New York Legislators Compete for Glory at Yonkers Raceway’s Annual Legislative Pace

The race was on as New York State legislators geared up to compete for coveted “power positions” and bragging rights at the Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday, September 12th. This thrilling showdown, known as the Annual Legislative Pace, is jointly hosted by Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York.

The Annual Legislative Pace is a unique spectacle featuring four non-wagering harness races that take place before the main card. Each race spans two laps around the historic one-half-mile oval at Yonkers Raceway, with legislators paired with professional harness drivers in double-seated jog carts to ensure safety.

Last year’s event saw Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens) clinch victory in the opening race, while Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx) secured first place in the second race. In the third race, Assembly Racing and Gaming Chair Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) defended his title for an impressive seventh time. The final race was claimed by Yonkers’ own State Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester).

Per Nader Sayegh‘s comments on social media, the event “highlights the economic engine Racing & Wagering is in our State.”

2023 Legislator's Pace
2023 Legislator’s Pace – credit:

List of legislators competing in this year’s race:

  • New York State Senator Dean Murray (R-Suffolk)
  • Assemblymember Scott Bendett (R-Columbia/Rensselaer/Washington)
  • Assemblymember Karl Brabenec (R-Orange/Rockland)
  • Assemblymember Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx)
  • Assemblymember Brian Cunningham (D-Brooklyn)
  • Assemblymember Joe DeStefano (R-Suffolk)
  • Assemblymember Erik Dilan (D -Brooklyn)
  • Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs (D-Manhattan)
  • Assemblymember Dana Levenberg (D-Westchester/Putnam)
  • Assemblymember J.Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester)
  • Assemblymember Nader Sayegh (D-Westchester)
  • Assemblymember Amanda Septimo (D-Bronx)
  • Assemblymember Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn)
  • Assemblymember Ken Zebroski (D -Rockland)
  • Assemblymember Stefani Zinerman (D-Brooklyn)


Assembly Member Karl Brabenec (R-Orange/Rockland) secured the first win of the night with his horse Best Bettor, defeating the recurring-champion Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee Chairman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) and Rockland Assembly Member Ken Zebroski (D-Rockland).

In the second race, Assembly Member Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx) claimed victory for the Bronx, outpacing competitors Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn), Dana Levenberg (D-Westchester/Putnam), and 2021 Legislative Pace winner Nader Sayegh (D-Westchester).

The third race saw Assembly Member Joe DeStefano (R-Suffolk) repeating his 2021 victory, while the final race featured Assembly Member Scott Bendett (R-Columbia/Rensselaer/Washington) triumphing over Brooklyn colleagues Stefani Zinerman, Erik Dilan, and Brian Cunningham.

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