Look up “perfect trip” in the harness dictionary and you find Ardyne Ace (George Brennan) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $37,000 Open Handicap Pace.
Unhurried early from post position No. 4, Ardyne Ace saw Great Vintage (Larry Stalbaum) loop Sapphire City (Brian Sears) early, then get caught wide again as 8-5 favourite China Grill (Pat Lachance) pulled pocket right in front of him.
A three-deep Great Vintage eventually made the lead, paying a :26.4 price for the privilege.
After a :56.1 intermission, Sapphire City was out from fourth. That was the back Ardyne Ace climbed aboard as he moved out of sixth.
Great Vintage was about to be swallowed up before the 1:24.1 three-quarters, shuffling China Grill out at the same time. Sapphire City and Ardyne Ace opened their own private race entering the lane, with the former owning a short lead. However, the latter powered right by, widening to two and a half lengths in 1:51.4. Pan From Nantucket (Eric Goodell), last week’s winner, rallied from last at the half to snatch second, with All Speed Hanover (Brent Holland), Sapphire City and P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder.
Ardyne Ace, a seven-year-old Aces N Sevens gelding trained by Jim Pollock Jr. for Ohio co-owners David Ehrenberg II and Daniel Fawcett, returned $21 (fifth choice) for his ninth win in 35 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $468, with the triple returning $1,825.
No one took home Saturday night’s Pick 5 wager, so Monday’s edition (50-cent base wager, races five though nine), led by a $16,174.33 double carryover, shall include a $25,000 guaranteed pool.