Undefeated filly See You at Peelers drew post position No. 5 as she takes on the boys in the 21st edition of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace. The $307.734 Rooney--one of Yonkers' premier events for 3-year-olds--goes as Saturday night's ninth race (approximate post time 10:10 PM). Post time for the dozen-race card is the usual 7:10 PM.
The draw for the Rooney, with declared drivers…1-Avenue Hanover (Jason Bartlett, 10-1), 2-Rollwithitharry (Ron Pierce, 3-5), 3-Arockin Hanover (George Brennan, 5-1), 4-Line Officer (Brennan listed, 3-5), 5-See You at Peelers (Marcus Johansson, 3-5), 6-Vincent Fra (Brennan listed again, 8-1).
Please note that Line Officer, Rollwithitharry and See You at Peelers shall race as a common-ownership entry, while Avenue Hanover and Vincent Fra, both trained by Steve Elliott, are uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership.
It is the presence of "Peelers," competing against the colts (and one gelding) for the first time, which makes this re-enactment of the Rooney unlike any other. Not only is she the first girl to race in the Rooney since the event's inception in 1989, she's also the first "perfect" entrant in the race's history.
With 15 wins in as many career starts (13-for-13 and a divisional champion at 2) and earnings of $727,486, the New York-bred daughter of Bettor's Delight also brings a 3-for-3 local record into her Westchester return. She hits town fresh from a life-best 1:49.2 effort in Sunday's $279,175 final of the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga. That mile also matched the world record for her age and gender on a five-eighths oval.
As a frosh, See You at Peelers won both of her New York Sire Stakes legs here, then rolled in the $200,000 finale. Her mile that night--1:54.2--equaled the track record for rookie pacing lasses. She went on to win the $600,000 final of the Breeders Crown at Pocono.
Jimmy Takter trains for his wife, Christina, along with Jim and John Fielding, Marcus Johansson, the trainer's son-in-law, has the assignment.
"She's never been totally extended," Johansson said. "I did have to go faster than I would have liked with her (at Tioga), but she came out of race in good shape and we're all looking forward to Saturday.
"What makes her so good on the small tracks, I think, is her athleticism and her fantastic balance," Johansson said. "As far as facing the boys, it's not something I've thought about, but Jimmy had said all along that it was the plan, and the Rooney just happened to be at the right point in her schedule to try it now."
The Rooney's companion event, the $197,634 Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies, goes as Saturday night's sixth race (approximate post 9:10 PM).
The line-up for the ladies, (with declared drivers)...1-Honky Tonk Woman (Brennan, 8-5) 2-Dreamland's Roxy (Brennan also listed, 8-1), 3-Cold Mist (Brennan listed again, 9-5), 4-Celebrity Dollfin (Cat Manzi, 12-1), 5-JK Owhatanite (Bartlett, 5-1), 6-Character Flaw (Dan Dube, 9-5), 7-Block Party (Dube also listed, 15-1).
Note that Character Flaw and Cold Mist are to be coupled (common ownership) in the wagering.