08/12/2012 7:58PM

Tioga Downs: Heston Blue Chip sets track record in Empire Breeders Classic

Fred Brown
Heston Blue Chip has only one loss in 2012.

At Tioga Downs on Sunday, the team of driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano continued their hot hand. Fresh off major victories in the Hambletonian with Market Share and Nat Ray with Chapter Seven last Saturday at the Meadowlands, the pair saw Heston Blue Chip capture the $270,400 Empire Breeders Classic in track record time. Now a winner in eight of nine starts this year, Heston Blue Chip made a sharp move before the quarter and was never threatened, winning by open lengths in 1:48 4/5 over the five-eighths mile track. Breakin The Law with Yannick Gingras was a determined second racing without cover the final half, while Bet On The Law rallied for third.

Heston Blue Chip is owned by Kenneth Jacobs.

Tetrick wasn’t as fortunate with the heavily favored American Jewel in the $250,850 sophomore filly division of the Empire Breeders Stake a race earlier. The impressive daughter of American Ideal rolled to the front before the quarter and had her way with the pace cutting fractions of :26 2/5, :54  1/5 and 1:21 3/5 with little outside pressure. On the final turn, 18-1 shot Bettor B Lucky angled from third and wore down the leader. Bettor B Lucky, driven by Jim Morrill Jr., nosed out American Jewel’s stablemate Romantic Moment on the wire.

“I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said Morrill who appeared surprised by American Jewel’s third place finish.

Bettor B Lucky scored in a career best 1:50 mile for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing LLC,, Weaver Bruscemi, W. Donovan and L. Karr.