Day At The Track

Bakersfield is fastest in Monticello NYSS Thursday

02:54 AM 03 Aug 2013 NZST
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Bakersfield, harness racing
Bakersfield was the fastest in NYSS action at Monticello Raceway Thursday
Photo by Geri Schwarz

When the judges drew the Thursday, August 1st card which featured nine divisions of 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the New York Sires Stakes and the Excelsior Series it was anticipated to be the best racing program thus far this season at Monticello Raceway.

Unfortunately the steady falling rains that afternoon damped the highly anticipated expectations and the racetrack too, still with the races were exciting and well contested and racing fans, both on and off track, poured over $878,000 through the betting machines.

Of the four divisions of the $130,000 NYSS Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco and John Fodera’s, Bakersfield , turned in the fastest mile in Sires Stakes competition when Yannick Gingras reined the son of American Ideal-Ride the Skies to a an easy 1:56.3 three-length triumph while defeating I’m All Heart and driver Ray Schnittker over the muddy racetrack.

Equally impressive was Yannick Grigras’ 1:57.3 victory with Sheppard Pace winner, Forty Five Red, while the other NYSS winners were Western Conquest in 1:58 for Marcus Miller and Design Guru in 1:57.3 for hometown hero and Monticello High School graduate, George Brennan.

Forty Five Red, a son of If I Can Dream-Sakura Hanover, was sent off at odds of 7-10 from post two and won like a 1-20 shot when he turned back Murder He Wrote and Tim Tetrick by 10 lengths although Tetrick’s colt made a break on the first turn and was 21 lengths off at the quarter.

Yannick Grisgras couldn’t disguise his smile in the winner’s circle and was full of accolades about Forty Five Red.: “He’s a beautiful colt and he(‘s) got the build and the manners to be a real good horse. He’s a beautiful colt.”

Owned by Burke Racing Stable and Our Horse Sense Stables and trained by Ron Burke ,Forty Five Red raised his bankroll to $101,221 on the strength of three wins and a second in four lifetime starts.

Bakersfield’s victory not only impressed the colt’s driver but also the colt’s trainer, Jimmy Takter, who was on hand to view his pupil’s performance, and was joined for the blanket presentation by Myron Bell of Brittany Farms.

When asked about Bakersfield, Takter smiled and said with his Swedish accent: “He could be a real serious player,” which brought a smile to Bell’s face.

Bell then went on to tell a Bakersfield story.

“We (Brittany Farms) were divesting some of our broodmare stock and we sold Ride The Skies, a daughter of Four Starz Shark, at the mixed sale at Harrisburg (PA) Mixed Sales a couple of years ago and an Amish man bought her and the colt she had in her belly for $1500.

That colt turned out to be Bakersfield and when he was sent to auction we paid $75,000 for him. Go figure!”

In yet another $32,000 NYSS split George Brennan and Design Guru stalked the pace-setter Thereisapaceforus (another Takter-trained colt) the entire mile and then slipped up the passing lane to out-foot the leader to the wire to score a head victory for the colt’s owner Jeffrey Snider.

Brennan was cheered by many of his former high school classmates when he made a stop in the winners circle but did find time to say some good things about the son of Artiscape-Lookinforagirlikeu.

“He’s green and we got a good trip but he paced a good last quarter (:28.2 over the muddy racetrack).”

Trained by Casie Coleman it was Design Guru’s maiden victory in five lifetime starts.

A fourth division saw Marcus Miller use the passing lane with Western Conquest to upset Stay Up Late and George Brennan in a 1:58 clocking with a :28.2 final stanza.

“This was my first drive here and I was in the right place at the right time.Maybe it was beginners luck,” Miller said smiling.

Owned by Tanah Merah Farms and trained by Marcus’s dad, Erv Miller, and it was the American Ideal-Aries Conquest colt’s third win in four career outings.

Of the five $12,700 Excelsior Series races the Arnold Marks-trained Big Boy Dreams turned in the fastest mile of the afternoon when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. went along for a 1:56.1 ride.

“He run(sic) off with me,” Morrill said about the 12-length triumph referring to the early fractions of :27.4, :55.4 and 1:25.4. “He acts like a good one and they’ll probably start him in the Sires Stakes next time.”

Big Boy Dreams is owned by Dominick Rosato.

Other Excelsior Series winners included Hands Off Frank( 1:58) for Ray Schnittker; Celtic Art (1:59.2) for Tim Tertick; Memorial Day J (1:59.4) again with Tetrick at the lines; and Cabbie’s Delight in 2:00.1 for Jimmy Morrill, Jr.

by John Manzi


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