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Thursday, May 30, 2013


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

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 30, 2013--Doctor Butch has gained a new driver and early favoritism for Yonkers Raceway's $275,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace Saturday night.

"Butch," last season's New York Sire Stakes freshman colt, drew post position No. 5 and was made the 3-1 morning line favorite in the field of seven 3-year-old colts and one gelding.

George Brennan takes a first-time seat for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Ken Jacobs. The son of Art Major was a season-starting third in last week's first elimination, cutting the mile (with Tim Tetrick driving) before fading to third—beaten two lengths—in the lane. “Butch,” off an eight-win, $344,000 frosh season, was the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into the 23rd edition of the Rooney.

“I’ve seen this colt race enough to know how good he is,” Brennan said. “He wasn’t at his best last week, but I’m going to chalk that up to being his first start. If he races the way he’s capable, I think he’s the best in there.”                  

Brennan also drives pole-sitting Mattwestern in Saturday's companion event, the $117,060 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. The locally-debuting daughter of Western Terror, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, has won six of her nine seasonal starts, operating in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t know anything about her at all,” Brennan said. “I didn’t even know I was down to drive until the (overnight) sheet came out. I looked at her lines and see has a good record. I can’t complain about the draw, and (Burke) always sends them here ready.”   

The Lismore goes as race 7 (approximate post 9:30 PM), while the Rooney goes as the ninth race (approximate post 10:10 PM).  First post for the 13-race card is 7:10 PM.

The fields, with drivers and morning-line odds...Rooney--1-Sunfire Blue Chip (Dan Dube, 5-1); 2-Source of Pride (Dave Miller, 5-1); 3-Mach it So (Brett Miller, 6-1); 4-Good Day Mate (Jason Bartlett, 6-1); 5-Doctor Butch (George Brennan, 3-1);  6-Sir Cary's Z Tam (Pat Lachance, 5-1); 7-Lonewolf Currier (Brian Sears, 4-1);  8-Bet the Moon (Eric Goodell, 10-1).

Note Sunfire Blue Chip and Source of Pride are coupled.

In the Lismore...1-Mattwestern (Brennan, 3-1); 2-JK Black Beauty (Sears, 8-1); 3-Freetime (Jordan Stratton, 4); 4-Aria J (Brett Miller, 10-1); 5-Handsoffmycupcake (Dube, 4-1); 6-Offintothesunset (Brent Holland, 5-1); 7-Live Entertainment (Dave Miller, 5-1); 8-Give Me an Amen (Bartlett, 10-1). 

Note that JK Black Beauty, Aria J, Offintothesunset and Give Me an Amen, all trained by Toscano, race uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership, while Freetime and Handsoffmycupcake are coupled due to common co-owner/trainer (Scott DiDomenico).