Although Crazshana's 2:00 victory was topped by two others on the afternoon card, that clocking still established a new Monticello Raceway track record for freshman trotting geldings at Monticello Raceway Monday afternoon when Trond Smedshammer drove him to a 2:00 victory in a division of the Excelsior "B” Series of the New York Sires Stakes.
The altered son of Crazed-Keystone Shana, owned by the Purple Haze Stable, finished three lengths ahead of Mythology Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) and was one tick faster than the former standard of 2:00.1 set by Donttellmywife in 2006.
In all, nine divisions of 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, in both the New York Sires Stakes and Excelsior Series, were featured that afternoon and the colts who won their NYSS splits were most impressive, each winning rather handily. Gabe The Bear Dean's 1:58.4 victory was the fastest of the three while Mambo Blue Chip scored in 1:59.3, and in his first lifetime start Sugarmakesmecrazy was victorious in 2:00.2.
Ray Schnittkker guided Gabe The Bear Dean, a son of Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch, to a four-length triumph in 1:58.4 in the first $35,867 NYSS split. They finished just two ticks slower than Fashion Blizzard's 1:58.2 track record two years ago.
Although Gabe the Bear Dean was abetted by breaking colts early in the mile still the powerful youngster needed no ulterior assistance as he trotted unchallenged through fractions of :29.2, :59.3 and 1:29.2 before finishing four lengths ahead of the Brent Holland-driven Andy Ray.
A $105,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, it was the fourth victory in six seasonal starts for Gabe The Bear Dean who now has nearly $75,000 for co-owner Schnittker and the Minix Stable.
"He's a nice colt and does everything right,” Schnittker said about Gabe The Bear Dean. "He's got a big motor, too."
Sent off at odds of 2-1 Gabe The Bear Dean paid $6.20 for win.
Mal and Janet Burroughs were on hand to watch Jeff Gregory drive their Mambo Blue Chip to a 1:59.3 triumph over Insomniac and Mark MacDonald in another $35,876 NYSS spilt and that had Burroughs smiling…and chirping.
"I've missed the Hambletonian the last few years but this guy (Mambo Blue Chip) is gonna get us back there next year,” said Burroughs, only the second amateur driver to win the famed Hambletonian. (He won the 1997 edition with Malabar Man while Harrison Hoyt was the other when he won with Demon Hanover in 1948).
Trainer Linda Toscano had Jeff Gregory again drive Mambo Blue Chip and he responded with their third victory together. Understandably, Gregory was all smiles when he spoke of the colt's attributes. "He a smart colt and handles like an aged horse. Yeah, we got a good trip but he knew just what to do when he saw daylight in the stretch.”
After traveling along in third position from the start and still in third place at the top of the lane, when Gregory had room in the stretch he aimed Mambo Blue Chip toward freedom and the colt responded with a one-length triumph.
Mambo Blue Chip, a $40,000 yearling purchase was second choice in the betting and returned a $4.40 win mutuel.
As impressive as any of the other colts was Sugarmakesmecrazy. Racing for the first time for money off just one qualifying start at the Meadowlands where he was beaten a nose in 1:58.1, he breezed to a wire-to-wire, two-length victory in 2:00.2 and kept favored Buen Camino (Smedshammer) at bay.
Asked why the colt hadn't started earlier Svanstedt said, "He's so big that he had problems” as he pointed to the colt's right hind ankle and foot. "He's a good trotter now but he will be a very good 3 year old.”
An $80,000 yearling purchase, the son of Crazed-Maple Frosting, paid $4.80 for win. He is owned by Mellby Gard Inc.
The supporting undercard featured three freshman trots in the Excelsior "A” Series and three in the Excelsior "B” Series.
Besides Crazshana's 2:00 victory other Excelsior winners included; Deadhead Royalty, 2:04.1 (Howard Okusko), Abir Hanover, 2:04.2 (Jason Bartlett), Lucic, 2:04.2 (Steve Smith), Lucky Bud, 2:01.1 (Homer Hockstetler) and Titanium, 2:01.2 (Jason Bartlett)
In all, a total of 11 of the 13 races were for trotters on that Monday and Shortest Distance, driven by Jimmy Taggart Jr. won in 1:57 and scored her 17th victory of the season. She now has drawn even with Diamond Tiara as the harness horses with the most wins in North America this season. (Monticello)