Uhtred impresses in Excelsior finalSeptember 11, 2020,
Nichols, NY — The New York Sire Stakes Excelsior A finals were raced at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 11), each for a purse of $50,000.
Uhtred won the 3-year-old pace in the day’s fastest mile, 1:51.1, with a gate-to-wire tour de force from post nine, driver Jason Bartlett’s third stakes win on the day. A rallying Levine eked out second in a photo over My Pal Joe.
Uhtred won for the fourth time in only six career starts. The Art Major colt has displayed unusual talent over that short span for trainer Carmen Auciello and owners Earl Hill Jr. and Stephen Klunowski.
Just Joshing (Marcus Miller) kicked off the stakes in the 2-year-old filly trot with an upset of heavily favored Izzy Demsky for trainer Julie Miller in 1:58.2. The Chapter Seven lass sat the pocket before out-sprinting the favorite through the lane to win by a half length for. Andy Miller Stable, breeder Windsong Stable and Dumain Haven Farm.
Dresden (Scott Zeron), a 2-year-old, Roll With Joe pacing filly took race three in a personal best of 1:54.1 over Carrington in a largely front-stepping effort. The Henderson homebred has three wins in four attempts for trainer Chris Ryder.
Zeron came right back to take the 2-year-old colt trot with Royson’s Punch, affording that colt an ideal trip after a hard leave to the lead, releasing heavily favored Barn Hall, and then out-gaming that one in the shadow of the wire in 1:57. Linda Toscano trains the Chapter Seven colt and owns as Camelot Stable in partnership with R and I Farms.
Mullinax (Bartlett) took the freshman colt pace as a slight favorite in a forwardly-placed 1:53.2 effort. The wire arrived just in time for Mullinax as Hopnroll Heaven was gaining quickly and just missed. Mark Ford trains the winner, a son of American Ideal, for longtime owner Bill Varney.
“It’s been a really hard year on everybody, and this is one bright spot. I certainly wish the late Ed Mullinax — who the colt is named for — was here to have raced him. Ed was a great guy to do business with, but an even greater guy to hang out with. He was a good friend,” was the heartfelt response of trainer Mark Ford, who bred the colt along with Mr. Mullinax.
“All of the money Ed made in the business, he reinvested, and it’s a huge loss to all of us that he’s gone. The owner of this colt, Mr. Varney, is another really stand-up guy.”
Tioga’s leading driver Wally Hennessey caught the mount on C And T’s Credit when trainer John Stark Jr. sent out a powerful entry in the 3-year-old filly trot. Hennessey had C And T’s Credit on the lead through a comfortable :58.1 half, and that was enough to seal the deal. The pair won as they pleased in 1:55.1 over Soprese, who rallied late for place. Frank Barbato and Sam Bova Racing are the proud owners of the Credit Winner filly.
Bolt Of Beauty was Marcus Miller’s second stakes winner on the day, taking the 3-year-old filly pace in 1:52.3. Away from the rail post position, Bolt Of Beauty close up through the early stages then bum rushed Discoforadollar going into the last turn, opened up and held sway over Turnthefrownaround. Trainer Erv Miller owns the Bolt The Duer filly in partnership with Tanah Merah Farms and Sara Miller.
Conquest AS (Bartlett) dominated the 3-year-old colt trot field with a gate-to-wire 1:55.1 score. Bartlett pointed the Conway Hall gelding forward from the word go, and he did the rest. Bronze Yankee rode the pocket to a place finish. Anette Lorentzon trains the homebred Conquest AS for her family’s ACL Stuteri AB.
Tioga Downs will close out the 2020 racing season with a 13-race card on Saturday (Sept. 12) with post time at 3 p.m.