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Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $35,000 Pick-4 total pool guarantee on Saturday (May 18). Beginning in race seven, the $35,000 Pick-4 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $11,796. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's ninth race begins the 20¢ Northfield Single Six which offers a $2,825 carryover. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Saturday's post time is 6 p.m.   Ayers Ratliff

Leading Driver Aaron Merriman posted another big night at Northfield Park on Saturday (May 11) winning ten times on the 16-race program.   Merriman's monster night tied the Northfield harness racing record for the most wins on a single card. That record was set in 1999 by Walter Case Jr.   Aaron's triumphs were with The Lion Sleeps ($3.60) in race five, St Lads Maggie Mae ($3.60) in race six, Heythere Lisamarie ($2.10) in race seven, Designed To See ($8.60) in race eight, Nutmegs Yankee ($3.60) in race 10, It's Gest Me ($4.20) in race 11, Godiva Seelster ($7.00) in race 12, Red ($16.40) in race 13, Mayabelle ($3.40) in race 15 and Cookies Empire ($6.20) in race 16. Merriman was the leading driver in North America in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and is leading by more than 50 wins so far this year. Aaron has been driving since 1997 and has piloted 11,294 career wins and is approaching $75 million in purse earnings. Success over the Flying Turns is nothing new to Merriman. He has more wins than any other driver in Northfield Park's history.   Ayers Ratliff

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 - 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. - 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

Northfield Park is northeast Ohio's place to be for this year's Triple Crown action. First up is the 145th Run for the Roses this Saturday May 4. Doors open early at 9:30 a.m. with first post at Churchill Downs at 10:30 a.m. Advance wagering on the Derby will be available Friday May 3 and early bird wagering will be available Saturday morning, plus we will be simulcasting from 40-plus tracks from all over the world. For those early guests, join Bob "Railbird" Roberts and track announcer Ayers Ratliff for a FREE Churchill Downs handicapping seminar, which begins at 11 a.m. outside on the apron. The excitement continues all afternoon for a chance to win big just for being here. All guests will receive a contest entry blank when entering Northfield Park. Names will be drawn randomly throughout the day for a chance to spin our prize wheel. Every spin is a winner and you could win great prizes like, $100 Kentucky Derby win wagers, concert tickets at MGM Northfield Park's Center Stage, cash prizes, dining gift cards, sporting tickets and more. Five lucky guests will spin the cash wheel for a chance at $500, $1,000 or the grand prize of $2,500 in cash. Be sure to enter our Kentucky Derby hat contest, sponsored by WQAL, WDOK, WNCX and Seagram's from 12-4 p.m. WDOK's Tim Richards, Slats from WNCX and Kelly McMann from WQAL will be on-site to judge the contest and the best hat wins $500 CASH! Plus, don't miss out on a Kentucky Derby favorite -- the mint julep -- which will be available in a commemorative Kentucky derby glass all day Saturday. Northfield Park will host its annual Kentucky Derby Food Truck Festival on the track apron. Nine of Northeast Ohio's top food trucks will be selling their specialties from 12-7 p.m. Food truck participants include 216 Bistro, Barrio, The Bus Stop, Fire Truck Pizza Company, Pasta Tivo, The Slop Truck, Slyman's Food Truck Super Hero Food Truck and Crooked Kettle Popcorn Co. Plus, enjoy live music by The Michelle Romary Band (1-3 p.m.); Monica Robins & The Ninja Cowboys (4-6 p.m.); and Unknown Reason (7-10 p.m.) on the apron. Lady Luck's Clubhouse opens this Saturday, offering a buffet for $19.95 per person. Reservations are required so please call 330-467-4101. The buffet will be served from 5:30-8:30 pm and seating begins at 3:30 pm for those guests wishing to watch and wager on the Churchill downs card. Northfield Park will offer 16 action packed races featuring the $16,000 Fillies and Mares Open. First race post time is scheduled for 6 p.m.   Ayers Ratliff

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $10,000 Pick 3 total pool guarantee to its Tuesday (April 30) harness racing program. Beginning in race five, the $10,000 Pick 3 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $2,826. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's ninth race begins the 20¢ Northfield Single Six which boasts a $9,661 carryover. Northfield's Pick 3's, Pick 4's, Pick 5, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Tuesday's post time is 6 p.m. Ayers Ratlif

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 - 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

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $30,000 20¢ Super High Five total pool guarantee to its harness racing card on Monday (April 22). Offered in race 13, the $30,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $7,202. The Super High-5 is guaranteed as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14%. Monday's post time is 6 p.m. By Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

LEBANON, OH - Miami Valley Raceway is seeking outstanding harness racing Ohio-sired three-year-olds for its upcoming $50,000 Scarlet & Gray Invitationals on Friday (April 26) and Saturday (April 27). The filly races, on both the pace and trot, are scheduled for Friday with the colts slated to do battle on Saturday. Elimination heat winners and finalists that finished in the top four of the James K. Hackett Memorial championships earned automatic berths in the Scarlet & Grays, but the balance of each field will be filled by Race Secretary Gregg Keidel from among those that are entered. There are no nomination or starting fees required for these events. "Recent form as well as 2018 earnings and accomplishments will be the primary criteria for filling the fields," said Keidel. "We had an impressive group of two-year-olds in Ohio last season, most of which have either raced in the Hacketts or have qualified in recent weeks. We hope to showcase the best Ohio has to offer next weekend in these early tests for $50,000 purses." Trainers are encouraged to enter online or call the race office by 10 a.m. on Monday for the filly divisions; and by 10 a.m. on Tuesday for the colt races.  

LEBANON, OH - Defending Ohio Sires Stakes champion Wittyville has returned for his sophomore harness racing season in the same fine form he displayed in his rookie year when he banked $207,153. The 3-year-old Manofmanymissions colt completed a sweep of the $15,000 elimination and $40,000 championship round of the James K. Hackett Memorial for state-bred male trotters on Tuesday afternoon (April 16) at Miami Valley Raceway. Driver Chris Page was content to get away fourth during the initial quarter in :29, then moved into second-over position behind stablemate Dylan The Great (Dan Noble) as the field passed the half in :57.4. Nothing changed during the third quarter, although the leader Westfiftysecond (Anthony MacDonald) was forced to put the pedal to the metal during the entire :27.3 panel. Although the tempo slowed, the desire to win didn't as a cavalry charge to the wire developed through the length of the stretch. Wittyville angled three wide for the final drive and pushed a nose in front with 100 yards to go. Never Say Uncle (Brett Miller) never did say "uncle" and finished second by the narrowest of margins, while Otsego (Kayne Kauffman) and Yes (Josh Sutton) also closed well to secure automatic bids to the $50,000 Scarlet and Gray Invitational for Ohio-sired trotting colts on Saturday, April 27. The final clocking of 1:55.4 represents a new lifetime best for Wittyville, who is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services of Mt. Vernon, Ohio (also the breeder) and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Wittyville and winning connections                         --Conrad photo Driver Brett Miller, with ten wins over the past two days, has opened up a comfortable lead on Trace Tetrick in the 2019 Miami Valley dash derby. Through 72 programs of the 87 day meet, Miller has reached the winner's circle on 151 occasions, eleven more than Tetrick, who has returned to his home base at Harrah's Hoosier Park, but is still competing at Miami Valley on dark days in Indiana. Dan Noble and Chris Page have been winning at an impressive rate in recent weeks, as well, and are a strong third and fourth in the standings. All four reinsmen have exceeded $1.2 million in purse earnings at Miami Valley in 2019, topped by Miller at over $1.5 million.   Gregg Keidel

One lucky Northfield Park bettor in Canada solved the 20-cent Northfield Single Six with a single combination for a whopping $144,777.18 (Canadian) on Monday (April 15). The wager premiered on Oct. 13 and has become popular with punters chasing big scores. The unique combination Pick-6 offers a low 14 percent takeout rate and starts nightly in race nine. The 20-cent wager carries over 50 percent of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. The 20-cent wager is doing exactly what it was designed to do -- offer handicappers large jackpots.   Ayers Ratliff

LEBANON, OH - No one was surprised that a Chris Beaver harness racing trainee captured the $40,000 championship final of the James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired three-year-old trotting fillies on Monday afternoon (April 15) at Miami Valley Raceway. Many, however, were shocked at which of the five Beaver fillies in the field prevailed. Pure Chance (Jason Thompson), off at 17-1 odds, left with alacrity and easily made the front before letting heavily-favored stablemate Bella's Rose Power (Aaron Merriman) rush to the lead just before tripping the first quarter beam in :28.4. Thompson and the daughter of Triumphant Caviar were quite content to sit in the pocket second for the next half mile, watching the teletimers flash :57.3 and 1:26, before finding room at the head of the stretch to squeeze out and power to a 1:55.1 score. Well I'm Fancy (Chris Page), a 59-1 longshot from the Ron Burke Stable, found a seam in deep stretch to rally for runnerup laurels while Aunt Rose (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), another Beaver trainee, was third. With odds-on favorite Bella's Rose Power fading to fifth, mutuel payoffs soared. Pure Chance paid $37.20 to win, the exacta returned a whopping $1037.60, and a $2 trifecta ticket was worth $3082.00. Steve Zeehandelar is trainer Beaver's partner on Pure Chance, whose young career has now produced three wins in ten tries, good for $97,246 in earnings. The state-bred sophomore trotting colts will take center stage during the Tuesday (April 16) matinee at Miami Valley when the $40,000 Hackett Memorial final for that division will take place as Race 6. First race post time is 2:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Mission Accepted (Chris Page) won the $25,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley Raceway for the second straight time to start his 2019 harness racing campaign, overcoming the assigned outside post to top Pine Dream (LeWayne Miller) and No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) in 1:54.3. The 4-year-old son of Manofmanymissions made the front just after passing the :28.1 first stanza, then cruised through middle fractions of :56.2 and 1:25 before coasting to the wire in hand. With earnings nearing $400,000 the Ohio-sired trotter now sports 14 wins in 23 career starts. He is trained by Ron Burke for owners Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. Earlier on the program, Bugatti Beauty (Noble) extended her win streak to six at Miami Valley. Plucked from a $5000 claiming event on March 1 by In To Win Racing Inc. and trainer Zach Tackett, the 7-year-old Art Major daughter has since reeled off two triumphs at the $5000 level, one for a $6500 base tag, one for a $9000 tag and the last two carrying a $12,000 (plus allowances) price. Her latest gate-to-wire success was her 19th in a career which has netted $156,725 in purses. Racing resumes Monday afternoon at Miami Valley with a post time of 2:05 p.m. Featured on the card, in the third race, will be the first of four $40,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship races for Ohio-sired three-year-olds over the next week. Bella's Rose Power, one of five Chris Beaver trainees in the race for sophomore filly trotters, is the 2-1 morning line favorite off an elimination win last Monday in 1:55. Gregg Keidel

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