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WOODSTOCK, VA --- The14-year-old A Fool For Mark, the 2011 Horse of the Meet at Colonial Downs, put a punctuation mark on his return to Virginia by wiring the harness racing field for his 81st win today (Friday) at Shenandoah Downs.   Dustin Ingraham's Western Ideal gelding beat six other pacers in a $4,000 claiming handicap in his 414th career start.   With Jim Meittinis in the sulky, the veteran gelding held off Lyons Johnny in deep stretch to win by one-half length. He cut fractions of :28.0, :57 4/5 and 1:26 2/5 and finished in 1:55 4/5, second fastest time of the day. The runner-up, a 12-year-old Mach Three gelding who was making his 265th start, stalked in second through most of the last half.   A Fool For Mark has bankrolled $322,863 from 39 seconds and 68 third place finishes in addition to the 81 wins. His life mark of 1:49 3/5 came as a 7-year-old at Pocono. He finished second last Friday on the Woodstock oval's opening day, his first start in Virginia since 2014.   Fastest time of the day was authored by another of Ingraham's horses --- Movie Star --- also driven by Meittinis. The four-year-old Ponder gelding crossed in a lifetime best 1:54 1/5 after passing Fritzie Pic Up Man and Cirrus De Vie in the stretch. He crossed one-half length the best for his sixth lifetime win.   Shenandoah Downs presents a 15-race card Saturday with first post at 1:00 PM. Live streaming is available at   by Darrell Wood, for Shenandoah Downs

Tag Up And Go (Mike Merton) was victorious in the featured harness racing Open Trot Handicap ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (May 11). Tag Up And Go ($7.40) went to the front and never looked back. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro, he put up all the fractions (:27.3, :58.2, 1:26.3, 1:55.1) to win gate-to-wire. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) charged late to finish second. Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) was third best. Tag Up And Go is a 9-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. It was win number five on the season. He now owns 44 career wins. Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) charges late to take the featured Fillies & Mares Open Pace ($12,000). January A (Mike Merton) took the lead to a quarter of :27.2. Hp Sissy (Jim Meittinis) took over and led them to a half of :55.0 and to three-quarters in 1:23.0. Truth And Liberty ($7.70), who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, was fifth at the top of the stretch. She came flying down the stretch to wear down second place finisher Hp Sissy to win in 1:55.2. Family Roll Call (Aaron Byron) finished third. Truth And Liberty is a 7-year-old mare by Total Truth. The win was her second in 2019. She now has 37 career victories. Truth And Liberty                                                 ---Photo by Fred Brown Mike Simons won two more on the night. He got his other wins with Oneida Blue Chip ($2.90), and Bob N Tony ($6.50). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (May 12) with an 11 race card starting at 1 p.m. All mothers will receive a free rose while supplies last. For more information go to Photos by Fred Brown   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Pompano Beach, FL...April 15, 2019...Casimir Richie P, made his 2019 harness racing debut a successful one at Pompano Park on Sunday night, April 14, as four year-old son of Astronomical got picture perfect handling from Wally Hennessey to score in 1:51.2 in the $13,000 Open Pace. His winning margin was three-parts-of-a-length over the pacesetting American Hustle, driven by Bryce Fenn, who sliced through panels of :26.4, :55 and 1:23.4 before being out-kicked in the final yards by Casimir Richie P, was in the garden seat all with away after zooming off the wings at the start before yielding around the opening bend. Cenutry Endeaver, with Cory Braden, in the bike, was next, after closing quickest of all--:27.1--once they straightened away for the drive home. Caviart Reagan and Prairie Panther picked up the final two awards in the classy sextet. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey lamented, "Doc (Ian) Moore said he's trained really well coming up to this race, qualified superbly and is ready to be driven aggressively, even though it's his first start." "This wasn't a case of Bryce's horse quitting--he was very game--it was just that we had the trip and squeaked on by " Dr. Moore co-owns the winner along with Michael Goldberg with the win inflating his career earnings to $118,191 with the victory. Off at 4 to 5 on the tote-board, Casimir Richie P paid $3.60 to his multitude of faithful. In other action, Rebellious, known for his ability to turn on the afterburners at the end of his miles, did so in a five-eighths mile "Dash for the Cash" event, scoring for Jim Meittinis in 1:08.1 after a brave first over journey. This five year-old altered son of Mach Three wore down the favored Four Socks (Hennessey) after fractions of :27.2 and :55.2, pacing his final eighth mile in :12.3 (a 1:40.4 mile rate) to earn the one length victory. Beach Pro (Aaron Byron) finished third over Panocchio and Dinky Dune in the quintet. Rebellious is trained by MIke Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner, and earned his second win of the semester in eight starts to send his 2019 bankroll to $18,600. Lifetime, Rebellious has earnings of $173,441. Off as the second choice at 5 to 2, Rebellious paid $7.00 to win. In an oddity of sorts, driver Roy Dinges had a driving double on the card with his first winner, Thundercrest, off at odds of 1 to 10 and his next winner, Power and Faith, off at 10 to 1. Dinges drove the heavily favored Thundercrest ($2.20) to a handy gate-to-wire win in 1:59, scoring over Miss Flora (Mario Dessureault) and Kegler Hanover (Leon Cable) to earn his third win of the year in 16 starts. Power And Faith ($22.60) went a courageous journey in scoring for Roy in 1:58.3, after fighting back the challenge of Smart Flight (Steve Oldford) around the final turn and Stardust Memories (Leon Cable) in deep stretch to earn thnod over the latter. Smart Flight did manage to finish third. Power And Faith is trained by George Coblentz for owner Don Brainard. Both events were part of the Florida Amateur Driving Club festivities featuring four events. Security Guard ($11.60) and Fire In My Heart ($2.60) won the other two divisions--both driven by Dein Spriggs, who swept the early Daily Double ($36.80). The F.A.D.C. capped off the festivities when donations to "Go For The Green," an organization empowered by women in their quest to fight breast cancer, and The Hall of Fame and Museum in Goshen, New York. The club has donated well over $200,000 to worthy causes since their inception. Racing continues on Monday night with the Super Hi-5 Jackpot carryover bursting through the $100,000 barrier--$101,403.12--to be precise. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

BJ Lorado (Jim Meittinis) cruises to victory in the Tioga Downs featured trot ($10,000) on Saturday (August 25). BJ Lorado ($6.00) hit the first quarter in 27.0. and then was first to the halfway marker in :57.3. Trained by Marc Major for Owners Michael and Diane Norcross, he let loose in the backstretch leading by four lengths as he hit three quarters in 1:25.2. He would cross the finish line in 1:55.2 Cashahallic (Corey Braden) would chase the whole way to finish second. Zaraze (Bruce Clarke) would be third best. BJ Lorado is a 4-year-old gelding by Bo W. He won for the second straight time and seventh time this season. He captured his 11th career victory. Mike Merton had three driving wins on the night. He won with Vicki All ($6.40), Tropical Trice ($3.60), and Hurricane Howard ($11.20). Trainers Gary Messenger and Mike Deters continue to battle it out for the Trainers win title. Messenger currently leads with 33 wins so far this meet. Deters is two behind with 31 trips to the winner's circle. Joe Skowyra is third with 17 wins. Patti Harmon is in fourth with 17 tallies. Marc Major is fifth with 15 wins. It is Corntastic weekend at Tioga. Bill Stepanosky won the popular corn eating contest. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (August 26) featuring W.N. Memorial Reynold for both freshman pacers and trotters. Post time for the 12 race card is 1:00 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Harness Driver Jim Meittinis captured his 2000th career victory with Rebellious, in the Open Pace ($11,000) at Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 22). Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart Jr.) took them to the first quarter in :27.4. Rebellious ($2.90) went first over from third as they went by the stands for the first time. Owned by Joel Warner and trainer Mike Deters, he controlled the rest of the fractions (:56.3, 1:24.1, 1:51.2). Once they reached the top of the stretch, win 2000 was in the bag. Rebellious found another gear and left second place finisher Believe This Bob (Aaron Byron) in his dust. Bettorsluckstreak settled for third. Rebellious is a 4-year-old gelding by Mach Three. It was his 10th win this season and career victory number 14. Meittinis got his very first win in 1987. He now leads all drivers in wins at Tioga Downs this season with 36. He has one more win than Aaron Byron. Driver Mike Merton and trainer Patti Harmon combined for two wins on the day. They won with Mister Special T ($5.10) and R M Backhawk ($5.60). Andy Santeramo had a driving double as well, with You Said It ($16.00) and Team Captain ($7.00). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 27) at 6:15 p.m. There will be no racing on Saturday (July 28) because of the Wynonna and The Big Noise concert. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs cancelled the Saturday (July 14) race card after five races due to inclement weather.   Driver Jim Meittinis and trainer Mike Deters combined for two wins on the evening.   Their first win was with Doo Wop Hanover ($2.50), he charged late to win in 1:54.2. The 7-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Peter Blood and Rick Berks. It was his fourth win of 2018 and it was career victory number 18.   Their second win came with Ideal Feeling ($2.30) winning in 1:55.3. The 3-year-old colt by American Ideal is owned by Rick Berks. He won for the second time this season and for the third time in his career.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 15) with a 13 race card starting at 1 p.m. Three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) will take center stage.   For more information go to   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Harness racing pacer Rebellious (Jim Meittinis) takes the Tioga Downs Open ($12,000) on Sunday (July 1). Time Out I'm Tired (Mike Merton) went to the front and carried them to the half (:28.2, :57.3). Sir Ziggy's Z Tam would have a slight lead after hitting three-quarters in 1:25.3. Time Out I'm Tired reclaimed the lead by two lengths at the top of the stretch.   Rebellious ($6.00) was sixth at the top of the stretch but faster than a speeding bullet. he flew by to win in 1:52.2. Time Out I'm Tired settled for second best with Caviart Reagan finishing third.   Rebellious is a 4-year-old gelding by Mach Three. Owned by Joel Warner and trainer Mike Deters, he won for the eighth time this season. It was career win number 12. After the first day of July, the drivers win title remains wide open. Aaron Byron and Jim Meittinis are tied for first with 29 wins each. Jim Taggart Jr is third with 27 wins just one ahead of Mike Merton's 26 wins. Defending Champion Mike Simons and Andy Santeramo are tied for fifth with 18 wins a piece. Gary Messenger leads all trainers with 21 wins. Defending Champion Mike Deters is second with 17 victories. Joe Skowyra is third with 13 trips to the winner's circle. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a special eight race card on Wednesday (July 4) starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) wins the featured Open Trot ($12,000) on Saturday night (May 26). Buff (Mike Merton) put up all the early fractions (:28.1, :56.1, 1:24.1). Prairie Fortune ($3.30), who is owned by Laurie Poulin, and trainer Mike Deters, went first over just before three-quarters. He zoomed by and took over at the top of the stretch and held off a late rush by second place finisher Ticket To Seattle (John Cummings Jr.) to win in 1:56.1. Dragin The Wagon finished third. Prairie Fortune is a 6-year-old horse by Arapa Victory. It was his fifth win this season and the42nd victory for his career. Meittinis and Deters also teamed up to win with Prairie Diamonds ($11.80). She is a 4-year-old mare by Diamond Goal. She picked up career win number 11. Meittinis picked up his third win of the night with Noble Anthony ($7.00). Congratulations to harness driver Bryan Anderson as he capture his first driving win with Pleaspleaspleas ($12.00). Anderson also trains the horse for owner Robert Zaykian. The 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass won for the first time in 10 career starts. Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a special Sunday night (May 27) performance. The 10 race card starts at 6:15. Tioga Downs will celebrate Memorial Day a day early. There will be a special hat giveaway with fireworks following live racing. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 15, 2018...Pompano Park offered a pair of $17,000 memorial trotting events on Wednesday night honoring the memory of two harness racing longtime horsemen, Fred Cohen and Paul Bernardo. Ironically, both events, carded at the added distance of 1 1/4 miles, went to residents of the Mike Deters Stable--Second Sister and Prairie Fortune--with both driven to victory by the "Cardiac Kid," Jim Meittinis. Second Sister, a six year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, was given a picture perfect drive by Meittinis to score a win measuring 2 1/4 lengths over Vicki All, handled by J.D. Yoder with Diamond Dagger, last turning for home, rallying for third under the direction of Andy Shetler. Celebrity Artemis finished fourth while Explosive Jet picked up the minor award in the classy septet. At the outset, She's All In burst off the wings from post six for the early lead with Second Sister, leaving from post five, also leaving with alacrity to settle in the garden spot. With tepid panels of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28, Meittinis left his cozy pocket to take command on the backside the final time and, after reaching the mile marker in 1:57.3, used a :29.4. final panel to score the handy win. About 25 minutes later, Prairie Fortune, the six year-old gelded son of Arapa Victory, went behind the Hummer Starting Gate with the "Cardiac Kid" in his bike and, at the end of his 10 furlong event, found himself the victor by 1 3/4 lengths over the late charging Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey. The even-money favorite, Born To Thrive (Rick Plano) was a fast closing third but made a miscue deep in the lane and was placed last, leaving Foundonabeach third for John MacDonald and Lucid Thoughts and Zoraze picking up the minors in this octet. In that one, it was Foundonabeach first away with Zoraze a cozy second, Uncle Hanover third and Boli fourth, finding a good spot after leaving from post six. Meanwhile, Prairie Fortune dawdled near the back of the pack with Meittinis now questioning his own strategy after tepid opening panels of :29.2 and 1:00. "Yeah," Meittinis said, "when I saw the half in a minute, I thought I was in trouble." But the tempo quickly quickened with a :27.4 third panel as Robbie Hoffman sent his Overnight Shipper on a speed binge to take command. By now, Prairie Fortune was in high gear from the back and on a double-bubble binge of his own, reaching fourth, less than three lengths off the lead. Straightening away for the drive home, Prairie Fortune sprinted on by, holding off Boli, who only found racing room when it was too late to do damage to the winner. "He raced great," Meittinis continued, saying, "He (Prairie Fortune) can sprint forever and I thought the added distance would help his cause. But, like I said, I was worried about that 1:00 half. "As for Second Sister, well, there wasn't much happening leaving the gate so I thought I'd try and get her in a good spot early. It was a dream trip for her. "By the way, credit must be given to trainer Mike Deters because he always has them ready to compete at the highest level. And those caretakers he has are absolutely fantastic. Donna (Horly) takes care of Second Sister and Debbie (Gray-Gagnon) and Richard (Young) take care of Prairie Fortune and, believe me, you won't find any better." Trainer Mike Deters was especially gratified with the wins saying, "I was choked up with tears in the winner's circle with these two races. Fred (Cohen) and Paul (Bernardo) were both close friends of mine and this, indeed, is a night I will never forget. I miss them!" Summarizing, Second Sister won for the second time this year in eight attempts with her 2-1-2 scorecard good for $21,000 for owner Jerald Hawks. She's banked $384,299 lifetime. Off at 8 to 5, she paid $5.40 to win. Prairie Fortune won for the 40th time in his career in 93 starts with his earnings now standing at $311.360 for--$23,320 this semester on the strength of his 3-1-1 record in eight starts for Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin. Off as fourth choice at 7 to 1, he rewarded his faithful with a $17.00 mutual. Racing continues of a four night per week schedule--Sunday through Wednesday with the Sunday card featuring a carryover in the Super Hi-5 of $29,330.30. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) charges late to win the Open II Trot Handicap ($10,000), at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 2). Winemaster Hanover (Mike Simons), would grab the lead and control all the early fractions :27.3, :57.0, 1:25.1. Zoraze (Fern Paquet Jr.) would take the lead in mid stretch but Praire Fortune (Arapa Victory) would go three wide and fly by to get the victory in 1:54.2. Zoraze would hang on for second with BJ Anthony (Mickey McNichol) would get the third spot. Prairie Fortune ($3.80), who is owned by Laurie Puolin and trainer Mike Deters, would win for the seventh time this year and earned career win number 34. Jim Taggart Jr. would pick up three driving wins on the night. First win was with Cool Breeze De Vie $3.90. Second victory came with J Black ($19.80) and the third win was with One Tough Nut ($5.20). There is no racing on Sunday (September 3) because of the Golden Boys concert. Live action returns on Monday (September 4) for a special Labor Day matinee beginning at 1 p.m. The 12 race card will be highlighted by two division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3 year-old pacing fillies. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs  

Dash Of Danger with harness racing driver Jim Meittinis in the bike won the featured pace ($9,000) at Tioga Downs on Monday (August 21) Dash Of Danger (Western Terror) would take over just before the first quarter and control all the fractions, :27.2, :57.0, 1:24.4, 1:52.3. The favorite Jacksrluckytoo (Mike Merton), would make a late charge but fall just short to finish second. Team Captain (Corey Braden ) would finish third. Dash Of Danger ($6.30) is owned by Richard Mishkin and trained by Jimmy Cruise Jr. The 4 year-old would win for the eighth time this season and the 14th time in his career. Red hot Jim Meittinis, would win two more on the night. First win came with R Chism ($9.40) and the last victory was with Ey Cowboy ($12.60). Joe Skowyra would get a training triple. First with Rebel Jet ($7.20) and driver Jim Taggart Jr. Second with Thespywholovedme ($37.20) and driver Aaron Byron. The last win was with Believe This Romeo ($43.40) and driver Mike Merton. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday night (August 25) at 6:50. It will Corntastic weekend at Tioga Downs. The racing card scheduled for Monday (August 28) is cancelled. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Morosita Bi (Jim Meittinis) wins the featured harness racing trot ($9,000), on Saturday night (August 12) at Tioga Downs. Can Do (Scott Coulter) would charge out to lead and own all the early fractions :28.3, :58.3, 1:27.1. Morosita Bi (Equinox Bi), who was the only mare in the race would follow from the the pocket. Leased and trained by Bruce Clarke, the 7 year-old would charge out of the pocket and take the lead at the top of the stretch. Morosita Bi ($6.90) would win her fourth straight in a time of 1:56.1. It was her 37th career victory. Can Do would hang on for second with Bjanthony (Mickey McNichol) taking third. Mike Merton would win three on the night. He would have victories with Heart Crusher $7.30), Grey Ice ($38.60), and A Crown For Lindy (3.10). "Megatoad" beats "Jaws". The Chicken Spiedie Eating Championship was held in a poring rain at Tioga (August 12). The rain didn't dampen the competitors. Spiedie eating world record holder, Matt "Megatoad" Stonie beat his own record by eating 25 and a half spidies and beating arch rival and Coney Island Hot Dog eating champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut. Tioga Downs returns to live action Sunday afternoon (August 13) with a 15 race card starting at 1pm. There will be a non-betting race at 12:45. The card features the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations for both sophomore pacing fillies and eliminations for their counterpart, colts and geldings. Also on the card is NYSS freshman trotting fillies. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) would charge late to steal Tioga Downs harness racing featured Open Trot ($10,000) on Saturday (July 29). Sweet Thing (Fern Paquet) would take the early lead and carve out all the early fractions, :27.2, :56.0, 1:24.1. Prairie Fortune (Arapa Victory) who is owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, would find himself fourth at the top of the stretch. Prairie Fortune ($9.80) would fly down the stretch and just nip Sweet Thing (second) at the wire. Dragin The Wagon would finish third. Prairie Fortune would win for the fifth time this season. The 5 year-old gelding would go to the winner's circle for the 33rd time in his career, equaling his lifetime best of 1:53.2. Jim Taggart Jr., steers big long shot Bad I Am (Prayer I Am) to victory. Bad I Am, who was dismissed at 51-1, came flying late in the stretch to overtake Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons) Bad I am ($104.50) is owned and trained by Timothy Collins. The 6 year-old gelding would win for the fourth time this season enjoying a lifetime mark of 1:57.0. Tioga Downs returns to live action on Sunday (July 30) with a 12 race card at 1 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs          

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) captured the featured Open Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday night. Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) would jump out to the early lead and cut out all the early fractions :28.1, :57.4, 1:25.4. The late running, Prairie Fortune (Arapa Victory) would find himself in fifth place at the halfway point. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, the 5 year-old gelding would go first- over at the middle of the back stretch. Prairie Fortune ($3.20) would have the lead by the top of the stretch and hold off a late bid by Picture This (Charlie Norris) to win for the fifth time this season in 1:54.1. Picture This would finish second with Dragin The Wagon holding on for third. For Meittinis it would be his second win of the evening. He would win with Lily's Swan Pond ($2.40) who finished in a dead heat victory with Yooooukilis ($5.20) and driver Jeff Long. Uriel (Explosive Matter) and Tony Dinges took the STAC Amateur race at Tioga Downs. Owned by Enos Van Stanhope III along with Dinges who also trains, the 6 year-old gelding would win gate-to-wire in 1:58.1 Uriel ($3.40 won for the second time this season. Yankee Manny (Mario Deessureault) would finish second. Thekeptman (Fred Cohen) was third. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (July 9) with a 13 race card beginning at 1p.m. For more information please go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Prairie Fortune ($4.10) stalked second-over cover en route to his third straight Open win in Saturday (July 30) evening's $11,000 harness racing featured trotting event at Tioga Downs.   The 4-year-old Arapa Victory gelding once again raced from off the pace, settling last but one in the initial stages as early pacesetter Dragin the Wagon (Fern Paquet, Jr.) yielded to Its Payday Friday (Ronnie Morales, III) after a :29 first quarter. Its Payday Friday accelerated mildly upon taking charge, forced to maintain that acceleration by the first-over Rossini (Scott Coulter) through a :57.1 middle half.   Rossini kept the pressure on in earnest through the far turn, and Prairie Fortune geared up upon cornering as he did in his two previous wins. Jim Meittinis worked Prairie Fortune to the fore just in time, prevailing by a neck over Dragin the Wagon--who re-emerged from the pocket--in 1:56.1 over sloppy going. Its Payday Friday was a worn-down third.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Fortune with Laurie Poulin.   In the $13,000 Summer Claiming Series final for pacing mares, Juxta Antz Pantz held sway for a 10-1 upset over Delta Dawn Hanover in 1:55.4. Kyle DiBenedetto vacated the pocket with the 4-year-old Four Starzzz Shark mare with a circuit to go to control the terms, ultimately held clear of the late-rallying Delta Dawn Hanover (Jim Taggart, Jr.) by a length. My Sweet Mandy (John Cummings, Jr.) rallied from far off the pace to take third, missing by 1-3/4 lengths. Daniel Gill trains Juxta Antz Pantz for owner Adam Friedland.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 31) afternoon, with the first of 12 races due off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Prairie Fortune ($4.90) mounted a bold three-wide push on the backstretch to circle his six harness racing rivals in Saturday (July 23) evening's $11,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs, dueling late with the first-over Rossini for his third Open-level win in four starts.   Jim Meittinis took the 4-year-old Arapa Victory gelding to last early on, letting DC Flashback (John Cummings, Jr.) and Dragin the Wagon (Corey Braden) alternate on the lead through early splits of :27.1 and :57.2. As Rossini (Scott Coulter) mounted a bold first-over push into Dragin the Wagon on approach to the backstretch, Prairie Fortune slid third-over before commencing his strong three-wide bid with three-eighths to go. The now 20-time winner worked into the lead midway on the far turn--but he wasn't home free.   Off the corner, Rossini battled back between horses once headed, leading briefly in mid-stretch. Prairie Fortune ultimately reclaimed command in the final yards, besting Rossini by a neck in 1:54.2. Dragin the Wagon was a worn-down third.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Fortune with breeder Laurie Poulin.   Fresh off his Friday grand slam, Mike Merton once again led all drivers for the evening, capturing three of the night's 10 races.   Live racing returns to Tioga with an 11-race card on Sunday; post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern. As no one hit tonight's 50¢ Pick 5, $243.60 will carry over into Sunday's Pick 5 pool.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

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