The final preliminary leg of the 2018 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies took pace on Monday afternoon (Aug. 6) at Monticello Raceway.
The first $61,300 Sire Stakes division saw Apothic and Mark MacDonald take the field to the fastest opening quarter of the year, hitting that station in :26.2 after leaving from post three. The duo continued on to the half in :55.2 as the outer flow developed. After setting such a blistering pace, Apothic started to tire up the backstretch, giving way to Solitary as the field passed three-quarters in 1:24.1. As they turned for home, Newsday ranged into contention after enduring a brutal outside trip and Better Than Happy took advantage of the passing lane after enjoying a perfect two-hole trip. That pair paced stride for stride down the lane and hit the wire in a dead heat in 1:53.3.
Joe Bongiorno drove Better Than Happy for Joe P Racing LLC and trainer Jenn Bongiorno. Scott Zeron piloted Newsday for trainer Richie Silverman, who co-owns with Mary Kinsey Arnold, Edward McEnery and Michael Gluckman.
In the second $61,300 Sire Stakes division, divisional point leader Wisdom Tree overcame post eight to just miss the track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scott Zeron rushed the Betterthancheddar filly away from the gate, and she made the front just past a :27.4 first quarter. Once on the front end, she controlled fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.4 en route a two-length win in 1:52.4, just a tick shy of the track record. Wisdom Tree, trained by Ed Hart for owners Tom Pollack and Jeff Cullipher, picked up her ninth win of the year.
Bullvillekarla (Jim Marohn Jr.) scored a wire-to-wire win in her Excelsior A heat in 1:55.3. Steve Crevani owns and trains the Bullvillepowerful filly. Psychic Blue Chip (Zeron) overtook the early pacesetters to win her division in 1:55.1, earning her fifth win of the year for trainer Joe Skowyra. Escape Again (Marohn) went wire-to-wire to win her race by a length in 1:54.3 for owner-trainer Troy Thomas.
Lady Orb (Marcus Miller) and Reflexionofroyalty (Kyle DiBenedetto) won their respective Excelsior B events in 1:57.3.
Scott Zeron led all drivers with three wins on the afternoon, while Jim Marohn Jr. recorded a double. (Monticello)