Post positions have been drawn for the 24th edition of the New York Night of Champions, hosted by Yonkers Raceway Saturday night. The $1.8 million event, richest night of racing in the state, offers eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Some hot-off-the-overnight-sheet tidbits from each of the races (2-through 9) follow.
Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot (2nd race)—Flyhawk El Durado (Mark Macdonald, post 4) eyes a fourth consecutive (NYSS) win. His dead-heat dance partner of a week ago here, Credit Fashion (Brian Sears), won the draw, while JS Trotting Bob (Jim Morrill Jr., post 2) and Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern, post 8) also figure to be players.
Allerage Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Trot (3rd race)—…and then there's Maude, er, Maud. Maud Blue Chip (Sears, post 6) is 5-for-7 this summer, including winning her last quartet. Like "Maud,” Market Rally (John Cummings Jr., post 5) won her two visits here, at odds of 100-1 and 3-5.
Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace (4th race)—Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore, post 3) has three wins and three seconds in seven tries, her only "misstep” being an interference break. Supplemental Income (Jason Bartlett, post 6), like Sweetnsinful a six-figure performer, did burn money in her latest effort at Batavia.
Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (5th race)—After losing her first nine starts this season, Bouncing Bax (Bartlett, post 4) has rattled off four consecutive wins. Included in those are snappy 1:57-and-change efforts here and at Batavia. Royal Malinda (Dan Daley, post 1) rolled to a sharp Batavia win in her latest, while ultra-consistent Ban Babe (Cummings Jr., post 7) has hit the board in 22-of-25 career starts (a dozen wins).
Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot (6th race)—Crazy About Pat (George Brennan, post 4) has been solid all season, with seven wins and four seconds in 17 tries ($256,492), while the gelding Tirade Hanover (Morrill Jr., post 5)—runner-up in the final a season ago—enters the final with four consecutive victories.
Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace (7th race)—The post position gods have ensured the 7-for-7 He's Watching (Morrill Jr., post 1) shall be the NOC's shortest parimutuel proposition, male division. He's partnered with Major Trick (Brennan listed, post 2), and both Dave Menary-trained frosh were Yonkers winners earlier this month. Of course, the back story of world record-holder He's Watching—in addition to his bargain-basement ($3,000) price and earnings of $179,222 to date—was his nearly-costly Happy Wanderer impression through the lane here in mid-September. All Bets Off, who became the late-summer nemesis of He's Watching, did not qualify for the final.
Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (8th race)—Defending champ Summertime Lea (Morrill Jr., post 5) figures to be the night's shortest fairer-sex investment. Eight wins in nine '13 tries ($241,503) and 16-for-20 lifetime tends to attract some notice. Social Scene (Brennan, post 6) set a track record (1:52) for her age group here in mid-July.
Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace (9th race)—As competitive as any of the finals, with standouts Fool Me Once (Sears, post 5), Bet the Moon (Brennan, post 6) and defending champ Doctor Butch (Morrill Jr., post 8). Fool Me Once, 9-for-13 this season, has earned more than $368,000 in 2013, "Butch” won the Art Rooney Pace here in early June and Bet the Moon has been board-certified in 18-of-26 career efforts.
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 simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. (Yonkers)