by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There are two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers Wednesday night (June 21) at Buffalo Raceway but there's still plenty of talent ready to tangle in the pair of legs worth more than $60,000 each.
Besides looking for a big pay day, they'll be trying to break the track record of 1:53.3 established in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip. The Sire Stakes will go off as the third and fourth events on the 13-race program that begins at 5 p.m.,
The first division looks to be the most competitive on paper. The two main contenders in the race, Clear Ideal and Playing Favorites, drew the seven and eight holes respectively which should really make things interesting.
Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) was tabbed the 3-to-1 morning line favorite with Mark MacDonald scheduled to be in the bike. In her last appearance on June 9 in Sire Stakes action at Vernon Downs, Clear Idea went gate-to-wire in a snappy 1:52,0 in posting the 1-1/4 length victory over Gurl Band K. She's been in the money in all eight of her starts in 2017, amassing $57,851 in earnings.
Playing Favorites arrives on a two-race winning streak in the Sire Stakes.The sophomore pacer won at Saratoga on June 2 in 1:55.1 and followed that up with a 1:52.3 decision at Vernon Downs on June 9. Jason Bartlett is expected to take the reins of Playing Favorites (Roll With With Joe-Odds On Lassomyhrt).
Planet Rock, a winner of $202,511 last season, has yet to get in gear in 2017. But she has found success at Buffalo Raceway in the past by capturing a NYSS race last year as a 2-year-old in 1:58.0.
If her last race is any indication, she may make a return visit to the Buffalo Raceway winner's circle. Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Villa Hanover) finished a hard-charging second just a length behind Playing Favorites on June 9. Scoring from the three post at 7-to-2, Scott Zeron will be aboard.
Major Master Piece has shown some life in her last two tries. picking up a second and third in the Sire Stakes. Drawing the rail, Major Master Piece (Jim Morrill Jr.) sits at 4-to-1 in the morning line.
The remainder of the first division includes Little Hanover (Daniel Dube), Ann Hill (Larry Stalbaum), Pirinea's Princess (Kevin Cummings) and American Cheer (Rick Zeron).
The second division has Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Out On A Clinic) as the 2-to-1 morning line choice. She'll start from the two post with Bartlett in the bike. Obvious Blue Chip has a 1:53.2 victory in the books in Sire Stakes competition at Saratoga but was overwhelmed last time out in a leg of the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Raceway. She has won two out of her last three outings.
Artrageous is the second choice with Stalbaum to guide the Art Major-In Deep Thought filly around the Buffalo Raceway oval. She won a Sire Stakes event at Saratoga and notched a third at Vernon Downs. Drawing the five post, Artrageous has $133,780 in the bank for her career with $102,005 coming last season.
St Helena (American Ideal-Art's Vintage) drew the rail and hopes to take full advantage of it with MacDonald. Trained by Jimmy Takter, St Helena has been in the money in all four of her starts this season including a victory at Yonkers in 1:55.4.
The rest of the field includes OK Jasmine (Morrill Jr.), Studio One (Cummings), World Apart (Scott Zeron) and Gurl Band K (Dube).
There will also be a trio of $15,000 Excelsior A Series races and a $6,600 Excelsior B Series contest.
Horsemen are also reminded of the double draw on Wednesday for the Saturday and Sunday cards. The Sunday program includes New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series races for the 3-year-old filly trotters.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com