03/17/2017 9:32PM

Yonkers: Blue Chip Matchmaker Series kicks off with three splits

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Mike Lizzi
Shesjustadelight N's first win of the year was an impressive one in the Blue Chip Matchmaker opener

The 2017 Grand Circuit season began Friday night at Yonkers Raceway with a trio of $40,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker divisions for pacing mares.  Shesjustadelight N, Mach It A Par, and Regil Elektra picked up the victories, with Jason Bartlett steering the latter two lasses to the winner's circle.

In the first section Empress Deo (Matt Kakaley) and American Girl (Tim Tetrick) raced side-by-side through fractions of 27 1/5, 55 2/5, and 1:23 4/5 with 4-5 choice Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) watching the battle from the pocket.  In the stretch Cushing guided the public choice into the passing lane, and she responded when shown the clear air, pacing past Empress Deo and going on to triumph by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:53.  Empress Deo held second and Change The Rulz N (Scott Zeron) rallied from eighth and last at the half to third at the finish line.

Cushing also co-owns Shesjustadelight N, a 7-year-old Bettor's Delight mare, with partner Kevin Sywyk.  Heidi Gibbs trains Shesjustadelight N, who posted her 23rd career victory and ran her earnings to $185,215.  She paid $3.60 to win.

Mach It A Par, who had a win, three seconds, and a third in preliminary round action in the Matchmaker last year before finishing eighth in the final, was sent off as the 3-5 choice in the second grouping, and she would make her way into the lead for Bartlett at the 28 1/5 opening quarter.  Mach It A Par would go on to reach the half in 57 3/5 and the three-quarters in 1:26, but in the lane she was under heavy pressure from pocket-sitting and passing lane-attacking Bedroomconfessions (Zeron).  Mach It A Par held on, though, getting to the wire a nose to the good in 1:53 2/5.  Betabcool N (Mark MacDonald) was third, three-quarters of a length back.

The victorious 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three is trained by Richie Banca for owners D`Elegance Stable Ix, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable, and The Gandolfo Stables.  Mach It A Par, who returned $3.20 to her backers, now has 34 lifetime tallies and a bankroll of $592,649.

Bartlett was right back for another photograph after Regil Elektra bagged the final Matchmaker tilt.  Starting from post three, she efforted to clear past Lispatty (MacDonald) at the 27 2/5 first quarter, but then Bartlett was able to steal a 29 4/5 second quarter, reaching the half in 57 1/5.  Medusa (Kakaley) attacked first-over out of fourth past that marker, but Regil Elektra held on to the top spot at the 1:24 3/5 three-quarters and to the finish line, which she found half a length to the good in a 1:52 4/5 mile.  Hidden Land (Zeron) charged from well-back to nab second over Lispatty.

Regil Elektra, who finished fourth in the Matchmaker final last season, is another 7-year-old Mach Three mare sent out by Keith Armer for owner Fred Monteleone Stable LLC.  She is now a 34-time winner in her life, and she has put away $785,528.  Sent off at 3-1, she paid $8.40 to win.