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In a press release sent out Wednesday, Miami Valley Gaming and Racing is proposing a $100 million expansion project, including a new hotel, restaurant and parking garage. Located in Turtlecreek Township midway between Cincinnati and Dayton, the racino has proved popular since its opening in 2013. MVG says it experiences regular parking constraints and that its 1,900 gaming machines, up from 1,500 at opening, aren’t enough to meet demand. The proposal aims to fix those issues with a 1,000-car garage, 250 more gaming machines and an additional 10,000 sq.ft. of gaming floor space. It also includes a 194-room hotel. “It’s no secret that with our continued success we have been looking at the feasibility of a major expansion project for some time now,” President and GM of Miami Valley Gaming Domenic Mancini said. “We’re looking forward to working with our state and local leaders to turn the proposal into reality.” MVG has already expanded once since its opening. In 2017, the racino completed a $5 million expansion project that added 6,000 sq.ft. of gaming space and an outdoor gaming patio. MVG claims the current expansion will allow it to draw from cities farther away than Cincinnati and Dayton, including Columbus and Indianapolis. The racino, which is jointly owned by Delaware North and Churchill Downs Incorporated, says it has already retained an architecture firm, Thalden Boyd Emery, to design and develop the project. TBE designed the existing MVG facility. The existing facility, MVG says, has four restaurants, two bars, a 5/8-mile harness racetrack and a racing simulcast center. From Miami Valley Gaming & Racing

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway completed its sixth and most successful season on Monday, May 6, crowning new winners in both the harness racing drivers and trainers dash derbies. Brett Miller, in his first meet back in Ohio after an extended stay on the east coast's biggest stages, copped the drivers title with 183 wins, good for $1,852,267 in purse earnings. His next closest rival during the 87-day meet was Dan Noble, who notched 156 victories, followed in the top five by Trace Tetrick (140), Chris Page (135) and Tyler Smith (93). Each of the top five reinsmen earned over $1.1 million in purses for the owners of the horses they drove. On the training side, Ron Burke captured his first-ever dash title in Ohio. His 63 triumphs topped Virgil Morgan Jr. (47), Tyler George (40), Dan Noble (32) and Kayne Kauffman (30). A total of $14.2 million in purses were awarded, an average of over $160,000 per program. Of the 1192 races (an average of 13.7 races per card), 86% featured full fields of 8 horses or more going postward. The No. 5 starting position produced the most winners, as it usually does on a five-eighths mile oval. The 229 winners from the 5-hole yielded a winning percentage of 19.2%, approximately 5% better than the four post positions closer to the pylons which all hovered around 14%. Overall, race time favorites during the meet succeeded at a 41.44% clip. Miami Valley management and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank every owner, trainer, driver and caretaker who participated during 2019. We wish everyone continued success throughout the 2019 season and look forward to welcoming you back in January 2020. Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - The two headliners, Atlanta and Shartin N, put on quite a show on closing day at Miami Valley Raceway, dominating their respective $100,000 Grand Circuit harness racing tests. Atlanta was first up in the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares. Last year's Hambletonian winner, making her first start for new trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras, showed her heels to a compact field from start to finish, stopping the teletimer in 1:50.4-a national season's mark for trotting mares on a five-eighths mile track. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) rallied from last at the halfway juncture to finish second, while Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) grabbed the show dough. Atlanta, a daughter of Chapter Seven won for the 13th time and increased her earnings to $1,240,689 with the 7-3/4 lengths triumph. She is owned by Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. "I never had an anxious moment," exclaimed Gingras in the winner's circle. "You can drive her with two fingers and she likes her work. When you ask her for a little more she does it willingly." Gingras in the winner's circle "It's an honor to welcome a Hambletonian into your barn," smile Burke. "She has done everything right training down. She has all the special characteristics of a special horse!" When asked what's next for Atlanta, Burke revealed that she may very well be headed to Stockholm, Sweden for the world renowned Elitlopp for her next stop. The $100,000 Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial Grand Circuit Pace was captured by Shartin N for the second consecutive year, beating Medusa (Gingras) and Baron Remy (Kakaley). Her gate-to-wire 1:49.4 score was just a fifth of a second off her Miami Valley track record set in the 2018 edition. Owned by Richard Poillucci, JoAnn Looney-King (wife of trainer Jim King Jr.) and driver Tim Tetrick, Shartin N now boasts 31 wins in 43 trips to post and earnings of $1,498,853. Shartin N Brett Miller was congratulated by Racing Operatiions Manager Helen Carlo and Race Secretary Gregg Keidel after capturing his first dash title in Ohio since returning from a prolonged East Coast stay Gregg Keidel

Ohio Sires Stakes harness racing action sizzled on Sunday afternoon, May 5 at Miami Valley Gaming & Racing with five divisions of state-bred action for 3-year-old male trotters and pacers contested under sunny Buckeye skies.   Three $40,000 contests for trotters saw 2-5 Lane Of Stone notch the first division victory in a new life mark of 1:53.1 with Jeff Nisonger driving for trainer Mark Winters, Sr. The brown son of Wishing Stone's time was a national season's record for a 3-year-old trotting colt on a 5/8's mile oval and was his second straight triumph this season in as many starts.   Lane Of Stone prevailed by nearly four lengths over 12-1 ELO Hanover (Brett Miller), with 5-1 Westfiftysecond (Josh Sutton) grabbing show honors. Lane Of Stone owns a seasonal bankroll of $45,000 with lifetime earnings of $189,893. Owned by Harry Horowitz of Brooklyn, NY, the homebred colt was raised at Hagemeyer Farms and is the fourth foal out of the Lindy Lane mare Wisteria Lane, 4, 1:57.3 ($18,550) and is a half-brother to Laney Hall (by Angus Hall) 3, 1:59 ($29,220) and to Why Argue (by SJs Caviar) 3, 1:59s ($21,253).   Patti's Main Man                        Photos by Brad Conrad & Ben Holton Patti's Main Man trotted to a new career clocking of 1:55.1 for driver Jeremy Smith and owner-trainer Mike Sowers in the second OSS division. The 6-1 son of Manofmanymissions put in a game effort through the stretch, holding off the hard-trying, 3-5 Serenity Cruise (Chris Page) by half a length and completing his front-stepping triumph. Kayne Kauffman steered 24-1 longshot Ilooklikeanallstar to a third-place finish. Bred by Midland Acres, Patti's Main Man now has $20,000 earned in 2019 and $92,455 lifetime from seven wins, two seconds and two thirds in 15 career starts. He is the 14th foal out of the American Winner mare Patti Page and is a half-brother to: Get Chipped (by Chip Chip Hooray) 6, 1:54.3 ($415,424); Express Justice (by Justice Hall) 5, 1:54.3f ($282,311); Brewing Master (by Master Lavec) 5, 1:56.4f ($86,044); Chip Chip Page (by Chip Chip Hooray) 5, 1:58f ($69,485).   Wittyville & Chris Page                                 Photos by Brad Conrad & Ben Holton Wittyville captured the third OSS trotting division, taking a new career mark of 1:54.3 in the process for driver Chris Page. Trained by Ronnie Burke, the Manofmanymission's colt left the gate at odds of 5-2, quickly taking the lead past the opening panel and trotting to a 2¾ length victory--his fifth in 13 career starts and third this season in four starts. Shake N Bake (Ryan Stahl) was second at 3-1 odds, while 20-1 longshot Voyage To Paris (Kayne Kauffman) got up for third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services and Weaver Bruscemi, Wittyville now has $254,653 earned lifetime and $47,500 in his seasonal bank account. He is the sixth foal out of the SJ's Photo mare Witty Girl, 3, 1:58.2f ($32,602) and is a full brother to Mission Accepted 3, 1:52f ($420,454) and a half-brother to March Awareness (by Ken Warkentin) 7, 1:53f ($433,264) and to Witty's Winner (by Jailhouse Jesse) 5, 1:54.4s ($95,75).   Rock Candy                               Photos by Brad Conrad & Ben Holton In the first of two $50,000 OSS pacing divisions, 2-5 favorite Rock Candy stole the show with a dominating, wire-to-wire 1:50.3 score. The brown gelding couldn't have looked better for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo as he captured his sixth lifetime win in 12 starts and his third victory this season in as many tries. Trained by Brian Brown, Rock Candy now has $260,826 in career earnings, with $56,250 earned this season. Cross Country was second at 9-2 for Luke Ebersole, while 24-1 Rose Run Ulysses was third with Aaron Merriman at the lines. Bred by Mark Moger and Albert Delia, Jr., Rock Candy is the third foal out of the Sportsmaster mare Cotton Candy p, 3, 1:52.3 ($188,312), making him a half-brother to Mr D's Dragon (by Dragon Again) p, 4, 1:50.1f ($250,158) and to Anna D (by Ponder) p, 4, 1:54.1f ($40,430).   Seattle Hanover & Chris Page                        Photos by Brad Conrad & Ben Holton The second OSS division saw Seattle Hanover score a new life clocking of 1:50.3 in rein to Chris Page. The Ron Burke-trainee was sent off as the 6-5 favorite and battled throughout the mile with 5-2 Dislocator (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) for first prize, holding off his rival by 1½ lengths at the wire. McMoe, the 5-1 choice, was third for driver Brett Miller. Lifetime, Seattle Hanover has amassed $103,682 from three wins, three seconds and four thirds in 16 starts and this year has a 2-1-3 record in seven tries with $54,000 in seasonal earnings for owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnell & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Seattle Hanover is the seventh foal out of the Western Hanover mare Scarlet's Western and is a full brother to Scarboro Hanover p,4,1:54.4 ($54,809) and a half-brother to Sapient Hanover (by Yankee Cruiser) p, 2, 1:50.3 ($88,272); Red Hot Scarlett (by Artiscape) p, 3, 1:56.4h ($23,692); and Syndil Hanover (by Art Major) p, 3, 1:59 ($13,505). Kimberly Rinker Ohio Standardbred Development Administrator

LEBANON, OH - Dayson (Chris Page) captured the final Open Trot of the Miami Valley harness racing season on a sunny Sunday afternoon (May 5), scorching the lightning fast five-eighths mile oval in 1:53.3. Page pressed the million dollar winning favorite confidently and unhurriedly towards the front, gaining the point well after the original pacesetter Moonshiner Hanover (Brett Miller) reached the :27.4 first quarter beam. It was the 30th lifetime win for Dayson, a 6-year-old altered son of Conway Hall, from just 61 career starts. Part of the powerful Ron Burke Brigade, Dayson extended his win streak to six, four at The Meadows before relocating to Ohio and Miami Valley for his most recent pair of successes. Full Surge (Tony Hall) trotted a huge mile to finish a closing second, while Moonshiner Hanover hung on for third. The Monday (May 6) matinee will close out the 2019 Miami Valley meet which started back on January 4. A pair of $100,000 Grand Circuit events for older mares will highlight the season finale. Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, makes her first start of the year in the Miami Valley Distaff; while superstar Shartin N will be favored in the Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial-a race she won last year in 1:49.3, still the fastest mile by a mare in the six year history of Miami Valley. The Grand Circuit features are carded as races 8 and 10 on a 14-race program. First race post time is 2:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - A total of eleven $17,500 divisions of harness racing sophomore pacing and trotting colts went postward in Buckeye Stallion Series action on Saturday night (May 4) at Miami Valley Raceway. A multitude of different owners, trainers and drivers shared in the total purses of $192,500 allocated to the first leg of the popular series. Ten different drivers won one of the eleven heats, with Jeremy Smith notching the only double. On the training side, ten different stable were victorious, with the only double belonging to Steve Carter. Pacing winners were Sweet Cruiser (driver Chris Page, 1:54.2, $4.40 win mutuel), Shamma Lamma (Peter Wrenn, 1:52.3, $3.40), B Like Cruiser (Brett Miller, 1:52.3, $2.80), Yankee Boots (Dan Noble, 1:53.3, $3.20) and Rock N Randy V (Jeremy Smith, 1:52.3, $3.00). B Like Cruiser Squaregaiters who reached the winner's circle were More Than Miles (Jeremy Smith, 1:58.1, $18.60), Forget It Im Crazy (Kayne Kauffman, 1:57.4, $6.00), TC's Best (Ronnie Wrenn Jr., 1:56.3, $4.20), Homer Hall (Jason Brewer, 1:57.2, $2.80), Peter's Express (Sandy Beatty, 1:58.2, $83.40) and Colonel Sam (Kyle Ater, 1:57.2, $4.20). TC's Best The final Saturday night $25,000 Open I Handicap Pace of the meet was also staged with Dancin Yankee (Page) topping My Hero Ron (Noble) and Mykindachip (Mike Wilder) in 1:51. It was the 74th career win for the 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser who continues to inch closer to the $2 million overall earnings plateau with every start. Dancin Yankee, a multiple past winner of Ohio Horse Of The Year honors is owned by the Burke Racing Stable LLC. Miami Valley will bring the curtain down on its 2019 season with 2:05 p.m. matinees on Sunday (May 5) and Monday (May 6). The Sunday program will feature three $40,000 first leg divisions of trotting colts in Ohio Sires Stakes showdowns; coupled with a pair of $50,000 divisions for the Buckeye State's best pacing colts. Closing day should be quite special as Miami Valley presents a pair of $100,000 Grand Circuit events headlined by Atlanta, last year's Hambletonian winner, making her first seasonal start in the Miami Valley Distaff; and Shartin N returning to the Ohio five-eighths mile oval as defending champion of the Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial, in which she established a distaff track record of 1:49.3 in the 2018 edition. Gregg Keidel

Favorites did not disappoint at Miami Valley Gaming & Racing on a balmy Friday night, May 3 in a quartet of $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing and trotting fillies. Trainer Chris Beaver scored a pair of home runs as two of his trainees captured both ends of the trotting contests in leg one action of Ohio Sires Stakes, with multiple stablemates picking up second and third place checks. Favorite Aunt Rose, in rein to Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., equalled the track record with a 1:54 triumph for owners Chris Beaver, Mike Carter, Joe Sbrocco and Steven Zeehandelar in the second trotting division. The Uncle Peter lass upped her career earnings to $88,588 with the victory, the first of the season for the Spring Haven Farm and Doug Millard-bred filly. She now has three wins, one second and two thirds in 11 lifetime trips postward. Aunt Rose used come-from-behind tactics for the win, with a :28.2 final brush to prevail by 1½ lengths. Beaver conditioned the first three finishers of this event, with 11-1 Pure Chance (Jason Thompson) second and 5-1 Weslynn Quest (Brett Miller) third. Aunt Rose is out of the Yankee Glide mare Lightning Flower 3, 1:56.2 ($5,725) and is a half-sister to: Lightning Storm (by Donato Hanover) 4, 1:53.2f ($344,145); Wildflower (by Muscle Hill) 3, 1:55 ($267,487); Lightning Force (by Muscle Hill) 3, 1:53 ($169,906); and Flower Hour (by Dejarmbro) 3, 1:57.1f ($38,602), etc. In the first trotting division Beaver harnessed 5-2 Bella's Rose Power (Kayne Kauffman) to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:54.4, staving off a late challenge by 7-1 stablemate Stone In Love (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.). The win was the daughter of Triumphant Caviar's second of the season in four starts and upped her seasonal earnings to $47,000 and her career earnings to $127,135. Favorite (3-5) Only Take Cash was third for Aaron Merriman. Bella's Rose Power now has four wins, three seconds and two thirds in 13 career starts for Beaver, Jim Gallagner, Marion Beachy and Steven Zeehandelar. She is the second foal out of the unraced Angus Hall mare Rose Power and is a half-sister to Chasing The Storm (by Stormin Normand) 2, 2:02.1h ($15,539). Bella's Rose Power Photo by Brad Conrad The OSS pacing divisions also saw favorites prevail in easy fashion, with Avaline Hanover taking the first match in a new career clocking of 1:52.1 for driver Chris Page and trainer Ronnie Burke. The daughter by Dragon Again paced through middle panels of :56 and 1:25 before breezing home in :27.1 as the public's choice, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of 6-5 Rylee Roo (Aaron Merriman), with 7-2 High Reward (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) notching third-place honors. Avaline Hanover, a winner of $83,490 lifetime and $70,450 this year has five wins, five seconds and a third from 12 lifetime starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&TSilva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. She is out of the unraced Grinfromeartoear mare Aw Shucks Hanover and is a half-sister to: Astounding Hanover (by Allamerican Native) p, 4, 1:50f ($541,169); A Ok Hanover (by Yankee Cruiser) p, 2, 1:52.3f ($88,876); Feds Express (by The Panderosa) p, 4, 1:55 ($30,572); and Park Lane Western (by Western Ideal) p, 3, 1:54.4 ($19,625); and is a full sister to Arycca Hanover p, 3, 1:54f ($58,490). Avaline Hanover & Chris Page Photo by Brad Conrad Queen Of The Pride simply devestated her competition for driver Tony Hall with a 1:51.4 victory, her third of the season in four starts. The McArdle lass--who is owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare--left the gate and never looked back, drawing away from her five rivals in the final turn and sprinting to a 5½ length win, her eighth lifetime. Rose Run Uptowngal (Chris Page) was second at 10-1, while 11-1 Carmen Ohio was third for Ryan Stahl. Bred by Ohioan Brad Wallace, Queen Of The Pride now sports a healthy bankroll of $421,454, with $67,500 of that earned in 2019. She is out of the Western Ideal mare Lionness Hanover p, 2, 1:53 ($21,280) and has half-siblings in: Roaring To Go (by Art Major) p, 2, 1:50.4 ($421,999); Well Let's See (by Well Said) p, 4, 1:54.4h ($95,402); and Well Excuuuse Me (by Well Said) p, 4, 1:53f ($76,035). Queen Of The Pride & Tony Hall Photo by Brad Conrad This year the Ohio Sires Stakes offer $300,000 Championships at Northfield Park on Sept. 1, with $75,000 Consolations to be race on Sept. 7 at Scioto Downs. As well 4-year-olds and up will race for $75,000 Championships: pacers-Sept. 7 at Scioto Downs & trotters-Oct. 12 at Northfield Park. To be eligible to the rich Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS), horses nominated to the program must be sired by a stallion registered with the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) and standing in the state of Ohio throughout the breeding season of the year of foaling. For information on the Ohio Sires Stakes, go to www.racingohio.net. Kimberly Rinker

LEBANON, OH. - The 2019 Buckeye Stallion Series launched on Wednesday afternoon (May 1) with nine $17,500 harness racing divisions of Buckeye-bred sophomore fillies, five paces and four trots. This first leg action was the first of four preliminary sessions at Miami Valley, Scioto Downs, Northfield Park and the Delaware (OH) county fair-all leading up to the finals for $60,000 purses at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Sunday, September 29. Pacing winners were Heythere Lisamarie (Brett Miller, 1:54.4, $3.80 to win), Officially My Way (Jason Thompson, 1:53.4, $5.60), Rocl Me Cristal (Cameron McCown, 1:53.3, $14.20), Slymar's Dragon (Mark Evers, 1:53.3, $6.80) and Rocking Zoe (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54.4, $11.80). Trotters reaching the winner's circle were Ms Toni (Josh Sutton, 1:56.3, $4.60), Caterina Hall (Brett Miller, 1:56.1, $4.80), Twentyfour K Magic (Chris Page, 1:56.4, $15.00) and Sarafina AS (Elliott Deaton, 1:56.4, $23.40). Caterina Hall was the quickest winner in Buckeye Stallion Series action at Miami Valley on Wednesday. (Conrad photo) The Buckeye Stallion Series returns to Miami Valley on Saturday night (May 4) with eleven divisions for three-year-old pacing and trotting colts. Post time is 7:05 p.m., one hour later than normal due to the Kentucky Derby.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Millionaires Atlanta and Shartin N, arguably the finest active female trotter and pacer on the planet, are headed to Miami Valley Raceway for a pair of harness racing $100,000 Grand Circuit races on Monday afternoon, May 6. The closing day features have been carded as races eight and ten on the 14-race program which begins at 2:05 p.m. Atlanta, last year's Hambletonian winner, will be making her initial 2019 start after an impressive 1:52.3 qualifier at The Meadowlands in her first effort for new trainer Ron Burke. Yannick Gingras, who qualified Atlanta without trotting hopples for the first time, will be following the daughter of Chapter Seven-who has earned $1,140,689 in her career-to Ohio for her first seasonal test. The likely odds-on favorite is owned by Crawford Farms, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor. A quartet of accomplished challengers will go postward, all inside of Atlanta on the starting gate in the Miami Valley Distaff. Custom Cantab (Peter Wrenn) was a winner of 13 out of 17 starts in 2018, including the Matron Stake at Dover, earning over half a million dollars for trainer Chris Beaver. The three others have each won three races already this season. Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) recently won the Open Trot at Yonkers, Churita (Trace Tetrick) is three-for-three at Hoosier Park to open her year, boosting her career earnings to $924,225. Red Rose Swan (LeWayne Miller) already has three wins and four place finishes in seven trips to post this year, including capturing the prestigious Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial Series championship at Miami Valley. Shartin N is the defending champion of the Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial, having captured the 2018 edition in 1:49.3-still the fastest mile by a distaff pacer in the six year history of Miami Valley. Co-owner Tim Tetrick will be in the bike for partners Richard Poillucci and JoAnn Looney-King, the wife of trainer Jim King Jr. The six-year-old New Zealand bred mare won 19 of 24 races last season, including most every marquee event for the division. The reigning Breeders Crown champion and runnerup to McWicked for Horse Of The Year laurels has won four of five times in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers, including the $402,600 final, to kick off her 2019 campaign. Her lifetime bounty has reached $1,393,853. Tim Tetrick and Jim King Main competition is likely to come from Baron Remy (Chris Page), who captured the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship at Scioto Downs as well as the Courageous Lady at Northfield Park in her 2018 sophomore season. Shartin N stablemate Bettor Joy N (Trace Tetrick), who finished second in the Blue Chip finale, will also pose a threat; while $918,093 winning Medusa (Gingras) and Always Giggling (Brett Miller) are also formidable foes. The Noble Memorial pays homage to the memory of one of Ohio's finest-ever horsemen, Chip Noble from nearby Xenia, who passed away shortly before Miami Valley Raceway opened its doors in 2014. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - It has been over three months since driver Jeremy Smith underwent surgery to repair a bothersome shoulder, but he roared back in style on Monday afternoon at Miami Valley Raceway by winning three of his first four drives following his rehabilitation layoff. In just his second of nine assignments on the day, the 39-year-old red and white clad reinsman guided Doc's Bonanza to a 3-3/4 length score in a bottom conditions pace. The 1:53.2 triumph was the first of 2019 for Doc's Bonanza and was the best time for the 12-year-old winner in over two years. Mary Dawson owns and trains the son of The Panderosa, who paid $9.20 to win. Smith's second tally of the day was a stunner as Virginnaire upset a full field of lower condition pacing mares in 1:55.1, returning $39.40 for a $2 win ticket. It was also the first win in 11 tries for the daughter of Always A Virgin, who is trained by Tony Todd for owner David Finnegan. Always one to produce handsome payoffs, Jeremy next visited the winner's circle with J C Onthebeach, who yielded $36.20 to his backers. Daniel Stone conditions the Somebeachsomewhere gelding for the S & S Racing Stable. His 1:52 score in a mid-range condition pace was his third on the year and 42nd in the career of the nine year old gelding. "I feel great," exclaimed Smith. "I did everything the doctors asked and my shoulder feels better than it has in years. I'm so thankful that I have a group of loyal trainers and owners who have welcomed me back and trusted me with their horses...I hope I can get on a roll for them!" Smith is coming off his best year. In 2018, he won 338 races good for $2,990,077 in purses. The career winner of 2,159 races and over $13 million in purses also captured the dash title at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Million dollar winner Dayson (Chris Page) made his inaugural appearance at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (April 28) and promptly notched his first win in the $25,000 Doug Stovall Memorial Open Trot. Following three straight Preferred class victories at The Meadows to start his 2019 harness racing campaign the six-year-old son of Conway Hall was shipped by trainer Ron Burke to his Ohio contingent for his latest test. Despite being assigned the outside post position in the talented nine-horse field, Dayson patiently forged forward before gaining command shortly after passing the :28 first quarter station. After getting a relative breather to the :57.1 halfway point, challengers came calling in the third stanza with Pine Dream (Trace Tetrick) hot on Page's back and Jailhouse Sam (Hugh Beatty) and No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) stacked in the outer flow. With Jailhouse Sam lapped on at the 1:25.4 three-quarter beam, Page decided to let Dayson out a notch and he responded by opening enough daylight to discourage any would-be upsetters. Pine Dream did stay in tow enough to garner runnerup laurels, while longshot Pittsburgh Hanover (Brady Galliers) trotted strong through the stretch to grab the show dough.                                                                                                      -Holton photo Earlier on the card, Sumthenforthegirlz (Dan Noble) was victorious in the Barry Langley Memorial, a condition/claiming event honoring the memory of a fellow southwest Ohio horseman lost far too soon. The local horse community was shocked and saddened by the passing of Langley, just 33 years old, earlier this year. The C.K.G. Billings series for amateur drivers also made its annual stop at Miami Valley on Sunday. Undercover Strike (Gregg Keidel) bested Super Rock (Brian Miller) and Song In My Heart (Tim Miller) in the first of over 20 Midwest Division stops at Northfield Park, Scioto Downs, Dayton Raceway and The Meadows-plus several fairs-- in the next six months. Chris Allen trains Undercover Strike, an 11-year-old son of Striking Sahbra, for owner Joe Cirasuola. This 1:57.2 score was the 33rd for the winner from 126 starts, including seven wins from just 23 starts over the last two years.   Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH - Despite over four hours of steady drizzle, Miami Valley Raceway produced another national harness racing season's mark on Saturday night (April 27) when Rock Candy sped to a 1:50.2 score in the $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational for Ohio-sired pacing colts. The son of Pet Rock, sent off at 1-9 odds, quarter-moved to the front for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and then advanced comfortably all the way to the wire in the quickest clocking in North America thus far in 2019 over a five-eighths mile oval. Seattle Hanover (Chris Page) finished a length and a half back with Ohio Vintage (Dan Noble), Black Smile (Brett Miller) and Authentic Hanover (Tyler Smith) rounding out the check getters. "He's pretty special," exclaimed Wrenn Jr. following the race. "Brian does such a good job prepping his horses for races like this one." "I just hope he's still around in September," smiled Brown. "The speeds we're going these days makes you wonder if they'll hold up for an entire season. This horse (Rock Candy) wasn't a real flashy yearling, but he has turned out better than I expected. We'll just have to wait and see if he keeps improving." Rock Candy, a $30,000 purchase by trainer Brian Brown at the Ohio Select Yearling Sale in September of 2017, now has five wins and six place finishes in 11 lifetime starts, earning $235,826 along the way. He is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Rock Candy A tandem $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational for trotting colts was captured by Lane Of Stone (Jeff Nisonger) in 1:55.2, topping Yes (Josh Sutton) by four lengths, with Shake N Bake (Elliiott Deaton), Never Say Uncle (Brett Miller) and Otsego (Wrenn Jr.) next across the finish line. Another Ohio-sired sophomore who has been first or second in every start, Lane Of Stone now sports seven victories in his nine starts and his earnings now stand at $169,893. Harry Horowitz owns the son of Wishing Stone that is trained by Mark Winters Sr. "I caught a break early in the race when Wittyville (the favorite) went off stride," related Nisonger. "But this colt had two nice qualifiers and was ready for this kind of mile tonight." Lane Of Stone Lane Of Stone GD Western Joe (Page) reached the winner's circle for the second straight week winning the $22,500 Open I Pace in 1:51. Granite (Wrenn Jr.) and My Hero Ron (Noble) completed the trifecta. GD Western Joe A $20,000 Open II on the undercard was won by Whataboy (Noble) in 1:51.3, topping Angelo J Fra (Page) and Armabluechipboy N (Tyler Smith). Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - Two exceptional fillies scored impressive victories in a pair of $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitationals for Ohio-sired harness racing three-year-olds at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (April 26). Queen Of The Pride copped the distaff pacing division in 1:51.2 to run her young career scorecard to 7-4-3 in 17 starts, with her earnings growing to $396,454 early in her sophomore season. Only Take Cash triumphed in the trotting split in 1:54.3, winning for the ninth time in just ten career starts with earnings of $297,140. Both fillies won their respective Ohio Sires Stakes championships as two-year-olds by capturing the $275,000 finals at Scioto Downs last September. Tony Hall, who grew up just a few miles from Miami Valley and got his stellar career started at old Lebanon Raceway, was the sulky-sitter behind Queen Of The Pride. The daughter of McArdle pushed her main foe, Rylee Roo (Aaron Merriman) to a :26.3 opening panel before relenting for a pocket ride the next half mile. After tracking Rylee Roo, who had upset Queen Of The Pride in last week's $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial final by benefitting from a two-hole trip, Hall flipped the script by angling to the outside as the three-quarter station was approached in 1:23.2 and coasted to victory through the stretch. Avaline Hanover (Chris Page) rallied late to close within a length of the winner at the finish, while Rylee Roo hung on for third. Frank Chick of Harrington, Delaware, owns Queen Of The Pride and entrusts the training duties to Kevin Lare. Queen Of The Pride Only Take Cash (Merriman) was floated from the gate while a trio of challengers battled for early supremacy in the tandem $50,000 trot. As soon as those fillies sorted things out and lined up along the pylons at the :28.1 first quarter pole, Only Take Cash rushed to command and soon the outcome was in little doubt. The daughter of Cash Hall, trained by Bob McIntosh, coasted through middle fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.4 before tacking on a :28.4 final split to win by open lengths. Bella's Rose Power (Kayne Kauffman) who trailed in the nine-horse field coming out of the second turn, staged an impressive rally to nose out Well I'm Fancy (Page) for the place laurels. McIntosh bred Only Take Cash and co-owns her with partners Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables of Ontario, Canada. Only Take Cash Both fillies and a host of others are expected back at Miami Valley next Friday night (May 3) when the 2019 Ohio Sires Stakes program kicks off with first leg action. Up Front Flor Ida (Kauffman) pulled a mild upset in the $22,000 Mares Open Pace on the same program. The four-year-old Woodstock lass topped a distinguished field that included a former Breeders Crown winner (Blazin Britches) and a $1 million earner (Safe From Terror). Dispatched at 8-1 odds, Up Front Flor Ida paid $19.80 to win. Big Bad Jane (Dan Noble) cut all the fractions before faltering slightly in the final steps of the 1:51.1 mile. Safe From Terror (Merriman) grabbed the show dough with favored Rosemary Rose (Page) and Golden Paradise (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) earning the minor paychecks in the feature field. Tim McKoy trains the winner for Kevin McKinney and Virginia McKoy. Up Front Flor Ida The Saturday (April 27) card at Miami Valley will feature another pair of $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitationals for the best Buckeye-bred sophomore pacing and trotting colts. Total purses for the stellar 14-race program total $278,000. Post time is 6:05 p.m. Gregg Keidel

Columbus, OH — The 2019 Ohio Sires Stakes season begins next week at Miami Valley Gaming & Racing, spotlighting harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters on May 3 (6:05 p.m. post), while the males in this same age group will be tested on May 5 (2:05 p.m. post). Last year’s 2-year-old championship and freshman consolation winners in their respective divisions have all been nominated as sophomores to this year’s rich program. For the first time, Ohio-breds will vie for a $300,000 championship purse, while the consolations sport a $75,000 purse. The four legs of the Ohio Sires Stakes feature a sliding scale again this season: $40,000 per division if three or more races are contested; $50,000 purse for two divisions; $60,000 for one division. Owners had to nominate their Ohio-eligible horses with a March 15 payment of $500 making them eligible to all four legs in the series. The starting fee per leg is $500. Returning champions include 2-year-old pacing colt champion High On Paydaze, a homebred son of Nob Hill High conditioned by Ohio’s top colt man, Brian Brown, and owned by Scott Hagemeyer, Robert Mondillo and Donald Robinson. High On Paydaze captured the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship for 2-year-old pacing colts last fall at Scioto Downs in an engaging, come-from-behind 1:53.2 clocking for driver David Miller after sweeping the first three OSS legs handily and finishing third in the fourth leg. He wrapped up the season with $220,700 in freshman earnings. High On Paydze spent the winter months at Spring Garden Ranch, qualifying at that Florida training center twice in March before finishing second at Miami Valley Gaming & Racing in a $15,000 Hackett elimination. However, he was a disappointing seventh in the $40,000 Hackett final at Miami Valley on April 20 as a result of having a grade three pharengitis ailment, according to co-owner Hagemeyer. “We had him scoped right after the race and he was sick,” Hagemeyer confirmed. “He didn’t bleed, but that’s why we didn’t enter him in the Scarlet and Gray. He seems to be feeling better now and he’ll train back and we’ll scope him before we have to enter him in the Ohio Sires Stakes events. “Brian (trainer Brown) is going to switch up his equipment and change his overcheck a bit in order to help him out in the breathing department. In every other aspect, the colt is good and sound and we hope he’s ready for the Ohio Sires Stakes. We’d never want to race him sick.” Hagemeyer explained that High On Paydaze has remained as professional as ever, but that at times he still shows that he’s all boy. “He’s still a colt, and he’s started acting a little more study this year,” Hagemeyer admitted. “He’s matured a bit overall, and in the end, he’s still the ultimate professional. Brian seems to think that he’s on the right path and that he’ll do well this season, so we will just hope and pray that he’s in good shape for this first leg of the Sires Stakes next week.” High On Paydaze is the fourth of seven foals out of The Panderosa mare Myell p,4,1:56.1h ($34,688). He is a half-brother to the $155,491-winning gelding Myell’s Rockstar (by World Of Rocknroll) p,4,1:52.1f; Pacing To Paydaze (by World Of Rocknroll) p,4,Q1:54f ($62,332); and also has an unraced 2-year-old and Ohio Sires Stakes eligible full sister named Dr Lyndsay; a yearling half-sister named Gotta Luv Paydaze (by Allamerican Native); and a suckling half-sister christened Party On Paydaze (by Western Terror). by Kimberly Rinker, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund Administrator

LEBANON, OH - The Ron Burke Stable has another superstar on its roster having assumed the training of Mission Accepted for his four-year-old harness racing campaign. The 4-year-old son of Manofmanymissions won 12 of 21 races at ages two and three for veteran Ohio conditioner Jeff Conger, earning a hefty $370,454. Owners Knox Services Inc. and David Wills have opted to hand the reins to Burke now that the Ohio juvenile events are in Mission Accepted's past and he'll soon likely be tackling the top aged trotters in the sport. As part of the Burke Brigade, Mission Accepted has reeled off three straight impressive triumphs in Miami Valley Raceway's weekly $25,000 Open Trot, all from assigned outside post positions, to start his 2019 campaign. The latest win came Monday afternoon (April 22) in 1:52.3 for driver Brett Miller. Content to let Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Pittsburgh Hanover (Brady Galliers) each take a turn on the front end through fractions of :27.3 and :55.3, Mission Accepted gradually moved up to third on the outside at the 1:23.3 three quarters station, then breezed home in a :29 final panel to hold off fast-closing No Whip Chip (Dan Noble). Pittsburgh Hanover held on to garner the show dough. Racing resumes Tuesday afternoon at Miami Valley with a 14-race matinee commencing at 2:05 p.m. There will also be a special "make-up" matinee program on Thursday afternoon (April 25).   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH - The betting public got it right on Saturday night at Miami Valley as Dislocator (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), dispatched as the 3-5 harness racing favorite, captured the $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired three-year-old pacing colts. Wrenn floated Dislocator from the gate, allowing stablemate High On Paydaze (Brett Miller) to trip the first timing beam in :27. Rushing to the top immediately thereafter, the winning son of Big Bad John had control at the :55.1 halfway point. Although Dislocator still had the inside advantage at the 1:23 third quarter station, Ohio Vintage (Kayne Kauffman) had ranged up on the outside and stuck a neck in front. Shortly thereafter another challenger, Seattle Hanover (Chris Page), came calling three wide off the final bend and Dashing To Da Wire (Tyler Smith) entered the championship fray. In the end, Dislocator was able to hold the others at bay for a 1:52.1 triumph. Dashing To Da Wire, Seattle Hanover and Ohio Vintage were next across the finish line to also earn automatic bids to next Saturday's $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitational at Miami Valley. Dislocator, trained by Brian Brown, earned $113,116 at age two and finished third in the $275,000 Ohio Sires Stakes final to stablemates High On Paydaze and Rock Candy. He is owned by Jolynn Ridder, Scott Davis, Sharon Sopronyi and the VIP Internet Stable. Dislocator A race earlier, GD Western Joe (Page) scored the nation's fastest win by a four-year-old on a five-eighths mile track thus far this year. His 1:49.3 triumph in the $24,000 Open I Pace was his first in three tries at the top level, following a pair of runnerup efforts. My Hero Ron (Dan Noble) got a garden trip behind the winner the entire way to earn the place finish, while Granite (Wrenn Jr.), assigned the outside after winning the last two Opens, was forced to do some heavy lifting to pick up the show dough. There will be no racing at Miami Valley on Easter Sunday, but the final two weeks of the 2019 meet will commence on Monday with a 2:05 p.m. matinee. Gregg Keidel

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