BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 18, 2016—“I don’t think I have anything left to say.”
Such was the post mortem of one Mark MacDonald Saturday night after winning six of Yonkers Raceway’s 11 races.
One night after Jason Bartlett won a happy half-dozen, MacDonald picked up that gauntlet, including taking both halves of the night’s $45,000 co-features in his best-ever local work night.
MacDonald chauffeured favored Sunfire Blue Chip ($5) to a down-the-road victory in the Open Handicap Pace (1:51.2). “Sunfire,” from position No. 4, defeated a pocket-sitting Doctor Butch (Dan Dube) a by length, with Artistic Major (Jason Bartlett) a good, two-move third.
While the pacing result was predictable, the featured trot was not so much. MacDonald and pole-assigned Aggressive ($38) edged past E R Ellie (Jordan Stratton) by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.3. Undercover Strike (Bartlett) was a steppy third, while just-over-even-money fave Luminosity (George Brennan) was a non-factor sixth.
MacDonald’s first win of the evening was behind a first-up Northview Punter A ($11.40) in the $18,000, second-race pace (1:52.1). He then lasted on the lead with Forty Five Red ($7) in the $22,000, fifth-race pace (1:52).
After putting the two features to bed, MacDonald then swept the $591 late double with Summers Windsong ($59) in the $26,000, 10th- race trot (1:54.4), and a pocketed Sapphire City ($25.60) in the $22,000, 11th-race pace (1:52.2).
Not even the MacDonald Fan Club deciphered the Saturday Pick 5, so Monday night’s gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,424.39 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11).