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Despite finding herself in constant battle, Southwind Trini ($8.00) proved unwavering in Thursday (October 23) night's $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open-Preferred Pace at Vernon Downs, capping a driving hat trick for Jim Marohn, Jr.   Coming off victories in her last two Vernon appearances, the six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare was hard used to clear JK Letitgo (Jimmy Whittemore) through a :26 first quarter.   The two were joined off the gate by 1-4 favorite Let's Go Higher (Chris Lems), who retreated to a tracking position before commencing her first-over bid on the backstretch. After forcing a :54.4 half mile, Let's Go Higher turned up the pressure on the far turn, gaining a narrow lead briefly, but Southwind Trini would not relent.   Off the far turn, she fought back to a 1-1/4 length lead, holding sway by three-quarters of a length for a 1:52.3 score over sloppy going. Thats My Dream (Claude Huckabone, III) finished third off a ground-saving trip, while JK Letitgo tired through the stretch after chasing the contested pace.   Patti Harmon trains Southwind Trini for Karma Racing, Inc.   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the night, teaming up with Flying Fish ($13.60, 1:57) and Ace of Pace ($2.80, 1:53.4) in addition to his victory in the evening's featured event.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (October 24) evening, with the first of 13 races slated for 6:45 p.m.    by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

While he employed different tactics from last week, the result was the same for owner-trainer-driver John Macdonald's Dragon Fever ($11.80), who held narrowly for a 1:54 win in Saturday (October 18) evening's featured $6,500 top-level conditioned pace at Vernon Downs.   MacDonald sent the four-year-old Dragon Again gelding straight to the lead, working clear of Celebrity Scandal (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :26.3 quarter over sloppy going.   After rating a :29.3 second-quarter breather, Dragon Fever found himself nudged along by UF Bettors Hanover (Justin Huckabone) on the far turn. Still maintaining control of the terms through three-quarters in 1:24.4, Dragon Fever repelled the challenge of UF Bettors Hanover, drawing off by two in mid-stretch--but bracing for Celebrity Scandal's late kick. Dragon Fever prevailed by a scant neck, just holding off Celebrity Scandal.   The favored Moonlight Ransom (Truman Gale) was forced wide off stalling cover, rallying to take third.   Roman Lopez led all drivers with three wins on the 13-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (October 23) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

Not only was Lady Clarabella ($5.90) the fastest among five $10,000 Kindergarten Classic preliminary winners on Friday (October 17) evening at Vernon Downs, but she also established a new track record for two-year-old trotting fillies.   The daughter of Lear Jetta proved a handy winner in 1:54.2, protecting the lead early from A List Lindy (Charlie Norris), and controlling the terms through stout early fractions of :27.1 and :56.3. On the far turn, she faced some pressure from Gold Cora (Mike Simons), who circled three-wide en route to the far turn before challenging.   Lady Clarabella responded well, kicking clear by four in mid-stretch before she was taken in hand by David Miller for a 2-1/2 length triumph. Sarcy (Marcus Miller) rallied late to take second, while Gold Cora faded late.   Randy Beeckman trains Lady Clarabella for Paul Kinnear and Dreamland Farms.   Lady Clarabella's 1:54.2 trotting mile was one-fifth of a second faster than that of prior record holder Ma Chere Hall, who was the evening's $10,000 Open Trot winner.   Now a four-year-old, Ma Chere Hall ($2.50) pushed clear of Pounce K (John Macdonald) in a :26.3 first quarter, controlling the pace throughout before edging clear to a 2-1/4 length win under David Miller. The Jonas Czernyson trainee beat A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) and Helios (Claude Huckabone, III) in a powerful 1:52.4 effort.   The other four Kindergarten Classic winners on the evening were colts True Blue Stride ($14.00, John Campbell, 1:56.4) and Dapper Don ($47.00, Campbell, 1:56), while fillies Lindy Land ($18.40, Campbell, 1:56.1) and Sweet Thing ($3.70, 1:55.3, Charlie Norris) proved victorious.   The top point-earners through the five preliminary legs of the Kindergarten Classic series are eligible to the finals, to be held on Saturday, November 1.   Live racing returns to Vernon on Saturday (October 18) evening, with first post slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

Tracking a pressured pace from the pocket, Asset Management ($7.60) found room up the pegs to strike the front just in time, scoring a narrow win in Thursday (October 16) evening's $7,300 featured upper-level distaff pace at Vernon Downs.   The six-year-old Western Hanover mare settled right behind pacesetter Spotlight On (John Macdonald), but found herself locked in with three-eighths to go as newcomer Ace of Pace (Chris Lems) began a first-over push through a :55.4 half mile.   With racing room at a minimum after Spotlight On was nudged past three-quarters in 1:23.3, driver Fern Paquet, Jr. was force to find a seam up the inside off the turn with Asset Management. Asset Management responded as soon as room was available, taking a narrow lead in mid-stretch and holding off a late stand-side charge from Always Flash-n (Frank Davis). Spotlight On and Ace of Pace finished in a dead heat for third, just three-quarters of a length away from Asset Management's 1:52.4 victory.   Allie Berube trains Asset Management for J&M Racing.   While unable to convert in the feature with Ace of Pace, Chris Lems registered a driving grand slam on the evening. After a 9-3/4 length win with Paltrow Blue Chip ($6.40), he teamed up with Peanutbutternhoney ($15.40), Sweet Bettor ($10.20), and Kyler's Valentine ($5.70).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs tomorrow evening, with a 13-race card headlined by the final preliminary round of the Kindergarten Classic trotting series. Post time is 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs 

Charlene Long's Oh No Three O ($4.30) withstood a strong challenge from A Penny Earned, extending his winning streak to three with a 1:54.1 triumph in Friday (October 10) evening's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs.   Assigned the outside post in a field of seven, Howard Okusko, Jr. sent the seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding right to the front, pushing clear of Helios (Claude Huckabone, III) and Aruba Vacation (Aaron Byron) to establish an uncontested lead through a rated :56.4 half mile.   On the approach to the far turn, Oh No Three O saw his lead slip to a half-length, as A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) commenced a stout first-over challenge. The two were heads apart past three-quarters in 1:24.3, but Oh No Three O would not be denied a Third Straight win, edging clear to a 1-1/2 length win. Helios chased at the pegs to hold second off his pocket trip, while A Penny Earned flattened to third.   Paul Long trains Oh No Three O, and the featured win was one of three driving scores for Okusko. Fern Paquet, Jr. also tallied a driving hat trick on the evening's 11-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 11) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs    

Karma Racing, Inc.'s Southwind Trini ($4.60) overcame a post 9 assignment en route to a decisive 1:51.2 triumph in Thursday (October 9) evening's $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs.   The six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare wasted no time achieving the lead, pushing clear of Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) through a :26.3 initial quarter before settling the pace down a bit. After a :55 half mile, the 6-5 favorite faced mild pressure from the first-over Carobbean Pacetry (Chris Lems). Southwind Trini kicked clear at will off the turn, drawing clear of Carobbean Pacetry to win by 3-3/4 lengths. Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) stayed even from second-over to hold third over a ground-saving Always Flash-n (Aaron Byron).   Jim Marohn, Jr. handled the driving duties aboard Southwind Trini for trainer Patti Harmon.   Aaron Byron led all drivers on the evening with three wins, teaming up with Elizabeth Bluechip ($7.20, 1:54.3), Sukura ($15.20, 1:56), and Got the Munchies ($16.00, 1:54).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (October 10) evening, with the first of 11 races scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

Despite racing from well off the pace, No Monkeys Allowed ($4.00) emerged victorious, uncorking a standside rally through the stretch for a 1:55 win in Saturday (October 4) evening's featured $6500 pace at Vernon Downs. The seven-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding had no hand in the pacesetting duties, as longshots Dragon Fever (John Macdonald) and Avantage (Daniel Harvey) disputed the early pace. After Avantage was used to clear in a :57 half-mile over sloppy going, he immediately found pressure from the first-over Moonlight Ransom (Jimmy Whittemore) on the far turn. Meanwhile, Fern Paquet, Jr. commenced his rally with No Monkeys Allowed from the back of the pack, fanning four-wide off the far turn. The response was instant, and No Monkeys Allowed kicked to the lead with a sixteenth to go, subsequently drawing clear for a four-length victory. Moonlight Ransom held second, and Dragon Fever checked in third. Edgar "Sparky" Clarke handles the training duties of 26-time winner No Monkeys Allowed for owner Robert Orr. Paquet and Chris Lems each scored three driving wins on the evening's 10-race card. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday, October 9. First post is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

While he employed vastly different tactics from his victory last week, the result was the same for Oh No Three O ($4.60) in Friday (October 3) evening's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs.   The Paul Long-trained Ken Warkentin gelding floated forward from post 6, accelerating clear of Aruba Vacation (Aaron Byron) through a strong :27 first quarter before pulling the tempo back immediately. With three-eighths to go, and Helios (Claude Huckabone, III) commencing a mild but steady first-over gain, Oh No Three O accelerated clear to a three-length lead, holding that margin through mid-stretch. In the final sixteenth, Helios chased more stoutly, and Fern Paquet, Jr. kept Oh No Three O to task for a 1-3/4 length win, stopping the timer in 1:54. Pounce K (John Macdonald) stayed on after tracking cover to hold third.   Oh No Three O's victory was his seventh on the season, and the 16th for his career.   Chris Lems led all drivers with three wins on the 11-race card, while Paquet scored a double on the evening.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 4), with first post slated for 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Karma Racing's Southwind Trini ($11.00) got the jump on her six rivals in Thursday (October 2) night's $10,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs, brushing to the lead upon arrival on the backstretch, kicking clear for a 1:51.3 triumph.   Now a 24-time winner, the six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare was involved in stringing out dueling leaders Park N Orchard (Claude Huckabone, III) and Seascape Hanover (Aaron Byron) before settling just off a sizzling :25.4 first quarter.   Jim Marohn, Jr. then made his move with Southwind Trini on the backstretch, clearing easily through a more reasonable :54.3 half mile. With odds-on favorite Arodasi (Chris Lems) behind slowly developing cover at the back of the pack with a quarter mile to go, Marohn turned Southwind Trini loose, extending the lead to four lengths past mid-stretch.   Meanwhile, Arodasi--carried five-wide--charged gamely down the stand side to pass Dirty Girty (John Cummings, Jr.), who was carried four-wide after a mild first-over rally. The heavily backed Arodasi only could muster second, as Southwind Trini held clear by 2-1/2 lengths while kept to task. Dirty Girty stayed on for third.   Patti Harmon handles the training duties of Southwind Trini, who earned a new lifetime mark with her seventh win on the year.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (October 3) evening, with first post set for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Tirade Hanover and Tyber Tyke proved victorious in Saturday (September 13) evening's co-featured $15,000 Open events at Tioga Downs, headlining an eleven-race closing night card.   Tirade Hanover ($16.60) sustained a sweeping three-wide bid on the far turn for a 1:54.3 victory in the $15,000 Open Trot, staving off a resurgent Oh No Three O. The four-year-old Crazed gelding was well off dueling leaders In Your Room (Mike Simons) and Oh No Three O (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :55.3 initial half mile, sweeping three-wide past a stalled Spice It Up Lindy (Tom Jackson) en route to the far turn. Tirade Hanover continued on to the lead 100 yards from the winning post, maintaining his momentum to just hold off Oh No Three O, who split rivals in a late rally from the pocket. B L Class Act (Aaron Byron) gained late down the grandstand side to take third.   Tyler Raymer drove Tirade Hanover to his fifteenth career win. Trainer Leigh Raymer shares ownership with Stephen Moss, Harold Solomon, and Helane Solomon.   Hoosier invader Tyber Tyke ($4.90) kicked clear late in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace after sustaining a barrage of pressure, emerging from a four-way battle to control a :55.1 initial half mile. The five-year-old Panspacificflight gelding then repelled a stout first-over challenge from Golden Gun (John Cummings, Jr.) before drawing clear to a 6-1/4 length victory in 1:50.3.   Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart, Jr.) took second narrowly after shaking free in the final yards, while Dreamlands Art (Mike Simons) finished a tiring third after stalking from the pocket.   Fern Paquet, Jr. handled the driving duties aboard Tyber Tyke for trainer Daniel Gill. John McGill and Brian Carsey co-own the 19-time winner.   Tioga Downs honored driving champion Jim Marohn, Jr. and training champion Mike Deters during the evening's festivities, along with acknowledgements of Trotter of the Year I Love New York (trained and driven by Bruce Clarke through the meet) and Pacer of the Year Fireyourguns (driven by Aaron Byron for trainer Terence McClory).   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Two-year-old pacers took center stage at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 12) evening, contesting their divisions of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial Stake on the penultimate program of the 2014 harness racing season.   And while Hall of Terror (Marcus Miller, $3.50) turned in a mightily impressive :54.4 final half mile in his victory, top honors went to Dealt a Winner ($3.90), who set a new track record for two-year-old pacing geldings.   The son of Cam's Card Shark was well off the pace early in the tenth race, moving second-over behind Shooby Said (Jim Marohn, Jr.) after Gallic Beach (Tim Tetrick) brushed from midpack to the fore in a sensible :56.4 half mile. On the backstretch, David Miller angled Dealt a Winner three-wide, pushing past Shooby Said into a joint lead with Gallic Beach on the far turn. The two dueled through the stretch, with Dealt a Winner taking over outright in the final sixteenth and drawing clear for a one-length win. Sicily (Corey Callahan) tracked live three-wide cover on the backstretch, staying on for third.   Dealt a Winner's 1:52.3 victory took a second off the prior track record for two-year-old pacing geldings. Ed Hart handles the training duties for owner Jeffrey Snyder.   McArdles Lightning (Scott Zeron, 1:53.3) and Dragon Eddy (Mike Simons, 1:53.3) were the other two winners in the Reynolds divisions for two-year-old colts and geldings.   Corey Callahan teamed up with two freshman fillies for Reynolds wins as part of a Friday driving hat trick, holding sway with Divine Caroline (1:53.1) and kicking clear with Bettor B Steppin (1:53.3) in their stakes splits. Deli Beach (John Campbell, 1:55) was the other triumphant filly in the evening's stakes races.   The closing night (Saturday, September 13) program at Tioga features an 11-race card, with post time scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite

An eleven-race card boasting co-featured $15,000 Open events for trotters and pacers will close the 2014 season at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 13) evening.   "We thank the horsemen and the customers alike for supporting harness racing at Tioga Downs," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "The horsemen presented full and competitive fields consistently throughout the season along with a strong stakes schedule, and we thank them for helping present an attractive wagering product to our loyal customers."   To kickstart their bankrolls for the closing night program, guests can bring postcards mailed to them in exchange for a mystery betting voucher. Postcards can be redeemed for mystery vouchers from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the east grandstand near the main stage.   Additionally, guests can register at the promotions table starting at 5:15 p.m. to win one of three iPads, one of two 40-inch flat-screen televisions, or a Club Car golf cart, all to be given away throughout the evening.   Once again, the closing night giveaways will be highlighted by Horseplay Car Giveaway, sponsored by Williams Auto Group. After the evening's fourth race, one final entrant will be chosen for a $100 betting voucher and entry into the drawing for a 2014 Ford Fiesta, joining the entrants determined through the nightly mini-foam-horse toss. As in years past, the winner will be determined through a reverse draw, spread out from the sixth race to the close of the evening. The entrant whose name remains in the barrel until the absolute end will win the car, while all contestants eliminated by their prior draws will receive a $25 betting voucher each.   Following the last race of the meet and a special on-track performance from outrider Wendy Ross, a fireworks display will take place to close out the 2014 season.   As is customary, post time is 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

After two successful trial years of winter training, Tioga Downs will expand winter training for the upcoming winter. "The track was great both winters, thanks to the track crew and trainer Jeff Sorenson", said Guy Howard, longtime Southern Tier horseman and president of the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association. The winter training season will begin on November 1, 2014, continuing through March 31, 2015. Trainers will have full access to the track and the exercise wheel for $150 per stall. For more information, contact Guy Howard at 607.765.7168. 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

Eleven-year-old veteran Spice It Up Lindy ($7.50) turned in a most gritty effort in Saturday (September 6) evening's $15,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs, reaching for the line to hold off Walked Into Heaven for a 1:54.2 score.   Jim Meittinis brushed to the fore with the SJ's Caviar gelding after Walked Into Heaven (John Cummings, Jr.) established a solid early tempo through a :27.4 first quarter. With Walked Into Heaven in the pocket, SJ's Caviar relaxed the pace through a :57.4 middle half, accelerating some on the backstretch when Stitch in Time (Brandon Simpson) commenced a first-over rally.   While Stitch in Time would sustain his bid through the stretch, Walked Into Heaven posed the toughest threat, squeezing through at the pegs for a late rally. Spice It Up Lindy dug in to prevail by a long neck, holding sway for a 1:54.2 win. Walked Into Heaven and Stitch in Time completed the top three, while 3-2 favorite Crazy About Pat (Shawn Gray) failed to sustain a three-wide bid off the far turn, finishing sixth.   Santo Zuzolo owns and trains Spice It Up Lindy.   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the card, teaming up with Sand Wyndham ($3.50, 1:58.3), Stir Me Up ($4.70, 1:55.0), and Ashcroft ($4.10, 1:57.1).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (September 7) afternoon. The first of 13 races is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. EDT post time.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

On the Cusp ($7.80) seized the lead and never looked back, making every pole a winning one in Friday (September 5) evening's $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   Shawn Gray sent the seven-year-old Camluck mare immediately to the fore, tracked throughout by Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron). With 1-2 favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Jim Meittinis) away just worse than midpack, On the Cusp maintained an honest pace through a :55.2 half mile, far from grueling.   While Pan Luis Obispo never proved a threat, stalling at head-stretch amid her three-wide bid off cover, Inittowinafortune chased stoutly in the final eighth, but On the Cusp had plenty left in reserve to stave her off. On the Cusp prevailed by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.1 over Inittowinafortune. Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) rallied late off a stalking trip to hold third.   Dylan Davis trains On the Cusp for owner Kapildeo Singh.   While visiting driver Shawn Gray took the evening's featured event, Phil Fluet won four of the night's nine races to lead all drivers for the evening. Fluet proved victorious with Weekend Getaway ($15.20, 1:54.0), Martha Michelle ($8.50, 1:56.0), Cashamatic ($10.80, 2:00.0), and Princess Bliss ($10.60, 1:54.4).   Blows Me Away nearly gave Fluet a fifth win on the card, but the pair were outkicked by Aint Got a Home and Aaron Byron in the final yards of the evening's eighth event.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 6) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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