The leading trainer in the country and the leading trainer at Scioto Downs Racino have their go-to drivers for their horses when they race at the Columbus, Ohio 5/8 mile track. Friday evening each trainer took a different $20,000 Open race to keep securing their foothold as the top trainers in the top class races.
In the Open Trot, Ronnie Wrenn Jr drove Virgil Morgan Jr’s Undercover Strike to victory in 1:55. Parked the last half mile, the 5-year-old gelded son of Striking Sahbra won handily for owner Frank Bellino. Trotslikethewind (Kayne Kauffman) was second and Chilitodayhotamale (Tony Hall) held on for third after cutting the mile.
Undercover Strike raced earlier this year at The Meadowlands and Mohawk, where he took his fastest mark of 1:52.3 in 2012. The win Friday marked his second in a row in the Open Trot at Scioto and he has now earned $313,994 lifetime.
Tony Hall turned the tables on Wrenn when he took the Fillies & Mares Open Pace with Darena Hanover for Ron Burke in 1:51.3. Leaving from assigned post position nine, the 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Cruiser sat back in the five hole while Wrenn sent Princess Cruiser to the front in 26.1. The pair lead all the way to the top of the stretch and finished three-quarters of a length behind Darena Hanover. She’s Shocking (Ray Paver) posted a 27.1 last quarter to get third.
Darena Hanover, owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, has now surpassed $620,000 in lifetime earnings. In 2012 she won both the Jugette and Matron finals and took a mark of 1:50.2 at Pocono Downs.
Racing continues Saturday at Scioto with a first post of 6:30 p.m.