BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 15, 2014—He’s Watching, he of the perfect, world-record freshman season and subsequent divisional honors, shall make his 3-year-old parimutuel debut in Yonkers Raceway’s Art Rooney Pace.
Co-owner and trainer Dave Menary confirmed the son of American Ideal is returning to Westchester, where he ended 2013 with a victory in September’s final of the New York Sire Stakes. The win in the $225,000 event was his third as many Yonkers tries, wrapping an 8-for-8 ($291,722) initial resume.
The 23rd Rooney has 34 eligible sophomore pacing colts/geldings. Eliminations (if necessary) are scheduled for Saturday, May 24th. The $300,000 (gtd.) final is set for Saturday, May 31st.
“He loves the track, and to be perfectly honest, the money’s too good,” Menary said. “We could have gone to the Somebeachsomewhere (at Mohawk), but the divisions are about $100,000 each and he’d probably have to go (1) 49 and 3 right out of the box.
“Ideally, I hope there are no eliminations (for the Rooney), but regardless, we plan to be there,” Menary said. “He’s going to qualify again tomorrow (Friday) up here (Mohawk).
“After his first (May 2nd) qualifier, (driver) Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) said he’d never sat behind a horse as straight and as strong. I think of He’s Watching as an Incredible Hulk version of Foiled Again,” Menary said of the 12-for-12 (including qualifiers) $3,000 buy of a lifetime. He’s muscular, with heart and stamina. I’ve never seen a horse dig through the ground the way he does.”
As far a 2014 schedule, “Obviously, after the Rooney, there’s the North America Cup, but we’re going to let him dictate that to us.
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.