Nichols, NY — Tioga Downs played host to five W.N. Reynolds Memorial Grand Circuit races on Sunday (Aug. 25).
Back Of The Neck (Mattias Melander) went gate-to-wire in “The Judge Moore” featuring freshman trotting colts and geldings for a purse of $62,400.
Back Of The Neck ($3.70) trotted to the first quarter in :27.2. He slowed down the pace of the race with a second quarter of :31.3 by hitting the half in :59. He flew down the backstretch and hit three-quarters in 1:26.4. As they made the turn for home Moon Bridge (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the only one with a chance.
Back Of The Neck, who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, and Judith Taylor, still led as they made the turn for home. Second place finisher Moon Bridge made a late charge but Back Of The Neck was too strong and won in a lifetime best of 1:56.1. Coventry Hall (Tyler Buter) finished third.
Back Of The Neck is a 2-year-old colt by Ready Cash-Big Barb. It was his second win in four career starts.
Common Sense S (Jim Morrill Jr.) won “The Meda” for 2-year-old trotting fillies for a purse of $56,800. Common Sense S led to the first quarter in :28. Her lead was short lived as Heart N Soul Deo (David Miller) took control as they headed for the stands for the first time. Heart N Soul Deo was first to the half in :56.3 and first to three-quarters in 1:25.3.
Common Sense S, who is owned by trainer Ake Svanstedt and S R F Stable, popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch and she won easily in a lifetime best of 1:55.4. Thankful For You (Tyler Buter) came up to finish second. Heart N Soul Deo held on for third.
Common Sense S is a 2-year-old filly by Trixton-Opportunity. She won for the third straight time and is three for six in her career.
Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) captured the $38,650 first division of “The Solicitor” for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Groovy Joe ($2.80) went right to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.1. He used a :30.4 second quarter to lead to the half in :58. Columbo (David Miller) went first-over and put some heat on the leader as they traveled down the backstretch. Groovy Joe put Columbo away as he hit the three-quarter mark in 1:25.2.
Groovy Joe, who is owned by trainer Blake MacIntosh and Hutt Racing Stable, led turning for home. Western Vacation (Andy Miller) popped out of the pocket and came flying in the stretch. Groovy Joe dug down deep and hung on to win in a career best of 1:52.4. Western Vacation had to settle for second money. Columbo finished third.
Groovy Joe is a 2-year-old colt by Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk. It is his sixth win in eight career starts.
Freedom Warrior (David Miller) won the $38,650 second division of “The Solicitor.” Level Up (Jim Morrill Jr.) was first to the quarter in :27.4. Bombshell Hanover (Andy Miller) took over with one lap to go. He led to the half in :56.2 and to three-quarters in 1:24.2. Level Up came out of the pocket and battled Bombshell Hanover all around the final turn.
Freedom Warrior ($3.10), who is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, went second-over after three-quarters. He then went three-wide in the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.4. Bombshell Hanover finished second with Level Up getting third place.
Freedom Warrior is a 2-year-old gelding by American Ideal-Chief Karen. He is three for seven in his career and has won his last three races.
Ideal Dancer (Matt Kakaley) won the non-betting “The Lorraine” featuring 2-year-old pacing fillies for a purse of $49,600. AP Emily’s Dance (Andy Miller) controlled all the early fractions (:27.1, :58.1, 1:27.1). Ideal Dancer, who is trained by Scott DiDomenico for owners Triple D Stables, JFE Enterprise, Donald Robinson, and R.B.H. Ventures, popped out of the pocket and flew on by to win in 1:57.1. AP Emily’s Dance finished second with Bolt Of Speed (David Miller) getting third money.
Ideal Dancer is a 2-year-old filly by American Ideal-Shawnee Dancer. It was her first career win in eight lifetime starts.
Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (Aug. 30) with a nine-race card starting at 6:15 p.m. There is no racing on Saturday (Aug. 31) because of the Smash Mouth concert. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com.