Day At The Track

Sophomores kick off Ohio Sire Stake action

04:13 AM 05 May 2015 NZST
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Bell Flower
Bell Flower
Conrad Photo

Nine $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) action were contested on May 1 and 2 at Miami Valley Raceway in the first of four legs for harness racing 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts and fillies.

On Friday, May 1 sophomore pacing fillies took center stage, with Bell Flower taking the first division in a wire-to-wire, career best 1:53.1 for driver Chris Page and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. The victory, her first in as many starts this season, pushed the daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye's lifetime earnings to $184,336. She now has eight wins in nine career starts for the quartet of Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, Dean Davis and Carl Howard. Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished second by 1¾ lengths, while Feeling Wild (Dan Noble) held on to be third. Bell Flower, was the Ohio 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2014, was bred by Ohio State ATI.

Longshot Friskie Megan came from last to win the second OSS pacing division for driver Hugh Beatty by just a head over E Ticket Ride (Dan Noble) and Karlee Sue (Jason Brewer) in 1:55.3. The daughter of Feelin Friskie is trained and co-owned by Steve Bateson and Harold Moore, and pushed her lifetime earnings to $28,751. The win was Friskie Megan's second in ten career starts and she returned a whopping $212.40 to win on a two dollar ticket. She was bred by Ada Jacobs of Gambier, Ohio.

Little Casino captured the first OSS division for 3-year-old trotting fillies in a career best 1:58.3 with trainer Hugh Beatty at the lines for owner-breeder Duane M. Lowe of Malta, Ohio, upping her career earnings to $39,421. The daughter of Full Count came three-wide around the final turn, using a :29.4 final brush to negotiate the victory by a length over Mid Pack (Dan Noble) and Countthechip (Ken Holiday).

Student Of Life, with Kurt Sugg in the sulky, won the second division in 1:59.1 by 2½ lengths for trainer Marty Wollam. Owned by Acadia Farms, Inc., and G&B Racing, this daughter of Full Count got a perfect trip to notch her third career victory and up her earnings to $85,106. Student Of Life was bred by Marvin Raber. Bettys Sam (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished second, while UF Cashnmy Chips (Aaron Merriam) grabbed third place honors.

Trainer Marty Wollam and driver Kurt Sugg teamed up again to win the third OSS division with Dark Roast, a 3-year-old daughter of Full Count, who was clocked in 1:58 for Acadia Farms, Inc., and G&B Racing. Bred by Ohio State ATI, Dark Roast used come-from-behind tactics to notch her fourth career victory in nine trips postward. She now has $69,043 in her lifetime bankroll.

On Saturday night, May 2, two divisions each of 3-year-old cold and gelding pacers and trotters lined up behind the gate for Ohio Sire Stake tests.

In the first OSS pacing division, Gray Camo cruised to a wire-to-wire career best 1:53.3 clocking for driver Chris Page and trainer Ronnie Burke, who 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. Bred by Charles Gadja, Gray Camo finished three-quarters of a length in front of the hard-trying Roaddog Jess James (Kayne Kauffman) and Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.).

Chief Talkalot and driver Jim Pantaleono used similar tactics in the second OSS pacing division to win handily in 1:55.2 by a nose over Western Coby (Wyatt Irvine) and by a neck over Rocky Express (Randy Tharps). Brian Brown trains the Feelin Friskie gelding, who picked up his third career win in nine starts and pushed his bankroll to $83,643 for owners Steve Stewart, Michael Dean Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham. Steve Stewart bred Chief Talkalot.

In the first OSS trotting division it was Neely's Messenger, Ohio's Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, who scored a decisive 1:57.1 victory for driver Dan Noble and trainer Al Mankee in his seasonal debut. Owned by Dale Sweet and Julie Ann Sweet, 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. Neely's Messenger-who was bred by Albert Yoder-was never challenged as I Know My Chip (Chris Page) finished second, while Cooter Dunn (Louis Bauslaugh) finished third.

Upfront Chip Daddy and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. overtook Kick A Lot (Kurt Sugg) in the final strides to capture the second OSS trotting division in 1:57.3. No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) notched third. Upfront Chip Daddy, a gelded brown son of Chip Chip Hooray is conditioned by Kelly O'Donnell and is owned by Up Front Racing, LLC., and Mark Ford. The victory was his third in seven tries, and pushed his lifetime earnings to $26,580. Unraced at two, Upfront Chip Daddy was bred by Ohio's Spring Haven Farm.

Ohio Sire Stake action for 3-year-olds continues with the second of four legs scheduled June 6 at Scioto Downs for colt pacers and trotters, while the filly pacers and trotters will vie on June 12 at Northfield Park. 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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