05/21/2015 12:28PM

Yonkers: Betting Exchange looking for good fortune in Rooney

Ken Weingartner
Betting Exchange goes for his first win of 2015 in race 6 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday.

Is there more than meets the eye to Betting Exchange? The 3-year-old colt will hope to prove that statement fact in the first of two eliminations for the $380,000 Art Rooney pace on Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway.

From the word go it seems that positive karma hasn’t been on Betting Exchange’s side. After a trio of qualifiers, he was entered to make his career debut on July 12, 2014 at Saratoga Raceway in a New York Sire Stakes races, but was scratched-injured.

The son of Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover got back on track and was on a two-race winning streak entering the rich $225,000 Sire Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway. Betting Exchange was the 3-2 favorite to take home his first major victory. He went to the lead, but was shuffled back and eventually disqualified from third for causing interference while coming off the pylons to avoid more road trouble.

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Betting Exchange would return a month later to close out 2014 with a minor stakes win at Harrah’s Philadelphia and a 3-for-7 record.

After a “no chance” trip around the Meadowlands in his 2015 debut, Betting Exchange was back on the NYSS scene, this time at Tioga Downs. He was once again a 3-2 favorite and in the midst of brushing to the front when bad luck struck again—broken hobble. The Tom Fanning trainee came out of the race fine, but had to pull up and never finished.

“He’s been a little unlucky, but hopefully the pendulum will swing the other way,” said Fanning, who admits that Betting Exchange was a project just getting to the races. “As a 2-year-old training down he showed very little. It took until the middle of May (2014) before he showed any hopes of being a racehorse.

“He is a better trainer now. He is very laid back, but when you ask him to go, the light switch goes on and he goes now.”

Between the misfortunes, Betting Exchange has proven to be a very capable horse with high speed. He won at Vernon Downs as a 2-year-old in 1:51 1/5 and paced a 1:55 1/5 winning mile at Batavia, less than a second off the track record for rookie colts.

“He’s a very good horse. It remains to be seen whether he is a top horse,” said Fanning. “The best is still in front of him. I think in the next five or six starts we’ll see what he is made of.”

Betting Exchange (post four, David Miller) will have his work cut out for him in Saturday’s $40,000 elimination versus the likes of Cartoon Daddy (post five), who defeated him in the Sire Stakes final last year, and Soto (post two, Brett Miller), a speedy son from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven. Cartoon Daddy, who will not be driven by the listed Yannick Gingras since he is driving at the Meadowlands, won his first start of 2015 in 1:51 4/5 at Tioga Downs. Soto was a close second in 1:50 behind one of the top 3-year-old pacers in the country, In The Arsenal, who starts in the second elimination. There is also Delaware import Sonofa Sizzle, a three-time winner in four starts this year for trainer Josh Green who picks up top pilot Brian Sears and leaves from post three.

If all goes well for Betting Exchange in the Rooney, a trip to the North America Cup in mid June could be in the plans. The colt is also eligible to the Max Hempt at Pocono, but not the Meadowlands Pace since he was training so poorly when that initial payment came up.

The second Rooney elimination (race seven) could very well be a walk in the park for In The Arsenal. The richest ($411,843) and fastest (1:49 4/5) horse in the field by far, In The Arsenal won his only start of 2015 despite a first-over trip and should be a heavy favorite from post two with Brian Sears.

The stiffest competition for the Kelvin Harrison-trained colt could come from National Seelster (post one, David Miller), a winner of four races in six starts this year.

The top four finishers in each elimination return for the final on Saturday, May 30.

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