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Sunday, November 30, 2014


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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 30, 2014—The fourth foray into Yonkers Raceway’s “L’Arc Before  It Gets Dark” went postward during an overcast but pleasant (low-50’s) final day of the month. 

The 12-race card again began with five French-centric, overstuffed, mile-and-a-quarter trotting fields. A dozen were behind the gate for the $46,000 Open Handicap opener (post time 11:27 AM), with former New York Sire Stakes champ Crazy About Pat (Jason Bartlett, $6.70) winning as the favorite in 2:26 for the added distance.

           The Sunday overseas numbers continue strong, with just under 1.2 million Euros (a bit more than 1.47 million US dollars) wagered during the five exported events. The first four matinees have seen more than 5.2 million Euros (or more than 6.4 million US dollars) wagered for 20 races by the French-hubbed audience (including Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta).

            The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fifth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) next weekend just after 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.  

TVG Champsionships to Sweet Lou and Intimidate

by Ellen Harvey

East Rutherford, NJ --- “Parting,” Shakespeare said, “is such sweet sorrow.”
And so it was a sweet and sorrowful winner's circle, filled with tears and hugs for the connections of Sweet Lou, as he won the final race of his career, the $500,000 TVG final for open pacers on Saturday night (Nov. 29) at the Meadowlands, in 1:48 by 3-3/4 lengths.
The race unfolded with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) going to the lead first at the :26.2 quarter-mile mark, with Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce tucked in third. No sooner had the field straightened down the backstretch than Pierce had Sweet Lou on the move, rushing up to take the lead by the three-eighths and holding it to the :54 half with Bettor’s Edge tucked in behind.

Sweet Lou led the field to the 1:21.3 three-quarters and on to the long homestretch. Only 10-year-old Foiled Again parted ways with the pack to muster a challenge for Sweet Lou, but at the wire, it was Sweet Lou first and alone for the last time. Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) was second and Clear Vision (Tim Tetrick) third.

The stallion with the distinctive white blaze was soon mobbed by a crowd that included his owners, Phil Collura, Larry Karr, Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing. Ron Burke trains the 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, who is set to stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm in 2015.

“I don’t know if Ronnie’s (Burke) listening,” said driver Ron Pierce, “but if he is, he was better tonight than he’s been all year. Maybe they’d consider racing him next year. I was looking for Foiled Again, he’s always a tough horse.

“He’s such a pleasure to race; such a classy animal. These kinds of horses don’t come along all the time. I’m going to really miss him next year.”

“It was a very hard decision,” said co-owner Larry Karr on retiring Sweet Lou. “At the Burke operation we like to race, but this was the best opportunity for him to be a stallion.”

The win was the 11th in 19 season's starts for Sweet Lou and took his 2014 earnings to $1,361,433. He has banked $3,478,894 lifetime on the strength of 33 victories in 74 starts.

Intimidate fanned five wide down the stretch to trot by the field to win the $500,000 TVG final for open trotters on Saturday night (Nov. 29) at the Meadowlands by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. He was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Luc Blais and owners Determination and Judith Farrow.

There were no surprises as the race left the starting gate, with Ake Svanstedt guiding Sebastian K to the lead by the :26.1 first quarter and Maven (Yannick Gingras) right behind him.

Creatine (Ron Pierce) trotted up with a rush to get alongside Sebastian K, where he remained through the :54.1 half and on to the 1:23 three-quarters.

As the field turned for home, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick went three wide to press hard on those two leaders and appeared poised to go by before Intimidate emerged five wide to trot by the field for the win. Market Share was second and Creatine third.

It was just the fifth win of the year for Intimidate in 14 starts and enough to put him over $1 million lifetime, with career earnings now of $1,224,008. He is a 5-year-old gelding by Justice Hall out of Fabulous Tag.

“This field was just stacked with the best trotters in North America,” said winning driver Scott Zeron. “The pace was hot up front and it all worked out for the off the pace (horse).

“I found out today when I spoke with Luc that he (Intimidate) tied up (in the Breeders Crown one week ago). So he wasn’t himself, because when he’s on his game, he comes home in :26 every week.

“To finish it off like this, it’s been a great year. It feels great. I want to say hi to everybody back home in Quebec because this horse represents Canada and Quebec.”

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


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 29, 2014— First-up McErlean (Eric Carlson, $19) held off favored Beach Memories (George Brennan) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Sitting in early from post position No. 4, McErlean watched as Mickey Hanover (Dan Dube) had to work to get around pole-assignee Orillia Joe (Brent Holland). "Mickey" did, getting early fractions of  :27.3 and :56.4.

Shortly thereafter, MrErlean moved from fifth, with locally-debuting Beach Memories--as the 9-10 choice--in behind. Mickey Hanover led past the 1:25.1 three-quarters, but was about to drop anchor. It was McErlean taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then holding off Beach Memories by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.3.

Orillia Joe, P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and Mach's Beach Boy (Pat Lachance) rounded out the payees.

For fourth choice McErlean, a 5-year-son of McArdle owned by Muscara Racing Trust and trained by Darren Cassar, it was his eighth win in 30 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $69.50, with the triple returning $505.

The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Melady’s Monet Scores a Hat Trick at The Meadowlands

The Friday Night Trotting Feature at The Meadowlands was a $30,000 B-1/A-1/FFA event featuring Melady's Monet, who entered the contest off back to back wins.  He would get a challenge from Tirade Hanover who entered the featured trot off a monstrous win in a $40,000 Four Year Old Open on Breeders Crown Saturday, where he won despite being parked the mile.  Sent off as the 2-1 second-choice from post 8, Melady's Monet tracked the cover of 8/5 favorite Tirade Hanover while racing third over through fractions of 27.3, 56.2 and 1:25, before exploding in the stretch to score his third consecutive victory for Kevin McDermott.  The margin of victory was not nearly as comfortable as his two previous wins, this time scoring by just a nose over the upset-minded Upfront Billy who narrowly missed at 60-1.  Waiting On A woman was third.

The winner was driven to victory by John Campbell for Melady Enterprises LLC of Pompano Beach, Florida.

The $20,000 B-2/B-1 Handicap for mare pacers saw Mattie Terror Girl get back to her best form, winning for the seventh time this season in 1:51.  Mattie Terror Girl, who raced very well against the best Free For All mares earlier in the year, earned the confidence builder for Scott Zeron, giving him a driving double.  Tony Alagna trains the mare for Big Als Stables Inc., of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.

In other action, Martini With Muscle was a sharp winner in a non-winners of 3 trotting event in 1:55 for Yannick Gingras, who had a driving double and trainer Christopher Freck.  Martini With Muscle spent much of his three year old campaign facing the best of the sophomore trotting division and appreciated the class relief for owner Douglass B. Hutchins.

The most impressive win on the Friday program came in race 8, a C-1 pace for Fillies and Mares, where newly acquired That Woman Hanover, a $55,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Mixed Sale for Henrik Lundell and the Joi De Vie Farm soared to an impressive 1:50.2 lifetime best performance, winning by open lengths.  Lundell noted prior to the race in a paddock interview with Wendy Ross that "this filly is in a much softer spot this week and I think she will race really well tonight."  He couldn't have been more right.
The $.20 Cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 was hit for the first time, returning $40,502 for a $.20 cent ticket.  The pool will start fresh again on Saturday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M.  The Saturday program features the $500,000 Finals of the TVG Free For All Championships


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 28, 2014—Yonkers Raceway’s Friday night $21,000 featured fairer-sex pace was won by a cone-skimming Palm Patrol (Mark MacDonald, $34).

Sitting third along the pylons from post position No. 2, Palm Patrol saw Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) seemingly in control through (:28, :58.1, 1:28.2). Getting no grief from a first-up Rock N Load (Jordan Stratton), “Jillian” owned a length-and-and-half lead into the lane, but was about to hit the wall.

Cooking the Books (Eric Carlson) edged from the pocket, leaving the passing lane for Palm Patrol…and she did indeed pass. The latter whipped the former by a head in 1:54.3, with a closing Our Els Dream N (Jason Bartlett), Sir Jillian Z Tam and 3-2 favorite Road Bet (George Brennan) settling for the small change.

For sixth choice Palm Patrol, a 5-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned by Robert Burgess and trained by Carmen Auciello, it was her sixth win (third consecutive) in 35 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $120, the triple returned $1,580 and the superfecta paid $10,524.

Friday’s Pick 5, which began with a carryover of $3,699.73, saw a new $10,781.52 invested.
The winning combination of 4-4-7-5-2 returned $734.50 for every half-a-buck, not entirely bad for a sequence that included three winning favorites a one second choice.  

            The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Season Bustling at The Raceway

London, November 28, 2014 -- The holiday racing season is underway at The Raceway in London and race fans are reminded of some important dates during the month of December at the London oval.

The traditional Boxing Day program on December 26 will once again begin at 1:15 p.m. and The Raceway has slated an 8:00 p.m.  first post for its New Year’s Eve program on  December 31. There are plenty of promotions and dining options available both days and, with free parking and admission, it’s a great way for locals to come on out and enjoy the holiday festivities.

The Raceway is planning to increase the wagering incentives during some of the key dates during what is traditionally a strong wagering month for the track.

“In additional to Boxing Day and New Year’s eve, the Tuesday programs on the 23rd and 30th should be strong and we’re hoping to have a couple of additional races each of these nights to bolster the wagering opportunities,” said Racing Manager Greg Blanchard. “We’ll be bumping up the guarantees on our Pick-4 pools those nights as well and, in conjunction with Horseplayer Interactive (HPI), will be partnering on an exciting promotion involving our programs on the 23rd and 31st (New Year’s Eve).”

Seating at the Top of the Fair Dining Room is going fast for both Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. To make reservations, call 519-438-7203 (ext. 252) or email

The Raceway’s annual Toy Drive is also underway. Patrons can drop off a new, unwrapped gift in The Raceway lobby from now until December 16, with donations going to the Salvation Army Hamper Program for less fortunate children in the city.

The launch of a new weekly Survivor Handicapping Challenge will take place next Tuesday evening. Survivor Tuesdays, sponsored by Horseplayer Interactive (HPI), will happen each Tuesday at The Raceway and will be free to play for customers on track and online.

Pub Nights  have been proving popular at The Raceway on Monday nights and a new promotional twist has been added over the holiday season. Each purchase of a meal enters customers for a chance to win a weekly Molson prize pack along with the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Toronto Maple Leafs/Tampa Bay Lightning game scheduled for March 31st in Toronto.

For more information on all that’s happening at The Raceway over the holiday season or to obtain Survivor Tuesdays contest rules visit

Monday, Dec. 22 – 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 23 – 6:15 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 26 – 1:15 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 29 – 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 30 – 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 31 – 8:00 p.m.

Cal Expo Sunday Barn Notes

Lackey hits milestone and Its Not Over
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

When he guided Bloomfieldcantifly to an $18 upset last Saturday night, Chip Lackey was recording victory No. 3,400 in the sulky while adding to over $15 million in earnings in the process.

The veteran pilot was back in the winner’s circle the following night, this time after guiding Its Not Over to a coast-to-coast score in the Open Trot for his longtime collaborator Bob Johnson. It was the second straight tally at the top rung for that performer.

“I drove Its Not Over a few times as a 2-year-old and won a couple of Sire Stakes, but this meet was the first time I’d driven him since then,” Lackey related. “I know they gave him plenty of time off last year and he needed his first start here after coming back from Hoosier.”

Its Not Over was fourth in that outing, but has since scored back-to-back victories in the Open under Lackey’s direction, on both occasions taking the measure of heavily-favored El Azteca. “Watching his two wins at Hoosier, it looked like he was best when he was covered up and then could kick home. That’s the way I drove him in the first win here and he gave me a real nice brush.”

Chip changed tactics in the most recent gathering at the head of the trotting class, buzzing Its Not Over away from there and making every pole a winning one. He repulsed a strong first-over bid from El Azteca that night to prevail by a length and a quarter.

“Silence Son was off the gate to my inside, and El Azteca was off it to my outside, so with both of those horses lagging I decided to let my horse roll out of there,” Lackey explained. “I got a pretty easy lead, and when El Azteca came up to us and turned it into a sprint for home, I was pretty confident.

“It’s also very special to drive this horse for the owners Rich Dryden and Debbie Budahn. My mother passed away two months ago, and they were responsible for giving her some of the best memories of the last few years.”

Razor-sharp performers headline Open Trot

Its Not Over, fresh from back-to-back victories at the head of the class; and El Azteca, who has had to settle for second in both those events as the favorite; get another chance to settle the score in Sunday evening’s featured Open Trot.

An 11-race card is on tap with first post set for 4:40 p.m. The trotters and pacers are now in action on Saturday and Sunday nights, with Friday racing being added to the schedule beginning on December 26.

Its Not Over is a 4-year-old Panama Hanover homebred who races for Richard Dryden and Debra Budahn, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and has Chip Lackey at the controls. A 1:55 2/5 winner at Hoosier Park in late September, he is looking for his seventh snapshot on the season from 12 trips to the post.

After a needed effort on October 25 where he had to settle for fourth behind El Azteca, Its Not Over has been able to turn the tables in their last two meetings at this top level. He played the role of stalker on November 1, then took matters into his own hands and went coast-to-coast in the most recent clash and held safe by a length and a quarter.

El Azteca is another Panama Hanover offspring and he is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios. James Kennedy once again has the assignment as the 5-year-old attempts to add to a $123,000 bank account while sporting a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established in May at Hoosier Park.

El Azteca was very game getting the job done in his first two starts at this meeting, was hard used early when being overtaken by Its Not Over two back and then was first-over in their latest joust and again had to settle for the exacta completion.

Taking on this dynamic duo are Sharpshotennorris, who leaves from the cozy rail slot for Steve Wiseman; Franky Provolone with Bruce Clarke handling the lines; and Silence Son, who will have the services of Dave Siegel.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cal Expo Saturday Barn Notes

Going to the Bank on this trotting filly

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

After having to settle for minor awards in her first 18 starts, Bank Of Lodi is making up for lost time by registering three straight victories here for trainer Pierre Girard.

Girard co-owns the homebred 3-year-old trotting filly with Mary Harris and Luke Plano has been in the bike for this month’s hat trick, which has found Bank Of Lodi showing the way past every pole.

“Her dam (Banker Babe) raced for us and this is her first to the races,” informed Girard. “She was a little thing and had some ability, but she was injured. I would say Bank Of Lodi is more like her sire New Age Hanover.”

Bank Of Lodi did a lot of her work earlier this year in Sire Stakes company, and Pierre explained that she should be much tougher when the next round of big-money races roll around the middle of next month.

“She’s catching up with those other 3-year-olds now and the experience is really helping,” he said. “This filly is a natural puller, and even though we’ve tried all different types of bits and bridles, that’s the way she is. I can tell you that jogging her is like a visit to the gym.”

As mentioned earlier, the bay mare hasn’t given her rivals a chance in those last three appearances, going right to the front for Plano and never looking to be in danger in any of those miles.

“He’s been letting her roll and it’s been working out nicely. We do know that at some point she’s going to have to be able to sit in a hole. She won’t have it as easy going to the front when the competition gets tougher. For now, though, she’s gaining a lot of confidence.”

Sire Stakes brings out sophomore pacing colts

A $10,000 Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing males headlines the Saturday night action at Cal Expo, with King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdwn getting the top billing.

A 12-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:10 p.m. A reminder that the trotters and pacers are now in action on Saturday and Sunday nights, with Friday racing being added to the schedule beginning on December 26.

King Of The Crop is a homebred son of Little Steven out of the Real Artist mare Romance Me who carries the banner of Frank Nevarez, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and will be handled by Bruce Clarke.

The bay pacer already has multiple stakes trophies on his mantle and will be looking for his eighth trip to the winner’s circle from 19 appearances. He sports a 1:54 3/5 mark and will be making his first outing since late June at Balmoral Park.

Rikybrnthegaragdwn is a son of Living It Up who races for Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson and is reined and trained by Luke Plano. He is also a multiple Sire Stakes victor with a 1:55 career standard and is making his first evening appearance since April with two solid qualifiers under his belt.

Completing the field are Holme Base with Mooney Svendsen; Full Moon Rising, to be guided by Dave Siegel; Tony Cheesecake and Chip Lackey; Geevil; Laissez Moi Passer, Wil,liams Hernandez; and Lil Stevie Oneder.

Looking ahead to Sunday, there will be an 11-race card that gets underway at 4:40 p.m. The Open Trot heads that program with Its Not Over and El Azteca renewing what has become a pretty good rivalry at the head of the division.

TVG Championship Series Finals on Saturday at The Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - What is a racetrack to do when faced with following a Breeders Crown weekend chock full of thrills? Why at The Meadowlands the response is to come right back with the $1 million TVG Series Championship featuring the very finest of the older set on both the trot and pace.

After following a season-long trail of top class events that began in May and concluded with last Saturday’s Crown Finals, the TVG Championships close out a fantastic season for the top Free For Allers with year-end awards hanging in the balance.

The $500,000 Pacing Championship comes as the seventh race on the card and offers a renewal of the thrilling rivalry between Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou who have been duking it out in headline events for the past three years.

“Lou” put together an unprecedented string of six straight sub-1:48 miles during the heart of the summer season, winning ten in a row once united with Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. He’s the division’s top seasonal money winner with more than $1.1 million this season and has amassed a lifetime bankroll of over $3.2 million for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. They’ve enjoyed a great ride with the son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future who remains the fastest freshman of all time with his 1:49 score in the 2011 Breeders Crown. Ron Burke has trained Sweet Lou throughout his career, which comes to a close on Saturday as he goes to stud at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania.

Thinking Out Loud is a pure homebred, by Ponder from the mare Los Angeles, both raced in the stable of his Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership with brother Al McIntosh and long-time patrons CSX Stable (brothers Keith, Ken and Mike Carpenter). The winner of the 2012 North America Cup, Thinking Out Loud has amassed over $1.8 million career-wise with $200,000 coming in last Saturday’s Breeders Crown Final where he and driver John Campbell used every inch of the long Meadowlands stretch to nail Sweet Lou on the wire. Known for his late rallying style and nail-biting finishes, Thinking Out Loud comes to this race near his best form.

Space does not permit the tale be told of the depth present for the TVG Pacing Championship. Suffice to say that these eight champions have amassed nearly $18.5 million in earnings and among those not mentioned above are both the richest at $6.77 million, 2013 TVG champion Foiled Again and co-fastest, Warrawee Needy at 1:46.4,  pacers in the history of the sport.

Hoosier Pacing Derby winner Bettor’s Edge, Canadian Pacing Derby champ Modern Legend, winner of the inaugural Dayton Pacing Derby Clear Vision and Allerage Farms Open victor State Treasurer complete the All Star line-up.

If it were possible to out-do the race that I have just described, it could likely occur just three races later in the $500,000 TVG Trotting Championship, where the career earnings of the ten participants is over $21 million!

The Trotting Championship has something for everybody; including the fastest trotter ever in Sebastian K who set the trotting world on its ear with his epic 1:49 masterpiece at Pocono this summer. Though his air of invincibility may have been breached, the majestic Swedish invader racing for Knutsson Trotting has a chance to reassert himself in Horse of the Year balloting in this contest. Ake Svanstedt trains and drives the champion.

The competition is fierce, led by a pair femme fatales who are just now finding their best form of the season. From Sebastian K’s inside starts 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She is the winner of the Breeders Crown Mare Open Trot, thus the lone invitee to this race as allowed by the TVG conditions. She was devastating in victory, scorching the first quarter in 26.1 to line up the competition in her wake, then sprinting home in 27.2 to hold them off in 1:51.4. Brian Sears was at his best in orchestrating the winning trip on behalf of trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee.

Maven made headlines when she commanded a king’s ransom of $750,000 when offered at auction just three weeks ago and has made buyer Herb Liverman look like the Warren Buffet of horse racing since. Declining the chance to race the girls, she went into the Open division of the Breeders Crown and won the elimination despite the disadvantage of post ten. Another brave performance followed in the final of that race where she not only survived a long, uncovered bid into International champion Commander Crowe but was still inching in on his lead when the wire came in 1:51.

Maven begins again from the far outside here but asks no quarter from her rivals. Top driver Yannick Gingras will attempt to overcome the poor starting position in his quest to find the best course to victory, as the pair has done many times. She is most recently trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter and Mr. Liverman now has John Fielding and Joyce McClelland as partners in the mare.

Beyond those three lurk such talented trotters as last year’s TVG Champion, the $3.5 million winning Market Share, Allerage Farms Open and American National winner Creatine, International star and classics winner Wishing Stone, Maple Leaf Trot winner Intimidate, ageless wonder, $4.2 million, multiple classics winning world record holder Arch Madness, 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes champ Flanagan Memory and the iron tough DW’s NY Yank.

These are but the highlights of a titillating thirteen race Saturday night program at The Meadowlands. First post is 7:15pm and the wagering options are many; multiple guaranteed Pick 4’s and the brand new Super Hi Five wager with a building jackpot. More details may be found at .

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, November 25, 2014—We’re not suggesting Canadian Mark MacDonald isn’t a fan of American Thanksgiving, but no one could blame the guy if he’d rather be working.

MacDonald has caught fire late in Yonkers Raceway’s season, as evidenced by three wins each this past Friday, Saturday and Monday nights.

“I think a lot of it has to with the fact I’m here every night,” MacDonald said. “I’d been going to Pocono, which is closed for the season, and occasionally to the Meadowlands. The trainers know I’m going to be around, and I’m getting a lot more live horses.

“Also, if I have one that draws poorly or may be in tough one week, I have a better chance of keeping the drive the next time.”

Those who have invested in MacDonald have been handsomely rewarded. Among his winners since the middle of the month have been Mister Anson ($43), Theseyesrcrying ($32.40), Frame Worthy ($31), Don’t Stare ($28), Brenway Dixie ($22.80), Giddy Up Delight ($21.60), Mr. Coolie ($18), Upfront Countryboy ($17.80), and Duel in the Sun ($12).

MacDonald, who turns 36 next month, was twice lauded with an O’Brien Award as Canada’s leading driver. The Charlottetown, PEI, native was among the leaders on the WEG circuit for a decade. He relocated stateside early in 2012, looking for a change of venue after a series of career-threatening injuries.

MacDonald has career totals of more than 5,400 wins and $71 million in purses. He’s currently deadlocked for 10th in the local standings with 67 wins, but only one name on the leader board (Pat Lachance, also with 67 wins) has fewer drives. 

            The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule is in play through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday (save for Thanksgiving Night), Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting (including an early Turkey Day opening) available daily. 


Donations can be made starting Friday, November 28

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (November 25, 2014) – Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is proud to once again serve as an official Toys for Tots donation site. Patrons, horsemen, and employees can donate a new, unwrapped toy beginning Friday, November 28 through Saturday, December 13.

Following the collection period, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program will collect the donated toys and distribute them as holiday gifts to needy children in area communities.

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment has participated in the Toys for Tots Program for more than a decade and has helped collect thousands of toys for children.


Due to the impending heavy snowstorm Monticello Raceway is cancelling its live race card on Wed. Nov. 26.

Also cancelled are the morning qualifiers on Wednesday as well as the evening simulcasts. However, afternoon simulcasts may be available.

With no racing scheduled on Thanksgiving Day, (Nov27) the next live racing program from Monticello  Raceway will be on Monday, December 1. First post is slated for 12:25pm


At a recent meeting of the Auxiliary of Goshen Historic Track at Delancey’s Restaurant in the village, the Auxiliary made a $7,000 donation to the members of the Historic Track’s Board of Directors who joined them for dinner that evening.

Accepting the $7,000 check from co-president Judy Green was Steve Jones, President of the track’s Board of Directors .

“We are always so very appreciative of the Auxiliary’s dedicated efforts and we can’t thank them enough”, Jones said.” The ladies do an outstanding job and work tirelessly to raise money for Historic Track.”

Money is raised annually through the efforts of members of the Historic Track Auxiliary with an array of fundraisers. Last year $7,000 was donated and in previous years they donated more. And over the past few decades the amount of the Auxiliary’s donations is well into six figures .

“We apologize that our donation isn’t what it usually has been but these are tough times. Still we are always very pleased to be able to provide a $7000 donation to the track from the efforts of our very dedicated volunteers,” said Auxiliary co-president Eveline White.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Senior director of racing Eric Warner has announced that the draw schedule at Monticello Raceway during the  week of Thanksgiving will be altered as follows.

On Tuesday, Nov. 25 he’ll draw post positions  for Monday, December 1.

On Wednesday, Nov. 26 he’ll draw pp’s for Tuesday, December 2

No draw on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day

On Friday the draw will be for Wednesday, December 3

Then on Monday, December 8 the draw schedule returns to normal.


After seven months of competitions in the C.K.G Billings amateur driving series the $25,000 Gold Cup and $15,000 Silver Cup Championships were contested at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, November 23 with “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello victorious in the Gold with Rebel Strike while  Kelly “Sky” Walker copped the Silver with Rush N Supreme.

Both events were on the betting card and each was contested at a distance of 1-1/4 miles, which has been the regular feature in the Billings Series finales.

But for Zuccarello his 2:31 driving victory was only half of his prize that day. His friend Charlie Longo said that “Mighty Matt” hit the daily double at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday and he was not only  referring to Matt’s victory but more importantly Longo reported that Zuccarello proposed marriage to  his longtime girlfriend Kim Velardi. He even got down on one knee in the winners circle after his victory to make that proposal.

The road to that proposal began when  Zuccarello left softly from the five-hole and settled in fifth position with Rebel Strike. He was content to follow the leaders until the backside the final time around. When Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff moved Tagmaster in front of him, Zuccarello followed the cover and by the top of the stretch he had Rebel Strike within striking distance.

In the lane Rebel Strike was the strong horse and Zuccarello got him up in the final strides to hold off a hard- charging Catching Kate and driver “Marvelous Marvin” Raber to score a neck victory in a time of 2:31. Keystone Sadie finished third for Bobby “Rapid Rail” Krivelin.

“It was the greatest day of my life”, Zuccarello offered. “I really had a perfect trip. It couldn’t have been scripted better. And Charlie’s right, I hit the daily double. It was real nice to end the season a pair of wins; Kim’s hand and the Gold Cup Championship.”

It’s true Matt felt mighty at days end but then again, so did Mike Simons who owns Rebel Strike especially when his horse got the lion’s share of the $25,000 purse.

Rebel Strike paid $9.20 for win and for Zuccarello who is looking forward to next season, it was his fourth Billings triumph this year.

Another gentleman, Kelly “Sky” Walker had sort of a daily double of his own on Sunday, too. He won the $15,000 Billings Silver Cup Championship with Rush N Supreme in a time of 2:30.4 and he is also is the owner of Rush N Supreme.

But Walker’s journey to the winners circle was different than Zuccarello’s. He too, started from the five-hole but gunned Rush N Supreme to the front and got away with a soft 30.3. From there Walker rated his horse on the front end with each quarter trotted around 30 seconds.

After rebuffing a challenge by Dave “Steady As” Yarock and Rompaway Alvin as the field passed the third stanza Rush N Supreme trotted home an easy 1-1/2 winner over Whatnblazes, driven by Dave “Yes Its True” Offenberg. Rompaway Alvin held on for third money.

Sent off the even money favorite Rush N Supreme paid $4.00 for win. For Walker it was 9yh seasonal; driving victory and the 98th of his amateur career.                                                    

“The Billings Season was marked again by 5 separate series and we once again saw an increase in new members. Also noted was an upswing in participation from our core members. The shorter Series format seems to be well received by most and we will continue to make adjustments to try and refine it for the future,” said Billings Series president, Tony “the Capo” Verruso.

“ One such adjustment will be the increase of the money conditions and claiming price in the Mid-West. Starting next year. The conditions for the East and Mid-West will once again be the same. The new slot money in Ohio has rejuvenated racing there and hopefully it will do the same for our membership in that region.”

Sunday, November 23, 2014


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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 23, 2014—The third rendition of Yonkers Raceway’s “Matinee Madness” went postward during a downright balmy (mid-50’s) pre-Thanksgiving Sunday.  

The 12-race card again began with five French-centric, overstuffed, mile-and-a-quarter trotting fields. A dozen were behind the gate for the opener (post time 11:12 AM), with favored Itzaziam (Brian Sears, $5.70) winning that event in 2:27.3 for the added distance.

            Included in the extra-distance extravaganza was the $46,000 Open Handicap, the 10-trotter test won by a backside-busting Dancehall Mistress (Sears. $25.60) in 2:26.1.   

The Sunday overseas numbers continue strong, with more than 1.2 million Euros (more than 1.5 million US dollars) wagered during the five exported events. The first three matinees have seen a total of more than four million Euros (or more than five million US dollars) wagered for 15 races by the French-hubbed audience (including Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta).

            Sunday’s Pick 5, buoyed by a double carryover of more than $7,000, attracted $16,710 of fresh lettuce. The winning combination of 4/4/4/1/2 paid $3,924.75 for every four bits.

            The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule continues through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday (save for Thanksgiving Night), Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) next weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (including Thanksgiving Day).  


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _  International star Commander Crowe won the $500,000 Open Trot to conclude a brilliant weekend of Breeders Crown championships at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment.

There were heroes galore during the 12 stakes over Friday and Saturday nights.

Yannick Gingras was the driving star with four wins, giving him 11 in the series. John Campbell, the old pro among Crown drivers, won a pair to extend his record to 47 victories.

Jimmy Takter extended his training record with three more winners, pushing his total to 21.

And then there were the equine stars. JK She’salady completed an unbeaten freshman campaign with a 12 for 12 mark and Father Patrick closed out a season marred by unfortunate breaks with a rousing win.

But they saved the best for last as Commander Crowe took the stage facing a deep field that included four previous Crown winners.

Conceding nothing to age, the 11-year-old gelding with the flowing blond mane trotted to a stakes equalling 1:51 victory that showed the youngsters how it’s done.

Driver Orjan Kihlstrom put the Commander on the lead down the backstretch and they called the tune the rest of the way, beating the mare Maven by three quarters of a length.

“I tried to keep them behind me,” Kihlstrom said. “He’s a very tough horse. He’s a fantastic horse.”

Commander Crowe won for the 61st time in 108 races, pushing his career earnings over $5 million.
He paid $12 to win for his first victory in three Breeders Crown appearances.

JK She’salady remained unbeaten with a stakes record score in 1:50 2/5.
The win projected the determined filly into the Horse of the Year debate.

Tim Tetrick was at the lines for his 14th Crown win. It was the first Crown for trainer Nancy Johansson, Jimmy Takter’s daughter.

“Around February, I asked my dad if he had any good 2-year-old pacing fillies,” Johansson said. “I told him he could leave them at home, because I had the best one.”

JK She’salady backed up that boast as the undisputed boss of the division.

She took the lead midway down the backstretch and fended off a stiff challenge from Sassa Hanover to win by 1 3/4 lengths. The win payoff was a modest $2.20.

JK She’salady is a homebred for 3 Brothers Stable.

Father Patrick made an unfortunate break in his last appearance at The Meadowlands, the Hambletonian.

He was all business Saturday in a stakes record 1:51 4/5 mile.

Father Patrick and Gingras made an early move to the lead and trotted strongly to the wire, holding off E L Titan by a neck for his 12th win in 17 starts this season.

The colt trained by Takter finished a somewhat disappointing season in fine fashion.

“The expectations were really high,” Gingras said. “The Hambletonian, we want to forget about that one. He showed up here tonight and showed us what a great horse he is.”

He is owned by the Father Patrick Stable.

Mcwicked, the Adios winner, might have snatched the divisional title with his 10th win of the season.
Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach and morning-line favorite Always B Miki, two of his top rivals for the Dan Patch Award, were race day scratches.

That took both elimination winners out of the final and trimmed the field to eight. It also put  Mcwicked in play sooner than expected.

“It really changed the race complex a lot,” said trainer Casie Coleman who won her fourth Crown. “I didn’t expect Mcwicked was going to be in front.”

In front is where he landed when Brian Sears turned him loose down the backstretch.

And that is where he finished, by a half length over Somesizesomestyle in 1:49.
Mcwicked paid $5.60 to win for the S S G Stables.

It was Sears' second win in this Crown, and 26th overall.

Pinkman equaled the stakes record with his 1:53 2/5 victory. The even-money favorite took charge with a retake  down the backstretch and held off Muscle Diamond by a half length.

Turned out Gingras made the right call, having his choice of Pinkman and Habitat heading into last week’s Crown eliminations.

“Habitat had a great year but Pinkman was coming into this race super sharp,” Gingras said. “He was 
getting better and better every week and I just thought it was my best chance.”

Pinkman, trained by Takter, got his sixth win in eight starts for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman.

$400,000 OPEN PACE
Campbell perfectly timed the rally to win  with Thinking Out Loud.

Sweet Lou led the field into the stretch but could not hold off Thinking Out Loud’s finishing kick. 

The 5-year-old homebred for Bob McIntosh got up by a head in 1:48 3/5.

“He is a closer,” Campbell said. “We’ve tried to race him up front and that just doesn’t work. He’s a real good closer, and always has been.”

It was the 16th Crown win for McIntosh who owns the stallion in partnership with C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings.

Thinking Out Loud paid $10.40 to win.

Traceur Hanover was the winner of the wild race marred by several breakers.

Andy Miller maneuvered his colt through the chaos to capture his fifth win in 14 starts.

“There were a lot of breakers, a lot going on there,” said Miller, who won his fifth Crown. “We just had to bide our time and wait to get through it all.”

Traceur Hanover fought off Go Daddy Go around the final turn and gamely held off In The Arsenal by a half length at the finish.

Trainer Corey Johnson got his first Crown win. The time was 1:51.

Traceur Hanover, a $9.80 winner, is owned by Richard Berthiaume.

Shelliscape was a repeat winner and once again Campbell guided a winner to a dramatic victory.

Shelliscape rallied widest off all to get up by a half length over Rocklamation.

“When I got away so bad, I was sure hoping the fractions were stiff up front,” Campbell said. “When I moved over at the of the stretch, I knew she was going to get a real good piece of it.”

The 5-year-old got her 16th win in 73 starts, giving trainer P. J. Fraley a third straight win in this stakes.

Shelliscape, owned by Bamond Stable, paid $23 to win. The time was 1:49 4/5.

The two-night Breeders Crown format at The Meadowlands returned dividends with a total of $7,180,566 passing through the mutuel windows broken down to $3,092,172 on Friday and $4,088,392 wagered on Saturday.  The guaranteed pools drove the handle with three of the four Pick 4 Pools over the weekend handling over $100,000.

Racing resumes at The Meadowlands on Friday night followed by the $1 Million TVG Free For All Championships on Saturday.  Post Time is 7:15 P.M.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 22, 2014—Mach's Beach Boy (Pat Lachance, $5.30) held off a two-pronged challenge Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $26,000 winners-over pace.

            Inheriting the pole after an inside scratch, Mach's Beach Boy saw Orillia Joe (Jordan Stratton) make the first lead. Mach's Beach Boy then moved--apparently, just in time--in front of Rockstar Temper (Dan Dube). It was Mach's Beach Boy putting up intervals of :27.4 and 57-seconds flat as BJ's Guy (Brent Holland) took out of fifth.
            Mach's Beach Boy maintained the advantage in and out of the 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a length lead into the lane. He then kept both Orillia Joe and BJ's Guy a bay, whipping the former by a neck in 1:53.  Rockstar Temper and Stolen Car (Eric Carlson) rounded out the payees. Ronny Bugatti (Mark MacDonald, three wins for second consecutive night) was a jammed-in sixth as the 6-5 favorite.

            For second choice Mach's Beach Boy, a 5-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by his driver for Ontario co-owners Dan Mogridge and Jeff Oborne, it was his ninth win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $68.50, with the triple returning $297.50.

With seven double-figure win payoffs included in the 12-race card, the Pick 5 was—shockingly—not hit. Thus, the Sunday matinee gimmick begins with a double carryover of $7,091.34 (50-cent base wager on races 5 through 9).

            The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule changes, with first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the third of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014


There were just a few (five) qualifiers on a blustery Breeders Crown Saturday morning at The Meadowlands held under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid- 30’s and a considerable cross-wind.

Sebastian K came out to get some pre-TVG Final work in and he looked sharp in a 1:55 win for Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian left the gate alertly with ears pricked, then allowed Svanstedt to rate him through a kind 59.4 half with Lindy’s Tru Grit in close pocket attendance. The pair of trotters finished the mile out with a final quarter of 27 flat, Sebastian K held to be a comfortable three-quarters length winner over a very willing Lindy’s Tru GritQualifiers who closed it up a bit near the wire for Tetrick.

Race three saw a pair of nice three year old pacers zipped around the oval in 1:53.4 / 26.4 with Ontario-bred Play It Again Sam holding off early season sensation National Debt.

Golden Receiver looked fantastic in a 1:52.1 / 26.2 romp, leading all the way with driver Andy Miller never straightening up on him. The “Golden One” has the TVG Final next week if his connections so choose and he certainly made a case for himself this morning.

The Breeders Crown championship races continue at The Meadowlands this evening with first post at 7:15. It’s quite a card, the weather looks good and excitement is high. Get any info you may desire on tonight’s racing at

Friday, November 21, 2014

All Things Breeders Crown

On the eve of the 31st edition of the Breeders Crown series, and the first time all 12 events have been hosted by The Meadowlands, there is a surfeit of information to help you handicap, reflect, reminisce and immerse yourself in all aspects of the Crowning of champions.
All press kit and media guide materials are available at
The  Breeders Crown portion of the Hambletonian Society website has been revamped and redesigned so check it out here: and explore the brand new features and the Breeders Crown social media feed by clicking on
For a stroll down memory lane check out the excellent features put together by Dave Briggs, Lauren and Dave Landry at and by Hoof beats
The connections of 115 horses are dreaming about standing in the Crown winners circle, hoisting the crystal trophy high. Read how some of those dream came true at
Free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the Breeders Crown mini-site at U.S. here:
Finally, if picking winners and making money is your goal, checkout then Breeders Crown analysis from the Horse Players Monthly at and at and
Listen to experts Mike Curci and Pete Kleinhans on Sirius-XM radio for a Friday, Nov. 21 recap   and live gate-to-wire coverage Saturday, Nov. 22 from 9-11:00 p.m.

Post time for both nights is 7:15 p.m. 

Cal Expo Saturday Barn Notes

Steve Crump savoring his California stay

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Steve Crump is making his first trip to Cal Expo and the 65-year-old Saskatchewan native and his wife Shannon are enjoying the racing and the mild weather.

“My wife and I love it, and so do the horses,” said Crump, who came down from Alberta with eight performers and plans to stay through the end of the meet.

“I originally got involved with harness racing in 1969 through Chuckie Lewis,” Steve related when asked about his beginnings in the game. “I was 19 at the time and while I’d been around horses all my life, this was the first time I was exposed to racing.”

After putting in several years learning about the game from the ground up in the Lewis barn, Crump elected to concentrate on his marriage and home life and spent five years working as a carpenter.

“We always had some horses, though, and in 1982 we came back in and opened a public stable. I guess the most we ever had was about 16, and that’s when we raced out all-time favorite, a mare named Tangle High who did real well for us.”

There came a second time when Crump left training, going back into the construction business while buying a farm in Alberta. “Three years ago, everybody in the company retired and we got back into the horses full time in Edmonton.”

Encouraged by Quentin and Ricky Schneider, Steve and Shannon decided to give Cal Expo a chance this winter. “You can say that we wanted to follow the warmth,” Crump said.

El Azteca, It’s Not Over holding spotlight

The Open Trot headlines Sunday evening’s Cal Expo program, with It’s Not Over and El Azteca getting the top billing. An 11-race card is on tap and first post is 4:40 p.m.

The trotters and pacers are now in action under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Beginning December 26, Friday night action will be added to the mix.

Its Not Over is a 4-year-old son of Panama Hanover out of the Andover Hall mare Hall It who is owned by Richard Dryden and Debra Budahn, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have the services of Chip Lackey.

After checking in fourth here two weeks ago in a needed effort, Its Not Over was able to work out a perfect stalking trip in last week’s clash for the top trotters on the grounds and ignited when it counted for Lackey to prevail by a length over odds-on El Azteca that evening.

The latter is another son of Panama Hanover who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and again has James Kennedy at the controls. He comes into his assignment having posed for pictures following 15 of his last 26 trips to the post with a 1:54 3/5 mark and a $122,000 in his bank account.

El Azteca gamely got the job done in his first two starts at this meet following a layoff, on both occasions hanging head decisions on Franks Best. Sent off at 1-2 in last week’s gathering, he carved out all the fractions and could not quite hold off Its Not Over at crunch time completing the exacta.

Looking to post a surprise in the main event are Silence Son from the George Reider barn; the Vickie Desomer-trained Franky Provolone; and Ali De Vie, who leaves from the rail slot for trainer Gene Vallandingham.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – November 20, 2014 – The New Jersey Racing Commission awarded 191 standardbred racing dates for 2015 with 110 dates at Freehold and 81 dates at the Meadowlands.

The possibility of adding four dates to the Meadowlands live racing schedule will be addressed at the January 14, 2015 meeting of the NJRC. 

The Meadowlands schedule, as approved, will begin on January 2 and run through August 8 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through February 28 and Fridays and Saturdays from March 6 through August 8. 

The fall meet will take place on November 27-28, December 4-5, December 11-12, December 18-19 and December 26. 

Post time at the Meadowlands will be 7:15 p.m. except for noon on Hambletonian Day, August 8.

Freehold’s two meets run from January 2 through May 16 and September 4 through December 12.  Racing days will be Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in January February [dark on Monday, February 23]; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March 5 to May 16 and also September 4 through December 12 [Dark on Thursday, November 26] with the addition of live racing on Labor Day, Monday, September 7.

Post time at Freehold is 12:30 p.m.

Thoroughbred racing dates were awarded to Atlantic City Racecourse and Monmouth Park.

Atlantic City’s six dates of racing are April 23, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29.  Post time is 3 p.m.

Monmouth Park’s 49-day season will run from May 9 through September 7 with post time of 12:50 p.m.  The Monmouth schedule will be Saturdays and Sundays for May 9 through June 28 [plus Monday, May 25 and Friday, June 26] and then Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 3 through September 6 [plus Labor Day, September 7]. 

The issue of racing Monmouth Park thoroughbred dates on the Meadowlands turf course was tabled until the January meeting of the NJRC.


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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, November 20, 2014—The third of Yonkers Raceway’s six Sunday matinees goes this weekend, with another card that overstuffed for overseas.

Post time for the dozen-race dossier is a bit after 11 AM.  Once again, the Sunday’s card is front-loaded with trotters, with the French-based audience wagering on the first five races. Those events are all added-distance (1¼ miles) with higher purses and overflow fields (12, 12, 10, 10 and 10 horses, respectively).

Included is the weekly trotting feature, a $46,000 Open Handicap (3rd race) where all 10 starters had their starting venues mandated.   

Yonkers has seen very strong export numbers during the first two matinees, with the folks in France (as well as Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta) wagering more than 2.8 million Euros (or more than $3.5 million US dollars) on the 10 races.  

The half-dozen Sundays, running through Dec. 14th inclusive, replace five Tuesday nights (through Dec. 9th).

As has been the was the case from the beginning, Yonkers is enticing both its evening regulars and the Sunday early risers with any number of freebies, including…

…a free Sunday live program with the purchase of a Saturday live program
            (advance wagering for YR’s Sunday races is available all day Saturday)
…free Sunday breakfast (egg sandwich and coffee) trackside between 10 AM-12 Noon (mutuel windows open on the track apron at 10 AM, and beginning at 10:30 AM at other areas of the track).
…free Sunday bets--a $2 daily double (races 1 & 2) and $1 exacta box (races 2, 3, 4 & 5)--to the first 200 existing (or newly-enrolled) Empire Club members between 10 AM-11 AM (all tickets are “quick picks”). Also, there’s a free promotional gift (while supplies last) and a chance to win dinner for two at any of restaurants on premises.

All Empire City Bets members receive a free, dollar-box triple wager (not a “quick pick”) for Sunday’s third race, while selected ECB members are eligible for a $10 bet/get for wagers made on the first five “French” races.

In addition to Empire City Bets, several other ADW’s are continuing to offer special incentives for those wagering on these Sunday matinees.