Bettor's Reward did just what his name indicates and sent his backers home happy in today's featured Open Pace.
Sent off as the $1.80 second choice, Mike Simons allowed the early action to unfold in front of him while taking a seat fourth along the rail with Bettor's Reward. Fox Valley Tribal and driver Fern Paquet, Jr. cut the early fractions of :26.4 and :55.3. Along the way to the half, Simons edged out Bettor's Reward to what looked liked a long grind first over but as Bettor's Reward came eye to eye with Fox Valley Tribal down the backside the four year old gelding kicked in a little extra and was able to clear for the lead just before a three quarters timed in 1:23. From there on he opened up on the field by 4 lengths and was able to hold off a late charging Hay Goodlooking to stop the timer in 1:52.4. Hay Goodlooking held on for second while Voice Of Truth was third.
In the second race, Keystone Velocity returned to the races for the first start of his four year old campaign and was impressive to say the least. The Frank Kamine disciple sat eighth on the outside just before entering the last turn only to circle the field three wide by the time they exited the corner to the top of the stretch. The move is the backbone of the phrase "shot out of a cannon” as it looked like the rest of the field was pacing in slow motion around the turn. Driver Jim Meittinis was able to draw off from the field and win easily in 1:53 for the sixth career win in just twenty-six starts for the lightly raced son of Western Hanover.
Drivers Mark MacDonald and Fern Paquet, Jr. posted driving doubles while trainer Jim Perry posted a training double. Racing resumes next weekend with Friday, Saturday and Sunday action. Sunday's card will be action packed as the top Free for All horses in the country dash for the cash in the $200,000e Bettor's Delight open pace and $200,000e Artiscape mare open. Also on tap will be the best three year fillies that New York has to offer as the NYSS comes to town. For more information regarding racing at Tioga Downs, please visit our website at http://www.tiogadowns.com/.