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Monday, April 30, 2012

Nfld - One Lucky Fan to Win $5,000 on Kentucky Derby Day

Northfield Park will once again offer all the Triple Crown races kicking off with the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5.

Doors open extra early at 9:30 am on Kentucky Derby Day and the action gets going right away as first post at Churchill Downs is set for 10:30 am. Advance wagering on the Derby will be available. Plus, there will be over 40 other tracks from all over the world looking for your wagering dollar.

Hungry? Then check out the Northfield Park Food Truck Festival on the outside apron. Six of Cleveland’s top food trucks will be selling their specialties from 12 noon until 6 pm. Food Truck participants include StrEat Mobile Bistro (American style dishes), Zydeco Bistro (Gourmet Creole and Cajun Cuisine), Umami Moto (Asian Infused), Seti’s Polish Boys (As seen on the Food Networks “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”), JiBARO Gourmet (Caribbean Cuisine) and Motormouth Food Truck (Globally Inspired Street Food). While enjoying the delicious gourmet offerings, listen to the music of Unknown Reason live on the outdoor apron from 1-5 pm and be sure to stop by the WGAR booth and scan your loyal listener card for a chance at some great prizes.

 If you are arriving early join us for a special morning snack of 2 donuts and a coffee for $1.00 in the Racebook, plus don’t miss out on a perennial Kentucky Derby favorite the mint julep served in a souvenir Derby glass.

Northfield has a number of special events planned for the Run for the Roses. Prize giveaways will be held throughout Derby Day. Simply fill out your entry blank that you will receive when you enter, and deposit it in the contest bins located throughout the track. Names will be drawn randomly throughout the day for Kentucky Derby merchandise, Cleveland sporting tickets, and much more. Names will also be drawn to represent each of the twenty horses in the Kentucky Derby. If your horse wins the Kentucky Derby then you win the top prize of $5,000 cash! If your horse doesn’t win, don’t worry, because the nineteen runners-up each win a prize!

Stop by the ESPN Cleveland WKNR booth from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm and take your chance at the Plinko game where you could win an HD Flat Screen Television or other great prizes like Cleveland sporting tickets, ESPN merchandise, gift certificates and much more!

FREE admission and FREE parking on Kentucky Derby Day at Northfield Park.

M1 - Meadowlands Moves Qualifiers To Saturday This Week

Meadowlands Racetrack will move its morning qualifiers to Saturdays for the month of May.  Post time will remain at 10 a.m.

The track will be available Fridays in May for training in the mornings from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Trainers can contact the race office for training hour details.  The cost is $50 per horse per week or $1000 for unlimited training for a stable.

Qualifiers will move back to Fridays In June, when baby races begin on Saturday mornings.

Tgdn5/8 - Tioga Press Night is Tuesday

Tioga Downs' annual "Dress Rehearsal" will take place this Tuesday evening with 4 qualifiers under the lights at 6:50PM.

Each season, the local press is invited to attend a session of qualifying races to generate interest in the live racing season. Media access to racing personalities, press guides with the season's highlights listed and delicious hors d'oeuvres will compose Tuesday's menu.

Also on display is the brand new race paddock, located near the top of the stretch. All horsemen shipping into Tioga should go directly to the stable gate and will be able to unload and park their rigs near the paddock.

Tioga live racing begins on Saturday, May 5 with an early post time of 5PM. On that day, the first three races will go, then live racing will be suspended until the conclusion of the Kentucky Derby (post time approx 6:25) and resume around 7:00.

Highlighting opening weekend are the New York preps for 3YO's designed to give trainers a place to start their sophomore sires stake hopefuls before the actual NYSS events begin the following week.

The first draw is on Wednesday, May 2 with the box closing at 9AM. The first condition sheet is available here and you may phone entries into the Racing Office at (607) 699-7688.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calx1 - Rite After Disbeer Repeats In Sires Stakes At Cal Expo

Sunday, April, 29, 2012 - by Scott Ehrlich, Publicity – Cal Expo

Three year-old colts & geldings, on both the trot and pace, were featured at Cal Expo on Saturday (April 28) in a pair of $12,000 California Sires Stakes

In the first division, this for the trotters in a non-wagering event held before the betting card, driver Luke Plano had a handful to deal with an eighth of a mile past the start after starting from post-three in the field of five.

"When I had him in tight-quarters going into the turn and tried to get him ducked into the hole - - he wouldn't go for it because he had horses on both sides of him and as a result was pretty rank," stated Plano.  "So I opted for Plan-B, which was to head to the front, which was more to his liking."

Moving forward after 3-16ths of a mile with cover into a :30.1 opening quarter, the sophomore was left first-over a good ways past the 5-16ths mile pole before clearing to the lead just past the 7-16ths mile marker.  Was the lead tough?

"I don't know if it was overly tough, but I did use him a little.  Ironically, when I stopped fighting with him when I decided to go to the front - - he stopped fighting with me.  Then he became a little bit lazy and a bit green - - so I just kind of eased him to the front, but he was traveling good and comfortably."

Now having reached the top, Plano slowed the pace down to the half-mile juncture, timed in 1:01.3, or did he?

"As far as the pace slowing, he kind of did it himself, but we were going into a bit of a headwind.  Once he made the lead, he basically was trotting greenly, but I still thought he'd be good from there, but I was still thinking that I didn't know how good he'd be on the front because now he wasn't following anybody."

With the field now midway through the final-turn, Plano encouraged his trotter via two minor wheel-disc urges.

"He felt good when I asked him and I thought he had plenty of trot, but I didn't know if he knew how to fight somebody off if they came to him - - so I kept after him.”

Leading by 2-3/4 lengths to the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:33.2, Rite After Disbeer soon opened up a little more with less than 3-16ths of a mile to go.

"Through the stretch and all the way through the wire, he was solid and responded to me showing him the whip and a few wheel-discs just to keep his attention - - but I never really had any doubts all the way."

Bred & owned by Mary Harris, and trained by Kennedy Lindsey, the son of New Age Outlaw-Judi's Jewel-Tabor Lobell wouldn't be caught while four lengths to the good at the wire in a final time of 2:02, a lifetime mark.  Loose Cannon (Steve Wiseman) finished in second, and Lees Persuader (Scott Cisco) finished 6-3/4 lengths farther back, in third.

"He's a real nice colt that raced very well and obviously will get better with experience.  He's a pleasure to drive," finished Plano.

In the wagering feature for the pacers, Bee Gee (Steve Wiseman) was placed first ($13.00).  Bloom N Doom (Jim Lackey) finished 29-1/4 lengths back in third, but was placed second, and Artability (Alberto Pacheco) finished in fourth, but was also placed up, thus closing off the trifecta.

Favored Ra Ra Steven (Rich Wojcio) finished in first by three-lengths in 1:58.4, but was disqualified by the stewards and placed sixth and last after interfering with Looks Don't Count (James Kennedy) on the final-turn.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (May 4) & Saturday (May 5) 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, April 28, 2012—Atochia (Ron Pierce) grabbed the gusto from his stablemate Saturday night, nailing Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) winning the $455,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

Atochia outpacing stablemate Foiled Again to win the George Morton Levy Memorial Final (Photo by Mike Lizzi)
It was North America's richest harness race of the season to date.

The 25th edition of the Levy--named for the Hall of Founder of Roosevelt Raceway--began with defending series champion Real Nice (Jason Bartlett) and 2009-10 winner Foiled Again leaving like bats out of Hades from post position Nos. 7 and 8, respectively.

Foiled Again made the lead just after a :26.1 opening quarter-mile, then rated a 29-second next interval (:55.1). Atochia, leaving from post No. 3 and coupled with Foiled Again as the 4-5 favorite entry, then moved from fifth. Fitz's Z Tam (Brian Sears) worked from second-up, but gapped.

Meanwhile, Foiled Again found another seemingly-soft station, rating a :28.4 third quarter (1:24) and taking a length lead in the lane. Real Nice couldn't match strides in the pocket, but Atochia was more than up to the challenge. He caught his more celebrated barn buddy late, then snapped him on the money. The margin was a head in 1:52, with Real Nice--beaten a couple of lengths--fading to third.

Nob Hill High (Jordan Stratton) and Fitz's Z Tam completed the cashers, with Blatantly Good (George Brennan), Strand Hanover (Luc Ouellette) and Art Z (Brett Miller) rounding out the order.

For Atochia, a 7-year-old Dragon Again gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, JJK Stables and M1 Stables, he (and his partner) returned $3.60 for his fourth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta (Real Nice second for exotic purposes) paid $13.20, with the triple (Nob Hill high third for exotics) returning $156.

The winner's share of $227,500 pushed Atochia's career bankroll to more than $1.65 million.

For Pierce, it was his second win in this race, having driven Misfit in 1996.   

"`I really thought Brett (Miller, driving Art Z) was going to come first-up, but when he didn't I just want on with it." Pierce said. "I knew that Foiled Again was trying to slow it down on the front, but (Atochia) just kept at it.

"At the wire, and I hate to admit this, my feet nearly fell out of the stirrups. He's a game horse and he deserved it. Ronnie (Burke) asked me earlier in the week if I'd come over and drive him, and I said I'd be glad to."

Shrewd man, that Pierce. 

A $100,000 series consolation was won by Razzle Dazzle (Sears, $3.10) in 1:51.

The total handle for the 12-race card was a season-high $1,191.338. 


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 28, 2012—Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras) worked out a perfect trip and took advantage Saturday night, winning the $297,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open pacing mares.
Rocklamations winning the Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series Final (Photo by Mike Lizzi)
As expected, See You at Peelers (Brian Sears) controlled from the pole as the 3-5 favorite, seating everyone--save for a parked-out Chancey Lady (Andy Miller) well before a :26.4 opening quarter-mile. Rocklamation, leaving from post position No. 2, protected the pocket. "Peelers" then found a :55.3 half (:284 second quarter) before Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) pulled from third.

In a battle of New York-breds, See You at Peelers was getting all she could handle from Anndrovette in and out of the 1:23.2 three-quarters.

"Peelers" was up a desperate nose turning for home, but that was her last hurrah this night. Anndrovette powered past, but she was not out of the woods. Rocklamation left the cones, as nothing was advancing behind Anndrovette.

Rocklamation--who won last season's Lady Maud here--edged by late, winning by a half-length in a stakes-record 1:51.3...also a track record for her age.

Anndrovette was a game second, with Ginger and Fred (Jason Bartlett) third. Fox Valley Sage (Cat Manzi) and Western Silk (George Brennan) grabbed the minor moolah, with Billmar Scooter (Eric Goodell), See You at Peelers and Chancey Lady rounding out the rundown. 

For Rocklamation, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and Jerry Silva, she (coupled with Ginger and Fred) returned $12 (third choice) for her fifth win in nine seasonal starts.

The exacta paid $42.80, with the triple (Fox Valley Sage third for this wager) returning $607.

"The trip was great," Gingras said. "When I saw Anndrovette going by, I was able to slip out and it worked out for us. I've driven her over the Meadowlands, and I know how talented she is."

As for See You at Peelers, she picked a bad night to have a bad night, losing in Westchester for the first time in 10 career starts.

"She put up some pretty good numbers, but she should have done better than where she ended up," Sears said. “Hopefully, she came out of the race alright.”

Nfld - Podges Lady Wins the Courageous Lady

(Northfield Park, April 28, 2012) - Sawgrass Farms’ Podges Lady made the last call a winning one as she out sprinted Destiny’s Chance to the finish line in the $86,000 Courageous Lady pace at Northfield Park Saturday night. Destiny’s Chance led throughout posting soft fractions of 27.4, 57.1 and 1:25.3. Podges Lady had a perfect trip tracking the leader, pulled into the passing lane and won by a neck.

Podges Lady wins the Courageous Lady (Photo by JJ Zamaiko Photography)
The three-year-old daughter of The Panderosa out of the Cam’s Card Shark mare Four Starzzzz Hope made her seasonal debut a winning one in 1:54:2 for trainer Joe Seekman. Driven by Ryan Stahl she increased her lifetime bankroll to over $257,000. “Being from Ohio, I've won several Ohio Sires Stakes Finals, but this win ranks right up there with the best of them,"commented Stahl. "When we came to the passing lane she really responded."

Podges Lady paid $12.80, $4.40 and 3.20 to win, Destiny’s Chance finished second and paid $2.20, 2.10 and Princess Cruiser paid $4.20 to show.

Attached photo by JJ Zamaiko Photography

Ppk5/8 - Pompano Park Barn Notes

Florida Drivers Sweep Billings 2012 Opener

Although Florida is a well known vacation destination, it was not a particularly welcoming place for the out of State drivers in town on Saturday evening, April 28 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The Pompano based drivers in the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC) swept the top three finish positions in the opening event of the 2012 C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Championship Series.

Dein Spriggs made no mistake with 3-5 favorite Genesisjerseyspeed as they made every call a winning one nd stepped away from the field with a 29.3 last quarter to stop the clock in 1:58.1. Allen Saul of Pompano Beach owns and trains the 8 year old S J's Double Take-Jerseys Image gelding, who surpassed $100,000 in life's earnings in the $4,500 purse trotting event. Leon Cable engineered a runner-up finish with longshot Noble Way and John Campagnuolo came from way back in the pack for third with Roman Holiday. Also taking part in the opening event of the Series for this year, in their order of finish, were Anthony Verruso, David Yarock, Stephen Oldford, David Offenberg, Ted Bowman and Joe Faraldo.

Talk To Tony Gets Redemption

The feature event of the final Saturday night card in April was the $8,500 purse Isle Mile 1 Open Handicap Pace.

Last week, Talk To Tony suffered a photo finish defeat but turned the tables this time out in a front end effort in 1:52 with Wally Hennessey in the bike. Avantage, in rein to Mickey McNichol, went a strong two move trip to take down the place honors and Kommander Hawk partnered by Dan Daley followed in for third after a pocket trip.

Kim Sears trains Talk To Tony for owners John Campagnuolo of Loxahatchee, FL and Jay Sears of Osteen, FL. The Artiscape-Muggins Hanover 5 year old ridgling is already enjoying a career best year, with 6 wins from 13 trips to date in 2012 for over $32,000 in purse earnings.

Post Time Change On Wednesday

The current schedule of live racing every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday continues through May. This Wednesday, May 2, post time is moved up ten minutes to 7:05 p.m. Eastern. The 2011-2012 meet at Pompano concludes with live racing every Wednesday and Saturday in June and July. Free race night live streaming, the racing schedule, handicapping selections by Hall Of Famer John Berry and much more is available at .


by Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – April 28, 2012 – New Jersey-sired Market Share extended his unbeaten streak to six in his 2012 debut, the $46,100 elimination race for the Dexter Cup on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Freehold Raceway.

Driven by Jeff Gregory for trainer Linda Toscano, Market Share trotted the mile in a career best 1:57.1, finishing two lengths ahead of Trouble who edged out Not Afraid in third. 

                                             Market Share with Jeff Gregory driving (Photo by Helene Gregory)
The top six in the order of finish advance to the $138,300 final on May 5 along with two colts who had the highest lifetime earnings and have byes, Frost Bites K and Southwind Austin.  Finishing fourth through six and also advancing were On The Podium, Astarisborn Hanover and Broadway Zinger.

Market Share, a son of Revenue S, swept the New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres Series and the SBOANJ-sponsored New Jersey Futurity in 2011.  He was honored as 2011 Green Acres Horse of the Year.

All six of his victories have come at Freehold.

Market Share has now banked $59,300 for owners Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA and Gary Cucco of New Town Square, PA who paid $16,000 for him at the Lexington Selected Sale.

The Dexter kicks off the stakes campaign for top three-year-old trotters.  Market Share is eligible to the Hambletonian, Breeders Crown, Yonkers Trot, and Goodtimes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Beginning with the Friday, May 4 program, Cal Expo is increasing purses across the board by 25 percent. The increases will remain in effect through the end of the current meeting in June.

In addition, the Friday and Saturday Late Pick 4 guarantees were also recently increased and now feature a $20,000-guaranteed gross pool. All Pick 4’s here at Cal Expo also come with a reduced 15 percent takeout rate. On Friday, there is a 0% takeout on winning Late Pick 4 wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.

Calx1 - Diva Las Vegas Leaves Her Foes All Shook Up At Cal Expo

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - by Scott Ehrlich, Publicity – Cal Expo

Sophomore fillies, on both gaits, were featured at Cal Expo on Friday night (April 27) in a pair of $12,000 California Sires Stakes.

In the event for the pacers, driver Steve Wiseman had good reason to be optimistic.

"I thought I had a decent shot considering she raced real big last week when she won," said Wiseman.

Coming away in third position as the field of six dropped into post-position order, there'd be no movement through first-half fractions of :29.1 & :59.3.  Did this concern Wiseman?

"I know there wasn't any pace to the race, but that didn't bother me because I didn't think that Twentyone Guns (Scott Cisco), who was on the front, would prefer that over closing."

Moving first-over to the 9-16ths mile marker and edging up through the final-turn, the filly found herself just a half-length back at the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:29.

"I thought I had a pretty good shot at that point because she was still pretty strong and I was sitting pretty chilly."

Getting closer late in the final turn, then taking a slim lead with less than 3-16ths of a mile to go, Wiseman went to work at the seven-eighths mile pole.

"Once I urged her she responded very well to it and paced very strongly right to the wire."

Opening up past mid-stretch, there'd be no catching the daughter of Hi Ho Silverheel's-Prettylittlerebel-Little Steven as she'd go on to record a 3-1/4 length victory ($3.40).  Owned by Wayne Knittel in partnership with co-breeder & trainer Denise Maier, Diva Las Vegas stopped the timer at 1:56.3, a lifetime best.  Little Anna Mae (Tim Maier), also trained by Denise Maier, finished in second, and La Madawna De Rosa (Lemoyne Svendsen) finished just a neck farther back, in third.

"She raced very strong and it was a very good race for her," finished Wiseman, who had a driving triple on the card.

In advance of the betting card, the trotters were in action in a two-horse non-wagering event, on which Silverlode romped again.

Lagging the start five-lengths from post one for driver Steve Desomer, the pair cut that margin to 2-3/4 lengths at the quarter-pole, timed in :31.2.  On the move at the 5-16ths marker and taking over the lead to the three-eighths mile pole, the filly reached the half-mile juncture, timed in 1:02.3.  Opening up the lead at the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:33, the daughter of British Sterling-Charlotte's Web-Website poured it on in the lane and won under wraps by 14-1/4 lengths, in 2:03.1, a lifetime best.  California Crush (Sue Boyce) finished in second.

Live racing continues at Cal Expo on Saturday (April 28) at 6:00 p.m. (PDT).  On Saturday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while Hotdogs, Fries & Sodas are offered at $2 apiece.

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, Friday, April 27, 2012—With the conclusion of Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary parade, Yonkers Raceway's Friday night fare was highlighted by the $33,000 Open Handicap Trot...
...which was highlighted by a high price, as in pocket-patrolling, 40-1 stunner Coach Fox (Larry Stalbaum).
Assigned the pole, Coach Fox shadowed Some Like it Hot (George Brennan) through early intervals of :27.4 and :57.2. First-up came Wuthering Hanover (Jordan Stratton), with 13-10 favorite Flex the Muscle (Jeff Gregory) behind that one.
However, "that one" was a flat one, making no inroads in and out of the 1:26 three-quarters. Some Like it Hot, with a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, was about to buckle. Coach Fox edged from the pocket, with Celebrity Bluechip ducking inside.
The former whipped the latter by a head in 1:55.2  That effort matched the fast local trotting mile of the season. Third went to a Flex the Muscle, with Looking Hanover (Yannick Gingras) and Some Like it Hot completing the cashers.
For Coach Fox, a 9-year-old Keystone Nordic gelding co-owned by his driver and Mike Sorentino Jr. and trained by Kim Asher, he returned $82 for his second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $284, with the triple returning $2,055.
Gingras, who first gained prominence in Westchester a decade ago, was feted Friday for his 4,000th career victory, accomplished this past Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Chester.


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 27, 2012—She entered the preliminaries with a lot of questions. She enters the final with a lot of supporters.

That's what happens after See You at Peelers won all four of her legs (including an opening-round dead-heat) in Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open pacing mares, then won the draw for Saturday night $297,000 final (race 7, approximate post 9:20 PM).

The See You at Peelers saga is well known in these circles, and even beyond.

That's what happens after winning 22 consecutive races to start a career. The 4-year-old statebred daughter of Bettor's Delight earned national notice with her precocious perfection, which including beating the boys here in last season's $307,734 Art Rooney Pace.

However, three consecutive losses to end her 3-year-old season, and persistent heart issues, left her future very much up in the air.

"I didn't know if she'd make it back," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "We had her on medication, but 0that didn't help. She needed about 60 days of total rest, and then we started with her again.

"We had aimed for this series," Takter said. "She loves racing here (Yonkers, 9-for-9 lifetime), but this is a tough place to start a season. It's five weeks of hard racing (though "Peelers" skipped the fourth leg), then the final.

"She qualified three times at the Meadowlands, and even then, I wasn't sure, Even after she won the first week, I didn't know. It probably wasn't until the second week (down-the-road from post position No. 7 in 1:52.2) that I felt she was back.

Now 26-for-29 in her career, "Peelers" has earnings of $1,573,260 for co-owners (breeder) Christina Takter, Jim and John Fielding.

"She's acting like her old self, though we're always keeping an eye on her, making sure she's hydrated," her trainer said.  

As for the final--"Peelers" was tabbed (by the author) as the 4-5 early choice, with Brian Sears doing the honors--"She trained awesome, but there are some very tough mares in there."

The complete draw, with drivers and morning-line odds...1-See You at Peelers (Brian Sears, 4-5), 2-Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras, 5-1, coupled with Ginger and Fred), 3-Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick, 3-1), 4-Fox Valley Sage (Cat Manzi, 30-1), 5-Ginger and Fred (Jason Bartlett, 5-1, coupled with Rocklamation), 6-Billmar Scooter (Eric Goodell, 20-1), 7-Chancey Lady (Andy Miller, 10-1), 8-Western Silk (George Brennan, 4-1). Anndrovette and Chancey Lady go uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership.

The field for Saturday night's $455,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing  Series (race 9, approximate post 10 PM)...1--Blatantly Good (Brennan, 8-1), 2-Art Z (Brett Miller, 6-1), 3-Atochia (Ron Pierce, 6-5, coupled with Foiled Again), 4-Fitz's Z Tam (Sears, 8-1), 5-Strand Hanover (Luc Ouellette, 10-1), 6-Nob Hill High (Jordan Stratton, 20-1), 7-Real Nice (Bartlett, 9-5), 8-Foiled Again (Gingras, 6-5, coupled with Atochia).

The Levy and Matchmaker are the sport's two richest North American races of the season to date.

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.


MANALAPAN, NJ – April 27, 2012 – There was a taste of “monte” racing at the Gaitway Farms training center on Friday morning, April 27, 2012.

Two riders raced on the  mile track with their trotters under saddle [monte] in a demonstration for the judges.

Jenny Melander of Clarksburg, NJ [in blue], aboard Shoeless White Sox, held off Jennifer Lowrey of Chester, NY [in red] with Lemon Pepper in a mile clocked in 2:12 flat. 

Shoeless White Sox winning RUS Qualifier at Gaitway (Helene Gregory Photo)
Shoeless White Sox is a seven-year-old son of Mr Lavec currently racing out of the Mark Harder Stable.  Lemon Pepper, a 13-year-old gelding by Cumin, raced from 2001 to 2010, earning nearly $600,000 with 40 wins, 40 seconds and 32 thirds from 247 starts.

The purpose of the event was to “qualify” in 2:25 or better and for the riders to demonstrate they could control their horses. 

“We have a race on Hambletonian Day [August 7] at the Meadowlands and at Freehold on September 29, and we’re working on more dates,” said Helene Gregory, who has organized the RUS America – Riders Under Saddle – effort in New Jersey.  “These will be exhibition races.  If these turn out well, there could be betting races in the future.”

Monte racing is popular in Europe, especially in France, but are rare in North America. 

--Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

Friday, April 27, 2012


The betting public was in his corner and why shouldn’t they be? After all, Alan Schwartz is one of the best amateur drivers in recent history. And when you factor in a good post position (#2) and a good horse—Iroquouindianmagic- with two wins and a second in his last three starts, it was no wonder that the bettors sent him off as the favorite in the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s Trot at Monticello  Raceway on April 26.

And Schwartz didn’t disappoint. He sat a pocket trip behind pace-setter Beach Vacation and  driver  Bob Krivelin and when they two headed for home it was all Schwartz and Iroquouindianmagic as they trotted away from Beach Vacation and went on to a three- length triumph in a 2:01.1 clocking.  Tremendous Hit and Bob Hechkoff took home the show dough in that one.
“Tony (Verruso with Majestic Man) had the rail and his horse went away running but I was lucky to get around him with only minimal trouble,” Schwartz related. “Heading to the quarter Bobby (Krivelin with  Beach  Vacation) began to get away a bit so I closed the gap. I followed him and when we approached the three quarters I  felt that Hechkoff (with Tremendous Hit) and Yarock (with Rompaway Alvin) were out of it and  I knew my horse would run down Bobby’s ….and that just what he did.” 

Schwartz has been red-hot of late, especially for an amateur driver who has done so well competing against professionals. His 29 wins in 94 starts against the pros attests to that, and perhaps that it the motivation that gave the bettors confidence in Schwartz’s trotter in the all-amateur driver field.
Owned by Schwartz and trained by Raheim Strong, Iroquoindianmagic paid $5.40 for win.

Next Thursday the NAADA Series heads to Freehold Raceway for two weeks and then returns to Yonkers Raceway on May 17 for the $12,000 series finale for drivers who have earned the most points in the  series..

Calx1 - Cal Expo Barn Notes

El Grande Real Ignites Toteboard At Cal Expo

Friday, April 27, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Coming off an eighth-place finish at odds of 91-1, E Grande Real wasn’t getting much respect from the bettors at Cal Expo in last Saturday’s (April 21) nightcap for owner/trainer Larry Alterman and provisional driver Alberto Pacheco.

It’s apparent the 11-year-old pacer can’t read the past performances, because he went out there and posted a solid first-over victory while returning $55 to his faithful backers in the conditioned $2,500 seller.

“If you notice, he took a week off and he races much better when he’s fresh,” Pacheco pointed out.  “I had a feeling he was going to go a big mile, because he had a much better post position and was very strong during the warm-up.  That’s the way he raced.”

For Pacheco, the victory was the third in his career.  He got his initial snapshot with Pips Jenny G in December, then didn’t click again until guiding the trotter Try This to victory two weeks ago.  He followed that up with the big upset behind El Grande Real last weekend.

“The win with Pips Jenny G was very special.  She went right to the front and just kept on going.  It was a big relief, because I had gone 20-something starts without a win.  After the race, they called me over and said the stewards wanted to talk to me, but it turned out to be the other drivers and they hit me with six buckets of water.  I didn’t mind at all.”

The win with Try This marked Pacheco's initial chance to drive a horse as low as even-money and the chalk players were not to be disappointed that evening.

“It was the first time I had driven him in a race, but I won a qualifier with him when I was getting my P license, so I had a lot of confidence.  It’s a great feeling anytime you win a race.”

Saturday Cal Expo Spotlight Falls On Sire Stakes Colts

Looks Don’t Count and Rite After Disbeer get the respective top billing in the two $12,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts at Cal Expo Saturday night (April 28).

Looks Don’t Count is a homebred pacing son of Little Steven and the Denali mare The Beast’s Beauty who is co-owned by Marlene and Rick Thomas and trainer George Reider and will have James Kennedy at the helm from the outside post.

In the first stakes clash of the season for this group, Looks Don’t Count sat a stalking journey for Kennedy, ignited when the question was asked in the stretch and swept by the leaders for a length and a half score in a 1:57 performance.  A repeat mile will obviously make him very tough right back.

Leaving inside him on Saturday are Bee Gee with Steve Wiseman; Hollywood Star, to be guided by Lemoyne Svendsen; Artability for Alberto Pacheco; Ra Ra Steven with Rich Wojcio; and Bloom N Doom, who has Jim Lackey in the bike.

The trotting event will go as a non-betting affair prior to the regular program.  Rite After Disbeer is a son of New Age Hanover who is owned and was bred by Mary Harris with Kennedy Lindsey the conditioner and Luke Plano at the controls.

After getting a needed debut effort under his belt on March 10, he was ready to show his stuff in that initial stakes attempt two weeks ago and did the pounce-and-attack to perfection with Plano.  Taking him on will be Loose Cannon, High Dollar, Lees Persuader and Light Red.

A 14-race program is on tap, with a $4,000 event for fillies and mares kicking off the action.  Haggin Oaks will be returning to distaff-only competition here and will definitely have her share of backers.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (April 27) & Saturday (April 28) 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.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


OCEANPORT, N.J. – As a prelude to the May 12 opening of the 2012 racing season at Monmouth Park, two days of Thoroughbred turf racing will be conducted at the Meadowlands on Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5.

Four races on the Meadowlands grass course will be run each day, with the first race going off at 3:30 p.m. The second event will be run at 4 p.m., the third at 4:30 and the fourth and final race each day will go at 5 p.m.

The fields for the turf races will be drawn at the Monmouth racing office on Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2.  Entries, results and analysis for the races will be available at MonmouthPark.comMonmouth Park will open for its 67th season of racing on Saturday, May 12, with a first post time of 12:50 p.m.

Meadowlands Racetrack will kick off its 2012 Championship Meet with live harness racing at 7 p.m. on May 4 and 5.  Opening night festivities include free admission, program and a concert by acoustic duo C.O.A.L.G. at the Don Q Wedge outdoor bar.  The night also marks the debut of the Beat The Bird contest in which Big M Club members are invited to out-pick Lola the parrot for the chance to win a betting voucher.  Lola will make her picks live every Friday night on the Paddock Level.  See Guest Services for contest rules and details.

The Meadowlands will host a day-night Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday, May 5.  The first 10,000 fans will receive a “Talk Derby To Me” t-shirt.  Gates open at 9:30 a.m.  Pegasus Restaurant will offer an all-day brunch buffet for $34.95 per person.  Reservations can be made by calling 201-THE-BIGM. 

Ladies are encouraged to wear their finest hats for the chance to win nearly $1,000 in cash prizes in the Derby hat contest.  Top prize is $500 and the contest is free to enter.  Girls Night Out at the Derby also features a culinary demo hosted by celebrity chef Ariane Duarte, a Top Chef contestant and owner of CulinAriane restaurant in Montclair, NJ.  Tickets are $45 per person and include a cooking demo and tasting, cocktail in souvenir mint julep glass, Derby t-shirt, Pegasus admission and Derby program, a $5 betting voucher and handicapping help from racing analyst Barbara Luna.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at

The party continues into the night with Cinco de Mayo drink and food specials and music at the Don Q Wedge.  Go to for more information.

Lon - London, April 26 -- The Raceway at The Western Fair District is gearing up for the $300,000 Molson Pace which will highlight the closing night program on Friday, May 25.

London, April 26 -- The Raceway at The Western Fair District is gearing up for the $300,000 Molson Pace which will highlight the closing night program on Friday, May 25.

This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever and fans should note that special post time of 6:50 p.m. has been implemented for that night only.

For the first time ever, the Molson ‘Post Time Party’ will be held featuring three live bands who will perform in the Progress Building, adjacent to the track, throughout the evening.

The headliner will be Dallas Smith, the former lead singer of the popular rock band Default. He is currently embarking on a solo career and his hit singles If It Gets You Where You Wanna Go and Somebody Somewhere are rapidly climbing the country charts.

Tickets for the concert are priced at $15, which includes a $5 betting voucher, good for any race on the Molson Pace program. They can be purchased online at

On the wagering side, the pick-4 will offer an increased guaranteed pool this year of $15,000. And, once again, The Raceway will team up with the Horseplayers’ Association of North America (HANA) to allow horseplayers an opportunity to vote on which races make up the pick-4 sequence that night.

The pick-5 will feature an instant guarantee (yet to be determined) that night as well. Both wagers offer a 15% total takeout – two of the best values in Canadian harness racing.

In addition, one lucky patron that night will have their name drawn to receive a $500 win bet on the Molson Pace. Fans must be on track to qualify for the draw.

Defending champion Foiled Again, headlines the list of this year’s nominees which also includes pacing stars We Will See, Betterthancheddar, Up The Credit, Aracache Hanover, Atochia and Strand Hanover – just to name a few.

The Molson Pace program will also include a tribute to recent Hall Of Fame inductee and ‘London Legend’ Dave Wall. On the track, four City Of London Series finals and an OSS Gold Final for three-year-old colt trotters will highlight the undercard.

More details will be announced in the coming days. To keep up to date on this year’s Molson Pace, bookmark

VD7/8 - Vernon Downs set for their 2012 Opening Weekend of Live Racing

Vernon Downs is all set for the 2012 opening weekend of live racing with ten races being drawn for opening night (April 27) with a post time of 6:55pm. Fans of Vernon Downs will be welcomed back with a race date t-shirt and race date magnet giveaway at the front entrance of Vernon Downs (while supplies last). Also on tap for opening night will be the promotion, Cash It or Stash It, the ever popular Horseplay Car Giveaway, and the night will round out with fireworks immediately following live racing.

Race Secretary, Scott Warren, has put together a twelve race card for Saturday night (April 28) with a post time of 6:55pm, led by a $9,500 seven horse Open Pace. The seven horse race has stirred up some talented pacers led by Western Trademark, Sheer Brilliance, and the Vernon Downs’ hometown favorite of Diamond Stick Pin. Saturday night’s track promotion in addition to the Horseplay Car Giveaway - night two, is That’s My Driver.  

For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit us online at


His beard may be getting grayer but  time hasn’t slowed Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr.  The 58 year old reinsman, now back in action after prostate cancer surgery, is beginning to pick up steam since returning on March 19.

On Wednesday, April  25th Zeke drove three more winners on the Monticello Raceway card and now has 30 this season in just 168 starts.

Parker began the afternoon with a 2:03 triumph behind Luanne Case’s pacer Casey’s Cam then followed it with a 1:59.1 victory with Ken Weckstein’s Buck ID in the weekly winners/over trot. His hat trick came when guided Diana Bartells’ Keystone Endurance home first in a time of 2:00.1.

In a career that began in his native Maine in the mid-1970’s Maine and carried him victoriously throughout New England  Parker won driving titles everywhere he raced including, the now defunct Lewiston (Me.) Raceway and Foxboro (Mass.)Raceway before becoming a fixture in Monticello. Thus far  Parker has amassed  an amazing total of 10,652 driving victories which currently ranks him seventh all-time in races won in North America.

However, to really recognize the significance of Parker’s lifetime totals, one must consider that all of Zeke’s wins came in an era when driving at one track was the norm; unlike those of today who drive in the day somewhere and then somewhere else in the evening, which only stands to reason that  the more times a driver goes to post the more races he’s apt to win.

Besides his 15 driving titles at the Mighty M  along with the aforementioned, Parker’s name was atop the local leaderboards everywhere he raced  and that’s including two championships   at Yonkers Raceway in the late 1990’s.

But Zeke will tell you he’s most proud of the nine wins on the 10 race card at Monticello Raceway on October 20, 1996, which equaled the record at that time.

Asked about his returning to action and if he has any problems Parker is quick to quip: “I’m feeling really good and I’m happy doing what I love to do; that is drive (harness) ‘hosses’,” he offered still with a distinct Maine accent.”