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Saturday, March 4, 2017


BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 3, 2017—Tessa Seelster (George Brennan $18.20) survived from first-up  Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

Away fourth from post position No. 4, ‘Tessa’ saw Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) and Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) want in early. The latter reclaimed from the former just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. It was a soft :56.4 intermission before the eventual winner moved.

Tessa Seelster engaged toward a 1:25 three-quarters, while Apple Bottom Jeans (Matt Kakaley) was gapping that one’s advances. This helped none of the outside assignees, notably just-over-even-money Mackenzie A (Joedan Straton), Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) and Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron). Only one of those would be heard from late.

It was Lispatty taking a short lead into the lane, but Tessa Seelster was about to wear her down. ‘Tessa’ prevailed late, holding off a knifing-through Mach it a Par by a neck in 1:54.3. Shesjustadelight N, Lispatty and Apple Bottom Jeans came away with the remainder, with Bedroomconfessions sixth Mackenzie A a went-nowhere last among the octet.

For fourth choice Tessa Seelster, a 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her third win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $70.50, with the triple returning $300.