For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Austin Siegelman wins 5 at Monticello Raceway

By Shawn Wiles

On Thursday afternoon July 20, Austin Siegelman took advantage of the absence of 2 of the leading drivers at Monticello Raceway and scored 5 wins on the afternoons card.  He struck in the 1st race of the day, scoring with Sturgeon Seelster in 1:58.4, the hot streak continued in the 4th race when he steered Literate Hanover to a wire to wire win for trainer William Mintz in 1:57.1.  He got back on track in race 10 and won the final 3 races of the day. Try’s Little Prince scored a pocket sitting win in the 10th race, NY Whitesox won by 3 lengths in the fastest mile of the day 1:55.2 in the 11th and paid $3.50, the final win of the day came in the last race with the aptly named Winning, winning by 4 lengths in 1:56.3.

The young Siegelman is currently in 7th place for leading dash winning drivers with 36 wins thus far this year at Monticello Raceway 


Memorial race to honor legendary driver on Saturday, July 22

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 20, 2017) – The life and career of legendary harness racing driver Hervé Filion will be celebrated Saturday, July 22 at the Meadowlands with a series of events to honor the Hall of Famer who passed away last month at the age of 77.

“My father always cared for the horse and had a God-given talent to get the most out of the horse,” said Andrew Filion, one of three sons of Hervé. “He had a huge, generous heart and always felt like he knew you for years. He always wanted others around him to be happy and successful. He was definitely the Babe Ruth of harness racing and we are so appreciative to be able to honor our dad at the Meadowlands.”

Race 2 will feature a special salute to Filion and other legends of Roosevelt Raceway. The drivers in that race will wear the colors of many former Roosevelt drivers including Filion.

Dozens of horsemen from the Roosevelt Raceway days will also be at the Meadowlands on Saturday as part of the last Roosevelt Raceway reunion. Filion was the longtime leading driver at Roosevelt, the famed racetrack on Long Island that closed in 1988.

Race 3 will be a special memorial race to Filion and his former competitors and friends from Roosevelt will stick around to sign autographs and help celebrate his life in the winner’s circle.

An exclusive cocktail party will take place at the Meadowlands Skybox Suites from 6:00pm – 7:30pm in which guests will have the opportunity to meet-and-greet the dozens of former Roosevelt Raceway horsemen including Carmine Abbatiello, Mike Lachance, Billy O’Donnell, Benny Webster, The Popfingers, and more. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $49 with proceeds to benefit the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.

An impressive display of memorabilia will be on display and available for purchase through an online auction by visiting 32auctions/rrr2017.

For more information, visit

Buffalo Raceway Forced To Cancel Remainder Of Season

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. ---Racing and simulcast wagering at Buffalo Raceway has been cancelled for the remainder of the 2017 season due to significant damage created by a tornado that hit the Hamburg, N.Y. area on Thursday.


Murphy outlines support for New Jersey equine industry

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 20, 2017) – Phil Murphy, the New Jersey gubernatorial candidate, visited the Meadowlands Racetrack last Saturday night.

A crowd of more than 10,000 was on hand to see a star-studded night of harness racing headlined by the $738,550 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, the track’s signature race. Murphy presented the trophy to the winning owners of Huntsville, who scored a thrilling victory over Downbytheseaside.

Murphy addressed the large crowd in the building as well as an international audience watching via web stream and live television. He voiced his support for New Jersey’s entire equine industry and the need for strong leadership at the state level.

“This is a gem in our state and I think our best days in the racing industry, whether it’s standardbred or thoroughbred, the best days in the horse industry, the equine industry, are ahead of us,” said Murphy.

The complete interviews can be watched by clicking the following links:
For more information, visit

Friday Is Kindergarten Night at The Meadowlands

The Meadowlands - Friday's card at The Meadowlands is filled with future stars with five races dedicated to the popular Kindergarten series for two-year-old pacers and trotters.

Trotting colts were most plentiful as nineteen entrants necessitated a pair of divisions, carded as races three and eight. 

The third race showcases another impressive Chapter Seven colt from the connections of Hambo favorite Walner. Seven Iron (PP #8) has been improving with each start and went his best race in an overnight last week finishing a close second in 1:56.3. Linda Toscano trains the $100,000 Harrisburg buy for Kenny Jacobs and Tim Tetrick has the drive.

There are several really nice colts in the eighth race and odds maker Dave Brower has tabbed Hill Street (PP #6) as the 3-1 choice. Hill Street is a product of the Jimmy Takter school of trotting and took a 1:56.3 record for driver Yannick Gingras in a Kindergarten leg two weeks ago. The $180,000 Lexington prize purchase by Brixton Medical, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield looks to keep his record perfect on Friday.

The fairier sex of freshman trotters is represented in the fourth race where Takter holds a pat hand with favored Chanel Me starting from the rail with Gingras. The homebred Muscle Hill lass is the first foal of the accomplished stakes winning mare To Dream On, she makes her debut in the Kindergarten for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

Pacers? We got 'em with ten colts set for the ninth where I'm A Big Deal will attempt to live up to his adorably pretentious moniker and  $300,000 price tag. He's had a pair of impressive qualifiers, though he's yet to taste victory for trainer Chris Ryder who owns the colt in partnership with Craig Henderson and Bob Mondillo. He'll leave from mid-pack in post six for Dave Miller.

Pacing fillies wrap up the eleven race card where Kissin In The Sand looks to score her second Kindergarten win from post eight. She handled the opposition easily last week taking a sharp 1:53 mark, three lengths clear of the field. Nancy Johansson trains the $130,000 yearling lass for Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield. Gingras has the drive.

It's Corntastic weekend and the buffet theme is Italian, so come early and enjoy the fun.

Post time is 7:15 p.m.

Quicksilvercandy A Keeps Going At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The old gal just keeps on chugging along. Quicksilvercandy A, a spry 13-year-old mare, won her 13th race of the season and easily took the $16,500 finale for the filly and mare pacers ($8,000-$12,500 category) in the Championship Claiming Series at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 19).

Amazingly, Quicksilvercandy A (Bad Bert-Forzett) has been in the money 23 of 26 starts in 2017. With the victory, her Buffalo Raceway earnings for the year are now at $66,629, the most since Golden Terror produced $63,084 in 2011. It also the most wins at the Hamburg half-mile oval since Ophiuchus N and That Horse JD each registered 12 in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

The triumph also sent driver Larry Stalbaum over the $1 million mark in purse earnings at Buffalo Raceway this year.

It was another gate-to-wire performance that got the job done for Quicksilvercandy A. Leaving from the six post, she posted fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:28.1 en route to a 1:57.1 victory. Quicksilvercandy A ($5.20) beat Letsgosomewhere (Ron Beback Jr.) by 2-3/4 lengths with Springhouse Star (John Cummings Jr.) taking third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, Quicksilvercandy A has earned $635,363 in her stellar career.

In the other division of the Championship Claiming Series, Heavenly Place ($19.00) won the $11,500 title for the filly and mare pacers ($4,000-$6,000) as driver David McNeight III guided her to a nose decision over Wacky Rei in a seasonal best 1:56.3. 

Heavenly Place (Riverboat King-Angel Place), a 9-year-old mare, is owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr. The win was her sixth of the season and moved her earnings to $18,724 and $232,914 lifetime.

It was a slow and steady but effective journey for Sportsmuffler as she took the scenic overland route to capture the  $10,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Sportsmuffler ($6.70) beat Classy Lane Rose by two lengths in tying her seasonal mark of 1:54.4.

Sitting fourth at the half mile marker, Sportsmuffler started her first over trip and methodically cut into the lead of the pace-setting Voltina who posted splits of 28.2, 57.1 and 1:25.4.

Turning for home, Ray Fisher Jr. shifted Sportsmuffler into a another gear and she responded perfectly by pacing away from the field. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) rallied for second and Voltina (John Cummings Jr.) held on for third.

Owned by the Lav Racing Stable and trained by Steven Kiblin, Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smores) is a 5-year-old mare who has five wins in 26 tries this year. The victory bumped her seasonal winnings to $25,734 and $179,178 lifetime.

Fisher Jr. and Monti finished the night with a driving triples with Stalbaum getting a pair. Asher and Angelo Nappo finished with a training doubles.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 9-race program scheduled. It will kickoff the final weekend of racing on the 2017 season at Buffalo Raceway.

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Goshen Yearling Sale catalog and roster now available

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – from the Goshen Yearling Sale
Goshen, NY -- The complete roster and pedigree pages for the third annual Goshen Yearling Sale on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at the Mark Ford Training Center in Middletown, NY are now available on the web. houses a PDF link of the printed sale catalog, complete with all the pedigrees for the 115 yearlings being offered.  In addition, a complete sortable roster is also available with individual links to TrackIT pedigrees which offer real time updates to current performers. 

The Goshen Yearling Sale has already produced a number of successful and up-and-coming graduates, including multiple stakes winner ROARING TO GO p,2,1:50.4 ($341,365), as well as 2017 early Season’s Leaders ALL ON TOP HANOVER p,2,1:52.3—’17 and VENIER HANOVER p,2,1:53.3f—‘17, and quite a few others that are just getting started at time of cataloging. 

The sale features strong consignments from Hanover Shoe Farms, Winbak Farm, Blue Chip Farms, Concord Stud and Cameo Hills Farm.  Colts and fillies eligible to the most attractive regional programs are included in the 56 trotters and 59 pacers cataloged. 

The first yearlings by the brilliant World Champions Captaintreacherous p,3,1:47.1 and Sweet Lou p,1:47f will also be offered. 

Hip #35 Captain Miraculous, a colt by Captaintreacherous and a brother to the $500,000 stakes winner ROCKIN FINISH p,4,1:50f, will be sold by Cameo Hills Farm and Hip #4 Jack N Jules, a Sweet Lou colt and the first foal from a sister to the World Champion BIGTOWN HERO p,1:47.3f, will be in the Concord Stud Farm consignment. 

Goshen Yearling Sale president Bob Boni noted, “We looked very carefully at this year’s racing schedule and worked closely with industry stakeholders to avoid date conflicts with other sales and major stakes races.  Ultimately, I believe we succeeded as the sale is slated for the first Sunday after Labor Day when the Northeast region is relatively quiet.” 

The sale facility is centrally located within a ninety-minute drive of all the prime Harness Racing sites in the tri-state area. 

Printed catalogs are being mailed on August 1, and will be available at the Hambletonian Festival at The Meadowlands racetrack, as well as at other area racetracks and training centers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

To request a sale catalog, please call 201-863-2082 or fill out an online request on our website:

Meadowlands OOC Requitements for Hambletonian Day Stakes

The Meadowlands is requiring that all horses entered in the stakes listed here be stabled at an approved training facility within a 150 mile radius (as the crow flies) of The Meadowlands or in the stable area at Vernon Downs by 8 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 31 and be made available for out of competition testing as requested.

The stakes are all part of the Saturday, August 5 race card; the Cane Pace, Sam McKee Memorial (US Pacing Championship) Lady Liberty, John Cashman Memorial, Dr John Steele Memorial (Fresh Yankee). 

This time frame was chosen to avoid conflict with the Spirit of Massachusetts trot and the Adios, as both of those stakes are raced the previous weekend.

There will be no charge for the stabling at Vernon and a discounted hotel rate of $20 per night will again be offered to those with these stakes horses.

Trainers for all of the horses entered in those stakes are responsible for informing The Meadowlands Racing Office at 877.782.5130 of where each horse will be stabled from July 31 until the stakes have been raced.

Questions should be directed to Brice Cote at 609.558.5062.


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, July 18, 2017—Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (July 18th) played host to the $159,500 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Trot for 2-year-fillies.

Six divisions, ranging in value from $26,000-$27,000, went postward.  The results were quite formful, as in five favorites (four at odds-on) and one second choice.

The evening fastest femme was ‘Super,’ as in Supergirl Riley (Scott Zeron, $3), who took the final ($27,000) event in 1:57.3…a tick off Barn Bella’s local track record for this sorority. From the pole, she led through intervals of  :30.1, 1:00.1 and 1:28.4.

Supergirl Riley defeated Fury Road (Ake Svanstedt) by two lengths, with Eunice (Jason Bartlett) third.

For Supergirl Riley, a daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Erv Miller for co-owners Paymaq Racing, George Coleman and Harvey Eisman, she’s won both of her career starts. The exacta paid $6, the triple (three wagering choices in order) returned $29 and the superfecta (Big Checkmate [Donald Dupont]) paid $254.

“She trained down really good and has done all we’ve asked,” Miller said. “She’s always been very quiet, but Scott (Zeron) said she seemed a bit keyed up tonight.”

Svanstedt, as trainer/driver, won consecutive ($26,000 and $27,000) sire stakes divisions with Lucky Ava ($5) in 2:00 and Plunge Blue Chip ($2.50) by 8¾ lengths in 1:59.

Both lasses made it two wins in as many statebred starts. “Ava,” a daughter of Lucky Chucky, co-owned by Svanstedt (with Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting), won her two-move effort by 4¼ lengths. Ooteeny (Mark MacDonald) was second, with Ithinkthat’smine (Chris Lems) third.

The exacta paid $18.20, with the triple returning $49.

Plunge Blue Chip, a Muscle Mass miss, is co-owned by his trainer/driver and (breeder). Blue Chip Bloodstock). White Cheetah (MacDonald), Money Dew (Mark Whitcroft) and purse-debuting Michando (Brent Holland) chased home the winner for gimmick purses.

The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $187.50 and the superfecta paid $856.

The evening’s other Hamilton events, each worth $26,500, were taken by…

--Electro Pump (by Muscles Yankee); co-owners West Wins Stables,McKinlay Fielding/trainer Casie Coleman/driver MacDonald; (first-start) 2:00.4/$7.50;
--Lucky Rainbow (by Credit Winner); owner Pinske Stables/trainer Nifty Norman/driver Jeff Gregory; (maiden-breaking) 2:01/$2.30;
--Lima Novelty (by Chapter Seven); owner Ken Jacobs/trainer Linda Toscano/driver Bartlett; (life-best 1:59.2)/$2.90.

The event again honored the memory of the longtime Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, one of the Empire State’s true movers and shakers who also happened to be one of its finest people. Bruce’s brothers, Scott and Keith, joined friends and other family to make winner’s circle presentations. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Busy Closing Week At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway begins its final week of the 2017 campaign on Wednesday night (July 19) but there's plenty on the line the last four racing days.

The Championship Claiming Series finals will be run throughout the week with the filly and mare pacers going at it on Wednesday night in two classifications. There will be two trotting brackets that will be contested on Friday evening while the horse and gelding pacers will battle in four title events on Saturday evening.

Closing day on Sunday will feature the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters along with Excelsior A and B Series races.

All eyes will be on trainer Kimberly Asher who has 113 victories on the year at Buffalo Raceway. She is just eight wins behind the all-time mark of 121 set in 2011 by Sherri Holliday.

Asher ranks seventh nationally in training wins with 117 and leads the UTR (300-499 starts) category with an astounding .469. 

Larry Stalbaum has wrapped of the driving title with 192 wins but is less than $5,000 from going over the $1 million in purse earnings.

Also up for grabs during the final week will be Pacer of the Year and Trotter of the Year honors as several candidates for these awards trying to make their final impressions.

Saturday night is Erie County Fair Night at the track with fans having the opportunity to win tickets and prizes all night long.

Wednesday's 10-race card gets underway at 5 p.m. with an $882 carryover in the Pick-5 starting in the second race. Friday will also have a 5 p.m post with Saturday getting underway at 6 p.m. and Sunday's matinee starting at 12:30 p.m.

A reminder as well that simulcasting at Buffalo Raceway will end on Sunday but will resume after the Erie County Fair is over in mid-August.

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, Tuesday, July 18, 2017—Yonkers Raceway is reminding its employees, horsemen, fans and simulcast partners about a change to its August schedule.

The change is the return of Thursday racing, beginning Aug. 3rd. Thursdays join Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with a first post of 7:10 PM.

Sunday matinees go each weekend, though we can’t offer those post times quite yet (trust us, updates when available).  

Eye OFA Tiger AS sets new Track Record - Team Miller wins 3 at Monticello

By Shawn Wiles
Photos by Geri Schwarz

It was clear that the track record for 3YOTC’s was in jeopardy, on paper any 3 of the Sire Stakes heats had the power and ability of breaking the record.  By the end of the day, all 3 divisions, either broke, tied or reset the record.

The action got started right away in the 1st race, 1st division of the regular Sire Stakes, Money Macintosh left from the rail in the short field of 5, and had the lead at the first stanza in 28.2, not content to sit the pocket Jordan Stratton pulled Lord Cromwell and re-took lead before the half ½ in 57.3.  Going down the backside Money Macintosh and Texican were both first over and in high gear, breathing down the Lords back and tripping the timer at 1:27.3. Money Macintosh had 2 lengths on the field as they turned for home, and won by the same margin in a track record of 1:56.1.  The mark of 1:56.1 erased the mark set by Habitat of 1:56.3. The Credit Winner – Apple Plush filly was trained and driven by Team Miller for owners Story Inc. of Township NJ.  It was the first win of the year for 

Money Macintosh, Dexter Cup Winner Lord Cromwell tired in deep stretch and finished 3rd.
The sharp looking son of Chapter 7, Neon Lights and Brian Sears let Cresurrey show the way briefly, but by the ¼ mile pole Neon Lights was on the move first over and had the lead and showed the field thru panels of 28.2, 57.1 1:26.3 to win by 2 lengths over Arch Credit (Jordan Stratton) and Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) in 1:56.1, tying the track record set 6 races prior for 3 YOTC’s.  The 1/5 betting favorite Guardian Angel AS made a break at the start and lost all chances, but rallied to make up a ton of ground and held on gamely to finish 4th.  The win was Neon Lights first NYSS trip to the winner’s circle in 2017, for trainer George Ducharme, and paid $26.40 to win.

The race of the day came in race 8, final heat of the regular Sire Stakes, Eye OFA Tiger AS was seeking his 4-straight win, the son of Chapter 7, went down the road and lead at every station 28.1, 58.0, 1:27.0 and scored a scant neck wire to wire victory over a tough Stick With Kid to re-established a new track record of 1:56.0. Eye OFA Tiger AS is trained by Anette Lorentzon and was driven into the record books by Jason Bartlett and returned $3.20. The Walner looking clone has now earned over $90,000 for owners ACL Stuteri and Kjell Johansson Aces and Eights finished 3rd

The Excelsior A series saw Zacks Zoomer win by a head in 1:57.3, narrowly defeating Winneress for the Marcus Miller – Erv Miller team. Big Man EV gave Andy Miller his 2nd win of the afternoon in 1:57.2, besting Sweetchap by a scant head for his second win of 2017.  Southwind Cruze (Chapter 7) scored in 1:59.2 for Team Miller, giving them the hat trick.

In Excelsior B competition Deepwell (Conway Hall) won by 2 lengths in 1:59.4 - $15.00, for trainer Ed Hart and driver Jordan Stratton and Too Much Man held off Barn Winner for driver Paul Long in 1:58.2, for his 4th win of the year.

Chapter 7 had 3 sons entering the winners circle, total handle on the 13-race card was $520,133, Pick 5 carryover for tomorrows card is $1,520.00.  The next Sire Stakes are 2-Year-Old Colt Pacers on July 24th.

Monday, July 17, 2017


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

YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 17, 2017—Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (July 18th) plays host to a bevy  of young ladies, comprising the $159,500 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Trot for 2-year-fillies.

The event again honors the memory of the longtime Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, one of the Empire State’s true movers and shakers who also happened to be one of its finest people.

There are no shortage of first-season females hitting town, as in six divisions (races 5 through 10) during the dozen-race card. First post is the usual 7:10 PM. The groupings go for anywhere from $26,000-$27,000, depending upon number of starters.

The road to the winner’s circle in a fair amount of these divisions seemingly goes though co-owner/trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt.

Lucky Ava drew outside her six rivals in the third division. The daughter of Lucky Chucky, co-owned by Svanstedt (with Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting), went the distance (2:01.3) in her Buffalo bow.

            Svanstedt and Plunge Blue Chip (post 5) loom a short price in the fourth event. The Muscle Mass miss, co-owned (with breeder Blue Chip Bloodstock), threw down a two-minute gauntlet in her purse debut, also in a New York Sire Stakes event at Hamburg.

Svanstedt teams with Natalie Hanover (post 7) from the outside venue in the penultimate Hamilton event. As with her stablemates, ‘Natalie’ shuffled off to Buffalo and won (2:04) at first (NYSS) asking. The Chapter Seven miss is co-owned by Svanstedt-Nasstrom Stable, Van Camp Trotting, Anders Olsson and Lars Berg.

The stable’s lone first-out non-winner, Fury Road, starts from post No..2 in the evening’s final statebred event. The daughter of Muscle Mass, owned by Knuttson Trotting, finished a solid second in her debut.

Not every early-season standout is sent out by Svanstedt.

Ooteeny (Mark MacDonald, post 3) landed in the third NYSS event fresh off a 31-1 Buffalo bedazzler (2:03.4). The daughter of Credit Winner is trained by Jim Campbell for owner Runthetable Stables.

Lima Novelty (Jason Bartlett, post 3), the lass who picked off Fury Road in western New York (2:01.3), found her way into the evening’s fifth foray. This Chapter Seven lass is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano.

Bettorsluckystreak captures Tioga Downs Featured Pace ($9,000).

Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart Jr.) took the featured matinee pace on Sunday afternoon (July 16) at Tioga Downs.  

Believe This Bob (Aaron Byron) would take the lead and own all the early fractions, :25.4, :55.1, 1:22.3.
Bettorsluckystreak (Better's Delight), who is owned by Ken Weckstein, Richard Rubin and trainer Gary Messenger, would ride the pocket the whole way until the top of the stretch.  He would storm to the front and win with a lifetime best of 1:51.0.  Bettorsluckystreak ($11.60) would win for the fourth time in 21 starts this season.  Team Captain (Fern Paquet Jr.) would come late to finish second.  Believe This Bob would settle for third.

Scott Coulter who is known as "The Tan Tornado" was the only storm that hit Tioga Downs on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.  Coulter would win with Gold Star Spike ($8.00).  His second victory came with Fritzie Pic Up Man ($3.80).  "The Tan Tornado" would guide Ideal Legacy A to an upset victory, paying $37.60 for the win.  His last win came on the last race of the day, leading Anderlecht ($6.20) to a gate-to-wire victory.

Mike Simons added 2 more wins on Sunday giving him 49   for the season.  Mike Merton is in second with 31 victories.

Tioga Downs is back live on Friday (July 21) starting at 6:50.  The track from Nichols, NY will be featuring their annual "Miss Tioga Downs Pageant" in between races.

For more information go to

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Betterthangraduate Wins NYSS Showdown At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- In what looked to be a showdown between three previous winners in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly pacers, Betterthangraduate turned it into a blow out by destroying her competition in 1:57.1, the fastest of the three $36,000 (approx.) divisions at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 16).

Betterthangraduate had to battle Walk From Heaven and Twin B Peaches who each had successful debuts in Vernon Down on July 7. But only one was going to come out with bragging rights and that was Betterthangraduate (Chris Lems) who easily beat Twin B Peaches by a comfortable 3-1/2 lengths.

In the other two legs ,Ubettergo Go was sent off at 1-to-9 odds and she responded like a heavy favorite should by romping to an easy two length victory over American Myth in 1:57.2 while Another Lawsuit got a perfect trip and pounced on the opportunity late to nip the pace-setting Kim's The Best by a neck in 1:57.3.

Fresh off a 1:55 victory in the Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs, Betterthangraduate made it two straight victories with a gate-to-wire journey around the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval. With fractions of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:28.2, Bettergraduate only received a minor challenge in the last panel from Twin B Peaches (Jody Jamieson) but it wasn't nearly enough. Princess Dalia (Marcus Miller) took the show position.

Betterthangraduate (Betterthancheddar-Western Graduate) has now won twice in three career starts for trainer Ron Burke, putting $35,658 in the bank. She is co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Silva Purnel & Libby, Pete Collura and Weaver Bruscemi.

Ubettergo Go is also undefeated in her two New York Sire Stakes races. She had no issues in trouncing the field that was scratched down to five due as Classy Chris and Azreal As It Gets were excused due to illness.

With fractions of 29.8, 59.4 and 1:29.4, Ubettergo Go ($2.10) breezed to the wire while American Myth (Dan Rawlings) and Pleasant Beauty (Marcus Miller) finished in second and third respectively.

Co-owned by trainer Blake MacIntosh, Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas and Ozzie MacKay, Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think) increased her seasonal bankroll to $31,858.

Another Lawsuit (Jim Morrill Jr.) sprung a $14.00 surprise in the opening division as she made a last gasp effort from the pocket to push past the pace-setting Kim's The Best. Sand Artist (Marcus Miller) took the third place check.

Owned by Carl Stackheim and trained by Nicholas DeVita, it was the first win in two starts for Another Lawsuit (American Ideal-Court Stenographer).

In the Excelsior A Series, KJ's Bekah zoomed around the track in 1:58.2 to register the $3.00 victory for Jamieson to highlight the three $15,000 classifications. Never Walk Alone produced a huge $66.50 upset in 2:00.0 with Chris Lems in the sulky while KJ's Justine (Brett Miller) notched a popular $2.30 decision in 2:00.1. 

Jericho Diva (Monti) produced the fastest time in the Excelsior B Series with a 1:58.2 time and returned $2.70 for the win. Surreal Feeling uncorked a $22.00 shocker in 2:00.2 for Marcus Miller while Pasta Blue Chip (Jamieson) took the final $6,600 bracket with a 2:00.1 trip that returned $3.50.

Jamieson finished the afternoon with three wins with Lems, Monti and Marcus Miller getting doubles. Toscano and MacIntosh had a pair of training victories.

There was a mishap during the Excelsior A Series, the fourth race on the card. Drivers Larry Stalbaum and Morrill Jr. were involved with both being taken off their remaining rides on the card. Only Stalbaum was taken to the Erie County Medical Center to be evaluated. The filly pacers Eazy Spreezy and Tell Me A Joke both appeared to be uninjured.

The final week of the 2017 season will begin on Wednesday night with 10 races scheduled. There's a $882 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

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


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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 16, 2017—There was a fair amount of Yonkers Raceway symmetry Sunday afternoon (July 16th), as Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett)—at 12-1—won the $68,000 Open Handicap Trot—from post position No. 12. 

Working out a perfect second-over sojourn from the back of the bus, Hemi Seelster was towed into the race by no less than International Trot world champion Resolve (Ake Svanstedt). The latter, after leaving for a seat, haD to rough it first-up against Obrigado (Mark MacDonald).

That one, caught three-deep early, led through sensible-enough intervals of 28.1, :58.4, 1:28.4 and 1:57.3.

However Obrigado, with a length-and-a-quarter lead entering the lane, was unable to close the sale.  Hemi Seelster went by, winning a blanket photo for the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:26.2.

The wagering choice in each of his last two starts, Hemi Seelster paid $26.80 this time around.

            Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears), another dozen-to-one proposition, roared home from third-over to miss a head. Obrigado saved the bottom the ticket, beaten a neck with Maestro Blue Chip (Brent Holland) and Buen Camino (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder (the five payees were separated by three-quarters of a length).

Resolve, meanwhile, faded to eighth as the 4-5 favorite, the first time he crossed the line worse than fourth since Svanstedt’s first start with him (May 15, ’15).

For sixth choice Hemi Seelster, a 5-year-old Holiday Road gelding co-owned by Howard Taylor & Abraham Basen and trained by Rich Banca, it was his sixth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $226.50, with the triple returning $10,686.

Sunday’s latest installment of the ‘New York, New York Double’ offered a winning combination of 1-Karma Delight (Belmont’s 3rd race) and 3-Ultimate Shopper (Yonkers’ 7th race) paid $12.40 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,208.

The gimmick wager now shifts to Saratoga as its thoroughbred venue when that meeting begins Friday (July 21st). Note the Raceway’s next two Sunday post time are 12:30 PM (July 23rd) and 11:30 AM (July 30th), respectively.

New York Sire Stakes return her Tuesday night (July 18th), with the $159,500 Bruce Hamilton Trot for 2-year-old fillies. 

Rose on Top in ‘Cap Contest

(July 16, 2017) –   Meadowlands Pace Weekend brought fourteen tilts for consideration by the Hambletonian Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge handicappers and when the dust settled, Matt Rose took top honors for the week earning 92 points which allowed him to retake the overall lead with a grand total of 543.13 points, 1.18 points ahead of second place Rusty Nash (541.95 pts.). 

On Friday night’s (July 14) Meadowlands card, Rose swept the evening’s slate of four races, earning a net profit of $10.10 in the fave fest.  Anne Stepien, with only two winners, came in second with a net profit of $7.20 besting a quadruplet of handicappers with three winners each.

Meadowlands Pace night (July 15) was another night favoring favorites which brought us Steve Horoky and Rusty Nash who each had a 70% strike rate with seven winners but it was Terry Wilson with five winners who took the leg with a net profit of $40.10 by selecting the lone longshot of the evening  Mach It So ($34.60) to win the William Haughton Memorial.  Finishing second for the night, also tabbing the longshot was Megan Maccario with $38.20 net.

Standings as of Saturday, July 15, 2017 - Leg #30
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Last Week
Matt Rose
Rusty Nash
Megan Maccario

Russ Adams

Gordon Waterstone
Sally Hinckley
Ray Garnett
Dennis O’Hara
Steve Horoky
Jay Hochstetler
Terry Wilson
Anne Stepien
Michael Carter
Bryan Owen
Adam Friedland
Ray Cotolo

Next Up:  Juveniles of both gaits and sexes take to the Meadowlands for another leg of the Kindergarten Classic on Friday, July 21.  Saturday evening features the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Harness.  The following weekend features the Arden Downs and the inaugural Spirit of Massachusetts at The Meadows and Plainridge Park on Friday while Saturday brings us the Adios Day card at The Meadows as the Meadowlands hosts the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations in addition to the Reynolds for three-year-old trotters.

The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//