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Stark, Mattison share NYSS wins at Buffalo

June 26, 2011
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There were four $37,043 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon, but only two drivers took home the blankets. John Stark Jr. and Brian Mattison each won two races over a glib track that had some moisture in it due to early morning rains. Brandnewgirlfriend’s 1:59.1 clocking in 2009 is safe for another year.
 
In the first division, trainer-driver Stark put Imageofasweetday (Conway Hall-Sweet Janet) on the lead from post three, and when the big favorite Some Girls (Gates Brunet) got caught with a tough, first-over trip, Imageofasweetday ($21.60) had things her own way en route to her first Sire Stakes win of the season, in 2:01.3.
 
“She’s really good in the turns, which really helped,” Stark said. “Gates horse (Some Girls) seemed to be struggling a bit and through the stretch my horse felt really strong.”
 
Stell R Time (Jordan Stratton) came in second, while Some Girls held on for third. It was the third lifetime win for Imageofasweetday, and her lifetime earnings now stand at $131,172.
 
In the second division, Stark came right back to the winner’s circle with Dance Steps (Credit Winner-Dancing Patricia), who won in 2:02.2 for her first win of the year. Dance Steps ($25.40) made a strong backside brush to get a lead she would never relinquish. Forza Azzuri (Stratton) finished 2 1/2 lengths back in second, while River Of Hope (Keith Kash Jr.) came in third.
 
The third division saw Miss Sue V (Credit Winner-Sunday Yankee) with Brian Mattison in the bike, win in 2:01 for owners the Kelley Racing Stables and William Weaver. It was the second Sire Stakes win in a row for Miss Sue V ($2.50) who won last week at Yonkers.
 
“We had a nice and easy trip,” Mattison said. “She was just on cruise control the whole race.”
 
Second choice in the betting, Epona Blue Chip (Ray Schnittker) finished second, and Dream Ticket (Jack Flanigen) came in third.
 
The final Sire Stakes race was won by Go Go Dancer (Credit Winner-Princess Gladiator), an $18,000 Standardbred Horse Sale purchase, who won in 2:00.2 for trainer Paul Kelley. Mattison cut all the fractions with Go Go Dancer ($2.80), and a sensational, :28.2 last quarter-mile put the winner 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Lotto Winner (John Stark, Jr.) at the wire. In Your Room (Eric Mollor) came in the show spot. (Buffalo)
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