The marquee division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) featuring three-year-old pacing colts will be showcased on Monday, June 18 at Monticello Raceway.
Three divisions of Sire Stakes will race for $140,000, split into three heats of $39,200, with two $15,000 heats of the Excelsior A class and one division of the Excelsior B for $6,800.
In the first $39,200 division Real Surreal (PP4) has been installed the 5-2 favourite with Scott Zeron in the bike. The game son of So Surreal has been knocking on the door to the winner’s circle for trainer Mark Steacy. Real Surreal finished second at Tioga Downs last start and a third place at Vernon Downs the prior week. Topville Olympian, who took his lifetime mark of 1:56 at Monticello as a two-year-old, has drawn the rail for trainer David Menary. The son of American Ideal is making his first seasonal start in Sire Stakes company and is seeking his first win of the year. Jordan Stratton will handle the driving chores. Jersey Jim, the winner of the NYSS Final at Yonkers last fall, drew post 6 in the first division. Jim Devaux will drive the son of Artiscape, who has yet to regain his two-year-old form.
The second division features a seven-horse field. The morning line favourite Trump Nation will start from the far outside from post position 7. The son of Betterthancheddar was the winner of $300,000 Rooney Final winner at Yonkers in 1:51.3 and was second in his division of the Reynolds Stake, also at Yonkers. The Chris Oakes trainee is owned by Crawford Farms and Evan Katz of Seaford, NY. Ostro Hanover is a Monticello Raceway pupil for trainer Frank Yanoti. The son of Betterthancheddar will be driven by Jim Taggart, Jr. Already a six-time winner this year, he has picked up cheques in his last two Sire Stake starts. most recently he looked impressive in his third-place finish at Vernon Downs in a blanket finish, pacing his mile in 1:50. Rockapelo (PP5) is moving up in class from the Excelsior A group. He scored an impressive win last start out at Tioga Downs were he jogged in 1:51.4 to win by 5-1/2 lengths. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Enviro Stables.
My Delight, winning at Vernon Downs
My Delight (PP4) and driver Marcus Miller, the newest member of harness racing's 3,000-win club, highlight the final heat. The bay son of Betterthancheddar has won a Sire Stakes event this year at Vernon Downs in 1:49.4, and he is coming off a second-place finish in the same company at Tioga Downs. My Delight sports an impressive tally this year with two wins and three thirds in five starts and $44,895 in 2018 earnings. Rock Lights (Rock N Roll Heaven) will benefit from the post position two and driver Scott Zeron at the helm.
The track record for three-year-old pacing colts is 1:52.1, set by Kenneth J in 2007.
(with files from Monticello)