BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 27, 2016—Favored Polak A (Brian Sears, $4.60) snapped Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter) at the wire Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $32,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Those two, leaving from post position Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, were sent toward the lead. “Phil” worked around Polak A, then laid down intervals of :27.4, :57 and 1:24.4. The third-quarter pace was prompted by a first-up First Class Horse (Jason Bartlett).
Phil Your Boots owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane and looked home, but Sears was relentless in getting after Polak A. That one finally did corral the leader, winning by a nose in 1:53.
Season-debuting All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) saved ground through the final turn before finishing with a flourish to grab third. First Class Horse and Dream Out Loud N (George Brennan) rounded out the payees.
For repeating Polak A, a 7-year-old Down Under Pacific Fella gelding co-owned by many Bellinos and trained by Tony O’Sullivan, he’s now 4-for-6 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $28, with the triple returning $97.50.
Later in the card Sears and Sapphire City ($5.90) turned in the fastest local mile (1:52.1) of the season, winning the $16,000, 10th-race pace.
The Raceway’s live season continues with a “French” Sunday afternoon (first post 12:30 PM).