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Friday, May 31, 2013

M1 - Robert Droste Ready For Ultimate Ride With “The Captain”

“I can do the math.”

Being a financial consultant, Robert Droste can certainly tally up one percent of, well, what could be potentially millions.

In a Kentucky Derby Day drawing on May 4, Droste of Clifton, NJ was the Grand Prize winner in the “Win a Share of Captaintreacherous” promotion at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

More than 10,000 entries were submitted over the course of several Saturday nights, and Droste’s name was selected to receive one percent of the pacer’s earnings for the remainder of his racing career.

Trained by Tony Alagna and driven by 2012 Driver of the Year Tim Tetrick, Captaintreacherous is a three-year-old who became the first two-year-old in 25 years to be named overall Pacer of the Year in 2012.

From the stellar first crop of Somebeachsomewhere, he became the fastest freshman in Meadowlands history with a 1:49.3 romp in the Woodrow Wilson and earned $918,253 last season for Captaintreacherous Racing of Versailles, KY. 

Captaintreacherous also won the $1 million Metro Final in 1:49.2 and is the early favorite for the Meadowlands Pace on July 13.

“I was born and raised in Rutherford, NJ, and currently reside in Clifton, NJ.,” said Droste.  “I was the Vice President of Finance for a company, and now I’m an independent financial consultant.”

Droste has been a loyal horseplayer at the Meadowlands since Day One.

“I’ve been going to the Meadowlands maybe ten or 12 times a year since it opened,” he continued. “I was actually there Opening Night in 1976.  I was always interested in horse racing, but the Meadowlands certainly brought it to the forefront.  I had gone to Yonkers and Monmouth Park, but the Meadowlands made it more convenient to go.”

Droste considers himself a sports fanatic.

“I like sports in general, all sports, particularly baseball, football and basketball,”  he admitted.  “I went to Rutherford High School, and I was an All-State baseball player.  I played at Fairleigh Dickinson University for four years.

“Originally, the thoroughbreds piqued my interest because the big races were always on television.  When simulcasting became popular we could always go to the Meadowlands to watch the Triple Crown races.  Big names like Secretariat caught my attention.”

Droste did a little homework before he finally decided to enter the contest.

“I had heard about Captaintreacherous and the promotion,” he noted.  “My friend who goes to the track a lot knew more about him.  Then, I looked the horse up online and discovered he’s quite a horse.”

Although guests were encouraged to enter every Saturday to increase their chances, Droste’s score was sheer destiny.

“I’ve never had an interest in owning horses, and believe it or not, I only put one entry ballot in on the night of the drawing,” he revealed.  “That was the only ticket I played.  Obviously, I got lucky.  When they narrowed it down to just 13 names, I still didn’t think it was going to happen.  Then, I started to get excited when there were only three left.  Those are good odds.  I’ve spoken to [racing manager and partner] Myron Bell a few times since that night.  He’s been very helpful and informative.”

Captaintreacherous kicked off his sophomore season with a dominant win in a $62,587 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division at Pocono Downs on May 19 in 1:49.4.

“I had a family obligation the night of his first race this season,” said Droste.  “I couldn’t make it there, but I watched the race on simulcast at the Meadowlands.  I was extremely impressed.  The horse was phenomenal.  It was really exciting because the horse started from post seven, he took the lead and on the backstretch he really turned it on.  He blew them away.”

Captaintreacherous is scheduled to make his next start on June 8 in the eliminations for the $1,000,000 Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk.  The final is June 15, followed by the Max Hempt Memorial eliminations on June 22 and final on June 29 at Pocono Downs.  He will also start in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations on July 6.  The final is July 13.
“I haven’t been out to the farm to see him yet, but after his first win I’m pretty anxious to get on with the show, so to speak,” said Droste.  “The big races are coming and I can’t wait!”

BR - New York Sire Stakes open at Buffalo Raceway Saturday

From Harness Horse Breeders of New York

Latham, NY---  In the past two years, five dilapidated old barns have been replaced with 5 brand new gleaming barns. Major repairs to the other existing barns include fresh paint; new roofs, stall repairs and a complete refurbishing of an older barn have taken place. The entire stable area has been covered with fresh blacktop. Ongoing drainage issues were addressed and repairs made to eliminate water runoff problems. The track racing surface has been improved with what Dave Dylo, track superintendent calls “The best material he has seen in many years”. In addition, just recently, new state of the art lights have been installed for the entire homestretch. This work followed the building of the new paddock that opened in 2006, a project that was headed by General Contractor, Peter Arrigenna, also the Vice President of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York and a Western New York native.  “It is absolutely incredible to see the improvements made at Buffalo Raceway the past few years,” said Arrigenna.  “It is one of the very few harness tracks in the country that has improved its stable area, which is now one of the finest in the country.”    

Buffalo Raceway has also improved the patrons’ areas of the facility.  Renovations were made in the clubhouse and grandstand including the building of six new boxes; adding new televisions with the most obvious change being a brand new video and sound system featuring new graphics and speakers throughout the entire racing operation, complementing the addition of popular announcer, Gabe Prewitt, a native of Kentucky, who had been calling races at The Red Mile in Lexington for the past eight years.  A 2% Players Reward program continues to be well received in the clubhouse.  The results have been good with Buffalo Raceway’s handle increasing over 60% nationwide since 2011.

“The horsemen have been the beneficiaries of these changes including increased racing days and higher overnight purses,” said Arrigenna.  “Everyone is excited about the changes and how they are treated when visiting Buffalo.”

While Buffalo Raceway management takes their commitment to the local Horsemen and Patrons seriously their overall support to the statewide harness racing industry is especially noteworthy.

Buffalo Raceway works in conjunction with the Western NY Horsemen Association, Batavia Downs and the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund to co-sponsor scholarship races to provide funds for ongoing educational opportunities to high school seniors.  While participating in the scholarship races the students are also exposed to the Standardbred racing industry and learn how to care for racehorses. They are also taught to drive the horses and then compete against each other in a race for the scholarship money.

Buffalo Raceway has also supported the New York Sire Stakes County Fair program by providing much needed saddle pads for the entire statewide fair races.

Buffalo Raceway also works to promote the harness horse racing industry by providing promotional giveaways and information about the NY breeding program.

With tracks like Buffalo Raceway, New York State will continue to be the premier place to race.

So, with the start of the New York Sire Stakes rescheduled because of sickness and a state imposed quarantine it only seems fitting for the season to begin at Buffalo Raceway.

In Race 8, Summertime Lea (2012 NYSS Champion two year old pacing filly) will start off her 2013 NYSS campaign to become a repeat Champion. If she can prevail she will be one of a select few that can retain their form over two years. In 2012 Summertime Lea (Lislea) had nine starts, finishing 1st in eight of them and 2nd in the other. She starts from the rail.

Ballineen appears to be the most serious threat to Summertime Lea’s attempt to retain her position. In her last 8 starts she has not been worse than 3rd.  Ballineen will leave from post 4.

Park N Orchard from post 7, fresh off of a 1:55.3 qualifying effort and Bettor Think Twice from post 5, who already has 2 wins in two starts have their work cut out for them.

Race 4 another NYSS is deep in talent.  Three of the eight entries competed in the 2012 NYSS Finals.

Brussels Hanover (Bettors Delight) finished second to Summertime Lea in the 2012 final and amassed earnings of $143,647 returns to NYSS action. 

Hit the Curb (Art Major) another talented filly earned $160,000 last year for W.  Springtime Stable.  She appeared to tire late in 2012 but returns fresh here.

Silk Pajama’s also raced in the 2012 NYSS final and earned $90,000 for co-owners, CE Zurich, EJ Gold and Purple Haze Stbs LLC.  She starts from post 3.

Purple Haze Stbs LLC. Is due for another good one, will Silk Pajama’s be the one?

Cheyenne Miriam (Bettor’s Delight) has blasted into 2013 and looks to be the one to beat in the first NYSS race of the night.

Spell to Cast (American Ideal) raced respectably last year and Linda Toscano always brings her horses ready to win. From the rail she is a factor.

Social Scene (American Ideal) has been raced very lightly but looks like the real deal.

She comes with trainer Casie Coleman, another lady who can get the job done.

The 3 races Saturday are just the start of the 2013 New York Sire Stakes season with stops at all 7 New York harness tracks that will end September 28 with the Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway.



NICHOLS, NY – Tioga Downs and the Binghamton Mets are joining forces for a first-of-its-kind promotion. On June 4, in their game against the Trenton Thunder, the B-Mets will wear jerseys inspired by the uniform colors of harness racing superstar Yannick Gingras.

In addition, Gingras is scheduled to take the mound and throw out the ceremonial first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

“This is such a great honor for me to see my colors on the field at a professional baseball game,” said Yannick Gingras. “I’m excited to be part of this promotion and hopefully we can expose new fans to the great sport of harness racing.”

The horses that Gingras drove earned more than $13.7 million in 2012, ranking him second nationally. He currently is the leading driver at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey.

On June 9, the jerseys worn at the baseball game will be auctioned off during live racing at Tioga Downs with all proceeds benefitting local charities.  In addition, fans at Tioga Downs will receive a replica version of the jerseys free while supplies last.

June 9 is also a top-class day of racing featuring the $200,000 Roll With Joe and $200,000 Artiscape.  Gingras is expected to be at Tioga Downs to drive major contenders in both races. Racing begins at 1:30 p.m.

“We’re really looking forward to this cross-promotion with the B-Mets and we hope it’ll help create new fans of both sports,” said Justin Horowitz, Regional Racing Marketing Manager at Tioga Downs.

VD7/8 - Empire Breeders Classis Trots at Vernon on Sunday

    Vernon, New York -  Elimination races for the New York sired $500,000e Empire Breeders Classics (EBC) three year old trots are part of a Sunday, June 2 matinee card at Vernon Downs.

    The fillies were split into two $12,500 divisions of seven that are carded as races 3 and 5. The first division features 2012 Dan Patch award winner To Dream On and 2012 NYSS Final runner-up Isabella Gal.

    To Dream On makes her first seasonal start for the Jimmy Takter stable and the race has enticed her regular pilot, Yannick Gingras, in for the drive. The Credit Winner filly lists the Breeders Crown among her eight stakes wins in just nine starts last year for owners Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband, all of Ontario, Canada.

    Isabella Gal is local talent, having been bred and raised by recent inductee to the Upstate New York Harness Writer's Hall of Fame Robert A. Brooks, who owns the filly along with his wife Lynn, John Buettner and her trainer, Jeff Long.

   Lady Suffolk division winner Lola De Vie heads the second filly split, race five. Another Credit Winner lass, she was bred and retained by Joie De Vie Farm LLC and is trained by Chris Ryder.

    Trainer Bob Bencal brings the lightly raced Perfect Alliance into the EBC elims for owner Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC off of a well meant second at The Meadowlands in her last. 

    The seventh race is the first of two for the colts and will pit the first and second place finishers from last year's NYSS final against each other right out of the box.

    Fashion Blizzard got the nod in that round and reunites with his regular driver, the New York circuit's top pilot Jimmy Morrill, Jr. Credit Winner again appears on the top line of the pedigree for this homebred winner of more than $300,000 for the interests of owner Fashion Farms, LLC and trainer Jimmy Campbell.

    Tirade Hanover missed being the NYSS freshman champ by just a head. His seven wins in eleven seasonal starts left him just shy of $200,000 for his freshman season. He's logged a couple of impressive Harrington qualifiers for trainer Tyler Raymer to prepare for his sophomore season. The Crazed gelding is owner by a group that includes the trainer's wife, Leigh Raymer, Stephen Moss, and Harold & Helane Solomon. 

    Division two comes in race nine and there are a few that can really go in that one.

    Royalty For Life is housed on the Vernon backstretch and trainer George Ducharme has used three qualifiers, the fastest a month ago in 1:54.1, to prep his RC Royalty colt. A 1:54.2 Grand Circuit stake win at The Red Mile, a close second in the Breeders Crown final and earnings of more than a third million dollars last year has drawn national attention to Alfred Ross, Raymond Campbell and Paul Fontaine's colt.

    Royalty For Life, however, is not in by himself.

    Twisted Pretzel was a contender in the NYSS program last year in the capable hands of trainer Paul Kelley, who owns him with Abraham Singer and Ted Gewertz.

    Pine Credit likes the big tracks, as evidenced by his Red Mile form last season, and has a few qualifier preps for the Erv Miller barn. The trainer owns him in part with Harvey Eisman and Mike Anderson's Paymaq Racing.

    Jurgen Hanover has really come to hand in the Donna Marshall barn this year at age three. He's unbeaten in five starts, ripped through the Weiss series at Pocono and just trotted to a 1:54- win at Harrah's Philly. He is owned by a group that knows something about winning classic races, Norman & Gerald Smiley in partnership with Tom & Lou Pontone's TLP Stables.

    Post time for the 13 race extravaganza is 1:15pm on Sunday afternoon at Vernon. The rich finals are schedule for Sunday, June 9 at 6:45pm. More details may be found by visiting the track website.


Thursday, May 30, 2013


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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 30, 2013--Doctor Butch has gained a new driver and early favoritism for Yonkers Raceway's $275,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace Saturday night.

"Butch," last season's New York Sire Stakes freshman colt, drew post position No. 5 and was made the 3-1 morning line favorite in the field of seven 3-year-old colts and one gelding.

George Brennan takes a first-time seat for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Ken Jacobs. The son of Art Major was a season-starting third in last week's first elimination, cutting the mile (with Tim Tetrick driving) before fading to third—beaten two lengths—in the lane. “Butch,” off an eight-win, $344,000 frosh season, was the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into the 23rd edition of the Rooney.

“I’ve seen this colt race enough to know how good he is,” Brennan said. “He wasn’t at his best last week, but I’m going to chalk that up to being his first start. If he races the way he’s capable, I think he’s the best in there.”                  

Brennan also drives pole-sitting Mattwestern in Saturday's companion event, the $117,060 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. The locally-debuting daughter of Western Terror, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, has won six of her nine seasonal starts, operating in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t know anything about her at all,” Brennan said. “I didn’t even know I was down to drive until the (overnight) sheet came out. I looked at her lines and see has a good record. I can’t complain about the draw, and (Burke) always sends them here ready.”   

The Lismore goes as race 7 (approximate post 9:30 PM), while the Rooney goes as the ninth race (approximate post 10:10 PM).  First post for the 13-race card is 7:10 PM.

The fields, with drivers and morning-line odds...Rooney--1-Sunfire Blue Chip (Dan Dube, 5-1); 2-Source of Pride (Dave Miller, 5-1); 3-Mach it So (Brett Miller, 6-1); 4-Good Day Mate (Jason Bartlett, 6-1); 5-Doctor Butch (George Brennan, 3-1);  6-Sir Cary's Z Tam (Pat Lachance, 5-1); 7-Lonewolf Currier (Brian Sears, 4-1);  8-Bet the Moon (Eric Goodell, 10-1).

Note Sunfire Blue Chip and Source of Pride are coupled.

In the Lismore...1-Mattwestern (Brennan, 3-1); 2-JK Black Beauty (Sears, 8-1); 3-Freetime (Jordan Stratton, 4); 4-Aria J (Brett Miller, 10-1); 5-Handsoffmycupcake (Dube, 4-1); 6-Offintothesunset (Brent Holland, 5-1); 7-Live Entertainment (Dave Miller, 5-1); 8-Give Me an Amen (Bartlett, 10-1). 

Note that JK Black Beauty, Aria J, Offintothesunset and Give Me an Amen, all trained by Toscano, race uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership, while Freetime and Handsoffmycupcake are coupled due to common co-owner/trainer (Scott DiDomenico).

M1 - Big Saturday Night on tap at the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ
Mike Farrell writing for the Meadowlands Racetrack

Anndrovette and Economy Terror top the divisions of the $183,400 Golden Girls for the Free-For-All pacing mares on Saturday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack.
The stakes-laden 14-race card also offers the next leg in the TVG Championship for Free-For-All pacers on the road to the $500,000 final here on Nov. 30.

Golden Receiver, the leader in the first week of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown standardbred poll, faces 11 rivals in the quest for berths in that end-of-season championship.
Blend in a quartet of $150,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes finals for 3-year-olds and you’ve got an action filled evening as the Championship Meet rolls on. First post is 7:15 p.m.

In the first Golden Girls division, Anndrovette is the 6-5 choice in the morning line set by Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccalli.
The champion older pacing mare the last two seasons, Anndrovette had a brutal trip on Sunday in the $250,000 Betsy Ross at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Parked every step, she attacked the ambitious pace set by Drop The Ball. Anndrovette held on gamely, beaten only two lengths.

She has the outside post in the $90,450 six-horse division that includes an uncoupled pair from trainer Ron Burke: Bettor B Lucky and Ginger And Fred, a career winner of over $1.8 million.
Economy Terror won the Betsy Ross at 9-1; her price this week in the second Golden Girls division is 5-2.

She was both lucky and good in the Betsy Ross, sitting right behind Drop The Ball as that rival fended off constant pressure. Economy Terror took the inside path in the stretch, scooting through for a three-quarters of a length win over Rocklamation, who is also in this $92,950 division.
The champion 2-year-old filly pacer in 2011, Economy Terror starts from post No. 5. Tim Tetrick drives the favorites in both divisions of the Grand Circuit stakes.

Tetrick will also be in the sulky behind Golden Receiver, already a winner of 8 of 9 this year as he gears up for another challenge in the TVG Free For All as the 2-1 favorite. He captured a leg of the series here on May 11, and the 35 points each victory awards toward determining berths in the final.
Golden Receiver has had three weeks off. That should not be an issue given his history of coming back strong after a freshening. Trainer Mark Harder thought about the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park last weekend before deciding to keep his star closer to home.

“We went out there last year and he got sick,” Harder said. “He’s a horse that stays away from small tracks. He looks great. He feels great. He was not over raced as a young horse. I’m not amazed but I’m happy that he’s still doing it.”
Golden Receiver thrives at The Meadowlands, having won a second straight Presidential series final over the winter.  Last season, the 8-year-old gelding was golden at the Big M, winning the Graduate, the U.S. Pacing Championship and the William Haughton Memorial.

Harder expects another terrific effort on Saturday.
“He hasn’t lost a step,” Harder said. “I actually worked him up pretty good on Tuesday morning and I was very happy with him. I came in and said to the grooms, ‘He’s never been better.’

“It’s all racing luck, and what can happen. The way he worked the other day, I’m very confident the others have their hands full.”
Golden Receiver has post No. 7.

The field also includes Sweet Lou, winner of the Meadowlands’ Maturity and a trio of talented 4-year-olds facing Golden Receiver for the first time: Pet Rock, Dynamic Youth and Bettor’s Edge.
The Sires Stakes finals are sprinkled with horses nominated to the major Meadowlands events later in the season. One of the most intriguing is Smilin Eli, a perfect 2 for 2 in his brief career heading into the Colt & Gelding final. Another victory here could be a springboard to the $1.2 million Hambletonian on Aug. 3, closing day of the Championship Meet.


WFD - Betterthancheddar Ready For Molson Pace

London, May 29, 2013 -- One of harness racing’s brightest stars, Betterthancheddar, will make his highly-anticipated seasonal debut this Friday night at The Raceway in London in the $150,000 Molson Pace Invitational.

The plan was to have a non-stakes race under his belt prior to the Molson, but instead the strapping five-year-old will come into the race fresh off a dominant nine-length qualifying win at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:52.2.
Despite the lack of a prep race, co-owner Steve Calhoun is confident that the pacer will be ready to go on Friday night.

“He’ll be ready,” says the resident of nearby Chatham, Ontario. “Casie (trainer Casie Coleman) always does a tremendous job of bringing her horses ready and I expect nothing less with ‘Cheddar’. We would love to have gotten a race into him before this but that’s the way it worked out.”
Betterthancheddar established himself as one of the very best older pacers in the game last season at age four. He won nine of 11 starts while banking $800,000 and posted major victories in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Harrahs Philadelphia and the $216,500 Robert Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in Delaware.

He was put on the shelf following that scintillating 1:49.2 victory after it was discovered he had a minor, soft tissue injury. Calhoun says that the pacer relished the time off and expects he could be even better this year.
“He has matured into a very impressive individual,”  he explains. “He has gained probably 200 to 250 pounds and is more muscular than he was last season. Casie knew he was special from day one and he should just be a bit tougher and stronger this year which will help him in what looks like a very deep division.”

The Molson Pace is an example of that depth, featuring the two-time defending champion and richest pacer of all-time Foiled Again ($4.835 million) along with a supporting cast that includes exciting four-year-old prospects State Treasurer and A Rocknroll Dance. Combined, the eight entrants in the Molson Pace have banked more than $11 million lifetime.
Calhoun expects to  have several family members and friends from the area on hand to cheer on Betterthancheddar this Friday night and is excited to be competing on his home turf. 

“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid and Casie and I have been fortunate enough to compete in this race before with some success,” he admits. “It would be a big thrill to win it and I’m just looking forward to the challenge of competing against such a great field.”

First post for the 12-race program this Friday at The Raceway is 7:05 p.m.

Molson Pace – What You Need To Know:

·         Post time – 7:05 p.m.

·         Wagering:

               $5K Guaranteed Pool Early Pick-4

             $10K Guaranteed Pool Late Pick-4

            $7,500 Guaranteed Pool Super Hi-5

·         Mystery Voucher giveaway with program purchase

·         Molson ‘After Party’ featuring Rockstar Live

·         FREE programs and streaming video at

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


MANALAPAN, NJ – May 29, 2013 – Three-year-olds are in the New Jersey Sire Stakes spotlight with a quartet of $150,000 finals on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Meadowlands.

Among the finalists is an unbeaten son of Muscles Yankee, Smilin Eli, who won both of his New Jersey Sire Stakes preliminary legs.  Unraced at two, those victories were in his only two career starts.  He has now banked $33,500, with a mark of 1:54.2 taken on a sloppy track in his last outing on May 24 at the Meadowlands.

It has his trainer, 39-year-old Deshawn Minor, not only thinking about Saturday’s final but the $1.5 million Hambletonian on the first Saturday in August.

“He’s obviously a green horse, and you have to be skeptical about what the next few weeks are going to bring,” admitted Minor, a native of Detroit, MI.  “I don’t want to guesstimate, but after speaking with [driver] Tim Tetrick, he believes this horse has the special kind of ability to climb that mountain. Tim has let the colt figure things out.  He told me to just call him when we need him to drive this colt.  I guess he also drank the Kool Aid.

“The owner and breeder Nick Cimino [of Pompano Beach, FL] sent him up to me around the end of April,” explained Minor, who is based at Magical Acres in Chesterfield, NJ.  “I’ve known Nick for about eight years.  He’s been around and he’s a student of pedigrees.  [Smilin Eli’s] dam Gerri’s Joy won the 2006 Merrie Annabelle.  He mentioned this colt was coming along pretty good.  Well, we’ve discovered he’s quite a fabulous horse.  He has a lot of raw talent and he’s a pleasure to be around.

“As a two-year-old he had some soreness and was just a big, growthy colt,” Minor noted.  “He was trained down to about 2:15 and was shut down.  His knees were pretty wide open, and it just wasn’t a good idea to continue with him.

“To me, being affiliated with the Perretti Farms, I got the chance to see Muscles Yankee [his sire] a lot,” observed Minor.  “This colt has his bone structure.  He’s a big, wide colt, and does everything right.  Hopefully, we can keep him healthy and strong.  At this point, I think we can actually make some money in the Hambletonian.  I do believe we have a Hambletonian horse.

“He’s staked up to everything, but our immediate plans are to just get him through the sire stakes final,” continued Minor.  “We can’t throw him to wolves right away.  Everybody will want to see him up against stakes company.  We’ll aim for that, but you have to take it race-by-race in small steps and with the right combination.  We’re really happy where he’s at, and we’re hoping the talent we see now continues to surface.  We’ll just pick and choose our spots with the biggest thing on our list being the Hambletonian.

“We’ve been there with Legendary Lover K [sixth in 2000], and my brother, DeWayne was third with Wishing Stone [in 2010], and we know it takes a lot of luck,” Minor noted.  “DeWayne is on the same boat with me this time.  All we can do is make sure the horse in the best physical shape and let him take it from there.  This colt is absolutely a longshot, but it’s okay to dream.  I mean, it’s the Hambletonian.”

Smilin Eli drew post three in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final, race two.  He takes on Super Classic, Corky, King Muscles, Timo Deo, Amalfi Coast and Muscle Mountain.  All are sons of Muscles Yankee. 

The colts stakes record of 1:52.1 was set by Manofmanymissions in 2011.  The gelding record of 1:54.1 has been held by Green Day since 2007.

Three-year-old trotting fillies go postward in the fourth race, featuring preliminary leg winners Silver Credit and Shared Past, who drew the outside posts in the field of nine.  They take on Time To Kill, Southwind Cocoa, World Tour, Vida De Vie, Vintage Oaks, Miss Steele and Lady Dynamite. 

Shared Past and Southwind Cocoa are daughters of Chocolatier.  All the others are by Muscles Yankee.

The stakes record for fillies is 1:52.4, established in 2006 by Passionate Glide.

Breeders Crown winner Rockin Amadeus, who captured the opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes preliminaries for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, drew the rail in the eighth race final. 

Emeritus Maximus [post five], Real Rocker [post six], and Johny Rock [post seven] are also preliminary round winners. 

The finalists, in post order, are Rockin Amadeus, Rocnrolwilneverdie, Rocks N Bonds, I’ma Giggity Fool, Emeritus Maximus, Real Rocker, Johny Rock, Rocky Mountain Guy, Lucan Hanover and Wake Up Peter.

Rocknroll Hanover is the sire of all the finalists except Ima Giggity Fool [Cam’s Card Shark] and Lucan Hanover [Western Ideal].

Rock N Roll Heaven’s 1:48.3 mile in 2010 is the stakes record for colts.  Die Lute’s 1:49.3 in 1999 is the gelding mark.

Seven pacing fillies will face-off in the 11th race final.  I Luv The Nitelife and Ms Caila J Fra are the preliminary leg winners.

The field, from the rail out, includes I Luv The Nitelife, Authorize, O Narutac Rockette, JK Letitgo, Ms Caila J Fra, Jerseylicious and Panera Hanover.

Western Ideal sired Authorize, JK Letitgo, Ms Caila J Fra and Jerseylicious.  The other three are by Rocknroll Hanover.

The filly stakes record of 1:49.4 was set by Apple Krisp in 2004.

The 14-race program also features two $90,450/$92,950 divisions of the Golden Girls for free for all pacing mares [races one and seven] and the $50,000 TVG Free For All, the tenth race.

--Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ/ Quotes courtesy of Ken Weingartner, HRC/USTA


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 28, 2013--Post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway's pair of Saturday night stakes, the $275,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and $117,060 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies).

The Lismore goes as race 7 (approximate post 9:30 PM), on the 13-race card, while the Rooney goes as the ninth race (approximate post 10:10 PM). 

The fields, with early drivers...Rooney-- 1-Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras), 2-Source of Pride (Dave Miller), 3-Mach it So (Brett Miller); 4-Good Day Mate (Jason Bartlett), 5-Doctor Butch (George Brennan). 6-Sir Cary's Zam (Pat Lachance), 7- Lonewolf Currier (Brian Sears), 8-Bet the Moon (Brennan also listed)

Note that Sunfire Blue Chip and Source of Pride shall race as a common-owner/trainer (Christina and Jimmy Takter) entry.

Lismore--1-Mattwestern (Brennan), 2-JK Black Beauty (Sears), 3-Freetime (Jordan Stratton), 4-Aria J (Brennan also listed), 5-Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube), 6-Offintothesunset (Brennan also listed). 7-Live Entertainment (Gingras), 8-Give Me an Amen (Bartlett). 

Note that JK Black Beauty, Aria J, Offintothesunset and Give Me an Amen, all trained by Linda Toscano, race uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership, while Freetime and Handsoffmycupcake are coupled due to common co-owner/trainer (Scott DiDomenico).

Driver changes and morning line for both races shall be added Wednesday.

The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM (note live racing is on hiatus June 2-13) . Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Tracys Song did it again. Incredibly, the 8 year old pacing mare won for the 17th consecutive time at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, May 28. In doing so she not only extended her Mighty M record for most  wins in a row but she continues to outdistance herself  from all others in races won in North America  this year.

Bruce Aldrich Jr. was again at the controls for trainer Bob Lounsbury and guided the mare to another  wire to wire triumph, this week in a time of 1:59 over a racetrack made heavy from an extended light rain.
“I heard the rumors that Danny Gill’s horse  (Community Spirit driven by Jimmy Marohn, Jr.) was going to end our win streak today ,” Aldrich admitted  in the winner’s circle after the race. “So I was prepared.

“We grabbed the race track and had the front by the first turn and Jimmy (Marohn, Jr.with  Community Spirit)  settled in tight on my back as we went to the (first) quarter in :28 and a piece.”
After that, Aldrich got Tracys Song by the half in :59.3 and they passed the third stanza in 1:29.4.

“I wanted to back her off as much as possible so she’d have a  something to come home with,” Aldrich explained about the relatively slow middle half.
“On the final turn she had her usual kick and although Jimmy (with Community Spirit) was out at us Tracy just kicked it in another gear and we win(sic) it by a little more than a length.”

As usual, trainer Bob Lounsbury was on hand in the winner’s circle as was owner Nancy Fugere.
“We kicked her out in the field all last week ,” Lounsbury said of Tracys Song. “She  seems to love ‘Doctor Green’ and when we brought her in she was fresh. But how long will she stay this good? My goodness, she’s been unbelievable.”

After her excitement last week when Tracys Song’s new track record victory rendered her speechless, this week owner Nancy Fugere didn’t say a word, but her eyes expressed the joy she undoubtedly felt.
Sent off at odds of 3-10, Tracys Song paid $2.60 and $2.10. Again there was no show wagering.

Tracys Song’s next goal here is to beat the record for most wins by a horse in a single season. That mark is 22 set by a British-bred pacer named Golden Storm G.B. in 1985.

VD7/8 - Empire Breeders Classic Draw Info

The elimination races for the 2013 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for three year old trotting colts and fillies will be raced at Vernon Downs on Sunday, June 2. A double draw will be conducted on Wednesday, May 29 with a box close of 9am. The $500,000 EBC finals are the following Sunday, June 9.

  The quarantine of the Vernon barn area is scheduled to end on May 31, so horses may be entered and raced on Saturday that are stabled at locations other than Vernon.

  The Race Office phone number is (315) 829-6825. The list of nominees, race conditions and condition sheet may be accessed on the Vernon website.




EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – New Meadowlands Racetrack and Winners OTW are pleased to announce the addition of Justin Horowitz as Player/Media Manager, effective May 20.  In this newly created position, Horowitz will assist the marketing department with their publicity and media relations initiatives in addition to overseeing their database and player development departments.

“Justin has proven himself time and time again to be an asset at both Tioga and Vernon Downs,” said Jason M. Settlemoir, CEO and General Manager of New Meadowlands Racetrack. “There is no question that Justin will continue to excel in this very important new role.”

Horowitz will continue to also serve as Regional Racing Marketing Manager at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs; overseeing all marketing, promotion, advertising and player rewards.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Horowitz, “The New Meadowlands Racetrack is the crown jewel of harness racing and I couldn’t be more excited to help contribute to its continued success.”

Horowitz, a former TV sports anchor, joined the Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs staff in 2010 as Regional Social Media Coordinator. He also developed the industry recognized TV show “Inside Harness Racing.” A story featured on the show in 2011 received a Hervey Award Honorable Mention. In 2012, Horowitz was promoted to Regional Racing Marketing Manager for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs and later that year, he served as paddock reporter for CBS Sports Network’s coverage of The Hambletonian. Most recently, he was awarded the prestigious Lou Barasch Breakthrough Award.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tgdn5/8 - Bettorsluckystreak in New York Excelsior Prep Monday at Tioga Downs.

Tioga Downs held a special matinee racing program on Monday, May 27th with a $8,400 New York Excelsior Prep for 3-year old colt and gelding pacers as the feature. The win went to Bettorsluckystreak and Jim Taggart Jr. who went to the front from post position number eight through an opening quarter in 27.4. The duo then led the field of nine sophomore pacers through fractions of 57.4 and 1:26.1. Down the stretch Taggart went to work on Bettorsluckystreak with a fast closing Ranch Hand (Marcus Miller) finishing a neck back in second in 1:55.1.

It was the third win in four seasonal starts for Bettorsluckystreak, the 3-year old son of Bettor’s Delight – Cheeky Hanover for trainer, co-owner Gary Messenger. The favorite Steuben Patriot (Jim Meittinis) shook loose late to finish third, while Major Blue Coat (Fern Paquet Jr.) rounded out the superfecta.

Greg Merton posted a driving triple on the afternoon’s thirteen race card. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Saturday, June 1st with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at

WFD - Field Set For Molson Pace; Post Draw Monday Afternoon

London, May 27, 2013 -- The storylines for this year’s Molson Pace at The Raceway in London got much more interesting over the weekend.

In addition to the appearance of two-time defending champion, and richest pacer of all time, Foiled Again ($4.835 million), the connections of Betterthancheddar have accepted the final invite and the world-class pacer will be making his seasonal debut in the $150,000 Invitational Pace this Friday night.

The son of Bettors Delight, trained by multiple O’Brien Award winner Casie Coleman, is a career winner of just over $1.5 million with a record of 1:48. Last year, he captured the Des Smith at Rideau Carleton in Ottawa, Ben Franklin in Philadelphia and Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington in 1:49.2 - his only half-mile appearance of the season.

The connections of Something For Doc decided to bypass the Molson, so also accepting an invitation to race were the connections of A Rocknroll Dance who finished a strong fourth in the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational this past Saturday night at Hoosier Park. John Campbell, a native of Ailsa Craig, which neighbours the city of London, is expected to drive for speedy four-year-old.

“We are really happy with this year’s field. I think there’s a little bit of everything,” said Racing and Gaming Manager Ian Fleming. “When you’ve got world class horses and Mr. Harness Racing (Campbell) here it’s always exciting.”

The post position draw for the Molson Pace will take place this afternoon at The Raceway at 3:45 p.m., just prior to the afternoon live racing program and will be televised on the simulcast show. Local CTV sports personality, Norm James, will be the guest draw master.

Joining Foiled Again, Betterthancheddar and A Rocknroll Dance will be Versado, Keystone Velocity, State Treasurer, Aracache Hanover and Rock On Moe who captured the Molson Pace Prep this past Friday night at The Raceway.

The Raceway is proud to have the Molson Pace as part of this year’s Grand Circuit schedule and it is being raced as an invitational pace for the first time in several years. First post for Friday night’s 12-race program is 7:05 p.m.

For complete details on Molson Pace night, visit


MANALAPAN, NJ – May 27, 2013 – The nomination deadline for three new series at the Meadowlands for Freehold-level horses is Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – and there is a way to make that deadline while saving fuel and tolls.

“We’ve worked out with the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association to let horsemen drop off their checks and applications at the SBOANJ office at 64 Business Route 33, Manalapan, NJ,” said Meadowlands Director of Racing Peter Koch. 

Koch is asking horsemen to fax their application to the Meadowlands Race Office [201-460-4042] and then leave a hard copy of the application and the check [$100 per nomination] at the SBOANJ office during business hours on Tuesday.  The SBOANJ office closes at 4:30 p.m.

“This way, horsemen can save the drive to the Meadowlands and make the deadline,” said Koch.

The trio of late-closing series, which will be contested in June, are the Caramore, the Flower Child and the Cathedra Dot Com.

Events will be available for trotters, pacing mares and pacing horses and geldings who have made a minimum of six starts at Freehold in 2013 or are classified as C-2 at the Meadowlands as of May 27. Winners of over $30,000 in 2013 are ineligible.

There will be two $10,000 legs and a $20,000 added final for each of the three series throughout the month of June.

The Caramore for pacing horses will be contested June 8, 15 and 22.  The Flower Child for trotters and the Cathedra Dot Come for pacing mares will both be carded June 7, 14 and 21. 

For more information, contact the Meadowlands Race Office 877-782-2537.

--Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ


Tgdn5/8 - Recent News captures Tioga Downs Sunday feature

Recent News and Marcus Miller followed live cover to the winner’s circle in the $16,000 open pace on Sunday night at Tioga Downs. Leaving from post position number four in a field of seven, Recent News settled in fifth as Sheer Brilliance (Corey Braden) took the field to the opening quarter in 27. As the field passed the half mile mark in 55.4, Mike Simons sent Western Trademark first over from third with Marcus Miller and Recent News quickly grabbing his cover. Down the backside, Sheer Brilliance and Western Trademark battled through three quarters in 1:23.4.

As the field made their way into the stretch, Simons had put away Sheer Brilliance but his biggest threat was looming off of his shoulder. Miller tipped Recent News three high and sprinted by the leader to win by a half a length in 1:52.2. The win was the fourth in seventeen seasonal outings for the 5-year old son of Riverboat King – Memorabilia for the ownership group of Curran Racing and Adam Micael and trainer Heidi Rohr. Western Trademark (Mike Simons) hung tough for second, while Sheer Brilliance (Corey Braden) was third.

Corey Braden and Brandon Simpson each posted driving doubles on the night’s ten race card.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Monday, May 27th with a post time of 1:30pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at


Sunday, May 26, 2013

M1 - Upsets Abound in NJSS at The Meadowlands

The New Jersey Sires Stakes for three year old pacers headlined Saturday’s card at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The damp cool evening didn’t slow them down at all, as the Western Ideal filly Miss Caila J Fra reduced her record to 1:50.2 upsetting 1/2 favorite Jerseylicious in the $43,000 filly pace. Simon Allard secured the pocket early and followed the top choice through honest fractions then sent his charge through on the inside for the nose victory.

The Fra Stable, LLC bred and owns Miss Caila J Fra, who was unraced at two and flashed promise earlier this spring but has really come to hand lately for trainer Steve Elliott.

The colts split into a pair of divisions and Johny Rock scored a front running 1:50.4 win in the $24,000 first one.

Andy Miller released longshot Rockaholic, removed back to the lead and rated comfortable fractions while the public choice, Emeritus Maximus, found himself confined to a position behind the fading Rockaholic until too late and could not chase down the winner once free.

Johny Rock is trained out of the Julie Miller barn for partnership of Wiswell, Goehlen and Schick.

Real Rocker pulled a real shocker in the second colt division, his task made far easier when heavy favorite Wake Up Peter broke before the start and lost all chance. Ima Giggity Fool and Rock Star took turns on the lead with the eventual winner grinding up first over for Corey Callahan. Sandwiched by Ima Giggity Fool and Rocks N Bonds in a photo, Real Rocker prevailed by half a head in 1:52-.

Real Rocker is racing from the Trish Foulk barn for his New Jersey engagements. She is babysitting the gelding for Steve Carter and his partners, Peggy Carter, Robert Reid & Chuck Grubbs, all Ohio residents.

The top performers form this and last week’s legs will return next Saturday for the $150,000 final offered to each of the four sophomore divisions.

 Despite cold, damp and windy conditions, The Meadowlands still managed to show a substantial increase in its betting handle.  The Saturday night handle marked an increase of 32-percent from the same Saturday in 2012.

Racing returns on Friday with first race post time at 7:15 P.M.  June gets off to a flying start with next Saturday’s card including the four New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals, The Golden Girls and the next leg of the TVG FFA Pacing Championship series.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 25, 2013--Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted a pair of  $40,000 eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace. All told, a dozen 3-year-old pacers--nine colts and three geldings--tried to wedge their way into next Saturday night's $275,000 final.

Here's the sanctioned summary...

First elim--New York Sire Stakes champion Doctor Butch (Tim Tetrick), the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into this event, was put in play early from post position No. 4. He stepped around pole-squatting Source of Power (Dave Miller) well before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile.

  After a :56.2 half, Bet the Moon (George Brennan) took out of fourth, engaging the 2-5 favorite toward the 1:25 three-quarters, while second-choice Mach it So (Brian Sears) conducting his business from second-over.

 Doctor Butch gruelingly disposed of Bet the Moon, taking a length lead into the lane, However, he first start of the season was not going to be his first win of the season. It was Source of Power going in and going by in 1:53.2. The margin was a length-and-a-quarter over Mach It So, with "Butch" fading to third and Bet the Moon fourth.

That quartet earned berths into the final.

For Source of Pride, a son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners (breeder) Brittany Farms, Louie Camara, Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz, he returned $11.40 (third choice) for his third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $39.80, with the triple (three wagering choices in descending order) returning $89.

Second elim--They left Sir Cary's Zam (Pat Lachance) his own devices from post No. 3, and he made 'em pay.

Taking over from Good Day Mate (Jason Bartlett) right at the 28-second opening quarter, the 7-5 choice was able to rate a 30-second next interval (:58 half), effectively ended much of the suspense. A funky-gaited Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) pressed the issue down the backside, but was dismissed soon after the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Sire Cary's Z Tam had a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, then held off a flying-from-last Lonewolf Currier (Sears) by a head in 1:54.1.

Good Day Mate and "Sunfire" were third and fourth, respectively, securing their seats for the final.

For Sir Cary's Z Tam, a statebred son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (and trained) by his driver, along with M& M Harness Racing and Ira Rosenblum, he returned $4.90 for his second (consecutive) win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.20, with the triple returning $79.

Next Saturday night also includes the $117,060 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Both stakes draws take place Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday night's $46,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by all-age track-record holder Sapphire City (Bartlett, $23.60) in a down-the-road 1:50.4, fastest local mile of the season and matching the all-age standard (Electric Oui) for aged geldings. Foiled Again (Gingras) demanded a rare mulligan after a never-in-it sixth as the 4-5 choice.

The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM (note live racing is on hiatus June 2-13) . Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule