Day At The Track
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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

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.

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

The Thursday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel was comprised of five pacing mares in the Open on what was a pleasant spring afternoon in the Spa City. January A (Cammibest) hadn't made much of an impression locally in her first three local starts but was the public's 6-5 betting favorite in Thursday's Fillies and Mares Open. Starting from post three in the five-horse feature, the Patti Harmon-trained January A sat patiently in the early going and wound up first over approaching the half mile pole. Grinding her way alongside the leader at the three quarter pole, January A wound up hitting the wire first in 1:55 with Jay Randall in the sulky. Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith) came on to finish second while Betabcool N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot in the $15,000 feature for distaffers. The win time for January A matched her lifetime mark which was set by the Australian invader at Yonkers earlier this year. The exacta with the favorite on top returned $16.80. Live racing resumes on Saturday evening with a first post time set for 6:45pm.   Mike Sardella

Its Chocolate Time (Jimmy Whittemore) took the featured trot ($5,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 10). Namje (Gates Brunet) took them to the first quarter in :27.4. Its Chocolate Time then took control leading to the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:26.1. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Joel Kahan and Harmon Racing Stable, he just cruised in the stretch to win in 1:56.2. Some Royalty (Claude Huckabone III) came charging late to finish second. Bluffton (Jay Hochstetler) was third. Its Chocolate Time is a 6-year-old gelding by Chocolatier. It was his third win this season and ninth victory in his career. Dangerousprecedent (Whittemore) was victorious in the fillies and mares feature ($5,500). Dangerousprecedent ($5.30) put up all the numbers winning from gate-to-wire (:27.0, :56.0, 1:23.4 1:52.3). Surreal Feeling (John MacDonald) finished second. Bad Medicine (Claude Huckabone III) was third best. Dangerousprecedent is a 5-year-old mare by Western Terror. Owned by David Glazer with Prince Lee Acres and trained by Jim Nickerson. It was her third win this season and ninth time she visited the winner's circle in her career. Vernon Downs leading driver Jimmy Whittemore added two more wins on the card giving him four wins on the night. His other wins came with Budget Buster ($3.60) and Love Live Laugh ($5.30) Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 11) with a 12 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Big Jer (Dein Spriggs) goes from last to first in the stretch to capture the featured harness racing pace ($7,500), at Vernon Downs Saturday (August 12). Golden Gun (Justin Huckabone), would set the pace from the start with fractions of :26.1, :53.4, 1:22.1. Oh My Joepa (John MacDonald) would put on heavy pressure parked out first over for most of the race. Big Jer (Cheyenne Rei) would come out of the clouds in the stretch and blow right by to win in 1:51.2. Oh My Joepa would finish second but be disqualified and placed fifth. Calvin B (Truman Gale would be placed second while Golden Gun would be place third. Big Jer ($7.20) is owned by Patricia Mulder and trained by Patti Harmon. The 8 year-old gelding would win for the fourth time this year and the 34th time in his career. Celebrity Stimulus (David Glasser) would win the CKG Billing Amateur race ($5,000), going gate-to-wire and winning by four lengths in 1:56.0. Garlandsandpearls (Dein Spriggs) would finish second with Peoplesayimnogood (Scott Woogen) settling for third. Celebrity Stimulus is owned by Glasser Racing LLC and trained by Homer Hochstetler. The 7 year-old would notch career victory number 22. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Thursday (August 17), starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon 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

Lease Ness Monster (Mike Merton) wins the harness racing featured Fillies and Mares Open (($12,000), on Friday night at Tioga Downs (July 7). The 6 year-old Lease On Life mare would grab the lead just before the first quarter controlling the pace going 26.2, 55.0, 122.1, 150.4. Owned by Matthew and David Waltz while trained by Patti Harmon, Lease Ness Monster ($3.30), was too strong for the late pressure of Sudden Change N (Jim Taggart Jr.), who settled for second. Gweneeee J came flying late to get the third spot. Mike Simons remains top driver at Tioga Downs going in to tonights action. Simons would add two more wins tonight to go to 44. Mike Merton would win twice as well to be second with 27 wins. Jim Taggart Jr and Tom Jackson are tied for third with 26 wins a piece. Jim Marohn Jr. rounds out the top five with 20 wins in just 52 starts. The trainer's race is much tighter. Mike Deters and Tony Dinges are tied with 14 wins each. The trio of Gary Messenger (11 for 75), David McGinnis (11 for 68), and Mickey McNichol (11 for 47), are all tied for third. Tioga Downs returns to live action with a 10 race card on Saturday (July 8) at 6:50p.m. For more information please go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Lease Ness Monster (Mike Merton) wins second straight Tioga Downs Fillies and Mare Open ($12,000) on Friday night (June 2). Lease Ness Monster who is owned by Matt and David Waltz while trained by Patti Harmon would take the lead after the first-quarter. The 6 year-old Lease On Life Mare would get challenged in the stretch by Saratoga shipper Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron). Pressured the whole way in the stretch Lease Ness Monster ($3.50) would gut out the victory by a half length in 1:51.3. Finishing Second was Little Santamonica and getting third Betabcool N (Greg Merton) After the first month of racing. Mike Simons leads all drivers with 21 wins coming in to the night. Simons, who was the 2015 track champion and the runner-up a year ago has a firm grip on the lead early. Jimmy Taggart Jr. is currently second nine wins behind Simons with 12. Rick Dane Jr of Port Jervis New York has had a great start to the season as well with 11 wins. Tom Jackson and Jim Marohn Jr. round out the top five with 10 wins. Dane Jr. has seven training wins as well. He is tied for second with Tony Dinges. Linda Toscano leads all trainers with eight wins. Two of Toscano's wins came last week in one race when her entry of Avatar J and Brian J finished in a dead heat. Mike Deter's, who was last year's training champion is fourth with six wins. Tioga Downs returns Saturday with a 10 race card starting at 6:50pm   John Horne for Tioga Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - The Saturday night feature opens the card with an abbreviated field of six in a conditioned pace for a purse of $18,000. The case may be made that just five rivals will benefit Jacksrluckytoo best as his customary late-charge should not be compromised by traffic woes.   Already off to the best seasonal start of his racing career, Jacksrluckytoo sports four wins and over $30,000 thus far for owner John Marvin, Jr and trainer Patti Harmon. His deep closing style often puts him at the mercy of the pace and flow (more accurately lack thereof) however with fewer rivals to navigate, Jacksrluckytoo and driver Jim Marohn, Jr should be within a few lengths of the lead creating an optimum circumstance for his powerful late kick.   The main rivals here look to be The Rock, a winner in his last at a slightly inferior class level for the Buters and regally-bred Rock N' Roll World who brings plenty of back class to the race, returning after a brief freshening for the Burke barn.   For the horseplayer, Saturday brings yet another handicapping contest with a seat at the World Harness Handicapping Championship promised to the winner.   NCAA b'ball followers may enjoy watching the tournament on the giant screens in the Victory Sports Bar as they follow the live races.   It all begins at 7:15 p.m. From the Meadowlands Media Department        

Vernon, N.Y. -- John Marvin, Jr.'s Jacksrluckytoo ($2.70) vaulted off cover to circle the harness racing field in Saturday's $8,000 Miracle Mile/Open Pace on Saturday (August 27) evening at Vernon Downs.   The 4-year-old He's All That gelding was in no hurry early on, settling to last in the field of five while Modern Gesture (John MacDonald) controlled early splits of :26 and :54.1. As Major War (Fern Paquet, Jr.) made first-over gains to push the pace, Jacksrluckytoo followed intently to slipstream cover through the far turn before making his authoritative push off cover to take the lead in upper stretch. Jacksrluckytoo drew off to a 2-3/4 length victory over the late-gaining No Monkeys Allowed (Truman Gale) in 1:49.3, while Major War was an engulfed third.   Greg Merton drove Jacksrluckytoo for trainer Patti Harmon.   John MacDonald led all drivers with four wins on the 13-race card, while Chris Lems notched a hat trick.   Live racing returns to the Miracle Mile on Friday (September 2) evening, with first post slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

East Rutherford, NJ --- After stinging Opulent Yankee and Uva Hanover through a :26.4 initial quarter, Can Do ($31.20) emerged from traffic in the final eighth of Friday (Jan. 15) night's $25,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot at Meadowlands Racetrack, vaulting around a weakening pace for a 14-1 upset on an evening where harness racing favorites tasted defeat in the first nine events. Anthony Napolitano wasted no time with the 7-year-old Cantab Hall gelding, gunning him to the fore in company with Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) and 3-5 favorite Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick). After ceding the lead to Opulent Yankee at the end of a :26.4 first quarter, Can Do was relegated to third as Uva Hanover pushed clear with five-eighths of the mile remaining. Uva Hanover maintained a fast tempo through a :54.4 half, but struggled to sustain after facing first-over pressure from Cash Me Out (Brett Miller) through the far turn. As the outer flow developed, Can Do was shuffled to fifth, but able to angle off the pegs just at the eighth pole as Uva Hanover was finally engulfed. Napolitano angled Can Do to the four-path, and the pair surged to the winning post, prevailing by a half-length over Cash Me Out in 1:53.1. Opulent Yankee saved third from his pocket trip, staying on once wedging between foes in deep stretch. Uva Hanover ultimately faded to fifth after facing a barrage of pressure throughout. Owner Jody Riedel trains Can Do, now a 30-time winner. Can Do In the sub-featured $20,000 Open 2 Trot, Detroit Rapper ($7.40) loosely chased live cover on approach to the far turn, catching up to the first-over B Yoyo (Joe Bongiorno) a quarter-mile from home before kicking cover in mid-stretch for a narrow 1:54.1 triumph over pocket rival Allerage Star (Andy Miller). The 5-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding also had the benefit of a pressured pace in front of him, as B Yoyo provided stern pressure to 2-1 favored pacesetter Hyway Marcus through a quickening :28.1 third sectional before the two were ultimately engulfed. Jim Marohn Jr. drove Detroit Rapper to his 20th career win for the Harmon Racing Stable, LLC and trainer Patti Harmon. Detroit Rapper Heading to Saturday (Jan. 16) evening's 14-race card, the seventh race Jackpot High 5 will have a carryover of $4,720, while $60,069 will carry over into the closing-race variety of the 20-cent wager. Total handle for the evening was $3,053,776, an increase of $474,166 over the corresponding Friday night in 2015. The trio of guaranteed-pool horizontal wagers attracted a combined $161,353, well surpassing the guaranteed numbers. Saturday's first race is due off at 6:35 p.m. (EST). For more information on racing, dining, and entertainment at The Meadowlands, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands media relations

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

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