Yonkers, NY --- He's Watching became He's Wandering Monday night (Sept. 16) and it nearly cost him the title of He's Perfect.
He's Watching, despite bearing out noticeably through the lane, did stick his tongue out at the right time, just winning his division of Yonkers Raceway's $233,087 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
|Mike Lizzi photo|
|He's Watching was a narrow winner in the NYSS on Monday at Yonkers.|
Leaving from post position No. 5 as the 1-4 favorite in the $78,629 third and final division, He's Watching and driver Jim Morrill, Jr. used the same MO as their previous local visit.
Easing from the gate, He's Watching then moved past second choice All Bets Off (George Brennan) just after a :28 opening quarter-mile. A pair of :28.2 quarters (:56.2, 1:24.4) with no outer flow gave He's Watching a 1-1/2 length lead entering the lane.
However, He's Watching ($2.50) then began an impromptu meet-and-greet with the fans on the apron, maintaining anything but a straight line. All Bets Off had every chance, but missed by a short schnoz in 1:53.3. Hardts Or Bettor (Jordan Stratton), the 101-1 rank outsider, was third, beaten nearly nine lengths.
He's Watching, a world record-holding son of American Ideal-Baberhood co-owned by trainer Dave Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerrero, is now 7-for-7 (all in NYSS) this season ($179,222 and counting for a three-grand yearling). The exacta paid $3.50, with the triple returning $28.
"When I was scoring him down, he was running in a bit," Morrill said, "but in the lane he was running out. I don't know exactly why he did it, but Dave and I are going to talk about it."
Next up is the $1.8 million New York Night of Champions here a week from Saturday (Sept. 28).
Driver and trainer won the previous $77,229 sire stakes division, as pocket-sitting Major Trick ($18.80) picked off 3-5 fave Twin B Speedo (Brian Sears) in 1:55.1. The winner, from post No. 2, stalked through intervals of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:26.4, then won by three-quarters of a length. Thereisapaceforus (catch-driver Mark MacDonald) was third.
Major Trick, a homebred son of Art Major-Tricky owned by Gray, has three wins and a pair of seconds in seven tries this summer. The exacta paid $40.80, with the triple returning $208.50.
Morrill's personal hat trick began with odds-on Big Boy Dreams ($2.90) in the first $77,229 grouping. In tight quarters early and pocketed from post No. 2, Big Boy Dreams eased by Design Guru (Brennan) late. The margin was a half-length in 1:55. Sir Sam's Z Tam (Pat Lachance) was third.
Big Boy Dreams, an If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip colt owned by Dominick Rosato and trained by Tracy Brainard, is now five-for-nine after a third consecutive sire stakes win. The exacta paid $6, with the triple (three wagering favorite in order) returning $17.
New York Sire Stakes continue Thursday and Friday nights, respectively, with the $235,887 Pat Quaglietta Trot (2-year-old fillies) and $227,488 Lew Barasch Trot (2-year-old colts/geldings).