By John Horne for Tioga Downs.
Tioga Downs will start its racing season off with a bang on Saturday. The first race is the featured Open Trot. Last year’s trotter of the year (Prarie Fortune) will once again team up with last year’s top trainer (Mike Deters).
The 5 year-old gelding, Arapa Victory, cruised to 12 victories last year. Driven by Jim Meittinis, he was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite coming out of post 3, but he will run into tough competition in the opener.
Starting from post 4 is the Gary Messenger-trained Warrawee Preferred. With already three wins on the season, the 6-year-old Federal Flex gelding seems to be coming into prime form. Jimmy Taggert Jr. will be between the wheels for the 3-1 morning line co-second choice. The other main rival will be Dragin the Wagon. The 7-year-old gelding is coming off an impressive win at Yonkers. Trained by Jeffrey Byron and driven by Aaron Byron, Dragin the Wagon has won $209,503 in his career. Coming from post 5, he is also a morning line 3-1 choice.
Race three will feature 3-year-old fillies in the first leg of the M&J Oil & Lube Trot. Northern Courtney is the 6-5 morning line favorite. The Deweycheatumnhowe filly is coming off a win at Pocono Downs. She is trained by John Butenschoen and piloted by Mike Simons from post number 3. The entry of Crazy Smart (Scott Coulter] and Jenn’s Dew Drop (Renaldo Morales III) trained by Michael Sinclair is the morning line 2nd choice.
Saturday is also Derby day with a t-shirt and calendar giveaway plus a Derby Hat contest and much more. The day will end with a bang, with a fireworks display right after the races have been completed.
For more information, please visit our website at www.tiogadowns.com.