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Pacing Freshmen To Buffalo For NYSS

Published: June 29, 2021 10:02 am ET

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The hopes and dreams of 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers begins in earnest on Wednesday night (June 30) at the Buffalo Raceway as 17 freshmen will collide in three $33,000 (approx.) divisions of the New York Sire Stakes.

Between the 17 entrants, only five have actually had a pari-mutuel start, but two have tasted sweet victory already: KJ Hunter and Blue Collar Man. Otherwise, it's been training, schooling and qualifiers for the untested fellas.

There will be bragging rights on the line as well as Huntsville is the leading sire with five offspring entered, followed by Heston Blue Chip and American Ideal with three apiece.

KJ Hunter (Huntsville-Winsmith Jess) tops the field in the opening division which goes as the first race. He arrives off a 6 3/4-length score in 2:00.4 at Monticello Raceway in his career debut on June 22. Matt Kakaley will steer KJ Hunter from post 4.

The only other with experience is Hurrikane Chuck (Huntsville-All The Buzz) who took a fourth-place finish on June 19 in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at The Meadowlands. Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Jim Morrill, Jr. will guide him out of post 5.

The remainder of the field includes Road Map (Kevin Cummings), Greg The Leg (Mark MacDonald), and Aces Or Bettor (Leon Bailey).

Blue Collar Man (Bolt The Duer-Celebrate) has been nothing short of spectacular as he headlines the field in the second bracket, scheduled as the third race. He cruised to a sparkling 9 1/4-length decision in 1:55.1 at Saratoga Raceway on June 22. Before that, Blue Collar Man turned in a 9 1/4-length victory in 1:56.1 in a qualifier at Vernon Downs on June 4. Dan Daley will steer him from post 3 on the starting grid.

The main competition could come from JMs Rollin (Roll With Joe-Shes Rockin) who had a third-place finish over a "sloppy" track at Monticello on June 22, losing to KJ Hunter by 3 3/4 lengths. Greg Merton will be in the sulky.

The rest of the field will have JD (Mark MacDonald), Howulikemenow Ray (David McNeight III), Takechargebluechip (Morrill Jr.) and Pleaseletmeknow (Kakaley).

The final division is set for the fifth race and Pickup Man Hanover (Huntsville-Pilgrims Witchie) comes to Buffalo Raceway with a solid second-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at the Meadowlands on June 19.

In his lone qualifier on June 8 at Saratoga, Pickup Man romped to an 11 1/4-length win in 1:58.4. Billy Dobson, who has been aboard for both trips, will be in town to drive this upstart.

The rest of the field will be making their initial career starts and include Handsoffmytitos (Kakaley), Jitterbug Flip (Fern Paquet Jr.), El Pistolero (Merton), Crack A Smile (Cummings) and Third Power (Morrill Jr.).

The track records the youngsters will be aiming for include a 1:54.2 mark for the colts set by Melodies Major (Tyler Buter) on June 15, 2018 while the geldings will be firing away at a 1:56.3 time established by Roadside Delight (Jack Flanigen) way back on July 10, 2010.

First post is scheduled for 5 p.m. (EDT) for the 12-race program. There will also be a pair of $15,000 Excelsior Class A races along with a $6,800 Excelsior Class B event.

(Buffalo Raceway)


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