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Racing Roundup: Brennan sweeps Yonkers' features
Friday, September 28, 2012 - from harness publicists around North America

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Friday’s Racing Roundup features stories from Yonkers Raceway, Batavia Downs, Northfield Park, Vernon Downs, and Saratoga.

Brennan sweeps Yonkers’ features

Yonkers, NY --- Yonkers Raceway's usual Friday night pair of $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps -- for distaff pacers and both-genders-allowed trotters -- were won by odds-on Royal Cee Cee N (George Brennan, $2.80) and just above even money Arriba Amigo (ditto Brennan, $4.30).

Royal Cee Cee N overcame early challenges to win
Assigned penultimate post position number seven, Royal Cee Cee N had to wait her turn early. Four-deep in the first turn, she eventually made the lead around Keeper's Destiny (Jim Pantaleano) just after a :27.1 opening quarter-mile.

From there, it was a soft :29.2 second interval (:56.3 half) before Naughtytiltheend (Brent Holland) tried it first-up. That one could never come close in and out of the 1:24.4 three-quarters, with "Cee Cee" taking a 1-3/4 length lead into the lane.

She needed only to hold off the loose pocket-sitter, which she did by that same margin, in 1:52.3. Rock N Soul (Jason Bartlett), last week's victor and this week's eight-hole beginner, rallied for third, with Naughtytiltheend and Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) completing the cashers.

Royal Cee Cee N, a 6-year-old Down Under-bred daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder earned her seventh win -- and second consecutive since hitting town -- in 22 seasonal starts. The Exacta paid $13.80, with the Triple returning $63.00.

Justin Grasso
Arriba Amigo won for the sixth-straight time on Friday night
Arriba Amigo kept the roll going, making its six wins in succession and four-for-four in Westchester.

Leaving from post six Arriba Amigo was immediately in play. He went up and over Master Pine (Jim Pantaleano) and gave nothing else a chance (:27.4, :57.2, 1:26.1, 1:55.2). The final margin was 2-¼ lengths, with KLM Express (Jim Marshall III) holding off Big Sky Storm (Jordan Stratton) for second. Bastille (Cat Manzi) and Master Pine grabbed the minor spoils.

Arriba Amigo, a 5-year-old Amigo Hall gelding co-owned by (trainer) Josh Green, David Rovine and VIP Internet Stable, posted his seventh win in 19 '12 tries. The Exacta, comprised of the top two wagering choices, paid $23.20, the Triple returned $111.50 and the Superfecta paid $509.00.

Yonkers will host its fourth Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday night, highlighted by the $400,000 Fall Harvest Series. Eight, $50,000 races for New York-bred pacers and trotters comprise the event, which will also feature any number of fun, family events on the track apron from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Also, the Legislators' Challenge -- a trio of non-wagering events with New York elected officials doing battle -- will take to the track beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Big Baller continued to make a case for himself as "Trotter of the Year" at Batavia Downs by winning the $9,000 Open trot on Friday night, 1:58.4, over a fast track. It was the fourth victory for Big Baller in his last six starts in the Open trot at Batavia Downs. In his two losses, Big Baller finished second, losing by a combined 1-1/2 lengths. Big Baller ($4.40) and reinsman Dan Noble used a quick, :27.2 first quarter to reach the top as Typical Newyorker and driver Ray Fisher, Jr. tried to park the winner as long as possible. After reaching the half in :58.3, Big Baller and the rest of the field of six was double-decked down the backstretch, with everyone in contention. But there were no serious challengers, however, as Big Baller was able to trot away from any possible threats down the lane. He scored a 1-1/2 length win over last week's Open trot winner, Under The Stars (Jim McNeight, Jr.), while Typical Newyorker finished third. In scoring his seventh win of the 2012 campaign, Big Baller, a 5-year-old Panama Hanover gelding, has now earned $55,583 for owners Curran Racing of Red Hook, N.Y. and Adam Michael of Passaic, N.J. Bobbi Jo Martin trained the winner. Reinman Dan Noble continues to inch closer to milestone win 3,000 after driving a pair of winners. He will enter the Saturday program with 2,986 wins.

Skyworth, a recent acquisition to the Nichole Gagnon stable, scored her fifth-straight victory on Friday at Northfield Park. Skyworth (Sportsmaster--Fox Valley Camilla, by Incredible Finale) led through fractional times of :28.2, :58, 1:26.4 and 1:55.2. Ryan Stahl drove Skyworth for his fiancé, Nichole Gagnon of Republic, Ohio and co-owner Cathy Watson of Tiffin, Ohio. The win represented the 14th career victory for Skyworth and pushed her career earnings to just shy of $50,000.

Vernon Downs
A Penny Earned used a powerful closing kick to finish first in Friday’s $8,500 Junior Open trot at Vernon Downs, while Celebrity Obsesion chalked up the fastest flight in the night’s $4,200 leg of the track’s new Late Bloomer Series for 3- and 4-year-old trotters. A Penny Earned drew off in the stretch (final quarter in :28.3) to record a solid, six-length score in Friday’s $8,500 eighth event, stopping the timer in 1:55 over a track labeled sloppy to record a new win mark. Chris Lems held the lines as the 3-year-old son of Conway Hall--Penny Dream delivered his second season’s victory and seventh all-time tally, while bumping his career earnings to more than $189,100 for trainer George Ducharme and his ownership partners Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine and Nicola Oliva. With Vernon’s leading driver Rick Plano doing the teaming, Celebrity Obsesion turned a pocket trip into a 1:56.1 triumph in Friday’s $6,000 first race, earning a 1:56.1 record, his second season’s score and fourth lifetime victory for trainer Susanne Strandqvist and owner Sam Stathis. Friday’s other Late Bloomer Series winners were Liborio, in 1:58.1; Zanna Royal, in 1:58.3; Mrs. D, in 1:58.4; Miss Eva Cash, in 1:59.2; Helios, in 2:00.1; and Painite, in 2:00.2. Driver Dan Daley captured the final three events of Friday’s 13-race program to record his initial driving triple at the 75-program meeting, while Chris Lems also piloted three winners for the 10th time at the meet.

Mymomsablizzard prevailed in her return to Saratoga on Friday night. The Open trotting mare was the dominant force in the trotting feature throughout the spring and early summer but had not raced at the Spa in six weeks before returning to take part in the $21,000 Open on Friday. Dan Cappello, Jr. sat behind Mymomsablizzard (CR Excalibur) for trainer Chris Marino as the 6-year-old mare moved out to the early lead. Despite fast fractions, Mymomsablizzard had plenty left in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:55.3 for her 10th win this season. The favored Son Of Nordic (Billy Dobson) was the runner-up while Rompaway Alvin (Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) ran third. The victory with Mymomsablizzard was one of three on the night for reinsman Dan Cappello, Jr. Live racing will continue at the Spa on Saturday at 7:05p.m., eastern.

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