Leg three of the Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers took center stage at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Saturday (July 23) and both $55,000 divisional winners, Western Ready and Gulf Shores, blazed new lifetime marks.
Western Ready (Aaron Merriman) took the first division in 1:51.1. The gelded son of Western Vintage found the pocket for a moment before charging for the lead. Once he gained control of the field, there was no looking back. The gelding opened up by five lengths, gliding across the wire in an easy victory. Dragononthebeach (Tyler Smith) rallied for second while Buckeye Seaside (Tony Hall) was third.
The OHSS victory marked the first of the season for Western Ready and more than doubled his 2022 earnings. Scott Ferguson trains for Toops Stable.
Gulf Shores (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) dominated the final division in 1:50.3. The son of Downbytheseaside timed the gate perfectly to win in wire-to-wire fashion. The 9-5 favourite remained unchallenged throughout the mile, setting fractions in :26.4, :56.1 and 1:22.4 before tripping the finish in his second OHSS leg victory in as many tries. Seaside Way (Chris Page) finished second and Sling Shock (Dan Noble) completed the trifecta.
Trained by Brian Brown, Gulf Shores (pictured above) has hit the board in all six of his seasonal starts. With three wins under his belt in 2022, the colt has bankrolled more than $144,000. He is owned in partnership by Country Club Acres, Diamond Creek Racing, and the Wingfield Brothers.
Overlooked at 28-1, Roll Em (Hall) stole the $40,000 Invitational Pace in 1:49.1.
Despite leaving from the rail, the four-year-old gelded son of Time To Roll got away last. He gapped by two lengths on the backside but found another gear at the top of the stretch. With a final quarter in :27.2, Roll Em equalled his lifetime mark in the Invitational victory. Later Dudes (Page) and Makin Some Noise (Wrenn Jr.) came to the wire together in a dead heat for second.
Ron Burke trains and co-owns Roll Em with Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Beasty LLC.
Live racing resumes Tuesday (July 26) at Eldorado Scioto Downs. Six divisions of the Buckeye Stallion Series for two-year-old filly pacers will highlight the program. First post is 3:15 p.m.