by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
Bourbon Bay bounces back in top Tioga trot
Nichols, N.Y. -- A large crowd turned out at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 4) evening for Independence Day festivities, and Bourbon Bay bounced back from a defeat two weeks ago to capture the featured $12,000 Open Trot.
The 4-year-old Sand Vic gelding worked clear of March Awareness (Richard Simard) on the first turn, controlling the terms through a :56.3 initial half while under no pressure. On the backstretch, lessee/driver John Cummings, Jr. asked Bourbon Bay for a bit more trot, and the response was instant. Bourbon Bay accelerated through a :28.1 third quarter, drawing clear of his foes off the far turn. He ultimately amassed 2-1/2 lengths of clearance on his rivals, defeating them in 1:54.2. Grey Ice (Corey Braden) made a late push off the pegs to just take second, while March Awareness tired while chasing, checking in third.
Megan Wilson trains Bourbon Bay, who is now an 18-time winner in 37 career races.
Jim Taggart, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the nine-race card, earning his second hat trick in as many nights. He was victorious aboard You the One ($21.80, 1:58), Sweet Kix ($56.00, 1:57.4), and Six Bax ($3.50, 1:55.1).
Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (July 5) afternoon, with the first of 11 races slated for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.