Funatthebeach N Upsets In Battle Of Lake Erie

Published: June 12, 2022 01:37 am EDT

Funatthebeach N has found a home at the MGM properties, scoring another impressive victory at MGM Northfield Park in the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie on Saturday night (June 11).

As the gate sprung, a host of leavers sprinted into the opening turn, with Nicholas Beach winning the early skirmish. Moving into the backstretch to the first quarter, Ocean Rock muscled his way to the top through a :25.2 first quarter.

Tattoo Artist applied immediate pressure at the quarter pole, while Noble could never get a breather hitting the half in :52.3.

Eventual winner Funatthebeach N was able to ride the coat tails of Jimmy Freight, both making a three-wide bid heading to three-quarters in 1:21.  

Turning for home, Jimmy Freight was able to clear Ocean Rock, but Funatthebeach N — with fresh legs off a perfect third-over journey — was able to clear Jimmy Freight, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in a career-best 1:49.2.

"It was a stellar race, with no slouches," said winning driver Jordan Stratton. "The trip won the race; I was happy to follow Jimmy; it was the same trip as in the MGM Borgata."

A New Zealand-sired import, Funatthebeach N has won the two richest races in North America this season for veteran pacers, the $549,5000 Borgata Series Final at MGM Yonkers Raceway and tonight's $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie at MGM Northfield Park. He is the richest horse in harness racing this year, with $515,825 in the bank in 2022.

With the victory, Funatthebeach N has $849,574 in career earnings with 30 wins in 106 starts for owner/trainer Mark Ford.  

Snobbytown scores in inaugural $35,000 MGM Buckeye Distaff

Snobbytown gave driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. his fifth win of the Saturday night program in gate-to-wire fashion in the inaugural $35,000 MGM Buckeye Distaff for veteran Ohio-sired pacing mares.

Screamin Demon left alertly through the first eighth of a mile, but approaching the quarter, Snobbytown would take the lead in a snappy :26.1. Wrenn was able to get a slight breather heading to the half in :54 dealing with pressure from local Adorabella.

Wrenn stepped on the gas, moving past the three-quarter pole in 1:21.1, drawing off to win by two lengths in 1:50.1, just one-fifth of a second off the world and track record.

Snobbytown is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and J V Melillo and has $42,500 in the bank this season.

Bythemissal, Gulf Shores victorious in OHSS

The dominance of sire Downbytheseaside continued as two of his sons, undefeated Bythemissal and reigning Ohio champion Gulf Shores, won the two $55,000 divisions in the second leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers on Saturday night (June 11) at Northfield Park. 

In the first division of six sophomore pacers, Terminator with Joe Bongiorno raced to the lead covering the first quarter in :26.4.  As the field past the quarter pole, Ronnie Wrenn Jr. pulled Bythemissal from the fourth spot and shot to the lead.

Bythemissal, the 1-9 favourite, passed the half in :54.2, leading Terminator and Buckeye Seaside.  Aaron Merriman pulled Western Ready at the half and took aim on the leader, pulling with a neck as they passed the three-quarter pole in 1:21.3.

As the pacers entered the final turn, Western Ready grabbed the lead as Bythemissal went off stride but came down pacing.  The two battled through the final turn with Bythemissal sticking his head in front as the two hit the top of the stretch. He held on at the wire to win by a neck and then survived an inquiry by the judges.

Trained by Ron Burke, Bythemissal tripped the wire in 1:50.1. Western Ready finished second with Terminator third.

Now five-for-five in his career, Bythemissal is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Eric Good, Rich Lombardo Racing and Weaver Bruscemi.  A four-time winner this year, the gelding has increased his lifetime earnings to $71,500.

In the second division of five sophomore pacers, Sling Shock with Dan Noble grabbed the lead and controlled the pace through the three-quarters, hitting the quarter in :27, the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.

Wrenn pulled Gulf Shores as the field headed down the backstretch and reeled in the leader as they hit the final turn. The 4-5 favourite pulled away down the stretch to win in 1:51 by a 1-1/4 lengths over Fearful Intent and Sling Shock.

Gulf Shores, last year's Breeders Crown runner-up, is trained by Brian Brown and owned by Country Club Acres, Crossover Racing and Wingfield Brothers. The win was the colt's first of the year in two starts after going six-for-10 as a freshman and raised his lifetime earnings to $523,867.

The second leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes continues Friday, June 17 at Eldorado Scioto Downs as the three-year-old filly trotters take to the track.

Live racing resume at MGM Northfield Park on Sunday (June 12) with the first post of 6 p.m. (EDT). Sunday's card features a Pick-6 (Race 8) carryover of $2,145.

(With files from Northfield Park and Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association)