Day At The Track

Missile J lands right in winner's circle

05:10 PM 17 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Missile J, harness racing
Missile J and driver Jeremy Smith
Conrad photo

DAYTON, OH. - 2019 hasn't been a year to brag about for the classy veteran pacer Missile J, but on Saturday (Nov. 16) his harness racing back class prevailed in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $16,500 Open Pace.

The six-year-old son of American Ideal won for just the third time in 18 seasonal starts--earning $48,955--but the 1:51.2 score was his 26th in his career and boosted his lifetime bounty to $831,902.

Dispatched at 10-1 odds, Missile J (Jeremy Smith) was content to get away fourth from the rail until launching a first-over attack just after the halfway juncture. After lapping in on the odds-on favorite, Tookadiveoffdipper (Brett Miller), at the three-quarter mile marker, the winner tacked on a :27.1 final panel to sail to victory by a length and a half. Tookadiveoffdipper did hang in for the place finish while Fools Desire (Kayne Kauffman) took advantage of a pocket ride to garner the show dough.

Walter Haynes Jr. trains Missile J for the Indiana partnership of Jeff Fought, Brian Carsey, Dave Fought and Chris Myers.

"Missile J is a funny horse," explained Haynes following the race. "You have to keep his attention or he'll take off galloping, but when you keep his mind on business he is wicked fast!"

Jazmin Arnold wins again

There's an old adage which states “when you're hot, you're hot” and that could easily be applied to Jazmin “the Little Flower” Arnold, the current hottest driver in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series.

Tonight the talented miss guided Celebrity Pegasus to a 1:59.1 victory in a Billings trot at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway not only scoring her fifth victory in her last six starts but making a good case for consideration as the National Amateur Driver of the Year.

Despite starting from the seven-hole Ms Arnold fired her trotter to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and they led seven others past the quarter in a soft :29.4. And with no real challenges she got the veteran Andover Hall gelding by the halfway point in a very soft 1:02.  From there it was catch me if you can as she gave her horse his head and he trotted the last half in :57.1 en route to an oh-so-easy three -length triumph. Even with a two-hole journey Utopia and Steve “You're Never Too” Oldford could not gain on the leader and finished second. Song In My Hear and Tiny Tim” Miller took home the show dough.

Celebrity Pegasus is owned by Morgan Hagerman and trained by Herman Hagerman. Sent off as the even money favorite he paid $4.00 for win.

But perhaps the bigger story is the emergence of Jazmin Arnold as a top notch harness driver. After starting the year competing on the Ohio Fair circuit she has now graduated to being a stalwart at the big Midwest raceways.

Her incredible seasonal stats include 23 wins, eight seconds and three thirds in 56 starts for an astounding .520 UDR.

From Dayton Raceway and John Manzi

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