Last week, trainer Ron Burke and driver George Brennan won the Preferred Handicap pace at Freehold Raceway with the favourite from the outside post. For Saturday's (March 20) edition, it was like déjà vu.
While Bettor Memories prevailed last week, they teamed up this time with Yankee Roller A, who crushed the field by 1-1/4 lengths in Saturday's feature race.
Despite the outside post, Yankee Roller A went off at 3/5. As soon as the race started, Brennan sent his drive towards the lead, clearing to the front before they got to the opening quarter. Once he made the front, Brennan slowed things down. He went the opening quarter in a relatively slow :27.4, followed by a half-mile split in :57.1.
Heading past three-quarters in 1:26.1, Brennan began to open up a bit with Yankee Roller A. With the rest of the field stuck behind the slow early pace, he turned on the jets, opening up in the stretch and getting the last quarter in :27.2. No one had much hope of catching Yankee Roller A from there, and he cruised under the wire as much the best. The final time was 1:53.3.
Yankee Roller A has an impressive 2021 campaign so far. Since joining the Burke Brigade at the start of the year, he's won six times from eight races, while earning $32,575. His career earnings are now almost $140,000.
Dongal Rundlscrk N, Capozzo, Best Honey Hanover, Hot Deuce, Soho Chelsea A, and Tisadream N completed the order of finish.
FIJI AND DAVE OFFENBERG COP AHDC TROT IN 1:57.2
After trying to come from behind in his recent starts Dave Offenberg put Fiji on the engine and went down the road taking no prisoners and scored a wire-to-wire 1:57.2 triumph in the American Harness Drivers Club trot.
“I had the rail (pole position) and saw no early speed so I sent Fiji immediately to the front and in doing so kept Levitation and Chip Allen on the limb as we trotted by the quarter in :28.1. And once Allen found a hole we were all alone on the lead, ” Offenberg said.
Offenberg kept the pedal to the metal and Fiji was three lengths in front of Levitation when they passed the half in :57 as the betting favourite, Allindotime (Joe Lee), began moving up. Still Fiji and Levitation were one-two by the three quarters in 1:26.4. As they headed for paydirt Fiji still showed the way and went on to a one-length triumph over Allindotime as the final timer flashed 1:57.2. Masster Blue and Tony Verruso rallied for the show dough.
“Fiji likes to be on the front-end and today he raced real game once on top,” Offenberg offered, and then added, “when he wants to do it he's tough to beat, and today he wanted to do it.”
Owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables and trained by Noel Daley, Fiji paid $10.60 for win.
Live harness racing at Freehold resumes on Friday, March 26, starting at about 12:30 p.m. There will be a double pick 5 carryover on the card, $1,940.02.
(Freehold / AHDC)