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Sophomore Colts Star In Ohio Stakes

Published: May 3, 2015 12:33 am ET

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Ohio Sires Stakes action continued Saturday night at Miami Valley Raceway with four $40,000 divisions for Buckeye-bred three-year-olds, two for pacers and two for trotters.

Gray Camo and Chief Talkalot captured the pacing splits while Neelys Messenger and Upfront Chip Daddy were victorious in their first leg trotting divisions.

Gray Camo (Chris Page) topped Roaddog Jess James (Kayne Kauffman) and Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) in an impressive 1:53.3 mile. The roan son of Pine Valley, co-owned by trainer Ron Burke with partners Weaver Bruscemi, Richard Suda and Jason Melillo, scored his first seasonal win in three tries and increased his bankroll to $116,229 in just 11 career starts. Page used a gate-to-wire strategy to successfully lower Gray Camo’s best race record by over a full second.

Chief Talkalot (Jim Pantaleano) also notched his first seasonal victory, although he was entering the race off a pair of strong runner-up finishes in a James K. Hackett Memorial elimination and the final over the last two weeks. After getting away third at the pylons during the opening quarter, Pantaleano moved his Feelin Friskie colt to the front just past the quarter and gamely held off two-year-old Sires Stakes champion Western Coby (Wyatt Irvine) to gain the narrow 1:55.2 triumph. Rocky Express (Randy Tharps) also made a strong bid in the stretch and finished third. Brian Brown trains Chief Talkalot for the partnership of Steve Stewart, Michael Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham.

Neelys Messenger (Dan Noble) started where he left off last season, wiring his field in 1:57.1 as the odds-on favourite. The defending Sires Stakes freshman champ, owned by Dale and Julie Ann Sweet, won at initial asking and for the eighth time in nine tries over two seasons, increasing his incredible bankroll to $235,945 in those nine starts — all in Ohio. I Know My Chip (Chris Page) finished second just three-quarters of a length behind with Cooter Dunn (Louis Bauslaugh) garnering the show dough. Al Manke III conditions the son of Neely Dunn.

Upfront Chip Daddy (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) sat the pocket throughout before bursting to the front in mid-stretch to beat heavily favoured front-runner Kick A Lot (Kurt Sugg) and No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) in 1:57.3. It was the first stakes win for the son of Chip Chip Hooray, who was unraced at two. He is owned by Up Front Racing LLC and Mark Ford and conditioned by Kelly O’Donnell.

A $17,050 Open Pace was also featured on Saturday night with Ardyne Ace (Dan Noble) running his winning streak to three straight at Miami Valley, including the final two Opens of the local 2015 season. The 1:51.2 score was the nine-year-old gelding's fourth in six seasonal starts and increased his 2015 earnings to over $30,000. The lifetime winner of over $400,000 is owned by David Ehrenberg and Daniel Fawcett and trained by Jim Pollock Jr.

The final program of the Miami Valley meet is Sunday afternoon when a pair of lucrative Grand Circuit stakes races for older mares will be featured, as well as world record attempts at the distances of 5/8ths of a mile and 1-1/4 miles. Post time is 3:00 p.m.

(With files from Miami Valley Raceway)


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