Lit De Rose Leads Matchmaker Mares After Final Prelim

Lit De Rose winning at Yonkers Raceway
Published: April 12, 2024 11:14 pm EDT

Quebec-owned Lit De Rose stamped herself as the one to beat in the 2024 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series as she earned her third win of the preliminary legs on Friday, April 12 at MGM Yonkers Raceway. The nine-year-old millionaire daughter of Leader Bayama won her $54,054 division in 1:53.2 for trainer/driver Patrick Lachance.

Racine Bell pulled off a mild upset of Lit De Rose in round four last week and driver Jason Bartlett appeared intent on a repeat performance as he blasted from post seven to the lead at the outset. Delitfulcatherin N and Jordan Stratton managed to squeeze into a tuck behind the leader on the first turn, with Lachance and Lit De Rose clearing the field before making his move. Lit De Rose brushed before the :27.3 opening quarter for control and then utilized her advantage to march to fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1 for the middle half.

Dougs Babe A, with Dexter Dunn, moved on the third turn with speed to challenge uncovered, followed by Jive Dancing A in rein to Matt Kakaley and Easy To Please with Yannick Gingras in the outer flow. Lachance appeared unconcerned with the outside tier as Lit De Rose kept to business and confidently kicked home in :28.1 to secure her milestone 50th career victory. Dougs Babe A was determined and gamely nipped Racine Bell in the battle for the place spot, while Jive Dancing A was along for fourth.

Bred and owned by Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, Que., Lit De Rose likely goes into the April 22 final as the favourite to capture the Blue Chip Matchmaker title with wins in three of the five legs to top the point standings.

Lit De Rose returned $4.20 to win, leading a $7.50 exacta, $49.20 triple and $11.70 superfecta for 10 cents.

Coachellabound N and driver Yannick Gingras made the most of the pole position by getting control and not looking back to capture the first division of the fifth leg in 1:53.3. Trained by Ricky Bucci, the six-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou was a winner for the first time while competing in all the preliminary legs and assured a spot in the final with the triumph.

Gingras was quick to use Coachellabound N from the outset, putting rival Tonys Mom and Bartlett in the pocket on the opening turn. Kakaley left cagily with Karma Seelster and rushed up to control before the quarter after waiting patiently on the opening bend. The second choice in the field, Karma Seelster was eager to allow Coachellabound N, the 4-5 public choice, to regain the top into the second turn following a :27.4 opening quarter.

Coachellabound N had the lead through a :56.4 half and didn't get much resistance, pacing three-quarters in 1:25.1 while True Blue Hanover and Scott Zeron moved to the outside first-over, followed by Man Dontforget Me and Dunn. Neither from the outer tier advanced within threatening distance of the leader and that gave pocket-sitting Karma Seelster ample room to try to go by the leader. Gingras put Coachellabound N to a moderate drive and the Bucci-trained mare responded to draw clear. Karma Seelster held down the place spot, with Tony's Mom shading a fast-closing Man Dontforget Me for the third spot.

Owned by New York's Flatland Racing, Coachellabound N was coming off two close runner-up finishes in previous legs of the series. She earned her 17th career win and now has earnings close to $280,000. 

Coachellabound N returned $3.90 to win and keyed a $8.10 exacta, $20.20 triple and $5.75 superfecta for a 10-cent wager.

Unofficially, the eight finalists for the $125,000 USD added Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final are:

  • Lit De Rose (312 points)
  • Dougs Babe A (249 points)
  • Coachellabound N (238 points)
  • Delitfulcatherin N (230 points)
  • Incaseyoudidntknow (220 points)
  • Mikala (212 points)
  • Karma Seelster (204 points)
  • Tonys Mom (175 points)

Yonkers Raceway has announced the Empire Terrace Dining Room will be open for ala carte dining on April 22 for the card that includes the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series and MGM Borgata Pacing Series finals. Dining service will be available from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (EDT) and the bar will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (EDT). Call 914-457-2627 for reservations or details.

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOANY) is offering a promotion for owners of the horses in the finals and will pay for an a la carte dinner only (no alcohol) plus 20 per cent gratuity for up to four people per horse, where an owner is present and an owner is a SOANY member. An owner must RSVP with the SOANY office by noon on Friday, April 19 by calling 914-968-3599 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (EDT) or emailing [email protected] to be added to the guest list.

The final preliminary leg of the Borgata will be contested on Monday, April 15 with a trio of $50,000 USD divisions. First race post time is 7 p.m. (EDT).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway and SOANY)

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