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A tactical rescue dive team was needed to locate the body of the horse that drowned Monday during harness racing at Miami Valley Gaming. The Warren County Tactical Rescue Team arrived at the racino on Ohio 63 on Monday night after racing had concluded, according to Mike Jameson, assistant fire chief in Turtlecreek Twp. “We were called primarily to recover the horse,” Jameson said. No additional official reports were available Wednesday about the unusual drowning of He’s a Perfect Ten, which followed an accident involving four horses and drivers during the 12th race. But independent reports continued to provide additional information about the animal’s death, which happened despite efforts by Ashley Holliday, the “outrider” working Monday, to save the horse. Holliday, on the track to parade the entrants beforehand and to assist with problems during the race, caught the errant trotter after driver Kayne Kauffman was knocked from the sulky cart, horse owner Jeff Deems said Wednesday. But He’s a Perfect Ten broke free and ran into the retention pond in the infield, still pulling the cart, and drowned despite Holliday’s attempt at a water rescue. “When the horse first went in, it stopped at the shallow part of the water,” said Deems, whose horse was also involved in accident. Holliday then jumped in. “She had the horse’s head above water for a little bit. She was doing her best, but then as the horse started to struggle and fight, it worked its way toward the middle of the pond,” Deems said. “If it would have worked it’s way the other way or stayed shallow, she could have maybe helped it or something could have went a little bit different.” It remained unclear if Kauffman was transported to a hospital for treatment. Deems said Kauffman had back and knee injuries. “Thoughts and prayers with Kayne and everyone involved,” Deems said. There was no 911 call or ambulance dispatched, according to county and township officials. Jameson said the dive team spent more than an hour searching the retention pond for the horse. Starting about 8 p.m., four divers rotated in two-person teams due to the cold water and difficulty of navigating underwater in the darkness. “You might as well close your eyes, you can’t see anything,” Jameson said. Although racino staff told the divers where the horse went down, locating “something even as large a horse” was difficult, Jameson said. About 9:15 p.m., staff used a winch to pull the body, strapped by the divers, from the lake, Jameson said. On Wednesday, Jameson was wrapping up the cleaning and reorganization of the dive gear. Jameson, a township firefighter for more than two decades, said this was his first time with the dive team recovering a dead horse. He said the team had rescued live horses, cows and dogs after they fell through ice and had recovered human bodies, but this was the first dead horse. “It’s an unfortunate incident,” he said. “We’re there to help out the community any way we can.” On Tuesday, Bill Crawford, executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission, said, “Maybe it’s never happened before in Ohio.” Crawford, who has worked for 23 years for the commission, could not be reached Wednesday for an update on his agency’s review of the incident. Four horses were involved in the accident, as they headed for the finish line, caused when the horse Medoland Brutus broke stride, causing three others to collide in a chain reaction, according to multiple reports. Tracks typically have unfenced retention ponds, like the one in which the horse drowned, where water running off the banked racing surface collects, according to Crawford. Jerry Abner, director of marketing at the racino, issued a statement Tuesday. “An unfortunate accident occurred during the day’s live harness racing meet that resulted in the death of a horse. The horse became spooked and ran into a pond at the track where it drowned despite efforts by MVG staff to save the animal.” Abner declined to respond to further questions Tuesday and could not be reached Wednesday. “The safety of our staff, harness racing drivers and the horses is always of utmost concern at Miami Valley Gaming. We regularly review safety procedures and protocol and will continue to do so,” Monday’s statement continued. Joining the rescue team divers were fire and rescue staff from Turtlecreek, Salem, Harlan and Deerfield townships and the city of Lebanon, according to Jameson. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office was also on the scene. Xenia driver Dan Noble said he was guiding another horse ahead of the accident. He described the harness racing community as a competitive family. “Things do happen, unfortunately,” Noble, a fourth-generation horseman, said. News Center 7 reporter John Bedell contributed to this report. By Lawrence Budd and John Bedell Reprinted with permission of The Dayton Daily News

LEBANON, OH - Favorites prevailed in a trio of preliminary Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial Series trots at Miami Valley on Tuesday (March 26) afternoon, but the same couldn't be said about the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series paces as only one public choice prevailed. Quickest win in the Farwicks went to Red Rose Swan (LeWayne Miller driver-trainer), who topped The Lionking AS (Trace Tetrick) and Cruzen Cassi (Tyler Smith) in 1:55. The winning 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All lowered her lifetime best for owners Brian Dean and Jeremy Eash in the process. The other two Farwick splits, designed for non-winners of six races or $60,000, were won by Broadway Mojo (Chris Page) and Sesame (Brett Miller), both clocked in 1:56.3. Broadway Mojo, a 4-year-old by Broadway Hall, beat P C Foreign Affair (Jason Brewer) and Showboat (Brett Miller). Ron Burke trains the winner for the Watson Stable. Sesame bested Air Assault (Dan Noble) and Lion Safari AS (Elliott Deaton). Trainer Chris Beaver co-owns the 4-year-old daughter of Triumphant Caviar with Steven Zeehandelar. Next week the nine finalists in the Farwick Series, determined by earnings in the two prelims, will compete for a $27,500 championship purse. They are (in order): Red Rose Swan, Sesame, Air Assault, Broadway Mojo, Missprimetimemel, Vatanna, Peggy Sue, P C Foreign Affair and The Lion King AS. Heavily favored Dealer's Table (Josh Sutton) scored in 1:53 in the first Hiteman Memorial division, besting Parklane Knight (Tyler Smith) and Always A Fiji (LeWayne Miller). The 3-year-old American Ideal colt, dispatched at 1-9 odds, remained undefeated in three career trips to post. Trainer Jeff Cullipher co-owns with Pollack Racing LLC. Dashing To Da Wire (Tyler Smith, $19.20 win mutuel) sped to the fastest Hiteman triumph in the second split, beating Jack's Major (Trevor Smith) and favored Doctor Jimmy (Cam McCown) in 1:52.3. Larry Finn trains the 3-year-old Charley Barley colt for owner Brian Witt. Sweet Cruiser (Chris Page) produced an even bigger upset in the final division, topping DL's Big Elvis (Brett Miller) and Prince Sawyer (Josh Sutton) in 1:55. The Yankee Cruiser colt returned $26.20 for a $2 wager. It was just the second lifetime win for Sweet Cruiser, who hails from the powerful Ron Burke barn. Dashing To Da Wire won the quickest division of the final preliminary leg of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series at Miami Valley on Tuesday (Brad Conrad photo) The $20,000 Hiteman Memorial final, for horses that started the series as non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime, will be next Tuesday (April 2). Finalists are: Dealer's Table, DL's Big Elvis, Dashing To Da Wire, Sweet Cruiser, Doctor Jimmy, Jacks Major, Parklane Knight, Skyway Three Ball and Smilenmyles.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - The aptly named Crews Hilltopper will enter next Monday's (April 1) harness racing matinee as the likely favorite in the $20,000 championship leg of the Robert J. "Skeeter" Brown Memorial trotting series at Miami Valley Raceway. The 4-year-old son of Break The Bank K became the only back-to-back winner in the series when he won the final $12,000 preliminary leg on Monday (March 25) in 1:57.2. Capturing their first series victories and also qualifying for the final were Sweet Swan Of All in 1:58.3 and Triple Seven Seven in 1:59.2. Trevor Smith guided Crews Hilltopper to his second straight success, besting Well I'm Fancy (Trace Tetrick) and Monday Nite (Randy Tharps) in an exciting stretch battle. Larry Tinch trains the winner, an Ohio county fair stalwart in 2018, for owners John Foster and Ray Helton.The 1:57.2 clocking established a new lifetime mark for Crews Hilltopper despite a wet track dulled by persistent rain. Sweet Swan Of All is another who got valuable seasoning at county fairs last year, although his starts were at Indiana fair venues. The 4-year-old Swan For All gelding notched his first win of 2019 by holding off Jimmy Dean (Mike Oosting) and Innisfallen (Brett Miller). Miami Valley's leading driver Trace Tetrick gave Sweet Swan Of All his commands for trainer Lester Raber, who co-owns the winner with Floyd Raber. Triple Seven Seven, a 3-year-old filly by Tom Cango, copped the other split with a 1:59.2 victory over My Pure Honey (Brett Miller) and Bad Babysitter (Josh Sutton). Pasko Vucinaj owns and trains the lass whose previous fastest win was a 2:11 triumph as a 2-year-old at the Greenville, Ohio fair. Mike Oosting was in her sulky. Finalists in each of the nine Miami Valley's Lebanon Legends Series are determined by purse earnings in two preliminary legs. The top nine, in order, in the R. J. Brown Memorial, are: Crews Hilltopper, Sweet Swan For All, Triple Seven Seven, Monday Nite, Voyage To Paris, My Pure Honey, Innisfallen, Jimmy Dean and Call Me The Fireman. Final preliminary legs to determine the finalists in both the Omar Hiteman and Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial Series will be contested on the Tuesday (March 26) matinee. Post time is 2:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton) returned to the winner's circle for the second time in four tries this month after winning the featured $25,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (March 24). The 7-year-old son of Crazed nosed out last week's winner, All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) in 1:54.1. Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) also raced well to finish third. Anette Lorentzon trains Andy Ray for owner Yinson Quezada. He sports 23 victories and has earned over $560,000 in his career. A pair of $12,000 second leg divisions of the George 'Red' Owens Memorial Series for green (N/W 2 PM races or $20,000 lifetime) fillies and mares were also presented on the Sunday matinee. Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) overcame the difficult 9-hole behind the wings to capture the first split in 1:54. The Dragon Again filly made her seventh lifetime start a triumphant one, besting Home Town Girl (Brett Miller) and Delight Kate (Tyler Smith) in front-stepping fashion. The promising filly, who made just four starts as a freshman, is part of the powerful Burke Brigade. Machs Dragon (Tyler Smith), another filly by Dragon Again, broke her maiden in the second Owens Memorial division, topping Ben's Jenna (Trace Tetrick) and Reraise (Chris Page) in 1:55.1. Michael Rardon owns and trains the winner who was making just her third career appearance. The $20,000 championship of the Owens series is slated for next Sunday (March 31). The top nine money winners in the two preliminary legs, thus qualifying for the final, are (in order of earnings): Ben's Jenna, Avaline Hanover, Machs Dragon, Delight Kate, Home Town Girl, Respect, Dojea Rita, Reraise and Sugar And Spite.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - When favorites won the first four races on Miami Valley's Saturday (March 23) harness racing program in 1:51.2 or faster, it became apparent that a "big mile" was possible when the featured $22,500 Open I pacers went postward in the eighth. A packed grandstand of harness devotees was not disappointed as My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith) sped to a 1:49.4 triumph, the quickest mile of the 10-week old 2019 season. Smith fired My Hero Ron from behind the gate, reluctant to allow Mykindachip (Dan Noble) to set the tempo. It took a :25.4 opening panel-fastest of the year-to seat Mykindachip, but proved worth the effort as My Hero Ron tripped all the remaining timing beams in :54.1, 1:21.3 and 1:49.4. GD Western Joe (Chris Page) closed from last in the early going to a fast-closing second in the end, followed by Granite (Brett Miller) in third. Brian Witt owns My Hero Ron who now owns 28 victories from 132 starts. The 7-year-old Well Said gelding has now earned $892,218 in his career. Two divisions of the first leg of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series late closer, for non-winners of six races or $60,000 lifetime, also were contested. The quickest division looked like a replay of the final of the George Williams Memorial, for non-winners of four races or $40,000, a week earlier. Gerardo (Kayne Kauffman) used the same front-end tactic to best Reagan's Avenger (Chris Page) and Velocity Smoke (Dan Noble) in 1:51, two-fifths of a second faster than seven days earlier when the top three order of finish was exactly the same. Kauffman also trains the winner, a 4-year-old Rockin Image gelding owned by Mark Bogen. Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) captured the other Tharps division by beating Bluebird Recon (Trace Tetrick) and Somebeachsomeday (Trevor Smith) in 1:52.1. L & L Devisser LLC owns Rockin Speed, who is also a 4-year-old Rockin Image gelding. A total of eight races were clocked in 1:51.2 or faster in the first 11 races. In addition to those mentioned above, others were Franzo (Brett Miller, 1:50.3), Class Six (Chris Page, 1:51.1), Harambe Deo (Dan Noble, 1:51.2), Cyclone Kiwi N (Sam Widger, 1:51.2), My Buddy Ninkster (Tyler Smith, 1:50.4) and Armabluechipboy N (Dan Noble, 1:51.1). Sunday's 2:05 p.m. matinee at Miami Valley will feature a $25,000 Open Handicap Trot as well as two $12,000 divisions of second round action in the George 'Red' Ownes Memorial Series for green pacing mares. Gregg Keidel

No matter what she does, Kristina Smith carries the memory of her grandmother with her. Smith's horses always will too. Smith, the 21-year-old daughter of trainer Randy Smith, lost her grandmother, Linda Jean Nelson, to cancer in 2015. Nelson was an inspiration to Kristina on multiple levels, including around the horses and on the racetrack. Nelson was an accomplished horsewoman, even setting the track record for trotting under saddle at Scarborough Downs in the 1970s. So when Smith began her own training career earlier this year, it was important for her to honor her grandmother and the contributions she made to her life. Smith decided her horses would race in pink equipment, including a Buxton with Nelson's name on it, in memory of her grandmother. Twelve days ago, an 8-year-old pacer named Uppercutz went onto the track at Miami Valley Raceway wearing that equipment and gave Smith her first win as a trainer. photo -Kristina Smith "My grandmother meant the world to me," Smith said. "She helped my dad raise me and she was always there for me, even when she was sick. We lost her too soon. There was so much more she could have taught me, not only with the horses but about life and being a good person because she was a prime example. I wouldn't be where I am and who I am if it wasn't for her and for that I keep her legacy alive." Smith grew up in New England, where her dad started his stable when she was 3. She now lives near Columbus, Ohio, where she works for trainer Sandy Beatty and has her own one-horse racing stable plus a retired Standardbred owned previously by her grandmother that is now a riding horse. The trotter, Blue Boy Yankee, is no stranger to having someone on his back --- Smith raced him under saddle in 2014 and 2015. Smith was unaware of her grandmother's under-saddle exploits when she began riding but was happy to discover the connection. "I think it's meaningful to follow in her footsteps," Smith said. She also is following in her father's footsteps, and in the case of Uppercutz's victory, beating him. Randy's horse A List finished third in the same race. "Everyone was teasing him," Smith said, laughing. "But he said if he had to lose to someone he would rather lose to his daughter." Randy found Uppercutz for his daughter, who claimed the gelding out of a race in Maine. Not surprisingly, she rides the pacer as part of his training regimen. The horse has raced eight times for Smith and posted a win and two seconds. "I take him trail riding; I have a blast with him," Smith said. "He doesn't want to stay on the track to jog. He'll jog for about 10 minutes and try to run off the track. I've learned it's easier to ride him because he enjoys that more than jogging in a jog cart. He seems to be a horse that likes the one-on-one attention." Uppercutz winners circle                 -photo Brad Conrad Smith does not intend to train horses on a fulltime basis. Whatever success Uppercutz enjoys on the track, Smith plans to use the profits to go to equine dentistry school. "For the time being, just having one is good," Smith said. "I've always wanted to have my own smaller stable. I probably wouldn't want to have more than three racehorses plus the riding horse. The smaller the better. It's very time consuming to do everything the right way. I'd rather have a smaller stable and have every horse get the attention they need. I was always told quality is better than quantity." No matter what she does, Smith will continue to use the lessons she learned from her grandmother and father along the way. "I was definitely very fortunate to have them to teach me," Smith said. "My dad would always say to me growing up, 'I just want you to be the best you can be.' That's what I strive to do. I know my grandmother looks over me and I want her to be proud."   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association  

LEBANON, OH - The Tuesday (March 19) matinee at Miami Valley Raceway featured both trotters and pacers in "Lebanon Legends" late closing series harness racing action. Three divisions of the first leg of the Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial trot for non-winners of six races or $60,000 went postward, as did a trio of first leg divisions of the Omar Hiteman Memorial featuring non-winners of two or $20,000 male pacers. The quickest mile in the $15,000 Farwick splits came in the first division when Vatanna (Elliott Deaton) narrowly topped Red Rose Swan (LeWayne Miller) in 1:55.3. Best of the rest was Showboat (Brett Miller). The five geldings in the seven horse field were no match for the winner and runnerup, who were the only mares in the contest. Anna Lorentzon owns Vatanna, a 5-year-old by Dejarmbro, who has now notched three wins in six tries in 2019. Air Assault (Dan Noble) captured the second Farwick split in 1:56.1, besting Sesame (Brett Miller) and Starlight AS (Elliott Deaton). The 4-year-old son of Yankee Glide races for the partnership of Charles Kline and trainer Mike Hollenback. The clocking equaled the lifetime best for the ultra-consistent Air Assault. Another pair of 4-year-old mares showed their heels to the field in the final Farwick division. Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller) took full advantage of an early miscue by heavily-favored The Lionking AS to wire the field in 1:56.2. Peggy Sue (Brady Galliers) was a close second with Mr Quaker (Brett Miller) the show finisher. The winning daughter of Pilgrims Chuckie, also trained by LeWayne Miller for owners Nathan Yoder and Stephen Stoll, surpassed the $50,000 earnings plateau with the win. Missprimetimemel was a mild upset winner in the first leg of the Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial trot series at Miami Valley on Tuesday. - Conrad photo Dealer's Table (Josh Sutton), a 3-year-old by American Ideal making just his second lifetime start, sped to a 1:52.3 score in the fastest $10,000 Hiteman Memorial division. Injured and unraced at two, the winner made his first money start a winning one in 1:54.4 last week and followed up with a dominating effort in his second. "He's the real deal," quipped Sutton as he hung up the lines after beating Smilenmyles (Dale Hiteman) and Parklane Knight (Tyler Smith). Trainer Jeff Cullipher co-owns Dealer's Table, a New York bred, with partner Pollack Racing LLC. The other two victors in the Hiteman heats scored identical 1:54. Triumphs. DL's Big Elvis (Brett Miller) headed Jack's Major (Trevor Smith) and Star Of Oz (Dan Noble) across the finish line. The 3-year-old son of Mister Big earned just $5000 as a freshman, but has already doubled that amount in his first four starts of 2019. Charlie Stewart is training the winner for Rod Harness and breeder Dave Scott. Doctor Jimmy (Cam McCown) remained undefeated by winning his division over Skyway Three Ball (Trace Tetrick) and Seattle Hanover (Chris Page). Brian Brown trains the winning son of Well Said for the partnership of Country Club Acres, Milton Leeman and Richard Lombardo. The 3-year-old colt is now four-for-four to start his promising career.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - A sure sign that Spring is right around the corner is the commencement of the "Lebanon Legends" harness racing late closer series for green pacers and trotters at Miami Valley Raceway. On Monday afternoon (March 18) three divisions of the first leg of the Robert J. Brown Memorial Series for non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime trotters were contested. When the limestone dust settled, winners were Monday Nite (Randy Tharps), Voyage To Paris (Kayne Kauffman) and Crews Hilltopper (Trevor Smith). Tharps sent Monday Nite, a 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide, directly to the front of the field and reeled off comfortable fractions when no serious challenge developed during the 2:00.1 mile. A pair of Ohio-sired fillies, My Pure Honey (Brett Miller) and Bad Babysitter (Josh Sutton) completed the trifecta in the $10,000 contest. Zachary Miller owns Monday Nite, who is booked to the court of Indiana sire Swan For All at the conclusion of this series. Kauffman guided Voyage To Paris to an upset ($19.40 to win) victory in the second split, narrowly defeating Innisfallen (Brett Miller) and Oh My My My (LeWayne Miller) after a thrilling stretch drive. The 3-year-old gelding by Dontyouforgetit lowered his best-ever mark to 1:57.4 for owners Stephen Richard and Lana Pollock. Jim Pollock Jr. conditions the winner. Crews Hilltopper is a well-seasoned county fair standout who topped Call Me Thefireman (Chris Page) and B Fluffinover (Alex Hawk) in 1:59.1. Larry Tinch trains the 4-year-old son of Break The Bank K for owners John Foster and Ray Helton. It was his 11th overall triumph, but just his second at a commercial venue. Including county fair earnings Crews Hilltopper has banked $62,534 in his first 39 career starts. Racing resumes Tuesday afternoon (March 19) at 2:05 p.m. when the highlight will be a trio of first leg divisions of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series for green male pacers.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) dominated the $25,000 Open I Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (March 17), establishing a new lifetime mark in the process. The 6-year-old Ken Rucker-trainee grabbed the front end during a :27.1 first quarter, then proceeded to trip the subsequent timing beams in :56.1 and 1:25.2 before scooting home in :28.1 to record the 1:53.3 victory. The gelded son of Swan For All towed pocket sitter Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) through the finish line in second with Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton) rallying from fifth to third in the stretch. The triumph was the 16th in 91 career starts for All About Cowboys, who blew past the $200,000 earnings plateau with the win. Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas of Illinois own the ultra-consistent winner who has banked $58,180 in eight 2019 starts at Miami Valley. A $20,000 Open II Trot was captured easily by Mugshot Man (Chris Page), who was open lengths better than Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Impressive Chief (Brett Miller) in 1:54.4. It was just the second win in the last two seasons for the 6-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse, but was the quickest of his ten lifetime victories. Fred Morgan Jr. trains Mugshot Man for owner John Holman. The Red Owens Memorial late-closer for green fillies and mares got underway on Sunday as well. Heavily-favored Ben's Jenna (Trace Tetrick) lived up to the public's expectations, but only narrowly. The Mach Three-sired sophomore won for the third time in just six lifetime starts in 1:56.3. Delight Kate (Tyler Smith) and Respect (Kyle Ater) were next best in a tightly bunched field at the finish. Tyler George conditions the winner for David Kryway and the Ontario LTD stable.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Saint Patrick's weekend has certainly been a time of celebration for the Kayne Kauffman harness racing Stable! After winning the $25,000 championship of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series for mares with Tura Lura Lural on Friday night, Kauffman returned to the Miami Valley winner's circle on Saturday night by winning the $25,000 championship leg of the George Williams Memorial Series for male pacers. Gerardo, a 4-year-old son of Rockin Image, took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2 while topping Reagan's Avenger (Chris Page) and Velocity Smoke (Dan Noble). Despite drawing outside his main contenders, Kauffman sent Gerardo on a mission when the gate swung open, pacing three-wide around the first bend before clearing to the front just past the :26.3 opening panel. With an outer tier developing quickly thereafter, Kauffman kept the pedal to the metal through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22 before bravely pacing a :29.2 final quarter to seal the deal. Reagan's Avenger finally got to the winner's wheel at the head of the stretch, but Gerardo dug down deeper and widened to a 2-1/2 length margin at the wire. Gerardo's 1:51.2 clocking represented a new speed badge for owner Mark Bogen's newest acquisition, purchased at auction in February. Gerardo now has five career triumphs and $127,030 in purse earnings. Two races later, Fan Of Terror (Sam Widger) pulled a mild upset in the weekly feature, the $25,000 Open I Pace, also establishing a new lifetime mark of 1:50.4. The former claimer, a 7-year-old Western Terror gelding, also went gate to wire, holding off a determined Granite (Brett Miller) and fast-closing Dancin Yankee (Chris Page) with a gritty performance. Latest owner Therl Hensley has almost recouped the $30,000 he plucked down to claim Fan Of Terror a month ago. In three starts he has earned $28,750 with two wins and a second-all in Open class company. Peter Redder is now training the winner of 30 career races, including six victories in eight tries already this season. Fan Of Terror Angelo J Fra (Brett Miller) copped the $20,000 Open II, finding room along the pylons in the stretch to sneak through for a 1:51 score. Fox Valley Reggie (Tyler Smith) was runnerup and Evergreen Elite (Kyle Ater) picked up the show dough. Kris Hinchcliff has trained the winner, who surpassed $400,000 in earnings, for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC for the past several years. Driver Chris Page topped the driver's colony on Saturday night with a Grand Slam. His first of four wins came behind the trotter No Whip Chip, who paid $4.60 for his 1:56.1 score. His other triumphs were with The Optimist (1:53.1, $6.60), A True Rock Star (1:51.4, $9.20) and GD Western Joe (1:50.4, $8.00). Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - The Lionking AS scored the biggest harness racing victory of his young career Monday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway by copping the $25,000 championship of the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial late closer. The series featured trotters who were non-winners of four races or $40,000 at the series start. Trace Tetrick, the leading driver at the current Miami Valley meet, put the 4-year-old son of Lionhunter on the engine early and coasted through fractions of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:26.2 before tacking on a :29.1 final split to complete the 1:55.3 triumph, a new lifetime mark. The Lionking AS was three lengths better than Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller) with favored Air Assault (Brett Miller) completing the trifecta despite an unfortunate outside post position draw. Trainer Tyler George was the high bidder, for his own account, on the winner during an OnGait online auction in February. He has recouped a large majority of his $21,100 bid during the three-week Paver Memorial series, earning $19,500 on the strength of a first and fifth place finish in preliminary legs plus the lion's share of the lucrative final. Bred by ACI Stuteri AB of Kentucky, The Lionking AS was broke and raced through his two juvenile campaigns by trainer Anette Lorentzon. The Lionking AS was three lengths better than Missprimetimemel Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - Andy Ray, a recent addition to the harness racing open trotters ranks at Miami Valley Raceway, captured the $25,000 Barry Langley Memorial on Sunday afternoon, March 10. The 7-year-old gelding, who banked $175,343 racing primarily at Yonkers Raceway in 2018, was greeted in an emotional makeshift backstretch winner's circle by over 100 of Langley's family, friends and fellow horsemen still in shock over the sudden and unexpected passing of the likeable trainer on Wednesday at age 33. Driver Elliott Deaton chose the gate-to-wire strategy for favored Andy Ray's second local start and the altered son of Crazed responded with a 1:55.2 front-stepping triumph. 11-1 longshot Flight Of The Kiwi (Brett Miller) made a gallant first-over attempt to wear down the winner, but fell one-half length short at the finish. Pine Dream (Chris Page), the winner of the last two top weekly trots, managed a two-hole trip despite an assigned outside post position, but could find no racing room late and settled for the show dough. Yinson Quezada owns Andy Ray, who is trained by Anette Lorentzon. He now sports 22 wins in 110 career starts good for earnings of $545,735. Andy Ray holds off Flight Of The Kiwi to capture the Barry Langley Memorial Open Trot Calling hours for Barry Langley will be from 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 at the Shorten & Ryan Funeral Home, 400 Reading Rd., Mason, Ohio. Funeral services will take place at the funeral home at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. A Celebration of Barry Langley's Life will follow the funeral in the banquet room attached to the old Race Office building at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. Memorial donations are suggested to the Barry Langley Fund, earmarked to benefit Barry's beloved four-year-old daughter Lucy Jean. Contributions will be collected at the calling hours, the post-funeral Celebration gathering, or can be mailed to: Barry Langley Fund, c/o Lebanon Citizens National Bank, P. O. Box 59, Lebanon, OH 45036. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway and its horsemen and women will pay tribute to their dear friend and fellow harness racing horseman Barry Langley during the Sunday (March 10) afternoon matinee. Langley passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Lebanon, Ohio, on Wednesday at the age of just 33. The $25,000 Open Trot (approximate 6th race post time 3:30 p.m.) has been renamed the Barry Langley Memorial. Following the race the winner will be surrounded in a makeshift winner's circle on the backstretch by Barry's multitude of friends and fellow horsemen to remember their friend. The likeable 6'5" Langley was known to all as either "Gentle Giant" or "Big Chief," due to his native American Indian heritage. He had no enemies, just friends-and lots of them. The apple of Barry's eye was definitely his four-year-old daughter Lucy Jean who he loved with all his heart and soul. The local horsemen at Miami Valley have already established the Lucy Jean Langley Trust Fund and contributions are pouring in with loving tributes from owners, drivers, trainers and caretakers who Barry befriended in his horse-related travels throughout North American over the past 15 years. Rest In Peace, Big Chief! Gregg keidel    

LEBANON, OH - A brand new harness racing winner emerged from the $25,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace at Miami Valley on Friday night (March 8). JD's Chancey Gal, in just her second try at an Open I level, tracked down favored pacesetter Feelin Red Hot (Chris Page) and then held off longshot E R Hilary (LeWayne Miller) to score a 1:52.1 triumph for owner-trainer Pasko Vucinaj. Driver Tyler Smith used the advantageous pole post position to secure a pocket ride after Feelin Red Hot paced relentlessly to the front of the field during a :26.1 opening quarter. Sitting chilly through middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23, Smith didn't move until finding racing room in the stretch. Zoe Ellasen (Trace Tetrick) garnered the show dough. The winner is a 5-year-old daughter of Panspacificflight. She was making just her second start of the 2019 season but now owns 14 victories in just 43 trips to post. The winner's share of the purse put JD's Chancey Gal's career earnings over $180,000. A pair of divisions comprising the second leg of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial late-closing series were also contested on the program. Tura Lura Lural (driver-trainer Kayne Kauffman) copped the first split with a gate-to-wire tally over Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) and McPansy (Brett Miller). Doug Millard, Sandra Burns and Natalie Kauffman own the 4-year-old The Panderosa lass who was notching her fourth lifetime win as the favorite. Kauffman also steered the second division winner, Love Over Gold, to a huge upset victory for owner Jessica Millner and trainer James Roach. The 4-year-old daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven benefitted from a two-hole trip behind pacesetter My Lady Peg (Brett Miller), who faded to third in the late going. Good Faith (Travis Seekman) enjoyed a close-up trip in third along the pylons and rallied late for a place finish. Love Over Gold paid $81.40 to win, the $2 exacta returned $1,527 and a 50-cent trifecta ticket was worth a whopping $2549.41. The nine finalists that qualified for the $25,000 championship final of the Coven Jr. Memorial series are Tura Lura Lural, Love Over Gold, Queen Me Again, McPansy, Avaline Hanover, Good Faith, Schwartz Bros Beaty, My Lady Peg and Canadian Rocker. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Brett Miller dominated the Monday afternoon (March 4) harness racing action at Miami Valley Raceway winning one-half of the 14 races, a feat equaled only by leading driver Trace Tetrick exactly one week earlier. Miller has picked up a dozen wins in the four programs Tetrick has been on vacation, narrowing the dash derby gap to 98-84 after 40 days of the 87-day meet. Their rivalry to determine top dog at season's end will be revived Tuesday (March 5) when Tetrick returns to action. Miller is co-owner of the record for most wins on a card (8) at The Meadowlands as well. Moody Blues (1:57.4, $11.20) gave Brett his first trip to the winner's circle on a cold, windy day in southwest Ohio. He followed with victories behind Woo's Princess (1:58.3, $7.80), Pull The Shade (1:57.2, $5.00), Always Woggy (1:57.1, $2.40), Race With Grace (1:54.4, $3.60), Magic Shark (1:54.1, $9.00) and Del Rio Seelster (1:57.1, $4.00). Miller has 13 drives on the Tuesday matinee while Tetrick is listed behind 12 horses. The Monday program also featured two $15,000 divisions of second leg Ray Paver Sr. Memorial late closer series action. The races determined which nine trotters, who were all non-winners of four races or $40,000 at the series start, advance to the $25,000 championship week next Monday (March 11). Missprimetimemel (LeWayne Miller) scored a 1:59 triumph over P C Foreign Affair (Jason Brewer) and Shelby's Honor (Mike Oosting) in the first split. The 4-year-old daughter of Pilgrims Chuckie, owned by Nathan Yoder and Stephen Stoll, returned $5.20 to win. MVP Luke (Dan Noble) eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau with his 1:57 victory over Air Assault (Brett Miller) and ER Skywalker (Todd Warren) in the second division. Trainer Chris McGuire co-owns the 4-year-old by My MVP with Howard Taylor and Deo Volente Farms LLC. The nine Paver Memorial finalists, in order of preliminary leg earnings, will be MVP Luke, Air Assault, Miss Primetimemel, The Lionking AS, P C Foreign Affair, Shelby's Honor, White Pants Fever, Trot Time and ER Skywalker. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Using identical tactics, Pine Dream stormed from last to first down the harness racing backstretch and went on to capture his second straight $24,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley on Sunday afternoon. With leading driver Trace Tetrick on vacation this weekend, Chris Page got the nod behind the winning 7-year-old son of Pinetucky. Newcomer Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton), fresh in from Yonkers Raceway, closed well for second, while All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) hung on for third after dictating the fractions. For Page, who resides in fourth place in the current Miami Valley dash standings, it was his third consecutive day with an Open class victory. After winning the $25,000 Mares Open Pace with Feelin Red Hot on Friday, Chris guided Mykindachip to an impressive $20,000 Open II triumph on Saturday. Pine Dream has cashed in all seven of his 2019 tries at Miami Valley, all in the weekly Open Trot features. With three wins, two seconds and two fourth place finishes the Chupp Racing Stable stalwart has now banked $52,495 in the first two months of the season. Despite snowy conditions and a sloppy track, Pine Dream trotted his most recent mile in 1:56.1 for trainer Kelly Chupp. Gregg Keidel  

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