Yonkers and Meadowlands both offer solid Saturday night cards

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Ted Black

December 17th, 2017

It seemed like old times for an evening on Saturday as both Yonkers Raceway in New York and the Meadowlands Race Track in New Jersey both offered solid overnight racing amid the hint of mild winter conditions.

In the opening race on the card, Dream Out Loud N (Jason Bartlett) overcame a first over bid to wear down 3-5 choice Roland N Rock (Jordan Stratton) to capture a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class in 1:54. A 10-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Darren Cassar and a former George Morton Levy Series final hero, Dream Out Loud N now sports a 4-8-3 slate and $122,000 banked from 29 starts this year and his latest tally pushed his lifetime bankroll to nearly $800,000 from 170 outings.

Then one later on the card in another non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class, Panchester United (Matt Kakaley) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he carved out the fractions and held sway through the lane to score in 1:53.2. A seven-year-old No Pan Intended gelding owned and trained by Brittany Robertson, Panchester United ended a four-race skid by notching his fourth win in 30 starts this year and pushed his career earnings toward $320,000 with his 31st win in 160 lifetime tries.

Three races later in the $25,000 4YO Open Handicap, Bettor Memories (Jason Bartlett) overcame a long first over trip and just outlasted the late bid of Pacing Major N (Stratton) to score by a desperate nose in 1:52.4. A four-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by R. Nifty Norman, Bettor Memories ended a modest three-race skid to push his slate to 9-5-6 and seasonal earnings past $160,000 from 31 starts. It was his 17th victory from 62 career outings.

Four races later in the $30,000 Preferred, Take It Back Terry (George Brennan) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he brushed to command from the rail and led throughout to score in 1:53. An eight-year-old Western Terror trained by Ron Burke, Take It Back Terry recorded his third straight victory and now owns a 7-4-3 slate and $150,000 banked from 24 outings. A former Levy participant, Take It Back Terry now owns 51 victories and $1.38 million banked from 174 lifetime starts.

Then two races later in the $40,000 Open Handicap, Gokudo Hanover (Jordan Stratton) saved ground throughout and rallied inside through the lane to score in 1:52.4. A five-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding trained by Scott DiDomenico, Gokudo Hanover recorded his third straight victory and now owns a 10-3-5 slate and $130,000 bankroll from 34 starts this year and record his 20th victory from 90 lifetime starts and career earnings just shy of $315,000.

In the opening race at The Meadowlands, Melmerby Beach (Brett Miller) benefited from a pocket trip behind even-money choice Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) through the first three calls, angled out at the head of the lane to capture the non-winners of $11,750 last five starts class in 1;51.1. A six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned and trained by Ettore Annunziata, Melmerby Beach now sports a 4-2-1 slate and $72,000 banked from 20 starts this year and he posted his 24th win from 110 career tries.

Then just past the midway point of the Meadowlands card, Christen Me N (Tim Tetrick) lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite when he overcame an extended first over journey and wore down Sweet Rock (Brett Miller) to score by over a length in 1:50. A nine-year-old Christian Cullen gelding trained by Jim King, Jr., Christen Me N recorded his fourth straight score and fifth win in his last six starts and now owns a 6-2-3 slate and $110,000 banked from 15 starts overall this year and boasts 38 wins and nearly $2.1 million banked from 79 lifetime tries.

One night earlier in the feature at Yonkers, Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) put the finishing touches on a brief but solid 2017 season when she overcame post seven and a long first over journey to capture the $40,000 Open Handicap for pacing fillies and mares as the 4-1 second choice.  A six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven mare trained by Peter Tritton for the late Harry von Knoblauch, Mackenzie A notched her third straight score in the Open and concluded the campaign with a 6-2-3 slate and $320,000 banked that featured a mild upset score in the $300,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final in April.

Reigning Maryland-bred harness horse of the year Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) finished second as the 1-5 choice after being parked to the opener by Lovineveryminute (Daniel Dube) and carving out honest fractions through the first three calls before being overtaken late by Mackenzie A. In four starts since being purchased by Richard Banca for $310,000 at the Harrisburg Sale, Lady Shadow has finished second once, third once, fifth once and eighth once and has yet to live up to her billing in any of those outings. She owns a 5-3-3 slate and $335,000 banked from 16 starts this year but figures to yield her Maryland-bred title to Devious Man, runner-up in both the Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity finals.