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Match Race Set For Bragging Rights

Published: September 15, 2016 4:07 pm ET

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With the 11th season of harness racing at Tioga Downs coming to a wrap, Laurie Poulin and Mike Deters's Prairie Fortune captured Trotter of the Year honours by way of sustained dominance over the Open ranks through the summer.

However, with Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob and Ina Madill's Andreios Kardia virtually inseparable in terms of top pacing honors, they will settle their score in dramatic fashion: a closing-night (Saturday, September 17) match race.

"It's been a great summer," remarked Jason Bluhm, the director of racing at Tioga Downs. "With these two pacers each winning seven races this season and going back and forth at each other in the Opens, we thought, 'What better way to determine Pacer of the Year than with a match race?'"

The two combined for 14 wins on the season, and they have exchanged top billing in Open 1 events through the last five occurrences of the event, with Andreios Kardia having won three and Believe This Bob two.

Andreios Kardia, the slim 3-5 morning line favorite by virtue of his 1:49.3 triumph last week, will start from Post 2 for trainer Jeff Byron with usual driver Aaron Byron. Believe This Bob, while the dominant force through the summer with more sustained success at the Open 1 level, last won on August 27, staving off Andreios Kardia by a scant nose in 1:50.4. Usual driver Mike Simons will be at the lines for trainer Joe Skowyra.

In addition to the race for Tioga Pacer of the Year, Simons remains in the battle for top driving honours on the meet. His 62 wins thus far keep him within three of leading driver Scott Coulter with 26 races remaining in the season. In the trainer standings, Deters has started to edge away, leading Skowyra 34 to 30 while closing weekend looms.

Both the Friday (September 16) and Saturday (September 17) cards are set to commence at 6:30 p.m. (ET), with full coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network to begin at 6:05 p.m. on both nights.

(Tioga Downs)

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