Monticello, NY --- Racing fans won’t have to wait long to see Summertime Lea, arguably the best sophomore pacing filly in the New York Sire Stakes program this season, when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. jumps up behind her in the first race on the strong Monticello Raceway program of Wednesday (Sept. 11).
A total purse of more than $155,000 is split in the divisions with just five fillies in Summertime Lea’s split. The other divisions, each for around $52,000, are carded as races five and eight on the 13-race program and because of just 17 entrants, the luck leans toward the owners as the other two fields have just six in each and nearly all starters that afternoon will get money.
The interesting undercard features four $12,700 splits of 3-year-old pacing fillies in the Excelsior Series.
But Summertime Lea seems to be the cream of this year's filly crop. Already with seven wins in 10 starts this year, the daughter of Lislea-Donna Summer has bankrolled more than $215,000 for her owners, the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Buscemi, Frank Baldachino and Earl Smith. Last year Summeftime Lea won eight of nine starts and amassed purses of more than $294,000. She’ll start from the five hole on Wednesday.
In the second division Sir Lehigh Z Tam gets the oddsmaker’s nod from post two. The daughter of Art Major-Moss Blue Chip, a 1:52.3 winner of more than $109,000 this year, comes into the contest off a 1:54.3 triumph in the NYSS at Tioga Downs and will be driven by Pat Lachance.
However, they may have a tussle from the Robbie Siegelman-trained Cheyenne Miriam, a nine-time winner of $193,000 this year with a 1:53 mark taken at the Big M earlier this year. Monticello native George Brennan will drive the daughter of Bettor's Delight-Ailbecca when they start from post four.
The Melissa Beckwith trained Springforth is the early favorite in the final NYSS split. The meet’s leading driver, Bruce Aldrich, Jr., gets the mount behind the seven-time winner of $139,000 this year. Her best effort was a stunning 1:53.2 mile while winning a NYSS leg at Batavia Downs on Aug. 21.
Arguably the best filly in the four Excelsior legs appears to be Venus Delight, who has 10 wins in 14 starts while never testing any of the NYSS fillies. She’s won most of her Excelsior Series starts and had already bankrolled more than $82,000. She’ll be driven by Jimmy Morrill, Jr. from post five in race six.
The four Excelsior events will be in races two, four, six and 11.
First post will be at 12:50 p.m.