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Real Nice Wins Open; Five For Bartlett


Published: August 2, 2009 2:59 am ET

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The big Yonkers Raceway news Saturday night was that Real Nice won the featured $48,000 Open Handicap Pace. The bigger news might have been that Jason Bartlett wasn't sitting behind him...but more about that factoid in a bit.

Real Nice (Brent Holland), Dave Aint Here (Stephane Bouchard) and Eagle Real One (Jeff Gregory)--assigned the three inside post positions in descending order--led the parade.

Real Nice watched early as Eagle Real One hung both Toucan Sam (Bartlett) and 3-5 choice Four Trumps A (Larry Stalbaum) through a :27.4 opening quarter-mile.

The favourite eventually made the lead before a :55.3 intermission, but those in behind couldn't wait to get out. With Toucan Sam finishing his Froot Loops and going home before a 1:24.1 three-quarters, Eagle Real One, Dave Aint Here and Real Nice all vacated the cones.

Eagle Real One owned a short lead into the lane, but Real Nice powered on by. He won by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.3, matching a season's best. "Dave" snapped second over Eagle Real One with Pandoras Sox (Billy Dobson) and King Cat Anvil N (Jordan Stratton) completing the cashers.

For Real Nice, a four-year-old Real Artist gelding trained by Matt Medeiros for co-owners Gary and Beverly Paganelli, he returned $14.20 (third choice) for his ninth win in 26 seasonal starts (second Open Handicap win in last three tries). The exacta paid $95.50, with the triple returning $338.50.

Now, back to Bartlett. The Raceway's leading driver, who won seven races Thursday night and three Friday night, had five victories during this night's 13-race extravaganza. He authored his own personal, $88 Pick-3 by winning Races 2, 3 and 4.

Bartlett, who had nary a race off, then added victories in Races 6 and 7 before being shut out in his final half-dozen drives.

Saturday night's ninth race saw the highest triple return of the season--$21,437--led by 66-1 Eckstrom (Jim Pantaleano, $134.50) and a 7-8-4 combination.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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