by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Eye Ofa Tiger continued his impressive front-stepping style in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 9) with an easy 1-1/2 length win over Swell Chap in 1:57.2 in the first division worth $60,000 (approx.).
It was survival of the fittest in the second event as Guardian Angel AS ($3.40) benefited from breaking horses in easily disposing of Neon Lights by eight lengths in 1:57.1, the fastest of the two legs. All but Guardian Angel AS and Neon Lights had clean trips around the track as the remaining four either broke or were involved in the commotion created by the missteps.
It was a good afternoon for co-owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johnsson, trainer Anette Lorentzon and driver Jason Bartlett as the connections swept both Sire Stakes races.
Coming in off a pair of open length victories at Yonkers, Eye Ofa Tiger (Jason Bartlett) played 'come and get me' over the Hamburg half-mile oval. Putting up fractions of 29.3, 59.2 and 1:29.1, Eye Ofa Tiger ($3.50) felt little pressure from the remaining five competitors in the lane and trotted away to the 1-1/2 length win. Swell Chap (Drew Monti) took the place position with Money MacIntosh (Andy Miller) rounding out the top three.
Bartlett said, "Eye Ofa Tiger is real sharp right now. He's a nice little horse. He likes being on the front end but can come from behind as well."
Eye Ofa Tiger (Chapter Seven-Cascade AS) is a 3-year-old gelding that has four wins in six tries in 2017, pushing his season earnings to $71,970 and $94,690 lifetime.
In the second division, it was a three-horse breakaway by the first quarter marker. Arch Credit (Jim Morrill Jr.) led the way with Neon Lights (Chris Lems) and Guardian Angel AS following in second and third respectively.
After splits of 29.1, 58.1 and 1:28.0, Guardian Angel AS was first over and looked to challenge Arch Credit at the top of the stretch. But things got much easier for him as Arch Credit jumped it off, allowing Guardian Angel AS to jog home uncontested. Neon Lights finished in second while Another Chapter (Per Henrikson) picked up the pieces and took third.
Bartlett stated that he had planned to leave off the gate with Guardian Angel AS "just to see what would happen." That plan changed quickly. "I had to go easy with him into that first turn to keep him flat," Bartlett added. "I thought we'd win despite the break by Arch Credit."
It was the fifth win in six attempts this season for Guardian Angel AS (Archangel-Provide AS). The victory moved the 3-year-old colt's seasonal winnings to $76,857 and $90,350 lifetime.
Big Man Ev (Miller) was the quickest in the two $15,000 Excelsior A Series races with a 1:58.0 tour over the Hamburg half-mile oval, returning $13.40 to his backers. Patton (Lems) pulled a minor surprise in the second division with $9.20 decision in 2:00.4.
In the Excelsior B Series, New York Chrome ($4.90) went gate-to-wire in 2:01.2 to take the victory for Lems in the first division while Finally Michaels ($3.90) had no problems in posting the 2:02.2 win in the second leg for Miller. Trainer David Dewhurst swept both events Excelsior B Series.
David McNeight III, Miller and Lems finished the afternoon of racing with each getting doubles.
Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The program will begin the final two weeks of action at Buffalo Raceway for the 2017 season.
For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com