Day At The Track

Stratton sweeps Matchmaker with NZ mares

04:15 PM 02 Apr 2016 NZDT
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Al Raza N moved widest and defeated the lass on her back Sell a Bit N
Al Raza N moved widest and defeated the lass on her back
Chris Brokate Photo
Sell a Bit N won by a length-and-a-quarter
Chris Brokate Photo

Fooling no one, Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. Three compacted, $40,000 legions of harness racing lasses comprised a 'sloppy' third of five preliminary rounds...and if you're name isn't Jordan Stratton, there's really no reason to continue reading.

The first event saw 1-2 favorite Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) caught wide early, paying a pretty (:26.4, :55.4) price for the lead. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) then moved from fourth, disposing of the leader after the 1:24.3 three-quarters.

Regil Elektra owned a three-quarter-length lead into the lane and hung in there gamely, but was mowed down late by a from-last For the Ladies N (Stratton, $40.40) in 1:53.1. The longest shot on the board-from post position No. 5-won by a neck, with Jungle Genie N (Matt Kakaley) third, while Krispy Apple faded to lead among the half-dozen.

For the Ladies N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Jereme's Jet owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, is now 1-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $140.50, with the triple returning $884.

Friday's second Matchmaker event had owner, trainer and driver double-up with Sell a Bit N ($7.10), who herself made it a series two-fer.

Negating her outside six-hole, the second choice worked around Skippin' By (Yannick Gingras), then laid down the law (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:53). Venus Delight (Bartlett), as the 3-5 choice, moved to challenge from third, but never came close. Sell a Bit N won by a length-and-a-quarter, with Venus Delight second and Skippin' By third.

Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar, is now 2-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $12.20, with the triple returning $55.

The evening's final series soiree saw Stratton and just-over-even-money Al Raza N ($4.10) complete an evening/series hat trick, respectively.

Watching early from post No, 4, series points leader Al Raza N was content to have Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) retake from Request for Parole (Gingras), with early intervals of :27.4 and :57.

Anndrovette moved from third down the backside, towing Al Raza N along for the ride in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters.

Entering the lane, Yagonnakissmeornot was about to give up the ghost. Al Raza N moved widest and defeated the lass on her back, Mach it a Par (George Brennan), by a half-length in 1:53. Anndrovette held well for third.

Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her fourth win in four five starts. The exacta paid $9, with the triple returned $41.60.

“(For the Ladies N) was definitely helped by fast fractions and a short field, while the other two (Sell a Bit N and Al Raza N) always race well,” Stratton—now an honorary Kiwi—said.

“I’ve been fortunate they haven’t drawn in against one another.”

Yet.

Friday night's Pick 5 wager, beginning with a carryover of $8,041.75, attracted $24,967 of new investments. After takeout, $26,767 was divvied up to those who had the correct sequence.

The "phrase that pays" was 4/7/2/6/4, returning $545.25 for each winning half-a-buck wager.

Saturday night's card brings the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 divisions (races 6 through 9) comprise this go-round, with reining Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit debuting in the third event.

Frank Drucker

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