Day At The Track

Mike Merton wins five on closing night at Tioga

12:34 PM 23 Sep 2018 NZST
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Mike Merton, harness racing Harness racing BJ Lorado, harness racing
Mike Merton honored as the meet's leading driver and he had five winners closing night at Tioga Downs
Fred Brown photo
Pacer of the Year honors went to K J's Caroline and Trainer of the Year is Gary Messenger
Fred Brown photo
BJ Lorado and his connections are honored as the Trotter of the Year at Tioga Downs
Fred Brown photo

Leading driver Mike Merton won five races to close out the 2018 season at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 22).

Merton had wins on the night with Lauxmont Capri ($2.80), Blueberry Heaven ($8.80), Ponyta Boy ($3.30), Haviture Way Honey ($4.10), and Frappe' ($6.50).

"Magic Mike" had a great season and an amazing last two days by winning 12 races to pull down his first driving title at Tioga Downs with 82 wins. Jim Taggert Jr. was second with 62 wins. Aaron Byron was third with 59 victories. Jim Meittinis secured fourth position with 56 tallies. Mike SImons rounded out the top five drivers with 47 wins.

Dreams Beachboy (Gates Brunet) captures the featured Open Pace ($13,000).

Pretty Boy Swag (Mike Merton) led the group to a first quarter of :27.2. Dreams Beachboy ($7.20) took over as they headed by the stands for the first time. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Brunet, he controlled the way to a half in :55.3 and led to a three-quarter mark of 1:23.2.

Pretty Boy Swag would try to get by but had to settle for second because Dreams Beachboy was too strong as he won in 1:51.4. Time Out I'm Tired (Matt Romano) finished third.

Dreams Beachboy is a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere. It was his fifth win of the season and 23rd win of his career

Gary Messenger edges out Mike Deters to win top trainer.

Gary Messenger won his second training title at Tioga Downs with 40 wins. Mike Deters finished second with 35 trips to the winners circle. Patti Harmon had a very strong meet with 26 wins to finish third. Joe Skowyra (25) and Gaston Lareau (19) rounded out the top five.

BJ Lorado and K J's Caroline are top horses at Tioga Downs for 2018.

BJ Lorado was the top trotter this season at Tioga Downs. Owned by Michael and Diane Norcross and trained by Marc Major, the 4-year-old gelding by Bo W won six times in 17 starts at Tioga this year. He earned $40,435 this season.

The top pacer went to K J's Caroline. The 8-year-old mare by Roddy's Bags Again won five times in 17 starts and earned $39,165. She is owned by Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger.

The winner of the 2018 Toyota Corolla, that was part of the horseplay car giveaway promotion that ran all season long, was Andy Stromick.

Tioga Downs would like to thank the horsemen and all the fans for making 2018 a very special year. See you on the first Saturday in May!

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by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

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