BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 18, 2014—Yonkers Raceway’s Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps—for distaff pacers and membership-worthy trotters--were won by a pair of down-the-roads in Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $14) and Tober (Jason Bartlett, $5.20).
Robin Cruiser, leaving from post position No. 6 (in one notch after an inside defection), worked around pole-assigned Icommandmyspirit (Larry Stalbaum). She then took at it the house, with weigh stations of :27.3, :56.4, 1:24.4 and 1:52.4.
Monkey on My Wheel (Brian Sears), as has been her MO, floated away for an early seat before trying it first-up. However, the 3-5 favorite couldn’t look the leader into the eyes and Robin Cruiser had a length lead into the lane.
Icommandmyspirit tried “Robin” up the cones but missed a half-length, with Monkey on My Wheel, Jonsie Jones (Pat Berry) and Virgin Mary (Eric Goodell) rounding out the payees.
For Robin Cruiser, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stable and trained by Julie Miller, it was her fourth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $104.50, with the triple returning $356.50.
The week’s marquee trot saw tepid 8-5 choice Tober, in play from post No. 4, lead at every interval (:28, :58, 1:26.1, season’s-best 1:54.2). Slight second choice Coraggioso (Sears) tried the same tactic as Monkey on My Wheel—leaving from an ordered outside post and trying it first-up.
Tober fending off that one’s advances, opened up 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn, then held off a cones-skimming The Triple Lindy (Eric Carlson) by a neck. Third went to Coraggioso, with Dewycolorintheline (Stratton) and Zooming (Goodell) settling for the remainder.
For Tober, a 6-year-old statebred gelding co-owned by (co-breeder) Kristie Leigh Farm & Joseph Betro and trained by Ed Hart, he’s now 8-for-20 this season. it was his third win in 11 ’14 starts. The exacta paid $32.20, the triple returned $104 and the superfecta paid $369.50.
Saturday night’s feature is the $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
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.