Sapphire City (Brent Holland) duplicated last week's down-the-road effort Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Leaving from post position two--again--Sapphire City stepped around Hypnotist (Cat Manzi), then pocketed Jerry's Brown Gold (Pat Lachance). There was no room at the inn early for 3-10 choice for Real Nice (Jason Bartlett), who found himself parked at the 27-second opening quarter-mile.
Real Nice eventually found a seat fourth, only to be on the move again before a rated :56.4 intermission.
Sapphire City continued to lead in and out of the 1:23.4 three-quarters, refusing to relent to the people's preference. Real Nice eventually backed away, with Sapphire City opening a length-and-a-half turning for home.
He finished it off from there, whipping a deep-in-the-passing-lane Hypnotist by a half-length in 1:52, matching last week's time. Third went to Jerry's Brown Gold, with Fitz's Z Tam (Larry Stalbaum) and Real Nice settling for the small change.
For Sapphire City, a 4-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stable and Jordan Sklut, returned $9.20 (second choice) for his eighth win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $155.50, with the triple returning $588. (Yonkers)