BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 25, 2017—Saturday night offered any number of entrants for Yonkers Raceway’s upcoming George Morton Levy Memorial Series (nominations close this Wednesday, March 1—hint, hint), including favored Soto (Matt Kakaley, $4.50), winner of the featured $50,000 Open Handicap Pace.
In play from post position No. 4, Soto then gave up the baton to Somewhere in L A (Mark MacDonald) just before a moist :26.4 opening quarter-mile. After a 56-second intermission and moving down the backside, First Class Horse (Tyler Buter) took out of fourth, That one towed Guantanamo Bay (Jason Bartlett) while moving into a :27.4 third quarter (1:23.4).
Somewhere in L A owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, was good, though not quite good enough. Soto dipped inside, edging past by a neck in 1:52.1. Third was a best-of-the-rest Guantanamo Bay, with Roland N Rock (Jordan Stratton) and Caviart Luca (George Brennan) rounding out the payees.
For Delaware-based Soto, a 5-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven trained by Eric Ell for co-owners Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stephen Iaquinta, it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.40, with the triple returning $147.