03/28/2017 8:59PM

Yonkers: Pocket trip pays off for Never Say Never N in Sagamore Hill final

Mike Lizzi
Never Say Never N splashes home to capture the Sagamore Hill Series final at Yonkers

A pocketed Never Say Never N (Jason Bartlett, $7.10) out-tripped 2-5 favorite Awesomeness (Scott Zeron) Tuesday night (March 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s ‘sloppy’ $61,800 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series.

The annual series, named for Teddy Roosevelt's home in Cove Neck, New York, was open to 3- and 4-year-old male pacers who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last December 1.

Leaving from post position two, Never Say Never N tracked pole-sitting Prejudice (Jordan Stratton) from the outset. Meanwhile, Awesomeness, from post five, tried to leave, but was wrangled back into a fourth-hole. That trio were the only ones in the final who had each won both of their series starts (one scheduled leg was snowed out). After early intervals of 28 1/5 and 58 2/5, Awesomeness was out and moving, trying to stomp out Prejudice in and out of a 1:26 2/5 three-quarters.

Prejudice owned a length and a half lead into the lane, but was surrounded. Awesomeness was resilient, but Never Say Never N had the shorter route and the bigger envelope. The latter whipped the former by a head in a moist 1:54 2/5. Prejudice was third, beaten a neck, with Sure Fired Bet (Yannick Gingras) and Artmagic (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. Ideal Son (George Brennan), Wishiwasagigolo (Dan Dube, coupled with Prejudice) and Stirling Escort (Matt Kakaley) finished off the order.  

“He’s quick and fits this track very well,” Bartlett said. “Ever since I qualified him, I’ve been impressed with him. I knew Jordan’s horse (Prejudice) would take me to the lane, and it was up to him from there."

For second choice Never Say Never N, a 4-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight co-owned by Gerard Stuchbury and Thomas Lazzaro and trained by Heidi Rohr, he’s now five-for-five this season. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $30.80.

“His best stride has always been near the wire, but sometimes he shuts himself off, so they added a mini bit tonight and it helped,” added Bartlett.

As for Awesomeness, whose own win streak ended at six, “We lost a lot of round in the last turn and Jason (Never Say Never N) was able to get the jump,” Zeron said. “(Awesomeness) was out two turns and really running in, so I can’t fault the effort.”   

A $30,000 series consolation was won by Magical Cowboy (Gingras, $5.40, part of entry) in 1:55 2/5.