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Tioga Hosts Empire Breeders Classics

Published: August 10, 2014 8:35 pm ET

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Canadian-connected divisional standouts Precocious Beauty and Hes Watching were victorious in the Empire Breeders Classic finals for New York-sired three-year-old pacing fillies and colts on Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.

Last year's O'Brien Award winning filly Precocious Beauty completed a sweep of her Empire Breeders Classic elimination and $244,875 final with a 1:51.1 victory on Sunday for the Canadian father-son, training-driving duo of Gregg and Doug McNair. James Avritt Sr. of Lebanon, Kentucky owns and bred the Art Major-Precious Beauty filly.

With the inside post advantage, A La Notte Hanover (Yannick Gingras) pocketed the hard-leaving Medusa (Tim Tetrick) through a :27.1 opening quarter while Delightful Dragon (David Miller) settled into third with elimination winners Precocious Beauty and Major Dancer (Brian Sears) away mid-pack.

Delightful Dragon took over command in front of the grandstand and led the way to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.4 with Precocious Beauty advancing first over.

Precocious Beauty was up on level terms with the leader as they turned for home and then drew clear down the stretch for the two length triumph. Favourite Major Dancer followed the winner's cover and got up for second. Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) inherited third with Delightful Dragon set back to fourth after causing interference in the stretch.

"That takes the monkey off our backs," said Doug McNair after Precocious Beauty's first major stakes win of her sophomore campaign. "She showed she's as good as she can be today. I just hope she keeps going on the right track.

"She had some sickness troubles all year and she's just getting it figured out right now. She raced great in the Meadowlands -- I had bad posts and she was fourth and fifth over so she had absolutely no shot and raced great down there -- and she is back to her old self today."

Precocious Beauty, now three-for-seven this year, earned her 10th career win in 18 starts and lifted her bankroll to $624,856.

The $255,525 Empire Breeders Classic final for the colts pitted Meadowlands Pace winner Hes Watching and North America Cup champion JK Endofanera against one another after being separated by just half a length in their elimination last weekend.

Those two emerged to race one-two through fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:22.2 with the leading Hes Watching and Tim Tetrick kicking away by four lengths with a :26.4 final frame to win in 1:49.1. JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) stayed for second while early leaver Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) followed in third. The other elimination winner, Winds Of Change (David Miller), only offered mild first over pressure before fading to sixth.

Hes Watching boosted his career earnings to $996,734 for Canadian-based trainer David Menary. The American Ideal-Baberhood colt, who went undefeated in eight freshman starts to earn U.S. divisional honours and is now five-for-eight on the year, is owned by Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Ont., Brad Gray of Dundas, Ont., Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, Ont. and Muscara Racing Trust of Ivyland, Pennsylvania.

Sunday's undercard featured four $28,250 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts.

The Spy (American Ideal-Trend Setter) nosed out heavy favourite Cartoon Daddy in 1:53 while making his career debut in the first division for trainer Rebecca Titus and owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont. Tetrick drove the 23-1 longshot.

Owned by Hudson Standardbrd Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que. and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Que., Southwind Masimo (Bettors Delight-Maxs Leading Lady) went three-for-three in NYSS with a 1:54 score in his division for trainer/driver Pat Lachance.

The maiden-breaking Lone Survivor (Art Major-Wenditions) and streaking Americanprimetime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) shared the fastest winning time of the day for the NYSS colts, both halting the teletimer in 1:52.4. Lone Survivor held off Bet You to win by half a length with David Miller at the controls for trainer Sam De Pinto while Americanprimetime prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Oneisalonelynumber with Tyler Buter driving for conditioner Rick Dane Jr.


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