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Racing Roundup: Keeper's Destiny, Mystical Starlight win Yonkers co-features
Friday, December 07, 2012 - by harness publicists across North America

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Friday's (Dec. 7) edition of Racing Roundup features resluts stories from Yonkers Raceway, Batavia Downs, Lebanon Raceway and Saratoga Gaming and Raceway.

Keeper's Destiny, Mystical Starlight win Yonkers co-features

Justin Grasso Photo
Keeper's Destiny won the Yonkers featured pace in 1:55.2.

Yonkers, NY--Yonkers Raceway's pair of moist Friday night (Dec. 7), $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--for distaff pacers and trotters of all assorted alliances--were won by a sharp Keeper's Destiny (George Brennan, $6.30) and a equally-crisp Mystical Starlight (Mark MacDonald, $5.10).

Finding a seat fifth from post 7, Keeper's Destiny saw 13-10 choice Rock N Soul (Yannick Gingras) work around Ticket To Rock (Cat Manzi) before a 28.2 opening quarter-mile. It was Keeper's Destiny on the move to the lead right at the 58.3 intermission, opening a couple of lengths by the 1:26 three-quarters.

The lead was 2-¾ lengths turning for home, and Keeper's Destiny was never seriously threatened. She won by that same margin in 1:55.2, with Ace Of Pace (Mark MacDonald) closing outside to be the bridesmaid. A cone-skimming Ticket To Rock, Chief Karen (Jason Bartlett) and Rock N Soul rounded out the payees.

For second choice Keeper's Destiny, a 6-year-old daughter of Intrepid Seelster owned by Merlin Howse and trained by Casie Coleman (also the co-breeders), it was her ninth win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $82.50, with the triple returning $391.

The week's high-end trot played out a lot like the girls get-together. Here, the mare Mystical Starlight was seated fourth from post 4 as Brando's Muscle Man (Brennan) made the lead from Take My Picture (Andy Miller) after a 27.1 opening quarter.

Mystical Starlight, as the 3-2 favorite, then confronted the leader coming to the 57.2 half, disposing of that one well before the 1:26.1 three-quarters. She had three lengths in and out of the final turn before winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:56.3. A rallying Celebrity Bluechip (Bartlett) took second, with Brando's Muscle Man, Rookie Mistake (Larry Stalbaum) and Looking Hanover (Gingras) grabbed the remainder.

For Mystical Starlight, a 7-year-old daughter of Credit Winner owned by Glen Hobin and trained by Ross Croghan, it was her fourth win in 28 '12 tries. The exacta paid $24.20, the triple returned $161.50 and the superfecta paid $1,366.

The Raceway continues its normal five-night-per-week live schedule, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 p.m. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.

--Frank Drucker

The longshots were the hot shots in the co-features at Batavia Downs Friday night (Dec. 7). Columbia County ($17.80) scored the victory in the $7,400 conditioned trot while Pathtodover ($21.80) came from nowhere and nabbed the $7,400 Fillies and Mare pace. In the first co-feature, Columbia County was able to weave through traffic the final quarter mile with driver Jame Dunlap and snatch the win. Just before the three-quarter pole, Columbia County managed to get around the tiring pace-setter B Contemporary and Absolutely Certain, who was making a big four-wide move down the backstretch the final time.  Starbux Eden, who sat the pocket until the three-quarter marker, took command turning for home but stalled down the lane and Columbia County was able to trot home in 1:58.2 in posting the half-length victory. Starbux Eden (John Cummings Jr.) held on for second while Current Ca Ching (Dave McNeight III) was third. Columbia County is trained by Batavia Downs' top conditioner Bobbi Jo Martin and is owned by Jeffry Myers of Bergen, N.Y. and Rickey Myers  Phoenix, Az. It was the 10th win of the season for Columbia County and moved the 6-year-old Sierra Kosmos' gelding earnings to $35,200 on the year. Pathtodover, coming in from Western Fair in London, Ont., was sitting sixth in the field of eight and looked out of it at the three-quarter pole. L Diz (Shawn Gray), who set the fractions, looked home free at the top of the stretch.  That wasn't the case, however, as driver Doug Bowins unleashed a wicked stretch drive with Pathtodover, covering the final quarter mile in 29.1 in registering an impressive one-length win in 1:56. L Diz kept the place position and You're Too Funny (Jack Flanigen) finished third. Bowins also owns and trains the 7-year-old Straight Path mare. It was Pathtodover's 10th victory of the year and improved her seasonal earnings to $66,847. The season comes to a conclusion on Saturday night at Batavia Downs with a 12-race program scheduled to get underway at 6:25 p.m. The Upstate New York Harness Writer's Association "Night of Distinction" will take center stage as various local drivers, trainers and horses are honored with awards throughout the evening.

The 3-year-old filly Scootie Best Lou demonstrated dauntless courage in winning the Friday night featured pace at Lebanon despite racing on the outside for more than 5/8-mile. Driver Kayne Kauffman kept his tiring horse alive in the stretch as Tailor’s Filly and Connie’s Marti tried valiantly to overtake the leader. At the wire they fell short with Tailor’s Filly a head back in second and Connie’s Marti just a neck behind the winner in  third. The time for the one mile race was 1:59.1.  Scootie Best Lou paid $17.20 for a $2 win ticket. Scootie Best Lou is owned by James A Davis of Lebanon and Charles A. Purvis of Xenias. It was her fifth win in 31 races this year. She has earned $52,090, a remarkable return on the $2,500 that Purvis spent to purchase her. Ben Davis trains Scootie Best Lou. At the start of the race, Keene Supreme left aggressively from post 3. Christians Grace  started fast enough from post 1 to keep Keene Supreme on the outside around the first turn and for the first quarter-mile. Scootie Best Lou was tucked in third at the rail. Once Keene Supreme cleared to the front, Kauffman moved Scootie Best Lou in an effort to take control from the leader. But Keene Supreme and driver Mark Winters Sr. were not playing along with that scenario. They quickened the tempo of the race to keep the challenger racing on the outside, a trip that normally exhausts a horse. Keene Supreme and Scootie Best Lou raced as a team on the second lap around the track. Around the final turn, the challengers began to close in on the leaders and swing to the outside to get a clear shot at winning. Keene Supreme tired in the homestretch but Kauffman asked Scootie Best Lou for every last ounce of energy she had and that’s what it took to win the race over the fresh challengers flying on the outside.

MM’s Lucky Boy made his local debut a winning one on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Yonkers invader was the Open Trot’s even money favorite despite coming off a three month layoff. Lewayne Miller piloted for trainer Erv Miller as MM’s Lucky Boy (Malabar Man) moved to the lead in the early stages of the $21,000 and never looked back. The 5-year-old trotter looked to have plenty left in the tank as he stopped the timer in 1:57.1 over a tracked labeled “good.” Flashy Lady (Brandon Simpson) came on for second while Credit Blues (Dan Cappello Jr) earned the show spot. MM’s Lucky Boy moved his seasonal bankroll to over $155,000 with the Open victory. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05 p.m.

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