Tessa Seelster (George Brennan, $18.20) survived from first-up Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
Away fourth from post position No. 4, ‘Tessa’ saw Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) and Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) want in early. The latter reclaimed from the former just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. It was a soft :56.4 intermission before the eventual winner moved.
Tessa Seelster engaged toward a 1:25 three-quarters, while Apple Bottom Jeans (Matt Kakaley) was gapping that one’s advances. This helped none of the outside assignees, notably just-over-even-money Mackenzie A (Joedan Straton), Mach It A Par (Jason Bartlett) and Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron). Only one of those would be heard from late.
It was Lispatty taking a short lead into the lane, but Tessa Seelster was about to wear her down. ‘Tessa’ prevailed late, holding off a knifing-through Mach It A Par by a neck in 1:54.3. Shesjustadelight N, Lispatty and Apple Bottom Jeans came away with the remainder, with Bedroomconfessions sixth, and Mackenzie A a went-nowhere last among the octet.
For fourth choice Tessa Seelster, a five-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by trainer Ron Burke (as Burke Racing), Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, the win was her third in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $70.50, with the triple returning $300.
In other Friday night news, harness racing’s richest horse Foiled Again earned his 93rd career win and pushed his bankroll to $7.53 million going wire-to-wire in a $22,000 conditioned pace. Brennan drove the 13-year-old Dragon Again gelding to the 1:56 victory — Foiled Again’s second win of the year — capping off a natural hat-trick on the card for the Burke stable.
(Standardbred Canada with files from Yonkers Raceway)