Canterbury Hanover & Brian Sears

Two year old trotting fillies Canterbury Hanover (Chapter Seven-Charmed Life-Majestic Son) and Kayleigh S (Chapter Seven-Pasithea Face S- Muscle Hill) took center stage on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as a pair of New York Sire Stakes races highlighted the twelve-race card. Most fillies were making their lifetime debut when they took part in the $78,700 and $77,300 co-featured races for the rookie trotters. Stablemates Canterbury Hanover and Kayleigh S recorded victories in the big races for trainer Marcus Melander and driver Brian Sears.

Canterbury Hanover had one solid qualifier as prep for her debut on Monday and cruised on the front end under the guidance of the Hall of Famer Sears in her NY Sire Stake race. Canterbury Hanover, the 4-5 betting favorite, cruised to a decisive score in her debut. The freshman filly was the fastest two year old of the day as she stopped the timer in 1:59. Canterbury Hanover is owned by Holly Lane Stud East LTD of Vero Beach, FL.

Kayleigh S also came in with one qualifier at the Meadowlands on her resume, one in which she showed some promise. Sears wasted little time moving to the front with the Melander trainee who held off just a mild challenge from the favorite in the stretch before scoring in 2:00.4 in the $77,300 NY Sire Stakes event for freshman fillies. Kayleigh S, who paid $5.80 to win as her race’s second choice in the wagering, is owned by Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, FL. While Sears won the two biggest races of the day, Jason Bartlett piloted three winners on the matinee card.

Live racing resumes on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 5PM.

Mike Sardella

Photo:  Melissa Simser

Gertrude & Andy Miller

Tuesday afternoon’s card at Saratoga Casino Hotel featured New York Sire Stakes action for two year old trotting fillies. There were three divisions for the freshman trotters that went for purses of between $47,000 and $49,000. Gertrude (Devious Man- Ophelia- Broadway Hall) made her lifetime debut a winning one in impressive fashion in the first stakes race of the day. Andy Miller piloted the freshman filly for trainer Julie Miller and wasted no time moving out to the early lead with her. The race’s 3-5 betting favorite, Gertrude went coast-to-coast in 1:57.4 highlighted by a final half in 57.4 en route to breaking her maiden in her first career start. The talented high-stepper had to hold of formidable foe Seven On The Rocks (John Stark Jr.) in the stretch before reporting home a length and a quarter winner. Gertrude is owned by the Andy Miller Stable Inc. of Millstone Township, NJ.

Bomb Hugger (Chapter Seven- Stylemaker- Cantab Hall) remained undefeated on Tuesday when she went coast-to-coast to secure her first career stakes victory and move her lifetime record to two-for-two. Driven by Anthony Macdonald, Bomb Hugger made her first start out of the stable of trainer Melissa Beckwith in the $47,966 division of the NYSS and had little difficulty going the distance on the engine. Gettinmystepsin (Andy Miller) sat the pocket to the winner and put in a bit of a threat in the stretch before settling for second in her first career start while Cranberry Lake (Wally Hennessey) earned the show spot. Bomb Hugger stopped the clock in 1:58.2 in her first stakes victory for owners Thestable Bomb Hugger of Guelph, ON, Canada.

The final NYSS race for two year old fillies went the way of Joviality S (Chapter Seven-Pasithea Face S- Muscle Hill) who wound up being the fastest filly of the day after scoring in 1:56.4 in her $48,867 division. Brian Sears was in to pilot the Marcus Melander-trained filly who left no doubt as she secured a decisive victory as her race’s 7-5 betting favorite. Joviality S made her lifetime debut on Tuesday and moved out to the front end at the get-go and appeared comfortable every step of the way. The freshman filly is owned by Courant Inc. of Delray Beach, FL.

The next installment of the NYSS to be contested at Saratoga is set for Wednesday July 14th when three year old colt pacers come to town. Live harness racing continues at Saratoga Wednesday (July 7) afternoon with a Noon first post.


Mike Sardella

Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino