Park Avenue (Tyler Buter), making her first local distaff derby start, went first-up and over Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $38,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace
Leaving from post position No. 4. she sat early as Im Betting On You (Dan Dube) stepped around Slomotion (Jason Bartlett) after a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Coming toward the :57.2 intermission, Park Avenue slid out of fourth, waiting for Hannah Isabel (Cat Manzi) to move.
However, the 7-10 favourite did not bite, forcing Park Avenue to go on with it. She went past I'm Betting on You right at the 1:25.3 three-quarters, taking a short lead into the lane. Park Place the edged away, whipping Slomotion by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54.3.
Breakheart Pass (Jim Pantaleano), Queen of Heaven N (Jim Marshall III) and Hannah Isabel completed the cashers.
For Park Avenue, a five-year-old daughter of Keystone Raider, co-owned by her driver, Lynette Buter and Eugene Oldford and trained by Amber Buter, she returned $32.40 (fifth choice) for her ninth victory (third consecutive) in 32 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $163.50, the triple returned $2,702 and the superfecta paid $8,880.
Friday night's co-featured $38,000 Open 'Cap Trot saw 4-5 choice T Js Mr Lavec (Bartlett)--having won the last two marquee trots--complete the hat trick.
Leaving from post No. 3 and minding his manners while Neighsay Hanover (Ray Schnittker) jumped it off, T Js Mr Lavec waltzed through early intervals of :29 and :58.4. Sand Top Gun (Brent Holland) tried to attack down the backside at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but never came close.
T Js Mr Lavec widened to a length-and-a-half turning for home. Benns Sure Thing (Buter) chased from the pocket, but missed a half-length in 1:56.1. HurrikaneBiggeorge (Dube), Sand Top Gun and CC Mister C (Jeff Gregory) grabbed the small change.
For T Js Mr Lavec, a six-year-old Mr Lavec gelding trained by Scott Blackler for co-owners Beverly and Gary Paganelli, Leon Schickman and Allen Kaplan, he returned $3.60 for his sixth win in 18 '10 tries. The exacta paid $28.60, with the triple returning $70.
Saturday night's stakes-packed program includes the $437,100 Messenger--third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown--along with its companion event, the $326,680 Lady Maud Pace.
Harness Horse of the Year favourite Rock N Roll Heaven leads a quintet in the 55th Messenger Stakes (eighth race, approximate post 9:40 p.m.), while the Maud goes as the sixth race on the 13-race program.
There is also a cap giveaway at Yonkers, while supplies last.