A sluggish-early Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton $5.70) was in hand late Friday night (November 3), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
Away slowly from post position No. 4, the Matchmaker champ saw Call Me Queen Be (Mark MacDonald) make the lead around Betabcool N (Eric Goodell) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile.
The latter then took over from the former, getting a :56.4 intermission and 1:25.3 three-quarters as Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) tried it first-up from fifth. That move gave ‘Mackenzie’ a tow, though she was gapping it for much of the backside.
Betabcool N maintained a short lead into the lane, but she was about done. Mackenzie A finally received the memo, edging past to win in 1:54.3. Mach It A Par (Jason Bartlett) raced behind the eventual winner from third-up, chasing her home to miss by three-quarters of a length. Shesjustadelight N, Call Me Queen Be and Lispatty (George Brennan) settled for the remainder.
For Mackenzie A, a five-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by Harry Von Knoblauch Stables & Ellen Kinser and trained by Peter Tritton, the win was her third in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $55.
Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford and Peter “Enough Talk” Kleinhans each won their respective splits in the NAADA Trots on Friday at Yonkers Raceway. Oldford scored a come-from-behind triumph with Starsaboverallerage in 2:00.1 while Kleinhans won with Toss Cartwright in an exciting three-horse photo in a time of 2:00.4. Both races were non-wagering affairs and went to post prior to the first race on the betting card.
In his division, Oldford heeded trainer Allen Sisco’s instructions and kept Starsaboverallerage covered as long as possible.
“Going to the three quarters I was tight on Alan Schwartz’s helmet and followed him and (his trotter) Linda Marie around the final turn and when I popped the (ear) plugs on Starsaboverallerage he exploded,” Oldford explained. “My horse moved forward so quickly that I had to butt shuffle my sulky to clear room and when we had an open road he trotted around Monica Banca (with Brandos Muscle Man) and we went on to an easy length victory.”
Third place went to Wygant Prince, driven by Paul Minore.
It was Oldford’s first drive in the NAADA events this year although he has been a steady competitor in the Billings Series this year which, by the way, will be on display tomorrow night at Yonkers.
And after winning that organization’s Travel Series Final earlier this season, Oldford has already qualified for the $25,000 Billings Series Gold Cup Final, which will also be at Yonkers in late November.
For Oldford,a former National Amateur Driver of the Year, the victory was his 13th this season and the 129th of his amateur driving career.
To determine a winner in the second NAADA division wasn’t near as easy as it was in the first split when three trotters, and their determined drivers, made an all-out charge to the finish line just heads apart. When the photo finish camera snapped, it was determined that Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright out-footed their competition to win by a head.
Second place, right there, was Fox Valley Steffen and driver “Lady Jennifer” Lappe while the show dough was garnered by the pace-setter Tough Get Going, driven by “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo.
When the gate sprung, Faraldo and Tough Get Going took command and after steady early fractions Tough Get Going was still on the lead as the field rounded the final turn and headed for pay-dirt. They were overtaken momentarily by Fox Valley Steffen, but in the deep stretch Kleinhans and his charge trotted to the front and they were the first to the wire.
It was the fourth seasonal triumph for Kleinhans and the 55th of his career.
(With files from Yonkers Raceway & NAADA)