Band Of Angels Still Undefeated

Band Of Angels.jpg

Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted the $194,800 New York Sire Stakes Frank Becerra Pace for two-year-old fillies. A total of 11 lasses entered a pair of divisions.

The first ($96,400) grouping proved—again—why you race ‘em, as 1-20 “death and taxes” lass Sassa Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was snapped on the money by 17-1 outsider Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr., $36.60).

The former, looped out of the gate by My Little Delight (Mark MacDonald), eventually made the lead after a 28-second opening quarter-mile. From there, a :57.1 intermission before One Hot Majorette (Brian Sears) took out of third. She tried to engage Sassa Hanover by the 1:26.1 three-quarters, but the fave gradually turned away her advances.

Meanwhile, an unhurried Mosquito Blue Chip, last among the quintet from post position four, worked out a second-over trip. She angled wide and was just fast enough, sticking her tongue out at the (1:55) wire for a maiden-breaker. Sassa Hanover held second, with My Little Delight third—beaten just a head.

For third choice Mosquito Blue Chip, a daughter of Bettors Delight co-owned by (trainer) Paul Jessop, Our Three Sons Stable and Danny Falcicchio, it was that first win in six seasonal starts.

“She was all guts,” Morrill said.

As for Sassa Hanover, who tasted defeat for the first time after a 4-for-4 start, “She was no good tonight,” Gingras said. “Just didn’t feel the same. Maybe they can look at her blood, but it was definitely something.”

Gingras and odds-on Band Of Angels ($2.30) were more than good enough in the second ($98,300) sire stakes event.

Put in play early from post four, she gave nothing else a chance (:28.2, :57.4; 1:26.2; 1:55.2). With weak, first-up pressure from Hipnumberone (George Brennan) out of the way, Band Of Angels opened three lengths in and out of the final turn. The final margin was 2-1/2 lengths over uncoupled stablemate Bettor N Better (Jason Bartlett), who rallied from last at the half. Bossers Joy (Sears) was third.

“There wasn’t much to it,” Gingras said. “She’s impressed me every start.”

For Band Of Angels, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven owned by W J Donovan and trained by Ron Burke, she’s now 5-for-5 to begin her career.

New York Sire Stakes continue Monday night, with the $219,700 Bruce Hamilton Pace for three-year-old fillies.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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