The Judge went from a familiar home and a new one Saturday night. Judge Joe, the standout New York-bred, won Saturday night's first, $40,000 elimination race for Yonkers Trot No. 55.
Outdrawing his six rivals as the 3-5 favorite, he negotiated the mile in 1:58.3 (:29.2, :59.4, 1:29.4) for regular escort Doug R. Ackerman befpre making his regular trip to the winner's circle. Select Yankee (Stephane Bouchard) tried "Joe" from the pocket, but missed by a head.
Neighsay Hanover (Trond Smedshammer) was third, with the filly Celebrity Athena (Mike Lachance) fourth after throwing in some steps in a very tardy beginning.
For Judge Joe, a son of Credit Winner owned (for the last time) by Doug Ackerman Stables and trained by Doug Ackerman, he returned $3.20 for his sixth victory in nine seasonal starts (13-for-21 and more than a half-million dollars lifetime). The exacta paid $19.80, with the triple returning $50.50.
He's also won three of his four local starts. "He tries so hard," Ackerman said. "He's been a professional from the very beginning and wants to please you every day. He does spoil us, because I know they're aren't a lot like him."
Ackerman revealed--and Jimmy Takter confirmed--before the race that the colt has been sold to European interests for an undisclosed amount.
"Joe:" shall make his first start for Takter in next Saturday night's $670,774 final of Yonkers' premier trotting event..
After the chalk players rejoiced in the first elimination, they regurgitated in the second.
The Chancellor (Andy Miller), sent postward as the 1-4 choice, made the lead from post No. 2. He set seemingly comfy, cozy fractions of :29.3 and :59.4, with Broadway Bistro (Jason Bartlett) trying his fortunes first-over.
The Chancellor then made a bad break before the 1:29.1 three-quarters. It was the talented colt's third misstep in his last seven starts.
Meanwhile, Broadway Bistro opened to 3 1//4 lengths turning for home. He held off a fast-closing Calchips Brute (Smedshammer) by a length in 1::58.1, with Citation Lindy (Ray Schnittker) and Truth in Action (Lachance) grabbing the final invitations to return for next week's show.
For Broadway Bistro, a homebred son of Broadway Hall trained by Jim Campbell for co-owners Arlene and Jules Siegel, he paid $33.80 (fourth choice) for his second win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $179.50, with the triple returning $1,206.
"I really didn't want to come first-up, but I wound up getting away fourth inside (from post No. 3) and I didn't want to take the chance of not getting out," Bartlett said.
"I had no idea that (The Chancellor) was about to break. I was lucky there, but he also fuinished well."
Saturday night's pair of $20,000 eliminations for the Hudson Filly Trot were easily won by down-the-road favorites Yursa Hanover (Jeff Gregory, $5.10) and Seaside (Bartlett, $4.20).
Yursa Hanover, leaving from outside post No. 6, made a grief-free lead and had a angst-free trip. Coasting through intervals of :30, 1:00.2, 1:29.2, she held off One Tough Girl (Cat Manzi) by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:59.1. The latter was racing for the second time in as many days after winning the final of the Freehold's Helen Smith...ironically, with Gregory driving. Windsong Soprano (Pat Berry) and Sea Raven (Greg Grismore) also earned berths in next week's $327,985 final of the Hudson.
"Yursa," a 3-year-old daughter of Windsong's Legacy, is now 4-for-7 this season. She's trained by Tracy Brainard for owner Richard Berthiaume.
Unfortunately for Honorable Daughter (Bouchard), she schlepped her breaking problems across the river. After misbehaving in the final of the Hambletonian Oaks, last season's frosh divisional champ jumped it off early in her (first) Hudson trial and was never a factor.
Seaside, leaving from post No. 4, worked her way around Hall of Wishes (Bouchard) and set fractions of :29, :59.1, 1:28.3 and 1:57.3. She defeated Hall of Wishes by 2 3/4 lengths, with Sirenuse (Manzi) and Whispering Wind (Smedshammer) also grabbing final invites.
Celebrity Juliet (Marcus Johansson) tried it first-up from fifth (last), tired and eventually made a late break.
Seaside, a Yankee Glide lass, is owned by Thomas Dillon and trained by Jonas Czynerson. It was her third win in nine '09 tries. (Yonkers)