Day At The Track
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1 to 16 of 1985
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LEBANON, OH. - The Bethinator, the youngest harness racing mare (at age 4) with the least earnings in the field, won the Miami Valley $22,500 Mares Open Pace on Friday (Jan. 22). It was the daughter of Somebeachsomewheres fourth win at the top level in her last six tries on the Miami Valley-Hollywood Dayton circuit. Driver Tyler Smith set sail early and was determined to dictate all the fractions with the razor sharp odds-on favorite. The outcome was never really in doubt as The Bethinator coasted through the mile in fractions of :27.3, :55.4, 1:23.3 and 1:51.4. Although all nine of her challengers had career earnings over $200,000, she has just reached $147,309 for her owner-breeder Megan Rogers Racing Stable. The Bethinator is trained by Nelson Willis. Sharing the Friday spotlight were a pair of lucrative Claim To Fame series finals. The finalists in the $20,000 claiming split for mares chased a purse of $30,000, while the male $12,500 claimers went for $25,000. Malnificent (Trace Tetrick) proved her many faithful were correct when she fronted the distaff field in 1:52.4 and returned a $3.00 win mutual. Owned by Ira and Brian Wallach Racing and trained by Tyler George, the winner bested Duck Duck Dragon (Chris Page) and M E Radar Girl (Tyler Smith) to claim the championship. J M Jet Set (Dan Noble) got the best of a very evenly matched field of championship hopefuls in the male division. Franzo (Sam Widger) and Armabluechipboy N (Kayne Kauffman) were next across the finish line, reached in 1:53. All nine finalists had won a heat of the series in the past two weeks. Noble's wife Christi conditions and owns the 11-year-old winner who now sports 40 career wins and over $400,000 in lifetime bounty.   Gregg Keidel

Northfield, OH - MGM Northfield Park has announced a continuation of their temporary change in post time to 4:20 PM for their live harness racing programs, until further notice. Northfield Park programs are currently conducted every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Simulcasting continues daily from 12 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. The continuation is needed because of the extension of the state of Ohio's Department of Health's recent order of a curfew that businesses must close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.   Michael Carter MGM Northfield Park

MGM Northfield Park has announced a $30,000 guaranteed Pick-4 total pool for Saturday's (January 23) harness racing card. Beginning in race two, the $30,000 guarantee includes a carryover of $7,388. The guarantee is being offered at part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's eighth race starts the 50¢ (non-jackpot) Pick-6 offering a healthy $801 carryover. Northfield's Pick-3s, Pick-4s, Pick-5, Pick-6 and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced take-out rate of just 14%. Saturday's post time is 4:20 p.m.

LEBANON, OH. - Lane Of Stone (Dan Noble) surpassed the half million dollar earnings plateau with a convincing 1:54 triumph in Miami Valley's $22,000 Open Trot on Tuesday (Jan. 19). The five-year-old son of Ohio sire Wishing Stone now has 21 harness racing career wins and $509,052 in earnings, although only four of those victories have come in the last year. Signal Hill (Brett Miller) beat favored Lane Of Stone off the gate, but Noble persevered until finally crossing over in front after the pair passed the opening quarter in :28.1. Following a sensible second quarter in :29 seconds, Noble let Lane Of Stone trot a little more, reaching the three quarter station in 1:25.2, before thwarting a late-closing effort by It's A Herbie (LeWayne Miller) for the 1:54 score. Mark Winters Sr. trains the winner, who was a dominant force in the juvenile stakes in the Buckeye state, for owner Harry Horowitz. Finalists were determined in two Claim To Fame series that had their preliminaries conclude on Tuesday. Two divisions were contested by $12,500 claiming mare pacers. Glenferrie Bronte N (Billy Mann, 1:54.4) was a repeat winner in 1:54.4 to establish herself as a probable favorite in the $20,000 final next week. Persistant Xample (Miller, 1:53.4, $5.60) captured the other split and will get strong support at the betting windows as well. The remaining finalists will be Pappy Rocks, Bellini Seelster, Sweet Western, Official Treasure, Corner Pocket, Ideal's Nicole and U'll Learn. Three groups of $8000 male claiming pacers squared off to determine the top nine money earners in the series, the benchmark for making the $22,500 championship leg. Winners were 14-year-old Montana Pablo A (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.4, $5.20), Believeinyourmach (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54.1, $10.80) and Bettor's Dream (Tyler Smith, 1:54.3, $10.60). Also qualifying for the lucrative final were Believeinthespirit, Tyber Tyke, Anarchy Hanover, Gallery Opening, Cool Like That and Portrstownchris IR. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Driver Dan Noble will have an enviable decision to make following the draw for the $30,000 championship of the Claim To Fame series for $20,000 claiming trotters to be held next Monday (Jan. 25). He managed to win both harness racing divisions of the final preliminary leg this Monday (Jan. 18), guiding both Here Comes Moony (1:56, $8) and Another Breath (1:56.4, $7.60) to relatively easy victories. There were no repeat winners in the two weeks of preliminaries, so the final should be contentious. In order of series earnings, which determined the final combatants, the championship field will be comprised of Another Breath, Majestic Brayden, Here Comes Moony, For A Dreamer, Hill Side, Swan Before All, Riverdancing Diva, Luminosity and Mr Houdini. Justabitofcharm (Chris Page, 1:55, $2.80), Classic Comedy (Noble, 1:55.2, $4.60) and Tequilas Jet (Sam Widger, 1:54.3, $14.20) were triumphant in a trio of similar splits for $8000 distaff pacing mares to determine the finalists to chase $17,500 purse next week. Those three winners will likely line up versus Astroffical, Don't Mach Mia, Titi's Ava, Oh Miss Rylee, Shuffle We Will and Faye's Jet Mile. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Four harness racing divisions of $30,000 male claiming pacers comprised the final preliminary round of their Claim To Fame series at Miami Valley on Sunday (Jan. 17) with ten of them earning spots in the $37,500 championship tilt next week. Winners in this leg were Voracity (Brett Miller, 1:51.3, $6), Ginger Tree Marty (Chris Page, 1:53.2, $3.20), So So Delightful (Trevor Smith, 1:53, $13.60) and Don't Judge A Book (William Mann, 1:51.4, $6). Voracity and So So Delightful were repeat winners in the series, but both will race for new connections in the final. Both were claimed by new owners for $39,000 (30% premium over base starting price) and will be among the favorites in the final. Due to a tie for ninth in the standings, ten qualified for the final. They are (in order of series earnings): Voracity and So So Delightful, Ginger Tree Marty, Secret Threat, Don't Judge A Book, Venom, Dashing To Da Wire, Never Say Never N, Revelry and Shane Adam. There were two divisions of Claim To Fame action for $10,000 claiming trotters. Air Assault (Kayne Kauffman, 1:57.3, $4.40) and Infrontandforgetit (Josh Sutton, 1:59.1, $6.20) were victorious and secured spots in their $22,500 final. There were no repeat winners in the series, so the championship should be a wide open affair. Air Assault had the highest earnings with a win and a third place finish, followed by: Master Of Excuses, Infrontandforgetit, Windsun Missile, Here's The Magic, PC Foreign Affair, Unforgetable, Jailhouse Buckaroo and Ozymandias.   Gregg Keidel

$16,163 Carryover/$60,000 Total Pick 5 Pool Guarantee Sunday at MGM Northfield Park MGM Northfield Park has announced a $60,000 guaranteed Pick-5 total pool for Sunday's (January 17) race card. Beginning in race six, the $60,000 guarantee includes a carryover of $16,163. The guarantee is being offered at part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's eighth race starts the 50¢ (non-jackpot) Pick-6 offering a healthy $10,174 carryover. Northfield's Pick-3s, Pick-4s, Pick-5, Pick-6 and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced take-out rate of just 14%. Sunday's post time is 4:20 p.m.   Ayers Ratliff

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

Grove City, Ohio - Pass The Vape hit the board in half of his starts, winning eight times, as he is named the 2020 Ohio Aged Trotter of the Year. Pass The Vape, son of Dejarmbro out of Vapor Rises, started 24 races for harness rascing trainer Derek Watiker and his father, the owner, Lionel Watiker. Pass The Vape earned $109,642 in 2020. Pass The Vape scored his biggest win of the year in the $85,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Aged Trotting Championship at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway. "It's nice having a homebred perform so well," said Derek Watiker. "He shows up every week and I'll take a full barn of racehorses that show up every week." Pass The Vape will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

LEBANON, OH. – Pace Baby Pace, named to mimic Miami Valley handicapper Pacey Mindlin’s signature sign-off slogan, won her first open company race in southwest Ohio on Friday night (Jan. 15).  Driver Chris Page was content to race midpack in the early going, then moved into the outer flow following The Bethinator (Tyler Smith) as the field approached the halfway point of the $22,500 Mares Open.  Swinging three wide for the stretch drive, Pace Baby Pace edged past The Bethinator and then collared frontrunner Miss You N (Jeremy Smith).  The 1:52.4 score was the 13th of the winner’s harness racing career and pushed the 5-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou’s earnings over the $200,000 plateau, much of it coming from wins versus top company at The Meadows. Pace Baby Pace is a homebred owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.  Finalists were also determined during Friday action for the first two of nine Claim To Fame series currently underway at Miami Valley. Five divisions were necessary in the final preliminary leg for $12,500 claiming male pacers.  Quickest winner was Sprinter N, who won his second straight in the series, this time in 1:52.  Brett Miller drove the winner who paid $7.40.  Other winners were Franzo (Sam Widger, 1:52.3, $3.60), Commentariat (Miller, 1:54.1, $5.40), The Great Buzz N (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.2, $7.80) and Ohio Larry (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54, $32). The nine top money winners in the preliminary legs, who will compete for a $25,000 championship purse next Friday, are (in order of earnings): Sprinter N, Commentariat, Franzo, Ohio Larry, The Great Buzz N, Armabluechipboy N, J M Jet Set, Persistent Threat A and Panoramic View. Two splits for $20,000 claiming mares also went postward with repeat winners in both divisions.  American Cheer (Josh Sutton, 1:52.3, $3.40) and M E Radar Girl (Tetrick, 1:53.2, $10) established themselves as the favorites for the $30,000 final. The championship field will include: American Cheer, M E Radar Girl, Duck Duck Dragon, Malnificent, Part Time Hanover, Juslikeaqueen, American Empress N, D Gs Elsa and I Choose You.   Gregg Keidel

Grove City, Ohio - The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) 2020 Virtual Awards Show will air Saturday, January 16, beginning at 7PM. The show can be seen on the OHHA's YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/fvfl_HNH-d8. The awards show will feature Ohio's top equine athletes of 2020 including the announcement of the 2020 Horse of the Year. Other Ohio award winners honored will be the Terry Holton Youth Award, Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer Significant Contribution Award, Ohio Outstanding Groom Award, and the Special -Service to Harness Racing Award. In addition, the United States Harness Writers Association - Ohio Chapter annual awards will also be presented as will the Ohio State Racing Commission's Kaltenbach Awards. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Aaron Merriman had a big night at MGM Northfield Park on Wednesday (January 13) winning seven times on the 15-race program. Aaron's harness racing triumphs were with Taco Tuesday ($3.20) in race three, Difference Maker ($5.80) in race four, Rooney Blue Chip ($3.20) in race seven, Down On My Luck ($7.20) in race eight, Sir Pugsley ($3.20) in race 13, Catch Me Conrad ($2.80) in race 14 and Arthur Pendragon ($5.20) in race 15. Merriman won his first race in 1998, a $2,200 conditioned event at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio, aboard Albert's Filly. Since breaking his maiden, Aaron has scored almost 13,000 more times with purse earnings over $86.5 million. MGM Northfield Park has announced a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 total pool for Saturday’s (January 16) race card.  Beginning in Race 6, the $20,000 guarantee includes a carryover of $4,495. The guarantee is being offered at part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association.  The evening’s eighth race starts the 50¢ (non-jackpot) Pick 6 offering a $7,082 carryover. Northfield’s Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5, Pick 6 and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced take-out rate of just 14%.  Saturday’s post time is 4:20 PM.   Ayers Ratliff

Grove City, Ohio – Penpaperpaige had a September to remember, winning the Ohio Sires Stakes Final and the Ohio Breeders Championship on her way to being named the 2020 Ohio 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. Penpaperpaige, the daughter of Pet Rock out of Park Lane Paige won four of her 12 starts, hitting the board nine times winning $250,080 for trainer Jeff Smith and owner Shirley Le Vin.  As a two-year-old, Penpaperpaige won the Buckeye Stallion Series final.  In her three-year-old season, she jumped ranks to the Ohio Sire Stakes and was a champion again.  She won the $300,000 OSS Final at Eldorado Scioto Downs and then won the OBC at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Smith credits his son Tyler for much of the horse’s success.  “Tyler has done an excellent job driving her.  He deserves all the credit.  If it weren’t for him getting her around the track, she wouldn’t be where she is,” said Smith.  Penpaperpaige will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

It’s Time For Fun has brought plenty of pleasure to the Wilfong family over the years and trainer Brett Wilfong hopes the 6-year-old female pacer will add to the enjoyment in 2021. Lynn Wilfong, Brett’s dad, bred and owns It’s Time For Fun, who was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at age 3. She has earned $312,395 during her harness racing career, winning 17 of 71 races and cashing a paycheck 55 times. After a brief bout with sickness, It’s Time For Fun makes her seasonal debut in Friday’s $22,500 open for fillies-and-mares at Miami Valley Raceway. Kyle Wilfong, Brett’s son, will be in the sulky, leaving from post five in a field of nine. It’s Time For Fun is 8-1 on the morning line. Miss You N is the 3-1 favorite. “I think if she stays healthy, she could have her best year this year,” Brett Wilfong said. “She’s going to have to battle the open mares or the class below that all year, but if we can keep her healthy, she can have a good year. She tries hard that last quarter, and that’s worth a lot. She has a real good closing kick. “She’s pretty competitive in that top class. If you can go for $15,000 to $25,000 every week, you can have a pretty good year.” It’s Time For Fun closed last season with five consecutive on-the-board finishes, including one victory. Earlier in the campaign, she finished second in the Indiana Sire Stakes championship for older female pacers. In 2018, It’s Time For Fun won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship at odds of 11-1 with Kyle Wilfong at the lines at Hoosier Park. “That sure was a nice evening,” Brett said. “There are a lot of good memories.” It’s Time For Fun is a daughter of Skydancer Hanover out of Irwin’s Character. She was limited to six starts at age 2 because of a foot infection, but Brett liked the horse all along. “We thought she had a lot of potential,” Brett said. “She was a beautiful animal. She could pace free-legged, didn’t really need the hobbles too much. She just had an effortless gait. Once she got over her foot infection, she had a lot more opportunity to show what she really was.” The Wilfongs owned It’s Time For Fun’s sire and dam. The family, which has farms in Indiana and Illinois, has bred hundreds of horses over the years. “It’s very family oriented,” Brett said about the Wilfongs’ involvement in harness racing. “Everyone is active, everyone enjoys the races, enjoys the horses. My mom (Barbara) and dad enjoy watching the races and they raise the yearlings and take care of some of the broodmares. Dad needs to be occupied. When you’ve been a self-employed horseperson your whole life it’s hard to sit down and not do anything.” Lynn Wilfong was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame last year. In addition to breeding and racing, he helped lobby for pari-mutuel racing in Indiana and spent a dozen years as president of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Association. In 1993, he received the very first Breeders Award given by the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of Indiana, now known as the Indiana Standardbred Association. “It’s a night we won’t forget,” Brett said. “My dad and uncle Ralph were part of the grassroots effort in Indiana to get pari-mutuel betting passed in the state legislature. My dad has a lot of ties other than owning a lot of horses over the years. I know my dad was very proud of it. It was pretty special for our whole family. “We have a lot of good memories.” With It’s Time For Fun aiming to create more.   by Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

Grove City, Ohio – Action Uncle picked up in 2020 where he left off, winning nine races on the way to being named the Ohio 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Action Uncle, the son of Uncle Peter out of Action Broadway, started ten times in 2020, winning nine and finishing second once.  He earned $351,960 for harness racing trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owners Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland, and Larry Wills. In 16 career starts, Action Uncle has 12 wins, three second place finishes and one third place with earnings of $577,535. It is the second straight year that Action Uncle has won the year-end award as the top trotter in his division. Last year he was named the 2019 Ohio 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year.  An Ohio Triple Crown winner in 2020, Action Uncle set a world record in the Ohio Breeders Championship on the Delaware County Fairgrounds half-mile track tripping the wire in 1:52.4. “It’s a thrill to train him,” said Morgan.  “He is a special horse, arguably the best trotter I have ever trained, and I have trained some very nice trotters including his mom.” Action Uncle will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association (OHHA) has added three stallions to the Stallion Auction to benefit P.A.C.E.R. (Political Action Committee for Equine Racing).  Catch The Fire, Lather Up and Well Said join the list of 22 stallions up for bid.   The three additions stand at Sugar Valley Farm in Delaware, Ohio. P.A.C.E.R. helps the OHHA to support candidates and initiatives that impact Ohio harness racing. On-line bidding is available until Saturday January 16th at 5:00 p.m.  For information on how to bid visit https://hoofbid.com/OHHA. Bidders can create an account in the HoofBid app.  Phone bidding will also be accepted on the final day of the auction beginning at 1:00 PM EST.  The on-line bidding time for each stallion auto-extend in one-minute increments until the bidding activity stops for one full minute.  All contracts are subject to P.A.C.E.R. and farm approval and are not transferable to another mare or individual without the consent of both.  P.A.C.E.R. helps the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association to support legislative quests for expanding gaming and other issues that could positively impact Ohio harness racing.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

1 to 16 of 1985
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