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Trio of Opens on Friday card at Yonkers
Friday, July 04, 2014 - by Frank Drucker, publicity director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- Yonkers Raceway’s Friday night $44,000 tri-featured Open Handicaps -- a double dose for trotters and one for the pacing ladies -- were won by Coraggioso (Brian Sears, $7.60), Tober (Jason Bartlett, $12.80) and Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $30.40).

Coraggioso, ordered outside his seven rivals, saw dysfunction erupt all around him. Half the field -- You Rock My World (Eric Goodell), Harbor Point (Daniel Dube) and Wishing Stone (George Brennan) -- all jumped it off by the time the first turn was done.

Mayra Escamilla photo
Coraggioso was a 1:56.2 winner for driver Brian Sears.

That left pole-sitting 8-5 favorite Zooming (Bartlett) on the lead through soft fractions of :28.3 and :59.1. Coraggioso, after settling fourth, engaged Zooming in and out of a 1:27.3 three-quarters. Coraggioso moved to a short lead entering the lane, then held off a stubborn, 41-1 The Triple Lindy (Stratton) by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.2. Zooming, My Love Bi (Eric Carlson)and Harbor Point grabbed the remainder.

For third choice Coraggioso, a 5-year-old homebred/statebred son of Conway Hall co-owned by Tom Durkin and Joe Spadaro, and trained by Julie Miller, it was his seventh win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $104.50, with the triple returning $183.

The week’s other marquee trot unfolded with Tober -- perfectly-pocketed from post position No. 2 -- watching as out-of-town scourge NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) grabbed the lead and threw down the gauntlet.

NF Happenstance, as the 17-10 choice, hung last week’s Open Handicap winner Lorenzo Dream (Sears) for his life (:27.2, 56.3 and 1:26.2) before that one gave up the ghost.

NF Happenstance was able to win the battle, but lost the war. Tober eased from the two hole and rolled by, winning by 3-1/2 widening lengths in 1:56. Awesome Valley (Goodell) skimmed the cones for second, with a fading NF Happenstance, DW’s NY Yank (Brennan) and Bound For Fame (Stratton) rounding out the payees.

Fourth choice Tober, a 6-year-old statebred gelding co-owned by (co-breeder) Kristie Leigh Farm and Joseph Betro and trained by Ed Hart, is now 7-for-19 this season. The exacta paid $103, the triple returned $348.50 and the superfecta paid $4,409.

The lasses saw Robin Cruiser, from post No. 3, work out a second-trip behind 13-10 fave Monkey On My Wheel (Sears). That one, from an assigned eight ball, floated in fifth as Summertime Lea (Brennan) marched around Virgin Mary (Goodell).

After some tepid times of :27.2 and :57.1, Monkey On My Wheel was out, and making steady inroads. Summertime Lea remained the leader at the 1:24.3 three-quarters, opening to 2-1/2 lengths turning for home. However, she began to hit the wall, outgamed by a wide Robin Cruiser in 1:53.1. The margin was a half-length.

Summertime Lead photoed Monkey On My Wheel for second, with Virgin Mary and Fashion Mystery (Carlson) settling for the small change.

For sixth choice Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stable and trained by Julie Miller, it was her seventh win in 16 seasonal starts (career earnings just shy of $1.5 million). The exacta paid $307.50, with the triple returning $631.

Note that Friday’s 50 cent Pick-5, with its $25,000 guaranteed pool and $7,500 carryover, attracted $21,304 of Red, White and Blue green. The sequence of 3-8-3-2-5 returned $7,826 for each 50 cent winner.

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