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Yonkers debuts Sunday matinees

Yonkers debuts Sunday matinees
Sunday, November 09, 2014 - by Frank Drucker, publicity director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY---"Yonkers Raceway's first of six Sunday matinees debuted with an enthusiastic -and curious-crowd, terrific weather and beaucoup de chevaux."

(That's French for "many horses"; the author cheated and looked).

Mike Lizzi Photos

The start of the afternoon's second race, a 1-1/4-mile event for trotters.
The half-dozen, late-morning starts (first post here was 11:19 a.m. ET) began with five trotting events, each one oversized (11, 12, 10, 10 and 10 horses, respectively), "over-distanced" (1-1/4miles) and exported to France. There are the usual dozen races on the card.

Included in that opening quintet was the weekly trotting feature, with a vitamin-enriched dowry of $46,000 (all 12 of the Sunday races featured increased purses). Odds-on DW's NY Yank (George Brennan, $3), starting from post position No. 3, held off a pocket-sitting, 62-1 NF Happenstance (Jeff Gregory) by a length in 2:25.4 for the mile-and-one-quarter.

DW's NY Yank won the second race in 2:25.4 for driver George Brennan.

The first oversized field trot---pared down to 11 after a defection due to sickness---was won by Rossini (Dan Dube, $6). From post position No. 10 in the second tier, Rossini, as the second choice, defeated 3-2 favorite Theraputic (Brennan) by a head in 2:28 for the added distance.

"It's new for all of us, horses and drivers," Brennan said. "It's an experiment, and hopefully it catches on. We have to try something different, and I have no problem with it. Of course, I had a win and a second in the first two races, so I'm not complaining."

As far as wagering went, the North American numbers were $492,926 for the dozen races, and that was with a limited exotics menu for the early races.

The French figures (again, first five races only) were just under $1.4 million Euros (1 Euro is a bit less than 1.25 U.S. dollars, so approximately $1.75 million).

The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule now offers first post every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (first post 7:10 p.m.), and Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) beginning at 11 a.m., give or take a few minutes. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.

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