Eastend Eddie and Jason Bartlett captured the featured $16,500 open pace on Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.
Leaving from post position four in a field of eight, Bartlett left for early position and was able to tuck Eastend Eddie in behind Vlos (Fern Paquet Jr.) halfway through the first turn into an opening quarter in :26.3. The field then raced in straight alignment with Home Again Dragon (Mark MacDonald) sitting third through a half in :55.2.
As the field straightened up and headed towards three-quarters, Paquet put the pedal down, and the top three got some separation from the rest of the field by three-quarters in 1:22.2. At the three-quarter mark of the race, Bartlett angled Eastend Eddie to the outside to challenge the leader and around the final turn went right on by.
Eastend Eddie quickly got back to the pylons and opened up on Vlos to win by open lengths stopping the timer in 1:50. The mile was just a fifth of a second off the track record for four-year-old gelding pacers held by Sapphire City (Tyler Buter) of 1:49.4. Vlos held on for second, while Home Again Dragon was third.
Ron Burke trains the four-year-old son of Million Dollar Cam–Armbro Cinema for the partnership of Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. The win was the third straight at Tioga Downs for Eastend Eddie and his sixth in 13 seasonal outings.
Tioga Downs also held the first leg of the GSY Amateur Pacing Series on Sunday afternoon as a non-wagering event before the races. Western Dancing and Chris Shambo were motoring three-wide in deep stretch to get up at the wire in 1:56.3.
In the Billings Amateur trot race, driver Alan Schwartz waited patiently, sitting third along the rail with S F Sure Thing until finding room deep in the stretch to win in 1:59.1.