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2006 Yonkers Trot Results

Date: 11/25/06

Glidemaster winning the 2006 Yonkers Trot
After a 17-month hiatus due to a massive rebuilding project to install slot machines, Yonkers Raceway in New York reopened a week ago to live racing. On Saturday night, its two highlight events were contested, as Yonkers hosted the final legs of both Triple Crowns of harness racing.

The $728,930 Yonkers Trot is the third leg of the Trotting Triple Crown and Glidemaster, winner of the Hambletonian and the Kentucky Futurity, was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in his attempt to become the eighth Triple Crown winner. When the race got underway, Glidemaster and 7-5 second choice Algiers Hall battled on the front end through fractions of 29 2/5, 58 3/5, and 1:26 2/5. With a furlong to go, Algiers Hall had a 1/4 length advantage but when asked by driver George Brennan, Glidemaster surged ahead when it mattered, pulling away to a 1 3/4 length victory in a time of 1:55 4/5, completing his Triple Crown sweep. It was a long 9 lengths back to 30-1 Ira K in third.
Results chart from USTA

Winning trainer Blair Burgess said, "When he didn't crossover on the backside I was seriously concerned. But he's just a great, great horse. He dug in. I know he doesn't know the end of a mile. Algiers Hall put up a hell of a fight. It was definitely very nerve-wracking." The Yonkers Trot marked Glidemaster's racing debut on a half-mile oval, and made him the first Triple Crown winner since Super Bowl in 1972 to win the Crown with a half-mile track as part of the equation. Windsong's Legacy's sweep came on three mile tracks. "He deserved it. He's a tremendous horse. He just deserved the recognition," Burgess added. "It hasn't been done like that since 1972, with the half-mile track thrown in as a kicker there. I think it shows versatility, versatility is always nice. He even showed a little gate speed just to get that spot."

Palone Ranger returns after winning the 2006 Messenger Stakes
Earlier in the card, they ran the $546,830 Messenger Stakes, the final leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Unlike the Yonkers Trot, there was no Triple Crown on the line as the first two legs, the Cane Pace and the Little Brown Jug, were won by different horses who did not enter the Messenger. Shark Gesture was sent off as the 3-5 favorite over 9-5 second choice Perfect Union. When the race got underway, Perfect Union was allowed an uncontested lead through fractions of 28 1/5, 56 3/5, and 1:25 3/5 while being chased by 44-1 Winslow Gambler. Shark Gesture sat back in third but was wide throughout. Through the stretch, Shark Gesture tired badly from his wide trip and finished last, while 10-1 Palone Ranger, who sat in midpack fourth the whole way, came on strong late on the outside when asked by driver Ron Pierce to win by 3 3/4 lengths over Perfect Union in 1:54 3/5. 17-1 longshot Livestrong was 1/4 length back in third.
Results chart from USTA

Winning trainer Greg Peck said, "It was a team effort. The horse was great, but it starts with Perretti Farms; they raise the best horses in the business. I got a nice healthy horse and conditioned him well and Ronnie Pierce is the man; it was a very foxy drive on his part. I was confident when I warmed him up tonight because I could see how he was getting around this track. The only concern was he came in off a layoff, so you had to hope he was like a Thoroughbred and overcome it. It's my biggest win and it feels good. This is a race with a lot of history, it's a Triple Crown race and it's a huge honor. Let's just hope we keep it going."

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