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NYSS Colts Break Batavia Record


Published: September 5, 2009 3:58 pm ET

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As advertised the New York sired three-year-old colt and gelding pacers were expected to put on quite a show, Friday night, September 4 at Batavia Downs, and show they did not only breaking the track record once but in all three divisions.

Getting Personal’s 1:53.2 record for three-year-old male pacers, set in 1993, was clearly on the line with 22 extremely talented sophomores in town to compete for more than $200,000 in New York Sire Stakes money.

It didn’t take long for a new record to be established as it came in the very first race. OK Braveheart, with Jim Morrill, Jr., went right to the front, opened an insurmountable lead at the half and cruised to a 10-1/2 length score in 1:52.2 to break the previous record by a full second. The final time was just two-fifths of a second off Kenneth J’s 1:52 all-age track record.

OK Braveheart (Bettors Delight-Color Me Beachy) scored his ninth win of the season and raised his 2009 bankroll to more than $199,000 for owners David Scharf, Rick Phillps and Chuck Pompey. Former Batavia Downs trainer Chris Oakes is the conditioner. OK Braveheart is currently the points leader for the New York Bred Night of Champions finals to be held at Vernon Downs on September 26.

“He felt so good. I just let him roll,” reinsman Jim Morrill, Jr. said. “If I would have chased after him he might have paced in [1:51] and a piece.”

Morrill also drove Kenneth J to the all-age record last year.

Tim Bojarski, President of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association made a special presentation.

Division two, the slowest of the three divisions, wasn’t slow at all; in fact it was faster than Getting Personal's previous record.

Handsome Harry (Dream Away-Princess Jocelyn), again with Jim Morrill, Jr., brushed to command coming to the half and paced a :28 final stanza to score in 1:53. Mark Ford is the trainer. Ralph Del Priore, Jr. and Harry Doyle are the owners of Handsome Harry, who notched his 12th win of the season. His 2009 earnings now stand at more than $211,000.

The last, but certainly not least, NYSS division came in race nine. This race would be the closest of the three with the unbeaten gelding Go Go Solano (Bettors Delight-Real Excitement) and Aaron Merriman and the very well regarded colt Hypnotic Blue Chip (Art Major-A Traceofmagic) and Jim Morrill, Jr. hooking up around final turn and putting on quite a stretch battle.

Pacing his last quarter in a sizzling :27.2, Hypnotic Blue Chip was able to get up at the wire to prevail by a quarter-length in 1:52.3 over the previously unbeaten Mark Capone-trained gelding. Capone was the trainer of former track record holder Getting Personal.

Hypnotic Blue Chip’s 11th win of 2009 raised his seasonal earnings to more than $360,000 for owners Rachel Frost, Stable 45, Robert Murphy and Mark Harder, who is also the trainer.

“I had to work harder than I thought I would,” Morrill said in the winner’s circle. “I’m a little out of breath, that other horse [Go Go Solano] gave us all we wanted.”

For the second time this season Morrill swept all three NYSS divisions.

Live racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track continues this holiday weekend on Saturday night. Post time is 7:05 p.m. The Downs will present a special matinee racing program on Labour Day with post time set for 1:15 p.m.

(With files from Batavia Downs)

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