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LEBANON, OH. - Insomniac and Foolish Heart were crowned harness racing champions of their respective Claim To Fame Series on Monday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway. Each captured a preliminary leg enroute to the lucrative finals and each utilized the popular "give and go" strategy early in their triumphant championship miles. Insomniac proved best in the $15,000 claiming trot division, contested for a $27,500 purse, scoring a 1:58.1 triumph over a sloppy track besting Away My Baby (Tyler Smith) and Ray Hall (Ricky Macomber Jr.). Taking full advantage of an inside post draw, driver-trainer Brady Galliers allowed a single adversary to manage a temporary lead but retook control as the field passed the quarter mile marker. From there, the margin of victory was about the only thing in doubt as the 8-year-old gelded son of Crazed easily lived up to his 6-5 favoritism and cruised to an open lengths victory. A noted early speed trotter, Insomniac has been on the lead at the halfway point in each of his last five starts, resulting in three wins in addition to a second a third place finish. The 29-time winner has now amassed $350,517 in earnings. He is owned by Galliers Racing LLC. Insomniac Trace Tetrick guided Foolish Heart to victory in the $17,500 final of the Claim To Fame division for $8000 claiming mare pacers. The 6-year-old daughter of Foreclosure N reclaimed the lead from stablemate T C Scandal (Brett Miller) early in the trip then showed her heels to the field until reaching the wire in 1:56.2. Skyway Royalty (John DeLong) and My Caroline (Kyle Ater) did make a race of it in the stretch, but Foolish Heart held them off and returned $3.80 to her faithful. Partners Carl Howard, Dana Parham and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. claimed the winner out of the first preliminary leg in the series for $9600 and were rewarded with a $8,750 return in their first start with the new stable addition. The eight division Claim To Fame Series at Miami Valley will come to a close on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 28) when the $8000 claiming "boys" and $12,500 claiming "girls" will each decide their championships while chasing $22,500 purses. Post time is 2:05 p.m. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - The Dark Shadow pulled a major harness racing upset in the $37,500 championship leg of Miami Valley's Claim To Fame series for $30,000 male pacers on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 26). Driver Sam Widger, perhaps buoyed by winning the $20,000 Claim To Fame division with Pet Shark as a longshot from an outside post position on Saturday, exploded his charge from the 8-hole behind the Woebkenberg starting gate. After reaching the quarter mile marker on top in :26.1, the 6-year-old Shadow Play gelding continued to keep the pedal to the metal tripping the middle clocking stations in :54.2 and 1:22.2. Facing pressure from eventual runnerup Street Boy (Jeremy Smith) throughout the final panel and then show finisher Southern Flight (Brady Galliers) up the inside in the lane, The Dark Shadow held off both challengers to score in 1:52.1 and take down the lion's share of the meet's largest purse to date. The winner, dispatched at 15-1 odds, paid $32.60. Coupled with Street Boy the exacta returned $239.60; while the 50-cent trifecta with Southern Flight kicked back $308.75. Owner-trainer Adam Short collared The Dark Shadow via the claim box for $30,000 from the first leg of the series. His wise investment has already returned $32,500 by winning the second leg and final. With his 16th win from 81 career starts, The Dark Shadow surpassed the quarter million dollar earnings plateau. There will be racing programs on Monday and Tuesday afternoons at Miami Valley Raceway followed by evening cards on Friday and Saturday. There will be no racing on Sunday, Feb. 2 in deference to the Super Bowl. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. – A pair of ultra-impressive harness racing performances, both by horses starting from the outermost No. 9 post position, highlighted the Saturday (Jan. 25) night action at Miami Valley Raceway. Windsong Leo (Chris Page) ran his win streak to five capturing the $25,000 Open Pace in 1:52 over a sloppy track.  The outstanding 8-year-old son of Jereme’s Jet has won three straight at the top level at The Meadows and now two straight at Miami Valley following a third place finish in the Preferred at The Meadowlands to end 2019. Page rushed his odds-on favorite, trained by Ron Burke, off the gate and controlled all the fractions (:27.1, :56 and 1:23.3) enroute to the victory.  Windsong Leo, a 53 time winner in 117 career starts, towed Gerardo (Kayne Kauffman), My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith), Shagnwiththedragon (John DeLong) and General Dolan (Trace Tetrick) across the wire. Pet Shark (Sam Widger) copped the $32,500 championship final of the Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 male pacers. After leaving with alacrity from his outside post, Widger and Pet Shark pestered favored Ponderingjacksfame (Page) through fractions of :27.4, :55.4 and 1:24.1. Despite being dispatched at odds of 17-1 and never seeing a pylon in the race, the winning 7-year-old Shadyshark Hanover gelding mustered a gutsy :29.2 final panel to hold off the late charges of Ram N Desire (Smith) and Cool Like That (Brett Miller). Owners Ryan Bellamy and Chris Bulak claimed Pet Shark for $26,000 a week ago in the final preliminary leg of the series and got $16,250 of that investment back in the final.  The winner now sports 19 triumphs in his 114 lifetime starts. Pet Shark was an upset winner in the $32,500 championship leg of Miami Valley’s Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 claimers. Racing resumes Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. at Miami Valley when the feature will be the $37,500 championship final of the Claim To Fame Series for $30,000 male pacers.  Gregg Keidel

 LEBANON, OH. – When you are good, you are good!  When you are hot, you are hot!!  A pair of five-year-old harness racing pacers, Hal N Sammy and Danikova, fit both clichés to a T on Friday night (Jan. 24) winning their respective lucrative championships in the first pair of finals in the popular Claim To Fame series’ currently underway at Miami Valley Raceway.  Both swept their series undefeated by winning a pair of preliminary legs leading up to the final as well. Hal N Sammy (Brett Miller) scored in 1:54.1 on the rain dampened oval over Hell On Wheels (Aaron Merriman) and Hopetobefirst (Trace Tetrick) in the horses and geldings division for $12,500 claimers.  The gelded son of Yankee Cruiser banked $26,250, including the winner’s share of the $25,000 final, in the three week span after winning just $22,673 in 29 starts last season.  Owner Gregory Gardner and trainer Brandon Piguet were racing the champion in $10,000 claiming events leading up to the start of the $12,500 series. The improving winner paid $7.00 after exploding from the pocket to collar pacesetting Hell On Wheels in midstretch. Danikova (Chris Page) was crowned queen of the division for $20,000 claiming mares when she also completed a sweep of her series with a nose decision over Velocity Lana (Aaron Merriman) and longshot Model (Trevor Smith).  The daughter of Bettor’s Delight overcame an overland journey from far back to nip the pacesetting runnerup in the final stride of the exciting 1:55 mile.  Danikova getting a nose decision in 1:55                           --Conrad photo The winner’s share of the $30,000 final boosted Danikova’s series earnings to $36,250 and her lifetime bankroll to $163,947.  She was bred and is still owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the M1 Stable.  She returned $8.80 at the mutual windows. The $25,000 Mares Open also featured a repeat winner in Golden Paradise (Trace Tetrick).  Sitting the pocket trip throughout, the six-year-old mare wore down the frontrunners and then held off closers Sandy Sue (Chris Page) and Debt Motivated (Brett Miller) to cop the 1:53.4 victory.  Golden Paradise’s bankroll swelled to over a quarter million dollars with the triumph for trainer Tyler George and his partners Sam Schillaci and Wrenn Jr. Racing LLC. Golden Paradise winning the Mares Open                        --Conrad photo Racing resumes Saturday night (Jan. 25) with a 14-race card highlighted by a $25,000 Open Pace and the $32,500 final of the Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 male pacers.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) returned to the harness racing winner's circle for the second time in three weeks on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 21) at Miami Valley Raceway, winning the $25,000 Open Handicap Trot in 1:53.3 over Walter White (Jeremy Smith) and Trumpets (Ed Greeno Jr.). The quick clocking, on a frigid 27 degree afternoon, equaled the winner's lifetime best and raised the 6-year-old's lifetime earnings over $230,000. He is owned by trainer Lester Raber in partnership with his breeder Floyd Raber. Finalists were also determined in a pair of Claim To Fame series, each carrying $22,500 purses in their championship finals next Tuesday. M E Radar Girl swept both preliminary legs to emerge as the money earning leader among the $12,500 claiming mares group. The remaining top nine earners were Smash, Don't Mach Mia, Galyns Gift, Crazy Bad K, Grant Me This, Sweet Western, Keystone Nikki and Grimalkin. Blacklist Z Tam topped the earnings list among $8000 claiming horses and geldings, who competed in seven preliminary divisions to determine the final field. Others who secured spots are N Expense, Legal Transfer, Double Impact, Putnams Attack, Colossal, Totally Kissed, New Patrol and Beachboy Desire. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Away My Baby and Entranced punched tickets to the 'Big Dance' by winning $17,500 splits of the harness racing final preliminary leg of the Claim To Fame Series for $15,000 trotters at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday afternoon (Jan. 20). The championship leg next Monday, Jan. 27, features a $27,500 purse. Away My Baby (Tyler Smith) pulled a major upset in the first division, edging runnerup Kiwi Pres (Brett Miller) and heavily favored show finisher Insomniac (Trace Tetrick) in 1:56.1. Sent off at 30-1 odds the Sherif Cunmulaj trainee, a 6-year-old daughter of And Away We Go, paid $63.80 for taking full advantage of an opening up the inside in deep stretch. Coupled with Kiwi Pres, who managed a brief short lead in the lane, the exacta returned $109; while the 50-cent trifecta with the favored Insomniac, who gave up the lead in the shadow the wire, kicked back $114.65. Insomniac, who was claimed off trainer Brady Galliers in the first leg, was claimed back by Galliers for the final. Entranced (John DeLong) narrowly defeated Ray Hall (Brett Miller) and Ursis Des Caillons (Kayne Kauffman) to secure his spot in the lucrative championship tilt. The 9-year-old Kadabra gelding, owned and trained by Joe Cirasuola, paid $6.60 following his come-from-behind triumph. The top nine money earners in the series comprise the final field. In order of earnings, they are Entranced, Insomniac, Away My Baby, Kiwi Pres, Infrontandforgetit, Here's The Magic, Ray Hall, Its Chocolate Time and Ursis Des Caillons. Two final preliminary heats of the Claim To Fame Series for $8000 claiming mares were also contested. Upsetter My Caroline (Kyle Ater) took the first division in 1:54.3; while D Gs Shadowsbell (Jeremy Smith) copped the other in 1:54.4. Joining those two winners in the $17,500 final next week will be Foolish Heart, TCs Scandal, Skyway Royalty, Elm Grove Joanette, Big Chute, Melanies Filly and Analyze. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - The field is set for the richest event of the Miami Valley harness racing season, the $37,500 final of the Claim To Fame series for $30,000 horses and geldings on next Sunday (Jan. 26). A trio of $27,500 divisions of second round action were contested Sunday (Jan. 19) to determine the nine finalists. Winners were Lincolnjames (Brett Miller, 1:53.1, $3.00), Normandy Beach (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.3, $4.60) and The Dark Shadow (Chris Page, 1:52.4, $27.20). They will be joined by Southern Flight, Street Boy, The Book Of Life, Bestman Hanover, Sammy The Bull N and Dakota Roadster in the lucrative championship race. Normandy Beach, the only two time winner in the preliminary legs, was claimed for $39,000 by the partnership of Virgil Morgan Jr., Carl Howard and Dana Parham and will race out of the new barn in the final. From Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Following an outstanding 2019 harness racing season in Pennsylvania and along the East Coast, Windsong Leo crossed the border into Ohio on Saturday night (Jan. 18) to take on the Midwest's best pacers in Miami Valley's $25,000 Open I Pace. The result was another win, the 8-year-old's fourth straight and 17th in his last 31 starts. Driver Chris Page was aboard the even money favorite, who was assigned an outside post off three straight stellar triumphs in the top class at The Meadows. Unhurried early in the mile, Windsong Leo steadily advanced throughout the 1:53.2 score by collaring pacesetting Lifewithjohn (Ricky Macomber Jr.) around the final bend and comfortably holding off the late rushes of Granite (Jeremy Smith) and Beyond Delight (Trace Tetrick) through the stretch. Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura own the winner, a son of Jereme's Jet who lifetime bankroll has swelled to $608,960. The feature race win was one of five on the program for Page. A $20,000 Open II Pace was captured by Shagnwiththedragon (John DeLong) over Gerardo (Kayne Kauffman) and I'm A Big Deal (Josh Sutton), also clocked in 1:53.2. J.D. Perrin trains the 6-year-old Dragon Again gelding who is owned by his wife Tessa Perrin and Eim Racing. He paid $17.20 to his backers. Three divisions of the second leg of the Claim To Fame series for $20,000 male pacers also went postward, each for a purse of $22,500. Winners were Pet Shark (Trevor Smith, 1:55.4, $5.60), Hereittiz (Trace Tetrick, 1:55, $9.20) and Ponderingjacksfame (Chris Page, 1:55, $3.00). The three winners will be joined by the next six highest money winners in next Saturday's $32,500 championship leg of the series. Those remaining finalists are Winna Winna, Persistent Threat A, Monte Cristo, Ram N Desire, Cool Like That and JD's Macca Lodge. From Miami Valley Raceway

LEBANON, OH. - Golden Paradise (Trace Tetrick) became the third harness racing mare in three weeks to win the Open Mares Pace at Miami Valley Raceway, topping Up Front Flor Ida (Kayne Kauffman) and Allbeastnobeauty (Aaron Merriman) in the $24,000 event on Friday night (Jan. 17). The winner, a 6-year-old daughter of Allthatgltrsisgold who won ten races and $133,175 in 2019, was forced to come first-up into pedestrian fractions that resulted in a 1:54 score. Making her first start since October, Golden Paradise was eased away in third from a two-hole start, but was flushed into the outer flow after a :27.1 opening panel. With the field double tiered from to back due to a :30 second quarter, Tetrick and his charge ground on the outside for the final 5/8ths of the mile before pulling away in the last sixteenth. Dispatched at 9-2 odds, Golden Paradise returned $11.80. Owned by Sam Schillaci, Wrenn Jr. Racing LLC and trainer Tyler George, she now has 29 wins in 85 starts on her lifetime resume good for $256,802 in earnings. Finalists were determined in a pair of Claim To Fame series on Friday night. Johns Baby Girl (Tyler Smith, 1:52.3, $3.60) and Danikova (Chris Page, 1:53.3, $7.00) both repeated in the $20,000 claiming mares division. They will be joined by Part-Time Hanover, Youlookhot, Shes Gorgeous Lady, Model, Velocity Lana, Sumthenforthegirlz and Atlantic Star if all nine leading money winners enter the $30,000 final leg. In the division for $12,500 pacing horses and geldings, the winners were Panoramic View (Sam Widger, 1:52.3, $8.00), Hal N Sammy (Brett Miller, 1:53, $8.40) and Hopetobefirst (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.3, $29.60). Rounding out the $25,000 final field, if all enter, will be Hell On Wheels, Boogie Nights, Moonwards Hanover, Rolling Thunder, Ahdoughnolum and Sedona Seelster-with a strict limit of no more than two horses for any owner or trainer. Racing resumes Saturday night at Miami Valley with a 6:05 p.m. post time. The card features a $25,000 Open I Pace, a $20,000 Open II Pace, and three $22,500 divisions of second round Claim To Fame action for $20,000 male pacers. From Miami Valley Raceway    

LEBANON, OH. - Walter White, one of the Midwest's most consistent check-getters in the Open trotting ranks, broke through at Miami Valley Raceway on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 14) to capture the track's $22,500 feature for squaregaiters in 1:54.1. The 8-year-old winner of over a half million dollars topped Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) and Whata Swan (John DeLong) to shake a string of four straight place and show finishes at the top level. Driver Jeremy Smith left enough to slip into third during the first half mile, which featured quarter-mile clockings of :28.3 and :56.4. Shortly thereafter Jeremy and Walter White rushed up outside to challenge the favored pacesetter and eventual runnerup. Lapped on to the leader at the 1:25 station, the James Eaton trainee drew onto even terms by midstretch and surged ahead in the final strides. Walter White paid $25.40 to win and the exacta with the public choice Sweet Mr Pinetucky returned $89.20. The winning son of Cantab Hall is owned by Robert Silberberg. The final pair of Claim To Fame series out of the eight that are currently underway at Miami Valley kicked off with first leg action for $12,500 claiming mares and $8000 claiming horses and geldings. Dont Mach Mia (Trace Tetrick) and M E Radar Girl (Brett Miller) won the two mares splits in 1:54 and 1:54.1 respectively. Dont Mach Mia beat Crazy Bad K (Jeremy Smith) and Sweet Western (Brett Miller) to the wire as an odds-on favorite. The 5-year-old daughter of Mach Three was one of five entrants claimed out of the two 9-horse fields. She raced for owner Rene Allard and trainer Tyler George in the first leg, but will be part of the Larry Finn Stable in her next outing. M E Radar Girl made her first start from the Virgil Morgan Jr. Stable a winning one after a claim from a $10,000 event eleven days earlier during the first week of the Miami Valley meet. Co-owned by Carl Howard of Fazoli's Restaurants fame, the 7-year-old Radar Sign lass bested Galyns Gift (John DeLong) and Keystone Nikki (Trace Tetrick) in the first leg. Winners in the quartet of $8000 divisions for males were Colossal (Trace Tetrick, 1:54.1, $5.00), New Patrol (Chris Page, 1:53.3, $8.60), N Expense (Chris Page, 1:53.3, $9.00) and Putnams Attack (John DeLong, 1:53.2, $8.40). A total of nine horses including a lone winner (N Expense) were collared out of the four divisions via the claim box during first leg competition. From Miami Valley Raceway    

LEBANON, OH. - Initial legs of a couple more popular Claim To Fame series set sail on Monday afternoon (Jan. 13) at Miami Valley Raceway. $15,000 claiming trotters and $8000 claiming pacing mares contested their opening rounds in two harness racing divisions each. Insomniac (driver-trainer Brady Galliers) crushed the quickest split among trotters, besting Here's The Magic (John DeLong) and Taurus Du Parc (Tyler Smith) by a whopping 18 lengths in 1:53.4. The 8-year-old Crazed gelding took no prisoners, widening his advantage with practically every stride during the impressive mile. Insomniac, however, will be racing for new connections in his next start as he was collared for $15,000 via the claim box by Rene Allard and Bruce Soulsby for trainer Chris Short. Infrontandforgetit (Josh Sutton) won the other division in 1:57 and was also claimed. The 5-year-old Dontyouforgetit mare entered the race as part of the Ron Burke Brigade, but came out of it belonging to new owner William Hartt and trainer Mike Hitchcock. Kiwi Pres (Brett Miller) and Entranced (John DeLong) were next to cross the line in the contest. The trotters will chase enhanced $17,500 purses in the second leg next Monday carrying claiming tags enhanced by 30%. When they reach the final, the top earners in the series will race for a $27,500 bounty. T C Scandal (Brett Miller) and Foolish Heart (Trace Tetrick) were winners of the two $8000 splits for claiming mares. T C Scandal topped Skyway Royalty (John DeLong) and Analyze (Tyler Smith) in 1:53.2 for owners Kiara and Tre Morgan, the grown children of trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. Foolish Heart got the best of Melanie's Filly (Brett Miller) and Freedom Rolls (Jason Brewer) in 1:54.2. The winner was one of six mares taken via the claim box from the two divisions, however. A $22,500 Open Trot, four divisions of the opening round of Claim To Fame action for $8000 horses and geldings, and a pair of splits for $12,500 female pacers will highlight the Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 14) matinee at Miami Valley. From Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - The claim box at Miami Valley Raceway was flooded on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 12) as 18 $30,000 claims were submitted prior to the racing of the three harness racing divisions of the most lucrative annual Claim To Fame Series. After eliminating the duplicates by random draw, a total of eight horses changed hands for a total of $240,000, including a pair of first leg winners. Southern Flight (Brady Galliers) copped the first $25,000 split for the $30,000 claimers. The 1:53.1 upset winner ($26.00 win mutual) topped Best Man Hanover (Trevor Smith) and Class Six (Shawn Barker II) for owner Brian Witt and trainer Larry Finn. Favorites Rock Out and The Dark Shadow were both claimed from the race, but finished fifth and sixth in this first leg action. Heavily favored Street Boy (Trace Tetrick, $2.60) dominated the second division, besting The Book Of Life (Josh Sutton) and Noah Z Tam (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:52. The winner, entered by Allard Racing Inc. and trained locally by Tyler George, was plucked via claim from the race as was the runnerup. Tetrick also steered the winner of the final division, Normandy Beach ($5.60), who also clocked a 1:52 mile to beat Dakota Roadster (Trevor Smith) and Lincolnjames (Brady Galliers). Allard Racing also owned this winner with partners Bruce Soulsby, VIP Internet Stable and Chris Carson-although Normandy Beach will race for new connections in the second leg after being one of four horses snagged from this field. Others who shipped home in different trailers than they came were Lincolnjames, Get Around Town and Savage Seelster. Claiming prices escalate by 30% in the second leg of the series next Sunday (Jan. 19), with purses jumping to $27,500. The lucrative final in Week 3 will chase a purse of $37,500. Racing resumes at Miami Valley on Monday and Tuesday afternoons with the matinee programs beginning at 2:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Granite (Jeremy Smith) added to his impressive harness racing resume in the $24,000 Open Pace at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night (Jan. 11), topping Fan Of Terror (John DeLong) and My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) in 1:52.1 over a damp racing surface that stood up well despite weekend long rain showers. Jeremy Smith and Granite were content to sit fourth along the pylons while My Hero Ron parked favored Fan Of Terror around the first turn on the way to a :26.1 opening panel. My Hero Ron then lead the field through a pedestrian :30.2 second quarter as Granite commenced a grinding first-over attack shortly before the :56.3 beam. Moving up to second during the :27 third quarter (1:23.3) Granite was still forced to challenge on the rim before finally pulling away to victory in the last 100 yards. Owned by The Panhellenic Stable and trained by Ken Rucker, Granite has now captured 29 lifetime wins and earned $534,775. The 7-year-old son of Real Desire paid $9.40 to win. The Ken Rucker Stable also captured a $20,000 Open II Pace when Rose Run Uriah (Jeremy Smith) edged ahead of Beyond Delight (John DeLong) in the final strides. Tyd The Glyde (Trace Tetrick) picked up the show dough at the end of the 1:52 mile. A Claim To Fame series for $20,000 male claiming pacers also kicked off Saturday night, divided into four divisions racing for $20,000 purses. Pet Shark (Trevor Smith) captured the first split in 1:52.4 for owner-trainer Perry Smith, topping Make A Statement A (Tyler Smith) and Ville Valo (Brett Miller). The second first leg division went to Persistent Threat A (Josh Sutton) who topped Super Pac Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) and Nicol Shard N (John DeLong) in 1:54.1 at 20-1 odds. The Aussie-bred winner is co-owned by Jeffrey Koesters and trainer Phil Belanger. Winna Winna (Jeremy Smith), owned by Brian Witt and conditioned by Larry Finn, got the nod in the third division by beating J J Tanner (Tyler Smith) and Sonofa Sizzle (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:53. The fourth and final split went to Ponderingjacksfame (Chris Page), whose 1:53.2 clocking bested Ram N Desire (Tyler Smith) and Monte Cristo (Jeremy Smith) for owner No Recall Stable and trainer Ron Burke. Racing resumes on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 12) with a 14-race matinee beginning at 2:05 p.m. The southwest Ohio oval also presents matinee programs on Mondays and Tuesdays. From Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Eliza Dushku N notched her second straight harness racing victory at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday (Jan. 10), moving successfully into Open Mares company for the first time. Driver LeWayne Miller had to be pleased when he saw the opening timer flash :26.2 while sitting fifth in the early going over a sloppy, but firm, racing strip. As the weekly feature for distaffers neared the half mile pole, Miller moved the winner into second-over position but still had four foes to pass. Advancing one spot to fourth on the outside at the 1:23.2 third stanza, Eliza Dushku N saved her best work for last. Swinging three-wide at the head of the lane the 7-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight wore down pacesetter Newsday (Tyler Smith) and fellow closer Colorful Sky (Sam Widger) to complete her 1:53.2 triumph. The John Ackley trainee, who races for the CT Stables LLC, paid $13.80 to win. Coupled with Colorful Sky, the exacta was worth $87.60, while the 50-cent trifecta including Newsday paid $180.20. The first leg of the Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 claiming mares split into two divisions and Ron Burke stablemates Danikova and Johns Baby Girl stole the show, with driver Chris Page sitting behind both winners. Danikova topped Model (Trevor Smith) and favored Atlantic Star (Aaron Merriman) in 1:55 in the first division. Johns Baby Girl bested Part Time Hanover (Jason Brewer) and Velocity Lana (Jeremy Smith) in 1:54.2 in the second split, but the winner will be racing for new trainer Michael Hitchcock in the second leg via the claim box. Four divisions of $12,500 horses and geldings also got their Claim To Fame series underway on Friday night. Six other Claim To Fame classes will get underway over the next four days of racing at Miami Valley. From Miami Valley Raceway

LEBANON, OH. - Harness racing driver Trace Tetrick completed a Grand Slam on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 7) at Miami Valley Raceway by guiding Sweet Mr Pinetucky to victory in the $30,000 Open Trot. Assuming the early lead in the dash standings with the four wins, Tetrick was aided by a pedestrian first half mile without pressure after assuming command easier than expected in a :28 opening quarter. The winning 6-year-old son of Pinetucky never got a serious challenge while cruising through the remaining timing stations in :57, 1:24.4 and sealing the deal with a :28.4 final panel for an open lengths 1:53.3 triumph. Trainer Lester Raber co-owns Sweet Mr Pinetucky with breeder Floyd Raber. It was the 20th career win and increased the winner's lifetime bounty to $213,106. Dispatched at 9-2 odds, he paid $11.40. Tetrick's other three winners on the matinee were Firstrockthenroll (1:57, $4.00) for trainer Pat Melloy Jr., General Dolan (1:53.1, $3.40) for conditioner Bob Phillips, and Cantescapemydesire (1:55.4, $2.40) from the Tyler George barn. A former Miami Valley meet dash champion, Tetrick has notched eleven scores through the first five days of the current 87-night session. Miami Valley presents 6:05 p.m. programs on Fridays and Saturdays in addition to 2:05 p.m. matinees every Sunday (except Super Bowl and Easter), Monday and Tuesday through May 3. From Miami Valley Raceway  

LEBANON, OH. - Granite, the ultra-consistent 7-year-old son of Real Desire, paced the fastest mile of the meet thus far winning the $30,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday (Jan. 4) at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:52.4. The Ken Rucker-trainee won seven races and finished in the money on 24 of 35 occasions in 2019, banking $150,365 for The Panhellenic Stable. Lifetime, Granite now has 28 victories from 126 starts and $522,775 in bounty. Winning driver Jeremy Smith took full advantage of a pocket ride throughout the mile, following favored I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller) through fractions of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:24.1. When first-over challenger Fan Of Terror (John DeLong)-who was assigned the outside post following two straight Open triumphs at Hollywood Dayton-faded slightly just after entering the stretch Granite pounced on the leader and then held off a furious late charge from runnerup Lifewithjohn (Ricky Macomber Jr.) to secure the victory. My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) also had late pace to finish third, while Fan Of Terror, I'm A Big Deal and Tyd Theglyde (Trace Tetrick) also picked up checks in the ten horse field. Granite paid $16.40 to win, the exacta returned $147.20 and the 50-cent trifecta kicked back a healthy $265.35. Jeremy Smith fashioned a Grand Slam on the first dozen races. In addition to his feature race win with Granite, his tallies came behind trotter Doctor Blizzard (1:58.2, $42.20) for trainer Mike Polhamus, A True Rock Star (1:55, $34.20) for trainer Aaron Hamilton and Monte Cristo (1:54.1, $7.00) for trainer Mike Arnold. Miami Valley will present the first of three consecutive matinee programs on Sunday (Jan. 5) afternoon. Post time on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday is 2:05 p.m. From Miami Valley Raceway

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