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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 14, 2019--Yonkers Raceway bid adieu to one of its harness racing favorites, Bit of a Legend N. The 10-year-old dual hemisphere double-millionaire, who was profiled earlier this week, was retired Saturday night (Dec. 14th) in an appropriate place, the Raceway winner's circle. Before going to his next job--stallion duty at Midland Acres in Bloomingburg, OH--Bit of a Legend N was honored by his human posse. Among those who gave their props to the 2016 Levy champion were co-owners Susan and Harry Von Knoblauch Jr., trainer Peter Tritton, driver Jordan Stratton, caretakers Smiley Quinteros and Carlos Rodriguez and official groupie Peter Venaglia. "(Bit of a Legend N) allowed me to retire," Von Knoblauch Jr. said, adding, "He bought our family closer together. We can't say we'll find another as good as him, but we try." Bit of a Legend N was an original $103,000 purchase by the late Harry Von Knoblauch. He went on to earn $1.9 million in 99 North American starts, winning a third (that's 33 after some fast math). "Peter (Tritton) and his staff took such good care of him," Stratton said. "I think that's why he lasted so long. "The horse's name is Bit of a Legend, but the real legend was Peter. He never put any pressure on me. I wasn't as established a driver then, and even when we didn't get the results, he understood my thought process." Saturday night's pair of $42,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Trot, Swansea (Austin Siegelman, $4.50) in 1:55.4,                                                                                                -- Mike Lizzi photo --Pace, Mac's Jackpot (Brent Holland, $12.20) in 1:52.2.                                                                                                -- Mike Lizzi photo George Brennan, back from some R&R, won three races, halving the difference (423-420) between himself in Jason Bartlett in the local driver standings with two programs remaining before the '19 season ends Tuesday night (Dec. 17th). Bartlett was blanked Saturday evening.   Frank Drucker Yonkers Raceway

There were three harness racing divisions of the second leg of the Holiday Trot Series contested on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Each division went for a purse of $7,500 as the participants had their last chance to accrue points towards next Wednesday’s $20,000 Final. Jimmy Nickerson’s Awol Hanover (Donato Hanover) and Phil Fluet’s Barn Star (Conway Hall) became two-leg winners as they each completed back-to-back jacks on Wednesday. Barn Star could well head into next week’s Final as the one to beat after prevailing in 1:58.2 for the second straight start. Fluet trains and drives the four year old who came into the series with just one win on the season but now owns three following a pocket-sitting victory on Wednesday. The fastest winner in each leg, Barn Star is poised to square off with Awol Hanover in the $20,000 Final after that one cruised to the front-end in leg two and never looked back. Jay Randall piloted the Nickerson-trained trotter who held off a late charge from rival JS Trotting Bob (Fluet) to secure his second victory in as many tries in the series, stopping the timer in 2:00 on Wednesday. The final division of the day saw a mild upset as Aventure (Muscle Mass) came from off the pace to prevail with leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky. Aventure had been winless in 2019 before a surge in the stretch on Wednesday saw him score a victory in 2:00 and punch his ticket to next week’s Final. The win for Aventure came at odds of 6-1 and served as the third on the card for Dobson. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon.      Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 30, 2019--Mac's Jackpot (Brent Holland, $20), despite four weeks off, a scratched-sick line in between and a first-over trip Saturday night (Nov. 30th), annexed Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from assigned post position No. 2, Mac's Jackpot found himself in behind Havefaithinme N (Jason Bartlett), Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) and Fine Diamond (Jordan Stratton). Havefaithinme N led through intervals of :27.1 and a flat 56 seconds before Mac's Jackpot moved. He led the conga line which included The Real One (Pat Lachance) and 17-10 choice Saying Grace N (Jim Marohn Jr.). Havefaithinme N found a 1:24 three-quarters, but was about to get collared. Mac's Jackpot took over soon thereafter, with The Real One in pursuit. Mac's Jackpot did close the sale from early in the lane, holding off The Real One by a length in 1:51.3 while matching a season's-best effort. Saying Grace N was a non-threatening third, with Havefaithinme N and The Wall (Joe Bongiorno) picking off the remainder. For fifth choice Mac's Jackpot, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Howard & Michael Ouriel and trained by Jeff Smith, it was her ninth win (third consecutive) in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $97.50, the triple returned $426 and the superfecta paid $1,171.   Frank Drucker Yonkers

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday we surround ourselves with friends and family and take a moment and reflect what we have to be thankful for, this Thanksgiving.  Brandon Parker has much to be thankful for, on Tuesday November 26, the 20 year old Parker scored a harness racing hat trick at Monticello Raceway, it seemed like just yesterday that Brandon won his first pari mutual win. Brandon went down the road in the third race with Road Untraveled and scored a wire to wire 1 length win 1:57.1 and returned a $3.70-win ticket. The 11-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding notched his 13 win of the 2019 season for trainer David Dziengiel. The classy campaigner Road Untraveled has lifetime earnings of $425,626 and a lifetime record of 1:49.1 Brandon was content to sit the pocket with Mom's Crossroads while Feel The Need A and Hunter Oaks cut the mile in race 5, Mom's Crossroads uncorked a final quarter in 28.4 to overtake pacesetter Feel The Need A to prevail in 1:56, the fastest mile of the day. Mom's Crossroads is owned and trained by Brandon's father Billy "Zeke" Parker. The new acquisition to the barn has won his last 2 out pf 3 starts after being claimed. The Allamerican Native 8-year-old gelding paid $8.80. The driving triple was capped when Parker scored with the longest shot on the board, the 21-1 Jasmine Ivy in 1:59.1 and paid $45.60 for win. The Raheim Strong trainee sat the 2 hole behind as the odds on favorite Future Life who cut the mile, Jasmine Ivy has enough in the tank to overtake Future Life at the wire. The 20-year-old Brandon Parker is in 6th place for leading Monticello Raceway Dash winners with 77 wins, his mounts have earned $398,718 thus far this season. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Goshen, NY - The Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the slate of six candidates for election into the Hall of Fame.   The nominees are:   ALWAYS B MIKI BEE A MAGICIAN CHAPTER SEVEN FATHER PATRICK PEACEFUL WAY SWEET LOU   Standardbred horses are elected into harness racing's Living Horse Hall of Fame by current members of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. SIX candidates will be presented to the Museum membership for consideration. Ballots will be mailed to members after Thanksgiving and must be returned by January 2, 2020. The THREE top vote getters will be inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame on Hall of Fame Day - July 5, 2020 - in Goshen, New York. If you wish to participate in the Living Horse Hall of Fame election process and are not currently a Museum member, please contact the Museum to become a member. In July 2018, the Board of Trustees of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame approved a revised set of Living Horse Hall of Fame eligibility criteria. Those criteria are as follows: A racehorse must be retired from racing for two years and have had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have been the winner of $2.5 million lifetime WITH 2 Dan Patch Awards, OR been the winner of $3 million lifetime, OR been named Dan Patch (U.S.) Harness Horse of the Year. Horses over the age of 12 that are still racing and meet the criteria are also eligible. A racemare must be retired from racing for two years and have had a drug-free career. In addition, racemares must have been the winner of $1.5 million lifetime WITH 2 Dan Patch Awards, OR been the winner of $2.5 million lifetime, OR been named Dan Patch (U.S.) Harness Horse of the Year. Mares over the age of 12 that are still racing and meet the criteria are also eligible. Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading moneywinning sires at their gait, OR have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners, OR been a leading moneywinning sire at his gait in three or more seasons. Annually on March 1st, a list of the broodmares that have produced two Dan Patch winners, OR two millionaires, OR one Dan Patch winner and one millionaire will be assembled for the Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee to review. Committee members can also nominate a broodmare that does not meet the criteria. Each of the committee members votes for his or her top 5 broodmares, voting results are tabulated and the top two vote getters are elected to the Living Horse Hall of Fame. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, New York, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanks to industry support the Museum is offers free admission for walk-in visitors and $4 per person for group docent-guided tours. For information on the Museum, membership, special events, gift shop services and educational programs the Museum offers, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. Janet Terhune

Goshen, NY --Just like many of her classmates, when Noelle Duspiva entered the Horse Husbandry curriculum at Morrisville State College in 2001 she enjoyed being around pleasure horses and thought, "I could just ride horses for the rest of my life and it will be profitable." She added, "I realized very quickly that this would be a difficult career path." As the neighs and whinnies of yearlings echoed through the vast halls of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, Duspiva noted that she had no idea that she would find herself managing a Standardbred breeding farm in Orange County, New York less than a decade later. While din of the auctioneers could be heard in the background of the Harrisburg yearling sale, Noelle recounted her need for a summer job while on college break and one of the only positions available was in the breeding barn. Being late in the month of May, there was but one mare left to foal, so the then-eighteen-year-old agreed to take a shot at foal watch. The mare foaled perfectly, "but I was freaking out," she adds with a laugh. Luckily for Duspiva she was working in the breeding shed beside one of the most knowledgeable and well-known breeding managers in the state of New York, Dave Hanson. She credits Hanson and Dr. Larry Sautter as two of her mentors in the industry and recalls the early days of collection stallions, inseminating mares and ultimately prepping yearlings at the Morrisville College program. "That summer I got a crash course in harness racing and breeding operations, literally from the ground up." She fell in love with the sport and was hooked. She picked breeding as her major concentration and stayed at Morrisville all four summers until she graduated. But, before she could graduate, the program stipulated an internship at a breeding farm...which provided Duspiva the opportunity to enter the world of Winbak Farm. Following the internship and graduation in 2004 she was offered a job on the Standardbred nursery in Walden, NY. She has been there ever since, taking over as manager in 2010. Over the course of her work at Winbak of NY there has been as many as twelve stallions standing stud at one time. Although she counts Muscles Yankee and Malabar Man as two of the most memorable, they each had their own distinct accomplishments and is very proud to have worked with all of them. In addition to her duties farm manager, Duspiva is also the President of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. Her work with that organization has allowed her to interact with breeders from all over the state and to help implement improvements to the program in concert with the New York Sires Stakes and the Ag Fund. When the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association holds their 61st annual Awards Banquet, on Sunday, December 15, 2019, Noelle Duspiva will receive the chapter's Excelsior Award, for her dedication and contributions to harness racing in the State of New York. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Mickey Burke (Lifetime Achievement Award); Larry Lederman (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Purple Haze Stable (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Barbara Martinez (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Dave Brower (Phil Pines Award); Tony Verruso (Amateur Driver); Joe Chindano, Jr. (Rising Star); and Donald Bickle (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event at The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club, Middletown, NY, can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com. To place a congratulatory ad in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com.   by Chris Tully Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Stall applications for the upcoming 2020 harness racing season at Buffalo Raceway are now available through several different sources.   Applications have been mailed out and can also be obtained at www.buffaloraceway.com or picked up at the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association office located at Batavia Downs. Deadline to return the form is Friday, December 13.   Racing at the half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg will begin on Wednesday, January 29 and will conclude on Saturday, July 18.   Race Secretary Tom Agosti also announced that the conditions instituted last season will remain in effect in 2020 with Class A, B, C and D levels used. The purse structure will remain the same as in 2019 as well.   For more information including the latest news and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 23, 2019--'Twas a pair of Yonkers Raceway $35,000 Preferred Handicaps highlighting the Saturday harness racing night (Nov. 23rd) soiree. Stormy Kromer (Brent Holland, $36.80) edged past Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton) in the week's marquee trot, snapping that one in a season's-best 1:54. The latter retook from the eventual winner, throwing down subsections of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.2 while Top Flight Angel (Eric Goodell) offered a weak, first-up bid. Will Take Charge owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but was unable to close the sale for the second week in a row. Stormy Kromer--from post position No. 5--eased out and by, the margin a neck. Lean Hanover (Jim Marohn Jr.) was a best-of-the-rest third, with Swansea (Austin Siegelman) and 17-10 choice Melady's Monet (George Brennan) settling for the small change. For sixth choice Stormy Kromer, a 5-year-old Dejarmbro gelding owned by Tom Ceraso Jr. and trained by Paul Stafford, it was his eighth win in 35 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $123.50, the triple returned $1,193 and the superfecta paid $13,076 (base $2 payout). The weekly adult-table pace saw odds-on fave Jack's Legend N (Jason Bartlett, $3) get the memo just in time. Assigned outside his five rivals, he floated from the gate, but landed only fifth as The Wall (Brennan) rolled intervals of :27.4; :56.3 and 1:24. The one had a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, with San Domino A (Holland) pocketed and The Real One (Pat Lachance) pacing in place first-up from third. All the while, Jack's Legend N was lagging to catch his tow, then went wide. The Wall fought the good fight, but the people's preference did get there, winning by a half-length in a life-best 1:51.2. The Real One, San Domino A and invading Tookadiveoffdipper (Stratton) picked off the remainder,                                                                                       --Mike Lizzi photo For Jack's Legend N, a 5-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned by (trainer) Richard Banca, Barbara & James Boese, it was his sixth win in 10 '19 tries. The exacta paid $11.60, the triple returned $31.40 and the superfecta paid $51. Special Saturday props to venerable vets Somewhere in L A (Bartlett, $16) and Bit of a Legend N (Stratton, ), who were a nose apart in the $22,000, 11th-race pace (1:52.1). That was a now 44-time winner ($1,799,046) just holding off a 53-time winner ($2,562,871) with a combined 328 career starts.   Frank Drucker Manager of Publicity Yonkers

Another Saturday night and another harness racing victory in the Open Pace for Crockets Cullen N (Christian Cullen) who lengthened his sensational win streak at Saratoga Casino Hotel to eight. The veteran New Zealander has become a superstar this year in the Open and has thrived in recent months despite starting from outside posts every week and navigating through a variety of different trips. On Saturday night, Crockets Cullen N was assigned post six in the $18,000 six-horse feature and his owner-driver Larry Stalbaum flashed early speed with the Tracy Tarantino stable's star. Crockets Cullen N wound up in the pocket behind Hudson Phil (Frank Coppola Jr), an eight-time Open winner this year and runner-up to Crockets Cullen N last Saturday. Hudson Phil posted honest fractions of 27.1 and 55.4 in lap one and all the while, Stalbaum sat patiently in the pocket before springing the two-hole around the final turn. Crockets Cullen N slugged it out in the stretch with Hudson Phil before putting him away to prevail in 1:53. The win was the 14th of the season for Crockets Cullen N who has now won eight consecutive tries in the local Open. Hudson Phil was the runner-up to the track's new superstar for second straight Saturday evening while Bettor Notbitter A (Jay Randall) came on to earn the show spot. Crockets Cullen N paid $5.00 to win in his most recent score and led an exacta and triple that returned $22 and $32.60, respectively. Crockets Cullen N and Hudson Phil are joined by In A Single Bound and Century Endeavor as nominees for Pacer of the Year at Saratoga, an award that will be given out at the conclusion of the meet next month. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a first post time set for 12 Noon. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY--The 2019 CKG Billings Amateur Driving Harness Racing Series is now in the books after $25,000 Gold Cup Championship Finals in the series Midwest and Eastern regions. Last night at The Meadows Kelly "Sky" Walker emerged victorious with Keystone Blade in the Midwest final and tonight at Yonkers Raceway Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford scored with Blasco in the East Regional finale. Both Billings Gold Cup finals were contested at a distance of 1-1/4 mile. Keystone Blade was victorious in 2:30 while Blasco scored in 2:29.1. Unlike last night's Gold Cup Final where the winner returned a $38.60 mutuel Oldford's trotter was second choice in the wagering and paid $6.10. In tonight's contest Oldford hustled Blasco to the lead from the two-hole and was in front when he passed the first quarter in :28.2. But as they trotted beyond the quarter pole Oldford, still on the pylons, opened up some daylight which allowed Minore to settle a parked Wygant Prince in behind him. As Blasco showed the way by the half mile pole "Yankee Joe" Lee moved the favorite, Inukchuk Chuck to the outside from far back and began moving up but he had to go three- deep as they neared the three quarter pole to get around Wygant Prince. Still in charge Blasco was a length to the good when he passed the one- mile marker in 1:59:3. And through the lane despite constant urging by Joe Lee, Inukchuk Chuck couldn't make up any ground on the leader and finished second , 1-1/2 lengths behind Blasco. Wygant Prince held on for the show dough. Oldford had qualified his trotter Utopia for the Midwest Gold Cup Final but they finished off the board. However, they more than made up for that with a gutsy win by Blasco in tonight's East Region Gold Cup Final. Blasco is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Ethan Cisco. Although there is no award for best trotter in the BIllings Series one could easily nominate the Nick Surick-trained, Inukchuk Chuk. The veteran trotter won five Billings trots this year with four different drivers: Sofia Zingale, Tyler Miller, Kiara Morgan and two wins by Hannah Miller.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 15, 2019 -- With not a distaff derby in sight a harness racing Friday night (Nov. 15th), Yonkers Raceway offered $22,000 tri-features. Using some editorial discretion, we went with the trotters. Odds-on favorite Icanflylikeanangel (Jason Bartlett, $3.30) has no issues whatsoever. From post position No. 5, he worked around Majestic Brayden (Joe Bongiorno), making the lead before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. From, there, it was a :58.2 intermission and 1:27 three-quarters, with pole-sitting Lord Cromwell (Matt Kakaley) not getting close first-up from third. Icanflylikeanangel owned a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane, needing only to hold off his immediate stalker. He did, defeating Majestic Brayden by a couple of lengths in 1:55.2. Third went to Lord Cromwell, sharing the minors with Sumatra (George Brennan) and I'm the Muscle (Dan Dube). For Icanflylikeanangel, a 5-year-old Archangel gelding co-owned by Pollack Racing & Randy Bendis and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was his fifth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $31, the triple returned $90 and the superfecta paid $332. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Nov. 16th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,858.09 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 Saturday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Saturday’s Pick 5 program pages accompany this release.       YR Sat., 11-16-19 P5 program pages.pdf 212K View as HTML Download BY FRANK DRUCKER Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 9, 2019--Former all-age harness racing track record-holder The Real One (Pat Lachance, $13.40) stuck his tongue out at the wire Saturday night (Nov. 9th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Open Handicap Pace. Third-over from assigned post position No. 4, The Real One was sixth--then fifth--when he bid in earnest. He snapped a first-over Dancin' Dragon (George Brennan) in 1:53, with Runrunjimmydunn N (Jordan Stratton) tiring to third after intervals of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:24. It was Theartofconfusion A (Dan Dube) and 8-5 choice Jack's Legend N (Jason Bartlett) settling for the minors. The latter, making a North American purse debut after four qualifiers, was caught third in turning for home before knifing through while pacing over rivals. For fourth choice The Real One, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by his chauffeur for owner Helene Filion, it was his fifth win in 23 seasonal starts (career 52-for-205, $1,229,688). The exacta paid $54.50, the triple returned $129.50 and the superfecta paid $470.50.   By FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director

Bettor Notbitter A (Bettor's Delight) recorded his first Open Pace harness racing victory at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday night. The Patti Harmon-trained pacer drew post position two for his third try in the local Open and driver Jay Randall didn't waste any time showing speed with a horse who has thrived as a closer in his local starts. Bettor Notbitter A was the public's 3-5 betting favorite on Saturday just two weeks removed from a second-place finish in the $18,000 Open. Randall moved the seven year old Australian-invader out to the front in the feature and once they got there, it was over. Bettor Notbitter A cruised to the front in 27.3 before clicking off a half 56.1. The Harmon trainee padded his lead after checking in at three quarters in 1:24.4 and drew away to win by four lengths to record his first score in the Spa feature. Redbank Blaze A (Billy Dobson) finished second in his Saratoga debut while Funknwaffles (Brett Crawford) earned the show spot. Bettor Notbitter A stopped the timer in 1:52.2, a time that serves as a new lifetime mark for the pacer who now has a pair of wins and a second-place finish in his five starts since coming over from Australia. Harmon and Randall teamed up for a victory in Thursday afternoon's Open for fillies and mares as well as The Charging Moa N proved dominant in her local debut. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon and will feature a Pick Five carryover of $5,584. The Pick Five starts in race one which is scheduled for 12 noon.   Mike Sardella

Batavia, NY --- After winning his way up through the non-winner harness racing ranks, Howmac Dancer scored a major upset in his first top class $12,500 Open Handicap pace victory at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (11-9). There was a mad rush off the gate with Major Authority (Wade Tomaszewski) parking out Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) and Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) two and three deep to the quarter in :27.3. With everyone finally taking a seat, Major Authority kept rolling to the half in :55.3. At that point Howmac Dancer (Denny Bucceri) pulled from mid-pack, moved smartly up the backstretch and took command by the three-quarters in 1:25. Rounding the far turn, Howmac Dancer had a gapped advantage but still had to withstand a late rush from Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) and Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) which he did to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. It was the fifth win in seven Batavia starts and seventh win of the season for Howmac Dancer ($42.00) who is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi and trained by Jim Clouser Jr. The $11,000 Open II Handicap pace went to Cultural Paradise (Renaldo Morales III) who led every step of the way en route to his third win in his last four starts and fourth win of the season, timed in 1:56.3. Don Rothfuss trains for owner Howard Ouriel. The biggest win mutuel of the year was paid out on Saturday after 74-1 shot Raylan Givens (Billy Davis Jr.) rallied late in the fourth race to win by a neck in 1:56.2. The Brittney Ohol owned and trained gelding returned $151.00 for the win and sparked a $946.00 exacta (7-3), $1,447.00 trifecta (7-3-1) and $5,175.00 superfecta (7-3-1-8). Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday with three wins while trainers Don Rothfuss and Mike Ohol won two races apiece. There was no winner in the Pick-5 wager again on Saturday and as a result there is a $2,343 carry-over and Batavia Downs will be offering a guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the pick-5 wager on Wednesday (Nov. 13) when live racing resumes at 5 p.m. The pool will be part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program page available on the USTA's website starting on Sunday morning.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- A harness racing class drop spelled victory for Wheels A Turning who moved down from Open I company on Friday night (Nov. 8) to win the $11,000 Open II trotting feature at Batavia Downs. Getting away fourth, Wheels A Turning (Denny Bucceri) watched in wait while the only other mare in the race, CR Blazin Beauty (John Cummings Jr.), grabbed the lead and set the tone. They went to the half in :58 flat before Bucceri pulled Wheels A Turning first-over and started to march for the front. CR Blazing Beauty maintained command of her lead but Wheels A Turning was trotting alongside within a length at the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch. As they moved down the lane the two trotted stride for stride to the wire until Wheels A Turning gained a slight advantage and won by a neck in 1:57.3. It was the ninth win of the year for Wheels A Turning ($6.10) who has now earned $79,310 in purses in 2019. Allan Schmucker Jr. owns the 5-year-old daughter of Mr. Cantab-Free Wheeling that is trained by Sabrina Shaw. The Downs leading driver, Billy Davis Jr., Shawn McDonough and Renaldo Morales III all had three winners during the evening on Friday. That pushed Davis's win total for the meet to 103 wins ,which is a commanding 24 tallies ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. who sits in second place. Patrick Shepherd led all trainers with two wins on Friday, putting him at 25 wins and catapulting him into third place behind the leading Jim Clouser Jr. (42) and Maria Rice (33), who each scored one win on Friday. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 9) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- A pair of distaff Open paces topped the harness racing card on Wednesday night (Nov. 6) at Batavia Downs and fittingly, both winners came from barns of female trainers. In the $12,500 Open I Handicap for fillies and mares, Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) got away fifth while Blue Bell Bonnie (Dave McNeight III) and HP Sissy (Drew Monti) battled for front supremacy in a speedy :27.2. Davis pulled first-over with Protect Blue Chip and brought Gia's Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) in the flow. Positions grew tight as the race reached three-quarters in 1:25.3 with the top four horses pacing in a bunch and it didn't get any easier down the lane. With a mad rush to the wire, from the pylons out was Blue Bell Bonnie, HP Sissy, Protect Blue Chip and Gia's Surreal all within a head of each other until Protect Blue Chip got the slightest advantage to win by a nose in a blanket finish on a cold night in 1:54.4. It was the seventh win of the year and a new seasonal mark for Protect Blue Chip ($18.00) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap for fillies and mares, Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) went a mile that could have gotten her the top prize in the main event. After leaving sharply from post four in :27.1, Lady London led at every station by a gapped advantage that grew as the race progressed. After hitting three-quarters in 1:24.1, Fisher let Lady London pace home of her own volition and she stretched out to a 5-3/4 length win at the wire in 1:54.1. It was also the seventh win of the year for Lady London ($5.30) who is owned by VHF Racing and trained by Sabrina Shaw, who had a training double on the card. John Cummings Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. were the hot drivers on Wednesday, each scoring a hat trick of victories. Kevin Cummings joined Shaw in the trainer ranks with two wins on Wednesday as well. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 8) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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