Yonkers Pacing Series Kick In To Start Stakes Season
The Ides of March need not be heeded for betting on harness racing, so we ignore the superstitious and roll on with TwinSpires Harness Blog’s selected features and the older pacing series at Yonkers that launch the stakes season. The Bogota, originally the “Levy,” will take place on Mondays since Yonkers does not race Saturdays anymore. The Matchmaker is presented in its traditional Friday divisions.
Pay attention to our never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch list (H2W), with suggestions enhancing exotic combinations and fair win, place and show finishes.
Dover / Race 11
Thursday / March 11
Scott Di Domenico’s Jacks Shadow N finished third at Dover last week as the public’s third choice. He went off at 6-1, statistical odds against the huge favorite. “Shadow” raced well from off the pace, racing as fast as the place finisher. De Domenico’s stable is active at a few tracks, most likely for distinct reasons, and this one, drops accordingly for the Delaware contingent to offer a better price for performing a better mile at a better price.
Sonny At The Beach is the probable favorite, though he won’t be an overlay and OK Kudo will also be under pressure as a top choice.
MATCHMAKERS ON THE MOVE
Three $35k divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series for older mares returns to Yonkers after the 2020 lockdown with short fields starring top performers.
Returning from a strong though abbreviated 2020 career, Erv Miller’s Alii Nui is going to improve greatly in this series—so we expect. She starts the series against a moderate group after failing to hit the board in her second start of the season—fourth at Pocono at 7-1. If she wins this, don’t expect her odds to get higher through April. This leg and at least another is the time to invest.
Six more healthy earners adorn the field, with two making their 2021 debuts. In the spotlight is Alexa Skye. Recently changing her trainer from Brett Pelling to Jeff Cullipher, she started the year showing no intention of slowing down. She has been first or second in five starts, making the most money of this field so far. However, even in the small fields we search for the strongest value bet, leaving “Skye” to her measly odds limit.
Monica Gallagher is up for the upset. She won a top conditioner here, beating the favorite at 6-1 for trainer Chris Height, going wire to wire with a significant challenge at three-quarters with some Matchmaker veterans left behind.. As a key horse over Skye and veteran Matchmaker competitor Seaswift Joy N, she promises big prices.
The third series’ division, another six should send the crowd to the windows for Nick Devita’s Siesta Beach. As well, they may support the season debut of Ron Burke’s Snobbytown off of a neat qualifier.
We will back Lady Dela Renta A. She has only raced twice and won one of those starts for Shane Tritton. The Australasian appears to enjoy racing on the other side of Earth and should be taken seriously against Blue Ivy, who is getting press with three wins in five starts.
The legs of the Bogata Pacing Series (BPS) for older pacers will adorn the Monday programs at Yonkers. We will adjust our Weekly Update blogs to reflect the changes. Each division of the BPS is worth $40,000.
Full fields for the fellas are assured for most of the series. Eight go in the first division. Western Joe will get action despite his brutal effort at the Meadowlands last week here he did not race a lick as the public’s second choice. First-time-season starters This Is The Plan and Breeders Crown-winner American History will be played heavily. The former qualified at the Meadowlands with few applause and the latter was third in a better prep the same day.
Shane Tritton’s Rodeo Rock races for only the second time this season, winning at first crack and if the Tritton stable does as well as most expect he could be one on the series’ finalists.
Another eight at the gate in division two presents arguments for a number of horses. Topping them, and a most likely crowd choice, is Lyons Steel, now four wins for seven tries. He was beaten late at the Meadowlands last time at 10-1 but is of this class and should be respected.
A good upset possibility for us comes from the dreaded 8 post, as Aflame Hanover has showed he could get a good spot early from any post and in only his second race of the season he is apt to take on a tepid top three. Raukapuka Ruler N, leaving to his left, should also be in the late mix at a price.
Another 8-hole competitor from the field of eight has a good shot to get to the top and roll away. Andrew Harris’s Rockapelo won’t let this field leave him behind to begin with, though even if that happened he would be rolling fast late. But the Ron Burke entry should shoot off the gate and attempt an engine pace from start to finish.
Tyga Hanover is bound to collect some series money for Andrew Harris, who will be taking his share of Bogata bucks through the weeks.
Again we will go after an obvious favorite, this time with the name of Shnitzledosomethin. And again we go to the outside, though this time to post 7 with Ana Afreet N. Jeff Cullipher’s Meadowlands winner last week in a Junior Open was impressive, beating “Shnitz” though this time Shnitz should be favorite over “Ana,” making for a great overlay.
Burke’s Semi Tough should get a spot on the toteboard, as driver George Brennan charts to have a high income this evening.
The last division of the first-leg quintet could also be a surprise as the first Chris Ryder entry of the series begins her campaign. Ashley Locaz N could have a good series for all her love of the four-turn miles. Leonidas A was all out and impressive in her first 2021 start and should show spiffy speed here for exotic combos.
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.
3/13/21, +Percys Z Tam R1; China Dream R9
3/13/21, Lakota Law R1; Mr Varsity R7
3/14/21, +Flashy Dud R1; +Rue Hanover R3; Devils Brother R7
3/15/21, +Half Cut R5; +Workin Them Angels R5; +Duckies Dynasty R6; +Mr Irresistible R7; +Northwest Yankee R9; +Dismissal Slip R11
3/13/21, Moonwards Hanover R2; Capozzo R8
3/13/21, +Barrage Hanover R3; +Atomic Blast N R4; +Primo Giovanni R13
3/11/21, +Gumption R2; +Alberts Dream R3; +The Great PG R3+You Said It R4; Braley Hanover R5; +Timeisoftheessence R10
3/12/21, +Magicshore R3; Rockin Lexi R3; Like A Cowboy R5;
3/12/21, DGs Elsa R2; Newsday R4
3/13/21, Beach Pro R5
3/14/21, Persistent Threat A R1
3/11/21, My Last Chance R3; Terem Up Louie R4; Shiplap R8
3/11/21, Let Me Be Clear R3
3/13/21, +Delight Kate R2
3/13/21, +Uptown Funk R7; +Zoe F R8
3/15/21, +Full View R10; +Duddies Lor R14
3/11/21, Wild Country R2; Just N Berlander R5
3/11/21, +Ladybeluckytonite R3; Lean Hanover R7; Eye Ofa Tiger AS R9
3/12/21, Jimbelia R3; Pickles On Top R4; +Norwegian Dad R7; Fern Hill Bella R9; Kounnis R11