by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Fireyourguns ($4.20) returned to his winning ways on Monday (July 7) evening, taking charge with a circuit to go and holding off a late challenge from JK Panache in the featured $14,000 Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.
The five-year-old American Ideal gelding settled just off the pacesetting pair of JK Panache (Brandon Simpson) and Golden Gun (Corey Braden) before Aaron Byron brushed him to the fore after a :26.4 initial quarter. Upon making the front, Fireyourguns kept at a solid pace through a half mile of :55.1 before accelerating up the backstretch in a :27.1 third quarter. While Byron tried to get separation on his five rivals with the quickening tempo, JK Panache held firm in the pocket through the far turn, angling wide to give chase in the stretch. Fireyourguns responded to the challenge, and held on for a one-length win in 1:50.2. JK Panache held second, while Golden Gun stayed on for third at 52-1 from his tracking trip.
Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.
Racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 10) evening, with two-year-old trotting fillies taking center stage in New York Sire Stakes action. Post time for the 13-race card is 6:15 p.m. EDT.