By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Two competitive fields of 3-year-old pacing fillies will be on hand at Batavia Downs to compete for $58,800 per division in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6) and the track record of 1:52.4 may be challenged.
Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) ships in to Batavia on the strength of a five-race winning streak and looks to be the one to beat in her division. She has won seven out of her last nine starts including four NYSS events. She took a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 in an overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday (July 7) and has banked $152,333 for her efforts this year.
Trainer Blake Macintosh has assigned Jodi Jamieson to drive and he will leave from post one as the early favorite at 6-5.
Tequila Monday (American Ideal-Margarita) finished third in a hard-fought Fan Hanover stake at Mohawk back in June that went in 1:49.4 and then came right back in another Grand Circuit event, the Lynch at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs. There she chased fast fractions from the outside and still finished only seven-lengths off. With two NYSS wins under her belt, she comes in with a total of five victories this year and $201,711 in earnings.
Former Western New York trainer Chris Oakes has called on Matt Kakaley to steer and they have drawn post five, listed at 2-1.
Roaring To Go (Art Major-Lionness Hanover) is coming off a season’s best effort of 1:52.4 in a gate to wire romp in a NYSS event at Yonkers Raceway on Friday (July 28). It was her first win of the year and certainly an eye-opener. She also raced in the Fan Hanover and Lynch, where she finished second in the consolation of the latter. The filly is versatile and seldom misses the board.
Dan Rawlings will drive for trainer Kevin Lare and is the 3-1 third choice leaving from post six.
In the other $58,800 split, Candlelight Dinner (American Ideal-Time N Again) comes into the event very sharp off a barn change to trainer Tracy Brainard. After a solid qualifier in June, the filly did not perform well in her first three starts. However last week at Yonkers, she tracked a moderate half and then flew home in :56, last quarter in :27.2 to finish third in 1:53.1 by less than a length in a NYSS event. With a good draw and a short field, this is a good spot to get across for the first time this year.
Brainard has tapped local favorite and perennial NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. to drive and they are listed as the 9-5 morning line favorites from post two.
Marquesa Seelster (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mistreos) has won three of her last six starts, but none of them came in NYSS races. It seems her best game is on the lead and having post one in a short field here may give her the opportunity to attempt that strategy.
Trainer Jennifer Davis has put the Downs defending dash winner Drew Monti up to drive and they are listed at 2-1 morning line.
The NYSS events are races three and four. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on Sunday carded as races six, seven and eight. Post time for the first race in 1:15 p.m.