BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 10, 2016—That Matt Kakaley is nothing if not an instigator.
What Kakaley did Saturday night was blow up Yonkers Raceway’s Pick 5 wager, winning three-fifths of it with double-digit numbers.
First, Kakaley—with a catch-drive—bottomed out the $45,000 Open Handicap Pace with First Class Horse ($29.40).
Leaving outside his six rivals, First Class Horse was strung out early by Mach it So (Jason Bartlett), then just rolled along…as in 27 seconds flat, :54.3 and 1:21.4.
He owned a length-and-a-three-quarter lead into the lane before the hooves began to get heavy. However, even a slow (:28.4) last quadrant couldn’t get him beat, as 7-5 fave The Real One (Pat Lachance) closed well but not well enough.
The one missed by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.3, with Mach it So, Blood Brother (Scott Zeron) and the ubiquitous Foiled Again (George Brennan) rounded out the payees.
For fifth choice Take it Back Terry, a 4-year-old son of Western Terror owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Tom Milici, it was his sixth win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $88.50, with the triple returning $150.
As if Kakaley didn’t throw enough of a monkey wrench into the Pick 5 players, he threw in Somewhere Fancy ($29.60) and Dream Out Loud N ($46.20) into the equation, ensuring much unclaimed coinage.
Thus, Monday’s program features a $7,260.85 double-carryover booster shot into the Pick 5 (50-cent base wager, races 6 through 10).