Day At The Track

Borgata Series kicks off at Yonkers

07:11 AM 17 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Let It Ride N, harness racing
Let It Ride N heads the opening round of the Borgata Pacing Series
Lisa Photo

YONKERS, N.Y. – If harness racing future wagering were offered today on the Borgata Pacing Series Final, which will be held Monday, April 19, 2021 at Yonkers Raceway after five preliminary legs, the two favorites would undoubtably be Let It Ride and This Is The Plan.

After 40 of the 47 eligible pacers were entered into the Borgata Series first leg and split into five divisions, those two favorites found themselves in the same split – the first one of the series – which begins tonight (March 15) in race three.

Let It Ride won two Group 1 stakes in Australia in 2018, but lost his form and settled into a winless rut in 2020.  He shipped to America last fall to Nifty Norman’s stable and added Lasix, which Norman credited as a key change for the 8-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding. 

Let It Ride is undefeated in six U.S. starts, including a 1:48.1 victory in the $28,000 Meadowlands open/preferred handicap Jan. 2 and an off the pace victory in 1:52.1 with a :26.4 final quarter in the $30,000 Yonkers open handicap Jan. 11, his latest pari-mutuel outing. 

Let It Ride tuned up for the Borgata Series with a 1:54 qualifier at the Meadowlands March 6. He drew post four in the $40,000 Borgata opening division and with regular reinsman Dexter Dunn set to drive, is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

While Let It Ride will make his first Grand Circuit start in the Borgata, This Is The Plan is no stranger to the series; he’s been an active player in North America’s top races since 2017. Career highlights include wins in the $176,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby in 2020, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final and $200,000 Prix d’Été in 2019 and the $260,000 Progress Pace in 2018. 

In his most recent stakes outing, George Brennan found This Is The Plan a perfect second-over trip from post seven in the $125,000 Invitational Pace for Borgata Series Eligibles at Yonkers Nov. 28. The Ron Burke trainee capitalized, earning a half-length victory in 1:52. This Is The Plan then finished second in a Meadowlands preferred Dec. 5 before getting a winter break. He returned with a 1:54 qualifier at the Swamp March 6 to prepare for the Borgata Series.

This Is The Plan drew post one in the Borgata first division and with regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky, is 3-1 on the morning line.

Other players in the Borgata first division include Western Joe, American History, Stars Align, Rodeo Rock, Bronx Seelster, and Tellitsabb.

The second division of the Borgata first leg features the returns of American Mercury, who switches barns to the Norman stable and finished a nose ahead of Let It Ride in the March 6 qualifier, and None Better, who is back off two qualifying wins (1:50.4 at Pompano Feb. 15 and 1:50.1 at the Meadowlands Feb. 27) and is now in the Nancy Takter stable.

The third division features the Grand Circuit debut of Pat Stanley for Shane Tritton, the Yonkers return of San Domino, the beaten favorite in the Invitational for Borgata Series Eligibles last fall, and Tookadiveoffdipper, who was third in that Invitational. 

The fourth division pits several stalwarts of the Yonkers open handicap pace against each other, including Hesa Kingslayer, Ideal Jimmy, The Wall, Shnitzledosomethin, and Ostro Hanover. 

The final division of the Borgata first leg sees the return of Backstreet Shadow, winner of the $164,000 Roll With Joe in 2020, and the 16-1 upsetter of the 2020 $100,000 Potomac Pace, Leonidas, who captured a $30,000 Yonkers open in his pari-mutuel return March 1.

Monday’s card features a $2,884 pick six carryover. The wager begins in race three and encompasses all five divisions of the Borgata first leg, plus the $25,000 preferred handicap pace. The wager features a $1 minimum stake, a 20% takeout rate, and no jackpot provision. Free full-card past performances are available here.

Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.

By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

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