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Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Award-winning Jersey and Philly Food Trucks will battle it out on June 3rd

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ –On Saturday, June 3rd, award- winning Jersey and Philly Food Trucks will travel to Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment for JerseyFest Food Truck Mash Up 2017. Beginning at 3:00 pm until 11:00 pm, fest-goers will experience an evening of the best live-harness racing, music and food the Garden State has to offer. Once again, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment has partnered with North Jersey Events part of the USA Today Network to sponsor Jerseyfest featuring Food Truck Mash-Up: Jersey vs. Philly.

Over 43 specialty food trucks and vendors will participate including Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Angry Archie’s, Bro-Rito’s, Cheezen’, El Lechon De Negron, Luke’s Lobster, Polkadot Cupcake, Kona Ice NJ, Glazed and Confused Donuts, Ma & Pa Tex Mex Food Truck, Cannoli World, Waffle De Lys, Clyde’s Italian Ice, The Guac Spot, Aroy’d  Thai Elephant, Big John’s Gourmet Burger, Callahan’s Hot Dogs, Dark Side of the Moo, Global Grub, Mobile Mardi Gras, Sanducci’s Wood-Fired Pizza, The Flying Pie Guy, Cow & The Curd, Jammin’ Crepes, Rockin Road Grill, Philly Fry, Pompier Pierogi Flats, T&N Homemade, Moe Mountain Hot Sauce, RJ Chip Stix, Dos Hermanos Tacos, Jimmy Dawn’s Cheese Steaks, Oink & Moo BBQ, Surf & Turf Truck, Pizza Wagon, Jersey Girl Smoothies, Bayside West Catering, Mozzarepas, Wild Bill’s Soda, Maddalena’s Cheesecake, Joel’s Outrageous Ice Cream Sliders, Uncle Joe’s Kettle Corn, Metro Candy Apple.
An Early Access Admission Package is available for $35 exclusively online or $45 at the door. The package includes 3:00pm admission, a $2 betting voucher and $5 in Mash-Up cash to redeem at any of the participating food trucks.
The Jersey vs. Philly Food Truck Mash-Up will be held in the Backyard and on the East Apron and will open to the public at 5:00 pm for $8 general admission at the door. Kids under 5 will be admitted at no charge and the track will remain open and free to the public before, during and after the festivities. Free parking will also be available and every guest will have the opportunity to pre-register for a $2 betting voucher online.  Live musical entertainment by SHOUT!  will commence at 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

For more information on JerseyFest, admission and to purchase tickets, please visit:

Training Continues at Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - Two-year-old training at The Meadowlands will continue for two more weeks. The track will be open at 7am on Thursday, June 1 and Thursday, June 8.

Please call the Racing Office at 201-842-5130 by noon on Wednesday with the number of horses you intend to bring.

The first Baby races of the season will be this Saturday morning at 10 a.m.


  by john manzi with joe faraldo for NAADA

Joe Faraldo first drove competitively in the amateur drivers’ ranks during 1980 and over the years the Kew Gardens, NY lawyer has driven 141 winners but none were as special as his overwhelming victory against the French amateurs at Vincennes on May 27. That Tuesday evening Faraldo scored one for Team America when he guided the betting favorite Valfluery to a resounding triumph at the historic Vincennes Racetrack in greater Paris, France,.

 The famed French racing venue, built in 1863, was destroyed during the Franco Prussian War and then rebuilt in 1879. It sports France’s best trotters over two tracks-- one 1200 meters another 1900 meters. The place, like Paris itself, is beautiful. But beauty not withstanding, racing involves a great deal of racing luck as many of the world’s greatest drivers compete there.

Some thought Faraldo’s victory was pretty much assured if the French did not lock him in since he was up behind the favorite. Starting from the pole position  in the 12-horse field with a horse noted as a slow starter  Joe was confronted with the distinct possibility that the French strategy would be to lock him in.

After teammate Bob Davis took an early lead with the USA’s Tony Verruso nearby, the French gained the front  and after his slow beginning, Valfluery was surrounded near the rear of the field seemingly unable to get out.

 As the great French amateur Romain Poree had advised the visiting Americns the goal was to get to the outside. That however was being prevented and as Joe said " Valfleury was not too eager to be taken back to tenth and sixth over".

Despite finally being  in the second tier more trouble ensued when the French leaders were slowing the pace considerably and way before the 1,000 meter mark in the 2,100 meter event Faraldo thought it was time to move three-wide and try to go to the front.

"He seemed just to takeoff, and we swooped the field up the backside never to be headed again". Faraldo said after of Valfleury’s march to the front. “The horse has now strung four straight wins and is from the stable that once trained Ready Cash.”

Not one to brag and knowing his limitations as a harness driver the outstanding lawyer added, perhaps with tongue in cheek, “It took great courage to put me on this horse, since it was my first win this year in less than a dozen starts and if I need to leave the country again for a win, NAADA has two series coming up with Italian and Hungarian amateurs this summer and I am getting psyched".

The way the USA tallies  points in international competitions the American Team scored the win; but a French curve adjusted the math to a French win. The way Team America's point counter, Alicia Schwartz called it, "the Americans were second in the two team competition and the French were next to last". But as is said in all international amateur racing events winning or losing is not important; it’s the comradery shared that is.

One of the trip’s the most fascinating experiences was at Grobois, a training center wisely purchased in 1962 by Le Trot in order to insure a horse supply for the nearby cathedral of harness racing at Vincennes. Housing 1500 head and covering 400 -plus hecters, it charges horsemen, 3,000 Euros per month for thirty stalls, a walker, a four bedroom home for the trainer and living quarters for six separate caretakers and their families.

 Le Trot's investment has secured the French racing industry in every way possible, from thoughtful breeding to export of French-breds across most of the continent to the import of racing signals from many venues including Yonkers Raceway.

Le Trot will help find a French horse for this year's October 14th  International Trot at Yonkers Raceway and they are beginning to sell horses to American trainers to help solve our horse shortage. They will host some American trainers in an organized trip to France in November with the aid of the SOA of NY.

“During this Memorial day weekend, one could only feel the gratitude still felt by these people for the efforts of America in WWII on those beaches at Normandy similar to their testimony to our efforts in WWI acknowledged in the Prix D'Amerique,” Faraldo added.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Week 2
The Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace – Saturday, July 15

Driver, Trainer, Owner
Justin Horowitz’s Comments
($766,016 – 1:49.0)

D. Miller, B. Brown
Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, Diamond Creek Racing
Absolutely destroyed the field in the Rooney by 3 lengths after getting parked the first 3/8 of a mile. Speed has never been an issue with this guy, his maturity and professionalism continue to impress at 3. After a 3-for-3 start to 2017, he prepares for the NA Cup eliminations on June 3rd.
Last Race: 5/27 – YR –Art Rooney Final– 1st (1:52)
($721,097 – 1:49.0)
T. Tetrick, R. Schnittker
Raymond Schnittker, Theodore Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, Steven Arnold
Did not look his best in his defeat last out to the ultra talented Fear The Dragon. Maybe was feeling the effects of that 10-length sloppy win in 2017 debut. Might be nitpicking here, but the 2YO champ has to show his dominance again in tough PASS split this week
Last Race: 5/21 – PcD – PASS – 2nd
Filibuster Hanover
($145,682 – 1:52.0)
Y. Gingras,R. Burke
Burke Racing Stable, Joseph Di Scala, Jr., J&T Silva Stables, Weaver Bruscemi
Drew post 7 in PASS this week at Philadelphia after a win and runner-up finish in first two legs. Will have a much better idea how he matches up with top two after NA Cup. Could be Burke’s best chance this year to win his first Pace
Last Race: 5/21 – PcD – PASS – 2nd
Blood Line
($148,660 – 1:50.3)
M. MacDonald, J. Takter
Diamond Creek Racing
Took a new lifetime mark in most recent start when blasting to the front from an outside post and holding off a two-pronged stretch attack from Filibuster Hanover and Boogie Shuffle to win a PASS. Draws into the toughest PASS division this week vs. Huntsville
Last Race: 5/21 – PcD – PASS – 1st (1:50.3)
Ocean Colony
($138,950 – 1:50.1)

Y. Gingras, J. Takter
Christina Takter, John Fielding, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, Sam Goldband
The second of Takter’s top five duo, this $115,000 Lexington Yearling has started 2017 with back-to-back impressive wins including a PASS. Drew the rail and is 2/1 second choice against Fear The dragon in PASS split this week
Last Race: 5/21 – PcD – PASS – 1st (1:50.3)
Miso Fast
($277,954 – 1:52.2Q)
M. Kakaley, R. Burke
Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stable, J&T Silva Stables
Had nothing left for the lane after stretching out Downbytheseaside through opening 3/8 and chasing from the pocket. Just his second off-the-board finish in 12 starts on a small track
Last Race: 5/27 – YR – Art Rooney Final – 6th
Normandy Beach
($182,763 – 1:51.3)
M. Kakaley, R. Burke
W J Donovan
Faces Huntsville, Blood Line and Boogie Shuffle in PASS split this week. On the board in 12 of 15 lifetime starts with just 3 wins. Gives Burke a chance to have 3 in the Pace Final for the second year in a row.
Last Race: 5/21 – PcD – PASS – 3rd
Boogie Shuffle
($165,941 – 1:51.4Q)
S. Zeron, M. Harder
Fox Hollow Farm
Drew post 6 in the toughest of 3 divisions of the PASS this week at Philadelphia. Extremely fast and talented, a winter castration will hopefully make him more focused and professional for 2004 Pace winning trainer Mark Harder
Last Race – 5/21 – PcD – PASS – 3rd
Air Strike
($126,560 – 1:51.4)
T.B.D., J. Holloway
Val D’Or Farms, Theodore Gewertz
The dead-heat winner of the Kindergarten has yet to race in 2017 despite four qualifiers. The most recent was the best, a win in 1:52.1/26.2. Holloway brought another Indiana sired son of Always A Virgin to the 2014 Pace to finish 2nd – his name was Always B Miki
Last Race: 5/18 – Moh – NW1R – 1st (1:51.4)
Beyond Delight
($328,501 – 1:51.0)

S. Filion, T. O’Sullivan
Jeffrey Snyder, Michael Snyder, Four Friends Racing Stable
Still not sure what to make of Canada’s 2YO O’Brien winner. His lone 2017 start was okay, but hardly the top class performance it will take to find Pace glory. The Metro winner will have the next 3 weeks at his home track to prove he has taken the step up from 2 to 3
Last Race: 5/22 – Moh – NW4R – 4th

Enterprise remains unbeaten after NY Sire Stakes win (May 29).

3 year-old trotting colts held center court during New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs.
Enterprise (Brian Sears) is now four for four in his career after his biggest test yet ($39,900).  The Chapter Seven colt jumped out to the lead but soon found himself in the pocket trailing Money Macintosh (Andy Miller).  Enterprise ($2.90) found himself locked in the box at the three-quarter mark trapped in by Cresurrey (Trond Smedshammer) and Swell Cap (Corey Callahan).

Cresurrey would tire in the stretch giving Sears an opening to guide Enterprise out of the pocket, looking like he was shot out of a cannon.  Owned by Courent Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander, Enterprise would win by an open length in 1:53.4 holding off Swell Chap who finished second and Meetmeinthemiddle (Jason Bartlett) who was third.

Sears would have another New York Sire Stakes victory ($39,200) winning the first division with Stick With Me Kid (Deweycheatumnhowe).   Stick With Me Kid ($7.00) would jump out to a three length lead and play catch me if you can.  Owned by Paul Fontaine, Ashlee Allyn with Donna Bonno and trained by George Ducharme the 3 year-old would win in 1:54.0. 

The favorite Bill's Man (Corey Callahan) would come on late but fall a length short to finish second.  Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) would be third.

In the other New York State Sire Stakes race ($39,900),  Devious Man (Andy Miller) won his sophomore debut.  Owned by Stoy Inc. and  Andy Miller Stable Inc while trained by Julie Miller, the 3 year-old colt found himself in third at the halfway point.  Miller would then go first over just before three-quarters taking the lead in the stretch.  Devious Man (Credit Winner) won the New York State Sire Stakes Final as a 2 year-old in 2016.  Devious man ($3.20) had all he could do to hold-off Lord Cromwell (Jason Bartlett) in deep stretch.  Aces And Eights (Dan Daley) finished third.

Due to lack of horses, Vernon will not race Thursday (June 1).  They will resume on Friday (June 2) at 6:45 pm.

For more information go to

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vernon cancels Thursday’s card

Due to only 40 entries in the entry box for Thursday (June 1) Vernon Downs management has been forced to cancel racing.

“We will put together what races we can and race them on Friday” said Director of Racing Scott Warren. The following events have been added for the double draw on Tuesday:

Event #25 – Pace - F&M W/O $7,500 Lifetime
Event #26 – Pace - F&M N/W $700 P/S CD
Event #27 – Pace - F&M N/W $400 P/S CD
Event #28 – Pace - F&M N/W $300 P/S CD
Event #29 – Pace - F&M N/W $200 P/S CD
Event #30 – Pace - F&M W-1NW3PMLTCD

The horses entered in the N/W 1 Pace & Trot have been re-entered as well into events already written for Friday & Saturday.

3 year-old trotting fillies shine during historic night at Tioga.

John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Celebrity Ruth (Trond Smedshammer), Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory), Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) all had New York Sire Stakes wins during first leg for 3 year-old trotting fillies at Tioga Downs Sunday night (May 28).

An incredible night of racing started during the Hub International Pace - Final for 3 year-old Colts and Geldings.  The entry from owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano of Brian J (Scott Zeron) and Avatar J (Mike Simons) ended in a dead heat.  Brian J ($2.10) took the lead at the top of the stretch, but Avatar J (2.10) came flying late to earn the tie.  Both 3 year-old American Ideal colts achieved lifetime marks of 1:52.3.

Next the ladies to center stage.  In the first of three New York Sire stake races Celebrity Ruth ($4.90), who is owned by White Birch Farm and trained by Smedshammer went gate to wire for the win.  The 3 year-old filly trotter by Archangel set a track record for 3 year-old fillies of 1:53.4.  Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) finished second with Sunshine Delight (Christian Lind) getting third.

The very next race was the second of three Sire Stakes races.  Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory), who equaled the track record a week ago, would be the heavy favorite.  The 3 year-old filly by Conway Hall stormed to the front just after the first-quarter.  Barn Bella ($2.10), who is owned by Steven (trainer) and Nancy Pratt with the Purple Haze Stables glided to an easy victory and recaptured the track record in 1:53.3.  Amber Ella (Scott Zeron) came up to capture second as Soutwhind Tesla (Jim Morril Jr) followed to earn third.

The final race of the New York State trotting fillies went to Maewegonow (Charlie Norris).  After the favorite Northern Courtney went on a break Maewegonow (Deweycheatumnhowe) took the lead right at the first-quarter.  Owned by Carrie Norris, G&B Racing with Acadia Farms and trained by Charlie Norris, Maewegonow hung on to beat a hard charging Scarey Karie (Phil Fluet) in 1.55.4;  Deli-Delite (Chris Lems) was third.

Tioga Downs starts their 11 race Memorial day card (May 29) at 1pm.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nash Takes Lead in Hambletonian Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(May 28, 2017) –   Rusty Nash has taken the lead in the Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge this past week with a point total of 376.3, 12.7 points ahead of Matt Rose’s 363.6.  Russ Adams, who was in the lead as of the last report, has dropped back to 3rd place, not far off the pace with 337.1 points. The big mover this week is Megan Maccario who has moved up three slots from 7th to 4th place. 

With most of the recent legs consisting of few races won by favorites, it has been hard for any handicapper to put together a string of victories with the winner’s share of 50 points.  Often, lion’s share of points had to be split between multiple handicappers tying for the day which has precluded any big moves.  However, with the passing of Memorial Day weekend, the Grand Circuit kicks into high gear so there will be plenty of multi-race legs ahead for handicappers to take advantage of. 

Standings as of Sunday, May 28, 2017 - Leg #20
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Overall Net Profit
Rusty Nash
Matt Rose
Russ Adams
Megan Maccario
Gordon Waterstone
Dennis O’Hara
Sally Hinckley
Ray Garnett
Steve Horoky
Jay Hochstetler
Bryan Owen
Michael Carter
Terry Wilson
Adam Friedland
Ray Cotolo
Anne Stepien

Next Up:  This Saturday (June 3), the Grand Circuit Handicapping challenge visits Northfield Park for the Battle of Lake Erie while Mohawk Racetrack hosts divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere as well as legs of the Graduate Series for 4yo trotters and pacers.  The following week has the Charlie Hill Trot on Saturday evening while Tioga Downs hosts pacers and trotters in the Graduate on Sunday.

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;//


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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, May 28, 2017—“Hemi Seelster has fled the scene.”

So said track announcer John Hernan, who did not lie, as ‘Hemi’ (Brent Holland, $9.90) made quick work of 11 rivals Sunday afternoon (May 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s mile-and-a-quarter $68,000 Open Trot.

Away alertly from post position No. 3, Hemi Seelster stuffed Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube) in behind coming toward a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. The remaining eight furlongs (:58, 1:27.2, 1:56.1, 2:24.3) were angst-free, with a final margin of 5¾ lengths.

‘Herbie’ clearly was second, with Money Maven (Eric Goodell) a three-hole third. Second-tier starters Wing Flash (Tyler Buter) and Homicide Hunter (Anthony Napolitano) rounded out the payees, while 5-2 favorite Tag Up and Go (Joe Bongiorno) was a never-in-it ninth and second choice Wings of Royalty (Brian Sears) couldn’t get out his own way.

For third choice Hemi Seelster, a 5-year-old Holiday Road gelding co-owned by Howard Taylor & Abe Basen and trained by Rich Banca, it was his fourth win in 13 seasonal starts (now over a half-million dollars for his career). The exacta paid $69, with the triple returning $616.

For Holland, it was career driving win No. 4,993.

The weekly featured trot was the first of four ‘French’ races during the dozen-race, all-trot card.

            Sunday’s revival of the ‘New York, New York Double’ saw a winning combination of 9-(Bustin’ It, Belmont’s 3rd race) and 4-(Andy Ray, Yonkers’ 7th race) paid $13.90 for every correct dollar ticket (total pool $7,361).

            Live racing (and evening simulcasting) returns Friday, June 16th (post time 7:10 PM). Afternoon simulcasting remains available, including the June 10th Belmont Stakes.   


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 27, 2017—Agent Q (Dave Miller) made a winning move. Unfortunately for her, Tequila Monday (Brian Sears, $10.60) made a ‘winning-er’ one.

The latter stalked and subdued the former Saturday night (May 27th), easily winning Yonkers Raceway’s $140,770 Lismore for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

            It was Big City Betty (Jim Marohn Jr.)—along with Agent Q an elimination winner a week ago—offering up some wild early speed, as in a 27-second opening quarter.  Pole-sitting Warrawee Sunshine (Tim Tetrick) broke and left the course, while Caviart Cherie (Jason Bartlett) was away second, ahead of 1-4 choice, Agent Q.

            Tequila Monday, a rallying second to ‘Q’ a week ago, started from post position No. 7 here and found a comfy four-hole which ended up serving her very well.

Big City Betty did a better rating job, getting a :56.2 intermission. It mattered not, as Agent Q swallowed her whole down the backside the second time.

However, once ‘Q’ moved, Tequila Monday moved right with her…and as completely as Agent Q inhaled ‘Betty,’ Tequila Monday scarfed down Agent Q.

Last season’s New York Sire Stakes frosh champ, Tequila Monday saw a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn widen to 4¾ lengths at the (1:52.2) wire. The time in the 13th Lismore was a life-best and just a tick off Tyra’s (Tim Tetrick, 2014) stakes record.

Agent Q did save second, with Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) third. Caviart Cherie and Gotthisone Hanover (George Brennan) grabbed the minor moolah, with Ashlee’s Spitfire (Dan Dube), Big City Betty and Warrawee Sunshine rounding out the order.

For second choice Tequila Monday, a daughter of American Ideal, trained by Chris Oakes for co-owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey, it was her first win in three seasonal start (career five wins three seconds in eight starts). The exacta paid $25.80. with the triple returning $107.50.

"She's got a lot of ability and just needs some ironing out," Sears said. "Sometimes, she gets steppy. She made a break in the final (of New York Sire Stakes) and was able to overcome it. With a shoeing change, she was real solid (tonight)."

Saturday night’s $55,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by a repeating Mach it So (Brent Holland, $4.40) in a snappy 1:51.3.