BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 24, 2017—A pair of series finals share next week’s marquee, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $61,000 Petticoat (Monday night, March 27) and $61,800 Sagamore Hill (Tuesday night, March 28).
The series were open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec. 1.
As luck—and the open draw—would have it, Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton) partakes of the pylons as she goes after Petticoat series sweep in Monday’s eighth race. The 4-year-old daughter of Camluck, Ontario-owned by Jeffrey Richardson and trained by Andrew Harris, was a sharp, two-move winner a week ago (series- and life-best 1:54.1) after a pair of solid, open-length winners.
“She knows where the wire is,” Stratton said of the lass who’s 6-for-8 this season “She’s surprised, me, but in a good way.”
Northern Soiree (Matt Kakaley, post 8) was the only other multiple-prelim winner, though she obviously needed better help with the pills. The 4-year-old Western Ideal miss, with four wins in eight seasonal starts, is owned by Seth Rosenberg Racing and trained by Scott Blackler.
A Crafty Lady (Dan Dube, post 7), after missing the opening round of this series, drilled her foes last week. The 4-year-old Mach Three miss is owned by Bob Hamather and trained by Rene Allard.
Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald, post 2), Vintage Babe (Yannick Gingras, post 3), Real Diva (George Brennan, post 4), Rei’s Star Cross (Jim Marohn Jr., post 5) and St. Kitts (Jason Bartlett, post 6) round out the field.
Tuesday night’s finale of the Sagamore Hill, going as the sixth race, is a showdown among the troika of Prejudice (Stratton, post 1), Never Say Never N (Bartlett, post 2) and Awesomeness (Scott Zeron, post 5).
While each swept their pair of series legs (one round was snowed out), Awesomeness may have been a bit more visually impressive than the other pair. The 4-year-old Mach Three gelding, owned by Martin Scharf and trained by Aaron Lambert, wired his foes (at 1-20) to begin this series, then won first-up a week ago in (1:53.3)
“He’s apparently been good from Day One,” Zeron said. “There’s no bottom to him, he seems to get over the track well and he’s very simple to drive.” Awesomeness enters Tuesday with six consecutive wins (all at odds-on), including a sweep of Woodbine’s Snowshoe Series.
The remainder of the Tribute to Teddy Roosevelt includes Sure Fired Bet (Gingras, post 3), Ideal Son (Brennan, post 4), Wishawasagigolo (Dube, post 6, coupled with Prejudice), Artmagic (Brent Holland, post 7) and Stirling Escort (Kakaley, post 8).
Each series also includes its respective $30,000 consolation.