Batavia, NY – Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) and So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl), who are the top two 3-year-old pacing fillies in the Empire State, came to compete in the $111,900 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 28) and both added wins to their resumes.
Zero Tolerance (David Miller) got away third while Hurrikane Norakane (Carl Garofalo) shot to the front and eased the group to a mild :58.1 half. The pace picked up from there as they motored by the five-eighths pole when Sulky Queen (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled with Zero Tolerance on her back.
Morrill got Sulky Queen to the front by the three-quarters while Zero Tolerance remained on the outside in second around the last turn. Heading into the stretch Sulky Queen had a one-length lead but with the whip over his shoulder and the lines firmly in hand, Miller sat chilly while Zero Tolerance blew by to take the lead and win easily in 1:54.2.
“She was comfortable going to the half and when Jimmy (Morrill) came out, she was ready to roll,” said Miller. “She finished strong down the lane; she was real good tonight,”
It was the fifth NYSS win of the year and sixth win overall for the heavily favored Zero Tolerance ($2.10) who now has $382,423 in earnings this year for owners Val D’ Or Farms and Ted Gewertz and Hall of Fame trainer Joe Holloway.
In the first division, So Awesome (Tyler Buter) was a gate to wire winner and put in an impressive mile. Buter guided So Awesome through early quarters of :28.1 and :58 with the field in single file behind her. As they approached the three-quarters Matt Kakaley pulled Fool Me Again from third and made an aggressive brush towards the front.
In the last turn the fillies were pacing side by side until the top of the lane where So Awesome got a slight advantage, but Fool Me Again was not done and charged back in deep stretch under heavy urging from Kakaley. However, So Awesome simply refused to lose and hung on by a neck in 1:55.1.
“We were lucky we won the draw in that race because Matt’s horse was strong and coming down the lane we were right together,” said Buter. “She raced real well and finished strong.”
It was the third win in the last four starts for So Awesome ($3.10) who is owned by William Hartt and trained by Scott Di Domenico.
Both fillies will be back at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) for the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions.
There was one division of the $15,000 Excel “A” series contested on Wednesday that produced the following results.
Topville Angelina (American Ideal-A Fiesty Affair)
Driver – David Miller
Owner – Erv Miller Stable, Michael Anderson and George Golemes
Trainer – Erv Miller
Breeder – Robert Hamather
Time – 1:54
Mutuel – $2.40
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 30) with post time for the first race at 6:00 p.m.