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Open Part Of Sutton's Seven-Win Night

Published: April 2, 2016 10:51 pm ET

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Fancy Creek Elusiv crept closer to the $500,000 earnings plateau on Saturday night (April 2) at blustery Miami Valley Raceway by capturing the $20,000 Gerald Justice Memorial Open Pace.

The six-year-old Sportsmaster gelding is now on a three-week win streak, including two straight Opens, and has banked $492,137 on the strength of 24 victories in 102 trips to post.

Driver Josh Sutton was in the sulky for trainer Billy Farmer and owner Todd Rosenberg on a night when wind gusts were reaching 40 to 60 miles per hour and temperatures were falling fast. Although Miami Valley’s leading dashman had won four of the first five races on the program, all in come-from-behind style, Sutton chose to gun Fancy Creek Elusiv right to the front in the featured sixth race, sticking a nose in front of Bettor Than You (Derek Watiker), who held firm for a close second-place finish, at the :27.3 initial quarter-mile clocking. The winner was never headed through subsequent fractions of :56 and 1:25, but Bettor Than You did rally to make it close at the 1:54 finish. Can He Go (Peter Wrenn) skimmed the pylons to secure a show finish.

A pair of first leg $12,500 divisions of the Tom Tharps Memorial Series were also contested to open the program. Sutton swept both halves of the Daily Double with winners Keystone Memphis and K Ryan Bluechip. Keystone Memphis topped Arti Gras (Kyle Ater) and Ardie B Speed (Chris Page) for Hinchcliff Racing and trainer Kris Hinchcliff. K Ryan Bluechip bettered Prince Bayard (Jason Brewer) and SOS Justified (Kayne Kauffman) for owners Carl Howard, Bruce and Trish Soulsby and Alan Weisenberg. The four-year-old Art Major gelding was making his first 2016 start for conditioner Virgil Morgan Jr.

Sutton strengthened his stranglehold on the dash derby lead with a total of seven victories on the night. In addition to Keystone Memphis (1:55.3, $34.80), K Ryan Bluechip (1:58.2, $4.40) and Fancy Creek Elusiv (1:54, $7.00), he also scored with Rockin Finish (1:56.2, $7.60), Hasty Western (1:57.1, $4.60), Come And Get Em (1:54.2, $6.80), and Our Dragon King (1:53.1, $2.40).

Dan Noble notched a natural hat trick when he guided three straight winners in races eight through 10. His trips to the winner’s circle came behind Stonebridge Cowboy (1:55.3, $7.20), Finnish First (1:56.2, $19.80) and Real Winner (1:54.4, $16.40).

Jeremy Smith matched Noble’s hat trick with three of his own wins. He scored with Doctor Carter, Saulsbrook Astrobo and Go Both Ways in the finale.

(Miami Valley Raceway)

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