Day At The Track

Prairie Fortune circles Tioga Open foes

02:18 PM 24 Jul 2016 NZST
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Prairie Fortune
Prairie Fortune (foreground, Jim Meittinis up) battles back to defeat Rossini in Saturday's Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs.
Fred Brown Photo
Nichols, N.Y. -- Prairie Fortune ($4.90) mounted a bold three-wide push on the backstretch to circle his six harness racing rivals in Saturday (July 23) evening's $11,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs, dueling late with the first-over Rossini for his third Open-level win in four starts.
Jim Meittinis took the 4-year-old Arapa Victory gelding to last early on, letting DC Flashback (John Cummings, Jr.) and Dragin the Wagon (Corey Braden) alternate on the lead through early splits of :27.1 and :57.2. As Rossini (Scott Coulter) mounted a bold first-over push into Dragin the Wagon on approach to the backstretch, Prairie Fortune slid third-over before commencing his strong three-wide bid with three-eighths to go. The now 20-time winner worked into the lead midway on the far turn--but he wasn't home free.
Off the corner, Rossini battled back between horses once headed, leading briefly in mid-stretch. Prairie Fortune ultimately reclaimed command in the final yards, besting Rossini by a neck in 1:54.2. Dragin the Wagon was a worn-down third.
Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Fortune with breeder Laurie Poulin.
Fresh off his Friday grand slam, Mike Merton once again led all drivers for the evening, capturing three of the night's 10 races.
Live racing returns to Tioga with an 11-race card on Sunday; post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern. As no one hit tonight's 50¢ Pick 5, $243.60 will carry over into Sunday's Pick 5 pool.
by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
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