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Sapphire City wins Saturday Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers

Sapphire City wins Saturday Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - by Frank Drucker, publicity director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers, NY --- Sapphire City (Eric Carlson) made amends Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $33,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Mayra Escamilla photo

Sapphire City was a 1:54 winner in the Open Handicap Pace.
The race took on a different description early as 7-5 favorite Bettor's Edge (George Brennan) jumped it off early. Those who minded their manners were led by last week's pocket winner, Lumberjack Willie (Jordan Stratton).

That one worked-- before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. A cheapy, :29 next interval (:56.1 half) followed before Fat Man's Alley (Jason Bartlett) moved from fourth. He just sat out there though another :29 sub-station (1:25.1 three-quarters).

It was Lumberjack Willie taking a two length lead into the lane, but he could not close the deal. Sapphire City, fading on the lead at 7-10 a week ago, closed ranks and went by, as did a stubborn Fat Man's Alley. The former whipped the latter by a length in 1:54, with Lumberjack Willie, Dream Out Loud N (Eric Goodell) and Money Twitch A (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder.

Sapphire City, a 6-year-old Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Jordan Sklut and Centaur Stables, returned $13.40 (third choice) for his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $54.50, with the triple returning $228.

Special Saturday props to rank outsider Nathan Feelsgood (Carlson), who authored a 46-1 upset in the $17,500 ninth race pace. The $95.50 win mutuel was a season-high thus far in 2014.

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