Day At The Track


05:04 AM 23 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Brent Holland
Brent Holland trotted home a winner with Baby Blaze in a $5000 conditioned event
LEBANON, OH. - A pair of native harness racing Buckeyes returned to their roots this week and were successful in back-to-back races on Wednesday night at Miami Valley Raceway.
Ken Holliday and Brent Holland, prolific drivers with thousands of career victories and winners of dash titles at numerous tracks, are currently plying their trade within miles of the old Lebanon Raceway, where they learned many of their early lessons in their teens and twenties.
Holliday, other than a single 'Legends' race on closing night at Lebanon Raceway in 2013, has been sidelined by injury in recent years and attained his judge's license while on the mend. He has served stints in the judge's stand at both Pompano Park and Scioto Downs. On an interim basis, he has returned to driving and guided Wisher to a valuable victory in his very first start back.
Holland, who has fared well in both Chicago and at Yonkers Raceway since leaving Ohio years ago, trotted home a winner with Baby Blaze in a $5000 conditioned event.
The win for Wisher, in the final preliminary leg of the "Claim To Fame" series for $5000 claimers, vaulted him into the $15,000 championship race next Wednesday (January 28). The race should be extremely competitive as the series produced ten different winners in ten preliminary leg races. Three other horses had a pair of second place finishes to create a logjam at the top of the standings in the series.
Wisher and two other horses who had a win and got another check in the two-week preliminary stage are guaranteed spots in the final. Ten other horses are tied for the final six spaces behind the starting gate, to be determined by a random judge's draw. The four horses that do not draw into the $15,000 championship will get berths in an $8000 consolation final along with the next five highest earners. A total of 50 horses competed in the preliminary legs of this particular series.
The finalists were also determined Wednesday night in the $12,500 claiming mares division. Impressive winners Melodie Hotspur and She's A Ball stamped themselves as the favorites for next week's $19,600 championship race with convincing scores.
Gregg Keidel
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