Yonkers Raceway's Friday night pair of $44,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--for distaff pacers and everyone-welcome trotters--were won by odds-on choice Royal Cee Cee N (George Brennan, $3) and Tober (Jason Bartlett, $8.30).
It was Royal Cee Cee N making quick work of her outside starting venue. Hurdling over her six inside rivals (one defection), she easily found her way around P Note Blue Chip (Brian Sears), annexing the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.1 intermission, Breakheart Pass (Bartlett), who had tucked into a five-hole, tried it first-up.
However, it was Royal Cee Cee N on display in and out of the 1:24.3 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. She then held a valiant Breakheart Pass at bay, winning by that same margin in 1:52.1. Best Boss (Pat Lachance), P Note Blue Chip and Naughtytiltheend (Brent Holland) completed the cashers.
For Royal Cee Cee N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Christian Cullen owned and trained by Mark Harder, it was her eighth win (3-for-4 since hitting town) in 24 seasonal starts (all-continent earnings now over $600,000). The exacta paid $27.80, with the triple returning $100.50.
The week's marquee saw Tober, in play from post position No. 6, take over from Take My Picture (Mark MacDonald), then hit early intervals of :28.3 and :58.2. Backstreet Hanover (Holland), the 17-10 favorite, moved from fifth going toward the 1:27.3 three-quarters, though Tober was more than comfortable.
He had three lengths leaving the final turn before winning by 3╝ lengths in 1:56.
Big Sky Storm (Jordan Stratton) rallied into third, with Take My Picture and Bank President (Dan Dube) grabbing the remainder.
For third-choice Tober, a 4-year-old statebred Credit Winner gelding trained by Ed Hart for co-owners Joseph Betro and (co-breeder) Kristie Leigh Farm it was his sixth win in 24 '12 tries. The exacta paid $17.40, the triple returned $178.50 and the superfecta paid $453.50. (Yonkers)