Day At The Track
Search Results
17 to 32 of 159

DAYTON, OH. - Rockn Stien, still in the Halloween spirit, was frighteningly good on Monday afternoon (Nov. 21) as he bested eight harness racing rivals in the $15,000 Open Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. The 4-year-old son of Valley Victor, with driver Josh Sutton in tow, got looped out of the gate by Banker Volo (Kyle Ater) and Revenue Agent (Peter Wrenn), but didn't wait long before abandoning the pylons for an outer rim route that resulted in a convincing 1:55.2 first-over score. Trainer Bobby Brower co-owns the lightly-raced winner with partner Debra Garland. Rocknstien now has eight lifetime tallies from just 40 trips to post, but has banked an impressive $136,835 in his limited opportunities. Dispatched at 4-5 odds following a pair of runnerup finishes from outside posts in his most recent outings, Rocknstien bested Revenue Agent, who held for second after setting all the fractions, and longshot Run And Tell Pap (Kayne Kauffman), who rallied well in the stretch to grab the show dough. Hollywood Dayton enjoyed a healthy handle on the 14-race matinee program due to becoming a late addition to the TVG network following weather cancellations at several other venues. The program, featuring full competitive fields and a stellar driver's colony, received a warm reception from the national audience of television handicappers. Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Rockn Stien, a homebred owned by harness racing trainer Bobby Brower and partner Debra Garland, trotted to a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1 to capture the $15,000 Open at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Monday afternoon (Oct. 17). Content to get away fifth in the early going, driver Josh Sutton pushed the accelerator before the field reached the midway point, moving up to third on the rim at the :56.4 half. By the time the third stanza was clocked in 1:24.3 Rockn Stien was stride for stride with Insomniac (Brady Galliers), who had dictated all the fractions. Revenue Agent (Peter Wrenn), who was last week's feature winner, joined the fray briefly by swinging three-wide approaching the head of the stretch, but shortly after the trio straightened out the winner demonstrated his dominance and pulled away to a relatively comfortable victory. Insomniac held for second, with Revenue Agent, Atlas Peak and Parkhill Lancelot picking up the remaining checks. Rockn Stien is a lightly raced 4-year-old Valley Victor gelding who now sports just seven wins in 36 career tries. The lion's share of the open purse increased his lifetime bounty to $122,540. Gregg Keidel

Driver Josh Sutton couldn't have picked a better night to be on fire, as the Buckeye native notched victories in four of the eight $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championships at Northfield Park. The evening was a perfect 75 degrees with light winds and no humidity as the spotlight was on harness racing 2 and 3-year-old Ohio-breds vying for seasonal honors on the Cleveland half-miler.   Proving that post on the twice-around was not an issue, Josh, 34, prevailed from not just one, but two eight-hole assignments along with one six- and one three-hole post. He ultimately captured three of the four 2-year-old Championships.   In the $250,000 Championship for 2-year-old trotting fillies, Josh was behind the 3-2 favorite Let's Get Started, a homebred owned by Richard and Joyce McClelland of Zanesville, OH. The daughter of Dejarmbro had swept all four OSS legs and added the winner's share of $125,000 to her already hefty seasonal bankroll of $90,300. Her time of 1:57 tied her own Northfield Park track record despite being saddled with the eight-hole.   She also overcame a miniscule break at the half, which was uncharacteristic for the Bobby Brower trainee, and then survived a brief steward's inquiry to notch her fifth career win.   "She was running in a little bit and when I corrected her, she got mad and threw in a few steps," Josh explained. "It really wasn't like her though, and then when I saw the three-quarter time (1:25.4), I knew those other fillies were going to come back to us. She just trucked all the way home and never offered to make another bobble."   Let's Get Started finished half a length in front of 2-1 Amuse's (Peter Wrenn), while 70-1 Bamaslastchance (Kayne Kauffman) got up for third.   Josh then steered 9-1 Rose Run Spanky from post six to a 1:57 track record-tying triumph in the $250,000 Championship for 2-year-old trotting colts. Conditioned by Bill Dailey, Rose Run Spanky is owned by Kim Dailey of Mechanicsburg; D Snyder of South Charleston; and S G Hines of Jamestown, OH. The bay gelding took advantage of a costly break by 1-9 Buckeye Boss (Aaron Merriman) early on to score his fifth victory in his tenth lifetime start. Always A Good Time (Chris Page) was second at 16-1, half a length behind the winner, while 60-1 longshot Stormy Kromer (Peter Wrenn) was third.   "When Buckeye Boss broke, I knew we were in for a big effort," Josh said. "I thought my horse had a good shot going into the race, but when that happened, I was even more confident. Nothing's ever certain with these 2-year-olds anyway--they'll make you rack your brain to figure them out."   Rose Run Spanky's earnings now stand at $187,409 with the Championship victory. Josh was in the winner's circle in the very next event, the $250,000 Championship for 2-year-old pacing colts, with another Bill Dailey trainee, the 7-1 Scotch McEwan. The son of McArdle is owned by Carl Atley of Xenia, OH and picked up his fourth lifetime victory in his seventh start, clocked in 1:54 for the one mile test.   "Early on this horse was quite aggressive but he's learned a lot over the past few months and has kind of come into his own," Josh said "Now he's much more manageable and has learned how to race. It doesn't surprise me that he could get the job done from the eight-hole."   Scotch McEwan came flying on the outside at the end of the mile to prevail over 70-1 Corner Con Artist (Kayne Kauffman) and 5-2 Pace Car (Chris Page). This young pacing gelding upped his earnings to $195,800 for his connections.   A third Dailey-trained stablemate gave Josh his fourth Championship victory. My Tweed Heart, the public's even money choice, took first prize in the 3-year-old filly pace, timed in 1:53.1. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley, Xenia, OH and Alan Keith, Pataskala, OH, the daughter of Manhardt scored her ninth win of the year and career victory 12.   "She felt great tonight," Josh remarked. "Bill (trainer Dailey) has done a tremendous job with her.   "I have no complaints about racing over the half here tonight," Josh continued. "Everything has fallen into place for me, and having a lot of outside posts hasn't made a difference. I hate losing more than I love winning and when you have a night like tonight, well, it's just a tremendous feeling."   In the $250,000 Championship for freshman pacing fillies Berazzled bested her seven rivals with a 1:55 triumph. Peter Wrenn was in the sulky behind the 2-1 Charley Barley daughter, who is conditioned by Danny Collins for Marion Beachy of Sugarcreek, OH.   "She has some issues early in the year but has gotten better with more experience," Collins explained. "Things would spook her and she'd lose her focus but now she's more mature and seems to have figured out what racing is all about."   Berazzled made a bold, three-wide move around the final turn to draw off from her rivals by 2½ lengths. Bourbon And Barley, a 40-1 longshot finished second for Ryan Stahl, while 5-1 Zoe Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished third.   Berazzled now has $181,040 in career earnings.   "Consistent is the best word to describe her," said a smiling Chris Page after steering 3-2 Consolidator to victory in the $250,000 Championship for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.1.   The daughter of Triumphant Caviar, who is trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for the Green Acquisition Corporation of Canfield, OH, picked up career win seven and made a clean sweep of the series to push her lifetime earnings to $295,303.   "She's feeling great and looks terrific," Page continued. "Jim (trainer Arledge) has kept her sharp all season long."   Consolidator led at every panel to finish three-quarters of a length in front of the hard-trying A TC Queenie (8-5, Dan Noble), while 5-2 Kestrel (Aaron Merriman) nabbed show honors.   Page returned to the Northfield winner's circle after guiding 3-1 Wegoferdaprize to win the $250,000 Championship for 3-year-old trotting colts in 1:56.2. The son of And Away We Go is trained by Jessica Millner for the Curran Racing Stable, LLC of Red Hook, NY and now has $199,025 in career earnings.   "This gelding just knows how to keep on winning," Chris stressed. "Everything has been winning tonight from off the pace and he really just took his time gaining on the leaders."   Wegofordaprize moved up steadily from the back of the pack to post a 1¾ length win over the 70-1 hard-knocking Lionbacker Kidd (Peter Wrenn), while 2-5 Kanthaka (Aaron Merriman) notched third.   Whataboy lived up to his name as he scored a 1:51.3 clocking in the $250,000 Championship for 3-year-old pacing colts at odds of 5-2.   "He's done nothing but race great for us,"said trainer Brian Brown. "The trip tonight couldn't have worked out more perfect."   Whataboy, a gelded son of Big Bad John, got up to best 8-5 Mr Wiggle Pants by a length in late stretch, with Canadia's Bakin (Aaron Merriman) third.   "There was a lot of early speed in this race (:25.3, :54.3, 1:23.2)," noted driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. "And the way horses were coming home, I knew we were in a good spot. Brian (trainer Brown) has done a great job with this horse all year long and he really stepped up to the plate tonight."   Whataboy's career earnings now stand at $261,554 for owners Carl Howard, Powell, OH; Gerrie Tucker, Quebec, CA; and RBH Ventures Inc., New York, NY.   Earlier in the evening Scott Rocks set a new Northfield Park track record by pacing in 1:49 with Aaron Merriman aboard in a $20,000 Open Handicap Pace. The 6-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover was parked out the entire mile and didn't clear to the front until well past the three-quarter mile marker.     by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator    

Scotch McEwan romped to victory in the third leg of the harness racing Ohio Sires Stakes action on August 16 for driver Josh Sutton and trainer Bill Dailey, pacing in 1:53.2, just slightly slower than the 1:52.3 track record he had set on July 28.   A total of nine $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes divisions for 2-year-old trotting and pacing colts were contested at the five-eighth's mile oval on a rainy and steamy Tuesday afternoon.   The bay gelding's 1:52.3 clocking and this latest sizzler didn't come as a surprise to breeders Brad Wallace or Kevin Greenfield, who own and operate Hickory Lane Farm in Findlay, Ohio, where the colt was born and raised.   "Rebecca Ewing, who bred Scotch McEwan is the wife of Leonard Buckner, who owns Hickory Lane in partnership with us," Kevin explained. "We're not surprised at this colt as he just doesn't seem to know how fast he is yet. In his last start he was parked out the entire mile and staved off three challenges. Josh (driver Sutton) said the colt wasn't really even paying attention at the end of the mile, either, or he might have gone faster."   Brad agreed.   "When this colt was in the yearling sale, a lot of trainers passed him up, and didn't seem to like him for whatever reason," Brad admitted. "Kevin and I were both kind of surprised because we really felt he was something special from day one."   Scotch McEwan brought a final bid of $30,000 at the 2015 Ohio Select Yearling Sale.   "We raised and raced his dam, Forever Ivy," Brad noted. "She was a gutsy, tough race mare who took a mark of 1:50.3f as a 5-year-old and earned $355,291. So we're not really surprised that this youngster would be fast as well."   Scotch McEwan is the first foal out of Forever Ivy and is from the first Ohio crop by McArdle, who stands at Hickory Lane Farm. Forever Ivy is by Stand Forever and is out of the Ruffstuff Baker broodmare She's A Ruff One p, 4, 1:53f ($137,549).   Interestingly enough, Forever Ivy is also a half-sister the 2-year-old pacing filly Lorenna's Ruffian (also by McArdle), who captured a Leg 1 Ohio Sires Stakes on July 3 at Northfield Park in 1:56.2.   Scotch McEwan now has $60,800 in his career bankroll from three wins and one third in five starts. He had captured Leg 1 of this series on July 4 at Scioto Downs in 1:55.2 by nearly five lengths, then finished third in Leg 2 at Northfield Park on July 11, timed in 1:54.1, before winning that Ohio Fair Stake at Scioto on July 28.   The 2-year-old trotting colt Buckeye Boss and the freshman pacing youngster Drunk On Your Love both continued their sweep of the series by winning their third OSS legs Tuesday at Scioto.   Buckeye Boss, a Chris Beaver trainee, romped to a 1:58.2 victory for Aaron Merriman. The son of Triumphant Caviar had prevailed in Leg 1 on July 4 at Scioto in 1:59 and on July 12 in Leg 2 at Northfield in 1:57 by nearly seven lengths. He then won an Ohio Fair Stake at Scioto on July 28 in 1:56.2. The winner of $82,750 is owned by Beaver along with Ohio-based breeder Marion Beachy and Synerco Ventures of Ontario.   Drunk On Your Love is a Foreclosure N colt who notched career win three in 1:55. Trained by Bill Dailey for Richard Lombardo, Carl & Melanie Atley and Josh Green, Drunk On Your Love won OSS Leg 1 at Scioto on July 4 in 1:54.3 and Leg 2 at Northfield on July 11 in 1:56.1. All of this youngster's triumphs have come in front-stepping fashion.   Ohio Sires Stakes return to Scioto Downs on Friday night, August 19, featuring 3-year-old filly trotters vying in Leg 4 of this series.   by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

Josh Sutton and Jeff Brewer won the dash titles for top driver and top trainer at the 2016 Miami Valley Raceway harness racing meet, which concluded Sunday (May 8). Sutton won 174 races over the 88-program meet and horses he drove earned $1,380,486. Brewer pupils captured 37 races and his stable earnings amounted to $311,255. Congratulating the pair on their successes were Race Secretary Gregg Keidel and Racing Operations Manager Helen Carlo. Gregg Keidel

Trainer Tyler George, who has had a fantastic 2016 harness racing meet at Miami Valley Raceway (winning at a 30% clip), swept both the Open I and Open II trotting features on the Sunday (May 1) afternoon matinee. Il Mago (Josh Sutton) needed the help of Southwind Pepino (Hugh Beatty Jr.), who actually finished a neck ahead in the $20,000 Open I but who made an unfortunate break just a step from the line, necessitating a judge's official placement to second. Cimeronken (Kyle Ater) was just a length and a half behind in third. Despite being assigned the outermost post position in the $15,000 Open II, Flight Of The Kiwi was able to wear down his competition to score a 1:55.2 triumph. The altered son of Ken Warkentin never saw the pylons, yet driver Josh Sutton swung the winner three-wide around the final turn and beat Third Pat (Ed Greeno Jr.) and Boytown (Peter Wrenn) to the wire. It was the first win of the season for Flight Of The Kiwi in his fourth start. CC Racing LLC of Illinois owns both Il Mago and Flight Of The Kiwi, who are both 7-year-olds. Miami Valley enters its final week of racing for the year with matinees on Monday and Tuesday, followed by stakes-laden programs on Friday and Saturday night plus Sunday afternoon. The Friday and Saturday evening cards will feature multiple $40,000 divisions of opening leg Ohio Sires Stakes action for sophomore pacers and trotters; while the Closing Day Sunday matinee will feature a pair of $100,000 Grand Circuit stakes for the best older pacing and trotting mares in North America. Gregg Keidel

Our Dragon King (Josh Sutton) lowered his own one week old harness racing all-age track record on Saturday (April 23) at Miami Valley Raceway, speeding to a 1:49.3 triumph. Sutton, celebrating his 34th birthday, settled the track record holder in third through a quick :26.1 opening panel, then moved the 6-year-old son of Dragon Again to the front prior to the :54.1 halfway station. The even money favorite tacked on a back half in :55.2 to complete the fastest mile ever at Miami Valley. A pair of other recent open class winners, Fancy Creek Elusiv (Chris Page) and Astreo's Love (Peter Wrenn) gave chase, but ended up almost two lengths behind at the wire. With the record-setting win in the $20,000 Craig Colston Memorial Open I Pace, Our Dragon King now has six wins in 13 2016 tries. The half-million dollar winner, owned by Majs NY, Inc., has a lifetime record of 149.1 taken at Balmoral Park as a 4-year-old. Ohio-sired 3-year-old colts and geldings went postward in a pair of $10,000 elimination heats for the $35,000 James K. Hackett Memorial pace to be staged next Saturday (April 30). The first split was captured by Winna Winna (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:53.3, upsetting other championship qualifiers Crosswinds Dodger (Chris Page), World Of Gaming (Dan Noble) and Myell's Rockstar (Jeremy Smith). The altered son of Feelin Friskie, trained by Bill Dailey, returned $25.60 for a $2 win ticket. The Kauffman-Dailey combination prevailed in the second division as well, when Gotmoneyinmypocket came within two-fifths of a second of the divisional track record with a 1:52.2 triumph. Also a son of Feelin Friskie, Gotmoneyinmypocket topped Whataboy (Chris Page), Friskie Cruiser (Ryan Stahl), Au Naturel (Josh Sutton) and Docdor Friskie (Peter Wrenn), who qualified for the final as the fastest fifth-place finisher (clocked in 1:53.2). Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Our Dragon King broke the all-age, all-time track record at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night (April 16), scorching the five-eighths mile oval in 1:49.4-the first sub-1:50 mile in the track's three years of existence. Leading driver Josh Sutton very rarely chooses off a Virgil Morgan Jr.-trainee, but he must have known something about the current form of Our Dragon King as he opted to drive trainer Tyler George's outstanding 6-year-old in a $15,000 undercard conditioned event. Following a first-quarter tussle with Schoolkids (Brady Galliers), Our Dragon King cleared to the front just past the quarter mile station in :26.1. From there he stopped half and three-quarters teletimers in :54.1 and 1:21.2 before urging the new track record holder through a :28.2 closing split with a commanding six length lead. Freedomformysoul (Dan Noble) took full advantage of a break by favored K Ryan Bluechip and captured the $25,000 championship final of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night (April 16) in 1:52.1. Noble left aggressively with the 4-year-old son of If I Can Dream, dropped into the two-hole temporarily, then pointed his charge to the front of the field. Valiente Stride (driven by Tom Tharps' son Randy) got a pocket ride throughout from the rail and finished just three-quarters of a length short at the wire. SOS Justified (Kayne Kauffman) also raced gamely and grabbed the show spot. Rocco Ruffolo owns Freedomformysoul, who won for the seventh time and upped his earnings to $118,530. He is conditioned by Jim Ellison. Earlier on the card Rockin Ron (Chris Page) swept to his ninth consecutive victory and second straight at Miami Valley capturing the $20,000 Open Pace in 1:50.2. From the Miami Valley Media Department

LEBANON, OH. - Driver Chris Page equaled the harness racing record for victories on a single card Friday night (April 15) at Miami Valley Raceway by capturing seven of the first eleven races on the 14-race program. The 32-year-old Mt. Vernon, Ohio native now shares the mark with Josh Sutton, who managed the same feat on Saturday night, April 2, less than two weeks ago. Page guided odds-on favorite Safe From Terror to a 1:52.2 score over American Girl (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Addys Way (Dan Noble) in the $20,000 Mares Open Pace, her fourth win in seven tries against the best distaffers at the meet. The 4-year-old Western Terror daughter is being pointed towards the $100,000 (est.) Chip Noble Memorial Grand Circuit race scheduled for closing day, May 8, at Miami Valley. The 17 time winner, owned by Winchester Baye Acres and trained by Jim Arledge Jr, now boasts lifetime earnings of $541,262. Page's other triumphs came behind Made Of Jewels AS (1:54.4, $3.80), Duel Of Truth (1:54.1, $2.80), Ginger Spice N (1:52.4, $13.00), Edita Hanover (1:54.4, $38.20), Canttakeitwithyou (1:54.1, $21.40) and Miss Princess Leah (1:54.3, $4.00). When asked if he was having fun near the end of the night, Chris smiled and quietly said "Oh Yeah!" A fellow driver nearby was overheard chuckling "Oh yeah, he's a real ladies man!," a good-natured reference to the fact that six of Page's seven triumphs were with female pacers on his record-equaling night. The championship leg of the Dr. Don Mossbarger Memorial Series was also contested with Ginger Tree Alexis (Sutton) winning the $25,000 race in dominating fashion over Townlinedaliscard (Kayne Kauffman) and Swinging Cami (Jeremy Smith). Owner Howard Taylor sent the 4-year-old Dragon Again mare to trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. specifically for this series, which was limited to distaffers who had won less than six pari-mutuel races or $50,000 lifetime as of the series' start. From the Miami Valley Media Department

LEBANON, OH. - Penn did it again! For the fifth time in seven attempts, the 6-year-old son of Master Glide captured the $20,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (April 10). The Bobby Brower-trainee was put through a demanding first quarter (:27) by driver Josh Sutton, but got a second quarter breather (:31.1 ), reaching the half in :58.1. With the field double-tiering front to back in the second half, Penn coasted to the 1:26 third quarter and then fought gamely in the final panel to hold off Tinder (Tyler Smith) by a length in 1:55.3. Southwind Pepino (Sandy Beatty) rallied for third in his seasonal debut. Barkley Counts owns the winner who now sports 33 wins in 70 career starts and a growing bankroll that is up to $264,994. A trio of first leg divisions of the Robert J. (Skeeter) Brown Memorial trotting series for non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $15,000 were also contested. Phat Stacks was the upset winner of the first split for owner-trainer-driver Tim Roach. The sophomore son of Lockkeeper topped The Next Triumph (Jeremy Smith) and Rompaway Hustler (Roy Wilson) in 1:59.2, returning $34.20 for a $2 win wager. Chip Or Don bested Master Class (Chris Page) and Judana (Jeremy Smith) in 2:01 in the middle division for owner-trainer-driver Tye Loy. The 3-year-old Chip Chip Hooray colt returned $11.40 to his backers. The final heat was won by Fantasy League (Kyle Ater) over Crowned With Glory (Ed Greeno Jr.) and Improper Elegance (Dan Noble) in a 1:59.2 mile. Mike Sowers owns and trains the winner, who paid $5.80. Miami Valley's Lucky Pick 5, covering races 8 through 12, went unsolved resulting in a $1408.97 carryover into the pool for the 50-cent wager when racing resumes on Monday (April 11) afternoon with a 2:05 post time. From the Miami Valley Media Department

Honey B, one of three mares who made it to the championship final of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial trotting series at Miami Valley, pulled a mild upset in the $20,000 harness racing event. With the series victory, Josh Sutton became the first Miami Valley driver to surpass the $1 million mark in purse earnings during the 2016 meet, with 64 of the scheduled 88 dates completed. Following two preliminary legs when the 4-year-old Victory Sam mare tried to go gate to wire, only to get collared in the final strides and finish second, driver Kyle Ater chose to accept a pocket ride in the final despite drawing the coveted rail post position. When the 3-year-old Chips So Fast (Chris Page) left alertly from an outside post position, Ater made the decision to sit chilly in the two-hole and try to turn the tables on the colt that beat her from the pocket last week. 'Plan B' worked to perfection when Chips So Fast tired just enough to cause him to drift slightly in the lane allowing Honey B to shoot through on the inside and defeat him by just a 'head' at the finish. Hooray For Willie (Ken Holliday) was just one length behind to garner the show dough. Honey B, who has banked over $150,000, largely on the strength of a half dozen Ohio juvenile stakes victories, is owned by Jim Burnett and Tim Homan and is trained by Kyle's father Dan Ater, who was recently inducted into the Ohio. A pair of second leg divisions of the George "Red" Owens Memorial pacing series for non-winners of two races or $15,000 lifetime fillies and mares were also contested on the Monday matinee. Prohibitive favorite Asadvertised did not disappoint capturing the first split by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:56.4, returning $2.20 to win. Jeremy Smith guided the Real Desire filly for owner Brenda Pfeifer and trainer Dustin Pfeifer. Alwayssmoothraigin (Randy Crisler) was next best and qualified for the $15,000 final next week with a second place finish, while Aunt Babe (Hunter Myers) also advanced by grabbing the show spot. Awesum World parlayed a first-up on the outside trip into a 1:56 triumph for leading driver Josh Sutton, topping ER Lila (Jeremy Smith) and Southern Bess (Ron Taubert). Greg Henderson conditions the 4-year-old daughter of World Of Rocknroll for the Illinois partnership of David Falzone, Christopher Mroz and Steven Searle. Gregg Keidel

Fancy Creek Elusiv crept closer to the $500,000 earnings plateau for a harness racing pacer on Saturday night (April 2) at blustery Miami Valley Raceway by capturing the $20,000 Gerald Justice Memorial Open Pace. The six-year-old Sportsmaster gelding is now on a three-week win streak, including two straight Opens, and has banked $492,137 on the strength of 24 victories in 102 trips to post. Driver Josh Sutton was in the sulky for trainer Billy Farmer and owner Todd Rosenberg on a night when wind gusts were reaching 40 to 60 miles per hour and temperatures were falling fast. Although Miami Valley's leading dashman had won four of the first five races on the program, all in come-from-behind style, Sutton chose to gun Fancy Creek Elusiv right to the front in the featured sixth race, sticking a nose in front of Bettor Than You (Derek Watiker), who held firm for a close second place finish, at the :27.3 initial quarter-mile clocking. The winner was never headed through subsequent fractions of :56 and 1:25, but Bettor Than You did rally to make it close at the 1:54 finish. Can He Go (Peter Wrenn) skimmed the pylons to secure a show finish. A pair of first leg $12,500 divisions of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series were also contested to open the program. Sutton swept both halves of the daily double with winners Keystone Memphis and K Ryan Bluechip. Keystone Memphis topped Arti Gras (Kyle Ater) and Ardie B Speed (Chris Page) for Hinchcliff Racing and trainer Kris Hinchcliff. K Ryan Bluechip bettered Prince Bayard (Jason Brewer) and SOS Justified (Kayne Kauffman) for owners Carl Howard, Bruce and Trish Soulsby and Alan Weisenberg. The four-year-old Art Major gelding was making his first 2016 start for conditioner Virgil Morgan Jr. Josh Sutton strengthened his stranglehold on the dash derby lead with a total of seven victories on the night. In addition to Keystone Memphis (1:55.3, $34.80), K Ryan Bluechip (1:58.2, $4.40) and Fancy Creek Elusiv (1:54, $7.00), he also scored with Rockin Finish (1:56.2, $7.60), Hasty Western (1:57.1, $4.60), Come And Get 'Em (1:54.2, $6.80), and Our Dragon King (1:53.1, $2.40). Dan Noble notched a natural hat trick when he guided three straight winners in races 8 through 10. His trips to the winner's circle came behind Stonebridge Cowboy (1:55.3, $7.20), Finnish First (1:56.2, $19.80) and Real Winner (1:54.4, $16.40). Jeremy Smith matched Noble's hat trick with three of his own wins. He scored with Doctor Carter, Saulsbrook Astrobo and Go Both Ways in the finale. Gregg Keidel

Martz Time bounced back from his first off-the-board finish of 2016 last week to win the harness racing $20,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday (March 20) in convincing fashion. Driver John DeLong allowed polesitter Revenue Agent and fellow 'leaver' Cimeron Ken to battle through a :28 opening quarter before pressing quickly to the front before the :55.4 halfway station. Although Tag Up And Go (Jeff Nisonger) applied mild pressure during the payoff half-mile, Martz Time looked in complete command to hold off the challenger by a half-length in 1:54.4. Favored Il Mago (Trace Tetrick) got the show dough, but never mounted a serious threat during the mile. John McGill and Brian Carsey own Martz Time, a seven-year-old son of Primetime Ranger, who now boasts 30 career wins and has earned $366,981-ten percent of which has been banked at Miami Valley in just seven seasonal starts. Walter Haynes Jr. conditions the winner. Leading driver Josh Sutton, the first local reinsman to reach 100 wins this season and the first to crack the $800,000 purse earnings plateau, had another stellar afternoon with five victories during the 53rd card of the meet. Sutton started the day with a natural hat trick in the first three races. The red, white and blue clad driver scored consecutively with Debi's Sign (1:57, $4.00 to win), trotter Held in Balance (1:58.3, $3.40), and Doc's Zippy (1:56, $7.20). Later in the card Josh returned to the winners circle with Mustabeenadreamer (1:56.3, $8.00) and Kathy's Kitchen (1:54.3, $17.40). Sutton currently ranks seventh in North America with 108 wins on the strength of averaging over two wins per program at Miami Valley. Gregg Keidel    

A long awaited stretch showdown between the two most dominant harness racing trotters at the current Miami Valley Raceway meet finally took place in the $20,000 Open Trot on Sunday (March 13). Actually Penn and Il Mago were pitted against each other (and seven other classy squaregaiters) two weeks ago, but a suicidal :26.3 first quarter speed duel between the two ended the anticipation early as Blackwolf Run, Martz Time and Dancing Dynamite swept past the tiring favorites around the final bend to complete an unlikely trifecta. Il Mago returned last Sunday and used a successful come-from-behind strategy to top Martz Time and Tag Up And Go in 1:55. Penn's ill-fated parked-the-mile trip the final weekend in February, which snapped a five race open company win streak, prompted trainer Bobby Brower to give his stable star a week of rest before tangling with the area's top trotters again. Starting from post positions seven and eight over a sloppy track, Il Mago (Trace Tetrick) and Penn (Josh Sutton) again left the gate fearlessly in search of the front end or a forwardly-placed seat along the pylons. With Martz Time (John DeLong) intent on good early position as well, and the others keeping all the holes behind him filled, it looked briefly like a replay of their last encounter with the two titans parked out, but advancing, around the first entire bend. Just past the :27.3 first quarter clocking, though, Penn was able to clear to the front with Il Mago moving alongside him. As the pair approached the :57 halfway station Sutton made the difficult decision to allow Tetrick to cross over to the pylons down the backstretch of the five-eighths mile oval. The move turned out to be the winning one as Penn regained his bravado in the pocket and eventually wore a game Il Mago down in a classic stretch duel. Cimeronken (Kyle Ater) also joined the fray and finished a close-up third, just a nose better than Martz Time who held strong for fourth. Tag Up And Go (Don Irvine Jr.) recovered from an early break in stride to pick up fifth money. Barkley Counts is the proud owner of Penn, a six-year-old Master Glide gelding, who surpassed $250,000 in career earnings with his 32nd win. A pair of top conditioned trots, for $12,000 purses, were also contested on Sunday with Revenue Agent (Andy Shetler) topping Sam's Princess (LeWayne Miller) and Team Zordin (Chris Page) to win the first division in 1:55.1. Dancing Dynamite (LeWayne Miller) eeked out a neck victory in the second split over Rehab Mountain (Chris Page) in 1:56.3, with Celebrity Hercules (Josh Sutton) garnering the show dough. Gregg Keidel

Ice Scraper, whose 1:50.1 triumph on April 4, 2015 still stands as the second fastest mile in Miami Valley Raceway history, notched his first local victory of the 2016 harness racing season when he scorched the five-eighths mile oval in 1:51 to capture the Saturday (February 27) $20,000 Open Pace. Leading driver Josh Sutton, who is averaging better than two wins per night through the first 35 programs of the current meet, sent the seven-year-old Yankee Skyscraper gelding directly to the front of the class when starter Mike Woebkenberg's starting car wings opened, pressing through fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:21.4 before holding sway over My Buddy Ninkster (Kayne Kauffman) and My Temudjin N (Chris Page), both of whom were lapped on to the winner at the wire. Michael Brown trains Ice Scraper for owner James Behrendt, whose star pupil now boasts 32 career victories and over $400,000 in earnings. Ice Scraper backers got a $12 return for each $2 wagered. A $15,000 Open II Pace was captured by longshot Lookinforadventure (Kayne Kauffman) with a strong stretch drive at the end of the 1:51.3 mile. Carl Atley's eight-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding collared runnerup Milliron Pete (Randy Tharps) in the final strides, while Thisjetsabookin (Sutton) picked up the show dough. In addition to producing a $27.20 win mutuel, Lookinforadventure topped a $2 exacta worth $253.40. He is trained by Danny Dubeansky. Major Blue Coat (Sutton) and Stonebridge Adam (Page) each copped a division of first leg late-closer action for horses and geldings who were non-winners of $1200 per start in 2015-16. It was the third win in four local starts for Major Blue Coat, who bested Rocknroll Reality (Jeremy Smith) and No Excuses Please (Page) in 1:52.4. A Piece Of The Action LLC owns the six-year-old son of Art Major who is conditioned in Ohio by Jeff Nisonger. It was also the third win in four starts for Stonebridge Adam, but the first at Miami Valley. Also a six-year-old, the son of Stonebridge Regal defeated E R Rudy (LeWayne Miller) and Manhattan Benny (John DeLong) for the Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Kris Hinchcliff conditions the small segment of the powerful Ron Burke brigade currently racing in southwest Ohio. Racing resumes at Miami Valley on Sunday afternoon with a 2:05 p.m. matinee. Highlight of the program should be the much anticipated showdown between top trotters Penn and Il Mago and seven other contenders in the $20,000 Open, carded as the sixth race. Gregg Keidel

Penn put forth another monster effort in Miami Valley's $20,000 Open Trot on Sunday afternoon (February 21), notching his fifth straight harness racing triumph in southwest Ohio over the last ten weeks. Trainer Bobby Brower is racing the six-year-old gelded son of Master Glide sparingly in an effort to keep him sharp through a long 2016 campaign he has charted out for him. To date the plan is working to perfection. Despite a four-week respite prior to his latest victory, Penn was fired out from behind his assigned outside post position behind the gate by leading driver Josh Sutton. Despite being three-wide much of the first quarter, Penn collared Blackwolf Run (Randy Tharps), who had left alertly, as the quarter was reached in :27.3 and crossed over to the front just steps thereafter. Sutton was then able to 'steal' a relatively pedestrian :58.2 middle half before sealing the deal with a :28.4 closing panel for the 1:54.4 victory. The even-money favorite did get quite a scare from the only mare in the field, longshot Dancing Dynamite (LeWayne Miller), who made a valiant stretch bid that fell just a head short. Martz Time (John DeLong), who was last week's feature race winner, rallied for the show spot ahead of Cimeronken (Kyle Ater) and Blackwolf Run (Randy Tharps), who picked up the minor spoils in the full field of ten. Penn returned $4.00 to his faithful with a $2 win ticket; the $2 exacta returned a healthy $58.00; and correct $2 trifecta tickets paid a handsome $300.80. Barkley Counts of Tennessee owns Penn, who now boasts 31 career triumphs and $241,294 in earnings. Gregg Keidel

17 to 32 of 159