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Sunday, March 30, 2014


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

 YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 29, 2014—“He stopped surprising me a long time ago,” driver Yannick Gingras said before Foiled Again’s 200th career start.

There would be no surprises Saturday night, as Foiled Again’s 78th lifetime victory was among his simplest in Round 2 of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

Leaving from post position No. 4 in the last of four, $50,000 divisions, Foiled Again, leading a 1-20 Ron Burke-trained troika, had nothing more than a soggy stroll.

After fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:53.4, Foiled Again found himself getting to the finish line 3¼ lengths before his competition. In this case, the closest competition was entrymate Aracache Hanover (Dan Dube),  with Texican N (Brian Sears) third.

For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 public workout payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,080,968. Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. He returned the legal-minimum $2.10, with the exacta (Texican N second for this wager) paying $7.70.

The win pool of $84,083—of which $56,387 was wagered on the “Foiled” faction—is believed to be the largest since the filly See You at Peelers whipped the boys in the Art Rooney Pace a couple of seasons ago.

Foiled Again was just one of four repeat winners as the Levy series rolled on. It had to be contagious…even the Philadelphia 76ers won.

Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) has become the bettor’s best friend. After winning at 8-1 in the opening leg, he snapped 9-10 choice Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) on the money in the evening’s fourth division to the tune of 20-1.

Leaving from post No. 6, Mach it So was well back early as Dancin’ Yankee (Ron Pierce)  made the lead around Apprentice Hanover.  After a 27-second opening quarter-mile, Sweet Lou (Gingras), half of the 9-10 second-choice (not a misprint as Apprentice Hanover was the wagering favorite), came to visit. However, the leader was in no mood for company, parking “Lou” passed a 55-second intermission.

Down the backside, Sweet Lou’s barn buddy, Easy Again (George Brennan), made a bold move, wide from fifth. However, going the 1:23.1 three-quarters, the leader stood his ground. Entering the lane, after Sweet Lou gave up the ghost, Apprentice Hanover adroitly slipped out of the pocket.

He looked every bit the winner before the blur of Mach it So—fifth turning for home--nailed him by a head in 1:52.4. Third went to Easy Again.

For Mach it So, a 4-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trainer P J Fraley, he returned $42.80 (fourth choice) for his second win in two series/season starts. The exacta paid $116.50, with the triple returning $256.

“He’s been under the radar, but he’s been very sharp,” Tetrick said. “There was a lot of action up front, and that’s what gave him a shot.”

The evening’s other Levy events were won by
            --Bettor’s Edge,g,5 (by Bettor’s Delight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 Stb/driver Gingras; 1:53.4/$2.60 (POE);
            --Itrustyou,g,6 (by Third Straight);  co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,RTC Stbs/driver Gingras; 1:55/$2.10 (POE).

            The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, 

Avatartist and Hldontghttoyurdrms Dominate Series Finals

On paper, the $83,000 Clyde Hirt Final appeared to be a wide open race.  But on the racetrack, it was anything but. Avatartist, sent off as the 9-5 favorite, made the early lead in 26.1 prior to yielding to the pocket.  Driver Dave Miller made an aggressive move down the backstretch, reclaiming the lead past a 53.3 half-mile.  The Buckeye threw down the gauntlet and opened up a commanding lead heading to the top of the stretch and never had an anxious moment in the stretch winning in a stakes record 1:50.1.  Alexa’s Jackpot rallied very well off dull cover to be second, while Wake Up Peter came from an impossible spot to be third.

The winner is trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owners William Hill, Peter Harrisson, Michael Saftic and James Walker.  Ironically, Avatartist is not eligible to the upcoming Whata Baron series which begins Saturday April 5th, while Alexa’s Jackpot and Wake Up Peter are heading to that series next.

In the $60,600 Final of The Horse & Groom, it was a perfect storm for Hldontghttoyurdrms in more ways than one.  First, the 3-5 favorite Bambino Glide made a break prior to the start, never to be involved.  At the start, round one winner Amigo Ranger went off-stride.  Next, turning down the backstretch, with Hldontghttoyurdrms leading through a 27.3 opening quarter, pocket-sitting March Awareness broke stride, leaving the pace-setter with a six length lead heading to the half. Hldontghttoyurdrms got that half in 55.4 and three quarters in 1:24.3, while never facing a challenge and romping to an easy score in 1:53.4 for Canadian based driver Jonathan Drury.  The winner had been a bit disappointing in the first two rounds of the series, but with the money down, the gelded son of Muscles Yankee got the job done.  He is trained by Corey Johnson for owners Saverio Spagnolo, Frank Schimizzi and Frank Spagnolo. Longshot Magglio was second with Crosbys Clam Bake finishing third.

Scott Zeron and Jim Morrill were the Winners in Round 2 of the Legends vs. Phenoms Drivers Challenge.

Scott Zeron continues to make plenty of noise at The Meadowlands as he easily led the Phenoms from gate to wire to win the second leg of the Driver Challenge with 85 points.  Zeron also won the “phenom” category last week as well. 

While Zeron is dominating the Phenoms, the Legends category has been a battle.  Tonight, Andy Miller and Jim Morrill Jr. went into the last race each with 83 points, with first round winner Dave Miller right behind with 81 points.  In the end, it was Jim Morrill Jr, with 90 points winning round 2 for the Legends.

For the tournament, Dave Miller (172) leads the “Legends” followed by Andy Miller (160), Jim Morrill Jr. (158), Corey Callahan (74) and John Campbell (73).

Scott Zeron (163) is cruising along in the “Phenoms” category.  Joe Bongiorno (90) is a clear-cut second.  Rounding out the top 10 are Tony Hall (60), Jonathan Drury (54), Steve Smith (52), Jim. Marohn Jr. (49), Vincent Ginsburg (46), Tyler Smith (45), Jim Meittinis (33) and Eric Abbatiello (22).

On Saturday April 26th, the top five Legends and the top five Phenoms will qualify for the Driver Challenge Final, with the winner earning $15,000.

Racing resumes on Friday with the first round of the Artistic Vision series for pacing mares, with post time at 7:15 P.M.

Hard To Mach Scores Buffalo Raceway Open Pace Win; Race 9-11 Cancellled

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hard To Mach didn't find it 'hard' to navigate the snowy Buffalo Raceway half-mile track on Saturday night (March 29) and notched a neck win in 2:00.4 over Running Book in the featured $10,500 Open Pace.

After battling at Pocono, Yonkers and Woodbine thus far this season, the 5-year-old Hard To Mach (Kevin Cummings) dropped in at Buffalo Raceway and overcame the sloppy, snowy and windy conditions to secure the victory.

Starting from the seven post, Hard To Mach ($12.60) got the lead at the quarter pole, registering fractions of 29, 1:01.3 and 1:33. He had just enoughat the wire to hold off the late bid by Running Book (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.). Naked News (Jim McNeight) rallied for the show spot.

Owned by Susan Oakes and trained by Nick Gampietro Jr., Hard To Mach has now won twice in seven appearances in 2014, earning $17,497 and $317,659 lifetime. 

After the featured eighth race, the remaining three races on the card were cancelled for the safety of the drivers and horses due to the poor weather and track conditions. The wagers on the final three races were refunded.

The cancellation of the final three races included the $22,500 finals of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series which was scheduled for the ninth race. It is expected to be made up next Saturday.

The $10,000 consolation races of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series was held and Well Al B (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) paced away to a convincing four-length victory over Kamanche Sun (Kevin Cummings) in 2:00.4. American Friskie (Jack Flanigen) finished in third.

Buffalo Raceway kicks into a three-night a week schedule starting Wednesday night with a 13-race program on tap beginning at 5 p.m. The track will also race on Friday and Saturday nights in April with post time at 6:40 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, results, upcoming promotions and race replays, go to

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Saturday, March 29, 2014

JK Letitgo Streak Reaches Seven

Friday night at The Meadowlands offered co-features with a top field of pacing mares up first in the $25,000 A/B Handicap eighth race. JK Letitgo continued her form spree for Delaware connections winning her seventh straight since her purchase from the Tattersalls January Mixed Sale for a price of $65,000, earning a sub 1:50 record in the process.

The Western Ideal mare was held off the pace by driver Jonathan Roberts as first Lorrie Please then Pan Luis Obispo took turns on the lead through demanding 26.4, 54.1 fractions. Scandalous Hanover rolled up first over past the 1:22.4 three panels with JK Letitgo now in striking position at her flank. When Roberts tipped her off the cover and fed her racetrack, JK Letitgo responded and cruised by for the 1:49.4 win. Scandalous Hanover was game to hold the place in her seasonal bow and Pan Luis Obispo was third.

The winner has now returned her owners Nanticoke Racing, Joshua Parker, Barry Spedden and Kevin Evans $57,500 on their $65,000 investment. Josh Parker is also the mare’s trainer.

Trotters took to the track for race eleven, a B-1/A-2 Handicap for a purse of $22,500. The field was reduced to a half dozen with the defection of morning line favorite Twin B Spike Man due to an injury.

For a short field the action was hot with no fewer than four lead changes by the 55.1 half. Whata Donato wrestled the lead away from Sweet Justice just past that marker and sprinted clear around the final bend only to jump off stride just beyond the 1:23.1 three quarters, leaving a scrum for top honors in her wake.

Sweet Justice stayed the course and fought off late bids by Drift Away, a very wide Real Babe and World Cup splitting horses. At the wire, it was Sweet Justice a clear winner in 1:52.1 for the returning John Campbell, his second on the card. World Cup’s late bid got him the place and Drift Away got the show dough.

Sweet Justice is trained by Bruce Saunders for M&M Harness Racing LLC of Suffern, NY. He was winning for the first time since his stunning January 3 1:51.1 track record performance, set with Campbell aboard.

Racing resumes on Saturday, with a 13-race program featuring Finals of The Clyde Hirt and Horse & Groom Series.  In addition, Golden Receiver headlines a $30,000 Free For All pacing event.  Post time is 7:15 P.M.

Simulcasting gets an early start Saturday, as the gates open at 8:45 A.M. for the Dubai World Cup Simulcast.

Lutetium Wires Field In Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The most work driver Kevin Cummings had to do in the $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (March 28) was get Lutetium off to a safe start.

Mission accomplished.

Lutetium ($4.50) zoomed to the lead as the starting gate swung opened with no issues and never looked back from there, posting a 2-3/4 length victory over Studio City in 1:59.4 over the sloppy track.

Earlier this season, Lutetium had problems at the start, breaking in two consecutive races. But trainer Mark Laidlaw ironed out the miscues and Lutetium has been untouchable since. He won the Open II Trot in front-running style last week by two lengths.

Setting fractions of 28.4, 59.2 and 1:29.3 en route to a 1:59.4 mile, Lutetium had no serious threats in scoring his second win of the season. Studio City (Aaron Byron) sat in the garden spot the entire race but had no answers while Armed Dangerously (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

A 7-year-old gelding, Lutetium is owned by Colleen Girdlestone. He has now earned $13,335 this season and $199,141 lifetime.

The racing will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card slated to begin at 6:40 p.m. The $22,500 finals of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series will be held along with the $10,000 consolation race. Also on tap is the $10,500 Open Pace.

For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and news, go to

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway


By John Manzi  for the North American Amateur Drivers Association

Dave Yarock and Bob Davis each were victorious in their respective $6000 divisions in the third leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s spring trotting series at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday (March 27) night.

It was the first win for each driver in the six week series.

In his event, Yarock, and his own Nowerland Nathan left softly from the two home and he was content to let Georgie Newell and Swift Kid take command and Bob Heckhoff and Tremendous Hit fall into the two hole in front of him.

Yarock sat cool in third position until the backside where he moved his 8-year-old gelding out to challenge and by the time they circled the final turn they had command.

In the lane Nowerland Nathan trotted off to a one length victory in a time of 2:01.1 as Currant Crisis and Bobby Krivelin rallied to be second. Monica Banca and Hardrockinjessica took home the show dough while Tremendous Hit and Swift Kid faded and finished fifth and sixth respectively.

In the other split Davis’ trotter, Rose Run Nash, won more convincingly.

After  a slow start where the pole horse ,Rose Run Nash, was four lengths off the gate when the starter said “go”, Davis and his charge ended-up sixth at the quarter in :29.1.

“Trainer Danny Gill told me if I put him (Rose Run Nash) on the gate he might get hot on me so I decided to lay back a bit so he would be calmer,” Davis explained about his trotter’s slow start.
 As the field moved toward the halfway point Davis angled his trotter to the outside behind cover supplied by Alan Schwartz, with Bertos Angel and Joe Faraldo, with Rodeo Red.

Faraldo moved three deep up the backside and gained the lead at the third stanza in 1:31.2 and although they held their position until the top of the stretch Rodeo Red ran out of gas and faded.

David Glasser with Carbon Footprint were on the lead throughout and he was the one who kept the field stacked. But in the lane they trotted by Rodeo Red and earned second money while 
Faraldo and  Rodeo Red finished third in the 2:02.3 clocked mile.

“Once we got away he (Rose Run Nash) was a pleasure to drive and he finished real strong,” a smiling Bob Davis said after his victory.

With a victory in his first start in the event David Glasser now has command of the leaderboard while Davis who made his first start is now one-for-one in the series.

For, Yarock, a financial planner from Tenafly, NJ, it was his 44th amateur driving victory while Davis, a self- employed businessman from Saratoga Springs, NY, notched his 13th.

Native’s Revenge takes Svendsen on a joyride

           By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Native’s Revenge made quite an impression in his California debut last weekend, dominating his rivals in that conditioned affair for the team of owner Harold Actkinson, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen.

Sent off at 20 cents on the dollar off a 16-length qualifying romp in 1:54 1/5, the 4-year-old son of Allamerican Native waltzed home by six lengths in last Saturday’s ninth race. He went his first half in a leisurely :59 flat, then turning on the afterburners to cover the second part of the race in :55 3/5 without breaking a sweat.

“Wins as easy as that one are few and far between,” Svendsen related after the impressive once-around. “He looks like a nice prospect, and I think Bob found a real diamond in the rough at the Meadowlands sale.”

Mooney had hopped behind Native’s Revenge only once before his March 15 qualifier and was already pretty sure the dark-hued pacer had a lot of class. “He trained super that morning, and then in his qualifier I was tearing his face off to keep him from going faster than 1:54 and a piece.”

Mooney informed that Johnson had hoped Native’s Revenge would only have to truly pace a half-mile in his evening debut, and Svendsen obliged with that modest :59 clip before turning him loose. “It worked out perfectly and he just had way too much for those horses. You have to realize he was meeting some awfully tough ones at the Meadowlands.”

Native’s Revenge looks to keep the momentum going in Saturday night’s 10th race and it will be interesting to see if he adds another sizzling local mile to his increasingly impressive resume.


 Pacing colts Sire Stakes, Opens in the spotlight

A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing males; an Open Pace that spotlights Pancetta and an Open Trot featuring Hellogottagobuhbye and Fort Valley AS share the marquee Saturday night at Cal Expo.

King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdown have developed quite a rivalry among the sophomore pacing colts and get another chance to settle the score. The former is a homebred son of Little Steven out of the Real Artist mare Romance Me who carries the banner of Frank Nevarez with James Kennedy doing the driving and training.

King Of The Crop has captured three of the five big-money events decided for the division, finishing second behind Rikybrnthegaragdown in the other two. King Of The Crop proved best in the February 1 and 15 clashes, then came up a head short to his arch-rival in the March 1 get-together.

In the most recent Sire Stakes two weeks ago, Kennedy was able to work out a perfect two-hole trip behind Rikybrnthegaragdwn. He came home in a snappy :26 2/5 to overhaul the leader and prevailed by two lengths that night.

Rikybrnthegaragdown is a son of Living It Up out of the mare Sports Bra who is looking to even the Sire Stakes score this weekend. Maryann Plano owns with son Luke reining and training the pacer.

He registered his stakes decisions on January 18 and March 1, going coast-to-coast on both occasions. In that last one on March 15, he carved out all the fractions but was unable to hold off the pocket sitter while having little trouble holding the place spot.

Taking on the pair are Laissez Moi Passer who has the cozy rail slot with Williams Hernandez at the helm; Tony Cheesecake, to be handled by Chip Lackey; and Holme Base with Steve Desomer handling the lines.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 27, 2014—Foiled Again turns 200 Saturday night.

Well, not exactly. He’s a spry 10-year-old, but harness racing’s richest-ever pacer makes his 200th career purse start in the second round of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

He landed post position No. 4 in race No. 11, the evening’s fourth and final Levy division. It appears a simple task, with Foiled Again the strongest third of Ron Burke-trained troika that opens at 3-5 on the morning line and figures to close much shorter than that.

With a to-date resume of 77 wins (including a pair of Levy titles), 49 seconds and 27 thirds ($6,055,968) in those first 199 starts—including a spiffy 1:52.1 effort as this series, and his season, began a week ago--Foiled Again’s constant companion was asked about him.

“I first drove him as a 4-year-old (June of 2008 at Harrah’s Chester) after Ronnie (Burke) bought him,”  Yannick Gingras said of the gelding who’s made a million racing in this series alone.

“He won in 1:50, and I thought, ‘Alright, there’s some talent there,’ but if anyone said then he’d go on to win more than $6 million, I would have figured they were crazy.

“I don’t think I fully appreciated the things he did when he was younger,” Gingras said. “To be associated with him has obviously been one of the highlights of my career. I’ve driven so many great horses, starting with ($2.9 million winner) Darlin’s Delight, but I’d be shocked if another Foiled Again comes along.

“What makes him so good? His heart. He’s not the biggest, he’s certainly not the fastest, but he knows exactly what he’s doing. Last week was the perfect example. I was loose-lining him until about halfway in the final turn. Then, he saw (Apprentice Hanover) coming and he swelled up. He knew it was time to go to work.

“He’s the same way on the farm. He sort of loafs along then all of a sudden, a 26-second final quarter.”

Not even the Levy, a six-week grind that unceremoniously unforgiving on so many of its contestants either during the series or later in the season, seems to faze Foiled Again. Is he Levy-proof? “He’s everything-proof,” Gingras said.

“I have to give Ronnie (Burke) so much credit. He sets a schedule for these horses, and they always make it. Sure, has can a tremendous stable (10 in the Levy series alone), but his program works. When the horses need time off, they get it. His horses last. Ten-year-olds are not supposed to do what Foiled Again is doing.”

This is not to suggest that “Foiled” is flawless. He does have an Achilles heel, or hoof, as the case may be.

 “For whatever reason, he tends to tail off a bit in the summer. In June, July and August, he’s just not the same horse. I used to make the mistake of thinking that maybe he’s starting to slow down.

“I don’t make that mistake anymore.”

The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.


Campbell Returns and Will Parcipate in Drivers' Tournament

John Campbell, harness racing's all time leading money winning driver with over $285 million in career earnings, returns to the sulky on Friday night at The Meadowlands. John has been out of action for six weeks due to a fractured collar bone sustained in a non-racing accident. He has drives in nine of the thirteen (two of those are restricted to amateur drivers) races on Friday and a full slate on Saturday as well.

"I'm certainly looking forward to getting back to racing horses," John said when reached this morning for comment. "I got a really good report from the doctor this last visit. Strength and mobility are back to where I was before the break. I've been training some the past few weeks to get back in the swing.

"I'm back in time to get some work in before the three year olds start up and stakes season gets underway, so if I had to miss the timing was good."

John will add strength to the "Legends" team in the current Drivers Tournament that's pits the established Meadowlands drivers against the up and comers who have been anointed as "Phenoms" for the purpose of this contest. Corey Callahan is another welcome addition to the "Legends" side of the ledger upon his return from a trip to Australia.

Live racing this weekend is Friday and Saturday with first post at 7:15. Saturday's card includes two series finals, the $60,600 Horse & Groom and $83,000 Clyde Hirt.

More information is available by visiting The Meadowlands website.

Heavenly Place Wins Buffalo Raceway's F&M Open Pace Again

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Heavenly Place is finding the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway to be just that...a heavenly place.

For the second straight week, Heavenly Place ($5.10) was much the best as she rolled to victory in the $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (March 26). She comfortably beat Ugly Betty by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:58.1 over the fast track.

It looked like an instant replay of Heavenly Place's win last week, sit third, go first over, and pull away from the field in the stretch.

Ugly Betty set the tempo with fractions of 30.0, 59.4 and 1:29 with Heavenly Place getting the stalking outside trip. They were on even terms as their heads turned for home but Heavenly Place (David McNeight III) put up a final panel of 29.0 and easily disposed of the tiring Ugly Betty (Ron Beback Jr.). Betit To Getit (Jack Flanigen) took the show spot.

Heavenly Place has now been in the money in all eight starts this season, five of which are victories. Owned by Chs Racing LLC and Limerick Racing, the 6-year-old mare has now earned $23,897 in 2014 and $101,470 lifetime. David McNeight Jr. trained the winner.

The racing will resume Thursday night, a makeup date from a previously postponed card. The 12-race card will get underway at 5 p.m.

For more information including race results, replays, news and upcoming promotions, go

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Incredible Gambler, Siegel continue good work

        By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

She may be small, but Incredible Gambler packs a big kick in the stretch and has now posed for pictures following four of her last five trips to the post here at Cal Expo.

The 8-year-old New Jersey-bred daughter of Allamerican Ingot who currently goes about her business for owner Clint Lugar and trainer Salvador Wenceslao, with Dave Siegel having guided her in three of those aforementioned four scores.

Siegel has a long history with Incredible Gambler, having previously owned the mare, and they’ve developed a great rapport over the years. “She’s one of my favorite horses to drive,” Siegel noted. “I get along with her really well, and know her strengths and weaknesses as well as any other horse I drive. 

“She comes ready to race every week and seems to really enjoy racing, though frankly she does not really like racing in the slop.  Since she is a strong closer, she really likes the big track and the dirt surface suits her very well. She is small in stature, which makes for great visibility, really handy and two fingers to drive.”

The Lugar colorbearer, who sports a 1:54 career standard, recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau. “I was very happy that she returned to Cal Expo after her eastern journey and that Clint continues to give me the opportunity to drive her,” Siegel added.

Incredible Gambler is slated to suit up in Friday evening’s ninth race with main man Siegel giving directions from the No. 4 post. She figures to make her presence felt once again when push comes to shove in the stretch.


Sire Stakes, Distaff Open Pace on tap

A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds and a Distaff Open Pace are on tap Friday night at Cal Expo, with J’s Littlerockstar and Placer heading their respective stakes while Show Runner and Lady’s Art square off in the co-feature. .

A 14-race card is scheduled with first post set for 5:45 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the pacing fillies goes as the fourth on the program, while the race for the trotters is the sixth and the filly-mare Pace occupies the second spot on the program.

J’s Littlerockstar is a 3-year-old daughter of Little Steven out of the Pacific Fella mare Sweet Sakra Sue who is owned, trained, driven and bred by James Kennedy. After finishing second in her first two added-money outings this season, she earned a trophy in the most recent clash two weeks ago.

Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in that affair, the bay miss rallied with second-over cover and ignited at crunch time to prevail by a length. She came her final quarter in :28 flat while stopping the timer in 1:58 that evening.

De Valeria will attempt to make amends after finishing fourth that night after being shuffled as the odds-on choice. The Eugene Afentoulis colorbearer accounted for two of the previous three Sire Stakes for the division with trainer Luke Plano at the controls.

Placer is eyeing his four stakes score in the race for the sophomore trotters. The homebred son of Panama Hanover races for the Desomer Stables Inc. with Steve Desomer handling the lines.

In the last stakes gathering on March 14, Placer was parked to the lead at the half, took complete control of things from that point and came to the wire with two and three-quarter lengths to spare in a lifetime-best 2:00 1/5 clocking. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Last December Monticello Raceway’s leading driver, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. locked horns with Northfield Park’s top gun, Ronnie Wrenn, in a ‘drive-off’ here where both men drove in every trace on the card and at days end Aldrich, the home-towner, reined six winners while Wrenn, the visitor, had four.

And when the curtain came down on the 2013 national racing season both gentlemen finished one-two in driving victories in North America, Wrenn with 714 and Aldrich with 645.

Yesterday at Monticello Raceway Aldrich, who tops the standings here, reined three winners on the eight-race card. The previous day, Sunday (March 23) Aldrich had a five bagger at Saratoga. Since Friday (March 20) he has reined 12 winners.

Wrenn, too, is driving daily, at Northfield Park, Buffalo Raceway and The Meadows, and has had 15 wins since last Friday.

And with opportunities to drive every day of the week wins will add up.

Since both drivers have been heating-up, each has  been moving up on the North American leaderboard in wins again this year. Wrenn’s 128 winners ranks him fourth  while Aldrich’s 102  ties him for seventh, both chasing leader, Corey Callahan’s 147.

Since neither trains stable of horses and concentrate mainly on driving, they are more free to travel to various race tracks to ply their trade.

“I’m constantly on the go and I cover plenty of miles in my car,” Aldrich admits. “Let me tell you that constantly going up and down the highways takes its toll, especially when Monticello and Saratoga are 140 miles apart.

“Oh, I’m not complaining because I’m lucky enough to get live drives at both tracks.”

The same could be said by Wrenn who covers plenty of ground on the highways, too. And that he’s currently fourth in wins on the continent speaks volumes for his talents, especially since he had an operation on his wrist early this season and didn’t get started driving in earnest until February.

And with their modus opporendi (MO), and barring any unforeseen problems, both figure to  garner plenty of winners again this year.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monti Showing Talent at Buffalo

By Michael Carter, for Buffalo Raceway
Hamburg, NY-- When Drew Monti started driving at Buffalo Raceway in April, 2013 he was following in the footsteps of 3 generations of his family in the business.  Drew picked up the niche from his father Darrin Monti and his grandfather Carl Monti who both are still in the game training and owning.
Monti was born in October 1994 in Western New York and was also raised here.  He currently attends Canisius College where he is studying Management and had been studying veterinary science.  Monti received his provisional license in 2012 where he started racing in the NY fair circuit and qualified horses.  His first pari-mutuel win came in September 2013 at Batavia Downs aboard Right Back At You trained by his father Darrin Monti.  Monti (Drew) says of his dad “He has been in the sport all of his life and drove for 25 years before me.”  Monti continued “I really look up to him and my grandfather, and we still review races to this day after my drives.” 
Currently Monti sits at 96 career victories and is very quickly approaching 100 wins as he already has 19 victories in 153 starts this season.  Since beginning his career in pari-mutual races he has raced all over New York and he credits a lot of his success to not driving emotionally, being clear minded and also being aware of what is going on around him as his strategy.  He said “I love the long stretch at Buffalo, but also enjoy racing at Batavia.”  Monti continued by saying “Batavia is a lot harder if you do not have a lot of power.”  Based on his driving so far here at Buffalo he loves the rail almost as much as Calvin Borel does is thoroughbred racing. 
When being asked about his favorite horse so far that he has driven, he said that he had a couple, but the one who sticks out in his mind was Spender Hanover (7, G, Cam’s Card Shark-Special Beauty-Rustler Hanover).  Recently, Spender Hanover gave driver Tim Tetrick his 8,000th career victory at The New Meadowlands Racetrack.  Monti said he knew this horse was different and loved driving him while he was in Western New York as Monti drove for owner Howard Ouriel and trainer Don Rothfuss.
When asked about his future in driving about possibly going to the Grand Circuit or even the sire stakes, Monti was very open to the idea, but is taking his time. 
Racing at the Hamburg Oval continues throughout the month of March on Wednesday and Thursday with a first post of 5:00pm, Friday and Saturday 6:40 pm.
Racing in April will take place Wednesday at 5:00 pm, Friday and Saturday at 6:40 pm.

Located on The Fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY, Buffalo Raceway hosts harness racing January through July. Simulcast wagering is available Wednesday through Monday from the top harness and thoroughbred tracks year round.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 22, 2014—That Foiled Again came out swinging in the opening round of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series shouldn’t have come as a surprise…though some of the wagering public needed convincing.

The now-10-year-old began his season and a quest for a third Levy title, throwing down the gauntlet with a wire-to-wire win the last of five, $50,000 divisions.

In play early from post position No. 6, Foiled Again as (along with entrymate Hillbilly Hanover) the 13-10 second choice, career win No. 77 couldn’t have been less stressful. A Westchester waltz through fractions of :27.4, 57.1, 1:24.4 and 1:52.1 had him 2¾ lengths to the good at the wire.

Meanwhile, Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson), the bully of Woodbine who hit town with nine consecutive wins (5-for-5 this season), was sent off as the 2-5 favorite. However, he made no effort to leave from post No. 3, and was forced to play catch-up.

He moved from fourth and gained on Foiled Again, but lost any chance when he could not cleanly negotiate the last turn. Apprentice Hanover did recover to catch Hillbilly Hanover (George Brennan) in a dead-heat for second.

Start No. 199 for the Dragon Again gelding increased his lifetime loot to $6,055,968. Ron Burke trains and co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. He returned $4.70, with the exacta paying $6.70 and the triple returning $14.40.

“I was somewhat surprised to Jody (Jamieson) did not leave, but honestly, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome,” Gingras said. “Foiled Again qualified back great, and I came here to win tonight.

“(Foiled Again) has lost the opening round of the series the last couple of years, and that forced him to race in all legs to make the final. Our goal is race well enough the first few weeks of the (five) preliminaries, so he can steal a week off at some point before the (Apr.26) final.  

The night’s fastest Levy event—and fastest local mile of the season—was turned by Easy Again (Brennan, $3.10), who popped pocket (from post No. 5) before the three-quarters, then strolled home by 3¾ lengths in 1:51.3 (early fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:23.2).

Malak Uswaad N (Brian Sears) grabbed second, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) third.

For Easy Again, a 5-year-old Dragon Again ridgling co-owned (and trained) by Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 and Panhellenic Stables, it was his third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18, with the triple returning $112.

“At the five-eighths, I could see Ron (Pierce’s) horse (Eddie Sweat) was done, so I moved,” Brennan said. “He finished very well.”

The evening’s other trio of Levy events were won by…

--Mach it So,g,4 (by Mach Three); owner Bamond Racing/trainer P J Fraley/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:52.1/$19;
--Bettor’s Edge,g,5 (by Bettor’s Delight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 Stb/driver Brennan; 1:52.4/$2.60 (POE);
--Itrustyou,g,6 (by Third Straight);  co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,RTC Stbs/driver Gingras; 1:52.4/$5.50 (POE).

The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.

Zeron Leads Phenoms – Buckeye Tops Legends at The Meadowlands

The six week “Legends vs Phenoms” Meadowlands drivers’ tournament kicked off with the Saturday, with the top point earner of each distinction awarded a $2,000 prize. Scott Zeron was the leader at every call for the Phenoms and had his bounty salted away by race ten.

The Legends, though fewer in number, were far more contentious in their competition. The Millers, Andy (who seemed to relish the opportunity to race a few on the lead with Yannick Gingras across the river all night) and David swapped the point lead back and forth several times and as they lined up for the twelfth and final Dave’s lead was a tenuous five points.

Dave Miller put the favored Pembroke Dewey on the lead and parked out Andy’s weak bid with Corey Road to unceremoniously close him out and take home the $2,000 top prize.

The competition will continue over the next several weeks with the final for the driver tournament schedule for Saturday, April 26th.  The Drivers and Points will be updated at throughout the tournament.

On the equine front, two $20,000 divisions of the Clyde Hirt pacing series highlighted the card. One was rather formful while the other division resulted in a shocker.

In the first split, a pair of leavers from outside posts made for a lively pace with first Avatartist then Burkentine Hanover clearing to the front through a 27- quarter and 54.2 half. Alexa’s Jackpot took a bold run at Burkentine past the 1:21.4 three panels and was moving like a winner as Dave Miller desperately sought a seam for Avantartist. Once that fissure appeared, Miller guided him through a tiny opening up the cones to win by the slimmest of margins (and survive an inquiry to his course in the stretch) over Alexa’s Jackpot in 1:50.1. Burkentine Hanover was a brave third.

That gives Avatartist wins in both legs and he’ll merit serious consideration in what shapes up to be a very competitive $83,000 final next Saturday night. Tony O’Sullivan trains the son of Rocknroll Hanover for W. Hill, P. Harrison, M. Saftic and J. Walker all of Ontario.

Division two began largely as predicted with a couple of longshots battling away on the front and heavy favorite Wake Up Peter well situated second over around the final bend when he suddenly and unexpectedly went off stride. That left the long uncovered bid by Teresa’s Beach well rewarded with a new lifetime mark of 1:50.1 and his backers wallet’s a little fatter with a healthy $29.20 return on investment. Bree’s Creek was up for the place with a late rush and Stars Above landed third resulting in a trifecta payoff of over $4,000.

Brett Brittingham was in for the drive for trainer Johnny Waite and owner Leslie Betts, all of Delaware.

Also on the card was the $47,650 final of the Winter Survivor series and Hacienda saved the day for his more highly regarded entry-mate Cane Ridge with a 1:51.2 score for Vinny Ginsburg.

Cane Ridge’s convincing win in the second prelim drew favoritism and Andy Miller sent him right to the front from the rail, the preferred position based his past performance. The fractions were fast but fair, however when the competition began to engulf the pace setter on all sides, trainer Doug Dilloian, Jr’s focus shifted from the tiring leader to his “other” horse Hacienda who was closing the widest and the fastest.

At the wire Hacienda prevailed in a tight photo over Mc Rusty with Malosi N third. Darius Oshidar owns the winner.

In addition, Tyler Smith earned his first career Meadowlands driving victory with Arsenal in the 4th race C-1 Pace.

The Meadowlands showed slight gains both on-track and in total handle for the Saturday program.

Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M.

Salazar Cruises To Easy Open Pace Win At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Salazar made an early first-over move and kept right on going in registering an easy four length victory over Sand Savage in the featured $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 22).

Sitting sixth before the half-mile marker, the favored Salazar ($4.80) and driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. were already out and and winging. Getting the lead past the three-quarter pole, it was Salazar's race to win or lose. The 8-year-old gelding enjoyed a half-length edge at the top of the stretch and used a 28.4 last panel to smartly pace away from his six competitors, stopping the timer in a seasonal best of 1:55.2.

Sand Savage (Drew Monti) took the place position while Naked News (Jim McNeight) finished in third.

Salazar, owned by Lisa Denison and trained by Lisa Lederhouse, has now won twice in nine appearances this season and pushed his bankroll to $18,257 in 2014 and $236,841 lifetime.

In the $8,000 semi-finals of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series, Bob's Alibi (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the opening division in 1:58.4 while the second leg was won by Mr. Casual (Kevin Cummings) in 1:58.3. They both will return next Saturday night for the $22,500 finals along with Enzo Seelster, Auditorial, Ol' Man River, Catman, Four Hoof Drive and Classic Camelot.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race card set to begin at 5:00 p.m. There will be racing this Thursday night as well as this day was added to the schedule as a makeup for a previous cancelled program. The post will also be 5 p.m.

For more information including race results, replays, upcoming promotions and news, go to

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Reminder: Meadowlands Purse Increase Next Weekend

This is a reminder to all horsemen that the purse increase for four (4) classes at The Meadowlands goes into effect this coming Friday, March 28th for all genders and gaits.  The classes and increases are as follows:

·         B2 -        $16,000 (Previously $14,000)
·         B1 -        $20,000 (Previously $16,000)
·         A2 -        $22,500 (Previously $20,000)
·         FFA -      $35,000 (If 9 or more classified FFA enter – previously $30,000)

In addition, there are a pair of “Dash For The C-Notes” events on the condition sheet for this weekend, giving the C-Class horses an opportunity to race for more money.  They are as follows:

·         Friday:                  C-2 Trotters “Dash For The C-Notes” – Highest Money Earners from Divisions race for $25,000 on Friday April 4th.
·         Saturday:             C-1 Pacers “Dash For The C-Notes” - Highest Money Earners from Divisions race for $30,000 on Saturday April 5th.

Please also make note of the change to the draw schedule, as going forward Friday’s card will close Monday at 9:00 A.M. and Saturday’s card will close Tuesday at 9:00 A.M.

Contact The Meadowlands race office with any questions.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bambino Glide Aims for Horse & Groom Sweep

The second $20,000 leg of the Horse & Groom trotting series drew a dozen entries and went as the first and third races on the Friday night card. 

Bambino Glide took the opener in wire to wire fashion for Andy Miller to kick off the card on a pleasant spring evening, reducing his career record to 1:52.2 in the process. Miller sent the favored Bambino Glide to the top and set even fractions with second choice Hldontghttoyurdrms pocketed throughout in the abbreviated field. In the stretch Bambino Glide sprinted away from that rival under his own power to a two and a quarter length decision. Crosby's Clam Bake may have secured a final berth with his third place finish after being a judges scratch from the first leg.

Julie Miller is the trainer and Kapiledo Singh and Shakoor’s Racing Stable share ownership of the winner is will look for the series sweep as the likely favorite in next Saturday’s $60,600 final.

The second division saw Banker Volo prevail over Amigo Ranger in a photo. Amigo Ranger was a leg one winner in first over fashion and new driver Jimmy Morrill seized the opportunity afforded by the short field to steal easy fractions on the lead, aided by Ashes Cash and Explosive Action both going off stride before the half.

Banker Volo sat the pocket throughout and tipped out head stretch for Marcus Miller to engage the leader. It took the length of the stretch, but Banker Volo did get his nose on the wire first in 1:55.2. Amigo Ranger was gallant in defeat and March Awareness rewarded the hunch players with the show dough.
Erv Miller trains the talented Yankee Glide five year old for Mystical Marker Farms, Peggy Hood and Paymaq Racing.

A series of upsets on the second-half of the card, included a 24-1 Team Orange Crush shocker in the 7th with Bambino Hall, ignited a massive Late Pick 4 payout of $14,209.80 from the pool of $66,901, yielding just four winning tickets.  This marked the fourth time on the meet where the Late Pick 4 returned over $10,000 for the pool that has returned an average payout of over $8,000 so far in 2014.

The Late Pick 4 returns Saturday with its customary $50,000 guaranteed pool.  Featured on the Saturday program is the Final of The Winter Survivor Series and the second round of the Clyde Hirt.  Post time is 7:15 P.M.


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 21, 2014—Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, its premier series for Open Mare pacers. Four, $40,000 divisions went postward.  

The first event saw Angel’s Delight (George Brennan, $16.40) pop from a perfect second-over trip in 1:53.2. Leaving from post position No. 5, she watched as Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick) take over from Handsoffmycookie (Dan Dube), then deal with Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras).

After fractions of :27.4, :56.4, 1:24.3, Angel’s Delight was ready to move. She whipped Rocklamation—part of a 2-5 favored entry--by a length, with Shelliscape another length back in third.

 “I saw her race last week, and when Matt (Kakaley) tipped her wide in the lane, she just took off,” Brennan said. “It was the same thing here.

“She’d been racing, while the other ones are just starting back, so maybe that was an advantage. Those other mares—it never takes them long to be ready. It’s going to be a good series, and I certainly wouldn’t discount mine “

For third choice Angel’s Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was her fifth win (with four seconds) in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.60, with the triple returning $82.50.

Brennan doubled his pleasure in the second division, when former New York Stakes champ Summertime Lea ($4.40) won the draw and the race  (:27.1; :56.3; 1:25, 1:53.4) in down-the-road fashion. Season-debuting “Lea”—the season-debuting half of the 6-5 favored entry--lasted by a neck over a charging Ramalama (Kakaley), with Cocoa Beach (Brian Sears) third. Swinging Beauty (Gingras), parimutuelly partnered with the winner, was a weak first-over fifth.

            Anndrovette (Tetrick), making her 2014 bow, never left the cones and finished fourth.

            For “Lea,” a 4-year-old daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr and Frank Baldachino, it was her 17th win in 26 career starts.   The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $68.50.

            The event third division was its best, with odds-on choice Somwherovrarainbow (Sears, $3.80) going first-up to hold off her rivals in 1:52.4.

Trying to leave from post No. 6, she landed in a four-hole as Royal Cee Cee N (Ron Pierce) laid down the law through a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and a :57.2 half. “Somwher” was then out and moving, engaging the leader through a 1:25 three-quarters.

She put Royal Cee Cee N away mid-stretch then held off both the horse on her back (Krispy Apple [Tetrick]) and a pocket-sitting Charisma Hanover (Gingras). The margin was scant nose over Krispy Apple, with “Charisma” a shorter schnoz back in third.

For “Rainbow,” a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Joe Holloway for co-owners Diamond Creek Racing and Ted Gewertz, she’s now 2-for-2 this season and up over $900,000 for her career. It was a far cry from the lass who stopped on a dime the last time she was here, last October’s elimination for the Lady Maud Pace.

“She’s bigger, she’s stronger and I’m just happy to have her,” Holloway said. “There’s not much half-mile experience with her, so I changed the equipment a bit, and she was very good,

 The final Matchmaker grouping was nothing more than a public workout for 1-4 fave Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube, $2.50). Sent right to the lead from post No. 4, she had nary an anxious moment though intervals of :27.3, 56.4; 1:25.1 and 1:52.4.The final margin was 4¼ lengths over Let’s Go Higher (Jason Bartlett), with Economy Terror (Mark MacDonald) a pocket third and Bettor B Lucky (Gingras) fourth.

 For “Yagonna,” a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Kapildeo Singh, it was her fourth win in seven 14 tries. The exacta paid $13, the triple returned $38.60 and the superfecta paid $155.

“She’d make anybody look good,” Dube said. “She does it all on her own and doesn’t know where the end of the mile is.”

Friday’s $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Lorenzo Dream (Sears, $19) in a season’s-best 1:55.2, also the fast local mile of 2014.

The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series begins Saturday night, with five, $50,000 division,  (races 2.4,5,9 and 11 on the 12-race card).

            The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.

Armed Dangerously Escapes With Narrow Win At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Armed Dangerously needed everything in his arsenal to hang on for a nose victory over a hard-charging Fiorentina in the featured $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (March 21) in a lifetime best of 1:58.1.

It took every step for Armed Dangerously to capture his third victory in six starts in 2014. After finally disposing of a parked Detailer just past the half mile, Armed Dangerously had to prep himself for the stretch battle with the pocket-sitting Fiorentina.

In the lane, Fiorentina (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) kept inching closer on the outside but ran out of real estate as Armed Dangerously ($6.10) and driver Ray Fisher Jr. had just enough ammunition left to shoot down the late challenge. Ilovemymommy (Jim McNeight) took the show position.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, Armed Dangerously, a 5-year-old horse, has now been in the money five of six starts in 2014 and improved his bankroll to $17,528 this season and $160,528 lifetime.

The action continues on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled to get underway at 6:40 p.m. The $10,500 Open Pace is on tap along with the semi-finals of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series.

For more information including race replays, results, promotions and latest news, go to

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Meadowlands Announces Format for Drivers Challenge

Saturday, March 22nd will begin the six week long, Legends vs. Phenoms Drivers Challenge.  Each race on the next five Saturday programs will be a part of the Challenge, with the following format.

·         The driver with the most points accumulated for each team will win a $2,000 bonus.
·         Points are accrued as follows:

o   Win        -              10 points
o   2nd          -              9 points
o   3rd           -              8 points
o   4th           -              7 points
o   5th           -              6 points
o   6th           -              5 points
o   7th           -              4 points
o   8th           -              3 points
o   9th           -              2 points
o   10th-12th -             1 point

·         On the sixth Saturday, April 26th, the top 5 point earners for The Legends and the top 5 point earners for The Phenoms from the first five weeks will qualify for the Final, where the Overall winner will win $15,000, the runner-up will receive $5,000, third place will receive $3,000 and fourth through tenth will each receive $1,000.

For purposes of this coming Saturday, March 22nd, the drivers will be divided as follows:

Legends: Dave Miller, Andy Miller, Jody Jamieson and Jim Morrill Jr.
Phenoms: Scott Zeron, Tony Hall, Tyler Smith, Joe Bongiorno, Jim Meittinis, Vincent Ginsburg , Jim Marohn Jr., Steve Smtih, Eric Abbatiello and all other drivers on the card

The Drivers Challenge will take place each Saturday through April 26th.