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Nichols, N.Y. -- Every Way Out ($3.00) made every yard a winning one in the $52,780 Solicitor, a W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stakes event for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Monday (August 29) evening at Tioga Downs.   The son of If I Can Dream and Every Play pushed through up the pegs to establish the early lead, forcing Cougar Bait (Marcus Miller) into the pocket on approach to the first turn. Every Way Out controlled the terms through sectionals of :28.3, :57.3, and 1:26 before he was forced to brace for a bid from Cougar Bait out of the pocket. Every Way Out prevailed by a half length, staving off Cougar Bait while driven to complete the one-mile journey in 1:54. Rock the Boat (John Cummings, Jr.) stayed on from a clear tracking trip to hold third.   Tim Tetrick drove Every Way Out to his sixth victory in as many career starts for owners Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Edwin Gold, and Thomas Lazzaro and trainer Dylan Davis.   Tetrick also won the first $31,590 division of the Lorraine, just holding sway with Lets Havea Party ($3.90) over Ella Christina (Marcus Johansson) and Well What's New (Kyle DiBenedetto) in 1:54.1. Tony Alagna trains the Art Major-City Delight filly for Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz.   The other Lorraine split saw Loreenas Ruffian ($13.40) draw clear in hand to a 1:53 score over Touchamatic (Aaron Byron), while odds-on favorite Ameraway (Marcus Miller) could only muster a third-place finish from off the pace. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris co-owns the McArdle-She's a Ruff One filly with Leonard Buckner and Rebecca Ewing.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 2) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Solar Sister ($9.50) stole the show in the final 150 yards of Sunday (August 28) afternoon's stakes-laden harness racing card at Tioga Downs, dueling down prohibitive favorite Lady Shadow for a 1:49.4 triumph in the $200,000 Artiscape distaff pace. Favorites were upended in the Empire Breeders Classics as well, as No Clouds Bluechip ($7.00) and Fresh Cut ($36.00) both took top honors in their respective events for New York-sired 3-year-old pacers. On the undercard, trainer-driver Ãke Svanstedt swept a trio of W. N. Reynolds Memorial events for 2-year-old trotters. Tasked with a second-row start in a field of 10, Solar Sister sat just of a contested pace in the initial stages of the Artiscape, working into fifth early as Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras) pushed clear of Table Talk (Andy Miller) after a :26.2 first quarter. On approach to the clubhouse turn, Doug McNair angled Solar Sister first-over, only offering mild progress into a :54 half mile. The 4-year-old Mach Three mare did her best work up the far side, working to within a length of Lady Shadow through a :27.2 third quarter and subsequently dueling with the 1-1/8-mile world record holder. The two drew off from a fading Table Talk, and Solar Sister dueled to the fore in mid-stretch. Solar Sister's 1:49.4 mile time gives her a share of the track record for 4-year-old pacing mares that was established by Anndrovette five years ago. Lady Shadow would have to settle for runner-up honors as the 2-5 favorite, while Devil Child (David Miller) sustained a massive three-wide bid off the far turn to capture third. Gregg McNair trains the homebred Solar Sister for Ontarians David Willmot and Clay Horner. Favorites were upended in both Empire Breeders Classic events as well, with No Clouds Bluechip and Fresh Cut both prevailing off cozy stalking trips. In the $239,225 Filly Classic, Brett Miller pushed No Clouds Bluechip into play with just over a quarter mile to go, overtaking a fading Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) before engaging Wishy Washy Girl (Jim Morrill, Jr.) on approach to the far turn. The Roll With Joe filly edged clear authoritatively, sprinting off by 4-3/4 lengths en route to a 1:50.1 triumph as the second favorite. Wine Snob (John Campbell) posted belated uncovered gains to take second at 59-1, while even-money favorite Penpal (Pat Lachance) could only overcome stale early cover enough to save third down the grandstand side. John Berger trains No Clouds Bluechip for owners Richard Carney, Farrell Carney, and Barbara Berger. The development of the $240,475 Classic for colts and geldings came as no surprise, but the outcome stunned. Marcus Miller pushed forward early with Fresh Cut and ultimately established a cozy pocket trip with a circuit to go after yielding to 1-4 favorite American Passport (Scott Zeron) at the winning post. While the shape of the race held true to expected form, Fresh Cut's strong turn of foot from the pocket in the final eighth of a mile proved plenty to reel in American Passport and also stave off a late bid from 41-1 runner-up Stolen Glimpse (Yannick Gingras) for a 1:51.1 victory. American Passport ultimately faded to third after he was gathered in. Erv Miller trains Fresh Cut, a son of American Ideal, for the Bay Pond Racing Stable. Svanstedt and Muscle Hill sweep Reynolds Already renowned for his mastery in the kingdom of trotting, Svanstedt revealed why that contention possesses such veracity as he conditioned and steered New Jersey Viking (Muscle Hill-Hall Of Wishes), Ice Attraction (Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen) and Evelyn (Muscle Hill-Viva Las Lindy) to victory in their respective splits. While both New Jersey Viking ($2.90) and Ice Attraction's journeys ($3.10) to the wire in their contests, which are relegated solely to 2-year-old colts and fillies, were quite straightforward, Evelyn's ($5.20) provided a much more extensive amount of drama. Commencing his mile from post position eight, New Jersey Viking went right to the fore and was never threatened as he cruised around the Nichols oval. Owned by Knuttson Trotting and Little E LLC, the colt collected his second career triumph from five trips to the post. Two of his previous engagements were fourth-place finishes in the Peter Haughton Memorial and New Jersey Sire Stakes final. New Jersey Viking tripped the timer in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark, and increased his bankroll to more than $69,268. Southwind Moody (Yannick Gingras) and Bill's Man (Corey Callahan) were second and third respectively. While not quite as dominant as her male counterpart, Ice Attraction demonstrated why she merits respect. The public's selection was content to sit in the pocket while Overdraft Volo (Andy Miller) cut the mile, until Svanstedt pulled his charge on the far turn. There was never a doubt who would be appearing in the winner's enclosure as the filly always had her rival measured. Owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple, Mal and Janet Burroughs and Little E LLC, Ice Attraction strode across the finish line in 1:56, a new lifetime best, and scored her second career win to improve her resume to 6-2-1-1. Her earnings now stand at $35,300. Overdraft Volo and Caviart Wonder (Matt Kakaley) came home second and third, respectively. Although Evelyn's trip around the track was not without its impediments, the filly persevered after being shuffled back to fourth from second. Once pulled three-wide at the three-quarter pole, Evelyn passed her dueling colleagues Southwind Avanti (Marcus Johansson) and Treviso (Charlie Norris) to break her maiden in her sixth attempt. The filly, owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC, Borge Nasstrom and JT45, equaled the track standard for her age, sex and gait with a final clocking of 1:55.2. Her record now stands at 6-1-1-1 and she has earned $47,310. Despite not winning prior to today, Evelyn had displayed talent with a sixth in the James Doherty Memorial and a second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final. Southwind Avanti outlasted Treviso for second. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (August 29) evening, with the first of nine races scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Favorites eked out narrow victories in co-featured $13,000 Open 1 harness racing events on Saturday (August 27) evening at Tioga Downs, with Prairie Fortune ($6.30) and Believe This Bob ($2.80) both scoring repeat wins.   Prairie Fortune, a 4-year-old Arapa Victory gelding, used his customary tactics to overcome post 8 and capture his 23rd career victory in the Open 1 Trot, carded as race four. Jim Meittinis angled Prairie Fortune second-over behind Rossini (Scott Coulter) on approach to the backstretch, subsequently moving three-wide off the far turn. Prairie Fortune accelerated immediately upon cornering, mowing down pacesetter Its Payday Friday (Mike Simons) in the last yards of a 1:54 mile. B L Class Act (John Cummings, Jr.) held third from a pocket trip.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Fortune with Laurie Poulin.   In the Open 1 Pace, Believe This Bob controlled nearly all of the terms, brushing from the pocket with a circuit to go and digging in to repel a late charge from Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron) for a 1:50.4 score. The 8-year-old Beach Romeo gelding battled stoutly through the last 300 yards to keep his pocket rival at bay, prevailing by a scant nose while That'll Be the Rei (Mike Merton) stayed on for third.   Mike Simons drove the 39-time winner for trainer Joe Skowyra and owner Mary Ann Larrimore.   Simons led all drivers with a hat trick, also teaming up with Crime of Passion ($4.80, 1:51.1) and Gold Star Roger ($5.10, 1:56.3) on the nine-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 28) afternoon; post time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- So Nice ($3.50) made easy work of her five rivals in Friday (August 26) evening's $13,000 Mares Open 1 Pace at Tioga Downs, posting a 1:50.2 victory to follow up her successful local harness racing debut last week.   The 6-year-old Ponder mare had no trouble forcing My Spring Fling (Corey Braden) into the pocket early on, finding a clear path to establish the lead as both K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) and Truth and Liberty (Aaron Byron) broke in the initial stages of the one-mile race. So Nice controlled the pace through sectionals of :27 and :55.3 before using a :27 third quarter to accelerate clear up the far side. So Nice ultimately prevailed by seven lengths over Shutthefrontdoor (Scott Coulter), who rallied belatedly for runner-up honors. Heart Major (Jim Meittinis) gained mildly off the far turn to take third over the fading My Spring Fling.   Amber Buter trains So Nice for the Gene Oldford Farms, LLC, Stephen Oldford, and Tyler Buter. For winning driver Mike Merton, the featured score was the first leg of a hat trick on the nine-race card. Merton would later team up with Windsong Illusion ($40.40, 1:55.3) and Futuristic Bride ($18.20, 1:57.2).   As no one hit the 50¢ Pick 5, a carryover of $479.48 will head to Saturday (August 27) evening's card. The first of nine races is slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Columbus, OH --- When an harness racing O’Brien Award winner becomes available for purchase most people would not hesitate to sign their name on the dotted line. Howard Taylor, however, had to be persuaded to place his name on the check to buy a piece of harness racing mare Lady Shadow. “I thought she was too expensive,” he said. “That is when I called up Ed Gold and asked him what he thought. He said she was worth it and even if she did not race well she was worth what they were asking in residual value as a broodmare. “Also, I already owned a filly, Sudoku, that had beat Lady Shadow up in Canada. I felt she was much faster and we thought we could win the Jugette with her, but we had some problems keeping her head together and eventually bred her. If it wasn’t for Ed, I don’t think I would have bought into Lady Shadow.” Co-owned by Taylor's BFJ Stable, Gold, Carl Atley and David Kryway, the daughter of Shadow Play and the Camluck mare Lady Camella was Canada’s 3-year-old pacing filly champion and is the reigning champion older mare in that nation. It appears she is on her way to collecting another divisional title, as the 5-year-old places her five-race winning streak on the line in the $200,000 Artiscape at Tioga Downs on Sunday (Aug. 28). Lady Shadow, who is conditioned by Ron Adams, will commence her journey from post three and will have the services of Yannick Gingras. Her task, however, will not be a simple one as the field includes Dan Patch Award winners Venus Delight (post two), Anndrovette (post five) and Divine Caroline (post eight). Other rivals of note in the contest are fellow Canadian champion Solar Sister (post 10) and the always competitive Devil Child (post nine). “The plan this year was to keep her down here with Josh Green,” Taylor said. “He was the one that found her for us, but he called me up and suggested Ron Adams take her because he just could not get her to go. We put her in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series (at Yonkers) and thought she would be tough to beat, but she did not do well (seventh in the final). Then Josh put her in the Chip Noble (at Miami Valley) where she was seventh again. That is when he suggested the change. I have to give him credit for admitting she was not working out for him and she was fifth in her first start for Ron, but since then she has been rolling along.” Lady Shadow has been a model of consistency throughout her career. As a 2- and 3-year-old she was in Gregg McNair’s barn and earned $189,892 and $259,635, respectively. She was also trained by McNair until being purchased by her new connections in May of last year. Lady Shadow collected $286,034 last season, while under the care of Adams in 11 of her 14 starts, en route to championship honors. “I need to learn to listen to Ed more often,” Taylor said. “I was concerned about her price and then right after we got her she went out and won the Roses Are Red final. She paid for herself within weeks of us having her.” Since switching her home base from the United States to Canada this spring, Lady Shadow has been absolutely stellar. She won her second Roses Are Red title in June, then added the $229,900 Golden Girls to her resume in a world record 2:00.3 clocking (1-1/8th mile distance) which lowered the standard Always B Miki had established earlier on the card. She then captured the $235,950 Lady Liberty on Hambletonian Day, where it appeared she would draw off to another facile victory, but Solar Sister possessed another plan and came on late to make it interesting in the end. Ultimately, Lady Shadow, with more than $1.16 million in the bank, prevailed. To prepare for her journey to Western New York, the mare qualified in 1:52.2 on Aug. 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. “She still has a long season left of racing and is staked to everything,” Taylor said. “The end goal is, of course, the Breeders Crown and we are hoping she has another championship season, which it seems at this point, she is right in the hunt for divisional honors. “I’m not sure what it is about Canada that agrees with her, because with her being stabled up there it will involve more shipping for her, which was why we wanted her down here with Josh, but for some reason being with Ron and being in that stall in that barn is what she wants to do. If that is what makes her happy we are all for it and like I keep saying this is one of the many times I’m really glad I called Ed Gold.” Below is the field for the $200,000  Artiscape. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer 1. Empress Deo - Rocknroll Hanover - Jonathan Roberts-Wayne Givens 2. Venus Delight - Bettor's Delight - Jason Bartlett-Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 3. Lady Shadow - Shadow Play - Yannick Gingras-Ronald Adams 4. Regil Elektra - Mark Three - Mark MacDonald-Keith Armer 5. Anndrovette - Riverboat King - Tim Tetrick-Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 6. Stacia Hanover - Western Ideal - Brett Miller-Steve Elliott 7. Table Talk - Bettor's Delight - Andy Miller-W. Bart Dalious 8. Divine Caroline - Rock N Roll Heaven - Corey Callahan-Joe Holloway 9. Devil Child - American Ideal - David Miller-Chris Oakes 10. Solar Sister - Mach Three - Douglas McNair-Gregg McNair by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Nichols, N.Y. -- A trio of prestigious pacing events share top billing on Sunday (August 28) afternoon at Tioga Downs, with over $650,000 on the line in the Empire Breeders Classics for New York-sired harness racing 3-year-olds and the Artiscape for top distaffers.   In the $239,225 filly division of the Empire Breeders Classic, carded as the seventh of nine races on the afternoon program, elimination winners Penpal and No Clouds Bluechip square off against seven others. Penpal (post 5), a daughter of American Ideal, vaulted off the cover of Dime a Dance en route to a narrow 1:51.3 victory over sloppy going. Trainer Pat Lachance is once again listed to drive the 4-time winner, whose greatest success on the national stage came in her runner-up performance in the Mistletoe Shalee. No Clouds Bluechip (post 3) captured the other elimination in pillar-to-post fashion, earning her sixth career win in 1:53. Brett Miller was aboard for last week's odds-on win, and he is again nominated to drive the Roll With Joe filly for trainer John Berger.   Colts and geldings square off in a $240,475 final, programmed as race eight. American Passport (post 3) found new life in two recent Southern Tier appearances after failed bids in the Adios and the Cane Pace. The Tony Alagna-trained American Ideal colt repelled pressure en route to a 1:51 triumph in his elimination last week, and Scott Zeron is once again nominated to drive (also listed on Craftship). The 5-time winner faces the likes of Rooney winner Missile J (post 2, Tim Tetrick) and last week's other elimination winner Redneck Rally (post 5, Andy Miller), whose 39-1 upset over the likes of the heavily favored Roll Away Joe stunned.   A full field of 10 pacing mares are due to line up in the $200,000 Artiscape, the afternoon's finale. Despite the presence of millionaires Venus Delight (post 2, Jason Bartlett nominated) and Anndrovette (post 5, Tetrick), Ontario-based Lady Shadow has taken the distaff division by storm with wins in the Golden Girls and the Lady Liberty. The 5-year-old Shadow Play mare's 2:00.3 victory in the Golden Girls earned her the overall world record for pacers at the 1-1/8-mile distance. Yannick Gingras is nominated to drive the 22-time winner for trainer Ronald Adams.   While the three top-dollar events bring the Sunday card to a close, a trio of W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stakes divisions provide for a healthy undercard. An octet of 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings vie for $55,780 in the Judge Moore (race 1), while ten trotting fillies contest a pair of $29,190 Meda splits (races 3 and 5).   Post time for the Sunday card at Tioga Downs is 1:30 p.m., with full coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network due to begin at 1:05 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- The Tioga Downs race office has announced a 20 per cent across-the-board purse increase, applied retroactively to races from Friday, August 19, and effective through the end of the current harness racing meet (Saturday, September 17).   Top-level Open purses increase from $11,000 to $13,000, maiden purses have been bumped up from $4,000 to $4,800, and similar increases occur across all classes.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs    

Nichols, N.Y. -- Trainer Julie Miller swept both $54,500 New York Sire Stakes events for harness racing 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings as part of a Sunday (August 21) afternoon harness racing grand slam at Tioga Downs.   Devious Man ($3.10) proved most impressive among 2-year-old trotters to negotiate sloppy going on the 14-race card, drawing clear at will after rating a :59 first half in his Sire Stakes division, carded as race nine. The son of Credit Winner and Miss Garland edged away from his four rivals on the far turn, posting a 5-3/4 length win over Swell Chap (Tim Tetrick) and Royal Casanova (John Campbell) in 1:55.3. Andy Miller drove Devious Man for Stroy, Inc.   Devious Man's stablemate Money MacIntosh ($9.80) prevailed three races earlier, but would have to work a good bit harder to do so. Andy Miller angled the son of Credit Winner and Apple Plush first-over on approach to the backstretch, working to wear down Stick With Me Kid (Jason Bartlett) through a :28.1 third quarter before digging in to stave off the late-rallying Zack's Zoomer (Marcus Miller) by a nose in 1:56.2. Another Chapter (Brett Miller) saved third after being mired in traffic on the far side, while odds-on favorite Such an Angel failed to catch the field after an early break in stride.   The Millers also accounted for one of the four Empire Breeders Classic eliminations on the card, posting a 39-1 upset with Redneck Rally ($80.00) in the day's fifth event. The 3-year-old American Ideal ridgling sustained first-over gains up the backstretch to force a :27.3 third quarter, wearing down prohibitive favorite Roll Away Joe (Jim Morrill, Jr.) and holding off a belated push from Artmagic (Campbell) in 1:52.1.   American Passport ($3.90) captured the other Classic elimination for colts and geldings (race eight), brushing with a circuit to go and parrying a stout challenge from Talk Show (Morrill) in 1:51. Scott Zeron drove the American Ideal colt for trainer Tony Alagna.   In the Classic eliminations for fillies, No Clouds Bluechip ($3.80) and Penpal ($5.80) proved victorious.   No Clouds Bluechip had little trouble prevailing in the day's fourth event, working to a clear lead, turning aside an extended first-over push from Soft Idea (Zeron), and holding pocket rival Major Millie (Jason Bartlett) at bay in 1:53. Brett Miller drove the Roll With Joe filly for John Berger.   In the seventh, Penpal made perfect use of live cover through a :55.4 middle half, drafting behind Dime a Dance (Matt Kakaley) before swinging three-wide off the far turn. The daughter of American Ideal rallied to collar both pocket rival Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) and pacesetter WIshy Washy Girl (Morrill) in 1:51.3 with trainer Patrick Lachance in the bike.   The fields for the Empire Breeders Classic finals, scheduled for Sunday, August 28, are as follows (post position, horse, trainer, asterisks denoting elimination winners), with final drivers to be available later in the week:   EBC Filly Pace - $239,225 1 - Soft Idea - Toscano 2 - Wine Snob - Schnittker 3 - No Clouds Bluechip* - Berger 4 - Wishy Washy Girl - Brainard 5 - Penpal* - Lachance 6 - Angels Rockn Pink - Oakes 7 - Major Millie - Elliott 8 - Right Stuff - Toscano 9 - Dime a Dance - Burke AE1 - Rock Me Baby - Lind   EBC Colt & Gelding Pace - $240,475 1 - Ideal Son - Fanning 2 - Missile J - Toscano 3 - American Passport* - Alagna 4 - Fresh Cut - E. Miller 5 - Redneck Rally* - J. Miller 6 - Fine Diamond - Burke 7 - Stolen Glimpse - Burke 8 - Craftship - Alagna 9 - Artmagic - Smedshammer AE1 - Nox Vegas Bluechip - Foley   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 26) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness racing trainer Joe Skowyra and driver Mike Simons swept the pacing features on Saturday (August 20) evening at Tioga Downs, teaming up with Believe This Bob ($4.20) in the featured $13,000 Open 1 Pace and Flying Cowboy ($4.30) in the sub-featured $10,000 Open 2 Pace.   Believe This Bob avenged his defeat to Andreios Kardia in last week's Open 1 successfully, sprinting to a clear lead from Pop Cop (Scott Coulter) on approach to the first turn and controlling the pace through splits of :27.2, :56, and 1:23.2. The 8-year-old Beach Romeo gelding edged clear off the far turn, evading steady first-over gains from runner-up Andreios Kardia (Corey Braden) by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51. Pop Cop faded to third after laboring from the pocket.   Mary Ann Larrimore owns 38-time winner Believe This Bob, a winner in four of his last six races.   Flying Cowboy used similar tactics early on in the sub-featured event, pushing clear of Winyard Hanover (Jim Meittinis) through the first turn before rating a leisurely :58 half mile. The 6-year-old Brandon's Cowboy gelding responded well to heavy first-over pressure from Vangura (Corey Braden), digging in following a :26.4 third quarter to repel Vangura and hold sway of Winyard Hanover by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Major War (Mike Merton) mounted a mild rally off stalling cover to save third.   Wade Wyatt owns Flying Cowboy, a 31-time winner who posted a fourth consecutive victory.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 21), with a 14-race card due to commence at 1:30 p.m. Eliminations for the pacing divisions of the Empire Breeders Classic take center stage along with New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Saratoga invader So Nice ($7.30) led a driving hat trick for Mike Merton on Friday (August 19) evening's 11-race harness racing card at Tioga Downs, holding off all comers in the co-featured $13,000 Mares Open 1 Pace.   The 6-year-old Ponder mare sprinted clear authoritatively from post 6 before reaching the first turn before controlling terms through early splits of :28 and :56.3. Up the far side, So Nice was forced to accelerate by 1-2 favorite Stacia Hanover (Mike Simons), whose first-over pressure prompted a :26.4 third quarter. So Nice withstood the challenge in kind, edging away at head-stretch and holding off a late bid from Heart Major (Jim Meittinis), who lunged from the pocket to just miss. So Nice prevailed by a neck over Heart Major in 1:51.3, while Shutthefrontdoor (Scott Coulter) rallied off stalling cover to save third.   Amber Buter trains 22-time winner So Nice for the Gene Oldford Farms, LLC, Steve Oldford, and Tyler Buter.   Merton also prevailed with Brandos Muscle Man ($4.30, 1:56.2) and Lisa On Top ($17.80, 2:00.1).   The $13,000 Open 1 Trot saw Prairie Fortune ($6.60) rally off cover to capture his fifth win in seven tries, drafting behind Its Payday Friday before vaulting three-wide at head-stretch and lifting to collar Swishnflick in 1:55. Jim Meittinis drove the 4-year-old Arapa Victory gelding for Mike Deters--who trains the 22-time winner--and Laurie Poulin.   A pair of Italian American Friendship Series events for amateur drivers were contested early on the card, and Otello Zorzetto swept them both. Zorzetto posted a gate-to-wire win with Gary Messenger trainee Superiorcourt ($5.30) in 1:58.2, and used more patient tactics to prevail with Surge Seelster ($5.60) in 1:55.3 for trainer Stacey McLenaghan.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 20) evening, with post time slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

The visiting Italians came from behind at Tioga Downs to out-point the Americans in the Italian-American Friendship Competition and won the three-race harness racing international driving rivalry. On the strength of two driving victories by Otello Zoretto, the visiting Italians walked away with all the accolades and overcame being on the short end of the 71-53 score that was in play prior to the final two races at Tioga. They ended-up winning by a score of 109-94. Maybe it was the bigger track, or maybe it was the luck of the draw, but whatever it was the visitors stuck it to the Americans. Zorzetto, a business man from the Venice area of Italy and a winner of over 475 career races, put on a driving show against his American counterparts over the Tioga Downs five-eighths mile oval. But Zorzetto needed help from his teammates for the Italian success. In the first of the two competition races the Italians finished second, third and fourth behind Zorzetto's wire to wire 1:58.2 triumph with P & J Stables trotter, Supercourt, ironically trained by a Monticello Raceway regular, Gary Messenger. Sent off as the 3-2 betting favorite, Zorzetto sent his charge to the lead and at the first stanza the Italians held the first four positions in the race. And much to the American's chagrin the visitors remained in that order all the way to the finish line. In the lane fellow Italian Raffaello Ruffato made a late charge at the pacesetter with Aruba Vacation but they fell a head short at the wire. Italy's Giancarlo Moretti, of Murano Glass fame, finished third with Gliding Boy. As previously mentioned, the winner, Conway Court, Is trained by Gary Messenger and owned by the P & J Stables of Middletown, NY. He paid $5.30 for win. After winning on the front-end Zorzetto showed he can come from behind too, which he did with pacer Surge Seelster in the 1:55.3 mile. In the deep stretch they collared the leader, strangely named Italian Rebel and driven by the USA's Joe Lee. Third place went to Cabrera, in rein the Italy's Giancarlo Moretti. Owned by Corey , Thomas, Kathleen and Terry Braden and trained by Stacy McLanaghan, Surge Seelster paid $5.60 for win. "It was a fun competition", noted NAADA's Event Planner, Alicia Schwartz. "Everyone had a good time. Of course, we probably could have had a better time if we were on the winning side but it really didn't matter. "But I would like to say thank you to Tioga Downs', Don Cromer. He was wonderful and he couldn't have been more accommodating." By John Manzi for NAADA

Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness racing favorites prevailed in both co-featured $9,000 Open 2 pacing events on Monday (August 15) evening at Tioga Downs, as Some Kinda Beach ($3.80) and Flying Cowboy ($5.00) lived up to their respective billing.   Some Kinda Beach scored a repeat win off an open-length 1:50.1 triumph at Vernon, but utilized different tactics on the rise in class to capture the evening's fourth event. Mike Merton slid the 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere entire second-over to track Vangura (Corey Braden) on the clubhouse turn, stalking live cover through a :27 third quarter as Vangura briefly headed pacesetter Winyard Hanover (Jim Meittinis). Merton abruptly angled Some Kinda Beach three-wide on the far turn, losing momentum briefly as Vangura faded sharply, but the pair quickly reset and lifted to a half-length win in 1:51.2. Mariner Seelster (Scott Coulter) found a seam up the pegs to claim second, while Winyard Hanover was an engulfed third, only beaten by three-quarters of a length.   Patti Harmon trains the 18-time winner Some Kinda Beach for the Harmon Racing Stable, Karma Racing, Inc., and Punctuality, LLC.   While Some Kinda Beach rallied off cover to prevail in his Open 2 event, Flying Cowboy earned his third straight victory in pillar-to-post fashion, capturing the eighth event in an identical time of 1:51.2. Mike Simons wasted no time with the 6-year-old Brandon's Cowboy gelding, working clear of Dragon Fever (John MacDonald) through a :27.1 first quarter. The 30-time winner subsequently turned aside a stout first-over challenge from Dee's Rocketman (Fern Paquet, Jr.) off the far turn before also repelling an inside bid from Dragon Fever to prevail by 1-1/4 lengths. Dee's Rocketman faded to third.   Joe Skowyra trains Flying Cowboy for owner Wade Wyatt.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 19) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- An early-afternoon deluge could not deter Hannelore Hanover ($2.10, part of entry) in Sunday (August 14) afternoon's $40,000 Miss Versatility preliminary at Tioga Downs, as she made easy work of her eight harness racing rivals with plenty in reserve at the end of a 1:52.4 mile.   Fresh off victories in the Armbro Flight, Hambletonian Maturity, and Fresh Yankee, the 4-year-old Swan For All mare floated gently into third on approach to the first turn, allowing White Becomes Her (Scott Coulter) and Rules of the Road (Jim Morrill, Jr.) to dispute the terms through a :27.1 first quarter before making her bid to the fore with nine-sixteenths of the mile remaining. The Ron Burke trainee cleared White Becomes Her easily at the completion of a :56 half, and she subsequently responded to mild first-over pressure from Jewels in Hock (John Campbell) up the far side. After being nudged along through a :28.1 third sectional, Hannelore Hanover drew away gradually while in hand, posting a 3-1/4 length victory over runner-up Jewels in Hock. Third-place finisher Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) slid second-over on approach to the far turn and stayed on through the straight.   Yannick Gingras was once again in the bike behind Hannelore Hanover, who captured her 21st career win. The Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Frank Baldachino own the talented mare, whose career bankroll mounted to $885,763.   A pair of New York Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings shared center stage with the Miss Versatility preliminary, with American Passport ($10.80) and Roll Away Joe ($2.70) the victorious duo.   American Passport used a bold three-wide push on approach to the far turn to collar the dueling Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and Nox Vegas Bluechip (Jim Marohn, Jr.), drawing off at will as the pace collapsed for a six-length, 1:51.4 win over the late-rallying Talk Show (Morrill) in the $60,200 fifth race. Scott Zeron drove the son of American Ideal for trainer Tony Alagna.   In the $59,100 sixth event, Roll Away Joe brushed to the fore with a circuit to go and narrowly held off a four-wide charge from 40-1 outsider Bottom Deals (Tetrick) to prevail by half a length in 1:51.3. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the Roll With Joe gelding for trainer Tracy Brainard.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (August 15) evening, with the first of 11 races due off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Tim Tetrick and Linda Toscano teamed up to capture all three divisions of the Geers Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies on Friday (August 12) night at Tioga Downs, while Cougar Bait ($6.10) led 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings with a track-record performance in his Geers split.   Tetrick and Toscano wasted no time finding the winner's enclosure, teaming up with Robin J ($2.10) in the $26,356 third event. The daughter of Roll With Joe and Mommy Robin Q worked clear of Haviture Way Honey (Marcus Miller) with a circuit to go and used a :26.3 last quarter to repel a first-over push from runner-up Touchamatic (Mike Simons) by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:54.   They teamed up again with Planet Rock ($2.10), who kept her undefeated record intact in the $26,856 fifth race. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover settled off a contested pace, brushed out of midfield, and sprinted off to a 5-1/2 length margin of victory over Kiss Kiss (John Cummings, Jr.) in 1:53.1 for her fifth triumph in as many career starts. Robin J and Planet Rock also would give owner Kenneth Jacobs a stakes double on the night.   World Apart ($2.60) completed the sweep of the filly divisions for Tetrick and Toscano in the $26,856 ninth, chasing live cover provided by Pleasant Roll (Marcus Miller) on the backstretch before continuing to the fore in upper stretch after losing cover. The daughter of Art Major and Polar Opposition posted a 1:53 win for the South Mountain Stables, The Bay's Stable, LLC, Little E, LLC, and the Radio Racing Stable.   Of the three Geers divisions for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Cougar Bait stole the show with his 1:52.2 track-record performance in the $24,640 fourth race. Mike Simons slid the Western Terror-No One Is Alone gelding second-over to track favorite Epic Union through the middle stages of the race, but lost cover on approach to the far turn as Epic Union cleared. Cougar Bait ultimately dueled to the fore at head-stretch, drawing off by 2-1/2 lengths over Beyond Delight (Jim Marohn, Jr.), who rallied to save second. John Butenschoen trains Cougar Bait for the Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Jeremey Day, Tangie Massey, and the VIP Internet Stable, LLC.   Ocean Colony ($23.60) prevailed in the $24,640 sixth, dueling clear of R J P (Marcus Miller) in 1:53.3 after being left uncovered on the far turn. Brett Miller drove the son of Somebeachsomewhere and Amora Hanover for trainer Jimmy Takter and the partnership of Takter, Fielding, Katz, Libfeld, Goldband, and the Hatfield Stables.   In the $24,640 eighth race, Every Way Out ($2.50) accounted for his fifth career win in as many starts, and Tetrick accounted for the third leg of a stakes grand slam. The If I Can Dream-Every Play colt responded to a late push from Bettor's Western (Brett Miller), holding sway by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.1 for the fastest mile on the night. Dylan Davis trains Every Way Out for Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Edwin Gold, and Thomas Lazzaro.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 14) afternoon, with post time at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- A pair of 2-year-old trotters from the Ron Burke stable proved victorious in their respective Arthur Tompkins Memorial divisions on a rainy Thursday (August 11) evening at Tioga Downs, both upending heavy harness racing favorites in the last yards.   Southwind Cobra ($11.60) dueled gamely to a 1:56.4 victory in his $28,585 split for colts and geldings (race 4), pulling the pocket on approach to the far turn to engage 3-2 favorite Bill's Man (Andy Miller) after yielding with a circuit to go. While Bill's Man battled to a narrow lead off the far turn, the son of Muscle Hill and Caerphilly fought back stoutly at the pegs to prevail by half a length over sloppy going. Cagey (Mike Simons) chased well through the far turn to finish a clear third off his clear tracking trip. John Cummings, Jr. drove Southwind Cobra to his maiden-breaking victory for the Burke Racing Stable, Jack Piatt, II, Larry Karr, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership.   Burke's other winner came in a $28,410 division for fillies (race 5), as Romancing Rachel ($25.80) prevailed as the second-longest shot on the board. Mike Simons angled the daughter of Muscle Hill and Tady's Comer off the pegs with three-eighths to go, catching the cover of odds-on favorite Southwind Prius (Andy Miller) on approach to the far turn. At head-stretch, Romancing Rachel angled three-wide and swept clear to a two-length victory in 2:00.2 as Southwind Prius and Morning Glow (Jimmy Takter)--second and third respectively--dueled into defeat. The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi share ownership of Romancing Rachel with Howard Taylor.   In the other Tompkins events on the nine-race card, Ice Attraction ($9.40) and Fly On ($2.10) both prevailed. Ice Attraction bested six fillies in 1:57.3 off a pocket trip in the $28,410 second event, angling at head-stretch to collar Southwind Avanti by three-quarters of a length. Oskar Florhed drove the daughter of Muscle Hill and The Ice Queen for trainer Ãke Svanstedt. In the $28,085 sixth for colts and geldings, Fly On posted a pillar-to-post 1:58.2 triumph, drawing clear by 4-1/2 lengths after his first-over rival Deacon Tony (Scott Coulter) broke stride at the top of the stretch. Andy Miller drove the son of Muscle Hill and Calchips Finisher for trainer Julie Miller.   Six divisions of the Geers Stakes for 2-year-old pacers--three for fillies, three for colts and geldings--headline Friday (August 12) evening's 12-race card at Tioga Downs, with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- In Friday (August 12) evening's Geers Stakes for harness racing 2-year-olds at Tioga Downs, a pair of precocious pacers will aim to extend their career unbeaten streaks to five races, and both tasks will be up to driver Tim Tetrick to complete.   Kenneth Jacobs's Planet Rock, so far 4-for-4 while exclusively campaigning on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, has been installed the 6-5 morning line favorite in the evening's $26,856 fifth race, and she will commence her one-mile journey from post 5. Linda Toscano trains the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover who most recently powered clear to a 1:52 victory at Vernon Downs. Her past wins have come at Buffalo, Yonkers, and Saratoga.   In the $24,640 eighth event for colts and geldings, Every Way Out will lead the charge for trainer Dylan Davis out of post 4. The son of If I Can Dream and Every Play swept the New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands in early July before posting a 1:52.3 victory in his Arden Downs division over a sloppy Meadows track on July 30. Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Edwin Gold, and Thomas Lazzaro share ownership of Every Way Out, also installed a 6-5 morning line favorite.   The companion event of the Geers Stakes, the Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 2-year-old trotters, is slated for Thursday (August 11) evening at Tioga. Julie Miller trainee Fly On seeks his third career win following a 1:55.3 triumph in his Kindergarten Classic preliminary at the Meadowlands. Andy Miller makes the trek to the Southern Tier to drive the son of Muscle Hill and Calchips Finisher.   Post time for both the Thursday and Friday cards at Tioga Downs has been set for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

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