09/05/2015 11:59PM

Yonkers: Sears has the magic touch with Habitat in Yonkers Trot

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Mike Lizzi
Habitat cruised to an easy win in the Yonkers Trot Final.

When it comes to the 3-year-old trotting division in 2015, Brian Sears has the magic touch. After driving Pinkman to a Hambletonian victory one month ago, he steered Habitat, the a horse he qualified for the Hambo final, to the winner’s circle in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot on Saturday night.

Firing off the gate from post five, Sears and Habitat made an easy lead as stablemate Crazy Wow jumped off stride right at the start. The duo cruised along on the engine through the opening quarter in 27 4/5 as Pinkman found a seat in third ahead of his betting partner French Laundry.

Habitat got to relax with a 57-second half and hardly was forced to accelerate by the first-over Pinkman approaching three quarters in 1:26. From there Sears had no anxious moments, cruising under the line much the best in 1:54 4/5.

Pinkman had trouble on the turn once again and settled for second but was disqualified because it was ruled that driver Yannick Gingras crowded Buen Camino coming around the final turn. Southwind Mozart was placed second and Buen Camino moved up to third. French Laundry (originally fourth, placed third) was also disqualified due to his entrymate’s infraction.

“I liked where I got away and was able to get Pinkman behind me. I knew he struggled last week,” said Sears. “My horse is a handy horse. I had the opportunity to drive four of the eight horses in the race, so I knew the competition very well, which always helps.”

Trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, Habitat won for the seventh time in 14 starts this year. He has earned $570,434.

“I can’t tell you how worried I was,” said co-owner Gene Kurzrok about the break of Crazy Wow, who he also owns in partnership. “I would have thought Crazy Wow would have won tonight, but I thought Habitat had a shot.”

The winner paid $3.40 to win.

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