BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, December 20, 2016—Jason Bartlett and Rene Allard were once again Westchester’s big cheeses, winning Yonkers Raceway’s 2016 driver and trainer titles, respectively.
The 235-program season (three postponements), which concluded this past Sunday (Dec. 18), saw Bartlett roll along to a sixth Yonkers title. The 35-year-old, originally from Augusta, ME, more than doubled Dan Dube, 576 wins to 287. Bartlett was also the busiest of the colony, leading with 2,336 drives (24.7 percent winning percentage) and more than $8.4 million in purses. George Brennan and Brian Sears wound up in a dead-heat for third with 284 wins each, though Sears did it with 583 fewer drivers. Jordan Stratton (247) rounded out the top five.
Allard, a 29-year-old native of Quebec, sent out 233 winners, a dozen more than Tom Milici. Allard also led with 1,008 starters (23.1 percent winning percentage) and purses ($3.4 million). Richard Banca (180 wins), Jeffrey Bamond Jr. (98) and Ron Burke (90) completed the first quintet.
The Raceway’s 2017 season is set to begin with a Sunday (Jan. 8) matinee (post time TBA), pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.