Yonkers, Charles Town host stakes-filled Saturday cards
Horse racing fans are accustomed to seeing thoroughbreds compete during the day and standardbreds race at night,but tomorrow the roles will be reversed at several ovals as Yonkers Raceway hosts a lucrative day time program and Charles Town will host its annual West Virginia Breeders Classics.
Yonkers Raceway fans are accustomed to seeing the sport’s best trotters and pacers compete at night, but tomorroe afternoon the New York half-mile oval will host the $1 million International for older trotters, the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational for older trottera and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Memorial for older pacers on a suoerb program that gets under way at 1 p.m.
Juat past the midway point of the card, Yonkers will offer the $1 million Yonkers International for older trotters and the race had a genuine international flavor with many of the sport’s top older trotters from across the globe on hand to clash for the $500,000 winner’s share and the immeasurable bragging rights that come with beating their rivals in the one-mile and one-quarter affair.
North American contenders Atlanta, Marion Marauder, Cruzado Dela Noche and Guardian Angel As will clash with Euors Slide So Easy, Bahia Quisnot, Nza Josselyn and Zacon Gio in a tremendous event. Cruzado Dela Noche is the defending champion of this event, but Atlanta prepped well over the oval for trainer Ron Burke and Marian Marauder and Guardian Angel As have both performed well at Yonkers. Zacon Gio has won all eight of his starts this year and looms the top European trotter, although Slide So Easy and Nza Josselyn will prove formidable.
One race later in the $250,000 Harry Harvey for older trotters at the added distance of one-mile and one-quarter, the solid group includes Eye Of A Tiger As, Mission Accepted, Will Take Charge, Custom Cantab, Speeding Spur N and Rich And Miserable. Will Take Charge has been among the best Open Handicap horses throughout the spring and summer at Yonkers and looms the one to beat in this event.
Then several races later in the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational for pacers, defending champion and reigning harness horse of the year McWicked faces a steller cast that includes Jimmy Freight, None Bettor A, This Is The Plan and American History, all of which have already committed to the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway on Sunday, November 10. Most of them will be headed to the Breeders Crown elims and final later this month then heading to Maryland in early November before possibly heading to the TVG Open at the Meadowlands.
Then on Saturday night, Charles Town will host the West Virginia Breeders Classics, a nine-race card for state-bred runners of all ages worth $1 million. Many of the top West Virginia-breds will be on hand, although garded stakes winner Late Night Pow Wow bypassed her chance to defend her title in the $150,000 Cavada.
In the opening race on the card, the $75,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for two-year-old colts and geldings, Hypothesis looms the odds-on choice following an impressive score in the Henry Mercer Stakes here last month. In August he was fourth in a minor stakes at Colonial Downs won by Four Wheel Drive, an expensive sort with Breeders Cup Juvenile aspirations and runner-up So Street came back to win a minor sprint stakes at Laurel.
One race later, however, the Jefferson County Stakes for three-year-old colts appears a little more wide open ad K Town Brass, hero of the Robert Leavitt in August, faces Loving Touch, the undefeated full-brother to Runnin’toluvya, defending champion of both the West Virginia Classic and the Grade II, $1 million Charles Town Classic. James W. Casey trainees Boundtobegood, Scottish Man and Hero’s Man are also live prospects.
Then one race later in the Triple Crown Nutrition for two-year-old fillies, Twirling Owen seeks her second straight stakes score for trainer Anthony Farrior, whle Coach Rube will look to atone for her third-place finish as the odds-on choice in the Rachel’s Turn.
One race later in the West Virginia Tourism Stakes for three-year-old fillies, Parisian Diva looms the odds-on choice from post nine following her fourth-place finish in the Grade III, $300,000 Charles Town Oaks and seeks to give trainer Stacey Viands his first WVBC winner against a Jeff Runco tandem of Amelia Bedelia and Ocean Lilly and Grams trainee C.R. Case’s Legacy.
Then one race later in the $75,000 Onion Juice for older horses, Penguin Power rates the odds-on choice following his stunning upset of Runnin’toluvya in the Frank Gall Memorial here last month and brings a five-race win streak into this event for Runco. Grams will look to play the spoiler role with Ihearuknockin, who has won three straight and rates an upset chance.
One race later in the West Virginia Dash For Cash, a race that has produced huge upsets in each of the past two runnings, Dr. Feelgood will look to continue his winning ways for Pickett, while Last Print and Aaron’s Tap rate serious upset chances. Scythe won this event last year at a big price and is back to defend his title.
Then one race later in the Cavada, Anna’s Bandit looks to continue her fondness for the local oval and will not have to contend with Late Night Pow Wow. The Jerry Robb trainee prevailed in the Sadie Hawkins as the odds-on choice last month and will assume the same short price in here, with Runco trainees Prime Lime and See Ya Manana looking to play spoiler roles.
Then one race later in the $350,000 Classic, Runnin’toluvya seeks to regain his winning ways and defend his title in the nine-furlong feature for Grams. Second as the odds-on choice in the Gall last month, Runnin’toluvya should be able to regain his winning ways in the Classic. He has yet to taste defeat in any of his three prior tries at the three-turn distance of nine furlongs here, including the Grade II, $1 million Charles Town Classic in April.
One race later in the finale, T Rex Express seeks to successfully defend her title in the Distaff for Runco, while Grams will send out Rock N Gold and Casey will saddle B’s Wild Cork with modest upset chances.