Day At The Track

Features at Scioto Downs Saturday

08:34 AM 05 Jun 2015 NZST
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Scioto Downs
Scioto Downs

A quartet of $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and pacers will be contested at Scioto Downs on Saturday night, June 6.

A group of 17 pacers will vie in two divisions-races one and 11-of Ohio Sire Stakes, while 15 trotters will go postward in back-to-back events, slated as the second and third races on the program. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET.

Trainer Ron Wagner will harness $152,877 winner Western Coby from post five in the first, 8-horse field (Race One) of OSS sophomore paces. The son of Western Spirit is looking for his first win of the season in just his fourth start this year, but did earn $142,397 as a freshman and took a career mark of 1:53.3 en route to winning the $200,000 OSS Freshman Pacing Championship last fall at Scioto Downs. The Wooster, Ohio-based partnership of Larry Acker, Dean Davis and Wagner own the bay gelding.

Chief Talkalot, who won the first $40,000 OSS leg on May 2 in 1:55.2 by a nose over Western Coby, is conditioned by Brian Brown. That victory was the third career win for the Feelin Friskie gelding, who now has $83,643 for in his bankroll for owners Steve Stewart, Michael Dean Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham.

Gray Camo, a winner of $116,229 in his career with a mark of 1:53.3 via his victory in the $40,000 OSS test on May 2, heads up the second OSS division (Race 11) of nine pacers for trainer Ron Burke and driver Chris Page. Burke conditions the roan son of Pine Valley for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Richard Suda and Jason Melilo. The venerable gelding pushed his lifetime earnings to $116,229 with the victory, the fifth of his career in 11 starts.

Seven trotters make up the first OSS division (race 2) for sophomores. All but the Jeff Cox-trained Kick A Lot will be looking for their first victory of 2015. The son of Deep Chip-Chip Mac's Dream-BJ's Mac scored his lone win this season on May 18 when he won a Northfield Park overnight in 1:57 with his trainer in the sulky. He'll be handled by Kurt Sugg on Saturday night and looks to add to his career bankroll of $153,001 from the rail.

Ohio's Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, Neely's Messenger, heads up a competitive field of eight OSS trotting colts in Race Three. This powerhouse sophomore, who was bred by Albert Yoder, scored a decisive, 1:57.1 victory in his 2015 debut in his $40,000 OSS first leg on May 2 at Miami Valley Raceway. Dan Noble was in the sulky for trainer Al Mankee, and owners Dale Sweet and Julie Ann Sweet. Last year, the son of Neely Dunn scored victories in OSS, Ohio Fair Stakes (OFS) and Ohio Breeders Stakes (OBS) with a triumph in the $200,000 OSS Championship that earned him the aforementioned honors for 2014.

I Know My Chip, a three-time winner this season, hails from the powerful Ron Burke Stable and will have Chris Page in the sulky in this same race. This gelded son of Deep Chip has won his last three starts, all over Scioto Down's five-eighth's mile oval, including a lifetime score of 1:55.4 on May 19 in an overnight event. I Know My Chip is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and P. Collura and has $134,403 in career earnings.

Also featured on the 14-race program will be the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, which honors one of Ohio's finest horsemen and racing enthusiasts. Charlie Hill was the pioneer behind many harness firsts in central Ohio, having bought 134 acres of the Hartman farm just south of Columbus, and building and opening Scioto Downs in the late fall of 1959, where he ran the show there for 48 years. He also owned and operated Hill Farms, one of the Buckeye State's top breeding facilities for many years, and where the mighty Falcon Almahurst stood at stud.

The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot will feature some of the nation's finest diagonally-gaited specialists, including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, a winner of more than $2.9 million and 34 races in her career. Trained by Nifty Norman, the daughter of Kadabra is the lone female in the field of ten.

Ohio Sire Stake action for 3-year-olds continues with the second of four legs for filly pacers and trotters on June 12 at Northfield Park, the same night the $180,000 Battle Of Lake Erie will be contested over the half-mile oval's "home of the flying turns."

Third leg action shifts to Northfield Park on July 17 for the colts of both gaits, while the fillies go postward on Aug. 14 at Northfield. Fourth road contests will take place at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28 for the fillies and Aug. 29 for the colts.

The $225,000 Championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, during Scioto Down's Super Night.

Kimberly A. Rinker

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