By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Driver Joe Bongiorno waited patiently for his opportunity, and when it came, he unleashed B Yoyo, who rallied furiously through the stretch to take the Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, a $20,000 conditioned event for trotters.
The 7-year-old gelded son of Striking Sahbra, who won this race a week ago as the even-money favorite, was away well and sat in the three hole from the quarter to the stretch. The conditions of the race may have been the same as a week ago but the task was far tougher this time around with the field including the likes of Opulent Yankee, who was off a dominant score at Yonkers, and 2016 Townsend-Ackerman winner Dayson, who was sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice.
After an energetic opening quarter of :27.3, Opulent Yankee yielded the front to Dayson, who seemingly had everything under control after rating the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.3. But at crunch time, he came up empty.
Enter B Yoyo, this time a 10-1 outsider who was sitting in a tough spot before swerving off the rail with three-sixteenths to go and out into the five path. He then charged home in a final quarter of :26.2 to win by a widening 2 lengths. Broadway Donna, the Breeders Crown 3-year-old filly champion from a year ago, was second in her seasonal debut. Opulent Yankee was third with Dayson fourth.
“This horse is razor sharp and loves the Meadowlands,” said Richard Johnson, trainer of B Yoyo. “He has a shot to be as good (as Dayson and Opulent Yankee). He is a very versatile horse.”
B Yoyo returned $22.80 to his backers and upped his seasonal stats to five wins in 16 starts after completing the mile in 1:52.3.
A LITTLE MORE: A reminder to Meadowlands fans, the second annual Spring Beer Fest has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 10. The rainy weather expected to hit the Big M caused the postponement of the event, which had been slated for Saturday, May 13. … All-source wagering totaled $2,449,987. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.