BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 30, 2014—Yonkers Raceway’s fifth race Saturday night doesn’t have a catchy name, but “Messenger Stakes Prep” might work.
A $25,000 Open Handicap for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings has attracted a pair of standout sophomores with their eyes presumably on the prize the next couple of weekends.
Empire champion All Bets Off (George Brennan, post 6) returns for his first work night since rolling his rivals in the $225,000 final of the New York Sire Stakes here in mid-September. For the season, the son of Bettor’s Delight has won nine of his dozen starts (four in a row) and $642,925. Trainer Ron Burke co-owns the Art Rooney Pace winner with Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell.
While All Bets Off is a board-certified horse of the course (five wins and two seconds in seven career Westchester tries), McWicked (Jason Bartlett, post 7) makes his local debut.
The millionaire son of McArdle, trained by Casie Coleman for S S G Stables, sports wins in the Hempt Memorial (Pocono), Adios (Meadows) and the final of the PA Sire Stakes (Harrah’s Philly). Also a nine-time winner this season (in 15 starts), McWicked has 2014 cash of $939,346.
Note that the 59th Messenger Stakes, final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, Oct. 25th, with eliminations (If necessary) going the previous Saturday.
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.