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Sophomore pacers lock horns in NYSS Late Closers at Monticello

Thursday, August 11, 2011  By: John Manzi

Sophomore pacers lock horns in NYSS Late Closers at Monticello

Monticello, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes Late Closer program was instituted to accommodate the lesser caliber Standardbreds; the ones usually not quite good enough for the NYSS. But the three $12,100 splits for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings carded at Monticello Raceway on Monday (August 15) belies the previous statement.

“There are some standout colts who have entered in our late closers for Monday,” said Eric Warner, the track's Director of Racing. “We have only three divisions which means that only the ones that have a good chance to win pay the entrance fee. There should be some nice miles that afternoon.”

Among the sophomore colts Warner was referring to is Lucky Cadet who’ll start from the pole position in race number one on Monday's 14-race card. The Erv Miller pupil comes into the event off a 1:55 NYSS Late Closer victory at Yonkers Raceway in his last outing on August 8. Prior to that, Lucky Cadet finished a close second in a $58,198 NYSS division at the Hilltop oval, individually timed in 1:53.1.

Owned by Mary Jane Anderson and Ronald Michelson, the Art Major colt who has bankrolled more than $67,000 already, currently owns a 1:51.2 race record taken at Tioga Downs on June 9. Miller has tabbed Fern Paquet, Jr. to handle the driving chores.

But Lucky Cadet may not have a cake-walk in that contest. Ronald Mersky’s Bubbie Boy, an Artiscape gelding who had earlier been racing in high claiming races, comes in with three consecutive NYSS Late Closer victories, the fastest a 1:54.1 triumph at Saratoga Raceway on July 16. Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. will be in the pilot’s seat for trainer Cory McGivern when the colt leaves from post six.

In the second division, race five on the program, Southwind Inferno, a 1:55.1 winner at Batavia Downs on July 30, gets the oddsmaker’s nod. Owned by Mike Pozefsky, William Pozefsky and Myron Ekstein, the American Ideal gelding has won four times thus far this season. Stephane Bouchard will do the driving for trainer Andy Bardella.

The final Late Closer pace appears to be a wide-open affair. Local conditioner Eddie Hart, who is enjoying a big year, will send out Colossal, an Art Major gelding who already owns a 1:53.1 record at the Meadowlands earlier this year. A winner of $36,402 and a regular competitor in the rich Sire Stakes program, Colossal will leave from the two hole in race eight with Jordan Stratton aboard.

First post on Monday will be at the usual 12:50 p.m.

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