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Ohio Stakes Feature Freshman Fillies

Published: August 23, 2017 10:32 pm ET

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Red Storm trotted to a whirlwind 1:58.2 clocking in the first of two $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday night (August 23) at Northfield Park.

The striking chestnut daughter by Stormin Normand was given a perfect steer by Aaron Merriman for trainer Chris Beaver and owner-breeder Sandra S. Burnett, of Wilmington, OH as the 2-5 favourite in the fourth leg of the series for Ohio-bred youngsters.

“She’s just such a nice, professional little horse to drive and really gives it her all,” said Merriman. “Plus, she’s a red-head like me!”

Red Storm took the lead just past the :29.3 first quarter after leaving hard from post nine. From there, she snapped off fractions of :59.1 and 1:28.4 before posting a :29.3 final panel brush to score her third career victory in five tries, upping her earnings to $75,800.

Risky Deal, at 8-1, was driven by trainer Christ Hershberger to a second-place finish, 2-1/4 lengths behind the winner, while 10-1 California Love—also trained by Beaver—was third for Kurt Sugg.

Red Storm had finished third in OSS leg one on July 3 at Northfield behind To Russia, then was second in OSS leg two on July 19 at Scioto Downs to Impinktoo. On July 27, she won a $42,000 Ohio Fair Stake at Scioto Downs in 1:57.2, then captured OSS leg three at Scioto in 1:57 on Aug. 10.

Red Storm is the third of four foals out of the Chip Chip Hooray mare Ms Pollyanna and is a half-sister to Moonlight Espoir and Miss Lorelei—all owned by Sandra Burnett.

The solidly trotting Looking For Zelda left no doubt she was much the best as she cruised to a front-stepping 1:57.2 effort in the second OSS division as the 1-5 choice.

Steered by Tony Hall for trainer Norm Parker and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA, the daughter of Break The Bank K notched her fifth win in as many tries and pushed her career earnings to $101,000.

Looking For Zelda appeared to be on auto-pilot as she drew off by nearly four lengths in deep stretch to prevail over 10-1 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) and 50-1 Champagne Hall (Kurt Sugg), who made a break in the first turn and recovered to finish a game third.

“She’ll get some light work this week before the championship,” noted Parker. “We might train her just one light trip, but she really doesn’t require a whole lot of work.”

Looking For Zelda won OSS leg one on July 3 at Northfield Park in 1:59.1, then returned to win OSS leg two on July 19 at Scioto in 1:56.4, before finishing first in a $42,000 Ohio Fair Stake at Scioto in 1:57.1 on July 27. Her most recent victory came in the OSS leg three on Aug. 10 at Scioto Downs, when she won by six lengths in 1:57.4.

This homebred is out of the Conway Hall mare My Winning Way K and is a half-sister to Boyz N Guitars (by Muscle Massive).

Ohio Sires Stakes action continues on Thursday evening (August 24) at Scioto Downs with three divisions of two-year-old trotting colts.

(Ohio Sires Stakes)

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