Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $37,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--Pace for the ladies and a Trot for all qualified--were won by a to-the-house Royal Cee Cee N (Jim Pantaleano, $5.30) and a lane-finding Brando's Muscle Man (Jordan Stratton, $39.60).
In the game early from post position 4, 8-5 favorite Royal Cee Cee N worked around Cocoa Beach (Stratton), making the lead before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. After a :57 half, Rock N Soul (George Brennan) tried it from sixth.
When Rock N Load (Dan Dube) gapped that one, Campanile (Brandon Simpson) slipped out from third on the cones to race second-over. Meanwhile, Royal Cee Cee N maintained her advantage in and out of the 1:25.2 three-quarters.
With a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, Royal Cee Cee N won by that exact same margin in 1:53.4. Campanile photoed Cocoa Beach for second, with Mibestketpsecret (Mark MacDonald) and Hula's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) rounding out the payees.
For Royal Cee Cee N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her seventh win in 22 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30.80, with the triple returning $112.
The featured trot saw a trio of bad actors, including 19-10 choice DW NY's Yank (Brennan) and last week's winner, Somebody AS (Jason Bartlett). Of those minding their manners,. He'sgotlegs (MacDonald) fronted the fray through early intervals of :27.1 and :56.4. It was Brando's Muscle Man pocketed from post No. 2 as leader began to buckle past the 1:26.2 three-quarters. Likeabatoutahell (Eric Goodell) went up and over the leader, with Can I Say (Dube) on second-up.
Likeabatoutahell was the first to the lead off the final turn. He turned the baton over to Can I Say, but "Brando" slipped out from behind a tiring leader, found room and went by. The margin was a half-length in 1:56. Can I Say was second, with "Likeabat," DW's NY Yank and Fox Valley Steffen settling for the small change.
For rank outsider (eight choice) "Brando," a 5-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding owned and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, he's now 4-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $358.50, the triple returned $2,230 and the superfecta paid $19,111 (base $2 payout, 10-cent ticket worth $955.55).
Saturday night is the annual Fall Harvest Series. The $400,000 event offers eight, $50,000 races for New York-bred 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits who were not eligible for last weekend's Night of Champions, The Fall Harvest Series goes as races two through nine on the 13-race card. (Yonkers)