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Miller Trainees Win Pair Of Yonkers Opens

Published: July 4, 2014 11:41 pm ET

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Yonkers Raceway’s Friday night $44,000 tri-featured Open Handicaps -- a double dose for trotters and one for the pacing ladies -- were won by Coraggioso (Brian Sears, $7.60), Tober (Jason Bartlett, $12.80) and Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton, $30.40).

Coraggioso, ordered outside his seven rivals, saw dysfunction erupt all around him. Half the field -- You Rock My World (Eric Goodell), Harbor Point (Dan Dube) and Wishing Stone (George Brennan) -- all jumped it off by the time the first turn was done. That left pole-sitting 8-5 favourite Zooming (Bartlett) on the lead through soft fractions of :28.3 and :59.1. Coraggioso, after settling fourth, engaged Zooming in and out of a 1:27.3 three-quarters. Coraggioso moved to a short lead entering the lane, then held off a stubborn, 41-1 The Triple Lindy (Stratton) by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.2. Zooming and a pair of recovering trotters -- My Love Bi and Harbor Point -- grabbed the remainder.

Third choice Coraggioso is a five-year-old homebred/statebred son of Conway Hall co-owned by Tom Durkin and Joe Spadaro and trained by Julie Miller. The win was his seventh win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $104.50, with the triple returning $183.

The week’s other marquee trot unfolded with Tober -- perfectly-pocketed from post position No. 2 -- watching as out-of-town scourge NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) grabbed the lead and threw down the gauntlet. 'Happenstance,' as the 17-10 choice, hung last week’s Open Handicap winner Lorenzo Dream (Sears) for his life (:27.2, :56.3, 1:26.2) before that one gave up the ghost. NF Happenstance was able to win the battle, but lose the war. Tober eased from the two-hole and rolled by, winning by three and a half widening lengths in 1:56. Awesome Valley (Goodell) skimmed the cones for second, with a fading NF Happenstance, DWs NY Yank (Brennan) and Bound For Fame (Stratton) rounding out the payees.

Fourth choice Tober is a six-year-old statebred gelding co-owned by co-breeder Kristie Leigh Farm and Joseph Betro and trained by Ed Hart. He’s now seven-for-19 this season. The exacta paid $103, the triple returned $348.50 and the superfecta paid $4,409.

The lasses saw Robin Cruiser, from post No. 3, worked out a second-trip behind 13-10 fave Monkey On My Wheel (Sears). That one, from an assigned eight-ball, floated in fifth as Summertime Lea (Brennan) marched around Virgin Mary (Goodell). After some tepid times of :27.2 of :57.1, Monkey On My Wheel was out, and making steady inroads. 'Lea' remained the leader at the 1:24.3 three-quarters, opening to two and a half lengths turning for home. However, she began to hit the wall, out-gamed by a wide 'Robin' in 1:53.1. The margin was a half-length. Summertime Lead photoed Monkey On My Wheel for second, with Virgin Mary and Fashion Mystery (Carlson) settling for the small change.

Sixth choice Robin Cruiser is a five-year-old homebred daughter of Yankee Cruiser owned by Pinske Stables and trained by Ms. Miller. The win was her third in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $307.50, with the triple returning $631.

Note that Friday’s 50-cent Pick 5, with its $25,000 guaranteed pool and $7,500 carryover, attracted $21,304 of Red, White and Blue green. The sequence of 3/8/3/2/5 returned a take-the-day-off $7,826 for each half-a-buck winner.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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