BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 29, 2017—Lady’s Dude (George Brennan, $7.30) and All Bets Off (Brennan again, $4.80) shared the Saturday night spotlight, winning Yonkers Raceway’s pair of $55,000 co-featured Open Handicaps.
After a couple of no-shot eight-holes, Lady’s Dude found this post position No. 5 assignment more than acceptable in the week’s featured trot.
Caught three-deep early, Lady’s Dude made the lead just before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. He then rated a 56.4 intermission before 17-10 favorite Melady’s Monet (Brett Miller), who had left for a seat, moved from fourth.
However, he couldn’t get close and with a pocketed Not Afraid (Dan Dube) gapping, Lady’s Dude had a lonely lead in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters.
The advantage was a couple of lengths entering the lane and an unpressured length-and-a-quarter at the wire, finding it in 1:54.3…fastest local mile of the season.
Aggressive (Jason Bartlett) saved ground for second, with Not Afraid third. Buen Camino offered good late interest for fourth, with Luck O’ the Irish (Jordan Stratton) getting the final envelope and ‘Melady’ fading to seventh.
For Lady’s Dude, a 6-year-old Victory Sam gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Johnny Yoder and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his fourth win in nine seasonal starts (career earnings now over a half-million dollars). The exacta paid $63, with the triple returning $267.
The week’s adult-table pace had three unoccupied seats, as Levy Series winner Keystone Velocity and consolation winner Clear Vision were among the defections.
The quintet was in need of a leader, and—from post No. 3—favored All Bets Off picked up that gauntlet. Though not the Free-For-Aller he used to be, All Bets Off was more than good enough when left (:27.4, 56.3, 1:24.3, 1:52.1) to his own devices.
After taking a 2½-length lead into the lane, he held off a from-last Roland N Rock (Stratton) by three-quarters of a length. Santa Fe Beachboy (Bartlett),. Lucan Hanover (Tyler Buter) and a season-debuting Luck Be Withyou (Brian Sears) rounded out the order/payees.
For All Bets Off, a 6-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight trained by Burke for co-owners himself, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, it was his first win in five ’17 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with triple and superfecta wagering cancelled.