Nichols, N.Y. -- Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob ($4.10) made all the pace en route to a 1:51.1 triumph in Sunday (June 26) afternoon's $11,000 Open 1 Pace at Tioga Downs, holding off a belated rally from the rising Andreios Kardia to prevail at even money.
Mike Simons wasted no time with the 8-year-old Beach Romeo gelding, sprinting clear of Theseyesrcrying (Justin Huckabone) through a :26.3 first quarter. Believe This Bob would escape pressure through splits of :55 and 1:22.2, maintaining an uncontested lead and accelerating clear on the backstretch. His biggest threat would come from the second-over Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron), who circled three-wide in the final three-sixteenths of the mile as the first-over P L Idaho (Dan Clements) weakened after only mild gains. The :27.2 third quarter was enough for Believe This Bob to keep the other seven at bay, as he held off Andreios Kardia by three-quarters of a length. Knocking Around (John Cummings, Jr.) rallied from a rearward trip to take third, and Theseyesarecrying faded to fourth from his pocket trip.
Joe Skowyra trains Believe This Bob, now a 35-time winner.
In addition to Believe This Bob, Simons teamed up with Big Jer ($2.30, 1:52.3) and Lucky Man ($3.10, 1:53.2) to lead all drivers with three wins on the 11-race card.
The Tompkins-Geers Stakes headline Week 9 at Tioga Downs, with 3-year-old trotters taking the spotlight on Friday (July 1) evening. Post time is slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.