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Leader Of The Gang, Jezzy star at Yonkers

July 09, 2011

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Leader Of The Gang won the $445,474 Yonkers Trot in 1:57.2 Saturday night, but he's lucky he didn't have to face the tough-as-nails 3-year-old trotting filly Jezzy. Just two races before the Yonkers Trot, Jezzy won the $237,714 Hudson Filly Trot in 1:56.3 after enduring pressure the entire race. Jezzy also won her seventh race in a row.
Leader Of The Gang, a son of Muscles Yankee, started from post position two and was sent to the lead by driver David Miller. George Brennan protected the rail as long as he could with Del Cielo, but Miller pressed on and was in control of the race by the time the quarter was reached (:28.1). At the half Evil Urges was sent to challenge by driver Jimmy Whittemore and he did a credible job, racing alongside Leader Of The Gang until they were almost through the last turn.
In the homestretch Leader Of The Gang pulled away, but then had to fight off the brave Evil Urges, while Del Cielo shot up the inside to close the gap as well. Del Cielo, a Broadway Hall colt trained by Buzzy Sholty, finished second while the Homer Hochstetler-conditioned Evil Urges held for third.
"When you draw that well, I didn't want to waste it," said winning driver David Miller of his strategy. "I really though he was as good as any horse in here, so if I could get the lead and control the race, it would work to my advantage. Evil Urges took a good run at me and I know I had George (Brennan with Del Cielo) on my back, but my colt was solid."
Leader Of The Gang is owned by Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, Joyce McClelland and RAW Equine. The  Yonkers Trot was the colt's first victory in five starts this year, but he won five of 10 last season.
"I always believed in this horse," said Jimmy Takter. "Even though he hadn't raced as well this season as he did at two, I felt he was going in the right direction. I have to give all the credit to my daughter, Nancy. She's done a tremendous job taking care of him.”
Meanwhile, Jezzy, trained by Ray Schnittker, who co-owns the filly by Ted Gewertz, Jerry Silva and Jeff Gural, showed she is one gutsy filly. Driver Tim Tetrick sent her to the lead at the start, but in the first turn she was sandwiched betgween Angelette Hanover and Creme de Cocoa. Tetrick finally got clear but then Jimmy Tatker sent Thatsnotmyname, last year's Merrie Annabelle winner, up to challenge.
It was no surprise that Tetrick wouldn't yield, but Jezzy had pressure until the half. And that's when Lady Rainbow was sent to challenge by Jeff Gregory. Jezzy raced with that rival alongside her flank, but in the last turn it appeared that the first-over assault had sapped Lady Rainbow's courage as she fell back slightly. But as the wire neared, Lady Rainbow swelled up and fought the good fight, trimming the margin to less than a length.
Jezzy's victory in 1:56.3 matched the miles of Vulcanize (2007) and Windsong Soprano ('09) as the fastest Hudsons.
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