Yonkers - The $221,000 Hugh Grant Pace

05:15 PM 20 Jun 2014 NZST
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Jeneral Patton, an Art Major colt owned by Ken Jacobs Ideal Cowboy, an American Ideal gelding trained by PJ Fraley
Jeneral Patton, an Art Major colt owned by Ken Jacobs
Mike Lizzi Photo
Ideal Cowboy, an American Ideal gelding trained by PJ Fraley
Mike Lizzi Photo

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, June 19, 2014--Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted its first New York Sire Stakes harness racing event of the season, the $221,000 Hugh Grant Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Three divisions went for $72,800, $74,100) and $74,100, respectively.

The opening event saws odds-on (Marcus Miller, $2.70) take no prisoners from the pole. After a :26.4 opening quarter-mile, he rebuffed the advances of second choice Ideal Fashion (Dave Miller) through a :54.2 intermission. From there, a 1:23.4 three-quarters gave him a length lead into the lane.

Western Conquest finished it off by three-quarters of a length over pocket-sitting Moliere Hanover (catch-driver Jason Bartlett) in 1:52.3. Third went to Keystone Honor (Matt Kakaley).

For Western Conquest, a homebred son of American Ideal owned by Tanah Merah Farms and trained by Erv Miller, it was his second win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.20, with the triple returning $70.50.

"He's handy and he's smart," Marcus Miller said of Western Conquest. "Last week (NYSS at Vernon), I was stuck in the two-hole and he paced a terrific (:25.4) last quarter, but they went too slow early. I wasn't going to sit behind anyone tonight."

The second sire stakes event saw Jeneral Patton (Tim Tetrick, $3) prevail from the pocket that Western Conquest wanted no part off.

"Jeneral"--from post position No. 3--sat behind second choice Sire Sam's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) through intervals of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:25.4, before diving inside. He went on to win by a length-and-a-half in 1:53. ""Sam" was a safe second, with Forty Five Red (Yannick Gingras) a best-of-the-rest third.

For Jeneral Patton, an Art Major colt owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, he's now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $6.40, with the triple returning $24.40.

In the winner's circle, Tetrick offered his escort was "on a line" but "very talented."

"We didn't race him at 2 after he hurt himself, so he's learning," Jacobs said. "We started with him a bit late this season and staked him late, but I expect him to be a good one."

The evening's final statebred soiree found a first-up Ideal Cowboy (catch-driver Bartlett, $13.80) getting the eight furlongs in 1:52.4. Unhurried from post No. 6, he watched as 6-5 fave Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) set early fractions of 27.1 and :57.1.

Ideal Cowboy lassoed the leader in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, widening to 2½ lengths into the lane. However, "Speedo" found renewed life in the lane, closing the margin only to miss a half-length. Capital Account (Gingras).

For fourth choice Ideal Cowboy, an American Ideal gelding trained by PJ Fraley for co-owners Bamond Racing and J&T Silva Stables, it was his second win in seven '14 tries. The exacta paid $31.20, with the triple returning $108.

"He was chasing the best colts (in the North America Cup)," Bartlett said. "Tonight, we were able to get to the leader easily because they weren't going much early. Then, he just dug in."

Note that since no one took down the Thursday night Pick 5, Friday's gimmick offers a $10,0000 guaranteed poll with a carryover of $2,972.95.

The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule is back in business, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon.

Frank Drucker

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