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The Yonkers Trot trophies with the All-Star Buglers in the background
The $645,854 Yonkers Trot is the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown. A field of eight 3-year-olds trotted the standard distance of one mile, two laps of the 1/2 mile oval at Yonkers Raceway in New York on Saturday night. Holiday Credit was sent off as the 9-5 favorite over 2-1 second choice Napoleon and 7-2 third choice Make It Happen. Racing conditions were ideal, with clear skies, a fast track, and temperatures in the high 70's.
Eventual winner Napoleon leads first time by in the 2008 Yonkers Trot
The finish of the 2008 Yonkers Trot
Winning driver Stephane Bouchard, a perennial leading rider at Yonkers but celebrating his first Yonkers Trot win, said, "I've been waiting for this for a long time. It's a lifetime dream. This was for my son, Oliver, who is in Canada. He just turned 18 today. I was on the phone with him (earlier yesterday) and he told me, 'You're going to win the race.' So I won the race. He's a nice trotter. He races hard. I thought I had enough horse to keep him up there for a while. At the top of the stretch, I thought (Holiday Credit) was going to win the race. Halfway down the stretch I saw his horse get weak and rough a little bit there. In a race like that, you need a good horse and all the luck you can get to win it. We got it."
Napoleon in the winner's circle after the Yonkers Trot
Winning co-owner Sid Korn said, "It's unbelievable. I can't tell you how excited I am. Every time you come up to a big race like this, you wonder what's going to happen. You dream of all the possibilities and when it's over, it's such a weight off you. Of all the possibilities, this was the best. I'm happy for everyone involved. It couldn't happen to nicer guys. For my partner, (the late) Alvin (Jacobsen, breeder), I hope to heck he was up there listening somewhere and knows what happens. All his life he was breeding and now he's not here to see this."
The female counterpart to the Yonkers Trot is the $364,694 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old fillies. A field of eight went to post in this 1 mile trip, with Creamy Mimi sent off as the 3-5 favorite for trainer and driver Trond Smedshammer. In to challenge the daughter of Conway Hall were 3-1 second choice Epangeline and 7-2 third choice Flower Lane.
Creamy Mimi wins the 2008 Hudson Trot
Smedshammer sent Creamy Mimi to the lead immediately and she set a pace of 29 2/5, 1:00 2/5, and 1:29 3/5 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Flower Lane who stalked her in second. On the final turn, Flower Lane broke stride which allowed Creamy Mimi to open up a 2 length lead in the stretch. Epangeline, who raced in fourth early, put in a late run but the race was over, as Creamy Mimi cruised under the line 3 lengths clear for the gate-to-wire victory in 1:58 1/5. It was another 6 1/2 lengths back to 46-1 longshot There's A Way in third.
Results chart from USTA
Winning trainer and driver Trond Smedshammer said, "When I saw she drew the rail, that was a big advantage. She is a nice filly. On paper, she was the filly to beat. Even if she didn't draw the rail I think she would have been the one to beat, but it certainly helps on a 1/2 mile track. She's got a big race coming up six days at the Meadowlands, so we were debating whether we were going to come here. But I told (co-owner) Marvin (Katz) it might be easier to win this race than the Delvin Miller. Right now we're happy we came."
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