Day At The Track

New Handle record at Hollywood Dayton

04:55 PM 24 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Hollywood Dayton Raceway
Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - It has been a joyous Christmas week at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. With Santa's annual visit just around the corner, the two-year-old track got its present early by establishing new all-time handle records on back-to-back harness racing programs.

Tuesday night (December 22) a twelve race card produced at total of $281,353 in wagers, eclipsing the old mark of $238,119. But the bigger (and better) news was Wednesday night (December 23) when the handle soared to $357,603 despite rain throughout the program, including one very heavy thunderstorm that caused a fifteen minute delay for some track surface repairs.

"The track is good, better than you could expect," said a mud-covered Chris Page after winning the race immediately following the delay with Leather Betty in 1:56.1. "It's fine," echoed Kayne Kauffman; while Jeremy Smith exclaimed "I have no problem with it. Despite being sloppy, the footing is good." Ohio Harness Horsemens Track Representative Brett Merkle summed it up best: "The track crew worked all day in preparation for the storms they knew were coming, and they took the steps necessary to make sure we could complete the program over a safe surface. They are to be commended on a job well done."

Quickest mile of the night belonged to Chattanooga Jim, a four-year-old Jereme's Jet gelding who captured a condition-claiming event for non-winners of four pari-mutuel races in 1:53.1. The recent addition to Hollywood Dayton is owned by A Harris Racing LLC, trained by Chris Short, and was driven by Kauffman.

Drivers Trace Tetrick and Tyler Smith, both recent additions to the Hollywood Dayton driving colony following the seasonal closing of Hoosier Park, each scored driving triples, while veteran trot man David Myers fashioned his first driving double of the meet.

Racing resumes on Saturday night, December 26, with a strong 14-race card featured three Open events, one for female pacers, one for male pacers and one for top-level trotters. The final three nights of the 75-night meet will be presented Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 28-30, with full-field 14-race programs each evening.

Gregg Keidel

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