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Speed galore in Ohio Sire Stakes
Saturday, June 10, 2017 - by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

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Columbus, OH --- Speed was all the rage in a quartet of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Friday night (June 9) at Scioto Downs. It was the second of four legs in the series for Ohio-breds that offers a minimum purse of $40,000 per division.

Rose Run Skyler scored her fifth career win in OSS action at Scioto Downs on Friday evening.

Lionel Watiker’s Rose Run Skyler—who won her OSS Leg 1 on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway in 1:54.3—paced to a sizzling career best 1:53 victory as she nailed down her fourth consecutive triumph for her owner in her OSS division with Aaron Merriman in the sulky. She finished a healthy three lengths ahead of Rosa’s Touch (Mike Wilder) with Type A Grey (Chris Page) third.

Conditioned by Watiker’s son Derek, the sophomore daughter by The Panderosa upped her career earnings to $79,375 as she notched career victory number five. Bred by the Rose Run Farm, Rose Run Skyler was purchased by Watiker at the Ohio Selected Sale.

“We watched her video and thought she was extremely athletic looking,” he noted.

Watiker—who owns a heavy highway construction company in Zanesville, Ohio, has been immersed in the Standardbred industry since the late 1970's.

“My father was involved as an owner back then and in the 1980's I trained a few horses for him but I’m enjoying it now with my sons being involved,” he explained.

Unraced at two, Rose Run Skyler also captured the $50,000 Scarlet And Grey at Miami Valley Raceway on May 8 in 1:53 and a Scioto Downs overnight on May 25 in 1:54.1, both with Merriman at the controls.

“Derek trained ‘Skyler’ down to 2:05 last year but we all felt it would be better to wait and race her as a 3-year-old,” Watiker related. “We wanted to give her time to mature.”

In addition to his son Derek who also drives, Watiker utilizes the talents of his son Chase—a fourth year veterinarian student at The Ohio State University—to help with allergy issues affecting the sophomore pacing filly.

“It’s quite unusual, but ‘Skyler’ is allergic to things most horses have in their daily life without trouble,” Watiker offered. “Certain types of grass and hay, apples, etc.—she’s allergic to all of them. We have to constantly monitor and manage her diet very carefully and that’s where Chase has been most helpful.”

Rose Run Skyler is also routinely nebulized and gets a little bit of time in the field, Watiker added.

Conrad photos
Bye Bye Felicia wins her OSS division in a new lifetime best of 1:52.2.

“We keep her turn-out time brief; no more than two hours at a time because we don’t want her to ingest too much grass and get sick,” he stressed. “She definitely responds to it all very well though.”

Favorite Pistol Packin Mama and driver Peter Wrenn demolished their rivals by five lengths, stopping the clock in a lifetime best 1:52.2 in their OSS division. The Panderosa lass took the lead going to the :55.3 half and steadily drew away from the rest of the field in just her fifth start of the season.

“Last week at Hoosier, she was a good second to Glassine Hanover, who is a very, very nice filly,” Wrenn stressed. “So I knew she was going to be sharp in here tonight.”

Owned by the Herres Stables of Bellbrook, Ohio, Pistol Packin Mama pushed her career bankroll to $71,250 with this OSS win. This filly won Leg 1 of the series on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway by 4-1/2 lengths using similar tactics. Longshot (21-1) Glorious Intent (Chris Page) was second, while 13-1 Zoe Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished third.

Bye Bye Felicia (Chris Page) prevailed in her OSS division by a commanding 3-3/4 lengths to win in a new life mark of 1:52.2. The victory was the first of the year in six tries for the daughter of Woodstock, who is conditioned by Brian Brown for Ohio owners Jennifer Brown, Scott Davis, Steve Mullet and Joyce McClelland. Opie’s Girl (Kayne Kauffman) finished second, while Official Kisser (Jason Brewer) was third. Bred by Billy Walters and Joe McLead, Bye Bye Felicia now has $130,809 in career earnings.

Aaron Merriman picked up his second OSS victory of the night as he guided Ellasen to a new life record of 1:52.4 for trainer Ron Potter and owner Clyde A. Perfect of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The daughter of Big Bad John battled 15-1 longshot rival Cams Little Bit (Kyle Ater) down the stretch to win by a length, with 60-1 The Lady Vanishes (Ryan Stahl) getting up for third.

Bred by Tonya Keckler, Ellasen upped her career earnings to $83,203 via her third lifetime victory in 17 starts.

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