Recess is just about over. Yonkers Raceway, dark since the June 2 stakes card, returns Friday night with a dozen-race dossier.
Yonkers also returns with a nearly 20 percent, across-the-board purse increase. The new purse structure ranges from $11,500 for non-winners of two pari-mutuel races on the pace and $12,500 claimers on both gaits to $44,000 for the weekly trio of Open Handicaps for trotters, pacers and distaff pacers.
During the down time, track superintendent Ed Ryan oversaw a resurfacing of the oval, along with extensive work (asphalt, painting and roof maintenance) in the paddock.
A look at the numbers shows a pair of Yonkers regulars sitting on milestones. Driver Mark MacDonald began this week 23 wins shy of 5,000 for his career, while trainer Mark Ford--who recently eclipsed $50 million in career purses--was at 2,999 wins through Sunday.
After the programs of Friday and Saturday, the Raceway returns to its usual five-night-per-week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday) schedule beginning June 18. First post for all programs remains at 7:10 p.m.
Horsemen are advised that during the remainder of the hiatus, the entry box closes at 9 a.m. (for example, the box for this Saturday's card closes Tuesday at 9 a.m., instead of the usual 4 p.m. Scratches and changes are made by 10 a.m. the day after the draw).
The one exception is the card for Tuesday, June 19, which closes with changes this Friday at 10 p.m. Beginning Friday, Yonkers return to its regular draw schedule.
For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627.
Evening simulcasting also returns Friday, with afternoon simulcasting continuing around the NYRA schedule. (Yonkers)