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On a steamy Saturday (June 11) evening at Scioto Downs, Obrigado fended off the late charge of track record holder and harness racing world champion Natural Herbie to claim the trophy for the $210,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. The 6-year-old gelding, piloted by regular reinsman Mark MacDonald, was the beneficiary of a perfect pocket trip, which the duo parlayed into a powerful 1:53.3 score. “He is just such a great horse,” said MacDonald. “You can do anything you want with him and all he wants to do is win. For some reason, I’m not sure why, we just get along. Tonight you could not have asked for a better position and then he did all the rest.” Leaving from post six, the gelded son of Boy Band and the Malabar Man mare Malimony, settled into second behind the leader and recent world champion Muscle Up The Goal. Content to allow the hometown favorite and the public’s selection at 4-5 to set the pace, Obrigado simply followed that rival around the Columbus oval behind fractions of :27.1, 57.3 and 1:25.3 before he was pulled out of the pocket at the top of the stretch to commence his drive to the wire with a :27.4 final panel. Obrigado glided by Muscle Up The Goal and completed his victorious journey to the wire seemingly well in hand. Natural Herbie placed pressure on the property of conditioner Paul Kelley, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and Stable 45, however, his first over bid rendered him unable to match strides with the victor. Flanagan Memory, the 2013 O’Brien Award winner, closed from eighth to nab the show spot. Sent off at odds of 3-1, Obrigado paid his supporters $8.20. Natural Herbie, dismissed at 22-1, provided $14.40 to place and Flanagan Memory at 9-1 offered $7.40 to show. The exacta was $68 and the trifecta a generous $475.80. “I could not have asked for a trip around this track that was any better,” MacDonald said. “It was like a dream and honestly, I was shocked it worked out that well for us. I knew Natural Herbie was coming down on us and I respect him because he is such a nice horse, but my horse had the advantage off how this race set up. This was a very strong group of horses and it is a great win for us.” A Maine champion as a freshman and sophomore, Obrigado is the pride of Kelley’s stable and rightfully so, as the horse has now banked enough from his career record of 67-37-14-6, including this evening’s purse, to be roughly $4,000 shy of millionaire status. Purchased by Kelley, who was drawn to what an exemplary physical specimen he is, for $53,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Mixed Sale, Obrigado has been a winning machine before and after leaving the confines of his home state. Although Kelley shied away from top competition at age four, he placed the horse with the elite of his division last year as a 5-year-old and he has excelled. In 2015 he earned $405,535 with a record of 4-6-3 from 18 trips to the gate and knocked heads with all the best trotters currently competing in the sport. This year Obrigado has trotted five miles with three victories, one second and one third. Despite it being only June, the gelding has already collected just under $250,000 in purse money. The win in this Grand Circuit event is the second consecutive triumph for Obrigado in 2016 and comes immediately subsequent to his huge victory in the $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 29. “I think he is even better than last year,” MacDonald said. “It is like he is in a zone and in peak form. It was not like he was bad by any means last year. He is a very smart horse that does nothing wrong and I think this season is going to be very fun with him and might be his best yet. “Paul (Kelley) wanted me to drive him as a 4-year-old, but circumstances did not work out to enable me to. Paul protected him and kept him up at Saratoga that year so he did not have to face many of the best trotters. I think that strategy is working out now, as he is so sharp and I know I can count on him for many more appearances in big races this season. Paul has really done a tremendous job with this horse and the horse himself just has all the tools. There is no denying he is right there with the best racing right now and he continues to make me very happy.” by Kimberly French, USTA Internet News Editor

Four $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) for harness racing sophomore pacing colts were contested on Saturday night, June 11 at Scioto Downs.   Whataboy captured the first OSS division, leading at every pole for driver Chris Page. The gelded son of Big Bad John romped to a new career clocking of 1:52.1 to score his second victory of the season in eight tries. Trained by Brian Brown, Whataboy floated unchallenged through fractions of :27.1, :54.4 and 1:224. In the lane, he was headed briefly by the pocket-sitting Docdor Friskie (Peter Wrenn), who went off stride trying to pass his rival. That left clear sailing for Whataboy, who was in front at the wire by 4¾ lengths.   "The horse was good tonight and we got a little break in the stretch," Page remarked. "This horse has matured a lot mentally this year but physically, he's still about the same size."   Bred by Dm Stables LLC, Whataboy now has $37,450 in seasonal earnings and $80,240 in his career coffers for owners Carl Howard, Gerrie Tucker and RBH Ventures, Inc.   Docdor Friskie survived a stewards inquiry to hold on to his second place finish, with Whiskey Frisky (Greg Grismore) nailing down third place honors.   Aaron Merriman gave Canadia's Bakin a clever steer to win the second OSS division in 1:52, a new career clocking for the son of Big Bad John.   Trained by Steve Carter for C Grubbs, R Reid, S Hummel & J Beard, Canadia's Bakin grabbed the lead and never looked back, flying through panels of :27, :55.4 and 1:24.1, before storming home with a :27.4 final quarter brush to prevail by a length over World Of Gaming (Dan Noble and Haydenssmoothmoove (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.).   "This colt is very handy out of the gate and I was able to make the front tonight really easily," said Merriman.   Canadia's Bakin now has $49,848 in seasonal earnings from four wins in eight starts and 17 triumphs in 27 career starts with $89,129 in his coffers. Bred by LMN Bred Stables, Canadia's Bakin won leg one of this series on May 7 at Miami Valley Raceway, timed in 1:54.2.   The sturdy-gaited Mr Wiggle Pants kept his winning streak intact in the third OSS division--making his triumph his fifth straight for his connections.   The son of Mr Wiggles prevailed by a length in 1:51.4, a career best, for driver Kayne Kauffman, finishing a length ahead of the hard-trying Winwood Mac (Darrell Wright). Trained and co-owned by Jim Mulinex and D. Miller, Bill Rufenacht and the Dm Stables, Mr Wiggle Pants took the lead and paced evenly through fractions of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:23.4.   "This colt is very game and is only getting stronger," Kaufmann noted. "Jim (trainer Mulinix) has done a super job with this colt."   Bred by Spring Haven Farm, Mr Wiggle Pants pushed his seasonal earnings to $57,500 and his career bankroll now stands at $148,493. He now has eight wins in 15 lifetime starts and won the first leg of this series at Miami Valley on May 7 in 1:53.4.   The fourth and final OSS division saw Smoke Up Johnny (Greg Grismore) sweep under the wire first for trainer Doug Hinklin and the Parent Racing Stable in 1:52.2. The son of Big Bad John recorded just his second victory of the season and his fifth win lifetime, pushing his career earnings to $101,327.   Smoke Up Johnny and Hustling Charley (Kyle Ater) got into an aggressive stretch duel down the lane, with the former prevailing by a head over the latter.   "My colt (Smoke Up Johnny) was pretty strong but when he saw that other horse (Hustling Charley) coming at him, he really dug in and started fighting him off," Grismore stressed.   Smoke Up Johnny upped his seasonal earnings to $28,975 and now has five wins in 14 career starts. He was bred by Conquest Acres of Indiana.   By Kimberly Rinker  

Harness Racing Trainer Chris Beaver was 23 when he bought the horse that changed his life. Her name was Raging Samantha and Beaver and his mother, Johanna, purchased the future stakes-winning trotter at a yearling auction in 1995 for $9,500. A graduate of Stetson University, Beaver had been thinking about heading to veterinary school, but he became fully immersed in racing thanks to Raging Samantha and her exploits. There have been numerous other successes since then and the Ohio native hopes to add to the list when he sends multiple-stakes-winner Il Sogno Dream and upstart Muscle Up The Goal into Saturday's $210,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters at Scioto Downs. Beaver had high hopes for Muscle Up The Goal when the trotter was a 2-year-old, but a tendon injury limited the horse to only three starts. Now at age 4, the stallion is putting together the kind of performances that Beaver envisioned all along. Maybe even better. Muscle Up The Goal has won all three of his races this season and heads to the Hill off a track-record 1:52 performance at The Meadows on June 1. He also trotted the fastest mile ever for a 4-year-old male trotter on a half-mile oval, winning in 1:52.3 on May 21 at Northfield Park. Aaron Merriman will drive Muscle Up The Goal on Saturday in the Hill Memorial. Muscle Up The Goal is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the 10-horse field. The Hill Memorial field also includes Maxie Lee winner Obrigado, 2015 John Cashman Memorial winner Flanagan Memory, and 2014 International Trot Preview champ Natural Herbie. The remainder of the group is Southwind Pepino, Homicide Hunter, Gural Hanover, DW's NY Yank, and Opening Night. Beaver, who posted million-dollar seasons in 2015 and 2014, recently took time to talk to Ken Weingartner of the USTA's Harness Racing Communications division about the Hill Memorial and his life in racing. KW: First of all, tell me about Muscle Up The Goal. CB: I think he was getting good toward the end of last year. We put him on Lasix and he was getting sounder. We sent him down to Florida and he grew up and looked real good when he came back. He's just been awesome since he started back. He's just come into real good form. KW: I saw he won a couple Ontario Sire Stakes races at 2 and then was out for the rest of the year. What happened? CB: I picked him out when he was a yearling (a son of Muscle Mass out of the mare Tags Goal, the horse sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale) and I trained him down as a 2-year-old. He was a spectacular 2-year-old. He only raced three times, though, because he bowed a tendon. That cost him the rest of that year. He was hit or miss most of last year, but he's gotten good now. He's really fast. KW: Has he surprised you this year? CB: I'm a little surprised at what he's done this year, but I'd be surprised by any horse that's been able to do the kinds of things he's done so far. They tried to out-leave him at Northfield and he cleared them before he was out of the turn, from the (seven) hole. He's had the outside every time he's raced and he's just gone to the front like it's no problem at all. And at the end of the mile he's gone a pretty good quarter too. It looks like he should have a good year. KW: You supplemented him (for $10,000) to the Hill, is he staked to other races? CB: He's pretty well staked. He was eligible to the Hill Memorial but the owner (Synerco Ventures) was afraid he wouldn't get in on earnings, because it was all based on career earnings, so he made the supplement to assure he got in. KW: I guess you were happy with Il Sogno Dream's first start this year (a second-place finish in the Maxie Lee Memorial)? CB: Yeah he raced great. It looked like a lot of the horses were struggling on the racetrack, but I couldn't ask of more from him in his first start out. We had to qualify him three times because he couldn't get in to race anywhere out here. I sent him to Florida as well for the winter and he looks great. He's the same horse as when he left, and he was really in great form when he left last year. KW: How would you assess last year? CB: I was real happy. The last few years have been great for me. Things going well in Ohio (with slots) have made a lot of difference. The sire stakes have been great for me here. Being able to stay home, I do better from home. I spent a lot of years racing up in Canada and staying up there and it's just hard to do your best when you're not at home. I've been able to set up things the way I like here. KW: Do you still have a stable up in Canada? CB: No. I kind of winded down with it last year. I had some stakes horses up there last year. I had a few sent down here to get to the races, but I send them all up to Rob Fellows now. KW: Your family has been involved for such a long time, how big an influence was that for you growing up and how much of an influence is it still now to this day? CB: I was kind of pushed to try some other things because it's a hard business. I went to college and I was pre-vet and I was starting to get into applying to vet schools. That's when I got a real good horse (Raging Samantha) and after that I just stayed in (racing). KW: Once you got that bug it was too late. CB: It kind of jumped off into more horses and more horses. At that point, I just stayed with it. I think I was only half-hearted trying to find a way out of it. (Laughs.) So I found a reason to stay in the business. KW: How have you seen yourself change as a trainer and what are some of the most important things you've learned along the way? CB: I think the key for me was learning to pick out better horses and learning how to train better. The most important thing that I do is training young horses down, and I've gotten better at training young horses down without problems. We have a really high rate of 2-year-olds that get to the races and do well. I think that's what keeps me going and keeps my owners going. If they're not good, we move them along. We don't wait around. I do whatever I can to make more horses profitable for the owners and myself, because I own big parts of a lot of them. KW: What was your first big moment that really stands out in your mind? CB: I had it very early with Raging Samantha. She was a phenomenal 4-year-old. We sold her for a lot of money overseas. I've had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but I really felt that a great achievement was Triumphant Caviar. The way his horses have been doing in Ohio is very special to me because I had him all along. I've had so many of his colts in there and they've been doing really well. KW: With all the family involvement, who has been the biggest influence on you? CB: My dad (Charlie). I learned most of what I know from my dad. I still work with him and I still talk with him about things. KW: What's the most valuable thing you learned from him? CB: He was always willing to try just about anything as far as shoeing and rigging; he showed me there are a lot of different ways to fix a problem. And I'll also say my parents showed me how to work hard. They were harder workers than me; they were up earlier, they stayed later in the day. Everyone says I work hard, but they put me to shame. KW: What would you still like to most accomplish? CB: I haven't had a great horse. I've had very good horses, but I'd like to have one that could win the Hambletonian or Horse of the Year. I haven't had that kind of horse yet. That's what I've been looking for. KW: I know it's still early, but do you have any 2-year-olds you really like now? CB: I have a Triumphant Caviar that I'm really high on right now. He just qualified in 2:01, home in 28.2 (Wednesday). And I was being very careful with him. I didn't want to over-do it. They put him in with 3-year-olds, so I just kind of sat back and followed along and let him come on in the stretch a bit. His name is Fraser Ridge. He's my favorite 2-year-old right now. I have one Explosive Matter colt that might be just as good, but I haven't tested him yet. But he seems to have a lot of ability too. But with 26 horses, I'll probably be wrong and there will be another that's better than those two. KW: As long as there's something better, you can live with being wrong. CB: (Laughs.) That's right. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Thirty-six Ohio-bred sophomore pacing colts will line up behind the Scioto Downs starting gate on Saturday night, June 11 to vie in four $40,000 divisions of the second leg of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) competition. Post time is 6 pm, ET, for the 15-race harness racing program. First leg winner Mr Wiggle Pants will be harnessed by trainer and co-owner Jim Mulinix from post two in the competitive third OSS division (Race 5). Slated to be driven by Kayne Kauffman for co-owners D. Miller, Archibold, OH, Bill Rufenacht, Archibold, OH and Dm Stables of Naples, FL, the son of Mr Wiggles will be trying for his fifth victory in a row. Since qualifying on April 29, Mr Wiggle Pants has graced the winner's circle four straight times, including an OSS victory in the first leg of the series on May 7 at Miami Valley Raceway, when he paced to a 1:53.4 clocking. He returned seven days later to post a career-tying 1:53.2 en route to victory in a Scioto Downs overnight and won again, this time in 1:54.3, at Scioto on May 21. Bred by Spring Haven Farm, the bay colt has $37,500 in seasonal earnings and $128,493 in career earnings. Interestingly enough, Kauffman was also in the sulky behind Gotmoneyinmypocket, who captured his OSS first leg division on May 7. The gelded son of Feelin Friskie is conditioned by Jim Dailey and owned by breeders Jerry Zosel of Columbus, OH and Kathy Ratcliff of Orient, OH. He won his last start, a Hoosier Park overnight on June 4 in 1:51.3, pushing his career earnings to $120,348. Trainer Danny Collins will harness OSS first leg winner Hustling Charley in the fourth division (Race 11) for himself and co-lessee Ryan Holton of Etna, Ohio. After winning just one start as a freshman, the son of Charley Barley already has three victories to his credit this season in four starts, including his OSS score at Miami Valley on May 7 in 1:53F with Kyle Ater at the controls. Bred by Lisa Ezzo, the bay colt has $32,400 in his 2016 coffers and earnings of $51,013 lifetime. Stephen Sexton's Friskie Cruiser-who finished second in his OSS test on May 7-has drawn post nine in this same division. The son of Feelin Friskie is conditioned by Brian Brown and is winless this year in five tries, but did have a substantial freshman campaign-winning four of 12 starts and earning $140,621 for owner/breeder Sexton, who hails from Xenia, Ohio. Canadia's Bakin was an OSS first leg winner on May 7 at Miami Valley for trainer Steve Carter and a quartert of owners that includes C Grubbs of Louisville, KY; R Reid, S Hummell and J Beard-all of Mansfield, Ohio. The son of Big Bad John-who heads up the second OSS division (Race 3) -was bred by the LMN Bred Stables Inc., and stopped the timer in 1:54.2 in his OSS test on May 7. He has since also prevailed in a Scioto overnight on May 21 in 1:53.4 as the public's choice. The bay gelding has $69,129 in his career bankroll, with 16 wins from 26 lifetime trips postward, and looks well-placed from post five. Danny Noble conditions the 3-year-old $78,054-winning World Of Rocknroll gelding, World Of Gaming for owner Stephen Sexton. Bred by Mel Hagemeyer, World Of Gaming had a lone win earlier this season at Miami Valley in 1:55.3 and was a hard-trying second in his OSS test on May 7. Uber-consistent, World Of Gaming leaves from post six with his trainer at the lines. The first OSS division (Race 1) for sophomore side-wheelers is the most wide-open of the four events. All nine pacers will be trying for their first victory in OSS competition this season. Docdor Friskie has drawn the coveted rail position for trainer Melanie Wrenn and driver Peter Wrenn. This Feelin Friskie ridgling was second in his OSS first leg and is still looking for an elusive first victory of 2016. Bred by Midland Acres, Docdor Friskie has $46,948 in career earnings. Brian Brown will tighten the girth on Whataboy, a winner of $80,204 in his career. The son of Big Bad John, who was bred by the Dm Stables, has two wins in 16 lifetime starts and was fourth in his OSS leg one test on May 7 at Miami Valley. Owned by Carl Howard of Powell, Ohio; Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, QC and RBH Ventures, Inc. of New York, NY, Whataboy owns a career mark of 1:54, and hails from the Brown Stable for the first time, having previously been conditioned by Virgil Morgan, Jr. Nothing Fancy, a black gelding by Metropolitan, is conditioned and co-owned by Walter Haynes, Jr for partners Brian Carsey of Connersville, IN and John McGill of Albion, IN. This youngster has five career victories to his credit in 14 tries, and $85,540 in his lifetime bankroll. Bred by Reeves Barnhouse of Pennsylvania, Nothing Fancy won a Scioto overnight on May 21 in 1:55.3, but took a qualifying mark of 1:53.1 at Hoosier Park earlier in the season. By Kimberly Rinker  

His participation in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series has been diminished in recent years but when Bob "the Lumberman" Troyer jumps up behind a trotter he produces great results. Take, for instance, last night's Billings trot at Scioto Downs in the mid-west region harness racing action. Troyer once again guided Heza Rube to a come-from-behind victory this time in a 1:57.4 clocking. For the lumber broker it was his third winning drive in four seasonal starts and over the last three years Troyer has eight victories in just 14 trips to post. "I got away slowly and was sixth at the quarter and still sixth at the half. And when (Steve) Oldford moved Celtic Merchant out to challenge the leader up the backside I did the same and followed him and as we headed for home I wasn't sure my horse could beat the old guy," Troyer said referring to 13-year-old Celtic Merchant. It was close at the finish but (Heza) Rube got up in time to win it." Not disappointed, Oldford took the defeat in stride. "After Celtic made the front I heard a horse coming fast on the outside and I didn't need to look, I knew it was Troyer," Oldford said. "In the lane my old guy couldn't hold off Heza Rube but if he'd been four years younger the results would have been different." The swift early fractions set by Nordic Venture and driver Gary "Soups" Campbell set the stage for the closers in the race. And charge they did but at the finish Heza Rube was a neck better than Celtic Merchant. However, five other trotters in the rears raced side-by-side through the lane and it took photos to separate them at the wire. When the judges deciphered the pictures third place went to Speed Hanover, driven by "Lawbook Larry" Farley. Heza Rube, a 6-year-old Master Lavec gelding is owned by Debra Kvernmo and trained by Marty Wollam. Sent off as the odds-on favorite the winner paid $3.80 for win. Coincidently, the first three drivers under the wire ( Troyer, Oldford and Farley) had come down from Delaware (Ohio) where they were luncheon speakers at at the USTA Driving School. And with them came over 30 of their students and according to Oldford, some wagered on them in the trifecta and those who did were rewarded with an $81.40 payoff. Next Billings action is slated for Saturday, June 11th at Tioga Downs. by John Manzi for the Billings Series  

A quartet of $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies featured some spectacular performances by Buckeye-bred distaffs on a special matinee program Monday at Scioto Downs.   A total of 37 side-wheeling fillies went postward on a sunny afternoon before a robust Memorial Day crowd.   The first $40,000 OSS division saw an exciting stretch duel won by the grinding Queen Ann M and driver Chris Page, who scored a 1:53.2 whisker victory over Naked By Nine (Jeremy Smith).   "My filly has a pretty flawless gait," Page stressed. "But she was challenged today and to have two good fillies battle to the wire was pretty exciting."   Naked By Nine made the front early, pacing through fractions of :27, :55 and 1:23 while Queen Ann M sat chilly in the two-hole. In the late going these two drew off unchallenged by their six rivals, with It's Your Fantasy (Dan Noble) getting up for third and Feelin Red Hot (Kayne Kauffman) nailing down fourth place honors.   Bred by Jay Mossbarger, Queen Ann M is a daughter of Big Bad John who upped her seasonal earnings to $50,000 and her career earnings to $151,277. Trained by Mike Roth, the robust filly is owned by Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH and Carl & Melanie Atley of Xenia, OH. Queen Ann M now has a 5-4-0 record from 12 career starts and the time of 1:53.2 was a new lifetime mark.   Driver Danny Noble took advantage of a speedy first half by Big Bad Ashley (Chris Page) and Give No Lip (Jeremy Smith) to steer Johnsbadgirl to a 1:54 clocking in the $40,000 second OSS division.   Big Bad Ashley took command of the race early, leading the field of nine fillies to a :27.1 opening panel. Give No Lip challenged on the outside, then gained the lead to another :27.1 second quarter. Positions remained unchanged to the 1:23 three-quarter marker and as the field headed into the stretch, the two leaders began to battle, while behind them a wall of horses edged closer. Just yards from the wire Johnsbadgirl came flying to put a nose in front at startling odds of 39-1. "I thought I'd have a chance with her today if they went a fast first half and that's what happened," Noble said. "She's got one really good lick in her and I was just hoping we hadn't got into the game too late." Big Bad Ashley held on for second while Raiders Lastchance (Kurt Sugg) finished third but was disqualified by the stewards for going inside a pylon and placed fourth. That moved She Gone (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) up to third.   Mike Polhamus trains Johnsbadgirl, a daughter of Big Bad John, who pushed her earnings to 43,001 for owner Julie Farley, who also bred the filly.   Clarebear gave another impressive showing of herself en route to winning the third OSS division in a new career clocking of 1:54. Driven confidently by Peter Wrenn, the daughter of World of Rocknroll sat in the back of the nine-filly field as JL Wonder Woman (Kayne Kauffman) held the front-end spot through splits of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.   At the top of the lane, Wrenn tipped Clarebear to the outside and the filly exploded with a :29 late brush to prevail by five lengths ahead of Gorgeous Road (Kurt Sugg), with Kacy's Coop (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) notching third.   Trained and co-owned by breeder AJ Carlo and the C2G Stable of Lebanon, OH, Clarebear picked up her second OSS trophy in as many tries. She won the first leg at Miami Valley Raceway on May 6. Unraced as a freshman, Clarebear now has $46,450 in career earnings.   Danny Noble was back in the winner's circle again in the fourth and final OSS division, this time with Ohsowigglesspecial, who scored her fourth straight victory in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:55.1.   Trained and co-owned by Joe Paver for Pearl Warren of Marysville, OH and Dennis Paver of Raymond, OH, the homebred daughter by Mr Wiggles upped her seasonal earnings to $54,375 and her career earnings to $81,710 via her 15th career victory.   "She's matured a lot since last year," Noble revealed. "Last year she raced a lot at the fairs and was on the front end most of the time so she could get pretty wound up. Now, she's super versatile and you can do just about anything with her."   My Tweed Heart (Josh Sutton) was second, while Hooray For Hazel (Chris Page) was third.   Kimberly Rinker

Four divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies are set to battle in Ohio Sires Stakes on Memorial Day, May 30, in a 2 pm harness racing matinee at Scioto Downs. Each division for the sophomore side-wheelers sports a purse of $40,000. Trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. will harness OSS leg one-winner It's Your Fantasy from post six in the first division (Race 3). This Big Bad John lass stormed to a 1:55.1 career best victory on May 6 at Miami Valley Raceway with Danny Noble at the lines. The big brown filly followed that win up with a 1:55.3 triumph on May 17 at Scioto Downs, upping her seasonal earnings to $27,750 and her career bankroll to $61,955. It's Your Fantasy-a $45,000 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale-is the first foal out of the Camluck mare Favorite Fantasy p, 2, 1:58.2F ($36,490). Greg and Holly Martin of Columbus and Orient, Ohio bred this speedy filly. Queen Ann M (Chris Page, PP1), Ufpfortydevensgirl (Jason Brewer, PP3) and Naked By Nine (Jeremy Smith, PP4)-all of whom finished second in their respective divisions in the first leg of this series-will be trying to stop It's Your Fantasy from notching her third straight triumph. She Gone, who hails from the Brian Brown Stable, has been saddled with the eight-hole in the second OSS division (Race 5), but she won from the seven-hole in the first leg of this series on May 6 handily in 1:55.1. Owned by JK & BM Brown, CL McCown and RM Lombardo, this Feelin Friskie filly has three wins to her credit this season in five starts and earnings of $36,975. Bred by Midland Acres, She Gone has $55,885 in career earnings for these connections. A $20,000 yearling buy at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale, She Gone is the fifth foal out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Semaj Hanover, and is a half-sibling to: Semaj Sam (by Nobleland Sam) p, 4, 1:53.2f ($46,410). Regular pilot Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. will be in the sulky once again. Give No Lip (Jeremy Smith, PP1) and John's One Desire (Kayne Kauffman, PP2) who both finished third in the first OSS legs at Miami Valley on May 6, have the advantage of better post positions than She Gone. Save My Tootsie (Josh Sutton, PP6) who was a strong second in leg one, should also be charging hard at the wire for trainer Ron Potter and owner Clyde Perfect of Lawrenceburg, IN. OSS Leg one winner Clarebear heads up the third OSS division (Race 7) for driver Peter Wrenn and the Carlo family of Lebanon, OH. This homebred daughter of World Of Rocknroll stormed to a four-length triumph in that May 6 contest at Miami Valley, tripping the timer in a career best 1:54.3 for the one mile test. Unraced at 2, in just five starts this season, Clarebear has earned $26,450 under the eye of trainer AJ Carlo. Feelin Lilly (Ryan Stahl, PP3) and Gorgeous Road (Kurt Sugg, PP8) appear to be Clarebear's main threats in here. Feelin Lilly, a Brian Brown-trainee, stormed to a career best 1:54.4 clocking in a Scioto Downs overnight on May 18, while Gorgeous Road captured a Northfield overnight in 1:54.3 in wire-to-wire fashion by three lengths on May 21 for trainer Cory Deyermand. My Tweed Heart hails from the rail for trainer Jim Dailey and driver Josh Sutton in the fourth and final OSS division (Race 11). The bay daughter by Manhardt captured leg one of OSS action on May 6 at Miami Valley in 1:54.4 for these same connections. Bred by Stanley Swango of Venice, FL, My Tweed Heart has $165,202 in career earnings for owners Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, OH and Alan Keith of Pataskala, OH. She is the fifth and most prolific foal out of the unraced Towner's Big Guy mare Tweedle D, and was a $2,500 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale. OSS leg one winner Ohsowigglesspecial will be trying for her fifth consecutive win (Dan Noble, PP 4) in this same division. The daughter of Mr Wiggles is conditioned and co-owned by Joe Paver for Pearl Warren of Marysville, OH and by Dennis Paver of Raymond, OH. Lifetime, this homebred has earned $61,710 and took her career mark in her last race on May 20 at Scioto Downs, when she swept under the wire in 1:53.4. Kimberly A. Rinker  

Considering the Major League Baseball season is two days away, harness racing trainer Scott Mogan chose the appropriate analogy for Feelin Lika Winner. “He’s not the best hitter in the lineup but he always seems to come through in the clutch times,” said Mogan, who trains and co-owns the horse with Diamond Chip Stable, AWS Stables and Charles Guiler. “If it’s a 7-1 game, he’ll strike out. But if it’s a 2-2 ballgame in the bottom of the ninth, he’s the guy you want coming up to the plate.” He also sounds like he could steal a base or two. “He’s a very fast horse,” Mogan added. “Off the right trip for an eighth-mile or quarter-mile, he’s probably got as quick a burst of speed as any horse I ever trained.” As Mogan noted, he doesn’t hit for average, having won 11 of 62 career races. But he was a power hitter early in his career, blasting tape measure home runs each of his first two seasons. The 6-year-old gelding pacer was the Ohio Sire Stakes champion as both a 2- and 3-year-old, beating favorite That Friske Feelin both times. After being purchased at the 2011 Blooded Horse Sale for $16,000, Feelin Lika Winner has earned $278,796. “The sale was kind of short on the yearlings, both number wise and quality wise that year, but he was one of my top three picks,” said Mogan, who has a stable of 26 horses at Scioto Downs in Columbus. “I got outbid on the first two, luckily I snagged him for $16,000. I knew the family, and also conformation wise he was probably one of my top three picks that I looked at that year for pacing colts.” Feelin Lika Winner makes his season’s debut Saturday in the $20,000 Open at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio. Kayne Kauffman will be in the sulky, as he has been for all but three of Feelin Lika Winner’s career starts. “He’s training down real well,” Mogan said. “He had an issue with a bone bruise and ankle as a 4-year-old. It was kind of a disappointing season. Last year he started off a little slow. He actually was as good at the end of the year as he was at any time.” The horse was shut down in December, however, as the trainer is not a big fan of winter racing. In fact, he limits most of his horses’ races, as 25 races in a season would be considered a lot. “I usually shut down from December to the first of March,” Mogan said. “I probably should have kept him racing, but he’s trained down very well.” The Lockbourne, Ohio, resident isn’t looking for big things on opening night, mainly because of Feelin Lika Winner’s mindset on the track. He’s pleasant in the barn, but cantankerous upon seeing a starting gate. “He’s a nice horse, a very fast horse, but he’s kind of a tough horse to drive,” Mogan said. “If he was a good horse to drive and you could leave with him and get position I still believe he’d be an open type pacer. You could turn somebody loose and know he would settle in and relax. He’d be a lot better horse. But to leave with him a few times, he’s a handful. “He can grab into you so bad. When he decides to grab into you, he can feel like he’s just going to run over the top. When you leave with him he gets really fired up. We duck him four out of every five starts off the gate.” For that reason, Mogan would rather have started him a little lower in class this season. “Unfortunately we have to go right into the Open our first start,” he said. “I’m not expecting a whole lot this week. But you never know. We’re always racing to win. We’re going to race him off the pace. And if they go fast fractions you never know, he might pick them up at the end of it.” Feelin Lika Winner always has the potential to surprise, just as he did by beating That Friske Feelin in two straight Sire Stakes finals. He got a second-over trip near the stretch as a 2-year-old and a pocket trip the following year. Kauffman was the driver both times, as he has shown a knack for handling a horse that’s hard to handle. “He’s a great handler,” Mogan said. “He can get a horse to relax pretty good. He’s done a really amazing job, not just with him but the rest of my horses. He’s been driving everything for three years.” Kauffman took over for the late Chip Noble, who was Mogan’s main driver for 15 years. The 56-year-old Mogan has been in the business since age 15 and has had a public stable since 1983. Until recently, he mostly dealt with younger horses and made it a point to try and have the same driver for every race. He and Noble teamed up on K F Pro Sam, Ohio's 2- and 3-year-old Horse of the Year in 1999-2000. The pacing male was typical of Mogan’s aversion to over-working his horses, as he raced just 60 times in five years and earned $635,578. “K F Pro Sam kind of set the bar for me,” Mogan said. “He built my house and everything else. But J J Hall is still my favorite. He’s still in my barn and will probably be in my backyard when he’s done racing.” J J Hall was Ohio’s 2011 Horse of the Year, also driven by Noble. Not long afterward Chip, who died of cancer in 2014, had some young horses with a lot of potential that he wanted to drive. He gave his friend some advance notice and suggested he might start looking for another driver. Mogan began to check out the talent in Ohio and found what he was looking for in Kauffman. “I tried to look for somebody a little conservative, like Chip was,” Mogan said. “Kayne kind of impressed me as much as anybody, as far as being as close to Chip as I could go and get. He started driving him (Feelin Lika Winner) as a 2-year-old and of course it worked out. “Kayne has been driving for me as much as he can. He trains a stable of his own so we have a few conflicts, but he’s always going to be the first choice for my horses. I guess the biggest thing is his loyalty. He stays pretty loyal to me. It’s kind of a working relationship.” As for how the relationship will work between the racetrack and Feelin Lika Winner this year, Mogan is staying fairly confident. “We’re just taking things as they come,” he said. “I have great partners, they’re very loyal. They love their horses, they like to come to races. We’re just hoping he has a good year. “Like I said, I don’t really think he’s an open type pacer. If he was more controllable, maybe. But we’re just hoping for a nice Saturday night, conditioned racehorse that they can come watch. Hopefully we’ll have a little luck, make a little money.” So there you have it. Play ball! by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

September 13, 2015 - It was a tight finish this week as the two admitted techno-cappers battled all the way to the 14th race at Scioto Down in the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Earl "Super Computer" Paulson collected 166 HANA Grand Circuit points by selecting 4 winners on the evening. The key to Earl's victory was landing the largest priced winner. He was the only one to successfully come up with Doo Wop Hanover to upset in the Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto. In second was Rusty "The Worksheet" Nash who also selected four winners including the second best price of the evening on Nvestment Bluechip in the Champlain two year old pace at Mohawk. Four other handicappers finished with four of six winners for the evening. While Saratoga Harness had a triple dead heat Saturday evening, the HANA Grand Circuit had a double dead heat. Tied for third were Mark McKelvie and Bobby Zanakis at 143 points. Tied for the final spot on our weekly Pentafecta ticket were Bryan Owen and tour leader Sally Hinckley at 124 points. It is also worth noting that four handicappers hit the board in all six races. These consistent players were Ray Garnett, Derick Giwner, Rusty Nash and Brandon Valvo. The top five in the overall Grand Circuit Tour remain exactly the same this week. Sally Hinckley remains on top with 2,918 points. She was able to maintain an impressive lead of more than 300 points. Mark McKelvie did gain a little bit of ground and still remains the "Best Of The Rest." Anne Stepien, Bob Zanakis and Gordon Waterstone complete the black type. Next week we break up the week starting with the Nadia Lobell from The Meadows on Wednesday. Then we visit Mohawk again on Saturday for an exceptional evening of five finals. They are The Peaceful Way, The Maple Leaf Trot, The William Wellwood, The Canadian Trot Classic and The Elegant Image. Finally on Monday we head back down the Atlantic Coast to Harrington Raceway for the Bobby Quillen. It gets busy shortly thereafter as Little Brown Jug week gets rolling! By Rusty Nash for HANA Harness  

Eight $225,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championships (OSS) featured Ohio's top-bred 2- and 3-year-old pacing and trotting, colts and fillies, on Saturday night, Sept. 12 at Scioto Downs. An equal amount of harness racing longshots and even-money favorites gave the titanic crowd a great bank for their gambling buck.   2-Year-Old Filly Trot   Mild longshot (13-1) Count On Kami picked the perfect time to break her maiden as she bested favorite Kestrel by a whisker in the OSS Championship for 2-year-old trotting fillies. The daughter of Full County-Joys Second Call-Call Toll Free tripped the timer in 1:58.1 for the one mile test with driver Kurt Sugg at the lines for trainer Marty Wollam.   "After she raced in the first leg, I really thought I had the best horse in this series," Sugg noted. "But then she's just been finishing second all summer and I kind of thought it wasn't going to happen. Tonight, I got the perfect two-hole trip and I think Aaron's (Merriman, driving Kestrel) horse wasn't quite as sharp as she normally is."   Co-owned by Wollam, Vienna, OH; David Wayne Vannatta, Mt. Vernon, OH; and Acadia Farms Inc., Canfield, OH; Count On Kami pushed her career earnings to $167,591.   "I really thought all along this filly would be good and tonight she just put it all together," Sugg added.   "We raised this filly from a baby," said Charlotte Vannatta, "She's been with us since day one and we also have a half-sister to her. She's been one special filly for us and finishing second was okay but this just takes the cake!"   Kestrel (Aaron Merriman) was second for trainer Chris Beaver, while Consolidator (Chris Page) finished third for trainer Jim Arledge, Jr.   2-Year-Old Filly Pace   Brenda Teague harnessed Miss Me Yet to her third career victory in six tries for owner and co-breeder George Teague, Jr., of Harrington, DE in the OSS 2-year-Old Filly Pace Championship. Reined to a 1:54.3 clocking by George's son and Brenda's nephew Montrell Teague, the daughter of I'm Gorgeous-Live Inspired-Western Hanover was co-bred by Fannin Racing, LLC.   "This filly has been very good to us," Brenda noted. "She's tough as nails and always gives you 100% on the track."   An 8-1 mild longshot, Miss Me Yet held off My Tweed Heart (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) by nearly a length, with Big Bad Ashley (Dan Noble) gobbling up show honors. The win upped her career bank account to $171,300. She had captured two previous legs of OSS action.   2-Year-Old Colt Trot   Heavy favorite MJB Got Faith did not disappoint her owner--11-year-old Breana Casey of Connersville, IN--in the OSS test for 2-year-old trotting colts. The daughter of Trainforthefuture-Imageofasweetgirl-Striking Sahbra got a perfect steer by driver Peter Wrenn to best the hard-trying Emerald Chip (Josh Sutton) by a neck in 1:58.3 Kanthaka (Dave Palone) finished third.   "He's always a strong horse finishing and tonight he really wanted to step out of there," Wrenn noted. "He's really wanted out of the pocket and when I finally turned him loose, he just exploded."   Trained by Steve Carter, MJB Got Faith was bred by the Gbw Breeding Farms Inc. His owner has donated 10% of the horse's earnings to the Brad Hanners Fund. Breana's dad Brian, said the idea to help Hanners was all Breana's idea.   "Breana believes in giving and in giving back to the community," stressed her father, Brian Carsey.   The filly has now earned her young owner $192,500, having won all four legs of the OSS series, in addition to the Championship.   2-Year-Old Colt Pace   Love Tap Hanover captured the OSS 2-Year-Old Colt Pace Championship in 1:54.2 with David Miller in the sulky. The son of Big Bad John-Love Lace Mindale-Jenna's Beach Boy used come-from-behind tactics to nab career win number three over Friskie Cruiser (Ryan Stahl) and Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman).   "He raced great here last week," noted Morgan, Jr. "Of course tonight the post and the trip didn't hurt him at all.   Virgil Morgan, Jr. conditions the freshman, who is owned by Rick Phillips, Tappan, NY; Peter Paul Venturini, Rockaway, NJ; and Mark Harder of Freehold, NJ. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, PA, Love Tap Hanover now has $166,457 in his career coffers. "I drove this horse quite a bit when he was out East," driver David Miller admitted. "I'm not surprised to see him do well in here. I always thought he'd make a nice youngster." For Morgan, Jr., the victory was bittersweet as his other entrant in this same division--Primo Giovanni--did not have his usual spunk after capturing all of his previous OSS tests, and finished eighth. 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Favorite Like Old Times and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., used a near wire-to-wire performance to capture the OSS 3-Year-Old Filly Championship for trotters in 1:57.2. The daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubadour grabbed the lead at the half and never looked back, drawing off by 3¼ lengths over rival Student Of Life (Mike Wilder), with the gutsy Dark Roast (Kurt Sugg) getting up for third.   "She's an absolute Cadillac to drive," Wrenn, Jr., admitted. "The rail isn't the best spot to get away from at Scioto and there's always a little bit of concern when you're racing for $225,000, but she really didn't require any urging from me at all tonight. She's just really on her game right now."   Bred and owned by Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, OH, Like Old Times is conditioned by Don McKirgan. This was her 14 career win and pushed her lifetime earnings to $315,117.   3-Year-Old Filly Pace   Even-money favorite Karlee Sue stepped up to the plate for trainer Al Tomlinson, capturing the OSS 3-Year-Old Filly Pace Championship in 1:54.3 with David Miller at the lines. "She had some ovary problems that we had a tough time getting regulated," said co-owner Tomlinson--who conditions the filly for Daniel Mitchell, Novi, MI and Dennis Stolz, Midland, MI. "But once we got those issues straightened out, she's seemed so much more comfortable." Bred by Midland Acres, the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Magical Jeanie-Magical Mike utilized a two-hole trip to nail down the win, the fifth of the season and the sixth of her career. Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) made up a ton of ground to finish second, just a length behind the winner, while Sectionlinefriskie (Greg Grismore) nabbed show honors. The victory pushed Karlee Sue's career earnings to $221,727 for her connections.   3-Year-Old Colt Trot Favorite I Know My Chip and driver Chris Page left hard from post nine and were never headed in the OSS 3-Year-Old Colt Trot Championship, besting Really Deep Chip (Kayne Kauffman) by two lengths at the wire. The gutsy Neely's Messenger (Mike Wilder) finished a hard-fought third. "He's really been getting stronger and stronger," Page noted. "I was a little worried because it is a cold night and the front end really wasn't holding up, but this horse is just spectacular right now." The son of Deep Chip-Madeline's Chip-Pegasus Spur posted a 1:56.3 clocking for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Frederickstown, PA; Weaver Bruscemi, Cannonsburg, PA; and Paul Collura, Mountain Top, PA. Bred by Kimberly Dailey, I Know My Chip pushed his career earnings to $350,778. The victory--the 13th of his career--was his fourth straight in OSS competition.   3-Year-Old Colt Pace   In an exciting stretch duel, 3-1 Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) bested rivals Nobles Finesse (Kurt Sugg) and Imtoofastforyou (Josh Sutton) in 1:55. The son of Dave Panlone-Appealing Sammi-Nobleland Sam notched career victory number nine for trainer Brian Brown and owner-breeder Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH.   "This horse is very lazy," said Brown. "He really doesn't care if he wins or not and we do a lot to make the game interesting for him. For instance this week we trained him with side cheeks on, and then raced him in a different rigging. He's a good eater but really isn't all that interested in racing or training. Lucky for us that tonight, he seemed into racing. He'll go to Delaware next."   Rock N Randall upped his career earnings to $253,808 with the win, his fourth triumph of the season in 14 starts.   Coming Up: Ohio Sires Stakes action for aged trotting and pacing horses and mares continues with four $50,000 Championships on Oct. 24 at Hollywood at Dayton Raceway.   By Kimberly Rinker, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund    

Limelight Beach on Saturday will race in Ohio for the first time since winning last year's Little Brown Jug. Not counting, of course, all the times co-owner Charles Wingfield has enjoyed replays of Limelight Beach racing in the Jug from his Kenton, Ohio, home. "I'd hate to say how many times I've watched it," said a laughing Wingfield, who is joined by brothers Robert, Thomas and William as part of Limelight Beach's ownership group. "It would be a bunch. That (win) is our biggest thrill in racing." Limelight Beach is among the 10 horses in Saturday's $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for older male pacers at Scioto Downs. State Treasurer, who last weekend won the Canadian Pacing Derby for his fourth victory in a row, is the 7-5 morning line favorite. Limelight Beach finished third in the CPD. Saturday's "Super Night" card at Scioto Downs also includes the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for older trotters, where Wind Of The North is the 2-1 morning line choice, and eight $225,000 Ohio Sire Stakes championships. In addition, there will be a fundraiser for driver Brad Hanners, who was diagnosed recently with kidney cancer. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Noble Memorial is race No. 3 and the Ewart Memorial is No. 14. Limelight Beach, trained by Ron Burke, has one win in 15 races this year but has earned $186,986 as the result of picking up a check in 13 starts. He finished second to stablemate All Bets Off in the Prix d'Ete two weeks prior to his third-place finish in the Canadian Pacing Derby. His earnings from the CPD pushed his career purses to $1.01 million. "Last week he was really good; he finished ahead of some awful nice horses," Wingfield said. "He's only won one time, but he's doing alright. With the caliber of horses he's racing against and the purses, you don't have to win them all. He's respectable, I think. It's just nice to have a horse like him to follow around." Limelight Beach is owned by Wingfield Brothers, Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and M1 Stable. Charles Wingfield was among the horse's original owners, with his brothers being added to the ownership prior to the beginning of Limelight Beach's 3-year-old campaign. The remainder of the current group came on board in July 2014. The gelding began his career with trainer Brian Brown, winning divisions of the Bluegrass, International Stallion, and Arden Downs stakes at age 2. Last year Limelight Beach's wins included the Jug and divisions of the Bluegrass and Circle City. He won an elimination for the Breeders Crown, defeating McWicked by a half-length, but was scratched sick from the final. Wingfield is looking forward to seeing Limelight Beach in Ohio again, even though he faces a tough task in the Ewart. In addition to State Treasurer, the field includes All Bets Off, Graduate Series champion Doo Wop Hanover, and Levy Series winner Domethatagain. "It's a horserace," Wingfield said. "I was hoping State Treasurer wouldn't be there. He is really on a roll. But there are a lot of them in there that are just tough to beat. Who knows? You just hope for the best. "A lot of the family is going to make it," he added. "They don't get to see him race (in person) very often. Everyone is excited." Following is the field in post order for the Ewart Memorial with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore, 7-5 2. Mykindachip, Jason Brewer, Jim Dailey, 15-1 3. Limelight Beach, Chris Page, Ron Burke, 10-1 4. Let's Drink On It, Aaron Merriman, Joe Seekman, 12-1 5. Doo Wop Hanover, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Steve Elliott, 7-2 6. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 4-1 7. Domethatagain, Dan Noble, Rene Allard, 12-1 8. Kanaris, Josh Sutton, Joe Seekman, 20-1 9. Bigtown Hero, Dave Palone, Rene Allard, 8-1 10. Somewhere In L A, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 10-1 Following is the field in post order for the Noble Memorial with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty, 6-1 2. Gural Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1 3. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver, 5-2 4. Kirty Dream, Josh Sutton, Jeff Hochstetler, 15-1 5. Wind Of The North, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 2-1 6. Rompaway Galaxy, Chris Page, Krista Harmon, 5-1 7. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 12-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Scioto Downs plays hosts to the richest night in Ohio harness racing history on Saturday evening, Sept. 12 with $2,285,000 in purses dangling precariously on the finish line as Buckeye State's best Standardbreds battle for first-place prize money. The five-eight's mile oval will feature a 17-race card highlighted by eight $225,000 Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) Championships for 2- and 3-year-old trotting and pacing colts and fillies. In addition, the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial, the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial and the $40,000 Ryder Steck Memorial will also be contested. Post time is approximately 6:30 pm, ET. Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang's Kestrel will be trying for a perfect five for five in the $225,000 OSS (Race 4) for freshman trotting fillies. This daughter of Triumphant Caviar has swept her division--winning each of her $40,000 OSS legs with aplomb--with her best effort coming at Scioto Downs one week ago, when she trotted to a 1:57.3, wire-to-wire victory. Bred by Wilbur Lang, Kestrel has $110,900 in career earnings. Beaver will also harness two other top 2-year-old fillies in this same event--Kerfuffle Cookie and Evanora. The former is a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray owned jointly by Beaver and Synerco Ventures of Toronto, ON who has won three OSS legs, while the latter is a daughter of Pilgrims Taj, bred and owned by Sandra Burnett of Wilmington, OH who captured two OSS legs. Alan Keith's Queen Ann M--who has triumphed in three OSS legs--carries the hopes of trainer Mike Roth into the $225,000 OSS Championship (Race 5) for freshman filly pacers. This daughter of Big Bad John gets the benefit of the rail slot in the nine-horse field and will have regular driver Chris Page at the controls. Bred by Jay Mossbarger, Queen Ann M has $74,325 in her seasonal coffers. Miss Me Yet, John's Sunny Girl, Big Bad Ashley and My Tweed Heart have each won two OSS legs for their connections in this same division.   Chris Beaver will also be adjusting the rigging on the 2-year-old colt Kanthaka, who starts from post eight in the $225,000 OSS Championship (Race 6) for freshman trotters. Owned jointly by Beaver and breeder Wilbur Lang, the son of Triumphant Caviar has $105,250 in career earnings and has swept all four OSS legs of this series. MJB Got Faith is another who has swept all four, $40,000 OSS legs for 11-year-old owner Breana Carsey of Connersville, IN. Bred by Gbw Breeding Farms Inc., the son of Trainforthefuture has amassed $80,000 with his clean sweep of this series for driver Peter Wrenn and trainer Steve Carter. Carl Howard's Primo Giovanni is six for six lifetime and that includes victories in all four OSS legs--including a 1:53.1 posting at Scioto in the fourth leg on Sept. 5, and headlines the $225,000 OSS Championship (Race 7) for freshman pacing colts and geldings. The son of Big Bad John--who was bred by his owner--has $107,575 in his career bank account, and is conditioned by Virgil Morgan, Jr. Stephen Sexton's Friskie Cruiser has won three OSS legs in this same division, amassing $69,198 in career earnings for trainer Brian Brown. The son of Feelin Friskie was bred by his owner and took a career record of 1:54 in his OSS test at Northfield Park on Aug. 21. Like Old Times and Dark Roast--both three-time winners in their respective OSS legs are set to wage war in the $225,000 OSS Championship (Race 8) for sophomore trotting fillies. Harnessed by trainer Don McKirgan, Keith Ross' Like Old Times has $70,000 in career earnings and a career mark of 1:56 taken in her OSS leg at Scioto on Aug. 28. The daughter of Chip Chip Hooray was also bred by her owner. Dark Roast--who was bred by Marvin Raber and is owned by Acadia Farms of Canfield, OH and G&B Racing of New Wilmington, PA, has $79,245 in her coffers. The daughter of Full Count is conditioned by Marty Wollam and recorded her top mark of 1:57.1 with Kurt Sugg at the lines in her OSS test on Aug. 14. Crosswinds Cupcake brings a five-race win-streak into the $225,000 OSS Championship for 3-year-old pacing fillies (Race 9). Conditioned by David Elliott for Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH and breeder Crosswinds Farm of Waynesville, OH, the daughter of Stand Forever has $105,690 in her seasonal coffers and $146,362 in lifetime earnings. She has a trio of OSS legs to her credit and will have Dan Noble in the sulky from post eight. Rival Karlee Sue has the benefit of the rail post in this same divisions, with Hall of Famer David Miller in the sulky for the first time. Trained by Al Tomlinson, the daughter of Feelin Friskie captured an OSS leg in 1:55.1 at Northfield Park on Aug. 14. A trio of 3-year-old diagonally-gaited specialists--who have each won two OSS legs--will butt heads in the $225,000 OSS Championship (Race 10) for sophomore trotters for the first time. I Know My Chip, Neely's Messenger and No Whip Chip are dual winners in this series--with each youngster hailing from a different sire. I Know My Chip, a son of Deep Chip, is conditioned by Ron Burke and co-owned by his trainer, Weaver Bruscemi and Paul Collura--all residents of Pennsylvania. This speedy sophomore has earned $$132,875 this season with six wins in 10 starts and was bred by Kimberly Dailey. Neely's Messenger is a gelded son of Neely Dunn and is the richest trotter in the field of nine with $287,545 in career earnings. Trained by Marty Wollam for Dale Sweet, Toledo, OH and Julie Sweet of Akron, OH, Neely's Messenger has 11 wins lifetime from 16 starts. No Whip Chip is conditioned by driver Dan Noble for his mother, Debbie Noble of Xenia, OH. Unraced at two, the Victory Sam gelding has three wins in eight lifetime starts and $60,400 in career earnings.   Indian Spirit--owned by Gregory Forcum of Chillicothe, OH--has captured three OSS legs for his trainer Dan Ater and starts from post six in the $225,000 OSS Championship for sophomore pacing colts and geldings (Race 11). Bred by Bruce Lane, the son of Tyler's Big Mark will have Kyle Ater in the sulky from post six--looking to add to his already hefty bankroll of $121,219. Nobles Finesse (Kurt Sugg-post 4); Gray Camo (Chris Page-post 9); Imtoofastforyou (Josh Sutton-post 7); Dyno Mite Man (David Miller-post 3) and Chief Talkalot (Aaron Merriman-post 2) are others in this same division with a single solid OSS leg triumph to their credit.     Kimberly A. Rinker  

Columbus, OH --- Ohio’s best night of racing, Super Night, will be held at Scioto Downs this Saturday (Sept. 12) with a first post time of 6:30 p.m. Anchoring the card (races four-11) will be eight $225,000 Ohio Sire Stakes finals for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. State Treasurer headlines the 10-horse $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Pace. The 6-year-old son of Real Desire most recently won the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:47.4 last week and is the 7-5 morning line favorite with David Miller set to drive. Nine other pacers, including 2015 Gene Riegle Memorial winner Mykindachip (Jason Brewer), 2014 Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach (Chris Page), 2015 Graduate final winner Doo Wop Hanover (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and 2015 Prix D’Ete winner All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) are also set to start. Other races on tap for the evening include the $100,000 Sam “Chip” Noble III Memorial Trot, the $40,000 Ryder Steck Memorial Pace and a pair of $30,000 Open Paces. Before the first race even starts, there will be a plethora of activities for fans to enjoy. A driver autograph session will start at 5:30 p.m. down by the winner’s circle and a special Man vs. Horse race, with 1988 Olympic gold medalist Butch Reynolds, will be at 6 p.m. A 50/50 raffle will be held trackside to benefit the Butch Reynolds Care for Kids Foundation (must be 18-plus to purchase and participate in the raffle). Other happenings at the track include receiving a logoed gift when you buy a live racing program and driver interviews and t-shirt tosses after each winner’s circle presentation. In the breezeway between the clubhouse and racino a fundraiser will take place all night long for longtime driver Brad Hanners, who was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and is preparing to begin treatment at The Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital. Saturday evening caps an exciting 2015 Scioto Downs summer meet, in which 95 days of racing were held for more than $15 million in purses. For more information about the 2016 racing season, and other winter activities held at the racino, including the opening of The Brew Brothers, a microbrewery and restaurant, by Jason Roth, for Scioto Downs 

A fundraiser will be held Saturday at Scioto Downs to benefit harness racing driver Brad Hanners, who in July was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer. Hanners is at The Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital, preparing to begin treatment. The 43-year-old Hanners, an Ohio native who lives 50 miles southwest of Columbus with his wife Alicia and children JorDan, Austin, Luke and Mia, has posted 4,888 wins as a driver and 357 victories as a trainer during his career. He enjoyed some of his greatest successes at Harrington Raceway in Delaware, where he captured three consecutive driving titles from 2003-05. He also was a driving champion at Dover Downs. Hanners set career highs with 478 wins and $4.74 million in purses in 2005. His top triumphs include the 2009 Dan Patch Invitational with Mister Big. The fundraiser will include a raffle for a race bike and harness plus a silent auction featuring a variety of items from equipment to harness racing memorabilia and sporting event tickets. Also, "Hanners Strong" T-shirts will be available for purchase. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in an area between the Scioto Downs clubhouse and grandstand. Scioto Downs is hosting Super Night on Saturday, with a full slate of Ohio Sire Stakes championships plus the Jim Ewart Memorial Pace and the Chip Noble Memorial Trot. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to help offset medical and travel expenses for Hanners and his family. In addition to Saturday's fundraiser, a GoFundMe account has been set up for donations. The account can be found here. "Brad never really had any symptoms of being sick other than back pain, and what driver doesn't have back pain," said Brandi Sykes, who is helping to coordinate the event. "We'd just like everybody to pray for him and help him get through this." Ken Weingartner

Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) action continued Saturday night, Sept. 5 at Scioto Downs as six, $40,000 divisions of harness racing freshman pacing and trotting colts and gelding battled.   Carl Howard’s Primo Giovanni continued to dominate his division, notching his sixth career victory in as many tries with a 1:53.1 track record clocking in the first OSS pacing test with Chris Page at the lines.   “This colt has a great mouth and is just a Cadillac to drive,” Page noted.  “Virgil (trainer Morgan) has done a great job with him and he just does everything right.”   The son of Big Bad John-JK Reunited-Bettor’s Delight pushed his earnings to $107,575 with a perfect, come-from-behind steer by Page.  Primo Giovanni—who was bred by his owner—has now won all four legs of this series.  Aloha John (Kurt Sugg) was second, with Winna Winna (Kyle Ater) was third.   The second OSS pacing division saw the homebred, 5-1shot Gotmoneyinmypocket get up to win in a new track record time of 1:52.3 for driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.  The son of Feelin Friskie gave trainer Jim Dailey his 1,000 career victory and was the colt’s lifetime win in his seventh start.  Owned by Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff, Gotmoneyinmypocket pushed his career earnings to $58,957.  Smoke Up Johnny (Greg Grismore) was second while Friskie Cruiser (Ryan Stahl) got up for third.   Love Tap Hanover nailed down his first triumph in OSS competition.  Having joined Virgil Morgan’s barn just a week ago, this son of Big Bad John prevailed in 1:53.4 for driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.  The gutty Trayvon (Montrell Teague), who was parked for most of the mile held on for second, while Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman) got up for third.   “Mark Harder has had this colt and done an excellent job with him,” Morgan, Jr. explained. “He told me to just treat him like he was my own and that’s what we’ve done.  He’s a very nice youngster and is still a bit green.”   Love Tap Hanover now has $53,857 in earnings for owners Rick Phillips, Paul Venurini and Mark Harder of New York and New Jersey.  He was a $60,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg.   In the first OSS for trotting youngsters, Emerald Chip and Josh Sutton emerged victorious for trainer bobby Brower in 1:59.2.  The $15,000 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Select Sale—who is co-owned by Sutton—picked up career win two in just four lifetime starts for the VIP Internet Stable, NJ and Mystical Marker Farms, IN.   “This colt didn’t race in the first leg of the sires stakes,” Sutton explained. “He’s still very green and I’ve never really been able to race him hard until tonight.  He’s still learning.”   The son of Chip Chip Hooray used a perfect, two-hole trip to garner the victory and pushed his career earnings to $48,300.  He was bred by Doug Millard and Spring Haven Farm.  Lone Valley Sam (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was second and The Next Triumph (Ken Holiday) was third.   Favorite MJB Got Faith won his fourth OSS leg in 1:57.2 in come-from-behind fashion for driver Peter Wrenn—equaling the Scioto Downs track records en route to a new career mark.  The son of Trainforthefuture-Imageofasweetgirl-Striking Sahbra is owned by 11-year-old Breana Carsey of Connorsville, IN and conditioned by Steve Carter.   “This colt has a great attitude and that’s everything,” Wrenn stressed. “He doesn’t know he’s small in size.”   Bred by Gbw Breeding Farm, MJB Got Faith is now four for four lifetime with $80,000 in his coffers.  His young owner picked out the gelding’s dam when she was in foal and named him after herself and her siblings (MacKenzie, Jordan & Breana), using the first three letters of their names, along with the added mantra of “Got Faith.”  She also donates ten percent of the horse’s earnings to the Brad Hanners Fund.   The hardy Kanthaka changed tactics—coming from off the pace—to capture his sixth straight career win in as many starts for driver Ryan Stahl and trainer Chris Beaver in the third and final OSS test for 2-year-old trotters.    The son of Triumphant Caviar posted a new track record clocking of 1:57.1. for owners Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH and trainer Beaver, pushing his career earnings to $105,250.  Heza Home Run (Hugh Beatty) was second, while Hello Pilgrim (Kayne Kauffman) nailed down show honors.   The $225,000 OSS Championships for all divisions of 2- and 3-year-old pacing and trotting fillies and colts & geldings will be contested on Sept. 12 at Scioto Downs.   Kimberly Rinker

Harness racing trainers Chris Beaver and Doug Hinklin harnessed two freshman fillies each to victory in Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) contests at Scioto Downs on Friday, Sept. 4.   Beaver adjusted the bridle on a pair of OSS trotting fillies while Hinklin rigged two pacing distaffs--taking four of six $40,000 tests in the fourth leg of this series for 2-year-old Ohio-bred Standardbred females.   It was a fantastic night for the Parent Racing Stable, LLC of Holland, OH, as they collected a pair of OSS trophies via John's Sunny Girl and Angry Shelby--both conditioned by Hinklin and both steered by veteran reinsman Greg Grismore.   John's Sunny Girl paced to a winning 1:53.2 in wire-to-wire fashion--a career best for the daughter of Big Bad John-Sunshine State-Dragon Again. Miss Me Yet (Montrell Teague) was second, while Hooray For Hazel (Chris Page) nailed third place honors.   It was John's Sunny Girl's second victory in OSS competition, as she won leg one of this series on July 3 at Northfield Park in 1:55.4 by an impressive eight lengths. Bred by Midland Acres, the victory--the fourth of her career in seven starts--pushed the bay filly's earnings to $74,625.   John's Sunny Girl was a $32,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Ohio Select Sale, and is the fourth foal out of her dam. She is a half-sister to Olde Time Hockey (by Art Major) p, 3, 1:50.3 ($213,147) and to Blue Chip Sunshine (by American Ideal) p, 4, 1:50.1s ($100,122).   Angry Shelby tied her lifetime mark with a 1:54.1 clocking in her OSS division. The Big Bad John-Tura Hanover-Dragon Again filly had made breaks in all three of her previous OSS tests, but put it all together in the fourth leg as she scored her third lifetime win in six starts. Her earnings now stand at $53,600. Big Bad Ashley (Dan Noble) was second, while My Tweed Heart (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was third. Bred by Spring Haven Farm, Angry Shelby was also a $32,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Ohio Select Sale and is the sixth foal from her dam. She is a half-sister to All Terrain (by Tell All) p, 4,1:52.2h ($101,733); Pick N Scoop (by Bettor's Delight) p, 5,1:55.1f ($60,686); and Town Temptress (by Artiscape) p, 2,1:53.1f ($58,201). The other OSS pacing division saw longshot Naked By Nine score impressively in a come-from-behind, 1:54.1 effort for driver Kayne Kauffman and trainer Mark Winters, Sr. The daughter of Manhardt-Innocent Sahbra-Expensive Scooter was bred and is owned by Dennis Shaner of Wapakoneta, OH. The brown filly pushed her career bankroll to $40,950 with the win--the fifth of her career--that saw her best rivals Big Bad Chickie (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Save My Tootsie (Aaron Merriman). The indomitable trotting filly Kestrel didn't disappoint her connections as she captured her fourth OSS leg in as many tries--prevailing in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:57.3 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Chris Beaver. The daughter of Triumphant Caviar has won every leg of this four-part series and is now five-for-five lifetime, as she also triumphed in a $61,800 Ohio Fair Stake (OFS) on Aug. 5 at Scioto by six lengths. Co-owned and bred by Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH and Beaver, Kestrel is the first foal out of the unraced Credit Winner mare Blackrose and has $110,900 in career earnings. Rivals Haley Chip (Josh Sutton) and stablemate Evanora (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) picked up place and show honors respectively. Beaver's other trainee--the Chip Chip Hooray filly Kerfuffle Cookie--kept her cool as she trotted to a front-stepping 1:58.2 victory with Aaron Merriman at the lines. Owned by her trainer and the Synerco Ventures of Toronto, ON, Kerfuffle Cookie notched her third career win and third OSS contest--having won the first two legs of this series previously, one each at Scioto and Northfield Park. Shut Up And Dance (Hugh Beatty) was second, while Buckeye Lady One (Chris Page) picked up third-place money. Bred by Lmn Bred Stables, the brown filly now has $60,000 in career earnings and is out of the unraced Conway Hall mare Minor Skirmish. A $20,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Ohio Select Sale, Kerfuffle Cookie is a half-sister to Allie's Gift (by Holiday Road) p, 3, 1:57.1 ($46,810) and to Special Agent Man (by Federal Flex) p, 3, Q1:59.1s ($45,037). Finally, it was the late-blooming Consolidator who took the other trotting division for driver Chris Page and trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. in 1:58. Using gait to wire tactics, Page sent his charge right to the front and never looked back. It was the second straight win in OSS competition for the daughter of Triumphant Caviar, upping her earnings to $50,616. She now has two wins and a third in four career starts. Count On Kami (Kurt Sugg) was second and Hoorah Hoorah (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was third. Consolidator is owned by the Green Acquisition Corp. of Canfield, OH and was bred by Rose Run Farm. She was a $25,000 yearling at the 2014 Ohio Select Sale and is the sixth foal out of the $107,728-winning Muscles Yankee broodmare Muscle Toy. Ohio Sires Stakes action continues Saturday night (Sept. 5) at Scioto Downs as freshman colts vie in six divisions, three each for pacers and trotters. The $225,000 OSS Championships for each of the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be contested on Scioto Downs' Super Night, on Saturday, Sept. 12. By Kimberly Rinker, Administrator, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

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