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Northfield Park has announced the dates of three Spring Late Closing series. "These Spring late closers are a good addition to our current racing program because they will feature a lot of younger horses just coming back to the races this season," said Dave Bianconi, Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting. "They are just part of the overall increased racing opportunities offered here at Northfield. In addition, the dates of these series were written to avoid conflicts with the Ohio Sire Stakes legs for three-year-olds." All of the newly added Late Closers carry a condition of: Non-winners of Two Pari-Mutuel Races (Ohio Breads N/W Three) or Non-Winners of $15,000 Lifetime (As of 4/1/2014). Thursdays (April 24, May 5, May 15 and May 22) will host The Wallflower Series for filly and mare pacers. Each of the four legs will carry purses of $5,000. The $15,000 final (all purses guaranteed) will go to post on Thursday (May 29). Thursday (April 24) and Tuesdays (May 6, May 13 and May 20) will offer The Spring Break Series for horse and gelding pacers. Each leg will be raced for a $5,000 purse. The final will be Tuesday (June 3) for a purse of $15,000. Thursday (April 24) and Wednesdays (May 14, May 21) and Monday (June 6) highlight The Gin Blossom Series for trotters. Each of these legs will also carry a $5,000 purse. The $15,000 final will be Monday (June 16). A one-time $300 payment will be required of each entrant to be eligible. Payments are due by April 18. Conditions for the series can be found at www.northfieldpark.com. The link is near the bottom of Northfield's homepage. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

The hottest horse in all of North American harness racing is the undefeated three-year-old National Debt - and his sire, Allamerican Native, is standing his first season in Ohio at Hagemeyer Farms, in the southwest quadrant of the Buckeye State. Allamerican Native, after starting his stud career in Pennsylvania and then standing the last three years in Ontario, was brought to the well-known Hagemeyer Farms as the racing fortunes are improving in Ohio and the four-generation family-owned operation looked to expand their "footprint" in the state. Having the sire of such an exciting prospect standing at your farm for $2500 is as about a good first step for the Hagemeyer expansion as can be imagined. (To see and learn more about all five of the Hagemeyer stallions - the "Native," World Of Rocknroll, Canyon Wind, Home Stretch, and Rompaway Wally -- go to the farm website at, logically, www.hagemeyerfarms.com.) People looking to breed their mares to Hagemeyer stallions, especially if leaving the mares in care of the farm for gestation and foaling, "will get a personalized degree of service that we think is our strongest selling point," notes Scott Hagemeyer, the farm manager. (Scott, by the way, is part of the "third generation of Hagemeyers": his grandparents Maynard and Stella are living legends in that part of the world; father Mel started selling programs at Lebanon Raceway in 1968, and, 45 years later, retired as the track's general manager as Lebanon now gives way to two new tracks in the area; and daughter Lyndsay is a key worker around the farm.) "If someone calls out of the blue and says, 'What can you offer to my horse?', I answer them honestly and say, 'I'm not sure; I'll have to learn more about your horse'," Scott Hagemeyer states. "Every horse is treated as an individual first; we figure out exactly just what care brings out the most potential in them. Most of our stock during breeding season is broodmares, mostly bred to our farm stallions, and with that combination we have a conception rate of 90% to 95%." Scott expects some 150 mares to be bred to his farm's stallions (well, that estimate was before National Debt's victory on Saturday), and last year the peak equine population was 188. That's a far cry from a few years ago, one of the lower points in Ohio racing, where the farm had about 90 horses at most, including an influx of horses from other breeds, and the farm's two stallions serviced a total of 12 mares. "All thanks to the reconfiguring and revitalizing of Ohio racing," Hagemeyer notes, perhaps playing down a little the excellent care provided by the farm and him personally - "I treat all of our horses as if I owned them myself." Offspring of mares bred to farm stallions are of course eligible to be in the much-enrichened Ohio Sire Stakes, and if the in-process breeders awards program requires mare residency, Hagemeyer Farms is again in good position. While for the most part a breeding operation, there is a half-mile training track on the farm, and the population does include a few racehorses. "We've had some inquiries from some horsemen who both breed and race, since currently there is a bit of a shortage of stalls with the new tracks. That's a situation we'll have to be looking at." Besides his own illustrious family, there is another name indelibly linked to southwest Ohio and harness racing, and Scott noted that "I think Corwin Nixon would be ecstatic beyond words at the new situation here - Lebanon going over to the Miami Valley people, and the entire resurgence of the sport." Inquiries to Scott Hagemeyer can be directed through the farm website, or to 513 304 9263 - but be prepared for a possible busy signal if phoning, because National Debt may be making Allamerican Native's spring a little busier - and thus happier, of course. By Jerry Connors, for Harnesslink.com

An unexpected plus from the revitalization of harness racing in the state of Ohio: sharp Buckeye-based trainers, realizing that there is now money to be made, start advertising, looking for new owners – thereby giving the coffers of the trade press a little extra jingle! Dee Hotton, who is based at the Wooster OH fairgrounds, recently advertised that she is looking for new owners for whom to train their horses for campaigning in the state – but she has always been a bit “ahead of the curve,” though. (How many trainers do you know who have had their own website for years, and who use the word “behooves” – and before noon, no less?) Hotton was born on Long Island (or “Lon Gisland,” as the natives pronounce it) to a father who was a rabid fan of the trotters and pacers at Roosevelt and Yonkers. When her father was transferred by his business to Ohio when Dee was two, the family went along, and in the newly-adopted state the father undoubtedly found plenty of choices to scratch his harness racing itch – while his daughter “had decided by junior high that she was going to work with horses for her livelihood.” Graduating early from high school and from the Wooster branch campus of Ohio State University’s program for learning all ends of standardbred care, Hotton went into the care of the sulky set at a young age.  Dee was a harness “natural” across the board, too, driving in matinees at 15 and fair purse races at 16, and she carries a lifetime .292 UDR despite fewer than 500 career trips behind the gate! And August 9 of this year will mark the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of Dee last losing a purse race while in the sulky – OK, be a spoilsport and point out that she’s only driven once since 8-9-04. “And I wasn’t even supposed to drive that one,” Hotton recalled with a chuckle. “Don McKirgan had been driving my horse for me, but he decided he had a chance to make more money with the horses he was listed on at another fair, and mine didn’t look like much, so I decided I’d just drive him myself.” 6-1 in a 3-horse field, Hotton sent her charge right to the top and held on by ¾ of a length in her first drive in eight years. (Note: Any good story about Ohio fair racing is 50-50 to have McKirgan somewhere in it.) Despite this sulky success, Hotton is now devoting herself strictly to the training side, though she says, “I’m glad I did do some driving, because now I know exactly the sort of things to tell my drivers, and I might also have a little more credibility to them, having been a driver myself.” There is no doubting Hotton’s credibility on the training side, with a career UTR of .322 (she’s been over .300 in 14 of the last 17 years), and many talented horses benefitting from her tutelage. One star, however, might have taught Hotton, now the master conditioner, more about training than anyone else. Magnificent Mel, a 1976 son of Little Brown Jug winner Melvin’s Woe, raced when he was two, and was still on the track when he was 14, accumulating 81 wins and over $200,000 in earnings. If you know of Melvin’s Woe, you know how hard the Joe O’Brien stable had to work to keep the big-hearted racehorse something close to racehorse sound, and he passed on this last-named trait – plus his speed and huge heart -- to his son. “With Magnificent Mel, we had to do a little of almost everything over the course of his career – I worked him back from bowed tendons, had him stand in ice boots, used all kinds of therapy, and even used interval training back what it was an innovation,” Hotton remembers. “Working with that horse was the best education I could have, and he was a great horse – he went a 2:00 mile at Northfield in 1988, when he was 12, the first time a horse that old had broken 2:00 there.” Focusing on the Ohio Sire Stakes program in recent years, Hotton’s best horses have been a duo who were nice horses that unfortunately raced in a two-year period where there was a dominant OhSS performer in their class: “Glory Bound always had to go up against Dunkster, and Buckeye Man was in the same year as Sing Jesse Sing.”  Seeing as Dunkster and Sing Jesse Sing won about $1.400,000 between them, Hotton did some good schoolin’ to have horses who were second to the others’ caliber. “I’m looking for owners who want to race in Ohio, because I think with the slots money it’s a very good time to maximize the possible upside of horse ownership,” Dee continue. “I’ve been partners with owners on horses, and if I had a new owner who would have a little more confidence if the trainer owned a part of the horse, I’d certainly consider that option depending on the situation. “I’ve raced overnight horses, but right now I’m focusing on stakes horses, two- and three-year-olds, with the improvement in money that is coming to the Ohio Sire Stakes,” she added, and indeed Hotton was contacted for this piece in her winter training headquarters of Pinehurst NC, preparing, she hopes, some of 2014’s Ohio stakes stars. If Dee Hotton’s abilities and focus sound right for you and your horses, visit her website at www.deehottonstable.com. by Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

Miami Valley Raceway opens Friday night in southwest Ohio and there will be no shortage of talent on the racetrack during the opening weekend. Among the drivers expected to compete are the three most recent national dash champions: Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Dave Palone and Dan Noble. Wrenn led North America in wins in 2013 with 714 while Palone led in 2012 with 675 and Noble was tops in 2011 with 773. The new five-eighths-mile harness racing track, located between Dayton and Cincinnati, opens Friday night with an 11-race card. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. Palone, who is based at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania, has won more races than any driver in North American harness racing history, with 16,223 victories to his credit entering Thursday. Wrenn, who was the leading driver at Northfield Park last year, and Noble are expected to be regulars at Miami Valley, along with Pat Berry, Jack Dailey, Greg Grismore, Tony Hall, Kayne Kauffman, Jeff Nisonger, Jim Pantaleano, Tyler Smith, and Randy Tharps. Hall was the leading driver at Scioto Downs last year and Smith, who is the youngest driver in history to amass 1,000 wins, was the leading driver at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Kauffman was the top driver at Lebanon Raceway, which closed in December to make way for Miami Valley, a $175 million racino with a grandstand to accommodate more than 1,000 fans and a casino with 1,600 gaming machines to help increase purses. "I think everyone is looking forward to the racing," said Smith, who is from Washington Court House, Ohio. "There's going to be a lot of new faces and it should be very competitive. It's good. I think Ohio needs more drivers, new faces, to make the racing better. "Whenever you've got money (for purses) you're going to get good horses, and good horses bring good races." Miami Valley, which will offer live racing Wednesdays through Sundays until early May, held qualifiers on Feb. 1, giving drivers and horses their first trips around the oval. In the 14 prep races, nine were won by a horse that was no worse than second at the half-mile point, although it is too soon to draw conclusions about how the track's design and surface will affect racing throughout the season. "It's going to take a while to get it set up, and making it tougher is the fact this is the worst winter we've had in 12 or 13 years," said Hall, an Ohio native who earlier this year surpassed 4,000 career wins. "I think the track is probably going to be a little tiring the first few months until it gets set up." Kauffman, who lives 10 minutes from Miami Valley, said the track is not banked as much as Scioto Downs, the state's other five-eighths-mile oval, which might factor into driver strategy. "At Scioto you can pull at the quarter and live for a long time," Kauffman said. "I think here people might sit and wait a little longer." Smith said he thought speed would hold up based on what he saw in the qualifiers. "Maybe that will change, but right now it looks like a front-end track," he said. There is no inside passing lane in the stretch at Miami Valley, which also will affect strategy. "That's a big game-changer," said Hall, who plans to race regularly at Miami Valley in addition to racing at The Meadows. "Usually you get a two-hole trip and it's a great place to be, but now you might look for other positions for horses you'd like to land up close. The track does have long straightaways, so that might help closing horses out some." Added Kauffman, "The stretch is longer and you do kind of drift out more, which might open up room for horses." Miami Valley Raceway, which has a 156-stall paddock, will host the James K. Hackett races for Ohio-sired 3-year-old colts and fillies, with purses increased to $25,000 for the finals, on April 26. The track also will present the first legs of the Ohio Sire Stakes series when the state's best 3-year-old pacers and trotters compete on May 2 and May 3. In addition, the meet-ending May 4 card will include two new Grand Circuit races for older female pacers and trotters: The Sam "Chip" Noble III Memorial for the pacers and the Miami Valley Distaff Trot. "It'll be interesting to see how it all goes," Kauffman said. "They have some issues they need to address, but they're working on them and have been real receptive to suggestions. I think there will be plenty of horses. Hopefully everybody can be successful." "I think it's going to be a nice facility overall," Hall said. "People have waited a long time for an opportunity like this, and some had gone just about as far as they could go waiting for something good to happen. Like any new place, they've got some kinks to work out, but overall I think it's going to be great." By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

The Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale will be back in business this year, with the 2014 sale slated for September 15 at noon at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. The single-session sale, conducted by the Ohio Harness Horse Breeders and the Lexington Selected Yearling Sales Co., will be held on the Monday prior to the Little Brown Jug. The Jug Sale has been on hiatus the past three years due to the shrinking foal crop in Ohio. Now that video lottery terminals are in place at Ohio’s harness tracks, the state’s foal crop has blossomed over the past two years. According to the U.S. Trotting Association and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association, there were 1,650 Standardbred mares bred in Ohio in 2012, 2,200 in 2013 which is quite a considerable jump from the 400 bred just a few years ago. "We're glad to be back in business in Ohio," said sale manager Randy Manges. "Ohio is now second only to Pennsylvania in number of mares bred each year, and as all the new farms and new stallions show, interest in the program has never been higher." According to Manges, the sale will again represent a solid core of Ohio's most prominent breeders."With the quality of the horses we'll be selling, and the skyrocketing growth in Ohio Sire Stakes purses, we expect to see buyers from not only Ohio, but from all over the U.S." he said. Entries for the sale will be taken through April 15. Those wishing to consign should contact the sales company's Lexington office by calling (859) 255-8431 or email Randy Manges at randy@kentuckystandardbred.com. Submitted by Ohio Selected Jug Sale  

Columbus, OH --- Sam “Chip” Noble III, 60, one of the top driver/trainers in the harness racing sport and a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame, died Jan. 13, 2014. Mr. Noble grew up in Xenia, Ohio, and learned about the sport from his father. Among the best horses he trained were Nobleland Sam, Concussion and Deal Direct. He was one of the top percentage drivers in the sport. He won North American UDR crowns in 1978, 1981 and 1983, and he was perennially among the leaders each season. Mr. Noble was chosen to represent the United States in the biennial World Driving Championship in both 2001 and 2003. He was the first two-time winner of the Jerry Kaltenbach Memorial Award as the top trainer on the Ohio Sire Stakes circuit, having achieved that honor in both 1993 and 1998. In 2003 he received the Buckeye State’s highest honor when he became the 30th inductee into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He was a director of the USTA and the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and a member of the Little Brown Jug Society. Mr. Noble is survived by his wife, Debbie; and children, Sam, Dan (North America’s top dash-winning driver in 2011) and Meredith. Arrangements will be posted when they are available. From the United States Trotting Association

Eight $150,000 Ohio Sire Stakes championships were held at Scioto Downs Racino Saturday evening.  Feelin Lika Winner lived up to his name when he won the coveted 3-year-old colt pacing championship in 1:52.2. The Scott Mogan trainee sat in the pocket most of the way behind race favorite, That Friske Feelin and Tony Hall, after parking the latter to an opening quarter of 26.3. "We wanted to follow Burke’s horse (That Friske Feelin), as close as we could get to him,” said driver Kayne Kauffman.  “We got out of the gate good and I kind of pushed him through the first turn and tried to sting him a little bit.” That opening quarter didn’t take much out of the eventual winner as he powered home in 28.3 to win by four and three-quarter lengths. “That was a very tough call (to pull going around the last turn instead of waiting for the passing lane) but my horse felt strong,” continued Kauffman.  “Tony’s plugs were out down the backside so we went ahead and made the move and it worked out.” Feelin Lika Winner is owned by Mogan, Diamond Chip Stables (Judy Weber), AWS Stables (Allen & Carol Marie Schmidthorst) and Charlie Guiler.  The gelding by Feelin Friskie out of the Live Love Laugh mare Naughty Sunflower now has $212,235 in lifetime earnings and took a mark earlier this year of 1:51.4 here at Scioto. Other OSS winners on the evening included: 2yo Filly Trot - In the Grippers (Steven One - Over Baked) in 1:58 for driver Chris Page, trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr and owner Herres Stables LLC (Natilie Herres). 2yo Colt Trot - Rompaway Galaxy (Rompaway Wally - Rompaway Wynona) in 1:57.4 for driver Mike Micallef, trainer Krista Williams and owner Rompaway Farms LLC (Thomas Smith) 2yo Filly Pace - Shakin Friskie (Feelin Friskie - Shakeurcancancress) in 1:56.1 for driver Dan Noble, trainer Mark Winters, Sr and owners Bret Schwartz, William Bean and Stephen Montemarano. 2yo Colt Pace - Chance I MIght (Stand Forever - Nature’s Course) in 1:55.3 for driver Brad Hanners, trainer Jim Dailey and owner Rebecca Dwyer. 3yo Filly Trot - Contessa Leigh (Full Count - Howl) in 1:57.1 for driver Sam “Chip” Noble, trainer Marty Wollam and owners G And B Racing (Bradley & George Berlin) and Marty Wollam. 3yo Colt Trot - Final Breath (Victory Sam - First Breath) in 1:56.1 for trainer/driver Hugh “Sandy” Beatty and owner Duane Lowe. 3yo Filly Pace - Igottafeelinfran (Feelin Friskie - Fran Anna) in 1:53.3 for driver Dan Noble, trainer Jim Dailey and owners Jerry Zosel, Kathy Ratcliff and Kimberly Dailey. Racing will continue for one more week, Wednesday thru Saturday, with a post of 6:30 p.m. each day.  Saturday (September 14) is closing night at Scioto for the 2013 racing season. Submitted by Scioto Downs Racino

Big Bossman wasn’t the boss of the Ohio bred 2-year-old pacing colts earlier this year but he’s finding the right time to hit his stride. “I went to warm him up that (first) night and as I turned him to go a mile, he made a right hand turn and almost hit two horses head on,” explained trainer Doug Hinklin. “When Grismore (driver Greg Grismore) took him behind the gate, he just lost his mind because of two recalls and when they let them go at the start, he paced down to the first turn and made a right hand turn and almost went through the fence.” That first mile out resulted in a DNF but Hinklin went ahead and entered the second leg of the Ohio Sire Stakes, which would be his second lifetime start. Unfortunately the result was basically the same. “He was just a head case,” said Hinklin. “I’ve been in this game 40 years and I’ve seen that before, so I just tried something that worked for me years ago and put telescope blinds on him with a fly screen over the top of the blinds and plugged his ears and it worked. He’s been fine ever since, except the night he drew the nine hole at Scioto and he kinda reverted back to his old ways there. He’s a super fast colt but he’s a head case.” Big Bossman won the Ohio State Fair on August 3, pacing in 1:54.4 with a last quarter of 27.1. He went on to win the last two legs of the Sire Stakes in 1:57.2 (at Raceway Park) and 1:54.4 (at Scioto) last week “When he’s concentrating on the game, he’s very very fast. I knew that when I got down training him in April. I got him down to about 2:15 and I started brushing him and I knew he was a super fast colt. “If he behaves, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. If he behaves himself, they won’t beat him.” Big Bossman is by Feelin Friskie, out of the Matt’s Scooter mare Lovely America. His dam already has a couple $100,000 winners and Big Bossman is well on his way with $49,835 in earnings so far. Hinklin bought the gelding as a yearling for Parent Racing Stable LLC in November 2012 at the Blooded Horse Sale. No matter the outcome of the OSS Final Saturday at Scioto, this horse will be well on his way to becoming a great colt. Big Bossman could possibly start Hinklin on the road to his second back-to-back Sire Stakes victory seasons. Who knows what could happen when the head case of a colt starts behind the Mike Woebkenberg starting gate Saturday, but with the two hole, he shouldn’t be scared of that first turn. Scioto Downs Racino

Tom Brinkerhoff only has four horses in his barn on the backside of Scioto Downs Racino but two of them qualified for the Ohio Sire Stakes Final for 3-year-old colt pacers that will be held this Saturday (Sept 7). The horse he entered, Outdoor Fever, has had a rough go of late but his early season success warranted him a shot at the winner’s share of $150,000.  Leaving from post two, the pair is set at 8-1 morning line odds, not the favorite, but definitely in contention. “He’s a nice horse, but he’s just about a second and a half away from being a good horse,” said Brinkerhoff.  “He’s good and sound, a nice horse to drive and good mannered.  We just gotta have some luck before we can get any money.” Mike Wilder will be the seventh driver of the season to sit behind the colt who was second placed first in his seasonal debut, the first leg of the OSS at Lebanon.  He paced in 1:57 that day (May 4) and three weeks later in the second leg at Scioto he was third, pacing in 1:54.4.  He skipped the third leg, but went to the fourth at Raceway Park on August 25 and finished seventh. “Well that was at Toledo and they got down to the half real slow, and he was sitting back ninth,” explained Brinkerhoff.  “He paced his last half in 55.1 but he was just back too far and couldn’t reach.  He raced good, it was just the circumstances.” The ages of the human connections of Outdoor Fever are the opposite end of the age spectrum from their equine counterpart.  Brinkerhoff will turn 76 just five days after Super Night, while his groom, Lenny Slygh, is 61 and breeder/owner Leonard Buckner is 80.  The Brinkerhoff/Slygh pair have been working together for six years now and have the relationship of two long time friends that are enjoying their “retirement years” with some frisky young colts.  But Brinkerhoff’s relationship with Buckner has really stood the test of time “I’ve been training horses for him for 31 years,” said Brinkerhoff who first started training horses with his dad when he was nine years old.  “And we’ve had about one argument in all those years.  He doesn’t come to the races (because of health reasons) but he watches all the races at home.” Outdoor Fever is by Stand Forever out of the Ruffstuff Baker mare Bang The Door.  Coincidentally, Brinkerhoff trained Ruffstuff Baker for Buckner and said he was one of the best horses he has ever trained in his 67 year training career. The other horse that was eligible to the OSS Finals this year, My Myster E, is also owned in part by Buckner and was in the dance for the finals as a 2-year old.  Finishing third in that $100,000 final to Feelin Lika Winner, Brinkerhoff had high hopes for him this year but “he’s been the biggest disappointment for me in 10 years. “They (Outdoor Fever and My Myster E) were raised together and have been beside each other for two years now in training.  They’ve always been together.”  When you have a pair of nice colts, one can always make up for the shortcomings of the other.  But both of them will now have faced Feelin Lika Winner in their shot in the finals. Feelin Lika Winner is trained by Scott Mogan and installed as the 5-2 second favorite (behind 6-5 favorite That Friske Feelin). "I trained with him (Feelin Lika Winner) the other day, and I couldn’t get by him,” said Brinkerhoff.  “It will all depend on how the race goes, you gotta have some luck.  I’m hoping they will drag race down to the three-quarters and then maybe we’ll be able to pick up some pieces on the end.” When one-quarter of your stable is going for the rich $150,000 finals and you take care of the quality horses in your barn, sometimes age and experience will overcome the odds.  For one 75-year-old, he’s hoping he has this great chance to be in the winner’s circle. Scioto Downs Publicity Department

In just three days, Saturday, September 7, Scioto Downs Racino will host one of the most exciting race nights in recent history at the Columbus oval.  The best 2 and 3-year-old horses in the state will duke it out for top honors in the Ohio Sire Stakes Finals and some of the best horses from across the country will make up the 134 horses vying for nearly $1.5-million in purses.  The 16 race card has a first post time of 6:30 p.m. "Last year our Super Night card went for just over $900,000 after the VLT facility was open for three months," said Scioto’s General Manager of Racing Operations Stacy Cahill.  "Now, another year later, we have been able to boost our purses, and help our horsemen, even more.  We've had a great racing season so far and expect Saturday's card to be be another exciting event for our fans." There will be a couple different wagering opportunities that are not available on any other race night at Scioto.  A $7,500 guaranteed Pick-8 bet for the eight OSS finals is available for a minimum 20-cent bet; those finals are set as races 4-11.  There will also be a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 for races 9-12.  The four races that are included for that bet are the last 3 OSS finals for 3-year-old pacing fillies, trotting colts and pacing colts, as well as the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace. Before the races, there will be beanie and trucker-style hat give-a-ways.  After winner’s circle pictures are taken and interviews conducted with the winning connections, t-shirts will be thrown to the crowd.  There will also be drawings for Jug tickets, Ohio State cornhole boards, wagering and food vouchers. As Ohio Super Night at Scioto Downs draws closer, stay tuned for more in depth previews for some of the night's feature races.  For more information about live harness racing at Scioto Downs Racino, visit www.SciotoDowns.com/racing.  Racing will be held Wed-Sat this week and next, with closing day for the 2013 season on Saturday, September 14. Scioto Downs Racino

The last leg of Ohio Sire Stakes action was held Saturday at Scioto Downs Racino.  Two-year-old trotting and pacing colts took to the Columbus 5/8 mile oval to ensure they are eligible for the lucrative $150,000 finals next week Saturday (Sept. 7). Big Bossman and Feel the Heat were sitting fifth and sixth, respectively, in the OSS standings before their races on Saturday and boosted their point totals with wins.  Big Bossman and Greg Grismore took one of the $30,000 splits when they won in 1:54.4. “This colt has got wicked speed, he’s just a little goofy in the head at times,” said Grismore.  “I thought if I could get to the front, he’d be tough to beat.  You just gotta keep his mind on his game all the time.  He loses concentration a lot and he wants to dip and dive.  But he’s fast, a very fast colt.” Big Bossman, a Feelin Friskie gelding, is owned by Parent Racing Stable LLC (Brent and Tiffany Parent) and trained by Doug Hinklin.  He now has $49,835 lifetime earnings with four wins in seven starts. In the other division, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. took Feel the Heat for trainer Steve Perkins straight to the top and won in a new lifetime best 1:56.  Chance I Might (Tony Hall) got up for second, even after making a break at the start, while Hawks Cry Hoboken (Dan Noble) held on for third.  Perkins Racing Stable LLC (Donald and Steven Perkins) own the Feelin Friskie colt. Two-year-old trotting colts also raced for the last time before the big dance next weekend.  The consistent and reliable Rompaway Galaxy (Mike Micallef) won his sixth in race in seven starts, crossing the wire in 1:58 for trainer Krista Williams and owner Rompaway Farms LLC of Michigan. Soul Train and Chris Page took the other division for trotters when they won by one length in 1:57.2 for trainer Scott Cox.  Parent Racing also owns this gelding by Trainforthefuture, along with Robert Crynick and John Novak.  The mile tied the track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings, first set in 2001 by Hez Striking and Dave Hawk). Racing will continue at Scioto Monday (Labor Day) with a special 1:00 p.m. post time. Submitted by Scioto Downs Racino  

The condition sheet for Ohio’s Super Night (Saturday, Sept 7) at Scioto Downs Racino is now available.  All told, the purses on the card will total around $1.5-million and attract the best horses in the state as well as some phenomenal horses from across the country. Anchoring the card will be the eight divisional Ohio Sire Stakes Finals with purses of $150,000 each.  Tied into these races will be a special $7,500 guaranteed Pick-8 bet where bettors can wager on who they think will win all eight of the OSS Finals for a minimum 20-cent bet. Highlighting the undercard is the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace.  Being the largest overnight race purse in Scioto’s racing history, the race office is hoping to attract some of the country’s best older pacers.  It will be tied into the late Pick-4 bet which will also include the last three OSS races. The race office has also carded the Heart of Ohio Trot and Capitol City Pace finals, with estimated purses of $50,000 each.  The events for 4-year-old and up winners over $60,000 have separate divisions for trotters and pacers. The condition sheet is available on this page (http://www.sciotodowns.com/racing/condition-sheets/) of the Scioto Downs website as well as under the “Horsemen” tab of the USTA website.  If anyone is interested in more information on entering the Jim Ewart Memorial Pace, contact the race office at (614) 295-4668. Before the races start on Super Night there will be a meet-n-greet with some of Scioto’s leading drivers as well as driver interviews and t-shirt tosses after each race.  In cooperation with the Ohio Lottery, there will be a hat given away with the purchase of a live racing program. Submitted by Scioto Downs Racino  

On Saturday, July 20 Northfield Park hosted three divisions of Ohio Sires Stake racing action as highlights to the evening’s Battle of Lake Erie program. Three-year-old colt trotters competed in two divisions and colt pacers in one. On the trotting side of things, Final Breath was a 4 ½-length winner in the $30,000 first division. Final Breath’s 11 triumph in 17 lifetime starts. Hugh Beatty trains and piloted the gelding for owner Malta, Ohio owner Duane Lowe. Final Breath (Victory Sam-First Breath-Hold Your Breath) started from post two and was sitting third through an initial quarter of :29.3. Beatty tipped the trotter approaching the :59.1 half. He took the lead in the third quarter and posted final fraction of 1:28.2 and 1:58.3. Saturday’s win increased Final Breath’s bankroll to $88,197. Finishing behind Final Breath were Annie’s Rocketman, Chet N Spanky, Howdhedothat and Happy Go Manny. Final Breath was the overwhelming favorite, returning $2.10 to win. Heza Rube took the $30,000 second division for three-year old colt and gelding Ohio-breds for Northfield Park Wall of Fame trainer Marty Wollam. Heza Rube (Master Lavec-Rubicella-Awesome Goal) started from post four. He fired off the gate and never looked back, posting fractions of :28.4, :59.1, 1:28.2 and 1:57.4. He never experienced an anxious moment and won by 2 ¼-lengths. Kurt Sugg drove for Middlefield, Ohio owner Bob Troyer. It was the 15 career start and seventh win for the youngster, who now has earnings of $100,399. Completing the race were Buzzin Troubador, Trottin On Over, Masterdream Chaser, Neely Spring and Flash Cash. Heza Rube was the punter’s choice, paying $2.40 to win. On the pacing side, That Friske Feelin (Feelin Friskie-Marquee Event-Mark Johnathan) was impressive winning the $35,000 OSS for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. Tony Hall drove the gelding for trainer Ron Burke and owners Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Edwin Gold of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and Richard Lombardo of Solon, Ohio. That Friske Feelin left the gate alertly from post three and never looked back. He posted fractions of :27.3, :56.2, 1:24.4 and 1:52.2. The clocking was a new lifetime mark for the That Friske Feelin and increased his career bankroll to $92,383. The win marked his seventh in 14 starts. Finishing in succession after the winner was Sassy Osborne, Phantom Flasher, Feelin Lika Winner, Forever Kissed, CC Big Boy Sam, Hanky L, Retrieve Forever, River Valley Pearl and Firetowers Stand. That Friske Feelin returned $3.40 to win.  

Four races of harness racing 2-year-old colts hit the track for the second leg of $30,000 Ohio Sire Stakes at Scioto Downs Racino on Saturday. Three of the winners kept their Sire Stakes win record in tact, winning both legs so far, and all four set new lifetime marks.

Thousands of people headed out to Scioto Downs Racino for harness racing's "Back to the Track" on Saturday evening. Four Ohio Sire Stakes races, three opens and an invitational race highlighted the racing card, while other activities were going on throughout the racetrack.

On July 3 Northfield Park hosted five divisions of Ohio Sires Stake racing action as part of the Wednesday 13-race program.

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