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WINTER BLUES, McEVER WIN FINALS OF "JACKPOT NEXT DOOR" CLAIMING SERIES

WINTER BLUES, McEVER WIN FINALS OF "JACKPOT NEXT DOOR" CLAIMING SERIES
BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 26, 2015-Favored Winter Blues (Brian Sears, $3.80, part of entry) and bombardier McEver (Mark MacDonald, $91.50) earned the spiffy blankets Tuesday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of final in the "Jackpot Next Door" Claiming Series.

In play early from post position No. 4 in the $69,000 finale for the boys, Winter Blues worked around Auckland Flyer (Eric Carlson), with a :27.2 opening quarter-mile and :56.2 intermission. Ideal Carver (Dan Dube) tried it from fourth towards the 1:24 three-quarters as Winter Blues owned a length-and-three-quarter lead in and out of the final turn.


When a $20,000 claimer paces a life-best 1:51.3, he's gonna be tough, and Winter Blues was just that. He held sway over Ideal Carver by three-quarters of a length, with Auckland Flyer third. Someplace Special (Tyler Buter) and Digital Z Tam (George Brennan) came away with the remainder.

For Winter Blues, a 10-year-old Astreos gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard and Kapildeo Singh, it was his fourth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14.40, with the triple returning $36.80.


"Just an honest horse who raced very well," Sears said, though he was admittedly stumped when asked how many career marks he's put on 10-year-olds.

Tuesday afternoon's $59,000 finale of the 'JND' for the ladies was won by that cone-skimming McEver as the longest shot on the board. `

Leaving from post No. 7 (in one notch after a defection), McEver had no choice but to watch the floor show taking place many lengths in front of her. It was pole-sitting Mikeleh (Dube) refusing to give up the baton, seating a reluctant 1-5 choice (part of entry) Grace Seelster (Brennan) and throwing down the gauntlet (:26.3, :55.4).

First-up was Derek Delight (Sears), "Grace's" partner, but she couldn't sustain a bid toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters. So, Mikeleh owned a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. Grace Seelster took another shot, but she wasn't the problem.

The problem was McEver, who saved every inch of ground, closed relentlessly (:27.4 individual final quarter) and actually won going away. The margin over Mikeleh was a length in a season's-best 1:53. Shawnee Dancer (Scott Zeron) rallied for third, with Grace Seelster and My Ideal Hanover (Buter) rounding out the payees.

"I'd rather be lucky than good any day," MacDonald said. "Turning for home, I was hoping to get third, but she kicked it in and Danny's filly and mine were going in opposite directions. His came back to us and mine just took off."

For McEver, a 7-year-old daughter of McArdle owned by Susan Oakes and trained by Chris Oakes, it was her fifth win in 14 '15 tries. The exacta paid $453, with the triple returning $4,784. The winner paid $116 to place, with show wagering barred.

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(photos by Tim Berg)

(FFIFrank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway Publicity Director, 914-968-4200)

Frank Drucker
Director of Publicity
810 Yonkers Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10704
Phone: 914 457 2432
E-mail: FDrucker@YonkersRaceway.com


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