MGM Yonkers Trot elims set, MGM Grand Messenger goes right to the final

Yonkers, NY — Eliminations for the MGM Yonkers Trot — the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown — and Park MGM Pace will take place on Friday night (June 23) at MGM Yonkers Raceway. The MGM Grand Messenger Stakes, the opening leg of the Pacing Triple Crown; and the New York New York Mile, for 3-year-old filly trotters, didn’t require eliminations and will go straight to their respective finals on June 30.

The opening elimination of the MGM Yonkers Trot (race six) includes Crown (post three, Brian Sears driving for Marcus Melander), who is coming off a win in the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs, and Up Your Deo (post four, Åke Svanstedt trains/drives), a recent winner of a New Jersey Sire Stakes prelim at the Meadowlands. Father Stosh (post two, Jason Bartlett listed for Brian Roland) also owns a Sire Stakes win in Pennsylvania, taken at The Meadows on June 3.

Svanstedt also has Kierkegaard K (post one) in the second elimination (race seven), who is fresh off a track record-equaling victory in his Empire Breeders Classic division at Vernon Downs on June 16.

The top four finishers in each MGM Yonkers Trot elimination will advance to the final on June 30.

Earthwindfire (post one, Tim Tetrick listed to drive for trainer Brett Pelling) and Turn On The Charm (post two, Marcus Miller driving for trainer Bruce Clarke) both won New York Sire Stakes divisions on Monday (June 19) at Monticello and will have a quick turnaround to compete in their respective Park MGM Pace eliminations (races one and two).

Earthwindfire will meet the likes of New Jersey Sire Stakes prelim winner Alexa’s Fantasy (post five, Jason Bartlett driving for trainer Nik Drennan), and Turn On The Charm will duel with New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Ucandoit Blue Chip (post one, Scott Zeron in the bike for trainer Linda Toscano) and Fan Hanover Stakes finalist Vivians Dream (post three, Brian Sears listed for trainer Kevin Lare).

Just like the MGM Yonkers Trot, the first four finishers from each elimination will secure spots in the final.

As far as the MGM Grand Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers, 10 horses entered, and as allowed in the stakes conditions that state, “The racing office reserves the right to split the horses entered into two elimination races, or race the final as one dash at a one-mile or longer distance,” the final will take place with all the horses that dropped into the box at the distance of 1-1/16 miles.

The finalists (in alphabetical order) will therefore be:

American Fling
Annapolis Hanover
Captain Batboy
Hungry Man
It’s A Me Mario
Seven Colors
Thunder Hunter Joe

Likewise, the New York New York Mile will also be conducted at 1-1/16 miles with the nine horses that entered (in alphabetical order):

Canterbury Hanover
Emira Mil It
Life Itself
Sadie Hanover
Secret Volo
Tipsy Moni
Usosweet Blue Chip
Walner Payton
Warrawee Yes

Prior to Friday night’s eliminations, the New York Sire Stakes circuit makes its first stop of the year at MGM Yonkers Raceway on Thursday (June 22) with the opening leg for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. There are a pair of top-level divisions (purses $77,300 each) in races six and eight and two $20,000 New York Excelsior “A” Series flights, one a non-bettor and the other race three on the pari-mutuel program.

MGM Yonkers Raceway is currently operating on Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday live racing schedule with post time at 7 p.m.

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