Undefeated freshman divisional champion He's Watching leads a list of 11 three-year-old colts/geldings into the 23rd edition of the Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace.
The total purse of this season's Rooney is $380,000, with a pair of $40,000 elimination races this Saturday night leading to the as-guaranteed $300,000 final a week later (Saturday, May 31). The elims go as races 9 and 11 on the 13-race card, with He's Watching making his seasonal parimutuel debut from post position No. 2 in the opening elimination. The first four finishers in each race qualify for the final.
The fields, with declared drivers: First elim (9th race) –1-Unlocked (Brent Holland), 2-He's Watching (Jim Morrill Jr.), 3-Forty Five Red (George Brennan), 4-Gold Rocks (Scott Zeron), 5-Bondi Hanover (Zeron also listed), 6-Stevensville (Tim Tetrick); Second elim (11th race)—1-Ideal Fashion (Brian Sears), 2-Some Playa (Sears also listed), 3-All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley), 4-Thereisapaceforus (Jason Bartlett), 5-Maxi Bon (Zeron).
"He's right where I want him to be,” He's Watching's co-owner/trainer Dave Menary said. "Both of his (Mohawk) qualifiers were tremendous. Last week (Friday), the weather was cool and windy, and we couldn't have asked for any more (1:52.1).
"We're looking forward to coming back (Yonkers). He loves the track (3-for-3 in 2013, including a season-ending New York Sire Stakes championship), and we're anxious to have him start the season.”
The son of American Ideal is 8-for-8 in his career (13-for-13 including qualifiers), having earned $291,722 as a freshman.
The $124,744 final of the Lismore also goes the final night of May. This Saturday offers two, $20,000, five-to-pare-down-to-four eliminations races (with declared drivers) as such…1st elim (4th race)--1-It Was Fascination (Zeron), 2-Bettor Business (Dan Dube), 3-A Little Starstruk (Bartlett), 4-Southwind Silence (Kakaley), 5-Palm Beach (Bartlett also listed); 2nd elim (6th race)—1-Also Encouraging (Sears), 2-Tyra (Tetrick), 3-JK Molly (Brennan), 4-Gentlemen's Delight (Dube), 5-Rusty's Bliss (Sears also listed).
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)