A pair of second-tier starters decided the issue Sunday (July 2) afternoon, with Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett, $6.20) edging Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno) in en route to winning Yonkers Raceway’s $68,000 Open Handicap Trot.
Hemi Seelster, as the wagering choice, employed the same out-every-step tactic that Rubber Duck used a couple of weeks ago. From post position 10, he floated out seventh while Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) and DWs NY Yank (George Brennan) took turns leading the dozen.
The latter rated it cheaply (:28, :58, 1:28, 1:57) while Hemi Seelster methodically moved up outside. DWs NY Yank owned a half-length lead into the lane, but was about to give way. Hemi Seelster went by, holding off Rubber Duck—who gapped a bit down the backside—by a head in 2:25.4 for the mile-and-a-quarter distance.
Hemi Seelster (#10, orange saddle pad) staves off a late charge from Rubber Duck (#12) in Sunday’s $68,000 Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers
The smaller envelopes went to DWs NY Yank, Springbank Sam N and Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer).
For Hemi Seelster, a five-year-old Holiday Road gelding trained by Rich Banca and co-owned by Howard Taylor and Abraham Basen, it was his fifth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $66.50, the triple returned $404.50, and the superfecta paid $4,957.
The latest installment of the “New York, New York Double” offered a winning combination of Splash of Sass (Belmont’s third race) and Brandos Muscle Man (Yonkers’ seventh race). The 7-5 combination returned $13.20 for every correct $1 wager; the total pool was $3,681.
A reminder that live racing returns Friday night (July 7); post time is 7:10 p.m.