Friday's (Oct. 4) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Vernon Downs and Saratoga Harness.
Royal Cee Cee N, Brando’s Muscle Man win Friday co-features at Yonkers
Yonkers, NY ---Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all qualified--were won by a to-the-house Royal Cee Cee N (Jim Pantaleano, $5.30) and a lane-finding Brando's Muscle Man (Jordan Stratton, $39.60).
Sean Hamrock photo Royal Cee Cee N captured the Open Handicap Pace in 1:53.4 on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway.
When Rock N Load (Dan Dube) gapped that one, Campanile (Brandon Simpson) slipped out from third on the cones to race second-over. Meanwhile, Royal Cee Cee N maintained her advantage in and out of the 1:25.2 three-quarters.
With a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, Royal Cee Cee N won by that exact same margin in 1:53.4. Campanile photoed Cocoa Beach for second, with Mibestketpsecret (Mark MacDonald) and Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) rounding out the payees.
For Royal Cee Cee N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her seventh win in 22 seasonal starts.
The featured trot saw a trio of bad actors, including 19-10 choice DW NY's Yank (Brennan) and last week's winner, Somebody AS (Jason Bartlett).
Of those minding their manners, He'sgotlegs (MacDonald) fronted the fray through early intervals of :27.1 and :56.4. It was Brando's Muscle Man pocketed from post No. 2 as leader began to buckle past the 1:26.2 three-quarters. Likeabatoutahell (Eric Goodell) went up and over the leader, with Can I Say (Dube) second-up.
Likeabatoutahell was the first to the lead off the final turn. He turned the baton over to Can I Say, but Brando's Muscle Man slipped out from behind a tiring leader, found room and went by. The margin was a half-length in 1:56. Can I Say was second, with Likeabatoutahell, DW's NY Yank and Fox Valley Steffen settling for the small change.
For rank outsider (eight choice) Likeabatoutahell, a 5-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding owned and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, he's now 4-for-14 this season.
Saturday night is the annual Fall Harvest Series. The $400,000 event offers eight, $50,000 races for New York-bred 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits who were not eligible for last weekend's Night of Champions. The Fall Harvest Series goes as races two through nine on the 13-race card.
-- Frank Drucker
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
Feeling You outpaced Androvette in a showdown between two of racing’s best aged pacing mares, winning Friday night’s featured Preferred Handicap pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the process. The race carried a purse of $25,000. Leaving from post position #5 in a field of seven as the 4-5 favorite, Feeling You (Cambest-Ripreza Hanover), a 6-year-old mare who is the pride of the Amber Buter barn, grabbed the lead early for driver Tyler Buter. From the half-mile on she was challenged first-over by top division rival Anndrovette. The two mares staged a mini-preview of the Breeders Crown action coming up at Pocono in the coming weeks, dueling in the stretch with Feeling You prevailing by a head in 1:50. Fashion Mystery finished further back in third. Feeling You, owned by Stephen Oldford, Oldford Farms LLC, and Tyler Buter, won for the 10th time in 22 races this year. The victory was the 34th of her career and pushed her lifetime earnings to $954,096.
Grey Ice helped driver Fern Paquet, Jr. achieve a four-win performance while capturing Friday night’s $8,000 featured trot, and an American team defeated a German quartet, 107-101, in the sixth and final leg of a barnstorming amateur driving challenge during the 73rd program of the current campaign at Vernon Downs. Competing against six skilled rivals in Friday’s seventh session, Grey Ice advanced from fifth at the quarter to a challenging-second at the half, timed in :56.3. The 7-year-old gelding took charge entering the track’s final turn and remained on the front end to the finish, scoring in a career-fastest 1:54.3 clocking. He defeated Enrico AS, the closest of his rivals, by 1-1/4 lengths. Friday’s first-place finish was the second locally, the sixth this season and the 22nd overall for the grey son of The Icepan Cometh-The E Street Pan, who raised his career-earnings to $189,472. Paquet did the piloting for trainer Guy Howard and the Howard Stables. Paquet also finished first with the trotters Jaipur (1:57.2) in Friday’s third race, Step Up (1:57.2) in the eighth event and guided the sophomore pacer Hayuneverknow to a 1:56.4 initial pari-mutuel score in the evening’s 11th event. It marked his initial four-win outing of Vernon’s 60th anniversary season. Trailing 70-56 entering the first of two divisions of the Vernon leg, the German team got a 1:56.1 victory from Andreas “Andy” Schwarz, who steered the trotter Rompaway Brandon in Friday’s second race, helping to close the gap to 85-83 entering the evening’s fourth race. In the deciding dash of the “friendship competition,” Vladimir Melnichenko urged the trotter Extreme Yankee on to a fast-closing 1:59.4 triumph, which enabled the Americans to pull-out a 107-101 overall victory. Other members of the American team taking part in the Vernon competition were Bernard Boland, Simeon Hunsdon and George Bonomo, while rounding out the German squad were Peter Platzer, Martina Bredlau and Christoph Pellander.
Mymomsablizzard has been a winning machine over the past couple of seasons and she continued her winning ways on Friday night at Saratoga. The defending Horse of the Year at the Spa won in the local Open two weeks back and scored an impressive victory at Monticello last week. On Friday night, Austin Siegelman moved Mymomsablizzard (Cr Excalibur) to the early lead in the $18,000 feature and they would never look back. The Allan Johnson trained mare won for the eighth time of the year with her score that came in 1:56.2. Slugfest (Jim Devaux) battled gamely before finishing second while Count Speed (Wally Hennessey) closed for third. Mymomsablizzard was a rare favorite to win on the night as some big tickets were punched with several longshots prevailing in the first half of the card.