Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Raceway’s Saturday night (July 6) offered a look into the future.
A trio of $25,000 eliminations for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace saw 18 (after one defection) 2-year-olds, 17 colts and one gelding, vie for an invite to next Saturday night’s (July 13) $120,250 finale.
Columbo (Eric Goodell, $26.60), from post position three, won the fastest of the eliminations, sitting the loosest of pockets as lone gelding Freedom Warrior (Jordan Stratton) was a wild horse…as defined by runaway intervals of :27.1, 54.4 and 1:23.4.
Columbo predictably closed ranks and went by, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in a purse-debuting 1:54. Freedom Warrior held second, while a steppy 3-4 choice Hunter Hill (Tyler Buter) found his best stride late for third.
For fourth choice Columbo, a son of Sweet Lou owned by Ken Jacbos and trained by Gareth Dowse, he led exotics of $164 (exacta), $339.50 (triple) and $1,181 (superfecta).
The other eliminations were won by:
–American Rebel (by American Ideal); co-owners (trainer) Rob Harmon,Robert Robinson/driver Stratton; (first lifetime win) 1:57.1/$8.30;
–Save Me a Dance (by Heston Blue Chip): owner Robert Key/trainer Andrew Harris/driver Jason Bartlett; (life-best) 1:55.2/$6.40.
The eight finalists include the three elimination winners plus Freedom Warrior, Han Solo, Hunter Hill, Level Up and Manticore.
Open draw for the Sheppard Pace takes places Monday afternoon (July 8).
Saturday night’s pair of $46,000 Open Handicaps were won by:
–(Pace), Micky Gee N (Stratton, $8.90) in a life-best 1:50.1;
–(Trot), Eye Ofa Tiger AS (catch-driver Goodell, $5.70) in 1:54.3.