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Inaugural Dayton Titles To Sutton, Morgan

Published: December 28, 2014 12:09 am ET

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Hollywood Dayton Raceway brought the curtain down on its inaugural 57-night meet on Saturday, crowning Josh Sutton as its first-ever dash champion and Virgil Morgan Jr. as its leading trainer.

Sutton captured five races on the closing night card to bring his meet-leading total to 103 triumphs. Dayton Raceway became the ninth different track at which the 32-year-old reinsman has won a dash title. Sutton has captured 2,784 victories in his career and his mounts have earned over $16 million. With 588 wins and a .319 UDRS, he is a top 10 driver in the 2014 national dash standings.

Morgan is no stranger to meet training titles as he has captured 20 straight at Scioto Downs and captured the inaugural training title at nearby Miami Valley Raceway earlier in 2014. He managed 52 trips to the Dayton Raceway winner’s circle. His powerful stable has produced 327 victories good for a .365 UTRS rating in 2014. Morgan was the first trainer in history to record 5,000 career training wins, a number which has since grown to 5,378. The stable has produced over $45 million in career earnings for its horse owners.

Rockin Finish (Randy Tharps) captured the final $10,000 Open Pace of the Dayton meet, one of three winners from the Morgan Stable on closing night. The five-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover managed a 1:52.3 neck victory over the sloppy track, topping Valentino (Kayne Kauffman) with iron-tough Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) picking up the show dough. Gerrie Tucker owns Rockin Finish, who increased his seasonal earnings to $80,000 and his lifetime earnings to nearly $335,000 with the impressive tally.

The top trotters at Dayton also lined up for their final $10,000 test on Saturday with Mr Web Page (Jeff Nisonger) emerging as the 1:56.3 victor by sticking his nose in front of Celebrity Hercules (Dan Noble) at the wire. Touchmymuscles (Jeremy Smith) closed strongly to garner the show payoff. Helping Hands Stable owns the winning six-year-old son of Muscles Yankee, whose seasonal earnings are now also nearing $80,000 and a career bankroll of $475,000. Jim Arledge Jr. conditions Mr Web Page, who finished his 2014 season with two wins and a second-place finish in his last three starts — all in Open company.

Hollywood Dayton Raceway closed its first season with strong momentum for the future. Each of the final three programs produced record high handles, both on-track and via export simulcast, encouraging signs for harness racing’s newest venue.

(Dayton)


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