Yonkers hosts $153,200 NYSS Jim Crawford Pace

Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night (Aug. 6) hosted the $153,200 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. A $75,900 non-bettor and a wagering-carded $77,300 division comprised the event.

American Rebel scored in a lifetime best 1:54. Mike Lizzi photo.

The before-the-program bandwagon was led by American Rebel (Tyler Buter). Making the first lead from post position No. 2, American Rebel then deferred to Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley). The latter needed just about the entire :28.1 opening quarter-mile to get there.

However, American Rebel was none too thrilled about the pocket, so he extricated himself right at the :57.2 intermission. American Rebel had few issues from there (1:25.4, life-best 1:54), getting minimal grief from a first-up Cigars And Port (Ray Schnittker) before widening in the lane. The final margin over Groovy Joe was two lengths, with Cigars And Port hanging around for third.

For American Rebel, a son of American Ideal-Restive Hanover co-owned by trainer Rob Harmon and Robert Robinson, it was his third win in seven career starts.

“He was really great today,” Buter said. “I knew if I had him in front, they wouldn’t catch us.”

The evening’s wagering sire stakes event saw a scattered gathering between those that either broke or pulled up. Meanwhile, Freedom Warrior (Dan Dube, $14.40) found his way out of the maiden ranks by pacing a mile…and a few extra steps.

From post No. 6, he was away fourth, ahead of some early misbehavers. He was then wide down the backside the first time around another non-conformist. Freedom Warrior had a loose target to chase in the presence of Splash Brother (Brent Holland), with that one going right along though intervals of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:24.4.

The pursuer steadily closed ranks, getting past his rival late to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. It was about a dozen lengths back to a tiring 11-10 choice Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett), while 45-1 outsider R Maddy Blue Chip (Kakaley) was fourth

For fourth choice Freedom Warrior, an American Ideal-Chief Karen gelding owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, it was that first win in five life starts. The exacta paid $55.50, the triple returned $146 and there was no superfecta wagering (coupled entry in the race).

“He’s a very fast horse,” Dube said, adding, “You have to be careful with him.”

New York Sire Stakes continue downstate Thursday night (Aug. 22), with the Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies (purse TBA).

Total purses for the 2019 New York-bred program are estimated at $14 million. For more information, please visit www.nysirestakes.com.

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