The undefeated New York-bred filly See You at Peelers shall face the boys for the first time in her brilliant harness racing career, having been one of a half-dozen 3-year-olds entered for Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace. The one-dash-for-the-cash ($307,734) event is scheduled for a week from Saturday night, June 4.
The entrants for the 21st edition of the Art Rooney Pace are--alphabetically (with declared drivers)---A Rockin Hanover (George Brennan), Avenue Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Line Officer (Dan Dube), Rollwithitharry (Ron Pierce), See You at Peelers (Marcus Johansson) and Vincent Fra (Brennan also listed).
Please note that Line Officer, Rollwithitharry and See You at Peelers shall be race as a common-ownership entry.
The storyline is obviously See You at Peelers, a daughter of Bettor's Delight who becomes the first girl to race in the Rooney since its inception in 1989.
With 14 wins in as many career starts (13-for-13 and a divisional champion at 2) and earnings of $587,899, "Peelers" also brings a 3-for-3 local record into her Westchester return. As a frosh, she won both of her New York Sire Stakes legs here, then rolled in the $200,000 finale. Her mile that night--1:54.2--matched the track record for rookie pacing lasses.
She went on to win the $600,000 final of the Breeders Crown at Pocono, then began her 3-year-old season with a stroll in her elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga. See You at Peelers looms the overwhelming favorite in this Sunday's final of the EBC, also at Tioga.
Jimmy Takter trains for his wife, Christina, along with Jim and John Fielding.
"The timing worked out for her to go in the Rooney," Jimmy Takter said. "We made her eligible to the Lismore (see below), but there didn't figure to be eliminations for the Rooney, which was obviously what we needed since she was racing this weekend. Besides, this is a very prestigious race.
“I think she's as good on a small track as anybody right now, and she deserves a chance to prove it," Takter said. "Over the winter, we talked about racing against the colts at the Little Brown Jug, and that's our plan, but the way she's come back this season, we felt the Rooney came at a very good point in her schedule to face the boys.
"She's grown up quite a bit (between 2 and 3)," Takter said, "She's an adult now, and you can race her any way...on the lead, off the pace... she just has tremendous talent."
A field of seven fillies declared their intentions for the Rooney's companion event, the $197,634 Lismore Pace. Like the Rooney, the Lismore required no elims, with all entrants going in the June 4 final.
The ladies, in alphabetical order (with declared drivers), are...Block Party (Dube), Celebrity Dollfin (Dube also listed), Character Flaw (Dube again), Cold Mist (Brennan), Dreamland's Roxy (Brennan also listed), Honky Tonk Woman (Brennan again) and JK Owhatanite (Bartlett).
Note that Character Flaw and Cold Mist are to be coupled (common ownership) in the wagering.
Post positions for the both races shall be drawn next Tuesday, May 31.