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Saturday, May 18, 2013


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 17, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $46,000 Open Handicaps--for either-gender trotters and distaff pacers--were won by Blacktuxwhitesocks (George Brennan, $3.30) and a repeating Royal Cee Cee N (Eric Goodell, $8.80).

The featured trot took on a different look when early choice Imperial Count was a judges' defection. That moved the people's affections to veteran statebred Blacktuxwhitesocks, and the 3-5 favorite had to earn it.

A three-deep Traverse Seelster (Goodell) worked around Lorenzo Dream (Jim Pantaleano), making the lead before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. At the 58-second intermission, "Blacktux"--leaving from post position No. 5 (in one notch after that scratch)--began his mission.

He engaged Traverse Seelster through a testing :27.4 third quarter (1:25.4), with the latter hanging on to a short lead entering the lane. However, with Blacktuxwhitesocks as relentless as "Traverse" was game, the fave did gut it out, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2...fastest local trot mile of the season and a tick off his (and Archangel's) all-age standard. 

Monsignor Flan (Brent Holland), Lorenzo Dream and Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) rounded out the payees.

Blacktuxwhitesocks, a 6-year-old Credit Winner gelding trained by Trond Smedshammer for owner Purple Haze Stables, is now 1-for-5 this season (career earnings just under $875,000). The exacta paid $13.80. with the triple returning $43.40

The feature saw the lasses sort themselves out in numerical order, with pole-assigned Unred Hanover (Mark MacDonald) throwing down the gauntlet to the tune of a :26.4 quarter and :56.1 half.

Handsoffmycookie (Dan Dube), as the just over even-money favorite, then took up the chase from fourth, with Royal Cee Cee  N--from post No. 5--in behind. "Unred" maintained an open lead in and out off the 1:24 three-quarters, taking a 2 1/2-length lead out of the final turn,

However, "Cookie" and Royal Cee Cee N continued to close, with Royal Cee Cee N wearing down the leader late. She won by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.3. Unred Hanover held second over Handsoffmycookie, while Marie's Z Tam (Brennan) and Ginger and Fred (Matt Kakaley) settled for the remainder

For second choice Royal Cee Cee N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her third win in nine '13 tries (career earnings over $815,000). The exacta paid $43.20, the triple returned $100 and the superfecta paid $716.                 

The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting--including Saturday's Preakness Stakes card from Pimlico--available around the NYRA schedule.