Friday's edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Yonkers Raceway, Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs and Saratoga Gaming and Raceway.
Bartlett sweeps Yonkers co-features
|Mike Lizzi Photo|
|Fort Valley As won the Yonkers Open Trot in 1:55.2 for driver Jason Bartlett.|
Yonkers, NY---Yonkers Raceway’s Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps—for distaff pacers and all-allowed trotters--were won by millionairess Monkey on My Wheel (Jason Bartlett, $3.10) and Fort Valley As (Bartlett again, $13.40).
Odds-on choice Monkey on My Wheel, working from a rather-generous post position No. 5 starting venue, gave nothing else a chance. She strolled around pole-assigned invader Icommandmyspirit (Larry Stalbaum), then set down fractions of 27.3 and 56.1. Summertime Lea (George Brennan), who found an early tuck, moved again going toward the 1:24 three-quarters.
However, Summertime Lea couldn’t threaten as Monkey on My Wheel opened 2½ lengths entering the lane. The final margin was a length-and-a-half in 1:52, matching a season’s-best.
Last week’s victress, Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton), closed for second, with Summertime Lea, Virgin Mary (Eric Goodell) and Icommandmyspirit rounding out the payees.
For Monkey On My Wheel, a 6-year-old homebred daughter of Mach Three owned by Mac Nichol and trained by Casie Coleman, it was her eighth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.80, with the triple returning $68.50.
The week’s marquee trot saw Fort Valley As—in of three leavers, he from post No. 5—wind up pocketed. Lorenzo Dream (Brennan) made the lead from his outside seven-hole (in one notch after a defection), while Amigo Ranger (Dan Dube) broke.
Lorenzo Dream found a 27.4 opening quarter-mile, at which returning 2013 Yonkers Trot champ Dewycolorintheline (Stratton), as the 6-5 fave, tried to move from third before sitting back down.
A 57.3 intermission and 1:26.3 three-quarters saw Lorenzo Dream and Fort Valley As have the race to themselves, with the former a length-and-a-half turning for home. However, the latter quickly closed ranks, then edged away. Fort Valley As won by a length-and-a-quarter in a season’s-best 1:55.2.
Lorenzo Dream was a safe second, with Dewycolorintheline third, beaten four lengths. Ima Que T (Eric Carlson) and Itzaziam (Pat Berry) settled for the remainder.
For fourth choice Lorenzo Dream, a 6-year-old Tom Ridge gelding owned and trained by Jennifer Sabot, it was his third win in 11 ’14 starts. The exacta paid $70.50, the triple returned $259.50 and the superfecta paid $1,019.
The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 p.m. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.
House Money (Angus Hall-Emmamzaing) received an excellent drive from trainer-driver Roman Lopez to score a victory in the $9,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Friday night. House Money actually sat the pocket trip behind early leader War Hero (Frank Davis), who set fractions of 28 seconds for the quarter, 57.3 for the half, and 1:25.4 for three-quarters. House Money then commenced a rally at the inside and challenged War Hero in the stretch, going past and winning by two lengths in a time of 1:54.1 War Hero suffered a break deep in the stretch, so while he crossed the line fourth, he was disqualified for violating the breaking rule and placed sixth. Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) sat fifth in the field of six during the early stages of the race and then moved nicely through the lane to get second. Pollux Blue Chip (Claude Huckabone III) finished third. The complete order of finish was: House Money, Evil Urges, Pollux Blue Chip, A Penny Earned, My Revenuer, and War Hero. House Money is owned by Mitchell Frair and Thomas and Kimberley Frarey of Sherrill, New York. Jimmy Whittemore might have been the runner-up in the feature race, but he scored three victories on the evening as he continues to close in on 1,000 career victories. With the three wins on Friday night, Whittemore is currently at 997 lifetime wins. He was in the sulky for Don't Miss A Tweet in the first race, Ilovemymommy in the second race, and Funny Photo in the seventh race. Whittemore has drives in nine of the ten races scheduled for the Saturday night program at Vernon Downs, so it is conceivable that he reached the milestone of 1,000 wins before the end of the weekend.
The Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval continues to be a perfect fit for Lutetium ($4.00) as he once again dominated the $10,500 Open Trot with a 3/4-length victory over BZ Glide Friday night (July 11) in 1:56.2 over the lightning-fast track. It's been an unbelievable stretch for Lutetium at Buffalo Raceway. He's now won seven straight races in Hamburg including six straight in Open competition. Lutetium has also been in front at every quarter-mile marker during that streak. It was an expected showdown between Lutetium and BZ Glide and they did not disappoint. Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) in his usual front-running style, took command of the lead and posted fractions of 28.4, 58.3 and 1:27.4. At the three-quarter marker. the only one left in contention was the slightly-favored BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) as the remaining five trotters were waving the white flag. Lutetium had plenty left in the tank, thanks to a 28.3 final panel, as BZ Glide could only get within a non-threatening 3/4 lengths at the wire. Jon Win (David McNeight III) was a distant third. The win was the 10th in 19 starts this year for Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby), owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw. It was also his 21st victory in 57 tries since the beginning of 2013, placing in the money 36 times in that span as well. Lutetium, a 7-year-old gelding, has now earned $56,790 in 2014 and $242,596 lifetime.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Slugfest set a lifetime mark in the Friday night feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Maureen Salino-trained trotter went on a tear in the springtime, winning four consecutive times in the $17,000 Open, but followed that up with a brief lull. Two weeks ago, Slugfest (Conway Hall) dropped down in class and rediscovered the winning way, prevailing for the fifth time this season. Friday’s feature was the $14,000 ‘Winners Over’ Trot and Slugfest, the race’s 7-5, wasted no time taking the early speed and had little trouble registered victory number six on the year. The win came in 1:56 and served as a lifetime mark for the 5-year-old trotter. Jay Randall piloted Slugfest to the career-best score as they bested runner up Fear The Football (Dan Cappello Jr) and third-place finisher Pay The Winner (Stephane Bouchard).
Live racing continues on Saturday night with the fifth annual Back to the Track night. Free programs, t-shirts and $1 hot dogs and sodas highlight the fan-friendly event. First post time on Saturday is set for 6:45 p.m.