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After an early push clear of her five rivals, Let's Go Higher ($2.40) looked every bit odds-on in the Independence Day (July 4) feature at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs, taking the $10,000 Mares Open Pace in 1:52.   The 7-year-old Cole Muffler mare crossed and cleared from her outside post rapidly, sent to the fore by Chris Lems with no reservations through a :26 initial quarter.   After backing down the pace through a :29.4 second quarter, she accelerated clear on the far turn, leaving the pocket-sitting Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) three lengths in arrears through a 1:23.3 three-quarter sectional.   She continued to extend her margin through the stretch, ultimately defeating her competition by four lengths.   The Filly Princess (Frank Davis) sustained a belated first-over bid to take second, just getting past an all-out Love You Bye in the final yards.   Heidi Rohr trains Let's Go Higher for owner Jesse De Long.   Jimmy Whittemore led all drivers with a hat trick on the 10-race card, teaming up with Drinkin N Dancin ($3.90, 1:54), Devil Child ($5.40, 1:52), and Country Chic ($5.20, 1:57.3).   Live racing returns on Sunday (July 5) afternoon, with post time slated for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

A large crowd turned out at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 4) evening for Independence Day festivities, and Bourbon Bay bounced back from a defeat two weeks ago to capture the featured $12,000 Open Trot.   The 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding worked clear of March Awareness (Richard Simard) on the first turn, controlling the terms through a :56.3 initial half while under no pressure.   On the backstretch, lessee/driver John Cummings, Jr. asked Bourbon Bay for a bit more trot, and the response was instant.   Bourbon Bay accelerated through a :28.1 third quarter, drawing clear of his foes off the far turn.   He ultimately amassed 2-1/2 lengths of clearance on his rivals, defeating them in 1:54.2   Grey Ice (Corey Braden) made a late push off the pegs to just take second, while March Awareness tired while chasing, checking in third.   Megan Wilson trains Bourbon Bay, who is now an 18-time winner in 37 career races.   Jim Taggart, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the nine-race card, earning his second hat trick in as many nights.   He was victorious aboard You the One ($21.80, 1:58), Sweet Kix ($56.00, 1:57.4), and Six Bax ($3.50, 1:55.1).   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (July 5) afternoon, with the first of 11 races slated for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Vernon, N.Y. -- After stalking from midpack, the J P Stables' Damon Blue Chip ($3.00) angled off the pegs en route to head-stretch, steadily closing on the pacesetters and ultimately prevailing for a 1:51.1 score in Sunday (June 28) afternoon's $7000 harness racing featured conditioned pace at Vernon Downs.   The 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding was relaxed early, allowing A Fool for Mark (Dustin Ingraham), Dont Tell Rusty (Todd Frocione), and Walks of Life (Frank Davis) all to make moves to the lead before commencing his. Rated well off a :54.4 half mile, trainer-driver John MacDonald put Damon Blue Chip into play on the far turn, passing a tiring Dont Tell Rusty to take third before reaching the head of the stretch, but still five lengths out of second. Damon Blue Chip made better progress upon straightening out for home, closing steadily to collar A Fool For Mark--who vacated the pocket to pass Walks of Life in mid-stretch--by a half length. Celebrity Scandal (Claude Huckabone, III) rallied from the back of the pack to take fourth.   MacDonald scored a driving double on the 12-race card, as did Claude Huckabone, Jr., Greg Merton, and Shawn McDonough.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday, July 4. First post for the Independence Day program is 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- While a power outage forced the abandonment of the last eight races on Sunday (June 28) afternoon's 12-race harness racing program at Tioga Downs, the Purple Haze Stables, LLC's Buen Camino ($3.60, part of entry) was able to capture his $61,300 New York Sire Stakes event in advance of the mid-afternoon electrical issues.   The 3-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall and Baby Bella had no trouble clearing the front, passing Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) and Credit Creation (David Miller) to achieve the lead through a :27 initial quarter. After driver Jim Morrill, Jr. rated a :30.1 second quarter with the Trond Smedshammer trainee, Buen Camino responded to mild first-over pressure from Credit Creation, edging clear off the far turn and drawing off for a 2-1/2 length win over Wings of Royalty. The Physician (Daniel Dube) swung three-wide off stalling cover at the top of the stretch, rallying to take third.   Morrill won the previous race as well, taking a $12,000 Open Pace with Believe This Bob ($6.00) in 1:51.3.   Earlier in the card, War Hero ($12.80) sustained a middle move, holding off a late charge from Oh No Three O to take the $20,000 Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot. Chris Lems settled the 7-year-old Ken Warkentin just off the pacesetters before brushing to the fore with just under a circuit to go, working clear of Spice It Up Lindy through a :57.3 first half. On the backstretch, War Hero braced for a first-over challenge from Oh No Three O, accelerating to three-quarters in 1:26.1 and ultimately holding sway by a length for a 1:56.1 triumph. Oh No Three O narrowly held second over Spice It Up Lindy, who was hard pressed for racing room through the final three-eighths of the mile.   Jessica Okusko trains War Hero for owner/breeder Howard Gill.   With respect to the abandoned races (5 through 12), all New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series events will result in an equal split of purse money and standings points among all entrants in each race. The Nichols True Value pacing series final (race 7) will carry over as already drawn to next Sunday (July 5) afternoon's card, but trainers are advised to contact the racing office with respect to driver nominations.   For punters who were live in the early pick three (ending in race 5), the 2-1-all combination (Believe This Bob in race 3, Buen Camino in race 4, and "all" in the canceled fifth race) returns $3.60 on the 50¢ base wager.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 3) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After being shoved three-wide by Painite on the entry to the far turn, Barn Girl ($10.00) made a push to the fore only to be collared by the offender in Saturday (June 27) evening's $8,000 Mares Open II Trot at Vernon Downs. Ultimately, Barn Girl was placed the winner ahead of Painite as a result of the aforementioned interference.   Jimmy Whittemore settled toward the back of the pack with the 3-year-old Cash Hall filly, racing well behind a :27.2 first quarter clicked off by Saint Patty's Doll (Greg Merton) and a :57.1 first half attended by the first-over Concentration (Chris Lems). Moving into the far turn, Barn Girl angled second-over, but was carried deeper out by Painite (Truman Gale), who vacated the pegs without clearance three-eighths from home. Nonetheless, Barn Girl sustained her rally, working to the lead in the final 150 yards before Painite swept to the grandstand side and narrowly finished first past the post. As a result of the interference on the far turn, however, Painite was relegated to second behind the offended Barn Girl, placed the winner in 1:56.1. Torches Star (Claude Huckabone, III) rallied from the back of the pack to take third over the pacesetting Saint Patty's Doll.   Howard Okusko trains Barn Girl for the Out in the Country Stable, along with Steven and Nancy Pratt.   Whittemore also won on the card with Misty Major ($7.20), earning a driving double on the 11-race card. Chris Lems and Greg Merton also each scored two wins on the program.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 28) afternoon, with first post at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Pushing clear with a circuit to go, Niss Allen, Inc.'s U Belong To Me ($17.20) backed down the second quarter before accelerating clear to a 1:54.3 win in Saturday (June 27) evening's harness racing $10,000 Open II Pace at Tioga Downs.   The 6-year-old Misfit gelding was caught wide early as A Weekend (Mike Simons) worked to clear Flying Cowboy (Dan Clements) through a :28 first quarter over sloppy going. Undeterred by the contested early pace, Fern Paquet, Jr. drove on with U Belong To Me, clearing A Weekend in the first pass through the home straight and subsequently slackening through a :30.3 second quarter. After the breather on the clubhouse turn, U Belong To Me accelerated on the backstretch to evade a first-over bid from T's Electric (Aaron Byron) and dismiss pocket rival A Weekend, who tired on the far turn. Turning up the pace through a :27.4 third quarter, U Belong To Me held clear of T's Electric for a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:54.3. No Monkeys Allowed (John Cummings, Jr.) sustained a belated rally to take third.   Eric Mollor trains U Belong To Me, who recorded his 12th career win.   Mike Simons led all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card, and Dan Clements recorded a driving hat trick. Renaldo Morales, III and Shawn Simons led all trainers with two wins apiece.   Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race program on Sunday (June 28) afternoon, featuring New York Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings along with the Normand Fluet Memorial Invitational Trot. Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After sustaining an early push to the lead, The Filly Princess ($5.90) held off a late charge from her pocket rival to take Friday (June 26) evening's harness racing $10,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   After Express Jet (John MacDonald) split Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) and Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) to establish the early lead in a :27.4 first quarter, Frank Davis charged to the front with The Filly Princess. The 7-year-old Bettor's Delight mare caught a :58.2 middle half breather, digging in off the far turn to stave off a late charge from pocket rival Express Jet. The Filly Princess prevailed by half a length, holding firm for a 1:53.3 triumph. Tiger Boudoir stayed on off a ground-saving trip to take third.   Andy Gardner trains The Filly Princess for Standardbred Ventures, Inc.   Davis scored a driving double on the evening's 10-race program, as did Joe Nassimos.   Racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 27) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Taking advantage of live cover and a contested early pace, Mach It a Par ($3.80) passed all six of her harness racing rivals to take Friday (June 26) evening's $10,000 featured distaff pace at Tioga Downs.   Dan Clements settled the 5-year-old Mach Three mare at the back of the pack as Purity (Jim Meittinis) worked to clear fellow leavers Smokin N Grinin (Mike Simons), K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.), and Stormunn (Aaron Byron) through a :26.3 first-quarter battle. With three-eighths to go, Purity gave way to pocket rival Smokin N Grinin, and Mach It a Par moved third-over to follow the cover of K J's Caroline and Stormunn on the backstretch, swinging three-wide well past a 1:23.3 three-quarters split. At the top of the stretch, Mach It a Par found her best stride, working clear of K J's Caroline in the final sixteenth to prevail by a widening 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.4. K J's Caroline held second, while Arodasi (Brandon Simpson) mounted a stand-side rally from the back of the pack to take third.   Clements owns Mach It a Par, and Renaldo Morales, III handles the training duties.   In addition to his victory in the feature, Clements teamed up with Purple N Gold ($3.60, 1:54), Shutthefrontdoor ($4.40, 1:51.4), and Flashy ($13.40, 1:54.2) to lead all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card.   A pair of $6,000 second-round divisions of the Tioga State Bank starter series were contested on the Friday evening program as well, with Philana Chalice ($60.50) drawing clear off a first-over bid for a 1:53 upset score in rein to Kyle DiBenedetto, and Private Interview ($2.50) living up to odds-on billing for a handy 1:52.4 win under Corey Braden.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday evening, with the first of 13 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Both brushing to the fore and opening up at will on their respective rivals, Barn Doll ($2.70) and Crazy Wow ($2.30, part of entry) proved dominant in a pair of harness racing  Empire Breeders Classic events for New York-sired 3-year-old trotters on Sunday (June 21) afternoon at Vernon Downs.   The $248,275 Classic for fillies saw Zanna Blu (Yannick Gingras) stride to the early lead past her stablemate Allerage Belle (Jim Morrill, Jr.), with Barn Doll tracking that pair comfortably through a :28 initial quarter. Moving off the clubhouse turn, Jeff Gregory brushed to the fore with the 3-year-old Conway Hall filly, clearing Zanna Blu with no trouble before controlling a :56.2 half mile. Barn Doll accelerated on the far turn through a :27.3 third sectional, leaving her eight rivals well in her wake after edging clear at head-stretch. She ultimately trounced the others, winning by 6-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Lock Down Lindy (Tim Tetrick) rallied down the center of the track to take second, while Jewels in Hock (John Cambell) kicked cover off the far turn to finish third.   Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC.   An overflow field of 11 3-year-old colts and geldings contested a $255,325 Classic event, with Crazy Wow overcoming a second-row start to obliterate his competition--and the previous track record for sophomore geldings. Yannick Gingras floated Crazy Wow second-over to follow entrymate Habitat (Jim Morrill, Jr.) to a :26.4 first quarter, continuing on without cover to clear the lead upon exiting the clubhouse turn. The Crazed gelding posted a :56.4 middle half and then edged clear of his entrymate in upper stretch, amassing a 6-1/2 length margin of victory in 1:51.1. Habitat held second, while Fashion Creditor (David Miller) rallied from a third-over trip to take third while well detached of the Ron Burke trainees.   The Our Horse Cents Stables, the JT 45 group, and the J&T Silva Stables, LLC own Crazy Wow, who knocked 1-2/5 seconds off Gym Tan Laundry's 1:52.3 mark for 3-year-old trotting geldings, taken in 2012.   Fireyourguns breaks his own all-age pacing record   Earlier in the 14-race program, Fireyourguns ($2.90) set blistering fractions and held sway from a late-charging JK Panache (Yannick Gingras) to take the $10,000 Open Pace in a track record 1:47.3. The 6-year-old American Ideal remains undefeated on the year in six starts, taking two-fifths of a second off his former mark with Jim Morrill, Jr. in the bike. Double millionaire Golden Receiver, reunited with 2011 World Driving Championship runner-up Corey Callahan, was all-out to chase the pacesetter, holding third. Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   NY Sire Stakes glamour boys contest four undercard events   In addition to the pair of Empire Breeders Classic events and Fireyourguns's track record mile, 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings squared off in a quartet of New York Sire Stakes events, offering a combined purse of $122,400. My Spirit Soars ($5.50, Jim Morrill, Jr., 1:49.3), National Seelster ($8.60, Andy Miller, 1:50.2), A Bettor Hat ($7.30, Morrill, 1:51.3), and Artistic Major ($8.50, Scott Zeron, 1:50.3) proved victorious in their respective races.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (June 26) evening, with post time set for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

Nichols, N.Y. -- Narrowly missing Fireyourguns in last week's top pacing event, Bettorsluckystreak ($13.00) sustained a first-over grind to just collar even-money favorite That'll Be the Rei in Sunday (June 21) afternoon's $14,000 harness racing open pace at Tioga Downs.   Jim Taggart, Jr. floated into midfield with the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding at race's outset, out-sprinted up the pegs by Believe This Bob (Dan Clements) in the initial stages. Believe This Bob subsequently ceded the lead to That'll Be the Rei (Dan Clements) after a sensible :27.3 opening quarter mile. Just as That'll Be the Rei pulled the pace back through a :56.3 half, Bettorsluckystreak mounted his first-over rally, gaining steadily from fourth to apply pressure at the midpoint of the backstretch. The two would duel through the far turn and into the stretch, with Bettorsluckystreak just collaring That'll Be the Rei by a neck in 1:53.4, also staving off a three-wide push from the second-over Dreamlands Art (Brandon Simpson), who took third placing.   Trainer Gary Messenger co-owns Bettorsluckystreak with Kenneth Weckstein and Richard Rubin.   The 11-race program also featured a pair of second-round Nichols True Value late-closing events, with Let's Foal Around ($7.40, Mike Simons) and Jeneral Patton ($2.50, Jim Marohn, Jr.) both parlaying pocket trips into victories.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (June 26) evening, with post time slated for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Taking advantage of live cover just as he did in his two previous races, Valley of Sin ($9.00) kicked clear in his seasonal debut among Open harness racing company, capturing the $14,000 featured trot in 1:53.4 on Saturday (June 20) evening at Tioga Downs.   After getting away second to last in the field of eight, Jim Meittinis floated the 5-year-old Yankee Glide entire second-over to track the cover of Bourbon Bay (John Cummings, Jr.) before pacesetter Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) rated a :56.2 initial half mile.   "It's only his third start back in well over a year, so my plan was to lay off the early speed and pick up the pieces at the end," said Meittinis. "Being that this horse has such a will to win, I put him in the race late, and he did the rest." Valley of Sin advanced into midfield with the aid of cover through three-quarters in 1:24.3, and was poised to strike as Bourbon Bay turned up the heat on Its Payday Friday through the far turn.   At the top of the stretch, Meittinis tipped Valley of Sin three-deep, and the response was instant. He kicked past the dueling leaders in mid-stretch, prevailing by a widening 1-1/2 lengths while in hand up to the winning post.   "When I tipped him off cover there was no urging--just a couple taps to keep him to task," concluded Meittinis. "The speed was all him."   Its Payday Friday held second, while Awsome Valley (Aaron Byron) held third up the pegs from his pocket trip.   Earlier in the program, Hannah Miller notched a win with Jacks to Open ($3.10) in a C. K. G. Billings Amateur Driving Series event, powering clear to a seven-length win over CSI What's My Name (Dave Yarock) and Insider Access (Steve Oldford) in 1:55.2.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (June 21) afternoon, with first post set for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Enjoying a pocket trip behind Jaipur through a 1:00.3 middle half, the J P Stables' Lucid Thoughts ($7.60) struck the front in mid-stretch, edging clear through a :27.2 final quarter for a 1-1/2 length victory in Saturday (June 20) evening's $7,000 harness racing upper-level conditioned trot at Vernon Downs.   The 7-year-old Cash Hall gelding floated forward from midfield, securing the pocket behind Jaipur (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :26.4 initial quarter, tracking closely throughout while Jaipur maintained an uncontested lead until the top of the stretch. Trainer-driver John MacDonald turned up the pressure off the corner, propelling Lucid Thoughts to the fore and prevailing in 1:55. Jaipur held second, while Saint Patty's Doll (Greg Merton) kept up with the top pair to hold third off a tracking trip.   MacDonald scored four driving wins on the 13-race program, also teaming up with Damon Blue Chip ($3.30, 1:51.1), Whispur ($11.00, 1:55.4), and Socks and Shuzy ($11.60, 1:57.1).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 21) afternoon, with the Empire Breeders Classic finals for 3-year-old trotters headlining the 14-race card. New York Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings comprise the bulk of the undercard. Post time is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Godiva Seelster ($2.10) made good on a 1-20 promise, holding off steady pressure from The Filly Princess to prevail in Friday (June 19) evening's harness racing $10,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   The 5-year-old Camluck mare worked clear of Purity (Greg Merton) after dueling through a :26.2 first quarter, continuing up the backstretch to a :54.4 half before bracing for a challenge from 8-1 second choice The Filly Princess (Chris Lems). Godiva Seelster accelerated upon facing the threat, holding a length advantage through a :28.1 third quarter and subsequently edging clear in deep stretch. She ultimately won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51.2 in rein to John MacDonald.   Dan Hennessey trains Godiva Seelster, who scored her 18th career win.   MacDonald also teamed up with Martinique ($2.90, 1:55.3), Express Jet ($8.20, 1:53.3), and My Lucky Word ($7.00, 1:57.1) for wins on the evening's 13-race card.   Live racing continues at Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 20) evening, with post time at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. Sunday (June 21) afternoon's card kicks off at 1:15 p.m., and features the Empire Breeders Classic finals for 3-year-old trotters.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs  

Nichols, N.Y. --Harness racing driver Mike Simons scored a driving grand slam on Friday (June 19) evening's 10-race card at Tioga Downs, capturing two of the three first-round divisions of the Tioga State Bank starter series.   The series, for pacers who started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in at least one of their last three races, attracted 21 entrants, 20 of which faced starter Greg Wasiluk in three $6,000 divisions. Simons teamed up with Remus Blue Chip ($5.30) and Joe de Fino ($8.60) for a pair of first-round wins, clearing to the fore early and not looking back on either occasion. Remus Blue Chip, a Daniel Gill-trained 7-year-old Art Major gelding, floated past Diamonds Princess (Aaron Byron) to secure the lead past a :27.2 first quarter, controlled the terms while uncontested, and edged away to a 1:53.1 victory over the late-emerging Who Dat Love (Dan Clements). Likewise, 7-year-old Mario Dessureault trainee Joe de Fino crossed and cleared his six rivals to establish the lead in a :27.1 first quarter. After fending off and turning aside the first-over Galex (Aaron Byron), Joe de Fino edged clear in upper stretch, holding a two-length advantage over the late rallying Veal Marsala (Fern Paquet, Jr.) for a 1:54 score.   The earlier Tioga State Bank series division was captured by Private Interview ($4.60), who drew off at will for a 9-1/4 length win over Fine Fine Fine (Dan Clements) and My Fella (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in 1:52.4. Corey Braden drove the 8-year-old Real Artist gelding for owner/trainer Robert Gale.   In addition to his two Tioga State Bank series wins, Simons teamed up for victories with Icapella Hanover ($3.60, 1:56.1) and Last Minute Cindy ($3.10, 1:54.3).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 20) evening. First post for the 12- race card is slated for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

After working clear from his assigned outside post position, Fireyourguns ($2.90) held sway for his fifth win in as many starts this year, staving off a late-charging Bettorsluckystreak for a 1:50.2 victory in Sunday (June 14) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs. The 6-year-old American Ideal gelding floated forward before pushing clear of That'll Be the Rei (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn, clicking off a :26.2 first quarter before maintaining the strong pace through a subsequent :55 middle half. On the far turn, Unlocked (Brandon Simpson) offered a mild first-over bid, but was outkicked off the turn by a three-wide Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart, Jr.). The 19-1 outsider proved the greatest peril for Fireyourguns, who saw his lead diminish past mid-stretch. Aaron Byron called upon Fireyourguns for everything he could offer in the final yards, with the pair prevailing by a scant half length. Bettorsluckystreak chased gamely to finish second, while That'll Be the Rei held third from his pocket trip.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   Two $12,500 first-round divisions of the Nichols True Value late-closing series for pacers took place on the 11-race card as well, with Idealbeach Hanover ($7.70, Brandson Simpson) holding sway for a 1:51.1 win in the first division by a measured 1-1/4 lengths over Respectable Dream (Jim Meittinis) and Big City Jewel (Mike Simons). Jeneral Patton ($3.80, Marohn) proved unwavering in the second division, fighting back to heavy pressure from Let's Foal Around (John Cummings, Jr.) on the far turn to prevail by 1-1/4 lengths as well. Gokudo Hanover (Tom Jackson) hooked three-wide from the pocket to take second, while Let's Foal Around faded to third in the final 70 yards.   Taggart led all drivers with three wins on the 11-race card, while Byron and Marohn each tallied two victories.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (June 19) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Nichols, N.Y. -- After a relaxed midpack start, Bourbon Bay ($7.70) sustained a push to the fore en route to a 1:54.2 victory in Saturday (June 13) evening's $14,000 harness racing open trot at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding was away slowly, settling into the fourth spot after Tag Up and Go (Kyle DiBenedetto) and Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements) both broke stride in the early stages. After Awsome Valley (Aaron Byron) crossed and cleared from the extreme outside to establish the lead through a :28.1 first quarter, lessee-driver John Cummings, Jr. strode to the top spot with Bourbon Bay, brushing with a circuit to go before reaching race's midpoint in :57.2. Heading to the far turn, Awsome Valley edged out of the pocket to give chase, but Bourbon Bay held sway under a drive, prevailing by a length in 1:54.2. Tag Up and Go recovered from his early break, closing second-over on the backstretch and holding third.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who scored his fourth local win in as many starts on the season.   The sub-featured $10,000 Open II Trot saw Valley of Sin ($9.50) kick cover on the far turn, drawing clear of Twin B Spike Man (Aaron Byron) for a 1:54.3 triumph. Jim Meittinis drove the 5-year-old Yankee Glide entire for trainer John Butenschoen. For Valley of Sin, it was his second victory in as many starts since coming back off a 22-month layoff.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (June 14) afternoon, with a 12-race program kicking off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

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