Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--pace for the ladies and a trot for all with proper credentials--were won by a wiring Rock N Load (Dan Dube, $10) and newly-minted millionaire Likeabatoutahell (George Brennan, $13.40).
Rock N Load, involved at the start from post position 3, made the lead around Classy Lane Rose (Jason Bartlett) after a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Dawn's Legacy (Jordan Stratton) was third, with 11-10 choice, last week's winner Rock N Soul (Brennan), away fourth.That one, caught wide early, was on the move again at the :56.1 intermission, while Royal Cee Cee N (Brian Sears) was second-over. Rock N Load was maintaining her lead in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters, up a length tuning for home.
Royal Cee Cee N launched her wide bid, but could not reached, missing by a half-length in 1:53.4. Third went to Classy Lane Rose, with Dawn's Legacy and Campanile rounding out the payees. Rock N Soul tired to last among the octet.
For third choice Rock N Load, a 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover trained by Danny Gill for co-owners Edward Hall and James Hall Jr., it was her seventh win in 34 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $64.50, with the triple returning $440.50.
The weekly trotting feature saw "Likeabat"--doing his bidding from post 6--worked out a second-over trip. He watched early as a threesome--Somebody AS (Mark MacDonald), 3-2 favorite Zooming (Bartlett) and Brando's Muscle Man (Eric Goodell)--had designs on leaving. Soon after a double-parked "Brando" made the lead (:27.2 quarter), Somebody AS broke. That one caught back to race first-over, with Likeabatoutahell slipping out from sixth.
It was Brando's Muscle Man finding a 57-second half and 1:26.1 three-quarters, but he was about done in and out of the final turn. Likeabatoutahell was widest and fastest in 1:56. Melady's Monet (Stratton) was a cone-skimming second--beaten a length-and-quarter--with Zooming, Watkins (Sears) and a recovering Somebody AS settling for the remainder. "Brando” tired to eight and last.
For fourth choice Likeabatoutahell, a 10-year-old SJ's Caviar gelding trained by Trond Smedshammer for owner-breeder Michael Andrew, he's now 6-for-29 this season (40-for-165 lifetime with earnings of $1,005,393) The exacta paid $123, the triple returned $363 and the superfecta paid $2,183.50.
Saturday features eliminations for both the Messenger Stakes and Lady Maud, premier events for 3-year-old pacers. The former, final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, has a pair of five-horse, $40,000 elims. The latter offers a pair of seven-horse, $20,000 elims. Finals, worth $450,000 (Messenger) and $176,684 (Maud), are both scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2.
Also note that since no one took down Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's rendition (50-cent base wager, races 5 through 9) offers a $10,000 guaranteed pool. (Yonkers)