Day At The Track

My Hero Ron returns with a bang

06:27 AM 11 Mar 2018 NZDT
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My Hero Ron, harness racing
My Hero Ron glides through the finish line in 1:50.2 to win the $24,000 Open I at Miami Valley on Saturday, despite a six-week absence from the races.
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway welcomed back over 500 harness racing horses this week, when two large nearby training facilities had their state-imposed quarantines lifted, and one horse in particular demonstrated just how amazing Standardbreds can be.

My Hero Ron, who hasn't been allowed to race for six weeks, came back to the races as exceptional as ever on Saturday night (March 10) and captured the weekly feature, a $24,000 Open I Pace. Trainer Dan Dubeansky obviously did an outstanding job keeping the 6-year-old son of Well Said in fine physical form, despite the fact he could not leave the private training center where he is stabled since February 1, due to the potential threat of an equine herpes outbreak that never materialized. Driver Tyler Smith urged My Hero Ron to engage his foes from the word go, eventually settling for a seat in third along the pylons during a :26.2 opening quarter. Content to sit chilly behind P L Fighter (Dan Noble) and Angelo J Fra (Chris Page) through a half in :54.1 and a quick 1:22 third quarter clocking, Smith swung the winner three-wide for the stretch drive when the outer flow lost steam and allowed him a seam. My Hero Ron responded with a strong :28 final panel to grind down runnerup P L Fighter and hold off closer Heza Thrill N (Trace Tetrick), who finished third.

Brian Witt and Cory Atley are partners on My Hero Ron, who now sports 18 career victories and $649,413 in earnings. Saturday's 1:50.2 clocking is exactly one second slower than Ron's lifetime best 1:49.2 mile at The Meadows three seasons ago.

A $20,000 Open II was won by Feelnlikearockstar in 1:51.3, besting Dalhousie Dave (Kyle Ater) and J M Jet Set (Trace Tetrick). The triumph was one of four on the program for driver Tony Hall and gave Feelnlikearockstar his 16th lifetime tally and upped his earnings to $233,520. Trainer Perry Smith co-owns the 6-year-old Artstanding gelding with Sawgrass Farms LLC.

A pair of final preliminary divisions of the George Williams Memorial late closing series, for horses with less than 4 wins or $40,000, were also presented. First time series winners were Gitn Drunkonaplane (Chris Page) and Jessi's Western (Tony Hall).

Gitn Drunkonaplane scored in 1:54.4 over Smokin Willie (Dan Noble) and Offdahook Bluechip (Josh Sutton). Owned by Pacey "The Wizard" Mindlin and Kenneth Cohen, the 4-year-old son of Panspacificflight won for the second time in just three seasonal starts. Jessi's Western's win was also his second of 2018 as he bested Stubble Trouble (Chris Page) and Exit Sandman (John DeLong).

The $22,500 championship of the George Williams Memorial Series will go postward on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

Gregg Keidel


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