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Thursday, January 31, 2013

MR - A Foggy Day in Monti Town

What’s the hardest call for a race announcer?  Some might say calling races in the fog.

Howard Oil, Monticello Raceway’s longtime race caller confronted that situation yesterday (Jan. 30) when the Mighty M was shrouded in fog.

Still the veteran announcer followed as best he could the moving horses up the backside which were not clearly visible and ‘jive-talked’ until the field rounded the paddock turn when he could actually see the action as they raced for pay-dirt.

“I could hardly see a thing during some of the races but my early calls, when the horses were visible  in front of the grandstand, held up as the fields came out of the fog at the top of the lane and raced for the wire,” Oil said undauntedly at the end of a  trying afternoon of race announcing.

“Yeah, it wasn’t the easiest afternoon I’ve ever had.”

Twelve races went to post and it was during the early part of the card when the warm temperatures  helped the heavy snow  to evaporate thus  causing the heavy  fog.

Of course the job for John Flynn, the program director, who is also the official chart caller, was no picnic either. However, when he couldn’t make out  the horses or their numbers he just wrote ‘fog’  for the horses position at the points when he was unsure of the racing order.

“I could see pretty good in the homestretch and we didn’t have any trouble with the photo finishes,” Flynn related.

For Howard Oil his job was tougher because when he couldn’t see the racing horses he didn’t want dead-air so he talked about some of the race leaders past performances or anything else that came  to his mind until the field was visible again.

The featured race on that Wednesday card was a trot for $15,000 claimers and/or non-winners of $600 per start which was copped by Halfpipe in a time of 2:01.3 over the muddy racing surface. Jimmy Marohn, currently the meets leading driver again this year, handled the driving chores for trainer  Danny Gill.

Flynn officially charted Halfpipe’s race line as follows:  (pp)4; ( ¼ )fog;  ( 1/2)1; (3/4)fog; (str)fog;  (finish) 1/3 ---  2:01.3.

Oil’s race call was a bit harder but by the time the field disappeared in the fog and came back to view  in the homestretch Oil entertained the fans with  his comments. And, of course he called the exact order of finish on the wire.

Nfld - Instant Glide Wins Fourth Straight

Instant Glide, trotted home for her fourth straight win Wednesday (January 30) in Northfield Park’s ninth race.  The five-year old is owned and trained by Deborah DeWolfe of Richwood, Ohio.  Robert Dinning has been aboard Instant Glide for the last three victories and driver JD Wengerd started the mare on her win streak.
Instant Glide winning fourth stratight at Northfield Park
Photo courtesy of J.J. Zamaiko Photography

Wednesday’s triumph in 2:01.4, increased Instant Glide’s (Master Glide-Impact Red-SJ’s Photo) lifetime wins tally to 11 and her earnings to $15,830.   

Her 2013 undefeated season is back on the line as she drew post three in Northfield Park’s opening race on Monday, February 4.

CalX1 - Cal Expo Thursday Barn Notes


By Mark Ratzky publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Cache River, who has led the way into the stretch in her last four trips to the post while coming away with a pair of victories, appears the one to catch once again in Friday night’s opening leg of the Michael Corley Pacing series for the mares at Cal Expo. 

Cache River is an 8-year-old Michigan-bred daughter of Keystone Raider who carries the banner of Carrie Scott, is conditioned by Gretchen Smith and will once again have the services of Luke Plano. She sports a 1:54 2/5 mark that was established as a sophomore and is looking for her third snapshot from five appearances on the new year.

Over a sloppy track on January 5, the bay miss sat the pocket for three-quarters, was out to the lead turning for home and romped home by five lengths. She had big leads in her next two starts, but weakened in the shadow of the finish line to check in a close third in those efforts.

Cache River returned to her winning ways last week, as she made what proved to be the winning move to the lead at the half and was never seriously threatened in a sharp 1:55 flat once-around. Her speed will no doubt be on display once again and the Corley Series would appear to be a good spot for this gal.

Frankly Scarlett and Incredible Gambler completed the trifecta behind Cache River last week and both are capable of turning the tables with their best effort. The former is a Little Steven mare who is reined and trained by Steve Wiseman, while Incredible Gambler is a Matias Ruiz trainee with co-owner Dave Siegel at the controls. Rounding out the field are Littlehannahsue, Sea Bug, Incredible Gambler, In The Reason and Mousseine Hanover.


Oompa Loompa has rattled off six straight victories while steadily working his way up the class ladder and now gets his toughest test to date when he suits up for Friday evening’s $5,800 pacing co-feature.

Oompa Loompa, who races for team of owner Kc C Carvalho, trainer Tim Brown and pilot Luke Plano, started his winning streak back on December 21 and has been unbeatable in the interim. He will have to be at the top of his game to keep the streak alive as he takes on Split Ticket, Haggin Oaks, One And Only and Cycle Power in the evening’s third race.


This weekend Cal Expo is remembering steward Michael Corley and sports editor Bill Conlin with opening legs of the pacing series named in their honor. The Corley begins Friday and the Conlin will get underway on Saturday.

Michael Corley, who passed away last year, was a respected steward in California for over 30 years, sharing the stand for many of those seasons with Pete Tomilla and Bob Latzo.

“Mike was a personal friend and great to work with,” Tomilla said. “He could read a race as it unfolded better than anyone I know. He was a true friend and I miss him.”

Corley really earned respect when he took the bold step to actually walk into the announcer’s booth following an inquiry to explain why the stewards made the decision that they did on that particular race. Whether you agreed or not with the call, you had to admire the fact that you were hearing the explanation directly from the stewards. 

Bill Conlin passed away in 1997 and holds the distinction of being the sports editor for both the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union during a distinguished career in journalism. He is often mentioned as the most influential sportswriter in the history of the state capitol.

Conlin was blessed with a fearsome wit, boundless curiosity and an immense capacity for enjoying life’s pleasures. He made the rounds of Sacramento watering holes, restaurants and sporting events for 60 years and everybody was richer for the experience. He took extreme pleasure in his sports column, a literate and newsy collection of impertinent questions, notable quotes, subtle jabs and understated opinions that brought his wit, humor and intelligence to three generations of Sacramento readers.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


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

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, January 30, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's 12-race Saturday program is that night's attraction for the World Harness Handicapping Championship.

The competitive card is highlighted by the $35,000 Open Handicap Pace, going as the sixth race. The feature includes a pair of career millionaires in Annieswesterncard (Matt Kakaley, post 5) and Silent Swing (Mark MacDonald, post 7) as well as formful foes Rockin' Robert (Jordan Stratton, post 4) and Roadway (George Brennan, post 8).

Those two each have a pair of wins and a second in their last three tries.

Not to give away any company secrets, but those looking for wagering insights for the Open Handicap Pace and the entire program would be well-advised to peruse the free handicapping sheet prepared by noted Raceway raconteur (and Saturday co-host) Peter Venaglia. It's distributed on-track Saturday, as well as available on-line at (go to "live video" section) and  

World Harness Handicapping Championship contestants can register free (and get free past performance program pages) at (also linked through the US Trotting and Yonkers Raceway sites), but are required to enter each week starting Monday at 9 AM (ET) to participate in the upcoming weekend’s contests.  Entries are be limited to 1,000 for each contest on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Each handicapper selects one horse and an alternate, in case of a late scratch, for a $2 win-place wager on each race at the featured track that evening, with all selections needing to be submitted prior to post time of the first race.  

Yonkers' five-night-per-week live schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with first post at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.


WFD - The Raceway Cancels Wednesday Program

London, January 30, 2013 – Unseasonably warm temperatures and heavy rains over the past two days have forced the cancelation of Wednesday’s live program at The Raceway at The Western Fair District.

The track will remain open for afternoon and evening simulcasting and live racing is scheduled to resume this Friday night with a first post of 7:05 p.m.
For more information, visit


Harness  racing is a bit like professional  football whereas  inclement weather doesn’t stop the action. Case in point: Monticello Raceway on the wet and gloomy Tuesday afternoon of January 29.

Despite the race track having to be initially cleared of snow and mud and then cleared again to keep the piled snow and its melting waters from  running out on various parts of the racing surface, the show, although interrupted, still went on.

On that warm day after sub-zero temperatures ensued just a few days prior, the dedicated efforts to keep the show rolling paid off as all 13 races  were contested, although the racing program ran about 30 minutes longer than usual.

On the card was the Final of the Carlspur Series for horses and geldings which saw Jimmy Devaux , with 12-1 shot General  Maximus N, sit a pocket until the backstretch the second time around an d then zoom to the front and cruise home an easy 2:00.1 victory over the even money favorite Joshua’s Jet handled by Mike Forte. Armbro Chivalry was third for Bruce Aldrich, Jr.

The winner, owned by Jerold Blackman and Bill Kapinos and trained by Kapinos paid $24.60 for win.

Other notes of interest on that program were the continuing win-streaks of both Joe De Fino (the horse) and Scottie C.

Joe De Fino ran his win-skein to  four in-a-row  after owner ,trainer and driver Mike Simons took the lead after a relatively slow first half and when they passed the third stanza Simons put the peddle to the metal and Joe De Fino  dashed off to a  :28.3 final quarter  and scored a three length victory in a 2:00.2 clocking.

Joe De Fino’s victory was worth $5.10 to his mutuel backers.

And Scottie C, from the powerful Pete Pellegrino barn, in rein to Greg Merton made winning look easy as the 7 year old Matt’s Scooter gelding  wired the field in 1:56.3 while  the pouring rain tightened the racing surface.

Owned by the Baron Racing Stable Scottie C paid $4.00 for win.

With their victories, Scottie C and Joe De Fino  remain undefeated thus far this year.


CalX1 - Wednesday Barn Notes


By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Dreaming Of Amy, who has captured six of her last eight appearances, gets the top billing in Thursday night’s opening leg of the Richard Staley Trotting Series at Cal Expo. The race carries a $3,500 purse and will go as the eighth event on an 11-race program.
A 6-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Banderas Hall, Dreaming Of Amy was claimed from her last start by Kc C Carvalho and is now trained by Tim Brown with Luke Plano in his usual spot in the sulky.
The bay mare began her streak with wins on December 7 and 15, had to settle for the exacta completion at next asking and then rattled off back-to-back scores to close out the year and start the new one. She found herself in the rare position of the front end on December 12 and was overpowered by Bobby Baccala, but has avenged that defeat in her last two trips to the post with impressive wins from off the pace.
Twice The Ruckus is a very nice fit in this field and figures to get respect at the windows. The 9-year-old son of Ilooklikemymom is owned by Denise Maier, takes his lessons from Tim Maier and will be guided by James Kennedy. He has $115,000 in the bank and should be in a good early position.
The aforementioned Bobby Baccala is the only trotter to have finished in front of Dreaming Of Amy in her last two starts and will be among her rivals in the Staley cast. The New Age Hanover gelding is conditioned by George Reider, who also co-owns with Dave and Rob Haness, and Chip Lackey has the assignment.
Completing the field are Chiselled, from the Frank Petrelli barn with Mooney Svendsen handling the lines; the Bob Johnson-trained Loose Cannon with Steve Wiseman at the helm; and the Bernie Wolin-conditioned Earls Dreamofglory from the outside slot with Dave Siegel guiding.
There is a trio of wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5 that begins on the third race; the $1 Pick 4 that comes with a $15,000-guaranteed pool on Thursday, a $20,000 guarantee on Friday and a $25,000 guarantee on Saturday; and the 10-cent High 5 that is conducted on the final race.
Thursday night’s Richard Staley Trotting series honors one of the top owner/breeders in the sport, who passed away 16 years ago at his home in La Jolla at the age of 66.
Staley became involved with the trotters and pacers after attending a seminar at Hollywood Park in 1970.  Pres Jenuine recommended Doug Ackerman as a trainer and this proved to be a very successful relationship for the next 25 years.
Richard Staley owned many outstanding performers, including Crowning Point ($343,662.), Armbro Cadet ($693,392.), Albaquel ($498,222.), and Denali ($485,795.), Noble Hustle ($399,620.), Self Confident ($371,416.), Ever So Rich ($573,756.) and his favorite, Bramble Hall  ($215,809.). Staley also maintained a select broodmare band.
The year he passed away, his 30 starters won 69 races and $669,803, ranking him 17th on the 1996 list of leading money-winning owners. He was an enthusiastic patron of the Grand Circuit and attended many major yearling sales.
Richard Staley provided support for harness racing in many other ways, never seeking credit for his actions. One instance was his help in funding harness meets at several California tracks, including one at the Del Mar track, close to his home in La Jolla and where his horses trained.
In addition to the Richard Staley Series getting underway, the opening legs of the Michael Corley Series and the Bill Conlin Series will be decided this weekend. The Corley is named for the respected and longtime steward, while the Conlin honors the former sports editor of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union. More on these important players in California harness history in Friday’s program.

Cal Expo Schedule Change:  The CHRB has given Cal Expo permission to drop Thursday nights from their schedule after the January 31 card.  In addition to dropping Thursdays, Cal Expo is adding racing on the weekends of May 17 and May 25.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Winter weather sometimes plays havoc with racing schedules and because of the recent  rain, snow and mixed precipitation which causes extra time cleaning and manicuring the racing surface, Monticello Raceway will postpone its Wednesday (Jan. 30) qualifying races and present the same card in its entirety on Thursday, January 31.
“There will be no changes to the qualifiers other than racing them on Thursday instead of Wednesday,“ Eric Warner, the track's director of racing said late today.        
First post for the qualifying on Thursday will be at  10am.


It may be early but responses are slow coming in from potential participants in Monticello Raceway’s 11th annual Lady Godiva Pace which is slated for Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14. The race, part of the tracks Heritage Drivers Series-2013, is exclusively for lady drivers.

“As it stands now we have only heard from three women who say they are ready to drive in our upcoming event,” noted Eric Warner the raceway’s director of racing. “They are Lisa Krom, Terry Donnelly and Veronica Merton. Betsy Phillips, Monticello’s reigning queen with 550 lifetime wins,  recently broke an ankle and won’t be able to participate.”
Lisa Krom won last year’s Lady Godiva with East Tower in 1:59.4 which is currently the series best winning time. They defeated Western  Dancing  driven by Whitney Goodblood and B Major and driver Michelle Ruvola.

The Mighty M usually didn’t have much trouble filling the women driver’s race when the Mildred Williams Series was in high gear but lately there hasn’t been much action from that event.
“Still there are plenty of women who have competed in the past who may want to drive again this year. Hopefully we’ll hear from some of them in the near future,” Warner added.

Any lady with an “A” or “P”  driving license  from the U.S. or Canadian Trotting Associations interested in competing  in the Lady Godiva on Valentine’s Day is urged to contact Warner in the race office at Monticello Raceway by calling 8450794-4100x557. Or they can call the tracks publicity office at ext. 455.

M1 - New FFA Series at The Meadowlands

  The positive wagering trend continued at The Meadowlands this past weekend despite the adverse weather conditions. Post time temperature hovered between 17f and 20f for the three days and blowing snow blanketed Friday's fields throughout the card.

  On the tote board, the all-sources handle was up 16% over what was a very mild weekend weather-wise last year. Saturday's total of $3.7 million was the highest non-Meadowlands Pace/Hambletonian card handle in three years. 

  The races themselves continue to be hotly contested while offering good value. Thursday's Pick 4 returned $2,350 with the highest priced winner at $18 and two favorites in the sequence. Friday's late Pick 4 was over $8,200 keyed by another Eric Carlson driven bomb.

  Three Winter Series finals were raced on Saturday night with a logical winner in each. Windsun Galliano annexed the $51,000 Super Bowl in a stakes record 1:53.4 for the Andy/Julie Miller stable and owners Tracy Brainard, James and Elizabeth Harper. 

  Holdingallthecards was a comfortable winner of the $67,400 Clyde Hirt final. He swept through the series with Tim Tetrick aboard for trainer Scott Di Domenico and owner William McIntyre.

  Golden Receiver had dominated the two Presidential legs and his imposing form resulted in 3/10 favoritism in the $103,500 final. The road to the winners circle was fraught with peril and required the veteran to dig deep into the currency of his courage to prevail.

  The pride of breeder and co-owner Nina Simmonds and her partner Our Horse Cents Stable, Golden Receiver was trained to his second consecutive Presidential tour de force by Mark Harder and perfectly driven by Tim Tetrick.

  Golden Receiver and his potential competition throughout the 2013 racing season will have an opportunity to earn big dollars while making their case for seasonal honors with the brand new $1,000,000 Free For All events in November at The Meadowlands

  These races offer a guaranteed $500,000 purse for both pacers and trotters on November 30 as the fall meet opens at The Meadowlands. The nomination payment is due February 15.

  "With our best horses making the commitment to stay on the racetrack longer, The Meadowlands has responded by providing a stakes program that rewards that commitment," said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali.

  "This brand new Free For All series is a revolutionary idea that will build excitement, pitting the best of our sport against one another throughout the season with an ultimate showdown on November 30. The potential matchup of the best 3YO in the country against the best older horses is spell-binding.  

  "We could have only hoped to see Somebeachsomewhere against Mister Big or Muscle Hill against Lucky Jim. This new series makes that possibility a reality!"

  Information on this new event along with the entire menu of early & late closers for the 2013 Big M season is available on the web . 

  The upcoming week will be strictly overnight racing as there is a one week break in series action. Winter Series events resume on February 7 with the Winter Survivor for horses that have started in a $15,000 claimer or less using the bracket format and the Charles Singer four year old trot.

  Friday, February 8 will see the return of the popular Junior Trendsetter series for sophomore pacers and Saturday, February the Exit 16W for 4 year old pacers kicks off.

  Racing resumes on Thursday with first post at 7:15. Tune in at 6:45 for the award winning "Racing at The Meadowlands" broadcast featuring interviews with racing personalities along with perspective on the card and expert selections.


Monday, January 28, 2013


EASTAMPTON, NJ – January 27, 2013 – Chapter Seven, Linda Toscano and Walnridge Farm were among the honorees at the 56th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon on January 27, 2013 at Charley’s Other Brother.

Chapter Seven was the recipient of the New Jersey Standardbred Horse of the Year award.  Chapter Seven’s trainer, Linda Toscano of Freehold, was saluted with the Governor’s Cup and Walnridge Farm of Cream Ridge was recognized as Breeder of the Year.

Additionally, pacing filly Sarandon Blue Chip was saluted as the New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division Horse of the Year for 2012, and the award for New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres Division Horse of the Year went to the three-year-old trotting filly Aunt Mel.

Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ


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

YONKERS, NY, Monday, January 28, 2013--Due to impending inclement weather in the greater New York area, Yonkers Raceway has cancelled both live racing and evening simulcasting for this evening (Monday, Jan. 28).

Horsemen are advised that today’s draw (for Friday’s card) remains as scheduled, with the entry box closing at the usual 4 PM.

Live racing (and evening simulcasting) is scheduled to resume Tuesday night.

Weather permitting, the Raceway's normal five-night-per-week live schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with first post at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.


Historic Stakes Moves to Harrah's Philadelphia

The Historic Stakes Moves to Harrah's Philadelphia
The Historic Stakes, some of the oldest and most prestigious races on the Grand Circuit, conducted for more than 80 years, have a new venue for freshman pacers and trotters.
 In 2013 the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association and Harrah's Philadelphia (formerly Chester) will host the quartet of events on the following dates.
Wednesday, August 7 -- $60,000 est.  - The  E.H. Harriman Cup for 2-year-old colt trotters
Wednesday, August 14 -$66,000 est.  - The Acorn for 2-year-old trotting fillies
Friday, August 30 -- $75,000 est. - The Goshen Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers
Friday, August 30 -- $64,000 est. - The Debutante for 2-year-old filly pacers
The Historic races are owned and administered by the Hambletonian Society and yearling nominations were taken in May 2012.  The freshman races were recently conducted at Vernon Downs. 
"This scheduling compliments the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2-year-old program as well as other unrestricted 2-year-old  stakes on the calendar, especially at the three Pennsylvania tracks," said Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society.
"We want to express our thanks to the PHHA, especially their president Sam Beegle and executive director Ron Battoni, and to Harrah's racing secretary Joe Auger for working with us on these races."
The PHHA will also have the option on the 3YO events in 2014.
The Historic  Stakes for 3-year-olds will continue to race at Tioga Downs 
The Hambletonian Society services 129 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events and provides one-stop shopping for your staking needs. Our website,, contains all the tools and information necessary to stake your horse yourself.
Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is now available online. For more information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211.


Monticello Raceway’s racing office wants to remind horsemen that the $100 nomination fee for each of  its three February late closing series must made by Wednesday , January 30.

Two events are for claiming pacers; one for fillies and mares and one for horses and geldings; and the third  is for trotters.
The claiming events—‘Name Your Price’-- for the pacers each start with the entrants eligible to be claimed for $4,000. Then on the following week eligible horses can enter for $5000 and on the final preliminary leg they can be entered for $6000 claiming tag.

After the first week claiming prices are at the owner’s discretion but those entering for higher than $4000 will draw for outside positions.
“With the entry  box for the Fillies and Mares Series closing  at 9am on  Wednesday the 30th  it means that both nominations and entries must be in by that time,” explained Eric Warner, the director of racing.

In the trotting series-- the B’s Startrek—entries must be either non-winners of $250 per start in their last six starts or in for a $5,000 claiming price. Horses with a tag will be eligible to be claimed.
Each series has three preliminary legs and a Final, and if there are enough entries each will have a consolation.

Full race conditions for each of the three events  are available on line at under Horsemen’s info.
For further information contact Warner in the racing office at 7845-794-4100x455

Sunday, January 27, 2013


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, January 26, 2013--Something for Doc (Matt Kakaley) finished what he started Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Assigned penultimate post position No. 7, "Doc"--as is his custom--has nose on gate. He made the lead around locally-debuting Intheblinkofaneye (Jason Bartlett) right after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile.

A rated 29-second next quarter (:56.3 half) served Something for Doc well as slight 2-1 choice Roadway (George Brennan)--making his Open Handicap bow--took up the chase. 

It turned into a match race by the 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Intheblinkofaneye tiring in the pocket and nothing hanging with Roadway in the outer tier.

Something for Doc owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then edged away from a pesky Roadway by 2¾ lengths. The 1:52.3 effort matched the fastest local mile of 2013. Here We Go Again (Eric Goodell), Silent Swing (Mark MacDonald) and Intheblinkofaneye rounded out the payees.

For Something for Doc, a 5-year-old Western Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Strollin Stable, he returned $16.20 (fifth choice) for his second win three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $59, with the triple returning $436.

Saturday's feature was one of four consecutive victories by Kakaley, the last three of which were trained by Burke. Jack Franklin also trained three winners on the 12-race card.

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.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

M1 - Nine Different Drivers Win/ Handle Stays On The Rise

The snow and cold couldn’t slow down the drivers Friday Night at the Meadowlands.  Of the 11 races that were held, 9 different drivers found their way to the winner’s circle, with Tim Tetrick and Andy Miller being the only two drivers to win more than one race.  Miller put bookends on the card with wins in the first and last race.

The large payouts that have become a trend at the Meadowlands this winter continued as the Early Pick 4 returned $1,747.10 and the Late Pick 4 returned $8,274.  Combined, the two pools carried over $129,000 in handle.

On the wagering front, it was another jump in total handle for the Meadowlands. Despite the bitter cold and snow, the total all-sources handle of $2,509,774 was a 22% increase from the $2,051,828 wagered on the same Friday in 2012.  The Meadowlands has shown an increase in total handle every night of the 2013 racing season.  The East Rutherford oval will take that momentum into a power-packed Saturday card featuring Golden Receiver in the $103,000 Presidential Final.  The supporting stakes features could not have come up any better, with talent and depth from top to bottom in the Super Bowl and Clyde Hirt Finals.

There is literally something for everyone on Saturday at the Meadowlands.  The night begins with the $15,000 Guaranteed Pick 5, with an average pool of over $48,000 and an average payout of over $10,000 in 2013.  Next is the $25,000 Guaranteed Early Pick 4 with an average pool of over $45,000 this year.  That Pick 4 sequence features The Super Bowl and Clyde Hirt Finals as races 5 and 6.  Following that is the $75,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4, a pool in which the average payout in 2013 has been over $5,500.  That all leads up to the featured 11th race on a blockbuster 13 race program, The Final of The $103,000 Presidential. 

Post Time for all the exciting action is 7:15 P.M.



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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, January 25, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's pair of snowflake-themed Friday night $35,000 Open Handicaps--for distaff pacers and trotters of either gender--were won by Chief Karen (Larry Stalbaum, $21.20) and Master Pine (Jim Pantaleano, $68).

Watching early from post position No. 5 (in one notch after an inside scratch), "Karen" saw a wide Hot List (Matt Kakaley) make the lead from her outside venue. She worked around Warrawee Koine (Jason Bartlett) before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile.

After a :56.3 intermission, last week's victress, this week's 19-10 choice Don't Point At (Jeff Gregory), moved from fifth, with Chief Karen slightly gapping that one at the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Southwind Jazmin (George Brennan) launched a wide bid from the back of the bus.

Hot list maintained a lengths lead in and out of the final turn, but company was closing in. Warrawee Koine ducked inside, with Chief Karen finding her best stride outside. The latter whipped the former by a head in 1:54.3. Hot List saved the bottom of the ticket, with Southwind Jazmin and Don't Point At settling for the minor spoils.

For sixth choice Chief Karen, a 7-year-old daughter of Camluck co-owned by Curran Racing and Adam Michael and trained by Heidi Rohr, it was her second win in three seasonal starts (fourth in five dating to end of last season). The exacta paid $94, with the triple returning $580.

The week's featured trot saw pocket-sitting bombardier Master Pine (Jim Pantaleano) prevail at 33-1. In play from post No. 2, he tailed Affirmed Action (Bartlett) through intervals of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27.2.

Affirmed Action, off those comfy fractions and only token, first-up pressure from Enrico AS (Brennan), had a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, he put up minimal resistance as Master Pine zipped up the cones, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.1. Affirmed Action held second, with 9-10 fave Sugar Queen Gabby (Mark MacDonald) rallying from last to grab third. Enrico AS and Looking Hanover (Brian Sears) rounded out the payees.

For sixth choice Master Pine, a 10-year-old Master Lavec gelding trained by Julie Miller for co-owners Mark Moger and Albert Delia Jr., it was his first win in a couple of '13 tries. The exacta paid $418, the triple returned $1,107 and  the superfecta paid $4,329.        

The Raceway continues its 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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

M1 - Meadowlands Racetrack and LPCiminelli TOP OFF the new Meadowlands Racetrack Grandstand

Set to open November 23, 2013, the 4-story Grandstand will be the finest in North America and will offer the best Harness Racing in the world 

(East Rutherford, NJ, January 25, 2013) - Political, and business leaders, horse owners, trainers, drivers, and Meadowlands staff celebrated the “topping off” of the New Meadowlands Racetrack Grandstand.

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Photo (from left to right): Senator Paul Sarlo, Senator Ralph Caputo, Senator Stephen Sweeney, Jeff Gural, Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose and Jason Settlemoir

The new Grandstand will replace the current facility that opened in 1976 to record crowds.

The new Grandstand will offer many amenities, including a state of the art sports bar, a food court, a terraced dining room, simulcast facilities, VIP suites, and event space. Standing tall, above the grandstand will be a 9,000 square foot roof top deck with a sweeping view of the New York City skyline.

New Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeff Gural is extremely pleased with the progress and construction of the new facility.

“The project is on schedule, and I am anxious to see it completed, the Meadowlands will once again be a cool place to come, have fun, and hang out in.”

To learn more visit



Jimmy Marohn, Jr. is picking up where he left off last year; that being the driving leader at Monticello Raceway where his 271 winners were the best output by any Mighty M driver during the 2012 season.

On Thursday, January 24th card although Marohn only had five drives he made the most of them when he reined four more winners and now has 25 at the current meet,  which once again places him atop the local  leaderboard with some nine more than runner-up Greg Merton’s ,16.

Young Jimmy’s first victory on that very cold and windy afternoon came in the sixth race when he guided  the Ed Hall-owned and Danny Gill trained trotter Noble Lover ($2.50) to an easy nine length triumph in a 2:03 clocking .

Victory number two came in the next race behind the Tiffany Barrett-owned Dave Barrett-trained  Rozewood ($3.20) in a time of 2:01. Jimmy Jr. was nearly dead-heated for win by his dad in that contest when Jimmy (Sr.) and Yes Your Mattjesty fell just a head short in a tight win-photo.

Another trotting victory followed in the eighth race this time with  Ed and James Hall’s Halfpipe ($4.10) in 2:02 which gave trainer Danny Gill a double on the program.

Marohn capped his four-bagger afternoon with a 1:58.4 triumph with Ron Caouette’s  Allamerican Master ($15.00) in the 11th  race.

Happy with the day’s outcome Jimmy Jr. was contacted by cell phone after the racing program was completed.

“I didn’t have a whole lot of drives today but the ones I had were live and luckily we made the best of them,” Marohn  said.

M1 - Marcus Makes His Mark, Handle Continues Upward

It was a night of “firsts” at The Meadowlands as 23 year old Marcus Miller made his first trip to the Meadowlands winners circle.  The filly that brought him there, Ideal Ginny was doing the same, earning her first lifetime win.  Miller guided his filly through a perfect pocket trip, tracking the favored Liz’s Lil K K around the track, eventually sling-shoting past in the stretch in 1:55. 

There was parity amongst the remainder of the driving colony as Yannick Gingras, John Campbell and Andy Miller all had driving doubles.

On the wagering front, the all sources handle was up once again.  The Thursday night handle of $1,714,539 was a twelve-percent increase from the $1,531,317 on this same Thursday in 2012.

Racing continues on Friday with first post time at 7:15 P.M.  All eyes will be on The Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday with over $200,000 in Winter Stakes Finals.  The Super Bowl Final is the best in years featuring multiple leg winners.  The Clyde Hirt Final has talent from top to bottom and taking center stage is the $103,000 Presidential Final where Golden Receiver will look to complete back to back sweeps of that prestigious event.  Post Time for the Saturday card is 7:15 P.M., which as always, includes the $75,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4, harness racing’s best bet.

CalX1 - Friday Barn Notes


 By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness 

                                                                                                                                  The 4-year-old trotters and pacers will be in the spotlight Saturday night at Cal Expo in a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes, with El Azteca and Right After Disbeer heading the trotting contest while Ra Ra Steven is the one to beat among the pacers.

El Azteca and Rite After Disbeer have accounted for most of the big-money races for their division and both are coming off facile conditioned victories last weekend. El Azteca is a son of Panama Hanover who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios with Scott Cisco in the bike, while Rite After Disbeer is a Mary Harris homebred who hails from the Kennedy Lindsey barn and has Chip Lackey at the helm.
El Azteca went coast-to-coast in that last stakes clash in the slop on December 21, waltzing home with nearly five lengths to spare over Rite After Disbeer. He turned up for this assignment with a crushing win at 4-5 last weekend, while his arch-rival also had little trouble getting the job done a bit earlier on that same program.

The trotting stakes is set as the second event on a 13-race card that is scheduled to begin at 6:05 p.m., while the pacing affair goes as a non-betting event prior to the regular program.

Ra Ra Steven is a homebred son of Little Steven and Ra Ra Rosa who carries the banner of Billie Schwartz, Junior Wilkinson and David Rachford who is conditioned by Wilkinson and as usual has Rich Wojcio at the controls. He comes into this assignment with $56,000 in his bank account and a 1:55 4/5 mark that was established here last season.
                                                                                                                                                In the most recent Sire Stakes gathering for his group on December 23 over a sloppy track, Ra Ra Steven gave his supporters some anxious moments when he made a break on the final turn and seemingly dropped out of contention. He gathered himself, however, and once straightened for home ignited for Wojcio to overhaul the leaders and motored by for a two-length score.



                                                                                                                                                        Oompa Loompa, who has rattled off five consecutive victories for owner Kc C Carvalho and trainer Tim Brown, looks to keep the streak going in Saturday’s eighth race at Cal Expo with Luke Plano at the helm. 

The winning skein began at the $3,000 claiming level on December 21 and the gelding has steadily worked his way back up the ladder to the optional $15,000 level. He established his lifetime mark of 1:54 3/5 two weeks ago with Plano, who has been in the sulky for all but one of the recent scores.


Trackman Marty Bridges doesn’t use the comment “amazing mile” very often in the past performances, but it certainly applied to Ra Ra Steven’s victory in the last Sire Stakes for his division back on December 23 over a sloppy track. The 4-year-old suits up for another stakes assignment Saturday night with regular pilot Rich Wojcio. 

Ra Ra Steven made a break turning for home in that late December affair and went from looking like a winner to no chance when they straightened for home. Miraculously, the Junior Wilkinson trainee made up a double-digit deficit in the stretch to prevail by two lengths in one of the more sensational recoveries we’ve ever witnessed.

“I was actually very disappointed with myself in that race,” related Wojcio. “I thought I had given him plenty of room, but he hit the back of Mooney Svendsen’s bike with his knee on that last turn and made a break.

 “Obviously, I thought we were out of it for sure at that point, but he landed and paced right by them. Needless to say, I was relieved and impressed by the talent and determination he showed to overcome my mistake.”