Favourites Prevail In NY Sire Stakes

Published: August 25, 2017 10:54 pm EDT

The U-S Open is right around the corner and nearly right down the road. In that spirit, form held serve Friday night (August 25), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $159,000 New York Sire Stakes Jim Meagher Pace for two-year-old colts and geldings.

Three divisions — at $53,000 each — and nary one bit of suspense among ‘em.

Hitman Hill (Brett Miller, $2.20) won the second Sire Stakes grouping in a night’s-fastest 1:54.2. Winning the draw, he retook from longshot My Delight (Jason Bartlett), then continued on his pleased (:28, 57.1, 1:25.2, 1:53.2).

‘Hitman’ opened a couple of lengths turning for home before prevailing by a comfy length-and-a-quarter. My Delight chased around the oval and saved second, with Jersey Jim (Jim Devaux) skimming the cones from last to grab third.

Hitman Hill and driver Brett Miller in Friday's New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers Raceway. (Mike Lizzi)

For Hitman Hill, an American Ideal gelding co-owned by Tom Hill & North Fork Racing and trained by Chris Oakes, he’s won all three of his career tries. The exacta paid $18.20, with the triple returning $88.50.

“He’s one of the nicest colts I’ve ever sat behind,” Miller said.

Friday’s opening statebred event had Paprike Blue Chip (Corey Callahan, $3.90) — the only entrant in the field with a Sire Stakes win this season — get another (:27.4, 57.1, 1:26.3, life-best-matching 1:54.2).

From post position No. 5, he made the lead, put away a first-up Rolling Sea (Brian Sears), then easily held off second-choice Aces In Heaven (George Brennan).

The final margin was two and three-quarter lengths, with Rootin Tootin (Mark MacDonald) a best-of-the-rest third.

For ‘Paprike,’ a Roll With Joe gelding, trained by John Butenschoen for co-owners Harmony Oaks & Crawford Racing and VIP Internet Stable, the win was his third in seven ’17 tries. The exacta paid $6.70, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $14.20.

The final Meagher subsection found Casual Cool (Bartlett, $2.50) with few impediments en route to a fourth NYSS win. From post No. 2, he moved past Topville Olympian (Jim Morrill Jr.), then moved away (:28.1, :58.1, 1:26.4, 1:55).

Casual Cool defeated a two-move effort by Keystone Tenacious (MacDonald) by two and a half lengths, with 105-1 Major Offense (Scott Zeron) picking off the bottom of the ticket.

For Casual Cool, an American Ideal colt owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, he’s now four-for-five this season. The exacta paid $18.60, with the triple returning $301.50.

“He doesn’t seem to care what size track he’s at and he can race either on or off the pace,” Bartlett said. “Just a handy horse.”

The evening’s Sire Stakes honoured the memory of the Raceway’s long-time corporate controller.

Friday night’s $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was also formful, as in Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3.40) in 1:53.2.

Saturday evening’s (August 26) program features three, $40,000 stakes eliminations, two of the 63rd Yonkers Trot and one of the 62nd Messenger Stakes.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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