Michigan Sires Stakes set for Tuesday at Northville
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Over $230,000 in purses will be on the line in an eight-race Michigan Sires Stakes program to be held Tuesday afternoon at Northville Downs, and all four 2018 freshman champions will look to defend their crowns as sophomores.
After posting an impressive 1:58.2 win in last year's Sires Stakes final and accumulating nine other victories as a freshman, Matty's Legacy remains the likely kingpin in the $29,210 Sires Stakes event for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, carded as the finale on the eight-race program. Rick Dobson drove the gelded son of Keystone Rodeo to victories at Big Rapids and Fowlerville this season for owner-trainer Monica Krist, and is listed to drive the 12-time winner again after a 2:00 showing at Northville last week. Bilbo Bobbins (Michael DeRuntz) is the only other entrant in the five-horse field to have won this year, having posted a 2:08.1 mile at Paulding, Ohio.
Kwantum Key heads a field of eight in the $29,960 3-year-old filly pace (race five). Last summer, the daughter of Manhardt capped an eight-win campaign with victory in the Michigan Sire Stakes final in 1:56.3, her fastest to date. Brad Kramer will handle the 10-time winner for trainer-breeder Kelly Goodwin, who shares ownership with Crystal Terrell. Among those looking to deny Kwantum Key a second Sire Stakes title are Nox (Carl Putnam Jr.), who narrowly missed Kwantum Key in their last two fair meetings; Play For Keeps (Rick Dobson), who looks to build on a 1:59.1 mark taken at Northville earlier this season; and Lady Medusa (Larry Lee Smith), a 1:56 winner at Harrah's Hoosier Park.
Miss Bluestone, an 11 1/2-length winner in last year's Sires Stakes final, leads a compact field of four in the 3-year-old filly trot (race six), which carries a $28,960 purse. Scott Altizer owns, trains and will drive the daughter of Bluestone who won five races as a freshman and took a mark of 2:03 in her lone win this season, a pari-mutuel event at Northville Downs in May. You Go Girlygirl (Putnam), a six-time winner who took her 2:06.1 mark at Fowlerville, poses the biggest threat.
The $29,460 event for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings (race seven) will see Gemini Eddie try to defend his title against five rivals. After winning seven of 13 races at two, including the Sire Stakes final in 2:02.4, the Southwind Russet gelding has earned three wins to date this year and was clocked in 1:56 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in June. Art McIlmurray is slated to drive for ECS Racing LLC and trainer Kevin St. Charles.
In the 2-year-old filly pace (race one), which goes for $29,710, Vicious Circle will seek her fourth career win over three rivals. The daughter of Manhardt and Vivacious Raider carries a three-race winning streak into her richest race to date, having taken a 2:01 mark at Hastings before registering wins at Fowlerville and Northville. Usual driver Kramer will be aboard for trainer Kelly Goodwin, who shares ownership with breeder Libby Myers.
The $30,460 Sires Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings (race four) features a field of seven, led by three-time winner Gabe The Babe. Like Vicious Circle, the son of Manhardt and Bad Noble reeled off wins at Hastings, Fowlerville and Northville, claiming his mark of 2:00.2 at the latter. Chuck Taylor will drive the Jeffrey Rowley trainee for owner-breeder Oscar Sievert.
YSS Smash For Cash will look to maintain his dominance among 2-year-old male trotters after winning three of four starts to date. Owner-trainer Scott Altizer will drive the son of Smashed and Cashel in the $29,710 event (race three) against three others, including Suzygottanewheart (John Goodyear), whose 2:09.3 mark at Northville on Aug. 6 gives him the speed badge in the compact field.
Six freshman trotting fillies will contest a $30,210 purse in the remaining event for 2-year-olds (race two), and Come On Loretta is the likely standout after finishing first or second in all four of her career starts. The daughter of Crest and Sher To Be most recently won by 21 1/4 lengths at Northville, taking a mark of 2:07.1 in the act for trainer, driver and breeder Tim Roach.
Post time for the non-wagering program is 1 p.m. (EDT). (MHHA)