Half Mile Hambo Preps
By Frank & Ray Cotolo
(H) Denotes Hambletonian Eligible.
Yonkers Raceway featured three divisions of the $358,857 Mike Cipriani New York Sires Stakes on their Monday night, July 8 card.
Lady Riviera (H-Sand Vic) was the lone “Oaks”-nominated filly in the first division. She began her bid by coming second over approaching the half-mile. She got cover to follow entering the clubhouse turn from Alphadoodle. Lady Riviera slightly lost touch with Alphadoodle, being 2 lengths off cover. Barn Babe, the post time favorite, was anxiously trotting third over.
Alphadoodle cleared the front towards the end of the far turn and Lady Riviera came lunging at her, as well as Barn Babe from the three-path. Alphadoodle dug in to hold off Lady Riviera’s challenge and took the first division by a neck in 1:57.4. Lady Riviera finished second and Barn Babe was third.
Alphadoodle got a stamp of approval from the Hambletonian Trail site and returned $4.60 as our choice. She is owned by Rojan Stables, James Walker, Hutt Racing Stable and trainer Rick Zeron and was driven by Brian Sears.
Odds-on favorite Lola De Vie won with ease in division two, trotting a three-hole trip and brushing past horses at three-quarters. Bouncing Bax (H-Credit Winner) was in front of her in second for a majority of the race and came up the open stretch to finish second. Royal Malinda got up for third and Palm Beach Chic (H-Conway Hall) passed tiring pace setter See You At Office to finish fourth.
Hall La La (H-American Mike) was not a major player in the race, being 10 lengths off the gate at the start and only beating one, our choice Isabella Gal, who went off stride into the first turn. Lola De Vie paid $2.40 to win. Joie De Vie Farms LLC owns her and she is trained by Chris Ryder and was driven by Jim Morrill Jr.
Wygant Lady blew away the field in the final division as well as pulled off the 14-1 upset. Proclaiming April (H-Conway Hall) trotted in the pocket for the whole mile and failed to catch the leader, finishing second. The race turned out to be a contest of gait, as a majority of the field went off stride at some point in the race, including Demented (H-Crazed), our pick Long Island Tea and Crazy Grigio (H-Crazed). Long Island Tea recovered well but beat the breakers, finishing fourth as the heavy 1-2 favorite.
Wygant Lady paid $31.20 to win in her upset effort. She is owned by Alan Stull and trainer Taylor Gower and was driven by Cat Manzi to a 1:56.1 lifetime-mark equaling mile.
Keep watching the Hambletonian Trail blog for updates and races involving eligibles through July and for live coverage from TwinSpires on Hambletonian day. Read race results at the special section archived at the Hambletonian Society web site.