Day At The Track

Cams Valentino breaks world record at Northfield

04:12 PM 12 Jun 2018 NZST
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Aaron Merriman, harness racing California Love, harness racing Spunky Bottom Girl, harness racing
Aaron Merriman drove Cams Valentine to a world record mile
Ed Keys photo
California Love (#3) finishes in a dead heat with No Smoker (on the inside)
Jeff Zamaiko photo
Spunky Bottom Girl with driver Tyler Smith
Jeff Zamaiko photo

Cams Valentino crossed the finish line faster than any other four year-old pacing gelding on a half-mile track in the history of harness racing when he won the $14,500 Open II in 1:49 on Monday (June 11).

The clocking also tied the all-age track on Northfield Park's half-mile oval. The former four year-old gelding world record was held by Wiggle It Jiggleit (2016, Nfld, Montrell Teague) and the Northfield record was solely held by Scott Rocks (6, 1:49, Aaron Merriman).

Arold, Drury, Kohut LLC owns Cams Valentino. Kent Sherman is his conditioner and Aaron Merriman was in the sulky for the winning drive.

Cams Valentino (Art Official-Cam's Valentine-Cam Fella) started from post one. He left from the gate and led the entire mile through times of :27, :54.2, 1:21.2 and 1:49, dominating his competition by 11 ½-lengths.

Cams Valentino now has five wins in 16 starts this year. Monday's victory represents his 12th career score and bolstered his bankroll to $88,634. He was heavily favored and returned $2.20 to win.

by Ayres Ratliff, for Northfield Park

$50,000 Ohio Sire Stake at Northfield

When Tyler Smith steered Spunky Bottom Girl to victory in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for sophomore trotting fillies on Monday night, June 11 at Northfield Park, it brought to fruition a long history of genetic luck for owner/breeder Ed Teefey.

 
“I bought the granddam of this filly, Princess Pan, 2, 2:01.1M  ($14,205) some ten years ago at the Meadowlands Sale,” said Teffey, a retired banker, harness announcer and auctioneer from Mount Sterling, IL. 
 
“She was a daughter of Supergill who was in foal to Classic Photo. I was standing next to trainer Tony Alagna, who told me he had bid on her yearling the year before for $70,000.  I was just standing there and made one bid of $5,700 and she, and her unborn foal, were mine.”
 
The following year, Teefey christened Princess Pan’s eleventh foal, a filly, Princess Addie, named after his first granddaughter.  Princess Addie is a full sister to the $384,105-winning mare Firstclassprincess 6, 1:53; and a half-sister to the gelding Peaceful Prince (by Lindy Lane) 7, 1:56.2f ($228,909), among others.
 
“She really didn’t have a lot of talent and then she broke a sesamoid at three,” Teefey recalled. “But she comes from the family of Illinois champion Lady Ann Reed, who was a prolific mare some four decades ago. So, on the advice of Tony (Alagna) and Myron (Bell), I bred her to My MVP, who stands here in Ohio (at Sugar Valley Farm) in Delaware.”
 
The resulting foal was Spunky Bottom Girl, who, Teefey noted, is named after a bluegrass band in Teefey’s hometown.
 
“We raced her ten times last year as a 2-year-old in Illinois,” Teefey explained. “She did okay for us (earning $15,225).  Trainer Mike Brink had her then and I kind of thought she’d step up a bit this year and mature, and so we decided to race her mainly in Ohio.  Two friends—Dean Beachy and Carl Becker—suggested I leave her with (trainer) Brent Davis in Zanesville, so that’s what we did.”
 
Spunky Bottom Girl left the gate at 7-1 odds and sat quietly mid-pack, while 3-2 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) and 20-1 Alana’s Ways (Josh Sutton) slugged it out, taking the field of seven to a :28 first panel clocking. Around the final turn Spunky Bottom Girl moved three-wide, with 4-5 favorite Impinktoo (Kayne Kauffman) four-wide, with the former drawing off to win by two lengths in a career best 1:55.4.  Impinktoo held on for second, while Sesame nailed down show honors.
 
The win upped Spunky Bottom Girl’s career earnings to $57,215 and was her first win of her 3-year-old career. She now has four wins in 17 career starts, along with four second-place finishes.
 
In the second $50,000 OSS division, rivals California Love (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Non Smoker (Danny Noble) hit the finish line together, in a 1:56.2 dead-heat for the win. 
 
Californian Love, a 17-1 shot trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver and Steve Zeehandelar, Marion Beachy and Moger-Delia Racing, is a Storming Norman lass bred by Beachy who has eight wins to her credit in 20 starts, with $96,752 in career earnings.  She was a solid fourth to Red Storm in Leg 1 of this series at Miami Valley on May 4.
 
Non Smoker captured her OSS Leg 1 division at Miami Valley on May 4 in 1:54 for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH.  Trained by Noble, the grey daughter by My MVP has a career bankroll of $76,601 from five wins in 12 starts. 
 
Leaving the gate at 7-2, Non Smoker repelled challenges by 1-2 Looking For Zelda (Tony Hall) and 9-2 Red Storm (Aaron Merriman), before getting caught by California Love at the wire.  Red Storm held on for third, three-quarters of a length behind the two victresses.
 
by Kim RInker, for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund
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