Day At The Track

Elite Survivor Series championship final

03:44 PM 04 Mar 2017 NZDT
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John Jay Safe From Terror
John Jay cashed his biggest paycheck ever when he won the $25,000 final of the Elite Survivor Series for $10,000 claiming pacers on Friday night at Miami Valley.
Conrad Photo
Safe From Terror won her third mares open in six tries this season on Friday at Miami Valley, timed in 1:52.1.
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. – It’s not every day that harness racing $10,000 claimers get to race for a $25,000 purse, but that is exactly what happened when the Elite Survivor Series championship final went postward at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (March 3).  Each of the ten finalists had survived three preliminary knockout rounds when half of each field was eliminated and only the five check-getters advanced.  Six of the championship participants had won at least one race during the prelims, including last week’s pair of identical 1:53.4 winners—John Jay and Blueridge Doc.

Due to drawing the rail for the final, John Jay was bet down to 9-5 favoritism and the 4-year-old altered son of Dali did not disappoint.  Driver Trace Tetrick allowed a pair of his adversaries to clear him in the early going, but moved out and reclaimed the lead just past the quarter-mile station.  The Tyler George trainee lead the rest of the way, despite mild first-up pressure the last half, to triumph in 1:53 and bank the largest paycheck of his still young career.  The victory was the 11th of his life and boosted his bankroll to $77,985.  Owner Steven Price of Georgia claimed John Jay for $15,000 on February 17 and has been rewarded with $20,000 in earnings in two weeks.

Safe From Terror (Chris Page) sped to a 1:52.1 score in a $22,000 Fillies & Mares Open pace on the same program.  The 5-year-old Western Terror lass exploded from the gate, despite an outermost post position, before dropping in third along the pylons early in the :26.4 opening split.  The richest horse in the race with almost $700,000 in purse earnings was out and moving shortly thereafter, pushing a nostril in front at the :55.1 halfway station.  The taxing first half didn’t seem to bother Safe From Terror, though, as she cruised past the three-quarters in 1:23.1 before stopping the clock :29 seconds later.  Endeavors Fantasy (Mike Oosting) made a gallant first-over bid that resulted in a runnerup finish, while Jerseylicious (Trace Tetrick) was closing ground quickly in the lane to garner the show dough. 

Winchester Baye Acres LLC owns the winner, who is trained by Mike Conklin.

The Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series, a late-closer for distaff non-winners of four races or $35,000 lifetime, also kicked off on Friday in two full-field divisions. 

Friskie Zena (Ken Holliday) was an upset winner in the first heat, topping Alwayssmoothraigin (Josh Sutton) and Glorious Delight (Trace Tetrick) in 1:55.1.  Sherri Holliday conditions the 4-year-old Feelin Friskie mare for Black Magic Racing LLC.  She paid $24.80 to win.

Powered By Pink (Josh Sutton) went a tick quicker beating Sun Belle Sadie (Aaron Merriman) and Stirling Cameo (Jeremy Smith) in 1:55.  Owner-trainer Jack McCall Jr.’s 6-year-old Village Jolt daughter returned $10 to her $2 supporters.

Gregg Keidel

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