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Alexa Skye Dazzles In Matchmaker

Published: March 12, 2021 9:57 pm ET

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Alexa Skye and driver Todd McCarthy served notice in the second of three $35,000 divisions of opening round action in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway with a blistering 1:51.2 victory.

McCarthy took the 4-5 public choice to the lead shortly after the start, putting second choice Seaswift Joy N, driven by his brother Andy, in the pocket. Alexa Skye dictated the pace, cutting the first two fractions in identical :28-second quarters and keeping the abbreviated field of five at bay in the process.

Alexa Skye picked up the pace noticeably past the half and smoked her third quarter in :27.2, gaining ample separation on the field before marching home impressively with a :28-second final kicker.

A four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, Alexa Skye won for the first time since being purchased by trainer Jeff Cullipher, along with Pollack Racing LL., in February. Alexa Skye, who picked up her 13th victory overall and has now earned $174,890, returned $3.70 to win, with the Exacta with runner-up Seaswift Joy N coming back at $7.00. Monica Gallagher held on to the show spot and finished off a $19.40 Trifecta.

Andy McCarthy was able to post a mild upset in the first split with Machnhope, going first-over the final three eighths to collar race favourite My Ruebe Star N in the homestretch and win comfortably by 2-1/4 lengths. Jordan Stratton put the field in post position order at the outset with My Ruebe Star N and posted very modest fractions of :28.3 and :57.4 for the opening half.

The pace picked up considerably when McCarthy pulled on the right line off turn three and went on the attack, coming to even terms with the favourite at the 1:25.3 three-quarters. The two continued to battle through the final turn, but Machnhope, trained by Noel Daley, surged past into the stretch and closed out her 1:53.3 victory with a :28-second final panel. Caviart Cherie squeezed out on the final turn to earn the place spot, with Bettors Heart N making a solid three-wide charge from a difficult spot to salvage the show dough.

Machnhope is owned by Deo Volente Farms LLC, Tom Pontone, LA Express Stable LLC and trainer Daley. The six-year-old daughter of Mach Three paid $4.80 to win, the Exacta returned $52.00, and the Trifecta kicked back $193.00. Machnhope is now a 28-time winner from an even 100 appearances, and she has pocketed $374,544.

Blue Ivy and driver Tyler Buter cashed in on a second-over trip in the third flight as a 6-1 outsider in the field of six mares. Blue Ivy was away patiently in the early stages as Siesta Beach claimed control on the first turn but relinquished command to the 4-5 favourite Soho Burning Love A prior to the :28-second opening quarter. Tim Tetrick had Soho Burning Love A under good rating and waltzed to the half in :56.4 before meeting some pressure on the backstretch when Lady Dela Renta A and Stratton came calling.

Tetrick and Soho Burning Love A disposed of the first-over challenger past the 1:25 three-quarters but proved powerless in the late going as Buter pulled Blue Ivy three-wide and flashed a wicked burst of speed to win going away in a 1:53.3 clocking. Soho Burning Love A held on to the place spot, with Siesta Beach following in third.

A five-year-old by Captaintreacherous that had mastered the Northfield half-mile track this winter, Blue Ivy won for the fourth time in six starts in 2021 for owner Renee Bercury. Todd Buter trains Blue Ivy, who now has 23 career triumphs and has put away $319,790. The bettors received a healthy $15.20 on the win end, with the Exacta worth $37.80 and the Trifecta good for an $86.00 return.

The second leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker is slated for Friday, March 19. Preliminary round action continues in the series through April 9, and the final is slated to take place on Monday, April 19.

Stakes action continues on Monday night at Yonkers with five $40,000 divisions of the opening leg of the MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m.

(Yonkers)


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