Saturday, September 17, 2011

Handsoffmycookie is Fastest in New York Sire Stakes

Handsoffmycookie continued her near flawless form with a 1:54 victory in the fastest of four divisions during Friday night's $121,240 New York Sire Stakes feature for 2-year-old pacing fillies at Vernon Downs.

Competing as the favorite in the final NYSS flight (race 10), Handsoffmycookie ($2.20) was never headed en route to a solid score that improved her brief but brilliant career summary to six wins and a second-place finish in seven starts.

Tim Tetrick did the catch-driving for trainer Scott Di Domenico and the JFE Enterprises as the bay daughter of Art Major-Observe Me collected her fifth NYSS score and improved her lifetime winnings to more than $191,000.

She also posted a career-best 1:52.4 score in a Sweetheart series prelim at The Meadowlands on Aug. 12, but lost by a head in the Sweetheart final on Aug. 20.

Friday's other NYSS divisional winners were Major Look (Art Major-Band Of Emeralds), in 1:54.3 with Brandon Simpson driving for trainer Robert Riddle and owner Joseph Balkunas; Up Front Sharon (American Ideal-Jett Diamond), in 1:55 with Jim Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Mark Ford and his ownership partner C. Ed. Mullinax; and Bella Marta (Art Major-Noble Martha), in 1:56.1 with trainer Simpson steering for part-owner Vincent Costa, Jr. and the Dirk Simpson Stable.

The favorite Union Man Hanover ($2.80) was the fastest divisional winner in Friday's NYSS-sponsored $49,300 late-closing contest for 2-year-old male pacers.

Tetrick did the teaming for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Daniel J. Baer, the Bay's Stable and the Stake Your Claim Stable, as the bay son of Artiscape-Up Front Rose collected his second career tally and improved his speed mark to 1:55.4 with a front striding effort in the evening's third race.

The winner of more than $50,500 sports a 2-1-2 summary line after nine trips to the track.

Friday's other late-closing winners were Memory King (Riverboat King-Musical Memory), in 1:56.1 with Morrill, Jr. steering for trainer Erv Miller and the Red Barn Stable; Captain Art (Artiscape-Jenna's Boy), in 1:56.1 with Tetrick teaming for trainer Noel Daley and the Bay Pond Racing Stable; and Alex Shredder (Artiscape-Mama Nukes), in 1:56.3 with Morrill, Jr. sitting in for trainer Miller of the Ervin Miller Stable and his partner Harvey Eisman.

Newcomer In Focus forged a 1:54.2 tally in Friday's $10,000 Open-1 trotting test.

Marcus Johansson handled the reins for trainer Jimmy Takter as the career-winner of more than $950,500 earned his fourth current victory and 21st lifetime triumph.

The 6-year-old son of S J's Photo-Beverly Crusher is shared in ownership by Christina Takter, John D. and Jim H. Fielding.

Tetrick, North America's dash-winning leader, and Morrill, Jr. each finished Friday's 12-race card with three victories, while Simpson, local driver/trainer Dan Daley and trainer Miller each contributed a pair of first-place finishes.

DOWNS DOINGS - Memory King's time was just 3/5ths-of-a-second off the track's season's-best time for 2-year-old gelding pacers, while Handsoffmycookie's clocking was just 4/5ths-of-a-second off the track's 2011 speed standard for her age, sex and gait... The Downs will present another 12-race card on Saturday night (Sept. 16) that will begin at 6:55 p.m. and include the week's $10,000 Open-1 pace in race 10... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.