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Sapphire City wins Yonkers Open Handicap Pace
Saturday, July 26, 2014 - by Frank Drucker, publicity director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- Sapphire City (Dan Dube) did his damage from off the pace Saturday night (July 26), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace.

 
Sean Hamrock photo
Sapphire City was a narrow winner in the Open Handicap Pace.

Forced to change his tact and race from behind, Sapphire City -- assigned post position No. 6 -- saw Heston Blue Chip (Brent Holland) have to work to get around pole assignee Life Up Front (Eric Carlson) after a contested :26.2 opening quarter-mile.

From there, the leader rated a :29.1 second interval (:55.3 half) before 9-10 favorite Pancetta (Jordan Stratton) moved from fifth. Sapphire City went along for the ride toward a 1:23.4 three-quarters.

Pancetta ducked in a quick rest stop when Life Up Front gave up the ghost. However, the leader remained such into the lane, with a 1-1/4 length advantage in and out of the final turn. Sapphire City angled inside and closed stoutly, whipping Heston Blue Chip by a neck in 1:51.1, a tick off his season's-best. Pancetta settled for third, with Dream Out Loud N (Eric Goodell) and P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder.

Sapphire City, a 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stables and Jordan Sklut, returned $15.20 (third choice) for his fourth win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $48, with the triple returning $152.

New York Sire Stakes continue Monday night, with the $226,200 Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies).


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