Yonkers Hosts Night Of Champions

Published: September 29, 2013 01:27 am EDT

Yonkers Raceway hosted the richest night of racing in the state, the 24th edition of the New York Night of Champions on Saturday. The $1.8 million event offered eight $225,000 sire stakes finals for two and three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits.

Crawford Farms Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot

Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald, $10.60) took it from post position No. 4 (29.2, 1:00.2, 1:29.3, 1:58) for a fifth consecutive (NYSS) win. His dead-heat dance partner of a week ago, Credit Fashion (Brian Sears), chased this night from the pocket, but missed a neck as the 2-5 choice. Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern) rallied from third from the eight-hole.

For second choice 'El Durado,' a s son of Conway Hall owned by Martin Scharf and trained by Mark Ford, he is now six-for-nine this season. The exacta paid $14.60, with the triple returning $108.50.

"You never worry about him trotting out of there, and that's a big help," MacDonald said. "He felt good in the lane."

Allerage Farm Two-Year-Old Filly Trot

Late-season scourge Market Rally (John Cummings Jr., $10.40), from post No. 5, did her damage from third over. She picked off division leader Maud Blue Chip (Sears) by a neck in 1:59.1. 'Maud,' the 7-10 favourite, went first up-and-over Flyhawk Falina (Dan Daley) before the three-quarters (:29, :59, 1:29.2), but could not stave off the winner. Exotic Form (Jason Bartlett), stuck in when he entrymate quit on the lead, rallied for third.

For third choice Market Rally, a Cash Hall miss ($7,500 at the Morrisville Sale) co-owned by trainer Megan Wilson and Johnny Yoder, it was her fourth win in 10 '13 tries (three-for-three at Yonkers). The exacta paid $23.20, with the triple returning $47.40.

"I just waited for the dust to settle and let her do her thing," Cummings said.

"We thought she was a just a good filly from a good family," Wilson said, adding the Breeders Crown may be next on the dance card.

Winbak Farm Two-Year-Old Filly Pace

Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) tried taking no prisoners (:27.1, 56.2, 1:26), including stuffing a fumbly-gaited Ali Blue (Jim Morrill Jr.) into a three-hole. The two-hole was locked up by Bettor Business (Dan Dube) and wound up serving her well. From post No. 2, Bettor Business ducked inside, getting to the winner and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a maiden-breaking 1:54.2. Ali Blue, as the 4-5 choice, was third.

For fourth choice Bettor Business, a daughter of Bettors Delight ($42,000 at Harrisburg) co-owned by trainer Scott DiDomenico (as Triple D Stables) and JFE Enterprises, she returned $27.40 (partnered with Scandalicious) for that initial win in nine seasonal tries. The exacta paid $138.50, with the triple returning $124.

Stirling Brook Farms Three-Year-Old Filly Trot

The aptly-named -- and odds-on -- Bouncing Bax (Bartlett, $2.70), who began the season losing her first nine races, romped to a fifth consecutive win (:28.4, :59, 1:27.2, 1:56.2). From post No. 4, she took over from Barn Babe (Cummings Jr.), then "ran away" and hid. The margin was fourth lengths in a life-best effort. Second went to Royal Malinda (Daley), with Alphadoodle (MacDonald) third.

For Bouncing Bax, a Credit Winner lass ($30,000 at Harrisburg) trained by Jim Raymer for Harbor Racing Stable, the resume is five wins in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.40, with the triple returning $47.

Morrisville College Equine Institute Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot

Crazy About Pat (Eric Goodell, $8.50) could not have asked for a better set-up. From post No. 4, he was perched in the pocket as E L Rocket (George Brennan) dealt with a first-up, 7-5 choice Tirade Hanover (Morrill Jr.) through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.3. 'Pat' edged off the cones and he edged past Tirade Hanover, winning by a half-length in 1:55, with E L Rocket third.

For fourth choice Crazy About Pat, a homebred son of Crazed owned by co-breeder Patricia Stable and trained by Noel Daley, he's now eight-for-18 this season. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $67.

"I raced him earlier in the season and I was very fortunate to get the drive back," Goodell said. "I had the choice to go in and out, and things worked very well. He's a talented colt."

Genesee Valley Farm Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace

What can we say about Hes Watching?

Try this. An eighth win in as many starts, a 1:52.2 track record for his weight class -- also matching a world record -- after a six and a quarter length beat-down.

Leaving from the pole with Morrill Jr. in tow, Hes Watching worked around barn buddy Major Trick (Bartlett), then set sail through stations of :28.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 (equal halves of :56.1 for the 1-9 favourite, after some fast math). Big Boy Dreams (Sears) was a first-up second, with Major Trick third.

For Hes Watching ($2.20), a son of American Ideal ($3,000 at Harrisburg) co-owned by Cheltenham, Ont. trainer Dave Menary, Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont., and Michael Guerrero of Puslinch, Ont., he's now earned $291,722. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $6.80.

"I don't know where the bottom is," Morrill said. "He's a small colt, but he doesn't race like one. I was just letting him cruise."

"This is the icing for him," Menary said. "He's been life-changing for me. He's probably done for the season, so while the others are down at Lexington, the Breeders Crown and the Matron, we can get a head start toward next season."

Cameo Hills Farm Three-Year-Old Filly Pace

Track record-holder for this division, Social Scene (Brennan, $10.20) did her damage as per usual...from off the pace. After Winbak Heavenly (Jim Marohn Jr.) and defending champ Summertime Lea (Morrill Jr.) slugged it out early (:27.1, :55.4), Social Scene -- from post No. 6 -- went up and after the leader. She zipped by 4-5 fave 'Lea' -- who was bothered by a first-turn breaker -- opening five lengths by the 1:23.1 three-quarters. The margin was a half-dozen at the wire in 1:53, with longshots Cheyenne Miriam (Andy Miller), Springforth (Larry Stalbaum) and Ballineen (Sears) upping the exotics.

Second choice Social Scene, an American Ideal ma'am ($37,000 at Lexington), is co-owned by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ont., Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ont. and Mac Nicol of Burlington, Ont., and trained by Casie Coleman. She's won half of her 14 '13 tries. The exacta paid $214.50, the triple returned $2,198 and the superfecta paid $76,990 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket paid $3,849.50). Summertime Lea faded to seventh.

"When she's right, there's no filly that can hold her out," Brennan said. "She has some breathing issues, but she was sharp tonight."

Blue Chip Farms Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace

A third consecutive "lonely horse" to end the sires, as 3-10 choice Fool Me Once (Sears, $2.70) gave nothing else a shot. From post No. 5, it was effortless (:27.2, :56.2, 1:24.3, 1:51.3). The separation was eight and a half lengths at the end, with Bettor Than You (Goodell) second at 42-1, ahead of 30-1 Framed Art (MacDonald).

For Fool Me Once, a son of Art Major ($70,000 at Harrisburg) co-owned by Fergus, Ont. trainer Mark Austin and Daniel Smith of London, Ont., it was his 10th win in 14 seasonal starts (14-for-24 lifetime, earnings over $612,000). The exacta paid $42.40, with the triple returning $313.50.

"He's a cut above the sire stakes horses," Sears said. "He was comfortable and I get let him go on with it."

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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