Trump Nation proved quite the best Saturday, May 26, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $300,000 Art Rooney Pace.
The 28th Rooney saw eight soph males line up, but seven ended up chasing in vain.
From post-position 4, Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett, $6.80) was forwardly-placed, as was Babes Dig Me. The latter made the first lead before the former played leapfrog. Trump Nation seized the night just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile.
Trump Nation, who won the second of last week’s two elimination races, then rated to a :56.3 half. Along then came 3-5 favourite Springsteen first over from fifth. Kwik Talkin slipped out to race second-over, but gapped badly. Meanwhile, Trump Nation rolled through a third quarter in 1:26.2 with the people’s preference packing it in readily.
Trump Nation owned a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn. Babes Dig Me edged from the pocket, while Minnie Vinnie—the scourge of Iowa—had room after sitting third. However, Trump Nation was up to the challenge, defeating Minnie Vinnie by a length-and-three-quarters in 1:51.3, a life-best by a good number.
Babes Dig Me was third, with 124-1 shot Major Authority and Decoy rounding out the payees. Kwik Talkin, Springsteen and Jimtastic completed the order.
For second choice Trump Nation, a statebred son of Betterthancheddar co-owned (as of this past Monday) by Evan Katz & Crawford Racing and trained (as of this past Monday) by Chris Oakes, it was his third win in four seasonal starts.
“I couldn’t have ask for the race to work out any better,” Bartlett said. “I was able to back down the half and pick it up when Springsteen came at me.
“I thought the two outside horses [Babes Dig Me and Decoy] had to leave, and when I saw Brett [Miller, Babes Dig Me], I let him go and retook.
“I have to say that [former trainer] Andrew [Harris] really did the right thing with him last season, wanting to race him from off the pace. He deserves a lot of credit.”
Bartlett won his first Rooney Pace in his 11th try.
Tim Tetrick piloted Alexas Power to victory in the $111,444 companion event to the Art Rooney Pace, the Lismore Pace, besting seven of her fellow three-year-old lasses.
From post-position 6, Alexas Power got away third, behind Pass Line Bluechip and Believe In Me. Her position was secured after Python Blue Chip and elim-winner Jewels Forreal both made early breaks, the latter racing inside the cones.
Pass Line Bluechip found a :28 opening quarter before Alexas Power moved again. It took her just about a quarter mile to wrest the lead, eventually doing so before a :56.2 intermission.
Checkered Past, as the 69-1 bombardier, went first-up from fifth, not getting close to the leader and her 1:25.2 three-quarters. Alexas Power held a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, then held off her two pursuers. Pass Line Bluechip took her shot from the pocket as did Believe in Me from third.
The leader hung tough, however, and Alexas Power won by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Pass Line Bluechip photoed Believe in Me for second, with a ground-saving Reign on Me and Solitary grabbing the minors.
Python Blue Chip, Checker Past and Jewels Forreal rounded out the order.
For Alexa’s Power, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Jeff Snyder and trained by Jim Campbell, is was her third win in four seasonal starts. She paid $3.70 to win.
Tetrick won this race for a fifth time, including Tyra’s stakes-record 1:52.1 four seasons ago.
For Alexa’s Power starting nose-to-gate was refreshing after second-tier getaways here in a division of the Reynolds Memorial and last week’s elimination race.
“I thought I’d end up second-over,” Tetrick said. “I wound up getting away third, and from there, I wanted to put her on the lead.
“Jordan [Stratton, last week’s driver] told me she was loaded then, so I had all the confidence in her. She dug in when she had to.
“It takes a special sort of filly to win the Lismore,” he said. “You need one that can handle an audible if the plan changes.”
Saturday night’s $44,000 Open Handicaps were won by Theartofconfusion A (David Miller, $40.80) and DW’s NY Yank (George Brennan, $8.20), taking the pacing and trotting events in 1:51.1 and 1:54.3, respectively.
Yonkers Raceway now goes AWOL for live racing and evening simulcasting until Friday, June 8. Afternoon simulcasting continues each day except Tuesday.
(With files from Yonkers Raceway)