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DAYTON, OH. - The curtain fell on the annual Hollywood Dayton Raceway meet on Saturday night (Dec. 28), its sixth consecutive year of handle growth.   "Our overall all sources handle was up over $2 million for the meet," exclaimed first year Director Of Racing Jason Bluhm, "resulting in a 14% increase in our daily average. I'm especially excited about the strong finish to the 2019 meet and the prospects for the future."   Leading driver and trainer awards were presented to Brett Miller, who drove 151 winners during the 78-day meet, and Virgil Morgan Jr., who harnessed 52 winners during the session. Miller, a winner of 8,450 races in his career, sported a .316 UDRS during the Dayton meet and banked over $1.2 million with his mounts.   Morgan Jr. won races at a 23% clip, flashing a .343 UTRS while his stable earned over $370,000 in purses.   Rounding out the Top Ten among reinsmen were Jeremy Smith, Tyler Smith, Josh Sutton, Dan Noble, Kayne Kauffman, Chris Page, Trevor Smith, Cameron McCown and Shawn Barker II.   Top Ten trainers, in addition to Morgan Jr., were Peter Redder, Dan Noble, Ron Burke, Charles Stewart, Kayne Kauffman, Jessica Smith, Tyler George, Jeff Brewer and Adam Short.   Hollywood Dayton Raceway would like to wish a happy and prosperous New Year to all the horsemen who raced over the acclaimed five-eighths mile oval in 2019.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Always Giggling (John DeLong) sat chilly near the back of the pack as Imajean Rocks (Brett Miller), seeking her fifth consecutive victory at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, set torrid fractions in the weekly Friday night feature--the $17,500 Mares Open Pace.   The strategy paid big dividends as the :27, :54.4 and 1:22.4 fractions resulted in a relatively slow :29.2 final panel in which Always Giggling was able to rally from seventh to grab a narrow victory in the last quarter.   The final clocking of 1:52.2 resulted in the five-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin garnering her fifth seasonal win, the 16th of her stellar career which has now produced $434,527 in purse earnings. She is owned by Jeffrey Fought and trained by Peter Redder.   Always Giggling, dispatched at 10-1 odds, paid $23.40. Coupled with morning line favorite Imajean Rocks the perfecta returned $98.80. Eliza Dushku N (Mike Oosting) got the show dough, while Newsday (Trevor Smith), Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) and Elysium Seelster (Tyler Smith) also earned checks in the ten horse field.     The curtain comes down on Hollywood Dayton Raceway's sixth season on Saturday night (Dec. 28) when a strong 14-race card commences at 6:15 p.m.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - The final $17,500 Open Trot of the Hollywood Dayton harness racing meet was captured by Workinitonbroadway on Thursday (Dec. 26).   It was the son of Broadway Hall's first win in open company at Dayton and tenth victory of his sophomore campaign, pushing him over the $100,000 earnings plateau for his three-year-old season.   Driver Josh Sutton was content to get away sixth in the full nine horse field, but after witnessing a pedestrian :28.1 opening quarter, pulled first-over on the outside. Ranging up to third as the field passed the :57.2 halfway point, Sutton continued to inch closer during the third panel and got on even terms with co-favorite Walter White (Jeremy Smith) at the 1:25.1 three-quarters beam.   Despite the taxing journey, Workitonbroadway persevered through a :29.2 final quarter to secure a one length victory in 1:54.3. The triumph was the colt's sixth in his last seven starts and fourth in a row, lowering his lifetime best mark by two-fifths of a second.   Ron Burke trains the winner for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   Workitonbroadway   Burke now sports 22 wins in 100 seasonal starts at Hollywood Dayton, good for fourth in the trainer standings behind only Virgil Morgan Jr., Dan Noble and Peter Redder. Kayne Kauffman and Charles Stewart are tied for fifth on the top conditioners list with 21 victories apiece.   The final two programs of Hollywood Dayton's 78-day meet are Friday (Dec. 27) and Saturday (Dec. 28) when 14-race cards will be presented starting at 6:15 p.m.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway    

DAYTON, OH. - Harness racing driver Brett Miller was not cold at all at Hollywood Dayton Raceway Monday afternoon, in fact he was red hot, scoring five straight wins.    Miller's hot streak started in Race 2 and extended through Race 6 as he relentlessly guided "chalky" horses to victories one race after another for five different trainers.   Paydaze A Rockin (trainer Roy Murphy Jr., 1:55.3, $5.80) started the win parade followed by trotter Serene Hall (Peter Redder, 1:58.4, $4.80), Creighton Hanover (Virgil Morgan Jr., 1:55.2, $2.80), Intoview (Art Gregory Jr., 1:54.1, $2.40) and trotter Here's The Magic (Brandon Piquet, 1:58.2, $5.40).   For Miller, it was his second five win card in the last three contested at Hollywood Dayton, as the purple and white clad reinsman also scored five triumphs on the Friday program. "Super Brett," as he is called by regular announcer Barry Vicroy, has a comfortable lead in the local dash standings with 146 wins to runnerup Jeremy Smith's 130 and just three programs (Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 26-28) remaining in the season.   Rounding out the top five in total wins by drivers are Tyler Smith, Dan Noble and Josh Sutton.   Driver Jason Brewer also enjoyed a fruitful day on Monday, notching three scores with two from his own stable and one for trainer Art Gregory Jr. Brewer's winning mounts were Desire's Lady (1:57.1, $5.00), Entranced (1:55.4, $7.00) and Just Bettor (1:56.2, $4.00).   As Hollywood Dayton begins to wrap up its sixth consecutive year of growth this week, first year Director of Racing Jason Bluhm and his staff were delighted with the new daily handle record of $664,945.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - Talk about incredible seasonal statistics!   Fan Of Terror captured his 18th harness racing victory of the 2019 season on Saturday (Dec. 21) winning Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $17,500 Open Pace in 1:50.2. As if 18 wins isn't impressive enough, the seven-year-old gelding's annual earnings swelled to $219,705 racing exclusively in top level claimers to start the year and top condition and Open events the rest of the way.   It is believed the $219,705 figure may be the highest yearly total ever for a horse racing exclusively in Ohio and Indiana overnights, without the benefit of a single penny in stakes money.   Driver John DeLong rocketed out of the gate to grab early command with Fan Of Terror, but wisely relinquished the lead to heavily favored I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller) at the :26.3 first quarter beam. Sitting cozy in the pocket through middle half fractions of :55 and 1:22.4, DeLong was content to watch My Hero Ron (Mike Oosting) pressure the frontrunner while awaiting a chance to pounce on the leader.   That opportunity presented itself at the head of the home stretch when My Hero Ron, who finished a game third, tired and a battle royale ensued until the winner finally prevailed in the final strides over I'm A Big Deal.   Therl Hensley owns the winner and entrusts his stable stalwart's career to trainer Peter Redder.   Just one week remains in the Hollywood Dayton meet. Following a 2:15 matinee on Monday (Dec. 23), the southwest Ohio oval will close out the season with 6:15 programs on Thursday (Dec. 26), Friday (Dec. 27) and Saturday (Dec. 28).   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - After a six week absence, Allbeastnobeauty returned to the Hollywood Dayton Raceway win circle with a convincing 1:51 harness racing tally in the weekly $16,500 feature for female pacers on Friday (Dec. 20).   Aaron Merriman guided the four-year-old Sportsmaster mare to her seventh seasonal score and 23rd in her 65 race career, this one her second fastest ever...just one-fifth of a second off her record established in mid-September at Dayton.   Sent speeding off the wings of the gate, Allbeastnobeauty reached the quarter mile marker in :26.3, the half in :55.2 and the three quarter station in 1:22.3 before tacking on a final :28.2 panel to hold off the charge of even money favorite Mildrix (Brett Miller). Eliza Dushku N (Mike Oosting) closed well after over a month vacation from the races to grab the show dough.   Christi Noble conditions Allbeastnobeauty, who paid $5.60 to win, for the partnership of Tessa Roland and Eim Racing.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - It's not often a harness racing track record is obliterated on a December night when the temperature is hovering around the 32-degree freezing mark. But that is exactly what happened on Thursday (Dec. 19) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway when Whata Swan, the only three-year-old in the race, found another gear in the stretch and swept to a 1:53.2 score.   The old standard for sophomore colt trotters at Dayton was 1:54.1 taken in September by Lane Of Stone.   John DeLong drove the new track standard bearer, who had also won an Open at Dayton four weeks ago in his first trip over the track.   Taking advantage of his rail post position draw, DeLong was able to get away third behind quick gate leavers Walter White (Jeremy Smith) and Signal Hill (Shawn Barker II). Following a :27.3 initial panel, however, Whata Swan was out and moving first-over on the outside before the :57 half. A quick third quarter (:27.3) kept DeLong and his charge on the limb around the final bend, but the pair dug down deep in mid-stretch to tally the impressive victory over the aforementioned frontrunners, who held for second and third.   Whata Swan is a black son of Swan For All and now sports eight wins in 2019 and $134,909 in seasonal earnings. Lightly raced at two, the colt notched just two wins in nine starts and earned $22,418.   Owned by John Barnard of Miami, Florida, Whata Swan is trained by Luis Quevedo who visited the Dayton win circle for the first time in his 15th try.   Hollywood Dayton has just six cards left in its 78-day meet. Races will be presented Friday (Dec. 20) and Saturday (Dec. 21) at 6:15 p.m., Monday (Dec. 23) at 2:15, and close out the season with night programs on Thursday (Dec. 26), Friday (Dec. 27) and Saturday (Dec. 28).   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - For the sixth straight season, the Hollywood Dayton Raceway harness racing family made a major contribution to the Dayton Firefighters Toy Drive to insure every local child gets a gift for Christmas.   Over 100 new toys contributed by the horsemen and staff at Hollywood Dayton were loaded into an empty emergency vehicle on Tuesday during the matinee program. They will be distributed by the firemen to families in need during the days leading up to Christmas morning.    From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Both LeWayne Miller and Trevor Smith scored 'hat tricks' at Hollywood Dayton on Monday afternoon during the 14-race matinee, as did leading driver Brett Miller.   LeWayne Miller started the program off on the right foot sweeping both halves of the early daily double. In the first race, he guided Imacowboy Casanova to a startling upset, paying $60.20 for a $2 win ticket. The 33-year-old Indiana reinsman then followed that up with a solid favorite, Buff's Image, in the second race returning just $2.80. The daily double kicked back a healthy $172.20 payoff.   E R Betty allowed LeWayne his third trip to the winner's circle in the seventh race trot, returning a $7 mutuel to her faithful.   Trevor Smith matched Miller's back-to-back victories with scores of his own in the third and fourth races of the day. Pence Hanover ($8.20) was the first tally for Trevor, the 23-year-old younger brother of Tyler Smith. Next up was Mystical Charger, another longshot who rewarded backers with a $24.60 return.   Ufpfortydevensgirl completed Smith's hat trick when she upset a field of condition claiming mares from a second tier start. Her $69.20 mutuel payoff was the highest of the day.   Brett Miller notched victories with Ilooklikeanallstar ($11.20) in the fifth, Mountain High ($10.80) in the tenth, and Latenite Trick ($10.20) in the nightcap.   All three catch drivers with the hat tricks notched their wins for three different trainers.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Fan Of Terror has been on a tear throughout the 2019 harness racing season. The 7-year-old son of Western Terror won the $17,500 Billy Hamm Memorial Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Dec. 14) for his 17th triumph of the year and 27th on-the-board finish in 37 trips to post.   Driver John DeLong, leaving from the rail, chose to let even money favorite I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller) clear to the pylons in front as the field sped through a speedy :26.1 opening quarter. Getting a pocket ride the rest of the way, DeLong and Fan Of Terror were boxed in through the middle two quarters as third choice My Hero Ron (Mike Oosting) was parked out and pressing the leader at the :54.1 and 1:22 half-mile and three-quarter-mile stations.   Finding clearance midway down the stretch, Fan Of Terror ground down I'm A Big Deal in the final strides to notch a 'head' decision in 1:50.4. Dispatched at 5-2 odds upon his return to the Open ranks after winning two top level condition events, Fan Of Terror has now earned $210,955 on the year racing exclusively in overnight races in Ohio and Indiana.   Trained for the past seven months by the brother combo of Ricky and Peter Redder, following brief successful stops in numerous stables early in the year as a top level claimer, owner Therl Hensley could never have imagined the ride he was about to embark on when he plucked him out of a race at Miami Valley for $30,000 in April.   The race honored the memory of popular local horseman Billy Hamm, who passed away recently, following a lengthy career as a caretaker and second trainer for numerous stables at or near old Lebanon Raceway. Family and friends of Hamm gathered in the winner's circle to present the commemorative blanket to Fan Of Terror and his connections.   Fan Of Terror     From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Team Northfield Park harness racing drivers Kurt Sugg and Greg Grismore both scored driving doubles to lead their squad to a convincing 507-445 triumph in the initial "Buckeye Battle" at Hollywood Dayton--benefitting the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   Sugg captured the sixth and seventh legs of the eight-race contest, while Grismore won leg two and the eighth and final leg to secure the victory for the Northern Ohio quintet. Aaron Merriman also won a leg to give Team Northfield a 5-3 advantage over Team Hollywood Dayton in the win column.   Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith and Josh Sutton won "Buckeye Battle" races for the home team, who had a narrow 364-350 lead after six of the eight races.   Overall point leader was Kurt Sugg who accumulated 130 points. Greg Grismore was a close second with 119, followed by Jeremy Smith 112, Tyler Smith 96, David Lake 95, Aaron Merriman 94-1/2, Josh Sutton 84, Brett Miller 83, Kayne Kauffman 70 and Chris Lems 68-1/2.   Winning horses were Fancy Footwork (Tyler Smith, 1:54, $9.00), Colonys Best (Greg Grismore, 1:54.1, $8.00), Parkin In Heaven (Aaron Merriman, 1:53.3, $3.00), Vegas Again (Jeremy Smith, 1:53.2, $8.00), Imajean Rocks (Josh Sutton, 1:52.2, $5.80), Risk N (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $16.60), Sportsmuffler (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $10.00) and Arrival (Greg Grismore, 1:52.3, $28.40). $3000 was donated to the Disaster Relief Fund, which is being used to repair buildings as well as families following a horrific tornado that swept through Dayton last Memorial Day.   "It is just wonderful that people who weren't effected by the devastation keep coming together to help those that were," said the Dayton Foundation's Carrie Dalrymple. "We can't thank the horsemen enough for chosing to make a positive difference in total strangers lives tonight. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association are to be commended for creating this fun event to raise awareness that this is a long term relief project that will take years to finish and more help is still needed."   Although Josh Sutton had the misfortune of having two horses scratched during the Buckeye Battle, he still lead all drivers on the overall 14-race program with a Grand Slam--four trips to the winner's circle on the night.   by Gregg Keidel, for the Buckeye Battle

DAYTON, OH. - A new harness racing winner emerged in the weekly $17,500 Open Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Thursday night (Dec. 12) as Signal Hill (Shawn Barker II) topped Walter White (Jeremy Smith) and Whata Swan (John DeLong) in 1:54.   The five-year-old son of Muscle Hill left alertly, yielded to Walter White early then benefitted from a pocket ride until mid-stretch when he pounced on the frontrunner and coasted to a comfortable victory.   It was the fifth seasonal triumph for Signal Hill, but his first in open company. Owned by Serenity Racing Stables and trained by Danny Collins, the winner now sports ten wins in 41 career starts and his lifetime bounty has swelled to $143,016.   Racing resumes Friday night (Dec. 13) at Hollywood Dayton featuring the eight race "Buckeye Battle" pitting five of Northfield Park's top drivers versus a quintet of Hollywood Dayton's best to benefit the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

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

DAYTON, OH. - Winning one-half of his eight drives on a sloppy afternoon at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, upstart Cam McCown scored his first four win 'hat trick' at a commercial harness racing track on Monday (Dec. 9). His feat included a natural 'hat trick' in the final three races on the program.   McCown, the son-in-law of trainer Brian Brown, started his day off strong by capturing the first race with Premier Delainey for trainer Donna Cotton. The two-year-old filly topped Passmrocknrose (Trevor Smith) and Rockngo B B (Dale Hiteman) in 1:59.1 for her maiden victory, returning $22.20 to win.   Trotter Outofbait gave McCown his second score, a 1:58.2 win over Giddyupngogilmer (Pat Melloy Jr.) and Stickum Vicky (Todd Warren). Mervin Schmucker conditions the winner, who paid a handsome $25.40 mutual payoff.   Next up was Sher's Speedyshark who paid $12.60 for his tally over Outrajus Blue Chip (Tyler Smith) and Bieber Hanover (Jeremy Smith). Steve Livingston conditions the sophomore son of Shadyshark Hanover.   McCown's fourth win, for four different trainers, came in the nightcap when Caleb Lou triumphed in 1:55.4 over Stormy Cash (Josh Sutton) and Pence Hanover (Trevor Smith). The clocking was a lifetime best, despite the rainy conditions, for the four-year-old Feelin Friskie gelding trained by Roger Wilkin.   Caleb Lou kicked back $7 for a $2 win wager.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Driver Josh Sutton slugged a 'Grand Slam' at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Monday afternoon (Dec. 2), scoring with three harness racing favorites and polishing things off by guiding a longshot to the winner's circle in the nightcap of the 14-race matinee.   Sutton started his strong day steering Rockaholic to a 1:55.4 score in a minimum claiming event for trainer A. J. Carlo, kicking back $5.60 to his mutuel backers. Next up was a 1:54.1 tally with Always A Fighter ($4.40) for owner-trainer Clint Binkley; followed by a winning 1:55.2 clocking with Overlord ($3.20) in a mid-range condition-claiming event for conditioner Jeff Cullipher.   Not content with a hat trick, Sutton surprised with a $36.60 winner in the 1:56.2 finale for bottom claimers. It was just the second seasonal triumph in 28 starts for Krusty The Clown, trained by Jeff Brewer.   Sutton was recently named to Team Hollywood Dayton, a quintet of local top drivers who will face off against Northfield Park's best on Friday, December 13 in the 'Buckeye Battle', an eight-race contest to benefit the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund and determine bragging rights for 2019 between northern Ohio and southern Ohio's best drivers.   The Ohio Harness Horsemens Association and Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway have put up $3000 in prize money for the contest, which all ten competitors from both sides have agreed to donate to the Relief Fund, which has been busy rebuilding neighborhoods following catastrophic tornados that ravished parts of Dayton in May; and aiding families affected by the horrific mass shooting in the Oregon District of the city in August.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

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

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