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Charlie May Charges In Hackett Elim

Published: April 10, 2021 8:25 pm ET

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Charlie May opened his sophomore season in style, swiftly winning an elimination for the James K. Hackett Memorial late closer despite a rain-soaked "sloppy" racing surface.

Driver Brett Miller surged the defending Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) champion past Heart Of Chewbacca in the final strides in the highly anticipated early-season showdown between the two best Ohio-sired two-year-olds of 2020. Official Bean, who prepped with a pair of early-season wins at Miami Valley, finished third.

Charlie May had a freshman scorecard of 9-7-2-0, good for $329,627 in earnings. Heart Of Chewbacca was nearly as impressive in his rookie racing season, compiling a 7-5-2-0 stat line and pushing $195,598 into his owners coffers.

Neither horse left the gate with speed, but both were moved into the outer flow before the :57.1 halfway point in the mile. Heart Of Chewbacca was first to reach the front after a :26.2 third panel before Charlie May finally collared him nearing the finish line, reached in 1:51.4. The same scenario played out in the $300,000 OHSS championship tilt at Eldorado Scioto Downs last September.

Steve Carter trains homebred Charlie May for owner Don Tiger.

The other Hackett Memorial elimination heat went to Laughagain Hanover, who finished third in the aforementioned Buckeye freshman final, easily defeating Just Playing and Third Edition. It was the fifth win for Laughagain Hanover and raised his earnings to $120,584 for the partnership of Cimaglio, Richardson and Gilmartin. Driver Dan Noble’s wife Christi trains the son of McArdle.

Joining the first three finishers in the eliminations will be fourth-place finishers Siri Said and JWs Chrome. There was a tie for the fastest fifth-place finish with both Imagine It and Just Marvelous posting identical 1:54.1 clockings. If all 10 horses enter, there will be a coin flip between the fifth-place finishers to determine who makes the nine-horse field for the $40,000 final.

In a $22,500 Open I Pace, Gold Digger King notched his second-straight Saturday feature race victory, topping The First Step and Americanfirewater in 1:52. Linda Van Camp owns and Scott Mogan trains the five-year-old son of Pet Rock who now sports 14 wins and $280,387 in earnings.

Omega Cat nosed Yacht Week and Grantmeawish in the $20,000 Open II. When driver Tyler Smith reached the wire in 1:51.3, it gave him his 100th win of the year at Miami Valley, a day after he reached the $100,000 seasonal earnings plateau.

Harness racing resumes with a 2:05 p.m. (EDT) first-race post for the 14-race matinees on Sunday (April 11), Monday (April 12) and Tuesday (April 13) at Miami Valley.

(Miami Valley Raceway)

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