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  Trotters, pacers return to Cal Expo Saturday night
Posted by: Admin - 11-09-2018, 09:03 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

Trotters, pacers return to Cal Expo Saturday night
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Saturday is opening night of the Watch and Wager LLC harness meeting at Cal Expo, with a 12-race program headed by a pair of $7,000 Open Paces.
First post is 6:10 p.m. and beginning next week there will be racing on Friday and Saturday evenings.
New at this meeting will be the Single 6, a 10-cent wager with a unique serial number jackpot winner. There will be 50 percent going to the consolation pool and 50 percent to the jackpot. 
The first of the Open events goes as the eighth on the card and finds Gorgeous For Real going postward off a solid qualifying score last weekend. The 4-year-old races for Billie Schwartz, Junior Wilkinson and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano at the controls.
Gorgeous For Real has posed for pictures following 14 of his 58 lifetime outings with a career standard of 1:51 flat that was set at Hoosier Park on August 17.
Gravelsinmytravel is suiting up for veteran Dean Magee in this contest. The 7-year-old son of Veracious Hanover leaves from the cozy rail slot and will be gunning for his sixth victory of the season from 22 trips to the post.
Gravelsinmytravel recorded his most recent score at Running Aces on August 19, igniting when it counted to be up by a head and comes into this assignment with a 1:51 3/5 lifetime standard that was established two years ago at the Meadowlands. Rounding out the field are Dontdoubtthelakers, Mr Varsity, Last Dragon, Prodigal, Swagasaurusrex and Twomickeytrip.
I’m An Athlete back on the big track
I’m An Athlete will be gunning for his 40th lifetime score from 186 trips to the post when he suits up in Saturday night’s ninth race for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy.
The 8-year-old son of Art Major spent his summer at Running Aces, Pocono and Harrah’s Philadelphia, and according to this trainer is happy to be home after a nice runner-up effort in a 1:56 25/ qualifier last weekend.
“He’s just so-so on the smaller tracks around the tight turns, but he really likes it here at Cal Expo,” Pacheco noted. “That qualifier was just to get him night and tight for this weekend.”
I’m An Athlete has earned his $185,590 bankroll the old-fashioned way and established his 1:51 flat lifetime mark here earlier the season. He’ll look to get back to his winning ways while leaving from the middle of the field.
“He’s a real pro,” Jessie related when asked about the veteran pacer. “You can jog him with two fingers and he doesn’t need hopples to train. The only thing is, he’s much better around the big turns like we have here at Cal Expo.”
Pacheco currently houses 16 performers in the shedrow, with several more due in soon, and is looking to get things off to a fast start this weekend.
There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5 that begins on the first race and the 20-cent Pick 4 that will get underway with the ninth race.  

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  Meadowlands Action Heats Up As Temperatures Drop
Posted by: Admin - 11-09-2018, 09:03 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

Meadowlands Media Relations
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Last Saturday (Nov. 3) night's four Kindergarten Classic finals served as the catalyst for the Meadowlands to break out of the handle doldrums and bet a meet-high $2,539,968 on the 11-race program.

The per race average reached $230,906, with race eight's $306,544 serving as the most-played dash of the night. The track's signature 50-Cent Pick-4, as well as its 50-Cent Pick-5, had their meet-best pools of $91,985 and $61,468, respectively.

Big action wasn't restricted to the multi-leg wagers as the amounts wagered in the Exacta ($76,307) in race seven, Trifecta ($67,454) in race three and Superfecta ($42,977) in race seven were evening highs.

A fall chill is expected for this weekend's races (Friday and Saturday, post time 7:15 p.m.), with temperatures expected to be in the 40s Friday and 30s on Saturday, as the mile oval counts down to its next huge night of racing, Saturday, Nov. 24, when the Fall Final Four for 2-year-olds and TVG Series finals will take place.

The Fall Final Four has two pair of $400,000 events – the Three Diamonds, Goldsmith Maid, Valley Victory and Governor's Cup – while the TVGs for 3-year-olds and up have a pair of $350,000 events (the Free For All Pace and Trot) as well as two $175,000 races (the Free For All Mare Pace and Trot).

Free Big M program pages are available on the handicapping tab at ustrotting.com as well as at playmeadowlands.com.
But that's not all.

On the same night as the Fall Final Four and TVG finals, racing fans will be able to come out and visit with the richest Standardbred of all time, the great Foiled Again.

The veteran superstar will be posing for selfies in the Backyard during live racing and there will also be a special commemorative Foiled Again poster giveaway to all guests, which is available at the Players Club Desk beginning at 6 p.m.

ANDY'S FAB FIVE: Last weekend (Nov. 2-3) at the Meadowlands, driver Andy McCarthy had the hot hand, winning five times over the course of the 21 races to up his meet-leading win total to 10. Yannick Gingras was next with three winner's circle visits.

On the training side, two conditioners – Tony Alagna and Ron Burke – each won three times.

BLUE POINT FAB FIVE: The Meadowlands' Pink Restaurant will host a fabulous five-course dinner for beer lovers Saturday night.

Each course is paired with a delicious beer from Long Island's Blue Point Brewing Co. (https://www.bluepointbrewing.com/ ). The price is $49.95 (plus tax and gratuity), with reservations required. For this extraordinary experience, call 201-843-2446.

NON-STOP ACTION: At the Meadowlands, in addition to wagering on the world's best harness racing, one can also bet on college and pro sports at the track's FanDuel Sportsbook.

The sports book is open from 10 a.m. – 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. – 2 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. – 1 a.m. on Sunday, but be aware, when there is a football game at MetLife Stadium it is not business as usual.

Go to this link to find out what to do in this case: https://fanduel.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/331/~/what-are-the-fanduel-sportsbook-hours-at-the-meadowlands%3F

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  Eight Different Trainers This Year But Mainland Key N Keeps Producing
Posted by: Admin - 11-09-2018, 09:01 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies


WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 8, 2018 — At 13, Mainland Key N probably has reached an age where he'd rather kick back, nosh carrots and binge-watch Season 3 of Mr. Ed. But trainers keep claiming him — he's performed for eight of them this season alone — so the old boy keeps working . . . and keeps producing.

In fact, when he goes forward in Saturday's third race at The Meadows, he'll be looking to edge closer to $900,000 in career earnings, an impressive bank account for a hard knocker. He'll leave from post 8 for Dan Rawlings and owner/trainer John Sullivan. First post is 1:05 PM.

Mainland Key N had 26 starts and a little more than $20,000 on his card when he was imported from New Zealand. He sparkled stateside, competing against some of the best. The son of Shiney Key-Eastwood Bluejeans enjoyed his finest season in 2011 when he banked more than $200,000 and sprang a 32-1 upset in a leg of the prestigious George Morton Levy Series. He's taken season's marks at five different venues — Dover Downs, Harrington, Harrah's Philadelphia, The Meadows, Yonkers — indicating that he never had to take his racetrack with him to succeed.

While he's stayed largely sound, diminishing speed has forced trainers to race him where he can win — in claimers. That's how he ended up in eight stables this year — 10, if you count the two stints each for trainers Kevin Johnson and Marcus Marashian. Sullivan grabbed him Oct. 6 for $10,000.

"I wasn't concerned that he's 13," Sullivan says. "He still has a whole year to race, and he's pretty sound. I had a couple other horses in for $10,000, and this guy was always beating me. He'd already earned about $50,000 this year, so I figured he had to be worth $10,000. He still starts 30 to 40 times a year, and he's definitely a classy old horse. He has to be, to have made that kind of money."

Mainland Key N has seven wins this year and has hit the board in 21 of 33 outings, but he's had little recent luck with post positions. Counting Saturday's race, he's drawn post 6 or deeper for nine of his last 10 races, prompting Sullivan to make a change.

"He loses interest when he gets away towards the back, so I dropped him to the $7,000-$8,000 Claiming Handicap. Sure enough, he drew post 8 again."

Sullivan, by the way, has become something of the go-to guy for geriatrics. He also trains 9-year-old Thiswayorthehighwy, who's banked $212,651, and Sam Hill, a fan favorite who at age 12 has earned $634,827 and continues to compete in fast classes.

"I try to get them back together and do what I can for them," Sullivan says. "I think I've helped a couple of them. They have bumps and bruises, so you have to pick your spots when you train them. But they're warhorses. They know what to do."

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  The Meadows Announces Changes To Pick 4, Pick 5 Guarantees
Posted by: Admin - 11-09-2018, 09:00 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies


WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 8, 2018 — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino today announced changes involving guarantees for its daily Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers.

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 10, The Meadows no longer will offer pool guarantees for each Pick 4 and Pick 5 wager. Instead, the track, in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative, will offer a $5,000 total-pool Pick 4 guarantee on Mondays and Tuesdays only.

While there will be no scheduled Pick 5 guarantees, The Meadows indicated it may add "instant" Pick 4 and Pick 5 guarantees when pools are carried over.

Each live card at The Meadows features a Pick 4 (races 4-7), a Pick 5 (final five races) and a Super Hi-5 (final race).

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  Yonkers: Lean Hanover Wins Sunday 44G Open Hadicap Trot
Posted by: Admin - 11-05-2018, 08:41 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 4, 2018—Yonkers Raceway’s all-trot Sunday (Nov. 4th) matinee saw a  second-over Lean Hanover (Jordan Stratton, $19.60) winning the featured $44,000 Open Handicap.
The six-horse feature went at the flat mile, one race after the seven added-distance ‘French’ trots.
Trying to leave from assigned post position No. 5, Lean Hanover could not match strides early before retreating into a four-hole.   
It was Gruden (Jason Bartlett, five winners during the 10-race card) vaulting over his quintet of inside rivals. He went past DW’s NY Yank (George Brennan) and led through early intervals of :28 and :57.4.
Polester Sortie (Brian Sears), as the tepid 3-2 favorite, then moved from third with Lean Hanover hitching a ride behind that one. Sortie drew even with Gruden in and out of a 1:26 three-quarters before being dismissed.
Gruden owned a length lead off the final turn, but the walls were closing in. Lean Hanover rolled right by, defeating a third-over Jack Vernon (Dan Dube) by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:55.4. Gruden faded to third, with DW’s NY Yank and Sortie relegated to the minor moolah.
Bioness (Eric Goodell) misbehaved early and was outrun.  
For fourth choice Lean Hanover, a 5-year-old Donato Hanover gelding co-owned (as  P C Wellwood Enterprises) by (trainer) Paula Wellwood and Karen Carroll, it was his fifth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $159, the triple returned $748 and the superfecta paid $1,433.
The winner was third as an odds-on favorite in his previous try. 
Sunday’s version of the ‘New York, New York Double’ featured a chalky winning combination of 1-Big Muddy (Aqueduct’s 1st race) and 3-Undici (Yonkers’ 3rd race), returning $6.40 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $3,560.
Sunday afternoon’s 10-race, all-sources handle was $1,092,113.
The next Sunday matinee is Nov. 18th (post time TBA). 

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  Yonkers' Monday Pick 5 Features $1,400 Carryover, 10G Guarantee
Posted by: Admin - 11-05-2018, 08:41 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

                          BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway          
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 4, 2018—A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening's (Nov. 5th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $1,406.29 and a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program.
The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 5 through 9 Monday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Sunday afternoon), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program.
Monday's program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-conte...rogram.pdf.

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  Yonkers Sets Sunday Post Time, ‘Double’ Info
Posted by: Admin - 11-03-2018, 06:06 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 2, 2018—Yonkers Raceway’s Sunday matinee this weekend (Nov. 4th) shall offer a first post of 11:35 AM.
Races 1 through 7 go as those ‘French’ trots, with post times as such…
1st –11:35 AM
2nd -- 12:05 PM
3rd – 12:35 PM
4th – 1:05 PM
5th – 1:35 PM
6th – 2:05 PM
7th – 2:35 PM
Post time for the 10th-race finale is 3:35 PM.   
Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ is comprised of the first race from Aqueduct (first post 12:20 PM) and the third one race from Yonkers (post time 12:35 PM). Program pages accompany this release.
After this weekend, the next Sunday matinee is November 18th (post time TBA).   

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  Yonkers: Rockstar Angel A Wins Friday Night 44G Distaff Derby
Posted by: Admin - 11-03-2018, 06:05 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 2, 2018—Tepid favorite Rockstar Angel A (Eric Goodell, $5.30) continued her form spree Friday night (Nov. 2nd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s moist $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

From outside post position No. 5 (in one notch after a defection), Rockstar Angel was stuffed into a pocket behind Medusa (Jason Bartlett) as that one led through intervals of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.4.

Rockstar Angel A was out to engage by the three-quarters, finally disposing of Medusa early in the lane.  She then widened to win by 2¼ lengths in 1:54.2. Sophomore statebred Alexis Faith (Brian Sears) was second, with Keystone Wanda (Jim Marohn Jr.)—who broke late—surviving an inquiry to stay third.  

Medusa faded to fourth, with Angel’s Pride (Brent Holland) distanced after jumping it off early.  

For Rockstar Angel A, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her 10th win (third consecutive) in 26 seasonal starts  The exacta paid $25, with triple and superfecta wagering refunded due to the short field size.

The Raceway is offering full-card Breeders’ Cup wagering Saturday (Nov. 3rd), opening at 10 AM in advance of Churchill Downs’ first post of 10:45 AM. Empire Terrace lunch reservations may be made at (914) 457-2454.

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  Meadowlands: 'Diamond' Flexes Muscle In Big M Feature
Posted by: Admin - 11-03-2018, 06:04 PM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When it comes to the Meadowlands, Muscle Diamond is very much a horse for the course.

The 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover thrashed five overmatched opponents in the Friday night feature at the mile oval, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters.

Winning driver Andy McCarthy did not rush the 1-9 favorite to the top, opting instead to make his way steadily to the lead while racing on the outside at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.4. A sleepy :29.1 fraction followed as Pappy Go Go – seeking his third straight win – put up a fight from first over, but the Brett Bittle-trained Muscle Diamond rebuffed that challenge before hitting the wire 1¾ lengths in front of a fast-closing Tyson. Pappy Go Go held on for third.

Muscle Diamond, who set his lifetime-best of 1:50.1 at the Big M in late June before taking the Vincennes on Hambletonian Day in 1:51, completed his mile Friday in 1:52.2 to stay perfect in three Meadowlands starts this year. He paid $2.20 to his backers in winning for the 17th time in 51 lifetime starts while upping his earnings to $755,199 for owners C. Keller III, C. Keller IV, E. Bittle and B. Bittle.

A LITTLE MORE: McCarthy had the hot hand all night, taking four races on the card. ... One lucky simulcast player at Pompano Park had a huge night. He or she was the only player to have all 10 winners in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $10,221. ... Six favorites hit the winner's circle on the 10-race card, and in two of the races where the public choice lost, the winner's odds were 6-5 (race four) and 2-1 (race eight). ... All-source handle on the program totaled $1,723,596. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Four finals of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds sit atop the marquee, with purses that total almost $900,000.

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  Yonkers' Empire Terrace Open For Breeders' Cup Saturday Lunch
Posted by: Admin - 11-02-2018, 12:30 AM - Forum: Harness Racing - No Replies

BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, November 1, 2018—Yonkers Raceway's Empire Terrace shall be open for lunch Breeders' Cup Saturday (Nov. 3rd) beginning at 12 Noon.
Wager and wager throughout the Churchill Downs' card, which begins at 10:45 AM. The lunch menu includes three cheese ravioli, veal Milanese, New York strip steak and filet mignon, along with salads and burgers.
Reservations may be made at (914) 457-2454.
A reminder that mutuel windows open at 10 AM Saturday, and after the Breeders' Cup Classic, there's a 10-race live harness card with the usual first post of 6:50 PM.

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