On Wednesday evening July 4th Monticello Raceway will host the first seasonal divisions of freshmen pacing colts and geldings in both the New York Sire Stakes and the new Excelsior Series (formerly late closers).

The NYSS colts will be vying for points  which they will gain along the way competing  at various racetracks in NY State . The top eight, when the divisions are completed, will earn a berth in the $175,000 New York Sire Stakes Final at Yonkers Raceway on September 22.

As far as the Excelsior Series goes, the top eight point earners will battle in the  $45,000 finale  which will be raced at Saratoga Raceway on September 21

Over $200,000 is up for grabs for the  New York-bred  freshman pacing colts and geldings on Wednesday evening July 4th  with a special 5:30pm  post time.

The NYSS $145,000 will be split six divisions while five divisions  of the Excelsior Series  will each race for a $12,700 purse.

According to program director John Flynn, who also makes the morning line, “It’s no easy task trying to tab these youngsters, most of  whom have only a few  charted lines on the program.”

Arguably the most competitive of the NYSS events  is race number three which features Odds On Equuleus, Swift As A Shadow, and  Dealmaker. Each has been victorious this year but none in a pari-mutuel contest.  Odds On Equuleus  has two wins  in two starts in baby races at the Big M, the fastest a 1:55.1 effort on June 16. Hall of Famer, John Campbell will be back in the silky when the colt leaves from post seven. Swift  As A Shadow, a 1:57.1 was winner on June 16  will have Tim Tetrick at the lines while Larry Stalbaum’s Dealmaker sports a 1:56 mark taken Pocono Downs on June 28.

Then in the sixth race two good looking prospects, Deny Deny Deny and The Price you Pay will lock horns. The former has two wins in two Meadowlands baby race starts and will again have Tim Tetrick  at the controls. The latter, won his second baby race start in 1:56.2 at Gateway, and  Cat Manzi  will do the driving.

In the eighth race, three undefeated colts, Tijuana Party, Art Bettor Now and Visa Viper, will go head to head.  Art Bettor Now with Jeff Gregory aboard won   a pari-mutuel contest  in 1:57 over Saratoga Raceway’s half mile track on June 15th.Visa Viper (Mark MacDonald) copped  his only a qualifying event at Tioga Downs in 1:57.3 and Tijuana Party (Tim Tetrick) has won two baby races  at Harrah’s Philadelphia , the fastest in 1:56.3.  But they’ll have to content with Manhattan Benny who won a Landmark Stakes at Historic Track in 2:00.2 on June 29. Stephane Bouchard will again be the colt’s pilot.

And in the 11th race Ray Schnittker’s Thirty Two Red, a 1:56.3 Landmark Stakes winner at Historic track  on June 29 will be the one to beat in that contest.