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Racing Roundup: One More Laugh wins Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers
Saturday, September 01, 2012 - from harness publicists across North America

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Saturday’s (September 1) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Tioga Downs, Scioto Downs, Running Aces and Vernon Downs.

One More Laugh wins Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers

Yonkers, NY --- Double-millionaire One More Laugh (Patrick Lachance) authored a repeat performance Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Justin Grasso photo
One More Laugh was a 1:52.1 winner in the Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers.

Assigned post position No. 5, One More Laugh waited his turn, taking over from 17-10 favorite Sapphire City (Brent Holland) just after a :26.4 opening quarter-mile.

He rated a :56 intermission before getting a first-up challenge from Blatantly Good (Larry Stalbaum). The leader remained the leader -- albeit slightly -- in and out of a 1:24.3 three-quarters, then held that stubborn foe off to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths. The mile of 1:52.1 was a tick slower than a week ago. Aussie Reactor (Jordan Stratton), Dancin' Yankee (Jim Pantaleano) and Whogoesfirst (Cat Manzi) rounded out the payees. Sapphire City wound up breaking in the pocket and finishing last.

One More Laugh, a 5-year-old McArdle gelding trained by Ray Schnittker for co-owners himself, Creative Racing and J & T Silva Stables, returned $9.20 (third choice) for his fifth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $50.50, with the triple returning $159.

-- Frank Drucker

Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Heart Of Rocknroll (Rocknroll Hanover) scored his first Open win at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. The 5-year-old pacer sat the pocket behind the race’s favorite Kelly’s Noah (Kim Crawford) and cruised up the passing lane to secure the win in 1:52.4. Stonebridge Rocket (Billy Dobson) fought gamely on the outside for second while Kelly’s Noah held third. Wally Hennessey, who piloted Heart Of Rocknroll for his brother, trainer Dan Hennessey, had five wins on the Saturday card. For Heart Of Rocknroll, the victory in the $18,500 Open Pace was his sixth score of the season.

Tioga Downs
Southwind Trini and Jim Meittinis were dismissed by the betting public in Saturday night’s first race at Tioga Downs, the $16,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace. Oceans Motion (Chuck Connor, Jr.) was made the overwhelming favorite and was assigned post position six in a field of six. Connor quickly put Oceans Motion on the front through fractions of :26.4 and :55.4. As the field headed towards three-quarters, Meittinis moved Southwind Trini to the outside and made a hard first over bid on the leader past the three-quarter-mile mark of the race in 1:23.2. Around the final turn, Meittinis was able to get Southwind Trini to the front and they held off a late charge by For All We Know (Keith Kamann) to win in 1:52.1. It was the sixth win in 29 seasonal starts for the 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover–Tattoo Hanover for trainer Rob Harmon.

Scioto Downs
Lost Jewels left no doubt who was the best in his division of the Open II Pace at Scioto on Saturday night as he led all the way to win by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:51.1 for driver J. D. Wengerd. The 4-year-old son of Royal Art was sent off as the 6-5 favorite and lived up to expectations in downing Doc’s Yankee, who sat on the pacesetter’s back the entire way and simply couldn’t catch him. War Dancer finished third. Trent Stohler trains Lost Jewels and he co-owns the pacer with Patty Roth, Benjamin Graber, and Dolne Farm Services. In the other division of the Open II Pace, Frog Juice scored with a come from behind tactic in the same 1:51.1 clocking. Frog Juice picked up cover from favored Trick Man when Ray Paver moved him on the outside to challenge the pacesetter Jokin Man. Trick Man wore down Jokin Man as they entered the stretch but Frog Juice had the most pace in the homestretch and he gunned down Trick Man to win by a neck. Damon Blue Chip finished third. The winner is owned by Gerald Orrico and trainer Tricia Shepard. Robert Dinning was in the bike. Victory Is Coming won the $12,000 Open II Trot for trainer-driver Ammon Hershberger with 1:56.1 effort. The 5-year-old mare is owned by Betty and John Shaw. Walltocousins grabbed the lead first and then it was Action On George who wanted the front end. While the leaders were setting fast fractions, Hershberger had Victory Is Coming in the middle of the pack. He attacked with his mare in the final quarter. She rocketed from sixth place to overtake Action On George to win by three-quarters of a length. Walltocousins held for third place while favorite Quick N’ Slick broke stride in the stretch and finished last in the 10-horse field.

Running Aces
On the final Saturday night of the 2012 season, in front of another huge throng of racing fans, veteran horsemen Gerry Longo and Tim Maier celebrated big nights for different reasons. Longo, 67, had three winners from his stable including two in which he was the sulky-sitter. Longo’s success story started when he guided his own Free Parkin Behind to a 1:57.3 score in a bottom level claiming race for mares. She beat Racetrack Diva (Tim Maier) and Juntique (Evan Coblentz). Two races later catch driver Nick Roland, the meet’s leading driver, was hired to steer A Peace Of Diana to a gate-to-wire tally in a second division of the same $3,300 purse class. Owned by Peg Hoffman and trained by Longo, the winner bested Aeronaut (Steve Wiseman) and Allamerican Redhot (Lemoyne Svendsen) in 1:57.1. Longo’s third visit to the winner’s circle came when Sharon Spur won a $5,000 race for $4,500 claiming mares in 1:56. It was the fifth win in nine starts since Longo claimed the daughter of Sharky Spur for his own account. She bested Ronny B Good (Roland) and Silver Bloom (Wiseman). Maier’s celebration was due to winning the featured $8,200 Fillies and Mares Open Pace with longshot Castle Oaks, getting up by a short neck in the final strides in 1:54.1. Making the victory even sweeter was the fact it came on Tim’s 59th birthday! Owned by long-time Maier Stable supporter Alan Kirschenbaum, Castle Oaks was making just her second start at Running Aces this season. Epona (Roland) and Scooter Babe (Wiseman) followed her across the finish line.

Vernon Downs
Stir Me Up and Cedarridgetag were co-feature race winners on the diagonal gait during Saturday night’s 12-race program at Vernon Downs. Stir Me Up moved into the lead from fourth at the quarter in race six and continued to cut out the mile from there, winning easily in 1:55.1, to snare his second score in succession, fifth at the 63-program meeting and seventh overall. Tyler Raymer held the reins as the 4-year-old son of Classic Photo-Dirty Martini earned his second Vernon victory of 2012 and increased his career earnings to $43,780 for owner Vito Cucci. Two races later, Cedarridgetag carved out a front-striding 1:56.4 triumph for driver Jimmy Whittemore, trainer/part-owner Scott West and Katie Currie. The neck victory over Franklin M Hanover was the second in succession, fourth at the meet and sixth overall for the 4-year-old son of Tagliabue-T W Linda, who increased his lifetime bankroll to $32,923. Saturday’s swiftest mile was a 1:52.3 pacing performance by Maxnifizent in race five, which helped Whittemore attain his meet-leading 13th driving double. Dave Jannone conditions the 3-year-old son of American Ideal-Tuffenuff Mindale for owners Michelle C. and Albert C. Crawford. Driver Rick Plano picked up four tallies during the night to raise his meet-leading total of first-place finishes to 98. Brian Connor, who earned three wins here on Friday, secured his eighth double at the Downs on Saturday.

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