For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 31, 2015—Yonkers Raceway Tuesday afternoon offered its richest race of the season to date, the $62,200 final of the Sagamore Hill for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers.

Newly-purchased Rediscovery (George Brennan, $6.70) won the big prize—$31,100 and a date with Teddy Roosevelt—off a textbook pocket trip beneath the wet snow.

Winning the draw in the finale (all 4-year-olds), Rediscovery yielded to 6-5 favorite Bettorever (Jason Bartlett), who gained the lead before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. Rediscovery, as the second choice, then locked up the box, leaving Vance Bayama (Mark MacDonald) hung out.

After a  :57.2 intermission, and using “Vance” as a parked-out pick, Bettorever found a 1:25.4 three-quarters. It was Vance Bayama’s entrymate, YS  Lotus (Dan Dube), going wide down the backside as Bettorever owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.

Meanwhile, Rediscovery had his sights set on the passing lane, where he edged away late. The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter in a season’s-best 1:54. Bettorever easily held second, with JK Patriot (Tim Tetrick) third. YS Lotus and Roger Mach Em (Brian Sears) completed the cashers, while Fort Knox (Eric Carlson), Khan Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) and Vance Bayama rounded out the order of finish.

“I had to close the hole,” Brennan said. “First time I’ve driven him and no way I wanted to get away third. He’s handy and has a good turn of foot. He was a good buy.”

The “good buy” is a 4-year-old son of Tell All now co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura, who is 2-for-7 this season. The exacta paid $11.80, with the triple returning $76. Rediscovery, racing for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. in the three series prelims, had a win and a pair of seconds.

            A $25,000 series consolation was won by Ideal Willie (MacDonald, $16.80 [part of entry]) in a life-best 1:54.

Series action continues Friday night with the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (two, five-horse, $40,000 divisions), while Saturday offers the third round of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (30  entrants in four, $50,000 divisions). 

With His Star on the Rise, Marohn to remain at The Meadowlands

Three-time defending Tioga Downs Leading Driver staying at The Big M.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – (Tuesday, March 31, 2015)  Jimmy Marohn Jr. has been one of harness racing’s best kept secrets over the past few years and in case you’ve missed it, Jimmy Marohn Jr. has officially arrived.

That may sound foolish given that Marohn is now 33 and nearing 3,000 wins in his career.  But Marohn is clearly in the midst of what must be described as his breakout season.

Since it’s opening in 2006, Marohn has been one of the leading drivers at Tioga Downs.  In fact, he is the three-time defending leading driver at the track, winning 235 races at Tioga since 2012 for earnings of over $1.6 Million.  Tioga Downs opening day is slated for May 2nd, and Marohn had to decide, will he continue to drive at The Meadowlands each weekend, or will he venture to Tioga where he typically drives the best horses on the grounds and aim for a fourth consecutive driving title over the Nichols, New York oval? 

Faced with the most difficult decision of his young career, Marohn has decided to remain at The Meadowlands on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the championship meet.  For Marohn, the time is now to strike while the iron is hot.  He is planning to drive at Tioga Downs on Sundays, but he will call The Meadowlands home for the rest of the season.  In addition, Marohn will continue to drive at Monticello and Freehold during the week.

“It's been a difficult decision to choose whether to go back to Tioga or take a new route in my career and continue with the meet at the Meadowlands,” said Marohn.  “Tioga has always been good to me, which I am extremely grateful for. It wasn't an easy decision, but in life you have to take risks in order to be successful and this is one of those moments. So I'm going to stay the summer at the Meadowlands.”

Meadowlands C.E.O/General Manager Jason Settlemoir has known Marohn for a long time and is optimistic about his future.  “It has been a privilege to have had Jimmy at Tioga all these years, and we look forward to seeing him on Sundays.  But I am also filled with excitement for him as he takes on this new venture in his career.  The way he has been driving, now is the time for him to take on this challenge.  Simply put, he is the consummate professional and I wish him the best of luck during our Championship Meet at The Meadowlands.”

Through Monday, Marohn is sitting on 108 wins, good for eighth (8th) in the country.  With the first quarter of the racing calendar concluding, Marohn is on pace for over 430 wins and earnings beyond $2.1 Million.  Both would surpass his career best season of 390 wins and $1.76 Million in earnings.

But beyond the numbers, it is what Marohn has done at The Meadowlands this winter that has people talking.

Amazingly, it has been more than 10 years since Marohn earned his first driving victory at The Meadowlands with SJ’s Tostitos in a $20,000 Claiming Handicap Trot in December of 2004.  But over the last decade, Marohn’s wins have been rather sporadic, never winning more than three races in a meet at The Big M until last season, when Marohn won 10 races.  But this meet, Marohn has elevated his game to a new level, winning 25 races.  That number is more wins than Marohn has earned at the East Rutherford oval in the last 10 years combined.

One of Marohn’s best qualities is his humble nature, which was evident in this statement.  “It feels really good to matter there,” referring to The Meadowlands.

Marohn has hooked up with trainer Daniel Gill, whom he has won many races for in New York over the past several years and trainer Rob Harmon, who’s stable has been very live to start the season.

“Both trainers have been an important part in my success at the Meadowlands,” referring to Gill and Harmon , “and I am grateful to have the opportunity to drive for them consistently. In this game you need trainers with good horses that will give you a shot and will stick with you. I have been fortunate to be able to drive for both trainers.”

At present, Marohn sits tenth (10th) in the driver standings at The Meadowlands.  The most impressive aspect of his season thus far is that he has made it into the top 10 in The Meadowlands drivers colony, while driving in less races than all nine drivers in front him.  In fact, Marohn’s 203 drives is 70 less than Ron Pierce who is the next closest competitor in both starts and wins and Marohn has only one less win than the Hall of Famer. By comparison, he has only seven less wins than Andy Miller, who has driven in 168 more races than Marohn.

With Ron Pierce sidelined with an injury and the next closest driver (Trace Tetrick) having nine wins for the meet, Marohn appears to be locked in as a top-10 driver at The Meadowlands for the duration of 2015.  Marohn’s 13-percent (13%) win-rate is tied for fourth this meet, with John Campbell. His 15 wins since February 1st is the sixth highest total of The Meadowlands drivers and his nine wins in the month of March is the fifth highest total of the driving colony, only one less than leading driver Yannick Gingras despite having 20 less drives than anyone in the top-10.

“It's a surreal moment in my career being in the spot that I'm in and competing with the top drivers in the country.  It goes to show you that with hard work and dedication you can get far and achieve success.  You just have to keep at it and prove to trainers and owners that you can get the job done. Hopefully with the solid winter meet that I have had at the Meadowlands it will open the doors for more opportunities.”

The bettors are enjoying Marohn’s efforts as well, as he is the only driver in the top-10 to show a positive return on investment at this point of the season.

Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali was thrilled when Marohn notified him of his decision.  “Jimmy has had a sensational meet.  Being the oddsmaker and track handicapper is a part of my job description and I have watched Jimmy closely this meet.  He is driving like he is in the zone.  All you can ask a driver to do is give their horse a chance to win, and he has consistently put horses in spots where they can win.  The time is now to take a chance at the Championship Meet and I sincerely hope he is rewarded and given opportunities to shine in our stakes program.  He deserves it.”

Marohn recently turned 33 years old.  That is significant as it is the same age Corey Callahan began driving at The Meadowlands on a regular basis.  Since making the move to The Big M, Callahan has become one of the stars of the sport, winning the Rising Star Award for his 2013 driving campaign, amassing over 1,200 wins over the last two seasons and nearly $19 Million earnings.  This year, Callahan finds himself second in the country with 196 wins and leads all drivers with nearly $1.7 Million in earnings.  While choosing to stay at The Meadowlands doesn’t guarantee the success Callahan has had, it could be the decision that launches the career of Jimmy Marohn Jr. into another stratosphere.

Passover Pace slated for Monday April 13

Monticello Raceway’s famous “Race for the Matzos” will be held on Monday April 13th.  This event is open to drivers of Jewish heritage.

Hopefully Racing for the Matzos’ this year will be 3 time Passover Pace winners Alan Schwartz and Mike Kimelman.  The winner of last year race was Bob Krivelin, who drove Isn’t She Lovely to victory. Alan Schwartz commented that “I am looking to win my 4th Passover Pace this year”

The Passover pace is open to any licensed driver of Jewish heritage who holds a full (A) or a Provisional (P) from the United States Trotting Association (USTA) or the Canadian Trotting Association (CTA) further information please contact the Race Secretary Eric Warner at the racing office at (845) 794 – 4100 ext. 557 or contact Shawn Wiles at (845) 794 – 4100 ext. 458.


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

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 30, 2015—So far in 2015, Yonkers Raceway has had four legal-bare-minimum $2.10 win payoffs.

Three of time have been by Witch Dali (Tim Tetrick), who again fooled no one Monday night, winning the $54,800 final of the Petticoat Pacing Series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares.

            Leaving alertly from post position No. 3, Witch Dali was stung early on a cold, windy Westchester evening.  She paid a :26.4 first-quarter price to get around pole-sitting Cheyenne Robin (Dan Dube) before the lone soph in the field relented for the pocket. Cruisinwithmybaby (Tyler Buter) found a three-hole, with Hay Stacked (Eric Carlson) away fourth.

Witch Dali then rated a 30-second next interval (:56.4 half) and was sailing toward a 1:25.2 three-quarters when Cruisinwithmybaby made her second move. However, Witch Dali remained unflustered by such an intrusion, taking a 2½-length lead in the lane.

She completed her four-race series sweep, winning by a couple of lengths in 1:55. Hay Stacked rallied inside for second, with Cruisinwithmybaby, Royal Mama (Matt Kakaley) and Inside the  Glass (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder.

Cheyenne Robin, Anti Entity (George Brennan) and Always Sunday (Jason Bartlett) rounded out the order.    
 “She went a big first quarter and just held tough,” Tetrick said. “Hasn’t given me a bad race yet.”

For Witch Dali, a 4-year-old daughter of Dali co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Alagna and Brad Grant, it was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts (13-for-24 lifetime, career earnings a buck under $164,000). The exacta paid $8.70, the triple returned $37.20 and the superfecta paid $144.

Series action continues Tuesday afternoon with Yonkers’ richest race of the season to date, the $62,200 final of the Sagamore Hill for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers. Friday, it’s the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (two, five-horse $40,000 divisions), while Saturday offers the second round of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (to be drawn Tuesday).

Sunday, March 29, 2015


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 28, 2015—Yonkers Raceway offered up Round 2 of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Saturday night. Four, eight-horse $50,000 divisions against featured the best Free-For-Allers, and a trio of combatants couldn’t wait to double their pleasure.

Defending series champ P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett, $7) used the same M-O—sitting a three-hole and closing deep in the passing lane—that worked so well in the 2014 finale. “Supercam,” from post position No. 4, went by a pocket-sitting Frankie’s Dragon (George Brennan) to win the first grouping by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.4. Clear Vision (Yannick Gingras), the just-over-even-money favorite, was a first-up third.

The first three intervals (:27, :57, 1:24.1) were provided by Heez Orl Black N (Shaun Vallee), before that one tired and finished last.

            For second choice P H Supercam, an 8-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeff Bamond Jr., it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.40, with the triple returning $86.

The second event was Polak A (Brian Sears, $7.80) repeat what he did in the series opener, as in win the draw and make the rest of his rivals pay.

After giving it up to Michael’s Power (Dan Dube), Polak A took over before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a cheapy, :29.2 next interval (:56.4 half), 4-5 fave Foiled Again (Gingras) moved from third.

A :27.4 third quarter (1:24.3) ensued, with Polak A maintaining a short lead into the lane. He dug in, holding off both Michael’s Power (neck) and Foiled Again (length-and-a-quarter) in 1:52.4. Mach’s Beach Boy (Pat Lachance) was fourth.

For second choice Polak A, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Pacific Fella trained by Tony O’Sullivan for co-owners Frank Bellino & Sons, Frank J Bellino and Joseph Bellino, he’s now 2-for-2 stateside and 2-for-3 in ’15. The exacta paid $33, the triple returned $64 and the superfecta paid $231.50.

Saturday’s third Levy grouping was won by 6-5 second choice Beach Memories (Gingras, $4.50). Leaving from post No. 4, he worked hard to get around Sapphire City (Bartlett). From there, and sub-sections of :27.3, :57, 1:24.2 and 1:53, Beach Memories held off that same Sapphire City by a neck, with 11-10 wagering choice Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) a non-threatening third.  

For Beach Memories, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Strollin Stable AWS Stables King McNamara and Country Club Acres and trained by Ron Burke, it was his second win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14, with the triple returning $28.80.

The evening’s final series event saw driver Gingras author some Raceway robbery with Bettor’s Edge ($12.20) in 1:53.3. Leaving alertly from post No. 4, Bettor’s Edge met no resistance whatsoever from 3-10 choice Dancin’ Yankee (Brett Miller).

Left to his own accord (:28, 57.2, 1:25.4), Bettor’s Edge opened a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn. He then easily repelled his odds-on pursuer, winning by a half-length. Windsong Jack (Sears) was third, with McErlean (Tyler Buter) fourth.

For second choice Bettor’s Edge, a 6-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and M1 Stable, it was his first win in a couple of ’15 tries. The exacta paid $31.40, the triple returned $66 and the superfecta paid $425.

Saturday night’s $42,000 Open Handicap Trot went to DW’s NY Yank (Brennan, $4.70) in 1:56.1.
The Raceway’s live season continues Monday night (post time 7:10 PM, $54,800 final of Petticoat), Tuesday (1 PM, $62,200 final of Sagamore Hill), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM, with Matchmaker and Levy series continuing Fridays and Saturdays). Afternoon simulcasting available daily (Note there is no simulcasting the next two Sundays [Palm Sunday, Easter]).


‘Cruze and ‘Rock Deliver Once Again

Both favorites romp to easy series sweeping wins.

“Cruze is the King.”  That was the call from announcer Ken Warkentin that echoed through The Meadowlands as JL Cruze powered to another compelling victory.  Tonight’s victory in the $59,800 Shiaway St. Pat Final complete a winter trotting series sweep at The Meadowlands for the four year old son of Crazed.  The victory was the eighth of the season for JL Cruze, bringing his 2015 earnings to $126,410.

Partnered with his stablemate Razor Ramone, JL Cruze was the 1/9 prohibitive favorite in the Shiaway St. Pat Final.  Taken off the gate just a bit by John Campbell, JL Cruze settled mid-pack early in the mile, while Opulent Yankee went to the lead and reached the first quarter in 28.2.  The instant the trotters straighted up with the strong wins at their backs on the backstretch, JL Cruze launched his bid for the lead and quickly cleared the front before the half-mile of 56.3.  From there, the race was over as JL Cruze sailed through three-quarters in 1:24.1 under no pressure and he was never asked in the stretch to score an authoritative win in 1:52.3.

According to trainer Eric Ell, JL Cruze will contest the final two legs of the Bobby Weiss trotting series at Pocono Downs before setting his sights on The Graduate series for four year old open trotters.

JL Cruze is owned by W Kenneth Wood, W J Dittmar Jr and S J Iaquinta.

In the $59,000 Clyde Hirt Final, Rockeyed Optimist was as advertised, winning decisively in 1:50.  Driven to victory by Tim Tetrick, Rockeyed Optimist sat third through the first quarter which was reached in 27-seconds by his stable mate, Rock Out.  As the field straightened away down the backstretch, Rockeyed Optimist made his move for the lead and cleared before the half-mile in 54.1.  Around the far turn he received a challenge from Caviart Luca, who reached the leader’s wheel through three-quarters of 1:22.2, but Rockeyed Optimist promptly dismissed that challenge and leveled off to win impressively again.

Rockeyed Optimist is eligible to The Graduate series for trainer Steve Elliot and owners Perretti, Berkner, Battaglia and A&B Stable.

The driving star of the night was Scott Zeron, who won five races, including the $25,000 Dash For The “G” Notes Final with Grab Your Keys.

The Jackpot Super Hi-5 Carryover in the fifth race grew to $64,065 as multiple winning tickets connected on that wager this evening.  The carryover in the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 is now $29,735 with no winning tickets selecting the correct order of finish.

Racing resumes on Friday, April 4th, with first post time at 7:15 P.M.

Mach Stockn Barrel Continues Winning Ways At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mach Stockn Barrel continued to flex his muscles at Buffalo Raceway as the 4-year-old gelding registered his sixth victory of the season in 10 starts with an impressive 1-1/4 length win over Jokerman in the featured $9,500 pace Saturday night (March 28).

Driver John Cumminigs Jr. was determined to get Mach Stockn Barrel to the top. It took some effort as Mr. Preserverance (Shawn Gray) handed out a parking ticket to the quarter pole in a solid 28.4. 

But once gaining the top, Mach Stockn Barrel ($5.40) bottomed out the field, enjoying a widening two-length edge at the top of the stretch. There weren't any threats to the finish line as Mach Stockn Barrel was throttled down. Jokerman (Jim McNeight) showed some late kick to take second while Union Man Hanover (Shawn McDonough) finished in third.

Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic) is owned by Leonard Segall and is trained by James Clouser Jr. The win pushed his winnings to $26,666 in 2015 and $51,247 lifetime.

In the sub-featured $8,800 pace, the old veteran Peenie ($13.20) found the winner's circle for the second time in a week and the 51st time in his career with a head victory over I C D Moolah in 1:59.2.

Peenie (Gray) was sitting fifth at the three-quarter marker but was sailing on the outside down the stretch. He used a terrific final panel of 28.1 to notch the head win. I C D Moolah (Drew Monti) had to settle for the disappointing place spot while Lucky Nadotremblay (McDonough) arrived in the show position.

Co-owned by Decker's Corner Stable and trainer John Mungillo, the 10-year-old gelded Peenie (Real Artist-Tre Cress) has now earned $16,860 this season and $649,249 lifetime.

Cummings Jr. and Gray each scored four victories on the 13-race card while Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings had a double.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program slated to begin at 5 p.m.

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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

K D Nicol gives Willey winning effort

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

It had been some time between drinks for the trotter K D Nicol when he suited up for owner/trainer Keith Willey and pilot Tim Maier last weekend, but the 9-year-old came through with his first victory of the year and lowered his mark to 1:58 2/5 in the process.

“K D Nicol was named in honor of our good friend Nicol Trembaly, who passed away the same year this horse was born,” related Willey. “Earlier in his career, he came with throat problems, so we had surgery done.

“The first time did not do the job, so we did it again and that time it was successful. Next came the problem of getting him to finish down the stretch, as he had gotten into the habit of giving up due to his breathing problems.”

While he hadn’t reached the winner’s circle in nine starts on the year, K D Nicol had been dropping some hints and a class drop and cozy rail draw put him over the top last Saturday night.

“This year, Patrick Galbraith did a good job of getting him to finish and he started picking up some checks,” Keith continued. “When Patrick left to take care of some family matters, we turned to Tim, who has been giving him some very aggressive drives.”

In that last assignment, K D Nicol made a strong brush at the quarter to take command past the half, showed the way to the lane with a clear advantage and didn’t give an inch while returning $16 to his backers.

“We felt that he had been racing well and with the right post and trip, he would be able to pull it off. Tim gave him the perfect drive and he was able to hang on down the stretch. I always felt he was better than what he was showing and here’s hoping he can continue.”

Program features Sire Stakes, Distaff Open Pace

A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes, including a very contentious event for the sophomore pacing fillies; and a Distaff Open Pace will be the highlights on Sunday evening’s program at Cal Expo under the Watch and Wager LLC banner.

There are 11 races scheduled with a first post of 4:55 p.m. The Distaff Open is the 3rd event on the card, while the Sire Stakes for pacing fillies is the 5th event on the evening and the Sire Stakes for the trotters will be a non-betting affair prior to the regular program.

The five Sire Stakes events for the sophomore pacing fillies have resulted in four different winners, with Smash being the one with two trophies on her mantle. The Little Steven homebred races for Junior Wilkinson and Billie Schwartz with Wilkinson the conditioner and Luke Plano in his usual spot in the bike.

After finishing second in the first stakes clash back on January 18 and missing the next one due to a sick scratch, Smash accounted for the February 15 and March 1 big-money clashes in sharp style, setting her 1:56 1/5 mark in the latter event. She had to settle for third as the 3-5 choice in the most recent stakes gathering two weeks ago.

It was Speak English who got the job done that evening at 15-1 while making her debut for owner/breeder Frank Nevarez, trainer Gordie Graham and driver Tim Maier. She rallied from last to win going away by two and three-quarter lengths in an impressive unveiling. Rounding out the line-up are Little Cher Amio, Pips Valentina, Avila Beach and Hold For Gold.

Sandy’s Song has made a clean sweep of the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotters, dominating her rivals on each occasion. Henry Wieseneck owns, Bob Johnson trains and Steve Wiseman has guided the bay miss to all her victories. Taking her on are Zoeys Delight, Jk Journey and Cadet.


Next week will find the trotters and pacers in action on Friday and Saturday night, April 3 and 4, with no racing Easter Sunday. The following week racing returns to the Saturday and Sunday schedule.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

JL Cruze, Rockeyed Optimist eye Series Finals and Future

Dominant Winter Performers Poised for Huge Seasons

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (Friday, March 27, 2015) – The final winter series’ conclude this Saturday at The Meadowlands and it should come as no surprise that the two names that have headlined the winter meet take center stage once again.

JL Cruze (coupled with Razor Ramone) will begin as the 2/5 morning line favorite in the $59,800 Shiaway St. Pat Final, while Rockeyed Optimist has been installed as the 1/5 morning line choice in the $59,000 Clyde Hirt Final.  Both are poised to sweep their respective series.

For JL Cruze, to say he has exceeded his trainer, Eric Ell’s expectations, would be an understatement.  Originally a $30,000 Harrisburg yearling, JL Cruze went back through the Harrisburg sales ring this past fall at the mixed sale.  In hindsight, the final price this time, $32,000, can be considered a bargain.

“I can say now that he has surprised us,” said Ell.  “When we nominated him to this winter series’ (at The Meadowlands) we didn’t know if he could go with those, looking back, I guess I wish we would have staked him more for the rest of the season.  But when he came to us, there was no way to know he would be this good.”

As far as this Saturday goes, Ell is expecting another big effort from JL Cruze.  “He has had a great week.  He has shown a hitch in his giddy-up at times, so we backed off him a bit and he responded.  He has been jogging well and is ready to go.”

After Saturday, the plan is to send his gelding to Pocono for the last two legs of the Bobby Weiss series.  “We missed the first two weeks of the Weiss, but hopefully he can do the job in the last two legs and make the Final.”

The immediate future is more clear than the long term plans for JL Cruze.  “After the Weiss, we’ll definitely point him to The Graduate series and when The Meadowlands re-opens in the fall maybe we will find something there.  He isn’t staked too much, but next year will be different.”

Ironically, the connections of Rockeyed Optimist find themselves in a very similar position as Eric Ell, but are happy with the game plan they have mapped out as well.

“(Rockeyed Optimist) just keeps getting better,” said trainer Steve Elliot.  “With each start he just seems to be more within himself.  He’s been a pleasure, just a really nice horse.”

Elliot is not sure why he wasn’t more popular went he went through the sales ring as a yearling.  “I’m not sure why he didn’t sell.  At the time everyone was down on Jersey-breds, so maybe that was it.  When we first got him he would just sulk in the corner of his stall.  We thought he bled, so we put him on Lasix and he went backwards.  So we took him off it and turned him out.  When we brought him back he was a totally different horse.  He’s healthier and happier.”

The long-term future plans for Rockeyed Optimist are still a bit up in the air, but Elliot has no problem with that.  “The owners told me to map out a schedule as if I owned the horse, which is just great.  They didn’t pressure me to stake him into races where he would be going up against gorillas.  We’ve been able to manage him well.  He’ll go to the Graduate series and then from there we’ll see.  I wasn’t sure if he could go with the Free-For-All types until last week when he paced in 1:48.3.  That means he is almost right at that level speed-wise already.  He isn’t staked much this year, but we’ll have a fresh horse as a five year old and as long as he keeps progressing, we’ll give him the opportunity to be a Free For All pacer next year.”

The Clyde Hirt and Shiaway St. Pat headline the Saturday card at The Meadowlands, with post time at 7:15 P.M.

Meadowlands Signal Restored to Mid-Atlantic Customers

Simulcast Impasse blacking out The Meadowlands signal has come to an end

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (Friday, March 27, 2015) – The simulcast dispute that had prohibited certain bettors from wagering on The Meadowlands has been resolved.  Effective tonight, Friday, March 27, 2015, those customers who wager at Mid-Atlantic sites will be able to bet into the largest pools in harness racing once again.

“First and foremost I want to apologize to our customers who have been unable to partake in The Meadowlands product these past four months,” said General Manager/C.E.O. Jason Settlemoir.  “We are very thankful that this impasse has come to an end and we appreciate our customers sticking with us through this difficult time.  We thank them for being fans of The Meadowlands and are elated that they will be able to wager into our pools again.”

“We have worked hard over these past few months to do our best at The Meadowlands to help resolve this dispute,” said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural.  “It was very unfortunate, and we are very sorry that so many people were affected and essentially blacked out from wagering on our product.  We are hopeful that with this impasse being lifted they are eager to return to wagering on the world’s greatest harness racing.  We thank them for their continuous support.”

Post time for the 13-race Meadowlands program is set for 7:15 P.M.

RCI: Government Agencies “Teaming Up” on Racing Integrity

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) officials today praised the announcement by Peter Smith, attorney for the United States Attorneys Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, concerning the criminal indictment of four racetrack veterinarians with administering drugs to Thoroughbred racehorses within 24 hours of when the horse was entered to race.
“Today’s indictments are indicative of how racing commissions are teaming up with law enforcement and other government agencies to enforce laws designed to protect horses and the integrity of racing,” said RCI President Ed Martin.

Racing commissions are quietly working to involve other regulatory and law enforcement entities to pool resources and take advantage of the collective jurisdictional reach of various entities to ensure that all regulations and laws are followed and enforced.

Martin said that similar efforts are underway in other jurisdictions and he praised the cooperative work of Pennsylvania racing regulators, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police for their work in building the case for the indictments announced today.

RCI will meet in Tampa, Florida on April 21-23, 2015, and of special interest to be discussed are State Veterinary Board requirements that prescription medications be dispensed only upon a valid diagnosis for a specific patient. The American Association of State Veterinary Boards will be participating in the RCI discussions.

Today’s indictments claim that the defendants allegedly submitted false veterinarian treatment reports to the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. The indictments also claim that drugs were not administered pursuant to a valid prescription and constituted misbranding of the prescription animal drugs in violation of federal law.

In 2012, five state racing commissions formally requested the assistance of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in multi-jurisdictional racing commission investigations. Martin said the FDA has been an invaluable resource and partner since then, as have other agencies that are now working with various state racing commissions.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cal Expo Saturday Barn notes

Mark Kennedy’s resolve rewarded with first victory

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Mark Kennedy admits that when he was not in a good place at the end of 2013, but a 2014 New Year’s resolution got him back on track and it all came together when he drove his first winner here last Saturday night.

Mark is a 31-year-old Colorado native who has a harness pedigree – his father is longtime horseman Earl Kennedy and his brother James is one of the top driver/trainers on the grounds. “We’re a very close family and I’ve been around the sport all my life,” he said.

While Mark had done a lot of grooming and eventually assistant training, events had kept him from his dream of being a harness driver until 2014 rolled around and he made his mind up to change his life. “I really did it for my daughter Kinsey and my son Colten, to show them that you can accomplish what you dream,” Kennedy explained.

The first part of the plan found Mark going back to Pennsylvania and working with Lou Pena, which gave him the chance to be around some very nice horses while getting some excellent first-hand experience.

“I got my qualifying license last fall, just before I came back to California, and it was thanks to my dad, my brother, Mark Eaton and Gene Vallandingham that I got the chance to get in those qualifying drives.”

Mark received his ‘P’ driving license on March 1 and three weeks later was posing for pictures with Fox Valley Largo in his sixth lifetime trip to the post. It was a family affair, with Earl owning the 11-year-old and James doing the training. “It was the resolution I made coming true,” Kennedy noted. “I felt great and it was like a great stress had been lifted from me. It was everything I thought it would be.”

Sire Stakes, Open Pace command the spotlight

A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts featuring Uringoodhands and Hi Ho’s Little Rev and an Open Pace headed by St Lads Lotto top Saturday night’s Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo.

A 12-race card is on tap with first post set at 6:10 p.m. There will be Saturday and Sunday racing this week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday and Saturday night next week, April 3 and 4, with no racing on Easter Sunday.

Uringoodhands is a homebred son of Kent’s On Nuke out of the Surmo Hanover mare Sparks Will Fly who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again have the services of James Kennedy.

The dark-hued performer has captured four of the five stakes races decided for the division, with his lone setback being a neck loss to Hi Ho’s Little Rev in their January 31 meeting. Uringoodhands has made every pole a winning in the three subsequent Sire Stakes, with Hi Ho’s Little Rev checking in second in each of those races.

The latter is a son of Hi Ho Silverheel’s who carries the banner of Vanessa Gilliam with Bob Johnson training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls. He was runner-up to Uringoodhands in the first stakes gathering on January 17, hung that neck decision on him in the next match-up, and has finished second in the last three big-money match-ups. Laissezmoipicoler, Devil’s Rein, Loci Machette Man, Sounion and Musician complete the field.


There are four wagers on the program that come with a reduced 16 percent 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 has a $25,000-guaranteed pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program.

Last Saturday night there was one perfect Jackpot 6 ticket returning $65,456, not a bad return for a dime investment. 


4-Year-Old heads field of eight in $30,000 Open Trot on March 27

EAST RUTHERFORD, NY (March 26, 2015) – With dominant divisional leader Melady’s Monet sitting out the week, Odds On Amethyst assumes the favorite’s role in Friday’s featured $30,000 Open Trot at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment.

The 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill is the 8-5 morning line favorite in a field of eight that also includes millionaire Sevruga and Handover Belle, the third place finisher in last year’s Breeders Crown Mare Trot.

Odds On Amethyst has five wins in 13 starts since joining trainer Jimmy Takter’s barn last August. Brett Miller has driven the gelding in each of last five starts including a lifetime best 1:52 win on February 27.

Owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Odds On Amethyst has been nominated to the revamped Graduate Series for four-year-olds as well as the Cutler Memorial and Cashman Memorial for free-for-all trotters.

Friday’s thirteen-race card also includes the $25,000 Dash for the “G” Notes for mare pacers and two divisions of the GSY Amateur Series.

Horseplayers can look forward to a carryover of $58,878 in the Jackpot Super High 5 in the fifth race.

Post time is 7:15 p.m.

Dubai World Cup Simulcast Information
The Meadowlands will open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday for fans to watch and wager on the Dubai World Cup program, the world’s richest day of racing.

Advance wagering on the card will also be available at the Meadowlands starting Friday at Noon and continuing through the close of simulcasting on Friday night.

Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year California Chrome headlines the field in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Ugly Betty, Sadies Place Win Buffalo Raceway Co-Features

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Shawn Gray used two different methods in the co-featured $8,500 conditioned paces for the fillies and mares and got the desired results Wednesday night at rainy Buffalo Raceway (March 25).

Ugly Betty ($3.20) needed every inch of the race track to nip Basic Survival in the opener while Sadies Place ($3.70) got to the front end at the quarter pole and cruised from there to complete the chalky $8.70 early daily double.

It was just the start of a good night for Gray as he finished the card with four victories.

After battling against the boys the past two weeks, finishing a respectable second and fourth, Ugly Betty showed she's still 'looking good' when facing the girls. 

Basic Survival (Jack Flanigen) zoomed right to the lead and put up fractions of 31.2, 101.1 and 1:30.2. Ugly Betty, in the meantime, began her first over journey at the three-eighths pole and made slow and steady headway to the half. 

At the three-quarter marker, Basic Survival and Ugly Betty were eyeball to eyeball, preparing for the stretch run. It looked like Basic Survival had 'survived' the challenge midway down the lane but the stubborn Ugly Betty made one last gasp near the wire and pulled off the nose victory in 1:59 over the sloppy track. You're Too Funny (Jim McNeight) finished in third.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is trained by Dennis Dylo. It the the fourth win in 10 attempts this season for the 7-year-old mare. She has earned $25,279 in 2015 and $198,752 lifetime.

Sadies Place in the meantime scored her second straight victory with a 1:58.2 decision over Bad Girl Vegas.

It was a three-horse scrum to the lead before the quarter pole with Fiftyonefifty and Bad Girl Vegas each enjoying a brief lead. But Sadies Place became the third leader of the race and ended up being the final one, stepping off to a 1-3/4 length win. Bad Girl Vegas (Drew Monti) took second while Dontch Remember rolled into the show spot.

Sadies Place (Sadies Dreamboat-Eicarl Leggs) is a 10-year-old mare owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Darren Taneyhill. She's now won four times in 10 starts this season, bankrolling $18,385 in 2015 and $326,390 lifetime.

Monti had a driving triple and Ron Beback Jr. posted a double on the night.

Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin hopped on the sulky for the first time this season and drove Northern Bullet to a popular $3.00 win. Perrin finished the night with two training victories as did Taneyhill.

Racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


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

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, March 25, 2015—Yonkers Raceway’s stakes and series continue, then conclude, over the next few racing programs.

After Thursday’s overnight soiree, the girls are back it Friday night (March 27), with Round 2 of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. A pair of $40,000 divisions (races 6 and 7) include two of last week’s three, opening-leg winners. Carolsideal (Dan Dube), who wired ‘em from the pole a week ago, won the draw again in this week’s first event, while Krispy Apple (Tim Tetrick), an off-the-pace winner last Friday, drew post position No. 7 in the second grouping.

 (Note that last week’s other Matchmaker winner, Venus Delight, is AWOL [Philly, actually] as part of the one-horse-per-trainer-per-division rule).

Saturday night’s second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series offers 32 Free-For-All lads, neatly divided into four, $50,000, consecutive events (7 through 10). All five opening-leg winners have returned, with three—Polak A (Brian Sears, post 1), Michael’s Power (Dube, post 5) and Warrawee Needy (Mark McDonald, post 7)—landing in the second division…

…along with one Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras, post 2). Harness racing’s richest-ever horse, eying $7 million lifetime, was a solid second a week ago in his seasonal debut.

P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett), last season’s series champ who whipped Foiled Again out of the pocket last weekend, drew post No. 4 in this week’s opening Levy division.

Beach Memories (Gingras), who threw down a :26.4, third-quarter gauntlet to bottom out his series foes a week ago, starts from post No. 4 in Saturday night’s third series event.

Monday night (March 30) finds Witch Dali (Tetrick, post 4) looming a prohibitive proposition in the $54,800 final of the Petticoat Pacing Series (8th race). Tuesday afternoon (March 31) is the Raceway’s richest race of the season to date, the $62,200 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series (to be draw Thursday afternoon).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Brett Risi, 21, of Herkimer, NY will represent Vernon Downs on April 25 in New Jersey

VERNON, NY (March 25, 2015) – When Brett Risi started tagging along with his dad and older brother to the horse races at Vernon Downs at age 12, he never thought it would lead to the opportunity of a lifetime.

After winning a qualifying tournament at Vernon Downs last month, Risi, now 21, will compete against 100 of North America’s best horseplayers for a $50,000 prize pool in the World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) in April at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, NJ.

“I am honored to have a chance to play against the best handicappers in the country,” said Risi, who will be the second youngest person ever to compete in the WHHC Final. “It makes me feel good about myself and I hope more kids my age will come to be as interested in the game as I am.”

Now in its tenth year, the WHHC is harness racing’s premier handicapping tournament and allows players from across the U.S. and Canada the chance to qualify through both live and online events, in addition to buying a seat for $800. In the WHHC Final, each player begins with a $300 bankroll and contestants are required to wager at least $30 on ten designated contest races. The player who amasses the largest bankroll is declared the winner.

Risi, a Herkimer, NY resident, is a college student and works part-time. He is a self-described regular at Vernon Downs and says he has won a few other smaller tournaments, but none that would provide a first-place prize of $20,000.

“As I got older, I learned how to bet and really expanded my knowledge of strategic wagering,” explained Risi. “By the time I was 19, I knew I had figured out just about everything I could on how to bet.”

Risi says he already spends a lot of time handicapping the races and will devote even more time to his craft if he wins next month.

Three other horseplayers from Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs also won qualifying tournaments recently at the two Upstate New York racinos and will compete at the WHHC Final: Phil Melancon from Clay, NY; Mark “Duke” Smolinsky of Endicott, NY; and Kim Wahila of Vestal, NY.

For more information on the World Harness Handicapping Championship, click here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


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

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 23, 2015—“She’s just a big, strong (mare) who carries her speed a long way and hums around Yonkers with no problem.”

Such was the Tim Tetrick Monday night post-mortem after Witch Dali ($2.10) authored a third consecutive public workout, sweeping the Raceway’s thee preliminary legs in the Petticoat Pacing Series.

Leaving from post position No. 3 in the first of two $12,500 events for 3- and 4-year-old lasses, the 1-20 fave never had an anxious moment (:28.2, :58.2, 1:26.1; 1:54.1). The final margin was wrapped-up six lengths over Always Sunday (Jason Bartlett), with Cheyenne Robin (George Brennan) third.  

For Witch Dali, a 4-year-old daughter of Dali co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Alagna and Brad Grant, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.80, with the triple returning $39.20.

It was Witch Dali’s second consecutive six-length romp in the preps, firmly stamping her as the lass to beat in next Monday’s (March 30) $54,800 finale of the Petticoat.

Monday night’s other series event went to Cruisinwithmybaby (Tyler Buter, $7.80).

Series action continues Tuesday afternoon, with a pair $12,500 divisions in the third round of the Sagamore Hill for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers. Friday, the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (two, $40,000 divisions), while Saturday offers the second round of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (to be drawn Tuesday). 

Sunday, March 22, 2015


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 21, 2015—The annual rite of spring known as the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series began Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting five, $50,000 divisions for the best Free-For-Allers in training.

The featured foray did not disappoint, as last season’s champ, P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett), picking off the season-debuting, 11-year-old Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) in the third grouping.

Foiled Again, rounding the bend toward $7 million and making his 225th lifetime start, was in play early from outside post position No. 7. He worked around the two inside numbers—3-2 favorite “Supercam” and a bit-wide Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson)--making the lead  just past a :27.3 opening quarter-mile.

After a soft :56.4 intermission, Big N Bad (Dan Dube) moved from fifth, with Dancin’ Yankee (Brett Miller) in behind.

Meanwhile, Foiled Again found a seemingly-comfy 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.

However, P H Supercam ducked inside and snapped harness racing’s richest-ever horse late, winning by a hard-fought head in 1:53. Third went to Dancin’ Yankee, with Frankie’s Dragon (George Brennan) and Apprentice Hanover settling for the remainder.

For  P H Supercam, an 8-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeff Bamond Jr., he returned $5 for his third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $22.60, with the triple returning $90.50.

“A lot of things went right for him tonight,” Bartlett said. “Obviously, the draw and the fact (Foiled Again) wasn’t going much up front. The best thing about me horse is he can sprint, but Foiled Again is a great horse and tough to get by. I thought we were going right by, especially since (Foiled Again) was making his first start of the season, but it’s always special to beat a horse that’s so good.”

Millionaire Warrawee Needy (Mark MacDonald, $7.30). was left alone on the lead (:28, :57) and made ‘em pay (1:24.2, 1:52.1) in the fourth Levy division. From post No. 2, he whipped a closing 50-1 Windsong Jack (Eric Carlson) by three-quarters of a length. Clear Vision (Gingras) was third, while 11-10 choice Bigtown Hero (Dan Dube) was a tiring pocket sixth.

For Warrawee Needy, a 6-year-old son of E Dee’s Cam co-owned by (trainer) Mark Ford, David Shea and Carl Jamieson, he’s now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple returning $433.50.

Saturday night’s other Levy events were won by…

--Beach Memories,g,5 (by Somebeachsomewhere); co-owners Strollin Stable,AWS Stables,King McNamara,Country Club Acres/trainer Ron Burke/driver Gingras; 1:52.2/$5.30;
--Polak A,7 (by Pacific Fella); co-owners Frank Bellino & Sons,Frank J Bellino,Joseph Bellino/trainer Tony O’Sullivan; (U-S parimutuel debut) 1:52/$5.30;
--Michael’s Power,g,6 (by Camluck); breeder-owner Jeff Snyder/trainer Mark Silva/driver Dube; 1:52.1/$21.     

Saturday night’s $42,000 Open Handicap Trot went to Not Afraid (Dube, $3.20), overcoming an assigned eight-hole (1:56.1) for a fourth consecutive victory.

            The Raceway’s live season continues Monday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it’s Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (save for Palm and Easter Sundays, March 29 & April 5).

Rockeyed Optimist Paces Fastest Mile of the Year

Powerful four year old lowers the national seasons mark

There have not been many horses, if any, better than Rockeyed Optimist this year. After the second round of the Clyde Hirt series on Saturday at The Meadowlands, there now has not been any horse faster than Rockeyed Optimist this year, as he won this round of the Clyde Hirt in a spectacular 1:48.3.  Doctor Butch had paced the fastest mile of 2015 prior to Saturday, with a time of 1:48.4 in a Meadowlands Free For All.

Rockeyed Optimist, a 1/9 favorite would not lead this field throughout, instead resorting to stalking tactics.  The early lead belonged to a keyed up Rock Out, who sailed through strong fractions of 26.2 and 54.4 before receiving a challenge from the previously pocket sitting Caviart Luca, who pulled pocket around the far turn and pulled alongside Rock Out through three-quarters of 1:22.2.  While the duel intensified nearing the top of the stretch, Rockeyed Optimist continued to stalk the leaders from third. In mid-stretch, Tim Tetrick guided Rockeyed Optimist to the crown of the racetrack where he flew past the dueling leaders to win emphatically for the sixth time in seven tries this season.  The final time of 1:48.3 was a lifetime mark for the winner.

Caviart Luca went a good mile to be second with Lord Of Misrule rallying a bit for third.

Rockeyed Optimist is owned by Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, A And B Stable and Joseph Battaglia and is trained by Steve Elliot.

The Clyde Hirt Final will be contested on Saturday, March 28th.

Andy Miller scored a driving triple, while John Campbell and Corey Callahan each won a pair of races.

The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed, the carryover into the Friday, March 27th program is $58,578.20.  The last race will also carryover, with $7,270.06 already in the pool for Friday.

Peenie Finally Completes Test In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Peenie found out if at first you don't first succeed, try, try again. 

After starting three times off the rail in his last four starts, Peenie attempted to go wire-to-wire in each start but couldn't complete the task. 

But Saturday night (March 21) in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway, driver Kevin Cummings gave Peenie another chance on the front end and he passed the test with a length victory over Giant Sculpture in 1:57 over the sloppy track.

Peter Pumpkineater briefly took the lead in the race to the opening quarter pole, but Peenie wasted no time in re-taking and reaching the half in a brisk 57.4. The closers were in perfect position to challenge in the stretch but Peenie showed no quit and posted the win over Giant Sculpture (Shawn Gray). Mach Stockn Barrel (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third.

It was the first victory in eight tries this season for Peenie (Real Artist-Tre Cress) and the 50th of his career. Co-owned by Decker's Corner Stable and trainer John Mungillo, the 10-year-old gelding has now earned $12,470 in 2015 and $644,849 lifetime.

In the $8,800 conditioned sub featured pace, Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) used a slick move between the opening quarter and the half to take the lead and never looked back to score a 1-1/4 length decision over Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 1:58.2.

Sitting in third approaching the top of the stretch the first time, Lucky Nadotremblay was able to slip thorugh along the inside as King Otra (Drew Monti) and American Bull (Cummings) battled three-wide. 

Taking over the lead to the half, Lucky Nadotremblay ($19.60) enjoyed a two-length edge at the top of the lane and was in cruise control to the finish. Bakken used a late kick to take second while Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) finished in third.

The victory was the third in nine starts this season for Lucky Nadotremblay (Blissful Hall-Periella Hanover). Owned by the Nickel City Ranch Stable, the 5-year-old horse is trained by Ron Van Wagoner. The win upped his 2015 bankroll to $15,488 and $77,977 in his career.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with a 12-race card set for 5 p.m at Buffalo Raceway.

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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Snowy Welcome to Spring at The Meadowlands

East Rutherford NJ – The calendar indicates that spring begins on March 20 but snowy conditions led to an “Inquiry” of that seasonal change at The Meadowlands on Friday night. The races began in the midst of what would eventually measure out to several inches of powder.

The $20,000 second leg of the Shiaway St Pat trotting series drew just eleven entries resulting in a single division that pit the top pair of winter series trotters, JL Cruze and Opulent Yankee against one and other for seventh time this season. JL Cruze held a four to two edge (including both finals) going in and romped to a 1:54 win here providing John Campbell with his third of the evening. Opulent Yankee was again second best and Sheer Flex third as they head into next week's $59,800 final. Eric Ell trains the winner for Kenny Wood, Steve Iaquinta and Bill Dittmar.

The $27,500 Open was again won by this winter's trotting star Melady’s Monet in another long uncovered grind for Campbell in 1:54.1.

Away sixth and last from his outside post, Melady’s Monet sat until the field neared the half with Winds Of The North enjoying an uncontested lead in 56.4. Campbell eased the 1-5 favorite to the outside slowly working his way up to the lead and by the 1:26.1 three quarters had gained even terms. Melady’s Monet went on by willingly and was edging clear to a length margin as they neared the wire. Winds Of The North held well for the place.

Kevin McDermott trains the winner for Melady Enterprises LLC of Pompano Beach, FL. It was disclosed by Swedish representatives last week that Melady’s Monet has been extended an invitation to compete in the 2015 Elitlopp at Solvalla Racetrack on Sunday, May 31.

The GSY Amateur Series began with two $8,000 divisions and Peter Kleinhans christened the competition by driving Majestic Ginger, a mare he recently purchased in partnership with Colleen Cash, to a win with the greatest of ease.  Peter took Majestic Ginger back and handled her cautiously as the past performance lines indicated the need for patience. Once she felt set and solid, Peter simply fed her race track as wide as the four or five path into the stretch as she went by the field under her own power in 1:58.2.

When interviewed post-race by Justin Horowitz, a jubilant Kleinhans remarked, “She got great power. I’m so pleased for her to get a good flat mile in. She’s got a history of making breaks when clear, so I has concern until she crossed the wire.

“I’m thrilled with the possibility to race in the series. It’s a great way to get new people interested in racing. It brought me back to the track, as I bought this horse expressly to campaign in the series.”

John Mc Dermott, Jr trains the winner.

Division two of the GSY came in race twelve and Bob Hechkoff came home a winner with Pounce Hanover in 1:57.3 over Current Crisis and Bob Krivelin. Virgil Morgan trains for Hechkoff's RBH Ventures.

Racing resumes tomorrow night at 7:15pm.

Long Shots Continue To Rule On Friday Nights At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Friday nights continued to be 'fright nights' for the chalk players at Buffalo Raceway as the long shots dominated the 12-race card once again.

Post time favorites have been victorious just 11 times in the past three Friday night programs. There were eight double digit win mutuels this week (March 20) with Lady Jill (Shawn Gray) topping the list with a $33.40 price. The average win price on the night was $12.50.

Shawn McDonough returned this week from Pompano Park and led the hit parade with three driving victories. He guided Columia County ($12.60), Real Joy ($12.80) and America Ferrera ($16.40) to upset wins.

Drivers Ron Beback Jr., Shawn Gray, Jack Flanigen and Kevin Cummings all doubled.

Brandi Somerville had a training double.

Racing will return on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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