BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 11, 2013--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all up to the challenge--were won by a pair of "to-the-houses" in Let's Go Higher (Jason Bartlett, $6.90) and DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $4.20).
Let's Go Higher, leaving from post position No. 7 (in one notch after an inside defection), had things all her own way. Working around 19-10 favorite Rock N Load (Dan Dube), she controlled the crowd through comfy early intervals of :27.1 and :57.1.
Lightning Paige (Jordan Stratton) tried it first-up from fifth, moderately pressing the issue toward a 1:25.3 three-quarters. Let's Go Higher owned a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, then held sway by a diminishing neck in 1:53.3. Second went to Rock N Load, with Lightning Paige, Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Ginger and Fred (Brennan) settling for the small change.
For second choice Let's Go Higher, a 5-year-old daughter of Cole Muffler owned by Jesse De Long and trained by Heidi Rohr, it was her 11th win in 31 seasonal starts (fourth in a row at three different venues). The exacta paid $21.80, with the triple returning $92.
The featured trot had DW's NY Yank, who jumped it off a week ago as the favorite, regain the faith of the populace. From his ordered eight-hole as the 11-10 choice, he whipped around the site in :27.1, :56.4, 1:25.3, 1:54.2...a new track record for 4-year-old geldings.
Second went to last week's upsetter, a loose-pocket Brando's Muscle Man (Eric Goodell), with Zooming (Bartlett), Bound for Fame (Stratton) and Lorenzo Dream (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees.
For "DW," a Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor, he's now 12-for-21 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $10.80, the triple returned $117 and the superfecta paid $265.50.
A special Friday night salute to occasional (and insightful, as opposed to occasionally insightful) Saturday night co-host Gary Machiz, whose Where to Hanover (Mark MacDonald, $7.30) wired the $22,000, sixth-race trot in 1:57.1. The 4-year-old Donato Hanover gelding, trained by Joe King, is now 8-for-19 this season ($98,260). Machiz was joined by his wife, Stacy, in the winner's circle.
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.