Day At The Track

Huge card at Tioga Downs on Sunday

12:20 AM 20 Jun 2020 NZST
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Tioga Downs, harness racing
Tioga Downs
Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host a huge harness racing Grand Circuit stakes card on the evening of Sunday, July 21 with first post of 4:00PM.
Headlining a 13 race program with total purses of $490,500 is the $164,000 Roll With Joe Open Pacing Stakes (RWJ). The ten horses entered for the RWJ have combined career earnings of more than $10,000,000.
In something of a surprise move with the first leg of the Graduate Series on the same card, Chris Ryder has entered last season's Dan Patch Award winning sophomore pacing colt Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) into the RWJ where he'll face older rivals in his first seasonal start. Ryder shares ownership of the son of Bettor's Delight with Art & Leah Zubrod's Fair Island Farm and the Bettors Wish Partners.
Leading the competition is a powerful four-pronged Ron Burke entry of This Is The Plan (Y. Gingras) Backstreet Shadow (T. Tetrick) Filibuster Hanover (TBA) and Dorsoduro Hanover (M. Kakaley). Last year's aged Breeders Crown winner American History (J. Bongiorno) will begin from post 10 in the second tier for trainer Tony Alagna. 
The opening leg of the Graduate Series for pacers drew 26 entries and gets underway with three $50,000 divisions carded as races 4, 6 & 9.
That fourth race is a doozy with double Dan Patch winning filly Warrawee Ubeaut (Gingras) taking on male rivals in her first foray as a 4-year-old mare. She's had a pair of good qualifiers to prepare and will start from post three for trainer Burke who owns the Sweet Lou lass with Phil Collura, J&T Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi.
2019 Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi (B. Sears) makes his seasonal bow in race six. Trainer Bill Mac Kenzie brings the Somebeachsomewhere horse into the Graduate with a single qualifier some three weeks ago and has drawn post seven. Vincent Ali, Jr and Alma Iafelice own Southwind Ozzi.
Dancin Lou (Dexter Dunn) comes in hot to the 10th race off his imposing 1:50 win in the Meadowlands open last Saturday. Trainer Tahnee Camilleri brought him back fit and has "Louie" sharp for his first stakes go of the year. A friendly post 3 draw can only help his chances. 
The New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) program gets underway with a pair of $55,000 divisions of the sophomore filly trot on the card. Though small in size at five fillies each in the two divisions (races 5 & 10) the quality is certainly present.
Last year's NYSS champ for the division, Hypnotic AM (Sears) signaled her readiness with a scalding, in hand 1:51.1 qualifying win at The Meadowlands. Trainer Marcus Melander returns to New York's Southern Tier where he and Sears swept the trotting Graduate legs just a week ago. Melander and owner Anders Strom as Courant, Inc have found a pretty good spot to launch her 2020 campaign.
Three NYSS Excelsior A divisions and a pair of Excelsior B's round out the exciting and very bettable twilight card at Tioga on Sunday.
Nick Salvi
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