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A heater in Yonkers cold

February 18, 2007

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Monday may be Presidentss Day, but for the second consecutive Saturday, it was Presidents\' Night at Yonkers Raceway--only this time, he was there to share as John Adams dead heated for the win in the $35,000 Open Handicap Pace.

John Adams, who went the distance in last week\'s $35,000 Open, was on the engine again in this week\'s luck-of-the-draw 35-large Open Pace. With Eric Goodell doing the driving honors for trainer Erv Miller, our second president--leaving from post position four--two-moved around 17-10 favorite Eyes On Kassa (Mark Beckwith) just after a 28-second opening quarter mile.

Eyes On Kassa, last seen here winning the Open \'Cap Pace four weeks ago, appeared to be a handful in the two hole while second-choice Super Eighty Eight (Stephane Bouchard) pulled first-up from fourth passing the :57 half-mile.

John Adams led the octet through the 1:26.2 three-quarters and had a length-and-a-half to play with entering the paydirt path.

A proven tough customer when he cuts the mile, John Adams put away Super Eighty Eight and Eyes On Kassa was no threat from the pocket. However, a third-over (from post five) Pacific Playboy (Jim Taggart Jr.) made his presence felt through the lane at 15-1, rallying from sixth.

Mr. Polaroid could not divided Mr. Adams and Mr. Playboy, who tied for the title in 1:55.1. Both were a neck better than Allamerican Inca (Jim Pantaleano), with Super Eighty Eight and Eyes On Kassa grabbing the small change. Super Eighty Eight had hit the board in his last six appearances.

For John Adams, a 5-year-old Cam\'s Card Shark gelding co-owned by Neptune Stables and MJG Racing
Stables, the dead heat was his third victory in five seaonal starts. He returned $5 to his half-a-loaf-is-better-than-none backers.

Pacific Playboy, a 7-year-old Pacific Playboy gelding co-owned by Messrs. Grossman, Demeter and Burns and trained by Jake Hartline, earned his first victory in five \'07 tries. He paid $13.40 for his share of the big chair.

Saturday night included the third and final preliminary round of the Hopeful Pacing Series for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of $10,000 dashes went to:

--Foiled Again (by Dragon Again); owner Patrick Lacey/trainer Hermann Heitmann/driver Jack Baggitt Jr.; 1:57.1/$2.80;

--Saratoga John,g (by Richess Hanover); co-owners Joseph Costa & Joseph DeSapio/trainer Buzzy Sholty/driver Steve Smith; 1:57.2/$10.80.

The 11-race card also had its share of betting bombs. Bouchard, of all people, went the distance from the pylons in the $30,000, ninth-race winner\'s-over pace with 59-1 Flight Sign ($119). The 6-year-old son of Life Sign took last week off after being outrun in consecutve starts.

Earlier in the program, Ray Schnittker found room with the veteran SPF Forty, winning the $25,000, fourth-race claiming handicap at a $64.50 mutuel. The 9-year-old Jenna\'s Beach Boy gelding, now with more than $415,000 in career cash, had been the beaten (5-2) choice in the same class a week ago. (with files from Yonkers)
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