Saturday’s (Sept. 21) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Vernon Downs and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Sapphire City enjoys pocket trip for Yonkers Open victory
Yonkers, NY --- Sapphire City (Jason Bartlett) parlayed from the pocket Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $37,000 Open Handicap Pace.
|Sean Hamrock photo|
|Sapphire City was a 1:51.2 winner in the Yonkers Open.|
Assigned the pole, Sapphire City found the only leaver in Michael's Power (Eric Goodell). That one made the lead before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :56.4 intermission.
At that point, last week's winner, Great Vintage (Larry Stalbaum), tried it first-up. He prompted the issue in and out of the 1:24.1 three-quarters, while Hillbilly Hanover (George Brennan) was struggling mightily from second-over.
Meanwhile, 9-10 favorite Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald), who did not leave from his ordered eight hole, was never a factor.
Entering the lane, Michael's Power had a 1-1/2 length lead, needing only to hold off the horse in his rear view. Sapphire City dove inside, edging away by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.2. Great Vintage held third, with Diamond Cowboy (Dan Dube) and Statesman N (Brian Sears) settling for the remainder. Bolt The Duer wound up last among the octet.
Sapphire City, a 5-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stables and Jordan Sklut, returned $13.40 (third choice) for his sixth win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $97.50, with the triple returning $1,352.
Special Saturday night salute to Ross Wolfenden, a former Yonkers driving standout who made his first local appearance in nearly 11 years. The Delaware-based Wolfenden wound up fifth (dead-heat) and seventh in his two drives.
-- Frank Drucker
Northern Companion rallied in the homestretch to catch and defeat the pace-setting favorite Sheer Brilliance in Saturday night’s $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs. With trainer Robert Hoffman at the controls in Saturday’s featured second race, Northern Companion advanced from fifth in the early going to second entering the final furlong, and then kept digging until he had completed his objective, posting a 1:52.3 win over a rain-soaked “sloppy” track and a head triumph over the fan favorite. It was the fifth local score, the 10th this season and the 30th all-time for the 5-year-old son of Cambest-Smoke It Out, who is owned by Dorothy Zarza. The hard-earned tally lifted the bay gelding’s lifetime earnings to more than $171,000. Hoffman also finished first with the Leopold Sawyers-owned and trained pacer GPS Legacy in Saturday’s 10th event to secure his second two-win outing at the 68-program meeting. Canadian horseman John MacDonald delivered three first-place finishes during Saturday’s 13-race program, while driver Claude Huckabone III, trainer Edgar Clarke and his owners, Robert J. Orr and Gary J. Jonas, also enjoyed two trips to the winner’s circle during the soggy evening.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Bet On Roulette (Bettor's Delight) continued his solid season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. The Paul Kelley trained pacer hadn’t won an Open Pace since back in June but had prevailed twice in 1:52.3 in the Open Two as he took part in the $18,000 feature on Saturday. Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey moved the 7-year-old pacer out to the early lead past the quarter in :26.4 and had enough left late to hold off the charge of last week’s Open winner Recent News (Billy Dobson). Over a track labeled “good,” Bet On Roulette prevailed in the Open in 1:53.2.