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Repeat winners during Yonkers' $1.8 million day of champions
Saturday, October 14, 2017 - by Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- They came, they saw, they conquered. Twice.

Conducted for the first time in the afternoon, the first time alongside Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino and the first time out of a local detention barn, Yonkers Raceway’s $1.8 New York Day of Champions Saturday afternoon (Oct. 14) produced a pair of repeat statebred champions.

Here’s the skinny after eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals…

Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Trot – From post position three, odds-on Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory, $3.70) sat a comfy pocket to second choice Celebrity Ruth (Jason Bartlett) through intervals of :29.1, :58.4 and 1:27.2. Then, once chauffeur ask, date obliged.

Barn Bella eased from the pocket, blowing by to beat Celebrity Ruth by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:56.2. Maewegonow (Charlie Norris), Chapter Too (Eric Goodell) and Scarey Karie (Brian Sears) earned the minors.

Barn Bella, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, has now 12 of her 16 seasonal starts (lifetime 18-for-24, $688,725, two NYSS titles). The gimmicks--$5.70 exacta, $17.60 triple and $91.50 superfecta.
“She was super sharp today,” Gregory said. “Much better than she was in her last few starts.”

Funknwaffles is a dual champion after his victory today at Yonkers Raceway.

Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace – It couldn’t have been much easier for puny proposition Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan, $2.20) quarter-moved to the lead, then won in hand. From post four Funknwaffles took over from Serious Major (Yannick Gingras) just after a :27.4 opening subsection.

He finished it off (56.4; 1:24.4; 1:53.3), whipping a belated Chip Walther (Marcus Miller) by 1-1/4 lengths. American Wiggle (Dan Dube) outraced his 49-1 odds for a first-up third, with Serious Major and What’s Going On (George Brennan) coming away with the remainder.

Funknwaffles, an American Ideal gelding owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by John Butenschoen, is 5-for-15 this season (career 13-for-24, $811,226, also a pair of NYSS titles). The gimmicks--$17.20 exacta, $207.50 triple, $609 triple.

“He’s been knocking heads with better horse than these and since he was 1-9 in here, he had his way,” Callahan said.

Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace – From post two, fave Obvious Blue Chip (Scott Zeron, $4.60) lived up her name, retaking from first leader Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald), then holding that one at bay (:27.3, :57. 1:24.3, 1:53.2). The margin was 1-1/2 lengths, with frosh champ Tequila Monday (Dave Miller) a from-last third.

Angel’s Promise (Jordan Stratton) and Ann Hill (Sears) picked off the remainder.

Obvious Blue Chip, a Roll With Joe miss trained by Mark Steacy for co-owners NLG Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski, is now 6-for-16 in 2017. The gimmicks--$58.50 exacta, $213.50 triple.

“I drove her as if she was the best, and she was,” Zeron said. “Now it’s on the Breeders Crown.”

The lass has expanded her fan base. When she won this summer’s Empire Breeders (Tioga), she did so at 27-1

Crawford Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Trot – Ake Svanstedt trained half the field here, including 1-4 choice Plunge Blue Chip. Unfortunately, that local track record-holder who entered 6-for-6 picked a bad day to have a bad day.

Badly gapping her cover, that filly plummeted to seventh, as her uncoupled stablemates---21-1 Lucky Ava (Gingras, $45) and pace-sitting 64-1 Fury Road (Andrew McCarthy) finished 1-2. Fury Road launched herself from an eight-hole (:28.1; 58.1; 1:27.3), opening 2-1/4 lengths in the lane.

A third-over—from post five— Lucky Ava stormed home, winning by a half-length in a life-best 1:58.2. Lucky Rainbow (Dave Miller) rallied inside for third at 79-1, with 55-1 Natalie Hanover (Dube) and Lima Novelty (Bartlett) rounding out the payees. Second choice Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) broke before the start.

Fourth choice Lucky Ava, a daughter of Lucky Chucky co-owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting, has won five of her nine first-season tries. The gimmicks--$1,088 exacta, $1,149 triple (first two finishers and ALL), $32,824 superfecta (first three finishers and ALL, base $2 payout),

Mike Lizzi photos
Jersey Jim upsets undefeated Hitman Hill to become the latest NYSS champion.

Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace - Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) came in a perfect 6-for-6. He left quite imperfect. The 2-5 pole-sitter led to the lane (:27.1, 57., 1:25.1), but spit it up in the lane.

Jersey Jim (Jim Devaux, $26.80), from post four, buried fourth at the cones at the half, extricated him to roar home from last-over. He defeated Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) by half-length in 1:54.3. Topville Olympian (Gingras), done no favors when the favorite quit, did get third, with Casual Cool (Bartlett) and My Delight (Dave Miller) earning the minor moolah. Hitman Hill faded to six among the seven.

Fifth choice Jersey Jim, an Artiscape gelding co-owned by Robert & Gail Sanders and trained by Perry Simser, is 4-or-9 this season. The gimmicks--$160.50 exacta, $1,082 triple.

Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace – Divisional points leader Hurrikane Shorty (Bartlett) misbehaved early, while 3-5 choice Azreal As It Gets (Jim Marohn) set up shop on the lead (:28.1, 58.2, 1:27).

She could not, however, stall a second move from Alexis Faith (Morrill Jr., $10.20). The latter, leaving into a four-hole from post seven, engaged Azreal As It Gets in and out of the final turn before finally wearing her down. The margin was a going-away 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.2, with Let’s Fall in Love (Gingras) third. Betterthangraduate (Matt Kakaley) and Line Dancer (Brett Miller) settled for the small change.

Third choice Alexis Faith, an American Ideal miss co-owned by West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow & Kevin McKinlay and trained by Casie Coleman, is now 6-for-9 in her first season. The gimmicks--$43.20 exacta, $277.50 triple.

Harness Horse Breeders of NYS 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot – From what became outside post seven, odds-on Six Pack (Svanstedt, $3.90) went the distance (:28.2, :58.4, 1:29, 1:58), disposing of pocket-sitting Clive Bigsby (Bartlett) by 1-1/2 lengths. The Veteran (Sears) was third, with Tito (Marcus Miller) and a recovering Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley) coming away with the remainder.

Six Pack, a Muscle Mass colt co-owned by his trainer, Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar and Lars Berg, is 4-for 8i in 2017 after a third consecutive victory. The exotics--$12.20 exacta, $42.20 triple (three wagering choices in order).

Morrisville Coll. Equine Inst. 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot – Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel was a judges’ scratch in a race that ended up not being for squeamish. A trio of breakers, including 1-2 fave Guardian Angel AS (Bartlett), scattered the surroundings.

That left Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Tim Tetrick, $13.40), from post five, to his own devices. Nary an anxious moment (:28.4, :58.3, 1:27.1, life-best 1:55.2), as he opened four lengths in and out of the final turn before winning by seven lengths.

Icanflylikeanangel (Stratton) and Lord Cromwell (Brennan) minded their manners to chase home the winner with a recovering duo of Guardian Angel AS and Swell Chap (Callahan) grabbing the lessers.

hird choice Eye Ofa Tiger AS, a Chapter Seven gelding trained by Anette Lorentzon for co-owners ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson, has hit the board in 13 seasonal starts, winning six. The gimmicks--$170,50 exacta, $1,438 triple, $4,165 superfecta.

The ‘New York, New York Pick 4,’ featuring the Harry Harvey Invitational (Crazy Wow) and International Trot (Twister Bi), resulted in a sequence (with scratch numbers) of 3,7/4/2,6/2 and paid $24.62 for every correct 50-cent wager. Total pool was $18,985.

Total handle for the 11-race card (including the ‘French’ hub win/show wagers for four exported races) was $1,102,532, the Raceway’s first seven-figure number of the season.

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