New York State Lawmakers Took the Reins and Became Harness Horse Drivers for the Night

at Yonkers Raceway, Competing for Bragging Rights Rather than Purse Prizes

(L-R: Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Nade Sayegh, Stefani Zinerman, Dana Levenberg, Joe DeStefano, Ken Zebrowski, Eddie Gibbs, J.Gary Pretlow, Scott Bendett, Senator Dean Murray, Assembly Member Brian Cunningham, and Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Domingo.)


YONKERS, NY – Members of the New York State Senate and Assembly raced for ‘power positions’ and bragging rights at Yonkers Raceway during the 2023 Legislative Pace hosted by Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts’ (“Empire City”) on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Dubbed the “Hottest Political Race of the Year”, the event consisted of four, before-the-card non-wagering harness races featuring New York State legislators competing in double-seated jog carts alongside professional harness racing drivers. Each race consisted of two laps around the famed one-half-mile Yonkers Raceway oval. 


The annual event brought together bi-partisan legislators from across the state to the historic Yonkers Raceway, which was founded in 1899 and is now part of Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts. Empire City boasts the sixth largest gaming floor in the country and welcomes over nine million guests annually. 


The stacked lineup of legislators for the 2023 Legislative Pace included some return participants and repeat winners. Participants included Assembly Members Nader Sayegh (D-Westchester), J.Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester), Joe DeStefano (R-Suffolk), Karl Brabenec (R-Orange/Rockland), Brian Cunningham (D-Brooklyn), Scott Bendett (R-Columbia/Rensselaer/Washington), Stefani Zinerman (D-Brooklyn), Ken Zebroski (D-Rockland), Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn), Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn), Dana Levenberg (D-Westchester/Putnam), and Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx) and New York State Senator Dean Murray (R-Suffolk) .


“Every year we look forward to this friendly, albeit competitive, event and we are thrilled to host the Legislative Pace at the historic Yonkers Raceway once again,” said Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Domingo.


The first win of the night went to Assembly Member Karl Brabenec (R-Orange/Rockland) with his horse “Best Bettor”, who took the win over recurring-champion Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee Chairman J.Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) and neighboring Rockland Assembly Member Ken Zebroski (D-Rockland).


In the second race, the Bronx took home a victory with Assembly Member Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx) outracing Assembly Members Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn), Dana Levenberg (D-Westchester/Putnam), and 2021 Legislative Pace winner Nader Sayegh (D-Westchester). 


The third race gave both J.Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) and Ken Zebroski (D-Rockland) a second chance at a win, as they raced for the second time of the night. They faced Senator Dean Murray (R-Suffolk) and Assembly Member Joe DeStefano (R-Suffolk). DeStefano repeated his 2021 victory and crossed the finish line first with his horse, “He’s Gonna Getya”.


The final race of the night put Brooklyn on display with Assembly Members Stefani Zinerman (D-Brooklyn), Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn), and Brian Cunningham (D-Brooklyn) going head-to-head against their Assembly colleague Scott Bendett (R-Columbia/Rensselaer/Washington). Bendett said “Fuhgeddaboudit” to his Brooklyn colleagues while driving “Editor Choice” and came out on top with a win. 


In the 2022 Legislative Pace, the first win of the night went to Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens). In the second race, Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx) took first place, and the third heat had repeat Legislative Pace winner Assembly Racing and Gaming Chair J.Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) defending his title for the seventh time. The final race of the night was won by Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester). 


Live racing continues at Yonkers Raceway nightly Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday with a first-race post time of 7:00 PM. Races are simulcast and available for viewing and wagering online at where racing fans can create a free account and view live racing at Yonkers Raceway and tracks across the country. 


For more information on Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts, please visit



About Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts

Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts is one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast. Featuring nearly 4,700 of the hottest slots, electronic three-card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo table games, Empire City Casino also offers guests year-round harness racing and international simulcasting; live entertainment including the best party, tribute, and Latin bands; New York’s hottest DJ’s, and more. A selection of dining options will satisfy even the most discerning palate with fan-favorite fare at The Pub, and convenient delicious options at Lil’ Cocina and the Big Kitchen International Food Court. Visit Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Empire City Casino is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information, visit or call 914.968.4200. 


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