Ron Burke and Chris Page team up to win a pair of $300,000 OHSS Finals.
by Jay Wolf
The undefeated Guinevere Hall overcame post #8, used a patient drive by Peter Wrenn and showed why she’s the best 3-year-old filly trotter in the Buckeye State as she captured the $300,000 Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) Final during Sunday night’s (Sept. 6) Super Night action at Eldorado Scioto Downs.
As the field of nine was sent on their way, Wrenn floated Guinevere Hall off the gates wings and found a seat sixth at the rail in the opening quarter in :27.1. The eventual winner used the cover of Delovely Hall (Aaron Merriman) to steadily advance past the half in :56.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24.3.
As Delovely Hall started to tire in the final turn, Guinevere Hall went three wide and cruised past the pacesetting A Fancy Face (Chris Page) by 3 ½ lengths. The final time of 1:53.1 was just a fifth of a second off the Scioto track record.
“Everything kind of worked out for us. The mare (A Fancy Face) was forced to cut the mile, something she hasn’t done a lot of,” said Wrenn. “Once we passed Delovely Hall, she switched into a different gear and finished really strong.”
Guinevere Hall is trained by Melanie Wrenn and owned by the M T Pockets Stable and David McDuffee.
The Cash Hall–Garbo Hall filly was a $35,000 yearling purchase from breeder Alan Leavitt at the 2018 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is a perfect seven-for-seven in 2020 and has career earnings of $415,081 and is a leading candidate for Ohio ‘Horse of the Year’ honors.
“The mare has been ultra-consistent all year for us,” said Wrenn. “We have the Ohio Breeders Championship next and three or four stakes at Hoosier Park. We hope to finish the year in the Matron at Dover (Downs).”
The combo of Ron Burke and Chris Page started the 2020 Ohio Super Night with a bang taking the first two $300,000 OHSS events – the 2-year-old filly trot and pace.
In the freshman filly trot, Page and Merry Ann were saddled with post #7 and when the starting gates wings opened, Page was hoping to leave and find an early spot on the rail. Their best plans need adjusted when Swizzle Hanover (Mike Wilder) closed the hole and forced them to the lead before the three-eighths pole.
“I was pushing forward and I wasn’t sure if I would get to the front,” said Page. “(Swizzle Hanover) took away one of my options and pushed my hand early.”
Merry Ann was pressured by Celebrate With Me (Kurt Sugg) but had enough in reserve to hold off her by a half-length in 1:57.
“Ronnie (Burke) made a bridle change. He put an open bridle on her and that was a gutsy move,” said Page. “It definitely worked out.”
The Southwind Spirit—Witty Girl lass scored for the fifth time in seven starts and has now earned $245,200 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and breeder Knox Services.
The freshman filly pace went to the heavy favorite, Summer Touch, who recorded a 3 ¾ length gate to wire score in 1:52.3 over Rainy Day Chic (Brett Miller) and Leave Her Wild (Mile Wilder).
“I wanted to get away close to the lead, not necessarily on the lead,” said Page. “When Ronnie Wrenn’s horse (Lady Arthur) ran in the first turn, it made my decision very easy.”
The Well Said—Real Touch filly has won five straight and has earned $255,000 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Slaughter Racing and Knox Services.
The Page/Burke duo went on to win five races on the 17-race card.
The glamour division, the 3-year-old colt pace, went to Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) in 1:49.4.
Elver Hanover (Chris Page) made Ocean Rock work hard for the early lead, but the latter, a gelded son of Rockin Amadeus—Ocean Pearl showed why he was the 1-5 bettor’s choice, controlling the fractions and sprinted home for a 1 ¾ length victory. Elver Hanover held on for second and Gray Dragon (Brett Miller) rallied for the show spot.
Ocean Rock is trained by Christi Noble for breeder Sandra Burnett. With the $150,000 first place check, his career earnings jump to $495,677.
Action Uncle became a two-time Ohio Sires Stakes champion when he captured the 3-year-old colt trot by 3 3/4 lengths over Wading Boots (David Miller) in 1:53.
Driven by Brett Miller and trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., the son of Uncle Peter—Action-broadway picked up his 10th career win for Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills. Action Uncle upped his career earnings to $545,825.
Action Uncle won the 2019 OHSS championship for breeder and then owner Kenneth Sommer Trust. The current ownership group purchased the colt in December 2019.
Charlie May captured the freshman colt pace after a classic stretch duel with Heart Of Chewbacca (Dan Noble).
When the field of nine was sent on their way, Charlie May and Heart Of Chewbacca tussled early and Noble put his Bring On The Beach colt on the lead at the quarter in :26.3, forcing Charlie May into a pocket sitting trip. Heart Of Chewbacca tripped the half mile beam in :55 and rebuffed a challenge by Hardt At Work (Mike Micallif) at the three-quarters in 1:23.
Brett Miller eased the eventual winner off the rail in the final turn and sprinted past Heart Of Chewbacca by 1 ½ lengths in 1:50.2. The winning time established a new national season’s record and Scioto track mark for freshman gelding pacers.
The homebred son of McArdle—Stipple Hanover has now earned $295,181 for Don R. Tiger.
The biggest upset of the night came in the 3-year-old filly pace. The 12-1 Penpaperpaige was the benefactor of a patient drive by Tyler Smith and passed the betting favorite and pacesetting Artful Dancer (Dan Noble) in the lane to score a 1 1/2 length win in a lifetime best 1:52.1.
Penpaperpaige won for the ninth time in 17 career starts for Shirley Le Vin. The Pet Rock—Park Lane Paige filly is trained by Jeff Smith.
The freshman colt trot went to Perron and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. in 1:58. The My MVP—Long Island Tea brown lad defeated Street Gossip (Brett Miller) by a neck.
Chris Beaver conditioned the homebred for Steve Stewart, David Wright, Greg Wilcoxen and Kevin Doherty. Perron now has $198,300 in career earnings.
Beaver also trained the third place (Tango With Me) and fourth place (Panzano) finishers.
The Ohio Super Night undercard featured a pair of $100,000 #senditin Invitational paces.
In the first division, the pocket sitting Brassy Hanover (Andrew McCarthy) sprinted past the Indiana sensation, Little Rocket Man (Trace Tetrick) late in the mile to score a half-length victory in 1:48.3. The winning time equaled the Scioto track mark for 4-year-old gelded pacers.
Brassy Hanover (Well Said—Bold Pink) is owned by Pollack Racing and trainer Jeff Cullipher.
Workin Ona Mystery (Tim Tetrick) went gate-to-wire in 1:48.3 to take the second #senditin Pace by five lengths.
The 4-year-old Captaintreacherous—Dragon’s Tale colt is conditioned by Brian Brown for Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith and Wingfield Brothers.
Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith) overcame the outside post and rallied to take second, Escapetothebeach (George Brennan) was third.
Eldorado Scioto Downs concludes its record-setting 2020 season on Saturday, Sept. 12.