Gimpanzee cruises to track record in Yonkers Trot
BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, August 31, 2019—It there was a better advertisement for New York-breds than the one Yonkers Raceway displayed Saturday night (Aug. 31st), one would be hard-pressed to find it.
Odds-on favorite Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, $2.60) gave nothing else a chance in the 65th Yonkers Trot, dusting his seven foes in a track-record performance.
From post position No. 4 in the $500,000 foray, Gimpanzee took the lead from 127-1 number Sheena’s Boy before a 28-second opening quarter-mile.
The early portion of the race included a pair of jumpers in Osterc (George Brennan) and Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller). While those two miscreants were leaving the course, Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) was easing into a four-hole.
That four-hole became a three-hole after Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) broke. Meanwhile, Gimpanzee was all by his lonesome at the :56.4 half. Then, for good measure, he threw down a :56.4 back half, the result a 1:53.3, 4¼-length win in the second jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown.
The mile was a track record for 3-year-old cots and the fastest Trot held here (Windsong’s Legacy won the 2004 edition at Hawthorne in a stakes-record 1:53.1).
Forbidden Trade, though no threat to the winner, was a credible, two-move second (in horse’s and driver’s first local appearance). A recovering Soul Strong was third, with 199-1 rank outsider No Drama Please (Jason Bartlett) and HL Revadon (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved up to fourth and fifth, respectively, after Sheena’s Boy broke in a tiring pocket, disqualified from fourth to sixth.
Osterc and Livinonthedash rounded out the order.
For newly-minted millionaire Gimpanzee, a statebred son of Chapter Seven co-owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable, it was his fifth win in seven seasonal starts (career 14-for-26, $1,145,996) The exacta paid $8.50, the triple returned $18 and the superfecta paid $269.
Gimpanzee has won all five of his Westchester starts, while Sears won his fourth Yonkers Trot.
“All the credit to Marcus (Melander) and his outfit,” Sears said. “He’s been a total pro from the first time I sat behind him, just so mature and he was ready tonight. It’s just a pleasure to be a part of it.”
“When the draw came out, I knew it was his race to lose,” Melander said of the defending statebred and overall divisional champion. He’s been great on a half (-mile track). “He lays down and he turns over like a motorcycle.
“This is an amazing race to win and I don’t think there is a better 3-year-old on a half-mile track and I think he showed it tonight.”
Mike Lizzi photos