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Tag Up And Go (Mike Merton) captures the $10,000 featured trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 3). Campbellini (Jim Taggart Jr.) led to the first quarter in :27.4. Tag Up And Go ($4.80) then took the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. He led to the half in :57.0 and to three-quarters in 1:25.1. Tag Up And Go, who is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Lester Gelardi Jr., and Anthony Passafaro, led to the stretch. Dragin The Wagin (Aaron Byron) came first over and tried to challege for the the lead. Tag Up And Go was too strong and would get the victory in 1:54.3. Dragin The Wagon settled for second. Miss Flora (Corey Braden) came charging late to finish third. Tag Up And Go is a 9-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. It was his ninth win this season. He now has 48 career victories. Leading driver Wally Hennessey drove four winners on the night. He got his wins with Geronimo Fame ($18.00), Sweet Royalty ($8.60), Beguin Dugoutier F ($6.90), and Cinnabar Hall ($2.70) Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (August 3) with an 11 race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Harness racing driver Mike Merton won the $11,000 featured pace with Rebellious and drove four more winners at Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 28). Rebellious ($5.30) went straight to the lead and led to the first quarter in :26.1. Americanprimetime (Wally Hennessey) took over as they went by the stands for the first time. He controlled the pace as they hit the half in :53.3 and three-quarters in 1:21.3. Rebellious, who is owned by trainer Mike Deters and Joel Warner, went first-over just before three-quarters. He would fly right by and win going away in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.0. Americanprimetime held on for second. Motown N (Jeffrey Long) finished third. Rebellious is a 5-year-old gelding by Mach Three. It was his seventh win this season. He now owns 26 career victories. Rebellious Merton got his other wins with Melanie's Fran ($4.60), Mr Big Bucks ($2.90), Itsnoproblemman ($15.80), and The Spy ($6.10). Trainer Mike Deters swept the co-features as Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) destroys the field in the $11,000 featured trot. Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :26.4. He was first to the half in :56.2. Prairie Fortune ($2.50), who is owned by Deters and Laurie Poulin, went first over on the back stretch and took over with three-eighths of a mile to go. He hit three-quarters first in 1:23.4. He breezed down the stretch to win by 10 1/2 lengths in a lifetime best of 1:52.3. Jack Rules (Andy Santeramo) finished second. Campbellini (Corey Braden) was third best. Prairie Fortune is a 7-year-old gelding by Arapa Victory. It was his seventh win this season. He now owns 54 career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 2) with a nine race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

Marvalous Jet (Mike Merton) wins the featured harness racing fillies and mares pace ($10,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday (June 14). Gigi From Figi (Wally Hennessey) put up all the early fractions (:27.0, 55.4, 1;23.3). Gold Star Mysti (Corey Braden) went first-over and battled Gigi From Figi all the way around the final turn. Marvalous Jet ($14.20), who is owned by trainer Mario Dessureault and Catheline Pelletier, was second-over third at the three-quarter mark. She moved three-wide in the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.4. Gigi From Figi settled for second money. Gold Star Mysti finished third. Marvalous Jet is a 6-year-old mare by Delmarvalous. She won for the seventh time in 2019. She now has 31 career victories. Mike Merton drove three winners on the night. His other wins came with Vicky All ($4.70), and Gemalous ($6.70). Jim Meittinis and Jim Taggart Jr. each had driving doubles on the night. Meittinis teamed up with trainer Joe Skowyra to get victories with Law Of Attraction ($8.40), and Blurred Lines ($5.10). Taggart Jr. had wins with Prairie Easter ($4.30), and Delilah De Vie ($26.60). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (June 15) with an 11 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com.   John Horne for Tioga Downs  

Wally Hennessey drives five winners at Tioga Downs on Saturday (May 25). Hennessey got his wins with Groovey Kid ($4.90), Crazy Every Time ($2.60), Itsnoproblemman ($2.10), Soho Hanover ($3.90), and Music Is Art ($2.30). Freddie Mac (Mike Merton) wins featured trot ($12,000). Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) carved out all the early fractions (:27.1, :56.3, 1:24.4). Freddie Mac ($5.20), who is trained by Patti Harmon for the ADV Racing Stable LLC., sat in the pocket all the way until the stretch. He would pop out and go right by to win in 1:54.0. Dragin The Wagon held on for second. Boli (Wally Hennesey) finished third. Freddie Mac is a 5-year-old horse by Cornaro Dasolo. It was win number four in 2019. He now has 14 career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (May 26) with a 10 race card starting at a special post time of 6:15 p.m. There is an umbrella giveaway while supplies last. Fireworks follows live racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Deetzy (Shawn Gray) glides to an easy harness racing win at the Tioga Downs Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) on Sunday (May 19). Americanprimetime (Mike Merton) grabbed the lead just before hitting the first quarter mark in :26.2. The lead was short lived as Deetzy ($4.10) took over as the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. Deetzy led to the half in :54.1. New World Order (Tyler Buter) put on some pressure just before Deetzy hit the three-quarter mark in 1:22.1. Deetzy is trained by Jimmy Nickerson and owned by the Holland Racing Stable. He shook loose in the stretch to win in 1:50.1. Americanprimetime was second best with Dakota Jack (Mike Simons) getting third money. Deetzy is a 7-year-old gelding by Jerome's Jet. It was his third win this season. He now has reached the winner's circle 26 times in his career. Tag Up And Go (Mike Merton) charges late to capture the Open Handicap Trot ($12,000). Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) went to the front and carved out all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.0, 1:25.1). Tag Up And Go ($2.40), who is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro, was fourth heading into the stretch. He looked like he put on wings as he out-dueled second place finisher Golden Son (Mike Simons) to win in 1:54.2. Prairie Fortune held on to finish third. Tag Up And Go is a 9-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. He has six wins this season including the last four in a row. The gelding now owns 45 career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (May 24) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Tay Tay M (Renaldo Morales III) wins the featured Fillies & Mares Open 1 Pace ($12,000) on Friday (May 17) at Tioga Downs. HP Sissy (Jim Meittinis) put up all the early numbers (:28.0, :56.4, 1:24.2) Tay Tay M ($20.60), who is trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, rode in the pocket all the way to the stretch. She would go to the front and hold off the late charge by second place finisher, Velocity McSweets (Mike Merton) to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.0. Northern Daily (Wally Hennesey) was third best. Tay Tay M is a 5-year-old mare by Six Of Diamonds. It was her third win this season. She now has 11 career victories. Mike Merton had three winners on the night. He got the wins with Lotus Seelster ($15.40), Gold Star Mysti ($9.30), and Marvelous Jet ($7.70). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 18) with an eight race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Tag Up And Go (Mike Merton) was victorious in the featured harness racing Open Trot Handicap ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (May 11). Tag Up And Go ($7.40) went to the front and never looked back. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro, he put up all the fractions (:27.3, :58.2, 1:26.3, 1:55.1) to win gate-to-wire. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) charged late to finish second. Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) was third best. Tag Up And Go is a 9-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. It was win number five on the season. He now owns 44 career wins. Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) charges late to take the featured Fillies & Mares Open Pace ($12,000). January A (Mike Merton) took the lead to a quarter of :27.2. Hp Sissy (Jim Meittinis) took over and led them to a half of :55.0 and to three-quarters in 1:23.0. Truth And Liberty ($7.70), who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, was fifth at the top of the stretch. She came flying down the stretch to wear down second place finisher Hp Sissy to win in 1:55.2. Family Roll Call (Aaron Byron) finished third. Truth And Liberty is a 7-year-old mare by Total Truth. The win was her second in 2019. She now has 37 career victories. Truth And Liberty                                                 ---Photo by Fred Brown Mike Simons won two more on the night. He got his other wins with Oneida Blue Chip ($2.90), and Bob N Tony ($6.50). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (May 12) with an 11 race card starting at 1 p.m. All mothers will receive a free rose while supplies last. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com Photos by Fred Brown   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs will open the 2019 season on Saturday (May 4) with a nine race harness racing card and a special post time of 5:30 p.m. Mike Merton, the 2018 top driver with 82 wins, returns to defend his title. Jim Taggart Jr. was second in 2018 with 62 trips to the winner's circle. Aaron Byron was third best a season ago with 59 wins. Jim Meittinis was fourth with 56 victories. Mike Simons was fifth in the standings with 47 wins. Gary Messenger was top dog in the trainer standings. He won 40 times a year ago. Mike Deters was second with 35 tallies. Patty Harmon (26), Joe Skowyra (25), and Gaston Lareau (19) round out the top five. Tioga Downs will begin their 14th season on Saturday with "Derby Day". The celebration will include a Derby Hat contest, t-shirt and magnet giveaways as well as a live bugler. The day will also include a chance for two contestants to get a $500 dream bet. They will be able to bet $500 to win on any horse in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. They will get to keep any winnings. The evening will end with a large fireworks display. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

Last week it was Austin Siegelman who put on a driving clinic at Monticello Raceway, this week its Mike Merton. On Wednesday February 20, Merton dominated the snowy afternoon and drove 7 winners on the 12-race card. He started off hot winning the first race with Mamie Marc in a wire to wire win for trainer Patti Harmon in 2:00.4. In the 3rd he scored with Permanent Joy in a 7-length romp in 1:59 and paid $3.80 to win. Drive em Cowboy accounted for his 3rd win of the day in 1:56.3. Merton then went on to win races 7 - 10 Hi Ho Steverino won race 7 in 1:57 - $3.40. Zach Lee won in 1:56.1, giving trainer Andrew Adamczyk a training triple for the afternoon. And Patronne Seelster, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight was another winner for Merton (2:00.3 - $9.70). Rounding out the afternoon in race 10 was Caviar Court, the Jim Doherty trainee scored in 2:03.2 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Mike Merton may not know how to play the guitar, but he knows how to drive a Stratocaster. Stratocaster, a 7-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-C D's Girl, proved his 10-hole win in last week's elimination was no 13-1 fluke, as he scored as the slight 3-1 favorite in Saturday night's feature at the Meadowlands, the $17,500 Dash for the "G" Notes Pace final. The Allen Sisco trainee got away fourth in the early going, as Pumped Up Kicks hit the quarter in :26.3. Merton swung Stratocaster off the rail from fourth at the three-eighths and gradually made his way toward the front. He poked a head in front approaching three-quarters after racing uncovered, got clearance at the head of the stretch, and had little trouble holding off the late-closing Roger Mach Em by 1¼ lengths in 1:52.3. Credit Risk finished third. Stratocaster won for the fifth time this year in 30 tries for owners Oldford Racing LLC, and has now won 36 of 169 lifetime, with earnings of just over $218,000. THE WONDER FROM 'DUNN' UNDER: Driver Dexter Dunn, a native Australian, recorded three wins on the card. ... Twenty-year-old Mitch Cushing, who won once during the entire 2017-2018 meeting, also made three visits to the winner's circle. A LITTLE MORE: Merton, Pat Berry and Vinny Ginsburg all recorded driving doubles, meaning five drivers accounted for all 12 winners on the card. ... It was a big weekend for Ginsburg, whose three-bagger Friday gave him five winners over the course of the weekend. ... All-source wagering totaled $1,822,040. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

Leading driver Mike Merton won five races to close out the 2018 season at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 22). Merton had wins on the night with Lauxmont Capri ($2.80), Blueberry Heaven ($8.80), Ponyta Boy ($3.30), Haviture Way Honey ($4.10), and Frappe' ($6.50). "Magic Mike" had a great season and an amazing last two days by winning 12 races to pull down his first driving title at Tioga Downs with 82 wins. Jim Taggert Jr. was second with 62 wins. Aaron Byron was third with 59 victories. Jim Meittinis secured fourth position with 56 tallies. Mike SImons rounded out the top five drivers with 47 wins. Dreams Beachboy (Gates Brunet) captures the featured Open Pace ($13,000). Pretty Boy Swag (Mike Merton) led the group to a first quarter of :27.2. Dreams Beachboy ($7.20) took over as they headed by the stands for the first time. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Brunet, he controlled the way to a half in :55.3 and led to a three-quarter mark of 1:23.2. Pretty Boy Swag would try to get by but had to settle for second because Dreams Beachboy was too strong as he won in 1:51.4. Time Out I'm Tired (Matt Romano) finished third. Dreams Beachboy is a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere. It was his fifth win of the season and 23rd win of his career Gary Messenger edges out Mike Deters to win top trainer. Gary Messenger won his second training title at Tioga Downs with 40 wins. Mike Deters finished second with 35 trips to the winners circle. Patti Harmon had a very strong meet with 26 wins to finish third. Joe Skowyra (25) and Gaston Lareau (19) rounded out the top five. BJ Lorado and K J's Caroline are top horses at Tioga Downs for 2018. BJ Lorado was the top trotter this season at Tioga Downs. Owned by Michael and Diane Norcross and trained by Marc Major, the 4-year-old gelding by Bo W won six times in 17 starts at Tioga this year. He earned $40,435 this season. The top pacer went to K J's Caroline. The 8-year-old mare by Roddy's Bags Again won five times in 17 starts and earned $39,165. She is owned by Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger. The winner of the 2018 Toyota Corolla, that was part of the horseplay car giveaway promotion that ran all season long, was Andy Stromick. Tioga Downs would like to thank the horsemen and all the fans for making 2018 a very special year. See you on the first Saturday in May! For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Americanprimtime) captured the Open Pace ($13,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 15). It was one of five winners on the night for harness racing driver Mike Merton. Americanprimetime ($3.00) went straight to the front covering the first quarter in :26.3 with Dull Roar (Jim Meittinis) following in second. Owned by the Rock&Roll Stable Inc. and trained by Rick Dane, Americanprimetime led to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. He found another gear in the stretch to win in 1:50.3. Gillys Boy (Mike Simons) came up to get second. Dull Roar held for third, Americanprimetime is a 6-year-old horse by American Ideal. It was his sixth win this season and career victory number 27. BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) cruises to Open Trot ($13,000) win. BJ Lorado ($19.00) charged out of the gate and went straight to the front. After hitting the first quarter in :27.1, he used a second quarter of :29.2 to hit the half in :56.3. He got some pressure from Buff (Corey Braden) as he hit three-quarters in 1:24.3. Trained by Marc Major for owners Michael and Diane Norcross, BJ Lorado was too strong in the stretch as he won easily in 1:55.1. Buff settled for second with Fox Valley Iliad (Larry Stalbaum) getting third money. BJ Lorado is a 4-year-old gelding by Bo W. It was his eighth win this season and his 12th trip to the winner's circle in his career. Leading driver Mike Merton won five on the night giving him 70 for the year. His other four wins came with Mikado Blue Chip ($15.80), R M Blackhawk ($6.20), Jacksrluckytoo ($5.10), and Onhishonor Hanover ($13.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 21). Closing night for 2018 is on Saturday night (September 22) with a special start time of 5:30 p.m. Fireworks follows the live racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) comes out of the clouds to win the fillies and mares feature ($9,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday night (June 1), as Merton has five winners. Milky Way Rae (Aaron Byron) led the group into a first quarter of :26.4. Ask Queenie (Jim Taggart Jr.) then took over before hitting the half in :55.3. She would hit the three quarter mark in 1:23.4. It looked like a two horse race in the stretch between Ask Queenie and Milky Way Rae. K J's Caroline ($15.80) was last of all after three-quarters. Owned by Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, she swooped by them all in the stretch to win by a nose with Ask Queenie settling for second. Milky Way Rae was third. K J's Caroline is an 8-year-old mare by Roddy's Bags Again. It was her third win of the season and her 41st trip to the winner's circle. Merton won four more races on the night. He got wins with Commentary ($3.60), Sailer Eddie ($10.60), Sandy Sue ($7.30), and Rusty's Flying ($10,60). For Rusty's Flying (Artiscape) it was her fifth straight win. Owned and trained by Monica Banco, she is four for four at Tioga Downs this season. Tioga Downs returns to live action on Saturday (June 2) with an 11 race card starting at 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs.  

On Thursday afternoon April 12 at Monticello Raceway, harness racing driver Michael Merton put on a driving clinic and won 5 of the afternoons 9 races. Merton started off the day by winning both ends of the early daily double with Musical Romance (1:59.3 - $3.80) and Sly Ruler (1:57.2 - $5.80). He came right back in the next race and scored with Wink And Nod (1:59 - $9.30). The next trip to the winner's circle came in the 7th race aboard Try's Little Prince (1:57.4 - $10.00) that win gave trainer Robert Lounsbury a training double for the day. The 5th win came in the last race of the day with Vinnies Valentine (1:58.1 - $12.00) Going into the day, Merton was the leading dash driver, the five-bagger upped his tally to 74 wins, James DeVaux is tied in second place with former Monticello Raceway Rising Star Austin Siegelman, both with 68 wins, Bruce Aldrich is 3rd with 58 wins. By: Shawn Wiles

Fashion Creditor (Mike Merton) would charge late and emerge with the harness racing victory during the Open Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs Friday night (August 18). Just after the race started the big favorite Barn Bella (Jim Taggart Jr.) would go on a break. Wind Of The North Jeff Long) would take advantage and lead into the first quarter in :27.3. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) would takeover before the half. He would control the fractions hitting the half in :56.0 and the three-quarters in 1:23.1. He would go on a break just after that. Fashion Creditor (Credit Winner) would take advantage of this going first over and charging down the stretch to out duel Wind Of The North (second) to win in 1:53.2. Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) would come up for third. Fashion Creditor ($10.20), who is owned by Joseph Smith and trained by Tom Fanning would win for the fifth time this season and the 16th time in his career. KJ's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) would win the Fillies and Mares Open 1-2 Handicap ($10,000). K J's Caroline (Roddy's Bags Again) would lead to the first quarter in :26.3. However Godiva Seelster (Mickey McNichol) would take over right after the first quarter and lead all the way to the stretch. K J's Caroline ($10.20), who is owned by Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, would ride in the pocket all the way to the top of the stretch. She would pull out and run down Godiva Seelster (second), to win by a head in 1:51.4. Classic Carpet (Mike Simons) would finish third. K J's Caroline would get her fifth win of the season and the 36th victory of her career. There is no racing at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 19) because of the LeAnn Rimes concert. Racing returns on Sunday (August 20) with a nine race card featuring the Empire Breeders Classic Finals for sophomore pacing colts & geldings ($263.100) and 3 year-old fillies ($257,850). Also the Roll With Joe Open Pace ($163,000) will be featured. Post time is 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs      

Northern Soiree (Mike Merton) would charge late to steal the harness racing Fillies And Mares Open Pace II ($9,000) (July 14) at Tioga Downs. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) would charge out to the early lead but Shutthefrontdoor (Scott Coulter) would take over after the first quarter. Shutthefrontdoor (Well Said) would get pressured at the three-quarter mark by Iaquinta (Mike SImons). Nothern Soiree (Western Ideal) who is owned by Sam Rosenberg and trained by Patti Harmon, would go three wide in the stretch and soar by to win in 1:52.1. The seven year old mare would get her sixth win of the season winning in a career best 1:52.1, paying a whopping $19.00 for the win. K J's Caroline (Roddy's Bags Again) would come up to finish second. Goldstar Rockette (Aaron Byron) would finish third. Fern Paquet Jr. would have the hot hand tonight, winning three times. First with DC Flashback ($5.30). Second win was with Scarlett N Silk ($11.20). He picked up the driving triple with Heart Crusher ($9.40). Tioga Downs returns to racing on Saturday with a nine race card starting at 6:50. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs

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