Enjoying a solid form spree in early-year stakes events on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit, Bourbon Bay ($7.30) shipped south to Tioga Downs as one of six entrants in the Opening Day (May 2) feature, leaving the other five in his wake en route to a 1:52.1 score in the $14,000 Open Trot.
The four-year-old Sand Vic gelding allowed Deacons Valley to clear the front early, powering to the fore after a :27.1 first quarter and not looking back. After clearing the lead and continuing through a :55.3 half, lessee/driver John Cummings Jr. opened up on the field with Bourbon Bay, amassing a three-length lead through a :27.1 third quarter and holding that margin through the far turn. While 3-5 favourite Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons) mounted a rally off the far turn, he could only gain into second, one and three-quarter lengths in arrears of Bourbon Bay's 1:52.1 track record performance. Deacons Valley faded to third after chasing from the pocket.
Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who cored his 14th career win in 30 starts.
The five-eighths-mile track, rated "fast" for the Opening Day 10-race card, was truly fast, with seven winners equalling or improving upon their lifetime marks.
While Mike Simons couldn't prevail with Twin B Spike Man in the featured event, he registered five wins on the program, scoring with My Muscleman ($6.00, 1:55), Lightning Paige ($3.90, 1:54), Twain Drive ($3.50, 1:57.2), Crazy Eyes ($5.50, 1:56.2), and J R Jazz ($9.30, 1:57.1).