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Courtly Choice wins NYSS, now heads to Ohio

August 29, 2018
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Courtly Choice made his Yonkers Raceway debut Tuesday night, toying with his foes in the $173,500 New York Sires Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

The 1-20 favorite ($2.10), in rein to Dave Miller, was a two-move, 6 1/2-length winner in the first ($86,750 division). Away third from post 6, he dusted early (:27, :56.1; 1:23.3) leader Rockapelo (Jason Bartlett) right after the three-quarters, opened a coupled of lengths into the lane, then widened as he pleased in 1:51.1.

Cheese Melt (George Brennan) won the scrum for second at 78-1, with Rockapelo holding third and Ostro Hanover (Brian Sears) fourth.

For Meadowlands Pace champ Courtly Choice, the son of Art Major has won nine of his dozen seasonal starts ($655,393) for co-owners (as part of Mac and Heim Stables)/trainer Blake Macintosh, Daniel Plouffe, Hutt Racing and Touch Stone Farms.

"He's a lot of fun," Miller said.

After this rare sires stakes appearance, Macintosh said Courtly Choice is Ohio-bound for both the Jug Preview and Little Brown Jug.

Tuesday night's second (also $86,750) and final grouping saw Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron, $12) prevail from first-over.

Away fourth from post 3, Ghost Dancer hooked last season's statebred champ, Jersey Jim (Jordan Stratton), after that one's intervals of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2. ‘Jim,' the even-money favorite here, owned a length lead off the final turn, but tired. Ghost Dancer whipped the rival on his back, Twin B Tuffenuff (Brennan), by a half-length in 1:54.1.

Jersey Jim salvaged the bottom of the ticket, with Keystone Tenacious (Jim Marohn Jr.) fourth.

For third choice Ghost Dance, a Millar Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Rick Zeron, he's now 3-for-11 this season.

"I couldn't hold him the last time he was here (late July)," Zeron said. "Tonight, he was much more manageable and when I asked him in the last turn, he went." (Yonkers)

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