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Frosh colts/geldings in Friday’s NYSS Jim Crawford Pace
Friday, August 24, 2018 - by Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Aug. 24) hosted the $156,000 New York Sire Stakes Jim Crawford Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Three divisions, worth $52,000 each, comprised the event.

Mike Lizzi photo
Major Blake won the opening division in a time of 1:55.

The opening group offered minimal suspense, as 1-5 favorite Major Blake (Jason Bartlett, $2.40) had an open lead virtually from the outset. From post position No. 3, he rolled through intervals of :28.2, :58, 1:26.2 and 1:55. Major Blake disposed of a loosely-pocketed World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) by a couple of lengths, with Chatelroll (Jordan Stratton) a wide and rallying third. Buddy Hill (Dexter Dunn) wound up a first-up fourth.

For Major Blake, an Art Major-Bet Your Life colt co-owned by trainer Sam Schillaci, Howard Berke and Matthew Bencic, it was his third win in four seasonal/NYSS starts. The exacta paid $8.60, the triple returned $27.20 and the superfecta paid $86.50.

The second go-round saw Sheppard Pace winner Hickfromfrenchlick (Ray Schnittker, $5.20) stalk pole-sitting 13-10 favorite Melodie’s Major (Tyler Buter), then make up some distance to get him and get away (:28.2, :56.4, 1:24.2, life-best 1:53.3). From post No 2, Hickfromfrenchlick had to chase from 2-1/4 lengths off the final turn before winning by a half-length. Cup Fan (Marcus Miller) and Covered Bridge (Jordan Stratton) were third and fourth, respectively.

Second choice Hickfromfrenchlick, a son of So Surreal-My Girl's A Star co-owned by his trainer/driver, Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico, is now three-for-four this season. The exacta paid $9.60, the triple returned $29.60 and the superfecta paid $117.50.

The third and final sire stakes get-together was won by polester Artie’s Ideal (Marcus Miller, $14). After stuffing Rock America (catch-driver George Brennan) in behind early, Artie's Ideal rated it well (:28, :58, 1:27, 1:55.1). He put away both a first-up Bicorne Hanover (Kakaley) and a second-over, 4-5 choice Reigning Deo (Stratton). Artie’s Ideal defeated Reigning Deo by 1-1/2 lengths, with Bicorne Hanover third and Jet Rock (Jim Marohn Jr.) recovering from an early break to finish fourth.

For third choice Artie’s Ideal, a son of American Ideal-Midnight Art owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable and trained by Erv Miller, it was his second win in four ’18 tries (two-for-three in statebred ranks). The exacta paid $36, the triple returned $83.50 and the superfecta paid $211.50.

Friday night’s $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by Lispatty (Mark MacDonald, $14.80) in 1:52.2.

Saturday night (Aug. 25), the Raceway offers a pair of $40,000 elimination races for the 63rd Messenger Stakes, second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown.

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