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Marion Marauder Wins At Yonkers

Published: August 27, 2016 11:56 pm ET

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Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder made short work of his small-track debut, winning Saturday night’s lone $40,000 elimination for the 62nd Yonkers Trot.

Starting from post position No. 3 in a Yonkers Raceway game of musical chairs (nine to eliminate one), Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron, $2.60) took things in his own hooves early. The 3-10 choice moved past first leader Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), then had few issues (:29.2, :58.4, 1:28.1, 1:56.2).

The margin was a length-and-quarter over Smalltownthrowdown, with Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) a drifting, three-hole third.

The real fun came in the back of the bus, when the second-tier Gleaming Memory (Ake Svanstedt) made an ugly break that directly wiped out Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), while any number of the trailers also broke, were impeded or were just plain outrun.

Steed (Brian Sears) was a best-of-the-rest fourth, with Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), Cuffllink Hanover (Jason Bartlett), Celebrity Express (John Campbell) and Lagerfeld also earning spots in next Saturday’s $500,000 final, with an open draw for the second jewel of trotting's Triple Crown on Tuesday morning.

For Marion Marauder, a three-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by Paula Wellwood for co-owners (Marion) Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling, the win was his seventh in nine seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.80, with the triple returning $22.60.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way he trotted the half tonight,” Zeron said. “I’m confident in his abilities to get the job done in the final.”

"We just wanted him to get off the gate clean and command a race on a half-mile," Mike Keeling, husband of the winning trainer, said. "I think he showed everybody that he can do that. He steered great and he trotted well."

Wildflower Upsets In Hudson Trot

Pole-sitting and pocketed, 14-1 Wildflower (Dan Dube, $31) picked off a drifting, odds-on Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $118,574 Hudson Trot for three-year-old fillies.

The 1-4 choice had no visible excuse, waltzing around the oval (:28.2, :58.2, 1:27.3) with minimal first-up pressure from Windowshopper (Ake Svanstedt). The people’s preference owned a length and a half lead into the lane, but tired late.

Even with high-line urging from her chauffeur, she bore out more than enough to give her pursuer a shot. Wildflower ducked inside and stuck her tongue out at the wire, winning the Kodak moment in 1:56.1.

Southwind Hope (Andy Miler), who slipped out in front of a gapper down the backside, offered good late foot to grab third while beaten a half-length.

Dream Child (Jason Bartlett) and Windowshopper grabbed the final pay envelopes, while Hillosophical (Scott Zeron) was outrun and Dancing In Thehall (Mack MacDonald) broke.

Wildflower was one of three trained by Svanstedt here (Dancing In Thehall and Windowshopper, all racing separately). The daughter of Muscle Hill is co-owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple and Mal & Janet Burroughs. The win was her third in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $60.50, with the triple returning $119.

“It’s the first time I’ve driven her,” Dube said. “I looked at the program and saw she doesn’t make breaks, and thought she’d be a good horse for this track.

“I saw John’s filly [Celebrity Eventsy] starting to drift and thought I had a chance. When she made that last lunge, I thought I won it.”

Newborn Sassy Gives Looney-King A Lady Maud Double

A year ago, it was Purrfect Bags. Saturday night, it was Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3) wreaking havoc for co-owner and trainer Jo Ann Looney-King in Yonkers Raceway’s Lady Maud Pace.

‘Sassy’ won this $109,050 stakes event for three-year-old fillies, rolling past Apple Bottom Jeans (Jason Bartlett) late in 1:53.

Odds-on Newborn Sassy, leaving from post position No. 3, left into an immediate two-hole behind second-choice Apple Bottom Jeans.

The fave went to pull pocket, but Apple Bottom Jeans was not in a giving mood. She reseated her rival, then put up intervals of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:25.2.

Skinny Dipper (Brian Sears) made a move out of third, but backpedalled in a hurry. Apple Bottom Jeans did get some nighttime daylight, opening a couple of lengths entering the final turn.

However, Newborn Sassy closed ranks and angled out, wearing down the leader late and winning by a half-length. Hug A Dragoness (George Brennan) photoed Cheyenne Triengel (Scott Zeron) for third, with Time On My Hands (Dan Dube) settling for the smallest envelope. Skinny Dipper faded to last among the happy half-dozen.

For ‘Sassy,’ a Western Ideal miss also co-owned by CC Racing, the win was her fourth in 13 ’16 tries. The exacta paid $5.70, with the triple returning $21.60.

While King won this race for a second consecutive season, Stratton completed his own ‘double,” having guided Kryptos to win the Lismore Pace for this same division in late May.

“I knew we had a bit of a post disadvantage [against Apple Bottom Jeans], so I took a chance at moving again,” Stratton said. “I’m not surprised Jason [Bartlett] wouldn’t let me go, so I just had to wait.

“She’s a very talented filly, and I knew it pained [regular driver] Timmy [Tetrick] not be get to drive her tonight. I’m just fortunate the connections had confidence in me.”

Saturday’s $45,000 Open Handicaps were won by pacer Doctor Butch (Brent Holland, $6.70) in 1:50.4 and trotter Undercover Strike (Bartlett, $2.50) in 1:54.

Special Saturday props, too, to Kevin McDermott, who earned his 1,500th career training victory after Badix Hanover (Tyler Buter, $8.40) ‘won the bob’ in the $18,000, first-race pace (1:52.3).

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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