For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Saturday, May 11, 2013


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

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 10, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $46,000 Open Handicaps--for everyone's-welcome trotters and distaff pacers--were won by Monsignor Flan (Brent Holland, $4.20) and Royal Cee Cee N (Eric Goodell, $7.30).

It was Lorenzo Dream (Jim Pantaleano) cutting the mile in the featured trot, finding a 28-second opening quarter-mile and :57.3 half. Gurf  (Brian Sears) loosely protected the pocket, while 11-10 favorite Monsignor Flan--from post position No. 4--was away sixth.    

He methodically marched toward the leader go to the 1:26.3 three-quarters, with "Lorenzo" clinging to a short lead off the final turn. However, "Monsignor" was on a mission, going by the leader early in the lane. He won by a length-and-a-quarter in a season's-best 1:55.1. Lorenzo Dream held second, with Whata Winner (Jim Doherty), Gurf and Traverse Seelster (Goodell) grabbing the minor moolah.   

For Monsignor Flan, a 6-year-old SJ's Photo homebred gelding owned Tanah Merah Farms and trained by Robin Cruise, it was his third win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $21.40, the triple returned $72 and the superfecta paid $201.   

The fairer-sex feature saw Royal Cee Cee N, leaving from post No. 2, patient early.

Handsoffmycookie (Dan Dube), as the 13-10 favorite, worked her way around pole-assignee Naughtytiltheend (Holland) just after a 28-second opening quarter-mile. "Cookie" then flipped the baton to Bettor B Lucky (Matt Kakaley), who led the lasses toward a :58.1 intermission.

However, she was powerless to stave off the assault of Royal Cee Cee N, who made a decisive move out of fourth. The new leader took over just after halftime, with Marie's Z Tam (George Brennan) now pocketed and Bettor B Lucky stopping to a crawl.

That completely shuffled Handsoffmycookie out of the race. Meanwhile, Royal Cee Cee N found a 1:26.4 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into lane. She easily held off Marie's Z Tam, winning by a length in 1:54. Tropical Breeze (Sears) rallied for third, with a compromised Handsoffmycookie and Unred Hanover (Mark MacDonald) rounding out the payees.
For third choice Royal Cee Cee N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her second win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $40, with the triple returning $362.                    

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 available around the NYRA schedule.