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Southwind Pepino Bests Ohio HOTY

Published: June 15, 2012 11:03 pm ET

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Trainer-driver Sandy Beatty put Southwind Pepino on the lead early in Friday’s featured $6,000 Open Trot at Scioto Downs and rebuffed a challenge by J J Hall to win in 1:55.3.

The handsome four-year-old son of Chocolatier took a new lifetime record in winning by three-quarters of a length. Bettors sent him off as the third betting choice at odds of 9-2.

Longshot Lookslikefire left fastest from the gate to show the way to the opening quarter in :28-seconds. Beatty had Southwind Pepino stepping lively from post eight and he clearly wanted to assume control, and did so during the second quarter.

Once Southwind Pepino got to the front, Beatty looked over his right shoulder and saw J J Hall, the reigning Ohio Horse of the Year, coming to call on the outside. But he was in no mood to let driver Chip Noble and the 3-2 favourite J J Hall take control. He kept J J Hall parked uncovered for the rest of the race and that took a toll on Noble’s trotter.

In the stretch, J J Hall simply didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to catch the pacesetter. Lookslikefire was six and a half lengths back in third. It was the third win in six starts this season for Southwind Pepino. He was coming off two second-place finishes at Hoosier Park and an earlier win in the Open at Scioto.

Southwind Pepino is owned by trainer-driver Beatty in partnership with Robert Sharrits of Columbus Grove, Ohio.

In the matching Open Pace for females, Chip Noble got a trip to the winner’s circle after a victory with the pretty grey mare Ocean Pearl. Shes A Ball was second and Kay Low finished third in the 1:55.2 mile. Ocean Pearl paid $11.20, $4.00, and $3.20. The win was her second in six starts last season after she won 11 of 18 starts last year as a sophomore. She is owned by Sandra Burnett of Wilmington, Ohio.

(With files from Scioto Downs)

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