08/21/2016 4:52PM

Tioga Downs: Pacers battle in Empire Breeders Classic eliminations


Sophomore pacers of both sexes raced in Empire Breeders Classic eliminations on Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.  Each group was divided into a pair of eliminations, worth $12,500 apiece.

39-1 outsider Redneck Rally (Andy Miller) pulled a surprise in the first elimination for the colts, storming by 1-9 favorite Roll Away Joe (Jim Morrill Jr.) from first-over turning for home and going on to win by a length and a half in 1:52 1/5.  He was followed by Artmagic (John Campbell), Fine Diamond, and Ideal Son (Jason Bartlett), an entry-mate of Roll Away Joe. 

Julie Miller trains Redneck Rally, an American Ideal ridgling, for owners Nick Surick Stable LLC., Andy Miller Stable Inc., and Hannah Miller.  This was first win of the season, his fourth career victory, and he has now earned $44,214 lifetime.  He paid $80 to win, $79 to place, and $101.50 to show with the 1-9 favorite off the board.

There were no such dramatics in the other elimination for the males as 4-5 favorite American Passport (Scott Zeron) brushed from third to first en route to 55 second half and went on to a 1:51 tally.  Fresh Cut (Marcus Miller) was the second-place finisher, a length and a quarter behind American Passport, and Stolen Glimpse (Matt Kakaley) grabbed third.

American Passport, an American Ideal colt, is trained by Tony Alagna for co-owner/breeder Brittany Farms and co-owners Riverview Racing LLC., Alagna Racing LLC., and Jodi Siamis.  American Passport is now a five-time winner in his life, and he has now banked $254,834.  American Passport returned $3.90 to his win backers.

Here is how the field will line up for next Sunday afternoon's $240,475 final.  The top four from each elimination, plus Craftship, who was fifth in the first elimination, advanced.

1.  Ideal Son
2.  Missile J
3.  American Passport
4.  Fresh Cut
5.  Redneck Rally
6.  Fine Diamond
7.  Stone Glimpse
8.  Craftship
9.  Artmagic
AE.  Nox Vegas Bluechip

As for the fillies, No Clouds Bluechip (Brett Miller), the 4-5 public choice, won the opening elimination by a length and a half in 1:53 after she put up fractions of 28 1/5, 58 2/5, and 1:25 3/5.  Major Millie (Bartlett), Soft Idea (Zeron) and Wine Snob (Tetrick) finished second, third, and fourth.

No Clouds Bluechip is a daughter of Roll With Joe trained by John Berger for owners Barbara Berger, Richard Carney, and Farrell Carney.  She scored her sixth win from 21 career starts, and she has now put away $236,317.  No Clouds Bluechip paid $3.80 to win.

In the second elimination the photo finish camera had to separate Penpal (Pat Lachance), who rallied off a second-over trip, and Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald), who slipped out of the pocket in the stretch, and it showed that Penpal was the winner by a nose in 1:51 3/5.  Wishy Washy Girl (Morrill Jr.) was third after cutting the mile, and Right Stuff (Tetrick) came in fourth.

Lachance also trains Penpal, a filly by American Ideal, and co-owns with M And M Harness Racing LLC.  She made her fourth appearance in the winner's circle, and she pushed her earnings to $175,492.  She returned $5.80.

The filles will line up like this for next Sunday afternoon's $239,225 final.  Dime A Dance was the fifth-place finisher who also moved on to the final.

1.  Soft Idea
2.  Wine Snob
3.  No Clouds Bluechip
4.  Wishy Washy Girl
5.  Penpal
6.  Angels Rockn Pink
7.  Major Millie
8.  Right Stuff
9.  Dime A Dance
AE. Rock Me Baby