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Monday, January 22, 2018

BIG GUNS RETURNING TO BIG M

Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – With the groundhog’s weather report due in nine days, some of the Meadowlands’ most recognizable names will be seen popping up more in the program in the coming weeks as winter’s chill begins to slowly melt into spring.

First up is Yannick Gingras.

“The Green Hornet” won 395 times a year ago, ending his streak of 400 or more at eight, but things went well nonetheless. The 38-year-old was voted the 2017 Driver of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association after leading the sport in money earned ($12.9 million) while guiding horses such as Hannelore Hanover, Ariana G and Manchego, all of whom are in the Horse of the Year conversation.

Gingras will be at the Big M this Friday (Jan. 26) and Saturday (Jan. 27), and will be seen on Fridays regularly from this point forward.

Tim Tetrick, who won his fifth Meadowlands Pace in 2017 with Huntsville, is getting ready for his return to the East Rutherford track.

The 36-year-old “Bionic Man” had another big year in 2017, as horses he drove earned at least $11 million for an 11th consecutive year. His Meadowlands return is slated for Friday, Feb. 2, at which time he will drive regularly at the mile oval where he’s been so successful over the last decade.

Corey Callahan is coming to Friday nights at the Big M and his opponents can’t be too happy about that. The eight-time leading driver at Dover Downs has been a Saturday night terror at the Meadowlands of late, winning six races on Dec. 23, three on Dec. 30 and four more on Jan. 20.
The 39-year-old, known as “The Captain”, is as consistent as they come, having won at least 400 races and earned at least $5 million for 10 straight years. Callahan’s schedule calls for him to be a Big M regular (drive both on Fridays and Saturdays) effective Feb. 9.


LIVE RACING SCHEDULE: The Meadowlands will race on Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 4. Post time currently is 6:35 p.m. On Friday, March 23, post time moves to 7:15 p.m. until Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 4, when there is a special early post time of noon.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

MELADY’S MONET WINS SUNDAY 50G OPEN HANDICAP TROT

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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, January 21, 2018—Favored Melady’s Monet (Jason Bartlett, $4.60) was just barely good enough Sunday morning (Jan. 21th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Open Handicap Trot.

The field of seven (down from nine after a couple of defections) went as the opener and the first of seven ‘French’ trots.

His eight-hole now a six-hole after those scratches, Melady’s Monet made the first lead, unimpeded by a breaking Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory). ‘Melady’ found a :29.4 opening quarter-mile before briefly giving it up to Super Manning (Jordan Stratton),

The fave wanted no part of the pocket, so he retook prior to the :59.1 half.  Cash Me Out (Eric Goodell) then moved from fifth, just about getting even with Melady’s Monet by the 1:30.1 three-quarters. Disposing of that rival around the 1:58.4 milepost, Melady’s Monet opened a length-and-three quarters into the lane, and needed all out it.  
A ground-saving Moneycounts De Vie (Matt Kakaley) found room up the cones, surged, but the 18-1 rank outsider missed a nose. Melady’s Monet found paydirt in time, getting the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:27.4.

Third went to Rock of Cashel (Brent Holland), with Dog Gone Lucky (catch-driver Dan Dube) and Cash Me Out settling for the remainder.

For Melady’s Monet, a 9-year-old Revenue S gelding owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Kevin McDermott, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $43.20, with triple returning $229.50.

Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ offered a winning combination of 5-Control Group (Aqueduct’s 3rd race) and 3-Royal Bachelor (Yonkers’ 5th race) paid $11.80 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,942.  


‘FOILED’ FOILED IN FIRST ATTEMPT AT 100TH WIN

FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 20, 2018—Foiled Again has enjoyed any number of spectacular nights throughout his prolific, record-setting career.

Saturday (Jan. 20th) was not one of them.

In his first attempt at a 100th career victory, Foiled Again threw in a dud. Harness racing richest-ever equine did not fire during Yonkers Raceway’s $20,000 first-race pace.

Leaving from outside his six rivals, Foiled Again (George Brennan) found a seat fourth. The 14-year-old gelding then took out to race second-over behind Lachie Maguire N (Jason Bartlett). The tow didn’t help, but Foiled Again gapped it, anyway. He wound up sixth, beaten 7¼ lengths to winning favorite Quick Asa Trick N (Matt Kakaley, $5.10).

Foiled Again, as the 2-1 third choice, was making his 305th career purse start, remaining in the same class a week after winning his 99th career race. His bankroll remains at $7,568,478.

“Try it again next time,”  Brennan said.  

Saturday night’s $30,000 winners-over pace was a down-the-road effort by odds-on Missile J (Dan Dube, $3.70). From post position No. 3 (in one notch after the pole-sitter scratched), Missile J stuffed Thisjetsabookin’ (Jordan Stratton) in behind, then rolled through intervals of :27.1, :56.1, 1:24.1 and 1:52.2…fastest local mile thus far this season.

Thisjetsabookin’ chased, beaten a length-and-a-quarter, with Take it Back Terry (Brennan) third.  

For Missile J, a 5-year-old American Ideal Hoosier co-owned by John McGill & Brian Carsey and trained by Scott DiDomenico, it was his first win two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, with the triple returning $38.20.

Special Saturday props to trainer Darren Cassar, who sent out three winners during the dozen-race card.  

Sunday’s (Jan. 21st) ‘French’ matinee offers both a ‘New York, New York Double’ (Aqueduct’s 3rd race, Yonkers 5th race) as well as a Pick 5 with a $2,986.47 carryover and a $10,000 guaranteed pool (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11).

The ‘instant’ guarantee took effect after no one hit Saturday’s gimmick wager.

First post Sunday is 11:30 AM.


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WESTERN JOE CRUSHES IN BIG M FEATURE

By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Western Joe is one of the top horses in harness racing right now, and Saturday night at the Meadowlands he completed his climb to the top of the Big M class ladder with a powerhouse win in the featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers.

It only took two months for Western Joe to complete his meteoric rise. He impressed at the Big M on Nov. 18, taking a non-winners of $5,000 event in 1:51.1. The Chris Choate trainee then took on the likes of Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs and performed credibly, finishing fifth in his elimination and fourth in the final.

Since then, he’s been on a roll back at the New Jersey mile oval.

He had hit the board in four straight starts, winning two of them against high-range conditioned foes, before his Saturday night score, which was his most impressive yet.

The 4-year-old son of Western Ideal sprinted up to the top at the three-eighths and took care of things from there as driver Jim Marohn Jr. was able to rate the third fraction in :29.1, which left plenty of fuel in Western Joe’s tank.

A final quarter of :26.2 would leave Bettor’s Edge, the 3-1 second choice who challenged at three-
quarters, in the winner’s wake, as Western Joe hit the wire in 1:50.4, 2 lengths in front of Alotbettor N. Tullow N was third.

Western Joe returned $4.00 to win as the public choice, winning for the 11th time in 31 starts for owner Anthony J. Ruggeri.


A LITTLE MORE: The final two races of the Big M’s Pick 5 wager saw favorites win, but that 
didn’t prevent the bettors from making a score. Those who had the winning combination of 9-5-2-9-5 were rewarded with a payout of $11,645.50 for a 50-cent bet. The key to the big hit was 33-1 chance Dr C’s Z Tam, who scored in the wager’s first leg. … The 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 result saw one lucky simulcast player in Maine walk away with $18,404.80. … Corey Callahan drove four winners on the card. … The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $75,102.54. … All-source wagering totaled $2,700,774. … Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 6:35 p.m.

Lenny Mac, Itsonlyrocknroll A Win Buffalo Raceway Features

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was 'girl power' as Lenny Mac beat the boys in the $9,500 Open Trot while Itsonlyrocknroll A showed who the 'man' was in the $9,500 Open Pace to highlight Buffalo Raceway's card on Saturday (Jan. 20).

Also in the spotlight was driver Shawn Gray. After posting a four-bagger on Wednesday night, he remained on fire with a five-win evening. Trainer James Clouser impressed as well on the 13-race program as he sent four to the winner's circle.

In the opener over the good track, Lenny Mac (Gray) followed the tempo-setting Empire Earl N through the opening half mile of action in 1:01.1. Lenny Mac, the lone mare in the race, had enough of that position and slipped to the outside to slowly cut into the lead.

The always business-like Lenny Mac ($6.10) kept her head down and chugged her way past the faltering Empire Earl N in the stretch. At the wire, she was a head in front, holding off a late charge by Osprey Vision (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 2:00.3. Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) finished in third.

Owned by William Emmons and trained by Clouser Jr., Lenny Mac (Kadabra-Lend A Hand) is a 7-year-old mare that has earned $242,240 in her career.

The co-featured Open Pace saw Itsonlyrocknroll A wait patiently for the passing lane then cruise on by Heaven Rocks in 1:56.0.

Gray sent Heaven Rocks right to the front off the gate and put up splits of 29.0, 58.4 and 1:27.3. But the front end journey went to waste.

With a final panel to pace, Itsonlyrocknroll A (Stalbaum) sat in the garden spot and had plenty left in the tank to overtake Heaven Rocks (Gray) by a length. P L Jackson (Mike Micallef) took the show spot.

Itsonlyrocknroll A (Million Dollar Cam-Boldandbeautiful) is a 7-year-old gelding who is owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher. It was the second victory in as many starts in 2018 for Itsonlyrocknroll A, now a winner of $7,700 this season and $258,705 lifetime.

Stalbaum and Drew Monti  each had two victories in the bike while Asher had a training double.

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

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Meadowlands Saturday Night Highlights

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday's featured seventh race, a $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace will be the stage for the return to racing of the popular veteran and double millionaire Bettor's Edge.

Away from racing since a solid third place finish in the $427,400 WR Haughton Memorial on Meadowlands Pace night last July, Bettor's Edge has had three qualifiers in preparation for Saturday's race, including a 1:54.4 winning effort in early December.

Now nine years of age, Bettor's Edge has faced the best of several generations of top class pacers and held his own against them. As a freshman and sophomore he battled one of the deepest groups in recent memory including such stalwarts as Sweet Lou, A Rocknroll Dance, Michael's Power and Heston Blue Chip.

Now racing out of the Jennifer Lappe barn where he is co-owned by the trainer with Robert Santagata, Bettor's Edge will start from the outer most post seven with Corey Callahan in the bike.

It's another fourteen race marathon featuring a wine dinner in Pink and horseplayers may still enter to qualify for the  World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com 

Post time is 6:35 p.m.



FANTASTIC FOUR FOR DOBSON AT BIG M

By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Billy Dobson finished second in the driver standings at Saratoga Raceway in 2017 and the 33-year-old proved Friday night at the Meadowlands that he is anything but a one-trick, half-mile track pony by guiding four winners over the mile oval on the 14-race card.
Dobson got underway in the third race $10,000 claiming pace, scoring with Windsong Gorgeous in 1:53 at odds of 5-1. His second winner would come about 20 minutes later as Duluth took the fourth race conditioned trot in 1:55.2 as the 9-5 favorite.

Long Story Short would bring Dobson’s third victory after taking the ninth race conditioned trot in 1:56.4 at odds of 3-1 before A Jersey Contract completed the four-bagger by winning the 11th race conditioned trot in 1:55.3 at 7-2 on the tote board. Dobson picked up that drive when Bill Mann took off his late assignments after taking ill.

A LITTLE MORE: One lucky simulcast bettor at Arlington (Ill.) Park raked the pot in the ninth race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five, cashing a ticket worth $11,656.22. … The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, allowing the carryover to swell to $72.275.75. … Anthony Napolitano and Brett Miller both recorded driving doubles. … Total wagering on the card was $2,356,344. … Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 6:35 p.m.


ANNABETH WINS FRIDAY NIGHT 25G FEATURE


FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 19, 2018—A well-out-of-it Annabeth (Brent Holland, $57) was fastest through the lane Friday night (Jan. 19th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s high-condition $25,000 pacing feature for the ladies.

            Sitting chilly early from post position No. 7, Annabeth saw Best of Jenna (Dan Dube) make the first lead before yielding to just-over-even-money fave All About Madi (Jason Bartlett)

‘Madi’ led through intervals of :27.4 and :57.1 before Truth and Liberty (Greg Merton) was out and moving. The one towed 40-1 proposition Pretty Image (Eric Goodell) second-over and Annabeth (Brent Holland) third-over.

All About Madi was a determined leader in and out of a 1:25.4 three-quarters, opening to a length entering the lane. However, she couldn’t stall the fresher femmes.

Pretty Image went wider, Annabeth wider and a buried-to-fourth-over Motu Moonbeam N (Matt Kakaley) widest. Annabeth prevailed, whipping Pretty Image by three-quarters of a length in a season’s-best 1:55. Motu Moonbeam N was third, with All About Madi and Truth and Liberty settling for the remainder.

Holland won three of the evening’s dozen races.

For sixth choice Annabeth, a 7-year-old daughter of Shadow Play owned by Joseph Pisarski and trained by William Adamczyk, she’s won both of her seasonal starts. The exacta paid $909, the triple returned $2,280 and the superfecta paid $20,354 (base $2 payout).


YONKERS TO OFFER PICK 5 GUARANTEES, ADVANCE WAGERING

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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 19, 2018— Yonkers Raceway, with the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission, shall implement a pair of wagering changes, effectively immediately.

First, an ‘instant guarantee’ for any Pick 5 which carries over.

The amount of the guarantee depends upon the amount of the carryover…

less than $3,500                                  --          $10,000 guaranteed pool 
between $3,501 and $6,000                --          $15,000 guaranteed pool 
between $6,001 and $9,000                --          $20,000 guaranteed pool
between $9,001 and $12,000              --          $25,000 guaranteed pool
between $12,001 and $15,000            --          $35,000 guaranteed pool

These guarantees are in conjunction with the U-S Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program.


Yonkers shall also began offering—when the schedule permits—Saturday advance wagering for the next day’s Sunday ‘French’ card. The first such instance is this weekend, ahead of Sunday’s (Jan. 21st) 11:30 AM program.