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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bruce Aldrich Jr. wins 6 at Monticello Raceway

By Shawn Wiles

Prior to going to post for the days first race, Driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. had 330 wins, at days end he had 336.  Bruce ranks 4 nationally in wins, behind Cory Callahan with 355, Bruce now trails Callahan by 19 wins for 3rd spot.

On a muddy afternoon with a track listed as sloppy, it did not deter Bruce as he started the day in normal fashion for him on days he wins multiple races by sweeping both ends of the Daily Double, (Perfect Raider – My Man Ben)  He came back to score in the 5th race with Lenny Mac, for trainer Jose Godinez. His mount in the 6th race Tymal Luckynpink was scratched. In the 7th race, Shark Treasure got him into the winners circle, as he won by 2 lengths in 1:57:1. He came right back in the 8th to win with Excel Nine in the fastest race of the day on an off track in 1:55:3. He finished up the afternoon with Thiswayorthehighwy for leading Monticello Trainer Robert Lounsbury, winning by a neck over One Shark Road.

When reached in the paddock after the last race the muddy Aldrich said “Last night when I was looking at the program, I knew I had a shot for a good day, but I didn’t think it was going to be this good!”

Thus far in 2015 Bruce has driven his mounts in excess of $1,500,000 in earnings.  The hard working driver also doubles at Saratoga Raceway after the afternoon program at Monticello. 


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, June 30, 2015—Yonkers Raceway ended the first half of 2015 with its largest win payoff of the season.

It was big balloons, or gros ballons for the French audience, when 72-1 Jesse’s Story ($146) overcame post position No. 12 in the second tier to win the $21,000, eighth-race trot.

Jordan Stratton, or Jordan Stratton for the French audience, did the honors as “Jesse” won the mile-and-one-quarter event in 2:28.3. The 5-year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse is trained by Mike Forte for Rags to Riches of PA. She defeated 3-2 favorite Dreamsteeler (Jason Bartlett) by a neck, with 18-1 Time Will Tell All (Tyler Buter) third.

In addition to the biggest win mutuel of the season (Hypnotist’s $136.50, also driven by Stratton, was the previous target), this race produced the largest exacta ($1,394) and what would have been the largest triple had it required all three finishers to cash. As it turned it, the 12-2-all combo returned $14,021.

Not surprisingly, the Tuesday Pick 5 went unclaimed, so Thursday’s gimmick begins with a carryover of $1,984.48 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11).  

After a dark Wednesday (Viva Canada Day), the Raceway’s live season continues Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. 


By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – June 30, 2015 -- Two-year-old New Jersey-sired trotters and pacers step into the spotlight on Friday night, July 3, 2015 at the Meadowlands.

Fifty are entered to go postward in six New Jersey Sire Stakes races on the card, most of them making their pari-mutuel debuts.

Twelve trotting colts and geldings have been split into two $20,000 divisions, carded as the second and fourth races.  Each features a trainee from the Ron Burke trainee:  Southwind Frank in the second and Southwind Flash in the fourth.  Both are coming off of victories in qualifiers at Gaitway Farms on June 22.

Southwind Frank, a son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, won in 1:55.3 over a track labeled “good.”

“He was very good and he was very good in his first qualifier [finishing second],” Burke said. “He’s funny. He was a horrible colt all the way until 2:30, but he’s just gotten better and better. The faster you go, the better he gets. He couldn’t trot in three minutes to save his life. He was horrible gaited and didn’t have a great attitude. But every time we trained him he got a little better and then at like 2:30 it clicked.

“He’s been a completely different horse since then. Either we were doing a very bad job at first or we’re doing a great job now,” Burke told Harness Racing Communications.  “Horses learn at their own rates. You can push them all you want; some of them are going to do it quick, some you’re going to have to wait on.”

Southwind Frank was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, which was to the colt’s benefit.

“He was a $100,000 baby so we didn’t just cut him loose,” Burke said. “I thought I had to give him a chance, and I kept making stakes payments, and worried I was throwing just good money after bad, but for once it worked out.”

Southwind Flash, a son of Muscle Hill-Friendly Amigo, won his qualifier in 1:58.4. 

“He’s a real horse, too, I think,” Burke said. “He’s just got to mind his manners. Today [June 22], he was good. He let somebody go, he came back; he had multiple moves. He did everything you’re looking for in a horse.”

A field of eight pacing fillies vying in the $25,000 first race while 10 pacing colts and geldings will face off for $25,000 in the fifth race.  All are offspring of the late Rocknroll Hanover, except LL Jackpot who is by Philos Hanover

The largest response came from trotting fillies with two 10-horse $20,000 divisions – the sixth and ninth races.  All are daughters of Muscle Hill or his sire, Muscles Yankee.

After two weeks of preliminary legs, the finalists will meet in $100,000 championships on July 17, 2015.

--Quotes & Photos courtesy of Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications


Think Pink dinner on Friday, July 17 at the races to benefit Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 30, 2015) – Continuing their wide-reaching partnership, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment and Crawford Farms, a leading New York-based standardbred breeding and racing operation, are teaming up to fight breast cancer with their Think Pink dinner at the races on Friday, July 17. The event will benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.

“This is a cause that is deeply personal to me as I am a breast cancer survivor,” said Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms. “I am very passionate about the cause and also believe this is a unique way to not only raise money, but also to expose new people to the beautiful Meadowlands facility and the great sport of harness racing.”

Tickets to the event are $100 and include buffet dinner, live racing program, and silent auction. A cash bar will be available. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and takes place at Pink. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster by clicking the following link


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, June 30, 2015—Yonkers Raceway has announced its latest purse increase, beginning with Monday’s (July 6) racing program.

Nearly every class is hiked substantially. The increase now brings the three weekly Opens/Open Handicaps (Trot, Pace, Filly and Mare Pace) to $48,000 (from the present $42,000), while the popular Open Handicap for 4-year-olds pacers goes for $35,000 (from $25,000).

Young horses also benefit, as in non-winners of two parimutuels or $20,000 (purse now $20,000, up from $15,000), non-winners of four PMs or $40,000 (purse now $25,000, up from $17,000) and non-winners of six PMs or $60,000 (purse now $30,000, up from $20,500).  

Only the $12,500 and $20,000 claimers remain at their present purse levels.

“We are pleased to again offer a pure increase,” Raceway Vice President and COO Bob Galterio said. “It continues our commitment to presenting the finest harness product possible, and we encourage all horsemen and fans to see for themselves.

“We understand that there are any number of tracks currently open, but between the increased overnight purses and our tremendous stakes program, Yonkers remains unquestionably the best place to race.”   

For more information, or to obtain a condition sheet, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627.

The Raceway’s live schedule remains Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, with Tuesday matinees at 1 PM. 

NY Sire Stakes 2-YO Filly Pacers Invade Buffalo Raceway Wednesday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's a lot of hope and promise on Wednesday night (July 1) at Buffalo Raceway as many of the 2-year-old filly pacers kick off their careers in three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes worth $36,566 each.

Of the 21 filly pacers entered, only four have had a pari-mutuel start. The remaining 17 have had a couple of 'baby' races or qualifiers but that's it. With the hours of preparation in getting them to the races now completed, it's time for the ladies to strut their stuff. And for those who are successful, they will find a large paycheck awaiting them at the finish line along with some happy owners, trainers and drivers.

The Sire Stakes will go off as the second, third and fifth races on the solid 12-race program that is scheduled for 5 p.m.

With nine records either broken or tied at Buffalo Raceway this season, the freshmen fillies will be taking dead aim on 1:56.3 standard set in 2011 by Silk Purse and tied in 2012 by Summertime Lea.

The sire Roll With Joe has nine off-spring entered in the stakes event while Art Major follows with five, Rock N Roll Heaven four and American Ideal three.

The first event features a field of six who not have a pari-mutuel start between them. Gotmyredressontnit gets the early nod at 5-2 after putting in a 1:55.3 time in a baby race at Pocono Downs over a sloppy track on June 19. Jason Bartlett gets the call aboard the Janice Connor-trained Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) and will start from the six post.

Rockin Date, a $47,000 purchase from the Lexington Sales last year, is the second choice at 3-1 with Sire Stakes leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike. Starting from the five hole, Rockin Date (Art Major-Rockin Beauty) is trained by Ron Burke and finished in fourth place behind Gotmyredressontnit in her last prep. Morrill Jr. has 13 victories this season on the Sire Stakes circuit and nearly $450,000 in purse earnings.

The second leg is a wide open affair with a field of seven heading to the post. Angels Rockn Pink is 3-1 morning line choice with John MacDonald to be in the sulky. Arriving from Vernon Downs for trainer Homer Hostetler, Angels Rockn Pink was impressive in winning her two qualifiers at Vernon. She last won by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4 back on June 19.

Soft Idea, a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales, draws the six post for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron. Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) went 1:58.4 in her last tuneup, winning by 2-1/2 lengths.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings gets the call on Vino And Formaggio off the rail. Sitting at 4-1 on the line, Vino And Formaggio (Art Major-Pasta LaVista) has gone wire-to-wire in her two qualifying victories at the Meadows. 

The final division features Encore Deo, a $100,000 buy at Lexington. The Burke-trained Encore Deo, coupled with Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance), starts from the five post and gets the services of Cummings. Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Docdor Cameo) hopes to start earning her keep begin what could be an solid career.

The main danger to the Burke entry could be Ghost Runner (Art Major-Spirit Of The West). She gets the pylons for trainer/driver Tom Jackson and is the 5-1 second pick. She finished sixth at Pocono Downs in 1:55.1 in her last appearance.

The card also will feature a pair of Excelsior 'A' Series races and a race in the Excelsior 'B' Series. 

Also on tap on the stellar card includes the $10,500 Open Trot, the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, and the $8,500 Fillies and Mares Open II Pace.

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

Jim Morrill Jr. wins 5 in NYSS Action at Monticello

By Shawn F. Wiles

It comes as no surprise that Jim Morrill Jr. continues to dominate the NYSS, much like Wally Hennessy and Jeff Gregory have done on the past, this afternoon at Monticello Raceway, Jim Morrill Jr won 5 of the 8 New York Sire Stakes Races.  Blue Chip Farms Stallion, Roll With Joe had 4 sons enter the winners circle for the afternoon.

In the first race, local favorite KJ Erich was well in hand for driver Jim Taggart Jr. as he won by 6 lengths in 1:59:1 for co-owner and trainer Gary Messenger.  In the 2nd  Division of the Excelsior’s A’s, is was the grey son of Roll With Joe, White Rolls scoring a wire to wire victory for Tracy Brainard, giving Morrill his first win of the afternoon

Race 4 was the 1st division of Sire Stakes, this race had 3 lead changes before the ½,  Roll With Fred had the lead going to the ¼ pole before the antsy Fine Diamond made his move to take the lead, Jim Morrill Jr was wrangling with Carlos Danger trying to keep him in the hole. Roll with Fred came right back to retake the lead, flowing live cover was Carlos Danger. Carlos Danger cleared and stayed there the rest of the way, taking them past the ¾ in 1:29:0, Fine Diamond made a weak attempt to challenge the leaders but his challenge stalled in the paddock turn. It appeared that Morrill was home free, but Brett Miller had Roll With Fred in high gear in deep stretch, to nip Carlos Danger by a head in 1:58:3

Tim Lanpher’s One Summer Chance was the winner of race 5 Excelsior B in 2:01:3. In the other Excelsior B action in the 8th race. Zac and Forth broke his maiden in impressive fashion for trainer Thomas Merton and owner Gary Haas, winning in 1:59:4.

2nd division of the NYSS, saw the heavy favorite Autotune Hanover work hard for the lead, only to go off stride coming out of the 1st turn. Skip Jive was in the 2 hole when the favorite broke and inherited the lead.  He stayed there and won by 3 in 1:57:1 for Trainer Paul Kelly and driver Mark McDonald.

The most impressive individual performance of the day came in Race 13, last heat of the NYSS, Joe Larry N Curly shot out of the gate and carried the field thru fractions of 28:, 59:0 & 1:28:3, in the paddock turn HudsonandBernard made his move, but was quickly dispatch as Morrill let mount out a notch and quickly dispatched his completion.  Joe Larry N Curly was well in hand to win by 3 lengths in 1:56:3, the fastest race of the day, last ¼ in 28.0. Joe Larry N Curly, a colt by Roll With Joe is trained by Mark Harder.  In the winner’s circle Jim Morrill, a man of few words, said “He is the real deal” This win gave Jimmy, Morrill his 5th win on the afternoon.  Total handle for the 13 race card was $602,921.

Monticello Raceway is racing Mon – Fri this week, with a special Fireworks night card on Friday July 3, featuring more Sire Stake action when 2 Year Old Trotting Colts come to town.


By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – June 29, 2015 – Wagon rides, farrier exhibitions, equine clinic tours and exhibits of all sorts highlighted the 2nd Annual Fair Winds Farm Open House on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

The Cream Ridge, NJ farm threw open its gates and hosted a grand party with more than 350 guests who took wagon rides behind draft horses Rosie and Claire; watched farrier Tom Mulryne demonstrate hoof care while members of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization showcased their retired standardbreds talents as riding, competition and carriage horses; toured Dr. Patty Hogan’s equine veterinary clinic, and the equipment worn by standardbred racehorses was presented by driver-trainer Jacqueline Ingrassia and trainer Frank Ingrassia, who brought their currently racing trotter Cool Beans. 

“It was a terrific day and a great way to put a spotlight on the standardbred industry with its many facets, from breeding to racing to after-track options,” said Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association President Tom Luchento.  “We thank Mark Mullen, Farm Manager Matt Gartland and the staff at Fair Winds for making this second annual event such a success.  Any time someone experiences our horses up-close, we know we will win them over.”

Pastures with broodmares and their foals were popular photo opportunities for the visitors.

Among the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization members participating were Helene Gregory who drove Jambalayabar Man, Rob Pennington presented Glissade and Stephanie Jacobs rode Worldclass.  Nicole Bursac showed off the roan Styled N Misty, while Terry Keynton had Osborne’s Shy Cam outfitted for trail riding.

The always popular trotter Independent Act, aka Indy, and his owner, Suzanne D’Ambrose, continue to be great ambassadors for the breed, posing for photos with youngsters, oldsters and legislators [including Assemblyman Ron Dancer].  Indy’s “Month of the Horse” activities included appearances at three libraries as well as the Fair Winds event.

Many of the local farming and equine groups, including 4-H and Future Farmers as well as the Rutgers Equine Science Center were represented. 

“It was a beautiful day and we had enthusiastic participation from many groups and a lot of non-horse people here, visiting Dr. Hogan’s clinic, seeing all the demos,” said Fair Winds’ owner Mark Mullen.  “People were very complimentary about the farm and all the horses and activities.  Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vernon Racing Recap - Sunday, June 28, 2015

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Damon Blue Chip strikes late in Vernon feature

Vernon, N.Y. -- After stalking from midpack, the J P Stables' Damon Blue Chip ($3.00) angled off the pegs en route to head-stretch, steadily closing on the pacesetters and ultimately prevailing for a 1:51.1 score in Sunday (June 28) afternoon's $7000 featured conditioned pace at Vernon Downs.

The 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding was relaxed early, allowing A Fool for Mark (Dustin Ingraham), Dont Tell Rusty (Todd Frocione), and Walks of Life (Frank Davis) all to make moves to the lead before commencing his.  Rated well off a :54.4 half mile, trainer-driver John MacDonald put Damon Blue Chip into play on the far turn, passing a tiring Dont Tell Rusty to take third before reaching the head of the stretch, but still five lengths out of second.  Damon Blue Chip made better progress upon straightening out for home, closing steadily to collar A Fool For Mark--who vacated the pocket to pass Walks of Life in mid-stretch--by a half length.  Celebrity Scandal (Claude Huckabone, III) rallied from the back of the pack to take fourth.

MacDonald scored a driving double on the 12-race card, as did Claude Huckabone, Jr., Greg Merton, and Shawn McDonough.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday, July 4.  First post for the Independence Day program is 6:45 p.m. Eastern time

Tioga Racing Recap - Sunday, June 28, 2015

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Buen Camino captures lone NYSS event; races cancelled after four

Nichols, N.Y. -- While a power outage forced the abandonment of the last eight races on Sunday (June 28) afternoon's 12-race program at Tioga Downs, the Purple Haze Stables, LLC's Buen Camino ($3.60, part of entry) was able to capture his $61,300 New York Sire Stakes event in advance of the mid-afternoon electrical issues.

The 3-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall and Baby Bella had no trouble clearing the front, passing Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) and Credit Creation (David Miller) to achieve the lead through a :27 initial quarter.  After driver Jim Morrill, Jr. rated a :30.1 second quarter with the Trond Smedshammer trainee, Buen Camino responded to mild first-over pressure from Credit Creation, edging clear off the far turn and drawing off for a 2-1/2 length win over Wings of Royalty.  The Physician (Daniel DubĂ©) swung three-wide off stalling cover at the top of the stretch, rallying to take third.

Morrill won the previous race as well, taking a $12,000 Open Pace with Believe This Bob ($6.00) in 1:51.3.

Earlier in the card, War Hero ($12.80) sustained a middle move, holding off a late charge from Oh No Three O to take the $20,000 Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot.  Chris Lems settled the 7-year-old Ken Warkentin just off the pacesetters before brushing to the fore with just under a circuit to go, working clear of Spice It Up Lindy through a :57.3 first half.  On the backstretch, War Hero braced for a first-over challenge from Oh No Three O, accelerating to three-quarters in 1:26.1 and ultimately holding sway by a length for a 1:56.1 triumph.  Oh No Three O narrowly held second over Spice It Up Lindy, who was hard pressed for racing room through the final three-eighths of the mile.

Jessica Okusko trains War Hero for owner/breeder Howard Gill.

With respect to the abandoned races (5 through 12), all New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series events will result in an equal split of purse money and standings points among all entrants in each race.  The Nichols True Value pacing series final (race 7) will carry over as already drawn to next Sunday (July 5) afternoon's card, but trainers are advised to contact the racing office with respect to driver nominations.

For punters who were live in the early pick three (ending in race 5), the 2-1-all combination (Believe This Bob in race 3, Buen Camino in race 4, and "all" in the canceled fifth race) returns $3.60 on the 50¢ base wager.

Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 3) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.

Drew Monti Registers Driving Triple At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a mixed bag for the fans at Buffalo Raceway on a rainy Sunday afternoon (June 28). The long shots were a plenty but there were enough favorites to please the chalk players.

Drew Monti kept both happy as he posted a driving triple. He won with Power Off ($4.70) and Bet On Me Hanover ($5.80) while notching a surprising victory aboard Alabama Flash ($24.40) over the sloppy track. 

The 20-year-old Monti sits in second place in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings with 116 victories. He trails runaway leader Kevin Cummings who has 180.

Jim McNeight picked up a couple of long shot wins as he guided War Front ($21.00) and Milliron Pete ($45.00) to the winner's circle.

David McNeight III also doubled as he drove Sunland Dakota ($15.80) and Francessa ($3.30) to victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card slated for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the program with the 2-year-old filly pacers battling it out the Hamburg half-mile oval.

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Marohn Makes The Most of His Meadowlands Opportunities

Driver Jim Marohn Jr. is in the midst of a breakout season and he can point to the opportunities he has been receiving as a major part of the reason why. 

He cashed in on his opportunities on Saturday at The Meadowlands, finding the winner’s circle on four separate occasions on the 13-race program.

As we are on the doorstep of the half-way mark of the calendar year, Marohn is on pace to drive in over 2,400 races which would be 500 more races than he had ever competed in one year before.  

Naturally, thanks to the increased opportunities Marohn is on pace for a 400 win campaign and earnings of nearly $2.5 Million, which both would be career eyes for the “Mighty-Mite.”
Marohn currently sits fourth in the driver standings at Monticello, despite splitting his weekdays with Freehold Raceway where he was seventh in the driver standings, while winning at a higher percentage than any other driver on the grounds.  Marohn amazingly is tied for second in the driver 
standings at Tioga Downs, despite only driving there one day each week.

At The Meadowlands, Marohn sits ninth in the driver standings, which places him in the top 10 of four different racetrack’s drivers colonies in the first six months of the year.

Marohn’s Meadowlands Grand Slam with Triple Major in a claiming mini-series, a late drive that he picked up when Dan Rawlings booked off his drives.  He also scored with Bolder in a Dash For The “G” Notes division and Trading Up in a condition pacing event as well as a triumph in the nightcap with The Summer Wind.

There were four divisions of the The Dash For The “G” Notes and the first division to Jin Dandy, who has now won three of his last four starts on the heels of not winning a race for 18 months.  Jin Dandy has become a popular commodity at the claiming box as he was claimed for the third consecutive start, this time for $12,500 and he will race for trainer Nick Surick in the “G” Notes Final.

Jin Dandy won for Liv With Autism Stables LLC and was trained by Stanley Weitoish.
Bolder scored his second victory of the 2015 racing season in his division of the “G” Notes as he rallied off cover for Jim Marohn Jr. to score in 1:53.4.  The win by Bolder was one of two on the racing program for Marohn.

Bolder is owned by the Comeback Stable for trainer Julius Czermann.

Gratias Deo endured a first over trip to win the third “G” Note division for Marcus Miller. The five year old gelding was able to chase down Colossal who set strong fractions up front and win in the slop in 1:53.1.

The winner scored for the Imdonegetout Stable and trainer John Butenschoen who earned his third training win of the weekend.

An upset was sprung in the last “G” Note elimination as Bubbie Boy scored at 18-1 despite a tough first over trip with John Plutino.  Kingofthejungle appeared to be loaded with pace, but was trapped behind horses and shook free too late to catch the longshot winner.  The highest money earners from tonight’s eliminations return for the $25,000 mini-series Final on Saturday, July 4th.

Bubbie Boy won for Stephen Schneider and William Siegel and is trained by Jean Drolet.
In other action, Rock Star pulled off a 9-1 upset in an upper-level condition pacing event, flashing a good late kick for Jim Pantaleano to win for the fourth time this season.

Rock Star followed the cover of Canbec Kingkazimir who led the outer-flow which was chasing reasonable fractions of 26.4, 55.1 and 1:23.1 before turning for home, where Canbec Kingkazimir poked a head in front.  The speed was established by the 4/5 favorite, Madiba Magic N, but that gelding came up empty in the stretch.  Rock Star was lengthening his stride down the center of the track and he was able to sprint past the speed while out-gunning Dealt A Winner to the wire to win in 1:51.  The three year old, Dealt A Winner rallied to be second with Canbec Kingkazimir third.
The winner is owned by Robert Zakian and trained by Kenneth Anderson.

Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 Carryovers continued to grow, with the fifth race carryover expanding to $170,877 and the last race carryover reaching $154,332.

Racing returns on Friday, July 3rd with post time at 7:15 P.M.  That program includes the $250,000 Graduate Pacing Final as well as a Fireworks Spectacular at the conclusion of the racing card.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 27, 2015—If your favorite driver is Dan Dube and your favorite number is four, congratulations and go collect.

Dube went “four-th” Saturday night, winning both halves of Yonkers Raceway’s soggy $42,000 co-featured Open Handicaps.

Great Vintage ($6.20) had nary an anxious moment in the weekly pacing feature, working around a returning P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and strolling through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, 1:25.2 and 1:53.2.

Great Vintage whipped 19-10 choice P H Supercam—out four weeks prior to this start—by a couple of lengths. Texican N (Eric Carlson) was a three-hole third, with Rock on Moe (Jordan Stratton) and a tough-trip All Bets Off (George Brennan) settling for the remainder.

For second choice Great Vintage, a 7-year-old son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding and a pair of Gorans (Anderberg and Falk) it was his third win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $19, with the triple returning $62.50.

The week’s marquee trot saw 11-10 choice Daylon Miracle—in one notch after an inside scratch—duplicate the down-the-road (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27, 1:56.4) MO of Great Vintage.

Daylon Miracle held off  a second move of outside assignee Luminosity (Brennan) by a length-and-a-half, with Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), Rock of Cashel (Eric Goodell) and Lorenzo Dream (Carlson) rounding out the payees.    

            For Daylon Miracle, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur owned (as Allard Racing) and trained by Rene Allard, it was her eighth win in 14 ’15 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11.20, the triple returned $47.80 and the superfecta paid $165.50.

The Raceway’s live season continues Monday night (7:10 PM),  Tuesday matinee (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. 

Vernon Racing Recap - Saturday, June 27, 2015

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Barn Girl elevated to Vernon victory; Painite relegated for interference

Vernon, N.Y. -- After being shoved three-wide by Painite on the entry to the far turn, Barn Girl ($10.00) made a push to the fore only to be collared by the offender in Saturday (June 27) evening's $8,000 Mares Open II Trot at Vernon Downs.  Ultimately, Barn Doll was placed the winner ahead of Painite as a result of the aforementioned interference.

Jimmy Whittemore settled toward the back of the pack with the 3-year-old Cash Hall filly, racing well behind a :27.2 first quarter clicked off by Saint Patty's Doll (Greg Merton) and a :57.1 first half attended by the first-over Concentration (Chris Lems).  Moving into the far turn, Barn Girl angled second-over, but was carried deeper out by Painite (Truman Gale), who vacated the pegs without clearance three-eighths from home.  Nonetheless, Barn Girl sustained her rally, working to the lead in the final 150 yards before Painite swept to the grandstand side and narrowly finished first past the post.  As a result of the interference on the far turn, however, Painite was relegated to second behind the offended Barn Girl, placed the winner in 1:56.1.  Torches Star (Claude Huckabone, III) rallied from the back of the pack to take third over the pacesetting Saint Patty's Doll.

Howard Okusko trains Barn Girl for the Out in the Country Stable, along with Steven and Nancy Pratt.

Whittemore also won on the card with Misty Major ($7.20), earning a driving double on the 11-race card.  Chris Lems and Greg Merton also each scored two wins on the program.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 28) afternoon, with first post at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.


Tioga Racing Recap - Saturday, June 27, 2015

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

U Belong To Me exploits tactical advantage in top Tioga pace

Nichols, N.Y. -- Pushing clear with a circuit to go, Niss Allen, Inc.'s U Belong To Me ($17.20) backed down the second quarter before accelerating clear to a 1:54.3 win in Saturday (June 27) evening's $10,000 Open II Pace at Tioga Downs.

The 6-year-old Misfit gelding was caught wide early as A Weekend (Mike Simons) worked to clear Flying Cowboy (Dan Clements) through a :28 first quarter over sloppy going.  Undeterred by the contested early pace, Fern Paquet, Jr. drove on with U Belong To Me, clearing A Weekend in the first pass through the home straight and subsequently slackening through a :30.3 second quarter.  After the breather on the clubhouse turn, U Belong To Me accelerated on the backstretch to evade a first-over bid from T's Electric (Aaron Byron) and dismiss pocket rival A Weekend, who tired on the far turn.  Turning up the pace through a :27.4 third quarter, U Belong To Me held clear of T's Electric for a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:54.3.  No Monkeys Allowed (John Cummings, Jr.) sustained a belated rally to take third.

Eric Mollor trains U Belong To Me, who recorded his 12th career win.

Mike Simons led all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card, and Dan Clements recorded a driving hat trick.  Renaldo Morales, III and Shawn Simons led all trainers with two wins apiece.

Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race program on Sunday (June 28) afternoon, featuring New York Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings along with the Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot.  Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Rockstar Temper Posts Convincing Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rain, wind and a sloppy track was a winning combination for Rockstar Temper ($8.00) as he took the $10,500 Open Pace in convincing fashion at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (June 27), beating Unicorn Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:58.1.

The heavily-favored Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) was parked to the opening panel in the feature and needed a wicked 27.3 first split to reach the lead. The hot fractions of 58.0 and 1:28.3 over the sloppy going would eventually be costly for the front runner.

Sand Savage (Jim McNeight) was first over going down the backstretch the final time and Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti) drafted perfectly behind.  

The brutal times took their toll on Youwillwishyouhad as he threw in the towel at the top of the stretch and Sand Savage had enough as well.

Rockstar Temper in the meantime was loving the proceedings and rolled off cover to post the victory. Unicorn Hanover (David McNeight III) showed late kick to take second while Mr. Perserverance (Shawn Gray) rode the pylons for third.

Owned by James Caradon and trained by Darrin Monti, Rockstar Temper has scored four victories in 18 appearances in 2015. The 7-year-old gelding (Rocknroll Hanover-Dragon Temper) has earned $43,520 this season and $332,153 lifetime.

Jokerman ($43.40) didn't joke around in the $9,500 Open II pace by springing a 1-1/2 length upset win over Beachfront in 1:57.2.

After watching a speed duel on the front end between Ain't No Stoppin' and I C D Moolah, Jokerman was in 'wait and see' mode. Waiting and seeing the speed crumble, Jokerman was three-wide and winging, rolling in the stretch for a 1-1/2 length win over Beachfront (McNeight III). Cobble Beach (Cummings) rallied for the show spot..

Co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Randy and Robert Roth, Jokerman has six victories on the season and $43,894 in the bank. The 6-year-old gelding (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now made $93,037 in his career.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. with a 12-race card.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Breakfast With the Babies

East Rutherford, NJ – Overcast skies plagued the Saturday morning June 27th edition of Breakfast With The Babies. Temperatures hovered around 70 degrees with just a hint of a breeze as the morning faithful feasted on bagels shipped in from Manhattan courtesy of Murray Brown.

Trotting fillies led off the babies and the first winner of the day was from the (surprise) Jimmy Takter barn. The Muscle Hill homebred rode the pocket for Jimmy through easy fractions, fanned off mile cutter Skara Brae’s back then dueled that one to the wire, prevailing in 1:58.4 with a 28.4 final quarter. She’s owned by the Silver Linden Farms of Indiana.

The second race demonstrated that the gloves are officially off for the babies with stakes racing on the near horizon. Caprice Hill already had a big rep off her 1:58 Gaitway win and was making her Big M debut for Yannick Gingras, Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill. 

Gingras settled Caprice Hill in the pocket behind Takter and Hollywood Hill as that one sailed through the three quarters in 1:29, tipping her out as they straightened up and going by for the 1:56.4 win. Caprice Hill is a Kadabra filly from the good race mare Bramasole who cost Mr. Hill $55,000 at Harrisburg last fall.

Memories of the great trotting mare Peace Corps were relived as John Campbell and Tommy Haughton combined to win the third race with New Leaf. She is a Muscles Yankee homebred that Haughton is training for Joe Thomson’s Winbak Farm, she held the late charging Monarchs Sequel at bay in a 1:59 / 28.2 effort.

Dave Miller drove Radiant Beam to a 2:02 win for trainer Andrew Harris and owners Arrhythmic LLC. She’s a Holiday Road that has turned out to be a $7,000 Lexington bargain purchase.

Bar Hopping sure looked good this morning for Takter. He was making his third morning appearance this time driven by the trainer, he followed along through a 1:31.1 three quarters then zipped past the leader while tacking a 27.3 end to the 1:58.4 mile. Bar Hopping is a son of Muscle Hill that was sold to Christina Takter, Bud Hatfield Stable, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld at last year’s Harrisburg sale for $190,000.

Takter cut the mile with his Cantab Hall colt Cantabra in the next race through a 1:31.1 three panels before Manofmanyimages tipped out and trotted by, then broke as he crossed the wire, the mile in 2:00. Manofmanyimages is from the first crop of Manofmanymissions, a $70,000 Harrisburg buy for Richard Gutnick, TLP Stables and Joseph Lozito. He is trained by Ed Hart.

“Tyson and Zlayton…Zlayton and Tyson…Zlayton!” was track announcer Sam McKee’s call in race seven as Jimmy Takter won another. This time it was with Zlayton, a $37,000 Muscle Mass colt that he bought on behalf of his longtime patrons Mrs. Takter, Fielding, Fielding and Liverman. The mile was covered in 2:01.2 with the final quarter in 28 seconds flat.

Thatsoveryverynice was an impressive 1:54.4 winner for Tim Tetrick in the first of the pacing races. She left for the lead, settled third then moved first over from third off the final bend and went by with the last quarter on the board in 27.3. Thatsoveryverynice, from the first crop of Vintage Master, is owned and trained by Tony Alagna.

JK Fannie won in 1:56.4 with Tetrick driving much like the previous race, leaving for position then fanning wide in the stretch to get up through the 28 flat last quarter. Always Covers snaked through late with good pace for the place. The winner is a homebred Rocknroll Hanover lass from the 3 Brothers Stable. Nancy Johansson is the trainer.

Some sharp looking colts took the track for the tenth with Talk Show leading the field throughout to win in 1:55.1/26.4 well in hand to John Campbell. He’s an Art Major $40,000 Lexington yearling trained by Steve Elliott for Pegasis Investments, Team S Racing and Barbara Bongiorno. Highlandbeachycove followed the winner right through the wire with pace and the Cancelliere Brothers homebred Uncle Nicky actually gained into the fast last quarter to be third. Key race.

The fastest race of the two-year-old season thus far was the 1:53.4 mile by Tommy’s Delight, a Roll With Joe first cropper driven for trainer Casie Coleman by Dave Miller. He shot from the gate and set fast fractions throughout under mild Miller urging. American Passport and Rock Power also impressed with late pace closing in near the wire.

Voracity went well this morning, winning in 1:57 from the pocket for Scott Zeron into a 27 flat final quarter tracking down a game Katies Rocker. The Sportswriter colt races from the Tony Alagna barn for his interest as Alagna Racing with partners John Fodera and Brad Grant. Voracity cost the group $47,000 in Lexington last fall.

A few interesting qualifiers were part of the day’s activity including World Champion Mission Brief returning after a short break following her NJSS final win. Yannick Gingras put her on the lead and was clearly letting the filly trot as she opened a long lead but missed a step or two heading into the stretch where she eventually rolled off on to the gallop.

JK Endofanera had a public 1:50 flat workout at day’s end for Yannick as he led by many at every call versus two overmatched rivals

Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15pm. 


Dave “Linemaster” Ehrenberg II took no prisoners and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.3 victory with King Trut in a Billings trot at Scioto Downs on Friday night, June 26. But in doing so King Trut had to rebuff a strong late challenge from YF  Crasher and driver “Marlin the Magician” Smith.

“The complexion of the race changed dramatically when Steve Oldford’s trotter (Bold Strike) made a break before the start which allowed my horse get away with soft early fractions,” Ehrenberg explained.

Bold Strike, the 1-2 betting favorite- was riding a two race win streak where he was victorious on the front end both times. However with him a non-factor King Trut and Ehrenberg were able to dictate their own fractions.

They passed the quarter in :29 and by the half in 1:00 flat. However Smith had YF Crasher on Ehrenberg’s back from the get go and when the two leaders rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt Smith had his trotter neck and neck with King Trut.

They came down the stretch like a team hooked -to-pole but YF Crasher couldn’t pass the pace-setter and King Trut valiantly fought off his challenger to score a neck decision. In third place three lengths further back was Hometown Jeff driven by Michelle “the Belle” Ruvola.

King Trut, a 10 year old Self Possessed gelding owned by Aimee Ranger and trained by Chris Short returned a $19.80 win mutuel. It was King Trut’s sixth seasonal triumph and Ehrenberg’s 47 career driving victory.

With his victory Ehrenberg, now with 24 points,  moves into second place on the CKG Billings mid-west region leaderboard behind Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford’s 45. In third placewith 17 points is “Lawbook Larry” Farley followed by “Hurricane Hannah” Miller’s 16. “Bullet Bob” Davis and Kelly “Sky” Walker are tied for fifth, each with 13 points.

Vernon Racing Recap - Friday, June 26, 2015

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

The Filly Princess holds sway in featured distaff

Vernon, N.Y. -- After sustaining an early push to the lead, The Filly Princess ($5.90) held off a late charge from her pocket rival to take Friday (June 26) evening's $10,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.

After Express Jet (John MacDonald) split Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) and Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) to establish the early lead in a :27.4 first quarter, Frank Davis charged to the front with The Filly Princess.  The 7-year-old Bettor's Delight mare caught a :58.2 middle half breather, digging in off the far turn to stave off a late charge from pocket rival Express Jet.  The Filly Princess prevailed by half a length, holding firm for a 1:53.3 triumph.  Tiger Boudoir stayed on off a ground-saving trip to take third.

Andy Gardner trains The Filly Princess for Standardbred Ventures, Inc.

Davis scored a driving double on the evening's 10-race program, as did Joe Nassimos.

Racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 27) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Callahan Wins 5, Obrigado Wins TVG Trot

Corey Callahan got the jump on Driver of the Week honors, finding the winner's circle five times on Friday night at The Meadowlands.

Callahan didn't waste any time, winning the first two year old event of the season at The Meadowlands, with the John Butenschoen trained Ideal Rocky, a Rocknroll Hanover colt that cost $47,000 at the Harrisburg yearling sale.

Callahan and Butenschoen would team up again later on the night, winning a condition trotting event with the Currier and Ives winner, Suit and Tie.  The Captain would also go on to score with B Stern in wire to wire fashion in a condition pacing event for fillies and mares at 13-1.  He also guided Beach Story to a strong win in a very tough upper-level condition pacing event for mares and steered Tirade Hanover to a well-meant win in a competitive middle level condition trotting event.  With the five wins, Callahan moved into the top-five in the Meadowlands drivers standings.

The feature race of the night was the $50,000 TVG Free For All Trot, the third leg in the $1.2 Million series. Obrigado made his debut in the series and he made it a winning one, scoring in impressive fashion in 1:51.3, a lifetime best performance.  Last week, Obrigado found himself locked in throughout the mile while crying out for racing room in the stretch, Mark Macdonald made sure that wouldn't happen this time, putting his gelding in the game early.  But Obrigado had to work hard early on, parked out by DW's NY Yank, the 9/5 favorite and the two raced in tandem past the quarter in 26.3.  Shortly after the trotters turned into the backstretch, Obrigado cleared the lead and it was a lead he would not relinquish.  MacDonald effectively backed his trotter down to a 55.3 half mile before reaching three-quarters in 1:25.1, completely a tepid 58.3 middle half-mile.  In the stretch, Obrigado simply out-sprinted the field, kicking home in 26.2 to complete the triumph.  Flanagan Memory rallied to finish second with Melady's Monet overcoming traffic trouble in the stretch to finish third.

Obrigado is co-owned by his trainer Paul Kelley, L. Higgins and W. Weaver III.

The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 survived another night, despite a 15-1 upset and that carryover will be $168,564 into the Saturday program.  The last race carryover swelled to $149,836 as well.

Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M.

Tioga Racing Recap - Friday, June 26, 2015

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs Racing Media

Mach It a Par kicks cover again; grand slam for Clements

Nichols, N.Y. -- Taking advantage of live cover and a contested early pace, Mach It a Par ($3.80) passed all six of her rivals to take Friday (June 26) evening's $10,000 featured distaff pace at Tioga Downs.

Dan Clements settled the 5-year-old Mach Three mare at the back of the pack as Purity (Jim Meittinis) worked to clear fellow leavers Smokin N Grinin (Mike Simons), K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.), and Stormunn (Aaron Byron) through a :26.3 first-quarter battle.  With three-eighths to go, Purity gave way to pocket rival Smokin N Grinin, and Mach It a Par moved third-over to follow the cover of K J's Caroline and Stormunn on the backstretch, swinging three-wide well past a 1:23.3 three-quarters split.  At the top of the stretch, Mach It a Par found her best stride, working clear of K J's Caroline in the final sixteenth to prevail by a widening 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.4.  K J's Caroline held second, while Arodasi (Brandon Simpson) mounted a stand-side rally from the back of the pack to take third.

Clements owns Mach It a Par, and Renaldo Morales, III handles the training duties.

In addition to his victory in the feature, Clements teamed up with Purple N Gold ($3.60, 1:54), Shutthefrontdoor ($4.40, 1:51.4), and Flashy ($13.40, 1:54.2) to lead all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card.

A pair of $6,000 second-round divisions of the Tioga State Bank starter series were contested on the Friday evening program as well, with Philana Chalice ($60.50) drawing clear off a first-over bid for a 1:53 upset score in rein to Kyle DiBenedetto, and Private Interview ($2.50) living up to odds-on billing for a handy 1:52.4 win under Corey Braden.

Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday evening, with the first of 13 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.

Beback Jr. Scores Driving Triple At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y.--- Ron Beback Jr. had a driving triple and posted a double on the training side to highlight the 10-race program at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (June 26).

Beback Jr. captured victories on Puppetandmee N ($5.20) and It Was An Honor ($8.20) and then saved his best for last as he registered a $91.50 win in the tenth race aboard Almost Midnight. The win by Almost Midnight sparked a 7-1 exacta worth $1616 and a $1 trifecta of 7-1-all returning $272.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

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


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 26, 2015—Cinamony (George Brennan, $11.40) eschewed an early seat and went the distance Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s featured $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

A week after hitting town and matching the track record for her weight class, Cinamony—ordered outside all but one of her eight rivals—was an early third before working around Hot  List (Brian Sears)

Cinamony, who scorched the Westchester earth to the tune of 1:51.3 last Friday, didn’t have to go nearly as fast here (:27, :57, 1:25.1, 1:53). She held off a two-move effort from eight-hole assigned Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett), whipping the slight 2-1 choice by a length-and-a-quarter.

Hot List saved the bottom of the ticket, with Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) and a first-up For the Ladies N (Eric Carlson) settling for the remainder.    

            For fifth choice Cinamony, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $53, with the triple returning $190.50.
The Raceway’s live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it’s Monday (7:10 PM),  a “French-centric” 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.

Friday, June 26, 2015


By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ June 26, 2015 New Jersey’s annual salute to the horse moves to Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge this Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Fair Winds will open its gates from 1 to 4 p.m. for the celebration of the Month of the Horse.  Events are free and will take place rain or shine.

Fair Winds is home to dozens of mares and foals, and to the Hogan Equine operated by Dr. Patricia Hogan.  Dr. Hogan will show visitors the workings of the clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly thoroughbreds and standardbreds, are treated each year.  Her client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of horse racing, and includes 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones.

Farrier Tom Mulryne will demonstrate how horses’ feet are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing when needed.  There will also be a few friendly horses for visitors to pet and groom; selfies are welcome. Horse drawn wagon rides throughout the farm will be available.

The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey will demonstrate all the ways standardbreds excel off the track.

Trainer-driver Jacqueline Ingrassia will prepare a “well-dressed standardbred” with the equipment worn on the racetrack.

The Rutgers Equine Science Center and racing’s ambassador, Independent Act – Indy – will also be among the participants.

Food concession stands will be available.

Guests are asked to leave dogs at home and to wear sensible shoes for walking around the farm.

Fair Winds, located at 74 Red Valley Road, Cream Ridge, is off of County Road 526 [Trenton Lakewood Road]. 

For directions:


  By john manzi for the Billings Series

 Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening, June 25 where two east region divisions were contested  before the betting card got underway. Not surprisingly, Billings regional point leader “Hurricane Hannah” Miller once again stuck it to the boys when she went wire to wire with Rev It Now to score in 1:59.3 while the other split went to Billings president Tony “the Capo” Verruso after he reined Sam’s Honeybee to a 2:01.3 victory.

Earlier in the day Miller had a third place finish in a NAADA Trotting Series event at Monticello Raceway, and as she’s done previously, traveled later in the day for another amateur event at Yonkers Raceway.

Once again behind her veteran Rev It Now she turned the tables on her competitors by leaving from the pole position and taking command on the first turn.

“He (Rev It Now) is a notoriously slow starter but he left out of the gate great tonight,” Miller related.” I didn't expect to be on the frontend but a couple horses made breaks leaving breaks, so I went to the lead and surprisingly he was comfortable there.”

After a soft :30.4 first quarter Rev It Now trotted by the half in 1:00.4 and then began to open daylight on the field. At the third stanza Miller’s charge had two lengths on the field which was opened to three at the wire. CSI What’s  My Name rallied from far back to be second for David “Poppa” Glasser while “Bullet Bob” Davis took home the show dough with Wygant Prince.

With her victory "Hurricane Hannah" now has 18 seasonal driving victories but in the process she lost  Rev It Now who was claimed after the race.

In the other division Verruso used the same front-end strategy for his victory with Sam’s Honeybee.

With breaking horses around him as he left the gate Verruso immediately sent Sam’s Honeybee to the lead and they got away with soft fractions of :30:4 and 1:02.4. When Paul “the Coach” Minore moved Hallanet as the field approached the half the pace then picked up.

Still Sam’s Honeybee had a length and a half lead by the three quarters which was opened to two lengths as they headed for home.

“We needed every inch at that point because in the deep stretch Dave (Offenberg with Whatnblazes) came flying at us  but “Sam”  held him off and we won it by a neck,” Verruso said. In third place, three lengths farther back, was Hallanet and Minore.

For Verruso, it was his first win in Billings action thus far this season.

After eight legs of the seven month Billings Series are in the books Hannah Miller’s 70 points is 20 better than runner-up Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff’s 50. Verruso is currently third in points with 34 while Paul Minore and James “Jimmy Boy” Marshall Iii, each with 29oints roun out the top five.

There's A Lot Going On at The Meadowlands Saturday

Meadowlands Media Relations Department

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has thirteen live races on Saturday, June 27 with a number of supporting promotions planned as well.

On the track, a solid wagering card with the lure of the Hi-5 Jackpot wagers now both (races 5 & 13) well into six figures. There's a new face is in for the evening with top WEG driver Paul MacDonell making a rare New Jersey appearance. He'll drive trainer Mark Ford's stock and caught some other work over the course of the evening.

Via simulcast you'll be able to watch and wager on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosting four sets of stakes eliminations for the upcoming Sun Stakes Saturday Finals next week.

Off the track, it's Roll Back Concession night with $1 specials and the Finals of the Ms Hot To Trot contest featuring a bevy of bathing beauties vying for the $5,000 top prize and the dazzling tiara that accompanies the title.

Legendary jockey Braulio Baeza will be "In the Sulky" with Bob "Hollywood" Heyden during the pre-race show then heading to the apron for a meet & greet, chatting with thoroughbred fans of yesteryear and signing autographs from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Baeza is a Hall of Fame rider and winner of the 1963 Derby with Chateaugay. He rode the legendary Dr. Fager to his 1:32.1 mile World Record that has stood since 1968 and was aboard Foolish Pleasure in that one's 1975 match race with the ill-fated Ruffian.  

Another promotion of interest is a handicapping seminar featuring Daily Racing Form expert "The Wizard" who will be peeling back the curtain on his handicapping prowess.

Racing kicks off at 7:15pm.

Monday Sire Stake Action at Monticello

By Shawn Wiles

On  Monday June 29, Monticello Raceways 13 race card features 8 New York Sire Stake events, the breakdown being 3 NYSS ($35,866)– 3 Division A Excelsior’s ($15,000) & 2 Division B  Excelsior’s ($6,500) for total purses in excess of $165,000.  The average number of starts per juvenile is 3, there is a lot of white paper on the programs. For the vast majority of these Sire Stake colts, 13 of the 20 starters, this will be their first lifetime start on a half mile oval.

Race 1 & 2 are Excelsior A events, in race 1, local favorite KJ Erich, trained by Gary Messenger will start from post 3, for driver Jim Taggart Jr.  The Roll With Joe colt has 2 impressive brides maid starts thus far under his belt in his young career.  Race 2 also showcases another Roll With Joe/Gary Messenger combination, Cool Breeze De Vie, sports back to back wins at Monticello, his last start a winning effort in 2:01, and he will start from post 7.

The first NYSS event is race 4, Ron Burke stable sends Fine Diamond, the Rock N Roll Heaven youngster will start from post 3, he has 2 Meadowlands Q’s under his belt, finishing 3rd in each contest, last start shows a snappy 27:3 last quarter. The other contender figure to be Uncle Hal (PP5) Scott Zeron for trainer Joann Perry, buy virtue has his 2 race win streak at Tioga Downs.

Race 6, 2nd division of NYSS , Canadian based, Endeavor comes to town with 2 consecutive Q’s win, by a combined 42 ¼  lengths, he will face tough competition from Autotune Hanover (PP4) and Jeff Gregory’s fast Art Major colt, Fast N Victorious (PP1).

The last heat of day and of the Sire Stakes is race 13, by far the toughest race on paper, Roll With Joe is well represented here, with 2 nice colts, Joe Larry N Curly (PP4), trained by Mark Harder and driven by Jim Morrill Jr. will start from the 4 hole, he won his last start, a 2YO qualifier, in 1:55:2, LQ 28:2. Joe Holloway brings Hudsonandbernard (PP5) to the $36,556 dash, he too winning sports an identical time of 1:55:3.  Brigadoon (PP2) a natural on the half miles ovals, has he has 3 wins in a row at Saratoga.  The American ideal colt is trained by Cheryl McGivern, and will be driven by Saratoga regular Billy Dobson.

Trainers should take note that the date for the first NYSS/Excelsior 2-Year-Old Filly Trot at Monticello has been changed, The date will be July 3, 2015, box closes Tuesday at 9:00 am. Post time will be 5:30pm.  On that evening Monticello Raceway will have its decades famous fireworks after the last race.