On Tuesday September 19,hosted it's 8th and final leg of the 2017 Season featuring harness racing 2 year old pacing fillies.
The first Sire Stakes event of the afternoon was a six horse field that competed for a purse of $53,500. Betting favorite KJ's Bekah (Jason Bartlett) made a nasty break in the middle of the first turn and went to his knees. Jim Morrill Jr. took advantage of the miscue with the improving Wisdom Tree (PP2) and reeled off fractions of 28.2, 58.2, 1:27.4 tripping the beam in 1:55.2 to score a no nonsense win by 2 lengths, over longshot Sand Artist (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Mink Pink (Matt Kakaley). Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar – Wisdom) filly is trained by Ed Hart, and is owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher, in the process she scored her first pari mutual win and returned $6.50 to the faithful.
In typical Jim Morrill Jr. fashion, he sent the 4/5 favorite Alexis Faith from the rail, down the road and played catch me if you can in the final Sire Stakes ($54,500) of the afternoon and led the field to the first stanza in a brisk 27 and continued to show the way to the half in 56.1, down the backside former regular top Monticello driver Jim Marohn Jr. had Azreal As It Gets in perfect striking position and came first over. Alexis Faith was still on top as the field sped to the ¾ in 1:25.2, at this point it looked like the track record of 1:55 was in serious jeopardy as Marohn Jr and Azreal As It Gets continued to grind down pace setter Alexis Faith who tired late in the lane to prevail in 1:55.2 by a slim margin, the win was 2/5's off the track record of 1:55 set by Planet Rock last year. Hurrikane Shorty (Jason Bartlett) redeemed herself after being off her grain in a dull performace last week, finished a game 2nd, pacesetter Alexis Faith was third. The win was Azreal As It Gets second consecutive win after her win last week at Batavia Downs for trainer Jake Huff. The So Surreal – Vanite Semalu filly is owned by Our Horse Cents Stable and Stable 45.
Jim Morrill had 3 wins on the afternoon, Bruce Aldrich Jr. took both divisions of Excelsior B's, leaving him just 5 wins shy of career win 7,000. Leading Monticello Raceway driver Jim DeVaux had 1 win on the card, he needs 27 more wins to become a member of the 5,000 club. Breeding shed banter saw both Rock N Roll Heaven and Art Major each has a pair of winners.
Excelsior A – $15,000
Majorette Angie – 1:57.2 – $8.60 – Jim Morrill Jr./ Checkered Past – 1:58 – $6.60 – Jim Morrill Jr.
Jericho Diva – 1:57.3 – Jim DeVaux – $9.30
Excelsior B – $6,500
Heavens Diva -2:00.4 – $2.10 – Bruce Aldrich / With Wings – 1:59.1 – $3.50 – Bruce Aldrich
By: Shawn Wiles