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Colby Jate (Jate Lobell-Cam Press Shania) scored the victory in the $10,000 featured pace on Saturday night at Vernon Downs.   Colby Jate (Aaron Byron) did not have an easy time getting to the front as there was a 4-way fight for the early lead. Only No Monkeys Allowed (Fern Paquet Jr.) did not try to get to the front in the field of five. However, once Colby Jate got to the front, matters were pretty much resolved.   He proceeded to lead all the way around the racetrack. The fractions were fairly fast, as well, as Colby Jate went the quarter in 25.4 seconds, the half in 54.2, and three-quarters in 1:22.3. JK Panache (Chris Lems) tracked the leader from the pocket, but was never able to get closer than a length away in the stretch. The final time for the mile was 1:50.4.   Colby Jate is owned by Friendship Stables LLC of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. The trainer is Mike Watson.   The complete order of finish was: Colby Jate, JK Panache, Avantage, No Monkeys Allowed, and Moonlight Ransom.   The CKG Billings Series for amateur drivers returned to Vernon Downs on Saturday night as well. It was a similar story to the feature as the winner went to the front right away and stayed there all the way. However, Armstead Kyra (Muscle Mass-Paus Awhile) was far from the favorite in the field, going off at 43-1 and paying $89 to win. Even with the favorite Choke Hold (Vladimir Melnichenko) finishing second, the exacta paid a whopping $882.   Armstead Kyra was driven to victory by Matt Zuccarello in a final time of 1:56.1. The fractions were 27.3 for the quarter, 58.1 for the half, and 1:26.3 for three-quarters.   Armstead Kyra is owned by Brenda Messenger of Monticello, New York and Scott Woogen of Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania. The trainer is Gary Messenger.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 

Oh No Three O (Ken Warkentin-Melinda Hall) was sent off as the even-money favorite by the betting public in the $10,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday night and he rewarded their support with a win in 1:54.   Oh No Three O (Fern Paquet Jr.) trailed the field through the early fractions of 27.1 for the quarter and 55.3 for the half, while A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) was setting the pace. Oh No Three O benefited from live cover from Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore), who moved first-over as the field went up the backstretch. Evil Urges, in fact, made the lead as the field passed three-quarters in 1:24. A Penny Earned tried to fight back, but Oh No Three O made a strong charge down the outside to outfinish the field of five and score the victory. Evil Urges was home second. A Penny Earned was actually passed at the end by Helios (Claude Huckabone III) for third.   The complete order of finish was: Oh No Three O, Evil Urges, Helios, A Penny Earned, and Wild And Crazy Guy.   Oh No Three O is owned by Charlene Long of Vestal, New York. Paul Long is the trainer.   Live racing at Vernon Downs will resume on Saturday night with a 13-race program. The second race is the $10,000 Open Preferred feature pace. Pennsylvania invader Colby Jate (Jate Lobell-Cam Press Shania) is the 6-5 favorite in the field of five. Aaron Byron is scheduled to drive. Post time on Saturday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs Publicity

An overall increase in handle (total money wagered) and seven track record performances marked a successful 2014 season at Tioga Downs, which concluded on Saturday, September 13.   Overall handle on the 61-day meet was considerably improved in comparison to the 2013 season, with all-sources handle showing a 5.4% increase. This increase was largely due to a more involved simulcast audience, whose handle was 13.4% higher than in the previous season.   "We thank our customers and horsemen for their support of our 2014 racing season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We are proud of the great competitive racing on our 5/8 mile track, and that it continues to be well received across the North American harness racing audience."   With respect to the record books, four-year-old distaff trotter Charmed Life and driver Jody Jamieson established a new overall record for trotters on New York State's only 5/8-mile track, winning their Miss Versatility preliminary in 1:52.2 as part of the Cane Pace undercard on Monday, September 1.   Trotting geldings Datsyuk (three-year-old, Charlie Norris), Obrigado (four-year-old, Aaron Byron), and Traverse Seelster (older, Brandon Simpson) also turned in track-record performances through the season, scoring in 1:53.1, 1:52.3, and 1:52.4 respectively. Two-year-old trotting filly Jolene Jolene (David Miller) equalled You Want Me's mark of 1:55.2 as well, completing the quintet of record established on the trotting side of the ledger.   Additionally, a pair of pacers entered the Tioga record books, with Sweet Lou's 1:48.3 triumph in the Roll With Joe on Sunday, June 1 (Ron Pierce aboard) equalling Shark Gesture's past mark for older pacing entires. Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr.) set a new record outright for two-year-old pacing fillies, proving victorious in 1:52.1.   Jim Marohn, Jr. claimed his third consecutive driving title with 91 wins on the meet, 13 more than runner-up Aaron Byron. Top training honors went to Mike Deters, who took his second training title and first outright with 33 wins. Normand Fluet and Gail Wrubel finished in a dead heat for second with 20 wins apiece.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Tirade Hanover and Tyber Tyke proved victorious in Saturday (September 13) evening's co-featured $15,000 Open events at Tioga Downs, headlining an eleven-race closing night card.   Tirade Hanover ($16.60) sustained a sweeping three-wide bid on the far turn for a 1:54.3 victory in the $15,000 Open Trot, staving off a resurgent Oh No Three O. The four-year-old Crazed gelding was well off dueling leaders In Your Room (Mike Simons) and Oh No Three O (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :55.3 initial half mile, sweeping three-wide past a stalled Spice It Up Lindy (Tom Jackson) en route to the far turn. Tirade Hanover continued on to the lead 100 yards from the winning post, maintaining his momentum to just hold off Oh No Three O, who split rivals in a late rally from the pocket. B L Class Act (Aaron Byron) gained late down the grandstand side to take third.   Tyler Raymer drove Tirade Hanover to his fifteenth career win. Trainer Leigh Raymer shares ownership with Stephen Moss, Harold Solomon, and Helane Solomon.   Hoosier invader Tyber Tyke ($4.90) kicked clear late in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace after sustaining a barrage of pressure, emerging from a four-way battle to control a :55.1 initial half mile. The five-year-old Panspacificflight gelding then repelled a stout first-over challenge from Golden Gun (John Cummings, Jr.) before drawing clear to a 6-1/4 length victory in 1:50.3.   Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart, Jr.) took second narrowly after shaking free in the final yards, while Dreamlands Art (Mike Simons) finished a tiring third after stalking from the pocket.   Fern Paquet, Jr. handled the driving duties aboard Tyber Tyke for trainer Daniel Gill. John McGill and Brian Carsey co-own the 19-time winner.   Tioga Downs honored driving champion Jim Marohn, Jr. and training champion Mike Deters during the evening's festivities, along with acknowledgements of Trotter of the Year I Love New York (trained and driven by Bruce Clarke through the meet) and Pacer of the Year Fireyourguns (driven by Aaron Byron for trainer Terence McClory).   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Carried three-wide through the far turn, Bettorsluckystreak ($26.80) sustained his late bid en route to a 1:51.4 upset victory in Sunday (September 7) afternoon's featured pace at Tioga Downs.   The $10,000 upper-level conditioned event drew a field of eight, with newcomer Johnny Grippa (Jim Meittinis) handling the pacesetting duties throughout, establishing a solid tempo through a :55 half mile.   With Cashendash Hanover (Brandon Simpson) fading from the pocket and Hasty Western (Aaron Byron) sliding first-over with three-eighths to go, Greg Merton moved the four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight out to track cover en route to the far turn.   While Hasty Western continued two-wide despite the pocket opening up approaching the far turn, Merton moved Bettorsluckystreak three-wide past three-quarters in 1:22.4. The two sustained their rally, passing Hasty Western at the top of the stretch and pulling clear of Johnny Grippa in the final 70 yards to prevail by a length.   Prairie Jaguar, the 8-5 favorite, failed to sustain an extended uncovered bid, staying even to finish fifth.   James Clouser, Jr. trains Bettorsluckystreak for Kenneth Weckstein, Richard Rubin, and Gary Messenger.   Mike Simons and Tyler Buter led all drivers with three wins each on the 13-race card.   The 2014 live racing season concludes at Tioga Downs this upcoming weekend, with Friday (September 12) and Saturday (September 13) cards both scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

On the Cusp ($7.80) seized the lead and never looked back, making every pole a winning one in Friday (September 5) evening's $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   Shawn Gray sent the seven-year-old Camluck mare immediately to the fore, tracked throughout by Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron). With 1-2 favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Jim Meittinis) away just worse than midpack, On the Cusp maintained an honest pace through a :55.2 half mile, far from grueling.   While Pan Luis Obispo never proved a threat, stalling at head-stretch amid her three-wide bid off cover, Inittowinafortune chased stoutly in the final eighth, but On the Cusp had plenty left in reserve to stave her off. On the Cusp prevailed by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.1 over Inittowinafortune. Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) rallied late off a stalking trip to hold third.   Dylan Davis trains On the Cusp for owner Kapildeo Singh.   While visiting driver Shawn Gray took the evening's featured event, Phil Fluet won four of the night's nine races to lead all drivers for the evening. Fluet proved victorious with Weekend Getaway ($15.20, 1:54.0), Martha Michelle ($8.50, 1:56.0), Cashamatic ($10.80, 2:00.0), and Princess Bliss ($10.60, 1:54.4).   Blows Me Away nearly gave Fluet a fifth win on the card, but the pair were outkicked by Aint Got a Home and Aaron Byron in the final yards of the evening's eighth event.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 6) evening, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Tiamo (Artiscape-Incredible Sharon), who had won seven of the last nine at Saratoga Harness, and driver Mark Beckwith had to wait patiently for some racing room in the $9,000 Thursday night feature at Vernon Downs, but that wait was worth it. She worked her way loose in the stretch and exploded down the lane to win in a final time of 1:51.3.   Seascape Hanover (Aaron Byron) cut fast early fractions with a quarter of 26.2 seconds, a 55 second half, and three-quarters in 1:23, but she couldn't hold her lead in the stretch and faded to finish third. Love You Bye (Truman Gale) had stalked the leader from the pocket throughout the mile and was first to pass her, but once Tiamo got going she was much the best.   Tiamo had been pinned in at the pylons as the field made the stretch, but an opening developed and once clear, the race was essentially over.   Tiamo is owned by George and Heather Zitone of Montague, New Jersey. The trainer is Melissa Beckwith.   The complete order of finish was: Tiamo, Love You Bye, Seascape Hanover, Ugly Betty, Oceans Motion, R U Ideal.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Friday night with an 11-race program. The seventh will be the feature, a $10,000 Open I Trot, with a field of eight entered. The 5-2 morning line favorite is A Penny Earned, who won the Jack Bailey Memorial last out at Vernon Downs on August 29th. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Batavia, NY---It was bombs-away at Batavia Downs Sunday (Aug. 31) when the heavily favored Major Dancer came up just short at the wire as 40-1 Ken Doll J pulled the surprise in a $39,900 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Off the gate Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) took an uncontested lead around the turn and up the backside before the 1-2 Major Dancer (Jonathan Drury) rushed and took over the top as they hit the quarter in :27.1. After a pedestrian second split of :30.1, Table Talk (Jim Morrill Jr.) started the outer flow and Ken Doll J (Aaron Byron) followed in swift fashion. Feeling the heat, Drury stepped on the gas and tried to pull away to the three-quarters with a :28 flat third panel. But the strategy was ineffective as the chasing pair continued to make up ground through the turn and into the stretch. From that point on it was a real horse race with a tiring Major Dancer coming back to Table Talk, who was outside of her and Ken Doll J, who was three-wide. When they hit the wire, Ken Doll J just got up in the final stride to win in 1:54 and light up the board. The winner paid $83.00. Table Talk was second and Major Dancer hung on to be third. This was the second win of the year for Ken Doll J (Bettor's Delight-Normajeankillean) and also a seasonal mark. The victory brought her earnings up to $74,882 for owner Ken Jacobs. Ken Doll J is trained by Linda Toscano. After the race, Byron said "Everything just worked out. I got a great trip and I didn't really have to do much to half. The filly was real good down the lane." In the first $39,900 division, Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the beneficiary of a patient steer and came away with a three-quarter length victory as a result. Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald) flew off the wings and led the field through a quick and gapped :27 quarter in post-position order. The story remained the same to the half in :56.3 when Carlota Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) pulled and tried to apply some heat. She was only able to get up to third on the outside before stalling with two other horses behind her at the three-quarters in 1:25. When the outer flow faded around the last turn it allowed the rail-riding Barefoot Beauty (Jimmy Whittemore) to come off the pylons and that in turn left a spot for Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) to shoot up inside. At the head of the stretch, the bearing-out Up Front Elizabeth was in the middle with Barefoot Beauty to her right and Just Add Vodka to her left. The three battled to the wire with Just Add Vodka getting the advantage at the end to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. Barefoot Beauty was second and Up Front Elizabeth was third. It was the third win of the year for the Julie Miller trained filly that also happened to be a new lifetime mark. The victory boosted the seasonal earnings of Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) to $94,233 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Steven Demeter, Herbert Burns III and Nahuel Agosti. Morrill praised both the horse and trainer saying "I can't believe how much better she was today. Julie did a great job getting her ready." In the second $39,200 split, Spreester (Jason Bartlett) made quick work of a short field and two breaking horses to register a five-length romp in the fastest of the three divisions. As the field went into the first turn, Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) made an uncharacteristic break and watched as the rest of the field pulled away. Sky Artist (Kevin Cummings) was on the point but Medusa (Aaron Byron) was pushing the issue outside at the quarter in :26.4. But Medusa appeared to get foul-gaited and Byron took her back to the wood fourth. Then Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from second to challenge but also made a break before the half in :56.1. So with two of the three favorite guilty of miscues, Spreester, who had been sitting second through it all, pulled past the five-eighths, circled and cleared the leader before they hit the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. When she got back to the pylons, Bartlett popped the plugs and became a passenger as Spreester shifted gears and simply paced away from everybody. She hit the wire a five-length wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3. The winner paid $5.60 to her supporters. Delightful Dragon recovered from the early break to be second and Sky Artist hung on for third. This was the sixth win in 14 starts for Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) and the Paul Zabielski trained filly topped off her bank at $134,680. Spreester is owned by Kimberly Zabielski. Bartlett commented "I really didn't want to sit in the two-hole but they kept blowing up around me. She just exploded down the lane." The results of today's NYSS contests were important in the point's standings leading into the Night of Champions finals. Spreester took over the top spot, Just Add Vodka moved from fifth to third and Ken Doll J vaulted herself from twelfth to seventh. There was also an Excelsior leg contested and was won by Expose who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:56.3. The winner paid $6.80. Expose is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Linwood Higgins, Stake Your Claim Stable, Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered a four-win afternoon and Mark MacDonald scored a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 1) with a special Labor Day matinee card slated to start at 1:15. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 31) the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing fillies come to town to compete for their cut of $119,000 in purses. The group is highlighted by Major Dancer (Art Major-Two Steppin' Sally), who is currently the fourth highest money earning 3-year-old pacing filly in North America with $201,644 in the bank. She is a seven-time winner in twelve attempts and has only finished out of the money once this year. She won the $46,248 Town Pro stake at Mohawk Raceway earlier this year in her lifetime best time of 1:51.2 as well as an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs in 1:51.4. She finished second in the $244,875 final to Precocious Beauty in a 1:51.1 mile. Major Dancer will be driven by Jonathan Drury for trainer Casie Coleman. She is listed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the third $39,900 NYSS division carded as the eighth race that also features A La Notte Hanover driven by Matt Kakaley and Table Talk with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines. A La Notte Hanover (Art Major-All Night Long) starts for the powerful Ron Burke stable and is a two-time winner in 2014. She won her last outing at Yonkers in NYSS action with an impressive 1:55 wire-to-wire victory that brought her bankroll up to $87,733 for the year. She also competed in the Empire Breeders Classic and finished close despite having a lot of traffic to deal with in both of those races. Table Talk (Bettor's Delight-Place At The Table) took an early seasons mark of 1:51.4 at Mohawk and has competed in the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stake and $212,150 Mistletoe Shallee where she paced back-to-back 1:49 miles for driver Tim Tetrick. She has been plagued with some bad posts and a breaking issue of late but looks to be in a good spot here for trainer Brad Dalious. In the first $39,900 division carded as the fourth race, Ron Burke and Julie Miller have the one-two punch going to post. Burke sends out Jaded Dream and Miller counters with Just Add Vodka. Jaded Dream (If I Can Dream-Jaded Gal) put forth a handy effort at Yonkers in her last, winning a NYSS leg there in 1:54.4. It was a welcome sight after a series of poor post draws and the resulting tough trips. She has three wins in 13 starts and $62,586 in the bank. Matt Kakaley is back in the bike behind her for the first time since June 18. Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) only has two wins this year but has been consistently in the money; 13 out of 16 starts and that made her $74,283 for the year. Her mark of 1:55.3 was at Monticello but she has paced considerably faster than that in defeat on several occasions. Jim Morrill Jr. who has driven her several times over the summer gets the assignment. The second $39,200 division which goes as the seventh race has three very tough competitors going post-ward and looks to be the most closely contested event. It features the first, second and fourth leading points leaders for this sex and gait in the NYSS this year. Blush Hanover (Art Major-Brissonte Hanover) currently tops the leader board and comes into this race sporting five 2014 wins for trainer Linda Toscano. She finished a strong third in the Empire Breeders Classic final after a very rough parked-out trip. She has a 1:52 mark at the Meadowlands and has only failed to hit the board once out of 14 starts this year. Her $168,831 in earnings is tops in this field and she looks to add to that total in here with Jim Morrill Jr. at the helm. Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) is second in points despite also having recorded five victories. This filly can race on the front or from behind and that versatility makes her a formidable foe. Her $115,080 in earnings is also second highest in the field and driver Jason Bartlett who has driven this filly twice before with winning outcomes, opted to driver her today for trainer Paul Zabielski after having been down to steer two horses in this same race. Medusa (Bettor's Delight-Mythical) ranks fourth in points among the group but is not that far behind the leaders. She has seven wins in 14 starts and $102,723 stashed away. The Paul Kelley trainee has a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs and also had two good efforts in the Empire Breeders Classic races. Tioga Downs regular Aaron Byron gets the drive tonight from Tim Tetrick who had been at the lines for her last three starts. Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15. Batavia Downs also has a special Labor Day matinee 12-race card on tap for Monday (Sept. 1) with a 1:15 post. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Sustaining a first-over push to the fore before holding off the late-charging Pan Luis Obispo, Dirty Girty ($17.60) proved a 1:52 upset winner in Friday (August 29) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Western Terror mare tracked pacesetters Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56 half mile before commencing her first-over bid on the backstretch.   After nudging 2-1 second choice Inittowinafortune along through a :27.2 third quarter, Dirty Girty turned up the pressure, taking the lead off the far turn and edging clear to a two-length margin in upper stretch.   She dug in late to stave off the hard-closing 4-5 favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Jim Meittinis), with the ground-saving Southwind Trini (Corey Braden) staying on for third.   Mike Merton handled the driving duties aboard Dirty Girty for owner-trainer James Clouser, Jr.   Racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (August 30) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 

Driver Aaron Byron had the hot hand at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 22) evening, taking five of the evening's ten races. Among his triumphs was a 1:52.1 win in the $15,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace with Inittowinafortune ($6.20).   After establishing the lead with the four-year-old Cams Fortune mare, Byron yielded to the pocket, allowing Southwind Trini (Jim Meittinis) to set steady fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:24. With the first-over De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) fading on the approach to the far turn, and even-money favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Vinny Ginsburg) commencing a three-wide bid off stalled cover,   Byron was able to wedge out of the pocket with Inittowinafortune. The Michael Russo trainee struck the front in the final sixteenth, driven clear to a 1-1/2 length win over Southwind Trini. Pan Luis Obispo stayed on for third.   Byron also teamed up with Odds On Aventure (1:54), Belle Boyd (1:53.3), Shutthefrontdoor (1:54.1), and Rompaway Brandon (1:57.1) to complete his quintet of wins on the evening.   Live racing returns to Tioga with a 12-race card on Saturday (August 23). Post time is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

The $10,000 Open Pace feature at Vernon Downs on Thursday night came down to a photo finish that was won by Seascape Hanover (Camluck-Skateboard) in a final time of 1:51.3.   The hard-luck runner-up was Ugly Betty (John Macdonald), who had led from the outset of the race. The fractions were fairly quick with a quarter of 26.1 seconds, the half covered in 55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Ugly Betty showed no signs of fatigue in the stretch though after setting that snappy pace.   Seascape Hanover (Aaron Byron) had a perfect trip In The Pocket behind the leader and tipped outside on the far turn. She managed to wear down Ugly Betty through the stretch and just got her nose on the wire in time for the victory.   Upfront Secret (Chris Lems) was first-over on the backstretch, but her rally stalled as the field reached the far turn. This forced Asset Management (Fern Paquet Jr.), who was second-over, three-wide. Asset Management still was able to close well enough to finish third. The complete order of finish was: Seascape Hanover, Ugly Betty, Asset Management, Table Games, Artic Byrd, Love You Bye, and Upfront Secret.   Seascape Hanover is owned by Tessa Roland of Grinnell, Iowa and Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, New York. The trainer is Mario Dessureault. The win on Thursday night was the fourth win in the last five starts at Vernon Downs for Seascape Hanover.   Live racing at Vernon Downs will resume on Friday night with a 12-race program that includes two New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The purse for each division will be $59,100. The program also includes two New York Excelsior "A" Series races and three New York Excelsior "B" Series races. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Sweeping three-wide on the backstretch to pounce on a pressured pace, Pan Luis Obispo ($6.00) drew off for a 4-1/4 length win in Friday (August 15) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   Vinny Ginsburg kept the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare well off a :54.2 first-half battle between Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and Keystone Wanda (Corey Braden), moving a closer second-over on the backstretch before making a three-wide push past the fading Keystone Wanda. Pan Luis Obispo continued into the lead at the apex of the far turn, taking over from a softened up Inittowinafortune past a 1:22.3 three-quarter split. She drew clear of her six rivals at will through the stretch, keeping pocket rival Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) 4-1/4 lengths at bay for a 1:51.2 triumph. Cloris Hanover (Brandon Simpson) was an even--but all-out--third off her ground-saving trip.   Robert Bresnahan trains Pan Luis Obispo for winning owner Robert Bresnahan, Jr.   While only able to muster a second-place finish in the featured event, leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. registered a Friday night grand slam, winning with R U Ideal (1:54.1), O Narutac Rockette (1:54.4), Wallstreet Hanover (1:58.4), and Winbak Heavenly (1:53.2).   Live racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (August 16) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Enjoying a pocket trip behind May Day, the Wiz Kids Stable's Golden Gun ($42.60) proved an upset winner in Monday (August 11) evening's $15,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs, splitting harness racing foes to prevail by a scant neck in 1:51.1.   After a strong dispatch, the four-year-old Headmaster gelding yielded the lead to a headstrong May Day (Mike Merton), tracking through a :56.2 middle half breather after a harrowing :26.1 initial quarter. With Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) unable to sustain his first-over bid and even-money favorite Bet on the Law (Joe Pavia, Jr.) forced four-wide in his rally on the far turn, John Cummings, Jr. angled Golden Gun out of the pocket off the corner, taking over in deep stretch. While Bet on the Law sustained a strong late kick, the extra ground proved too much, as he just missed with his stand-side charge. Dull Roar (Aaron Byron) stayed on well off a three-wide bid to hold third.   Jeff Sorenson trains Golden Gun, who prevailed at double-digit odds for the second time this season.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 15) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Fresh off a pair of harness racing open wins at Saratoga, Obrigado ($8.70) pounced from a rated tracking trip to take the $15,000 Open Trot on Saturday (August 9) at Tioga Downs, equalling the all-age track record of 1:52.3 in the act.   From the outset, Aaron Byron kept the four-year-old Boy Band gelding well off an ambitious pace set by Wisenheimer (Jim Marohn, Jr.), only starting to move a closer second on the far turn after a 1:23.2 three-quarter split. While pressing on the far turn, Obrigado gained into a joint lead coming to the top of the stretch, driven out in the final sixteenth to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Macs Bad Boy (Mike Simons) rallied off a stalking trip to narrowly take second from Wisenheimer, while odds-on favorite Traverse Seelster (Brandon Simpson) simply had too far to rally, finishing fourth.   The mark, shared by Manningly and Autumn Escapade, also gave Obrigado outright ownership of the track record for four-year-old trotting geldings, eclipsing the past record of 1:54.3 shared by Martino and Brookroad Knight.   Trainer Paul Kelley co-owns Obrigado with the partnership of Higgins, Weaver, and Stable 45.   Later in the card, Pan Luis Obispo ($13.20) sustained a first-over bid to prevail in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace, wearing down Inittowinafortune in 1:51.4. Vinny Ginsburg handled the driving duties of the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare for trainer Robert Bresnahan and owner Robert Bresnahan, Jr.   Live racing resumes on Sunday (August 10) afternoon, with a stakes-laden program headlined by the finals of the Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired three-year-old pacers. Post time is 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

After enjoying a cozy pocket trip, Stitch in Time ($19.20) made a late push to the fore, collaring 6-5 favorite Wisenheimer to take the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 2) evening.   Brandon Simpson floated forward with the four-year-old Keystone Nordic gelding, settling behind House Money (Aaron Byron) on the first turn. As Wisenheimer brushed to the fore through a :28 first quarter, House Money broke stride, enabling Stitch in Time to inherit the pocket with just over a circuit to go. The two would continue as an uncontested leading pair throughout, but Stitch in Time was able to benefit from his tracking trip in the final eighth. Off the far turn, Simpson angled him wide, and the response was instant. Stitch in Time wore down Wisenheimer, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) was carried to the grandstand side off a stalking trip, staying on for third.   Amber Buter trains Stitch in Time for owners Lynette Buter, Carol Fuhs, and William Fuhs.   Racing returns to Tioga with a stakes-filled Sunday (August 3) afternoon card. The 13-race pari-mutuel program is slated for a 1:30 p.m. EDT start, with a pair of non-wagering events to commence a half-hour earlier.   by James Witherite

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