Batavia, NY — It will be a homecoming of sorts for Akron, New York native Chris Oakes when he brings two powerful members of his stable to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 4) to compete in a pair of divisions of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for purses totaling $117,400.
In the first $58,700 division (carded as race one) Oakes will start Shake That House (American Ideal-Shake That Junk) as the morning line 6-5 favorite.
Shake That House only has two starts in the NYSS this year and both were wins, but he has also been competing successfully on the Grand Circuit.
After drawing the outside at Mohawk Park in an elimination of the North American Cup, Shake That House got parked for most of the mile and did not qualify for the final. But the resilient colt bounced right back to win his next start which was an elimination of the Max C. Hempt stake at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
After taking the lead past the half, Shake That House led the rest of the mile and won in 1:49, which was a lifetime mark. The following week in the $500,000 final he left from post seven, went right to the front and won handily in 1:49.2.
Then in his most recent start, Shake That House was in a NYSS event at Vernon Downs and sat third to the half before pulling to take the lead before the three-quarter pole. From there he paced away from the field in 1:47.4 which was a new lifetime mark for him and a new track record for 3-year-old pacing colts for Vernon. The time was also just 1/5th off the all-time Vernon track pacing record.
For the year Shake That House has six wins in seven starts and has made $336,400 to date.
Tyler Buter will be in the bike behind Shake That House on Sunday and will start from post five. Shake That House will be coupled in a stable entry with Buddy Hill (Roll With Joe-Lessofit Hanover) for betting purposes.
Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) who finished second and third in that track record mile at Vernon are also in this division starting from post one with Matt Kakaley and post two with Jason Bartlett respectively.
The second $58,700 split (carded as race six) finds another Oakes trainee, American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover), the prohibitive morning line choice at 4-5.
American Mercury has raced exclusively in NYSS races this year and has won four of the six he entered, finishing second and third in the other two.
He took a new lifetime mark at Yonkers in June winning easily in 1:50.3 over the half-mile strip and it set a track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings. The time also tied the all-age seasons mark at the Hilltop.
In his next start at Vernon, American Mercury lowered his personal best again while touring the facility in 1:49.4 and winning by two lengths.
American Mercury has five wins in seven starts this year and has earned $182,493 as a result.
Tyler Buter gets the call on American Mercury as well and gets post two off the gate.
Magic Joe Lindy (American Ideal-Lindy's Bandita) who finished third to American Mercury in that sub-1:50 mile at Vernon should be his main competitor here and starts from post five with Drew Monti up.
There are also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series carded in races four and seven. Post time for the first race Sunday is 1:15 p.m.