BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 23, 2014—Yonker Raceway’s pair of Friday night $38,000 Open Handicaps—for distaff pacers and either-gender trotters--were won by Little Santamonica (Jason Bartlett) and Coraggioso (Brian Sears).
“Santamonica,” the upstate scourge making her first local try since late March, floated out from post position No. 6 (in one notch after an inside defection) before taking back. She saw the two (7-5) wagering choices in favored Summertime Lea (George Brennan) and Shelliscape (Brian Sears) in play early with intervals of :27 and :55.3.
Virgin Mary (Matt Kakaley) moved from fifth, with Little Santamonica on that one’s tail. However, it remainder Shelliscape’s race in and out of the 1:24.3 three-quarters, taking a length lead in and out of the final turn. Summertime Lea dove inside, but she wasn’t the problem. It was Little Santamonica tipping wide and going by, whipping a game Virgin Nary by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2.
Shelliscape faded to third, with Summertime Lea and Keystone Wanda (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees.
For Little Santamonica, a 5-year-old daughter of Little Steven owned by Kelly Dawn Hope and trained by Jordan Hope, she returned $21.20 (fourth choice) for her eighth win (fifth consecutive) in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $139.50, with the triple returning $685.
The week’s marquee trot saw even-money favorite Coraggioso wide early from behind the eight-ball, but wrapped up late. He worked around Tober (Bartlett), then threw down the gauntlet to the tune of :28.1, :57.1, 1:26.2 and 1:55.
The final margin was a drifting three-quarters of a length, but the final result was never up for debate. Tober chased and held second, with Awesome Valley (Brennan), Swishnflick (Larry Stalbaum) and Harbor Point (Eric Carlson) coming away with the remainder.
For Coraggioso, a 5-year-old homebred/statebred son of Conway Hall co-owned by Tom Durkin & Joe Spadaro, and trained by Julie Miller, he returned $4 for his fifth win in 13 ’14 tries (up and over $600,000 in career earnings). The exacta paid $16.60, the triple returned $86 and the superfecta paid $291.
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. Note that Saturday’s card features eliminations for both the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-colts/geldings) and its companion event, the Lismore (3-year-old fillies).