Day At The Track

New Zealand mares dominate Matchmaker

10:27 PM 26 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Al Raza N Sell a Bit N
Al Raza N with her third win in four seasonal starts
Mike Lizzi Photo
Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar
Mike Lizzi Photo

Yonkers Raceway’s Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. It was “second verse same as the first,” with three consecutive, $40,000 harness racing divisions comprising the encore round.

The evening’s opening event saw Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $5.50) take full advantage of a rare good starting station. In play from post position No. 4, she held sway (:27.3, :56.3, 1:24.3, 1:52.1).

Pylon-procuring Request for Parole (Yannick Gingras) chased around the oval, ducked inside and missed a neck, while Mach it a Par (George Brennan), last week’s 39-1 upsetter, was third after a hard challenge down the backside.    

Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett), the wagering favorite by a mere $30, wound up a non-threatening fourth.  

For slight second choice Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her first win in five seasonal starts.  The exacta paid $26.40, with the triple returning $87.

Friday’s second Matchmaker event had Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $5.70), as the second choice, do it from first-up. Away third from post No. 2, she saw season-debuting Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) and 11-10 choice Skippin’ By (Gingras) take early turns (:27.2, :56.2).

When “Yagonna” first moved off the cones nearing the 1:24.3 three-quarters, she didn’t appear all that interested. Skippin’ By owned a length-and-a-half into the lane before Yagonnakissmeornot read the memo. She surged past late, winning by a neck in 1:53.3.

Anndrovette, probably a bit short, was a passing-land third, beaten a half-length,  

For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her first win in three ’16 starts. The exacta paid $10, with the triple returning $38.60.

The night’s final series event was won by an off-the-pace Al Raza N (Stratton, $8.60), who had some numbers to “run at” and did just that.

As was the case a week ago, Al Raza N was content to spectate early. She watched as Krispy Apple (Bartlett) and 13-10 choice Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) were both sent out (:26.4, :55.2).as the rest of the lasses gapped behind them.

Secrets Out N (Brian Sears) did close ranks from third and move to challenge, but never came close. Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) gapped that one badly in and out of the 1:23.2 three-quarters, which did no favors for the eventual winner.

Al Raza N, sitting seventh and racing from third-over, launched her bid before the final turn. She was fifth entering the lane, but just powered by. The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.1, matching her life-best. It was Krispy Apple nosing a tiring Lady Shadow for second, with a from-last Regil Elektra (Tetrick) and Delightful Dragon settling for the remainder.

For third choice 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 third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $89 and the superfecta paid $1,274.

Saturday night’s card brings the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Five, $50,000 divisions (races 5 and 7 through 10) comprise this go-round.  

Frank Drucker

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