The two-party system which caucused and primaried elsewhere Saturday night were no match for the three Open Handicap platform fully endorsed by Yonkers Raceway. The Open 'Caps, each worth $30,000 of soft money, featured the usual fare of pacers, trotters and distaff pacers.
Mr. PBN (Eric Abbatiello), disinterested early from post position three, used a bold brush in and out of the intermission to bust the Open Hanidcap Pace wide open.
After longshot Let's Roll Joe (Jason Bartlett) and even-money favorite George At Bigs (Jim Pantaleano) set amitbious early fractions of :27.1 and :56.1, Mr. PBN vacated to cones from fifth...and he meant business. Mr. PBN went up and over "George," enjoyed an open-length lead passing the 1:23.4 three-quarters and owned a 3 1/2-length advantage into the lane. He prevailed by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:53.2, with Forest Vic A (Steve Smith) grabbing second after a shuffle and Hop Sing (Stephane Bouchard) along for third.
George at Bigs--who won this race a week ago--and King Cat Anvil N (Jordan Stratton) mananged the morsels
Mr. PBN, a 7-year-old Down Under Precious Bunny gelding, is trained by Abbatiello for owner Howard Schneidler. He returned $9.80 (third choice) for his first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $82, with the triple good for $490.
The weekly Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace saw the 8-5 choice, Best Chance Hanna (Pat Lachance), work out a second-over trip from post four and win a blanket photo.
Peine Bubbles (Pantaleano) led through intervals of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:26.1, but she was hounded along the way. Our Girls Chance N (Smith) grinded first-up, schlepping "Hanna" along for the ride.
Best Chance Hanna needed every bit of the tow, getting the line in 1:55.2 a neck better than 37-1 rank outsider Drinking Games (Stratton). Our Girls Chance N was third, beaten a half-length. Peine Bubbles and Binions (Greg Grismore) rounded out the payees, with the entire octet divided by just 3 3/4 lengths at the wire.
Best Chance Hanna, a 5-year-old Western Ideal ma'am trained by Lachance for Z Tam Racing, paid $5.20 for her first '08 win in a couple of efforts. The exacta paid $94, with the triple good for $214.
The featured trot went to Kaline (Smith), who continued his prolonged local form spree. Sent postward as the 11-10 choice from post five, Kaline watched as Drill Sergeant Sam (Jim Marshall III) stepped around pole-sitter Badboy Paparazzi A (Jack Baggitt Jr.) and led through rest stops of :29.1 and :58.4.
Get Packin' (Pantaleano) offered a stern challenge first-over, while Kaline seemed to gap a bit on that one's tail. "Sam" maintained the lead at the 1:27.4 three-quarters, but he was done turning for home.
Kaline put his work shoes on in the lane, going wide and edging a pylon-skimming Stan (Stratton) by a half-length i n 1:58.2. Grain of Truth (Ray Schnittker) closed for the bottom of the ticket at 55-1, with Get Packin' and Drill Sergeant Sam settling for scraps.
For Kaline, a 9-year-old Malabar man gelding, it was his first win in two '08 tries...and second in four efforts after a five-month hiatus. (Yonkers)