Ewart To Pocket-Sitting Split The House


Stalking swift fractions set by Nuclear Dragon on the lead, Split The House edged into the open stretch and swept to a 1:49.1 victory in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Driver Aaron Merriman sent Split The House for the lead with Filibuster Hanover crossing over to the cones from post nine and Nuclear Dragon getting away third from the second tier. Mcwicked, sent the 3-5 favourite, chased fourth with a gap between him and the top three through the :26.2 opening quarter.

Nuclear Dragon cleared control moving into the stretch first time and continued on a quick clip passing the half in :53.2 with Split The House drafting from the pocket. Mcwicked began to edge off the pylons from fourth entering the backstretch but did not commit moving outside until three-quarters when Filibuster Hanover popped out of third through the 1:20.4 station.

Split The House dove into the passing lane at the head of the stretch while Nuclear Dragon battled to hold second. Filibuster Hanover managed to hold third while Western Fame swerved into competition to dead-heat with Mcwicked for fourth.

"I talked to Brett [Miller] and Chris [Oakes] when they asked me to drive this horse and they both said he was unbelievable last week [in the Canadian Pacing Derby] and they thought he could've won the race if he got out," Merriman said. "The horse felt really good behind the gate, I sent him out of there [and] Danny [Noble]'s horse [Nuclear Dragon] has been unbelievable here and was a great horse to follow."

Winning his second race in nine starts this season and his 14th in 39 overall, Split The House, a six-year-old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover out of the Camluck mare Shake That Junk, races for owner Crawford Farms Racing and has accrued $913,179 in earnings. Chris Oakes trains the $12.20 winner.

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