Favored Extreme Machine N (Eric Goodell) prevailed from loosest of pockets Tuesday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $67,400 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series.
The Teddy Roosevelt-approved series, for 3- and 4-year-old colts and geldings, culminated with Yonkers Raceway's richest race of the season to date.
Extreme Machine N, as the 9-10 favorite, won the draw and watched as Artist Night (George Brennan) set sail on a mission. That mission included a 28-second opening quarter-mile and :55.3 half. All the while, Extreme Machine N was pacing just enough to make sure outside leavers Ashley's Husband (Jordan Derue) and A Stitch in Time had no hole.
Artist Night had five lengths at the wicked 1:22.4 three-quarters before Goodell asked his charge to close ranks. The margin was a length-and-a-half entering the lane, but the fractions were shockingly taking their toll.
Extreme Machine N went by, getting the best of a three-hole-sitting Sir Michigan Z Tam by a half-length in a life-best 1:52.1. Artist Night held third, beaten a couple of lengths, with City Hall (Brian Sears) and Touchdown Mindale (Andy Miller) grabbing the remainder. Wilcox (Dan Dube), "Ashley” and A Stitch in Time rounded out the order.
"I haven't seen the end to him yet,” Goodell said. "I didn't want to be right on George's (Brennan, driving Artist Night) back, and even with those fractions, I was worried I waited too long.
"In the (final) turn, he started to come back to me. (Extreme Machine N) steers a bit funny, and has a lot to learn, but the more experience he gets over here, he's just going to get better.”
For Extreme Machine N, a 4-year-old Down Under Mach Three gelding owned by Joseph Muscara and trained by Darren Cassar, he returned $3.90 for his third win as many seasonal/series/North American starts. The exacta paid $18, the triple returned $42.20 and the superfecta paid $104.
A trio of series consolations, worth $25,000, $12,500 and $12,500, respectively, were won by I Dreamed a Dream (Pat Lachance, $14) in 1:54.2, Rolandale Buster (Dube, $8.20) in a life-best 1:54.4, and Artacus (catch-driver Miller, $38.20) in a life-best 1:54. (Yonkers)