New York Sire Stakes preliminary leg competition concluded its downstate dance card Thursday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $286,600 Lew Barasch Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
The event again honored the memory of the legendary publicist and Harness Hall of Famer, whose work at Roosevelt Raceway in general and with the International Trot in particular helped keep harness racing in the sporting mainstream. Members of the Barasch family, including the lovely Bunny, were on hand to make winner's circle presentations.
Five divisions were on the agenda, with 7-5 favorite Pine Credit (Lewayne Miller, $4.80) prevailing in the opening ($57,760) grouping. Away third from post position 6, he grabbed the lead late, then held off second choice Golden Tate (Jay Randall) by a head in 2:01.2. Ex King (Dan Daley) recovered from an early misstep to finish third.
For Pine Credit, a son of Credit Winner co-owned by (trainer) Erv Miller, Harvey Eisman and Mary Jane Anderson, it was his third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.80, with the triple returning $46.
The second ($57,760) Barasch division saw 16-1 shot Blackwolf Run (Sam Schillaci, $34.40) overcome his outside seven-hole and go right down the road. He lasted over Imwideawake (Jim Devaux) by a neck in a maiden-breaking 2:01.3, with Wannacmyguns (John Stark Jr.) third and Crazy Mike (Jim Morrill Jr.) fourth. Theraputic (Brennan), as the 3-10 favorite, improved position down the backside only to break in the final turn.
For Blackwolf Run, a Credit Winner colt trained by his driver for co-owners Jodi Schillaci and Matthew Bencic, it was that first win in nine first-season starts. The exacta paid $204.50, the triple returned $1,102 and the superfecta paid $3,194.
The evening's third ($56,660) was minimally-troubling for odds-on choice Creditora (Trond Smedshammer, $2.40). With a handful of bad actors early, he waltzed around Westchester (:30.2, 1:01.1, 1:31.4, 2:01), easily whipping pocket-sitter Rage (Steve Smith) by 3¼ lengths. Tweed (Brian Sears) was third.
For Creditora, another son of Credit Winner (though he's a gelding), this one trained by Smedshammer for Purple Haze Stables, he's now 3-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $14.20, with the triple returning $47.
Thursday's fourth ($57,760) state-bred sojourn proved both the swiftest and the tightest. Essentially a match-race from the time the race was drawn, Tirade Hanover (Sears, $8.10) tracked 1-4 fave Fashion Blizzard (Morrill Jr.) around the surroundings (:28.2, :56.4, 1:28), then snapped him by a head in 1:57.3.
It was more than 15 lengths back to Twisted Pretzel (Cat Manzi) in third, with Candid Man (Bill Bailey) fourth.
For "Tirade," a Crazed gelding co-owned by Leigh Nichol, Stephen Moss, Harold & Helane Solomon and trained by Tyler Raymer, it was his seventh win (fourth consecutive) in 10 '12 tries. The exacta paid $7.70, the triple returned $28.40 and the superfecta paid $214.
The final sire stakes event found second choice Royalty for Life (Jason Bartlett) coast to a 12¾-length victory in 1:58.4. Explosive Action (Morrill Jr.) was going after the leader when he jumped late, breaking all the way through the stretch.
After crossing the line second, he was set down to sixth, with New York's Best (Fern Paquet) and Goshen (Sears) placed up to second and third, respectively.
For Royalty For Life, a son of RC Royalty co-owned by (breeder) Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine and Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, is was his sixth win in 10 seasonal efforts. The exacta paid $43.20. with the triple returning $271.50.
The $1.8 million New York of Champions is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22. Eight, $225,000 divisional finals--for 2- and 3-year-old of both sexes and gaits--comprise the richest night of racing in the state.
The Raceway continues its normal five-night-per-week live schedule, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. (Yonkers)