Sweeping three-wide on the backstretch to pounce on a pressured pace, Pan Luis Obispo ($6.00) drew off for a 4-1/4 length win in Friday (Aug, 15) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Tioga Downs.
Vinny Ginsburg kept the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare well off a :54.2 first-half battle between Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and Keystone Wanda (Corey Braden), moving a closer second-over on the backstretch before making a three-wide push past the fading Keystone Wanda. Pan Luis Obispo continued into the lead at the apex of the far turn, taking over from a softened up Inittowinafortune past a 1:22.3 three-quarter split. She drew clear of her six rivals at will through the stretch, keeping pocket rival Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) 4-1/4 lengths at bay for a 1:51.2 triumph. Cloris Hanover (Brandon Simpson) was an even--but all-out--third off her ground-saving trip.
Robert Bresnahan trains Pan Luis Obispo for winning owner Robert Bresnahan Jr.
While only able to muster a second-place finish in the featured event, leading driver Jim Marohn Jr. registered a Friday night grand slam, winning with RU Ideal (1:54.1), O Narutac Rockette (1:54.4), Wallstreet Hanover (1:58.4), and Winbak Heavenly (1:53.2).
At Vernon Downs Friday night, War Hero (Ken Warkentin-Miss Gibbons) emerged victorious from a three-horse stretch battle to score a victory in the feature $9,000 Open I Trot.
The complexion of the race changed immediately as A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) broke stride as the wings of the gate folded. He ended up trailing throughout. Surface Tension (Dan Daley) inherited the early lead and was quite tenacious in front, turning away an early challenge from Pop I (John Macdonald) and then holding Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) at bay until the field made the stretch.
War Hero (Frank Davis) followed the useful cover from Evil Urges and moved up while trotting three-wide in the lane, passing Evil Urges in deep stretch to get up and win in 1:54.2. It was a minor upset as War Hero went off at 5-1 in the field of six, paying $12 to win. The fractions were 28 seconds for the quarter, 57.1 for the half, and 1:25.4 for three-quarters. The complete order of finish was: War Hero, Evil Urges, Surface Tension, Pop I, My Revenuer, and A Penny Earned.
War Hero is owned by Howard Gill of Pine Bush, New York and trained by Jessica Okusko. (Tioga & Vernon)