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Yonkers Raceway Drivers
DOB: 09/07/1968 Birth Place: Mattoon, IL Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 8752 Purses: $114,964,997
Migrated from Illinois more than decade ago and he, along with wife, Julie, operate one of sport’s high-end stables. Has enjoyed tremendous New York Sire Stakes success, especially with trotters, over past few seasons. Stable sent out 2017 YR Trot winner, Top Flight Angel. Bounced back from serious injury here in 2014. Won 2008 Hambletonian Oaks with Creamy Mimi.
Among the leading drivers in the Chicagoland area (Balmoral, Maywood, Hawthorne, Sportsman’s) before moving east in late 2008. Thought he can ‘finesse’ with best of them, has been known to coax early speed from both pacer and trotter. First win came at Lebanon (OH) Raceway at age 18.
DOB: 01/21/1968 Birth Place: Ft. Lauderdale, FL Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 9874 Purses: $181,517,233
More than coincidence he’s been leading driver everywhere he’s shown up, including Vernon, the Meadows, Pompano, Meadowlands and Yonkers. Harness Hall of Fame inductee (Class of 2017) has been one of sport’s best ‘money’ drivers for past 15 years. Taken down just about every major race, many more than once and way too numerous to mention in this small space. Won 2017 Yonkers Trot (Top Flight Angel) and Messenger (Downbytheseaside), both by a nose in span of 25 minutes.
One in a long line of prominent French-Canadian drivers to excel south of the border, where he’s been since 1997. Never forgets his upbringing, returning annually for some of province’s biggest races. Among the standout horses he’s driven are pair of Harness Horse of the Year in Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010), latter winning ’10 Little Brown Jug and Messenger Stakes.
When your father is Hall of Famer Carmine Abbatiello, New York harness icon for decades, you have some pretty large shoes to fill. So, after working in insurance and as stock broker, it was off to family profession. Perennial Freehold driving leader who has been getting more and more ‘live’ drives at both Yonkers and Meadowlands. Won last ‘pre-casino’ race here in June, 2005.
DOB: 08/03/1973 Birth Place: Flint, MI Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 5428 Purses: $58,257,160
His route to Westchester was not dissimilar to many, as in make a name for himself at home (Sports Creek, Saginaw, Hazel and Northville) before moving to bigger and better venues. Was a time he could’ve been seen pretty much anywhere in east coast at any time, but peripatetic ways seem to have subsided.
DOB: 04/20/1967 Birth Place: Monticello, NY Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 9564 Purses: $163,830,732
A Yonkers fixture since crossing the river at beginning of this decade, he owns a pair of local driving titles and remains a much sought-after chauffeur. First call for potent Ron Burke overnight stable, Won 2006 Yonkers Trot with Glidemaster, subbing for injured John Campbell and completing that colt’s Triple Crown. Won 2011 Levy Series (Real Nice), that season’s Hambletonian/Hambo Oaks (Broad Bahn/Bold and Fresh) and ‘13 Rooney Pace (Doctor Butch).
DOB: 04/24/1981 Birth Place: Augusta, ME Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 7119 Purses: $90,171,577
After cutting his teeth in home state, Bartlett invaded Yonkers a decade ago, quickly making it his second home. Six local driving titles and well on way to seventh. Also a leading New York Sire Stakes driver, traversing the state throughout that season. Classic wins here include 2013 Messenger (Ronny Bugatti), ’10 (Foiled Again) and ’14 (P H Supercam) G-M Levy Series.
DOB: 09/08/1966 Birth Place: Saratoga Springs, NY Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 6834 Purses: $71,785,878
Learned craft from his trainer/father, Gary, Has been among leading drivers, both in overnight races and New York Sire Stakes for past two decades. Won 2002 Yonkers Trot (Bubba Dunn) and 2005 Hambletonian Oaks (Jalopy), Of late, has concentrated on developing and driving his own stock, which he did with much success earlier in career.
Hard-working horsemen who’s never flashy, always effective. Can usually be seen at Freehold or Philly by day, Yonkers or Pocono by night. His reputation includes patience with young and ‘bad-acting’ trotters. Son, James IV, has begun driving the past few years.
DOB: 09/23/1993 Birth Place: Red Bank, NJ Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 1250 Purses: $12,182,361
Has developed into a NY/NJ/PA mainstay with a workload that has included Yonkers. Philly, Meadowlands and Freehold, plus any number of out-of-town assignments. Becoming more of local presence during season, as evidenced by number of times he’s ‘double-listed’ when overnight sheet comes out.
DOB: 06/30/1987 Birth Place: Holland, MI Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 3310 Purses: $52,482,327
Didn’t come out of ‘nowhere,’ it only seems that way, Did good work at Monticello before making a near-immediate Yonkers impact. Best horse he’s driven to date is, without question, Bit of a Legend N. Only horse to sweep Levy Series, including 1:51 win in 2016 final.
Maritimes gift to Westchester, who migrated stateside in early 2012. Standout in WEG (Toronto) circuit for years, overcoming serious driving injuries along the way. Drove first winner at 17 in career that’s seen him win Little Brown Jug (2006, Mr. Feelgood), North America Cup (2010, Sportswriter) and ’12 Adios and Messenger (Bolt the Duer).
DOB: 03/19/1988 Birth Place: Royal Oak, MI Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 4005 Purses: $57,600,422
Has come a very long way in a very short time in a career that began taking shape and Pompano and Northfield Parks. Had much success driving for ‘everywhere’ leading trainer Ron Burke and when he’s not en route to somewhere, his bases are here and Pocono. Won 2014 Messenger with All Bets Off after pair teamed to win that season’s final of New York Sire Stakes here.
Above numbers are just from driving, as he’s one of few ‘throwback’ driver/trainers. Surname is synonymous with Yonkers as his father, Michel, won any number of driving titles here in Hall of Fame career. Younger Lachance has more than 1,400 training wins and $31 million in training purses while also racing in NJ/PA.
Whatever his accomplishments—and there have been many—is always going to be ‘the driver of 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder’. Trotter won all three legs (Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, Kentucky Futurity) in photo finishes. Leading driver at Mohawk/Woodbine circuit in 2012 before coming stateside who has also won a Little Brown Jug and a Breeders Crown.
DOB: 08/15/1961 Birth Place: Boston, MA Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 3899 Purses: $34,111,873
A consummate New England horseman in every sense of the phrase, began his career in Bay State before making NY/NJ circuit his home base. Always among leading drivers at Freehold and has made reputation locally by bringing any number of solid Aussie/New Zealand horses stateside.
DOB: 10/20/1985 Birth Place: Adrian, MI Career Thru: 09/15/2017 Wins: 2808 Purses: $31,302,593
Yet another ‘footsteps’ horseman, with father, Todd, a prominent midwestern trainer. Made move east and quickly established himself both here and Pocono. Among local highlights are wins in 2013 Blue Chip Matchmaker (Feeling You) and 2015 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace (Autotune Hanover).
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