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Gods of the open draw not kind to Bartlett

August 27, 2009

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Jason Bartlett. Pleasant chap...very good driver...but not exactly like having a rabbit's foot in the pocket. There was Bartlett, sitting on a milestone (seven wins away from 3,000 career victories) and sitting in at Wednesday afternoon's luncheon draw for Yonkers Raceway's two premier trotting events, Saturday night's 55th Yonkers Trot (purse $670,774) and its constant companion, the $327,985 Hudson Filly.
Bartlett, running away with the local driving standings for the second consecutive season, joined many Yonkers Trot connections who had more than a  passing interest in the festivities. After all, he sat behind an elimination winner (Broadway Bistro and Seaside) in each stakes event. Unfortunately for him, the gathering included some guests who often show up, both unannounced and unrepentant.
The Gods of the Open Draw, and they weaseled their way in disguised as the eight hole. Not once. Twice. Glad you came, Jason?
"Unbelievable," was the his first reaction....or at least the first reaction we can print. "I really think I had a chance with both horses. I do have a chance, but now it's going to take a lot of luck."
Which never hurts, especially since the talent in there in both races.
Broadway Bistro, an Arlene and Jules Siegel homebred 3-year-old son of Broadway Hall, went first-up against odd-on The Chancellor in last week's second Trot elim. The 15-1 outsider assumed the lead when The Chancellor jumped it off before the three-quarters, then held off the closers for a 1:58.1 victory.

He enters Saturday's final listed at 8-1 on the morning line and with two wins in nine seasonal starts ($62,332).

"He made me look good (last week)," Bartlett said. "I wanted to get away third, but I wound up fourth and didn't want to take a chance of getting locked in. I was lucky (The Chancellor) made a break and I was able to open some daylight, but he was good to the end."

Broadway Bistro defeated a fast-closing Calchips Brute by a length, with Citation Lindy third and Truth In Action fourth.

"After the draw, I texted (trainer) Jim Campbell and he sent a note that I had to drive better and he had to train better.

"It would mean a great deal to me to win this race at my home track," said Bartlett--now five wins away from 3,000. "I am going to win it at some point. We just need a lot of things to work for us if it's going to happen (Saturday)."

Bartlett can get accustomed to his 10th race (Yonkers Trot) eight hole with his seventh-race (Hudson) outpost escorting Seaside.

"She was great last week," Bartlett s said of the snappy 1:57.3 elim victory. "I shut her down late or she could've easily gone in :56-and-change."

Seaside, a sophomore daughter of Yankee Glide, is trained by Jonas Czernyson, who also trains Trot finalist Select Yankee. The lass enters the Hudson three for nine in '09 with earnings in excess of $84,000. She's the 4-1 second choice, behind the other elim winner, Yursa Hanover. Had the posts been flipped, the early chances would have been, too.

"This would be a special race to win," Bartlett said, "The owner (Tom Dillon) has been a friend of the family from Maine for years and the filly has a lot of  talent, but..."

With that, Bartlett requested the Gods of the Open Draw go bother someone else. (Yonkers)

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