Hard-luck Carol’s Comet won the last $20,000 Open Pace at Scioto Downs Racino in 2013 by a nose, in 1:50.2. The hard luck gelding finished second the last three starts at the track but this week driver Aaron Merriman had a different strategy to make the outcome different, and make his way to the winner’s circle.
“I thought I was in the position last week to get the trip and they told me he really didn’t like the passing lane,” said Merriman. “I opted to go to the outside so I think I cost myself the race with the drive. Today, up in the passing lane the horse really appreciated it, the shorter trip around the track.”
Sitting the pocket Merriman waited patiently during the first three quarters that went in 26.3, 55.2 and 1:22.
“He’s very nice, a Cadillac to race,” Merriman continued. “He really wants to go so that really makes it nice. He’s very good gated and good behind the gate.”
Audrey’s Dream (Tony Hall) got up for second while Special Forces (Chris Page) held on for third after cutting the mile.
(Carol's Comet wins by nose to win the last Open Pace of the 2013 Scioto Downs Racing Season)
Previous to the evening’s races, Carol’s Comet had made 16 starts and had three wins with eight seconds and one third making $77,275 just this year racing exclusively at Scioto for Delaware, Ohio based trainer Ron Potter.
The striking 4-year-old gelding son of Yankee Cruiser out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Modern Medicine is owned by Martin Presser, Bill Moore, Matthew Moore and Whiskey Tango Stable (Dawn Hornsby, Dawn Potter and Kimberly Rowe).
The evening’s race card also held two divisions of the “Best of the Rest” which was open to horses paid into the Sire Stakes but were not eligible for the $150,000 last week. Majesty Dream (Chip Chip Hooray-Donna L’s Hope) and Kayne Kauffman took the 2-year-old trotting filly division in 2:00.4. Trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for owners Up Front Racing LLC (Ed Mullinax) and Thomas York Jr. She is now set to race in the Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware on Sept. 17.
The 3-year-old colt pace was the only other division to fill and was won by Dusto and Kauffman in 1:55.1. The time was a new lifetime mark for the Stand Forever-Doctor Cindy colt who now has $82,540 in career earnings for owner/trainer William Hartman and co-owner Saundra Andre’.
Even though the live racing season is over at Scioto, the racetrack will still be open for simulcasting from noon-midnight. Racing will resume in May 2014, dependent on approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission.