New York Sire Stakes action took center stage on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as three year old trotting fillies were featured. There were two divisions for sophomore fillies that went for purses of $90,050 and $88,450 and driver Jim Morrill Jr. swept the co-features. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse-Cantab Hall) was fresh off a win in the Empire Breeders Classic Final contested at Vernon Downs two weeks ago and wound up as the public’s 3-5 betting favorite on Sunday coming off her score in the $209,500 race. Morrill wasted little time putting the Gareth Dowse-trained filly on the front end and once they got there, they would never look back. The talented sophomore was strong throughout and stopped the timer in 1:54, a new track record for three year old trotting fillies. Winndevie (Jason Bartlett) was a worthy adversary for the new record holder but came up second best while Lifetime Credit (John Stark Jr) finished third. Quincy Blue Chip has won four of her six races in the ’19 campaign and now has career earnings of over $350,000 in just fourteen lifetime starts. Morrill also sat behind former track record holder Fad Finance when she set the previous track mark of 1:54.1 in a NYSS try in August of 2016.
The winner of the $90,050 division for the three year olds prevailed despite being parked every step of the mile. Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven- Mom’s Sweetie Pie- Donerail) floated out early but with a host of leavers to her inside got hung out. Rival Stella Jane (Jason Bartlett) also raced the mile parked out but fought gamely every step of the way. Stella Jane struck the lead turning for home but Jim Morrill Jr. fanned Sweet Chapter off that one’s cover and they powered down the center of the track to take over before stopping the timer in 1:55.4. The win time served as a new lifetime mark for the sophomore filly who is trained by Black Macintosh. Sweet Chapter won for the second time of the season in five starts and has hit the board in each of her tries in 2019. The talented filly paid $11.80 to win in Sunday’s mild upset. Stella Jane was a game second while Sensibility (Marcus Miller) earned the show spot.
Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 Noon first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino