The class of Ohio rises to the top in Sire Stake finals
Despite heavy rains, the Northfield track produced fast miles Sunday for the $2.4 million Ohio Super Night.
by Jay Wolf
Periods of steady rain could not dull the racing action and dampen the enthusiasm of the fans Sunday (Sept. 1) as MGM Northfield Park played host to the annual $2.4 million Ohio Super Night.
In the glamor division, the $300,000 3-year-old colt pace, the lead was held by four different colts, but it was Bllack Hole (Tyler Smith) getting past Yankee Boots (Dan Noble) in the final few strides to win by three-quarters of a length.
When the field of eight was sent on their way, Cross Country (Luke Ebersole) was gunned out of post #6 to contest the lead and cleared Rock Candy (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) midway through the first turn.
Rock Candy came right back out and led past the quarter in :26.4. Yankee Boots made the top and lead past the half in :54.4 and three quarters in 1:21.3. The first up Bllack Hole raced Yankee Boots in tandem the final three-eighths of a mile.
Bllack Hole is owned by L & L Stables and trained by Clarence Foulk. The Mr Apples black gelding has been hampered with an injury, but has managed a perfect six-for-six this season and is nine-for-10 in his career.
“I thought that I had the sharpest, the freshest horse,” said Smith, who is closing in on 3,000 career driving wins. “I figured I was going to be first over and that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted my own fate in my own hands. I got flushed a little earlier than I wanted to.
“That colt of mine was unbelievable.”
Bllack Hole stopped the timer in a lifetime best 1:49.4 over the Northfield surface that was scraped before the OHSS action and was listed as “sloppy.”
“The track at the beginning of the night was very, very heavy,” said Smith. “I know it was disappointing for the fans to sit through the 45-minute delay, but Northfield made the right call to scrape the track. It would not have been fair to race for that kind of money on a heavy track.”
In the $300,000 3-year-old colt trot, Lane Of Stone continued his two-year dominance with another solid 1:54.1 victory over the pocket-sitting Voyage To Paris (Dan Noble).
Mark Winters, Sr. trains the Wishing Stone colt, for owner/co-breeder Harry Horowitz. Wishing Stone has a record of 15-2-0 from 18 lifetime appearances, and he has earnings of $431,213.
Driver Jeff Nisonger has driven the colt in all but one of his career starts.
“What a great horse he is. I want to give a big thanks to my wife, Carol, and Harry Horowitz,” said Winters. “He has pretty good since day one. The only time he was bad was his first start.”
“I thought it would be a little tougher to get to the front, but it worked out great,” said Nisonger.
Looksgoodinaromper (Chris Page) overcame post #6 to edge Beautiful Beach (Aaron Merriman) by three parts of a length to win the two-year-old filly pace in 1:52.4.
The Pet Rock lass is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi and conditioned by Ron Burke. She owns a 4-1-1 mark in six seasonal starts.
The Chris Page/Ron Burke duo was back in the Northfield winner’s circle just two races later with the undefeated 2-year-old pacing gelding Elver Hanover.
Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) led the field of eight through the first three quarters of the mile. Page sat patiently and sent the eventual winner to the lead around the final turn and scored a four-length win. The final time of 1:51.2 bettered the Yankee Cruiser gelding’s lifetime mark by nearly a full second.
Elver Hanover is perfect in all six career starts and has made $256,500 for Burke Racing Stable, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo and J&T Silva – Prunel & Libby.
A pair of 3-year-old fillies became repeat OHSS champions – Only Take Cash and Queen Of The Pride.
Only Take Cash (Aaron Merriman) defeated six Chris Beaver-trained trotters to take the sophomore filly trot in 1:54.1.
With the $150,000 first place check, Hall of Fame trainer Robert McIntosh became just the third conditioner to surpass the $100 million career earnings plateau, joining Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter.
McIntosh is also the co-owner of the Cash Hall filly with Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables. Only Take Cash has made a lot of cash during her career ($570,561) and has 14 wins in just 17 career starts.
Queen Of The Pride (Tony Hall) held off a late charging Giggles In Dreams (Shawn Barker II) by a quarter of a length in 1:51.3.
Kevin Lare trains the McArdle filly for Frank E. Chick. Queen Of The Pride has now earned $660,479 with her 13th career win.
Action Uncle (Brett Miller) established a new track mark with his 1:55.1 mile in the 2-year-old colt trot.
Action Uncle defeated Big Box Hanover (Simon Allard) by 1 ¾ lengths. Exhibit Class (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was another six lengths back in third.
Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the Uncle Peter colt for the Kenneth A. Sommer Trust.
The 2-year-old filly trotter Kikimora (Aaron Merriman) got the night started with a mild upset over even-money choice Globtrotting (Anthony MacDonald) in 1:57.
Named after a female house spirit in Slavic mythology, the daughter of Triumphant Caviar is co-owned by breeder Sandra Burnett and trainer Chris Beaver. Kikimora now has three wins in seven starts and has $203,556 in earnings.
Kikimora paid $8.80 to win, the largest payout of the eight OHSS events.
Aaron Merriman outdistanced Chris Page with $426,000 in OHSS earnings to lead all drivers. Ron Burke, the nation’s leading money trainer, took the training title over Chris Beaver.