Columbus, OH---Carol's Comet and driver Aaron Merriman scored in the John Pawlak $25,000 Open Pace in 1:50.3 on Back to the Track night (July 12) at Scioto Downs.
A large crowd blanketed the apron for the
John Pawlak (seated) was joined in the winner's circle, by (from left) Bob Schmitz of the Ohio State Racing Commission; Stacy Cahill, general manager of Scioto Downs; and Pawlak's wife, Kris. (USTA/Mark Hall Photos)
Pawlak is an Ohio native recently inducted into the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall Of Fame. He has worked at The USTA for many years in the communications department and has also been a track announcer. Scioto Downs held the race in his honor for his outstanding achievements and contributions to harness racing.
Carol's Comet is a 5-year-old gelding by Yankee Cruiser out of the mare, Modern Medicine. He's conditioned by Ron Potter for the connections, Whiskey Tango Stable, Martin Presser, Bill and Matthew Moore.
He started from post eight in the field of nine, but that didn't stop Aaron Merriman from leaving for an up-close spot. They pair found a nice spot, right on the front end and paced an opening quarter in 26.1.
They had early company from Randy Tharps and Ardyne Ace, who cleared before the half in a quick 53.3.
|Top Scioto driver Chris Page autographs Back to the Track T-shirts for some lucky fans.|
The pace didn't slow down much. A parked and pressing That'll Be The Rei applied the pressure to the three quarters and left Carol's Comet in a perfect pocket spot again.
The battling duo paced to the three quarters in 1:21.3 and Merriman waited patiently for the super stretch.
Carol's Comet sprinted up the super stretch when given his command and just caught Ardyne Ace by a nose and a late rally from Special Forces and Greg Grismore rounded out the trifecta. Only three and a half lengths covered the entire field.