After winning the $25,000 championship of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series for mares with Tura Lura Lural on Friday night, Kauffman returned to the Miami Valley winner’s circle on Saturday night (March 16) by driving Gerardo to victory in the $25,000 championship leg of the George Williams Memorial Series for male pacers.
Despite drawing outside his main contenders, Kauffman sent Gerardo when the gate swung open and paced three wide around the first bend before clearing to the front just past the :26.3 opening panel. With an outer tier developing quickly thereafter, Kauffman kept the throttle rolling through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22. Gerardo took a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 while topping Reagans Avenger by two-and-a-half lengths. Velocity Smoke finished third.
Gerardo, a four-year-old son of Rockin Image, races for owner Mark Bogen, who purchased him at auction in February. Gerardo now has five wins and $127,030 in purse earnings.
Fan Of Terror, driven by Sam Widger, pulled a mild upset in the weekly feature, the $25,000 Open I Pace and also established a lifetime mark of 1:50.4.
The former claimer, a seven-year-old Western Terror gelding, also went gate to wire to hold off Granite and fast-closing Dancin Yankee. Owner Therl Hensley has almost recouped the $30,000 he plucked down to claim Fan Of Terror a month ago. In three starts he has earned $28,750 with two wins and a second—all in Open class company. Peter Redder now trains the winner of 30 races, including six victories in eight tries already this season.
Angelo J Fra copped the $20,000 Open II, finding room along the pylons in the stretch to sneak through for a 1:51 score. Fox Valley Reggie finished second and Evergreen Elite took third. Kris Hinchcliff trains the winner, who surpassed $400,000 in earnings, for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Brett Miller sat in the sulky.
Driver Chris Page topped the driver’s colony on Saturday night with a Grand Slam. His first of four wins came behind the trotter No Whip Chip, who paid $4.60 for his 1:56.1 score. His other wins were with The Optimist (1:53.1, $6.60), A True Rock Star (1:51.4, $9.20) and GD Western Joe (1:50.4, $8.00).
(with files from Miami Valley)