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Racing Roundup: Sutton and Morgan dominate Scioto features
Friday, August 15, 2014 - from harness publicists across North America

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Friday's (Aug. 15) Racing Roundup features results stories from Scioto Downs Racino, Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Batavia Downs and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  

Sutton and Morgan dominate Scioto features

Lockbourne, OH---War Cry Hall and Josh Sutton prevail in the $20,000 Open II Trot in 1:54. War Cry Hall is a 5-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall out of Winners Only. He's conditioned by Scioto Downs leading trainer, Virgil Morgan Jr for RBH Ventures Inc of New York.

War Cry Hall was assigned post six in the field of eight and selected as the morning line favorite. Sutton was in no rush as the gates folded, getting away fifth. A pair of outside starters, Final Breath and Fusion Man left hard for command, posting the opening quarter in :27.3.

Final Breath and Hugh "Sandy" Beatty cleared just passed the quarter and parked Fusion Man, driven by Mike Micallef.Fusion Man pressed Final Breath to half mile point in :56.3, giving Run And Tell Pap and Chris Page a perfect pocket trip.

Sutton and War Cry Hall followed the cover of Ajuama and Jeremy Smith to the three quarters clocked in 1:24.3. Sutton found room to duck back to the rail at the top of the stretch when Page pulled Run and Tell Pap for the stretch drive. War Cry Hall trotted a final quarter in :28.4 to catch Final Breath by a neck and Run And Tell Pap was third.

Betterluvnexttime and Josh Sutton went wire to wire in the $25,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace in 1:52. Betterluvnexttime is a 6-year old mare by American Ideal out of Darriwillian Girl. She's trained by Virgil Morgan Jr for Daniel Mitchell of Michigan. This was Betterluvnexttime's seventh win in just 15 starts in 2014. Sutton had the lines from assigned post eight in the field of eight and was the morning line favorite.

Josh was on a mission when the starter said go, leaving hard for the top. Betterluvnexttime cleared Sectionline Yankee and Chris Page just passed the quarter that was paced in a sizzling :26.1. She earned a second quarter breather, getting to the half in :55.2. Up Front Kellie Jo and Kyle Bolon made a first over bid, pushing the speed down to the three quarters in 1:23.3.

Betterluvnexttime held off the late bid from Eve Marie Seelster and Kyle Ater who came up 3-4 of a length shy and Sectionline Yankee held third.

--Scioto Downs Racino

Vernon Downs: War Hero up in time to win

War Hero (Ken Warkentin-Miss Gibbons) emerged victorious from a three-horse stretch battle to score a victory in the feature $9,000 Open I trot on Friday night at Vernon Downs.


The complexion of the race changed immediately as A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) broke stride as the gate opened. He ended up trailing throughout. Surface Tension (Dan Daley) inherited the early lead and was quite tenacious in front, turning away an early challenge from Pop I (John Macdonald) and then holding Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) at bay until the field made the stretch.


Fotowon Photo
War Hero got up just in time to win the Open I trot at Vernon in 1:54.2

War Hero (Frank Davis) followed the useful cover from Evil Urges and moved up while trotting three-wide in the lane, passing Evil Urges in deep stretch to get up and win in 1:54.2. It was a minor upset as War Hero went off at 5-1 in the field of six, paying $12 to win.


The fractions were 28 seconds for the quarter, 57.1 for the half, and 1:25.4 for three-quarters. The complete order of finish was: War Hero, Evil Urges, Surface Tension, Pop I, My Revenuer, and A Penny Earned. War Hero is owned by Howard Gill of Pine Bush, New York and trained by Jessica Okusko.


Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 9-race program. The Racing Under Saddle series will also continue on Saturday, as six horses will go to the gate in the second leg. The featured pari-mutuel race will be the seventh race with a purse of $6,500. The morning line choice is Axiom Hanover, who will be driven by Chris Lems.


Post time on Saturday night is 6:45pm.

--Vernon Downs publicity

Pan Luis Obispo wins Tioga feature, Marohn wins four

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.

Fred Brown Photo
Pan Luis Obispo drew off by to win the Fillies and Mares Open Pace
Vinny Ginsburg kept the 4-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 pm.

--James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Monti wins five at Batavia Downs

Nineteen–year–old reinsman Drew Monti moved into third place in the driver standings at Batavia Downs when he notched a driving five-bagger on Friday night.

"Driving Drew" now has 15 wins during the first 14 dates of the annual summer-fall. He is now one win behind Shawn McDonough for second place. This was the second time in his young career that Monti had won five races in a single card. The five wins also put him over the 100 win mark in 2014.

The beat goes on for Batavia dash leading driver Kevin Cummings. Cummings, who was also the top pilot at Buffalo Raceway this year, drove home four more winners on Friday night. He upped his total for the season to 30 wins, averaging over two wins per race card at the Downs. His UDRS is over .400.

Live racing resumes on Saturday night (Aug-16) with a post time of 6:35 pm. Saturday night features a pick-6 carryover pool of over $1500 and a free handicapping contest. Sign-up to enter the contest begins at 5:00 pm at Players Club. The top prize is $700.

--Batavia Downs Media Relations

Saratoga Casino and Raceway

Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) held on to win in the $17,000 co-featured Fillies and Mares Open on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Kyle Spagnola-trained mare faded late last week when she wound up third after setting sizzling fractions up front. This week, the fractions were still very quick but Road Bet had enough to hang on to win a photo with Tiamo (Mark Beckwith).

For Road Bet, it was victory number three in five starts in the local Open for distaff pacers as she stopped the timer in 1:52.3 with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Tiamo was the runner-up for the second straight week in the ladies’ Open while Let’s Go Higher (Shawn Gray) came on to finish third.

The co-favored Road Bet returned $6.90 to win while the exacta came back $38.20 and the triple paid $114.50.

-- Saratoga Media Relations

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