Day At The Track

Smith cops both Opens, Handle shattered

04:29 PM 27 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Stars Align A, harness racing
Stars Align A returned from a 41-day layoff without missing a beat, topping GD Western Joe in 1:50.3
Conrad Photo
DAYTON, OH. - Harness racing driver Tyler Smith stole the show at Hollywood Dayton on Saturday (Dec. 26) by winning both co-feature events, the $18,400 Open Handicap for male pacers and the $17,800 sister event for the best distaff pacers in the region.
Despite a 41-day layoff, Smith hustled Stars Align A to an early lead in the 'boys' event before allowing GD Western Joe (Chris Page) to clear to the front just steps before the :26.3 first quarter.
The winning 7-year-old unaltered son of Art Major enjoyed a pocket ride through middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:22.4, then swung to the outside coming off the final bend. Despite a quick :27.4 closing quarter, Stars Align A managed to collar GD Western Joe in deep stretch for his tenth seasonal triumph and 34th lifetime from 91 races. Havefaithinme N (Trace Tetrick) finished a creditable third in the 1:50.3 mile.
Joshua Graber owns Stars Align A and entrusts the training to Christi Noble. He now has banked $465,398.
Stars Align A
The Bethinator, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere, held off a fast-closing Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) to capture the Mares Open Handicap in 1:52. Summer Charm (Trace Tetrick) got the first quarter call in :26.3, but Smith had The Bethinator in high gear to grab the lead shortly thereafter.
Following a breather to the :56.1 halfway marker, the winner was joined by Sugar Dance (Brett Miller) in a speed duel to the third timer in 1:23.4.
After racing side-by-side around the entire final turn, The Bethinator battled back inside and then barely held off Miss You N (Jeremy Smith) who made up about ten lengths in the last quarter before coming up just short in 1:52. Its Time For Fun (Kyle Wilfong) garnered the show dough.
Veteran Nelson Willis conditions the homebred winner for the Megan Rogers Racing Stable. She now sports a dozen victories over two years and has earned $119,154.
The Bethinator
The Bethinator held off Miss You N to win her second Mares Open in December at Hollywood Dayton.
Tyler Smith wasn't the only happy camper at Hollywood Dayton after the Saturday program.
An all-time all sources handle record of $726,775 was recorded to the delight of the entire racing management team, lead by Director of Racing Jason Bluhm. The old record of $664,945 was recorded on December 23, 2019.
There are just three cards left in the 2020 Hollywood Dayton season.
A trio of 14-race programs will be presented on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the coming week. Each will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Gregg Keidel
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