Friday's (Oct. 11) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Batavia Downs, Hoosier Park, Vernon Downs, Northfield Park and Saratoga Gaming and Raceway.
Let's Go Higher, DW's NY Yank win Yonkers features
Yonkers, NY--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all up to the challenge--were won by a pair of "to-the-houses" in Let's Go Higher (Jason Bartlett, $6.90) and DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $4.20).
|Sean Hamrock Photo|
|DW's NY Yank set a track record for 4-year-old geldings when he won the Yonkers Open Trot in 1:54.2.|
The featured trot had DW's NY Yank, who jumped it off a week ago as the favorite, regain the faith of the populace. From his ordered eight-hole as the 11-10 choice, he whipped around the site in 27.1, 56.4, 1:25.3, 1:54.2, a new track record for 4-year-old geldings.
Second went to last week's upsetter, a loose-pocket Brando's Muscle Man (Eric Goodell), with Zooming (Bartlett), Bound for Fame (Stratton) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees.
For DW's NY Yank, a Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor, he's now 12-for-21 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $10.80, the triple returned $117 and the superfecta paid $265.50.
Let's Go Higher, leaving from post position No. 7 (in one notch after an inside defection), had things all her own way. Working around 19-10 favorite Rock N Load (Dan Dube), she controlled the crowd through comfy early intervals of 27.1 and 57.1.
Lightning Paige (Jordan Stratton) tried it first-up from fifth, moderately pressing the issue toward a 1:25.3 three-quarters. Let's Go Higher owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, then held sway by a diminishing neck in 1:53.3. Second went to Rock N Load, with Lightning Paige, Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Ginger and Fred (Brennan) settling for the small change.
For second choice Let's Go Higher, a 5-year-old daughter of Cole Muffler owned by Jesse De Long and trained by Heidi Rohr, it was her 11th win in 31 seasonal starts (fourth in a row at three different venues). The exacta paid $21.80, with the triple returning $92.
Mystical Victress made her Hoosier Park debut a winning one as she took top honors and produced a slight upset in the featured event, a $32,000 Invitational pace for fillies and mares, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 11. Shipping in from Balmoral Park, Mystical Victress, with LeWayne Miller at the lines, used a sharp, front-end effort to score her ninth win of the season with a final time of 1:51.4. As the gate closed, Sam Widger and American Girl made a quick jump on their rivals leaving alertly from post 4 and grabbed the early lead through the opening quarter in 26.3. Montenegro and Ricky Macomber Jr. found a spot along the rail in second while Mystical Victress was unable to find position along the rail and pressed on for the front. Betterluvnexttime and Tyler Smith were also caught on the outside and pressed on for a better position. Mystical Victress cleared to the front through the half mile time in :55.2 but was quickly challenged on the outside by Betterluvnexttime. The top pair continued to battle it out through the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.3 as the rest of the field closed in. Mystical Victress battled gamely to put away Betterluvnexttime and was able to hold off a late charge from Radar Contact and Dan Shetler late in the lane to score the victory. Radar Contact got up for the second place finish while Montenegro rounded out the trifecta. Mystical Victress pulled the slight upset and returned $13.20 to her backers at the windows. Trained by Erv Miller, Mystical Victress scored her ninth win from 27 seasonal outings as she pushed her seasonal bankroll over the $150,000 mark for her connections of Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood. The 6-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster is approaching the $1 million mark as she sports a career bankroll of $818,373.
It was a four win night for driver LeWayne Miller on the 14-race card. He teamed up with trainer Erv Miller to find the winner’s circle three other times on the evening and was also victorious with Walter Haynes’ I’m Gracies Wigwam in Indiana Silver Sire Stakes action earlier on the card.
An outside starting position and breaking horses that scattered the field. Not a good recipe for a track record. But those were two major obstacles Mystical Escapade overcame in establishing a new track record for aged trotting mares at Batavia Downs Friday night (Oct. 11) in winning the $8,500 Open Trot in 1:56.3 over the fast track. It beat the old mark of 1:57 set by Cowgirl Hall earlier this season. It was the seventh track record either tied or broken at Batavia Downs in 2013. The trip was definitely an adventure for Mystical Escapade and Batavia Downs' leading driver Shawn McDonough. After starting from the seven hole in the eight horse field, Mystical Escapade found herself in sixth place, 14 lengths from the lead at the quarter-mile pole, as she had to avoid the breaking trotters Glorious Winner and Serious George. But it was full-steam ahead from there for the lone mare in the field. Still eight lengths behind the pace-setting Lutetium at the half, Mystical Escapade ($13.80) went first over and used a monster move down the backstretch and quickly found herself with a two-length lead at the top of the stretch. She coasted through the lane and notched the 2-1/4 length over runner up Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) while the hard-charging BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) finished third. Besides breaking the track record, it was also a lifetime mark for the 4-year-old Mystical Escapade (Valley Victor-Armbro Orbital). Her previous best was a 1:56.4 at Saratoga earlier this season. Mystical Escapade now has six victories in 25 starts in 2013, pushing her bankroll to $78,471 and $139,077 lifetime. She is owned by the Empowered Racing Stable and trained by Carl Smith.
In addition to taking the Friday night feature leading reinsman Shawn McDonough got home longshots Pacific Fury ($68.50), Spacehill ($49.80), Majestic Duke ($18.40) and Charmschooldropout ($8.60) while provisional driver Drew Monti scored a double.
Track record holder A Penny Earned raced aggressively on the front end throughout Friday night’s $10,000 Open trot, and defeated the favorite, Mr Web Page, in a 1:55 performance at Vernon Downs. With Chris Lems handling the lines in Friday’s second session, A Penny Earned flashed to the front off the starting gate and cut fractions of 27.2, 57.3 and 1:26.3. He had enough effort and energy left at the end of the mile contest to hold off the fast-closing newcomer Mr Web Page by a neck. The determined effort by the bay battler resulted in his fifth local win, which includes a sparkling 1:53.1 all-time local standard for 4-year-old trotting horses on Sept. 2. It also marked the sixth season’s score and the 14th lifetime tally for the speedy son of Conway Hall-Penny Dream, who is shared in ownership by trainer George Ducharme (of Royalty For Life fame), as well as fellow New Englanders Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine and Nicola Oliva. His career bankroll now stands at $256,126.
Roman Lopez posted three victories during Friday’s 12-race program, while Jimmy Whittemore snared one score. They finished the track’s 76th program tied at 91 for second place on the 2013 season’s dash-winning chart. Drivers John MacDonald, Fern Paquet Jr. and trainer John McNeil III also secured a pair of first-place finishes during the evening.
Draft Bunny was an upset winner in Northfield Park’s 13th race on Friday (October 11). Dale Decker of Temperance, Mich., owns, trains and drove the mare to victory. Draft Bunny (Precious Bunny-Dunachton Clara-Nuclear Terror) started from post six and kicked from the back to win by 1/4-length in 1:56.2. Friday’s triumph increased Draft Bunny’s lifetime win tally to 23 and her career earnings to $66,482. (6) Draft Bunny (80-1) was followed across the wire by (9) I Love My Yankee (4-1) and (4) Cosmetician (8-1). Draft Bunny returned $166.00 to win; the 6-9 Exacta paid $1,448.20 and the 6-9-4 Trifecta returned $5,659.40.
SARATOGA GAMING AND RACEWAY
Count Speed (Majestic Son) scored his third Open Trot victory at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Friday night. The Dan Hennessey-trained trotter headed into the race off of an improved third-place finish last week and on Friday night, reinsman Wally Hennessey wasted no time moving Count Speed to the early lead. The 4-year-old trotter held strong before drawing away late in the $15,000 feature to record the 1:56.1 win. Last week’s Open winner, Tac’s Delight (Billy Dobson) finished second this week while Slugfest (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot. The top three finishers were all 2-1 co-favorites in the betting. The victory was the ninth of the season for Count Speed who is enjoying a break out year at the Spa.