By John Manzi
MONTICELLO August 1, 2003 Four divisions of freshmen pacing fillies raced for over $102,000 in New York Sire Stakes action here on Saturday, July 26. The fillies were making their second stop along the road to the $150,000 divisional final, which will be contested at Yonkers Raceway in September for the eight highest money earners in the preliminary legs that were contested at the various racetracks in New York State.
Of the four divisions, arguably the most impressive was Yankee Anthem, who cruised to a two-length triumph in 2:01 in the first $25,614 division.
Perry Simser was aboard the daughter of Magical Mike, who made every pole a winning one and kicked in a 29 second last quarter en route to a 2:01 triumph over One For Christa, driven by Jeff Gregory. Three Bees finished third for Howie OKusko.
Missy Doats won the second $26,114 division in 2:02:2, coming from last at the three quarter pole to rally to a one half-length victory in 2:02:2. Rod LaFramboise was in the sulky behind the Kassa Branca filly, who got up in the final strides to collar Yankee Jan (Jeff Gregory) and Donatela (Doug R Ackerman).
The good Kassa Branca filly, Miss Zinfandel, just toyed with her company in the third $26,114 division, using the front-end route to victory for driver John Stark, Jr. Miss Zinfandel paced both the first and last quarters in 29 seconds flat en route to a 2:01 triumph over Davids Art, driven by Wally Hennessey. The Oneandonlyvroni, with Chris Ryder aboard, got up for the show dough.
The hometowners were out in force and got to cheer as they watched B Dependable and Zeke Parker cruise to an easy 2:02 triumph in the final $26,114 NYSS division. Owned in Middletown by Bernie Ban, the daughter of Magical Mike turned back Café Bar (Jeff Gregory) and Hey Pretty (Dave Fisher) to score her maiden victory.
Also on the card were two divisions of the second and final preliminary leg of the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Pacing Series.
Club President Gerry Fielding of Monticello drove the winners of both $2,000 divisions. He defeated Veronica Merton in close photos both times.
In the first division, Fielding rallied Cool Bayama in the final strides to nail Red Energy and Merton at the wire for a 2:00 victory as favored Claw Prints and Mike Lopez finished third.
Fielding won the second division with Car Buff in 2:03.4, patiently waiting for the passing lane to open to mount his charge at pace-setting Beloved Trinket with Merton aboard. And Fielding needed every inch of the stretch to come out on the plus side of the long three minute photo. Todd Marciano, a winner of one of the events last week, finished third with Hector Spector.
Other Horses Impresss
In NYSS Action
Vantasic Wizzard and driver Yannick Gingras turned in an eye-opening performance by winning their $20,775 division of the $102,000 New York Sire Stakes for freshmen pacing colts and geldings in 1:59.3 on Sunday, July 27.
And as good a mile as Vantastic Wizzard went, two races later Uleavemebreathless arguably outshined him, when Jeff Gregory guided that son of Sealed N Delivered to a 1:59.2 triumph in their $20,375 division.
Three Wizzards paced a 28.1 last quarter en route to victory, while Uleavemebreathless kicked-in a 28 second final stanza for his triumph.
Other winners that day included: Eastern Bull in 2:03.1; Completed Pass in 2:00.4 and Teddy Ballgame, also in 2:00.4.
Making just his fourth lifetime start, Vantastic Wizzard sat comfortably behind pace-setter Murphys Law until the three-quarter pole when Gingras moved his colt to the outside. Once he did, Vantastic Wizzard literally paced away from his competition and finished five lengths ahead of Murphys Law and driver John Stark, Jr., who held on for second. Rose Street Crown came from far back to be third for Wally Hennessey.
This colt can fly and hes so handy, Gingras told the entourage in the winners circle after his victory, referring to the way Vantastic Wizzard sat so comfortably behind Murphys Law and then just paced away from his competition.
Gregory nearly reiterated Gingras comments when referring to Uleavemebreathless prowess in winning his division.
Racing against the Jim Compton-driven Michael Scores, who had five wins and a third in six previous outings, Gregory and Uleavemebreathless sat third through fractions of 0:29.11 and 1:31:2 before challenging Michael Scores, who was setting the pace. Gregorys colt got up alongside Comptons gelding and they raced as a team through the final turn. When they straightened out in the stretch, Gregory urged Uleavemebreathless and the colt put it in another gear to pace off to a length victory over Michael Scores in 1:59.2. Riddlers Revenge, with Mark Beckwith aboard, finished third.
Hes a big, strong, good-mannered colt whose gonna beat some good ones before its all over, Gregory said in the winners circle after his triumph with Uleavemebreathless. And we beat a good one today in Michael Scores.
Eastern Bull, driven by Howie OKusko, was victorious in 2:03.1 in their division, turning back Sunday Money and Dean DePasquale. Bob Tisberts Stendec finished third.
Completed Pass, in rein to John Stark Jr., paced by Pass The Salt (Wally Hennessey) in the lane for a 2:00.4 triumph in their $20,275 division as Zeke Parker got American Warrior home for the show dough.
For the son of David Pass, it was his second victory in four career starts.
Teddy Ballgames 2:00.4 victory ended a fine afternoon of sire stakes action. Wally Hennessey drove the Kassa Branca colt to a two-length victory over Jatester, with John Stark Jr. aboard, and Bacon Hill Bandit, driven by Zeke Parker.