BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, June 18, 2017—Westchester Sundays returned (June 18th), with an out-every-step Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno, $47) winning Yonkers Raceway’s $68,000 Open Handicap Trot.
The Father’s Day marquee trot was the first race of the afternoon, one of four ‘French’ trots going at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. It looked much different early as 3-4 choice Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) jumped it off from the pocket.
Meanwhile, there were four different leaders through the first half-mile (:28.1, :57) including Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton), Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube), Not Afraid (Matt Kakaley) and Opulent Yankee (Ake Svanstedt).
As for Rubber Duck from post position No. 7, he was quite wide into the first turn, then able to join the second tier from third-over after a rival broke. He sat outside Opulent Yankee in and out of a 1:25.4 three-quarters and 1:55.2 mile before wearing that rival down early in the lane.
Rubber Duck had enough to hold Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammmer) at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length in 2:26 for the added distance. Red Hot Herbie lost the place photo, while Springbank Sam N and a recovering Hemi Seelster settled for the remainder.
For eighth choice Rubber Duck, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Mass co-owned by Albertans Blair & Erna Corbeil and trained by Richard Johnson, it was his third win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $472, with the triple returning $2,494.
The latest installment of the ‘New York, New York Double’ offered a winning combination of 2-Divine Miss Grey (Belmont’s 3rd race) and 1-Jericho (Yonkers’ 7th race) paid $10.20 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $4,390.