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Comments On Passing Lane Removal

Published: January 7, 2018 5:33 pm ET

Last Comment: January 7, 2018 7:54 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Horsepeople at Yonkers Raceway have commented about racing at the half-mile oval without a passing lane.

Yonkers began its 2018 season on Sunday (January 7) by closing down the open stretch (for more information click here and here). A nippy, see-their-breath, late-morning pacing opener served as the guinea pig for the new layout.

Precursor to the seven ‘French’ trots, it was a tight-photo win by a first-up Union Man Hanover (Matt Kakaley, $14.20) in 1:57.3.

Thus, Kakaley became the perfect initial candidate to discuss the new layout.

“I probably would have waited a bit longer (moving from third) with the passing lane,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I was out there. I think first-over is going to be more advantageous now, but it was just one race.”

Kakaley ended up with four winners during the 12-race card. The card also featured a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot that was won by Consolidator.

One obvious observation was the pocket-sitting Scarlet Chaser (driven by Jordan Stratton) extricating himself from the cones, slipping out to race second-over early in the final turn.

“(Scarlet Chaser) won in the passing lane his last start, but that wasn’t an option here,” Stratton said. “I was able to move him outside and he raced well. The new rules are in place, and we’ll figure it out.

“It is what it is.”

“There are going to be some strategy changes, that’s for sure,” Brent Holland said.

“Sitting the two-hole may not always be a good spot,” he said after getting shuffled out when the leader tired in day’s trotting feature. “It didn’t work out for me.”

The last word for the first day went to six-time local driving champ Jason Bartlett.

“It certainly makes things different,” Bartlett said. “It’s hard to say how much, because you have to see how each race unfolds. We just have to try to put the horse in the best position.”

(Yonkers Raceway)

January 7, 2018 - 7:54 pmBefore the passing lane and

bob tutton SAID...

Before the passing lane and even further back when there was a hub rail, there was dare I say more action in the race.
Now I would never put the hub rail back, but the passing lane I will not miss. Was never a fan. The passing lane I always felt was never a true test of the race, because the horse in the pocket had a advantage that was too much in their favor. I'm thinking because if the passing lane is removed, it opens up the flow of the race, which in turn will make it more exciting to watch. Racing in Europe and down under were there 3 and 4 wide gets the blood flowing. None of that sitting in the bucket. More action, more excitement, more entertainment, more fans.

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