Nichols, NY --- One was an upset winner and one had the race won when he entered. That’s the story for Bettor B Lucky who lived up to her name when she upset the heavily favored Takter entry of American Jewel and Romantic Moment to win the filly division of the Empire Breeders Classic. Heston Blue Chip, undefeated in New York Sire Stakes action this year, continued his dominance while breaking his own track record to win the colt final.
Bettor B Lucky, the 3-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight--Hornby Lucky, left from post two with driver Jim Morrill, Jr. and secured the three hole behind the favored Takter entry of American Jewel and Romantic Moment. The race seemed to go American Jewel’s way while she cruised thru fractions of :26.2, :56 and 1:24.1.
The first-over challenger, Handsoffmycookie, never advanced past fourth on the outside, which allowed the front three to separate a little and battle it out late. Halfway around the last turn Romantic Moment tipped out from the two hole to challenge stablemate American Jewel while the Ron Burke trained 18-1 shot Bettor B Lucky tipped off that cover. American Jewel tired late and Romantic Moment and Bettor B Lucky dueled to the wire with Bettor B Lucky coming out on top in 1:50, a new lifetime mark.
Romantic Moment finished second while stablemate American Jewel ended up third. Bettor B Lucky raised her lifetime earnings to just over $300,000. A replay of the race can be viewed by following this link.
Heston Blue Chip continued his supremacy of New York-bred pacers with a dominating win. Sent forward from post position two, driver Tim Tetrick moved the Linda Toscano-trained 3-year-old to the front in :26.4. After leading the field past the half in :55, Tetrick stepped on the gas and Heston Blue Chip responded with a :26.2 third panel to trip the three-quarter pole timer in 1:21.2. The first-over challenger, Breakin The Law, was able to get to the wheel of Tetrick at the three-quarter pole but he would get no closer as Heston Blue Chip proceeded to open up on the field, winning by a handy 3-¼ lengths in a new 3-year-old track record and lifetime mark of 1:48.4. Breakin The Law hung on for second while Bet On The Law finished third.
After the race, Tetrick said, “He’s super to drive and has a ton of speed. He’s a tough horse and when you get him in gear he can go a long way.”
The $30,000 American Ideal--Shot Togo Bluechip yearling has been a blessing for owner Ken Jacobs.
“I bought this horse from Blue Chip. I make a couple trips there a year to look over the yearlings and this was the one I picked out. I was glad to win this race. Jeff (Gural) has done so much for racing and Tioga is the marquee place for racing as far as I’m concerned,” Jacobs said.
The win was the 19th in 22 career starts for Heston Blue Chip pushing him over $750,000 for his life. A replay of Heston Blue Chip’s win can be viewed by following this link.
Also on Sunday’s card were three Empire Breeders Classic races. The first of two colt divisions was won by Fireyourguns (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in a new lifetime mark of 1:51. The second division was won by Ideal Griff (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in 1:52.2. The filly final also had an upset winner with the 31-1 shot Abrokenart Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.) taking it in 1:54.2.
Jim Morrill, Jr., the “King of the New York Sire Stakes,” won five races on the card including four of the five Empire Breeders Classic races.
Tioga will return to action on Monday night with a special 6 p.m., eastern post. Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters will take the stage, as well as six divisions of the Excelsior Series. For more information visit www.tiogadowns.com.