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LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley seeks the best Ohio-sired harness racing three year olds to showcase in four Scarlet & Gray Invitationals, each for a purse of $50,000, on the weekend of April 23 and 24. Sophomore fillies, both trotters and pacers, will be featured on Friday with the colts of both gaits going postward on Saturday. The top four finishers in each of the four $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championships a week earlier will get automatic bids with the remainder of the nine-horse fields filled by invitation of Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. Owners or trainers of horses that would like to be considered are asked to contact Keidel at 513-934-7336 or via email at: Gregg.keidel@mvgrllc.com. "The Scarlet & Gray Invitational fields may not be finalized until the day before the draws," explained Keidel, "but I'd like to have a list of interested parties on a list long before then." There is no nomination or starting fees for the Scarlet & Gray Invitationals. From Miami Valley Raceway  

Trenton, NJ — As an outrider working to keep horses calm and safe on the track, Ashley Holliday has faced numerous perilous situations and found herself dropped from the saddle multiple times. Whenever it happened, she always got up and immediately remounted to continue the work that she loves. Until Aug. 18, 2020. That’s when Holliday met her match in the injury world. Ashley was completing her stint as an outrider during a morning training session at Cincinnati’s Belterra Park Thoroughbred track, jogging her horse along the outer lane, when a horse finishing a workout mile passed at the inside rail. Ashley’s horse reacted to a noise as the other horse went by, setting off a chain of events that led to Ashley ending up with a broken back that kept her sidelined for more than five months. Despite an accident that may have sent less courageous souls into another line of work, Holliday was back riding in February and recently began working fulltime again at Miami Valley Raceway. She will return to both Belterra and Scioto Downs when they open in May. If anyone thought three broken vertebrates and three ruptured discs were going to keep the 32-year-old Holliday down, they need to get to know her better. Fear or pain will never keep her off a horse. “I love it,” the Ohioan said. “If I could be a millionaire doing this, I’d probably be the happiest girl in the world. Nobody loves what they do more than I do. I go home at the end of the day and if I’m on Facebook, I’m looking at outrider horses; I’m looking at stuff to buy for my outrider horses. I’m thinking about what I can do to make them better. I really thoroughly enjoy horse racing.” That love comes from her upbringing. Ashley’s parents owned up to 30 horses at one time. Their vacations revolved around racing. Her mom Sherri Holliday is a former trainer and her dad, Ken Holliday, has 5,562 wins as a driver. Ashley’s interest, though, had nothing to do with sitting behind a horse. “I just always wanted to ride; I’m fascinated by it,” said Holliday, who currently has three riding horses that she alternates for work. “I read all the horse racing books until my parents finally caved and bought me a riding horse. “Outriding just combines all the things I love. I love horse racing, I love riding horses in general. To be able to combine two of those things and make a living doing it, is a childhood dream come true for sure.” With plans on being a veterinarian after high school, Holliday was hired as outrider at Minnesota’s Running Aces by Gregg Keidel. She figured it would be her summer job. “Running Aces is a seasonal spring-summer meet, and I thought I could work my school schedule out to make it a summertime gig,” Holliday said. “I never imagined at that point it would turn into what it did. After a couple years doing it seasonally, I thought I was ready to go into it fulltime. It just was hard finding the right opportunity at the right spot. It took me four or five years before I fell into working for some good tracks and kind of expanded things and it really took off as a viable career.” Keidel, now the race secretary at Miami Valley, hired her once more. “It’s pretty cool,” Ashley said. “The same guy that gave me my first shot hires me again now, 13 years later.” All was well with the world until that fateful August day in the Queen City. It was 10:15 a.m.; the track was closing in 15 minutes. Holliday thought she was through for the morning, but her adventure was just beginning. As a horse breezed at the rail, a noise — perhaps a clump of dirt from the horse’s hooves hitting the rail and echoing — caused her horse to stop suddenly. “It was hot, my horse was sweaty, things were slick, and everything had loosened up throughout the day,” Ashley said. “My saddle kind of slipped back, and he didn’t like that very much. “So, within half a second it went from jogging along nice and easy, to not moving at all, to bam! We were galloping wide open and bucking like a bronc. Even though I was staying upright on his back, I just had no control over him. I was in the middle of his back, way further back than I’d like to be. “At that point, he wanted the saddle off, he was scared. I realized I was fighting a losing battle. I tried to gracefully tuck and roll and get off the horse. It didn’t quite go as I planned. I kind of fell, half-jumped; half got thrown all at the same time.” Ashley’s horse took himself off the track and returned to the barn on his own. But Holliday hit the ground so hard she came out of both boots. The pads inside her safety vest got twisted and the zipper busted open. “I finally quit rolling on the ground, and I was like, man, that’s a first,” she said. “I just popped right up, and I couldn’t quite stand all the way up straight. I couldn’t catch my breath; I had this feeling that I broke my tailbone or something. I thought something wasn’t quite right.” And yet, the ultimate professional wasn’t about to shirk her duties. “I wanted to keep going; I had to work the races at Scioto that night,” she said. “I was like, ‘I don’t have time to be hurt, I’ve got to get home, got to get in the shower, get in the car and get up to Scioto. I can’t take off.’ Only I had ever used the horse up there at Scioto. I thought I can’t call another girl to ride that horse; they’re not familiar with it. I was just so adamant I was fine.” But halfway through her drive home, Holliday could not catch her breath and called her husband, driver Josh Sutton, to talk her through the remainder of the drive. When Sutton saw his wife emerge from the truck, they immediately went to the hospital. Upon arrival, Ashley was still insisting things were fine. “I remember being in the hospital bed and I told my husband he could go to work, go ahead and drive, that I was OK,” she said. “Within five minutes after he left, the doctor came back and said, ‘OK your back is broken.’ I was like, ‘Wait … what? My back is … huh?’” Sutton had the same response. “I called him and said, ‘Hey babe, can you come back, my back is broken,’” Holliday said. “He was like, ‘Wait … it’s what?’” Word spread quickly among friends, family and employers and the reaction was usually the same — can she walk? She could, but work was not an option that night, or for months to come. Holliday was able to function for a normal life, although getting up and down stairs and getting in and out of bed was difficult for a while. “It was awful,” she said. “My entire life is horses; I live, eat, sleep, and breathe them. I was in the saddle at least 10 hours a day and I go from that to where I could barely walk out on my deck and look at them for the first two months. It was hard. It makes you realize exactly how much your life is invested in one thing.” She also had another revelation during that time after hearing a harness driver had a severe accident at a fair and needed immediate surgery. “I thought, wow, I was pretty lucky,” Holliday said. “I credit that to wearing my safety vest. I think that is probably what saved me from getting a lot worse off than I was.” During her recovery, Ashley did a lot of TV binge watching, with her favorite being Heartland, a show about horses, of course. As for how she kept from going nuts, Holliday just turned the tables. “I think I drove my friends crazy,” she said. Anxious to return, Ashley bent the doctor’s orders only slightly when it came to easing back into riding. Having seen her dad be involved in a number of accidents and try to come back too fast was a lesson for Ashley. When she finally returned to outriding last month, Ken had some valuable advice. “He’s been in a lot of wrecks on the racetrack and gone down a lot of times and always came back from them,” Holliday said. “He said, ‘You’ve got to remember what happened, you went through it. At the same time, you’ve got to put it out of your head and move on, because if you don’t do that now, you’re never going to. You’re going to think about it all the time.” She took her dad’s advice and, three weeks into Ashley’s return, she had to catch a loose horse on the track. “I’m glad it happened as quick as it did because I don’t have to think about it anymore,” she said. “It was like, OK, I got it over with, I’m back. It’s all good. I didn’t really think about it that much but everyone else was like ‘You think you’re going to be scared? Will you be nervous?’ I was like, should I be nervous?” She’s not nervous, nor is she out of shape any longer. Admitting that it’s “hard to mimic the rigors of a 14-race card,” while laid up, Holliday feels her body is back to where it was before the injury and she feels 100 percent recovered. When it comes to her broken back, Ashley chalks it up to another lesson learned. “There’s been hairy moments I remember now than more so at the time,” she said. “Having scary situations you’ve been in, with things that went right and didn’t go right, you have to learn from them and remember them. “At the same time, you have to put them out of your head because if you worry too much about everything that could go wrong, you’ll scare yourself to death with the what-ifs, and what-could-bes and what-might-have-happened. You just have to focus on what’s going on right in front of you.” Fortunately for Holliday and the harness racing world, she still has an outriding career in front of her. It will take more than a broken back to keep such a devout horse lover down, let alone out. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA

GD Western Joe continued his mastery of the open harness racing class at Miami Valley on Saturday (March 27), notching his fifth win in the top class in ten seasonal starts. The six-year-old Real Desire stud has also been second three times and third once. Driver Chris Page waited until just past the :27 initial quarter to take command. Once on top, Page throttled the winner to a :56.1 halfway juncture, then sped through a back half in an eye-popping :54.1 to secure the victory. My Hero Ron (Josh Sutton) gave futile chase in the stretch before setting for second, while Our Majordan A (Brett Miller) tried valiantly from an assigned outside post to catch GD Western Joe around the final bend, but ultimately faded to third.   GD WESTERN JOE REPLAY     Finalists for the $30,000 championship leg of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series were determined in a pair of final preliminary legs on the Saturday card. Two huge upsets make next Saturday's final look like a wide open affair. E Mode's Desire paced a new lifetime mark of 1:50.4 for owner-trainer-driver Mike Peterson to score at 15-1 odds over No Quarter (Mitch Cushing) and heavily favored Louie Louie (Chris Page). The five-year-old son of Real Desire, who made an uncharacteristic break in stride in the first prelim in the series, needed the impressive come-from-behind victory to advance to the lucrative final. It was the sixth pari-mutuel triumph in E Mode's Desire's career and boosted his earnings to over $90,000.   E MODE'S DESIRE REPLAY     Sunshine List (Cushing) was an even more shocking upset winner in the second Tharps Memorial split, returning a $50 win mutual for beating Shvaiko (Brett Mille) and Hamsandwich (Dan Noble). The 1:51.4 tally was the fifth of four-year-old Sunshine List's career and secured the son of Sunshine Beach's spot in the championship. Mike Hitchcock conditions the winner for owner William Hartt.   SUNSHINE LIST REPLAY     Series earnings determine the nine finalists who will battle in the $30,000 championship tilt next Saturday (April 3). In order, they are Louie Louie, Sunshine List, E Mode's Desire, Shvaiko, Velocity Poprocks, No Quarter, Thrasher, Lou's A Pansy and WF Eeyore. Hamsandwich would move in should any of the finalists fail to enter. Another highlight on Saturday was the first sub-1:50 winner of the meet. Opportune Hanover (Page) scorched the lightning quick five-eighths mile oval in 1:49.4, beating Townline All Good (Noble) and Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) in a $14,400 conditioned event. Ron Burke trains the four-year-old son of Dragon Again who now sports $155,769 in lifetime earnings.   OPPORTUNE HANOVER REPLAY     Driver Brett Miller became the third reinsman at Miami Valley to surpass the $1 million purse earnings plateau in 2021, joining Trace Tetrick and Dan Noble in the top five on the national purse earnings list. Chris Page is on the brink of joining the seasonal $1 million earnings fraternity; while Tyler Smith isn't far off and likely will also join the club in the coming weeks. The winners of eight of the first ten races took new career speed badges as track superintendent Jimmy Shelton and his crew took full advantage of Friday's rain coupled with beautiful sunny, warm weather on Saturday to produce a perfectly manicured speedy surface. Racing resumes on Sunday at Miami Valley with the normal early week matinee post time of 2:05 p.m EDT. For full race results, click here. by Gregg Keidel, for Miami Valley

LEBANON, OH - Hamsandwich ran his win streak to five on Saturday (March 13), including victories in the final legs of a pair of Miami Valley's popular Lebanon Legends series. In his latest success, he bested favored Louie Louie to capture the championship of the George Williams Memorial Series in 1:52.3. Driver Trace Tetrick negotiated a pocket trip behind Louie Louie (Chris Page) for the roan four-year-old son of Tellitlikeitis, then coasted to victory in the lane. Modern Rock (John DeLong) was best of the rest in the lucrative final.       Adam Short owns and trains Hamsandwich, who also was crowned champion of the earlier Omar Hiteman Memorial series. The Hiteman Memorial featured horses that were non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime; while the Williams Memorial contestants were all non-winners of four races or $40,000 at the nomination deadline. Hamsandwich is now scheduled to advance to a third 'Legends' series--the Tom Tharps Memorial--for non-winners of six races or $60,000, which commences next Saturday (March 20). A $22,000 Open Handicap Pace produced another winner who is getting used to a post-race photo opportunity with Miami Valley photographer Brad Conrad. GD Western Joe (Chris Page) won the weekly feature for the fourth time in eight tries since the calendar turned to 2021. In this outing, he beat stablemate The First Step (Brett Miller) and Tivo Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) to increase his seasonal earnings at Miami Valley to $59,500 and his career bankroll to $622,800.       The six-year-old son of Real Desire is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by Burke Racing, Hen-Shaut Stable, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. Racing resumes at Miami Valley on Sunday (March 14) with a 14-race program beginning at 2:05 p.m. EST. For full race results, click here. by Gregg Keidel, for Miami Valley  

LEBANON, OH - Four-year-old trotting mares blew up the toteboard at Miami Valley on Tuesday (March 9) in the $25,000 championship leg of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial Series. Miss Smead (Don Eash) was the first to reach the wire in 1:55.3, The daughter of Guccio was followed across the line by fellow four-year-old mares Susie D (Brett Miller), Swan Fashion (Tyler Smith), Just For Us (LeWayne Miller) and Deswanslittlelorie (John DeLong). The series was open to square-gaiters of either sex that were non-winners of four races or $40,000 lifetime at the nomination deadline.       Eash also owns and trains Miss Smead, who was winning for the third time in 2021 and increased her career earnings to $62,284. Miss Smead returned a $17 win mutual and, combined with Susie D, kicked back a $189.80 exacta. Swan Fashion completed a 50-cent trifecta worth $424.05; while a 10-cent superfecta with Just For Us paid a whopping $409.68. An elite field of eight, with combined earnings over $3 million, contested a $21,000 Open Trot on the same program. Workinitonbroadway, making his first start for the new connections of owner James Fleming and trainer-driver Jason Brewer, was the upset winner in a career-best clocking of 1:53.4. The five-year-old son of Broadway Hall, sent off at 12-1 odds, upset other recent Open winners It's A Herbie (LeWayne Miller), Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) and the favored Jeffery P (Chris Page). It took Brewer three-eighths of the mile to gain the lead, but once he got it, Workinitonbroadway was in complete charge. Jeffery P assumed command from last week's winner I Know My Chip (Brandon Bates) at the :28 first quarter, then yielded to Workinitonbroadway long before the field reached the half in :56.4. When the third stanza was completed in 1:24.4, I Know My Chip had moved outside to pressure the winner, with Jeffery P in the pocket and It's A Herbie well positioned in the second over slot in the outer flow. It's A Herbie made a race of it in the stretch but couldn't get past the winner's wheels before the finish line was reached. Sweet Mr Pinetucky rallied from fifth along the pylons to garner the show dough.       An $18,000 Open II Trot was captured by Shake It Mary (Dan Noble) in 1:55.3 over Voyage To Paris (Mitch Cushing) and Merci Monsieur AS (Kayne Kauffman). The five-year-old daughter of Dontyouforgetit, who won two preliminary legs of the recently completed Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley at Miami Valley, was impressive winning for the fifth time in eight 2021 tries. Shake It Mary is owned by the Rushcreek Stables and is trained by Sherif Cunmulaj.       Racing resumes Friday (March 12) and Saturday (March 13) at Miami Valley with 4:05 p.m. EST post times. For full race results, click here. by Gregg Keidel, for Miami Valley      

LEBANON, OH. - The betting public got it right on Tuesday (Feb. 2) at Miami Valley, sending It's A Herbie off as the 4-5 odds on harness racing favorite. The 5-year-old son of Here Comes Herbie responded with a relatively easy 1:55.1 victory for driver-trainer LeWayne Miller, besting Workinitonbroadway (Chris Page) and longshot Milford's Z Tam (Mitchell Cushing). It was the 15th career triumph for the winner, boosting his lifetime bounty to $465,242 for owner Verlin Yoder. The Tuesday matinee also featured Round One action in the Survivor Series for $5000 claiming pacing mares, divided into three divisions. The winners over the sloppy track were Princess Oshie (Trace Tetrick, 1:57.4, $4.20), Dilly Dali (Dan Noble, 1:58, $3.20) and Mary Catherine A (Tetrick, 1:58.4, $3.20). The top six finishers in each of the three divisions advanced to Round Two, which will be contested in a pair of $7500 splits, and determine the ten finalists for the $15,000 series championship on February 15. The R. J. Brown Memorial trotting series for non-winners of two races or $20,000 also got underway in four full fields. Howyadoinbub (Noble, 1:59.3, $3.80), Ti Punch (Josh Sutton, 2:02.2, $10.80), Pick Me Upper (Brandon Bates, 1:58.2, $4.40) and Circle Of Life AS (Tyler Smith, 2:01.1, $51) were the winners of the quartet of $10,000 divisions. Many of the same green trotters will compete in $12,000 second round divisions next week before the top money winners gather for a $20,000 final on February 16. Next racing at Miami Valley will take place on Friday (Feb. 5) with a 4:05 post time. Following another 4:05 start on Saturday (Feb. 6), Miami Valley will start early (noon) on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 7).   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - The annual Miami Valley "Survivor Series" for male $5000 claimers got underway on Monday (Feb. 1) afternoon with eight harness racing divisions of ten horses, each going for a $5000 purse. The top five finishers from each elimination race advanced to Round 2 next Monday, when the purses will be $6000. Round 3 will feature the 20 horses still standing chasing $7500 purses; and the series will culminate with a $20,000 championship tilt on Monday, Feb. 22. A total of ten of the 80 horses in Leg 1 were claimed. They will be the only ones carrying claiming tags in Leg 2, but with a 30% premium added to their base prices. Quickest winner from the eight first round heats was Dovuto Hanover (Brady Galliers), who clocked a 1:55.2 mile and returned a $5.60 win mutual. Others who triumphed were 14-year-old Montana Pablo A (Trace Tetrick, 1:56, $2.80), Sammonsletsroll (Shawn Barker, 1:56.4, $7.60), Guns An Roses (Brandon Bates, 1:56.2, $3.60), Century Chancellor (Sam Widger, 1:56.1, $5.60), Seen Before Heard (Widger, 1:56.3, $5.80), Skip Jive (Jimmy Whittemore, 1:56.1, $4.40) and Monte Cristo (Joey Putnam, $15) who was placed first when race winner Beach House (1:55.2) drifted in the lane causing interference. Racing resumes Tuesday (Feb. 2) at Miami Valley when three divisions of the first leg of a similar Survivor Series for $5000 claiming mares will be contested. Post time is 2:05 p.m. Miami Valley has moved up post time for next Sunday, Feb. 7, to 12:05-two hours earlier than normal to allow patrons, horsemen and staff to enjoy the Super Bowl later in the day.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Fan Of Terror  with harness racing driver Brett Miller in the bike not only extended his win streak to four with a 1:51.2 score in the Saturday (Jan. 30) Open Pace at Miami Valley, but he scored his 50th lifetime win as well. The 9-year-old gelded son of Western Terror sports a bankroll of $530,234. Owner Therl Hensley's prize possession closes out the month of January with four wins in four tries, equaling his win total from 2021. All four victories came in gate to wire fashion as trainer Peter Redder has kept Fan Of Terror on the top of his game all month, banking $36,150 for his current month's efforts. Longshot Big Bad Mike (Tyler Smith) managed to nose out Shadyjake (Trace Tetrick) for second, with Tivo Hanover (Kayne Kauffman), Benson Boys N (Jason Brewer) and The Dark Shadow (Trevor Smith) also picking up paychecks in the ten-horse field. Fan Of Terror Fan Of Terror paid $14.60 to win. Coupled with Big Bad Mike the exacta kicked back $235.80. No one solved the Buckeye High 5 wager in the race resulting in a $1,687 carryover into the 12th race wager on Sunday, which has a first race 2:05 p.m. post time. Miami Valley has announced that post time has been moved up two hours next Sunday, Feb. 7 to allow patrons, horsemen and staff to enjoy the Super Bowl later in the day. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - It is not unusual to see a horse from the Ron Burke Brigade win a race at any number of harness racing tracks across North America. It happens on an almost daily basis and often includes multiple wins at multiple venues. What is rare, however, is to see the sport's leading trainer win with a homebred. It happened on Friday (Jan. 29) at Miami Valley, though, when Pace Baby Pace (Chris Page) pulled a mild upset in the $21,000 Mares Open. As expected, The Bethinator (Tyler Smith)-who entered the race with five open class wins and two runnerup finishes in her last seven starts-sailed off the gate and assumed an easier-than-usual lead at the :28 quarter. When the timer flashed :57.2 at the half many thought the race would be for place behind the 3-2 favorite. At that point, Page angled outside from fourth along the pylons and soon thereafter flushed eventual runnerup Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) to gain second-over position at the 1:25 three quarters station. With a closing kick under :28, Pace Baby Pace swept past Miss You N and held off show finisher Caviart Cherie (Brett Miller), while The Bethinator faded to fourth. The 1:53 final time, including a back half in :55.3, was impressive in light of the sub-freezing temperatures. The winner paid $8.40, the exacta was worth $44.60 and a 50-cent Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC bred the 5-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou, whose earnings have swelled to $219,500 on the strength of 14 wins in 53 starts. Miami Valley will present a strong 14-race card on Saturday (Jan. 30), featuring a $22,500 Open Pace and $166,500 in total purses. Post time is 4:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - The final pair of Claim To Fame finals were contested at Miami Valley on Tuesday afternoon wrapping up the popular harness racing  series that was divided into nine different claiming classes and doled out over half a million dollars in purses. In the split for $12,500 claiming mares, Persistant Xample overcame the outermost post position draw and sailed gate to wire in 1:56 over a damp track that was at least two seconds off. Driver Brett Miller launched the Virgil Morgan Jr. trainee and never looked back after reaching the top just past the :28.2 opening panel. Pressing forward through middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.3, the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight daughter held the competition off in the lane for a 1:56 score. Bellini Seelster (Josh Sutton) tried gallantly to catch Persistant Xample, but ultimately had to settle for second. Glenferrie Bronte N (Billy Mann), a winner of two straight preliminary legs, garnered the show dough in the $20,000 event. The $8000 claiming horses also gathered for their $22,500 championship tilt. Believeinthespirit (Dan Noble) bested Anarchy Hanover (Miller) and Portrstownchris IR (Chris Page). The 10-year-old son of Art Major had no problem grabbing the track winning in 1:53.4. Although Noble retained the drive behind the winner throughout the three week series, he had three different owners as he was collared via the claim box in each of the two preliminary legs. Jana Cromer owned Believeinthespirit for the final with Charlie Stewart training.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Dan Noble drove the winners of both Claim To Fame Series championships on Monday (Jan. 25). He guided Classic Comedy, trained by his wife Christi, to a narrow harness racing victory over Justabitofcharm (Chris Page) in the split for $8000 pacing mares and followed up by battling back in the stretch to cop the $20,000 claiming trotters division. Classic Comedy needed every foot of the racetrack to finally wear down the pacesetter Justabitofcharm in 1:55.2 over the sloppy surface. It was the 33rd career win for the 9-year-old daughter of Classic Card Shark. Her half of the $17,500 purse boosted her lifetime bounty to $200,000. She is owned by James Morris, who claimed her from the first leg of the series. Another Breath, an 8-year-old son of Lou's Legacy, was actually headed by runnerup Hill Side (Jordan Ross) early in the stretch, but fought back to capture the $30,000 trotting race in 1:55. For A Dreamer (Brett Miller) grabbed the show dough. Trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and partners Carl Howard and Bottom Line Racing LLC also plucked the winner from the first leg of this series. Another Breath is a well known trotter in Ohio as he has won the majority of his 24 triumphs and his $458,226 in earnings at Ohio tracks throughout his career. Racing resumes Tuesday (Jan. 26) at Miami Valley when the features will be the final pair out of nine Claim To Fame series that have been conducted in January at the southwest Ohio five-eighths mile oval. $8000 male pacers will chase a $22,500 purse while the $12,500 distaff set will battle over $20,000.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. -  Secret Threat (Trace Tetrick) and Voracity (Dan Noble) finished first and second in the $37,500 championship leg of Miami Valley’s Claim To Fame Series for $30,000 claimers on Sunday (Jan. 24).  The pair are currently the two horses in North America with the most 2021 earnings, a list dominated by Miami Valley horses with seven of the top eight seasonal earners. Secret Threat was on top of the field when it hit the first quarter beam in :27.1, but was relegated back to fourth before the halfway point was reached in :55.2 by Voracity.  Voracity held the lead through three quarters in 1:22.2 and kept the field at bay until Secret Threat prevailed in the final steps.  The 1:51.1 clocking was the quickest of Secret Threat’s three wins this year, to go with one place finish.  Trainer Tyler George owns the 9-year-old son of Palone Ranger with longtime friend Justin Lloyd.  The Tetrick-George driver-trainer combination has been a dominant force in the first month of the Miami Valley meet with Tetrick well ahead in the dash derby and George sporting  a Universal Training average close to .600. The champion was also determined in the Claim To Fame division for $10,000 trotters on Sunday.  Air Assault (Kayne Kauffman) captured the title in 1:57.2 despite an outside post position draw.  Owner Chad Stone and trainer Larry Finn collared the winner via the claim box in the first round of the series, then proceeded to win Leg 2 and the $22,500 final to bank $17,250 in just two weeks of ownership. P C Foreign Affair (Jason Brewer) and Jailhouse Buckaroo (John DeLong) were next to cross the finish line.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Fan Of Terror extended his 2021 win streak to three by capturing the $21,000 Open Pace on Saturday (Jan. 23) at Miami Valley. The 9-year-old son of Western Terror has regained his best form following a less than spectacular end to his 2020 season, when he failed to cash in four consecutive open events. The three recent wins, two in high class conditions and this one in the Open, have Fan Of Terror sitting on a potential 50th career win in his next outing. His 49 current lifetime victories in 167 starts have helped produce $519,019 in earnings. Peter Redder trains the winner for owner Therl Hensley. Driver Dan Noble took full advantage of Fan Of Terror's favorable draw, leading the featured pacers through fractions of :26.3, :55, 1:22.4 before closing in :28 to complete the 1:50.4 score. Favored GD Western Joe (Chris Page), winner of the last two Opens at Miami Valley, rallied for a place finish despite starting in the outermost post position. Tivo Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) completed the trifecta finishers. Fan Of Terror Two races later, Windsun Gotham pulled a major upset in the richest race thus far this season at Miami Valley, the $32,500 championship tilt for $20,000 Claim To Fame finalists. Driver Jeremy Smith was particularly grateful for this triumph as the race was named in memory of his late friend 'Wild' Bill Taylor, whose family and friends joined in the winner's circle presentation. Smith got away seventh in the Taylor Memorial field and found himself eighth (in fourth over position on the outside) about five-eighths of a mile into the fray. Once tipped three wide into the final turn,Windsun Gotham began passing his competition fast and furiously. Despite having to finish in the middle of the track, the 7-year-old son of American Ideal posted the quickest final quarter and beat Jet Rock (Trace Tetrick) and Absolut Rocks (Noble) in 1:51.4. Rick Howles and Souren Hovsepian co-own Windsun Gotham, who is trained by Payton Ode. Windsun Gotham captured the $32,500 Claim To Fame Series championship for $20,000 claimers, dubbed the Bill Taylor Memorial, in 1:51.4 Racing at Miami Valley resumes on Sunday (Jan. 24) afternoon with a 2:05 p.m. post time. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - The Bethinator, the youngest harness racing mare (at age 4) with the least earnings in the field, won the Miami Valley $22,500 Mares Open Pace on Friday (Jan. 22). It was the daughter of Somebeachsomewheres fourth win at the top level in her last six tries on the Miami Valley-Hollywood Dayton circuit. Driver Tyler Smith set sail early and was determined to dictate all the fractions with the razor sharp odds-on favorite. The outcome was never really in doubt as The Bethinator coasted through the mile in fractions of :27.3, :55.4, 1:23.3 and 1:51.4. Although all nine of her challengers had career earnings over $200,000, she has just reached $147,309 for her owner-breeder Megan Rogers Racing Stable. The Bethinator is trained by Nelson Willis. Sharing the Friday spotlight were a pair of lucrative Claim To Fame series finals. The finalists in the $20,000 claiming split for mares chased a purse of $30,000, while the male $12,500 claimers went for $25,000. Malnificent (Trace Tetrick) proved her many faithful were correct when she fronted the distaff field in 1:52.4 and returned a $3.00 win mutual. Owned by Ira and Brian Wallach Racing and trained by Tyler George, the winner bested Duck Duck Dragon (Chris Page) and M E Radar Girl (Tyler Smith) to claim the championship. J M Jet Set (Dan Noble) got the best of a very evenly matched field of championship hopefuls in the male division. Franzo (Sam Widger) and Armabluechipboy N (Kayne Kauffman) were next across the finish line, reached in 1:53. All nine finalists had won a heat of the series in the past two weeks. Noble's wife Christi conditions and owns the 11-year-old winner who now sports 40 career wins and over $400,000 in lifetime bounty.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Lane Of Stone (Dan Noble) surpassed the half million dollar earnings plateau with a convincing 1:54 triumph in Miami Valley's $22,000 Open Trot on Tuesday (Jan. 19). The five-year-old son of Ohio sire Wishing Stone now has 21 harness racing career wins and $509,052 in earnings, although only four of those victories have come in the last year. Signal Hill (Brett Miller) beat favored Lane Of Stone off the gate, but Noble persevered until finally crossing over in front after the pair passed the opening quarter in :28.1. Following a sensible second quarter in :29 seconds, Noble let Lane Of Stone trot a little more, reaching the three quarter station in 1:25.2, before thwarting a late-closing effort by It's A Herbie (LeWayne Miller) for the 1:54 score. Mark Winters Sr. trains the winner, who was a dominant force in the juvenile stakes in the Buckeye state, for owner Harry Horowitz. Finalists were determined in two Claim To Fame series that had their preliminaries conclude on Tuesday. Two divisions were contested by $12,500 claiming mare pacers. Glenferrie Bronte N (Billy Mann, 1:54.4) was a repeat winner in 1:54.4 to establish herself as a probable favorite in the $20,000 final next week. Persistant Xample (Miller, 1:53.4, $5.60) captured the other split and will get strong support at the betting windows as well. The remaining finalists will be Pappy Rocks, Bellini Seelster, Sweet Western, Official Treasure, Corner Pocket, Ideal's Nicole and U'll Learn. Three groups of $8000 male claiming pacers squared off to determine the top nine money earners in the series, the benchmark for making the $22,500 championship leg. Winners were 14-year-old Montana Pablo A (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.4, $5.20), Believeinyourmach (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54.1, $10.80) and Bettor's Dream (Tyler Smith, 1:54.3, $10.60). Also qualifying for the lucrative final were Believeinthespirit, Tyber Tyke, Anarchy Hanover, Gallery Opening, Cool Like That and Portrstownchris IR. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Driver Dan Noble will have an enviable decision to make following the draw for the $30,000 championship of the Claim To Fame series for $20,000 claiming trotters to be held next Monday (Jan. 25). He managed to win both harness racing divisions of the final preliminary leg this Monday (Jan. 18), guiding both Here Comes Moony (1:56, $8) and Another Breath (1:56.4, $7.60) to relatively easy victories. There were no repeat winners in the two weeks of preliminaries, so the final should be contentious. In order of series earnings, which determined the final combatants, the championship field will be comprised of Another Breath, Majestic Brayden, Here Comes Moony, For A Dreamer, Hill Side, Swan Before All, Riverdancing Diva, Luminosity and Mr Houdini. Justabitofcharm (Chris Page, 1:55, $2.80), Classic Comedy (Noble, 1:55.2, $4.60) and Tequilas Jet (Sam Widger, 1:54.3, $14.20) were triumphant in a trio of similar splits for $8000 distaff pacing mares to determine the finalists to chase $17,500 purse next week. Those three winners will likely line up versus Astroffical, Don't Mach Mia, Titi's Ava, Oh Miss Rylee, Shuffle We Will and Faye's Jet Mile. Gregg Keidel

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