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Sunday, April 30, 2017


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 29, 2017—Lady’s Dude (George Brennan, $7.30) and All Bets Off (Brennan again, $4.80) shared the Saturday night spotlight, winning Yonkers Raceway’s pair of $55,000 co-featured Open Handicaps.

After a couple of no-shot eight-holes, Lady’s Dude found this post position No. 5 assignment more than acceptable in the week’s featured trot.

Caught three-deep early, Lady’s Dude made the lead just before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile.  He then rated a 56.4 intermission before 17-10 favorite Melady’s Monet (Brett Miller), who had left for a seat, moved from fourth.

However, he couldn’t get close and with a pocketed Not Afraid (Dan Dube) gapping, Lady’s Dude had a lonely lead in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters.

The advantage was a couple of lengths entering the lane and an unpressured length-and-a-quarter at the wire, finding it in 1:54.3…fastest local mile of the season.

Aggressive (Jason Bartlett) saved ground for second, with Not Afraid third. Buen Camino offered good late interest for fourth, with Luck O’ the Irish (Jordan Stratton) getting the final envelope and ‘Melady’ fading to seventh.

For Lady’s Dude, a 6-year-old Victory Sam gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Johnny Yoder and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his fourth win in nine seasonal starts (career earnings now over a half-million dollars). The exacta paid $63, with the triple returning $267.

The week’s adult-table pace had three unoccupied seats, as Levy Series winner Keystone Velocity and consolation winner Clear Vision were among the defections.

The quintet was in need of a leader, and—from post No. 3—favored All Bets Off picked up that gauntlet. Though not the Free-For-Aller he used to be, All Bets Off was more than good enough when left (:27.4, 56.3, 1:24.3, 1:52.1) to his own devices.

After taking a 2½-length lead into the lane, he held off a from-last Roland N Rock (Stratton) by three-quarters of a length. Santa Fe Beachboy (Bartlett),. Lucan Hanover (Tyler Buter) and a season-debuting Luck Be Withyou (Brian Sears) rounded out the order/payees.

For All Bets Off, a 6-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight trained by Burke for co-owners himself, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his first win in five ’17 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with triple and superfecta wagering cancelled.



Harold “Sonny” Winslow wins $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 29, 2017) – Horseplayers were salivating at the prospects of chasing a rare Pick Four carryover entering Saturday's program at the Meadowlands. The first such carryover since December of nearly $62,000 attracted more than $226,000 in new money to comprise a total pool of $288,482.

Players looking to lean on a favorite were disappointed as the chalk went 0 for 4. Second-choice Sam Hill kicked off the Pick Four, winning a narrow photo over favored JK Will Power to pay $8.20.

Four-year-old stakes horses prepping for next week's Graduate Series Pace took center stage in Race 8. Little Brown Jug runner-up and Breeders Crown elimination winner Western Fame converted a perfect pocket trip behind millionaire Check Six to score at $16.80 with even-money favorite Boston Red Rocks third.

Down Under import Quick Asa Trick made his North American debut a winning one for fellow Down Under imports Darran Cassar and Andrew McCarthy. The $13.60 mutuel set the stage for the payoff leg.

9-1 chance Dustlanemissmolly went right to the front for Joe Bongiorno and held off the late charge of 6-5 favorite Phyllis Jean to close out the sequence.

The winning 50-cent combination returned $1,036.50.

The action was also intense in the $50,000 BetAmerica World Harness Handicapping Championship. A field of 92 took their shot at the $20,000 first-place prize and title of harness handicapper of the year. Harold “Sonny” Winslow from Central New York turned his $300 bankroll into $1,809 to capture the title. He won by $460 over K. Koper. 2014 champion Robert McMasters finished third with $1,323.50. Winslow won his way into the final by winning a qualifying tournament at Vernon Downs. Fellow Vernon qualifier Jeffrey Billings finished fifth while Brandon Valvo, 21, from Upstate New York playing in his first tournament, finished fourth.

Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,767,494. Racing resumes next Friday. Post time is 7:15 p.m.

For more information, visit

Gallant Seelster Wires Field In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gallant Seelster ($5.30) is finding the rail at Buffalo Raceway to be in his comfort zone. For the second time in three weeks, Gallant Seelster went gate-to-wire from the pylons and won the $10,000 Open Pace with a seasonal best 1:53.2 on Saturday night (April 28).

Drawing the rail in the field of six, Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) took off from the start and posted splits of 28.1, 56.1 and 1:25.0.

Shady City (Larry Stalbaum), who got parked for most of the race, battled Gallant Seelster down the stretch but ended up a neck short while China Dream (Jack Rice) finished in third.

Co-owned by Peter Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., Gallant Seelster (Stonebridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is a 7-year-old gelding that now has won seven times in 17 races in 2017. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $43,978 and $432,907 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings finished the evening with four victories in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. and Stalbaum doubled. Kim Asher and Sabrina Clevenger each had two training wins.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled. There will be two finals in the Championship Claiming Series with the filly and mare pacers taking center stage.

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

Vernon Downs optimistic after meeting with legislative officials in Albany

Racino feels necessary tax relief imminent and racing season will commence soon

Vernon, N.Y. – April 29, 2017 – Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, announced today that he has decided to open the 2017 racing season next Friday, May 5, 2017, following a productive meeting in Albany on Wednesday.  New York State Senator Joseph Griffo, representing the 47th District, New York State Senator John Bonacic, Chair of the Senate Racing Gaming and Wagering Committee, New York State Assemblyman J Gary Pretlow, Chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, and Beth Garvey, top counsel to the Senate Republicans, were among the top political officials in attendance for Wednesday’s meeting in Albany. In addition, Mr. Gural met on Thursday with Jamie Rubin on the Governor’s staff who also seemed to understand the issues and the importance to the community of keeping Vernon Downs open. 

Two weeks ago, Jeff Gural announced that Vernon Downs would be delaying the opening day of racing amid significant financial losses due to the added competition from Yellow Brick Road, Lago and Rivers.  Final preparations were underway at Vernon Downs to open the 64th season of live harness racing, which was set for Friday, April 21.  However, increased competition from the addition of these three casinos with table games has taken revenue away from the property and caused Vernon to be losing on average about $150,000 per month since November.  Jeff Gural indicated that tax relief requested from New York State, is necessary and would still allow Vernon to continue to employ approximately 300 local workers, preserve horse racing jobs and still allow approximately ten million dollars to go to education. 

“We were extremely disappointed to postpone the opening day of racing at Vernon Downs, however we feel very optimistic that necessary tax relief will come our way. Recognizing the hardship placed on the horsemen, Mr. Gural has decided to begin the season next Friday, May 5, 2017.  I would like to thank Senator Griffo, Senator Bonacic, Assemblyman Pretlow and Ms. Garvey for their productive discussion at Wednesday’s meeting in Albany.  Since reopening Vernon as a racino in 2006, we have given close to $150 million to the State for education, yet Vernon Downs has the highest tax rate of its competitors.  We look forward to getting this rectified expeditiously which is why we decided to open the new racing season next week which we know will benefit the region as well as the State of New York. 

The racino is hopeful that local officials will continue to weigh in and convince the State legislature to act quickly to help save the hundreds of jobs currently at risk at Vernon Downs.  The horsemen also agree to support legislation that would lower the tax rate that would enable Vernon to have a solid long term future. 

Final preparations are underway at Vernon Downs to open the 64th season of live harness racing on Friday, May 5th.

Other highlights of opening night include a race date t-shirt and wall calendar giveaway while supplies last plus a spectacular fireworks display following the evening’s final race.
Join us Saturday May 6th to watch and wager the Kentucky Derby. Derby post time is scheduled for 6:46 p.m. Live racing will take place with a doubleheader with post times at 2:35pm and 7:05pm, the Derby hat contest and our Food Truck Rodeo Festival from 2pm-8pm on the apron.

On the track, Vernon Downs will host live racing Thursday thru Saturday with a few Sunday and usual holiday Monday matinee races planned. Several top-class stakes races including the Empire Breeders Classic, Zweig Memorial and Kindergarten Classic round out the 2017 racing calendar.

In addition to its video lottery terminals, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit

Friday, April 28, 2017


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – On Saturday, May 6th, join Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment – for an exciting day and night of simulcast & live racing action, including the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs.

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will open at 9:30am with free parking and free admission. Before a full day of racing and partying, get in a complete meal at Victory Sports Bar. Victory will be serving a Derby themed buffet beginning at 11:30am for $49.95. Dishes will include sides and starters like Mashed Sweet Potatoes, home-made Mac & Cheese, and Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings, entrees like Southern Fried Chicken and Pulled Pork Sliders, and assorted pastries and cookies for dessert.  For reservations call 201-THE-BIG-M (201-843-2446).

All day, enjoy Woodford Reserve bourbon, the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby,” and bourbon specials including mint juleps for $9.

Ladies are welcome to express their fashion sense and style by entering the $850 Derby Hat Contest with no boundaries on how over-the-top the headwear can go.  The most outrageous hat wins the $500 grand prize. Signup between 2:00pm to 4:45pm with the judging at 5:00pm in the Winner’s Circle.

Plus all guests over 18 years of age can enter the $100 Derby Win Wager contest.  Ten lucky contestants will be selected to place a $100 win wager on any horse of their choice in the Kentucky Derby. 

After the Derby, guests are welcome to enjoy a night full of live harness racing at the Meadowlands with the first post time set for 7:15pm.  Pink, the tiered dining room with perfect views of the live racing action, will feature a few Southern inspired options on their $54.95 buffet menu created by Executive Chef Dennis Sammarone.  Pink will open at 4:30 pm and reservations are strongly recommended as space is extremely limited.  To reserve a table call 201-THE-BIG-M (201-843-2446).

Prizes continue into the night with ten $100 win wagers on live harness racing beginning at 6:00pm.

To make reservations or book your private event, call (201) 843-2446 or email

Top Pacers at The Meadowlands on Saturday

East Rutherford, NJ - Several more stakes stars of last season will make their return to the races on Saturday night at The Meadowlands. With the first of three Graduate Series pacing legs set for May 6, Boston Red Rocks, Check Six and Western Fame gather in the evening's eighth race to get their four-year-old seasons underway with an eye on that target.

Boston Red Rocks was the top freshman of the 2015 class and had a successful if not spectacular sophomore season, picking up over $400,000 and edging past $1 million in career earnings for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Trainer Steve Elliott put three qualifiers into him, the most recent a solid closing 1:50.1 win from off the pace for regular driver Tim Tetrick.

Check Six had a million dollar season last year, dominating the Pennsylvania program while winning eleven times including the PASS final and PA Classic and having a presence on the Grand Circuit for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Switala and Martin. He's had two preps going in for trainer Ron Burke with Yannick Gingras at the lines, his latest a 1:52.2 score with a 26 flat kicker.

Western Fame was virtually unraced at two but blossomed into a major stakes winner last summer for trainer Jimmy Takter. He won a heat of the Jug and a division of the Bluegrass, earning nearly a half million dollars for Brittany Farms with Mark Mac Donald doing the bulk of the driving.

They'll sort it out on Saturday while gaining form toward future Grand Circuit engagements

Saturday also marks the $50,000 final of the World Harness Handicapping Challenge and it is not to late to enter the competition.


   By john manzi for the Billings Series

Known in the Billings Series as “the Headhunter” because in his professional life he’s an executive recruiter, Bob Hechkoff added another victory to his amateur driving credentials when he reined The Franchise to a 1:59.4 victory in a Billings Trot eastern region event which was contested as a non-wagering affair at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, April 27.

After starting from the seven-hole Hechkoff eased his trotter to the pylons and fell into third position. “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo took early command with Signal Hill OK only to relinquish the lead to “Coach Paul” Minore and Wygant Prince who then led the seven-horse field past the first stanza :29.2.

As they headed to the halfway point Hechkoff moved The Franchise first-up and they cleared Minore’s trotter before the three quarter timer flashed 1:29.4.

“I had The Franchise in high gear and we opened up two lengths,” Hechkoff recalled. “As we straightened for home Minore came at us with Wygant Prince but horse was up to the challenge and dug in and was strong right to the wire.”

Three trotters came to paydirt just necks apart but The Franchise got last call which gave “The Headhunter” his third seasonal driving victory, a neck winner over Wygant Prince in the 1:59.4 mile.. The other horse in the three-horse photo, Landonfitz, came from far back for Dave “Steady as“ Yarock and each of the top three finishers were individually timed in 1:59.4.
The Franchise, a 7-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding, is owned by RBH Ventures and trained by Kyle Spagnola. For Hechkoff, the victory was his 92nd of his amateur driving career.

Next Bilings action will be in the mid-west region at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday, May 7.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


 by john manzi for NAADA

Two exciting races in the North American Amateur Drivers Association trotting series went to post on the betting card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Apr. 27) and upon their completion Alan Schwartz and Tony Ciuffetelli each were victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz scored a come-from behind triumph with I’m Fabulous in 1:59 while Ciuffetell used the front end route for a 2:00.3 victory with Avivas Winner.

Schwartz, who was the National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000, has spent most of the recent seasons racing against professionals while carrying amateur status.

Today (Thurs April 27) at the Mighty M he hustled I’m Fabulous away from the mobile gate and settled in behind the betting favorite Current Crisis (Bobby Krivelin) and was content to follow the leader as Krivelin cut fractions of :30-1:00.4 and 1:29.4 all the way to the top of the lane at which point Schwartz tipped his  mare to the outside trotted to away to a two-length victory over Current Crisis. Third place went to AJ Destiny driven by Bob Davis.

“I figured if I could get in behind ‘Kriv’(elin) on the first turn and then let his horse cut the fractions I’d have a good chance to  beat him in the stretch,” Schwartz said after his driving victory. “And it worked out perfect as my mare was the strong horse in the lane.”

Although he has been participating in amateur races at Monticello and Yonkers Raceways in recent years Schwartz has been reluctant to travel the Billings circuit as he did in the early 2000’s.

“I have a small stable and get plenty of action at Monticello so I don’t have to travel far away to drive,” Schwartz explained.

It was his ninth winning drive this season and over the years Schwartz has won 584 races ranking him second all-time behind “Boots” Dunn’s 1152.
I’m Fabulous is owned by Brenda Messenger and Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger. She paid $5.40 for win.

The other NAADA event saw Tony Ciuffetelli and Avivas Winner trot to the lead as they came off the first turn and use the front end route to score an exciting victory with three horses just heads apart at the finish.

“My horse likes the front end and as long as I keep the wraps on him so he doesn’t got too fast to the half he finishes strong,” Ciuffetelli explained. “He wasn’t that strong today but strong enough to hold off  (Tony) Verruso (with Pocket Passer) and (Bob) Krivelin (with Superiorcourt) for the victory.”

Comfortable all the way until the backside the second time around Ciuffetelli’s trotter was joined by Tim Lizzi (Joe Lee) nearing the third quarter but that trotter went off-stride erasing Lee’s chances at victory. However, Verruso moved Pocket Passer, who was following Tim Lizzi, up alongside Avivas Winner as Krivelin moved in closer along the pylons hopefully awaiting a chance to rally in the passing lane.

Around the final turn the three leaders were all set for the stretch drive but Avivas Winner showed real grit keeping both Pocket Passer and Superiorcourt at bay and trotted on to a neck victory over the former with Pocket Passer a length back in third place.
Avivas Winner is owned by Scheigert  Racing Stable and trained by Amanda Kelley. He returned a $12.40 win mutuel.

With the completion of five NAADA series legs Krivelin’s 42 points are two better than Schwartz’s. Third, with 32 points, is John Kokinos while Joe Lee (23) and Tony Verruso (21) round out the top five in series points.


New Jersey-native brings more than 25 years of marketing and special events experience 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 27, 2017) – Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is proud to announce the appointment of Andrea Lokshin to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Ms. Lokshin began her role on April 25.

Ms. Lokshin comes to the Meadowlands with more than 25 years of experience in the retail, consumer products, spirits and automotive industries. Ms. Lokshin has had extensive experience in marketing, sponsorships, promotions, event planning, social media, sales, budgeting and creative execution.

“Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is a spectacular venue that needs to be shared and experienced by everyone,” said Lokshin. “Not only can you enjoy a night at the races, watch sporting events or dance the night away at Victory, but we have endless opportunities to create customized private, corporate and public events.  Once you see our venue, you won’t go anywhere else!”

In her previous position, Ms. Lokshin worked for Experience Six of Drive Shop USA, an experiential marketing agency, where she led and managed events across the Northeast for the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group.  Prior to Experience Six, she worked at Bacardi USA, representing the company’s most prestigious liquor brands (Bacardi, Grey Goose, Bombay, Dewar’s & Martini) and was responsible for launching new brands to market, creating/executing events and developing partnerships across the Tri-State. She has also worked for Unilever as well as Toys “R” Us, where she was part of the founding team that led the marketing efforts behind the International flagship store in Times Square. 

“Andrea has considerable knowledge of marketing, and event planning,” said Jason Settlemoir, Meadowlands COO/GM. “We are looking forward to her brand new ideas and thoughts on how to better our top line revenue as well as our bottom line. Andrea has an extensive network of professional relationships that she can leverage in helping us with our goals here at the Meadowlands Racetrack in bringing in new customers to our state-of-the-art facility. Andrea came highly recommended to Mr. Gural and I, and her resume speaks for itself.”

In addition, Ms. Lokshin will work to establish new branding and messaging so Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment becomes a destination, and maximize existing partnerships to enhance consumer experience.

Ms. Lokshin lives in Woodcliff Lake, NJ with her husband Jeff and 13-year-old twins Matthew and Rachael.
For more information, visit

Cal Expo Saturday Advance

Army Of One, Western Devil do battle
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Army Of One and Western Devil, who have dominated the division this season, go at it once again in Saturday night’s featured $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing males.

An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:15 p.m. There will also be a California Sire Stakes for the sophomore fillies to be decided as a non-betting affair prior to the regular card.

Army Of One is a homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel’s and the Artsplace mare Aftermatch who races for Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will as usual have Mooney Svendsen guiding.

The Knittel performer accounted for the first four Sire Stakes of the season in impressive fashion on the frond end, but had to settle for second in the most recent big-money clash on April 8 as Western Devil overpowered him in the final stages that evening.

The latter is a Power Of Art homebred who races for Frank Nevarez, is conditioned by Edwin Quevedo and has Luke Plano giving directions. After checking in second behind arch-rival Army Of One in the three of the first four stakes gathering, he was able to turn the table in that last one while coming home smartly.

Taking them on are Muscle Beach, who also hails from the Johnson barn and will have Steve Wiseman in the sulky; and Firstdibbs, who will have the services of James Kennedy.

Next week will feature the final two nights of the current meet, with programs slated for Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6. Harness racing is scheduled to return to Cal Expo in late October

Arnold, Bergstein lived up to the billing

Last week’s Stan Bergstein Trot and Lloyd Arnold Pace showcased some top performers,  with Zoraze scoring a decisive win in the former while I’m An Athlete hung a nose decision on favored Barbarian in the Arnold.

Despite not having seen evening action since January 13, Zoraze was certainly ready to rock and roll in the Bergstein off a pair of qualifiers for the team of owner Jamie Marra, trainer Sparky Clarke and pilot Luke Plano.

Zoraze left into a perfect pocket trip from his No. 2 slot, took command on the final bend and then left the field in his dust once straightened for home in a 1:56 peformance. At the wire, it was some three and three-quarter lengths back to the hard-hitting mare My Little Susie, with favored Flameon checking in third.

The Clarke/Plano team looked poised to pull off the Bergstein/Arnold double with Barbarian the following night, or at least that’s what the public thought as they sent Robert Orr colorbearer off at 40 cents on the dollar.

I’m An Athlete had other ideas, however, as the Lino Pacheco trainee proved ultra game on the front-end for James Kennedy and prevailed by a nose over Barbarian in a 1:53 2/5 tour.

It was the fourth victory in the last five starts for the 7-year-old son of Art Major, who carries the banner of Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and pushed his career bankroll close to the $140,000 mark with that decision.


Revamped broadcasts to begin with Championship Meet on May 5

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 27, 2017) – The award-winning Meadowlands Racetrack television broadcast will have a decidedly different look when the Championship Meet begins on May 5.

Former Meadowlands handicapper and television host Dave Brower is rejoining the Big M television team after six years away. Brower grew up five minutes from the Meadowlands in nearby Passaic. He previously served as the track’s morning line oddsmaker, handicapper, and broadcaster for 16 years from 1987 to 2011. He has also co-hosted CBS Sports Network’s coverage of The Hambletonian, Meadowlands Pace, and Little Brown Jug with Hall of Famer Gary Seibel and his new co-host at the Meadowlands, Justin Horowitz.

“I think it'll be great to be back at the Meadowlands after a long six years since I left,” said Brower. “The timing is right for a return, and with the Championship Meet coming up, and the chance to work with my good friends Ken Warkentin, Bob Heyden, Justin Horowitz and all the good folks in the TV Department again, I think it's a good fit for everybody. I hope we'll bring a new and vibrant approach to what is already an exciting stakes season leading up to the Hambletonian.  I am very much looking forward to it, and I would like to thank Jeff Gural and Jason Settlemoir for this new opportunity.”

Brower will be joined by a new face to the Meadowlands. Gabe Prewitt, 33, will also join the broadcast team. The Kentucky native has been the announcer at Pompano Park in South Florida since 2013 and added the role of Director of Racing Operations in 2016. The U.S. Harness Writers Association Breakthrough Award recipient in 2015 is widely respected for his deep understanding of handicapping, wagering, and horsemen’s issues.

“As someone who has spent countless hours watching races at The Meadowlands, it is truly an honor to be invited to join the first-class broadcast team, while having a ringside seat for the world-class racing as part of the Championship Meet this summer,” said Prewitt. “I look forward to contributing in any way that I can, and am thankful and excited for the opportunity.”

Brower will also return to his previous role of morning line oddsmaker and program handicapper. He will officially begin on Friday, May 5, opening night of the Championship Meet, while Prewitt will begin on June 2 after the South Florida season concludes.

For more information, visit

Big Weekend at The Big M (JL Cruze 1:49.4 Lisa Photo)

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has an intriguing and eventful weekend on the horizon, hosting eleven races on both Friday and Saturday evenings with stakes types beginning to populate the card and the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Challenge final on Saturday.

Friday's offering has a pair of features with a stout group of eight pacing mares set to go in the sixth race and an octet of trotters, several of whom are prepping for next Saturday's Arthur Cutler Memorial, in the seventh race $20,000 Preferred trot.

Darlinonthebeach and Penpal are a pair of accomplished four-year-old mares preparing to possibly take on male rivals in the first leg of the $1 million Graduate series, also scheduled for next Saturday.

Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) successfully battled the best sophomore fillies on her way to earning $671,000 while taking her 1:48.1 record in a division of the Glen Garnsey last fall in Lexington for White Birch Farm and trainer Nancy Johansson.

Penpal faced the division leaders and earned more than $200,000 without a stakes win for trainer/driver Pat La Chance who owns her in partnership with M&M Harness Racing.

They'll find the test their connections may seek in making that decision by facing strong competition here. Chief among the opponents are the battle tested veteran Inittowinafortune (Corey Callahan) who won the class last week along with the multiple stakes winning Blue Moon Stride (Andy Mc Carthy) coming in off an impressive qualifier and Prairie Sweetheart (John Campbell) whose unblemished career record recently came to an end.

The trotting race is deep with talent as well with several of the participants prepping for next Saturday's $200,000e Arthur Cutler Memorial Free For All.

It marks the first seasonal start for the venerable JL Cruze who is paired for the first time with driver Dave Miller. If earning over $230,000 in a season can be termed disappointing, that may well have been the case for JL Cruze's connection in 2016. Despite some solid efforts, he didn't find the form of 2015 when he became the first (and only) trotter to shade 1:50 at The Meadowlands with his 1:49.4 Graduate Final win. Trainer Eric Ell continues to tinker with his routine trying to have him at his best this season for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta.

Dayson (Yannick Gingras) and Maestro Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) each boast a strong stakes résumé and are making their first money starts of the season while the balance of the field has been busy racing and earning throughout the spring.

"Greek Night" is the theme in Pink's trackside buffet this week, so make those reservations for Friday evening dining.

Horseplayers are making their annual pilgrimage to the mecca of harness racing to compete in the year's biggest contest, the $50,000 pool World Harness Handicapping Challenge on Saturday night. Contestants are welcomed on Friday evening with a buffet party and a tour to get familiar with the building. It's not too late to enter and see how you stack up against the best and maybe take a big check home with you for your efforts.  

First post is 7:15 p.m.

Allerage Star Retired

Top homebred trotting mare Allerage Star (5,M) has been retired due to a fractured pelvis. Allerage Star, a daughter of Angus Hall out of the trotting mare Starry Eyed (Muscles Yankee), owned by Jeff Gural’s Little E LLC, David Stolz, Arthur Geiger and Jason Settlemoir, earned more than $415,000 in 62 career starts. The “quick footed” mare won 17 of those 62 starts, while finishing first, second or third 36 times. Allerage Star took a lifetime mark last year of 1:52.3 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.   

Allerage Star made her last career start at Harrah’s Philadelphia where she finished fourth and was immediately sent to New Bolton Veterinarian Clinic where the x-rays revealed a fractured pelvis. Allerage Star was immediately retired and sent home to Jeff and Paula Gural’s Allerage Farm in Stanfordville, New York where she will be bred to Father Patrick.

Jeff Gural noted, “We had a lot of fun with Allerage Star. We thought she was ready for another big year and we staked her pretty heavily, but that’s horse racing. I look forward to seeing her babies racing on the track as she had a big heart with plenty of go. Hopefully that will translate into fast offspring.”

Allerage Farm has been in the Standardbred breeding industry since the late 1980’s. Currently, they have 2 breeding facilities, one in Stanfordville, New York and one in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Allerage Farm has over 100 horses between the 2 locations.

Deliciouslynaughty Ties Track Record In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Deliciouslynaughty has certainly been a dominate damsel this season. She proved it once again on Wednesday night (April 26), this time by finding a place in the Buffalo Raceway record book with a gutsy nose victory over V'La Faire in 1:54.2.

The time equaled the standard for aged pacing mares of 1:54.2 established by Majic Laughter and Case Solved in 2014.

It appeared that Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) was going to set the fractions in the $8,200 featured pacing event for the ladies by reaching the quarter pole in 28.1. After going by that station, V'La Faire, sitting third, tipped out and cruised to the lead, posting a half in 56.4 and hitting the three quarter marker in 1:26.1.

In the stretch drive, it looked like V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) might hang on for the victory but Deliciouslynaughty ($5.50) made one last gasp and managed to stick a nose in front at the wire. Mayabelle (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

"My mare kicked in at the last moment at the wire," Stalbaum said of pulling out the narrow win aboard Deliciouslynaughty. "I never thought about a track record. I was more worried about catching V'La Faire."

Deliciouslynaughty has been in the money in 14 of 16 races this season, including six victories. The 10-year-old mare (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare) has earned $35,606 in 2017 and $449,151 lifetime. She is owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher.

Fisher Jr. found the winner's circle four times while Stalbaum and Ron Beback Jr. doubled. Kimberly Asher and Jim Graham posted two training wins.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled. There's a Pick-5 carryover of $778 which begins in the second race.

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cal Expo Friday Night Advance

Kirk Breed Pace matches pacing distaffers
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Friday’s main event is the $10,000 Kirk Breed Pace for pacing fillies and mares with Hare To Eternity, Shark Festival and Mikeleh among the major players.

First post for the 12-race Watch and Wager LLC card is 6:15 p.m. and there is a carryover in the 50-cent Pick 6 of $12,279, with the sequence covering races six through nine on the card.

The supporting card includes an Open Handicap Pace that goes as the first race and a California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotters.

The Kirk Breed Pace is named for the man who was the Executive Director of the California Horse Racing Board and previously served as a board member and general manager of the State Fair here at Cal Expo.

Kirk Breed passed away in 2013 at the age of 73 after a battle with cancer.

During Gov. Jerry Brown’s first term in 1979, Mr. Breed was appointed general manager at Cal Expo and was credited with turning around the event’s financial fortunes during lean times. He later became a lobbyist on behalf of the racing industry and also served eight years on the Cal Expo board of directors.

Mr. Breed served as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008 until his death. During those five-plus years, he oversaw the regulatory agency’s day-to-day business.

He was involved in such high-profile issues as the restriction of the use of steroids; the reduction of permissible levels of bute; the transformation of the Santa Anita main track from a troubled synthetic to a dirt surface.

“In his years as executive director, Kirk Breed provided invaluable guidance and counsel to everyone who served on the board,” said former racing board chairman David Israel. “No one was more dedicated to assuring the welfare of the horse, the well-being of the participants and the integrity of the sport than Kirk.”

The Oklahoma native attended Oklahoma State on a football scholarship in the 1950s, while as the same time helping his father, who trained a stable of quarter horses. After graduating with a degree in zoology, Mr. Breed volunteered for the Peace Corps, spending time in Chile and Columbia and working at the State Department in Washington, D.C.

Looking at the Breed field, Hare To Eternity is a 6-year-old daughter of Mister Big out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Hare Trigger who races for the partnership of Arnstine, Chambers and Wiseman with Kathleen Plested training.

She went over the $100,000 mark in earnings when she sat a pocket trip and prevailed in a conditioned event on March 31, then stopped up to the Distaff Open two weeks ago and prevailed by a length over favored Mikeleh after being up close and personal during the mile.

Mikeleh is a George Reider trainee who carries the banner of Little Bapa LLC. The Western Ideal mare made a big move to the lead in that aforementioned gathering at this level, showed the way to deep stretch and was unable to contain Hare To Eternity when push came to shove.

The Plested barn will also be represented by Shark Festival, a Shadow Play mare owned by Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich. She will be looking for her fourth win on the year from 10 trips to the post.

Rounding out the cast for the Kirk Breed are the Gerry Longo-conditioned pair of Sparkin Your Fire and Kiss On The Lips; Blue Note from the Rick Cisco barn; and the Lino Pacheco-trained Delightfully Wild.

The field for the Sire Stakes, from the rail out: Gravel Girl with Mooney Svendsen;  Bo Plenty, George Luster;  Indio Azteca, who will be guided by Steve Wiseman; Never Onebadchange, Pierre Girard; Lodi Puppycat with Luke Plano; and Lodi Jazz Player, who will have the services of Chip Lackey.


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

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 25, 2017—“It ain't a fit night out for man or beast.”

Such were the words of W. C. Fields many decades ago, repeated Tuesday evening (Apr. 25th) before, during and after the $100,000 final of Yonkers Raceway’s YR/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series.

The all-card wind-driven rain didn’t deter one man (Jeff Gregory) and one beast (Tight Lines, $2.40), who made short work of their rivals over the gooey going.  

            The race wasn’t officially over after the draw, but even those that weren’t behind the eight-ball were in fact behind the eight-ball. From the pylons, Tight Lines deferred to a couple of early leavers before taking over from Golden Son (Jason Bartlett)

            From there, the only entrant to sweep all three preliminary legs hydroplaned his way to happiness (:28.1, :57.3, 1:26.3, 1:56.1). The final margin was 3¼ lengths over Pridecrest (Dave Miller), with Golden Son third. The minors went to Hillosophical (Tyler Buter) and Ameliosi (Yannick Gingras), while an out-the-mile Triumphant’s Chip (Dan Dube), Windsong Magic (Brian Sears) and Steed (Joe Bongiorno) completed the order.     

For Tight Lines, a 4-year-old Yankee Glide gelding co-owned by his trainer/driver, Jesmeral Stable and William Richardson, is was his fifth win (all at odds-on) in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.20, the triple returned $45.40 and the superfecta paid $290.50.

“The weather didn’t play a part in my strategy.” Gregory said. “I figured a few of the others would take a shot leaving and I wasn’t going to stand mine on his head in the first turn. I thought I’d be able to get to the front at some point.

“I paid him into some stakes for 4-year-olds, including the Graduate and Hambletonian Maturity,” Gregory said. “He’s going to have to step up his game to go with those trotters. If not, he stays here (Yonkers).”

            As per the conditions of the series, a $10,000 bonus was awarded to the winner by the SOA of New York.

A $35,000 series consolation was won by Showmeyourguns (Jordan Stratton, $2.40, part of entry) in 1:58.2.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tioga Downs Readies for 2017 Meet

Tioga Downs will commence their 12th harness racing season on Saturday, May 6th at 5pm in front of thousands of fans combining opening day with the Kentucky Derby.  Opening day will feature giveaways, a $1,000 Derby Dream bet, Derby hat contest, Fireworks and much more. Tioga will race 59 days throughout the summer mixing in exciting overnight action with Grand Circuit stakes.

2016 top trainer Mike Deters and driving champion Scott Coulter return to defend their titles. Deters’s title was his 3rd Tioga Downs training title, including 2 of the last 3 years.  His 34 wins beat out Tony Dinges by just 3 wins. Coulter, who won the driving title in his first full season at Tioga, will once again tangle with 2015’s top pilot Mike Simons who was just 5 wins short of Coulter’s 68 wins last season. 

The track from Nichols, NY will once again be home for some of the sports top stakes races.  On Sunday, June 11th a leg of the Graduate series returns as 4yo pacers and trotters will compete for a purse of $75,000e. Sunday, July 2nd features the $125,000e Tompkins-Geers 3yo Pace.  In August, things really heat up with stake-laden Sunday’s. Beginning on August 13th, NY’s finest 3yo pacers do battle in the $50,000e Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations. The following week on the 20th, the $500,000e Finals are held alongside the popular $175,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace, the $40,000e Miss Versatility featuring Open mare trotters and the $200,000e Tompkins-Geers 2yo’s. Finally the last Sunday of the month brings two new events to Tioga, formally held at Vernon Downs, the $175,000e Crawford Farms Open Trot and the $175,000e Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot. Paired with the new Tioga events, the $175,000e Artiscape Open Mare Pace and the $200,000e Reynolds 2yo’s make for an exciting last day of Grand Circuit racing at Tioga. 

The 12th season at Tioga Downs will also feature new post times.  Friday and Saturday nights will begin at 6:50pm while Sundays and holidays will begin at 1:00pm with the exception of Sunday May 28th which will start at 6:50pm.

For more information, please visit our website at

Alan Horowitz passes at age 73

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Alan Horowitz, a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen’s Association Hall of Fame, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday at age 73.

Mr. Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd.

Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA.

In 1994, Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager.

Alan was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much.

Mr. Horowitz is survived by his son Michael; his daughter Jessica Rhoades; and two grandchildren, Emerson and Campbell Rhoades. A memorial race and special ceremony will take when harness racing returns here to Cal Expo in the fall.
"It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California,” said David Neumeister. “Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. 

“Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city.

“Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today. In addition, as my wife said the other night when she heard of his passing, ‘Alan Horowitz was probably the nicest man I have ever known’."


Track broadcast center also to bear name of late Hall of Fame announcer

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 25, 2017) – The US Pacing Championship, long one of the signature events on Hambletonian Day, will be renamed The Sam McKee Memorial beginning this August in honor of the track’s Hall of Fame announcer and broadcaster who passed away March 8 at the age of 54.

The Meadowlands will also attach McKee’s name to its broadcast center that McKee designed when the new grandstand opened in 2013. It will now be called The Sam McKee SNY Broadcast Center. The official dedication is scheduled for August 4, the night before the Hambletonian.

“Sam was a true professional at his job as evidenced by his Hall of Fame status, but his larger than life smile, and gracious attitude is what made him stand tall among his peers,” said Jason Settlemoir, Meadowlands GM/COO. “Honoring Sam’s legacy with one of our major races only seems fitting and honoring him with the dedication of the SNY Broadcast Center that he worked very hard to put together in the new building only seems fitting as well.”

“Sam would never believed himself to be worthy of this, but we know that he would be honored,” said Sam’s wife, Chris McKee. “Hambletonian Day was always so important to him. It’s always a special day and he worked tirelessly along with the rest of the staff to prepare for it and make sure things went smoothly.  We’re so proud of Sam and all of his accomplishments and are once again humbled by this memorial race. We’re grateful to have been at the Meadowlands for last year’s Hambo where we got to see Sam interview one of his favorite NASCAR drivers. While it will never be the same, we look forward to being there on Hambo Day to support the sport that he loved so dearly and to keep his memory alive.”

This year’s $225,000 Sam McKee Memorial is August 5 as part of the super stakes Hambletonian Day program. The US Pacing Championship was first held in 1982 and has been won by such legends as Cam Fella, Matt’s Scooter, and Artsplace and in more recent years, Won The West, Sweet Lou, and last year in an upset by Shamballa over Horses of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki.

For more information, visit


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 24, 2017—Yonkers Raceway gently reminds one and all of some changes to the upcoming live racing schedule.

May’s schedule is essentially business as usual, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, through May 27th (Art Rooney and Lismore Paces).

There’s a also a Sunday matinee set for May 28th (first post TBA), after which the Raceway goes on hiatus until Friday night (June 16th).

Then, the remainder of is June is Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday (all @ 7:10 PM) and Sunday, June 18th (post time TBA).

Updates, including those Sunday matinee post times, shall be sent when available.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017


    By john manzi for the Billings Series

Harness racing’s greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon (April 22) where a seven-horse field went to post and when the judges hung the official sign Bobby “Rapid Rail” Krivelin emerged victorious with his own Permanent Joy in a 2:01:1 clocking.

In a race marred by breaking horses on the first turn “Hurricane Hannah” Miller cleared the confusion with Winwood Scout from the seven- hole but had to sizzle to a :28.4 first quarter which arguably  took its toll later in the race. She did get her trotter a breather but “Buffalo Bob” Davis kept the pressure on with Mr. Butterworth.

However, the eventual winner, Permanent Joy wasn’t quite as lucky in clearing the breaking horses .

“Permanent Joy is handy little horse so I was able to avoid the confusion On the first turn but by then I was 10 lengths back of two leaders,” Krivelin related via email.

As the field headed up the backside the final time around Winwood Scout was joined by Permanent Joy and from there a battle ensued.  

 “Once I caught the field I felt I had a shot (to win). Coming around the final turn I thought I would go right by Hannah (with Winwood Scout) but she did a great job keeping her horse alive and we battled till the (finish) line. Fortunately I came out on top.”

The margin of victory had to be determined by the photo-finish camera and when the judges developed the print Permanent Joy won by a head.
Third place went to Windsong Illusion driven by “Slate Hill Allen” Sisco.

The crowd sent the winner off at odds of over 7-1 and Permanent Joy returned $16.80 to those who backed him.

Krivelin owns and trains the veteran 9-year-old Permanent Vocation gelding who years ago was the State of   Maine’s  3 year old trotting champion. For Permanent Joy it was the trotter’s second seasonal victory and for Krivelin, a three-time National Amateur Driving Champion, it was his fifth win in just nine seasonal starts.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017—When the 92-year-old boss flies in from San Diego, you don’t want to disappoint him.

Good thing Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton, $12.80) held up her end of the bargain Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $310,600 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker.

Sitting chilly from post position No. 4, Mackenzie A watched as Lispatty (Brian Sears) leave hard from the pylons, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) second and 9-10 choice Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) third…all three away in post position order.

Meanwhile, Regil Elektra (Yannick Gingras) and Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) tried to leave, only to get parked for their troubles (the latter badly compromised by the former).

It was Lispatty leading at the :26.4 opening quarter-mile before Mach it a Par move to take the baton approaching the :55.1 intermission. Down the backside, Shesjustadelight N took out of third, with Mackenzie A third and Medusa (Matt Kakaley) staying in.

Mach it a Par was seemingly in control in and out of a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with the uncovered rival pacing in place, forcing Mackenzie A wide.

It was Mach it a Par owning a length-and-half lead into the lane, but company was coming. Mackenzie A blew on by, widening to win the ninth Matchmaker by 2¾ lengths in in life-best 1:53.1. Medusa, who had left the cones, failed to match strides with the winner but was a rallying second, with 81-1 rank outsider Diva’s Image (Joe Bongiorno) a closing third.

That one found her way into the final after original eight-holer Empress Deo came up ill. Mach it a Par faded to fourth, with Shesjustadelight N fifth and Lispatty, Regil Elektra and Bedroomconfessions bringing up the rear.

For co-second choice Mackenzie A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by the nonagenarian Harry von Knoblauch (a fine TV interview) and his daughter, Ellen Kinser and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her second win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $167, the triple returned $6,251 the superfecta paid $19,960 (base $2 payout).

"I thought I have to race her from off the pace,” Stratton said. "The trip worked out perfect for us. I knew there were horses behind and I wanted to move." Stratton won the inaugural edition of the race in 2009 with Pancleefandarpels.

A $75,000 series consolation was won by Hidden Land (Bartlett, $9.50) in 1:54.1.

Saturday night’s $55,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $4.70) in 1:56.4.



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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017—Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $24.80) was hard-used early and hard-headed late Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

The sport’s richest race of the season to date again honored the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway.

At the outset of the 30th Levy, pole-sitting McWicked (Matt Kakaley) was—not surprisingly—put into play. He was joined by Keystone Velocity, who from post position No. 4, forged to the lead just after a spiffy :26.1, opening quarter-mile.

Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), leaving right outside of Keystone Velocity, was caught three-wide and forced to wrangle back to fourth.

McWicked, who had retaken the lead in the second turn, found a :54.4 intermission before longshot Blood Brother (Brian Sears) moved from third. He uncoupled stablemate Somewhere in L A latched from second-over, with even-money choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and last season’s champion, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), at the back of that train.

McWicked maintained his advantage through a 1:22.3 intermission three-quarters (:27.4 third station), taking a tenuous lead into the lane.

However, his night was about to come to a unsatisfying conclusion. McWicked was done early off final turn,  but nor before taking Keystone Velocity to the promised land of the passing lane. It was Keystone Velocity fighting off the race’s other tough mile, beating Somewhere in L A by a head in 1:51.2.

Missile J settled for third, beaten a length, with a very-wide Bit of a Legend N fourth and 107-1 proposition  Soto (Brett Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. .

Blood Brother, Pcovocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked completed the order.

For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his third win (as the fifth choice) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135.50, the triple returned $593 and the superfecta paid $2,406.

"Rene (Allard) and I talked before the race and we decided we had to leave the gate,” Dube said. “I was just hoping Matt (Kakaley, with McWicked) could get me to the lane. My horse felt very strong, but I did see the other one (Somewhere in L A) coming.”

The driver/trainer combination was this race two seasons ago with Domethatagain, also with a two-hole trip. 

A $100,000 series consolation was won by Clear Vision (Miller, $8.40) in 1:51.3.  


Pat Lachance authors 111-1 upset with Semalu Express

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 22, 2017) – The Meadowlands winner’s circle was painted orange on Saturday night as Andy Miller swept the co-featured upper level paces en route to a four-win night during the 11-race program.

Miller scored in the $18,000 conditioned pace with the red-hot Special T Rocks by a head in 1:50.4 over the narrow 2-1 favorite Alberto Contador. That came two races after Miller prevailed in a three-way finish with Artful Way, who shipped down from Saratoga for the victory in the co-featured $18,000 event.

In between those races, Iwillmakeyousaywow lived up to his name by surviving brutal fractions of :26.4, :53.4, and 1:21.4 to win the $17,500 Dash For The G-Notes Final from post 10.

The biggest fireworks of the night came in Race 10 when Pat Lachance steered 13-year-old Semalu Express to a last-to-first win at 111-1 odds. He was followed by fellow 13-year-old Stormin Rustler, who was 95-1.

The lucky $2 exacta returned $5,231.60 while the $2 trifecta with 6-5 favorite Camturo Beach came back $25,279.20.

Corey Callahan and Jim Marohn, Jr. each had two driving wins while Eric Foster and Joe Hundertpfund, Jr. each had two training wins.

Total handle was $2,326,485 for the 11-race card.

Racing resumes next Friday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit


Hot Deuce Goes Lifetime Best In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Just imagine if Hot Deuce would have seen a pylon.

Being parked the entire mile in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open pace on Saturday night (April 22), Hot Deuce still incredibly managed to post a lifetime best 1:53.0 over the fast track in nipping the front stepping Shady City by a head. 

Shadowing Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) on the outside, Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) eventually managed to wear down the stubborn pace-setter in deep stretch to pull off the $21.80 upset victory. Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III), last week's Open winner, took the show spot.

Owned by Mike McAllister and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, the 5-year-old gelded Hot Deuce (Armbro Deuce-Hot Dam Here I Am) has now won four times in 10 races. He has earned $18,196 in 2017 and $54,056 lifetime.

Monti, Stalbaum and Jim Morrill Jr. all doubled in the sulky while Bo Sowers trained two winners.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. 

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

Rose on Top Heading into By-week of Hambletonian GC Handicapping Contest

(April 23, 2017) –   With the Matchmaker and Levy Series in the books, the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge heads into the first by-week with Matt Rose maintaining a slight lead over Rusty Nash with a score of 251.63 vs. 246.00.  Both handicappers have three leg victories each, accounting for six of the twelve legs contested thus far. While Rose leads in total points, Nash reverses the standings with regards to net profit, $51.40 vs. $32.40. 

For this past week, a quadruple dead-heat for the Friday (4/21) leg occurred as Russ Adams, Steve Horoky, Megan Maccario, and Dennis O’Hara each successfully picked Da Magician ($4.50) as the winner of Fraser Down’s Kenny Linton Memorial, a bonus race on the calendar.  On Saturday (4/22), Michael Carter was the sole leg winner as he tabbed three of the five winners on the contest card; Hidden Land ($9.50) in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Consolation; Clear Vision ($8.40) in the George Morton Levy Memorial Consolation; Yoga Pants ($2.30) in the Penny Bath Memorial (from Fraser Downs, another bonus race).   

Standings as of Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Leg #12
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Overall Net Profit
Matt Rose
Rusty Nash
Russ Adams
Gordon Waterstone
Ray Garnett
Megan Maccario
Steve Horoky
Michael Carter
Bryan Owen
Dennis O’Hara
Jay Hochstetler
Adam Friedland
Ray Cotolo
Sally Hinckley
Anne Stepien
Terry Wilson

Next Up:  Six straight weeks of racing at Yonkers Raceway earns the handicappers a well-deserved week off before the Grand Circuit becomes the traveling road show it has always been known for.  The contest resumes with a three-day stand (May 6-8) with Saturday action from Freehold Raceway with the kick-off of the Road to the Hambletonian as the finals of the Lady Suffolk (3yo filly trot) and Dexter Cup (3yo open trot) are contested.  Contest action continues in the evening at the Meadowlands with the AJ Cutler Memorial (Open trot) and the first leg of the Graduate series (4yo open pace) on the docket.  Sunday and Monday has the Miami Valley Distaffs scheduled with Sunday featuring 4yo and older mare trotters; Monday the 4yo and older mare pacers.  Following these races, there will be a final by-week after which there is contest action every week until the contest’s conclusion.

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;//