03/18/2016 9:35PM

Yonkers: Al Raza N fastest in Blue Chip Matchmaker opener


Three $40,000 divisions of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for open pacing mares were staged on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway with Al Raza N (1:52 3/5), Mach It A Par (1:53 2/5) and Lady Shadow (1:53 4/5) scoring the victories.

Al Raza N (Jordan Stratton) was second-over on non-advancing cover and almost six lengths behind favored Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) at the 1:23 4/5 three-quarters in the first section, but she gained ground around the far turn and wore down the leader through the lane en route to the victory by half a length.  Hazmatt (Brian Sears) rallied from sixth to third in the final quarter.

It was the 14th career victory for Al Raza N, a 6-year-old mare by Gotta Go Cullect.  Trained by Agostino Abbatiello for owner Durazzano Stable, Al Raza N returned $15.20.

Mach It A Par (George Brennan), the longest shot on the board at 39-1 in the second flight, tracked cover from defending Matchmaker champion Venus Delight (Bartlett) from past the half to the top of the stretch.  Brennan brought his mare to Venus Delight’s outside in the stretch, and Mach It A Par was up in the shadow of the wire to win by a nose.  Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube), the runner-up in last year’s Matchmaker final, slipped through in the passing lane to collect third.

Rich Banca trains Mach It A Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three, for the ownership group of D’Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable, and the Gandolfo Stable.  This was Mach It A Par’s 20th career win, and she paid $81 for the upset.

Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan), last year’s top older pacing mare in Canada, followed Gallie Bythe Beach (Matt Kakaley) to the front early and landed on the point right at the 27 4/5 opening quarter.  She continued to control the proceedings at the 56 3/5 half and the 1:25 three-quarters before accelerating away through the stretch to win by just over two lengths.  Gallie Bythe Beach held second ahead of Jungle Genie N (Bartlett).

A 5-year-old Shadow Play mare, Lady Shadow is conditioned by Josh Green for owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold, and BFJ Stable.  Lady Shadow, who was making her 2016 debut off two qualifiers at Dover Downs, scored her 17th career triumph and boosted her earnings to over $750,000.  She paid $7.