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Josert Fonseca arrived at the Meadowlands Racetrack on a September morning last year and prepared for his first-ever drive in a qualifier. If he hoped to go unnoticed and work through any jitters, it would be impossible. First, the horse’s trainer, Jimmy Takter, pointed out Fonseca to observers. Second, the horse was Pinkman. Not often does a driver get to take his first spin around a racetrack -- even in a qualifier -- with a Hambletonian Stakes champion. USTA/Ken Weingartner photo.
It might be uncommon for recent travels to play a role in buying a racehorse, but such good fortune led trainer Tim McKoy and his partners to Up Front Flor Ida at the 2016 Buckeye Classic Yearling Sale. Kevin McKinney, who co-owns the female pacer with McKoy’s wife Virginia, had just returned to Ohio from Florida and took notice of Up Front Flor Ida. “That’s the only reason we got her,” McKoy said. “She looked like a million bucks in the sales ring; she looked great. But the only thing that first drew attention to her was her name.” Conrad photo.
Pole-sitting Bluebird Jesse (George Brennan, $12.20) went the distance, winning Tuesday night’s (April 24) $85,000 final of the Bonus Trotting Series at Yonkers Raceway. Mike Castellano photo.