BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, January 15, 2017—Favored Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno, $3.50) did not disappoint Sunday afternoon, handily winning Yonkers Raceway’s $56,000 Open Handicap Trot.
Forwardly-placed from post position No. 6, in his featured trot debut (three of the 11 starters broke early), Rubber Duck was actually beaten to the early punch.
Red Hot Herbie, starting directly outside of ‘Duck,’ had the first lead before yielding to the subject of this story. Rubber Duck made his lead just at a :29.4 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :59.3 half and 1:29.2 three-quarters.
There was a minimal challenge from Luck O The Irish (Matt Kakaley) going toward the 1:58.2 milepost, but Rubber Duck disposed that and opened a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.
He widened in the lane, defeating ‘Herbie’ by 2¼ lengths in 2:27.3 for the mile-and-a-quarter.
Lily’s Swan Pond (George Brennan), Tweet Me (Pat Lachance) and Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees.
For Rubber Duck, a now-5-year-old son of Muscle Mass co-owned by Albertans Blair and Erna Corbeil and trained by Richard Johnson, he’s won both of his season starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $65.50 and the superfecta paid $405.
Sunday’s Pick 5 wager, beginning with a double-carryover of $6,426.84, attracted $11,029 of fresh investments. The winning quintet (1/2/2/7/3) returned $14,698.75 for the single winning half-a-buck selector.
Sunday also offered the first ‘New York, New York Double’ of the season, with the winning combination of 5-Lockdown (Aqueduct’s 3rd race) and 1–Lo Rail Crossing (Yonkers’ 6th race) returning $14.70 for every correct $1 wager (total pool $6,553)