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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday Night Action at the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ – The Meadowlands offered twin $30,000 Open features on a brisk late February Friday night.

Odds On Amethyst took the top class trot for the second time this season with a start to finish romp in 1:52 for Brett Miller. Miller set his charge away sharply from post eight and crossed over instantly. Odds On Amethyst set honest fractions, fought off a legitimate bid from Melady’s Monet through a grueling 27.3 third panel then held sway for the win. B Yoyo sat a tight pocket throughout, menaced the winner late and held well for the place with DW’s NY Yank surviving an adventurous trip from the far outside to be third in his first seasonal start. The winner returned $9.20 and the exacta a healthy $122.60. Jimmy Takter trains for Diamond Creek Racing.

The Open Mare Pace went to Inittowinafortune and Corey Callahan in an identical time of 1:52. Callahan fashioned an ideal second-over trip then rallied the mare late from just off the pace to track down Radar Contact after a stretch-long battle and prevail in a photo. Inittowinafortune returned $18.40 while winning her third straight for owner Mike Pagonas and trainer Mike Russo. It was Callahan's third winner of the night.

In wagering news, the Hi 5 Jackpot carried over in the fifth race at $37,167 and the last race Jackpot eclipsed $142,000   going into tomorrow night’s program.

The Saturday card features three Winter Series finals among the thirteen races. Post time is 7:15 pm.


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 27, 2015—Freakishly-formful favorite Carolsideal (Dan Dube, $5.80) continued her roll Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $35,000 featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

Assigned outside her seven rivals, “Carol” tried to leave, but other inside of her had the same idea. It was Handsoffmycookie (Matt Kakaley) working around Coffee Addict (Eric Goodell) and laying down the law through early intervals of :27.4 and :57.4.

Carolsideal, meanwhile, had been taken to the back of the bus.

It was Marathon Day (Eric Carlson) moving from fifth, going after the leader in and out of the 1:26.2 three-quarters. Camille (George Brennan) was gapped a bit from second-over, while “Carol” was behind that one.

“Cookie” owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but was about to give up the ghost. A determined Marathon Day went by, but she powerless to stave off “Carol.” The people’s preference powered by from sixth off the final turn, whipping Marathon Day by a half-length in 1:55. Camille, Handsoffmycookie and Coffee Addict rounded out the payees.

For Carolsideal, a 6-year-old daughter of Western Ideal trained by Rene Allard for co-owners himself (as Allard Racing), Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her fifth win in as many seasonal starts (and purchase/barn change). The exacta paid $48.60, with the triple returning $355.50.
            The Raceway’s live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it’s Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM) and Sunday, March 8 (post time TBA) Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (all provided Mother Nature cooperates).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Meadowlands Qualifiers Move to Fridays

East Rutherford, NJ - Beginning with March 6, Meadowlands qualifiers will be held on Friday mornings at 9:30am until further notice. Entries will be accepted by the Racing Office and the qualifying box will close at 9:00am on Tuesdays.

Cal Expo Sunday Barn Notes

Kennedy loving position with El Azteca
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

After being saddled with the demanding No. 10 position in recent weeks, El Azteca does his work from the 4 slot in Sunday’s featured Stan Bergstein Trot

That sits just right with his regular chauffeur James Kennedy, who has established himself as one of the top drivers at Cal Expo and has formed a fine partnership with this outstanding trotter at this meeting.

Despite having that 10 post handicap in his last three appearances, James has guided the Marco Rios colorbearer to two wins and a nose loss, making him look awfully tough over this weekend’s level playing field.

“Having the 10 hole is very tough, because you have so much extra ground to cover,” Kennedy said. “The drivers watch you at the start, and if you leave they try to torture you, and if you take back they do their best to slow it up.”

James no doubt realizes this because he has certainly had occasion to be on the other side of the equation, driving a horse who leaves from the inside with a horse or even two being assigned far outside draws.

“This is definitely the best trotter I’ve ever driven and I want to thank Marco for giving me the chance with him at the start of the meeting,” Kennedy continued. “He tried to make a couple of breaks earlier on, but he’s been perfect since and a real pleasure to drive. He’s a Cadillac out there.”

The bettors are likely to make El Azteca a solid favorite once again in the Bergstein and his driver shares that confidence. “I wouldn’t trade places with anybody, even if he we had the 10 post.”

Stan Bergstein Trot brings out El Azteca

The $10,000 Stan Bergstein Trot, which will feature the likes of El Azteca, Its Not Over and A Crown For Lindy, headlines Sunday night’s Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo.

There will be 12 races and first post is 4:55 p.m. The Bergstein goes as the fifth event and there will also be a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes that will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card.

El Azteca is strictly the one to beat in the Bergstein for owner/breeder/trainer Marco Rios and pilot James Kennedy. He comes into this assignment with $141,000 in his bank account and a 1:54 2/5 mark that was set last season over the seven-eights Hoosier Park oval.

The 6-year-old son of Panama Hanover won his first four starts this season, with two of those victories coming from the assigned No. 10 post position, then came up a nose shy at most recent asking while again doing his work from the demanding slot.

El Azteca has proven that he can get the job done up front, from a tracking position or from the back of the pack and without the handicap of that 10 post on Sunday, is certainly the one to fear most with Kennedy back in the bike.

Taking him on are Brussel Sprout from the Ray Burt shedrow; the Luke Plano-trained Winsom Kelly; Flight Of The Kiwi from the Marc Winacott barn; the Bob Johnson-conditioned Its Not Over and A Crown For Lindy, who takes his lessons from Gene Vallandingham.


A reminder there are four wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are 10-cent minimum bets; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool. 

Winter Series Finals Headline Saturday's Meadowlands Card

East Rutherford, NJ --- Saturday's night's Meadowlands card may look familiar as you page through the program but don't be put off by that sense of déjà vu. Half of the card are Winter Series finals and a few other stakes, casualties of last Saturday's snow-out that were carried over in tact to this weekend.

The stakes action begins in race two with the $49,000 Charles Singer trotting final. Super Bowl series champ JL Cruze goes in as the favorite, taking on six rivals for John Campbell from post one. A model of consistency throughout the winter racing, JL Cruze has won four of six and $52,500 for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr. and Steve Iaquinta.

He'll face a triumvirate of trotters coupled as the 1, 1A and 1B entry which contains Opulent Yankee who has also been rock solid thus far in 2015 with three wins and three seconds in six seasonal starts. Among those wins are a pair over JL Cruze, both sub-1:54 efforts. The Millers, Andy driving and Julie training, send Opulent Yankee out in quest of the big prize on behalf of Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC and his partners Art Geiger, Jason Settlemoir and Dave Stolz.

The $59,000 Sonsam final for 3- and 4-year-old pacing males (race six) shapes up as an intriguing contest matching the speedy Rockeyed Optimist against potential series sweeper Major Uptrend.

Rockeyed Optimist has really blossomed into a solid performer this season at age four for Anthony Perretti, Ginny Berkner, A&B Stable and Joe Battaglia. He closed out his 1:50.3 leg two win with a searing :25.4 final panel, under his own power in his first race with The Meadowlands' hottest reinsman Brett Miller aboard for trainer Steve Elliott.

Major Uptrend has had a successful winter campaign already and captured both Sonsam leg starts in forwardly placed fashion for Meadowlands leading trainer/driver combo of Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras and owner Howard Taylor.

Quality eclipses quantity as a competitive field of six pacing mares (five betting interests) will contest the $50,600 Burning Point final (race 11). Empress Deo has gradually earned the respect of the oddsmaker and horseplayer alike as she attempts the difficult series sweep. After having returned a $30 mutuel in leg one, then $12 last week, she goes into the final as the morning line choice. Brett Miller drives for trainer Wayne Givens and owner Legacy Racing of Delaware.

The Buddy Gilmour series is restricted to sophomore pacing colts and geldings and offers a look at two of the more exciting prospects we've seen thus far in 2015. They drew apart for the opening $17,500 Gilmour divisions, heightening the anticipation of an eventual match-up down the road.

National Seelster was unraced at two, but has certainly caught the eye of racing fans this winter with an impressive pair of wins against overnight company. He is an imposing presence from the rail in race five with Andy Miller at the lines for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Bob Mondillo and Oompa's Farm.

The talented but lightly raced Wiggle It Jiggleit came to The Meadowlands for a leg of the Sonsam two weeks ago with some pretty imposing lines on his card and left with the respect of his peers after a crushing first-over 1:49.4 win against older horses.

Owner George Teague Jr. skipped leg two of the Sonsam and bypasses the final of that series to race against his age group in this late closer. That is good news for those racing in the Sonsam final but not such good news for his rivals in the Gilmour. The extra week without a race may be cause for concern with this guy for some, but the Teague operation always brings them ready to race. Montrell Teague drives and Clyde Francis trains the Mr Wiggles gelding.

On the wagering front, the last race Jackpot Hi-5 carryover goes into Friday night's card at $137,815. That and the other various guaranteed wagers are available for the value seeking horseplayer. Post time is 7:15 p.m.


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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, February 26, 2015—Dan Dube, Yonkers Raceway’s leading driver thus far in 2015, won his 8,000th career race Thursday night.

The milestone victory was a wire-to-wire performance with outsider Clem ($22.60) in the $14,500, eighth-race pace. From post position No. 7, the 6-year-old gelding held sway a half-length in 1:56.

Dube, who entered the evening needing a pair of wins for the plateau, immediately halved that number when Upfrontwhosurlady ($16.60)—in her first purse try since mid-September—was a loose cover victress in the $9,000, pacing opener (1:55.4).

He then finished second, second, fifth, fifth and fifth in next five drives before earning his required-by-law congratulatory sign.  

“I don’t really look at (the numbers),” the 45-year-old Quebec native said a couple of days ago. “I don’t put any pressure on myself. I’m happy the season has gone well so far.”

Dube, approaching $95 million in career purses, is best known as the primary driver for two Harness Horses of the Year, Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010).

            The Raceway’s live season continues Friday and Saturday (post times at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.


(photos-Sean Hamrock-accompany)

Meadowlands Statement on Simulcasting Dispute

East Rutherford, NJ -  As the simulcasting dispute between Monarch Management and the Mid-Atlantic Co Op enters its fourth month, we wanted to update our fans and bettors on recent developments.

In 2011 when the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park were privatized, we hired Monarch Management to handle our import and export simulcasting agreements.  In today’s world, it’s almost a necessity for a track to be part of a larger group or co-op such as Monarch, Churchill, or Mid-Atlantic to have any negotiation leverage when it comes to simulcast host fees. With the exception of NYRA, almost every track is part of a larger group simply because they don’t generate enough handle to have any pricing input.

Monarch and their management team have represented us in a competent, professional manner over the past few years and we have a strong relationship with them.

We felt it reasonable that tracks pay a little bit more for our signal since (a) we do not have slots and (b) offer the number one harness signal with the largest pools from a wagering standpoint in North America. It’s our understanding that the Monarch/Mid-Atlantic dispute is no longer about host fee rates. The issue is an in-state conflict in Maryland between Rosecroft Raceway operated by Penn Gaming which is the largest member of Mid-Atlantic, and the Maryland Jockey Club operated by the Stronach Group which is Monarch. We felt the Maryland issue did not involve Meadowlands in any way nor should harness racing fans and players be impacted by it.

Earlier this week, Meadowlands instructed Monarch to offer the Mid-Atlantic a separate deal for us in an effort to get the Meadowlands harness signal back in their network of tracks.  The Mid-Atlantic executive committee rejected that offer.

Most of the major players wagering significant dollars play through ADW’s because of generous rebate structures.  The people that are hurt by this dispute are the harness racing fans who enjoy watching and wagering on the Meadowlands product at places like a Northfield Park in Ohio, in the State of Delaware, or at a Mohegan Sun Pocono OTW in Pennsylvania.  This dispute has certainly cost the Meadowlands some revenue but, unfortunately, it’s also cost us the goodwill and support of many loyal fans over the years who wager at the impacted locations. That’s the real shame.

If you feel strongly about the situation, please let your respective track or wagering facility know and ask them to press for a solution to this issue. 

The Meadowlands...

Final Thursday Card at The Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The final Thursday night racing program of the 2015 meet featured the $25,000 filly & mare "Dash for the G-Note" series final and Black Magic Eyes took home the big slice off a perfect Brett Miller steer. She flashed off cover to a new career record of 1:52 for trainer Jason Robinson and his main owner Bob Main.

Also on the bill was a short $10,000 claiming series that offers a $20,000 bonanza for those making it through to next week. Bestnotlie Hanover, Western Tsunami and Keeping Optomistic won those races and will return next week with their eye on the big prize.

On the wagering front, the payoffs were generous with the fifth race Hi-5 Jackpot pool eclipsing $35,000 and the giant last race Jackpot now at $137,815 going into Friday's program. Find more details at

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cal Expo Saturday Barn Notes

Lloyd Arnold, Stan Bergstein remembered with races at Cal Expo

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Lloyd Arnold and Stan Bergstein, two legendary figures in harness racing, have races named in their honor this weekend at Cal Expo. The Lloyd Arnold Pace is set for Saturday night and the Stan Bergstein Trot is the feature on Sunday.

Lloyd Arnold was an owner and track operator of the highest caliber. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 83. Originally the owner of Arnold Cattle Co. in Iowa, Mr. Arnold raced hundreds of horses in Illinois and across the Midwest throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.
During that era, Mr. Arnold raced horses like Warm Breeze, who earned more than $250,000 in two seasons of racing in the mid-1970s, and Dancing David, who earned more than $200,000 in the 1960s. Warm Breeze took Mr. Arnold to racing’s pinnacle for the first time when he set the all-age world record at over this track, then known as Golden Bear Raceway.
His top horses in later years included the pacing mare Sanabelle Island, who earned $1.6 million lifetime and won 57 of 110 starts. Also of note was Bagel Beach Boy, who won the 2001 Messenger and Matron stakes.
In August 2003, Mr. Arnold bought Chevie Duramax, who then went on to set world records for 2-year-old pacing geldings on both mile and half-mile tracks. The fastest 3-year-old pacer in North America in 2004 belonged to Mr. Arnold as Quik Pulse Mindale won in 1:48 at Balmoral.

In addition to being a prominent standardbred owner, Mr. Arnold operated this track during those Golden Bear Raceway years and also bought Los Alamitos in the late 1980s, eventually selling the track to his partner, Ed Allred.

Mr. Arnold was inducted into the California Harness Hall of Fame in April of 2008. He also enjoyed personal honors in 2001 when he was feted by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters at their annual awards dinner and received the Owner of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers' Association.

Chris Bardis said, “Harness Racing was one of Lloyd's great passions. He accomplished so much for the sport not only in California, but nationwide. He was ‘Mr. Harness Racing’.

“He conducted race meetings at Cal Expo, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Del Mar, Pomona, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. I know of no one else who has had a greater impact on the harness world.”

Sunday’s Stan Bergstein Trot is named for the legendary figure in harness racing who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87.
Mr. Bergstein was a harness-racing titan who advocated for cooperation between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to solve the sports' common problems.
He stepped down in 2011 after 50 years as the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, the Standardbred industry's trade association. He was immediately appointed as the organization's first executive emeritus, and continued to advise the association and write guest columns for the Daily Racing Form until the weeks before his death.
The only person to ever be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and its Communicators Hall of Fame, Mr. Bergstein worked in a wide variety of roles at racetracks, auction houses, announcer's booths, and racing publications, and he maintained extensive collections of harness-racing books and artwork.
 He was widely respected not only in the harness industry, but also in the Thoroughbred industry, and he served as a mentor to generations of young racing professionals through a close association with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, located in Tucson, for the past 40 years.
Mr. Bergstein was a forceful proponent of forging closer ties between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, most notably in tackling medication abuse and problems with drug-testing. In dozens of commentaries, Bergstein maintained that the Standardbred industry's problems were, or would be those of the Thoroughbred industry, and that neglect of a problem in one sport would damage the other.
Bergstein borrowed from the Thoroughbred industry early in his career, incorporating claiming races as a racing secretary while working at the Chicago tracks in the 1950's. At the time, the harness racing industry did not run claiming races, and they are now as commonplace in Standardbred racing as they are in Thoroughbred racing Bergstein also spearheaded the creation of Standardbred Investigative Services, a security agency modeled on the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.
A native of Illinois, Bergstein attended harness races as a young man and received a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was the former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine, and the former vice president of publicity and public relations for the United States Trotting Association.
Cal Expo trackman/program director Marty Bridges credits Stan Bergstein with bringing him into harness racing as a profession.

“After college and two years in the Army, I was employed by the small business association. At night, after work, I was a regular patron at Sportsman’s Park and Maywood in Chicago.

“My supervisor, a former sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News, knew of my interest and called Stan to set up a meeting. Surprisingly, I was to meet him at Du Quoin on Hambletonian Day. Watching Stan call the races from a slightly elevated booth on the infield adjacent to the finish line was thrilling and between races we talked about racing, horses, drivers and trainers.

“His knowledge of the sport was amazing and I had never met anyone like him, and still haven’t. He introduced me to John Tinsley, the program director for all the Chicago tracks and John hired me on the spot. It’s been a great ride, doing something I love.”

Gene Vallandingham first met Stan Bergstein in 1959 when he was working for the legendary Joe O’Brien.

“Stan came to Joe’s farm every spring for the annual Camptown racing weekend, when all of Shafter would be there for a day of racing. Stan was the true voice of harness racing, he was liked by all and I miss him.”

Chris Schick said, "Stan was foremost a kind and compassionate person. He was a true visionary in the harness racing industry. In 1979 well before simulcasting, he so rightly stated the future of the industry was in how well we brought the product to the public. He was also very vocal of the industry for being reluctant to embrace change. Our industry lost a giant when he passed.”

Arnold Pace, Sire Stakes, Jackpot 6 spotlighted

The $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Free-for-all Pace, a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes and a $48,130 carryover in the Jackpot 6 are among the main attractions Saturday night at Cal Expo.

A 14-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Jackpot 6 is one of four wagers on the program that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate.

The others are the Hi-5, which like the Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent minimum bet; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool.

Looking at the Arnold Pace, China King is fresh from a 22-1 upset in last week’s Open when he hung a narrow decision on heavily-favored Pancetta in a 1:52 1/5 mile He drew the outside post in the field of seven.

A 7-year-old American Ideal gelding who carries the banner of Gary and Jen Sabot with Gene Vallandingham training and Steve Wiseman in the sulky, he went-to-coast to capture the January 17 Open at 19-1, then came back last time to score from a tracking position at another nice price. 

Taking him are Pointsman, who gives the Vallandingham barn two looks at the outcome; Rusty Skipp and J C Onthebeach for conditioner Ray Burt; Alligator Falls from the Sal Wenceslao shedrow; the Junior Wilkinson-trained A Real Miracle; and Love Live Laugh for trainer Denise Maier.

Uringoodhands and Hi Ho’s Little Rev have dominated the sophomore pacing colts Sire Stakes to this point and get another chance to settle the score on Saturday, while Placer gets top billing in the stakes gathering for the 4-year-old trotters.

Monticello Raceway Post Time change to 12:50 begins Monday March 1st

Beginning Monday March 1st, Monticello Raceway will change its Post Time to 12:50, due to Daylight Savings. The racing schedule will remain its usual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday format.

Ugly Betty. Justgottogetthere Roll To Convincing Buffalo Raceway Wins

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty turned in another 'beautiful' effort while Justgottogetthere had little trouble in disposing of his competition to highlight the action at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (February 25).

Despite starting from the seven post, Ugly Betty made it three straight by circling the field in the $9,500 pace for the fillies and mares in 1:58.3.

A race later, Justgottogetthere, a hard-charging $58.50 winner last week, showed it wasn't a fluke. He used a front-running journey this time around to capture the $9,500 Open Trot in 2:01.3 over the good track.

Ugly Betty (Shawn Gray), drawing the rail the past three weeks and scoring two wins and a second place finish from there, was assigned the outside post this week. She showed it wasn't an issue. 

After sitting seventh and last, Ugly Betty ($8.90) started the first over trip just before the half mile marker. She tipped three-wide to the three-quarter pole and rolled right to the lead in the stretch and never looked back. Ugly Betty registered a comfortable two-length victory over Sadie's Place (Andrew Monti) with She's A Maniac (Jim McNeight) taking the show position.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Payne, the 7-year-old mare (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is trained by Dennis Dylo. The victory moved her 2015 winnings to $18,055 and $191,548 lifetime.

Justgottogetthere ($5.20) in the meantime used a completely different method to get to the winner's circle.

After showing a late kick in last week's victory, Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) flew off the gate from the four spot and was never threatened. Posting fractions of 31.0, 1:02 and 1:32.3, there was no serious threats in the lane as Justgottogetthere smartly trotted off to a 2-1/2 length win over Flaming Yankee (Gray) while Northern Spark (John Cummings Jr.) placed third.

Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme) is owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. The 6-year-old gelding, trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., has now won three times in four starts this season, earning $14,750 in 2015 and $152,932 in his career.

Buffalo Raceway will continue racing on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 13-race program.

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Story Book extends wins streak to 9 in a row

Story Book extended his winning streak to 9 in a row, the betting favorite left hard from the rail and took the lead in the first turn, Astor driven by Jason Ryan gained the lead at the ¼ pole in 29.0 and continued to show the way past the half in 58:2. At the ¾ pole BB Smash started his move on the outside, at the top of the lane, he made a bold 3 wide move, Astor still had the lead at the top of the stretch, but when the passing lane opened up, Stalbaum tipped Story Book to the inside and the diminutive son of American Ideal easily withstood the challenge of Astor to prevail by a length in 1:58:4, to give Larry Stalbaum his 2nd win of the afternoon.

Also on the afternoon leading dash winning drivers Bruce Aldrich won 3 and Jim Taggart Jr bagged 2 wins  


Field of 10 set for Race 9 jackpot race on February 26

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 25, 2015) – The Meadowlands Jackpot Super High 5 continues to prove elusive as it went unclaimed again last weekend. That means a carryover of $133,604 awaits horseplayers when live racing resumes in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday night. The 9-race card begins at 7:15 p.m. The final race of the night featuring the six-figure carryover has a scheduled post time of 10:08 p.m.

Even though the jackpot has gone unclaimed since December 6, the consolation payoff continues to return generous amounts. Last Thursday, the 20-cent wager returned more than $1,900. Thanks to an industry low 8% takeout and a provision that pays 75% of the net pool to the consolation each night, handicappers have even more incentive to take a shot at the wager. Race 5 also features a Jackpot Super High 5 carryover of $28,624.

The $25,000 Dash For the “G” Notes Final for mare pacers headlines Thursday’s card. Bring Them Home is the 5-2 morning line favorite with Yannick Gingras for trainer Mark Capone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Horsemen teach Chicago high school students

Juniors and seniors try their hand in the driver’s seat

HINSDALE, Ill. – Juniors and seniors from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences took the reins this month at Maywood Park in Chicago’s near west suburbs when they job-shadowed local Standardbred trainers for a day. All students participating in the shadow days are seniors and juniors who gain hands on experience by working directly with trainers and horses.

High School Junior Paulina Arellano studies animal science and hopes to one day work in the horse racing industry. Paulina said that during her trip she and the other students “learned a lot about what exactly happens to the horses, trainers, and workers off the horse track.”

In 2010 The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences embarked on a Standardbred breeding program spearheaded by local horse owner Denny Pietranduono. The school's first yearling was sold in 2013 for $6,200 at public auction.

The Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association is a vocal supporter of the breeding program at the High School and was eager to help students learn more about horse racing. “It was a great opportunity to spend time with young people who are excited to learn about the horses and the sport,” said IHHA President Dave McCaffrey. “Even though Standardbred trainers are part of the agricultural community in Chicago, we don’t always think about them that way. These students were a reminder that even in a big city, agriculture and agribusiness employs people and supports the economy.”

Arellano said that her favorite part of the trip to Maywood Park was when students were allowed to jog a horse around the track. “To me, it was like heaven,” she said. “Because I love race horses and working with them.”

McCaffrey said that the IHHA is excited to participate more with students in the animal science program at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. “It’s great to see the passion in the students’ faces,” he said. “I think it helps remind us of why we got into the business in the first place.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Raceway Honours Its Top Performers Of 2014

London, February 22, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District in London honoured its top performers for 2014 during their annual awards night on Saturday.

Among the highlights was driver Alfie Carroll taking home his first trophy as Driver of the Year, Kendal Gustav being selected as overall Horse of the Year and Natasha House being voted Caretaker of the Year.

Two other awards were announced the night of the ceremony and they include Lisa Thompson who was selected as Horsewoman of the Year and the Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award which went to longtime London horseman Larry Fitzsimmons.

Here is a complete look at this year’s Raceway award winners:

Older Pacing Horse – Kendal Gustav
Older Pacing Mare – Twilight Seelster
Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt – Good Side
Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly – Delta Grace Tone
Older Trotting Horse – Moonbeam Hall
Older Trotting Mare – Thundering Ovation
Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt – M C Wood
Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly – Sonny With A Chance
Claiming Pacer – Cat Four
Claiming Trotter (Tied) – Strike A Light and Weskey
Driver – Alfie Carroll
Owner – Keith Cassell
Dave Wall Outstanding Service Award – Larry Fitzsimmons
Caretaker – Natasha House
Horse of the Year – Kendal Gustav

Horsewoman of the Year – Lisa Thompson

Meadowlands statement on circumstances regarding last night's cancellation of racing.

To those owners, trainers, drivers and grooms that were affected by last night's cancellation;

"We apologize for the inconvenience of those that traveled to M1 last night for live racing. The weather forecast that we monitored all day indicated 1-3 inches of snow, followed by rising tempatures and turning to rain. Obvisouly that forecast was wrong. Our intention is always safety first and we appreciate the support of all that traveled to the track." 


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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, February 22, 2015—Not even an assigned eight-hole in a Sunday expanded field could stop favored Not Afraid (Dan Dube, $4.90) from dominating Yonkers Raceway’s $46,000 featured Open Handicap Trot.

The week’s marquee trot was the third of the seven, French-themed trotting events to begin the card, all at the added (1¼-mile) distance and all with overflow (12-, 11-, four 10- and a nine-horse) fields.

Leaving but having to wait his turn, Not Afraid took over from On the Podium (Eric Carlson) just past a 29-second opening quarter-mile. Another pair of identical intervals (:58, 1:27) ensued before Count Me In (George Brennan) moved meekly from fourth.

That one never came close as Not Afraid rolled through a 1:55.4 milepost. He owned a three-length lead entering the lane, then widened. The final margin, over Lorenzo Dream (Brian Sears), was 4½ length in 2:25.3. Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), Murmur Hanover (Pat Lachance) and Awesome Valley (Brett Miller) rounded out the payees.

For Not Afraid, a 6-year-old S J's Caviar gelding trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding and Goran Andeberg, he's 4-for-6 this season (career earnings up and over a half-million dollars). The exacta paid $42, the triple returned $1,008 and the superfecta paid $3,503.
Note that the next two “French” Sunday matinees are March 8 and 15, with post times TBA as of this writing.
            The Raceway’s live season continues Monday (7:10 PM), with a $10,000 guaranteed pool Pick 5 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). After that, it’s Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM).  Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (all provided Mother Nature cooperates).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Meadowlands Series Fianls To Be Raced Next Saturday

East Rutherford, NJ - Regarding the weather cancellation of racing at The Meadowlands on Saturday, February 21 the 3 Winter Series finals (Charles Singer, Sonsam and Burning Point) as well as the 2 divisions of leg one of the Buddy Gilmour series and the final of the $12,500 claimer mini series will all be raced as they were drawn with the same posts next Saturday, February 28. There is no re-entry needed for those races.

All overnight races will be redrawn and you must re-enter for those. The condition sheet for next weekend is here

Meadowlands Cancels Saturday Card After One Race

Due to inclement weather and worsening track conditions, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment cancelled their Saturday (February 21) evening card after completing one race.
Live racing resumes on Thursday, February 26, with first post at 7:15 p.m.

Peter Pumpkineater Has Last Laugh In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Peter Pumpkineater had the last laugh in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at a snowy Buffalo Raceway Saturday afternoon (February 21) as he rallied in the shadow of the wire to take a head victory over Peenie in 1:59.3.

After scooting off the gate from the four post, Peter Pumpkineater looked content to set the fractions. That wasn't going to happen, however, as Peenie re-took the lead to the opening quarter marker and Peter Pumpkineater had to settle back into the pocket.

After watching splits of 30.2, 1:01 and 1:31.0 put up by Peenie, driver John Cummings Jr. dropped Peter Pumpkineater ($7.40) into the passing lane and managed to poke a head in front at the wire. Peenie (Kevin Cummings) had to settle for second while Rude Boy (Billy Dobson) took the show position.

Peter Pumpkineater (Camluck-Disney Dream) is a 7-year-old gelding co-owned by Tessa Roland and Mark Jakubik. Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin handled the conditioning duties. The victory moved the winner's 2015 bankroll to $11,090.

In the co-featured $8,800 conditioned pace, Union Man Hanover ($6.10) toyed with the field and ran off with an easy 2-3/4 length win over Bakken in 1:59.4 over the good track. 

Union Man Hanover (Cummings) played give-and-go with Art's Delight and kept right on going to the winner's circle. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) showed some late kick in the lane to finish in second while Art's Delight (Frank Milby) hung on for third.

It was the first victory of the season for Union Man Hanover (Artiscape-Up Front Rose). The 6-year-old horse is owned by Stephen Andzel and is trained by Alex Giuliani. Union Man Hanover is now a winner of $7,853 this year.

In the quarterfinals of the Niatross Knocking Claiming Series, One Chaser ($4.90) put up the fastest time of the four division winners, going the mile in 2:00.1 with Cummings in the bike.

Shaolin Master (Shawn Gray) took the second leg with a 2:01.1 clocking and returned $5.50. Dragon Ridge ($5.90) won in 2:03.0 with Dobson in the sulky while Jimmy Whittemore guided Goddess's Justin to a $9.80 victory in 2:03.3 in the final division.

The top four finishers in each race will return next Saturday night for the semi-finals.

Racing will go back to its normal starting times at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night when a 13-race program goes to the post at 5 p.m.

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

Saturday, February 21, 2015


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

            YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 21, 2015—Yonkers Raceway has cancelled its live racing program (and evening simulcasting) for tonight (Saturday, Feb. 21), due to the impending snow/wintry mix anticipated for the greater New York area. It is the seventh weather-related cancellation this season.

Saturday afternoon/early evening simulcasting is continuing until approximately 6 PM.  

            Live racing is scheduled to resume Sunday (Feb. 22), with first post at 12:10 PM.

Lindy's Tru Grit Wins Open Trot at The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 20, 2015) - The complexion of the featured $30,000 Open Trot on Friday night at The Meadowlands changed dramatically with the scratch of morning line favorite Melady's Monet.  That left the role of the favorite in the hands of the entry, Lindy's Tru Grit and Master Of Law, sent off at 4/5.

Neither was interested in mixing it up early, as Coffeecake Hanover showed good speed, but she quickly conceded the lead to Appomattox heading to the opening quarter in 28.1.  Team Six, who established position third on the pylons, made a move heading to the three-eighths pole and took over command down the backstretch. He would lead the field through a 56.3 half-mile.  Lindy's Tru Grit began to roll moving into the far turn and challenged Team Six with a first over grind through three-quarter of 1:25.1.  His entry-mate, Master Of Law, tracked his cover into the stretch.  Team Six came up empty in the lane as Lindy's Tru Grit wrestled the lead away and sprinted to the wire with Master Of Law in hot pursuit.  They trotted to the wire together, with Lindy's Tru Grit prevailing by a neck in 1:53.2.  Coffeecake Hanover raced very well, trotting strongly through the stretch, emerging from in between horses to finish third.

The win was the second of the season for Lindy's Tru Grit, driven by Andy Miller for his wife, trainer Julie Miller and owners Lindy Racing Stable and Robert Rudolph.

A claiming mini-series for trotters with a claiming price of $12,500 was contested on Friday night at The Meadowlands as well, split in three divisions, with the top three finishers from each division and one fourth place finisher (drawn by lot), advancing to a $20,000 final next week.

The first $7,000 division went to Fuel Cell (Corey Callahan), with Powerful Valor and Without A Clue guaranteeing spots in the final.  The second division saw Fox Valley Legend (Jimmy Marohn Jr.) power through from in between horses to score.  That gelding was claimed by trainer Scott Didomenico. Pocket Passer and Dash For The Cash also advanced to the final.  The final division saw a 14-1 upset in the form of Northern Mattador (Scott Zeron), with Casanova Lindy and Free Rollin also qualifying for the final.  The fourth place finishers hoping to join the nine automatic qualifiers are Keystone Wallace, Somolli Pirate and Marquesas.

The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 was unclaimed, producing a carryover into the fifth race on Saturday of $28,624, while the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryover has grown to $133,604.

Racing resumes on Saturday night, with three series finals, The Charles Singer, Burning Point and Sonsam featured on the 13-race program which gets underway at 7:15 P.M.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Billy Dobson Drives Four Winners At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Billy Dobson is battling for the top spot in Buffalo Raceway driver's standings and he helped himself by recording four victories on Friday afternoon (February 20).

Dobson, who trailed defending champion Kevin Cummings 43-36 entering the day, posted wins with Fox Valley Lena ($9.50), Francessa ($10.40), Diamonds For Life ($7.00) and Donegal Jim ($4.30) to narrow the gap.

Cummings had a double on the card, however, and enjoys a 45-40 advantage.

Ron Beback Jr. had a driving triple and a training double. He drove and conditioned That Horse JD ($7.80) and Tymal Viva ($9.40) to wins and steered Dont Sweat My Swag to a $4.80 victory for trainer JD Perrin.

Jim McNeight also had a pair of wins on the 13-race program.

The racing will resume on Saturday afternoon when another 13-race card will be presented at 2:30 p.m. 

The quarterfinals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will be contested in the first, second, seventh and ninth races. The top four finishers in each leg will return next Saturday night for the semi-finals.

Also, the featured $9,500 pace will go off as the third race as Rude Boy, a winner of 3-for-4 races this season, will score from the six post as the 3-1 morning line favorite. Dobson will be in the sulky.

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

Cal Expo Sunday Barn Notes

Featured race honors memory of Jim Grundy

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Sunday night’s $7,200 feature is the Jim Grundy Trot, named for the driver/trainer harness racing fixture in California harness racing for over 30 years who passed away in 2009 at the age of 74.

Jim Grundy made 2,617 trips to the charmed enclosure as a driver, with more than $10.3 million in career purses. Originally a hockey player in his native Canada, a knee injury forced Jim to hang up his skates and stick in 1958. Going into the family business of harness racing, he found his second niche in life as a driver/trainer.

Grundy apprenticed under famed horsemen Eddie Cobb, Clint Hodges and Frank Popfinger before going out on his own in the early 1960s. He was the leading driver at Monticello for three straight years beginning in 1971 before heading west with his wife Deborah, a former schoolteacher and bookkeeper for the stable.

It was here that Grundy blossomed into one of the state’s top harness horsemen. Teaming with owners like Chris Bardis, Lloyd Arnold and Ron Zumbrun, he won countless stakes races with the likes of Googie, Hugabear, Steam and Easel. He was especially noted as an outstanding trainer of young trotters.
Steve Desomer, Gene Vallandingham and Rick Kuebler competed against Grundy for many years and have high praise for his skills.J im was not only our friend, but partners with us on many memorable horses,” Desomer said. “He was an exceptional horseman and that resulted in a long and successful career.”
Vallandingham related, “I knew Jim from the time he came to California. He was a nice guy and a great horseman and I always enjoyed his company.”
Kuebler also did battle with Jim on many occasions at Cal Expo, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. “I’d have to say he was the most accomplished trainer of young trotters we’ve ever had in the state. Even after his retirement, horsemen would seek him out to get advice in shoeing and balancing a trotter. It was all about his expertise and passion.”
Brussel Sprout heads Jim Grundy Trot

Brussel Sprout, an overpowering winner of the prep for this race two weeks ago, looms a solid choice in Sunday evening’s $7,200 Jim Grundy Trot at Cal Expo.

There will be nine races on Sunday with a first post of  4:55 p.m. The main event is set go as the sixth contest on the evening with a field of six facing starter Kenny Fowler.

Brussel Sprout is a 6-year-old son of Glidemaster out of the Prakas mare Elana Hanover who races for Clint Lugar and Matias Ruiz, is conditioned by Ray Burt and will have Luke Plano at the controls.

Sent off the 3-5 favorite in the Jim Grundy Trot prep in his most recent appearance on February 8, Brussel Sprout did not disappoint his many backers. He was used early and again at the half, took command for good once straightened for home and went on to a three and a quarter length decision over the sloppy going.

Taking him on Sunday are Vari Forgetful with Bruce Clarke; Silverlode, who will have Steve Desomer in the sulky; Hooray Katie with Steve Wiseman; Timmy T, Steve Farrell Jr; and Lodi Dorian Blues with Pierre Girard guiding.

A reminder that there are four wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are both 10-cent minimum bets; the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool on Sunday.


Next week will find the trotters and pacers in action on Saturday and Sunday nights, February 28 and March 1.


Stakes-winning 5-year-old faces seven rivals in $30,000 Open Handicap Trot

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 20, 2015) – At his best, Master of Law was good enough to beat an all-star field in the Centaur Trotting Classic last summer that included world champion Sebastian K. The problem was that he subsequently suffered through seven straight losses for Dan Patch Trainer of the Year Jimmy Takter.

Takter added trotting hobbles to Master of Law’s equipment earlier this year and the gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe responded with two straight wins. He is owned by the partnership of Lindy Racing, Brittany Farms, Adam Victor & Son and Christina Takter.

Master of Law steps up in class to face seven other rivals in Friday’s $30,000 Open Handicap Trot at the Meadowlands. Master of Law will be coupled in the wagering with Lindy’s Tru Grit. The entry has been installed as the 5/2 second choice behind favorite Melady’s Monet.

Friday’s 13-race card also features large carryovers in the Jackpot Super High Five wagers. After going un-hit again on Thursday night, the Race 5 carryover stands at $26,227.69 and the last race carryover now sits at $129,346.68.

Five Stakes Highlight Meadowlands Saturday Card

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday's weather forecast is for warmer conditions and the racing action heats up in kind as three Winter Series' finals and the opening leg of the William "Buddy" Gilmour late-closers lead the thirteen race card.

The $49,000 Charles Singer trotting final opens the stakes action in race two with Super Bowl series champ JL Cruze taking on six rivals for John Campbell. A model of consistency throughout the winter racing, JL Cruze as won four of six and $52,500 for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr and Steve Iaquinta.

The $59,000 Sonsam final for three and four year old pacing males (race six) pits the speedy Rockeyed Optomist against potential series sweeper Major Uptrend.

Rockeyed Optomist closed out his 1:50.3 leg two win with a searing 25.4 final panel last week, his first race with The Meadowlands hottest reinsman Brett Miller aboard. Steve Elliott trains the talented four-year-old for Anthony Perretti, Ginny Berkner, A&B Stable and Joe Battaglia.

Major Uptrend has captured both leg starts in forwardly placed fashion  for Meadowlands leading trainer/driver combo of Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras and owner Howard Taylor.

A very competitive field of six pacing mares will contest the $50,600 Burning Point final (race eleven) with Empress Deo seeking the series sweep and finally earning the respect of the oddsmaker and horseplayer alike. After having returned a $30 mutuel in leg one, then $12 last week, she goes into the final as the morning line choice. Brett Miller drives for trainer Wayne Givens and owner Legacy Racing of Delaware.

The Buddy Gilmour series is restricted to sophomore pacing colts & geldings and offers a look at two of the more exciting prospects we've seen thus far in 2015. They drew apart for the opening $17,500 Gilmour divisions, heightening the anticipation of an eventual match-up down the road.

National Seelster was unraced at two, but has certainly caught the eye of racing fans this winter with an impressive pair of wins against overnight company. He starts from the rail in race five with Andy Miller at the lines for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Bob Mondillo and Oompa's Farm.

The lightly raced Wiggle It Jiggleit came to The Meadowlands for a leg of the Sonsam two weeks ago with some pretty imposing lines on his card and left with the respect of his peers after a crushing first-over 1:49.4 win against older horses.

Owner George Teague Jr skipped leg two of the Sonsam and bypasses the final of that series to race against his age group in this late-closer. That is good news for those racing in the Sonsam final but not such good news for his rivals in the Gilmour. Montrell Teague drives and Clyde Francis trains the Mr Wiggles gelding.

On the wagering front, Saturday offers a qualifier for the World Harness Handicapping Championship along with the Jackpot Hi-5 carryovers and various guaranteed wagers available for horseplayers seeking value.

Post time is 7:15.

Brett Miller Stays Hot at The Meadowlands

On the heels of a ten win week at The Meadowlands, Brett Miller picked up right where he left off, winning a pair of events on Thursday night at The Meadowlands.

First, he guided Summer Snow to the winners' circle with a win in a division of the Dash For The "G" Notes in race six, returning $11.00 to win for trainer Jennifer Lappe, who co-owns the mare with Squawk Box Stable.  It was Summer Snow's first victory of the season, timed in 1:56.4.

Miller also guided Triple Major to a mild 5-1 upset in the eighth race Thursday night, a $10,000 Claiming Pace.  Not only did that win mark a driving double for Miller, but a training double for Jennifer Lappe, who also co-owned this gelding with John Carrington.  Lappe wasn’t done either.  In addition to her two wins teamed up with Brett Miller, she also won with Lightning Strike in the nightcap with Scott Zeron.

Triple Major came into the race with a record of being 0 for his last 44 and 1 for his last 61, making the win for Miller even more impressive.

In other "G" Note action, Ace Of Pace scored in the second race in 1:55.2 at odds of 5/2 for John Campbell, one of two wins on the card for harness racing's all time leading driver.  The Final division was captured by Bring Them Home with Yannick Gingras at odds of 9/2, one of two wins on the card for Gingras as well.

The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryover went unclaimed and resulted in a carryover into the Friday program of $26,227, while the last race carryover stands at $129,347.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cal EXpo Saturday Barn Notes

Pancetta returns seeking more Cal Expo gold

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

After closing out his 2014 campaign in style at Yonkers, Pancetta has returned to California for trainer Lino Pacheco and will make his seasonal debut in Saturday’s featured Open Pace.

The 6-year-old son of No Pan Intended races for Richard Morita and David Yamada and will be guided by Luke Plano, who has gone many a winning mile with the pacer. A 1:51 1/5 winner at Pocono Downs two years ago, a first-place check on Saturday would put Pancetta at the $400,000 earnings plateau.

“He got back here in early November and everything has been on schedule,” Pacheco related. “He had an easy qualifier with Jen (Sabot), then picked it up nicely in last week’s qualifier with Luke, who said he was very sharp.”

Pancetta’s most recent victory came in mid-October over the half-mile Yonkers oval, getting the job done from the difficult No. 7 post while racing against some of the best pacers on the grounds. “He can go from anywhere and do anything you ask,” Pacheco noted.

“That’s one of the things that makes him such a tough horse. He’s small, but he’s got a very big heart and he’s one of the best we’ve ever had at the barn.”

Pancetta will leave from the rail Saturday night while taking on a pretty tough group, including the streaking A Real Miracle, and will be spotting his rivals the edge when it comes to recent activity.

When asked for a prediction, Pacheco was very diplomatic. “Let’s let the horse speak for himself,” he said. Duly noted.

Open Pace brings out A Real Miracle

A Real Miracle, who has posed for pictures following four of his last five appearances; gets top billing in Saturday night’s featured Open Pace at Cal Expo.

There will be 10 races with a first post of 6:40 p.m. The headliner is set to go as the third event on the card with A Real Miracle squaring off against Pancetta, China King, Windsong Jack J C Onthebeach.

A Real Miracle is a 5-year-old homebred son of Real Desire out of the Givemewhatineed mare I Need A Miracle who races for Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson the conditioner and James Kennedy in the sulky.

The razor-sharp performer comes into this assignment eyeing his fourth straight trip to the winner’s circle, the first two with Luke Plano and most recently with Kennedy at the helm.

In his most recent outing at the head of the class, A Real Miracle sat last in the compact field for a half, rallied second-over on the final bend and then ignited when the question was asked to be up a neck over favored Windsong Jack while lowering his mark to 1:51 2/5 in the process.

Windsong Jack is a 5-year-old son of Santanna Blue Chip who was making his first start of the year in that February 14 affair and lost a heartbreaker after carving out all the fractions. Gene Vallandingham trains for Little Bapa LLC with Chip Lackey handling the lines.


This week finds the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, February 20-22.

Jackpot Hi-5 Carryovers Hi-light Meadowlands Thursday Card

Both Jackpot Hi-5 Pools Continue to Grow

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (February 19, 2015) – The weather may be colder than cold in the northeast, but the wagering has been heating up at The Meadowlands, especially when it comes to the Jackpot Super Hi-5.  The fifth race on Thursday night features a Jackpot pool with a carryover of $23,438.55, while the last race Jackpot carryover has grown to a robust $123,872.48.  Both wagers are offered with a $.20 cent minimum and feature an industry-low eight-percent (8%) takeout rate.  Even if the jackpot is not hit, 75-percent (75%) of the net pool will be paid out each night.

In addition to the Jackpot Hi-5, the “big-three” in terms of guaranteed pools will be found in their customary places on The Meadowlands program.

The $.50 cent Pick 5 will kick off the card in race on, with an average pool of over $52,000. The $.50 cent Early Pick 4 gets underway in race three, with a $50,485 average pool to its credit.  Last, but certainly not least, the $.50 cent Late Pick 4 which commences in race seven and features an average pool of over $72,000.

Post Time for the Thursday program is 7:15 P.M.

Buffalo Adjusts Post Time February 20 &21

Due to high voltage power issues on the Hamburg Fairgrounds, Buffalo Raceway has moved first post for Friday February 20 and Saturday February 21 to 2:30 pm.

“Unfortunately we were forced to cancel the last six races Wednesday night.  At this time, we don’t know the status of the power issues that affect the track lights.  The horsemen are prepared to race, and, we want to make one hundred percent certain that they do,” said COO Jim Mango.

Buffalo Raceway located on The Fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY offers harness racing Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and year round simulcast wagering.

Buffalo Cancels Races 6 through 13

The remainder of the races at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday February 18th have been cancelled due to electrical issues. 

All wagers from Race 6 through 13 have been refunded.  The Pick 4 pays 3-All-All-All.

Ugly Betty, Justgottogethere Register Buffalo Raceway Wins

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty turned in another 'beauty' of a victory and Justgottogethere pulled a shocker to highlight the action at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (February 18).

It was an easy gate-to-wire win for Ugly Betty in the $9,500 conditioned pace for fillies and mares while Justgottogethere used a perfect pocket trip to register a $59.50 surprise in the co-featured $9,500 conditioned trot.

The program wasn't completed, however, as Buffalo Raceway was forced to cancel the races after the fifth race due to electrical issues.

Ugly Betty ($6.10) started from the rail and never looked back in cruising to her second straight win, an impressive 4-1/2 length decision over Memumsnotnice. Shawn Gray set sail from the rail with Ugly Betty and posted splits of 29.0, 58.0, 1:27.3 in posting a seasonal best time of 1:57.0. Memumsnotnice hung on for place (Frank Milby) while Sadies Place (Draw Monti) finished in third.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is a 7-year-old mare who is trained by Dennis Dylo. With the win, Ugly Betty has now earned $13,425 this season and $186,798 lifetime.

It was a perfect game plan used by driver Jim McNeight and Justgottogetthere to get the victory in the featured trot.

Dropping into the garden spot at the start behind the pace-setting Lutetium, Justgottogetthere and McNeight waited patiently until the top of the stretch. They then roared by the leg weary Lutetium to pull away for the stunning 2-1/2 length win in 2:02.1. Fiorentina (Milby) showed late kick for second while Northern Spark (John Cummings Jr.) placed third.

The $59.50 win price by Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme) spurred a $480.50 exacta and $4,390.50 trifecta.

Justgottogetthere is a 6-year-old gelding owned by Antonietta Landi and the North Creek Racing Stable LLC. Jerry Nugent Jr. trained the the winner, now 2-for-3 on the season. It pushed the trotter's earnings to $10,000 in 2015 and $148,482 in his career. 

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

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