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Nichols, NY – Tioga Downs played host to the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for both the 3-year pacing colts and geldings as well as the 3-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday (Aug. 29).

I’ll Drink To That (David Miller) wares down Natameri (Matt Kakaley) to capture the $104,000 first division of the EBC for colts and geldings. Mullinax (Yannick Gingras) went to the front but was passed by King James Express (Jason Bartlett) just before hitting the first quarter in :29.0. The lead didn’t last long as Natameri took control with a lap to go. Natameri was first to the half in :54.2. As they went down the backstretch, I’ll Drink To That ($5.90) came flying first-over and took a short lead and hit three-quarters first in 1:22.1.

As they reached the stretch the two pacers continued to battle. Natameri reclaimed the lead but I’ll Drink To That kept coming and got by just before hitting the mile in a lifetime best of 1:50.2. Natameri had to settle for second. Mullinax finished third. I’ll Drink To That is a gelding by American Ideal. He is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Craig Henderson, Lawrence Minowitz, Robert Mondillo, and Oompa’s Farm. It was his fourth win of the season. He now owns five career victories.

Town Gossip (Joe Bongioerno) wins the $104,000 second division of the EBC for colts and geldings. Town Gossip ($5.90) went to the front and hit the first quarter in :27.1. American Courage (Matt Kakaley) took over as they went by the stands for the first time and led to the half in :54.2. Southwind Petyr (Jason Bartlett) was first to make a move going first-over as they headed for the final turn. American Courage was first to three-quarters in 1:22.0. As they made the turn for home Southwind Petyr kept coming as Town Gossip slipped through the inside while Major Bean (Jordan Stratton) made it four across the track. Town Gossip was strongest of all and won in a lifetime best of 1:49.4. Major Bean finished second as Southwind Petyr got third money.

Town Gossip is a gelding by American Ideal. He is owned by Robert Weinstein and trained by Jenn Bongiorno. It was his fifth win this season and seventh career victory.


Test Of Faith (David Miller) takes the $214,000 EBC for fillies. Heart OF Mine (Scott Zeron) pops out to the lead and led to the first quarter in :26.4. He used a :29.1 second quarter to hit the half in :56.0. As they headed to the far turn Test Of Faith ($2.10) popped out of the pocket and made her move. Heart Of Mine was still first to three-quarters in 1:23.3.


As they made the turn for home Test Of Faith glided right on by to take the lead. Think Of Galaxies (Mark MacDonald) made a late run but Test Of Faith had the jump and cruised to an easy win in 1:51.1. Think Of Galaxies was second best. Heart Of Mine finished third.


Test Of Faith is a filly by Art Major. She is trained by Brett Pelling for owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Eddie Gran. She is seven for eight in 2021 and has 15 career victories in only 17 starts.


Tioga Downs returns to Live racing on Friday (Sept. 3) starting at 6:15 p.m.


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