BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 19, 2016—The Real One (Pat Lachance, $8.70) Etch-a-Sketched his name into Yonkers Raceway’s annals, setting an all-age track record in winning Saturday night’s $45,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Sitting chilly from post position No. 4, The Real One watched a pole-sitter Melmerby Beach (Tyler Buter) took no prisoners, as in early fractions of :26.4 and :55.1.
Rank outsider Santa Fe Beachboy (Brent Holland) was pocketed and slight 2-1 choice First Class Horse (Jason Bartlett) moved from third. That one went up and over a non-resistant ‘Melmerby’ right after the 1:22.1 three-quarters.
The Real One was perched behind that move as First Class Horse opened a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. The stalker ducked in and whipped his tow by a neck in 1:50 flat, a tick faster than the previous Westchester standard.
That mile unceremoniously knocked a quintet—Crombie A, Forty Five Red, Limelight Beach, Go Daddy Go and Americanprimetime—out of the record books.
Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) wound up a best-of-the-rest third—beaten 4¼ lengths—with Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) and Santa Fe Beachboy rounding out the payees
For third choice The Real One, a 6-year-old Mach Three trained by his driver for owner Helene Filion, it was his eighth win in 30 seasonal starts (career earnings past $700,000). The exacta paid $62, the triple returned $215 and the superfecta paid $706.
“That’s his trip,” Lachance said. “He chases other horses. Melmerby Beach did all the dirty work and we showed up at the end.”
Stratton’s two-win night moved him within one of 3,000 career victories.
No one took down Saturday night’s Pick 5 wager, so Sunday morning’s gimmick (first post 11:30 AM) begins with a carryover of $2,043.93 (50-cent base wager, races 6 through 10).