Day At The Track

Tritton Stable leads Yonkers nominees

04:58 AM 04 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Western Fame, harness racing
Western Fame and driver Daniel Dube winning the 2019 Levy Final
Mike Lizzi photo

A pair of new names have entered the most horses in the 2021 editions of the MGM Borgata and Blue Chip Matchmaker series to be contested at Yonkers Raceway throughout March and April. Both newcomers to the stakes scene, trainer Shane Tritton has seven horses between the two events and Neil Balcerak has five in the Borgata.

A total of 46 horses nominated for the 2021 Borgata (nee Levy) and 20 were made eligible to the Matchmaker. Both events were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With four in the Borgata and three in the Matchmaker, the Down Under native Tritton is feeling good about his chances and excited about his first stakes action since arriving in the U.S. less than a year ago.

"I'm 100% looking forward to the series. It is very close to the Inter Dominion back home where you have to go four runs in a row. It is a war of attrition, but it is good to have something to work through. I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Tritton.

Tritton's male quartet in the Borgata include 2019 Borgata champion Western Fame, Pat Stanley N, Bronx Seelster and Yayas Hot Spot N. His mare trio is formed by Lady Dela Renta A, Maczaffair N and My Ruebe Star N.

"This has always been the goal for these horses," said Tritton. "Western Fame, Bronx Seelster and Pat Stanley are starting to hit their stride at the right time and the mares have been racing at a high level. Yayas Hot Spot just needs more racing."

Neil Balcerak has been training horses on a limited basis since 2015 but is getting his first taste of stakes action in a big way. He paid the $5,000 nomination fee on five horses, all of which he owns in partnership with another newcomer to the game, Matthew Morrison.

"Matt is new to the business. He did well on his first horse and wanted to take a shot," said Balcerak about entering so many horses. "He is a fresh owner to the game. He really enjoyed owning his first horse (Jahan Hanover) and now he goes to the track a couple of times a week. Having a new owner is great for the game.

"We bought a couple of nice ones over the summer and we had a few others we just wanted to give a shot to because there wasn't much available for the horses to race for good money," continued Balcerak on entering five horses.

Balcerak, who said he started out small as a trainer with just some county fair horses, is hoping for good things from all five of his Borgata entrants. He has the highest hopes for Caviart Rockland and The Wall, who was fifth in the 2019 Borgata. The 37-year-old Pennsylvania native also has Indictable Hanover, Jahan Hanover and Esai Hanover in the series.

The Borgata, which begins on March 15 with the first of five legs raced in $40,000 divisions, is loaded with talent. The list includes 2019 Breeders Crown winner American History, who is standing at Walnridge Farm and is expecting to pull double-duty as a stallion and racehorse this year. Three-year-old Ohio standout Ocean Rock makes his first journey outside of the Buckeye state and is one of three newcomers to the Nancy Takter barn in the series.

Undoubtedly one of the favorites going into the opening round will be overseas import Let It Ride N. The Richard 'Nifty' Norman-trained 8-year-old has won all six of his starts since coming to America including an impressive 1:52 1/5 win at Yonkers on January 11.

"He'll be a handful for anybody," said Norman about Let It Ride N. "I'm sure others will be ready, but he proved he gets around the track very well."

Alexa Skye, who joined the Jeff Cullipher barn before a recent second-place finish at Yonkers in the Open Handicap, is certainly one of the favorites going into the March 12 opening leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. She has won three of five starts in 2021 and has never finished worse than second.

The Borgata and Matchmaker both feature five legs and culminate with finals and consolations on Monday, April 19.

A complete list of the eligible horses can be found here and below:

2021 MGM Borgata Eligibles

American History

American Mercury

Ana Afreet N

Artie's Ideal

Ashley Locaz N

Backstreet Shadow

Blood Line

Bronx Seelster

Caviart Rockland

Chief Mate

Esai Hanover

Fine Diamond

Hesa Kingslayer N

Ideal Jimmy

Indictable Hanover

Jahan Hanover

Jesse Duke N

Leonidas A

Let it Ride N

Lyons Steel

Mach n Cheese

Mac's Jackpot

Micky Gee N

No Easy Day

None Bettor A

Ocean Rock

Ostro Hanover

Pat Stanley N

Raukapuka Ruler N

Rockapelo

Rodeo Rock

San Domino A

Semi Tough

Sheriff N

Shnitzledosomethin

Springsteen

Stars Align A

Tellitsabb

The Wall

This is the Plan

Tookadiveoffdipper

Tyga Hanover

Western Fame

Western Joe

Windsun Ricky

Yayas Hot Spot N

2021 Blue Chip Matchmaker Eligibles

Alexa Skye

Alii Nui

Bettors Heart N

Blue Ivy

Caviart Cherie

Dbldelitebrigade N

Kaitlyn N

Keep On Rocking A

Lady Dela Renta A

Machnhope

Maczaffair N

Monica Gallagher

My Ruebe Star N

Parisian Bluechip

Seaswift Joy N

Siesta Beach

Snobbytown

Soho Burning Love A

The Bandit Queen N

Trillions Hanover

By Yonkers Raceway Media

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