Ageless Foiled Again Eyes 100th Career Win at Yonkers Raceway Saturday

Foiled Again, the ageless “Wonder Horse,” eyes the 100th win of an astonishing career on Saturday night (January 20) at Yonkers Raceway. In his last year of racing, the 14-year-old Dragon Again gelding will be driven by regular pilot George Brennan in the $20,000 first race pace at Empire City Casino’s historic half-mile harness oval.
Talk about a “horse for course,” that would be Foiled Again at Yonkers.  Rarely “foiled,” the veteran classmaster has 34 wins, 12 seconds,  and six third places in 70 starts at Yonkers. That’s a plus-.480 “batting average” (win percentage), more than 1/3rd of his career victories, and 74 percent “in the money” finishes! Wow!
 
FOILED AGAIN CLOSE UP.jpgHarness racing’s richest-ever horse with a $7,568,478 career bankroll will start from the outside post position No. 7 in the Saturday opener with a 6:50 pm post time.
 
Win No. 99 came last Saturday night (January 13) in Foiled Again’s season debut, a half-length score timed in 1:55 at the same non-winners $20,000 in last five starts level.
 
According to the United States Trotting Association, Foiled Again would become the 18th standardbred (in what might be described as modern era mid-seventies through today) to reach the coveted 100-win milestone, joining most notably the revered Rambling Willie, who paced to 111 victories during a storied career from 1976 through 1983. Heisman (134 wins/1978-89) is another familiar name in the “100 Win Club). For the full list visit: http://www.ustrotting.com/trackside/top_performers/all_time_stats.cfm?type=pace&sort=wins&q=c.
 
FOILED AGAIN WINS NO. 99

Win photo no. 99 last week in Yonkers winner’s circle

“What can I say?” was driver Brennan’s post mortem last week. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. I moved him to the lead and he gets lazy, which he does. Then, when he was challenged, he dug in.”

Brennan once again takes a seat behind the wily veteran who is co-owned by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. With that 99th win in his 304th purse try (in addition to 65 seconds and 43 thirds), he improved the retirement fund to $7,568,478.
 
Foiled Again, who’s been winning races here since 2006, includes a pair of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Seriestitles (2009-10) on his robust resume. He also captured the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Pocono Downs in 2013.

It’s Drive Time at Yonkers Raceway in 2018!

New Director of Racing at Yonkers Raceway, Cammie Haughton (center),  and the raceway’s leading drivers – (left to right) Daniel Dube, Jordan Stratton, Jason Bartlett. George Brennan and Brent Holland — have been working hard to improve the racing for harness fans in 2018. The recent elimination of the “passing lane,” initiating more movement in the races, and monitoring the “off times” so as not to conflict with other tracks are all expected to make for a better product, and thus increase handle.

YONKERS LEADING DRIVERS WITH CAMMIE HAUGHTON

Cammie Haughton in “Drive Time” with Yonkers Raceway’s five leading sulky stars

BARTLETT, JASON CELEBRITY RUTH MIKE CIPRIANI TROT .jpg

“Maine Man” Jason Bartlett pairs Celebrity Ruth in Mike Cipriani Trot

STRATTON, JORDAN MACKENZIE A WINS MATCHMAKER FINAL 2017 $310,600.jpg

“Air” Jordan Stratton steers MacKenzie A. in Matchmaker finale

BRENNAN, GEORGE TAKE IT BACK TERRY  WINS LEVY PRELIM.jpg

George Brennan wins in a photo with Take It Back Terry in Levy division

HOLLAND, BRETT SAPPHIRE CITY.jpg

Brent Holland shines with Sapphire City

DUBE, DAN KEYSTONE VELOCITY LEVY FINAL 2017 $529,000.jpg

“Double D” Dan Dube wins Levy Final with Keystone Velocity

 

Thurman Munson Awards Dinner February 6 Honors Posada, Beltran, Robertson, Rivera and Tuck

By John Cirillo

Follow us on the Twitter @JohnnySportsMan

BELTRAN RECEIVES MUNSON AWARD FROM BERNIE WILLIAMS IN 2009.jpg

Carlos Beltran, pictured accepting Munson Award from Bernie Williams, will receive Thurman “Legend” honor on February 6

New York, January 11—A star-studded lineup will be honored at the 38th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, February 6, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City to benefit AHRC New York City Foundation which assists children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These are the award recipients: Two switch-hitting native sons of Puerto Rico and perennial All-Stars  – four-time New York Yankees World Series Champion Jorge Posada, and former Mets and Yankees outfielder and Houston Astros World Series champion Carlos Beltran – will receive the Thurman LEGEND Award; and Yankees standout pitcher David Robertson, New York Mets infielder and Bronx product T.J. Rivera, and two-time New York Giants Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck will each be presented with the Thurman Munson Award.

POSADA MUNSON AWARD 2001 CROPPED ONLY WILLIS, DIANA, BRANCA .jpg

Young Jorge in 2001, pictured with Diana Munson, Willis Reed and Ralph Branca, will be honored again with Thurman Legend Award

The gala remembers the late great Yankees captain and catcher Thurman Munson and has raised more than $15 million for the AHRC NYC Foundation which supports programs that enable children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives. Thurman’s widow Diana Munson will attend her 38th consecutive benefit, having been involved in the dinner since its inception.

DAVID ROBERTSON HEAD SHOT INTERNET

Good guy reliever David Robertson receives a Thurman for his efforts on and off field

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188 or email jennifer@emgbenefits.com. Tickets may be purchased online at www.ahrcNYCfoundation.org/events.

Michael Kay, the “Voice of the Yankees” on YES Network and host of The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York Radio 98.7 FM, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

The 34th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner

Yankees Voice Michael Kay will MC gala

The Thurman Munson Awards are presented annually for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community spirit off the field. The Thurman Legend Award is presented periodically for on-field excellence, community service, and lifetime contributions to society and the game. Yankees icon Yogi Berra, Thurman’s teammates Lou Piniella and Graig Nettles, Yankees World Champion outfielder Bernie Williams, and he “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” duo of Brooklyn Dodgers’ pitcher Ralph Branca and New York Giants’ outfielder Bobby Thomson.

POSADA, KAY, STERLING.jpg

Flashback to 2001: Posada flanked by Michael Kay (left) and John Sterling

The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City. AHRC New York City is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 15,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.

TJ RIVERA HEAD SHOT

New Yorker TJ dedicated to community

All of the five honorees are dedicated to community service. Both Posada and Beltran have spearheaded Hurricane Relief efforts for victims in their native Puerto Rico; the Jorge Posada Foundation assists those afflicted with Craniosynostosis, while the Carlos Beltran Foundation empowers young people to reach their dreams through sports and education; Robertson has furnished homes and supplies for the less fortunate in New York, New Jersey, Alabama and Louisiana impacted by natural disasters through his High Socks for Hope Foundation;  Rivera was the Mets nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his community efforts; and Tuck is widely known for his literacy efforts through the Tuck R.U.S.H. for Literacy foundation.

JUSTIN TUCK.jpg

Giants Super Bowl champ Tuck deserves the accolades 

Posada, a member of the Yankees “Core Four” club that won four championships (1998, ’99, 2000 and ’09), enjoyed a big-league career that spanned 17 years, all with the Bombers, with 1,664 hits, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI as a five-time All-Star. Beltran produced 2,725 hits, 435 home runs and 1,587 RBI as a nine-time All-Star including seven years with the Mets and three with the Yankees, and put an exclamation point on his career with a World Series championship in Houston last year. For stat mavens, this Munson Legend tandem from Puerto Rico combined for 4,389 hits, 710 home runs, 2,652 RBI, 14 All Star appearances and five World Series rings.

Reliable reliever Robertson has worn the Pinstripes for eight years, seven straight seasons beginning in 2006 before returning to New York last season. His two tenures have included 48 of his 132 total career saves, an All Star appearance in 2011, and one World Series Championship in 2009.  The native of Birmingham, Alabama, who was drafted by the Yankees in 2006, and in his return to New York last year posted a tidy 1.03 ERA with an unblemished 5-0 record in key appearances out of the pen.

Yet another Munson honoree of Puerto Rican heritage, New York product Rivera TJ Rivera has defied logic of an undrafted player climbing the ranks in the Mets organization to achieve MLB status. The versatile infielder enjoyed eight seasons with a batting average over .300 beginning with the Brooklyn Cyclones (.326 in 2011) through 2016 with Triple A Las Vegas, hitting a blistering .353. The hot bat continued with the big league Mets, batting .333 in his first call the majors in 2016, and just missing last year at .290 before injury curtailed his season

Tuck proudly wears two championship rings as a key member of the Giants Super Bowl XLII (2007) and Super Bowl XLVI (2011) champions, with epic victories over the favored New England Patriots. During nine seasons at defensive end with Big Blue, Tuck is a two-time Pro Bowl participant. The Notre Dame product was inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor in 2016.

 

Laughs a Priority in 2018 at Empire City Casino with a Pair of Wednesday Comedy Nights to Launch Year with a Smile

Make a New Year’s resolution to laugh a priority with Empire City Casino the destination for a pair of Wednesday Night Comedy shows on January 17th and 31st to start 2018 with a smile. Comedy Central funnyman and MSG Networks’ The Bracket host, Yannis Pappasheadlines on the 17th, while on-the-rise Westchester-born stand-up Paul Virzi tops the bill on the 31st in the casino’s popular Good Time RoomBoth young comics topping the bill have sport ties!
COMEDY YANNIS PAPPAS

Pappas takes center stage January 17th.

January 17th headliner Yannis Pappas has appeared on AXS TV, TruTV, VH1 and Good Morning Americaand was the first comedian to ever do stand-up on the new Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. His album, Let Me Be Yannis, was awarded Album of the Year for 2016 by SiriusXM Comedy, and his half-hour Comedy Central special is available on Amazon, iTunes, and ComedyCentral.com. Pappas is also co-host of MSG’s sports fan show, The Bracket. He will be joined on the 17th by featured stand-up Adrienne Iapalucci and MC Tom Cassidy. Bronx-born Iapalucci competed on season seven of the hit NBC television series, Last Comic Standing, while Cassidy launched his career in Philadelphia at The Laff House Comedy Club.

COMEDY PAUL VIRZI

Virzi on home turf in Westchester on January 31st.

Westchester-native Paul Virzi takes center stage on January 31st. His 2015 debut comedy albumNight at the Stand reached #1 on iTunes and #4 on Billboard’s Top 100. Virzi has made appearances on a gamut of television programs including TruTV’s Comedy Knockout, AXS TV’sGotham Comedy Live, the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, FOX’s Redeye, and has also written for the ESPN ESPY Awards. He was first attracted to stand-up comedy at age nine when he watched Eddie Murphy’s Raw. Joining Virzi is featured comedian Randy Syphax, who has performed in the New York Comedy Festival, and the evening’s host, Bronston Jones, who stands at 6’7” with giant-sized jokes called “certifiably unique” by LA Weekly.

COMEDY Iapalucci .jpg

Lady laughfest with Iapulucci as featured act on January 17th

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are sold at the door the night of the 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.

COMEDY Syphax .jpg

Syphax featured act on January 31st.

While visiting Empire City, patrons can try their luck on the IGT Wheel of Fortune Triple Stars® slot machine, where the record jackpot, only available at Empire City, is fast-approaching the $2.7-million mark.

###
 
About Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway:
Empire City Casino is one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast. Featuring 5,300 of the hottest slots, electronic three card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo, Empire City Casino also offers guests year-round harness racing and International simulcasting, live entertainment including the best party, tribute and Latin bands, comedy, New York’s hottest DJ’s, and more. A plethora of dining options will satisfy even the most discerning palate with Italian cuisine at Nonno’s Trattoria; Dan Rooney’s, a high-energy sports bar; Alley 810, a craft cocktail lounge with retro bowling lanes; and convenient delicious options at the International Food Court or Lil’ Cocina. Visit Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Visit www.empirecitycasino.com or call 914.968.4200 for information.

Yonkers Raceway Opens 2018 Season this Sunday with 12-race Matinee Card

Follow us on the Twitter @JohnnySportsMan
Yonkers Raceway rings in its 2018 racing season this Sunday, January 7thwith a dozen races on a matinee card and a first post of 11:30 AM. It’s the first of 238 live cards at Empire City Casino’s historic half-mile oval.
BARTLETT, JASON HOME N DRY OPEN HANDICAP .jpg

Maine Man Bartlett in quest of fifth straight driving championship, pictured here in the sulky behind Open Handicapper Home N Dry.

Races 2 ($50,000 Open Handicap, post time 12:15 PM) through 8 (post time 3:15 PM) go as overflow-field, added-distance ‘French’ trots. Final race post time is 4:35 PM.

Note that the sequence for Sunday’s “New York, New York Double,” featuring one race from Aqueduct and one race from Yonkers, has not been finalized. Updates, with program pages, shall be sent when available.
EMPIRE CITY TROTTING CLUB 1904 CLUBHOUSE TURN.jpg

Here’s a throwback photo, circa 1904, when Yonkers was the Empire City Trotting Club; now it’s Empire City Casino

Yonkers’ January schedule includes all Sundays (remaining post times TBA), along with Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings (post time 7:10 PM). Dates are pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.

Perennial leading driver Jason Bartlett, who captured his seventh driving title at Yonkers in ’17, seeks his fifth straight championship. Top ’17 conditioner Richard Banca tries to repeat the trainers title. 
BARTLETT, JASON 7,000 IC CAVIAR .jpg

Jason loves Yonkers, photo here Bartlett pairs with IC Caviar for career win 7,000 in 2017

Bartlett brought home 542 winners in 2,635 driving assignments, also leading in that category, to win at a 22.9 percent clip. The 36-year-old native of Augusta, ME, bankrolled $10.4 million in purses which was tops among drivers at Empire City Casino’s historic half-mile oval.

 
“Air” Jordan Stratton ascended to second in the Yonkers standings for the first time on the strength of his finest season with 378 wins and $8.3 million in purses, while George Brennan (327), Brent Holland (214) and Dan Dube (182) completed the top five.
STRATTON, JORDAN FREEZE OUT.jpg

“Air” Jordan, pictured handling the reins behind Freeze Out, had breakthrough season in ’17

Banca, a 42-year-old native of Paterson, NJ, sent out 187 winners, 36 more than last season’s leading trainer, Rene Allard (151). Banca also led with 986 starters (19 percent winning percentage) and purses ($4.01 million). Scott DiDomenico (117 wins), Ron Burke (109) and Gilberto Garcia-Herrera (87) completed the leading five among wins.  

Pudge, Glavine, McCann, Gaylord on Media Conference Call Today to talk Hot Stove Baseball, HOF and Diamond Resorts Invitational Celebrity Golf

MEDIA ALERT
Conference Call TODAY (Thursday, Jan. 4) @ 3 pm ET/RSVP
GAYLORD PERRY, BRIAN MCCANN, PUDGE RODRIGUEZ, TOM GLAVINE
MEDIA CALL THURSDAY ON HOF,
HOT STOVE, DIAMOND RESORTS GOLF 
 
Pro Golf’s Continental U.S. Season Opener Joins
PGA TOUR Champions, LPGA Stars and Celebs Competing for $1.25 Million Jan. 12-14 in Orlando
********************** 
With Major League Baseball’s Hot Stove season in full swing and the National Baseball Hall of Fame balloting creating headlines in anticipation of the Jan. 18 announcement, three Cooperstown enshrinees plus Houston Astros World Champion catcher Brian McCann will talk to the media Thursday at 3 p.m. ET via conference call.
Ø Dial 866 215 0058 at 3 p.m. ET and ask the live operator for the Diamond Resorts Invitational call.
o    PLEASE RSVP IF PLANNING TO PARTICIPATE
 
McCann, Rodriguez and Glavine are all playing in the third annual Diamond Resorts Invitational PGA TOUR Champions Challenge Season event Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resorts Orlando. Perry is not competing but is participating in tournament fundraising and hospitality activities.
 
GLAVINE

HOFer Glavine will tee it up!

The 54-hole competition, featuring the most unique format in the sport, offers a field of 28 PGA TOUR Champions, four LPGA stars and 52 celebrities vying for $1.25 million in prize money.
o   All three days of competition will be televised live on Golf Channel with the pros vying for $750,000 and the celebrities for $500,000.
§  Tournament activities have raised over $2.3 million for Florida Hospital for Children since 2013.
PUDGE 1

Pudge to hit ’em long in Diamond Resorts 

PERRY, who won Cy Young Awards in both leagues, was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991 but had to wait well beyond the five-year eligibility period, having retired in 1983. GLAVINE, the 1995 World Series MVP for the Atlanta Braves, was voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2014.  RODRIGUEZ, a first-ballot Hall of Famer last year, was the American League MVP in 1999 for the Texas Rangers and a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins World Series Champions. McCANN, a seven-time All Star, was a key contributor to the Houston Astros 2017 World Championship victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in October. 

 
WHEN: TODAY/Thursday, January 4th at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT/noon PT 
Dial 866 215 0058 and ask for the Diamond Resorts Invitational Conference Call.
 
CONTACTS:  
John Cirillo, 914-260-7436, johnnycigarpr@aol.com

Cammie Haughton: Man On A Mission at Yonkers Raceway

By John Cirillo with Frank Drucker

Follow us on the Twitter @JohnnySportsMan

Cammie Haughton is a man with a mission.

You can hear the determination, passion and excitement in the voice of the newly-appointed Director of Racing at Yonkers Raceway.

CAMMIE HAUGHTON PRESS SHOT .jpgHaughton met with the raceway’s driving colony prior to last Saturday’s (December 16) racing program as Yonkers wrapped up its 2017 season, and looks ahead to the 2018 campaign.

In an hour-long meeting which included a wide-variety of topics all designed to improve the product and ultimately increase the handle on Yonkers wagering.

“I spoke with the drivers about making the racing more exciting and competitive,” said the son of the late, legendary Hall of Famer Bill Haughton. “More movement and no more holes, which should eliminate slow quarters. That’s the first thing I want to see.”

CAMMIE DRIVERS 1.jpgHaughton also discussed having the Yonkers’ “off times” not conflict with the starts at other tracks, improving the raceway’s video and graphics presentation, and even the possibility of  changing to a staggered starting gate with even more of a “slant” than the one currently in use, giving outside-drawing horses a chance to be more competitive when saddled with a poor post position.

“Everyone I’ve spoken with is on the same page,” said the 57-year-old Haughton, who was named director of racing on November 20. “The horsemen understand that Yonkers has the best harness product, and they want to put out of the best possible presentation.”

CAMMIE DRIVERS 2The 2018 season, which is scheduled to begin with a Sunday, January 7 matinee card (post time TBA, dates pending approval the New York State Gaming Commission), may also find Yonkers doing away with the passing lane (requested and pending NYSGC approval).

“The elimination of the passing lane and more aggressive driving are going to make racing better,” Haughton said. “The purse money is too good for the racing not to be contested at the highest level. Management expects it and our fans expect it.”

CAMMIE DRIVERS 3“We appreciate the continued support of our racing patrons, both on- and off-track, and Yonkers welcomes their feedback as we get ready for 2018,” Raceway COO Bob Galterio said.

Cammie cut his teeth in the New York harness game at Yonkers and Roosevelt under the tutelage of his immortal dad and older brother Peter Haughton, another legend of the game in the Hall of Fame. As we turn the page on 2017, he wants racing at Empire City Casino‘s historic half-mile oval to improve and thrive in this new era as he takes the reins in his new position. JOHNNY AND CAMMIE