Friday’s (Feb. 28) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, The Meadows, Buffalo Raceway and Miami Valley Raceway.
Cocoa Beach, Tober win Friday co-features at Yonkers
Mayra Escamilla photo Cocoa Beach was an easy winner in Friday's Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers Raceway.
From the pole, the 7-5 choice Cocoa Beach gave nothing else a chance. Season-debuting Swinging Beauty (George Brennan) left into a two-hole well before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile.
After a :56.3 intermission, no one moved until eight-hole assignee Economy Terror (Ron Pierce) did so from last. She never came closer to the leader, while Swinging Beauty gapped the pocket at the 1:24.3 three-quarters.
Cocoa Beach widened to 5-1/2 lengths into the lane, then won by a wrapped-up 3-1/4 lengths in 1:53.1. Second went to a sharp-late Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube), with Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance), Carol’s Desire (Jason Bartlett) and Economy Terror rounding out the payees.
For Cocoa Beach, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned and trained by Brittany Robertson, it was her first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $62.50, with the triple returning $654.
The week’s marquee trot saw a an invading Traverse Seelster (Pierce) --- winner of three consecutive races at Dover --- leave around Tober, starting from post No. 4. The latter was bumping up the ladder going after a fourth local victory in succession.
It was “Traverse” putting up the early intervals of :28.1 and :57.3 before Tall Cotton (Brennan)—assigned outside what was reduced to a seven-horse field—made his second move.
Traverse Seelster put that one away before a 1:26.3 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, he found closing the sale a bit tougher in Yonkers as Tober edged from the pocket.
That one prevailed by a neck in 1:55.3. An off-the-gate Super Manning (Kakaley) rallied to grab second from second-over, with Traverse Seelster, Tall Cotton and Live Jazz (Mark MacDonald) settling for the remainder.
For second choice Tober, a 6-year-old state-bred/homebred Credit Winner gelding co-owned by Kristie Leigh Farm & Joseph Betro and trained by Ed Hart, it was his fourth win in six '14 tries The exacta paid $46.20, the triple returned $158.50 and the superfecta paid $437.
-- Frank Drucker
Automatic Slims needed the wire to extend his four-race winning streak. Visible Gold needed to make up 3-1/2 lengths late. They both got what they wanted, as the pair dead-heated for win in a sharp 1:50.4 in Friday’s $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Automatic Slims found the pocket for Brett Miller after a swift 26.2 opening quarter and brushed passed the leader, Meirs Hanover, in the lane. But Visible Gold, who uncharacteristically ducked for Aaron Merriman, was rolling on the outside and caught up with his rival in the final stride. Meirs Hanover saved show. Brewer Adams trains Automatic Slims, an 8-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight-Natchitoches who began the year in claiming races, for Laurie Patistas. Ron Burke conditions Visible Gold, a 6-year-old Bettor’s Delight-Gabrielle gelding who now has won 16 of his last 24 starts, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Miller drove five winners and Merriman three on the 14-race card. Friday’s program also featured a race to benefit the Washington Area Humane Society. The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association each donated its commissions from the race, resulting in a $2,000 contribution to the agency.
It was 'girl power' in the $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (Feb. 28). Fiorentina ($4.90) reappeared after nearly a month layoff and beat Heartsaregonnaroll by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:59.1 over the good track as the two mares finished one-two in beating the boys. It was the usual strategy for Fiorentina as she once again went gate-to-wire in scoring her third victory in four attempts in 2014. Fiorentina's last start was back on January 31 where she finished fifth so the rest proved to be worthwhile. The 5-year-old Fiorentina (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) used fractions of 29.4, 59.4 and 1:29.3 to coast to the win. The 29.3 last quarter was more than enough as Heartsaregonnaroll (Kevin Cummings) late rally was only good to secure the place position. Detailer (David McNeight III) took the show spot. Owned by Frank Lamacchia and Guy Polillo, Fiorentina now has amassed $14,225 this season and $144,050 lifetime. She is trained by John Mungillo. A solid 11-race card is scheduled for Saturday night with the $28,250 Niatross Knockout Claiming Series finals slated along with the $10,000 consolation race. Also, the $10,500 Open Pace will be contested.
Miami Valley Raceway
Rehab Mountain trotted to his second straight track record capturing the $9,500 Open at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night. Despite a week off due to the race not filling and drawing the outside post position, the 7-year-old gelding was sent directly to the front by trainer-driver Brad Hanners. Following pedestrian early fractions of :29 and :58.4 the pride of the B6 Racing Stable stepped on the gas with a :28.2 third split then held off all challengers with a :29.2 final quarter to stop the clock in 1:56.3. Hanners has raced sparingly in the first month of the Miami Valley meet, but is batting 1.000 with five wins in five tries thus far. Master Host (Josh Sutton) saved ground through the lane to finish second in the featured mile followed by Itzaziam (Pat Berry) and Cashahallic (Jim Pantaleano) across the finish line.