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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vernon Racing Recap - Saturday, May 30, 2015

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Painite prevails from the pocket in Vernon distaff trot
Vernon, N.Y. -- After tracking prohibitive favorite Sweet Thing for all but the final two hundred yards, Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell's Painite ($13.00) scored a minor upset in Saturday (May 30) evening's $8000 Mares Open II Trot at Vernon Downs.
The 6-year-old Plesac mare secured the pocket behind Sweet Thing (Chris Lems) from race's outset, tracking a sensible :56.1 first half mile before ceding second to the first-over McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.).  Painite stalked a :28.4 third-quarter duel, ultimately making her move in mid-stretch after McKenzie's Star tired from her two-wide press.  Painite pounced late on the softened Sweet Thing, edging clear by 1-1/2 lengths in a 1:55 score.  McKenzie's Star faded to third, and Leah's Ex (Jimmy Whittemore) rounded out the scratch-reduced field of four.
Trainer Truman Gale handled the driving duties aboard Painite.

The evening's final three races--including a $10,000 Open Trot--were abandoned due to the Central New York weather taking a sudden turn for the worse after the seventh race was completed.  Live racing returns on Sunday (May 31) afternoon, with post time slated for 1:15 p.m.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 30, 2015—After a $7,500 farm buyback (In the Arsenal) won the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace Saturday night, the bargain-basement theme continued.

Purrfect Bags (Vic Kirby, $24.60), who sold for all of $2,000, rolling through the lane, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $117,724 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

            Unraced parimtuelly for 52 days and with three qualifiers lead into her local debut, Purrfect Bags—from post No. 5—watched as Totally Rusty (Jason Bartlett), the only $15,000 supplemental entrant into this race, made the lead before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. That one’s wagering partner, Strut My Stuff (Jordan Stratton) was settled, as Sassa Hanover (George Brennan), the 2-5 choice, received her marching orders.

            “Sass” found the front, setting a spiffy :55.3 half when Bedroomconfessions (Brian Sears) moved from fourth. Purrfect Bags—from post No. 5—was behind her in and out of a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Sassa Hanover had a couple of lengths turning for home, but Purrfect Bags was launched.

            She went up and over the leader, widening to win by two lengths in a season’s-best 1:52.3. Sassa Hanover was second, with Bedroomconfessions third. Strut My Stuff and Totally Rusty settled for the minor moolah, while Special Package (Dave Miller) was outrun.     

For third choice Purrfect Bags, a daughter of Roddy’s Bags Again owned by JoAnn Looney-King and trained her husband, Jim King Jr., it was her third win in four ’15 tries (career 10-for-12, earnings of $205,612). The exacta paid $48.80, with no triple wagering due to the abbreviated number (five) of wagering interests.

“(Trainer) Jim) (King Jr.) had her very sharp,” Kirby said. “She really only had to pace about an eighth of a mile, and when I asked her, she just put her  butt down and took off.

“Her last race (statebred final at Dover) was all my fault. I drove her very badly. She has a burst of speed, I’m just glad to have a chance to drive her and tonight was definitely worth the trip.”

“When I bought her (for $2,000), my husband wasn’t very pleased, Ms. King—who won this race a season ago as trainer of Tyra--said. “She the same as Tyra. Both are very fast and both try very hard.”  

Fireyourguns Breaks All-Time Buffalo Raceway Track Record

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- Hopefully the Buffalo Raceway keeper of track records had plenty of erasers on hand Saturday night (May 30).

Unicorn Hanover set two track records in the opener by going the mile in 1:52.4 in the $9,500 Open II Pace. He produced new standards for the all-age geldings and aged (5+) pacing divisions. 

But Fireyourguns wasn't going to be outdone on the muggy night.

Not only did the 6-year-old Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) shatter the records just set by Unicorn Hanover in the previous race, he took it a step further by breaking the all-time track record with a sizzling 1:52.0 time in the $10,500 Open Pace. It broke the old mark of 1:52.3 notched by Steelhead Hanover back in 2012.

The record times that were broken by Unicorn Hanover and 15 minutes later by Fireyourguns were the 1:53.1 time put up by Gimmebackmybullets for the all-age geldings in 2007 and the aged (5+) record of 1:53.2 scored by Lieback in 2006. 

Returning to the races after a two-week layoff, Fireyourguns showed that his arsenal was fully loaded. Starting from the outside seven post, Caprio knew he was headed to the top and got there with relative ease with Fireyourguns as Cobble Beach (Kevin Cummings) put up mild resistance from the pylons.

"Before the race, (trainer) Terence McClory said you're leaving with him (Fireyourguns) tonight because he's a lot fresher right now," Caprio said. 

After a rather soft opening quarter of 27.3, Caprio and Fireyourguns ($5.00) put a middle half mile of 56.0, hitting the three-quarter mark in 1:23.3. From there, it wasn't a matter of who was going to win, it was a matter of how fast. 

"When I saw the time on the board at the three-quarter pole, I figured it was time to pull the plugs," Caprio said. Fireyourguns went 28.2 in the final leg to score a three-length win over Cobble Beach. Western Alumni (Drew Monti) took the show spot.

Co-owned by McClory along with Jennifer and Robert Lowe, Fireyourguns is now a perfect 3-for-3 on the season, earning $17,500 in 2015 and $237,621 lifetime.

In the opener, Unicorn Hanover ($4.50) went three-wide down the backstretch the final time and pulled away to throttled down two-length victory over Bakken in a short-lived record time of 1:52.4.

After sitting fourth past the half-mile in 56.0 posted by Little Man Cam, Unicorn Hanover (Shawn McDonough) followed the first-over cover of Burton Blue Chip and then used the three-wide move to take command by two lengths at the top of the stretch, tripping the clock in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the second place position while Peenie (Kevin Cummings) finished in third.

Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, the 8-year-old gelded Unicorn Hanover (Four-Starzz Shark-Up Front Georgia) has now won twice in eight starts in 2015, winning $17,135 and $378,942 lifetime.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card set for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes returns with the 3-year-old pacing mares battling for $105,000 spread out among three divisions. 

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

Golden Receiver back on track at Vernon

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Vernon, N.Y. -- After having enough of retirement through just four months, double millionaire Golden Receiver makes his return to the races in Sunday (May 31) afternoon's featured $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs.
The 63-time winner, now in the care of trainer Allie Berube for the Our Horse Cents Stables and Golden Receiver, LLC, was assigned post 4 in the 5-horse event, carded as Sunday's second race.  The 10-year-old Village Jove gelding won 63 of his 172 starts, while finishing in the money on 115 occasions.  He's primarily done battle in the top pacing ranks through the Mid-Atlantic, taking his lifetime mark in January of 2012 with a 1:48 victory in a Presidential preliminary at the Meadowlands.
Golden Receiver mounts his comeback off a lone qualifier, sprinting clear and maintaining separation through a 1:53.3 mile at Vernon on May 22, finishing 15-3/4 lengths clear of Party With Artie.  Fern Paquet, Jr. drove in the qualifier, and will do the same in Sunday's Open.  His four rivals are A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham), UF Bettors Hanover (Justin Huckabone), Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), and defending Open winner JK Panache (Chris Lems).

Post time for the 11-race card at Vernon Downs is 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ – Saturday morning served as Opening Day for the 2015 edition of Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands. It was a beautiful, windless morning with temperatures in the 70’s. There were but four two-year-old races with short fields in all.

The first race was for trotters with a field of three fillies. Royal Treason led all the way with a 28.4 sprint on the end of a mile in 202.2 for driver Tim Tetrick. She’s a daughter of RC Royalty owned by trainer Paul Kelley in partnership with Charlie Iannazzo, Steve Michaels and Jim Winske. She was a $26,000 purchase at the Morrisville sale last fall. 

Colt trotters came up next and the Andover Hall colt Mikkeli Hanover looked like his $130,000 Harrisburg price tag may have been a bargain. He set all fractions as driver Yannick Gingras did his best to rate the colt through a sensible 1:01 half, tacking a 28.2 final quarter on the 1:59.3 mile under wraps. He sure is big and pretty! Ron Burke trains for his Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Panhellic Stable Corp. 

Also noteworthy in this race was the sharp looking Cantab Hall colt Rocky Hanover who followed along willingly to be second just a few lengths off the winner, finishing under his own power. Rocky Hanover will sell tomorrow in the Tattersalls Mixed sale as Hip #9 for trainer Tony Alagna and Steve Stewart. 

A pair of Burke pacing fillies squared off in the third with Yankee Moonshine holding Eloquent Grace at bay though a sparkling 26.3 close to a 1:57.2 mile. Matt Kakaley drove the $42,000 Harrisburg Yankee Cruiser filly for Burke Racing, Stable 45, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi. The Roll With Joe filly Play Again went along nicely to be third here and she will be sold in tomorrow’s sale as Hip #7. 
Stolen Glimpse looked sharp, easily winning the colt pace in 1:55.3/27.2 for Gingras and Burke. The Art Major colt was a $100,000 Harrisburg purchase by Stable 45, J&T Silva and Burke Racing. No Shame Blue Chip, also sale-bound as Hip #6, set the early fractions here. 

Moving on, one of last season’s top freshman filly trotters and half-mile track World Record holder Wild Honey breezed a mile in 1:54.1/27.2 for Yannick. She looked fantastic today for trainer Jimmy Takter scoring a decisive open length win over the good colt Billy Flynn. 

Gural Hanover (Gingras) and JL Cruze (John Campbell) came out to sharpen up for next week’s second leg of the Graduate Series and sharpen up they did. Gural Hanover cut the mile as JL Cruze followed along in second through a 1:24.3 three quarters, then threw up a 27 flat last quarter to finish the 1:51.3 mile that drew a couple of “Wows” from the small crowd of attendees. JL Cruze actually closed it up a bit in the final eighth under no urging at all.

The field of pacers that lined up next would be the feature at any track with three of the entrants, Foiled Again, McWicked and Bettor’s Edge accounting for more than $9 million. There were all nearly upstaged by That’s My Opinion who bull rushed the field just past the McWicked-led 57.2 half and opened up by three or four. Ultimately, the old warrior Foiled Again (Gingras) saved the day by tracking That’s My Opinion down near the wire in 1:51 flat and he looked good doing it. It’s good to see him back. 

That's My Opinion sells as Hip #84 tomorrow, he may be the sleeper of the sale.
JK Endofanera (Gingras) and Somewhere In LA (Brett Miller) were also getting in some work before the Graduate leg, the former zipping around the oval in 1:50 off a half in 56 for Gingras going under the wire four or five in advance of his chief rival.

Three year old pacer King Of Delight closed it out with a 1:51.3 win for trainer/driver Richie Silverman over Dream's Beachboy and the sale-bound Suchasenseofhumor (Hip #54) who set the fractions and held well late. 

Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15pm and it will be accompanied by the annual Food Truck battle known as JerseyFest.

Tetrick Wins Four In A Row at The Meadowlands

With several of the leading Meadowlands drivers racing at The Meadows for Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, Tim Tetrick made the most of his live-mounts, scoring four wins in a row on the Friday program at The Big M.

The Tim Tetrick parade began in the second race on Friday night at The Meadowlands as he scored in wire to wire fashion with the overwhelming favorite, That Woman Hanover for trainer Henrik Lundell.  The four year old mare went right down the road in the condition event for pacing mares to score in 1:51.

Tetrick then guided Hambletonian Oaks-eligible Sarcy to a win in the third race condition trot for Jimmy Takter.  Tetrick quarter-moved his filly, stole a 29.3 third quarter and had enough left to last in the stretch as the 3/5 choice.

Real Drama would go on to make it three in a row for Tetrick as she scored in wire to wire fashion in the fourth race condition event for pacing mares and Watkins would score in the fifth race condition trot after making a backside brush to give Tetrick four consecutive wins on the program.

Tetrick appeared to have a fifth straight win in his sights with Lightning Storm who turned for home with an expanding lead, but he was gunned down by the classy Flyhawk El Durado who came from far back to nail Tetrick in the shadow of the wire.

The upper-level trot featured the class Master of Law, but he was seemingly left with too much ground to make up and could not catch World Cup who worked out a very good trip for Joe Bongiorno to score in 1:52.4.  World Cup now has earnings of over $320,000 while earning the sixteenth victory in his career.

Total handle for the Friday program was $2,411,238, a 7-percent increase over the same racing night in 2014, despite one less race.  Live handle also realized an increase.

The Saturday night program at The Meadowlands features four New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for the three year olds, including Mission Brief in the three year old filly trot and Artspeak in the three year old colt pace.  Those two stars headline the 13-race program.  On the wagering menu, both Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryovers continued to grow.  The fifth race carryover now stands at $136,118 while the last race carryover grew to $109,372.  Saturday also features the ultra-popular Jerseyfest and the Food Truck Mash-up.  Post time is 7:15 P.M.

Vernon Racing Recap - Friday, May 29, 2015

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Let's Go Higher resilient in Vernon distaff

Vernon, N.Y. -- Under steady pressure through a :26.4 third quarter, Jesse De Long's Let's Go Higher ($2.60) would not be denied, edging clear to victory in Friday (May 29) evening's $10,000 Mares Open pace at Vernon Downs.
The 7-year-old Cole Muffler mare cleared her four rivals immediately at race's outset, controlling the terms through a :27.3 initial quarter before rating a brief breather.  Upon reaching the half in :57.1, Let's Go Higher faced stern pressure from the first-over Purity (Jimmy Whittemore), pushed on through a :26.4 third quarter before edging clear off the far turn.  Let's Go Higher turned aside Purity at head-stretch, holding clear of the pocket sitting Southwind Trini (Greg Merton) by two lengths in 1:51.2.  Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) narrowly held third over Always As Fast (Joe Nassimos) after tracking the front flight throughout.
Chris Lems drove Let's Go Higher for trainer Heidi Rohr.  Lems scored a driving double on the evening's nine-race card, as did Jimmy Whittemore.

Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Jack Flanigen, Long Shots Rule At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Friday evenings at Buffalo Raceway in the past two months have been known for long shots. You can now include driver Jack Flanigen into the Friday night mix.

After posting five wins last Friday night, Flanigen registered a four-bagger this time around as he scored aboard Dancin Thea ($4.60), Rollmein Chocolate ($11.00), Major Reform ($22.00) and Hunter Valley ($27.40).

Jim McNeight had a driving triple and rewarded his backers with some big win prices as he guided Lakers Vett ($11.60), Quater Bayama ($23.20) and Full Circle Spirit ($41.20) to surprising victories.

In the last five race cards spanning the past two weeks, Flanigen and McNeight have been the hottest drivers at Buffalo Raceway with 14 and 13 victories respectively.

The racing action continues on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program set for 6:35 p.m.

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

Tioga Racing Recap - Friday, May 29, 2015

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Mach It a Par repeats in worst-to-first fashion
For the second consecutive week, Mach It a Par ($5.00) passed every rival she faced, circling her four Open II rivals on Friday (May 29) evening at Tioga Downs.
The featured $10,000 distaff saw Stormunn (Aaron Byron) cross and clear from her outside post on approach to the first turn, but she faced steady pressure from the first-over Jets Are On (Corey Braden) after a :56.2 half mile.  The two dueled on the backstretch, but Stormunn responded well to her challenger, edging clear on the far turn.  Meanwhile, Dan Clements angled Mach It a Par three-wide to follow--and ultimately overtake--the cover of even-money favorite Addys Way (Mike Simons).  With the latter unable to advance from a stalled Jets Are On, Mach It a Par began to progress just outside the eighth pole, closing stoutly upon straightening for home.  Her late kick proved just enough, as she just defeated Stormunn on the line in 1:52.2.  K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) held third off a pocket trip.
Clements owns 10-time winner Mach It a Par, and Renaldo Morales, III trains the 5-year-old Mach Three mare.
Live racing resumes at Tioga on Sunday afternoon, with the first of 10 races slated for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 29, 2015—With three-peating Krispy Apple not in attendance Friday night, it took two lasses to fill her horseshoes.

Alhambra (Brian Sears, $3.30) caught It’s a Miracle (Eric Carlson, $2.90) at the wire, dead-heating in Yonkers Raceway’s $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

It’s a Miracle, leaving from post position No. 5, wound up pocketed to Virgin Mary (Jordan Stratton) through fractions of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.4. Meanwhile, pole-assigned Alhambra was tardy both leaving the gate, then catching her ride in the presence of Magic Starlight (George Brennan).

She did, however, close ranks in time to move widest and fastest, drawing even with a passing-lane It’s  Miracle in 1:53.4…a life-best effort for Alhambra.  Virgin Mary, who owned length lead into the lane, faded to third, beaten a length-and-quarters. Magic Starlight and Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) completed cashers in a compact grouping, where the eight ladies finished the course separated by less than four lengths

            Sharing the salutations were second choice Alhambra, a 5-year-old daughter of Art Major owned by Joshua Schwartz and trained by William Adamczyk, now 5-for-18 this season.

For 17-10 fave It’s a Miracle, a 5-year-old Always a Virgin miss trained by Jose Godinez for co-owners Blindswitch Racing, Santo Farina, David Sebolsky and Stanley Yoskowitz, it was her fifth win in 20 ’15 tries.

The exactas paid $17.60 (Alhambra first) and $13.40 (It’s a Miracle first), with the triples returning $63 (Alhambra first) and $36.80 (“Miracle” first).
The Raceway’s live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM, $300,000 final of Art Rooney Pace and $117,724 Lismore). After that, it’s Monday (7:10 PM) and a  French-centric Tuesday (1 PM) before hiatus.   

Meadowlands To Continue Two Year Old Training

The Meadowlands is pleased to extend the opportunity for horsemen to train their two year olds at The Meadowlands on Thursdays during the month of June.  For information please contact The Meadowlands Race Office.


by john manzi for the Billings series

A banner day for the sport of amateur racing climaxed when “Lady Monica” Banca and Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff each won their respective $6000 divisions of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night (May 28). Banca won on the betting card while Hechkoff’s triumph came in a non-wagering trot.

Earlier in the day at, Monticello Raceway, “Hot-Handed Hannah” Miller won two amateur events, a NAADA trot and a Catskill Amateur Series pace, marking the first time that amateur drivers—and there were four— did double duty racing at one track in the afternoon and at another in the evening.

Once again Banca’s victory was on the betting card at Yonkers Raceway and it came with the same horse (Meadowview Arny)  that she used to defeat a team of visiting French amateurs in an international  competition a month ago.

As she did against the visiting French, Banca wasn’t content to follow anyone and moved her horse to the lead after getting looped on the first turn. Once on the engine she kept up the strong pace and she and Meadowview Arny trotted through fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:28.2 before going on to a  length victory over Wygant Prince and driver “Coach Paul” Minore. Third place went to Rev It Now driven by  Hannah Miller who was looking for  a perfect day of three wins in three drives that day.

Banca, Norwegian by birth, notched her second driving victory in five seasonal starts.

The winner is owned by Joe Faraldo and Chris Wittstruck and trained by Richard Banca. He paid $3.40 for win.

In the non-wagering split Hechkoff, as he usually does, sent his trotter, No Recess, to the lead from the seven hole and they had two lengths on the field as they passed the first stanza. Hechkoff seemed comfortable on the lead  but as the field headed to the halfway point David “Proud Poppa” Glasser pulled the three hole with Csi What’s My Name when he heard Dave “Steady As” Yarock coming with Rompaway Alvin.

Glasser’s trotter and No Recess and side by side around the paddock turn and up the backside and they were still one-two heading for home. But No Recess proved stronger and turned back Csi What’s My Name for a one length victory in a 2:01.1 clocking. Mark “Shoprite” Schullstrom picked up the show dough with Catalyst.

Hechkoff’s RBH Veentures owns the winner whose trained by Kyle Spagnola.For Hechkoff it marked his seventh winning drive of the season and 61st of his 15 year amateur driving career.

From Meadowlands Media Relations Dept

East Rutherford, NJ – A quartet of $100,000 Finals bring the sophomore division of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) to a conclusion on Saturday night (May 30) at The Meadowlands.

The trotting fillies come up first in the fourth race with the defending champion Mission Brief starting from the far outside in post ten. The fastest freshman in trotting history by virtue of her 1:50.3 tour of The Red Mile last fall and Breeders Crown champ, Mission Brief won the first leg in a measured 1:53.4, then stayed home last week while Rules Of The Road took the second leg.

Yannick Gingras takes his regular position behind Mission Brief for trainer Ron Burke, who owns her in partnership with Our Horse Cents Stable, J&T Silva and Weaver Bruscemi.

Race six is the glamour boy division, the pacing colts. Artspeak was the winner of last season’s NJSS Final for this group on his way to year end honors while his main for here, Hurrikane Ali has an abbreviated five start freshman campaign in which he was winless.

What a difference a year can make, for as they come into the Final Hurrikane Ali has won all three of his 2015 starts including two NJSS legs in 1:50 and 1:50.1 with relative ease for young trainer John McDermott, Jr. Gingras has the drive here as well for the ownership group of Kuhen Racing, Jonathan Klee Racing, Dr Ken Rucker and Robert Pucila.

Artspeak spoke toward his potential for a big season via his effortless 1:49 romp in leg one. Trainer Tony Alagna then held him out of last week’s with an eye toward the long campaign, setting up this interesting match-up on Saturday. Artspeak won eight of ten last season, among those the Metro and Governor’s Cup trophies. Scott Zeron has been his constant companion in all races for the owners, Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners (John Fodera and Steve Wienick).

The pacing fillies (race 8) shapes up to be the most contentious of the four Finals.

Lindy’s Old Lady (Tim Tetrick) didn’t race at two, but is quickly gaining notice by virtue of a pair of wins in as many starts. She was a leg one NJSS winner in 1:51, then stayed home at Lindy Farm last week as trainer Frank Antonacci carefully manages the frequency of his trips to the well with the talented filly.

Happiness also skipped leg two after a comfortable 1:50.4 win in leg one for Gingras and Burke. She has a Grand Circuit win on her résumé via the Simpson Memorial stake in 1:50.3 earlier this season for Burke Racing & Weaver Bruscemi.

Wicked Little Minx took the lone division of leg two, holding off the furious late charge of Stacia Hanover in 1:51.1. Nancy Johansson conditions Wicked Little Minx for Courant AB and Brett Miller is back in the driver’s seat for the Final.

Stacia Hanover won this division last year and has the as the look of a filly on the verge of a big mile for her trainer driver combo of Steve Elliott and Zeron and owners David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio.

Bringing the NJSS curtain down on the 2015 season in the eleventh race will be the sophomore trotting colts and a powerful group they are.

Guess Whos Back (winner of this division's final in 2014) has won both preliminary legs including a hard-fought 1:52.4 decision over Canepa Hanover last week. Driver Brian Sears used the entire stretch to eke out the half-length tally with Canepa Hanover never giving in. Nik Drennan trains Guess Whos Back for owners Joe Davino, Brad Shackman, TLP Stable and J&T Silva.

The potent duo of Canepa Hanover and French Laundry represent the Jimmy Takter barn and both are top colts.

Canepa has been third and second in the two legs and last week’s effort was a gritty one after being used hard to get to the front then facing a strong wind in the homestretch. With Takter off to Sweden for the Elitlopp, Yannick Gingras will drive for the interests of Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband, Al Libfeld, Brixton Medical and Christina Takter.

French Laundry was a winner in the first leg, his only 2015 start to this point. He has been rock solid throughout his career for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Katz and Libfeld. Brett Miller is his regular driver and will be aboard on Saturday night.

Both Hi-5 Jackpots remain intact going into Friday night's live card with the totals now at $131,037 (race 5) and $105,195 (race 12). Saturday night promotions include the chance to win a first class trip to the June 6 Belmont Stakes and JerseyFest which features the NJ vs Philly Food Truck Mash-Up. The thirteen race program starts at 7:15. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015


By john manzi for NAADA & Catskill Amateur Club

Although she has been the scourge of the amateur driving ranks this season, today (May 28) Hannah Miller scored her first driving double and it came in back-to-back races on the betting card at Monticello Raceway.

Miller won a Catskill Amateur Drivers Series pace with Rise Above It in a 1:57 clocking and came right back in the next race and drove trotter Casanova Lindy to 2:00 triumph in a leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Associations spring trotting series.

Her victory with Rise Above It came from a three -hole journey to the backside and then moving to the lead nearing the third quarter before  drawing off to an oh-so-easy 10- length triumph. And interestingly, the exacta in that contest belonged to the ladies when Dr. Jennifer Lowrey finished second with Logan’s Dragon. Third place went to Minnesota Hanover driven by Matt Zuccarello.

“I planned on leaving strong but Jennifer’s horse left the gate the fastest so I ducked in a hole,” Miller said and added “it was a good thing since she led us by the (first) quarter in :28.4. “After a :58 (.1) half I had the strong horse and when I gave him his head he did the rest.”

Owned by Melvin Fink and Clifford Grundy and trained by Nick Surick, Rise Above It paid just $2.10 for win. And this race marked another first for the 23 year old Miller when her horse was eliminated from the show wagering pool.

Miller also had the favorite in the next race, a NAADA Trot, when the betting public sent Casanova Lady off as a 4-10 favorite.

After starting from the six-hole Miller aimed her charge toward the front end and took command prior to reaching the first stanza. From there Casanova Lindy trotted by the half in 1:00 and then rambled through even 30-second quarters to a three- length 2:00 triumph over Chuckie B and driver Alan Schwartz even though Schwartz had his trotter tight on Miller’s back until Casanova Lindy drew off in mid-stretch.

Third place went to Samsawinner driven by New York Yankee assistant equipment manager, Joe Lee.

“I feel so great,” Miller said after her second victory on the card. “I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to winning races this year but having my first driving double is special.”

Casanova Lindy, owned by  Ms. Miller, the Nick Surick Stable and the Erv Miller Stable, and trained by Surick The winner paid $2.40.

 And speaking of firsts, today will mark the initial time that amateur driverswill  do double duty, driving in the afternoon at one track and at another in the night time. Monticello Raceway starters Hannah Miller, Joe Lee, James Marshall IV, and Dave Yarock will take seats behind trotters in Billings action at Yonkers Raceway tonight.


Carryovers in both Jackpot Super High 5 wagers continue to grow

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (May 28, 2015) – The carryovers in both of the Jackpot Super High 5 wagers at the Meadowlands have grown to six figures heading into Friday’s (May 29) racing card.

The carryover in the race five Jackpot Super High 5 has grown to $131,037. The jackpot was hit for $12,101 on December 26, but has not been claimed since then, a stretch of 50 race dates.

The carryover in the last race wager now sits at $105,195. It was last hit on March 14 for $200,000, the largest payout in Meadowlands history.

The Jackpot Super High 5 requires horseplayers to correctly select the first five finishers of the designated race in the exact order. The catch is that the jackpot pays out only if there is one unique winning ticket. If there is more than one winning ticket, 75-percent of the evening’s net pool is paid out to the winning tickets while the remaining 25-percent is added to the jackpot carryover.

Friday’s fifth race is a conditioned trot with a full field of ten entered. The final race is a $10,000 claiming event for paces, also with a full field of ten.

One lucky fan in attendance will also win a VIP trip to the Belmont Stakes to watch American Pharoah attempt to become the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.

Saturday’s thirteen-race card features four $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals featuring Dan Patch Award winners Mission Brief and Artspeak.

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

Lone Survivor Fastest in NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "I expected him to do this," driver Brett Miller after he guided Lone Survivor to the fastest time in the three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (May 27).

Lone Survivor (Art Major-Wenditone) cruised to an easy six-length victory in 1:53.4 in taking his $39,900 leg. 

In other Sire Stakes activity, K-Rock was nearly as impressive after notching a 3-1/4 win in 1:54.0 while J Eagle Feather found the winner's circle for the first time in his brief four-race career by covering the mile in 1:56.0.

Miller took the blame for Lone Survivor's fifth place finish last week in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga Downs and was more than ready for redemption. "I drove this horse so bad last week," Miller said. "He's a nice colt and I knew he was ready tonight."

Sitting fourth headed down the backstretch, Miller went three-wide and paced away from the field. Quickly opening up a five-length edge at the top of the stretch, Lone Survivor ($5.40) finished with a six length advantage over runner up Artistic Major (Pat Lachance) and Americanprimetime (Rick Dane Jr.) at the wire.

"I wasn't worried at all going up the backstretch," Miller said about the final half-mile. "I was feeling good about him.  I just let him go and he did his thing," added Miller about Lone Survivor's big backside move.

Trained by Sam De Pinto, it was the first victory in three seasonal starts for Lone Survivor, now a winner of $21,532 this year and $86,491 lifetime.

K-Rock had to tussle with We Think Alike in the opening panel scrum and that proved to be the right move. Posting fractions of 27.0, 56.1 and 1:24.2, K-Rock never looked back and disposed of the remaining six entrants easily by 3-1/4 lengths.

"I didn't want to sit third and get caught in traffic," winning driver Matt Kakaley said of the decision to send K-Rock to the top.

Enjoying a four-length advantage at the top of the lane, Kakaley admitted that K-Rock was throttled down in the drive for the wire. "He was kind of spent but still raced good. I think a 1:24.2 mark to the three-quarter pole is a pretty good time for this track."

Southwind Masimo showed some good closing speed to take the place position while Masterson (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied for the show spot.

K-Rock (Rock N Roll Hanover-Sunduel A) is a 3-year-old gelding that is owned by Eugene Kurzrok and trained by Ron Burke. It was his second win in four starts in 2015 and pushed his seasonal winnings to $38,862 and $74,688 lifetime.

J Eagle Feather went gate-to-wire and held on to beat the highly-regarded Sicily by a neck in 1:56.0. A final sizzling quarter-mile of 26.4 secured the win for J Eagle Feather.

Using some soft splits of 29.3, 59.2 and 1:29.2, Morrill Jr. said in the winner's circle, "We got away with some cheap fractions. He's never cut the mile before and still is very green. The only time I asked of him was in the last quarter mile and he responded."

Sicily (Kakaley) took the hard-luck second place position while Maurice (Lachance) was third.

Trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Kj Stables LLC, J Eagle Feather (Bettor's Delight-Town Feather) picked up a nice check for $19,600 his first place effort. He has been in the money three times in four career appearances.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Nobettorplacetobe tripped the timer in a solid 1:54.3 time to register the $7.20 decision for driver John Cummings Jr. In the other leg, Coaster (Kakaley) posted a popular $2.20 score in 1:58.1.

Tonite We Rock covered the mile in 1:57.4 for driver Jack Flanigen to take the $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series event.

Kakaley and Morrill Jr. each finished the evening with driving triples.

Racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


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

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, May 27, 2015—Yonkers Raceway leading drivers Brian Sears and Jason Bartlett are scheduled to be in midtown Manhattan Thursday, discussing Saturday night’s $300,000 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

The event takes places from 11 AM-12:00 Noon at the Nat Sherman Townhouse, 12 E. 42nd Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues), and also includes members of the Rooney family.

In the 25th edition of the Rooney, Sears takes a seat behind In the Arsenal from post position No. 2, the stronger half of the even-money, morning line favored entry.  In the Arsenal has won eight of 13 career races and more than $430,000 and enters off a victory in one of last weekend’s two elimination events. Sears has two Rooney Pace victories to his credit.  

Bartlett drives Arque Hanover, a troubled fourth in his elim after coming down from Canada. Arque Hanover drew post No. 3 and is listed at 10-1 on the early line.

For further information, or to RSVP, please contact John Cirillo (914-260-7436,


London, May 27, 2015 -- Michigan-based trainer Dale Decker has never been to The Raceway at The Western Fair District, but he’ll have a not-so-secret weapon on his side when his star five-year-old Night Pro goes to the gate Friday night from post four in the $150,000 Molson Pace. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in Night Pro’s sulky.

“He’s the leading dash driver in the country the last two years,” said Decker.

Make that the leading dash-winning driver in North America. Wrenn, Jr., 28, won the 2014 continental title with 847 wins and the 2013 crown with 714 victories. This year, Wrenn, Jr. currently sits a close second behind Aaron Merriman in North America with 330 wins. In just eight years in the bike, Wrenn, Jr. has already surpassed 2,500 career victories, most of that over the last four seasons.

The Ohio-based driver has made just one career start at The Raceway at The Western Fair District — a fourth-place finish driving Rock Bottom in an overnight in January of 2011.

Decker said he had to do a little convincing to get Wrenn, Jr. to give up his full slate of drives Friday at Scioto Downs in Columbus, OH to come to London, but thinks racing in the Molson Pace could be a good stepping stone to bigger races for the driver.

“He’s kind of got to make a decision if he wants to try to venture into the Grand Circuit ranks or just stay local,” Decker said.

Night Pro has proven to be a horse worth following on the stakes trail. In three years of racing, the son of former Ontario-based star Pro Bono Best out of Midnight Jewel has amassed over $500,000 in earnings and sports a startling record of consistency with 29 wins in 49 starts. The pacer has finished no worse than third in 84 per cent of his starts.

“He’s a true racehorse,” Decker said. “He’s the best one I’ve had, by far.”

Decker also owns and raised Night Pro, the 5-1 fourth choice in the Molson Pace, behind Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off (post 1, 8-5), two-time defending Molson Pace champ State Treasurer (post 8, 2-1) and Duc Dorleans (post 6, 9-2). The Molson Pace is race 12 in a promotion-packed night of racing at Western Fair. The first race post time is 7:15 p.m.

Last year, Night Pro regularly held his own racing against such star older pacers as Foiled Again, Sweet Lou, Clear Vision and Bettors Edge. He posted a record of 12-3-3 in 24 starts and earned over $230,000 racing in stakes in the Midwestern United States, close to Decker’s base close to Toledo, OH.

“I try to stay more local to where I’m at, within about a four-hour ship. Horse racing, even though I wish it was my full-time occupation, it’s not. So, time is limited,” said Decker, a residential home builder by trade. “Besides, (Night Pro’s) not the best shipper in the world, either. He’ll be sweating when I get (to Western Fair).”

Decker was the one that was sweating when he took Night Pro to the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale in 2010 to be sold on behalf of breeder Linda Marckel. Night Pro is the second foal out of Midnight Jewel. Her first foal, Starzzz Of Jewel, sold for $40,000. When it came time for Night Pro to sell, there was little interest.

“I was in a state of shock at the sale,” Decker said. “I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not kidding you. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. The bidding stalled at $4,500. That’s when I jumped in… I did have the money to buy him. So, it wasn’t an issue. But I had plenty of horses and I was just trying to make (his breeder) some money. I ended up with him.”

The cost was $14,000.
“I had no idea I was going to end up with him because I didn’t want another horse. I already had a barn full. I didn’t want to spend $14,000 either, because I’d have to go home and explain that to my wife,” Decker said. “She wouldn’t let me sell him now.”

Though Night Pro is a bigger horse, Decker said The Raceway’s tight half-mile oval doesn’t concern him because his farm track is smaller than a half and Night Pro, “gets around here just fine… He’s pretty universal. That’s what’s nice about him. He can race any way and he can race on any size track.”

Fans will be able to enjoy all 12 races on the Friday card on a large infield video tote board that will feature an enhanced broadcasting coverage all night.

The Molson Pace card will offer betting patrons a cornucopia of wagering options. There’s a $7,500 guarantee on the early Pick 4 and the Super Hi-5, a $10,000 guarantee on the late Pick 4 and Super Hi-5 and a $2,500 guarantee on the Pick 3 offered in races one through three.

Other promotions include scratch and win programs giving patrons a one-in-six chance to win a prize, a guest horse outside the main entrance to greet fans, a raft of prizes and giveaways courtesy of Molson and the OLG and, throughout the night, fans can even take a spin around the track in a double-seated jog cart with the Wanna Ride team.

For more information, please visit:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 26, 2015—Favored Winter Blues (Brian Sears, $3.80, part of entry) and bombardier McEver (Mark MacDonald, $91.50) earned the spiffy blankets Tuesday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway’s pair of final in the “Jackpot Next Door” Claiming Series.

In play early from post position No. 4 in the $69,000 finale for the boys, Winter Blues worked around Auckland Flyer (Eric Carlson), with a :27.2 opening quarter-mile and :56.2 intermission. Ideal Carver (Dan Dube) tried it from fourth towards the 1:24 three-quarters as Winter Blues owned a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn.

When a $20,000 claimer paces a life-best 1:51.3, he’s gonna be tough, and Winter Blues was just that. He held sway over Ideal Carver by three-quarters of a length, with Auckland Flyer third. Someplace Special (Tyler Buter) and Digital Z Tam (George Brennan) came away with the remainder.

For Winter Blues, a 10-year-old Astreos gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing)  by (trainer) Rene Allard and Kapildeo  Singh, it was his fourth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14.40, with the triple returning $36.80.

“Just an honest horse who raced very well,” Sears said, though he was admittedly stumped when asked how many career marks he’s put on 10-year-olds.

Tuesday afternoon’s $59,000 finale of the ‘JND’ for the ladies was won by that cone-skimming McEver as the longest shot on the board.             `          

Leaving from post No. 7 (in one notch after a defection), McEver had no choice but to watch the floor show taking place many lengths in front of her. It was pole-sitting Mikeleh (Dube) refusing to give up the baton, seating a reluctant 1-5 choice (part of entry) Grace Seelster (Brennan) and throwing down the gauntlet (:26.3, :55.4).

First-up was Derek Delight (Sears), “Grace’s” partner, but she couldn’t sustain a bid toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters.  So, Mikeleh owned a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. Grace Seelster took another shot, but she wasn’t the problem.

The problem was McEver, who saved every inch of ground, closed relentlessly (:27.4 individual final quarter) and actually won going away. The margin over Mikeleh was a length in a season’s-best 1:53. Shawnee Dancer (Scott Zeron) rallied for third, with Grace Seelster and My Ideal Hanover (Buter) rounding out the payees.

“I’d rather be lucky than good any day,” MacDonald said. “Turning for home, I was hoping to get third, but she kicked it in and Danny’s filly and mine were going in opposite directions. His came back to us and mine just took off.”

For McEver, a 7-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Susan Oakes and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her fifth win in 14 ’15 tries. The exacta paid $453, with the triple returning $4,784. The winner paid $116 to place, with show wagering barred.


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 26, 2015—In the Arsenal, already with a Yonkers Raceway open stakes wins to his credit, drew post position No. 2 for Saturday night’s $300,000 Art Rooney Pace.

The 25th edition of the Rooney, one of the sport’s premier events for the 3-year-old male pacers, goes as the fourth of 12 races (first post 7:10 PM, approximate post for Rooney 8:15 PM).

Brian Sears drives In the Arsenal, a son of American Ideal trained by Kelvin Harrison for co-owners (breeder) White Birch Farm and In the Arsenal Racing.  The colt won the second of last weekend’s two elimination races, defeating Rock N’ Roll World by a head in 1:53.1. In the Arsenal has won eight of his 13 career races and $431,843, making him the richest of the octet the final.

He first gained prominence last summer, winning the $125,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard, the Raceway’s premier event for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Last week’s other elim winner, Sonofa Sizzle (1:52.1), wasn’t as fortunate with the open draw. He landed behind the eight-ball with George Brennan picking up the assignment for trainer Josh Green. Sears drove the son of Life Sizzles a week ago.

The field for the Rooney Pace…1-Rock N’ World (Dan Dube), 2-In the Arsenal (Brian Sears), 3-Arque Hanover (Jason Bartlett), 4-National Seelster (Andy Miller), 5-Betting Exchange (Dave Miller), 6-Bet You (Brett Miller), 7-Cartoon Daddy (Yannick Gingras), 8-Sonofa Sizzle (George Brennan).

Note that In the Arsenal and Betting Exchange shall race as a common-ownership entry.

Saturday night’s undercard is led by the companion event, the $117,724 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies (6th race, approximate post 9 PM).

The half-dozen lasses…1-Strut My Stuff (Jordan Stratton), 2-Bedroomconfessions (Sears), 3-Totally Rusty (Bartlett),  4-Sassa Hanover (Gingras), 5-Purrfect Bags (Tim Tetrick), 6-Special Package (Brennan).

Note Strut My Stuff and Totally Rusty race as a (common-ownership) entry, with the latter of $15,000 supplemental entrant.

Changes (if any) to these races are to be made Wednesday morning.


NY Sire Stakes Invades Buffalo Raceway Wednesday Night

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer. Another sure sign of summer is the arrival of the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.

Wednesday night, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade Buffalo Raceway to begin the first of eight different divisions of the New York Sire Stakes that will visit the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds now through the close of the meet on Sunday, July 26.

There are three divisions of the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Wednesday that will be worth $105,000 total. The three legs has attracted big-name drivers along with some top horses which are eligible for North America Cup and/or Meadowlands Pace.

They'll be gunning for the track records as well as a nice payday. The 3-year-old gelding pace record is 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014 while the 3-year-old colt mark is 1:52.3 established by Steelhead Hanover in 2012. That clocking is also the all-aged pacing track standard.

The opening race on the 13-card will be the first Sire Stakes test and will feature Ultimate G, a third place finisher at Tioga Downs in his last attempt. In the money in all four starts this season, Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Ultimate G as the 2-1 choice, the only entrant in the field of seven with a victory in 2015.

Americanprimetime is Meadowlands Pace eligible and will score from the five post for driver Rick Dane Jr. Americanprime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) broke stride in his last outing in the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and lost any chance.

The back half of the early daily double will also feature the boys. K-Rock is the early choice at 8-5 with Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive. K-Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A) has a win and two second place finishes in his three appearances thus far this season. On May 17 in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga, K-Rock scorched a 1:23 time to the three-quarter marker but stalled out and finished in second just a half-length behind National Seelster.

Berkley is the top threat in the race for driver Mark MacDonald. A winner of $118,470 last season, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) has been saddled with bad posts in his last two starts but should be a factor after drawing better this time. He'll start out of the four spot.

The last Sire Stakes contest, set as the fourth race, will feature Sicily (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who won the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on May17 in 1:51.1. Sicily, the 8-5 morning line favorite, will be driven by Matt Kakaley. A winner of over $114,000 in his young career, the Ron Burke trained Sicily could be using this race as a tune up for the prestigious North America Cup starting at June 13 at Mohawk Raceway along with the Meadowlands Pace.

The main challenger in the mile race could come from If You Want Fire who is also eligible for the Meadowlands Pace. With over $77,000 in the bank thus far in his lifetime, If You Want Fire (Bettor's Delight-Dream Of Treasure), will start from the six post for Brett Miller, who will be in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.

There will also be two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior 'A' Series for the 3-year-old colt and geldings and a $6,800 'B' Series race. 

There are 13 races on tap with post time set for 5 p.m.

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


East Rutherford, NJ - On Saturday May 30th, award- winning Jersey and Philly Food Trucks will travel to Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment for JerseyFest 2015. Beginning at 5:00 pm until 11:30 pm, fest-goers will experience an evening of the best live-harness racing, music and food the Garden State has to offer. This year, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment has partnered with Exposure and North Jersey Media Group to sponsor the Food Truck Mash-Up: Jersey vs. Philly.

Over 20 specialty food trucks will participate including Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Tony Baloney’s, Amanda Bananas, Empanada Guy, The Thai Elephant, Callahan’s Hot Dogs, El Lechon de Negron, The French Quarter, Luke’s Lobster, Polkadot Cupcake Shop, Waffle de Lys, IncrediBalls Food Truck and Kimchi Smoke Barbecue of New Jersey and The Cow and The Curd, Fresh Truck, Samboni Boys, Luscious Bakery, Oink & Moo BBQ, Pizza Wagon, PBandU, Lil’ Pop Shop, Rigatoni Crab and Chicken N’Cone of Philadelphia. Other non-truck food and beverage vendors participating include Frezy’s, Paul’s Gourmet Foods, Jack’s Zeppoles, Kath’s Catering, Uncle Joe’s Kettle Corn, Wild Bills Soda, Metro Candy Apple, Bevs & Bites, Organo Gold and Hot Sauce 4 Good.  Guests will cast their vote for favorite food truck.

The Jersey vs. Philly Food Truck Mash-Up will be held in the Backyard and on the East Apron and will open to the public at 5:00 pm for $5 general admission at the door. Kids under 12 will be admitted at no charge and the track will remain open and free to the public before, during and after the festivities. Free parking will also be available and every guest will have the opportunity to pre-register for a $2 betting voucher online.  Craft beer from Yards Brewing and River Horse Brewery will be available for purchase  and live musical entertainment by The B-Street Band will commence at 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

A VIP Admission Package is available for $25 exclusively online. The package includes 3:30pm admission, a $2 betting voucher and $5 in Mash-Up cash to redeem at any of the participating food trucks.  For more information on JerseyFest, admission and to purchase tickets, please visit:

On the track, 3 year old New Jersey Sire Stakes highlight the racing action with four races totaling $400,000.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Vernon Racing Recap - Monday, May 25, 2015

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Jersey Boy, UF Bettors Hanover take Vernon co-features

Vernon, N.Y. -- A pair of $6,500 upper-level conditioned events--one for trotters, one for pacers--headlined the Memorial Day (May 25) program at Vernon Downs, with Jersey Boy ($4.40) and UF Bettors Hanover ($16.40) proving best on their respective gaits.
The Turn N Burn Stable's Jersey Boy made an early push to the lead in the trotting feature, but was rebuffed by McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :27.3 first quarter.  The two battled side-by-side for the majority of the race, until Jersey Boy pushed clear in the final eighth, drawing off by three lengths for a 1:54.4 triumph.  My Buddy Hall Lee (Roman Lopez) stayed on from the pocket to take third.
Josh Kinney drove the 6-year-old Yankee Glide gelding for trainer Jessica Okusko.
UF Bettors Hanover ($16.40) sprung a mild upset in the afternoon's pacing feature, swinging three-wide off dueling leaders A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham) and Lilys Real Boy (Fern Paquet, Jr.) en route to a 1-1/4 length win.  The 5-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding sprinted clear of the late-closing Relentless Dreamer (Brian Connor) for a 1:51.4 victory in rein to Justin Huckabone.
Trainer Scott West co-owns UF Bettors Hanover with Katie Currie.

Live racing returns at Vernon on Friday (May 29) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Tioga Racing Recap - Monday, May 25, 2015

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
JK She'salady remains perfect; track records fall in Graduate
Making her much-anticipated return to the races off her 2014 Horse of the Year campaign, the 3 Brothers Stables' JK She'salady ($2.10) sustained a first-over bid to beat seven New York Sire Stakes ($110,000 added total purse) foes as part of an all-stakes card on Monday (May 25) afternoon at Tioga Downs.
The 3-year-old daughter of Art Major and Presidential Lady was in no hurry through an initial :55.2 half mile, stalking from fourth as Single Me (Brett Miller) took command from Bettor N Better (Yannick Gingras) with a circuit to go.  On the backstretch, Tim Tetrick moved the undefeated JK She'salady first-over, steadily closing in on Single Me through three-quarters in 1:22.3, working up to the lead at the top of the stretch.  Off the corner, JK She'salady kicked clear by two lengths, kept to task in a 1:51.2 victory over Single Me and a stalking Divine Caroline (David Miller).
Nancy Johansson trains JK She'salady, who improved her career record to 13 wins in as many starts.
The three other New York Sire Stakes winners on the afternoon were Bettorhaveanother ($2.50, Jim Morrill, Jr., 1:51), Bettor Be Steppin ($2.30, Corey Callahan, 1:51.2), and Rock Me Gently ($11.20, Scorr Zeron, 1:52).

The Memorial Day program also featured the first leg of the new Graduate series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers, with two $37,500 divisions carded on each gait.  Both pacing divisions resulted in track records, as Doo Wop Hanover ($2.20) powered clear of his six rivals on the backstretch en route to a 1:47.4 score.  The 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover entire drew off by 7-1/2 lengths after sustaining his middle move, keeping clear of Rock Out (Scott Zeron) and Mattamerican (Mark MacDonald), both of whom passed early pacesetter Lyonssomewhere (Andy Miller) after the latter tired from dictating a :53.4 half mile.
Hall-of-Fame driver John Campbell was in the bike for Doo Wop Hanover's mile, which knocked two fifths of a second over the previous all-age pacing record at Tioga.  Steve Elliott trains Doo Wop Haover for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.
Not even 40 minutes later, Rockeyed Optimist ($3.90) broke the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings, turning aside Three of Clubs (Brian Sears) in a 1:48.1 Graduate win.  Tim Tetrick drove the 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding, pushing clear with a circuit to go before prevailing in an extended battle through the far turn.  Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) stayed on well from the pocket to maintain third after pushing the pace early.
Another Elliott trainee, Rockeyed Optimist is owned by Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, the A and B Stable, and Joseph Battaglia.
Four-year-old trotters contested their Graduate divisions earlier in the afternoon, with distaffer Shake It Cerry ($2.90) beating the boys in the five-horse first division.  After getting away at the back of the pack, the Donato Hanover mare steadily advanced to the front through a :55.2 half mile, opening up at will for a 1:52.4 score over Sumatra (David Miller) and Datsyuk (Charlie Norris).  Trainer Jimmy Takter handled the driving duties aboard Shake It Cerry, who is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners.

Likewise, Opulent Yankee ($6.20) drew clear of his rivals at head-stretch in the other Graduate division, edging clear of the late-rallying Madewell Hanover (Chris Ryder) and Resolve (Åke Svanstedt) in a 1:52.3 triumph.  Andy Miller drove the Muscles Yankee gelding for trainer Julie Miller and owners Little E, LLC, Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir, and David Stolz.
Tim Tetrick led all drivers on the card, registering a grand slam on the 13-race program.

Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (May 29) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.  Horsemen are advised that this week's draw schedule provides for Friday's races to be drawn on Tuesday (May 26) morning, while the Sunday (May 31) and Monday (June 1) programs will be drawn on Wednesday (May 27) morning.


Defending Champion Leaves From Second Tier

London, May 25, 2015 --The post position draw for this year’s $150,000 Molson Pace was conducted earlier this evening at The Raceway in London during the pre-game show. Local CTV Sports Anchor, Brent Lale, joined the broadcast team in studio to perform the duties.

Defending champion State Treasurer will start from the trailing post eight behind recent Confederation Cup winner All Bets Off who drew the coveted rail position. All Bets Off will be handled by Matt Kakaley while Chris Christoforou will once again be up behind State Treasurer.

The remaining starters, along with drivers, in position order include Lucan Hanover (p.p. 2, Trevor Henry), P H Super Cam (p.p. 3, Jason Bartlett), Night Pro (p.p. 4, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), Evenin Of Pleasure (p.p. 5 Sylvain Filion), Duc Dorleans (p.p. 6, Daniel Dube) and Lets Drink On It (p.p. 7, Billy Davis Jr.).

The Molson Pace will go as the final race on this Friday night’s 12-race program at the London oval. 

The powerful undercard will feature Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions, a quartet of City of London Series finals and classes for Preferred pacers.

For more details on this year’s event, visit