by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
After an early tussle with Fireyourguns, Prairie Jaguar ($5.10) made the front and did not look back, kicking clear to a four-length win in Sunday (July 20) afternoon's featured $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.
The six-year-old Spy Hard gelding found himself embroiled in an early speed duel, forcing Fireyourguns into the pocket through a :26.2 initial quarter. After a conservative second quarter, Jim Marohn, Jr. called upon Prairie Jaguar to accelerate up the backstretch, with 6-5 favorite Fireyourguns keeping pace nicely from the pocket through a 1:23 three-quarter split. On the far turn, Aaron Byron angled Fireyourguns to the outside to challenge, but Prairie Jaguar dug in all the more, sprinting clear for a four-length win in 1:50.4. Fireyourguns held second, while Golden Gun (Tyler Buter) stayed on for third off a tracking trip.
Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Jaguar with Laurie Lee Poulin.
The win was one of three on the day for Marohn, who also proved victorious aboard T's Electric (another Mike Deters trainee) and Will Kane.
Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (July 25) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.