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Courtly Choice rolls in NYSS Armand Palatucci Pace
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - by Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- Courtly Choice made his Yonkers Raceway debut Tuesday night (Aug. 28), toying with his foes in the $173,500 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

 
Mike Lizzi photo
Courtly Choice was a 1:51.1 winner in his NYSS division.

The 1-20 favorite ($2.10), in rein to David Miller, was a two-move, 6-1/2 length winner in 1:51.1 in the $86,750 first division. Away third from post position No. 6, he dusted early (:27, :56.1, 1:23.3) leader Rockapelo (Jason Bartlett) right after the three-quarters, opened a coupled of lengths into the lane, then widened as he pleased. Cheese Melt (George Brennan) won the scrum for second at 78-1, with Rockapelo holding third and Ostro Hanover (Brian Sears) fourth.

Meadowlands Pace champ Courtly Choice, the son of Art Major, has won nine of his dozen seasonal starts ($655,393) for co-owners (as part of Mac and Heim Stables)/trainer Blake MacIntosh, Daniel Plouffe, Hutt Racing and Touch Stone Farms.

The exacta paid $56, the triple paid $183 and the superfecta paid $772.

“He’s a lot of fun,” Miller said.

After this rare sire stakes appearance, MacIntosh said Courtly Choice is Ohio-bound for both the Jug Preview and Little Brown Jug.

Tuesday night’s second (also $86,750) and final grouping saw Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron, $12) prevail from first-over.

Away fourth from post No. 3, Ghost Dancer hooked last season’s statebred champ, Jersey Jim (Jordan Stratton), after that one’s intervals of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2. Jersey Jim, the even-money favorite here, owned a length lead off the final turn, but tired. Ghost Dancer whipped the rival on his back, Twin B Tuffenuff (Brennan), by a half-length in 1:54.1. Jersey Jim salvaged the bottom of the ticket, with Keystone Tenacious (Jim Marohn Jr.) fourth.

Third choice Ghost Dancer, a Millar Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Rick Zeron, is now three-for-11 this season. The exacta paid $165.50, the triple paid $435.50 and the superfecta paid $1,495.

“I couldn’t hold him the last time he was here (late July),” Scott Zeron said. “Tonight, he was much more manageable and when I asked him in the last turn, he went.”

New York Sire Stakes return here Thursday (Sept. 6), with the Mike Cohen Pace (3-year-old fillies, purse TBA).


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