YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 28, 2013-Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted the richest night of racing in the state, the 24th edition of the New York Night of Champions. The $1.8 million event offered eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.
So as to offend anyone, here's the chronologically-compiled skinny...
Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot- Flyhawk El Durado ( , $10.60) took the house from post position No. 4 (29.2; 1:00.2; 1:29.3; 1:58) for a fifth consecutive (NYSS) win. His dead-heat dance partner of a week ago here, Credit Fashion ( ), chased this night from the pocket, but missed a neck as the 2-5 choice. Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern) rallied from third from the eight-hole.
For second choice "El Durado," a s son of owned by Martin Scharf and trained by , he is now 6-for-9 this season. The exacta paid $14.60, with the triple returning $108.50.
"You never worry about him trotting out of there, and that's a big help," MacDonald said. "He felt good in the lane."
Allerage Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Trot-Late-season scourge Market Rally (John Cummings Jr., $10.40), from post No. 5, did her damage from third over. She picked up division leader Maud Blue Chip (Sears) by a neck in 1:59.1. "Maud," the 7-10 favorite, went first up-and-over Flyhawk Falina ( ) before the three-quarters (:29, :59, 1:29.2), but could not stave off the winner. Exotic Form ( ), stuck in when he entrymate quit on the lead, rallied for third.
For third choice Market Rally, a miss ($7,500 @ Morrisville), co-owned by (trainer) and , it was her fourth win in 10 '13 tries (3-for-3 here). The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $47.40.
"I just waited for the dust to settle and let her do her thing," Cummings said.
"We thought she was a just a good filly from a good family," Wilson said, adding the Breeders Crown may be next on the dance card.
Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace-Sweetnsinful ( ) tried taking no prisoners (:27.1, 56.2, 1:26), including stuffing a fumbly-gaited Ali Blue ( .) into a three-hole. The two-hole was locked up by Bettor Business (Dan Dube), and wound up serving her well.
From post No. 2, Bettor Business ducked inside, getting to the winner and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a maiden-breaking 1:54.2. Ali Blue, as the 4-5 choice, was third.
For fourth choice Bettor Business, a daughter of ($42,000 @ Harrisburg) co-owned (as Triple D Stables) by trainer Scott DiDomenico and JFE Enterprises, she returned $27.40 (partnered with Scandalicious) for that initial win in nine seasonal tries. The exacta paid $138.50, with the triple returning $124.
Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot-The aptly-named--and odds-on--Bouncing Bax (Bartlett, $2.70), who began the season losing her first nine races, romped to a fifth consecutive win (:28.4, :59, 1:27.2, 1:56.2), From post No. 4, she took over from Barn Babe (Cummings Jr.), then "ran away" and hid.
The margin was fourth lengths in a life-best effort. Second went to Royal Malinda (Daley), with Alphadoodle (MacDonald) third.
For Bouncing Bax, a lass ($30,000 @ Harrisburg) trained by for Harbor Racing Stable, the resume is five wins in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.40, with the triple returning $47.
Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot-Crazy About Pat ( , $8.50) could not have asked for a better set-up. From post No. 4, he was perched In The Pocket as E L Rocket ( ) dealt with a first-up, 7-5 choice Tirade Hanover (Morrill Jr.) through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.3.
"Pat" edged off the cones, he edged past Tirade Hanover, winning by a half-length in 1:55, with E L Rocket third.
For fourth choice Crazy About Pat, a homebred son of owned by (co-breeder) Patricia Stable and trained by , he's now 8-for-18 this season. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $67.
"I raced him earlier in the season, and I was very fortunate to get the drive back," Goodell said. "I had the choice to go in and out, and things worked very well. He's a talented colt."
Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace-What can we say about He's Watching?
Try this. An eighth win as many starts, a 1:52.2 track record for his weight class--also matching a world record--after a 6¼ -length beat-down. Leaving from the pole with Morrill Jr. in tow, He's Watching worked around barn buddy Major Trick (Bartlett), then set sails through stations of :28.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 (equal halves of :56.1 for the 1-9 favorite, after some fast math).
Big Boy Dreams (Sears) was a first-up second, with Major Trick third.
For He's Watching ($2.20), a son of ($3,000 @ Harrisburg) co-owned by (trainer) Dave Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerrero, he's now earned $291,722. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $6.80.
"I don't where the bottom is," Morrill said. "He's a small colt, but he doesn't race like one. I was just letting him cruise."
"This is the icing for him," Menary said. "He's been life-changing for me. He's probably done for the season, so while the others are down at Lexington, the Breeders Crown and the Matron, we can get a head start toward next season."
Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace-Track record-holder for this division, Social Scene (Brennan, $10.20) did her damage as per usual...from off the pace. After Winbak Heavenly (Jim Marohn Jr.) and defending champ Summertime Lea (Morrill Jr.) slugged it out early (:27.1, :55.4), Social Scene--from post No. 6--went up and after the leader.
She zipped by 4-5 fave "Lea"--who was bothered by a first-turn breaker--opening five lengths by the 1:23.1 three-quarters. The margin was a half-dozen at the wire in 1:53, with longshots Cheyenne Miriam ( ), Springforth ( ) and Ballineen (Sears) upping the exotics.
For second choice Social Scene, an ma'am ($37,000 @ Lexington) co-owned by West Wins Stable and Steve Calhoun and trained by , she's won half of her 14 '13 tries. The exacta paid $214.50, the triple returned $2,198 and the superfecta paid $76,990 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket paid $3,849.50). Summertime Lea faded to seventh.
"When she's right, there's no filly that can hold her out," Brennan said. "She'd has some breathing issues, but she was sharp tonight."
Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace-A third consecutive "lonely horse" to end the sires, as 3-10 choice Fool Me Once (Sears, $2.70) gave nothing else a shot. From post No. 5, it was effortless (:27.2, :56.2, 1:24.3, 1:51.3).
The separation was 8½ lengths at the end, with Bettor Than You (Goodell) second at 42-1, ahead of 30-1 Framed Art (MacDonald).
For Fool Me Once, a son of ($70,000 @ Harrisburg) co-owned by (trainer) and Daniel Smith, it was his 10th win in 14 seasonal starts (14-for-24 lifetime, earnings over $612,000). The exacta paid $42.40, with the triple returning $313.50.
"He's a cut above the sire stakes horses," Sears said. "He was comfortable and I get let him go on with it."
The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.