Yonkers Raceway’s pair of Friday night $38,000 Open Handicaps -- for distaff pacers and any trotter with the street cred -- were won by a pair of wagering favourites in millionairess Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) and 2012 Yonkers Trot champ Archangel (George Brennan).
Ordered outside her seven rivals, 2011 O'Brien Award winner Monkey On My Wheel -- as the just-above-even-money favourite -- settled in third as 32-1 rank outsider Fast And Feisty (Brent Holland) and Classy Lane Rose (Eric Goodell) played leapfrog on the lead.
After a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and :57.1 intermission, Monkey On My Wheel was back on the case. She took out after Classy Lane Rose in out of a 1:25 three-quarters, tackling that one through the final turn. Monkey On My Wheel finally gained the upper hoof, then held off a passing lane Fast And Feisty by a scant nose in 1:53.4. Hulas Z Tam (Pat Lachance) was third, with Fashion Mystery (Eric Carlson) and Classy Lane Rose settling for the small change.
Monkey On My Wheel, a six-year-old homebred daughter of Mach Three owned by Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont. and trained by Casie Coleman, returned $4.10 for her fifth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $64.50, with the triple returning $281.50.
The week’s marquee trot was strictly a two-speed number as 11-10 choice favourite Archangel -- starting from post position No. 5 -- work around Tober (Holland). The mare Frau Blucher (Sears) settled third in her local debut. Early intervals of :27.1 and :56 left several gaps among the rest of the gang.
Archangel held sway through a 1:24.3 three-quarters, taking a couple of lengths into the lane. He held Tober at bay, winning by a length in 1:54.3 and matching the fastest local trot mile of the season. Lorenzo Dream (Dan Dube) rallied well to grab third -- beaten five and a quarter lengths -- with Awesome Valley (Carlson) and Frau Blucher rounding out the payees.
Archangel, a five-year-old (unraced last season) statebred son of Credit Winner co-owned by Clare Semer and Legendary Standard Farm and trained by Ron Burke, returned $4.30 for his first win in four ’14 tries. The exacta (two wagering favourites) paid $11.60, the triple returned $133.50 and the superfecta paid $460.50.
The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule -- along with evening simulcasting -- goes on hiatus after Saturday’s card, which includes the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (three-year-old colts/geldings) and $124,744 Lismore Pace (three-year-old fillies). Afternoon simulcasting remains available daily. Live racing/evening simulcasting returns Friday, June 13.