The heavily-favored Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom) displayed why everyone from the track handicapper to the bettors heavily endorsed her as she dominated the field in her division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening.
Wisdom Tree (Kevin Cummings) left for the lead but had to work hard for it; getting to the quarter in :27 flat. But once she cleared and settled in, the filly was in total control. Cummings backed the half off considerably before speeding up the proceedings up the backstretch, although no one was close enough to challenge. By the three-quarters Wisdom Tree had opened up a three-length advantage which she held as she cruised around the far turn and down the lane to win in 1:53, which was just one-fifth off the track record.
Cummings said after the race, "That was pretty easy once she got to the front. I backed off the second quarter to :29.1 and it was pretty much over from there. I had to get after her in the third quarter because she was starting to go to sleep on me but around the last turn when I pulled the plugs, she responded well and was looking for horses because she was off by herself for most of the mile."
It was the fourth win in her last five starts and eighth win of 2018 for Wisdom Tree ($2.70) who has now carded $215,785 for the year for owners Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher. Ed Hart trains the winner.
Wisdom Tree was a $28,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select yearling sale and was bred by Winbak Farm.
Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie) put in as impressive an effort in her division, but she did it from behind. Getting away sixth from post seven, Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill Jr.) watched from afar as Hurrikane Shorty (Jim Marohn Jr.) sped away with a loose lead in :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1. At that last station, Morrill was finally able to get his filly off the pylons from sixth and tipped three deep into the last bend. She went from sixth to first during the arc of the turn and sped away to a two-length lead when they straightened out to win in 1:53.4.
"She was very good tonight; she's been good pretty much right along. She threw a clunker in her last start but we came to find out she was sick. So we have her healthy again and she's back. She made a big move three-wide tonight but she did the same thing at Yonkers two starts down, coming home in :27.1. Once she gets moving she's good," said Morrill.
It was the second win of the year for Alexis Faith ($6.60) but first of 2018 in the NYSS. The filly is owned by West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow and Kevin McKinlay and trained by Casie Coleman.
Alexis Faith was purchased at the Lexington Select yearling sale for $55,000 and was bred by Melvin Segal.
The third leg saw Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think) leave from post seven and tuck fourth at the eighth pole while Checkered Past (Morrill) and Solitary (Marohn) argued for the front. But halfway up the backside, driver Mark Macdonald had her out and rolling and took the front by the quarter in :27.2. With the field in single file, Ubettergo Go slowed the pace and forced Apothic (Drew Monti) to advance an outer flow.
The field hit three-quarters in two rows with Ubettergo Go still calling the shots, but Apothic looked live and Checkered Past was ready to strike having gotten the perfect pocket trip to this point. At the head of the lane, Macdonald asked Ubettergo Go and she responded by opening up a two-length lead and hitting the wire in first in 1:53.4.
"She went well. That was a bruising first quarter in :27.2 but she ended up pacing away anyway. She kind of stepped over a little shadow around the last turn there and it took her mind off her work for a minute, but then she just breezed her way home. She's a real nice filly," said Macdonald.
Ubettergo Go ($4.40) is owned by Blake Macintosh, Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas and Ozzie Mackay and is trained by Blake Macintosh.
Ubettergo Go was a $13,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase and was bred by Concord Stud and Birnam Wood Farms.
There were also two $15,000 division of the Excel "A" series on the card.
The first division went to KJ's Justine (American Ideal-Day Blue Chip), winning gate to wire in 1:55.4. KJ's justine ($6.10) was driven Morrill for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Ken Jacobs.
The second division was won by Psychic Blue chip (Art Major-All Spirit) who also led at every station in 1:56. Psychic Blue Chip ($9) was driven by Ray Fisher Jr. for trainer Joseph Skowyra and owners Jeffrey Clark and Vernon Cannon. (Batavia Downs)