Day At The Track

Matchmaker prelims wrap up with a duet

10:14 PM 19 Apr 2014 NZST
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Monkey in My Wheel Yagonnakissmeornot
Monkey in My Wheel, a 6-year-old Mach Three homebred
Mayra Escamilla Photo
Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa
Mayra Escamilla Photo

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 18, 2014-Yonkers Raceways Good Friday harness racing festivities featured the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Mare pacers. A $40,000 divisions went postward.

Series points leader Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $3.20) did nothing to diminish her reputation, winning the opening event with solid, two-move effort.

Leaving outside her six rivals, the people's choice settled in fourth as series-debuting Scandalous Hanover (Brian Sears) found the lead. After early intervals of :28 and :57.3, "Yagonna" was again on the move.

She tackled Scandalous Hanover just past the 1:25 three-quarters, taking a short lead into the lane. Yagonnakissmeornot never relinquished the baton, winning a by a length in 1:53.2. Camille (Yannick Gingras), shuffled when the leader tired, closed inside for second, with Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) third

For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 7-for-11 this season (4-for-5 in Matchmaker). The exacta paid $16.80, with the triple returning $89.50.

"It was two moves, but she did it all on her own," Dube said, before echoing his assignment from earlier in this series that "she doesn't know where the end of the mile is, but I hope we draw well in (next Saturday night's $371,400) final."

Late to the dance, but making up for lost time has been the millionaires Monkey on My Wheel (Gingras, $29.40). She authored the 13-1 upset in the second Matchmaker elim, going by a tiring 15-cents-on-the-dollar Somwherovrarainbow (Sears) in mid-stretch.

In play early from post position No. 4, Monkey on My Wheel was pocketed early to defending champ Feeling You (Tyler Buter). That was before "Somwhr" moved from third, taking the lead just after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. It was another :28.1 subsection (:56.2 half) before Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick)-who had left for a seat-took out from fourth.

With nothing keeping up with Shelliscape in the outer flow, "Monkey" slipped out to race second-over. The battle was on in and out of the 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Somwherovrarainbow up a length entering the lane.

However, she would not be able to close the sale, with Monkey on My Wheel going by, then holding off 75-1 rank outsider Summertime Lea (Kakaley) by a head in 1:53.2. The favorite had to settle for third, beaten three-quarters of a length.

"I just didn't want to have to race her first-up," Gingras said of "Monkey." "I was able to drop in early, then get out again. It worked out very well and Brian's horse (Somwherovrarainbow) wasn't able to get away from us."

For Monkey in My Wheel, a 6-year-old Mach Three Mac Nichol homebred, it was her third win in nine seasonal starts (a win and a second in this series). The exacta paid $706, with the triple returning $2,241.

Friday's $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by favored D W's NY Yank (Brennan, $3.80) in 1:56.

The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with three, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5 and 11 on the 12-race card) in that fifth and final prelim round. The $567,000 final of the series also goes next Saturday night, Apr. 26.

(Note...Matchmaker standings after the five prelim rounds accompany this release, though the first eight in order are not necessarily the finalists until determined by the race office.)

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

Frank Drucker

Director of Publicity

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