Bit Of A Legend N lived up to his name on Saturday, June 2 when he won the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park. The win was the nine-year-old's 44th and fastest win of his harness racing career.
As the gate pulled away from the 'Battle' field, race-favourite Rockin Ron and Missile J both tried for the lead, with Rockin Ron prevailing early and leading through fractions of :27, :54.4 and 1:21.4. Bit Of A Legend N pulled first over approaching the half and continued on the outside the remainder of the mile, eventually overtaking Rockin Ron in the stretch and stopping the timer at 1:49.4.
Bit Of A Legend N, by Bettors Delight out of the Sokys Atom mare Sokys Legend, is owned by Vonknoblauch Stable LLC of Hampton Bays, New York. He is trained by Peter Tritton and Jordan Stratton had the winning drive.
"He went a huge mile tonight," said Stratton. "I was pretty upset with him last week [finishing 5th in the $150,000 Camluck Classic at Western Fair], but Peter [Tritton] said he had him ready and boy was he right."
Saturday's win increases Bit Of A Legend N's bankroll to $2,241,131. He returned $7.80 to win.
Trainer Brian Brown was all smiles Saturday night in the Northfield Park winner’s circle and with good reason. The 2017 Dan Patch Trainer of the Year did nothing less than harness every winner of the night’s three $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) for three-year-old pacing fillies. It was the second round of action in the four-leg series.
“It’s definitely a good night,” Brown said. “It seems that lately we were winning all the smaller races and missing in the big ones, so it’s definitely a good feeling to have a night like this.”
Brown’s dominance began with the first OHSS division, when Prsntpretynperfect battled on the outside of undefeated stablemate Queen Me Again to prevail in the final yards by a quarter length in a career best 1:52.4. Sweetnfamous was third for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.
The daughter of Big Bad John took the overland route to notch her seventh career win in nine starts for owners Jenny Brown, Richard Lombardo and Marlene Taylor.
“She went a really big trip tonight and Brian [Brown] told me he had a lot of confidence in her after her strong qualifier,” said winning driver Jordan Stratton.
Bred by Carl Howard, Prsntpretynperfect upped her career earnings to $145,166.
In the second OHSS division, Smiley Dragon exploded in the backstretch, making a three-wide move for driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. that saw her draw off to win in 1:52.4 by three-and-a-half lengths. Even-money favourite Bad Girls Rule was second, with 9-5 Pet Walker nabbing show honors.
Smiley Dragon, a Dragon Again filly, was bred and is owned by Emerald Highland’s Farm. Unraced at two, she notched her first win in four tries with the OHSS score and now has $26,780 in her lifetime bank account.
McPansy, a daughter of McArdle, gave Brown his third winner in the final OHSS division, stopping the timer in 1:52.3. The 9-5 favourite was out from the half to the wire for driver Chris Page progressing to her third win in four starts. Bred and owned by Emerald Highland’s Farm, McPansy pushed her career earnings to $44,500.
Believe In Waco, at 7-5, was second for Aaron Merriman one-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner, while 24-1 longshot Princess Rougarou was third with Ryan Stahl aboard.
Second leg action of the Ohio Sires Stakes continue for three-year-olds on June 9 at Scioto Downs and June 11 at Northfield Park.
(With files from Northfield Park and the Ohio Sires Stakes)