Admittedly the racetrack was drying more by the time Mystic Splendor went to post in the fifth race at Monticello Raceway on July 21 but his 2:02:3 victory in the New York Sire Stakes late closers for sophomore trotters turned out to be the fastest of the three $12,700 divisions presented that afternoon.
Sent off as second choice to Mikey (Jordan Stratton), Mystic Splendor’s tail-setter Billy Dobson sat back in fourth position as Mikey took the field by the half mile marker in 1:00:4. Then Dobson moved first-up and Mystic Splendor and Mikey raced head to head by the third stanza in 1:31:2 but in the lane Dobson’s colt trotted to the lead and was a one-half length winner over Mikey. Third place went to Payd Kash, driven by Stephane Bouchard.
The-Mystic Virtue colt is the property of Jessica Okusko and Ken Finnerty.
Anothercolt, Giant T, this one out if Rotonga, broke his maiden when Zeke Parker guided the Harold Purdy-trainee to a head victory over a fast closing Harvard Guy (Jordan Stratton) in a time of 2:04:1 over a track that was heavier than it was later on the card.
Parker used the front-end route and Giant T needed every bit of the 30:3 final stanza clocking to rebuff Harvard Guy’s late charge. Marion Manawar, who was rallying around the final turn that is, until the colt got steppy and had to be gathered by driver Kyle DiBenedetto. After that a third place finish was all Marion Manawar could muster.
Giant T is owned by Antonio Diglio, Franco Rastelli and Anthony Libardi.
John Stark, Jr copped the other NYSS late closer trot with a wire to wire performance behind Eyes Of Texas. Sent off at odds of over 10-1, when the 1-9 favorite DWs Don (Stephane Bopuchard) made a break behind the gate , Starkie sent Eyes of Texas to the lead and though they were challenged from the half-way point to the homestretch the-Texas Soro gelding kept right at his business and marched home a 1-1/2 length winner over Speedway (Wade Ross).
DW’s Don made up a lot of ground and finished third albeit some 13 lengths behind the winner.
Trainer Sam Schillaci is also the proud owner of Eye Of Texas.