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Simons Doubles In Tioga Claiming Series

Published: June 19, 2015 10:51 pm ET

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Mike Simons scored a driving grand slam on Friday (June 19) evening's 10-race card at Tioga Downs, capturing two of the three first-round divisions of the Tioga State Bank starter series.

The series, for pacers who started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in at least one of their last three races, attracted 21 entrants, 20 of which faced starter Greg Wasiluk in three $6,000 divisions. Simons teamed up with Remus Blue Chip ($5.30) and Joe De Fino ($8.60) for a pair of first-round wins, clearing to the fore early and not looking back on either occasion.

Remus Blue Chip, a Daniel Gill-trained seven-year-old Art Major gelding, floated past Diamonds Princess (Aaron Byron) to secure the lead past a :27.2 first quarter, controlled the terms while uncontested, and edged away to a 1:53.1 victory over the late-emerging Who Dat Love (Dan Clements).

Likewise, seven-year-old Mario Dessureault trainee Joe De Fino crossed and cleared his six rivals to establish the lead in a :27.1 first quarter. After fending off and turning aside the first-over Galex (Aaron Byron), Joe De Fino edged clear in upper stretch, holding a two-length advantage over the late-rallying Veal Marsala (Fern Paquet Jr.) for a 1:54 score.

The earlier Tioga State Bank series division was captured by Private Interview ($4.60), who drew off at will for a nine and a quarter length win over Fine Fine Fine (Dan Clements) and My Fella (Fern Paquet Jr.) in 1:52.4. Corey Braden drove the eight-year-old Real Artist gelding for owner/trainer Robert Gale.

In addition to his two Tioga State Bank series wins, Simons teamed up for victories with Icapella Hanover ($3.60, 1:56.1) and Last Minute Cindy ($3.10, 1:54.3).

Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 20) evening. First post for the 12-race card is slated for 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.

(Tioga Downs)

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