Ronny Bugatti picked the perfect spot to put in the greatest performance of his career as Jason Bartlett drove him to a head victory over Sunfire Blue Chip in the $450,000 final of the Messenger Stake for three-year-old pacers at Yonkers Raceway Saturday.
The third and final test for the Pacing Triple Crown in harness racing took a track record performance from Ronny Bugatti as he stopped the teletimer in a lifetime best 1:51.4.
It was Word Power and driver George Brennan as the even money favorite leaving from the gate with Ronny Bugatti grabbing the two-hole spot and Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) dropping into third place. They went to the opening quarter mile in :27.1.
Right before the half mile in :56.4, Lucan Hanovoer (David Miller) started up first-over and they were able to flush Sunfire Blue Chip, who started off after the race leader Word Power.
After the three-quarters in 1:23.3, Word Power looked to begin tiring as at the top of the stretch Sunfire Blue Chip was able to collar him and go on by as Ronny Bugatti dropped to the passing lane and started after Sunfire Blue Chip.
Twilight Bonfire (Tim Tetrick) had been third-over and tipped out and was beginning to make up ground on the outside, but it was Bartlett and Roddy Bugatti coming on strong to win it all. Sunfire Blue Chip a close second with Twilight Bonfire third.
“The horse is really really good,” said Jason Barlett after the victory. “I didn’t think it was going to be that close. George was taking me right where we wanted to be. Then at the top of the lane his horse began to stall a bit. And Yannick was able to get the jump on me starting down the stretch. So we had to work a little bit harder but once he got in the passing lane he took right off. “
Sired by Art Major it was only the third win this year for Ronny Bugatti. He is trained by Allan Johnson and is owned by E. Prevost, B. Moneese and T. Haughton. The victory nearly doubled his lifetime earnings which now stand at $365,000. Sent off at odds of 6-1 he paid $14.80 to win.
“CHARISMA” WINS LADY MAUD
Charisma Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras had little trouble wiring the field by three and one-half open lengths to win the $178,684 Lady Maud final for three-year-old fillies in 1:52.
It was Certified Ideal (Jim Pantaleano) who was first to show with Charisma Hanover also on the move to take the lead before the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Charisma Hanover then settled on the lead and pretty much held the field at bay to the half mile in :56.2.
Scandalous Hanover and David Miller then came first-over with Antigua Hanover (Jason Bartlett) following second-over and they started gaining on the leaders by the three-quarters in 1:24. It was too little too late as Yannick let his filly pace away from the field. Certified Ideal held for second with Scandalous Hanover third.
“She was definitely very good,” Gingras said. “She was good last week. I thought that tonight it was her race to lose. We had clear sailing and she did all the rest.”
It was the eleventh win this year for Charisma Hanover and her fourth straight victory. The daughter of Dragon Again is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, both of Pennsylvania. Sent off as the 2/5 betting favorite, Charisma Hanover paid $2.90 to win.
By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com