Day At The Track

Cracker Coffee takes feature - Merton wins five

02:24 PM 03 Sep 2016 NZST
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Cracker Coffee
Cracker Coffee
Fred Brown Photo
Nichols, N.Y. -- LRL Racing, LLC's Cracker Coffee ($5.60) proved a gritty winner in Friday (September 2) evening's featured $13,000 Mares Open 1 Pace at Tioga Downs, giving harness racing driver Mike Merton one of his five wins on the 11-race card.
 
Merton sent the 7-year-old Six of Diamonds mare to the front from the outset, using the entirety of the first turn to clear K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) through a :26.3 first quarter before pulling back the pace. With three-eighths of the mile to go, Cracker Coffee faced stern first-over pressure from Shutthefrontdoor (Scott Coulter), and the two went on to duel through the far turn. Cracker Coffee not only outlasted her first-over foe, but also managed to stave off a late bid up the pegs from K J's Caroline to prevail by a neck in 1:53. Shutthefrontdoor leveled off from her uncovered bid and finished third.
 
Amber Buter trains Cracker Coffee, now an 18-time winner.
 
Merton also teamed up with Patti Harmon trainees Braveheartedmillie ($10.80, 1:53.1) and Jailhouse Jessica ($3.10, 1:55.2), as well as Courtney Wright trainee Gliding Boy ($76.50, 1:57) and Edgar "Sparky" Clarke trainee Zoraze ($10.00, 1:57).
 
Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 3) evening; first post is slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
 
by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
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