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Freshmen Pacers Invade Yonkers

Published: August 25, 2009 11:43 pm ET

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Twenty-three of the New York’s top rookie pacing colts and geldings made their way downstate Tuesday night for Yonkers Raceway's $185,122 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace.

Jason Bartlett and Hes Gorgeous, who was sent off as the odds-on favourite, overcame the eight-hole in the first division. After tucking in fifth, he moved approaching the half, only to be forced three-wide by a late pull from a rival. The people's preference made the lead just after the mid-way point, then was never seriously threatened. He threw in a :27.4 kicker to win by more than three lengths in a time of 1:55. Gone Baby Gone was second and Forty Carrots finished third.

"He may be a two-year-old, but he doesn't act like one," Bartlett said, "He's a two-finger horse to drive and he was very good tonight."

For Hes Gorgeous, an Art Major colt trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs, he returned $2.50 for his fifth victory in seven rookie starts. He has banked $81,088 along the way.

The second split saw the odds-on favourite, Bettor Again, grind his way to glory for driver Stephane Bouchard. The youngster took a tuck into fourth before going on the attack and eventually taking over command at the mid-way point of the stretch. He held on to win by three-quarters of a length over Bullish Blue Chip in 1:57.2. Shinedupnreadytogo was another three lengths back in third.

Bettor Again, a son of Bettors Delight owned by Patricia Stable and trained by Noel Daley, paid $2.20 for his second win in four tries this season. The lion’s share of the purse bumped his bankroll to $59,350.

"I won with him off the pace (at Tioga), so I wasn't too worried," Bouchard said. "I wanted to be careful around the first turn here, but I raced him like he was the best (tonight), and he was."

Whiskey Pete and trainer/driver Gates Brunet scored a 19-1 upset in the final division of the state-bred event. It was a maiden-breaking score for the youngster, who capitalized on a break behind the gate by the 3-5 favourite Bluff Point. Whiskey Pete rallied to the one-length score over the pocket sitting Park Lane Midnight. Speculative Edge was third in the 1:58 affair.

For Whiskey Pete, co-owned by Ted Gewertz, Deborah Brunet and Sam Dotro, he paid $40.60 after posting his first win in eight career tries. He has stashed away $54,984 in earnings.

"He's actually a lot easier to drive than (two-year-old track record-holder) Hay Goodlooking, but I wouldn't put him in that class," said Gates Brunet. "I sent him down (from Vernon) yesterday, and he seemed much fresher. I didn't think that horse on the lead could cut the mile and win, so I went after him and it worked out."

Tuesday evening's sire stakes races honoured the memory of Yonkers' long-time corporate controller.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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