Favourites Dominate In New York Sire Stakes

Published: August 23, 2022 10:37 pm EDT

Crown and The Gruffalo were sent off as heavy favourites in the two $78,700 New York Sire Stakes events for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters on Tuesday night at Yonkers Raceway, and both of them would go home with victories.

Driven by Brian Sears in the first division, Crown got away in third from post one but was brought to the outside racing to the :29.1 opening quarter and cleared The Strawboss (Jason Bartlett) for the lead after that marker. From that point, Crown cruised through fractions of :58.4 and 1:28.3 and then used a :29-second last quarter to draw off and win by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:57.3. Crown's entrymate, Onion Gum (Jordan Stratton), finished second after a first-over trip out of fourth in the last quarter, and Seven Over (Tyler Buter) rallied from sixth to third.

A Chapter Seven-Amour Heiress colt, Crown was bred by Order By Stable and is trained by Marcus Melander for owner S R F Stable. Crown, who sold for $250,000 at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, has won all four of his starts, and he has now earned $104,075. He paid $2.20 to win as part of a 1-9 entry.

In the other split, Wild Bill Kelso (Stratton) stepped to the front from post five, but Buter had The Gruffalo out and on the move from third as they raced in the backstretch for the first time, and The Gruffalo overtook Wild Bill Kelso beyond the :29.2 opening quarter. After he had command, The Gruffalo backed down the tempo to :59.1 at the half and 1:29.1 at three-quarters, and a :29.2 kicker got him to the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Wild Bill Kelso in a 1:58.3 effort. Cecil Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) finished third after stalling out from first-over going to three-quarters.

Trainer Mark Harder also co-owns The Gruffalo, a Chapter Seven-Clementine Dream colt who was bred by Concord Stud Farm and bought for $75,000 at the 2021 Standardbred Horse Sale, with partners Racing Team Of America, Deena Frost, and Emma Pettersson. The Gruffalo has compiled a record of 3-1-0 from five appearances, pushed his bankroll to $93,075, and returned $2.90 to win as the 2-5 favourite.

Sears swept the pair of $15,000 New York Excelsior "A" Series tests for rookie trotting males on the card with Kaleun [2:00] and Maximum Express [2:01.1]. Kaleun, by Chapter Seven and bred by Winbak Farm, is also trained by Melander for owner Courant Inc., and Maximum Express, by Credit Winner and bred by Dunroven Stud, is co-owned by trainer Josh Kinney in partnership with James De Armond.

There was also a single, non-wagering $6,400 New York Excelsior "B" Series tilt that occurred, and Makes Me Charlie, by Mets Hall and bred by David Hanson, scored in 2:00.2 for driver Todd Cummings, trainer Tammy Cummings, and owners Margaret and Amy Butler.

Racing at Yonkers will resume on Thursday night (August 25). Yonkers is currently operating on a Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday live schedule with post time at 6:55 p.m.


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