Day At The Track

Track holds first five-eighths mile dash

11:36 AM 06 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Snowballs Romeo, harness racing
Snowballs Romeo
Conrad photo

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway hosted the first odd-distance race in its six year harness racing history on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 5), a five-eighths mile sprint dubbed the "Election Day Dash To The Polls."

When the limestone dust settled, Snowball's Romeo (Josh Sutton) emerged victorious with a 1:10.3 triumph over Respectable Dream (Chris Page) and Waterside Champ (Jeremy Smith).

Sutton left with alacrity from the six-hole behind the gate, but spent the first turn three wide before finally clearing over to the front just before a :27 opening panel. "When this horse is just right, he can get out of there quicker than that," said a smiling Sutton immediately following the race. "But he kept at it the whole lap and didn't cave in, so it was a lot of fun."

Snowball's Romeo reached the half-mile mark in :55.2 and tacked on a :15.1 final eighth to secure the victory. It was just the third win from eight 2019 starts for the six-year-old son of McArdle, raising his lifetime bounty to just under $200,000. Trainer Phil Belanger co-owns him with partner Jeffrey Koesters.

"I'm a big fan of odd-distance racing," chimed in leading driver Brett Miller, who guided Electric Lad to a fourth place finish in the dash. It's nice to change things up occasionally and require some different driving strategies. I've been in quite a few longer distance races with bigger than normal fields and I can tell you those races do present new challenges that drivers aren't used to."

Race Secretary Gregg Keidel has written a 1-1/4 mile race for next Tuesday titled the "Horse For The Course Endurance Test." The $10,000 special event is limited to horses that started for a purse of $8000 or less in their last start. The entry box for Hollywood Dayton's Tuesday matinee will close Friday (Nov. 8) at 2 p.m.

From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

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