BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 14, 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 the box tops--were won by a pocket-sitting Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears, $5) and an come-from-behind Super Manning (Matt Kakaley, $6.70).
Royal Cee Cee N, who became a career millionairess with a second-place finish a week ago, was in play early this night from post position No. 3. As the 3-2 favorite, she made the first lead before yielding the right of way to Cocoa Beach (Ron Pierce).
“Cocoa” set tepid fractions of a flat 28 seconds and :58.1 before inside assignee Fashion Mystery (Eric Carlson) moved from fourth. She put forth just mild pressure going toward a 1:26.1 three-quarters, with Cocoa Beach taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.
Despite the cheapy intervals, she couldn’t stall the lass on her back, as Royal Cee Cee N ducked in and went by. The margin was three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4 (:27.3 final quarter). Fashion Mystery held third, with Krispy Apple and Ramalama completing the cashers.
For Royal Cee Cee N, an 8-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $17, with the triple returning $116.
The week’s marquee trot saw slight 2-1 fave Super Manning—off the gate and solidly second in last week’s edition—unhurried this week from post No. 6.
He watched as Tall Cotton (George Brennan) left over his seven inside rivals. After early sub-sections of :28 and :58 (with pocket-sitter Lorenzo Dream [Sears] edging out, then going back in), Traverse Seelster (Pierce) moved from fifth.
That one disposed of the leader, with Calchip’s Brute (Jordan Stratton) second-up and Super Manning plying his craft from third-over. It was “Traverse” owning a short-lived lead at the 1:26.1 three-quarters, but—and everyone else—were about to be inhaled.
Super Manning swung wide and busted the race wide open. He was up a length in and out of the final turn, then widened to 3¼ lengths in 1:54.4…fastest trot mile of the season. Lone lass Backstreet Hanover (Carlson) was able to get into second, with Calchip’s Brute, Zooming (Tyler Buter) and Traverse Seelster settling for the small change.
For Super Manning, a 6-year-old Diamond Goal homebred owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was her first win in five ’14 starts. The exacta paid $55, the triple returned $413 and the superfecta paid $1,908.
Friday night props to former New York Sire Stakes champ Coraggioso ($3.40), who returned downstate with a convincing victory (1:56.1) in the $17,500, ninth-race trot. The now-5-year-old son of Conway Hall, co-owned by breeders Tom Durkin and Joe Spadaro, is now 16-for-37 in his career. He defeated Where to Hanover, owned by always-welcome Yonkers co-host Gary (Man About Town) Machiz, by a length-and-a-half.
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.