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Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting fillies went postward on opening night (7-27) at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs and as a result the first record of the season just missed being broken. The track proved lightning fast as three of the four divisions set lifetime marks. Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Ship) took full advantage of an early break by favored Winning Princess (Jim Morrill Jr.) to wire the field and post a 1:59.1 victory, which was only one-fifth of a second off the track record set by Dreamy Dawn in 2010. Charlie Norris, who both trains and drives the filly, left sharp and set even fractions en route to an easy three and one-half length decision. The winning time was a new lifetime mark and the second win in three starts this year for Posterity, who paid $7.00. Posterity is owned by Carrie Norris, Janine Zito and Jerry Buck Sprinkle. In the first division, Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) was an easy coast to coast winner who led the field by open lengths the whole race. Driver Rick Zeron seemed to have a gas pedal at his disposal after they passed three-quarters in 1:32.1; that's when the mare sped away from the group to come home in an impressive 28.3 and take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4. The even-money favorite returned $4.20. Zeron trains and co-owns Lima Playtime with Millar Farms, James Walker and Paul Fisher. The second division saw a dominant winner displaced due to interference by her coupled entry. Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) and Jim Morrill Jr. wasted no time getting the lead before setting speedy fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:29.4 into the far turn. The entry on the ticket, Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) and Gates Brunet pulled off the rail from third to take a shot at the leader. But shortly after that move, she made a break and interfered with trailing horses. After the heavily favored Goosebump Hanover pulled away to an easy five-length victory, the inquiry sign went up, and the winner came down due to the interference by the coupled horse. Second place finisher, Credit To Thelimit (Credit Winner-Prize Angie) and driver Sam Schillaci were then declared the winner ($23.80). Credit To Thelimit is also trained by Schillaci for owners Matthew Bencic, Peter Barbato, Sam Bova and Jodi Schillaci. In the final split, Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) proved last week's win was no fluke as she set a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4 while registering a four-length decision over her six competitors. Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious Lindy) flew off the wings for Chris Lems and went right to the front before leading for almost three-quarters of the race. But when the field was headed up the backside, driver Kevin Cummings pulled Dizzy Broad from third and appeared to fly past Lindylicious to take the lead. From that point on the only thing in question was how much the filly would win by. Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley, returned $9.10 to her backers. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card and the both also proved to be career best efforts for the winners. Take The Cash (Cash Hall-Take The Lid Off) driven by Jim Morrill Jr. scored her first career victory in 2:01.4 and returned $4.60. Take The Cash is trained by Perry Simser, who co- owns the filly with Clifford Morcom, Richard Kaplan and Salvatore Corcione. In the second leg, Barn Diva (Conway Hall-Misty Ridge) captured her second straight career win while also stopping the timer in 2:01.4. The winner, who returned $4.30, is trained and co-owned by Steve Pratt with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. Racing resumes Wednesday night (7-29) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

Wings Of Royalty had the fastest time of the two $59,100 divisions in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-colt and gelding trotters Sunday afternoon as he toured Buffalo Raceway's half-mile oval in 1:57.2 at the harness racing meeting on Sunday afternoon (July 19).   Workout Wonder, eligible for the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands in early August, may have taken another step in that direction by coasting to a 1:58.3 victory over the fast track in the other leg.   The times, however, were well short of the track mark of 1:56.4 established in 2014 by Cash Me Out.   In the first division, driver Chris Lems had the rail with Wings Of Royalty ($2.80) but couldn't protect pylon position as Gabe The Bear Dean fired out from the five spot to cease the early advantage.   "I knew Ray (Schnittker) was going to leave with Gabe The Bear Dean so I just thought I'd let him go and I'd drop into the two spot," Lems said. It proved to be the right choice. Wings Of Royalty retook the lead before the quarter pole and never looked back from there.   Setting fractions of 30.0, 59.2 and 1:29.4, a 28.3 final panel was more than enough to hold off the challenge of Military Blue (Mike Simons) and third place finisher Andy Ray (Daniel Dube).   Owned by Raymond Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme, Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparking Cider) has two victories in seven tries this season and increased his bankroll to $76,877 and $204,487 lifetime.   Buen Camino was expected to be a main threat in the Sire Stakes opener but was scratched.   Workout Wonder (Conway Hall-Dear Abs) kept his Hambletonian dreams alive after posting relatively easy victory against a field that was cut down to four due to the scratches of Fashion Creditor and Insomniac.   Dube went right to the lead with Workout Wonder ($3.30) and used soft fractions of 30.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2. Then they clicked off a blistering last quarter of 28.1 to turn back Royal Deceptor and salt away the victory.   "I kind of held him back around that last turn, but once we straightened out in the stretch, he took off," Dube said of Workout Wonder's fast last split.   About his strategy with Workout Wonder when going against just three others, Dube said, "I had a lot of confidence in him and just wanted to get him in front. I never even pulled the plugs."   Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) finished in second place while Maestro Blue Chip (Trond Smedshammer) took third.   Trained by Ake Svanstedt and owned by All Laid Out Stable, Inc., the win was the second in five outings for Workout Wonder, earning him $83,216 in 2015 and $94,818 lifetime.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Commentary ($3.70) went the mile in 1:59.3 for Aaron Byron while Smedshammer steered Crazshana ($3.90) to the decision in 1:59.2.   Mark MacDonald drove The African to a popular $3.00 win in the first division of $6,500 Excelsior 'B' series while Patronus ($7.10) took the second leg in 2:01.3 for Mike Simons.   Drew Monti had a driving triple of the steamy afternoon.   Buffalo Raceway starts its last week of the 2015 season on Wednesday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.   The New York Sire Stakes will be back with the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters ready to duke it out.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian J Mazurek

Goosebump Hanover had to battle to get to the lead but that was the only battle she faced the rest of the way in going wire-to-wire in 2:01.4 over the fast track to highlight the action in the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing  meeting at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 15).   It was the fastest of four divisions worth over $27,000 each but well off the track record of 2:00.2 set by Munis Bluechip back in 2009.   Go Mary Go (2:02.1) just kept right on going and never looked back to take her division while Dolly Drama PV (2:03.2), and Dizzy Broad (2:05.3) also found their way to the winner's circle on a picture perfect evening.   After Goosebump Hanover ($8.20) was challenged to the lead by Swing Royalty, it was all fresh air after that as she never was threatened to the finish line. Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) was 1-1/2 lengths behind at the wire with Threehundredlindys (Jim Morrill Jr.) taking the show spot.   "She was a little touchy at first," Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings said of Goosebump Hanover's trip. "She settled in good after that but I had to ask her a little in the stretch. She was pretty much in hand at the finish."   Trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Silva Stables, Crawford Farms and J. DiScala, it was the first win in two career starts for Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents).   It was also a gate-to-wire victory for Go Mary Go in the Sire Stakes opener. Driver Ray Schnittker scored a front-running win on on July 3 at Monticello Raceway and used the same tactic to get the job this week.   Go Mary Go put up fractions of 29.4, 1:01.2 and 1:32.3 in posting the head victory 2:02.1 over Posterity (Charlie Norris) while Royal Surprise (Dan Daley) finished in third.   "I'm impressed with her gate speed," Schnittker said of Go Mary Go (RC Royalty-Michelle's Way), now 2-for-2 in her young career with both victories coming on a half-mile surface. She is trained and co-owned by Ray Schnittker, Hero Stables, T. Gerwertz and DM Pepin.   Dolly Drama PV (Lucky Chucky-Massive Drama) won the battle of attrition in notching a huge $153.50 stunner for driver Jeff Gregory. She was the only trotting filly not to break stride in the race and that was the difference in going the mile in 2:03.2.   "She handled the turns perfectly," Gregory said. "Also, (trainer) Mark Harder put an open bridle on her and I think that really made a big difference."   Bundle Of Energy (Schnittker) recovered after a break at the start to take second place while Playtime Lima (Rick Zeron) was third.   It was the first career win for Dolly Drama PV, owned by Peter Paul Venturini.   Cummings made it a driving double in the Sire Stakes with a victory aboard Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) in 2:05.3.   Using a first over journey down the backstretch the final time, Dizzy Broad ($7.50) took advantage of a break by the pace-setting I Will Take Credit near the three-quarter pole and was able to hang on for the victory.   "I had to keep her mind on things in the stretch," Cummings said of the late going with Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley.   I Will Take Credit (Daley) regrouped in time to finish second while Crazyasclassic (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.   In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series races, Outside Court ($11.40) scored for Gregory in 2:03.4 while Lindylicious ($2.60) trotted the mile in 2:01.2 for Lems.   Linda's Choice ($8.80) was victorious in 2:05.2 in the $6,600 Excelsior 'B' Series with Gregory in the bike while Lucky Lana took the non-betting race for Norris in 2:05.3.   Racing will continue on Friday night with a 13-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   Brian J Mazurek

Statebreds returned downstate on Monday night at the harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway when the track hosted the $149,524 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Four divisions comprised the event, which played out rather formfully. Odds-on number Andrew Goldstein (Kim Crawford, $3.50) did his damage in the opening ($36,856) division. Pocketed from post position No. 4, he rolled right over Gremlin Wilson (John Cummings Jr.), then widened to win by four lengths in a maiden-breaking 2:00.4. Second went to Rose Run Ransom (John Plutino), with "Gremlin" lasting for third. For Andrew Goldstein, an RC Royalty gelding trained by his driver for owner Steven Goldstein, he's now  1-for-2 to begin his career. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $14.20, with the triple returning $58. "We're just trying to uphold the Goldstein name," the chauffeur said the of connections who've enjoyed a fair amount of success with Crawford-trained and driven/Goldstein-surnamed trotters. Brian Sears doubled his fun, winning the second and third events ($37,556 each) with popular numbers Dayson ($3.10) and Reve Royale ($3.40). The former, a Conway Hall gelding, strolled from post No. 5. He whipped a steppy Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) by 2¼ lengths in 2:01 for a second consecutive NYSS/career victory. The Perfect Lindy (Mark MacDonald) was third. Dayson is trained by Howard Okusko for co-owners Margaret and Amy Butler. The exacta paid $12, with the triple returning $79. Reve Royale, a son of RC Royalty leaving from post No. 4, was patiently pocketed before getting his marching orders. He rolled home by four lengths in 2:01 for a second consecutive NYSS/career victory. Cupid (Trond Smedshammer) cut the early portion of the mile and held second, with Dante (Ake Svandstedt) third. Reve Royale is trained by George Ducharme for co-owners Paul Fontaine (in attendance), Raymond Campbell Jr. and Alfred Ross. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $140. "We think he has a lot of talent and a good turn of speed," Ducharme said. "We're just trying to teach him as we go along." The evening's final ($37,556) sire stakes division saw second choice Credevie (Smedshammer, $6), from post No. 7, leave for a seat then prevail from second-over in a night's-fastest (and maiden-breaking) 2:00.3. Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) chased the winner home, beaten three-quarters of a length in a parimutuel debut, with Chargin' Cadet (Ray Schnittker) third. Allerage Echo (Sears) was a non-threatening fourth as the 17-10 favorite. Credevie, a Credit Winner gelding trained by Smedshammer for owner Purple Haze Stables, is now 1-for-2 to begin his career. The Raceway's live season continues with a "French-centric" Tuesday matinee (post time 1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Freshmen colts and geldings hit town over the next few harness racing programs, with Yonkers Raceway hosting open stakes pacers and sire stakes trotters. Saturday night, a pair of $25,000 eliminations (races 6 and 8) for the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old lads. The first four in each elim get invited back (provided they ask politely) for next Saturday's (July 18) $107,500 final. Among the promising frosh in the opening event are Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter, post 3), a $120,000 son of Art Major, and Rodeo Rock (Dan Dube, post 5), a $107,000 Rock N Roll Heaven colt with a pair of seconds to begin his career. The second elim for the Sheppard finds two entrants already with wins included in their resumes. Joe Larry N Curly (George Brennan, post 4) steps out of New York Sire Stakes competition after a blowout 1:56.3 win at Monticello, while Tailgunner Hanover (Ray Schnittker, post 6) threw down a 1:57.3 gauntlet in a division of the Landmark at Goshen. Monday night, statebreds return with the $149,524 New York Sire Stakes Milt Taylor Trot for first-season colts/geldings. Four divisions (races 2,7,9 and 10) comprise the event. The best in the opening ($36,856) division might be Andrew Goldstein (Kim Crawford, post 5). The RC Royalty gelding was a pocket second in his Saratoga sire stakes debut. The second ($37,556) event offers a pair of upstate NYSS winners in Dayson (Jimmy Whittemore, post 5) and Master Class (John Campbell, post 6). The former is a Conway Hall gelding trained by Howard Okusko, while the latter-who won at 35-1-is a Credit Winner colt trained by Anette Lorentzon. Monday's third ($37,556) grouping also features a couple of statebred winners. Reve Royale (Brian Sears, post 4), a son of RC Royalty trained by George Ducharme, and Dog Gone Lucky (Buter, post 5), a Credit Winner colt trained by Chuck Sylvester. The final ($37,556) division includes Chargin' Credit (Schnittker, post 4) and Credevie (Trond Smedshammer, post 7), both off in-the-money efforts in statebred competition. The Raceway's live season continues Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Harness racing two year old trotting colts and geldings were featured on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the New York Sire Stakes were in town. There were four divisions of the $36,000+ per division stakes for freshman trotters and there were some impressive performances. George Ducharme's Reve Royale (RC Royalty) was the fastest among stakes winners on the card drawing off late to win in a strong 1:59.4. Chris Lems piloted the two year old trotter to back to back commanding victories in qualifiers at Vernon Downs before guiding him to victory in his lifetime debut on Thursday. Dayson (Conway Hall) was another convincing winner in his $37,556 division of the NYSS as driver Jimmy Whittemore moved the Howard Okusko trainee to the early lead and they never looked back. Highlighted by a final half in 58 seconds flat, Dayson scored in 2:00.1 as the race's 8-5 favorite. John Campbell was in town and went two-for-two piloting the Anette Lorentzon-trained freshman Master Class (Credit Winner) to an upset win at odds of 35-1 and Chuck Sylvester's Dog Gone Lucky (Lucky Chucky) to victory as his race's even money favorite. The Hall of Famer Campbell is now three-for-three this season driving at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella      

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, May 21, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted its first harness racing New York Stakes crowd of the season, the $163,375 Michael Sorentino Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Three divisions, worth $54,125, $55,125 and $54,125, respectively, comprised the event, which honored the memory of the long-time popular horse owner (with family in attendance for winner's circle presentations). There's no way to sugar coat this...chalk players were accorded the chalk outline, as all three odds-on entities failed to deliver on their puny parimutuel promises. The opening event saw last season's frosh statebred champion, Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras)-at 1-20-jump it off in the second turn after making the lead. When the stone dust settled, it was 26-1 Royal Deceptor (Mickey McGivern, $55.50), pocketed from post position No. 3, nipping Mythology Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) by a nose in a life-best 1:58 (:29.1, :59.2, 1:28.3). Insomniac (Mark MacDonald) cut the mile and faded to third, beaten a neck. Crazy Wow finished fourth. For third choice Royal Deceptor, a son of RC Royalty trained by Cheryl McGivern for co-owners Charles Foster, Michael James and Michael Sentiwany Jr., it was his fourth win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $150, with the triple returned $614. "He was very good early last season, but they sort of caught up to him," Mickey McGivern said. "He's just a lunch pail sort of horse, keeps trying and keeps working." The second sire stakes grouping found 3-5 choice Habitat (Gingras), with a NYSS and Dexter Cup win already on his resume, also do the dance of the damned. His malfeasance occurred entering the first turn. That left Military Blue (Mike Simons) leading the gang (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27.3) before his night was over. Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer) took over from first-over, only to get snapped on the money by 31-1 proposition Workout Wonder (Dan Dube, $65.50). Leaving from post No. 4, the margin-another nose-was in 1:56.3, far and away a career-best effort. Wings of Royalty (Brian Sears) was third, with Apostle's Creed (Brett Miller) fourth. Habitat was last among the seven. For fifth choice Workout Wonder, a Conway Hall colt co-owned by All Laid Out Stable and trained by Ake Svanstedt, it was his first win in three '15 tries. The exacta paid $234.50, the triple returned $743 and the superfecta paid $4,789. The evening's final NYSS event found 3-10 Maestro Blue Chip (Smedshammer) carrying the water for the rank and file. He disposed of Royal Becca J (Jack Parker Jr.) after the one's early lead (:29.2, :58.2), then widened after a 1:28.2 three-quarters. "Maestro" had three lengths in and out of the final turn, only to get that run-down feeling from The Physician (George Brennan, $15.20). The latter, from post No. 5, whipped the former by a neck in a life-best 1:58.1, with Royal Lad (Simons) third. For The Physician, a Credit Winner gelding trained by Anette Lorentzon for co-owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson, he's now 2-for-3 this season. The exacta paid $33.80, with the triple returning $107. With longshots ruling the night in the sire stakes-comprising 60 percent of the Pick 5 races, no one took down the pool. Thus, Friday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $4,675.35 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday nights (post times 7:10 PM), with Saturday offering a pair of $40,000 eliminations of the Art Rooney Pace. After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, finals of both Jackpot Next Door Claiming Series division), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs (no live racing/evening simulcasting June 3-12, inclusive). Afternoon simulcasting is available daily, including June 6 Belmont Stakes Frank Drucker

Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty) made his 2015 harness racing debut a winning one at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Wednesday evening. The Cheryl McGivern-trained trotter had a terrific freshman season in ’14 in which he earned over $70,000 in eight starts. As a two year old, Royal Deceptor competed almost exclusively in New York Sire Stakes competition and thrived. Following two qualifiers as preps, the three year old trotter made his first start of the year a winning one on Wednesday, scoring by almost ten lengths in 1:59.2 in the $8,300 Winners of 2 but not more than 4 lifetime trot. Mickey McGivern piloted Royal Deceptor, the race’s 3-5 favorite, to what was his third career victory. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Thursday with a 4:00pm first post.  Mike Sardella

Sunday's Morrisville Sale featured overall numbers close to last year’s; five more yearlings were sold for a similar average of more than $10,000. Still, the number sold is down about 37% from 2011. Last year the first crop sales of high profile New York stallions Rock N Roll Heaven and Lucky Chucky created some buzz, while this year it was 2011 sophomore division winner Roll With Joe who was experiencing his first auction. Only five by that stallion sold at Morrisville, for a very modest $8,700 average. Most of the initial action on RWJ will come at Lexington, where nine fillies and eight colts will be sold, and in Harrisburg, where nineteen fillies and eighteen colts will be hammered down. Last year only six from Lucy Chucky’s first crop sold at Morrisville, for an encouraging $22,000 average—high for this sale. The $450,000 the Cancelliere brothers paid for a brother to Muscle Massive and Muscle Mass skewed the results at Lexington, but at Harrisburg 32 averaged more than $32,000. Overall, the Chuckys were well received. Lucky Chucky ranked third behind Conway Hall and Crazed on the NYSS 2-year-old earnings list; Nunkeri, who finished second in the Championship Final, was his top filly and Gabe The Bear Dean and Mambo Blue Chip were two of the better colts. All in all Chucky was competitive in the program but hasn’t made his mark on the Grand Circuit. Granted, opportunities for the latter have been limited. Twice as many sold at Morrisville this year—13—and they averaged about half of what they did last year--$12,423. A dozen Lucky Chuckys will sell in Lexington and 17 will be available at Harrisburg. Like Lucky Chucky, Rock N Roll Heaven keeps a low profile at the Morrisville Sale. Five sold for a $15,000 average last year while three averaged almost $13,000 today. What happened at Morrisville gave no clue about Heaven’s future sale prospects in 2013: 33 of them averaged a hefty $48,000 at Harrisburg. Twenty-five will be available there this year and 30 will sell at Lexington. Heaven ranked third in his division, behind Bettor’s Delight and Art Major, on the NYSS 2-year-old pacing money list. His daughters Sassa Hanover and Band Of Angels were dominant players in the division for Ron Burke, but in the Championship final at Yonkers, the leader in both age groups, Bettor’s Delight, stepped up for the win in the form of his daughter Mosquito Blue Chip. Heaven was a decidedly gyno-centric stallion; his colts were no factor. Prediction: nobody will be writing a $450,000 check for one this year. RC Royalty stands at Morrisville and topped the sale in the number available, as 17 brought an average of more than $13,000. This was down 27% from last year when 20 sold on the wave of Royalty For Life’s division championship. RC Royalty ranked fourth on the 2-year-old money list and fifth on the 3-year-old list. The sophomore filly Avalicious and the freshman colt Royal Deceptor were probably his best. There were no budding Royalty For Life’s in the mix. He sells one at Lexington and none at Harrisburg. His brush with fame did not propel the eleven-year-old beyond his regional stallion status. But the sales topper on Sunday was one of his daughters, Royal Encore, who brought $85,000. Cash Hall, the Self Possessed stallion who now stands in Ohio for $3,000, raised his profile markedly in the NYSS with his outstanding freshman filly Market Rally and her paternal brother Buen Camino. The former crushed the opposition on the Night of Champions. Premium performers will always garner a stallion more love than healthy averages. Last year Cash Hall, who still has NYSS eligibility, had 13 sell at Morrisville for an $8,800 average. This year only four sold, but they averaged three times that. Cash Hall is in a no man’s land between New York and Ohio right now. The young Credit Winner stallion, Crazed, is about to stand his third season at Hanover in Pennsylvania. His fee was dropped from $6,000 to $4,000 last year. Crazed, who still has NYSS eligibility, sold seven for $16,571 today, up from the 12 he sold for an average of $9,200 in 2013. He was second to Conway Hall among two and three-year-old trotters in the NYSS this year. Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow, both winners of their respective finals, were crazy good this year. Nineteen by Crazed sell at Harrisburg. The buyers haven’t been particularly receptive up until now, but we should see more enthusiasm for him this year. Credit Winner, Art Major and Bettor’s Delight play a very limited role in this sale.  The latter, who now resides in Pennsylvania, has exhausted his two-year-old eligibility which will transfer to Ontario next year. He won’t be missed by the other stallions. We’ll find out at Lexington and Harrisburg whether or not the buyers consider his little brother, Roll With Joe, a suitable substitute. Conway Hall, leader of both the two and three-year-old divisions, and the most underrated stallion in the sport, sold seven for a $19,000 average, just like last year. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com

The intermittent rain showers on Thursday afternoon, August 21 didn't deter Market Rally and Avalicious from their main objectives as each won their respective $60,200 divisions of 3-year-old trotting fillies in New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway. Both fillies, from the powerful Ron Burke stable, were driven to victory by Jimmy Morrill, Jr.. The two trotting events were the last of the NYSS preliminary legs prior to the top point earners in the summer-long series convening at Yonkers Raceway on September 13 to compete in their $225,000 Division Final. With her victory in a time of 1:57.3 Market Rally finished with 325 points which will undoubtedly make her the favorite in her rich NYSS finale. Avalicious, on the other hand, was victorious in 1:57.4 and finished with 175 points as second best. There's no argument that Market Rally has been the best NYSS sophomore trotting filly this year and her 9-length victory over Gammy's Girl (Mark MacDonald) and Cutup Hanover (Jeff Gregory) only emphasized it. With her triumph on Thursday the daughter of Cash Hall-Supreme Dish has run her seasonal bankroll to over $262,000 on the strength of six wins and one second in nine starts. Sent off the1-9 favorite from the pole position Morrill hustled Market Rally to the lead as Gates Brunet and Driving Miss Crazy left strong from the six hole. The two fillies were wide open on the first turn but unfortunately for Driving Miss Crazy's connections she went off-stride and Market Rally was alone on the front-end when she tripped the first quarter timer in :28.2 Two lengths in front as she passed the half in :57 Morrill was looking to give his filly a breather. When she passed the third stanza in 1:27 Market Rally had a five length lead which she opened to nine at the wire. "We were getting out of there pretty quickly and I got my filly wound up, and because of that we got to the half faster than I wanted to, "Morrill related. But from there she was on cruise-control the rest of the way." Owned by the Burke Stable, Weaver-Buscemi, Our Cents Stable and the Panhellenic Stable, Market rally paid $2.30 for win. In the other NYSS split Morrill eased Avalicious away from the gate slowly and at the first quarter they were in sixth position, some nine lengths off the leader. Morrill bided his time in the early going and at the half he moved the filly out behind cover and it up the backside and into the final turn before he gave Avalicious her head. And when he did the daughter of RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers rallied to a three length victory, her fifth of the year. Asked why Avalious was four, or so, lengths off the gate at the start of the race Morrill explained; "I wanted to ease her away so she'd stay trotting. She gets a little anxious behind the gate but once she gets away (on the trot) she's usually steady the rest of the mile." Avalicious, owned by M.C. Crawford, A.C. Crawford and P.D. Crawford, was sent off as the 3-10 betting favorite and returned a $2.60 win mutuel. Three Excelsior Series trots bolstered the undercard with the locally owned Dreamsteeler the most impressive. (Local) owner Andy Herzog was on hand to watch his Cash Hall-Dream Street filly maul her competition with Jimmy Morrill, Jr. at the lines. It was Dreamsteeler's seventh win in eight seasonal starts after going 10 for 10 last year. Sent off five cents on a dollar, Dreamsteeler was victorious in a time of 2:01 and paid $2.10 for win. After the photo was taken in the winners circle Herzog was asked why Dreamsteeler doesn't race in the sire stakes. "I bought her in mid-June and she wasn't eligible to them (the NYSS), only to the Excelsior Series. But she's already won my money back and I got a pretty nice filly trotter to boot." Other Excelsior winners were Ski To The Max (Gates Brunet) in 2:02.1 and Slice Slice Baby (Charlei Norris) in 2:00.2. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Batavia, NY--- $110,000 is up for grabs in two divisions of New York Sire Stake action for freshman trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs. The fourth race has seven horses going postward in the first division for $54,500 in purse money. Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) went wire to wire in his career debut at Buffalo Raceway in a sparkling time of 1:59.3, which set a new track record. That win at Buffalo makes him one of only two horses in the race to be victorious over a half-mile track. He then won at Tioga before finishing third at Yonkers. After being scratched sick on August 2, Driver Michael Mc Givern elected to race the colt from behind rather than on the point like had all year. Assuming he needed that start after his 17 day layoff, Royal Deceptor has a great chance to rebound here with his early speed from post five for trainer Cheryl Mc Givern. Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has been spectacular on bigger tracks this year for trainer George Ducharme, but has had his challenges over the half-mile ovals. In his last four starts he has set two consecutive lifetime marks at Tioga Downs (1:57.4) and Vernon Downs (1:56) but in between has made breaks off the gate at Yonkers and Monticello Raceway. Regular driver Chris Lems will try to make him behave from the rail to get his third victory of the year. Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) has had just the opposite history. He made breaks at Tioga and Vernon but has a win at Buffalo Raceway in 2:01, a second at Yonkers and a fifth at Monticello after being parked out most of the mile. Pier Ho Exotic is the other horse in the race to win over a half-mile track and John Cummings Jr. will once again be on board from post two for trainer Megan Wilson. The second $55,500 division is carded as race eight and has eight starters. It also features a battle between the top point's leaders for this sex and gait. Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) had a flawless performance last week at Monticello Raceway when he went gate to wire in 1:58.4. The four and three-quarter length victory was his fourth in six starts and boosted his earnings to $74,119 for the year. Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will have to overcome post six in the full field of eight but has the gate speed to do it. Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) has been nearly flawless for trainer Linda Toscano his last four starts, winning three and finishing second by only half a length. Those victories helped bank his $68,169 for the year and leave him tied with Gabe The Bear Dean atop the NYSS leaderboard for 2-year-old trotting colts with 183 points. Mambo Blue Chip has Jeff Gregory aboard from the rail and that puts him in the perfect spot for his stalking style. Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Z's) has a win and two seconds since coming into the Paul Kelley stable on July 19 and that includes a 1:56.4 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs. In his other two starts he was narrowly defeated by today's favorites, Gabe The Bear Dean at Yonkers in 1:58.3 and Mambo Blue Chip at Monticello in 1:59.3. Jason Bartlett who has driven Insomniac for most of the year is aboard again, looking to avenge those defeats. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card with total purses amounting to $38,000. The most closely contested of those is the tenth race where Crashana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) is coming off back-to-back three length victories and is set to go against Lucky Budd (Lucky Chucky-Britt's Spirit) who also has back-to-back victories going into tonight. Both horses scored their wins on the same nights at the same tracks, but raced in different divisions. They also both sport 1:57.3 lifetime marks at Vernon Downs. Looking to play spoiler is Titanium (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee) who dropped into Excelsior action from the NYSS last week to collar his first win of the year at Monticello in 2:01.2, the same night Crashana and Lucky Budd raced and won. Facing these two for the first time and drawing inside them, Titanium will look to become the dominant trotter in this series tonight. Post time for the first race is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Barn Doll got off to a slow start but she finished first and fastest of four divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday (Aug. 17) at Batavia Downs. After getting away a gapped fourth, Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and driver Jeff Gregory watched as Jim Morrill Jr.'s Pig Hunt cut out speedy fractions of :29 and :59.3, while pulling just before that second station. After starting the outer flow, Barn Doll slowly advance towards the leader as they hit the three-quarters in 1:30 flat. Once being eased around the last turn, Gregory got the filly in gear and she simply out-motored the rest to win in an impressive 1:59.4. Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) who followed Pig Hunt the whole race was second and My Lucky Word (Mark MacDonald) closed outside to be third. The winner paid $4.70. This was the fifth win in seven starts for the Steve Pratt trained Barn Doll who has now earned $70,712 on the year for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. She is the current point's leader in the NYSS standings for her gait and sex. Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Laverne Lavec) won the second fastest division, going wire-to-wire in 2:01. After leaving hard to grab the lead, Mark MacDonald then grabbed leather to perfectly rate the game trotter through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 before flying home in a brisk :29.1 to register the win. Betcha (Dan Daley) was second and Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) was third. Nunkeri paid $3.50. Nunkeri is owned by Millstream Inc. and the Nunkeri Stable and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. This was her second win in five starts in 2014 and brings her bank up to $49,825. Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) also won her division in 2:01 but had to do it amidst an overabundance of road trouble. At the start of the race, Duolectra (Mark MacDonald) made a break which allowed Kaliska to inherit a quick lead. That lead was subsequently challenged by Summer Scent (Dan Daley) to the quarter in :30.2. Once she cleared, Kaliska and Ray Schnittker followed close behind while watching Concentration (Chris Lems), Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Spell That (Sam Schillaci) make breaks at various points of the mile. Once pulled, Kaliska out-dueled Summer Scent to the wire to win by almost two lengths. Kaliska returned $15.00 to win. The victory was the second of the year for Kaliska and pushed her earnings to $44,957 for owners Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable, Farm Alber Horse Racing LLC and Ray Schnittker, who is also her trainer. In the fourth split, Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) proved dominant in what became a very short field very fast. With an early scratch and Miss B'ville J (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Hot Start (Mark MacDonald) making breaks before the eighth pole, Zanna Blu found herself with a commanding lead and only three contenders behind her. Driver Gates Brunet took her through fractions of :30.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 with a five-length lead, before shutting her down with a line-drive to a length and three-quarter win in 2:01.1. She returned $6.90 to her backers. This was the third win in six starts for Zanna Blu and her owners Albert Crawford, Michelle Crawford and James Crawford. The winners share pushed the Gates Brunet trained filly's cash total to $47,176 for 2014. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior series on the card. Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Darling Marissa) who was driven by Mark MacDonald won the first $12,600 division in 2:00.4 for owner/trainer Janice Conner. Long Summer (Prayer I Am-Summer Ran) driven by Jeff Gregory won the second $12,700 split in 2:04.2 for owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Andrew Byler. And Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) was driven by Mark MacDonald and won the last $12,700 session in 2:02.4 for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt. Barn Girl is trained by Howard Okusko. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered his 6,000 career driving victory in a non-betting Excelsior B race with Ron's Coren in 2:04.1. Along with the wins, Morrill has pocketed purses totaling $87,659,175 during his career and annually remains one of the highest UDR reinsmen in the sport. Drivers Jeff Gregory and Mark MacDonald both scored driving triples on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 20) with post time at 6:35. The card features two divisions of the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

On what turned into a rainy, sloppy night at Vernon Downs, Royalist was a front-running winner in Leg 2 of the Racing Under Saddle Series. Royalist (RC Royalty-Chocolatto Chip) was sent right to the front from the outside post by Michelle Crawford and the colt never looked back.   He led through fractions of 29.1 for the quarter, 1:02 for the half, and 1:33.1 for three-quarters. A challenge did materialize from Blue Boy Yankee (Kristina Smith), who pestered the leader throughout the final quarter mile, but could never quite get by. The final time for the mile was 2:04.3.   The complete order of finish was: Royalist, Blue Boy Yankee, John-Michael, Vassar Hall, My Irish Molly, and Kash Now. Royalist is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme.   The top point getters from the first two legs of the Racing Under Saddle Series at Vernon Downs will return for the $5,000 Final on August 29.   The featured pari-mutuel race of the Saturday evening at Vernon Downs was the $6,500 seventh race. The winner was Moonlight Ransom (Artiscape-Windsun Caprice), driven by John Macdonald. This was the second win in a week for Moonlight Ransom. In similar fashion to the win on August 9, Moonlight Ransom was a gate-to-wire winner. He led through snappy fractions over a sloppy track of 26.2 for the quarter, 56 seconds for the half, and 1:25.1 for three-quarters.   The final time was 1:53. Market Force (Jimmy Whittemore) was forced four-wide at the top of the stretch and still managed to charge through the lane and win a close photo for second place. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Moonlight Ransom, Market Force, Oh My Joepa, Whitemountainpower, You Bet Your Glass, A Fool For Mark, Axiom Hanover, and Dutch Richman.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with an 11-race program on Thursday night. Post time will be 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Batavia, NY - The stars of tomorrow will be on display Sunday (Aug. 17) in four divisions of the $110,000 New York Sire Stake 2-year-old filly trot at Batavia Downs. The first $27,250 NYSS division is programed as race two. Concentration (Conway Hall-Super Starlet) has five NYSS starts to date with two wins and two seconds. Her only miss was at Buffalo when she made a break off the gate from post eight and never got involved. Concentration's seasonal mark is 1:58.2 at Vernon Downs and she is currently second in points on the leader board for this series. She draws post three in here for driver Chris Lems and trainer George Ducharme. Summer Scent (Malabar Man-Summer Hit) is coming off her fastest race time of the year but was also unable to take advantage of a pocket trip to get a victory like she did the week before. She is a very capable trotter over the small track and her 2:00.3 victory at Yonkers is evidence of that. Summer Scent hasn't missed a check in sire stake action and that has put $31,464 in her bank. Driver Dan Daley can use his fillies closing ability to track what looks to be some fast early fractions. Frou Frou (Conway Hall-Nowerland Hana) has four lifetime starts and all four were in NYSS action. After winning the first at Vernon Downs in 1:58.1, she finished a fast closing second in her last two. The Tony Alagna trained trotter has gone off the prohibitive favorite in all of her starts and will look to return to that early winning form in this latest attempt for leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr. Race four is the second division and they will vie for $27,750. Betcha (Cash Hall-Sienna) has been showing good form for trainer/driver Dan Daley all year. She has two wins and a second in five NYSS efforts with a lifetime mark of 1:59.4 at Tioga Downs. Her good work has put $41,393 on her card as well. She is third overall in points and has proven she can win both in front and from behind and can handle any size track. She once again draws an inside post (2) and looks to be a solid contender. Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Lavern Lavec) won her first lifetime start in NYSS action at Tioga Downs in 1:59.4 and subsequently has three consecutive second place finishes for her efforts. But two of those were in this series and she came up short to the top two points' leaders respectively in each start. Like Betcha, Nunkeri is a handy horse and can race from any spot in the field. Mark MacDonald, who sat behind her in her lone victory and who had a big day at Batavia on August 1, will be in the bike for trainer Jonas Czernyson this week. Dancewithme Chuck (Lucky Chucky-Vail) and Counsellor AS (Conway Hall-Cordele AS) are both coming off NYSS victories last week at Saratoga Raceway and will be looking to further develop that success. The third leg goes for $27,250 and is carded as race six. Miss B'Ville (RC Royalty-South Jersey Angel) is a bit of an enigma, but a formidable force none the less. She trotted the best race of her life in NYSS action last week at Saratoga, winning wire-to-wire in 1:59.2 from the rail. The start before that, she made a break at Yonkers leaving from the same post. She also has a score at Buffalo Raceway in July and those victories bulked her earnings to $31,749 this year. The formidable training/driving team of Tracy Brainard and Jim Morrill Jr. will bring Miss B'Ville to the gate looking to notch win number three. Hot Start (Lucky Chucky-Mallelujah) raced against world record holder Mission Brief at the Meadowlands in an elimination of the Merrie Annabelle stake on July 25. That race went in 1:53.2 and Hot Start was obviously not ready for that kind of speed at this point of her career. However she did trot in 1:57 herself in that race and knocked over a second off her previous start over the same track. In her only half mile track encounter, Hot Start made a break in the first turn at Saratoga as she seemed to over-trot herself. How she handles the half at Batavia this week remains to be seen. The trainer/driver team of Czernyson and MacDonald send Hot Start to post. The fourth and final NYSS split goes for $27,750 and is listed as the eighth race. The prohibitive morning line favorite at 8-5 is Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and she was given that designation for good reason. She had strung four straight wins before last week, with her best effort a 1:59.1 victory at Yonkers. She is the top point getter in the sire stakes this year for her sex and gait for trainer Steve Pratt. Last week she made an uncharacteristic break in the first turn at Saratoga as the heavy 1-9 favorite and that took her completely out of contention. This week she draws the rail and driver Jeff Gregory will look to make amends for the only start she didn't hit the board all year. Pig Hunt (Conway Hall-Chippewa Street) has been red hot lately, scoring back-to-back round trip victories for trainer Janice Conner. Her 1:59.4 seasonal mark was also at Yonkers and her $45,981 earned is second best in this field. Although she drew post seven and lost Brennan for this start, there will be no lack of talent behind her in the bike as she picks up Jim Morrill Jr. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior Series worth a total of $38,000 on the twelve race card that features a trot in every event. Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

The weather was far from perfect for the Batavia Downs leg of the New York Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday (Aug. 13) as premature autumnal conditions presented cold temperatures, rain and a track rated as "good". But the tough got going and in one race, a major upset was the result. In the first $59,100 NYSS division, Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) was sent off as the even-money favorite and proved her backers correct as she made a big move at the half and cruised home victorious. Off the gate, L Dees Scripture (Chris Lems) left for the lead and quickly faced a strong challenge from Oh Sweet Penelope (Dan Daley) up the backside. But just before the quarter that challenger made a break so Lems then guided L Dees Scripture unabated to the half in 1:01. At that point Avalicious was out and rolling from fourth with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines to push the issue before swooping by the leader to take command at the three-quarters in 1:30.3. Once they cleared, Morrill gave the filly her head and she trotted away in easy fashion to win in 2:00.4. Beauty Of Gray (Jim Meittinis) shook loose for second and Lindys Crazy Dolly (Jeff Gregory) who was aired out hung on for third. Avalicious paid $4.30 to win for owners Michelle Crawford, Albert Crawford and Patricia Crawford. This was her fourth win in 11 starts this year and it pushed her earnings to $148,640 for trainer Ron Burke. The second $59,100 split saw a major upset occur when 1-9 favorite Market Rally made a break attempting to take an early lead. When the car pulled away to start the race, Driving Miss Crazy (Gates Brunet) and Gammy's Girl (Jim Meittinis) both left and got away 1-2 as they straightened out up the backstretch. Market Rally (Jim Morrill Jr.) had tucked fourth off the wings to let the field settle, but then was pulled and started rolling past the eighth pole. As they passed the quarter in :30 flat, Market Rally got ahead of the front runner to take the lead. But just as soon as she crossed over she made a break and ended up last, spotting the new leader about 10 lengths. That leader (Driving Miss Crazy) tended to her task, carrying the field to the half in 1:01.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.4. After a dull outer-flow offered no challenge through the middle fractions, Annie's List (Tyler Buter) managed to overtake second and a still last Market Rally then tipped three-high around fading horses to start making up ground. As they straightened out for the stretch drive, Brunet was working Driving Miss Crazy to stay alert on the lead, Buter was urging Annie's List to catch her and Morrill was working Market Rally to make up lost ground. After a good stretch drive, the trio hit the wire a length apart from each other with Driving Miss Crazy victorious in 2:00.4. In a tight photo for place, Market Rally did in fact rally for second and Annie's List was third. In the shadow of the overwhelming favorite, Driving Miss Crazy was let go at 10-1 and paid $22.60 to those who supported her. This was the sixth win in 13 starts for Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) who has now earned $124,017 in 2014 for trainer Gates Brunet and owners Theodore Gewertz, Y Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card and chalk bettors were in heaven as favorites dominated both races. Right after the $12,600 first division started, Little Baby Peanut (Jeff Gregory) and Twist Of Faith (Tyler Buter) both made breaks as the group motored into the first turn. That left Classic Belisima (Gates Brunet) on a loose lead with Do You Believe (Jim Morrill Jr.) getting the trip as the group went single-file to the quarter in :30.4 and the half in 1:02.2. Past the five-eighths Morrill pulled the pocket sitter and drew even with Classic Belisima and the two went stride for stride around the entire last turn. When they straightened out, Do You Believe proved to be the better horse as she pulled away to a two-length victory in 2:01.4. Classic Belisima hung on for second and Ginny And Tonic (Ray Fisher Jr.) got up for third. Do You Believe paid $2.30 as the heavy favorite for owners Brian Doolittle and Leigh Raymer, who also trains the filly. In the second $12,700 division, Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) turned in the fastest time of any of the stake races during the night, be they NYSS or Excelsior, in a dominating performance for trainer Tracy Brainard. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. eased Dreamsteeler out of the gate and took his time getting to the front. But once they got there the filly was brave and Morrill had his hands full rating the mile. However he did a perfect job as they scooted through even fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:30. Down the lane, Morrill sat chilly as Dreamsteeler just jogged home in 1.59.4. How Bout Cash (Chris Lems) and Slice Slice Baby (Tyler Buter) completed the top three finishers in that order. Dreamsteeler went off 1-9 and paid $2.20 to win. It was her sixth win in seven starts and brought the 2014 Excelsior points leading filly's coffers up to $34,950. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. brought home four winners on the night and Gates Brunet and Tyler Buter both piloted doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 15) with a 6:35 pm post. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The $118,200 New York Sire Stake for 3-year-old trotting fillies invades Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 13) and features the top series performer of the year so far for her sex and gait. Market Rally (Cash Hall-Supreme Dish) enters the night riding a five race winning streak, all in NYSS competition. Her dominance of this group is reflected in the combined 21 length total margin of victory over the course of those races. To date, Market Rally is currently the top point-getter in her division of the NYSS, doubling her nearest competitor. She has won purses amounting to $218,025 and has taken a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs for trainer Ron Burke. That $218,025 purse total ranks her fourth in North America for purses won by 3-year-old trotting fillies and eighth for earnings by 3-year-old trotters of either sex. In her last two starts at Yonkers and Saratoga Raceway, Market Rally's win times were 1:56.4 and 1:55.4 respectively. The Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies is 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 and then equalled by Bouncing Bax in 2013. So the track record has a very good chance of being reset on Wednesday night. Market Rally will be driven by leading NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. and has been installed as the track handicapper's prohibitive morning-line favorite at 1-5. Annies List (Conway Hall-Lasting Forever) is the second highest money-earner in this race ($126,273) but has a penchant for finishing second (6 out of 9 starts). She likes to race from off the pace and has solid final quarter speed. Starting in this short field and having Market Rally to give her live cover in an outer flow, Annies List is a definite threat for trainer Amber Buter and driver Tyler Buter. Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) has been racing sharp of late for trainer-driver Gates Brunet. She won at Saratoga in 1:57.2 two starts back and tried to out-foot Market Rally last week as she cut the mile at Yonkers. A similar pattern looks to be taking shape here and her success seems dependenton how fast the fractions go. The first $59,100 division is a wide open affair that has 8-5 Avalicious co-favored with 9-5 Beauty Of Gray. Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) won an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic and finished second in the $217,725 final at Vernon Downs in June. Since that start the filly has encountered some breaking issues in two of her last five starts. Road trouble in her last two further cost her success. Beauty Of Gray (Conway Hall-Armbro Sparkle) has raced well but has not been able to get across first at all in 2014. She has four seconds on her card in her last five outings and has earned just under $100,000 for the year. Jim Meittinis has driven Beauty Of Gray in every start this year and will try to garner her first win of the season for trainer Tommy Anderson. Trainer Julie Miller has a stable entry in the race and that two-for-one offering has been made a 2-1 morning selection. L Dees Scripture (Credit Winner-Graceful Way) and Maud Blue Chip (Credit Winner-Queen Of The Moor) will start from posts one and five respectively and have some of the faster race times on their card in recent outings. L Dees Scripture has only one win this year and that was over a sloppy track at Yonkers on July 14. She has faced Market Rally in four of her last five starts and is getting some definite post relief this week as well and that may be all she needs to score win number two. Maud Blue Chip made her first start for the Miller Stable just three starts ago and has finished third on all three occasions. However she was raced timed faster in each start and should be in a decent stalking position at the end of the mile. There are also two divisions of the Excelsior A Series on the card going for a total of $25,300. In the first division Leigh Raymer's Do You Believe (Crazed-Believe Hanover) has been made the 8-5 morning line choice and in the second split, 8-5 early favorite Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) brings her three race winning streak to town for trainer Tracy Brainard. Both horses will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Racing fans unable to attend the races Wednesday night can watch the entire NYSS filled program on Time Warner Cable channel 98, in Rochester and the surrounding counties. Post time for the 12 race card is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs  

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