HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may be Father’s Day on Sunday afternoon (June 15) but it will be the ladies taking center stage at Buffalo Raceway as the New York State Sires Stakes comes to town with a pair of $59,100 divisions on tap for the 3-year-old trotting fillies.
The day will feature the return of NYSSS 2-year-old trotting champion Market Rally to Western New York along with past Buffalo Raceway regular drivers Jim Morrill Jr, and Jeff Gregory along with trainer Ray Schnittker. The 12-race card gets underway at 1:05 p.m.
Market Rally returns to her home base in 2013. John Yoder and Megan Wilson co-owned Market Rally with Wilson handling the training duties and John Cummings Jr. the driving. But things are different in 2014 as the 3-year-old Cash Hall-Supreme Dish filly is now owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stakes, Weaver Buscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable and trained by Ron Burke.
She was the winner of the $225,000 NYS Sires Stakes final at Yonkers by a neck over Maud Blue Chip on September 28 in 1:59.1. Later in the season, Market Rally finished third in the $500,000 Breeders’ Crown race at Pocono Downs. She finished with earnings of $281,816 in 2013.
She’ll be scoring off the rail in Sunday’s eighth race for Morrill Jr. and will be looking to regain her winning form.
Market Rally, installed as the 3-1 morning line choice, has struggled in her first two appearances thus far in 2014, finishing six and seventh. In the $62,400 Sires Stakes at Vernon Downs on May 17, she set the tempo but tired badly and finished in seventh.
Annies Lite seems to be the top foe for Market Rally. A winner of $147,205 lifetime, she has been in the money in all four of her starts in 2014 with a trio of second place finishes and a third. She’ll start from the five post for Tyler Buter.
Maud Blue Chip leads the first division, scheduled as the fourth race. As mentioned earlier, she lost by a head to Market Rally in the Sire Stakes finale. She bankrolled $232,215 last season and will start from the three post with Buter in the bike. Maud Blue Chip is at 9-2 in the morning line.
Her main rival should be Avalicious (8-5 morning line) who finished in second place in the $217,725 EBC finals at Vernon Downs in her last start on June 8. Avalicious has won two of her first five starts in 2014 and had been in the money two other times, earning $70,173 on the season. She will start from the six position with Doug McNair in the sulky.
With mild temperatures along with a fast half-mile racing oval expected, the track record for the 3-year-old trotting fillies of 1:59.1, set by Brandnewgirlfriend in 2009, could be in serious jeopardy.
Besides the two featured Sires Stakes events, there will be also be a pair of $12,500 Excelsior Class A trotting events for the 3-year-old fillies and two $6,600 Excelsior Class B races.
There will also be three CKG Billings Amateur races sprinkled in among the races.
The Father’s Day card will also feature free sno cones, cotton candy and pony rides.
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go to www.buffaloraceway.com
By Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway