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Monday, December 19, 2016


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, December 18, 2016—Lily’s Swan Pond (George Brennan, $25) was a three-hole terror Sunday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway’s season-ending, mile-and-a-quarter, $56,000 Open Handicap Trot.

While a few of the nine participants—including 9-5 choice Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett)—misbehaved over the moist surface, ‘Lily’ had no such issues.

From post position No. 3, he sat behind Not Afraid (Dan Dube) and Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) though early intervals of :28.2 and :57.4.

Bentley Spur (Joe Bongiorno), one of the back markers, tried it first-up from sixth toward a 1:27.2 three-quarters, but couldn’t sustain a bid.  

By the 1:56.4 milepost, this was a three-horse affair. Not Afraid owned a length-and-a-quarter into the lane, but holiday company was coming.

Lily’s Swan Pond angled crisply out during the final turn and went up and over the two rivals in front of him. He rolled past, winning by a length-and-half in 2:27.2.

Not Afraid saved second over Springbank Sam N, with Tornado Tim (Brent Holland) and a recovering Caulfield (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder.  

For fifth choice Lily’s Swan Pond, a 4-year-old Swan for All gelding owned by Second Chance Stable and trained by Nick Surick, it was his fifth win in 33seasonal starts. The exacta paid $118.50, with the triple returning $474.

The season’s final installment of the “New York, New York Double’ offered a 1-I’masuperstar (Aqueduct’s 3rd race) and 4-Luck o’ the Irish (our 2nd  race) winning combination, which returned $25.50 for every correct dollar wager. Total pool was $4,169.

The Raceway’s 2017 season is scheduled to begin with a Sunday, Jan. 8th, matinee (post time TBA), pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.

As another reminder, Yonkers is completely dark for all racing wagering December 19th through 28th, inclusive.