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Plenty of kisses at Yonkers

February 17, 2007

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One lady grinded her business and one lady minded her business, but Stonebridge Kisses and KD Girl both ended up in the same place after Friday night\'s $35,000 co-features at Yonkers Raceway.

Stonebridge Kisses, back in Westchester for the first time in a month, did it the hard way in the Filly and
Mare Open Handicap Pace.

With Stephane Bouchard (four winners on the 11-race card) driving for trainer Mark Ford, the 7-year-old
daughter of Artiscape was in no early hurry. Sweet Celebration (Bruce Aldrich Jr.), who wired last week\'s Open \'Cap coterie, tried that exact same tact. Leaving from post position four, she stepped over pole-sitting Missthrill (Mark Beckwith) before a tepid :29.1 opening quarter-mile.

A rated :59.2 intermission was next, making the job of the closers that much more difficult.

Undaunted, Stonebridge Kisses--the 1-2 favorite--took up the chase. She methodically marched up from fifth, but had some work to do as Sweet Celebration maintained the throttle past the 1:28.1 three-quarters. The lead was a length-and-a-half, but the public choice would not go away.

With Missthrill bottoming out of the pocket and the other ladies too far back, the match race was on. Stonebridge Kisses prevailed by a hard-fought neck in 1:57.3. Tactical Rein N (Pat Lachance) closed from seventh to grab third, while Longshot Linda (Pat Berry) and Whambam N (Jim Marshall III) crowded around the crumbs.

For Stonebridge Kisses, owned by Martin Scharf, it was her second win (both here) in seven seasonal starts. She returned $3.10, leading a $9.70 exacta (two favorites) and $52 triple. Her career earnings are now just shy of $687,000.

The week\'s open-draw Open Trot saw Med Vac (Jim Pantaleano) leave from the pylons looking to defend
his title. The populace couldn\'t get enough, sending him postward with their blessing at a scant 30 cents on the dollar.

Med Vac, who enjoyed an easy lead a week ago, found him with immediate company this night in the form of Lemon Pepper (Berry) and Nahcotta Jude (Jim Marohn). However, Pantaleano was in no mood to give up the big chair.

He hung his two early rivals through frisky fractions of :28.2 and :57.3. All the while, the mare KD Girl (Jeff
Gregory), who drew post No. 2, was never far from the frivolity. She sat chilly as the veteran Blastaway Sahbra (Bouchard), who had left for an early seat, cleared the melting Med Vac just after the 1:28.2 three-quarters.

Soon therafter, KD Girl slipped out, and, in a matter of strides, was on even terms with Blastaway Sahbra.
The lass was ripe to pass, as KD Girl edged away to win by 2 1/4 lengths in a season\'s-best 1:59.

Speed of Shogun (Jim Meittinis) was third at 43-1, while Calchip\'s Muscle (Tom Jackson) and a gasping
Med Vac completed the cashers. Med Vac did manage to stagger home ahead of the two rivals his hung, while Designable was a judges\' scratch.

KD Girl, a 4-year-old Self Possessed ma\'am, was trained by Greg Hoch for owner Wayne Harrington. Her
second victory in four \'07 efforts (all here) was worth $12 to her fans, some of whom might have had the $102.50 exacta and $1,007 triple.

Friday night also saw the third and final preliminary round of the Hopeful Pacing Series for 3-year-fillies. The
trio of $10,000 events went to:

--Final Renee (by Final Cheers); owner Scott Dillon/trainer Scott Rollins/driver Jason Bartlett; 2:01.2/$4.60;

--The Isle of Pan (by Noble Ability); co-owners Stake Your Claim Stable, Dadetta, Wallace/trainer Linda
Toscano/driver Bouchard; 1:58.2/$2.80;

--Ladytrix (by Western Ideal); co-owners Stake Your Claim Stable & Linwood Higgins/trainer Toscano/driver Bouchard; 1:58/$3.50.

The Isle of Pan was the only lass to sweep all three prelim legs leading to next Friday night\'s $44,700 series
final. (Yonkers)
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