Top Flight Angel's 1:55 leads NYSS at Yonkers
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Yonkers Raceway Thursday night hosted the $169,499 New York Sire Stakes Dick McGuire Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. With state standout Devious Man having contracted a case of Hambletonian tunnel vision, these divisions—worth $55,833, $56,833 and $56,833, respectively—offered a showcase for others among the Empire’s best in show.
The evening’s first event was playtime for the Devious Man’s odds-on stablemate, a fresh-Lasix Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller, $3). From post position 3, he toyed with ‘em (:29.1, :58, 1:26.4, 1:55) en route to a life-best (and night’s-fastest) effort. The final margin was 5¾ lengths, with The Last Chapter (Jordan Stratton) a three-hole second and Zach’s Zoomer (Marcus Miller) a tiring pocket third.
For Top Flight Angel, a son of 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel owned by Legacy Standardbred Farms and trained by Julie Miller, it was his second win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21, with the triple returning $45.20.
"He’s been sort of showing up this season, racing alright. but tonight, the Lasix seemed to help," Mr. Miller (that would be Andy) said.
The Millers (that would be Andy and Julie) were sailing along toward a sire stakes two-fer when Money Macintosh jumped it off with an open (:27.4; :57.2; 1:26.3) lead in the final division. That left the unattended door wide open for 9-5 fave Optimist Blue Chip (Jason Bartlett). Sitting a loose pocket from post 2, he gratefully accepted his ‘inheritance,’ winning by 3½ lengths in 1:55.4. Texican (Trond Smedshammer) was second, with Swell Chap (Stratton) third. Money Macintosh wound up leaving the course and finishing fifth.
For Optimist Blue Chip, a Dewycheatumnhowe gelding trained by Buzzy Sholty for co-owners Blue Chip Bloodstock & Senan Hayes, he’s now 6-for-9 this season. The exacta paid $67.50, with the triple returning $367.
In between those two races was the hard-to-figure portion of the program, with 33-1 rank outsider Another Chapter (Scott Zeron, $68.50) picking off the wagering choices late in the lane. From post 3, Another Chapter worked out a second-over trip, though a gapping one. Such an Angel (Mark MacDonald) led through intervals of :28.4, 58.2 and 1:27, getting badgered by Stick with Me Kid (Brian Sears).
Even-money Eye ofa Tiger AS (Bartlett) was pocketed, but all were powerless to fend off Another Chapter. Finding his best stride late—and with the leaders coming back to him—the bombardier won by a neck in a life-best 1:55.4. ‘Tiger’ was second, with ‘Angel’ third. For Another Chapter, a Chapter Seven colt co-owned by Jeffrey Snyder & Four Friends Racing and trained by Per Henriksen, s was his second win in nine ’17 tries. The exacta paid $373.50.
"He was a lot sounder than the last time I drove him (break in final of Empire Breeders Classic) and the trip worked out," Zeron said.
The evening’s sire stakes event honored the memory of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, former New York Knickerbocker standout—and avid horseplayer—with family and friends making winner’s circle presentations. (Yonkers)