BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 6, 2016—A week before Valentine’s Day, “Shana” and “Dan” were the popular couple, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $32,000 Saturday night co-featured Open Handicaps.
“Shana,” as in Crazshana (Jason Bartlett, $6.70) prevailed from the pocket in the week’s featured trot. Leaving from post position No. 4, he tailed a three-wide-early Red Hot Herbie (Brian Sears) through that’s one journey (:28.1, :57.4, 1:26.4).
“Herbie,” as the 9-10 favorite, put away a second move from Not Afraid (Dan Dube), taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, he couldn’t close the sale, surrounded from both sides. Crazshana edged out and went by, whipping a cone-skimming Money Maven (George Brennan) by a length in 1:55.2.
Red Hot Herbie, lone lass Tweet Me (Pat Lachance) and Headsaregonna Turn (Tyler Buter) completed the cashers.
For second choice Crazshana, a 4-year-old statebred Crazed gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $25.40, with the triple returning $77.50.
The weekly marquee pace saw odds-on Atta Boy Dan (Brennan, $3) prevail from post No. 5 in a two-move effort. After he and Polak A (Sears) were put in play early (:28.3 opening quarter-mile), Melmerby Beach (Bartlett)—who was throwing his head around early—made a big move, from fifth to the lead before a :57.3 intermission.
Melmerby Beach maintained his place in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, with a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. He was then ganged up on by a trio of “outsiders,” with Atta Boy Dan edging from the pocket and beating a wider Polak A by a neck in 1:53. A rallying Hugh Hefner N (Jordan Stratton), Rock Icon (Matt Kakaley) and a tiring Melmerby Beach rounded out the payees.
For Atta Boy Dan, a 7-year-old Western Terror gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, he’s 1-for-3 this season. The exacta paid $9.40, with the triple returning $38.60.
The Raceway’s live season continues Monday night with a dozen races, a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool and a first post of 7:10 PM.