Yonkers, NY — After taking Thursday (Nov. 26) off for the Thanksgiving holiday, live harness racing resumes at Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Nov. 27) with a 7:12 p.m. first post time. The 10-race card features the $30,000 Open Trot and leads a big weekend at the Hilltop that culminates with a pair of six-figure invitational paces on Saturday night.
Carded as race seven on the Friday program, the trotting feature is led by Stormy Kromer, the all-age trotting track record holder who won last week’s Open Handicap by two lengths. Stormy Kromer went on a tear this summer, going six-for-seven between July 16 and Sept. 9, including a four-length romp in 1:52.3 to reset the track record and three Preferred Handicap wins.
Stormy Kromer scored his first victory in the Yonkers Open Trot Oct. 2, beating Melady’s Monet by a nose. Stormy Kromer then went through a five-race winless streak between Oct. 9 and Nov. 13 as he dealt with assigned outside posts and difficult trips. However, after drawing post two last out Nov. 20, Stormy Kromer controlled the pace and drew away late to win in 1:53.2.
Stormy Kromer is now 8-for-19 this season with $109,390 earned and 30-for-112 lifetime with $444,484 in the bank.
Stormy Kromer drew post three Friday night. He and regular reinsman Dan Dube are the 3-1 favorites on the morning line. Paul Stafford trains Stormy Kromer for Tom Ceraso Jr.
In addition to last week’s winner in Stormy Kromer, last week’s runner up Nows The Moment also returns in Friday’s Open Trot. A 5-year-old Credit Winner gelding owned by Sonya MacDonald and trained by Alex MacDonald, Nows The Moment is 6-for-22 this season with $94,200 earned. His victories include a 4-1 mild upset in the local $22,000 Preferred Handicap Sept. 25.
Nows The Moment has also factored in this Open due to his early speed. He set the tempo after leaving from post seven and finished second to Melady’s Monet Oct. 9 despite 64-1 odds. Nows The Moment left for the lead last out Nov. 20 before Stormy Kromer made the front. Nows The Moment rode the pocket to a second-place finish at 12-1. Jason Bartlett, who drove Nows The Moment last week, will get the call again Friday night. The pair are 4-1 on the morning line.
Broadway Athena pulled off a 12-1 upset in the local Open Handicap Oct. 23, but has drawn in difficult spots since; the 6-year-old mare finished third from post six Oct. 30, and got away 12 lengths behind from post eight Nov. 6, but still rallied to finish fourth at 112-1. Broadway Athena was scratched sick from post eight Nov. 13 and makes her return Friday night. The Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trainee will start from post five with Austin Siegelman in the sulky. They are 12-1 on the morning line.
Although 11 years old, Melady’s Money has continued to be a force in the Yonkers open ranks this season. The Hermann Heitmann trainee finished second in a pair of local Open Handicaps before the COVID-19 shutdown. Since then, the $1.7-million earner captured the Open Handicap Oct. 9 and took the Open Nov. 6. He also finished second in the trotting feature Oct. 2 and 30. On the season, Melady’s Monet is 6-for-18 with $128,780 earned.
Although this week’s Open is not a handicap, Melady’s Monet drew post eight, the same position he was handicapped by Nov. 20. Melady’s Monet got away 12-1/2 lengths behind Stormy Kromer last out and finished seventh, beaten 8-3/4 lengths. He and driver Jordan Stratton are 12-1 on the morning line in a similar spot Friday night.
The field also includes Rich And Miserable, who finally draws inside after getting away seventh from post six in each of his last two outings; Lean Hanover, who enters off a win in a local $17,500 overnight Nov. 20; Lord Cromwell, who finished fifth in each of his last two outings in this feature Nov. 13 and Nov. 20; and Mission Accepted, who finished fifth in the $320,000 TVG Open Trot at The Meadowlands last out Nov. 21.
Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Dec. 22. First post time is 7:12 p.m.