Yonkers Raceway returned from hiatus Friday night, with the statebreds making their downstate seasonal debut. The $351,656 New York Sire Stakes Hugh Grant Pace for three-year-old colts and geldings was drawn and quartered.
The third $88,314 division saw 35-1 Sheppard Pace winner from a season ago, Hail The Taxi (John Campbell), returning to the scene of that night. This night, as the 3-10 favourite, he tried to flee the scene (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27.1), only to picked off late by a second-over Swift As A Shadow (George Brennan).
The homebred (Winbak Farms) son of Bettors Delight, starting outside his six rivals, won by a neck in a pari-mutuel best 1:55.2. Major Bucks (Brian Sears) was third.
It was the first board finish in three seasonal starts for Swift As A Shadow. The third choice returned $13.20. The exacta paid $34.60, with the triple returning $75.
The final $88,314 get-together saw Art Rooney Pace winner Doctor Butch (Jim Morrill Jr.) unable to close the sale here. After intervals of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:25 -- and with only token, first-up pressure -- 'Butch' tired noticeably in the lane. It was Sir Carys Z Tam (Pat Lachance), perched in the pocket from post position No. 2, going on by.
He defeated a fast-closing Bettor Than You (Sears) by a length in 1:52.2, with Doctor Butch fading to third, beaten a length and three-quarters.
For second-choice Sir Carys Z Tam, a Bettors Delight colt (third in the Rooney) co-owned by his trainer/driver Ira Rosenblum and M&M Harness Racing, he returned $6.60 ($17.60 to place) for his second in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $44, with the triple returning $69. Of the $16,923 in the place pool, $14,874 was bet on 'Butch' (Better Than You, a 10-1 win proposition, paid $33.80 to place).
The evening’s other sire stakes events, worth $86,714 and $88,314, respectively, were won by Caution Signs (Brent Holland, $56), a son of Dream Away, in 1:56.2 for trainer Paul Jessop, who also co-owns with Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio, and Bet The Moon (Brennan, $4.40), sired by Bettors Delight, in 1:55 for trainer Ron Burke and owner Edwin Gold.
Friday night's pair of $46,000 Open Handicaps, for trotters and distaff pacers, were won by eight-holers Monsignor Flan (Holland, $8.50) in 1:55.3 and Krispy Apple (Sears, $3.40) in 1:52.4.
(With files from Yonkers Raceway)