Close Calls In Tioga Opens

Published: August 27, 2016 10:55 pm EDT

Favourites eked out narrow victories in co-featured $13,000 Open 1 events on Saturday (August 27) evening at Tioga Downs, with Prairie Fortune ($6.30) and Believe This Bob ($2.80) both scoring repeat wins.

Prairie Fortune, a four-year-old Arapa Victory gelding, used his customary tactics to overcome post eight and capture his 23rd career victory in the Open 1 Trot, carded as race four. Jim Meittinis angled Prairie Fortune second-over behind Rossini (Scott Coulter) on approach to the backstretch, subsequently moving three-wide off the far turn. Prairie Fortune accelerated immediately upon cornering, mowing down pacesetter Its Payday Friday (Mike Simons) in the last yards of a 1:54 mile. B L Class Act (John Cummings Jr.) held third from a pocket trip.

Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Fortune with Laurie Poulin.

In the Open 1 Pace, Believe This Bob controlled nearly all of the terms, brushing from the pocket with a circuit to go and digging in to repel a late charge from Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron) for a 1:50.4 score. The eight-year-old Beach Romeo gelding battled stoutly through the last 300 yards to keep his pocket rival at bay, prevailing by a scant nose while Thatll Be The Rei (Mike Merton) stayed on for third.

Mike Simons drove the 39-time winner for trainer Joe Skowyra and owner Mary Ann Larrimore.

Simons led all drivers with a hat trick, also teaming up with Crime Of Passion ($4.80, 1:51.1) and Gold Star Roger ($5.10, 1:56.3) on the nine-race card.

(Tioga Downs)