Curtain Lowers On Borgata Prelims

Linedrive Hanover

Linedrive Hanover posted his third win in the prelims, while driver Jason Bartlett had a double with a pair of first-time victors in the three $68,493 divisions of the final round of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series on Monday night, April 15 at MGM Yonkers Raceway.

After taking last week off, Linedrive Hanover was back in action on Monday night and won the final split handily in 1:51.2. 

Driver Scott Zeron moved Linedrive Hanover out of the third spot late on the first turn and brushed him to the point around defending series champion Hellabalou (Yannick Gingras) at the :27.1 quarter-mile mark. It was all Linedrive Hanover after that as he coasted to the half in :56.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24.2, then sprinted home in :27 flat to down Hellabalou by a wrapped-up length and a quarter. Strengthfromabove (Bartlett) was the third-place finisher.

Linda Toscano sent out Linedrive Hanover, a six-year-old Betting Line gelding, for Canadian owners West Wins Stable, McKinlay & Fielding and Mac Nichol. Linedrive Hanover is now a 17-time winner from 39 lifetime starts and has now stashed away $709,442.

The 1-5 favourite, Linedrive Hanover returned $2.40 to win and was atop a $3 exacta and a $9.70 trifecta.

Venturesome Arden N, driven by Bartlett, picked up his first series win in the opening flight, scoring in 1:51.1. 

Whats Stanley Got A (George Brennan) pulled the pocket early and took the lead away from This Is The Plan (Gingras) prior to the :27 opening quarter and went on to the half in :56.3 and the three-quarters in 1:24.1. Meanwhile, Venturesome Arden N was advancing first-over at the latter marker after tipping first-up from third, and he sustained his bid to take the top spot on the rim on the final bend. Once they straightened out in the lane, Venturesome Arden N poured it on and opened up en route to a two-length triumph over Whats Stanley Got A. Pleaseletmeknow (Matt Kakaley) checked in third.

A five-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding by Captaintreacherous, Venturesome Arden N is owned by trainer Ricky Bucci. He has seven victories from 30 career starts and has banked $102,465.

Venturesome Arden N paid $7.10 to win as the 5-2 second choice. The exacta kicked back $21.20 and the trifecta was worth $55.

Coaches Corner and Bartlett used some late heroics to capture the second section in 1:51.2. 

Dunkin (Tim Tetrick) put up fractions of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:23.3, but he was attacked by Backstreet Shadow (Kakaley) out of the pocket on the final turn, while Coaches Corner gapped Backstreet Shadow's cover. In the stretch, Backstreet Shadow forged his way by Dunkin and looked like he was on his way to victory, but Coaches Corner had other ideas, as he hit top gear late and chased down Backstreet Shadow to score by half a length. Dunkin had to settle for third.

Per Engblom trains Coaches Corner, a four-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin, for owners Jeff Fought Racing and Brian Carsey. Coaches Corner, who had finished second in all four legs of the series coming into the final prelim, made his 22nd appearance in the winner's circle and has now pocketed $284,819.

Coaches Corner returned $9 to win as the 7-2 third choice. He keyed a $17.40 exacta and a $68.50 trifecta.

Unofficially, the eight finalists that have qualified for the $457,000 USD MGM Borgata Pacing Series final are:

  • Desperate Man (300 points)
  • Linedrive Hanover (275 points)
  • Coaches Corner (268.5 points)
  • Dunkin (254 points)
  • Rocknroll Runa A (247 points)
  • Whats Stanley Got A (225 points)
  • Covered Bridge (225 points)
  • Hellabalou (203 points)

With all the prelims now complete, the stage is set for next Monday's (April 22) program at Yonkers that will include the MGM Borgata Pacing Series final and $276,200 USD Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, plus their consolation events. The post position draw for all those races will take place on Tuesday, April 16.

As a reminder, the finalists for the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final are: Lit De Rose (312 points), Dougs Babe A (249 points), Coachellabound N (238 points), Delitfulcatherin N (230 points), Incaseyoudidntknow (220 points), Mikala (212 points), Karma Seelster (204 points) and Tonys Mom (175 points).

Those competing are advised that all horses in the MGM Borgata final and its consolation and the Blue Chip Matchmaker final have to report for retention by 12 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, April 22. There will be no exceptions. Any horse which shows up late will be scratched. All horses that make the final of either race must race in that race.

Yonkers' Empire Terrace Dining Room will be open for ala carte dining on April 22. Dining service is available from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. (EDT), and the bar is open from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. (EDT). Call 914-457-2627 for reservations or details.

Stakes action at Yonkers resumes on Wednesday night, April 17 with five $25,000 USD divisions of the second leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series. Post time is 7 p.m. (EDT).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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