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Sorentino returns to Yonkers\' winner\'s circle

July 03, 2009

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The start of Yonkers Raceway\'s summer meet Thursday night brought with it an all-too-rare sight of late--driver Mike Sorentino Jr. in the winner\'s circle.

Sorentino and 12-1 Kris\'s Legacy ($26.60) teamed for a decisive, 4 1/4-length win in the $14,500 second-race trot. The pair sat second-over behind a wicked speed duel and took full advantage, busting the race wide open past the three-quarters and winning as they pleased in 1:58.3.

That effort matched the career best for the 5-year-old daughter of Ilooklikemymon, trained by Sorentino for his father. It was also the lady\'s first victory in 15 seasonal starts after a five-win, nearly $55,000 season in 2008.

Sorentino has been \"just\" a trainer while battling recurring back problems. It was his first driving victory since Dec. 4, 2007, when he guided Ain\'t No Stopn Us--another horse he trained--to a handy victory in a claiming pace here. He had made only one driving start in both 2008 and 2009 prior to Thursday night\'s win.

\"The back has been feeling better, so I figured I will drive a bit during the summer,\" Sorentino said. \"Everything worked out perfectly tonight. We claimed this mare (in April of) last year, and she became very sick…colic. I thought she raced well last week, but the mile (1:57.4) was just too fast for her. She made it look easy tonight, and winning always feels better than losing.\"

Despite the impressive performance, Sorentino stopped short of soliciting his services for nightly catch-driving duties.

The affable 46-year-old Sorentino, a resident of nearby Bronxville, has won more than 1,600 races and banked $9.5 million in a driving career which began in 1980. He strung together consecutive million-dollar purse seasons in 1999-2000. (Yonkers)

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