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Raising Rachel, Windsong Soprano, Yursa Hanover win

June 13, 2009
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All three favorites emerged victorious in a trio of $75,000 divisions of the Casual Breeze Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack, with Raising Rachel\'s 1:55 score the fastest.

Raising Rachel got some help in winning the first division for driver Jack Moiseyev in 1:55. The daughter of Yankee Glide - Raise The Bar sat fifth for much of the mile before making a move just past the half and following the cover of Elusive Desire who was trying to track down the front striding Kandor Hanover.
 
The pacesetter got away with three-quarters in 1:27 and looked like she might hold on in the late stages, but then jumped it off just before the finish. Raising Rachel, who was closing hard off the covered trip, went past that breaking rival to score in hand.
 
Kandor Hanover was subsequently placed fifth for being lapped on while off stride at the finish. Friendly Amigo was promoted to second at 99-1 while Elusive Desire was elevated to third.
 
With the victory, Raising Rachel remained perfect in two starts this season, despite the fact that she scoped sick following last week’s seasonal debut.
 
“It (sickness) appears to be behind her,” said winning trainer John Kopas. “I was very pleased with the way she kicked home. We’ve had problems with this filly with allergies in the past. We’ll try to keep on top of that and she’ll be on her puffer every day.”
 
The lion’s share of the purse boosted Raising Rachel’s career bankroll to just over $224,000 for owners Mel Hartman, Estate Of George Hempt Trust, KR Stable and Doug Millard.
 
Heavily favored Windsong Soprano followed suit in the second division and won easily for driver Steve Condren in 1:55.4. The daughter of Windsongs Legacy - Muscling In made her move to the front right at a leisurely opening half of :59.1 and then cruised to victory from there. She turned in a :27.3 final quarter to turn back Celebrity Juliet with Selfish Princess rallying for the show spot.
 
“Steve (Condren) made a great move with her,” said winning trainer Bob McIntosh. “He sensed there was no pace up front and moved her to the top. She really only had to race a half a mile. Any time you get away with that it’s a bonus.”
 
Windsong Soprano is now two-for-two this season and improved her career earnings to just over $395,000 for Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ontario.
 
In the final division, Yursa Hanover turned in a gritty effort for driver Rick Zeron to score in 1:56. The daughter of Windsongs Legacy - Yankee Topaz was involved in a hot first half of :55.4 before taking command and then holding off all rivals.
 
Longshot Celebrity Deville sat second throughout and held the place spot with Keystone Betty rounding out the top three.
 
“I didn’t want to get jammed up sitting back so I wanted to get out and leave with her,” said Zeron. “We went a little more than we wanted to early. I wanted to control the race, so I went back to the front. I was hoping for a little breather which we got. After that, she kicked home well. She’s a great filly.”
 
The victory was the first this season for Yursa Hanover, who is trained by Normand Bardier Jr. for owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Quebec. The lion’s share of the purse vaulted her over $400,000 lifetime. All three of Friday’s winners are expected to compete in the Elegantimage eliminations next weekend at Mohawk.
 
(Mohawk)
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