Saturday's (Aug. 17) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs and Batavia Downs.
Statesman N wins Yonkers feature
Yonkers, NY--Statesman N (Jordan Stratton) snapped favored Malak Uswaad N (Eric Goodell) on the money Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $46,000 Open Pace.
|Sean Hamrock Photo|
|Statesman N (5) nipped Malak Uswaad N at the wire to win the Yonkers Open Pace in 1:51.3.|
Watching early from post 5, Statesman N saw China Grill (Steve Smith) seat Flem N Em N (Jason Bartlett) early Then, Mr Hasani (Dan Dube) and 2-5 choice Malak Uswaad N stuck their noses in. It resulted in early fractions of 27.2 and 55.
Pancetta (Brent Holland) then moved from fifth, with Statesman N towed along. Mr. Hasani owned the lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters, but was about done entering the lane.
Malak Uswaad N ducked in, Statesman N went wide and earned the nose nod in 1:51.3. China Grill, Mr Hasani N and Pancetta settled for the small change.
For Statesman N, a 6-year-old Down Under Christian Cullen gelding trained by Mark Harder co-owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Peter Venturini, he returned $11.40 (second choice) for his sixth win (second consecutive) in 20 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, with the triple returning $46.80.
The driving colony shared the wealth during the 13-race card. Holland won four races, while Stratton and Bartlett each won three. George Brennan added a couple, while Goodell won once.
The slick-striding pacer Western Trademark turned in a mile-leading 1:50.2 performance while winning Saturday night’s $8,000 featured pace at Vernon Downs. With Luke Plano as the pilot, Western Trademark was sent to the front from the word “go” and he never looked back en route to a breezy four-length victory in Saturday’s seventh session. The solid score was the second locally, the fifth this season and the 35th all-time for the 8-year-old son of Western Hanover-Tyber Song, a career-winner of more than $394,000 that is trained by Joe Cordisco and owned by Holly J. Cordisco. Saturday’s featured win was one of two during the evening’s 12-race pari-mutuel program for Plano, the 33-year-old son of Vernon’s leading driver and trainer Rick Plano. Also achieving two-win success during Saturday’s slate were Rick Plano, posting his meet-leading 17th driving double, John MacDonald and Truman Gale.
In a non-betting division of the C. K. G. Billings Series for amateur drivers of trotters prior to the betting card, Robert Davis steered Jimmer to a fast-closing 1:58 victory for trainer David Corlew. The 4-year-old gelding is owned by Davis and Terry Vanvalkenburgh. Saturday’s final Billings clash was won by Mark Eaton, who guided Famous Image to a front-striding 1:57.3 triumph in race three. Eaton is the trainer and owner of the determined 8-year-old gelding.
The seventh race Open featured world Champion and multiple Dan Patch award winner Check Me Out as the heavy 1/4 favorite. In the early going, Tioga Open regular Aruba Vacation left swiftly from the far outside and cleared easily to the front while posting a 26.3 opening panel. Check Me Out drifted from her outside starting position and settled in fourth. As the open trotters passed the stands for the first time, Ray Schnittker eased Check Me Out first-over and began a slow march to the front as Aruba Vacation led them past the half in 56. As the field turned down the Tioga backside and headed to three quarters, Check Me Out stalled third on the outside and had to be urged on by Schnittker, but to no avail as the field passed three quarters in 1:24. Check Me Out began to back through the field and eventual upset winner Fox Valley Smarty eased out from the perfect pocket trip given to him by driver Corey Braden, locked horns with and wore down front runner Aruba Vacation to win by a half-length in 1:53.4. The win was the fourth of the year for the David Duspiva-trained Fox Valley Smarty and his 27th career win. Fern Paquet Jr. and Mike Simons picked up driving doubles.
Last week, Fireyourguns looked home free down the stretch in the $8,500 Open Pace at Batavia Downs, but a costly bobble erased his hopes of a sure victory. Saturday night, Fireyourguns ($9.80) had a clean slate and made amends, easily blowing away the field in the $8,500 Open Pace in 1:54.2 over the fast track. Sitting last in the field of seven past the half in a blistering 56.4 posted by Fire Up The Mach (Mickey Holliday), driver Mike Caprio put Fireyourguns in overdrive three-wide down the backstretch and with little effort cruised past the front six. He hit the three-quarter marker in 1:25.4 and it was all over but the shouting from there as Fireyourguns exploded away from the field. There were no issues down the lane this time around and Fireyourguns paced home to an impressive three-length win over runner up All My Friends Say (Elliott Deaton). Cactus Jack (Shawn McDonough) showed a mild rally to finish third. It was the fourth win in 15 starts for Fireyourguns, owned by Terence McClory along with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. McClory trains the 4-year-old, a winner of $31,810 this season.