Claiming Competitive In New Series

Published: June 29, 2013 12:18 am EDT

Yonkers Raceway Friday night debuted its Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series, an event for pacers of both genders with $20,000 base price tags on their backs.

The seven races (five for lads, two for lasses) not only offered overstuffed fields -- trailers in all but one of the groupings -- but an SRO crowd of folks with cheques genuflecting at the feet of official “claims meister” Bob (OUTP) Miecuna. The tally showed a total of 139 claims entered on 25 different horses ... including a stunning 29 on a single entrant (No Real Surprise) in the sixth race.

For the record, local owner/trainer Peter Younger won the 29-way shake, which has to count for something.

"We're very happy with the response to this series," said racing secretary Steve Starr. "We knew it would be very popular, and we anticipate even more interest in the second round."

A second-tier “10-holer” even won the final division, as 47-1 P H Supercam (Brent Holland, $97) rallied to prevail in a life-best 1:54.

The five-Friday series offers a $20,000 purse for each prelim race. A horse may be claimed only during his/her first two series starts, with a 50 percent premium added to a second-start claim (in addition to standard allowances for age and gender). The finals, worth $76,000 (boys) and $59,900 (girls), and their requisite consolations, are scheduled for July 26.

Yonkers' pair of Friday night $46,000 co-features Open Handicaps -- for trotters and distaff pacers -- were won by an odds-on Little Brown Fox (Brian Sears, $3.10) and a first-up Four Starz Roe (Jason Bartlett, $20.20).

The featured trot -- reduced to seven after eight-ball assignee Super Manning was an on-track scratch (lame) -- saw Little Brown Fox hold off the mare Mystical Starlight (Eric Goodell) in what turned out to be a two-speed number.

It was Little Brown Fox -- from what was now outside post position No. 7 -- working around Mystical Starlight before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. A rated, :58.3 middle half (:57.4, 1:26.4) played into the hands and hooves of the leader, who had minimal first-over angst from Stormont Lancelot (Mark MacDonald)

The "Fox" owned a length and half lead in and out of the final turn, then kept his stubborn foe at bay by a head in 1:55.2. Stormont Lancelot, Tall Cotton (George Brennan) and Mugshot Jess (Jordan Stratton) came away with the remainder.

For Little Brown Fox, a four-year-old son of Muscles Yankee trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, Jim and John Fielding and Brittany Farms, it was his third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $100.50 and the superfecta paid $411.

Four Starz Roe did it the hard way from post No. 3. She moved from fifth to engage Rock N Soul (Brennan) after that one put up spirited sub-sections of :26.4, :56.2 and 1:23.3.

It was "Roe" taking over past the three-quarters and taking a two-length lead into the lane. Rock N Soul wasn't quite done, however. She made a resurgent bid up the inside, only to miss a neck in 1:52.3, a season's-best effort for the winner.

Third went to Keepers Destiny (Sears), as the 8-5 choice, with Brownsville Bomber (Dan Dube) and Bullet Point (MacDonald) settling for the remainder.

For fifth-choice Four Starz Roe, a five-year-old daughter of Four Starzzz Shark trained by PJ Fraley owner Bamond Racing, it was her third win in a dozen '13 tries. The exacta paid $80.50, with the triple returning $243.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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