For You Almostfree and Aaron Byron took home the featured $16,000 Open Trot on Friday night at Tioga Downs.
Leaving from post position three in a field of eight, Byron got For You Almostfree away sixth as Neighsay Hanover (Jim Meittinis) took the field by the opening quarter in :27.1. As the field went by the three-eighths mark of the race, Howard Parker brushed Cold Certified to the front but paid a steep price for the move as they got to the half in :55.1. Down the backside, Speculation (Mike Merton) moved first-over with For You Almostfree following second-over cover.
The field passed the three quarter station in 1:24.1 as Cold Certified was feeling the effects of the opening half and was beginning to fade. Byron tipped For You Almostfree three wide around the last turn and he responded opening up with ease to win by more than four lengths in 1:54.1. In Your Room (Mike Simons) trotted home late to be second, while longshot Surface Tension (Fern Paquet Jr.) finished third.
John McDermott trains the 5-year-old son of Glidemaster-Pizza Dolce who won for the seventh time in 27 seasonal outings, good for earnings of more than $113,000.
Corey Braden, Rod Allen, and Mike Simons each posted driving doubles on the night's 10-race card.
Tioga Downs wraps up its 2013 racing season on Saturday with a post time of 6:50 p.m., featuring two divisions of the Reynolds Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and two divisions for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Tioga Downs will also have the finale of the 2013 Horseplay Car Giveaway, fireworks following live racing, and many giveaways during the racing program. (Tioga Downs)