Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 16

Hightstown, NJ — Eddie Miller was around 17 years old the first time he went to a harness racing track, visiting Ohio’s Northfield Park, about an hour from where he grew up in Navarre. Some five years later, he started winning races there. The 23-year-old Miller has been training a small stable of horses for himself in addition to a stable for driver Kurt Sugg. He got his first win in January 2020 at Northfield, with Sugg driving pacer Vegas Highroller, and has added nearly 100 more victories since then. “The first time I went to the races, I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Miller said. “I got hooked on it. “Getting that first win down as trainer, that’s probably my biggest thrill so far. But we’ve had some good horses and I think I had a good year (in 2020) for somebody’s first year. Hopefully, it keeps only getting better.” Miller won 73 of 382 races last year and $547,726 in purses. This season, he has 21 victories in 96 starts and $104,992. He also has won three races lifetime as an amateur driver at Northfield and picked up four other triumphs at the fairs. “He’s a very hard worker,” said Sugg, who brought Miller on board in 2019. “He works all day long and he loves the horses. He’s really driven to succeed in the business. He’s not there just putting his time in. He does everything he possibly can to make the horses as good as they can be.” Sugg, who has 4,702 wins as a driver and 1,067 as a trainer, first got to know Miller when he was working for trainer Herman Hagerman. After Miller left to take a job in construction, Sugg talked him into coming to work with him. “It’s been a real good fit,” Sugg said. “I’m not getting any younger, I’m 51 years old, and I was trying to get him set up where he’s able to take over. He’s a good kid and willing to learn. I guess I see me in him, like when I was that age.” Among last year’s highlights for the Sugg-Miller duo was two wins in preliminary divisions of the Ohio Sire Stakes with 3-year-old male trotter Yanks Dugout, who also finished third in the Ohio State Fair championship and a division of the Ohio Breeders Championship. In addition, Mystical Virgin made $71,124 last year and competed multiple times in the fillies-and-mares Open at Northfield, finishing second on six occasions. The pacing mare was the first horse Miller ever claimed, for $10,000 in August 2019. “She’s been wonderful. He’s got a good eye for a horse,” Sugg said. “I guess I got lucky,” Miller said. “I’ve claimed some others that have been all right, but she’s been really good for us.” Miller, who at the moment has six horses on his own to go with Sugg’s 15, is hoping for more good times ahead. “There are good and bad days like everything else, but I just love it,” Miller said. “The horses are amazing animals and it’s good working with Kurt. He’s taught me a lot, and I’m still learning. We’re a really good team. We try to help each other out as best we can. If something needs to be done, we just chip in and do it. “It’s been going good for me. Thanks to Kurt and all, everybody who tries to help.” by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Robin Banks scored in the $18,000 Autumn Leaves Series Final on Wednesday (November 18) at MGM Northfield Park. Brad Ater of Williamsport, Ohio owns the sophomore filly trotter. Kurt Sugg was aboard for the winning drive for trainer Edward Miller. Robin Banks (Break The Bank K-Arelia-Donato Hanover) started from post-6. Sugg fired her off the gate and she led her competition through fractions of :28.3, :58.2, 1:27.1 and 1:56.1. There was never really an anxious moment for the winner, who bested her competition by a 1 1/4 lengths.   Completing the race were Tootie (Jason Thompson), Electric Ridge (Aaron Merriman), Evanna, Jkchrome, Evita, Luvcrunchess, Pete's Sake and Flaming Andie. Robin Banks now has five wins in 18 starts this year. Wednesday's victory represents her seventh career score and bolstered her bankroll to $95,889. She was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for MGM Northfield Park  

Joggingtothebank rolled home to become the fastest 5-and-up gelded harness racing trotter in the history of MGM Northfield Park on Saturday (August 8) in the evening's third race. Joggingtothebank (Break The Bank K) - Jogging Home - Tom Ridge) fired off the gate from post four to lead his competition through quarter times of :27.1, :56.4, 1:24.1 and 1:52.4, winning by 4-1/2 lengths.   The previous 1:53 record was held by Outburst and Dan Charlino, set in 2018. Joggingtothebank now has three straight victories for trainer Marty Wollam, who owns the trotter with partners Julie Sweet and Dale Sweet. Kurt Sugg was aboard for the winning drive. The victory brings Joggingtothebank's career win tally to 15, and Saturday's victory increased his lifetime earnings to $178,000. Joggingtothebank returned $10.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for MGM Northfield Park  

When Kurt Sugg looks back on his childhood, some of his fondest early memories of harness racing involved climbing into the family's Ford Ranchero and accompanying his father, Ivan, on trips to the county fairs in Ohio. Sometimes, they would stop on the way to pick up driver Jeff Fout, then continue on their journey to the races. One horse in particular at that time, a pacer named On Bret, was the center of Kurt's attention. The reason was simple. On Bret found his way to the winner's circle on a regular basis. The colt won 13 of 19 starts as a 2-year-old in 1978, just as the then 9-year-old Kurt was becoming immersed in the sport. "I remember going to the fairs and (On Bret) would win all the time; at least it seemed that way when I was there," Kurt said, adding with a laugh, "I guess I got to thinking it was pretty easy back at that time. Being a kid, you don't realize it's not as easy as it appears. But from a child's eyes, that's the way it appeared to me." Kurt jogged his first horse that same year. "My toes just barely could touch the stirrups and my butt was just on the edge of the seat," he said. "This is kind of all I ever really wanted to do. After school, we were always down at the barn helping dad when we got old enough to clean stalls and harness horses and things like that. That's kind of where it started. "And I always liked the competitiveness. That really got me into it. I like being competitive." Eight years after On Bret's rookie season, Kurt won his first race as a driver. In the ensuing 34 years, he has added 4,319 more, plus 1,067 as a trainer. Not surprisingly, he has cited his father as the biggest influence on his career. Ivan was the 2003 Trainer of the Year after guiding No Pan Intended to the Pacing Triple Crown and was inducted into the Ohio Hall of Fame in 2006. "I didn't work for my dad back then (when No Pan Intended raced) so it was kind of different, but I was happy to see my dad have that success in the business, which I think he deserved," Kurt said. "He did this his whole life. "When I was a kid, we went to the horse sales and dad would buy some yearlings, but they were always on the cheaper side, and he developed them into good stakes horses. When he got some little better horses, he proved what he could do with his training ability. That was a thrill for me to watch." Last year as a driver, Kurt won 361 races, the second-highest total of his career and not far from the 375 victories he posted in 2016. His $2.78 million in purses in 2019, though, were a lifetime best. He was off to a strong start this season, with his 96 triumphs tied for seventh among all drivers in North America, before racing was halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was second in the driver standings at Northfield Park, trailing only five-time national dash champ Aaron Merriman. "This was by far the best start to a year I've ever had," Kurt said. "Everything was going along very nicely for me. I'm anxious to get back to racing, but I understand we need to do what we need to do to protect ourselves and the whole nation as far as this goes. "We have a big farm here, so we can get out and move around. But, still, not being able to go and do anything is really tough." Kurt has 10 horses at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster and another five horses at home. "We can sit in the living room and look out the window and see the horses in the field, so we really enjoy that a lot," he said. Although the sport faces an uncertain time, Kurt said people in the industry will work together to come through it. "We're pretty competitive on the track but when it comes down to somebody needing something and the welfare of the horses, people are going to band together to help them out," Kurt said. "That's good to see." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 8, 2019 -- Trailing by 9 lengths after a quarter, Ohio invader Sea Shadows launched a relentless uncovered move that carried her to her fifth straight harness racing victory in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Her previous wins in the streak came at Scioto Downs and Northfield Park, but Sea Shadows had no trouble with her new environment. Once Kurt Sugg got her in gear, the 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Cameron D Art collared Touchamatic in deep stretch and downed her by 1/2 length in 1:50.1. McDazzle rallied for show. Jessica Roegner trains Sea Shadows for Paul O'Neil and Patricia O'Neil. In Tuesday's co-feature, the $18,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot, Barn Girl zipped to the front from post 5 and held off the Lightning Lane charge of Donatover by 1/2 length to capture her 10th win this year. You're Majestic completed the ticket. Aaron Merriman piloted the 7-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie for trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury. Barn Girl extended her lifetime bankroll to $843,328. Tony Hall collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association offered $12,500 in scholarships divided among five individuals this year Brook Sugg of Deshler, Ohio was a recipient of a $2,500 scholarship. She is the daughter of John Duke and Lisa Sugg. She is a 2019 graduate of Patrick Henry High School and is enrolled at Bowling Green State University where she is majoring in Graphic Design. While in high school she ran track and cross country. Sugg is also a fourth-generation horseman. Her great grandfather, Ralph Sugg, was active in the industry for twenty-six years. When he passed in 1960, her grandfather, Ivan Sugg, took over his business. "My grandfather has accomplished many great things in the harness racing business including developing one of the greatest mares of all time Glad Rags and training a Triple Crown Winner No Pan Intended," Sugg shared. Her father Duke now takes care of the horses and farm since Ivan's retirement. Her uncle, Kurt Sugg is also an active horseman. Sugg is also involved in harness racing. During the summers she helps her father jog and train the horses. She also grooms for him. They travel to many fairs and pari-mutuel tracks. She was also a co-owner of Shoe Shopper, that they raced two years ago. "My father has taught me many rewarding things related to the horses and I have become a more responsible and hardworking person from it, shared Sugg. "I will be forever grateful for our family business." She plans to continue helping her father race their horses. She would like to become more involved in the industry and someday she would like to drive. She shares the best part about working with the horses is being able to work with her father. "I love going to the fairs and racetracks with him. It makes up both happy." By Regina Mayhugh, for the OHHA

Painesville, OH - Racing action wrapped up Wednesday for the 2019 Lake County Fair and the highlight was two divisions of the Jerome T. Osborne Memorial Signature Series pace. With the split, each heat carried a $2,000 purse. In the first division, Steve Schoeffel steered Cronos to victory for trainer Dan Walski and Walski Stables Llc. The six-year-old Art Colony stallion moved second-over at the five-eightss pole and made good use of the cover to iwn in 1:59.2. American Schnapps was second and Trillionaire finished third. The win pushed Cronos' career earnings over the $100,000 mark. The second split went Midnight Shark and Kurt Sugg. The pair led at every call to post a 1:58 win, finishing one length better than Royaltyhasarrived. Oneisalonelynumber finished third. Sugg trains the six-year-old Shadyshark Hanover gelding for Ashley Dunn of Polk, Ohio. Tye Loy took the richest race on the card, the $12,900 two-year-old colt trot, with Ataboy Star, a Dontyouforgetit gelding he owns and trains, The 2:05.4 tally was his second in four career starts as he bested Momm's My Dad and Be A Believer. by Keith Gisser, for the Ohio Harness Horseman's Association

Painesville, OH- Harness racing action kicked off at the Lake County Fair in Painesville, Ohio Tuesday with nine races, five of which were won by driver Kurt Sugg. His wins included the $3,500 Forest "Pappy" Cone Memorial, a Signature Series Trot, and the richest event of the day, the $10,100 three-year-old filly trot. Earlier this month, Sugg went over the 4,000 career win mark. In the Cone Memorial, Sugg steered his trainee Star Chip, owned by Rebecca Sugg, to an easy 2:02 win, her eighth of the year. The eight-year-old gelded son of Chip Chip Hooray- Star Sneakers has now banked just under $340,000 in his career. It was his second Signature Series win of the year. Riverdancing Diva was second and Rockinthepines finished third. In the sophomore filly trot, trainer Marty Wollam called on Sugg to drive Ladycallstheshots, a daughter of Uncle Peter from the SJ's Caviar mare Caviar For The Lady. She cruised to a 2:04.2 win, her first this year. She is owned and was bred by Acadia Farms of Canfield, Ohio. D J Miracle finished second, with And Up We Go taking home show money. Sugg also easily took the opener for two-year-old pacing fillies with Pat Holden's Miss Tressa, who was an impressive 2:01.3 winner for trainer Wollam. He also won the second division of the freshman filly pace, this time piloting Don Hoovler, Jeery Sommers and Mike Medors' Yankee Cruiser filly Medoland Carmen to a 2:04.3 win. To wrap things up, in the nightcap, Sugg won the maiden trot in 2:07with two-year-old trotting gelding K J Chuck. Scott Woogen owns the winner who is trained by Steve Cross.   Keith Gisser for the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association

The Mahoning County Fair hosted the Canfield Trotting and Pacing Derbies Friday morning and Kurt Sugg piloted the winners of both heats. In fact, Sugg won three of his four drives on the card, with a second, place finish in his other drive, for a UDRS of .889 on the day. The day started with the $4,250 Canfield Trotting Derby, which saw Star Chip, a seven-year-old Chip Chip Hooray gelding, lead at every call while posting a 1:59.3 win, his sixth of the season. Star Chip is an all-Sugg project, as Kurt also trains for owner Rebecca Sugg. Thanks For Plain was second, six and three-quarters lengths back, and Annie's Rocketman finished third, losing the place photo. The five horses in the $4,250 Canfield Pacing Derby had amassed an impressive $1.24 million in career earnings heading into the race and once again Sugg went to the lead and dared the field to catch him. He drove the Herman Hagerman owned and trained Roll'em Up to a 157.3 victory, after reaching the half in a leisurely 59.2. The 10-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding defeated Blue Spanx by two lengths, while Don't Tell Rusty was three-quarters of a length further back in third. Racing continues at Canfield Saturday with an eight race card starting at 11 AM and concludes on Monday with a noon post. Those ten races will be followed by mule races and draft horse races. by Keith Gisser, for the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association      

Count On Cody crossed the finish line as the fastest sophomore trotting colt ever at Northfield Park when he won the $6,200 Summit County Fair Stakes in 1:55.2 on Saturday (July 28). The former 1:55.3 three year-old trotting record was held by Buckeye Boss (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) from 2017. Acadia Farms of Canfield, Ohio and G&B Racing of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania own Count On Cody. Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Famer Marty Wollam is his conditioner and Kurt Sugg was in the sulky for the winning drive. Count On Cody (Full Count-Caviar Forthe Lady-S J's Caviar) started from post five. He left from the gate sat the pocket through :27.2 and :57 opening fractions. Just past the half Count On Cody came to the outside, took the lead and never looked back. He rolled through final fractions of 1:26.1 and 1:55.2, besting his competition by 1 ¼-lengths. Count On Cody now has two wins in three starts this year. Saturday's victory represents his fourth career score and bolstered his bankroll to $136,570. He was heavily favored and returned $5.80 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Harness racing longshot players were celebrating after the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's seventh race on Tuesday (January 10) when #6 Son Ofa Spur swooped from the back to win at odds of 49-1. Colt N Filly Stable of Medina, Ohio owns the 12 year-old trotter. Kurt Sugg trains Son Ofa Spur and was aboard for the winning drive. Tuesday's triumph was Son Ofa Spur's first win this year in two starts and represents his 40th lifetime score. Son Ofa Spur was followed across the wire by #1 Bad Cantab (9-5), #2 Wind Surfer (1-1) and #5 Naughty Not Nice (7-1). Son Ofa Spur returned $100.40 to win; the 6-1 Exacta paid $411.60; the 6-1-2 Trifecta returned $1,784.00; and the 6-1-2-5 20¢ Superfecta paid $407.70. Ayers Ratlif

Dunkster never wanted to be caught. Not in his stall, not in a field, not on the racetrack. It was on the racetrack that this trait proved most valuable. Dunkster won 89 lifetime races - which puts him in a tie for eighth place among all trotters in North American harness racing history - and earned $894,320 in a career that spanned from 2001 through 2011. On Jan. 21, Dunkster will be inducted into Ohio's Standardbred Hall of Fame at the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association banquet at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbus (Worthington). "He knew what winning was," said Kurt Sugg, who trained and drove Dunkster in the majority of the horse's 287 races, "and he liked to do it." Dunkster's most lucrative victory came in the 2006 Dygert Memorial at Hawthorne Race Course for a purse of $105,000. Sugg and Dunkster made a three-wide move at the three-quarter pole and then held off hard-charging Dink Adoo in a stretch battle to win by a head in 1:54. "Ryan Anderson was driving Dink Adoo and they were coming at (Dunkster) so fast it looked like they were going to go right by," Sugg said. "When that horse got up to Dunkster's withers, he wore an open bridle, he turned his head and he fought that horse off. Hawthorne is a very long stretch and he fought him off the whole way. He never got any closer than that. He just had a willingness to win." Sugg never expected Dunkster to enjoy such a successful and lengthy career. Dean Davis, who passed away at the age of 82 in September, bought five-month-old Dunkster and his mom, Rosemary T, for $5,000 at a sale in Ohio in 1999. When Sugg went to pick up Dunkster as a yearling at Spring Run Farm, he had a good deal of difficulty catching the young horse. It was the start of a trend that continued throughout Dunkster's career. "There were quite a few times the night before his race I'd have about 10 people out in the pasture field trying to catch him so he could go race the next day," Sugg said. "I think he enjoyed the pasture life. Even though he was a very good racehorse, he liked to be outside with the rest of the horses. He got plenty of extra exercise out there running from me. He never did train very often. When he was racing, he would go on the (exerciser) in the morning and then be in the field the rest of the day." At ages 2 and 3, Dunkster often went off stride because he hit his knees. Sugg tried knee boots, then knee spreaders, only to discover by chance that the trotter preferred to go without either. "I think I had him over-equipped for 2-1/2 years of his life," Sugg said, laughing. "As a 4-year-old I was racing him at Northfield. I was by myself, taking care of him and racing him. I had the knee spreaders and they were such a pain to put on and take off by yourself, so I decided to leave them off that night. He raced unbelievable, maybe the best he ever raced. "From then on, he was a really good horse. It's like I finally let him be what he wanted to be, and he said, 'OK, I'm going to go good now.' He totally changed." Dunkster won seven of 12 races the remainder of the year, and then won 50 times in the ensuing four seasons, including a world-record 1:54.2 triumph at Northfield in 2004. He was an Ohio Sire Stakes champion at age 4, a four-time Scarlet and Gray champion, and finished second to Dan Patch Award-winner Sand Vic in the 2006 American-National Stakes. He finished his career with victories at 21 different racetracks and competed in nine different states plus Ontario. "He was an iron horse," Sugg said. "I've never had a horse in the Hall of Fame, so that's pretty special to get him there, to know that I had a little something to do with it. He was an all-around good horse." Dunkster has enjoyed his retirement days at Spring Run Farm, and the horse was still on his toes in the field the last time Sugg visited. "You couldn't catch him," Sugg said. Ken Weingartner

The Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) contests could have been called the "Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. Show," as the young reinsman captured three of the four $40,000 events for harness racing 3-year-old Ohio-bred colt trotters at Northfield Park.   A total of 28 diagonally-gaited equines went postward in the second leg of the series for Buckeye-sired sophomores, with Wrenn, Jr., capturing the second, third and fourth divisions, while Kurt Sugg steered Overdressed to victory in division one.   A winner in leg one of OSS action on May 7 at Miami Valley Raceway, Overdressed prevailed for Sugg despite making an uncharacteristic break in the first turn.   Conditioned and co-owned by Marty Wollam, and partners Dale Sweet of Florida and G&B Racing of New Wilmington, PA, the son of Full Count trotted to a new career 1:57.3 clocking in a race marred by multiple breakers.   "This colt has had a couple of rough journeys in the Sires Stakes," Sugg acknowledged. "And he's always managed to overcome them. Tonight I think he caught a boot in that first turn but he recovered quickly. Marty (trainer Wollam) does an excellent job at having all of his horses in great shape and ready to race."   D Count (Jason Merriman) led the field through fractions of :28.2 and :57, as several trotters broke stride, including Overdressed, who appeared to be out of contention. However, he quickly caught back and made a bold move on the outside going into the final turn, following Triumphant's Chip, who went off stride. From there Overdressed trotted solidly all the way to the wire.   The big, rangy colt, who was bred by Marvin Raber, pushed his lifetime earnings to $94,329 with the triumph, his second victory in four start this year, and the third of his career in 12 starts Were Gone (Ryan Stahl) got up for second, with Noble Dunn (Keith Kash, Jr.) picking up show honors.   The second OSS division was captured by even-money favorite The Next Triumph in 1:56.1. Driven by Wrenn, Jr. for co-owner and trainer Ron Steck, Robert Smolko and Rene Allard, the bay son of Triumphant Caviar had won his OSS leg one test on May 7 at Miami Valley in 1:57.2.   "I thought I had a good shot to win a couple of the Sires Stakes tonight," Wrenn, Jr. said. "When Pete (Wrenn) couldn't make it because he had commitments at Scioto Downs, I was fortunate to pick up some very good drives in the Sires Stakes."   The Next Triumph took this second leg in a similar wire-to-wire effort, trotting handily through fractions of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:26.3 and tying his career mark in the process of scoring his third consecutive victory.   Bred by the Second Chance Stable, The Next Triumph upped his seasonal earnings to $49,700 and his career earnings to $103,506. Rival Let's Go Bucks (Ryan Stahl) got up for second, while SR Rader (Aaron Merriman) was third.   Wrenn was back in the winner's circle for the third OSS division, this time steering last season's 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of 2015 to his first victory of 2016. MJB Got Faith showed the form that made him an Ohio champion last season, grabbing the lead just prior to the :29 first quarter and settling in through fractions of :58.2, 1:27.4, before striding home to win in career-equaling mark of 1:57.2. He was challenged multiple times throughout the mile, but never wavered and simply drew off from his rivals turning for home, to flash under the wire all alone.   "This colt isn't very big and he doesn't trot the prettiest, but he's got a great big heart," Wrenn, Jr. declared. "I got away third and moved to the front just coming out of the turn and he took it from there. He's able to trot fast with that funky gait of his and it doesn't hamper his attitude in the least."   Owned by Breana Carsey of Connersville, IN, the diminutive son of Trainforthefuture notched his sixth career win in nine starts, pushing his seasonal earnings to $23,200 and his lifetime earnings to $215,700. MJB Got Faith had finished fourth in his first OSS test this year, on May 7 at Miami Valley Raceway.   "That was his first start back and he really didn't seem to handle the track all that well that night," Brian Carsey, the owner's father noted. "We really couldn't find anything wrong with him. He's always had a funny way of going but tonight he raced like his old self." Another Breath (Sandy Beatty) procured the bridesmaid role, while Lion Image (Keith Kash, Jr.) hold on for third. Wrenn returned for a photo opportunity for the third time in OSS action with Roundtown Rocker in the fourth and final division. The son of Hard Rock N Roll was making his first foray into OSS action for trainer and breeder Bill Hartman, who owns the colt in partnership with Tami Hartman. "This colt is one of the best horses I've ever trained," Hartman admitted. "Last year he trained with four pacers and he could go by all of them. But he got sick and missed all of the sires stakes last year. He's always been very handy and will just do anything you ask of him. I didn't feel he was quite ready for the first leg this year, so I waited for this race." Wrenn, Jr., ever crafty, used the rail to his advantage, with Roundtown Rocker trotting easily through panels of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:29.1, before striding home confidently in a new record clocking of 1:58.3. "He was really nice to drive," Wrenn, Jr. said. "He was very strong and was definitely a pleasure to sit behind. I'm really thankful that Bill (trainer Hartman) gave me this opportunity." It was the first win of the season for the brown gelding, and pushed his lifetime earnings to $44,494. Kanthaka (Aaron Merriman) was a hard-trying second, while Fantasy League (Chris Page) was third. by Kimberly Rinker

Career milestones and outrageous upsets were all the fashion in Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) action on Saturday night, May 7 at Miami Valley Raceway. Eight $40,000 OSS divisions for harness racing 3-year-old colts and geldings of both gaits were contested over the southern Ohio, five-eighths mile oval.   Driver Kurt Sugg nailed down career victory 3,000 en route to winning an OSS test for sophomore trotters. The 46-year-old Bowling Green, Ohio native steered the Marty Wollam-trained Overdressed to a 2:00 clocking--the son of Full Count's first win of 2016 and his second career win in nine lifetime starts. The triumph pushed the brown colt's career earnings to $71,817.   "He's a big strong horse and gets around this track as well as a half-mile," Sugg acknowledged. "Marty (trainer Wollam) always has his horses ready for these races and it's extra special to get my 3,000th win with one of his horses."   Overdressed was bred by Marvin Raber of Baltic, Ohio and is owned in partnership by his trainer, Dale Sweet of Florida and G And B Racing of Pennsylvania.   The 3,000 win came in Sugg's 850th purse start this season, which has seen him steer the winners of $658,290 to date in 2016. From 22,798 lifetime drives, he also has 3,112 second-place finishes and 3,026 third-place finishes, with earnings of $13,601,938.   In another OSS trotting division, 88-1 longshot Lionbacker Kidd prevailed over rival Kanthaka (Dave Palone) by a neck in 2:00.2 to garner his fourth career win in 12 starts. Driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. used come-from-behind tactics to get the job done for trainer Joseph Kramp and owner Jeffrey Kidd of Hartville, Ohio. The son of Lionhunter upped his career earnings to $96,073 and returned $178.40 on a two dollar win ticket. John E. Miller is the breeder of Lionbacker Kidd.   Chips So Fast got a perfect trip to capture the first OSS trotting test of the night in 1:57.1 for driver Chris Page and trainer Chris Beaver. Bred by S & R Angelbeck and Midland Acres, the son of Chip Chip Hooray notched his fourth career victory while equaling his career mark. His earnings now stand at $73,246 for owners Mark Moger of New Hope, PA and Albert Delia Jr, of Newtown, PA. Last season's 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year, MJB Got Faith, failed to bring his previous spark to the table, finishing a disappointing fourth, 6¼ lengths behind the winner.   Driver Jeremy Smith put The Next Triumph on the front end and never looked back in the final OSS division for sophomore trotters. The pair crossed the finish line in 1:57.2 as the son of Triumphant Caviar pushed his lifetime earnings to $81,006 for trainer and co-owner Ron Steck and owners Robert Smolko of Solon, Ohio and Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA.   "Ron (trainer Steck) told me that he thought he had finally figured this colt out and told me to race him tough tonight, so that's what I did and it paid off," Smith said. "Ronnie is great with colts and he proved it here tonight."   The Next Triumph, who now has a 6-4-2 record in 18 starts, was bred by the Second Chance Stable.   The first of four OSS pacing divisions went to Gotmoneyinmypocket and driver Kayne Kauffman. Trained by Jim Daily for breeders/owners Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff, the son of Feelin Friskie prevailed in his sixth lifetime win, leading from start to finish in 1:53.3.   Even-money favorite Hustling Charley and driver Kyle Ater won the second OSS division by six lengths in 1:53.4 for trainer Danny Collins. Bred by Lisa Ezzo, the son of Charley Barley notched his third career win in 10 tries and pushed his earnings to $43,613.   Canadia's Bakin was given a masterful steer by Aaron Merriman, winning the third OSS pacing division handily in 1:54.2. Trained by Steve Carter for a quartet of Kentucky and Ohio owners, the son of Big Bad John picked up his 15th career victory and upped his career earnings to $62,629. Canadia's Bakin was bred by the Lmn Bred Stables of Ohio. Last season's 2-Year-Old Colt Pacing Champion Primo Giovanni finished fourth in this same event, while 2015 Freshman Championship winner Love Tap Hanover made a nasty break in the final turn and finished seventh.   The final OSS pacing division went to Mr Wiggle Pants, who led at every pole for driver Kayne Kauffman and trainer Jim Mulinix. The bay son of Mr. Wiggles stopped the timer in 1:53.4 with rival Friskie Cruiser some two lengths back. Bred by Spring Haven Farm and owned by Ohioans Denny Miller, Jim Mulinix and William Rufenacht, Mr Wiggle Pants now has $113,493 in his career coffers.   Kimberly Rinker

Kurt Sugg is having the time of his life. Not only is the 46-year-old Ohio native approaching a driving milestone he never considered possible just several years ago, he enjoys going to work every day. In fact, Sugg hardly considers what he does as work. "I've never had a job," Sugg said, laughing. "I've been very fortunate. I'm third generation (in harness racing); I've grown up doing this. It can be a grind, but to go to work, I don't even look at it like work. You win a race and it's enjoyable. It's just something I love to do and I can't imagine doing anything but this. I guess if I wasn't doing very well I might look at it a little differently, but the way things are, I'm really enjoying it." Sugg, who jogged his first horse at the age of 9 for his father, Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Famer Ivan Sugg, entered Monday needing 12 wins to reach 3,000 for his driving career. Nearly 80 percent of those victories have come since the start of the 2007 season, when Sugg decided to stop spending winters in Florida and race regularly at Northfield Park. "It's pretty special," Sugg said about the approaching milestone. "It's something I never thought I would attain at one time because earlier in my career I raced my own horses and went to Florida in the winter. Since I stopped going to Florida, I've become sort of a regular at Northfield Park, though. I pick up quite a few drives each night up there. "It's actually something I always wanted to do but the opportunity didn't present itself with my training just colts for the most part and going to Florida. But now with staying in Ohio fulltime I'm able to do it and really enjoy it." This year, Sugg ranks third in wins at Northfield Park, with 101. The two drivers ahead of him --- Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Aaron Merriman --- have both won national dash championships. Merriman again leads North America with 279 wins this season and Wrenn is third, with 208, just two victories behind second-place Alfie Carroll. Sugg's 101 triumphs rank No. 22 in North America. Over the past two weeks he has been winning at an 18-percent clip and since early March has been hitting at 16 percent. "I can't complain about third (at Northfield) when Ronnie Wrenn and Aaron Merriman are one and two," Sugg said. "Being behind them is OK in my book. Aaron and Ronnie pick up a lot of the live drives there, so it makes it a little difficult, but I've got some loyal trainers that stick with me and provide me with opportunities to get the wins." He added, chuckling, "It probably is a little easier to drive there because you know what horses you have to beat. You just have to look for Ronnie and Aaron and those are the horses that you want to get behind and they're going to drag you to the top where you can have a shot. If you see them out there, you know they're not on a long shot." Despite competing in a tough driver colony, Sugg finds an atmosphere of camaraderie at Northfield Park. In fact, when Sugg won six of 10 drives at Northfield on April 19, rival Merriman took to social media to shine a light on Sugg's accomplishment and praise him. "I love racing at Northfield," Sugg said. "We're all good friends and we all get along real well. Obviously there are a few times when things might not go well on the track and we're upset for 10 or 15 minutes, but we're all friends and we get over it. I've never raced anywhere that has kind of the family atmosphere it is at Northfield." In addition to driving, Sugg trains a 15-horse stable. He is coming off a career-best year for driving purses, with $2.27 million in 2015, and nearly reached his best for training purses, with $492,348 last season. For his career, Sugg has won 865 races as a trainer. Among the top horses from his stable last year were Ohio Sire Stakes finalists Nobles Finesse and Mickey Moose; he also drove Ohio Sire Stakes champion Count On Kami for trainer Marty Wollam. Past stable stars for Sugg include world champions Dunkster and Blastaway Sahbra. "My dad taught me everything about training that I know," Sugg said about his father, Ivan, whose accomplishments include conditioning 2003 Horse of the Year No Pan Intended. "At least I learned a little bit from him; I don't think I have all the knowledge he has. "I enjoy training. I've trained for over 20 years for Dean Davis and he's provided the opportunity with well-bred horses. I've been very fortunate to have some real nice horses. I was hoping to reach the half-million-dollar mark (last year) and I just didn't quite get there. Maybe this year." If he does get there, it might take work but it won't be a job. by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Mickey Moose and Kurt Sugg captured the third and final division of the $105,183 (div.) Ohio Breeders Championship for two-year-old trotting colts in Tuesday action at the harness racing meeting at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. As the gates wings folded, Sugg hurried the gelded son of Triumphant Caviar after the early lead and controlled the fractions. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. sent Fantasy League first up to challenge the leader, but could never stick a nose in front. Mickey Moose rebuffed the challenge and won by 1¼ lengths over a closing Chips So Fast (Yannick Gingras) in 1:59 1/5. Fantasy League held on for third and the heavy favorite Kanthaka (Dave Palone) rallied for fourth after a break in stride at the start. The first division was won by The Next Triumph and Yannick Gingras going gate-to-wire in a lifetime best 1:59 1/5. The daughter of Triumphant Caviar scored by 3 1/2 lengths over Speedy Translation (Kurt Sugg) and Dusty Road (Kayne Kauffman). Ron Steck owns and trains the filly with Robert Smolko and Rene Allard. The second $35,061 division as won by Heza Home Run (Hugh Beatty) over Emerald Chip (Josh Sutton) in 1:59 1/5. Heza Home Run is conditioned by Danny Collins for owners Michael Lewis, Joe Sbrocco and Mary McLoughlin. Just Jess and driver/trainer Doug Rideout got up in the shadow of the finish line to edge the pacesetting Serena’s Serenade (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) by a neck in the $37,200 Standardbred trot for two-year-old fillies. The heavy favorite Miss Tezla (Yannick Gingras) broke stride at the onset but rebounded to finish in the show spot. Just Jess has won $134,443 for her owners Alan White and Julie Rideout. Post time for Wednesday’s Jugette card will start at 12:00 noon.   Jay Wolf     

1 to 16 of 16