BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 3, 2017—Red Hot Herbie (Jason Bartlett, $5.50) and Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron, $15) earned the praise of the populace Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Open Handicaps
Favored ‘Herbie’—from post position No. 5 in the week’s marquee trot—stalked the second-choice, eight-baller Allerage Star (Andy Miller) through moderate intervals of :28, 58.4 and 1:27. The lass Allerage Star, having put away a first-up Military Blue (Brent Holland), owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.
Red Hot Herbie, though, was all dressed up, zipping up the inside and drawing off to win by 2¼ lengths in 1:55.4. Allerage Star saved second over a third-over Dot Dot Dot Dash (Steve Smith), with Rock of Cashel (Zeron) and Tag Up and Go (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder.
For Red Hot Herbie, a 7-year-old Here Comes Herbie gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby and Edward Reppucci, it was his second win in four seasonal starts (35rd in a career now exceeding $600,000). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $23.20, with the triple returning $138.50.
The weekly featured pace saw 9-5 fave Roland N Rock (Stratton) leap over P H Supercam (Bartlett) just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. Then, subsequent substations of :56.1 and 1:24.3 with Sapphire City (George Brennan) unable to sustain a second move.
‘Roland’ had a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn, but company was coming. It was Guantanamo Bay—operating second-over from post position No. 3—powering by from fifth. He won by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.2. Roland N Rock, 72-1 rank outsider Sports Bettor (Holland), P H Supercam and Somewhere in L A (Kakaley) picked up the minors.
For fourth choice Guantanamo Bay, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Daniel Renaud for co-owners Brian & Ira Wallach and Leonard Sorge, it was his second win in five ’17 tries. The exacta paid $64, with the triple returning $1,000.