Yonkers Raceway hosted a Sweet 16 celebration Saturday night...and the guest of honor did not disappoint. The undefeated harness racing filly See You at Peelers beat the boys and made 'em cry, winning the $307,734 Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds in convincing fashion.
With Marcus Johansson driving for his father-in-law, trainer Jimmy Takter, "Peelers" made short work of the 21st edition of the Rooney while running her resume to 16-for-16.
See You at Peelers was the first filly ever to race in the Rooney since the event's inception in 1989--thus, the first filly to win it--as well as the first "perfect" horse to come into, and out of, this race.
Leaving from post position No. 5 as the strongest third of a 1-20 entry, "Peelers" floated into an early three-hole. Line Officer (George Brennan) made the first move, grabbing advantage in the first turn. Johansson moved his lass a second time, gaining the front right at the :28.4 opening quarter-mile. Next came a 58-second half, with Rollwithitharry (Ron Pierce)--joined with "Peelers" and Line Officer in the wagering troika--moving from fourth.
See You at Peelers maintained her open lead at the 1:25.4 three-quarters, bumping the margin to three lengths turning for home. All that was left was the final margin—which said 3 1/2 lengths--and the timer, which read 1:53.1, punctuated by a Johansson fist pump.
Line Officer was second, with "Harry" giving the puny-priced entry a 1-2-3 sweep. Avenue Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Arocking Hanover (Brent Holland) completed the cashers, with Vincent Fra (Dan Dube) rounding out the half-dozen.
For See Your at Peelers, a New York-bred daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by (breeder) Christina Takter, along with Jim and John Fielding, she returned the requisite $2.10 for her third win of her sophomore season. The exacta paid $6.90. By way, the race attracted a win pool of $77,376...$73,167 of which was wagered on the death and taxes distaffer.
Her $153,867 payday upped the lifetime account for "Peelers" to $881,353.
According to U.S. Trotting Association research, "Peelers" is also the first pacing lass to whip the boys in a six-figure race dating back to at least 1992 (encompassing 31 occasions prior to this one).
"She’s just as amazing animal," Johansson said. "I just wanted to take it slow leaving with her, but once I made the lead, her mind was all business.
"It's a great win for her, and she deserves all the credit. For me to drive her is just unbelievable.
"I've been around some terrific horses, and she doesn't take a big seat to any of them," Takter said. "She raced six days ago--sub-1:50 (life-best 1:49.2 last Sunday in Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga)--and to come back and beat some talented colts this way, I don't know what else to say....and she beat them badly.
"This was a very prestigious race for us, and we're very proud to win it. We plan to be back again (for New York Sire Stakes)."
New York Sire Stakes action begins downstate Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $230,510 Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. Five, divisions--including two early non-bettors--are scheduled.
Yonkers' regular five-night-per-week schedule (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) remains in effect. First post for all racing programs is 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.