Yonkers Pacing Series Ensue; Features Aim At Fierce Payoffs

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

March 24th, 2021

Spring is here as we past mid-March and TwinSpires Harness Blog’s selected features and the Yonkers pacing series—the Matchmaker and Borgata—roll into round two on Friday and Monday, respectively.

More also from the never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch list (H2W), with suggestions enhancing exotic combinations and fair win, place and show finishes.


Meadows / Race 6
Thursday / March 25

Among this conditioned pace there are only two that have won so far this season and they are both leaving from the outside posts. It could mean better chances than odds for all kinds of wagers. Here are out top three and why:

Bugger Bruiser scratched out of a $10k claimer last week and shows up, again for Scott Betts, in this claiming handicap on sale for less. He leaves from post 9, while the other one-win-wonder, Drewbert, leaves to his left. Drewbert has hit the board six of seven times with a single win. Along with the freshest pacer of the field—John Paul, who has only raced thrice in 2021, they merit the status to be the three necessary elements to attract us to this normal event. (Sidebar—the first colt from a John Paul crop should be named George Ringo.)


Leg three of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series (March 26) at Yonkers is down to a pair of $35k divisions for older mares, with seven lining each field. These two races are essential for some of the contestants to stay afloat for the remainder of the series.

Race 6
Two femmes we have had hopes for in the past two legs should rise to favorite status in this set of seven. Monica Gallagher was third in leg one and fourth in leg two against better in the series. She has her best and most important shot at revival in this group of disappointing participants.

Shane Tritton needs a good race out of Maczafffair, who was a sad fifth of six last week and needs to make a big effort as her trainer’s hopes for this series linger in the balance.

Race 7
After two legs’ wins with the slightest of efforts, Alexa Skye looms boldly as the mare to sweep the legs and crush the final. The only scenario for defeat would be a one or two challenger that could pace her down—it may take two dueling to come near a reality. She is truly a superior mare. Expect Siesta Beach to try off the gate first or have no chance at all and Seaswift Joy N could meddle with her in a shuffle. Both moves could thoroughly assist a come-from-behind flash from Blue Ivy, who won off of the sweat of others two back.


As the Matchmaker series ensues, mares taking a week off from or who have already exited the series may be racing in overnights and Opens at Yonkers or other tracks. We will add them to the H2W when our Preview blog deadline is posted. Some of their racing dates, then, may pass unlisted, so check Yonkers and area-track entries and charts for them because they are excellent bets coming out of the major-mares event.


Northfield / Race 9
Saturday / March 27

Bill Rhoades places Sapphire Hill in a cheaper race than her first trip of the year at Pocono. She was practically lifeless against that group, pacing about the five-eighths mile and losing more ground with each stride. Next thing we know, Rhodes has Sapphire Hill entered at the half-miler Northfield, for a lesser tag and against nothing but a single two-for-10 winner (Squirt). Battling this company may be a blessing and a shot at a big price. Rhodes knows how to place a horse and this seems to be a classic placement. A leap of faith and a promising payoff puts us in her corner tonight.

Squirt and Cheeky Cherry are the probable exotic partners if you take a bigger leap than just a win bet.


Monday, March 29 at Yonkers sends three divisions of the Borgata Pacing Series to post for leg three with a trio of $40k divisions.

Race 4
Last week we checked in with Tyga Hanover again. After his first-leg finish found him second at double-digit odds, the public hit him at 5-1 and he finished third to the first- and-second choices, which were 6 lengths ahead of him and the others. He will be hit harder at the windows here and most likely have a better shot at the win.

Also last week, from our first-leg selections, Raukapuka Ruler N sucked along in second from start to finish behind winner Backstreet Shadow at 58-1. A strong spot early in this field and he is trouble. What to do with None Bettor A? Four others buried Nancy Takter’s first-leg favorite in the stretch. If you toss that race and the odds are thick, things

Race 5
Rockapela got a perfect trip last week and so did San Domino A, except the latter finished second to Leonidas A, arguably better than Western Joe, who was in the photo with Rockapela. Here in this soft division, San Domino A looks a whole lot better to take Rockapela.

Western Fame will shoot out from post 1 and almost for sure be in the mix at the end, so do not be afraid to leave Rockapela out of the exacta if no other exotic for a price.

Race 6
Can anyone beat Lyons Steel? Oddly enough, you may see action on Chief Mate from post 8, having nothing to do with the rhyme. At 6-1 he was, as usual, a long way back to begin in the Leonardas A division and he took the overland route to be only a length behind him in the stretch to finish third. More of a duel between “Steel” and Backstreet Shadow could set it up for a “Chief” upset with a huge return.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.


3/27/21, Drunkonaplane R5; Private Equity R6; +Americanexpression R12; +Atlantis R12

3/27/21, Gravelsinmytravels R5
3/28/21, +Witch Hunter R5

3/26/21, Maydaymaverickhope R10

3/27/21, Keith Bourbon R4; Annabelle Hanover R8; Dirt E Rock R10

3/26/21, Slick Artist A R7; +Windmeupnwatchmego R7

3/25/21, +All About Heaven R2; +Touch Of The West R2; +Jigtime Jones R5
3/26/21, +Jeannies Terror R13

3/26/21, +Checks On The Way R6
3/27/21, Frankys Beach Boy R4; +Lyons Friend R7; Hamsandwich R8; Luvnmysharkaway R14

3/25/21, Bettors Pride R2; Meetyouatmidnight R3; Moms Crossroads R5; +Terem Up Louie R7

3/27/21, +Schemin Friskie R2; +Shady Madam R8

3/27/21, Melanies Tedy R2; Sunset Braydon R6; +JK Musicman R9; +Salty Robyn R12

3/25/21, Galarina R3; Joxter R5
3/28/21, Mister Marvalous R7

3/25/21, All About Madi R1; Letme Fly Low R4; Chaptiama R9
3/26/21, +Beltane A R10

Western Fair
3/26/21, Howmacfiesty R9

3/25/21, +Spun From Magic R8