BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, December 17, 2016—Mach it So (Jason Bartlett, 47.90) picked off pace-setting First Class Horse (Matt Kakaley) nearing the wire Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $45,000 Open Handicap Pace.
As was the case a week, ago, the two lads led the way, with First Class Horse working around Mach it So—from outside post positions 7 and 6, respectively—right at the :27.3 opening quarter-mile.
By a :56.4 intermission, pole-sitting Melmerby Beach (Brent Holland) tried it first-up from fifth, with minimal movement. First Class Horse continued to lead in and out of a 1:24.2 three-quarters, with a length-and-a-half advantage into the lane.
It took a while, but Mach it So did get to the leader, prevailing by a neck in 1:52.3. First leader Limelight Beach (George Brennan) closed well up the cones by miss a half-length, with Blood Brother (Scott Zeron) and 7-5 fave The Real One (Pat Lachance) settling for the minors after both had way too much work to do.
For second choice Mach it So, a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was his ninth win in 29 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $34.20, with the triple returning $199.50.
The win in the feature was one of five for Bartlett in the 11-race program.
The Raceway wraps up its 2016 live racing Sunday afternoon, with a 1 PM first post and a mandatory payout for the Pick 5 wager.