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Heston Blue Chip wins NYSS, now 4-for-4 in '12

June 29, 2012
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New York Sire Stakes once again took over Yonkers Raceway, this time with Friday night's $340,239 Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
 
A trio of consecutive ($113,413) contests, with Lawgiver Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., $19) beginning the parade in a life-best 1:52.2.
 
Away third from post position two, he watched as 8-5 fave Major Bombay (Jason Bartlett)--three wide early--led through fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:24.3. Union Man Hanover (Tim Tetrick) was pocketed. Major Bombay, swatting away longshot pressure from Racing Rocky (Brent Holland), owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane.
 
"Lawgiver" waited for room, then went right by, winning by two lengths. Major Bombay saved second, with "Union Man" third.
 
Lawgiver Hanover, a son of Art Major trained by Mark Harder for co-owners Deena Frost, Rick Phillips and W Springtime Racing, is now 2-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $95.50, with the triple returning $247.50.
 
Forever Just (Tetrick, $7.50) survived an adventurous second-division trip to prevail in a life-best 1:52.4. Four wide at the outset from post five, he was wrangled back as first Bet on the Law (Morrill Jr.), then Gable Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) found the lead. After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and 56-second half, Forever Just was rushing from fourth.
 
However, "Gable" wasn't quite done in and out of the 1:24.1 three-quarters, though he dropped anchor soon after. Forever Just had a length-and-a-quarter lead off the final turn, then held off the pylon-skimming Bet on the Law by a head, with Ideal Romance (George Brennan)--second-up behind the winner--and Screen the Call (Holland) rounding out the exotic finishers.
 
Forever Just, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Fred Wallace and Stake Your Claim Stable, is now 3-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $26.60, the triple returned $111 and the superfecta paid $685.
 
Defending sire stakes champ Heston Blue Chip (Tetrick, $2.30) surprised few in the final division. After a four-wide-early Coral Snake (Brennan) set sail through early intervals of :27.3 and :57.3, the prohibitive favorite—leaving from post three--went by.
 
Coral Snake--who had begun his career with four consecutive wins--eventually broke in the third turn and Heston Blue Chip found a 1:24.4 three-quarters.
 
With only Steelhead Hanover (Morrill Jr.) in earshot, the leader held him off, winning by two lengths in 1:52.4. Third went to Art of Temptation (Larry Stalbaum). Heston Blue Chip, an American Ideal soph trained by Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs, went past a half-million dollars for his now 15-for-17 career (4-for-4 in '12). The exacta paid $5.40, with the triple returning $27.40.
 
The pair of $44,000 Open Handicaps, for trotters and distaff pacers, were won by Fox Valley Iliad (Stalbaum, $3.70) in 1:55.2 and Lightning Treasure (Dan Dube, $3.60) in 1:52.4, respectively, (Yonkers)
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