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Graduate Series comes to Tioga on Sunday
Friday, June 08, 2018 - from Tioga Downs

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Nichols, NY --- The eyes of the harness racing world shift to Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon (June 10) when that New York venue hosts the third and last preliminary leg of the $1 million Graduate series for 4-year-olds and the New York Sires Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers.

The Graduate drew a strong response at the entry box, resulting in three $50,000 divisions of pacers and a pair of trotting races.

Trotters are up first, races three and five both sporting user friendly six-horse fields.

Yes Mickey has been tabbed as the favorite in the third. The Muscle Hill gelding was third in leg one, suffered traffic woes in the bulky 12-horse field at Mohawk in the second leg and gets Andy McCarthy to drive for trainer Ake Svanstedt and owner Melby Gard at Tioga.

Top Flight Angel, winner of the Yonkers Trot last season, is a slight morning line choice in division two. He was a good third in last week's leg and has drawn the advantageous rail position for Team Miller (driver Andy and trainer Julie) who look after the son of Archangel for Legendary Standardbred Farm.

Ron Burke holds a very strong hand in the Graduate pacing events with a total of five going postward over the three division of seven horses each.

The current scourge of the open ranks, Filibuster Hanover, kicks it off for the Burke Brigade in race seven. He's won all four of his 2018 starts including the first Graduate leg at The Meadowlands. He will begin from post six with Yannick Gingras driving for Ron Burke and partners Joe DiScala, J&T Silva Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.

The second division, race nine, includes a pair of contenders from the Burke barn but the favorite's role interestingly goes to a former Burke horse, Miso Fast, who now races out of the Virgil Morgan Jr. barn. Despite a remarkably poor run at the post position draw thus far in 2018, Miso Fast has weathered that storm and captured his division of leg two in Canada. Tim Tetrick has the assignment from post five on Sunday as the 9-5 choice for owner Winchester Baye Acres.

The tenth race, Graduate pace number three, is a very contentious one. Maroma Beach (Gingras) won a Graduate division last week for Burke. Highalator (David Miller) equaled the fastest mile of 2018 with a 1:48.1 score in a Meadowlands overnight for trainer/owner Jenny Bier and her partner Charlie Dombeck. Donttellmeagain (Tetrick) looks for his second score in the series for trainer Jim King Jr. and Paton Racing Stable.

The NYSS split into three very contentious $40,000 divisions as races four, six and eight.

The beautiful new Tioga Downs hotel offers a resort feel that was not previously available as well as packages for a spa, stay, golf trifecta that has been designed especially for horsemen. Call 607.699.3900 to make your reservation for a few days of bliss.

Post time for the big Sunday card is 1 p.m.


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