BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, July 12, 2017—It’s not exactly chivalrous, but it is ‘Ladies Second’.
After the state’s 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings went at it earlier in the week, Yonkers Raceway hosts Friday night’s (July 14th) $170,499 New York Sire Stakes Art Watson Pace for the divas.
The lasses dealt themselves blackjack, with 21 of ‘em neatly organized into a trio of $56,833 divisions. They go as races 5,6 and 7 during the dozen-race card, with the usual first post of 7:10 PM.
Friday night’s opening sire stakes event highlights the return of Lismore champ Tequila Monday (Brian Sears, post 6). Last season’s ‘put up’ (after a disqualification) NYSS frosh filly champ is 4-for-8 thus far this season ($159,337), including wins in elims for both the Fan Hanover (Mohawk) and James Lynch Memorial (Pocono).
She does enter here off a rare poor effort, backpedaling to eighth (as the 6-5 choice) in the $300,000 final of the Lynch. The daughter of American Ideal is trained by Chris Oakes for co-owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey.
World Apart (Jason Bartlett, post 4) is back with statebreds after winning her division of the Geers at Tioga, while Artrageous (Brett Miller, post 7) owns a NYSS win at Saratoga.
The second Watson event obviously goes through pole-sitting Obvious Blue Chip (Bartlett) as she goes for a third consecutive sire stakes victory. The Roll with Joe lass, co-owned by NLG Racing & Stephen Klunowski and trained by Mark Steacy, has won three of her four ’17 tries.
Playing Favorites (Brett Miller, post 6) can’t be glossed over since she, too, has a pair of NYSS wins. Meanwhile, Planet Rock (Dan Dube, post 7), twice second in sire stakes competition this season, is looking to regain some of her $200,000 frosh form.
Friday night’s statebred finale finds Roaring to Go (Miller, post 3) in essentially the same boat as Planet Rock, as in trying to recapture her youth. The Art Major ma’am, who crossed the line first in last season’s divisional title but was set down (to second) for a pylon violation, is winless in seven starts this season. She chased home Tequila Monday is her lone 2017 NYSS appearance to date.
New York Sire Stakes continue here Tuesday night (July 18th), with the $160,000 Bruce Hamilton Trot for 2-year-old fillies.