Yonkers Raceway will feature two $50,000 Open Handicaps Saturday--one for trotters and one for pacers--as part of a 10-race card with more than $280,000 in purse money up for grabs.
Featured in the sixth race Open Trot is the Angus Hall mare Allerage Star, owned in partnership by Jeff Gural and Jason Settlemoir. The mare beat the boys in this class last week and is now handicapped with post eight as a consequence of that victory. Allerge Star was the leading money winner in the field in 2016, amassing $196,000 while mostly competing at the Hilltop Oval where she has found a home.
Allerage Star's main competition appears to be the 10-year-old gelding Springbank Sam N. The Peter Tritton trainee will be piloted by the red hot-handed Jordan Stratton for owner Harry von Knoblauch of San Diego, Cal. Springbank Sam N has already banked nearly $55,000 in just four Yonkers starts this year.
Also to be contended with in the Open Trot is Red Hot Herbie who has deposited $54,000 in three Yonkers starts this year for trainer Rene Allard and leading driver Jason Bartlett.
The Open Pace is the seventh race Saturday and pits Somewhere in LA and driver Matt Kakaley against a field of tough and seasoned competitors. The Richie Banca-trained Somebeachsomewhere 6-year-old gelding has banked just shy of $85,000 in five starts, four of which have been victorious. This talented pacer has had the eight hole in his last two starts and last week he lit up the tote board at 17-1 after being stung to the quarter in :26:4. Driver Jordan Stratton dispensed the stinging with the Iowa owned and beaten favorite Roland N Rock who leaves from post four. Undaunted by being roughed-up, Somewhere in LA's regular pilot Matt Kakaley just put the pedal to the metal and marched home in 1:52.4.
This week, could be different with the addition of the Burke-trained Sapphire City, who moves up from non-winners of $25,000 last five and shows three consecutive wins since moving into the Burke Stable. With a penchant for the front end and driver George "The Minister of Speed" Brennan aboard, his early speed presence should make it more difficult for Somewhere in LA to emerge the victor.
However things shake out, the first two legs of the Pick 5, races six through 10 are not for the faint of heart and present a serious challenge for handicappers. First race post is slated for 7:10 p.m. and the races are available for free live streaming on empirecitycasino.com and also find free daily race reviews and analysis on the entries and results page on the website. (SOANY)