YONKERS NY, Saturday, September 29, 2012--Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted its fourth annual Fall Harvest Festival, again celebrating the thriving relationship between agriculture and horse racing throughout New York.
A number of fun, family events were held on a crowded track apron, along with an array Empire State-made products.
The $400,000 Fall Harvest Series offered eight, $50,000 races for New York-bred 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits who were not eligible for last week's New York Night of Champions. The glory went to...
--2-year-old trotting fillies--Order By Credit (by Credit Winner); owner Order By Stable/trainer Jimmy Takter/driver Dan Dube; 1:59.3/$16.80;
--2-year-old trotting colts/geldings--Ex King (by CR Excalibur); owner Bay Pond Racing Stable/trainer-driver Dan Daley; (life-best) 2:00.3/$6.90;
--2-year-old pacing fillies--Aria J (by Art Major); owner Ken Jacobs/trainer Linda Toscano/driver Jim Morrill Jr.; 1:56/$4;
--2-year-old pacing colts/geldings--Sir Cary's Z Tam (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners (trainer/driver) Pat Lachance, M&M Harness Racing,Ira Rosenblum; 1:55.1/$5.40;
--3-year-old trotting fillies--Barbara Goldstein (by Conway Hall); owner Steven Goldstein/trainer-driver Kim Crawford; 1:58.2/$21.60;
--3-year-old pacing fillies--Bettor B Lucky (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners (trainer) Ron Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,W J Donovan,Lawrence Karr; 1:54.2/$2.10;
--3-year-old trotting colts/geldings--Classic Conway,g (by Conway Hall); co-owners Albert & Michelle Crawford/trainer Gates Brunet/driver Stephane Bouchard; 1:58.2/$6.80;
--3-year-old pacing colts/geldings--Dynamic Youth,g (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners Ken Tucci,C&G Racing,J&T Silva Stb/trainer Aaron Lambert/driver George Brennan; 1:52.2/$2.10.
"She's always had the talent, but some physical issues have come up along the way," Morrill Jr. said of Bettor B Lucky, who actually broke her maiden in the 2011 Fall Harvest Festival. "She's just a sweetheart to drive, and I think she's as good as any filly right now."
"For whatever reason, Yonkers brings out the best in her," Crawford said of Barbara Goldstein. "She's had some bumps at other tracks, but when she comes here, she always races well. We have to decide whether to keep her going or become a broodmare."
"The best thing about him is his determination," Brennan said of Dynamic Youth. "He wasn't at his best tonight, but he knows when it’s time to go. The horse on the lead (Domethatagain) really made us work for it."
Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by Eagle All (Brennan, $7.40) in 1:51.3.
The Festival again included the Legislators' Challenge, a trio of non-wagering events with New York elected officials from both sides of the aisles doing battle.
Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R-Massapequa), driving M D Bee Bee (with some assistance from Jordan Stratton), wired the first division in 2:06.4. Assembly Member Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers) was a pocket winner in the second division, with Eragon (and Larry Stalbaum) in 2:08.4. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon) did it first-up in the third division, driving Halsey Hanover (Brent Holland was there, too) to a nose win over a fast-closing Strong Signal (Assemblyman Michael Dendekker, D-E. Elmhurst, and Jason Bartlett) in 2:11.2.
For Mr. Saladino and Ms. Mayer, it was their first victories in this hotly-contested competition, while Mr. Pretlow is a veteran of the Challenge winner's circle.
The Raceway continues its normal five-night-per-week live schedule, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.