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LEBANON, OH. - Twilight Bonfire, who has rapidly become a fan favorite at Miami Valley Raceway, became harness racing's newest millionaire Saturday night capturing the $16,500 Open Handicap Pace after a thrilling stretch duel. Driver Dan Noble changed tactics in Twilight Bonfire's seventh local start by leaving the gate alertly and dictating all the fractions. A lukewarm favorite in a stellar field, the five-year-old stud horse by The Panderosa reached the quarter mile marker in :26.3, then throttled down to a :56.1 half before the challengers began to form an outer flow. Masters Champion (Kyle Ater) was first to lap on the pacesetter with Neat (Jeff Nisonger) and Mykindachip (Kayne Kauffman) swinging wider yet at the 1:23.4 three-quarter station. Atta Boy Dan (Chris Page), fresh off three straight Preferred company victories at The Meadows, swung four-wide at the head of the stretch and the cavalry charge was on to the wire. In the end, Twilight Bonfire held off all challengers in 1:52.1 despite the fact that two of his adversaries had stuck their heads in front of him midway through the final turn. Atta Boy Dan got up for second with Neat pacing strong between horses to finish a very tight third. Owned by Robert Key and trained by Danny Collins, Twilight Bonfire's winning bounty moved his career earnings to $1,003,070. The homebred has won 15 of his 66 lifetime starts and sports a three-year-old record of 1:50.1. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Igottafeelinfran got back on the winning track Friday night at Miami Valley Raceway winning the $16,500 harness racing Fillies and Mares Open pace. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite despite two straight disappointing finishes from outside post positions, the five-year-old daughter of Ohio sire Feelin Friskie went directly to the front for driver Dan Noble and went unpressured until the stretch. With no foe willing to challenge the pacesetter early, Noble coasted through fractions of :28, :58 and 1:27.1 before finishing in :28.1 for the 1:55.2 victory. Shine N Shimmer (Chris Page), last week's winner, left alertly from the outside post position and fell into the pocket where she stayed until a late seam in the stretch allowed her to finish a strong second with a good closing kick. Betterluvnexttime (Josh Sutton) also fell victim to the pedestrian fractions, but came on late to garner the show dough. The three classy mares that comprised the winning trifecta ticket have combined earnings of over $1 million. Igottafeelinfran has now won 19 times and banked over $390,000 in just 54 career starts. She is co-owned by trainer Jim Dailey's wife Kimberly with Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Onemorelastchance, the only Ohio-sired horse in the race, captured the $14,000 championship leg of the harness racing 'Look Sharp Series' on Sunday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway. The nine-year-old gelded son of Towner's Big Guy beat a full field of younger combatants for owner Diane Stephenson, trainer Greg Horn and driver Dan Noble. It was the 26th career win for the homebred who has raced his entire career for the same connections and increased his lifetime earnings to $167,859. Noble gunned Onemorelastchance to the front early in the mile then held off favored Foreign Officer (Tyler Smith) and hard-charging Toledo Bend Gator (Chris Page) in 1:55. The series was named after Look Sharp, a son of Abercrombie, who stood stud at the nearby Hagemeyer Farm for many years and produced countless good race horses, many of whom seemed to getter better with age. The prolific southwest Ohio sired died in 2014 at the age of 30. A $16,500 Open Trot was also presented on the matinee program with March Awareness (Chris Page) making his first local appearance a winning one, beating Rehab Mountain (Brad Hanners) and Can'tcutthatchip (Jack Dailey) in 1:57. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC own the five-year-old altered son of Ken Warkentin who now sports 15 wins in just 48 career starts. In other news, the Saturday night (February 21) program produced a Miami Valley track record handle when $308,977 went through the mutuel windows. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Twilight Bonfire captured the $15,500 Open Handicap pace at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night, inching within $6000 of becoming a million dollar earner for owner-breeder Robert J. Key. The five-year-old stud horse by The Panderosa has made the most of his 64 career starts, winning 14 of them and banking $994,060. This score was the second in three tries in local open company with the first being a track-record equaling 1:51.1 effort the last day of January. Twilight Bonfire swept past a host of horses in the stretch for driver Dan Noble collaring runnerup Gareth Nourrir (Josh Sutton) and show finisher Speed Trap (Chris Page) in the final strides of the 1:53 mile. Danny Collins conditions the winner who will join the exclusive 'Millionaires Club' with his next victory. The second leg of the 'Sovereign Warrior' series for top conditioned pacers was contested in two $9000 divisions. Ideal Race (Chris Page) captured the first division in 1:52.4 besting ER Zach Attack (Tyler Smith) and Winchester's Punch (Randy Tharps). With a win and a second, the Ron Burke-trained winner is the likely morning line favorite for the $18,000 championship next Saturday night. Ohio-sired Feel N Funk E (Andy Shetler) copped the second division with a 1:53.1 triumph over Ally-Con (Greg Grismore) and Lady's Man (Josh Sutton). George Anthrop trains the winner who could become a $100,000 earner with a score in the series final. Through 35 nights of the current 89-night meet, Miami Valley's average daily handle is up a healthy 22% over the inaugural season's numbers. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Harness racing driver Dan Noble has climbed back into a virtual tie for leading dash driver at Miami Valley's second season.   The nearby Xenia, Ohio native won five times on a snowy, 10 degree special President's Day Monday matinee to end the day deadlocked with Josh Sutton, who had a driving double of his own.   The pair each have 63 victories through the first 32 programs of an 89-day meet. Defending champion Kayne Kauffman is third with 56 tallies.   Noble's triumphs were with Angels N Demons, who covered the snow-covered 'good' track in 1:59.2 and paid $2.80 to win, Make Your Move (1:59.3, $7.20), Picture Me (1:57.2, $6.80), Salutation Hanover (1:59.2, $5.60) and E R Prince Charmin (2:00.3, $10.80).   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Dabestleaderever ran his win streak to five on Saturday night at Miami Valley capturing the $16,500 Open Handicap Pace in 1:53, despite 14 degree temperatures and wind gusts reaching 40 miles an hour. Although the winner has raced for three different owners and trainers during his current win streak, one constant has been driver Dan Noble in the sulky for all five scores. With last week's winner Mykindachip scratched from the field, Dabestleaderever and Ice Scraper inherited the favorite's roles and didn't disappoint. They sped to the quarter pole in :26.4 with Ice Scraper finally crossing to the pylons for reinsman Josh Sutton. The duo stayed that way, with the others struggling to keep up, through middle fractions of :55 and 1:23.4. The winner pulled briefly on the pacesetter with over a quarter mile to go, but retreated back to the pylons and waited until the homestretch for one final gallant try. It proved to be the right strategy as Dabestleaderever stuck a nose in front of Ice Scraper in the final stride. Speed Trap (Chris Page) was best of the rest to grab the show spot. A Piece Of The Action Stable LLC plucked the eight-year-old Cambest gelding from a $20,000 claiming event a week ago and got an instant $8250 dividend with the win. George Anthrop is the current trainer of the horse that has also been in the Jim Ellison and Virgil Morgan Jr. stables during the impressive win streak. The first leg of the Sovereign Warrior Series for pacers who are non-winners of $1200 per start in 2014-15 was also presented on Saturday night. The first $9000 split was won by ER Zach Attach (Tyler Smith) in an upset over Why Don't U Say (Chris Page) and Tough Chip (Dan Noble) in 1:55. Trent Stohler trains and co-owns the winner with partners Benjamin and Tim Graber. Dispatched at 32-1 odds, ER Zach Attack paid $66 to win with the $2 exacta in the race returning $293.20. Lucky Crusader (Josh Sutton) captured the second $9000 division in 1:55.1, besting Ideal Race (Chris Page) and Ally-Con (Greg Grismore). Alex Adam trains and co-owns the winner with William Rodosky Jr. As the 8-5 favorite Lucky Crusader paid $5.40 and was the top half of a $27.20 exacta. Racing resumes Sunday at Miami Valley with a 3:00 p.m. post time. A special President's Day matinee program will also be presented on Monday, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Mykindachip made it three wins in four tries since the start of Miami Valley Raceway's second season by winning the $15,500 Open Pace in 1:54.3 on Saturday (February 7). In each of the three victories, driver Kayne Kauffman has left the wings of the gate alertly with the six-year-old son of Art's Chip, allowed a single adversary to clear to the front, then retakes the lead just past the quarter and successfully plays catch-me-if-you-can to the wire. Sent off as a prohibitive 2-5 favorite over a 'good' track, Mykindachip watched Cam B Zipper (Chris Page) sweep by just before the :27 opening quarter, then Kauffman retook command through fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.3 before a :29 final panel sealed the deal. Rockin Finish (Brent Holland) raced gamely first-up on the outside to finish a lapped-on second with Cam B Zipper holding firm for third. It was the 25th career triumph for Mykindachip and increased his lifetime bounty to $408,107. He is owned by Carl Atley and trained by Danny Dubeansky. Driver Josh Sutton enjoyed quite a night, winning six of the first 11 races to move into a strong third in the local dash standings after 25 nights of the 89-night meet. With three races remaining on the Saturday night program, defending champion Kayne Kauffman and former national dash champion Dan Noble were deadlocked for first place with 49 victories apiece. Sutton, who won the recent Dayton Raceway dash title, gained considerably with his stellar Saturday night. His win total was 44 at presstime. Racing resumes Sunday afternoon with a 3:00 PM post time. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Igotafeelinfran, the lone Buckeye-bred mare in the field, used a perfect pocket trip coupled with cooperative weather and the fastest harness racing surface in awhile to win the $15,500 Open Mares Pace at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night in 1:52.4. It was just the second 2015 start for the reigning Ohio Sire Stakes older distaff champion, so driver Dan Noble was content to allow longshot All Terror (Kayne Kauffman) to cut the remaining fractions after pushing her to a speedy :27.3 opening panel. Following middle splits of :57 and 1:25 the leading pair separated themselves from the rest and staged an epic stretch duel with the winner nosing out the pacesetter following a :27.4 closing quarter. Stucklikeglue (Greg Grismore) closed well to grab the show spot after a second-over journey. The five-year-old daughter of Feelin Friskie now has 18 wins on her impressive resume in addition to 22 other place and show finishes from just 51 lifetime races. Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff bred Igotafeelinfran and have since added Kimberly Dailey, wife of trainer Jim Dailey, as a partner on the career winner of $381,746. A race earlier, in the $11,000 top conditioned pace for mares, Betterluvnexttime (Josh Sutton) tied the 1:52.1 track record for older female pacers, established during Miami Valley's inaugural season in 2014 by Holiday Shopper. The seven-year-old American Ideal mare, owned by Daniel Mitchell and trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., just edged Carlina Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) with Multiple Sources (Greg Grismore) garnering the show dough. Betterluvnexttime is closing in on a half million dollars in lifetime earnings, the result of 39 victories from just 95 career starts. Gregg Keidel  

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    

LEBANON, OH. - Shine N Shimmer slid into town Friday night and captured the $16,500 Mares Open pace at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:52.3, just two-fifths of a second off the harness racing track record for aged pacing mares despite 26 degree temperatures and gusting winds. Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr., the 2014 national dash champion, pushed the seven-year-old American Ideal mare right to the front when the wings folded and was able to maintain the lead through fractions of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:24.1. The winner, shipping in from the east coast where she earned $95,413 with eight wins in 2014, beat Igottafeelinfran (Dan Noble)-the winner of last year's Ohio Sires Stakes championship for older mares, making her first seasonal start-and Metro Shopping (Tyler Smith), who got the show dough. Jim Ellison trains now trains Shine N Shimmer for the partnership of Dandy Farms and Howard Taylor. She paid $8.80 to win. Earlier on the program the $8200 championship final of the "Claim To Fame" series for $5000 claiming trotters was contested. Upset winner was JW's Jasmine (Kyle Ater), who topped King Trut (Josh Sutton) and Pacific Wave K (Ken Holliday) at odds of 14-1. The winner got away third as Beauregret carved wicked trotting fractions of :27.2 and :56.1 to the half. Ater came first up headed to the three-quarters where his nine-year-old mare stuck a head in front in 1:25.4. Her :30.3 final panel was enough to garner the championship for the pride of the Baron Racing Stable and trainer George Anthrop. The Saturday night card at Miami Valley will feature a $14,500 Open Pace as well as the $20,000 championship leg of the "Claim To Fame" series for $12,500 horses and geldings. Miami Valley will also provide the only live harness racing action in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday with a 3:00 p.m. post time. The matinee program should wrap-up about a half hour before kickoff of the Patriots-Seahawks clash, which will be shown throughout the Miami Valley casino and bars on dozens of large-screen television monitors. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Dabestleaderever captured the $25,000 championship of the "Claim To Fame" series for $20,000 claimers on Sunday at Miami Valley Raceway, the seventh win of the day for harness racing driver Dan Noble over the rain-and-thaw dampened sloppy track. Trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and partner Carl Howard collared the winner from the second preliminary leg and the eight-year-old Cambest gelding paid immediate dividends, going wire to wire to top Rusty's No Fool (Greg Grismore) and Littlebitaclass (Andy Shetler). Dabestleaderever hasn't missed the board in four starts since coming to Miami Valley, including back to back wins. A $10,000 championship in the "Claim To Fame" series for $5000 claiming mares was also decided with Bittersweet Best (Kyle Ater) benefitting from a perfect second-over trip to top Luna Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) and Debi's Sign (Josh Sutton) in 1:56.2. The victory pushed the six-year-old Pro Bono Best mare over the $100,000 earnings plateau for owners Allen and Ira Kaplan and trainer Dan Ater. Noble's winners were Earls Dixie Darlin, Wounded Warrior, Miss Suggs, Custom Made, Milliron Pete, Mama Made Me Blue and Dabestleaderever. Noble's seven win day secured his second place standing in the local driver's dash contest. The 32-year-old former national dash champion follows only defending Miami Valley champion Kayne Kauffman, who scored a driving triple on Saturday night. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Rev Me Up, who enjoyed considerable success at the inaugural Miami Valley Raceway meet in 2014, returned to Ohio Friday night a captured the $16,500 Mares Open pace in 1:53.2. It was one of three driving wins on the program for Dan Noble, who split rivals in the stretch to top Rescue Team (Chris Page), who was closing fast on the outside, and pacesetter Stucklikeglue (Greg Grismore) who finished a close-up third. It was the 34th lifetime victory from 168 starts for the eight-year-old Park Place mare leased by Merl P'pool and trained by Kathy Millman. Metro Shopping (Tyler Smith) matched Rev Me Up's 1:53.2 winning time in gate-to-wire fashion a race later in an $11,000 conditioned event. All Terror (Kayne Kauffman) and That's My Girl G (Greg Grismore) followed the winning four-year-old Metropolitan mare through the wire. Trent Stohler trains and co-owns Metro Shopping with Benjamin and Tim Graber. The first leg of the "Claim To Fame" late-closing series for $5000 trotters was also contested in two divisions. The divisional winners, each claimed from their respective splits, were Beauregret (Randy Tharps) and Pacific Wave K (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.). Beauregret took full advantage of a pocket trip to best JW'S Jasmine (Kyle Ater) and In The Grippers (Brad Hanners). It was the ninth career tally for the headstrong five-year-old homebred gelding owned until now by Lionel Watiker. Pacific Wave K beat Claim Jumper (Greg Grismore) and King Trut (Josh Sutton) in the second split. It was just the sixth career triumph for the five-year-old Yankee Glide ridgling who was owned by William Cantrell and trainer Gary Neafus. From the Media Department at Miami Valley

DAYTON, OH. - Celebrity Hercules, a well-traveled eight-year-old son of Kadabra, visited Hollywood Dayton Raceway for the first time on Saturday night (December 20) and left with a hard-fought 'nose' victory in the weekly $10,000 Open Trot. With the narrow victory Celebrity Hercules inched closer to the half-million dollar earnings plateau. He now has 37 lifetime wins in 141 tries and has amassed $492,399 in winnings. The winner has won multiple races in Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota in recent years and now adds Ohio to his list of places where he has beat the best. This victory did not come easy, however, as Celebrity Hercules got away seventh in the nine-horse field for driver Dan Noble, then moved into a position third in the outer flow during the middle half-mile. At the three-quarters, Noble flipped his charge three-wide and he eventually ground down Mystical Dew (Tyler Smith), who had raced first-over from the outside post position the entire mile, in the final stride. Favored Rehab Mountain (Brad Hanners) put the field through relatively comfortable fractions of :27, :57 and 1:26 before yielding in deep stretch and finishing third in the 1:55.3 mile. Jim Ellison trains Celebrity Hercules for the Dandy Farms Inc. From the press box at Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Sectionline Yankee, with Dan Noble in her sulky for the first time, went coast-to-coast in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $10,000 Mares Open pace on Friday night. In the process, the daughter of Yankee Cruiser eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau for the 2014 season on the strength of a 9-7-4 scorecard from 34 starts. The money-making homebred, owned by Harold Lee Bauder, Harold L. Bauder and Michael Dixon and trained by Steve Bauder, now has banked $344,450 in her illustrious career. Noble stepped off the gate in a tone-setting :26.3 opening panel, then stopped the middle station teletimers in :55.3 and 1:24 before closing the deal in 1:53.1. Betit To Getit (Kyle Ater) put up a good fight in the stretch but ended up one-half length short. Stucklikeglue (Greg Grismore) also was lapped on at the wire, just another neck behind in third. Driver Jason Brewer, who was enjoying an outstanding inaugural season at Dayton, broke his arm in a morning training accident at his nearby farm and is likely out of action through the end of the meet on December 27. The 36-year-old reinsman is currently fifth in the dash standings with 54 wins during the first 48 nights. Brewer's father Jeff is ranked second in the trainer's standings with 29 wins and an impressive .400 UTRS average during the current Dayton stand. From the press box at Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - Just two days after taking the lead in the Hollywood Dayton Raceway dash standings, Josh Sutton scored triumphs in one-half of the new track's 14 Monday night races to put some distance between himself and his closest competitors, Chris Page and Dan Noble, who took the night off at Dayton. The 32-year-old Sutton, who ranks in the top ten in the national driver's standings, now has 76 wins on the first 41 programs of the inaugural meet. Page has 65 and Noble 61 trips to the Dayton winner's circle. Sutton's victories came with the trotter King Trut (1:59) in the second, Fear The Major (1:57.2) in the fourth, QB Killa (1:53.4) in the fifth, followed by a sweep of the final four races with KR's Cruiser (1:54.4), Mystic Desire (1:53.1), Wisher (1:55.2) and Second Chance (1:55.2). From the press box at Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - With Hollywood Dayton Raceway midway through its inaugural meet, Chris Page has nudged ahead of Dan Noble by a 54-52 win tally in the chase for the driver's dash title. Page scored a grand slam with four victories on the Wednesday night program, the 28th of 57 scheduled this season, to grab the ever-so-slight lead. Josh Sutton ranks third with 39 victories, Kayne Kauffman fourth with 29, and Kyle Ater fifth with 28. The top ten also includes Greg Grismore, Jason Brewer and Jeremy Smith, 27 each, Randy Tharps, 26 and Shawn Barker, 11. On the trainer's side, Virgil Morgan Jr. is attempting to sweep the 2014 Miami Valley, Scioto Downs and Dayton Raceway meets. The winningest trainer in Ohio racing history, Morgan Jr. has 20 wins in the first half of the Dayton meet. He's followed in the top ten by Conor Flynn 18, Jeff Brewer 14, Steve Carter and Chris Short 10, and a fivesome of conditioners with 6 wins each-Dan Ater, Earl Buschelman, Jim Dailey, Terry Deters and Christi Pokornowski. An incredible number of drivers, 95, have circled the new Dayton five-eighths mile oval in the first 28 nights. An even more astounding number of trainers have tried their hand at harness racing's newest venue-352. Of that total, 145 have already won at least one race. The percentage of winning favorites to date is 37.68 with the No. 5 post position producing the most winners (62), followed by the 2-hole (59), 1-hole (58), 3-hole (50) and 4-hole (43). From the press box at Dayton Raceway

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