Day At The Track

Dancin Yankee dances up storm at Miami Valley

12:48 PM 17 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Dancin Yankee, harness racing
Dancin Yankee holds off all comers in winning the Open Pace at Miami Valley
Conrad photo

LEBANON, OH. - Just when the question was being raised: Has age finally caught up with Dancin Yankee?...the answer came back a resounding "No," when the 11-year-old $1.85 million harness racing earner captured Miami Valley's $24,000 Open I Pace on Saturday (Feb. 16) night.

Following three uncharacteristic off-the-board finishes to open his 2019 season, the Ron Burke trainee scored his first seasonal victory in 1:50.4 for driver Chris Page. Dancin Yankee was fired off the gate and attained the lead prior to the :27.3 quarter-mile clocking.

Maintaining a comfortable pace to the :55.3 halfway point, Page was forced to ask his winning charge for more throughout the second half. Challenged first by Cruise Patrol (Brett Miller) at the 1:23 third quarter junction and then Granite (Trace Tetrick) through the stretch, Dancin Yankee held tough right to the wire, winning by a head. Its rare to see any horse post a :55.1 back half after a :55.3 first half, but that is exactly what Page and Dancin Yankee did despite sub-freezing temperatures.

Granite and Whatchyastartinat (Kyle Ater) finished in a dead-heat for second, just a head back of the winner. My Buddy Ninkster (Todd Warren) and My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) earned the final two paychecks in the classy field of eight.

Page also captured the $20,000 Open II earlier in the card. He guided Swapportunity to a 1:52 triumph over Statement Made A (Tetrick) and Sammy The Bull N (Josh Sutton).

Swapportunity was claimed from Miami Valley's Claim To Fame Series for $30,000 horses three weeks ago and finished second in the $37,500 series final last week before stepping into open company. The 7-year-old son of Mach Three is now owned by LaSalle Investments LLC and is a resident of the Becky Zubkoff Stable.

Finalists for the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley late-closer were also determined on the Saturday card. Manny (Tetrick) topped The Dark Shadow (Page) and Rising To The Top (Mike Oosting) in the first $17,500 division timed in 1:52.2. Randy Smith trains the winner for his wife Jessica, who owns the 6-year-old son of American Ideal.

Dakota Roadster (Oosting) copped the second split in 1:52, besting Account Rollover (Miller) and Angelo J Fra (Page). Perry Smith owns and trains the 7-year-old son of Duneside Perch.

The nine horses with the highest combined earnings in the first two preliminary legs will gather again next Saturday (Feb. 23) to determine a champion in a 1-1/4 mile test for a $25,000 purse. In order of earnings, the hopefuls are The Dark Shadow, Manny, Dakota Roadster, Hunchie, Account Rollover, Duel Of Truth, Angelo J Fra, Southern Flight and Rising To The Top.

From the Miami Valley Media Department

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