Three upsets in four New York Sire Stakes finals for pacers

Yonkers, NY — Huntinthelastdolar was the lone pacer to win a New York Sire Stakes championship as a favorite Saturday (Sept. 9), capturing the $225,000 final for 3-year-old colts and geldings by three-quarters of a length over Thunder Hunter Joe in 1:52 over a surface labeled “good” at MGM Yonkers Raceway. Its A Me Mario finished third.

Huntinthelastdolar cruised to an impressive victory during NY Day of Champions on Saturday. Mike Lizzi Photo.

Huntinthelastdolar (Doug McNair), who was a New York Sire Stakes runner-up last year, scored at odds of 4-5. The remaining $225,000 NYSS pacing champions Saturday were 3-year-old filly Dame (at 17-1), 2-year-old colt Boston Rocks (4-1) and 2-year-old filly Peace Talks (39-1).

In the final for 3-year-old male pacers, Huntinthelastdolar(McNair) went for the lead from post five and cleared Hurrikane Hunter (Yannick Gingras) for the top spot at the quarter-mile point, reached in :27.3. From there, the gelding hit the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.2, all while fending off pressure from Thunder Hunter Joe (Tim Tetrick).

Huntinthelastdolar and Thunder Hunter Joe, who was the 7-5 second choice, continued to battle through the stretch, but Huntinthelastdolar would not be denied the victory.

A son of Huntsville-Eighthunrdolarbill, Huntinthelastdolar is owned by trainer Gregg McNair, George Kerr, and Brad Grant. He was bred by Crawford Farms. He has won six of eight races this season and eight of 17 in his career, earning $457,073.

“He raced great,” Doug McNair said. “Those were pretty good fractions for today. That was a good mile he went; he had a lot of pace at the wire. He’s got high speed and he can carry it, that’s his best quality.”

Huntinthelastdolar paid $3.90 to win and led a $7.10 exacta and a $133.50 trifecta.

In the event for 3-year-old fillies, Dame (Gingras) started from post one, never moved off the pylons the entire mile, and overtook pace-setting favorite Earthwindfire (Jack Pelling) just before the finish line to capture the championship by a head in 1:54.1. Turn On The Charm finished third.

Earthwindfire, sent off at odds of 1-2, left from post seven and was three-wide around the first turn in a battle for the lead with Vivians Dream and Turn On The Charm (Marcus Miller). She was a parked-out first at the quarter, reached in :26.4, and remained on top through fractions of :56.3 and 1:25.2.

Dame was fourth throughout most of the mile but found room inside down the stretch to launch her winning rally for breeder/owner Stephen Richard and trainer Kelly Lancaster-Dailey. The daughter of Dude’s The Man-Seat By The Window, has won two of nine races this season and six of 19 lifetime, good for $351,407 in purses.

“I’m at a loss for words,” Lancaster-Dailey said. “She’s always been a nice filly, maybe a step behind the top bunch, but I think when I took her up to Saratoga (for a conditioned win on Aug. 27) it bravened her up, and Yannick gave her an awesome drive. Turning for home, I thought we were in for third, but when she kicked it in down the stretch, I was so excited. I was cheering like crazy. It’s a very exciting day for us.”

Dame paid $36.20 to win. The exacta was worth $88.50 and the trifecta $294.50.

In the final for 2-year-old male pacers, Boston Rocks (Boston Red Rocks-Scirocco Sarah) was parked out for the opening quarter-mile as he went to the lead from post six, but once there he never wavered on his way to a neck win over Avenger Force (Matt Kakaley) in 1:54.1. Vandiemen Bluechip (George Brennan) finished third in the race, which was contested in a sudden downpour that afterward caused a 25-minute weather delay.

Jason Bartlett drove Boston Rocks to fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:24.3 on the way to victory. The colt rebuffed a first-over challenge from 2-5 favorite Huntingforchrome as they approached three-quarters, then held off Avenger Force’s rally in the stretch.

“That was a huge trip, a big effort,” winning trainer Mike Deters said. “The horse has raced tremendously all summer. He hasn’t gone a bad race. He’s had a couple bumps in the road with trips, but never once put in a bad effort. He’s a really, really good horse.”

Boston Rocks, a son of Boston Red Rocks-Scirocco Sarah, is owned by breeders Peter Blood and Rick Berks. The colt has hit the board in eight of nine races, winning four and earning $303,422.

“He has a tremendous work ethic, and he loves his job,” Deters said. “It’s tough to find a horse that does that, especially a 2-year-old. I’m thankful that Peter Blood and Rick Berks gave me the opportunity and it’s worked out great.”

Boston Rocks paid $10.80 to win and keyed a $128.50 exacta and a $662.00 trifecta.

In the final for rookie female pacers, Peace Talks (American Ideal-Triple V Hanover) and driver David Miller were able to manage a ground-saving trip from post eight before fanning out three-wide off the last turn to light up the tote board at 39-1 with a head victory in 1:55.4 over a sloppy track. So Well Dressed (Brian Sears), the 5-2 favorite, finished second and Camerican (Jordan Stratton) was third.

Peace Talks got away last in the eight-horse field while So Well Dressed went to the front and set fractions of :27.2, :57, and 1:25.3. Miller scooted Peace Talks up the pylons when four horses moved to the outside after the half-mile point and was third at the top of the stretch, setting up her winning sprint home.

“I got away last, everybody pulls, I shoot the rail, and around the last turn the outer flow just died off,” Miller said. “I was like, look at this. I moved her over at the head of the lane and she wins. That was great. That was pretty cool.”

A daughter of American Ideal-Triple V Hanover, Peace Talks is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Henderson Farms, Jeff Bell, FAC Racing, and Robert Mondillo. The filly was bred by Donald Robinson, Michael Robinson, Steve Stewart, and James Daut. She has won two of seven races and earned $171,769.

Peace Talks paid $80 to win, the exacta returned $395,50 and the trifecta $2,684.00.

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