08/23/2016 9:50AM

Yonkers: Racing Hill, Marion Marauder headline Triple Crown races

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Chris Gooden
Racing Hill is likely to be a heavy favorite in the $500,000 Messenger final on September 3 at Yonkers Raceway.

When the entry box was unveiled for the Messenger Pace and Yonkers Trot eliminations on Tuesday morning, 17 total hopefuls dropped in to compete in the two Triple Crown events.

Both for 3-year-olds, the Messenger lured eight pacers which will head directly for the September 3 final at Yonkers Raceway. Nine horses will compete in one elimination for the Yonkers Trot this Saturday to reduce the field to eight for the second of the two $500,000 finals.

Leading the way in the Messenger is Racing Hill. Ranked by most as the second best sophomore pacer behind Betting Line, the Tony Alagna trainee is likely to be a prohibitive favorite regardless of his post position. Racing Hill already has major wins in the $500,000 Hempt and $400,000 Adios this year.

Relative newcomer to the Grand Circuit scene, Dr J Hanover could be a player in the Messenger. He picked up his first stake win last week at Pocono in a Battle of the Brandywine consolation. The now gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere posted a solid 1:50 1/5 winning mile, his fifth straight victory and sixth in seven starts this year.

"He wasn't paying attention and if we didn't castrate him, we'd have nothing," said Brittany Farms racing manager Myron Bell.

Post positions for the $500,000 Messenger final will be drawn on Tuesday, August 30.

$500,000 Messenger Field (Sep. 3)

Another Daily Copy

Don’tcallmefrancis

Dr J Hanover

Fernando Hanover

Manny

Racing Hill

Stonebridge Beach

Western Fame

Assuming there are no surprises in the $40,000 Yonkers Trot elimination, that final will have a standout of equal caliber to Racing Hill in Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder. Before the Paula Wellwood-trained colt can reach the final, he’ll have to navigate past a field of eight competitors.

Marion Marauder suffered only his second defeat in eight 2016 races when finishing second to Southwind Frank last week in the $500,000 Colonial. Despite the loss, the son of Muscle Hill put in a valiant effort while racing first-over into slow fractions set by the race winner.

In addition to the winner’s share of the purse, the Yonkers Trot winner will receive an invitational to the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot on October 15 versus older foes.

Yonkers Trot Elimination (Aug. 27, Race 6)

POST / HORSE / LISTED DRIVER

1 - Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis)

2 - Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley)

3 - Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron)

4 - Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald)

5 - Steed (Brian Sears)

6 - Cufflink Hanover (Jason Bartlett)

7 - Celebrity Express (John Campbell)

8 - Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan)

9 - Gleaming Memory (Jason Bartlett)

The 12-race Saturday Yonkers card will also feature the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace Finals for 3-year-old fillies.

$118,574 Hudson Trot (Aug. 27, Race 7)

POST / HORSE / LISTED DRIVER

1 - Wildflower (Dan Dube)

2 - Southwind Hope (Andy Miller)

3 - Dream Child (Scott Zeron)

4 - Celebrity Eventsy )John Campbell)

5 - Dancing In Thehall (Mark MacDonald)

6 - Windshopper (Ake Svanstedt)

7 - Hillosophical (Scott Zeron)

$109,050 Lady Maud (Aug. 27, Race 9)

POST / HORSE / LISTED DRIVER

1 - Skinny Dipper (Brian Sears)

2 - Apple Bottom Jeans (Jason Bartlett)

3 - Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton)

4 - Cheyenne Triengel (Scott Zeron)

5 - Hug A Dragoness (George Brennan)

6 - Time On My Hands (Jason Bartlett)