Northfield Park hosted four divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes harness racing action as part of the 13-race program. Three-year-old colt and gelding trotters and pacers each competed in two divisions on Saturday (August 18).
The night's first race was the $16,500 first pacing division. Mr I Am (Western Spirit-Swift Passion-) used the inside post draw to secure the early lead and defended that lead against all challengers through fractional times of 27.3, 57.1, 1:26.1 and 1:55.
The win represents Mr I Am's 11th victory of 2012, 17th of his career and pushed his earning in excess of $50,000. The 1:55 clocking is a new lifetime mark for the colt. Thomas Phillips of Michigan owns Mr I Am. Robert Dinning drove the colt for trainer Tricia Shepard. Finishing behind Mr I Am were Feelin Cornered, Lol Ken Win, Tatas Flash and Jetstream Friskie. Mr I Am returned $4.80 to win.
In Race 2 Count Me In (-Howl-Overcomer) took the $18,000 first division for three-year old colt and gelding Ohio-bred trotters for Northfield Park Wall of Fame trainer Marty Wollam. Count Me In started from post-one and led at every call while being pressured through fractions of 27.3, 56.2, 1:27.2 and 1:59.3. Driven by Sam "Chip" Noble III it was his 5,001st driving win.
Patricia Wollam of Vienna, Ohio and Acadia Farms Inc. of Canfield, Ohio own Count Me In. This victory was the 10th career win for Count Me In and pushes his earnings to nearly $120,000. Also completing the race were Countmymuscles, Master's Fly Trap, Rockin H Cheery O, Jailbird Jesse, Willie Bay and Blazing Future. Count Me In was the favorite and paid $3.00 to win.
The pacers returned in the third race, with Noble Trick winning the $16,500 second division.
Aaron Merriman drove the colt for trainer Ron Steck, who also co-owns with Michael Claussen of Macedonia, Ohio, Darlene Hawkins of Centerburg, Ohio and Julie Hawkins of Fredricktown, Ohio. Noble Trick (-Tricky Trippy- ) led his rivals from start to finish throughout quarters times of 27.2, 57.2, 1:25.3 and 1:54.2.
This victory represents Noble Trick's 8th career win and pushes his earning to nearly $80,000. Finishing in succession after the winner were Man He Can Skoot, Friskies Cheatsuit, Duke Uh Brava, Larry's Dream and Gun Show. Noble Trick returned $5.40 to win.
The final Ohio Sires Stake of the evening, Race 9, was the $18,000 second division for three year-old colt and gelding trotters.
We Belong Together was the beneficiary of a ground saving effort, riding the rail and exploding up the passing lane to win in 1:58.3.
David Myers drove We Belong Together (-Sugar Chip- ) for owner/trainer Theodore Gawron of Florida. The win is the 6th career victory for the colt and pushed his earnings to nearly $50,000.
Crossing the line after We Belong Together were Rock N Jessie, Its Jesse Time, Captain Jesse, Al Brown, Jesse's Touch, Rose Run Nolan and Cody Coy. We Belong Together returned $58.20 to win.
by Ayers RATCLIFFE