Yonkers and Meadowlands Offer Solid Friday and Saturday Night Cards

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Ted Black

December 2nd, 2016

While the Breeders Crown and TVG Finals and all other major stakes have been contested, harness racing fans and handicappers are still seeking to pad their bankrolls through numerous competitive overnight events that both Yonkers Raceway and the Meadowlands offer each weekend through much of December.

In Friday's second race at the Big M, a non-winners of $11,500 last five starts for older trotters with the exception of sophomores Naughty III (Andrew McCarthy) and Drazzmatazz (Brett Miller), railbound Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) will look to continue to climb the condition ladder and vault back into the Open for trainer Julie Miller. Last week the five-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding trounced lesser foes as the 7-10 choice in 1:54, a full second faster than the 1:55 posted in this event.

But Yonkers invader House On Fire (Vincent Ginsburg), a longtime fixture in the top classes at Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs in Maryland, and Buddy Hally (Corey Callahan), a late-closing third in his most recent at Dover Downs, both merit respect in this spot. Naughty III was placed second in this event last week in his Big M debut and looms an upset chance although likely much shorter than his 34-1 price a week ago.

Speaking of Rosecroft regulars, a pair of them will look to prevail just past the midway point of the card in a non-winners of $11,500 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares. Valentina De Vie (Jim Marohn, Jr.), who rarely goes off form and arrives with a 4-5-6 slate and $46,000 bankroll from 25 starts this year for trainer Henrik Lundell capped by a 1:51.4 score at Rosecroft and fellow Maryland regular Cedar Hall Heiress (Jason Green), who sports eight wins and $52,000 banked from 34 starts this year, will both look to upend Ron Burke trainee Windsun Glory (Joe Bongiorno) in this event.

Then several races later in the 11th, a non-winners of $15,000 last five starts class for trotters, both Waiting On A Woman (Brett Miller) and Rock Of Cashel (Callahan) ascend to this group off narrow scores against slightly lesser, while Classical Annie (Tim Tetrick) looks to rebound from an early miscue in the Open Handicap at Yonkers last out and B Yoyo (Bongiorno) brings a solid 7-6-3 slate and $96,500 banked from 30 starts this year for Burke and rarely seems to miss the exacta.
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That same evening at Yonkers Raceway, a competitive group will go postward in the $45,000 Open Handicap for pacing fillies and mares slated as the eighth race on the program.

Mach It A Par (Jordan Stratton) and Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) were assigned posts seven and eight, respectively, following their battle on Nov. 18 in which Krispy Apple notched her fourth straight score in this class with a nose tally in 1:52.4. Krispy Apple brings a stellar 10-4-0 slate and $260,000 bankroll from 23 starts into this event and she is clearly the reigning queen of the Hilltop oval right now, but Mach It A Par, who owns three fall wins in this class, and Bedroomconfessions, second to Lady Shadow in the TVG Final last month, both merit considerable respect here.

One night later at Yonkers, a pair of events for older pacers just past the midway point of the card should take center stage.

In the seventh, the $35,000 Preferred Handicap, Make Some Luck (Daniel Dube) was assigned post eight following his Nov. 19 win against the "winners over" class here, but he is hardly a cinch in this class and possibly not the favorite. Roland N Rock (Stratton) exits that same event but gets assigned well inside to post two and has ample gate speed to make his presence known throughout the mile. Doctor Butch (Brent Holland) is no stranger to the top classes here for trainer Linda Toscano, while Santa Fe Beachboy (Bartlett) gets some mild class relief after four starts in the Open Handicap.

Then one race later in the $45,000 Open Handicap, The Real One (Pat Lachance) gets assigned the outside eight hole two weeks after his all-age track record triumph of 1:50. Just to his inside is Open runner-up First Class Horse (Bartlett) and Blood Brother (Scott Zeron) who won the "winners over" here last Sunday while the others were idle. Take It Back Terry (Brennan) has shown ample improvement since adding Lasix, while Somewhere Fancy (Dube), PH Supercam and Melmerby Beach rate upset chances.

That same evening at the Big M, the second race should be very competitive. Entrymates In The Arsenal (Brett Miller and Dream Out Loud N (David Miller) will leave from posts three and seven, respectively, while Ashley's Husband (Ginsburg) will look to make amends for a third-place finish at 7-10 in this class last week. Bullet Bob (Callahan) carved out modest fractions in that event and settled for second, but looms the lone speed again in this group and will be tough to overhaul late.