Owner/trainer has six of the top 10 in the Ohio Sire Stakes standings.
by Jay Wolf
A pair of eight-horse fields will go postward tonight at Scioto Downs in the final leg of the Ohio Sires Stake (OHSS) for sophomore trotting fillies. For the connections of many of those starters, the goal is to garnish enough points to qualify for the $300,000 OHSS final. For trainer Chris Beaver, the question is not “if” he qualifies a horse for the 3-year-old filly final, but “how many?” Currently, the Delaware, OH-based trainer has five of the top eight point earners, and a sixth horse sits just outside the cut line.
Sitting atop the points standings with 103 points through the first three legs is the Triumphant Caviar filly, Pure Chance. The $9,000 yearling purchase has a win and a pair of seconds during the preliminary legs and has earned over $185,000 lifetime for Beaver and co-owner Steven Zeehandelar.
“(Pure) Chance has been a professional all along. She doesn’t seem to do anything wrong,” said Beaver. “She has shown some real speed. She has been kind of a surprise. She didn’t train down like she was the best through the winter, but over the course of the season she has been the best, so far.”
Tied for second in the standings with the Robert McIntosh-trained Only Take Cash is Aunt Rose. The quartet of Beaver, Zeehandelar, Joe Sbrocco and Mike Carter own the Uncle Peter filly who has a 1:54 mark and has accumulated $130,663.
“Aunt Rose is really quick. She has had a couple of bad trips where she couldn’t get out when she needed to or she might have made a little more money at this point of the season,” said Beaver.
Looking for a solid finish in tonight’s first $50,000 division to stay in the top eight is Bella’s Rose Power (Post Position #6 with Kayne Kauffman). Bella’s Rose Power took the opening leg of the OHSS on May 3 at Miami Valley. She is owned by Beaver, Zeehandelar, James Gallagher and breeder Marion Beachy.
“I thought Bella’s Rose Power was the best training down. She acted like the best at Miami Valley,” said Beaver. “She was still good in May but she got upset behind the gate at the sires stake leg at Northfield Park (June 3). She was prone to that kind of stuff last year, but she’s been a lot better this year. She came back (for the third leg) and was kind of dull. We figured out that her liver count was high, so we have trying to fix that. To me she is starting to act sharp again. She could be dangerous if she gets back to that early season form.”
Just inside of her stablemate in the first division is Stone In Love who sits seventh, six points ahead of Pincessofpink in eighth place.
“Stone In Love doesn’t have good gate speed, so she is at the mercy of the trips. She’s a really good grinder on the outside and can take a lot of air. But after the last race, we found a little blood so we put her on Lasix. She was a little flat on the tail end of her last race (the Ohio State Fair on Aug. 3),” said Beaver.
Sitting just outside the final qualifying spot is Westlynn Quest, who is owned by Heather VanSickle. The Manofmanymissions lass was unraced at two but has four wins in 11 starts. Westlynn Quest will leave from post #4 in the second division.
“I think she is plenty capable. She is overly aggressive and that has cost her a couple of times in the sire stakes. I have working on trying to quite her down. She has a lot of speed,” said Beaver.
One horse that will be sitting out of the final leg is Back Splash, who sits in fourth after her win in the third leg. Beaver consulted fellow owners Zeehandelar, Donald Robinson and RBH Ventures and entered the Triumphant Caviar filly in the first leg of the Kentucky Sires Stake on Sunday (Aug. 11) and finished second, timed in 1:53.2.
“I could have entered her back into the final leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes, but I felt like we were probably locked in the Ohio final with her. She can go back to Kentucky (for the second KYSS Leg) on August 23rd, that is eight days before the sire stake final in Ohio. I am trying to make both finals, or at least the consolation in Kentucky.
“Back Splash is as fast as Pure Chance or Aunt Rose on any given day. She drew poorly early in the season and had some tough trips. She has gotten pretty good here lately. We more than likely won’t make the third Kentucky leg, but with a second or third in the next leg, we would be locked into the final.”
The $300,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Finals will make up the $2.4 million “Ohio Super Night” on Sunday, Sept. 1 at MGM Northfield Park.