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LEBANON, OH. - Sectionline Bigry continued his winning ways Saturday night (April 21) at Miami Valley by capturing the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial harness racing championship for sophomore Ohio-sired pacing colts in a quick 1:51.1. The son of Pet Rock has now triumphed in four of his first five seasonal starts following a freshman campaign in which he won just one of ten while earning $41,479. "He had some bad posts, some bad luck and minor sickness problems that plagued him last year," said trainer Steve Bauder. "But he has filled out nicely while turned out and been razor sharp since we brought him back in. There's obviously going to be a lot of real nice Ohio 3-year-olds this year, but he is the sixth good horse his dam (Aquatic Yankee) has produced so he has a pedigree to continue improving." With the win, Sectionline Bigry got an automatic invitation to next Saturday's $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley, then he plans to return for the first leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes series at MVG on Sunday, May 6. Runnerup Bounding Dragon (Josh Sutton) and show finisher Dragonology (Chris Page) are expected to follow a similar path. Rockathon (Dan Noble), last year's O.S.S. runnerup who made an unfortunate break in stride during his Hackett elimination, recovered nicely on Saturday night as well, winning a conditioned race in 1:51.4 and could be Scarlet & Gray bound. Bauder trains the Hackett champion for his uncle and cousin, Harold Lee and Harold L. Bauder. A $23,000 Open I Pace on the same program produced a major upset when My Buddy Ninkster (Josh Sutton) topped odds-on favorite My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) in 1:50.2. Bob Phillips, who recorded his 1,000th training win since 1996 (when the USTA began keeping trainer statistics) on Friday at MVG, conditions the 6-year-old son of Dali for John Jr. and Mary Krasnican. Nuclear Dragon (Chris Page) made his first jump into Open company a creditable one with a third place finish. The $20,000 Open II Pace went to Escape The News (Tyler Smith), who topped Totally Kissed (Peter Wrenn) and Dalhousie Dave (Kyle Ater) in 1:50. Tyler George trains the 9-year-old winner for Clifford Grundy. The son of Artiscape is approaching $900,000 in career earnings. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Pass The Vape passed his first major test of his sophomore season on Tuesday afternoon (April 17), capturing the $40,000 championship leg of the first-ever James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired harness racing 3-year-old colt trotters. Started in 1971 at Lebanon Raceway, the Hackett Memorials have featured the Buckeye state's best juvenile pacers for 4-1/2 decades, but the trotters weren't added until 2018 by Miami Valley Raceway. Driver-trainer Derek Watiker popped the pocket at the head of the lane to trot home a 1:55.1 winner in his $15,000 Hackett elimination a week ago, but decided to take no prisoners in the final. Leaving strongly from the 7-hole, the son of Dejarmbro encountered only limited resistance while cutting modest fractions enroute to a 1:57.3 triumph. Pass The Vape held favored Sultan Of Cash (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), the other elimination winner, at bay by 1-1/2 lengths to score his fourth career win in just six lifetime starts. In his two wins as a 2-year-old, both at Ohio county fairs, the excitable colt overcame breaks in stride to still win. The next big test for Pass The Vape will be in the $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley on Saturday (April 28). Sultan Of Cash and third place finisher Sand Cash (Chris Page) also stamped themselves automatic invitations to Miami Valley's newest innovation, four lucrative Scarlet & Gray races sandwiched between the Hackett championships and the first leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes season on MVG's closing weekend. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Red Storm, dispatched as the betting favorite based on an impressive elimination win last week and an inside post draw, prevailed in the first-ever $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship for Ohio-sired harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies held at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday (April 16). Although the Hackett Memorial is one of the longest continuous events in Ohio harness racing, pre-dating even the Ohio Sires Stakes when it started in 1971, it has always featured pacers only until this year. Most of the best sophomore trotting colts in the Buckeye state will assemble Tuesday (April 17) afternoon for their $40,000 final. Red Storm withstood not only the challenge of a talented field of finalists-the top four finishers all got the identical time with a scant neck separating each one at the wire-but also the elements as a sudden snow squall accompanied by high winds descended on the track minutes before post time. Impinktoo , last year's 2-year-old Ohio Sires Stakes champion, was first away from the gate for driver Peter Wrenn, reaching the quarter mile station in :28.3. After she got a relative breather to the :57.4 halfway point, Red Storm (Aaron Merriman) made a bold brush to the front before the three-quarters was reached in 1:26.2. As the field fanned out coming off the final bend, a thrilling cavalry charge ensued to the finish line. Longshot Spunky Bottom Girl (Tyler Smith) got up for second followed by Non Smoker (Dan Noble) and California Love (Trace Tetrick). All four fillies were timed in 1:57.4. Sandra Burnett bred and is still the owner of Red Storm, who banked $109,975 in 2017 on the basis of a 3-2-1 scorecard in just seven starts. The chestnut daughter of Stormin Normand has learned all her early lessons from highly regarded trotting trainer Chris Beaver. The top three finishers in each Hackett final, as well as the defending Ohio Sires Stakes freshman champion (if qualified), receive automatic bids to one of the four $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitationals that Miami Valley will present on Friday, April 27 (fillies) and Saturday, April 28 (colts). Other owners and trainers with good Ohio-breds worthy of consideration should contact Race Secretary Gregg Keidel or enter online in hopes of receiving an invitation to take one of the remaining spots on the Scarlet & Gray starting gate. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. – Nine of the finest Ohio-sired 3-year-old colts and geldings earned starting spots in the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship next week by finishing top three in one of a trio of very quick $12,500 elimination heats on Saturday (April 15) at Miami Valley Raceway.  The Hackett Series, now in its 46th year, serves annually as the kickoff event to open the Buckeye state’s stakes season for harness racing sophomore pacers. Major Nemesis (Tony Hall) sped to a 1:51.2 track record performance in the final elimination, besting fellow finalists Barley Up (Peter Wrenn) and McRaven (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.).  It was the first start of the year for the winning son of Big Bad John, who had won twice in his freshman campaign earning $17,135.  Mike Medors trains Major Nemesis for Drs. Robert and Randall Hutchison.  The colt returned $11.20 to his $2 mutuel backers. Major Nemesis Heracer (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), a son of Art Official, triumphed in 1:52.4 over White Jet (Chris Page) and Up On The Outside (Brady Galliers) in the second split.  Trainer Chris Beaver shares ownership of Heracer with partners Synerco Vent Inc., Jim Burnett and Tim Homan.  He now sports three wins and just over $20,000 in earnings in his brief career.  Drunk On Your Love (Dan Noble) captured the first split, narrowly defeating Camwood (Peter Wrenn) and Indigo Art (Tony Hall) in 1:53.2.  Owner Mark Ford of New York has entrusted the Foreclosure N gelding to trainer Jim Pollock Jr.’s care for the Ohio stakes season.  On the merits of three wins and $70,000 in 2016 earnings, Drunk On Your Love went postward as the even-money favorite despite just a pair of 2017 qualifiers prior to the Hackett. A $22,000 Open Handicap Pace was also contested with Kiss Of Terror (Kyle Ater) producing a major upset in 1:50, a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old altered son of Western Terror.  Owners Kirk Nichols and Seth Downing claimed Kiss Of Terror for $30,000 just over a month ago and have now won two open events in five starts.  It was the bay gelding’s 20th lifetime win, eighth this year, and increased his seasonal bounty to a whopping $81,925—all at Miami Valley. Kiss Of Terror Miami Valley will be racing on Easter Sunday with the 14-race matinee beginning at 2:05 p.m. Gregg Keidel

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