The $38,200 first division of Sire Stakes will go to post in race one with six entries. Hickfromfrenchlick (post four) has been pegged the morning line favorite at 5-2 odds. The So Surreal colt had a very productive year as a 2-year-old where he earned $138,541 and a speed badge of 1:51.3. Last week he had an easy tightener at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono where he romped in 1:53.3 to win by 8-1/2 lengths for trainer Ray Schnittker.
Local favorite KJ Leo will start from post six. Last year the Gary Messenger trained gelding won the NYSS consolation at Batavia and finished the year with $68,292 in earnings. This year the son of Art Major won a conditioned race last week at Monticello Raceway in 1:57.1. Regular driver Jim Taggart Jr. will be in the bike.
The $38,900 second division of Sire Stakes features Respect Our Flag who was sharp in his performance thee weeks ago when he scored in 1:49.2 at The Meadowlands for trainer Jenn Bongiorno. Joe Bongiorno will drive the son of Roll With Joe.
Sam Schillaci brings Major Blake to the fray. The son of Art Major has had three winning qualifiers under his belt at his home track, Northfield Park. Major March will start from the rail for trainer Linda Toscano. The Art Major colt is owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable. Jason Bartlett will drive.
The $38,900 final heat of Sire Stakes action is in race seven and highlights Reigning Deo, the winner of last year’s 2-year-old NYSS final at Yonkers Raceway in 1:54.4. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven will start from the rail with Jim Morrill Jr. at the helm for trainer Brett Pelling. After winning the NYSS final last fall, Reigning Deo dabbled in Grand Circuit competition and finished the year with $243,163.
The Excelsior A class first heat highlights Jack Nation (post four). The son of American Ideal took his lifetime mark as a 2-year-old at Monticello Raceway in 1:57 for trainer Blake MacIntosh. Mark MacDonald will handle the driving assignment.