BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 20, 2014 – When more than $6.8 million of career class and cash hit town, notice is summarily taken.
Such is the case Friday night, with Yonkers Raceway’s $44,000 Open Trot enhanced by the presence of Bee A Magician and Arch Madness.
Bee A Magician, the reigning Harness Horse of the Year, won the draw as she makes her local debut and just her third career half-mile track start (two at Flamboro in 2012). The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra, driven by Brian Sears, is trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman.
After a 17-for-17, $1.5 million season a year ago, Bee A Magician has a win and five seconds in seven tries this season ($154,704). The career bankroll is in excess of $2.4 million.
Despite her lack of small-track experience, “I have no reason to think she won’t handle it,” Norman said. “I’m probably gonna tighten up some of her equipment a bit, but that’s about it.
“It should be a good test for her. She needed a race (out 20 days since her last start), we’re planning to race her on the half at Delaware (Ohio) next month, and perhaps we can come back for the (details to be announced) Invitational Trot here (late October).”
“She trots the turns well, so I don’t see a problem,” Sears said. “We can play at by ear and see the race unfolds.”
According to the U.S. Trotting Association’s Anne Chunko, Bee A Magician is the first Horse of the Year to race here after winning the award since Gallo Blue Chip (HOY in 2000, raced here twice in ’03).
With a mere $4.2 million in lifetime loot, Arch Madness makes just his second Westchester visit (an eight-hole break in a 2009 Open Handicap Trot). He drew post position No. 3 for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. The 10-year-old Balanced Image gelding, who could also be a Invitational candidate, is Long Island co-owned by Marc Goldberg and Willow Pond LLC.
With 35 wins in 117 career starts, there’s not much room left on this resume.
The remainder of Friday night’s overstuffed co-feature (8h race, approx. post time 9:30 PM) includes…2-Sombody As (Dan Dube), 4-Tober (Jason Bartlett), 5-Theraputic (George Brennan) 6-Dewycolorintheline (Jordan Stratton), 7-Coraggioso (Eric Carlson) and 8-Obrigado (Brent Holland). “Dewy” won the 2013 Yonkers Trot, while Coraggioso was the 2012 New York Sire Stakes (3-year-old colt/gelding) champ.
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.