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Batavia, NY --- A marathon 15-race card will be held at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9) when the New York Sire Stakes roll into town for the second and final time this summer. Four NYSS harness racing divisions of 2 and 3-year-old male pacers headline with an undercard featuring 11 Excelsior Series legs that all tolled offer $341,200 in purse money. Nine 3-year-olds will go to post in two NYSS divisions and will feature some very fast horses. The first $54,000 leg has Major Betts (Art Major-Southwind Johanne) listed as the morning line favorite and for good reason. Major Betts took a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 at Tioga Downs in a NYSS event in June before competing in the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace in July. In that stake he drew post eight, got away tenth and chased a 1:47.2 mile in vain. The following week he jogged in 1:51.1 in another NYSS race at Yonkers. Dexter Dunn is scheduled to make his first-ever driving appearance at Batavia Downs to drive Major Betts for trainer Mark Harder. The other three horses in the short field of four have all been race timed under 1:50 this year but will definitely have their hands full on Sunday. Blank Stare (Bolt The Duer-Hypnotize) took his mark of 1:50.1 in a NYSS race at Tioga, Genius Man (Art Major-Unred Hanover) has won his last two starts and Ideal Perception (American Ideal-Southwind Siren) has not missed a check in NYSS action this year. Blank Stare gets Corey Callahan for trainer John Butenshoen, Genius Man has Marcus Miller up for Erv Miller and Ideal Perception will have Jason Bartlett driving for Andrew Harris. The second $55,000 split features three closely spotted starters. Splash Brother (So Surreal-Sugarcoated) is a winner of three out of five races this year including one NYSS victory and his 1:48.2 lifetime mark at the Meadowlands in June. That is the fastest mile paced by a 3-year-old gelding so far in 2020. Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) who won six NYSS races last year at two before finishing second in the final. In three tries this year he has only one win, but it was a lifetime best effort of 1:48.4 at Vernon Downs. Save Me A Dance (Heston Blue Chip-Dance Hall Girl) has three consecutive second place finishes in NYSS action after winning his seasonal debut at the Meadowlands in 1:51.1. Tyler Buter drives Splash Brother for trainer Ray Schnittker, Matt Kakaley will steer Groovy Joe for Blake McIntosh and Jason Bartlett will team Save Me A Dance for Andrew Harris. 12 2-year-olds will also compete in NYSS action in two $50,400 splits and this division features one of the top freshman horses in North America. American Courage (American Ideal-Nola Fool Bluechip) is undefeated coming in to Batavia, going five for five this year and including two NYSS wins. He also won the $154,250 MGM Springfield Stake at Yonkers. He took his lifetime mark of 1:51.3 in his last start at Tioga Downs and that win pushed his earnings to $119,908. To date he is the fastest 2-year-old pacing colt, the richest overall 2-year-old pacer and the third winningest overall 2-year-old pacer in North America. Matt Kakaley will drive American Courage for trainer Travis Alexander. Trying to take their best shot to beat him is Carrythetorchman (American Ideal-Kattimon) who won a preliminary leg of the MGM Springfield at Yonkers and has finished second in two NYSS events and Sauvignon Bluechip (Art Major-Some Girls Do) who tripped-out behind American Courage last week to finish second at Tioga. Marcus Miller will drive Carrythetorchman for trainer Erv Miller and Tyler Buter will team Sauvignon Bluechip for trainer David Dziengiel. The other 2-year-old leg has two competitors getting some relief from chasing American Courage, but who will now face off against each other. Town Gossip (American Ideal-Fibbertigibbet) has raced American Courage three times this year and finished second behind him twice. He did win his only start when not facing him in a NYSS race at Tioga where he went wire to wire in convincing fashion. King James Express (Art Major-More Diamonds) tripped-out and won his first NYSS event at Saratoga before drawing in with American Courage at Tioga and getting a rough overland trip where he was parked over half the mile. Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Town Gossip for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and Jason Bartlett will be behind King James Express for Mark Harder. There are also seven $15,000 Excelsior A races carded along with four $6,600 Excelsior B races. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes has announced changes to its schedule affecting the Excelsior Finals and the remaining NYSS two divisions scheduled to race at Monticello Raceway. The full revised schedule can be found here. The Excelsior Finals will now be held Friday, Sept. 11 at Tioga Downs, instead of Sept. 19 as previously scheduled. This is one day before the NYSS Finals at Yonkers. Protocols for the finals at Yonkers have not yet been determined and horsemen that may have horses competing on both nights should know we will take the challenges of this scheduling change into consideration. Other events included in scheduling changes: 2-Year-Old Filly Pace Monday, Aug. 24 at Monticello moved to Saratoga (same date) 3-Year-Old Colt Trot Monday, Aug. 31 at Monticello moved to Friday, Sept. 4 at Vernon Downs To receive the latest updates from The New York Sire Stakes, you are encouraged to register for the newly implemented NYSS Text Alert System, which sends updates directly to your phone. To receive updates from NYSS via text message: TEXT "NYSS" to 31996. International Numbers TEXT "NYSS INT" to (833) 498-1158. From the New York Sire Stakes

There were two divisions of New York Sire Stakes action for three year old harness racing colt and gelding trotters contested on Wednesday evening at Saratoga Casino Hotel and two horses who have been winning machines in Stakes action continued their winning ways.  The fastest of the $74,500 divisions of the NYSS went the way of the Jim Campbell-trained Hobbs (Credit Winner-Crulla De Ville-Yankee Glide) who scored his fourth consecutive victory with Jason Bartlett in the sulky. Hobbs powered out to the early lead on Wednesday and never looked back, stopping the timer in 1:56 to continue what has already been a monster sophomore campaign for the talented gelding.   His race's 4-5 betting favorite, Hobbs was tested briefly in the stretch by rival Barn Holden (Mark Macdonald) who finished second to keep his streak alive of hitting the board in all seven starts on the campaign. Take The Credit (Trond Smedshammer) finished third. Hobbs is owned by Runthetable Stables of Montvale, NJ. The other division went to Trond Smedshammer's Chaptiama (Chapter Seven-Crediama-Credit Winner) who continued his winning ways with a decisive wire-to-wire score as the 2-5 betting favorite in his division. Smedshammer got a comfortable first half for Chaptiama who went untested in a first lap in 59.1 before the super sophomore trotted his back half in 57 seconds en route to a 1:56.1 score. It was the third victory in a row and third on the season for Chaptiama who earned over $182,000 as a freshman in '19 and is poised to match or surpass that number in what has been a terrific start to his 2020 campaign.   Chaptiama, who is owned by Purple Haze Stables of Fairport, NY, bested runner-up Ballcapsnbluejeans (Mark Macdonald) who had to settle for second and Beerthirty K (Tyler Buter) who came up third best. Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee featuring more NY Sire Stakes action as two year old colt and gelding trotters come to town. First post time is set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Yonkers, NY - Starting this week, the 50 cent Pick 5 wager at Yonkers Raceway will carry a $7,500 guaranteed pool on Mondays and Tuesdays. The pick 5 begins in race five each night. Monday's Pick 5 at Yonkers features two $77,300 New York Sire Stakes harness racing divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies. In the eighth race, the fourth leg of the Pick 5 wager, Hen Party looks to remain perfect in NYSS action. Hen Party, a daughter of Roll With Joe for the Crawford Farms and trainer Tony Alagna has already won sire stakes legs at Yonkers, Tioga and Vernon. Andrew McCarthy is in the bike once again and is the 9-5 morning line favorite from post five. Yonkers is currently racing four nights a week, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with first post at 7:12pm by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway    

Tioga Downs hosted two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen pacing colts & geldings on Saturday (August 1). I'll Drink To That (Jim Morrill Jr.) wins the $53,100 first division. Major Bean (Jason Bartlett) went straight to the front. Sexy Blue Chip (Wally Hennessey) took over the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :28.0. Major Bean went back to the front as they headed for the stands for the first time. He led to the half in :57.3. I'll Drink To That ($14.60) made his move going first-over down the backstretch. He led to three-quarters in 1:24.4. I'll Drink To That continued to lead as they made the turn for home. Carrythetorchman (Marcus Miller) came flying as they hit the stretch but I'll Drink To That was too strong to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.2. Carrythetorchman had to settle for second. Sexy Blue Chip finished third.   I'll Drink To That is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Margarita Monday. Trained by Chris Ryder for owners Craig Henderson, Lawrence Minowitz, Robert Mondillo, and Oompa's Farm. American Courage (Matt Kakaley) remains unbeaten with easy with in the $52,200 second division. Major Makover (Wally Hennessey) held a slight lead hitting the first quarter first in :27.0. Sauvignon Bluechip (Tyler Buter) took over the lead right after the first quarter but that was short lived when American Courage ($2.70) came flying by and took the lead with a lap to go. He hit the half in :56.0. Garrett's Drama (Jimmy Whittemore) came first-over to challenge as they reached the backstretch. American Courage cruised to three-quarters in 1:24.1. As they headed down the stretch it was all American Courage winning easily in a lifetime best of 1:51.3 Sauvignon Bluechip was second best. Major Makover finished third.   American Courage is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Nota Fool Bluechip. He is owned by Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC and trained by Travis Alexander. He is now five for five in his young career. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (August 2) with a 13-race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs.

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes makes its first of two stops at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) and will feature both 2 and 3-year-old trotting filly divisions.  There are 16 freshman fillies divided into two divisions, each going for $52,200.  The first group features No Pay No Way (Credit Winner-Not A Diva) who has one NYSS win in only one lifetime start. After qualifying handily at the Meadowlands in 1:56.4, No Pay No Way took a come from behind win at Yonkers on July 21 in a state-bred race, banking the bulk of the $$48,866 purse after the win in 2:00.  Scott Zeron will be in the bike for trainer Rick Zeron.  Titans Hope (E L Titan-Fiery Manes) made an impressive first start at Yonkers, finishing third after a mid-mile move. A change in barn and driver seemed to step her up from her qualifier and she looks to continue improving in here. Jason Bartlett drives for trainer Andrew Harris. Also in the race is Credit Income (Credit Winner-Income De VIe) who won an Excel A outing in 2:01 at Saratoga Raceway on July 8 before stepping up to a top level, second place finish at Yonkers where she trotted in 1:59.2.  John Stark Jr. drives for trainer Maureen Salino. The second division has Destined To Dance (Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer) starting from post seven and looking for her third consecutive win on the year. This filly has won gate to wire at Saratoga on July 8 in 1:59.4 and from off the pace at Yonkers on July 21 in her lifetime best 1:58.3.  Tyler Buter will steer again for trainer John Butenschoen.  Just Joshing (Chapter Seven-Jodi’s Jayme) has two consecutive wins in Excel A company and both were very impressive. She takes the next step here and looks to be a formidable force against the top group this week for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller.  Elize B (Chapter Seven-Legal Lady) made a stellar debut after cutting the mile and just getting beat in 1:59.2 at Saratoga. She made a break in her next outing at Yonkers from post seven and looks to make amends for that misstep. Scott and Rick Zeron are also the driver/trainer team on this filly.  There are only nine entrants in the sophomore soiree that will also go in two groups for $54,000 and $55,000 respectively.  The first division has four starters who are winless this year but who also show a lot of potential.  Destiny Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Chasin Clouds Away) was caught up in a torrid 1:53 mile at Tioga Downs on June 21, chasing Love A Good Story who is in the other division. In her last start at Vernon Downs, she was parked out for over three-quarters of the mile before tiring in the last turn in a race that went in 1:52.1. She is now in a short field that looks like she should be able to make use of those tighteners.  Ake Svanstedt both trains and drives.  Starystarrynight (Conway Hall-Makes Me Crazy) has won three times last year but has still not found the winner’s circle in 2020. After winning her qualifier on June 15 at Yonkers, Starrystarrynight has been racing overnight condition races at Harrah’s Philly where she was recently race timed in 1:55.2. Now back facing her own age and gender, she should be well prepped for a top effort in her first stake start this year.  Billy Davis Jr. drives for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera.  Island Lily (Chapter Seven-Up Front Hotsey) showed good early work this year before finishing fourth in an Excel A event. After a month layoff, she qualified in a lifetime best time of 1:56.4 by 3-1/2 lengths at Pocono. She steps up to the top level here but comes in looking the part. Tom Jackson drives for trainer Fred Grant. The second $55,000 leg is stacked with three of the top five point-getters in this division. Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin) has won both of her NYSS outings this year taking a lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Vernon Downs on July 11. She also finished second to Hypnotic Am in the $207,250 Empire Breeders Classic and most recently competed in the $253,500 Del Miller at the Meadowlands against Hambletonian hopeful Ramona Hill who won it in 1:50.3.   Team Orange Crush handles Love A Good Story with Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller. No Mas Drama (Muscles Yankee-Massive Drama) hasn’t missed a check all year until an impossible trip in the Del Miller where she found herself 10th at the quarter chasing a 1:50.3 mile and Munster (Chapter Seven-Richesse Oblige S) has also cashed in four starts behind the gate. However both are still looking for win number one of the year. Jim Morrill Jr. Drives No Mas Drama for trainer Jenn Bongiorno and Tyler Buter will team Munster for Per Engblom. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. Black Is Back in season's best at Batavia Downs The first Open I pace of the year saw Black Is Back impose his will on a field of seven, going gate to wire handily to capture the $10,000 feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 31). Driver Dave McNeight III seated the field after taking a quick point position with Black Is Back and then went to the quarter in :28.3 and the half in :57.4. It was there that Class Six (Renaldo Morales III) pulled first-over and made his way up the outside. Class Six got to within a length of Black Is Back at the three-quarters before hanging there around the last turn. And that was as close as he would get as Black Is Back rebuffed the challenge and paced away to a 2-1/4 length win in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the 32nd lifetime win in only 110 starts for Black Is Back ($3.90) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. does the training. The $9,000 Open II saw a raw speed duel between Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) and Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) who left from post seven and eight respectively. Under Paid got the lead and parked out Atlantis for three quarters of a mile while going fast fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:25. When Atlantis understandably tired in the last turn, Don McWhite (Billy Davis Jr.), who had the perfect pocket trip, tipped out and looked to go by the leader. But the leader wasn't done and Under Paid finished strong to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.2. It was the second win in a row for Under Paid ($13.00) who is owned by Jennifer Rogowski and trained by Mike Ohol. Shawn McDonough's stable had one big night at the Downs on Friday. Horses he trains made seven starts and scored four wins, one second and two thirds. Of those seven starters, McDonough drove six of them. He won three, had one second and two thirds. This all equates to McDonough having a Universal Trainer Rating of .746 and a Universal Driver Rating of .703 for the night. Statistically, that is one of the best dual performances ever recorded at the Genesee County track. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a special Sunday (Aug. 2) matinee card featuring all New York Sire Stake races. Post time Sunday is 1:15 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Tioga Downs welcomes two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old colts & geldings on Saturday (August 1). Both divisions will race for a purse of $53,100. The Mark Harder trained Southwind Petyr (Tyler Buter) is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first division. The colt by American Ideal-Southwind Paris will make his career debut after an impressive qualifier in 1:55.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia. His main rivals will be Major Bean (Jason Bartlett) and Carrythetorchman (Marcus Miller). Major Bean (Art Major-Lismorebella) is trained by Blake Macintosh. The colt has two seconds in three starts including a second place finish in the NYSS at Saratoga. Carrythetorchman (American Ideal-Kattimon) has a win in three career starts. Trained by Erv Miller, he also had a second place finish at Saratoga. Unbeaten American Courage (Matt Kakaley) should be the big favorite in the second division. American Courage (American Ideal-Nota Fool Bluechip) is four for four including a win in the MGM Springfield Stakes final at Yonkers. The colt trained by Travis Alexander also has a win in the NYSS at Saratoga. The Mark Harder trained King James Express (Jason Bartlett) should be the major rival. The gelding by Art Major-More Diamonds won a leg of the NYSS at Saratoga. He is one for two lifetime. The 15-race card starts at 3 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne for Tioga Downs  

Yonkers, NY - Sire Art Major had two harness racing pacers in Tuesday night's New York Sire Stakes divisions for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers and both came away victorious. In the $75,900 first division, Major Betts led all the way to a two and a half length score in 1:51.1. Dexter Dunn was the winning driver for trainer Mark Harder and owners Jannuzzelli, Harder and Frost.   Major Betts started in the Meadowlands Pace Final in his last race but the return to NYSS action got him back to the winner's circle. In the $77,300 second division, Genius Man got up by a nose in an eventful stretch battle in 1:52.3. Save Me A Dance was second with Splash Brother a neck back in third.   Marcus Miller drove the Art Major gelding to victory for trainer Erv Miller and owners Michelon and Plouffe. Racing at Yonkers Raceway continues Thursday and Friday night this week, first race is 7:12pm by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway  

Batavia, NY --- The 74th season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs kicks off on Wednesday (July 29) and opening night features some of the best horses on the grounds, including the Open filly and mare pacers and the Open class trotters. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. The Downs will conduct a 43-day meet in 2020 that for the first week will race on Wednesday (July 29) and Friday (July 31) before changing to a Wednesday/Saturday schedule for the remainder of the meet. Post time for Wednesday is 5 p.m. and Saturday is 6 p.m. Post time for Friday (July 31) is 5 p.m. There are two special Sunday matinee cards that will be held on August 2 and August 9 when the New York Sire Stakes come to town. Those cards will feature all-stake races that will see the 2 and 3-year old trotting fillies compete on Sunday (Aug. 2) and the 2 and 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings go to the gate on Sunday (Aug. 9). Post time for both of these dates is 1:15 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will be the only stake races at the Downs this year as the track's signature race, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Pace, will not be contested in 2020. "We look forward to another exciting race meet," said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Western Regional Off-Track Betting, the owner of Batavia Downs. "During these difficult times, we've made a series of adjustments that we hope will lead to a successful season." There will be no fans allowed to attend the races at this point due to ongoing concerns and New York State regulations surrounding the Coronavirus. However listed owners of horses in to go will be allowed on the track apron starting opening night as per New York State Gaming Commission regulations. Listed owners must make a reservation to attend in advance and be put on a list that will allow them to enter. Reservations must be made 24-hours before race time by calling Mary Bucceri at 585.344.6144 or by e-mailing your request to mbucceri@westernotb.com. Listed owners who register will receive an e-mail confirmation. Security will only let in those who are on the list. There will be no food or beverage service available however owners may bring food, water or soft drinks in until the gaming floor opens. Upon arriving at the Downs, a temperature check and health status questionnaire must be completed by each listed owner in the lobby. Once that process is complete you must then proceed through the Park Place Event Center hallway to the apron. No one is allowed to walk through the gaming floor to the apron. Also there is no access to the second floor unless you are a hotel guest. Anyone coming to the track as a visiting owner on the apron or as a trainer, driver or groom in the barn area or paddock must wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing. This will be strictly enforced. Listed owners only will be allowed in the winner's circle for pictures if their horse wins while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Also please be aware that any horsemen or owners coming from states that are on the New York State Coronavirus Quarantine List are not allowed to Batavia Downs attend at anytime. Wagering will be available at all WROTB branch or EZ Bet locations, WROTB Dial-a-Bet System for account holders and online at bataviabets.com. The Downs signal is also simulcast to a vast number of brick and mortar and ADW betting sites and may also be wagered on through them. Replays of the Downs races can be viewed the following day at bataviadownsgaming.com, where all Downs racing information can also be found. On the track, all the local horsemen will be back including 2019 driving champion Billy Davis Jr., Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III, Drew Monti, Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. On the training side, last year's conditioning champ Jim Clouser Jr. brings his stable back along with Maria Rice, Gerry Sarama, Mike Ohol and Ryan Swift. "This is definitely going to be a different year for us," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "Without fans allowed in the stands, we won't have any promotions this year like our traditional dollar hot dog and draft days, Family Fun days including the wiener dog races, nightly giveaways and our Labor Day driver's bike race that goes back to 1978. Right now we are happy that the horsemen can continue to work and hope that with constantly improving Covid test numbers in the state, we may welcome back our guests at some point before the meet ends." The 2020 meet runs through Saturday (Dec. 12). by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Tioga Downs welcomed two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen trotting colts & geldings. Both divisions raced for a purse of $53.100. Ambassador Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) hangs on to capture the first division. Ambassador Hanover ($4.00) charged to the front to grab the lead. Creemore (Verlin Yoder) came first-over to take a slight lead just before hitting the first quarter in :28.4. Creemore could not clear and Ambassador Hanover re-claimed the lead as they came by the stands for the first time. Sevenshadesofgrey (Corey Callahan) followed tight in the pocket as Ambassador Hanover led to the half in :58.2. Creemore, who was parked the whole way once again put on the pressure and got to within a head as Ambassador Hanover hit three-quarters first in 1:29.2. As they reached the stretch Sevenshadesofgrey finally got an opening and popped out of the pocket. He came flying in deep stretch but Ambassador Hanover held on to win a lifetime best of 1:59.0. Sevenshadesofgrey settled for second for the third time in three lifetime starts. Creditrina (Trond Smedshammer) was third.   Ambassador Hanover is a 2-year-old colt by Chapter Seven-Angel Eyes Hanover. Trainer Svanstedt co-owns with Order By Stable, Howard and Judith Taylor, He is now unbeaten in two career starts. Dee's Red Delicious (Corey Callahan) cruises to easy win in the second division. Incommunicado (Ake Svanstedt) led to the first quarter in :27.3. The gelding used a :29.4 second quarter to lead to the half in :57.2. Dee's Red Delicious ($7.40) then made his move coming first-up from third. The two of them battled side by side as Dee's Red Delicious stuck a head in front and led to three-quarters in 1:26.2. As they hit mid-stretch Dee's Red Delicious found another gear and won going away in a lifetime best of 1:55.4. Incommunicado held on for second. Special Prosecutor (Marcus Miller) came up to finish third.   Dee's Red Delicious is a 2-year-old gelding by Credit Winner-Apple Plush. Owned by Joe Martinelli Sr. and trained by Bruce Saunders, he is now two for three in his career. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 31) starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Tioga Downs played host to two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting colts & geldings on Saturday (July 25). Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) homers to win the $56,000 first division. Hobbs ($3.60) jumped out of the gate and straight to the lead and led to the first quarter in :27.3.. Take The Credit (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. Hobbs would re-take control and led to the half in :56.3. Barn Holden (Jeff Gregory) would then make a bid going first-over down the backstretch. Hobbs continued to lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. Hobbs dug in as they reached the stretch and held off the late charge by second place finisher Ballcapsnbluejeans (Jim Meittinis) to win in 1:54.4. Barn Holden Held on for third.   Hobbs is a 3-year-old gelding by Credit Winner. He is owned by Runthetable Stables and trained by Jim Campbell. Hobbs won for the third time this season and now has four career wins. Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer) captures the $55,000 second division. Berkery J (Wally Hennessey) passed Sir Cromwell (Jason Bartlett) just before hitting the first quarter in :27.2. He would use a :29.0 second quarter to hit the half in :56.2. Chaptiama ($5.40) would then make his move going first-over from third. Berkery J narrowly held the lead to three-quarters in 1:25.1. As they made the turn for home Chaptiama turned on the jets and cruised to a win in a lifetime best of 1:53.3. Bourbon Express (Tyler Buter) came up to get second. Berkery J had to settle for third money.   Chaptiama is a 3-year-old gelding by Chapter Seven. He is owned by Purple Haze Stables and trained by Smedshammer. It was his second win this season and his fourth career victory. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (July 26) featuring two divisions of the NYSS for 2-year-old colts & geldings. Post time is 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs welcomes two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts & geldings on Sunday (July 26). Both divisions will race for a purse of $53,100. Ambassador Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) and Sevenshadesofgrey (Corey Callahan) appear to be the ones to beat in the first division. Ambassador Hanover (Chapter Seven-Angel Eyes Hanover) is one for one in his career with a NYSS win at Yonkers Raceway. The colt is trained by Svanstedt. The Ron Burke trained Seveshadesofgrey (Chapter Seven-Ms Naughty) is searching for his first career win. The colt has two second place finishes in two career starts including a second to Ambassador Hanover at Yonkers Raceway. The second division will feature Incommunicado (Ake Svanstedt), Special Prosecutor (Marcus Miller), and In The Cards (Scott Zeron). All three are coming off NYSS wins at Yonkers. Incommunicado (Chapter Seven-Gran Cavalla) is trained by Svanstedt. The colt is one for one in his career. The David Dewhurst trained Special Prosecutor (Chapter Seven-Valley Makala) is unbeaten in two career starts. In The Cards is one for one in his career. The George Ducharme trained gelding is by RC Royalty out of Super Starlet. The 12-race card will start at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs      

Vernon Downs played host to two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Thursday (July 23). Both divisions raced for a purse of $58,000. Racine Bell (John MacDonald) wins exciting first division. Racine Bell ($10.60) went straight to the front and led to the first quarter is :26.2. Cash Roll (Matt Kakaley) went first-over from third to take the lead and led to the half in :54.4. As they headed for the final turn Roll With Angel (Dan Daley) made the first move and went side by side with Cash Roll. Roll With Angel had a slight lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:22.3. Dragon Roll (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second over third with Racine Bell pinned in fourth. Dragon Roll took a slight lead in the stretch. Galleria Gal (Tyler Buter) came flying late on the outside with Racine Bell slipping through on the inside. They were three across the track at the finish with Racine winning by a nose in a lifetime best of 1:51.0. Finishing second was Dragon Roll just a nose over third place finisher Galleria Gal.   Racine Bell is a 3-year-old filly by So Surreal. She is trained by David Dewhurst for owners Dale and Chris Lawton. It was her second win this season and fifth career victory. Hen Party (Andrew McCarthy) captures the second division. Fashion Hill (Howard Parker) was the first one out of the gate but Petticoat Business (Tyler Buter) would take control before hitting the first quarter in :27.1. Hen Party ($3.10) made her move as they reached the top of the backstretch. She led to the half in :55.2. Alleyesonme AS (Scott Zeron) came first-over and put on the pressure as Hen Party went to three-quarters first in 1:23.1. As they made the turn for home Hen Party and Alleyesonme AS were shoulder to shoulder. Hen Party found another gear in the stretch and took the win in a lifetime best of 1:50.2. Petticoat Business came up to finish second. Alleyesonme AS hung on for 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 win number three on the season. It was her sixth career victory. John MacDonald drove four winners on the card. Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a 12-race card on Saturday (July 25) at 4 p,m, For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Tioga Downs will host two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts & geldings on Saturday (July 25). In the $56,000 first division the top two contenders will be Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) and Take The Credit (Jim Morrill Jr.). Hobbs (Credit WInner) is trained by Jim Campbell. He won a division of the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final at Vernon Downs and a leg of the NYSS at Yonkers this season. The gelding has three career wins and has earned over $200,000. Take The Credit (Credit Winner) is trained by Ake Svanstedt. He is still looking for his first career win. The gelding has three seconds and one third this season. He has career earnings of over $80,000. Their main rival should be the Steven Pratt trained Barn Holden (Kevin Cummings). The colt by Conway Hall has two wins so far this season. He has five career victories with over $167,000 in the bank. Berkery J (Wally Hennesey) and Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer) are set to square off in the $55,000 second division. Berkery J (Chapter Seven) has a win and a second in three starts this season. Trained by George Ducharme, the colt has four career wins and has earned just shy of $200,000 lifetime. Chaptiama (Chapter Seven) also has a win and a second this season. He is trained by Smedshammer. The gelding owns three career wins and earnings of over $240,000. Berkery J beat second place finisher Chaptiama in a NYSS race at Vernon Downs. Chaptiama got even by just squeaking by Berkey J in a leg of the NYSS at Yonkers Raceway. The 13-race card starts at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

There were three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for two year old colt and gelding harness racing pacers contested at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday night. The overwhelming favorite among the freshman pacers heading into the evening was American Courage (American Ideal-Nota Fool Bluechip- Art Major) who was the dominant force in the recently completed Springfield Pace at Yonkers Raceway. The Travis Alexander trainee went two-for-two in the series highlighted by a career-best 1:53.3 victory in the $104,250 Final. The good-looking freshman came into Wednesday's try in the $47,967 division of the NYSS with an undefeated three-for-three record and was subsequently the betting public's 1-9 favorite as he looked to remain unbeaten. Driver Matt Kakaley wasted little time getting American Courage to the early lead and they never looked back winning decisively in 1:54.3 over a track labeled 'good.'   American Courage already has earnings of more than $93,000 and looks poised to have an even bigger summer as the Sire Stakes season progresses. American Courage is owned by the Fiddler's Creek Stables of West Bloomfield, MI. Town Gossip (American Ideal-Flibbertigibbet-Albert Albert) was the runner-up to American Courage in his first two career starts in the Springfield Series but on Wednesday broke his maiden in front of driver Joe Bongiorno. Town Gossip was his race's odds-on favorite as he cruised to the front-end and drew away late to prevail in 1:56.1. Owned by Robert Weinstein of Bellmore, NY, Town Gossip earned the winner's share of the $48,867 purse in his division of the NYSS on Wednesday. The talented gelding is trained by Jenn Bongiorno.   The third and final division for the freshman pacing colts went the way of King James Express (Art Major-More Diamonds- Dragon Again) who parlayed his pocket ride to victory with Jason Bartlett at the controls. The Mark Harder-trained freshman drew the rail and sat the two-hole to the race's favorite Carrythetorchman (Marcus Miller) and when Bartlett gave King James Express his cue around the final turn, the gelding stormed past the favorite before stopping the timer in 1:56.3 to record his first career victory in just his second lifetime start. King James Express is owned by Harder, Frost, Carleton and Lockhart.   Live racing resumes on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Yonkers, NY - Tuesday night, Yonkers Raceway hosted three $48,866 New York Sire Stakes divisions for two-year-old harness racing trotting fillies. In the first division, race five, No Pay No Way sprung a 22-1 upset by a neck in 2:00 flat. The daughter of Credit Winner was driven to victory by Scott Zeron for his father trainer Rick Zeron and the Bay Pond Racing Stable of Malvern, Pennsylvania.   In the second division, race six, driver Tyler Buter avoided any mishaps with several early breakers in the field and cruised home to a four and one-quarter length victory with Destined to Dance in 1:58.3. The daughter of Chapter Seven is trained by John Butenschoen and owned by Heritage Standardbreds, Crawford Farms and Preziotti.   In the third division, race seven, Insured Am S was another winning daughter of Chapter Seven, prevailing by one length in 1:59.2. Brian Sears was the winning driver for trainer Marcus Melander and Courant Inc.   Live racing continues at Yonkers Raceway Thursday and Friday nights this week, first post is 7:12pm. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway  

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