Have you ever thought harness racing has gotten too much like golf, being a gentleman's game? If so, you would have loved Sunday's Shady Daisy and Cane Pace at Tioga Downs.
In the Shady Daisy Nikki Beach played some good old fashioned hard ball, refusing to give up the lead (until he ran out of steam). Don't get me wrong, that move cost me any chance to collect on the race, but these days stakes races are too often raced like the win is already conceded before the race begins and turn into snooze fests.
Maybe if we raced the old fashioned way of racing tough, more people would be interested in the game.
What more can you say about Captaintreacherous? The line couldn't come fast enough in the Cane Pace for the 'Captain. While the 'Captain went wire to wire, he had to win the race the old fashioned way, he earned it thanks to the constant pressure of Varadero Hanover for the first half mile of the race. No letting the Captain get away with an easy mile. Yes, the 'Captain was fortunate to have the rail during the duel but even with the rail he had to fight of a swarm in the stretch to win in 1:49.2, giving the fans a race to remember.
Based on this and earlier performances, they may as well start engraving Captaintreacherous' name on the end of year hardware right now.
Chalk one up for the little guy. Jimmy Marohn Jr, leading driver at Tioga Downs,. took advantage of being able to choose his mount in the last leg of the annual Drivers Challenge and it worked out for him as Marohn won the last leg of the contest, giving him the the overall contest title earning a cool $25,000 (he won $10,000 for taking the first leg of the contest at Vernon Downs last week), defeating Brian Sears and Tim Tetrick among other top money earner drivers in the nation.
Granted, it was only one competition but it is interesting to note in a contest where the trainers didn't get to pick the driver, the little guy came out on top. Make no mistake, to compete in the top tier of racing a driver must have talent, but it also goes to show you there are some darn good drivers racing outside of the limelight who by choice or luck don't get to shine because trainers don't give them the opportunity.