With series starlets Shartin N, Twinkle and defending champ Mackenzie A getting the week off, Yonkers Raceway presented the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday night (April 6).
Three, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares, all of whom were thrilled the three queens abdicated this time around. Thus, some previous understudies stepped to the fore.
First Division: A compact quintet (after a defection) saw a last-to-first late lunge by Scandalicious (Tim Tetrick, $16.80) in 1:53.4.
From post position No. 4 (in one notch), Scandalicious was content to watch Eclipse Me N (Dan Dube) throw it down (:26.4, :56). Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) left into the pocket, while 9-10 favourite Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett) was away fourth.
That one was out toward the 1:24.3 three-quarters, needing some first-up reminders. Eclipse Me N maintained a length and a half lead into the lane, but her rivals were about to conduct an intervention.
Scandalicious, who didn’t leave the cones until past the three-quarters, paced over her four foes, snapping Miss Irish Rose A by a nose. Lady Shadow, though never a threat to win, did continue to grab third, beaten a length and a quarter. Eclipse Me N faded to fourth.
For third choice Scandalicious, a seven-year-old daughter of American Ideal owned by JFE Enterprises and trained by Scott DiDomenico, the win was her first in 11 seasonal starts (one-for-four in series). The exacta paid $87.50, with triple wagering cancelled due to the short field.
Second Division: Medusa (Yannick Gingras, $12.40) was hard-used to make the lead, then just lasted (:27, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:54) over a surging Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald).
From post No. 5, Medusa found herself shut out of an early seat by polester Dewar N Soda (Tetrick). She then drove past 11-10 fave Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron), stealing a self-serving soft second quarter.
Call Me Queen Be pulled pocket before the three-quarters, but was repelled.
Medusa had a length and a half advantage in and out of the final turn, and she’d need it. Clear Idea closed quickly from second-over, missing by a head. Call Me Queen Be did save the bottom of the ticket.
For third choice Medusa, a seven-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight co-owned by Keystoners Randy Bendis & Tom Pollack and trained by Ed Hart, the win was her first in six ’18 tries (one-for-four in series). The exacta paid $53, with the triple returning $132.50.
Third Division: Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan, $5.60) doubled her series pleasure, going the distance (:27.2, :57, 1:25.3, 1:54.1).
From post No. 2, Lakeisha Hall went up and over pole-sitting Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland). Safe From Terror (Jordan Stratton), as the 8-5 choice, tried to leave, but was forced to slip in fourth.
Safe From Terror moved again down the backside, only pacing in place before tiring. Meanwhile, Lakeisha Hall opened to a length and a half entering the lane. Motu Moonbeam N edged from the pocket, but never came close to reaching. The margin was a length in a tick faster than the winner’s effort a week ago, with Dudesalady (Tetrick) third.
For second choice Lakeisha Hall, a five-year-old daughter of Three Straight co-owned by trainer Ron Burke (as Burke Racing), Weaver Bruscemi and Jack Piatt II, she’s two-for-four this season (and series). The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $65.
Saturday night offers a trio of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.
(With files from Yonkers Raceway)