Nichols, NY -- Tug River Princess and Eric Goodell captured the $127,000 fourth edition of the Artiscape Pace on Saturday night (Sept. 12) at Tioga Downs in 1:52.4.
Tug River Princess won the $127,000 Artiscape Pace in 1:52.4, a new track record for 4-year-old pacing mares at Tioga Downs.
In front of more than 3,000 fans on closing night, Eric Goodell settled Tug River Princess in fourth as the other half of the Ross Croghan trained entry, Southwind Tempo (Tim Tetrick), got to the quarter in 27.2. Hana Hanover and George Brennan settled in the pocket, while Yannick Gingras and Darlin’s Delight dropped in third. As the field settled down and headed towards the half-mile mark Goodell flushed cover from Darlin’s Delight and tripped the half mile tele-timer in 56.
With Darlin’s Delight first-over, Tetrick hit the gas and rushed through a 27.4 third quarter as the field set up for stretch duel. At the top of the stretch Goodell tipped three-wide and edged entrymate Southwind Tempo on the wire in 1:52.1 to establish a new track record for 4-year-old pacing mares.
Darlin’s Delight, who suffered a tough trip, fought gamely to the wire to hang on for third and was only beaten a head for the win.
Ross Croghan trains Tug River Princess for Let It Ride Stables, Robert Cooper Stables, and Jerry Silva. It was the fourth win in 10 seasonal starts for the 4-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover-Aucryifiwanto, who increased her seasonal earnings to more than $386,000.
With the second-place finish, Southwind Tempo increased her career earnings to $1,998,081 and is less than $2,000 away from becoming just the seventh pacing mare ever to reach the $2 million mark in earnings. Hana Hanover was overloaded with pace down the stretch, but had no place to go and had to settle for a fourth-place finish.
Tioga Down’s year-end awards were awarded after the fourth race on Saturday night with Jimmy Marohn Jr. picking up driver of the year, and Phil Fluet and Michael Deters each taking home the co-trainer of the year title with 31 wins on the season. The Michael Deters-trained pacing mare Lucy Lucy took home the pacer of the year honors, with Righteous trained by Paul Bernardo trotter of the year.
Phil Fluet also captured three driving victories on the night’s 11-race card.