by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
After being pushed to a :26.4 first quarter, Neighsay Hanover ($6.40) dug in to hold off a barrage of late threats, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in Saturday (June 14) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 trot at Tioga Downs.
The eight-year-old Muscles Yankee entire dueled with Wisenheimer (Mike Merton) on the first turn, sprinting clear through a torrid early tempo before rating a :56.2 half mile. On the backstretch, Neighsay Hanover had to deal with Wisenheimer again, facing pressure again to a 1:25.1 three-quarter split. With Wisenheimer starting to fade, Cathy's Princess (Jim Meittinis) gearing up three-wide and I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) readying for a stand-side rally, Ray Schnittker implored Neighsay Hanover for all he had in the stretch, getting a bit of separation off the turn. He turned in a 1:55.2 victory, holding off a late inside rally from Oh No Three O (Jeffrey Long). I Love New York, carried wide off the corner by a breaking Cathy's Princess, rallied for third past the pocket-sitting A Lister.
Schittker, the winning trainer-driver, co-owns Neighsay Hanover with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Fam Alber Horse Racing.
A pair of first-round divisions of the M&J Oil and Lube late-closing series for distaff pacers were contested earlier in the card, with Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr., 1:53.4) and Jets Are On (Corey Braden, 1:54.1) victorious in their respective events.
Live racing resumes tomorrow (Sunday, June 15) at Tioga, with the first of 13 races on a Father's Day program slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT.