Day At The Track

Gerardo cops Tharps Memorial, Granite Wins in 1:49.3

02:06 PM 07 Apr 2019 NZST
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Gerardo,Harness racing
Gerardo
Conrad photo

LEBANON, OH – Gerardo has become quite an acquisition for owner Mark Bogen and trainer-driver Kayne Kauffman, who plucked the 4-year-old son of Rockin Image out of a Blooded Horse Sale in Springfield, Ohio prior to the start of his 2019 harness racing season. 

All he’s done is win four of his first six races for his new connections, all in late closer series action, including both the $25,000 final of the George Williams Memorial last month and now the  $27,500 final of the Tom Tharps Memorial on Saturday night (April 6). 

   Kauffman put Gerardo on the front end in the Tharps championship, then dueled with Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) the entire last half of the mile clocked in 1:50—equaling the track record for 4 year olds.  The record was first established by Thisjetsabookin (Josh Sutton) in 2016 and was equaled by Gerries Sport (Trace Tetrick) in 2017.

   The two favorites raced side by side through the stretch, with Rockin Speed sticking a nose in front midway down heartbreak lane before Gerardo dug deeper to fight back on the inside and gain the slight advantage at the wire.


Gerardo winners circle       - Conrad photo

Somebeachsomeday (Trevor Smith) was next best to nab the show dough.

   A large throng of Tharps family and friends surrounded Gerardo and Kauffman in an emotional winner’s circle presentation.  Kauffman and the late Tom Tharps’ son Randy—the winningest black harness driver in history—are very close friends and Kauffman knows the matriarch of the family, Carol, and all Randy’s brothers, sisters and extended family extremely well.

   A race later Granite broke an eight week dry spell by copping the $24,000 Open I Pace in 1:49.3, the quickest mile of the 2019 season thus far.  Driver Brett Miller took advantage of a serious speed duel between Angelo J Fra (Kyle Ater) and Cyclone Kiwi N (Dan Noble), who passed the first two timing beams in :25.1 and :52.3, then swung around the tiring pair as the field approached the three-quarter mark in 1:20.4.  Granite had GD Western Joe (Chris Page) in hot pursuit around the final bend, but Granite was able to hold on his short lead when GD Western Joe drifted considerable in the stretch.  My Buddy Ninkster (Josh Sutton) was best of the rest.


Granite       -Conrad photo

   A total of 11 of the 13 races on the Saturday program were won in times under 1:52, a testament to the outstanding job track superintendent Jimmy Shelton does at Miami Valley.

 

Gregg Keidel

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