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Batavia, NY --- Western New York racing legend and former Grand Circuit driving star Gerry Sarama reached another harness racing career milestone after getting his 1,000th training victory with Ohio Prince in the 12th race at Batavia Downs. Sarama has been around the sport his entire life as his father owned and raced horses. He started driving at an early age and quickly found himself at the top of the driver colony in western New York and won many driving titles at Batavia Downs. Sarama made a move to Roosevelt Raceway in the late 1970’s and successfully competed with the best in the nation on the biggest stage at the time, racing side by side with the likes of Carmine Abbatiello, Herve Filion, Billy Haughton and all the other great New York City reinsmen of that era. But he eventually found his way back to his roots and continued to be at the top of his game ever since. The one constant of Sarama’s career regardless of what track he was competing at, he was always a highly sought after catch driver.    During his driving career, the now 78-year-old Sarama amassed 2630 wins and bankrolled $11.5 million dollars. But he curtailed that activity in 2007 and turned his attention to training full time. Since doing so Sarama has found as much success in the jog cart as he did in the sulky. He currently oversees about 14 horses and since taking over conditioning duties full time, his stable has won in excess of $5.6 million. During his entire training career Sarama has made 6,153 starts with 1,000 wins, 931 seconds and 843 thirds giving him a .292 UTR. The entire staff at Batavia Downs as well as all our horsemen would like to congratulate “The man with the hands” Mr. Gerry Sarama on this accomplishment.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- A rain-soaked track greeted horsemen for the night’s proceedings at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) but stellar harness racing performances were still on display, especially by top class winners Before I Die and Tellawoman. A scratch-shortened field of six horses went to post in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot and the race turned into a tale of two races. Chapter one was Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) who screamed off the gate and sped away to an eight-length lead at the half in :58 and looked like a walk-over tonight. At that same station, Before I Die (Jim McNeight Jr.) was sitting fourth and 11 lengths in arrears. Chapter two was when McNeight pulled Before I Die at the five-eighths and started making tracks towards the leader and doing it in a timely fashion. At the three-quarters Il Mago’s lead was down to four and diminishing with every stride while Before I Die was in full gear. When they hit the top of the lane Il Mago was digging in and determined to win, but Before I Die wrote his own ending by a head; winning in 1:58.2. It was the second top class victory this year at Batavia Downs for Before I Die ($8.70) and his owners Caren and Jamie Dubay, the latter who also trains the winner. Then in the $8,500 Open I Handicap for for pacing fillies and mares, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) led the field to the half in :27.4 but when Bucceri tapped the brakes in a :30.1 second panel, Morrill pulled Tellawoman and took control by the five-eight’s pole. As soon as he did, Bucceri came right back out with HP Sissy and rode alongside the leader with Yankee Secret (Dave McNeight III) now traveling three deep. Heading into the stretch HP Sissy faded and Carly Girl (Drew Monti) was trying to get out between her and Tellawoman while Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) was also now flying down the stretch. When they hit the wire four horses were only a length apart in very close quarters and after an objection and two inquiries (none of which were allowed) Tellawoman won in 1:57, only 1/2 length ahead of Lady Dudette and HP Sissy who dead-heated for second. It was the second win in the last three starts for Tellawoman ($7.10) and owner Rose Campbell. Russell Bratt trains the winner. Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti topped all drivers with three winners each on the night while trainers Sabrina Shaw, Kevin Cummings and Gerry Sarama tied for top conditioning honors with two apiece. With no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday there is a $2,152 carry-over pool that will move to Saturday (Oct.24) and it has been announced that there will be a guaranteed pool of $5,000 for the Pick-5 wager that day. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on the Batavia Downs and USTA websites. The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, any carryover pool will be moved to the Pick-5 wager on the following Wednesday (Oct. 28) program. Post time for the first race Saturday is 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It’s been a terrific harness racing season in the sulky for Alek Chartrand at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Monday, the up-and-coming reinsman recorded his first Open Pace victory. Chartrand sat behind the Linda Flynn-trained Olde Broadside (American Ideal) who has been on top of his game of late. After going winless in his first handful of starts in 2020, Olde Broadside scored three victories and had three third-place finishes in his seven tries leading up to Monday’s start in the $9,350 Open. One of two Opens on the matinee card, the pacing feature saw no clear-cut favorite in the wagering so much so that Olde Broadside, who was debuting in the Open, wound up as the 2-1 co-favorite in the race. The other co-favorite Gokudo Hanover (Chris Long) cut the mile and set fast fractions on the engine. After going a half in 55.3, Gokudo Hanover still led the way around the final turn but was stride for stride with Tenacious One A (Larry Stalbaum). Olde Broadside was third-over going to three quarters but came storming home in the stretch after fanning to the far outside. He got up to win in 1:54 to give Chartrand his first career Open win which was the first for Flynn in several seasons. Tenacious One A was the runner-up while Gokudo Hanover held on for third. Olde Broadside is owned by Francis Morse of Schuylerville, NY. The other co-feature went the way of invader Winning Legends (Winning Mister). Justin Huckabone trains and drives the four year old trotter who came in on a hot streak of his own. A winner of six of eleven starts in ’20 coming into his debut in the local Open, Winning Legends settled in fifth in the early going before moving first-over approaching the half. Winning Legends wore down the race’s leader and took over mid-stretch before hanging on to win by a nose over late-closing Ronnie Goldstein (Brett Crawford). Gruden (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. Winning Legends, who is owned by Jonathan Applebaum of Yorktown Heights, NY, was the 3-5 betting favorite in the $9,350 featured event for trotters. The win was the first in a local feature for Huckabone as well as both Opens saw first-time Open winning drivers on the Monday matinee. Live racing continues on Tuesday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for Noon.     Mike Sardella

Batavia, NY --- The top class for both pacing mares and trotters were featured on the Wednesday (Oct. 14) card of racing at Batavia Downs and the public’s choice came through in both harness racing events. In the $8,500 Open I Handicap distaff pace, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) got away fifth while Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) paced on the lead through five-eighths of the mile. That is where HP Sissy came calling first-up on the rim, drawing close to the leader at the three-quarters. Protect Blue Chip and HP Sissy then strode neck-and-neck around the far turn and into the stretch where HP Sissy started to inch away, clear and then hold off a late closing Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) to win in 1:55. HP Sissy ($5.40) scored her sixth win of the year for owner Finocchario’s Dream Stable and trainer Mike Ohol.   Then in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot, CR Blazin Beauty (Ray Fisher Jr.) took a similar path to victory, getting away third behind Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) before tipping at the half and trotting unhurriedly outside the leader for the next three-eighths of a mile. At the head of the lane, CR Blazing Beauty just switched gears and sped away to a two-length advantage by mid-stretch and then just jogged home a winner in 1:57.2, which was a new seasonal mark. CR Blazin Beauty ($6.30) is owned by Marissa Russo and is trained by David Russo. Drivers Dave McNeight III and Drew Monti both scored Hat Tricks on Wednesday while trainer Rose Russo did so as well on the conditioning side. Triple Sticks and Drivin’ Drew are the two hottest drivers at the Downs over the last five days, winning 14 and 13 races respectively. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 17) at 5 p.m.    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Goshen, NY - Live harness racing begins at Oak Grove Racing & Gaming in Oak Grove, Kentucky on Wednesday, October 14. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's popular "A Drive to Win" traveling exhibit will be there on display in the grandstand area through October 28. The presentation is dedicated to the drivers and trainers who make every race possible. Their love of and commitment to the sport make this diverse group of remarkable men and women the backbone of harness racing. Large photo-storyboards profile over two dozen individuals, many of whom are recognized by harness fans everywhere. Oak Grove Racing & Gaming is located off I-24 about an hour north of Nashville, Tennessee just over the Kentucky state line. Post time at Oak Grove is 12:30 p.m. Please check Oak Grove's website for more information: www.oakgrovegaming.com. The Harness Racing Museum is located at 240 Main Street, Goshen, New York and is currently closed due to COVID-19. For information on Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame events or gift shop services, please visit our website at www.harnessmuseum.com or contact us at 845-294-6330 or email info@harnessmuseum.com.

Gail D. Conte passed away on September 17, 2020.  Born April 14, 1955, Mrs. Conte was the first daughter of Vic and Nola Bloomfield.  Her father, a career army man, received an assignment to West Point Military Academy and Mrs. Conte attended Highland Falls High School.  During her junior and senior year, she enrolled at Boces Standardbred School at Historic Track in Goshen, NY. After graduation, Mrs. Conte went to work for Hall of Fame inductee, John Patterson Sr at Monticello Raceway.  She worked for him not only at Monticello, but also Roosevelt Raceway and Dalton, GA. In 1978, she married Michael Conte and continued working at Roosevelt Raceway for Angelo Anobile until the track closed in 1988.  She then attended Long Island School of Dog Grooming. Mr. and Mrs. Conte moved to Yorktown, IA in 1989, to be closer to her parents.  As an Iowa native, Clarinda, IA was always her home.  She opened a successful dog grooming business in Clarinda.  Mrs. Conte also helped start the Southwest Iowa Humane Society in 1991 and was always ready to support fund raising for the shelter dogs and cats.  In 2001, she went to work for NSK-AKS, retiring in 2017. During their time in Yorktown, Mr. and Mrs. Conte built up their breeding and racing stock.  They raced the Iowa Fair Circuit for 30 years and still do.  Some of the horses that have been bred or owned by Mrs. Conte include:  Hap Bob Bobby, Krissy Brit S, Military Brat, Military Stratcom, Foxy Jazz, No Money Fun, J R Jazz, Not Thinking, Cyclone Maximus and her favorite Pugwash.  Mr. and Mrs. Conte claimed Pugwash in 1979 on her recommendation, thus starting their journey into Standardbred ownership. Mrs. Conte is survived by her husband, Mike, of 42 years and sister, Kim.  Services are set for Monday (9/21) at Cummings Family Funeral Home, Bedford, Ia.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.   By Tara Spach

Golden Gun takes the $3,600 pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 29).  Golden Gun ($19.80) squeezed in between horses and took the lead with a lap remaining and led to the first quarter in :26.3.  He used a :28.4 second quarter to hit the half first in :55.2.  Rise Up Now (Leon Bailey) followed in the pocket as Juxlivin My Dream (Chris Long) was the first to make a move going first-over but could not gain much.  Golden Gun led to three-quarters in 1:23.3.  As they made the turn for home Rise Up Now popped out of the pocket but was just spinning his wheels.  Chatelroll (Truman Gale) found an opening in deep stretch and came charging late but Golden Gun held firm and won in 1:52.4.  Chatelroll had to settle for second.  Clouseau Hanover (Jennifer Lappe) came up to finish third.  Golden Gun is a 10-year-old gelding by Headmaster.  He is owned by the Wiz Kids Stables and trained by Sorenson.  It was win number two of 2020.  He now owns 37 career victories.  Truman Gale, Chris Long, and Josh Kinney each had driving the doubles on the night.  Gale won with Ladyyouaregorgeous ($17.60) and Mama’s Gift ($5.10).  Long got wins with Wishyou’dtellme ($10.20) and Johnnysfirecracker ($16.40).  Kinney reach the winner’s circle with Rocknroll Captain ($11.40) and Star Track Hanover ($32.20).  As we head to the last weekend of racing Leon Bailey pulled ahead with 44 wins to lead all drivers in victories.  He leads Vernon Downs legend John MacDonald by just one race.  Kerin Warner got a victory and leads all trainers with 18 victories just one ahead of George Ducharme.  Just two live racing dates left at Vernon Downs this season.  They will race on Friday (September 25) and Saturday (Saturday 26) starting at 3:00 p.m.  For more information go to www.vernondowns.com     John Horne for Vernon Downs

The Harness Horse Association of Central New York (HHACNY), the Gaming Commission-recognized representative horsemen’s association at Vernon Downs Racetrack, together will the Management of Vernon Downs, announced today that the last live race card for 2020 will be conducted on Saturday, September 26.   HHACNY President Rick Papa stated, “While the viral pandemic that afflicted the nation was raging, we were quite fortunate to have been able to commence the 2020 race season, albeit later than we desired. Still, from the very moment the Governor announced the lifting of the moratorium on live racing, both the horsemen and management worked extremely hard to start the meet. Then, without the benefit of any revenue from the still shuttered video lottery terminal parlor (racino), we were able to offer competitive, full card harness racing without interruption.” President Papa continued, “Though the 2020 meet was scheduled to continue through November 7, it is only in just the last few days that the racino was given permission to reopen. Rather than subject the horsemen to a debilitated purse structure through the fall portion of the meet, it was jointly decided to cease racing at the end of September. This timed closure will ensure that by the anticipated opening of the 2021 season, the horsemen’s account will be fully replenished, such that owners, trainers and drivers will race for competitive purses. On behalf of the horsemen, I thank everyone involved including track management for its input into this important decision.” Vernon Downs President, Jeff Gural stated,“I want to thank the HHACNY for working with us this season as obviously the pandemic has been devastating to the industry.  I think we succeeded in providing an opportunity for our horsemen to get their horses raced the last few months including the all important NY Sire Stakes Program.  Despite the pandemic, horses need to be fed and cared for and with no income coming in it was a major hardship.  Let’s hope we can reopen on time in the spring and the pandemic will be a distant unpleasant memory.” Subject to New York State Gaming Commission approval, the 2021 race meet is scheduled to start in mid-April.   Management of Vernon Downs Racetrack

Batavia, NY --- After taking a week off, Mr. Euroman returned with strong resolve and won the $8,000 Open II Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 12). Daylight Rush (Dave McNeight III) started from the pylons and kept that position for most of the race. With no other leavers in the contest, McNeight guided Daylight Rush to a tepid half of :57.2 with Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) sitting right on his back. Mcspidey (Kyle Cummings) pulled first-over in front of the stands but only got as close as a half-length to Daylight Rush by the three-quarters in 1:25.2. As they made their way through the turn, Mcspidey faded and Davis pulled right line on Mr. Euroman who popped out of the hole, barreled down the lane and ran down Daylight Rush at the wire to win by 1/4 length in 1:53.3, which was a new seasonal mark.   It was the third win of the year for Mr. Euroman ($17.40) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer. In the $7,000 Open III pace, Polak A (Ray Fisher Jr.) came in fresh off a two-month layoff and bounced back strong his first start out of the box with a come-from-behind effort and strong stretch drive to catch the race-long leader Machlicious (Drew Monti) at the wire to win by a head in 1:55.2. Polak A ($25.20) is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Sabrina Shaw. Billy Davis Jr. and Drew Monti both drove three winners on Saturday’s card while Shawn McDonough piloted two. McDonough also registered two wins on the training side along with Maria Rice.   Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 16) at 5 p.m. There will a carry over pool of $858 for the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday and as a result, a United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering guaranteed pool of $3,000 for that wager with free program pages available starting Sunday (Sept. 14) at www.ustrotting.com, www.bataviadownsgaming.com and on the Batavia Downs Facebook page   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Mike Merton drives four winners including the $6,000 featured harness racing pace with Real Lucky N at Tioga Downs on Sunday (September 6).  In the feature, Devisser (Renaldo Morales III) took the lead and led to the first quarter in :26.4.  Real Lucky N ($3.90) took over as they went by the stands for the first time.  He led to the half in :56.4.  Rockntouch (Brandon Parker) came first-over and put on pressure all the way down the backstretch.  Real Lucky N led to three-quarters in 1:24.3.    As they made the turn for home Real Lucky N shook loose and won going away in a lifetime best of 1:52.3.  Rockntouch held on to finish second.  Mac Anover (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) took third.  Real Lucky N is a 6-year-old gelding by Real Desire.  He is owned and trained by Rob Harmon.  It was his fourth win this season.  He now has 26 career victories.  Merton’s other win came with Whip N Neigh Neigh ($54.50), Majoring Artist ($44.40), and Lofty Beach ($3.70).  With just two live racing dates left in 2020, Wally Hennessey leads all drivers with 84 wins.  Mike Merton is second with 68 tallies.  Corey Braden (26), Tyler Buter (24), and Bruce Aldrich Jr. (21) round out the top five.  Rob Harmon trained three winners on the program and leads all trainers with 42 victories.  Gaston Lareau is second with 32 trips to the winner’s circle.  Joe Skowyra is third on the list with 29 wins.  Mike Deters (26) and Jim McDonald (25) round out the top five.  Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 11) and will feature the New York Excelsior A finals.  Post time is 3 p.m.  For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com    John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Batavia, NY --- You might say it was a two-horse race at Batavia Downs, except that it was between the top two harness racing drivers in western New York. Billy Davis Jr. won six races including the feature and Jim Morrill Jr. won five races including stringing four in a row, accounting for the winners of 11 of 13 races contested on Saturday night (Sept. 5). Davis’s best victory came in the $8,000 Open II Handicap pace behind Class Six. Davis sat in fourth with Class Six while Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) led the field around once. Then Davis pulled Class Six first over and made a three-wide move at the three-quarters, grabbed the lead by the top of the stretch and held off a late rally by Daylight Rush (Dave McNeight III) to win by 3/4’s of a length in 1:54.1. It was the fifth win in 20 starts this year for Class Six ($19.00) who is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Sabrina Shaw. Davis also scored with Inspector Murdoch (1:58.1, $4.80), Hold The Gold (1:55.4, $25.80), Sizzling summer (1:55.3, $5.10), Rockin Legend (1:58.2, $5.30) and This Baby Rocks (1:56.3, $2.20). All six wins were for six different trainers. Among the five wins Morrill scored was the co-featured $7,000 Open III pace where he went gate to wire with Atlantis ($3.80) in 1:56.3 for owner Mike Torcello and trainer Gerry Sarama. Morrill also won with Beachy Dream (1:55..2, $2.90), Sir Richie N (1:56.1, $3.20) and Odyssey Blue Chip (2:00.2, $8.60) which are also owned by Torcello and trained by Sarama giving them a grand slam evening, and Whosurpapa (1:56.1, $2.50). After their big nights, Morrill remains the leading driver of the meet with 39 wins, followed by Billy Davis Jr. who has 31. Drew Monti sits in third with 17 and Dave McNeight III is fourth with 16. Davis is currently the ninth leading percentage driver in North America for drivers with 500 or more starts (Davis has 536) with a UDR of .343, sitting right behind Tim Tetrick and just ahead of Dexter Dunn. Morrill is seventh among drivers in North America with between 300 and 499 starts (Morrill has 495) with a UDR of .383. Batavia Downs had a big following at the windows on Saturday night as they registered their second largest handle ever under Western Regional Off Track Betting ownership, only behind the 2019 New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions last September. The Downs customers pumped over $120,000 more through the windows tonight than they did one years ago on this same date. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 9) with post time set for 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Wednesday evening’s harness racing program featured the final installment of the New York Sire Stakes for the summer at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Three year old pacing fillies took center stage with races of $74,500 and $75,900 highlighting the card on an evening in which the track record for sophomore fillies got matched. Hen Party (Roll With Joe-My Lady Day-Western Ideal) has simply been sensational this summer. The Tony Alagna trainee came into her $75,900 race on Wednesday off a victory in the Empire Breeders Final at Tioga Downs that came in a career-best 1:49.2. Andrew Mccarthy, who has been the regular driver behind Hen Party this season, guided the superstar out to the lead in a 27.2 first quarter in her return to NYSS action. Cruising through a first half in 56.1, the 1-5 favorite was met with just a mild challenge through three quarters that went in 1:24.3. Hen Party still appeared strong at the top of the stretch as she braced for pocket-sitting So Rude (Joe Bongiorno) who beat her the last time they squared off in Sire Stakes competition at Yonkers Raceway in early August. This time, Hen Party would not be denied and stopped the timer in 1:52 to match the all-time track record for three year old pacing fillies. The mark was set in 2006 by the award-winning Darlin’s Delight who had Yannick Gingras piloting. With the victory, Hen Party moved her seasonal earnings to over a quarter million dollars and has now piled up almost $430,000 in her 26 lifetime starts. The stakes star is owned by Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY. So Rude was the runner-up on Wednesday while Dragon Roll (Dexter Dunn) earned the show spot.   The $74,500 division of the NYSS for three year old fillies also went to a sophomore who has been a winning machine in her young career. The Dave Dewhurst-trained Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty’s Artist-Real Artist) came into Wednesday’s stakes event on a three-race win streak. Following two Sire Stakes victories, Racine Bell scored in a conditioned race last week at Saratoga in what served as a prep for Wednesday’s try. Jason Bartlett piloted Racine Bell to a wire-to-wire victory on Wednesday to complete a four-bagger for the standout sophomore as she never had an anxious moment en route to victory in 1:52.4 as the 2-5 favorite. Last year’s two year old stakes champion The Fun Marshall (Mitch Cushing) sat the pocket to the favorite and was the runner-up while Cash Roll (Andrew Mccarthy) finished third. Racine Bell now has five wins in eight starts in 2020 and has earned more than $260,000 in her young career. Live racing goes on a brief hiatus at Saratoga Casino Hotel and is set to resume on Monday afternoon, September 14th. Racing is scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays for the remainder of September with first post times set for 12 Noon.   Mike Sardella

Dee’s Red Delicious (Corey Callahan) takes the $104,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts & geldings at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 30).  The morning line harness racing favorite Ahundreddollarbill (Jason Bartlett) went on a break right at the start.  Credit Con (Tyler Buter) went to the front with Sevenshadesofgrey (Mike Merton) challenging early.  As the headed for the quarter, Sevenshadesofgrey went off-stride.  Credit Con led to the first quarter in :28.2.  Credit Con used a :30.3 second quarter to hit the half in :59.0.  Dee’s Red Delicious ($3.20) made his move first-over down the backstretch as Unwritten Chapter (Wally Hennessey) followed second-over.  Dee’s Red Delicious took over the lead as they headed for the final turn hitting three-quarters first in 1:27.2.  As they made the turn for home Unwritten Chapter went all out on the chase and started to inch closer.  Dee’s Red Delicious found another gear and won going away in 1:56.2.  Unwritten Chapter had to settle for second.  Steel (Andy Miller) came up to finish third.  Dee’s Red Delicious is a 2-year-old gelding by Credit Winner-Apple Plush.  He is owned by Joseph Martinelli and trained by Bruce Saunders.  It was his third win in six lifetime starts.  Jason Bartlett drove three winners on the card.  He combined with trainer Claude Huckabone III to get wins with Sunny Days ($19.20) and I love My Country ($7.00).  His other victory came with Barn Hall ($2.50).  Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 5).  Post time is 3 p.m.  For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com    John Horne for Tioga Downs.

With the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace being canceled this season, the richest race of 2020 at Saratoga Casino Hotel was Wednesday evening’s $156,500 New York Sire Stakes event for harness racing three year old trotting fillies. Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven- Celebrity Lovin- Andover Hall) was the public’s 1-5 betting favorite while in the midst of another monster campaign. Andy Miller pilots the sophomore filly for trainer Julie Miller and owners Daniel Plouffe, Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable and moved the super soph out to the early lead on Wednesday. Untested in lap one, Love A Good Story reached the half in a comfortable 58.4 before picking up the pace a bit and checking in at three quarters in 1:27.1. The favorite had little difficulty putting the finishing touches on a measured length and a quarter victory that came in 1:55.4. Without A Warning (Jason Bartlett) charged home to be the runner-up in the featured race while No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) held on to finish third. For Love A Good Story, it was win number five in seven starts in 2020 and the twelfth win in seventeen career starts for the filly who now has over a half million dollars in earnings following Wednesday’s score. While Miller sat behind the winner of the biggest race on the card, Jason Bartlett was the sulky star of the evening as the standout reinsman piloted six winners on Wednesday to continue what has been a big summer at the Spa for the 39 year old driver who has often come to town to drive on Sire Stakes evenings.   Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon.      Mike Sardella

Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) made his return to the Saratoga Casino Hotel harness racing winner's circle on Tuesday afternoon, an area is has been very familiar with over the course of the last few years. The Jackie Greene-trained five year old rattled off eight Open Pace victories in 2019, the second most of any horse at the Spa last season. Recently, Hudson Phil has spent much of his time competing out of town but the standout pacer raced in Tuesday's $8,500 at Saratoga and went off at odds of 5-2. Fresh off a stint at Yonkers and the Meadowlands, Hudson Phil flashed early speed on Tuesday with driver Shawn Gray finding an early spot with him in a first quarter that went in 26.2. Hudson Phil wasn't on the inside very long as he moved first-over on the leader after a 55.4 half. Working hard on the outside in a 28 second third quarter, Hudson Phil took the lead turning for home and narrowly held off the stretch threat from Funknwaffles (Billy Dobson) who came up just inches shy at the wire. Superstar pacer Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) followed the cover of Hudson Phil before finishing third in the mile clocked in 1:53.2. The win was third of the season for Hudson Phil and just the second in the local Open Pace. He paid $7.70 to win and led an exacta with Funknwaffles second that returned $23.20. The triple with Crockets Cullen N third paid $49.80. Hudson Phil is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY. Live racing continues on Wednesday evening at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:15pm. New York Sire Stakes action is featured with three year old trotting fillies taking center stage highlighted by a $156,600 race for the ladies.   Mike Sardella

Tioga Downs played host to the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for 3-year-old pacing colts & geldings as well as 3-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday (August 23). Also, on hand was three harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen trotting fillies. Hen Party (Andrew McCarthy) breezes to win in the $223,500 EBC filly pace final. Galleria Gal (Matt Kakaley) got the early lead but So Rude (Joe Bongiorno) went to the front just before hitting the first quarter in :26.2. She would use a :28.3 second quarter to lead to the half in :55.1. As they headed for the final turn Hen Party came first-over on the chase as So Rude hit three-quarters first in 1:22.0. Hen Party took command as they made the turn for home. As they reached the stretch, she made it a party of one as she cruised home in a lifetime best of 1:49.2. Galleria Gal came up to finish second with Dragon Roll (Dexter Dunn) getting third. Hen Party is a 3-year-old filly by Roll With Joe. She is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. It was her fifth win this season and eighth career victory. Splash Brother (Tyler Buter) gets impressive victory in the $240,600 EBC colts & geldings final. Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett) wrestled his way to the front and led to the first quarter in :26.1. Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) then took over as they headed by the stands for the first time. He led the group the half in :54.4. Blank Stare (Corey Callahan) was the first to make a move as he went first-over heading to the backstretch. Splash Brother ($9.30) took cover moving second-over fourth. Groovy Joe and Blank Stare went side by side all the way down the backstretch. Groovey Joe had a short lead to three-quarters in 1:22.1. As they made the turn for home Splash Brother came charging three-wide and flew right on by to take the lead as they reached the stretch. Second place finisher Major Betts (Dexter Dunn) came flying late but could only watch as Splash Brother won going away in 1:50.0. Blank Stare had to settle for third. Splash Brother is a 3-year-old gelding by So Surreal. He is owned by Nolamaura Racing LLC., Steven Arnold, Tammy Flannery, and trainer Ray Schnittker. It was his fourth win of the season and of his career. Aela Jamieson (Andy Miller) charges late to win the $34,200 NYSS first division. Dream Chapter (Wally Hennessey) jumped out to the early lead but Tranaquility K took control just before hitting the first quarter in :27.4. Dream Chapter reclaimed the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. She hit the half first in :58.1. Me Three (Brian Sears) was the first to make a move going first-over. Aela Jamieson ($6.00) followed second over fourth. Dream Chapter continued to lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:26.4. As they turned for home Aela Jamieson emerged into second and it became a two-horse race. Dream Chapter dug in but Aela Jamieson came flying down the stretch like a rocket. She would just get by to win in a lifetime best of 1:55.1. Dream Chapter had to settle for second. Illuminata (Ake Svanstedt) came up to finish third. Aela Jamieson Aela Jamieson is a 2-year-old filly by Chapter Seven-Blk Thai Optional. She is trained by Julie Miller for owners Andy Miller Stable, Dumain Haven Farm, and Little E LLC. It was her second career win in four lifetime starts. Moni For Lindy (Scott Zeron) goes three-wide to capture the $33,600 NYSS second division. Insured AM S secured the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :28.0. She used a :29.2 second quarter to lead to the half in :57.2. Splash Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) came first over on the back stretch as Moni For Lindy ($11.20) followed. Splash Blue Chip took a slight lead and hit three-quarters first in 1:26.4. As the made the turn for home, Insured AM S battle back and went shoulder to shoulder with Splash Blue Chip. Moni For Lindy came charging three-wide and blew right on by in deep stretch to win in 1:55.3. Splash Blue Chip finished second. Insured AM S settled for third. Moni For Lindy is a 2-year-old filly by Credit Winner-Live Moni. She is owned by Moni Maker Stable and trained by Domenico Cecere. It was her first career victory and three lifetime starts. Moni For Lindy Destined To Dance (Tyler Buter) waltzes to fifth straight win by capturing the $33,600 NYSS third division. Iteration (Brian Sears) went straight to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2 and to the half in :56.2. Destined To Dance ($3.50) made her move first-over from fourth working her way into second as Iteration led to three-quarters in 1:25.2. As they made the turn for home Destined To Dance and Iteration battled all the way down the stretch but in the end Destined To Dance was too strong and she won in a track record time for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 1:54.4. Soukup Blue Chip (Andy Miller) came flying late to finish second. Iteration had to settle for third money. Destined To Dance is a 2-year-old filly by Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer. She is trained by John Butenschoen for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Rich Preziotti, and Heritage Standardbreds. It was her fifth straight win in six lifetime starts. Destined To Dance Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 29) at 3 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com.   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

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