A total of 17 freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of New York Sire Stakes divisions which are set for Labour Day Monday at Vernon Downs.
The first division (Race 6) is led by the undefeated Travel Playlist. The Art Major colt ran his record to a perfect three-for-three with a five-length win at Yonkers Raceway in the last leg of the NYSS. Erv Miller trains the $82,000 Harrisburg purchase for longtime owner Ronald Michelon. Marcus Miller will drive Travel Playlist for the first time, but he is no stranger to the 5-2 morning line favourite.
“Erv and I trained him this week with our other sire stakes horse, Redneck Rally, and he always talks about how smart and quick Travel Playlist is, which has been great so far in New York on the smaller tracks,” Marcus explained. “He has a big, good gait, so he should be able to carry his speed, too, on the bigger track at Vernon, but we will see on Monday.”
Among his rivals are the Mark Harder-trained Joe Larry N Curly, who has won three of his last four in the NYSS. His only loss during that stretch was a runner-up finish behind Travel Playlist. The first division also includes the talented Talk Show, who looked sensational winning his first two career starts in July, but has lost three straight, including a last-place finish in his Metro elimination. John Campbell will drive for trainer Steve Elliott.
The second division (Race 8) on the 10-dash program lacks a standout, but offers handicappers several viable win candidates. Locally-based Manny will start for trainer Jessica Okusko, who scored her biggest career win earlier this summer with Dudes The Man when he won the $400,000 Adios at the Meadows. Like Dudes The Man, Manny is owned by M&L of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson. Vernon’s leading driver, Chris Lems, has the driving assignment from Post 8.
Besides the racing, fans will also have a chance to drive home in a 2015 Volkswagon Jetta S in the grand prize drawing of the season-long Horseplay Car Giveaway promotion. For more information, click here.
First-race post time is 1:15 p.m.
(With files from Vernon Downs)