Yonkers Raceway paid homage to Friday the (April) 13th, wrapping the preliminaries with the fifth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Three, $40,000 events again brought together many of the best pacing mares in the last chance to impress the electorate.
First Division—A first-up toughie, but Dudesalady (Tim Tetrick, $27.80) prevailed in a blanket finish.
Early leader Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan) gave it up to Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett), with the latter setting early intervals of :27.3 and :56.4. From post position two, Dudesalady took out of fourth, with 11-10 favorite Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) towed from second-over.
Dudeslady found her best stride after a 1:24 three-quarters, though Lady Shadow owned a 1-1/4 lead in the lane. The pursuer surged late, whipping the pace-setter by a neck in a life-best 1:52.4. Lakeisha Hall found inside room but was photoed for second.
Call Me Queen Be closed well for fourth, while Mackenzie A wound up a flat fifth, the quintet of payees separated by just a half-length.
"I thought she was good last week (third), so I wasn’t surprised she dug in," Tetrick said.
For fifth choice Dudesalady, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by First Staters M&L of Delaware & Victoria Dickinson and trained by Bruce Saunders, it was her fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts (1-for-5 in series). The exacta paid $131.50, with the triple returning $629.
Second Division—Pole-sitting Sell A Bit N (Stratton, $8.50) went the distance (:27.1, :56.3, 1:25.1, season’s-best 1:53.1). She stuffed Medusa 19-10 fave (Yannick Gingras) in behind, then dealt with a first-up Twinkle (Eric Goodell).
The latter could have been a tad better ‘front ma’am’ for Newborn Sassy, who herself was gapping a bit.
Newborn Sassy rallied wide and did get into second. Sell aABit N owned a three-quarter length lead in and out of the final turn, maintaining that margin to the wire. Medusa was third, with Twinkle fourth.
For third choice Sell A Bit N, an 8-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her fifth win in 10 2018 tries (2-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $42.40, with the triple returning $155.50.
Third Division-Well, this was a surprise. Series domimnatrix Shartin N (Tetrick), who had won all three of her Matchmaker starts before getting a week off, couldn’t get out of her own way. The 3-10 choice broke right at the start, caught the field, then jumped it off again at the half.
While this hard-to-believe was happening, pole-sitting L A Delight (Gingras) retook from Clear Idea (Mark Mark MacDonald), then held the other three in-range lasses at bay (:28.2, :57.4, 1:25.1, season’s best-matching 1:53.2).
Clear Idea was second, beaten by 1-1/4, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) third.
Shartin N wound up last among the octet.
"Just wasn’t her night," Tetrick said. "There have been times when she’s been fussy with her mouth, and I don’t know if that’s what happened. She jogged back to the paddock and seemed sound, so we have to see."
For second choice L A Delght, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Nancy Johansson, she’s now 2-for-4 this season (2-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $59.50, with triple returning $298.
The entrants for the Saturday, April 21, final (purse $373,000) and consolation ($75,000) shall be determined by the race office in accordance with the conditions of the series and in advance of Monday afternoon’s (April 16) draw. (Yonkers)