Yonkers, NY --- Sophomore fillies invaded Westchester Friday night (Aug. 30), with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $282,975 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace. The event annually honors the memory of the former Executive Secretary of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, whose contributions to the success of the statebred program cannot be measured.
Three divisions -- at $94,325 each -- comprised the coterie.
Pocket-sitter defeated pace-setter in the first division, with Sir Lehigh Z Tam (Pat Lachance) beating 2-5 choice Cheyenne Miriam (Andy Miller) by a head in 1:54.3. Road Bet (Marcus Miller) was third.
Cheyenne Miriam quarter-moved, then put up fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:24.4. She had a 1-1/4 length lead turning for home, but Sir Lehigh Z Tam, in play early from post position No. 4, ducked inside and picked off the favorite.
Second choice Sir Lehigh Z Tam, a daughter of Art Major co-owned by her trainer/driver, M&M Harness Racing and Ira Rosenblum, returned $7.90 (second choice) for her third win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $53.
|Mike Lizzi photo|
|Summertime Lea was a winner in 1:54.3 in her NYSS contest.|
The second event saw frosh sire stakes champ Summertime Lea (Jim Morrill, Jr., $2.10) prevail as the puniest of pari-mutuel propositions. Leaving from post No. 2, Summertime Lea worked around pole-starting Freetime (Andy Miller), then laid down the law through intervals of :27.3, :57, 1:26.1 and 1:54.3.
The final margin was 2-1/4 lengths over Lismore winner JK Black Beauty (Jason Bartlett), with Freetime holding the bottom of the ticket.
Summertime Lea, a daughter of Lislea co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith, is now 7-for-9 this season and 15-for-19 in her career. The exacta paid $8, with the triple returning $36.60.
Friday evening's final Hamilton hoedown was another take-no-prisoners effort, this one by Winbak Heavenly (Jim Marohn, Jr.). Leaving from post No. 3, she stuffed Springforth (Larry Stalbaum) in behind, then set quick quarters of :27 and :55.1.
That's when 2-5 shot Social Scene (George Brennan) came on the scene. However, once she moved from third, it was obvious she was not the age group track record holder of earlier this summer. Social Scene never seriously threatened by the 1:23.4 three-quarters.
Meanwhile, Winbak Heavenly, with a couple of lengths entering the lane, held Springforth at bay by a neck in 1:53.2, matching her life-best effort. Brussels Hanover (Brent Holland) closed from last among the six-pack to grab third. As for Social Scene, she tired badly and finished behind her five foes.
Winbak Heavenly, an American Ideal lass owned by Paul Jensen and trained by Mike Deters, returned $15.40 (third choice) for her seventh win in 15 '13 tries. The exacta paid $76.50, with the triple returning $467.
Friday night's pair of $46,000 Open Handicaps, for trotters and lady pacers, were won by Wishing Stone (Brennan, $2.90) -- he a double-millionaire -- in 1:54.3 and Krispy Apple (Brian Sears, $6.30) -- she a millionairess -- in 1:53. The effort by Wishing Stone, who overcame the eight hole to win by 6-1/4 lengths, was a track record for an older trotting horse.