Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Raceway hosted a pair of Triple Crown races on Saturday night (Aug. 31) in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and the $500,000 Messenger Stake. Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) rolled home to capture the Yonkers Trot in a North American and track record 1:53.3 and American Mercury went up the inside to best Bettor’s Wish in the Messenger Stake in 1:51.3.
Trained by Marcus Melander, Gimpanzee ($2.60) made his bid for the lead in the Yonkers Trot first-over prior to the :28 quarter-mile pole. The son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows grabbed the bit and ran off with this event, posting subsequent fractions of :56.4 and 1:25 before cruising home in 1:53.3.
Hambletonian victor Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) closed strongly for second after an overland journey, with Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) hitting the wire in third.
“Since day one when I brought him here he lays down and turns over like a motorcycle,” said Melander. “This is an amazing race to win and I don’t think there is a better 3-year-old on a half-mile track.”
An undefeated Dan Patch Award winner and New York Sire Stakes champion in 2018, Gimpanzee first tasted defeat when he finished fourth and third, respectively, in the Hambletonian eliminations and final.
Gimpanzee is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. He is now 16-14-0-1 and has earned more than $1.1 million.
$500,000 Messenger Stake
After taking control and leading through fractions of :27, :55.3, and 1:23.3, Bettor’s Wish (Dexter Dunn) was outlasted by an inside push to the wire by American Mercury (Tyler Buter) in a time of 1:51.3. U S Captain was a very game third after a first-over trip.
“He was super sharp coming into the race,” said Buter. “I came off Dexter’s helmet there and he kicked off the gas. I think that was the winning move.”
Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice, American Mercury is a son of American Ideal-Tessa Hanover. The 3-year-old gelding is trained by Chris Oakes. He sports a lifetime record of 17-9-3-3 and a bankroll of $508,463. American Mercury paid $16.20 to win.
$124,334 Hudson Filly Trot
Golden Tricks (Andy Miller) overhauled Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) in deep stretch to score at odds of 7-1 in 1:56. Starita (Dexter Dunn), the even-money favorite, finished third after an early break.
The 3-year-old daughter of Trixton-Golden Goose is trained by Åke Svanstedt and owned by Brixton Medical Inc. She has a career record of 23-6-2-7 and purse earnings of $177,940. Golden Tricks paid $17.20 to win.
$122,224 Lady Maud
Trillions Hanover ($2.80), steered by George Brennan, captured this contest in 1:53.1 after an explosive move from last at the half-mile pole. JK American Beauty (Jordan Stratton) was second and Bestseller Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was third.
The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Tutu Hanover is trained by Tom Fanning and owned by VIP Internet Stable, Falcon Racing and Paul Lang. She has a career record of 19-7-4-2 and has banked $192,080.
Theartofconfusion A sets Yonkers’ all-age track record
It was a loud exclamation point after the stakes portion of Yonkers Raceway Triple Crown program.
Theartofconfusion A (Austin Siegelman, $8.30) rewrote the local track record books to the tune of 1:49.3, Yonkers Raceway’s first-ever sub-1:50 mile.
From post position four in the $30,000, 11th-race pace, Theartofconfusion A plowed through intervals of :26.2, :54.2 and 1:21.3.
His lead increased from 2-1/2 lengths at the half to five lengths at the three-quarters to six lengths in and out of the final turn.
The final margin was 10 lengths, taking two-fifths of a second off the previous Westchester record held in thirds by The Real One (Pat Lachance, 2016). Tequila Monday (Matt Kakaley, this past June) and American History (Joe Bongiorno, a week ago Saturday).
For second choice Theartofconfusion A, a 9-year-old Down Under Riverboat King gelding co-owned by (trainer) Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and Barbara & Donald Arnstine, it was his sixth win in 25 seasonal starts.
— Frank Drucker also contributed to this report