BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 11, 2017—A closing Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron, $11.80) tagged Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett) at the wire Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Away fifth from post position No. 3, Guantanamo Bay saw Vegas Vacation (Jordan Stratton) work his way to the lead right at a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :57.2 intermission, 25-1 outsider Sports Bettor (Brent Holland) made his second move, out from third.
That didn’t do much for those behind him, forcing 7-5 choice Blood Brother—who himself had been used earlier—wide by the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Guantanamo Bay, from third-up, was gapping down the backside.
It was Blood Brother taking a short lead off the final turn, but he wouldn’t be able to close the sale as Guantanamo Bay rallied from fifth. That one made up more than three lengths, winning by a nose in a brisk 1:53.4. Vegas Vacation, Soto (Matt Kakaley) and a season-debuting Melmerby Beach (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the payees.
For third 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 third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $37.80, with the triple returning $183.
A reminder there is racing next two Sundays (March 12th and 19th), with first post each afternoon at 12:30 PM.