Yonkers, NY — It was a chalky beginning to the 2021 MGM Borgata Series for free-for-all pacers on Monday night (March 15) at Yonkers Raceway as favorites delivered in four of the five $40,000 divisions.
Let It Ride N (Dexter Dunn) began the proceedings, prevailing off a second-over trip at 1-5 to run his record in the United States to seven wins from seven starts.
Dunn brought Let It Ride N to the outside from fourth after the :56.4 half, and then picked up cover when This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) tipped out of the pocket beyond the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Dunn sent Let It Ride N three-wide on the far turn, and he kicked home strongly to win by a half-length in 1:52.2. This Is The Plan was the runner-up, and Rodeo Rock (Tim Tetrick) closed from sixth to third in the last quarter.
Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Let It Ride N, an 8-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven, for owners William Hartt and Enzed Racing Stable. Let It Ride N has won 25 times from 61 lifetime starts and he has now pocketed $395,958. Let It Ride N paid $2.30 to win and led a $5.30 exacta and a $53.50 trifecta.
The lone upsetter was 9-2 offering Lyons Steel (Austin Siegelman), who won the second split in 1:53.1. Lyons Steel raced in fifth through fractions of :27.3, :56.4, and 1:25, went four-wide from third-over on the final turn, and got up in the stretch to defeat American Mercury (Andrew McCarthy), who had the second-over journey, by a neck. Mac’s Jackpot (Brent Holland) was third after popping out of the two-hole nearing three-quarters.
A 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, Lyons Steel is trained by Dennis Watson for owner BD Racing. Lyons Steel picked up career victory 27 and he pushed his bankroll to $391,224. Lyons Steel returned $11.40 to win. The exacta kicked back $58.00 and the trifecta was worth $231.00.
San Domino A (Todd McCarthy) didn’t disappoint at 3-5 in the next grouping, tallying in 1:53.1. San Domino A sped out from post four and cleared to the point around Tookadiveoffdipper (Pat Lachance) passing the :27 opening quarter. After a :56.1 half and 1:24.3 three-quarters, San Domino A slammed the door with a :28.3 final kicker, topping a first-over Tyga Hanover (Jason Bartlett) by 1-1/2 lengths. Pat Stanley N (Jordan Stratton) turned a second-over trip into a third-place result.
The victorious 8-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is trained by Nancy Takter for the ownership group of Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing. San Domino A now has 30 lifetime wins and he has earned $367,225. San Domino A paid $3.30 to win and was atop a $23.80 exacta and a $58.00 trifecta.
Hesa Kingslayer N (Jim Marohn Jr.) was the even-money choice in the fourth flight and he would get the job done in a 1:52.4 mile. This race was action-packed as 42-1 shot Ideal Jimmy (Holland) forged his way to the lead going to the :27 opening quarter, then gave a parking ticket to Shnitzledosomethin (Gingras) through a :55.3 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters. Hesa Kingslayer N, who had joined the two-wide flow from fourth before the half, went on the attack three-wide prior to three-quarters, assumed the first-over position on the final bend, and showed an advantage on the outside before they turned for home. From there, Hesa Kingslayer N went on to win by a length over Semi Tough (George Brennan), with Ostro Hanover (Tyler Buter) third from off-the-pace.
Trainer Michael Deters co-owns Hesa Kingslayer N, an 8-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen, with Joel Warner. Hesa Kingslayer N now has 18 career triumphs and he has put away $149,962. He returned $4.00 to win and keyed a $69.50 exacta and a $258.50 trifecta.
Siegelman picked up another MGM Borgata Pacing Series victory when he guided even-money favorite Leonidas A to a 1:53.1 decision in the final tilt. Western Fame (Daniel Dube), who won this event the last time it was held in 2019, posted stations of :28.1, :57.1, and 1:25.1, but Backstreet Shadow (Tetrick) was moving quickly towards him from first-over heading to three-quarters, and Leonidas A was glued right to that rival from second-over. Siegelman tipped Leonidas A three-wide on the last turn, vaulted into the lead in upper stretch, and then drew off to a convincing 2-1/2 length tally. Backstreet Shadow had to settle for second and Chief Mate (Scott Zeron), who started from post eight, advanced from last to third in the final quarter.
Last year’s Potomac Pace champion, Leonidas A is trained by Sheena McElhiney for owner Jesmeral Stable. A 6-year-old Mach Three gelding, Leonidas A has won 50 percent of his lifetime starts (26 of 52) and he has earnings of $251,848. Leonidas A paid $4.00 to win. The exacta returned $8.90 and the trifecta kicked back $76.50.
The MGM Borgata Series continues with preliminary round action through April 12 and the final is scheduled to take place on Monday (April 19).
There is more stakes racing ahead at Yonkers this week with the third and final leg of both the M Life Rewards Ladies Pacing Series on Tuesday (March 16) and the M Life Rewards Gents Series on Wednesday (March 17). On Friday (March 19), pacing mares take to the track in three $35,000 divisions of the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Alexa Skye, Blue Ivy, and Machnhope, who were victorious in the first leg of that event, have drawn in separate races again this time. Post time for all of those programs is 7:15 p.m.