Day At The Track

Courtly Choice rolls in $173,000 NYSS

03:21 PM 29 Aug 2018 NZST
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Courtly Choice, harness racing Ghost Dance, harness racing
Courtly Choice and driver David Miller
Mike Lizzi photo
Ghost Dance beats a wall of horses to the finish
Mike Lizzi photo

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - Courtly Choice made his Yonkers Raceway debut Tuesday night (Aug. 28th), toying with his foes in the $173,500 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings.

The 1-20 favorite ($2.10), in rein to Dave Miller, was a two-move, 6½-length winner in the first ($86,750) division). Away third from post position No. 6, he dusted early (:27, :56.1; 1:23.3) leader Rockapelo (Jason Bartlett) right after the three-quarters, opened a coupled of lengths into the lane, then widened as he pleased in 1:51.1.

Cheese Melt (George Brennan) won the scrum for second at 78-1, with Rockapelo holding third and Ostro Hanover (Brian Sears) fourth.

For Meadowlands Pace champ Courtly Choice, the son of Art Major has won nine of his dozen seasonal starts ($655,393) for co-owners (as part of Mac and Heim Stables)/trainer Blake Macintosh, Daniel Plouffe, Hutt Racing and Touch Stone Farms.

The exacta paid $56, the triple paid $183 and the superfecta paid $772.

"He's a lot of fun," Miller said.

After this rare sire stakes appearance, Macintosh said Courtly Choice is Ohio-bound for both the Jug Preview and Little Brown Jug.

Tuesday night's second (also $86,750) and final grouping saw Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron, $12) prevail from first-over.

Away fourth from post No. 3, Ghost Dancer hooked last season's statebred champ, Jersey Jim (Jordan Stratton), after that one's intervals of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2. 'Jim,' the even-money favorite here, owned a length lead off the final turn, but tired. Ghost Dancer whipped the rival on his back, Twin B Tuffenuff (Brennan), by a half-length in 1:54.1.

Jersey Jim salvaged the bottom of the ticket, with Keystone Tenacious (Jim Marohn Jr.) fourth.

For third choice Ghost Dance, a Millar Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Rick Zeron, he's now 3-for-11 this season. The exacta paid $165.50, the triple paid $435.50 and the superfecta paid $1,495.

"I couldn't hold him the last time he was here (late July)," Zeron said. "Tonight, he was much more manageable and when I asked him in the last turn, he went."

New York Sire Stakes return here Thursday, Sept. 6, with the Mike Cohen Pace (3-year-old fillies, purse TBA).

by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

 

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