It was another round for the statebred 3-year-old fillies Thursday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $255,913 Joe Goldstein Trot. A total of seven divisions--included three off the card--went at it.
Julia's Way (Jeff Gregory, $9.60) was a perfect-trip, maiden-breaking winner ($36,759) in the evening first wagering NYSS event, Leaving from post position No. 2, she sat behind duelers Borrow and Spend (Ray Schnittker) and 1-2 favorite Miss Fidget (Ed Lohmeyer). "Julia" left the cones, angled out and went by, winning by three-quarters of a length in 2:01.2. A cone-skimming Fancy (Stephane Bouchard) grabbed second, with Miss Fidget saving the bottom of the ticket. The exacta paid $32.60, with the triple returning $89.50.
Julia's Way, a daughter of Conway Hall, is owned by Josephine Rappa and trained by Dave Dziengiel.
"I was able to leave out of there, and that helped a lot," Gregory said. "When I drove her at Buffalo (two starts ago), I took him into the passing lane and she didn't like it, so I moved her to the outside and she took it from there."
The evening's sixth ($36,759) sire stakes division saw an impressive effort by Lima Playmate (Ray Schnittker, $6.90). Leaving from post No. 4, she went wide at the half around a parked-out longshot, chased leading American Lassie (Charlie Norris), stalled momentarily, then took over and took off.
Lima Playmate wound up defeating 3-4 choice Anandamide (George Brennan) by 2 1/2 lengths in 2:00.3, with American Lassie fading to third.
"Lima," co-owned by (trainer) Schnittker and Lima Playmate Stable, atoned for last week's early break for her fourth win in six frosh tries. "I wanted to be extra careful leaving with her this week, but I thought I was the best, anyway," Schnittker said. "Down the backside, she starting looking at the starting car (parked by the back fence), but then went back to business."
Pretend to Be Nice (Cat Manzi, $17) was a two-hole, 2:02.1 winner in the fifth ($36,759) event, three-quarters of a length better than a stubborn
Pittstop Ruthie (Dan Daley), with Weekend Vacation (Brennan) third. Even-money Honeymoonisover (Gregory) tried her luck first-up against "Ruthie," but was repelled and faded to fourth. The exacta paid $83.50, the triple returned $576 and the superfecta returned $888.
It was the first win in two tries for Pretend to Be Nice, a Conway Hall miss trained by Kimberlie Miller for the co-owning contingent of Janice Rubin, Mary Katz, Domenic Catton and Darla Gaskin.
The evening's ($36,759) final sire stakes event saw firster The Heart Lives On (Howard Parker, $4.10) embarrass both her rivals and this author/morning-line maker. The daughter of RC Royalty drew even with, then drew off from, Fortunista (Doug R. Ackerman) en route to a three-length, 2:03.3 victory. Longshots Royal Icing (Daley) and Mystical Maid (John Stark Jr.) were third and fourth, respectively.
The Heart Lives On is owned by Carolyn Meinwald and trained by Octavia Rappaport. The exacta paid $13.80, the triple returned $105.50 and the superfecta paid $403.50.
Thursday's trio of NYSS non-bettors, worth $36,759, $36,059 and $36,059, respectively, were won by..
--Barbara Goldstein (by Conway Hall); owner Steven Goldstein/trainer-driver Kim Crawford; (life-best) 2:01.1;
--Steuben Lone Pine (by Sand Vic); owner David Fisher/trainer Mary Fisher/driver Brennan; (first purse win); 2:00.3;
--Kristin's Victory (by Cash Hall); owner-driver Steve Smith/trainer Karen Garland; 2:03.1.
Yonkers' regular five-night-per-week schedule (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) remains in effect, with the Raceway proudly hosting the fifth and final round of the 2011 World Driving Championship Friday night. First post for all racing programs is 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. (Yonkers)