by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Newcomer Little Santamonica's ($3.50) 1:52.0 victory in the featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 distaff pace was the highlight of a driving hat trick for Aaron Byron, who propelled himself to the top of the Tioga Downs leaderboard with a three-win night on Friday (May 16).
With Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) calling the early shots, Byron brushed to the fore with Little Santamonica through a sensible :28.2 first quarter. The six-year-old Little Steven mare never looked back from there, accelerating clear on the far turn and being driven to hold a 2-1/4 length margin over Southwind Trini at the winning post. Sinspirational (Mike Simons) stayed on in traffic to finish an even third.
Byron also scored driving wins with Paystobea Meangirl (1:58.3) and Crazyboutdadrummer (1:56.0) on the evening's 10-race card.
Racing resumes at Tioga on Saturday, May 17, with the first of 11 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.