Day At The Track

Son of The Panderosa ties track record

04:35 PM 01 Feb 2015 NZDT
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Twilight Bonfire Master Stroke
Twilight Bonfire equaled the Miami Valley track record
Conrad Photo
Master Stroke captured the $20,000 final of the ‘Claim To Fame’ series
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. - Twilight Bonfire didn't just capture the $14,500 Open Pace at Miami Valley on Saturday night (January 31), but he tied the all-time all-age harness racing track record in 1:51.1 on a wintry night in southwest Ohio.

Driver Dan Noble allowed favorites Ice Scraper (Josh Sutton) and Mykindachip (Kayne Kauffman) to mix it up through brisk opening panels of :25.4 and :54.1. Still sitting seventh at the 1:22.3 third quarter station Noble began to wind the winner through traffic in the stretch, eventually splitting tiring horses and pulling away by a 1-1/2 length margin. Mykindachip held for second with longshot J's Six Pak Attack (Jeremy Smith) putting in a strong effort to finish third.

It was just the 13th career win for the five-year-old son of The Panderosa, but boosted his lifetime earnings to just shy of $1 million--$986,295 to be exact. Owner Robert Key sent Twilight Bonfire to Ohio-based trainer Danny Collins in mid-November and he has responded with five on-the-board finishes in six tries, including three wins.

The final "Claim To Fame" series championship was also decided on Saturday night as the nine top $12,500 claiming pacers went postward chasing a $20,000 final purse. It was anybody's race at the three-quarter pole, but when the smoke cleared it was Master Stroke (Josh Sutton) with the most late pace, topping Kyron (Chris Page) and Winchester's Punch (Dan Noble) in 1:53.2.

The nine-year-old altered son of Art Major couldn't find racing room until very late in last week's final preliminary leg, but closed with a fury to finish second a half-length back.

In the final, Sutton faced the same predicament until finding room to swing four-wide down the homestretch and sprinting past the others in convincing fashion. Barry Langley trains Master Stroke for owner Keith Pippi.

It was the 34th victory in a lengthy and rewarding career and pushed the winner's lifetime bounty past $450,000.

Miami Valley Raceway will present the only live harness racing in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday with a 3:00 PM post time. The 12-race program should conclude about a half an hour prior to the Patriots-Seahawks kickoff.

Gregg Keidel

 

 

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