Lebanon, OH --- A pair of $25,000 James K. Hackett Memorial championship races were contested on Saturday night at Miami Valley Raceway, followed by an $8,500 Open Handicap pace that resulted in an all-age track record clocking.
Ohio-sired 3-year-old fillies battled in the first Hackett final with favored Crown Time Keeper (Chris Page), one of the elimination heat victors last week, winning the war in 1:55. The triumphant lass was pressured to the half-mile marker in :55 flat, but had enough in the tank through the stretch to hold off pocket-sitting Paydaze On The Way (Kayne Kauffman), the other elimination winner, and show finisher A P P Panda (Greg Grismore). Crown Time Keeper is owned by Esther Crownover, who has raced harness horses continuously for over 30 years, and trained by Steve Carter. The daughter of Feelin Friskie now has seven wins and seven seconds in just 17 lifetime starts.
A son of Feelin Friskie captured the colts division of the Hackett Memorial as well. Friskie Adam (Kyle Ater) took advantage of a relatively soft :57.1 first half before speeding home in :56.1 to stop the timer in 1:53.2 and earn the lion's share of the purse. Chance I Might (Page) and Dibs (Jim Pantaleano) shadowed the winner throughout but couldn't get closer than 2-1/2 lengths at the wire. Dr. Jerry Maloon Stable owns Friskie Adam, who now has six career victories. He was broke and campaigned in his freshman campaign by the late Sam 'Chip' Noble, and has been turned over to veteran conditioner Dan Ater for his sophomore season.
Conrad photo Justified and driver Chris Page set an all-age track record on Saturday at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:51.1.
Justified is trained by Ron Burke and is co-owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
Miami Valley has just seven programs left in its 65-night inaugural meet which started February 8. The final three nights will include multiple $40,000 divisions of the Ohio Sires Stakes for pacing and trotting fillies on Friday (May 2), multiple $40,000 divisions of the Ohio Sires Stakes for pacing and trotting colts following the simulcast presentation of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (May 3), and conclude with a pair of Grand Circuit events on Sunday night, May 4.
An impressive list of nominees, with career earnings in excess of $20 million dollars and including several past Breeders Crown champions, are expected to make the $50,000 Chip Noble Memorial pace for older mares and the $60,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares a pair of Grand Circuit races to remember.