Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aruba Vacation lowers track record in Tioga Saturday night feature

Hometown favorite, Aruba Vacation, and Fern Paquet Jr. captured Saturday night's $18,000 open trot at Tioga Downs, and posted a new track record for 4-year-old gelding trotters.

Leaving from post position number six, Paquet and "Aruba" quickly took control of the field through fractions of 28 and 58.1.

Down the backside and headed towards three quarters, the race favorite Winning Fireworks (Phil Fluet) posted a first over bid but couldn't even reach the wheel of the pacesetter.

As the field struck the three quarter mark of the race in 1:26.1, the only threat to Aruba Vacation was the 55-1 pocket sitting Howd That Feel and Jason Mac Dougall.

Down the stretch Howd That Feel tipped to the outside but wasn't much of a threat as Aruba Vacation cruised to victory in 1:55.1 stamping his name into the Tioga Downs record books.

Guy Howard trains the 4-year-old homebred son of Dream Vacation – Dixie Hit, who scored for the fifth time in 21 starts this season and with the win increased his seasonal bankroll to $68,000.

Howd The Feel (Jason Mac Dougall) finished second, while Whybabywhy (Jim Meittinis) used a rail ride to finish third.

Due to concerns about the weather and traveling conditions along the East Coast, Tioga Downs has postponed the Sunday, August 28 race card in its entirety to Monday, August 29th with a post time of 6:30PM.

The card will be moved intact, the Zweig Memorial Stakes and the Drivers' Championship will be contested as planned on Monday.

"We recognize and appreciate the commitment and support of our horsemen and it is out of concern for their welfare and that of their horses that we make this postponement. Travel conditions especially with horse trailers in high winds will be challenging at best and the safety of our horsemen and their horses is our chief concern," said Jeffrey R. Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment.

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