Homeracing

Eliminations highlight Mohawk and Yonkers cards

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Ted Black

August 27th, 2017

While much of the nation was focused on the stellar card at Saratoga Race Course that featured the Grade I, $1.25 million Travers Stakes for three-year-old colts, both Mohawk Raceway in Canada and Yonkers Raceway in New York offered a bevy of eliminations for horses that will be seeking lucrative finals scores next weekend.

In the first of the two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby for aged pacers, Keystone Velocity (Simon Allard) rallied from well off the pace to overhauled All Bets Off (Yannick Gingras) and favored Dealt A Winner (David Miller) to score by a length in 1:48.2. A nine-year-old Western Hanover stallion trained by Rene Allard, Keystone Velocity now owns a 7-1-1 slate and $645,000 banked from 14 starts this year that includes victories in both the $530,000 George Morton Levy Memorial series final and $500,000 Ben Franklin final at Pocono Downs.

All Bets Off was good in defeat, although he still has not returned to the 2016 form that saw him finish second in the $600,000 Levy final at Yonkers and later win the inaugural edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway in 1:48.2 on a night when temps dipped into the teens. Dealt A Winner, a 35-1 upset winner of the Roll With Joe Stakes at Tioga Downs one week earlier, finished third as the lukewarm favorite. The top three finishers from this split all participated in the inaugural edition of the Potomac and will all return for next week's Canadian Pacing Derby final.

Minutes later at Yonkers Raceway, Western Dynasty (Jason Bartlett) gained command before the opening quarter and carved out honest fractions and held safe 2-5 favorite Missile J (Tim Tetrick) to capture the $30,000 4YO Open Handicap by a diminishing length in 1:52.1. A gelded son of Western Ideal trained by Richard Banca, Western Dynasty now sports a 5-3-2 slate and nearly $95,000 banked from 12 starts this year. Missile J was game in defeat and now owns a 7-1-3 slate and $195,000 banked from 15 seasonal outings for trainer Scott DiDomenico.

Then one race later at Yonkers in the first of two $40,000 Yonkers Trot eliminations for three-year-old colt trotters, Yes Mickey (Ake Svandstedt) parked favored Devious Man (Andy Miller) to the opener in 28 flat, sat a loose pocket trip to the half and three-quarters then angled to the passing lane and surged past the choice late to score in 1:56.1. A Muscle Hill gelding who posted a 34-1 shocker in the $320,000 Zweig Memorial last weekend, Yes Mickey now owns a 3-6-0 slate and $240,000 bankroll from 10 seasonal outings.

Devious Man, a Credit Winner gelding who was promoted to second as the favorite in the Grade I, $1 million Hambletonian, raced well in defeat after having some sting taken out of him early by Yes Mickey. One of the contenders for Maryland-bred horse of the year, Devious Man owns a 4-5-1 slate and $740,000 bankroll from 10 starts this year for trainer Julie Miller and already boasts lucrative scores in the $500,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial final at Pocono Downs and $250,000 Empire Breeders Classic and looms one of the favorites from next week's $500,000 final.

One race later in the second Yonkers Trot elim, Guardian Angel As (Bartlett) lived up to his role as the 1-2 choice when he overcame an extended first over journey to edge Money Macintosh (Andy Miller) to score by a neck in 1:56.2. A sophomore son of Archangel trained by Annette Lorentzon, Guardian Angel As notched his seventh win in 12 starts this year and banked over $138,000 and looms a serious contender for next week's final.

Then moments later at Mohawk in the second elimination for the Canadian Pacing Derby, Rockin Ron (Louis Phillippe Roy) left to gain command in a 26.3 opener, got a breather to the half in 54.3, rolled by the half in 1:21.2 and sprinted clear from Sintra to score in 1:47.2. A five-year-old Real Desire gelding trained by Ron Burke, Rockin Ron now owns a 6-6-2 and banked $250,000 and looms one of the major players for the final. Sintra easily held the place spot while McWicked (David Miller) rallied for third after being stuck third over in a dull flow.

Then over at Yonkers, Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) easily lived up to his role as the 1-9 favorite in the $40,000 Messenger Stakes elim when he brushed to command before the half and drew off in the lane to score by 10 lengths in 1:51. A sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown, Downbytheseaside recorded his seventh win in 11 starts this year and banked over $700,000 and sports 15 wins from 24 career tries with a lifetime bankroll approaching $1.3 million that he should easily eclipse next weekend in the $500,000 Messenger Stakes final where he will be the odds-on choice regardless of his post position draw.
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