Trainer/driver Ron Cushing swept the co-featured Opens at Tioga Downs Sunday afternoon by winning the Open I and Open II in back to back races. In the Open II 9th race, Cushing sent the betting public's 3rd choice Our First Falcon to the front thru an opening panel of 28 seconds. He then led thru middle half fractions of 56.4 and 1:25 before turning on the jets to a final quarter of 27.3 to stop the timer at 1:52.3.
It was the third win of the season for the 9 year old gelded son of-Rosa Franco and the 2nd win in a row at Tioga. Ron Cushing co-owns with Kevin Sywyk of Swartz Creek Michigan. Billy Dobson and Art Maker the pocket sitter held on for second while Ryan Anderson and Upscale Hanover rallied for third.
In the co-featured Open I 10th race, Ron Cushing piloted Cullens Reign N right on down the track rolling through quarters of 27.2; 56.2; and 125.0 before rolling home a final quarter in 27.4 to win by a half length in 152.4, a new lifetime mark for the eight year old byout of a Sherree’s Reign mare she by . Cullens Reign N is owned by Stephen Ralph of Union, Maine. Prime Time Talent and driver Jordan Stratton sat the pocket and held sway for second while True Desire and Howard Parker rolled from off the pace to finish third.
Besides Ron Cushing posting a driving double, all other races were won by ten different drivers, showing the diversity of the driving colony on Sunday afternoon’s at Tioga Downs.
The Historic Tompkins-Geers Grand Circuit racing returns to Nichols, New York next weekend, on Friday, July 17th through Monday, July 20th. Friday and Saturday post time 6:50 p.m. (EDT), Sunday afternoon 1:30 (EDT), and a special Monday night card, post time 6:50 p.m. (EDT). The top two and three year olds in North America make there stop at Tioga Down in the ‘roarin Grand Circuit”.
Jason M. SETTLEMOIR