BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 25, 2017—“It ain't a fit night out for man or beast.”
Such were the words of W. C. Fields many decades ago, repeated Tuesday evening (Apr. 25th) before, during and after the $100,000 final of Yonkers Raceway’s YR/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series.
The all-card wind-driven rain didn’t deter one man (Jeff Gregory) and one beast (Tight Lines, $2.40), who made short work of their rivals over the gooey going.
The race wasn’t officially over after the draw, but even those that weren’t behind the eight-ball were in fact behind the eight-ball. From the pylons, Tight Lines deferred to a couple of early leavers before taking over from Golden Son (Jason Bartlett)
From there, the only entrant to sweep all three preliminary legs hydroplaned his way to happiness (:28.1, :57.3, 1:26.3, 1:56.1). The final margin was 3¼ lengths over Pridecrest (Dave Miller), with Golden Son third. The minors went to Hillosophical (Tyler Buter) and Ameliosi (Yannick Gingras), while an out-the-mile Triumphant’s Chip (Dan Dube), Windsong Magic (Brian Sears) and Steed (Joe Bongiorno) completed the order.
For Tight Lines, a 4-year-old Yankee Glide gelding co-owned by his trainer/driver, Jesmeral Stable and William Richardson, is was his fifth win (all at odds-on) in as many seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.20, the triple returned $45.40 and the superfecta paid $290.50.
“The weather didn’t play a part in my strategy.” Gregory said. “I figured a few of the others would take a shot leaving and I wasn’t going to stand mine on his head in the first turn. I thought I’d be able to get to the front at some point.
“I paid him into some stakes for 4-year-olds, including the Graduate and Hambletonian Maturity,” Gregory said. “He’s going to have to step up his game to go with those trotters. If not, he stays here (Yonkers).”
As per the conditions of the series, a $10,000 bonus was awarded to the winner by the SOA of New York.
A $35,000 series consolation was won by Showmeyourguns (Jordan Stratton, $2.40, part of entry) in 1:58.2.