Summertime Lea a busy filly, wins NYSS in 1:53
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Summertime Lea ($2.30) was seriously tested in the $41,579 first division of the Sire Stakes but prevailed by a half-length over a stubborn Winbak Heavenly in 1:53 over the fast track.
Winbak Heavenly played hard ball with Summertime Lea to quarter-pole before the winner arrived there in :27. "I knew they (Winbak Heavenly and Jim Marohn Jr.) weren't going to let me go in one step;" Morrill said of the first quarter tussle. From there, Summertime Lea set the fractions of :56.1, 1:25 and came home in :28 to hold off the late threat from Winbak Heavenly. JK Black Beauty (Greg Merton) finished in third.
It was the 14th win in 18 starts for Summertime Lea (Lislea-Donna Summer) and now has earned $168,651 this season and $463,504 lifetime. North America's leading trainer Ron Burke conditioned the winner.
In the third division worth $41,879, Springforth (Artiscape-Spring Morning) went wire-to-wire for driver Ray Fisher Jr.in a lifetime best of 1:53.2 and easily held off the challenges of runner-up Bettor Think Twice (Cat Manzi) and Happy Apples (Jim Marohn Jr.).
Springforth, trained by Melissa Beckwith, set sail from the two hole and posted fractions of 27.3, 57.2 and 1:25.1 to score her seventh win of the season in 14 starts. It also increased her season winnings to $116,192.
In the $12,700 Excelsior Series for the 3-year-old filly pacers, Trevor's Bebe ($2.80) and John Cummings Jr. won the first division in 1:54.4, Bettor Buns ($3.00) and Jim Morrill Jr. won the second leg in 1:57.3 and Know It All ($19.80) and John Stark Jr. won the final leg in 1:53.4. (Batavia)