Pacing Rookies Spar In NYSS

Published: August 24, 2021 10:31 pm EDT

Two-year-old colt and gelding pacers met in three New York Sire Stakes splits on Tuesday evening (Aug. 24) at Yonkers Raceway, and it would be Forrest Blu, Early Action, and Pickup Man Hanover who emerged victorious.

The first $46,166 division was raced as a non-bettor before the pari-mutuel card, and JD went to the front from post 5 and hit the quarter in :27.3 and the half in :57.2. As the field raced towards the 1:25.4 three-quarters, pocket-sitter Forrest Blu went on the attack two-wide, and he was able to clear JD for the top spot early on the last turn. From there, Forrest Blu was able to hold sway over a gaining Flip My Chip to score by half a length in 1:54. JD held on to finish third.

Forrest Blu, a Roll With Joe-Lima Fairest gelding, is trained by John Butenschoen and owned by breeder Crawford Farms in partnership with Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc. and James Crawford IV. This was his fourth victory from seven trips behind the gate, and he has now pocketed $69,508. Tyler Buter drove the winner.

In the second $47,066 section, Bounty Hunter had early command after speeding away from post 5, but 1-9 favourite Early Action moved two-wide from third and brushed to the point after the :29.1 opening quarter went on the board. Bounty Hunter then backed down the half to just :59.2, but he had to pick up the tempo beyond that marker as Blue Collar Man was advancing first-over after vacating the cones from last.

Blue Collar Man was able to sustain his bid to get up into second on the outside, but Early Action quickened and rebuffed him to the 1:26.4 three-quarters and around the last turn. Coming off the bend, Early Action dispatched Blue Collar Man for good, and went on to defeat Bounty Hunter by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.3. Te Amo Blue Chip checked in third.

From the first crop of Huntsville, Early Action is trained by Joe Holloway for owners Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Early Action now has three wins and a second from five appearances, has earned $49,408, and paid $2.10 to win. The exacta was worth $7.20 and the trifecta kicked back $26.00 Early Action, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, was a $60,000 Standardbred Horse Sale purchase and is the first foal out of the Village Jolt mare Fashion Katie (1:52.1, $194,333). Jason Bartlett sat in the bike.

The final $47,066 flight saw Greg The Leg charge away from the pole position. But going to the :28.3 quarter, George Brennan pulled out of the two-hole with a headstrong KJ Hunter and landed on the engine. KJ Hunter ripped through a half of :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.3, but 3-5 favorite Stretch The Line was making a big first-over move and looked poised to challenge on the last turn.

Disaster struck for Stretch The Line, though, as he put in a step on the bend and then rolled into a break, leaving KJ Hunter back on a clear lead. Meanwhile, Stretch The Line’s miscue left Pickup Man Hanover, who had been second-over but gapped, two-wide and trying to get into contention, with Seven Hundred following him.

In the lane KJ Hunter still had something left and tried to hold off the closers, but Pickup Man Hanover was able to collar and overtake him in mid-stretch. Pickup Man Hanover still had work to do, though, as Seven Hundred was rallying on the outside and Pleaseletmeknow had room on the cones. Neither one of them could reach Pickup Man Hanover, however, as he hit the wire a nose in front of Seven Hundred in a 1:54.4 mile, with Pleaseletmeknow third.

Monica Krist trains Pickup Man Hanover, a gelded son of Huntsville-Pilgrims Witchie, for owners Dennis and Simone Noud. Pickup Man Hanover, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and is a brother to Photobombr Hanover (1:49, $402,722), sold for $22,000 at the 2020 Standardbred Horse Sale, and he has now compiled a 3-3-0 record from six tries and put $76,495 in the bank. He returned $7.60 to win as the 5-2 second choice and was atop a $57.00 exacta and a $131.50 trifecta. Billy Dobson drove the winner.

Power Blu, a Heston Blue Chip-Power Again gelding bred by Winbak Farm, won the first of two $15,000 New York Excelsior “A” Series tests in 1:56 for driver Jordan Stratton, trainer Sam Schillaci, and owners Schillaci Stables LLC. and Sam Bova Racing LLC. Huntsville-Bettoronthebeach colt Bloodhound, bred by Walnridge Farm, was a 1:56.1 winner of the other Excelsior “A” race for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Claude Huckabone III and owner James Crawford IV.

A single $6,600 New York Excelsior “B” Series contest also took place, with the victory going to KJ Unreal on the front-end in 1:56.1 for driver Greg Merton and trainer Gary Messenger. A So Surreal-Winsmith Molly colt, KJ Unreal is a homebred for Brenda Messenger, Scott Woogen, and Philip Shapiro.

This concluded Yonkers Raceway’s regular season schedule for the New York Sire Stakes circuit, but the oval will play host to the eight championships for two-year-olds and three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits on Night of Champions, which is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 10.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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