Welcome to New York Sire Stakes

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund website—the official home of the New York Sire Stakes!

The New York Sire Stakes is the state’s premier harness racing program designed to promote the breeding, buying and racing of standardbred horses in New York State. Administered by the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, the New York Sire Stakes is the nation’s oldest harness racing program of its kind.

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Batavia NYSS Advance

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 14:34

Juvenile Pacing Fillies Center Stage

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY – In the sixth of eight New York Sire Stakes visits for 2014, three divisions of first-year female pacers go postward Wednesday night (Aug. 25) in pursuit of $106,901 in purses.

Races one, four and eight will feature the best distaff side-wheelers bred in the state.

The track record of 1:54.4 set by Barefoot Beauty in 2013 has a target on it as many of the entrants will be taking a shot at a faster mile.

In the first race, Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor’s Delight-Sandfly Hanover) is coming off three sharp efforts, and she scored her first lifetime win in 1:55 at Yonkers last week. She hasn’t missed a purse check all year and that has made her the top money winner in the race with $83,718. The Paul Jessop-trained filly will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr.

The royally bred My Little Delight (Bettor’s Delight-My Little Dragon) scored a lifetime mark at Vernon Downs two starts back in 1:52.3 and came up just a head short to Mosquito Blue Chip last week. Mark MacDonald gets the nod from trainer Noel Daley for the third straight week and MacDonald has been on fire in each of his Batavia visits this year.

The outside post in the short field should have no effect on this talented 2-year-old.

Pop the Tags (Bettor’s Delight-Breathe) steps back up to NYSS action after winning three in a row in Excelsior action. She has one start in the top series this year, with disappointing results, but she is in a good spot here to utilize her speed for driver Brent Holland, who was at the lines in her last three efforts for trainer Erv Miller.

The fourth race features the 2-5 favorite Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mango Hanover) from the powerful Ron Burke Stable. After reeling off four consecutive wire-to-wire NYSS wins – including her lifetime mark of 1:52.2 at Vernon – she is second in the point’s standings. She came up just a nose short to Mosquito Blue Chip in her last start at Yonkers.

Her $108,085 in earnings and four victories for the year surpasses her competitor’s combined totals for each category and she looks to add to those numbers tonight.

Jim Morrill Jr., who last sat behind her in a 1:56.3 win at Monticello Raceway on July 4, takes the lines from Yannick Gingras this week.

Devil Child (American Ideal-Kattimon) has yet to win a NYSS race but missed doing so twice this year by a combined total of only one and three-quarters lengths. After scoring an easy win at Vernon in an overnight last week, she may just be brave enough now to track Sassa Hanover from the rail and have the best shot of challenging her in the lane. Jimmy Whittemore is up for trainer Homer Hochstetler.

The third division, the eighth race, has another Ron Burke pupil pegged as the 4-5 morning-line choice. Bettor N Better (Bettor’s Delight-Vanite Semalu) has three wins and two seconds in five lifetime starts, all of which were NYSS events. Her lifetime mark is a 1:55 effort at Saratoga but she just got beat at Vernon in a 1:52.3 clocking over the big track. She seems to thrive on the front end. Tonight, from the rail with Jim Morrill Jr. aboard, she seems to be set up for success.

Our Hot Majorette (Art Major-She’s So Hot) raced off a two-week layoff last week at Yonkers and managed to show well, but to see what this filly is capable of you must look at her effort on July 22, also at Yonkers. She followed the top New York 2-year-old filly Band of Angels, and just missed winning, finishing second, beaten only half a length in 1:54.4, with last quarter in :26.4. If she is able to regain that form in here, the favorite could be beaten. Mike Saftic makes a very rare Batavia Downs appearance on the call from trainer Eric Adams.

There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card going for a total of $38,000. They are programmed as races 7, 9 and 10.

Post time for Batavia Downs Wednesday night races is 6:35

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Yonkers Recap

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 14:32

Barn Doll Stays Atop 2yo Filly Trotters

By Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY – Division leader Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $3.10) did nothing to diminish her standing among the New York Sire Stakes’ 2-year-old filly trotters, winning her $49,150 division of the $197,500 Pat Quiglietta Trot in 1:58.4…by far the night’s fastest. 

Her race was the third of four divisions.

Racing second-up from Post 4, she went up and over a last-turn bolting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald), beating that one by three-quarters of a length. Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a best-of-the-rest third. The effort was just two ticks off the track record (Some Girls, 2010) for this division.

“She’s just a professional and she enjoys what she does,” Gregory said. “Mark’s filly looked like she wanted to go home early, but nothing seems to bother (Barn Doll).

For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her sixth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.30, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $12.20.

Driver George Brennan doubled his pleasure in the first two ($49,150 each) Sire Stakes events, with odds-on Pig Hunt ($2.50)  in 2:01 and second choice Counsellor AS ($5.80)  in 2:00.3

The former, a Conway Hall miss, controlled from the pole, defeated pocket-sitting Zanna Blue (Gates Brunet) by three-quarters of a length. Summer Scent (Dan Daley) was third.

For Pig Hunt, co-owned by (trainer) Jennifer and Janice Connor, she’s now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta (two wagering faves in order) paid $8.20, with the triple returning $28.40.

“The best thing about her? She trots,” Brennan said. “I was able to back it down enough (1:31.3 three-quarters) to make sure she had something late.”

Both Barn Doll and Pig Hunt are 2-for-2 locally in NYSS competition.

Counsellor AS, second-up from Post 4, went right by even-money Miss B’ville J (Morrill Jr.), drawing out to win by a couple of lengths. Make it Blue Chip (Ray Schnittker) was third.

Counsellor AS, a Conway Hall homebred miss owned by Acl Stuteri Ab and trained by Annette Lorentzon, scored her third win in eight ’14 tries. The exacta paid $14.40, with the triple returning $30.40.

“She’s learning,” Brennan said.  “I think she’d have won the last time, but I drove her off her feet.”     

The evening’s final ($50,050) Sire Stakes event went to down-the-road favorite Concentration (Sears, $4.30)—from Post 4--in 1:59.3. The margin was a length-and-three-quarters over, Duolectra (Brennan), who skimmed cones to grab second at 28-1. Shaqline (Jimmy Takter) was third.

Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, is 3-for-7 in her first season. The exacta paid $88.50, with the triple returning $332.50.   

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Championship Season

Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:52

Title Time
Night of Champions Sept. 13 at Yonkers
Excelsior Finals Sept. 20 at Vernon
County Fair Finals Sept. 2 at Monticello

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Open Road for Buen Camino

Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:47

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY – Perfect weather and a lightning-fast track Wednesday night at Batavia Downs provided record-breaking conditions for Buen Camino and trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and the pair did not disappoint: They were never headed in a $55,500 division of the New York Sire Stakes and rewrote history.
In an uncharacteristic move, Smedshammer sent Buen Camino out of the gate and put him right on the point, something the 2-year-old had never done before.  Smedshammer said after the race, “It was time to put him on the front end. He was very good tonight.” And perhaps “very good” was an understatement. After cutting fractions of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.2, Buen Camino pulled away from the pack while motoring in a :28.3 final panel to post a lifetime mark of 1:58, a track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings.
Favored Gabe the Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) got caught second over in a dull outer flow behind Andy Ray (Brent Holland) and followed that one to the top of the last turn before tipping three deep. But by then it was too late as Buen Camino opened up three lengths and was cruising for the wire. Insomniac (Jason Bartlett), who skirted the pylons throughout, was second and Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory) closed well to be third. 
The winner paid $22.40.
This was the second win in four lifetime starts for Buen Camino (Cash Hall-Baby Bella) and it boosted his earnings to $64,722 for owner Wanda Polisseni of the Purple Haze Stable LLC.
After the race, Polisseni said, “He’s been a nice horse since Day One but he's had some bad trips along the way. Trond really likes him and we’re both very optimistic for next year.”
In the other $54,500 division, Tidquist (Conway Hall-Appomattox Lady) captured his first lifetime win in a convincing wire-to-wire, 1:59.4 victory for driver Mike Simons. Shooting quickly off the wings, Tidquist took a powerful four-length lead to the quarter pole where most of the field had trouble keeping up with him. After marking the first three stations in :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1, Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) who had been tracking him second, finally got close and pulled to challenge at the top of the lane. But Tidquist had another idea and turned on the speed to fly home in a sparkling :28.3 final quarter to win by a widening length and a quarter.  Royal Deceptor hung on for second and Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) was third. Overlooked by the bettors, the winner paid $27.60. The win was the first in six lifetime starts for Tidquist. He has earned $33,196 for owners Robert Brooks, Jana Bowen, John Buettner and Charlene Long. Tidquist is trained by Jeffrey Long.
There were also three divisions of the Excelsior Series that went for a total of $38,000.
Abir Hanover (Credit Winner-Are You Ready) captured the first $12,600 division in 2:01.2 for trainer Paul Kelley and driver Jason Bartlett and paid $4.60. Abir Hanover is owned by Kelley, W.J. Donovan and Theodore Gewertz.
Lucky Pablo (Lucky Chuck-Classical Princess) won the second $12,700 split, also in 2:01.2 for trainer/driver John Stark Jr. and paid $24. Lucky Pablo is owned by Edmund Smith, Crawford Farms LLC, James Giannuzzi and David Smith.
And in the third session, Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the $12,700 contest in 2:00.2 for trainer/driver Smedshammer and paid $3.50. Crazshana is owned by the Purple Haze Stable LLC.
Purple Haze Stable sent out three winners on the evening and drivers Trond Smedshammer and Mark MacDonald both had driving triples.


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Batavia Trotters

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:47

Batavia Downs hosts NYSS 2yo Trotters Wednesday

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY – $110,000 is up for grabs in two divisions of New York Sire Stake action for freshmen trotting colts and geldings Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs.

The fourth race has seven horses going postward in the first division for $54,500 in purse money.  

Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) went wire to wire in his career debut at Buffalo Raceway in a sparkling time of 1:59.3, a track record.

That win at Buffalo makes him one of only two horses in this race to be victorious over a half-mile track. He then won at Tioga before finishing third at Yonkers.

After being scratched sick on Aug. 2, driver Michael McGivern elected to race the colt from behind rather than on the point like had all year.

Assuming he needed that start after his 17-day layoff, Royal Deceptor has a great chance to rebound here with his early speed from Post 5 for trainer Cheryl Mc Givern.

Wings of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has been spectacular on bigger tracks this year for trainer George Ducharme, but has had his challenges over the half-mile ovals.

In his last four starts he has set consecutive lifetime marks at Tioga Downs (1:57.4) and Vernon Downs (1:56), but has also made breaks off the gate at Yonkers and Monticello Raceway.

Regular driver Chris Lems will try to make him behave from the rail to get his third victory of the year.

Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) has had just the opposite history. He made breaks at Tioga and Vernon but has a win at Buffalo Raceway in 2:01, a second at Yonkers and a fifth at Monticello after being parked out most of the mile.

Pier Ho Exotic also has won over a half-mile track. John Cummings Jr. will once again be on board from Post 2 for trainer Megan Wilson.

The second $55,500 division is carded as Race 8 and it has eight starters. It also features a battle between the top point’s leaders for this sex and gait.

Gabe the Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) had a flawless performance last week at Monticello Raceway when he went gate-to-wire in 1:58.4. The 4 ¾-length victory was his fourth in six starts and boosted his earnings to $74,119 for the year.

Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker must overcome Post 6 in the full field of eight but his horse has the speed to do it.

Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) has been nearly flawless for trainer Linda Toscano his last four starts, winning three and finishing second, losing by only a half-length. Those victories helped bank $68,169 for the year and leave him tied with Gabe the Bear Dean atop the NYSS leaderboard for 2-year-old trotting colts with 183 points.

Mambo Blue Chip has Jeff Gregory aboard from the rail and that puts him in the perfect spot for his stalking style.

Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Z’s) has a win and two seconds since coming into the Paul Kelley stable on July 19, including a 1:56.4 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs. In his other two starts he was narrowly defeated by today’s favorites, Gabe the Bear Dean at Yonkers in 1:58.3 and Mambo Blue Chip at Monticello in 1:59.3.

Jason Bartlett, who has driven Insomniac for most of the year is aboard again, looking to avenge those defeats.

There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card with total purses amounting to $38,000.

The most closely contested of those is the 10th race where Crashana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) is coming off back-to-back three-length victories and is set to go against Lucky Budd (Lucky Chucky-Britt’s Spirit), who also has back-to-back victories going into tonight.

Both horses scored their wins on the same nights at the same tracks, but raced in different divisions. They also both sport 1:57.3 lifetime marks at Vernon Downs.

Looking to play spoiler is Titanium (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee), who dropped into Excelsior action from the NYSS last week to collar his first win of the year at Monticello in 2:01.2, the same night Crashana and Lucky Budd raced and won.

Facing these two for the first time and drawing inside them, Titanium will look to become the dominant trotter in this series tonight.

Post time for the first race is 6:35

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Crawford Pace at Yonkers

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:45

Gingras’ Hot Streak Continues

By Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY -- As was the case Monday night, driver Yannick Gingras won two of the three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes Tuesday night at Yonkers Raceway.

Tuesday’s feature was the Jim Crawford Pace, for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The total purse was $202,599, with the respective divisions valued at $67,933, $67,933 and $66,933.

In the second division, Gingras went the distance from Post 4 with Cartoon Daddy ($4.90), holding off some unwanted advances from 32-1 proposition American Crossroad (Scott Zeron), winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.4. Berkley (George Brennan), at 78-1, was third, with 51-1 Ultimate G (Eric Carlson) fourth.

Cartoon Daddy’s job was made much easier when 7-10 fave The Spy (Tim Tetrick) broke in the first turn and the division’s points leader coming into the night, Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter), misbehaved while making a second move.

For second choice Cartoon Daddy, a son of Art Major co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Joe DiScala Jr., it was his fourth win in a half-dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $53.50, the triple returned $887 and the superfecta paid $6,937.

“The best thing about him is his gait,” DiScala said. “We wanted a horse who could get around the small tracks, and he’s been very impressive.”

Gingras and Bet You ($2.80) won the final state-bred grouping, moving to the lead (from post No. 2) before the half and closing it out in 1:55.1.  The final margin was a wrapped-up length-and-three-quarters over 25-1 Yippity Hanover (Tetrick), with 42-1 Betting Exchange (Jim Morrill Jr.) third. A breaking K Ryan Bluechip eliminated himself as the second choice.

For Bet You, a son of Bettor’s Delight trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, Jim & John Fielding and Joyce McClelland, he’s now 2-for-5 in ’14, with both wins coming here. The exacta paid $44.40, with the triple returning $390.

“Ideally, you’d like to race these 2-year-olds out of a hole, but the way the races shaped up, I had no choice but to put them on the lead,” Gingras said. “Cartoon Daddy tends to wait on other horses a bit, but he dug in when he had to.”  

            The evening’s first division saw a formful favorite in Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance, $2.60) roll off cover to run his record to four wins in as many starts. From Post 5, he tracked Azorean Art (Larry Stalbaum), then blew past that one to widen out by 2¼ lengths in 1:55.1. Dee’s Rocketman (Brian Sears) was third.

“Masimo,” a Bettor’s Delight colt trained by his driver for co-owners Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber, took over the points lead in this division. The exacta paid $12.60, with the triple returning $66.50.   

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