Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night played host to the statebreds, with the $289,775 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
Odds-on speed freak He's Watching (Jim Morrill Jr., $2.50) watched his manners in the final ($97,725) event...and, has been the case, his rivals watched him.
Unhurried and wide into the first turn from post position No. 6, the 1-4 choice was looped by Sheppard Pace winner Forty Five Red (Yannick Gingras). He's Watching then methodically marched to the lead, securing it right at the :28.3 opening quarter-mile. He found an identical :28.3 second quarter (:57.1 half), and what figured to be a match race did indeed take shape.
He's Watching and Forty Five Red had the floor to themselves at the 1:25.3 three-quarters, with former taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. That would be a close as Forty Five Red would get, as He's Watching widened as he wished. The final margin was 5˝ lengths in 1:54.2. Third--beaten 11 lengths--went Hardts or Bettor (George Brennan), with American plan (Jason Bartlett) and New York Bets (Tim Tetrick) grabbing the remainder.
He's Watching, a world record-holding son of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Dave Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerrero, is a perfect 4-for-4 (all in NYSS) this season ($104,653 and counting for a three-grand yearling).
"Honestly, I couldn't have gone any slower," Morrill said. "We're going to find out more about him in the (Sept. 28 sire stakes) final."
Prohibitive fave Stay Up Late (Dave Miller, $2.50)--from the pole--was a confident winner in the first ($96,025) event. Moving from third, he engaged leading Bakersfield (Gingras) going by the three-quarters, then put him away early in the lane. Stay Up Late whipped a pocket-sitting Archetto Hanover (Marcus Miller) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55. Sir Sam's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) and Keystone Honor (Brennan) rounded out the ticket for wagering purposes, while Bakersfield faded to last among the seven.
Stay Up Late, a son of Artiscape trained by Casie Coleman for co-owners West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun, is now 2-for-4 this season.
Trainer Coleman doubled her fun in the second ($96,025) division as Design Guru (Brennan, $5.60) was a handy winner. Nose on gate from post No. 3, he was untested en route to a life-best (by more than three seconds) and night's fastest 1:54.1 effort. The job of the second choice was simplified when 7-5 choice Thereisapaceforus (Gingras) broke in the first turn. That one did recover, but was never a factor.
The margin was 4˝ lengths, with Big Boy Dreams (Morrill) winning the scrum for second over a first-up Neat (Marcus Miller).
Design Guru, an Artiscape gelding owned by Jeff Snyder, has a pair of wins in seven '13 tries. (Yonkers)