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Cocoa Beach Tops Yonkers' Open Mares

Published: February 28, 2014 10:37 pm ET

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Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $33,000 Open Handicaps -- a Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all who passed initiation -- were won by a down-the-road Cocoa Beach (Matt Kakaley, $4.90) and a pocket-sitting Tober (Jason Bartlett, $6.70).

From the pole, the 7-5 choice Cocoa Beach gave nothing else a chance.

Season-debuting Swinging Beauty (George Brennan) left into a two-hole well before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.3 intermission, no one moved until eight-hole assignee Economy Terror (Ron Pierce) did so from last. She never came closer to the leader, while Swinging Beauty gapped the pocket at the 1:24.3 three-quarters.

Cocoa Beach widened to five and a half lengths into the lane, then won by a wrapped-up three and a quarter lengths in 1:53.1. Second went to a sharp-late Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube), with Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance), Carols Desire (Jason Bartlett) and Economy Terror rounding out the payees.

For Cocoa Beach, a six-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned and trained by Brittany Robertson of Sudbury, Ont., the win was her first in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $62.50, with the triple returning $654.

The week’s marquee trot saw a an invading Traverse Seelster (Pierce) -- winner of three consecutive races at Dover -- leave around Tober, starting from post No. 4. The latter was bumping up the ladder going after a fourth local victory in succession.

It was 'Traverse' putting up the early intervals of :28.1 and :57.3 before Tall Cotton (Brennan) -- assigned outside what was reduced a seven-horse field -- made his second move. Traverse Seelster put that one away before a 1:26.3 three-quarters, taking a length and a half lead into the lane.

However, he found closing the sale a bit tougher in Yonkers as Tober edged from the pocket. That one prevailed by a neck in 1:55.3. An off-the-gate Super Manning (Kakaley) rallied to grab second from second-over, with Traverse Seelster, Tall Cotton and Live Jazz (Mark MacDonald) settling for the remainder.

For second choice Tober, a six-year-old statebred/homebred Credit Winner gelding co-owned by Kristie Leigh Farm and Joseph Betro and trained by Ed Hart, the win was his fourth in six '14 tries The exacta paid $46.20, the triple returned $158.50 and the superfecta paid $437.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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