With the conclusion of Blue Chip Matchmaker preliminary parade, Yonkers Raceway's Friday night harness racing fare was highlighted by the $33,000 Open Handicap Trot... ...which was highlighted by a high price, as in pocket-patrolling, 40-1 stunner Coach Fox (Larry Stalbaum).
Assigned the pole, Coach Fox shadowed Some Like it Hot (George Brennan) through early intervals of :27.4 and :57.2. First-up came Wuthering Hanover (Jordan Stratton), with 13-10 favorite Flex the Muscle (Jeff Gregory) behind that one.
However, "that one" was a flat one, making no inroads in and out of the 1:26 three-quarters. Some Like it Hot, with a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, was about to buckle. Coach Fox edged from the pocket, with Celebrity Bluechip ducking inside.
The former whipped the latter by a head in 1:55.2 That effort matched the fast local trotting mile of the season. Third went to a Flex the Muscle, with Looking Hanover (Yannick Gingras) and Some Like it Hot completing the cashers.
For Coach Fox, a 9-year-oldgelding co-owned by his driver and Mike Sorentino Jr. and trained by Kim Asher, he returned $82 for his second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $284, with the triple returning $2,055.
Gingras, who first gained prominence in Westchester a decade ago, was feted Friday for his 4,000th career victory, accomplished this past Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Chester.
North American harness racing's two richest races of the season to date take place here Saturday night. The older crowd goes out it in the $455,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and the $297,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker.
The Matchmaker (7th race, approximate post 9:20 PM) draw, with drivers and morning-line odds...
1-See You at Peelers (Brian Sears, 4-5),
2-Rocklamation (Gingras, 5-1, coupled with Ginger and Fred),
3-Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick, 3-1),
4-Fox Valley Sage (Cat Manzi, 30-1),
5-Ginger and Fred (Jason Bartlett, 5-1, coupled with Rocklamation),
6-Billmar Scooter (Eric Goodell, 20-1),
7-Chancey Lady (Andy Miller, 10-1),
8-Western Silk (George Brennan, 4-1).
Anndrovette and Chancey Lady go uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership.
The Levy (9th race, approximate post 10 PM) draw, with drivers and early odds...
1--Blatantly Good (Brennan, 8-1),
2-Art Z (Brett Miller, 6-1),
3-Atochia (Ron Pierce, 6-5, coupled with Foiled Again),
4-Fitz's Z Tam (Sears, 8-1),
5-Strand Hanover (Luc Ouellette, 10-1),
6-Nob Hill High (Jordan Stratton, 20-1),
7-Real Nice (Bartlett, 9-5),
8-Foiled Again (Gingras, 6-5, coupled with Atochia).
The Raceway's 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.