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Sapphire City wins Saturday Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - by Frank Drucker, publicity director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) made amends Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $33,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Mayra Escamilla photo
Sapphire City was a 1:54 winner in the Open Handicap Pace.

The race took on a different description early as 7-5 favorite Bettor's Edge (George Brennan) jumped it off early. Those who minded their manners were led by last week's pocket winner, Lumberjack Willie (Jordan Stratton).

That one worked around Sapphire City -- who left from post position No. 3 -- before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. A cheapy, :29 next interval (:56.1 half) followed before Fat Man's Alley (Jason Bartlett) moved from fourth. He just sat out there though another :29 sub-station (1:25.1 three-quarters).

It was Lumberjack Willie taking a two length lead into the lane, but he could not close the deal. Sapphire City, fading on the lead at 7-10 a week ago, closed ranks and went by, as did a stubborn Fat Man's Alley. The former whipped the latter by a length in 1:54, with Lumberjack Willie, Dream Out Loud N (Eric Goodell) and Money Twitch A (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder.

Sapphire City, a 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Jordan Sklut and Centaur Stables, returned $13.40 (third choice) for his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $54.50, with the triple returning $228.

Special Saturday props to rank outsider Nathan Feelsgood (Carlson), who authored a 46-1 upset in the $17,500 ninth race pace. The $95.50 win mutuel was a season-high thus far in 2014.

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