Canadian import Creampuff Macdaddy (Jason Bartlett, $4.90) and favoured Dontyouforgetit (Jimmy Takter, $3.60) won their respective $40,000 eliminations Saturday night for Yonkers Raceway's 59th Yonkers Trot.
A total of 15 three-year-olds -- 11 colts and four geldings -- went at it in two elims for berths in next Saturday night’s $450,000 final in the first jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown.
Pole-sitting Creampuff Macdaddy, as the second choice, played leapfrog on the lead with 9-10 choice Dewycolorintheline (Ray Schnittker). The former released the latter after a :28.2 opening quarter-mile, then retook in Turn 2. After a :58.4 intermission, Lauderdale (Mark MacDonald) moved from fourth. Creampuff Macdaddy dismissed that one right around a 1:28 three-quarters, taking a two-length lead into the lane.
"Dewy" tested the "Creampuff" from the pocket, but couldn’t get closer than a length and a half in 1:56.3. Third went to Lauderdale, with Cantab Abs (Trond Smedshammer) a ground-saving fourth. That quartet earned berths in next Saturday's $450,000 final, while Denver (Jordan Stratton), Broadway Prince (Eric Goodell) and Kegler Hanover (Marcus Johansson) left with lovely parting gifts.
For Creampuff Macdaddy, a son of Ken Warkentin trained by Brad Maxwell for co-owners Howard Taylor, Ted Gewertz, Edwin Gold and Judith Taylor, it was his first win in three seasonal starts (one north of the border disqualification is under appeal). The exacta paid $7.50, with the triple returning $63.
"It was his first start here, and he left the gate trotting," Bartlett said. "Once I retook, we were able to get some cheap fractions, but when I asked for speed late, he gave it to me."
As for Dontyouforgetit, he showed some moxie from post position No. 6. Settling in fourth early, he watched as Detour Hanover (Dan Dube) -- he of the record $825,000 yearling price tag -- lead through early intervals of :28.4 and :58.4.
The people’s preference then began his second move, grinding toward the leader at the 1:27.3 three-quarters. Detour Hanover remained two lengths to the good...then, he went bad, jumping it off going into the final turn.
That left Dontyouforgetit with the baton, which he used to hold off a determined Fico (Bartlett) by a nose in 1:57.2. Boffin (Charlie Norris) and 75-1 rank outsider Celebrity Stimulus (Tom Jackson) were third and fourth, respectively, grabbing invites to the final. Explosive Action (MacDonald), Twisted Pretzel (Brent Holland) and Theraputic (Stratton) -- who also broke -- comprised the rear.
"To be honest, he had some trouble with his footing, which we're going to have to take care of," Takter said. "He was moving, but he wasn't really going anywhere.
"I know that Detour Hanover is a very fast horse, and even though we had to chase him, I was trying to put the squeeze on him and not to let him get too far in front.
"When he broke, we sort of became the target, but this colt loves to races and always tries.”
For Dontyouforgetit, a homebred Cantab Hall colt trained by Takter for Solveig's Racing Partners, it was his fourth win in seven '13 tries (10-for-17 lifetime). The exacta paid $18, with the triple returning $91.
The open draw for the final takes place Tuesday night in the winner's circle, between the fourth and fifth races on that evening's racing program.