No Lou Zing Victorious In Oak Grove Open Pace

No Lou Zing

John MacDonald motored 10-1 shot No Lou Zing for the lead and kept chugging on the engine to claim the $41,096 Open Pace on Monday, April 15 at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel. 

Leaving from post three, No Lou Zing seized control to a :26 first quarter from Shamwow (Brandon Bates), who settled into the pocket. No Lou Zing kept his peers to his rear with a hot tempo in the middle sections, clicking a :54.4 half and three-quarters in 1:22 while only enduring pressure up the backside. MacDonald then fended all threats through the lane as No Lou Zing straightened and strode strongly to a 1-1/2-length victory in 1:50.2. Muskateer Hanover (Tony Hall) persisted from a first-over push for second with This Kit Rocks (Joey Putnam) swooping from last for third and Shamwow holding fourth. Rocks Shining Star (Devon Tharps), the 9-5 favourite, took back and got locked at the pegs, finishing seventh. 

No Lou Zing won his 26th race from 89 starts and has now banked $889,005. Wayne Oke trains the seven-year-old Sweet Lou gelding for owner A Piece Of The Action LLC. He paid $23.18 to win. 

In the co-featured $41,096 Fillies & Mares Open Pace, Southwind Bella prevailed as the 4-5 chalk with a front-stepping power effort to clock a 1:52.1 mile. 

Driver Devon Tharps floated Southwind Bella off the wings from post seven and grabbed the lead from Msdinosis Blugrass (Pat Curtin) past a :27.2 first quarter. From there, Southwind Bella widened her lead through splits of :57.4 and 1:25.1 to then coast home a 3-1/2-length victor over Msdinosis Blugrass. Better Double Flip (Lewayne Miller) just missed and settled for third off a pylon ride and Illusion Seelster (John MacDonald) took fourth. 

Ron Burke trains Southwind Bella, a four-year-old mare by Huntsville, for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Bridgette Jablonsky and Lombardo / Green Racing. She won her 10th race from 27 tries and has now earned $273,749. Southwind Bella paid $3.96 to win. 

Oak Grove Hosts Pair Of Races For United States Harness Driving Club

Oak Grove was host to a pair of United States Harness Driving Club (USHDC) races on Monday, with Cassidy Whitton and Peter Kleinhans recording wins in their respective pacing events.

Whitton kicked off the festivities by scoring a near gate-to-wire win with the seven-year-old mare Shes A Fireball, stopping the clock in 1:54.4. It took a brave :29 finale to hold Lous Delight (Tony Dinges) safe at the wire by a neck while the 9-10 favourite, Topville Rocknluck (Tim Wilson Jr.), finished third after a mild challenge turning for home. Mach Diesel (Jill Brown) finished fourth, less than two lengths away while Stick With Cramer (Mike Riley), 10 lengths out of it early on, closed fastest of all (:27.4) to pick up the nickel for Mike Riley.

It was, pretty much, “cut and dry” after the first few strides with the winner carving out panels of :28 in securing the early lead and a well rated :58 with only one minor threat developing three lengths away. A :27.4 third panel thwarted any serious threats and the :29 finale on home sealed the deal with the victory being number four in just nine starts this semester for the career winner of more than a quarter-million dollars.

Whitton also trains the Western Maverick mare for owners Pat Melloy Jr. and Lisa Gosling. Winning pari-mutuel ticket holders receive a $16.94 dividend for their $2 investment.

Witton now has 93 career driving wins and 119 training successes and a win percentage of over 20 per cent.

The veteran amateur driver Kleinhans guided the six-year-old gelding Snap Call to his third win in 12 starts this year, scoring handily by 8-1/4 lengths in 1:55.1, highlighted by a :28.2 sprint home off fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.4. Left in the winner’s wake was Rockin M (Jacob Stillwell), who rallied from dead-last early to finish second. Southwind Molly (Carson Conrad) was next followed by Takemetothelmt (Dein Spriggs) and Indiana Cam (Scott McQuinn) after challenging halfway through the mile.

Snap Call was alert leaving form his inside post but met company from Docs Papparazzi during the opening quarter. With Kleinhans on a front-end mission with Snap Call, Docs Papparazzi was left hung out to dry like wet laundry with only a minimal challenge from the field after that.

Michael Meza trains Snap Call, a six-year-old Shadow Play gelding with more than $100,000 in earnings, for owner Ashlee Sluggett. Snap Call returned $11.52 for the win ducat.

The 24-year-old Meza, in his second year as a trainer, has complied 35 wins in just 136 starts.

USHDC has donated more than $300,000 USD to worthy charitable causes since its inception with a focus on retired horse aftercare, training for “second” vocations as therapeutic horses, pleasure horses and show horses. The club's donations have also made dreams come true for children through donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Live harness racing resumes at Oak Grove on Tuesday, April 16 with a 12-race card starting at 3 p.m. (CDT) and the feature carded as Race 6, a $30,000 USD Open Trot. Free program pages for every race day, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available on the Oak Grove Racing website.

(With files from Oak Grove Racing & USHDC)

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