Favourites Dominate Buckeye Stallion Series Opener

Sugar Instead
Published: May 2, 2024 09:13 am EDT

Favourites reigned supreme in the Buckeye Stallion Series (BSS) opening leg for three-year-old filly trotters and pacers at Miami Valley Raceway on Wednesday, May 1. All four $27,397 divisions of trotters were won by the favourites, while three of the five $27,397 pacing divisions were won by the favourites.

In the opening BSS race of the year, Esteso with Chris Lems grabbed the lead heading to three-quarters and cruised to an easy win in 1:56.  It was the second win in three seasonal starts for the Dalton Walls trainee. The Creatine filly is owned by Walls, Bruce Soulsby and Alan Weisenberg. 

In the second division, Trevor Smith swung Maxines Hill three-wide at the top of the stretch and grabbed the lead mid-stretch on the way to a two-length win in 1:57. Trained by Chris Beaver, the daughter of What The Hill won for the first time in four seasonal starts.  She is owned by Beaver, Donald Robinson, VIP Internet Stable and Mark Schwartz.

The 2023 Ohio Filly Trotter of the Year, Sugar Instead, was an easy winner in the third division with Brett Miller in the bike. The Volstead filly sat mid-pack before making her move around the final turn, opening up to win by four lengths in 1:55.4, the fastest time of the trotting divisions. Sugar Instead was making her first start of the year for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owners Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills.

In the final division for sophomore filly trotters, Tony Hall rallied Justasiam AS, the 2023 Buckeye Stallion Series two-year-old filly trotting champion, around the final turn, taking the lead late in the stretch winning in 1:58.1.  It was the first race of the year for the daughter of Lionhunter who is trained by Anette Lorentzon and owned by ACL Stuteri AB.

In the first pacing division, Flyin Bullets with Brett Miller led gate to wire to win by two lengths in the 1:52.1, the fastest of the five divisions. It was the first start of the year for the Downbytheseaside filly.  Clair Umholtz trains Flying Bullets for Umholtz & Kennedy Racing.

In the second division, Illegal with Kayne Kauffman sped off the gate and never looked back, winning by two lengths in 1:52.4.  The daughter of Western Vintage was making her season debut for trainer Mike Polhamus, who co-owns with Kevin McQuinn.

The first non-favourite to win was in the third division when Lady Bridgerton with Jeremy Smith went three-wide coming off the last turn and turned on the jets to blow by the leaders to win by two lengths in 1:52.4. It was the first start of the year for the Brian Georges trainee. Kent Walker, Travis Kelley, Benjamin Jamison and Curt Carey own the Bit Of A Legend N filly.

Fearless Ginger, with Tyler Smith, led gate to wire to win the fourth division in 1:54. The daughter of Fear The Dragon fought off a late charge from Rock Ur Wings to win for the first time in three starts this year. Tim Lane trains and owns Fearless Ginger. 

The final division of the card went to Muddinup and Jeremy Smith. They popped the pocket and went three-wide around the final turn, rallying down the stretch to win by two lengths for trainer John Ackley in 1:53.2.  It was the first win in three seasonal starts for the Bit Of A Legend N filly, who is owned by CT Stables and Thomas Cave.

Buckeye Stallion Series action continues on Thursday, May 2 with six divisions each of three-year-old colt pacers and trotters.

(With files from Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association)

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