Racing fans won't have to wait long to see the Summertime Lea, arguably the best sophomore pacing filly in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) program this season, when Jimmy Morrill Jr. jumps up behind her in the first race on the strong Monticello Raceway program on Wednesday.
A total purse of over $155,000 is split in the divisions with just five fillies in Summertime Lea's split. The other divisions each for around $52,000 are carded as races five and eight on the 13-race program and because of just 17 entrants, the luck leans toward the owners as the other two fields have just six in each one and nearly all starters that afternoon will get money.
The interesting undercard features four $12,700 splits of 3-year- old pacing fillies in the Excelsior Series.
But Summertime Lea seems to be the cream of this year's filly crop. Already with seven wins in10 starts the daughter of Lislea-Donna Summer has bankrolled over $215,000 this year for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Buscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith. Last year Summeftime Lea won eight of nine starts and amassed purses of over $294,000. She'll start from the five hole on Wednesday.
In the second $52,000 division, Sir Lehigh Z Tam gets the oddsmaker's nod from post two. The daughter of Art Major-Moss Blue Chip, a 1:52.3 winner of over $109,000 this year, comes into the contest off a 1:54.3 triumph in the NYSS at Tioga Downs and will be driven by Pat Lachance.
However, they may have a tussle from the Bobby Siegelman-trained Cheyenne Miriam, a nine-time winner of $193,000 this year with a 1:53 mark taken at the Big M. Monticello native George Brennan will drive the daughter of Bettor's Delight-Ailbecca when they start from post four.
The Melissa Beckwith-trained Springforth is the early favorite in the final $52,000 NYSS split. The meet's leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. got the mount behind the seven-time winner of $139,000 this year. Her best effort was a stunning 1:53.2 mile while winning a NYSS leg at Batavia Downs on Aug. 21.
Arguably the best filly in the four Excelsior legs appears to be Venus Delight who has 10 wins in 14 starts while never testing any of the NYSS fillies. She's won most of her Excelsior Series starts and has already bankrolled over $82,000. She'll be driven by Morrill from post five in race six.
The four Excelsior events will be in races two, four, six and 11. First post will be at 12:50 p.m. (Monticello)