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On a dreary Monday evening which felt more like the last of April than the first of June, Mary Larrimore's Believe This Bob ($2.90) staved off two late threats en route to a 1:51.2 victory in the featured $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   Coming off a handy 1:50.3 win the week prior, the 7-year-old Beach Romeo gelding made an early push to the fore, clearing That'll Be the Rei (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn.   While he had to work to achieve the lead in a :26.2 initial quarter, Believe This Bob was able to rate a :55.1 half before maintaining his uncontested lead on the backstretch.   Heading to the far turn, Road Untraveled (Mike Simons) began a two-wide push, progressing after Believe This Bob passed the three-quarter mark in 1:23.2 while maintaining his 1-1/2 length lead.   At the top of the stretch, Aaron Byron called upon the odds-on pacesetter for all he had, working through the final 150 yards to stave off a late bid from That'll Be the Rei.   While those two dueled, Road Untraveled dove to the pegs to sustain his rally, proving to be the equal of That'll Be the Rei in a place dead heat--but neither able to catch Believe This Bob, who prevailed by a long neck to half a length.   Joe Skowyra trains Believe This Bob, who scored his second Open win at Tioga in as many starts.   Byron scored a driving hat trick on the 10-race card, as did Jim Marohn, Jr.   Racing continues at Tioga on Friday (June 5) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   The Friday card features the third round of the United States vs. Spain amateur driving competition, which visits two other tracks in New York State before concluding in the Southern Tier.   James Witherite

Vernon, N.Y. -- Making his much-anticipated return from a retirement which ultimately resembled a winter layoff, double millionaire Golden Receiver ($4.70) proved triumphant over his four harness racing rivals in Sunday (May 31) afternoon's featured $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs. Before the race, trainer Allie Berube expressed nothing but optimism: "We're excited for Golden Receiver's return, and he is very excited to be back on the racetrack. He's feeling very fresh, and we hope for a successful season." That optimism was fulfilled in the 10-year-old Village Jove gelding's return, as Fern Paquet, Jr. sent him straight to the front from post 4 to control a :26.4 first quarter mile while tracked by A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham). After rating a :30.1 second quarter breather, Golden Receiver faced a stern first-over challenge from Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), who forced a :27.4 third quarter while closing to within a neck. The challenge wasn't too tough for Golden Receiver, who kicked clear off the turn, holding clear of the late-charging JK Panache (Chris Lems) by two lengths in his 1:52.3 score over good going. Damon Blue Chip faded to third, while A Fool For Mark and UF Bettors Hanover (Justin Huckabone) rounded out the field of five. Berube continued to tell how Golden Receiver's return campaign would carry a nobler cause: "His proceeds will be donated to amazing causes thanks to his generous owners, the Our Horse Cents Stables and Nina Simmonds (Golden Receiver, LLC). Golden Receiver has a tremendous fan club, and we're certain he will not disappoint." If today's effort was any indication, Golden Receiver still has the ability to do a lot of good--both on and off the racetrack. While Golden Receiver was the equine star at the Miracle Mile today, four drivers each tallied two wins on the 11-race card. Adam Capizzano, Truman Gale, John MacDonald, and Jimmy Whittemore all recorded doubles on the afternoon program. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (June 5) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Despite a slower beginning than in past weeks, Bourbon Bay ($2.30) maintained his dominance in the harness racing trotting ranks at Tioga Downs, sweeping to the fore and edging clear for a 1:55 triumph in Sunday (May 31) afternoon's $14,000 Open Trot.   After failing to sustain a first-over bid against champion Father Patrick in last week's $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia, lessee-driver John Cummings, Jr. dropped the 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding to the back of the pack at race's outset, six lengths off early leader Aruba Vacation (Corey Braden) on the entry to the first turn. When Spice It Up Lindy (Tom Jackson) vacated the pocket to challenge for the lead after a :28.3 first quarter, Bourbon Bay had already commenced his charge, sweeping three-wide to clear the front with a circuit to go. After completing half the journey in :57.4, Bourbon Bay effortlessly gained ample separation from his four rivals, powering clear with three-eighths to go. Despite the best efforts of the trailing quartet, Bourbon Bay could not be caught, geared down for a six-length victory in 1:55. Spice It Up Lindy held second after facing pressure from the first-over I'm Fabulous (Jim Taggart, Jr.), while B L Class Act (Aaron Byron) took third off a mild stand-side rally.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who notched his 16th career win. It was also his third Open-level win in as many starts at Tioga this year.   Cummings led all drivers with a trio of winners on the card, also teaming up with Follow My Dreams ($5.50, 1:56.2) and Hold On Tightly ($8.20, 1:54.2).   Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (June 1) evening, with the first of 10 races due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After tracking prohibitive favorite Sweet Thing for all but the final two hundred yards, Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell's Painite ($13.00) scored a minor harness racing upset in Saturday (May 30) evening's $8000 Mares Open II Trot at Vernon Downs.   The 6-year-old Plesac mare secured the pocket behind Sweet Thing (Chris Lems) from race's outset, tracking a sensible :56.1 first half mile before ceding second to the first-over McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.). Painite stalked a :28.4 third-quarter duel, ultimately making her move in mid-stretch after McKenzie's Star tired from her two-wide press. Painite pounced late on the softened Sweet Thing, edging clear by 1-1/2 lengths in a 1:55 score. McKenzie's Star faded to third, and Leah's Ex (Jimmy Whittemore) rounded out the scratch-reduced field of four.   Trainer Truman Gale handled the driving duties aboard Painite.   The evening's final three races--including a $10,000 Open Trot--were abandoned due to the Central New York weather taking a sudden turn for the worse after the seventh race was completed. Live racing returns on Sunday (May 31) afternoon, with post time slated for 1:15 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After having enough of retirement through just four months, double harness racing  millionaire Golden Receiver makes his return to the races in Sunday (May 31) afternoon's featured $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   The 63-time winner, now in the care of trainer Allie Berube for the Our Horse Cents Stables and Golden Receiver, LLC, was assigned post 4 in the 5-horse event, carded as Sunday's second race. The 10-year-old Village Jove gelding won 63 of his 172 starts, while finishing in the money on 115 occasions. He's primarily done battle in the top pacing ranks through the Mid-Atlantic, taking his lifetime mark in January of 2012 with a 1:48 victory in a Presidential preliminary at the Meadowlands.   Golden Receiver mounts his comeback off a lone qualifier, sprinting clear and maintaining separation through a 1:53.3 mile at Vernon on May 22, finishing 15-3/4 lengths clear of Party With Artie. Fern Paquet, Jr. drove in the qualifier, and will do the same in Sunday's Open. His four rivals are A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham), UF Bettors Hanover (Justin Huckabone), Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), and defending Open winner JK Panache (Chris Lems).   Post time for the 11-race card at Vernon Downs is 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

For the second consecutive week, Mach It a Par ($5.00) passed every rival she faced, circling her four Open II harness racing rivals on Friday (May 29) evening at Tioga Downs.   The featured $10,000 distaff saw Stormunn (Aaron Byron) cross and clear from her outside post on approach to the first turn, but she faced steady pressure from the first-over Jets Are On (Corey Braden) after a :56.2 half mile. The two dueled on the backstretch, but Stormunn responded well to her challenger, edging clear on the far turn. Meanwhile, Dan Clements angled Mach It a Par three-wide to follow--and ultimately overtake--the cover of even-money favorite Addys Way (Mike Simons). With the latter unable to advance from a stalled Jets Are On, Mach It a Par began to progress just outside the eighth pole, closing stoutly upon straightening for home. Her late kick proved just enough, as she just defeated Stormunn on the line in 1:52.2. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) held third off a pocket trip. Clements owns 10-time winner Mach It a Par, and Renaldo Morales, III trains the 5-year-old Mach Three mare.   Live racing resumes at Tioga on Sunday afternoon, with the first of 10 races slated for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Under steady pressure through a :26.4 third quarter, Jesse De Long's Let's Go Higher ($2.60) would not be denied, edging clear to a harness racing victory in Friday (May 29) evening's $10,000 Mares Open pace at Vernon Downs.   The 7-year-old Cole Muffler mare cleared her four rivals immediately at race's outset, controlling the terms through a :27.3 initial quarter before rating a brief breather. Upon reaching the half in :57.1, Let's Go Higher faced stern pressure from the first-over Purity (Jimmy Whittemore), pushed on through a :26.4 third quarter before edging clear off the far turn. Let's Go Higher turned aside Purity at head-stretch, holding clear of the pocket sitting Southwind Trini (Greg Merton) by two lengths in 1:51.2. Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) narrowly held third over Always As Fast (Joe Nassimos) after tracking the front flight throughout.   Chris Lems drove Let's Go Higher for trainer Heidi Rohr. Lems scored a driving double on the evening's nine-race card, as did Jimmy Whittemore.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Making her much-anticipated return to the races off her 2014 Horse of the Year campaign, the 3 Brothers Stables' JK She'salady ($2.10) sustained a first-over bid to beat seven New York Sire Stakes ($110,000 added total purse) foes as part of an all-stakes harness racing card on Monday (May 25) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The 3-year-old daughter of Art Major and Presidential Lady was in no hurry through an initial :55.2 half mile, stalking from fourth as Single Me (Brett Miller) took command from Bettor N Better (Yannick Gingras) with a circuit to go. On the backstretch, Tim Tetrick moved the undefeated JK She'salady first-over, steadily closing in on Single Me through three-quarters in 1:22.3, working up to the lead at the top of the stretch. Off the corner, JK She'salady kicked clear by two lengths, kept to task in a 1:51.2 victory over Single Me and a stalking Divine Caroline (David Miller).   Nancy Johansson trains JK She'salady, who improved her career record to 13 wins in as many starts. JK She'salady The three other New York Sire Stakes winners on the afternoon were Bettorhaveanother ($2.50, Jim Morrill, Jr., 1:51), Bettor Be Steppin ($2.30, Corey Callahan, 1:51.2), and Rock Me Gently ($11.20, Scott Zeron, 1:52).   The Memorial Day program also featured the first leg of the new Graduate series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers, with two $37,500 divisions carded on each gait. Both pacing divisions resulted in track records, as Doo Wop Hanover ($2.20) powered clear of his six rivals on the backstretch en route to a 1:47.4 score. The 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover entire drew off by 7-1/2 lengths after sustaining his middle move, keeping clear of Rock Out (Scott Zeron) and Mattamerican (Mark MacDonald), both of whom passed early pacesetter Lyonssomewhere (Andy Miller) after the latter tired from dictating a :53.4 half mile.   Hall-of-Fame driver John Campbell was in the bike for Doo Wop Hanover's mile, which knocked two fifths of a second over the previous all-age pacing record at Tioga. Steve Elliott trains Doo Wop Haover for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.   Not even 40 minutes later, Rockeyed Optimist ($3.90) broke the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings, turning aside Three of Clubs (Brian Sears) in a 1:48.1 Graduate win. Tim Tetrick drove the 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding, pushing clear with a circuit to go before prevailing in an extended battle through the far turn. Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) stayed on well from the pocket to maintain third after pushing the pace early.   Another Elliott trainee, Rockeyed Optimist is owned by Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, the A and B Stable, and Joseph Battaglia.   Four-year-old trotters contested their Graduate divisions earlier in the afternoon, with distaffer Shake It Cerry ($2.90) beating the boys in the five-horse first division. After getting away at the back of the pack, the Donato Hanover mare steadily advanced to the front through a :55.2 half mile, opening up at will for a 1:52.4 score over Sumatra (David Miller) and Datsyuk (Charlie Norris). Trainer Jimmy Takter handled the driving duties aboard Shake It Cerry, who is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners. Likewise, Opulent Yankee ($6.20) drew clear of his rivals at head-stretch in the other Graduate division, edging clear of the late-rallying Madewell Hanover (Chris Ryder) and Resolve (Ã…ke Svanstedt) in a 1:52.3 triumph. Andy Miller drove the Muscles Yankee gelding for trainer Julie Miller and owners Little E, LLC, Arthur Geiger, Jason Settlemoir, and David Stolz.   Tim Tetrick led all drivers on the card, registering a grand slam on the 13-race program.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (May 29) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. Horsemen are advised that this week's draw schedule provides for Friday's races to be drawn on Tuesday (May 26) morning, while the Sunday (May 31) and Monday (June 1) programs will be drawn on Wednesday (May 27) morning. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Making his local harness racing debut after chasing top pacers in Delaware, Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob ($4.10) had no trouble keeping clear of his seven rivals in Sunday (May 24) evening's $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs, holding sway for a 1:50.3 triumph.   The 7-year-old Beach Romeo gelding split fellow leavers Road Untraveled (Brandon Simpson) and Glass Prince (Rick Dane) to assume the pacesetting duties, clicking off a :26.2 first quarter and maintaining the lead through a :55 half mile. Believe This Bob in fact controlled the terms throughout, edging clear from the pocket-sitting Road Untraveled on the far turn. Upon encouragement from Aaron Byron through the stretch, Believe This Bob dug in to maintain a clear two-length margin over a late-rallying Glass Prince. Glass Prince, who was locked in on the backstretch by Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.), had room to edge off the pegs at head-stretch, narrowly defeating Road Untraveled for second. Prairie Jaguar faded to fourth off his uncovered bid.   Joe Skowyra trains Believe This Bob, now a 27-time winner.   Byron kicked off a driving grand slam in the featured event, reeling off two more wins immediately aboard Oakmont ($4.30, 1:51.3) and NBA Pick ($8.10, 1:55.2) before capturing the finale with Philana Chalice ($40.00, 1:55.2). Corey Braden and Jim Marohn, Jr. both recorded driving doubles on the night, while Edgar "Sparky" Clarke notched a training double on the 10-race card.   Monday (May 25) afternoon's all-stakes card kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, with first-round Graduate action for 4-year-olds and New York Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old pacing fillies comprising the entirety of the 13-race card.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Sent off the prohibitive 2-5 favorite, Barn Doll ($2.90) sustained a push to the fore on the far turn, drawing clear for a 1:54 triumph in her $40,600 New York Sire Stakes event for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday (May 23) evening at Vernon Downs.   The daughter of Conway Hall and Headintheclouds settled in midpack early on, as Magic City (Jeff Gregory) cleared the lead through a :28 initial quarter. On the backstretch, Jimmy Whittemore angled Barn Doll second-over behind the cover of Frou Frou (Jim Morrill, Jr.), but was ultimately left uncovered after a :57.2 half mile as Frou Frou cleared. Despite no longer having the aid of cover, Barn Doll continued progressing, pushing clear on the far turn and drawing clear of Frou Frou by 3-1/2 lengths in the end. Stirling Debutant (Rick Zeron) sustained a move on the far turn to take third, just missing Frou Frou in a late battle for second.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables.   Lock Down Lindy ($3.80, Rick Zeron, 1:54.3) and Concentration ($10.00, Chris Lems, 1:56.3) also proved victorious in their Sire Stakes divisions.   Vernon Downs is dark for racing on Sunday, but hosts a 13-race program on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). Post time is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Relegated to last in the early stages, the Harmon Racing Stable's Detroit Rapper ($23.40) circled four-wide to pass all six of his rivals in Saturday (May 23) evening's featured harness racing $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding took no part in the pace-setting proceedings, situated well off alternating leaders Sweet Justice (Aaron Byron) and B L Class Act (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56.4 half mile. As 2-5 favorite Zooming (Brandon Simpson) applied steady pressure on B L Class act into the far turn, Jim Meittinis angled Detroit Rapper three-wide to follow the live cover of My Muscleman (Mike Simons), fanning four-wide at the head of the stretch and showing immediate response. The Patti Harmon trainee kicked forward at once, gobbling up ground and drawing clear by a length in 1:55.1 to defeat B L Class Act and Zooming. Aruba Vacation (Tyler Freese), who was shuffled to last on the backstretch, rallied five-wide in the stretch to save fourth.   Dan Clements and John Cummings, Jr. both earned driving doubles on the eight-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 24) evening, with the first of 10 races slated for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Top New York-sired 3-year-old fillies and a collection of the finest 4-year-old pacers and trotters in harness racing head to Upstate New York for Memorial Day weekend, as they headline the weekend's racing at Tioga and Vernon Downs. Saturday (May 23) evening's card at Vernon Downs features three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes ($110,000 added) for 3-year-old trotting fillies, with first-round winners Lindy Land (John MacDonald) and Magic City (Jeff Gregory) squaring off in the second-division eighth race. Shaqline (Jim Morrill, Jr.), also a winner in last week's opening Sire Stakes round at Tioga, does battle in a full field of nine in the opening split, carded as race seven. Stakes action shifts to Tioga on Monday (May 25) afternoon, with the new Graduate Series for 4-year-olds kicking off on the Memorial Day program. Eleven trotters and thirteen pacers were split into two divisions for each gait, and each split carries a purse of $37,500. Last year's top three-year-old trotting filly Shake It Cerry (Jimmy Takter) will try to beat the boys, facing Datsyuk (Charlie Norris)--who beat Father Patrick in the Tompkins Stakes at Tioga last year--and Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in their five-horse fifth race. The pacing divisions of the Graduate see Cane Pace winner Lyonssomewhere (Andy Miller) and Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) draw separate divisions, contesting races 9 and 11, respectively. In addition, Monday's Tioga program features the New York Sire Stakes ($110,000 added) for 3-year-old pacing fillies, and the sensational JK She'salady (Tim Tetrick) makes her much-awaited seasonal debut for trainer Nancy Johansson after sweeping all 12 of her races last year. She has been installed the 3-5 morning line favorite in the $31,050 eighth race. Both racetracks feature fireworks displays this weekend, taking place after the races on Saturday (May 23) at Vernon and Sunday (May 24) evening at Tioga. Likewise, on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25), fans can receive a camouflage baseball cap at both tracks (while supplies last), with the hat giveaway beginning an hour before first post. by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Michael Casalino's Purity ($6.60) was never in doubt, sprinting off through a :55.1 back half to soundly defeat her four rivals in Friday (May 22) evening's $10,000 harness racing Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   The four-year-old Always a Virgin mare had no trouble securing the top spot from her inside post, rating a soft :57.4 first half mile while facing nary a challenger. On the far turn, she edged clear of pocket sitting The Filly Princess (Chris Lems) and first-over Always As Fast (Joe Nassimos), opening up the margin to two lengths through a :27.2 third quarter. Off the corner, Purity continued to amass a clear advantage over the others, ultimately putting 6-3/4 lengths on The Filly Princess for a 1:53 triumph. Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) held third off a tracking trip.   Jimmy Whittemore drove Purity for trainer Jeff Lieberman. For Whittemore, the win was one of three on the night, also teaming up with Thats My Dream ($7.80, 1:57) and Incredible Gambler ($5.30, 1:54.2). John MacDonald also recorded a driving hat trick, victorious aboard Precious Rose N ($5.30, 1:56.2), Pancakes ($3.20, 1:55.4), and Sistas ($8.30, 1:59.1) on the 11-race card.   Racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 23) evening, with the first of 11 races due for a 6:45 p.m. start. Three-year-old trotting fillies take center stage in New York Sire Stakes action, with 25 trotters contesting three divisions. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Sliding third-over on the backstretch before circling four-wide off the turn, Mach It a Par ($10.20) passed all seven of her rivals in Friday (May 22) evening's featured $10,000 conditioned pace for harness racing fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old Mach Three mare took no part in the pacesetting proceedings, languishing at the back of the field through a sensible :56.1 half mile. Before reaching the backstretch, owner/driver Dan Clements moved Mach It a Par third-over to track live cover behind Jets Are On (Corey Braden) and Maejusmac (Mike Simons) up the backstretch. As Jets Are On turned up the pressure on pacesetter Rock N Load (John Cummings, Jr.) past a 1:25.1 three-quarter split, Maejusmac made a three-wide bid, carrying Mach It a Par four-deep off the far turn as Jets Are On struck the front at the eighth pole. Mach It a Par would ultimately slingshot to the fore, passing Jets Are On in the final fifty yards to prevail in 1:53.3. Rock N Load was a worn down but gamely beaten third, and Maejusmac checked in fourth after showing minimal kick off live cover.   Renaldo Morales, III trains Mach It a Par, who scored her ninth career win.   Clements scored a driving double on the evening's eight-race card, as did Fern Paquet, Jr. and Mike Simons. Live racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (May 23) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. The week's schedule rounds out with a special Sunday (May 24) evening card, and an all-stakes Memorial Day (Monday, May 25) afternoon program, which features the first leg of the new Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers and trotters along with New York Sire Stakes events for three-year-old pacing fillies. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY -- While defending harness racing driving champion Jim Marohn, Jr. has been competing in the Southern Tier on a more limited schedule this season compared to years past due to increased opportunity and success at the Meadowlands, the 33-year-old reinsman has pounced on every opportunity possible to remain competitive at Tioga Downs. Monday (May 18) evening's 11-race card was no exception, as he captured seven of the dashes and finished second on one occasion.   After a second-place effort with Gold Deuce in the $5,000 claiming opener, "The Mighty Mite Part Two" reeled off five consecutive wins, teaming with Nine Innings ($4.80, 1:54), Oh My Joepa ($7.70, 1:53.1), Prairie Jaguar ($3.40, 1:53.1), Oakmont ($3.00, 1:54), and Rage N Ryan ($6.30, 1:53.1). He would return to sweep the late double, although his win with Hurricane Breeze ($6.70, 1:56.1) in a non-winners of two pace would have to be shared with the late-rallying At the Rail (Mike Simons) in a dead heat. Marohn closed out his seven-win evening aboard Twin B Flirt ($6.40, 1:54.1) in a first-level conditioned pace.   In total, Marohn teamed up with trainer Tony Dinges for three victories, while Mike Deters trainees added two other triumphs.   The $14,000 Open Pace--one of two races in which Marohn did not participate--went to Dragon Fever ($15.80), who prevailed after fanning three-wide off a tracking trip. The 5-year-old Dragon Again gelding just collared Glass Prince (Rick Dane) and Road Untraveled (Mike Simons) in the final yards for a 1:54.2 score under Jim Taggart, Jr. Odds-on favorite BJ's Rameau (Marcus Miller) was left far detached from the others after his right hopple snapped shortly after the start of the race.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (May 22) evening. Post time is 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Clearing his four harness racing rivals early on, A Fool For Mark ($4.30) kicked clear on the far turn and remained elusive on the lead in a $6500 upper-level conditioned pace at Vernon Downs on Sunday (May 17) afternoon.   Owner/trainer/driver Dustin Ingraham sent the nine-year-old Western Ideal gelding right to the front, controlling a :54.2 first half mile while tracked by Giant Sculpture (Roman Lopez). On the far turn, A Fool For Mark kicked clear, leaving Giant Sculpture four lengths behind through a :27.4 third quarter. As Giant Sculpture faded in upper stretch, A Fool For Mark had amassed enough of a margin to stave off late challengers UF Bettors Hanover (Justin Huckabone) and The Green Knight (John MacDonald), both of whom rallied from the back of the pack to finish second and third respectively. A Fool For Mark ultimately held clear by two lengths, wrapping up his winning mile in 1:50.3.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (May 22) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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