Yonkers, NY — Say this much for Dan Dube…he appreciates timing.
Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night‘s (March 16) opener of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.
His open-length romp with favored Western Fame ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season.
From post position four in the first of a half-dozen, $50,000 divisions, Western Fame gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5-3/4 lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan).
Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett) avoid the happenstance to end us second, with Mach It So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder.
For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967.
The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million.
”He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile,” Dube said. “I thought he’d race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn’t worried about it.
“I’m obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I’d have the success I’ve had.”