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New York Freshmen In Yonkers Spotlight

Published: July 25, 2014 11:05 pm ET

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Yonkers Raceway Friday night hosted the $197,500 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for two-year-old colts and geldings, drawn and quartered.

Odds-on Gabe The Bear Dean (Jordan Stratton, $2.90), leaving from post position No. 4, sat the loosest of pockets in the first ($49,150) division. He then held off Insomniac (Jason Bartlett) by a length in a snappy 1:58.3. They were both watching Commentary (Jim Meittinis) lead through fractions of :29, :58.1 and 1:28.4 before being tackled passing the three-quarters. The leader did easily hold third, as the other three entrants broke.

For "Gabe,” a son of Lucky Chucky co-owned by trainer Ray Schnittker and Minix Stable, it was his third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering favourites) paid $9.80, with the triple returning $71.50.

“It’s the first time I’ve driven him, but I’ve driven enough trotters for Ray [Schnittker] that I know always has them rigged correctly,” Stratton said. “That was a very solid mile.” His previous life-best was a sloppy 2:03.

The second ($49,150) had another odds-on number, Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory, $3.50) do his work from first-up. Unhurried from post No. 2, he moved past a soon-to-break Azucar (Gates Brunet) after that one’s early fractions of :30.4 and 1:01.2. “Mambo” hit three-quarters in 1:31, before finishing his evening in a flat two minutes. He defeated Pier Ho Exotic (John Cummings Jr.) by a half-length, with Titanium (Bartlett) third.

For Mambo Blue Chip, a Lucky Chucky colt trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Mal and Janet Burroughs, it was his second win in three ’14 tries. The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $58.50.

“He’s reminds me of a tint Budweiser Clydesdale,” Gregory said. “He’s big and strong. Once we were able to get around the first turn, that was my biggest concern. I figured we’d be alright after that.”

The evening’s third ($49,150) statebred sojourn took on a different look when 1-5 fave Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) jumped it off in the first turn. That left 49-1 Tango Pirate (Truman Gale) giving the longshot legion fan club a shout-out through weigh stations of :30.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30. However, Andy Ray (Brent Holland) -- pocketed from post No. 5 -- closed ranks, then went by early in the lane. He held sway, beating Elusive Action (Bartlett) by a length and a half in a maiden-breaking 2:00.2. Wings Of Royalty recovered from his misdeed to finish third, beaten nearly eight lengths.

“Andy,” a Crazed gelding trained by Erv Miller for co-owners Paymaq Racing, Ronald Michelon and Harvey Eisman, returned $28.80 (fourth choice) for that first win in a couple of starts (first in NYSS competition). The exacta paid $198.50, with the triple returning $547.

“I baby-raced him [at Pocono] and he was alright,” Holland said. “He’s a solid-footed horse and he raced well tonight. I wasn’t worried him getting over the track at all.”

The final ($50,050) sire stakes grouping saw pole-sitting 3-10 choice Royal Deceptor (Mickey McGivern) seemingly with his rivals under control (:29.4, 1:00.2, 1:29.3). He owned a length and a half lead into the lane, then came down with a case of the staggers. He was passed late by both Credit Creation (Bartlett) and Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer), with the latter on the outside getting the nod by a neck in 1:59.1. Royal Deceptor settled for third, beaten a length.

Third choice Buen Camino, a Cash Hall gelding trained by his driver for Purple Haze Stables, returned $16.40 for a successful parimutuel debut. The exacta paid $149, with the triple returning $360.

“I was able to get away third [from post No. 4] and he was very comfortable,” Smedshammer said. “The colt on the lead [Royal Deceptor] has been racing well, but turning for home, I thought we had a shot. I was all the way on the outside, and I really wasn’t sure I beat Jason [Barlett, with Credit Creation] until I heard the starter say my number.

“He was supposed to race last week [at Tioga], but there was a race office error and we didn’t get in. Since he’s a Cash Hall, we gelded him right away. I’m happy with the way he’s come along.”

Friday night’s pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps -- for distaff pacers and all-permitted trotters -- were won by Robin Cruiser (Stratton, $5.20) in 1:52.3, and all-age track record holder Quick Deal (George Brennan, $4) in 1:54, the fastest local trot mile of the season.

New York Sire Stakes continue Monday night, with the $226,200 Art Watson Pace (three-year-old fillies).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)


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