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Upsets Abound In Tioga Trots

Published: August 11, 2019 6:15 pm ET

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Speeding Spur N ($18.60) and Custom Cantab ($65.00) lit up the tote board in the $148,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot and the $132,000 Joie De Vie Farms Mares Trot respectively on Sunday (Aug. 11) at Tioga Downs while favourites Mission Accepted and Atlanta were denied victory.

In the Crawford Farms, Speeding Spur N, who was widest of four leavers early, was used early by Brian Sears to clear the lead after a :27.4 quarter before yielding to the retaking 7-5 favourite Mission Accepted (Yannick Gingras) with a circuit to go. After being boxed through middle splits of :56.2 and 1:24.2 by the first-over Fiftydallarbill (Corey Callahan), Speeding Spur N again was availed room at the eighth pole. The eight-year-old Pegasus Spur entire was switched off the pegs and was urged to collar Mission Accepted by a nose in 1:52.4, while Run Director (Sylvain Filion) improved off weakening cover to take third.

Linda Toscano trains Speeding Spur N for Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. The win was his first in three starts on American soil and the 28th of his career.

The Joie De Vie had the look of a highly-anticipated matchup between trotting titans Atlanta and Manchego, but a break by Darling Mearas S on the first turn scattered the field and took Manchego entirely out of contention. Even-money favourite Atlanta (Gingras) was able to avoid significant interference and worked clear of Emoticon Hanover (Bob McClure) on the first turn through a :27 quarter while David Miller landed eventual winner Custom Cantab in third.

Up the backstretch, Miller angled Custom Cantab first-over into a strong, sustained tempo, and the pair worked to within two lengths of Atlanta's three-quarter split of 1:23.1. Just upon cornering for home, Custom Cantab surged past a beleaguered Atlanta and drew off to win by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:52. Dream Together (Scott Zeron) took second and Plunge Blue Chip (Åke Svanstedt) checked in third.

Atlanta faded to sixth, while the distanced Manchego was elevated to seventh after being fouled on the first turn.

Trainer Christopher Beaver co-owns 17-time winner Custom Cantab, a four-year-old daughter of Mr Cantab, with Donald Robinson and RBH Ventures Inc.

In the $12,500 eliminations of the Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Arties Ideal ($24.80, Marcus Miller) and Hickfromfrenchlick ($4.30, Matt Kakaley) proved victorious in their respective events. They, along with Buddy Hill, Covered Bridge, World On Edge, Shake That House, Major March, Respect Our Flag and Chatelroll will advance to next week's final.

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