For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Saturday, October 4, 2014


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 3, 2014—Yonkers Raceway’s Friday night $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps—one for distaff pacers and one for trotters with valid membership cards--were won by a pocketed Coffee Addict (Dan Dube, $20.80) and a cone-skimming Obrigado (Eric Carlson, $10.40).

Pole assignee Rock N Loud (Larry Stalbaum) gave her backers an early thrill, leading through a :26.4 opening quarter-mile and a :55.2 intermission. Coffee Addict (Dan Dube) was behind that one from post position No. 2, Simple Saver N (Eric Goodell), who aborted a quarter-move, tried it again, out from third toward to the leader at a 1:23.4 three-quarters. Monkey on My Wheel (Carlson), who had left into a four-hole, chased that one.

Rock N Loud was about to wear out her welcome early in the lane, as the other lasses crowded around her. Set Me Up (George Brennan) set it up from third-over, but it was (Coffee) ground-saving “Addict” to get the decision in 1:53.1. The latter whipped the former by three-quarters of a length. Monkey on My Wheel flattened to third, with last week’s victress, Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett) and tepid 5-2 favorite Campanile (Tyler Buter) completing the cashers.

For sixth choice Coffee Addict, a 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again trained by Bruce Saunders for Pennsylvania co-owners James Clarke Sr. and Andrew Altobelli, it was her sixth win in 25 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $319, with the triple returning $2,023.

The week’s marquee trot Fort Valley AS (Bartlett) loop a couple into the first turn, then give it up to Home Turf (Brennan). That invader, set away as the 6-5 fave, made the lead right at a 28-second first sub-station. It was a :57.4 half before Somebody AS (Dube) was in a hurry, moving from fourth. He and Home Turf dropped the gloves in and out a 1:26 three-quarters, with Fort Valley AS backing away in the pocket.

The two leaders were in a virtual dead-heat in and out of the final turn before Obrigado—seventh early from post No. 6—made up good ground. He found his way deep in the passing saw and disposed of a stubborn Somebody AS by a half-length in 1:55.  Home Turf, Bentley Karan (Goodell) and Fort Valley AS settled for the remainder.

For second choice Obrigado, a 4-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, William Weaver III, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, he’s now 8-for-19 this season (29-for-42 lifetime). The exacta paid $55.50, the triple returned $259 and the superfecta paid $1,029.

            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.