When the New York Sire Stakes roll into Batavia Downs on Wednesday (August 16), the undefeated Earthwindfire will be on hand to try and keep her perfect record intact as she lines up in one of two, five-horse, $57,000 divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies slated to go that night.
Earthwindfire (American Ideal-Road Bet) has rattled off six straight wins to start her year, including four NYSS events. The other two came in Grand Circuit action at Yonkers Raceway where she won an elimination and the final of the Park MGM filly pace. Those wins have made Earthwindfire the fourth richest filly in North America this year ($186,916) behind only Sylvia Hanover, Ucandoit Blue Chip and Twin B Joe Fresh, and she is less than $3,000 from vaulting into second place on that list. A five-time victor and runner up in the NYSS final as a 2-year-old last season, Earthwindfire has been winning at will in 2023 and is positioned to continue on that path here and add to her already gaudy lifetime earnings of $508,400.
Jack Pelling will drive from post four for trainer Brett Pelling.
Standing in her way from another score on Wednesday will be Turn On The Charm, who is also having a breakout year of her own.
Turn On The Charm (Huntsville-Charming Hill) is the current points leader (217) among the NYSS sophomore distaff pacers this year and has won four out of her five NYSS starts. She too competed in the Park MGM filly pace and finished a very respectable third in the final. In her last start at Yonkers, Turn On The Charm overcame a very slow start where she got away last, spotting the field 20 lengths at the half. But she rallied to finish fifth and was beaten only 3-¾ lengths. With a post one draw in this race, Turn On The Charm should get a perfect trip behind the assumed frontrunner Earthwindfire, and be in the perfect spot to strike late.
Trainer Bruce Clarke has Marcus Miller in the bike once again.
Team Pelling also has the filly to beat in the other division and her name is Southwind Bella.
Southwind Bella (Huntsville-Southwind Solara) was lightly raced at two, but won three of four starts in NYSS Excel A action in 2022. This year she stepped up to the top level and has won two NYSS races while not finished off the board in the rest. Although her lifetime mark is 1:50.2 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, her last outing at Yonkers was an impressive gate to wire, 3-½ length victory in 1:53.1, which was her best clocking ever over a half mile track. She comes into this race as one of only two fillies in this field to win a NYSS race this year.
Team Pelling sends out Southwind Bella from post one.
The other 2023 NYSS winner in the race is Vivians Dream (American Ideal-Sports Chic) who was a state series star at two who won six legs. So far this year she has won only one of those races and it was her very first start of the year. Since then, Vivians Dream has been racing well and is currently fourth for earnings and points among this group, but she has not been able to find the winner’s circle again since May. She finished second to Southwind Bella Last week at Yonkers and looks to be the main rival again this week.
Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for this start for trainer Kevin Lare.
There are also two $20,000 NYSS Excelsior divisions on the program and those splits will be contested in races six and seven. The NYSS main events are carded as races eight and 10.
Free full card past performance programs for every live card of racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Downs’ website (bataviadownsgaming.com) under the “Live Racing” tab and all the racing action can be viewed as it happens for free at the Batavia Downs Live Facebook page