Day At The Track

Bartlett seen speeding with Johnny Walker

03:41 AM 14 Dec 2008 NZDT
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Johnny Walker
Johnny Walker - in winning action.
Mike Lizzi Photo

While Yonkers Raceway would never, ever condone drinking and driving, Jason Bartlett was seen speeding with a Johnny Walker in both hands...and broke no laws, as far as we could figure.

Jason, the driver, and Johnny, the horse, teamed to win the weekly Saturday night $40,000 Open Handicap Pace, getting by a stubborn Biletnikoff (Mike Micallef) in a snappy (and life-best) 1:51.3.

Leaving from post position Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, Johnny Walker stepped around the two inside entities before surrendering the lead to the 13-10 choice, Biletnikoff. That one led through two-furlong timers of :27.2, 56 and 1:23.1, with Tasmanian Daniel (Larry Stalbaum) offering a serious, first-over challenge.

Biletnikoff grudglingly discarded that rival, but he was on the rocks. Johnny Walker closed ranks in and out of the final turn, ducked inside through the lane and prevailed by a hard-fought half-length. Tasmanian Daniel was third, beaten just three-quarters of a length, while Keystone Rideau (Stephane Bouchard) and Dragon Master (Jim Pantaleano) earned the final pay envelopes.

For Johnny Walker, a 6-year-old Keystone Raider gelding trained by Matt Medeiros for co-owners Gary & Beverly Paganelli, he paid $7.10 (second choice) for his eighth win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $20.80, with the triple returning $83.

Yonkers' five-night-per-week live harness schedule (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday--all at 7:40 PM--and Saturday--6:50 PM) is in effect through Tuesday, Dec. 23, the final live '08 date. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule (note that Aqueduct is dark from Dec. 15 through Christmas Day, inclusive).

Yonkers' 2009 live schedule shall be announced shortly.

Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway Publicity Director

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