Friday, July 15, 2011

Pacing fillies in Tompkins-Geers Stakes highlight Tioga Friday night card

In the second of a five-day stretch of live racing at Tioga Downs, the filly pacers were in the spotlight on Friday night.

Five divisions for two-year-old fillies were contested, while just one full field of nine was drawn out for the sophmores.

When the Grand Circuit is in town at any track across the East Coast, Dave Palone is usually not far behind, and he made his trip worthwhile, posting a driving grand slam.

In the lone $62,000 division for 3-year-old pacing fillies, Miss Annie J left swiftly from post position number one and sat third as the field went by the opening quarter in 28.

Asteria Blue Chip (Ed Hensley) led the field to the quarter pole, but Palone quickly moved Miss Annie J to the front and cut through a half mile in 56.3.

Down the backside, Jimmy Marohn Jr. wheeled Character Flaw first up from third and dueled with the leader through three quarters in 1:24.1.

As the field turned for home, Miss Annie J dismissed her first-over bid, but had to deal with a four-wide Shyaway (Stephane Bouchard).

Coming to the wire, Miss Annie J was too tough and fought gamely to the wire to win in 1:53.

The mile was just a fifth of a second off of the stakes record set by Panitdepressant (Brett Miller) in 2004 at Scioto Downs.

Shyaway (Stephane Bouchard) finished second, Asteria Blue Chip (Ed Hensley) finished third, and White Jade (Brandon Simpson) rounded out the superfecta.

"I had a lot of nice young horses up here tonight, and picked up the drive on this one for Linda," said winning driver Dave Palone. "She's a nice filly and the rail here seems to be an advantage more than other five-eighth's so I just protected position. I knew my best shot was to get her to the front and she was game throughout the mile."

Hallie Gallie and Dave Palone posted the fastest mile of the night for the freshman pacing fillies in the first division.

The royally bred daughter of Village Jolt – Galleria won in 1:54.1 for Fashion Farms and trainer Jim Campbell.

Other division winners included: Brownsville Bomber - Mike Micallef 1:54.3 (American Ideal – Cantor's Daughter), Air Guitar Hanover – Dave Palone 1:55.3 (Rocknroll Hanover – Armbro Amoretto), Major Look – Brandon Simpson 1:54.2 (Art Major – Band Of Emeralds), and Park Lane Paige – Ed Hensley 1:54.4 (Art Major – Impagain Hanover).

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Saturday, July 16th at 6:50 pm.

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