by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Sustaining a first-over push to the fore before holding off the late-charging Pan Luis Obispo, Dirty Girty ($17.60) proved a 1:52 upset winner in Friday (August 29) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.
The four-year-old Western Terror mare tracked pacesetters Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :56 half mile before commencing her first-over bid on the backstretch. After nudging 2-1 second choice Inittowinafortune along through a :27.2 third quarter, Dirty Girty turned up the pressure, taking the lead off the far turn and edging clear to a two-length margin in upper stretch. She dug in late to stave off the hard-closing 4-5 favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Jim Meittinis), with the ground-saving Southwind Trini (Corey Braden) staying on for third.
Mike Merton handled the driving duties aboard Dirty Girty for owner-trainer James Clouser, Jr.
Racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (August 30) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.