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Roundtown Rocker (Jim Taggart Jr.) charges late to take the Tioga Downs featured harness racing pace ($9,000) on Saturday (May 18). Meadowbranch Ricky put up all the early fractions (:27.4, :57.0, 1:25.2). Roundtown Rocker ($14.20), who is trained by Rick Dane for owners Scott Dane and the Rock&Roll Stable, was third after three-quarters. He went flying in the stretch and wore down second place finisher Meadowbranch Ricky to win in a seasonal best time of 1:55.3. Jack Rules (Andy Santeramo) came up late to finish third. Roundtown Rocker is a 6-year-old gelding by Hard Rock N Roll. It was his second win this season. He now has 33 career victories. Jim Taggart Jr. had two more wins on the night. His other wins came with Soho Hanover ($9.00) and Six Bax ($6.00). Live racing returns to Tioga Downs with a 13 race card on Sunday (May 19) starting at 1 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.

Prairie Panther (Tyler Buter) wins the featured harness racing Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 12). Sir Pugsley (Drew Monti) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :26.3. Prairie Panther ($4.00)then took control as they went by the stands for the first time. He led the group to a half of :55.0 and three-quarters in 1:22.4. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, he found another gear in the stretch to win by four lengths in 1:52.1. Americanprimetime (Greg Merton) came on late to finish second. Bettor's Edge (Howard Parker) was third best. Prairie Panther is a 5-year-old gelding by Royal Millennium. It was his fifth win in eight starts this season. He now has 26 career victories. Tyler Buter won three on the day. His other wins came with New World Order A ($6.30) and A Bettor Hat ($2.90). Drew Monti teamed up with trainer Joe Skowyra to win a pair on the day. They got their wins with Weekend Atnannies ($5.50) and The Spy ($10.40) Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (May 17) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.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

Prairie Panther (Tyler Buter) takes the featured Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) at Tioga Downs harness racing on Sunday (May 5). Americanprimetime (Greg Merton) went to the lead from his outside post and put up all the early fractions (:27.1, :56.3, 1:24.0). Prairie Panther ($5.70), who is owned bu Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters) road in the pocket seat the whole way.  He went first-over at the top of the stretch and wore down second place finisher Americanprimetime to win in 1:51.1. Finishing third was Owosso Flash (Fern Paquet Jr.) Priarie Panther is a 5-year-old gelding by Royal Millennium.  He is now four for seven in 2019.  It was career victory number 25. Buter had a driving triple on the day.  His other wins came with Seel The Deal N ($8.40) and Race Me Villa ($5.80). Father and son, Mike Simons and Shawn Simons each had a win on the card.  Mike took All About Rusty ($13.40) to the winner's circle.  Shawn got his win with Wildcat Hilton ($3.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 11) with a post time at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Prarie Fortune wins the Tioga Downs harness racing featured Open Handicap Trot ($12,000) on Saturday (May 4). Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) led them to a first quarter of :27.1. Taco Tuesday (Jim Taggart Jr.) then dashed by to lead them to a half of :55.3 and a three-quarter mark of 1:24.2. Prairie Fortune ($4.70) went first-over from third just before three-quarters. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, he would charge to the front and hold off the late charge of second place finisher Freddie Mac (Mike Merton) to win in 1:53.4. Dragin The Wagon finished third. Prairie Fortune is a 7-year-old gelding by Arapa Victory. He won for the third time this season. and won for the 50th time in his career. Shutthefrontdoor (Fern Paquet Jr.) edges HP Sissy (Jim Meittinis) to claim the Fillies & Mares Open 1 Handicap ($12,000). HP Sissy led to a first quarter of :26.2 and the half in :56.0. Shutthefrontdoor went first over to stick a head in front while hitting three-quarters in 1:25.1. The two horses looked like they were joined at the hip as the went around the final turn. HP Sissy regained a short lead as they reached the stretch. Shutthefrontdoor, who is trained by Guy Howard for owners Brianne Good and Richard Villenueve. surged enough in deep stretch to win in 1:53.3. HP Sissy was a stubborn second with K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) getting third money. Shutthefrontdoor is an 8-year-old mare by Well Said. It was her first win of 2019 and her 24th career victory. Shutthefrontdoor The huge opening day crowd enjoyed a large display of Fireworks after racing concluded. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (May 5) with 10 race card and a special starting time of 1:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. 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

Tioga Downs will begin their 14th season of harness racing with a live card on "Derby Day", Saturday (May 4), with a special post time of 5:00 p.m. The celebration will include a Derby Hat contest, t-shirt and magnet giveaways. The day will also include a $1000 Derby Dream Bet Promotion. The two Dream Bet winners will receive $500 to wager on any horse in the Kentucky Derby. They will take home any winnings. The Kentucky Derby will be shown live on our large Tote board screen as well as on TV's all around Tioga Downs. A spectacular fireworks display will follow live racing. Tioga Downs will once again be the home to some of the best harness horses in the country. On Sunday, June 9th Tioga will feature a leg of The Graduate Series ($75,000), for 4-year-old pacers and trotters. On Sunday, August 11th the five-eighths mile track in Nichols, NY, will feature the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, with races for both 3-year-old fillies and colts. Also featured on the card it the Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot ($175,000), as well as the Crawford Farms Open Trot ($175,000). In the 2017 version of the Joie De Vie, Emoticon Hanover set a world record for 4-year-old trotting mares on a five-eighths mile track with a time of 1:50.2. She owns the overall Tioga Downs track record for all trotters as well. On Sunday, August 18th Tioga Downs will feature the Empire Breeders Classic finals with both 3-year-old pacing fillies and colts, each racing for a purse of $250,000 (Est.). Also on that day will be the Roll With Joe Open Pace ($175,000), and the Artiscape Open Mare Pace ($175,000). For more information go to www.tiogadowns .com John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will kick off the 2019 live harness racing season on Saturday, May 4.   Racing will be Saturday and Sunday the first two weeks then pick up Friday beginning with May 17.   The first draw will be a double draw held on Wednesday, May 1 with a box closing of 9:00am.   A racing application is required and they may be found, along with other pertinent information, on the Tioga website.   The first condition sheet is up on ustrotting.com.   Enter via e-track or by calling (607) 699-7688 and the direct line to the Judges is (607) 699-7573.     Nick Salvi    

East Rutherford, NJ - Tioga Downs welcomes Rich Mattei to the announcer's booth and Racing Office for the 2019 season.   Rich had originally been hired to do the race calls at Vernon Downs, a position that will now be filled by John Horne whose voice is familiar as the Tioga announcer over the past few seasons. Horne will continue to write the lead-in and wrap-up articles for both tracks.   Mattei's introduction to calling races was attending the Tom Durkin announcing school in Goshen, NY. He then went on to serve as the announcer for the baby races at Gaitway Farm. That gig led to relief stints at various tracks such as Ocean Downs, Rosecroft, Northfield, Vernon, Freehold and Harrah's Philadelphia along with handicapping the races on TVG for Meadowlands.   "My first full season harness racing job was as the photo-finish/teletimer guy at Harrah's where Rob Pennington and Joe Auger would let me come in early and take entries, put races together and learn about how to do things in the Race Office," said Mattei. "Next was a season as the charter at Freehold, then Karen Fagliarone hired me on as the Assistant Race Secretary which has piqued my interest in that direction. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to work for Jeff Gural and Jason Settlemoir and look forward to the summer at Tioga Downs."   The Tioga meet begins on May 4 with the annual Kentucky Derby Day extravaganza. Live racing will be on Saturday and Sunday for the first two weeks, adding Friday with the May 17 card. Check the website or call (607) 699-7688 for more information.     Nick Salvi

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs reminds harness racing horsemen that their marquee stakes require payment due by March 15.   The Empire Breeders Classic for New York bred sophomores has a 3 year-old sustaining and 2 year-old nominating payment.   The Grand Circuit stakes for older horses, Roll With Joe, Artiscape, Crawford Farms and Joie de Vie require a March 15 nomination and April 15 sustaining payment.   Forms may be found on the web and the Racing Office will answer your questions at 607-699-7688.   Tioga Downs      

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

2018 leading driver Mike Merton padded his lead with seven wins including both co-features at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 21). Coveredndiamonds N (Merton) wins Fillies & Mares Open Pace ($13,000). K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) led to the first quarter in :27.2. Coveredndiamonds N ($2.50) took over just after the quarter and led to the half in :57.0 and hit the three-quarter mark in 1:25.0. Trained by Rob Harmon for owners Seth Rosenberg Racing LLC., and Joel Kahan, she flew home in a last quarter of 27.0 to win going away in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Northern Dali (Mike Simos) came up to finish second with K J's Caroline holding on for third. Coveredndiamonds N is a 5-year-old mare by American Ideal. It was her eighth win of the season and her 13th career victory. Kinetic King (Merton) charges late to capture Open Trot ($13,000).   Buff (Corey Braden) went right to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.1, 1:24.1).   Kinetic King ($9.10) was fifth after three-quarters. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Brian Kleinberg and Harmon Racing Stable LLC., he went three-wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.3. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) finished second best with BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) getting third money.   Kinetic King is an 8-year-old gelding by Ken Warkentin. It was his fourth win of 2018 and his 21st career victory.   Know as the "Magic Man" at Tioga Downs, Mike Merton had a magical night with seven wins. He got his five other wins with Rollingndiamonds ($4.30), Modern Mercury ($4.40), Persistent Bettor ($4.70), QB Kemp ($3.90), and Sweet Kix ($28.60). Tioga Downs returns for live racing for the last time in 2018 on Saturday (September 22). The 13 race card has a special post time of 5:30 p.m. with fireworks following racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs will end their very successful 2018 harness racing season on Saturday (September 22) with a special 5:30 p.m. post time. There will be special presentations for the top driver and trainer for 2018 as well as the season's top trotter and pacer. Tioga Downs will also be giving away a 2018 Toyota Corolla as part of the horseplay car giveaway promotion that runs all season long. Patrons will have one more opportunity to qualify for a chance to win the car on this night as well. The card features 13 races followed by fireworks to end the season. The next to last day of live racing is on Friday (September 21) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. Friday will be the last fan appreciation day of the season that features 10 ounce draft beers, soda, hot dogs, popcorn and the Tioga Downs racing program for $1.00 each. 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

Tioga Downs played host to a leg of the Kindergarten Classic for both 2-year-old pacers and trotters on Friday (September 14). All classes raced for a purse of $10,000. Cloud Nine Fashion remains unbeaten with Kindergarten Classic win in the second division for trotting fillies. Amanda Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) led the field to a first quarter in :28.3. Jezzys Legacy (Ray Schnittker) took her turn taking the lead with a lap to go. She led them to the half in 58.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Cloud Nine Fashion ($3.30) went first-over just before the three-quarter mark. Owned by Fashion Farms LLC. and trained by Jim Campbell, she took over in the stretched and won easily in a lifetime best of 1:56.0. Jezzys Legacy held on for second. Amanda Blue Chip was third best. Cloud Nine Fashion is a filly by Muscle Hill-I'm On Cloud Nine. She is now a perfect five for five in her career. Starita (Tim Tetrick) wins first division of the Kindergarten Classic for trotting fillies. Princess Deo (Troy Beyer) led to a first quarter of :28.2 Starita ($3.00) took over with five-eighths of a mile left. Trained by Joe Holloway for owners Val D'Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz, she controlled all the rest of the fractions (:57.4, 1:26.1 1:56.0). Second place finisher Big Weezy (David Miller) and Princess Deo (third) both came at her in the stretch but Starita was too tough. Starita is a filly by Trixton-Morningstar. She captured her third career victory in eight lifetime starts. Cub Fan (Tyler Buter) fires late to win Kindergarten Classic for pacing colts and geldings. Sweet Troy (Atlee Bender) went to the front and led to a first quarter in :28.2. Mountain High (David Miller) took control and led to a half of :58.0 and three-quarters in 1:25.4. Cub Fan ($4.40) was fourth at the top of the stretch. Owned by Michael Anderson and trained by Erv Miller, he came charging down the stretch to win in 1:54.0. Southwind Ozzi (Mike Simons) came up late to finish second. Escapetothebeach (Tim Tetrick) took third money. Cub Fan is a gelding by So Surreal-Pardon. It was his second win in five career starts. Cantab Fashion (Mike Simons) easily wins the Kindergarten Classic for trotting colts and geldings. Sheena's Boy (Ake Svanstedt) took the group to a first quarter in :28.3. Cantab Fashion ($5.80) took over and never looked back putting up all the rest of the fractions (:58.1, 1:26.0, 1:54.2). Battenberg (David Miller) finished second with entry mate Caesars Crazy (Tyler Buter) getting third. Cantab Fashion is a colt by Cantab Hall-Defiant Donato. He now has three wins in four career starts. Trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms LLC. teamed up for their second win of the night. Michelon's Filly (Marcus Miller) wins non-betting Kindergarten Classic for pacing fillies. Alkippe (Tim Tetrick) controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :56.0 1:24.2). Michelon's Filly followed in the pocket all the way until she got to the stretch. Trained by Erv Miller for owners Ronald Michelon and Michael Anderson, she flew by in late stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.0. Alkippie settled for second. Under The Hood (Tyler Buter) was third best. Michelon's Filly is a filly by Captaintreacherous-New Album. It was her third win in seven lifetime starts. Leading driver Mike Merton won four on the night to give him 65 wins on the season. He now leads by eight races with three more cards to go. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a 13 race card on Saturday (September 15) at 6:15. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

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