BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 14, 2014—A total of sixteen 3-year-old colts and geldings, led by Kentucky Futurity winner Nuncio, have been entered for Yonkers Raceway’s Yonkers Trot, final jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown.
The number, which also includes New York Sire Stakes champ—and $30,000 supplemental entrant---Gural Hanover—necessitated a pair of eliminations this Saturday night.
The Trot offers a total purse of $580,000, with each of this weekend’s elims going for $40,000 each. The first four finishers in each qualify the final.
First elim (alphabetical, not in post position order)--Datsyuk (Charlie Norris), E L Titan (Ron Pierce), Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald), Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.), Hillustrious (Dave Miller), King City (Dave Miller also listed), Muscles and Spice (Brett Miller), Resolve (Corey Callahan).
Second elim (alphabetical, not in post position order)—Amped Up Hanover (Matt Kakaley), DD’s Hitman (Ake Svanstedt), Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick), Expressive Action (Jason Bartlett), Journey (Dan Dube), Nuncio (John Campbell), Skates N’ Plates (George Brennan), Way Outta Here (Dave Miller)
Speaking of Triple Crowns, the pacing version of same wraps up with the $540,000 Messenger Stakes, which saw nine 3-year-old pacers enter. Leading the way are stakes winning All Bets Off (Art Rooney, NYSS, Millstein), Lyonssomewhere (Cane) and McWicked (Hempt, Adios, PA Sire Stakes)
This Saturday night, there’s a $40,000 “musical chairs” elim, with all but one horse returning for the $500,000 final.
The nine, again alphabetically, are…All Bets Off (Kakaley), Double Your Bet (Kakaley also listed), Forty Five Red (Brennan), Luck Be Withyou (Tetrick), Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller), McWicked (Dave Miller), National Debt (Brett Miller also listed), Stevensville (Tetrick also listed),Western Conquest (Brent Holland).
This is the 60th edition of Yonkers Raceway’s premier trotting event, while it’s Messenger No. 59.
The distaff companion stakes to the Trot and the Messenger—the $124,590 Hudson Filly and $190,854 Lady Maud—attracted six and 11 ladies, respectively. The Hudson is a single-dash finale, while the Maud offers two $20,000 elims this Saturday to extract the eight finalists.
All four stakes finals, plus the $250,000, mile-and-one-quarter International Trot Preview, are scheduled for Saturday night, Oct. 25.