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Hay Goodlooking, whatcha been doin? Winning a NYSS

August 22, 2008

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On Thursday New York-breds were showcased at Monticello Raceway with five $41,110  divisions for 2-year-old pacing colts in the New York Sire Stakes and three $10,700 splits for freshmen trotting colts in the NYSS Late Closer program.

Though all the Sire Stakes winners went notable trips, a pair of victors, Hay Goodlooking and Spacehill, were extremely impressive.

Hay Goodlooking was certainly looking good when Gates Brunet reined the son of Art Major-Monique’s Legacy to a gritty 1:56.4 victory in their $41,110 NYSS division. Not only did the colt pace a swift last half but when he was looked in the eye he dug in and refused to lose.

“How many 2 year olds do you see that pace a :56.3 last half ,” said Brunet with a smile when his colt was blanketed in the winner\'s circle after the victory. “He went a good mile but he’ll be even better on a big track,” he told co-owners Ted Gewertz and Sam Dotro who joined in for the winner\'s circle ceremony.

But  how much more could be asked of the $14,000 yearling purchase than a score his third victory–and one second--in four lifetime starts?

Hay Goodloooking, who competes with a full porous mask, raced on the front end and was comfortable by the half-mile marker in 1:00.1 before Jimmy Morrill Jr. and favored Mr. Express took aim at the leader around the clubhouse turn. They paced side by side to the third stanza in 1:28.4 and as they headed into the final turn Mr. Express had a three-quarter-length lead on Hay Goodlooking.
But as soon as Hay Goodlooking realized he was headed not only did he rally back to take command at the top of the lane, but he kept Mr. Express at bay through the entire homestretch to score a one-length victory.

Asked why Hay Goodlooking let Mr. Express get by him before he dug in, Brunet explained, “As you see, he wears a mask and he didn’t really see the other horse until he went by us and when my colt could see him he dug in and he toughed it right to the end.”

Spacehill’s 1:57 victory was equally as impressive. 

Jason Bartlett had Big Rock Star on the front end and as they approached the halfway point Morrill, who was sitting third in the early going with the betting favorite, finally moved Spacehill to the outside and when he did he took a deep seat and a good hold..

Spacehill passed the leaders like a freight train passes hobos and all Morrill had to do was hold on as the son of Space Shuttle-Matt’s Life poured on a :28.2 third quarter. With Morrill still swinging on him, Spacehill paced the final stanza in :28.3 en route to an 8 1/2-length triumph over Big Rock Star.

Morrill, usually a man of few words, chuckled when he said, “I couldn’t go the last half any slower than 57 seconds; in fact if they paid me a thousand dollars I couldn’t have gone it in :57.1.”

Trained by Erv Miller for Joshua Demon Hill the victory was the fifth in six lifetime starts and the colt’s fifth consecutive.

Other NYSS winners included Where’s Waldo (1:58.2) and Giacometti (1:58.2) and Woodstock Hanover (1:58.2) in the non-wagering division. The latter two reined to victory by Stephane Bouchard.

Woodstock Hanover, a son of  Bettor’s Delight-Western Duel, is trained by Noel Daley for owners David Scharf, Adam Victor & Son Stable and Kenneth Tucci. Eddie Hart conditions Giacometti, a Bettor’s Delight-Patsy’s Art gelding for John Fielding. Where’s Waldo, an altered son of  Bettor’s Delight-Mystical Trick, is trained by Tracy Brainard  and was driven by Danny Cappello Jr.  for  owner Ken Jacobs.

Colts that won their NYSS late-closer splits  included Purple Haze Stables’ Midnight Jamming in 2:05 for Howard Okusko Jr ; Corey Braden reined Alan and Gus Johnston, Ray Van Dreason and  James Kennedy’s Monaghan Man to victory in 2:04.2 and Kellogg Racing Stables and John Stark Jr.’s Grand Way was driven to victory by John Starks, Jr.(2:04.3). (Monticello)

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