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Bartlett, Sumner Take '08 Titles At Yonkers

Published: December 27, 2008 7:39 pm ET

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Jason Bartlett and Robert Sumner earned Yonkers Raceway honours as leading driver and trainer, respectively, for 2008.

The 253-program '08 season (shortened by four weather casualties), ran from Jan. 7 through Dec. 23.

Bartlett's breakthrough season saw him win 461 local races from 2,286 drives (20.2 percent). Stephane Bouchard, who had won the last five Yonkers' driving titles, was second in '08 with 365 wins. Jordan Stratton (259), Jeff Gregory (232) and Greg Grismore (231) rounded out the first five.

The 27-year-old Bartlett, a native of Augusta, Maine, was fourth in North American dash wins (657) and 15th in purses ($6.72 million) at this writing. He was chosen to represent the United States at next May's World Driving Championship in Norway.

Bouchard, whose season was highlghted by Napoleon's mad-scramble, Yonkers Trot victory, did edge Bartlett for the purse title, $5,275,737 to $5,219,406. Bouchard's 2007 purse figure ($5,315,899) remains a local, single-season record.

Sumner was five wins better than Mark Ford (117 to 112) for the training title, though Ford earned the money belt ($1,868,569) by a wide margin over Mickey Burke ($1,036,510). Sumner, 47 and native of Sacramento, California, has operated a successful New England-based stable for years.

Paul Fusco (80), Julius Czermann Jr. (65) and Jake Hartline (59) completed the leading training quintet. The Raceway's 2009 live schedule begins Friday night, Jan. 9.


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