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Tioga Hosts Grand Circuit Events Sunday

Published: August 25, 2017 12:39 pm ET

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Tioga Downs presents its biggest card of the season on Sunday (August 27) with nine Grand Circuit stakes on the day carrying total purses of nearly $750,000.

Highlights include the $170,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot, $150,000 Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot, and $158,000 Artiscape Open Mare Pace, supported by six divisions of the W. N. Reynolds Memorial stakes for two-year-olds rounding out the program.

Ten of the finest trotters in the land are entered for the Crawford Farms (race eight), with the combined earnings of the field in excess of $12 million.

Resolve (post seven) is the leading career money winner and arguably the best trotter currently racing in North America for trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt and owner Hans Enggren. A winner three times in eight seasonal starts, Reslove's most recent effort was a convincing open-length win in the $303,000 Cashman Memorial on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.

Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) chased Resolve home on that occasion, and has drawn just to the outside of his chief rival on Sunday. He’s handling the graduation to the veteran ranks nicely for trainer Paula Wellwood and owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling with wins in the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate final versus four-year-old competition. Facing this deep and talented group in only his second foray open competition is an arduous task for last year’s Triple Crown champ.

The Joie De Vie (race six) features last year’s dominant division leader Hannelore Hanover (post five, Yannick Gingras) and her newest rival in Swedish import Pasithea Face S (post two, Tim Tetrick). In the initial meeting, Pasithea Face vanquished her accomplished rival with a grueling first-over move to win the Dr. John Steele Memorial on Hambo Day. Hannelore Hanover has not raced since, while Pasithea Face tuned up with an overall track record 1:50.4 at Tioga last week in a leg of the Miss Versatility.

The Artiscape (race seven) pits Lady Liberty winner Pure Country (post five, Mark MacDonald) against Golden Girls winner Nike Franco N (post two, Tetrick) in another field of six. Those two threw down for the final three-eighths of a mile in the Liberty with Nike Franco wrestling the lead away by a neck at the stretch call before Pure Country rallied back to get the win.

The Reynolds stakes cover six races, two each for the trotting and pacing colts and a single division of fillies for each gait.

It’s Corntastic weekend at Tioga Downs; post time on Sunday is 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

(Tioga Downs)

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