Three-Year-Old Filly Trot
The Leader: Fortunista, a filly by Credit Winner, out of Meadowbranch Mary, by Valley Victory, owned by Gilbert Garcia-Herriera and Barbara and Donald Arnstine, trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herriera.
Defending New York Sire Stakes Final winner Champion For A Dancer got all the headlines early this year, then it was Cowgirl Hall and Win Missy B. But the filly who finished first in the final New York Sire Stakes Standings was Fortunista, who won her division of the last New York Sire Stakes stop at Yonkers Sept. 11 to edge Cowgirl Hall, who was second by a nose to Win Missy B in a track record 1:54.4 in a separate division. Fortunista finished with 262 points, four more than Cowgirl Hall.
They were followed by Kristins Victory (205), For A Dancer (187), Annadamide (183), Lima Playmate (153), Win Missy B (150) and Whimzical Britt (137).
They will face off in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes Final at Yonkers Saturday on the Night of Champions.
To say that Fortunista’s success was surprising would be an understatement. She had lost all 17 of her starts heading into the June 20 New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway, though her race going in was a strong one: a second to For A Dancer in the Empire Breeders’ Classic at Vernon Downs. Fortunista won her New York Sire Stakes division at Buffalo handily, and followed that with victories at Yonkers Raceway, Monticello Raceway, Tioga Downs and Yonkers Raceway again to finish at the head of her division.
Finishing first in the New York Sire Stakes Final will be a challenge. Win Missy B’s gutsy nose victory at Yonkers last week made her four-for-four in the New York Sire Stakes. Previously, she’d finished second by a neck in the Hambletonian Oaks Final.
Her winning time at Yonkers in her last start was incredible. Barbara Goldstein, Kristins Victory, and Fortunista won their divisions in 2:00.3, 1:57.4 and 1:58.2, respectively. But Cowgirl Hall finished just a nose behind Win Missy B, so she figures to be right there, too.