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YONKERS, N.Y. – Although trainer Ron Burke has sent out more than 40,000 starters who have earned more than $194 million in purses, he’s never had the opportunity to work with a French trotter. That will change this spring when Burke, Mike Lachance, and Ray Schnittker travel to France to purchase 24 trotters for the French American Trotting Club, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York’s pioneering effort to bring a contingent of European horses to compete at Yonkers Raceway. “Going over there, it will be a completely new thing for me. That I’m excited to see,” Burke said. “I’ve heard the training centers there are incredible, like nothing we have over here. I’ve never been to France, so I’m excited to go there, meet the people, see a different way of racing. I’m anxious to see it.” The Club will see the 24 selected horses randomly distributed to 24 registered owners and trainers. A few months after the horses arrive in New York, they will be eligible to compete in a multi-leg series with a $100,000 final. The program is aimed at strengthening the trotting fields on Yonkers Sunday programs, which are simulcast to France. “I love the whole idea of the program,” Burke said. “I think it’s forward-thinking and exciting. It really is interesting to bring the horses over here, see how they adapt, and see who does the best with them, and how they’re received by both the American public and by the French. They may bet even more on them because they know the horses.” The trio of American representatives will travel to France in late May to select the horses from a sale organized by LeTrot. Each of the 24 trotters selected will be a gelding aged 4-year-old and up of comparable talent. The ability to navigate the half-mile oval at Yonkers will be the biggest factor in selecting the trotters, Burke said. “The biggest things you’re going to look for are gait and some semblance of speed, that they show some ability to trot fast at least for a piece,” Burke explained. “But the biggest thing, you don’t want to go over there and buy bad-gaited horses, horses that are bred more for distance and less for speed. You’re going to look for horses that will like the American game even better.” In addition to the inspections typical of most sales around the world, the trainers will also have the ability to train each horse before deciding which ones to bring across the Atlantic. Burke feels getting hands-on with the horses will play to his strengths.  “Getting to watch them is great, but for me, sitting behind them is such a bigger advantage,” he said. “I do think I have a good feel for that. I probably train more horses than any guy in the country just due to the fact that I have such big barns and I train a lot. I spend a lot of time sitting behind trainers, so I’m actually excited to go over there and see if I can help in that way to pick out the horses that are competitive.”  Although he’s reached the pinnacles of the sport over the last 10 years, Burke hasn’t become complacent. He is excited for the rare opportunity to work collaboratively with and learn from mentors Lachance and Schnittker. “That was part of the draw to me was Ray and Mike. They are two very good horsemen who are also two of the best guys in the game,” Burke said. “To me, it’s one of the best parts of it. For me to go over there, it’s a chance to learn more from the best guys in the sport and two of the best personalities. To me, I’m very excited for that part of it.” Burke also hopes to study the differences between American and French training and racing. After a weeklong trip to Sweden proved influential on the conditioner, he is excited to discover unfamiliar techniques and methods that can be applied to the horses competing the Club and beyond. “Once you stop learning, you stop winning,” he said. “You’ve got to learn from everybody and these are two of the best and we’re going to meet the best French trainers. The time I went to Sweden, I learned so much in just the week I was there and saw things done totally different than we did over here. A lot of the stuff I do now, I justify like, ‘if it works over there, why can’t it work here?’  “Over there, nobody wears boots hardly. They just take them off. They end up taking shoes off,” he continued. “Why can they do it and we can’t? They strip the horses down compared to what we do. It was a completely different outlook.” Burke sees the French American Trotting Club as a great opportunity to try something new with minimal risk. In addition to its potential to spur more competitive trotting fields and encourage stronger international wagering, he feels the Club keeps the sport fresh and fun. “It’s a great idea, I don’t see a downside to it,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of owners and trainers who are really going to enjoy this and that’s the thing about the game. I want to make money, but the other thing about that game is it has to be fun and this is going to be fun, it’s going to be interesting, it’s going to be different. I’m excited to be a part of it.” In March, a total of 24 different owners each made a deposit of $10,000 to participate in the French American Trotting Club and acquire a trotter. Those owners are reminded that the balance of $18,000 is due on or before April 26. Le Trot will present horses for selection to the American trainers on the week of May 28 and the horses will be shipped back to New York and go through quarantine in mid-June. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

For the second consecutive day the Hungarians and the NAADA members competed in inclement weather in round two of their international amateur driving competition which was presented at Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday, April 16. And like in the contest yesterday at Monticello Raceway, each country emerged victorious in the two event races. In the first contest -race 2 on the betting card -the Hungarian's Ferenc Leanyfalvi rallied Multitaskr Hanover to a come-from behind neck triumph in 1:59.2 while in the other division--race 4- Dr. John Kokinos used the overland route from the half with Lucky Colby and held on for a nose victory in a 1:58.3 clocking. In his contest, Leanyfalvi ducked to the pylons as the wings of the mobile gate folded and was content to follow the leaders until they approached the back stretch the second time around where he moved Multitaskr Hanover to the outside and they began to move up. Fifth, as they passed the third stanza Leanyfalvi and his trotter were in third place as the field headed for paydirt. Then in the lane, under mild urging, Multitaskr Hanover passed the race leader I'm Fabulous (USA-Joe Lee) and at the wire they collared Powerful Yield driven by Hungary's Krisztian Takas for a neck triumph. I'm Fabulous faded and finished third. The winner, a 5-year Explosive Matter gelding, is owned and trained by Jennifer Lappe. He paid $11.80 for win. It was Multitaskr Hanover's 6th win in just 11 seasonal starts. For Doctor John the Medicine Man his journey was similar to Leanyfalvi's in that he had to also come from behind. After starting from the seven-hole Kokinos angled Lucky Colby to the pylons and was in fourth position as the USA's Joe Lee showed the way with Springback Sam N. As the field approached the half Kokinos moved his charge first-up and they ground their way forward picking up horses until they had command as the fielded home. In the deep stretch Dr. John was after his tiring trotter and looking for the wire. It came just in time because Hungary's Ferenc Leanyfalvi was charging with Madhatter Blue Chip only to fall short of victory by a nose. "I wasn't much more than a passenger behind Lucky Colby tonight," Kokinos said. "Actually, he knows how to win more than I do!" Andrea Fazekas, a division winner yesterday at Monticello, finished third with Cresurrey. Lucky Colby, an 8-year-old Jailhouse Jessie gelding, is owned and trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herrara. He returned a $13.60 win mutuel. The final event in the Hungary v NAADA competition will be at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday afternoon. by John Manzi        

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 16, 2018--Yonkers Raceway's Monday evening's (April 16th) Pick 5 harness racing wager figured to get some extra ganders, and indeed it did. The gimmick, which carried over from Saturday (Apr. 14th), started with $7,066.26 of unclaimed coinage. The $20,000 guaranteed pool (in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program) was easily hurdled when $36,288 of new investments chimed in. After new-money takeout, there was a pool of $34,282.75. The single winning combination of 4/3/6/6/1 returned that season-high $34,282.75, as one ticket took down the pool. Legs 1,2 and 5 in the sequence were driven by Joe Bongiorno. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 every racing program (for cards that have at least 11 races, otherwise races 6 through 10). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 16, 2018 - Post positions have been drawn for North America's two richest races of the harness racing season to date, Yonkers Raceway's $532,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and $373,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. The finales, set for Saturday night (Apr. 21st), wrap up their respective six-week sojourns and highlight a 12-race card worth just over $1.3 million. First post is the usual 6:50 PM. The events, for the sport's leading older pacers of both gender, go 'ladies first,' with the Matchmaker as the ninth race and the levy as race No. 10. The field for the 10th Matchmaker is...1-Shartin N (Tim Tetrick), 2-Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), 3-Medusa (Yannick Gingras), 4-Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett), 5-Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland), 6-Dude'salady (Scott Zeron), 7-Twinkle (Eric Goodell), 8-Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan). The 31st Levy rolled off the autodraw showroom as such...1-Western Fame (Mark MacDonald), 2-Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller), 3-Keystone Velocity (defending series champ, Dan Dube), 4-Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno), 5-Somewhere in L A (Bartlett), 6-Mach it So (Dave Miller), 7-Bit of a Legend N (2016 series champ, Stratton), 8-Rockin' Ron (Gingras). At first glance, the intriguing storyline for the Matchmaker is Shartin N. After easily winning her first three Matchmaker starts-and getting a subsequent week off-she returned as the 3-10 favorite last Friday night (Apr. 13th), unable to get out of own way, breaking right before the start and again at the half. At least the bridge jumpers stayed dry, since the Raceway eliminated show wagering. "We couldn't find anything wrong with her," trainer Jim King Jr. said this past weekend. "Regroup and try again." The final of the Levy is flush with inside speed, with the first half of the gate probably just as comfortable with someone on their backs as someone in back of them. A pair of consolations, worth $100,000 (Levy) and $75,000 (Matchmaker), are also included in the Saturday card. This story shall be updated. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 14, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 14th) concluded the harness racing preliminaries, with the fifth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series . A trio of windy, $50,000 events featured many of the best Free-For-Allers in their final shot to be social climbers. First Division - Pole-sitting Long Live Rock (Dan Dube, $16), victimized by a series of bad-fortune trip through the series, took matters into his own hooves here. He stuffed his rival in behind in post-position order, then finished his rounds (:27.3, :57.2, 1:25.3, 1:53.3). Long Live Rock, repelling an early pocket pull by Bettor Memories, owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He held off a first-up Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) by a half-length. Missile J (Tim Tetrick) rallied, losing the place photo as the 6-5 favorite. For fourth choice Long Live Rock, a 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by Rene Allard, it was his third win in a nine seasonal starts (1-for-5 in series). The exacta paid $71, with the triple returning $216.50 Second Division - Driver and trainer doubled their pleasure as Keystone Velocity (Dube, $4.50), the defending series champ, prevailed. Winning the draw, he sat pocketed to Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) and that one's handiwork of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24.2. Keystone Velocity engaged the leader early in the final turn, then went by. He defeated Christen Me N (Tetrick) by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.1, with Mach it So (Dave Miller) third. Evenin' of Pleasure faded to fourth. For Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owners (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr. and VIP Internet Stables, it was his first win in five seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $28.80, with the triple returning $64.50. Third Division --- A down-the-road Killer Martini (Yannick Gingras, $16.40) was quite good in getting off the series schneid. From post No. 2, he didn't give much else a shot (:27.1, 56.2, 1:24.2, season's-best 1:52.4). Opening 3½ lengths in and out of the final turn, Killer Martini defeated a from-last Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) by 3¾ lengths. Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller), as the 4-5 choice, was a conservatively-raced third. For Killer Martini, a 6-year-old Camluck gelding owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, the fourth choice is now 3-for-12 this season (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $133.50, with triple returning $271.50. Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot, where half the octet misbehaved, was won by In Secret (George Brennan, $13.40) in 1:57.4. The final Levy prelim standings accompany this release. Be advised these are not necessarily the entrants for the Saturday, Apr. 21st final (purse $532,000) and consolation ($100,000). Those participants shall be determined by the race office in accordance with the conditions of the series and in advance of Monday afternoon's (Apr. 16th) draw. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (April 16th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $7,066.26 and a $20,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Monday‘s program may be downloaded at Yonkers Raceway George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series 2018           April 14, 2018                      Name 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg 25 pts/start Total    Bit Of A Legend N 50 12 25 50 25 125    287.0 Somewhere In L A 25 25 50 50 0 125    275.0 Dr J Hanover 50 50 50   12 100   262.0 Mach It So 50 12 0 50 12 125    249.0 Evenin Of Pleasure 25 50 0 25 8 125    233.0 Keystone Velocity 8 25 0 25 50 125   233.0 Western Fame 8 50 50   25 100   233.0 Rockin Ron 50 50 25 5   100    230.0 Missile J 25 12 50 0 12 125   224.0 Long Live Rock 12 0 25 8 50 125   220.0 Bettor Memories 12 25 25 12 8 125   207.0 Always At My Place 50 5 5 0 8 125   193.0 Chumlee A 25 8 8 25 0 125   191.0 Luciano N 8 25 12 0 5 125   175.0 Christen Me N 12 0 0 12 25 125   174.0 Killer Martini 0   12 12 50 100   174.0 Mister Daytona N 25 0 8 0 0 125   158.0 Caviart Luca 5 5 12 0 5 125   152.0 Another Daily Copy 0 12 12 0 0 125   149.0 Simply Susational N 0 0 5 5 5 125   140.0 Change Stride N 8 0 5 5   100   118.0 Bungalow Bill N 5 5 0 0   100   110.0 Franco Rayner N 8 8 0     75   91.0 All Bets Off 12 0 0     75   87.0 Theartofconfusion A 0 8 0     75   83.0 Thisjetsabookin 0 5 0     75   80.0 Waikiki Beach A 0 0 0     75   75.0 Rodeo Rock     8 8   50   66.0 Great Vintage 5   8     50   63.0 Orillia Joe   8 5     50   63.0 Western Dynasty 12 0       50   62.0 Bakersfield 5 0       50   55.0 Artmagic 0 0       50   50.0 Blood Brother 0   0     50   50.0 Mac's Jackpot       8   25   33.0 Awesomeness 5         25   30.0 Hug The Wind N 0         25   25.0 Sports Column     0     25   25.0 Gokudo Hanover           0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0             0 0.0                 ADDED MONEY 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg Nom. Fees Total      $34,000 $30,000 $32,000 $22,000 $19,000 $195,000    $332,000                $200,000             Total $532,000 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 13, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway paid homage to Friday the (April) 13th, wrapping the preliminaries with the fifth round of the harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker. Three, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares in the last chance to impress the electorate. First Division - A first-up toughie, but Dude'salady (Tim Tetrick, $27.80) prevailed in a blanket finish. Early leader Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan) gave it up to Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett), with the latter setting early intervals of :27.3 and :56.4. From post position No. 2, Dude'salady took out of fourth, with 11-10 favorite Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) towed from second-over. Dude'slady found her best stride after a 1:24 three-quarters, though Lady Shadow owned a length-and-a-quarter lead in the lane. The pursuer surged late, whipping the pace-setter by a neck in a life-best 1:52.4. Lakeisha Hall found inside room but was photoed for second. Call Me Queen Be closed well for fourth, while Mackenzie A wound up a flat fifth, the quintet of payees separated by just a half-length. "I thought she was good last week (third), so I wasn't surprised she dug in," Tetrick said. For fifth choice Dude'salady, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by First Staters M&L of Delaware & Victoria Dickinson and trained by Bruce Saunders, it was her fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts (1-for-5 in series). The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple returning $629. Second Division - Pole-sitting Sell a Bit N (Stratton, $8.50) went the distance (:27.1, :56.3, 1:25.1, season's-best 1:53.1). She stuffed Medusa 19-10 fave (Yannick Gingras) in behind, then dealt with a first-up Twinkle (Eric Goodell). The latter could have been a tad better 'front ma'am' for Newborn Sassy, who herself was gapping a bit. Newborn Sassy rallied wide and did get into second. Sell a Bit N owned a three-quarter length lead in and out of the final turn, maintaining that margin to the wire. Medusa was third, with Twinkle fourth. For third choice Sell a Bit N, an 8-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her fifth win in 10 '18 tries (2-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $42.40, with the triple returning $155.50. Third Division --- Well, this was a surprise. Series domimnatrix Shartin N (Tetrick), who had won all three of her Matchmaker starts before getting a week off, couldn't get out of her own way. The 3-10 choice broke right at the start, caught the field, then jumped it off again at the half. While this hard-to-believe was happening, pole-sitting L A Delight (Gingras) retook from Clear Idea (Mark Mark MacDonald), then held the other three in-range lasses at bay (:28.2, :57.4, 1:25.1, season's best-matching 1:53.2). Clear Idea was second, beaten a length-and-a-half, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) third. Shartin N wound up last among the octet. "Just wasn't her night," Tetrick said. "There have been times when she's been fussy with her mouth, and I don't know if that's what happened. She jogged back to the paddock and seemed sound, so we have to see. " For second choice L A Delght, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Nancy Johansson, she's now 2-for-4 this season (2-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $59.50, with triple returning $298. The final standings accompany this release. Be advised these are not necessarily the entrants for the Saturday, Apr. 21st final (purse $373,000) and consolation ($75,000). Those participants shall be determined by the race office in accordance with the conditions of the series and in advance of Monday afternoon's (Apr. 16th) draw. Saturday night (Apr.14th) offers a trio of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the fifth (final) round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, N.Y. – If Mackenzie gets a chance to defend her harness racing title in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Final April 21, no one will be able to say she didn’t earn it. A streak of outside post positions and an unplanned absence from leg four of the series for open pacing mares means Mackenzie is ranked eighth by points heading into the last preliminary leg. Although she drew post seven again this week, trainer Pete Tritton is keeping a positive attitude. “My first reaction was, ‘well, if she gets into (the final), that’s one more chance she’s got to draw good,’ so I always try to look on the bright side,” he said. “It’s a great series and you’ve got to have luck and ability. We knew that when we went in.” After finishing second to Lady Shadow in her lone qualifier March 9, Mackenzie started the 2018 season by finishing last in the opening leg of the Matchmaker from post seven. She overcame the same post in leg two, circling the field to score a 1:53.1 victory March 23. In her most recent effort March 30, Mackenzie started from post six and sustained a first-over bid from 8 1/4 lengths behind to wear down Newborn Sassy by a measured half-length in 1:54.1 with regular driver Jordan Stratton in the sulky. “I always thought she was a good mare, but she was a bit rank early and Jordan really looked after her when we raced her last year,” Tritton said. “I think she’s a lot stronger this year, a lot more versatile. I’m pretty impressed with her. She is staked to all the big races all over America, so I’ve got a lot of confidence in her. She’s very strong.” Outside draws aren’t the only obstacle Mackenzie will have to overcome to make it back to the Matchmaker Final. A scare in the barn last week caused the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven to miss a chance to race in leg four of the series. Tritton has trained her since the incident and feels she is ready for this week’s race. “She just got a little bit of a bump on her tendon, which has been looked at and it’s alright. I think she just must have whacked it in the stall or out in the field. Hopefully that won’t come back to haunt her at all,” Tritton explained. “I didn’t plan to take the week off because she didn’t get any points the first time. You’ve got to deal with the cards you’ve got and she drew bad, so we just hope that she can overcome it with her ability and she has no more problems.” Mackenzie is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the first of three $40,000 Matchmaker divisions Friday night (April 13). Motu Moonbeam, third in the standings, will start from the rail while series leader Lakeisha Hall drew post three. Seventh-ranked Lady Shadow will start from post four and will also look to secure her spot in the final. “She’ll be fine for Friday night, she’s just probably going to have to do a little work and have a hard run to get it done because it looks like there’s a lot of speed inside her and she’s going to have to come from the back again, which does make it hard,” Tritton said. “I’ll leave it to Jordan, who’s done a good job from the bad draws to get it done the last two weeks, so I’m hoping that everything will work out. “I still don’t think she’s at her top. I think if we can get her through this week, we’ll have her right at the top for the following week,” Tritton continued. “She’s the whole package. She’s very strong, she keeps going, but she does have tremendous speed. Jordan tries to look after her and not really ask her for top speed, but when she has to, she can really go fast.” Tritton will also try to qualify Sell A Bit for the Matchmaker Final Friday night. Ranked 15th in the standings and in need of a victory to have a chance at making the main event, the 8-year-old daughter of Julius Caesar will start from the rail in division two. After posting a wire-to-wire win in leg one and consecutive fourth-place finishes in legs two and three, the 27-time winner and $746,506-earner is a 7-2 morning line chance. “I was a little but disappointed last time. She got a good trip and just battled to the line. Her other runs have been good, but she’s had a little bit of an issue in one foot,” Tritton explained. “I trained her the other day and I thought she worked better than she ever did since I’ve had her, so I’m quietly confident that she’ll be right there on Friday night and be a contender to get back into the final. If not, the consolation, but she’s really good at the moment and I think that week off has done her a world of good.” While Mackenzie and Sell A Bit are under pressure to make the Matchmaker Final, Tritton won’t feel the same stress with Bit Of A Legend in the final preliminary leg of the George Morton Levy Series Saturday night (April 14). After posting an impressive 1:53.3 win in week one and a 1:53.2 win last week, the 2016 series champion is ranked second by points. “I’m definitely sure he’s better than he was at this time last year. I think if he draws reasonable and luck goes his way, he’ll be really, really hard to beat,” Tritton said. “I’m sure there’s no better horse in it and you’ve just got to have luck in the draws and luck in running, but I’m fairly confident with him if he draws good because he’s very versatile. He can sit and sprint, he can do a lot of work, he’s got good gate speed. “I’m confident that the horse is 100-percent right and right on his game,” he continued. “Now we’ve got to get the other things to fit into place, but that’s racing. It’s exciting to be involved and to think you’re a chance. Hopefully it works out. It doesn’t always, like last year, but it’s good to be a chance.” Tritton is happy to have Bit Of A Legend back in the barn this year. Although retirement to stallion duty was floated for the $1.9 million earning son of Bettor’s Delight at the end of the 2017 racing season, Tritton and the Vonknoblauch family, who owns Bit Of A Legend, Mackenzie, and Sell A Bit, consider themselves racers first and are happy to keep their star on the track for as long as he continues to enjoy his work. “I think he’d be a nice stud horse, particularly because he’s so good-gaited and he’s got no problems, he wears no boots. I think he’d be a good sire for New York to race on the smaller tracks in the stakes races,” Tritton said. “But he keeps turning up and winning five- or six-hundred-thousand every year and he doesn’t seem to have any lameness issues and he enjoys his work. “I keep thinking every year we’ll probably retire him, but it’s a tough business being a stallion, too. He’ll keep racing while I think he’s going as good as he is now. We’re here to race horses, we’re not really breeders. Same with Mackenzie. We got offered a lot of money for Mackenzie as a broodmare back in New Zealand last year after she won the Matchmaker, but as I say, we race them.” Bit Of A Legend is a 7-2 morning line chance from post seven in the third and final Levy preliminary Saturday night. Series leader Somewhere In L A will start to his immediate inside while fourth ranked Dr J Hanover drew post five. For Tritton, the prospects of Mackenzie and Bit Of A Legend each earning a chance to win their second titles in Yonkers’ signature races for older pacers is humbling. Achieving these feats at his home track is made better by his partnership with Stratton. “It’s very satisfying and it’s helped Jordan as well, which is great because he’s a great guy and a great driver. These races are not easy. A lot goes into it. It’s been very satisfying, and we’ll take it as it comes and hopefully we can get a good result again this year,” Tritton said. “Before I lived up here, I used to train in Delaware and I’d ship them up. I got a few into the finals over the years, I won a few preliminaries of the Levy, but the final was always beyond me,” he continued. “It does mean a lot because the main reason I moved up here was to race at Yonkers and these are the two signature races with my horses, so it’s very satisfying.” First post time Friday and Saturday night at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m. To view entries to Friday’s races, click here. For entries to Saturday’s races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

When harness racing trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. looks at Mach It So this season at age 8, he sees a horse that looks a lot like the one he saw a year ago at age 7. Considering that Mach It So established a career high for purses in 2017, the similarity is enough to bring a hopeful smile to Bamond’s face. Mach It So earned $759,871 last year, when he won his second William R. Haughton Memorial in three years and finished the campaign with a victory in the TVG Series championship. He finished second in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial and Bobby Quillen Memorial and was third in the Breeders Crown and Sam McKee Memorial. For his career, Mach It So has won 42 of 124 races and earned $2.50 million. “He’s the same as he’s always been,” said Bamond, who owns Mach It So with his father as Bamond Racing LLC. “He likes to do his work; he doesn’t moan about it. It’s the same as it’s been every year. Hopefully his year goes the same. If it goes half as good I’d be happy.” Mach It So is off to a strong start this year, with two wins in four starts in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The final preliminary round of the Levy is Saturday, with Mach It So competing in the second of three divisions. The gelding is the 9-5 favorite on the morning line, starting from post three in a six-horse field. David Miller is his driver. The eight highest point-earners from the Levy’s five preliminary rounds advance to the April 21 championship. Mach It So is fifth in the standings, trailing Somewhere In LA, New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend, Rockin Ron, and Dr J Hanover. A horse receives 25 points each time he races in the preliminary rounds. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth. Mach It So’s division Saturday includes only one other horse in the top eight, sixth-place Evenin Of Pleasure. Defending series champ Keystone Velocity, who is 12th in points, also is in the field. Saturday’s first division features the four horses that are seventh through 10th in points: Missile J, Western Fame, Bettor Memories, and Australian-bred Chumlee. Long Live Rock, who will start from the rail, is tied for 13th. The third division includes Somewhere In LA, Bit Of A Legend, and Dr J Hanover. Somewhere In LA and Bit Of A Legend are two-time winners in the series while Dr J Hanover is undefeated in three series starts. Also in the third division is Always At My Place, who is 11th in points. Rockin Ron, who has two wins in the series, is idle. “The series is always competitive,” said Bamond, who with his father owned 2014 Levy winner P H Supercam and is hoping to guide Mach It So to his fourth appearance in the championship. “It’s always about where you draw. Some horses don’t draw well and they probably deserve to be in the final and the other way around. The final is just about whoever draws the best and gets the best trip.” Mach It So’s best finish in a Levy championship was fifth in 2015, but he has never drawn better than post seven in his three previous finals. Bamond might be looking for a change in Mach It So’s luck, but not much else. “He’s off to a good start this year,” Bamond said. “I’m very happy. “He’s a little quirky, but he’s a pretty cool guy.” BLUE CHIP MATCHMAKER SERIES Friday at Yonkers features the fifth and final preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for female pacers. There are three divisions, with points-leader Lakeisha Hall leading the opening group. The first division also includes New Zealand-bred Motu Moonbeam (third in points), Lady Shadow (seventh), and Australian-bred defending champion Mackenzie (eighth). New Zealand-bred Shartin, who is second in points thanks to going 3-for-3 before taking off last week, is the morning-line favorite in the third division, which also includes ninth-place Clear Idea. Fourth-place Twinkle is the favorite in the second division, which also includes Medusa (fifth), Scandalicious (sixth), and Safe From Terror (10th). For Saturday’s complete Yonkers entries, click here. For the complete Levy standings, click here. For Friday’s complete Yonkers entries, click here. For the complete Matchmaker standings, click here. Racing at Yonkers begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 10, 2018 -- Sandwiched in between this past Saturday night's (Apr. 7th) fourth round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series was the harness racing weekly Open Handicap Trot. That Melady's Monet won the race wasn't exactly a man-bites-dog occurrence. He paid $3. That it was Melady's Monet's 50th career win made it newsworthy. Hence, the saga. "I've probably put in more time with him than with any horse I've ever trained," Kevin McDermott said, adding, "He's been as rewarding as any just about any horse I've been around." Melady's Monet, a 9-year-old homebred Revenue S gelding, first met McDermott when the former was a 5-year-old, in September of 2014. "Taylor Gower was his first trainer, and he did a very good job," McDermott said. "(Melady's Monet) was racing in high-end overnight races before he came to me. All I knew about him was that he had four legs, a head and a tail. "I was recommended to the owners (Melady Enterprises' Ester and Luca Balenzano), and they give me the horse's history. He was a project at first, but the ability finally showed up, and Taylor deserves much of the credit for that. What I learned right away was he (Melady's Monet, not Taylor Gower) is the family pet, so they never overrace him." Melady's Monet has made 161 career starts, including 29 starts as a 4-year-old in 2013, a single-season high. He had a by-design 17 starts in 2017. "Here's the thing about him," McDermott said. "He ties up more, and worse, than any horse I've ever had. In fact, he tied up so bad in the days before last Saturday's race, I wasn't sure we'd go. "There's not really a cure. We just try to keep him on the right program. He's out in the field a couple of hours each day, then we train him by lead-shanking him next to another horse in a jog cart. "(Caretaker) Nelson (Munoz) has been terrific," McDermott said. "He's been with him since Melady's Monet has been with me." While McDermott offered that "no driver has said a bad word about Melady's Monet," the trainer did have a good word about one Jason Bartlett. "He gets a lot of the credit," McDermott said. "He communicates with me, and with the horse." "He's just a pleasure to drive," Bartlett said of Melady's Monet. "I actually think he's better chasing other horses, but if you can get him to the lead without too much cost, that's not bad, either. "As far as any tricks, he seems to want the bit the whole time and he hates the whip. I've learned than even when you and he think he's done, he's not done." 'Melady,' McDermott and Bartlett combined to win the 2016 Vincennes Invitational Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, a life-best 1:51.4 in a $1.286,158 career. "That was obviously one of the highlights with him," McDermott said. "Some disappointments, too. We had an Elitlopp invitation, I think it was 2016, but the owners turned it down. We were also hoping for an invite to the International Trot, too." Suffice it to say, for standout trotter Melady's Monet, the resume 'outpaces' the regrets. (Author's aside...Melady's Monet is back at it Saturday night [Apr. 14th], remanded behind the eight-ball in this week's adult-table trot.) Frank Drucker

A Mayo native has been honoured at the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce annual Women of Excellence Awards luncheon. Empire City Casino’s Ursula McIntyre was recognised as one of this year’s Women of Excellence and received the Above and Beyond Award. As Director of Mutuels for Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and assistant to Timothy Rooney, president and CEO, Ursula serves as the pari-mutuel manager for harness racing at the racetrack and provides support to the executive team. She is well-known among her colleagues to always go 'above and beyond' for the casino, racetrack, and community. Ursula, who was born and raised in Mayo, the eldest of nine children, attended Galway Regional College, studying hospitality, before immigrating to New York at the age of 20. It was at a hotel in Ireland where she first met Tim Rooney and his wife June. Upon hearing that McIntyre was New York bound, Rooney offered her a job. By 1982, McIntyre was a Rooney employee and in 1989 she began working at Yonkers Raceway. “For nearly 30 years Ursula has been a part of the Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino family,” said Rooney. “She is not only an exemplary member of our executive team but is also unwaveringly dedicated to the City of Yonkers and its communities. Her tireless energy never ceases to amaze and I am thrilled that she is receiving this much-deserved community recognition.” Throughout her career, Ursula has held various positions spanning multiple departments for Yonkers Raceway and now Empire City Casino. She credits the longevity of her career to the working environment created by the Rooney family, whom she claims are some of the most upstanding people she has ever encountered. In May 2000, she reached a personal milestone by becoming a citizen of the United States. She is a member of the Police Athletic League (PAL) board of directors, serves on the executive board of the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day parade, and is involved in many other non-profit organisations and charitable undertakings across the city. She was named Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Westchester & Hudson Valley in 2013 for her fundraising efforts on behalf of the organisation. She has also been honored by the PAL Board and the Aisling Irish Community & Cultural Center. Reprinted with permission of The Connaught Telegraph

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 7, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Apr. 7th) hosted a formful fourth of five harness racing preliminary rounds in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. A trio $50,000 events comprised the Free-for-All foray, which was guaranteed a different look as series (3-for-3 leader) Dr. J Hanover 'stole' a week off. First Division - It was nary more than a qualifier for money for people's puny parimutuel preference Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.30). From post position No. 2, he worked around pole-sitting Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum), then waltzed though a flat, 28-second opening quarter-mile and :57.2 intermission. Long Live Rock (Dan Dube) tried it first-up from third, but even that didn't sufficiently up the tempo (1:25.3 three-quarters). Bit of a Legend N opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:53.2. Chumlee A saved second, with Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett) third. For 2016 series champ Bit of a Legend N, a 9-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his second win in four seasonal / series starts (career earnings more than $1.97 million). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.10, with the triple returning $18.60. Second Division - Pole-sitting favorite Somewhere in L A (Bartlett, $4.40) retook from 96-1 rank outsider Evenin' of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) right at a :26.4 opening quarter-mile, then held that one at bay (:56.3, 1:25, 1:53). Christen Me N (Stratton) was a ground-saving third. Second- and third-choices Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras) and Missile J (Tim Tetrick) were non-factors from first- and second-over, respectively. For Somewhere in L A, a 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone and T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his fourth win in six seasonal starts (2-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $216, the triple returned $2,105 and the superfecta (Rodeo Rock [Eric Goodell]) paid $4,585. Third Division - Odds-on Mach it So (Dave Miller, $3.80) rebounded from a failed retake a week ago. From the pole, he played early leapfrog with defending Levy champ Keystone Velocity (Dube) before finishing his appointed rounds (:56.4, 1:24.3, season's-best 1:53.1). Mach it So held off the pocket pursuer by a length, with Bettor Memories (Tetrick) third. For Mach it So, a 9-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., he's 2-for-4 this season/series. The exacta paid $13.60, with the triple returning $35. Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a down-the-road fave Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $3) in 1:55.3 for a 50th career victory. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 6, 2018 -- With series starlets Shartin N, Twinkle and defending harness racing champ Mackenzie A getting the week off, Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Apr. 6th) presented the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Three, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares, all of whom were thrilled the three queens abdicated this time around. Thus, some previous understudies stepped to the fore. First Division--A compact quintet (after a defection) saw a last-to-first late lunge by Scandalicious (Tim Tetrick, $16.80) in 1:53.4. From post position No. 4 (in one notch), Scandalicious was content to watch Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) throw it down (:26.4, :56). Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) left into the pocket, while 9-10 favorite Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) was away fourth. That one was out toward the 1:24.3 three-quarters, needing some first-up reminders. Eclipse Me N maintained a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but her rivals were about to conduct an intervention. Scandalicious, who didn't leave the cones until past the three-quarters, paced over her four foes, snapping Miss Irish Rose A by a nose. Lady Shadow, though never a threat to win, did continue to grab third, beaten a length-and-a-quarter. Eclipse Me N faded to fourth. For third choice Scandalicious, a 7-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned by JFE Enterprises and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was her first win in 11 seasonal starts (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $87.50, with triple wagering cancelled due to the short field. Second Division--Medusa (Yannick Gingras, $12.40) was hard-used to make the lead, then just lasted (:27, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:54) over a surging Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald). From post No. 5, Medusa found herself shut out of an early seat by polester Dewar N Soda (Tetrick). She then drove past 11-10 fave Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron), stealing a self-serving soft second quarter. Call Me Queen Be pulled pocket before the three-quarters, but was repelled. Medusa had a length-and-a-half advantage in and out of the final turn, and she'd need it. Clear Idea closed quickly from second-over, missing a head. Call Me Queen Be did save the bottom of the ticket. For third choice Medusa, a 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by Keystoners Randy Bendis & Tom Pollack and trained by Ed Hart, it was her first win in six '18 tries (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $53, with the triple returning $132.50. Third Division---Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan, $5.60) doubled her series pleasure, going the distance (:27.2, :57, 1:25.3, 1:54.1). From post No. 2, Lakeisha Hall went up and over pole-sitting Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland). Safe from Terror (Jordan Stratton), as the 8-5 choice, tried to leave, but was forced to slip in fourth. Safe from Terror moved again down the backside, only pacing in place before tiring. Meanwhile, Lakeisha Hall opened to a length-and-a-half entering the lane. Motu Moonbeam N edged from the pocket, from never came close to reaching. The margin was a length in a tick faster than the winner's effort a week ago. with Dude'salady (Tetrick) third. For second choice Lakeisha Hall, a 5-year-old daughter of Three Straight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jack Piatt II, she's 2-for-4 this season (and series). The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $65. Saturday night (Apr.7th) offers a trio of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Frank Drucker

Doctor John the Medicine Man strikes again.... And as in his first driving victory in the NAADA Trotting Series two weeks ago the veterinarian - harness racing horseman and his trusty charge, Here Comes Numbers, were back in the winners circle at Yonkers Raceway after copping the fourth leg of the series for amateur drivers. Two weeks ago Kokinos set sails with his veteran trotter at the Hilltop oval and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.3 triumph. Using similar tactics again tonight the good doctor sent Here Comes Numbers again to the lead and allowed the veteran trotter to do his thing and the 10 year old altered son of Here Comes Herbie proved once again too much for his competition winning by a solid length in a time of 1:59.1 over Traverse Seelster, driven by Tony Ciuffetelli. The victory tonight was two-fifths of a second faster than the horse's triumph on March 22nd ,also at Yonkers Raceway. Last weeks winner in this NAADA Series, Wygant Prince, was driven to a third place finish by Paul Minore, a retired high school track coach whose most prominent student was the Olympic champion, Carl Lewis. But once again tonight belonged to Doctor John who notched his 28th career driving victory. "It's not that hard when you have the best horse in the field," Kokinos said. "You just go down the road, which I did for the second consecutive time with 'Numbers'". The winning horse is co-owned by Patrick Laiso and Jennifer Lappe and trained by Ms Lappe. The non-wagering event went for a purse of $6000 and was presented prior to the betting card getting underway. Next Thursday the NAADA Series returns for another leg at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi for NAADA    

YONKERS, N.Y. – Harness racing trainer Paul Blumenfeld will start two horses in the fourth leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonker's Raceway Friday night (April 6). Vintage Babe and Motu Moonbeam, who both started from post eight last week, each drew the rail in their respective divisions this week. Blumenfeld sees the draw as an opportunity to win key points toward in the final when series leaders Shartin, Twinkle, and Mackenzie took the week off. “They’re just really nice horses and it’s a great race. The Matchmaker and the Levy, it’s just exciting,” Blumenfeld said. “I think they fit good. Obviously, you have those horses that are winning who are impressive, like Mackenzie and Shartin, that have been racing super. But everybody’s trying to get their horse into the final. It’s a hard series because you’re racing a lot. But say you’re in the final, everybody goes. I don’t think there’s going to be a standout.” Blumenfeld acquired Vintage Babe last fall after longtime friend, trainer and owner Jim Ellison passed away. Vintage Babe had been racing at the Open level at Hawthorne and Hoosier Park and Blumenfeld saw the opportunity to bring her back to Yonkers. “I was friends with Jimmy for years, I knew him for a long time when I raced in Illinois and he passed on and his wife sold all the horses and she was one of them,” Blumenfeld said. “A guy called me and said she was for sale and asked if I’d be interested in looking at her. So I flew to Illinois and looker her over and bought her. She’s got some sentimental value in her for that aspect.” Vintage Babe previously raced at Yonkers in her 4-year-old season. She made the final of last year’s Petticoat Series after overcoming early breaks in stride in both of her starts in the Petticoat preliminary legs for trainer Ed Gannon. Maturity and some equipment changes on Blumenfeld’s part have helped the 5-year-old daughter of Vintage Master stay flat on the half-mile track since returning to Yonkers last October. “When she raced here last year, she raced for another trainer and she used to make breaks. She made breaks, but she still raced fantastic,” Blumenfeld said. “She had done a great job for Jimmy on the bigger track. When I brought her to Yonkers, it was a little touch-and-go if she would get around it and she did well. She did mature. Made some changes, made a few rigging changes, shoeing changes.” Although she won a $22,500 overnight wire-to-wire in 1:53.1 in her first start for Blumenfeld October 20 and took a $20,000 overnight in 1:55.4 in similar fashion January 19, Vintage Babe hadn’t competed at the Open level at Yonkers when Blumenfeld decided to nominate her to the Matchmaker Series. The talent he saw in those wins gave him the confidence to pay her in. “She did a good job when she won, she showed a lot of ability,” Blumenfeld said. “She won here one night on the front end really impressively and then she raced a couple times from off the pace and she just keeps coming. She’s been very unlucky in the legs so far because she’s been coming, but she hasn’t been drawing good or hasn’t had good racing luck.” Vintage Babe is ranked 22nd by points heading into leg four after finishing fourth and third in weeks one and two, respectively. The outside draw last week hindered her chances, but Blumenfeld expects driver Brent Hollard to race her aggressively this week. Vintage Babe is a 6-1 morning line in the first $40,000 Matchmaker split of the night, a field that includes Lady Shadow as the 8-5 favorite. “I’m hoping she’s close to the front the whole mile,” he said. “With any racing luck, I’m expecting her to race good.” While Vintage Babe was a relatively new acquisition for Blumenfeld, Motu Moonbeam is a stable stalwart. The New Zealand-bred daughter of Bettor’s Delight came to Blumenfeld at the end of her 4-year-old season in 2016. Unlike in Vintage Babe’s case, when he made the trip to inspect his prospect in person, Blumenfeld relies on his own research and a handful of close advisors when making a purchase from Down Under. “When I buy horses Down Under, I have an agent that calls me on a bunch and I watch the one he calls on, plus I look at the other ones in the race and I kind of weed through a lot and I found that I liked Motu Moonbeam because she was a green horse and she went through the ranks for us and has done a good job.” Motu Moonbeam has raced exclusively at Yonkers since arriving stateside. When she began her U.S. career in June 2016, she was still eligible for the non-winners of four pari-mutuel races lifetime condition. She won her way out of the conditions and worked her way to the Filly and Mare Open Handicap by November 2016. Vintage Babe earned her first win in Yonkers’ top class for distaffers with a pace-setting 1:54.4 score January 26, 2018. “It’s very satisfying. It’s like getting a baby and bringing it to the races. It’s really gratifying breaking a baby and watching him or her go through the ranks and develop. It was the same thing with her,” Blumenfeld said. Although bettors dismissed Motu Moonbeam as a 47-1 outsider in the Matchmaker first leg March 16, she overcame post six to finish second to Shartin. Despite her good showing week one, another outside draw made her a 36-1 chance in week two. Motu Moonbeam rallied from 9 ¼ lengths behind into a slow :57.1 half to win leg two in 1:54.3. Her placings earned her 155 points for a fifth-place ranking in the series standings coming into leg four. “I actually loved her, I just didn’t like the draw. I just knew if they mixed it up or made a mistake, sometimes, if you go too slow, a horse like her can pick up the pieces too,” Blumenfeld explained. “They bunch up on the last turn and she can just swoop them. I told the owners in every leg, I think she’s good.” After finishing fifth from post eight last week, Motu Moonbeam is a 7-1 morning line in leg four. The division’s 9-5 favorite Lakeisha Hall, a winner in the series last week, will start to Motu Moonbeam’s immediate outside. Although Motu Moonbeam has mainly been a closer since she began racing at Yonkers, Blumenfeld expects her to be a factor early in this spot. As with Vintage Babe, Brent Holland will drive. “She has tremendous gate speed. She has done the work on the front end, she can leave fast, she’s quick out of the gate,” he said. “She can do it both ways, but to keep longevity on horses, you can’t zing them every week. “All I can say is I’d like to see her race good. I really don’t tell the drivers what to do because anything can happen when the gate springs,” he continued. “I’m assuming he’s going to leave to either be on the front or get good position. If I were driving her, that’s what I would be doing.” First post time Friday night is 6:50 p.m. For entries for the card, click here. To view the Matchmaker Series point standings, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 6) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 7) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway deferred to the ladies on Friday (March 30), offering the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Four $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares. If Tim Tetrick has asked series leader Shartin N at any point during the first three weeks, he did it in private, as the femme fatale made it look simple again. Chilly early from post four she watched pole-sitting Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) take over from Scandalicious (Yannick Gingras). The intervals were soft enough (:28, :57.4) when Shartin N moved from third. She used a :27.2 third quarter (1:25.1) to dispose of Lady Shadow, taking a 1-1/2 length lead in and out of the final turn. Shartin N finished it off by a length in 1:53.3, remaining the Matchmaker's lone unbeaten mare. Safe From Terror (Jordan Stratton) lost her tow when the winner cleared, but continued well to be second. Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) was third. For Shartin N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Tintin In America co-owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her seventh win, fourth consecutive, in eight 2018 tries. Yonkers Raceway used the last day of March, Saturday (March 31), to feature the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four $50,000 events comprised the free-for-all foray. Odds-on from post four, Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller) did what he did in the first two legs. He made an immediate -- and 'cheap' -- lead, then again made his rivals pay (:28.3, :58, 1:26; 1:53.3). Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) fought the good fight with a two-move second, but missed by a half-length. Another Daily Copy (Jason Bartlett) was a pylon-pocket third. For Dr J Hanover, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, Steven Wienick and Irwin Samelman and trained by Tony Alagna, it was his third win in four seasonal starts (3-for-3 in series). Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 73; 2. Jordan Stratton - 62; 3. Jason Bartlett - 58; 4. Yannick Gingras - 47; 5. Brett Miller - 30. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 54; 2. Richard Banca - 51; 3. Peter Tritton - 47; 4. Jim King Jr. - 37; 5. Tony Alagna - 30. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 37; 2. Brittany Farms - 20; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 17.5; 4. Richard Poillucci - 17; 5t. Burke Racing Stable - 15; 5t. Diamond Creek Racing - 15; 5t. Friendship Stables - 15; 5t. Gestion J Y Blais Inc. - 15; 5t. Weaver Bruscemi - 15. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy next weekend. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 21. Paul Ramlow

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 2, 2018 -- Yonkers Raceway's first 'all -superfecta harness racing Monday' (Apr. 2nd) found an audience. A total, 12-race handle of $996,050 included superfecta pools that were consistently in five figures. The evening's equine star was Beyond Delight (Jim Marohn Jr., $4.30), who went first-up and over in the $22,000, 11th-race pace. The 1:51.4 mile is now the fastest local effort of 2018. The 4-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding, co-owned by Jeff & Michael Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable, has won half of his six seasonal starts. A reminder that for early handicapping, Yonkers' Monday programs are available for download here. (finalized no later than Friday afternoon). Frank Drucker

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