Wednesday night's (March 10) card at Yonkers Raceway featured three $15,000 divisions of the second round of the M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series for colts and geldings. Dragon Said and Scootnroll both repeated their victories from the first leg, while Diamondbeach took the night's fastest flight.
Dragon Said was the 1-5 favourite in the opening group and didn't disappoint, winning in 1:54.3. Away second from post 2, driver Joe Bongiorno brought Dragon Said to the outside coming off the first turn, and went around early pacesetter Cigar Smoking Tony to the top spot after the :28.1 quarter. Dragon Said continued to show the way to the half in :57.4 and the three-quarters in 1:26.3, but Rolling With Sam put some first-over pressure on him at that latter marker.
Rolling With Sam stayed game on the rim around the last turn and continued to menace Dragon Said turning for home, but Dragon Said kicked into another gear in the stretch and went on to win by a length and a half. Rolling With Sam held second, followed by Cigar Smoking Tony.
Trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Robert Devine, Dragon Said is a four-year-old Well Said gelding. This was his sixth win, and he has now earned $46,232. Dragon Said paid $2.60 to win and headed a $9.40 exacta and a $19.40 trifecta.
The outside post was no issue for Diamondbeach in the second split as he went right down the road to tally in a life's-best clocking of 1:52.3. Driver Austin Siegelman sent Diamondbeach from post 7 to get in front of Odds On Brexit well before the :28.1 opening quarter. Diamondbeach marched to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:24.3, then slammed the door with a :28 final kicker, downing Odds On Brexit by four-and-a-quarter lengths. Trevors Ace collected third.
Ricky Bucci owns and trains Diamondbeach, a four-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere. Diamondbeach is now a five-time winner from 18 appearances, and he has banked $44,116. Diamondbeach, a 3-1 shot, returned $8.30 to win and topped a $49.00 exacta and a $132.00 trifecta.
In the final section, Sailboat Hanover and Salt Life tussled early on, with Sailboat Hanover getting to the front in a :26.4 opening quarter. He was able to back down the pace to :56 at the half, but 4-5 favourite Retour Au Jeu was out and on the move from fourth prior to that marker, giving Got The Mojo a second-over trip and Scootnroll the third-over ride.
Retour Au Jeu, who was a round one winner, forged his way around Sailboat Hanover just after the 1:24.2 three-quarters. Despite losing his cover, Got The Mojo continued and battled with Retour Au Jeu on the final turn, with Scootnroll going three-wide off the bend. Retour Au Jeu dug in determinedly and managed to hold off Got The Mojo, but he couldn't do the same with Scootnroll as he powered by late to win by a neck in 1:53.4. Retour Au Jeu had to settle for second, and Got The Mojo ended up third.
A four-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe, Scootnroll is trained by Todd Buter for owners Rick and Geoff Howles. Scootnroll posted his 12th victory from 22 trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $71,764. Tyler Buter drove the $16.40 winner. The exacta returned $40.00, and the trifecta was good for $282.50.
The M Life Rewards Gents Pacing Series has one additional preliminary round next Wednesday (March 17), and the final will go on March 24.
Stakes action resumes at Yonkers Raceway on Friday (March 12) when the track rolls out the red carpet for 18 pacing mares in three $35,000 opening-preliminary divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Post time for the 10-race program is 7:15 p.m. (EST).