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Canadian-Owned Derby Winners Set Dayton Records

Published: October 2, 2015 10:04 pm ET

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Driver David Miller swept the co-featured $135,750 Dayton Trotting Derby and $138,500 Dayton Pacing Derby with Canadian-owned track record-setters Il Sogno Dream and State Treasurer on Friday night at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway.

Il Sogno Dream wore down the popular trotting mare Shake It Cerry to pull off a 14-1 upset in the second edition of the Dayton Trotting Derby.

Miller picked up the catch-drive in the first co-featured Grand Circuit stakes event of the night as the four-year-old son of Cantab Hall's regular reinsman, Aaron Merriman, was caught in traffic coming from The Meadows. Il Sogno Dream is trained by Chris Beaver for Ontario owners Bill Manes of Rockwood, Dan Manes of Erin, Leonard Christopher of Acton and Randy Christopher of Rockwood.

Shake It Cerry (Yannick Gingras), the 4-5 favourite, worked past 7-5 second choice Wind Of The North (Dave Palone) into the opening turn and she reached the first quarter in :27 seconds before getting a second quarter breather. Meanwhile, Miller made his move with Il Sogno Dream and advanced first over from fourth to reach the leader's wheel by the :56.2 half-mile mark.

Shake It Cerry continued to lead the field to three-quarters in 1:25 with Il Sogno Dream moving alongside to challenge down the backstretch. Southwind Pepino (Hugh Beatty) followed second over.

Shake It Cerry maintained a short lead coming off the final turn, but Il Sogno Dream eventually wore her down to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2, setting a new track record for four-year-old male trotters. Southwind Pepino closed off cover for third-place, finishing two and a quarter lengths behind.

Coming off a sixth-place finish the Centaur Trotting Classic last weekend at Hoosier Park, Il Sogno Dream paid $31.60 to win in the field that was scratched down to six starters with Obrigado and Tinder out sick.

While overlooked by the betting public, Miller said the trotter's connections were confident coming into the race.

"They talked him up pretty good there before the race," said Miller. "They said he was locked in last week and [it was his] second start on Lasix so I gave him a shot. They were pretty confident."

Il Sogno Dream, a four-time winner this year, now has 12 career wins in 43 starts and a bankroll soaring to $618,689.

In the following Dayton Pacing Derby, 3-5 favourite State Treasurer dominated his competition with a big mile over the off track for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally Macdonald of Souris, P.E.I. and Toronto's Paul MacDonald.

Lets Drink On It (Travis Seekman) fired off a :25.4 opening panel as he left from the inside post position, but his lead was short-lived as State Treasurer rushed up from third to take over command in front of the grandstand.

State Treasurer raced to the half in :53.1 and three-quarters in 1:21.1 with 4-1 second choice All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) fading first over.

State Treasurer continued to draw away from his rivals into the stretch and powered home to set a new stakes and track record of 1:48.4. Shamballa (Rick Zeron) closed for second-place honours, finishing over five lengths behind the winner, while Lets Drink On It was third.

"The conditions were not ideal at all," said Miller of the cool temperatures and track conditions resulting from rain throughout the day. "There's a pretty good headwind up the backstretch and it's just not a great night for speed, but he's been really sharp the last couple of months and he was right back again tonight."

Despite the conditions, State Treasurer, who boasts recent stakes wins in the U.S. Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe and Canadian Pacing Derby, shaved one-fifth of a second off Clear Vision's track record that he had established in the 2014 Derby.

"I wasn't going for a track record, I was just going for the win," said Miller.

The six-year-old son of Real Desire has now won nine of his 16 starts this year and is approaching the million-dollar mark in seasonal earnings. Lifetime, he has won 30 races and $1.9 million in purses.

(Photos by Conrad Photo)

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