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Sunday, February 12, 2012


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 11, 2012 -- Tobago Cays, given a slick drive by Jim Pantaleano, defended his title Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $33,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Leaving from behind the eight-ball, Tobago Cays was double-digit lengths out of it early, beating no one. Corky Baran (Pat Lachance) yielded to Gallant Yankee (catch-driver Stephane Bouchard) just after a 27-second opening quarter-mile, then retook passing a :55.3 half.

Sea Venture (George Brennan) moved from third, but never sustained a serious bid as Corky Baran found a 1:23.3 three-quarters. All the while, Tobago Cays was minding his business, fourth along the cones. He was able to slip out one path when Here We Go Again (Jason Bartlett) went wide, but remained sixth entering the lane.

Finding clearing in mid-stretch, Tobago Cays snapped Corky Baran on the wire, winning by a neck in 1:53.2. Here We Go Again, 9-10 choice Rock to Glory (Eric Goodell) and Gallant Yankee fought over the minor scraps.
Tobago Cays (Jim Pantaleano) wins Yonkers' Open Handicap on Saturday Night (Tom Berg Photo)

For Tobago Cays, a 5-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover (out of Bunny Lake) owned by Brian Nixon and trained by Ross Croghan, he returned $36 (sixth choice) for his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $221.50, with the triple returning $1,360.

Yonkers' five-night-per-week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday) live schedule continues. First post for all programs remains at 7:10 PM. Evening simulating accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulating available around the NYRA schedule.