BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 15, 2015—Jason Bartlett and Rene Allard were Westchester’s big cheeses, winning Yonkers Raceway’s 2015 driver and trainer titles, respectively.
The 230-program season (eight postponements due to weather), which concluded this past Sunday (Dec. 13), saw Bartlett roll along to a fifth Yonkers title. The 34-year-old, originally from Augusta, ME, easily outdistanced George Brennan, 466 wins to 377. Bartlett was also the busiest of the colony, leasing with 2,405 drivers (19.4 percent winning percentage) and more than $8.8 million in purses.
Brian Sears (345 wins), Dan Dube (320) and Tyler Buter (234) rounded out the top five in victories.
Allard, a 28-year-old native of Quebec, won a hard-fought battle with two-time defending champ Ron Burke, taking the trainer title, 181 wins (26.2 percent winning percentage) to 173. Burke did lead in starters (815) and purses ($4.8 million), a solid $1.7 million more than Allard.
Numbers three-through-five were Richard Banca (160 wins), Jeffrey Bamond Jr. (108) and Gilberto Garcia-Herrera (91).
The Raceway’s 2016 season (with accompanying schedule) is set to begin Thursday, Jan. 7, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.