Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou ($2.60) could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory.
The five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald) in the early stages, brushing to the fore after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt the Duer stayed on to be third, while Word Power (Jim Morrill, Jr.) sustained a wide bid off a third-over trip to take fourth.
Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura.
The undercard saw three-year-old pacing colts and geldings contest a trio of $41,300 New York Sire Stakes divisions, with El Bloombito (1:50.2) turning in a spectacular four-length win in rein to Tim Tetrick. Linda Toscano trains the American Ideal colt for the Stake Your Claim Stable, the Camelot Stable, and Fred Wallace.
Sir Sam's Z Tam (1:52.1, Patrick Lachance) and Twin B Speedo (1:53.0, Mark MacDonald) captured the other divisions.
Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Monday (June 2) evening, with the first of 13 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT. (Tioga)