Alexas Power Strongest In Jugette

Published: September 19, 2018 09:52 am EDT

Alexas Power was the strongest of the eight three-year-old pacing fillies entered in the 2018 Jugette, racing gamely and holding off all challengers to take home the hardware and the lion's share of the $230,700 purse.

The betting public at the Delaware County Fairgrounds narrowed the field down to two likely victors: Youaremycandygirl from post three and Alexas Power two posts to her outside. As the wings of the starting gate folded, the complexion of the race changed dramatically as Youaremycandygirl made a break in stride. Driver Tim Tetrick asked Alexas Power for speed off the gate and settled into second behind rail horse Strong Opinion (Chris Page).

After a :26.4 opening panel, Tetrick was forced to tip his filly to the outer flow from the pocket as Sansovina Hanover (Matt Kakaley) moved off the rail from third. As the field passed in front of the grandstand for the :55.2 half, Alexas Power was half-in and half-out from the pocket as the pressure from behind didn't fully force his hand. Tetrick would fully engage the pacesetter down the backside as Alexas Power and Strong Opinion paced in unison through a 1:22.4 third station. Around the final turn, Alexas Power managed to put away Strong Opinion and held off a late bid from E Dees Well Said (Jim Pantaleano) to win by a length in 1:51.2. Strong Opinion stayed for show.

"I had a hundred different ideas going through my head there behind the gate," said Tetrick in the winner's circle. "When I saw Yannick's mare make a misstep, I didn't want to get too far back and I thought I could get in the two hole, I thought I could out-muscle most of them from mare raced her butt off tonight, she was super."

Tetrick captured his second Jugette, winning in 2013 with I Luv The Nitelife, while trainer Jim Campbell captured his first career Jugette.

"I'm so excited, we've had a very good year with Alexa...Timmy's driven her right from her first qualifier, we've had a lot of fun and today was a lot of fun," said Campbell.

In 16 sophomore starts, Alexas Power (Somebeachsomewhere - Michelles Power) sports a strong seasonal summary of 9-1-5. The winner's share of the purse places her three-year-old bankroll at $429,891 for breeder Jeffrey Snyder, who co-owns with his son Michael Snyder of New York. The Snyder family is quite familiar with the Delaware winner's circle having won the 2012 Little Brown Jug with the dam's full-brother, Michaels Power.

Divisions of multiple series comprised the Jugette undercard card, as the Ohio Fair Racing Conference (OFRC), Buckeye Stallion Series (BSS), and Ohio Breeders Championship (OBC) each offered numerous stakes events throughout the program in addition to two divisions of The Standardbred and The Buckette .

The first major stakes event of the afternoon headed to post for Race 15, as the Buckette for three-year-old trotting fillies saw a field of seven face the gate for the lion’s share of a $82,200 purse.

After having worked out a pocket trip, the Norm Parker-trained and Matt Kakaley-driven Looking For Zelda ($8.60) was in the right place at the right time.

Kakaley and Looking For Zelda had left out well off the gate and would’ve had the point all to their own, but the Yannick Gingras-driven Bella Glos had other ideas. Gingras and Bella Glos made a persistent move to the front and Kakaley took ahold of his mount in the vicinity of the quarter pole, which was clicked off in 28 seconds.

Kakaley and Looking For Zelda took the pocket ride as Gingras and Bella Glos cut the opening half in :55.3 and three quarters in 1:24.3. The complexion of the race changed on the final turn, as Bella Glos broke stride on the lead and was taken out the race, which allowed Kakaley and Looking For Zelda to pounce from the garden spot.

The outcome was not just handed to the duo, though, as a first-over Kenziesky Hanover (David Miller) made things interesting right to the wire. Miller and his filly had a full head of steam behind them, but Kakaley and Looking For Zelda wouldn’t be denied, as they dug in and held on for a narrow win in 1:54.4. The Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-driven Pinecraft Nellie rounded out the top three.

Looking For Zelda, who is a brown daughter of Break The Bank K, has now won five of her 10 seasonal starts and 12 of 21 overall for breeder Robert Key (Leechburg, PA). The winner’s share of the Buckette purse has pushed Looking For Zelda’s career bankroll close to the $400,000 mark.

Only Take Cash completed the Ohio Triple Crown with a hard-fought victory in the second $63,900 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship. Driver Aaron Merriman patiently guided the Cash Hall - Armbro Affair filly into contention first-over while second choice See Me Sparkle (Jim Pantaleano) parked Only Take Cash through fractions of :28.2 and :57.2 As the leaders passed the third station in 1:25.4, See Me Sparkle galloped off-stride and allowed Only Take Cash to assume the lead. Merriman kept his filly on task and a :30.3 closer sealed the deal to give Only Take Cash the 1:56.2 victory over closing Stone In Love (Chris Page) and Pure Chance (David Miller).

"This filly of mine she's just done everything right and that's what separated her from the rest," said Merriman after the win. "She's very, very fast and very, very gritty."

Trained by breeder and co-owner Bob McIntosh, Only Take Cash has banked $275,500 for Canadian co-owners Dave Boyle and Marv Chantler's Mardon Stables.

The opening $40,918 division of The Standardbred for two-year-old trotting fillies went postward for Race 2, and it was the Jeff Edwards-trained and Yannick Gingras-driven Nomo Volo ($3.60) that put in a mark-lowering mile courtesy of a gate-to-wire 1:56.2 effort from Post 2. The bay daughter of Explosive Matter went straight to the top, cut the fractions (:28.3, :58, 1:28) and held on for the win as the odds-on choice. Summit City Swan (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Keystone Abby (Aaron Merriman) finished second and third, respectively. Nomo Volo has now won three of her 10 career starts for owners Denise Dennis (Indianapolis, IN), Frances Wilson (Tyner, KY) and Dolne Farm Services LLC (Indianapolis, IN).

Race 11 saw a $63,900 Ohio Breeders Championship division for two-year-old trotting fillies face the starting gate, and when all was said and done, Post 5 starter Vivi D ($6.80) posted a gate-to-wire win in a life’s-best 1:56.1. The Dan Ater-trained and Kyle Ater-driven Broadway Hall filly chopped out the speed in :28.2, :58 and 1:27 and went on to win with ease from there. Dan Ater (Clarksburg, OH) co-owns the filly with fellow Buckeye Kirk Nichols (London, OH).

In Race 12, two-year-old pacing fillies sparred in a $39,318 division of The Standardbred. After having ranged up first-over just past the half, the Chris McGuire-trained and Aaron Merriman-driven Dragonfly ($16.40) was game the rest of the way home. Pretty N Fast (Yannick Gingras) had cut the speed in :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.3, but the Winbak Farm-bred Dragonfly was not to be denied, as she tussled with Pretty N Fast through the stretch and got up when it mattered the most. The end result was a mark-lowering 1:55.4 mile for Dragonfly, who notched her fourth consecutive win in the process. Chris McGuire (Franklin, OH) co-owns along with Brian Carsey (Connersville, IN) and John McGill (Albion, IN).

Ohio Breeders Championship action continued in Race 13, as three-year-old male trotters mixed it up for the winner’s share of the $53,100 purse. The Jeff Conger-trained and Ryan Stahl-driven Mission Accepted ($9.00) was ready to rumble from Post 3, as the well-regarded Manofmanymissions colt came first-up before the half and ultimately got up to defeat the tempo-setting Pass The Vape in a sharp 1:54.2. The clocking was a new OBC record for three-year-old trotting colts. The win was the fifth of Mission Accepted’s 10-race campaign. He has now won nine of this 17 career starts and over $300,000 in overall purses.

Ohio Breeders Championship action continued in Race 17, as a field of nine three-year-old trotting colts and geldings skirmished over a $53,100 purse. After having lined up in Post 3, the William Daugherty-trained and Aaron Merriman-driven Rising MVP ($5.60) went out and trotted a gate-to-wire mile in a life’s-best 1:54.4. The My MVP gelding has now won six of his 17 seasonal starts and 15 of his 30 career assignments for owner Susan Daugherty (Mercer, PA).

NOTES: After a sustained first-over trip in Race 3, the Ron Burke-trained and Chris Page-driven Party At The Banks ($6.60) ground down the temposetter and got up for a life’s-best 1:53.4 win in a $7,500 aged trotting split of the Ohio Breeders Championship. The clocking also lowered the stakes record for the OBC’s aged trotting division. The second of the OBC’s aged trotting divisions went postward as Race 8 and was won by the Hugh Beatty-trained and driven Jailhouse Sam ($5.40) in 1:54..........In Race 9 (a $15,000 division of the Buckeye Stallion Series for freshman trotting colts), young driver Thomas Litt got quite the thrill. Competing in what was his 14th career start, Litt, who had been racing second-over with Frontloader, found himself with a clear lane off the final turn after the leaders broke stride in front of him. Litt fired home with Frontloader ($35.80) and the duo hit the wire first in 2:00.2 for Litt’s sixth-ever driving win..........The trainer/driver combination of Anette Lorentzon and Elliott Deaton won back-to-back dashes earlier in the card, as Stateofmyhead AS ($13.80) captured a division of the BSS in Race 5 and Feel Invincible AS ($2.40) got the job done in Race 6 (which was another BSS split).



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