BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 13, 2015—Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted the $168,374 New York Sire Stakes Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies.
The event, honoring the memory of a legendary sports publicist, went in two, $84,187 events.
The opening division was won by Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory, $5.60) in a snappy 1:56.4. Unhurried from post position No. 2, she saw pole-sitting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) contend with a second move from 9-10 choice Lady Winona (Andy Miller).
Nunkeri owned a short lead into the lane, but Barn Girl—who had chased Lady Winona before falling into a vacant pocket—ducked inside and went by. She beat “Winona” by a 1¾ lengths, with Nunkeri an easily-better-than-the-rest third.
”She was very good in Excelsiors (lower-level statebred races), so they wanted to try her in sire stakes,” Gregory said of Barn Girl. “She’s turned into one of the better one in this group.”
For second choice Barn Girl, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Out in the Country Stable, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with triple returning $28.
Thursday night’s second sire stakes event saw Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., $4.60) hold off a troubled-trip, 1-2 favorite in last season’s freshman champ Barn Doll (Gregory). The final margin was a length in 1:57.3. First leader Waiting Room (Miller) held third.
In play from post No. 4, Jewels in Hock retook from Waiting Room as Barn Doll, in search of a ninth consecutive victory, was caught wide early. She eventually found a five-hole before moving again first-up.
For second choice “Jewels,” a Credit Winner miss trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs’ KJ Stables, she’s now 7-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $9.50, with the triple returning $45.20.
“She’s given us a lot of headaches with her equipment,” Toscano said. “John (Campbell, who drove her exclusively earlier in the season) wanted her rigged one way, while Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) wanted her another way. We eventually (and lovingly, we’d guess) told Jimmy to shut up and we’re leaving her the way she was with John, and it’s seemed to work out.”
The Raceway’s live season continues Friday and Saturday (first post both nights 7:10 PM).