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Saturday, February 8, 2014


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 7, 2014--Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $33,000 Open Handicaps--a Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all who sent in their proofs of purchase--were won by odds-on favorite Ramalama (Matt Kakaley, $2.90) and a repeating DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $4.40).

Starting from post position No. 4--the best she could have hoped for the way the race was laid out--Ramalama settled third as Lorrie Please (Eric Carlson) made an immediate lead around pole-sitting Simple Saver N (Tyler Buter).  After cheapy fractions of :29.3 and :59.4, Ramalama was out and advancing.

The people's choice engaged "Lorrie" in and out of a 1:28 three-quarters, and they were throwing it down through the lane. The fave had to work for it, but she did prevail, edging past Lorrie Please by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.3. Simple Saver N, Magic Starlight N (Brennan)--who gapped the winner down the backside--and Ideal in Vegas (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees.
For Ramalama, a 5-year-old statebred daughter of Bettor's Delight trained by David Duspiva for co-owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, it was her first win (along with three seconds) in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.80, with the triple returning $116.

The week's marquee trot--reduced to seven when inside number Likeabatoutahell was ill--was a two-speed
number involving the two outside assignees. It was DW's NY Yank—from post No. 7--taking over from Zooming (Buter) just after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. A soft :59-second intermission, then pressure from a first-up Bob N Tony (Ron Pierce).

The leader remained so going  past a 1:28.2 three-quarters, taking a three-quarter length lead out of the final turn. Zooming ducked inside but missed, beaten a head in 1:57. Backstreet Hanover (Carlson) was a closing third, with Lorenzo Dream (Kakaley) and Bob N Tony settling for the remainder
For "D W", a 5-year-old Dilbert Hanover gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Howard Taylor, it was his third win in as many '14 tries  The exacta paid $11, the triple returned $44.60 and the superfecta (four wagering favorites in order) paid $140.

A special Friday salute to noted bon vivant--and occasional Saturday TV co-host--Gary Machiz, whose
Where to Hanover (Stratton, $5.10) delivered the goods in the $15,000, fifth-race trot. Where to Hanover negotiated the mile-and-one-sixteenth in 2:05.3, then immediately demanded a raise from his owner. 
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 daily.