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TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, July 25, 2016 - Harness racing trainer Dany Fontaine certainly has his work cut out for him on Tuesday night at the Hippodrome 3R as he will be starting four horses, nearly half the field, in the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old trotters. Fontaine, who hails from Lachenaie, Quebec where he has a training facility, will harness his pride and joy this season, Holiday Party, who is going for his sixth straight victory. Holiday Party starts from post nine (in the second tier) in the third race, the fourth and final preliminary round of the Breeders Cup Series for the trotting colts and fillies. After Tuesday's final round, the top eight point earners in both the colt and filly divisions return to 3R on Sunday, September 4 for their respective $65,000 finals and Fontaine feels he has a good chance to not just have three of his four colts in the final, but maybe even finish one-two-three in that race. "There is no question that this season Holiday Party has been the best of my colts in the stable," Fontaine said, "But KFB Amigo Cool has been second or third each week and Andovers Choice has the speed to win it all too. Last week driver Guy Gagnon said he (Andovers Choice) was feeling so good that he would have won the race if not for the horses breaking and interfering with him." Winless at age 2 last season in eight starts, Holiday Party showed promise to Fontaine. The son of Holiday Road, owned by Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, was coming into his own late in the season. "In the $41,000 Quebec-Bred Series Final last year," Fontaine explained. "Wildwild Men was so strong there was no one catching him, but Holiday Party found his stride and was a strong third in that track record race. Then we raced him at Mohawk and Woodbine and he was trotting in 1:58, 1:57. So I told Gaetan Bono that it was time to turn him out while he was good and he agreed. "After he spent some time in the field we started back with him this winter," Fontaine explained, "And he got better and better. At my training center I would take him out with the pacers to trainer and he would cut the mile and the pacers had trouble staying up with him going in 2:05. I knew then he would be very good this year." Very good is an understatement for Holiday Road. A winner in six of his ten starts, Holiday Road has a record of 1:57 at Georgian Downs and before coming to 3R for the series, won an $18,000 division of the Ontario Grassroots, also at Georgian Downs. "I also put the trotting hobbles on him," Fontaine said, "Just to remind him to stay on the trot as he kept going faster and faster. Last week he showed that even when interfered with and making a break, he still was able to get back into the race and win it. "Pascal Berube does an excellent job driving Holiday Road," Fontaine added. "He knows the horse very well now and that helps a lot. It will be very interesting when he meets up with Wildwild Men in September in the final. "I think we will do very good Tuesday night with all four of my horses in this race," Fontaine explained. "We finally drew inside post positions for all of them. We have the one, two, four and nine post in the second tier." The trotting fillies do battle in the sixth race where the race favorite is last week's return winner, Y S Suzanne, who starts from the rail for trainer/driver Carl Duguay. This daughter of Angus Hall was given a perfect drive last week by Duguay, sitting second the entire mile until the top of the stretch when they came after Eau Naturelle (Simon Delisle) and beat them in the final stride to the wire by a nose in a lifetime best 2:01.2. Eau Naturelle is back in the line and goes from post four along with other competitors Elair Chocolat (post eight) and Labeauceronne (post four). There are two non-wagering divisions of the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotting colts and fillies at 6:30 pm. Opening round return winner Capteur De Reve starts from post five for driver Guy Corbeil in the colt division and Taurus P V, last week's filly division winner, returns and starts again from post one. First race post time Tuesday for the pari-mutuel card is 7:00 pm. For a free race program and live video streaming of the 3R races Tuesday, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

HARRINGTON, Del. - Owner/trainer Brian Malone and driver Anthony Morgan teamed up for three wins in a row with mares on the Tuesday Harrington Raceway harness racing program. Malone's Hostess Lisa ($12, Tony Morgan) notched her eighth win of the season with a 1:53.1 triumph in the featured $17,500 Mares Open. The 7-year-old Sagebrush mare surged three-wide on the final turn and cleared the leaders for a narrow win over Quotable Quotes and Matinee Dragon. Trained by Malone, it was her 24th career win. Malone and Morgan teamed up in the sub-feature as well as Malone and Carrie Stackowitz's Mcarma ($5.40, Tony Morgan) won the $10,000 conditioned pace in 1:54.2. The Malone-trainee notched her fifth win in seven starts at the meet. Lanco Express ($3) then completed the hat trick for Malone and Morgan with a 1:55.4 in a $7,500 conditioned pace. Allan Davis and Montrell Teague each had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Western New York pacing stalwart Fireyourguns ($3.70) made his 2016 debut at Tioga Downs a winning one, blazing a :26.4 third quarter up the backstretch en route to a 1:51 pillar-to-post win in the featured $11,000 Open Pace on Memorial Day (May 30).   Aaron Byron sent the 7-year-old American Ideal gelding to a clear lead, forcing last week's Open winner Nitro Seelster (Tom Jackson) into the pocket before controlling fractions of :27, :56.1, and 1:23.   After his dynamic third-quarter blitz, Fireyourguns worked clear by three lengths at head-stretch and left his rivals fully extended in pursuit. Meanwhile, Byron only mildly encouraged Fireyourguns to keep to task, winning comfortably by a diminishing length. Nitro Seelster held second from Knocking Around (John Cummings, Jr.), who sustained first-over gains off the far turn to take third.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   The win was one of three for Byron on the nine-race card, who also swept the early double with Major Player ($3.50, 1:54.1) and Andreios Kardia ($10.20, 1:52.4).   The 50¢ Pick 5 was hit, returning $153.00 with no winner in the sequence longer than 4.1-1. By contrast, the corresponding win parlay would have returned $66.19 on every 50¢ staked.   Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (June 3) evening, with first post at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs     

Harness racing patrons will be in for a special treat on Monday evening (March 28) at the Isle Casino Pompano Park, as Aaron Byron will join track announcer Gabe Prewitt for on-air analysis and color commentary in between races. Byron, currently third in the driver standings, has mounts in the first two races on the card and is expected to be on-air prior to the fourth race. "We think our fans will enjoy a fresh and unique perspective from one of our top reinsmen, and are looking forward to Aaron joining the broadcast," said Brett Revington, Director of Racing. Monday night will be highlighted by the $15,000 Open Trot, featuring the likes of Natural Herbie, Wind of the North, Oho Diamond, and Auspicious Hanover. The Open Trot is slated as the sixth race on the program, also the beginning of the Pick 4, which features a $7,500 guaranteed pool and a reduced takeout of only 12%. Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park on a four-night per week schedule, with a first post of 7:30 p.m. every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evening. The final Saturday night program of the season comes up on April 9th.

Pompano Beach, FL…January 5, 2016…Richard Silverman’s Cashahallic, confidently driven by Aaron Byron, took advantage of an early miscue by the favorite, Its Payday Friday, to score a near gate-to-wire harness racing victory in Pompano Park’s $12,000 Open Handicap Trot on Tuesday night. The eight year-old altered son of Cash Hall pinned a defeat measuring 2 ¾ lengths on Sailer Eddie, with Kevin Wallis handling the lines while Diamond Dagger, pressing the pace during the middle portions of the mile, third for Mark O’Mara. Verdi finished fourth after a double-bubble move heading into second around the final turn while Winding Hill finished fifth, but eventually placed back a notch while on a break in close quarters late, enabling My Revenuer to pick up the minors. When the Hummer skipped away, Cashahallic (post six) left sharply along with Diamond Dagger (post five) and Sailer Eddie (post two) with Cashahallic winning the early war and taking the field through an opening panel in a moderate :28.4. As Diamond Dagger charged up during the second panel, the pace quickened to the half in :56.4 with Cashahallic not letting Diamond Dagger closer than a length back. On the backside, Wally Hennessey sent Verdi wheeling three deep but he, too, could get not dent any ground on Cashahallic as the timer at the third station read 1:25.4. In the lane, the leader kept stretching his margin to the wire in what turned out to be a handy win timed in 1:55.2. After the race, driver Aaron Byron said, “I know Richie’s horse has been very good and I figured I’d better at least give it a go at the start and maybe take a seat back of Dan’s horse (Its Payday Friday). “When he made that break, it, of course, enhanced my chances and the early pace wasn’t that hot. When Dan’s horse (Diamond Dagger) wasn’t gaining and Wally’s (Verdi) wasn’t getting any close around the last turn, I felt very confident I could get home safely.” The win for Casahallic—his 24th lifetime—pushed his career bounty just shy of $300,000--$299,320 lifetime. As third choice in the wagering, Cashahallic rewarded his faithful with a $9.00 mutuel. In the supporting $9,500 Non-Winners-Optional Claiming ($20,000) trot, Rainbow Gold, handled by Steve Condren, relished the class drop from the Open ranks and scored a very handy win measuring 4 ¼ lengths in 1:55.4, a new lifetime mark. Trained by Ashley Duford for owner Dennis Duford, Rainbow Gold, a nine year-old gelded son of Thunder Road, led every stride of the mile off of fractions of :28.2, :57.3 and 1:27.2 before the :28.2 sprint home. Tater Twister (Kevin Wallis) finished second while I’ll Tell You What (Brad Kramer) finished third. Gold Savage finished fourth while M C Felix picked up the nickel. Rainbow Gold now shows an impressive 34-21-19 scorecard in 137 career starts, good for $181,267. As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Rainbow Gold paid $3.40 to win. Finally, She’s All In, Rick Plano’s rugged seven year-old daughter of Revenue S, got picture perfect handling from her owner-trainer-driver to score her 25th lifetime victory—this one timed in 1:55—over Explosive Muscles (Kevin Wallis), the winning margin being 3 ¼ lengths. McKenzie’s Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.) finished third, nine lengths away and a photo finish better than Hall Pass Helen and Highland Yankee, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the field of 10. She’s All In has lifetime earnings of $220,783 to go along with her mark of 1:54.1 established at Pompano Park four seasons ago. As the 1 to 2 favorite, She’s All In Paid $3.00 to her multitude of backers. Racing continues Wednesday night at Pompano Park with post time set at 7:30 p.m. John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL…December 22, 2015…Richard Silverman’s Cashahallic, a neck shy of the winner’s circle last week, was not to be denied this time around as he conquered seven harness racing rivals to score a handy 1:55.1 win in the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot over Pompano Park’s oval, officially rated “sloppy” due to torrential rains just minutes earlier. The seven year-old altered son of Cash Hall, again handled by regular pilot Aaron Byron, pinned a two length defeat on the late charging My Revenuer, driven by Rick Plano, with the favorite, Auspicious Hanover, third for Kevin Wallis. Pounce Hanover finished fourth in the octet while Rainbow Gold picked up the final award. When the Hummer sped away at the start, both Pounce Hanover and Cashahallic showed alacrity leaving with My Revenuer also in the mix and Auspicious Hanover leaving and wending his way into fourth after beginning from the outside eight post. Around the opening bend, Cashahallic assumed command and took the field through an opening panel in :27.1 before gliding over to the half in :57.4. On the backside, Byron let out a notch and sent Cashahallic through a :28.2 third panel, putting a damper on any threats developing while reaching the third station in 1:26.1. From there, the issue was never in doubt as Auspicious Hanover and My Revenuer could not get closer than two lengths to the winner with the latter earning place honors in the photo. After the event, driver Aaron Byron said, “Richie’s horse (Cashahallic) is such a consistently good trotter. I think he’s been 1-2-3 in about half of his lifetime starts so you know he’s going to give you the best he’s got each start. “Since the track was off tonight because of the rain, I thought I’d try him on the front end to keep the mud out of his eyes. I think he likes being in the thick of the action because I won with him a few starts ago practically wire-to-wire. “It worked out very well and that second quarter (:30.3) helped his cause a ton.” The win—Cashahallic’s 23rd lifetime—pushed his 2015 scorecard to 7-5-6 in 32 starts, good for $66,273. He’s closing in on $300,000 lifetime--$293,320 to be precise. As the 3 to 1 second choice in the wagering, Cashahallic paid $8.60 to win. That win, incidentally, capped a “natural” daily double as the Byron-Silverman duo teamed up to score in the race prior with Ms Casey Mac, a three year-old daughter of Neutralize. Carding front end panels of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:26.1, Ms Casey Mac fought off the stiff challenge of Sue’s Night Out (Brad Kramer) to score by a head in 1:55.4, a new lifetime mark despite the “off” track, annihilating her previous mark of 1:58.2 over the Windsor, Maine half mile oval. Marion (Gilles Barrieau) was five lengths back in third. For Ms Casey Mac, it was her eighth win of the year in 16 starts, pushing her 2015 bounty to $56,962. She paid $7.40 to win as the second choice in the win pool. Pompano’s co-feature trot, the $9,000 Winner’s Over, was won by the 12 to 1 outsider Winding Hill, driven by John MacDonald for owner-trainer Dennis Whittemore. This four year-old son of Here Comes Herbie, fifth early on, blitzed his rivals with a backstretch blast, taking the lead three-eighths out and romping home a length-and-a-half the best in 1:56.1. Jessie’s Promise, with Mark O’Mara driving, finished second after chasing the winner the entire last lap while Bold Strike, prominent early, finished third for Wally Hennessey. Sailer Eddie finished fourth while Saint Patty’s Doll picked up the nickel in the field scratched down to eight. Winding Hill won for the fifth time this year in 24 starts, pushing his bankroll for the year to $40,225. He’s banked $98,335 lifetime. As fifth choice, Winding Hill paid $27.20 to win. Also of note is the winning streak of the claiming pacer Cherokee Ranger, now at five. The four year-old gelded son of Palone Ranger, now trained by Francis Tambolleo for owner Lesbia Luz Perez de Luna after being claimed last week, made a sweeping four wide backstretch move to the front and romped home a seven length winner in 1:53.3 for Jason Dillander for his 11th win of the year. The 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Cherokee Ranger paid $3.40 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night with a 14 race card and a special early post time of 7:00 p.m. The track has added a second Pentafecta and an additional Pick-4 to the program with the Wednesday Pick-5 pool guaranteed at $20,000, including a carry-over of $3,553. The initial Pick-4 (races six through nine) has a guaranteed pool of $10,000. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Cashahallic, knocking at the door in this top class the last two weeks, finally broke that door down on Monday night and won the $10,000 Open Trot at  the harness racing meeting at Pompano Park in 1:55. The seven year-old altered son of Cash Hall, owned and trained by Richard Silverman, got a picture perfect drive from Aaron Byron as he made a quarter move to the top and led the rest of the journey, pinning a 1 ½ length defeat on Pounce Hanover (Ed Hensley) with Uriel (Kevin Wallis) another nose back in third. Shes All In and Ill Tell You What picked up the minors in the septet. As the gate sprung, Pounce Hanover left with alacrity along with Cashahallic with Count Speed into the fray early, only to lose his composure at the opening marker in :28.1. Shortly after, Byron sent Cashahallic pouncing to the front himself and clocked fractions of :57.2 and 1:25.4, feeling only minimal pressure from Uriel around the final bend. In the lane, Cashahallic was never in danger, strutting home a handy winner in 1:55. In a post-race interview, driver Byron said, this horse has been giving hints the last couple of starts and I thought I'd try him on the front end this week since he won that way a few starts ago. He's handy so he brushed to the top easily and that was that. For Cashahallic, it was his sixth success of the year in 30 starts, pushing his seasonal bounty to $57,773. He banked $284,820 lifetime to go along with his Meadowlands mark of 1:54. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Cashahallic paid $3.80 to his many backers John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...October 28, 2015...If Tuesday night is any indication of what mid-season will be like at Pompano Park, this harness racing season will be a "doozie!"   With the season just a few days old, there were highlights galore on this eighth racing night with Godiva Seelster and Owosso Flash in the equine spotlight with Mike Deters and Aaron Byron also earning well deserved accolades, as well.   Kicking things off, four $12,000 finals of the F.S.B.O.A. Sunshine State Stakes were contested--all non-wagering--with Owosso Flash, Gleneagles, Gold Star Dynasty and Prairie Sweetheart taking home the blankets in their respective divisions.   Owosso Flash, handled by trainer Mike Deters, and Caesar's Forum (Wally Hennessey) put on a show for the ages with an epic battle lasting the final three-quarters of the mile with Owosso Flash up in the final stride to win by less than an inch in 1:54.3.   With Caesar's Forum coming into the action on a three race win streak over Owosso Flash (each win wire-to-wire), Deters wasn't about to let that happen again...at least not without a fight.   At the outset, Caesar's Forum used the rail to perfection, out-sprinting "Flash" through an opening panel in :28.4. Just a couple of strides prior to that tepid opener, Deters left the coziness of the pocket...and the duel was on.   Through a :26..2 second quarter (:55.1) and a :54.3 middle half (1:23.2) and all the way to the wire, Owosso Flash and Caesar's Forum fought tooth and nail, might and main, hammer and tongs, heart and soul, right to the wire, leaving all witnesses gasping for breath themselves.   After the judges looked at the photo, blowing it up in the process, Owosso Flash had hit the wire first in 1:54.3.   After the event, driver Mike Deters said, "the only way that I was going to win was to take it to Caesar's Forum early...after all, he wired me the previous three times and, when two horses are that close in talent, its tough to dent a :27 final quarter. Heck, Owosso Flash paced in :26.4 home last week and couldn't get there, so I had to take the chance.   It paid off.   The son of Royal Millennium, owned by Deters along with Laurie Lee Poulin, now has a 15-5-5-2 scorecard to go along with a Tioga mark of 1:52.3. He's banked $25,007 this year and $78,557 lifetime with plenty of Florida Stakes action ahead in November.   By the way, Drake (Bob Roberts) closed fastest of all to finish third, ahead of Stutz and Gold Star Roger.   "Flash's" full sister, Prairie Sweetheart, took top honors in her class for two year-old pacing fillies, making a sharp early move on Caitlin's Romance (Mel Turcotte) to post fractions :29.1, :58.4 and 1:27.1 before sprinting home in :28.3 to score a 5 1/4 length win over Caitlin's Romance in 1:55.4, a new lifetime mark.   Again, co-owner Mike Deters was in the bike on behalf of Laurie Poulin and John Spindler.   Diamond Lily was next in the field while two "Gold Star's--Lovebug and Mysti--also earned checks in the field of eight.   Prairie Sweetheart remains undefeated after four lifetime starts.   In the final for three year-old fillies, Gold Star Dynasty, a daughter of Six of Diamonds, handily took top honors for Aaron Byron, wiring her foes in 1:56.4.   Owned by Oldford Farms, Jarold Hawks and Wrenn Racing and trained by, you guessed it, Mike Deters, Gold Star Dynasty extended her winning streak to three with the win measuring 1 1/2 lengths over Davita (Corey Braden).    Two more Gold Star fillies--Sonata (Walter Ross, Jr.) and Charming--finished next while Creamsicle earned the final award in the sextet.   Gleneagles won the Sunshine State Stake final for juvenile pacing colts and geldings, fashioning a :28 finale to score for Wally Hennessey in 1:55, a new lifetime mark.   Owned by the Pinhook Stable and trained by Jim Mc Donald, this son of Mysticism scored by 2 1/4 lengths in extending his winning streak to three.    Conman's Dream finished second for Jason Mac Dougall while R Chism (Mike Micallef) was next. Danza and ICU Diamond T picked up the minors in the field of six.   The mares Open was expected to be a slugfest between Godiva Seelster and Just A Bee...and it was!   With these two exceptional mares assigned the outside posts--Just A Bee 6 and Godiva Seelster 7--both were forced to abandon their usual "early foot" tactics when Artful Impulse and Winbak Heavenly both left the gate with alacrity with the latter taking command early and posting panels of :26.2, :55.1 and 1:23.   While both Just A Bee and Godiva Seelster did show some gate speed, they didn't get into the early fray but, rather, settled into third and fourth, respectively, in the early going.   On the backside, Just A Bee went first up with Godiva following her live cover. Turning for home, Just A Bee had ground her way to the front with Godiva outside of her and gaining. At the wire, the two could barely be separated, literally a lip being the difference in 1:51.2.   IM Gracies finished third, followed by Artful Impulse and Jets Are On in the field of seven.    In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "Well, I've been in two epic battles tonight--lost one and won one! That's racing. This is, as I've said before, a mare that does this all on her own. She has determination...and she was determined tonight."   Owned by Paul and Patricia O'Neil and trained by Dan Hennessey, Godiva Seelster won of the 13th time this year, good for $103,375.   The performance also kept her streak alive--70 consecutive races getting a piece of the purse stretching back to the beginning of the 2013 season.   Godiva Seelster was favored on the tote board  at 4 to 5 and paid $3.80 to win.   Driver Aaron Byron scored a grand slam on Tuesday night, not only scoring with Gold Star Dynasty in the Sunshine State Stakes Final, but also reaching the winner's circle with Richard Silverman's three year-old trotter Janet ($8.40) in 1:57, Shane Arsenault's Ton Of Luck ($3.40) in 1:54 and Big Valley Speed ($5.00) in 1:57.1--the latter owned by Lawrence Barnett, John Spindler, Fred Morosini and trainer Mike Deters.   Deters wound up with a training grand slam of his own and sports an early UTRS of well over .550. Also of note, while it seems difficult to improve on a UDRS rating .879, Deters did that, too, scoring two more wins for a scorecard of 13-10-3-0--around .900!!   Racing continues on Sunday night with the best trotters and pacers on the grounds expected to compete in their respective Open events.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Nichols, N.Y. -- After working clear of Elite Awards with just over a circuit to go, Fireyourguns ($2.60) narrowly held off a late charge from that same rival--and two others--to capture Sunday (August 2) afternoon's $12,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   Aaron Byron floated forward with the 6-year-old American Ideal gelding, clearing pacesetters Elite Awards (Corey Braden) and Eastend Eddie (Jim Marohn, Jr.) just after a :27.1 initial quarter. Fireyourguns then travelled with an uncontested lead through middle sectionals of :55.3 and 1:23.3, but faced a pair of stern challenges on the far turn when Elite Awards pulled the pocket and Eastend Eddie was carried three-wide off the corner. Those two charged valiantly upon straightening for home, as did Electrofire (Mike Simons), who fanned four-wide in the final 150 yards. Fireyourguns, though all-out, narrowly held off his trio of pursuers, prevailing in 1:51.3 over fast going.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   In addition to his win with Fireyourguns, Byron teamed up with Galex ($18.00, 1:53.2) and Dragon Fever ($9.20, 1:53.1) to lead all drivers with three wins on the 11-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 7) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Taking advantage of a pocket trip and room on the far turn left by a fading Bourbon Bay, Skates N Plates ($29.60) pounced late to just collar Six Bax in Saturday (August 1) evening's $14,000 Open Trot at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   Aaron Byron secured the pocket with the 4-year-old Revenue entire, drafting behind Grey Ice (Corey Braden) through a :27.2 first quarter.   As soon as Byron vacated the pocket and brushed Skates N Plates to the lead, though, Six Bax (Jim Taggart, Jr.) circled three-deep out of third, clearing just upon passing the winning post on the first occasion.   After taking charge through a :55.2 half mile, Six Bax faced mild pressure on the backstretch from the first-over Bourbon Bay (John Cummings, Jr.), maintaining his 1-1/2-length lead through three-quarters in 1:24.3.   As Bourbon Bay faded on the far turn, Six Bax found room to vacate the pegs, driven to a narrow 1:53.4 victory in the final yards.   Six Bax held second, while Tirade Hanover (Tyler Raymer) kicked cover off the far turn to take third.   Paul Kelley trains Skates N Plates for owner-breeder Robert Key.   Byron scored a hat trick on the 12-race card, as did Jim Taggart, Jr.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 2) afternoon, with the first of 11 races due to begin at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Taking advantage of a pocket trip, Lauxmont Capri ($16.40) scored an upset win in Sunday (July 12) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting Tioga Downs, kicking clear at will for a 1:53 score.   The 5-year-old Red River Hanover gelding pushed the pace up the pegs, stringing out U Belong To Me (Jim Marohn, Jr.) through a :26.4 first quarter before easing back to the pocket.   The two remained uncontested through the middle half, as first-over challenger Prairie Jaguar (Jim Meittinis) could only get to within three lengths of the lead at any point of the race.   As he faded off the far turn, Jim Taggart, Jr. angled Lauxmont Capri--with clear sailing all the while--out of the pocket, vaulting clear upon cornering.   U Belong To Me was devoid of any response, fading sharply through the stretch.   As Lauxmont Capri drew off in the final sixteenth, Electrofire (Mike Simons) emerged from traffic up the inside, just collaring the tracking Hunchie (Corey Braden) for second, 2-3/4 lengths in arrears of the winner.   Western Trademark (Aaron Byron) rallied from the back of the pack, gaining down the grandstand side to take fourth.   Gary Messenger trains Lauxmont Capri for owners Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger.   Byron and Marohn score hat tricks   While Taggart earned top honors in the day's featured event, Aaron Byron and Jim Marohn, Jr. were the driving stars on the 10-race card, each recording three victories.   Byron prevailed in partnership with St Lads Lotto ($4.10, 1:52.2), An Officers Duty ($7.20, 1:54.1), and Elite Awards ($12.40, 1:52.3), while Marohn teamed up with Special Joe ($4.10, 1:52.3), Smellthecolornine ($6.70, 1:53.1), and Retail ($26.00, 1:51.4).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 17) evening, with the first race due to begin at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Nichols, N.Y. -- Enjoying a pocket trip behind Bourbon Bay, but hard pressed for racing room on the far turn, Awsome Valley ($7.00) emerged up the pegs in the final 70 yards to take Saturday (July 11) evening's harness racing $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   Aaron Byron pressed early up the inside with the 6-year-old Valley Victor gelding, ultimately ceding the lead to track record holder Bourbon Bay (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :27.3 initial quarter. Bourbon Bay would control the terms through an uncontested :58.4 middle half, but Awsome Valley ended up boxed on the far turn as I'm Fabulous (Jim Taggart, Jr.) turned up the pressure after a 1:26.2 three-quarter sectional. As I'm Fabulous closed in, 6-5 favorite Valley of Sin (Jim Meittinis) angled three-wide off cover, and Bourbon Bay was pushed to his limit, Awsome Valley was crying out for racing room with no shortage of late trot. In the final sixteenth, a lane opened up along the pegs for Awsome Valley, and he pushed through to prevail by a half length in 1:55.1. Valley of Sin mustered second honors off his belated surge, while I'm Fabulous just collared Bourbon Bay to take third.   Joe Hundertpfund, Jr. trains Awsome Valley for the Revocable Trust of Barbara Boese.   Mike Simons led all drivers with three wins on the nine-race card, prevailing with his own Vacation Day ($14.40, 1:57.2) along with Yolo Lindy ($5.30, 2:00) and Military Blue ($2.90, 1:55.2). His son Shawn registered a training double on the evening's program.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs with a 10-race Sunday card. Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, and fans are invited to arrive early to receive a replica Jim Marohn, Jr. colors shirt (while supplies last).   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Taking advantage of a pocket trip and a blistering pace, K J's Caroline ($5.40) took charge late, holding off a bevy of closers in Friday (July 10) evening's $10,000 top-level pace for fillies and mares at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   The 5-year-old Roddy's Bags Again mare dueled early with Stormunn (Aaron Byron), ceding the lead on the first turn but not without having a hand in forcing a taxing early pace.    Stormunn worked clear through a 25.4 opening quarter over fast going, tracked intently by K J's Caroline through a :56.4 middle half.   On the far turn, Jim Taggart, Jr. edged K J's Caroline out of the pocket, collaring the pacesetter in mid-stretch before edging clear.   While Smokin N Grinin (Tyler Freese), Maejusmac (Dan Clements), and Forty Three (Jim Meittinis) all showed late pace from midfield or farther back, K J's Caroline held them all at bay, prevailing by a length in 1:52.   Gary Messenger trains K J's Caroline for owner/breeder Scott Woogen.   Taggart would go on to sweep the first four races of the evening's eight-race program, teaming up as well with Twin B Flirt ($3.00, 1:53.2), Purple N Gold ($4.00, 1:53.2), and Bullville Bren ($4.00, 1:57.3).   Live racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (July 11) evening, with a nine-race card due to begin at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

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

After letting the dust settle through a :26.3 first quarter, Fireyourguns ($3.70) was sure to make good on a 4-5 promise, kicking clear of his five rivals in Sunday (June 7) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs. Fresh off a decisive win at Buffalo, the 6-year-old American Ideal gelding tracked early leavers Believe This Bob (Dan Clements) and That'll Be the Rei (Jim Marohn, Jr.) before vacating the pegs, working clear of them with a circuit to go. He controlled the terms throughout, sprinting off through a :26.4 third quarter--but only opening up a little bit of ground as Believe This Bob worked to keep the pocket closed. At the top of the stretch, Fireyourguns began increasing his margin, ultimately pulling clear by 3-1/4 lengths for a resounding 1:49.2 victory under minimal encouragement from Aaron Byron. That'll Be the Rei rallied late to take second, as Believe This Bob tired off his chasing effort to finish third. Trainer Terence McClory shares ownership of Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   Earlier in the day, Tioga Downs hosted their annual Scholarship Race, made possible by the generosity of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State and the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association.   Five local high school seniors joined local horsemen in double-seated jog carts for the 5/8 mile exhibition event.   Adam Layman of Tioga Central High School (teamed with Dan Clements) won the race with Diamond Princess, sweeping three-wide in the final yards to prevail in 1:15.   His victory earned him $3200 toward his studies of Engineering Science at SUNY Broome.   In all, the five participating students shared $9700 in scholarship funds.   Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (June 12) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

On a dreary Monday evening which felt more like the last of April than the first of June, Mary Larrimore's Believe This Bob ($2.90) staved off two late threats en route to a 1:51.2 victory in the featured $14,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   Coming off a handy 1:50.3 win the week prior, the 7-year-old Beach Romeo gelding made an early push to the fore, clearing That'll Be the Rei (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn.   While he had to work to achieve the lead in a :26.2 initial quarter, Believe This Bob was able to rate a :55.1 half before maintaining his uncontested lead on the backstretch.   Heading to the far turn, Road Untraveled (Mike Simons) began a two-wide push, progressing after Believe This Bob passed the three-quarter mark in 1:23.2 while maintaining his 1-1/2 length lead.   At the top of the stretch, Aaron Byron called upon the odds-on pacesetter for all he had, working through the final 150 yards to stave off a late bid from That'll Be the Rei.   While those two dueled, Road Untraveled dove to the pegs to sustain his rally, proving to be the equal of That'll Be the Rei in a place dead heat--but neither able to catch Believe This Bob, who prevailed by a long neck to half a length.   Joe Skowyra trains Believe This Bob, who scored his second Open win at Tioga in as many starts.   Byron scored a driving hat trick on the 10-race card, as did Jim Marohn, Jr.   Racing continues at Tioga on Friday (June 5) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   The Friday card features the third round of the United States vs. Spain amateur driving competition, which visits two other tracks in New York State before concluding in the Southern Tier.   James Witherite

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