For the first time since its inception in 1990, the annual New York Night of Champions is a plural, as in a two-fer. Saturday night (Sept. 12), the Empire's best 3-year-olds have the marquee, with Yonkers Raceway hosting four, $225,000 sire stakes finals. The NYSS events, each sponsored by a prominent breeding farm, go as races five through eight on the dozen-race card, with the usual first post of 7:10 pm.
Here's a quick primer on the quartet of races.
Fifth Race (Majestic View Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot) – Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, post 6) looks to repeat as divisional champ. This season's points leader has been ultra-consistent, as in 10-for-12 this season ($352,863) and 17-for-21 lifetime. The daughter of Conway Hall, co-owned and trained by Steve Pratt, enters off a blowout win here earlier this month.
Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., post 4) is one a select few who knocked off Barn Doll, enters winning half of her 16 '15 tries ($241,496). Lady Winona (Brian Sears, post 7) is the stronger lass in the Julie Miller-trained entry.
Sixth Race (Cameo Hill Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) – Bettorhaveanother (George Brennan, post 3), Band of Angels (Matt Kakaley, post 8) and defending champ Mosquito Blue Chip (Morrill Jr., post 7) have all enjoyed summer summers, though "Mosquito” did make an uncharacteristic break here in her latest try.
Bedroomconfessions (Sears, post 6) enters as hot as any of these, with three wins in her last four tries.
Seventh Race (Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) – Is there anything Yonkers Trot winner Habitat (Morrill Jr., post 3) can do for an encore? A career millionaire off his open-length win this past Saturday, the son of Conway Hall gets another look at Trot finalists Buen Camino (Driver TBA, post 1) and Workout Wonder (Dan Dube, post 6).
Royal Deceptor (Mickey McGivern, post 5) and Wings of Royalty (Sears, post 7) have both had productive seasons.
Eighth Race (Blue Chips Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) – Artistic Major (Morrill Jr., post 3), the leader in the clubhouse, has some talented foes in Betting Exchange (Jason Bartlett, post 5) and National Seelster (Andy miller, post 7), among others.
The Raceway hosts New York Night of Champions (Part II)—four, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-year-olds--Saturday night. Sept. 26. (Yonkers Raceway)