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Monticello Raceway has been in on the ground floor ever since amateur driving returned to the spotlight in the early 1980's. And every year since then amateur harness racing kept growing and now is an integral part of the harness industry. One of amateur racings greatest proponents is, and has been, Monticello Raceway and over the years the track has offered events for sportsmen and sportswomen and has spawned some very talented professional drivers. After nearly four decades of competitive amateur racing, it wasn't until Thursday, June 11 in a leg of the Catskill Amateur Club series that the fastest mile ever driven by an amateur over the Mighty M double- oval happened. It was turned in by Joseph Lee when he guided pacer Partner to an easy 11- length romp in a time of 1:55.4 over the Hannah Miller-driven Rise Above It. Two lengths farther back in third place was Minnesota Hanover driven by Matt Zuccarello. "He warmed-up great and he was on the muscle the whole mile," Lee said after his romping victory with the son of Ponder. "He really went a great race today and I have to thank (trainer) Brandon Simpson for allowing me to drive him." In the real world Joseph Lee is the assistant equipment manager for the New York Yankees-yes the Bronx Bombers. "I've been driving in amateur races here at Monticello for the past few years and it was always hard to get away from the (Yankee) Stadium because it seemed the Yankees were playing every time I got a chance to drive. But with Monticello's amateur series races on Thursdays this year it gave me a great chance to enjoy driving because Thursdays happen to be off-days for the Yankees; or they are playing out of town." For Lee it was his second driving victory this season and his seventh from a limited amount of starts in an amateur career that began in 2010. Partner is owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Brandon Simpson. He paid $7.30 for win. Another amateur race, sponsored by the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), was also part of the Mighty M's afternoon's race card and in that pacing event Dave Yarock reined CSI What's My Name home first in a time of 2:00.2. "I had the pole (position) and when the race began I went for the lead ," Yarock related. "Joe Pennacchio (with Futuristic Bride) was parked out so I let him go as we neared the (first) quarter." After a :29.4 first stanza Futuristic Bide then led the field by the half in :59.4 with CSI What's My Name tucked in nicely in the two-hole. Up the backside, despite having made a break behind the gate, Hallanet and driver Paul Minore, had ranged alongside the leaders as the field headed by the three quarters. However, after spotting the field some eight lengths at the start and then making up all the ground needed to put him in back in the race, Minore's trotter was tired which allowed Yarock the move CSI What's My Name out to challenge when the field straightened for home. By mid-stretch CSI What's My Name had drawn even with Pennacchio's trotter and then went on to a 1-1/2 length triumph over Futuristic Bride. Hallanet faded but held on for the show money. The winner by Tagliabue, owned by Joel Golub and David Glasser, is trained by Jim Doherty, Jr. He paid $6.20 for win. For Dave Yarock, a financial planner by trade, his victory was his second of the season and 53rd in his career. John Manzi

An overall increase in handle (total money wagered) and seven track record performances marked a successful 2014 season at Tioga Downs, which concluded on Saturday, September 13.   Overall handle on the 61-day meet was considerably improved in comparison to the 2013 season, with all-sources handle showing a 5.4% increase. This increase was largely due to a more involved simulcast audience, whose handle was 13.4% higher than in the previous season.   "We thank our customers and horsemen for their support of our 2014 racing season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We are proud of the great competitive racing on our 5/8 mile track, and that it continues to be well received across the North American harness racing audience."   With respect to the record books, four-year-old distaff trotter Charmed Life and driver Jody Jamieson established a new overall record for trotters on New York State's only 5/8-mile track, winning their Miss Versatility preliminary in 1:52.2 as part of the Cane Pace undercard on Monday, September 1.   Trotting geldings Datsyuk (three-year-old, Charlie Norris), Obrigado (four-year-old, Aaron Byron), and Traverse Seelster (older, Brandon Simpson) also turned in track-record performances through the season, scoring in 1:53.1, 1:52.3, and 1:52.4 respectively. Two-year-old trotting filly Jolene Jolene (David Miller) equalled You Want Me's mark of 1:55.2 as well, completing the quintet of record established on the trotting side of the ledger.   Additionally, a pair of pacers entered the Tioga record books, with Sweet Lou's 1:48.3 triumph in the Roll With Joe on Sunday, June 1 (Ron Pierce aboard) equalling Shark Gesture's past mark for older pacing entires. Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr.) set a new record outright for two-year-old pacing fillies, proving victorious in 1:52.1.   Jim Marohn, Jr. claimed his third consecutive driving title with 91 wins on the meet, 13 more than runner-up Aaron Byron. Top training honors went to Mike Deters, who took his second training title and first outright with 33 wins. Normand Fluet and Gail Wrubel finished in a dead heat for second with 20 wins apiece.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Carried three-wide through the far turn, Bettorsluckystreak ($26.80) sustained his late bid en route to a 1:51.4 upset victory in Sunday (September 7) afternoon's featured pace at Tioga Downs.   The $10,000 upper-level conditioned event drew a field of eight, with newcomer Johnny Grippa (Jim Meittinis) handling the pacesetting duties throughout, establishing a solid tempo through a :55 half mile.   With Cashendash Hanover (Brandon Simpson) fading from the pocket and Hasty Western (Aaron Byron) sliding first-over with three-eighths to go, Greg Merton moved the four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight out to track cover en route to the far turn.   While Hasty Western continued two-wide despite the pocket opening up approaching the far turn, Merton moved Bettorsluckystreak three-wide past three-quarters in 1:22.4. The two sustained their rally, passing Hasty Western at the top of the stretch and pulling clear of Johnny Grippa in the final 70 yards to prevail by a length.   Prairie Jaguar, the 8-5 favorite, failed to sustain an extended uncovered bid, staying even to finish fifth.   James Clouser, Jr. trains Bettorsluckystreak for Kenneth Weckstein, Richard Rubin, and Gary Messenger.   Mike Simons and Tyler Buter led all drivers with three wins each on the 13-race card.   The 2014 live racing season concludes at Tioga Downs this upcoming weekend, with Friday (September 12) and Saturday (September 13) cards both scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Pouncing from the pocket on the approach to the far turn, Keith Pippi's Traverse Seelster ($3.30) recorded the fastest mile ever at Tioga Downs for an older trotting gelding, taking Saturday (August 23) evening's $15,000 Open Trot in 1:52.4.   Brandon Simpson settled into the pocket with the six-year-old Angus Hall gelding, drafting behind Lutetium (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56.2 half before making his two-wide push with five-sixteenths to go.   Traverse Seelster responded at once, kicking clear to a three-length lead on the far turn. Through the stretch, he was chased home by Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons), but last week's Open winner could only muster a second-place finish, closing to within a length and a half. Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) rallied from last in the field of five to take third. Oh No Three O (Corey Braden) was a non-threatening fourth, and early pacesetter Lutetium faded to last after giving way.   Amber Buter trains Traverse Seelster, whose 1:52.4 mile bested Tac's Delight prior record for older trotting geldings by a fifth of a second. The overall track record for trotters stands at 1:52.3, most recently achieved by Obrigado.   Sunday (August 24) afternoon's 13-race card kicks off at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with freshman trotters taking center stage in a quartet of Kindergarten Classic preliminaries.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Sustaining a first-over push to wear down odds-on favorite Money On My Mind, Twin B Spike Man ($30.20) proved an upset winner in Saturday (August 16) evening's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs.   As expected, Jim Marohn, Jr. sent 1-5 favorite Money On My Mind to the fore, controlling a :56.4 first half mile before facing pressure into the far turn. After reaching three-quarters in 1:25.2, Money On My Mind found himself bracing for the oncoming onslaught of the first-over Twin B Spike Man, who pushed to the fore at head-stretch. With the favorite fading at the pegs, Twin B Spike Man was left to contend with a chasing Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) in the final yards, holding sway for a half-length victory in 1:54.2. Stitch in Time (Brandon Simpson) stayed on well for third off a pocket trip.   Co-owner Mike Simons drove the seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding for trainer Gail Wrubel. Donald Eccleston and Albert Abdala, III also share ownership of Twin B Spike Man. The win was one of three on the night for Simons, who also teamed up with Highland Yankee (1:56.3) and Magglio (1:56.3).   Racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (August 17) afternoon, with non-wagering Tompkins-Geers action scheduled for 1:10 p.m. EDT. The eleven-race pari-mutuel card kicks off at 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Sweeping three-wide on the backstretch to pounce on a pressured pace, Pan Luis Obispo ($6.00) drew off for a 4-1/4 length win in Friday (August 15) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   Vinny Ginsburg kept the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare well off a :54.2 first-half battle between Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and Keystone Wanda (Corey Braden), moving a closer second-over on the backstretch before making a three-wide push past the fading Keystone Wanda. Pan Luis Obispo continued into the lead at the apex of the far turn, taking over from a softened up Inittowinafortune past a 1:22.3 three-quarter split. She drew clear of her six rivals at will through the stretch, keeping pocket rival Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) 4-1/4 lengths at bay for a 1:51.2 triumph. Cloris Hanover (Brandon Simpson) was an even--but all-out--third off her ground-saving trip.   Robert Bresnahan trains Pan Luis Obispo for winning owner Robert Bresnahan, Jr.   While only able to muster a second-place finish in the featured event, leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. registered a Friday night grand slam, winning with R U Ideal (1:54.1), O Narutac Rockette (1:54.4), Wallstreet Hanover (1:58.4), and Winbak Heavenly (1:53.2).   Live racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (August 16) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

The 3 YO Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes started the evening with the non wagering filly trotters going for a purse of $28,900.    Explosive Attitude(Explosive Matter) and Kelsey's Commando(Cr Commando) renewed their rivalry from July only this time Kelsey's Commando was able to catch Explosive Attitude coming down the stretch, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 last quarter in :29.2. Victor Kirby drove and trained the filly for new owners George and Rose Bonomo.   The wagering card started with the 3 YO filly pacers. Driver Tony Morgan sent Ain't No Maybe So(Nuclear Breeze) charging right to the front with a first quarter of:27.1. The Lundell entry of Valentina De Vie and Rosie De Vie sat second and third just waiting for the right moment. Jonathan Roberts pulled Valentina De Vie(Bettor's Delight) in the last turn quickly overtaking the leader winning in 1:55.3. Ain't No Maybe So held on for second and Rosie De Vie finished third. Valentina De Vie is owned by the Joie de Vie Farm.   After race 3 the Maryland Horse Industry Board presented Ocean Downs Racetrack with a Secretary's Citation from the State of Maryland in honor of the track's 65th Anniversary. MHIB also presented track owner William Rickman with a Secretary's Citation in honor of his many contributions to the harness racing industry over the year.   In the colt/gelding trot Kandy Korn(Cantab Hall) got away 6th but driver Frank Milby pulled before the half, working his way up to the leader Whichwayrightorleft near the ¾ pole. These two battled down the stretch with Kandy Korn crossing the wire in 1:59.4 for owners Bruce and Tanya Schadel.   The most exciting race of the night was the 3 YO colt/gelding pace. In usual fashion driver Corey Callahan sent Tom's Titan(Cam's Rocket) to the lead with new comer Kingofthejungle(Well Said) getting the pocket trip. At the head of the stretch Tony Morgan pulled Kingofthejungle and the two charged down the stretch head and head with Kingofthejungle winning by a head in 1:53.4 last quarter in :27.4. Desyllas Racing LLC , William Beck and Carol Rieken own and Brandon Simpson trains.   By Cheri Stambaugh  

Fresh off a pair of harness racing open wins at Saratoga, Obrigado ($8.70) pounced from a rated tracking trip to take the $15,000 Open Trot on Saturday (August 9) at Tioga Downs, equalling the all-age track record of 1:52.3 in the act.   From the outset, Aaron Byron kept the four-year-old Boy Band gelding well off an ambitious pace set by Wisenheimer (Jim Marohn, Jr.), only starting to move a closer second on the far turn after a 1:23.2 three-quarter split. While pressing on the far turn, Obrigado gained into a joint lead coming to the top of the stretch, driven out in the final sixteenth to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Macs Bad Boy (Mike Simons) rallied off a stalking trip to narrowly take second from Wisenheimer, while odds-on favorite Traverse Seelster (Brandon Simpson) simply had too far to rally, finishing fourth.   The mark, shared by Manningly and Autumn Escapade, also gave Obrigado outright ownership of the track record for four-year-old trotting geldings, eclipsing the past record of 1:54.3 shared by Martino and Brookroad Knight.   Trainer Paul Kelley co-owns Obrigado with the partnership of Higgins, Weaver, and Stable 45.   Later in the card, Pan Luis Obispo ($13.20) sustained a first-over bid to prevail in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace, wearing down Inittowinafortune in 1:51.4. Vinny Ginsburg handled the driving duties of the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare for trainer Robert Bresnahan and owner Robert Bresnahan, Jr.   Live racing resumes on Sunday (August 10) afternoon, with a stakes-laden program headlined by the finals of the Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired three-year-old pacers. Post time is 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

After enjoying a cozy pocket trip, Stitch in Time ($19.20) made a late push to the fore, collaring 6-5 favorite Wisenheimer to take the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 2) evening.   Brandon Simpson floated forward with the four-year-old Keystone Nordic gelding, settling behind House Money (Aaron Byron) on the first turn. As Wisenheimer brushed to the fore through a :28 first quarter, House Money broke stride, enabling Stitch in Time to inherit the pocket with just over a circuit to go. The two would continue as an uncontested leading pair throughout, but Stitch in Time was able to benefit from his tracking trip in the final eighth. Off the far turn, Simpson angled him wide, and the response was instant. Stitch in Time wore down Wisenheimer, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) was carried to the grandstand side off a stalking trip, staying on for third.   Amber Buter trains Stitch in Time for owners Lynette Buter, Carol Fuhs, and William Fuhs.   Racing returns to Tioga with a stakes-filled Sunday (August 3) afternoon card. The 13-race pari-mutuel program is slated for a 1:30 p.m. EDT start, with a pair of non-wagering events to commence a half-hour earlier.   by James Witherite

A powerful :26.2 third quarter propelled Michael Pagonas's Inittowinafortune ($4.20) to back-to-back Open class wins at Tioga Downs, taking the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday (August 1) evening by a geared down three lengths.   The four-year-old Cams Fortune mare controlled the terms from the outset, pushing clear of Oceans Motion (Chuck Connor, Jr.) through a :27.1 first quarter before relaxing the pace into the clubhouse turn. On the backstretch, Inittowinafortune accelerated in earnest, but Oceans Motion did well to keep pace through the taxing third quarter, at which point Inittowinafortune was driven clear to a three-length advantage at head-stretch. The lead expanded to nearly five lengths with 100 yards to go, but Inittowinafortune was geared down late for a comfortable 1:52 win. Oceans Motion held second off a chasing effort, while Elleofnxample (Brandon Simpson) sustained a mild late bid to take third.   Aaron Byron handled the driving duties aboard Inittowinafortune for trainer Michael Russo. The win was one of four on the night for Byron, while leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. scored his fourth consecutive Tioga hat trick.   Live racing continues at Tioga on Saturday (August 2) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   Tioga Downs golf outing reminder   There is still room for participants in the 2014 Tioga Downs horsemen's golf outing, to be held on Saturday, August 9.   The golf outing will be contested in the four-man scramble format, and will take place at Pheasant Hills in Owego, New York with an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. A steak dinner and prize ceremony at the course will follow the golf outing. The tournament is free for all horsemen and owners. To sign up, please email Garrett Madison at gmadison@tiogadowns.com or call him at 607.699.7691.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Michael Pagonas's Inittowinafortune ($2.90) achieved an early lead and never looked back, scoring a decisive 3-3/4 length victory in Friday (July 25) evening's $14,000 Open Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Cams Fortune mare dueled briefly with Cloris Hanover (Brandon Simpson) before clearing the lead on the first turn en route to a sizzling :26.4 first quarter.   After Aaron Byron rated a :29.4 second quarter breather, the Michael Russo trainee sprinted away on the backstretch through a :27.0 third split, only to be chased in earnest by Cloris Hanover to the far turn. Inittowinafortune responded willingly to the pursuit, edging clear in the final 300 yards to win in 1:52.0.   Cloris Hanover was a clear second, while Dirty Girty (Mike Merton) sustained a late rally to narrowly take third from Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.).   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers on the card with three wins.   Live racing resumes on Saturday (July 26) evening, with the first of nine races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs   

After a dominant 1:53.3 win in last week's sub-featured trotting event, Spice It Up Lindy ($6.50) sustained a first-over bid en route to a 1:54.3 triumph in Saturday (July 19) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   With the two mares in the field--As Ya'll Like It (Brandon Simpson) and Dough Dough (Mike Simons)--assuming the pacesetting duties with a circuit remaining and Spice It Up Lindy eight lengths off the lead while trailing the sextet, Jim Meittinis angled the 11-year-old SJ's Caviar gelding first-over, progressing steadily after a :57.1 half-mile and into a :27.4 third quarter.   On the far turn, Spice It Up Lindy turned up the pressure on As Ya'll Like It, taking the lead off the corner and kicking clear. In the final sixteenth, Dough Dough found room at the pegs to re-rally, but only got to within a length of Spice It Up Lindy. Mr Web Page (Aaron Byron) followed the winner's cover throughout, staying on for third.   Santo Zuzolo owns and trains Spice It Up Lindy, who scored his 30th career win.   The winning drive in the feature kicked off a hat trick on the evening for Meittinis, who tied Brandon Simpson with three driving wins on the night.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 20) afternoon, with the first of 11 races slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs    

Over the weekend both Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff added points to their seasonal totals each winning their respective C.K.G. Billings trotting events; Ehrenberg with TK's Karma at Scioto Downs in the midwest region and Hechkoff with Get Packin at Tioga Downs in the east. In his Midwest region event at Scioto Downs on Friday (July 11) Ehrenberg took advantage of starting from post five with TK's Karma inside of the betting favorite Catching Kate, driven by "Marvelous Marv" Raber, had to leave from post eight. In doing so Ehrenberg hustled his trotter to the lead in a :27.4 first quarter while Raber settled Catching Kate down along the pylons but in eighth position. Ehrenberg kept TK's Karma moving right along on the front end while Raber had to begin to grind toward the leader as the field headed for the half. Catching Kate finally drew even with TK's Karma as the field approached the final turn but in the lane it was all TK's Karma as the 8 year old daughter of Victory Sam trotted away to a two length victory in a time of 1:57.2. Catching Kate held on for second while What Do You Want finished third for Larry "Overhand Serve" Steenbergen. TK's Karma, owned and trained by Terry Millhoan, paid $12.20 for win. And for Ehrenberg it was his 43rd amateur driving victory. Meanwhile the following day (July 12) at Tioga Downs in non-wagering eastern region action Bob Hechkoff and Get Packin made it two in a row in Billings competition when they survived a tight three-horse photo and garnered first money in a time of 1:59.4. Hechkoff had Get Packin on the lead and they rebuffed all challenges and especially the one rallied by Mr. Jim Dandy and Dave "Yes It's True" Offenberg who came from sixth at the top of the lane and passed everyone but the winner who was a head better at the wire. Just another nose farther back in third place was Dreamnwillie driven by "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello. Get Packin is trained by Brandon Simpson and owned by Hechkoff, who drove his fourth winner this season and his 48th of his amateur driving career. by John Manzi, for the CKG Bilings Amateur Drivers Series

Fireyourguns ($4.20) returned to his winning ways on Monday (July 7) evening, taking charge with a circuit to go and holding off a late challenge from JK Panache in the featured $14,000 Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding settled just off the pacesetting pair of JK Panache (Brandon Simpson) and Golden Gun (Corey Braden) before Aaron Byron brushed him to the fore after a :26.4 initial quarter. Upon making the front, Fireyourguns kept at a solid pace through a half mile of :55.1 before accelerating up the backstretch in a :27.1 third quarter. While Byron tried to get separation on his five rivals with the quickening tempo, JK Panache held firm In The Pocket through the far turn, angling wide to give chase in the stretch. Fireyourguns responded to the challenge, and held on for a one-length win in 1:50.2. JK Panache held second, while Golden Gun stayed on for third at 52-1 from his tracking trip.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 10) evening, with two-year-old trotting fillies taking center stage in New York Sire Stakes action. Post time for the 13-race card is 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media  

Before a healthy Independence Day crowd, Antigua Hanover ($4.40) parried a late charge from Solid Queen to take the Friday (July 4) distaff feature at Tioga Downs.   The $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares featured a field of six, with Ideal Helen (John Cummings, Jr.) dictating the pace early after clearing from the extreme outside. After rating a :56.2 half mile, Brandon Simpson advanced first-over with 6-5 favorite Antigua Hanover. Midway up the backstretch, the four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare pushed clear of Ideal Helen, carrying Sinspirational (Aaron Byron) into second through a 1:24.3 three-quarter split. While edging clear by 1-3/4 lengths off the far turn, Antigua Hanover soon found herself in the sights of Solid Queen (Corey Braden), who rallied late off cover, but only could close to within a half length of Antigua Hanover's 1:53.3 victory.   V'la Faire (Mike Merton), also a beneficiary of late live cover, sustained a late bid to take third.   Amber Buter trains Antigua Hanover for Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter.   Racing resumes at Tioga with a Sunday (July 6) afternoon program. Post time for the 10-race card is slated for 1:30 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

The S & P Racing Stable's Jets Are On ($4.90) completed a series sweep in the $38,000 M&J Oil and Lube final for distaffers, while Sandbur Farms and Valarie Sutton's Nitro Seelster ($10.40) outsprinted a trio of Ron Burke trainees in the $46,000 Nichols True Value final on Sunday (June 29) afternoon's Tioga Downs program.   The two late closing series finals served as co-features on the 13-race card, with the M&J Oil and Lube final looking to be a showdown between preliminary winners Jets Are On and Godiva Seelster. Neither mare was prominent early, as Happy Apples (Matt Kakaley) and Evil Fight (Jeffrey Long) were embroiled in a cutthroat duel to a :54.4 half mile.   On the backstretch, Jets Are On swept three-wide, pushing to the lead into the far turn and drawing clear by five lengths at head-stretch. Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr.) sustained a late bid from farther back in the field, rallying well to take second, reducing Jets Are On's winning margin to two lengths in a 1:53.0 effort. Always Flash-n (Aaron Byron), who stalked from the pocket, was able to shake free from the fading pacesetters to save third.   Corey Braden drove Jets Are On for trainer Luanne Case.   In the Nichols True Value final for male pacers, Nitro Seelster sustained a bid off the live cover of Real Illusion (Brandon Simpson), edging clear of Ron Burke trainees Pappy's Pal (Matt Kakaley) and Shark Fantasy (Dan Charlino) while holding off a strong late charge from Agood Time to Rock (Dan Rawlings) en route to a 1:52.3 victory. Sean Bier tipped the four-year-old Camluck gelding off cover at head-stretch, pulling clear late for a two-length triumph.   Agood Time to Rock chased late after suffering an awkward start, re-rallying to just take second from his stablemates, the pocket-sitting Shark Fantasy and the pacesetting Pappy's Pal (third and fourth, respectively).   Doug Hamilton trains Nitro Seelster.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday evening, with the Independence Day card set to begin at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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