by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Mach It a Par surges late in Tioga distaff
Nichols, N.Y. -- Trailing her four rivals through a dawdling pace, Mach It a Par ($3.00) made her move at the top of the stretch to pass all four of her rivals in the final sixteenth of Friday (July 3) evening's $12,000 Mares Open Pace at Tioga Downs.
Owner/driver Dan Clements settled the 5-year-old Mach Three mare into her customary early spot at the rear of the field, seven lengths off pacesetter Dune in Red (Brandon Simpson) through tepid early fractions of :29 and :58.2. Mach It a Par remained at the back of the quintet even as Sherkin Hanover (Corey Braden) commenced a first-over bid on the backstretch and the pocket-sitting Southwind Trini (Jim Meittinis) chased the accelerating Dune in Red through a :27.3 third quarter. In fact, Clements wouldn't move Mach It a Par off the pegs until the top of the stretch, storming home down the grandstand side as Dune in Red had reached her capacity in the final 70 yards. Mach It a Par passed all four of her rivals in deep stretch, just prevailing by a head in 1:54.1. Southwind Trini made a late bid up the pegs to tie Dune in Red for second, and K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) was an out-kicked fourth, beaten by just a long neck.
Renaldo Morales, III trains Mach It a Par, who scored her 12th career win.
Private Interview sweeps Tioga State Bank series
The Friday program at Tioga also saw owner/trainer Robert Gale's Private Interview ($3.10) complete a sweep of the Tioga State Bank starter allowance series, holding clear of his eight rivals for a 1:52.4 triumph in the $10,000 final. Corey Braden wasted no time securing the lead with the 8-year-old Real Artist gelding, setting torrid early sectionals of :26.1, :54.2, and 1:22.2 before drawing clear of his eight rivals on the far turn. While he decelerated a bit late, he maintained a 3-1/4 length winning margin over pocket rival Who Dat Love (Dan Clements). CF Sting Rei (Aaron Byron) emerged from traffic in the final yards, rallying to just miss second, while Remus Blue Chip (Mike Simons) was an even fourth off a tracking trip.
Jim Taggart, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the evening's nine-race card, teaming up with Robert Lounsbury trainees Powerful Love ($3.40, 1:55.1) and Purple N Gold ($4.90, 1:53.4) as well as Gary Messenger trainee She's So Into Me ($6.50, 1:59.4).
Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 4) evening, with the nine-race Independence Day card kicking off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Kirby Band will perform patriotic favorites trackside throughout the evening, and a fireworks and laser spectacular will light up the Southern Tier sky following the evening's races.