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Thursday, May 31, 2012

M1 - Meadowlands Announces Additional Earning Possibilities and More

Meadowlands Raise Purses, Adds More Earnings Opportunities

Purses will increase 25 percent for the non-winners of one and non-winners two classes at the Meadowlands beginning Friday, June 8. 

In addition, all horses competing in overnight races at the Meadowlands will earn money regardless of where they finish.  Beginning Friday, June 8, horses finishing 6-10 will receive two percent of the purse value.  The additional payout will not effect the current purse distribution to the top five finishers, nor does it apply to stakes races or late closers.

Two new series for four and five-year-old horses who are winners of at least $50,000 lifetime but under $150,000 have also been added to the summer schedule.  Nominations will close Wednesday, June 20 for the Buddy Gilmour for pacers and Paul Doherty for trotters.  Both stakes consist of two $20,000 preliminary legs and an estimated $60,000 final.  The nominating fee for both events is $1000. 

The Buddy Gilmour will be raced on consecutive Saturdays beginning July 7.  The Paul Doherty will be raced Fridays beginning June 29.  The earnings cap for mares in the Doherty is $200,000 lifetime.

Contact the Meadowlands race office for more information. 

New Draw Schedule For Qualifiers & Baby Races

Beginning the week of June 4, Meadowlands Racetrack will draw on Mondays for Friday morning qualifiers and Tuesdays for Saturday baby races.

Entries Due Friday For First Round of Baby Races

The entry box for the first round of baby races closes at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 1.  There is no participation fee for New Jersey-bred 2-year-olds or 2-year-olds staked to races at the Meadowlands.  For all other 2-year-olds, the fee is $100.

Fans and horse owners are invited to watch the baby races every Saturday morning beginning June 2.  The non-wagering events begin at 10 a.m. and will feature live race calls.  Breakfast items will be available for purchase at the Don Q Wedge concession stand every Saturday in June and July.  Paddock tours and children’s activities will be offered on four of the Saturdays: June 16 and 23 and July 7 and 21.  No reservation is necessary to participate.

Beginning the week of June 4, baby races will be drawn on Tuesdays.

VD7/8 - EBC Elims on Tap for Friday Night.

Elimination races for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) New York sired three year old trotting events are scheduled for Friday, June 1 at Vernon Downs. Two divisions each of colts and fillies will endeavor to advance to next Friday's rich finals.

The colts come up first (race 5) with Flyhawk Jester the morning line choice in the field of seven. Vernon's favorite son Brian Sears returns home for the card and has the mount.

Race ten offers recent NYSS winners Archangel, Coraggioso and Delano battling last year's NYSS final champ Royal Shyster for entry into the $233,250 final. 

The filly divisions are races six and nine with Lady Crown and Vixy the odds-maker's choice in each. Both fillies race for local connections Pine Hill Stables, trainer Dee Johnson and Vernon's current leading driver Chris Lems. They will endeavor to advance to the $239,550 final next Friday.

The top four and one fifth place finisher move on, with elimination winners choosing their post for the finals.

First post at Vernon is 6:55PM. Complete entries may be found on the Vernon Downs website.


No jinx for Mike Merton as he approaches 2000 career driving victories. On Wednesday afternoon, May 30 at Monticello Raceway the Monticello native reined another pair of winners and now finds himself just two away from a personal career milestone.

In the second race on the card  Merton won a squeaker with a come-from-behind-charge with Badlands Josh to collar the leaders and prevail in a very tight three-horse photo.
When the judges proclaimed the race official, Badlands Josh was a mere nose winner over High Hopes Cruiser (Kyle DiBenedetto) and Song of the South ( Jimmy Marohn, Jr.) in a time of 2:00.3.

Merton’s other triumph was with Lindwood Native in the 10th when he snuck up the passing lane to nail his brother Greg , who had Streetcar all but home in a  1:57.1 clocking.

Badlands Josh, who was Merton’s first winner on the day is owned by J & R Class Act Stable LLC and trained by Tony Regina. Sent off at odds of over 10-1  Badlands Josh paid $23.50 for win
Merton’s  victory with Lindwood Native was worth a $6.80 payoff. The pacer is owned by   Greg Decker and trained by Greg Decker, Jr.

Merton, who said there’ll be no jinx for him  as he approaches 2000 wins  because he’s not thinking about it  and just keeps doing what he always does.
“I may not get number 2000 on Thursday but I’m sure it’ll come next week,” Merton said, and then added, “If it doesn’t it’ll come then, it’ll come soon. I’m not worrying about it at all.”

CalX1 - Cal Expo Barn Notes

Stidham Still Holds Strong Hand At Cal Expo

Thursday, May 31, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Rocky Stidham’s dynamic trotting duo of Putoneonnetformom and Shelby County is down to one, as the latter mare has departed for Minnesota (Running Aces), but that still leaves the barn in an enviable position in Friday night’s (June 1) main event at Cal Expo.

Putoneonnetformom, who races for his breeders Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini, has his share of snapshots at the head of the class here this season and is working his way toward the $150,000 earnings plateau with a 1:57.2 career standard.

In his most recent appearance two weeks ago in the Jim Grundy Memorial, he had the difficult assigned No. 10 post position and checked in third behind Giles L S Hanover and his barn-mate after carving out all the fractions.  It was a very game try under the circumstances.

“Putoneonnetformom and Shelby County are a lot alike around the barn,” Stidham explained when asked about the talented pair.  “They both always have their heads out, like to check out what’s going on and love to have people come out and pet them.

“Once they get on the track, Shelby County is much more laid back, a bit too much at times, while Putoneonnetformom tends to get worked up and we have to keep him in the chute during the warm-up so he doesn’t get overly excited.”

Between them, the now departed distaffer and Putoneonnetformom have accounted for 10 of their 29 combined starts this season with many of those appearances coming in the same race at the top rung of the division.

“You can rough up Putoneonnetformom in a race and he bounces back quicker than she does,” Stidham explained.

Putoneonnetformom Gets Friday Marquee Treatment At Cal Expo

Putoneonnetformom, who has gone more than his share of big miles over the Cal Expo layout; and Giles L S Hanover, who upset him two weeks ago in the Jim Grundy Memorial, loom the major players in Friday evening’s (June 1) $6,800 Winners-Over Trot at Cal Expo.

While the Rocky Stidham barn has been strongly represented in the top events for the trotters at this meet with both Putoneonnetformom and Shelby County, the latter has departed for Minnesota (running Aces) and will leave her former barn-mate to carry the torch.

The 8-year-old Trot For Joy homebred races for Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini and Jeff will in the sulky, and is looking to add to a $143,000 bank account with a 1:57.2 mark that was established here last season.  His last tally was a nine and a quarter-length romp on April 13 in coast-to-coast fashion.

In his most recent trip to the post two weeks ago in the Jim Grundy Memorial; Putoneonnetformom had the challenging assigned No. 10 post position.  He set all the fractions but had to settle for third that night with Giles L S Hanover and Shelby County getting past in the late stages.

Giles L S Hanover is a 7-year-old S J’s Photo offspring carries the banner of Martin Gary, Hank Wieseneck and trainer Bob Johnson.  The May 18 win was the first of the year for the trotter, who had certainly been knocking on the door with 11 second and third-place finishes from his first 16 trips to the post on the season.

In the aforementioned Grundy with a cozy post-one draw, the Johnson representative stalked early and rallied with live cover to prevail by a length and three-quarters in a career-best 1:57.3 tour as a 7-1 shot.  He returned last week to finish fourth as the odds-on choice in the Marvin Hannah Memorial.

Rounding out the field are Meringue, BK’s Stiff, Broadway Victory, Dreaming Of Amy and Alpine Hawk. They leave inside Putoneonnetformom and Giles L S Hanover, who have been assigned the outside post positions.

Saturday night’s (June 2) action will include a simulcast of the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational Pace from Hoosier Park, while the local action will find the red-hot Albion eyeing another trip to the charmed enclosure in the Winners-over Pace.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (June 1) & Saturday (June 2) at 6:00 p.m. (PST).  On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m.   On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.

Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s.  Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool.  Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.

Ppk5/8 - Ranger, Revenuer Pull Pompano Top Trot Upset

It isn't very often that 9-1 is a successful win ticket for anything driven by the track's all-time leading reinsman, Bruce Ranger, but that's what transpired in the $8,500 Isle Mile Open Handicap Trot on the Wednesday, May 30 program at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.

Ranger was piloting My Revenuer and worked out a perfect pocket trip behind race favorite Wildfire with Dan Clements in tow through quarter times of 28.1, 58.4, and 1:27.2. In the stretch, My Revenuer had ample clearance to emerge from the perfect journey and stop the clock in a lifetime best performance of 1:56.2. Mr Party Man with Tom Sells in the bike did the first over road work in the final half and held third.
Tom Petri of Homestead, FL is the owner and trainer of My Revenuer, a 4 year old gelding by Revenue S from the Super Bowl mare Madam Hanover. The trotter is in the midst of his best career year with 6 wins in 18 trips in 2012 for season's earnings of more than $22,000.

In the undercard trotting co-feature for a $6,500 purse, VT's Gold Key was declared the winner by virtue of a placing to the top spot. Super Lotto with Tom Sells in the bike finished first but was disqualified for stretch interference against Famous Hall, driven by Mickey McNichol. Fred Cohen of Coconut Creek, FL is the owner and trainer of VT's Gold Key, a 9 year old gelding by Keystone Nordic-Speedin' For Gold. It was the 41st career win for the veteran trotter who has already banked almost $24,000 racing in Florida exclusively thus far in 2012. Cheers To Chip in rein to Richie Simard was placed up to second and Financial Glider with Bruce Ranger in tow was awarded third.

Just a single Monday program remains on June 4 in the current Pompano meet which concludes on July 28 in addition to the Wednesday and Saturday evening live harness racing programs at 7:05 p.m. Eastern. Live race night streaming, handicapping selections by Hall Of Famer John Berry and much more is available in the 'racing' tab at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The second leg of the seven month the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Championship Series, aka  ‘the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing’, will be presented on Thursday afternoon, May 31 at Monticello Raceway.

Eight trotters will go to post in the eighth race on the card with the winner of the first Billings leg, Tremendous Hit, starting on the far outside from post position eight.
The veteran 11 year old Giant Hit gelding scored a 2:01.3 victory in the Billings trot at Freehold Raceway on May 25th for Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff, who’ll  again be in the bike on Thursday.

Besides having to overcome the bad post position, Hechkoff and Tremendous Hit will have to deal with Howmacs Amigo and driver Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford, last year’s Billings overall points champion.  On May 25th at Saratoga Raceway Howmacs Amigo wired the field in a stellar 1:58.3 mile.
And both Heckhoff and Oldford better keep an eye on Alan “the Intimidator” Schwartz who’s on his home turf with his own Iroquouindianmagic, also a 2:01.1 winner a few starts back. Schwartz, who has reined 32 winners here, nearly all against professional drivers, has the distinct advantage of starting from the pole position.

This being the second stop on a series of races which will also offer the drivers a chance to compete in the Midwest and in Canada, too.
President Tony” the Capo”  Verruso along with help from his trusty VP, Steve Oldford,  have put together what appears to be an outstanding series of races at  both pari-mutuel and  non wagering venues.

As usual, the drivers in the Billings earn points from their placings in each race and at series- end those with the most points will get to compete in the Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Final which this year is slated at Harrah’s Philadelphia on November 18th.

Tgdn5/8 and VD7/8 - Dramatic Comebacks on Inside Harness Racing

NICHOLS, NY – This week’s episode of “Inside Harness Racing” highlights three horses from Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs who have overcome unique injuries and illnesses to find success on the racetrack.

“Inside Harness Racing,” a weekly, half-hour television show, airs today (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York.  For the second year in a row, the show will also be broadcast on HPI TV in Canada.  Viewers can also watch every episode online at the Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs YouTube channel (

New York Attitude captured a division of the New York State Fair at Vernon Downs after recovering from Lyme’s disease last summer while Cowgirl Hall stamped herself as one of New York’s top 3-year-old trotting fillies following her recovery from a freak stall accident for Vernon Downs based trainer Gates Brunet.

Plus, Settlemoir’s Spotlight introduces viewers to the 2011 Rising Star Award winner, Dan Noble, who has become a Sunday regular at Tioga Downs.

“Inside Harness Racing” is hosted each week by Justin Horowitz, who encourages fans to interact with the show by sending him a Tweet @ItsTheJHo

M1 - Quartet of New Jersey Sires Stakes Finals Highlight Huge Saturday at Big M

The Meadowlands Racetrack will stage four $150,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes finals for three-year-olds on Saturday, June 2, complementing the track’s first Made In New Jersey Weekend.  The festival will feature the state’s best arts and crafts vendors, a Battle of the Bands, craft beer and wine tastings, and BBQ competition in Paddock Park from 5-10 pm Friday and Saturday.

It’s no surprise trainer Jimmy Takter will be the one to beat in the final for colt and gelding trotters [race four] with division winners Guccio [post seven] and Little Brown Fox [post one].  After winning morning qualifiers in 1:56.1 and 1:54.2, Guccio romped in his round one NJSS split in 1:55.1 with Takter in the bike.  The son of Yankee Glide skipped the second leg of the series.  He is owned by Takter’s wife, Christina of East Windsor, NJ, and brothers John and Jim Fielding of Toronto, Ontario. 

After a third-place finish in the first leg, Little Brown Fox battled back to beat Vic Smith [post two] to win his round one division in a career best 1:54.1.  Takter was also in the sulky behind the Muscles Yankee colt, owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY.

“He’s gotten bigger and stronger, and he’s a top level colt,” said Takter.  “He qualified well and beat some good horses in those miles.  With a loud concert next door he got a little nervous and anxious in the paddock prior to his first race back [on May 18].  I almost lost him behind the gate, but he was more comfortable before he won last week.  This horse has a lot of ability and I expect him to be right up there with the top colts.”    

Just weeks away from his Hall of Fame induction, Takter has enjoyed a great partnership with John and Jim Fielding, who have a Hambletonian prospect in Breeders Crown champion Uncle Peter, and, also co-own Dan Patch Award winner See You At Peelers.

“John and Jim Fielding have owned horses with us for a long time,” Takter said.  “Now we have about 30 horses together.  Our relationship is beyond just being owners.  They’re good when they win or lose, they love harness racing, and fortunately we’ve had a lot of success.”

Takter will also send out a pair of colts in the final for colt and gelding pacers [race six], Simply Business [post nine] and Time To Roll [post one], a first leg winner in 1:50.4.  They will have to go through the ultra-impressive I Fought Dalaw [post five], who will look for the series sweep. 

Trained by Sam De Pinto and driven by Dave Miller, I Fought Dalaw has reeled off eye-catching scores of 1:50.2 and 1:50.4, from posts eight and nine, respectively.  As a freshman, the son of Western Ideal won the New Jersey Sires Stakes final in 1:50.4.

“I Fought Dalaw matured and filled out in all the right ways,” noted De Pinto.  “I let out his hopples two inches since last year because his stride is definitely longer.  I had an open bridle on him in his two qualifiers, yet I went back to a closed bridle.  He trained really well in it and responds much better.  In his second qualifier, another horse made a bobble, it kind of spooked him, and he went to the lead, but there are no issues controlling his speed.”

The $22,000 yearling buy at the Lexington Selected Sale, now has earnings of $232,491 for Sam De Pinto’s wife, Shannon of Cream Ridge, NJ, Teresa and Jerry Silva of Long Beach, NY, and Michael Parisi of Allentown, NJ.  The $1.5 million North America Cup on Saturday, June 16 is on his agenda, and the colt is eligible to the $800,000 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday, July 14.  

Trainer Linda Toscano has a trio of starters in the finals on Saturday:  Market Share, Talbotcreek Jewely and Air Guitar Hanover.  In the 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot [race 4], Market Share [post 3] comes off a sharp score in the fastest division, a 1:53.1 career best with Tim Tetrick at the lines.  The son of Revenue S is owned by Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA and Gary Cocco of New Town Square, PA.

“I didn’t actually know what to expect from Market Square on the mile track because he’s not exactly the biggest horse in the world,” admitted Toscano.  “He’s so suited to the small track because he’s so quick off the gate.  I thought he raced real brave the week before when he was second [by a head] to Big Chocolate.  We took advantage when that one made a break the other night, but we were real pleased with our colt.  In the Dexter Cup final he threw a shoe.  They were fine when he left the paddock, but he somehow spun one off.  He’ll go to Mohawk for the Goodtimes next.  He’s eligible to everything including the Hambletonian, and last week was an eye opener for us.”

Toscano was fourth in last year’s Hambletonian with Chapter Seven, who qualified in a sizzling 1:51.4 on May 26 at the Big M.

“I knew Chapter Seven was a top horse, but I really didn’t expect that kind of mile so early in the season,” exclaimed Toscano.  “The track was lightning fast and I told Tim [driver Tim Tetrick] to let him finish.  Tim said repeatedly he really didn’t think he was going that fast.  Chapter Seven will get the week off, qualify again, then go in the Titan Cup [eliminations on June 23].”  

Toscano also sends out Talbotcreek Jewely [post nine] in the 3-Year-Old Filly Trot final [race three].  The daughter of Muscles Yankee cruised in her first leg division in 1:55.2, then made a break and finished fourth in round two.  Talbotcreek Jewely is owned by P C Wellwood Enterprises of Cambridge, Ontario and Karen Carroll of Shedden, Ontario.

“Talbotcreek Jewely was very good in her first two starts here, then last week she got lugging in a bit,” noted Toscano.  “We had changed her shoes, lightened her up a bit and maybe we shouldn’t have done that.  Yet, we’re also not sure if she just likes it on the lead or wants to come out of a hole.  When I train her again I’ll get a better handle on it.”

Air Guitar Hanover [post one] goes into the 3-Year-Old Filly Pace final [race five] with a third and a fourth in her preliminary divisions.  The Rocknroll Hanover filly is owned by Stake Your Claim Stable of Secaucus, NJ and Seth Coen of Brooklyn, NY.

“She’s no world beater, but an honest little horse who can leave the gate well,” Toscano.  “She did not want to go up the inside the other night.  She had a lot of pace and enough room, but she hesitated.  She’d rather tip to the outside like most horses.”

Trainer Casie Coleman will fire a solid one-two punch in the 3-Year-Old Filly Pace final [race five] with Sarandon Blue Chip [post two] and Ram Rocker [post six].  Sarandon Blue Chip won her career debut last week with a sterling rally in 1:51.2 with Dave Miller in the sulky.  The $92,000 yearling by Western Ideal is owned by Coleman of Cambridge, Ontario and Tom Hill of Lancashire, England.  Her dam is the Breeders Crown champion Molly Can Do It.

“I originally saw her a month or two before the sale as a yearling at Blue Chip Farms,” said Coleman.  “I absolutely loved her and was going to try my best to buy her.  She’s just very big and as a two-year-old I knew she was highly talented, but I was just going to hurt her.  I was only in 2:20 with her, then I turned her out.  I let her mature into herself and took her to Florida with me.  She’s trained back like a monster.  She’s staked to everything.  If she’s good enough, we’ll try the Fan Hanover.  I thought she’d get better as the year went on.  Her race the other night was quite impressive.”        

Ram Rocker, a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, also owned by Coleman and Tom Hill, finished third in her 2012 comeback and Big M debut.

“I had high hopes for her last year, but she was a disappointment,” Coleman said.  “She was kind of stuck around 1:53 and couldn’t give me much more, so I turned her out early.  I believe Sarandon Blue Chip is the better one of my two.  Ram Rocker only had the lone qualifier.  I trained her at the Meadowlands in 1:53, but she’s not really a front end horse.  When Dave [driver Dave Miller] made the front, he said he thought somebody would come around him, but they didn’t.”     


When the eight-year-old pacing mare Bio Link walked into David Grisenthwaite’s barn just seven starts ago, he never thought she would become the fastest horse he has ever trained.  “She was kind of a joke at first,” said Grisenthwaite. “We were pleasantly surprised when she starting winning for us.”

Bio Link has scored three wins in a row for her new trainer, breaking her lifetime mark and swiftly moving up the condition ladder in the process.

Grisenthwaite would love to figure out what the reason for Bio Link’s improvement is, but for now he thinks it was the small changes. “I changed her hopples a little bit and moved her to Billy Larimer for blacksmithing. You sure can’t do well without a good blacksmith.”  Grisenthwaite further explained: “Ryan Stahl and Wyatt Irvine have been driving her for me, and when these guys get confidence in your horse they are as good as it gets.  She would not be racing the way she is now without them.” “I don’t know how long she can keep doing what she is doing,” offered Grisenthwaite. “She is eight-years old and a wonderful horse to work around. In fact, my daughter, Brittany Miller, does everything for her except training miles.”

Her 1:54.1 win on May 11, which represents Bio Link’s lifetime mark, prompted Grisenthwaite to move her from $3,000 claimers to the top conditioned races offered at Northfield Park.  “It just looked like she could deal with them,” commented Grisenthwaite, “So after that step up, I asked Ryan how the new competition was and he replied, “She won, didn’t she?”

Bio Link, a pacing mare by Village Jiffy from the Run The Table mare Quicklink, has five wins in 2012, 38 career wins and earnings of $129,579.  Brian Lloyd of Garfield Heights, Ohio owns Bio Link.

“She has been turned out a lot this week and is up to her belly in grass just running, playing and having fun,” stated Grisenthwaite. 

Bio Link is entered to race on Friday (June 1) and drew post seven in Northfield Park’s eleventh race.  When asked about her chances, Grisenthwaite said, “I don’t want to jinx her.” 


It just so happens that the Mighty M has an abundance of drivers who carry a junior (Jr.)  after their name and are proud sons of their fathers.  It’s more unusual that four of the top drivers at Monticello Raceway are also juniors; Jimmy Taggart, Jr., Jimmy Marohn, Jr., Billy Parker, Jr. and  Kevin Switzer, Jr.

On the Tuesday card of May29th the aforementioned put on a clinic of sorts when each won at least a pair of races on the card.
“Looks like they’re tuning up for our Junior Free For All , “noted Eric Warner, the track’s director of racing.

Warner was referring to the race that the Mighty M will feature on June 18th, one day after Father’s Day, in which the sons of harness racing fathers will do battle not only  to honor their dads  but for the bragging rights as the top Junior Free For Aller.
Monticello’s leading driver Jimmy Taggart, Jr. reined both Winsmith Molly (1:55.4) and Dontmakemelaugh (1:56.2) to victories in races 10 and 11.

Newcomer Kevin Switzer, Jr. , currently sixth on the local leaderboard , also drove a pair of winners. He scored behind Western Dancing (1:57.2) in the sixth and then won with Jadestone (1:56.2) in the eighth race. And 17-time Monticello Raceway driving champion Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. also won a pair; first with Velvety Smooth (1:57.4) in the second race and then with Orr Hanover (1:55) in the fifth .
However, runner-up in races won here this season , Jimmy Marohn, Jr.  added three more wins to his current  resume when he won with Jeral Theory A (1:55.4) in the seventh race  and  with  Things Left Unsaid (1:56.1) in the ninth. He capped his afternoon winning with trotter  Heaven And Hall  (1:59.1) in the tenth.

The aforementioned are all set for the battle of the juniors   and recently  Greg Decker Jr. and Mike Marx Jr. have thrown their hats in the ring and look forward to being a part the event.

“It looks like we’ve  got a good nucleus for an exciting Junior Free For All race  but we still can use a few more ‘juniors’ in order to get a full field,” Warner said.

Anyone driver who carries a junior or “the second” after their names interested in competing ion the race is urged to call Warner in the race office at 845-794-4100x455.


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 -- Post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway’s pair of Saturday night stakes, the $306,204 Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts and geldings) and its companion event, the $176,484 Lismore Pace (3-year-old old fillies). 

The 22nd edition of the Rooney goes as the sixth race (approximate post 8:50 PM) lines up this way...1-Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald, 7-5), 2-Domethatagain (Jim Morrill Jr., 12-1), 3-Dynamic Youth (Andrew McCarthy, 10-1), 4-Pet Rock (Brian Sears, 8-1), 5-Hurrikane Kingcole (Tim Tetrick, 8-5), 6-Major Bombay (Jason Bartlett, 6-1).

Dynamic Youth is the lone gelding in the group.

The Lismore, offered up as the fourth race (approximate post 8:10 PM), includes this quintet...1-Ryder Blue Chip (Bartlett, 15-1). 2-Handsoffmycookie (Tetrick, 3-5), 3-JK Fine Art (Morrill Jr., 5-1), 4-Jamie Sue (MacDonald, 6-1), 5-Bettor B Lucky (George Brennan, 10-1),


MANALAPAN, NJ – May 29, 2012 – A quartet of $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for three-year-olds will be in the spotlight on Saturday night, June 2, 2012 at the Meadowlands.

Talbotcreek Jewely by Muscles Yankee has been installed as the 3-1 morning line choice from post nine in the New Jersey Sire Stakes for trotting fillies, the third race; Market Share by Revenue is the 3-1 pick from post three in the trotting colt division, the fourth race; Pirouette Hanover by Western Ideal is carded as the 9-5 choice from post five in the pacing filly event, the fifth race, and A Rocknroll Dance by Rocknroll Hanover gets the 8-5 nod among the pacing colts from post eight in the sixth race.

The finalists, in post position order with sires, drivers, trainers and morning line odds:

Third Race -- $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes, Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies

Blue Muscles [Muscles Yankee], Mike Lachance, Ron Gurfein, 15-1; Riverfest [Windsong’s Legacy], Mike Lachance, Joseph King, 7-2; D’Orsay [Yankee Glide], Marcus Johansson, Jonas Czernyson, 20-1; Loose Deuce [Muscles Yankee], Corey Callahan, Judith Welty, 12-1; Shanty Irish [Muscles Yankee], Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 9-2; Sassy Syrinx [Yankee Glide], Jim Morrill Jr., David M. Smith, 12-1; Vanity Treasure [Muscles Yankee], Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 6-1; Mrs. D [Chocolatier], David Miller, Homer Hochstetler, 8-1; Talbotcreek Jewely [Muscles Yankee], Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 3-1 and Personal Style [Yankee Glide], David Miller, Nifty Norman, 5-1.

Fourth Race -- $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes, Three-Year-Old Trotting Colts

Little Brown Fox [Muscles Yankee], Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 6-1; Vic Smith [Yankee Glide], Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 6-1; Market Share [Revenue], Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 3-1; Big Chocolate [Chocolatier], David Miller, Homer Hochstetler, 7-2; Gym Tan Laundry [Yankee Glide], Daniel Dube, Noel Daley, 10-1; Muscolo [Muscles Yankee], Mike Lachance, Ray Schnitkker, 15-1; Guccio [Yankee Glide], Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; New York Muscle [Muscles Yankee], Corey Callahan, Joseph Vance, 15-1; Volare Die Vie [Yankee Glide], Marcus Johansson, Henrik Lundell, 20-1 and Highland Yankee [Muscles Yankee], Daniel Dube, Bruce Saunders, 20-1.

Fifth Race -- $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes, Three-Year-Old Pacing Fillies

Air Guitar Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], Yannick Gingras, Linda Toscano, 12-1; Sarandon Blue Chip [Western Ideal], David Miller, Casie Coleman, 4-1; Vy Hanover [Cam’s Card Shark], John Campbell, David Duspiva, 20-1; Blackjack Princess [Cam’s Card Shark], Daniel Dube, Mark Ford, 15-1; Pirouette Hanover [Western Ideal], Ron Pierce, Edward Hart, 9-5; Ram Rocker [Rocknroll Hanover], Brian Sears, Casie Coleman, 8-1; Clear View Hanover [Western Ideal], Mike Lachance, Henrik Lundell, 15-1; Ideal In Vegas [Western Ideal], Corey Callahan, Anthony Mannino, 8-1; Rockin Belle [Rocknroll Hanover], Tim Tetrick, Rene Allard, 5-1 and Rockaround Sue [Rocknroll Hanover], Andy Miller, Tony Alagna, 6-1.

Sixth Race -- $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes, Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts

Time To Roll [Rocknroll Hanover], Jim Morrill Jr., Jimmy Takter, 9-2; I’m The Pied Piper [Western Ideal], Daniel Dube, Chris Ryder, 12-1; Brent Montana [Cam’s Card Shark], Pat Berry, Don Swick, 20-1; Damon Blue Chip [Rocknroll Hanover], Daniel Dube, Brian Brown, 20-1; I Fought Dalaw [Western Ideal], David Miller, Sam DePinto, 7-2; All Stienam [Tell All], Andy Miller, John Butenschoen, 15-1; Ideal Champ [Western Ideal], Mike Lachance, Joe Holloway, 12-1; A Rocknroll Dance [Rocknroll Hanover], Yannick Gingras, Jim Mulinix, 8-5; Simply Business [Rocknroll Hanover], Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 and Mortal Zin [Rocknroll Hanover], Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 10-1.

Driver changes will be announced on Wednesday.

--Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lon - The Raceway In London Shows Significant Wagering Gains In 2012

London, May 29, 2012 -- The Raceway at The Western Fair District wrapped up its 2011/2012 racing season this past Friday night on a high with wagering so far this year showing significant gains.

Although all sources handle was down slightly on the Molson Pace program (- 7.5% from 2011), the live handle was up 11% to $140,000 for the card. Total handle for the night checked in at $340,000.

"The competition in the simulcast market on weekend nights is getting fiercer and fiercer," said Racing Manager Ian Fleming. "So, considering that, we're relatively pleased with the numbers. We wanted to focus on growing the live wagering and we were able to accomplish that."

Since January 1st of this year, $3,722,947 more has been wagered on races at The Raceway compared to the same period last year. This marks a 26% increase over 2011 totals with the same number of programs and races conducted.

The live handle at The Raceway also showed a 5.4% bump over last year’s numbers.

“We are encouraged by the numbers considering all of the challenges faced these last few months,” related Fleming. “In the 2010/2011 season, we bet $300,000 or more four times, while this year we topped that total 19 times, so we really seemed to gain momentum in the New Year.

“We look forward to carrying that forward and bringing some further enhancements on the wagering side when we return with live racing this Fall.”

Simulcast racing from across North America is available all summer long, seven-days-a-week, at The Raceway. Live racing returns on October 12.

M1 - Meadowlands Hosts Join Summer Survival Challenge For Charity

Meadowlands Racetrack’s team of racing analysts will compete for charity in the 2012 edition of the Summer Survival Challenge, the free online wagering game that features real cash prizes.

Fans can keep track of hosts Sam McKee, Ken Warkentin, Darin Zoccali, Bob Heyden and Wendy Ross on the leader board as they play for a $1000 side pot that will be donated to the charity of their choice.

Registration is still open for the Summer Survival Challenge, which runs Friday, June 1 through Friday, August 17.  The contest is free to play and features a $2,000 grand prize. Second-place prize is $1,000, while third-place is $500.  There is also a bonus award of $500 for Most Number of Winners.

The winner is determined by the highest total bankroll at the end of the Challenge based on a $2 "across the board" wager [win, place and show] on selections for three designated races each program.  To continue in the game, entrants have to "survive" by finishing in-the-money [first through third] with at least one of their selections each day.

To set up a username and password, and for more contest rules, go to  The contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada, and all selections must be made through the Survival Challenge web site.  The deadline for selections each day is 30 minutes before first race post time.

M1 - Breakfast With The Babies Begins Saturday at Meadowlands

Fans and horse owners are invited to watch the first round of baby races this season Saturday morning, June 2. 

The non-wagering events for 2-year-old horses begin at 10 a.m. and will feature live race calls.  Breakfast items will be available for purchase at the Don Q Wedge concession stand every Saturday in June and July.  Paddock tours and children’s activities will be offered on four of the Saturdays: June 16 and 23 and July 7 and 21.  No reservation is necessary to participate.

The entry box for baby races closes at 4 p.m. on Fridays.  There is no participation fee for New Jersey-bred 2-year-olds or 2-year-olds staked to races at the Meadowlands.  For all other 2-year-olds, the fee is $100.


Please be advised with the NYSS beginning, Monticello Raceway will be moving its qualifying races to Thursdays.

Post time will be 10:00 a.m. Entry box will close at 11:45 a.m. on  Wednesdays.

If there are any questions please contact Eric Warner in the race office at 845-794-4100x557.

Ppk5/8 - Pompano Park Barn Notes

Mud Fenders, Major Upset In Pompano Mares Open

 A sudden tropical downpour just before post time delayed by a few minutes the start of the Monday evening, May 28 program at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The field for the $8,500 purse Isle Mile Mares Open Pace had to be fitted with mud fenders and it all turned out to be bad news for 1-9 favorite Bombilla Hanover who made a very uncharacteristic break in stride at the gate.

The unexpected development left the duty of cutting the mile through the driving rain to Nillabomb with Tom Sells in the bike through the suddenly sloppy conditions in 28.2, 58, and 1:26.2 as second choice Major Trap also made a mistake at the gate alongside Bombilla Hanover. Lurking behind Nillabomb all the way was 15-1 longshot Gold Star Glitter partnered by Walter Ross Jr., and she was calmly wheeled out in the stretch to win in 1:55.1. Another longshot, Angela, completed the ticket with Bob Roberts in the bike.

Tom Audley of Bell, FL is the breeder, owner and trainer of Gold Star Glitter, a winner of more than $100,000 in purses in her 2010 and 2011 campaign at ages 2 and 3 in the Florida bred program. Now 4, the daughter of Squaw's Fella-Squisita has amassed 12 career wins for a career bankroll of more than $109,000.

Tom Sells Extra Hot In The Drivers' Seat

In the first five races of the Monday evening program at Pompano Tom Sells was a one man wrecking crew in the race bike as he racked up a natural hat trick and a pair of close runner-up finishes.

After piloting Nillabomb to a second place finish in the first race feature, Sells executed a field sweeping win with 4 year old conditioned trotter Frozen Assets to complete the daily double. Then, in the Mares Open 2 for a $6,500 purse, Sells timed the final half move just right to prevail with 4 year old mare Mighty Nice, just before completing his hat trick with heavily favored 3 year old filly Prairie Lee. Sells hot streak concluded with a very narrow photo finish defeat in the program's fifth race with 3 year old filly trotter One Point.

The current live harness racing meet at Pompano concludes on July 28. There's one more Monday program slated for June 4 in addition to the Wednesday and Saturday live cards at 7:05 p.m. Eastern. Free race night live streaming, handicapping selections by Hall Of Famer John Berry and much more is available in the 'racing' tab at

Tgdn5.8 - New York State Fair Stakes highlight Memorial Day card at Tioga Downs

Thirteen divisions of the New York State Fair Stakes highlighted a Monday afternoon racing program at Tioga Downs. Posting the fastest mile of the day was Ideal Griff (Jim Morrill Jr.) who with the help of the extreme heat blasted to a new lifetime best in the first race of the afternoon. Morrill put the colt on the front end early and cut through fractions of 26.3, 55, and 1:22.3 before sprinting away clear of the field in 1:51. Steve Elliot trains the 3-year old son of American Ideal – Little Betty, who posted the second win of the season and the fourth of his career.

Posting the fastest mile for 3-year old filly pacers was L Diz (Shawn Gray) who captured the third division of the NYSF. Leaving from post position number six, L Diz and Gray shuffled off some swift fraction of 26.2, 54.4, and 1:22.2. Around the final turn Gray got some separation from the field and was able to hang on at the wire in a new lifetime best of 1:51.1. Jim Graham trains the 3-year old daughter of Artiscape – Hosel Rocket for Ted Cupp of New York.

Other division winners for the colts included: Art’s Delight – 1:52.3 (Jason Bartlett), Fireyourguns – 1:51.3 (Jim Morrill Jr.), Domethatagain – 1:52.1 (Jim Morrill Jr.), Sir Melo’s Z Tam – 1:53.2 (Pat Lachance), Art Of Temptation – 1:52.1 (Stephane Bouchard), and Screen The Call – 1:52.4 (Jim Morrill Jr.). Division winners for 3-year old fillies included: Jamie Sue – 1:52.3 (Pat Lachance), Brownsville Bomber – 1:53 (Jason Bartlett), Canamerica – 1:53.2 (John Stark Jr.), Winbak Speedi – 1:55 (Jim Morrill Jr.), and Blows Me Away – 1:53.2 (Jim Marohn Jr.).

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, June 1st with a post time of 6:50 pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at


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

YONKERS, NY, Monday, May 28, 2012 -- A friendly reminder regarding Yonkers Raceway's upcoming schedule hiatus.

After the program of this Saturday, June 2, live racing takes a break until Friday night, June 15. This hiatus was part of the 2012 racing schedule.

Note that Saturday's program features the $306,204 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings, along with its companion event, the $176,484 Lismore Pace for soph fillies.  Please be advised that both races are to be drawn Tuesday afternoon, as part of the regular Saturday draw.

After the programs of Friday/Saturday (June 15 and 16), Yonkers returns to its usual five-night-per-week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday) schedule beginning June 18. First post for all programs remains at 7:10 PM. 

Horsemen are advised that during the hiatus, the entry box closes at 9 AM (for example, the box for the return card of June 15 closes Monday, June 11, at 9 AM, instead of the usual 4 PM. Scratches and changes are made by 10 AM the day after the draw).

The one exception is the card for Tuesday, June 19, which closes with changes Friday, June 15, at 10 PM. Beginning Friday, June 15, we return to our regular draw schedule.

For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627.

While Yonkers is dark, there is no evening simulcasting offered. However, afternoon simulcasting continues around the NYRA schedule, including the June 9 Belmont Stakes (first post 11:35 AM), As always, the complete schedule as available at

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tgdn5/8 - Future Character takes home Sunday night feature at Tioga Downs

 Future Character (Rick Dane Jr.) parlayed a first over grind into an Open pace victory on Sunday night at Tioga Downs. Leaving from post position number four in a field of six, Future Character got away fifth and began the first over journey as the field reached the half mile in 55.3. Last week’s Open winner, Vlos (Fern Paquet Jr.) were on the front, but offered little resistance to the first over threat as the field reached three quarters in 1:23. Around the final turn Future Character and Dane cleared to the lead and opened up on the field to score in a seasonal best of 1:52. It was the second win of the season for the 8-year old son of Shady Character – Red Sea for the Rock & Roll Stable of Chicago, IL. Hay Goodlooking (Rick Plano) found room late to get up for second, while Sheer Brilliance (Jim Taggart Jr.) was third.
Future Character, driven by Rick Dane Jr., on the way to a victory in the featured Open Pace at Tioga Downs. 
Dan Noble posted a driving grand slam on the night’s twelve race card, while Corey Braden enjoyed a double. Tioga Downs continues with live racing on Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day) with a post time of 1:30 pm featuring thirteen divisions of the New York State Fair Stakes for 3-year old pacers. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at .

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tgdn5/8 - High School students prep for scholarship race at Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs kicked off training for its third annual Scholarship Race on Saturday morning for five local area high school students who will take part in a scholarship harness race on Sunday, June 10th. Participants from Binghamton, Chenango Forks, Chenango Valley, Johnson City, and Maine-Endwell High Schools are in the process of learning some of the tricks of the trade from some of the top drivers-trainers at Tioga Downs. Corey Braden, Jason Mac Dougall, Judy Lanpher, Jamie Paquet, and Paul Bernardo have all volunteered their time to assist in helping the high school students get a better understanding of the sport of harness racing and some of the daily care that goes into the horses.

The race will take place on Sunday, June 10th at Tioga Downs in between the live races, which will also feature the $200,00(e) Bettor’s Delight Open Pace and its counterpart the $200,000 Artiscape Pace for open mare pacers. The students will ride in a double seated jog cart with a professional driver-trainer who they have learned from for the past three weeks.

Scholarships for the event will be given out in the order of finish of the race, 1st place: $3,000, 2nd place: $2,000, 3rd place: $1,200, 4th place: $800. The sponsors helping support the third annual Scholarship race are the Harness Horse Breeder’s of New York State, Southern Tier Harness Horsemen’s Association, New York Sire Stakes, and Tioga Downs.  

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us on our website at

Calx1- Rite After Disbeer, Ra Ra Steven Seal Deal At Cal Expo

Sunday, May 27, 2012 - by Scott Ehrlich, Publicity – Cal Expo

Three year-olds, on both the trot & pace, were featured at Cal Expo on Saturday night in two $12,000 California Sires Stakes, on which Rite After Disbeer & Ra Ra Steven were the best again.

In the first of the two non-wagering events held prior to the betting card, Rite After Disbeer completed a sweep of the four spring stakes.

Leaving from post-five in the field of six and racing three-wide until the field entered the first-turn, driver Luke Plano had a good reason for bypassing a seat fourth.

"The horses to beat were El Azteca (Rich Wojcio) and Loose Cannon (Steve Wiseman), and if I got away fourth, they were going to sit one-two, which means they may have gotten their own way and would have put me first-over," stated Plano.  "So I figured since we weren't going much I would head to the front and see what happened."

Racing with early cover into a :31.1 first-quarter until being left first-over well past the quarter-pole, the colt didn't clear to the front until a good ways past the 5-16ths.  Was the lead tough?

"Even though it was a good ways into the second-quarter until I got the lead, I didn't use him that much because we weren't going that much, plus he felt comfortable."

Reaching the half-mile juncture, timed in 1:02.1, Plano knew if he did what was needed, that it would work to his advantage.

"I had El Azteca, who was the horse to beat, on my back - - so I was rating my horse to the best of my ability hoping to turn it into a sprint.  I thought I'd be tough from there because I was getting my own way."

Trotting a bit rank to the five-eighths mile station, but with no ill-affect, Plano soon had company when El Azteca pocket pulled past the five-eighths.

"I was a bit surprised that he pulled - - I thought it was a bit early.  Having said that, the horse did get locked in two weeks ago in the Sires Stakes and was loaded.  So I figured Wojcio wasn't taking that chance."

Reaching the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:33.2, Plano knew what his trotter had, but was unsure of his stalker.

"My horse still felt strong, but I thought El Azteca was in good shape where he was and I didn't know how much he had."

Drawing clear with 3-16ths of a mile to go and more so at the seven-eighths mile marker, the sophomore poured it on from there and there'd be no catching him while not urged much.

"When we got in the lane and we straightened up, my trotter took right off and responded well when I showed him the whip and he trotted right away."

Bred & owned by Mary Harris, the Kennedy Lindsey trained charge won by 2-3/4 lengths, in 2:02.1.  Loose Cannon finished in second, and El Azteca finished a quarter of one-length farther back, in third.

"He raced well, he's sharp, he has been sharp all along, and if he minds his manners, he'll have a bright future," concluded Plano, who had four winners on the card.

In the division for the pacers, Ra Ra Steven won his second straight Sires Stake.

Coming away third from post-one in the field of five, driver Rich Wojcio moved his gelding to the outside after 3-16ths of a mile into a :29 opening-quarter, then eventually cleared the lead past the three-eighths mile station.  Did he use his pacer?

"No I didn't, it was a nice lead."

Reaching the half-mile pole, timed in :58, Wojcio soon opened up his charge at the five-eighths mile juncture, then would reach the three-quarter mile marker 5-1/2 lengths to the good while pacing an effortless :28.1 third-quarter into a 1:26.1 three-quarters.

"At the three-quarter, he felt very strong and I thought he'd be very tough to catch."

Under urging in the stretch, the son of Little Steven-Ra Ra Rosa-The Panderosa wouldn’t be caught despite That Spice (Luke Plano) narrowing the gap late.  Bred in part by Billie Schwartz in partnership with Dave Rachford and trainer Jim Wilkinson Jr., Ra Ra Steven scored by 1-3/4 lengths, in 1:56.1.  That Space was clearly second-best, and Looks Don't Count (James Kennedy) finished 11-1/4 lengths farther back, in third.

"He was very strong tonight and Junior (Jim Wilkinson) had him at the top of his game.  I'm grateful to drive him and was happy for the connections because they were all here tonight to watch him - - they're good people," finished Wojcio.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (June 1) & Saturday (June 2) at 6:00 p.m. (PDT).  On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m.  On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.

Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s.  Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool.  Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 26, 2012—Electric Oui (Eric Goodell) matched Yonkers Raceway's 19-year-old, all-age track record Saturday night, winning the $22,000, fourth-race pace in 1:50.4

He now shares a place with Silver Almahurst (Jim Morilll Jr.), whose number--taken in the (Apr. 24) final of the 1993 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series--had stood since the first Clinton administration.

Electric Oui, the 1-2 favorite, was sitting a loose pocket as Dallenbach Hanover (Jordan Stratton) set sail through fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:22.1. "Dallenbach" had a two-length lead into the lane, but the timer took its toll.

Electric Oui ($3.10) went by late, winning by a length for a share of the all-age record. The new shared track record-holder is a 5-year-old Kilowatt gelding owned by Tom Ceraso Jr. and trained by Jack Franklin.

Saturday night's featured $36,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by pole-sitting Whackamole Hanover (Brent Holland) in 1:51, matching his personal best. Bettor Design (Goodell) was second--beaten 3¼ lengths--with Flipper J (Cat Manzi) third. 

"Whackamole," a 5-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark trained by Tony Alagna for co-owners David Rovine, Joel Benson and John Fodera, returned $9.40 as the third choice.

The Raceway's five-night-per-week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday) live schedule continues. First post for all programs remains at 7:10 PM.  Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.

M1 - Meadowlands Pace Hopefuls Crush Foes In NJSS; Baby Races Begin Saturday, June 2 At Meadowlands

Meadowlands Pace Hopefuls Crush Foes In NJSS

East Rutherford, NJ [May 26, 2012] -- Three-year-old pacing colts Hurrikane Kingcole and I Fought Dalaw were decisive winners of their New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. 

Hurrikane Kingcole stormed from the back of the pack to take the first $23,500 split in 1:49.4.  Driven by Tim Tetrick, Hurrikane Kingcole sat eighth at the top of the lane and kicked home in a vicious :26.4 final quarter for the win.  Simply Business was two lengths behind in second, while I’m The Pied Piper rallied for third. 

Hurrikane Kingcole, trained by John McDermott, posted his first win of the season and sixth in 15 starts overall.  The son of Cam’s Card Shark-Blazing Yankee was a bargain $10,000 yearling buy at Harrisburg.  He now has earnings of $272,913 for owners John Kuhen; John Levy Racing Stable; Klee Cohen Brewer & Gordon; and Hurrikane Racing.

I Fought Dalaw [$3.60] cleared the lead from Mortal Zin at the half and drew off to a 1:50.4 victory in the second division, worth $24,000.  Mortal Zin held second, while Ideal Champ stoutly closed between horses to finish third.

I Fought Dalaw is perfect in two starts this season for driver David Miller and trainer Sam De Pinto.  De Pinto’s wife, Shannon, shares ownership of the Western Ideal colt with Teresa and Jerry Silva and Michael Parisi.  A $22,000 yearling buy at the Lexington Selected Sale, I Fought Dalaw has earnings of $232,491.

Both Hurrikane Kingcole and I Fought Dalaw are eligible to the $800,000 Meadowlands Pace on Saturday, July 14.

First-time starter Sarandon Blue Chip won the first of two NJSS splits for fillies.  David Miller steered the Western Ideal lass to a 1:51.2 clocking for trainer Casie Coleman and co-owner Tom Hill.  Ideal In Vegas, also by Western Ideal, nosed out Rockaround Sue in the second division with Corey Callahan in the sulky.  Trained by Tony Mannino, she paced the mile in 1:52.3. 

Special T Rocks and driver-trainer Daryl Bier split horses in deep stretch to win the $35,000 invitational in 1:49.2 later in the evening.  Special T Rocks paid $15.60. 

Baby Races Begin Saturday, June 2 At Meadowlands; Qualifiers Move Back To Friday

Meadowlands Racetrack will hold its first baby races of the season for 2-year-old horses on Saturday morning, June 2. 

The entry box closes 4 p.m. on Friday, June 1.  There is no participation fee for New Jersey-bred 2-year-olds or 2-year-olds staked to races at the Meadowlands.  For all other 2-year-olds, the fee is $100.

Fans and horse owners are invited to watch the non-wagering events, which will feature live race calls, every Saturday in June and July.  Breakfast items will be available for purchase at the Kahuna Wedge concession stand.  Paddock tours and children’s activities will be offered on four of the Saturdays: June 16 and 23 and July 7 and 21.  No reservation is necessary to participate.

Regular morning qualifiers move back to Fridays beginning June 1.  The entry box closes 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 29. 

Ppk5/8 - McDonald Surges In Pompano Trainer's Standings

The back and forth volleying between Jim McDonald and Kim Sears for top trainer honors looks like it will go right down to the July 28 conclusion of the Spring/Summer Meet at the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.

In the $6,500 purse secondary feature on the Saturday, May 26 program in South Florida, McDonald harnessed up his 9th winner from 26 starters. Buggsy Yankee, partnered by Dan Clements, popped out of the pocket early in the stretch and won the photo over Sugar's Pride in rein to Bruce Ranger. Spring Again with Andy Santeramo was well back in third. Ownership of Buggsy Yankee, a 6 year old Western Hanover-Breathe gelding, was taken over four starts ago by Pacing Pretty and Twenty Four Carrot Stables of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Not to be outdone on the program was trainer Kim Sears, who sent out Talk To Tony guided by Andy Santeramo to a dominant 1:52.3 score in the $8,500 Isle Mile Open Handicap Pace, which included a 27.2 closing quarter. The hard closing Northern Companion was brought up for the place prize from a second over trip worked out by Robert Hoffman, and Waldy Jimmy with Dan Clements in tow followed in for third. Talk To Tony has now captured 8 of 15 starts at Pompano in 2012, amassing earnings of $41,375 this year for owners Jay Sears of Osteen, FL and John Campagnuolo of Loxahatchee, FL. It was the 7th winner from 26 starters this meet sent out by Kim Sears.

Memorial Day weekend at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano feature a huge fireworks show just after sunset on Sunday evening, and the resumption of live harness racing on Monday evening, May 28. 

Just two Monday programs remain on the Pompano meet in addition to the Wednesday and Saturday cards which continue through the end of the current season on July 28. Free race night live streaming, handicapping selections with Hall Of Fame John Berry, and much more is available in the 'racing' tab at

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