Yonkers Raceway hosted the third round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, its premier proving ground for Open Mare pacers, on Friday night. Three soggy $40,000 divisions went postward.
The first event saw former New York Sire Stakes standout Summertime Lea (George Brennan, $2.40, part of odds-on entry) take it to the house (:29.2, :58.4, 1:26.4, 1:55.1). Leaving from post position 3, she went around pole-sitting Ramalama (Matt Kakaley), then was pestered by a stubborn, first-up Fashion Mystery (Eric Carlson). The former held the latter at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length.
Ramalama, the winner's wagering buddy Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras), and Regil Elektra (Ron Pierce) completed the cashers.
For "Lea,” a 4-year-old daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith, it was her second win in three seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $34.20, with the triple returning $74.20.
"She obviously can leave the gate, which works to her advantage,” Brennan said. "When she won (the first week), it was her first start of the season and you never know what to expect, but she has impressed me.”
Like Summertime Lea, Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $6) notched a second series victory. Away alertly from post 4, she leaped over Krispy Apple (Tim Tetrick), then laid down the law through intervals of :28.2, :58, 1:26.1 and 1:54.3.
"Yagonna” widened to a pair of lengths into the lane before winning by that same margin. Angel's Delight—she also twice a winner in the Matchmaker and making a first start for new connections—rallied into second from a loose three-hole, with Krispy Apple, Charisma Hanover (Gingras) and Feeling You (Tyler Buter) coming away with the remainder.
For tepid wagering favorite Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 5-for-9 this season (career earnings just under $400,000) The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $520.
The third division went to a solid, two-move Anndrovette (Tetrick, $7.40). Caught wide after starting outside her seven rivals, she found a four-hole as 11-10 choice Ideal in Vegas (Jordan Stratton) won the scrum for the lead (:28, :57.4). Anndrovette caught a break down the backside when pocket-sitting longshot Cheyenne Miriam (Brennan) began to tire.
That allowed the double-millionairess an impromptu rest stop by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. "Vegas” owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, but Anndrovette ducked in and went by. The margin was a half-length in 1:55.3.
Royal Cee Cee N (Pierce), Bettor B Lucky (Gingras) and Cheyenne Miriam grabbed the minor moolah.
"It's taken her a couple of starts to get her winning attitude back, but I never lost faith,” Tetrick said. "I was able to get a breather with her, the other mare (Ideal in Vegas) tired a bit and mine is just so big and strong.”
For second choice Anndrovette, a 7-year-old daughter of Riverboat King trained by PJ Fraley for co-owners by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino, it was her first win in three season/series starts. The exacta paid $30.60, the triple returned $95 and the superfecta paid $520.
Friday's $38,000 Open Trot was won by a cone-skimming Backstreet Hanover (Carlson, $37), who beat the boys in 1:57.2.
The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with four, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5,9 and 11 on the 12-race card).
The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. (Yonkers)