Saturday's (Aug. 16) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Tioga Downs, Running Aces, Vernon Downs, Kawartha Downs and Batavia Downs.
Twin B Spike Man upsets in Tioga feature
Nichols, NY --- Sustaining a first-over push to wear down odds-on favorite Money On My Mind, Twin B Spike Man ($30.20) proved an upset winner in Saturday evening's $15,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs.
|Fred Brown photo|
|Twin B Spike Man was a 1:54.2 winner in the Tioga Open.|
As expected, Jim Marohn Jr. sent 1-5 favorite Money On My Mind to the fore, controlling a :56.4 first half-mile before facing pressure into the far turn. After reaching three-quarters in 1:25.2, Money On My Mind found himself bracing for the oncoming onslaught of the first-over Twin B Spike Man, who pushed to the fore at head-stretch.
With the favorite fading at the pegs, Twin B Spike Man was left to contend with a chasing Spice It Up Lindy (Jim Meittinis) in the final yards, holding sway for a half-length victory in 1:54.2. Stitch In Time (Brandon Simpson) stayed on well for third off a pocket trip.
Co-owner Mike Simons drove the 7-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding for trainer Gail Wrubel. Donald Eccleston and Albert Abdala III also share ownership of Twin B Spike Man. The win was one of three on the night for Simons, who also teamed up with Highland Yankee (1:56.3) and Magglio (1:56.3).
-- James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Flick A Fly established a new track record for sophomore pacing fillies on Saturday night at Running Aces, shaving two-fifths of a second off the old record established a year ago by Show Runner. The daughter of Voracious Hanover, owned by the Van Otterloo Stables, sat the pocket and took advantage of quick early fractions set by favored Delco Voracious, then closed with a :28.3 final panel to win the $13,000 race for Minnesota-sired colts and fillies in 1:52.1. Regular reinsman Rick Magee was in the sulky for trainer David Flinn. Stablemate Gravelsinmytravel (Steve Wiseman) finished second with Bunkerhill Bill (Gerry Longo) garnering the show dough. Country Jewel (Nick Roland) captured the $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace for the second straight week, edging Love Live Laugh (Tim Maier) and Blazing Fury (Magee) despite an outside post position. Owner-trainer George Reider purchased the Minnesota-sired 6-year-old mare privately two months ago and returned her to Minnesota where she has earned the bulk of her $100,000-plus career bankroll. She has responded with two wins and three place finishes in recent Open class competition and looms as a favorite in the older mares division when Minnesota State Championship Night brings the curtain down on the 2014 Running Aces season on Aug. 30. Veteran driver Lemoyne "Moonie" Svendsen won a $4,000 overnight race on Saturday with owner-trainer Mark Anderson's colt Prodigal. It was the 2,999th victory in the 55-year-old Svendsen's career. The Minnesota native, who has plied his trade on the Cal Expo-Running Aces circuit for the past several years, has seven drives as he seeks to reach the coveted 3,000 wins plateau when racing resumes Sunday night.
On what turned into a rainy, sloppy night at Vernon Downs, Royalist was a front-running winner in leg two of the Racing Under Saddle Series. Royalist (RC Royalty-Chocolatto Chip) was sent right to the front from the outside post by Michelle Crawford and the colt never looked back. He led through fractions of :29.1 for the quarter, 1:02 for the half and 1:33.1 for three-quarters. A challenge did materialize from Blue Boy Yankee (Kristina Smith), who pestered the leader throughout the final quarter-mile, but could never quite get by. The final time for the mile was 2:04.3. The complete order of finish was Royalist, Blue Boy Yankee, John-Michael, Vassar Hall, My Irish Molly and Kash Now. Royalist is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. and is trained by George Ducharme. The top point getters from the first two legs of the Racing Under Saddle Series at Vernon Downs will return for the $5,000 Final on Aug. 29. The featured pari-mutuel race of Saturday evening was the $6,500 seventh race. The winner was Moonlight Ransom (Artiscape-Windsun Caprice), driven by John MacDonald. This was the second win in a week for Moonlight Ransom. In similar fashion to the win on Aug. 9, Moonlight Ransom was a gate-to-wire winner. He led through snappy fractions over a sloppy track of :26.2 for the quarter, :56 for the half and 1:25.1 for three-quarters. The final time was 1:53. Market Force (Jimmy Whittemore) was forced four-wide at the top of the stretch and still managed to charge through the lane and win a close photo for second place. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) finished third.
Fans flocked to Kawartha Downs despite the adverse weather conditions and witnessed Bruno Michael notching his second straight victory in the evening’s second race. The son of Armbro Deuce, driven by Gord Brown, traded the top spot in the race back and forth with Culpepper but had it when it counted, at the wire in 2:00.2. Culpepper held for second while Ninetymile Hanover was third. This was Bruno Michael’s first appearance at Kawartha Downs. He came into the contest off a victory at Hanover Raceway earlier this month. David Dowling trains the winner for owners Ronald Noble and Graham Sugg.
After being parked three-deep through the first turn and never seeing the rail until hitting the quarter in :27.2, Fireyourguns led the rest of the field on a tour of the property as he was never headed en route to capturing the featured Open Pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday. Leaving from post seven in a full field of eight, driver Mike Caprio shot Fireyourguns off the gate and circled Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) and Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) who also rushed for the front. Those two were seated by the eighth pole and Fireyourguns continued to overtake the early leader Art Two D Two (Don Rothfuss) to take command. After hitting the half in :55.3 and the three-quarters in 1:24, Best Ears popped out of third to try and challenge the leader, but after a valiant effort through the stretch the attempt came up short. Fireyourguns held on for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Best Ears was second and a very fast-closing Rock N Roll Legend (Drew Monti) rallied from seventh to catch third. The victory was the tenth of the year for Fireyourguns and it brought his annual income up to $76,020 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrance McClory, who also trains the horse.