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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 - Using identical tactics, Pine Dream stormed from last to first down the harness racing backstretch and went on to capture his second straight $24,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley on Sunday afternoon. With leading driver Trace Tetrick on vacation this weekend, Chris Page got the nod behind the winning 7-year-old son of Pinetucky. Newcomer Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton), fresh in from Yonkers Raceway, closed well for second, while All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) hung on for third after dictating the fractions. For Page, who resides in fourth place in the current Miami Valley dash standings, it was his third consecutive day with an Open class victory. After winning the $25,000 Mares Open Pace with Feelin Red Hot on Friday, Chris guided Mykindachip to an impressive $20,000 Open II triumph on Saturday. Pine Dream has cashed in all seven of his 2019 tries at Miami Valley, all in the weekly Open Trot features. With three wins, two seconds and two fourth place finishes the Chupp Racing Stable stalwart has now banked $52,495 in the first two months of the season. Despite snowy conditions and a sloppy track, Pine Dream trotted his most recent mile in 1:56.1 for trainer Kelly Chupp. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - Proving once again that the race is never over at the draw, the two horses that drew the outermost posts for the harness racing $25,000 Open I Pace at Miami Valley on Saturday night (March 2) finished one-two at long odds. My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) soared past the $800,000 career earnings plateau with an upset 1:51.1 victory, followed across the line by Fan Of Terror (Sam Widger)-who has been a mainstay on the North American Top 10 seasonal earners list thus far in 2019 by dominating the $20,000 claiming ranks. Smith sat chilly towards the back of the field as My Buddy Ninkster (Todd Warren) sprinted to the front and fended off challenges by Granite (Brett Miller) first and then show finisher Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble). My Hero Ron was third-over in the outer flow down the backside and had live enough cover to carry him to the head of the lane before swinging three wide for the stretch drive. The Danny Dubeansky trainee, owned by Brian Witt and Cory Atley, was dispatched at 14-1 odds and paid $30.60 to the faithful who believed the ultra-consistent 7-year-old son of Well Said could do it from an outside start. Fan Of Terror was sent off at 20-1 thus the hefty exacta payoff of $517.40. A $20,000 Open II was captured by Mykindachip (Chris Page), another super consistent old timer, who bested Feelnlikearockstar (Mike Oosting) and Cinnamack (Brett Miller) in 1:50.4. It was the 55th lifetime victory from exactly 200 starts for the 10-year-old son of Art's Chip and boosted his career bounty to $869,732. Page managed an ideal two-hole trip for the winner, who hails from the Ron Burke Stable. A pair of first leg George Williams Memorial Series divisions were contested earlier on the Saturday program. The late closer for non-winners of four races or $40,000 lifetime produced a pair of 4-year-old winners who each took impressive new lifetime marks. Gerardo (Kayne Kauffman), a recent $50,000 purchase at auction, sped to a 1:51.3 triumph over Noah Z Tam (Kyle Ater) and Velocity U Betcha (Brett Miller) in the first $12,500 split. Kauffman, who eclipsed the $20 million mark in purse earnings on Friday, also trains the son of Rockin Image for new owner Mark Bogen. Velocity Smoke (Dan Noble), trained by Mark Evers for his Velocity Standardbreds stable, scored in 1:52, besting Trial By Fire (Josh Sutton) and Reagan's Avenger (Chris Page). Racing resumes Sunday afternoon (March 3) with a 2:05 p.m. matinee. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Feelin Red Hot (Chris Page) got back on the winning track capturing the $25,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (March 1). Driver Kayne Kauffman also had a memorable evening scoring a hat trick with three horses, all from his own barn. Feelin Red Hot drew the best of the four outside posts grouping and took full advantage. Once Page wrestled the front away with the 6-year-old daughter of Feelin Friskie he opened a couple lengths on the field and maintained the margin through the wire reached in 1:52. Lease Ness Monster (Kyle Ater) and Gone Girl (Dan Noble) were the best of the rest in the feature race. Ron Burke trains the winner, who now has three triumphs in six tries at this level in 2019, for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Kayne Kauffman not only reached the winner's circle three times, but also eclipsed the lofty $20 million purse earnings plateau. His first win came behind Tura Lura Lural in the second division of the first leg of the Herb Cover Jr. Memorial Series for distaffers who are non-winners of four races or $40,000 lifetime. The 4-year-old daughter of The Panderosa pounced from the 2-hole at the head of the stretch and sailed to a 1:53.4 score over Scwartz Bros Beaty (Sam Widger) and Canadian Rocker (Mike Peterson). Kauffman's wife Natalie co-owns the winner with partners Douglas Millard and Sandra Burns. Kayne Kauffman eclipsed the $20 million purse earnings plateau with a hat trick on Friday at Miami Valley.  He is congratulated by Racing Operations Manager Helen Carlo and Senior Marketing Director Jerry Abner. - Conrad photo Dan D Dune (1:53) gave Kauffman his second tally beating Strong Playin King (Dan Noble) and Whata Twist (Josh Sutton) in a $12,500 claimer for pacing geldings. Mary Megerle owns the 6-year-old who won for the second time in eight seasonal starts at this level. Mary Megerle also owns Kayne's third victor of the night, Lerato N (1:53.2), a 6-year-old mare who topped the highest condition class for the female set. The upset winner paid $33.20 for topping Strong Opinion (Sutton) and Sandy Sue (Page). Kauffman began his career in 1994 with one win in four starts and purse earnings of $423. Since then the 40-year-old reinsman has accumulated 3066 wins in addition to 3382 place and 3363 show finishes. Kayne's first two $1 million seasons came in 2013 and 2014, followed by $2 million-plus seasons in 2015 and 2018. In 2016 and 2017 the red-and-white clad driver managed $3 million-plus campaigns. He owns 14 100-plus win seasons, including the last 11 years. He scored over 300 victories in three straight years from 2015-2017. In this age of catch drivers, Kauffman is also an accomplished trainer who manages a full stable. He has recorded 810 training wins and his horses have earned over $4.6 million.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Trace Tetrick, the defending dash champion and leading driver at the current Miami Valley Raceway meet, won five of the first eight races on the Monday afternoon (Feb. 25) matinee including both divisions of the first leg of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial late-closer for trotters. The Paver Memorial, for non-winners of four pari-mutuel races or $40,000 lifetime, is the first of nine "Lebanon Legends" series that will be presented during March and the early days of April at Miami Valley. Air Assault captured the first $12,500 split in 1:56.2, besting P C Foreign Affair (Jason Brewer) and Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller). The favored 4-year-old son of Yankee Glide is trained by co-owner Mike Hollenback, whose partner is Charles Kline. The Lionking AS was victorious in the second division, downing MVP Luke (Dan Noble) and White Pants Forever (Walter Haynes Jr.) in 1:57.2. Tyler George recently assumed the conditioning duties on the 4-year-old Lionhunter gelding that is owned by ACI Stuteri AB. Both winners showed six victories prior to their first leg triumphs with three each coming at commercial tracks and three at county fairs. The second leg of the series next week will feature $15,000 divisions while the top nine combatants will chase a $25,000 championship purse on March 11. Tetrick's other tallies came behind Missplacedrock (1:57.4) in a bottom condition mares pace, Galyns Gift (1:56.1) in a $6500 mares claimer, and Insomniac (1:56.4) in a mid-range condition trot.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Pine Dream evened the recent score with All About Cowboys in the Sunday (Feb. 24) $24,000 Open I Handicap Trot at Miami Valley Raceway. Over the last five weeks, the two top trotters have dominated the local squaregaiters, each winning a pair and each with two runnerup finishes. Both have earned just over $40,000 during the initial two months of the season. The two trotting titans got away last and second last in the scratch-shortened seven-horse field until well past the :57 halfway point, but when they decided it was time to go they blew by their five adversaries in short order. Three-wide at the three quarter station, driver Trace Tetrick flew to the top and opened up a commanding lead. Jason Brewer and All About Cowboys tried gallantly to keep up, but could do no better than to tow along in Pine Dream's wake through the stretch. Pine Dream stopped the timer on an extremely windy day in 1:55.2 and paid $5.80 to win, while the exacta with All About Cowboys returned $36.40. Chupp Racing Stable Inc. plucked Pine Dream from the Blooded Horse Sale last August and needed a little good fortune to get him. "Merv went to the sale with his eye on a pacer, but his price went too high," related trainer Kelly Chupp. "When he called a little later and said 'I bought a trotter' I said oh no, just what we don't need. It has turned out great though and now I just love that little horse!" Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) took full advantage of his drop into the $20,000 Open II Trot, beating Merci Monsieur AS (Kayne Kauffman) and Fomor (Josh Sutton) in 1:57. It was the winner's first triumph in five tries in 2019 for trainer Bob Phillips and owners Ronald Phillips and Sharry Boledovich. The six-year-old gelding paid $7.20 to win.   Gregg Keidel  

Dancin Yankee, one of the most prolific Ohio-sired horses ever, cruised to a 1:51.3 harness racing triumph in Miami Valley’s Saturday night Open Pace. Randy and Jessica Smith and family, the owner-trainers of Manny, are greeted following the final of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley championship by Dailey’s wife Kim and daughter Ashley. Manny is greeted by a horde of family and friends following the victory by Manny in the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley final. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - All About Cowboys was all about business on Sunday (Feb. 17) afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway, winning the $22,500 Open I Trot in a front-stepping 1:55 effort. The 6-year-old black son of Swan For All has now put together a streak of four weeks with two wins and two place finishes in the weekly harness racing top trot. Driver Jason Brewer guided the winner through a well-rated mile that included checking in at the early stations in :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25.4. Sent off at 3-1, All About Cowboys had to hold off a furious late rally by Pine Dream (Chris Page) to notch the narrow victory. Monopoly Blue Chip (Kayne Kauffman) was best of the rest, while Another Breath (Dan Noble) and Trotting Grace (Brett Miller) picked up the remaining paychecks. Ken Rucker trains All About Cowboys for owners Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas. The victory was his 15th in 88 career starts and raised his lifetime earnings to $186,000. Mystical Power (Chris Page), moving up from the $20,000 claiming level, garnered to honors in a $20,000 Open II Trot. The 6-year-old Yankee Glide mare bested Impressive Chief (Miller) and Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) in 1:55.4. It was the winner's tenth win overall and fourth in her last five starts, but the first in open company. Clarence Foulk conditions Mystical Power for L & L Stables. Racing resumes Monday afternoon (Feb. 18) at 2:05 p.m. at Miami Valley. Featured will be the $15,000 Survival Series championship leg for $5000 claiming mares, slated as Race 10 on the program.   From the Miami Valley Media Department

LEBANON, OH. - Pine Dream notched his first victory of the 2019 season on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 27) at Miami Valley Raceway, copping the Open Trot in 1:55.3. Driver Aaron Merriman got away third with the winner until the quarter was reached in :28.3, but was shuffled to fourth along the pylons at the :57.1 midway juncture and then fifth when passing the three quarters marker in 1:26.2. Finding racing room around the final turn, Pine Dream moved to the outer flow and then swung wide for the stretch drive. With a :29 final panel, the 7-year-old son of Pinetucky swept past show finisher Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith), runnerup All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) and tiring longshot pacesetter Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Mike Oosting) to secure the triumph. It was the twelfth win in 35 starts over the last year and ballooned Pine Dream's life bounty to $210,000. Kelly Chupp trains him for the Chupp Racing Stable Inc. On a day when favorites dominated the mutuel results, Pine Dream paid $10.80. Coupled with All About Cowboys the exacta returned $74.40; while a 50-cent trifecta including Primed N Powerful was worth $166.75. A $20,000 Open II trot was won handily by Boffin (Elliott Deaton), who disposed of Classic Venture (Brett Miller) and Pridecrest (Brewer) in 1:57.1. Three divisions of the Claim To Fame series for $30,000 horses finally were contested after back-to-back Sunday weather cancellations at Miami Valley. Prohibitive favorite Coal Hanover (Dan Noble) copped the first split by five lengths in 1:53.3 over a sloppy track caused by intermittent freezing and thawing for several days. Indiana Cam (Todd Warren) and Swapportunity (Josh Sutton) were next to cross the line. Coal Harbor had nine claims entered on him and will race next for new trainer Steve Crist. J M Jet Set (Noble) was a neck better than Backstreet Lawyer (Miller) and Verdad (Merriman) in the second division, clocked in 1:55. In the final heat, Cyclone Kiwi N (Merriman) won a narrow decision in 1:55.2. Prejudice (Chris Page) was moved up to second due to an interference call in the final quarter, while Given Up Terror (Lyle Scurlock) was moved up to third. Racing at Miami Valley resumes Monday afternoon (Jan. 28) with a pair of Claim To Fame Series championships highlighting the card. $8000 claiming mares will chase a $17,500 purse and $15,000 trotters will vie for a $27,500 bounty. Post time is 2:05 p.m. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - A star-studded full field of ten went postward in the Saturday (Jan. 26) harness racing $25,000 Open Handicap Pace at Miami Valley. When the dust settled, Granite won his second feature race of the meet and fourth in his last six tries in the region. In the process, the 6-year-old son of Real Desire equaled the quickest mile of the three-week old winter meet by stopping the teletimer in 1:50 flat for driver Brett Miller. Granite and Miller got away fifth in the talented field, but did not see the pylons for much of the mile. The pair followed Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the outer flow during the initial :26.2 panel, then were forced to face the elements first-up when that adversary cleared to the front prior to the :54.1 midway point. Lapped on to the pacesetter passing the 1:21.2 three-quarters station, Granite dug deep in the stretch to hold off hard-charging My Buddy Ninkster (Todd Warren) and Nuclear Dragon at the finish. Every horse in the field was a recent impressive winner and thus Granite was dispatched at 7-1 odds. He is trained by Ken Rucker for The Panhellenic Stable Corporation and is rapidly approached the $400,000 earnings plateau. Three divisions of second leg Claim To Fame action was also contested among $20,000 claimers racing for $26,000 tags, a 30% price enhancement following leg one two weeks ago. Winners, despite missing a week of racing due to a weather cancellation at Miami Valley last Saturday, were Artsmah (Josh Sutton, 1:52.4, $18.80 to win), Fan Of Terror (Trace Tetrick, 1:52, $2.80) and Denslow Hanover (Chris Page, 1:51.4, $9.80). All three advanced to next week's $32,500 championship tilt where they will be joined by fellow finalists Always A Fighter, Latest Desire, Vintage Grand, Gypsy Leather, Valiant Ivy and Whiskey Friskie. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - The first of seven harness racing Claim To Fame Series championships that will be decided in the coming days was contested Friday night (Jan. 25) at Miami Valley Raceway. RHP made it "seven straight in the Buckeye State" when he wired the field of finalists in the $12,500 claiming split for male pacers. Owner-trainer-driver Brady Galliers proved to be an astute pin-hooker as well, winning the $25,000 event and recouping the majority of the $16,300 he plucked down to claim the winner just last week. Galliers set sail from the get-go with the 6-5 favorite, putting RHP through fractions of :26.4, :54.2 and 1:22 before sealing the deal by equaling the 5-year-old son of Dali's lifetime mark of 1:51.2. Hezabluechipboy N (Dan Noble) tried valiantly to close in the stretch but couldn't collar the razor sharp RHP. Stonehouse Adam (Chris Page) was best of the rest. A race later, Colonys Best (Mike Oosting) did RHP one better. Patricia Brewer's 7-year-old Art Colony gelding won for the eighth straight time despite taking another step up the claiming ladder. Colonys Best's streak started at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 5000 claimers and has advanced through the $6500, $8000, $10,000 and now $12,500 ranks unscathed. The $25,000 Mares Open Pace also went postward on the program with the youngest entrant, JB's Shooting Star (Simon Allard), scoring an upset over Zoe Ellasen (Trace Tetrick) and Feelin Red Hot (Chris Page) in 1:53. The winning 4-year-old daughter of Straight Shooting was content to sit fifth during the first three quarters before unleashing an impressive three-wide stretch rally to produce the mild 8-1 upset. Jace Sundeen trains JB's Shooting Star for owner John Barnard of Miami, Florida. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway has introduced a pair of new Late Closing events with an exciting twist-odd distance harness racing. Both the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley for male pacers and the Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley for trotters will feature three legs-a 5/8ths mile dash (one lap) the first week, a mile race the second and a 1-1/4 mile (two laps) final. The series are open to horses who have raced for purses of $7500 (min.) to $15,000 (max.) in each of their last three starts. "I introduced this concept at Northfield Park as the John Phillips Memorial Medley in the late 80's," said Miami Valley Race Secretary Gregg Keidel, "and it was one of our most popular events for close to a decade. The three different distances rewards versatile horses that can race well whether near the front or coming from behind. The odd distances also present a challenge for astute handicappers who like to think out of the box. You'd be surprised how many dashes were won by closers and how many distance races were won on the chooch." Bill Dailey, who died unexpectedly in the Fall of 2018, was widely recognized as one of the best trainers to ever make southwest Ohio (Urbana Fairgrounds) his home base. He was annually at or near the top of the Ohio Sires Stakes series standings and campaigned a large string of outstanding horses over the years. Dailey was often heard saying "Your horse might be better than mine, but he won't be in better shape than mine"-an indication of how fit and how versatile he wanted his horses to be on the racetrack. Howard Beissinger is unquestionably the most notable Grand Circuit trainer of trotters that ever stabled in southwest Ohio-in his hometown of Hamilton. The Hall of Famer won most every major trotting stake the sport has to offer, including three Hambletonians with Lindys Pride, Speedy Crown and Speedy Somolli. Widely recognized as a trotting master, Beissinger lead an interesting life. On his 80th birthday he went para-sailing in Mexico. On his 90th birthday, he went hang-gliding off a 3000 foot cliff in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Nominations ($400) for the Dailey and Beissinger Memorial Medleys are due Tuesday, Jan. 29. The first legs are on Friday, Feb. 8 for trotters; and Saturday, Feb. 9 for pacers. The purses for leg one will be $12,500, leg two will be $17,500 and the two-lap finals will go for $25,000. Nomination forms can be accessed at the website: then clicking on the 'Racing', 'Horsemen Info', 'Forms' and 'February Series' tabs. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - If the preliminary harness racing legs are any indication, the $22,500 championship finals of a pair of Claim To Fame late-closers next Tuesday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway should be hum-dingers. Five final divisions for $8000 claiming geldings and a pair of splits for $12,500 claiming mares were contested on this Tuesday's matinee (Jan. 22) to reduce the original hopefuls down to just nine for each final. Winners among the $8000 male pacers were Special Luke (LeWayne Miller, 1:54.2, $3.60 mutuel), Communicator (Todd Warren, 1:53.4, $6.40), Trixsen Gram (Dan Noble, 1:52.3, $9.00), Giovanni (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.3, $5.00) and Cool Like That (Brett Miller, 1:53.3, $5.00). As two-time winners in the series, Cool Like That and Giovanni are likely to favorites in the lucrative final with the others hot on their heels. In addition to the three other second leg winners, the field will also include Alero Blue Chip, Jacks Desire, Shift Right and Why Don't U Stay. On the distaff side, Townlinedaliscard (Chris Page, 1:54.2, $7.80) and Ginger Tree Alexis (Noble, 1:54.4, $4.20) copped divisions of the $12,500 mares series. There were no two-time preliminary leg winners among the females, so the championship in the class sets up as anybody's race to win. In order of preliminary leg earnings, the finalists are Ginger Tree Alexis, Cenalta Diamond, Townlinedaliscard, Always A Vision, Golden Paradise, Upfront Supersonic, Granny Pants, Shot Of Sweet Love and Likeafireballshot. The popular annual January Miami Valley Claim To Fame Series features seven different classes with two legs and a championship. The groupings were $8000 and $12,500 pacing mares; $8000, $12,500, $20,000 and $30,000 pacing males; and $15,000 claiming trotters. In the second leg of each series, a 30% claiming tag premium was allotted to each horse. There will be no claiming in the approaching lucrative championship tilts. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Harness racing ten-year-old American Girl won for the 54th time in her illustrious career on Friday night (Jan. 18) at Miami Valley Raceway. The daughter of Art's Chip is now just one win away from reaching the $1 million earnings plateau. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the $25,000 Mares Open Handicap, driver Trace Tetrick took no chances in the bulky 10-horse field, heading directly towards the front when the gate swung open. Getting where he wanted to go, though, wasn't as easy as it might have been. Although American Girl had her head in front she wasn't able to clear to the lead until well past the :27.2 first quarter. From there, however, there was little doubt about the outcome until runnerup JB's Shooting Star (Chris Page) rallied furiously through the stretch to make things interesting near the wire, reached in 1:54.2. Cast No Shadow (Josh Sutton) also raced admirably to grab the show money. Three final preliminary legs of the Claim To Fame Series for male $12,500 pacers were also contested. Winners were Rock Of The Ages (John DeLong, 1:52.1, $10.40 to win), RHP (Dan Noble, 1:53.1, $3.60) and Mosee Terror (Noble, 1:54, $3.60). In addition to that trio, finalists for next Friday's $25,000 championship leg are Stonehouse Adam, Max Hanover, Ruthless Call, Key Word, Hezabluechipboy N and Believe In Your Mach. With an extreme winter storm forecast for the weekend in Ohio, Miami Valley horsemen can expect a text alert by 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning in regards to the status of Saturday night's live program. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - Another pair of "Claim To Fame" late-closing series got underway at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday afternoon (Jan. 14) as two divisions of $8000 claiming mares and two divisions of $15,000 claiming trotters went postward. Susie's Soul (Jason Brewer) won the fastest split for the distaffers with a 1:56.1 upset over Endeavors Ladyluck (Trevor Smith) and Bad Glamour Girl (Chris Page). The winner, owned by Grant Wilfong and trained by Jeff Brewer, paid $44.40. Dolly's Girl (Trace Tetrick) proved best in the second division, topping Carrie's Desire (Brett Miller) and Luna Hanover (Trevor Smith) in 1:56.3. Rhonda Manship owns the 7-5 favorite who was harnessed by Pat Melloy Jr. for the first time. Mikey Hanover (Tetrick) wired the quickest trot division in 1:57.1. The 7-2 second choice beat favored Winwood Scout (Brett Miller) and Mego Moss (Mike Oosting). Brandon Bartley was owner of Mikey Hanover for this start, but the 10-year-old gelding was one of three claimed from the contest. The other trot division lit up the toteboard, when Sarah Gator (Chris Page) downed Fleet Bumblebee (Dan Noble) and Undercover Strike (Simon Allard) in 1:58.1. Dispatched at 36-1, the Mervin Schmucker trainee-owned by Richard Ruffles-paid $75.40 for a $2 win wager. Racing resumes Tuesday afternoon, post time 2:05 p.m., featuring additional Claim To Fame first leg action. There will be two divisions of $12,500 splits for fillies and mares pacers as well as five divisions for $8000 male pacers. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Granite and My Hero Ron have dominated the featured weekly Open Pace at both Hollywood Dayton and Miami Valley Raceways in recent weeks, Granite winning three times and My Hero Ron twice since December 8. They were joined in the Saturday night (Jan. 12) $25,000 Open at Miami Valley by Nuclear Dragon, the 1:49 track record holder returning to the races after a two and a half month layoff. While all three raced gallantly on a blustery winter night it was My Buddy Ninkster (Todd Warren) who surprised the favored trio with a stern stretch effort to pass them in the final strides of the 1:51.3 mile. My Buddy Ninkster is no stranger to the Miami Valley win circle as he won several top events during the 2018 meet last winter, propelling him to $102,290 in seasonal earnings. The 7-year-old son of Dali won eight times last year and his first 2019 triumph was the 35th in his stellar career which now sports a bankroll of $457,740. Warren was content to get away fifth in the star-studded field as Granite (Jeremy Smith) stopped the first three teletimers in :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1. At that point Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) drew even with the leader and the pair raced as a team around the final turn. At the head of the lane, Warren swung My Buddy Ninkster three-wide with My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) fanning even further out for a thrilling duel through the lane. In the end, it was My Buddy Ninkster over Nuclear Dragon with Granite and My Hero Ron also lapped on to the winner. Bob Phillips conditions My Buddy Ninkster for John and Mary Krasnican of Illinois. Dispatched at 5-1 he paid $13.80 to win. Four first leg divisions of the $20,000 Claim To Fame Series were also contested on Saturday. Winners were Latest Desire (Trace Tetrick, 1:50.2), Always A Fighter (Tetrick, 1:52.4), Vintage Grand (Warren, 1:52.3) and Fan Of Terror (Tetrick, 1:51). While seven horses were plucked via the claim box from the first leg, only Fan Of Terror changed barns among the winners. Tetrick scored five wins on the program to run his total tallies over the past two nights to nine. The defending Miami Valley dash champion's other winners were Tyd The Glyde and Fools Desire in a pair of high conditioned paces. Racing resumes at Miami Valley on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 12) at 2:05. The matinee will feature three divisions of the first leg of the Claim To Fame Series for $30,000 male pacers and a $25,000 Open Trot.   Gregg Keidel

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