by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
After facing stout pressure in a :27.0 third quarter, Fireyourguns ($4.70) held sway in the stretch to take the featured $14,000 Open Pace on Sunday (July 13) afternoon at Tioga Downs.
The five-year-old American Ideal gelding wasted no time finding the top spot, clearing Bet On the Law (Tyler Buter) and Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on the first turn. After rating a :57.0 half-mile, Fireyourguns was pushed along up the backstretch by Bet On the Law, who vacated the pocket with three-eighths to go. He sustained his push through the far turn, forcing a three-quarter split of 1:24.0, but Fireyourguns was up for the task, digging in the whole way to protect his lead. He prevailed by a half-length in 1:53.0, holding off a stand-side charge from Prairie Jaguar, who angled three-wide off the late duel to take second. Bet On the Law stayed on for third.
Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The win aboard Fireyourguns was one of three on the day for driver Aaron Byron, who also teamed up with Cool Like Fire (1:55.4) and 46-1 longshot winner P H Thunder (1:56.2).
Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers on the day with a grand slam, turning in victorious efforts with Hurricane Howard (1:54.4), Oh My Joepa (1:55.0), Jolly Lester (1:55.2), and Western Trademark (1:55.0).