After a couple of days worth of hiatus, New York Sire Stakes returned downstate Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $226,200 Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. The first of three, $75,400 divisions took on a different look right before post time when odds-on choice Major Dancer (Brian Sears) was scratched-lame. That shifted the role of (4-5) favoritism to Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.).
”Blush” led through fractions of :26.4, 56.3 and 1:25.1. However, with a length-and-a-quarter lead entering the lane, she could not lose a pesky Delightful Dragon (Dave Miller). That one, the Three Diamonds winner from a season ago, seated early from outside post position No. 7. Delightful Dragon engaged the leader in earnest and out of the final turn before picking her off by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. A season-debuting Ali Blue (Yannick Gingras) was third.
For fourth choice Delightful Dragon, a homebred daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Adam Victor and Son Stable and trained by Noel Daley, she returned $22.40 for her fist win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $50.50, with the triple returning $260.
"She's had her issues her issues this season, but she handled the track very well,” Miller said. "Obviously, the race changed when the favorite scratched, but my filly earned it. She took a lot of air and was able to go by.”
The second NYSS event was a down-the-roader for It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron, $). Leaving from post No. 2 after an inside scratch, she held sway after intervals of :28.1, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:54.2. Spreester (Morrill Jr.), the 1-2 fave, tested the winner from the pocket, but missed a neck, with JK Molly (George Brennan) third.
For second choice "Fascination,” an American Ideal lass co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Algana, (co-breeder) Riverview Racing and Bay's Stable, it was her third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $7.10, with the triple returning $27.80.
"I would have perfectly content sitting behind Jimmy (Morrill Jr. driving Spreester), but she left the gate on her toes, so I just drove on, ” Zeron said. "I've driven her a few times now, and the best thing about her is she's handy. She's comfortable any way you want to race her.”
Monday night's final state-bred event saw a pocketed Medusa (Sears, $5.20) edge away as the 8-5 favorite. In play from post No. 6, Medusa sat behind pole proposition Carlota Blue Chip (Brennan) as that one set sail through subsections of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:26.1. "Carlota” opened a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane, but needed more.
Medusa angled out and went by, defeating a three hole-sitting Sky Artist (Eric Carlson) by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:55.1. Carlota Blue Chip held third. For Medusa, a Bettor's Delight miss owned by W J Donovan and trained by Paul Kelley, she's now 7-for-11 this season (unraced at 2). The exacta paid $90.50, the triple returned $285.50 and the supefecta (Just Add Vodka [Morrill Jr.]) paid $974.
"She showed she can leave the gate, and I was able to get her out of there,” Sears said. "Out of the last turn, I could see George (Brennan, driving Carlota Blue Chip) having to get after his filly, so I figured it was time to go. "
New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, $201,600 Mike Cohen Trot (2-year-old fillies). Thursday night, it's the $200,900 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings).
The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon. (Yonkers)
simulcasting available daily.