Upsets by Custom Cantab, Speeding Spur N
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The 33-1 longshot Custom Cantab (David Miller) stole the show in the $132,000 Joie De Vie open mare trot at Tioga Downs on Sunday (Aug. 11). The favored Atlanta set the tempo for the race but faded to sixth.
At the start of the race Darling Mearas S (Brian Sears) went on a break early in the first turn and caused Manchego (Dexter Dunn) to go on a break as well. Atlanta then got to the front and led to the first quarter in :27. Emoticon Hanover (Bob McClure), the 2018 Breeders Crown Mare Trot champion, was sitting in the pocket and followed Atlanta to a :55 half and 1:23.1 third-quarter.
Custom Cantab, who is owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson and RBH Ventures Inc., went first-over just before three-quarters. She then trotted right by the tiring Atlanta to win in a lifetime best of 1:52. Dream Together (Scott Zeron) finished second with Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) getting third money.
Custom Cantab is a 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab. She won for the second time this season and now owns 17 career victories for trainer Chris Beaver.
Speeding Spur N started the surprises when one race before the mares took to the track, he charged home late to capture the $148,000 Crawford Farms open trot.
Mission Accepted (Yannick Gingras) led to the first quarter in :27.4. Speeding Spur N ($18.60) went to the lead as they headed for the stands for the first time. But Gingras wanted control and retook the lead with Mission Accepted. They led the field to the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2.
Speeding Spur N, who is owned by Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. and trained by Linda Toscano, popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch. He just squeaked by to win in 1:52.4, a track record time for aged trotting horse. Run Director (Sylvain Filion) was third best.
Speeding Spur N is an 8-year-old horse by Pegasus Spur. It was win number two of the season and his 28th career victory. It was his first victory in just his third US start.
In other racing action at Tioga, Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) won the $12,500 first elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) featuring 3-year-old colts and geldings.
Rollwithpapajoe (Dexter Dunn) got to the first quarter first in :27 and led to the half in :55. Major Blake (Jason Bartlett) went first-over on the backstretch and stuck a nose in front, hitting the three-quarter marker first in 1:22.1. Rollwithpapajoe reclaimed the lead as they reached the top of the stretch.
Artie's Ideal ($24.80), who is owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by Erv Miller, followed in the pocket and came out to go first-over. Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) then made a three-wide move. Artie's Ideal was too strong in deep stretch and held off second place finisher Buddy Hill to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.3. Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey) finished third as World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) took fourth.
The top four finishers qualified for the EBC final next Sunday (Aug. 18). Rollwithpapajoe finished fifth and is the also eligible for the final.
Artie's Ideal is 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. It was his first win this season.
Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley) held on to win the $12,500 second elimination.
Hickfromfrenchlick ($4.30) charged to the front and led to a first quarter of :28. He controlled the pace, hitting the half in :56.3. Major March (Jason Bartlett) went first-over just before Hickfromfrenchlick reached the three-quarter mark in 1:24.4.
Hickfromfrenchlick, who is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, and Thomas Spatorico, battled with Major March as they made the turn for home. Shake That House (Brian Sears) then found an opening on the inside but fell just short as Hickfromfrenchlick won in 1:51.4. Shake That House settled for second best with Major March third. Respect Our Flag (Dexter Dunn) finished fourth with Chatelroll getting fifth place. All five qualified for the EBC Final.
Hickfromfrenchlick is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was win number five this season and career victory number nine.
Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 16) with a 10 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. (Tioga)