BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 28, 2017—Yonkers Raceway Friday night (July 28th) offered up the $167,499 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cohen Pace for 3-year-old fillies.
A trio of equally-parsed ($55,833) six-horse fields comprised the event, which again honored the memory of the former publicity director of both Yonkers Raceway and NBC Sports.
Any number of Cohen family and friends joined in for the winner’s circle presentations, with just one public choice returning for the meet-and-greet.
Roaring to Go (Brett Miller, $3.40) won the evening’s final event in a night’s-fastest 1:52.4. From the pole, she retook from Planet Rock (Dan Dube), then had few issues (:27.4, :57, 1:24.4). She owned a 2¼-length lead into the lane and a comfy length-and-a-quarter at the wire.
Touchamatic (George Brennan) was a second-up second, with Artrageous (Jordan Stratton) a first-up third.
For Roaring to Go, a daughter of Art Major owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, it was her first win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $9.50, with the triple returning $33.
One of the faster frosh a year ago (she crossed the line first in last season’s final of the New York Sire Stakes, but was set down for a pylon violation), Roaring to Go has won eight of her 21 career starts.
“She was sick in the (last season’s) Breeders Crown, and she never really recovered,” Miller said. “Before that, I thought she was as talented as anyone in her division..
“Tonight, she was very good…not quite the way she was last season, but close.”
Friday’s opening NYSS event saw Clear Idea (Brennan, $13.80) stalk 1-10 fave Tequila Monday (Brian Sears), then pick her off in the passing lane by a desperate nose. Candlelight Dinner (Miller) was a charging third, beaten just three-quarters of a length.
From post No. 2, Clear Idea saw Tequila Monday set unpressured intervals of :27, 56.1 and 1:25.1. She had a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, only to get snapped on the money in 1:53.1.
For second choice Clear Idea, an American Ideal miss co-owned by (trainer) Blake MacIntosh and Hutt Racing, it was her seventh win (five consecutive, fourth in NYSS) in 13 ’17 tries. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $121.
The second statebred grouping saw the longest shots on the boards, 26-1 Gurl Band K (Dan Dube) and 15-1 Winsun Brooklyn (Pat Lachance), roll home first and second, respectively, in 1:56.1. The latter won the battle, dueling 3-5 pace-setter World Apart (Jason Bartlett) into submission after that one couldn’t hold sway (:27.4, 57.4, 1:26.4) despite pokey fraction.
A reserved—from post No. 3—Gurl Band K, a seasonal 0-fer entering the evening, was fifth in the stretch before winning by 2½ widening lengths. Marquesa Seelster (Stratton) was third as World Apart tired to fifth.
For sixth choice Gurl Band K, a Rock N Roll Heaven homebred ma’am owned by Robert Key and trained by Andrew Harris, it was that first win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $402, with the triple returning $1,885.
Friday night’s $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Betabcool (Bartlett, $9.80) in 1:52.4.