Lit De Rose Doubles Up In Matchmaker Series

Lit De Rose winning at Yonkers Raceway
Published: March 29, 2024 11:33 pm EDT

Quebec-owned pacing mare Lit De Rose and driver Pat Lachance won for the second time in three Blue Chip Matchmaker Series legs on Friday night, March 29, kicking home strongly as the 3-5 choice to capture one of three $54,054 divisions at MGM Yonkers Raceway.

Off quickly from post five, Lit De Rose settled for the pocket quickly as second choice Tonys Mom and driver Yannick Gingras took advantage of the rail draw and demanded to cut the pace. Tonys Mom's first turn speed was quickly reined in by Gingras, who got the mare to the quarter in :28.3 and half in :58.2, and appeared well in control and bound for an upset halfway through the mile.

The complexion changed radically in the third quarter when Creme Delight and George Brennan went on the offensive leaving the third turn. Creme Delight moved to even terms with the leader and that gave Lachance the chance to make a split-second decision and seek cover, with Sale El Sol and Jason Bartlett unable to keep up with the first-over challenger.

With three-quarters in 1:26.3, the field began to bunch up on the final bend, but Lit De Rose knew exactly what to do in the stretch and overpowered the field to win in 1:55.4 by 1-1/4 lengths. Creme Delight held on gamely for the place spot with AVF Claire sneaking between horses for third ahead of pacesetter Tonys Mom.

Owned and bred by Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, Que., Lit De Rose is a nine-year-old mare by Leader Bayama that has now won three times in five starts this year and 49 races lifetime to push her earnings over the $1.1 million mark.

As the 3-5 choice, Lit De Rose returned $3.50 to win, keying the $37.20 exacta and $259.50 triple. The 10-cent superfecta returned $31.85.

Delitfulcatherin N won for the first time in the series after a pair of second-place finishes, going wire-to-wire for Jordan Stratton, also in 1:55.4.

Delitfulcatherin N, sent off at 7-2, discouraged leavers, with only Incaseyoudidntknow taking a brief surge at the start but electing to tuck in third for Andy McCarthy, while 6-5 favourite Mikala and Brennan elected to race from the back after starting from post six.

Stratton flaunted his pacesetting, hitting the opening quarter in :28.1 and half in :58.4 without a challenge. Incaseyoudidntknow moved to the outside off the third turn but didn't advance quickly at all, giving Stratton and Delitfulcatherin N another breather as that pair coasted to three-quarters in 1:28 flat and then put on the accelerator.

Delitfulcatherin N kicked away by a couple lengths as others struggled through a :27.4 final quarter. Incaseyoudidntknow was once again brave in defeat, holding on to the place spot 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner, with Racine Bell third for Bartlett and Treacherous Penny fourth for Scott Zeron as the favoured Mikala stayed on the pylons as a non-threat to the wire.

Trained by Jeff Gillis for owner Mark Ford of Campbell Hall, New York, Delitfulcatherin N won for the sixth time in 10 starts this year and now has 32 career victories to her credit with a bankroll surging to $681,960.

The eight-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight returned $9 to win. She was atop a $30.80 exacta, $137.50 triple and 10-cent superfecta for $26.15.

In the first and fastest division of the third leg, Dougs Babe A rallied from off-the-pace to collar the leaders and score for driver Dexter Dunn in 1:53.1 for her first win in 2024.

The seven-year-old Western Terror mare started from the outside post five in the field and went to the back at the outset as Coachellabound N and Gingras assumed rapid control once the gate opened, advancing to the front on the first turn. Second choice Jive Dancing A and Matt Kakaley didn't wait very long and regained control before the :27.4 opening quarter.

It was Jive Dancing A on the engine from there, leading the four rivals around the track to the half in :56.4. With the pace accelerating past that point, that kept the field aligned until slightly before three-quarters when Karma Seelster and Stratton pulled from the three-hole and put intense pressure on the pacesetter. Dunn seized the opportunity to draft behind the cover into the final bend as three-quarters was clocked in 1:24.3 and the field separated by just three lengths.

Jive Dancing A couldn't handle the onslaught and Karma Seelster gained the top in the stretch, but her lead was short-lived as Dougs Babe A rallied sharply for the half-length decision. Early leader Coachellabound N and Gingras found a slim opening in mid-stretch and rallied for the place, with Karma Seelster settling for third.

Dougs Babe A  is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for owners Tom Vassiliou of Hawley, Pennsylvania, Nicholas Tallarico of Smithtown, New York and Enzed Racing Stable Inc. of Allentown, New Jersey. The victory was number 20 in 80 career starts for the $387,066-winning import that has now finished first, second and third in her three starts in the series.

She returned $4.30 as the slight favourite and triggered a $21.20 exacta and $56 triple.

The Blue Chip Matchmaker prelims continue through Friday, April 12 before the $125,000 USD added final takes place on Monday, April 22.

Yonkers Raceway's stakes action continues on Monday, April 1 with the third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series. Three $50,000 USD divisions will be featured on the program. The 2024 edition of the John Brennan Trotting Series joins the stakes slate as well next week, with four $25,000 USD tilts to get that event underway on Wednesday, April 3.

Live harness racing takes place at Yonkers on a Monday-Friday schedule with post time each night at 7 p.m. (EDT).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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