The weatherman cooperated wonderfully on Thursday afternoon, August 15 with the sun shining brightly and the temperatures hovering around 75-degrees.
On the racetrack sophomore trotting fillies were featured in three divisions of the $155,000 NY Sires Stakes and five splits of Excelsior Series trots each racing for a $12,700 purse. And to go along with the NYSS filly trots there were two overnight trots, and despite 10 trotting races on the half-mile track still fans wagered $746,943 on the racing card.
By and large the competing fillies were well behaved and as usual some stood out.
Bouncing Bax’s 1:58.2 triumph in her $52,383 division turned out to be the fastest filly trot of the afternoon although Proclaiming April’s 1:58.2 victory was just a tick slower. And although Barn Babe’s 2:00.2 was the slowest of the three splits it was, nevertheless , equally as impressive and she was the only betting favorite to win an NYSS trot today.
The triumph by Bouncing Bax over the odds-on favorite, Long Island Tea, was not only the fastest trip of the day but the daughter of -Bax Machine sparked the biggest pay-off on the afternoon card when she returned a $40.80 win mutuel.
In her split, Bouncing Bax got away slowly and after racing along in fourth position some nine lengths off the lead at the three-eighths pole, so driver moved his filly first-up and she continually moved forward and at the top of the lane she was just a head off the pace-setter Wygant Girl, driven by .
When they straightened for home Bouncing Bax trotted around Wygant Lady and then held off a strong late rally by the $135,000 yearling purchase Long Island Tea, driven by . Wygant Lady faded and finished third.
Trainer joined Parker for the winners circle photograph and was getting ready to hold the filly for a picture when he overheard Parker being asked how come she was so great today?
Parker didn’t have a chance answer because Raymer turned quickly and said, “She was that great last week at Vernon (Downs) too, but I just didn’t drive her right.”
Owned by the Harbor Racing Stable of Houston, Texas it was the filly’s first win in 10 starts this year and she raised her seasonal bankroll to nearly $73,000.
In her $53,383 division Proclaiming April, a daughter of -Lawn Tennis, raced unchallenged on the front end and was an easy winner over the odds on favorite Lola De Vie.
Trainer was in the bike and hustled Proclaiming April to front and they had a two length lead by the first stanza in :29.1. At the half in :59.2, favored Lola De Vie and driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. were in third place some 4-1/2 lengths behind the leader.
Lola De Vie closed to within two lengths of the lead at the head of the stretch but in no way could she reel-in Proclaiming April who led her to the wire for an easy 1-1/2 length victory. Fifty Shades and driver took home the show dough.
“She’s been a good filly all year but last week we had a bad post and she finished back,” Smedshammer said of Proclaiming April who now has bankrolled nearly $150,000 this season. “Post positions make a big difference everywhere but especially on a half mile track.”
Proclaiming April paid $12.40 for win and is owned by the White Birch Farm.
The other $53,383 split was an oh-so-easy victory for Steven and Nancy Pratt’s, Barn Babe. Sent off as the 1-4 favorite from the pole position, driver John Cummings, Jr. naturally took the lead and despite soft early fractions of :30.3 and 1:02 no one wanted to challenge the daughter of -My Baby’s Momma.
As the field headed into the clubhouse turn the pace began to quicken and Barn Babe had a two length lead as she passed the third stanza in 1:31:4. From there, with a :28.3 final quarter, Barn Babe was home free by three lengths in 2:00.2 over Royal Malinda and driver . Bostonz Credit was third for Jeff Gregory.
After the race Cummings was asked if he was worried going into the race. “I knew she was the best and we got away with an easy front-end trip but she would have handled this field racing from the back, too.”
Now with six wins and three thirds in 11 starts Barn Babe has bankrolled almost $99,000 this year and has lifetime earnings in excess of $245,000.
Owner joined Cummings in the winners circle and he couldn’t resist saying “Not bad for a $5,000 purchase two years ago at (the) Morrisville (Sale).
Five $12,700 divisions of the Excelsior Series , also for 3 year-old trotting fillies, comprised the undercard of which two were won by .
The veteran horseman scored with Bluish And Crush ($8.00) in 2:01.4 and with Tamasin Hall($9.80)m in 2:00.1.
Brunet, who trucked in from Vernon NY after his final victory said,” I hated to coming here today because I thought both of my fillies would run since they have been racing on big tracks but I was pleasantly surprised because they stayed at their business and went good miles.” .
Other Excelsior winners were Money Show ($4.00) in 2:02 for Jimmy Morrill, Jr., Makes Me Crazy ($6.20) in 2:01.2 for . and Maggie O ($3.20) in 2:00.4 again for Jimmy Morrill, Jr.
by John Manzi