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Monday, May 22, 2017

Buffalo Raceway Draw Schedule Change

The draws for Wednesdays races at Buffalo Raceway will now be held on Saturdays for the remainder of the meet. The draw schedule for Friday and Saturday races remains unchanged.  The full condition sheet can be found at

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Last Chapter wins the Williams Auto Trot ($22,500) at Tioga.

John Horne for Tioga Downs.

The Last Chapter (Drew Monti)  takes the featured Williams Auto Trot at Tioga Downs Sunday afternoon (May 21).  This exciting race  showed many lead changes until the top of the stretch.  The 3 year-old Chapter Seven gelding took over and won with ease. Chapter Seven ($2.90)  owned by Richard Gutnik, Joe Losito and the TLP Stable turned the mile in 1:56.2. 
Royal Casanova (Jim Taggart Jr) came up to take second.  TT Conway (Jim Marohn Jr) finished third.

Tioga Downs is dark this Friday and returns to live action on Saturday night (May 27) at 6:50pm.  There is a special Sunday (May 28) start time of 6:50pm.  New York Sire Stakes return Sunday night as 3 year-old trotting fillies take center stage. Memorial Day Monday (May 29) post time is 1:00 pm.

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Scibbereen wins co-feature at Vernon Downs.

John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Scibbereen (John MacDonald) wins Anthony Farina Pacing Series Final at Vernon Downs on Saturday night (May 20).  Scibbereen ($8.60) who is trained by Kyle Spagnola was fourth after three-quarters passing Nostrovia (Wade Tomaszewski)in the stretch to win in 1:55.4.

American JJ (Michael Miller) would be placed first to capture the the Robert Keller series final when Pipe Dream Express (Jimmy Wittemore) caused interference in the stretch and was placed second.  American JJ ($4.00) is also trained by Miller.

Vernon Downs returns to live action on Friday (May 26) at 6:45pm

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BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 20, 2017—World champion Downbytheseaside (Dave Miller, $3.10) was as odds-on advertised Saturday night (May 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s lone $40,000 elimination for the 27th Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds.

Starting from the second tier in the nine-to-get-to-eight foray, Downbytheseaside found himself three-wide at the half in a race that had much more movement than expected. Last season’s Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace winner, Summer Side (Ray Schnittker), made the first lead, stuffing Stealth Bomber (Brent Holland) in behind before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile.

However, Stealth Bomber wanted to no part of the pocket. That one made the lead, with last season’s New York Sire Stakes champion Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) and ‘Seaside’ in hot pursuit.

Downbytheseaside fronted the fray right at the :55.4 intermission, than continued toward a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Stealth Bomber then moved again, vacating a three-hole in front of Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley).

Downbytheseaside opened a coupled of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.2. Miso Fast snapped Stealth Bomber for second, with Summer Side and Mac’s Jackpot (Jason Bartlett) rounding out the payees.

Funknwaffles tired to sixth, with Henry the Dragon (Montrell Teague) and rank outsider Rollin’ About  (Brent Holland) also earning invites to next Saturday night’s (May 27th) $300,000 final. Heaven’s Gait (Jordan Stratton) made a filthy break passing the three-quarters, winding up last and not making the finale.    

For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his second win in as many season starts (career 10-for-15). The exacta paid $7.70, the triple returned $57 and the superfecta paid $341.50.

“I was pleased with the race,” Miller said. “I had to use him some early and ran in a bit in the turns, but we can work on that before the final.”

Miller began his evening drilling seven inside rivals (:28.4, :59.1, 1:27.4, 1:55.1) with Agent Q ($6.80) in the first of two, $20,000 elims for the Lismore (3-year-old pacing fillies).

Last season’s NYSS frosh champ, even-money choice Tequila Monday (Sears), wound up second from second-over, with Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) a first-up third. Ashlee’s Spitfire (Dan Dube), at 50-1 the longest shot on the board, was fourth. That quartet returns for next Saturday night’s $140,770 final.

“Handy,” was Miller’s succinct description of his date.

For second choice Agent Q, a daughter of Western Terror co-owned by Martin Scharf,  Rochetti Racing and Robert Muscara, she’s now 2-for-2 this season

The second elimination for the Lismore, complete with no show wagering, saw the reason for same—3-10 favorite Ain’t Three OK (Sears)—jump it off in the first turn and trail throughout.

Pole-sitting Big City Betty (Jim Marohn Jr., $21.60) went the distance (:28.3, :58.1, 1:27, 1:55.2), whipping Gotthisone Hanover (George Brennan) by 2¼ lengths in a two-speed number. Warrawee Sunshine (Miller) was a ground-saving third as the 29-1 longshot, with Caviart Cherie (McCarthy) fourth and back for the final.

For third choice ‘Betty,’ a Bettor’s Delight miss co-owned by (trainer) Steve Salerno and Bruce Potter, it was her second win three ’17 tries. The exacta paid $149, with the triple returning $965.

“This filly has a quick turn of speed, but she has the manners of an older horse,” Marohn said. “I never even saw what happened with Brian’s (Sears’) horse (Ain’t Three OK), but mine was very comfortable.”

The open draw for both stakes finals takes place Monday afternoon (May 22nd).

Saturday night’s pair of $55,000 Open Handicaps were won by…

--Trot, Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube, $19.60) in 1:55.3;
--Pace, Mach it So (Holland, $7.90) in 1:51.2.


By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Broadway Donna outlasted Dayson after a stirring stretch duel to capture the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Saturday night.
The 6-5 favorite Dayson, who bled after failing one week ago in his Graduate prep, was sailing along on the lead with Lasix added as Broadway Donna inched closer racing on the rim after vacating the five hole just after the half. The pair were on even terms at the head of the stretch as Broadway Donna, a daughter of Donato Hanover, continued to wear down the leader before going on to a half-length win in 1:52.1. Tight Lines was third.

Broadway Donna, the 2016 Breeders Crown champion, returned $5.60 to win as the 9-5 second choice in the wagering with David Miller in the sulky for trainer Jim Campbell.
“That’s what she’s going to do for the rest of the year,” said winning owner Jules Siegel (Fashion Farms).

LYONS’ ROARS: The betting public wasn’t deterred by the fact that Lyons Snyder had gone off stride in both of his starts this year, and they were rewarded for their loyalty.

The 4-year-old son of Well Said was bet down to 4-5 and went right down the road in a $17,500 conditioned pace. The time for the mile was an eye-popping 1:48.3, which equaled the sport’s seasonal best, which was established by Rock N’ Roll World at Hoosier Park on May 12.
Lyons Snyder paid $3.80 to win for owners Jeff Snyder and Geoffrey Lyons Mound, trainer Jimmy 
Takter and driver Yannick Gingras.

A LITTLE MORE: Clear Vision gunned down Dealt A Winner nearing the wire to take the Preferred Pace in 1:49. … Wagering was vigorous as all-source betting totaled $2,880,980. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Northern Courtney takes M$J Oil & Lube Trot at Tioga

John Horne for Tioga Downs.
Northern Courtney (Mike Simons)captures M&J Oil Lube Trot Final ($25,000) for 3 year-old fillies at at Tioga Downs Saturday night (May 20).  The 3 year-old Deweycheatumnhowe filly marched out to the lead and never relinquished it.  Trained by John Butenschoen,the filly was trailed by Seven Magic Words (Tom Jackson) who road the pocket the entire way to finish second.  

Northern Courtney (2.20) captured her third straight win doing in a career best 1:55.0.  However she was not the fastest 3 year-old filly tonight. That honor went to Barn Bella (Jim Taggart Jr), who captured the Open II trot.  The Conway Hall filly trained by Steven Pratt, equaled the track record for 3 year-old fillies in 1:54.0.  Barn Bella ($3.10) is three for three in 2017.

Tioga Downs returns to live action tomorrow (May 21) at 1pm.

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Shady City Finally Gets Victory In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Shady City ($2.60) finally broke the second place blues by capturing the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (May 20). Shady City had finished a heart-breaking second in four consecutive starts in Open competition.

It wasn't easy for Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) to get re-acquainted with track photographer Steve Roth as he needed a seasonal best of 1:54.3 over the fast track to get the first place check. He beat Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) by 1-1/4 lengths while Pan Street USA (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

It was a mad dash to the opening quarter as Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) went three-wide to wrestle the top from Shady City and Pan Street USA in a 27.3 first panel. Settling in and putting up the next two fractions of 55.3 and 1:25.0, Fireyourguns ran out of ammunition in the stretch.

Shady City, enjoying the pocket trip, slipped down into the passing lane and was the strongest of all in getting to the finish line first while a hard-charging Gallant Seelster was second best.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 7-year-old gelded Shady City (Metropolitan-Maid In Shade) has four wins in 17 starts. The win increased his 2017 earnings to $36,536 and $267,113 lifetime.

Stalbaum finished the night with four victories while Fisher Jr., Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti produced doubles. Asher had three training wins.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with an 11-race program set for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to


Shady City breaks the blues with Buffalo Raceway Open Pace win.


By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – One lucky patron at the Meadowlands’ owned off-track wagering facility Winners at Bayonne walked off with a monster score in Saturday night’s fifth race.

That lucky bettor had the correct combination of 9-10-5-3-4 in the Big M’s 20 Cent Jackpot Super High Five and walked away with a payoff of $43,641.50. The race winner, Preparty, paid $10.40 to win.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Super Soph takes Tioga Downs feature.

John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Super Soph (Mike Merton) beats four other mares to take the Fillies and Mares Open 2 at Tioga Downs (May 19).

Super Soph, a 7 year-old Admirals Galley mare went right to the front.  Owned by Mark Wamp and trained by Todd Buter, Super Soph would hit the first quarter in 27.3 and never look back, winning gate to wire in 1:52.1.   Super Soph paid $14.60 for the upset win.   A Wish For Wings (John Cummings Jr.) followed in the pocket the whole way and finished second.  Kruella (Mike Simons) finished third. 

Tioga Downs is scheduled to start their 10 race card at 6:50 tomorrow but will follow the live showing of the Preakness.

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By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Ariana G gave notice Friday night at the Meadowlands that the road to the Hambletonian Oaks goes through her as she crushed seven overmatched foes in a division of the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies by 7¾ lengths in 1:52.2.

The Jimmy Takter trainee was more than prepared for her seasonal debut as driver Yannick Gingras put the daughter of Muscle Hill on the lead just after the quarter. Racing unpressured, the winner of 10-of-12 lifetime starts opened up an insurmountable edge after pocket-sitting Ice Attraction broke at the head of the stretch. She then sprinted home in :27.2, paying $2.10 as the 1-9 favorite for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Dream Baby Dream was second with Southwind Prius third.

“She was really good,” said Gingras. “I couldn’t be any happier with her. She was as good as I expected her to be. I’m crossing my fingers she stays healthy and let her talent do the rest.”

Glitzey Gal ($7.40 to win, 1:52.3 for the mile, David Miller driving, trainer Nifty Norman) and Colorful Jasmine ($2.40, 1:54.1, Corey Callahan, Thomas Cancelliere) were victorious in the other two NJSS filly divisions.

Ron Burke trainee What The Hill lowered his lifetime best by two-and-two-fifth seconds, impressively taking one of three NJSS divisions for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Driven by David Miller, the son of Muscle Hill stopped the clock in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in two seasonal starts. He returned $2.40 as the 1-5 public choice.

Every Way Out ($2.10, Dylan Davis) and Long Tom ($3.80, Marcus Melander) won the other sophomore colt and gelding divisions in identical clockings of 1:52.1. Both were driven by Tim Tetrick.

CHALK TALK: Seven favorites scored on the card, bringing the total over the last three programs to 18 winning chalks from 32 races (56%). … David Miller piloted four winners on the card. … All-source wagering totaled $2,475,077. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. with the Graduate for 4-year-old trotters, featuring Dayson and Broadway Donna.

Empire Earl N Continues To Please At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- For owner/driver Larry Stalbaum, he's not been hard to please lately when it comes to his trotter Empire Earl N.

For the second time in three weeks, Empire Earl N found his way into the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway by taking the $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 19). They got the photo opportunity thanks to a 3/4-length victory over Osprey Vision in 1:57.3 over the fast track.

Stalbaum said after the race, "Not too much to complain about. I was able to work out a good two hole trip." With a pair of wins and a narrow second place in his last three outings, Stalbaum has a good reason to be happy with his trotter.

With Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) setting the splits of 29.2, 59.0 and 1:27.3, Stalbaum and Empire Earl N were able to drop into the pocket from the six post off the gate. Biding their time until the passing lane, Empire Earl N then zoomed past the tiring Winkys Pride to get the win.

Osprey Vision (David McNeight III) was closing fast on the outside and secured second place while Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished in third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 9-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita) has now produced two wins in nine starts this season. The victory upped his 2017 earnings to $20,070 and $105,995 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. led the driving statistics on the night with a triple while Ray Fisher Jr. had a double. Trainer Jeff Amann conditioned a pair of winners.

Racing will return on Saturday night with a 12-race card. There's a special 7 p.m. post time for the live action in order to accommodate the simulcasting of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 19, 2017—A pocketed Lispatty (Mark MacDonald, $31.60) stalked and subdued a season-debuting Pure Country (Brett Miller) Friday night (May 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

On paper, it was a stacked sewing circle, decreased by one when Matchmaker conqueror (and this week’s eight-hole assignee) Mackenzie A was a late-for-Lasix scratch.

On the track, however, it was a nothing more than a two-speed number, with millionairess Pure County sent off a in her first Westchester appearance. From post position No. 5, the 4-5 fave easily worked around her pole-sitting rival before a 28-second opening quarter-mile.      

From there, it was a :56.4 intermission and 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Medusa (George Brennan) offering a weak, first-up try and third and the backfield gapping badly.

Pure Country owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but Lispatty edged inside and edged by. The margin was a neck in a season’s-best 1:52.3. Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) was third as the 53-1 rank outsider, with Mach it a Par (Brian Sears) and Medusa rounding out the payees.  

For sixth choice Lispatty, a 4-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Gilberto Garcia-Owen and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, it was her second win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $114.50, with the triple returning $924.