Fox Valley Sage and harness racing driver Cat Manzi proved best Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $33,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Unhurried early from post position No. 4, she watched as first Celtic Danser (Larry Stalbaum), then Ideal Newton (Mike Vanderkemp) fronted the fray.
In between a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :56.1 half, Fox Valley Sage began her mission.
She was first-up from fourth, advancing toward the leader by the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Fox Valley Sage found a rest stop when Celtic Danser packed it in down the backside. However, Ideal Newton maintained the lead off the final turn, though that was quickly evaporating.
Fox Valley Sage ducked inside and went by, winning by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54.1. Keystone Katherine (Eric Goodell) closed outside for second, with Shaky Hanover (George Brennan), Ideal Newton and Kayla's Dream (Jeff Gregory) grabbing the minor awards.
For Fox Valley Sage, an 8-year-old daughter ofowned by Stephen Farrell Jr. and trained by Ralph Andersen, she returned $4.50 for her second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $40.80, with the triple returning $160.
Friday night's co-featured $33,000 Open Handicap Trot saw 9-10 choice Son of Nordic (Goodell) go all the way.
Leaving from post No. 5, he worked around longshot H and M's Hit (Jordan Stratton) before a :28.2 opening quarter. From there, he found a :58.1 intermission and 1:27 three-quarters, taking a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane.
Son of Nordic needed to hold off just the pocket pursuer, which he did by diminishing nose in 1:56.1. A closing Equity (Jason Bartlett) managed to get into third, with Fool's Revenue (Brennan) and Schalom G (Manzi) coming away with the remainder.
For Son of Nordic, a 7-year-oldgelding trained by Doug Noland for Lrl Racing, he returned $3.80 for his second (consecutive) win in three '12 tries. The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $108 and the superfecta paid $611.
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.