Day At The Track

Miami Valley first Open of the season

05:24 PM 08 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Meadowbrookthunder
Meadowbrookthunder
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. - Meadowbrookthunder thundered down the lane at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night to cop the initial $22,000 Open I Pace of the harness racing season on Saturday night (Jan. 7).

Stepping up to the top level following an impressive 1:51.1 score in a condition / $30,000 claiming event the final week at Dayton Raceway, Meadowbrookthunder got away sixth in a field of seven, but was out and moving for driver Trace Tetrick before the first quarter timer flashed :26.1.

Tilted three-wide prior to the :54 halfway point, the 4-year-old son of Rockin Image was fourth about four lengths off the leader. Just a length away from the leader at the 1:23 three quarters, the winner passed pacesetting Hickory Icon coming off the final bend and then held off fellow closers Vague Traces (Andy Shetler) and JD's Macca Lodge (Kayne Kauffman) for a 1:53 upset score.

Overlooked at 6-1, Meadowbrookthunder coupled with Vague Traces (34-1) and JD's Macca Lodge (8-1) to produce a $562.40 $2 trifecta. He is owned by Steve and Peggy Carter.

The $25,000 North American Driver's Challenge kicks off Sunday afternoon (2:05 post time), the first of three consecutive matinees to determine the inaugural champion, who will be awarded $10,000 of the $25,000 pot. A total of 30 of the winningest reinsmen on the continent will have four drives each on each of the first two programs, when the field will be whittled to the ten top point-getters who will race head-to-head in eight races on Tuesday.

In a last minute development, Canadian Guy Gagnon had a border customs problem (no visa) and has been replaced by Andy Shetler, who won 108 dashes in 2016 and has notched 1,612 lifetime wins.

Gregg Keidel

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