Shelliscape a NYSS winner at Batavia
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New York Sire Stakes action continued at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 19) with 3-year-old pacing fillies in town to compete in three divisions worth $128,725 in total purse money. The Sunday program also featured three divisions of the Excelsior series, worth more than $12,000 each.
There was a bit of history in the Sunday opener a $42,225 New York Sire Stakes event. The winner was a daughter of Artiscape and his dam, Delinquent Account, held the Batavia Downs track record for sophomore pacing fillies for more than 10 years. On Sunday, Artiscape's daughter Shelliscape did her best Delinquent Account impression, winning in 1:53.1.
The Sunday opener also featured Bettor B Lucky, fresh off an upset score in the $250,000 Empire Breeders Classic, when she won at odds of 18-1 in a lifetime best of 1:50 at Tioga Downs. She looked like the filly to beat on paper and was dispatched as the 1-to-4 betting favorite, but it was Shelliscape ($12.80) who proved to be too tough.
Shelliscape, a Bob McIntosh trainee (he also trained Delinquent Account), was one of four that fired out of the starting gate and with Downs leading driver Shawn Gray in the bike, continued on until they made the point in :28. Once on the lead, Shelliscape strolled to a :59 half-mile fraction.
Passing the three-quarters in 1:25, the race was on as Bettor B Lucky (Jim Morrill Jr.) was up to Shelliscape's wheel. The two talented fillies slugged it out on the turn, but it Shelliscape who was up to the task, scoring her first win of the 2012 campaign for owners Robert McIntosh Stables, CSX Stables and DM Stables LLC. The win vaulted her lifetime earnings to $322,000.
Bettor B Lucky finished second while Eighthunrdolarbill (Brett Miller) was a non-threating third.
Ryder Blue Chip, by Art Major-Casino Miss, got away with some of the slowest early fractions seen this season in the New York Sire Stakes. She scored from post two and settled in second as the field of six was in post-position order, in their $43,025 division, until reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. moved the daughter of Art Major to the front in :29.3.
Still in no hurry coming to the half Morrill and Ryder Blue Chip completed the first lap in just :59.3.
Around the clubhouse turn the pace had noticeably quickened as Zellweger Bluechip (Brett Miller) made the first move and pulled first up. A sizzling third panel of :27.3 was fast enough to stuff Zellweger Bluechip into the two-hole and a :28 flat final kicker sealed the deal for Ryder Blue Chip, who notched a 3-1/2 length win in 1:55.1.
It was Ryder Blue Chip's first win of the season for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Mystical Marker Farms, Louis Willinger, Aaron Waxman and Odds On Racing.
Zellweger Bluechip was second-best by a good margin while Vanity Fairest (Jason Bartlett) was nine lengths back in third.
New York Kitty got the help she needed up front to score her fourth lifetime win in her ninth lifetime start this season, in the final $43,025 NYSS division of the afternoon.
Trainer Casie Coleman called on the services of Brett Miller and it turned out to be a smart move as Miller guided New York Kitty, a daughter of American Ideal-Chesire Kitty, to a last-to-first victory in 1:55.1.
The race set up for a closer when early leader Double Major (Shawn Gray) and favored Ramalama (Jim Morrill Jr.) dueled each other into defeat after hooking up in front of the grandstand the first time around. Double Major was able to save the place over Ramalama.
The win raised New York Kitty's lifetime earnings to $98,540 for owners J. Robert Darrow, Casie Coleman stables and Ron Broadstone.
The New York Sire Stakes races return to Batavia Downs on Saturday night, (Sept. 1) when the 2-year-old pacing fillies will get their turn at the Nation's oldest lighted harness track.