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DAYTON, OH. - When JDS Chancey Design (Tyler Smith) won the 14th and final race at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Wednesday (Dec. 30) afternoon, the curtain dropped on a very successful seventh annual live harness racing meet.   Despite a reduction in race dates from 78 in 2019 to 64 in 2020, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, total all-source handle increased by almost $4 million.   The daily average leaped from $268,426 a year ago to $372,174 this campaign.   "I want to thank the entire racing staff and the entire Dayton Raceway horse community for putting on an outstanding show, despite a number of unusual out-of-the-ordinary obstacles that had to be overcome," said Director of Racing Jason Bluhm. "Everyone should take pride in what was accomplished and look forward optimistically to what else can be done in 2021."   Leading driver for the second straight year was Brett Miller, who notched 135 victories. Earnings for his mounts surpassed the $1 million plateau during the final week of the meet.   Rounding out the Top Ten in the driver's dash derby were Josh Sutton (110), Tyler Smith and Jeremy Smith (89 each), Chris Page (52), Trevor Smith (50), Trace Tetrick (45), Kayne Kauffman (43), Dan Noble (39) and Shawn Barker II (33).   Ron Burke narrowly edged Virgil Morgan Jr. by two victories to garner his first training title at Hollywood Dayton. Other Top Ten Trainers were Christi Noble, Peter Redder, Ken Rucker, Charles Stewart, J.D. Perrin, Michael Hitchcock, Jason Brewer and Tyler George.   The southern Ohio live harness racing circuit now shifts to Miami Valley Raceway with opening day slated for Sunday afternoon, January 3, 2021.   Gregg Keidel    

DAYTON, OH. - Harness racing driver Tyler Smith stole the show at Hollywood Dayton on Saturday (Dec. 26) by winning both co-feature events, the $18,400 Open Handicap for male pacers and the $17,800 sister event for the best distaff pacers in the region.   Despite a 41-day layoff, Smith hustled Stars Align A to an early lead in the 'boys' event before allowing GD Western Joe (Chris Page) to clear to the front just steps before the :26.3 first quarter.   The winning 7-year-old unaltered son of Art Major enjoyed a pocket ride through middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:22.4, then swung to the outside coming off the final bend. Despite a quick :27.4 closing quarter, Stars Align A managed to collar GD Western Joe in deep stretch for his tenth seasonal triumph and 34th lifetime from 91 races. Havefaithinme N (Trace Tetrick) finished a creditable third in the 1:50.3 mile.   Joshua Graber owns Stars Align A and entrusts the training to Christi Noble. He now has banked $465,398.   Stars Align A   The Bethinator, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere, held off a fast-closing Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) to capture the Mares Open Handicap in 1:52. Summer Charm (Trace Tetrick) got the first quarter call in :26.3, but Smith had The Bethinator in high gear to grab the lead shortly thereafter.   Following a breather to the :56.1 halfway marker, the winner was joined by Sugar Dance (Brett Miller) in a speed duel to the third timer in 1:23.4.   After racing side-by-side around the entire final turn, The Bethinator battled back inside and then barely held off Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) who made up about ten lengths in the last quarter before coming up just short in 1:52. Its Time For Fun (Kyle Wilfong) garnered the show dough.   Veteran Nelson Willis conditions the homebred winner for the Megan Rogers Racing Stable. She now sports a dozen victories over two years and has earned $119,154.   The Bethinator   The Bethinator held off Miss You N to win her second Mares Open in December at Hollywood Dayton.   Tyler Smith wasn't the only happy camper at Hollywood Dayton after the Saturday program.   An all-time all sources handle record of $726,775 was recorded to the delight of the entire racing management team, lead by Director of Racing Jason Bluhm. The old record of $664,945 was recorded on December 23, 2019.   There are just three cards left in the 2020 Hollywood Dayton season.   A trio of 14-race programs will be presented on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the coming week. Each will begin at 1:30 p.m.   Gregg Keidel        

DAYTON, OH. - GD Western Joe (Chris Page) was a harness racing repeat winner in the Saturday (Dec. 19) $17,800 Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.   It was the eighth seasonal victory for the five-year-old son of Real Desire as well as the fourth triumph on the program for Page.   A race later, Page revisited the winner's circle to give him five wins In the first ten races.   Despite being handicapped to the outside of the field, GD Western Joe was able to dictate the race to his foes by stepping to the front just an eighth of a mile into the fray and never needing to look back. It is not often nowadays that you see a quicker back half than front half at Ohio's commercial tracks, but that was the case in this featured event.   Fractions were :27, :56, 1:23 and the mile was clocked in 1:51.   Braley Hanover (Brady Galliers) sat the pocket throughout and tried in vein to gain on the winner in the stretch, but to no avail.   Bro (John DeLong) rallied gallantly in the late going to grab the third place prize money.   GD Western Joe   Page's other winners were Drawing Dragons (1:51.1, $3.20), Major Nemesis (1:52.2, $5.60), Persistent Threat A (1:53.1, $5.40) and the trotter Another Breath (1:55.2, $5).   Gregg Keidel      

DAYTON, OH. - In a thrilling race that wasn't decided until the final strides, Checks On The Way (Trace Tetrick) topped Sugar Dance (Brett Miller) in the featured harness racing $16,700 Open Mares Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday (Dec. 18).   The winning 5-year-old daughter of Believeinbruiser, who eclipsed the $100,000 seasonal earnings plateau, settled in third during the opening :27 quarter, then launched a first-over attack before the :55.3 midway point in the race.   Although Checks On The Way inched closer before the third quarter beam was tripped in 1:22.3, it wasn't until the stretch was reached that she stuck her head in front. Sugar Dance, foraying into Open company for the first time, dug down deep throughout the stretch duel and the outcome wasn't obvious until the final second of the 1:51.2 battle.   Scott and trainer Tyler George own the 28 time winner, who has raced 96 times in four years.   Checks On The Way   Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Pass The Vape (Trevor Smith) pulled a mild harness racing upset in Hollywood Dayton's $18,400 Open Trot on Thursday, dashing through the snowflakes for a 1:55 triumph over favored Lady's Dude (Josh Sutton), who finished a length behind.   Sutton rushed even-money favorite Lady's Dude to the lead quickly with strong second choice Pass The Vape finding the pocket.   The two heavyweight trotters remained one-two through the first half of the mile, clocked in a moderate :57.4.   It wasn't until near the third timing station that Pass The Vape was flushed from the pocket when an outer tier lead by It's A Herbie (LeWayne Miller) began to form.   The eventual winner was lapped on the frontrunner when the third beam was tripped in 1:26.3, then overtook his main adversary during the closing :28.2 panel.   Lionel Watiker owns the 25-time winning son of Dejarmbro, whose earnings have eclipsed $460,000.   Pass The Vape   The 5-year-old homebred is trained by Watiker's son Derek.   Racing at Dayton resumes Friday (Dec. 18) and Saturday (Dec. 19) with the new 4:00 post time in place due to Ohio's 10 p.m. curfew due to the Covid crisis.   Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - A pair of ultra-consistent performers shared the harness racing spotlight at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Dec. 12).   One was GD Western Joe who won the $18,400 Open Pace in 1:50.2.   The other was driver Brett Miller, who notched six victories on the card to increase his meet leading total to 113.   Driver Chris Page wrestled GD Western Joe into the two-hole behind Tellmeaboutit (Tyler Smith), last week's winner, in the early going. The 5-year-old son of Real Desire was on the iron as the field approached the :27.2 first quarter station, however, so Page opted to quarter move back to the front with the 6-5 favorite.   With the field content to race single file, Page and GD Western Joe cruised past the halfway beam in :55.2, then sped up when Tivo Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) mounted a charge down the backstretch prompting a :27 flat third panel. It took a :28 final quarter for GD Western Joe to hold off Tellmeaboutit, who had shadowed the winner throughout and mounted a mild stretch challenge.   With the triumph GD Western Joe raised his 2020 earnings to $108,849, surpassing the $107,615 he banked in 2019. His career bounty now stands at $549,800.   GD Western Joe   Brett Miller has widened his lead in the dash derby to 29 with just a dozen programs left in the meet. Jeremy Smith is second in the current meet standings with 84 victories, while Josh Sutton has scored 83 wins.   Miller triumphed on Saturday with the trotter Air Assault (1:57, $3.40), and pacers Fox Valley Hustler (1:52.3, $3), Major Nemesis (1:52.4, $18.20), Loutenant (1:52.1, $4.80), Outspoken Man (1:54.2, $8.40) and Classy Hill (1:54.2, $18.20).   At his current pace, Miller will surpass the $1 million purse earnings plateau by the end of the year.   Gregg Keidel        

DAYTON, OH. - There's absolutely no doubt that the trotting mare Refined is in fine form.    The daughter of Uncle Peter, despite being handicapped to the outside of a talented full field, swept to her third Open class harness racing victory in her last four starts in 1:52.4 on Thursday (Dec. 10) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.   Sensing a torrid early pace, driver Brett Miller tucked Refined into the three-hole along the pylons halfway through the :26.1 opening panel.  After just 3/8ths of a mile, however, she was flushed back into the outer flow by Pass The Vape (Trevor Smith) and she responded by taking command just before the :56.1 halfway juncture.  Following a :28 third quarter, Miller and Refined tacked on a :28.3 closing quarter to easily hold off Pass The Vape and third place finisher Whata Swan (Tyler Smith) in the day's feature with a $17,800 purse.   With her 11th career triumph Refined is now just $600 short of the $200,000 earnings plateau for owner Carlo Poliseno.  The 4-year-old is trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., who is leading conditioner at the current Hollywood Dayton meet.   Racing resumes Friday (Dec. 11) with a 4:00 p.m. post time.     Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - The Bethinator (Tyler Smith) stretched her win streak to three by stepping up into harness racing open company for the first time and snapping the six race win streak of Miss You N (Jeremy Smith).   The outcome of the Mares Open at Dayton on Friday (Dec, 4) wasn't decided until the wire was reached in 1:51.2 and the photo finish camera determined The Bethinator had won by a nose.   Both top fillies left the gate with alacrity. The Bethinator got to the top an eighth of a mile into the fray, with Miss You N in hot pursuit until finally grabbing the lead just before the :27 first quarter timer was tripped. The Bethanator was content to sit the pocket through middle fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.1 before angling out at the head of the stretch to engage Miss You N in a thrilling duel to the finish wire. It's Time For Fun, with Kyle Wilfong aboard, garnered the show dough in her initial voyage over Dayton's quick five-eighths mile oval.   The winner, a 3-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, won for the 11th time in her first two years of racing. The victory pushed her over the $100,000 earnings plateau.     Veteran trainer Nelson Willis took over the training duties for owner Megan Rogers Racing Stable two months ago and she has shown continual improvement under his tutelage.   Racing resumes on Saturday (Dec. 5) at Hollywood Dayton with the new weekend post time of 4 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - Refined (Brett Miller) returned to the Hollywood Dayton harness racing winner's circle, where she last visited four weeks ago, following the $18,400 Open Trot on Thursday afternoon.    The 6-5 favorite cruised to an easy open lengths 1:55.1 triumph over nine rivals after posting frontstepping fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:25.2.     Longshot Sweet Mr Pinetucky (LeWayne Miller)  bested the rest with Pass The Vape (Trevor Smith) grabbing the show dough.  The winner paid $4.40, the exacta returned a healthy $136.20 and the 50-cent trifecta kicked back $209.   Refined is a 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Peter who is owned by Carlo Poliseno.  She is trained by Virgil Morgan Jr.  The ten time winner has now banked $190,710.       Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - On a day (Tues., Dec. 1) when Hollywood Dayton Raceway introduced its new 20-cent Jackpot Pick-5, with a guaranteed $5000 payout for a unique single ticket winner, the surprising bigger news was a handle of $622,280--the second highest figure in the track's seven year history.    The only higher handle occurred on December 23, 2019 when $664,945 was pushed through the windows.   The Jackpot Pick-5 produced multiple winners on Day One of the new bet, who shared in the 50% consolation pool.  The $5000 guarantee for a single unique winning ticket will remain in place until the jackpot is won or it climbs past the guarantee.    The wager is offered on the final five races of each race card (normally races 10-14.)   "Things are picking up nicely as we enter the final month of our season," said Director of Racing Jason Bluhm.   "We're extremely pleased with the Tuesday matinee handle as well as the promising reception to our new Jackpot Pick-5."   Racing resumes Thursday afternoon at Hollywood Dayton with a 1:30 post time.  The Jackpot Pick-5 should get underway at approximately 4:30.       Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Kiss Of Terror (Trace Tetrick) extended his harness racing win streak to seven by winning the $16,700 Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Nov. 28).   The streak started with three wins versus $30,000 claiming company at Scioto Downs and has been followed up with twin triumphs at both Oak Grove and Dayton.   Owner-trainer Adam Short's prize possession is nearing $100,000 in seasonal earnings and $400,000 in career bounty with the latest score.   Tetrick was content to sit third in the early going, watching favored GD Western Joe (Chris Page) on the lead and polesitter Braley Hanover (Brady Galliers) getting a pocket ride. After early fractions of :27 and :55.3, Tetrick decided to vacate the pylons and begin a long grueling journey in first-over position. Third after passing the 1:23.3 third station, the 8-year-old Western Terror gelding persevered the entire :27.2 closing quarter to just nip the pacesetters in 1:51.   Braley Hanover, who found room late, was just a head back at the wire; while GD Western Joe tired in the final strides and finished third a half-length behind.     Kiss Of Terror   Since moving his tack from Indiana to Ohio for the winter meet, where he has joined an already deep and talented driver's colony, Trace Tetrick has has visited the winner's circle seven times in two nights.   Brett Miller notched a hat trick on the Saturday program, bringing his meet leading total to 85.   Jeremy Smith and Josh Sutton recorded driving doubles.   Hollywood Dayton resumes racing on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this coming week with 14-race matinee programs beginning at 1:30 p.m.   Gregg Keidel     

DAYTON, OH. - Racing a twilight harness racing card (4 p.m. post) for the first time in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's seven-year history, due to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's recently implemented 10 p.m. statewide curfew, Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) swept to her sixth consecutive triumph in the featured $17,250 Mares Open.   More surprising was a 30% increase in handle over the average 2020 Friday night programs, despite the fact a Covid-19 scare had shuttered the track since November 12.   The handle exceeded the day after Thanksgiving's business numbers from 2019 by over $100,000.   Splitting her six race win streak evenly between Hollywood Dayton and Harrah's Hoosier Park, Miss You N was on a mission from the get-go in this outing.   Despite an outside post position assignment, the 6-year-old daughter of Betterthancheddar pressed onward until well past the :27.4 opening quarter, where eventual runnerup So Awesome (Brett Miller) was on top. After clearing to the lead before the :55.4 halfway point, Miss You N never had an anxious moment. The Virgil Morgan Jr.-trainee cruised past the third timing beam in 1:23.2 before tacking on a :28.1 final panel to score by a length while in hand. Gone Girl (Trevor Smith) rallied strongly along the pylons to finish third.     The partnership of Carl Howard and Bottom Line Racing LLC own the winner, whose lifetime bounty swelled to $296,185.   Remarkably, at least for North American horses, the New Zealand bred mare banked just $22,770 before turning the age of four. She has captured 21 of her 24 wins in her four and five year old seasons.   Racing resumes at Hollywood Dayton on Saturday (Nov. 28) with the new 4:00 p.m. weekend post time.   Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway, in conjunction with the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association, donated over 200 new and gently used coats to the St. Vincent De Paul Society of Dayton's annual Holiday Coat Drive on Monday afternoon (Nov. 2). It was the fourth consecutive year that the track's employees and horsemen have supported this worthwhile charitable effort just as temperatures begin to drop locally and winter approaches. Horsemen's Bookkeeper Terri Mt. Pleasant spearheads the coat drive with help from OHHA rep Brett Merkle. Over 100 employees and horsemen/women donated to the cause. Quentin Herman, who accepted the large donation on behalf of St. Vincent De Paul, expressed gratitude to the Hollywood Dayton horse community. "It is our mission to provide assistance, shelter and hope to local people who need it. Providing so many warm coats at this time of year will go a long way towards helping us filfill our goal. We can't thank Hollywood Gaming and the horsemen who race there enough for their generosity and goodwill." From Hollywood Dayton Raceway        

DAYTON, OH. - Live haness racing will resume at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday, November 27th with a few changes. First, as a way to help offset the financial losses horsemen have experienced while the track has been dark due to Covid-19 concerns, purses will be raised by15% immediately. Second, for at least the first two weeks, the Friday and Saturday programs will begin at 4 pm in order to comply with the new 10 pm Ohio curfew imposed by Governor Mike DeWine. A double draw for next Friday & Saturday will be conducted on Tuesday, November 24th. The entry box will close at 10 am and condition sheets are available online. From Jason Bluhm, Director of Racing

DAYTON, OH. - Following a positive COVID-19 test emanating from racetrack operations and out of an abundance of caution, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway has suspended its live racing cards through at least Thursday, November 26, 2020.   Simulcast wagering and gaming operations remain open.     Gregg Keidel

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway is pleased to announce that it will resume live harness racing on Monday (Oct. 16) with a 1:30 p.m. post time.   Two nights of racing were cancelled over the weekend, due to a positive Covid 19 test on an employee who works in the pressbox level of the grandstand, which includes the judges stand, video production room, announcers booth and charter's area.  The affected employee was quickly isolated and is in quarantine.    All others who work on that level have either tested negative, or are awaiting results as temporary hire replacements work in their place.   Horsemen are reminded to continue to follow the Hollywood Dayton Covid Protocols: wear masks at all times, social distance, and only one person per horse admitted and only when necessary--generally four races prior to your race and two races afterwards.   Thank you for your cooperation!       Gregg Keidel

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