BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 15, 2017—Jordan Stratton actually beat Jordan Stratton Saturday night (July 15th).
Stratton and Kwik Talkin’ ($5.60) held off odds-on Springsteen (Jason Bartlett) in a glorified match race, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $110,500 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The mile tickled the teletimer in 1:53.4, two-fifths of a second faster than the previous stakes record of Hail the Taxi (2012)…also driven by Stratton.
At the outset, Kwik Talkin’—from post position No. 7—was thrown in the fray, along with pole-sitting Springsteen, Real Rayenbow (Chuck Connor Jr.) and Hora Star (Greg Merton). ‘Rayenbow’ was the first leader, before the 3-4 choice Springsteen played leapfrog.
Hora Star was seated as Kwik Talkin’ drove on, making the lead just after a spiffy :27.4 opening quarter-mile. After a 56-second intermission and moving toward a 1:25.2 three-quarters, the 48-1 Hora Star made a second move, but never came near the leaders.
The pair of people’s preferences, who finished 1-2 in last week’s fastest of three (1:54.4) elims, were about to have the final to themselves. It was Kwik Talkin’, as the second choice, opening a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn before defeating Springsteen by a length-and-a-quarter.
It was seven lengths back to Trump Nation (Eric Goodell), who photoed Phat Blue Chip (Brent Holland) for third. Persist Blue Chip (George Brennan) earned the final pay envelope, while Real Rayenbow, Hora Star and Damion Diesel Hahn (Ray Schnittker) completed the order.
Trump Nation and Persist Blue Chip was last week’s other elimination winners.
For Kwik Talkin’, an $18,000 (Harrisburg) a perfect (4-for-4) son of Well Said trained by Rob Harmon for Ontario co-owners Robert Robinson, Jacqueline Dinelle and Scott & Lisa Henry, the mile was a life-best effort. The exacta paid $9.20, with the triple returning $22.60.
“He doesn’t race as a 2-year-old,” Stratton said.
“He doesn’t act as a 2-year-old,” Harmon said of the winner, indoctrinated at Ottawa’s Rideau Carleton Raceway.
“I knew I’ve have to use him early, but once I made the lead, he rated the way an older horse would,” Stratton said.
Saturday night’s $55,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by a pole-sitting, pocket-protecting Bakersfield (Holland, $21.80) in 1:51.3, the highlight of his chauffeur’s five-win night.