The 28th edition of the Rooney, one of Yonkers' premier event's for the sport's glamour division, offers six 3-year-old colts and two geldings. Inaugurated 1989, the Rooney pays homage to the Hall of Fame founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers and patriarch of the Rooney Family.
Elimination winners Trump Nation with "Maine Man" Jason Bartlett in the bike drew post position four, while Decoy, Dave Miller handling the reins, is saddled with the outside eight hole.
Miller, who has won this race three times, including last season with Downbytheseaside will have his work cut out for him behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jimmy Takter trains for Brixton Medical, R A W Equine and Joe Sbrocco. Decoy won his elim going away, by 8Â½ lengths in a 'good' 1:54.
Bartlett, the perennial leading driver at Empire City Casino's historic half mile oval, has never won the Rooney. Trump Nation took over early a week ago, making the lead from an eventual breaker and holding sway. He won by a head in 1:53.3. his fastest purse mile of the season.
The Betterthancheddar colt enters the final with new co-ownership (Evan Katz and Crawford Racing) and a new trainer in Chris Oakes.
The field, with declared drivers is as follows: 1-Minnie Vinnie (Tim Tetrick), 2-Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton listed), 3-Springsteen (Brian Sears), 4-Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett), 5-Jimtastic (Eric Goodell), 6-Major Authority (Yannick Gingras), 7-Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller), 8-Decoy (Dave Miller).
The 14th Lismore, companion event to the Rooney, was carded as the fifth race. Lone elimination winner Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube) landed in post No. 2 among the octet of 3-year-old pacing.
The field, with declared drivers…1-Solitary (Brent Holland), 2-Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube), 3-Believe in Me (Brian Sears), 4-Pass Line Bluechip (Jason Bartlett), 5-Python Blue Chip (George Brennan) 6-Alexa's Power (Tim Tetrick), 7-Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald), 8-Reign on Me (Brett Miler).
First post for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM.
by John Cirillo, for Yonkers Raceway