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Their absence offers chances for other escorts, notably in Friday night's $167,874 New York Sire Stakes Hugh Grant Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

A pair equally-parsed $83,937 go consecutively as races 6 and 7.

Missile J (Jim Morrill Jr., post 6), winner of last month's $300,000 Art Rooney pace here, looms a solid choice in the first division. The American Ideal gelding, trained by Linda Toscano for co-owning stables KJ and Purple Haze, has six wins and nine board finishes in 10 seasonal starts ($227,675).

Manny (Chris Lems, post 5) was getting to Missile J in their sire stakes showdown at Buffalo, missing a neck. The American Ideal colt owns a NYSS win at Monticello.

Fine Diamond (George Brennan, post 1) owns a Buffalo sire stakes win. Nox Vegas Bluechip (Andrew McCarthy, post 2), Ideal Kiss (Pat Berry, post 3), Roll Away Joe (Pat Berry, post 4), Endeavor (Steve Smith, post 7) and Carlos Danger (Brian Sears, post 8) round out the opening division.
Friday's second NYSS event includes pole-sitting Artmagic (Brennan), who led to the lane in the Rooney and tries for his first win of the season.

Craftship (Scott Zeron, post 3) has a statebred win (Monti) and second (Buffalo) included in his recent resume,. While Autotune Hanover (Morrill Jr., post 4) rebounded from a very poor effort in the lone elim for the Rooney with a pair of sire stakes thirds.

JK Heaven Sent (Eric Carlson, post 2), Concur (Brent Holland, post 5), Beaches De Vie (Smith, post 6), Bottom Deals (Sears, post 7) and Ideal Son (Vincent Ginsburg) complete the second event.

Speaking of the AWOL French Connection, post positions have been drawn for Friday's first of two races in the Parisian portion of the Drivers' Cup. It's the sixth race at Vincennes, contested at 2,100 meters (1 5/16 miles), with approximate post time at 10:03 PM local time (4:03 PM ET). The purse is 36,000 Euros (approx. 50,000 U-S dollars).

1 AZARO DU CAUX 2100 69 710 J.J. Bartlett d4
2 BAMBOU DE CALVI 2100 69 410 N. Ensch F4
3 BOIS LE ROI 2100 68 140 T. Buter F4
4 BETTINA D'AVRIL 2100 68 900 P. Vercruysse d4
5 BETTINA 2100 67 705 J. Stratton d4
6 ATTENTION DEVANT 2100 67 480 D. Dube d4
7 ALIBI DE FOLIE 2100 69 590 P. Levesque F4
8 AMADEO 2100 66 620 Prio. P. Lachance F4
9 BOLIDE DU GUET 2100 69 100 M. Abrivard d4
10 BE LOVE DESBOIS 2100 58 850 Prio. F. Ouvrie d4

The competition ends with a Sunday (June 26) race, also at Vincennes.

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