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Major Athens sets track record in Open Trot at Yonkers
Sunday, March 13, 2016 - by Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway Publicity Director

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Yonkers, NY --- Major Athens (Brian Sears, $11.20) gutted it out Sunday (March 13) afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $40,400 Open Handicap Trot.

Assigned post position seven, he was one of several leavers through some quick fractions. Crazshana (Jason Bartlett) played leapfrog on the lead with Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube) between equal opening intervals of :28.2 ( :56.4 half).

Mayra Escamilla photo
Major Athens turned in a record-setting performance in Sunday's Open Trot at Yonkers, touring the 1-1/4 mile in 2:25.4.

It took a half-mile before Major Athens finally made the lead, and when he did, that left 3-2 favorite Luminosity (George Brennan) outside all by his lonesome.

Meanwhile, Major Athens held his advantage through a 1:26 three-quarters and a 1:55.3 mile post. Then, Dot Dot Dot Dash (Matt Kakaley) wound up from last, surging into contention in and out of the final turn.

Major Athens owned a length-a-three-quarter lead entering the lane, then held off a pocket-pulling Crazshana and a flattening Dot Dot Dot Dash. The margin over the former was three-quarters of a length in 2:25.4, a track record for his weight class at this added distance (a tick faster than Papagayo E’s effort in last fall’s International Trot). 

Dot Dot Dot Dash, Latoka (Eric Carlson) and Money Maven (Andy Miller) completed the cashers, while Luminosity backed up to last.

The weekly trotting feature was one of seven “French” races, each listed with 10 horses (though there were two subsequent scratches) at the mile-and-and-a-quarter distance.

For fourth choice Major Athens, a 6-year-old son of Andover Hall owned by Howard Taylor and trained by Tom Milici, it was his third win in seven seasonal starts.  The exacta paid $50.50, with the triple returning $283.50.

This was the fourth Sunday matinee of the season, with the next one scheduled for next Sunday (March 20, first post 1:10 p.m.). The card features Round One of the inaugural Drivers’ Cup, featuring five leading Yonkers’ drivers against a quintet of their French counterparts. 

The Raceway’s live season continues Monday night (first post 7:10 p.m.), with the second round of the Petticoat Pacing Series.


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