BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, November 27, 2016—Favored Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett, $6.20) atoned for last week’s behave Sunday morning, winning Yonkers Raceway’s mile-and-a-quarter, $56,000 Open Handicap Trot.
In play early (actually, everyone was, since post time was 11:12 AM) from post position No. 7, ‘Hemi’ had to wait before making the lead. He did so around Centurion ATM (Mark MacDonald) just after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile.
Tweet Me (Pat Lachance) was a loose third, while Classical Annie (George Brennan) broke after leaving. Hemi Seelster then rated a :57.4 half-mile and 1:27.2 three-quarters as last week’s upsetter, Not Afraid (Dan Dube), moved from fourth.
That one couldn’t get close, while a second-up Tornado Tim (catch-driver Jeff Gregory) jumped it off. Hemi Seelster picked it up, getting the mile in 1:55.4 and widening to 2¼ lengths in and out of the final turn.
He held Centurion ATM at bay, winning by a neck in 2:24.2..a tick faster than his two-week-old local record for this division/distance. Tweet Me was a non-threatening third, easily holding off minor payees Wind of the North (Brian Sears) and Not Afraid.
For Hemi Seelster, a 4-year-old Holiday Road gelding co-owned by Richard Lombardo, Carl Atley & Robert LeBlanc and trained by Tom Milici, it was his ninth win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $24.20, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $76.
Sunday’s ‘New York, New York Double’ returned $38 for every correct ‘double nickel’ dollar combination of 5 (Boomerang Toy-Aqueduct’s 3rd race) and 5 (Time Will Tell All-Yonkers’ 6th race). The total pool was $3,505.