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).