BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 16, 2017—I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley, $7) went up and over laboring lasses Friday night (June 16th), winning—at first seasonal purse asking—Yonkers Raceway’s $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
This was the first local live program since a May 28th matinee and debuted the new start/finish line, which shortened the stretch by some 105 feet (660 to 555 feet).
Unhurried from post position No. 4, I Said Diamonds settled sixth as Northfield expat Beyonce’s Rockn (Jason Bartlett) made short work of an assigned eight-hole. That one made the lead after paying a 27-second, opening-quarter price for the privilege.
The newbie was not in a giving mood, hanging Petticoat Series winner Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton) in her attempt for the lead. A :55.1 intermission over a ‘good’ surface that had taken on some water put the closers in play.
Down the backside, Lispatty (Mark MacDonald), as the 3-2 choice, went three-deep, but I Said Diamonds went deeper and much faster. The latter grabbed the lead passing a 1:24.1 three-quarters, then widened.
She opened 3½ lengths off the final turn, whipping Lispatty by 4¼ lengths in 1:53.2. Hidden Land (Brian Sears), Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) and Freeze Out (George Brennan) settled for the minor moolah.
For second choice I Said Diamonds, a now-4-year-old daughter of Well Said owned by A Piece of the Action Stable and trained by Matias Ruiz, she entered off a six-win, $304,000 season as a soph. The exacta paid $27.60, the triple returned $142.50 and the superfecta paid $400.50.
Holland won a race, moving him to within four of the 5,000-win plateau (that would be 4,996 for those of you keeping score of such things).