Monticello Raceway will host 2-year-old pacing fillies in both the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) and the Excelsior Series on Friday night. Four NYSS events, along with six Excelsiors, will offer over $174,000 to the owners of the fillies most of whom will be making their first pari-mutuel starts. And when the races are completed a fabulous fireworks display will be presented.
The NYSS events mark the first of eight legs for the freshman fillies at various New York racetracks en route to the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway on Sept. 13. Along the way the competing fillies will earn points in each leg, depending on the placements, with the top eight point recipients earning a berth in the rich finale.
The majority of the entrants are daughters of American Ideal, Art Major, Rock N Roll Heaven and Bettor's Delight although an array of other New York sires progeny dot the 10-race program that features only New York-bred stakes fillies.
Granted, it's hard to expound on any of these fillies since they are in the infancy of their racing careers but some already have shown signs of brilliance.
Take Bob Horowitz's She's Heavenly, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven who'll come into this contest off a 1:55.1 triumph in a baby race at the Meadowlands on June 28. She'll be driven by Mike Lachance.
Or, how about Jimmy Takter's undefeated Zip Code Envy, another Rock N Roll filly who has won all three of her baby races at the Meadowlands with her 1:56.1 clocking on June 27 the best of the three. She's owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and Brixton Medical Ab and will be handled by Yannick Gingras.
Then there's the Bettor's Delight filly, Bettor N Better, from the powerful Ron Burke barn. She comes in off a 1:56.3 victory in a baby race over Gaitway Farm's mile oval on June 23. She's owned by Our Horse Cents Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock and will have Jimmy Morrill Jr. at the controls.
However, the last race on the card, a $27,750 NYSS, has by far the strongest field with seven of the eight pacing fillies winners in non-wagering events led by Ronald Mersky's First Delight, a Bettor's Delight filly who is three-for-three over Saratoga's double oval with her 2:01.2 twelve-length triumph in her last start on June 27 the best. Cheryl McGovern trains her and Lachance will drive.
Two others in that contest are also undefeated thus far both with two baby race victories. Lady Beth, a Kenneth J filly owned by Ken Jacobs, Slo Down Stable, Ed Namiotka Jr. and Vincent Tangredi, has two consecutive wins for trainer Sam Serianni, the fastest a 1:58 clocking at Vernon Downs on June 20. Morrill will do the driving.
And the Ron Burke -trained Sassa Hanover is also two-for-two with a 1:58.1 record on a "good" track at Gaitway Farm on June 16. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stable, Weaver Buscemi and Lawrence Karr and will be driven by Morrill.
Post time for the 10-race card will be at 5:30 p.m. and 20 minutes after the final race fans will be treated to the raceway's 45th annual fireworks display. (Monticello)