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‘French-Centric’ Matinees Return Sunday

Published: November 3, 2015 1:41 pm ET

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Officials with Yonkers Raceway have announced that the track’s Sunday programs of matinee racing will return this coming weekend.

First post for the dozen-race card on Sunday, November 8 is 11:25 a.m. and the first seven races – all of which feature oversized fields of trotters racing one and a quarter miles – will be simulcast overseas.

Yonkers’ Sunday card is highlighted by a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot (Race 3) which will see Luminosity (who will be driven by George Brennan) start from the trailing Post 10. The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall will be in search of his fourth consecutive win and sixth in his last seven tries.

Yonkers’ Sunday card will mark the one-year anniversary of the simulcasting of races from Yonkers to the French PMU distribution hub.

The European simulcasting began on Sunday November 9, 2014 and through the first year, more than $19 million U.S. dollars have been wagered on races from Yonkers throughout Europe. In total, 27 cards from Yonkers were simulcast, featuring a total of 141 races – that works out to an average of $700,000 per card or $138,000 per race. Most days when simulcasting is scheduled, only five races are broadcast to Europe, all trotting races with bigger fields and mile-and-a-quarter distances.

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the results through the first year of our relationship,” said SOA of NY President Joe Faraldo. “The track and the horsemen have all worked together to make this experiment successful and we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help. The work involved has been no small investment by everyone both in terms of money and sacrifice.”

To accommodate the new market, and the six-hour time difference, Yonkers raced its Tuesday cards in the afternoons, along with some special early Sunday cards. Five of the next six Sundays in 2015 will feature first-race post times of approximately 11:15 a.m. at Yonkers Raceway as the simulcasting schedule continues.

“With the strength of this simulcasting relationship and with complete support from Tim Rooney Sr., Bob Galterio and the whole Yonkers staff, we were able to bring back the Yonkers International Trot last month,” continued Faraldo. “It’s another step in strengthening the Yonkers product, reaching new markets and positioning Yonkers for growth.”

Yonkers anticipates a similar European simulcasting schedule for 2016, with the first Sunday matinee simulcast scheduled for January 10.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway and SOANY)

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