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Tioga Downs will welcome two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen pacing colts & geldings on Labor Day (September 2). Both divisions will race for a purse of $52,000. Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the first division. The 2-year-old colt by Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk is owned by trainer Blake Macintosh and Hutt Racing Stable. He has won six of his eight career starts. The colt has won five NYSS races with wins at Yonkers, Monticello, Buffalo, Saratoga, and Batavia. His other win came at the Reynolds Stakes last week at Tioga. The second morning line choice is the Ray Schnittker trained entry of Cigars And Port (Schnittker) and Teton Sunset at 5-2. Cigars And Port is a 2-year-old colt by So Surreal-Sweet On Art. He is owned by Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewetz, and Steven Arnold. His two career wins were legs of the NYSS at Yonkers and Batavia. Teton Sunset (Tyler Buter) is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Gray Ghost. Owned by Schnittker, David Pepin, and Flintlock Farm Inc., he has one win in seven career starts. Freedom Warrior (Jim Morrill Jr.) is the 3-2 morning line favorite in the second division. The 2-year-old gelding by American Ideal-Chief Karen is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare. He is a winner of his last three starts with NYSS wins at Yonkers and Vernon Downs. He won the Reynolds stakes last week at Tioga. The 2-1 second morning line choice is American Rebel (Tyler Buter). The 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Restive Hanover is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Robert Robinson and Harmon Racing Stable. He is four for eight in his career with NYSS wins at Saratoga, Yonkers, and Vernon Downs. The 12 race card starts at 1:00 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Gigi From Fiji easily captures the $11,000 fillies & mares open 1 at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 30). K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) led to the first quarter in :26.3. Gigi From Fiji ($4.10) took control as they went by the stands for the first time. She led to the half in :55.2 and to three-quarters in 1:22.4. Gigi From Fiji, driven by Wally Hennessey, is owned by trainer Mike Deters along with L Barnett, J Warner, and J Spindler, found another gear as they reached the stretch. She would win going away with a seasonal best time of 1:51.1. Persistent Better (Jim Meittinis) came up to finish second. K J's Caroline was third best. Gigi From Fiji is a 5-year-old mare by Ponder. It was her eighth win this season. She now owns 17 career victories. Wally Hennessey drove four winners on the night. His other wins came with Check Mach ($3.10), Odds On Cheddar ($5.10), and Tap Tap Tap ($4.90). Hennessey has a commanding lead for the 2019 top driver at Tioga Downs. With just eight live racing dates left he has 112 wins. Last year's drivers champion Mike Merton is second with 66 tallies. Mike Simons is in third with 40 wins. Fern Paquet Jr is fourth with 33 trips to the winner's circle. The trainers title is still wide open. Mike Deters leads with 36 victories. Joe Skowyra is right on his heels with 34 wins. Patti Harmon is in third with 30 triumphs so far this season. Rick Dane Jr (27) and Jim McDonald (23) round out the top five. There will be no live racing on Saturday (August 31) due to the Smash Mouth concert. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (September 1) with an 11 race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns .com . by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs played host to five W.N. Reynolds Memorial races on Sunday (August 25). Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) captures the $38,650 first division of "The Solicitor" for 2-year-old pacing colts & geldings. Groovy Joe ($2.80) went right to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.1. He used a :30.4 second quarter to lead to the half in :58.0. Columbo (David Miller) went first-over and put some heat on the leader as they traveled down the back stretch. Groovy Joe put Columbo away as he hit the three-quarter mark in 1:25.2. Groovy Joe, who is owned by trainer Blake Macintosh and Hutt Racing Stable, led turning for home. Western Vacation (Andy Miller) popped out of the pocket and came flying in the stretch. Groovy Joe dug down deep and hung on to win in a career best of 1:52.4. Western Vacation had to settle for second money. Columbo finished third. Groovy Joe is a 2-year-old colt by Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk. It is his sixth win in eight career starts. Freedom Warrior (David Miller) wins the $38,650 second division of "The Solicitor". Level Up (Jim Morrill Jr.) was first to the quarter in :27.4. Bombshell Hanover (Andy Miller) took over with one lap to go. He led to the half in :56.2 and to three-quarters in 1:24.2. Level Up came out of the pocket and battled Bombshell Hanover all around the final turn. Freedom Warrior ($3.10), who is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, went second over after three-quarters. He then went three-wide in the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.4. Bombshell Hanover finished second with Level Up getting third place. Freedom Warrior is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Chief Karen. He is three for seven in his career by winning his last three races. Back Of The Neck (Mattias Melander) goes gate-to-wire in "The Judge Moore" featuring freshmen trotting colts and geldings for a purse of $62,400. Back Of The Neck ($3.70) trotted first to the first quarter in :27.2. He slowed down the pace of the race with a second quarter of :31.3 by hitting the half in :59.0. He flew down the back stretch and hit three-quarters in 1:26.4. As they made the turn for home Moon Bridge (Jim Morrill Jr) was the only one with a chance. Back Of The Neck ($3.70), who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, and Judith Taylor, still led as they made the turn for home. Second place finisher Moon Bridge made a late charge but Back Of The Neck was too strong and won in a lifetime best of 1:56.0. Coventry Hall (Tyler Buter) finished third. Back Of The Neck is a 2-year-old colt by Ready Cash-Big Barb. It was his second win in four career starts. Common Sense S (Jim Morrill Jr.) wins the "The Meda" for 2-year-old trotting fillies for a purse of $56,800. Common Sense S led to the first quarter in :28.0. Her lead was short lived as Heart N Soul Deo (David Miller) took control as they headed for the stands for the first time. Heart N Soul Deo was first to the half in :56.3 and first. to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Common Sense S, who is owned by trainer Ake Svanstedt and S R F Stable, popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch and she won easily in a lifetime best of 1:55.4. Thankful For You (Tyler Buter) came up to finished second. Heart N Soul Deo held on for third. Common Sense S is a 2-year-old filly by Trixton-Opportunity. She won for the third straight time. She is three for six in her career. Ideal Dancer (Matt Kakaley) wins the non-betting "The Lorraine" featuring 2-year-old pacing fillies for a purse of $49,600. AP Emily's Dance (Andy Miller) controlled all the early fractions (:27.1, :58.1. 1:27.1). Ideal Dancer, who is trained by Scott DiDomenico for owners Triple D Stables, JFE Enterprise, D Robinson, and RBH Ventures, popped out of the pocket and flew on by to win in 1:57.1. AP Emily's Dance finished second with Bolt Of Speed (David Miller) getting third money. Ideal Dancer is a 2-year-old filly by American Ideal-Shawnee Dancer. It was her first career win in eight lifetime starts. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 30) with a nine race card starting at 6:15 p.m. No racing on Saturday (August 31) because of the Smash Mouth concert. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Roundtown Rocker (Wally Hennessey) wins the $9,000 featured harness racing trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 24). BJ Loarado (Mike Merton) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.0. He continued to lead hitting the half in :56.1. Jack Rules (Andy Santeramo) started to put on the pressure as BJ Lorado hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. The two trotters went around the last turn shoulder to shoulder. Roundtown Rocker ($6.70), who is trained by Rick Dane for owners Rock&Roll Stable and Scott Dane, was locked in the box as they turned for home. He would squeeze through an opening on the inside and holdoff a late charge by second place finisher Meadowbranch Ricky (Mike Simons) to win in a seasonal best 1:54.4. Jack Rules held on for third. Roundtown Rocker is a 6-year-old gelding by Hard Rock N Roll. It was his fourth win in 2019. He now owns 35 career victories. Wally Hennessey added three more wins on the night. His other wins came with P L McCracken ($5.20), No Reason At All ($13.00), and Blueberry Heaven ($10.40). Mike Simons and Andy Santeramo each drove two winners on the night. SImons finished first with Cayenne Victory ($3.80), and Eldorado Of Gold S ($15.60). Andy Santeramo got his victories with You Said It ($3.10), and Uncle Hanover ($5.50). Tioga Downs returns to live racing with an 11 race card featuring Reynold Memorial races for freshmen trotters and pacers starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) captured the $11,000 harness racing featured Filly & Mare Open Pace at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 23). Juxta Cowgirl (Aaron Byron) led to the first quarter in :26.4. Truth And Liberty ($4.10) took over as they went by the stands for the first time and led to the half in :55.4. She was the first to the three-quarter pole in 1:24.0. Gigi From Figi (Wally Hennessey) came first over as they went around the final turn. Truth And Liberty, who is trained by Simons and owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables, shook off Gig From Figi. She then held off the late charge from second place finisher K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) to win in 1:52.2. Gigi From Fiji finished third. Truth And Liberty is a 7-year-old mare by Total Truth. She has won four straight fillies & mares open 1 at Tioga. It was her eighth win this season and her 43rd career victory. Leading driver Wally Hennessey drove four winners on the night. He combined with trainer Mike Deters for wins with Mach West ($3.30) and Prairie Midnight ($9.40). He teamed up with trainer Jim McDonald for the other two wins. They won with Odds On Cheddar ($14.40), and Tap Tap Tap ($3.30). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 24) with a 12 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs plays host to the W.N. Reynolds Memorial races for freshmen harness racing trotters and pacers on Sunday (August 25). The Blake Macintosh trained Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) is the 7-5 morning line choice in the $38,600 first division of "The Solicitor" for 2-year-old colts & geldings. The 2-year-old colt by Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk is owned by Macintosh and Hutt Racing Stable. He has won five legs of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) this season in seven starts. In the $38,650 second division of "The Solicitor" the 6-5 morning line favorite is Freedom Warrior (David Miller). The 2-year-old gelding by American Ideal-Chief Karen is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare. He has won twice in six career starts. His victories were NYSS wins at Yonkers and Vernon Downs. The 2-1 morning line choice in the $62,400 "The Judge Moore" for freshmen trotting colts & geldings is Back Of The Neck (Mattias Melander). Marcus Melander trains the 2-year-old colt by Ready Cash-Big Barb for owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, and Judith Taylor. His lone win in three career starts came in the Kindergarten series at the Meadowlands. The Ake Svanstedt trained entry of Winter Olympics (Ake Svanstedt) and Common Sense S (Jim Morrill Jr.) are the morning line even money favorites in the $56,000 "The Meda" for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Winter Olympics (Muscle Mass-Olympic Dreams) is owned by Svanstedt. She is one for two in her career with a win in the Ontario Sire Stakes at Mohawk. Common Sense S (Trixton-Opportunity) is owned by Svanstedt and S R F Stable. She owns two wins in five career starts including a win last time out in a Tompkins Memorial race at Tioga Downs. The $49,600 "The Lorraine" for 2-year-old pacing fillies will be a non-betting race. The only filly with a win so far in the four horse field is the Nik Drennan trained AP Emily's Dance (Andy Miller). AP Emily's Dance (A Rocknroll Dance-Emily Car) is owned by J Davino, Anthony Perretti Farm, and the Drennan Stable. She is one for two lifetime. The 11 race card (plus non-betting race) will start at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Big favorites Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) and McWicked (Brian Sears) each captured stakes victories to highlight the fabulous harness racing card at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 18). In the $137,000 Artiscape open are pace, Shartin N ($2.10) went to the front just before hitting the first quarter in :25.3. She would slow the pace down using a :29.0 second quarter to hit the half in :54.3. Seaswift Joy N (Brian Sears) went first over and put on the pressure as Shartin N led to three-quarters in 1:22.0. Shartin N, who is trained by Jim King Jr. for owners Rich Poillucci, Jo-Anne Looney-King, and Tim Tetrick LLC., turned for home with a length lead. Seaswift Joy N made one late charge but Shartin N was too strong and won in 1:49.1. Seaswift Joy N had to settle for second money. Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) finished third. Shartin N is a 6-year-old mare by Tintin In America. It was her 13th win in 14 starts this season. She now has won 39 times in her career. McWicked ($2.70) came charging late to win the $170,000 Roll With Joe open male pace. Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) put up all the early fractions (:26.4, :55.2, 1:21.2). McWicked, who is owned by S S G Stables North and trained by Casie Coleman, made a move at the halfway mark. He would get to within a length of Filibuster Hanover after hitting the three-quarter mark. McWicked would eventually wear down a stubborn Filibuster Hanover to win in a seasonal best of 1:48.3. Filibuster Hanover was second best with Donttellmeagain flying late to finish third. McWicked is an 8-year-old horse by McArdle. It was win number three in 2019. He now owns 37 career wins. Zero Tolerance (David Miller) is easy winner in $232,700 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final for sophomore pacing fillies. Zero Tolerance ($2.40) took to the front before hitting the first quarter in :27.3. She easily got to the half first in :55.3. St Somewhere (Yannick Gingras) went first-over and pressured Zero Tolerance to three-quarters in 1:22.4. Zero Tolerance, who is owned by Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz while trained by Joe Halloway, made the turn for home and the race was over. She went flying in the stretch and won by four and a quarter lengths to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.2. Fool Me Again (Tim Tetrick) was second best with St Somewhere hanging on for third. Zero Tolerance is a 3-year-old filly by Heston Blue Chip. It was her fifth win this season. She now has 12 career victories. Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley) captures the $238,200 EBC for 3-year-old colts & geldings. Hickfromfrenchlick ($8.10) went to the lead and led to the first quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55.0. As they made their way to three-quarters the big favorite Shake That House (Brian Sears) made his move. Hickfromfrenchlick hit the three-quarters first in 1:21.1. The two went side by side as they went around the final turn. Hickfromfrenchlick, who is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Thomas Spatorico, and Nolamaura Racing LLC., found another gear in mid-stretch and ran away to win easily in 1:48.4. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) was second. Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey) finished third. Hickfromfrenchlick is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was his sixth win in nine starts this season. He now owns 10 career victories. The last three races on the card were cancelled due to bad weather. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 23) with an 11 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) wins the $11,000 featured fillies & mares open pace at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 16). Juxta Cowgirl (Aaron Byron) went to the front and controlled the pace hitting the first quarter in :27.1. Truth And Liberty ($3.90) watched from second as Juxta Cowgirl hit the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Truth And Liberty, who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, came out of the pocket in the stretch. She took a short lead and Juxta Cowgirl fought back. But in the end Truth And Liberty was too strong and won in a seasonal best 1:51.0. Juxta Cowgirl had to settle for second. KJ's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) finished third. Truth And Liberty is a 7-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her third straight win and seventh victory this season. She now has 42 career victories. Leading driver Wally Hennessey drover four winners on the card. He got his wins with Check Mach ($3.90), Glamorgal ($5.20), Persistent Bettor ($4.90), and Odds On Cheddar ($3.20). Mike Simons drove three winners on the night. His other wins came with Cayenne Victory ($2.50), and Lime Twist ($10.80). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 17) with a 12 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns .com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs          

Hickfromfrenchlick is scheduled to race in Indiana later this season, which is likely to attract attention there thanks to his Larry Bird-inspired name, but first the colt will try to close out a successful harness racing campaign at home on the New York circuit, beginning with Sunday's $238,200 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. The Ray Schnittker-trained Hickfromfrenchlick is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the EBC for 3-year-old male pacers and will start from post one with driver Matt Kakaley. Hickfromfrenchlick won his elimination this past Sunday by a neck over Shake That House, who is the 2-1 favorite in the final. Hickfromfrenchlick has won five of eight races this year and finished no worse than third in any start. Last year, the son of So Surreal-My Girl's A Star won four of his first five races, including the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace, before finishing off the board in his final two appearances. "He got sore at the end of last year and I don't think we saw the best of him toward the end," co-owner Patrick English said. "Unlike last year, it seems like he's gotten stronger as the year has gone on, so that's been real impressive. "It's been an absolute thrill having him. He's a gamer. It's like an athlete, when they call your number you've got to be ready to go. He's able to do that." English got involved owning racehorses in 2016, when he started the Nolamaura Racing ownership group that includes his father, Kerry, among others. The English family owns a beer distributorship in Goshen, N.Y., and has long been active on the Board of Directors at Historic Track. Prior to owning horses, Patrick English was taught how to drive by Schnittker. English won a matinee race at Historic Track on Father's Day in 2012. It remains the only time he ever drove in a race. "I'm undefeated," English said, laughing. "People don't realize how much Ray does for a lot of people around here in the sport. He brought me into it and taught me everything I know. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be in the sport. I appreciate everything he does for us." Hickfromfrenchlick was bred by Steve Jones, whose farm is located near Goshen, and purchased for $47,000 at the 2017 Goshen Yearling Sale. The colt's name is based on the nickname of Indiana-born basketball legend Bird, who was known as The Hick from French Lick. A week prior to the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, Hickfromfrenchlick equaled the track record for a 3-year-old pacing colt at Batavia Downs, winning a division of the New York Sire Stakes in 1:51.2. "That was a good mile to watch, not only because he was the winner, but they were racing the whole way," Schnittker said about the race, which saw Hickfromfrenchlick rebuff multiple challenges from Shake That House and then a late charge from Buddy Hill. "They weren't giving any money away that day. "He's come back good this year. He's very versatile, a nice horse to drive. I thought he was a very good horse last year, but I didn't know how sound he would stay. Usually, whatever bites them at 2 comes back and bites them at 3. But I got lucky and he's been very sound this year." Mark MacDonald drove Hickfromfrenchlick for his first six starts this season before being sidelined because of a racing accident. English credited MacDonald with aiding the colt's development. "Matt has done a great job these last couple races, but it was really tough seeing Mark hurt and not able to be on the bike," English said. "I know he's upset about it. When he wasn't traveling he was at the barn with Ray training with Hick. He's also helped out with our two 2-year-olds, Cigars And Port and Splash Brother. He's been a great help." Following the Empire Breeders Classic, Hickfromfrenchlick will compete in the final preliminary round of the New York Sire Stakes on Aug. 29 with an eye toward the series championship on Sept. 14. He then is eligible to the Simpson Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sept. 29 and three races at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Indiana - the Pegasus, Circle City, and Monument Circle. "We're looking forward to that," English said about the horse's trip to Indiana, adding with a laugh, "I've got to think that name is going to bring some popular betting." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Tioga Downs, which hosts several stakes in addition to the EBC. For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs has an action packed harness racing day set for Sunday with the Grand Circuit stakes Roll With Joe FFA pace, Artiscape FFA pace for mares, Miss Versatility for trotting mares and the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for New York sired 3-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Stakes purses on the day total more than $800,000. The $170,000 Roll With Joe (race 7) features 2018 Horse Of The Year McWicked who when he look down the starting gate from post six will be pleased not to see this season's division leader Lather Up among the competition. McWicked at the ripe old age of eight can still make his own luck, remains a formidable opponent for anyone and will likely be the public's choice here. Brian Sears has the drive for trainer Casie Coleman and owner Ed James as SSG Stables. The $137,000 Artiscape (race 5) saw only four rivals drop in to take on the current "Queen of the Course", Shartin N. While her story may by now be familiar to racing fans, Shartin's ability is clearly extraordinary. She became the fastest female Standardbred ever via her 1:46.4 win at The Meadowlands in the Lady Liberty, the 12th success in 13 tries this season for Shartin N and owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and driver Tim Tetrick. Jim King, Jr is the trainer. The $40,000 third of four Miss Versatility legs (race 4) offers eight solid mare trotters with last week's Joie De Vie stakes winner Custom Cantab right back at Tioga to take on seven worthy rivals. Custom Cantab overcame a bad post, slight interference early on and a first over move into Atlanta to win impressively at long odds last Sunday. She will not offer that type of value this time around as she begins from the rail for Dave Miller and trainer Chris Beaver who owns her in partnership with Don Robinson and RBH Ventures. Zero Tolerance (Dave Miller) is clearly the girl to beat in the $232,700 EBC filly final (race 8). She has ruled the NYSS scene all season and raced competitively in Grand Circuit stakes as well. Joe Holloway trains Zero Tolerance for Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. The $238,200 EBC colt final (race 9) could be a showcase for a small town colt with big talent to shine. There may be no defense strong enough to thwart Hickfromfrenchlick who starts from post 1 for Matt Kakaley. Since paired with Kakaley, the "Hick" is shooting 100% from the field while needing no assists or picks as he's taken it right down the floor from the word go each time. The money is on the line here and it's a chance to show just how clutch the Ray Schnittker trained colt is under pressure. Nolamaura Racing, LLC and TC Spatorico share ownership with Schnittker. First post on the Sunday card is 1:00pm. More information may be found on the web. by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs

Custom Cantab (David Miller) steals the $132,000 Joie De Vie open mare trot at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 11). At the start of the race Darling Mearas S (Brian Sears) went on a break and caused Manchego (Dexter Dunn) to go on a break as well. The big favorite Atlanta then got to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.0. Emoticon Hanover (Bob McClure) went in the pocket and followed Atlanta to a :55.0 half and a 1:23.1 third-quarter. Custom Cantab ($65.00), who is owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and RBH Ventures Inc., went first over just before three-quarters. She then would blow right by the tiring Atlanta to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Dream Together (Scott Zeron) finished second with Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) getting third money. Atlanta finished a disappointing sixth. Custom Cantab is a 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab. She won for the second time this season and now owns 17 career victories. Speeding Spur N (Brian Sears) charges late to capture the $148,000 Crawford Farms open trot. Mission Accepted (Yannick Gingras) led to the first quarter in :27.4. Speeding Spur N ($18.60) went to the lead as they headed for the stands for the first time. Mission Accepted reclaimed the lead with five-eighths of a mile to go and led to the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Speeding Spur N, who is owned by Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. and trained by Linda Toscano, popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch. He looked like a rocket coming down the stretch and just squeaked by second place finisher Mission Accepted to win in a track record time for aged trotting horses of 1:52.4. Run Director (Sylvain Filion) was third best. Speeding Spur N is an 8-year-old horse by Pegasus Spur. It was win number two of the season and his 28th career victory. It was his first win in the United States. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) wins the $12,500 first elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) featuring 3-year-old colts & geldings. Rollwithpapajoe (Dexter Dunn) got to the first quarter first in :27.0 and led to the half in :55.0. Major Blake (Jason Bartlett) went first-over on the back stretch and stuck a nose in front hitting three-quarters first in 1:22.1. Rollwithpapajoe reclaimed the lead as they reached the top of the stretch. Artie's Ideal ($24.80), who is owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by Erv Miller, followed in the pocket and came out to go first-over. Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) then made a three-wide move. Artie's Ideal was too strong in deep stretch and held off second place finisher Buddy Hill to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.3. Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey) finished third as World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) took fourth. All four qualified for the EBC final next Sunday (August 18). Rollwithpapajoe finished fifth and is the also eligible for the final. Artie's Ideal is 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. It was his first win this season. He now owns three career victories. Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley) holds on to win the $12,500 second division. Hickfromfrenchlick ($4.30) charged to the front and led to a first quarter of :28.0. He controlled the pace hitting the half in :56.3. Major March (Jason Bartlett) went first-over just before Hickfromfrenchlick hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. Hickfromfrenchlick, who is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, and Thomas Spatorico, battled with Major March as they made the turn for home. Shake That House (Brian Sears) then found an opening on the inside but fell just short as Hickfromfrenchlick won in 1:51.4. Shake That House settled for second best. Major March held on for third. Respect Our Flag (Dexter Dunn) finished fourth with Chatelroll getting fifth place. All five qualified for the EBC Final. Hickfromfrenchlick is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was win number five this season and career victory number nine. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 16) with a 10 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs      

Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) wins the featured $11,000 fillies & mares open at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 10). Truth And Liberty ($5.50) led to the first quarter in :27.3. Juxta Cowgirl (Aaron Byron) took control as they went by the stands for the first time and led to the half in :56.2. Gigi From Fiji (Wally Hennesey) went first-over and put on the pressure as Juxta Cowgirl hit three-quarters first in 1:24.0. Truth And Liberty, who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, squeezed through an opening on the inside as they went down the stretch. They were three across the track as Truth And Liberty got up in time to win in 1:52.4. Gigi From Fiji was second best with Juxta Cowgirl holding on for third. Truth And Liberty is a 7-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her sixth win this season. She now has 41 career victories. Mike Simons and Mike Merton each drove three winners on the night. SImons got his other wins with Celebrity Lover ($14.80), and Cinnamon Stick ($3.20). Merton went to the winner's circle with Hanovers Best ($3.40), Whip N Neigh Neigh ($4.00), and Dekeyser ($8.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (August 11) with a 13 race card. The card features the $148,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot and the $132,000 Joie De Vie open mare trot. There will also be two eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic featuring 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 1:00 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs    

Tioga Downs hosted six Tompkins-Geers harness racing stakes for freshmen trotters and pacers on Friday (August 9). Major Betts (Dexter Dunn) took the first division of the $29,350 Geers Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts & geldings. Major Betts ($8.60), who is owned by trainer Mark Harder, J V Jannuzzelli, and Rachel Frost, went to to the front and never looked back putting up all the fractions (:27.2, :57.3, 1:25.3, 1:53.2). Bombshell Hanover (Andy Miller) was second best with Papi Rob Hanover (David Miller). Major Betts is a 2-year-old colt by Art Major-Southwind Johanne. He is now two for two in his career. In the $29,350 second division, Western Vacation (Andy Miller) was first to the quarter in :27.3. Manticore (David Miller) took over the lead before hitting the half in :56.1. He led to three quarters in 1:25.0 and held off a late charge by second place finisher Western Vacation to win in 1:52.2. JK Lucky Charms (Dexter Dunn) finished third. Manticore ($3.00) is a 2-year-old colt by Western Ideal-Southwind Playa. He is trained by Bruce Saunders for owners M&L Of Delaware LLC., and M&M Harness Racing LLC. It was his second win in five career starts. Shining Beauty (Tim Tetrick) came flying late to win the $64,900 Geers Stakes for freshmen pacing fillies. Ladyboss (Wally Hennessey) led to a first quarter of :28.0 and to the half in :57.1. Coconut Beach (Jim Morrill Jr.) took over and led to three-quarters in :1:25.1. Shining Beauty ($4.80), who is owned by Brittany Farms LLC., and trained by Linda Toscano, looked like she was shot out of a cannon in the stretch as she flew by to win in 1:53.3. JK Finendandy (Dexter Dunn) was second with Bolt Of Beauty (Marcus Miller) finishing third. Shining Beauty is a filly by Captaintreacherous-American Jewel. It was a victory in her first career start. Saylor (D R Ackerman) wns the $54,000 Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts & geldings. Sixteen(Wally Hennessy) led to a first quarter in :29.1. Saylor ($10.60) took control as they went by the stands for the first time. Owned and trained by Ackerman, he went to the half in :59.0. He then cruised through three-quarters in 1:28.1 and won in 1:58.4. Coventry Hall (Corey Callahan) finished second. Third money went to AP Hall Of Trix (David Miller). Saylor is a 2-year-old colt by Chapter Seven-Creme De Cocoa. It was his second career victory. Common Sense S (Jim Morrill Jr.) went gate-to-wire to capture the $41,800 first division of the Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Owned by trainer Ake Svanstedt and S R F Stable, she put up all the fractions (:28.1, :58.0, 1:27.0, 1:56.3). Eye On The Hill (Dexter Dunn) was second with Thankful For You (Corey Callahan) getting third. Common Sense S ($4.40) is a 2-year-old filly by Trixton-Opportunity. It was her second career victory. Musclesandmascara (Corey Callahan) takes the $41,300 second division. She controlled all the early fractions (:29.3, 1:00.0, 1:29.0). Hannah (Andy Miller) took the lead at the top of the stretch and looked poised to get the win but went on a break in mid-stretch. Musclesandmascara ($21.40), who is owned by Consus Racing Stable and trained by Jonas Czernyson, re-claimed the lead and won in 1:58.4. Luv U Bye Click (Steve Smith) finished second. Stella Kemp (Jim Morrill Jr.) was third best. Musclesandmascara is a 2-year-old filly by Muscle Hill-Broadway Sister. It was her first career victory. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a 12 race card on Saturday (August 10) starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www,tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

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  

Tioga Downs will feature six Tompkins-Geers stakes races for freshman trotters and pacers on Friday, August 9. There are two harness racing divisions of the Geers Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts & geldings. Each division will race for a purse of $29,350. In the first division the 9-5 morning line favorite is the Linda Toscano trained Columbo (Jim Morrill Jr.). He is a colt by Sweet Lou-No More Loving. In the second division the morning line favorite at 9-5 is Western Vacation (Andy Miller) The gelding by Western Ideal-Robin Cruiser is trained by Julie Miller In the $64,900 Geers Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies the 2-1 morning line favorite is the Erv Miller trained entry of Coconut Beach (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Bolt Of Beauty (Marcus Miller). Coconut Beach is a filly by Art Major-Gold Beach. Bolt Of Beauty is a filly by Bolt The Duer-Natural Luck. The $54,000 Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts & geldings features an entry of four as the 4-5 morning line favorites. They consist of Rukiddnme (Muscle Mass-Uh Oh its Lindy) who is trained by Ake Svanstedt and driven by Jim Morrill Jr. , Light Blue Movers (Ready Cash-Prinessa) is driven by Dexter Dunn and trained by Svanstedt. Ceventry Hall (Cash Hall-Canland Hall) is also trained by Svanstedt and has Corey Callahan at the helm, along with Sixteen who is driven by Wally Hennessey and trained by Rick Zeron. There are two divisions of the Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Julie Miller trains both favorites. Aldabra Hanover (Andy Miller) is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the $41,800 first division. She is a filly by Muscle Hill-anonyme Hanover. Hannah (Andy Miller) is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the $41,300 second division. She is a filly by Muscle Hill-Viva Las Lindy. The 11 race card starts at 6:15 p.m. by John Horne, 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  

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