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Dayton Wraps Up Successful Season

Published: December 31, 2016 12:02 am ET

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Hollywood Dayton Raceway wrapped up its third season of live racing on Friday night (December 30) with an increase in daily overall handle, a record purse distribution of just under $7 million and a handful of new divisional track speed records.

Josh Sutton retained his badge as dash champion, winning the title for the third straight year with 175 triumphs over 71 racing programs. Virgil Morgan Jr. recaptured the trainer’s crown he won in year one at Dayton, but lost to Jeff Brewer in 2015. The dominant Ohio conditioner sent 43 from his stable to the Hollywood winner’s circle, including two on closing night, to just edge Tyler George.

Race Secretary Gregg Keidel presents Josh Sutton with his third consecutive dash title
at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on closing night. (Conrad Photo)

The final $15,000 Open I Pace was won by Mykindachip (Chris Page), who bested Hickory Icon (Josh Sutton) and My Buddy Ninkster (Trevor Smith) in 1:52.2. Page opted for the “catch me if you can” strategy with the odds-on favourite, setting fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:24.4 before coasting to victory by just better than a length. It was the ninth 2016 tally for the seven-year-old son of Arts Chip, who increased his seasonal bounty to $116,425 and his career bankroll to $634,292. He hails from the Ron Burke stable.

A $12,500 Open II went to Prince Bayard (Sutton) in 1:53, a neck better than Royale Rose (Eric Goodell) and Mystical Rock (Andy Shetler) in a blanket finish. Adam Short owns and trains the four-year-old Cams Card Shark gelding, who was stepping into Open company off an impressive 1:51 win in a $20,000 claimer.

Mark Loewe (second from right), Vice President of Ohio Racing for Penn National, presents the 2016 leading trainer award
to three of Virgil Morgan Jr.'s loyal longtime employees, Mary Jane Travis, Robert Feinberg and Mike Proctor. (Conrad Photo)

There were 11 more successful claims on the closing night card, bringing the meet total to 242 claims for a total of $2,534,150. Both figures are records by wide margins for the relatively new track, and an indication of the growing enthusiasm owners and trainers have for southwest Ohio racing since the VLT-infused racing renaissance began three years ago.

(With files from Dayton)

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