Odds-on Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $3.30) paid a price for the lead, then made his opponents pay the price for giving it to him Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $55,000 Open Handicap Pace.
In the hunt early from assigned post position six, the 2016 George Levy Series winner took over from 21-1 shot Caviart Luca (George Brennan) just after a zippy :26.3 opening quarter-mile. A rated, :29.1 next substation with :55.4 half was going to make the people’s preference tough to catch.
Melmerby Beach (Greg Merton) and Mach It So (Brent Holland) tried it from first- and second-over, respectively, as Bit Of A Legend N found a 1:24.2 three-quarters. He widened to 2-1/4 lengths in and out of the final turn, then held Caviart Luca at bay. The margin was measured three-quarters of a length in 1:51.3. Bakersfield (Mark MacDonald) and Melmerby Beach hit the line together for third, with Mach It So settling for the final pay envelope.
For Bit Of A Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor’s Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his fifth win in 17 2017 tries. The exacta paid $33.50, with the triple returning $89.50 (Bakersfield third) and $92 (Melmerby Beach third).
Prior to the race, Tritton spoke of von Knoblauch, who passed away early this month at age 90. "Harry was a gentleman who enjoyed racing and not afraid to spend money to get good horses. His daughters want to keep the stable going, and I’m fortunate to train for them." (Yonkers)