The majority of the 73 freshman colt and gelding trotters were on their best behavior Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway.
Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes were contested, each offering a purse in excess of $27,000. Also on tap were four Excelsior A races worth $15,000 per dash and three heats of the Excelsior B.
Keystone Cash was the fastest of the Sire Stakes winners, taking the $27,750 second split in a time of 1:59.3.
Pushthebuttonmax took the field of eight to the first quarter in :30.2 and the half in 1:01. Keystone Cash was the first to pull at the half. As the pack headed down the backside the second time, Taker behind Keystone Cash was in control at the three-quarter pole in 1:30 and put a quick three lengths on the rest of the field and held on for the win by two lengths in 1:59.3. Captain Krupnik (Ake Svanstedt) was second and Skyway Kon Man (Trond Smedshammer) finished third.
Keystone Cash is a son of Chapter Seven-Keystone Cola and is owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable.
In the $27,750 first division, Brian Sears with Gimpanzee took control of the fractions after taking the lead past the quarter pole in :31 and continued to take the pack through fractions of 1:01.3 and 1:32.2 on his way to a 3-3/4 length victory in 2:01.4. Leap Year Lucky (Dan Daley) was second, followed by Lights Come On (Scott Zeron).
Gimpanzee is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc. and SRF Stable. The $170,000 purchase at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale is a son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows and notched his first lifetime win.
Race six was the $27,250 third heat of the NYSS. Scott Zeron and Jake G’s Champion looked to score a wire-to-wire win as he was first to the first two beams in :30.2 and 1:01.4. Certify (Claude Hukabone Jr.) was the first to the three-quarters in 1:32.1. Jimmy Marohn Jr., who had been wrangling with JNR Express the entire mile, was full of trot in the paddock turn and continued his attack and overtook Certify by a slim head in 2:01.4. Getting no respect from the betting public JNR Express returned $61.50. The son of Conway Hall-Yankee T L C is trained by Jessica Okusko. Certify held on for second and the early pacesetter Jake G’s Champion finished third.
Down the road was the rule of the day, and Ake Svanstedt did just that with his pupil Cavill Hanover in the $27,750 final NYSS contest. The son of Muscle Mass-CR Calendar Girl scored a well in hand win in 2:02.4 for owners Little E, Vanersol Inc. and Wolfgang A Stable. Our White Knight (Scott Zeron) was second followed by Fashion For Credit (Jason Bartlett) from the eight hole.
In one of the afternoon's more impressive races, Mr Vicktor trotted his middle half in :58.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and won by 15 lengths in his Excelsior A race in 2:00 for trainer and part owner Buzzy Sholty. The son of RC Royalty-Hawaiian Vicky will be looking to shed his Excelsior company and take on all comers next start for Joe Lee and Diamond Pride, who share ownership with Sholty Racing.
Crazy Every Time lit up the toteboard in his Excelsior A heat. The son of Crazed-Bar Ballad was second placed first from the three hole in 2:03.3 and paid $88.00 for win.
Other winners on the card in Excelsior A action were Praying Angel (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 2:02.4 and the Trond Smedshammer trained/driven Bazillionaire in 2:03.1.
Excelsior B winners were Speeding Moose (Dan Daley) in 2:08.1, Frank Hanover (Claude Huckabone Jr.) in 2:07.4 and Charismo (Smedshammer) in 2:07.1. (Monticello)