Sky Castles and Third Shift notch NYSS wins at Tioga

Nichols, NY — Tioga Downs played host to two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for freshman trotting colts and geldings on Sunday (June 30). Both divisions raced for a purse of $55,000.

In the first division it was Praying Ruby (Wally Hennesey) who charged out to the front. He led to a first quarter in :29.2 and the half in 1:00. R Herbie Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) went first over and pressured Praying Ruby all the way down the backstretch. Praying Ruby maintained the lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:28.4. R Herbie Blue Chip went on a break as they went around the final turn.

Sky Castles was a 1:57.4 winner in his division. Fred Brown photo.

Sky Castles (Matt Kakaley), who is owned by Robert Key and trained by Charlie Norris, sat in the pocket the whole trip. As they hit the stretch he came flying out of the pocket to pick up the win in 1:57.4. Berkery J (Scott Zeron) came on late to finish second. Praying Ruby held for third.

Sky Castles ($51.00) is a Conway Hall-Sand Piper colt. He is now one-for-one in his career.

In the second division, Take The Credit (Andy Miller) charged out to the front and led to a first quarter in :28.4 and to the half in 1:00. Third Shift (Ake Svanstedt) went first-over from third as they raced down the backstretch. Take The Credit hit three-quarters first in 1:29.

Third Shift blew right on by to win easily in 1:57.4. Fred Brown photo.

Third Shift ($4.60), who is owned by Melby Gard Inc. and trained by Svanstedt, put pressure on Take The Credit all the way around the final turn. As they reached the stretch Third Shift blew right on by to win easily in 1:57.4. Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer) came charging late to finish second. Take The Credit had to settle for third.

Third Shift is Chapter Seven-Overnight Command colt. It was his career debut, making him one-for-one.

Tioga Downs’ leading driver Wally Hennessey won five races on the day. He got his wins with Bazaar Bazaar ($4.20), Bourbon Express ($11.40), Rockntouch ($15.80), Boli ($6.80), and Campbellini ($3.50).

Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Thursday (July 4) with four divisions of the NYSS for freshman trotting fillies. The special 15-race card starts at 1 p.m. For more information go to

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