On the racetrack sophomore trotting fillies were featured in three divisions of the $155,000 New York Sire Stakes and five splits of the Excelsior Series trots, each raced for a $12,700 purse. And to go along with the New York Sire Stakes filly trots there were two overnight trots, and despite 10 trotting races on the half-mile track fans wagered $746,943 on the racing card.
By and large the competing fillies were well behaved and as usual some stood out.
|Bouncing Bax (3) turned in the fastest stakes mile of the day at the Mighty M|
The triumph by Bouncing Bax over the odds-on favorite, Long Island Tea, was not only the fastest trip of the day but the daughter of Credit Winner--Bax Machine sparked the biggest payoff of the afternoon card when she returned a $40.80 win mutuel.
In her split, Bouncing Bax got away slowly and after racing along in fourth position some nine lengths off the lead at the three-eighths pole, so driver Howard Parker moved his filly first-up and she continually moved forward and at the top of the lane she was just a head off the pacesetter, Wygant Girl, driven by Cat Manzi.
When they straightened for home Bouncing Bax trotted around Wygant Lady and then held-off a strong late rally by the $135,000 yearling purchase Long Island Tea, driven by Brian Mattison. Wygant Lady faded and finished third.
Trainer Jim Raymer joined Parker for the winner’s circle photograph and was getting ready to hold the filly for a picture when he overheard Parker being asked how come she was so great today?
Parker didn’t have a chance answer because Raymer turned quickly and said, “She was that great last week at Vernon (Downs), too, but I just didn’t drive her right.”
Owned by the Harbor Racing Stable of Houston, Tex. it was the filly’s first win in 10 starts this year and she raised her season’s bankroll to nearly $73,000.
|Proclaiming April went wire-to-wire in her division|
Trainer Trond Smedshammer was in the bike and hustled Proclaiming April to front and they had a two length lead by the first stanza in :29.1. At the half, in :59.2, the favored Lola De Vie and driver Jimmy Morrill Jr. were in third place, some 4-1/2 lengths behind the leader.
Lola De Vie closed to within two lengths of the lead at the head of the stretch but in no way could she reel-in Proclaiming April who led her to the wire for an easy 1-1/2 length victory. Fifty Shades and driver Mark MacDonald took home the show dough.
“She’s been a good filly all year, but last week we had a bad post and she finished back,” Smedshammer said about Proclaiming April who now has banked nearly $150,000 this season. “Post positions make a big difference everywhere but especially on a half-mile track.”
Proclaiming April paid $12.40 to win and is owned by the White Birch Farm.
|Geri Schwarz photos|
|Barn Babe was dominant in her split|
As the field headed into the clubhouse turn the pace began to quicken and Barn Babe had a two length lead as she passed the third stanza in 1:31:4. From there, with a :28.3 final quarter, Barn Babe was home free, by three lengths, in 2:00.2 over Royal Malinda and driver Dan Daley. Bostonz Credit was third for Jeff Gregory.
Afterward Cummings was asked if he was worried going into the race. “I knew she was the best and we got away with an easy front-end trip but she would have handled this field racing from the back, too,” he said.
Now with six wins and three thirds in 11 starts Barn Babe has banked almost $99,000 this year and has lifetime earnings in excess of $245,000.
Owner Steve Pratt joined Cummings in the winner’s circle and he couldn’t resist saying, “Not bad for a $5,000 purchase two years ago at (the) Morrisville (Sale).
Five $12,700 divisions of the Excelsior Series, also for 3-year-old trotting fillies, comprised the undercard and two divisions were won by Gates Brunet.
The veteran horseman scored with Bluish And Crush ($8.00) in 2:01.4 and with Tamasin Hall ($9.80), in 2:00.1.
Brunet, who trucked in from Vernon, N.Y., after his final victory said,” I hated to coming here today because I thought both of my fillies would run since they have been racing on big tracks but I was pleasantly surprised because they stayed at their business and went good miles.”
Other Excelsior winners were Money Show ($4.00), in 2:02, for Jimmy Morrill Jr., Makes Me Crazy ($6.20), in 2:01.2 for Claude Huckabone Jr. and Maggie O ($3.20), in 2:00.4 again for Jimmy Morrill Jr.