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DAYTON, OH. - Always one with a flair for the dramatic, driver Chris Page captured his 5,000th career  harness racing triumph on Saturday night (Nov. 30) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway with a 1:51.4 come-from-behind score over a sloppy track in the featured $17,500 Open Pace.   Behind by three lengths at the head of the lane, Page rallied 11-1 longshot Threeofthebest A to a nose advantage in the final stride over 4-5 favorite I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller), who was seeking his second straight success from an assigned outside post position.   Three foes sped three-wide around the first turn, resulting in Fourboltmane (Mike Oosting) forcing Missile J (Jeremy Smith) and I'm A Big Deal to take a temporary seat as they tripped the initial timer in an eye-popping :25.3. When the field reached the :54 half, I'm A Big Deal was back out and moving from third with Page and Threeofthebest A in tow in the outer flow.   At the 1:22.2 three quarter station, I'm A Big Deal had cleared back to the front and was looking strong, while Page and his charge were left uncovered and losing ground around the final bend. Page was joined in the stretch drive by Eddard Hanover (Josh Sutton) and the two of them gradually closed the open lengths gap as the wire loomed ahead. It wasn't until the photo finish picture was evaluated that it was decided Threeofthebest A had pulled the upset, giving Page his milestone victory. On his last night of racing in 2019, Page had suffered through an uncharacteristic bad night and was winless through ten tries before delighting his fans with the feature race win in the eleventh. Page, who turned 36 ten days ago and was married in late September, had planned a month-long honeymoon respite that will take he and wife Brianna to the Bahamas for a week, snow skiing in Traverse City, Michigan for a week, and then heading west to visit Yellowstone National Park. "I've never taken a break," smiled a mud-covered Page following his memorable win, "so I'm looking forward to a little time off before returning for the Miami Valley Raceway meet in January." Chris began driving in 2000 at the age of 17, going winless in nine starts and earning $489 in purses at Ohio county fairs. Following another five years of honing his skills, his career took off in 2006 when he scored 85 victories. He has won over 100 each of the last 13 years, including winning over 400 in each of the last seven seasons. Page's 5000 victories have come from 29,041 starts in which he has accumulated over $41 million in purse earnings. Although Page was able to overtake Brett Miller in the Open, not all was lost for Miller. Dayton's leading dash winner had already scored six wins on the night, and added a seventh and eighth win later. "Super Brett," a moniker bestowed on the purple and white clad reinsman by announcer Barry Vicroy, has a commanding lead in the local dash derby with 117 tallies through 59 race dates.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller) lived up to his name on Saturday (Nov. 23) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. The harness racing four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere, a recent $155,000 purchase at the Harrisburg sale, captured the $17,500 Open Pace in 1:50.2 over a sloppy track. The even-money favorite cut all the early fractions (:26.4, :55.3, and 1:22.3) before tacking on a :28 final panel to top Fourboltmane (Mike Oosting) and Eddard Hanover (Josh Sutton) by open lengths. A consistent 1:49 to 1:52 pacer at Harrah's Philadelphia over the past several months leading up to his sale, earning $57,000 in 19 starts, I'm A Big Deal had six wins for his former connections in 2019. "Word was that he had some problems bearing in on the turns, preventing him from being a super horse," related driver Miller. "Tonight, though, he steered perfectly! He's a very nice horse." New owner Dana Parham has entrusted leading Ohio trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. to condition and manage the winner. The feature race victory was one of five on the program for Hollywood Dayton dash leader Brett Miller. His other triumphs came behind Bottom Deals (1:52, $5.40), Major Deception (1:52.3, $5.40), My Buddy Ninkster (1:52.1, $7.80) and Blazin Baron (1:51.4, $4.80). Racing resumes Monday and Tuesday afternoon at Hollywood Dayton with 2:05 p.m. matinees A special Wednesday (Nov. 27) evening program will replace the Thursday (Nov. 28) card due to Thanksgiving. Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - The Open Trot at the 2019 Hollywood Dayton meet has produced a host of different harness racing winners and in keeping with the trend the weekly $17,500 feature produced another new winner's circle visitor on Thursday night (Nov. 21). Whata Swan (John DeLong), a sophomore son of Swan For All, added his name to the lengthening list by beating Lindy's Big Bang (Brandon Bates) and Sweet Mr Pinetucky in 1:54.2 as the lukewarm favorite. The Katricia Adams trainee got away fourth for DeLong, moved up to third on the outside at the half, overtook frontrunner Tugboat Tuffy (Josh Sutton) at the three quarters, then held off a quartet of closers in the stretch. It was the seventh win in 24 tries for Whata Swan and increased his seasonal earnings to $124,059. The 1:54.2 clocking was just two-fifths of a second off his lifetime best which was taken in stakes action at Harrah's Hoosier Park this summer. John Barnard of Miami, Florida owns the classy colt who earned $22,418 as a two-year-old before bursting onto the Indiana stakes scene this year. What Swan paid $6.40 to win; coupled with 10-1 shot Lindy's Big Bang the $2 exacta returned $34.80. Racing resumes Friday night at Hollywood Dayton including a $6000 guaranteed pool in the seventh race 20-cent Hi-5. First race post time is 6:05 p.m. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - 2019 hasn't been a year to brag about for the classy veteran pacer Missile J, but on Saturday (Nov. 16) his harness racing back class prevailed in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $16,500 Open Pace. The six-year-old son of American Ideal won for just the third time in 18 seasonal starts--earning $48,955--but the 1:51.2 score was his 26th in his career and boosted his lifetime bounty to $831,902. Dispatched at 10-1 odds, Missile J (Jeremy Smith) was content to get away fourth from the rail until launching a first-over attack just after the halfway juncture. After lapping in on the odds-on favorite, Tookadiveoffdipper (Brett Miller), at the three-quarter mile marker, the winner tacked on a :27.1 final panel to sail to victory by a length and a half. Tookadiveoffdipper did hang in for the place finish while Fools Desire (Kayne Kauffman) took advantage of a pocket ride to garner the show dough. Walter Haynes Jr. trains Missile J for the Indiana partnership of Jeff Fought, Brian Carsey, Dave Fought and Chris Myers. "Missile J is a funny horse," explained Haynes following the race. "You have to keep his attention or he'll take off galloping, but when you keep his mind on business he is wicked fast!" Jazmin Arnold wins again There's an old adage which states “when you're hot, you're hot” and that could easily be applied to Jazmin “the Little Flower” Arnold, the current hottest driver in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. Tonight the talented miss guided Celebrity Pegasus to a 1:59.1 victory in a Billings trot at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway not only scoring her fifth victory in her last six starts but making a good case for consideration as the National Amateur Driver of the Year. Despite starting from the seven-hole Ms Arnold fired her trotter to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and they led seven others past the quarter in a soft :29.4. And with no real challenges she got the veteran Andover Hall gelding by the halfway point in a very soft 1:02.  From there it was catch me if you can as she gave her horse his head and he trotted the last half in :57.1 en route to an oh-so-easy three -length triumph. Even with a two-hole journey Utopia and Steve “You're Never Too” Oldford could not gain on the leader and finished second. Song In My Hear and Tiny Tim” Miller took home the show dough. Celebrity Pegasus is owned by Morgan Hagerman and trained by Herman Hagerman. Sent off as the even money favorite he paid $4.00 for win. But perhaps the bigger story is the emergence of Jazmin Arnold as a top notch harness driver. After starting the year competing on the Ohio Fair circuit she has now graduated to being a stalwart at the big Midwest raceways. Her incredible seasonal stats include 23 wins, eight seconds and three thirds in 56 starts for an astounding .520 UDR. From Dayton Raceway and John Manzi

DAYTON, OH. - A pair of longshots, both invading from Indiana following the completion of the Harrah's Hoosier Park meet, flashed the most final quarter mile trot in Hollywood Dayton's weekly $17,500 Open Trot, lighting up the harness racing toteboard with boxcar payoffs. Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Chris Page) swept three wide around the final turn after getting away near the rear of the full field and kept his momentum going strong through the lane, reaching the wire in front in 1:54.2 at 25-1 odds. Tugboat Tuffy (Josh Sutton) raced closer to the leaders throughout before finding a late seam to finish second at 19-1. Favored Two O B Wonkenobi (Brett Miller) was used hard in the opening panel but raced gallantly on the point until fading to third in the stretch. Resultant payoffs were $57.20 to win; $773.20 for a correct 3-2 exacta; and $1,209.65 for a successful 50-cent trifecta. Sweet Mr Pinetucky raced seventh along the pylons before launching his winning bid down the backstretch. The son of Pinetucky looped all but one foe before reaching the three quarter mile marker, assumed command mid-stretch and held off all challenges from there. The five-year-old gelding is owned by trainer Lester Raber in partnership with Floyd Raber. It was the fourth seasonal triumph and raised his 2019 earnings to $63,920. Sweet Mr Pinetucky sports 18 victories in 99 lifetime tries and career earnings over $185,000. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway          

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway continued its experiment with odd-distance races on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 12), carding a mile-and-a-quarter contest for mid-range condition and claiming harness racing pacers. Even money favorite Vegas Dream (Jeremy Smith) hit the jackpot, scoring in 2:28.3 on a frigid afternoon over JDS Chancey Design (Austin Hanners) and Time To Casper (Trevor Smith). JD's Profiteer (Cam McCown) lead the field to the first quarter in :28.3, at which time Skyway Ballistic (Josh Sutton) quarter-moved to the front and stayed there through the :58.3 half and 1:29.1 third stanza. Slightly less than a mile into the endurance test Jeremy Smith unleashed Vegas Dream from second-over position and was on even terms with Skyway Ballistic as they reached the 1:59 mile mark. Pacing a fifth and final quarter mile interval in :29.3, the winner was able to hold off the late charges of the runnerup and show finisher to cop Hollywood Dayton's first ever added distance event. Trainer Jessica Smith also owns Vegas Dream, a six-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding, who now sports four 2019 wins and 19 in a career that has netted $220,872 in purses. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - Allbeastnobeauty, the 2018 Illinois sophomore harness racing pacing filly of the year, has continued her winning ways in 2019. After winning a dozen heats and earning $101,047 last year, the now four-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster has notched a half dozen victories so far this season and added $81,460 to her career coffers. On Friday (Nov. 8) she was a repeat winner in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $17,000 weekly distaff feature, triumphing over Mildrix (Brett Miller) and Gone Girl (Tyler Smith) in 1:51.4. Red hot trainer-driver Dan Noble, who is sporting a Universal Trainer Rating System average near .500 for the first 43 days of the Dayton meet, changed tactics and fired Allbeastnobeauty directly to the front for the first time in ten starts. After tripping the first quarter beam in :27.3, she continued to show the way to the half in :56.3 and the three quarter station in 1:23.4. A closing panel in :28 is all it took to hold the classy field at bay and secure the second consecutive triumph for owners Eim Racing and Tessa Roland. The winner has three wins, a pair of place finishes and a third in seven starts during the current Hollywood Dayton session. She paid $5.60 to win. Coupled with 19-1 longshot Mildrix the exacta kicked back $65.60; while the 50-cent trifecta was worth $94.60. Racing resumes at Hollywood Dayton on Saturday night with a powerful 14-race program chasing total purses of $150,500. Post time is 6:15 p.m. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Dancin Yankee, arguably the best Ohio-sired harness racing horse of all time, burst through the $2 million earnings plateau winning the $17,000 Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Nov. 9) in 1:51.   The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser was the oldest horse in the stellar field of eight and was saddled with the outside post, yet raced gamely as ever to score his 11th victory of 2019 and 80th of his lengthy and storied career. With the win, Dancin Yankee's lifetime bounty now stands at $2,003,907.   "He's the best blue collar horse I've ever driven," exclaimed driver Chris Page.   "He shows up every single week and gives you everything he's got every time out!"   This milestone triumph was a perfect example of Page's sentiments. Parked three wide for much of the first quarter, Dancin Yankee didn't clear to the front until after passing the first quarter in :26.3. While fronting the field, he sped past the :54.4 halfway point and the 1:22.1 third timing station while being heavily pressured by Fools Desire (Dan Noble), who ultimately finished fourth. With a :28.4 final quarter on a cool 38-degree evening, Dancin Yankee held off Granite (Jeremy Smith) and Tookadiveoffdipper (Brett Miller), both of whom came calling in the stretch before falling a half-length short.                                                                                             --Conrad photo   Dancin Yankee has been owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Melissa Patterson and Larry Karr in recent years. Ron Burke manages the $2 million winner, second trainer Jason Irwin often harnesses him when racing in Ohio, and longtime caretaker Carlee Comer is particularly proud of her prize pupil's accomplishments.   Echoing the sentiments of many of Dancin Yankee's Ohio race fans, announcer Barry Vicroy had this to say during the winner's circle presentation: "Its been an honor and a privilege to call many of his wins here in Ohio. Its not often a horse this great comes along and stays this sharp for this long. I'm a BIG Dancin Yankee fan!"     Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Ten of Ohio's best harness racing reinsmen will compete head-to-head on Friday night, December 13, in a team contest to determine- -for one night at least- -whether Northfield Park or Hollywood Dayton Raceway has the strongest drivers colony.   The real winner, however, will be the Dayton Disaster Relief Fund which was created by the Dayton Foundation to aid in rebuilding infrastructure and families following two horrific local events earlier this year--a devastating tornado on Memorial Day and the Oregon District mass shootings in early August.   Hollywood Dayton Raceway, in conjunction with the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association, is pleased to earmark $3000 in prize money for the "Battle of the Buckeyes," and the members of both the north and south squads have agreed to donate the entire prize money pool to the Disaster Relief Fund. The winning team will donate $2500 and the losers, although there are no losers in an event like this, will chip in their $500 in proceeds.   Team Northfield will be captained by their dash leader, Aaron Merriman, who is also the reigning National Dash Champion. Each team will be comprised of the top five in the track's dash standings. If the contest were today, Northfield would be represented by Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems and Ryan Stahl in addition to Merriman.   Team Hollywood Dayton will be headed by Brett Miller, who currently holds a 20 race advantage in the host track's standings. Barring a huge rally by another driver in the next month, the local squad would also include Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble and Kayne Kauffman.   Team Hollywood Dayton captain Brett Miller                                          --Conrad photo   The Buckeye Battle will feature eight races on the December 13 program, with each team getting an equal amount of even and odd numbered post positions and each individual driver getting approximately even post positions over the course of the contest. Once the driver's post positions have been pre-decided, the horses will be drawn randomly into the races to determine their pilots.   Points will be awarded 30-20-15-13-11-9-7-5-3-1 for first through tenth place finishes in each race. At the conclusion of the competition, either Team Northfield Park or Team Hollywood Dayton will be deemed the Buckeye's Best for 2019, with the outlook good for this becoming an annual event.   Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - Allbeastnobeauty, the 2018 Illinois sophomore harness racing pacing filly of the year, continued her winning ways at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday (Nov. 8), scoring her second straight victory in the featured weekly $17,000 Mares Open.   The four-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster won a dozen races and $101,047 racing primarily in Illinois last season and now has added a half dozen races and another $81,460 to her resume in Ohio this year.   Red hot trainer-driver Dan Noble, who is sporting a near-.500 Universal Training System average at the current Dayton meet, changed strategies with Allbeastnobeauty and fired her directly to the front for the first time in her last ten starts. Following an opening panel in :27.3, she coasted through middle fractions of :56.3 and 1:23.4 before finishing her task with a :28 final panel to secure the 1:51.4 score.   The 19-1 longshot Mildrix (Brett Miller) was runnerup with Gone Girl (Tyler Smith) securing the show dough. Allbeastnobeauty paid $5.60 to win, the $2 exacta returned $65.60 and a 50-cent trifecta kicked back $94.60. Eim Racing and Tessa Roland of New York own Allbeastnobeauty.   Racing resumes Saturday night at Hollywood Dayton with a powerful 14-race program chasing total purses of $150,500. Post time is 6:15 p.m.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway hosted the first odd-distance race in its six year harness racing history on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 5), a five-eighths mile sprint dubbed the "Election Day Dash To The Polls." When the limestone dust settled, Snowball's Romeo (Josh Sutton) emerged victorious with a 1:10.3 triumph over Respectable Dream (Chris Page) and Waterside Champ (Jeremy Smith). Sutton left with alacrity from the six-hole behind the gate, but spent the first turn three wide before finally clearing over to the front just before a :27 opening panel. "When this horse is just right, he can get out of there quicker than that," said a smiling Sutton immediately following the race. "But he kept at it the whole lap and didn't cave in, so it was a lot of fun." Snowball's Romeo reached the half-mile mark in :55.2 and tacked on a :15.1 final eighth to secure the victory. It was just the third win from eight 2019 starts for the six-year-old son of McArdle, raising his lifetime bounty to just under $200,000. Trainer Phil Belanger co-owns him with partner Jeffrey Koesters. "I'm a big fan of odd-distance racing," chimed in leading driver Brett Miller, who guided Electric Lad to a fourth place finish in the dash. It's nice to change things up occasionally and require some different driving strategies. I've been in quite a few longer distance races with bigger than normal fields and I can tell you those races do present new challenges that drivers aren't used to." Race Secretary Gregg Keidel has written a 1-1/4 mile race for next Tuesday titled the "Horse For The Course Endurance Test." The $10,000 special event is limited to horses that started for a purse of $8000 or less in their last start. The entry box for Hollywood Dayton's Tuesday matinee will close Friday (Nov. 8) at 2 p.m. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

The backstretch community at Hollywood Dayton Raceway pulled together to support a worthy cause over the last few weeks. Over 100 new and gently used coats were donated by owners, trainers, caretakers and racing department employees to the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Dayton to aid their efforts to insure that less fortunate folks have adequate warm clothing with winter rapidly approaching. Horseman's Bookkeeper Terri Mt. Pleasant and Ohio Harness Horsemens Association track rep Brett Merkle spearheaded the worthwhile effort and were joined by a handful of drivers presenting the coats to the Society's head of volunteer services Diane Almanza in the Dayton winner's circle on Monday afternoon. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway        

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    

DAYTON, OH. - Allbeastnobeauty has hit the board in all of her six starts this harness racing meet at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, but hadn't found the winner's circle following the weekly $17,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace until Friday (November 1).   Trainer-driver Dan Noble left the gate aggressively with the 4-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster, quarter-moving to the front just past the :26.4 opening panel, then pressing through :55.1 and 1:23 subsequent timing stations before holding off fast-closing Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) and Colorful Sky (Aaron Merriman) in 1:52.   It was the fifth win of the year for Allbeastnobeauty and raised her seasonal bounty to $72,960 for owners Eim Racing and Tessa Roland.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - For the third straight Thursday night, a new winner emerged in the weekly $17,000 Open Handicap Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.   This time it was 23-1 longshot Elmo Blatch (Cameron McCown) who topped Merci Monsieur AS (Kayne Kauffman) and I Know My Chip (Jeremy Smith) in 1:55.4. It was a night when horses were aided by strong gusting winds down the backside, but were slowed by an equally strong headwind in the stretch.   Northmedo Mission (Dan Noble) cut the early fractions (:27.2, :56.4 and 1:25) before Pine Dream (Josh Sutton) and then Elmo Blatch moved up to challenge around the final bend.   It was the first time McCown had driven Elmo Blatch, who won nine races and $100,000 in 2018 but had been struggling to regain that form this season. The 6-year-old son of Andover Hall now sports a pair of seasonal scores and has banked another $26,045 in 2019. He is owned and trained by David Lough.   Earlier on the program Hollywood Dayton presented the third annual All Grey Halloween Handicap featuring eight grey or roan pacers who compete regularly at the local five-eighths mile oval. Roan Color (Josh Sutton) bested Payne For Pres (Trevor Smith) and Marc Mellow Man (Jeremy Smith) in a competitive race for a $10,000 purse.   Sutton was content to sit mid-pack in the early going before moving first up on the outside approaching the halfway point. From there, the 4-year-old roan son of Marced Card ground down his fellow grey foes before reaching the wire first in 1:53.4. Trainer Ken Terpenning's Strike Point Racing LLC owns Marc Mellow Man.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway    

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway paid homage to the memory of longtime area harness racing horseman Tom Horner Sr. on Saturday (Oct. 26) by naming the weekly Open Pace in his honor. Fittingly, the longest shot in the race came flying at the end to nail the victory. Feelinlikearockstar (Trevor Smith) was still sixth and last at the three quarter station, but ready to swing three wide around the final bend.   The 12-1 shot advanced to fifth by the head of the stretch but still had three lengths to make up on the pacesetters.   Storming down the lane with a furious closing kick, Feelinlikearockstar collared Sports Sinner (Jeremy Smith) by a head and held off Hez A Dude A (Dan Noble) by a length in 1:52.2 over a rain-soaked surface.   Perry Smith owns and trains the 7-year-old winner who now sports 25 career triumphs and $353,019 in earnings.   Driver Dan Noble had the hottest hands on Saturday, winning five of the first 11 races--two of the victors from his own barn to pull into a tie with Virgil Morgan Jr. for leading trainer at the meet.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

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