BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 21, 2014—Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the opening round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, its premier series for Open Mare pacers. Four, $40,000 divisions went postward.
The first event saw Angel’s Delight (George Brennan, $16.40) pop from a perfect second-over trip in 1:53.2. Leaving from post position No. 5, she watched as Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick) take over from Handsoffmycookie (Dan Dube), then deal with Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras).
After fractions of :27.4, :56.4, 1:24.3, Angel’s Delight was ready to move. She whipped Rocklamation—part of a 2-5 favored entry--by a length, with Shelliscape another length back in third.
“I saw her race last week, and when Matt (Kakaley) tipped her wide in the lane, she just took off,” Brennan said. “It was the same thing here.
“She’d been racing, while the other ones are just starting back, so maybe that was an advantage. Those other mares—it never takes them long to be ready. It’s going to be a good series, and I certainly wouldn’t discount mine “
For third choice Angel’s Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was her fifth win (with four seconds) in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.60, with the triple returning $82.50.
Brennan doubled his pleasure in the second division, when former New York Stakes champ Summertime Lea ($4.40) won the draw and the race (:27.1; :56.3; 1:25, 1:53.4) in down-the-road fashion. Season-debuting “Lea”—the season-debuting half of the 6-5 favored entry--lasted by a neck over a charging Ramalama (Kakaley), with Cocoa Beach (Brian Sears) third. Swinging Beauty (Gingras), parimutuelly partnered with the winner, was a weak first-over fifth.
Anndrovette (Tetrick), making her 2014 bow, never left the cones and finished fourth.
For “Lea,” a 4-year-old daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr and Frank Baldachino, it was her 17th win in 26 career starts. The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $68.50.
The event third division was its best, with odds-on choice Somwherovrarainbow (Sears, $3.80) going first-up to hold off her rivals in 1:52.4.
Trying to leave from post No. 6, she landed in a four-hole as Royal Cee Cee N (Ron Pierce) laid down the law through a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and a :57.2 half. “Somwher” was then out and moving, engaging the leader through a 1:25 three-quarters.
She put Royal Cee Cee N away mid-stretch then held off both the horse on her back (Krispy Apple [Tetrick]) and a pocket-sitting Charisma Hanover (Gingras). The margin was scant nose over Krispy Apple, with “Charisma” a shorter schnoz back in third.
For “Rainbow,” a 4-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Joe Holloway for co-owners Diamond Creek Racing and Ted Gewertz, she’s now 2-for-2 this season and up over $900,000 for her career. It was a far cry from the lass who stopped on a dime the last time she was here, last October’s elimination for the Lady Maud Pace.
“She’s bigger, she’s stronger and I’m just happy to have her,” Holloway said. “There’s not much half-mile experience with her, so I changed the equipment a bit, and she was very good,
The final Matchmaker grouping was nothing more than a public workout for 1-4 fave Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube, $2.50). Sent right to the lead from post No. 4, she had nary an anxious moment though intervals of :27.3, 56.4; 1:25.1 and 1:52.4.The final margin was 4¼ lengths over Let’s Go Higher (Jason Bartlett), with Economy Terror (Mark MacDonald) a pocket third and Bettor B Lucky (Gingras) fourth.
For “Yagonna,” a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Kapildeo Singh, it was her fourth win in seven 14 tries. The exacta paid $13, the triple returned $38.60 and the superfecta paid $155.
“She’d make anybody look good,” Dube said. “She does it all on her own and doesn’t know where the end of the mile is.”
Friday’s $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Lorenzo Dream (Sears, $19) in a season’s-best 1:55.2, also the fast local mile of 2014.
The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series begins Saturday night, with five, $50,000 division, (races 2.4,5,9 and 11 on the 12-race card).
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.