Friday the 13th proved to be lucky for Looking For Zelda as she romped to a near six-length triumph in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies on a perfect summer evening at Scioto Downs, timed in a new track record clocking of 1:54.1.
Conditioned by The Meadows-based Norm Parker for breeder/owner Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, the leggy sophomore daughter by Break The Bank K grabbed the lead early and was never headed throughout. In fact, Looking For Zelda was already on top by a full three lengths in the final turn—after flying by three-quarter mile marker in a hasty 1:24.3 in rein to Tony Hall.
The victory was Looking For Zelda’s third of the year in five starts and her 10th lifetime in 16 tries. She now has $295,902 in her coffers. She was sent off at as the 1-5 favourite, with 6-1 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) second by five and three-quarter lengths and 50-1 Infrontandforgetit (Kayne Kauffman) getting up for third, seven and a half lengths back.
To no one’s surprise, Non Smoker captured the second OHSS division in 1:55.1 as the 9-5 favourite, besting the late-rushing 5-2 Impinktoo (Kayne Kauffman) by a scant neck.
The My MVP lass trotted solidly for trainer/driver Danny Noble in front-stepping fashion the entire mile, before nabbing her third consecutive victory in this OHSS series. Mild 12-1 longshot California Love (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Bred by Stephanie Smith-Rothaug of West Jefferson, Ohio, Non Smoker has earned $102,161 lifetime for Norman Rae Racing of Xenia, Ohio from six wins in 14 career starts.
The fourth and final leg of this OHSS series will be contested on August 20 at Northfield Park, with Non Smoker the clear leader in this series with 153 points, while Impinktoo sits second with 78 points and Looking For Zelda and California Love tied for third with 73 points each. Red Storm has 70 points; Spunky Bottom Girl (53); Sesame (45); Risky Deal (28); To Russia (24); and Count On Rosey (18). Points will be tallied after the fourth OHSS leg to determine which of these fillies will be eligible to the $275,000 final that will be contested on September 8 at Scioto Downs.
(With files from OSDF)