Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Raceway Thursday night (Aug. 29) hosted the $161,500 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
The event once again honored the memory of one of the state’s true get-it-done gentlemen, the long-time Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York whose contributions to the industry were way too numerous to mention here.
Although only one of the $80,750 divisions was bettable, both winners were quite logical.
The pre-card quintet was led by Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley), disposing of his four inside rivals in 1:52.4. Taking over from Major Blake (Jason Bartlett), Hickfromfrenchlick threw down intervals of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before the final marker. He defeated a misbehaved-early Artie’s Ideal (Marcus Miller) by a half-length, with Major Blake third. Respect Our Flag (Joe Bongiorno) and Bicorne Hanover (George Brennan) were the stragglers.
For Hickfromfrenchlick, a son of So Surreal co-owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico, it was his seventh win (with two seconds and a third) in 10 seasonal starts ($275,886). Last season’s Sheppard winner here is now 11-for-17 lifetime.
“Use whatever word you want about him,” Kakaley said. “Fast, gutsy, handy.”
Pole-sitting Rollwithpapajoe (Bongiorno, $5.80) finished what he started (:28, :57.4, 1:25.1, 1:53) a few races later. Covered Bridge (Brian Sears) chased from the pocket, missing by 1-3/4 lengths, while 13-10 fave Major March (Bartlett) was a two-move third. Dealer’s Table (Jordan Stratton) and Melodies Major (Tyler Buter) brought up the rear.
For Rollwithpapajoe, a Roll With Joe gelding co-owned by Barbara Bongiorno Stable, Bill Lambos and Dionisios Liberatos and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was his fifth win in 15 ’19 starts. The exacta paid $13, with neither triple nor superfecta wagering offered.
“He has such quick speed that he can put himself in good spots,” driver Bongiorno said.
If the sire stakes results were quite predictable, they weren’t nearly the ‘free space’ of It’s Rigged (Buter). That one had things — and the oval — all to himself, walking over a statebred Excelsior B event in 1:56.4.
Thursday night’s Pick-5 wager, which began with an $8,292.11 carryover and $20,000 guaranteed pool, found $32,054 of new cash. The winning combination of 6/1/3/1/5 paid $72.50 for each correct half-dollar ticket.