by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
After making a strong push to the fore on the backstretch, the Harmon Racing Stable's Splitsville ($8.20) held clear in the final quarter mile, prevailing in the $14,000 Open I trot on Saturday (May 10) evening at Tioga Downs after last week's triumph.
The five-year-old Hard Rock N Roll gelding sat well off pacesetter Lutetium (Greg Merton) through initial splits of :27.2 and :56.2 before being angled wide by Jim Marohn, Jr. on the backstretch. Splitsville pushed to the front upon immediate asking, opening up a clear margin on the field as Lutetium gave way without any fight at all. Sixteen Mikes (Mike Simons) tracked Splitsville's cover into second, a position he would hold albeit 2-1/2 lengths in arrears at the wining post, while Grey Ice (Jim Meittinis) made a late bid to take third behind Splitsville's 1:54.4 mile.
The sub-featured $11,000 Open II trot saw Brookroad Knight (Corey Braden) make a first-over push on the backstretch, battling with Dough Dough (Mike Simons) on the far turn en route to a half-length 1:54.2 win.
Marohn, the leading driver at Tioga in 2013, scored a trio of wins on the 11-race card, driving Consumer Rate and J R Jazz to victory in addition to his feature win.
Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (May 11), with the first of 11 races on Mother's Day scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.