Day At The Track

GD Western Joe dominant winning Open Pace

02:38 PM 17 Jan 2021 NZDT
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GD Western Joe topped Tivo Hanover to win the $22,000 Open Pace at Miami Valley in 1:52, Harness racing
GD Western Joe topped Tivo Hanover to win the $22,000 Open Pace at Miami Valley in 1:52
Conrad photo

LEBANON, OH. - Despite ducking to the back of the pack from an assigned outside post position, razor sharp GD Western Joe circled the entire harness racing field to win Miami Valley's $22,000 Open Pace on Saturday (Jan. 16), his fourth win at the head of the class to go with one runnerup finish in his last five starts.

After leaving the gate for good early position in his last six starts, driver Chris Page implemented a different strategy in this outing. Starting a length off the gate, Page guided the six-year-old son of Real Desire to the pylons trailing all eight of his adversaries when the quarter was reached by favored Stars Align A (Dan Noble) in :26.2. Sensing a rapid pace, Page was content to keep his charge in arrears past the halfway juncture in :55.1. It wasn't until the field was nearing the 1:23.1 three quarter mark that GD Western Joe was moved into the outer flow. Moving wider and wider around the final turn, Page was five wide as the stretch drive got underway. When the early fractions took their toll on Stars Align N a cavalry charge to the wire ensued.

GD Western Joe prevailed in 1:52, followed by Tivo Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) and The Dark Shadow (Trevor Smith). The winner, trained by Ron Burke, paid $8.40. A $2 exacta was worth $49.40, a 50-cent trifecta returned $97.10, and a correct 10-cent Buckeye High 5 ducat returned $1,263.43.

Five $22,500 divisions of the final preliminary leg of the Claim To Fame series for $20,000 horses and geldings determined the finalists for next week's $32,500 championship tilt.

Saturday winners were Ron's EOM (Trace Tetrick, 1:51.3, $9), Jet Rock (Tyler Smith, 1:52.2, $3.60), Cyclone Kiwi N (Tetrick, 1:52.4, $4.20), Polak A (Tetrick, 1:53, $10.20) and Townline Flight (Josh Sutton, 1:53.3, $6).

Repeat winners Jet Rock and Townline Flight tied for the most series earnings and will be joined in the final by Dubious Claim, Polak A, Windsun Gotham, Ron's EOM, Absolut Rocks and Jeremes General.

 

Gregg Keidel

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