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Freshmen Set Records In Ohio Stakes

Published: September 6, 2015 4:44 pm ET

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Ohio Sires Stakes continued Saturday night, Sept. 5 at Scioto Downs as six, $40,000 divisions of freshman pacing and trotting colts and geldings battled on the track.

Carl Howard’s two-year-old pacing colt Primo Giovanni continued to dominate his division, notching his sixth career victory in as many tries with a 1:53.1 track record clocking in the first Sires Stakes pacing test with Chris Page at the lines.

“This colt has a great mouth and is just a Cadillac to drive,” Page noted. “Virgil [trainer Morgan] has done a great job with him and he just does everything right.”

The son of Big Bad John-JK Reunited pushed his earnings to $107,575 with a perfect, come-from-behind steer by Page. Primo Giovanni — who was bred by his owner — has now won all four legs of this series. Aloha John (Kurt Sugg) was second, with Winna Winna (Kyle Ater) was third.

The second pacing division saw the homebred, 5-1 shot Gotmoneyinmypocket get up to win in a new track record time of 1:52.3 for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. The son of Feelin Friskie-Fran Anna gave trainer Jim Dailey his 1,000 career victory and was the colt’s second lifetime win in his seventh start. Owned by Jerry Zosel and Kathy Ratcliff, Gotmoneyinmypocket pushed his career earnings to $58,957. Smoke Up Johnny (Greg Grismore) was second while Friskie Cruiser (Ryan Stahl) got up for third.

Love Tap Hanover nailed down his first triumph in Sires Stakes competition. Having joined Virgil Morgan’s barn just a week ago, this son of Big Bad John-Love Lace Mindale prevailed in 1:53.4 for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. The gutty Trayvon (Montrell Teague), who was parked for most of the mile, held on for second, while Mr Wiggle Pants (Kayne Kauffman) got up for third.

“Mark Harder has had this colt and done an excellent job with him,” Morgan Jr. explained. “He told me to just treat him like he was my own and that’s what we’ve done. He’s a very nice youngster and is still a bit green.”

Love Tap Hanover now has $53,857 in earnings for owners Rick Phillips, Paul Venurini and Mark Harder of New York and New Jersey. He was a $60,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg.

In the first Sires Stakes for trotting youngsters, Emerald Chip and Josh Sutton emerged victorious for trainer Bobby Brower in 1:59.2. The $15,000 yearling purchase from the 2014 Ohio Select Sale — who is co-owned by Sutton — picked up career win two in just four lifetime starts for the VIP Internet Stable and Mystical Marker Farms.

“This colt didn’t race in the first leg of the Sires Stakes,” Sutton explained. “He’s still very green and I’ve never really been able to race him hard until tonight. He’s still learning.”

The son of Chip Chip Hooray-Emerald My Way used a perfect, two-hole trip to garner the victory and pushed his career earnings to $48,300. He was bred by Don Millard and Spring Haven Farm. Lone Valley Sam (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was second and The Next Triumph (Ken Holiday) was third.

Favourite MJB Got Faith won his fourth Sires Stakes leg in 1:57.2 in come-from-behind fashion for driver Peter Wrenn — equalling the Scioto Downs track record en route to a new career mark. The son of Trainforthefuture-Imageofasweetgirl is owned by 11-year-old Breana Carsey of Connorsville, Indiana and conditioned by Steve Carter.

“This colt has a great attitude and that’s everything,” Wrenn stressed. “He doesn’t know he’s small in size.”

Bred by Gbw Breeding Farm, MJB Got Faith is now four-for-four lifetime with $80,000 in his coffers. His young owner picked out the gelding’s dam when she was in foal and named him after herself and her siblings (MacKenzie, Jordan and Breana), using the first three letters of their names, along with the added mantra of “Got Faith.” She also donates 10 percent of the horse’s earnings to the Brad Hanners Fund.

The hardy Kanthaka changed tactics — coming from off the pace — to capture his sixth straight career win in as many starts for driver Ryan Stahl and trainer Chris Beaver in the third and final Sires Stakes test for two-year-old trotters.

The son of Triumphant Caviar-Elena posted a new track record clocking of 1:57.1. for owners Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, Ohio and trainer Beaver, pushing his career earnings to $105,250. Heza Home Run (Hugh Beatty) was second, while Hello Pilgrim (Kayne Kauffman) nailed down show honors.

The $225,000 Championships for all divisions of two and three-year-old pacing and trotting fillies and colts/geldings will be contested on Sept. 12 at Scioto Downs.

(With files from Ohio Sires Stakes)

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