World champion Googoo Gaagaa drew Post 1 for Yonkers Raceway's Yonkers Trot - the first jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown.
The 58th edition of Yonkers' premier trotting event is worth $445,594 and goes as the sixth race on Saturday night's 13-race wagering card. Post time is the usual 7:10 p.m., with the Trot scheduled for approximately 9 p.m.
Googoo Gaagaa, he of the pacing sire Cams Rocket and the modest upbringing, has won 11 of his 12 career starts and $345,945. Googoo Gaagaa enters off a 1:50.4 effort – the fastest ever for a trotter over a five-eighths mile oval - in last month's $500,000 final of the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial at Pocono Downs.
Richard Hans is Googoo Gaagaa's breeder, owner and trainer, with Corey Callahan driving.
Here’s the entire field:
$445,594 Yonkers Trot
1. Googoo Gaagaa – Corey Callahan
2. Stormin Normand – Dave Palone
3. Market Share – Jeff Gregory
4. Muscolo – Ray Schnittker
5. Archangel – Jim Morrill, Jr.
The companion event, the $185,194 Hudson Filly Trot, attracted three sophomore fillies and goes as a non-wagering event between races 3 and 4 on the betting card.
Millionairess Check Me Out (Schnittker), last season's divisional champ, drew in between Real Babe (Gregory) and Aunt Mel (Brent Holland).
Check Me Out, a daughter of Donato Hanover, was last seen winning the $519,400 final of Mohawk's Elegantimage for her 17th win with three seconds in 20 lifetime starts. Check Me Out, co-owned by (trainer) Schnittker and Charles Iannazzo, makes her small-track debut in the Hudson.
Tuesday night's $337,270 New York Sire Stakes Michael Sorentino Trot for three-year-old colts and geldings was contested in three divisions, worth $113,090, $110,090 and $113,090, respectively.
Talented homebred Coraggioso (Phil Fluet, $3.20) with co-owners/breeders Joe Spadaro and Tom Durkin dutifully in attendance, wired the first event in 1:56 - a tick off the track record for three-year-old trotting colts. It was the first time Durkin, whose day job - for those not paying attention - is that of nonpareil NYRA track announcer, has seen his horse perform in person.
"He always races better when I don't show up," is the no-longer-valid excuse.
Mado Dream (George Brennan) was second, beaten a length, with War Cry Hall (Jason Bartlett) third.
Coraggioso, a son of Conway Hall trained by Fluet, is now 4-for-6 this season and 8-for-15 in his career (earnings approaching $270,000).
Prohibitive choice Delano (Schnittker, $2.20) went the distance in the second division, defeating Gaelic And Garlic (Jim Morrill, Jr.) by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:56.4. Third went to Royal Shyster (Gregory).
Delano, a Credit Winner colt co-owned by his trainer/driver, along with Tom Vassiliou, Nick Tallarico and Delano Stable, is 3-for-5 on the season with nine wins in 20 career starts and earnings in excess of $300,000.
Brookroad Knight (Morrill, Jr., $6.30) won the final statebred division, handling the 3-5 choice, Trouble (Brennan), by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:57.2. Macksmith (Sam Schillaci) was third as the 53-1 rank outsider.
The homebred colt by CR Excalibur is owned by John O'Connor and trained by Bruce Borden. He is 2-for-6 on the season.
(Yonkers Raceway - with photos from Mike Lizzi)