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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes is monitoring the reopening plans of the state's harness racing racetracks and is tentatively planning to begin Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series events the week of June 21 at Tioga and Vernon Downs. We hope to finalize first race dates in the coming days. The program is currently working with pari-mutual tracks to finalize a new schedule which will be provided to participants as soon as possible. "We know what a hardship this uncertainty is and that horsemen are eager for dates. We are hammering out several details now and will provide a revised schedule as quickly as we can. We thank all of our participants for their continued patience," said Kelly Young, executive director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "In the meantime, we are excited to see qualifiers this week at Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Historic Track in Goshen, and plans developing for qualifying at other locations. Thank you to the tracks and officials who have made this possible and worked hard to bring these to fruition. The challenge of qualifying horses is being addressed and we feel comfortable that we are getting over this hurdle to the start of the stakes season." As previously released, 3-year-old racing will begin first, followed by 2-year-olds in July. No racing dates have yet been finalized. The revised calendar will feature an equal number of legs for all ages and divisions. Please call or email Kelly Young with any questions. She can be reached at kelly.young@gaming.ny.gov or at 518-388-0224. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund:  The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.  

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes is working closely with harness racing tracks throughout the state as they develop reopening plans. As soon as revised racing dates are finalized for all tracks, the NYSS will move forward with building an updated racing schedule and will share this information with participants. "Right now we are anticipating that NYSS events will start approximately two weeks after the tracks reopen," said Kelly Young, executive director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "This will help ensure that horses have time to qualify before racing begins." Participants are reminded that horses must have a satisfactory charted performance line in the time standard within 30 days of declaration for Sire Stakes and Excelsior events. It should not be assumed that any of the current scheduled stakes dates will stand as the days of the week that tracks race this season may change. Participants should not plan to race the first 3-year-old legs before mid-June and should not plan to race the first 2-year-old legs before the beginning of July. Additionally, the NYSS will not be racing at Buffalo Raceway this year. Due to a significant change in revenue, it will not be possible to race a full complement of eight legs for Sire Stakes or Excelsior divisions. All ages and divisions will have an equal number of legs. More details on changes to this year's program will be forthcoming. "The announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo allowing racing tracks to reopen was very exciting and we are all working through the details now," said Young. "We are looking forward to providing a new schedule and getting back to the track while keeping the health and safety of our participants as a top priority." In regard to the County Fair racing series, several racing fairs have already been canceled for this summer. The NYSS is considering a number of options to allow the program to continue this season. "While we do not anticipate that horsemen will have options for all fairs originally scheduled, at this time, we are still planning for a racing program," said Young. "We understand that this has been a long road and we will continue to send updates and keep you informed as we navigate the future of the racing season." Participants with questions or concerns can contact Kelly Young in the New York Sire Stakes Office directly at info@nysirestakes.com or (518) 388-0224. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund:  The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.  

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes is sharing an important reminder regarding May harness racing Yearling Payments. Payments must be postmarked by Friday, May 15th. These payments cannot be made online and must be mailed. Certified Mail is encouraged. Meanwhile, all eligible 2- and 3-year-old horses are now posted on the New York Sire Stakes website. Owners and horsemen can now see their horses listed. You can see the list here. If you have any questions or concerns, the best way to get in contact with the New York Sire Stakes is to email info@nysirestakes.com. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.    

As you are aware, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has issued several Executive Orders designed to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Among the Orders is a requirement that certain employers reduce the number of their employees working at individual locations in the State by 100 percent effective March 22, 2020 at 8 p.m. The employment reduction requirements apply to all for-profit and not-for-profit employers in New York State, unless such business has been deemed an essential business or entity providing essential services. The Executive Orders themselves define the terms “essential businesses or entities” providing “essential services”. Yesterday the applicability of the reduction was extended through May 15, 2020. Review of the applicable Executive Orders continues to find that a racetrack operating for parimutuel wagering does not qualify as an essential business, accordingly, the Commission hereby suspends any previously approved race dates of operation through May 15, 2020, and will not approve any pending race dates of operation through May 15, 2020.  Should you disagree with the identification of your business as non-essential, you may file a request with the Empire State Development Corporation to be designated as an essential business through this website. However, animal care operations, including equine barn or facility maintenance, equine turnout and exercise, stall cleaning and enclosure repair, and farrier and veterinary care do qualify as essential business. As previously discussed in past correspondence, whether a racetrack remains open for training and barns remain open for stabling is a determination to be made by each racetrack and its horsemen’s organization. However, should a racetrack or barn area remain open there are certain standards that must be maintained. For facilities that remain open for training purposes, it is management’s responsibility to maintain the training surface in a safe condition. Failure to properly maintain the surface presents significant risk to the equine athlete and those engaged in exercising or training. Racetracks must not allow, by omission, any unnecessary risk relative to its racing surfaces. With respect to sanitary conditions, should any animals be maintained on racetrack grounds, the racetrack must continue to meet basic welfare responsibilities. These responsibilities include securing a reliable supply of products necessary to maintain the population and ensuring that the sanitary needs of the facility remain satisfied. These needs include the scheduled removal and disposition of refuse, manure and stained straw. Should you have any questions, please contact me directly. Robert Williams Executive Director New York State Gaming Commission

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes announces that it will not be harness racing in the month of May due to the state's ongoing COVID-19 response and the announcement this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo that NYS on PAUSE will remain in effect until May 15. This affects six scheduled events for state-bred 3-year-olds in both the top tier Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series. May 5 3-Year-Old Filly Trot at Yonkers May 8 3-Year-Old Colt Trot at Vernon May 11 3-Year-Old Colt Pace at Monticello May 12 3-Year-Old Filly Pace at Yonkers May 24 3-Year-Old Colt Pace at Saratoga May 25 3-Year-Old Filly Pace at Vernon The NYSS is focused on racing events safely this summer, contingent on guidance from state and federal government agencies. We will do our best to provide horsemen and owners the most certainty we can by announcing changes and rescheduling of events on an ongoing basis as the situation evolves. "This is a challenging time for horsemen and owners and our first concern is for your health and safety. After that, our priority is for our participants to race and receive a return on their investment in this program," said Kelly Young, executive director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "Under current conditions, we must acknowledge that it may not be possible to offer a full complement of eight legs for each of our divisions. We know this is disappointing, but we plan on each division having an equal number of legs and a final. Our goal is to preserve as many of our scheduled race dates as possible, but some changes will be necessary. We will work with state regulators, racetracks and horsemen to devise a strong plan for racing this year. "Further, I want to assure stables which are winter training in other states and are waiting for backstretches to open that we acknowledge your situation, along with the need for all stakes horses to qualify, and we will factor that into our first race date." At this time no changes have been made to County Fair racing dates. Horsemen racing in all tiers of the program should be prepared for social distancing and other health-related safety protocols at all racing venues, including fairs. The New York Sire Stakes appreciates the understanding of its horsemen and women and will continue to send updates as we navigate the future of the racing season. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the New York Sire Stakes at info@nysirestakes.com. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund:  The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.    

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes is urging harness racing participants to consider submitting 2- and 3-year-old payments due on April 15 online due to the uncertain climate surrounding COVID-19. Business as usual continues at the NYSS, but this request is being made so that we may continue to process your payments in a timely manner in the case of office closures or mail disruption in the future. Invoices for 2 and 3-year-olds were mailed on March 13. The payment deadline remains April 15. You can submit online payments here. If you decide to mail your payment, we strongly encourage utilizing Certified Mail to have documentation of on-time payment. Yearling nomination payments are due on May 15. These payments cannot be made online and must be mailed. We encourage Certified Mail in this instance as well. Yearling nomination forms were mailed to mare owners on March 16. The nomination form is also available online here.  We are working hard to make sure our office is available and communicating with you at this time. The most reliable way to contact the New York Sire Stakes is to email info@nysirestakes.com. We will continue to update all participants if circumstances require. If you do not already have an email address on file, please send that to us at the email above to ensure direct receipt. Thank you for your understanding. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.  

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will kick off the 2020 live harness racing season on Saturday, May 2, igniting a 58 day meet that ends with the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) Excelsior division finals on Saturday, September 19.   In between the season will be filled with stakes and promotions to enhance the Tioga live experience. Top Grand Circuit stakes for older horses are on the schedule with the Roll With Joe FFA pace and the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers set for Sunday, June 14 while the Crawford Farms and Joie De Vie for trotters and Artiscape for mare pacers come a month later along with the Empire Breeders Classic for sophomore NY breds.   The nomination forms for the above stakes are available on the Tioga website and will close on March 15.   Race Secretary Rich Mattei will accept racing applications, due by March 15, and open the stable area on April 1 in anticipation of the summer racing.   Questions should be directed to Racing Operations Manager Brett Risi at (607) 699-7688.   It is recommended that horsemen sign up for the text information service used at Tioga Downs by texting the word "MEADOWLANDS" to 84700.   From Tioga Downs

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund has released annual Breeders Awards for the 2019 racing season, totaling $1,000,000. A total of 332 New York-bred horses earned awards for 154 different entities. A total of 18 breeders earned more than $15,000 in awards. The full list of awards can be found at the New York Sire Stakes website. Last year's 2-year-olds returned 14.5% of their NYSS program earnings to their breeder, while 3-year-olds returned 15.5%. The largest single Breeders Award earner was Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven). The trotting filly won three legs and the NYSS Final in her sophomore season. She returned $53,150.23 to breeder Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. Combined, Blue Chip Farms and Blue Chip Bloodstock earned $128,881.90 in breeders awards for 29 offspring. Breeder Steve Jones received the most in awards with $134,208.19. Jones bred four horses that earned more than $100,000 last year, including three NYSS Champions-Cigars And Port, Hickfromfrenchlick and The Fun Marshall. Other top earners included Crawford Farms LLC with $88,990.49, generated by standout performers like Brooklyn Lilacs and Stella Jane; Winbak Farm with $58,461.12, led by top earners Artie's Ideal and Hanna Dreamgirl; Little E LLC with $33,958.44 earned largely by campaigner Seventimesalady; and The OK Corral with $29,410.17, produced largely by filly So Awesome. "Breeders are at the core of the racing industry's positive economic impact in the State of New York and the Fund is pleased to recognize their contributions to our agricultural vitality," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "It is through their investment that New York has become known for its exceptional breeding and racing opportunities." The Breeders Awards program provides rewards for each level of NYSS racing: Sire Stakes, Excelsior Series and County Fairs. The awards are residency based, rewarding breeders who keep their mares in New York State for at least 180 days surrounding conception, thereby contributing to the agricultural economy. The program is designed to stimulate New York State's agriculture sector and support New York farms. The Fund has previously announced that another $1 million will be available to breeders for the 2020 racing season. It's not too late this year for breeders to make their mare eligible for Breeders Awards in the future. Once a mare is in the state, the first step to establishing residency is by submitting a Form A to the Fund. Those wishing to find out more about New York's mare residency program should check out the guidelines. and call or email the Fund office with any questions at 518-388-0178 or info@nysirestakes.com. About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the Fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the State. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races. Additionally, the Fund provides assistance to county agriculture societies and contributes to the statewide 4-H program and to the Harry M. Zweig Fund for Equine Research. From the New York Sire Stakes

Middletown, NY---The 2020 Goshen Yearling Sale will be held on Sunday (Sept. 13) at the Mark Ford Training Center in Middletown, NY. This is a real sweet spot for the harness racing sale this year as it's slotted between the Yonkers International Trot and New York Sire Stakes finals at Yonkers Raceway which will be contested on Saturday (Sept. 12) and the New York Sire Stake consolations which will go at Monticello Raceway on Monday (Sept. 14). With the sale being conveniently located between those two events, owners and trainers competing will have the opportunity to easily schedule and attend this sale. Since 2015, the Goshen Yearling Sale has brought quality New York bred stock to the ring from the industry's top breeders including Hanover Shoe Farms, Cameo Hills Farm, Winbak Farm and Blue Chip Farm. Horses like Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star 1:48.4, $638,677), Aflame Hanover (Russell Hanover-Applique Hanover 1:49.1 $336,796), Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk 1:52 $230,845) and Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art 1:54 $192,351) are all alumni of this sale along with a host of other high speed, quality stake winners. The Goshen Yearling Sale has grown each year in both size and popularity and has become a favorite venue for both the buyer and consignor. And 2019 was its best year yet as attendance and sale records were set across the board. "We're coming off a banner year and are planning on outdoing ourselves once again in 2020," said Mark Ford, on behalf of the Goshen Yearling Sale. "We have plans to enhance our already user-friendly amenities both on-site and online to make it even easier for our clients to just concentrate on the yearlings they want and buy them. We can't wait for September." One important deadline to keep in mind concerning this year's event is Monday (June 1), as that is the final day for all consignments to be made for the sale. The sales facility is located at 90 Slaughter Road, Middletown, NY, which is within a ninety-minute drive of many major race tracks and training centers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, making it a very convenient location. It's also only eight miles away from the Harness Racing Museum and the Goshen Historic Track, making it easy to visit those historic places during your weekend. Everything you need to know about the 2020 Goshen Yearling Sale is available on their website at www.goshenyearlingsale.com where consignment forms, a catalog request portal and hotel information for local lodging all can be found. For any other inquiries please contact Mark Ford directly at 973-568-3253 (cell) or by email at fordstable@frontiernet.net . By Tim Bojarski, for Goshen Standardbred Horse Sales

LATHAM, N.Y. - The harness racing schedule and updated conditions for the 2020 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) racing season were approved Monday (Dec. 30) at a meeting of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Board of Trustees. The NYSS racing season will open on Tuesday, May 5, at Yonkers Raceway with 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters and provide eight legs for all eight divisions of 2 and 3 year olds. The $1.8 million NYSS Day of Champions, featuring eight Finals worth $225,000, will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, at Yonkers Raceway. The program will also feature the International Trot and offer a special afternoon post. "Racing fans had such a great response to the NYSS Day of Champions and International Trot in 2017. We are so excited to partner with Yonkers Raceway again to offer another blockbuster card in 2020," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund. "The New York Sire Stakes program is key to the success of the state's harness racing and Standardbred breeding industries and we look forward to working with all tracks in the state to offer another outstanding year of state-bred racing." The NYSS Consolations are scheduled at Monticello Raceway on Monday, Sept. 14. The Excelsior Series Finals are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at Tioga Downs. The purses for the Consolations and Excelsior Finals have been adjusted and each division will offer $50,000 purses for the season-concluding events. The full schedule of NYSS and Excelsior racing dates is now available. Dates for the County Fair Racing Series will be announced in the coming weeks. Total purses paid out for the three tiers of the New York Sire Stakes program equaled $14.79 million in 2019. Purses are budgeted to be similar in 2020 with more than $13 million in added money approved at the meeting. The newly approved conditions for the Excelsior and County Fair Series in 2020, along with conditions for yearlings nominating in 2020 (foals of 2019), can be found at the New York Sire Stakes website: www.nysirestakes.com. Also approved at the meeting, $150,000 has been made available for next year's Grant Awards. A grant application will be issued in early 2020 encouraging certified 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations to apply for consideration. Organizations are asked to review the Fund's Grants Policy to determine their eligibility before applying. Deadline for submission will be March 2, 2020. From the New York Sire Stakes      

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Board of Trustees has approved $1 million in Breeders Awards for the upcoming 2020 harness racing season. In addition, New York Sire Stakes Breeders Awards earned for the 2019 racing season, also total $1 million, will be mailed to the recipients in the month of January. The Breeders Awards program provides rewards for each level of NYSS racing: Sire Stakes, Excelsior Series and County Fairs. The awards are residency based, rewarding breeders who keep their mares in New York State for at least 180 days surrounding conception, thereby contributing to the agricultural economy. The program is designed to stimulate New York State’s agriculture sector and support New York farms. Complete guidelines for mare residency and the Breeders Awards program can be found on the New York Sire Stakes website. Breeders who have not done so already have until Jan. 30 to file their 2019 Mare Residency Form B to finalize their 2019 residency for future Breeders Awards. As a reminder, you can now begin filing Mare Residency Form A for 2020 to start the residency period in 2020. “We are proud to recognize the breeders who support the state’s harness racing industry by maintaining exceptional broodmares within the state and breeding to New York-registered stallions,” said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “The demand and quality of New York-bred horses continues to be strong, generating economic and agricultural benefits, and further investment in the state.” From the New York Sire Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The three-year-old harness racing pacing colt Hickfromfrenchlick has been named the Unites States Trotting Association District 8 Horse of the Year. The award was presented to trainer Ray Schnittker at the New York Sire Stakes & USTA District 8 Annual Awards Banquet on Nov. 10. The So Surreal-My Girl's A Star colt has earned $500,136 this year and won 11 of his 15 starts. His sophomore season featured wins on the New York Night of Champions and in the Empire Breeders Classic. Bred by Steve Jones, he has banked $638,677 lifetime for owners Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. Tyler Buter was also honored at the banquet as USTA District 8 Pari-Mutuel Driver of the Year. Buter is about to cross the career milestone of $40 million in earnings and has solidified himself as a leading driver on the New York circuit as well as the Grand Circuit. As the regular driver of American Mercury this season, Buter won the $500,000 Messenger Stakes and five legs of the NYSS. The pair was also third in the Little Brown Jug. So far in 2019 the driver has recorded $5.27 million in earnings and 313 trips to the winner's circle. George Ducharme took home the USTA District 8 Trainer of the Year award. He had a career-best season with $1.9 million in earnings and 94 training victories. He also had the leading money-winning stable at his home track of Vernon Downs. In addition to earning more than $700,000 in the NYSS and starting three finalists on the Night of Champions, he won four Massachusetts Sire Stakes finals this year. Other honorees at the event were Claude Huckabone Jr., who was named both County Fair Driver and Trainer of the Year; Jason Bartlett as NYSS Driver of the Year for leading the series in earnings; Trond Smedshammer as NYSS Trainer of the Year; and Winbak Farm as NYSS Breeder of the Year. From the New York Sire Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes and USTA District 8 are reminding interested parties to RSVP for the Annual Awards Banquet scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10 at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The evening will honor the harnes racing champion horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the NYSS, the Excelsior Series and the New York County Fair Series. Guests are asked to please RSVP to Sarah Quinn at squinn@caphill.com or 518-694-5002. The title of Leading Breeder will go to Winbak Farm for the second year in a row. Winbak Farm bred seven champion horses across the three NYSS racing tiers, led by 2-year-old trotting filly Zero Tolerance. Trond Smedshammer will be named Leading Trainer in a season that saw him earn $749,955.71 with 14 horses in the NYSS and Excelsior divisions. Jason Bartlett will be honored as Leading Driver, finishing atop the NYSS and Excelsior charts with $1,715,282.91 and 65 wins. Claude Huckabone Jr. was named both Leading Trainer and Leading Driver in the NYSS County Fair Series. Huckabone drove 2019 champion Flow With Joe and is trainer/co-owner of Roll With Mimi. This 30th edition of the NYSS Night of Champions was held at the Batavia Downs on Sept. 14. Eight champions were crowned, taking home a combined $1.8 million in purses. The 2019 champions are: Zero Tolerance, Quincy Blue Chip, The Fun Marshall, Hypnotic AM, Cigars and Port, Third Shift, Gimpanzee and Hickfromfrenchlick. The evening will honor the NYSS Excelsior Champions, who took home $55,000 each at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sept. 21. The 2019 champions are Ideal Perception, C And T's Credit, Century Ferrari, Fool Me Again, Book Seven, Certify, Alleyesonme AS, and Hanna Dreamgirl. The NYSS County Fair Champions were crowned at Monticello Raceway on Sept. 5 following two months of racing at 20 county fairs across New York State. Each final carried a purse of $10,000, collected by Notoutofthewoods, Discus Hanover, Xenia's Chip, Flow With Joe, Reckless Image, Certify, Roll With Mimi, and Jericho Willie. Awards will also be given in the RUS-NY (Racing Under Saddle) series. RUS-NY is sponsored by Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Oneida Veterinary Associates PLLC. Hillary Hartnett will receive her accolades as 2019 Rider Challenge Champion and Akhenaton will be honored as County Fair Final Champion and 2019 Top Point Earner. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., hosted by USTA District 8 racetracks. Dinner and awards will follow immediately at 7:30 p.m. A USTA District 8 meeting will precede the banquet and is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the hotel. Tickets are $35.00. Special room rates are available in which banquet guests can receive 15% off a reservation at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Click here for booking information. Payment should be made out and sent to: Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Fund c/o CHMS 230 Washington Avenue Extension, Suite 101 Albany, NY 12203 From the New York Sire Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes and USTA District 8 will host their Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday, Nov. 10 at Saratoga Casino Hotel, honoring the top horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the 2019 harness racing season. Awards will be presented to the 2 and 3-year old champions of the NYSS, the Excelsior Series and the New York County Fair Series. USTA District 8 will also present divisional awards, along with Horse of the year and honors for leading breeders, trainers and drivers. Racing Under Saddle-NY will also present year-end awards. The banquet will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., hosted by USTA District 8 racetracks. The banquet will follow immediately at 7:30 p.m. A USTA District 8 meeting will precede the banquet and is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the hotel. Tickets are $35.00 and include reception and dinner. Special room rates are available in which banquet guests can receive 15% off a reservation at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Click here for booking information. Guests are asked to please RSVP no later than Monday, Nov. 4. RSVPs can be given to Sarah Quinn at squinn@caphill.com or 518-694-5002. Payment should be made out and sent to: Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Fund c/o CHMS 230 Washington Avenue Extension, Suite 101 Albany, NY 12203 From the New York Sire Stakes

Batavia, NY --- Howard Owens, who is the Publisher and Editor of the online news source The Batavian, produced a compilation highlight video of the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that was held at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 14). It features many great harness racing shots of the track, the fans, the horses and also includes several interviews from participants of the night's activities. The video can be viewed here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPF8vSjRfWA) Howard Owens is originally from San Diego, California where he started his journalism career over 20 years ago. He launched The Batavian on May 1, 2008 as the first local, independently operated online-only news source for Batavia, New York and Genesee County. Since its inception 11-years ago it has become Genesee County's most popular online news site. On Wednesday (Sept. 18) the Pick-5 pool at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel will be guaranteed at $2,500.  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, the carryover amount moves to the Friday program. Wednesday’s guaranteed pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website (www.ustrotting.com). By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Down

Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett won six races including five of the eight New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolations ran at Vernon Downs on Sunday (September 15). All divisions raced for a purse of $40,000. Here are all the NYSS consolations in the order they raced. Gobi Princess (Bartlett) much the best in the race for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Avalonia (Tyler Buter) led to the first quarter in :27.1 and to the half in :57.0. Gobi Princess ($2.80) took control just after the half and was first to three-quarters in 1:54.4. Gobi Princess, who is owned by Knuttson Trotting Inc. and trained by Annette Lorentzon, turned for home with the lead. Avalonia tried to comeback but Gobi Princess was too strong and won easily in 1:54.1. Avalonia was second best. Amanda Blue Chip (Tyler Buter) finished third. Gobi Princess is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass. It was her third win this season. She now has four career victories. Heavens Challenge (Bartlett) charges late to nip Boogie Roll (Joe Bongirono) in the sophomore pacing fillies consolation. Boogie Roll led the three horse field to a first quarter of :27.1 and half of :57.1. Heavens Challenge ($3.70), who is trained by Chris Height for owners James Slendrom, Jeffrey Levine, and Joe Cornacchia, led to three-quarters in 1:25.4. Boogie Roll rallied back and took the lead back as they reached the stretch. Heavens Challenge made one more charge and won by a nose in a lifetime best of 1:54.2. Boogie Roll had to settle for second best. Heavens Challenge is a 3-year-old filly by Rock N Roll Heaven. It was her third win this season and seventh career victory. Genius Ma(n (Bartlett) too smart in consolation for freshmen colts & geldings. Always On The Hunt (Ray Schnittker) went to the lead and put up all the early fractions (:26.0, :55.0, 1:23.1). The first to give him a challenge was stablemate Teton Sunset (Tyler Buter) as the two went side by side. Genius Man ($3.40), who is trained by Erv Miller for owners Ron Michelon and Daniel Plouffe, went second-over third as they made the turn for home. He held off a late charge by second place finisher Ideal Artillery (Jim Morrill Jr) to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.2. Teton Sunset was third best. Genius Man is a 2-year-old colt by Art Major-Unred Hanover. It was his second win in eight career starts. Dragon Roll (Howard Parker) sneaks by late to capture NYSS consolation for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Coconut Beach (Bartlett) was first to the quarter in :27.1. Fashion Hill (Tyler Buter) took control on the backstretch and led to the half in :57.0 and to three-quarters in 1:24.4. Dragon Roll ($11.40), who is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo, and Lawrence Minowitz, went first-over at three-quarters. She wrestled the lead away in deep stretch and held off the late charge of Hen Party (Matt Kakaley) to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.3. Hen Party had to settle for second. Fashion Hill held on for third. Dragon Roll is a 3-year-old filly by Roll With Joe- Little Miss Dragon. It was her second career victory in six starts. Brady Bunch (Bartlett) easily wins NYSS consolation for 3-year-old trotting colts & geldings. Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) led to the first quarter in :26.4. Brady Bunch ($3.80) then blew right by to take them to a half of :56.1. He then used a :29 third quarter to hit three-quarters first in 1:25.1. Brady Bunch, who is trained by Erv Miller for owners Michael Anderson, Joseph Faraldo, and Eddie Gran, had a lot in the tank as they reached the stretch. He breezed to an easy victory in a lifetime best of 1:53.2. Skyway Kon Man (Tyler Buter) came up late to finish second. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Morrill Jr.) was third. Brady Bunch is a 3-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass. It was his fourth win of the season and of his career. Bro (Tyler Buter) is upset winner in the consolation for sophomore pacing colts & geldings. Bro ($22.80) led to the first quarter in :26.3. Respect Our Flag (Joe Bongiorno) then went to the front as they headed for the backstretch. Covered Bridge (Jim Morrill Jr.) then would take his turn and led to the half in :55.1. As they headed for the final turn Bro went to the front again and led to three-quarters in 1:22.2. Bro, who is trained by Homer Hochtetler for owners Jay Hochstetler and Finkelberg Racing LLC, was strong as they turned for home. He breezed down the stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.2. Respect Our Flag was second best. Chatelroll (Howard Parker) finished third. Bro is a 3-year-old colt by Rock N Roll Heaven. He was winless as a freshmen and now has won four wins as a sophomore. Discus Hanover (Jason Bartlett) scores in the NYSS consolation for freshmen colts & geldings. Discus Hanover ($6.50) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.1. He continued to lead to the half in :58.2. Take The Credit (Jim Morrill Jr) took over and led to three-quarters in 1:28.0. All Rise (Tyler Buter) took a short lead in the stretch. Discus Hanover, who is owned by trainer David Dewhurst and Phillip Hale, squeezed through an opening on the inside. Praying Ruby (Matt Kakaley) made a late three wide move but Discus Hanover was not to be denied and won in 1:57.0. Praying Ruby had to settle for second money. All Rise held on to finish third. Discus Hanover is a 2-year-old colt by Credit Winner-Dancing Flames. It was his 11th straight win in 14 starts. No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) wins NYSS consolation for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Flotus (John Stark Jr.) was first to the quarter in :27.2 and first to the half in :57.0. No Mas Drama ($4.40) took the lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:26.3, No Mas Drama, who is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owners J And T Silva Stables, Joe Bongiorno, James DiScala Jr. and Eleven Star Stable, went toe to toe with Flotus in the stretch. She would take the lead and hold on after a late charge by second place finisher Charlotte Chaplin to win in a lifetime best of 1:55.4. Flotus held on for third. No Mas Drama is a 2-year-old filly by Muscles Yankee-Massive Drama. It was her second career win in eight career starts. Bartlett's sixth win came of the night came with JDS Brent N Sheree ($4.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 20) with a post time of 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs    

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