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Keepers Destiny Thriving At Yonkers

Published: March 9, 2012 11:03 pm ET

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Canadian invader Keepers Destiny, driven by Eric Goodell, ordered behind a Friday night eight-ball, was sharp in winning Yonkers Raceway's co-featured $33,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.

The 3-2 choice dropped in fourth as Arctic Fire N (James Rattray) led through early fractions of :28.3 and :58.3. "Keeper" was then out and moving, engaging the leader in and out of the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Arctic Fire N was about to end her evening early in the lane, with Keepers Destiny taking over.

That one edged away in slow final stanza, defeating a pocket-sitting Kaylas Dream (Mark MacDonald) by a length and a half in 1:55. Fox Valley Sage (Cat Manzi), Ramona Disomma (Jordan Stratton) and Naughytiltheend (Brent Holland) earned the minor spoils.

Keepers Destiny, a six-year-old daughter of Intrepid Seelster co-owned by trainer Casie Coleman and Merlin Howse (also the co-breeders), returned $5.10 for her third win in six seasonal starts. Keepers Destiny finished second by a nose in her Yonkers debut in mid-February and has now won two in a row. The exacta paid $35.80, with the triple returning $166.50.

Friday night's co-featured $33,000 Open Handicap Trot saw Fox Valley Iliad (Larry Stalbaum) throw down the gauntlet with a life-best effort and the fastest local trotting mile of the season.

Assigned post position No. 5, it was far from an odyssey for "Iliad." He rolled past intervals of :27.1 and :57, all the while parking out last week's winner, H And Ms Hit (Stratton). Son Of Nordic (Eric Goodell) went behind, then around, that one, as Fox Valley Iliad found three-quarters in 1:27.

Never threatened, he defeated a loose pocket-sitting Flex The Muscle (Jeff Gregory) by two and a quarter lengths in 1:56. Son Of Nordic, Stand Guard (MacDonald) and Schalom G (Cat Manzi) rounded out the payees.

Fox Valley Iliad, a four-year-old son of Vaporize co-owned (with Mike Sorentino Jr.) and trained by Stalbaum, returned $4.40 for his first win in six '12 tries. The exacta paid $36.60, the triple returned $147.50 and the superfecta paid $1,190.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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