Friday’s (Dec. 6) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, The Meadows, Batavia Downs and Saratoga Harness.
Let's Go Higher, Wishing Stone win features at Yonkers
Yonkers, NY --- Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and Trot who all who passed initiation--were won by front-end Let's Go Higher (Jason Bartlett, $6.80) and double-millionaire Wishing Stone (George Brennan, $3.30).
In play early from assigned post position No. 3, Let's Go Higher--as the tepid 2-1 choice--played leapfrog on the lead with Cocoa Beach (Matt Kakaley). After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and :57.3 intermission, Cheyenne Miriam (Mark MacDonald) moved from third.
However, that bid stalled before a 1:26 three-quarters, as Let's Go Higher owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. She held off a second-over Rock N Load (Jordan Stratton) by a half-length in 1:55.2. Third went to Cocoa Beach, with Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Cheyenne Miriam rounding out the payees.
For Let's Go Higher, a 5-year-old daughter of Cole Muffler owned by Jesse DeLong and trained by Heidi Rohr, it was her 14th win in 37 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.40, with the triple returning $166.50.
The week's marquee trot saw Wishing Stone end his season with a picture. Sent postward as the 3-5 choice from his ordered eight-hole, he was wide at the outset before wedging in fifth.
It was Melady's Monet (Dan Dube) leading through sub-sections of :28 and :58.3 with Lorenzo Dream (catch-driver Kakaley) pocketed and Brando’s Muscle Man (Eric Goodell) trying it first-up. Odds-on Wishing Stone was behind that one at the 1:27.2 three-quarters.
An inside-the-cones Melady's Monet maintained the lead in and out of the final turn before Wishing Stone received the memo. He went by, with the margin a half-length in 1:57.1. Melady's Monet crossed the line second, but was set down to third for the above transgression.
That moved Lorenzo Dream to second, with Zooming (Bartlett) and Elin (Larry Stalbaum) completing the cashers.
For Wishing Stone, a 6-year-old son of Conway Hall trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Cowboyland Aalborg, Deo Volente Farms, J & T Silva and T L P Stables, it was his seventh win in 19 '13 tries. The exacta paid $13.80, the triple returned $43.40 and the superfecta paid $372.50. Next season, Wishing Stone begins a dual role as racehorse and stallion.
-- Frank Drucker
Magic Starlight roared past her stablemate, Darena Hanover, in the lane to capture Friday’s $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Pace at The Meadows — her second straight victory and fourth in the last five starts. Magic Starlight and Dave Palone followed the live cover of Sissy Bar before making the decisive move around the final turn. The 4-year-old daughter of Real Desire-Starlight Justice prevailed in 1:54 on a sloppy surface, a length better than Darena Hanover. Early leader All Heart Gal saved show. Ron Burke trains Magic Starlight, who extended her career bankroll to $210,153, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Palone and Burke teamed for three winners on the 15-race card, and Tony Hall also enjoyed a triple.
Lutetium made it three victories in four starts in the $8,500 Open Trot at Batavia Downs as he scored a convincing two-length victory over Fiorentina in 1:57.4 over the fast track on Friday night (Dec. 6). It was a typical win for Lutetium as driver Jack Flanigen sent the 6-year-old gelding right to the lead and told the remainder of the field "catch me if you can." He set the sizzling fractions of 28.1, 57.3, 1:26.4 on the cool evening and it proved to be more than enough. No one mounted a serious threat in stopping the front-running Lutetium ($4.10) from winning for the 11th time in 38 starts this year. Fiorentina (Ken Holliday) was second best while RA's Shakenbake (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show spot. Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby) is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw. The victory pushed his 2013 earnings to $58,134 and $185,806 lifetime. The Batavia Downs' season comes to a close on Saturday night with a 13-race card scheduled to get underway at 6:30 p.m. The feature is the $8,500 Open Pace where Goodnite Goodluck opens as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Ron Beback Jr. will drive Goodnite Goodluck and will score him from the five post.
Leg two of the SHHA Claiming Series for trotters took place on Friday night at Saratoga as horses competed for points towards next weekend’s marathon final. Donttellmywife (Malabar Man) jogged for the second consecutive week in the series as Bruce Aldrich Jr put the 1-9 favorite on the lead in the early stages of the mile and a quarter long trot. Donttellmywife cruised to a win of almost ten lengths in 2:30.2 for the longer distance. Claimed out of leg one of the series by conditioner Andy Sardella, Donttellmywife won for the eleventh time in nineteen seasonal tries. The series’ favorite was claimed back on Friday night by trainer Melissa Beckwith who will send him out in next weekend’s $10,000+ Final to be contested at a distance of a mile and a half. Psyched (Jay Randall) won the other division of the second leg of the series after out-closing the favorite Stormont O My (Shawn Gray) in the stretch to prevail for his new connections. Trainer Jody Weidman will bring Psyched into next weekend’s series final as one of only four horses to record wins in the SHHA Claiming Series legs.