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FAVORITES PREVAIL IN 166G NYSS ARMAND PALATUCCI PACE
A pair of consecutive divisions, worth $82,437 and $83,937, respectively, comprised the event.
Slight 2-1 favorite Roll Away Joe (Jim Morrill Jr., $6.30) had enough things go right for him in the opening division, which he won in a life-best 1:53.
Starting outside his six rivals, he left into a chasmic three-hole as Stolen Glimpse (Matt Kakaley) was stung early by pole-sitting Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter).
A :26.2 opening quarter-mile gave way to a more sensible :55.3 intermission. Roll Away Joe was out and moving toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters, ducking inside when "Autotune" phoned it in.
Stolen Glimpse held a tenuous, half-length lead into the lane, but was about to get swallowed up. Roll Away Joe slide inside, then whipped a second-over Craftship (Scott Zeron) by a length-and-a-half. Artmagic (George Brennan) was third, while Stolen Glimpse faded to fourth.
"The fast early fractions helped, but at the finish he was so good that he wanted to go around again," Morrill said.
For "Joe," a Roll With Joe gelding co-owned by Stephen Demeter, Howard Taylor and Thomas Lazzaro and trained by Tracy Brainard, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $65, with the triple returning $228.50.
Odds-on Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $2.10), surprised very few in the second sire stakes grouping, prevailing in 1:53.2.
Looped leaving from post No. 4 by Fine Diamond (Kakaley), the people's preference made the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter, Subsequent fractions of 57-seconds flat and 1:25.2 gave Missile J a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn.
Fine Diamond chased from the pocket, beaten a non-threatening three-quarters of a length. Ideal Son (Morrill Jr.) was a three-hole third.
For Missile J, the Art Rooney Pace-winning American Ideal gelding, he's now 8-for-13 this season resume ($312,902). Linda Toscano trains the winner for co-owning stables KJ and Purple Haze.
"He rated well and paced home really strong," Tetrick said.
Sire stakes continue here Thursday night, with the $163,374 Michael Sorentino Trot (3-year-old colts and geldings). Friday night, it,s the $167,974 Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies).
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