Friday's (March 8) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Harrah's Philadelphia and The Meadows.
Equity, Marie's Z Tam win Friday's Yonkers co-features
Yonkers, NY--Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night, $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--for trotters along with madame pacers--were won by Equity (Matt Kakaley, $8) and Marie's Z Tam (George Brennan, $5.90).
|Sean Hamrock Photo|
|Equity won the Yonkers Open Trot in 1:56.4.|
A funny thing happened on the way the--apparent--winner's circle for two-time defending trot champ Affirmed Action (Jason Bartlett). Making the lead from post 7, he sauntered around the scenery through intervals of 28.3, 58.4 and 1:27.
With neither pocket-sitting Aruba Vacation (Fern Paquet Jr.) nor first-up Brandos Muscle Man (Brennan)--the latter now in the pocket after a second move--staying with him, Affirmed Action looked home through the final turn.
Unfortunately, the whole "left-foot, right foot" thing reared its ugly head, and Affirmed Action jumped it off an open advantage. That left Brandos Muscle Man with the lead, but Equity, slipping out behind Brandos Muscle Man when 19-10 choice Sugar Queen Gabby (Brian Sears) gapped down the backside, was in pursuit.
It was Equity. leaving from post 3, whipping Brandos Muscle Man by a half-length in a season's-best 1:56.4. Likeabatoutahell (Jordan Stratton), Sugary Queen Gabby and Aruba Vacation completed the cashers.
For second choice Equity, a 7-year-old Kadabra gelding co-owned by Charamblos Christoforou and Banjo Farms and trained by Ron Burke, it was his third win seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $34.20, with the triple returning $283.
The weekly distaff derby saw Marie's Z Tam survive second-half slugfest with Queen of Royalty (Brent Holland) before prevailing in 1:55.
Marie's Z Tam leaving from post 4, settled third as Queen of Royalty set sail through fractions of 27.4 and 58. That pokey second quarter forced Marie's Z Tam out of hibernation, and she engaged the leader through a 27.3 third quarter (1:25.3).
Queen of Royalty held a stubborn schnoz lead into the lane, but Marie's Z Tam wore her down late. Mystical Diva (Cat Manzi) closed up ranks from a loose pocket to grab second--beaten three-quarters of a length—with Moonlit Dragon (Sears), Queen of Royalty and a season-debuting Katy's Jet (Dan Dube) grabbing the small change. Hot List (Kakaley) was a non-factor sixth as the 9-5 favorite.
For second choice Marie's Z Tam, a 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by (trainer) Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and Seri Reddy, it was her third (consecutive since changing hands) win in four '13 tries. The exacta paid $74.50, the triple returned $339.50 and the superfecta paid $1,638.
A ferocious open-stretch rally propelled Transcending ($3.40) to victory in the featured $23,000 conditioned pace on Friday (March 8) evening's Opening Night card at Harrah's Philadelphia. The Ron Burke-trained Transcending sat off a contested early pace before brushing to the lead and subsequently yielding the pacesetting duties to Rockin Robert (Eric Goodell) through a 55.3 half mile. As an uncovered Woodstock Hanover (Daryl Bier) offered mild pressure into the far turn, Transcending swelled with pace approaching the top of the stretch, and was guided to the inside by Tony Hall for a late rally. The 9-year-old entire son of Grinfromeartoear prevailed over Rockin Robert by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.1. Tony Hall led all drivers with four wins on the evening. Live racing resumes on Sunday afternoon, with first post at 12:40 p.m.
Off five months, Mattwestern looked like a filly with a future Friday at The Meadows as she effortlessly captured a division of the Donna Dunn Memorial to launch her sophomore campaign. Save My Dragon took the other $12,500 split to give Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke a sweep of the opening leg. The series for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares honors the memory of the late Donna Dunn, longtime Standardbred owner and the wife of Meadows trainer and USTA Director Walter “Boots” Dunn. Mattwestern took a mark of 1:53.2 at the Red Mile at 2 and, based on Friday’s performance, seems likely to eclipse that soon. She moved unhurriedly from the gate for the lead, secured it past the quarter and drew off to score in 1:54.3. R Marie Hanover was second, four lengths back, with Lil Miss Snowflake third. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own the daughter of Western Terror-Mattonement. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Trot, RT Sun Poco enjoyed a pocket trip behind Paulette Revere, then blew by her in the lane to down that rival by two lengths in 1:55. Itsghostlyoutside rallied for show. Aaron Merriman drove the 7-year-old Yankee Paco-Sunfest mare for trainer Robert Rougeaux III and Brocious Racing Stable.
SARATOGA GAMING AND RACEWAY
Free Rollin made his local debut on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway and wasted no time in collecting an Open Trot victory. The Dave Duspiva-trained trotter looked like he’d be parked the mile after getting looped by Mymomsablizzard, the race’s favorite and defending Horse of the Year at the Spa. Dan Cappello Jr. worked his way to the lead with Free Rollin (Kadabra) and the 7-year-old gelding held strong in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:57.3 in the season’s first $20,000 Open Trot at the Spa. Mymomsablizzard (Billy Dobson) had to settle for second while Super Manning (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45 p.m.