Saturday, May 3, 2014

Marohn sweeps Tioga Opening Night features

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Saturday (May 3) saw last year's Tioga Downs driving champion Jim Marohn, Jr. pick up right where he left off, as he swept both $14,000 feature races on Opening Night 2014 in the Southern Tier.

Splitsville scores in the first race
of the 2014 season (Fred Brown photo)
"The Mighty Mite Part Two" wasted no time establishing himself at the top of the driver standings, taking the $14,000 Open Trot with Splitsville ($3.90) in race one.  After I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) and Grey Ice (Jim Meittinis) contested the early lead, Marohn brushed the five-year-old Hard Rock N Roll gelding to the fore with a circuit to go, pulling clear in deep stretch to a 2-3/4 length victory over Grey Ice in 1:56.2.  Jaipur (Fern Paquet, Jr.), who had won his last two races at Vernon, finished third.

Marohn prevailed in the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace as well, digging in with pace-setting Southwind Trini ($17.00) to stave off a late bid from the pocket-sitting Whistys Paradise (Mike Merton) en route to a 1:53.3 victory.  Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) rallied from far back to take third, just missing the second spot by a neck.

While Jim Marohn, Jr. scored another driving win with New York Attitude in a first-level conditioned trot, the sweep of the features also constituted a training double for Rob Harmon on the evening.

Live racing resumes at Tioga on Sunday (May 4) afternoon, with the first of thirteen races to begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT.