Day At The Track
Search Results
17 to 32 of 97

Nichols, N.Y. -- Prairie Fortune ($4.40) lived up to favored billing in Saturday (July 16) evening's $11,000 Open 1 Trot at Tioga Downs, making a bold three-wide push through the far turn en route to a comfortably dominant win.   Jim Meittinis was patient early with the 4-year-old Arapa Victory gelding, retreating to second last as Celebrity Stimulus (Fern Paquet, Jr.) strode clear to a :27.4 first quarter before yielding the pacesetting duties to Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) with a circuit to go.   Approaching race's midpoint, Meittinis slid Prairie Fortune third-over to slipstream DC Flashback (John Cummings, Jr.) and Rossini (Scott Coulter) through middle splits of :57.2 and 1:25.4. With a quarter mile to go, Prairie Fortune commenced a bold three-wide push, one he sustained into a mid-stretch lead with ease. Prairie Fortune drew off to defeat Its Payday Friday by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54.3, while Rossini overcame a blind switch to save third off a stalling DC Flashback.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Fortune--now a 19-time winner through just 33 career starts--with Laurie Poulin.   In the first round of the Summer Claiming Series for pacing mares, Delta Dawn Hanover ($21.60, Jim Taggart, Jr.) and Cheyenne Patti ($15.40, Mike Merton) both upset from off the pace, capturing their respective $7,000 divisions by slim margins over the respective pacesetters.   The 50¢ Pick 5 carryover for Sunday (July 17) afternoon's card is $566.52, with the sequence beginning in the first of 13 races on the day. Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 

While favorites K J's Caroline ($4.20) and Its Payday Friday ($3.40) held sway on the lead in their respective $9,000 featured events on Saturday (May 14) evening at Tioga Downs, it was Shesgotthebeat ($32.40) who stole the show, springing a 15-1 upset to sweep her preliminary legs of the Gail's Diner Late Closing Series for the harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies.   The first $7,500 division of the Gail's Diner preliminary saw first-round winners Shesgotthebeat and Heavenly Bet square off, with 1-9 favorite Heavenly Bet (Scott Coulter) doing the heavy lifting through the middle half. After drafting intently, Jim Meittinis angled Shesgotthebeat off the pegs at head-stretch, dueling to a length victory in 1:55.1 over good going. Heavenly Bet was a vanquished favorite in the end, yet still 3-1/2 lengths clear of Ghost Runner (Tom Jackson), who chased in vain for third.   Shesgotthebeat, a 3-year-old daughter of American Ideal, is trained by Edward Hart for the Seafood Delight Stable, Kristie Leigh Farm, Inc., and Joseph Betro.   The other Gail's Diner division saw Stirling Electra ($10.80) duel with Winners Over (Dan Clements) for the entirety of the far turn, gutting out a half-length 1:57.3 victory under Corey Braden. Trainer Jennifer Davis co-owns the Roll With Joe filly with Joyce Nowicki.   In the co-featured $9,000 top-level trot and distaff pace, Its Payday Friday and K J's Caroline proved victorious while favored. Its Payday Friday, a 6-year-old Kadabra gelding, held the first-over Prairie Fortune at bay for a 1:55.3 score. Owner Dan Clements handled the driving duties for trainer Ronnie Morales. The top mares pace saw K J's Caroline make all the pace, edging clear of Asset Management for a four-length triumph in 1:55.1. Jim Taggart, Jr. drove the 6-year-old Roddy's Bags Again mare for trainer Gary Messenger.   The 50¢ Pick 5 was not hit, resulting in a $323 carryover to Sunday (May 15) afternoon's card. The first of 13 races is due off at 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

While 3-year-old trotting filly Barn Doll ($4.60) kicked cover to beat older company in Sunday (July 26) afternoon's $12,000 Open Trot at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs, it was trainer Joe Skowyra who shone most brightly on the nine-race card, with all three of his trainees on the program proving victorious.   The first race, a $3700 first-level conditioned trot saw He Belongs Here ($4.70, Brandon Simpson) mount a rally on the backstretch after settling well off a quick early pace, working into the lead on the far turn before staving off a late charge from Maggie O (John Cummings, Jr.) to prevail in 1:58.4.   In the sixth race, a $5000 claiming event, Master in Charge ($4.70, Aaron Byron) took charge from the outset, rating a soft :59.4 initial half.   When a first-over bid from Dance With Molly (Gary Clark) came up short and a three-wide push from Psyched (Sean McAleese) lasted no longer than the entry of the far turn, Master In Charge drew off to a 5-length win, staying well clear of a late-rallying Ashcroft (Mike Simons) in 1:57.2.   After a flash deluge caused a brief delay before the late double, the afternoon's final race saw Justherighttouch ($9.50, Byron) enjoy a pocket trip behind Highland Yankee (Cummings), emerging once free off the far turn to take the lead in upper stretch.   Justherighttouch subsequently held off a late charge from P L Houdini (Ronnie Morales, III), who circled the stalled cover of Aruba Vacation to miss by just a half length.   The 8-year-old gelding won in 1:58.3, giving Skowyra a training hat trick on the afternoon.   Barn Doll kicks cover to triumph in trotting feature   Not to be outdone, Barn Doll utilized a :27.1 final quarter to defeat her five rivals in the featured $12,000 Open Trot. Beginning from post 6, the Conway Hall filly came away second from last, just detached of the top quartet through a soft :57.1 first half.   On the backstretch, Jim Meittinis moved her second-over to draft behind Oho Diamond (Morales), inching closer as pacesetter Six Bax (Jim Taggart, Jr.) accelerated through a :28.4 third quarter.   Barn Doll would do her best work without the aid of cover, though, as she stormed home after losing Oho Diamond's cover, collaring Six Bax in the final yards and prevailing by a half length in 1:53.4.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables.   Live racing returns at Tioga for a special Monday evening card tomorrow (July 27).   Post time for the 10-race card is 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite

Nichols, N.Y. -- Taking advantage of live cover just as he did in his two previous races, Valley of Sin ($9.00) kicked clear in his seasonal debut among Open harness racing company, capturing the $14,000 featured trot in 1:53.4 on Saturday (June 20) evening at Tioga Downs.   After getting away second to last in the field of eight, Jim Meittinis floated the 5-year-old Yankee Glide entire second-over to track the cover of Bourbon Bay (John Cummings, Jr.) before pacesetter Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) rated a :56.2 initial half mile.   "It's only his third start back in well over a year, so my plan was to lay off the early speed and pick up the pieces at the end," said Meittinis. "Being that this horse has such a will to win, I put him in the race late, and he did the rest." Valley of Sin advanced into midfield with the aid of cover through three-quarters in 1:24.3, and was poised to strike as Bourbon Bay turned up the heat on Its Payday Friday through the far turn.   At the top of the stretch, Meittinis tipped Valley of Sin three-deep, and the response was instant. He kicked past the dueling leaders in mid-stretch, prevailing by a widening 1-1/2 lengths while in hand up to the winning post.   "When I tipped him off cover there was no urging--just a couple taps to keep him to task," concluded Meittinis. "The speed was all him."   Its Payday Friday held second, while Awsome Valley (Aaron Byron) held third up the pegs from his pocket trip.   Earlier in the program, Hannah Miller notched a win with Jacks to Open ($3.10) in a C. K. G. Billings Amateur Driving Series event, powering clear to a seven-length win over CSI What's My Name (Dave Yarock) and Insider Access (Steve Oldford) in 1:55.2.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (June 21) afternoon, with first post set for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- After a relaxed midpack start, Bourbon Bay ($7.70) sustained a push to the fore en route to a 1:54.2 victory in Saturday (June 13) evening's $14,000 harness racing open trot at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding was away slowly, settling into the fourth spot after Tag Up and Go (Kyle DiBenedetto) and Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) both broke stride in the early stages. After Awsome Valley (Aaron Byron) crossed and cleared from the extreme outside to establish the lead through a :28.1 first quarter, lessee-driver John Cummings, Jr. strode to the top spot with Bourbon Bay, brushing with a circuit to go before reaching race's midpoint in :57.2. Heading to the far turn, Awsome Valley edged out of the pocket to give chase, but Bourbon Bay held sway under a drive, prevailing by a length in 1:54.2. Tag Up and Go recovered from his early break, closing second-over on the backstretch and holding third.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who scored his fourth local win in as many starts on the season.   The sub-featured $10,000 Open II Trot saw Valley of Sin ($9.50) kick cover on the far turn, drawing clear of Twin B Spike Man (Aaron Byron) for a 1:54.3 triumph. Jim Meittinis drove the 5-year-old Yankee Glide entire for trainer John Butenschoen. For Valley of Sin, it was his second victory in as many starts since coming back off a 22-month layoff.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (June 14) afternoon, with a 12-race program kicking off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Relegated to last in the early stages, the Harmon Racing Stable's Detroit Rapper ($23.40) circled four-wide to pass all six of his rivals in Saturday (May 23) evening's featured harness racing $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding took no part in the pace-setting proceedings, situated well off alternating leaders Sweet Justice (Aaron Byron) and B L Class Act (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56.4 half mile. As 2-5 favorite Zooming (Brandon Simpson) applied steady pressure on B L Class act into the far turn, Jim Meittinis angled Detroit Rapper three-wide to follow the live cover of My Muscleman (Mike Simons), fanning four-wide at the head of the stretch and showing immediate response. The Patti Harmon trainee kicked forward at once, gobbling up ground and drawing clear by a length in 1:55.1 to defeat B L Class Act and Zooming. Aruba Vacation (Tyler Freese), who was shuffled to last on the backstretch, rallied five-wide in the stretch to save fourth.   Dan Clements and John Cummings, Jr. both earned driving doubles on the eight-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 24) evening, with the first of 10 races slated for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 3, 2014 - Demons N Diamonds picked the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes -Green Acres Final for two-year-old trotting fillies to post her first career victory on Friday, October 3, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Muscle Hill - Half Ours filly trotted the mile in 2:00 flat, passing the pacesetter Model Behavior [Muscles Yankee] in the stretch for a half-length victory in the non-wagering event. Contraire [Muscles Yankee] was three and three quarter lengths back in third. Demons N Diamonds, driven by Daniel Dube and trained by John McDermott Jr., improved her record to one win, three seconds and two thirds from 11 starts for a bankroll of $38,921. The filly, bred by TLP Stable of Kearny , NJ, passed through the Lexington Selected Sale for $20,000. She is owned by the partnership of Jonathan Klee Racing of Mineola, NY; Domenic Costanzo of Westbury, NY and Kuhen Racing LLC of Yardley, PA. In the $7,000 third leg of the Green Acres for two-year-old pacing fillies, Cheyenne Robin [$7.60] was much the best, putting away 1-5 favorite Smart Zone in the co-featured sixth race. Cheyenne Robin, driven by Daniel Dube and trained by Robert Siegelman, was a seven-length winner in a stakes record equaling 1:55.4. It was 11 ½ lengths to World Of Rock in third. All three are daughters of Rocknroll Hanover. The mile matched the Green Acres mark of 1:55.4 set by Happy Dreamer [McArdle] in 2007. Cheyenne Robin races for The Cheyenne Gang of Port Washington, NY. In Green Acres action on Thursday, October 2, Jim Meittinis drove the winners of both non-wagering divisions for three-year-old trotters, both offspring of Chocolatier. Shelikescandy won the filly split in 2:01.3 for a sweep of the three preliminary legs of the series. The Dawn Anderson trainee, owned by George Beck of Freehold, NJ, won by 24 ½ lengths over Coin Collector [Chocolatier]. In the first leg of the colt division, Choco Sun was a half-length winner over Angels Ransom [Revenue] in 1:57.2. The Orjan Torstensson trainee races for Eirik Djuve Inc. of Bordentown, NJ. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 11, 2014 - Trainer Chris Ryder sends out a pair of Muscle Hill colts, rated the 9-5 morning line favorites in the $55,000 Charles I. Smith Trot, the seventh race on Friday, September 12, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Charles I. Smith is restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old trotters and sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Ryder will sit behind Well Built, leaving from post two, while Gregory Merton will be at the lines of Muscle On It from the rail. Well Built was second in the $60,000 Zweig at Vernon Downs in his last outing on August 29 and brings a record of three wins, two seconds and one third from 15 starts this year, earning $52,350 toward a career total of $156,047 for Ryder and co-owner Robert Mondillo of Delaware, OH. Ryder and Mondillo share ownership of Muscle On In with Max Wernick of New City, NY. Muscle On In will be making his third start of the year and looking for his first check of 2014. At two, he won four of 12 starts and banked $62,566. Hillustrious, also by Muscle Hill, leaves from outside post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. He is listed at 2-1 in the morning line with four wins, two seconds and a third in 10 starts this year, adding nearly $50,000 toward total earnings of more than $72,000 for the partnership of Deo Volente Farms of Flemington, NJ; Rivers Stable Inc. of East Windsor, NJ and TLP Stable of Kearny, NJ. The stakes record for the Smith of 1:55.4 was set in 2010 by Flex The Muscle [Muscles Yankee]. The field for the $55,000 Charles I. Smith with betting number, post number, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: 1-1-Muscle On It-Muscle Hill-Gregory Merton-Chris Ryder-9-5 1A-2-Well Built-Muscle Hill-Chris Ryder-Chris Ryder-9-5 2-3-Skates N Plates-Revenue-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-5-1 3-4-Opulent Yankee-Muscles Yankee-Ake Svanstedt-AkeSvantedt-6-1 4-5-Choco Sun-Chocolatier-Jim Meittinis-Orjan Torstensson-12-1 5-6-Angels Ransom-Revenue-George Brennan-Roland Mallar-7-1 6-7-Hillustrious-Muscle Hill-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2-1 Sharing the Friday card is a $7,000 opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes-Green Acres for two-year-old trotting fillies, carded as the third race. Demons N Diamonds by Muscle Hill, driven by Daniel Dube and trained by John McDermott Jr., is the 8-5 morning line favorite from post five in the field of seven fillies, four of whom are by Muscles Yankee and two by Muscle Hill. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

Carried three-wide through the far turn, Bettorsluckystreak ($26.80) sustained his late bid en route to a 1:51.4 upset victory in Sunday (September 7) afternoon's featured pace at Tioga Downs.   The $10,000 upper-level conditioned event drew a field of eight, with newcomer Johnny Grippa (Jim Meittinis) handling the pacesetting duties throughout, establishing a solid tempo through a :55 half mile.   With Cashendash Hanover (Brandon Simpson) fading from the pocket and Hasty Western (Aaron Byron) sliding first-over with three-eighths to go, Greg Merton moved the four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight out to track cover en route to the far turn.   While Hasty Western continued two-wide despite the pocket opening up approaching the far turn, Merton moved Bettorsluckystreak three-wide past three-quarters in 1:22.4. The two sustained their rally, passing Hasty Western at the top of the stretch and pulling clear of Johnny Grippa in the final 70 yards to prevail by a length.   Prairie Jaguar, the 8-5 favorite, failed to sustain an extended uncovered bid, staying even to finish fifth.   James Clouser, Jr. trains Bettorsluckystreak for Kenneth Weckstein, Richard Rubin, and Gary Messenger.   Mike Simons and Tyler Buter led all drivers with three wins each on the 13-race card.   The 2014 live racing season concludes at Tioga Downs this upcoming weekend, with Friday (September 12) and Saturday (September 13) cards both scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Eleven-year-old veteran Spice It Up Lindy ($7.50) turned in a most gritty effort in Saturday (September 6) evening's $15,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs, reaching for the line to hold off Walked Into Heaven for a 1:54.2 score.   Jim Meittinis brushed to the fore with the SJ's Caviar gelding after Walked Into Heaven (John Cummings, Jr.) established a solid early tempo through a :27.4 first quarter. With Walked Into Heaven in the pocket, SJ's Caviar relaxed the pace through a :57.4 middle half, accelerating some on the backstretch when Stitch in Time (Brandon Simpson) commenced a first-over rally.   While Stitch in Time would sustain his bid through the stretch, Walked Into Heaven posed the toughest threat, squeezing through at the pegs for a late rally. Spice It Up Lindy dug in to prevail by a long neck, holding sway for a 1:54.2 win. Walked Into Heaven and Stitch in Time completed the top three, while 3-2 favorite Crazy About Pat (Shawn Gray) failed to sustain a three-wide bid off the far turn, finishing sixth.   Santo Zuzolo owns and trains Spice It Up Lindy.   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the card, teaming up with Sand Wyndham ($3.50, 1:58.3), Stir Me Up ($4.70, 1:55.0), and Ashcroft ($4.10, 1:57.1).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (September 7) afternoon. The first of 13 races is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. EDT post time.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

On the Cusp ($7.80) seized the lead and never looked back, making every pole a winning one in Friday (September 5) evening's $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   Shawn Gray sent the seven-year-old Camluck mare immediately to the fore, tracked throughout by Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron). With 1-2 favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Jim Meittinis) away just worse than midpack, On the Cusp maintained an honest pace through a :55.2 half mile, far from grueling.   While Pan Luis Obispo never proved a threat, stalling at head-stretch amid her three-wide bid off cover, Inittowinafortune chased stoutly in the final eighth, but On the Cusp had plenty left in reserve to stave her off. On the Cusp prevailed by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.1 over Inittowinafortune. Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) rallied late off a stalking trip to hold third.   Dylan Davis trains On the Cusp for owner Kapildeo Singh.   While visiting driver Shawn Gray took the evening's featured event, Phil Fluet won four of the night's nine races to lead all drivers for the evening. Fluet proved victorious with Weekend Getaway ($15.20, 1:54.0), Martha Michelle ($8.50, 1:56.0), Cashamatic ($10.80, 2:00.0), and Princess Bliss ($10.60, 1:54.4).   Blows Me Away nearly gave Fluet a fifth win on the card, but the pair were outkicked by Aint Got a Home and Aaron Byron in the final yards of the evening's eighth event.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 6) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Repelling a late challenge from Spice It Up Lindy, Twin B Spike Man ($3.10) proved a gutsy 1:54.4 winner in Saturday (August 30) evening's $15,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs, giving Mike Simons one of his four driving wins on the evening.   The seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding wasted no time achieving the lead, brushing clear of Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) after a soft :29.2 first quarter and immediately accelerating through a :57 middle half. Now with Spice It Up Lindy in a tracking position, Twin B Spike Man entered the far turn with a 1-1/2 length advantage. Despite a late challenge in the final yards, Twin B Spike Man held sway for a one-length victory. Stitch in Time (Jim Taggart, Jr.) tracked the top pair the entire mile, checking in a non-threatening third.   Donald Eccleston and Albert Abdala, III co-own Twin B Spike Man with Simons. Gail Wrubel handles the training duties.   Simons was victorious on three other occasions through the evening, teaming up with Brookside Lily ($37.60, 1:58.2), Rock Star ($3.10, 1:53.2), and Current Image ($7.90, 1:58.2) to complete his grand slam.   Live racing returns on Monday (September 1) afternoon, with the 11-race card set for a 1:30 p.m. EDT start. The blockbuster Labor Day program features the 60th Cane Pace, the Shady Daisy, a preliminary Miss Versatility event, and the second half of the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 

Sustaining a first-over push to the fore before holding off the late-charging Pan Luis Obispo, Dirty Girty ($17.60) proved a 1:52 upset winner in Friday (August 29) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Western Terror mare tracked pacesetters Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56 half mile before commencing her first-over bid on the backstretch.   After nudging 2-1 second choice Inittowinafortune along through a :27.2 third quarter, Dirty Girty turned up the pressure, taking the lead off the far turn and edging clear to a two-length margin in upper stretch.   She dug in late to stave off the hard-closing 4-5 favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Jim Meittinis), with the ground-saving Southwind Trini (Corey Braden) staying on for third.   Mike Merton handled the driving duties aboard Dirty Girty for owner-trainer James Clouser, Jr.   Racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (August 30) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 

Pouncing from the pocket on the approach to the far turn, Keith Pippi's Traverse Seelster ($3.30) recorded the fastest mile ever at Tioga Downs for an older trotting gelding, taking Saturday (August 23) evening's $15,000 Open Trot in 1:52.4.   Brandon Simpson settled into the pocket with the six-year-old Angus Hall gelding, drafting behind Lutetium (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56.2 half before making his two-wide push with five-sixteenths to go.   Traverse Seelster responded at once, kicking clear to a three-length lead on the far turn. Through the stretch, he was chased home by Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons), but last week's Open winner could only muster a second-place finish, closing to within a length and a half. Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) rallied from last in the field of five to take third. Oh No Three O (Corey Braden) was a non-threatening fourth, and early pacesetter Lutetium faded to last after giving way.   Amber Buter trains Traverse Seelster, whose 1:52.4 mile bested Tac's Delight prior record for older trotting geldings by a fifth of a second. The overall track record for trotters stands at 1:52.3, most recently achieved by Obrigado.   Sunday (August 24) afternoon's 13-race card kicks off at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with freshman trotters taking center stage in a quartet of Kindergarten Classic preliminaries.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Driver Aaron Byron had the hot hand at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 22) evening, taking five of the evening's ten races. Among his triumphs was a 1:52.1 win in the $15,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace with Inittowinafortune ($6.20).   After establishing the lead with the four-year-old Cams Fortune mare, Byron yielded to the pocket, allowing Southwind Trini (Jim Meittinis) to set steady fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:24. With the first-over De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) fading on the approach to the far turn, and even-money favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Vinny Ginsburg) commencing a three-wide bid off stalled cover,   Byron was able to wedge out of the pocket with Inittowinafortune. The Michael Russo trainee struck the front in the final sixteenth, driven clear to a 1-1/2 length win over Southwind Trini. Pan Luis Obispo stayed on for third.   Byron also teamed up with Odds On Aventure (1:54), Belle Boyd (1:53.3), Shutthefrontdoor (1:54.1), and Rompaway Brandon (1:57.1) to complete his quintet of wins on the evening.   Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race card on Saturday (August 23). Post time is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

As the New York Sire Stakes draw closer to the eight $225,000 finales, presented on September 13 at Yonkers Raceway, the fields in each preliminary division leading to those rich finals understandably get smaller as only the most competitive move on. However as the fields get smaller the purses in the supporting divisions get larger. On Thursday afternoon (August 21) two $60,200 divisions of NYSS sophomore filly trots attracted only 14 entrants which leads one to believe that most are, in fact, this year's cream of the crop while those who aren't among them are looking to join their ranks. Or maybe their connections believe they have a good chance to get a huge part of the substantial purse. Still, as the two seven-horse fields race for the respectable purses offered, final results of these two trots could change the points- earned landscape especially since the stop at the Mighty M on Thursday will be the final preliminary leg before their $225,000 finale. The top eight trotters who will have earned the most points in the NYSS preliminary legs will get an opportunity to vastly increase their seasonal bankrolls in the rich finale. However, should any of the top eight fail to enter, the door will be open for those next in line in point totals. Joining the two NYSS trots will be three Excelsior Series trotting events also for 3 year old fillies arguably of lesser caliber than their NYSS cohorts. Each of the two Excelsior "A" Series trots will race for purses of $12,600 while eight others will go for a $6,800 purse in the Excelsior Series "B" event. The first $60,200 NYSS trot will go as race six on the 12-race card. That event features the top four in points. They are (with points and drivers), Market Rally (275-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.), Glowngold (130-Chris Lems), Driving Miss Crazy (130-Gates Brunet); and Beauty of Gray (125-Jim Meittinis). All almost assuredly will eligible to the Final. Others in that seven horse field (with points and drivers) include Annies List (117-Tyler Buter), Cutup Hanover (75-Jeff Gregory) and Gammy's Girl (26-Mark MacDonald). If total points determine the abilities of the entrants then the second $60,200 division arguably contains a softer field, although Avalicious (125-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) is tied for fourth in total points. She'll be joined by L Dees Scripture (111-Chris Lems),Maud Blue Chip(61-Tyler Buter), Lindys Crazy Dolly (25-Larry Stalbaum), Crediama (21-Jeff Greory), Flyhawk Falina (17-Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) and Do You Believe (8-Mark MacDonald). However, It should be noted that many of the fillies with lesser point totals isn't a decree of their abilities, it's just that they only started a few times in the NYSS this year. The Sire Stakes trots will be presented as races six and eight on the 12-race card on Thursday. They'll be joined by three quality sophomore filly trotting races in the Excelsior Series which will bolster the undercard. They will go as races one, two and five. Post time for the afternoon card is slated for 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

17 to 32 of 97