By John Cirillo
The “Old Timers” are back at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night (February 15). The 14-year-old pacer Sakra Fella and his 90-year-old conditioner Carl Dobkowski will try to beat father time and seven opponents again in the opening race of the evening over Empire City Casino’s historic half-mile oval. Scott Zeron drives from post position two.
The duo had scored a major shocker on January 19 at Yonkers when the gelded son of Pacific Fella and the ageless conditioner teamed for a $66.50 payoff. The veteran warrior has been racing since 2005, a year prior to Yonkers Raceway’s Empire City Casino slot machine era, which began in 2006. Dobkowski is a Brooklyn-born conditioner now residing in Stormville, NY.
But there was no “Fountain of Youth” elixir the old guys on January 28 when Sakra, saddled with post position seven, sat seventh the entire mile and was unable to mount a closing kick to gain on the leaders. Babinga Wood and driver Dan Dube won a nose bob over Late Night Fight (Eric Carlson), and both of those opponents return as the main competition on Monday. Grandpa Don (driven by Jason Bartlett) is part of the name game equation.
February 20 marks Dobkowski’s 91st birthday, so he will be trying again for an early celebration.
Here’s the field for the $12,500 claiming allowance for a purse of $6,500 in post position order with drivers in parentheses: 1-GRANDPA DON (Jason Bartlett); 2-SAKRA FELLA (Scott Zeron); 3-WISHFORABEACHOUSE (TBA); 4-BABINGA WOOD (Daniel Dube); 5-LATE NITE FLIGHT (Eric Carlson); 6-SLY RULER (Mark MacDonald); 7-TRIPLE MAJOR(Matt Kakaley); 8-WACO BRUISER (Jordan Stratton).
More on Sakra Fella: Gelding is now 2-for-4 in his final year of racing after going winless the past two seasons…Fourteen is the mandatory retirement age for a harness racehorse…Sakra hadn’t won more than two races in a year since 1978…the January 18 win was his 20th in his 180th career start, good for $298,902 in lifetime earnings.