Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night, $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps - for trotters along with madame pacers - were won by Equity and Maries Z Tam.
A funny thing happened on the way to the winner's circle for two-time defending trot champ, Affirmed Action (Jason Bartlett). Making the lead from post position seven, he sauntered around the scenery through intervals of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27. With neither pocket-sitting Aruba Vacation (Fern Paquet, Jr.) nor first-up Brandos Muscle Man (Brennan) the latter now in the pocket after a second move - staying with him, Affirmed Action looked home through the final turn.
Unfortunately, the whole "left-foot, right foot" thing reared its ugly head, and Affirmed Action jumped it off. That left Brandos Muscle Man with the lead, but Equity, slipping out behind Brandos Muscle Man when 19-10 choice Sugar Queen Gabby (Brian Sears) gapped down the backside, was in pursuit.
It was Equity, leaving from post seven for driver Matt Kakaley, whipping Brandos Muscle Man by a half-length in a season's best clocking of 1:56.4. Likeabatoutahell (Jordan Stratton), Sugary Queen Gabby and Aruba Vacation completed the cheque cashers. Equity paid $8.
For second choice Equity, a seven-year-old Kadabra gelding co-owned by Charalambos Christoforou and Banjo Farms and trained by Ron Burke, it was his third win seven seasonal starts.
The weekly distaff derby saw Maries Z Tam survive second-half slugfest with Queen Of Royalty (Brent Holland) before prevailing in 1:55 for driver George Brennan.
Maries Z Tam, leaving from post four, settled third as Queen Of Royalty set sail through fractions of :27.4 and :58. That pokey second quarter forced Maries Z Tam out of hibernation, and she engaged the leader through a :27.3 third quarter (1:25.3). Queen Of Royalty held a stubborn schnoz lead into the lane, but Maries Z Tam wore her down late. Mystical Diva (Cat Manzi) closed up from a loose pocket to grab second with Moonlit Dragon (Sears), Queen Of Royalty and a season-debuting Katys Jet (Dan Dube) grabbing the small change. Hot List (Kakaley) was a non-factor sixth as the 9-5 favourite. Maries Z Tam paid $5.90.
For second choice Maries Z Tam, a seven-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight co-owned by (trainer) Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and Seri Reddy, it was her third (consecutive since changing hands) win in four '13 tries.