09/01/2014 4:18PM

Tioga: Lyonssomewhere wires field in the Cane Pace

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Fred Brown
Lyonssomewhere (7) holds off the hard-charging He's Watching to post the upset.

Driver Yannick Gingras meant business in the $437,325 Cane Pace at Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon. He steered Lyonssomewhere to the front and took no prisoners in a strong showing to capture the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown.

With Lyonssomewhere quickly on top, driver Ron Pierce pulled the pocket briefly with Luck Be Withyou before the 26-second opening quarter to attempt a retake. But Gingras was insistent on having the front and refused to give way.

It was past the 53 3/5 half that Luck Be Withyou finally vacated the pocket and took aim on the leader. He was followed up by JK Endofanera and the heavy favorite He’s Watching on the rim. With three quarters on the board in a speedy 1:21 3/5, JK Endofanera and He’s Watching were both attempting to mount a charge from the back as Lyonssomewhere looked to open up on the lead.

In the stretch Lyonssomewhere had gained enough of an advantage to hold on for a safe victory over He’s Watching with the closing Doo Wop Hanover who rallied for third.

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“Around the last turn I figured I’d try to get some separation and it worked,” said Gingras, who capped off a day in which he won the $25,000 first prize in the Meadowlands/Vernon/Tioga driver challenge.

“I had a feeling that he could do it,” said trainer Jimmy Takter, also commenting that the horse was supplemented for $35,000 so they could have the opportunity to race in the Little Brown Jug on September 18.

The Cane win was the fifth on the year in eight starts for the Geoffrey Lyons Mound-owned 3-year-old colt.

The winning time of 1:49 3/5 was a lifetime best. Lyonssomewhere paid $40.20 to win.

The pace was fast in the $124,325 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old filly pacers and that set it up for Also Encouraging to charge home in the lane for the victory.

Beach Boy was quick to the front but gave way into the pocket when Gallie Bythe Beach took control past the 26 2/5 opening quarter. Fancy Desire was first to the rim on the second turn and applied steady mild pressure past the half in 54 1/5 and three quarters in 1:22 2/5. At that point the closers were licking their chops.

Katie Said swung wide on the final turn off cover as the third over Cinamony and Also Encouraging also attempted to launch home with a big rally. Ultimately Also Encouraging was the strongest in the lane, charging through the stretch for driver David Miller to best Katie Said and Ali Blue in 1:52.

“There was a lot of speed, which I kind of figured,” said Miller about the way the race played out early. “She really kicked it in when I asked her.”

Also Encouraging is trained by Casie Coleman for West Wins Stable. The victory was her fourth in 13 starts this year.

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