Favoured The Real One (Pat Lachance, $6.20) was again just that Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $32,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Unhurried early from penultimate post position No. 5, The Real One watched as Melmerby Beach (Tyler Buter) two-moved and worked around Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) after a :26.3 opening quarter-mile. Pole-sitting Cyclone Kiwi N (Jason Bartlett) was away third, with Always At My Place (George Brennan) finding an early four-hole.
It was a spiffy :54.3 intermission going toward a 1:23 three-quarters as Cyclone Kiwi N moved from third. He went nowhere fast, while a Always At My Place slipped out to race second-up…only to make a bad break.
While this was going on, The Real One, who found himself fourth over and last, slipped back toward the cones. He was all dressed up, waiting for room.
Melmerby Beach owned a length and a half lead into the lane, but was about to get swallowed up. The Real One found his path with Cyclone Kiwi N retreated, angled out and closed the sale. He measured it off from there, whipping Lucan Hanover by a half-length in a season’s-best 1:51. Rank outsider Fameous Western (Matt Kakaley) was third, with Melmerby Beach and Cyclone Kiwi N settling for the lesser loot.
For The Real One, a five-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by his driver for owner Helene Filion, the win was his ninth in 32 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $23.80, with the triple returning $99.50.
Yonkers’ 2015 racing season wraps up Sunday, with a late morning (first post 11:15 a.m.) “French-centric” program and a guaranteed Pick 5 payout. After no one took down the gimmick either Friday or Saturday nights, Sunday’s gimmick begins with a carryover of $12,601.37.
Since it’s the final program of the season, the pool shall be paid to the ticket(s) with the highest number of winners in the sequence (by rule, no wagers can be carried over to 2016, which is scheduled to began Thursday, Jan. 7 [pending approval of the NYS Gaming Commission]).