BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 12, 2014--Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night hosted the $221,000 New York Sire Stakes Dick McGuire Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A total of 13 entered a pair of six-figure divisions. The event honored the memory of the Basketball Hall of Famer, former New York Knickerbocker standout—and avid horseplayer—with family and friends making winner’s circle presentations.
As luck and form would have it, the two winners here were the same two that won this division’s last downstate go-round not quite three weeks ago.
The first ($109,500) grouping saw last season’s frosh statebred champion, Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald, $2.50), deliver on a puny parimutuel promise (:28.3, 58.2, 1:28, 1:56.1). In play from post position No. 2, he played leapfrog with Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern), then completed his appointed. “El Durado” whipped Cash Me Out by a length-and-a-quarter, with Daley Lovin’ (Dan Daley) third.
For the in-form Flyhawk El Durado, a son of Conway Hall trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf, it was his fifth win (third consecutive) in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $4.50, with the triple returning $10.80.
“Right now, he’s as good as anyone in the division,” MacDonald said. “When he stays calm, which he didn’t always do, he can trot all day and dig in at the end.”
The second ($111,500) sire stakes event saw odds-on choice Gural Hanover (Morrill Jr., $2.60) make one move to the lead, then turn out the lights.
Settling fifth early from post No. 7, the people’s choice saw Royal Max (John MacDonald) put thrown down a :28.4 opening gauntlet. From there, Gural Hanover made the lead (:58.1, 1:27, 1:56.2) and slammed the door.
He whipped Royal Max by four lengths, with Mister Anson (Jeff Gregory) third. The only other entrant under double-digit odds, second choice Zoey De Vie (Jason Bartlett), broke early.
For Gural Hanover, a Crazed gelding co-owner (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Little E and Panhellenic Stables, it was his seventh win (sixth consecutive) in nine ’14 tries. The exacta paid $9.70, with the triple returning $49.80.
New York Sire Stakes continue Thursday night, with the $194,800 Frank Becerra Pace for 2-year-old fillies.
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.