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Dust settles on record NYSS day at Mighty M

August 29, 2007

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If one ever wonders whether video gaming or slot machines are an asset to harness racing just gaze at the overnight  purse schedules at New York racetracks and check out the money being offered in the New York Sire Stakes program as on Monday three divisions for 3-year-old pacing fillies went to post at Monticello Raceway for a total purse in excess of $344,000.
When the dust had settled in the three NYSS splits, a track-record dead heat, an inexpensive filly, and a momma-to-be made the headlines.

The first $115,585 split appeared to be another venue for Tim Rooney’s Lislea Phia  to showcase her talents and add another victory –and a good size purse check—to her  resume. And it started out as figured with Brian Cross sending the daughter of  Lislea to the front in a swift :27 quarter with JK Pure Pearl (Stephane Bouchard) trying to take command which was rebuffed by Lislea Phia.

Once the pressure was off Lislea Phia cruised to the half in :55:2 and was comfortable on the lead at the three quarters in 1:25. When Cross stepped on the gas, Lislea Phia hit another gear and seemed destined to be an easy winner; that is, until she crossed a shadow as she came offf the final turn. The filly made a misstep which after a few more strides turned into a break to the delight of Hanna’s Delight’s driver Jimmy Morrill Jr., who was chasing the leader.

When Lislea Phia went offstride at the top of the lane Albert Hanna’s Hanna’s Delight   took command, that is, until Cross got his filly back on gait and incredibly she made up the lost ground and the two fine distaff pacers came to the wire simultaneously. Upon further review by the judges it was determined that Cross broke no rules—Lilea Phia lost ground while on a break–and her late rally put her on the finish line exactly the same time as Hanna’s Delight. And the 1:54.3 clocking was not only a new dead-heat record at the Mighty M but also a tied the 3-year-old filly track record set last year by Rita J.

In the second  $113,585 division, Southwind Prairie, a $6,500 yearling purchase, not only earned a new lifetime mark of 1:55.3, but her victory pushed her lifetime earnings to nearly $127,000.

Greg Grismore was at the controls and rallied the a daughter of Bettor’s Choice from fourth at the top of the lane to a head victory over the pacesetter Pancleefandarpels, who was driven by Brian Sears much to the delight of owners Karl Schoeffel, Jim Reuther and Roger Romesser, who were all on hand to share the moment.

After Southwind Prairie’s victory a joyous Reuther was asked why she was so inexpensive at the yearling sales? He was quick to reply, “just look at her, she was small and a late foal and  look (pointing to her in the winners circle) she’s still a little filly…but she’s got a big heart.”
A 1:55.2 victory by Daily Laugh  in the third $115,585 NYSS split made owners Skip and Wendy Spring and Shannon Brott nearly ecstatic not only because she earned over $57,800 for her triumph but because they were told earlier this year by a veterinarian in Canada  that their filly would never race again.

“She qualified well last March at Windsor (Raceway)  but one day after being turned out  in  a paddock she somehow shattered her splint bone, so badly that a vet told us she’d never race again,” Skip Spring related. “Terribly dejected we bred her to Art Major and gave her plenty of stall rest. But lo and behold-and no one seems to know how or why--the shattered bones knitted together so we put her back in training. This was her only her third start and we were lucky enough to get Brian Sears to drive her today.”

In her race, Daily Laugh, a daughter of Bettor\'s Delight, was sent off at odds of 13-1 and during the first half of the mile she was in fifth as Symphony In Motion and Grismore cut fractions of :28; :56.4 and 1:26 before Sears moved his filly out to challenge. Third at the three quarters and second at the top of the stretch. Daily Laugh dug in and collared the pacesetter at the finish and scored a 1:55.2 triumph. (Monticello)


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