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Sunday, September 30, 2012


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

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. 

Lex1 - Nine Divisions of Bluegrass Headlined Saturday Night Card

LEXINGTON, KY— Three sets of Bluegrass stakes were held on Saturday, September 29. The trio consisted of the $431,000 two-year-old colt pace Bluegrass, $141,000 three-year-old filly pace Bluegrass and $202,200 three-year-old colt pace Bluegrass.

Dovuto Hanover Paces Red Mile Season’s Mark in Bluegrass Division

In his first start in the Ryan Maxwell barn, Dovuto Hanover proved to be a worthy gamble as he held off the challenge of Dedi’s Dragon to win the first division of the Bluegrass in 1:51.1.

Dedi’s Dragon led the field rounding the clubhouse turn. Dovuto Hanover pulled the pocket as they passed the quarter in :27.4. Dovuto Hanover took over command as they paced by the three-eighths. Dress The Part went off stride from fourth, making a 5 length gap between the field. Dovuto Hanover was unchallenged by the half in :55 (:27.1).

Pacing into the far turn, the flushed out Emeritus Maximus picked up cover from pocket-sitter Dedi’s Dragon approaching three-quarters. Normandy Invasion was in the cover flow from fourth. Dedi’s Dragon was stride for stride the Dovuto Hanover by three-quarters in 1:24.2 (:29.2)

Into the lane, Dovuto Hanover and Dedi’s Dragon dueled for the lead throughout most of the three-sixteenth straightaway. Dedi’s Dragon took a short lead, but Pierce found another gear and retook the lead with Dovuto Hanover as they crossed the wire. Dedi’s Dragon was second, Emeritus Maximus held on for third and Normandy Invasion finished fourth.

Dovuto Hanover ($3.60) is a son of Dragon Again, out of the mare Daughterofortune by Jenna’s Beach Boy. He is owned by Martin Scharf, trained by Ryan Maxwell and Ron Pierce was in the bike.

Fool Me Once Prevails in Second Bluegrass

Ron Pierce scored a driving double aboard the Mark Austin Stable’s Fool Me Once, winning the second Bluegrass division in 1:51.3.

Our Dragon King was three wide as he left with Fool Me Once, banking into the first turn. Our Dragon King cleared the front and led the field by the opening quarter in :26.4. Down the backstretch, Fool Me Once pulled the pocket and cleared the front approaching the half. Modern Warfare was flushed out just by the half mile, timed in :54.3 (:27.4). He supplied cover to Clint Westwood and Sir Richard Z Tam.

Into the far turn, Modern Warfare dueled with leader Fool Me Once. Our Dragon King was locked at the pylons in third and Clint Westwood was second over in fourth. As the field passed three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:30), Clint Westwood and Sir Richard Z Tam began to rally off cover and first over Modern Warfare was swallowed by the field.

Fool Me Once was still in front, while Sir Richard Z Tam was surging down the center of the racetrack, but did not have enough to catch Fool Me Once. Sir Richard Z Tam finished second, Clint Westwood was third and Just Bettor came up the pylons to finish fourth.

Fool Me Once ($4.60) is by Art Major out of the mare Fool That I Am by Jenna’s Beach Boy. He is owned by Mark Austin Stables and Daniel Smith, trained by Mark Austin and Ron Pierce was behind the two-year-old pacer.

“This colts been drawing bad and racing from the back, I thought to qualify him to tighten him up,” trainer Mark Austin said. 

“He was a hot colt all spring and we got him to settle down. I took him to Grand River to try the sulky first time and he adjusted to it well,” Mark answered about when he knew the colt could race with the top caliber. 

Rockin Amadeus Wins Third Bluegrass Via Disqualification

Rockin Amadeus received redemption as Odds On Equuleus, who caused confusion to the trailing horses into the far turn, was disqualified from first and Rockin Amadeus was placed as the winner.

Beach Memories left fast from the far outside, but failed to find a pocket. She dropped back to last as Real Rocker took the lead. Rockin Amadeus was in second and Teresa’s Beach was in third. Through an opening quarter in :29,

Odds On Equuleus looked to make a backside brush, but was hesitated as Rockin Amadeus came first over. Impatient, Campbell brought Odds On Equuleus three wide to pass Rockin Amadeus. Once Rockin Amadeus cleared the top, Odds On Equuleus came two wide then cleared the lead by the half-mile in :56 (:27).

Into the far turn, Odds On Equuleus caused confusion to the trail horses, while Johny Rock came first over to challenge the leader. Johny Rock was up to Campbell’s wheel at three-quarters in 1:24.4 (:28.4).

Into the lane, Odds On Equuleus was holding off the challenge of Johny Rock. Once Johny Rock dropped back, Rockin Amadeus pulled the pocket and had one final surge to try to catch Odds On Equuleus, but his surge was a failure. Odds On Equuleus won in 1:51.2, but was disqualified for interfering with the trailing horses around the far turn.

Placed in first, Rockin Amadeus ($10) is by Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Kikikatie by Real Artist. He is owned by Lothlorien, trained by Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras was in the bike. 

Captaintreacherous’s Streak Ensues with Bluegrass Victory

Captaintreacherous scored his sixth-straight win in the fourth division of Bluegrass stakes, winning in 1:51.3.

Hail The Taxi made a first over move to the lead at the quarter in :27.4. My One Tru Desire was back in second and Good Day Mate was in third. Captaintreacherous came first over to challenge at the half-mile in :56.4.

My One Tru Desire pulled the pocket to retake the lead into the far turn. Captaintreacherous was stalling first over and Hail The Taxi was keeping up at the pylons. Tetrick called on Captaintreacherous at three-quarters in 1:24.2 (:27.3).

Captaintreacherous took the lead into the stretch. Good Day Mate came off the rail and was rallying down the center, while Hail The Taxi was coming up the pylons. Captaintreacherous held off both challengers to win in 1:51.3 (:27.1). Good Day Mate was second, Hail The Taxi was third and My One Tru Desire finished fourth.

Captaintreacherous ($2.40) is by Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Worldly Treasure by Artsplace. He is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Joe Sbrocco, trained by Tony Alagna and Tim Tetrick was in the bike.

Twilight Bonfire Comes from Clouds to Win Final Bluegrass

Twilight Bonfire chased down Modern Cruiser to pull off the upset in the final division of the freshmen Bluegrass.

Thirty Two Red was caught wide into the first turn, in pursuit of leader Urbanite Hanover. Thirty Two Red cleared the front at the quarter in :26.3. Urbanite Hanover pulled the pocket and cleared the top passing the three-eighths. Modern Cruiser came first over and took the lead from Urbanite Hanover at the half-mile in :56 (:29.2).

Urbanite Hanover had broken equipment and made a break, along with Muscle Beachboy. Modern Cruiser inherited the lead into the far turn and drew away by 5 lengths. Thirty Two Red gave chase in second and Wake Up Peter was being urged on in third. Modern Cruiser took the field by three-quarters in 1:23.4 (:27.4).

Into the stretch, Twilight Bonfire began his rally after the 50-1 shot. He gained ground with every stride and took the lead from Modern Cruiser. Twilight Bonfire then drew off by 2 lengths to win the final Bluegrass in 1:52.1 (:28.2).

Twilight Bonfire ($25.80) is by The Panderosa out of the mare Firelight Dancer by Cam Fella. He is owned by Robert Key, trained by Danny Collins and John Campbell was in the bike.

Shelliscape Rebounds Off of Juggette Loss to Win Bluegrass Division

After losing as the favorite in the Juggette final, Shelliscape paced a perfect mile to break Romantic Moment’s win streak in the first division of Bluegrass for the three-year-old filly pacers.

Romantic Moment and Big Mcdeal were the fastest leavers heading into the first turn. Big Mcdeal cleared the front by the eighth pole, while Romantic Moment tucked in second and Lightning Paige paced along in third. Big Mcdeal led the field by the quarter in :27.

Darena Hanover came first over as they paced by the three-eighths. She cleared the front at the half-mile in :54.3 (:27.3). Into the far turn, Ramalama came first over and flushed out Romantic Moment as they approached three-quarters. Shelliscape was tracking their cover towards the back of the field. Romantic Moment stuck her head in front of Darena Hanover at three-quarters in 1:22 (:27.2).

Into the stretch, Romantic Moment was drifting slightly. Shelliscape fanned off cover and was rallying down the center of the track. Ramalama attempted to split horses and Big Mcedeal came up the pylons with a late surge. At the finish, Shelliscape edged out Romantic Moment to win the first Bluegrass division in 1:49.1. Romantic Moment was second, Lightning Paige rallied for third and Ramalama finished fourth.

Shelliscape ($11.40) is by Artiscape out of the mare Shell I Scoot by Direct Scooter. She is owned by Bob McIntosh Stables, Al McIntosh Holdings and C S X Stables, trained by Bob McIntosh and John Campbell was in the bike.

“The fast fractions set up [for us] well. I was third over and the cover went up. I was in good striking range into the stretch and when I tipped her out, she came up very strong,” driver John Campbell said.

American Jewel Wins Incident Stricken Bluegrass Division

American Jewel returned from her loss in the Juggette to emerge victorious in the second Bluegrass division for three-year-old filly pacers.

Destiny’s Chance took the lead from the far outside, while Rockaround Sue tucked into second and American Jewel was in third. American Jewel pulled the pocket and paced up to Gingras’s wheel at the quarter in :28.3.

Sarandon Blue Chip was flushed first over at the half-mile in :56.1 (:27.3). Economy Terror picked up the cover and Blackjack Princess was third over. Around the far turn, Sarandon Blue Chip made a break and interfered with Economy Terror, Blackjack Princess and Podges Lady, taking them out of contention. It was a three horse break away at three-quarters in 1:23.3 (:27.2).

Into the stretch, American Jewel drew off by 5 lengths. Destiny’s Chance was drifting out with Rockaround Sue, but they were not going to catch American Jewel, winning in 1:50.1 (:26.3). Finishing second was Destiny’s Chance, Rockaround Sue was third and Economy Terror got up for fourth.

American Jewel ($3.20) is by American Ideal out of the mare Trim Hanover by Camluck. She is owned by Brittany Farms, trained by Jimmy Takter and Tim Tetrick was in the sulky.

Thinking Out Loud Charges Home in Record Final Quarter

Thinking Out Loud returned to the winners circle as he paced on by rivals to win the first sophomore colt pace Bluegrass in 1:51.2.

Pet Rock cleared the lead from Bettor’s Edge as the field banked into the first turn. Thinking Out Loud got away in third and Damon Blue Chip was in fourth. Pet Rock paced by the quarter in :28.2. No one made a move passing the half-mile in :57.1 (:28.4).

A Rocknroll Dance came first over heading into the far turn. Verdad followed cover and Thinking Out Loud was flushed into the flow. Bettor’s Edge pulled the pocket, forcing Thinking Out Loud three wide and A Rocknroll Dance tracked his every footstep at three-quarters in 1:25.3 (:28.2).

It was a full-on sprint for home. Pet Rock was holding onto the lead, while Bettor’s Edge was rallying in between horses and Thinking Out Loud was pacing strong on the grandstand side. Thinking Out Loud passed rivals at ease and won the first Bluegrass easily in 1:51.2 (:25.4). Bettor’s Edge was second, Pet Rock was third and A Rocknroll Dance finished fourth.

Thinking Out Loud is by Ponder out of the mare Los Angeles by Camluck. He is owned by Bob McIntosh stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings, trained by Bob McIntosh and John Campbell was in the bike to score a driving double.

Mel Mara Upsets Bolt The Duer in Second Sophomore Bluegrass

Mel Mara overtook command from Bolt The Duer and stormed home to pull off the 6-1 mild upset in 1:49.4.

Escape The News took the lead, while Bolt The Duer was first over on the outside. Bolt The Duer cleared the lead at the quarter in :27.2. Down the backstretch, Sweet Lou came first over, supplying cover to Dapper Dude. Mel Mara was flushed first over by the half-mile in :56.2 (:29).

Mel Mara took a short lead to the outside of Bolt The Duer by three-quarters in 1:23.3 (:27.1). Into the lane, Mel Mara kicked away to a 2 length lead, while Sweet Lou was attempting to rally on the outside and Escape The News was coming up the cones in third. Mel Mara was home free in the sixteenth pole and he won in 1:49.4 (:26.1). Sweet Lou finished second, Escape The News was third and Hillbilly Hanover split horses to finish fourth.

Mel Mara ($14.80) is by Lis Mara out of the mare M L Revrac by Matt’s Scooter. He is owned by Brittany Farms, John Carver and Riverview Farms, trained by Tony Alagna and Tim Tetrick was in the bike. 


MANALAPAN, NJ – September 29, 2012 -- Child’s Play was tested to the wire but held on for a half-length victory in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres Final for three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at Freehold Raceway, the site of the inaugural Open Space Pace & Festival of Horses.

The Open Space Pace Event, which began with a Parade of Horses down Main Street in Freehold, featured bands, vendors and exhibits, celebrity races, petting zoo, a racing under saddle competition, 12 pari-mutuel races and a concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. 

Child’s Play, a daughter of Cam’s Card Shark, had the lead at every call and was up by a length and a quarter at the top of the stretch.  She was challenged by Carolsideal [by Western Ideal] through the stretch but held on for her seventh win in 15 starts this year.  It was four and a half lengths to Babe Per View [by Rocknroll Hanover] in third.

The mile was clocked in 1:56.1

Eric Abbatiello drove the Ed Hart trainee for WJ Donovan of Ft Lauderdale, FL, who purchased her for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.  She now has a career bankroll of $64,692, finishing first or second in 10 of 20 starts.

Her prolific dam Duck Duck Goose also produced $800,000-earner Duneside Perch and $540,000-earner Aba Daba Doo.

In the non-wagering $5,000 Racing Under Saddle Trot, Helene Gregory won aboard Armbro Doyle in 2:06.4.  The nine-year-old gelding, trained by Rob Harmon and owned by the Harmon Racing Stable LLC of Ramsey, NJ, won by 12 and ¾ lengths in the field of five.

The Open Space Pace program drew a crowd of 2,855 and wagering of $101,460.  The attendance was the highest since 3,842 turned out for Kentucky Derby Day festivities on the first Saturday in May.

For more information on the Open Space Pace, visit



--Carol Hodes for SBOANJ




Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lex1 - Dual Sets of Bluegrass Contested

LEXINGTON, KY— Divisions for the $404,000 Bluegrass for the two-year-old colt trotters and the $326,100 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly pacers were contested on Friday, September 28.

Major Athens comes from off the pace to win the first of four Bluegrass divisions

The Richard Gillock trained Major Athens took the first of a quartet of Bluegrass divisions on Friday for the two-year-old colt trotters.

Getting away towards the back of the field, Major Athens was priming to make a late effort, while tempo setter Here’s Johnny dueled with 4-5 Mystical Dew. Through fractions of :29.3, :58.3 (:29) and 1:27.3 (:29), Major Athens began his bid into the stretch. Four wide and charging, ‘Athens’ passed an off stride San Donato and a surging Pine Credit. Athens had another gear left in him and got his nose in front to win. Mystical Dew was second, Pine Credit was third and Here’s Johnny was fourth.

Major Athens is by Andover Hall out of the mare Miss Athens by Self Possessed. He is owned by Thomas Brice and Charles Receski, trained by Richard Gillock and Brian Sears was in the bike.

Major Athens returned $4.80 to win.

James Rattray guided All Laid Out to an 11-1 upset victory in division two

Rattray ‘laid out’ the perfect trip for his colt All Laid Out to nip My Man Can at the line in 1:57.1.

My Man Can was the tempo setter heading into the first turn, bearing the challenge of Fashion Blizzard. Eventually, Fashion Blizzard took the lead by the quarter in :29.1. Jacks To Open pulled the pocket from fourth and cleared the lead at the half-mile in :57.1 (:28).

Bullish was flushed into the two wide flow heading into the far turn. Max Andover picked up his cover and Fashion Blizzard was looking for room. Passing three-quarters in 1:28.1 (:29), Rattray gave the queue to All Laid Out, fanning wide into the stretch and charging after My Man Can. Fashion Blizzard was coming up the rail and All Laid Out was surging down the center. At the wire, All Laid Out got his nose in front to defeat My Man Can, while Fashion Blizzard finished third and Cashco was a closing fourth.

All Laid Out, a son of Yankee Glide and foaled by Adelaide Hall, is owned and trained by Noel Daley and James Rattray picked up the drive. 

All Laid Out paid $24.60 to win.

Creatine trotted off cover to surge by rivals in third division

Creatine found racing room after being shuffled back in the mile and rallied by competition to win the third Bluegrass division.

Creatine was the leader into the first turn. Caveat Emptor came first over and cleared the front by the opening quarter in :30.1. Spider Blue Chip and Possessed Fashion broke at the start, being eliminated from contention. After a leisure half timed in :59.1 (:29), Broadway Prince came first over as the field rolled into the far turn. Caveat Emptor and Broadway Prince were dueling for the lead at three-quarters in 1:29.2 (:30.1).

An open pocket allowed Creatine to fan onto the outside into the stretch. Caveat Emptor was dropping back from the battle with Broadway Prince. Creatine was already in front of the field by 2 lengths entering the sixteenth pole and Broadway Prince narrowed the margin to 1 length at the finish, timed in 1:57.1 (:27.4). Broadway Prince was second, Your So Vain split horses to finish third and Possessed Fashion was fourth.

Creatine is by Andover Hall out of the mare Berry Nice Muscles by Muscles Yankee. He is owned by Diamond Creek Farm LLC, trained by Bob Stewart and Mike Lachance was in the bike.

Creatine returned $14.60 to win.

Punxsutawney saw his shadow in the spotlight of the wire, taking the final division of Bluegrass

Punxsutawney surged past rivals in the final moments to win the final of four divisions of the Bluegrass stakes for two-year-old colt trotters.

Hall Of Muscles was three wide into the turn, with Amalfi Coast in between horses and Deadliest Catch at the rail. Hall Of Muscles cleared the front through a :28.4 opening quarter. Amalfi Coast backed into second and Deadliest Catch was in third. Deadliest Catch made a first over bid for the front after a tepid :59.3 (:29.4) half-mile. Punxsutawney came second over and Crazy About Pat was third over.

At three-quarters, Hall Of Muscles was holding onto the lead. Deadliest Catch overtook command past the three-quarter pole in 1:29.2 (:29.4). Into the lane, Punxsutawney fanned off cover and flew on by Deadliest Catch. Punxsutawney was an easy winner in 1:57.2 (:28). Deadliest Catch was second, Crazy About Pat was third and Text Winner closed to finish fourth.

Punxsutawney, a son of Glidemaster and foaled by Sunseeker Kosmos, is owned by Jerry Graham, trained by John Butenschoen and was driven to victory by Tim Tetrick.

Punxsutawney paid $4.80 to win.

I Luv The Nitelife scores in first filly Bluegrass division

Highly-rated I Luv The Nitelife added another victory to her resume, winning the first of three divisions of the Bluegrass for two-year-old filly pacers.

Donna Lee led the field by the quarter in :28.2. Miss Madi M made a brush for the lead and cleared at the three-eighths. I Luv The Nitelife started up the two wide flow from sixth, supplying cover to Parlee Beach and Art Ideal. Passing the half in :57.1 (:28.4), Miss Madi M was unchallenged. ‘Madi’ faced pressure at three-quarters from a flushed out Belle Boyd. Three-quarters was timed in 1:25.3 (:28.2).

Into the lane, Belle Boyd took over the lead. I Luv The Nitelife fanned off cover and paced by Belle Boyd under minimal urging. I Luv The Nitelife strolled home in 1:52.4 (:27.1). Belle Boyd was second, Miss Madi M was third and Parlee Beach closed for fourth.

I Luv The Nitelife is by Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Lisjune by Camluck. She is owned by Richard and Joanne Young, trained by Chris Ryder and Brian Sears was in the bike.

I Luv The Nitelife returned $2.60 to win.

Ritascape pulled off the 9-1 stunner in the second division

Off of a tough first over mile, Ritascape nipped Uf Dragon’s Queen at the wire in 1:52.2.

Want Answers lead the field by the quarter in :28.4. Uf Dragon’s Queen then brushed to the lead, clearing at the three-eighths. Live Entertainment was shuffled to third and Ritascape came first over from fourth. Novascotia Hanover, Mistresstothestars and Authorize picked up the cover, supplied by Ritascape. The two wide flow developed at the half in :56.3 (:27.4).

Into the far turn, Ritascape was narrowing in on tempo setter Uf Dragon’s Queen. Novascotia Hanover was tracking cover in fourth, with Want Answers at the rail in third. Past three-quarters in 1:25 (:28.2), Ritascape was now a head behind Uf Dragon’s Queen. Through a fierce stretch battle, Ritascape came out victorious. Uf Dragon’s Queen was second, Want Answers was third and Novascotia Hanover finished fourth.

Ritascape, a daughter of Artiscape and foaled by Rita J, is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler and South of the Tracks Racing Inc., trained by Homer Hochstetler and Jody Jamieson was in the bike.

Ritascape paid $20.20 to win.

Nikki Beach tracked footsteps and rallied late to win the final filly Bluegrass division

Nikki Beach got a perfect second over trip and flew by rivals to win the third and last Bluegrass division in 1:53.2.

South Pacific was first over on the lead at the quarter in :28. Clearing the lead approaching the half-mile, Wherethegirlsare came first over and Nikki Beach tracked cover. South Pacific led the field by the half in :57.2 (:29.2). Into the far turn, Wherethegirlsare slowly progressed first over in pursuit of South Pacific. South Pacific was still in command at three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:28.4).

Into the stretch, South Pacific was the one to catch. Wherethegirlsare was flattening out and Nikki Beach fanned off cover. Nikki Beach took over the lead, with Wherethegirlsare giving chase and South Pacific back in third. Nikki Beach won by a length in 1:53.2. Wherethegirlsare was second, South Pacific was third and Our Miss Lilly was fourth.

Nikki Beach is by Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Western Wisdom by Western Hanover. She is owned by Brittany Farms, trained by Tony Alagna and Tim Tetrick was in the bike.

Nikki Beach returned $3.00 to win.

Tomorrow night’s card features a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 4, carded as races 6-9 tomorrow, September 29.

For a preview on Bluegrass action this weekend, tune into North American Harness Update by clicking the following link √†  




Nfld - Skyworth Wins Fifth Straight

Skyworth, a recent acquisition to the Nichole Gagnon stable, scored her fifth straight victory on Friday (September 28) at Northfield Park. 

Skyworth winning the 11th race at Northfield Park -JJ Zamaiko Photography
Skyworth (Sportsmaster-Fox Valley Camilla-Incredible Finale) led through fractional times of 28.2, 58, 1:26.4 and 1:55.2.  Ryan Stahl drove Skyworth for his fianc√© Nichole Gagnon of Republic, Ohio and co-owner Cathy Watson of Tiffin, Ohio. 

The win represents the 14th career victory for Skyworth and pushed her career earnings to just shy of $50,000.


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 28, 2012--Yonkers Raceway's usual Friday night pair of $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--for distaff pacers and both-genders-allowed trotters--were won by odds-on Royal Cee Cee N (George Brennan, $2.80) and just-above-even-money Arriba Amigo (ditto Brennan, $4.30).

Assigned penultimate post position No. 7, Royal Cee Cee N had to wait her turn early. Four-deep in the first turn, she eventually made the lead around Keeper's Destiny (Jim Pantaleano) just after a :27.1 opening quarter-mile.

From there, it was a soft :29.2 second interval (:56.3 half) before Naughtytiltheend (Brent Holland) tried it first-up. That one could never come close in and out of the 1:24.4 three-quarters, with "Cee Cee" taking a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane.

She needed only to hold off the loose pocket-sitter, which she did by that same margin in 1:52.3. Rock N Soul (Jason Bartlett), last week's victress and this week's eight-hole beginner, rallied for third, with Naughtytiltheend and Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) completing the cashers.    

For Royal Cee Cee N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her seventh win (second consecutive since hitting town) in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.80, with the triple returning $63.

Arriba Amigo kept the roll going, making its six wins in succession and 4-for-4 in Westchester.

Leaving from post No. 6, Arriba Amigo was immediately in play. He went up and over Master Pine (Pantaleano) and gave nothing else a chance (:27.4, :57.2, 1:26.1, 1:55.2). The final margin was 2¼ lengths, with KLM Express (Jim Marshall III) holding off Big Sky Storm (Jordan Stratton) for second. 

Bastille (Cat Manzi) and Master Pine grabbed the minor spoils.

For Arriba Amigo, a 5-year-old Amigo Hall gelding co-owned by (trainer) Josh Green, David Rovine and VIP Internet Stable, it was his seventh win in 19 '12 tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $23.20, the triple returned $111.50 and  the superfecta paid $509.

Yonkers hosts its fourth annual Fall Harvest Festival Saturday night, highlighted by the $400,000 Fall Harvest Series. Eight, $50,000 races for New York-bred pacers and trotters comprise the event, which also features any number of fun, family events on the track apron from 5:30-9:30 PM. Also, the Legislators' Challenge--a trio of non-wagering events with New York elected officials doing battle--takes to the track beginning at 5:30.

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.



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

YONKERS NY, Friday, September 28, 2012--Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted the several staff members of the Food Bank for Westchester for a night at the races.

The guests, including interim executive director Toby Ives, senior director of development Katy Coppinger and volunteer coordinator Nancy Lyons, made a winner's circle presentation to driver Jason Bartlett.

Last month, dozens of Raceway/Empire City employees, along with Standardbred Owners Association of New York directors and drivers Bartlett, Brent Holland, Larry Stalbaum and Jordan Stratton, spent an afternoon volunteering at the Food Bank's Elmsford, NY, operations center, located about 20 minutes north of Yonkers.

After a tour of the plant, the day's mission was spent packing food--two-pound bags of navy beans and 12-packs of bagels, to be precise--for countywide dissemination. Various items are prepared for shipment on any given day

The Food Bank for Westchester, one of eight food banks in New York State, is the backbone of the county’s emergency food network. It acquires, warehouses and distributes more than seven million pounds of food annually to over 220 frontline hunger-relief organizations. Those organizations include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs.

 In early 2012, the Food Bank moved to a larger facility (200 Clearbrook Road in Elmsford), to get more food out to more of the estimated 200,000 people in Westchester who are hungry or at risk of hunger. The Food Bank’s mission is to lead, engage and educate Westchester County residents in creating a hunger-free environment.

Both the Raceway and the Standardbred Owners have contributed to this worthy cause, with the SOA's George Casale joining the Food Bank crew in the winner's circle. 

For more information, contact the Food Bank (914-923-1100), or visit them on-line at

Clntn - Clinton Raceway Hosts 'Memorial' Program Closing Day This Sunday

Clinton, September 28, 2012 - Clinton Raceway will host its final program of the season this Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

The entire Closing Day program will pay tribute to past harness horse people who made a lasting contribution to the sport.

Each of the 12 races on the card will be a memorial event and the following people will be honoured:

Ray Odorico
Roy “Sugar” Meriam & Jack Meriam
Merv Wade
Roy Chapple
Vicky Horner
Friends & Family of Lynne Davies & Natalie Elliott
Eric Schellenberger
Bill Chowen
Ron Procop
Harry Kerr
Ken & Joyce Taylor & Robert Taylor
Dr. George S Elliott & Mert Elliott.

“All of these people loved the sport and had a lasting impact, especially here in Clinton,” said General Manager Ian Fleming. “We take a lot of pride in being able to honour these people and thank their friends and family for helping making a day like this possible.”

Fans are also reminded there will be a chicken barbecue following the races and tickets will be available for just $10. For more information, visit

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lon - The Raceway At Western Fair District Ready For Season Opener

London, September 28, 2012 -- The Raceway at The Western Fair District is gearing up for another exciting season of live harness. The opening night program is set for Friday, October 12 with a 7:05 p.m. (ET) post time.

The London oval will host racing every Monday and Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. (ET) and Friday and Saturday nights at 7:05 through December 31. The first major event on the schedule is the $200,000 (Est.) Forest City Pace for older pacing mares which is slated for Saturday, November 17.

The opening night program will feature a ‘Meet and Greet’ with some of the top local drivers in the lobby prior to the races. The Top Of The Fair Dining Room will play host to a special 'opening night'priced buffet as part of The Raceway’s enhanced dining options for the upcoming season.

Customers are urged to book early for opening night and during the holiday season which fills up fast. To do so, call 519-438-7203 ext. 252 (open 7 days a week, 9am-9pm) or email 

The ‘Hands On Horses’ program, presented by OHHA, will also be taking place that night and there will be prize giveaways after each and every race on the program.

“We’re ready to start the season with a bang,” said The Western Fair District Marketing Director Sarah Imrie. “It is just the beginning of what promises to be a fantastic meet and we have a lot planned throughout the entire racing season.”

Imrie and her ‘Be Entertained’ Team look forward to exposing new customers to the sport while at the same time offering existing ones a great night out at the track.

Free FM Fridays will be back this year with the local radio station providing ‘live to air’ remotes from the track each Friday. New this year, dining on Friday and Saturday nights will be available at the Chef’s Table, located in the East Annex, at the great price of just $14.99.

On Saturday nights, The Raceway will partner with OLG to provide live local entertainment in the East Annex throughout the race program.

On the wagering side, the early Pick-4 is back by popular demand and will replace the pick-5 wager. A new Super Hi-Five wager has been added at a 15% takeout rate. It will be offered on the final race each day, which will feature a 9-horse field and a carryover component if there is no winning ticket.

Also new this year, carryovers will be offered on superfecta wagers. When there is no winning ticket, the entire pool will be carried over to the next race offering superfecta wagering.

“We had a very good meet in 2011/2012, especially in the second half,” said The Raceway General Manager Ian Fleming. “We wanted to take what worked and continue that while also adding something new to the mix. Our pool size was a strength last year and we expect to grow that even more this year.”

The daily wagering profile is as follows:

W,P,S – All
Daily Double – First two and last two
Ex,Tri – All
Pick -4 – Early (4-7) Late (8-12)
Superfecta – All (excluding last race)
Super Hi-5 – Last

For more information on live racing and what else is happening at The Western Fair District, visit

Lex1 - Freshmen Gals Stampede into Grand Circuit Opener

- by Ray Cotolo for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY— Grand Circuit action had begun on Thursday, September 27, with two-year-old filly trotters competing in the $355,000 Bluegrass stakes at The Red Mile. 

Frau Blucher did not disappoint the public, winning as the unanimous 1-5 choice in the first of four divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes. 
Miss Steele was the tempo setter, after dueling with Ma Chere Hall for the front by the quarter. Miss Steele cleared the top through an opening quarter of :28.2. Frau Blucher brushed to the front as the field passed the three-eighths. After a half-mile timed in :58 (29.3), Royal Assets was flushed first over by Coffeecake Hanover rounding the far turn. 

As Coffeecake Hanover went off-stride, Royal Assets came wheel-to-wheel with Frau Blucher. The two dueled by three-quarters in 1:27.3 (:29.3). Into the stretch, Palone was asking for more from Frau Blucher. Royal Assets was losing ground on the outside and Miss Steele was trotting up the cones. Frau Blucher drew off by about 2 lengths to win the Bluegrass in 1:55 (:27.2). Royal Assets finished second, Miss Steele was third and Ma Chere Hall finished fourth. 

Frau Blucher is by Broadway Hall out of the mare My Angel by Muscles Yankee. Hauser Bros Racing Entertainment LLC and Matt Tudisko own her, she is trained by Chris Oakes and Dave Palone was in the sulky. Frau Blucher returned $2.40 to win. 

Upfrontluckycarol and Aspidistra Hall trotted a dead-heat mile in the second division of the Bluegrass.

Karalta Bye Bye was off stride as the wings of the gate folded. Sina pressured a speedy Aspidistra Hall for the top as the field banked into the first turn. Sina cleared the lead approaching the quarter, with Aspidistra Hall in second and Upfrontluckycarol in the pocket third. Sina trotted the opening quarter in :29. 

Aspidistra Hall brushed to the top and cleared passing the three-eighths. Upfrontluckycarol pulled the pocket and was in pursuit from third. Upfrontluckycarol took over the top spot from Aspidistra Hall, through a :57.3 (:28.3) half-mile. 

Into the far turn, Morningstar pulled the pocket, first over from fourth. Aspidistra Hall was flushed first over and came head-to-head with Upfrontluckycarol by three-quarters in 1:29 (:31.2). Into the stretch, Aspidistra Hall and Upfrontluckycarol drew away from the field by about 5 lengths approaching the finish and the two were inseparable at the wire. The dead-heat was timed in 1:56.2 (:27.2). Morningstar finished third and Sina was fourth.

Upfrontluckycarol is by Andover Hall out of the mare Bat Breaker by Muscles Yankee. She is owned by Up Front Racing LLC and Murray Brown, trained by Kelly O’Donnell and David Miller was in the bike. 

Aspidistra Hall is by Donato Hanover out of the mare Angel Fire Hanover by Lindy Lane. She is owned by Kelley Racing Stable LLC, J. Sbrocco and W. Weaver, trained by Paul Kelly and Brian Sears was in the bike. 

The two returned $2.10 to win.

Time To Kill shot up the lightning lane to win the third Bluegrass division in 1:55.1. 

Time To Kill was parked early on in the first turn, eventually clearing the front. Vintage Oaks was in second and Shared Past was back in third. Time To Kill trotted by the quarter in :28.1. Shared Past made a first over brush for the top down the backstretch. Time To Kill was shuffled to second and Vintage Oaks was back in third. Shared Past led by the half in :57.2 (:29.1). 

Into the far turn, Alphadoodle came first over from fifth. Vintage Oaks flushed first over and Antsy Dancey picked up cover from last. Vintage Oaks was chasing after Shared Past as they passed three-quarters in 1:26.4 (:29.2). 

Into the lane, Shared Past was holding on to the lead. Vintage Oaks was on the outside and Alphadoodle fanned off cover three wide. Antsy Dancey was trotting down the center, while Time To Kill was looking for room up the cones. Once Time To Kill found racing room, she shot up the pylons and defeated rivals to win the Bluegrass in 1:55.1. Shared Past held on for second, Antsy Dancey was closing for third and Alphadoodle finished fourth. 

Time To Kill is by Credit Winner out of the mare Are You Ready by Broadway Hall. She is owned by Let It Ride Stables LLC and Robert Cooper Stables, trained by Ross Croghan and John Campbell was in the bike. Time To Kill paid $4.40 to win. 

To Dream On continued her valiant two-year-old campaign to win the final division of Bluegrass. 

Fashion Athena led the field into the first turn, while To Dream On left fast from the far outside and was caught wide in third. Mistery Woman was in the pocket second and Right Away was back fourth. To Dream On cleared the top by the quarter in :29.3. 

Down the backstretch, To Dream On was unchallenged. She trotted the half-mile in :57.4 (:28.1). As the field rolled into the far turn, Handover Belle started the two wide flow from sixth, supplying cover to Uf Tadys Donato. Mistery Woman was flushed out and in pursuit of a loose To Dream On passed three-quarters in 1:27.3 (:29.4). Into the stretch, To Dream On was drawing away under a hand drive. Handover Belle was closing into second and Mistery Woman was holding on for third. It was To Dream On as she was home free at the wire in 1:54.3 (:27). 

To Dream On is by Credit Winner out of the mare Satin Pillows by Conway Hall. She is owned by Marvin Katz and John Libfeld, trained by Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras guided the freshmen filly to victory. 

To Dream On returned $2.80 to win. 

Red Mile racing resumes tomorrow night with a 7:00PM (EST) first post. Visit The Red Mile website for more info on the upcoming stakes action.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 27, 2012--Yonkers Raceway is reprising one of its much-anticipated nights of the racing season, readying for the fourth annual Fall Harvest Festival.

The Festival, scheduled for this Saturday, September 29th, offers fun events for the entire family while again showcasing the thriving relationship between horse racing and agriculture throughout New York State.

Many of the staples from Festivals past are included in this season's edition, which takes place on the track apron from 5:30-9:30 PM.

There's face painting, pumpkin painting, a petting zoo and live music, along with the chance to purchase New York-made wine, cheese, candy and caramel apples, cider, fudge, peanut butter, beer (with proper ID), a cigar lounge (for Elite Empire Club members), baked goods and other delicacies. Tickets for all activities and food/drink items are available for purchase at the event.

...and since the Raceway does have the reputation for hosting some of the best harness racing anywhere, the $400,000 Fall Harvest Series highlights the action on the track. Eight, $50,000 events for New York-bred pacers and trotters, are scheduled (first post 7:10 PM).

In addition, there's the annual Legislators' Challenge, featuring elected officials from across the state (and both sides of the aisle) doing battle in non-wagering—though highly-competitive--races. This season’s Challenge find 12 legislators competing in three divisions (post time at 5:30, 5:45 & 6 PM).  
Scheduled to go after bragging rights are (alphabetically) Assembly Members Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx), Mike Dendekker (D-E. Elmhurst), Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers), Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon), Andrew Raia (R-E. Northport), Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip), Addie Russell (D-Theresa), Joseph Saladino (R-Massapequa), Eric Stevenson (D-Bronx) and Keith Wright (D-Manhattan), along with State Senators Jim Alesi (R-E. Rochester) and Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx).

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano is going to be on hand to make the winner’s circle presentations.   

"We're excited to bring back the Fall Harvest Festival," Raceway general manager Bob Galterio said. "Our fans and employees look forward to it every year, and we get to showcase Empire City, Yonkers Raceway, harness racing and New York State during one exciting night."

“The Harvest Festival does a great job highlighting the strong connection between harness racing and agriculture in New York State,“ Standardbred Owners of New York president Joe Faraldo said. “The evening’s Legislators’ Challenge Races are a terrific way for state legislators to learn first-hand just how exciting our sport really is.”


MANALAPAN, NJ – Child’s Play, who won two of three preliminary legs, gets the 2-1 morning line nod in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres Final for three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at Freehold Raceway.

This is the first of eight Green Acres Finals this fall, spotlighting New Jersey-sired horses, and is the third race on the inaugural Open Space Pace & Festival of Horses card.

The Open Space Pace Event begins with a Parade of Horses down Main Street in Freehold, starting at 9:30 a.m., and features bands, vendors and exhibits, celebrity races, petting zoo, a racing under saddle competition, 12 pari-mutuel races and a concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. 

Child’s Play, who drew the rail and will be driven by Eric Abbatiello, has a record of six wins in 14 starts this year, including the first and second legs of the New Jersey Sire Stakes – Green Acres Division.  The daughter of Cam’s Card Shark has finished first or second in nine of 19 career starts, banking $47,192. 

The Ed Hart trainee races in the name of WJ Donovan of Ft Lauderdale, FL, who purchased her for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale where she had the name Yourgooseiscooked.  Her prolific dam Duck Duck Goose also produced $800,000-earner Duneside Perch and $540,000-earner Aba Daba Doo.

The field for the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres [with sire, driver, trainer and morning line]:

1-Child’s Play-Cam’s Card Shark-Eric Abbatiello-Ed Hart- 2-1.
2-Ideal In Vegas – Western Ideal-Cat Manzi-Anthony Mannino-3-1
3-Vy Hanover-Cam’s Card Shark-Steve Smith-David Duspiva-8-1
4-Carolsideal-Western Ideal-Jeff Dauplaise-Jeff Smith-6-1
5-Air Guitar Hanover-Rocknroll Hanover-Jeff Gregory-Linda Toscano-5-1
6-Babe Per View-Rocknroll Hanover-Jim Pantaleano-Ron Burke-4-1

For more information on the Open Space Pace, visit

 - Carol Hodes for SBOANJ