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Hesa Kingslayer Unstoppable At Yonkers

Published: March 29, 2021 10:35 pm ET

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Hesa Kingslayer N improved to three-for-three, Rockapelo repeated impressively, and Western Joe picked up his initial triumph in the event in Monday night's trio of $40,000 divisions of the third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series for free-for-allers at Yonkers Raceway.

Driven by Jim Marohn, Jr. in the opening section, Hesa Kingslayer N was able to get into the pocket from post four and had a great view of a battle for the lead between Pat Stanley N (Jordan Stratton) and a parked-out None Bettor A (Todd McCarthy).

Pat Stanley N gave None Bettor A the cold shoulder through fractions of :27, :56.4, and 1:25, and when None Bettor A began to back up on the final turn, that gave Marohn, Jr. and Hesa Kingslayer N the escape route to the outside they needed. Once he had clear sailing, Hesa Kingslayer N pounced on Pat Stanley N, going by him in upper stretch on his way to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:53. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) was also on the outside throughout in the second-over position and checked in as the runner-up after going three-high on the final bend, and Pat Stanley N held third.

Trainer Mike Deters also co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an eight-year-old gelding by Christian Cullen, with partner Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N is now a 20-time winner in his career, and he has now earned $189,962. The 2-5 favourite, Hesa Kingslayer N paid $2.80 to win.

In the next split, Rockapelo (George Brennan) motored directly to the lead from post three and fronted his rivals through opening-half stations of :27 and :55.2. Mach N Cheese (Joe Bongiorno) watched the early proceedings from the three-hole, then came with a quick burst off the third turn that nearly put him on even-terms with Rockapelo as three-quarters went on the board in 1:23.2. Rockapelo was able to fend off Mach N Cheees bid, though, and when Rockapelo kicked it into another gear entering the lane, Mach N Cheese couldn't match strides with the pacesetter, who went on to an impressive 2-1/4 length victory in 1:51.2. Mach N Cheese did end up second over San Domino A (Todd McCarthy).

The victorious six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Phil Collura. Rockapelo now has a record of 21-19-11 from 83 appearances, and he has banked $491,106. Rockapelo, the 2-1 favourite, returned $6.60 to win.

Monday night's final flight saw leg one winner Lyons Steel (Austin Siegelman) charge out to early command from post two, but round two victor Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) was out and on the move from third, and Backstreet Shadow landed on the point after the quick :26.3 opening quarter. Backstreet Shadow would go on to the half in :55.3, with Ostro Hanover (Tyler Buter) coming first-up from fourth prior to that marker and Western Joe (Dexter Dunn) grabbing the cover to sit second-over.

Ostro Hanover advanced on the rim into second before the 1:23.2 three-quarters, but that was as far as he could get as Backstreet Shadow rebuffed any further headway. Meanwhile, Western Joe had gapped on the third turn and into the backstretch, but after being high-lined along by Dunn, he caught back up to Ostro Hanover entering the far turn before going three-wide. Backstreet Shadow still looked good as he turned into the lane first, but Western Joe had a full head of steam on the far outside, and he powered by Backstreet Shadow on his way to a two length score in 1:51.4. Backstreet Shadow came in second, a nose better than Lyons Steel.

Western Joe is a seven-year-old Western Ideal gelding trained by Chris Choate for co-owner/breeder Anthony Ruggeri and co-owner Richard Tosies. Western Joe picked up lifetime win 32 from 104 trips behind the gate, and he has now put away $761,858. Western Joe, sent off as the 2-1 second choice, paid $6.40 to win.

The MGM Borgata Pacing Series has two preliminary rounds remaining on Monday, April 5 and Monday, April 12. The final is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 19.

Stakes action continues at Yonkers Raceway later this week. On Wednesday (March 31), there are four $20,000 divisions of the first leg of the John Brennan Trotting Series, with early season stars Some Chapter (race four, Dexter Dunn/Anette Lorentzon) and Get Legs (race seven, Andy Miller/Julie Miller) among the entrants.

Then, on Friday (April 2), two $35,000 splits of the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares will take place. Leg one winner Blue Ivy (post five, Tyler Buter/Todd Buter) heads the first section (race two), and then in the second flight (race three), Machnhope (post four, Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley), a two-time victor in the event, returns from a one-week break to battle with Snobbytown (post three, George Brennan/Ron Burke), who scored in Matchmaker action a week ago.


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