BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 27, 2017—You just have to admire someone who was in a sow barn by day and a Yonkers Raceway winner’s circle by night.
“She’s the best horse we’ve ever had,” owner Jeffrey Williamson said after not-quite-death-and-taxes Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton, $2.70) easily disposed of her seven rivals in Monday’s (March 27th) final of the $61,000 Petticoat Pacing Series.
The series was open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec. 1 and pretty much closed once ‘Mary’ strutted her stuff.
After hat-tricking her three Petticoat prelims, Cousin Mary won the draw for the final. Yielding early to St. Kitts (Jason Bartlett), the people’s choice took over eight before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. From there, is was quite simple (:57.2, 1:25.4, 1:54.3) after putting away a first-over bid from Vintage Babe (Yannick Gingras).
The margin, a length-and-a-half entering the lane, was 2¾ lengths at the wire. St. Kitts was second, with a closing A Crafty Lady (Dan Dube) third. Vintage Babe and Real Diva (George Brennan) settled for the minors, while Northern Soiree (Matt Kakaley), Rei’s Star Cross (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) rounded out the order.
For Cousin Mary, a 4-year-old daughter of Camluck owned by Williamson—a hog farmer northwest of Toronto—and trained by Andrew Harris, it was her seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $704.
“Honestly, when she first came to me, I didn’t think that much of her,’ Harris said. “She was handling (Yonkers’) lower conditions, but not going that fast. When she moved up from non-winners of four (races) to non-winners of eight, she lost but raced better than she did when she was winning.
“That’s when I thought she had a future. Tonight was the first time the series Jordan (Stratton) popped her plugs, and I don’t know where her bottom is.”
A $30,000 series consolation was won by a Winners Over MacDonald, $36.60) in 1:55.1.
Monday night’s Pick 5, which began with a $5,353.51 carryover, attracted $22,248 worth of fresh investors. The winning combination of 4/1/4/5/1 paid $60.87 for every winning half-a-buck-wager.
The $61,800 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series goes Tuesday night (March 28th).