Lightning struck again at Monticello Raceway. For the second time in less than two weeks a track record not only fell, but was lowered twice on the same race card.
Some of the top three-year-old pacing fillies in the United States were on hand Tuesday, August 28 to compete in three $54,125 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes. When the dashes were completed, the former track mark --- for their age and gait --- of 1:53.3, which was set in 2007 by Omen Hanover, was initially lowered to 1:52.4 by Handsoffmycookie. Then, four races later, Romantic Moment erased that standard when she was victorious in 1:52.3. A third split was won by another top filly, Major Look, in 1:53.3.
Railbirds were treated to the expertise of driver Tim Tetrick, who was on hand to drive Handsoffmycookie. There was little doubt right from the get-go that the Art Major-Observe Me filly would prevail.
Leaving from the three hole, Tetrick took Handsoffmycookie to the front and led the field by the quarter in a solid :27.3 with George Brennan and New York Kitty chasing him in the two-hole. The leaders raced one-two by the half in :56.3, and were still in that order as they paced into the final turn.
From there it was all Handsoffmycookie, who opened up daylight with every stride and finished six lengths ahead of JK Fine Art (driven by Ron Pierce). New York Kitty hung on for the show dough.
Trained by Scott DiDomenico for Jfe Enterprises, Handsoffmycookie returned a $2.40 win mutuel.
The new track record didn’t last long, as Brittany Farms' Romantic Moment circled the double-oval in 1:52.3 for driver Yannick Gingras.
Sent off at 10 cents on the dollar, the daughter of American Ideal-Time N Again took command early and was never challenged as she slipped through fractions of :28, :56.2, and 1:24.4. Romantic Moment poured on a :27.4 final stanza to record a four-length victory over Ramalama (Jim Morrill Jr.) Third place went to Brownsville Bomber in rein to Jason Bartlett.
Trained by Jimmy Takter, Romantic Moment scored her sixth triumph in just nine starts.
In the final $54,125 split, the Kevin McDermott-trained and Jeff Gregory-driven Major Look converted a gritty, first-over trip into a head win in 1:53.3.
Owned by Joseph Balkunas, Mark Giordano and Anthony Pancella, Major Look paid $4.10 for win.
A trio of $12,700 splits in the Excelsior Series, also for sophomore pacing fillies, helped bolster a solid undercard. Winners included Blows Me Away (1:55.4 - Jim Marohn Jr.), Canamerica (1:57 - John Stark Jr.) and Twin B My Way (1:56 - Jim Morrill Jr.).
(With files from Monticello)