R Melina Triumphs In Yonkers NYSS

R Melina
Published: July 27, 2023 07:49 pm EDT

MGM Yonkers Raceway was forced to cancel the remainder of Thursday night's (July 27) program after the fourth race due to persistent lightning and dangerous weather conditions in the area. Prior to the early end of the program, one of the two New York Sire Stakes divisions for two-year-old trotting fillies was held with R Melina getting the win in the $77,300 event.

Senorita Palema, driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt, led her four rivals through fractions of :29.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30 as the rain began to pour down, with driver Tyler Buter guiding R Melina to the outside from the pocket nearing three-quarters. Senorita Palema managed to fend off R Melina's bid around the final bend and into the lane, but R Melina wore her down in mid-stretch and went on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:59. Senorita Palema was the runner-up and Communion Money (Scott Zeron) checked in third.

A daughter of Chapter Seven-Goodtogo Hanover, R Melina is trained by John Butenschoen for owners M And L Of Delaware LLC. and Alabama Harness Associates LLC. Bred by Marsh Valley Standardbreds, the $110,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase has three wins and a third-place finish from four starts thus far and has earned $67,738.

She returned $5.10 to win as the 3-2 second choice. The exacta was worth $8.50 and the trifecta paid $16.40.

Three of the four $20,000 New York Excelsior "A" Series contests also took place, with victories going to Karolina Solveig (by Crazy Wow and bred by Bernard White) in 2:01.2 for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer Per Engblom and owners Timothy Drag, Rich Preziotti and Vip Internet Stable LLC.; Barn CJ (by Crazy Wow and bred by William Johnson) in 2:00.4 for driver Jason Bartlett, co-owner/trainer Steven Pratt and co-owners Nancy Pratt, Purple Haze Stables LLC and Out In The Country Stable; and Dozen (by Chapter Seven and bred by Diamond Creek Farm) in 1:59.1 for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Marcus Melander and owner Diamond Creek Racing.

Updates on points earned and purse distribution for the events that were not run will be provided when available.

On a non-betting card before the pari-mutuel action, Scott Keppler conquered off a first-over grind and Anthony Verruso led pillar to post to take their respective $10,000 divisions for the North American Amateur Driving Association (NAADA) Trot.

In the first division, Keppler rolled Cyclone Maximus along the rim and grabbed a half-length victory in 2:01.4. Keppler settled into fourth from the pylon post as Classy Guy (Yogi Sheridan) shot for the top to a :30.2 first quarter. Facing no pressure towards the finish line first time, Classy Guy squeeked a half in 1:02.4 while Keppler kicked Cyclone Maximus off the pegs and started marching uncovered after the leader. Cyclone Maximus loomed nearer to the leader at three-quarters in 1:32.1 and then powered to the lead when straightening for home. Reel Em In (Alan Schwartz) rallied off a pocket ride but settled for second with Classy Guy third and Winneress (Anthony Verruso) fourth.

Nancy Montembeault trains Cyclone Maximus, a nine-year-old gelding by Dukes Ranger, for owner Joe Ricco Jr.

Verruso placed Call Me Thefireman on the point and clung to a 2:00 victory in the other division. Call Me Thefireman pocketed Drazzmatazz to a :28.3 first quarter and snagged a breather to a :59.3 half, at which point Fair Glider (Joe Lee) pulled first over but stalled on the outside to the backside. The field began stacking behind Call Me Thefireman past three-quarters in 1:29.3, and Raceace (Schwartz) came barreling around tired cover to mount a challenge through the lane. Call Me Thefireman held firm to the finish, keeping a nose up on rallying Raceace with Turbochargedpete (Joe Faraldo) taking third and Drazzmatazz back fourth.

Andrew Adamczyk trains Call Me Thefireman, a seven-year-old Wishing Stone gelding who is owned Verruso.

Live harness racing takes place at MGM Yonkers Raceway on a Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday schedule with post time at 7 p.m. (EDT). The New York Sire Stakes circuit returns to MGM Yonkers Raceway next Thursday night (Aug. 3) with three-year-old pacing fillies competing in their sixth preliminary round. NAADA action resumes next Thursday night (Aug. 3) at Yonkers with the last preliminary for the Summer Series. The NAADA Summer Series will feature a consolation at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 9) and a final at Yonkers on Thursday night (Aug. 10).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway and NAADA)

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