A pair of two-year-old trotters from the Ron Burke Stable proved victorious in their respective Arthur Tompkins Memorial divisions on a rainy evening at Tioga Downs, both upending heavy favourites in the last yards.
Southwind Cobra ($11.60) dueled gamely to a 1:56.4 victory in his $28,585 split for colts and geldings (race 4), pulling the pocket on approach to the far turn to engage 3-2 favourite Bills Man (Andy Miller) after yielding with a circuit to go. While Bills Man battled to a narrow lead off the far turn, the son of Muscle Hill-Caerphilly fought back stoutly at the pegs to prevail by half a length over the sloppy going. Cagey (Mike Simons) chased well through the far turn to finish a clear third off his clear tracking trip.
John Cummings, Jr. drove Southwind Cobra to his maiden-breaking victory for the Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jack Piatt, II, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Burke's other winner came in a $28,410 division for fillies (race 5), as Romancing Rachel ($25.80) prevailed as the second-longest shot on the board. Mike Simons angled the daughter of Muscle Hill-Tadys Comer off the pegs with three-eighths to go, catching the cover of odds-on favourite Southwind Prius (Andy Miller) on approach to the far turn. At head-stretch, Romancing Rachel angled three-wide and swept clear to a two-length victory in 2:00.2 as Southwind Prius and Morning Glow (Jimmy Takter)--second and third respectively--dueled into defeat.
The Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC share ownership of Romancing Rachel with Howard Taylor.
In the other Tompkins events on the nine-race card, Ice Attraction ($9.40) and Fly On ($2.10) both prevailed.
Ice Attraction bested six fillies in 1:57.3 off a pocket trip in the $28,410 second event, angling at head-stretch to collar Southwind Avanti by three-quarters of a length.
Oskar Florhed drove the daughter of Muscle Hill and The Ice Queen for trainer Åke Svanstedt.
In the $28,085 sixth for colts and geldings, Fly On posted a pillar-to-post 1:58.2 triumph, drawing clear by 4-1/2 lengths after his first-over rival Deacon Tony (Scott Coulter) broke stride at the top of the stretch.
Andy Miller drove the son of Muscle Hill and Calchips Finisher for trainer Julie Miller.
Six divisions of the Geers Stakes for two-year-old pacers--three for fillies, three for colts and geldings--headline Friday evening's 12-race card at Tioga Downs, with first post slated for 6:30 p.m.