by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's a sure sign that summer is just around the corner when the New York Sire Stakes gears up for its yearly treks to Buffalo Raceway.
The first of eight visits to Hamburg half mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg will begin on Wednesday evening (June 7) when the hard hitting 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers arrive to battle in three divisions that all carry a purse of $40,600. There are full fields of eight in each leg which will go off as the third, fourth and sixth races on the 13-event program that gets underway at 5 p.m.
Along with the top flight male pacers, some of the big name drivers and trainers in harness racing will be on hand to guide their charges.
The first division will feature In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson). The 3-year-old gelding has been nothing but sensational in his five starts in 2017, winning three times and posting a pair of second place finishes. His top victory thus far was in the $31,600 JP Morel Finals on May 13 at Saratoga Raceway as he cruised to a 5-3/4 length decision in 1:53.1. His seasonal best, however, is a 1:52.4 at Saratoga back on April 29.
Last week, the front-running In A Single Bound (Roll With Joe-Armbro Bianca) crushed the field by four lengths in a conditioned event at Saratoga in 1:53.1. Trained by Monica Krist, In A Single Bound is the 2-1 morning line choice from the four spot.
The main threats should come from Avatar J (Mike Simons) and American Hustle (Larry Stalbaum).
Avatar J (American Ideal-Art's Fantasy) shared a dead-heat victory along with stablemate Brian J in the $23,700 New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on May 25 in 1:52.3. The 3-year-old colt drew the outside post and is 4-1 on the line.
Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, will get behind American Hustle (American Ideal-Artoonist) and start from the five post at 3-1 odds. The 3-year-old colt has been in the money 8-of-9 times thus far including six wins. American Hustle has a seasonal best of 1:51.3 at Pompano Park.
In the second leg, What's Goin On (Roll With Joe-Shipps Xclamation) is the top money earner of all the Sire Stake entrants on Wednesday with $174,127 in the bank. He captured the $171,300 Colt Matron final at Dover Downs last November. and also won a New York Sire Stakes division in 2016 at Buffalo Raceway.The 3-year-old colt has yet to hit the board in 2017 in his two starts. He'll start from the three hole.
American Wiggle (Stephane Bouchard) is the early 3-1 pick and will start from the two spot. He was second in the $31,600 JP Morel Final at Saratoga and has been in the money four times in seven appearances in 2017. American Wiggle (American Ideal-Armbro Beachbaby), with two wins thus far this season, has earned $21,350.
Not to be overlooked is Outkast Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) who arrives in town with a pair of victories and a second in his last three outings. Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Hanover-Armbro Savannah) gets the six post on the starting grid and is sitting at 7-2 odds.
In the final division, Brian J (American Ideal-Regal Wish) didn't race as a 2-year-old but has come out the chute in 2017 like gangbusters. In four starts thus far, the 3-year-old colt has three wins including the dead heat with stablemate Avatar J in Sire Stakes action at Tioga Downs May 25. Drawing the four post, Simons will be in the sulky.
The major danger looks to be the Ron Burke-trained Offdahook Bluechip (Matt Kakaley) who is coming in off an impressive gate-to-wire win in 1:54.0 at Pocono Downs. Offdahook Bluechip (American Ideal-Stefani Blue Chip) drew the seven post and is the second selection at 4-1.
Also on the betting card, there will be $15,000 division of the Excelsior A Series and a $6,700 race in the Excelsior B Series. At 4:30 p.m., there's a non-betting $15,000 leg of the Excelsior A Series.
For more information including the last news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com