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It appears Lazarus can not only walk the walk but talk the talk. The Kiwi pacing hero faces one of the toughest challenges of his North American career when he starts from a daunting wide draw in the US$250,000 Dan Rooney Pace (one mile) at Yonkers, New York tomorrow morning (10am NZ time). On the tight Yonkers track Lazarus needs to get handy or more ideally lead inside the first 600m to give himself the best chance of a revenge victory over arch rival McWicked, who beat him in the second fastest race mile in history in Kentucky last week.  As was the case when he was trained in New Zealand, Lazarus has thrived on hard racing and is showing no signs of lightening off in condition, looking muscled and with a stunning summer sheen on his coat at trainer Jimmy Takter’s New Jersey property this week. “I think the hard racing has really brought him on,” says Takter. “He felt very good in his work on Wednesday and he will be hard to beat this Saturday even though he has a tough draw.” But Lazarus’s work on Takter’s straight sand track track on Wednesday wasn’t the only reason the Hall Of Fame trainer was smiling afterward. He was shaking his head in amazement at a story from Kentucky last Saturday relayed to him by fellow top trainer Ross Croghan. Croghan is the trainer of Lazarus’s former stablemate Heaven Rocks and the pair raced each other for the first time in the United States last Saturday. “Ross told me the most amazing story,” says Takter. “He said when Lazarus walked into the barn last week he stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Heaven Rocks, who apparently he used to travel with Down Under, and started yelling out to him. “It wasn’t a stallion thing because the other horse is a gelding but Lazarus started yelling at Heaven Rocks like he was an old friend and Heaven Rocks starts calling back to him. “It was like too old friends seeing each other and Ross said it was incredible to see and there was no doubt they were happy to see each other. “When I heard that story it made the hairs on my arms stand up. I know this horse is smart but they really are incredible animals.” Coming from a small-time trainer who spends all his time with the one horse that might sounds cooky, hearing it was Takter and Croghan is a magical equine moment. But Takter isn’t finished. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised because one of the first things I loved about this horse was he is always talking to the other horses. “When you are out there working him he is making noises at them, again not as a stallion but just cause he likes his job. The top horses always have charisma, he has a lot of it.” It is the same at Takter’s stables where Lazarus has become protective of the juvenile trotting filly he is stabled next too, not in an amorous way but as the big brother. “Any time we do anything with her he comes over to make sure she is all right and he gets really annoyed when we take her away. He misses her,” said Lazarus’s main handler Helen Engblom. It seems regardless of what happens at Yonkers tomorrow Lazarus is making a big impression in North America, on and off the track. Michael Guerin

Victorian trainer John Meade flew out to the USA on Sunday night thinking what could have been with his stable star Sparkling Success.  Meade was forced to withdraw Sparkling Success from next month’s US $1 million International Trot last Monday after scans confirmed the gelding had a hole in his suspensory. The couple decided to still make the trip to America without the horse after the months of planning and preparation that had gone into their once in a lifetime opportunity. “If the Yonkers track is what I think they are, I think they’ll look after us pretty well when we get to the track because I haven’t ripped anyone off,” John Meade said. “I did the right thing by Yonkers, it wasn’t my money I was spending going to America, it was someone else’s money. “You can’t rip someone off for $70,000 and not give them some miles, if the race had been next week we would have probably raced him but there was so much work he needed to do between now and the big race that it was only right to scratch him.” Sparkling Success is set to spend more than 12 months on the sideline recovering from the injury and Meade is looking forward to getting him back to the races. “The vet said the hole is contained within the suspensory, it hasn’t blown the side out of it. “He had platelet-rich plasma treatment last Thursday and I have had it done on my old horse Crescent Glory with great success but in saying that Sparkling Success is still going to need rehabilitation, six months in the paddock, then a bit of light work and then I just hope for the best.” The son of Great Success has suffered from leg injuries in the past but Meade confirmed this was a new injury. “It is definitely not the problem he had after winning the Vicbred as a 4-year-old, that was on the other leg. “His front feet stick out past his nose when he is trotting at top speed, the entire breed does it, and that puts immense pressure on the tendons and suspensory but do you want a horse that does that and can win races or have a slow horse that struggles to win.” Meade noticed there was some slight filling on the suspensory in the lead up to his last run in Australia and hoped it was nothing too serious. “I thought it might have been dermatitis he picked up from boot rub and I treated him for that and on the night of his last run when I put his shin boots on he felt really good and he raced really well. “When I got home after the race I treated his leg and the next morning it looked good and he wasn’t sore but I just had a gut feeling something wasn’t right so I asked the vet to scan his leg and that’s when we got the bad news.” Sparkling Success has won 17 of his 37 starts and earned $420,170 in his career. Greg Hayes

Ulster (Glidemaster) won his seventh Open Trot of the season on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Amanda Facin trainee went coast-to-coast to spring the mild upset. Ulster marched out to the early lead in the $14,500 feature with regular reinsman Jay Randall at the controls. After going untested in a first half trotted in 57.1, Ulster had plenty left for the final lap. The race's 1-5 betting favorite and last week's Open winner were both uninvolved early and it cost them late as the speed held in the Open. Ulster wired the field in 1:54.3, the fastest of his seven Open scores this season. Longshot Judy The Beauty (Jimmy Devaux) sat the pocket and finished second while Charmed Life (Billy Dobson) came from last to finish third. Ulster, who was Randall's third winner of the day, paid $16.00 in Sunday's score and led an exacta and triple that came back a hefty $131.50 and $728, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:15pm.   Mike Sardella

Ulster (Glidemaster) has been the king of the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel this year. The Amanda Facin trainee established himself late last season as an Open threat and it was apparent early on in the 2018 harness racing campaign that he would be a force among the track's top trotters this year.  Ulster won the first Open Trot of the season at the Spa back in February and recorded three wins in the track's first four features for high-steppers this year. Though his last win in the Open came back in April, the veteran trotter had five Open wins to his credit in '18 when he went off as the odds-on betting favorite on Tuesday. Jay Randall is the regular pilot for Ulster and on Tuesday, the veteran reinsman powered the favorite out to the early lead in the $14,500 feature. The seven year old trotting star cruised through first half fractions of 28.1 and 57.4 before clicking off three quarters in 1:26.1. Under just mild Randall urging, Ulster drew away to win by three lengths in 1:55.1 for his sixth Open score of the season. Yonkers invader Madman Hall (Ray Schnittker) overcame a tough first-over journey to be second while Crazycat (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. With still a ton of racing left to be done in the 2018 campaign at the Spa, not only is Ulster the front-runner for Trotter of the Year but may well be a contender for Horse of the Year. Live racing continues on Wednesday night with a first post time of 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Champion harness driver Dexter Dunn is set to try to establish himself in North America again. And he hasn't ruled out a permanent move there should his winter campaign prove an enormous success. Dunn has won the last 10 national drivers' premierships but will relinquish his title to good friend Blair Orange this season, with the latter 28 clear on the standings after bringing up win 200 for the season at Manawatu on Tuesday. Orange's numbers this season have been so staggering he now has Dunn's national record 229 wins for a season in his sights and barring injury or suspension should probably set a new mark. But Dunn says the end of his premiership domination isn't why he is heading to New York in a few weeks. "I spent a few months up there driving a few years ago and really enjoyed the experience and always wanted to come back," says Dunn. "But the right opportunity never really presented itself until now." That finally did come when Kiwi trainer Chris Ryder, who is now based in North America, approached Dunn about driving in the US with his support. "Chris has been a long-time family friend and suggested the time was right and he would support me and try and help me get outside drives. "There has been a bit of visa paperwork to get through and I still have to go for a final interview at the US consulate in Auckland in a few weeks. But if and when the paperwork is finalised, hopefully I can get up there sooner rather than later. "Their [US] really good horses, the ones that will be racing in the better races later in the summer, are all starting to come out in the qualifiers at the moment so I'd love to be able to get some serious drives and the sooner I am there the more likely that is to happen." Dunn expects to be away from New Zealand from around mid-June until maybe just before the New Zealand Cup carnival in November, which would mean could drive at the rich Breeders Crown on October 27. But if the trip turned out to be an enormous success he could be tempted to stay. "I intend being back for the Cup carnival and driving like normal here over the summer. "But you never know what can happen. Anything is possible, including basing myself up there fulltime. "But I don't expect that to happen on this trip." After 10 remarkable years during which Dunn has emerged from obscurity to win 10 premierships and win 2180 races in New Zealand alone, the superstar of the sulky admits the time for a new challenge has come. "I still love the big carnivals, our summer racing and some of the special days we have, like Kaikoura for example. "But you do have the odd time when driving so much gets stale, especially when you have been travelling as much as I have for the last five years. "It usually only lasts a weekend and you are back fine the next week, but it does happen. "So this will be a good freshen up for me, a new challenge and a chance to learn some new things." Although Dunn has already seen his premiership run ended by Orange this season, any longer-term North American ambitions from him would put Orange in the perfect position to start his own premiership domination. The pair are so far in front of their rivals in numbers of drives and races won in the last couple of years it would be hard to envisage a new serious premiership contender emerging. So if Dunn tastes success during his upcoming US trip and decides to spend more winters there in the years to come, the national premiership would appear to be Orange's to own. Michael Guerin

Goshen Historic Track, where it all started and where it still is today, is prepping for its 181st season of exciting harness racing and 2018 will be the 108th year of Grand Circuit Racing at "the Cradle of the Trotter". Racing action will commence with three matinee racing programs on consecutive Sundays beginning with June 3 and continuing on June 10 and June 17. Post times for the matinee race cards will be at 1pm. This year will mark the 57th consecutive season of matinee racing over the historic double-oval. Grand Circuit racing begins on Friday, June 29 and will feature the Landmark Series and the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series. Then on Saturday, June 30, 3-year-old pacers will be featured in New York Sires Stakes action. On Sunday, July 1 will be the annual Hall of Fame Trot with various members of Harness Racing's Hall of Fame at the controls, which has always been a fan favorite. Then after that race is completed the Hall of Famers will be available for photos and autographs. Also slated on the July 1st card is the New York Sire Stakes for 3 year old trotters and the race under saddle. The 2018 racing season ends won Monday, July 2nd with the New York Sire Stakes for horses competing in the County Fair division. All post times for racing will be at 1pm. Also part of the Historic Track offerings this season will be a Poker Run on Saturday, May 26 and Goshen High School Graduation on Friday, June 22. There will be a concert at the facility on Friday June 29 after the racing card is completed. On Tuesday, July 3 Historic Track will host the Harness Horse Youth Foundation followed on Saturday, July 28 with the Jimmy Sturr Concert. The annual Car Show is set for Sunday, Sept. 2nd and the tracks Golf Outing fundraiser is scheduled for Monday, September 10. by John Manzi for Historic Track

Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron) won the Tioga Downs Open Pace ($12,000) on a soggy Mothers Day Sunday (May 13). Mr Big Load (Fern Paquet Jr.) rushed out to the quick lead and covered all the early fractions (:27.0, :55.2, 1:23.2). Andreios Kardia ($7.30) went first over from fourth just after the halfway point. Owned by Ina Madill and trained by Jeff Byron, he flew by at the top of the stretch and easily held off the late charge from runner-up finisher, Doo Wop Hanover (Jim Meittinis). Chantepleure (Austin Siegelman) finished third. Andreios Kardia, who is a 7-year-old gelding by Badlands Hanover, won for the second time this season. It was his 28th career victory. Jim Taggert Jr. won three on the day. He went to the winner's circle with Bettorsluckystreak ($5.70), Fanelli Royal ($6.40), and Tarport Andy ($10.80). Tioga Downs returns to live action on Friday (May 18) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

With no Fillies and Mares Open to headline the harness racing card, the $9,500 pace for conditional or claiming mares was featured on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Bye Bye Michelle (Stonebridge Regal) was dropping out of the Open Pace for distaffers when she drew the outside post in the six-horse feature. The veteran mare was the public's even money favorite on Friday evening and the Melissa Beckwith trainee moved out to the early lead in a fast first quarter of 27.1 before getting a big breather in the race's middle half. Pocket sitter Robin J (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came out of the two-hole and came after Bye Bye Michelle in the final furlong but to no avail. With Mark Beckwith in the sulky, Bye Bye Michelle held on to win by a half length, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 for her third win of the season. Robin J had to settle for second while Squeeze This (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Bye Bye Michelle paid $4.00 to win and led a chalky exacta and triple that returned $9.00 and $20.60, respectively. Live racing continues on Saturday night with a $14,500 Open Pace as the evening's feature. First post time is set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Friday night featured the Virginia O’Brien Pacing Series Final for fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Eight distaffers who earned the most points in the series’ two legs competed in the $32,200 Final over a sloppy track on Friday evening and it was the race’s favorite that would end up prevailing. Maggies Way (Dream Away) had second-place finishes in each of the series’ legs but after drawing post position four in the Final, she wound up as the public’s 9-5 betting favorite. Driver Shawn Gray moved Maggies Way out to the early lead, a lead she would never relinquish. Longshot pocket-sitter Cakeatin Annieway (Bruce Aldrich Jr) won the photo for place with Simply Awesome (Mark Beckwith) earning the show spot. Maggies Way, who is trained by Mike Girouard, set a lifetime mark of 1:56.4 in what was by far the biggest win in the career of the five year old mare. Despite the favorite winning, the exacta and triple paid a hearty $119 and $803, respectively. Maggies Way adds her name to the list of previous O’Brien Memorial winners that consists of Karla Art, Shesnobeachboy and Nashurallability.  Live racing continues on Saturday night with the JP Morel Pacing Series Final highlighting the twelve race card. First post time is set for 6:45pm.    Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 4, 2018—First, she won the open draw. Then, she closed matters early. Odds-on favorite Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $2.60) toyed with her six foes Friday night (May 4th), easily winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Away second, Mach it a Par went up and over Bettorhaveanother (Joe Bongiorno) before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. A qualifier-esque :57.4 intermission effectively ended what minimal suspense actually remained. Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) was the first to move—from seventh—and subsequently broke after Call Me Queen Be (Eric Goodell) appeared to come out underneath her. Meanwhile, Mach it a Par maintained her open lead in and out of a 1:26.1 three-quarters, widening to 3½ lengths off the final turn. She finished if off by 2½ lengths in 1:54.2. Culinary Delight (Larry Stalbaum) did get into second, with Bettorhaveanother, Call Me Queen Be and Delightful Dragon coming away with the minors.   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 Richard Banca, it was her fourth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $8.40, with the triple returning $28.60. Derby Day fun begins early Saturday (May 5th), with mutuel windows opening at 10 AM in advance of the 144th  Kentucky Derby. First post at Churchill Downs is 10:30 AM, and Yonkers getting the spirit with the obligatory hat contests, mint juleps and an array of food and drink specials. Of course, since a wager or two is made, windows are open both inside and outside, with Derby post time set for about 6:46 PM.     Frank Drucker Yonkers Raceway  

As in the years in past, CeCe Levy and her brother, Bobby Levy, will be presenting the harness racing trophy to the winner of the George Morton Levy, a race named in the honor of their father. This year joining them in the presentation at Yonkers Raceway will be Bobby's children Tristin and Gavin. The accomplishments of George Morton Levy are too many to mention and if he had not existed our sport may not have, too. Levy invented harness racing as we know it when he opened Roosevelt Raceway introducing pari-mutual and night time racing. He would also later introduce the mobile starting gate which would revolutionize the sport. Some of his other accomplishments include the implementation of the International Trot and the single heat racing. There is also a funny story from a few years ago. While on their way to the winners circle the Levy family members who were to present the trophy to the winner got separated from the Yonkers PR people and ended up on the outside of the winners circle and the security guard would not let them in to present the trophy. Later they were photo-shopped into the winning photo. CeCe said that she and her family are grateful beyond words to Yonkers Raceway for staging the George Morton Levy and honoring her father. CeCe also made a prediction that this year's race will be won by Tony Alagna's horse, Dr J Hanover. Pictures CeCe Levy & Freddie Hudson CeCe Levy, Freddie Hudson & Bobby Levy Wally Hennesey, CeCe Levy & Jim Morrill CeCe Levy at Goshen HOF CeCe and Dave Miller By Fred Hudson

Kiwis will be able to enjoy the feature harness racing card from Yonkers, New York this Sunday.   Trackside will broadcast the first nine races live, with Race 10 the Levy Final (featuring Bit Of A Legend) to be replayed when possible.   Trackside 1 will take the action until 12noon, then it will move over to Trackside 2.   The time-honoured Levy Final has previously been won by great horses such as Falcon Seelster, Jaguar Spur, Dragon’s Lair and Foiled Again (twice).   Although he just missed a spot in the Levy Final, Christen Me has drawn barrier one in the consolation which is Race 8, due off at 1.35pm New Zealand time.   The programme features a host of expat Kiwi horses, with the rich mares feature – the Matchmaker Final – consisting of Shartin, Sell A Bit and Motu Moonbeam.   Please note that due to the nature of North American racing and start times these races may go later than advertised so there may be instances where races will be played in a replay situation.   The start times and Kiwi horses are as follows:   Race 1 – 10.52am - featuring Sammy The Bull Race 2 – 11.13am – featuring Texican, Highview Conall, Franco Rayner, Simply Susantional (em) Race 3 – 11.38am – featuring Torrid Bromac, Dream Out Loud Race 4 – 12.02pm – featuring Mach Time, American Boy (first US start) Race 5 – 12.26pm – featuring Gina Grace, Eclipse Me Race 6 – 12.49pm – featuring Statesman Race 7 – 1.12pm – Matchmaker Consolation – featuring Shesjustadelight Race 8 – 1.35pm – Levy Consolation –featuring Christen Me, Luciano Race 9 – 1.58pm - $373,000 Matchmaker Final – featuring Shartin, Sell A Bit, Motu Moonbeam Race 10 – 2.12pm (Replay) – $532,000 Levy Final – featuring Bit Of A Legend Race 11 – 2.44pm (No TV) Race 12 – 3.17pm (No TV) – featuring Alberto Contador, Texas Terror   Jess Smith

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A disappointing second place finish last week left a bitter taste in the mouth of Sportsmuffler. But on Wednesday night (April 18), she bounced back nice and tasted sweet victory by registering a two length decision over Aritzia Hanover in the featured $10,400 Open Pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway.   After watching Aritzia Hanover reel off fractions of :28.4 and :58.4 to the half, Sportsmuffler (Drew Monti) began her first over journey to the lead. Getting to the top with a quarter mile to pace, Sportsmuffler ($3.10) used a :28.0 final panel to seal the deal in going the mile in a seasonal best 1:56.3.   Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) held on for second place while Hey Kobe (David McNeight III) rallied late for third.   It was the second victory in five starts in 2018 for the 6-year-old Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smore). Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Sportsmaster has now earned $14,309 this season and $227,165 lifetime.   Monti completed the evening with a triple in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Kiblin finished the night with two training wins.   Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway   Photo: Sportsmuffler taste sweet victory at Buffalo Raceway. Photo by Steve Roth  

All four non-Indian casinos in state are missing their financial targets Little more than a year since their grand openings, two of New York’s four non-Indian casinos are asking the state for financial help. Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady and Del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County are both making their cases with state lawmakers as the negotiations for the 2018-2019 state budget wind down to the final hours in Albany. Details on their requests are elusive and, given the secretive nature of deal-making in the Capitol, quite possibly subject to change or outright rejection. But the casinos' financial data is readily available through an online state database. Both casinos’ performance (and that of the two other casinos) has fallen well short of initial projections offered when their backers were trying to sell their proposals to state regulators and New York voters were being asked to approve limited legalized casino gambling. Rivers projected tax payments of $69 million to $86 million during its first year of operation but paid $45.45 million to the state from March 2017 through February 2018. Del Lago projected $59 million to $76 million but paid $42.92 million. Meanwhile, Rivers’ first general manager departed in November and Del Lago’s general manager announced Tuesday he would be departing at the end of this week. Both had been with their respective operations since before they opened. Also Tuesday, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported that a Del Lago official was in Albany, asking state lawmakers to provide relief. The official would not specify what exactly he was seeking. A Del Lago spokesman would say only that the casino is suffering from recently increased and grossly unfair competition from nearby Indian-run casino operations. Details were likewise hazy on the request by Rivers. A New Jersey public relations agency working for Rivers said there would be no comment on the matter.  A lobbyist reportedly working for the casinos did not return a call seeking comment.  The state Gaming Commission and state Department of Taxation and Finance said the casinos’ requests has not reached the stage where it would be in their hands.  The State Division of the Budget would say only that “budget negotiations are ongoing,” which is certainly very accurate: The state budget deadline is 11:59 p.m. Saturday. However, Assemblyman Phil Steck, D-Colonie, whose district contains Rivers Casino & Resort, said he has been given a rough idea of what Rivers is requesting, and said he endorses it. In summary, Rivers seeks: To take 10 percent of the tax money it pays to the state and spend it instead on marketing. The goal is to increase patronage, increase gambling and thereby increase its own revenue. (This ultimately would bring in more tax revenue, Steck said; in the meantime, there would be no reduction in host-community payments to the city, county, city school district or to surrounding counties.) An end to the requirement that it pay the state to run security checks on its prospective employees. (Steck said that the state hasn’t been collecting that and doesn’t require it of the nearest competing gambling facility, Saratoga Casino Hotel.) An end to payments Rivers is required to make to Saratoga Casino Hotel to make up for revenue shortfalls in Saratoga. (An official with Saratoga Casino Hotel said this is inaccurate, Rivers pays it nothing — it pays the horsemen’s association to compensate for reduced prize money at the Saratoga harness track.) “None of this is a huge change,” Steck said, adding that the requests seem reasonable and he supports them. Thirteen months into the casino era in Schenectady, he considers Rivers a positive force in the city, having fulfilled its promise of increased economic activity in surrounding areas and a new revenue stream for the local municipalities. “I’m not a fan of casinos generally,” Steck said, calling them effectively a tax on the poor and the middle class.  He said he would have sought other means of boosting state tax revenue had he been governor. But he’s not governor, and the man who is, Andrew Cuomo, didn't share his views. So New York has four non-Indian casinos, and he accepts that as reality. Aware of the pun, Steck added: “You have to play the hand you’re dealt.” James Featherstonhaugh, corporate secretary and part-owner of Saratoga Casino Hotel, said the situation is unfolding much as he expected it would when the state authorized construction of a full-service casino 20 miles south of Saratoga. That is: a 25-percent revenue reduction for the Saratoga Casino Hotel, where the gambling options are limited to video gaming machines and wagers on harness racing. Featherstonhaugh expects nothing good to come of the late-hour move by Rivers and Del Lago to gain relief through the state. “I think it’s clear that the gaming universe in New York could be thoughtfully and responsibly reviewed with the goal being to have both a healthy industry which will continue and grow education revenue in New York,” he said. “But that cannot be done in 48 hours or 72 hours.” Featherstonhaugh thinks it will be another 18 months or so before the financial picture stabilizes for the two Capital Region gambling facilities.  Steck said he hadn’t researched the financial impact of Rivers on Saratoga Casino Hotel, nor has he heard any complaints about it. Rivers opened Feb. 8, 2017. A New York State Gaming Commission database shows that $1.99 billion was gambled at Saratoga Casino Hotel from March 2017 through February 2018, an 18.1 percent decrease from $2.43 billion in the preceding 12 months. By John Cropley Reprinted with permission of The Daily Gazette

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York is pleased to announce that the French American Trotting Club has reached capacity and will move forward with the acquisition of French trotters to race at Yonkers Raceway. The French American Trotting Club will move forward with 23 or 24 participants, each acquiring a French trotter for $28,000 which includes shipping costs. The horses will be eligible to race without any further entry fee in a series at Yonkers Raceway exclusively for horses brought over in this program with legs carrying a $30,000 purse and a final for $100,000. We would like to thank all horsemen for their tremendous support and enthusiasm expressed for the program. Further information will be provided to the participants shortly. Tentative plans call for horses to be selected in France the week of May 28 and shipped back to New York in mid-June.  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A coveted spot in the World Harness Handicapping Championships at The Meadowlands is up for grabs on Saturday night (March 24) at Buffalo Raceway when the local competition takes place starting at 6 p.m.   Entry fee is $10 at Buffalo Raceway with the winner receiving $500 in cash, hotel accommodations for two nights and paid entry ($1,000 value) into the World Harness Handicapping Challenge presented by DerbyWars.com at The Meadowlands on Saturday, April 28th. The runner up in the Buffalo Raceway event will pocket $250 with third place taking home $100.   There's a $75,000 guaranteed prize pool in The Meadowlands tournament with $40,000 going to the winner.   In the qualifier, players will get ten 'mythical' $200 win wagers. Entrants must play five races on Buffalo Raceway's card while the other remaining five bets will be played at The Meadowlands.   Entrants must be a Hamburg Gaming Rewards Club member in order to participate. Becoming a member is free to join. You also must be 18 years of age to be a contestant.   For more information including complete rules and regulations, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

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