One odds-on choice sizzled and one odds-on choice fizzled Monday night during Yonkers Raceway's $172,000 New York Sires Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
The event once again honored the memory one of the state's true get-it-done gentlemen, whose contributions to the industry were way too numerous to mention here.
The Monday sizzling was done by Springsteen (Dave Miller, $2.50), who sat a loose, second-over trip before closing ranks and powering away in the $85,250 first division.
Away fourth from post position No. 2, Springsteen saw revved up polester Lyons Steel (Scott Zeron) set early fractions of :26.4 and :55.1. Topville Olympian (Brian Sears) then made his second move, prompted in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters.
Meanwhile, Springsteen was meandering behind Topville Olympian, taking his time to tag him before going wide in the final turn. He did take over, opening a length in and out of the final turn before widening to 2 ¾ lengths at the spiffy 1:51.1 wire.
Rootin' Tootin' (Mark MacDonald) was behind the winner and chased him home, with Topville Olympian, Twin B Tuffenuff (George Brennan) and Lyons Steel coming away with the minors.
For Springsteen, a Hempt-winning son of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned (as Allard Racing)by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg and Kapildeo Singh, it was his third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.20, the triple returned $19.80 and the superfecta paid $69.
"He's at his best in the back end of the race," Miller said. "I really thought they'd go (fractions of) :27 and :57, so when saw the first half, I figured we were in good shape.
"I'm just the passenger when he's as good as he was tonight."
Monday night's second ($86,750) and final division, alas, didn't charm the chalk players. Art Rooney Pace winner Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), at 35-cents-on-the-dollar this evening, was ground into submission…as in last among the octet.
Sitting third early behind My Delight (Brent Holland) and Ghost Dance (Zeron), Trump Nation moved to the lead between a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and :56.3 intermission.
That didn't impress Ghost Dance, who took out of third to go after the people's preference. Pole-sitting Heavenly Sound (Jim Marohn Jr.) was able to work from second-over. Ghost Dance draw even at the 1:24.1 three-quarters, sticking his nose out entering the lane.
Meanwhile, that duel just empowered Heavenly Sound ($14.80), who whipped a third-over Ostro Hanover (Miller) by a length in 1:52.4. My Delight crossed the line third, but was set down to fifth for lane interference. That lifted Stendahl Hanover (Marcus Miller) and Rockapelo (Sears) to third and fourth, respectively.
For third choice Heavenly Sound, a Rock N Roll Heaven colt owned by M&M Harness Racing and trained by Bruce Saunders, it was his fifth win in 15 '18 tries. The exacta paid $92, the triple returned $970 and the superfecta paid $5,380.
"He negotiated the turns better here than his last start (Saratoga)," Saunders said. "We made a few equipment changes and the trip certainly didn't hurt."
Bruce Hamilton's brothers, Scott (with daughter Faith) and Keith, joined in the winner's circle presentations. (Yonkers)