BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Thursday, September 3, 2015—“She’s very talented, but sometimes I wonder where to put the 50 cents in because the ride can get bouncy.”
Such was the post-race postulate Thursday night from driver Jim Morrill Jr. after he—with some able assistance from odds-on favorite Soft Idea ($3.10)—set a track record during Yonkers Raceway hosting of the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Frank Becerra Pace for 2-year-old fillies.
Soft Idea, this summer’s division dominatrix, threw down a 1:53.4 gauntlet in the final ($48,941) division. Leaving from post position No. 3, she took over from second choice American Ivy (Brian Sears), then held that one at bay by a determined neck. It was more than three lengths back to Lyra (George Brennan) in third.
The time matched Soft Idea’s life-best, taken at Vernon. Morrill Jr., ironically, drove Summertime Lea to the previous local frosh filly track record (1:54.1) three Septembers ago.
For Soft Idea, a daughter of American Ideal trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Bay’s Stable, Radio Racing Stable, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC, it was her fifth (NYSS) win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.50, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $18.80.
“We’re looking forward to the (Sept. 26) sire stakes final,” co-owner Harvey Nagler said.
Morrill Jr. also won Thursday’s second opening ($49,841) Becerra division, as Time on My Hands ($7.70) overcame her outside post No. 7 and avoided the first-tune happenstance to widen out in 1:55. Second went to Killing ‘Em Softly (Brennan), with Art Critic (Matt Kakaley third).
The “Sommelier Special” hunch play went in the spit bucket early, as Wine Snob (Ray Schnittker) made a first-turn break, badly impeding 7-5 choice Vino and Formaggio (Sears).
For second choice Time on My Hands, a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by Robert Mondillo, Michael Robinson, Steve Cheatham & BFJ Stables and trained by Chris Ryder, she’s now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $47.60, the triple returning $190.
The opening ($48,941) sire stakes event saw Dime a Dance (Kakaley, $6.10)—pocketed from post No. 5—whizz by 7-10 fave Noclouds Bluechip (Sears) by a length in 1:55.4. Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) was third.
For second choice (coupled with fourth-place finisher Encore Deo [Brennan]) Dime a Dance, a Roll with Joe miss trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Blue Chip Bloodstock, it was her second (consecutive) win in seven tries this season. The exacta paid $6.30, with no triple wagering to the limited number (five) of wagering interests).
“She just exploded when I asked her in the lane,” Kakaley said. “As good as she was winning at Vernon (13 nights ago), she was better here.”