The Next Generation introduced at Scioto Downs

The Next Generation introduced at Scioto Downs

July 3, 2020

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A pair of $150,000 2-year old events to be contested on Independence Day.

by Jay Wolf

It has been a great early summer for Eldorado Scioto Downs — handles have skyrocketed, entries are strong and interest nationwide is at a decade-long high.

More eyes of the harness world will be on the south Columbus, OH oval on Independence Day thanks to a pair of $150,000 Next Generation Stakes for Ohio-bred freshman pacers.

The Next Generation Stakes required a one-time nomination fee of $10,000 and was due March 15 – many weeks prior to any charted lines were recorded. Although the payment was due in March, the actual starters did not have to be declared until Tuesday (June 30) afternoon.

While the idea of a subscription event has been done in thoroughbred racing with the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, the Next Generation will be a first-of-its-kind event in harness racing and, to top it off, it was based on a suggestion by a trio of Ohio horseman – Chad Foulk, Bruce Soulsby and Chuck Grubbs.

“I was with Bruce Soulsby and Chucky Grubbs and we were watching the Pegasus (World Cup) and we said we should try something similar on a lower scale,” said Foulk. “We went to Stacey (Cahill) and Jason (Roth) and they ran with it. They have done everything since. We did try to get some people to buy spots, but that was it.”

“They approached us and we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s try this,” said Roth, race secretary at Scioto Downs. “We’ll try anything once. People were calling weeks in advance of the deadline asking about the race, so we were confident that they were going to fill.”

Both events were oversubscribed – 11 for the colt pace and 10 for the filly event – requiring a lottery draw for the final nine spots from the Scioto Downs winner’s circle on May 23.

In an almost cruel twist of fate, the Foulk entry was the final form pulled in the random draw in each of the divisions.

“We weren’t sure we would get in either of the fields,” joked Foulk.

Two of the spots in the filly pace were scheduled to be auctioned off through the Hoofbid app by their original owners – Foulk Stable and William Hartt. However, no bids were submitted forcing the owners to look for a suitable entrant.

“We ended up buying a filly (Notwhatshesaid),” said Foulk. “My friend and I both had a spot, we sold a spot and we kept a spot.”

Nortwhatshesaid, who will be piloted by Tyler Smith (post #6; 15-1), is a perfect two-for-two on the Ohio fair circuit and owns a mark of 2:01.2 at the Ottawa County Fair.

In the colt pace, Speak Well will race for Foulk’s father, Clarence, under the L & L Stables banner and Hartt.

The unraced Well Said colt comes into the season with a 1:56.2 qualifying victory on June 22. He was made a 10-1 choice again with Tyler Smith in the bike.

“The Speak Well colt has been our best one all along,” said the son. “He’s talented, but he makes mistakes. He hasn’t figured it all out yet. He just has to stay pacing.”

Eleven of the 18 entries in the Next Generation events will be making their career debut on Saturday.

“Nobody knows who the best horse is at this time (of year). If the race would be in August, you would know who would be the top three or four horses,” said Roth. “The early date adds another dynamic to the event.”

After a quick check of the revised North American stakes calendar, it also appears that the Next Generation events are the richest events to be held so far in 2020.

“Especially for 2-year-olds starting out,” noted Roth.
With the interest of the Next Generation events coupled with an upcoming Canadian version, maybe the “entry by owner” events will gain steam and popularity.

The inaugural Mohawk Million for 2-year-old open trotters is scheduled for Sept. 26. That $1 million event had nine $110,000 spots available with the 10thand final spot reserved for the William Wellwood Memorial winner.

A similar 2-year-old trotting event at the Red Mile was attempted by the Hambletonian Society but was cancelled due to conflicts on the stakes schedule.

“I think we can expand Next Generation to the trotters next year,” said Roth. “There could be additional marketing opportunities with the fall yearling sales if a farm wants to be a sponsor of the race.”

Also on Scioto’s July 4 afternoon card (2 p.m. post time) will be the third leg of the Ohio Sire Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. The field of 10 will be headlined by PJ’s Legacy (Ryan Stahl), Mcmarkle Sparkle (Brett Miller) and Penpaperpaige (Tyler Smith). The trio has won all of the preliminary divisions.

$150,000 Next Generation – Two-Year-Old Filly Pace (Race #8)

PP – Horse (Driver/Trainer)
Owner(s) – Odds – 2020 Record

1. Bearcreekhoney (Josh Sutton/Cory Deyermand)
William Hartt – 5-1 – 1 0-1-0 $1,400

2. Odds On Pussycat (Jeremy Smith/Virgil Morgan, Jr.)
Odds On Racing – 8-1 – First Start

3. Southern Woman (Trevor Smith/Kevin Lare)
Frank Chick & David Hamm – 10-1 – First Start

4. Babs Jansen (Brett Miller/Tony Alagna)
Alagna Racing, M T Pockets Stables & Riverview Racing – 2-1 First Start

5. Winella Hanover (Chris Page/Ron Burke)
Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Jason Melillo & J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby – 4-1 – 1 1-0-0 $2,800

6. Notwhatshesaid (Tyler Smith/Clarence Foulk)
Matt Rowe & Foulk Stables – 15-1 – 2 2-0-0 $4,041

7. Well N Down (Anthony MacDonald/Jason McGinnis)
TheStable Well N Down Group – 12-1 – First Start

8. Saddle Up N Cruise (Dan Noble/Chuck Grubbs)
Chuck Grubbs – 6-1 – First Start

9. Sophie’s Candy (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr./Brian Brown)
Robert Cope Stables – 5/2 – First Start

$150,000 Next Generation – Two-Year-Old Colt Pace (Race #11)

PP – Horse (Driver/Trainer)
Owner(s) – Odds – 2020 Record

1. I’m Sorry Man (Brett Miller/Mark Rowe)
Mark Rowe – 5-1 – First Start

2. Barnard Hanover (Chris Page/Ron Burke)
Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, Silva, Purnel & Libby &Chris Page – 5/2 – 1 1-0-0 $2,800

3. Caviart Sargent (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr./Brian Brown)
Caviart Farms – 6-1 – First Start

4. Speak Well (Tyler Smith/Clarence Foulk)
L & L Stables & William Hartt – 10-1 – First Start

5. Royhill (Anthony MacDonald/Jason McGinnis)
TheStable Royhill Group – 12-1 – 1 0-0-0 $555

6. Calvin L (Hank LeVan/Hank LeVan)
LeVan Stables – 20-1 – 3 0-2-0 $1,486

7. Charlie May (Dan Noble/Steve Carter)
Don Tiger – 3-1 – First Start

8. Advrtsngtoprofit (Jeremy Smith/Todd Luther)
Black Magic Racing – 20-1 – 1 1-0-0 $1,434

9. Odds On Pick Six (Peter Wrenn/Melanie Wrenn)
Odds On Racing – 8-1 – First Start

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