Day At The Track

Miami Valley kicks off second season of racing

02:20 PM 03 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Buckeye Thea, harness racing
Buckeye Thea edges Stucklikeglue and Ella V Horse in the $13,500 Mares Open Pace on Miami Valley’s opening night.
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. - The much-anticipated kickoff to Miami Valley Raceway's second season of harness racing took place Friday night with positive reviews of the many capital improvements to both the grandstand and paddock.

The overflow crowd present to welcome back live racing were impressed by the new infield tote board, which features a high-tech video panel, and were overheard complimenting the improved sight lines accomplished by lowering the elevation of all the big screen TVs mounted throughout the grandstand.

Horsemen seemed pleased that a number of promised improvements in the massive paddock were completed and made their racing experience more enjoyable. Included in the paddock improvements are gas heating units installed down both aisles, better drainage and more hot water in the bath stalls and installation of four additional TVs.

On the track, $99,000 in purses were offered on the 14-race program.

Buckeye Thea (Josh Sutton) captured the initial $13,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace, edging Stucklikeglue (Greg Grismore) and Ella V Horse (Jeff Nisonger) in 1:54.1.

Sectionline Yankee prevailed following a frantic three-wide battle for the front during a :26.4 opening panel with Stucklikeglue eventually settling In The Pocket and Muy Caliente falling into third.

The top three stayed in order during a relatively pedestrian :29.2 second quarter but longshot Ella V Horse was ranging up first-over with Buckeye Thea in tow in the outer flow. When Ella V Horse cleared prior to reaching the 1:24.4 third stanza it left Buckeye Thea to fend for herself on the outside in the stretch.

Stucklikeglue found racing room along the inside in midstretch and the three of them fought tooth and nail to the wire. The winner, owned by Rich Paltani and trained by Steve Carter, paid $16.00.

Drivers Tyler Smith and Kayne Kauffman grabbed the early lead in the Miami Valley driver's dash standings on the strength of four wins each on the opening night card. Smith, a 21-year-old native of nearby Washington Court House, visited the winner's circle with trotter P L Halle (1:59.1) in the second, Eloquent Velocity (1:56.2) in the eighth, Hoponit (1:54.4) in the ninth and Metro Shopping (1:54) in the eleventh.

Kauffman successes came behind Miss York County (1:56.4) in the third, Over And Out in the seventh, All Terror (1:55.2) in the twelvth and CC's Munchkin (1:56) in the nightcap.

Driver Josh Sutton scored a driving triple; while Jeremy Smith had double.

Miami Valley races five times a week through May 3. Post time Wednesday through Saturday nights is 6:30 p.m. with a weekly Sunday matinee scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

From the Miami Valley Media Department

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