Yonkers Raceway's usual Friday night pair of $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--for distaff pacers and any-gender-out-there trotters--were won by Rock N Soul (Jason Bartlett, $4.80) and Neighsay Hanover (Jeff Gregory, $7.80).
Rock N Soul, away from post position No. 6 as the 7-5 favorite, worked around Ticket to Rock (Cat Manzi) and made the lead before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile. She then rated a :29-4 next station (:57.2 half) as P Note Blue Chip (George Brennan)--who had tucked fifth-was out again.
"P Note" prompted the prom in and out of the 1:25 three-quarters, giving way grudgingly as Rock N Soul owned a length-and-quarter lead into the lane. She then held off a second-up Naughtytiltheend (Brent Holland) by that same margin in 1:52.4, with Ticket to Rock, Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Shaky Hanover (Eric Goodell) grabbing the remainder.
For Rock N Soul, a 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Howard Taylor and Frank Baldachino, it was her sixth win in 23 '12 tries (third in last four). The exacta paid $35.60, with the triple returning $132.50. The lass now has career earnings approaching $890,000.
Millionaire Neighsay Hanover, from post No,. 3, sat loose-pocketed as Lorenzo Dream (Bartlett) sailed through intervals of :29.1, :58.3 and 1:26.3. However, the legs began to get heavy soon thereafter, with 24-1 shot Take My Picture taking out of third. All the while, 4-5 choice Big Sky Storm (Jordan Stratton) was leaving himself with too much work to do.
"Lorenzo" owned a diminishing couple of lengths turning for home, but was about done. It was Neighsay Hanover going inside, whipping Take My Picture by a neck in 1:56.2. Lorenzo's Dream, Brickyard Toots (Ray Baynes) and Big Sky Storm settled for the minor spoils.
For Neighsay Hanover, a 6-year-old son of Muscles Yankee trained by Ray Schnittker for co-owners himself, Charles Iannazzo, Ted Gewertz and Fam Alber Horse, it was his sixth win (as second choice) in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $305, the triple returned $991 and the superfecta paid $4,957.
The $1.8 million New York of Champions is scheduled for Saturday evening. Eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals--for 2- and 3-year-old of both sexes and gaits--comprise the richest night of racing in the state. Fans in attendance receive both a T-Shirt and a racing-themed plate, while supplies last. (Yonkers)