Belmont Stakes “Justified” at Empire City Casino

Yonkers Raceway, with the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission, has announced a unique Empire Club promotion just in time for Justify.
New (sign up at promotions booth) and existing Empire Club members shall receive a $5 win ticket on Justify as he goes after the Triple Crown in this Saturday’s (June 9th) Belmont Stakes. It’s limited to the first 1,000 members (total value of the promotion $5,000).
Justify drew post position No. 1 in the field of 10 for the 150th Belmont as he tries to become just the second undefeated (Seattle Slew-1977) Triple Crown winner.
Empire Club members may begin receiving the complimentary wager race day beginning at 10 AM, at the main floor promotions booth.
Note that Belmont Park’s first post that day is 11:35 AM, with the 150th Belmont Stakes (11th race) set for approximately 6:46 PM.
On Saturday, June 9, Empire City Casino has your opportunity to be a part of history! The first 1,000 Empire Club Members to visit a Promotions Booth will receive a $5 Race Wager on Justify to win the Triple Crown of Horse Racing. Must be an Empire Club Member to claim; ticket distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, while supplies last.
The Empire Terrace will be open on Saturday, June 9th for both lunch & dinner in celebration of the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown glory up for grabs. Empire City will also feature the Belmont Breeze, priced at $8. The recipe for the drink can be found below the press release .
Belmont Breeze
What You’ll Need
1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
1/2 ounce medium dry sherry
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Splash of orange juice
Splash of cranberry juice
5 mint leaves
Mint sprig and orange zest for garnish
How to Make It
In a cocktail shaker, shake all the ingredients with ice.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and orange peel.
(Recipe Courtesy: Dale DeGroff)

Andy Hendrickson and Vinnie Brand Headline Empire City Casino Wednesday Comedy Nights in June

Empire City Valet Entrance.jpg

The summer will be booming with laughter at Empire City Casino as a pair of hilarious Comedy Nights get the casino’s Good Time Room roaring this June. Catch headliner Andy Hendrickson, from NBC/Seeso’s The Guest List, on June 13 and owner of the Stress Factory Comedy Club, Vinnie Brand, headlining on June 27 as they join a cast of supporting comedians that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. Tickets are sold the night of each show and begin at just $5 for Empire Club members.

Andy Hendrickson brings over 15 years of comedic experience to Empire City on the 13th. Hendrickson’s résumé includes appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Gotham Comedy Live, NBC/Seeso’s The Guest List, and more. Hendrickson has also made his rounds internationally at venues throughout the world, including Canada, England, Holland, and Ireland. He also performed for the U.S. troops on Outback’s Feeding Freedom Tour that provided entertainment for the troops on military bases across Afghanistan. His comedy CD Underachiever debuted in iTunes’ Top 10. Hendrickson will be joined by Maryland native LeClerc Andre. After relocating to Brooklyn, Andre has been busy performing in many festivals and on the hottest stages in NYC. The host of the evening will be Alex Pavone, who is best known for his performances at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival, colleges and clubs throughout North America, and the Yuk Yuk’s stage.

As the owner of the Stress Factory Comedy Club, Vinnie Brand also knows what it takes to get an audience to laugh out of their seats. Even though the NJ-native started as the owner of a comedy club, he has also appeared on various radio and TV shows, including Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, Last Comic Standing, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and the Opie and Anthony Show. Brand will be joined by Texas-native and regular on Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central, Billy Bonnell. Bonnell was also named San Diego’s Funniest Person in 2012 and is a co-founding member of The Tunguska Yacht Club. The host of the night will be Joe Praino, the comic, actor, podcast host and sports enthusiast who is returning to his home county of Westchester, having been raised in the hamlet of Katonah, NY.

Doors for each comedy show open at 7:00 p.m., with performances beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are sold at the door the night of each show. Admission is $5 for Empire Club members and $25 for non-members; non-members can stop by any promotions booth prior to the show and join the Empire Club for free. Elite Club and President’s Club members gain free admission. All attendees receive a complimentary drink ticket.

As Manhattan’s closest casino, Empire City Casino offers entertainment and enjoyment for the whole group. After the show, guests can try their luck on any of the casino’s 5,300 electronic slot machines and video table games, or grab a late-night cocktail one of the casino’s bars on the gaming floor. For directions and more information, visit

Gene Doris Receives Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award


Gene Doris will receive the 2018 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award for his service and contributions to college athletics. The award is the Association’s highest award and annually bestowed upon an individual who has contributed to intercollegiate athletics in such a manner to bring honor to themselves, their institutions, and the profession as a whole.

The award will be presented at the DI-AAA ADA Membership and Awards Meeting on Thursday, June 28 in conjunction with the NACDA Convention.


When I received the call I was stunned,” explained Doris. “Having been part of the DI-AAA ADA and knowing the stature of past recipients, I am truly humbled and honored to be in their company. Having been a basketball coach and an administrator, it is particularly special to receive an award named for Gary Cunningham who accomplished greatness in both endeavors. When you are honored by your peers, the award is the most meaningful you can receive. I want to thank the leadership of Fairfield University for the opportunity to lead their athletics program. And, I want to thank my staff, many of whom were with me for a good portion of my time and with whom I share this honor.”

Fairfield University athletics flourished under Doris with the Stags winning 45 conference championships and 58 regular season conference championships culminating with 35 NCAA postseason berths during his 23-year tenure as the program’s Director of Athletics. The program captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Commissioner’s Cup for overall performance four times, the MAAC Commissioner’s Cup for Women’s Athletics seven times, and the MAAC Commissioner’s Cup for Men’s Athletics three times.


Student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom under his watch as Fairfield consistently placed among the best in the MAAC and in the region for graduation rate and in the annual NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR).

His vision brought the best of athletics to Fairfield County by bringing the NCAA women’s basketball first and second rounds as well as the NCAA women’s basketball regional semifinals and finals to Bridgeport. And, he partnered with Yale University to host the best in college hockey when the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Regionals came to Webster Bank Arena. And, Fairfield University will serve as the host institution for three NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship events at Rentschler Field from 2019-22.

Doris was recognized for his contributions to Fairfield University and to college athletics both regionally and nationally over the years. He was inducted into the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hall of Fame in 2016, the nation’s largest athletic conference. He also received the 2010 Northeast Athletic Director of the Year award and was presented with the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award from Fairfield University in 2013, a tribute to his accomplishments and contribution to the University community.


Prior to his arrival at Fairfield in 1994, Doris was the athletics director at Marist College for five years, during which time the number of intercollegiate athletic teams grew from 14 to 20. Before that, he was an associate athletics director at Fordham University, as well as assistant basketball coach under Richard “Digger” Phelps. Doris coached both basketball and baseball at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, N.Y. and junior varsity baseball at Archbishop Molloy High School in Jamaica, N.Y. In 2007, Doris was inducted into the Catholic High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame for his contribution to the New York City-based league. He holds both a bachelor’s as well as master’s degree from Fordham University.

Annual Fleet Week Raise A Glass to the Military Toast of Town in Big Apple

John Cirillo welcomed members of the military to his hometown in his annual “Buy a Round for the Military: A Toast to Those Who Serve Our Country” in what has become a tradition on the Thursday before Memorial Day when service men and women arrive in New York City for Fleet Week. The Brooklyn native was joined by John Bacchia, Dan Reilly, Diego Isio and Braendey Molson at Rudy’s Bar and Grill and Smith’s Bar. Here’s the photo gallery of the proceedings.

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$300,000 Art Rooney Pace Saturday Night at Yonkers Raceway

5-19-18 Decoy

Post positions have been drawn for the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace and $111,444 Lismore Pace set for Yonkers Raceway this Saturday night, May 26th.

The 28th edition of the Rooney, one of Yonkers’ premier event’s for the sport’s glamour division, offers six 3-year-old colts and two geldings. Inaugurated 1989, the Rooney pays homage to the Hall of Fame founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers and patriarch of the Rooney Family.

Elimination winners Trump Nation with “Maine Man” Jason Bartlett in the bike drew post position four, while Decoy, Dave Miller handling the reins, is saddled with the outside eight hole.

Miller, who has won this race three times, including last season with Downbytheseaside will have his work cut out for him behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jimmy Takter trains for Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco. Decoy won his elim going away, by 8½ lengths in a ‘good’ 1:54.

Bartlett, the perennial leading driver at Empire City Casino’s historic half mile oval, has never won the Rooney. Trump Nation took over early a week ago, making the lead from an eventual breaker and holding sway. He won by a head in 1:53.3. his fastest purse mile of the season.

The Betterthancheddar colt enters the final with new co-ownership (Evan Katz and Crawford Racing) and a new trainer in Chris Oakes.

The field, with declared drivers is as follows: 1-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick), 2-Kwik Talkin’ (Jordan Stratton listed), 3-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4-Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), 5-Jimtastic (Eric Goodell), 6-Major Authority (Yannick Gingras), 7-Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 8-Decoy (Dave Miller).

The 14th Lismore, companion event to the Rooney, was carded as the fifth race. Lone elimination winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) landed in post No. 2 among the octet of 3-year-old pacing.

The field, with declared drivers…1-Solitary (Brent Holland), 2-Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube), 3-Believe in Me (Brian Sears), 4-Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett), 5-Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) 6-Alexa’s Power (Tim Tetrick), 7-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), 8-Reign on Me (Brett Miler).

First post for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM.

Art Rooney Pace Eliminations this Saturday Set Stage for $300,000 Final on May 26

7-15-17 Kwik Talkin', f'nl, L-B Sheppard-Georgia Panagi pix

A pair of $40,000 eliminations for the 28th edition of the Art Rooney Pace are slated for this Saturday night, May 19th, at Yonkers Raceway sets the stage for next Saturday’s (May 26th) $300,000 Rooney Final. Ten three-year-old colts and geldings will go to the post.

The Rooney pays homage to iconic Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers owner and patriarch of the Rooney family.


The Rooney elims are  each a five-to-eliminate-one affair, races six and eight on the 10-race program, with the first four in each returning for next Saturday night’s (May 26th) finale.

These are the six colts and four geldings entered:

Rooney 1st elimination (6th race): 1-Jimtastic (Jason Bartlett), 2-Major Authority (Bartlett also listed), 3-Decoy (Dave Miller), 4-Matinee Fashion (George Brennan), 5-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick).

Rooney 2nd elimination (8th race): 1- Trump Nation (Bartlett), 2-Kwik Talkin’ (Jordan Stratton), 3- Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4- Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 5- Handsoffmychips (Sears also listed).

(Handsoffmychips, Major Authority, Matinee Fashion and Minnie Vinnie are the geldings).

The filly companion event to the Rooney, the Lismore Pace, offers nine three-year-old young ladies. That number necessitated a larger game of ‘musical chairs,’ with all the fillies in one tidy $20,000 elimination. That elim is the fifth race, with the first octet going after $111,444 in the Saturday, May 26th final.


The single elim drew out as such…1-Python Blue Chip (Brennan), 2-Krushed Apple (Dave Miller), 3-Solitary (Brent Holland), 4-Jewels Forreal (Brennan also listed), 5-Pass Line Bluechip (Bartlett), 6-Believe in Me (Sears), 7-Reign on Me (Brett Miller), 8-Alexa’s Power (Tetrick), 9-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald).

Note that Python Blue Chip, Jewels Forreal and Reign on Me are coupled (intersecting owner/trainer), as are Krushed Apple and Believe in Me are also partnered (common ownership).

First post Saturday is the usual 6:50 PM.