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QC-Bred Pacer Wins Yonkers Open

Published: September 8, 2013 12:00 am ET

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China Grill and driver Pat Lachance were first-up and first home Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $37,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Away fifth from post position No. 4, China Grill watched as Statesman N (Jordan Stratton) led through early intervals of :27.2 and :56.1. Diamond Cowboy (Jason Bartlett) was pocketed, with American Rage (Jim Pantaleano) third.

China Grill, who had lacked room in his last couple starts, took that matter off the table here by extricating himself from the cones. He went up and over Statesman N with the greatest of ease before the 1:24.2 three-quarters. That did nothing for the cause of 6-5 choice Hillbilly Hanover (George Brennan).

'Hillbilly' had left for a seat, flushed out the eventual winner, then was left out there when China Grill made the lead. That lead was two and three-quarters lengths turning for home and two and a quarter lengths at the a life-best 1:51.3. Second went to Diamond Cowboy, with Hillbilly Hanover, American Rage and Statesman N settling for the minor awards.

For China Grill, a five-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding trained by his driver for owner Lawrence Litvin of Cote Saint-Luc, Que., he returned $12.60 (third choice) for his fifth win in 14 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $65, with the triple returning $359.50.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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