Up Front Kellie Jo (and harness racing driver Mark MacDonald) was a rainy pocket victress Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $33,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
Leaving from the pylons, "Kellie Jo" stung Mud Pie Hanover (Cat Manzi), then released her before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Mud Pie Hanover found a :55.3 half as 11-10 favorite Bunny in the Bank (George Brennan) was about to make her second move, out of third.
The people's choice--despite poking a nostril in front--could not get by the leader in and out of the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Meanwhile, Breakheart Pass (Jason Bartlett) worked from second-over and Up Front Kellie awaited the passing lane.
Mud Pie Hanover, fighting the good fight, maintained a length lead entering the lane. However, she tired late and Up Front Kellie Jo edged past, prevailing inside by a half-length in 1:54.4.
Ideal Newton (Mike Vanderkemp), Breakheart Pass and Pancleefandarpels (Jim Pantaleano) completed the cashers. Bunny in the Bank faded to last among the octet.
For Up Front Kellie Jo, a 6-year-old statebred daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by (trainer) Mark Ford and Ed Mullinax, she returned $6.20 (second choice) for her third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $66.50, with the triple returning $470.50.
Friday night's co-featured $33,000 Open Handicap Trot saw H and M's Hit (Jordan Stratton) also prevail from the pocket.
Leaving from post No. 5, H and M's Hit was stuffed into a seat by Coach Fox (Larry Stalbaum) as that one led through season-debuting intervals of :29 and :59.1.
Son of Nordic (Eric Goodell)--even-money from an assigned eight-hole in search of a fourth consecutive victory--landed neatly in third.
Coach Fox found a 1:28.1 three-quarters as Son of Nordic stopped by. The leader remained so entering the lane, taking a three-quarter length lead off the final turn. However, she was surrounded on both side, with inside (H and M's Hit) getting the better of outside (Son of Nordic) by a length in 1:57.2.
Third went to Coach Fox, with Celebrity Bluechip (Bartlett) and Tasty Max (Brennan) grabbing the minor spoils.
For H and M's Hit, a 6-year-oldgelding trained by David Duspiva for co-owners Ronald Cohen, Irwin Balbera and James Mazzitelli, he returned $17.40 (fourth choice) for his first win in six '12 tries. The exacta paid $48.80, the triple returned $197 and the superfecta paid $1,302.