By Shawn Wiles
Monticello Raceway kicked off its 2017 Sire Stakes season on Tuesday afternoon July 11 with 3 year old trotting fillies on the marque, and saw drivers Jason Bartlett and Trond Smedshammer each have a driving double.
Barn Bella, the leading money winning 3 year old trotting filly in the nation was featured in the first race from the rail and Mamora Bay starting from the 6 hole. As the gate left Barn Bella was content to sit in the 3 hole as Jim Morrill and Heels on Wheels cut the mile through fractions of 29.4, 59.3, at the half Jeff Gregory tipped the 2/5 favorite to the outside and slowly began her overland route, the field passed the ¾ in 1:28.2. At the top of the stretch Mamora was mounting her challenge and ranging into contention, but the diminutive daughter of Conway Hall – Bravissma continued her even speed and held off Heels On Wheels and Mamora Bay to score her 7th win of the year in 1:57.1, LQ 28.2. The win gave Barn Bella in excess of $182,000 on her card thus far in the young 2017 season for owners Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables LLC.
In the 2nd division of Sire Stakes competition, favorite Celebrity Ruth ($2.60) did not disappoint her backers, the Archangel – Celebrity Obsession filly left from post 2 and was never headed, scoring a wire to wire win in 1:57.3, trotting her LQ in 28.4, skipping away by 5 lengths over 2nd place finisher Sevally, who mounted a threat in the last turn, but became rough gaited and lost all momentum. The win gave Celebrity Ruth her second Sire Stakes win of the year for owners White Birch Farm, in 6 starts she has 3 wins and 3 thirds with earnings in excess of $120,000.
The favorite Seventh Heaven ($3.50) scored a wire to wire win for trainer Linda Toscano in 1:57.1, the Chapter Seven - Porque filly is owned by Richard Balog and was driven to victory by Jason Bartlett.
Jason Bartlett scored his 2nd win of the afternoon with Hotel Royale Starting from PP8. The daughter of RC Royalty – Dream Ticket left the gate strongly and found a tuck in the 4 hole, she then came first over at the half to prevail by a head in 2:00.2. She is trained by George Ducharme for owner KJ Stables LLC of Baldwinsville, NY.
Chapter Review ($19.00) (Chapter Seven – Love Me Two) won in 2:00.1 for trainer Paul Kelly and driven by Mark McDonald. The local connection, Comfort To A Fool finished 2nd Gary Messenger/Jim Taggart.
Barn Sis took a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4, the 18-1 longshot who looked sharp warming up, was driven by (P) driver Cole Wimmer, the Credit Winner – Baby Im Bad filly, made a bold move at the 5/8ths pole and grinded out an impressive win over ANJA for winning owners Morrisville College.
Creditover ($6.00) broke her maiden, the Credit Winner – Andover filly she was idling 3rd until the 5/8 marker and then pulled first over to take the lead from pace setter Royal Heiress who finished 2nd, to score in 2:01 for winning owner Purple Haze Stables LLC of Fairport NY. The win gave Trond Smedshammer his 2nd training and driving win of the afternoon.
NYSS 3 year old trotting colts and gelding are next on the Sire Stake calendar on Monday July 17, a total of $543,000 was wagered on today card.