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Al Cimaglia: 2021 Yonkers Trot & Messenger Stakes Picks | Friday, July 2

by Al Cimaglia

July 2, 2021

Tonight, the headliners on the Yonkers Raceway card will be competing in the MGM Yonkers Trot, and the MGM Messenger Stakes. The three-year-olds will be battling for a share of a $500,000 purse.

Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.

RACE 8 (9:35PM ET) // MGM YONKERS TROT // PURSE $500,000

3-Johan Palema (3-1) - This colt comes off a trip-out win and simply rallied from the pocket to nip stablemate #1 at the wire in the Elimination last week. The reason to rate this high is because of having a tactical advantage over others and being on the improve in his three-year-old season. This entry is one of three from the Svanstedt stable and that in itself could help this colt. Gingras will leave and most likely land on the point or in the two-hole. If #6 does get the lead by the half the pace should be quick enough so Gingras will be able to brush by down the lane at a fair price.

6-Ahundreddollarbill (4-1) - It's hard to criticize Bill, he hasn't lost in 2021 and is a perfect 4-4. The Alagna trainee could be the best horse in the race. Although McCarthy finds a way to negotiate the turns, the 1/2 mile oval isn't the best for this son of Chapter 7. It wouldn't be a shock if Bill wins but my guess is there will be obstacles and not being able to make-up ground on the turns could be the difference.

8-In Range (7/2) - Last week, Tetrick saw the hand he was dealt. The two Svanstedt entries #1 and #3, drew inside and the best path to make the Final was to save ground and rally late. Although there will be a more aggressive plan tonight, not sure the gate speed is there to get a close-up seat. So, with this post draw it will take some good fortune and hot fractions to finish higher.

1-Ambassador Hanover (9/2) - Svanstedt steers his own pupil and he has commented that this colt has been a nice surprise this year. The post draw should help with cashing a nice check but that probably will be the outcome rather than taking top honors.


6-American Courage (7/2) - This American Ideal colt was a sharp winner in his elimination and has only suffered one loss in 11 lifetime starts. Kakaley should be able to get the top by the 1st turn, but if not still has the speed to be controlling this race soon after. Looks like the main player with a decent trip so will use on top and hope the morning line price is correct.

2-I'll Drink To That (4-1) - Last week's elimination race wasn't overly impressive. Did get the top and then faded down the lane but maybe the aim was simply to tune-up for the main event. Dunn should have this colt in play and with this post draw could benefit from an efficient journey. This is a nice colt who hasn't finished worse than 2nd since 7-22-20. A must use but would probably need a trip advantage to cash the top check.

8-Abuckabett Hanover (6-1) - Here is most likely the fastest horse who couldn't have drawn a worse post considering its gait issues. Last week, this colt looked like an 8-year-old trying to ride a 2-wheel bike for the first time, but still won. My guess is that going way wide on the first turn and getting steppy on the last one, probably cost 10-lengths or close to 2 seconds. So, it might make sense to include in gimmicks if ignored at the windows.

3-Charlie May-(2-1) - Here is the program favorite and the morning line odds maker has a higher opinion than do I. Stayed inside last week and got sucked around, which helped clock the 26.3 last quarter. This gelding is fast and should be in the hunt but often gets a favorable post draw to help his cause. Draws okay this time too, but my take is this will be a bottom of the ticket candidate, so will play against.

RACE 10 (10:15PM ET) // OPEN HANDICAP TROT // PURSE $42,000 

8-Hey Livvy (2-1) - Drew off by 8 lengths from post 7 in last to beat this entire field except for #3. Came off the bench to start this year with 2 straight wins and can grind his way around again to take another picture with a smooth trip.


$10 Pick 3 (Races 8 - 10)

Race 8: 3, 6
Race 9: 6
Race 10: 8
Cost: $20.00

$2 Pick 3 (Races 8 - 10)

Race 8: 3, 6, 8
Race 9: 2, 6, 8
Race 10: 8
Cost: $18.00


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