by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
The 2014 stakes season at Tioga Downs kicks off tonight (May 23), as a pair of $62,400 New York Sire Stakes races showcase top three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in the state.
The first division is carded as race 3 on the nine-race card, with Martin Scharf's Flyhawk El Durado installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite. Mark MacDonald drives the son of Conway Hall, who prevailed as the two-year-old trotting champion on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last year, holding off Credit Fashion to take the winner's share of the $225,000 final at Yonkers. Wayne Chrebet and Little E, LLC's Lukas Hall also contests the first division, coming in off a runner-up performance to Trixton in the $51,543 Simpson at the Meadowlands. Jim Morrill, Jr. handles the driving duties.
John Grasso's Expressive Action headlines the second division, which goes as race 6. Another son of Conway Hall, Expressive Action was a late-gaining fifth in the Valley Victory last November at the Meadowlands, ending a five-race freshman campaign against national stakes competition. Mike Simons handles the driving duties on the 5-2 morning line favorite. Ann-Mari Daley and JLRL, LLC's Daley Lovin will line up as the 3-1 second choice in the morning line, dueling with Flyhawk El Durado in last year's two-year-old NYSS final before fading late. Trainer Dan Daley handles the driving duties.
Post time for the Friday nine-race card is 6:15 p.m. EDT.