BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 16, 2017—There was a fair amount of Yonkers Raceway symmetry Sunday afternoon (July 16th), as Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett)—at 12-1—won the $68,000 Open Handicap Trot—from post position No. 12.
Working out a perfect second-over sojourn from the back of the bus, Hemi Seelster was towed into the race by no less than International Trot world champion Resolve (Ake Svanstedt). The latter, after leaving for a seat, haD to rough it first-up against Obrigado (Mark MacDonald).
That one, caught three-deep early, led through sensible-enough intervals of 28.1, :58.4, 1:28.4 and 1:57.3.
However Obrigado, with a length-and-a-quarter lead entering the lane, was unable to close the sale. Hemi Seelster went by, winning a blanket photo for the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:26.2.
The wagering choice in each of his last two starts, Hemi Seelster paid $26.80 this time around.
Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears), another dozen-to-one proposition, roared home from third-over to miss a head. Obrigado saved the bottom the ticket, beaten a neck with Maestro Blue Chip (Brent Holland) and Buen Camino (Jordan Stratton) settling for the remainder (the five payees were separated by three-quarters of a length).
Resolve, meanwhile, faded to eighth as the 4-5 favorite, the first time he crossed the line worse than fourth since Svanstedt’s first start with him (May 15, ’15).
For sixth choice Hemi Seelster, a 5-year-old Holiday Road gelding co-owned by Howard Taylor & Abraham Basen and trained by Rich Banca, it was his sixth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $226.50, with the triple returning $10,686.
Sunday’s latest installment of the ‘New York, New York Double’ offered a winning combination of 1-Karma Delight (Belmont’s 3rd race) and 3-Ultimate Shopper (Yonkers’ 7th race) paid $12.40 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $5,208.
The gimmick wager now shifts to Saratoga as its thoroughbred venue when that meeting begins Friday (July 21st). Note the Raceway’s next two Sunday post time are 12:30 PM (July 23rd) and 11:30 AM (July 30th), respectively.
New York Sire Stakes return her Tuesday night (July 18th), with the $159,500 Bruce Hamilton Trot for 2-year-old fillies.