She was both the star attraction and the biggest question entering Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open pacing mares. Friday night featured the 4-year-old debut of See You at Peelers (Brian Sears), and, even though she only came away with half a loaf, she a was whole lot better.
After beginning her career with 22 consecutive victories, she became both mortal (theee consecutive defeats) and sick (heart issues) in the latter part of her 3-year-old season. Thus, how good she may or may not be coming back to the wars was the issue of the day.
Leaving from post position No. 3 in the last of five, $40,000 divisions, "Peelers"--as the slight 3-2 choice--watched as Chancey Lady (Tim Tetrick) threw down fractions of :28.1, :56.3 and 1:23.4. Arctic Fire N (James Rattray) was pocketed, while another longshot, Save My Shark (Jim Pantaleano), was first-up.
Meanwhile, See You at Peelers found herself slightly gapping from second-over. Chancey Lady, also at 3-2 but the second choice, opened a couple of lengths turning for home, only to tire. Arctic Fire N closed inside, while "Peelers" was finding her stride...despite lugging in badly toward Save My Shark.
In a bang-bang-bang finish, Mr. Photo Finish could not separate See You at Peelers and Chancey Lady in 1:52.4, with "Peelers" having to survive and inquiry to get her 50 percent of the glory. Arctic Fire N was third, beaten a short schnozz, while Ginger and Fred (Jason Bartlett) was fourth.
See you at Peelers, a daughter of Bettor's Delight trained by Jimmy Takter for his wife, (breeder) Christina, along with John and Jim Fielding, is 6-for-6 here in her $1.5 million career. Chancey Lady, a 7-year-oldma'am owned by Baron Racing and trained by PJ Fraley, went over $1.9 million in career earnings for her first win in four seasonal starts.
Both winners paid $2.50 for their "heat" victories. The exacta paid $3.50 ("Peelers" first) and $7.30 (Chancey Lady first), the triples returned $45.20 ("Peelers') /$90 (Chancey Lady) and the superfectas paid $164.50 ("Peelers") /$254.50 (Chancey Lady).
"Since it was her first start of the season, I didn't want to get her revved up early," Sears said. "Turning for home, I just let her do her thing. She's had that issue (bearing in) in the past, but not in her recent qualifiers.
"I'm very happy with her race tonight. It's something to build on as the series moves along."
Friday night's first four Matchmaker groupings played out as such...
1st division--Mystical Diva (Brian Sears, $11.20) won the draw and the race, powering from the pocket to defeat Breakheart Pass (Jason Bartlett) by three lengths in 1:52.3. A first-up Oceans Motion (George Brennan) won her own battle against the pace-setting Keeper's Destiny (Eric Goodell), while a season-debuting Krispy Apple (Tim Tetrick)--as the 7-5 choice--was a non-factor fifth from second-over.
Mystical Diva, a 4-year-old daughter ofowned by Fran Azur and trained by Kevin McDermott, is now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $107, the triple paid $457 and the superfecta paid $863.
2nd division--Favored Western Silk (Brennan, $4) made it look simple, going up and over New Album (Tetrick), then whipping Naughtytiltheend (Brent Holland) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.3. It was more than three lengths to Summer Snow (Jordan Stratton).
Western Silk, a 5-year-old daughter ofco-owned by Ross Warriner and Tom Hill& trained by Andrew Harris, won her '12 debut and is now 23-for-44 lifetime ($1,523,723). The exacta paid $9.20, with the triple returning $62.50.
3rd division--Rocklamation (Brennan, $23.40), last seen here winning the 2011 Lady Maud, vaulted off cover in 1:53.2. Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) closed crisply to grab second--beaten three-quarters of a length. Meanwhile, 1-9 favorite Anndrovette (Tetrick), locked in behind stopping pace-setter JK Owhatnite (Sears), settled for third.
Rocklamation, a 4-year-old daughter oftrained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and Jerry Silva, is now 2-for-4 this season. The exacta paid $412, the triple returned $852 and the superfecta paid $4,617.
4th division--P Note Blue Chip (Sears, $15.60) was sharp first-up, blowing past Shacked Up (Goodell) and defeating 6-5 choice Symphony in Motion (Brennan) by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:54.1. That one was in behind a tiring leader, while an in-tight Fox Valley Sage (Cat Manzi) rallied deep in the passing lane for third
"P Note," a 5-year-oldmiss trained by Harris for co-owners Warriner and Steve Calhoun, has won half of her eight tries this season. The exacta paid $43.20, with the triple returning $115.50.
Friday night's $33,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a from-last Celebrity Bluechip (Bartlett, $32.60). He snapped 9-10 favorite Neighsay Hanover (Jeff Gregory) by a half-length in `:57. It was that one's first win in eight seasonal starts, while "Neighsay" earned career millionaire status with his runner-up effort.
Yonkers' five-night-per-week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday) live schedule continues. First post for all programs remains at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.