Batavia, NY --- The old saying goes, "you save the best for last." At Batavia Downs this Wednesday night, it will be "the best goes first" as the New York Sires Stakes arrives for the 3-year-old pacing fillies.
And with some of the best 3-year-old pacing fillies racing, it has attracted some of the best drivers from the east coast. The star-studded line-up will include 'The Minister of Speed' George Brennan along with Hall of Famer Cat Manzi, Jim Morrill, Jr., Jeff Gregory, Simon Allard and Jim Marohn, Jr.
Of the three divisions worth around $42,000 each, the first race on the program is definitely loaded. The fans won't want to miss it as the action gets underway at 6:30 p.m. The field only has six fillies but they have combined for more than $1 million in career earnings, led by 4-5 favorite Summertime Lea and Jim Morrill, Jr.
Summertime Lea, who still shares the 2-year-old pacing filly track record at Buffalo Raceway of 1:56.3 set last season, has put up some eye-popping numbers in 2013. A winner of five of eight this season and 13 of 17 lifetime, Summertime Lea (Lislea-Donna Summer) has victories in her sophomore campaign of 1:56.4 at Buffalo Raceway, 1:52.2 at Saratoga Raceway and a lifetime best of 1:50.4 at Vernon Downs on June 22.
Her last start was this past Saturday where she finished sixth in the $350,000 Valley Forge at Pocono Downs. Summertime Lea paced the mile in 1:50, starting out of the eight hole.
She has career earnings of $442,564.
The main threat could come from the rail where Winbak Heavenly and Jim Marohn, Jr. will come in riding a two-race win streak. Winbak Heavenly (3-1) had the benefit of a start over the Batavia Downs surface last Wednesday in the Fillies and Mares Open II where she scored a two length win in 1:55.1. Before that, she took a $75,000 division of the Sire Stakes at Saratoga in 1:53.2. Winbak Heavenly (American Ideal-Heavenly Signal) is a winner six times this season and has $79,373 in the bank.
Also in the rugged field are Brussels Hanover (Brennan), JK Black Beauty (Greg Merton), Sir Lehigh Z Tam (Gregory) and My Shiyen (John Cummings, Jr.). Brussels Hanover has $208,285 in career winnings and JK Black Beauty has $145,136.
The fifth race is the second division of the Sire Stakes and it is led by Cheyenne Miriam and driver Simon Allard. She'll be starting from the rail and has improved tremendously this season. The Bettor's Delight filly out of Alibecca failed to make a dime in two starts in 2012, but this season has bankrolled $164,652 and has a 1:54.4 Sire Stakes victory at Yonkers on July 2.
Social Scene will have Brennan in the sulky and should be the major danger to Cheyenne Miriam. Social Scene has four victories in eight appearances thus far and $118,848 in the bank. She's posted a 1:51.2 win at Tioga Downs and a 1:52 victory at Yonkers on July 2.
The seventh race in the final leg of the Sire Stakes and is the most wide-open affair to say the least. The Ron Burke-trained I Got To Boogie (Morrill) arrives from Mohawk where she has a 1:52.2 win to her credit. She's a Bettor's Delight filly out of Ideal Coast and is the 3-1 morning line favorite from the five spot.
Bettor Think Twice (Cat Manzi) will score from the three post and has two victories in eight attempts. The Bettor's Delight filly should provide the main competition to I Got To Boogie.
There are also three $12,700 Excelsior Series races on the program for the pacing fillies and the usual $8,500 Open Pace for Fillies and Mares as well.
The guaranteed $3,000 Pick-4 starts in the third race and with a outstanding card on tap and the card being broadcast on Time-Warner Cable, Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding counties, the pool should eclipse the minimum.
For more information on North America's oldest lighted harness track, including statistics, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing.