Batavia, NY — The New York Sire Stakes will make its final visit to Batavia Downs for 2021 on Wednesday (Aug. 4) and will feature 2-year-old trotting colts competing for a total of $101,700 in purses. There will be a total of 13 going postward in two divisions and trotters from the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano are favored in each.
In the $51,300 first division, Grand Spa has been tabbed the 2-1 favorite by the track handicapper and starts from post two. Grand Spa (E L Titan-Day At The Spa) has raced exclusively in the NYSS this year and has a win and two seconds to show for his efforts. The win was a lifetime mark of 1:57 taken at Vernon Downs where he won by 1-1/2 lengths.
Last week at Tioga over a wet track he made a break off the gate and although he salvaged a second place finish from the rough start, he chased a runaway winner in Cool Papa Bell who was off by 7-1/4 lengths. He’s spotted well in here with the inside draw and looks like the one to beat. Scott Zeron will be aboard Grand Spa once again this week.
Quincy Market (E L Titan-Dance To Market) could possibly be the horse to beat Grand Spa because he did it on June 28 when he won a NYSS event at Yonkers in 2:00. Since then he has a second and third in series action but has also been trotting faster in those subsequent starts, albeit over larger tracks.
Quincy Market has gate speed and likes the front and that should bode well for him here. The question that remains is can he close it out? Corey Callahan leaves from post six with Quincy Market for trainer John Butenschoen and they have been made 3-1 on the morning line.
The second division is worth $50,400 and the Toscano/Zeron tandem has Molotov Cocktail, who will start from post five and is listed as the favorite at 2-1 on the morning line. Molotov Cocktail (Chapter Seven-Moonlight Cocktail) copied his stablemate Grand Spa by taking an identical 1:57 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs on the same night, but found himself up against a buzz-saw named Justice at Tioga last week who won in 1:55.4 there, which was the fastest of three splits.
Molotov Cocktail raced well in that event and in fact was race timed in an identical best 1:57, but finished fourth, beaten six lengths. This field looks a bit more equal speed-wise so he should be very effective.
The very close second choice at 5-2 is Velvet Style (Credit Winner-Velvet’s Katie Bug) who tripped-out behind that same Justice last week, but couldn’t catch him either. However, Velvet Style did finish second and was race timed in 1:56.4, which was the fastest he has trotted all year. And Velvet Style is the only two-time winner in 2021 of the 13 entered in Wednesday’s stake.
The horse can leave and this looks like a spot where he might. Jason Bartlett will drive Velvet Style from post six for trainer Mark Ford, who reached a milestone 4,000th training win on Sunday (Aug. 1).
There are also two $15,000 Excelsior A races and one $6,700 Excelsior B race on the card Wednesday. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.