By Shawn Wiles
The 2017 New York Sire Stakes seasons kicks off on Tuesday July 11 at Monticello Raceway when 3 year old trotting fillies take center stage. Going to the gate are 2 division of Sire Stakes, each split racing for $59,100, 3 heats of the Excelsior A class ($15,000) and 2 heats of the Excelsior B class, going for a purse of $6,800 each.
The first heat of regular Sire Stakes is in race 1, pits the top 2 fillies of the state, Barn Bella and Mamora Bay. Barn Bella who won last year’s NYSS Final will start from the rail, with regular diver Jeff Gregory. The Conway Hall – Bravissima is filly is owned by Steven & Nancy Pratt & Purple Haze Stable and sports a respectable tally of $354,645 in lifetime earnings and a lifetime mark of 1:51.3, taken in the Empire Breeders Classic last month at Tioga Downs. She come into the race with 6 wins in 7 starts this year, her only miscue came Buffalo Raceway when she made a break and opened the door for bridesmaid Mamora Bay. Mamora Bay (PP6) is very familiar with the Monticello oval as she won as a 2 year old in 2:00:1 at the Mighty M oval. The Chapter Seven – Giulie lass has a win and a 2nd in Sire Stakes competition thus far this year. She will be driven by trainer Sam Schillaci for owner Peter F. Barbato of Demarest, NJ. Thus far this year in Sire Stakes competition she had a win last week at Buffalo in 1:59.4 and a 2nd place finish Tioga Downs, with $41,433 earned in 2017 and a mark of 1:57.3. She comes into the race with a solid base under her with 4 qualifiers and 3 stakes events under her belt, she will need to be tight starting from the outside.
Race 8, features the 2nd heat of Sire Stakes with 6 starters. Celebrity Ruth, 5-2 morning line, starting from PP2 looks to be the one to beat, fresh off her 2nd place finish in the Empire Breeders Classic. She has 1 NYSS win this year at Tioga, and finished 2nd in the Lady Suffolk. The Archangel - filly has earned $90,971 thus far this year with a record of 1:53.4 is trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer for owner White Birch Farm. Maewegonow (PP4) trained and driven by the capable Charlie Norris will also be in the hunt, she was 2nd last start at Buffalo behind Maewegonow, and visited the winners circle at Tioga Downs in the same company
On paper Prairie Diamonds (Diamond Goal – Princess Cosette) looks the one the to beat in the first heat of the Excelsior A Class in race 2, fresh off her win at Tioga Downs in 1:56.4 in overnight company, she will start from PP 4 and is 3-1. Cinnamon Prayer (PP7) sports a 4 race win streak coming in to the 3rd race, the Prayer I Am – Cinnamon Caviar filly is trained by the Dennis Laterza, who is always a threat at Monticello and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr and is owned by Roy Dobbins. The last division of the A class, race 6, features local talent Comfort To A Fool (Credit Winner-I Promisenottotell) she is trained longtime Monticello horseman Gary Messenger and co-owned by Messenger in conjunction with Scott Woogen.
Post time for the afternoons Sire Stakes action is at 12:50