks blitzed a 27.2 third quarter to open up a good distance on favored Southwind Ozzi, then held off that one's steady late charge by a head. Andrew Harris handles conditioning duties for owner Brad Gray. The Russell Hanover - Applique Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover was the fastest two-year-old on the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes circuit this summer by virtue of a track record 1:56.4 win at Gratz, and today he showed he could translate his top form to pari-mutuel stakes conditions, heading right down the road and storming home in 55.2 to reduce his mark to 1:52.2 while defeating favored Jo Jo's Place by 1¾ lengths. The baby's next start for driver Tony Schadel and trainer/wife Linda, who are also his co-owners, should also be at a pari-mutuel oval - his Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship on Saturday afternoon, October 6 at The Meadows. Prior to his trotting event the Crazed - Pyschotherapist gelding Our White Knight had had six seconds and three thirds in nine career starts while earning $119,079, including a third in the New York Sire Stakes final, but Bartlett was finally able to deliver him to the winners circle, using wire-to-wire tactics in setting fractions of 28.4, 59.4, and 1:29, then withstanding potential pocket rocket Jason's Camden by 1¼ lengths in 1:58. John Butenschoen is the trainer of Our White Knight, and David Arrenholz is the owner. The Cantab Hall - Upside Hanover colt Klutzy became the only horse to win in the Liberty Bell stakes series last week and then come back with a Simpson victory this afternoon when he set fractions of 29, 58.4, and 1:28 on a clear lead for driver Eric Carlson, then won handily in 1:57.1. Julie Miller is the conditioner of the sharp colt for Stroy Inc. That victory completed all of today's stakes winners using the engine as a means to victory. FINISHING LINES - Driver Eric Carlson had earlier solidified his position as Philly's leading longshot handler, winning the eighth race with Hold It Hanover while paying $51.40 for his fifth $50+ winner of the meet, putting him one ahead of Brett Miller. Carlson is also tied for the distinction of having the most $100+ victories in 2018 at Philly: between him and Miller, they have piloted four of the six triple-figure win horses at the riverside oval.  

Batavia, NY --- The $320,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races were contested in eight divisions at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 21) with Jason Bartlett and Marcus Miller getting the lion's share of the eight harness racing contests. Bartlett won three and finished third two more times while Miller won two and finished second four times. Despite a heavy downpour early in the card, the track set up quickly and two lifetime and two seasonal marks were set during the evening in the NYSS races. Here is a race by race recap of the consolation events. 2-year-old filly pace Winner-Topville Angelina (American Ideal-A Fiesty Affair) 1:57.2 Owners-Erv Miller Stable, Michael Anderson and George Golemes Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Robert Hamather (non-betting) Topville Angelina (Marcus Miller) travelled second the entire mile behind Sun Viser (Billy Davis Jr.) through even fractions until the top of the stretch when Miller tipped her and she quickly paced by the leader down the lane to win by three lengths in 1:57.2. 2-year-old filly trot Winner-Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven-Mom's A Sweetie Pie) 2:01.2 Owners-Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Glenn Bechtel and the Mortgage Boys Stable Trainer-Blake MacIntosh Breeder-Winbak Farm Mutuel-$3.20 Sweet Chapter (Jim Morrill Jr.) went right to the front and dictated the entire race. Contending with a heavy downpour during the mile, Sweet Chapter trotted to the three-quarters in 1:30.1 without a challenge before Hot Chapter (Marcus Miller) started an attack on the outside. Hot Chapter trotted hard down the lane in the middle of the track but Sweet Chapter had enough left to hang on and win in 2:01.2. 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner-KJ Leo (Art Major-Winsmith Jess) 1:54.4 Owners-Brenda Messenger, Philip Shapiro and Scott Woogen Trainer-Gary Messenger Breeders-Brenda Messenger, Philip Shapiro and Scott Woogen Mutuel-$24.40 Cub Fan (Marcus Miller) was a strong leaver and set the pace once he settled ahead of KJ Leo (Billy Davis Jr.) who would get the perfect trip. After getting to the half in :57.1, Jet Rock (Kevin Cummings) pulled first up and pushed the issue with Cub Fan all the way to the top of the stretch. At that point he faded and KJ Leo popped the pocket and paced down the lane stride for stride with Cub Fan. When they hit the wire they were a neck apart with KJ Leo getting the better of the photo in 1:54.4, which was a new lifetime mark. 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner-JNR Express (Coway Hall-Yankee T L C) 1:59.3 Owners-James De Armond and Russell Young Trainer-Jessica Okusko Breeder-Donald La Page Mutuel-$9.00 JNR Express (Kevin Cummings) took no prisoners as he left and led at every station. After trotting well in hand through a 1:29.2 three quarters, JNR Express took a two-length lead into a stretch and held off a late surge by Brady Bunch (Marcus Miller) and Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) to win in 1:59.3, which was a new lifetime mark. 3-year-old filly pace Winner-Solitary (American Ideal-Lonesome Day) 1:54.4 Owners-William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic and the J L Benson Stable Trainer-Nick Surick Breeder-Docs Farm Mutuel-$3.30 Pelican Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) grabbed the lead by the quarter and took the race to the half in :57. An outer flow began to advance and by the three quarters horses were three deep heading into the turn with Solitary (Jason Bartlett) locked in fifth with no racing room. Believe In Me (Drew Monti) who was second on the outside bore out and gave Solitary and opening to get out and get out she did. Bartlett gave the filly her head and she shifted gears and paced away from the field to win by three lengths in 1:54.4, which was a new seasonal mark. "The race didn't unfold as I expected and I had to make my way out of traffic in the last turn. But When I got her free it was over," said Bartlett after the race. 3-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner-I'm The Muscle (Muscle Mass-Lady Bling) 1:57.4 Owner-Rheau Viau Trainer-Rene Allard Breeder-Blair and Erna Corbell Mutuel-$2.30 In a race shortened by two scratches, I'm The Muscle (Jason Bartlett) wanted nothing but the front and didn't waste any time getting there. He trotted unchallenged on top by two open lengths in :29.3, :59.3 and 1:29.1 before rounding the last turn and flying home in a quick :28.3 to win in 1:57.4. "He has been getting better and better each week and last week he was closing on Six Pack Late. He's a real nice horse," said Bartlett in the winner's circle. 3-year-old filly trot Winner-Supergirl RIley (Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel) 1:57 Owners-Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Brittany Farms Mutuel-$2.10 Marcus Miller took advantage of the continuing front end bias and put the 1-9 favorite Supergirl RIley right on the point as the field followed in single file. With the rest of the group gapping behind, the pocket-sitting Golden Muscle (Drew Monti) pulled at three-quarters to take her shot. But halfway through the turn, Golden Muscle broke and Supergirl RIley found herself all alone trotting down the stretch a wrapped-up winner by three in 1:57. "She's just an unbelievable horse. She does everything right and she won easy tonight," said driver Marcus Miller after the race. 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner-Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) 1:52.4 Owner-Rick Berks Trainer-Mike Deters Breeder-Winbak Farm Mutuel-$3.10 Ideal Feeling (Jason Bartlett) seated third off the gate but then came quick past the eighth pole to grab the lead. Rolling handily past the half and to three-quarters in 1:24.1 without any opposition, Ideal Feeling watched as Lyons Steel (Kevin Cummings) left his cover and made his bid for the win. As the race moved down the lane, Lyons Steel continued to gain ground but Bartlett kept Ideal Feeling to task and he won by a half length in 1:52.4 to take his third consecutive win. Before the races began, Batavia Downs held a press conference with regional media outlets to formally announce the track being awarded the 2019 NYSS Night of Champions. The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund awarded the $1.8 million finals to Batavia Downs because of its excellent facilities and their ability to promote the race and offer an exciting fan experience. Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel expressed his excitement looking forward to next year. "We are very excited for Batavia Downs Gaming to host the $1.8 million finals if the New York SIre Stakes with the long history this facility has with harness racing. We have made so many improvements to the track and can't wait to host everyone that weekend and showcase our new hotel and beautiful clubhouse." Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund said "2019 will be the 30th edition of the Night of Champions and we look forward to bringing it to western New York and Batavia Downs. We're really excited to watch this race track do what it does best; that is promoting harness racing and bringing fans in to watch the best horses the state has to offer." The date of the finals will be announced once the actual racing schedule is finalized. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY - Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Sept. 14th) wrapped up its New York Sire Stakes legs--all 16 of 'em--with the $156,200 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old harness racing colts and geldings. Friday's event once again honored the memory of 'Tootie,' whose unmatched PR savvy in the golden age of the game helped make the nascent Roosevelt International Trot a happening. The evening's first ($77,400) grouping saw odds-on Thunder (Jason Bartlett, $3.10) do it handily in 1:58. From post position No. 2, he made the lead around Brady Bunch (Andy Miler) after an early break of Kredit Karma (Brian Sears). After that, no issues for the fave through dawdling (:29.1, 59.2, 1:29) fractions. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) tried it first-up from third, settling for second to the winner (as he did at Vernon), with the final margin three lengths. Brady Bunch and Quiksilver Bluchip (catch-driver Jordan Stratton) completed the gimmick finishers. For Thunder, a son of Conway Hall trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Crawford Racing, VIP Internet Stables and Jeremey Day, it was his fourth win in eight seasonal starts (all in last five tries). The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $17.20 and the superfecta paid $98.50. "He's handy, he gets over any size tracks and he's getting better," Bartlett said. "We're ready for next week (sire stakes finals here)." The evening's second ($78,800) statebred sojourn was a mismatch on paper and in practice for divisional leader Gimpanzee (Sears, $2.10), making it 6-for-6 ($166,358) during his froshfest. All the wins have come in New York Sire Stakes competition, the latest after weigh stations of :29, :57.4, 1:28.1 and (identical to first event) 1:58. From post No. 6, he waited his turn to get by an eventually-breaking Captain Krupnik (Dan Dube) and Chapter Fashion (Bartlett). The latter eventually did the dance of the damned coming to the half, which led to an extremely gapped-out gang. The lead was eight lengths at intermission. Our White Knight (Miller) did cut in that passing the three-quarters, but the outcome was even more death-and-taxes than death-and-taxes. Gimpanzee won by 3¾ lengths, with Out White Knight safely second over Certify (Jeff Gregory). Fourth went to Captain Krupnik, as his break wasn't as costly as the other three misbehavers...even though all four were 'distanced' in the chart. Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, has won his half-dozen starts by a combined 23¼ lengths. The exacta paid $23.20, the triple returned $222 and the superfecta paid $920. "He's done nothing wrong and tonight was the same," Sears said. The Raceway hosts the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions Saturday night, Sept. 21st, with eight, $225,000 divisional finals. Friday night's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Medusa (Sears, $6.60) in 1:52, the lady's 35th career victory in her 120th start. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) wins the first of two divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshman harness racing trotting colts & geldings at Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 30) for a purse of $53,500. Chapter Fashion (Jason Bartlett) charged to the front and hit the first quarter in :27.4. Gimpanzee ($2.10) followed in the pocket. Trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., and S R F Stable, he would take over just before getting to the half first in :57.0 and cruise into three-quarters in 1:25.4. Chapter Fashion would stay close in second. As they hit the stretch Gimpanzee found another gear and recorded a lifetime best mark to win in 1:54.3. Chapter Fashion was easily second best. Our White Knight (Jim Morrill Jr.) came up to finish third. Gimpanzee is a colt by Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows. He is a perfect five for five in his career. Thunder (Jason Bartlett) takes the second division ($54,500) of the NYSS for trotting colts & geldings. Thunder ($6.30) went right to the front but Brady Bunch (Andy Miller) went first-over and took the lead before hitting the first quarter in :27.4. Thunder, who is trained by John Butenschoen for owners Crawford Farms Racing , Jeremy Day, and VIP Internet Stable LLC., re-claimed the lead and led them to a half of :57.4. He would lead them to three-quarters in 1:27.1. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) came up to challenge around the last turn but Thunder was too strong and flew home in the stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:55.4. Chip Chip Conway would settle for second with Brady Bunch earning third money. Thunder is a colt by Conway Hall-Cr Oh Suzanna. It was his third win in six lifetime starts. Vernon downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 31) for a 10 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 20, 2018--The public figured it out Monday night (Aug. 20th) with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $160,400 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $80,200 events led to a pair of winning favorites. The opening division saw Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, $3) mock both an eight-hole and seven outclassed foes, an as-he-pleased 4¼-length win in 1:57.3 Away fourth early, Gimpanzee went up and over early (:28.3, :59.2) leader Cavill Hanover (Dan Duve) before a 1:28.2 three-quarters. Gimpanzee opened 3½ lengths into the lane, then finished it off because the rules said he had to. Our White Knight (Scott Zeron) did get into second (for the fifth time), with Bazillionaire (Trond Smedshammer) third and Brady Bunch (Andy Miller)--who missed the memo at the outset--fourth. As for Gimpanzee, the son of Chapter Seven hasn't been tested thus far, winning his first four (NYSS) races by a combined 16½ lengths. Gimpanzee is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach, FL, co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. The exacta paid $44, the triple returned $307 and the superfecta paid $1,467 "He's just very mature," Sears--single digits away from 10,000 career wins--said. The evening's second and final grouping was won by Chapter Fashion ($5.90), who two-moved to the lead from post position No. 7, then held sway (:29.2, 59.3, 1:29, 1:58.1). Thunder (Zeron) tried it first-up, missing three-quarters of a length, with Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) third and Xcuseme (John Stark Jr.) fourth. The other half of the field, including second-choice Keystone Cash (Jimmy Takter), all misbehaved at some juncture. For Chapter Fashion, a Chapter Seven gelding owned by Fashion Farms and trained by Jim Campbell, it was his second (consecutive) win in five '18 tries. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple paid $45.20 and the superfecta paid $438. "He seemed to get around the track alright," Bartlett said. "There was some movement, but we weren't going very fast." New York Sire Stakes continue here Friday night (Aug. 24th), with the $156,000 Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts/geldings. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 18, 2018-Tepid choice Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, $6.10) finished what he started Saturday night (Aug. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Somewhere in L A-from post position No. 5-threw down intervals of :26.2; 55.4; 1:23 and 1:51.4. He whipped a pocketed McErlean (Brent Holland) by a length, with Theartofconfusion A (Mark MacDonald), Techtor Hanover (Dan Dube) and Always at My Place (George Brennan) rounding out the payees. For Somewhere in L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his eighth win in 20 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32.20, the triple returned $102 and the superfecta paid $397. It was one of Bartlett's six wins during the dozen-race card. Sears won thrice, while New Zealand driving champion Dexter Dunn began his stateside odyssey with a pair of drives. Dunn finished third as an odds-on favorite and seventh with an outsider. Sunday's (Aug. 19th) matinee has a first post of 12:35 PM, with races 1 through 4 of 'French' theme, two at the mile-and-a-quarter and two at the mile-and-a-half distance. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's first race and Yonkers' third. Post times are 1 PM and 1:35 PM, respectively. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Sunday afternoon’s (Aug. 19th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,390.53 and a $15,000 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 (if 11 or less races, the gimmick is the last five races on the card). 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. Sunday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/sun_program.pdf First post Sunday is 12:35 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 12, 2018--Odds-on favorite Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, $3.60) dusted 'em from first-over Sunday afternoon (Aug. 12th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot in track record time.. The weekly harness racing trotting feature went at the flat mile, directly after the four mile-and-a-quarter 'French' races. Away fifth from post position No. 4, the people's preference watched as lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) made the first lead. He then gave way to Mosinterestingman (Jordan Stratton) at the :27:1 opening quarter-mile. The one found a :56.3 intermission as Guardian Angel AS was out and moving. He engaged the leader in earnest by the 1:25.2 three-quarters, putting him away early in the lane. Guardian Angel AS widened the margin to 2¾ lengths in 1:53.4...a track record for his weight class. It was Mosinterestingman holding second, with In Secret (George Brennan), Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears) and NF Happenstance rounding out the payees. For Guardian Angel AS, a 4-year-old son of Archangel co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was his fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $164.50. Sunday's incarnation of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 4-Take Notice (Saratoga's 1st race) and 1-Kennel Buddy (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $12.70 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $6,867. The next Sunday matinee is Aug. 19th (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 10, 2018- It was an outside post, two-speed number Friday night (Aug. 10th), with Caviart Cherie (Jason Bartlett, $8.70) winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Outleaving her six inside foes, Caviart Cherie made an easy lead, pocketing eight-holer Magic Forces (George Brennan) and setting soft early intervals of :28 of :57.3. Rockstar Angel A (Eric Goodell) tried it first-up from fourth, going nowhere fast. That took out any semblance of an outer flow, including tepid 2-1 favorite Delightfulmemphisn (Dan Dube). Meanwhile, Caviart Cherie remained the leader in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead off the final turn. She held sway, whipping an angling-out Magic Forces by a half-length in 1:53. Vorst (Brent Holland), Change the Rulz N (Mark MacDonald) and Made of Jewels AS (Joe Bongiorno)-none of whom left the cones-completed the cashers. For third choice Caviart Cherie, a 4-year-old daughter of Well Said owned by Joe P Racing and trained by William Adamczyk, it was her 11th win in in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $78.50, the triple returned $423.50 and the superfecta paid $4,304. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway      

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