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Racing Roundup: Domitian Hanover wins Preferred Handicap Pace at Yonkers
Saturday, May 28, 2011 - from harness publicists across North America

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Saturday's (May 28) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Pompano Park, Tioga Downs, Scioto Downs and Vernon Downs.

Domitian Hanover wins Preferred Handicap Pace at Yonkers

Yonkers, NY --- Domitian Hanover (Cat Manzi), an 18-1 proposition, was up on the money Saturday night, upsetting Yonkers Raceway's $37,000 Preferred Handicap Pace.

Tom Berg photo
Domitian Hanover (#2) was a winner in the Saturday feature at Yonkers.

Leaving from post position No. 2, he sat chilly early as BJ's Bequia (Jordan Stratton) made the lead from Eagle Now (Jason Bartlett) after a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. BJ's Bequia then found a :54.4 half before Eagle Now tried to regain. That attempt failed, and the leader actually had some separation before the 1:23.1 three-quarters. However, his rivals soon found and passed him, starting with Howyadoinpal (Jeff Gregory), who went wide around Eagle Now.

Domitian Hanover was able to slip out behind that one and in front of a tough-trip, 9-10 fave J A's Outlaw (George Brennan), taking up the chase in and out of the final turn. Domitian Hanover and Howyadoinpal were slugging it out at the 1:52.1 mile marker, with Domitian Hanover winning by a head in an added-distance 1:59.2. J A's Outlaw ducked inside and was a tight third, beaten a half length, with Forest Vic A (Steve Smith) and Lindy's Bandit (Jim Pantaleano) rounding out the payees.

Domitian Hanover, a 7-year-old son of Camluck owned by John Lyddy and trained by Carl Tirella, returned $39.60 (seventh choice) for his third win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $201, with the triple returning $785.

-- Frank Drucker

Saratoga Casino and Raceway
The Rich Banca-Mark Beckwith tandem teamed up to sweep the Opens at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. Banca’s Rare Jewel is normally the local showstopper but this week the classmaster yielded to stablemate Real Nice. Real Nice (Real Artist) is in the midst of an incredible 2011 season and headed into Saturday’s Open as a six-time winner on the year. With seasonal earnings of nearly $350,000, Real Nice is one of the top money earners in North America to this point in ‘11. On Saturday, the 6-year-old Banca trainee added Saratoga Open winner to his ever growing resume as he went wire-to-wire in the $16,000 feature, holding on in the stretch for the hard fought victory. The win came in 1:52.4 for the 1-5 favorite who saw Future Character (Rick Dane, Jr.) put in a valiant effort in the stretch before coming up second best. Diamond Stick Pin earned the show spot for Dan Cappello, Jr. Rare Jewel completed the “double dip” for the Banca barn as the classmaster prevailed on the front end in the $12,500 Open Two. Just shy of $1.3 million in lifetime earnings, Rare Jewel won for the 58th time in his incredible career on Saturday, stopping the timer in 1:53.2. Mark Beckwith piloted both winners for Banca on Saturday and registered three wins on the evening.

Pompano Park
A hot pace on a hot night led to a major upset in the $14,000 handicap pace on the Saturday program at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.
Maxine's Menace, an 8-year-old Cambest-Maxine's Bandit gelding, was kept far back of front end battles to score a 15-1 upset. With regular pilot Robert Hoffman in the bike, the career winner of more than $173,000 sat seventh in the opening half. Card Dealer (Dan Clements) traded the lead with Sugar's Pride (Chuck Connor, Jr.) and race favorite Four Starz Bling (Wally Hennessey) in :26.2 and :55.1. Heading into the backstretch for the final time, Card Dealer made the lead for the second time and hit the final turn in 1:23. In the stretch with the front end collapsing, Maxine's Menace swung out five wide to win a wild five horse scrap to the wire in 1:52.2. Jerry's Brown Gold (in rein to Tom Sells) was second and D'Artagnan (partnered by Veral Bowman) picked up the pieces to round out the trifecta. The winner is co-owned by trainer Howard Klohr with Phyllis Smith.

Tioga Downs
Ray Schnittker shipped in his millionaire 10-year-old Open trotter Grain Of Truth on Saturday night and left with more money chalked up to his career earnings. Grain Of Truth and Schnittker left from post position six and immediately went to the front through fractions of :27.3, :58.2 and 1:26.4 before trotting away from the field of eight in 1:55.2. It was the fourth win of the season for the son of Self Possessed–Aimee’s Promise who is owned by Charles V. and Giorgan Iannazzo. Grain Of Truth has now won 62 of his 222 lifetime starts and has been on the board in an astonishing 146 of those starts. Get Chipped (Mike Merton) got a pocket trip and hung on for second, while Aruba Vacation (Phil Fluet) worked out a cover trip to get third. Greg Merton and Bruce Aldrich, Jr. each posted driving triples on the night’s 10-race card, while Schnittker scored a driving-training double.

Scioto Downs
Valentowner shot to the front after the first half-mile of Saturday’s featured Open Pace at Scioto Downs and left his rivals in his wake, winning by seven lengths in 1:52.3, fastest mile of the season at Scioto. Dan Noble was in the sulky for trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. and owner Robert Key. Jate’s Boy and Gordie How engaged in a speed duel out of the starting gate, resulting in an opening quarter-mile in :26.3. When driver Kurt Sugg saw that he couldn’t wrest control from Jate’s Boy, he tucked his pacer into the trailing position. Valentowner was biding his time in third place. When the pace slowed during a second quarter in just :30, Noble moved Valentowner with authority, pacing the third panel in a blistering :27 to open a substantial lead. At that point the race was virtually over as Valentowner paced unchallenged to the wire. He paid $4.00, $3.00 and $2.40. It was the first win in three starts this year for Valentowner, who shipped into Scioto from Hoosier Park. The 6-year-old gelding pushed his career earnings past $380,000 with the victory. Caramel Dumpling finished second while Gordie How got up to finish third. Valentowner’s victory was one of four Saturday night for driver Dan Noble.

Vernon Downs
The talented trotter Unshakeable didn’t panic while under pressure in the stretch and, instead, held on to record a 1:56.3 victory in Saturday night’s $10,000 featured seventh race at Vernon Downs. With 10-time track driving champion Howard Okusko, Jr. doing the teaming for his wife, Jessica, the track’s 2009 training titleist, Unshakeable ($6.60) gained the lead before the half (timed in :57.3) and remained in command by a length entering the final furlong. In spite of pressure from two closing rivals in the final strides, Unshakeable just kept digging until he had secured a neck triumph over Spin Spanky Spin in the week’s Open-1 contest. It marked the second season’s score and 16th lifetime win for the 6-year-old son of Andover Hall-Sister Sammy, who is shared in ownership by driver Okusko, Conrad Zurich and the Purple Haze Stables. While boosting the bay gelding’s career earnings to more than $161,000, the Okuskos completed a double during Saturday’s 10-race program, having won earlier in the card with the trotter Mystic Splendor, owned by trainer Okusko and Kenneth Finnerty, in 1:56.2. Multiple victories were also recorded by drivers Jimmy Whittemore and Michael Miller.


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