This leg will feature the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers who will vie in three $34,866 divisions carded as race three, five and seven.
In the third race the undefeated Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe - Chotat Milk) puts his four-race win streak on the line against a truly loaded field.
Groovy Joe had been having his way with the competition and posted a lifetime mark of 1:54.3 at Buffalo. However last week, although he still won, it was in a dead-heat at Saratoga with American Rebel with Freedom Warrior just a half-length behind in third. But he gets another start on a half, which he obviously handles well, and catches a short field.
Matt Kakaley is driving again for trainer Blake MacIntosh and will leave from post five at 9-5.
It would seem his closest competitor will be the horse he dead-heated with last week, American Rebel (American Ideal - Restive Hanover).
After winning an elimination of the L. B. Sheppard at Yonkers on July 6, American Rebel finished a close fifth in the $120,250 final and then posted a lifetime best at Saratoga of 1:55 the following week (in the dead-heat with Groovy Joe). This one is certainly in top form and will look to make some noise here.
American Rebel will be driven by Tyler Buter from post three for trainer Rob Harmon.
The fifth race has Ray Schnittker’s Cigars And Port (So Surreal - Sweet On Art) listed as the morning line choice at 2-1.
After winning his first lifetime start in 1:56.3 in a NYSS event at Yonkers, Cigars And Port got parked half the mile the following week and finished fifth. In his last start he tripped out behind Hurrikanekingjames but couldn’t catch him in the lane.
Schnittker will be in the bike this week and leaves from post five.
Roll With JR (Roll With Joe - No One Is Alone) is winless in the NYSS this year but did just post a solid 1:54.3 career best effort in an overnight event at Harrah’s Philadelphia in his last start. Now back in the series, he looks like he’s ready to move forward.
Kevin Cummings drives for trainer Jeff Cullipher and is 3-1 early line.
Hurrikanekingjames (So Surreal - Luxury Goods) looked much the best going gate to wire at Saratoga in 1:55.1, beating Cigars And Port by 2-1/2 lengths. That was from post one; he drew post six here.
Daniel Dube drives for trainer John Mc Dermott.
The third division in race seven is a very close event. Oreo Dream Xtreme (American Ideal - Spotlight On) is the 2-1 choice and is one of only two horses in the race with a win. He got that in NYSS action at Buffalo and hasn’t missed a cheque in the series yet.
Level Up (Art Major - Apogee Hanover) got away poorly at Saratoga last week but rallied well to close sharply, just running out of stretch to finish second. He did not draw inside but it is a short field.
Jason Bartlett drives Oreo Dream Xtreme from post three for trainer John Butenschoen and Jim Morrill, Jr. drives Level Up for trainer Ed Hart from post five.
There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior “A” series that are carded as races one, six and eight. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.