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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 20, 2018-There was good form for both Military Master A and Gruden, and it continued Saturday night (Oct. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps. Military Master A (Jordan Stratton, $5.80), from post position No. 6, prevailed from third-over in the week's featured pace that cried out for a closer. Pole-assigned Chantepleure (Austin Siegelman) inexplicably stuffed 7-5 choice Dr. J Hanover (Mark MacDonald) in behind at the outset, paying a :26.2 opening quarter-mile price for the privilege. The leader rated a :29.1 next substation (:55.3 half), but that would be of small consequence when the wolves came calling. Gokudo Hanover (Jason Bartlett) moved from third, taking over past a 1:23.2 three-quarters as Chantepleure stopped and Dr. J Hanover was trapped. Gokudo Hanover owned a short lead in and out of the final turn, but he, too, was inhaled. A second-up I'm Some Graduate (George Brennan) went by, but he couldn't match strides with Military Master A. The latter, sixth entering the lane, won by a length in 1:52.1. I'm Some Graduate was second, with Theartofconfusion A (Brent Holland) third. Scott Rocks (Eric Goodell) and an exhumed-too-late Dr. J Hanover rounded out the payees. Chantepleure backpedaled to last in the seven-horse field. For second choice Military Master A, a 7-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson, it was his seventh win (third consecutive) in 15 seasonal starts The exacta paid $30, the triple returned $283 and the superfecta paid $1,065. The week's marquee trot saw Gruden (Bartlett, $4.50) leapfrog his half-dozen inner foes and easily go the distance (:28.1, :57.4, 1:26, 1:55.3). The lead was 2½ lengths off the final turn, the exact same margin at the wire New Heaven (Brennan) slalomed the cones for second, with 9-10 favorite Lean Hanover (Stratton) a first-up third. Tober (Holland) and Kinetic King (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the minors. For second choice Gruden, a 5-year-old Muscle Yankee gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby and VIP Internet Stable, it was his fifth win in 15 '18 tries (4 wins, 2 seconds, 2 thirds in last 10 efforts). The exacta paid $25.80, the triple returned $72 and the superfecta paid $409. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 19, 2018- Driver George Brennan won the 10,000th race of his harness racing career Friday night (Oct. 19th), doing so at his second home, Yonkers Raceway. Brennan, who entered the night with 9,998 wins, immediately knocked off the 'to do' list when he took down the chalky daily double in the down-the-road fashion. Top of the Mark ($6) won in the $17,000 pacing opener in 1:54.3, his second consecutive win after beginning the season 0-for-27. Our Zak Whitby A ($2.80) was a never-in-doubt, two-length winner (life-best 1:52.3) in the $23,000 second-race pace. The 4-4 Brennan-Brennan double returned $10.20. Brennan, who become the 16th North American driver to reach that five-figure number, had a rather large welcoming committee in the winner's circle, including his stepfather, Joe Ricco Jr., several drivers and racing officials. The 51-year-old Brennan, a native of Monticello, NY, took the latest milestone in stride. "It's a good number, but nothing I was aiming for, but I understand it's significant," he said. Brennan won his first race--behind Rob Ron Romper--at his hometown track as a high school junior back in 1982. His career purse earnings of approximately $171.8 million ranks seventh in the all-time list. A quarter-moving Rockstar Angel A (Eric Goodell, $8.90) held sway Friday night (Oct. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away third from assigned post position No. 2, Rockstar Angel moved past early leavers Artrageous (Mark Macdonald) and Bettorhaveanother (Mr. 10,000, George  Brennan) right before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. She then found a :56.2 intermission before 17-10 fave Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) tried it first-up from sixth. The people’s preference did advance toward a 1:25.1 three-quarters, but Rockstar Angel A owned a length lead off the final turn. The lass then found more in the lane, winning by tne same margin in 1:53.3. Artrageous knifed though late to snatch second, with Mach it a Par third. Medusa (Joe Bongiorno) and Keystone Wanda (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the minors.  For second choice Rockstar Angel A, a 6-year-old down under daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her eighth win in 24 seasonal starts  The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $83.50 and the superfecta paid $479.50. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY-- "Now that the baseball season is over I can concentrate a little more on my love of amateur racing," "Yankee Joe" Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees said after he won a NAADA Trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway. Well maybe it was that concentration Lee was referring to that enabled him to earn another driving victory when he won the Billings trot tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10) with On The Podium in 2:00.3 at Yonkers Raceway. After a wire-to-wire victory in the daylight at The Mighty M Lee found the winners circle under the lights with a covered trip after he gunned his trotter to the front and then sat comfortably in the two hole and followed Wygant Prince and "Coach Paul" Minore's lead. Although the 29 second first quarter took some sting out of Wygant Prince there was more stress for the old veteran when he didn't get a breather because he had to contend with a parked-out Gianni and driver "Mighty Matt Zuccarello. So while the aforementioned duo slugged it out on the engine Lee sat calmly in the pocket and was carried all the way to the top of the lane. Along the way Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin with Permanent Joy, and Bob "the Brewster Flash" Ciavardini with Baltimor AS, worked their way into contention by the top of the stretch but not before Joe Lee scooted around Gianni and everyone was chasing On the Podium to the wire.. However, nobody caught him as Lee had a driving double, albeit at two different racetracks. Baltimor AS was second best while Permanent Joy had to settle for the show dough. Unlike the Monticello trots earlier in the day this was a non-wagering affair. Jose Godinez trains the winner for Lee, Tony Nicometo and the Blindswitch Racing Stable. For Joe Lee, who drove initially in 2010 and for the next five years only when he got time off from his obligations to the Bronx Bombers was he able to enjoy the competition of driving a spirited steed. During those years he notched five victories in 88 starts but since then he's had 41 driving victories and a National Amateur Driver of the Year Award bestowed on him last season. And his 10 wins thus far this year puts him in contention for another award. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series    

It was a big harness racing day for driver Brian Sears at Yonkers Raceway Saturday afternoon. After capturing the $1 million International Trot with Cruzado Dela Noche, Sears then came back in the 11th race $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace to win with ease with McWicked. It was Mach It So (Jason Bartlett) who flew out of the starting gate to take command and then Nuclear Dragon and driver Tim Tetrick came right after Mach It So to control the pace at the first quarter in :27. As they came past the grandstand the first time, Sear came out with McWicked and started to grind his way towards the leaders at the half mile in :55.3. Following second-over was Bit Of A legend with driver Jordan Stratton. Then in the backstretch, McWicked was able to overpower Mach It So and take command with ease going to the three-quarters in 1:22.4. From there is was all McWicked as he pulled away in the stretch to win by four open lengths in 1:50.4. Bit Of A Legend was second with Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) third. “He always gives a great effort,” Sears said after the race. “I was OK with getting away third and I knew we would have to come first up and he just makes it look so easy. I don’t want to always come first up with him, but today he was OK. He is just so easy to drive.” A seven-year-old stallion by McArdle, it was the ninth win this year for McWicked. He is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James SSG Stable of North Boston, NY. He paid $2.90 to win as the race favorite with the scratch of Lazarus from the race on Friday. McWicked now sports 31 career wins in 90 starts and lifetime earnings of $3.500,376. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, N.Y. – When Casie Coleman drew up the plans for McWicked’s 2018 campaign, Yonkers Raceway wasn’t among the potential targets for the star pacer. In fact, no half-mile tracks were, in part because Coleman believes McWick d is better on a big track and in part because owner Ed James of S S G Stable doesn’t like to race his horses on half-mile ovals. Coleman was surprised then, when James expressed interest in racing in the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace on the Yonkers International Trot undercard, especially since the timing of the race could upset McWicked’s path to the Breeders Crown. Despite the risk, Coleman changed course with McWicked to make the race, carded as the 11th of 12 on today’s program (October 13). “It wasn’t on the schedule at all. I wasn’t planning to get invited to it. It’s nice we did, obviously,” Coleman said. “My plan was to ship him home to Canada Sunday morning and have a week off to get ready for the Breeders Crown; that was the original plan that I thought was going to be perfect.  “When we got invited, you can’t turn it down. I didn’t think the owner would want to go. If the Breeders Crown goes eliminations, he’s going to be at six races in a row going into that Crown final, so it’s not something I would recommend,” she continued. “I’m really praying the Open Pace will go right to the final and then we’re perfect if that happens, but if they go elims, we’re going to be scared to have a tired horse going into the Crown final. The owner, I told him about it and he wanted to go. He said, ‘we’ll take a chance,’ so we’re going and we’ll hope for the best.” McWicked is the top earning Standardbred in North America this year with $1,053,864 in the bank. Wins in the Ben Franklin Final, Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, and a 1:46.2 lifetime best score in the Allerage Farms Open Pace last time out at the Red Mile October 6 earned him an invitation to the Rooney. It’s the best season the 7-year-old McArdle stallion has enjoyed since his sophomore year and has bolstered his record to 30-for-89 with $3,375,376 in career earnings.  “He was really good last year. He wasn’t this good, but he didn’t get into a lot of those big races because they went by money earned on the year and he didn’t have any money earned on the year,” Coleman said. “Now that he’s got money on his card, he’s been in all the big dances and he’s as strong now as he’s ever been, no doubt. He thinks he’s 3 again.” In his most recent start, McWicked raced off frantic fractions of :26.1 and :52.1 set by Western Fame and Heaven Rocks. He followed Filibuster Hanover around the final turn and tipped wide past three-quarters in 1:19.1. McWicked struck the front with a furlong to pace and held off parked-out rival Lazarus in the final sixteenth to win by ¾ lengths. “I couldn’t have been any happier with the way it set up. ‘Wicked’ seems to get a lot of tough trips, he’s first-over a lot. He seems to respond to it, he always races really well obviously,” Coleman said. “When I saw the fast fractions up front and he was second-over, Lazarus ended up being parked the mile, so that was to our advantage. I was really happy for the way it was setting up. “He’s been pacing some pretty big miles and that track was the fastest track I’ve seen of any track,” she continued. “That track was lightning. I was definitely expecting a big, big mile and with the fractions, it set up to go a big mile.” Despite McWicked’s torrid winning and beaten times – he’s been sub-1:50 in all but one of his 2018 starts at a mile and sub-1:49 in five – McWicked is a lazy horse in training and until recently, was a muted personality in the barn. “He’s always been a cool horse. As a 3-year-old, he was a really quiet horse. He made no noise and you would never even know he was in the barn. Now, he’s doing double duty, he’s breeding and racing, so he’s squealing and roaring and he knows he’s the boss, basically,” said Coleman, who’s trained McWicked for the bulk of his career. “There’s not many horses I’ve had as long as him except for back when I had claimers because the other ones either go to be broodmares or stallions,” she said. “He’s been around a long time. It’s pretty cool. We always call him the mascot. There’s not many mascots that are in the barn that have made $3.3 million. We call him the mascot because he’s been there forever. “To drive he’s an absolute sweetheart. If you want to go a mile in 2:25, he’ll go in 2:40. He’s very, very lazy. When you watch him race, he doesn’t want much part of the race until they’re past the half. He’s always gapped out and that’s just him,” she continued. “As a 3-year-old, he used to leave more, but this year, he’s very lazy. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, he’s a nice horse, he just squeals and roars a lot, makes a lot of noise, makes sure everybody knows he’s there.” Only $180,990 of McWicked’s career earnings have come on the half-mile track. He finished fifth in the Little Brown Jug and third in the Messenger at 3. At 5, McWicked finished third in the Molson Pace before finally winning on the half at age 6; he took a $30,000 overnight at Yonkers in his 2017 debut March 11 and won a leg of the Levy Series a month later. He finished last in the Levy Final April 22 for trainer Steve Elliot and hasn’t raced on the half since. “He gets around the half fine, he’s good-gaited. I haven’t been to the half that much with him,” Coleman said. “When I went to the Jug, I was extremely excited about McWicked. I thought he would fly over the half and he was no good there, I wasn’t happy with him, he was flat. I never really did find out what it was.  “I’m hoping he’s fine,” she continued. “I don’t see why he’ll have an issue with the half because he’s very good-gaited and he’ll get around anything, but he’s definitely not at his best on the half like he is on a big track.” McWicked drew post 2 in the Dan Rooney Pace and is the 2-1 morning line favorite with regular reinsman Brian Sears in the sulky. Nuclear Dragon is 5-2 from the inside off a front-stepping 1:50.2 score at Dayton while Endeavor to McWicked’s immediate outside enters off a similar score at Hoosier.  Bit Of A Legend, who finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in this race in 2015, will start from post 4 off a win in the local $44,000 Open Handicap Pace last out. Evenin Of Pleasure, Mach It So, and Always At My Place complete the lineup after the late sick scratch of Lazarus Friday morning.  “I have no idea what Brian will do on the half,” Coleman admitted. “The rail horse has a ton of speed and the three horse has a ton of speed. I don’t know what Brian will do, but as long as we get away midpack somewhere, I’m happy. I just hope that we can get our picture taken again.” Today’s card also features the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot and the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot. First post time is 1 p.m. For entries to the card, click here. For more information on the International Trot and its participants, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter has confirmed that Lazarus has been scratched sick from the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace at Yonkers Raceway Saturday afternoon. “He started coughing yesterday and continued today,” Takter said. “I was not going to take any chances of hurting him. Now we can make sure he is OK for the Breeders Crown.” Lazarus was to start from post six and rival McWicked drew inside of him (post 2) for their fifth battle. The score now is tied 2-2. The two horses should battle once again in the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, N.Y. – Sunday morning (October 7), there was no time for celebration in Chris Oakes’ barn on the backstretch at the Red Mile. Homicide Hunter, who set a world record for the fastest trotting mile ever the afternoon before, stood in his stall after going out to jog several laps with caretaker Therese Pierce.  Despite his remarkable achievement on the track, in the barn, Homicide Hunter was barely noticeable, standing silently in a dark corner of his stall without so much as a fuss as Pierce tended to him with the stall door wide open. “Not crazy. We went out for dinner afterwards, shared a few laughs, and we’re back to work today,” Oakes said as he looked admiringly into the trotter’s stall. “You can’t dwell on it too long, we have to work now, we have to keep going.” Homicide Hunter shipped back to Oakes’ Pennsylvania farm this week and will ship to Yonkers Friday to arrive in time for the 24-hour detention barn ahead of Saturday’s Harry Harvey Trot, a $250,000 invitational on the Yonkers International Trot undercard. The stakes will mark Homicide Hunter’s first local start since August 12 and his first start after setting the record. “He has a 10-hour ship back to Pennsylvania, then gets hauled Friday up to Yonkers, race, then be back to Pocono for the Breeders Crown. It’s a lot to ask of these horses,” Oakes said. “He’ll be getting a nice, easy week in the field. I’ve got a pool at the farm right inside the barn, they’ll get swimming a lot and get turned out. That’s what he really enjoys.” Homicide Hunter’s easy week comes off a grueling schedule. After winning the $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series Final over 10 furlongs at Pocono September 2, Homicide Hunter had a tune up at Pocono September 12 before shipping to the Midwest. He finished third in the Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park September 21 and fourth in the Dayton Trotting Derby September 28 before heading to the Red Mile for the Allerage Farms Open Trot. The Allerage set up perfectly for Homicide Hunter, who has come from off the pace in all of his recent stakes tries. Lindy The Great put up a quarter in :26.2 and after taking the lead heading up the backstretch, Will Take Charge passed the half in :53.2.  Homicide Hunter followed Lindy The Great and Pinkman in the flow third over to three-quarters in 1:22. Brian Sears tipped Homicide Hunter four-wide into the stretch and with a :26 final quarter under with minimal urging from the Hall of Fame driver, Homicide Hunter swept past the field to win by 3 lengths in 1:48.4.  Oakes thought Homicide Hunter could trot sub-1:50, but never expected a world record. He was thrilled to share the moment with owners Al and Michelle Crawford. The win improved Homicide Hunter’s record to 38 wins from 75 starts and boosted his earnings to $1,463,927. “I knew instantly that was a world record. I’m just very happy for the horse and for the owners, too,” Oakes said. “They bring so much to the game and you like to see good people like that do good. When they spend the money they do on horses like this, it’s nice to see things go right. “Luckily, they were on time in front of him, they were getting down there. That helped,” he continued. “The horses that were in front of him were racing hard and of course, he hadn’t been used yet. So, when he did get free, he was loaded.” Homicide Hunter raced barefoot in his record-setting mile, a decision Oakes grappled with before the race. It was his second time racing barefoot for Oakes; the only other instance came in the same race one year earlier when Homicide Hunter was second to Hannelore Hanover in a 1:49.2 mile. The shoes were back on Sunday morning, as they will be for his start in the Harry Harvey Trot. “The track was extremely fast; the conditions were perfect,” Oakes said. “I was contemplating whether I was going to take his shoes off or not, but if you don’t do it on a day like that, you’ll never do it. I thought it was the right conditions and he was OK with it. “This year, the only I thing I did differently was I put no boots on him at all. He wears trotting boots behind, like most of them do, the only thing I put on his hind legs were two wraps, keep it as light as possible, and it worked,” he said. The Harry Harvey Trot will be a completely different style of racing for Homicide Hunter than what he encountered at the Red Mile. He will shift from the mile track to the half, will face a big field of nine rivals, and will stretch back out to 10 furlongs. Although Homicide Hunter won a local Open Handicap Trot at 1 ¼-miles from off the pace earlier this year, Oakes doesn’t want to be too far back against a tough field Saturday. “He’s OK with Yonkers. Big change and maybe even a change in strategies too,” Oakes said. “I don’t know if we can be that far back at Yonkers, it’s a different style of racing there, a little bit more speed involved.” Homicide Hunter drew post 10 and with Sears back in the bike, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Harry Harvey Trot. He’ll face Guardian Angel As, the runner up in the Allerage for Annette Lorentzon, who drew post 3 and is 4-1 early. Warrawee Roo, who finished second in the Dayton Trotting Derby last out, is 6-1 from the inside post. The field also includes a host of recent local winners, including Top Flight Angel, In Secret, Yes Mickey, Gruden, NF Happenstance, Sortie and DW’s NY Yank. After his world record score, a win in the Harry Harvey Trot heading into the Breeders Crown would make an impressive campaign for the 6-year-old gelding. Oakes is just happy to be along for the ride. “This horse was a good horse long before I ever laid hands on him. His 3-year-old year in a very tough program in Indiana, this horse won 16 out of 18 (for Curt Grummel) and that tells you right there what kind of horse you’re dealing with. He’s a winner. He’s won half of his lifetime starts. It’s really all about him. I’m glad to be part of him." Saturday’s card also features the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace. First post time is 1 p.m. For entries to the card, click here. For more information on the International Trot and its participants, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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

Yonkers, NY--The proliferation of amateur driving organizations has been a boon to harness racing with active clubs in New York, New England, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida, And that's not counting the granddaddy of them all, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series as well as the Hall of Fame Amateurs. Horses in races in the aforementioned not only abet the local racetracks betting cards but give true sportsmen(and women) an opportunity to enjoy the sport of driving a spirited steed. Arguably the busiest of all the driving organizations currently is the North American Amateur Drivers Association. They have hosted three European clubs and are currently in the process of hosting a fourth, the French. Add to that three local NAADA 10-race series--a fourth currently in the works-- and hardly a week goes by without races for theirr membership. Yesterday NAADA had two races against the French in a Friendship Competition at Monticello Raceway after an event at Yonkers on Tuesday. And perhaps all the action available is a reason why the NAADA Trot tonight (Thursday) at Yonkers only had five declared entrants and when the gate for their race sprung only three competed. In that contest Paul Minore sent his old veteran Wygant Prince to the lead from the three-hole and played catch me if you can, and nobody could. Minore and his charge got by the first stanza in :29.3 and the half in 1:01. Marching along in second place was Keenan and driver John Calabrese and third at that point was Gianni and Matt Zuccarello. Up the backside Wygant Prince seemed to put the pedal to the metal and he opened up a three-length lead as he passed the three quarters in 1:30.2 and the margin was opened to six at the wire as the timer flashed 2:00.1. Gianni trotted by Keenan in the stretch for second money. Minore owns the winner and has owned him since he began racing. The 11-year-old altered son of S Js Photo has amassed almost $430,000 in his illustrious career and earned a lifetime mark of 1:56.3 Minore, a former high school track coach entrusts the training duties to Taylor Gower. It was the 38th career victory for Wygant Prince. And for Minore it was his 100th win in the USA to go along with four wins against his counterparts in Europe. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 9, 2018- Draw the $1 million Yonkers International Trot by day, offer up the season-high exacta by night. When a third-over, 31-1 Prejudice (Jim Marohn Jr., $65) rolled past a first-up, 49-1 Big Turn On (Troy Beyer) in Tuesday's (Oct. 9th) $14,750, sixth-race pace, it blew up the tote board (note...no tote boards were actually harmed at the conclusion of this race). The result was a $2,143 exacta, Yonkers Raceway's highest of the season. Throw in 38-1 Mach On (Joe Bongiorno) and the triple returned $4,695, a neck separating the first three finishers. Prejudice, who entered all of 1-for-24 this season, turned in a season's-best 1:55 effort. The 5-year-old Western Terror gelding is Delaware co-owned by William Sartin & Mark Salerno and trained by Joe DeCarlo. Tonight at Yonkers Raceway the French-American Friendship Races began and will be followed by events at Monticello Raceway tomorrow (Wednesday) and at the Meadowlands on Friday. At the Hilltop oval it was Ladies Night in the first America v France Friendship Race when the USA's Monica Banca scored a one-length triumph with Life Well Lived in 1:58.3 while second place went to Delcrest Massey ,driven by France's Sandrine Oyer, and the ladies had bragging rights after they finished one-two. When the starter said go France's Jerome Malliard sent Ladys Big Stormont to the lead and they were quickly joined by the USA's Joe Faraldo with Tough Get Going and the two trotters raced side by side past the quarter in :28.3 and by the half in :57.4. But when they headed up the backside both horses showed the fatigue of the swift early fractions. It was there that Monica Banca moved Life Well Lived off the pylons and they trotted around Tough Get Going and up alongside Ladys Big Stormont and the two raced head to head past the third stanza in 1:28.1 and around the final turn before Life Well Lived cleared. Then as the leader headed for paydirt France's Sandrine Oyer had Delcrest Massey on Banca's back but that was as far as fthey could go and they had to settle for second money of the $17,500 purse. Third place went to Drazzmatazz, driven by France's Jean Marc Freyssenge. The race tonight certainly showed off the talents of the two ladies who were among the eight drivers who participated in the first Friendship event on American soil. Life Well Lived is owned by Bob Burgess and trained by Carmine Auciello. The 4-year-old Muscle Mass gelding paid $16.40. With four races still to go France leads the USA 22-20 by Frank Drucker and John Manzi, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Monday, October 8, 2018--Post positions have been drawn for Saturday afternoon's (Oct. 13th) pair of Yonkers Raceway $250,000 Invitationals, the Harry Harvey Trot and Dan Rooney Pace (program pages accompany). The card will also feature the rivalry of McWicked and Lazarus battling again. The Harry Harvey goes as the seventh race (post time 3:10 PM), immediately before the $1 million Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino. Both are 10-horse fields (eight on the gate, two in the second tier) carded at the mile-and-a-quarter distance. Here's the field for the Harvey..1-Warrawee Roo (Dan Dube), 2-Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller), 3-Guardian Angel AS (Matt Kakaley), 4-In Secret (George Brennan), 5-Yes Mickey (Jason Bartlett), 6-Gruden (Tim Tetrick), 7- NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.), 8-Sortie (Trond Smedshammer), 9-DW's NY Yank (Yannick Gingras), 10-Homidice Hunter (Brian Sears). The Rooney, going the penultimate 11th race (post time 5 PM), drew out as such..1-Nuclear Dragon (Tetrick), 2-McWicked (Sears), 3-Endeavor (Tetrick also listed), 4-Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), 5-Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno), 6-Lazarus N (Gingras), 7-Mach it So (Bartlett), 8-Always at My Place (Brennan). Saturday's race schedule... Race 1 - 1 PM Race 2 - 1:20 PM Race 3 - 1:40 PM Race 4 - 2 PM Race 5 - 2:20 PM Race 6 - 2:40 PM Race 7 - 3:10 PM $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot (1¼ miles) Race 8 - 3:40 PM $1 million Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino (1¼ miles) Race 9 - 4:10 PM Open Trot (1¼ miles) Race 10 - 4:40 PM Trot (1¼ miles) Race 11 - 5 PM $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace Race 12 - 5:20 PM The 40th International Trot is to be drawn Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 9th) at a midtown luncheon. A reminder that races 7 and 8 are part of a special all-stakes Pick 4 with Belmont Park (Pebbles and Floral Park). Races 7 through 10 are simulcast to the French-hubbed audience. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 6, 2018 -- Off-the-pace entities Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $3.60) and DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $12.40) prevailed Saturday night (Oct. 6th), annexing Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $44,000 Open Handicaps. Odds-on Bit of a Legend N survived a back-half battle with Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) in the week's marquee pace, putting that one away late in 1:51.1. Away third from post position No. 4, he saw that foe lead through early intervals of :26.4 and :55.4. First-up Bit of Legend N hooked Great Vintage in and out of a 1:23 three-quarters, the pair racing in tandem in and out of the final turn. Bit of a Legend N edged away in the late lane, the margin a half-length. American Boy N (Brent Holland) was third, with Mach it So (Joe Bongiorno) and Theartofconfusion A (Dan Dube) picking off the remainder. For Bit of a Legend N, a 9-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his fifth win in 19 seasonal starts (career 46-for-138) The exacta paid $19.60, the triple returned $56.50 and the superfecta paid $352.50. The week's featured trot saw pole-assigned DW's NY Yank go wide down the backside around an out-the-mile NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.). Everyone was chasing Gruden (Stratton), who was parked past a :27.2 opening quarter-mile, then pressured through a 55.4 intermission and 1:25 three-quarters. Gruden was done soon thereafter, with NF Happenstance and DW's NY Yank both going by. The latter then finished it off, whipping a belated 3-4 fave Yes Mickey (Jason Bartlett) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. Andy Ray (Jim Marohn Jr.) was third as the 36-1 outsider, with a tough-trip NF Happenstance and an unlucky Top Flight Angel (Dube) settling for the remainder. For third choice DW's NY Yank, a 9-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his fifth in 20 '18 tries (career 51-for-173) The exacta paid $43, the triple returned $305 and the superfecta paid $1,639. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 5, 2018- A first-up Keystone Wanda (Jim Marohn Jr., $12.20) held sway Friday night (Oct. 5th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Showing no inclination to leave at all from assigned post position No. 2, Keystone Wanda in fact left a chasmic hole for Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) to plotz in front of her. They, and everyone else, saw pole-assigned, 6-5 choice Frost Damage Blues (Jordan Stratton) lead through early intervals of :27.2 and :56.2. The seemed comfy when Keystone Wanda moved from third, engaging the leader in and out of a 1:24.2 three-quarters. Despite that bring just a 28-second third substation, the leader was in trouble. It was Keystone Wanda-in her 200th career start-going by early in the lane as Agent Q (Eric Goodell) was doing her third from third-over. The former whipped the latter by a diminishing head in 1:53. Lispatty, stuck behind a stopping leader, did get third, with a second-over Magic Forces (George Brennan) and Medusa (Joe Bongiorno) settling for the minors. Frost Damage Blues backpedaled to last among the octet. For Keystone Wanda, a third-choice, 8-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere owned (and Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, it was her seventh win in 29 seasonal starts The exacta paid $37, the triple returned $309 and the superfecta paid $1,387. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 4, 2018-Yonkers Raceway's all-age track-record-holder returned to town Thursday night (Oct. 4) and promptly hit a number. The Real One (Jason Bartlett), whose life-best 1:50 back in November of 2016 remains Westchester's fastest-ever effort, finished second in Thursday's $23,000, 12th-race finale. Though faltering late in the lane as the 1-2 favorite, the runner-up finish and subsequent $5,750 pay envelope pushed his career account to $1,001,738. After 174 starts, the resume reads 45 wins, 31 seconds and 26 thirds. The 8-year-old Mach gelding is owned by Helene Filion and trained by Pat Lachance. Driver Jim Marohn Jr. won four of the evening's dozen races, including Prairie Panther ($21,80) in the last of the night. by Frank Druicker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 2, 2018-A schedule reminder from Yonkers Raceway concerning Friday night, Oct. 12th. It's a dark night-previously scheduled as such-as the Raceway prepares for the next day's million-dollar Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino. Again, post time for the Saturday, Oct. 13th, special matinee card is 1 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

After a long and successful stint in the rough and rugged Filly and Mare Open class at Yonkers Raceway, the sport's newest millionaire, Newborn Sassy, has her eyes set on one of the sport's biggest harness racing 'crowns'. She surpassed the million dollar mark in career earnings earlier in the month when she picked up her 32nd career triumph for owners CC Racing LLC and Jo Ann Looney-King. "We call her our overachiever", Looney-King said. "When I watch her race on Friday nights, I can hardly believe that the long legged filly we bought as a yearling has become the darling of the mares open at Yonkers." Bred by Winbak Farm, Newborn Sassy (Western Ideal-Sass Newton) was purchased by her current owners for $38,000 at the Lexington Select Yearling Sale. Normally staying in the $15 - $20,000 range for yearlings, Team King extended their budget a bit to bring Sassy aboard. "We really liked her family," Looney-King said. "She was long legged and otherwise fairly average looking, but we were crazy about the family." She proved her worth right from the start, as she reeled off 8 straight wins in her freshman season, which included the prestigious Matron Stakes at Dover. Team King was thrilled with her performances, but were anxious to get her stronger and sounder for her 3-year-old season. "When she came back as a 3-year-old, she was still a shrinking violet," said Looney-KIng. "She still had the same 'Why do you think she looks like that' jogging issue." After a series of near-misses to begin her sophomore season, she finally hit the winner's circle in an elimination of the James Lynch at Pocono. She went on to enjoy a solid stakes season, including wins in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event, the Adioo Volo, The Lady Maud, The John Simpson, and a Breeders Crown elimination win to cap off her sophomore campaign. "There were times where she raced in some of the major stakes and we felt that maybe we were playing ball in the wrong park," said Looney-King. "But she always came through no matter what. Making money, paying bills, and doing her job." Since the start of her 4-year-old season until now, she has mainly faced open female foes. She has won 15 times against open horses since mid-May of 2017. Although her performances on the track speak for themselves, her pre-race score downs leave a little to be desired. "Sassy has a very sloppy way of scoring down," said Looney-King. "We always tell the drivers 'you won't like her scoring down but you'll love her in the race'. I think all the drivers respect Miss Sassy. Every 2.5 times she goes to the track, she comes home a winner." Back on the farm, Newborn Sassy has the luxury of having the same caretaker since she was 2-years old. Kate Moore has been with team King for 15 years. "Kate is the best but she has spoiled Sassy to death," Looney-King jokes. "Sassy's stall is right by the wash stall so she watches all the action going on. She has her head over the gate all day begging for carrots. She is so kind and wonderful to be around." As for what's ahead for Team King's talented mare, it looks like another race season is in the works, but Looney-King insists the horse will call the shots. They are in no hurry to change her status to a broodmare. "It's been one helluva Sassy year," Looney-King said. "And as we know, Newborn Sassys are hard to come by." By Mike Bozich for Post Time with Mike and Mike  

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