Homeracing

Yonkers and Meadowlands offer Saturday cards

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Ted Black

February 3rd, 2019

While many thoroughbred racing enthusiasts were following the three-year-olds on both coasts on Saturday, numerous harness racing fans were following the action at Yonkers Raceway and the Meadowlands as much of the frigid temperatures finally departed.

In the opening race on the Yonkers card, a non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class for pacers, Soho Lennon A (Jordan Stratton) lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite from the rail when he gained command in a modest 28.3 opener, got a breather to the half in 58.2, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:26.4 then held safe the pocket-sitting Stars Align A (Daniel Dube) for a length score in 1:54.3 for his first win in two starts this year for trainer Doug Dilloian, Jr.

Then one race later in another non-winners of $20,000 last five class for pacers, Shineonucrzydimnd A (Dube) easily lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite when he gained command from post two in a 28.1 opener, got a breather by the half in 58.1, met token pressure from Avatar J (Jason Bartlett) down the backside and through the far turn and held sway late for a length score in 1:54.1 for his first victory in two starts this year and his 13th tally in 64 career tries for trainer Ross Croghan.

One race later in the third non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class to open the card, Texas Terror N (Matt Kakaley) left to secure good early position, retook before the opener in 27.2, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 56.4, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:25.1 then outlasted the late bid of the pocket-sitting Late Mail N (Brent Holland) for a neck score in 1:54. The 11-year-old Western Terror gelding trained by Jose Godinez notched his first win in three starts this year and his 32nd victory from 174 lifetime tries.

Then two races later in another non-winners of $20,000 last five class for pacers, Lachie Maguire N (Bartlett) left to gain command in a solid 27.1 opener, got a breather by the half in 57.1, raced unpressed by three-quarters in 1:25.3 then held safe the late inside bid of 13-1 outsider Vanquished N (Shaun Vallee) to score by a neck in 1:54.2. A nine-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Godinez, Lachie Maguire N notched his first victory in three starts this year.

Then one race later in the $44,000 Open Handicap, Weslynn Dancer (Kakaley) was reserved well off the pace, overhauled favored Downtownthrowdown (Dube) then just outlasted the late bid of Melady's Monet (Stratton) to score by a head in 1:54.4. A five-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe mare trained by Richard Banca for owners Barbara and James Boese of Harrington, Weslynn Dancer notched her first win from three starts this year and her 15th win from 47 career outings.

One race later in the $35,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers, Imarocnrollegend N (Brennan) lived up to his role as the 8-5 favorite when he gained command in a modest 27.4 opener, got a breather to the half in 57.2, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:25.2, opened a clear lead far turn and held sway through the lane to score by two lengths over Lockton Luck A (Stratton) in 1:53.1.

Fresh off a victory in the Preferred Handicap at Freehold Raceway, Imarocnrollegend N recorded his second straight score and second win in three starts and he now owns 12 wins and $120,000 banked from 53 career outings and appears likely headed to the Open Handicap.

Speaking of the $44,000 Open Handicap for pacers, Rockathon (Stratton) benefited from his assigned rail, gained command in a 27.2 opener, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 56.1, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:24.3, opened a clear lead at the head of the lane and held safe Air Strike (Holland) and a furious late rally from Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) to score in 1:53.2.

A four-year-old Pet Rock gelding owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, Rockathon notched his first win in two starts this year and now sports a 10-7-4 slate and $360,000 banked from 27 career tries. Air Strike settled for place after a brief first over bid while Bettors Fire N rallied widest of all from last to finish third in a tremendous effort that served as another tuneup for the upcoming George Morton Levy Memorial Series for free-for-all pacers.

Then one race later in another non-winners of $20,000 last five starts class for pacers, Stormont Czar A (Buter) lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite when he gained command in an honest 27.3 opener, got a breather by the half in 57 flat, met token pressure from Griffon Hanover (Brennan) down the backside, shook loose from that one far turn and edged clear late to score in 1:53.2. A nine-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Amber Buter, Stormont Czar A recorded his second win in three starts this year and now owns 26 wins and over over $250,000 banked from 107 career outings.

One race later in a non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class for pacers, Simple Kinda Man (Brennan) benefited from a pocket trip behind favored Run Oneover N (Bartlett) through the first three calls, angled inside the leader at the head of the lane and prevailed handily in 1:53.2. A four-year-old Sportswriter gelding trained by Rene Allard, Simple Kinda Man scored in his seasonal debut and now owns a 7-2-6 slate and over $185,000 banked from 32 lifetime tries.

Then two races later in another non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class for pacers that capped the Saturday card, Don Domingo N (Stratton) lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite when he benefited from a pocket trip behind Im Some Graduate (Brennan) through tepid early fractions, angled out with clear sailing at the top of the lane and then overhauled the leader late to score in 1:54. A seven-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Lance Hudson, Don Domingo N has won all four of his starts and banked $40,000 since arriving from down under.

That same evening at the Meadowlands, Windsong Jack (Yannick Gingras) brushed to command before the half in 55 flat, met pressure from Big Stretch Mark through the far turn and by three-quarters then shook loose from that one and held sway late for a length victory in 1:51.2. A nine-year-old Santanna Blue Chip gelding trained by Ron Burke, Windsong Jack recorded his first win in two starts this year and now owns 25 wins and over $700,000 banked from 114 lifetime outings.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $11,500 last five starts class for pacers, Whittaker N (Eric Carlson) benefited from a pocket trip through the first three-quarters, angled out at the head of the lane and edged clear in the lane to score by two lengths in 1:51.2. A six-year-old Sportsmaster stallion trained by Mitchell MacKenzie, Whittaker N notched his second win in four starts this year and now boasts 12 wins and over $100,000 banked from 41 career tries.

One race later in the featured non-winners of $15,000 last five starts class for pacers, Mindtrip (Mitchell Cushing) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to sweep past the leaders in the lane for an 8-1 upset in 1:51. A six-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Patti Harmon, Mindtrip posted his first win in four starts this year and now sports an 11-10-5 slate and over $175,000 banked from 40 career outings.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $8,500 last five starts class for pacers, Fireball (Gingras) brushed to command before the half in 56.3, met pressure from Spicebomb (Anthony Napolitano) through the far turn, shook loose top stretch and just outlasted the late bid of Ever Again (Callahan) to score in 1:52.2. A five-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Burke, Fireball notched his first win in two starts this year and now owns 12 wins and nearly $90,000 banked from 48 career tries.
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