by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
After a pair of narrow misses, Aaron Byron brushed early with Fireyourguns ($3.80) in Monday (June 2) evening's featured $14,000 Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs, never looking back en route to a 5-1/4 length victory.
Just off the flank of the pocket-sitting Golden Gun (John Cummings, Jr.) on the first turn, the five-year-old American Ideal gelding stalked Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) through a :27.1 first quarter before pushing to the fore. With a circuit to go, Fireyourguns was able to clear the front, but maintained a hot pace through a :54.2 half mile while Prairie Jaguar maintained a close tracking trip from the pocket. On the backstretch, Fireyourguns accelerated well clear of the others, extending his lead gradually en route to a powerful 1:50 victory. Prairie Jaguar held second, while Life Up Front (Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) sustained a gradual bid to take third.
Fireyourguns, owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe in partnership with trainer Terence McClory, took a new lifetime mark in his fifth win of 2014.
Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Friday (June 6) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.