Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ron Pierce takes home Fourth Annual $40,000 Drivers’ Championship

Ron Pierce was a bridesmaid no more on Sunday, August 1st as the Hall of Famer took home the $25,000 first place prize in the Fourth Annual Drivers’ Championship at Tioga Downs.

Pierce ended the six race Championship with 33 points on the day, and earned 10 points each for driving winners Handsome Prince and Blazing Winner in the second and third legs of the contest.

Pierce steered Blazing Winner to a track record time of 2:29.2 for a mile and a quarter trot from post position three for Guy Howard.

Coming into the final event on the afternoon Pierce was in the lead with 28 points, and the only two in striking distance were Jason Bartlett and Brian Sears.

Pierce finished third in the final leg and secured his first Driver’s Championship.

Brian Sears finished second in the Drivers’ Championship with 26 points on the afternoon and took home $5,000.

His lone win came in the fifth leg of the event with Gone Baby Gone for trainer Gary Messenger.

Dave Palone finished the day off with 23 points, and took home $4,000.

Palone finished third despite not capturing any of the legs, but only missed points in one event on the card.

Jason Bartlet and Yannick Gingras finished tied in fourth place with 19 points and each took home $1,500.

Bartlett got off to a hot start and it looked as though a repeat might be in order winning the first leg and finishing second in the second leg.

However he could only capture two more points in the final four races.

The rest of the field finished as follows: George Brennan (17), John Campbell (11), Bruce Ranger (10), and Tim Tetrick (7).

John Campbell captured the fourth leg of the Drivers’ Championship with Sheer Brilliance in the Open Handicap pace in a new track record time for aged gelding pacers of 1:49.3.

Campbell fronted the five-year-old gelding and never looked back through fractions of 26, 54.3, and 1:22.1 before sprinting away from the field in the final quarter for trainer Jeff Long.

Tioga Downs would like to thank all of its sponsors who support this event along with the drivers, trainers, owners, and horsemen who without their support the Drivers’ Championship would not be possible.