Yonkers, NY — Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing, $17.20) and Benhope Rulz N (Shaun Vallee) were a two-speed dance number Saturday night (Sept. 14), the former winning Yonkers Raceway’s $42,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Rock Diamonds N, the Master of the Maritimes by virtue of his win in last month’s Gold Cup & Saucer, had no issues in his first appearance since early summer. From post position five, he cleared his four inside foes well before a 27-second opening quarter-mile.
It was a rated :56.4 intermission, with Benhope Rulz N pocketed and San Domino A (catch-driver Dan Dube) offered a weak, first-up bid from third. Rock Diamonds N threw down a 27-second third quarter (1:23.4) to keep the wolves at bay, taking a 1-1/4 length lead into the lane.
He then held his pocket pursuer by that same margin in 1:51.3, with The Real One (Pat Lachance), 19-10 fave Micky Gee N (Jordan Stratton) and San Domino A settling for the minors.
For fifth choice Rock Diamonds N, a 6-year-old Down Under Rocknroll Hanover gelding co-owned by his escort, Kevin Sywyk and Frank Ranaldi & trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was his eighth win in 18 seasonal starts.
The exacta paid $90, the triple returned $337.50 and the superfecta paid $1,237.