Top trotters and pacers highlight Yonkers Saturday night card

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Ted Black

January 29th, 2019

One night before millions of sports enthusiasts will gather round their televisions to watch Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, a rematch of their classic Super Bowl 36 encounter, Yonkers Raceway in New York will offer a solid overnight card featuring numerous quality trotters and pacers.

Right at the midway point of the Saturday card a solid field of eight trotters will gather in the $44,000 Open Handicap. Smalltownthrowdown (Daniel Dube) won last week's edition of the Open by two lengths by avoided being truly handicapped as the race office opted to have posts five-eight draw for their slots in lieu of being assigned and the Rene Allard trainee essentially won the draw by getting post five and again looms one of the favorites.

Just to his outside is Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett), a longtime regular in the Open will make his return from the Meadowlands where he was third in that track's top class for trotters. A 10-year-old Revenue S gelding with ample back class, Melady's Monet sports a solid 53-3-27 slate and earnings of over $1.3 million and could enhance that sum this weekend. DW's NY Yank (George Brennan), who also sports 53 wins and $1.3 million banked in his career, drew post seven, while Andy Ray (Bartlett), the beaten favorite in last week's Open, got post eight.

Two other trotters who competed in the Open Handicap also drew inside. Hoofin It finished seventh from post two last week and gets post two again, but Mostinterestingman (Troy Beyer), seventh from post eight last week, got post three this weekend and should be a major player in this event for trainer Ricky Bucci. Mostinterestingman won the Open Hcp last Dec. 2 from post four and should be a factor throughout the mile this weekend.

One race later in the $35,000 Preferred Handicap for older pacers, Bellows Binge (Bartlett) gets assigned post position eight since his most recent start was a victory in the $44,000 Open Handicap on Jan. 12. A Maryland-bred son of Bettor's Delight owned and trained by Richard Banca, Bellows Binge has won four straight races and five of his last six outings and should be a factor in the late stages despite his outside post assignment and three-week idleness.

Then one race later in the $44,000 Open Handicap, much of the attention will be focused on Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing), hero of this event last weekend who gets assigned the outer slot. The 11-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding trained by Heidi Gibbs has emerged as the latest 'down under wonder' and was unable to avoid being assigned the outside slot - unlike Smalltownthrowdown in the Open Hcp trot - but should be a major player as his connections contemplate a possible berth in the upcoming George Morton Levy Memorial Series in the spring.

Just to his inside is Weona Sizzler A (Bartlett) who was eighth from his assigned post eight in the Open last weekend in his first start for owner-trainer Richard Banca. He had won three straight starts since arriving from down under for trainer Rob Harmon before changing hands last month and he could also be headed to the Levy in the spring along with several other Banca trainees.