BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 12, 2014—Pole assignee Sapphire City (Dan Dube, $7.80) held off favored Pancetta (Jordan Stratton) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace.
It was Aracache Hanover (George Brennan) cutting his teeth through fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23, with only mild, first-up pressure from longshot Dream Out Loud N (Eric Goodell). “Aracache” owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but was done soon thereafter.
Pancetta, the 11-10 choice, set up shop over and closed stoutly, but Sapphire City—deposited into the passing lane—whipped that one by a half-length 1:51…a season’s-best by three full seconds. Dream Out Loud N held credibly for third, with invading Getitoffyourchest (Brent Holland) and The Real One (Pat Lachance) settling for the minor moolah.
For second choice Sapphire City, a 8-year-old Metropolitan gelding owned by Centaur Stable & Jordan Sklut and trained by Paul Blumenfeld, it was his third win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $20.40, with the triple returning $115.
Also Saturday, a pair of $25,000 eliminations for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Leading the octet into Saturday’s $125,000 finale are winners In the Arsenal (Goodell, $13.80) and Carton Daddy (Brennan, $3.20) in 1:56.1.
The winners, trained by Kelvin Harrison and Ron Burke, respectively, shall be joined next week Byby Landon, Mystical Pacer, Rock N’ Roll World, Lone Survivor, Perfect Eagle and Parklane Eagle. The open draw is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
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.