Favourites Clean Up Borgata Third Round

Desperate Man
Published: April 1, 2024 11:22 pm EDT

Desperate Man improved to three-for-three while Linedrive Hanover and Dunkin both collected their second victories in the prelims in a trio of $67,568 divisions of the third leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series on Monday night (April 1) at MGM Yonkers Raceway.

Racing in the night's final Borgata battle, Desperate Man and driver Matt Kakaley got away in the sixth position from post three, but rather than take a tuck on the opening turn, Kakaley elected to drive on two-wide. Whats Stanley Got A (George Brennan), who pulled a 7-1 upset in one of last week's Borgata races, cut the quarter in :27, but Desperate Man was moving quickly on the rim and forged his way to the front-end on the second bend.

From there, Desperate Man got to the half in :55.4 and the three-quarters in 1:23.3, with Covered Bridge (Jordan Stratton) making some headway first-over while tracked by Rocknroll Runa A (Mark MacDonald), who was two-for-two in the Borgata Series coming into tonight's action. Desperate Man wasn't about to lose his own unblemished status, though, as he had a :28 last quarter in the tank and kept clear to prevail by a length and three-quarters in 1:51.3. Whats Stanley Got A held second over Rocknroll Runa A.

Trained by Travis Alexander for owner Kathy Cecchin of Arthur, Ont., 2021 Horse of the Year Desperate Man, who was bred by Winbak Farm, is a six-year-old gelded son of Shadow Play. He made his 19th trip to the winner's circle and has now banked $1,348,353.

Desperate Man paid $2.20 to win as the 1-9 favourite. The exacta was worth $10.60 and the trifecta returned $102.50.

Linedrive Hanover, driven by Scott Zeron, posted a 1:50.4 tally in the opening flight -- fastest of the three. Zeron slid down into third with Linedrive Hanover after leaving from post six, then wheeled him to the outside prior to the :27.1 opening quarter. He wrestled command away from early pacesetter Sumomentsomwhere A (Yannick Gingras) on the second turn, then went on to the half in :55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:23.2 before he paced a :27.2 final kicker to win by a length and three-quarters. Coaches Corner (Jason Bartlett) and Sumomentsomwhere A finished in a dead-heat for the runner-up spot.

Linda Toscano sent out Linedrive Hanover, a six-year-old Betting Line gelding, for Canadian owners West Wins Stable, McKinlay & Fielding and Mac Nichol. Linedrive Hanover is now a 16-time winner from 38 lifetime starts and has now stashed away $675,195.

The 3-5 favourite, Linedrive Hanover returned $2.60 and keyed exactas of $4.10 (Sumomentsomwhere A second) and $3.30 (Coaches Corner second) and trifectas of ($9.60 Sumomentsomwhere A second) and $7.10 (Coaches Corner second).

In the final section, defending MGM Borgata Pacing Series champion Hellabalou (Gingras) led early on, but driver Tim Tetrick swung Dunkin out of the two-hole en route to the :27.1 quarter and cleared Hellabalou after that station. Dunkin maintained the top spot through middle-half fractions of :55.4 and 1:24, but Hellabalou angled off the cones late on the final bend to take a run at him through the stretch. Hellabalou did gain to the wire, but Dunkin responded when asked by Tetrick and held sway to score by a nose in 1:51.4. Backstreet Shadow (Kakaley) rallied from last to third in the final quarter.

A four-year-old Pet Rock gelding, Dunkin is trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner Betty Clegg of Northfield, Ohio. With his 31st career victory, he has now pocketed $349,347.

Dunkin paid $4 to win as the even-money favourite. The exacta was worth $42.60 and the trifecta kicked back $154.

Preliminary round action in the MGM Borgata Pacing Series continues through Monday, April 15, with the $200,000 USD added final slated to take place on Monday, April 22. This year's MGM Borgata Pacing Series final will also have a "win and you're in" feature for the $125,000 USD Birthday Invitational Pace in May to celebrate 125 years of MGM Yonkers Raceway, the Battle of Lake Erie at MGM Northfield on June 8 and the Aria Invitational at Yonkers scheduled for Sept. 7.

On Tuesday, April 2, the draw for the fourth leg of the MGM Borgata Pacing Series will take place. The entry box closes at 3 p.m. (EDT).

The John Brennan Trotting Series will be added to the current mix of ongoing stakes races at MGM Yonkers Raceway on Wednesday, April 3 with four $25,000 USD tilts to get that event underway. The John Brennan Trotting Series, which has three prelims prior to the $55,000 USD added final on April 24, is named in honour of the longtime SOA of NY horsemen's representative who passed away from complications of COVID-19 in March 2020. The series is for three-year-olds and older who were non-winners of six pari-mutuel races or $200,000 USD through Feb. 1, 2024, with winners over $250,000 USD as of that date not eligible.

Friday night's (April 5) program at MGM Yonkers Raceway will be headlined by two $40,000 USD splits of the fourth leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing mares. Mikala (post two), Dougs Babe A (post three) and Incaseyoudidntknow (post five) all look for their second prelim win in the first division (race four), while Lit De Rose (post one) goes for her third in the other section (race nine). She'll take on the likes of Delitfulcatherin N (post six), one of last Friday's victors.

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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