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NF Happenstance best in Yonkers Open Trot

February 11, 2018
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Lone lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr., $7.20) and a repeating Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett, $13.20) were the big cheeses Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s moist, co-featured $40,000 Open Handicaps.

NF Happenstance exacted a measure of revenge upon Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno) in the weekly featured trot. In play from post position six, NF Happenstance waited her turn as Cash Me Out (Eric Goodell) made the first lead 

The lady took over before a 28-second opening quarter-mile, then was immediately flanked by 7-5 choice Rubber Duck. There would be no reverse chivalry here, as NF Happenstance hung Rubber Duck.

After a :56.3 intermission and 1:25.2 three-quarters, Rubber Duck had enough while NF Happenstance was just getting started. She opened four lengths in and out of the final turn, finishing her rounds in 1:55.1…fastest local trot mile of the season.

Dog Gone Lucky (Jordan Stratton) won the scrum for second, beaten 3 1/2 lengths, while Le Reveur N (Dan Dube) and Cash Me Out wound up in a heater for third. Lily’s Swan Pond (George Brennan) picked off the final pay envelope. 

For second choice NF Happenstance, an 8-year-old daughter of S J’s Caviar owned by James Moore and trained by Carol Jamieson-Parker, it was her fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta $39.20, with the triples returning $71 (Le Reveur N third) and $81.50 (Cash Me Out third).

The week’s pacing feature saw an early scrum with a handful of leavers, all of whom found seats except for 2-1 favorite Orillia Joe (Brent Holland).

Wide early, he engaged Dream Out Loud N, who gave him the back of his hoof. Early intervals of :26.3 and :55.4 were going to set it up for someone, and that someone was Killer Martini. 

Patient from post five, he went wide around a fading Orillia Joe and a stalled bid of All Down The Line (Goodell).

Dream Out Loud N maintained the lead through a 1:23.3 three-quarters, taking a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. While that one fought the good fight, he was about to get rolled over. It was Killer Martini sustaining his attempt, edging away to win by 1-1/4 lengths in a season’s-best 1:53.

Thisjetsabookin’ (Stratton) rallied for second after leaving for a seat and angling out. Dream Out Loud N lost the place photo, with Gokudo Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Don’tcallmefrancis (Greg Merton) settling for the minors. 

For Killer Martini, a 6-year-old Camluck gelding Alberta owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was—as the fifth choice--his second win in five 2018 tries. The exacta paid $147.50, with the triple returning $733.

As for Foiled Again (Brennan), his 307th career start—and third attempt at a 100th victory—was not the stuff of legend. Stuck behind the eight-ball in the $20,000, ninth-race pace, harness racing’s richest-ever equine never entered contention, trailing his seven rivals throughout the soggy sojourn. (Yonkers)

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