Based on the sheer number of two-year-old trotting colts and geldings that dropped in the box, the New York Sire Stakes program appears to be in excellent condition. Seventy-two colts were entered for Monday’s (July 31) New York Sire Stakes events at Monticello Raceway, and they will contest 11 of the 13 races on Monday's program.
The four heats of Sire Stakes will each race for a purse of $23,750. There are also three $15,000 Excelsior “A” events and four $6,600 Excelsior B divisions. For many of the young pupils, this will be their first start on a half-mile oval.
The Hambletonian-winning combination of Brain Sears and George Ducharme will send forth The Veteran (post 5) in race one. The Muscle Mass colt was handy in his last start at Saratoga, where he scored in 1:59.4 in his pari-mutuel debut.
The fifth race looks to be the dash of the day, featuring Cruising In Style (Muscle Mass–SOS Respect) who will look to keep his four-race win streak intact from post four for trainer Andrew Harris. Funknpancakes earned his first lifetime win last week at The Meadowlands in 1:56.3 in a two-year-old overnight event, trotting home in 27.2. Prior to that, he finished second in a New York Sire Stakes event for Crawford Farms. Ray Schnittker brings Coach Cummings to the fray from the rail. The Goshen-based son of Deweycheatumnhowe has two Goshen wins under his belt and has proven himself on the half-mile track. Troller will look to shed his role as bridesmaid from post two for the always-dangerous Phil Fluet.
The third split of the New York Sire Stakes comes in race eight. The lone trotter with any half-mile track experience is Ronnie Goldstein, who will start from the rail for trainer-driver Kim Crawford. The Muscle Mass–Barbara Goldstein colt will look to improve his lifetime mark of 2:00.1, which he took at Saratoga. Lunar Credit, who finished second two starts ago in Sire Stakes action at Tioga Downs will be driven by Jason Bartlett from post four. The son of Credit Winner and Lunar Dream is owned by Little E, LLC, Geiger, Stolz and Settlemoir. Purpose Blue Chip with the now-healthy Dan Daley will start from the outside in the field of seven; the Chapter Seven colt was second in last start at Tioga Downs.
The final New York Sire Stakes race features the unbeaten Clive Bigsby, a winner of three in a row for trainer George Ducharme. The Muscle Mass–Northern Flare colt is owned by George Ducharme Stable, LLC and Winters Racing Stable. Fourth Dimension, a $200,000 yearling, is looking to extend his win streak after an impressive win at Tioga Downs in 1:55.2. The Chapter Seven offspring is trained by Marcus Melander and will be driven by recent Hall of Fame inductee Brian Sears from post position three.
The four splits of the Excelsior “A” series will race for a purse of $15,000. The recently red-hot Åke Svanstedt, who had a clean sweep recently at Batavia Downs, will showcase On The Ropes in race two. He jogged in his last start by seven lengths to win in 1:56.2 at the Meadowlands. Helpisontheway will find post two more to his liking: last week from post nine at the Meadowlands, he was never a factor for trainer Linda Toscano. A winner in this company Credicone will look for back-to-back victories in the last Excelsior “A” Division. The Credit Winner colt is owned by Purple Haze Stables, LLC.
Post time is 12:50 p.m., and the weatherman is calling for sunny skies with temperatures in the high 70s Fahrenheit (mid 20s Celsius).
The track record for two-year-old trotting colts is 1:58.2, held by Fashion Blizzard, while the record for two-year-old trotting geldings is 1:58.1, set by Allerage Echo in 2015.