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Caviart Luca, Will Take Charge win Yonkers opens

June 09, 2019

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A pocketed Caviart Luca (George Brennan, $7.50) and an off-the-pace Will Take Charge (Jordan Stratton, $12.80) were the Saturday night standouts, winning Yonkers Raceway’s pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps.
It was a night where only eight drivers were programmed, so everyone was put to work in all 10 races.
From post position No. 4 in the weekly pacing feature, Caviart Luca made the first lead. He then gave it up to pole-assigned, 19-10 favorite Mach it So (Mark MacDonald). The latter led through intervals of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.3.
It was soon to become a two-speed number after Pacing Major N (Stratton) put in a rare poor effort while trying it first-over.
Mach it So owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but could not close the sale. Caviart Luca closed ranks and edged away, winning by a length in 1:52.4. Mach it So saved second over 45-1 rank outsider Epaulette A (Pat Lachance), with Mac’s Jackpot (Austin Siegelman) and Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees.
For third choice Caviart Luca, an 8-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura, it was his fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.80, the triple returned $173 and the superfecta paid $1,782.
The week’s marquee trot saw Will Take Charge—from post No. 6—close in a slogging :31.1 final quarter to win by a going-away length-and-three-quarters in 1:56.1. A cone-skimming 9-5 choice Winning Shadow (Brennan) was a needing-room-earlier second, with Swansea (Greg Merton), Lean Hanover (Siegelman) and Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Lachance) coming away with the remainder.
The closing effort was made possible after Smalltownthrowdown (Jim Marohn Jr.) hung New Heaven (Holland) through early subsections of :27.3 and :55.2. Both were heading the wrong way soon after a 1:25 three-quarters, as was former Yonkers Trot champ Top Flight Angel (MacDonald)…despite a perfect set-up.
For fifth choice Will Take Charge, a 6-year-old Kadabra gelding co-owned by (trainer) Jeff  Gillis and Mac Nichol, it was his second win in seven ’19 tries. The exacta paid $49.80, the triple returned $274.50 and the superfecta paid $3,605.
Special Saturday props to MacDonald, who won with the 9-year-old Sunfire Blue Chip (32ndcareer victory) and the 11-year-old Great Vintage (51st career victory). Both are now trained by Gary Candell. (Yonkers)
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