BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 21, 2017—‘Twas the night before the finals of the George Morton Levy and Blue Chip Matchmaker and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…
…except for Jordan Stratton.
The lad had himself a Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Apr. 21st), winning a personal-best six races during the 11-race card.
“I can’t explain it,” Stratton said. “Everything I drove raced very well. It was just one of those nights.”
What made Stratton’s run that much more impressive was there was nary a favorite in sight. He swept the $150 early double with a first-up That’ll Be the Rei ($20.20) in the $23,000, first-race pace (1:53.2) and a down-the-road Mass Balance ($15) in the $27,000, second-race trot (1:57).
After taking the third race off, Stratton struck again in the $27,000, fourth-race pace, this time with a closing Ambro Courage N ($43.40) in 1:54.3.
Win No. 4 came behind a come-from-behind Lease Ness Monster ($32.60), roaring from the back of the bus in the $27,000, fifth-race pace (1:54.4). Stratton was then parked leaving from the eight-hole in the fifth race--backpedaling to last—then ‘won the bob’ in the night feature.
Freeze Out ($15.60) rallied to take the $40,000, seventh-race Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace by a scant schnoz in 1:54.2.
Stratton’s happy-half dozen concluded with Platoon Seelster ($21), who scooped up the $27,000, eighth-race trot (1:57.1) after 3-10 favorite Frost Free Hanover (George Brennan) jumped it off on the lead.
Stratton ended his night finishing fourth, third and second, respectively.
Additional props to driver Brent Holland for his hat trick Friday night.
No one took down the Pick 5, so Saturday night’s (Apr. 22nd) gimmick begins with a carryover of $3,206.32 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11).
The Raceway’s seven-figure Saturday includes the sport’s two richest races of the season to date.
$310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker—8th race (approximate post 9:35 PM)
PP-Horse Driver M/L
1-Lispatty Brian Sears 7-1
2-Shesjustadelight N Ron Cushing 4-1
3-Mach it a Par Jason Bartlett 2-1
4-Mackenzie A Jordan Stratton 20-1
5-Regil Elektra Yannick Gingras 5-2
6-Medusa Matt Kakaley 20-1
7-Bedroomconfessions Scott Zeron 6-1
8-Diva’s Image Joe Bongiorno 20-1
$529,000 George Morton Levy Memorial—10th race (approx. post 10: 15 PM)
PP-Horse Driver M/L
1-McWicked Matt Kakaley 3-1
2-Blood Brother Brian Sears 12-1
3-Missile J Tim Tetrick 4-1
4-Keystone Velocity Dan Dube 9-1
5-Somewhere in L A Jason Bartlett 2-1
6-Bit of a Legend N Jordan Stratton 5-1
7-Provocativeprincen Yannick Gingras 20-1
8-Soto Brett Miller 12-1