Summertime Lea leads NYSS starters at Batavia Downs Batavia, NY --- The old saying goes, "you save the best for last." At Batavia Downs this Wednesday night, it will be "the best goes first" as the New York Sires Stakes arrives for the 3-year-old pacing fillies. And with some of the best 3-year-old pacing fillies racing, it has attracted some of the best drivers from the east coast. The star-studded line-up will include 'The Minister of Speed' George Brennan along with Hall of Famer Cat Manzi, Jim Morrill, Jr., Jeff Gregory, Simon Allard and Jim Marohn, Jr. Of the three divisions worth around $42,000 each, the first race on the program is definitely loaded. The fans won't want to miss it as the action gets underway at 6:30 p.m. The field only has six fillies but they have combined for more than $1 million in career earnings, led by 4-5 favorite Summertime Lea and Jim Morrill, Jr. Summertime Lea, who still shares the 2-year-old pacing filly track record at Buffalo Raceway of 1:56.3 set last season, has put up some eye-popping numbers in 2013. A winner of five of eight this season and 13 of 17 lifetime, Summertime Lea (Lislea-Donna Summer) has victories in her sophomore campaign of 1:56.4 at Buffalo Raceway, 1:52.2 at Saratoga Raceway and a lifetime best of 1:50.4 at Vernon Downs on June 22. Her last start was this past Saturday where she finished sixth in the $350,000 Valley Forge at Pocono Downs. Summertime Lea paced the mile in 1:50, starting out of the eight hole. She has career earnings of $442,564. The main threat could come from the rail where Winbak Heavenly and Jim Marohn, Jr. will come in riding a two-race win streak. Winbak Heavenly (3-1) had the benefit of a start over the Batavia Downs surface last Wednesday in the Fillies and Mares Open II where she scored a two length win in 1:55.1. Before that, she took a $75,000 division of the Sire Stakes at Saratoga in 1:53.2. Winbak Heavenly (American Ideal-Heavenly Signal) is a winner six times this season and has $79,373 in the bank. Also in the rugged field are Brussels Hanover (Brennan), JK Black Beauty (Greg Merton), Sir Lehigh Z Tam (Gregory) and My Shiyen (John Cummings, Jr.). Brussels Hanover has $208,285 in career winnings and JK Black Beauty has $145,136. The fifth race is the second division of the Sire Stakes and it is led by Cheyenne Miriam and driver Simon Allard. She'll be starting from the rail and has improved tremendously this season. The Bettor's Delight filly out of Alibecca failed to make a dime in two starts in 2012, but this season has bankrolled $164,652 and has a 1:54.4 Sire Stakes victory at Yonkers on July 2. Social Scene will have Brennan in the sulky and should be the major danger to Cheyenne Miriam. Social Scene has four victories in eight appearances thus far and $118,848 in the bank. She's posted a 1:51.2 win at Tioga Downs and a 1:52 victory at Yonkers on July 2. The seventh race in the final leg of the Sire Stakes and is the most wide-open affair to say the least. The Ron Burke-trained I Got To Boogie (Morrill) arrives from Mohawk where she has a 1:52.2 win to her credit. She's a Bettor's Delight filly out of Ideal Coast and is the 3-1 morning line favorite from the five spot. Bettor Think Twice (Cat Manzi) will score from the three post and has two victories in eight attempts. The Bettor's Delight filly should provide the main competition to I Got To Boogie. There are also three $12,700 Excelsior Series races on the program for the pacing fillies and the usual $8,500 Open Pace for Fillies and Mares as well. The guaranteed $3,000 Pick-4 starts in the third race and with a outstanding card on tap and the card being broadcast on Time-Warner Cable, Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding counties, the pool should eclipse the minimum. Program pages for the Pick-4 sequence are available courtesy of Trackmaster at http://www.trackmaster.com/usta/. For more information on North America's oldest lighted harness track, including statistics, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing. by Brian J. Mazurek
Forty Five Red, the 1:55.4 winner of the $111,250 Sheppard Final, will be among the 25 sophomore colt and gelding pacers that will be featured in the $130,000 NY Sires Stakes at Monticello Raceway on Thursday , August 1. The four stellar NYSS splits, each going for over $32,000, will be accompanied by five $12,700 divisions of freshman pacing colts in the $63,000 Excelsior Series. Although Forty Five Red, a son of If I Can Dream-Sekura Hanover owned by Burke Racing and Our Horse Cents Stable, has already bankrolled over $84,000 in just three starts it'll be no cake-walk for trainer Ron Burke when they face the Linda Toscano-conditioned Murder He Wrote. That roan son of Kenneth J-JK Dancing Queen is undefeated in two lifetime starts and can brag of a 1:53.1 triumph in the Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs on July 19. He's the property of the Camelot Stable. Forty Five Red will leave from the two-hole with Yannick Gingras aboard while Murder He Wrote will start from post position five with Tim Tetrick in the pilot's seat. The two good looking youngsters will square off in the eighth race on the Mighty M card. The racing program will open with arguably the most competitive of the four NYSS events. Ideal Trick, a son of American Ideal-Special Magic from the Tony Alagna -barn already has a 1:53.3 record taken in a qualifier at the Big M on July 13 and will start from the pole with Tim Tetrick aboard. But competition will loom from both Western Conquest and All Bets Off. The former, an Erv Miller-trained son of American Ideal-Aries Conquest, owned by the Tanah Merah Farms sports two wins in three starts, the fastest a 1:55.2 effort at Pocono Downs on June 20 while the latter, a son of Bettors Delight-Armbro Penelope, out of Canada from the Mike Sinclair stable, won his last start in 1:54 at Tioga Downs on July 21. He's owned by Rosemary Sheiswell and 1721009 Ontario, Inc. Western Conquest will leave from the three hole for driver Marcus Miller and Fern Paquet, Jr. will be up behind All Bets Off when they start from post six. In the fifth race, another NYSS pace, Jimmy Morrill, Jr.'s New York Bets, a Bettor's Delight-Absolutely Cam gelding will tangle with Ray Schnittker's I'm All Heart, also an altered son of Bettor's Delight but from Sealed In My Head. New York Bets, owned by the Purple Haze Stable, owns a half-mile track record of 1:56.1taken at Saratoga Raceway on June 28 while I'm All Heart comes in off a 1:54.3 qualifying race victory at the Meadowlands on July 20. He's owned by Schnittker and the Creative racing Stable However the Bob Rice-trained Keystone Honor deserves a look in that contest. The Bettor's Delight-Heavenly Killean ridgling, owned by Mike Horn and Alexander Rice, will be making his first pari-mutuel start after three consecutive qualifying victories at Harrah's Chester the fastest a 1:56 effort on July 23. Tim Tetrick will handle the driving chores from post five. In the fourth and final NYSS event going as race 12 on the card, the Jimmy Takter-trained Thereisapaceforus is the early favorite from post five. Yannick Gingras will drive the son of American Ideal-L'chaim whose owned by Christine Takter and Brixton Medical Ab from post five.. The five Excelsior Series affairs, all interesting and very competitive will go as races four, six, nine, 11 and 13. Post time for the 14 race card will be at 12:50pm. by John Manzi
The best 3 year old pacers in New York took center stage at Tioga on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Two divisions of the NYSS and five divisions of the Excelsior were on display. The 1st division of the NYSS featured Fool Me Once as the bettors 1/5 choice and he did not disappoint. Sent to the front by regular pilot Scott Zeron, the Mark Austin trained son of Art Major-Fool That I Am rolled thru fractions of 26.4, 55.3 and 1:22. Second choice Sir Cary’s Z Tam sat in the pocket waiting for an opportunity to pounce in the stretch but was only able to get to the wheel of Fool Me Once right as they crossed the wire in 1:50.2. Fool Me Once came into today undefeated in NYSS events and was 4th in the standings with half as many starts as those above him. The win was his 7th in 9 starts in 2013 pushing his lifetime earnings to just above $375,000. In the second of two NYSS events, Bet The Moon made a little bobble behind the gate but was able to overcome it quickly to settle in 2nd behind Mark MacDonald and Source Of Pride thru a spirited opening quarter of 26.1. Jim Morill, Jr. and Bet The Moon waited patiently in the pocket as Source Of Pride rolled the field past the half in 55 flat before sprinting down the backside to a three quarter in 1:21.4, a 26.4 third quarter. From there the duel was on as Morrill pulled Bet The Moon from the pocket and up to challenge Source Of Pride. Bet The Moon looked like he was going to roll right past and clear the leader but Source Of Pride dug in and fought back to exchange the lead a few times thru the stretch. When they reached the wire, Bet The Moon placed his head in front and stopped the timer in 1:50 flat. The Bettor’s Delight-Sun N Moon son won for the 2nd time in 2 weeks at Tioga for trainer Ron Burke after last week capturing a division of the Tompkins-Geers. He may be putting his Tioga win streak on the line next week as he is one of several of today’s NYSS horses that are eligible for the rich Empire Breeders Classic, a New York bred race for 3 year olds. Eliminations are next Sunday and the final 2 weeks away. Also on the card were five divisions of the Excelsior Series for NY-breds. The winners of those events were Royce Blue Chip (1:52.2), Leap Of Faith (1:53.3), Pull The Ripcord (1:54.3), Bettorsluckystreak (1:53.3), and Militia Man (1:52.4). New York Sire Stakes action continues Monday night at Tioga with 2 year old pacing fillies. Post time is set at 6:50pm. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.
Eight-year-old pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal broke her own harness racing track record in capturing her second Artiscape Open Mare Pace over the weekend at Tioga Downs. The historic win is chronicled on this week's episode of 'Inside Harness Racing'.
Sunday afternoon (June 10 - post time 1:30 pm) twenty of arguably the best aged horses in all of harness racing will converge on the five eighth's mile oval of Tioga Downs in Nichols, New York.
Harness racing owner Steve Farrell had a plan for Rockincam. It required patience, but if the horse's results this year are any indication, it was worth the wait. Farrell bred and owns Rockincam, a son of Cambest out of the mare Migraine. He didn't race Rockincam as a 2-year-old, raced him lightly at 3, and bumped him up to the opens at 4.
Sunday's stakes race at action at Tioga Downs can be heard live on SiriusXM satellite radio. Dave Johnson, the longtime voice of the Kentucky Derby on ABC, will bring you the harness racing action along with owner-trainer Peter Kleinhans.
A look back at the career of famed pacer Artiscape as his namesake race is only days away. That's the highlight of this week's edition of 'Inside Harness Racing.'
Tioga Downs will host the Artiscape Open Mare Pace and the Bettor's Delight Open Pace on Sunday, June 10 . The race conditions call for the ten highest harness racing money earners in 2011/2012 combined to be drawn into these races.
Payments to nominate to all harness racing stakes serviced by Tioga & Vernon Downs have a closing date of March 15.
Harness racing tracks Tioga Downs and Vernon Dows have finalized their 2012 race and stakes schedule for the upcoming race season (pending regulatory approval).
It's a world record edition of 'Inside Harness Racing' at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. The newest episode airs tonight at 6:00PM/EST on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.
See You At Peelers, who extended her career unbeaten streak to 17 races with her win last weekend in the Fan Hanover eliminations, is the new No.1 ranked harness racing horse in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll. See You At Peelers garnered 27 of 35 first-place votes to knock Foiled Again from the top spot.
It was just over a year ago that Dreamfair Eternal came into the 2010 Artiscape Pace with almost the identical road mapped out as this year. Last year she had four Open starts under her belt and this year the Artiscape will mark the fourth start of the year for defending harness racing Dan Patch Champion, Dreamfair Eternal.
Two top harness racing fields of older pacers will invade Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon (June 12) for the $208,000 Bettor's Delight for open pacers and the $178,000 Artiscape for open pacing mares.