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Monday, July 31, 2017

Time Out I’m Tired wins Tioga feature as Marohn wins six.

Timeout I’m Tired (Jim Marohn Jr.) uses a late run to capture the Tioga Downs Open Pace ($12,000) on Sunday (July 30). 

Jim Marohn Jr. would capture six wins on the day.

Hot Rod Dylan (Mike Simons) would get the jump on the open field and set all the early fractions :27.0, :55.2, 1:22.4, 1:50.3.  Time Out I’m Out Tired (Artiscape), who is owned by William Mears and Janine Mc Ilvain, while trained by Joe Skowyra, would ride the whole way in the pocket.  Marohn Jr,, found an opening at the pylons and steered the 5 year-old right by to just nip the even money favorite, Hot Rod Dylan (second) in 1:50.3.  Dash Of Danger (Jim Meittinis) would finish third.  Time Out I’m Tired won for the fifth time this season

Marohn Jr. would get to the winners circle five more times.  First with Bill Jones ($15.60).  Then with Tailgunner Hanover ($15.30), Winyard Hanover ($8.90).  His last two would follow his Open Pace win, with Lyon’s Johnny ($6.60) and Owosso Flash ($16.60).

Tioga owns returns to live racing on Friday (August 4) at 6:45 p.m.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017


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

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 30, 2017—He’s obviously slowing down. Favored Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears, $5.50), after waltzing through last week’s mile-and-a-quarter in 2:24.3, needed a full fifth of a second more this time around.

Other than that alarming loss of alacrity, not much changed for the people’s preference Sunday afternoon (July 30th) en route to winning Yonkers Raceway’s $68,000 Open Handicap Trot.

From an assigned eight-hole in the field of 11 (scheduled ‘12-holer’ Springbank Sam N came up lame and was a44 pre-race day scratch), Homicide Hunter’s job was a bit easier at the outset. Luminosity (George Brennan) and Centurion ATM (Dan Dube) both mamboed their way out of contention.

Lone lass Celebrity Eventsy (Shristian Lind) made the first lead, yielding to Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno). The one gave up the baton to Homicide  Hunter after a :28.4 opening quarter-mile. As was the case a week ago, no ensuing issues at all (:58, 1:27.4, mile in 1:56.1) for the eventual winner.

Homicide Hunter owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane before whipping Rubber Duck by 2¾ lengths. 

Fashion Creditor (Eric Goodell), Taco Tuesday (Jordan Stratton) and Smalltownthrowdown (Jason Bartlett) settled for the minors.  

For Homicide Hunter, a 5-year-old Mr. Cantab gelding owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $22, with the triple returning $175.50.

Sunday’s installment of the ‘New York, New York Double’ offered a winning combination of 4-Dunk a Din (Saratoga’s 3rd race) and 2-Take My Picture (Yonkers’ 10th race) paid $10.20 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $3,725.

Note the Raceway’s post time next Sunday (Aug. 6th) is 12:30 PM.

Maccario Top ‘Capper in Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(July 30, 2017) –  With the Hambletonian extravaganza next week, HANA Harness handicappers were tuning up with seventeen Grand Circuit races at The Meadows, Plainridge Park, and Meadowlands over a period of two days (7/28-29).  When the final races were concluded, Megan Maccario earned weekly honors with a total of 92 points, besting Steve Horoky and Anne Stepien who dead-heated for second with a tally of 87 points.  Maccario’s effort was good enough to move into second place, on the heels of overall leader Rusty Nash.

Michael Carter, Sally Hinckley, Stepien and Horoky led the pack on Friday with the quartet each winning five of six divisions of the Arden Downs at The Meadows (no one tabbed JL Cruz in the Spirit of Massachusetts), but Stepien bested Horoky by $1.20 to grab the win picture.  Ray Garnett only had two winners but with his placing dividends, managed to split the quartet to take show honors.  Hinckley landed in fourth place while Carter completed the Pentafeca.

Despite finishing out of the money on Friday with three winners, Maccario managed to finish strongly on Saturday, taking down five winners including Cult Iron ($38) in the second division of the Mary Lib Miller Arden Downs Pace, allowing her to out-earn Garnett and Horoky who also had five winning selections thanks to her $40.90 net profit.  Garnett’s $22.90 was good enough for second place for the day while Horoky’s $12.70 allowed him to settle for third.       

Heading into the Hambletonian leg, Rusty Nash maintains his overall lead for the second straight week with a total of 620.95 points.  Maccario is right behind with 617.48 points while Matt Rose dropped to third with 581.13 points. 

Standings as of Saturday, July 29, 2017 - Leg #34
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Last Week
Rusty Nash
Megan Maccario
Matt Rose

Russ Adams

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

Next Up:  Hambletonian Week Is upon us, meaning the handicappers will be challenged with at least ten races, barring splits.  Among those races are the Peter Haughton Memorial, Fresh Yankee, Jim Doherty Memorial, John Cashman Memorial, Shady Daisy, Cane Pace, Lady Liberty, U S Pacing Championship, Hambletonian Oaks Final and of course, the Hambletonian; all contested at the Meadowlands.  
Action starts quickly the following week with a couple of special races contested on Monday, August 7 at Century Downs (Alberta, CA); The Lady Luck (3yoFP) and Ralph Klein Memorial (3yoCGP).  On Friday, August 11, Hoosier Park hosts the Dan Patch with Saturday having  Northfield Park’s Carl Milstein Memorial on the marquee.  

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;//  

What The Hill Remains Sharp in Reynolds

By Gabe Prewitt for the Meadowlands

What The Hill Remains Sharp in Reynolds

Driver David Miller didn't get to celebrate his win aboard Fear The Dragon in the $400,000 Adios on Saturday afternoon for long, as he was back to work on Saturday night with a full slate at The Meadowlands.
Luckily for him, the good day continued, as he piloted What The Hill to a gate-to-wire victory in the $49,580 Reynolds Memorial.

What The Hill darted right to the top from post seven in the big field of eleven, with his stablemate Southwind Cobra (Yannick Gingras) coming away on his back from post one. Those two continued sitting one-two through reasonable splits of 28.2, 56.2, and 1:24.2, and looked poised for a Burke barn battle down the lane, but Southwind Cobra jumped it off stride when angling to the outside at the top of the stretch.

What The Hill would inherit a 3 1/2 length lead after the break in stride of Southwind Cobra, and he had plenty left to coast home in 27.4 to win by 3/4 of a length in 1:52.1, in a race that was closer on paper than in reality. Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstedt) had to negotiate heavy traffic from the second tier post eleven, and rallied up to finish second, narrowly besting 6-5 favorite Bill's Man who was first over and held third.

What The Hill now has four wins in six seasonal tries, for the ownership group of Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms.

Giveitgasandgo Picks Up Win

What The Hill wasn't the only three-year old trotting colt with an impressive Hambletonian tuneup, as Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) parlayed a perfect pocket trip to edge by Jake (Daniel Dube) to win in 1:52.1 earlier on the card in a $15,000 trot earlier on the card. The winner, a ridgling by Yankee Glide, was adding lasix for the first time, but the medication is not permitted for use in the Hambletonian by rule.

Jackpot Super High 5 pays $1,306.34
The mandatory payout of the last race jackpot super high 5 returned $1,306.34 after attracting a total pool of $171,449.

Total handle on the 12-race card was $2,570,369.


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

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 29, 2017—There’s valor, there’s discretion and there’s Evenin’ of Pleasure (George Brennan, $3.40).

Horse and driver took the latter tact Saturday night (July 29th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $55,000 Open Handicap Pace.

            In play from same post position No. 6 he conquered in last week’s marquee pace, odds-on Evenin’ of Pleasure was again wide leaving. This time, however, instead of being hung out in the hinterlands, he deferred, taking a seat as the floor show unfolded in front of him.

Western Dynasty (Greg Merton), Dynamic Youth (Carl Cito Jr.) and Great Vintage (Eric Goodell) mixed it up early, as in a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Great Vintage won the early scrum, with Evenin’ of Pleasure settling fifth and staying there through the :55.3 intermission.

He then moved to chase a first-up Texican N (Jordan Stratton) as that one advanced toward a 1:24 three-quarters.

Great Vintage owned a length lead into the lane, but he was done. Evenin’ of Pleasure rolled from second-over, winning by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.3. Sharp shipper Hickory Icon (Mark MacDonald) closed from third-over into second in his first local appearance since last fall. Dynamic Youth, Western Dynasty and Texican N rounding out the payees.

Great Vintage backpedaled to last among the octet.   

For Evenin’ of Pleasure, a 7-year-old son of Dragon Again owned by Gestion J Y Blais and trained by Ron Burke, it was his third win in nine ’17 tries. The exacta paid $29, with the triple returning $165.
Yonkers offers up the third of eight consecutive Sunday matinees (July 30th), with a first post of 11:30 AM

Prairie Fortune wins Tioga Downs feature Saturday Night.

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) would charge late to steal Tioga Downs Featured Open Trot ($10,000) on Saturday (July 29).

Sweet Thing (Fern Paquet) would take the early lead and carve out all the early fractions, :27.2, :56.0, 1:24.1.  Prairie Fortune (Arapa Victory) who is owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, would find himself fourth at the top of the stretch.  Prairie Fortune ($9.80) would fly down the stretch and just nip Sweet Thing (second) at the wire.  Dragin The Wagon would finish third.

Prairie Fortune would win for the fifth time this season.  The 5 year-old gelding would go to the winner's circle for the 33rd time in his career, equaling his lifetime best of 1:53.2.

Jim Taggart Jr., steers big long shot Bad I Am (Prayer I Am) to victory.

Bad I Am, who was dismissed at 51-1, came flying late in the stretch to overtake Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons)  Bad I am ($104.50) is owned and trained by Timothy Collins. The 6 year-old gelding would win for the fourth time this season enjoying a lifetime mark of 1:57.0.

Tioga Downs returns to live action on Sunday (July 30) with a 12 race card at 1 p.m.

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By Lou Monaco for the Meadowlands/Hambletonian Society

Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) won the first of two $40,438 elimination races for the August 5 $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for three year-old trotting fillies on Saturday at The Meadowlands in a time of 1:51.3 by two lengths.

Ice Attraction and Ake Svanstadt were first to the lead at the :27.2 first quarter, with 1-5 favorite Ariana G well off that pace in fifth. Glitzy Gal was off the rail to challenge for the lead just past the quarter and got that lead by the :55.1 half, with Ice Attraction behind her along the rail. Glitzy Gal made a break just past the half, leaving Ice Attraction, at 103-1, to inherit the lead.

By the 1:23.3 three quarters, Ice Attraction was on the lead, with Ariana G now moved up to second over behind Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan). As the field turned for home, Gingras fanned wide with Ariana G and those two trotted past all the fillies in front of them for the win.
Dream Together (Daniel Dube) was second and Sunshine Delight third.

"I had an option open going into the first turn and there were a lot of leavers,” said Gingras. “So I took my time and she is beautiful to drive, so she let me drive anyway I want. Not my decision ( to choose the Oaks or the Hambletonian with the colts), whatever they go, filly or colt, I can tell you one thing, I'm definitely going to drive her. So it doesn't matter what division they choose to go in, I will be sitting behind her."

Gingras has driven now four fillies for the Takter Stable in the Oaks, and has yet to win. Asked if he thinks Araina G might be the best of the that bunch, he said, “Yes I think she is. This is the first time I think we are going into the Oaks as the favorite. Oaks or Hambo, any of them sounds good to me."

Ariana G is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by her breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

In the second division, Magic Presto and Brian Sears won in 1:52.1 by a half length to get their chance at the Oaks.

Feed Your Head (Yannick Gingras) was first to the lead at the :28.2 first quarter, with Hillarmbro (Trond Smedshammer) tucked in behind him with eventual race winner, Magic Presto in third. Just past that marker, Magic Presto was off the rail and trotting for the lead, grabbing it before the :56 half.

Hillarmbro tipped off the rail to try for the lead at the five eighths, with Overdraft Volo behind her, but Magic Presto held that lead to the 1:24.1 three quarters and into the homestretch. Feed Your Head was trapped along the rail behind her and inside Hillarmbro, shook loose to make up ground late, but not enough to pass Magic Presto.

"We have our hands full with her (Ariana G, the other elimination winner), said Sears. “She looks very good no question about it. My filly was a little peculiar tonight. She was just looking at everything and usually she is very relaxed, but maybe all of the commotion tonight had her on her heels a little bit."

Magic Presto is owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee and Little E LLC. And trained by Richard Norman. That’s All Moni was scratched out of the race.

The top five in each field advanced to the final, so the field is: Ariana G, Dream Together, Sunshine Delight, Fine Tuned Lady and Dream Baby Dream, Magic Presto, Feed Your Head, Southwind Avanti, Overdraft Volo and Caviart Wonder. Elimination winners draw for posts one through five on Tuesday, August 1.

In The Clear wins Vernon Downs feature on Saturday.

In The Clear (Chris Lems) rallies to take the Vernon Downs Featured Pace ($6,000) on Saturday Night (July 29).

The big favorite Dreams Beachboy (John MacDonald) would take the early lead and hit the first quarter in :26.0.  Big Game (Josh Kinney) would give a lot of lot of pressure forcing a :53.3 half.  After they burned each other out, Skip Jive (Jimmy Whittemore) would take the lead hitting three-quarters in 1:22.0.

In The Clear (Western Ideal), who is owned by Victor Finocchiaro and trained by Jordan Hope, would then go on by and take over at the top of the stretch and hold off the late charge of Tundra (Truman Gale) to win in 1:51.1.  Tundra (Cam's Card Shark) would have to settle for second best.  Skip Jive (Rock N Roll Heaven) was third.

In The Clear ($8.90) would win for the fifth time this season and winning for the 17th time in his career with a lifetime best of 1:51.1.

Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a nine race card on Thursday (August 3) at 6:45 p.m.

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    by john manzi, for the Billings Series

It’s been a long time between pots for Gregg “Fast Greggy” Keidel but tonight (July 29) at the Summit Fair at Northfield Park he turned the tables on his competition and drove impressively when he went down the road with Star Chip and turned back seven others in a 1:58.2 trotted mile.

Although the harness racing executive has had only three driving victories since 2009 he was among the top drivers in the Billings Amateur Driving Series where he had won over 100 races prior to devoting the majority of his time to the  racing departments at various racetracks in the Midwest.

However, to be fair, Keidel hasn’t driven many times in recent years (only 32 since 2009) and only does when he can get away from the racing office.

Tonight in greater Cleveland, he was a perfect fit behind the Kurt Sugg-trainee and Keidel wasted no time sending his charge to the lead when the gate sprung. And despite nearly half the field stuck on the limb in the early going Keidel got Star Chip by the first panel in a relatively soft 30.1.

The ‘limbed’ horses didn’t keep the pressure on Star Chip and Keidel was able to get away with another :30.2 quarter. However, from there it was Katey bar the door as Keidel stepped on the gas and Star Chip trotted away with a :28.4 third panel and then added another .29.1 quarter to coast home a three-length winner over Upfront Chip Daddy and driver “Michelle the Belle” Ruvola which gave the offspring of the veteran stallion Chip Chip Hooray first and second money in the contest. Third place went to Strong Hope ,driven by “Lawbook Larry” Farley.

Owned by Rebecca Sugg ,Star Chip won for the fifth time this year and paid $6.20 for win. For "Fast Greggy" it was his 103rd driving victory.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 29, 2017) – The Meadowlands Racetrack is announcing that Lady Shadow, an earner of $1,915,777 and the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner as champion pacing mare, will be unable to race at the Meadowlands after a post-race test at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 28 came back positive for Clenbuterol.

According to the ruling issued by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, “Ronald Adams as trainer is in violation of PHRC medication rules and the trainer responsibility rule. Mr. Adams has waived his hearing before the Judges and will appeal the ruling to the Racing Commission. All purse money earned on 5/28/2017 must be returned and redistributed. Transfers of horses must be approved by the Judges at Harrah’s Chester or by the PHRC.”

“As a result of the finding that Lady Shadow was found to have unacceptable levels of Clenbuterol when she raced at Harrah’s Philadelphia and the split sample came back positive, the owners have been advised that the horse will not be allowed to race in the upcoming stake at the Meadowlands,” said Meadowlands chairman Jeffrey Gural.

For more information, visit

Reminder of Meadowlands OOC Requirements

East Rutherford, NJ --- A reminder The Meadowlands is requiring that all horses entered in the stakes listed below 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 (Aug. 5) race card: the Cane Pace, Sam McKee Memorial (US Pacing Championship) Lady Liberty, John Cashman Memorial, and Dr. John Steele Memorial (Fresh Yankee).

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.

Curtain Comes Down for 2017 BWTB

The Meadowlands – Breakfast With The Babies, final edition of 2017, began at 9:30 a.m. on a cool, overcast morning with the temperature at 66 degrees. Gabe Prewitt was there to paint a picture of the races with words.

Strawberry Hanover won the opener for Andy Miller, moving from the pocket around the second turn to take over from Padua Hanover and sprinting off as she pleased in 1:58.4/28.1. Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld were the successful bidders at $95,000 for Strawberry Hanover at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg last fall and Julie Miller is the trainer. Julie drove another from the Miller barn, Final Lady, to be second.

Wolfgang returned from an unsuccessful visit to Ohio for a Sires Stake to win for Jimmy Takter in 1:57.4 / 28.1. Takter took him back early, marched up uncovered past the half to engage Hat Trick Habit (Domenico Cecere) just past the 59.3 half then wore that stubborn rival down late in the stretch for the win. Wolfgang was a $60,000 Lexington Select but for Brixton Medical, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stable and his breeder Fair Island Farm. Hat Trick Habit went a brave trip to be second.

Andy Miller doubled up with his Make It A Double in the third. The pair sat just behind leader Go To Hill (Takter) past the 1:28.2 three panels and when shown racetrack Make It A Double forged by lets in the stretch for the 1:58 flat win. Go To Hill gave way grudgingly in a good effort. The winner was an $80,000 Lexington buy for Andy Miller Stable, Jason & Doug Allen and Julie Miller is the trainer.

Takter came back to take the fourth for pacing fillies with the homebred Betterthanbrie in 1:55.1. The pair sat just off the pace of Balestra Hanover (A. Miller) through three quarters in 1:27.1 then pushed past late for the win. Christina Takter and John Fielding share ownership of the Betterthancheddar first cropper.

The baby race season came to an end with a whimper as only two made their way out to the track and the gelding Ideal Deal outpaced the filly Miss Hill in 1:57.2. It was the Milers again as Andy drove and Julie trains Ideal Deal who is owned by Andy Miler Stable, Nick Surick and Harvey Eisman.

Live racing tonight is highlighted by the eliminations for the August 5 $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and a mandatory payout for the Super Hi 5 Jackpot in the last race where the pool is more than $68,000 and likely to reach a solid six figure total by off time.

First race post time is 7:15 p.m.


Mandatory payout of Super High 5 returns $2,832.40

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 28, 2017) – Eliminations for the pair of signature freshman races at the Meadowlands, the Peter Haughton and Jim Doherty Memorials, were contested on Friday night at the Big M and Jimmy Takter was the human star.

The Hall of Famer sent out both elimination winners in the Haughton with You Know You Do (1:56.1) and Samo Different Day (1:54.2). He drove the latter, who scored as a 21/1 longshot. Takter's four other colts all qualified for next Saturday's final, giving him a six-pack in the Hambletonian Day fixture.

In the Doherty, Trond Smedshammer's Phaetosive followed behind as S M S Princess rolled through suicidal fractions of :27.3 and :54.4. As that one folded through three-quarters of a mile in 1:24.3, Phaetosive got rolling and drew away to win with ease in 1:53.1.

In the second elimination, Takter's Manchego remained undefeated in four career starts with a facile win off a picture-perfect second-over trip in 1:55.2. Takter will send three fillies into next Saturday's final.

Nike Franco backed up her powerful win in the Golden Girls two weeks ago with a lifetime-best mile of 1:48 to win the Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap. She enters next Saturday's Lady Liberty in top form for trainer Jo Ann Looney-King and owner Richard Poillucci.

The biggest upset of the night was authored by Canadian invader Lookslikeachpndale who powered up first-over to win the $20,000 Preferred Trot in a lifetime-best 1:51.1. The Luc Blais trainee was winless in seven seasonal starts entering Friday night, but has shown a liking for the Big M surface in the past, finishing third at 24/1 in last year's TVG Free For All Final. He is being pointed to next Saturday's John Cashman Memorial on the Hambletonian undercard.

Earlier in the night, the fifth race jackpot super high 5 pool featured a mandatory payout. The jackpot stood at $35,864 and attracted $57,774 in new money, chasing the negative takeout scenario. Second choice King's Cavalier and favorite Nono Lindy finished 1-2 with 80/1 longshot Jazebel De Vie finishing third. That helped trigger a 20-cent return of $2,832.40 to 30 winning tickets.

Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,121,251. Live racing continues Saturday with a 12-race program headlined by a pair of eliminations in the Hambletonian Oaks. Post time is 7:15 p.m.

For more information, visit


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 28, 2017—A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (July 29th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $2,002.60.  

The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. 


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 28, 2017—Yonkers Raceway Friday night (July 28th) offered up the $167,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-old fillies.

A trio of equally-parsed ($55,833) six-horse fields comprised the event, which again honored the memory of the former publicity director of both Yonkers Raceway and NBC Sports.

Any number of Cohen family and friends joined in for the winner’s circle presentations, with just one public choice returning for the meet-and-greet.

Roaring to Go (Brett Miller, $3.40) won the evening’s final event in a night’s-fastest 1:52.4. From the pole, she retook from Planet Rock (Dan Dube), then had few issues (:27.4, :57, 1:24.4). She owned a 2¼-length lead into the lane and a comfy length-and-a-quarter at the wire.

            Touchamatic (George Brennan) was a second-up second, with Artrageous (Jordan Stratton) a first-up third.

            For Roaring to Go, a daughter of Art Major owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, it was her first win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $9.50, with the triple returning $33.
One of the faster frosh a year ago (she crossed the line first in last season’s final of the New York Sire  Stakes, but was set down for a pylon violation), Roaring to Go has won eight of her 21 career starts.

“She was sick in the (last season’s) Breeders Crown, and she never really recovered,” Miller said. “Before that, I thought she was as talented as anyone in her division..

“Tonight, she was very good…not quite the way she was last season, but close.”

Friday’s opening NYSS event saw Clear Idea (Brennan, $13.80) stalk 1-10 fave Tequila Monday (Brian Sears), then pick her off in the passing lane by a desperate nose. Candlelight Dinner (Miller) was a charging third, beaten just three-quarters of a length.

From post No. 2, Clear Idea saw Tequila Monday set unpressured intervals of :27, 56.1 and 1:25.1. She had a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, only to get snapped on the money in 1:53.1.

            For second choice Clear Idea, an American Ideal miss co-owned by (trainer) Blake MacIntosh and Hutt Racing, it was her seventh win (five consecutive, fourth in NYSS) in 13 ’17 tries. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $121.

            The second statebred grouping saw the longest shots on the boards, 26-1 Gurl Band K (Dan Dube) and 15-1 Winsun Brooklyn (Pat Lachance), roll home first and second, respectively, in 1:56.1. The latter won the battle, dueling 3-5 pace-setter World Apart (Jason Bartlett) into submission after that one couldn’t hold sway (:27.4, 57.4, 1:26.4) despite pokey fraction.

            A reserved—from post No. 3—Gurl Band K, a seasonal 0-fer entering the evening, was fifth in the stretch before winning by 2½ widening lengths. Marquesa Seelster (Stratton) was third as World Apart tired to fifth.

For sixth choice Gurl Band K, a Rock N Roll Heaven homebred ma’am owned by Robert Key and trained by Andrew Harris, it was that first win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $402, with the triple returning $1,885.

Friday night’s $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Betabcool  (Bartlett, $9.80) in 1:52.4.