Last laurels of the season went to Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) Saturday night, who won Yonkers Raceway's $37,000 Open Pace.
In the fray early from post position 3, Sapphire City, along with Dream Out Loud N (Matt Kakaley) and Dallenbach Hanover (Larry Stalbaum), led the legions. They were 1-2-3 through early intervals of :27 and :55.2. Escape The News (George Brennan), as the 9-5 favorite, moved from fifth, but offered nothing toward a 1:23.1 three-quarters.
Meanwhile, Sapphire City owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, then held sway. He defeated the other leavers, Dream out Loud N and "Dallenbach," in 1:51.3. The margin over the former was a half-length, with Dallenbach Hanover, PH Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and Pan from Nantucket (Eric Goodell) settling for the remainder.
For Sapphire City, a 5-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stables and Jordan Sklut, he returned $6.30 (second choice) for his eighth win in 36 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $38.80, with the triple returning $555.
The Raceway's 2014 live schedule begins Monday, Jan 6, pending NYS Gaming Commission approval. (Yonkers)