Yonkers, NY – With stalwarts like Kissin In The Sand, Shartin N, and Caviart Ally now retired, the open pacing mares division is in search of new faces at the top, and a group of 18 will look to take a step forward in Friday’s (March 12) first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. The first Grand Circuit event of 2021, the Blue Chip Matchmaker will start with three $35,000 splits, slated as races two, three, and five on Friday’s 10-race program in Westchester.
New Zealand import My Ruebe Star (Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton) has won three editions of the local Fillies and Mares Open since coming to the United States, and she has the pole position in Friday’s first flight. She will meet up with the likes of fellow Kiwi Bettors Heart (post five, Dexter Dunn/Nifty Norman), who was victorious in an the Open that took place at Yonkers on December 10 of last year, and Machnhope (post three, Andrew McCarthy/Noel Daley), a regular at the top level at tracks across the Northeast. Machnhope prepped for the Blue Chip Matchmaker with a 1:52 win at the Meadowlands last Friday (March 5).
Friday’s opening group also includes Caviart Cherie (post two, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita), who raced in the Blue Chip Matchmaker in 2019, Dbldelitebrigade N (post four, Jason Bartlett/Tom Fanning), who has picked up checks in her three starts in the Open over the last couple of months, and Alii Nui (post six, Stratton also listed for trainer Erv Miller).
Alexa Skye (post four, Todd McCarthy/Jeff Cullipher), who has a record of 3-2-0 from five starts this year, tops the second section. Alexa Skye scored in the Open at Yonkers on January 14 and has been second in two subsequent tries over the half-mile oval. Seaswift Joy N won three legs and was fifth from post eight in the final in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series in 2019, and she will take another shot in the event this season, starting from post one for Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna. The Stratton/Tritton combo have another entrant in this group with Maczaffair N (post six), and the connections behind Shartin N – owner Rich Poillucci, trainer Jim King Jr., and driver Tim Tetrick – have a new shooter in Keep Rockin A (post three). Keep Rockin A, who will be making her U.S. debut, was Group 1 and Group 2 placed in her native country.
Also competing will be Monica Gallagher (post two, Austin Siegelman/Chris Height), who scored in a non-winners $20,000 last five race on March 4 at Yonkers, and Parisian Blue Chip (post five, Daniel Dube), a newcomer from Canada for trainer Peter Tritton. Parisian Blue Chip raced several times in the Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2020 and took a mark of 1:50.2.
A trio of mares with multiple wins in the Open level at Yonkers during their careers – Snobbytown (post two, George Brennan/Ron Burke), Siesta Beach (post three, Matt Kakaley/Nick Devita), and Lady Dela Renta A (post four, Jordan Stratton/Shane Tritton) – meet up with a couple of sharp invaders in Soho Burning Love A (post one, Tim Tetrick/Jim King Jr.) and Blue Ivy (post five, Tyler Buter/Todd Buter) in the final Matchmaker ensemble. The other mare entered in that race, Kaitlyn N (post six, Kakaley also listed for trainer Paul Blumenfeld), has credentials of her own, having won a round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series in 2019 before coming in sixth from first-up in the final.
The Blue Chip Matchmaker Series has five preliminary rounds, occurring March 12, 19, and 26, and April 2 and 9, and the final will take place on Monday (April 19).
First post for this Friday’s program at Yonkers is 7:15 p.m.