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DAYTON, OH. - Five of Northfield Park's top harness racing drivers will square off against a quintet of Hollywood Dayton's best reinsmen on Friday night (Dec. 13) in the first-ever "Buckeye Battle" to determine state bragging rights (North vs. South) as well as raise money for the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   Hollywood Gaming and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association have joined forces to provide $3000 in prize money for the event--$2500 to the winners and $500 to the losers. All ten drivers from both teams have agreed to donate the entire amount to the relief fund, monitored by the Dayton Foundation, and being used to rebuild infrastructure in neighborhoods that were devastated by a Memorial Day tornado.   Team Northfield is captained by Aaron Merriman, the reigning 2019 national dash champion who currently has a comfortable lead in his quest to repeat and defend that title. He will be joined by Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems, Greg Grismore and David Lake. Team Dayton is led by local dash leader and native Ohioan Brett Miller, who is wrapping up his first year back as a Buckeye after a successful decade-long stint at The Meadowlands and other major harness tracks on the East Coast. Also competing for the local squad will be Jeremy Smith, Tyler Smith, Kayne Kauffman and Josh Sutton.   The drivers will go toe-to-toe and stride-for-stride in eight races on the Friday program, which starts at 6:15 p.m. Each of the ten drivers were pre-assigned approximately equal post positions over the course of the contest, with horses then randomly drawn in to those races. Points will be awarded as follows: 30 for first place, 24 for second, 18 for third, followed by 14-11-8-5-3-1-0 for fourth through tenth place finishes.   Five claiming events, ranging from the $6500 level up to $15,000, plus three high level condition races comprise the competition. Team Northfield will look to gain an early advantage as Merriman will guide the morning line favorite in three of the first four events. Team Dayton drivers, however, have been blessed with morning line favorites in the final three events.   The competition will be friendly, but also fierce, as these ten top reinsmen face off to determine if the northern Ohio or southern Ohio drivers win the inaugural "Buckeye Battle."   by Gregg Keidel, for the Buckeye Battle

DAYTON, OH. - Tookadiveoffdipper, the ultra-consistent 5-year-old son of Always A Virgin, copped the $17,500 Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Nov. 2) for his seventh harness racing win of the season. The Virgil Morgan Jr. trainee surpassed the $100,000 seasonal earnings plateau with the victory. In 2018, the winner also triumphed on seven occasions and banked $99,360. Driver Brett Miller opted to take control early, speeding to the quarter pole in :26.4 with the public's second betting choice. Tookadiveoffdipper also fronted the field at the half in :55.1 and the three-quarters station in 1:22.4 before sealing the deal in 1:50.4.   Pocket sitter Granite (Jeremy Smith), the slight race favorite, tried gallantly to overtake the leader in the stretch but fell one length short. Former multiple Ohio Horse Of The Year honoree Dancin Yankee (Chris Page), got loose late in the fray and closed for the show dough. The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, presently seeking his 80th victory, needs just $4,600 to reach $2 million in career earnings.   Tookadiveoffdipper is owned by Jane Cross of Illinois and Mark Cross of Tennessee.   The feature race win was one of four on the first dozen races for leading driver Brett Miller. A race later he guided Rock Out to a 1:50.2 tally in a $20,000 claimer for trainer Morgan Jr. Earlier on the program, Miller won a $15,000 claimer with Rush To Judgement, also from the Morgan Jr. barn; and lit up the toteboard with upset winner Omega Cat ($85.40) for trainer Steve Brannan in a top level condition pace.   Omega Cat's mega payoff in the seventh race caused a $2006 carryover in the track's 20-cent Hi-5 wager which prompted a $5000 guaranteed Hi-5 pool when racing resumes at Hollywood Dayton on Monday afternoon.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway    

Blake MacIntosh had a hunch that Fast N First could compete with the horses that would enter the 2019 Little Brown Jug, and the second elimination showed that he was 100 percent right. In the final stride of the mile, Fast N First got up to nose out favored American American Mercury to win the second $128,000 elimination and solidify the field for the $384,000 final. The race started with some hot early fractions as Semi Tough (Matt Kakaley) and Arties Ideal (Marcus Miller) sizzling to a :25.4 opening quarter. Semi Tough forced Arties Ideal into the pocket and then faced the serious threat of favoured American Mercury. Kakaley yielded and allowed Tyler Buter to land the Messenger winner on the lead in a sharp :53.3 half. With Escapetothebeach racing first up and not advancing to challenge, Brett Miller angled Fast N First three-wide down the backside. Clearing Escapetothebeach, Fast N First couldn't drop down to the two path as Arties Ideal popped back out from third to forge first-up through a 1:21.2 third station. American Mercury maintained his lead around the final turn and turning for home, but the pressure was on from the three next best. It appeared that American Mercury would hold off his rivals but Miller was able to get an extra gear out of Fast N First and help the colt live up to his name by getting his nose on the wire in a lifetime best 1:50.2. American Mercury, Arties Ideal and Semi Tough also advanced to the final. "This is very exciting and it's a race I've always wanted to win," said an elated Miller in the winner's circle. "I felt like the race was definitely setting up for us. Blake told me to be sure to keep this horse's attention, and when I made the move up the backside he was very strong but going into the last turn he actually -- just being a colt -- kind of pulled up on me and it cost us a lot of ground. For him to come back on and win, that was strong." Fast N First is owned by trainer Macintosh along with Ontario's Ridgeway Racing of Ridgeway and Steve Heimbecker of Conestogo. The horse picked up his eighth win of the series and fourth straight. The lion's share of the purse pushed his seasonal bankroll to $162,909. "I really wasn't nervous going in," said MacIntosh. "This year I was just hoping to make the final and have some fun. Now we've got a little pressure on us." MacIntosh is poised to win the Jug in back-to-back years, with two totally different back stories coming into the race. Despite not having a Courtly Choice this year, he felt Fast N First belonged with this group. "I thought he'd be right there. I wasn't sure if he could win it but when I saw the draw I was pretty happy with the division we came out in. He's just been a good little colt...he's won eight times this year, and we've protected him pretty good all summer and haven't really raced him over his head. He came out and proved today he's a nice little colt." After the second elimination, the posts for the final were drawn. 2019 Little Brown Jug Final ($384,000) (Post – Horse – Driver) 1 – Southwind Ozzi – Brian Sears 2 – Fast N First – Brett Miller 3 – Air Force Hanover – Simon Allard 4 – American Mercury – Tyler Buter 5 – Stag Party – David Miller 6 – Arties Ideal – Marcus Miller (SCRATCHED) 7 – Semi Tough – Matt Kakaley 8 – Shake That House – Tim Tetrick (SCRATCHED) From the Little Brown Jug

Columbus, OH - Driver Brett Miller had a spectacular Saturday night (Sept. 7) at Scioto Downs, capturing one $75,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championship for veteran harness racing pacing mares and three $75,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Consolations. Miller, 46, a resident of Blacklick, Ohio began his four-race win streak by steering 5-1 Homer Hall to victory in the $75,000 OSS 3-Year-Old Colt Consolation. Trained and co-owned by Steve Carter along with Jay Mossbarger & Cass Gallagher, the son of Broadway Hall was clocked in 1:54.3 for Miller. Bred by Midland Acres, Homer Hall bested 3-5 rival Morally Flexible (Danny Noble) by a length with 21-1 Workinitonbroadway (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) nailing down third-place honors. The victory, Homer Hall's tenth of the year and 17th lifetime in 26 starts, upped his lifetime bankroll to $193,742. Next, Miller guided Patti Roth and Alan Keith's Bad Sammie to a 1:53.1 clocking in the $75,000 OSS 3-Year-Old Filly Pace Consolation. The Big Bad John lass left the gate as the 3-5 favorite, besting 3-1 Twinsburg (Danny Noble) by half a length with 16-1 Lofty Beach (Yannick Gingras) third. Mike Roth trains Bad Sammie, who was bred by Midland Acres and now has $132,740 in career earnings from just four wins in 21 starts. Miller then reined 5-2 B Like Cruiser to a 1:51.4 triumph for trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. and owners Michael Cimaglio and William Richardson in the $75,000 OSS 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace Consolation. The homebred gelded son of Yankee Cruiser finished a neck ahead of 18-1 Rose Run Ulysses (Tim Tetrick) at the wire, with 16-1 Ohio Vintage (Aaron Merriman) another short neck back. Unraced as a freshman, B Like Cruiser now has seven wins, two seconds and one third in 13 trips postward with $110,301 in his coffers. Finally, Miller used a three-wide move in the last turn to bring 7-1 Up Front Flor Ida home first in the $75,000 Veteran Mares Pacing Championship in 1:51.3. The 4-year-old daughter of Woodstock is owned by Kevin McKinney and Virginian McKoy, and is trained by Tim McKoy. She now has career earnings of $269,890 from 15 wins, eight seconds and ten thirds in 52 lifetime starts. Using a :28.4 final brush, she easily paced to the win ahead of 50-1 Berazzled (Aaron Merriman), with 60-1 McDazzle (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) getting up for third. Harold Bauder's Sectionline Bigry captured the $75,000 OSS Veteran Pacing Championship for horses and geldings impressively in 1:49.2 as the 1-5 favorite. Driven by Tyler Smith for trainer Steve Bauder, this 4-year-old homebred son of Pet Rock has been a strong contender in the Ohio open and invitational ranks all season. This latest victory--his 11th of the season and 18th lifetime--upped his career earnings to $365,027. Whataboy was second at 8-1 for Danny Noble, while 90-1 Barley Up was third for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. Driver Aaron Merriman got the evening started by piloting 6-5 Chris Beaver-trainee Delovely Hall to a 1:58.1 triumph in the $75,000 OSS 2-Year-Old Filly Trot Consolation. Renee Bercury owns the Cash Hall lass who picked up a perfect time to score her second career victory. Danny Noble had no trouble bringing 1-5 Buxton home first in 1:57.2 for owner Carter Duer and trainer Bob Stewart in the $75,000 OSS 2-Year-Old Colt Trot Consolation. The homebred Dejarmbro colt picked up his second career win in six starts and now has $60,460 in his bankroll. Trainer Brian Brown then sent out the next two OSS winners--the first being PJ's Legacy, a 1-2 daughter of Big Bad John who stopped the clock in 1:53 in the $75,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace Consolation for driver Ryan Stahl. Brown then harnessed 6-5 Stanford Court, with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., taking the youngster to a 1:52.4 victory in the $75,000 OSS 2-Year-Old Colt Pace Consolation. Chris Page brought Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi's 3-1 Buckeye Starlet into the Scioto winner's circle after the Uncle Peter filly took the $75,000 OSS 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Consolation in 1:56. The win was the fourth of the year and fifth lifetime for Buckeye Starlet, who now has $95,681 in career earnings. Hambletonian winner Atlanta had to work a bit to prove her dominance as she took the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot in front-stepping fashion for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ronnie Burke in 1:51.4, holding off Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) by a head in the final yards. The daughter of Chapter Seven recorded her 19th career victory for Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. In the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial, McWicked, with Brian Sears in the sulky, scored a nose victory over Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) in 1:49. Casie Coleman conditions the 8-year-old son of McArdle for the New York-based SSG Stables. The win was McWicked's 28th of his career and his lifetime earnings now stand at well over $4.4 million. The Ohio Sires Stakes Championships for Veteran Trotters, 4-year-olds and up, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Northfield Park, with two $75,000 divisions scheduled for both genders. Those events will wrap up the 2019 Ohio Sires Stakes season. by Kimberly Rinker, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund Administrator

ANDERSON, Ind.--May 17, 2019-- Always A Prince and driver Trace Tetrick turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the heavy favorite in the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $20,000 Open Pace, at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 17. Stopping the timer in 1:48.1, Always A Prince established a new lifetime best in just the third start of his four-year-old campaign and equaled the track record for older pacing geldings at Harrah's Hoosier Park in the process. It was also the fastest mile of the 2019 season through the first 33 nights of racing. The 1:48.1 clocking equaled the mark previously established by Split The House and Brett Miller in the $421,00 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Hoosier Park in October of 2017. Always A Prince also holds the track record for three-year-old pacing geldings with a 1:48.3 score in stakes action last season. In a race marred by scratches, Always A Prince coasted off the gate from post four while a host of others left aggressively for the front. Docdor Friskie and Brandon Bates won the early battle for position and lead the field to the first quarter in a snappy :26.3 with Endeavor and Mike Oosting opting for a pocket trip. Tetrick wouldn't wait long and gave Always A Prince his marching orders as the field straightened away down the backside. Always A Prince quickly took command just before the half in :54.2 and never looked back. Hitting the three-quarters in 1:22, Always A Prince was on top by two and his lead was ever-increasing. Fan of Terror and John DeLong, who won the Open Pace last week, were the first to take aim but were no match for the leader. Utilizing a :26.1 final panel, Always A Prince powered home to finish three lengths to the good and was well in hand at the wire. Fan of Terror rallied gamely to finish second while Docdor Friskie held on for third. As the heavy betting favorite, Always A Prince returned $3.00 to his backers at the betting windows. "I can't say that I am surprised but I was not expecting a 1:48 mile tonight," trainer Tyler George noted after the victory. "He has that kind of speed and that was a nice field of horses but I didn't think he would have to go that much tonight. He's a great horse and does what he has to do." Unraced as a two-year-old, Always A Prince made up for lost times last season--bankrolling $492,875 in purse earnings and securing Indiana's 2018 Pacer of the Year title. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley, the gelded son of Always A Virgin-Glorious Princess recorded his 20th lifetime win from 25 trips behind the gate. "We haven't figured out where we are going next," George continued. "We will probably try to get another start here. He's got the Battle of Lake Erie but we'll see how it goes." The win with Always A Prince was one of three winners on the card for Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick. Tetrick also scored with fan-favorite and World Champion Freaky Feet Pete in the last race on the program. Staging his customary late rally in the lane, Freaky Feet Pete surged past his rivals to stop the timer in 1:49.4 and record his second consecutive victory. Indiana Sire Stakes Champions were out in full force on the evening's 14-race card as Indiana's 2018 champion two-year-old pacing colt, Egomania, also found the winner's circle in the first start of his three-year-old campaign. Driven by John DeLong and trained by Brian Brown, Egomania came storming home to stop the timer in 1:50.3 to establish a new lifetime best. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, May 18 with an 11-race card and begin at an adjusted post time of 7:10 pm. Live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   Emily Ratcliff

Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (May 9) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Dr. Jeffrey Greenstein, Greg Blanchard, Greg Gangle, Brett Miller, and Jim Miller. In a special Pacing For The Cure segment, Mike Bozich had a chance to sit down with well-known immunologist Dr. Jeffrey Greenstein. Greenstein has been integral in finding a cure for not only for Multiple Sclerosis, but for other autoimmune diseases as well. It will be the first of a two-part interview. Part two will air next Thursday. Blanchard, the Director of Racing at The Raceway at Western Fair District, will be joined by Greg Gangle, the tracks Assistant Manager, in talking about the upcoming Camluck Classic on Friday, May 31st. The Classic is the track's highlight race of the year, and the duo will talk about some of the promotions and going-ons at the event. Brett Miller, this year's leading driver at the recently concluded Miami Valley Raceway meet, will talk about his return to Ohio, and whats next in his driving career. Jim Miller, the Director Of Publicity at Hawthorne Race Course, will talk about the improvements the suburban Chicago track made to it's broadcast signal, as well as some of the promotions for the 2019 season. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN.   Michael Bozich

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway completed its sixth and most successful season on Monday, May 6, crowning new winners in both the harness racing drivers and trainers dash derbies. Brett Miller, in his first meet back in Ohio after an extended stay on the east coast's biggest stages, copped the drivers title with 183 wins, good for $1,852,267 in purse earnings. His next closest rival during the 87-day meet was Dan Noble, who notched 156 victories, followed in the top five by Trace Tetrick (140), Chris Page (135) and Tyler Smith (93). Each of the top five reinsmen earned over $1.1 million in purses for the owners of the horses they drove. On the training side, Ron Burke captured his first-ever dash title in Ohio. His 63 triumphs topped Virgil Morgan Jr. (47), Tyler George (40), Dan Noble (32) and Kayne Kauffman (30). A total of $14.2 million in purses were awarded, an average of over $160,000 per program. Of the 1192 races (an average of 13.7 races per card), 86% featured full fields of 8 horses or more going postward. The No. 5 starting position produced the most winners, as it usually does on a five-eighths mile oval. The 229 winners from the 5-hole yielded a winning percentage of 19.2%, approximately 5% better than the four post positions closer to the pylons which all hovered around 14%. Overall, race time favorites during the meet succeeded at a 41.44% clip. Miami Valley management and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank every owner, trainer, driver and caretaker who participated during 2019. We wish everyone continued success throughout the 2019 season and look forward to welcoming you back in January 2020. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Dayson (Chris Page) captured the final Open Trot of the Miami Valley harness racing season on a sunny Sunday afternoon (May 5), scorching the lightning fast five-eighths mile oval in 1:53.3. Page pressed the million dollar winning favorite confidently and unhurriedly towards the front, gaining the point well after the original pacesetter Moonshiner Hanover (Brett Miller) reached the :27.4 first quarter beam. It was the 30th lifetime win for Dayson, a 6-year-old altered son of Conway Hall, from just 61 career starts. Part of the powerful Ron Burke Brigade, Dayson extended his win streak to six, four at The Meadows before relocating to Ohio and Miami Valley for his most recent pair of successes. Full Surge (Tony Hall) trotted a huge mile to finish a closing second, while Moonshiner Hanover hung on for third. The Monday (May 6) matinee will close out the 2019 Miami Valley meet which started back on January 4. A pair of $100,000 Grand Circuit events for older mares will highlight the season finale. Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, makes her first start of the year in the Miami Valley Distaff; while superstar Shartin N will be favored in the Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial-a race she won last year in 1:49.3, still the fastest mile by a mare in the six year history of Miami Valley. The Grand Circuit features are carded as races 8 and 10 on a 14-race program. First race post time is 2:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - The 2019 Buckeye Stallion Series launched on Wednesday afternoon (May 1) with nine $17,500 harness racing divisions of Buckeye-bred sophomore fillies, five paces and four trots. This first leg action was the first of four preliminary sessions at Miami Valley, Scioto Downs, Northfield Park and the Delaware (OH) county fair-all leading up to the finals for $60,000 purses at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Sunday, September 29. Pacing winners were Heythere Lisamarie (Brett Miller, 1:54.4, $3.80 to win), Officially My Way (Jason Thompson, 1:53.4, $5.60), Rocl Me Cristal (Cameron McCown, 1:53.3, $14.20), Slymar's Dragon (Mark Evers, 1:53.3, $6.80) and Rocking Zoe (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54.4, $11.80). Trotters reaching the winner's circle were Ms Toni (Josh Sutton, 1:56.3, $4.60), Caterina Hall (Brett Miller, 1:56.1, $4.80), Twentyfour K Magic (Chris Page, 1:56.4, $15.00) and Sarafina AS (Elliott Deaton, 1:56.4, $23.40). Caterina Hall was the quickest winner in Buckeye Stallion Series action at Miami Valley on Wednesday. (Conrad photo) The Buckeye Stallion Series returns to Miami Valley on Saturday night (May 4) with eleven divisions for three-year-old pacing and trotting colts. Post time is 7:05 p.m., one hour later than normal due to the Kentucky Derby.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - The Ron Burke Stable has another superstar on its roster having assumed the training of Mission Accepted for his four-year-old harness racing campaign. The 4-year-old son of Manofmanymissions won 12 of 21 races at ages two and three for veteran Ohio conditioner Jeff Conger, earning a hefty $370,454. Owners Knox Services Inc. and David Wills have opted to hand the reins to Burke now that the Ohio juvenile events are in Mission Accepted's past and he'll soon likely be tackling the top aged trotters in the sport. As part of the Burke Brigade, Mission Accepted has reeled off three straight impressive triumphs in Miami Valley Raceway's weekly $25,000 Open Trot, all from assigned outside post positions, to start his 2019 campaign. The latest win came Monday afternoon (April 22) in 1:52.3 for driver Brett Miller. Content to let Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Pittsburgh Hanover (Brady Galliers) each take a turn on the front end through fractions of :27.3 and :55.3, Mission Accepted gradually moved up to third on the outside at the 1:23.3 three quarters station, then breezed home in a :29 final panel to hold off fast-closing No Whip Chip (Dan Noble). Pittsburgh Hanover held on to garner the show dough. Racing resumes Tuesday afternoon at Miami Valley with a 14-race matinee commencing at 2:05 p.m. There will also be a special "make-up" matinee program on Thursday afternoon (April 25).   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH – Gerardo has become quite an acquisition for owner Mark Bogen and trainer-driver Kayne Kauffman, who plucked the 4-year-old son of Rockin Image out of a Blooded Horse Sale in Springfield, Ohio prior to the start of his 2019 harness racing season.  All he’s done is win four of his first six races for his new connections, all in late closer series action, including both the $25,000 final of the George Williams Memorial last month and now the  $27,500 final of the Tom Tharps Memorial on Saturday night (April 6).     Kauffman put Gerardo on the front end in the Tharps championship, then dueled with Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) the entire last half of the mile clocked in 1:50—equaling the track record for 4 year olds.  The record was first established by Thisjetsabookin (Josh Sutton) in 2016 and was equaled by Gerries Sport (Trace Tetrick) in 2017.    The two favorites raced side by side through the stretch, with Rockin Speed sticking a nose in front midway down heartbreak lane before Gerardo dug deeper to fight back on the inside and gain the slight advantage at the wire. Gerardo winners circle       - Conrad photo Somebeachsomeday (Trevor Smith) was next best to nab the show dough.    A large throng of Tharps family and friends surrounded Gerardo and Kauffman in an emotional winner’s circle presentation.  Kauffman and the late Tom Tharps’ son Randy—the winningest black harness driver in history—are very close friends and Kauffman knows the matriarch of the family, Carol, and all Randy’s brothers, sisters and extended family extremely well.    A race later Granite broke an eight week dry spell by copping the $24,000 Open I Pace in 1:49.3, the quickest mile of the 2019 season thus far.  Driver Brett Miller took advantage of a serious speed duel between Angelo J Fra (Kyle Ater) and Cyclone Kiwi N (Dan Noble), who passed the first two timing beams in :25.1 and :52.3, then swung around the tiring pair as the field approached the three-quarter mark in 1:20.4.  Granite had GD Western Joe (Chris Page) in hot pursuit around the final bend, but Granite was able to hold on his short lead when GD Western Joe drifted considerable in the stretch.  My Buddy Ninkster (Josh Sutton) was best of the rest. Granite       -Conrad photo    A total of 11 of the 13 races on the Saturday program were won in times under 1:52, a testament to the outstanding job track superintendent Jimmy Shelton does at Miami Valley.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway was host for some stellar performances on a relatively warm Friday (April 5) evening in southwest Ohio. Among the highlights were an all-time track record for trotters (also a National Season's trotting mark on any size oval), the crowning of harness racing's newest millionaire, a thrilling stretch drive in the $27,500 final of the Dr. Don Mossbarger Memorial Series, and a new face capturing the weekly Mares Open Pace. Insomniac, a 7-year-old Crazed gelding racing for a $15,000 tag, went a jaw-dropping trip for trainer-driver Brady Galliers in the night's fourth race, a condition and optional claiming trot. After allowing Mikey Hanover (Brett Miller) to clear to the front at the :27.1 first quarter pole, Galliers insisted on retaking the lead which lead to a :54.4 half. Without throttling back, Insomniac sped to the three-quarter beam in 1:22.2, which had fellow horsemen and patrons gasping. But they hadn't seen the best yet as Galliers asked Insomniac for more throughout the lane...and got it! The final 1:51.4 clocking was the fastest trot in the six year history of Miami Valley, lowering the 1:52.1 standard set by Ladys Dude in 2016 and equaled by Kestrel in 2017. Insomniac is no stranger to winning races as the score was his 20th in a 105 race career that has yielded $289,777 in purses for a handful of owners over the past five seasons. He is currently owned by Galliers Racing LLC which is comprised of Galliers and his parents. As a result of a fifth place finish in the $22,500 Mares Open Pace 10-year-old American Girl became a millionaire having now banked $1,000,145. Aaron Merriman had the phenomenal daughter of Art's Chip on the lead through the first half of the race but reluctantly relented to four other exceptional mares during the taxing final half mile. Still American Girl was only 3-1/4 lengths back at the end of the 1:51 affair. Following the race, American Girl returned to the Miami Valley winner's circle where she and trainer Tyler George were presented with a commemorative blanket by her sire's owners Mark Evers and Sylvia Norris. It was the final race for American Girl, who is owned by Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt and is booked to the court of Downbytheseaside in the coming weeks. American Girl returned to the Miami Valley winner's circle    - Conrad photo The winner of American Girl's last dance was Up Front Flor Ida (Brett Miller), who topped Rosemary Rose (Chris Page), JD's Chancey Gal (Tyler Smith) and Big Bad Jane (Dan Noble). The 4-year-old Ohio-sired daughter of Woodstock won over $100,000 at age three and is now four for six in 2019, adding $42,000 to her coffers. Up Front Flor Ida      - Conrad photo Although this was her first try against open mares at the top level, trainer Tim McKoy is contemplating a start in the $100,000 Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial Grand Circuit stake for older mares on Miami Valley's closing day-Monday, May 6. She is owned by Kevin McKinney and Virginia McKoy. Heart Of The Ocean (Chris Page) and Bad Girls Rule (Brett Miller) battled stride for stride the length of the stretch in the Mossbarger Memorial championship. Heart Of The Ocean prevailed by a neck in 1:52.3 to earn the lion's share of the lucrative purse. Heart Of The Ocean winning the stride for stride battle       -Conrad photo Kathleen Marotta conditions the 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight for Marotta Investments. The winner now sports seven wins and seven place finishes in just 19 lifetime starts. "I had to miss the first leg of this series," exclaimed a jubilant Marotta, "and was worried she might not be tight enough to tackle these nice mares this soon. But she has returned to the races at the top of her game after five months off. She's a sweetheart." Badlilvelocity (Kyle Ater) got up for the show dough. Heart Of The Ocean winners circle      -Conrad photo Racing resumes Saturday night at Miami Valley including a pair of Open Paces and the $27,500 championship of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series. Post time is 6:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - The Tuesday (March 19) matinee at Miami Valley Raceway featured both trotters and pacers in "Lebanon Legends" late closing series harness racing action. Three divisions of the first leg of the Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial trot for non-winners of six races or $60,000 went postward, as did a trio of first leg divisions of the Omar Hiteman Memorial featuring non-winners of two or $20,000 male pacers. The quickest mile in the $15,000 Farwick splits came in the first division when Vatanna (Elliott Deaton) narrowly topped Red Rose Swan (LeWayne Miller) in 1:55.3. Best of the rest was Showboat (Brett Miller). The five geldings in the seven horse field were no match for the winner and runnerup, who were the only mares in the contest. Anna Lorentzon owns Vatanna, a 5-year-old by Dejarmbro, who has now notched three wins in six tries in 2019. Air Assault (Dan Noble) captured the second Farwick split in 1:56.1, besting Sesame (Brett Miller) and Starlight AS (Elliott Deaton). The 4-year-old son of Yankee Glide races for the partnership of Charles Kline and trainer Mike Hollenback. The clocking equaled the lifetime best for the ultra-consistent Air Assault. Another pair of 4-year-old mares showed their heels to the field in the final Farwick division. Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller) took full advantage of an early miscue by heavily-favored The Lionking AS to wire the field in 1:56.2. Peggy Sue (Brady Galliers) was a close second with Mr Quaker (Brett Miller) the show finisher. The winning daughter of Pilgrims Chuckie, also trained by LeWayne Miller for owners Nathan Yoder and Stephen Stoll, surpassed the $50,000 earnings plateau with the win. Missprimetimemel was a mild upset winner in the first leg of the Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial trot series at Miami Valley on Tuesday. - Conrad photo Dealer's Table (Josh Sutton), a 3-year-old by American Ideal making just his second lifetime start, sped to a 1:52.3 score in the fastest $10,000 Hiteman Memorial division. Injured and unraced at two, the winner made his first money start a winning one in 1:54.4 last week and followed up with a dominating effort in his second. "He's the real deal," quipped Sutton as he hung up the lines after beating Smilenmyles (Dale Hiteman) and Parklane Knight (Tyler Smith). Trainer Jeff Cullipher co-owns Dealer's Table, a New York bred, with partner Pollack Racing LLC. The other two victors in the Hiteman heats scored identical 1:54. Triumphs. DL's Big Elvis (Brett Miller) headed Jack's Major (Trevor Smith) and Star Of Oz (Dan Noble) across the finish line. The 3-year-old son of Mister Big earned just $5000 as a freshman, but has already doubled that amount in his first four starts of 2019. Charlie Stewart is training the winner for Rod Harness and breeder Dave Scott. Doctor Jimmy (Cam McCown) remained undefeated by winning his division over Skyway Three Ball (Trace Tetrick) and Seattle Hanover (Chris Page). Brian Brown trains the winning son of Well Said for the partnership of Country Club Acres, Milton Leeman and Richard Lombardo. The 3-year-old colt is now four-for-four to start his promising career.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Brett Miller dominated the Monday afternoon (March 4) harness racing action at Miami Valley Raceway winning one-half of the 14 races, a feat equaled only by leading driver Trace Tetrick exactly one week earlier. Miller has picked up a dozen wins in the four programs Tetrick has been on vacation, narrowing the dash derby gap to 98-84 after 40 days of the 87-day meet. Their rivalry to determine top dog at season's end will be revived Tuesday (March 5) when Tetrick returns to action. Miller is co-owner of the record for most wins on a card (8) at The Meadowlands as well. Moody Blues (1:57.4, $11.20) gave Brett his first trip to the winner's circle on a cold, windy day in southwest Ohio. He followed with victories behind Woo's Princess (1:58.3, $7.80), Pull The Shade (1:57.2, $5.00), Always Woggy (1:57.1, $2.40), Race With Grace (1:54.4, $3.60), Magic Shark (1:54.1, $9.00) and Del Rio Seelster (1:57.1, $4.00). Miller has 13 drives on the Tuesday matinee while Tetrick is listed behind 12 horses. The Monday program also featured two $15,000 divisions of second leg Ray Paver Sr. Memorial late closer series action. The races determined which nine trotters, who were all non-winners of four races or $40,000 at the series start, advance to the $25,000 championship week next Monday (March 11). Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller) scored a 1:59 triumph over P C Foreign Affair (Jason Brewer) and Shelby's Honor (Mike Oosting) in the first split. The 4-year-old daughter of Pilgrims Chuckie, owned by Nathan Yoder and Stephen Stoll, returned $5.20 to win. MVP Luke (Dan Noble) eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau with his 1:57 victory over Air Assault (Brett Miller) and ER Skywalker (Todd Warren) in the second division. Trainer Chris McGuire co-owns the 4-year-old by My MVP with Howard Taylor and Deo Volente Farms LLC. The nine Paver Memorial finalists, in order of preliminary leg earnings, will be MVP Luke, Air Assault, Miss Primetimemel, The Lionking AS, P C Foreign Affair, Shelby's Honor, White Pants Fever, Trot Time and ER Skywalker. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - 'Super' Brett Miller picked a great time to win his 8000th career harness racing victory at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (Feb. 22). The 45-year-old purple and white clad reinsman captured the $25,000 championship final of the inaugural Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley in the track's first-ever added distance 1-1/4 mile race. Miller guided Double A Goldrush to the 2:27.4 triumph in gate-to-wire fashion over fast-closing No Whip Chip (Chris Page) and Nothinbutanallstar (LeWayne Miller). Fractions for the first mile of the endurance test were :29.1, 1:00, 1:29.3 and 1:58.l. The winner swept through all three legs of the Beissinger Medley, notching a 1:11.1 score in the first leg-a 5/8th mile dash; returning with a 1:54.2 tally at the conventional mile distance in the second leg; then tacking on the lucrative added distance championship. Ross Leonard trains the 5-year-old son of Elegant Man for Michael and Laura Lee and their partner Terry Leonard. The victory was Double A Goldrush's 16th from just 64 lifetime starts and pushed him past the $200,000 earnings plateau. "I didn't know exactly how to train him for these different distances," laughed Leonard, "so I didn't do anything much different than his usual routine. It worked out pretty well! We'll probably give him a week off and then race him at Miami Valley until the end of the meet." "He thought about pulling up for a moment just past the mile mark," Miller chimed in. "I guess he thought he'd done enough work for the night, but he got right back to business when I chirped to him." Miller, the son of Del S. Miller and cousin of Hall Of Famer David Miller, began his racing career in Ohio at age 19 in 1992 - winning one race in 31 tries good for $3258 in earnings. It wasn't long afterwards that he hooked up with the late trainer John Lee at Northfield Park and the duo began winning races at an alarming rate. For a period of seven years before Miller left for The Meadowlands in 2007 Brett averaged over 500 wins a year with purse earnings over $2 million in each of them. His lifetime purse earnings are approaching $85,000,000. "John Lee gave me my first big break," said Brett. " I might not be here today if not for the trust he placed in me. I think about John and the good times we had at Northfield often. He was a great guy and great trainer. I miss him." While his annual purse earnings more than doubled during his decade on the east coast, Miller kept an eye on his Buckeye roots and the renaissance taking place in terms of increased purses. Yearning to return "home," Brett decided the timing was right when the calendar turned to 2019 and he couldn't be happier with that decision. "I'm happy to be home and winning races at this clip again (65 already in 2019, good for almost $700,000 in purses). A co-featured $25,000 Open Mares Pace produced a mild upset when Pistol Packin Mama (Josh Sutton) topped Gone Girl (Dan Noble) and American Girl (Trace Tetrick) in 1:53.3. Sutton sat chilly in sixth position through the first three quarters, then split rivals in the stretch for the impressive score in the winner's second start of the season. Jeff Cullipher trains the 17-time winner for himself and partner Pollack Racing LLC. American Girl was attempting to join the ranks of horses that have earned $1 million, but fell just short. The 10-year-old daughter of Art's Chip now sports a bankroll of $996,860. Racing resumes Saturday night (Feb. 23) when co-features will be a $25,000 Open Pace and the 1-1/4 mile championship final of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley for pacers. Post time is 6:05 p.m. From the Miami Valley Media Department  

LEBANON, OH. - John Jay reigns as "King of the Hill" after capturing the Tuesday (Feb. 19) $15,000 final of the Survivor Series for $5000 male harness racing pacers at Miami Valley Raceway. The 6-year-old altered son of Dali was claimed from the first elimination leg where he finished third, then copped both a division of the second elimination leg and the lucrative final for new owner Lases Racing of Sheridan, Michigan. Driver Brett Miller and John Jay didn't have an easy time of it in the championship tilt. After getting away fourth in the early going, Miller was forced to swing his charge first-up into the outer flow well before the half. Sandwiched between rivals vying for the lead at the three-quarters, Miller was able to keep John Jay's mind on the task at hand and eventually cleared to the front in midstretch and waltzed to the wire. Despite an off track, John Jay paced the mile in 1:54.2 to his 25th career triumph. Swift Shark (Dan Noble) finished second for the second straight week after a win in first week of Survival Series action. Lady's Man (Brady Galliers) got the show dough on the merits of his third consecutive show finish in the tournament-style series. From the Miami Valley Media Department

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