Cummings Brothers Sweep Buffalo NYSS

Published: June 13, 2018 08:28 pm EDT

It was a family affair in the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday night (June 13) at Buffalo Raceway, as the Cummings brothers — Kevin and John — swept both divisions of the series.

Kevin Cummings won the $56,900 opening leg aboard Wisdom Tree ($2.50), who toured the Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:54, while John Cummings Jr. took the $58,000 second event with Checkered Past ($10.80) in gate-to-wire fashion with a 1:54.1 clocking.

Both times were just off the track record of 1:53.3, established in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip.

In the first division, Wisdom Tree looked like she was going to be the leader of the pack, but Pelican Clue Chip and Jim Morrill Jr. decided that they didn't want a pocket journey. Thus, they took over command and put up an opening panel of :28.

"I expected to get a pocket trip," Kevin Cummings said of Wisdom Tree after getting shuffled back to second.

Things remained status quo until just before the three-quarter pole, as Cummings went first-over and easily paced by Pelican Blue Chip, coasting to a 4-1/4 length victory. Betterthangraduate (Johnathan Drury) rolled into the third place position.

"I think I might have surprised Pelican Blue Chip (and Morrill Jr.) when we pulled out when we did," Cummings stated. "I didn't want to sprint to the finish line."

Co-owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher, Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom) is trained by Edward Hart. It was the fifth win in seven tries this year for Wisdom Tree, who has now put $81,950 in the bank in 2018 and $134,244 lifetime.

In the second division, Checkered Past scored from the rail and never looked back in taking a relatively easy decision.

With reasonable fractions of :29, :58 and 1:26, Checkered Past showed the way on the lead with Ms Cheesman (Jimmy Whittemore) giving chase the entire mile.

In the stretch, Checkered Past used a :28.1 last panel to hold off a final surge by Ms Cheesman, who finished half a length behind. Liplock (Nicholas Boyd) rallied late for the show position.

"She was good," Cummings Jr. said of Checkered Past in victory. "I was able to dictate the pace and keep soft fractions."

Owned by All Star Racing Inc. and conditioned by Peter Foley, it was the second win in eight appearances in 2018 for Checkered Past (American Ideal-Character Flaw). The triumph upped her winnings to $50,073 this year and $107,461 in her career.

Buffalo Raceway-based drivers ended up making it a clean sweep in the NYSS and Excelsior races.

In the $15,000 Excelsior A Series, Drew Monti got things started with a $14.60 surprise on Majorette Angie. Ray Fisher Jr. found the winner's circle with Psychic Blue Chip ($4.40) in 1:56 while Kevin Cummings drove Mink Pink ($3.00) to victory in 1:56.

Casies Believer ($5.90) found pay dirt in the lone $6,800 Excelsior B Series bracket as Monti steered her home.

Morrill Jr. finished the evening with a driving triple while Kevin Cummings and Monti had doubles.

Racing will continue on Friday evening (June 15) at 5 p.m. with a nine-race program on tap.

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(Buffalo Raceway)

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