Monticello Raceway hosted a special July 4 Sires Stakes card Wednesday and although the track’s annual fireworks show is scheduled for Friday, Melodies Major put on a show of his own in the last of eight races on the day in the second division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS), which was worth $54,500.
Major Blake was first away from the gate from post four while Tyler Buter carefully floated the co-favorite Melodies Major, starting from post seven, away from the gate and around the first turn.
Major Blake had no choice but to relinquish the lead as Melodies Major brushed past him and went past on the outside after an opening quarter in :28.2.
Melodies Major paced his second quarter in :29 and steamed his way to the half in :57.2. Major Blake was right on Buters’ helmet the entire mile, the positions remained unchanged as they hit the three-quarters in 1:26.2. Melodies Major, a son of Art Major – Hilarious, unleashed a :28.1 final stanza for an easy win in 1:54.3, eclipsing the former track record of 1:55:2, set by Freedomformysoul in 2014.
Melodies Major, a Mark Ford-trained freshman, is owned by Martin Scharf and now has two Sire Stakes blankets in his tack trunk after two starts with earnings of $53,250. Major Blake held for second followed by JoJo’s Place in third.
The afternoon’s second Sire Stakes ($55,500) event was the fourth race.
Shanghai Bobby left hard from the six-hole, powered his way to the front and got the lead just past the opening quarter. He was followed by Covered Bridge and the pair had lengths on the field as they toured past the halfway mark in :58.3.
Jack Nation followed live cover at the half as Shanghai Bobby was getting leg weary at the three-quarter marker. Jack Nation ranged into contention at the five-eighths pole and at the top of the lane, he had three lengths on the field. He held on for the photo over Covered Bridge (Jim Marohn Jr.) in 1:57.
It was his maiden-breaking victory. The son of American Ideal is trained by Blake Macintosh and was driven by Mark MacDonald.
The card also offered three $15,000 Excelsior A heats.
Crawford Farms and Northfork Racing Stable saw their well-bred $150,000 yearling Cal (American Ideal – Hulas Z Tam) bull his way to a wire-to-wire win in 1:58.2, giving Jason Bartlett his second win on the card. So It Goes (Mike Simons) was second.
Light Wind was extended to the quarter, but made the front and reeled off fractions of :30.2, 1:01, 1:30.4 to win by two in 2:00.1. giving Bartlett his third win of the day. The son of Art Major is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and Howard Taylor and is trained by Gareth Dowse. Scott The Great (James Devaux) was second.
The front-end speed held up for most of the day as Jordan Stratton followed the winning strategy and guided Queenace Blue Chip (Art Major – Blackjack Princess) to the winner’s circle in 1:59 for his maiden win. Queenace Blue Chip is trained by Julie Miller.
In Excelsior B action, It’s Rigged (Jim Marohn Jr.) sat the pocket while Cheyenne Ryan Lee cut the mile by open lengths. It’s Rigged had enough in the tank to overtake the pacesetter and won his heat in 1:58.4 for trainer D.R. Ackerman. The son of Riggins is owned by the Last Hurrah Stable of Pine Bush, N.Y.
The trotting-bred Baby Maker Hanover – who is by Crazed out of a Donato Hanover mare – won his division in 1:59.3 for Bartlett and owners Blue Chip Bloodstock and Seth Rosenberg.
Tom Grossman and Blue Chip Farms enjoyed a banner July 4. Grossman had three winners on the card and his stallions ruled the afternoon as Art Major had four winners and American Ideal had a pair. (Monticello)