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Elims Set For Messenger, Yonkers Trot

Published: June 21, 2021 7:52 pm ET

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Eliminations for the MGM Grand Messenger Stakes and the MGM Yonkers Trot, the first legs of the Pacing and Trotting Triple Crowns, will be held on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway.

Fifteen three-year-old pacing colts and geldings entered the MGM Grand Messenger, and 13 of their trotting counterparts dropped in the box for the MGM Yonkers Trot, meaning there will be a pair of $40,000 eliminations for each race. The top four from each contest will advance to next Friday night’s finals.

Heart Of Chewbacca (post six, Dan Noble) and Charlie May (post seven, Brett Miller) bring their rivalry from Ohio to New York in the first MGM Grand Messenger elimination. The first- and second-place finishers in last year’s sire stakes final in the Buckeye State, the two have faced off multiple times in 2021 as well, including Saturday night at Scioto Downs, where Charlie May bettered Heart Of Chewbacca from the pocket in a 1:49.3 mile. New York-sired standout American Courage (post two, Matt Kakaley) is also in the race, fresh off a 1:49.4 life’s-best performance in an overnight race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 12.

Trainer Tony Alagna sends out a powerful duo in three-for-three in 2021 Abuckabett Hanover (post four, Andrew McCarthy) and last year’s Metro winner Exploit (post six, Dexter Dunn) in the other MGM Grand Messenger elimination. Abuckabett Hanover is two-for-two in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program and handed Perfect Sting his first career defeat on May 16 at Pocono, and Exploit readied for this race with a 1:53.2 win over non-winner of six foes at Yonkers on June 15.

Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Trot champion On A Streak (post six, Bob McClure) meets up with Empire Breeders Classic winner Ahundreddollarbill (post four, Andrew McCarthy) in the first MGM Yonkers Trot elimination. On A Streak made his Yonkers debut on June 10 against non-winners of four foes and was victorious in 1:57, while New York-sired Ahundreddollarbill posted a track record win at Vernon Downs in a New York Sire Stakes race on June 4 before coming back on the 18th to win the $205,500 EBC.

In Range (post six, Tim Tetrick) headlines the second MGM Yonkers Trot elimination. In Range was the runner-up to On A Streak in the Breeders Crown and was victorious in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition at The Meadows earlier this season. Steel (post five, Andy Miller), who upset in the New York Sire Stakes Championship at Yonkers as a freshman, is also in the race.

Three-year-old fillies of both gaits will also be in action on Friday night at Yonkers as the Park MGM Pace for pacers has a couple of $25,000 eliminations, and the New York New York Mile for trotters has a single $25,000 elimination.

The first elimination the Park MGM Pace is led by Heart Of Mine (post one, Scott Zeron), who has posted a five-for-five record thus far in 2021. Two of her victories have come in the New York Sire Stakes program.

Dan Patch Award winner Fire Start Hanover (post three, Dexter Dunn) and last year’s fastest two-year-old Test Of Faith (post seven, David Miller) lock horns in the second elimination. Fire Start Hanover prepped for her first sophomore stakes engagement by racing in a couple of overnight events at the Meadowlands, winning the second one of them, while Test Of Faith tallied in the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga on June 2 and in a Three-year-old Open at the Meadowlands on June 19.

Eight trotting fillies will vie for six spots in the final in the New York New York Mile elimination after the connections of Iteration and Sweeping Rainbow accepted byes. Contested Hanover (post two), who was second to Iteration in an EBC division at Vernon Downs, is one of two in the field trained by George Ducharme.

The full fields, listed drivers, and trainers for all the eliminations are listed below. First race post on Friday night at Yonkers is 7:15 p.m.

Race 3 - New York New York Mile Elimination
1-(pp3)-Lindys Dollywood (Tim Tetrick/George Ducharme)
1A-(pp2)-Contested Hanover (Scott Zeron/George Ducharme)
2-(pp1)-Rebel Girl (Dexter Dunn/Nifty Norman)
3-(pp4)-Imhatra Am S (Brian Sears/Marcus Melander)
4-(pp5)-Mazzarati (Tim Tetrick/Lucas Wallin)
5-(pp6)-Presto (Ake Svanstedt trains/drives)
6-(pp7)-May Karp (Tim Tetrick/Lucas Wallin)
7-(pp8)-Illuminata (Ake also listed)

Race 4 - Park MGM Pace Elimination #1
1-Heart Of Mine (Scott Zeron/Linda Toscano)
2-Shania Blue Chip (Todd McCarthy/Noel Daley)
3-Lyons Softassilk (Tim Tetrick/Jim King, Jr.)
4-Darby Hanover (Andy Miller/Julie Miller)
5-Lindy At The Beach (Todd McCarthy/Domenico Cecere)
6-Podium Girl (Dexter Dunn/Chris Ryder)

Race 5 - Park MGM Pace Elimination #2
1-Summer Rae (Jason Bartlett/Tom Fanning)
2-Let'Er Buck (Mark MacDonald/Ray Schnittker)
3-Fire Start Hanover (Dexter Dunn/Nifty Norman)
4-So Irresistible (Andrew McCarthy/Bruce Saunders)
5-Classicist (Todd McCarthy/Tahnee Camilleri)
6-Marsala Hanover (Scott Zeron/Linda Toscano)
7-Test Of Faith (David Miller/Brett Pelling)

Race 6 - MGM Yonkers Trot Elimination #1
1-Ethan T Hanover (Jason Bartlett/Per Engblom)
2-Calle Palema (Sarah Svanstedt/Ake Svanstedt)
3-Mon Amour (Yannick Gingras/Ake Svanstedt)
4-Ahundreddollarbill (Andrew McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
5-Incommunicado (Yannick Gingras/Ake Svanstedt)
6-On A Streak (Bob McClure/Luc Blais)

Race 7 - MGM Yonkers Trot Elimination #2
1-(pp2)-Ambassador Hanover (Ake Svanstedt trains/drives)
1A-(pp4)-Johan Palema (Ake also listed)
2-(pp1)-The Irishman (Tim Tetrick/George Ducharme)
3-(pp3)-Arnold N Dicky (Dexter Dunn/Chuck Sylvester)
4-(pp5)-Steel (Andy Miller/Julie Miller)
5-(pp6)-In Range (Tim Tetrick/Marcus Melander)
6-(pp7)-Jula Muscle Pack (Scott Zeron/Per Engblom)

Race 8 - MGM Grand Messenger Stakes Elimination #1
1-Always A Miki (Dexter Dunn/Nancy Takter)
2-American Courage (Matt Kakaley/Travis Alexander)
3-Simon Says Hanover (Scott Zeron/Tony Alagna)
4-Chase H Hanover (Brian Sears/Scott Cox)
5-Whichwaytothebeach (Todd McCarthy/Brett Pelling)
6-Heart Of Chewbacca (Dan Noble/Ron Burke)
7-Charlie May (Brett Miller/Steve Carter)

Race 9 - MGM Grand Messenger Stakes Elimination #2
1-(pp4)-Abuckabett Hanover (Andrew McCarthy/Tony Alagna)
1A-pp6)-Exploit (Dexter Dunn/Tony Alagna)
2-(pp2)-Highlandbeachsbest (Scott Zeron/Linda Toscano)
3-(pp3)-Captain Fancy (Tim Tetrick/Bill MacKenzie)
4-(pp1)-Mysweetboymax (Tim Tetrick/Sam De Pinto)
5-(pp5)-I'll Drink To That (Dexter Dunn/Chris Ryder)
6-(pp7)-Brookview Bullet (George Brennan/Ron Burke)
7-(pp8)-Billy Clyde (Mark MacDonald/Ray Schnittker)


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