Career milestones and outrageous upsets were all the fashion in Ohio Sires Stakes action on Saturday night (May 7) at Miami Valley Raceway. Eight $40,000 OHSS divisions for three-year-old colts and geldings of both gaits were contested over the southern Ohio, five-eighths-mile oval.
Driver Kurt Sugg nailed down career victory 3,000 en route to winning an OHSS test for sophomore trotters. The 46-year-old Bowling Green, Ohio native steered the Marty Wollam-trained Overdressed to a 2:00 clocking -- the son of Full Count’s first win of 2016 and his second career win in nine lifetime starts. The triumph pushed the brown colt’s career earnings to $71,817.
“He’s a big strong horse and gets around this track as well as a half-mile,” Sugg acknowledged. “Marty [trainer Wollam] always has his horses ready for these races and it’s extra special to get my 3,000th win with one of his horses.”
Overdressed was bred by Marvin Raber and is owned in partnership by his trainer, Dale Sweet, and G And B Racing.
The 3,000th win came in Sugg’s 850th purse start this season, which has seen him steer the winners of $658,290 to date in 2016. From 22,798 lifetime drives, he also has 3,112 second-place finishes and 3,026 third-place finishes, with earnings of $13,601,938.
In another OHSS trotting division, 88-1 longshot Lionbacker Kidd prevailed over rival Kanthaka (Dave Palone) by a neck in 2:00.2 to garner his fourth career win in 12 starts. Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. used come-from-behind tactics to get the job done for trainer Joseph Kramp and owner Jeffrey Kidd. The son of Lionhunter upped his career earnings to $96,073 and returned $178.40 to win. John E. Miller is the breeder of Lionbacker Kidd.
Chips So Fast got a perfect trip to capture the first OHSS trotting test of the night in 1:57.1 for driver Chris Page and trainer Chris Beaver. Bred by S & R Angelbeck and Midland Acres, the son of Chip Chip Hooray notched his fourth career victory while equalling his career mark. His earnings now stand at $73,246 for owners Mark Moger and Albert Delia Jr.
Last season’s Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year, MJB Got Faith, failed to bring his previous spark to the table, finishing a disappointing fourth, six and a quarter lengths behind the winner.
Driver Jeremy Smith put The Next Triumph on the front end and never looked back in the final OHSS division for sophomore trotters. The pair crossed the finish line in 1:57.2 and the son of Triumphant Caviar pushed his lifetime earnings to $81,006 for trainer and co-owner Ron Steck and owners Robert Smolko and Rene Allard.
“Ron [trainer Steck] told me that he thought he had finally figured this colt out and told me to race him tough tonight, so that’s what I did and it paid off,” Smith said. “Ronnie is great with colts and he proved it here tonight.”
The Next Triumph, who now has a 6-4-2 record in 18 starts, was bred by the Second Chance Stable.
The first of four OHSS pacing divisions went to Gotmoneyinmypocket and driver Kayne Kauffman. Trained by Jim Dailey for breeders/owners Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff, the son of Feelin Friskie prevailed for his sixth lifetime win, leading from start to finish in 1:53.3.
Even-money favourite Hustling Charley and driver Kyle Ater won the second OHSS division by six lengths in 1:53.4 for trainer Danny Collins. Bred by Lisa Ezzo, the son of Charley Barley notched his third career win in 10 tries and pushed his earnings to $43,613.
Canadias Bakin was given a masterful steer by Aaron Merriman, winning the third OHSS pacing division handily in 1:54.2. Trained by Steve Carter for a quartet of Kentucky and Ohio owners, the son of Big Bad John picked up his 15th career victory and upped his career earnings to $62,629. Canadias Bakin was bred by the Lmn Bred Stables.
Last season’s two-year-old colt pacing champion Primo Giovanni finished fourth in this same event, while 2015 freshman championship winner Love Tap Hanover made a nasty break in the final turn and finished seventh.
The final OHSS pacing division went to Mr Wiggle Pants, who led at every pole for driver Kayne Kauffman and trainer Jim Mulinix. The bay son of Mr Wiggles stopped the timer in 1:53.4 with rival Friskie Cruiser some two lengths back. Bred by Spring Haven Farm and owned by Denny Miller, Jim Mulinix and William Rufenacht, Mr Wiggle Pants now has $113,493 in his career coffers.
Three-year-old trotting and pacing fillies kicked off the Ohio Sires Stakes season on Friday night (May 6), competing in eight divisions at Miami Valley Raceway.
A total of 67 distaffs went postward in a trio of trotting contests and five pacing events with each vying for a purse of $40,000.
One of the highlights of the evening’s 14-race card came when the Carlo family's homebred pacing filly Clarebear captured the first OHSS division in a lifetime-best of 1:54.3. Owned by C2G Stable and AJ Carlo and conditioned by AJ, the daughter of World Of Rocknroll was making just her fourth career start and pushed her career earnings to $25,450 with the victory, the second of her brief career. Peter Wrenn steered the filly, who was unraced as a two-year-old.
“She cracked a coffin bone at two and we gave her the time she needed,” AJ Carlo explained of the filly, who was named after his aunt Helen Carlo’s daughter.
“It’s a great feeling to win an Ohio Sires Stakes,” Helen admitted. “Most of our family has always worked on the management side of racing, but ever since he was a kid, AJ wanted to be with the horses. It’s a great thing to see him have a really nice horse at this stage of his career.”
Clarebare stalked the leader, longshot Ufpfortydevensgirl (Jeremy Smith), through fractions of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:24, then overtook her rival with a strong brush to be four lengths on top at the wire. Ufpfortydevensgirl held on for second, while Feelin Red Hot (Kayne Kauffman) got up for third.
The second OHSS pacing division saw She Gone and driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. use near gate-to-wire tactics to score in 1:55.1, a new lifetime mark for the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Semaj Hanover. Brian Brown conditions She Gone, who notched her seventh lifetime triumph in 15 starts, pushing her career earnings to $55,160.
“She’s getting better each start,” Wrenn revealed. “Last week, she was running in on me a little bit, but Brian did a great job of getting her straightened out for this start and it paid off tonight.”
Big Bad Ashley (Chris Page) finished second, but was disqualified by the stewards and placed seventh for interference, moving JL Wonder Woman (Kayne Kauffman) up to second and Miracle Matty (Kurt Sugg) up to third.
My Tweed Heart took advantage of a perfect steer by Josh Sutton to score her sixth lifetime victory in 1:54.4 in the third OHSS pacing division. The daughter of Manhardt -- who won a pair of OHSS legs at Northfield Park in 2015 -- is conditioned by Jim Dailey for Carl and Melanie Atley. My Tweed Heart upped her career earnings to $165,202 and her seasonal earnings to $32,950.
Ohsowigglesspecial used a bold, come-from-behind move to win the fourth OHSS pacing division in 1:54.4 for driver Dan Noble. The daughter of Mr Wiggles-So-Ho-Special is conditioned by Joe Paver and was bred by owners Pearl Warren and Joe and Dennis Paver. The hardy brown filly held off late challenges by Save My Tootsie (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Tigers Sue (Peter Wrenn) to notch her 13th career victory, pushing her career earnings to $55,460 and her seasonal earnings to $28,125.
The fifth and final OHSS division for three-year-old pacing fillies saw Its Your Fantasy and driver Dan Noble put forth a neck victory over rival Naked By Nine (Jeremy Smith) in a lifetime-best 1:54.4. Trained by Brian Brown for the Winchestester Baye Acres LLC, the daughter of Big Bad John garnered her third win in 14 trips postward and pushed her career earnings to $56,705.
To no one’s surprise, Consolidator captured the first OHSS trotting division easily in her seasonal debut, clocked in 1:57.4. Deftly handled by Chris Page, Consolidator led at every quarter, holding off her rivals by two and a half lengths at the wire. The fractious filly pushed her career earnings to $97,616 with the win, her third lifetime in six starts. Trained by Jim Arledge Jr. for the Green Acquisition Corp., the daughter of Triumphant Caviar-Muscle Toy was bred by Rose Run Farm.
Kerfuffle Cookie trotted to an easy 1:58.1 victory in the second OHSS division with Chris Page driving for trainer Chris Beaver, who co-owns with Synerco Ventures Inc. The daughter of Chip Chip Hooray now has $100,170 in her coffers and notched her second straight victory this season in as many tries. After riding the rail throughout most of the race, she stepped on the gas in the final strides to win by a length over Hoorah Hoorah (Aaron Merriman). A Tc Queenie (Dan Noble) got up for third.
Kandy Krisp and driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. used the rail to their advantage in the third OHSS division, taking that division in 1:58.4 for owners John Stafford and Tucker A. Baumiller. The tall-stepping daughter of Rompaway Wally stalked the leaders before pouncing in the stretch and drawing off by two lengths. Her career earnings now stand at $35,456.
(With files from Ohio Standardbred Development Fund)