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DAYTON, OH. - Team Northfield Park harness racing drivers Kurt Sugg and Greg Grismore both scored driving doubles to lead their squad to a convincing 507-445 triumph in the initial "Buckeye Battle" at Hollywood Dayton--benefitting the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   Sugg captured the sixth and seventh legs of the eight-race contest, while Grismore won leg two and the eighth and final leg to secure the victory for the Northern Ohio quintet. Aaron Merriman also won a leg to give Team Northfield a 5-3 advantage over Team Hollywood Dayton in the win column.   Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith and Josh Sutton won "Buckeye Battle" races for the home team, who had a narrow 364-350 lead after six of the eight races.   Overall point leader was Kurt Sugg who accumulated 130 points. Greg Grismore was a close second with 119, followed by Jeremy Smith 112, Tyler Smith 96, David Lake 95, Aaron Merriman 94-1/2, Josh Sutton 84, Brett Miller 83, Kayne Kauffman 70 and Chris Lems 68-1/2.   Winning horses were Fancy Footwork (Tyler Smith, 1:54, $9.00), Colonys Best (Greg Grismore, 1:54.1, $8.00), Parkin In Heaven (Aaron Merriman, 1:53.3, $3.00), Vegas Again (Jeremy Smith, 1:53.2, $8.00), Imajean Rocks (Josh Sutton, 1:52.2, $5.80), Risk N (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $16.60), Sportsmuffler (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $10.00) and Arrival (Greg Grismore, 1:52.3, $28.40). $3000 was donated to the Disaster Relief Fund, which is being used to repair buildings as well as families following a horrific tornado that swept through Dayton last Memorial Day.   "It is just wonderful that people who weren't effected by the devastation keep coming together to help those that were," said the Dayton Foundation's Carrie Dalrymple. "We can't thank the horsemen enough for chosing to make a positive difference in total strangers lives tonight. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association are to be commended for creating this fun event to raise awareness that this is a long term relief project that will take years to finish and more help is still needed."   Although Josh Sutton had the misfortune of having two horses scratched during the Buckeye Battle, he still lead all drivers on the overall 14-race program with a Grand Slam--four trips to the winner's circle on the night.   by Gregg Keidel, for the Buckeye Battle

DAYTON, OH. - Five of Northfield Park's top harness racing drivers will square off against a quintet of Hollywood Dayton's best reinsmen on Friday night (Dec. 13) in the first-ever "Buckeye Battle" to determine state bragging rights (North vs. South) as well as raise money for the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   Hollywood Gaming and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association have joined forces to provide $3000 in prize money for the event--$2500 to the winners and $500 to the losers. All ten drivers from both teams have agreed to donate the entire amount to the relief fund, monitored by the Dayton Foundation, and being used to rebuild infrastructure in neighborhoods that were devastated by a Memorial Day tornado.   Team Northfield is captained by Aaron Merriman, the reigning 2019 national dash champion who currently has a comfortable lead in his quest to repeat and defend that title. He will be joined by Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems, Greg Grismore and David Lake. Team Dayton is led by local dash leader and native Ohioan Brett Miller, who is wrapping up his first year back as a Buckeye after a successful decade-long stint at The Meadowlands and other major harness tracks on the East Coast. Also competing for the local squad will be Jeremy Smith, Tyler Smith, Kayne Kauffman and Josh Sutton.   The drivers will go toe-to-toe and stride-for-stride in eight races on the Friday program, which starts at 6:15 p.m. Each of the ten drivers were pre-assigned approximately equal post positions over the course of the contest, with horses then randomly drawn in to those races. Points will be awarded as follows: 30 for first place, 24 for second, 18 for third, followed by 14-11-8-5-3-1-0 for fourth through tenth place finishes.   Five claiming events, ranging from the $6500 level up to $15,000, plus three high level condition races comprise the competition. Team Northfield will look to gain an early advantage as Merriman will guide the morning line favorite in three of the first four events. Team Dayton drivers, however, have been blessed with morning line favorites in the final three events.   The competition will be friendly, but also fierce, as these ten top reinsmen face off to determine if the northern Ohio or southern Ohio drivers win the inaugural "Buckeye Battle."   by Gregg Keidel, for the Buckeye Battle

Northfield Park's 2020 stall applications are now available under the "For Horsemen" section at www.northfieldpark.com Limited space is available. Northfield will race a year-round harness racing schedule with 221 dates in 2020. Stables with qualified race horses are preferred, as Northfield will race five nights per week through January. Please call the race office at 330-467-4101 with any questions. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

MGM Northfield Park is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Track Veterinarian. Please contact Exec. V.P. of Racing Dave Bianconi at 330-467-4101 ext. 2207 or at dbianconi@mgmnorthfieldpark.com for details. By Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park    

Blue Ivy overcame windy conditions and a brisk 39 degrees to become the fastest three-year-old harness racing filly pacer to win in the history of Northfield Park. Blue Ivy (Captaintreacherous - Ali Blue - American Ideal) fired from post two to lead her competition through quarter times of :26.3, :54.1, 1:22 and 1:51.1, winning by 7 ¾-lengths. The previous 1:51.2 record was held by sophomore filly pacer Giggles In Dreams and Shawn Barker II set earlier this year. Blue Ivy now has eight wins in 20 starts this season for owner Renee Bercury and trainer William Bercury. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. The victory increased Blue Ivy's earnings to $185,285. Blue Ivy was heavily favored and returned $2.40 to win. by Ayers Ratlliff, for Northfield Park

$154,311 Northfield Single Six Carryover; Mandatory Payout on Wednesday The 20¢ Northfield Park Single Six has a mandatory payout on Wednesday (November 27). The mandatory payout is an extremely attractive wager due to its massive $154,311 carryover. The Single Six has a low 14% takeout rate and begins in Wednesday's ninth race. The wager's pool is expected to be the largest in Northfield Park's history. Harness racing offers no better way to start the holidays off on a better note. Many industry experts have weighed in on this wagering opportunity. Here is what the experts think: Rod Allums Jr. 3-4-5-8-9 / 1-3-4 / 1-2-5 / 1-2 / 1-3 / 7-9 = $72.00 NAHUpicks.com Contributor Garnet Barnsdale 2-3-5-8-9 / 1-3-4 / 1-4-5-7 / 1 / 1-2-3 / 2-6-7 = $108 DRF Contributor Michael Carter 2-5-8-9 / 3-4 / 1-3-5-9 / 1 / 1-2-3 / 2-6-7-9 = $76.80 Cohost Post Time Mike and Mike Frank Cotolo 2-3-5 / 4-5 / 3 / 1 / 1-5 / 3-7 = $4.80 Handicapper TwinSpires.com Ray Cotolo 2-6 / 1-2-7 / 1-2 / 1-6 / 1-8-9 / 4-9 = $28.80 NAHUpicks.com Contributor Jeremy Day 8-9 / 1-3-4 / 1-2-3-4-5-7-9 / 1 / 1-2-3-5 / 7-9 = $67.20 DRF Contributor Robert Eppich 3-5-9 / 1-2-3-6 / 2-7-9 / 1 / 1-2-5-6 / 1-2-7-9 = $115.20 Ace Handicapper "Goldsheet Bob" Mike Pribozie 2-3-4-8 / 1-4-7-9 / 3-4-5-9 / 1-5 / 1 / 2-9 = $51.20 NAHUpicks.com Contributor Ayers Ratliff 2-9 / 1-2-3-5 / 1-3-7-9 / 1-5 / 1-3 / 1-7-9 = $76.80 Track Announcer Northfield Park Bob "Railbird" Roberts All / 3-4 / All / 1 / 1-3 / 9 = $64.80 Ret. Cleveland Plain Dealer by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

The 20¢ Northfield Park Single Six (a unique combination Pick-6) carryover continues to grow as the wager was hit with multiple tickets on Sunday, pushing the carryover to $136,274. This Wednesday (November 27) marks a mandatory payout date for the Single Six. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six offers a low 14% takeout rate and carries over 50% of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six is offered nightly in the ninth race.  Northfield Park reminds horsemen that the bulk of the draws for the Progressive Claiming Series are this week.  No pre-payment is required, just enter in your specific class as part of the normal draw schedule. More information for the series can be found at www.northfieldpark.com or by calling the race office at 330.467.4101. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Longtime Ohio horseman Calvin "Buck" Hollar reached a harness racing career milestone on Saturday (November 23), harnessing his 1,000th training victory. The achievement was realized when Ronnie Wrenn Jr. drove Pinkpolosocks to a 1:54 victory to win the evening's fifth race. Hollar's father, Billy, sold cars for a living and happen to sell a truck to Michigan horseman Ron Bateson. That transaction sparked an interest in the Hollar family attending the races at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio. While in the grandstand Buck formed a friendship with Bateson's sons Greg and Scott. Buck's interest for the horses grew and eventually he found himself working for Ronald Bateson, then Terry Buter, Bob Coberly, Dan Venier, Leonard Milburn and Brian Brown. He worked as a second trainer, while conditioning a budding stable of his own. In 2001 Hollar stepped fully out on his own and moved his stable to Northfield Park. Embryo, a F&M Open pacer, sparked Hollar's solo training career. Buck's 1,000th training win was the result of 8,718 starts that also saw him finish second 1,044 times and third another 1,064. All told his earnings have amounted to just under $4.2 million.                                                                                          --Jeffrey J. Zamaiko photo "It's feels good to reach this milestone. But a trainer cannot win races without great owners supplying them fast horses that receive good drives on the racetrack," explained Hollar. "Also, I have had some of the best employees in the business and have received more family support than anyone could imagine, especially from my mother, who always rooted for Hollar Racing."   Ayers Ratliff

MGM Northfield Park has received permission from the Ohio State Racing Commission to have a mandatory payout of the entire Single 6 pool on Wednesday, November 27.  The 20-cent Single 6 is a unique combination Pick 6 wager held nightly on Northfield races 9-14.  The wager has not been solved by a single combination winner in over six weeks.  The carryover pool has grown to an all-time high $119,850.83 heading into Northfield’s next racing program Saturday, November 23. “There are still four cards of racing (November 23, 24, 25 and 26) before the mandatory payout date for the Single 6, so there is no guarantee that we will have a six-figure carryover going into the Wednesday program” said Dave Bianconi, Northfield Park’s Executive Vice President of Racing & Simulcasting.  “There are no provisions in the rules for the wager to be suspended, so it will go on as normal until Wednesday the 27th, when we will have a mandatory payout of the entire pool, whether the carryover is $150,000, or $0.  We have had a couple of near misses this week of players taking down the entire pool, so it could certainly happen anytime we race.  I’d love to see the big carryover last until Wednesday because I’m sure it could swell to over $500,000 that night. If it is hit before then, you just have to tip your cap to the handicapper who takes it down and start the cycle all over.” Post time for the Thanksgiving-eve card on Wednesday night, November 27, is 6:00 PM (Eastern). by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Northfield Park has announced the dates of 17 series available over the Flying Turns. Nine of the Series are Conditioned Mini Series for Non-Winners of $600, $1,000 or $2,000 per start this year for trotters, distaff pacers and male pacers. Each of the nine series consist of an elimination, final and consolation. The Mini Conditioned Series' first draw is Thursday, November 7 and will begin racing on Tuesday, November 12. The Progressive claiming series offer opportunities for owners to place their horses in races with progressive claiming prices and purses. The newly-added Late Closers start with a base claiming price of $6,000, $12,500 or $20,000 for distaff and male pacers. Trotters are offered Series with base prices of $12,500 or $20,000. The initial draw for the Progressive Claiming Series will be Thursday, November 21 and will be raced on Tuesday, November 26. More information for all the series can be found at www.northfieldpark.com or by calling the race office at (330) 467-4101. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

The 20¢ Northfield Park Single Six (a unique combination Pick-6) carryover continues to grow as the combination went unsolved, paying five of six, on Monday (November 18), pushing the carryover to $100,571. This is the first time in the history of the harness racing wager that that carryover has exceeded $100,000, The 20¢ Northfield Single Six offers a low 14% takeout rate and carries over 50% of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six is offered nightly in the ninth race. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northpark Park

The 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick 6) carryover continues to grow as multiple winning tickets sold again on Saturday, pushing the carryover to $88,004. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six offers a low 14% takeout rate and carries over 50% of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six is offered nightly in the 9h race. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Northfield, OH-- Jazmin "the Little Flower" Arnold is really beginning to make a name for herself. The diminutive lady from Xenia, Ohio, just keeps doing what she knows best and that is driving harness racing winners and recently in the midwest region of the Billing Trotting Series On Sunday evening (Nov. 10) Arnold scored again when she reined Celebrity Pegasus to a romping six-length 1:55 triumph over Kelly "Sky" Walker's, Keystone Blade, in the $6000 Billings Trot. For the rising star it was her 22nd driving victory this season. True, more that half were on the Ohio County Fair circuit, but since gaining her full license she has been dominating her veteran Billings competitors at many pari-mutuel venues. Her victory on Sunday was her third consecutive - all with different Herman Hagerman-trained horses- at Nothfield Park. Her journey to victory on Sunday took an overland route from when she hustled Celebrity Pegasus to the lead from the five-hole and after wicked early half-mile fractions of :27.3 and 55.3, her trotter finally made the front. And once on top Arnold kept the pedal to the metal and the 7-year-old son of Andover Hall led the competition by the third stanza in 1:24.4, and through the stretch Celebrity Pegasus cruised to an easy victory. After parking the winner in the early going "Sky" Walker's Keystone Blade hung on for second money while Lavern "Michigan" Miller took home the show dough with Sea Fearher. The winner, owned by Morgan Hagerman, returned a $4.80 mutuel. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

NORTHFIELD, OH--Those who watched the CKG Billings races at Northfield Park on Sunday night got to see an industry rising star guide, not one, but two trotters to the winners circle that evening. Fittingly nicknamed "the Lethal Lady", Jazmin Arnold certainly lived up to that moniker. Up behind favored Buddy Hally from the four hole in the first contest, Ms Arnold gunned her charge for the lead and had to trot a :27.4 first quarter before Kelly "Sky" Walker and Jurgen Hanover yielded command. Once on top Arnold kept the pedal to the metal and Buddy Hally completely annihilated his competition. Comfortable on the lead Arnold guided her charge to a seven-length triumph in a very creditable 1:56 clocking. Utopia and driver Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, trotted through traffic to gain the place money while Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola took home the show dough with Better Call Saul. Owned by Joseph Varga and trained by Herman Hagerman, Buddy Hally paid $4.60 for win. In the othe Billings event Ms Arnold used different tactics after starting from the pole position with Nono Lindy. When the starter said "go" she allowed Alesha "the Hoosier Hotshot" Binkley, with United Bi, and Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with Smart Flight, to find room along the pylons in front of her. United Bi led Smart Flight all the way to the three quarters at which point Ms Arnold rallied favored Nono Lindy and the altered son of Crazed trotted to the lead when the field turned for home and at the wire they were a length to the good over United Bi. Smart Flight finished third. Owned by Terrence Smith and trained by Herman Hagerman, Nono Lindy, returned a $4.60 mutuel. But perhaps the bigger story is the emergence of Jazmin Arnold as a top flight tail-setter. For the 24 year old miss who began the season mainly on the county fair circuits, she now has 21 wins, eight seconds and five thirds in 54 starts for a phenomenal .502 UDR. by John Manzi, for the CKG Billings Series

NORTHFIELD, Ohio--Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved again on Sunday night, (Oct. 27) to Northfield Park in greater Cleveland,, Ohio for two Midwest region divisions over the speedy double-oval there and when the judges hung the official signs, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Bob " the Lumberman" Troyer each emerged victorious in their respective $6000 splits. Oldford guided Utopia to a 1:58 victory in their division while Troyer scored with Ubanji in 1;59 in the other, perhaps making it the first time that the winning horses' name in each division began with the letter "U". When the starter said "go"in Utopia's race Oldford found himself parked from the four-hole which helped him decide that he'd be better off to go for the lead which proved to be the winning move. "I surely didn't want to be parked so I thought the front-end was the best place to go," Oldford acknowledged, "So I urged Utopia and he responded and we had command after we passed the first quarter in :29. From there the old guy knew just what to do and we were never in trouble and we coasted home an easy 1-1/4 length winner." Although Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel had the betting favorite Crime Fighter, within striking distance after the three quarters, Utopia refused to lose. Crime Fighter finished second while Alesha "the Lethal Lady" Binkley got Hititoutofthepark up for the show dough after making a break in the early going. Sent off at odds of over 7-2, Utopia paid $9.40 for win. He is owned by Oldford Racing trained by Terry Deters. With his victory Oldford raised his seasonal UDR to .401 on the strength of 15 wins. nine seconds, and 11 thirds in 59 starts which strengthened his pursuit of the National Amateur Driver of Year Award, an honor he won a few years ago. After starting from the two-hole Troyer ducked Ubanji to the pylons and was third at the quarter in a swift :28.2 having parked out Better Call Saul (Michelle the Belle" Ruvola) and Smart Flight (Steve Oldford). Troyer and Ubanji continued in charge and kept the aforementioned challengers on the limb. With a covered trip Gregg Keidel had Norman Skidd Marks close at the top of the lane but Keidel's charge couldn't catch Troyer's and Ubanji finished a 1-1/2 length winner over his challenger. And after never seeing the pylons, Better Call Saul still held on for third money Ubanji is owned by his driver and trained by John Wengerd. He paid $15.40 for win. For Troyer is was his 85th winning drive.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

NORTHFIELD, Ohio-- For the second time in two weeks Jazmin "the Little Flower" Arnold was victorious in a CKG Billings Midwest regional harness racing trot when she guided Buddy Halley to a gate-to-wire 1:56.2 triumph at Northfield Park on Sunday night, October 20. On October 7th, at the same venue, the talented miss also won a Billings trot there and what might be more unusual was that the second place finisher in both races was driven by Michelle the Belle" Ruvola, once again giving the ladies their respected due. On Sunday night (Oct 20) the diminutive miss started from the two hole and quickly grabbed command and refused to yield when Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel came calling with the betting favorite, Crime Fighter. The two then raced side by side past the half in a stiff 56 seconds and they were remained one-two when they passed the three quarters in 1:25.3. and were still heads apart at the top of the lane. Meanwhile, Ruvola, with Better Call Saul, was sitting comfortably in the two-hole right from the reel and when the leaders turned for home Ruvola came off the pylons and her trotter battled bravely with Buddy Hally all the way to the wire but Ms Arnold's charge was not to be denied and hung gamely for a length victory over Better Call Saul. Bob "the Lumberman" Troyer took home third money with Ubanji. And after a grueling parked-out trip Crime Fighter faded but still finished fourth, beaten just a little more than three lengths. Buddy Hally, a 9-year-old Angus Hll gelding, is owned by Joseph Varga and trained by Herman Hagerman. He paid $6.80 for win. However, with her victory, the 5-foot; two inch Jazmin Arnold now has 19 wins, 8 seconds and 5 thirds in 51 seasonal starts good for a .492 UDR. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

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