As Labor Day represents the end of summer, so do the finals of the New York Sire Stakes County Fair series that were held at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 6). The New York county fair circuit, which kicked off on a brutally hot Sunday in Goshen in July, raced 21 legs at various fair tracks throughout the Empire State.
The 12-race card featured eight County Fair finals, one Racing Under Saddle event and three overnight events.
Two-year-old pacing colts were first out of the box, and TOK scored a wire-to-wire win in 1:59.1, a new lifetime mark. The son of Roll With Joe and Crystal De Vie is trained by Judith Blaun for owner John Sixt. For driver Kevin Cummings, it was his first of three winning drives on the afternoon.
Good Luck Ginny (Lucky Chucky–Classical Ginny) cut an evenly-rated mile to score in 2:00.1 for driver Jim Devaux in the 3-year-old trotting filly dash. The 1-9 favorite earned her eighth win of the season. She is trained by co-owner David Dewhurst and longtime owner and patron of the New York Sire Stakes program, Philip Hale.
Jim Devaux scored his second County Fair final win with Royal Bahama in the 3-year-old colt trot. Devaux made his move at the three-quarter pole and opened daylight on the rest of the field to draw off and win by 12 lengths in 2:01.1, giving Royal Bahama her fifth win of the year. The daughter of RC Royalty and Becca J gave Dewhurst and Hale a second win on the program.
The sixth race featured 2-year-old trotting fillies. Behati left strongly and was on top of the field by eight lengths at the quarter in :29.4. Her lead diminished slightly as she reached the half in 1:01.2 and had five on the field. Down the backstretch Behati began to tire badly and Golden Gypsy became the new leader. As the field reached the paddock turn, a tired Behati caused a traffic jam and pileup, which affected six horses and caused three to not be able to finish. Behati fell on the track unseating driver Kyle DiBenedetto, who walked away unscathed. Meanwhile, Golden Gypsy walked home to win by 18 lengths in 2:07.2 for owner-trainer-driver Gary Clark. The daughter of Ulay Boko and Uffra Girl earned her seventh win of the season.
In the 2-year-old pacing filly final, 9-5 favorite Lily Hammer and Kevin Cummings used the front end to their advantage and coasted to an easy nine-length win in 1:59.2. The daughter of So Surreal and Jens Underdog picked up a new lifetime record for her fifth win of the season for owners North Creek Racing LLC and trainer Gerry Sarama.
In the 3-year-old colt pace, Precious Blue Chip was on top of the field early while Super Roll took the overland route. At the three-quarter pole Super Roll was three-wide, and he continued to grind it out to overtake pacesetter Precious Blue Chip in 1:59.1. The good-looking son of Roll with Joe and Calista is owned by Jerry Hoffman and trainer-driver David Byer.
The 3-year-old pacing filly class was won by Heavens Diva. Her win gave Kevin Cummings a driving triple on the afternoon along with doubles for trainer Judith Blaun and owner John Sixt. The Rock N Roll Heaven lass scored in 1:58 and paid $2.80.
The last County Fair final, for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, saw Hereyago lead from start to finish for owner-trainer-driver Robert Wittcop to score in 2:03.2. The impressive-looking son of Muscle Mass and End Of Innocence earned a new lifetime record in the process.
The final leg of New York Sire Stakes will be held on Monday (Sept. 10), when 2-year-old pacing fillies close out the season. A single $108,300 Sire Stakes event post will go to post, as will two $15,000 Excelsior "A" races and a single $6,800 Excelsior "B" race. Post time is 12:50 p.m. (Monticello)