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A powerful :26.2 third quarter propelled Michael Pagonas's Inittowinafortune ($4.20) to back-to-back Open class wins at Tioga Downs, taking the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday (August 1) evening by a geared down three lengths.   The four-year-old Cams Fortune mare controlled the terms from the outset, pushing clear of Oceans Motion (Chuck Connor, Jr.) through a :27.1 first quarter before relaxing the pace into the clubhouse turn. On the backstretch, Inittowinafortune accelerated in earnest, but Oceans Motion did well to keep pace through the taxing third quarter, at which point Inittowinafortune was driven clear to a three-length advantage at head-stretch. The lead expanded to nearly five lengths with 100 yards to go, but Inittowinafortune was geared down late for a comfortable 1:52 win. Oceans Motion held second off a chasing effort, while Elleofnxample (Brandon Simpson) sustained a mild late bid to take third.   Aaron Byron handled the driving duties aboard Inittowinafortune for trainer Michael Russo. The win was one of four on the night for Byron, while leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. scored his fourth consecutive Tioga hat trick.   Live racing continues at Tioga on Saturday (August 2) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   Tioga Downs golf outing reminder   There is still room for participants in the 2014 Tioga Downs horsemen's golf outing, to be held on Saturday, August 9.   The golf outing will be contested in the four-man scramble format, and will take place at Pheasant Hills in Owego, New York with an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. A steak dinner and prize ceremony at the course will follow the golf outing. The tournament is free for all horsemen and owners. To sign up, please email Garrett Madison at gmadison@tiogadowns.com or call him at 607.699.7691.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 31, 2014-New York Sire Stakes continued downstate Thursday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the month-ending $200,900 Jim Meagher Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. The quintet of races honored the memory of the Raceway' long-time corporate controller, with his family making winner's circle presentations. Here's the skinny... First ($39,900) division-Odds-on Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance, $3.80), starting from post position No. 4, rolled from second-over in 1:56.1. Oneisalonelynumber (Jim Morrill Jr.) cut the mile and beaten a length-a-quarter. Play the Field (Yannick Gingras) was third. The winner, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Lachance for co-owners Hudson Standardbred and Conrad Leber, is now 2-for-2. Exacta...$10.80, triple (three wagering faves in order) ...$40.40 "He can settle, and once he gets going, he does kick in late," Lachance said. Second ($39,900) division-Bet You (Gingras, $2.70) fooled very few from post No. 6, going the distance in 1:56.4. We Think Alike (Jordan Stratton) was a best-of-rest second, with Maurice (Lachance) third. The winner, another son of Bettor's Delight trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Joyce McClelland, broke his maiden in his third career start. Exacta...$11.20, triple $6. "(Bet You) was ready early," Gingras-who baby-raced him three times-said, "I could have tucked third, but then I'd have to come first-up, so I just drove on." Third ($40,600) division-With 1-5 support going to the previously-perfect, pole-sitting Freedomformysoul (Morrill Jr.), it was second choice Cartoon Daddy (Gingras, $13)-from post No. 4--patrolling the pocket to Rockntouch (Brett Miller). He then ripped out of same to win by a couple of lengths in a life-best/night's-fastest 1:53.4. Lone Survivor (Eric Carlson) was second, with K Ryan Bluechip (Brian Sears) third and Berkley (Scott Zeron) fourth. As for Freedomformysoul, he was rank behind the gate, broke, rushed to catch the field, raced first-up, tired and eventually left the course. Nearly $8,500 of the $9,350 in the show pool went down with him. The winner, a son of Art Major co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Joe DiScala Jr., is now 3-for-4 this season. He rebounded from an odds-on break of his own in the final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. Exacta...$157, triple...$476, superfecta...$7,614. "Tonight was the first time I've driven him, but I've raced against him and I know he has the talent," Gingras said. Fourth ($39,900) division-Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter, $4.60), 13-10 here after a 78-1 win at Monticello, made one decisive move here. From post No. 2, he brushed to the lead at the quarter, then stormed home by 2¾ lengths in a life-best 1:55.2. Betting Exchange (Morrill Jr.) was second, with Suchasenseofhumor (Gingras) third. The winner, a homebred son of American Ideal owned by Rock&Roll Stable and trained by Rick Dane, has won two of his three first-season starts. Exacta...$26.60, triple...$56.50. "After he made the lead, he was just looking around for a horse to race," Buter said. Fifth ($40,600) division-Prices finished first and second, with Azorean Art (Morrill Jr., $40.60), from post No. 6, prevailing from second-over in a maiden-breaking 1:57.3. Nobettorplacetobe (Aaron Byron) was a pocket second at 45-1, with K-Rock (Gingras third). Sicily (Sears) faded to fourth at just-over even money. Exacta...$797, triple...$1,838, superfecta...$35,595 (base $2 payout). The winner, an Art Major colt, is trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners Christina Takter, Brixton Medical Ab, Hatfield Stables and Lothlorien. New York Sire Stakes continue Monday night, with $221,000 Joe Goldstein Trot (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Racway

Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs announce a new format for the 2014 Drivers' Championship, scheduled to take place on a pair of marquee race days at both New York courses. The first round will take place at Vernon Downs on Friday, August 29, along with the $200,000e Crawford Farms Open Trot and the Zweig Memorial Trot for three-year-olds. The second round is slated for Monday, September 1--three days later--at Tioga Downs, where the Drivers' Championship will share the spotlight with the Cane Pace, the Shady Daisy, and a preliminary leg of the Miss Versatility series for distaff trotters. Past years have seen the six top money-winning drivers in North America and a sponsor's exemption join the leading driver from both Tioga and Vernon, but the 2014 Drivers' Championship will implement a new means to compile the nine-driver field. This year, the leading drivers (by wins) at Tioga and Vernon will be joined by: - the top three (3) Meadowlands drivers (by purse earnings) - the top Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit driver - the top Harrah's Philadelphia/Pocono Downs driver - the top driver aged 25 or younger - a sponsor's exemption As of right now, the field would be comprised of Jim Marohn, Jr., Chris Lems, Yannick Gingras, David Miller, Tim Tetrick, Sylvain Filion, George Napolitano, Jr., Scott Zeron, and the sponsor's exemption. The field will be finalized according to drivers' statistics as of the close of racing on Sunday, August 3. As in past years, the overall winner takes home $25,000--equivalent to a driver's commission for winning a $1,000,000 race. Additionally, the leader at the conclusion of the first round wins $10,000. In addition to a slew of other giveaways and promotions, both tracks will host a Jim Marohn, Jr. bobblehead giveaway in conjuction with the Drivers' Championship to commemorate last year's winner. With a healthy lead over Aaron Byron in the Tioga Downs standings, the "Mighty Mite Part Two" is poised to defend his title. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

After being left to chase Prairie Jaguar in last week's pacing feature, Fireyourguns ($4.70) proved a decisive pace-setting 1:50.3 winner in Sunday (July 27) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding left strongly, withstanding early pressure from Tell Us More (Larry Stalbaum) and Golden Gun (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :55.0 half mile before sprinting clear on the backstretch.   Entering the far turn, Aaron Byron called upon Fireyourguns for his strongest burst of speed, and he kicked clear of his rivals to lead by nearly six lengths in upper stretch. While Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) was able to mount a late bid from off the pace to take second, Fireyourguns was taken in hand through the final 100 yards, prevailing by 2-3/4 lengths.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 1) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Taking full advantage of a cozy pocket trip, Wisenheimer ($8.10) found ample room up the inside to defeat Dough Dough in Saturday (July 26) evening's $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old Revenue gelding achieved the early lead, but driver Jim Marohn, Jr. quickly yielded to the pocket, allowing 6-5 favorite Dough Dough (Mike Simons) to handle the pacesetting duties. While I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) advanced two-wide to force a strong :57.0 middle half, Dough Dough accelerated to maintain her advantage.   After reaching the three-quarter split in 1:24.4, Dough Dough was able to dismiss the challenge of I Love New York, but was softened up by the steady pressure. In the final hundred yards, Wisenheimer found room at the pegs to strike the front, prevailing by just over a neck in 1:53.4. Dough Dough held second, while House Money (Aaron Byron) sustained a three-wide bid off the far turn to take third.   Jenny Melander leases and trains Wisenheimer, who is now a 13-time winner.   The drive aboard Wisenheimer was one of three winners on the evening for Marohn, who again took top driving honors on the card.   Live racing returns to Tioga with an 11-race Sunday program. First post is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Michael Pagonas's Inittowinafortune ($2.90) achieved an early lead and never looked back, scoring a decisive 3-3/4 length victory in Friday (July 25) evening's $14,000 Open Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Cams Fortune mare dueled briefly with Cloris Hanover (Brandon Simpson) before clearing the lead on the first turn en route to a sizzling :26.4 first quarter.   After Aaron Byron rated a :29.4 second quarter breather, the Michael Russo trainee sprinted away on the backstretch through a :27.0 third split, only to be chased in earnest by Cloris Hanover to the far turn. Inittowinafortune responded willingly to the pursuit, edging clear in the final 300 yards to win in 1:52.0.   Cloris Hanover was a clear second, while Dirty Girty (Mike Merton) sustained a late rally to narrowly take third from Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.).   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers on the card with three wins.   Live racing resumes on Saturday (July 26) evening, with the first of nine races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs   

Seascape Hanover (Camluck-Skateboard) claimed the $8,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Thursday night to extend her winning streak to three in the month of July.   This win, however, was a move up in company as she scored in an Open I pace and did it impressively, powering away from her competition in the lane to win by six lengths in 1:52. Seascape Hanover (Aaron Byron) took control before the field moved to the first turn and led the way through fractions of 27.2 for the quarter, 55.2 for the half, and 1:23.2 for three quarters.   Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) was second through the early stages before being passed by a first-over Oceans Motion (Brian Connor). However, Oceans Motion stalled in the stretch and Artic Byrd was able to get back into the second spot at the finish. The complete order of finish was: Seascape Hanover, Artic Byrd, Oceans Motion, Upfront Secret, and Always Flash-n.   Seascape Hanover is owned by Tessa Roland of Grinnell, Iowa and Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, New York. The trainer is Mario Dessureault.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a 10-race program. The 9th race is the $10,000 featured Open I Trot and the 3-1 morning line favorite is A Penny Earned, who is scheduled to be driven by Justin Huckabone. Post time on Friday night is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs Publicity

After an early tussle with Fireyourguns, Prairie Jaguar ($5.10) made the front and did not look back, kicking clear to a four-length win in Sunday (July 20) afternoon's harness racing featured $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   The six-year-old Spy Hard gelding found himself embroiled in an early speed duel, forcing Fireyourguns into the pocket through a :26.2 initial quarter. After a conservative second quarter, Jim Marohn, Jr. called upon Prairie Jaguar to accelerate up the backstretch, with 6-5 favorite Fireyourguns keeping pace nicely from the pocket through a 1:23 three-quarter split. On the far turn, Aaron Byron angled Fireyourguns to the outside to challenge, but Prairie Jaguar dug in all the more, sprinting clear for a four-length win in 1:50.4. Fireyourguns held second, while Golden Gun (Tyler Buter) stayed on for third off a tracking trip.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Jaguar with Laurie Lee Poulin.   The win was one of three on the day for Marohn, who also proved victorious aboard T's Electric (another Mike Deters trainee) and Will Kane.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (July 25) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

After a dominant 1:53.3 win in last week's sub-featured trotting event, Spice It Up Lindy ($6.50) sustained a first-over bid en route to a 1:54.3 triumph in Saturday (July 19) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   With the two mares in the field--As Ya'll Like It (Brandon Simpson) and Dough Dough (Mike Simons)--assuming the pacesetting duties with a circuit remaining and Spice It Up Lindy eight lengths off the lead while trailing the sextet, Jim Meittinis angled the 11-year-old SJ's Caviar gelding first-over, progressing steadily after a :57.1 half-mile and into a :27.4 third quarter.   On the far turn, Spice It Up Lindy turned up the pressure on As Ya'll Like It, taking the lead off the corner and kicking clear. In the final sixteenth, Dough Dough found room at the pegs to re-rally, but only got to within a length of Spice It Up Lindy. Mr Web Page (Aaron Byron) followed the winner's cover throughout, staying on for third.   Santo Zuzolo owns and trains Spice It Up Lindy, who scored his 30th career win.   The winning drive in the feature kicked off a hat trick on the evening for Meittinis, who tied Brandon Simpson with three driving wins on the night.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 20) afternoon, with the first of 11 races slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs    

Jaipur used a pocket trip to full advantage Friday night in winning the $9,000 Open Trot in 1:55. Sent off at 10-1 Jaipur (Conway Hall-Artemisia Ambrosio) followed the favorite House Money for three quarters of the mile before pulling pocket and notching his third win of the year. Alexandra Berube trains for owner Jerry Clark. Aaron Byron, Joe Nassimos, & Fern Paquet Jr registered driving doubles on the evening. HHYF (Harness Horse Youth Foundation) concluded its five day camp with two exhibition races Friday night. Mackenzie Rosenberg assisted by Claude Huckabone III & Rebecca Thomas assisted by Adam Capizzano was victorious. Other participants in the camp included Jacob Bouck, Cameron Gray, Andrew Lounsbury, Sophie Norton, and Danielle Stormes. HHYF now moves onto Pocono Downs. Vernon Downs offers a 10 race card Saturday evening with first post 6:45 pm. Destiny USA gift cards will be given away ranging from $100 up to $250. by Scott Warren, for Vernon Downs

After facing stout pressure in a :27.0 third quarter, Fireyourguns ($4.70) held sway in the stretch to take the featured $14,000 Open Pace on Sunday (July 13) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding wasted no time finding the top spot, clearing Bet On the Law (Tyler Buter) and Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn. After rating a :57.0 half-mile, Fireyourguns was pushed along up the backstretch by Bet On the Law, who vacated the pocket with three-eighths to go. He sustained his push through the far turn, forcing a three-quarter split of 1:24.0, but Fireyourguns was up for the task, digging in the whole way to protect his lead. He prevailed by a half-length in 1:53.0, holding off a stand-side charge from Prairie Jaguar, who angled three-wide off the late duel to take second. Bet On the Law stayed on for third.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The win aboard Fireyourguns was one of three on the day for driver Aaron Byron, who also teamed up with Cool Like Fire (1:55.4) and 46-1 longshot winner P H Thunder (1:56.2).   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers on the day with a grand slam, turning in victorious efforts with Hurricane Howard (1:54.4), Oh My Joepa (1:55.0), Jolly Lester (1:55.2), and Western Trademark (1:55.0).   Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Friday, July 18, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

While Aaron Byron scored a Saturday (July 12) night grand slam at Tioga Downs, he could only muster second honors in the evening's featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 Trot, as I Love New York ($18.40) dug in through the stretch to narrowly prevail.   The six-year-old Broadway Hall entire brushed to the lead after Obrigado (Aaron Byron) pushed clear in a :28.4 first quarter, rating a :57.4 middle half before facing pressure on the far turn. With 300 yards to go, I Love New York dug in to turn aside the first-over Stitch in Time (Jim Marohn, Jr.), and dug in late to stave off an inside rally from Obrigado, prevailing narrowly in 1:55.2. Trainer-driver Bruce Clarke co-owns I Love New York with John Coffey and Patricia Waldeck.   While I Love New York took top trotting honors on the night, Aaron Byron took top driving honors, teaming up with Muscles to Spare (1:57.3), B L Class Act (1:55.3), Joann's Princess (1:57.0), and Clearwater Hanover (1:55.1) for his quartet of wins on the card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs with an 11-race Sunday (July 13) afternoon card. First post is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Fireyourguns ($4.20) returned to his winning ways on Monday (July 7) evening, taking charge with a circuit to go and holding off a late challenge from JK Panache in the featured $14,000 Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding settled just off the pacesetting pair of JK Panache (Brandon Simpson) and Golden Gun (Corey Braden) before Aaron Byron brushed him to the fore after a :26.4 initial quarter. Upon making the front, Fireyourguns kept at a solid pace through a half mile of :55.1 before accelerating up the backstretch in a :27.1 third quarter. While Byron tried to get separation on his five rivals with the quickening tempo, JK Panache held firm In The Pocket through the far turn, angling wide to give chase in the stretch. Fireyourguns responded to the challenge, and held on for a one-length win in 1:50.2. JK Panache held second, while Golden Gun stayed on for third at 52-1 from his tracking trip.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 10) evening, with two-year-old trotting fillies taking center stage in New York Sire Stakes action. Post time for the 13-race card is 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media  

After controlling the terms throughout, War Cry Hall ($3.80) gave everything he had in the final hundred yards to prevail in Sunday (July 6) afternoon's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall wasted no time achieving the lead, sprinting clear of Marion Mayflower (Aaron Byron) and maintaining a steady yet strong pace through a :56.3 half mile. On the backstretch, In Your Room (Mike Simons) commenced a first-over rally, pushing War Cry Hall to his limit on the far turn. Through the stretch, Howard Parker called upon War Cry Hall for every last ounce of energy, and the favorite did not disappoint, digging in to stave off not only the persistent In Your Room, but a belated stand-side charge from Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter), who rallied strongly to take second.   Jim Raymer trains War Cry Hall for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (July 7), with the first of 11 races on the special weeknight card scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media  

Before a healthy Independence Day crowd, Antigua Hanover ($4.40) parried a late charge from Solid Queen to take the Friday (July 4) distaff feature at Tioga Downs.   The $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares featured a field of six, with Ideal Helen (John Cummings, Jr.) dictating the pace early after clearing from the extreme outside. After rating a :56.2 half mile, Brandon Simpson advanced first-over with 6-5 favorite Antigua Hanover. Midway up the backstretch, the four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare pushed clear of Ideal Helen, carrying Sinspirational (Aaron Byron) into second through a 1:24.3 three-quarter split. While edging clear by 1-3/4 lengths off the far turn, Antigua Hanover soon found herself in the sights of Solid Queen (Corey Braden), who rallied late off cover, but only could close to within a half length of Antigua Hanover's 1:53.3 victory.   V'la Faire (Mike Merton), also a beneficiary of late live cover, sustained a late bid to take third.   Amber Buter trains Antigua Hanover for Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter.   Racing resumes at Tioga with a Sunday (July 6) afternoon program. Post time for the 10-race card is slated for 1:30 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

The S & P Racing Stable's Jets Are On ($4.90) completed a series sweep in the $38,000 M&J Oil and Lube final for distaffers, while Sandbur Farms and Valarie Sutton's Nitro Seelster ($10.40) outsprinted a trio of Ron Burke trainees in the $46,000 Nichols True Value final on Sunday (June 29) afternoon's Tioga Downs program.   The two late closing series finals served as co-features on the 13-race card, with the M&J Oil and Lube final looking to be a showdown between preliminary winners Jets Are On and Godiva Seelster. Neither mare was prominent early, as Happy Apples (Matt Kakaley) and Evil Fight (Jeffrey Long) were embroiled in a cutthroat duel to a :54.4 half mile.   On the backstretch, Jets Are On swept three-wide, pushing to the lead into the far turn and drawing clear by five lengths at head-stretch. Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr.) sustained a late bid from farther back in the field, rallying well to take second, reducing Jets Are On's winning margin to two lengths in a 1:53.0 effort. Always Flash-n (Aaron Byron), who stalked from the pocket, was able to shake free from the fading pacesetters to save third.   Corey Braden drove Jets Are On for trainer Luanne Case.   In the Nichols True Value final for male pacers, Nitro Seelster sustained a bid off the live cover of Real Illusion (Brandon Simpson), edging clear of Ron Burke trainees Pappy's Pal (Matt Kakaley) and Shark Fantasy (Dan Charlino) while holding off a strong late charge from Agood Time to Rock (Dan Rawlings) en route to a 1:52.3 victory. Sean Bier tipped the four-year-old Camluck gelding off cover at head-stretch, pulling clear late for a two-length triumph.   Agood Time to Rock chased late after suffering an awkward start, re-rallying to just take second from his stablemates, the pocket-sitting Shark Fantasy and the pacesetting Pappy's Pal (third and fourth, respectively).   Doug Hamilton trains Nitro Seelster.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday evening, with the Independence Day card set to begin at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

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