FlyHawk El Durado picked up right where he left off in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) in taking the first leg at Tioga Downs on Friday night.
Mark MacDonald sent the 2013 NYSS 2-year-old champion straight to the front for soft fractions of :29 and :58.1. The 3-year-old son of Conway Hall-El Paso Gal then picked up the pace by trotting a back half in :57 with a last quarter of :28.2. The Mark Ford-trained Flyhawk El Durado was never really challenged and crossed the line with a comfortable 2 ½-length victory in 1:55.1. Lukas Hall finished second while Hallanet wound up third.
In the second division of NYSS action, John Grasso's homebred, Expressive Action was an impressive winner in a thrilling finish.
Gural Hanover was sent to the front and opened an early three-length lead with a brisk opening quarter of :27.1. Gregory then settled Gural Hanover down thru a half of :57.1, when shortly after, business picked up. Mickey McGivern's Cash Me Out the pulled from the three hole to get up and challenge the leader through a three-quarters in 1:25.3, a spirited :28.2 duel.
By the top of the stretch, Cash Me Out wore down Gural Hanover and stuck a nose in front, but that's when a perfectly placed Expressive Action, handled brilliantly by driver Mike Simons, eased out three wide from the pocket and chased down Cash Me Out right at the wire to win by a neck in 1:54.2. The win was the first of the year and the second win in just six lifetime starts.
Leading Tioga Downs driver Jim Marohn Jr. steered three Excelsior horses to victory (Crazolo, Rc Marquee and Engagedatlexington) while Jim Morrill Jr. guided the remaining two (Avivas Winner and Zoey De Vie). (Tioga Downs)