Courtly Choice (Art Major) matched the track record for two year old pacing colts on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as he prevailed impressively in New York Sire Stakes competition. Canadian trainer Blake Macintosh brought Courtly Choice south to compete in New York for the first time and the freshman had the daunting task of overcoming post position eight in his debut in stakes competition. Mark Macdonald piloted the two year old and wound up pulling him first over after finding a spot midpack in the early going. Courtly Choice overpowered the race’s favorite before kicking away late to win in 1:53.1, a time that matched the track record set for freshmen in NY Sire Stakes competition in 2015 by Joe Larry Curly. Courtly Choice was dismissed at odds of 17-1 and returned a hearty $37.40 to win in his division of the $42,025 NYSS on Wednesday. Locally-based gelding Jersey Jim (Artiscape) was another who soared to a first-over victory in Sire Stakes competition on Wednesday as the Perry Simser-trained freshman scored in 1:54.1 with Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. First over was the trip de jour on Wednesday as Jimtastic (Art Major) was yet another Sire Stakes winner to score via the first over journey as the Andrew Harris-trained two year old cruised to an open length victory in 1:54.1 with Jason Bartlett in the sulky. In fact, of the four winners of the $42,025 races on Wednesday, only Paprike Blue Chip (Roll With Joe) prevailed with a journey other than first over. The John Butenschoen trainee parlayed the pocket trip to his first career Sire Stakes score, stopping the timer in 1:55 with Jim Morrill Jr sitting behind.
Live racing resumes on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm.