Day At The Track

Sutton & Morgan Jr. win meet titles

05:41 AM 05 May 2015 NZST
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Josh Sutton Virgil Morgan Jr.
Josh Sutton was presented with the Leading Driver award for an outstanding meet at Miami Valley in 2015 by Racing Operations Manager Helen Carlo and Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. Through the first 87 nights of the 89 program meet, Sutton steered 175 winner
Conrad Photo
Virgil Morgan Jr. garnered his second consecutive trainer's title
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. - Harness racing driver Josh Sutton and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. captured their respective titles at the recently-concluded second-ever Miami Valley Raceway meet. The 89-day season, which started January 2 and ended May 3, could only be deemed a huge success as almost $8.5 million was doled out in purses, numerous track records were lowered, and overall average daily handle was up a whopping 29.2%.

Sutton's 182 wins not only dominated the Miami Valley driver's dash standings, but currently places him fifth in the national wins column despite competing at just one track. In addition to his lofty win total, Josh managed 115 place and 92 show finishes, giving him an impressive .332 UDRS average. Sutton visited the winner's circle after 21.9% of his 832 races. Purse earnings for his mounts totaled $1,012,134, for an average of $11,372 per program.

Other top ten dash drivers at the 2015 Miami Valley meet were Dan Noble with 121 wins, Kayne Kauffman 116, Chris Page 101, Jeremy Smith 80, Kyle Ater 69, Randy Tharps 66, Tyler Smith 62, Jason Brewer 49, and Ken Holliday and Jeff Nisonger tied with 43 apiece.

Morgan Jr. garnered his second consecutive trainer's title with 66 wins in 222 starts and a lofty .404 UTRS average. The first trainer in harness racing history to reach 5,000 career wins and Ohio's all-time leader, Morgan's stable amassed $442,760 in earnings during the 2015 Miami Valley meet, an average of just a shade under $5,000 per program.

Jeff Brewer finished second in the conditioner's standings with 50 victories, followed by Chris Short 43, Dan Ater and Kayne Kauffman 33, Jim Arledge Jr. 28, Jim Dailey 24, Jeff Nisonger 21, Jim Pollock Jr. 18 and Deborah Swartz 17. A total of 16 stables earned over $100,000 over the four-month meet.

Best post position was No. 5 with a winning percentage of 18.4. The percentage of winning favorites was 36.09.

Overall average daily handle was up 29 percent over the inaugural 2014 season.

Gregg Keidel

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