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Monticello, NY --- Practice is over and now it is for real for the trotting fillies who made their first lifetime half-mile track pari-mutuel starts at Monticello Raceway on Monday (June 25). The large group of freshmen contesting New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior events were on their best behavior for the most part on a beautiful afternoon.


Hot Chapter, favored at 1-5, left the gate hard in the first $26,750 Sire Stakes division and had three lengths on the pack at the quarter in :31.2. She continued to stay on the front through fractions of 1:02 and 1:32.3, keeping the field at bay by at least two lengths. In the paddock turn, Charlie Norris had Just Priceless in high gear and made a bold move to almost collar pacesetter Hot Chapter at the top of the lane. Just Priceless threw down a :29.2 last quarter to win by two lengths in 2:02.4. Liquorstoreblues finished second, followed by Hot Chapter. 


Just Priceless, a daughter of Muscles Yankee and Canadian Justice, is trained by Homer Hochstetler. She garnered her maiden-breaking pari-mutuel win after winning her first two qualifiers at Vernon Downs.


Scott Zeron and Sensibility tried to score a wire-to-wire win over the field of six in the second Sire Stakes division, trotting past the panels in :30.2, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 and having three lengths on the field as they trotted down the lane. Andy Miller had Amal Hall poised in perfect striking position as she stalked the pack sitting third most of the mile. Miller pulled her to the outside down the backside the second time around and she ground out a win in 2:02. Sensibility finished second and Conway Kellyanne was third.


Amal Hall (Credit Winner-Arabella Hall) picked up her maiden win for trainer Julie Miller.


The best race of the day came in the third Sire Stakes heat, racing for a purse of $27,250. Åke Svanstedt charged hard from the gate with the steady-footed Water Lily Hanover, as did With Out A Doubt (Marcus Miller), who beat Water Lily Hanover to the front end. The duo took the group through early fractions of :31.1 and 1:02.3. Dan Daley was the first to move with Somermusic’chapter before the half, and the eventual race winner Exotic Diamond also pulled at the half looking for cover. Daley tried for the lead against With Out A Doubt down the backside, but the rally came up short and they tucked in the two-hole before reaching three-quarters in 1:33. Exotic Diamond took the overland route and was way out of contention, but rallied for the win for driver Scott Zeron in a tight photo in 2:05.3. Somermusic’chapter finished a game second, followed by Water Lily Hanover. Early pacesetter With Out A Doubt faded and finished fifth.


Buzzy Sholty was smart in giving his filly a qualifying start over the Catskill Mountains half-mile oval last week, and it paid dividends this week. The RC Royalty-Not A Diva filly is owned by Joe Lee, Diamond Pride LLC and Sholty Racing LLC.


In the final Sire Stakes dash of the afternoon, Andy Miller floated away from the gate with heavy favorite EV’s Girl, only to make a miscue going to the first quarter. Blue Prayer (Dan Daley) inherited the lead, taking the pack to the quarter in :31.3. Winndevie made her move past the quarter, took the lead and was never headed as she trotted alone by open lengths through fractions of 1:03.1, 1:33.4 en route to a two-length win 2:02.3, trotting her last quarter in :28.3. Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie) is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC. Safe Word and Jeff Gregory finished second with Hanna Dreamgirl third.


Blue Chip Farms' Credit Winner led all sires with three winners on the card. Two-year-old pacing colts are next on the Sire Stakes agenda, converging on Monticello Raceway on July 4.