Lebanon, OH --- Miami Valley Raceway, set to kick off its inaugural meet on Friday (Feb. 7), is pleased to introduce a pair of new Grand Circuit events for older mares during its first season. The new races, each with estimated purses of $50,000, are for 4-year-old and up mares and will be raced on Sunday (May 4), the final program on the local 2014 calendar.
The pace will be called the Sam ‘Chip’ Noble III Memorial, honoring the beloved Ohio Hall of Fame horseman who recently succumbed to a battle with esophageal cancer.
“Chip was universally liked and respected by all his Ohio harness racing brethren and will be sorely missed in the Buckeye State,” said Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. “He won over 5,000 races and represented the United States twice at the World Driving Championships. We are thrilled, with the blessing of his family, to be able to honor Chip’s memory with an annual signature Grand Circuit race.”
The Hambletonian Society will handle advertising and receive February 15 nomination and March 15 sustaining payments for both the Chip Noble Memorial Pace and the tandem Miami Valley Distaff Trot.
Each race will be limited to the highest nine mares in 2013-14 earnings that are qualified and enter to race. If more than nine enter either race, the remainder will have the option of a full refund of all payments or an automatic berth in an Open event on the same program with all paid-in fees added to the normal purse for those races.
It is expected that the purses and the stature of these new Grand Circuit races will grow in subsequent years as the racing renaissance currently taking place in Ohio reaches maturity.
With the February 7 grand opening rapidly approaching, Miami Valley Raceway has scheduled qualifying sessions for February 1 at 12 noon and February 5 at 6:30 p.m. Ohio State Racing Commission rules require that a horse show a good clean performance line within 45 days of any race for which they enter. Entries will be taken the morning prior to each qualifying session from 8-10 a.m.
The OSRC licensing office in the Racing Administration offices of the paddock will open Jan. 30 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. It will also be open Jan. 31 and February 1 during the same hours. Early licensing is recommended to avoid longer lines on opening weekend.
Phone and fax lines into the Miami Valley Race Office may not be available until Jan. 30, but much information, including ship-in applications, condition sheets and important notes about the upcoming season can be accessed on the track’s website at www.miamivalleygaming.com.