Ahundreddollarbill, Johan Palema win Yonkers Trot eliminations

Yonkers, NY — Ahundreddollarbill captured the first of two $40,000 eliminations of the MGM Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings on Friday night (June 25) at Yonkers Raceway in a sparkling 1:54.2 and likely stamped himself as the favorite for the $500,000 final, the first jewel in trotting’s Triple Crown, on July 2.

Ahundreddollarbill sparkled in the first of two MGM Yonkers Trot eliminations on Friday night.

Driven by Andy McCarthy, Ahundreddollarbill floated away from the gate at the outset and allowed the Åke Svanstedt-trained Mon Amour and Incommunicado to exchange the early lead, with the latter moving to the fore off the opening bend. Once the dust settled up top, McCarthy used the long backstretch to send Ahundreddollarbill full tilt to control midway on the second turn. After an opening quarter in :28.2, the 1-5 choice hit the half in :57, with his five rivals willing to follow along the pylons.

Ahundreddollarbill rated the pace kindly as Mon Amour pulled from third on the backstretch, allowing On A Streak to catch his cover. With three-quarters clocked in 1:25.4, McCarthy let the Tony Alagna-trained son of Chapter Seven sprint off from the field, and he trotted a :28.3 final quarter well in hand. Mon Amour and Yannick Gingras made up decent ground to finish a sharp second, with Ethan T Hanover (Jason Bartlett) winning the photo for third over On A Streak (Bob McClure). The top four finishers return for the final.

Ahundreddollarbill is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and James Crawford IV. He won for the fourth time in 2021 without defeat and returned $2.50, $2.10 and $2.10 as the prohibitive favorite. Mon Amour returned $3.40 and $2.60, with Ethan T Hanover paying $4.20 to show. The exacta returned $8 and triple paid $4.60.

The second $40,000 elimination turned into a match race between Åke Svanstedt entrymates Johan Palema and Ambassador Hanover, with Johan Palema and driver Yannick Gingras getting up for the win in the final strides of a 1:54 mile.

Ambassador Hanover and Svanstedt left sharply from post two, and Johan Palema quickly settled in behind him into the opening bend. Steel, with driver Andy Miller, attempted to sweep by those pair at the outset but made a miscue midway through the opening bend and lost all chance.

Once in control, Ambassador Hanover had the pace to his liking, setting reasonable fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.3, with Arnold N Dicky pulling off the third turn, followed by In Range. Johan Palema moved out of the pocket for Gingras into the final turn, and he and Ambassador Hanover drew off from their five rivals. A son of Bar Hopping, Johan Palema trotted home powerfully with a final quarter under :27.3 to gain the decision over Ambassador Hanover. In Range came on late for third, with Arnold N Dicky completing the finalists.

Sent off as the 4-5 favored entry, Johan Palema and Ambassador Hanover both returned $3.70, $2.70 and $2.10 across the board. The exacta with third place finisher In Range was worth $9.20, while the triple adding Arnold N Dicky paid $13.80.

Owned by Bender Sweden Inc., Johan Palema was a winner for the second time in three starts in 2021 after going winless in six tries as a freshman.

Mazzarati won the lone elimination for the New York New York Mile. Georgia Panagi photos.

In the $25,000 sole elimination for the $150,000 New York New York Mile, Mazzarati and driver Tim Tetrick took control before the quarter pole and wired the field of eight 3-year-old trotting fillies, with the top six joining Iteration and Sweeping Rainbow, who were offered and accepted byes.

Imhatra AM S and driver Brian Sears jetted to the front entering the opening bend and parked Mazzarati to mid-backstretch before yielding control. Mazzarati, a daughter of Cantab Hall sent postward as the second choice, hit the quarter in :28 and half in :57 before an outer tier flow began.

Contested Hanover, part of the 4-5 favored entry in the field, moved for Scott Zeron off the third turn with a measured outside advance, followed by Rebel Girl with Dexter Dunn. Mazzarati never saw those rivals, though, as Tetrick allowed her to pass three-quarters in 1:26.1 and comfortably head into the homestretch.

Only Imhatra AM S would have a chance at the winner once Contested Hanover weakened, and Sears let his regally-bred filly trot, but she would inevitably run out of real estate, falling a head short in the 1:55.2 mile. Contested Hanover finished third. Also advancing to the July 2 final will be Rebel Girl, Presto and Lindys Dollywood.

Owned by Mazza Racing Stables LLC. and Stormi And Bruiser Stable, Mazzarati returned $5.10, $3.10 and $2.10 across the board. Imhatra AM S paid $11.20 and $3.50 for place and show, with Contested Hanover’s show backers getting $2.10. The exacta was worth $39.40, and the triple returned $79.50.

Lucas Wallin trains Mazzarati, who won for the first time in 2021 in four tries.

The draws for the finals of these two races, in addition to the MGM Grand Messenger and Park MGM Pace, will take place on Monday evening (July 28).

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