A total of 14 three year olds have been were entered for the 2007 edition of the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway with a pair of $40,000, seven-horse elimination races Saturday night. The first four finishers in each qualifying heat will return for the June 2 final, with a purse of not less than $750,000.
Leading the first Rooney elimination is the Pat Lachance-trained (and MJGB Racing owned and co-owned) entry of Home Bed Advantage and Forensic Z Tam, who drew next to one another in post position four and five, respectively.
Home Bed Advantage, a Cole Muffler gelding, finished third in the $225,000 final of the Berry's Creek at the Meadowlands earlier this month. As a frosh, he won eight of his nine starts and more than $247,000 as one of the scourges of the Illinois-bred circuit.
Forensic Z Tam, a statebred son of Bettor's Delight, went four for eight as a rookie with earnings in excess of $161,000. He finished second in the $150,000 New York Sire Stakes final a season ago.
Lachance listed himself behind both on the overnight sheet.
Glass Pack (George Brennan, post 1), The Double Dion (Jim Morrill Jr., post 3), Ideal Vintage (Yannick Gingtras, post 6) and Southwind Lynx (Morrill Jr., post 7) all come off solid freshman seasons, with each earning between $58,000 and $92,000.
Saturday night's second Rooney elim finds the first two finishers from last weekend's $301,032 final of the Max Hempt at Pocono in Tivoli Hanover (Eric Goodell, post 4) and Takeshigemichi (Dan Dube, post 3).
"Tivoli," a Western Hanover gelding, came from well back to upset the Hempt at 22-1 in a career-best 1:51, hie fifth win in 11 career efforts.
Takeshigemichi, a son The Panderosa, won his Hept elim in a life-best 1:50.
Mattdultery (Tim Tetrick, post 5), who banked more than $105,000 at two, tired in his Hempt elim, which served as his seasonal debut.
Digital Z Tam (Lachance, post 2) won the $200,000 final of the Kenutcky Sire Stakes last season and was first or second in six of his 10 '06 efforts.
The Art Rooney, one of Yonkers' signature pacing events, returns to the Raceway for the first time since No Pan Intended, the '03 Harness Horse of the Year, was placed first in that July's edition. The Rooney, which began in 1989, was not held in 2004 and 2005, while the '06 edition, won by Gimmebackmybullets, was contested at Montecello last November
The Rooney's compansion stake, the newly-renamed Lismore, attracted six soph fillies who are set to chase $242,620 in a one-dash-for-the-cash cotillion on Saturday, June 2. (Yonkers)
Art Rooney Pace Eliminations
First Elim (8th race)
1-Glass Pack (Geroge Brennan)
2-Western Artwork (Eric Goodell)
3-The Double Dion (Jim Morrill Jr.)
4-Home Bed Advantage (Pat Lachance)
5-Forensic Z Tam (Pat Lachance)
6-Ideal Vintage (Yannick Gingras)
7-Southwind Lynx (Jim Morrill Jr.)
Second Elim (9th race)
1-Poker Hat (Jim Morrill Jr.)
2-Digital Z Tam (Pat Lachance)
3-Takeshigemichi (Dan Dube)
4-Tivoli Hanover (Goodell)
5-Mattdultery (Tim Tetrick)
6-Whistling Hanover (Brennan)
7-Western Culture (Tetrick)