Last year’s two-year-old New York Sire Stakes champion Doctor Butch won his $66,993 division of the NYSS for sophomore pacers in 1:53.4 at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 14).
The win was the 10th in 18 attempts for Doctor Butch ($4.50), an Art Major colt trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Ken Jacobs of Baldwinsville, New York.
Jim Morrill Jr. put the 2013 Art Rooney champion on the lead and he did all the rest, cutting all the fractions in the race of :28.2, :57.3 and 1:26.3. A :27.1 last quarter-mile put the winner three-quarters of a length in front of Ronny Bugatti (Brent Holland) at the finish line. Bet The Moon (Randy Waples) came in third.
“When the one horse [Bettor Than You] broke, it really set things up nice for me,” said Morrill. “I was able to set nice fractions and he came home real strong.”
In the first division, also worth $66,993, Winbak Farm's homebred Swift As A Shadow (Bettors Delight-Flibbertigibbet) won in 1:53.4 to register his second Sire Stakes win of the season, also driven by Morrill Jr. for trainer Toscano.
Dismissed by the bettors at 5-1, Swift As A Shadow ($13) received a perfect pocket trip as eventual third-place finisher and heavy 1-9 favourite Captive Audience (Randy Waples) cut all the fractions in the race of :27.4, :56.4, and 1:25.4. A :27.4 last quarter-mile put Swift As A Shadow half a length in front of Thirty Two Red (Ray Schnittker) at the wire.
“Really nice horse, and I got a really nice trip,” said Morrill. “He gave me 100 per cent for the whole mile.”
The four $12,700 Excelsior race winners were: Ideal Wizard (Randy Waples) in 1:55.2, Steuben Patriot (Brent Holland) in 1:58.1, UF Bettors Hanover (Cat Manzi) in 1:57.2, and Royce Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 1:56.2.
(With files from Buffalo Raceway)