Friday Nights Top Classes Highlight Scioto Card

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.


J J Hall equals Scioto track record for second week in a row

In back-to-back weeks, J J Hall and Chip Noble equaled the Scioto Downs Racino track record for aged trotters when he won again in 1:54.1.  Dunkster (Kurt Sugg) and Hesza Laser (Chip Noble) both set the record back in 2005.

This week, in the Open Trot, J J Hall went three-wide around the last turn and like a sling-shot drew off to win by four and a half lengths.  The five-year-old gelding by Jailhouse Jesse has now earned $215,846 for owner Doug Millard of Woodstock, Ontario.

The win was the second in a row on the night for trainer Scott Mogan.  Just one race earlier he won with Quick N’ Slick in the NW$7500 trot. Dan Noble took the five-year-old gelding straight to the front and never looked back, hitting the wire in 1:55.1.  Quick N’ Slick, by Pegasus Spur, is owned by Frances Schloss of Cincinnati.

Ray Hall and driver Tony Hall equaled another track record Friday, this one for 3-year-old trotting geldings, when they won in 1:54.4.  The mark was set earlier this year by March Awareness and Ray Paver.  Ray Hall (Justice Hall – Comebyrail) switched barns since his win last week and is now trained by Ron Steck for owners Bruce and Patricia Soulsby.

In the Fillies & Mares Open Pace, Ginger and Fred cruised to a win, tripping the beam in 1:51.3.  Only three and three-quarter lengths separated the compact seven horse field top to bottom.  Tony Hall took the seven-year-old mare by Real Artist mare from the seven hole straight to the top and never looked back.  Doc’s Hope (Jason Brewer) finished second by a length with Sea Cruise Hanover (Chris Page) only a quarter length further back in third.
Ginger and Fred is owned by J&T Silva Stables, LLC, Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Robert Feldman.  It was the 30th lifetime win for Ginger and Fred, which pushed her just $10,000 short of $1.9-million earned lifetime.

Racing continues Saturday at Scioto with a first post of 6:30 p.m.


Charity Race Night a success.

Scioto Downs Racino hosted the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association first Charity Race Night Thursday and by all accounts it was an instant success.

Three of the 10 charities were interviewed at a time in between races so each one could promote their mission and goals.  Then after the sixth race, the draw was conducted to partner a charity up with a horse in the seventh race; how the horse finished determined how much money the charity would receive, based on the percentages purses are distributed.

When it was all said and done, Standing Danette and Tony Hall crossed the line first for the Arthritis Foundation of Central Ohio in 1:54.  The win got the Foundation a $5,000 donation to their charity and bragging rights as the winner.

charity win circle

“We would like to thank the OHHA and Standing Danette for her wonderful $5,000 donation to the Arthritis Foundation,” said Susan Davis, their Regional Vice-President.  “The OHHA has been awesome this evening, and Scioto Downs was great – they were very helpful and supportive of us.  The food was wonderful and it’s been an amazing evening.  We at the Arthritis Foundation are just very excited and proud to be here at the inaugural event.”

Finishing second was Grace Seelster (Greg Grismore) who was partnered with the National Parkinson’s Foundation and earned $2,500 for the charity.  Kay Low (Jeremy Smith) and R E O Speeddragon (Kayne Kauffman) finished third and fourth respectively to earn $1,200 for ALS Association and $800 for 4-H Youth Development.  The charities whose horses finished 5-10 got $500.

Scioto also donated $500 per charity, so no one left the track with less than $1,000.

Racing resumes Friday and Saturday with a 6:30 p.m. post time.

Saturday Track Records at Scioto

The Scioto Downs Racino racetrack has been on fire this year and Saturday’s races set or tied three more track records.

Rockin Finish took on a field of pacers that have collectively earned over $640,000 so far in 2013 in the Capitol City Pace for winners over $60,000, a late closer for 4-year-old and over stallion and geldings.  The blistering 1:50 mile, with a last quarter of 26.4, tied the all-age track record set back in 2000 by Gallo Blue Chip and Dan Dube and set a new personal best for Rockin Finish.

rockin finish

(Rockin Finish and Ronnie Wrenn Jr tied the all-age track record with a 1:50 mile)

Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. drove the Rocknroll Hanover-Please Me Please gelding, and the mile also bested the previous 4-year-old gelding track record for pacers of 1:50.2 that was set earlier this year by stablemate I Found My Beach and Dan Noble.  Rockin Finish is owned by Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Ron Burke trained entry of Transcending (Tony Hall) and Audreys Dream (Greg Grismore) finished second and third.

Just one race previous, the Heart of Ohio Trot, with the same conditions as the Capitol City Pace,  saw Summer Indian and Tony Hall set a new track record for 4-year-old trotting geldings when they crossed the finish line in 1:53.

By Majestic Son out of the Balanced Image mare A Touch of Frost, the pair won by just a neck over Southwind Pepino (Hugh “Sandy” Beatty).  Summer Indian’s stablemate Run and Tell Pap (Dan Noble) was just a half length behind the winner and finished third.  Summer Indian is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jack Piatt III, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables Inc.

summer indian

(Summer Indian and driver Tony Hall won in 1:53 to set the track record for 4 year old trotting gelding)

The last division of the Ohio Breeders Stakes was close but Dibs and Tony Hall just beat out Rocket Beau (Kyle Ater) and Friskie Adam (Chip Noble) in 1:54.4.  The 2-year-old pacing colt, Dibs, is the full brother to 3-year-old pacing filly Pink Camo and likewise is trained by Ron Burke.  The gelding by Pine Valley out of Cg’s Gem now has earned just under $40,000 in five starts.

Racing continues this weekend at Scioto on Sunday with a special 5:00 p.m. post time.

David Myers hits victory #1000

On August 4 David Myers, achieved a goal that many harness racing drivers aspire to reach but rarely get to.  Myers drove Dipolomats Mistress to his 1,000 driving victory at the Ross County Fair in Chillicothe.

Later that day, he surpassed the milestone by winning with Rain Dance Maggy and thus reaching 1,001 wins.  Myers, 54, is a current resident of Logan, Ohio and has driven at Scioto Downs Racino for many years.

myers presentation

He first started driving in 1977 and had 8 starts that year.  He has now driven 7,652 horses that have made almost $4.5-million.  David is also an accomplished trainer with 209 training wins since 1991.


GAMBLING: State doubles down with racino movement

GAMBLING: State doubles down with racino movement

2:55 pm, June 19, 2013

At breakneck speed, the race to keep even more betting dollars in the Buckeye State is rounding the halfway point.

About a year into the state’s gamble to resurrect its ailing race tracks by adding video lottery terminals, two of the hybrid casinos — or racinos — are up and running with the remaining five slated to start jockeying for guests by June 2014…

Laying bets via smartphones trotted out out at 3 MTR Gaming horse tracks

New Track Record at Scioto Downs

I Found My Beach found his stride on Saturday evening at Scioto Downs Racino, setting a new track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings.  With Dan Noble driving, the pair went in 1:50.3, taking one fifth of a second off the previous track record set by Full of Sand and Aaron Merriman last year.

“I like him a lot,” said Noble.  “He’s a very easy horse to get along with, easy going and does everything you ask.  We just wanted to leave and get to the front and just keep going forward.”

The gelding has won six races in a row since the Levy series at Yonkers, taking races at The Meadows, Hoosier Park and Scioto.  Those six wins have earned him $53,000 in two and a half months, boosting his lifetime earnings to $468,588.

“It’s the second time I’ve driven him, he’s a consistent horse week to week and seems to take care of himself.”

I Found My Beach is by Mach Three out of the Stand Forever mare Ohio Annie.  Bred by New Albany, Ohio resident Robert Kauffman, the horse made his way up to Canada with part owner and trainer Robert McIntosh.  The mare didn’t make much on the track but this first foal of her’s has set a high precedent for her future foals.  Herres Stables LLC  of Bellbrook, Ohio bought I Found My Beach in January of this year and put him in the care of trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr who sent him east, first to The Meadows then Yonkers for the Levy series.

Noble and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. have been a dominant force at Scioto so far this year.  Noble was sitting second in the driver standings through June 10 with 40 wins on 210 starts; leading driver Tony Hall had 45 wins in 209 starts.  Morgan, Jr. had 31 wins in 89 starts for a .464 UTRS.  The next closest trainer in terms of wins is local trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. with 11 in 82 starts.

“We make a good team,” said Noble of his partnership with Morgan, Jr.  “I try to drive everything he’s got as long as my own horses aren’t in the same race.  It’s been a little tough with that.  He’s the number one trainer I drive for.”

Racing will continue next week, Wednesday through Saturday with a 6:30 p.m. post time.