05/25/2015 4:23PM

Tioga: J K She'salady prevails in seasonal debut

Derick Giwner
JK She'salady is still undefeated.

The Graduate Series for four-year-olds debuted at Tioga Downs on Monday afternoon and trainer Jimmy Takter continued his dominance guiding last year’s three-year-old filly champion Shake It Cerry to her first victory in 2015. The $37,500 Graduate series opening leg proved just what the doctor ordered for the mare that had lost her first three starts of the year. With Takter in the bike Shake It Cerry was parked to a brisk :55 2/5 opening half but extended her margin from there scoring in 1:52 4/5.

“She felt a lot stronger today,” said Takter of the daughter of Donato Hanover that likely will head next to the Armbro Flight at Mohawk. “I’ve got Father Patrick going in the next leg of the Graduate (Meadowlands June 6),” Takter said.

In the other Graduate division for four-year-old trotters Opulent Yankee scored wire-to-wire for driver Andy Miller in a 1:52 3/5 mile. The son of Muscles Yankee shook off the bid of 3-2 favorite Muscle Network on the final turn and drew clear powerfully. Opulent Yankee has been first or second in all of his 15 starts this year winning six times.

On the pacing side of the Graduate Doo Wop Hanover was dominant for Hall of Fame driver John Campbell scoring in a track record 1:47 4/5 clocking. The Steve Elliott-trained four-year-old came first over before the half and paced a sub :54 final half to win by open lengths as the 1-10 choice.

“He’s been getting better and better,” said Campbell, “But I didn’t really expect anything like that.”

Trainer Elliott came back to capture the second $37,500 Graduate division for pacers with 4-5 favorite Rockeyed Optimist, making a quarter-move to the front and scoring in 1:48 1/5, a career best. Tim Tetrick guided Rockeyed Optimist to his eighth win in nine starts as a four-year-old.

Horse of the Year J K She’salady made her three-year-old debut in a $31,050 division of the New York Sire Stakes and had to work hard but eventually prevailed in 1:51 2/5 with driver Tim Tetrick in the bike. J K She’salady was kept in fourth through the early stages then picked up the pace coming up without cover coming off the second turn. Pacesetter Single Me paced a :27 1/5 third quarter and that made J K She’salady have to work but once Tetrick called on the filly she responded in style to win for the 13th straight time without defeat during her career.

“She does what she has to do to get there,” said Nancy Johansson, J K She’salady’s trainer.

Bettorhaveanother captured her second straight NYSS event scoring in 1:51 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. Sired by Bettors Delight, Bettorhaveanother is trained by Jackie Rousse.

Bettor Be Steppin was dominant again in NYSS action scoring in 1:51 2/5 for driver Corey Callahan and trainer Joe Holloway.

Rock Me Gently scored in the final NYSS division holding off favored Heavenly Bride’s bid and scoring in 1:52 for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Steve Elliott.