Hard-luck Carol’s Comet won the last $20,000 Open Pace at Scioto Downs Racino in 2013 by a nose, in 1:50.2. The hard luck gelding finished second the last three starts at the track but this week driver Aaron Merriman had a different strategy to make the outcome different, and make his way to the winner’s circle. “I thought I was in the position last week to get the trip and they told me he really didn’t like the passing lane,” said Merriman. “I opted to go to the outside so I think I cost myself the race with the drive. Today, up in the passing lane the horse really appreciated it, the shorter trip around the track.” Sitting the pocket Merriman waited patiently during the first three quarters that went in 26.3, 55.2 and 1:22. “He’s very nice, a Cadillac to race,” Merriman continued. “He really wants to go so that really makes it nice. He’s very good gated and good behind the gate.” Audrey’s Dream (Tony Hall) got up for second while Special Forces (Chris Page) held on for third after cutting the mile. Previous to the evening’s races, Carol’s Comet had made 16 starts and had three wins with eight seconds and one third making $77,275 just this year racing exclusively at Scioto for Delaware, Ohio based trainer Ron Potter. The striking 4-year-old gelding son of Yankee Cruiser out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Modern Medicine is owned by Martin Presser, Bill Moore, Matthew Moore and Whiskey Tango Stable (Dawn Hornsby, Dawn Potter and Kimberly Rowe). The evening’s race card also held two divisions of the “Best of the Rest” which was open to horses paid into the Sire Stakes but were not eligible for the $150,000 last week. Majesty Dream (Chip Chip Hooray-Donna L’s Hope) and Kayne Kauffman took the 2-year-old trotting filly division in 2:00.4. Trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for owners Up Front Racing LLC (Ed Mullinax) and Thomas York Jr. She is now set to race in the Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware on Sept. 17. The 3-year-old colt pace was the only other division to fill and was won by Dusto and Kauffman in 1:55.1. The time was a new lifetime mark for the Stand Forever-Doctor Cindy colt who now has $82,540 in career earnings for owner/trainer William Hartman and co-owner Saundra Andre’. Even though the live racing season is over at Scioto, the racetrack will still be open for simulcasting from noon-midnight. Racing will resume in May 2014, dependent on approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission. Scioto Downs Racino
Eight $150,000 Ohio Sire Stakes championships were held at Scioto Downs Racino Saturday evening. Feelin Lika Winner lived up to his name when he won the coveted 3-year-old colt pacing championship in 1:52.2. The Scott Mogan trainee sat in the pocket most of the way behind race favorite, That Friske Feelin and Tony Hall, after parking the latter to an opening quarter of 26.3. "We wanted to follow Burke’s horse (That Friske Feelin), as close as we could get to him,” said driver Kayne Kauffman. “We got out of the gate good and I kind of pushed him through the first turn and tried to sting him a little bit.” That opening quarter didn’t take much out of the eventual winner as he powered home in 28.3 to win by four and three-quarter lengths. “That was a very tough call (to pull going around the last turn instead of waiting for the passing lane) but my horse felt strong,” continued Kauffman. “Tony’s plugs were out down the backside so we went ahead and made the move and it worked out.” Feelin Lika Winner is owned by Mogan, Diamond Chip Stables (Judy Weber), AWS Stables (Allen & Carol Marie Schmidthorst) and Charlie Guiler. The gelding by Feelin Friskie out of the Live Love Laugh mare Naughty Sunflower now has $212,235 in lifetime earnings and took a mark earlier this year of 1:51.4 here at Scioto. Other OSS winners on the evening included: 2yo Filly Trot - In the Grippers (Steven One - Over Baked) in 1:58 for driver Chris Page, trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr and owner Herres Stables LLC (Natilie Herres). 2yo Colt Trot - Rompaway Galaxy (Rompaway Wally - Rompaway Wynona) in 1:57.4 for driver Mike Micallef, trainer Krista Williams and owner Rompaway Farms LLC (Thomas Smith) 2yo Filly Pace - Shakin Friskie (Feelin Friskie - Shakeurcancancress) in 1:56.1 for driver Dan Noble, trainer Mark Winters, Sr and owners Bret Schwartz, William Bean and Stephen Montemarano. 2yo Colt Pace - Chance I MIght (Stand Forever - Nature’s Course) in 1:55.3 for driver Brad Hanners, trainer Jim Dailey and owner Rebecca Dwyer. 3yo Filly Trot - Contessa Leigh (Full Count - Howl) in 1:57.1 for driver Sam “Chip” Noble, trainer Marty Wollam and owners G And B Racing (Bradley & George Berlin) and Marty Wollam. 3yo Colt Trot - Final Breath (Victory Sam - First Breath) in 1:56.1 for trainer/driver Hugh “Sandy” Beatty and owner Duane Lowe. 3yo Filly Pace - Igottafeelinfran (Feelin Friskie - Fran Anna) in 1:53.3 for driver Dan Noble, trainer Jim Dailey and owners Jerry Zosel, Kathy Ratcliff and Kimberly Dailey. Racing will continue for one more week, Wednesday thru Saturday, with a post of 6:30 p.m. each day. Saturday (September 14) is closing night at Scioto for the 2013 racing season. Submitted by Scioto Downs Racino
Tom Brinkerhoff only has four horses in his barn on the backside of Scioto Downs Racino but two of them qualified for the Ohio Sire Stakes Final for 3-year-old colt pacers that will be held this Saturday (Sept 7). The horse he entered, Outdoor Fever, has had a rough go of late but his early season success warranted him a shot at the winner’s share of $150,000. Leaving from post two, the pair is set at 8-1 morning line odds, not the favorite, but definitely in contention. “He’s a nice horse, but he’s just about a second and a half away from being a good horse,” said Brinkerhoff. “He’s good and sound, a nice horse to drive and good mannered. We just gotta have some luck before we can get any money.” Mike Wilder will be the seventh driver of the season to sit behind the colt who was second placed first in his seasonal debut, the first leg of the OSS at Lebanon. He paced in 1:57 that day (May 4) and three weeks later in the second leg at Scioto he was third, pacing in 1:54.4. He skipped the third leg, but went to the fourth at Raceway Park on August 25 and finished seventh. “Well that was at Toledo and they got down to the half real slow, and he was sitting back ninth,” explained Brinkerhoff. “He paced his last half in 55.1 but he was just back too far and couldn’t reach. He raced good, it was just the circumstances.” The ages of the human connections of Outdoor Fever are the opposite end of the age spectrum from their equine counterpart. Brinkerhoff will turn 76 just five days after Super Night, while his groom, Lenny Slygh, is 61 and breeder/owner Leonard Buckner is 80. The Brinkerhoff/Slygh pair have been working together for six years now and have the relationship of two long time friends that are enjoying their “retirement years” with some frisky young colts. But Brinkerhoff’s relationship with Buckner has really stood the test of time “I’ve been training horses for him for 31 years,” said Brinkerhoff who first started training horses with his dad when he was nine years old. “And we’ve had about one argument in all those years. He doesn’t come to the races (because of health reasons) but he watches all the races at home.” Outdoor Fever is by Stand Forever out of the Ruffstuff Baker mare Bang The Door. Coincidentally, Brinkerhoff trained Ruffstuff Baker for Buckner and said he was one of the best horses he has ever trained in his 67 year training career. The other horse that was eligible to the OSS Finals this year, My Myster E, is also owned in part by Buckner and was in the dance for the finals as a 2-year old. Finishing third in that $100,000 final to Feelin Lika Winner, Brinkerhoff had high hopes for him this year but “he’s been the biggest disappointment for me in 10 years. “They (Outdoor Fever and My Myster E) were raised together and have been beside each other for two years now in training. They’ve always been together.” When you have a pair of nice colts, one can always make up for the shortcomings of the other. But both of them will now have faced Feelin Lika Winner in their shot in the finals. Feelin Lika Winner is trained by Scott Mogan and installed as the 5-2 second favorite (behind 6-5 favorite That Friske Feelin). "I trained with him (Feelin Lika Winner) the other day, and I couldn’t get by him,” said Brinkerhoff. “It will all depend on how the race goes, you gotta have some luck. I’m hoping they will drag race down to the three-quarters and then maybe we’ll be able to pick up some pieces on the end.” When one-quarter of your stable is going for the rich $150,000 finals and you take care of the quality horses in your barn, sometimes age and experience will overcome the odds. For one 75-year-old, he’s hoping he has this great chance to be in the winner’s circle. Scioto Downs Publicity Department
Dan Noble and Virgil Morgan, Jr. teamed up to win the Open Pace Saturday night at Scioto Downs Racino - and the win put Morgan just 19 wins short of the coveted 5,000 win mark for trainers. With the assigned seven post position, the pair headed straight for the front and never looked back. Keeping at least a length between him and pocket sitter Carol’s Comet (Aaron Merriman) during every point of call, I Found My Beach won by a length in 1:51.3. Herres Stables LLC owns the 4-year-old gelding by Mach Three out of the Stand Forever mare Ohio Annie. I Found My Beach is the first foal from the mare and has a 2-year-old full brother, Whistle Jimmy K, who sold for $97,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Sale in Harrisburg. Morgan, a long-time Scioto based trainer, has nearly $41.5-million in lifetime purses won. He is now just 19 wins away from 5,000 lifetime wins (since the USTA started keeping track in 1992). He has never had less than a .311 UTRS while maintaining at least 752 starts (he had up to 1,743 starts in 2000) per year since 1997. Through racing on Saturday, Morgan sits third in the standings of 2013 top trainers by wins with 236 and seventh in earnings with $2.47-million. His current year UTRS of .375 has him sitting second, for trainers with 500+ starts, to Daniel Gill who has a .412. Racing will continue at Scioto Wednesday (Aug 28) with a first post of 6:30 p.m. and continues Thursday and Saturday. The track will be dark on Friday due to the on-track Gretchen Wilson concert. Just one week later, Scioto will play host to Ohio’s Super Night on September 7, with eight Sire Stakes Finals, going for $150,000 each,. Submitted by Scioto Downs Racino
On Sunday, August 25 Raceway Park will feature two divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes racing action on their 10-race program. This will be the fourth leg of the Sires Stakes for the sophomore colts. Trotters begin Sunday’s stake action in the evening’s eighth race. The field of eight vies for a purse of $35,000. Final Breath (Victory Sam-First Breath-Hold your Breath) has been made the 8-5 heavy morning-line favorite. He races for Malta, Ohio owner Duane Lowe. Hugh Beatty is the gelding’s trainer and driver. Final Breath has won seven of 10 races this year and is 13 of 19 lifetime. He starts from post five and enters this event on a three-race win streak. Final Breath has a career bankroll of $126,697 and has a 1:55.3 lifetime mark trotted at Scioto Downs in his most recent race on August 9. Also competing in the fourth leg will be last year’s OSS champion Trottin On Over, Masterdream Chaser, Heza Rube, Sammy Sammy Sammy, Chet N Spanky, Annie’s Rocketman and Buzzin Troubador. Race 9 will host the $35,000 fourth leg Ohio Sires Stakes for three year-old colt pacers. The 1 and 1A entry of That Friske Feelin and Phantom Flasher is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. That Friske Feelin (Feelin Friskie-Marquee Event-Mark Johnathan) is owned by the partnership of Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Richard Lombardo. Ron Burke, North America’s winningest trainer in 2013, trains the gelding and uses Tony Hall to drive. This sophomore has 16 starts, winning eight races and finishing second five times. He set a 1:52.2 mark at Northfield Park on July 20 and has earned $114,883. That Friske Feelin starts from post six. The other half of the entry, Phantom Flasher (Memphis Flash-Trendy Tradition-Stand Forever), is also owned by Howard Taylor and Richard Lombardo. Becky Zubkoff is this gelding’s conditioner and has enlisted the driving services of Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Phantom Flasher and won two of 14 starts this year and has garnered $43,668 with a mark of 1:55 paced at The Meadows. He starts from post nine in a talented field consisting of Firetowers Stand, River Valley Pearl, Forever Kissed, Feelin Lika Winner, Sassy Osborne, Outdoor Fever, Hanky L and Chief Friskie. Sunday’s first race post time at Raceway Park is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff
Four races of harness racing 2-year-old colts hit the track for the second leg of $30,000 Ohio Sire Stakes at Scioto Downs Racino on Saturday. Three of the winners kept their Sire Stakes win record in tact, winning both legs so far, and all four set new lifetime marks.
On July 3 Northfield Park hosted five divisions of Ohio Sires Stake racing action as part of the Wednesday 13-race program.
On Wednesday, July 3 Northfield Park offers guests the opportunity to start their holiday off right with stakes harness racing action.
I Found My Beach found his stride on Saturday evening at Scioto Downs Racino, setting a new track record for harness racing 4-year-old pacing geldings.
The pacer How Forever Feels produced the fastest mile during Friday night's 11-race harness racing program at Vernon Downs.
Victory Is Coming broke Northfield Park’s track record for five-year-old and up trotting mares on Monday (June 3) by winning the $6,000 Open Trot in 1:55.1. The previous record of 1:56 was shared by Tom's OK Lady (2009 & 2010) and Norma’s Rose (2013).
Driver Chris Page beat the favorite in the James K. Hackett Memorial for males and won with the favorite in the filly counterpart of the Hackett. Page, currently ranked fifth in wins among North American harness racing drivers, used similar tactics in putting his horses on the lead early in both Hackett divisions.
Custers Last Stand paced home for his third straight win Monday (March 18) in Northfield Park's thirteenth race.
Horse of the Year and other harness racing divisional honors were awarded last night (January 19) at the annual Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association banquet at the Columbus Marriott Northwest.
Its Jesse Time and Master's Fly Trap captured harness racing divisions of Wednesday's (September 19) $36,300 Ohio Breeders Championship 2-Year-Old Filly Trot at the Delaware County Faiir.
Steve Calhoun and West Wins Stable's Betterthancheddar ($3, George Brennan) equaled the world record for 4-year-old horses on a half mile racetrack Monday (September 17) at Harrington Raceway with a 1:49.2 harness racing triumph in the $216,500 6th Annual Bobby Quillen Memorial.