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Small-but-select field in $100K Sheppard

July 11, 2018
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The phrase "small but select" gets invoked for Saturday night's $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, Yonkers Raceway's premier event for open 2-year-old colts and geldings.
 
With just six entrants (down from 20 a season ago), all go straight to the gate for the finale, with Yonkers again paying homage to the Hall of Fame founder of Hanover Shoe Farms. The race began in 1964, with iconic Bret Hanover its first winner. It continued, sometimes as a split stake, through 2003, before being resurrected in 2012.
 
This season's Sheppard goes as the sixth race during the dozen-race card, with first post at the usual 6:50 p.m.
 
There appears to be some aptitude among the happy half-dozen, led by statebred World on Edge (George Brennan, post 5). The son of Roll with Joe, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Joe DiScala Jr., J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Adriano Sorella, made a successful purse debut here, winning his $53,000 division of the New York Sires Stakes late last month (down-the-road 1:57.1).
 
At $50,000 (Harrisburg), he was the priciest of the participants.
 
Another member of the Empire set is pole-sitting Hurrikane Kingklee (Dan Dube), who's been third in both of his sire stakes tries (here and Monticello).

The Art Major colt is trained by John McDermott for co-owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing and George Vierno.

Just Plain Loco (Jim Marohn Jr., post 3) was a 14-1 upsetter in his first race for money, a 1:54 effort at the Meadowlands. The gelded son of Well Said is co-owned by (trainer) Tom Fanning and Paul Lang.

"He's a small horse—maybe the smallest I've ever trained—but doesn't know it," Fanning said. "He's athletic and handy and should move forward off that start."

Treasure Tom (Jason Bartlett, post 4), a Mach Three gelding---the other in the field—enters the Sheppard off a pair of Pocono qualifiers…both with Bartlett driving.

We can't guarantee Larry Bird is going to be in and around Westchester Saturday night, but his nickname sake is. Hickfromfrenchlick (Mark MacDonald, post 2) was a blowout winner in the $11,000 division of Goshen's Landmark Stakes (1:57.3, back half :56.3).

The statebred son of So Surreal is co-owned by (trainer) Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico.

Can We Dance (Greg Merton, post 6), trained by Nancy Johansson, is another making his first purse try. The son of A Rocknroll Dance is a half-brother to Sweet Rock, a career earner of more than $611,000. (Yonkers)

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