Michael's Power kicked off the big New York Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway Saturday with a 1:50.4 victory in the Open Pace, and the parade of Empire State stars followed, with $225,000 in purse money on the line in each race. The evening was capped off by the powerful 8 1/2-length score by Fool Me Once, a son of Art Major, in the 3-Year-Old Colt Pace.
Flyhawk El Durado was the first of the eight-champions crowned, winning the 2-Year-Old Colt Trot in 1:58. Driver Mark MacDonald put the son of Conway Hall on the front end and he won by a neck over betting favorite Credit Fashion. Mark Ford trains the winner for Martin Scharf.
The 2-Year-Old Filly Trot had an equally close finish with Market Rally (Cash Hall) winning by a neck over betting favorite Maud Blue Chip in 1:59.1. Market Rally, driven by John Cummings Jr., rode a second-over trip, racing seventh, 6 1/4 lengths back, at the half. Market Rally was still three lengths back at the top of the homestretch but rallied with a :29.1 last quarter. Trainer Megan Wilson and Johnny Yoder own the winner.
Bettor Business pulled off a 12-1 upset in the 2-Year-Old Filly Pace, riding in the pocket behind Sweetnsinful and then passing the pacesetter in the stretch and hitting the wire in 1:54.2. Dan Dube drove the winning filly by Bettor's Delight for trainer Scott DiDomenico and JFE Enterprises and Triple D Stables.
The 3-Year-Old Filly Trot went as expected as betting favorite Bouncing Bax cut the pace and won by four lengths in 1:56.2. Jason Bartlett drove the Credit Winner filly for trainer Jim Raymer and Harbor Racing Stable.
Crazy About Pat won the 3-Year-Old Colt Trot with a 1:55 effort for driver Eric Goodell. Tirade Hanover and Jim Morrill Jr. finished second, with EL Rocket third. Trained by Noel Daley, the winning son of Crazed is owned by the Patricia Stable. The win was his eighth in 18 starts this year.
He's Watching won the 2-Year-Old Colt Pace in 1:52 to no one's surprise. Major Trick was first to the from post 2 as Morrill settled the heavily-favored He's Watching in third from post 1. Morrill made a quarter-pole move to the front and was never headed the rest of the distance as he reached the half in :58.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. Big Boy Dream and Brian Sears, who came first-over in the final turn but was never a real threat, finished 6 1/4 lengrhs behind in second.
Now eight-for-eight in his career, He's Watching is a son of American Ideal trained by Dave Menary, who shares ownership with Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. His earnings ballooned over $300,000 with the championship vicory.
In the final for 3-year-old filly pacers, George Brennan moved Social Scene first-over to the lead after settling in fifth and the daughter of American Ideal drew away from her competition, opening up an eight-length lead in the stretch before coasting to the wire six lengths in front of runner-up Cheyenne Miriam in 1:53. Springforth was third.
Casie Coleman trains Social Scene and shares ownership as West Wins Stable with Steve Calhoun and Mac Nichol. Social Scene won for the seventh time in 14 starts this year.
Fool Me Once, driven by Brian Sears, took control of the 3-year-old colt pace quickly after starting from post 5 and rolled to a 1:51.3 score for trainer Mark Austin. Austin owns the colt with Daniel Smith.