Western Graduate (Jim Pantaleano, four winners on the 13-race card) became Yonkers Raceway's fastest female ever Friday night, blowing away her final-race rivals in 1:51.3
. The mile also lowered Ladyfield's World Record for aged pacing mares on a half-mile track by one-fifth of a second.
The track, after a mid-card rainstorm, was downgraded to "sloppy" for the final eight races.
Leaving from the pylons in the $31,000, 13th race pace, Western Graduate gave nothing else a chance. She zipped through fractions of :27.1, 55.1 and 1:23.1, taking a four-length lead into the lane. She then shamelessly piled on, widening to 9-3/4 lengths at the wire. Autumn Magic (Jason Bartlett) was the bridesmaid, though few were convinced she was actually at the wedding.
For Western Graduate, a millionairess six-year-old daughter of Western Hanover trained by Lou Pena (three training wins Friday) for KDM Stables, she returned $4.10 as the slightly-above-even-money favourite.
Yonkers' fastest mile of the season is 1:51.2, taken a Giddy Up Lucky last Saturday night.
The previous track record for aged pacing mares was 1:52.3, held by a six-pack. The Raceway's former fastest female was Ginger And Fred, with a 1:52 effort in May's final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series.
Hannah Isabel, 'Little Guy' Brave The Weather
Hannah Isabel (Cat Manzi), Y F Little Guy (Jim Pantaleano) and Mother Nature (no help needed) led Yonkers Raceway's Friday night festivities
After a weather delay, "Hannah" put on her best rain garb and went the distance in the co-featured $42,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
Leaving from post position No. 5, she worked around Cheyenne Trish (Brent Holland) and led though intervals of :28, :57.3, 1:25.2 and a season's-best 1:53.2. Little Mermaid N (Pantaleano) moved first-up, with 11-10 favourite Shacked Up (Jason Bartlett)--who left for a seat--in behind. However, Little Mermaid N could never get close to the leader.
"Hannah" had a 2-1/2-length lead on her sisters turning for home, before winning by a comfy length-and-a-half.
Shacked Up photoed Little Mermaid N for second, with Symphony In Motion (Jeff Gregory) and Sherri On Ice (Eric Goodell) earning the minor spoils.
For Hannah Isabel, a dive-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight trained by Marthe Drolet for co-owners Marilyn and Heiman Gross, she returned $8.50 (second choice) for her fifth win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27, with the triple returning $97.
Friday night's co-featured $42,500 Open Handicap Trot Y F Little Guy--beating only a breaker early--passed 'em all en route to a 25-1 upset.
Leaving from the always-popular eight-hole, Y F Little Guy was ahead of misbehaving invader Lubbock (Jordan Stratton) while Shoeless White Sox (Gregory), Master Pine (Bartlett) and Hurrikanebiggeorge (Stephane Bouchard) all took turns with the throttle.
However, swift fractions of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:26.1 had made the leaders vulnerable. Y F Little Guy--angling out after slipping in between rivals down the backside only to find no room at the inn--moved from sixth entering the lane.
He went on to defeat Hurrikanebiggeorge by a length in 1:55.4, with Summertime Yankee (Matt Kakaley) completing the ticket, while Lady In The Wind (Cat Manzi) and Pembroke Prayer (Holland) rounded out the payees.
For Y F Little Guy, a seven-year-old Shilling gelding trained by Lou Pena for KDM Stables, he returned $52 (seventh choice) for his eighth win in 24 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $283, with the triple returning $2,264.
(With files from Yonkers Raceway)