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Racing Returns To Northfield

Published: May 27, 2020 12:14 am ET

Last Comment: May 27, 2020 9:03 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

One of the last tracks left racing in North America in late March, Northfield Park was forced to go dark for over two months, the longest imposed hiatus of racing the Cleveland oval had seen since a one-week break stopped racing over 20 years ago. But on Tuesday (May 26), Northfield Park became the second North American harness track to reopen operations through the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A 15-race card opened Northfield Park’s return with 13 drawing nine-horse fields—the other two races drew eight-horse fields—and $1,985,030 wagered. The return to racing in Cleveland came after Scioto Downs became the first harness track to reopen when it hosted its first card back on Friday (May 22).

Even-money favourite Splurge On Me, steered by trainer Jimmy Smith, opened the card with a 1:55.4 victory in a $6,500 trot.

The evening featured a $13,500 Open Handicap Pace won by Southwind Amazon as the 6-5 favourite with a 1:50.3 mile.

Away fifth through a :26 first quarter, Southwind Amazon sat in the middle of the pack as Carolina Beach took the field past the half in :54.2 and continued to speed towards three-quarters in 1:22.4. Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. pulled Southwind Amazon off the pegs heading to three-quarters and loomed closer rounding the final turn. At the top of the stretch the Paul Holzman trainee circled to the lead and kicked clear of Carolina Beach by five-and-a-quarter lengths to win. Real Peace, tracking the winner’s cover, gave chase in third.

Southwind Amazon won his sixth race from nine starts this season and his 93rd from 231 overall, earning $1,064,221. Ameer Najor owns the 10-year-old Camluck gelding who paid $4.20 to win.

Pylon-starter Final Breath went coast to coast a few races later in the co-featured $13,500 Open Trot with a 1:54.1 mile.

Driver Tony Hall protected the front with Final Breath while Wind Of The North, the 6-5 favourite, ducked into the pocket heading to a :27.3 opening quarter. Perlucky, who launched from post 8 to secure a spot fourth at the pegs, soon tipped first over to challenge the leader passing a :56.3 half.

Up the backstretch Perlucky drew within a length of the leader but stalled after three-quarters in 1:25.1. Final Breath clung to a slim lead into the stretch as Perlucky continued to pressure outside and Wind Of The North charged through the open stretch. Final Breath hit the finish a half-length in front of Wind Of The North while Perlucky finished another quarter length behind in third.

A 10-year-old gelding by Victory Sam, Final Breath won his third race from nine starts this season and his 50th from 149 overall, earning $627,568. Norm Parker conditions the $7.00 winner for owner-breeder Duane Lowe.

An $11,500 Open II Pace also went on the program but was marred by an accident. Jk Parlay (Ryan Stahl), racing fifth to three-quarters, lost stride and fell, causing Led Schneppelin (Tony Hall), Splended Party (Hunter Myers) and Boys Turn (Chris Lems) to also fall. Ryan Stahl and Chris Lems reportedly walked away from the incident while Hunter Myers and Tony Hall remained on the track. To read an update on the situation, click here.

Major Nemesis, the 1-9 favourite, folded to a late charge from Voracity, who won the race with a 1:51.3 mile. The seven-year-old Sportswriter gelding, trained by Luke Ebersole for owner Barry Charles, paid $26.60 to win. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. drove the winner.

MGM Northfield Park is announcing a $64,684 carryover for the 20-cent Super High Five in the 13th race on Wednesday (May 27).

The evening’s ninth race begins the 20-cent Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick 6) boasting a $16,557 carryover.

Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4s, Pick 3s, 20-cent Super High Five and 20-cent Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14%.

Wednesday’s first post time is 6:00 p.m. Free past performances are available on Northfield’s website all week.

(with files from Northfield Park)

May 27, 2020 - 9:03 amToo bad the Camluck Classic

Johnny Kish SAID...

Too bad the Camluck Classic is cancelled. It would have been nice to see him have another shot at it after getting taken out in the first turn last year.

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