03/20/2013 1:29PM

Yonkers: Anndrovette begins her third try for Bluechip Matchmaker title

Sean Hamrock
Krispy Apple has a big shot in the her division (race 4) of the Bluechip Matchmaker.

Reigning Pacing Mare of the Year Anndrovette has done everything that has been asked of her in her career. She has earned over $2 million and won most of the sports’ top races for her class – except the Bluechip Matchmaker.

Due to circumstance or bad racing luck, Anndrovette has yet to come up victorious in the final of the Matchmaker series, which kicks off the first of five preliminary legs on Friday (March 22) at Yonkers Raceway.

In 2011 she crossed the wire first in two legs of the series but was disqualified in one of the victories and never made it to the final. The following year she dominated with three preliminary round wins only to end up first-over in the $297,000 final and had to settle for second.

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“The draw is everything in these races,” said trainer P.J. Fraley. “Last year we drew well throughout the series but got unlucky in the final.”

Anndrovette, who comes into Friday’s race off a trio of qualifiers, was given the tough assignment of starting from post 7 in the fourth of five Matchmaker races on the 12-race card. While known for her strong gate speed, don’t expect to see that attribute in the opening leg of the series.

“With the 7-hole, we are probably going to race her easy from the back,” said Fraley about his possible instructions for regular driver Tim Tetrick. “She is unbelievably lazy and probably isn’t 100% racy yet. By next week when she hopefully draws better we’ll turn her loose.”

Regardless of racing strategy, Anndrovette will have her hooves full in race 9 facing the likes of the Ron Burke trained Rocklamation (coupled in the wagering with Foxy Lady). The 5-year-old mare is fresh off a win in her seasonal debut at the Meadowlands and is coming off a division-leading $770,477 year.

Burke, who has nine mares entered in the series on Friday, is hardly a concern for Fraley.

“I believe he has three in there that can really compete,” said Fraley on the competition from Burke.

The 35-year-old Fraley has some extra ammunition of his own in the series. His regular owners Bamond Racing LLC and Joseph Davino, who own Anndrovette, also send out Krispy Apple in race 4 on the card.

Making her 2013 debut at Yonkers last week, Krispy Apple surprised the bettors when she swept the field at 13-1 en route to a 1:53 final time in the Open Handicap. But Fraley was hardly shocked.

“I told Matt (Kakaley) to just set her up and she’ll do the rest,” said Fraley. “She is a half-mile specialist. She gets through the turns well and has one big turn of speed.”

Krispy Apple actually won two splits of the Matchmaker last year and qualified for the final. Unfortunately the rules for the series only allow for two starters from each barn to race in the final and she had to settle for a win in the $75,000 consolation.

Although Fraley feels that the half-mile-track lover Krispy Apple is in a very good spot on Friday, he stopped well short of giving her the nod over Anndrovette if the two should make it to the final on April 27.

“It will be a surprise if Krispy Apple can ever beat Anndrovette,” concluded Fraley.

The five Bluechip Matchmaker opening round events are scheduled as races 4, 6, 7, 9 & 10. Post time for the first race is 7:10 pm.