BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 8. 2013--In-form A J Corbelli (Ron Pierce) prevailed from second-over Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $33,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Unhurried early from post position No. 4--his best starting venue the way the race was laid out--"A J" watched lone leaver American Rage (Brian Sears) work around pole-assignee Lumberjack Willie (Jordan Stratton).
American Rage found early intervals of :27.1 and 56 seconds flat before Mr. Hasani N (Jason Bartlett) launched a seemingly-reluctant bid from third.
A J Corbelli was behind that while, while tepid 3-1 favorite Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) was a bit wide as outer tier was a bit late in developing.
American Rage continued to lead in and out of the 1:23.4 three-quarters, with a length-and-a-half advantage into the lane, However, he was about to voted off the island. Mr. Hasani grinded by, but that one could not fend off A J Corbelli.
Second-up to first home, prevailing by a half-length in 1:52.2...a season's-best and the fast local mile of 2014. Third went to Lumberjack Willie, with a cone-skimming Clear Vision (George Brennan) and Pan from Nantucket (Eric Goodell) rounding out the payees.
American Rage faded to seventh, while Sapphire City wound up last among the octet.
For A J Corbelli, a 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned by (breeder) Anatolia Racing Stable & Michel Allard and trained by Rene Allard, he returned $15.20 (sixth choice) for his fifth win (fourth consecutive) in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $99.50, with the triple returning $440.
The season's highest win mutuel was also turned in Saturday night, when 51-1 Bettor Design (Bartlett, $105) was up on the money in the $15,000 fourth-race pace.