So Yonkers International Trot (#2) is in the books and as expected, Resolve was the race winner in a world record 2:23.4 for the mile and a quarter distance. Resolve's victory was made easier by Hannelore Hanover's break in the first turn, unable to handle the half mile oval. Once Resolve made it to the top, the race was over.
Oasis Bi sat second the whole way through and briefly attempted to fire a challenge in the stretch, alas to no avail.
On the undercard, Yonkers hosted two $250,000 Invitationals to spice up the card, In the Invitational Trot, Bee A Magician returned to the races victoriously, defeating a field of trotters in 2:25.1 for the ten furlong event. While not a wire to wire victory, once Bee A Magician got to the lead past the first quarter and went a convincing mile. The Queen of trotting is back.
Obviously, coming off two qualifiers, Bee A Magician was impressive but perhaps the most impressive effort came from Melodys Monet who raced big on the outside for a good part of the mile and was still strong enough to finish second in the race.
As for the the third big event, the Yonkers Invitational Pace, the $250,000 purse was good because it secured the presence of Wiggle It Jiggleit, Other than that, the money invested was a huge waste of money because no one challenged WIJI during the mile, as once he cleared the field, it was just a jog over the Yonkers oval.
I will admit one thing, I never saw a horse get away and clear the field so quickly as WIJI. Released at the starting position by the starter from post position seven (there was a scratch), WIJI was along the rail by the time the field hit the first turn. I realize second place was good money and that may have been the problem; the money being too good. Too good to risk going after the leader or to give WIJI a tougher trip than he had.
For purposes of French wagering, it was important to give the PMU customers the best possible field Yonkers could so I am less critical of the investment of money for the trotters. However, with Breeders Crown eliminations a week off, the fields were not only lacking depth in star power, it was high unlikely anyone was going to try to challenge the victors of both races; everyone one else racing relatively conservative trying to pick up some money in tightners.
I've been critical of Yonkers and their horsemen in the past for not having a larger stakes program, but this is not the way to spend the money; seeding finals for Levy-style late closing series for the fall would have been a better use of the money.
Anyway, on to the Breeders Crown.