Sophomores Battle in Ontario, PA & New York
By Frank & Ray Cotolo
(H) denotes Hambletonian Eligible.
The June 15 weekend offered contests on the “Trail” in Ontario and New York and Pennsylvania.
New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) were featured for filly sophs at Buffalo Raceway, with four splits worth $35,000 plus each on the program.
Palm Beach Chic (H-Conway Hall) took the first NYSS episode. Linda Toscano trains the filly who took command by the half and controlled the rest of the mile, paying $26.00 with Jeff Gregory in the bike. Gregory also co-owns the filly with Buffalo Raceway president William Richardson. Amor Deo was second and Royalty Free (H-RC Royalty) took the third spot in the 2:01.3h mile.
In a 2:00.3h mile, Barn Babe beat two eligibles, Proclaiming April (H-Conway Hall) and Bouncing Bax (H-Credit Winner) to settle the second NYSS split. Steve Pratt trains and John Cummings, Jr. drove the public choice that paid $3.70 going wire to wire. Steve owns the filly with Nancy Pratt.
There were no eligibles in the third or fourth NYSS splits.
At Tioga Downs, Historic Stakes for three-year olds on June 16 found Corky (H-Muscles Yankee) and David Miller finally getting a stakes win after a few early season disappointments, some as the favored colt. Corky wired four rivals in the $59,300 Dickerson Cup in 1:54.4f. Jimmy Takter trains for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding and Jim Fielding. Corky paid $2.90.
Jacks To Open (H-Conway Hall) followed Corky for the entire trip and Super Classic (H-Muscles Yankee) was 11 lengths behind the winner in third.
The huge public choice, Andie Sophia, and Tim Tetrick used a two-hole trip to capture the $57,300 Coaching Club Trotting Oaks in 1:54.4f. Rob Harmon trains the trotting filly for Harmon Racing, Comfortably Numb and Adam Friedland. She paid $3.70. The two eligibles were off the board.
Also on June 16, Pocono Downs hosted glamour-boy trotters in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes splits worth $79,000-and-some each.
Valley Of Sin, a non-eligible, took the first state bred chapter in 1:54.1f. Favorite High Bridge (H-Cantab Hall) was behind Valley Of Sin’s brush to the front into the stretch but could not catch him. All Laid Out (H-Yankee Glide) got third for trainer-owner Noel Daley and driver Tim Tetrick. Valley Of Sin paid $10.60.
Dontyouforgetit (H-Cantab Hall) came back to the winner’s circle again, this time paying $11.60 in a 1:54.1f mile for Yannick Gingras. The Jimmy Takter-trained colt had a good trip and was able to get out of the lane in time to nip the favorite, Smoother Ride (H-Yankee Glide), who led from the start. Spider Blue Chip (H-Andover Hall) was a close third. Solveig’s Racing Partners own Dontyouforgetit.
Celebrity Maserati (H-Andover Hall) continued his march to August for trainer Susanne Strandqvist with a win in the third split, going the mile in 1:54.4f with Tom Jackson in the bike. From post 9, Celebrity Maserati made a strong three-quarters move and was able to pass Aperfectyankee (H-Yankee Glide) to win and pay $11.20. A 50-1 shot, Picture This, was third. Celebrity Farms owns Celebrity Maserati.
Mohawk Racetrack displayed North America’s top horses on the night of their signature race, the North America Cup. Hambletonian prospects clashed in the $364,266 Elegant Image final and the $225,276 Goodtimes Trot.
Bee A Magician (H-Kadabra) led the field for a majority of the mile and won the Elegant Image final in 1:53. Bee A Magician brushed to the lead from the third pocket, clearing the lead from Angies Lucky Star. Shared Past (H-Chocolatier) provided the pressure to the leader and cover to To Dream On (H-Credit Winner) from the half.
Bee A Magician held off the challenge of Shared Past as that one began to drop back, while Angies Lucky Star edged out of the pocket and began a bid. Mistery Woman (H-Donato Hanover) gave chase to the two duelers. Handover Belle (H-Andover Hall) was trotting right behind Mistery Woman. The battle between Angies Lucky Star and Bee A Magician was close down the lane and Angies Lucky Star tried to take the lead from Bee A Magician, but the streaking filly dug-in and held on to the lead, winning by a head. Angies Lucky Star was second, Mistery Woman was third and Handover Belle was fourth.
Bee A Magician was the post-time favorite and returned $3.30 to win. She is owned by Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David Mc Duffee, trained by Richard Norman and was driven by Rick Zeron. Bee A Magician trotted the mile in 1:53, a lifetime mark.
Flanagan Memory changed tactics this week and took the field gate-to-wire in the Goodtimes Final by a length in 1:54.1. Toocool Forschool was second, Gotta Secret tried to make a bid but finished third and Denver (H-Andover Hall) rode the cones and rallied for fourth.
Flanagan Memory was an upset winner, returning $20.60 to win. He is owned by Liette Flanagan and Rene Dion, trained by Rene Dion and was steered by Chris Christoforou.
The August classic hopefuls did not show well in the Goodtimes; all of them finished off the board. Caveat Emptor (H-Deweycheatumnhowe) broke at the start, Rossini (H-Classic Photo) and Rolls Blue Chip (H-Credit Winner) were unsuccessful getting into the mile though the back half. Rolls Blue Chip went off stride at the head of the lane, while Rossini and Denver were attempting to close in on leader Flanagan Memory.