BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 31, 2015—Yonkers Raceway Tuesday afternoon offered its richest race of the season to date, the $62,200 final of the Sagamore Hill for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers.
Newly-purchased Rediscovery (George Brennan, $6.70) won the big prize—$31,100 and a date with Teddy Roosevelt—off a textbook pocket trip beneath the wet snow.
Winning the draw in the finale (all 4-year-olds), Rediscovery yielded to 6-5 favorite Bettorever (Jason Bartlett), who gained the lead before a 28-second opening quarter-mile. Rediscovery, as the second choice, then locked up the box, leaving Vance Bayama (Mark MacDonald) hung out.
After a :57.2 intermission, and using “Vance” as a parked-out pick, Bettorever found a 1:25.4 three-quarters. It was Vance Bayama’s entrymate, YS Lotus (Dan Dube), going wide down the backside as Bettorever owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.
Meanwhile, Rediscovery had his sights set on the passing lane, where he edged away late. The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter in a season’s-best 1:54. Bettorever easily held second, with JK Patriot (Tim Tetrick) third. YS Lotus and Roger Mach Em (Brian Sears) completed the cashers, while Fort Knox (Eric Carlson), Khan Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) and Vance Bayama rounded out the order of finish.
“I had to close the hole,” Brennan said. “First time I’ve driven him and no way I wanted to get away third. He’s handy and has a good turn of foot. He was a good buy.”
The “good buy” is a 4-year-old son of Tell All now co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura, who is 2-for-7 this season. The exacta paid $11.80, with the triple returning $76. Rediscovery, racing for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. in the three series prelims, had a win and a pair of seconds.
A $25,000 series consolation was won by Ideal Willie (MacDonald, $16.80 [part of entry]) in a life-best 1:54.
Series action continues Friday night with the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (two, five-horse, $40,000 divisions), while Saturday offers the third round of George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (30 entrants in four, $50,000 divisions).