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Five finals at Tioga

June 01, 2007

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Tioga Downs will host five series finals this weekend, along with the opening leg of the Rags to Riches Series on Sunday, June 3.

The $22,200 Southern Tier Trotting final is slated for the third race on Friday, June 1, with the heavy standout Keystone Celeste drawing the nine hole. The 3-year-old Yankee Glide filly has won all three of her series starts with the fastest being in 1:57.4 for owner, trainer and driver Todd Schadel.

A purse of $24,900 will be up for grabs in the Tioga County Pacing final. The two favorites, Isabellas Wish and Chinatown K, will line up next to each other from post positions two and three. This will be the first time in the series that the two 3-year-old filly pacers will race together with Roger Hammer piloting Isabellas Wish, while Jim Morrill Jr. will control Chinatown K.

Nine 3-year-old colts and geldings will contest a purse of $24,300 in the Sackett’s Creek Pacing final on Saturday, June 2. The Best will make his return to the series after competing in the Empire Breeders Classic for conditioner Lonny Hale. The 3-year-old son of Pro Bono Best won his initial series leg in 1:55.2 for driver Josh Marks on May 12.

Sand Prince will look to take the $33,200 final of the Tioga Throwdown Trotting Series on Saturday night. American Lane handed him his first loss at Tioga Downs last week and erased the older gelding trotting record that Sand Prince had set the week before. American Lane will be driven by Ray Schnittker, leaving from post position five, while Sand Prince will be steered by Joe Pavia Jr. from post position six.

Slated as race seven on Sunday, June 3, is the $32,700 final of the Tioga Tirade Pacing Series. Mystic Gold was sent down the road in a scorcher last week with driver George Brennan as they reached the half in :54.4 before breezing the three-quarters in 1:22.2 with a final clocking of 1:51.2 for conditioner Trevor Warwick. Mystic Gold will leave from post position three in the nine-horse field with Kevin Sizer listed to drive.

Sunday will also prove to be a day that people have been waiting for as Tioga rolls out its Rags to Riches Series that will carry a final purse of $85,000. Designed after the NCAA tournament, the Rags to Riches Series has carded four nine-horse fields for the opening leg. The top four finishers from each race and the two fastest fifth place finishers will be given a chance to come back next week and try to make the final. Everyone will watch to find out the answer to “What racetrack has the best $10,000 claimers?”

Important Rags to Riches info:

Due to the limited number of entries (36, four fields of nine horses) received for Leg #1 of the series, the Sunday races will be considered the quarter-finals and race for the advertised quarter-final purse of $8,500.

The first four finishers in each division and the two fastest fifth place finishers (18 horses) will move on to the $10,000 semi-finals next week on June 10, which will be two nine-horse fields.

The first four and the fastest fifth place finisher from the June 10 semi-finals will move into the final.

Additional money will be added to the final and consolation. The final will race for a purse of $85,000 on June 17. There will also be a $15,000 consolation the same day. (Tioga Downs)

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