It'll be a great afternoon of action on Monday when Monticello Raceway features New York-bred 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. There will be five divisions of the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes which will be joined by five splits of freshman colt pacers in the Excelsior Series who will compete for total purses in excess of $50,000.
The day will commence with arguably the best $21,800 NYSS division on the 13-race program when two speedy freshmen, Freedomformysoul and Rockntouch, clash in the first race on the card. Both were NYSS winners at Saratoga Raceway on July 12, and both with eye-opening performances.
Freedomformysoul, a son of If I Can Dream-Hello Grin, in only his second lifetime start made a quarter-pole move to the front and then bristled to a stunning 1:53.3 victory for driver Jimmy Morrill Jr. He'll start from the pole position again with Morrill in the bike.
In his first lifetime start Rockntouch, sailed wire to wire for a splendid 1:55 triumph, also with Morrill at the controls. However, on Monday Yannick Gingras will be in the pilot's seat when this son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Touch Of Bogart leaves from the two hole.
Freedomformysoul is trained by Nancy Johansson for the Freedomformysoul Stable while Monte Gelrod conditions Rockntouch for Freddy Monteleone.
In another NYSS division, race four on the card, the undefeated Oneisalonelynumber and Aimo Hanover will lock horns. Both pacers won their respective NYSS divisions at Saratoga in identical times of 1:57.3.
Oneisaloneynumber, an altered son of Bettor's Delight-No One Is Alone is trained by Casie Coleman for the West Wins Stable and Adriano Sorella while Aimo Hanover, an Artiscape colt out of Allamerican Celeb, is owned by the Doug Ackerman Stable and trained by D.R. Ackerman. Morrill ill drive the former while Jeff Gregory will handle the latter.
In a third split, race eight, K Ryan Bluechip gets the nod as the early line favorite. He was a close second to Freedomformysoul at Saratoga officially timed in 1:54.1. The son of Art Major-Fool That I Am won a baby race at Pocono Downs in 1:54.2 on June 20.
Joe Pavia trains and drives K Ryan Bluechip for Steve Held, Joe Barbera, the AGC Stable, and Harbor Point Hospitality. They will leave from post four on Monday afternoon.
Then fourth split, race 10, will feature K-Rock, a Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A colt who was a 1:55.1 NYSS winner at Saratoga for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. From the powerful Ron Burke Stable, K-rock will be driven by Gingras when they start from post three.
JD He's Da Bomb, who earlier this season won two baby races at Tioga Downs- the fastest in 1:57.1, will be the one to beat in the final NYSS division which will go as race 12.
Blocked and beaten just a length in his NYSS split at Saratoga and individually timed in 1:55.4, the Art Major-Cherry Bomb colt will leave from the pole position with Corey Braden at the lines. Paul Bernardo trains JD He's Da Bomb for Joe Martinelli.
"These sire stakes races appear to have some of the best pacing colts we've ever seen, especially at this time of the year,” noted Eric Warner, the track's senior director of racing. "Fans will be in for a pleasurable afternoon.”
The undercard also features some nice colts in three Excelsior "A” divisions and two Excelsior "B” divisions. They'll be joined by three overnight events.
The 13-race card will get underway at 12:50 p.m. (Monticello)