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Nichols NY - Tioga Downs will be the focus of the Standardbred racing world on Sunday when the "Jewel of the Southern Tier" plays host to a pair of harness racing Grand Circuit stakes as well as the elimination races for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for pacing colts.   The best older trotting mares currently racing roll in for the $132,000 Joie De Vie stakes (race 9) where the fastest female trotter in racing history by virtue of her 1:49.1 Graduate final win, Atlanta returns after a short freshening.   Atlanta dominated the first half of the season with six consecutive stakes wins before a tight loss in the Hambletonian Maturity. Since then her only public appearances have been on owner Michelle Crawford's social media as she spent a few weeks being pampered at their horse resort in upstate New York. She's back as the favorite to take the Joie De Vie with regular driver Yannick Gingras slated to drive from post six for trainer Ron Burke and partners Crawford Farms, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor.   In Atlanta's absence, one of her chief rivals from last season Manchego has blossomed. After a bit of a slow start, Manchego has caught fire lately for trainer Nancy Johansson most recently a convincing 1:50 win in the Dr. John Steele Memorial setting up an interesting meet between these two queens of the trot. She'll start from post two for driver Dexter Dunn and owner Black Horse Racing.   The eight mare field is loaded with talent and includes; world record holder (set right here at Tioga Downs) and multiple Breeders Crown winner Emoticon Hanover for the Hambletonian winning connections of Determination, Luc Blais and Bob McClure, 2018 Steele Memorial winner Dream Together (stablemate to Emoticon Hanover), International star and 1:49.4 Meadowlands winner Darling Meras S along with her Svanstedt stablemate World Champion millionairess Plunge Blue Chip, the always tough multiple stakes winning Custom Cantab and former KYSS champ Top Expectations.   Six top trotting horses declared for the $148,000 Crawford Farms (race 8) and it is a well balanced, competitive field.   Mission Accepted (PP#4 - Gingras/Burke) won last week's Vincennes trot at The Meadowlands and his sharp gate speed allows him to be in position to succeed for owners Knox Services and David Willis.   Pinkman (PP#1 - Dunn/Per Engbloom) was a good second to Mission Accepted in that race and his story is a familiar one. The ageless 2015 Hambletonian winner perhaps doesn't win as often as he once did but is closing in on $3 million for owners Takter, Fielding & Fielding, Mc Clelland and Liverman and he has the rail.   The balanced of the field includes Ontario star Run Director, Spirit of Massachusetts runner-up The Veteran, former Breeders Crown champ Fiftydallarbill and decorated New Zealand import Speeding Spur N.   Also on the bill are a pair of eliminations for next week's $238,000 EBC finals.   Post time is 1:00 pm on Sunday and more info may be gleaned on the web.   by Nick Sali, for Tioga Downs  

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host the Grand Circuit Crawford Farms FFA Trot and Joie De Vie FFA Mare Trot stakes this Sunday with a matinee post time of 1:00pm.   The $148,000 Crawford Farms drew a field of six that includes the venerable 2015 Hambletonian champ Pinkman as well as winner of last week's Vincennes trot on Hambo Day, Mission Accepted.   Eight top trotting mares will contest the $132,000 Joie De Vie led by the prolific 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta who will face the streaking Manchego on Sunday.   Horses for both races are requires to report to the Stakes Barn at Tioga by 8:00 pm on Saturday.   Also scheduled for the Sunday card are the eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic for pacing fillies and colts.   With just nine fillies declared for the race there is no elimination needed and they will all go straight to the $232,700 final on Sunday, August 18.   They are listed by post position here: 1. JK American Beauty 2. Fool Me Again 3. DD Delicious 4. Zero Tolerance 5. St Somewhere 6. Gia's Surreal 7. Brooklyn Lilacs 8. Hurrikane Norakane 9. Topville Angelina   The colt stake attracted thirteen and that pair of $12,500 elimination races will go on Sunday afternoon with the $238,200 final next Sunday.   Questions may be directed to the Racing Office at (607) 699-7688.   The complete list of entries may be found on the web.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs  

Harness racing mare Dream Together (Bob McClure) charged late in the strech to steal the Joie De Vie ($141,000) at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 12). Ariana G (Tim Tetrick) put up the first quarter time of :26.4. Yannick Gingras then charged out from third with the big favorite Hannelore Hanover. She had to put a little extra effort to get by. She led them to the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. As they reached the top of the stretch Ariana G tried to find racing room by found none. Barn-mates Dream Together ($29.60) and Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) came flying down the stretch together. Both mares are owned by Determination and trained by Luc Blais. Both would duel late in the stretch with Dream Together getting the upper hand to win in 1:53.1. Emoticon Hanover, who set a world record in this race a year ago, settled for second best. Hannelore Hanover hung on for third. Dream Together is a 4-year-old mare by Muscle Hill. She got a major upset victory for the second week in a row. She used late speed to win the Steele Memorial last week at the Meadowlands as well . It was her third win this season and 11th career victory. Will Take Charge (Tim Tetrick) sets track record in the Crawford Open Trot ($186,000). I Know My Chip (Jim Marohn Jr.) led the field to a first quarter of :27.1. Will Take Charge ($3.50) brushed by as they went by the stands for the first time. He would lead them to a half in :56.1. He increased his lead on the back stretch. He hit three-quarters in 1:23.3. Owned Mac T Nichol and trained by Jeffrey Gillis, once he reached the top of the stretch, everyone knew the race was over. He cruised home in a last quarter of :27.4 and set the track record for aged geldings with a time of 1:51.2. I Know My Chip followed to finish second. JL Cruze (Brett Miller) was third best. Will Take Charge is a 5-year-old gelding by Kadabra. He won for the eighth time this season and he captured career victory number 20. Favorites, Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill jr.) and Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) won Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) eliminations for 3-year-old pacing fillies. In the first EBC elimination, Ms Cheesman (John MacDonald) led to the first quarter in :27.0. Then Alexis Faith ($2.80) charged by to take over, hitting the half in :56.0 and three-quarters in 1:23.3. Trained by Casie Coleman for owners West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, Robert Darrow, and Kevin McKinlay, she held off a late run by Pueblo Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) to win in 1:52.0. Second Place finisher Pueblo Blue Chip, third place finisher Painted Lady (Tim Tetrick), and fourth place finisher Ms Cheeseman, all qualified for next weeks final. Alexis Faith is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal. It was her third win this season and ninth win in her career. In the second EBC elimination, I'm Trigger Happy (Jim Marohn Jr.) charged out to lead to a first quarter in :27.1. Youaremycandygirl ($2.10) was fourth after the first quarter. Gingras said go and she flew by before the second turn. Owned by W J Donovan, and trained by Ron Burke, she then controlled all the rest of the fractions (:56.2, 1:23.2, 1:51.0). In the order that finished after Youaremycandygirl is the rest of the qualifiers, I'm Trigger Happy, Believe In Me (David Miller), Solitary (Andy Miller), Majorette Angie (Drew Monti). Youaremycandygirl is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal. She won for the fifth time this season and for the 14th time in her career. Here is the starting order for the EBC final for pacing fillies for an estimated $250,000 next week. (1) Alexis Faith, (2) Majorette Angie, (3) Solitary, (4) Pueblo Blue Chip, (5) I'm Trigger Happy, (6) Youaremycandygirl, (7) Painted Lady, (8) Believe In Me, (9) Ms Cheesman. American History (Yannick Gingras) and Courtly Choice (David Miller) won EBC eliminations on the boys side for 3-year-old pacers. In the first elimination for pacing colts and geldings, Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) went to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:28.1, :57.2, 1:23.4). Trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, and American History Racing, American History ($3.30) made his move just before the three-quarters. He took over at the top of the stretch and won in 1:51.1. Here are the rest of the qualifiers in the order then finished starting with the second place, Hitman Hill, Heavenly Sound (Jim Marohn Jr.), Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron). American History is a 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. It was win number four this season. He now has seven career victories. In the second EBC elimination, Ideal Feeling (Tim Tetrick) went to a first quarter lead in :27.0. Courtly Choice ($2.20) buzzed by and never looked back, covering all the rest of the fractions (:55.0, 1:21.2, 1:49.0). Trained by Blake Macintosh for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac&Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe, and Touch Stone Farms, he was followed by the rest of the qualifiers in the order they finished. Ideal Feeling, Real Surreal (Jame MacDonald), Keystone Tenacious (Mark MacDonald), Mach N Cheese (Jim Marohn Jr.). Courtly Choice is 3-year-old colt by Art Major. It was his seventh win this season and ninth career victory. Here is the starting order for the estimated $250,000 EBC final for 3-year-old colts and geldings. (1) Heavenly Sound, (2) Keystone Tenacious, (3) American History, (4) Mac N Cheese, (5) Courtly Choice, (6) Hitman Hill, (7) Ideal Feeling, (8) Ghost Dance, (9) Real Surreal. It will be run next Sunday (August 19). Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 17) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host one of the biggest cards of their 2018 season this Sunday, August 12 and those races were drawn today.   The headliner will be the $141,000 Joie de Vie mare trot (race 8) where the long anticipated match up between 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover and 2017 sophomore filly title holder Ariana G will finally come to pass. Hannelore has drawn the rail while Ariana G will begin from post 4. Only one of them can be driven by Yannick Gingras who must make a difficult choice between the mares.   All of the top mares currently racing are in the field, including the winner of last Saturday's Steele Memorial at The Meadowlands, Dream Together along with Broadway Donna and Caprice Hill who followed her in.   The Crawford Farms Open trot (race 9) will be a full field of 10 racing for a purse of $186,000. Will Take Charge is the horse to beat here with Marion Marauder not among the entrants.   Also on Sunday are the elimination races for the $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic with those rich finals set for next Sunday. Both colts and fillies has 13 enter for the stake.   Courtly Choice and American History lead the colt brigade while Youaremycandygirl comes into the filly race hot off her dazzling 1:48.2 Meadowlands track record in the Shady Daisy.   You may see the entire fields on the web. Post time is 1:00 pm.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs  

Emoticon Hanover (Daniel Dube) wins the Joie De Vie ($150,000) and sets the world record for harness racing 4 year-old mares for any size track in 1:50.2, at Tioga Downs on a magnificent matinee (August 27). Emotican Hanover (Kadabra), would lay down all the fractions :26.0, :55.1, 1:22.4, 1:50.2. Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras) would try to take the lead before the first quarter but she had to settle for the pocket trip. She would follow the whole way. The Favorite Pasithea Face S would make her bid first over on the back stretch heading for the turn but she just didn't have it today. Last week she set the track record (1:50.4) but ended up fourth best today. Emoticon Hanover ($14.40) was pressured a little bit by Hannelore Hanover (Swan For All), in the stretch but she found another gear to get the easy win. Hannelore Hanover barely hung on for second as Caprice Hill (Brian Sears) came charging late to finish third. Emoticon Hanover, who is owned by Determination and trained by Luc Blais, won for the second time this season. The 4 year-old mare has 13 life time wins but none faster than the world record of 1:50.2. Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) glides to easy win in the Crawford Farms Open Trot ($170,000). Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras) would set all the early fractions, :27.0, :56.1, 1:23.2. Resolve (Muscle Hill) would make his move first over at the top of the back stretch. By the three-quarter mark the 6 year-old who is owned by Hans Enggren and trained by Svanstedt, would pull almost even before taking over at the top of stretch and firing home in 1:51.4. Cufflink Hanover (Corey Callahan) would ride the pocket for the whole trip coming up to finish second. Flanagan Memory (Brian Sears) would fire late to finish third. Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) would coming flying late to finish fourth in the field of 10. Resolve ($4.00) won for the fourth time this season. The 6 year-old would win for the 18th time is his career and set the track record at Tioga Downs for an aged horse in 1:51.4. Pure Country (Mark MacDonald) wins the Artiscape Open Mares pace ($158,000). Pure Country (Somebeachsomewhere) would go gate-to wire to capture the Artiscape. She would put up all the fractions :26.4, :55.1, 1:22.1, 1:50.1. Owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Jimmy Takter, Pure Country ($8.60) would get win number two on the season. The four year-old mare now has 22 career wins. Frost Damage Blues (Corey Callahan) would come up to get second and the favorite, Nike Franco N (Tim Tetrick) finished third. Here are the winners of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial races. In The Judge Moore (first division) race for freshman trotting colts and geldings It was Keystone Apache (David Miller) to get the win for a purse of $40,450. I'm Trigger Happy (Corey Callahan) won The Lorraine ($45,330) for 2 year-old filly pacers Farsetti Hanover (Marcus Miller) took the second division of The Judge Moore Closing Statement (David Miller), was victorious in the first division of The Tar Heel ($33,250) for freshman pacing colts & geldings Bill's Lady (Tim Tetrick) won the The Meda ($64,700) for freshman filly trotters. She would equal the track record for freshman filly trotters with a mile of 1:55.1. Karpathian Kid (David Miller)would take the second division of The Tar Heel ($33,250). John Horne for Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs presents its biggest harness racing card of the season on Sunday, August 27 with nine stakes Grand Circuit on the day carrying total purses of nearly $750,000.   Highlights include the $170,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot, $150,000 Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot and $158,000 Artiscape Open Mare Pace supported by six divisions of the Reynolds stakes for 2-year-olds rounding out the program.   Ten of the finest trotters in the land are entered for the Crawford Farms (race 8) with the combined earnings of the field in excess of $12 million.   Resolve (PP #7) is the leading career money winner and arguably the best trotter currently racing in North America for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt and owner Hans Enggren. A winner three times in eight seasonal starts, Reslove's most recent effort was a convincing open length win in the $303,000 Cashman Memorial on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.   Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) chased Resolve home on that occasion and has drawn just to the outside of his chief rival on Sunday. He's handling the graduation to the veteran ranks nicely for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling with wins in the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate final versus 4-year-old competition. Facing this deep and talented group in only his second foray open competition is a arduous task for last year's Triple Crown champ.   The Joie De Vie (race 6) features last year's dominant division leader Hannelore Hanover (PP#5 Yannick Gingras) and her newest rival in Swedish import Pasithea Face S (PP#2 Tim Tetrick). In the initial meeting Pasithea Face vanquished her accomplished rival with a grueling first over move to win the Dr John Steele Memorial on Hambo Day. Hannelore has not raced since while Pasithea Face tuned up with an overall track record 1:50.4 at Tioga last week in a leg of the Miss Versatility.   The Artiscape (race 7) pits Lady Liberty winner Pure Country (PP#5 Mark MacDonald) against Golden Girls winner Nike Franco N (PP#2 Tetrick) in another field of six. Those two threw down for the final three eighths of a mile in the Liberty with Nike Franco wrestling the lead away by a neck at the stretch call before Pure Country rallied back to get the win.   The Reynolds stakes cover six races, two each for the trotting and pacing colts and a single division of fillies for each gait.   It's Corntastic weekend at Tioga Downs and post time on Sunday is 1:00 p.m.   Here are the fields for the three featured events:   SIXTH RACE Condition: Joie De Vie Open Mares Gait: Trot Purse: $150,000 Class: JOIEDEVIE Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 JEWELS IN HOCK L Ma Kakaley Ro Burke 1:54.0 1-9-1 8-1       2 2 PASITHEA FACE S   Ti Tetrick Ji Takter 1:50.4 1-1-2 9-5       3 3 CAPRICE HILL   Br Sears To Alagna 1:53.3 4-2-2 5-1       4 4 EMOTICON HANOVER   Da Dube Lu Blais 1:51.0 3-1-1 3-1       5 5 HANNELORE HANOVER L Ya Gingras Ro Burke 1:50.3 4-2-1 2-1       6 6 FAD FINANCE   Da Miller TrSmedshammer 1:52.1 5-1-3 12-1       SEVENTH RACE Condition: Artiscape Open Mares Gait: Pace Purse: $158,000 Class: ARTISCAPE Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 CALL ME QUEEN BE   Sc Zeron Ro Croghan 1:53.0 2-4-5 9-2       2 2 NIKE FRANCO N L Ti Tetrick Ja King Jr 1:48.0 3-2-1 2-1       3 3 FROST DAMAGE BLUES L Co Callahan Th Fanning 1:50.1 1-5-4 5-1       4 4 BEDROOMCONFESSIONS L Ya Gingras To Alagna 1:49.3 1-5-1 7-2       5 5 PURE COUNTRY L Ma MacDonald Ji Takter 1:48.0 1-2-7 5-2       6 6 PENPAL   Da Dube Pa Lachance 1:49.2 7-3-6 8-1       EIGHTH RACE Condition: Crawford Farms Open Horses Gait: Trot Purse: $170,000 Class: CRAWFORD Dis: 1 Mile   HN PP Horse Meds Driver Trainer Years Best Last 3 Odds Claiming     1 1 DAYSON L Ti Tetrick Ro Burke 1:52.3 4-3-4 6-1       2 2 FLANAGAN MEMORY L Br Sears Re Dion 1:52.2 1-8-2 7-2       3 3 JL CRUZE   Da Miller Er Ell 1:51.0 5-1-3 5-1       4 4 PRAIRIE FORTUNE L Ja Meittinis Mi Deters 1:53.2 8-4-1 15-1       5 5 GURAL HANOVER L Ma Kakaley Ro Burke 1:51.0 1-1-1 8-1       6 6 CUFFLINK HANOVER   Co Callahan JoButenschoen 1:51.1 4-7-2 12-1       7 7 RESOLVE   Ak Svanstedt Ak Svanstedt 1:54.2 1-4-8 5-2       8 8 MARION MARAUDER   Sc Zeron Pa Wellwood 1:51.2 2-1-1 3-1       9 9 CRAZY WOW L Ya Gingras Ro Burke 1:51.1 10-3-1 4-1       10 [10 WINGS OF ROYALTY   Ma MacDonald Ge Ducharme 1:52.4 1-11-2 15-1   Nick Salvi

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