Cuatro De Julio etched his name into Eldorado Scioto Downs history with his track record performance in the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for aged trotters on Saturday (Sept. 10).
Getting the call for the first time, driver Yannick Gingras utilized Cuatro De Julio’s early speed out of the gate. The son of Trixton briefly found a pocket headed to the :26.3 opening quarter. Passing the clubhouse for the first time, Cuatro De Julio decided following wasn’t his style and pulled first up. After easily gaining control the field, the four-year-old horse posted remaining fractions in :55.2 and 1:23 before tripping the wire in a trotting track record for aged horses in 1:51.1.
Cuatro De Julio bested 9-2 second choice Lovedbythemasses by two lengths with Kings County finishing third. Kings County held the previous track record of 1:51.4, set earlier this year.
The victory marks the first Grand Circuit win for Cuatro De Julio in 2022. With $849,541 in the bank, the horse has tallied 15 victories for trainer Marie Ortolan Bar. Cuatro De Julio is owned in partnership by his conditioner as well as D Farm LLC.
The annual stake is held in memory of Scioto Downs founder and Hall of Fame track executive Charles Hill.
Charlie May pulled an upset to take the $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial in the race following.
In rein to usual pilot Brett Miller, the Steve Carter trainee sat off the speed set by local starter Tellmeaboutit, who chugged through splits of :25.1, :53.4 and 1:20.3. Odds-on favourite Allywag Hanover pulled first over from third moving to the final turn and made steady gains with Charlie May on his back. But straightening for home, the favourite had no response to Charlie May's momentum as the four-year-old Mcardle gelding sped to the finish while holding off fast-charging This Is The Plan by a quarter length in 1:48.3. Allywag Hanover finished third.
A homebred for Don Tiger, Charlie May won his 23rd race from 45 starts and has now earned $1,536,027. He paid $2.20 to win.
Act Fast and Surfside Beach closed out the final leg of Ohio Sires Stakes action for two-year-old colt pacers with impressive wins on the Saturday undercard.
In the first of two $55,000 divisions, Boardwalk Jack and Burnout fired off the gate and quickly opened a five-length lead at the quarter in :26.1. The lead did not last long as Act Fast and Chris Page quickly made up ground and took control heading to the half in :55.1. Act Fast raced to three-quarters in 1:22.4 but faced a challenge from Racing Rampage, the winner of three previous legs, as they headed into the final turn. Act Fast fought off the challenge as the two turned for home and hung on to win by a length in 1:50.1, a new lifetime mark. Racing Rampage was second with Street Fightin Man third.
Trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services, Rich Lombardo Racing, Beasty LLC, Act Fast has won two of five starts and has earned $115,060.
In the second division, Rockmelikeyameanit and Dan Noble raced to the lead and controlled the race through the first three-quarters in :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.3. As the field turned for home, it looked like a three-horse race to the finish line with Rockmelikeyameanit, The Real Way and Wicked Character. Surfside Beach was fifth and three-wide around the final turn. At the top of the stretch, Wrenn shot Surfside Beach down to the inside and found racing room and closed to win by a neck in 1:53.1, a new lifetime mark. Rockmelikeyameanit finished second with The Real Way third.
The win was the second in five starts for the Brian Brown trainee. Surfside Beach is owned by Lombardo Racing And In The Gym, Acadia Farm, VIP Internet Services and Joe Sbrocco. He has earned $45,000 this year.
Live racing resumes Tuesday (Sept. 13) at Eldorado Scioto Downs. First post is 3:15 p.m.
Ohio Sires Stakes action continues Sunday night at MGM Northfield Park with sophomore filly trotters. First race post time is 6:15 p.m. It’s the final leg before the Ohio Sires Stakes finals on Oct. 1 at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway.
(With files from Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association)