Homeracing

Red Mile and Yonkers offer solid Saturday cards

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Ted Black

September 30th, 2018

Harness racing enthusiasts had the chance to kick off the weekend a little early when Dayton Raceway hosted a pair of $150,000 events for older trotters and pacers and then Yonkers and Lexington kept the action going on Saturday with competitive cards.

On Friday night at Dayton, Ariana G (Brian Sears) benefited from a second over trip and a miscue from Will Take Charge down the backside and rallied late to capture the $150,000 Dayton Trotting Derby in 1:52.1 for trainer Jimmy Takter. Then several races later on the card, Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) brushed to command before reaching the half in 52.3, rolled by three-quarters in 1:20 and edged clear in the lane to a two-length score in 1:47.4 in the $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for trainer Jim King, Jr.

Then on Saturday evening at Lexington, Lyons Night Hawk (Tim Tetrick) overcame a first over journey to capture the first $74,000 Bluegrass Stakes division for two-year-old colt pacers. A juvenile son of Sweet Lou trained by Jeffrey Gillis, Lyons Night Hawk wore down Captain Trevor (Andrew McCarthy) on the far turn and outkicked Rock Candy (David Miller) in the final 100 yards to score in 1:50.2. It was his second win from nine starts and pushed his earned past $135,000 while lowering his lifetime mark by three full seconds.

Then three races later in the second $74,000 Bluegrass split for two-year-old colt pacers, Lyons Johnny JNR (Tetrick) benefited from a pocket trip and rallied inside in the lane to forge a 21-1 upset in 1:52.1. A juvenile son of Well Said trained by Gillis, Lyons Johnny JNR notched his second win in nine starts and pushed his career earnings past $105,000 and lowered his lifetime mark by more than a full second.

Then two races later in the third $74,000 Bluegrass division, Air Force Hanover (David Miller) lived up to his role as the even-money choice when he gained command in a 27.4 opener, rolled by the half in 55.4 and by three-quarters in 1:24 then sprinted clear in the lane to a two-length score in 1:51. A juvenile son of the late, great Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown, Air Force Hanover recorded his third win from eight starts and pushed his career earnings past $100,000.

Then one race later in the fourth $74,000 Bluegrass division for juvenile pacing colts, Workin Ona Mystery (Tetrick) kept his perfect record in tact from four starts when he brushed to command before the half in 56.1, rolled by three-quarters in 1:24.2 then sprinted clear in the lane to a two-length score in 1:50.3. A freshman son of Captaintrecherous trained by Brown, Workin Ona Mystery has won all four of his starts and banked nearly $70,000 and looks poised to be a major player in this division this fall.

Then two races later in the fifth $74,000 Bluegrass division for two-year-old pacing colts, Covered Bridge (David Miller) rallied from midpack and overhauled favored Love Me Some Lou (Corey Callahan) to prevail by a neck in 1:52. A gelded juvenile son of American Ideal trained by Jessica Okusko, Covered Bridge notched his third win from 11 starts and pushed his bankroll past $115,000 and lowered his lifetime mark by nearly four seconds in the process.

Then one race later in the $126,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers, Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron) easily lived up to her role as the 1-9 choice when she brushed to command before the half in 55.2, rolled by three-quarters in 1:23.2 then edged clear in the lane to a three-length score in 1:50. A sophomore daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Nancy Johansson, Kissin In The Sand notched her ninth win from 13 starts this year and now owns a 16-5-1 slate and over $900,000 banked from 27 lifetime tries.

That same evening at Yonkers Raceway, Photobombr Hanover (Eric Goodell) lived up to his role as the 7-5 choice in the $35,000 4YO Open Handicap when he grinded his way to command in a 27.2 opener, got a breather to the half in 56.2, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:24.1 then held sway through the lane to score in 1:52.3. A four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere stallion trained by Tom Fanning, Photobombr Hanover recorded his third win in 20 starts and pushed his seasonal earnings to nearly $80,000 in his third attempt in the class.

Then one race later in the $44,000 Open Handicap, Mach It So (Joe Bongiorno) forged an 8-1 upset when when left and dropped into the pocket before the opener, got shuffled to third before the half, angled out first over down the backside, grinded his way past favored More The Better N (Goodell) on the far turn and outlasted the late bid of Theartofconfusion (Danile Dube) for a neck score in 1:52.1.

Then one race later in the $44,000 Open Handicap for trotters, NF Happenstance (Jack Parker, Jr.) lived up to her role as the even-money choice when she raced parked to gain command in a 27.4 opener, got a breather by the half in 58.2, rolled by three-quarters unpressed in 1:26.3 and held sway through the lane to score in 1:55.4. A durable SJ's Caviar mare trained by Carol Jamieson-Parker, NF Happenstance now sports a 10-10-0 slate and over $265,000 banked from 26 starts this year while frequently facing older males.

Then one race later in the first of three divisions of the non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class, Ourlittlegeneral A (Dube) benefited from a pocket trip behind Dream Out Loud N (Brent Holland), angled out late far turn and edged a wide Gratian Hanover (Bongiorno) late for a neck victory in 1:52.3. A five-year-old Mach Three stallion trained by Rene Allard, Ourlittlegeneral A notched his second straight tally and pushed his lifetime earnings to nearly $410,000.

Then one race later in the second non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class that was the penultimate race on the card, American Boy N (Brent Holland) lived up to his role as the 1-2 favorite when he brushed to command before the opener in 27.2, got a breather by the half in 56.3, faced token pressure from Proven Desire (Dube) down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:24.1 and drew clear in the lane to a four-length score in 1:51.3. It was the sixth win in 24 starts for the seven-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Darren Cassar.

Then one race later in the finale, the third non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class for older pacers, Somewhere Fancy (Dube) overcame an extended first over bid past the half and wore down 2-5 choice Evenin Of Pleasure (Bongiorno) down the backside and through the far turn and posted an 8-1 upset in 1:52.2. A seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere stallion trained by Allard, Somewhere Fancy notched his 10th win from 27 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings toward $150,000 and his career earnings over $600,000.

An eight-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Jeff Bamond, Jr., Mach It So is gradually rounding back into form and notched his second win in his last three outings and now sports seven wins and $235,000 banked from 22 starts this year. His gritty, two-move effort on Saturday was the 49th victory of his career and moved his lifetime bankroll to nearly $2.7 million for Bamond Racing. He may eventually earn another berth in the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway on December 2.

Earlier that afternoon at Shenandoah Valley Raceway in Virginia, Foiled Again (Chris Shaw) continued the success on his farewell tour when he prevailed as the 1-2 favorite in a $10,000 Invitational for aged pacers. The durable 14-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke pushed his career earnings past $7.6 million by notching the 104th victory in the 322nd start of his Hall of Fame career. He still has trips planned to the Meadowlands (Nov. 24), Rosecroft Raceway (Dec. 2) and The Meadows (Dec. 30) before officially retiring.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon at Parx, consecutive split maiden special weight events for two-year-old colts at 5 1/2-furlongs proved to be quite revealing. In the first half, Maximus Mischief (Frankie Pennington) easily lived up to his advanced billing as the 4-5 favorite in his career debut when he broke very alertly to gain command in 22.4, maintained an honest through the far turn and edged clear in the lane to a four-length score in 1:04.81, with Motowncharlybrown holding the place spot.

Then one race later on the card, Wildwood Vacation forged a 26-1 shocker when he gained command soon after the break, led through modest fractions and held sway late to score in 1:06.71, considering slower than the opening split 30 minutes earlier. What it reveals is that Maximus Mischief could be a budding juvenile star and runner-up Motowncharlybrown looks poised to garner his diploma in the very near future.
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